Motorcycle companies in India’s ‘Detroit’ hit by strike over wages


Hundreds of workers at motorbike companies including Yamaha Corp and Eicher Motors are on strike in Chennai, demanding better wages and a right to form unions to defend their interests.

Employees said the companies had employed a large number of contract workers to get around rigid Indian labour laws that make it difficult to hire and fire full-time staff and have refused to bring them on company payrolls even after years of contract work.

The unrest is the latest to hit the state of Tamil Nadu, dubbed the Detroit of South Asia because big automakers such as BMW, Daimler, Hyundai, Ford, Nissan and Renault have factories in the state.

Saamy Square scores second best opening for Vikram; Imaikkaa Nodigal crosses Rs 30 cr in Tamil Nadu

Chiyaan Vikram’s Saamy Square was the only big South release for the weekend ending 23 September. Director Dharanidharan’s suspense thriller Raja Ranguski opened to good reviews, but it was not enough to pull the audiences to theaters. Saamy Square, directed by Hari, topped the box office in both Tamil Nadu and the Telugu states and Sudheer Babu-starrer Nannu Dochukunduvate earned the second spot at the Tollywood box office.

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Saamy Square registered an opening day gross of Rs 6 crore in Tamil Nadu, making it Chiyaan Vikram’s second-best debut after Shankar’s I. The opening weekend numbers of the film are pegged at Rs 17 crore in Tamil Nadu. In Chennai, Saamy Square raked in Rs 1.94 crore (64+62+68) in three days, which is an excellent opening for a rural actioner. The TN rights for the film are valued at around Rs 25 crore, and the movie needs to earn more than Rs 44 crore in the state to be a profitable venture for all the stakeholders involved.

Since Saamy Square is bankrolled by popular distributor-producer Shibu Thameens, who is long-known for presenting a major number of Vijay films in Kerala, it had a solid opening in the state with the day one gross of Rs 96 lakh. The Telugu rights for the film are estimated to be Rs 8 crore, and the movie has collected a dismal share of Rs 2 crore in the opening weekend.

After scoring good opening weekend numbers, Ganesh Chaturthi releases such as Seema Raja, Shailaja Reddy Alludu, and U-Turn faced a significant decline at the ticket window in the second week. At the end of the second weekend, Seema Raja earned a total of Rs 3.01 crore in the UAE-GCC territory and $81,959 in the US. The film pulled in Rs 1.08 crore from reported screens in Malaysia, one of Sivakarthikeyan’s strong overseas regions. The Ponram-directed movie also earned decent numbers in the UK and Australia with Rs 53.5 lakh and Rs 35.71 lakh respectively.

In Tamil Nadu, Seema Raja continued to run in nearly 380 screens in its second week. It’s a great feat for a film, which didn’t open to unanimously positive reviews from critics. The 11-day Chennai city gross of the film currently stands at Rs 4.43 crore, and it is going to be a challenging task to cross the Rs 5 crore mark in the area with a bevy of new releases planned in the next few weeks leading to the Ayudha Pooja festival. The eight-day Tamil Nadu gross of Seema Raja is estimated to be Rs 35 crore.

For the weekend (21 to 23 September), Saamy Square topped the Chennai city box office followed by Seema Raja and U-Turn at the second and third spot. While U-Turn has earned Rs 1.27 crore in 11 days, holdover hit Imaikkaa Nodigal has taken home earnings of Rs 5.43 crore in 25 days and occupied the fourth spot in the box-office. New release Raja Ranguski, with an opening weekend gross of Rs 13 lakh, was placed at the fifth position in the city box-office chart.

In Tamil Nadu, Kadaikutty Singam has touched the extremely rare 75-day mark in a few C center screens with a cumulative gross of Rs 55 crore. Nayanthara’s Imaikkaa Nodigal has grossed nearly Rs 30 crore in 25 days in TN and is still running in a handful of screens. The film marks her second consecutive Rs 30 crore grosser after Kolamaavu Kokila which released two weeks before Imaikkaa Nodigal. Now, the Ajay Gnanamuthu-directed film, which marked the on-screen debut of Anurag Kashyap in K-town, has become the ninth film to touch the Rs 5 crore mark in Chennai city this year after Thaanaa Serndha Koottam, Padmaavat, Avengers Infinity War, Irumbu Thirai, Kaala, Tik Tik Tik, Kadaikutty Singam and Kolamaavu Kokila.

Naga Chaitanya’s Shailaja Reddy Alludu crashed at the Tollywood box office after registering record opening weekend numbers for the actor. The film’s worldwide share for 11 days stands at Rs 18 crore, with the recovery point inching towards the 75% mark.

Iced Coffee Recipes You Can Make From Home

A lot of people avoid making their own coffee because they don’t think they can make it as tasty as the baristas at Starbucks…or The Coffee Bean…or any other coffee shop for that matter. Well, those people are wrong. Making coffee at home isn’t hard; especially iced coffee. All you need is a simple coffee machine and a few choice ingredients.

One of the best things about waking up in the morning is enjoying an iced coffee. And thanks to these recipes you can do just that (without having to spend close to $7 a day).

Lavender Coconut Iced CoffeeLavendarCoffee

This dairy-free iced coffee recipe has one thing not a ton of iced coffee’s have – lavender. You might be a little hesitant about the idea, but lavender can make a huge impact on your morning. Thanks to the calming benefits found in this herb, you’ll start your day feeling relaxed and stress-free. Plus, the ingredients in this recipe dilute the lavender a little so the taste won’t be too overwhelming.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 6 sprigs of fresh lavender (or substitute with 1 tbsp dried culinary lavender)

  • 1 can of coconut milk

  • chilled coffee

  • sweetener of choice (I used coconut sugar – about 1 tbsp per 8 oz coffee, but honey or maple syrup would also be good refined sugar-free options)

Directions:

  1. Brew coffee in whatever method desired. While coffee is still warm, you can stir in a bit of your sweetener of choice if desired. I used about 1 tbsp coconut sugar per 8 oz of coffee. Move to the refrigerator to chill.

  2. Bring one can of coconut milk to a simmer, press heads of lavender with the side of a knife to release their aromatic oils and add to coconut milk. Cover pan, and remove coconut milk from heat. let sit for 10-15 minutes

  3. Strain out lavender flowers from coconut milk, pressing to release all of their flavors. Store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

  4. Fill a cup about 2/3 of the way with coffee + ice, and top with lavender coconut creamer, and a sprig of lavender if you’re feeling f-a-n-c-y and ENJOY!

AIIMS foundation day celebrations: India, US tie up to take on the incurable multiple myeloma

india-us-flag1A group of physicians from India and US have joined hands to undertake research and clinical trials on multiple myeloma, a type of incurable blood cancer.

Dr Shaji K Kumar, a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA, said the forum will try and find out the prevalence of the little-known type of cancer. He said that research on the disease has made rapid strides in terms of preventing its progression through newer forms of drugs and therapy in the recent past.

Kumar, who delivered a lecture during the 63rd Foundation Day celebrations of AIIMS Tuesday, said research in multiple myeloma in India was still limited due to lack of clinical trials. There was also no concrete data on the prevalence of the disease in the country, he added.

“So, a bunch of us in the United States and India have formed a group called ‘Image’, which has been focusing on research and clinical trials on myeloma. We believe the group will play a key role in terms of getting more people trained, making scholarships available,” Kumar told The Indian Express.

Dr Lalit Kumar, professor and head of the Department of Medical Oncology at AIIMS, and Dr Pankaj Malhotra of PGIMER, Chandigarh, are also part of the group, he said.

Kumar delivered his lecture on the topic “Multiple Myeloma: A journey from obscurity to the frontlines of war on cancer”. Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, former Dean (Academic) AIIMS J S Guleria were among those present on the occasion.

He explained that the treatment of myeloma has progressed to an extent where the median survival has gone up from two to about 10 years.

Supreme Court ruling on lawyer-politicos: These professionals have enjoyed double employment since first Indian govt

The Constituent Assembly of India that framed the country’s Constitution significantly comprised politicians who were also qualified lawyers. Its leading figures, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Dr BR Ambedkar, who became India’s first president, prime minister, home minister and law minister, respectively, were all lawyers. They framed the Constitution in the company of other legal stalwarts, such as KM Munshi and Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer.

So dominant was the presence of lawyers in the Constituent Assembly that British advocate and academic Sir Ivor Jennings dubbed the group a “lawyers’ paradise”.

From the first government formed in India with Nehru as its prime minister till the current one, the Union legislature and Cabinet always had a notable presence of lawyer-politicians. A number of members of the current Cabinet, including the ministers of finance, law and justice and external affairs — to name a few — are prominent lawyers.

According to PRS Legislative Research, in the very first Lok Sabha formed in 1952, lawyers made up most of the members at 36 percent, followed by agriculture workers at 22 percent and businessmen at 12 percent. In the 16th Lok Sabha, the current one, 7 percent of the MPs had declared law as their profession.

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A research paper available on the Rajya Sabha website says that lawyers constituted the largest group of members in the initial years of the Upper House from 1952 to 1958. They had 24.41 percent representation in 1952, which rose to their highest representation — 30.10 percent — in 1956. Their number dwindled to 23.04 percent in 1960, when they occupied the second position. Two years later, they regained their dominant position and continued to hold it till 1998, excluding only 1982 when they were in the second spot.

However, in all these years, the number of lawyer-politicians in the Rajya Sabha wavered. For example: They made up 27.06 percent of the House in 1962, which dropped to 21.86 percent in 1964; in 1968, it was 24.28 percent, and in 1970, it decreased to 23.55 percent; in 1972, the tally of lawyers further diminished to 21.73 percent. While their representation rose to 24.33 percent in 1974, 25.99 percent in 1976 and further to 27.54 percent in 1978, it dropped to 21.88 percent in 1980. Their numbers fluctuated between 21 percent and 25 percent from 1980 to 1994, except in 1992 when it rose to 25.87 percent.

From 1996, a diminishing trend was noticed in their percentage — 20.17 percent in 1996 and 19.50 percent in 1998. Although lawyers constituted the second-largest group in the Rajya Sabha in 2000, their percentage continued to decline and was just 16.52 percent in 2002.

During the tenure of the United Progressive Alliance government from 2004 to 2014, the many prominent faces in its Cabinet — P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari and Abhishek Manu Singhvi — were all lawyers by profession, with most of them resuming their practice after 2014.

Apart from these examples, a great number of lawyers are members of state legislatures, as well.

Challenging this dual role played by lawyer-politicians, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, seeking a declaration that a person cannot be allowed to perform the dual role of a lawyer and legislator. However, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud

How can gold be your friend during financial crises?

How-can-gold-be-your-friend-during-financial-crises-600X410Gold isn’t just a valuable addition to your precious jewellery collection, but can also be a valuable friend in times of financial crises. Here’s how you can count on your gold during emergencies:

 

  1. Easy liquidityYou can easily convert your gold into cash, up to Rs 10,000 per day. You get the most value for money if your gold is hallmarked. The mark ensures the authenticity, fineness, and purity of the gold. So, you get paid as per the purity of the hallmarked gold.
  2. Loan availabilityYou need not always sell gold to get money. You can easily get a loan against gold holdings, which makes the yellow metal more liquid. By pledging your gold with the lender, you can borrow up to 75% of its value. The lender holds the gold and disburses money, in as less as five minutes . This can make gold a saviour during emergencies. Here is All you need to know about gold loans.
  3. Interest income through Gold Monetisation SchemeThe Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) allows you to deposit your gold in any form- jewellery, bars, and coins- at a bank and earn interest. You can deposit as little as 30 grams of gold and earn tax-free interest at regular intervals. This gold will then earn interest based on its quantity and the current price of gold in the market. You can also save on bank locker charges which you may incur if you keep gold in your bank’s savings account.
  4. Returns on fundsYour gold in the electronic form can also be helpful during a money crunch. This is possible through a Gold Exchange-traded Fund (ETF) or a Gold Fund. Gold ETFs are similar to Mutual Funds. They invest in and hold gold on your behalf. But like stocks, they are listed on the stock exchange. So, you can conveniently buy and sell gold ETFs at any time through a broker, thus spending minimal time and effort. This comes handy in times of need when you redeem your ETF and get the cash equivalent of your gold investment.You can also secure a loan against your gold ETF holdings instead of redeeming the investment.
  5. Digital goldYou can now buy or sell gold online safely within minutes through digital wallets. There are many platforms available that allow you to buy, store, and sell gold digitally . Here are Things you should know before buying gold online.

The bottom line

Whether you prefer a physical exchange for cash or a digital process, there are myriad ways to get money using gold. More importantly, these processes barely take time—a factor that is key during emergencies.

The wisdom of Walter Williams: Capitalism vs. Socialism

opinion-editorial-820x567by Walter E. Williams) — … Let’s compare capitalism with socialism by answering the following questions:

 

It turns out that we seldom find people upset with and in conflict with computer and clothing stores, supermarkets, and hardware stores. We do see people highly dissatisfied with and often in conflict with boards of education, motor vehicles departments, police and city sanitation services.

What are the differences? For one, the motivation for the provision of services of computer and clothing stores, supermarkets, and hardware stores is profit. Also, if you’re dissatisfied with their services, you can instantaneously fire them by taking your business elsewhere. It’s a different matter with public education, motor vehicles departments, police and city sanitation services. They are not motivated by profit at all. Plus, if you’re dissatisfied with their service, it is costly and in many cases even impossible to fire them.

A much larger and totally ignored question has to do with the brutality of socialism:

In the 20th century, the one-party socialist states of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Germany under the National Socialist German Workers’ Party and the People’s Republic of China were responsible for the murder of 118 million citizens, mostly their own. The tallies were: USSR 62 million, Nazi Germany 21 million and PRC 35 million.

No such record of brutality can be found in countries that tend toward free market capitalism.

Here’s an experiment for you:

  • List countries according to whether they are closer to the free market capitalist or to the socialist/communist end of the economic spectrum.
  • Then rank the countries according to per capita gross domestic product.
  • Finally, rank the countries according to Freedom House’s “Freedom in the World” report.

You will find that people who live in countries closer to the free market capitalist end of the economic spectrum not only have far greater wealth than people who live in countries toward the socialistic/communist end but also enjoy far greater human rights protections.

As Dr. Thomas Sowell says, “socialism sounds great. It has always sounded great. And it will probably always continue to sound great. It is only when you go beyond rhetoric, and start looking at hard facts, that socialism turns out to be a big disappointment, if not a disaster.”

Dr. Williams is a nationally syndicated columnist, former chairman of the Economics department at George Mason University, and author of More Liberty Means Less Government.

maduro-firemen-820x475(by Alexandra Ulmer and Shaylim Castro, Reuters) CARACAS – Two Venezuelans firefighters who made a viral video portraying President Nicolas Maduro as a donkey were jailed on Sunday pending trial on charges of inciting hate and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, right groups said. Ricardo Prieto, 41, and Carlos Varon, 45, were arrested by military counterintelligence officers on Wednesday at the fire station where they worked in western Merida state, according to the human rights observatory of the University of the Andes in Merida, which is tracking the case. The pair appeared on Sunday before Judge Carlos Marquez, who ordered they be held for trial on charges of violating a law against fomenting hatred that was passed last year [by Maduro’s constitutional assembly], the observatory and the Penal Forum rights group said. “The firemen were indicted with an aggravated charge of inciting hate. That aggravated charge indicates … 20 years of jail time,” said lawyer Ivan Toro of the observatory, who attended the hearing.

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