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Despite CIC orders, PMO refuses to give info on black money brought from abroad
New Delhi, Nov 25: The Prime Minister's Office has refused to share details on the quantum of black money brought back from abroad, citing a provision of the RTI Act that bars disclosure of information that may impede investigation and prosecution [...]
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Congress dragging my parents into politics at Rahul's behest: Modi
Vidisha, Nov 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress Sunday for dragging his parents into a political slugfest, alleging that it was being done at the behest of party chief Rahul Gandhi. He also justified his own tirade against the [...]
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5 detained as students clash at Odisha university over alleged harassment
Bhubaneswar, Nov 25: Violent clashes broke out at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), Bhubaneshwar on Saturday between two groups over the alleged harassment of a female student. The fight broke out after a second year engineering student allegedly made [...]
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2018 Ford Aspire vs Honda Amaze vs Maruti Suzuki Dzire comparison
Gone are the days when a sub-four-metre sedan meant a hatchback with a stubby boot slapped on. Today’s compact sedans are emerging into independent sedans in their own right, with neatly integrated boot sections, and even differing bodywork from the hatchbacks on which they are based. Take, for example, the third-gen Dzire; it is well-proportioned and with body panels that are different from the Swift. Then there’s the second-gen Honda Amaze that’s been developed from scratch on an all-new platform. Ford, too, has done a decent job of integrating the boot section, but compared to the Dzire and the Amaze, the Aspire has a lot more in common with its hatchback sibling. Now, in a bid to take the fight to the segment champ, the Dzire, and the increasingly popular Amaze, Ford has updated its compact sedan. Its gets a facelift, an all-new petrol engine, new gearboxes, more equipment and is aggressively priced, too. So at least on paper, the Aspire has the ammunition to put up a good fight. But how good is it in the real world? Does it deliver what compact sedan buyers are looking for? We’ve gathered the petrol variants with manual transmissions of the three contenders and driven them back-to-back to pick a winner. DimensionsFord Aspire 1.2P Titanium+Honda Amaze VXi VTECMaruti Suzuki Dzire ZXi+Length3995mm3995mm3995mmWidth1704mm1695mm1735mmHeight1525mm1501mm1515mmWheelbase2490mm2470mm2450mmKerb weight1043kg924kg895kg Zip drive The Aspire’s new 96hp, 1.2-litre, three-cylinder Dragon engine replaces the older 88hp, four-cylinder unit. Refinement is excellent and it doesn’t portray any three-pot characteristics, like vibrations at idle or a thrummy engine note. The Dragon also has the most power and torque but how does that translate into performance? Initial responsiveness of this engine is much better than the car it replaces, but it still doesn’t feel as eager as the Dzire. Rev it further and power delivery is flat, and although it will spin freely until 6,900rpm, it does so without too much gusto. The Amaze’s i-VTEC system, on the other hand, impresses when spun hard. In fact, beyond 5,000rpm is where this motor comes into its own, and pulls the strongest. Sadly though, as enjoyable as it is at higher revs, it disappoints at lower and mid revs. It leaves you wanting more punch, especially while driving around in the city. Out on the highway too, once the momentum breaks, this motor begs for a downshift in order to build speed again. Interestingly, though, while it is slightly slower than the Aspire in the run from 20-80kph in third and 40-100kph in fourth, because of the Amaze’s stronger performance at higher revs, it is 1.2sec quicker than the Ford to 100kph from a standstill. Maruti’s 1.2-litre K-series is the least powerful in the group with merely 83hp, however, in terms of sheer performance, the lightweight Maruti is far superior. Not only is it the fastest when it comes to outright acceleration, but even with respect to in-gear times, the Dzire leaves its competitors behind by around 2sec, which is significant. This motor doesn’t feel weak at lower revs, and there’s always performance on tap to fill in the gaps in traffic. The Dzire’s clutch is the lightest of the lot and gearshifts are extremely smooth, making it the easiest car to drive, here. And while the Amaze also has a very smooth gearbox, its clutch has a longer travel and springy action. The Aspire’s controls don’t feel as light as the others, though. Powertrain & performanceFord Aspire 1.2P Titanium+Honda Amaze VXi VTECMaruti Suzuki Dzire ZXi+Engine1194cc, 3 cyl, petrol1199cc, 4 cyl, petrol1197cc, 4 cyl, petrolPower96hp at 6500rpm90hp at 6000rpm83hp at 6000rpmTorque120Nm at 4250rpm110Nm at 4800rpm113Nm at 4200rpmTransmission5-speed manual5-speed manual5-speed manual0-20kph1.25s1.14s1.19s0-40kph3.07s2.75s2.52s0-60kph5.58s5.01s4.83s0-80kph8.60s7.86s7.41s0-100kph13.06s11.87s11.50s0-120kph18.72s17.12s16.48s20-80kph (in third gear)14.19s14.31s12.77s40-100kph (in fourth gear)21.00s21.40s18.50s Soaking it up The Ford Aspire’s steering is light yet very precise; the turn-in is sharp and now with the wider 195mm tyres, it feels even more connected to the road. Grip levels are great and if you enjoy driving, it is the Aspire which will plaster the widest smile on your face. A special mention for the brakes; they feel sharp and the strong bite adds to driver confidence while driving briskly. Ride comfort is excellent with the suspension quietly soaking up most of the road imperfections. Honda has tuned the Amaze for comfort, so it does well at low speeds, but it crashes through some of the sharper bumps. Because of its soft nature, the suspension compresses a fair bit when the car is fully loaded with passengers, so even though it boasts a ground clearance of 170mm, it has a tendency to scrape its underbelly. This isn’t a car th [...]
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Delhi school admissions start from mid-December
Delhi school admissions start from mid-December [...]
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Lawyers who defended Kasab in High Court, yet to get their fees
Mumbai, Nov 25: Two lawyers who defended Ajmal Kasab in the 2008 Mumbai attack case on the directions of the Bombay High Court are yet, to get their legal fees from the Maharashtra government. While the state government says they have [...]
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Congress indulging in temple-hopping, holding onto cow’s tail for survival: Rajnath Singh
Gwalior, Nov 25: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said the Congress in Madhya Pradesh has now latched onto the cow for its survival. The Congress, in its manifesto for the November 28 assembly elections, has promised to build cow [...]
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Navy chief Sunil Lanba to begin 4-day Russia visit on Monday
New Delhi, Nov 25: Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba will begin a four-day visit to Russia on Monday with an aim to explore new avenues for the already close defence ties between the two countries, officials said Sunday. {image-framce-06-1509961913.jpg [...]
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India to expedite 3 projects to stop its share of Indus waters from flowing into Pakistan
New Delhi, Nov 25: India has decided to fast-track three projects, including construction of two dams, to arrest the unutilised water of its share under the bilateral Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan, government officials said. The three projects include [...]
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Pirelli agrees to new four-year Formula One deal
Pirelli has signed a new four-year deal to remain Formula One's sole tyre supplier until the end of the 2023 season, the sport announced in a statement on Sunday. [...]
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Virat Kohli, Krunal Pandya help India end T20I series against Australia on high
Virat Kohli not only notched up an unbeaten knock of 61 off 41 balls, but also shared a 60-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Dinesh Karthik. [...]
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3rd T20I: India defeat Australia by 6 wickets to level series 1-1
India defeated Australia by six wickets in the final T20I clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday. [...]
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Ayodhya updates: VHP's Dharma Sabha begins amid chants of Vedic mantras
New Delhi, Nov 25: The battle for Hindutva space is heating up in Ayodhya with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray offering prayers at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi site hours before the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) commences its Dharam Sabha to push [...]
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Govt plans to complete sale of Air India subsidiary AIATSL by March
New Delhi, Nov 25: The government plans to complete the sale of Air India ground handling subsidiary AIATSL by March 2019, an official said. Air India is reeling under a huge debt burden of over Rs 50,000 crore and the government [...]
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Police stake out area where American killed by Andaman tribespeople
Authorities are trying to recover the body of John Allen Chau but first have to ‘learn nuances’ of the islanders’ behaviour Police on the Andaman islands have staked out a remote area where tribespeople were seen burying the body of an American adventurer and Christian missionary after allegedly killing him with arrows.Indian authorities are trying to recover the remains of 26-year-old John Allen Chau, who was killed by North Sentinel islanders who apparently shot him with arrows and then buried his body on the beach earlier this month. Related: Man killed on remote Indian island tried to 'declare Jesus' to tribe Continue reading... [...]
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Ambareesh no more : \"Will miss you,\" says  Rajinikanth
Bengaluru, Nov 24: Superstar Rajinikanth tweeted condolence message on the passing away of his friend, actor Ambareesh. Rajinikanth tweeted, "A wonderful human being ... my best friend ... I have lost you today and will miss you ... Rest [...]
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Ambareesh no more: Govt to arrange buses to ferry fans from Mandya to Bengaluru
Bengaluru, Nov 25: Karnataka government announced bus service from Mandya to Bengaluru to ferry fans and supporters of matinee idol Ambareesh who passed away on Saturday. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, speaking to reporters after meeting the family of the [...]
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Kannada actor and former union minister Ambareesh passes away
Bengaluru, Nov 24: Kannada actor and former union minister Ambareesh passed away at the age of 66 on Saturday. He breathed his last at a private hospital in Bengaluru after suffering a heart attack. He is survived by his wife Sumalatha and [...]
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‘A rebel loved by all’: Condolences pour in for Ambareesh
Bengaluru, Nov 25: Condolences from various leaders poured in as soon as the news of Film star-turned-politician MHAmbareesh's demise spread. Ambareesh died at a private hospital here on Saturday, according to official sources and Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce. He was [...]
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Review: 2019 Maserati Levante V6 S petrol drive, review
Compared to its other illustrious countrymen, Maserati could be accused of keeping a low profile. That, however, could soon change. With a new rule that will do away with the homologation requirement and the current price and engine restrictions, Maserati says it could expand its portfolio with a petrol Levante and Ghibli too; diesel is the only choice of fuel for both at present. So, naturally, when Maserati invited us to Cannes in France to test drive a petrol Levante, we happily packed our bags. Besides sampling the petrol engine, this was also a chance to the drive the new MY19 Levante. The changes are mostly cosmetic, but with one lip-smacking bit – the introduction of V8 power with the 590hp Trofeo and 550hp GTS versions. Sadly, though, the joy was short-lived as these weren’t approved for Europe, which meant I drove the next hottest model – the V6 S. Fine Form Available in two trim offerings, the GranSport and GranLusso, Maserati, for MY19, has further differentiated between the two. The Sport gets a more aggressive styling that’s shared with the new V8 versions, while the Lusso gets more chrome exterior bits at the front and rear, new alloys and a few cosmetic tweaks, like a rear spoiler in body colour. There are two new body colours for the Levante – Rosso Potente and Blu Nobile (the one I am driving). It’s a deep blue shade with embedded metal flakes that shimmer in the sunlight and it did look quite impressive and unique. The rest of the SUV remains the same curvy crossover-like-SUV that it is. On the inside, the Levante gets new graphics for the 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a redesigned gear lever. While this may sound like a minor update, it’s actually a big improvement over the earlier gear lever which required you to shift it into ‘Park’ position; the rest of the shifts were not very intuitive either. The new unit has the ‘Park’ button located at the top of the lever, with shorter travel for shifts and a manual mode can be used by simply tipping the lever sideways into a separate lane; the earlier unit used a button to make this switch. Along with the lever, the driving mode button cluster has also been redesigned and now has two buttons – for Sport driving mode and Sport suspension setting. Haute couture Cabin materials have always been a strength, and the designer Ermenegildo Zegna Silk interiors of the GranLusso are carried forward to the new car as well; these natural-fibre mulberry silk inserts are used on the seats, door panels, roof lining, sunshades and ceiling light fixture. Taking things further, Maserati has introduced new Pieno Fiore natural leather to the upholstery. In terms of space, as you would expect, it isn’t large, and is just comfortable enough; the materials create a sense of cozy luxuriousness. Magic Carpet SUV the Levante may be, but our driving in France was solely on tarmac over some lovely twisty mountains roads, city streets and the highway too. The 3.0-litre, twin-turbo V6 petrol motor puts out 430hp at 5,750rpm and a peak torque of 580Nm at 2,000-4,750rpm; and the route did allow us to stretch its legs. The engine pulls nicely to its 6,500rpm redline; while doing this, the Ferrari-developed and built motor sings a nice tune, accompanied by Maserati’s active sports exhaust system. Compared to the diesel, the petrol Levante feels expectedly quicker, with a claimed 0-100kph time of 5.2sec against the diesel’s 6.9sec. On the whole, Maserati cars are more luxury tourers than outright sportscars and the Levante is no different. It cruises along effortlessly and in a relaxed manner. In normal mode, it’s easy to manage in the city and you have to depress the throttle pedal a fair bit to get a rapid change of pace; move it to ‘Sport’ though and power is pretty much always on tap. The ride and handling balance is what you’d expect from a maker of sporty cars. It may not be a class leader, but in Sport mode, the air springs deliver a good balance without actually crashing too hard over ruts and broken surfaces. Through the twisty mountain roads on the outskirts of Cannes, the car was entertaining enough for both me and my car-sharing partner to want to drive it for longer. Normal mode delivers a higher ride height, thus more cushioning, which is easily noticeable. The steering feel is nicely weighted in this mode as well, although on the highway, the lane-keeping assist did deliver steering input in a rather intrusive manner at times. The trouble is that the lane-keeping aid (part of ADAS - Advanced Driver Assist System) wants to keep you centred, while at times you do want to position yourself off-centre within your lane, in relation to traffic on either side of you.  So should you buy one? If you’re looking for the sportiest SUV or the most space or perhaps even the best off-road ability, you won’t f [...]
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Bahrain bans opposition groups, holds elections, then says it was all democratic
Bahrain bans opposition groups, holds elections, then says it was all democratic [...]
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Former Union minister, Kannada actor Ambareesh dies at 66
Former Union minister, Kannada actor Ambareesh dies at 66 [...]
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Power dressing in Pakistan: how fashion became a battleground
The renaissance of Pakistani fashion is a sign of women’s growing independence, and has fuelled the religious right’s ireIn the luxurious surroundings of a top hotel, a parade of glamorous, impossibly slim women walk with gazelle-like grace down the catwalk. Bare midriffs and legs are proudly displayed in intricately embroidered golden fabrics, and there isn’t a veil in sight. This is Pakistan Fashion Week, the jewel in the country’s haute couture crown and an unrivalled glimpse into a creative industry that has surged in recent years. There’s just one thing that’s not quite as you might expect: Pakistan Fashion Week is not in Karachi or Islamabad but in London.“The religious identity that is given to our country to some extent precedes the cultural identity. Many things that are beautiful in our culture are often suppressed and not prominent to their full extent at times,” says the fashion designer Fahad Hussayn. “There is a clash between the religious right and the cosmopolitan youth.” In Pakistan itself, the location of fashion shows is rarely publicised in advance and they are subject to strict security measures, meaning that they tend to be held in Europe and Dubai. Continue reading... [...]
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From stardom to politics: What will Ambareesh be remembered for
Bengaluru, Nov 25: Legendary Kannada actor and former Union Minister M.H. Ambareesh, 66, passed away in a private hospital here late on Saturday night following cardiac arrest. Ambareesh was known as the 'Rebel Star' and had a huge fan following at [...]
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Whatever BJP's associates are doing in Ayodhya is part of a conspiracy: Mayawati
New Delhi, Nov 24: BSP supremo Mayawati on Saturday lambasted the BJP for raking up the Ram Temple months before the General Elections and said it was being done to "divert attention from their failures" since assuming power. On [...]
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Sanathan Sanstha members killed Gauri Lankesh for her ideology, murder planned for 5 Years: SIT
Bengaluru, Nov 24: The special investigation team (SIT), probing the killing of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, has named Hindu right-wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha in its additional charge sheet filed before a city court. The SIT submitted the 9,235-page charge sheet [...]
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Schoolchildren among at least 25 killed in India bus crash
Official says vehicle fell into a canal in Karnataka state after driver lost controlAt least 25 people were killed when a speeding bus fell into a canal in southern India, an official has said. Many of the victims were reportedly schoolchildren.Dr G Parameshwara, the Karnataka state deputy chief minister, said the accident occurred on Saturday in the Mandya district, as the driver lost control of the vehicle at high speed. Continue reading... [...]
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26/11 attack: Despite a bare it all confession, why Headley is still a mystery
Mumbai, Nov 24: How he came, how he operated and how he left. This continues to be a big mystery. David Coleman Headley, a US agent turned rogue is centric to the Mumbai 26/11 attack plot. He was the man who [...]
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