Folio Show Dives Deep Into Data on Opening Day

first_imgNew York—Data, for many years now, holds a huge stake in how advertisers and publishers operate. But a question that publishers kept asking themselves at the 2018 Folio: Show is can data dictate everything?The answer? Well, it depends.The Folio: Show hosted its second day of presentations, panels, and discussions covering the present and future of the publishing industry on Tuesday. While data has become a clear driver of what companies do from a planning perspective, nothing has replaced the onus and importance of content. And sometimes, depending on the organization, the content still can drive planning. The first panel of the day, “Power Up Your Future: Where Publishers Are Placing Their Bets to Grow,” Bonnie Kintzer, president and CEO of Trusted Media Brands, detailed the experience with Family Handyman, and how the right content can lead to new learnings, which creates new avenues for growth.The publication for do-it-yourselfers initially targeted content based on what their community told them they needed to know. This led to massive successes – such as the ‘How to Fix the Toilet,’ which is one of its most read pieces on the site. From there, Kintzer’s publication realized that this community of readers wanted more in-depth, detailed advice and they were willing to pay for it. The success of the content provided the data for expansion. From there, Family Handyman created individual, highly detailed classes, which can range from $200 to $400 a session. They have expanded further to step into B2B marketing, where their editorial knowledge within the home improvement space can be sold to industry vets.“What is it that the audience wants,” advises Kintzer. “Give it to them in the manner they want it in.”This process can be platform agnostic, added Eric Zinczenko, CEO of Bonnier. “You can continue to reach consumers on a variety of platforms,” including print, he said. But in order to take advantage of the platform–whichever you choose–you first have to have “the data and metrics” to support it.Keynote speaker, Seth Dallaire, vice president of global ad sales at Amazon, spoke more directly about the metrics during his conversation. “Insights, are the core proposition we bring to buyers,” said Dallaire. As Amazon looks to extend its reach in the advertising space, encouraging brands to extend content into their e-commerce page with Amazon’s help, it’s these insights in which Dallaire and his team are using to entice companies.While metrics have become the end-all-be-all, it isn’t the primary guide for all ideas. Every once in a while, an idea that’s too good to pass is pursued, even without the data support. These are the ideas that create truly special moments.In the late morning panel, “A Fundamental Truth: Content Is Still King,” Sam Martin, vice president of strategy and business development at Leafly, a review site for marijuana, said that he launched a $500,000 campaign to build a long-form Internet series called “Growers.” Without a distribution network – since cannabis companies can’t advertise on Facebook or Twitter – they used the legal dispensaries across the U.S. to spread the content. Many of these dispensaries have screens up all day long, and they were willing to include the show on their televisions. “It performed fairly well,” said Martin, who then added with a chuckle, “I should have tested it.”Croi McNamara, senior V.P. of video programming at Condé Nast Entertainment, said that nearly 100% of their content is driven by data. And when she joined the company, her first effort was to get rid of going after “gut projects.” Now, that the company has embraced the data driven approach, she’s more willing to look for those unique opportunities that may not have the insight to support it. Condé’s “highly selective” with the opportunities, said McNamara. “When we do make those, it works,” which is often the type of series that leads to awards.This data-led excursion within the industry had long turned many organizations away from print as digital became the primary focus for many titles. But for print publications, there isn’t this fear of data anymore. And, more importantly, much of the data is pointing their publishers back to print, which was discussed at the “What’s the Future of Print” panel in the afternoon. More publishers are viewing print as a way to cut through the clutter readers are exposed to and reach those that enjoy the magazine as a platform.“Print means something,” said Alison Overholt, editor-in-chief at ESPN The Magazine. “It means something to readers and those that are in the magazine.”Maile Carpenter, editor in chief at Food Network Magazine, explained why the company decided to launch its second title, Pioneer Woman, just last year. The brand, which started from a blog, grew into a television show on the Food Network, and then a magazine, needed a way so viewers could connect with brand off-screen, said Carpenter. The magazine added “another touch point” for interaction, beyond the show and digital content, which they can enjoy in their spare time.The issue when it comes to magazines, and all publications, is who will end up paying for the content, even as all these insights drive the next move. After over 400 conversations with advertising executives and others for his book “Frenemies,” famed author and media critic for The New Yorker and keynote speaker Ken Auletta believes that the biggest hiccup to publishing and advertising success may lie in the consumer. They’re not used to purchasing content and they don’t want to be advertised to.last_img read more



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Northern Command Raises Security Level at US Installations

first_imgU.S. Northern Command has elevated the force protection level for all DOD facilities in the continental United States, due to a general environment of heightened threats rather than to a specific threat, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday.Northcom raised the force protection level at DOD facilities from Alpha to Bravo, indicating an increased or more predictable threat of terrorist activity, said Army Col. Steve Warren.For installations, the elevated force protection level means more comprehensive checking of those entering facilities, heightened awareness of personnel at the facilities, and in some circumstances, more security personnel on duty at the facilities, reported DOD News.“As far as what the American public can expect to see,” Warren said, “broadly speaking there won’t be a change, but in specific areas there could be longer lines as personnel enter posts, camps and stations around the nation, [and this] could have traffic implications.”At Northcom in Colorado Springs, spokesman Air Force Master Sgt. Chuck Marsh said that raising the security baseline “was a prudent measure to remind installation commanders at all levels within our area of responsibility to ensure increased vigilance in safeguarding our DOD personnel, installations and facilities.”“This is the new normal,” Marsh said, “so we’re going to be doing random security [protection] measures … to be able to best execute the safety and security of our people and our facilities.”Raising the force protection condition to Bravo will apply to the Pentagon as well, Warren said. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more



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Grocery delivery and pickup are changing how we buy food for the

first_img • 4 Shopping at Amazon Go is really freakin’ fast 1:19 Aug 31 • The best coffee grinders you can buy right now CNET Smart Home Tags Aug 31 • Alexa can tell you if someone breaks into your house Aug 31 • Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more) Aug 30 • Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9+ vs Neato Botvac D7 Connected Target Walmart Amazon Prime Amazon There’s no minimum order, so if you wanted to order a single bottle of soda just to see a self-driving delivery pod in action, you could. Nuro My grandmother loved grocery shopping. Raised on a farm in south Alabama, she spent decades dishing up three made-from-scratch meals every day and loved nothing more than casually perusing the aisles all afternoon. One generation later, my mom loathes it. A working woman in the city during the height of TV dinners, she just wants to get in, get out and get on with her day.  Me? For years I had a foot in both camps. Sometimes, the hunting and gathering of pushing a big, squeaky cart through tiny aisles feels soul-sucking. Check with me a week later, when I’m feeling less stressed and more creative, and I might sing the praises of browsing for interesting ingredients and great deals. But all of that is changing. I may never step foot in a grocery store again, and I’m 100% OK with it. Let me tell you why.Retail, reimaginedLike other retail industries touched by technology, online grocery shopping is transforming your weekly schlep to the store into just a few clicks. Stores like Kroger, Walmart and Target are harnessing in-house resources to power curbside pickup and turning to third-party providers like Instacart, DoorDash, Deliv, and Shipt for home delivery. We’re not fully automated yet, but we’re headed that way. Walmart rolled out robots to manage stores’ stock and even clean floors, and Kroger partnered with startup Nuro for autonomous delivery pods in Arizona. Even the smaller aspects of food retail are changing. When it comes to couponing, stores are finding ways to digitize and catalog deals. Target’s Cartwheel and Kroger’s ClickList both make it easy to see where you can save money and apply coupons online. I’ve tried Walmart, Target and Kroger for grocery pickup and each experience was great. When something wasn’t quite right, it nearly always came down to how I input my order. It’s a learning curve, for sure. In my early attempts to grocery shop online, I made mistakes like ordering a single banana instead of a bunch, or forgetting to apply coupons for items I wouldn’t have bought if the discount wasn’t offered. The good, the bad and the ugly fruitIt’s early in the digital grocery era, and we have pretty good options, but no perfect system. There are pros and cons to shopping in person, and just like shopping for clothes or a new car, doing things online will take some getting used to. Pro No. 1: Time savedShopping for groceries online saves time. Yes, you’ll still need to make a grocery list (if you really loathe that, consider meal kit delivery), but the process of typing in each item and adding the right brand or size to your cart is much faster than physically walking the aisles. Plus, you can do it in your PJs from the couch. Anything that lets me get work done from beneath a blanket with coffee in hand is a winner in my book.Pro No. 2: Convenience and general rage reductionI like people, but I’m an introvert. Humans are cool. We do a lot of nifty stuff, and some of us are actually pretty nice. But my shopping-cart rage is worse than my road rage, and most days I just want to avoid the grocery store at all costs. With grocery pickup, I park my car, dial a number and a hardworking store associate brings me my wares, even putting them in my trunk. I never unclip my seatbelt, I never lift a finger. It’s magical. Walmart’s grocery pickup is free, as long as you spend at least $35. Giant Eagle and the Albertson’s family of stores also offer free pickup. There are fees for pickup from some stores. Kroger charges $4.95, so check with your favorite grocery chain to find out if picking up curbside might cost you extra.  It’s important to remember that there are umbrella companies here. Kroger’s family of stores, for example, encompasses 31 brands like Ruler Foods, Harris Teeter, Fry’s and Mariano’s. The Albertson’s corporate family tree of 21 brands includes Jewel Osco, Safeway and Vons. Not all of these brands offer the same pickup and delivery services. Pro No. 3: Digital couponsRewards programs and digital coupons for many grocery stores are also available within the online shopping experience. With Kroger’s Clicklist platform, items with active coupons display a checkbox under the description. All I have to do is click to apply it and purchase the qualifying items. KrogerKroger’s app makes it easy to fill your cart, apply coupons and see your previous purchases.   Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET Some stores even add discounts for pickup customers only. With stores putting so much effort into curbside service, it’s no surprise grocery chains are incentivizing it with offers like free pickup when you purchase a specific brand or a certain number of items. I’ve taken advantage of it. It’s much nicer to add another item to my cart than pay a service fee. I get to keep something. I’ll take that deal every time. Pro No. 4: DeliveryDelivery is all the rage, and for good reason. Curbside pickup is great, but if you’re a busy parent, that means you still need to load up the kids and drive to the store. If you’re not feeling well or are in the middle of prepping for a big party, home delivery can feel like a life saver. It swipes a giant task off your to-do list for the day without even putting on your shoes. You can get food from almost anywhere with companies such as Postmates, DoorDash, UberEats, Instacart and Shipt. Like pickup, fees vary, but some waive the fee for your first order of reduce it if you spend enough. wholefoods-storefrontAmazon Prime members get discounts and free deliveries from Whole Foods.  Claudia Cruz/CNET If you’re an Amazon Prime member and choose delivery from Whole Foods, you can take advantage of free 2-hour delivery and free 1-hour pickup in some cities. Most grocery delivery fees range from $5 to $12. Depending on your personal budget, that may or may not be a deal-breaker.ConsCon No. 1: The produce problemThis is the first concern most people cite when I bring up grocery delivery and pickup. Not being able to pick out individual fruits and vegetables or even meats from the deli. Someone else is making that choice for you. I hear you. You won’t get to pick out your individual items, obviously. That’s what you sacrifice for convenience. Here’s the thing: I just don’t care. It’s a risk I’m willing to take. I know there is both emotional and quality-control value in choosing your own food. I won’t pretend for one second that food isn’t deeply personal to each of us. The foods we love grows with deep roots from our childhood memories, cultural backgrounds and most memorable travels.  I think that weight and value lies in recipes. So what if someone else picks out the sweet potatoes? I’m still going to make the sweet potato casserole scribbled in illegible cursive on that decades-old, stained recipe card written by my late grandmother. If having another person help me get the shopping done means I have more time to make and enjoy that recipe with my family, I support that. Con No. 2: SubstitutionsIn many cases, stores make an effort to give you the same or better if your requested item is unavailable. Just last week, I got a bag of coffee twice the size of what I ordered because the smaller size was out of stock and I didn’t pay a penny more. While many platforms allow you to review substitutions and accept or reject them prior to pickup or delivery, you don’t get the option to view every possible replacement. If I were physically in a store and had to settle for another brand, flavor or size, I’d want to look them over. I’d love to see a system where you can browse all similar items and choose your replacement from multiple options. Are grocery stores dying?Because so many people still prefer to physically choose their food, I don’t think online grocery shopping poses as big a threat to brick-and-mortar grocery stores the way online retail does to shopping malls. However, online grocery shopping, whether it’s pickup or delivery, is a new way of getting our food that is only going to gain momentum in our two-day (and now, one-day) shipping society. Grocery stores may begin to act more like fulfillment centers, but I’m optimistic those who want to will be able to shop in person. The pickup and delivery model rests on the shoulders of hardworking employees, and if it does indeed scale to a warehouse-style operation, what does that mean for that labor force? How do working conditions change?The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union has voiced concerns regarding Amazon’s aims to cut shipping time in half for Prime members and the impact that will have on already difficult warehouse conditions. If there’s anything to keep a sharp eye on when it comes to automating these services, it’s how people are treated. No technology is worth the sacrifice of employees’ well-being. My suggestion? Give some type of online grocery shopping a try. If you want to pick out your produce or cuts of meat, do that. But first, park the car for curbside pickup of the duller things in life like garbage bags, toilet paper and dishwashing detergent. You’ll still need to pop into the store, but only for the items you really care about.The future of buying foodRight now, there are a handful of innovations being tested in the grocery retail space. Companies are trying different models for pickup and delivery, working in technology to identify where the supply chain is weak. Ford Europe has developed a self-braking shopping cart that just might solve my cart-rage issues. Amazon, which recently acquired Whole Foods, is reportedly planning a new, lower cost grocery chain. That’s in addition to the Amazon Go stores. Walmart’s Store No.8 incubator is working on AI-powered stores of the future, too. ford-sbc-001Safety first! Ford Europe’s self-braking cart aims to make the aisles safer.  Ford The way I see it, that means our entire grocery system is bound to become smarter and more efficient. It means I’ll have more time to spend with my friends and family and more time to cook and enjoy the foods I love. Who knows? Maybe someday AI and machine learning will train grocery shopping robots to pick me out the perfect bunch of bananas.  Appliances Tech Industry Mobile Apps Autonomous Vehicles Online Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: reading • Grocery delivery and pickup are changing how we buy food for the better See All Comments CNET Smart Homelast_img read more



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Star Trek Picard trailer cast plot release date and more

first_img How to watch Star Trek: Picard will debut in early 2020. It’ll stream in the US on CBS All Access and on the Space Channel in Canada. Internationally, Amazon Prime Video will host each episode within 24 hours of the US premiere in over 200 countries and territories. That’s a change from how Discovery is distributed internationally through Netflix. Tags Star Trek: Picard unveils first look at costumes, props at San Diego Comic-Con Picard trailer — possible reasons Captain Picard left Starfleet Picard memes: Patrick Stewart’s best viral Star Trek moments The Next Generation finale has me pumped for new Picard series Picard is the hero we need, says Star Trek writer Michael Chabon Back on the floor w this guy ⁦@SirPatStew⁩ ⁦@startrekcbs⁩ pic.twitter.com/zPvHltPUts— Jonathan Frakes (@jonathansfrakes) May 21, 2019 “No Emma, I’m NOT going to give you any plot details…” #startrek #fosteringsaveslives #adoptdontshop #pitbullsarelove #pitbullsarefamily #adoptmissemma pic.twitter.com/Zwbh04Zlkp— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) April 11, 2019 CBS first revealed the official Star Trek: Picard name on May 15 and posted a look at the show’s shiny new logo. The Starfleet logo takes the place of the “A” in Picard. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.) A pup for Picard Stewart and CBS revealed the key art for the show on July 10, just ahead of the star’s appearance at Comic-Con. The trailer is starting to fill in the blanks. Picard will hook up with a new non-Starfleet crew in a quest to protect a mysterious woman (Isa Briones) who comes to him for help. The Borg, one of the most imposing Star Trek villains ever created, will play a role in the plot.Though they don’t appear in the trailer, Jonathan Frakes (William Riker) and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) have both confirmed they will appear in Picard as their Next Generation characters. We also know Jonathan Del Arco will reprise his role as Hugh the Borg.A teaser trailer beamed in on May 23 shows that Jean-Luc Picard, who was promoted to admiral, led a rescue armada on a mysterious mission 15 years prior to the show’s events. He then left Starfleet, leaving us to wonder what prompted his exit and why he’s reappearing now. We should learn more in a series of comic books and a prequel novel that will arrive before the show airs. The journey has begun. Kirsten Beyer, Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, Diandra Pendleton-Thompson, James Duff, and yours truly. #StarTrek pic.twitter.com/GxhwkTIgWQ— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) September 24, 2018 Share your voice Stewart shared a photo of Emma along with his hidden Picard rehearsal script in April. The dog in the poster sports a Starfleet emblem tag on its collar and his name is now confirmed as “Number One.”  Revisiting Jean-Luc Picard Stewart has a long history with the Star Trek franchise. He first warped into the iconic role of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise with the debut of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987. That means Stewart will be back in Picard’s shoes more than 30 years after originating the role. He last appeared on screen as Picard in the 2002 movie Star Trek: Nemesis. The best San Diego Comic-Con celebrity disguises TV and Movies He’s coming back. CBS video screenshot by CNET Patrick Stewart is going where no Starfleet captain has gone before: into his very own series, decades after wrapping up his original Star Trek run. He’ll have a furry companion and old crew mates along for the ride.Star Trek: Picard, a CBS All Access streaming show, will debut in early 2020. The show follows on the heels of Star Trek: Discovery, but the two series take place at very different points in the Trek universe.  A new trailer for Picard came out of San Diego Comic-Con last month, and it was a surprise-packed doozy. The trailer revealed that Star Trek icons Brent Spiner (Data) and Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) will appear in the new series.  Hanelle Culpepper will make history as the first woman to launch a new Star Trek television show. Culpepper signed on to direct the first two episodes. She has an extensive TV resume, which includes Star Trek: Discovery, The Flash and Gotham. Frakes, who will appear as Riker in the show, has a long career as a director that includes multiple Star Trek franchise entries on both the big and small screens. He revealed he would be directing some episodes of the new series. Frakes posted a photo of himself with Stewart to Twitter on May 21 and tagged Star Trek on CBS. More Picard The official #StarTrekPicard key art is here. Will you be joining @SirPatStew at @Comic_Con next week? #SDCC #StarTrekSDCC pic.twitter.com/sf7ZnDmXlL— Star Trek on CBS All Access (@startrekcbs) July 10, 2019 The Picard plot CBS and Stewart had kept pretty quiet on the details of the show’s plot until the teaser and full trailer arrived. We already knew it takes place around two decades after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis.  The teaser lays out a big plot point when a voiceover says Admiral Picard commanded a rescue armada that “led us out of the darkness” 15 years before the series picks up. It asks the questions: What did it cost him and why did he leave Starfleet? That’s a huge cliffhanger to contemplate ahead of the show’s debut. Star Trek: PicardEnlarge ImageThe Star Trek: Picard poster shows a Starfleet logo formed from grapevines. James Dimmock/CBS Both the teaser and trailer start in a vineyard, which is a callback to the final TNG television episode in 1994, All Good Things that showed one possible future Picard working in a vineyard in France. That Picard had become an ambassador. We know the Picard in the new show was promoted to admiral at some point. A poster for the series shows a vineyard with the Starfleet logo formed out of grapevines along with the catchphrase “The end is only the beginning.” Picard’s history ties strongly in with the Romulans. “Picard’s life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire,” Kurtzman told The Hollywood Reporter.  The 2009 Star Trek reboot movie covered the demise of the planet Romulus at the hands of an exploding star in 2387. Could this event have been the focus of Picard’s rescue armada?  Picard has a complicated history with the Romulans. In Nemesis, he tangled with a Romulan clone of himself.  The trailer features a Borg ship that may be acting as a prison vessel staffed by Romulans. A sign says it has gone 5,843 days without an assimilation.Don’t expect a mere reboot of The Next Generation. “Patrick was very clear to us in the beginning. He didn’t want to repeat what he had already done. And by the way, it’s been 20-plus years, so he couldn’t possibly be that same person anymore,” Kurtzman told reporters in January. The dog is particularly notable. It appears to be a pit bull or bully mix. Zoom in on its ears. They may have been cropped, but they also look a lot like pointy Vulcan ears. Stewart is known for his work fostering rescue dogs. His most recent foster, Emma, is a pit mix with cropped ears. 3:00 Comments Meet the cast We all know the star of the show, and more casting details are emerging. We’re still waiting for several character names to be confirmed.Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc PicardSantiago Cabrera as Cristobal “Chris” RiosMichelle Hurd as Raffi MusikerAlison Pill as Dr. Agnes JuratiHarry Treadaway as NarekIsa Briones as DahjEvan Evagora as ElnorBrent Spiner as Data (or a related android) Jeri Ryan as Seven of NineJonathan Del Arco as Hugh the BorgJonathan Frakes as William RikerMarina Sirtis as Deanna Troi He’s been plenty busy in the meantime, continuing his role as Professor X in the X-Men movies, up through a farewell performance in 2017’s Logan. He has a lot of voice acting credits to his name, including Poop in The Emoji Movie. Fans will be able to catch him in theaters as Bosley in a 2019 version of Charlie’s Angels. Stewart announced the new Picard series in August 2018 at the Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. He called his return “an unexpected but delightful surprise” and said he hopes “to research and experience what comforting and reforming light [Picard] might shine on these often very dark times.” Who’s making Picard?  Stewart is doubling as an executive producer along with Alex Kurtzman, the creator of Star Trek: Discovery. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon is on board as an executive producer and writer. Chabon described Picard as “the hero we need right now.” Stewart shared a behind-the-scenes photo in September 2018 from a Picard meeting where he’s sitting with Chabon and other members of the show’s production staff. Stewart has been involved with the writing for the show from early on. 22 Originally published May 17 and updated regularly as more information on Star Trek: Picard comes in. 15 famous Star Trek guests who brought their own star power (pictures) 15 Photos 35 Photos Now playing: Watch this: Prequels incomingWe have a lot of questions about what Picard has been up to all those years, and some of them are likely to get answered in a series of prequel books. CBS, Simon & Schuster and comics publisher IDW will release Star Trek: Picard — Countdown, a three-issue comic-book miniseries in November. This will focus on a life-changing mission for Picard.A full novel called The Last Best Hope will arrived in February 2020 and set up the story ahead of the series. We’ll get to know some of the new characters before meeting them on screen. Una McCormack, author of several Star Trek novels, is writing the book. Picard’s place in Trek Stewart’s Picard took on the weight of Star Trek’s future when he stepped up to captain the Enterprise-D. Until then, the Trek universe had revolved around the original crew led by Capt. James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner. Kirk and the gang had re-emerged from the shadow of the original series’ cancellation in the ’60s and were born again through a string of successful movies starting in 1979.  Stewart’s character couldn’t have been more different from the leap-into-action, kiss-the-aliens Kirk. Picard created a new mold for Starfleet captains. His Picard was cerebral, wise and measured, but also passionate. If you need a reminder, watch his defense of android crew member Data as a sentient being in the season 2 episode Measure of a Man. CBS Star Treklast_img read more



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Bigg Boss Telugu 3 latest update Nagarjuna set to announce hosting next

first_imgAkkineni NagarjunaTwitterThe latest buzz about Bigg Boss Telugu 3 is that actor Akkineni Nagarjuna will make an official announcement about hosting the next season of this hit reality show in June.A lot has been written and spoken about the host of Bigg Boss Telugu 3. Several names were linked to this show after Nani and Jr NTR rejected this offer and Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh and Anushka Shetty are few among them. The latest we hear that the makers of the show have approached Akkineni Nagarjuna.It is rumoured that Nagarjuna was busy shooting for Manmadhudu 2 in Portugal when he received the offer to host Bigg Boss Telugu 3. The actor is said to have assured to meet the team after returning to Hyderabad. He has now wrapped up the foreign schedule of Manmadhudu 2 and is said to meet with the top management of Star Maa to discuss the deal of hosting the upcoming season of its hit show.Nagarjuna is said to have agreed to be the host of Bigg Boss Telugu 3. Now, he will have a word about his remuneration and other terms and conditions of the show in the final round of discussions with the team. Once everything is finalised, the team will announce his name as the host in a press meet, which is likely to take in a week’s time.Nagarjuna has already made his mark on the small screen as he had successfully managed to host a couple of seasons of Meelo Evaru Koteeswarudu, the Telugu version of Kaun Banega Karodpati. If he is on board for Bigg Boss Telugu, he is sure to have the popularity of this TV reality show to all new heights.The team of Star Maa had kick-started the process of selection of the contestants for Bigg Boss Telugu 3 earlier this year. It is said to have already finalised most of the participants. The buzz is that the makers wanted to launch the show in June, but they pushed this date to July due to the World Cup.last_img read more



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Paytm integrates BHIM UPI app on its platform targets 200 million monthly

first_imgPaytm Payments Bank service,Paytm via Twitter (screen-shot)Paytm, India’s digital payment major, has integrated central government’s mobile payment interface BHIM UPI on its platform with an aim to double its monthly user base.Paytm’s majority stake is with its parent company One97 Communications and the firm currently has about 100 million monthly users on its platform. Market experts believe that the move is definitely going to help Paytm in expanding its customer base, reported Mint.”We are now targeting 200 million monthly users in less than two years. UPI will also allow larger ticket size transactions,” the business daily quoted Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder One97 Communications as saying.With this integration, any registered Paytm user can transfer and receive money through BHIM UPI by using the Paytm app. This further allows existing BHIM users to link their accounts with the BHIM API (application program interface) on Paytm, reported the business daily.Earlier last month, Reserve Bank of India directed companies and banks to make KYC-compliant for prepaid payment instruments like mobile wallets interoperable within the next six months. This, along with the growing popularity of the BHIM UPI platform, could have triggered the move.BHIM has been a moderate success, since its launch in December last year, the application has been downloaded for over 16 million times and facilitated transactions worth Rs 1,600 crore, as of 31 July, according to the data from NPCI.Why the UPI-based application are growing is because it has no waiting time to add a beneficiary and an individual is not required to share his bank account details and IFSC code.Paytm said it will train its 5 million merchant partners to create Paytm BHIM UPI ID and accept money using the same. This will enable merchants on Paytm to be able to accept payments from a wider set of customers, the company said.”As a part of our journey of being a truly open payment platform, consumers and merchants should both have complete range of choices to select payment source and destination. With the availability of BHIM UPI to our large user base and merchant network, we believe the next wave of digital payments will begin soon,” the business daily quoted Renu Satti, managing director and chief executive officer, Paytm Payments Bank.Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is an application developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for digital payments over the government-managed Universal Payments Interface (UPI) network.last_img read more



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UN urges Myanmar to hold proper probe into atrocities against Rohingya

first_imgA group of Rohingya refugee people walk in the water after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Teknaf. Reuters file photoMyanmar must hold a “proper investigation” into alleged atrocities against the Rohingya, a UN Security Council envoy said Tuesday, after the highest-level diplomatic visit to an area from which 700,000 members of the Muslim minority have been driven out.Refugees and rights groups say Myanmar’s army and vigilantes systematically raped and murdered civilians and torched villages during “clearance operations” in Rakhine state ostensibly targeting Rohingya militants.That campaign launched last August in the mainly Buddhist nation sparked the exodus of Rohingya into Bangladesh.During the two-day trip to Myanmar, UN delegates travelled to Rakhine and also met both civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who heads an army accused by the UN of “ethnic cleansing”.”In order to have accountability there must be a proper investigation,” Britain’s UN ambassador Karen Pierce told reporters, after envoys had visited the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh and also Rakhine.There were two ways to establish a full probe, “one is an ICC (International Criminal Court) referral”, she said. The other was for Myanmar’s government to hold its own comprehensive inquiry.Last month the chief prosecutor for the ICC asked judges to consider whether the court’s jurisdiction extends to Myanmar, which is not a member of the panel.Suu Kyi, pilloried outside her country for failing to speak up for the Rohingya, promised to “undertake a proper investigation” where evidence of atrocities was found, Pierce said.”It doesn’t matter whether it (a probe) is international or domestic, as long as it’s credible,” she added.During his meeting late Monday with the UN envoys, Myanmar’s army chief denied his forces had committed rape and other sexual abuses during the crackdown which he ordered.”The Tatmadaw (army) is always disciplined… and takes action against anyone who breaks the law,” he told the delegates, according to a posting late Monday on his official Facebook page.Rohingya women and girls in Bangladesh have provided consistent accounts of sexual violence — reports verified by conflict monitors — but Min Aung Hlaing said his forces have “no such history of sexual abuse.””It is unacceptable according to the culture and religion of our country,” he said, adding anyone found guilty of crimes would be punished.- Speed up returns -Min Aung Hlaing also repeated the official line that Myanmar was ready to take back those refugees who could be verified as residents, as per a repatriation deal with Bangladesh.Several months after the deal was signed, no refugees have returned. They demand guarantees of safety, the right to return to their original villages and the granting of citizenship.Another UN diplomat warned it would take “two or three years” for the refugees to be repatriated as the current timeframe to implement the deal continues to slip.”There is a need to speed up the process,” said Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the UN, adding conditions must be “safe and dignified” for return.Bangladeshi accuses Myanmar of buying time by pretending to cooperate over repatriation for the benefit of the international community.Myanmar says its neighbour has only handed back 8,000 repatriation forms so far, many of them incomplete, delaying the return process.Myanmar denies the Rohingya citizenship and accompanying rights.Since 2012 it has driven out two-thirds of its roughly 1.5 million Rohingya population.last_img read more



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AL seeks to make allies parliamentary opposition

first_imgObaidul Quader. File PhotoAwami League general secretary Obaidul Quader says it will be a positive development for the government and ruling Awami League’s 14-party allies if the partners play the role as a parliamentary opposition.The policy statement came from the AL leader on Thursday in the wake of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s decision not to join parliament at all after it alleged massive rigging in 30 December elections won by the AL.”Many of the Awami League allies have already decided to stay in the opposition bench in parliament. It’s good for us as well as for them,” said Quader told newsmen after inspecting preparations for the AL’s victory rally to be held at Suhrawardi Udyan on Saturday.After the one-sided election of 2014, the AL’s ally Jatiya Party of HM Ershad that had representation in the cabinet, was made official opposition party in parliament.However, this time around, the AL’s ally Workers Party’s president Rashed Khan Menon said there will be no unity with the AL if they go to the opposition.Menon and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president Hasanul Haq Inu, who had been in the previous cabinet, were ignored when prime minister Sheikh Hasina formed the government for the third consecutive time.About Menon’s statement, Quader said, “We’ve been discussing about the matter [of seeing the partners as opposition].”Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, said the government can learn from criticism from the opposition. “If there is an opposition, the government will be able to rectify itself,” he added.The AL leader, according to UNB, claimed that there is neither any conflict nor tension in the AL-led grand alliance.”The grand alliance is a unity forged to participate in elections while the 14-party is a political alliance which will prevail and there’s no chance of collapse,” said the minister.”There is no infighting, tension and disturbance in the alliance, said the senior AL leader adding, “If there’s any misunderstanding, we’ll solve it through discussions.”last_img read more



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