Severe food insecurity is predicted to affect almost half of the country’s rural population by early next yearThe UK government has announced £35m of new funding to help the growing crisis in Afghanistan as a new report warns that almost half of the rural population – 10.6 million people – are likely to be affected by severe food insecurity.The report, by independent multi-agency body the IPC, highlighted the spread of conflict and the ongoing drought which has displaced over 250,000 people, impacting Afghan incomes and leading to widespread malnutrition among children. Coupled with high food prices, there is significant cause to believe that extensive suffering could lead the country deeper into a humanitarian crisis. In a country where 20 million people rely on farming, the drought has caused a 45% drop in agricultural output this year, according to the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture. Continue reading... [...]
Trivandrum, Nov 27: The Kerala High Court ruled out police order that 'Nama Japa'(continuous repetition of God's name) should not be conducted at Sannidhanam. Also, the high court appointed 3 observers in Sabarimala to assess the situation. The police [...]
The year 2018 marked a tectonic shift in the way Samsung envisioned and marketed its mid-range phones. While the premium flagships, namely the Galaxy S series and the Note series continue to operate i... [...]
Improvised explosive device also injures three US troopsUS civilian contractor also wounded in blast in GhazniThree US military service members were killed and three wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated on Tuesday near the central Afghan city of Ghazni, the Nato-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement. Related: Afghanistan suicide bomber kills scores of Muslim scholars Continue reading... [...]
The history of the Andaman islands means its inhabitants have good reason to fear outsiders. Let them be“Lord, is this island Satan’s last stronghold where none have heard or even had the chance to hear your name?” recorded John Allen Chau in a diary of his last days. Chau, a 26-year-old American missionary, wanted to “declare Jesus” to one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes – the Sentinelese, who inhabit the restricted North Sentinel island in the eastern Indian Ocean. The Sentinelese resist external contact and are known to express their will with arrows. On 17 November, they shot Chau dead, as he approached them with a Bible and some gifts. Now his body may not even be able to be retrieved, for fear of spreading disease to the island.Once, the entire Andamans were perceived as a “Satan’s stronghold”, an abode of a ferocious race that The Travels of Marco Polo caricatures as – “idolaters”, “no better than wild beasts”, who have “heads like dogs, and teeth and eyes likewise”, “ a most cruel generation”, who would eat everybody they could catch. These islands remained a terra incognita until the British colonised them in the late 18th century. A “civilised” race came in close contact with the “savages” – the Great Andamanese, the Onge, the Jarawa, the Sentinelese and the Jangil (extinct by the 1920s). The tribes exhibited an implacable hostility towards strangers, but the charge of cannibalism against them was unfounded. It was merely a misinterpretation of the ritual that some indigenous people practised – cutting and burning the dead to avoid their return as evil spirits. Related: Protect the lone Amazonian tribesman. He deserves to live in peace | Fiona Watson Continue reading... [...]
Trivandrum, Nov 27: Activist Rehana Fathima, who had been arrested by Pathanamthitta Police on charges of hurting religious sentiments has been suspended from BSNL. She is a telecom technician in BSNL. She has been accused of hurting religious feelings with [...]
Attempts to retrieve remains of John Chau dangerous for both sides, says charityIndian authorities have been urged to abandon their efforts to recover the body of an American man killed while trying to preach Christianity to the isolated residents of a remote island.Police in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, an Indian territory in the Bay of Bengal, have made two boat trips to the area near North Sentinel Island since the missionary John Allen Chau was killed 11 days ago. Continue reading... [...]
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday reiterated the norms for submitting fake date of birth details. [...]
Yasir Shah spins Pakistan to innings defeat of New Zealand [...]
Welcoming players from 16 international teams, Patnaik said people of Odisha have been looking forward to hosting the sporting extravaganza. [...]
Chandigarh, Nov 27: It's nothing less than a ride on the time machine. The Indian Railways has recently flagged off a train from Garhi Harsaru to Farukhnagar in Haryana district and it is pulled by a steam locomotive! The pricing of [...]
New Delhi, Nov 27: CBI Acting Director M Nageswar Rao has "turned down" a proposal conveyed "orally" by the agency's director Alok Verma, who has been sent on leave, to re-open a case of alleged corruption against Income Tax officers and [...]
When a device or company’s name becomes synonymous with a product category, then you know that the device or company has become very successful in that category. For example, people usually say... [...]
New Delhi, Nov 27: The IBPS clerk prelims 2018 admit card has been released. The same is available on the official website. The IBPS aims to fill in 7,275 vacancies for clerk posts in the various banks through this [...]
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 27: The Live Kerala Lottery Today Sthree Sakthi SS-133 Today lottery results will be declared today. The results once declared will be available on the official website. The live results will begin at 3 pm and the [...]
New Delhi, Nov 27: There is good news relating to the 7th Pay Commission for a certain section of the Central Government employees. If this proposal goes through, then these employees could get up to a 200 per cent increase in [...]
Valentino Rossi’s autobiography is a fantastic read, even if you aren’t among the racer’s innumerable and aggressively loyal fans. One thing that stood out, in particular, was the love-hate relationship Rossi talks about when it comes to endurance racing, particularly the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance race. This annual Japanese event is the final round of the FIM World Endurance Championship, but it towers ahead of the rest of the races as one of enormous pride for the big quartet of Japanese manufacturers.
Winning here is a matter of great honour, right up there with winning a MotoGP championship. To this end, the manufacturers often factor into contracts that their top riders must represent the factory in Suzuka at least once, if not more. This creates the unique situation of MotoGP riders slugging it out on the same grid as riders from other top championships like WSBK, BSB and more. But eight hours of racing a motorcycle shared between three racers is absolutely brutal on the mind, body, and machine. It’s this gruelling challenge that both attracts and repels the best riders in the world and makes endurance racing as romantic as it can be cruel.
Things aren’t quite so intense in India, but endurance racing is not completely unknown here. Earlier this year, the MMRT played host to a 90-minute endurance race for two-wheelers called the AVT Gold Cup Million Endurance Race. Compared with the eight hours at Suzuka, a 90-minute AVT race sounds trivial, but when you consider that the average motorcycle race in India is around 15 minutes long, the usage of the term ‘endurance’ is justified.
Having done a little racing myself, I know that 15 minutes flat out on the track has me completely drained at the end of a race. So when Suzuki sent out an invite for an endurance race designed especially for wannabe-racer journalists, I knew the proposed 75-minute competition time would be no joke but that the race would be a great laugh either way.
It was good to hop back on the Gixxer Cup bike. Not much has changed in the three years that this championship has been running and the race bike is still based off the friendly Gixxer SF. Modifications come in the way of low-set clip-ons and more aggressive rearsets, and the engine benefits from a new air filter, a re-jetted carb, and a freer flowing exhaust. Power is up by around 1.5-2hp, but considering that the stock bike makes a humble 14.8hp, it’s no surprise that this tiny little race bike is all about corner speed – you’ll be lucky to see over 120kph on the main straight.
Since this was an endurance race, we were put in teams of two that were decided by a draw of chits. I was paired with Sukesh Suvarna from Drivespark and our starting grid position for the race was decided as a combination of our individual qualifying times. This was Sukesh’s first outing on a racetrack and our individual times were at the two extremes of the timesheet. Together, we qualified 8th out of 9th place.
The rules for the race were simple enough. We were to share one bike, with each rider having to set a minimum of one riding session and no session could last longer than 25 minutes. Since our race had a delayed start, the organisers reduced the duration from 75 minutes to 60 minutes flat. Rider swaps were to happen in the pit lane and this is where the most time stands to be lost. With that in mind, we decided to go for the bare minimum of a three-session strategy. I’d start the race, Sukesh would run the second session and I’d bring the bike home to the chequered flag – if all went well, that is.
Perhaps the most fun part of the race was the Suzuka-style running start. In this format, the riders sprint across the track when the lights go green and hop on to the bike being held upright by the teammate. I managed a clean start and was in the lead by the third corner. The priority was to pull as big a gap as I could and hand the bike over to Sukesh. Exactly 23 minutes later, Sukesh took over and he stayed out for about 15 minutes before handing me the bike for the final run.
I had no idea where we were positioned throughout the final session, so I concentrated on setting as clean laps as possible without pushing too much, to avoid the easy trap of exhaustion. It’s funny how the brain starts to wander after the initial rush of adrenaline wears off, and the big challenge was to stay focused and avoid mistakes. Finally, as the muscles started to seize up and my brain cried for mercy, the chequered flag came out and we made it to the end!
Back at the pits, a happy surprise awaited in the announcement that we’d finished in third place. I don’t think anyone expected it – least of all us, considering that our combined qualifying lap time was a whole 8sec off the riders on pole. But keeping the rider swaps do [...]
AAP passes resolution to bring Delhi Police under state government [...]
Nizamabad, Nov 26: Confident of sweeping Telangana polls under his father and interim chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao's leadership, TRS leader K T Rama Rao has said the BJP is "non-existent" in the state and the alliance formed by other opposition [...]
The window available to identify and assist the huge number of trafficked children passing through Old Delhi station is fleeting. Yet, as India ramps up rescue efforts, there is real progressHalf a million passengers pass through Old Delhi railway station each day. Some of those hurrying out of its arched facade are children who will be sold to sweatshops or brothels by their adult companions. As the trains roll in – about 250 of them a day – and people fill the concourse, Ajish has just minutes to spot trafficked children before they leave the station and melt into the throng outside.Amazingly, this small window of opportunity is all he and his team at the Childline India Foundation need to rescue 90-100 children from the clutches of traffickers each month. Related: The scandal of the missing children abducted from India’s railway stations Continue reading... [...]
Uttar Pradesh will build a 221m-high effigy of the Hindu god Ram, dwarfing the current record-holder in Gujarat stateThe Indian state of Uttar Pradesh says it will build the world’s tallest statue, weeks after the current record holder – an 182-metre likeness of founding father Sardar Patel – was completed in another part of the country.If constructed, the 221m-high effigy of the Hindu god Ram in the town of Ayodhya could make India home to the world’s three tallest statues, with a 212-metre likeness of the medieval ruler Shivaji also currently under construction off the coast of Mumbai. Related: Celebrations as India unveils world’s tallest statue – in pictures Continue reading... [...]
New Delhi, Nov 26: During the next 24 hours, isolated light rains are possible over Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Lakshadweep. Here is the weather forecast for Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram on November 27. Bengaluru: During the last [...]
New police chief among those who died when convoy was attacked in Farah provinceTwenty policemen were killed in a Taliban ambush of a police convoy in western Afghanistan and 10 troops died in an insurgent attack on an army checkpoint in the north, Afghan officials said on Monday, as minority Shias took to the streets of Kabul for the second day to protest against the arrest of a local militia commander.During the demonstration in the Afghan capital, protesters opened fire on the police, wounding four policemen. The deputy interior minister, Gen Akhtar Mohammad Ibrahimi, said 44 policemen were also injured when protesters threw stones and other hard objects at them. Related: Russia hosts talks between Taliban and Afghan peace council Continue reading... [...]
India will next take on Australia in the first test of the four-match Test series at Adelaide on December 6. [...]
Azam has scored 474 runs in 10 innings at an average of 67.71 with a century to his credit. Kohli on the other hand, has accumulated 1063 runs in 18 innings at 59.05 with four centuries to his name. [...]
Finch, who led the side in the recently concluded three-match T20I series, accumulated just 55 runs in 3 matches at an average of 18.33 and strike rate of 114.58. [...]
Gurdaspur (Pb), Nov 26: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said Monday his minister Navjot Singh Sidhu's decision to visit Pakistan for the ground-breaking ceremony of Kartarpur corridor was "his way of thinking" but he could not think of doing that when [...]
New Delhi, Nov 26: The issue of gotra of Congress president Rahul Gandhi became a matter of discussion for all and sundry so when Rahul Gandhi reached Lord Brahma temple at Pushkar in Rajasthan to offer his prayer before starting his [...]