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World Cup semi to resume Wednesday

first_imgNew Zealand won the toss and elected to bat, reaching 211-5 after 46.1 overs when the players were forced off the field at around 14:00 local time (13:00 GMT).Light but persistent showers continued throughout the afternoon and though the umpires inspected the pitch at 18:10, heavier rain arrived at that point and the covers were summoned back on.Play had to resume by 18:36 for a conclusion to be reached on Tuesday, with India needing to bat at least 20 overs for a result.However, as the bad weather refused to relent, the umpires made the decision to call off play for the day, meaning the teams will be back at the venue on Wednesday to reach a conclusion.With the rain unrelenting, play has been called off for the day. New Zealand will resume their innings tomorrow at 10.30am on 211/5 with 3.5 overs to bat.Here’s hoping for better weather tomorrow #INDvNZ | #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/p9KdXPdd0g— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) July 9, 2019New Zealand will face the final 3.5 overs of their innings, with Ross Taylor (67 not out) and Tom Latham (3 not out) to return to the crease.Further showers are forecast in Manchester, though, and should the game not be completed, India will qualify for Sunday’s final at Lord’s because they finished above New Zealand in the group stage. Photo Getty Images. Caption: Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah come off due to the rainlast_img read more

Man stabbed before Atletico Madrid game

first_imgA 22-year-old man was rushed to hospital in a serious condition after being stabbed near Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium before a King’s Cup game between Atletico and Sevilla on Wednesday, emergency services said.Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported that the male was wearing a shirt saying ‘Frente Atletico’, the Madrid side’s notorious ‘ultra’ group of supporters, and was stabbed during a fight outside the Las Musas metro station.“Civil Protection has stabilised and taken a 22-year-old male in a serious condition to the La Paz hospital after he sustained three stab wounds, in the thigh, arm and back,” Madrid’s emergency services said on Twitter.“The events occurred on Avenida de Niza. The male was attended to immediately by Civil Protection officers present in the vicinity of the Wanda Metropolitano.”last_img read more

‘Liberian Muslims Resolve to Be Peaceful’

first_imgJust days after heated arguments in the Chambers of the House of Representatives over a proposition to make Liberia a ‘Christian State’, Liberian Muslims have said that they will not resort to any form of violence in their opposition to Christian groups that are seeking for the country to be declared a ‘Christian State’. The Chief Imam of Liberia, Alhaji Muhammad Abdullah Sheriff, said Liberian Muslims have remained peaceful and have promoted coexistence since the formative days of the state.To amend the 1986 Constitution, Liberians are expected to go to a referendum to adopt several proposals, including the controversial proposal to make Liberia a ‘Christian State’, which Liberian Muslims have objected to, fearing that they will be declared second class citizens.Imam Sheriff told his audience, which with the exception of Imams who have converged from the 15 counties and other members of the Muslim community also included stakeholders from the security sector, other religious leaders and the office of the National Peace Ambassador of Liberia, at the Unity Mosque in Fish Market, in Monrovia, that Liberian Muslims have resolved to be ambassadors of peace and will continue to say no to violence.He said Liberian Muslims are aware of ‘some unscrupulous’ people in the global Muslim community who continue to make their religion look bad in the eyes of the rest of the world. “Their actions clearly contradict the Qur’an. As for us (Liberian Muslims) we will continue to be agents of peace,” he said.He added that the NICL will continue to work for the propagation of ‘true Islam’ in the interest of all humanity. “We have resolved to be peaceful, and will remain peaceful forever and ever,” he said, adding that the Imams must lead this endeavor.Conflicting StanceHowever, the conference hall of the Unity Mosque went silent for moments when Sheikh Ali Krayee, Deputy Chief Imam for National Affairs, in a strong tone said Liberian Muslims will not allow themselves to be reduced to second class citizens in their own country, with clear reference to the proponents of the ‘Christian State’ proposition.He said those who are pushing for Liberia to become a ‘Christian State’ are themselves enemies of the state. “They are creating a time bomb that can explode where no one will escape. No group of people will accept to be considered second class in their land of birth,” he said, although proponents of the ‘Christian State’ agenda have refuted claims that they would reduce Liberian Muslims to second class citizens. Imam Krayee, who is Krahn by tribe, described Liberian Muslims as peaceful but promised not to bow to any decision that will reduce them to second class in their own nation though he did not explain what is involved in his promise. Serving as the guest speaker at the event, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Force Commander, General Saleh Zuhair Uba, said there is a need for Liberians to unite in order to maintain the hard-earned peace that the country currently enjoys. He said UNMIL will continue to support all who want to see peace in Liberia, because this is the only way the society will strive. He told the NICL that they have chosen the right path, which is in the interest of Liberia.Other dignitaries who graced the occasion were representatives from the embassies of Sierra Leone, Nigeria and the United States of America, as well as some organs of the UN. Also present was the National Peace Ambassador of Liberia, Rev. William R. Tolbert III.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GPS tracks gangbangers

first_imgThe other suspects under arrest are Juan Carlos Gutierrez, 31; Israel Flores, 20; Milcar Valencia Romero, 21; Jesse Anthony Castro, 20 and two juveniles aged 16 and 17. All were booked on suspicion of murder, though officials have not said which one they believe fired the fatal shot. For more news and observations about crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champDetectives said that the system paid off Monday night following the woman’s slaying. As soon as the radio call went out reporting the drive-by shooting, Sgt. Ruby Malachi had an idea. Malachi, who runs the LAPD’s crime analysis center below City Hall East, directed her officers to punch in the date, time and location into the computer tracking the movements of the 20 gang members. She noticed that one of the gang members was at the Wilton Place address when the shooting occurred. At the scene, witnesses said they saw seven people in a black sport utility vehicle from which the shots were fired. A police helicopter tracked the gang member’s GPS trail to Compton, where he was in a black SUV. The SUV parked at a home in Compton, and seven men got out. Police set up surveillance of the house and eventually arrested seven suspects including the MS-13 gang member being tracked, 20-year-old John Garcia. In what is described as a first for the LAPD, detectives say they got an immediate break in a slaying case by using a Global Positioning Satellite system that was tracking the movements of gang members. Police Chief William Bratton scheduled a news conference this morning to announce the arrests of the gang members, who are suspected in the slaying of Nelly Vergara Hernandez, a young woman shot to death in a Mid-City neighborhood plagued by gang activity. Hernandez, who was 19 or 20, was shot Monday in the 2400 block of Venice Boulevard, near Arlington Avenue, according to the LAPD. As part of a new state crackdown on gangs, authorities last month placed GPS monitoring bracelets on 20 gang members as a condition of their parole from prison. The bracelets keep a running log of where the 20 gangs members are and include time-stamped mapping. last_img read more

AND THE WINNERS OF THE FREE LOTTIE DOLLS ARE ……

first_imgDonegal doll-makers Arklu recently gave us five of their Lottie dolls to give away to five Donegal Daily readers.The new Lottie doll is seen as a safe doll for Donegal childrenWe had a huge response to the competition but unfortunately there could only be five winners.The following are the five winners. And the good news is that the winners don’t have to do anything else.Arklu will send the dolls to the winners – in time for Christmas!Congrats to all the winners and the good news is that we will have many more competitions in the coming days, weeks and months ahead.The winners of lovely Lottie dolls are: Elizabeth Ferry, Listillion, LetterkennyTreasa McGettigan, Drumoghill, TermonEva Mc Devitt, Donegal road, BallybofeyTanya Cannon, NewtowncunninghamAoife Crawford, Essex, UK AND THE WINNERS OF THE FREE LOTTIE DOLLS ARE …… was last modified: December 7th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ARKLUcompetitionLottie dollslast_img read more

Tottenham 5-1 Stoke: Spurs stars rated and slated

first_img 14 SUB – Fernando Llorente – N/A – Not enough time to make an impact. 14 14 Mousa Dembele – 7 – Benefitted from starting the match as he has struggled for sharpness this season. Capable of beating a man, Dembele showed fans a glimpse of the past with a number of driving runs and strength in midfield. Pochettino will be hoping one of his favourite players still has life in him yet. SUB – Erik Lamela – 7 – A bright cameo from the Argentine, who continues to build up his fitness after his lengthy spell on the sidelines. Supplied a delicious pass to Kane which deserved a better finish. Hugo Lloris – 6 – Let himself down for Shawcross’ consolation goal after failing to connect with his intended punched clearance. Brilliantly denied Shaqiri early in the second half when the midfielder looked set to score. 14 14 14 14 Kieran Trippier – 6 – Failed to provide the delivery he has become renowned for. Another fullback that benefitted from Pochettino’s rotation but lacks the drive and pace that Serge Aurier brings at his attacking best. SUB – Moussa Sissoko – 6 – Not the most eventful of substitute appearances but will have been disappointed to see his introduction bring a consolation goal for the visitors. 14 Harry Winks – 7 – Given the space to thrive against a poor Stoke outfit. It was his hooked pass that allowed Alli to tee up Son for Spurs’ vital second goal of the afternoon as he produced another composed performance in the centre of midfield. 14 Harry Kane – 7 – Ended the day with two goals to his name but it could have been far more productive. Showed his power in the air to head home before tapping in a simple finish from close-range. Guilty of missing two or three sitters, though. 14 Dele Alli – 7 – A brighter display from the England international after a number of subdued appearances of late. Supplied a beautiful pass for Son to score his side’s second and his regular flicks and tricks came off more often than not. Jan Vertonghen – 6 – Exposed at times with the pace of Shaqiri and Diouf during Stoke counter-attacks on an otherwise quiet afternoon. Missed having the more mobile Sanchez beside him to pick and choose his battles against the Potters’ more agile attackers. 14 14 14 14 Christian Eriksen – 7 – The Danish playmaker, while short of his virtuoso best, looked more like the player who had started the season so brightly. His cross eventually fell for Kane’s second of the day and provided an emphatic finish to make it five. Son Heung-min – 9 – An excellent performance from the man Spurs fans are calling to be a regular starter. It was Son’s burst of pace that created the opening goal and he later got himself on the score-sheet with a composed finish. Eric Dier – 7 – Looked the more composed of Spurs’ centre-backs and appears to be a better fit at the back. Always relaxed in possession, it was often Dier who got moves rolling before allowing the likes of Winks and Dembele to find the right pass. Ben Davies – 7 – Preferred to Danny Rose in line with Mauricio Pochettino’s regular rotation policy of his fullbacks. Showed his attacking threat with a measured cross for Kane to head home and will have been boosted by an all-round positive display after a shaky few weeks. Tottenham returned to winning ways in the Premier League by thrashing a hapless Stoke City side 5-1 at Wembley Stadium.Two goals from Harry Kane as well as strikes from Son Heung-min, Christian Eriksen and an own-goal from Ryan Shawcross, ensured Spurs secured their first victory in five games.Victory for Mauricio Pochettino’s men sees them move level on points with north London rivals Arsenal, who play away to Southampton on Sunday.But how did a clinical Spurs side perform at Wembley Stadium against the Potters?Click the right arrow, above, to see talkSPORT’s Tottenham player ratings…last_img read more

Chelsea target ‘asks to quit club’ to push through move to Stamford Bridge

first_img Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won REVEALED Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion Juventus hitman Higuain, who played under Stamford Bridge boss Maurizio Sarri at Napoli during the 2015/16 campaign, wants to cancel his season-long loan at Milan to link up with the Italian coach again.The Daily Mail claim Milan want a replacement before allowing the Argentina international to depart for west London this month, however. gameday cracker latest Latest football news The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 RANKED scrap 1 SORRY How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings Gonzalo Higuain has formally asked to leave Milan in an attempt to push through a move to Chelsea, according to reports.Blues striker Michy Batshuayi is set to join Monaco on loan, while Alvaro Morata’s future at Stamford Bridge remains unclear.center_img revealed BEST OF Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos Gonzalo Higuain has been scoring goals for fun in Serie A since 2013 Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade whoops Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT predicted Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? Juventus expect Chelsea to take over the terms of the 31-year-old’s deal which would require them to pay a £16million loan fee with an obligation to buy for £32million at the end of the season.The Serie A champions take on Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this week, and Higuain has travelled with the Rossoneri for the fixture.Talks over his future are planned to take place around Wednesday’s match.last_img read more

New Jersey ~ Personal Income Tax: Lottery Withholding Rates Announced

first_imgThe New Jersey Division of Taxation has announced that effective for lottery payouts made on and after July 1, 2016, the withholding rates for gambling winnings paid by the New Jersey State Lottery will be as follows:– 5% for lottery payouts in excess of $10,000 and up to $500,000;– 8% for lottery payouts in excess of $500,000; and– 8% for lottery payouts in excess of $10,000, if the claimant does not provide a valid taxpayer identification number.New Jersey State Lottery prizes are subject to New Jersey gross (personal) income tax if the prize exceeds $10,000. Taxable lottery winnings are subject to withholding at the rate determined by the Division of Taxation.Notice, New Jersey Division of Taxation, June 16, 2016last_img read more

Earth’s colossal crater count complete

first_imgMars is pocked with more than 300,000 craters, created by asteroid impacts. The moon is blanketed with millions more, too many to count. But the surface of Earth, constantly eroded by wind and rain, hides its history. Just 128 confirmed impact craters have been spotted on Earth’s surface. However, a new study suggests that this low number is not the result of lazy searching; all of the big impact craters on the planet’s surface have been found, leaving none to be discovered.“I’m definitely surprised.” says Brandon Johnson, a planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who was not involved in the study. “It’s the first time anyone has done this kind of thing—taking into account the effects of erosion.”In 2014, Johnson led a similar study, which found that for craters 85 kilometers in diameter and larger, the geologic record ought to be complete. Based on the rate of impacts and the age of the crust, his team predicted eight craters this size, and there are six or seven that have been confirmed. These giant craters are deep enough to survive erosion, but they can be destroyed by plate tectonics, which splits apart, subducts, or otherwise jumbles up the crust the craters sit on—a process Johnson’s study examined.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Now, Stefan Hergarten and Thomas Kenkmann, geophysicists at the University of Freiburg in Germany, have taken the analysis further and found that the documented record is complete down to much smaller impact craters. They combined estimates of asteroid impact rates with rates of erosion, and compared the resulting theoretical crater distribution with what geologists actually see. For the 70 craters larger than 6 kilometers across, the record is complete, they say: There are no more to be found, as the researchers will report in the 1 September issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters.On one hand, the result is reassuring, Hergarten says. “It tells us that it’s not just others being too stupid to find new craters,” he says. On the other hand, it suggests researchers should change their focus. Crater hunters should give up the search for big ones and focus on finding smaller ones. Perhaps 350 craters between 0.25 kilometers and 6 kilometers wide remain undiscovered, Hergarten says.The new paper is consistent with the diminishing returns of crater hunting, says Jay Melosh, an impact crater expert at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. In spite of ever-improving remote sensing techniques, which enable almost anyone to search for circular features on Earth’s surface, fewer and fewer true craters are turning up, he says. “What the new paper does is give the crater hunters a lot of hope for smaller craters,” Melosh says.Johnson points out that the current study examines just surface craters. There are also 60 documented craters that have been buried, and preserved, in basins, underneath deep piles of sediment. Some are quite big. One example is Chicxulub, in Mexico, the remnant of the dinosaur-killing impact; another large crater lies underneath the Chesapeake Bay in the eastern United States. So if big is your thing, you’re not completely out of work, Johnson says. “Don’t stop searching,” he says, “just search deeper.”last_img read more

Sensationalism: 24-hour TV channels redefine news to cater to new viewing preferences

first_imgIt sounded like an innocuous question from a TV reporter – “It will be your brother’s birthday three days from now, how do you plan to celebrate it?” Except it was at the funeral of the boy in question, Abhishek Mishra.A final-year student of the Birla Institute of Technology, Mishra,It sounded like an innocuous question from a TV reporter – “It will be your brother’s birthday three days from now, how do you plan to celebrate it?” Except it was at the funeral of the boy in question, Abhishek Mishra.A final-year student of the Birla Institute of Technology, Mishra had drowned in a waterfall near Ranchi, a death instantly propelled into the spotlight because he was accompanied to the excursion by Railways Minister Lalu Prasad’s daughter Ragini.Welcome to the loud, weird world of 24-hour news television with its parallel universe of breathless and sometimes heartless anchors, the unlikely stars and specials with cheesy B-movie titles. It’s a mad mix of news and nonsense, causes and circuses, fundamental issues and feel-good frivolity. It is often grisly, sometimes ghoulish and usually plain voyeuristic.Sensationalism is taking over Indian mediaClick here to EnlargeFrom the public visit to Varanasi of a very private couple (Abhishek Ki Ash) to the private spat between a very public couple (Rahul Ne Shweta Ko Rulaya), every episode is designed for maximum impact and minimum illumination. Want a quick scroll?Try this. Nagin Ka Khauf, the saga of a 12-year old boy pursued by a snake; Prem Tapasya, the tale of a yogi living in with his disciple; Gharwali Baharwali, the story of a man’s extramarital affair; or Maut ka Drama, wherein Kunjilal, a 75-year-old astrologer from Betul, Madhya Pradesh, had the country holding its collective breath after claiming he would die between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on October 20 last year.advertisementIt’s the kind of shrill in-your-face coverage that had Naresh Gupta, Adobe India CEO, bowing before the media and beseeching them to stop the saturation coverage of his four-year old son Anant because the kidnappers could have harmed him.”In the new global economy viewers look for titillation in news which is why we show a lot of cinema, lots of cricket and plenty of crime.”LAXMI NARAIN GOEL,  DIRECTOR – NEWS GROUP, ZEE NEWS It’s also the kind of relentless campaigning that can force Priyadarshini Mattoo (see box) to get justice seven years after she was murdered.In this chaos and cacophony, it is easy to miss the real megastar-the medium itself: Twenty-four-hour news TV, which reaches out to 50 million cable homes in a dozen languages. At nearly 20 per cent per annum, it’s growing full throttle. With 38 news channels at last count, more than in any nation on the planet, news TV is growing faster than any other genre in India.From just two channels six years ago, one new news channel joins the race every four months now. As a genre, television news viewership ranks fifth, below  entertainment, regional, sports and children’s channels.”Viewership ratings are a critical element because we depend on advertising revenue and clients go by research findings.” G . KRISHNAN , CEO , TV TODAY From a nation that first tasted satellite TV thanks to a news event, the 1991 Gulf War, India now binges on news TV. A study by public relations firm Edelman shows that 49 per cent of Indians tune in to TV first for trustworthy news and information, compared to just 31 per cent in Asia Pacific-TV has clearly beaten newspapers as the medium of first contact with news.When a five-year-old boy spends 52 Truman Show-like hours in a 60-ft well, the entire nation watches and prays even if it means listening to: “Dharti mata ki god mein pachaas ghante bitane ke baad, ab apni ma ki god mein hai Prince (after spending 50 hours in the lap of the earth, Prince is now in his mother’s lap).””Sensationalism in place of substance, trivia in place of content, exaggeration instead of moderation and living for the instant and not even the hour have become the greed of contemporary visual media,” says Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, himself no stranger to the siren-like allure of the cameras.A 61-hour songathon by Aakansha Jachak of Indore created a world recordClick here to EnlargeFrom political parties to business houses, everyone courts news channels, timing their announcements around prime time and judging the importance of a news event by the presence of OB vans. It’s also raking in the cash.Six years back, news television had less than a 2 per cent share of the total TV advertising market. It now stands at nearly 12 per cent or Rs 650 crore of the annual Rs 5,500 crore TV ad spend. “It’s a demand-and-supply combination, because there is a certain male audience for products like automobiles, banking and finance which TV news brings in,” says Shekhar Swamy, president of R.K. Swamy BBDO Advertising.advertisement”As the fastest growing genre of television, news has in fact been eating into the primetime viewing of popular soaps.”L.V. KRISHNAN, CEO, TAM MEDIA RESEARCH The growth of news television has also been fuelled by lower launch costs. Aaj Tak, a 24-hour news channel which is part of the India Today Group, was launched at a cost of Rs 40 crore in December 2000. Today, however, it costs only Rs 3 crore to launch a small news channel.Bandwidth costs on satellites have dropped from approximately $3500 (Rs 1.5 lakh) per Mhz per month to $2000 (Rs 90,000) per Mhz per month for regional beam and $6500 (Rs 2.9 lakh) per Mhz per month for wide beam to $5000 (Rs 2.2 lakh) per Mhz per month.This growth is now beginning to bite at the heels of TV’s prime locomotive, the soap. Two years ago Delhi housewife Nancy Hajela, 42, cut down on watching Ekta Kapoor serials because they were getting increasingly predictable.News TV is mutating, changing the audienceClick here to EnlargeShe watches over four hours of news every day now. “It’s much more interesting,” she says. Now, Harish Tomar driving a car from the passenger seat triggers more public debate than Parvati’s travails in Kahani Ghar Ghar Kii.This broadening of the audience has led to a change in the profile of the TV news advertiser. The usual profile of the TV advertiser-a mix of corporates and financial services-is now slowly giving way to FMCG firms and consumer durables. “News TV has managed to broad-base itself to a mass audience,” says Television Audience Measurement (TAM) CEO L.V. Krishnan.Very hyped Prince case and ghost running a carClick here to EnlargeTelevision news, which would have completely ignored nobodies like Kunjilal even two years ago, has now begun chasing them. The interest is often mutual. So when retired government employee Chedi Lal, borrowing from Lage Raho Munnabhai’s Gandhigiri, stripped down to his briefs in Lucknow in October to demand a revision in pension, he remembered to bring a TV camera crew along.If the definition of news has changed, so has the coverage-with well-groomed anchors, anchors, designer clothes and colloquial Hindi. “TV covers everything from a funeral to a Friday cricket match with the same sense of breathless urgency. If everything is important and nothing is trivial, then what is news,” asks sociologist Shiv Visvanathan.Well, how about rival ghosts battling over a village belle and women claiming to be reincarnated snakes- Zee News even runs a half-hour weekly show, Kaal Kapaal Mahakaal, devoted to the paranormal. Critics say the channels that blur the distinctions between news and entertainment run the risk of diluting their brand character.TV’S BODY LINEEven gestures, a lack thereof, make headlines and multiple action replaysSALMAN’S HUG: All his Salaam-e-Ishq co-stars got a hug onstage at a fashion show, except John AbrahamCHAPPELL’S MIDDLE FINGER: The coach showed it to Ganguly supporters at Eden GardensadvertisementPONTING’S PUSH: The Aussie captain and his mates shoved Sharad Pawar off the frameUMA’S TEARS: Her tearful allegations of a murder plot at a press meet got her ratings “The day you become entertainment, you lose your credibility as a news channel,” says Channel V head Amar K. Deb, who has launched the show Well Done, a spoof on the TV news genre, with fake anchors like Charkha Bahar. MTV veejay Cyrus Broacha, who anchors another news spoof on CNN-IBN, is on his knees: “We were always the most shallow form of television and we looked up to news TV. Now, after stories of milk adulteration and casting couches, we bow to them. They are the originals.”Sometimes news TV crosses the line altogether-media persons who handed 30-year-old Manoj Mishra diesel and a matchbox in Patna to set himself on fire on August 15, now stand charged with homicide and abetment of suicide.Sometimes, it gets taken for a ride-TV crews in Delhi were shocked to discover that the ‘special police officer’ they were interviewing over a Belgian diplomat’s murder in September, was actually a local resident who did a Borat on the channels.TV reporters from the “aap ko kaisa lagta hain (how do you feel)” school of journalism routinely quiz their subjects with this line. When asked how he felt when his older brother Shammi was in the ICU, actor Shashi Kapoor retorted that he felt like dancing. Another bright-eyed reporter asked Naresh Gupta’s distraught wife if she felt like crying because her son had been kidnapped. “Vultures aren’t becoming extinct,” rues a senior TV journalist, “they are joining TV.””There are competitive pressures and we cannot be oblivious to the market. The challenge is to avoid getting into the sandpit.” RAJ DEEP SARDESAI , EDITOR – IN – CHIEF, CNN – IBN Channel heads, however, say trivial TV is the exception and not the rule, and point to the larger crisis of content that all media faces. “There are competitive pressures and we cannot be oblivious to the market; the challenge is to avoid getting into the sandpit,” says Rajdeep Sardesai, editor-in-chief, CNN-IBN. The sandpit is the mayhem called primetime which has Hindi language channels battling to the death with stories of shock and awe.”In an average of 500 hours of fresh programming beamed every day, such incidents don’t take up even five hours or just 1 per cent of programming,” says Star News CEO Uday Shankar. Yet, it is these exceptions which supply the rocket fuel for channel ratings in an age when channel heads say the ordinary simply doesn’t sell.Matuk Nath, Julie case in Patna and Maut ka drama in MPClick here to EnlargeThe problem is no one knows what will sell. “How can we explain that even in a mature market like Delhi, the viewership of Mumbai blasts was a lot lower than that of the small boy who miraculously survived a 60-ft fall?” asks G. Krishnan, CEO, TV Today, which broadcasts Aaj Tak and Headlines Today (both sister concerns of INDIA TODAY).On December 12, 2005, Aaj Tak exposed 11 corrupt MPs accepting cash on camera in return for asking questions in Parliament, a moral victory for the traditional tenets of journalism. “Yet, when we showcased a car being driven without anyone on the driver’s seat, it drove our viewership through the roof. The car story got a channel share of 41 per cent, while Operation Duryodhan got just 35 per cent,” says Krishnan.Sameer Manchanda, joint managing director, CNN-IBN, says the media is at an evolutionary cusp which channels looking for their own evolutionary positioning. “It’s not always a numbers game-a loyal audience gets a bigger premium than a mass audience.”Indian media has turned the spotlight on the corrupt and crimesClick here to EnlargeWith channels engaged in a bloody war for ratings based on TAM, channel heads privately rue what they call the TAM-ification of news TV. “If you don’t have high ratings, you don’t have ads and if you don’t have ads, you are dead in the water as TV has no secondary revenue source,” says a channel head.Is this race sustainable? Sociologists predict the end of tamasha news. “Indian viewers are gradually learning to discern the difference between news and trivia and they are now much more critical. I only expect it to get sharper over the years,” says sociologist Ashis Nandy. Until then, it’s going to be snake chases, ghost sightings, reincarnation dramas and driverless cars.last_img read more