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Mountain high: the world’s last great challenges
Mountaineers came closer than ever to climbing the north ridge of Latok I in Pakistan’s Karakoram range last week. It is not the only peak defying human conquestThe north ridge of Latok I, the 7,145-metre-high spur of ice and granite in the Karakoram mountains, Pakistan, has defeated climbers for 40 years, after it was it was first tried, in 1978, by an immensely strong American expedition. Earlier this year, Sergei Glazunov from Russia fell to his death on this same route and his partner, Alexander Gukov, was saved in a daring rescue by the Pakistani air force. Reports last week excitedly declared that an expedition had conquered it, but it later emerged that the climbers had got two-thirds of the way up, then judged the top section too dangerous and reached the summit another way. So Latok I technically remains one of the last great challenges of the climbing world. Contrary to popular opinion, there are still lots of unclimbed mountains and routes on more familiar peaks that have yet to be done. Many are in the Karakoram and the Himalayas, but there are lots in Alaska, the Andes and Antarctica, too. Some are unclimbed because nobody has bothered yet. Other challenges, like Latok I, have fixed themselves in the climbing world’s imagination: they are so hard or remote, or require such endurance, that only the best need apply.Here are five more. Continue reading... [...]
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Afghan president announces conditional ceasefire with Taliban
Ashraf Ghani calls on insurgents to reciprocate to mark Eid al-Adha holidayThe Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, has announced a ceasefire with Taliban insurgents from Monday to mark the Eid al-Adha holiday, despite the heavy fighting in recent days in the central city of Ghazni. Related: Taliban hails 'helpful' US talks as boost to Afghan peace process Continue reading... [...]
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Centre to dispatch relief material including food grains, medicines to Kerala
New Delhi, Aug 19: With Kerala reeling under worst floods in a century which has left the state devastated, the Union Government has decided to dispatch relief material, including food grains, medicines and other essential commodities, to the flood-hit state. {image-heavy-rains-in-kerala2-1534664926.jpg [...]
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Red Alert lifted from Kerala; Rain intensity likely to reduce in next 4-5 days
New Delhi, Aug 19: The NDMA on Sunday said there will be no heavy rains in the flood-hit Kerala for the next four days, giving a ray of hope to the distraught people of the state. The National Disaster Management Authority [...]
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The Guardian view on China: unease at home and abroad | Editorial
There are real and important problems to address, but Donald Trump’s trade war will not solve themThis has not been the easiest of summers for Xi Jinping and his country. Donald Trump’s tariffs have rattled nerves in Beijing, already unsettled by the slowing economy. The ministry of finance and the central bank have had an open spat over fiscal policy. There are grumblings that the leadership invited trouble with its unabashed projection of might; was too complacent about the risks of US trade action; and is struggling to respond. But even if trade talks make progress when they resume this week, the issue is a channel for frustrations as well as the proximate cause.The scrapping of presidential term limits this spring cemented Mr Xi’s extraordinary concentration of power. Yet in doing so it shocked and alienated even some sympathisers. Now there are signs of a pushback: gossip about political intrigue; a scathing essay from a well-known scholar. Meanwhile, a public health scandal over faulty vaccines given to children has undercut his drive to crush corruption and bring the bureaucracy into line: wasn’t it supposed to prevent things like this? The excitement engendered by these developments is in large part a sign of how rare any glimpse of disharmony has become. No one doubts that Mr Xi remains in control. The question is whether he will retain the same leeway in pursuing his course as his nation enters choppier waters. Less than a year ago, Mr Xi spoke of a new era which would see China moving “closer to centre stage and making greater contributions to mankind”, in a decisive break with the long-held maxim that the country should hide its light and bide its time. Now state newspapers warn of the dangers of hubris. Continue reading... [...]
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Uttarakhand: Atal Bihari Vajpayee's ashes immersed in Har-Ki-Pauri in Haridwar
New Delhi, Aug 19: Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee's daughter Namita and granddaughter Niharika immersed his ashes in Har-ki-Pauri in Uttarakhand's Haridwar. Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP President Amit Shah were also present during the immersion ceremony. The ashes of the [...]
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Dabholkar murder case: Accused Sachin Andure sent to CBI custody till Aug 26
Pune, Aug 19: Sachin Andure an accused in 2013 Dabholkar murder case sent to CBI custody till 26 August. He was arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation yesterday. The arrest comes days after the Bombay High Court pulled up [...]
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Review: QUIPCO AquaShield waterproof backpack review
There are two vital aspects of riding in the rain – keeping yourself dry and keeping your belongings safe. While there are many options available to keep the rider dry, affordable options for the latter are quite restricted in our market. To address this, the Indian brand Quipco has launched the new AquaShield waterproof backpack and it’s been part of our Mumbai monsoon rides for over a month now. It has a 32-litre capacity and is crafted from high-density PVC material. All the seams on the bag are welded so that water doesn’t seep in and it has a roll-down closing system. The opening of the bag is fastened using Velcro strips on either end and you have to roll it down thrice and clip in the buckles on both ends to secure the bag; there’s a third buckle in the centre, for reinforcement. The padded shoulder straps add to the bag’s comfort quotient, while the sternum and waist straps ensure that the bag sits snug around you. The Quipco AquaShield’s first outing was during light showers and I am happy to report that none of my belongings got wet. This was my first experience with a waterproof backpack and the initial impressions were positive. However, the real test for the backpack was on a ride to Pune. Since I was staying back for a night, the generous storage space meant that my spare clothes and other stuff were easily accommodated. I rode through a heavy downpour for almost an hour and was worried the AquaShield would not live up to its name. But, to my relief, all my belongings were bone dry and the bag passed the arduous test. The bag was covered in lot of muck, and unlike most conventional backpacks, the use of rubberised material meant that it just took few wipes with wet cloth to remove the dirt. Apart from the main storage compartment, there’s also a front pocket, one hidden pocket on the back at the waist, and two mesh pockets on the side for water bottles. None of these pockets are waterproof, so they are best suited for items that you can afford to get wet. Quipco has also cleverly added reflective strips on the straps, and the logo at the back is also reflective. Overall, I am impressed by the Quipco AquaShield waterproof backpack, but there is scope for improvement. By design, dry bags are usually one large compartment, but it would be nice if a laptop sleeve could be incorporated; I would prefer a separate compartment with a soft padded lining for storing fragile electronic devices. Coming to price, the AquaShield waterproof backpack retails for Rs 3,990. This may seem expensive for a backpack, but is actually quite good value when you compare it to the other options available. [...]
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Kerala finally sees respite from rain, people fight floods with resilience
Kerala finally sees respite from rain, people fight floods with resilience [...]
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Kochi, with love: Facebook group born during Chennai floods helps rebuild Kerala
Kochi, with love: Facebook group born during Chennai floods helps rebuild Kerala [...]
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In Modi's Varanasi and across UP, shopkeepers openly flout plastic ban
In Modi's Varanasi and across UP, shopkeepers openly flout plastic ban [...]
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Kerala Floods: What’s Been Happening And How You Can Help
Kerala, also popularly known as God's Own Country, has faced the fury of nature like no other. Torrential rains have flooded the state, and more than 13 districts are now submerged under water. Property worth Rs. 19, 500 Crore has been [...]
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Slow train coming
Slow train coming [...]
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RJD demands resignation of BJP minister in Muzaffarpur scandal
Patna, Aug 18: The opposition RJD in Bihar demanded resignation of state Urban Development Minister Suresh Sharma over the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal and alleged that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was wary of sacking him since he belonged to the [...]
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J&K: 3 terrorists killed near LoC in Kupwara's Tangdhar sector
Srinagar, Aug 18: Three terrorists were killed near Line of Control in Tangdhar sector, Kupwara district on Saturday evening. Earlier in the day, Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri [...]
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Congress revokes Mani Shankar Aiyar’s suspension
New Delhi, Aug 18: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday revoked the suspension of senior party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar from the primary membership of the party. In the press release issued by the INC, it said that the [...]
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Asian Games 2018 Medals Tally
China bagged the first gold medal on Day 1 of the ongoing Asian Games at Incheon in South Korea. [...]
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Walmart completes deal to acquire 77% stake in Flipkart
Mumbai, Aug 18: US-based retail giant Walmart Inc on Saturday said it has completed deal with Flipkart and now holds 77 per cent stake in the Indian e-commerce major. Besides, the Bentonville giant's investment includes USD 2 billion of [...]
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PM Modi expresses profound sorrow at Kofi Annan's death
New Delhi, Aug 18: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed profound sorrow at the death of former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, describing him as not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international [...]
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Kerala Floods: Death toll mounts to 357; must unite in face of disaster, says CM Vijayan
Kochi, Aug 19: The death toll in flood-hit Kerala has reached 357, as 33 more deaths were reported on Saturday. On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to review the flood situation. [...]
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Vajpayee's ashes to be immersed in Haridwar today: BJP
New Delhi, Aug 18: Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's ashes will be immersed in various rivers across the country, starting with the Ganga at Haridwar tomorrow, the BJP said today. The immersion ceremony at the holy city on [...]
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Imran Khan sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan
Former cricketer promises to combat corruption and break powerful landowners’ monopoly on politicsPakistan’s cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan has been sworn in as prime minister after his party won the most votes in last month’s election despite protests by opposition parties, which accuse the security services of intervening on his behalf.Khan took the oath of office on Saturday, a day after being elected by a majority of lawmakers in the national assembly. Related: Can Imran Khan fulfil Pakistan’s voters’ hopes and keep the generals at bay? Continue reading... [...]
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Kerala floods: many thousands await rescue as downpour continues
Indian PM vows more aid and compensation for those hit by worst monsoon in 100 yearsThousands of people in the southern Indian state of Kerala are still awaiting rescue from the worst flooding in nearly 100 years, with heavy rain predicted to continue for at least the next two days.With more than 300,000 people sheltering in relief camps and thousands of others on high ground in areas cut off by floods, supplying food, medicine and clean water is a growing challenge for authorities. Continue reading... [...]
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7th Pay Commission: Another RBI study likely to stand in the way of pay hike
New Delhi, Aug 18: The speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort clearly did not bring any joy for the Central Government employees who were waiting for good news regarding the 7th Pay Commission. They were expecting a [...]
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Review: 2018 Honda CR-V diesel AT video review
Also see: 2018 Honda CR-V diesel review, test drive [...]
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Did a Muslim woman design Indian National Flag?
Did a Muslim woman design Indian National Flag? [...]
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Yogi Adityanath announces Rs 15 crore aid towards Kerala floods
Yogi Adityanath announces Rs 15 crore aid towards Kerala floods [...]
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AP announces Rs 10 crore aid to rain affected Kerala
Amaravati, Aug 18: Andhra Pradesh government has announced a financial assistance of Rs 10 crore to rain-ravaged Kerala. Expressing grief over the devastation, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said his government would extend all possible help to Kerala. Also [...]
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