Alejandro Gonzalez InarrituBong Joon-hoCannes 2019Cannes 2019 winners First Published: May 26, 2019, 12:34 PM IST Rarely do critics and the jury at Cannes see eye to eye. In 2015, they did with Jacques Audiard’s brilliant Dheepan — trailing the journey of three Sri Lankan refugees as they make their way from strife and bloodshed in war-torn Sri Lanka to France. This time, Cannes Film Festival’s top honour, Palm dÓr, went to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s covert political drama, Parasite, also a critics’ favourite. This is the second consecutive year an Asian work is walking away with the Palm dÓr. Last year, Japan’s exceptionally moving Shoplifters by Hirokazu Kore-eda earned this prestigious trophy from a festival that is often considered the queen of all. Parasite is a ripping commentary on a deeply divided society — where a chauffeur is ridiculed for his smelly clothes and made to feel like a worm. And in Parasite, such demeaning incidents lead to an unthinkable episode. The movie is a wild ride – where comedy rubs shoulders with tragedy, were laughter is punctuated by tears and a kind of desperation that pushes people to the dangerous edge.Explaining the jury’s collective enthusiasm for Parasite at the post-awards ceremony press conference, the president, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, said: “We all shared the mystery of the unexpected way this film took us through different genres and spoke in a funny, humorous, tender way — with no judgment — of something so relevant and urgent, so global in such a local movie, with such a beautiful efficiency of media, and an understanding of what film really is. We were all fascinated when we saw it, and it kept growing and growing: that’s why it was a unanimous decision.”French-Senegalese auteur Mati Diop clinched the Grand Prix for her debut feature, Atlantics. Diop, who made history as the first black female director in Competition, dramatises a refugee crisis seen through the eyes of a woman abandoned by her lover, who tries an illegal crossing. This is an angle seldom seen in cinema. Describing Diop’s work as “a beautiful fable,” juror Elle Fanning said, “Though it deals with these issues, it also felt personal and vulnerable, very emotional and just quite precious.” The 21-year-old actress said her Cannes experience had made her “view cinema differently, and for the good.”Contrary to expectations, the Best Actress Prize went to Britain’s rising star, Emily Beecham – who plays a scientist in Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe – a story about the adverse side effects of a genetically modified plant.Most of us had thought that Debbie Honeywood, who essays the troubled wife, Abby, in Ken Loach’s warm and touching Sorry, We Missed You, would catch the jury’s eye.Antonio Banderas – often seen as the Spanish giant Pedro Almodovar’s alter-ego – won the Best Actor Palm for his subtly powerful role of an ageing movie director in Pain and Glory, said to be an autobiographical study of the helmer. Dedicating the award to Almodóvar, Banderas said, “People think we live in a red carpet, but it’s not true. We suffer a lot, we sacrifice, and there is a lot of pain behind an actor of any kind. But there is also glory, and this is my night of glory,” before promising, “The best is still to come.”Presenting a tie for the Jury Prize — awarded to a pair of politically charged features, Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables and Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ Bacurau — outspoken and radical filmmaker Michael Moore told the crowd, “Trump is the lie that enables more lying.”Cannes most favourite auteurs, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne — who have won the Palme d’Or twice before, as well as two other awards — clinched the Best Director Prize for “Young Ahmed,” the disturbing portrait of a Muslim teenager living in modern Belgium who tries killing his teacher after being indoctrinated with rebellious ideology by his imam.French writer-director Céline Sciamma got the Screenplay Award for Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a lesbian period movie that explores female gaze.Elia Suleiman’s It Must Be Heaven fetched him a Special Mention from the jury. A commentary on Palestine’s troubles, his work was a rare comedy in this year’s Competition. Finally, contending that most of their chosen movies dealt with relevant sociopolitical themes, Inarritu felt: “Art can sometimes see the future… I think that now cinema has an urgency of social consciousness expressed by different people around the world…But we would not care about who directed, what country, what political message — that honestly should not matter as much as the film itself. Cinema has to speak by itself. These were cinematic decisions, not political agendas.”Inarritu chaired a jury that included French author-artist-director Enki Bilal, French director Robin Campillo, Senegalese actress-director Maimouna N’Diaye, American actress Elle Fanning, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, Polish director Paweł Pawlikowski, American director Kelly Reichardt, and Italian director Alice Rohrwacher.–Here is a list of awards:COMPETITION:Palme d’Or: “Parasite,” Bong Joon-hoGrand Prix: “Atlantics,” Mati DiopDirector: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, “Young Ahmed”Actor: Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”Actress: Emily Beecham, “Little Joe”Jury Prize — TIE: “Les Misérables,” Ladj Ly; “Bacurau,” Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano DornellesScreenplay: Céline Sciamma, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”Special Mention: “It Must Be Heaven,” Elia SuleimanOTHER PRIZES: Camera d’Or: “Our Mothers,” Cesar DiazShort Films Palme d’Or: “The Distance Between the Sky and Us,” Vasilis KekatosShort Films Special Mention: “Monster God,” Agustina San MartinGolden Eye Documentary Prize: “For Sama”Ecumenical Jury Prize: “Hidden Life,” Terrence MalickQueer Palm: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” Céline SciammaA CERTAIN REGARDUn Certain Regard Award: “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão,” Karim AïnouzJury Prize: “Fire Will Come,” Oliver LaxeBest Director: Kantemir Balagov, “Beanpole”Best Performance: Chiara Mastroianni, “On a Magical Night”Special Jury Prize: Albert Serra, “Liberté”Special Jury Mention “Joan of Arc,” Bruno DumontCoup de Coeur Award: “A Brother’s Love,” Monia Chokri; “The Climb,” Michael Angelo Covino (Author, commentator and movie critic Gautaman Bhaskaran has covered Cannes close to three decades)
Just a few days after the release of her highly-anticipated movie X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Sophie Turner is officially kicking off her bachelorette weekend on what appears to be the world’s fanciest suit.Sophie and a gaggle of her friends and bridesmaids, including her Game of Thrones co-star Maisie Williams, set sail for Spain. Sophie, who tied the knot with Joe Jonas in a surprise Las Vegas ceremony in May, is now prepping for another wedding ceremony in France. However, before that can happen, the proper pre-wedding rituals must be followed, right? The 23-year-old actress is enjoying a fun-filled bachelorette party with her girl squad in Benidorm, where she has rented out a luxurious penthouse suite at a hotel, according to E! News.”Half of the girls are in her wedding party but they are all very close girlfriends of Sophie. Sophie has always been a huge fan of Spain and she knew that it would be a fun place to party and celebrate her upcoming wedding. Maisie helped coordinate a lot of the trip but everything was taken care of by Sophie. She wanted her friends to have a lot fun and wanted it to be a huge party weekend,” an insider told E! News.Sophie’s friend Blair Noel Croce shared a series of pictures of the girls on the plane. She captioned the photos: “We can’t have nice things. The entire plane spilled their McDonald’s & drinks on take off. Bless that flight attendant’s heart.”See more pics from the epic trip below: dark phoenixGame of Thronesmaisie williamspriyanka chopra First Published: June 13, 2019, 7:59 AM IST However, notably missing from the photos was the actress’ sisters-in-law, Priyanka Chopra, whose bachelorette party she attended in November, 2018. Priyanka also skipped Sophie’s Dark Phoenix LA premiere last week. Sophie and Joe’s exact wedding date is secret. The two first began dating in November 2016. Follow @News18Movies for more
Ashok GehlotBJPchuru-s20p03congress First Published: May 21, 2019, 8:12 PM IST Despite Congress’ recent gains in Rajasthan, most Lok Sabha exit polls on May 19 predicted a clean sweep for the BJP in Rajasthan, with some exit polls handing them all 25 seats in the state.The News18-IPSOS exit poll said the BJP is set to get 22 to 23 seats in the desert state, while the Today’s Chanakya exit poll predicted all 25 seats to fall in BJP’s kitty. If the exit poll numbers turn out to be true, Rajasthan would represent a disappointing performance for the Congress, which had formed the government in the state after winning Assembly elections in December last year. The state saw several pitched battles in various constituencies, with the BJP primarily campaigning in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a stable government and national security, and the Congress dragging the attention to local issues and failures of the BJP at the centre.Among interesting seats in the fray, Churu threw up a challenge for the Congress as the party had not won the Lok Sabha seat in two decades. Churu, part of the Shekhawati belt in Northern Rajasthan that also comprises neighbouring Sikar and Jhunjhunu districts, has a sizeable Muslim population of 12.24 per cent. The 2011 Census places Muslim population in Churu and Ratannagar, two cities in the district, at 43.33 and 40.88 per cent respectively. Four other towns have a Muslim population 30 per cent.Additionally, Churu district’s Dalit population, 22.1 per cent, is one of the highest in all the districts in Rajasthan. The Northern region of the state also has a considerable Jat population.Despite such favourable social demographics, Congress has failed to win the Churu Lok Sabha seat in 20 years. The gateway to the Thar has been held by the Bharatiya Janata Party since 1999; in fact the seat has been held by one family.A Jat leader from the BJP, Ram Singh Kaswan, was elected from the constituency thrice — 1999, 2004 and 2009. In 2014, with the ‘Modi wave’ in his sails, Kaswan’s son Rahul Kaswan was elected to Parliament from the seat. The BJP has once again fielded him from Churu seat, which went to polls on May 6 — the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections — seeking re-election against Congress’ Rafique Mandelia, the only Muslim candidate from the two major national parties in the desert state.Congress’ subpar performance in Churu becomes starker if you look at the Assembly elections in the state since 1999. The Churu parliamentary constituency comprises eight Assembly segments — Sadulpur, Taranagar, Sardarshahar, Churu, Ratangarh, Sujangarh, Nohar and Bhadra. In 2003 Assembly polls, Congress won three seats of the total eight Assembly segments in Churu; in 2008, it won only two. Five years later, the grand old party was reduced to a single Assembly seat in the region.The reasons for the Congress’ failure to organise support in Churu, however, go further back. According to Narayan Bareth, former BBC journalist and political analyst, prominent farmer leaders Daulatram Saran and Kumbharam Arya had considerable influence in Churu, a region that has been an epicenter of various farmer protests. “Saran and Arya were anti-Congress and they influenced Jats in the rural belt, pushing them away from Congress,” Bareth said. “In Urban areas, Jan Sangh — BJP’s precursor — had influence.”While Saran and Arya became influential, Congress too did not assert itself to strengthen its ideology and organization in the region, Bareth said. “Their existence (in Churu) was ad hoc,” he added.On one hand, the Congress failed to put down roots in Churu, on the other, the BJP worked consistently to assimilate support. The saffron party installed Hari Shankar Bhabhra, an MLA from Ratangarh in Churu, as Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan in 1994. With his elevation, a sizable section of Brahmin voters in the region sided with the BJP. Rajendra Rathore, a six-time Legislator from Churu Assembly seat, brought the influential Rajputs in BJP’s kitty. And Ram Singh Kaswan, three-time Member of Parliament from Churu, wooed the Jats for the party. As Bareth puts it, the BJP planned it well.Bhanwarlal Meghwal, a veteran Congress leader from the region and five-time MLA from Sujangarh since 1980, has different reasoning for Congress’ weak showing in Churu. For Meghwal, who serves as the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment in the current Ashok Gehlot government in the state, it is all down to the candidate.“Look, Congress’ Narendra Budania was MP for three terms — two of them consecutively — from Churu. In 1999, after serving two back-to-back terms as a parliamentarian, he couldn’t win and BJP’s Ram Singh Kaswan took over,” Meghwal reasoned. “Then, in 2004 Congress fielded Balram Jakhar, but the opposition labeled him as an outsider and he could not get the votes. In 2009, Rafique Mandelia (who is contesting this time as well) was fielded. He actually lost by a very small margin of around 12,000 votes. Then in 2014, Congress fielded a weak candidate (Pratap Singh),” Meghwal said.Pratap Singh, Congress’ 2014 Lok Sabha candidate from Churu, finished third with a vote share of 15.63 per cent, behind BJP’s Kaswan (52.63%) and BSP’s Abhinesh Maharshi (26.59%).Mandelia, the Congress candidate in Churu this election, said the party did not put its faith in one candidate in Lok Sabha elections and hence was unsuccessful in the seat for 20 years. “The main reason is that the party kept changing its Churu candidate after losing. It has changed in every Lok Sabha election since 1999. I contested in 2009 and lost by a very small margin, but didn’t get a ticket in 2014,” Mandelia said. This, according to him, weakened five years’ worth of work in the field.In state polls held in December last year, however, the grand old party’s fortunes in Churu turned. Congress went from winning one Assembly segment in Churu Lok Sabha constituency in 2013 to five in 2018. The results were in line with the massive anti-incumbency against the Vasundhara Raje government in the state. “The farmer movement in neighboring Sikar also impacted polling in Churu. Churu’s farmers had participated in the protests,” Bareth said.Congress, on the back of its 2018 state election showing in Churu Assembly segments, is confident of its chances in the region and is hoping for the Schedule Caste and minority votes to consolidate in its favour. “Mandelia is in a good position this time,” Meghwal said. “I think it is a close contest.”Churu, however, remains a big challenge for Congress and now looks increasingly insurmountable in light of exit poll predictions. But, Mandelia believed all communities in Churu would vote for him. The Congress cadre is strong this time as well, he said. From party leaders to party workers, all have worked in unison. The Assembly polls result should also impact the mood of voters, he believes. “For sure, things will be different,” Mandelia said. “The people supported me fully in 2009 too. I feel, this time, Churu belongs to Congress.”
Lok Sabha elections 2019lok-sabha-election-results-2019Naveen Patnaikodisha special status First Published: May 26, 2019, 5:55 PM IST Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik on Sunday asked the newly elected Lok Sabha MPs of the party to forcefully push for the demand for special category status for the state.”He (Patnaik) impressed upon the need to raise the demand for special category state status for Odisha, which is vulnerable to natural calamities,” said Chandra Sekhar Sahu, who was elected from Berhampur Lok Sabha seat. Sahu, a former Union Minister, was speaking to reporters after Patnaik held a meeting with the 12 newly elected BJD MPs here to discuss the strategies to be adopted by the party and the issues to be raised in Parliament.Stating that the party MPs would press for three major demands, he said the BJD president emphasised the need for securing special category status for Odisha which would ensure speedy and balanced development of the state.Noting that the BJD has been demanding special category status for Odisha for the last several years, Sahu said it will play a significant role in boosting the state’s economy and elevating the status of the poor and downtrodden.As Odisha with a long coastline is prone to frequent natural calamities, the chief minister also stressed the need for getting adequate funds from the Centre for disaster management and preparedness, he said.In addition, the chief minister was of the view that the BJD MPs should press for 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures, Sahu said adding “he (Patnaik) asked us to be sincere and work hard to make the BJD’s presence felt.”Ahead of the elections, Naveen Patnaik had announced BJD’s decision to nominate 33 per cent women candidates for Lok Sabha election. The regional party also put the formula into practice by fielding women candidates in seven out of the 21 parliamentary constituencies in the just concluded polls.Earlier, the chief minister had piloted a resolution in the state Assembly for 33 per cent quota for women in parliament and state legislatures. The resolution was also adopted unanimously in the House after which Patnaik had taken up the matter with national leaders and other states. “We will do our best to safeguard the interest of Odisha and fight for the rights of the state,” Sahu said dismissing suggestions that fall in the number of BJD Lok Sabha members from 20 to 12 may affect the effectiveness of the regional party in parliament.Patnaik’s strategic decision to nominate a women self-help group leader, considered as BJD’s women empowerment mascot, seemed to have paid rich dividends to his party in the just concluded Lok Sabha polls.Pramila Bisoyi, who is in her seventies, has won the Aska seat by a margin 2,04,707 votes in her maiden poll battle against BJP’s Anita Subhadarshini.The other women candidates of the BJD who won Lok Sabha seats are Rajasjree Mallick (Jagatsinghpur), Chandrani Murmu (Keonjhar), Sarmistha Sethi (Jajpur) and Manjulata Mandal (Bhadrak). Five of the seven women candidates fielded by the BJD have emerged victorious in Lok Sabha polls.Senior BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab, who has won from Cuttack for the sixth time in a row, said seven of the 12 party MPs are completely new and they were briefed about their roles and responsibilities.”We will work in unison and in a coordinated manner to ensure that Odisha gets what is due to the state from the Centre,” Mahtab said.
BJPcongresslok sabhaRahul Gandhi First Published: May 26, 2019, 8:34 PM IST Mathura: Commenting on Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s remarks against senior leaders for the party’s poll rout, Uttar Pradesh minister Shrikant Sharma said “a bad workman quarrels with his tools”.Amid rumblings within the party after a disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi is said to have accused three senior leaders of placing their respective sons above the party, sources said. “It is a joke that a person, who himself is a product of dynasty rule, is talking about placing sons over party as the reason behind Congress’ debacle this general election,” Sharma told reporters here on Saturday.”The countdown for the fall of dynasty rule has begun,” he said. The power minister alleged Gandhi was appointed as the Congress president over other competent names “due to the same dynasty rule”.Sharma also attributed the poor showing of the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the elections to “wrong decisions” of its president Akhilesh Yadav.Akhilesh’s decision to contest the assembly elections with the Congress and the Lok Sabha elections with BSP is responsible for the debacle of a party that only few years ago was in power in Uttar Pradesh, he said.”Owing to the immaturity of Akhilesh Yadav, the Samajwadi party formed and nurtured by Neta ji and Shiv Pal Yadav, has slumped to such a pitiable position,” the minister said.The BJP leader said people have rejected Rahul Gandhi, Tejashwi Yadav, Jayant Chaudhary and Akhilesh Yadav who symbolise dynasty rule.On the BJP’s stupendous performance this general election, Sharma said, “This election virtually rejected casteism, dynasty rule and appeasement politics.”He also credited the Narendra Modi government for its transparent mechanism which helped in reaching out to all sections of the society.The minister said women had been the biggest beneficiary of the government schemes.While the Ayushman Bharat scheme is directly related to mothers, toilets constructed in homes under Swachh Bharat provided dignity and respect to woman, he said.Extension of maternity leave, power connections and providing LPG through Ujjwala scheme to poor women free of cost changed the lives of the community, Sharma said. The BJP leader said the Centre’s tough stand against terrorism and the surgical strikes in Pakistan showed the world India was no more a “soft state”. Transparency in defence deals by eliminating the involvement of brokers also boosted the morale of defence forces, he added.
New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday rebutted Arvind Kejriwal’s claim that Delhi government’s health scheme is “ten times bigger and comprehensive” than the Centre’s flagship Ayushman Bharat programme and said the chief minister’s “callous” response shows he is “least interested” in the welfare of the people of Delhi.Vardhan shot off a second letter to the Delhi chief minister as the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme became yet another bone of contention between the Centre and the Delhi government, which has refused to implement it in the city. After the Union Health Minister wrote to Kejriwal pressing him on the issue, the chief minister had replied on Friday that the Delhi Government has introduced free health care and, therefore, need not implement the central scheme.But Vardhan hit back saying all ‘fancy schemes” of the AAP government”, “including the much-touted Universal Coverage Health Scheme, announced more than a year ago, are still lying on the drawing boards awaiting implementation even after four-and-half-years”.”Shriman Kejriwal ji, your tenure as chief minister of Delhi is about to expire. It is only with an eye on the impending assembly election that you have started befooling the public by showering bizarre schemes one after another that shall never take off,” he said.”Your Mohalla Clinics are an utter flop and the drastic neglect of patient care in Delhi government hospitals is there for all to see, the Union Health Minister said in his letter.At the same time Vardhan again invited the chief minister to work together for the larger good of the people of Delhi and the country and said the proposed scheme of Delhi Government can be linked with Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY) PMJAY. He said it will provide enhanced cover for the poor and vulnerable population of Delhi as they will not only get ready access to private hospitals but will also be able to get benefits across the country.Countering chief minister’s statement, Vardhan stated that while all states can claim to be providing free health care through government hospitals, in reality citizens still have to spend a lot from their pocket to get the so-called free treatment.PMJAY targets almost 30 lakh (15pc of total population) people in Delhi who are most poor and vulnerable. You have also mentioned that the income criterion of Rs. 10,000 per month is less than the minimum wages in Delhi but I want to correct you that this criterion of Rs. 10,000 per month was used on data collected in 2011 and therefore, such families which were earning less than Rs 10,000 per month in 2011 are eligible under the scheme,” he said.Disapproving of the chief minister’s claim on unlimited cover being provided by Delhi Government, Vardhan stated that unlimited cover has no meaning if people still have to pay to get the treatment.PMJAY insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakh per year is good. In 8 months of implementation of PMJAY, only 10 families out of almost 10.74 crore families have exhausted this cover, the Union Health Minister asserted.Vardhan in his letter also highlighted several salient features of PMJAY. Due to availability of electronic data under PMJAY, states are able to get the real time disease profile and since data comes in real time, early signs of epidemic can be seen from the data and these can be contained quickly. As far as I understand, in the proposed Delhi government scheme, real time electronic data from both public and private hospitals is not available, he mentioned.Kejriwal had on Friday made public his letter to the Union Health Minister.”I am surprised that as chief minister of Delhi you have chosen to be so flippant and callous in your attitude…. it shows that you are least interested in the welfare of the people of Delhi,” Vardhan said in his response. arvind kejriwalAyushman Bharat Programmeharsh vardhanPMJAY First Published: June 8, 2019, 9:58 PM IST
BJPcongressmedia freedomNarendra Modi First Published: June 30, 2019, 8:57 PM IST New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday cited media reports to accuse the Modi government of indulging in “sheer vindictiveness” by freezing advertisements to some newspapers critical of the dispensation.The attack came after media reports claimed that the government has stopped providing advertisements to some newspapers critical of its certain policies and actions. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tagged some of the reports to claim that the government had stopped advertisements to newspapers for “exposing Rafale scam”, for being critical of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and for reporting on alleged model code of conduct violations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”BJP government crushes freedom of media and indulges in sheer vindictiveness by freezing ads to 4 newspapers (sic),” he tweeted. “This is Modi 2.0 for you!” A report which claimed that the government had stopped giving advertisements to some newspapers also quoted an official as saying that “under Congress governments too”, such bans lasted for a shorter period.In another tweet, Surjewala tagged another media report on media freedom and said “as plain governmental subjugation, advertisement revenue, corporate ownership & marketing teams take over editorial control; Free media & dissent is the first casualty (sic)”.
Bengaluru: The resignations of two Congress MLAs from the Karnataka Assembly on Monday sent ripples across the political circles in the state, with the Congress going into a huddle to keep its flock together.The resignation of Vijayanagar MLA Anand Singh, followed by that of Gokak legislator Ramesh Jarkiholi, sent the party’s top leadership into shock, with former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah calling a meeting of major strategists of the party on Monday evening on the way ahead. The meeting particularly assumed significance in the wake of many rumours that the resignations of three or four more MLAs would soon follow. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, Water Resources Minister and troubleshooter DK Shivakumar, party president Dinesh Gundu Rao, and party working president Eshwar Khandre met at Siddaramaiah’s residence soon after news about the resignations came forth.The resignations, coming as they did suddenly when Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is away in the United States for a week, left many Congress leaders shocked. Most, when asked about the resignations, said they heard about it from the media.In the 224-member Assembly, the Opposition BJP has 105 MLAs but is eight short of a simple majority. The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition, with the support of one Independent and a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA, is functioning with a wafer-thin majority that has been shaky from the start since May 2018. The BJP has earlier attempted to bring down the coalition government on at least three occasions, when it allegedly tried to woo MLAs from the JDS and Congress.Gundu Rao said the ones who had resigned were under severe pressure from the Opposition BJP on some ground or the other. “You know how the BJP operates. Putting immense pressure, threatening them. The government is safe, no issues, we know how to respond,” Rao told News18.The resignations come at a time when the Congress party itself is in a state of flux — all office-bearers were sacked last week, except for the president and the working president. This was an effort to entirely re-organise the party in the wake of the debacle suffered in the Lok Sabha elections two months back.“Yes, the MLAs have resigned but there is a lot of hype to it that this government is going to fall. That is not going to happen,” Rao said, adding they also have plans to woo MLAs from the BJP if the need arises.“We didn’t want to get into that — a reverse operation. But now I think it is inevitable,” he told News18.BJP’s KS Eshwarappa said that Congress leaders themselves know that more MLAs are going to quit the party soon, but want to brush it off. “It is better if Kumaraswamy resigns respectfully now. Else, at a later point, he may have to step down after suffering humiliation,” Eshwarappa said.Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa said Singh’s resignation reflects large-scale unease in the ruling coalition and the government will collapse under its own weight, after which his party will explore the constitutional provisions to form the new government. anand singhBJPBS Yeddyurappacongress First Published: July 1, 2019, 11:00 PM IST
Super Mario Maker 2 for Nintendo Switch: Everything we know All Super Mario games, ranked from best to worst Story Mode and multiplayer are coming to Super Mario Maker 2 The best N64 games of all time How to unlock everything in Super Mario Maker 2 A classic cease-and-desist letter from Nintendo is probably in the mail but for now, gamers can enjoy a fan-made version of Super Mario Bros. with a battle royale twist. As initially reported by The Verge, Mario Royale is a web game where 75 Marios race to finish all of the levels in a random world. Super Mario Maker 2 releases this month and, at launch, random players will be able to race through custom levels from creators. Mario Royale takes the popular battle royale genre and applies it to the classic Super Mario Bros. levels while also giving gamers a taste of the random competition they’ll be facing in Super Mario Maker 2.When you jump into Mario Royale, you’re placed in a lobby with a collection of up to 74 other Marios. Once everyone hits a “Ready” block or after a certain amount of type passes, the 75 players are dropped into a random world. Then, you must race all the way to the end of the world with the first player crowned the best Mario. Second and third place runners are recognized as well.We played through a handful of attempts and the first thing that comes to mind is “chaos.” You can see all 74 competitors making their runs as you do, up until they get too far ahead of you or fall behind. When players get ahead of you, it is worth it to keep going because the player count can dwindle due to all of the hazards you encounter. Not only are you trying to get to the final flagpole quickly, but every player also only has one life. Thus, you can be the last of about 10 people but end up winning because the players ahead of you got greedy and ended up losing that one life.If you want to put your platforming skills to the test, don’t delay. Nintendo isn’t known to let fan-made projects like these live for a very long time, so send it to your friends and get an early taste of what the competitive aspect of Super Mario Maker 2 will feel like. With Tetris 99 and Mario Royale showing us the inventive ways the battle royale model can be applied to unexpected places, hopefully more developers take note and innovate more within the genre. Editors’ Recommendations
Facebook quietly removed a feature that allowed users to export and sync their friends’ birthdays to an external calendar like iCal, Outlook, or Google Calendar.While you can still export upcoming events — parties, get-togethers, and the like — the ability to save birthdays disappeared recently, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Digital Trends. The social network removed the ability to export birthdays in June, in the hopes of better protecting users’ personal information. The spokesperson added that under the previous system, a person’s birthday would remain on an external calendar if it had been downloaded, even if that user changed their privacy settings to mark their birthday as private.The change was first reported by Rodrigo Ghedin of the Brazilian tech blog Manual do Usuário.Facebook’s birthday reminders have long been one of its most popular features, helping make sure you never miss a friend or loved one’s special day. Birthdays are one of the few pieces of personal data required to start a new Facebook account.The social networking giant has expanded birthday-related features over the years, allowing users to raise money for a cause on their birthday or create personalized videos to wish someone a happy birthday. The social network often sends users push notifications about friends’ birthdays, hoping it will drive engagement on the platform.But birthday reminders are also something that tether many people to Facebook. As Facebook faces increasing scrutiny over how it handles users’ private data and people move to delete their accounts, the network is now essentially holding your friends’ birthdays hostage. You can leave, but you can’t take your beloved birthday calendar with you. Facebook, it seems, owns that data. Facebook’s FAQ now says you can only export Facebook events to your external calendar.According to a Wayback Machine archive, the same page said you could export birthdays as recently as April.An archive of Facebook FAQ’s page from April.An archived version of the German-language FAQ page discussed the birthday-export feature as recently as June, according to Manual do Usuário.Facebook still allows you to download all your information, including chat logs, photos, videos, and more — but that option will only export events you’ve created or sent an RSVP to. Your friends’ birthdays aren’t a part of your own personal Facebook record. Best calendar apps for the iPhone and Android devices Gmail logs your purchase history, undermining Google’s commitment to privacy Intel hates that your car is dumber than your phone. Here’s how they’ll fix it How to protect your smartphone from hackers and intruders How to use Plex to manage and play all of your media, everywhere Editors’ Recommendations
1. Android PAndroid P took center stage at Google’s I/O 2018 keynote. We got a look at the upcoming software update, as well as details on Google’s reasoning behind the changes. Users can expect a simplified, intuitive interface when Android P is released later this year. Among other things, the upcoming version features a single home button that has gesture controls. Notifications have been tweaked, the system predicts which apps you’re likely to use, there are Slice and App Actions, and much more.2. Google MapsGoogle has big plans for Google Maps and will, in coming months, release new features that tap machine learning for a personalized experience. Using what it already knows about you, Google will suggest things to do and places to eat, show how much of a “match” any given restaurant is for you specifically, keep tabs on what’s going down in your favorite neighborhoods, and more.3. Waymo ServiceGoogle surprised everyone by dedicating a part of its keynote to Waymo, the Alphabet company. The team revealed plans to launch an autonomous car service to the public in Phoenix starting some time this year. With it, anyone in the city will be able to order a self-driving car (without a human driver!) using the Waymo app. This is the first step in what will eventually be a wider expansion of the future of transportation.4. Focus on wellbeing Google has emphasized that its upcoming version of Android will focus on “Digital Wellbeing.” Google is including a digital wellbeing feature in the Android P Dashboard, giving users direct access to their usage numbers, as well as tools to help them control how much they use their phone…and what they use it for. Features include a grayscale feature called Winding Down, a better Do Not Disturb system that eliminates all notifications, tools to limit how long a particular app is used, and a fast feature for silencing all calls and texts.5. Google News revamp Google’s annual I/O event is now underway following its keynote earlier today. The company had a lot to say about its products, the work it is doing now, and the plans it has for the future. There’s a lot to unpack from the event, but a handful of thing stand out among the rest, including all the details on Android P, a surprise Waymo announcement, and more. Google has confirmed recent rumors, revealing that it has big plans for Google News, ones that revolve around artificial intelligence. The company is adding a “For you” section that features personalized highlights on the day’s biggest news, as well as other stories that may be of interest. Recommendations are made to users based on their own preferences with the system growing smarter over time. Users aren’t left without any controls, though, also having the option to manually adjust what they see.
This drone is exactly the sort of hardware I’d want if I needed to buy a gift for a young person with a love for simple tricks. For very little investment – monetary or time-wise – this drone has a lot to offer for basic entertainment. And when you’re done crashing it into the wall or accidentally into traffic enough times, you can move on up to something more complicated – easy peasy!The center pod contains a light that blinks when actions are successful and when the device is powering up or ready to shut down. The drone comes with its power cord and an extra set of blades just in case you happen to crash directly into your own face – though for the most part disasters will be avoided thanks to the cage.The Air Hogs Supernova is the first motion-controlled drone the brand’s ever made, and it’s out in stores right this minute. This drone can be found at retail locations of many sorts, including through Air Hogs on Amazon as of this month for right around $40 USD.SlashGear uses affiliate links, and sometimes if you buy something we’ll get a small cut of the sale Story TimelineAir Hogs Hawk Eye R/C chopper takes your webcam airborneUS Army taps Lockheed Martin for anti-drone microwave weaponsAirSelfie2 mini-drone with 12MP camera now availableYuneec Mantis Q drone offers 4K camera, voice control, and 44mph speed The Supernova is essentially a set of motion sensors attached to a motor and several fan blades. It’s made mainly of plastic and metal, and is protected from harm by a thin plastic cage. The plastic cage protects the blades from external or user harm, but also protects the user from blade harm.This device is charged with a USB cord – included in the box – and can be switched on immediately. Once switched on, this drone lifts up from the ground and begins to hover just a few feet off the ground. Controls are all listed in a handy-dandy guide provided with the drone, also in the box. I was able to perform basically every trick in the book by the time I’d used the drone a couple times. It’s not particularly difficult to get the hang of, and assuming you’re adept at swiping your hand through the air and are semi-quick on your feet, there’s little chance you won’t be able to master the drone within an hour, yourself.AdChoices广告This drone has no cameras, it’s not remote-controlled, and it requires no smartphone. It’s independent of all other things electronic save its own charging cord. If you’re new to the drone universe, this might well be the perfect gateway drone to begin your drone journey. Over the past week we’ve played with the Air Hogs Supernova, a tiny drone made to be minimal. This drone is controlled with an on-switch and sensors. The user tells the drone what to do and how to act with a series of gestures – hand signals in the air – and all power is provided by a charging cable that’s not unlike what smartphone users have for their smartphone. This drone is just about as simple as a drone gets.
This week it became apparent that some LG G7 ThinQ units had a bit of an issue when it came time to restart. It seemed that the LG G7 ThinQ suffered from a sort of issue that’d plagued several LG smartphones in the last several years. While the issue was rare, it seems to have become a sort of time traveler, finding its way into LG smartphones through the ages, bootlooping its way into our hearts and minds for several phone generations. Today LG lent an official comment on the situation. The statement is in regard to the software issue affecting “some customers in Europe,” as the issue does not seem to have appeared elsewhere. The following statement comes from an official LG spokesperson.SEE MORE: All about this latest bootloop issue in the LG G7 ThinQ“The latest software update for the LG G7 ThinQ on a specific network in a number of European countries is preventing the phone from starting. Customers experiencing issues with their devices immediately after the software update can be assured that no permanent damage has occurred with their LG G7 ThinQ,” said the LG representative. “In cooperation with the operator, LG will be issuing a software solution within the next several days which will allow affected customers to roll back the update and return their device to its previous state,” said the LG spokesperson. “Customers are encouraged to contact an LG call center or visit their local service center for further assistance.”LG added that they’d like to “apologize for this tremendous inconvenience,” and that they were “making every effort to remedy this situation as quickly as possible.” Given LG’s past remedies for similar problems, I wouldn’t be shocked to find a solution popping up via LG service centers and/or carriers within a few days. We’ll be reporting again if no solution’s yet been found. Story TimelineLG G7 One, G7 Fit will be LG’s IFA 2018 gambleLG G7 ThinQ climbs only one step higher on the DxOMark ladderNetflix HDR arrives for LG G7 One and two other premium phonesLG G7 Fit isn’t dead yet, arriving this month
It’s a little over a month to go before the formal announcement of Samsung two heavy hitters for 2019. While the Galaxy F/Galaxy Fold largely remains a mystery, the Galaxy S10 trio or quartet seems to be all but known at this point. Still, there’s plenty of wiggle room for a few more last minute deets. And by “a few”, we really mean more of a tweet storm revealing all you might want to know about the Galaxy S10. Based on XDA’s Max Weinbach’s tweets, the Galaxy S10 will have a lot more in common with the Galaxy Note 9 in terms of overall design, like adopting the same segmented speaker grille style, the same wallpaper gradient effect, and having the flash and heart rate sensor separated instead of stacked. Curiously, he describes the phone’s back as glossy, like the 2017 Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 rather than the more matte design of last year’s flagships.There will be a somewhat overwhelming combination of cameras, depending on the model. The “normal” camera will be a wide-angle 12 megapixel f/1.5-2.4 dual aperture sensor with autofocus and OIS. The second is a 123-degree ultra-wide angle 16 megapixel f/1.9 camera with no AF or OIS. Only the Galaxy S10+ will get a third, a telephoto camera with 13 megapixels and AF and OIS.As for the memory configurations, the leaks sound generous, almost too generous. The Galaxy S10 Lite will get 4 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage. The Galaxy S10 itself goes up to 6 GB of RAM and 128 or 256 GB of storage. The Galaxy S10+ increases the options with 6 or 8 GB of RAM and 128/256/512 GB storage options. But it’s the Galaxy S10+ 5G that will really take the cake with at most 12 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage. The foldable phone will supposedly also have that many.Weinbach cautions that some of these are still just based on rumors, though they are pretty much what we’ve been hearing about for a while now. Needless to say, the Galaxy S10 phones are going to be huge in features, so expect it also to be huge in price. The Galaxy S10 is scheduled to debut February 20 alongside Samsung’s foldable phone.
For the diesel engine itself, Ford‘s engineers have been cherry-picking components from the Super Duty’s 6.7-liter version. Indeed, it’s the same powertrain team that designed that which turned their collective hand to the smaller, 3.0-liter version. Even though it’s smaller, though, it still should pack a punch. Peak torque, for example, arrives at 1,750 rpm and there’s 440 lb-ft. of it to play with. Ford says it should continue strong throughout the rpm range, too, paying dividends in particular if you’re towing. Horsepower is 250 HP. Towing capacity is 11,400 pounds, which – Ford is keen to highlight – is best-in-class. Payload capacity, meanwhile, is 2,020 pounds. A variable geometry turbocharger has been dropped in, which Ford says will cut turbo lag, while a common-rail fuel injection system helps with both performance and efficiency. Dual fuel filters improve beak-in, and there’s a case-aluminum oil pan and two-stage oil pump for a cut in parasitic loss. The same compacted-graphite iron block material and forged steel crank as used in the 2.7-liter EcoBoost has been carried over to the V6 diesel, too. It’s not the only change for the 2018 model year. Ford has thrown in stronger axles, for instance, adding robustness. For the diesel specifically, there’s a mechanical engine-driven fan and dual radiator shutters, boosting performance at high temperatures or high altitudes. The 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission is standard, and has been tweaked with the diesel in mind. That makes sure the F-150 makes the most of its low-rpm torque, for instance. It can also skip over gears as it changes, improving on responsiveness. Auto stop/start is standard, too. Ford will be offering the V6 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel on the 4×2 and 4×4 F-150. It’ll be optional on the 2018 F-150 Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum edition SuperCrew trucks with either a 5.5-foot or 6.5-foot bed configuration, and SuperCab trucks with a 6.5-foot bed configuration. Fleet customers, meanwhile, will be able to spec it on all F-150 trims with SuperCrew 5.5-foot or 6.5-foot bed configurations and SuperCab trucks with a 6.5 foot bed. Pricing will be announced later this month, when dealers begin taking pre-orders. Ford’s F-150 may be a best-seller, but what the range has lacked for some time is a Power Stroke diesel: now, the blue oval is going to rectify that. The 2018 F-150 3.0 Power Stroke is headed to dealerships this spring, complete with an estimated EPA highway rating of 30 mpg. Not bad at all for a full-sized truck.
“This car is the spiritual successor to the CC, but it is bolder and faster,” Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen, said of the new sedan. “Arteon has the style and performance of a luxury Gran Turismo for about the price of a fully loaded midsize sedan.”That performance may not give the 2019 Audi A7 we drove recently much to worry about, but it doesn’t mean the new VW is slow. The Arteon is powered by Volkswagen’s latest 2.0-liter TSI engine, producing 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. The power is delivered to the front wheels via a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, though optional 4Motion all-wheel drive is available on every trim level. The power is sent to the pavement via standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Full LED headlights are also standard too, along with Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, and DCC adaptive damping. Dynamic Chassis Control offers you a way to adapt the Arteon’s suspension to the road, between three modes: Normal, Sport, and Comfort. Each mode makes changes to both the suspension and the steering feedback.Other standard features include keyless access and push-button start (KESSY), 3-zone Climatronic automatic climate control, and an 8-inch touchscreen with Volkswagen’s Car-Net App-Connect technology. That offers smartphone integration with the three major platforms: Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink.On the options list are a few other niceties, meanwhile. That includes 19-inch wheels, the 12.3-inch Volkswagen Digital Cockpit which swaps the driver’s instrumentation for a fully-digital panel in the vein of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, ambient lighting, a panoramic sunroof, and a massaging driver’s seat. An upgraded Dynaudio sound system, Volkswagen Car-Net connected vehicle services, and a power trunk with Easy Open and Close are also available.As for driver assistance, Volkswagen made all of its latest safety technology available. A rearview camera is standard, along with Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert. Optional are Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop and Go; active Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist); High Beam Control (Light Assist); Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist) including Park Distance Control; and the Overhead View Camera (Area View) available as an optional package.On the inside, Arteon sports heated front seats with leatherette surfaces are standard, while options include ventilated front seats, a massaging driver’s seat, driver seat memory, Nappa leather seating surfaces, and heated rear seats. Every Arteon model will come with Volkswagen’s “People First Warranty,” with its coverage for six years or 72,000-miles.The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon will be available in SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trim levels and is expected to arrive at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the third quarter of 2018. Pricing will be announced closer to release. 2019 VW Arteon Gallery Volkswagen chose the Chicago Auto Show to launch their 2019 Arteon into the US market, a premium four-door coupe that might give Audi pause for concern. Based on the MQB architecture, the car was originally unveiled in March 2017 at the Geneva Motor Show but now makes its US debut, showing off its wide, planted stance, short overhangs, and generally coupe-like design. Arteon’s wheelbase is more than 5 inches longer than the Volkswagen CC, at 111.9 inches compared to 106.7 inches, while its interior also makes use of more upscale premium materials and a more modern design.
While it’s not the first Alexa-powered smart display from Amazon to have a camera, for instance, the Echo Show 5 adds a physical camera cover for the first time. That provides some visible reassurance that the camera can’t see what’s going on in the room, alongside the promise that hitting the microphone mute button also electronically disables the video functionality. In the process, it might make the Echo Show 5 more appealing to those who would like an Alexa smart display on their nightstand, but who have been dissuaded by the thought of the virtual assistant inadvertently watching them. The spherical Echo Spot, for example, was certainly sized for bedside duties, however the fact that it had a camera led some potential buyers to look elsewhere. Google, notably, opted not to include a camera at all when it launched the Home Hub (recently renamed the Nest Hub). While Amazon can’t upgrade its earlier smart displays with a physical camera cover, all Alexa devices are getting a new set of privacy features. For a start, there’s the ability to selectively delete the audio recordings that Amazon saves of each Alexa interaction users have. These records are used by the company to refine the AI’s abilities, and were at the center of a privacy scandal in April when it was revealed that human auditors were listening to select recordings.AdChoices广告You’ve long been able to access those recordings through the Alexa companion app. Indeed, Amazon has also included tools there to report failures in Alexa understanding what was asked of the assistant, as well as remove the records from that timeline. However being able to actually delete the core recordings by voice is something new. It should make doing so much easier, rather than digging through the Alexa app. Initially, Echo devices will support “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” clearing out all the relevant saved audio from that time period. Down the line, Amazon says, you’ll be able to get more specific, and say things like “Alexa, delete what I just said.” There’s also a new Alexa Privacy Hub, which covers all Alexa devices. That’s more of a transparency effort than a tool for controlling Alexa, with Amazon setting out to undo some potential assumptions people might have about when the assistant is listening to them, how Echo speakers work, and what is being saved in the cloud. A separate privacy settings section allows audio files to be reviewed, and specific recordings – or all of them – to be deleted. It’s also a place for controlling skill permissions, the third-party abilities that developers can release for Alexa, and controlling how the assistant interfaces with a broader smart home system.Amazon’s goal is undoubtedly to prevent what have become semi-frequent controversies around just how much data the retailer is able to gather – or at least intuit – based on Alexa interactions. It seems unlikely to win over the hardcore smart assistant skeptics, for whom bringing an always-listening device into their home seems like madness. However, the addition of more granular, easier control over what Alexa saves and what’s deleted might be sufficient to pacify anybody who might have been considering unplugging their smart speaker. Story TimelineAmazon Alexa’s human auditors could access users’ locationsAmazon Alexa reportedly has no option to stop recording commandsAlways-listening Alexa could skip the wake word – if you trusted it Amazon is enhancing its privacy features for Alexa, its smart assistant technology, making it easier to delete audio interactions in the face of growing user concerns around how much data is being saved. The new update arrives alongside the Echo Show 5, the latest smart display powered by Alexa from Amazon, which itself has a greater focus on privacy in the home.
Story TimelineJBL Everest headphones, earbuds have Google Assistant built-inThis JBL Link Bar is Google’s first Android TV and Assistant hybridJBL Link View smart display with Google Assistant now up for preorder Though pre-orders initially went live in August, the company delayed the device by October 2018, advising customers who had pre-ordered the model that the Link Bar likely wouldn’t start shipping within 2018 due to an issue from the manufacturer. The company wasn’t able to provide customers with an estimated shipping date at the time.In an update in January 2019, JBL announced in a big press release that Link Bar would finally be available starting in spring 2019, but that didn’t happen. By the end of February, customers noticed that the product’s shipment date had been quietly updated to July 1, putting it more than a year after the initial May 2018 announcement. And now finally, finally, the JBL Link Bar is available to purchase from the company; it is listed as “in stock and ready to ship” on the JBL website for $399.95 USD, a hefty price tag reflecting the three-in-one nature of the device. This hopefully means the delay is officially over and customers will see the Link Bar ship promptly after purchase. READ: JBL Link Bar pre-order starts for Android TV soundbarThe video below, which was released last year when the soundbar was announced, gives consumers an idea of how the Link Bar works. Put simply, the speaker is targeted at home entertainment enthusiasts who want to wholly embrace Google’s ecosystem by bringing Android TV to their television and Google Assistant to their living room. The soundbar functions like a huge Google Home speaker with the addition of Android TV. Back in August 2018, JBL started accepting pre-orders for its Link Bar, a hybrid soundbar device that includes Android TV and Google Assistant built-in. The device was positioned as a sort of all-in-one home entertainment experience that brought both Android TV and Google Assistant to one’s entertainment setup, but a huge delay prevented consumers from getting the soundbar.
That’s courtesy of Volvo’s T8 Twin Engine Plug-in Hybrid drivetrain. Polestar has massaged the software, bringing in the torque faster and pushing extra power to the rear wheels. The result is not only that 415 hp but 494 lb-ft of torque.It’s a fairly conservative increase over the regular T8 drivetrain – which delivers 400 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque – but what’s more noticeable are the rest of the changes made. Öhlins suspension technology has been implemented, for example, with a new front strut bar to make the cars stiffer. New six-piston brake calipers have been paired with lightweight forged alloy wheels, with a unique design for the Polestar Engineered cars. They’re also finished in gold, so that they look as good as they grip. Throttle response has been sharpened.AdChoices广告The result, as we found behind the wheel of the S60 Polestar Engineered, is a more eager, aggressive car. It looks the part, too, with a high-gloss black grille, wheel arch extensions, and integrated black chrome tail pipes. Subtle Polestar Engineered badging is there as a giveaway for those in-the-know. Inside, gold seatbelts hold you into Nappa leather and open-grid textile upholstery. There’s a leather sports steering wheel and matching gear shifter, along with a charcoal color scheme dashboard with metal mesh aluminum trim. Volvo’s usual Sensus infotainment touchscreen dominates the center console.The change we’re most happy about, though, will be around availability. The Polestar Engineered S60 sold out in under an hour, Volvo points out, though fails to mention that it only had twenty of the cars for the US market last year. It also only offered the S60 Polestar variant through its Care by Volvo subscription scheme, at a not-inconsiderable $1,100 per month. That included not only the car, but insurance, servicing, and other incidental fees. This time around, the new Polestar-fettled cars will be more broadly available. They won’t just be offered under the Care by Volvo scheme, and there should be more of them, too. Final pricing hasn’t been confirmed, but the 2020 Volvo V60 Polestar Engineered and the 2020 Volvo XC60 Polestar Engineered will go on sale in summer 2019. Story TimelinePolestar and Volvo will upend modern car ownershipPolestar’s CEO thinks he can avoid the Tesla trapVolvo’s Polestar Engineered trim powers up new 60 Series hybrids Polestar may be busy working on its Polestar 2 electric sedan, but that hasn’t stopped it rubbing some magic onto the new Volvo V60 and XC60 for a hybrid performance upgrade. Following on from the 2019 Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered, the new hybrid wagon and SUV will each get 415 horsepower to play with.
Cuts to Texas’ budget have caused more than 50 clinics that provide family planning services to close, a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports.The Texas Tribune: Report: Family Planning Cuts Caused 53 Clinics To CloseMore than 50 clinics that provide family planning services have closed as a result of state budget cuts, according to a report published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine. State lawmakers cut funding for family planning services by two-thirds in the last legislative session, dropping the two-year family planning budget from $111 million to $37.9 million for the 2012-13 biennium (Aaronson, 9/26). Politico Pro: The Impact Of Cutting Family Planning Funding In TexasWhat happens when states say goodbye to federal family-planning funding? A new analysis in The New England Journal of Medicine, focusing on Texas, finds it leads to decreased access to preventive services, clinics turning away women who can’t pay and far fewer resources in impoverished areas. “We are witnessing the dismantling of a safety net that took decades to build and could not easily be recreated even if funding were restored soon,” authors Kari White, Daniel Grossman, Kristine Hopkins and Joseph E. Potter write (Smith, 9/26).In the meantime, Missouri has fined Aetna $1.5 million for failing to allow employers to opt-out of contraception coverage in their plans, and Virginia’s Attorney General approves new regulations on abortion clinics –St. Louis Beacon: State Department Of Insurance Fines Insurer For Offering Contraceptive Coverage The Missouri Department of Insurance has announced that it has levied its largest fine in state history — $1.5 million — against an insurer who failed to comply with state law regarding coverage, or lack of, for autism treatment, contraception and elective abortions. Among other things, Aetna Life Insurance Co. “provided coverage for contraceptives without allowing employers to opt out of this coverage,” the department says. A department spokesman noted that the provisions in question were in an 11-year-old state law, and not part of the new state law regarding abortion, contraceptive and sterilization coverage put in place following the General Assembly’s action earlier this month to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto (Mannies, 9/26).Richmond Times-Dispatch: Cuccinelli Approves Abortion Clinic RegulationsAttorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office Wednesday gave its stamp of approval to new abortion clinic regulations that will compel existing clinics to retrofit their facilities to meet standards for new hospital construction. Cuccinelli’s certification of the regulations, approved by the state Board of Health Sept. 14, advances them to Gov. Bob McDonnell for further review. If McDonnell approves the regulations, they will be subject to a 60-day public comment period before returning to the Board of Health for final consideration, which is expected next year. The Board of Health voted 13-2 on Sept. 14 to adopt regulations that require existing abortion clinics in Virginia to be regulated like new hospitals (Nolan, 9/27). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Texas Budget Cutting Causes Closure Of 50 Clinics Offering Family Planning Services