Hollywood’s most memorable films are showcased in this impressive motion design project.Brazilian motion graphics artist Pier Paolo knocks it out of the park with the short video below. Recently chosen as a Vimeo Staff Pick, Paolo’s ‘Cinematics’ recreates scenes and characters from famous films using shape layers in After Effects. He notes, an inverse kinematics script is used to animate the legs (for an example of this script see this post on MotionScript).The video excels with a flat, minimalist aesthetic. Characters animate and transform into each other – Charlie Chaplin morphs into Gene Kelly (Singing in the Rain), A Clockwork Orange seamlessly transforms into The Godfather.Check out Pier’s Behance for more info on the project or his personal site.We’ll bet this is the best 1 minute of video you’ll see all week:
Learn how to open multiple copies of After Effects with this helpful hack.If you’re working on multiple projects at the same time, you may have found that it is impossible to have more than one project open at the same time in After Effects. This can be frustrating for users that are working on a bunch of projects concurrently – the constant saving, closing projects, opening others, jumping back and forth.In the following video tutorial we learn a hack for having multiple After Effects projects open at the same time on your system.1. Find the After Effects CC folder on your computer.2. Right-Click After Effects and Select ‘Show Package Contents’.3. Navigate to the MacOS Folder.4. Double-Click ‘After Effects’.There you go! This video was first shared by Joren Kandel on The Pixel Lab Vimeo Channel. Thanks for sharing Joren!Have you had any trouble using this hack? Share in the comments below.
Image via Panasonic.Compressed codecs reduce the size of the media by disregarding information that is not essential for viewing. This is not to say that compressed video footage will look awful. I think there’s a misconception that compressed footage is bad. Perhaps 99-100 percent of what the general population views each day is compressed: YouTube videos, BluRays, the news, and so on.However, on a technical aspect, it’s important to know that the data information in some of the frames is not complete. Every frame in a clip is not a full frame. If that’s the case, what are we seeing?The DaVinci Resolve 12.5 Editing 101 guide has perhaps the clearest explanation of how GOP compression works.The first frame of a GOP structure is an I-Frame (or intraframe), and it contains all the information for that one particular frame, practically uncompressed. The next frame is called b-frame (or bidirectional) which only stores the changes or differences between the I frame and the B frame. Typically, there is then a second B frame followed by a P-frame (or predictive frame) which merely predicts what the structure will look like based on the information of the previous b-frames.Above is a rendition of the Long GOP compression from Wex Photographic. The compression will often have a lot more P and B frames between the I-frame.So, in layman’s terms, GOP compression only displays the changes between both I-frames. If pixel 3,465 is the same at I-Frame 1 as it is in I-frame 2, there will be no change throughout the bi-directional or predictive frames. While this appears fine for most, fundamentally it’s not the true frame information as found in the I-Frame (sometimes referred to as the keyframe). The further compressed a video file is, the further apart the I-frames, and the less “real” frames there are to interpret. This is when we start seeing video footage filled with artifacts and missing data. This is due to heavy compression.In the video below, Kristian Hampton of Wex Photographic explains the difference between the two compression formats and offers some visual examples.The newest addition to the GH5 is another form of compression called All-Intra, or sometimes referred to as All-I, which you might have guessed, solely contains I-frames. Therefore, every frame retains the full amount of information, resulting in a higher-quality media file (at the expense of data size), with each frame at a consistent quality. There’s no predictive pixel data being created; what you see is what you captured — much like film stock.While All-I is going to be a valuable tool for those who work at the pixel level and for those who work with extremely tight frame-by-frame editing, ultimately, if you’re a casual user of the GH5, you don’t have to worry about spending extra cash on a larger and faster memory card. You’ve undoubtedly been amazed at the quality the GH5 produces, and this has been with the Long GOP compression.Remember when I said compression was a tedious subject? Well, mispronounce or misspell intra to inter, and you’re talking about an entirely different compression. The latest firmware update for the GH5 is finally available. Here’s what you need to know about compression.Cover image via Shutterstock.The highly anticipated V2.0 firmware for the Panasonic GH5 is finally became available. One of the newest features is the ability to record with an ALL-Intra compression, rather than using Long GOP. With all the excitement over this new addition to the GH5, many casual GH5 owners are flocking to the forums to find out what the fuss is about and if it is worth purchasing larger memory cards to film with the new compression format.First, we have to understand a little bit about codecs (COmpression-DECompression). By nature, the very subject can be tedious to learn about, so we’re only going to focus on the areas surrounding the GH5.Typically codecs fall into two categories: compressed and uncompressed.
We chatted with screenwriter Megan Weaver about her script “The Starfish” and some insights for pitching your screenplay.If you’re an aspiring screenwriter (or, heck, just a filmmaker), I’d highly recommend checking out the Austin Film Festival. The Austin Film Festival (AFF) is well-known as the “writer’s film festival,” and it showcases some of the strongest scripts recently to hit the screen — or even still in pre-production. (You can read more of PremiumBeat’s Austin Film Festival coverage here.)At AFF, it’s not hard to to run into an aspiring screenwriter. With full slates of panels and workshops during the day, and networking events and mixers at nights (to go along with dozens of screenings), you’re always within earshot of a conversation about character arcs or the nuances of dialogue.One up-and-coming screenwriter (as well as a director and playwright) whom we ran into was the talented Megan Weaver, whose project, The Starfish, was a semi-finalist in the Drama and Enderby category at AFF. Weaver had these insights to share about her festival experience and how she was able to break her feature down into a successful 90-second pitch for the AFF Pitch Competition.PremiumBeat: How did you get into screenwriting?Megan Weaver: I’m a theater director and playwright, and I do a lot of experimental devised work. When the seeds of my screenplay The Starfish first started sprouting in my mind, I thought maybe it was the beginnings of another original theater piece. But as I explored it further, it revealed itself to me as a realist coming-of-age drama-comedy. With that, I realized it should be a film. So I started teaching myself the fundamentals of screenwriting, and started outlining . . . and a year and a half later, here I am!Photo by Tyler Eglen (via Megan Weaver).PB: Tell us a little bit about your script.MW: The Starfish is a teen coming-of-age drama romp about two queer teenagers vying for the same leadership position at an evangelical Quaker camp. Think Love, Simon meets Saved! My protagonist, Vi, is a transgender boy who’s only recently come out to himself and outwardly still looks like the soulful, androgynous girl his friends think they know. Like a starfish, it’s not possible to tell his gender from the outside. When he’s nominated to be the camp’s next youth leader, he’s thrust into the crosshairs of Mallory, a sanctimonious homeschooler who desperately wants the position for herself. Mallory believes Vi is a lesbian, and the church has a clear policy against gays in leadership. Mal would know — she’s in love with a fellow female camper. When the youth choose Vi, Mallory fires off a chain reaction that causes him to be wrongly outed as gay. Vi is stripped of the position and forced to choose between coming out as trans before he’s ready, or losing the only spiritual home he’s ever had. But in a mud-slinging Capture-the-Flag climax, he and Mallory reach a surprise alliance that gives him the courage to embrace his truth without explanation and leave the church for good. When he does, he discovers that just as a starfish can drop a limb only to have it regenerate, sometimes breaking away is the only way to be born again.PB: How did you find out about the Austin Film Festival?MW: I live in Austin, so I was aware of the festival before I wrote my own screenplay. After I finished my first draft, I joined a local writer’s group, and all they could talk about was how great the festival was for emerging/aspiring writers. That was in November 2017, and I set my sights then on attending in 2018.PB: Tell us about your pitch submission process.MW: I bought the pitch ticket on a whim, feeling like if my script didn’t progress through the screenwriting competition, this would be another opportunity to give it some exposure. I started writing the pitch about three weeks before the festival, because I knew with a 90-second limit every word would count, and I wanted plenty of revision time. So by the time my pitch day rolled around, I had really internalized what I wanted to say. I also sat in on a pitch session the day before mine to see what it was like, and I took notes on the strongest pitches and the judges’ feedback. That helped me refine my final version, so by the time I got up there I felt super prepared and clear on how best to present my work.Image via Megan Weaver.PB: Do you have any advice about how you were able to condense your story into the 90-seconds needed for the pitch competition?MW: The best pitches I listened to had three major things in common: they emphasized the central human relationship at the heart of their story, they included a couple major plot twists that genuinely surprised me, and they ended with a strong final phrase that evoked both the title and thematic heart. It’s basic storytelling — get me emotionally invested in your characters, tell me their goal or mission, throw a big obstacle or two in their way that cause them to transform and grow, and then button it up nice and tight. So I went back to my pitch and mapped out if I had those basic ingredients, cutting anything that was superfluous and highlighting those key components. It streamlined it immediately, and it came out to almost exactly 90 seconds.PB: How was the competition at AFF? Did you notice any trends from the other film pitches?MW: The best pitches made me feel something. And I think the best pitchers were comfortable, un-rushed, and didn’t feel too performative. No one likes to feel like they’re being sold to. Just tell a great story, and be practiced and confident in the telling. The people who could do that in 90 seconds, taking us on a surprising journey from start to finish and either making us laugh or (at least inwardly want to) cry, to me, invoked the most confidence that their scripts would be equally sophisticated and worth a read.PB: What’s next for your project?MW: I’d love to make a short film out of a key scene early in the feature, in which Vi is trying to figure out how to change clothes in the girls’ cabin. He’s no longer comfortable being seen naked by his girlfriends who are lounging all around him, gossiping freely about sex and boys. He ends up hiding in his bunk bed to change, and the cramped awkwardness of trying to change in that tiny space contrasts with the feminine freedom of the girls. But a new girl, Olivia, picks up on Vi’s discomfort and befriends him after lights out, planting the seeds of a love story that’s central to the feature. Ultimately I’d like to direct the feature, and this short would be a calling card for that vision.Image by Matthew Ragan (via Megan Weaver).PB: Do you have any advice for aspiring screenwriters or filmmakers that you’d like to share from your AFF experience?MW: I think pitching is an amazing tool for getting at the heart of your story. Especially with that 90-second constraint. I recommend it to anyone as a core part of the writing process. Even though my script is finished and even placed in the screenwriting competition, pitching it revealed its strengths and weaknesses in a new way, and I’m making rewrites based on those discoveries.Also, I know a lot of writers are nervous about attending the conference alone, especially the social events. But AFF people are sooo friendly, and there are dozens of other aspiring writers who can share the wisdom of their experiences. I made several great new friends, and I’m a true introvert. So embrace the butterflies and show up. It’s absolutely worth it.Cover image by Daniel Cariño (via Megan Weaver).For more information, you can follow Megan Weaver on her page here, and her film project on its page here. For more screenwriting resources and filmmaker interviews, check out some of these articles.Interview: Tracy Andreen on the Romance of Writing for Hallmark5 Important Tools Every Screenwriter Should HaveJonah Hill on Writing and Directing Mid90s — and Tips He Learned from the Greats6 Free Scriptwriting Resources for Your Next ScreenplayScreenwriter James V. Hart on Career, Coppola, and Creating a Method
No one wants to make an error. Whether a mistake costs you an opportunity, a client, or something else, it isn’t a pleasant experience.One of the reasons we hate making mistakes is the fact that other people are keeping score. The bigger the mistake, the longer—and more vividly—it will be remembered. And the longer you’ll be reminded of it. Errors come with pain.But as bad as errors feel, they serve a useful purpose: they inoculate you against future errors.Inoculate YourselfThe pain of making the mistake leaves an indelible mark. The embarrassment of making a public mistake can be even more painful. You don’t need anyone to remind you of the mistake; your inner critic normally takes care of that for you. That pain is one of the reasons that when you make a mistake, you inoculate yourself against future harm.Here is how you can make sure you inoculate yourself from future errors and learn from your mistakes.What did you believe?: It isn’t enough to recognize an error. You need to why you made the mistake. What did you believe when you took the action that resulted in the error? What did you think would happen?When I was really young, I made the mistake of reading (in excessively great detail) my presentation to my prospective clients. I believed they were interested in knowing everything about my company. They weren’t interested in knowing every detail, every feature, and every benefit.Why was this an error?: What happened? Why did the action you take result in an error?By reading the presentation to clients, I bored them to tears (and in one extreme case, I believe I caused an actual coma). By substituting marketing material for real business acumen (something I didn’t have) and situational knowledge (something I did have) I caused the prospective client to disengage.What would you change?: If you could call for a do-over, what would you change? If you encounter a similar situation in the future, what will you do different next time? What facts will provide you with proof that what you did before will fail this time?I stopped reading the presentation to my prospective clients. I learned to listen and pick out the two or three things I needed to provide proof on and point only to those few pages for reinforcement.Experience is a wonderful (if sometimes brutal) teacher. One of the reasons that errors are so powerful at inoculating you against future mistakes is that they come with emotional pain. To inoculate yourself from errors, you have to learn from them and choose differently in the future.QuestionsWhat errors have you made lately? Were they public or private?Did the error you made come with emotional pain or embarrassment?What did you believe that caused you to make the mistake?How will you identify situations in the future so that you don’t make the same again? Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now
There is an old joke about “vegetarian” being a Native American word for “terrible hunter.”More and more, I see sales organizations trying to outsource all forms of hunting, including lead generation, lead nurturing, and appointment setting (read cold calling). These organizations are creating vegetarian sales forces. They are creating salespeople who don’t know how to hunt, and some who refuse to hunt. It’s a poor culture for a sales organization.Marketing can and should help generate awareness and generate leads. But the leads that marketing generates are the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. A good salesperson will never rely on anyone else to generate their leads, knowing that they alone are responsible for making their number (the good people in marketing aren’t carrying a quota, and no one in that role is going to lose their job when you don’t make your number). You have to know who and where your targets are.Marketing can also help nurture leads, but it doesn’t have the same impact as when the salesperson nurtures their own dream clients. No one ever says, “I’ve really developed a close relationship and great trust with your marketing department over the last twelve months. I think I am ready for them to assign a salesperson to my account.” You need to nurture your own dream client accounts. You need to be known, and you need to be someone they recognize as a value-creator. No one from marketing will know your dream client contacts-you will.Now let’s deal with the phone. Having someone else make your calls and book your appointments doesn’t give your dream client the perception that you are professional. It doesn’t create some great mystique that makes you somehow worth meeting with. If you care about your dream client, if you really want their business, you wouldn’t relegate the calling to someone who can’t create value for your client. It’s one thing to have some help so that you can compress the time it takes you to schedule appointments, but it is another to absolve yourself of the responsibility to hunt.If you are in sales, you are responsible for hunting. You are responsible for client acquisition, from target to close. That makes you a hunter. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
Unless there is a line of people outside your building in the morning, your product is not compelling enough by itself. You are a large part of the value proposition.
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now The first time I wrote about competition on my blog, I received a number of negative comments and a few emails. The people reached out to me were unhappy with my describing sales as a “blood sport.” It was hyperbolic, for sure, but I was trying to make a point about the nature of sales, namely that it is a zero sum game (a game where one wins and everyone else loses). In their view, even speaking of competition in terms of winning and losing was enough to cause sales to abandon their integrity and employ a “whatever it takes” approach to selling.Zero SumBelieving that the zero sum nature of sale is what causes bad sales behaviors is to misunderstand how one wins clients and what really causes high pressure, hard sell, smarmy, self-oriented, and illegal or immoral tactics.Just beating the competition is no longer acceptable. It’s about putting them in their place–second place–and keeping them there. Eat Their Lunch is direct, on point, and on the money. Your money. – Jeffrey GitomerClient acquisition is where businesses compete in the marketplace, and in B2B sales most of that competition occurs in sales (with marketing being less of a factor than in B2C sales). You never see the accounting managers or the directors of operations for two different companies competing with each other. It’s rare that you see anyone outside of sales sitting in a company’s lobby waiting for their competitor to finish their presentation so they can follow them with a presentation designed to ensure they win—and the person whose name sits right above them on the sign in sheet loses. If you do see an operations person in the client’s lobby, there is no doubt they are accompanied by a salesperson.Almost none of the salespeople who compete for business are willing to put their integrity or their reputation on the line to win a deal. They know that trust is the currency in which they trade, and that once lost, it may be gone forever. This is why salespeople prefer to lose than to lie to a client. There are, however, a small minority of who operate outside the boundaries of fair play.Low Moral IntelligenceThe small minority of salespeople who behave badly do so because they have a low moral intelligence, or what we call MQ. When people believe competition means they need to do “whatever it takes,” their low moral intelligence is what cause them to do things like lie to clients about other companies, lie about their own capabilities, offering kickbacks, hiding terms and conditions, and using high pressure techniques.Competition is no more responsible for the bad behavior of the salespeople than it is the bad behavior of CEOs, CFOs, or the athlete that cheats to win a game. Competition is built on fair play, not cheating.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (61.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSOutreach.io is the Title Sponsor of the OutBound Conference 2019 Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
From Muslims cleaning up and organising puja at a temple to 1,000 specially-designed ‘Herath’ greeting cards, this Shivratri Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims bonded and reached out to each other, with social media providing a rare platform to relive past memories.Pandits’ migrationFor perhaps the first time since hundreds of Pandit families migrated outside the Valley in the face of raging militancy in the 1990s, villagers, young and old, of Sumbal village in Bandipora, 30 km away from Srinagar, converged on the Nand Kishore temple, located under the shade of mighty chinar trees early in the morning. They were carrying brooms and water containers in hand.“We have decided to clean up the premises of the temple for the Pandits. We want them to perform puja with all reverence and without any sense of insecurity,” said Rashid Dar, a local.Several locals were seen carrying placards. “Let’s celebrate next Herath (a term used by Kashmiri Pandits for shivratri) together in the valley,” the placards read, an apparent reference to the return of Pandits to their native places.The Sumbal area has witnessed growing militancy this year, with around six encounters already reported.Scores of Valley-based Muslim netizens greeted Pandits on the occasion as social media provided a rare platform to recall old memories. “I miss water-soaked walnuts that Pandits would offer to Muslims in neighbourhood. For ‘salam’, I would visit Pandits the next day after herath,” recalled Ashraf Kishoo on Facebook.The traditionThose Pandits who stayed back followed the tradition of keeping water-soaked walnuts for Muslim neighbours. More than 3,000 families decided to stay back despite the militancy.The Kashmiri Pandits’ herath is different from the rest of the country. Unlike Hindus elsewhere, Pandits here would cook both fish and meat dishes on the occasion.“For the first time in my living memory, I heard that some Kashmiri Pandits elsewhere will not celebrate it a day before. I am not sure whether this is about the lunar calendar being uniquely erratic this year or about the reinvention of tradition to eventually erase the differences between Kashmiri Pandits and Indian Hindus,” said Nitasha Kaul, a Pandit novelist who authored Residue.In another gesture, the government mailed through post offices specially-designed herath greeting cards.Greeting cards “Around 1,000 greeting cards were delivered to Pandit families. The card highlights the poetry of Lal Ded, equally revered by Muslims and Pandits. It carries the picture of a stone temple of Mansbal that was restored with the help of locals. The idea is highlight the rich culture the State has nurtured for centuries,” Works Minister and government spokesman Nayeem Akhtar said.
Scuffle took place inside the Jammu and Kashmir assembly over the implementation of Goods and Services Tax bill. MLAs were seen bashing each other after Engineer Rashid clashed with the Bharatiya Janata Party members against the imposition of the GST bill, following which, Mr. Rashid was supported by the Opposition party. Following the ruckus, the Assembly was adjourned till 2:30 pm.
Lashing out at the BJP for its “greed for power”, BSP supremo Mayawati on Saturday said the recent developments in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat had put “democracy at risk”.“The political developments in Goa, Manipur, Bihar and now in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh are proof enough that the Modi government has put democracy at risk,” she said in a statement here.“BJP’s greed for power has turned into lust for power. The manner in which the official machinery and power is being misused is most condemnable,” she said.The BSP chief said the central government had misused its power in a very blatant manner in Gujarat, following which MLAs have been forced to leave their state and move to a safer place.After forming its government in Goa and Manipur by “crushing democracy”, whatever is happening in Bihar, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh is an example of misuse of official machinery like ED, CBI, income tax etc against opposition leaders, she said.All this is being done to divert attention from the wrong policies and works of the BJP government, she added.“The governments in Odisha and West Bengal are also facing ‘official’ terror,” she alleged. On the resignation by three MLCs, two from Samajwadi Party and one of BSP in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati said rather than bowing before the BJP, they should have faced the challenge.
Cracking a whip on lawmakers who cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha election, the Congress on Wednesday expelled eight MLAs, including former Leader of the Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela, from the party for six years.Those who have been expelled are Mr. Vaghela’s son Mahendrasinh, C.K. Raolji, Karamshi Patel, Amit Chaudhary, Bhola Gohil, Raghavji Patel and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, who voted against the party candidate Ahmed Patel, defied the party whip and voted for Balwantsinh, a BJP candidate.“They were working against the party by voting against the party’s nominee in the Rajya Sabha poll where every legislator was required to follow the party’s whip,” Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki told The Hindu.Legal recourseThe party is likely to pursue legal recourse to ensure that the expelled legislators cannot contest any election for six years.“There is a Supreme Court judgment under which any legislator or MP who has voted defying the party whip stands disqualified as a legislator or MP and also gets debarred from contesting any election for six years,” Mr. Solanki added.
The ultras then set ablaze four vehicles and machines before fleeing the spot, he said. The IG said that according to information reaching him, they also kidnapped and killed the contractor, but it was yet to be confirmed.Security forces were sent to the spot and more details were awaited, he added.On March 14, 2018, naxals had burnt seven vehicles and machines engaged in road construction between Bijapur and Gangaloor in the district.Also Read A day before that, nine personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in an IED blast, when Maoists blew up their mine-protected vehicle (MPV) in Sukma district.On February 18 this year, the rebels had set fire to several vehicles involved in road construction work between Bhejji and Elarmadgu in Sukma district and killed an employee of the construction contractor.Also Read Naxals on Monday set on fire four vehicles and machines engaged in road construction work in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, a police official said.The contractor was feared to have been abducted and killed, but there was no official confirmation yet, he said.The incident took place this morning between Tumnar and Koitpal villages, where the road construction work was going on under the Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojna, Deputy Inspector General of Police (south Bastar range) Sundarraj P. said.According to preliminary information, a group of armed Naxals stormed the construction site, located around seven kilometres from Bijapur town and about 450 km from the state capital, and threatened the labourers to stop the work, he said.Also Read CRPF team ambushed close to two new camps Forces enter core Maoist bastion, conflict may intensify He had come for wife’s baby shower Naxals have frequently tried to disrupt road construction works in the Bastar division, which consists of seven districts, by launching attacks on security forces and damaging the roads, and vehicles and machines used in the work, a senior police official had earlier said.
Armed with laptops and smartphones, the criminals virtually set up call centres. Usually posing as bank representatives, they make cold calls to unsuspecting account holders and manage to extract personal details from them on various pretexts, sometimes even promising financial rewards.Also Read The cyber con ‘artists’ of Jharkhand’s Jamtara district All such accused have been booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the relevant provisions of the Information Technology Act. While the local police have arrested more than 100 such offenders and even set up a cyber crime division for a constant watch on suspects, investigating agencies from 22 States are also on the lookout for them. In Madhya Pradesh’s Bhilai itself, more than 700 people have been cheated by Jamtara-based gangs. The information is used to access the accounts for illegal online transfer of money. The cheaters also often use Voice over IP (VoIP) to make calls, which makes it difficult for the police to either monitor or trace them.The suspects are said to have learnt the tricks of the trade while working in mobile phone shops and call-centres across the country. The criminals use e-wallets with money illegally withdrawn from accounts transferred to these e-wallets and then used for making online purchases and payments. E-wallets are opened using mobile phone numbers procured on the basis of fake or fraudulently arranged identification papers.The vast amounts obtained as a result of cyber crime in rural and remote Jamtara has seen a spurt in palatial houses and high end vehicles in the area. Accused Mondal has three houses worth over ₹85 lakh apart from an SUV and three bikes. It is alleged that Yadav has amassed illegal wealth of over ₹50 lakh in the past five years. Cyber crime hubs of Jharkhand’s Jamtara district The Enforcement Directorate has registered a money laundering case against groups operating from Jamtara in Jharkhand, said to be one of the biggest hubs of cyber crime in the country. Those running the racket are alleged to have cheated thousands of people across the country.The agency’s main focus is on the cyber offences committed allegedly by a group led by Santosh Yadav, Jugal Mondal and Pradeep Kumar Mondal. While the police have lodged FIRs against the masterminds, the Directorate aims to attach the proceeds of crime under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).An FIR registered against Mr. Jugal Mondal and his five associates at the Narayanpur police station in Jamtara alleges that he “is an active cyber criminal and has no legitimate source of income”. The group cheat people through a modus operandi commonly known as “vishing” or voice “phishing”.
Governor Satya Pal Malik’s comments hinting at the future Mayor of Srinagar, even as elections to the urban local bodies in the State are yet to be concluded, drew sharp criticism from several parties including the Congress, the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).“The way the Governor has unequivocally expressed his intentions, by hinting towards a particular individual beforehand for Mayor’s post of Srinagar, is what casts a shadow on the whole election process, already mired in controversies,” senior NC leader and MLA Eidgah Mubarak Gul said on Tuesday. “It puts a big question mark on the impartiality of the Governor’s office.” In an interview to a national TV news channel, Mr. Malik said “a foreign educated candidate is likely to become new Mayor of Srinagar.” Elections are yet to be held for 73 out of the 76 wards in Srinagar. Mr. Malik was likely hinting at Junaid Azim Mattu, who has a foreign degree and is contesting from one of Srinagar’s wards. Mr. Mattu quit the NC to contest the polls.Congress state vice president and MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga said, “The Governor being the constitutional head of the State should not play in the hands of BJP-RSS, which is trying to make Raj Bhavan a tool to decide the fate of democratic institutions. It has put a question mark on the credibility of these elections. The results seem decided in advance,” Mr. Monga told The Hindu.Senior PDP leader Nayeem Akhtar described the current electoral exercise as “worse than 1987 elections,” which had been marred by allegations of rigging. “Candidates are imported and results are being declared beforehand. It’s unprecedented and will only erode people’s faith in democratic institutions,” said Mr. Akhtar.Poll timing irks Cong.The State Election Commission’s move to advance polling time by an hour to 6 a.m. for the second phase of elections to the urban local bodies has irked the Congress.Terming the move “an attempt to ferry bogus voters,” Mr. Monga asked: “How can the State Election Commission hold elections before the first light of the day. The sunrise timing is 6:32 a.m. in Srinagar and the election timing should have been ideally moved to 8 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. It’s a ploy to facilitate bogus voting. The state machinery is being misused to favour the BJP candidates in this election,” he said.A total of 1,094 candidates are in the fray for the 384 wards that will be covered in the second phase of the civic body polls in J&K on Wednesday. Sixty five candidates have already been declared elected without a contest. As many as 11 wards were uncontested in central Kashmir’s Chrar-e-Sharief tehsil, followed by Langate with nine wards, and Anantnag with nine wards — with the sole candidates, fielded by the BJP, emerging as winners.J&K is witnessing civic body elections after a gap of 10 years. However, the two main regional parties, the NC and the PDP, have boycotted the polls in protest against the Centre’s stand on J&K’s special status.
Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga was sworn in as the ninth Chief Minister of Mizoram on Saturday, beginning his third stint at the helm of the State.Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan also administered the oath of office and secrecy to 11 members of the Zoramthanga Cabinet at the Raj Bhavan in Aizawl. They included the 75-year-old Tawnluia, a former extremist who fought alongside Mr. Zoramthanga when the MNF was an underground organisation seeking secession from India.Mr. Tawnluia is Mizoram’s second Deputy CM after Lal Thanhawla, who had “demoted” himself in 1986 to let the legendary revolutionary Laldenga become Chief Minister after the MNF signed a peace accord with New Delhi that year. Among the five Cabinet Ministers is R. Larzirliana, who was the Home and Excise Minister in Mr Thanhawla’s Congress government.Mr Lalzirliana’s inputs on the strategies adopted by the Congress are believed to have helped the MNF register its best electoral performance, winning 26 seats in the State.Also Read The MNF rewarded J.T. Lalnuntluanga for his giant-killing act — he defeated Mr Thanhawla for the Champhai Sought seat — by making him a Minister of State. Robert Romawia Royte, the owner of the 2016 i-League championship winning Aizawl Football Club, was also among the six Ministers.Mr Royte is an old associate of Mr. Lalzirliana.Lalrinliana Sailo, who had quit the Congress to join the MNF weeks before the November 28 Assembly election, was made the Speaker of the 40-member Mizoram House.“We shall try our best to fulfil our electoral promises and live up to the expectations of the people,” Mr. Zoramthanga said after the oath-taking ceremony.Imposing prohibition would be on top of his government’s agenda, the Chief Minister said. Who is Zoramthanga, the newly elected CM of Mizoram
The third phase of the Pune Metro Rail project would address the traffic woes of lakhs of professionals working and living in one of India’s biggest IT hubs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Tuesday after laying the foundation stone of Line 3 of the Pune Metro rail project.The 23.3 km stretch will link Pune’s IT hub in Hinjewadi with Shivajinagar in the heart of the city.Speaking at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Sports complex in Balewadi, Mr. Modi said,“The Metro is fast turning into a lifeline of a growing city. People, be they students, professionals or businessmen do not want to waste valuable time on commute. They want to maintain a proper work-life balance. This line [bridging Hinjewadi with Shivajinagar] will considerably provide relief to citizens hassled by traffic congestion.” The line is being developed by the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) on the Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis at an estimated cost of ₹8,313 crore.Reiterating the Centre’s commitment to enhancing connectivity in cities, Mr. Modi said the Hinjewadi-Shivajinagar Metro was the first project to be based on a public-private partnership (PPP) model under the Centre’s new policy introduced in 2016.Crediting the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government for bringing the Delhi Metro project to fruition, Mr. Modi administered a veiled rebuke to the opposition for their tardiness in executing development works.“If the Vajpayee government had been given more time, then all parts of Mumbai and many other cities would have been connected by Metro till now…our government has given infrastructural projects like the Metro rail speed and scale,” he said, observing that 650 km of new Metro lines in the country would be completed in the near future.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the proposed Metro line would also help improve the efficiency of Hinjewadi’s IT workforce.“Lakhs of people working at the Hinjewadi IT park have helped put Pune on the global map. Yet, they have had to face severe traffic problems and lose valuable time in their daily commute. So, the decision to launch this metro line was taken by keeping in mind people who are creating jobs and value for us,” Mr. Fadnavis said.He said that employees would be directly able to reach the gates of their offices once the line was completed.“This will not only help save precious commute time but also help reduce environmental pollution,” said the Chief Minister, adding that the deployment electric buses in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad in conjunction of the Metro routes would considerably reduce the city’s traffic problems in the future.Union Minister Prakash Javadekar and Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao were also present on the occasion. Opposition boycotts However, while Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat and MP Anil Shirole were present on the dais with the PM, conspicuously absent were NCP MP Supriya Sule as well as the two Shiv Sena MPs of Pune district – Shrirang Barne from Maval and Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil from Shirur – who decided to skip the inauguration as their names were ‘missing’ from the list of invitees.“The invitation card that I received only carried the name of BJP MP Anil Shirole. It only reflects the condescending attitude of the BJP which wants to grab all the credit for the development works,” said Mr. Adhalrao-Patil.
The Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi has turned into a hive of political activities.With RJD chief Lalu Prasad, convicted in fodder scam cases, admitted there for treatment of various ailments, the grand alliance party leaders are making a beeline for the hospital to finalise the allocation of seats. Mr. Prasad is meeting alliance leaders regularly and is said to be giving the final touches to the list of candidates. Sinha rebelsRebel BJP MP from Patna Shatrughan Sinha, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Hemant Soren and Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahay met Mr. Prasad on Saturday. They came out saying they had gone to meet Mr. Prasad to enquire about his “well-being”, but sources close to these leaders told The Hindu that they met the RJD chief to discuss the list of candidates in both Bihar and Jharkhand for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Bihar has 40 and Jharkhand 14 Lok Sabha seats.Mr. Sinha, who looks certain to be dropped from the BJP, is likely to be a grand alliance candidate from the Patna Sahib constituency. He said, “Location [of the constituency] will be the same, even if the situation changes.” He praised the RJD chief and his younger son Tejashwi Yadav. “Laluji is my friend and Tejashwi is a very good and talented boy… I believe he is the face of Bihar and its future,” Mr. Sinha said. The leaders, however, denied that any political discussions had taken place with Mr. Prasad as it is the inauspicious month of Kharmas.Earlier, rebel JD(U) leaders Sharad Yadav and Uday Narayan Choudhury too had visited Mr. Prasad in hospital and, as sources said, they discussed seat-sharing.Recently, Mr. Prasad was seen taking a stroll in the corridors of the hospital. Dr. D.K. Jha told journalists that his condition had “improved.”
Devotees of Sai Baba can now book their darshan tickets online through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website.Obtaining darshan tickets usually requires standing in long queues. From Saturday, the tickets can be obtained online thanks to a joint initiative by the IRCTC and the Shri Sai Sansthan in Shirdi. IRCTC officials said that the option is currently being extended to customers who book online train tickets to travel to Shirdi Sai Nagar, Kopargaon, Manmad, Nashik and Nagarsol. The darshan dates can either be the date of arrival at the destination station or any of the following days after arrival and only one darshan transaction will be allowed per user. The tickets can be obtained using the PNR numbers of the train tickets, officials said. “This will benefit those travelling to the five stations, who want to go for Sai Baba’s darshan,” said Pinakin Morawala, PRO, IRCTC, Western Zone Mumbai.While the first phase of the initiative extends the facility to paid darshan ticket holders, it will later be extended to those opting for free ones as well, officials said.