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first_imgEditor’s Note: Guest blogger Jonathan Medows is a New York City based CPA who specializes in taxes and business issues for freelancers across the country. He has a resource section with how-to articles specifically for the self-employed at his website, www.cpaforfreelancers.com.It happens every year around this time: The frantic phone calls start coming in to our office from freelancers who have just realized it’s almost April 15. They haven’t gotten their income and expense records together, they haven’t met with an accountant, and most of them don’t know whether they will owe money for tax year 2012 or get a refund.Do you fall into this category? If so, all is not lost. There are still a number of things you can do to triage the fast-approaching tax filing deadline, and you can use this opportunity to get your act together for next year.Here are some do’s and don’ts we pass along to freelancers who find themselves in this situation:Do: Get organized immediately. That means gathering up the 1099 tax forms you should have received in the past couple of months from clients who paid you more than $600 in 2012. It also means pulling together any W-2 forms that you or your spouse received from full- or part-time employment last year; your bank and mortgage interest statements; investment records; and business expense receipts.Don’t: Bury your head in the sand. If you don’t file your federal and state returns by April 15, you will be in line for hefty IRS fines and penalties that accumulate over time. Dealing with taxes is one of the downsides of being a freelancer, but it’s not worth putting off the pain – it will only get worse the longer you delay.Do: Take a look at last year’s tax returns. Compare what you made in 2012 with the freelance income reported on your 2011 returns, and estimate whether your business expenses were similar for both years. From that information, you should be able to estimate whether you’ll owe taxes or be in line for a refund.Do: Consider filing an extension. The IRS grants extensions for late tax filers from April 15 to Sept. 15. If you file the paperwork requesting an extension by April 15, that will mitigate the penalties you’ll face for not filing in a timely manner.Don’t: Expect to get off the hook completely. If you owe taxes for 2012, you will have to estimate how much and pay that amount by April 15, even if you get an extension on filing your actual returns. If you owe a large sum of money, pay as much as you can and request a payment plan for the remainder. You’ll have to pay some interest and penalties on the outstanding balance, but paying something by April 15 will mitigate the damage.Do: Claim deductions for which you qualify. As a freelancer, you can deduct expenses that the IRS terms “ordinary and necessary” to run your business. That means home office, if you work exclusively from home, and vehicle expenses, if you use your car to get to business meetings, interviews, and events. Don’t forget things like office expenses, Internet and mobile phone charges, and equipment you buy (like computers and furniture) for your business. Gather the receipts that support those deductions and figure out how much you spent on them in 2012.Don’t: Wind up in this position next year. Put a game plan in place so you don’t scramble again on your 2013 taxes. That means signing up for accounting software like Quicken, Mint, Outright, or Quickbooks, and using it to track your income and expenses this year. It will take much of the pain and guesswork out of tax time next year.Do: Get help. Talk to an accounting professional and get some guidance on your 2012 returns, as well as advice on what you should be doing differently in future. That may include paying quarterly estimated taxes, if your freelance income requires that, and estimating how much you’ll owe next year so you’ll be mentally and financially prepared.last_img read more

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first_imgMost freelancers will, at some point, have to write a pitch email to a prospective client.Sometimes, it’s an acquaintance – someone you’ve met at a networking event.Sometimes, it’s the dreaded modern equivalent of the cold-call, in which you are reaching out to a total stranger.There are plenty of guides out there on how to write a great pitch email, but what should you NOT do?What gets a perfectly good pitch ignored – or pulled right into spam?RamblePitch emails should be sharp, short, and to-the-point.Most people scroll through hundreds of emails a day; they’re rarely willing to read multi-paragraph screeds from strangers or business associates.Start strong, and finish succinctly. If they want more information, they can always respond.Are you confessing your long-hidden, undying love to the email recipient?If so, feel free to ramble on poetically – everybody likes to read about how fabulous and adorable they are. If not, keep it simple.Join the Union (it’s free!)Become a memberBe too generic OR business-speakyDo your research: it only takes a few minutes!Why are you writing to this person? Can you specify why you’re interested in working with them, in particular? Can you cite one of their accomplishments that has specifically impressed you?Don’t just skim the surface – nothing is more embarrassing than saying how much you loooovvvved their article about the health benefits of seafood, only to find out it was an impassioned rant against the fishing industry.Invest a little time in your contact; it can really pay off.Business-speak is another common sin found in pitch emails. Avoid overly-fancy terms; they look suspiciously like spam.Again, keep it simple: if you can’t easily explain what “enhancing cross-media marketing to optimize stakeholder fulfillment” means to a bright ten year-old, don’t use it in an initial pitch email.Indulge in rampant copy-and-pastingListen, I’m not going to tell you to write every individual pitch email from scratch – that’d be great, but if you’re targeting many potential clients at once, it may not be feasible.You may indeed recycle most of the main body of an email – but unless you’re sending out a newsletter or a generic update to your mailing list, EVERY individual email should be repurposed to target the specific person.That means using the correct names and titles, adapting tone, and sprinkling in relevant details.Don’t just copy and paste an entire email. People can smell that generic, robotic tone a mile away – and they’re disinclined to read it.Send without closely proofreadingEVERYBODY makes silly little grammatical and spelling errors. That being said, almost everybody is ALSO a terrible hypocrite about it.What a world, eh? It is really easy to discount an email just because the poor sender has praised “you’re business.”After drafting your email, double-check it. Triple-check it. Send it to a friend, or walk away for a few minutes and read it after taking a little coffee break.Make sure to check not only for grammatical and spelling hiccups, but also for formatting bugs – again, it’s a good idea to send a test draft to yourself first.Once you’ve sent your simple, clear, engaging, fully-proofed pitch email… take a deep breath. Relax.Don’t forget to follow up (make a note in your calendar), but otherwise let it slip from your mind, and don’t take it personally if you don’t hear back soon… or indeed, at all.Many pitches disappear into the ether, regardless of how well they’re crafted. Do your best, and then move on to the next!You never know when you’ll get a response.Kate Hamill lives and works in New York City, where she consumes an inordinate amount of Sriracha daily. You can catch up with her on Twitter at @katerone.last_img read more

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first_imgNew Delhi, Sep 8 (PTI) Director-choreographer Farah Khan said her upcoming TV show “Lip Sing Battle” is a complete entertainer as it is a musical laced with a dash of comedy.The 52-year-old filmmaker, who returns to the small screen as one of the hosts on Star Plus upcoming show, said the serial is a potpourri like her brand of movies, which cannot be boxed into a genre.”You cant put this show in one category – comedy or musical. Its both. Its like one of my movies. Youll get everything in it,” Farah told reporters here.The “Happy New Year” director will present the reality series, along with actor-comic Ali Asgar, which is based on the successful international show, “Lip Sync Battle” – that appeared as a segment on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” before it was developed into a separate show.Talking about how the Indian version will be different from the original one, Farah said, “The American show is a musical one. In our take, we will have to present the musical with our tadka.”The comedy comes from the show. Theres no separate track of gags; there are no skits. We work those gags out with the participating celebs, but its organic.”The show will have renowned names as contestants, not only from Bollywood but also from the world of TV and sports, competing with each other in pairs in a dance battle while lip-syncing on some of Bollywoods iconic tracks.Farah said the audience can expect to see sports stars such as Sania Mirza, Sakshi Malik, Irfan Pathan and Yuvraj Singh on the show.advertisementFeaturing stars such as Farhan Akhtar, Karan Johar, Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra, “Lip Sing Battle” goes on air on September 16. PTI RDS SHDlast_img read more

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first_imgCrystal Palace striker Christian Benteke has been ruled out for at least six weeks due to a knee ligament damage, manager Roy Hodgson said on Friday.Winger Wilfried Zaha has not recovered from his knee injury in time to visit Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday, while Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek will also miss the trip with a thigh strain.”He’s (Benteke) got ligament damage which will keep him out for a minimum of six weeks,” Hodgson told a news conference. “We don’t think he’ll be able to train for six weeks.””Loftus-Cheek has a thigh strain which he’s been battling with for some period of time, which will keep him out of the game.”Unfortunately, at the moment we’ve been hit by a plague of injuries at a time when we could have done without it.”James Tomkins’ illness leaves Palace short-staffed in defence, while Benteke’s back-up striker Connor Wickham is still weeks away from returning from his own knee injury.Palace are rooted at the bottom of the league standings having lost the first six games without scoring and Hodgson concedes there could be more suffering ahead for his side.”Manchester United have a very strong squad but we will be looking to give them a good game and hope for any good luck that is around,” he added.”There could be more pain ahead, with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, but we wont be fazed as we work on our task that we have ahead of us as a group.”advertisementUnited have made an unbeaten start to the campaign and have not lost to Palace in the top-flight since May 1991.last_img read more

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first_imgXiaomi is very clear about the Mi Max, a 6.44-inch phablet that towers over every other phablet in the market right now by its sheer size and ambition. Xiaomi considers it an extremely niche product, a product that can make you cringe as well as make you fall in love with it at the same time. It’s all a matter of perspective. You’d either like it, or absolutely hate it. There’s no middle ground with the Mi Max.It isn’t a laboratory experiment for the company in question, though. Even though, it seemingly borders on extreme, there’s a definite method to Xiaomi’s madness. The company feels there’s a market for something as humongous as a 6.44-inch phablet – however small it might be – just that there aren’t many good super-sized phablets out there. The ones that are there, are just bad – uninspiring slabs of cumbersome plastic – and don’t necessarily serve any real-world purpose. The Mi Max on the other hand has an all-metal body, a sharp full-HD display, good hardware, dualSIM support, 4G LTE connectivity, and more importantly, a sensible price tag.The Mi Max dares to go where no other phablet – at its price point – has gone before. It’s commendable. But, seriously, size does matter beyond a certain point. The journey of the Mi Max interestingly starts beyond that point.Design and build qualityHulk is the alter ego of Bruce Banner. Likewise, the Mi Max is the alter ego of the Redmi Note 3. That’s one — and only — way to put it. Take the Redmi Note 3, and size it up, nay, super-size it up, and what you get is the Mi Max.advertisementXiaomi has surprisingly been able to Hulk up the Redmi Note 3 , and yet, managed to somehow keep its internal proportions – girth and weight – in check. It weighs just, if you can say just here, 203 grams and measures just 7.5 mm. Mind you, it also has a massive 4,850mAh battery inside. It’s a giant that’s surprisingly super light on its feet.The Mi Max, with its large screen size and crisp audio, could well be an excellent Android tablet alternative, that is also relatively affordableJust like the original Redmi Note 3, the Mi Max boasts of a full metal unibody, with top and bottom ends having a brushed metal finish, a rear-mounted circular fingerprint scanner and curved 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the front with backlit capacitive keys. And just like the Redmi Note 3, the Mi Max has an impressive screen-to-body ratio giving you ample real estate, literally as well as figuratively.But, it’s still a 6.44-inch phablet and it’s supposed to be big. Taming the giant won’t be easy for a lot of people. I for one tried – made this one my primary device for a week – and failed. It just wasn’t right for me. One of the reasons could be my preference for 5-inch or 5.2-inch phones. But, during this brief time with the Mi Max, I also realised that you’re better off approaching a new device with an “open mind”. Makes you appreciate the better things that it has to offer.The Mi Max sure has a thing or two (and more) that works in its favour. I for one have watched a lot of Netflix on my review unit. I have also read a lot of comics – I like DC – on my review unit. I did not play many games, but, when I did, I liked the fact that everything was so big – on screen — and yet so light, to hold and manoeuvre. I couldn’t get it comfortably in my pocket, but, seriously, you’re doing it all wrong if you hope to put a 6.44-inch phablet in your pants.The Mi Max could be a little slippery, but its chamfered edges do a better job at holding on to your palm than the Redmi Note 3. The power button and the volume rocker on the right take some time getting used to, because of, well, the size. Also, the placement of the rear fingerprint scanner is a little awkward. It would have been better, because of the phone’s size, if Xiaomi had put it on the front, like it did in the Mi 5. That fingerprint scanner will be extremely hard to reach for many users. I, for instance, turned it off altogether after I found that it is more of an annoyance because it’s out of reach when you are holding the phone comfortably. It is quite responsive though, but there’s some room for improvement.advertisementDisplayXiaomi has used a FullHD (1080 x 1920 pixels and 342 ppi pixel density) IPS panel in the Mi Max. Now, a 6.44-inch screen and a 1080p resolution may not add up. Or at least that is what you will think. But then you use it and realise that your apprehensions were misplaced. No, the Mi Max doesn’t have a breathtaking display. Rather, it’s barely adequate in front of the razor sharp display of the Mi 5 (and the Mi 4 before it). But, the colours, oh the colours are so spot on! The Mi Max handles – and reproduces — colours so well you don’t mind that it’s not as bright as the company’s other phones. There’s an option to manually correct contrast and an in-built reading mode that turns colours to the warmer end of the spectrum when enabled.The Mi Max dares to go where no other phablet – at its price point – has gone before. It’s commendable. But, seriously, size does matter beyond a certain pointSadly, the Mi Max’s barely adequate brightness levels feel lacking when you’re out and about. Also, the screen is prone to reflection which adds up, hampering the phone’s outdoor legibility further.SoftwareThe Mi Max runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based MIUI 7 out-of-the-box. As always, latest software iteration does not necessarily translate to drastic changes in Xiaomi’s interface. The MIUI 7 in the Mi Max looks almost exactly (save some exceptions) like MIUI 5 in the Mi 4 . There’s very little difference between a KitKat-based MIUI and a Marshmallow-based MIUI which could be a deal-breaker for stock Android fanatics, even more so because Xiaomi’s MIUI kills off key Android 6 interface elements, like Now on Tap.If, however you are not a “stock Android fanatic”, MIUI 7 offers all the bells and whistles that you’d want from a fully-functional operating system, including themes. Xiaomi has added a couple of features – one-handed mode and a shortcut menu — to the user interface to make life easier for those having smaller hands. While the one-handed mode reduces the size of the usable screen to as low as 3.5-inches, the shortcut menu pins a quick launcher – up to a maximum of five options available — on the home screen. A split screen multitasking feature – like the one Samsung employs – would have made a lot of sense on a 6.44-inch phablet, just saying.Performance & battery lifeXiaomi’s Mi Max is powered by a 1.8GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor, clubbed with Adreno 510 GPU and 3GB of RAM. It comes with 32GB of on-board memory which is further expandable via a microSD hybrid card slot. The dualSIM (nano+micro) phone supports 4G LTE connectivity. There’s no NFC though. That’s basically the same configuration that’s inside the top-end Redmi Note 3 variant. The Redmi Note 3 was a darn good – read, snappy – smartphone. The Mi Max is also a darn good – read, snappy – phablet.Qualcomm has had quite a good run – and quite frankly, a change of fortune — with its new high-end Snapdragon 820, and mid-level Snapdragon 650 processors, after the hot mess that was the Snapdragon 810 (and to an extent, even the Snapdragon 615). The new breed of mobile processors from Qualcomm are fast, energy efficient and run cooler.advertisementThe Mi Max, just like the Redmi Note 3, handles everything that you throw at it, with ease. Xiaomi’s user interface is fairly heavy – with animations, and an over-board colour palette – and yet, everything runs smooth as butter. Meanwhile, Adreno 510 has just the right amount of horsepower so you can run all your graphic intensive games, like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 5 and Implosion, at maxed out settings. Multitasking is also handled just fine. All in all, the Mi Max continues the fine run of the Redmi Note 3, and is without a doubt a very capable performer, for the price that it commands. And it runs mostly cool, so that’s a big plus.The bottom-firing mono speaker on-board the Mi Max gets very loud, and is in fact, one of the highlights of the phablet. In a word, it doesn’t get any better than this, at this price range when it comes to speakers. The Mi Max, with its large screen size and crisp audio, could well be an excellent Android tablet alternative, that is also relatively affordable.Phone calls made with the phablet are of excellent quality and we did not encounter any odd call drop issues with our review unit.The Mi Max is backed by a 4,850mAh battery which is non-removable. The Redmi Note 3 blew our minds off with its long-lasting battery. The Mi Max is even better. The battery just won’t die on this one. Extreme usage saw us getting close to a full day, without any hiccups, while moderate to low usage got us way beyond one and a half days with ease. Most users, with more generalised usage will easily be able to squeeze out at least two days out of the phone. The only quibble I have with Xiaomi is that it doesn’t ship a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 certified charger in the box.CameraThe Mi Max sports a 16-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.0 aperture, phase detect autofocus and dualLED (dual tone) flash. The rear cam is capable of shooting 4K, time-lapse and slow-motion videos. On the front, you get a 5-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture.The Mi Max has a pretty disappointing rear camera. In fact, it’s the weakest link on an otherwise fairly thought-out device. Although photos clicked in good light come out nice, metering issues – overexposure – and excessive image sharpening often result in blown out highlights. Also, dynamic range is something that leaves a lot to be desired on the Mi Max. Low light photos, on most counts, are blurry and have excessive noise.XPreviousNextThe camera app is pretty quick to snap open though. The lens is quick to focus and shutter speed is also fairly good. But if you use HDR mode, be prepared to deal with slow shutter speed. Speaking of which, the Mi Max has a pretty capable HDR mode, but you’ll have to be patient with it.The front camera shoots average at best selfies, with some noise, even in good lighting.Should you buy it?The Mi Max, if you haven’t noticed already, is an all-rounder that pretty much checks in all the right boxes. But, at the end of the day, it’s just another Redmi Note 3 clone — in every sense of the word — except that it has been made to order for people – if any — who like large-sized phablets. More or less, it shares all the plus and minus points of its younger (and more affordable) sibling. The Mi Max is well-built, has a good display, is a slick and very capable performer, has excellent audio and a fantastic battery life. If you’re willing to overlook its disappointing camera – note that there are way better camera phones at its price point now – there’s no compelling reason to not give the Mi Max a shot. And yet there is one, a deal breaker, if you may.The Mi Max is too big. It’s sheer size and scale could be a major turn-off. Then again, if you’re a multimedia junkie who loves to Netflix, or read e-books, or someone simply looking to replace your Android tablet with a full-functional phablet, the Mi Max won’t disappoint you. For everyone else, who are into Xiaomi, you can always save some money and buy the Redmi Note 3.####Xiaomi Mi Max####7/10########Good stuffDisplay shows good coloursGood all-round performanceExcellent audioFantastic battery life####Bad stuffSheer sizeScreen not bright enoughMIUI 7 is a buzzkillDisappointing cameraslast_img read more

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first_imgDelhi won the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament for the first time beating Rajasthan by 41 runs at the Eden Gardens on Friday.Electing to bat, Delhi rode on Unmukt Chand’s 53 to post a modest 153 in 20 overs with Rajasthan missing the services of Deepak Chahar who was ruled out due to a hamstring injury.In reply, Rajasthan flopped with the bat, managing just 112 all out in 19.1 overs.Rajasthan’s chase was led by Aditya Garhwal (36-ball, 52) but sedate batting from his partners let him and the team down.Garhwal kept Rajasthan in the match scoring steadily as partners Ankit Lamba (1) and Salman Khan (10) went cheaply.Garhwal, 21, cut and slashed the spinners and drove and pulled the pacers to reach his 50 off 31 balls creaming seven balls to the fence.With the asking rate reaching nine runs per over, Garhwal tried to free his arms to a ball from Lalit Yadav (1/10) that stopped and rose on him.He pulled straight to Nitish Rana at long on to depart for 52.In-form Mahipal Lomror (17) tried to stem the rot after Garhwal departed, in the company of Tejinder Singh (7).But the pair departed in successive overs to plunge Rajasthan into further misery.Chetan Bist (0) was out hit wicket trying to fend off a Kulwant Khejrolia bouncer, who a ball earlier had claimed Lomror with another superb delivery.With six down for 94 and six overs remaining, the game looked all but over. For Delhi, skipper Pradeep Sangwan (2/14), Khejrolia (2/24) and Pawan Negi (2/21) all took two wickets each.Earlier, India veteran Gautam Gambhir and Rishabh Pant gave Delhi a brisk start.advertisementGambhir, who has had a miserable tournament so far, showed glimpses of his vintage self racing to a fluent 27 laced with 4 boundaries and a six before being flummoxed by the young leggie Rahul Chahar (2/31).Gambhir was gone in the last over of the fifth over, and in the first ball of the sixth Khaleel Ahmed (2/23) returned Pant to one that rose awkwardly and induced a top edge to be caught by the keeper.With two down for 41, Dhruv Shorey (21) and Chand built a vital 48-run partnership for the third wicket.They struck big shots in tandem to dominate the Team Rajasthan bowlers.While the others failed to get the in-form Shorey out, it was braveheart Rahul, who struck once again.Despite being hit for a six in the previous delivery, Rahul tossed the next one up inviting Shorey, who missed the flight trying to go for another big shot and was comfortably stumped.Chand, playing his first match in the tournament looked confident right from the start.He punished the bad balls with conviction taking his team to 100 in 12 overs. Nitish Rana once again failed to get going as he was sent back by Abhimanyu Lamba in the next over with the score just 105/4.Milind and Chand laboured to a 18-run partnership but couldn’t convert it to a big one getting out cheaply to skipper Aniket Choudhury while trying to hit over the deep extra cover.Lone fighter Chand showed his class with a dominating 49 ball 53. He was caught on 48 off Khaleel, but it was ruled a no ball. However, Khaleel had the last laugh trapping the young turk lbw his next over.Brief scores: Delhi 153/6 in 20 overs (Unmukt Chand 53, Khaleel Ahmed 2/23, Rahul Chahar 2/31 beat Rajasthan 112 in 19.1 overs (Aditya Garhwal 52, Kulwant Khejroliya 2/24, Pradeep Sangwan 2/14, Pawan Negi 2/21)(Courtesy: IANS)last_img read more

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first_imgIt was written in the stars and it has happened.The Pandya brothers are back together and they will be sporting the Blue and Gold of the Mumbai Indians for at least the next three years in the IPL.Mumbai had already retained Hardik for over Rs 11 crore and the signs were there that they will use their Right to Match for Krunal and that they did.Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals started off the bidding war and the price went past Rs 4 crore in a flash. Sunrisers Hyderabad then joined in at Rs 6.2 crore and went on along with RCB before Virat Kohli’s team finally won the bid at Rs 8.8 crore. Mumbai then used their RTM and the joy on their faces said everything one needs to know about the love for him.Krunal, who recently got married, has been in fantastic form for Mumbai Indians in the past two seasons and hit 480 runs from 25 matches and taken 16 wickets over the past two seasons. His stats might not be very eye-catching but the older Pandya brother has played some very crucial knocks to bail his side out of tricky spots. Most important of them being the one in the IPL 2017 final — where he scored 47 from 38 balls to take Mumbai to a respectable total. Which turned out to be crucial as they took their record third IPL title.And his performances were definitely rewarded by MI. Someone, who would be perhaps even happier than the man himself, would be Hardik. He might not know it currently as he is representing his country at the Wanderers but the moment he knows about that, he would jump in sheer joy.advertisementThe Pandya bros have always spoken about their bond, how they have dealt with financial problems over the years and how Pandya’s big contract changed everything for them. Now the elder brother has 8 crore and the younger has 8.8 to his name. The duo has let everyone known about how proud they are to help their family together and also the Mumbai Indians — which has become like their second home.MI hugely depend upon them as well and they play a crucial role with both bat and ball for the three-time champions. Not only that, they are both good fielders and along with Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Kieron Pollard, will form the core of the team.Pandya was Mumbai’s fifth buy of the day. Mumbai had bought Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Pat Cummins and Suryakumar Yadav before him. His buy was followed by Ishan Kishan’s, who went for over Rs 6 crore as well.last_img read more

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first_imgInternational cricket’s slow trickle back into Pakistan continues with West Indies set to play a three-match Twenty20 series in Karachi in the first week of April, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has announced.The south Asian country has remained largely starved of international cricket since the 2009 attacks on a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, wounding six players and a British coach and killing eight Pakistanis.The incident forced Pakistan to play nearly all of their home matches in the United Arab Emirates. Pakistan have since hosted Zimbabwe, a World XI, and a Sri Lanka team for limited overs matches, all at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.”Good news! West Indies have agreed to play 3 T20 matches in KARACHI on 1, 2 and 4th April,” Sethi tweeted.Karachi will also host the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on March 25.”Lahore had Zimbabwe, PSL2 Final, ICC XI and Sri Lanka. Now it is Karachi’s turn to rise and shine with PSL3 Final and WI,” Sethi added.International Cricket Council’s security consultant Reg Dickason will visit Karachi during the PSL final to assess security arrangement for the Twenty20 series.”Their expert will stay back for seven days and conduct the security for West Indies series. This is part of our agreement with the West Indies board,” Sethi told reporters, adding PCB was unlikely to make any profit from the series.”This will be a one-off series… it will be a loss-making enterprise. The idea wasn’t to make money, it was to bring cricket back, so this is a step in that direction.”advertisement(Source: Reuters)last_img read more

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first_imgMohammed Shami’s wife Hasin Jahan lost her cool and allegedly attacked journalists in Kolkata on Tuesday.Hasin was seen outside the St. Sebastian’s School in Kolkata where she shouted at journalists and even broke a video camera in the scuffle. She then hurriedly left the spot in a red SUV.Hasin seemed very upset and annoyed in the video. She was also seen shouting at somebody but it was not clear who she was directing her ire at.A media person is also seen in the video holding damaged equipment. It appeared he had sustained a minor injury.”We’ve been tracking her since morning and that’s the reason why the entire media brigade has been following her for the past 2-3 days since she filed the complaint.”Now she’s been irked by this and the fact that we’ve been asking her questions on what would be the next step forward. That’s the reason why she got irked,” India Today correspondent Manogya Loiwal said from Kolkata.”But she is the one who wrote everything about Shami on Facebook, she is the one who attracted all this attention towards her. She made sure that everything that Shami had done was there in public glare.”So now that the public wants to know on what is happening she suddenly flips and says that she wants to keep it low key and wants to keep it to her personal life now. It doesn’t work like that.”She has to understand that it is not just about whether she is talking to the media or responding to the queries or not, but also the fact that she’s been meeting the family or not because there are a lot of points which the families don’t want to reveal which the people want to know.advertisement”She has said that she wants to stay away from the media glare. On March 19 her statement would be recorded and with that it is also important on what would happen next because the family has been trying for a reconciliation,” Manogya added.Hasin has been involved in an ugly dispute with her cricketer husband Shami and even filed a complaint against him at Jadavpur police station. Hasin has in the past questioned the media as to why they have not thoroughly investigated her claims against Shami.WATCHMohammed Shami-Hasin Jahan controversy: A timeline of eventsShami on Monday thanked his friends and loved ones for their constant support in the raging controversy. Shami took to Twitter to thank his friends for their love and support.”Thanks to all my friends for your love and support,” Shami tweeted.Thanks to all my friends for your love and supportMohammad Shami (@MdShami11) March 12, 2018In a Facebook post, Hasin shared screenshots of Shami’s alleged chats with other women. Soon after, Shami denied the accusations on social media and said it was all a conspiracy to defame him.SHAMI TELLS AAJ TAK HE IS LOOKING TO SOLVE THE MATTER INSIDE THE FAMILYShami has been slapped with non-bailable charges of domestic abuse and attempt to murder by Kolkata Police following the official complaint.SHAMI READY TO GO TO KOLKATA TO SOLVE DISPUTEAn FIR has been registered against Shami and four other family members under several Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections, including section 498A, which amounts to cruelty to a woman by her husband or his relatives.KOLKATA POLICE SEEK SHAMI DETAILS DURING SOUTH AFRICA TOURThe other charges recorded against Shami are under Section 307 – attempt to murder, Section 323 – punishment for voluntarily causing hurt, Section 376 – rape, Section 506 – criminal intimidation, Section 328 and Section 34.Shami has meanwhile denied all allegations, claiming someone is misleading his wife.”There have been many accusations which are increasing day-by-day. I don’t want to give an explanation about it and I want it to be investigated thoroughly. Hasin and her family have been saying that we will sit and sort out all issues, but I don’t know who has been misleading her,” Shami had earlier said.The entire episode has hit Shami really hard. He was left out of the new BCCI central contracts and his participation in this year’s Indian Premier League could also be in jeopardy.Shami, has however, said he was willing to settle the dispute inside the family while Hasin, in a press conference on Sunday, said her husband has crossed all limits.last_img read more

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first_imgThe governing body of world athletics has suspended five Russian race walkers from competition pending further investigation of their participation in a training camp with a banned coach.The decision to revoke the neutral status of Klavdiya Afanasyeva, Olga Eliseeva, Yuliya Lipanova, Sergey Sharypov and Sergey Shirobokov, a silver medallist from the 2017 world championships, means they will not be eligible to compete at the race walking team championships in China later this week, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said in a statement on Friday.The IAAF said the decision had been made pending a probe into “a number of serious issues” related to their participation in a training camp in Kyrgyzstan last month with coach Viktor Chegin, who was banned for life from athletics over the Russian doping scandal.Russia’s athletics federation was suspended by the IAAF in 2015 following a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report containing allegations of state-supported doping, which Moscow has denied.The IAAF has cleared some Russians to compete internationally as neutral athletes if they demonstrate that their training environment meets the required anti-doping standards.The IAAF said it would review the race walkers’ status for further competitions this year once it had received more information from Russia’s anti-doping agency RUSADA and knew the outcome of further investigations.Chegin, who was banned from the sport for life in 2016, had coached prominent race walkers including Olga Kaniskina, Sergei Kirdyapkin and Elena Lashmanova. These athletes all won Olympic gold medals but later served doping bans.The IAAF in March extended the Russian athletics federation’s suspension and warned that the country could face further sanctions.advertisementRUSADA and the country’s Paralympic Committee remain suspended over allegations of state-sponsored doping.For Russia’s suspended sports bodies to regain their accreditation, Moscow must acknowledge the findings of the WADA-commissioned report that found more than 1,000 Russian athletes benefited from a state-run scheme to conceal positive tests over a five-year period.last_img read more

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first_imgAB de Villiers has been declared fit for Royal Challengers Bangalore’s vital clash against Chennai Super Kings on Saturday in the Indian Premier League (IPL).The RCB batting mainstay had missed last the two games due to viral fever.De Villiers’ compatriot Quinton De Kock, however, will miss the match as he has flown back home to attend a wedding.”AB is fit. Quinton is away from this game. He has returned home for a wedding. He’s unavailable for this match. Easy decision for us to make,” Vettori told reporters here on the eve of the match.The former Kiwi spinner also praised compatriot Colin De Grandhomme for the superb finish against Mumbai Indians when he hammered three sixes in the final over.”Colin (De Grandhomme) did a great job in the last game. I think the 20-odd runs he scored was the reason why we won the game. Really satisfied with how Colin has come into the team.”Mandeep (Singh) has been consistent. Finishing plays a part when you don’t do well at the top. We have done well at the top with the experienced four batsmen generally batting well,” said Vettori when asked whether finishing was a concern.The head coach also expressed satisfaction with the way RCB bowled in their 14-run win against Mumbai Indians in Bengaluru.”I think we got our combination right. (Tim) Southee has been exceptional, (Mohammad) Siraj has been improving and (Yuzvendra) Chahal and Umesh (Yadav) are tight as ever,” the RCB head coach said.advertisementVettori maintained that execution with the ball will be a defining factor in the game against Chennai.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

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first_imgThe Huawei Watch 2 is official. The Huawei Watch 2, for starters, is entirely different from the company’s first-generation Android Wear-based smartwatch. Huawei seems to be gunning for the fitness enthusiasts, with the Huawei Watch 2, much like how things are in the case of Samsung’s Gear Sport. And it runs Wear OS, Google’s fresh take on the wearable form factor, after the disappointment that was Android Wear.The Huawei Watch 2 has a sporty design. The original Huawei Watch, to recall, looked more like a traditional watch. This means, the Huawei Watch 2, comes with rubberised bands, but much like the original, it is still rocking a circular dial. There are two crown buttons now unlike the original that shipped with just the one button.The rest of the deal is also in line with what fitness enthusiasts would want to have in their smartwatch. It comes with a 1.2-inch AMOLED display with a 390×390 pixel resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 processor with 768MB RAM and 4GB internal storage. The smartwatch is backed by a 420mAh battery and supports GPS, Wi-Fi and LTE (via e-SIM) connectivity options. Sensors on-board include: accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, heart rate, capacitance, ambient light and geomagnetic sensors. The Huawei Watch 2 is also IP68-certified for dust and water resistance.More importantly, the Huawei Watch 2, runs Google’s new Wear OS software. Wear OS, which is Google’s another attempt to make wearable devices make sense, is a re-branded Android Wear but well until now, details about it were scarce. At I/O 2018, Google took the wraps off of some of this information, and soon enough we have reports emerging that the company would launch a Pixel smartwatch alongside the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. A lot of these features, unsurprisingly, revolve around the Google Assistant.advertisementSome of these features include:– Smart suggestions from the Google Assistant that let you continue conversations directly from your watch. You’ll also be able to make contextually relevant follow-up questions or responses on Wear OS.– Actions will allow you to use your voice to do tasks.The Huawei Watch 2 starts at CNY 1,540 (roughly Rs 16,189) for the Bluetooth-only version going all the way to CNY 2,000 (roughly Rs 21,025) for the LTE version.ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi Band 3 launched, comes with heart-rate sensor and 20 days battery lifelast_img read more

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first_imgHonda racer Rajiv Sethu pips Jagan Kumar for a doubleChennai, Jul 8 (PTI) Chennai lad Rajiv Sethu of IdemitsuHonda Ten10 Racing recorded a double in the premier SuperSport Indian 165cc class in the second round of MRF MMSC FMSCINational Motorcycle Racing Championship 2018 at the MMRT trackat Sriperumbudur near here today.In a virtual repeat of yesterday’s first race, Sethuscored another win over national champion Jagan Kumar (TVSRacing).Jagan Kumar, after leading for much of the eight-laprace, yielded ground and finished second ahead of Sarath Kumar(Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing).The double win took Sethu to the top of the championshipstandings with 70 points, well clear of defending championJagan (62).Also scoring wins were Kozhikode’s Amarnath Menon, wholed a 1-2 finish for Gusto Racing in the Pro-Stock 301-400ccclass, Naresh Babu of RACR (Pro-Stock 165cc) and KarthikMateti who headed a Sparks Racing podium sweep in the Novicecategory while also setting a lap record in the class.Menon was involved in a three-way battle that includedteam-mate Sathyanarayana Raju and Prabhu Arunagiri (TeamAlisha Abdullah).As the race progressed, Menon and Raju swapped leadpositions lap by lap while opening up a gap on Arunagiri.Eventually, Menon got his nose in front and hung on towin his second race of the season with Raju in second spotfollowed by Arunagiri.Menon now heads the championship in this class with 72points, 11 clear of Raju.Earlier, Sparks Racing team swept all three podium spotsin the Novice (Stock, 165cc) category race with Mateti, a19-year old Commerce student from Hyderabad, Aditya Rao(Bengaluru) and Alexander AS (Chennai) taking the chequeredflag in that order after a close fight.advertisementAfter two rounds, Mateti and Rao are tied with 43 pointsapiece, having one race apiece.Results (Provisionalall 8 laps unless mentioned):Super Sport Indian (165cc)Race 2: 1. Rajiv Sethu (IdemitsuHonda Ten 10 Racing) (15mins, 37.026sec); 2. Jagan Kumar (TVSRacing) (15:40.465); 3. Sarath Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten 10Racing) (15:57.911).Pro-Stock (165cc)Race 2: 1. Naresh Babu (RACR)(16:57.586); 2. Anish D Shetty (Idemitsu Honda Ten 10 Racing)(17:03.115); 3. Senthil Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten 10 Racing)(17:07.286).Pro-Stock (301-400cc)Race 2: 1. Amarnath Menon K(Gusto Racing India) (15:37.673); 2. Sathyanarayana Raju(Gusto Racing India) (15:38.943); 3. Prabhu Arunagiri (TeamAlisha Abdullah) (15:39.216).Novice (Stock 165cc, 6 laps): 1. Karthik Mateti (SparksRacing) (13:01.676); 2. Aditya Rao I (Sparks Racing)(13.04.384); 3. Alexander AS (Sparks Racing) (13:04.663).Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup 2018 organised by MMSCOpen (CBR 250cc) Race 2: 1. Anish Shetty (Bengaluru)(16:48.671); 2. Abhishek Vasudev (Bengaluru) (16:49.460); 3.Amit Richard Toppo (Ranchi) (16:49.692).Novice (CBR 150cc) Race 2 (6 laps): 1. Mohamed Mikail(Chennai) (13:23.224); 2. Kritik Vasan Habib (Karnataka)(13:34.011); 3. Akshay V Murali (Kerala) 13:47.298.TVS One-Make ChampionshipOpen (Apache R310) Race 2: 1.Vivek Pillai (Chennai) (16:21.188); 2. Deepak Ravikumar(Chennai) (16:21.244); 3. Yashas RL (Bengaluru) (16:30.900).Novice (Apache 200) Race 2 (6 laps): 1. Karthik Mateti(Hyderabad) (13:37.283); 2. Venkatesan (Chennai) (13:50.679);3. Alexander AS (Chennai) (13:50.726). PTI SSROHROHROHlast_img read more

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first_imgDeveloped countries pledged to deliver US$ 100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing nations mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Mobilizing this finance —and securing more climate finance in the future—are two topics high on the COP 19 agenda this week.But to understand where the climate finance agenda is likely to go, it is first necessary to grasp where it stands today. To that end, Overseas Development Institute, WRI, and IGES – in partnership with the Open Climate Network – have conducted the first in-depth examination of Fast Start Finance (FSF), the period from 2010-2012 in which developed nations pledged to deliver US$ 30 billion in climate finance. As of September 2013, countries reported providing $35 billion in public FSF from 2010 through 2012, exceeding their pledge. Just five countries – Germany, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States— provided US$ 27 billion of this finance.5 Key Features of Fast Start FinanceOur analysis came to five conclusions about the FSF period, including:Countries chose what type of funding to “count” as climate finance. They’ve taken divergent approaches. For example, Japan and the United States included non-grant public finance as FSF, while the other top contributors did not. As a result, the largest share of FSF – 48 percent – was provided as loans (recorded at face value), and 40 percent was provided as grants. While responding to climate change as an investment challenge will require many different forms of public finance, each plays a particular role, and these may not be substitutable.Mitigation got the lion’s share. One desired outcome of the FSF period was to increase funding to help developing countries adapt to climate change. While adaptation finance increased in absolute terms to $5 billion, mitigation (including initiatives to address emissions from deforestation) received more than four times this amount ($22 billion). This gap in part reflects the fact that loans, guarantees, and other instruments that leverage additional finance were used almost exclusively for mitigation. However, some developing countries are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and are hungry for adaptation support.Not all of this funding was new or additional. While the UNFCCC stated that funding must be “new and additional” to be considered FSF, our analysis found that in many cases, programs that were funded prior to the FSF period were included. There is significant overlap between climate finance and development finance. Development and climate change are integrally linked, and developed countries counted more than 80 percent of FSF as official development assistance (ODA). The growing use of ODA for climate purposes does not yet appear to have affected the geographic distribution of ODA.FSF does not appear to have focused strongly on emission reductions or vulnerability. The distribution of FSF was not strongly correlated either with the vulnerability of recipient countries to the impacts of climate change, or with their GHG emissions. This raises questions about how well FSF was targeted. Tensions between ODA and climate finance may emerge if either were more precisely targeted. Many countries are trying to spend ODA in poor countries, with a focus on poverty reduction. This emphasis may make it difficult to continue to rely heavily on ODA for mitigation, which may be less directly linked to poverty reduction and will be most needed in middle-income countries where GHG emissions are growing rapidly.Most finance did not go directly to developing countries’ governments. Only 35 percent went directly to recipient country governments. The majority of finance was directed through international climate funds, multilateral development banks, and UN agencies, as well as private companies and NGOs, which then work with developing countries on climate-related initiatives. This may help explain why some developing countries have said that they did not see the results of FSF, even though developed countries report providing large sums. Limitations in current reporting practices may have compounded these misunderstandings3 Lessons for Long-Term FinanceIt’s still too early to assess how well finance has been used during the FSF period—continued analysis will be essential to understand what makes for an effective use of climate finance. But the FSF period offers three important lessons for the delivery of long-term finance.First, there are opportunities to better target climate finance to address emissions growth and vulnerability in developing countries. But to make good use of available finance, developing countries will also need to take the initiative to implement sound strategies for using this finance. They will need to align their policy, regulatory, and governance arrangements with climate-compatible development. For example, countries could reduce subsidies for fossil fuels, or adopt renewable energy targets to promote investment in wind and solar power.Second, better transparency on the delivery and use of finance in both developed and developing countries is needed. This will provide mutual accountability, supporting a shared understanding of the extent to which developed countries are meeting their commitments and whether funding is being used effectively. Many countries improved their reporting during the FSF period. It remains to be seen whether these good practices will continue. There are already tools to help countries report on projects that they supported — for example through the adoption of the International Aid Transparency Initiative standards — and which could be tailored to facilitate transparency on climate finance. Multilateral climate funds such as the CIF and GEF have already adopted the standard.Finally, finance targets cannot be ends in and of themselves. These targets need to be met in a spirit that is true to the ultimate objective of using available public climate finance and policy tools to direct investment towards climate-compatible development. Research shows that limiting global warming to 2 degrees C will require shifting $5.7 trillion away from business-as-usual activities and toward sustainable development projects. Thus, climate considerations need to be incorporated into mainstream investment decisions and into all development assistance initiatives. Going forward, it will be important to find ways to mobilize finance consistent with internationally agreed upon principles within the context of diverse political and social circumstances at the national level.The FSF period yielded valuable lessons. Now we need to learn from them as we mobilize finance to effectively meet the scale of the climate change challenge.LEARN MORE: Download the full publication, Mobilising International Climate Finance: Lessons from the Fast-Start Finance Periodlast_img read more

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first_imgLong jump prodigy M Sreeshankar will be skipping upcoming Federation Cup – starting next Friday in Patiala – due to a left heel injury, which sidelined him for three weeks.The injury, occurred on his take-off leg, puts the teenager’s Asian Athletic Championship qualification hopes in jeopardy as Sreeshankar failed to meet the qualifying mark of 7.90m at the two recently-concluded Indian Grand Prix this month.”The injury occurred during the pre-season and aggravated at the IGP in Sangrur. My doctor suggested me not to put any pressure on my leg for the next two weeks and then asked to resume light training. I have also asked to use crutches during the period,” the 19-year-old jumper told Mail Today from Palakkad, Kerala.Sreeshankar, who holds the national record of 8.20m, participated in IGP I & III (as other two events didn’t have long jump), and his best jump of 7.74m came in Sangrur.The teenager rued the weather conditions and less number of competitors as they played a big role in aggravating his injury and restrained him from crossing the qualification mark.”The injury made things difficult for me and held me back from giving my best. Apart from that, the weather in Patiala and Sangrur were dreadful. It was never above 11-12 degrees in Sangrur, and made my landings painful. On top of that, having fewer competitors meant I had to go for next jumps without any rest,” he explained.Sreeshankar, who trains under father Murali and national coach Bedros Bedrosian in Palakkad, showed concern over his Asian Championship qualification chances and has requested Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to allow him to appear for a trial after he recovers by the beginning of next month.advertisement”I have written to AFI, informing about my injury and have requested to allow me for a trial by the first week of April. I am hopeful they will accept my plea and I will finally secure an Asian Championship spot,” said an optimistic Sreeshankar.Being slated five months apart from each other, Asian Championship (April 21-24) and World Championship (September 28 to October 6) have created a dilemma for the athletes to peak at the right time.Sreeshankar, who is targeting to break the Asian record of 8.49m and already secured qualification for the Worlds at Nationals last year, feels it is indeed going to be a tricky season and sighted it as the probable reason behind less number of athletes turning up for the IGP.”It is going to be a tricky season. Previously they used to be a couple of months apart, so athletes could prepare accordingly to peak at the right time. Being months apart means we will have to peak twice in the season. I feel it is probably the reason for such a low turnout of athletes at IGP.”For me personally, the target is to break the Asian record. I feel confident after having a strong pre-season where I managed to touch 8.30m mark. My objective will be to break it at events that matter the most,” he concluded.last_img read more

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first_imgHMD Global continues its excellent streak of delivering the latest Android Pie software to its smartphone portfolio. After upgrading the Nokia 3.1 Plus last month, the company has now started pushing out the Android Pie OTA update to the Nokia 3.1. The Pie rollout for the Nokia 3.1 is in line with HMD’s roadmap that promised the update for Q1 2019. This leaves the Nokia 5.1, Nokia 3 and Nokia 1 as the only remaining Nokia phones that have to be updated to Pie.HMD is the only company right now that has managed to upgrade over a dozen of its smartphones to Android Pie. HMD has already release Android 9 Pie update for the Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 6.1 Plus, Nokia 5.1 Plus, Nokia 7.1, Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 8, Nokia 6, Nokia 6.1 Nokia 5 and Nokia 2.1.HMD Global chief Juho Sarvikas announced the release of Android Pie for the Nokia 3.1 this week. The update should bring the March security patch as well as Pie features like navigation gesture, new UI, adaptive brightness, adaptive battery and Digital Wellbeing, among other things.The Nokia 3.1 was launched last year with Android Oreo. It is currently available in India at a price of Rs 7,600 on Amazon India. As an Android One device, the Nokia 3.1 is due to receive two major software updates, which means it will receive Android Q in the future as well. The Nokia 3.1 sports a 5.2-inch HD+ (1440×720) display and is powered by a MediaTek MT6750 processor paired with up to 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The handset offers a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front-facing camera. It houses a 2,990mAh battery.advertisementAt MWC 2019, HMD announced the Nokia 3.2, which is a successor to the Nokia 3.1. The Nokia 3.2 brings a 6.2-inch HD+ display with a waterdrop notch and a 19:9 aspect ratio. The Nokia 3.2 is powered by a Snapdragon 429 chipset paired with up to 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. It comes with a single 13MP camera with flash, a 5MP front-facing camera and a large 4,000mAh battery that promises to deliver a two-day battery life. A couple of new features include a notification LED light embedded in the power button on the side and a dedicated Google Assistant button.ALSO READ | Nokia 4.2 and Nokia 3.2 Android One phones launched at MWC, price in India may start around Rs 10,000last_img read more

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first_imgDavid Warner was welcomed back with open arms by Sunrisers Hyderabad as the Australian superstar returned to the setup after a gap of one year and is now looking forward to give his best for team in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League.In March 2018, David Warner and Steve Smith were handed one year bans while Cameron Bancroft was banned for 9 months by Cricket Australia following the ball-tampering scandal in the Cape Town Test.Consequently, Warner and Smith were not allowed to play the 2018 IPL by the BCCI. In Warner’s absence, Kane Williamson led from the front as Sunrisers Hyderabad ended runner’s up to Chennai Super Kings last season.But the former SRH skipper is back to where he belongs and is leaving no stone unturned to make an impact on the IPL once again.David Warner has put the past behind him and cannot wait to get back on the field and prove his worth for SRH, who had won the 2016 title under his captaincy.Warner on Friday said that Hyderabad has become like his second home and thanked the SRH management for welcoming him back with open arms.”It’s very important. It is one tournament on the calendar that I’ve always been looking forward to. I’ve had a lot of success over the years from when I first started. From Delhi, moved to Hyderabad. This is my second home and to come back here to open arms and to be greeted with the fans, some of the passionate and kind words, it means a lot to my family and myself,” David Warner told India Today’s Boria Majumdar.advertisement”I’m just looking forward to the start of the tournament and playing and trying to go one step further from where the guys just couldn’t get further last year.”The fans have been fantastic. My teammates, lots of cuddles and Hi-5s, it’s been brilliant. It felt like I was at home I can’t thank them enough for sticking by me and always sending me nice messages. Laxman is a very, very humble human being and he always has nothing but nice things to say.”The words he used the other day really meant a lot to myself, he’s just so genuine. With everything going on in the last four months, I was at the forefront of his mind, I’m in the Sunrisers family’s mind and that they’re gonna welcome me with open arms as soon as the IPL starts.”I’m really grateful for it and just ready to get back into it,” David Warner said.SRH will open their IPL campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on March 24.Also Read | David Warner on Sunrisers Hyderabad’s warm welcome: Meant the world to meAlso Read | MS Dhoni’s absence from final 2 ODIs vs Australia left a big hole: David WarnerAlso Read | World Cup not on my mind, want to do well for Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warnerlast_img read more

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first_imgOppo has created some gorgeous-looking smartphones over the years. A few months ago, the company treated us to the Oppo Reno and Reno 10x Zoom, which are some of the best-designed phones of 2019 in our books. While these phones are premium mid-range segments, the company has also tried to offer a similar design philosophy when it comes to its affordable smartphones as well. The Oppo K3 is the most recent example of that as it brings a similar Reno-like look and feel at a much more attractive price point starting at Rs 16,999.The Oppo K3 offers a sweet combination features where it combines the looks of the Reno and Find X series and pairs it with the power and characteristics of the Realme X. Under the hood, the Oppo K3 gets the same Snapdragon 710 chipset, in-display fingerprint sensor and VOOC fast charging that you also get with the Realme X. So, does that mean the Oppo K3 offers the best of both worlds? We try to find out in our review.Oppo K3 DesignOppo knows how to make attractive phones without needing high-quality materials. The K3 gets a plastic rear panel, not glass. But it is a good-looking panel that curves around the edge to offer a comfortable grip. The panel is glossy and doesn’t feel too cheap. It comes in two very appealing colours – Aurora Blue and Jade Black. These colours have been seen before on phones like the Find X and Reno 10x Zoom, which makes the K3 look premium as well. The unit we received was in Aurora Blue, which offers a gradient effect with purple and blue hues.advertisementThe back is surprisingly resistant to fingerprints and smudges. It will, however, register scratches after a while unless you have a cover on. What’s more impressive is how flush the two circular camera modules sit with the panel. They barely stick out, which is again pretty close to the Reno series as far as design goes.The Oppo K3 is exactly the same size as the Realme X. Both are large phones as they offer biog displays, but their ergonomics make them easy to use and carry around. The K3 is 9.4mm thick and weighs 191 grams. The weight feels balances, not too heavy but not too light as well. The metal frame sees a power button on the right and volume keys on the left, all of them ideally located and well within reach. The top center of the frame is where the pop-up camera comes out. The bottom sees a headphone jack, Type-C port, microphone and a single speaker grille. The right side of the frame is also where you find a SIM slot that can hold two nano SIM cards. Unfortunately, the phone does not offer microSD card support for storage expansion like the Realme X. But while the Realme X offers 128GB internal storage even for the base variant, the Oppo K3 offers only 64GB for the base model, and the lack of storage expandability for this variant may disappoint some users.The pop-up camera is fast for face unlock as it rises up in about 0.70-0.80 seconds, which is pretty quick. That being said, face unlock is not the most secure biometric login as it uses a 2D image of your face. I relied on the in-display fingerprint more during the review period as I found to be equally snappy and more convenient to use.Oppo K3 DisplayThe Oppo K3 sports a 6.5-inch FHD+ (2340×1080) Super AMOLED display, which is again similar to the Realme X. The display covers almost the entirety of the front, offering a near bezel-less screen. There is no notch or punch-hole cutout, offering extremely thin bezels on the top and sides. There is a chin, but that’s pretty slim as well. Overall, you get a 91 per cent screen ratio, which looks pretty attractive. Oppo is using an attractive Super AMOLED panel that offers excellent brightness levels and viewing angles. The display offers vivid and saturated colours and deep black levels. It’s a great display for watching content and playing games. The Oppo K3 also comes with Widevine L1 certification, which means you can stream movies and TV shows on platforms like Netflix and Prime Video in true HD resolution.Oppo K3 Performance and SoftwareMuch like the Realme X, the Oppo K3 is also powered by a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 710 chipset. This mid-range processor has proved to be quite an impressive performer in the past, and my experience with the Oppo K3 proved to be no different. It breezes through day-to-day workload like messaging and social media browsing. Apps are quick to open and launch on the Oppo K3 thanks to snappy animations.advertisementOne of the benefits that you get with the Oppo K3 over the Realme X is the amount of RAM for the base model. While the Realme X offers 4GB of RAM, the Oppo K3 starts with 6GB of RAM. The flipside to this coin is that the Realme X offers 128GB of inbuilt storage in the base model, while the K3 comes with 64GB. If you feel RAM is more important than storage, the Oppo K3 is the one to go for between the two. Speaking of which, RAM management in the K3 is a bit excessive as you won’t be able to keep many apps, especially games, open in the background for long.The Snapdragon 710 chipset is not only capable of handling workload, but it also makes the Oppo K3 a terrific gaming smartphone. The phone can run graphic-intensive games like PUBG and Asphalt 9 smoothly without lag or stutters at high graphics. The phone also manages to stay cool throughout a 30 minute gaming session, which bodes well for the battery as well. ColorOS 6 may be chock-full of bloatware, but there is no denying that Oppo has optimised it well for its hardware. Be it on an Oppo phone or a Realme phone, ColorOS feels extremely snappy while using it with quick animations and tons of optimisation features for performance and battery that helps the device last longer than you would think.With ColorOS 6, you get an app drawer, a pleasing gradient theme across the UI with attractive wallpapers and a lock screen magazine. I noticed that the K3 misses on some ColorOS features that you would find on Realme phones such as Quiet Time, which allows you to silence the phone manually or automatically by setting a timer. It’s hard to ignore the plethora of apps that come pre-loaded, which you will likely uninstall if you want a cleaner interface.The single bottom-firing speaker is loud enough for most environments and there’s good clarity as well. During my time with the device, I did not encounter call drops or random network issues. Event while playing online games like PUBG, the K3 offered consistently stable connectivity.Oppo K3 CameraThe Oppo K3 does not get a 48MP primary sensor like the Realme X, but rather a 16-megapixel f/1.7 sensor that is paired with a 2-megapixel secondary camera. For selfies, the K3 offers a 16-megapixel sensor. On paper, the cameras on the K3 may not sound as appealing as the cameras on the Realme X, but don’t let that fool you because the Oppo K3 cameras are really good. They’re just not as good as the Realme X.The camera app is quite simple and easy to use. The bottom half of the camera app sees modes for Photo, Portrait, Video, Night, Pano, Expert, Time-Lapse and Slo-Mo. On the top, you will find options like flash, HDR, Chroma Boost, Filter and Settings. Getting used to this layout takes no time at all. Switching to the selfie mode takes the pop-up camera mechanism about one second to rise, which is slightly longer than it takes for face unlock.advertisementIMAGE SAMPLESWhen it comes to daylight photography, the Oppo K3 is as good as they come. Photos captured outdoors in daylight look quite stunning with good clarity and dynamic range. In such situations, capturing landscape shots or pictures of flowers or people generally look attractive with no noticeable noise and little to no shakiness thanks to a quick shutter. With Chroma Boost enabled, the K3 will deliver over-saturated photos with deep colours with the help of AI. It works well while capturing flowers or food, and the built-in scene detection adds in its own tweaks as well. Sometimes, the saturation looks a bit too jarring, but I largely liked the outcome in most scenarios. When it comes to daylight shots, the Oppo K3 manages to offer photos that look comparable to the Realme X’s 48MP sensor, although a side-by-side comparison like the one above will show that the Realme X offers more detail and natural-looking colours, especially of the blue morning sky compared to the Oppo K3, which offers a warm tinge. The only real advantage the Realme X has on the Oppo K3 is while capturing daylight photos in raw 48MP resolution where it can capture more detail.As the sun sets, the Oppo K3 starts to show its faults. The main camera fares poorly in low-light conditions as photos lack brightness and clarity. Not only do photos look noisy in low-light and indoors, but they also appear hazy. There is a dedicated Night mode, called Nightscape on the Realme X, which is a long-exposure mode that requires you to stay still for a few seconds to capture a photo in low-light. These photos do look brighter and clearer than what the standard mode offers, but there is a visible lack in detail. Selfies look as good on the Oppo K3 as they do on the Realme X because you get a similar 16MP sensor. With beauty levels kept at zero, you will be able to capture some really good-looking, true-to-life selfie with good skin tone and balanced exposure even in tricky daylight conditions with HDR. The K3 easily offers some of the best selfies in daylight in its segment. The selfie camera also supports portrait mode which is just about average when it comes to blurring the background. In low-light conditions or indoors, you should expect noisy selfies with low detail.Oppo K3 BatteryYet another similarity with the Realme X is the battery. The Oppo K3 houses a 3,765mAh capacity, which is pretty good but not spectacular. The Oppo K3 managed to deliver a full day battery life on above average usage, which included messaging, streaming shows on Netflix for a couple of hours and social media browsing. On such days, you’ll find the battery percentage to touch around 20 per cent the next day morning, which is when you will need to charge the device. There is comfort in knowing that the Oppo K3 supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging. On most days, I would connect the phone to the 20W charging brick that comes with the box in the morning while getting ready for work. The K3 would charge from 20 to 100 per cent in just an hour, while zero to 100 per cent charging will take place in about 80 minutes.Should you buy the Oppo K3?If you read through the whole review of the Opp K3, you would have noticed the number of times we mentioned the Realme X. This is because the K3 is largely similar to the Realme X in most cases. We loved the Realme X and called it one of the best phones under Rs 20,000 right now. Naturally, this also means the Oppo K3 comes close to that benchmark. It gets an attractive design combines with great Super AMOLED display, a powerful Snapdragon 710 chipset and VOOC 3.0 fast charging. Bonus features include a snappy in-display fingerprint sensor and up to 8GB of RAM.Perhaps the only area where we feel the Realme X offers an advantage over the K3 is in the camera department, at least on paper. The Oppo K3 offers a really good set of cameras, but I would still lean a little more towards the Realme X simply for the level of detailing and possibilities of using a 48MP sensor. If the samples above look good to you, then there’s really nothing that should stop you from buying the Oppo K3 under Rs 20,000.Oppo K3 review8.5/10ProsAttractive Super AMOLED displayFast and smooth performanceVOOC fast chargingGood set of camerasConsLacks microSD card supportBloated ColorOS 6last_img read more