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Parents Protest over LGBT Teaching

Assistant Head Teacher Andrew Muffat comes under Fire

Parents Protest Outside Parkfield Community School

A

group of angry parents have taken their children out of scheduled lessons, discovering that they were being taught about LGBT rights and that ‘it’s okay to be gay.’ Andrew Moffat, the assistant head teacher at Parkfield School, has faced disapproval by parents for conducting the ‘No Outsiders programme’ as well as Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) lessons...

...continued on page 6

From FarRight to Follower of Islam Read full story on page 6...


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Page 55

“My hands wouldn’t remove the hijab!”

Tony Blair’s Sister-in-Law Reflects on her Conversion to Islam London: Lauren Booth, telecaster and columnist, is previous British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, who converted to Islam in 2010. Here beneath is her journey to Islam and the endearing response of her family in this interpreted rendition of an interview: I say thanks to Allah for allowing me to go through a month with the best Muslims alive in this ‘Ummah’ today! Toward the finish of Ramadan, I went to a family home in Rafa, one of the poorest outcast camps in the poorest zones, of the over populated city. I had ‘Iftar’ with a family there who had around 16 mats, which were utilized during the evening to rest on. Amidst this tent zone the mother puts the supper in the event that she has any for her youngsters to eat… {!} This woman welcomed me at the entryway and maybe she was inviting me to the Taj Mahal not a hellhole in the Gaza strip… !!! “Sallam Alaykum!” she says with a grin that illuminates the entire territory. I asked her: “What is it like in Rafa at Ramadan with next to no sustenance?” She stated: ‘Alhamdulillah!’ with such bliss I really wanted to grin. Also, as I sat there on the floor of this home eating what little leaves that they had;

a touch oof hummus, a pita bread that was our ‘Iftar’. I got irritated … extremely furious! I thought what is this God that makes hungry individuals significantly hungrier? What is this God who makes a fast for the poorest of the abused individuals on the planet. Thus, I swung to this sister and I stated: “With all due regard I need to ask you, for what reason does your God starve you in Ramadan? For what reason do you fast in Ramadan sister, simply disclose to me?” This woman who never possessed a satchel, whose kids didn’t have, never had shoes. Whose youngsters I was sitting with didn’t have pen or paper to do any illustrations, she said to me: “Sister we fast in Ramadan to recall poor people.” And, a key went to my heart and opened it… !!! Obviously Islam wasn’t for me that was for another person so I put the prospect of how extraordinary Islam was to the other side and said so what … I like the Palestinian individuals yet it has nothing to do with Islam. At that point a year ago in Ramadan again I went to Iran as a writer and I visited a mosque there, it’s the Bibi Fatima Mosque and I made ‘Wadu’ on

the grounds that I realized how to do it and I put on a ‘Chadur’ and I made a straightforward supplication: ‘Allah … and I utilized the word Allah. “Allah, don’t give me anything. I have everything. Thank you for this journey, but Allah, bear in mind the general population of Palestine.” At that point I sat down in this bustling mosque with ladies nourishing their youngsters, travellers going back and forth; yet when I sat down, this monstrous sentiment of harmony came over me. Harmony and serenity that I never knew, such a quiet, to the point that the strain in my heart went. There was no stable in my mind without precedent for my life as a grown-up

… simply profound, profound happiness and quiet. I sat there for quite a while in this place of quiet realizing that in some-place known to mankind, everything is this way. Through the span of that in night ladies continued approaching me, holding me by the shoulders and saying: “I cherish you.” At one point a kid came over and held my hand and just said in Farsi (Persian): “I adore you.” I said to my companion Nadia, “Is this what it resembles in the mosque?” She stated, “Not by any stretch of the imagination. I think something is going on.” I rested that night on the floor of the mosque with a great deal of different explorers and the following morn-

ing, Fajr sounded and I was inside the mosque and I implored Fajr. At that point I came outside and had a measure of chai and the sun was coming up and I had one quite certain idea. “O, no… not Islam, if you don’t mind not Islam.” I simply need to state that a few weird things transpired after that. I took the plane back to London from Tehran. As the plane was coming into London the pilot stated: “Thank you for flying Tehran aviation routes we’ll be in London in 20 minutes.” And by then every Iranian Muslim lady removed the hijab and made out like she was from Sex in the City notwithstanding demonstrating some cleavage. I thought great. Thank goodness, my hands wouldn’t remove the hijab. My hands wouldn’t remove the hijab! What’s more, I thought I was having a revelation.

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Editor’s Note Hello to our readers and welcome to another edition of Asian World Newspaper! We hope that the first month of 2019 has been good to you, and that you’ve been keeping well away from the snowy weather and wrapped up indoors! In this edition of our newspaper, we are bringing you the freshest stories and coverage of local events. So, make sure you read the following pages back to front so you can get the most of the latest and unmissable news! In this issue, we will be reflecting on the fantastic work of local Birmingham Governor Khalid Ali and what he’s been doing alongside the NHS Mental Health Board to help the homeless in the city. To read more on this story, please take a look at our special feature on this amazing personality on page 5. We will also be talking about the deeply saddening news about the murder of Riasat Bi by Madni Ahmed in her own home. For more about this story, please turn to page 13. In this issue, we also have exclusive interviews with the biggest and hottest Bollywood Stars. This month, we’ve featured an up close and personal interview with Rida Chadda of Love Sonia, to discover her views on the global issue of human trafficking and the sex

trade. We’ve also got a Q&A with the much loved Farhan to talk about all of his recent films, music and projects! For more on our Entertainment news, please read through the Glam section on pages 28-37. We will also be informing our readers about the latest technology news. For a look at the latest Facebook apps, flick through to page 45! And for our fitness lovers, if you’re struggling with your new year’s resolution to lose weight, then head across to our Health section for all the tips on trimming down that belly fat on pages 39 and 40! Wherever you decided to turn to do, there is a story for everyone. So turn off the TV, cut out the background noise and immerse yourself in the best bizz gossip and the hottest happenings in your area. Read through the rest of this paper right NOW! For latest and exciting advertisement offers for 2019 please don’t hesitate to Contact us: on 0121 771 4545 or email: sales@asianworldnews.co.uk Have a great read! Editor: Manisha Bhanot editor@asianworldnews.co.uk Visit us online at: www.asianworldnews.co.uk

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February 2019

Laura Ashley the Tea Room launch vegan afternoon tea menu 2019 has been labelled ‘The Year of the Vegan’ and research shows that 2,662,900 people in Britain* signed up to take part in Veganuary last month. To cater for the growing desire for vegan-friendly dining options, Laura Ashley the Tea Room has launched a brand-new vegan afternoon tea menu at its tea rooms in Burnham Beeches, Coventry, and Solihull. Priced from £20 per person, diners can expect vegan sandwiches including Hummus and roasted vegetable, Tomato and shallot chutney, and Avocado and lime crostini. The afternoon tea will be served with vegan scones with jam plus sweet treats such as double chocolate cake, banana cake and fruit skewers. Nigel Cooke, Head Chef at Laura Ashley The Tea Room Solihull, said:

The first Laura Ashley The Tea Room opened in Solihull in 2017 followed by the first in the South of England at Burnham Beeches Hotel in summer 2018, and the newest addition in Coventry in November 2018. Laura Ashley The Tea Room is decorated in signature Laura Ashley style featuring products from Laura Ashley’s accessories creating an elegant and comfortable space - perfect for indulging in the most British of pastimes. Guests can expect all the British afternoon tea classics including a selection of freshly made

“With the rise of veganism in the UK we’ve seen an increase in vegan diners visiting the tea rooms. We created our new vegan menu so that we can offer everyone an opportunity to enjoy the perfect afternoon tea experience, along with our vegetarian and gluten free menus. Afternoon tea isn’t usually a vegan-friendly meal, so we are delighted to be able to launch a full afternoon tea completely free from animal products.”

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February 2019

5

Khalid Ali: Mental Health and Homelessness Hero As a current Public Governor for Birmingham and Solihull NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust, Khalid Ali has been tirelessly serving the communities that he represents for over a decade now. He has represented Mental Health for over two years on the Governors Policy Board, which is now known as the Governors Advisory Committee. Over the years he has supported his trust in various projects. He has also worked alongside the Homeless One charity in Digbeth, by providing them with continuous donations in order for them to carry out their important work. As well as this, Khalid has been giving up his own free time in order to volunteer alongside Birmingham city’s out-reach team, and experience the homeless issue first hand. He has spoken to countless rough sleepers on the streets, in a bid to understand exactly who these people are and the hardships they have undergone to face their current situations. As a result, Khalid has begun to develop an awareness on how the NHS Foundation Trust as an organisation can aid the homeless, and what we as ordinary people can also do to help out. Formerly known as Homeless Heroes, the Homeless One charity work regularly to provide hot food to those without a permanent address. On most nights, many rough sleepers in the city attend the organisation’s base camps for a sheltered hot meal and drink. Khalid affirms that homelessness in Birmingham alone as well as across England is on the rise, but that there

Khalid Ali with West Midlands Metro Mayor Andy Street

is more than one specific reason why this figure seems to be increasing. He believes that every rough sleeper has a different situation; whilst some may have found themselves unable to pay their rent and without a place to live, others may have been removed from their place of work or family home. Nevertheless, Khalid encourages people from all over the local community to donate to a charity to help the homeless, and even to volunteer locally in order to

Khalid Ali with Javaid at Homeless Heroes handing a donation over.

provide aid for the city’s rough sleepers themselves. He has decided to dedicate his life to improving Mental Health services locally and nationally and is now looking into setting up an organisation that will further raise awareness of mental health services and support those who need help. Khalid has been a finalist for the Midlands Business Community & Charity Awards in 2017, and was nominated again in 2018. He has also been shortlisted at the Thrive Mental Health Commission Awards for the ‘Mental Health Star Award’ in Birmingham this year. We asked Khalid Ali a few questions about how and why he decided to help the homeless community, and what he plans to do as a governor to tackle the homelessness issue within Birmingham. How did you get into working with the NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust? I’ve been with the Trust for 12 years now. I first started by working with Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where somebody briefed me about mental health work, and how they could use my help and support in raising awareness about the issue. I stood as a governor for Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, as the organisation were formerly working as a PCT and needed governors to come on board. At the time I thought my role would only be temporary, but as I began to gain a greater understanding of my duties, I became more interested in mental health work. After that I was re-elected and it just grew from there.

Alongside representing the NHS, what made you want to help the homeless and work for them? As a Foundation Trust, we know how important it is to help the homeless. Whenever you see a homeless person, the first thing you would ask is about the state of their mental health. As an organisation we already work with the charity St. Basil’s quite closely, by helping them to reach out to people who are on the streets and assess their mental health. I’ve also been assisting the Homeless One charity in Digbeth with fundraising and volunteering as well. I’ve been passionate about mental health for many years now; especially with helping people to avoid suicide and get back on track to living a healthy and normal life. What kind of misconceptions about homeless people would you liked cleared up, so that the public gain a better understanding about homelessness? That they’re just people like us. They’re humans at the end of the day. Every human being should be treated in the same

way, and not be judged or stereotyped because they’re without a home; I think it’s completely wrong. Not everyone is on drugs or an alcoholic. These are the things we’re quick to assume, but judging others will actually only make the situation worse. As a society we’re quick to blame everyone but ourselves, and we often walk past the homeless with ignorance and carry on with our own daily duties. However, these people are individuals too, they also have the right to eat, live and breathe. What new projects do you want to undertake to help the homeless in Birmingham? My plan as an individual is to continue working with mental health services and reaching out to the organisations that are helping the homeless, by giving them all the guidance and support I can offer. I want to make sure the people who need help get it, and that the NHS as an organisation are working with the key stakeholders such as the council and other local charities in order to eradicate homelessness. by Manisha Bhanot

Khalid Ali with Former RT Hon Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP

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February 2019

Parents Protest over LGBT Teaching By Tauseef Asif front page story cont’d... One of the parents, Fatima Shah was outraged in discovering the newly implemented curriculum and took her 10-year-old daughter out of the school. She has affirmed the school has a 98% Muslim majority and many of the pupils’ parents are against the teachings. Mr Moffat has introduced books on the curriculum, such as Mommy, Mama and me, and group activities in class of the children drawing family pictures which contain same-sex parents and promote Gay marriage. Another parent Mariam Ahmed, whose daughter attends the school, organised a petition against the programme which has been signed by 400 parents. She also stated at this age it is wrong to teach children about these types of matters. On the 3rd of February 2019, there was an organised public meeting,

where parents from several different schools were also present in order to cover the same issue. At the meeting, Fatima Shah had stated a line from the no outsider’s programme syllabus: ‘We need to teach 5-year-olds Gay and Lesbian women exist.’ Mariam Ahmed had also stated that Muslims, Jews and Christians were all in agreement that homosexuality should not be taught in schools. Another school named Nansen Primary were questioning beginning a similar programme, but after discovering what was contained inside the book they did not implement it. Amir Ahmed, one of the organisers for the public meeting said: “The local school Parkfield in Alum Rock has implemented a programmed called no outsiders by Andrew Moffat. And what he is attempting to do is changing our children’s belief around sexuality. We expect that our children

learn to respect all human beings, but we don’t want is that their belief is changed. And this is what he is doing. And that is what we are protesting against, which is why we want this to be withdrawn from the school and want an apology. An investigation should take place as well as to why this happened against the wishes from the parents.” On the day of the protest outside the school on Thursday the 7th of February, a huge number of parents were protesting outside of the building alongside their children and chanting ‘Stop the no outsiders programme.’ Asian World News interviewed Parent Fatima Shah further to gain an insight into the perspective of the parents of pupils being taught the programme at the school. What statement can you give about the running of the protest outside Parkfield Community School?

I am very happy for the turn out today. So many brothers and sisters came. We were really pleased that people from the Christian community came all the way from Wales to support us. Petition complaint forms were handed in today. I think if we weren’t heard before. We definitely have been heard now. When did you first find out that the school was running the ‘no outsiders programme’? We found out literally two months ago. Even though it has been going on for four years and, none of the parents were formally informed. Mr. Moffat said it himself that only two people came to the meeting in order to discuss the prospect of implementing the curriculum in future, but then he took it upon himself stating that parents were on board and then he implemented the no outsiders programme himself. A petition was made how many parents have signed it?

Over 400 parents have signed it. As you can see the turnout today, no one is forced to be here. They are all here in order to give their support and stand by our side. If the ‘No Outsiders’ programme is continued, will you allow your child to continue their studies in the school? I think a lot of parents have come together and come to an agreement that if Mr Moffat doesn’t back down and change his ethos, and come to show some compassion with our community, then yes we would have to take our children elsewhere. It is a shame because the children who are in year 6 are taking SATs exams, so they shouldn’t be pulled out of school, but if it comes to that we will do it Members of the Christian Community also supported Muslim parents in their protest, stating: “We are standing 100% with you. We have to protect the children’s innocence and you are doing a brilliant job. Keep up the good work.”

From Far-Right to Follower of Islam front page story cont’d... Joram van Klaveren, former Dutch Politician and Member of Parliament for the Freedom Party (PVV), has stated that he has now converted to Islam. The conversion comes as a shock to many, as Klavern was formerly a Member of Parliament who represented Geert Wilder’s anti-Islamic far-right party. During this time, Klavern had announced that Islam is apparently “a lie” and that the Muslim faith’s holy book, the Quran, is “poison.” The 40-year-old was attempting to write an anti-Islam book when his views became swayed. He stated that he was merely “incorrect” about what he said in the past as his views had now entirely changed. Mr van Klaveren’s book, which he initially planned to be anti-Islam work, will now be titled Apostate: From Christianity to Islam in the Time of Secular Terror. “During that writing, I came across more and more things that made my view on Islam falter,” he confessed to a Dutch radio station. Mr Van Klaveren was an MP for

By Manisha Bhanot the PVV from 2010 up until 2014, but left after party head Mr Wilders asked followers if they wanted fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. This was during a rally in 2014, after which locals replied “yes” and Klavern shortly left the party afterwards. Mr Wilders has contrasted his ex-right-hand man’s conversion as liking to “a vegetarian going to work in a slaughterhouse.” Klavers in not the only ex-member of his party who has joined the conversion route to Islam. In April of 2012, Arnoud Van Doorn, another ex-PVV member also converted to Islam. Van Doorn showed his support for van Klaveren on social media via Twitter, saying he never believed that he would see so many converts from his former party. There are many other people in History who have gone on to leave their former beliefs behind and convert to Islam. Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor converted in late 2018 and began wearing the hijab, astonishing many fans across the world and receiving approval from much of the Muslim followers of the faith.


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February 2019

This month in History

Wasim Akram’s Achievement

On February 25, 2003, Pakistan’s legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram took 500 wickets in one day, when he dismissed The Netherland’s Nick Statham in the ICC World Cup. The match was at Boland Bank Park, Paarl. Wasim had become the first bowler who reached the milestone of taking 500 wickets. The left-hander, Wasim, pushed firmly forward to a delivery ball and could only watch helplessly as the ball bounced back onto his wicket. He had celebrated by throwing both arms into the air and was immediately swamped by his team-mates. Wasim who was given a title of the ‘Sultan of Swing’, picked up two more wickets in the match which was his last in international cricket, as he was dropped after the men in Green faced first-round exit. Six years later, on February 2009, his record was broken by Sri Lanka’s off-spin Muttiah Muralitharan, when he dismissed India’s Gautam Gambhir in the 48th over of the innings. Wasim became the first ever bowler to take 400

ODI wickets. He accomplished this by dismissing Australia’s Damien Martyn in Australia. Nobody else had more than 300 wickets in ODI Cricket at that moment. Later that year, Wasim reached 400 Test wickets, becoming the first bowler to take 400 wickets in both formats of the game. He was also the first cricket player to reach 900 International wickets and 500 ODI wickets, which he did against Namibia in 2003 World Cup, his last tournament.

Britain’s First One Pound Note

In 1970, after the 10 shilling note was withdrawn, the One pound note became the smallest valued note issued by the Bank of England. The currency was issued by the Bank of England for the first time in 1797. It continued to print, until 1984.

The one pound note was introduced after a period of gold shortages, which were brought about by the French Revolutionary Wars. The first batches of notes were written by hand, which was commonly expected by the general public. These notes were composed only composed on one side

of the paper and bore the name of the receiver, the date, and the mark of the issuing clerk. Somewhere in the range of 1797 and 1821 the shortage on gold meant that the banks would not trade notes for gold, especially after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The deficiency was reduced with the end goal that notes could be traded for a comparable measure of gold when exhibited at the bank. One pound notes stopped being issued in 1821 and were then succeeded by gold sovereigns. Many people were doubtful since money usually came in the form of coins, and they were wondered if this was a new silly paper and if it was any good. The former prime minister, William Pitt, helped maintain confidence in the new paper money by claiming that the bank had plenty of money, and there was no need to store coins, as the paper version was just as good. After that, London’s bankers and wholesalers stepped in, stating it was a good use in all financial transactions. The one-pound note went through several alterations and changes and eventually was taken out of circulation in 1984; it was replaced with the equivalent coin used till date. This left the five pound as the smallest note available today.

By Tauseef Asif

New Delhi becomes capital City of India

New Delhi, the capital city of India, had its foundation stone placed by George V before he became the Emperor of India. The ceremony took place in the Delhi Durbar of 1911. The city’s architectural planning was done by two British architects, Sir Herbert Baker and Sir Edwin Lutyens. On 13 February 1931 Lord Irwin, India’s Viceroy, inaugurated New Delhi as the new capital of the country and declared plans of extending the city. Since then, New Delhi has become the centre of the government, with all the branches of the legislative, judiciary and executive needed to run the country.

Before New Delhi became the capital of India, Kolkata had the honour of being the country’s capital until 1911. However, Delhi had been the financial and political centre of many Empires that had formerly ruled in India. Some of the most knowns of these are the Delhi Sultanates as well as the reign of the Mughals during the 16th and 17th Centuries. With the coming of the British in India, many things have changed. It was in the early period of the 1900s that the British administration thought of shifting the capital of the British Indian Empire from Kolkata to Delhi.

Urdu declared as the National Language of Pakistan

On 2nd February 1948, after a year of being partitioned by India, Pakistan was declared an independent nation. Urdu was also declared as the national language of the country. The history of the Urdu language was the development of its own literature. Hindi and Urdu share an Indo-Aryan base, but Urdu is connected with the Arabic script style of the Persian calligraphy, which reads right-to-left. Urdu developed more during the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire. When the Delhi Sultanate expanded south to the Deccan Plateau, the fictional language was influenced by the tongues spoken in the south, by Punjabi and Sufi and court usage. The earliest verses are recorded from the 1400s, and the golden period of Urdu poetry was the 18th–19th centuries. Urdu religious prose goes back several centuries, while secular writing flourished from the 19th century and onwards. Currently, Urdu is the national language of Pakistan, but it is also spoken by many millions of people in India as well. Urdu is beautiful, expressive, and it is the average of some of the most powerful literature generated

in parts of the Indian continents over the last two or three centuries. It has also been mentioned that secondary school and college students are choosing Urdu as their GCSE’s and A levels. They had mentioned that the language Urdu was a spoken language and also the best for poetry in the genre of romance. Since 1973 English has also been their national language as well, nearly every village has an English middle school privately run.


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February 2019

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10

February 2019

West Midlands Cities named Unhealthiest in the Whole of Britain

By Manisha Bhanot

Youngster Hassan Ali Gives a Helping Hand to Fellow Youths by Mohammed Zafran

My latest monthly column features the young Hassan Ali and the brilliant work he is doing for the youths. Born and bred in Salford, Manchester in a very honourable and respectable family, I learnt from a very early age the importance of peace, love and unity. Every story starts with oneself, however my story starts with my parents. My mother and father are not only beacons of inspiration for me but have been beside me for every step of my journey, picking me up when I fall and holding me high when I rise. My school and college years began with me being immersed in a toxic environment where the youth around me were prone to peer pressure, luckily I escaped early and started to see the problems with our community. Seeing that little was being done to guide these societies, I knew then that something had to be done and rather than approaching the youth with harshness and punishment, it was love and support that was needed. At times like these I turned to my father who has always been my source of guidance and motivation. Despite coming from a very ‘hand to mouth’ background, my father always strived to ensure that my two elder sisters and myself were always happy, remembering this made me realise that I too needed to follow in my father’s footsteps and work hard to make something of myself, so that I too can one day help others, and that is exactly what I did. Following my college years I started to express my passion of helping others

out and started an organisation dedicated to promoting the youth who recited poetry and rap with the sole message of peace, love and unity. This organisation currently has over 40 members located in various cities across the country. I also participated in many charity events and local community work in an effort to help as many people as possible. When I started my first organisation I had just entered adulthood at the age of 16 and went in search of sponsors for my first event and people who would join me on my mission, however due to my age I was not taken seriously by anyone. After multiple rejections I started to contemplate admitting defeat so I went to the only place I knew I would be taken seriously; home. I remember walking towards my mother and without me saying a word she realised what had happened and had said to me something which echoes in my ears every time I even think about giving up, she said “Hassan, my child, the day you give up is the day you have failed, never give up and believe me one day you will be the shining star that people look up to for guidance”. After hearing that I held my head up high and continued to pursue my dream of making others’ dreams come true and have since organised multiple events dedicated to promoting the youth through the medium of poetry including an individual who is very well known figure within the youth for his talent of singing; Brother Abdullah, who is also known as ‘Brother D’. Brother D has been up and down the

Many of us may think that the unhealthiest places for us to live are over-seas; in countries such as the US and Canada, where there are giant fast food chains, double-sized portions and colossal casinos. However, there are major cities local to the West Midlands area, which have been named as the least healthy places to reside in Britain alone. The lesser sub-streets and dingy alleyways of these towns have been found to host a very large number of local chippy’s, greasy Chinese take-outs and off licenses that sell strong booze and tobacco. In recent findings, the cities of Wolverhampton and Stoke-on-Trent have been found as the top 10 worst cities to inhabit in regards to their effect on people’s health. Aside from these, Walsall has been named one of the unhealthiest towns. According to a study by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH),

country with me to many events that I have organised and has always provided me with guidance, motivation and support. Another individual who has not only been one of my inspirations but has also shown me that not all family is from blood is English Nasheed artist Bilal Younis. Bilal has stood firm by my side through my Journey and has always provided me with love, moral support and guidance whenever, these individuals have assisted me through the process of launching my new organisation. Due to many years of hard work, commitment and inspirations, including my parents, I have been successful in my goals. One of the individuals who has helped me especially is Mohammed Zafran BEM, BCA of Birmingham, who is a personality I have always looked up to for his outstanding work with the youth, helping over 21,000 youths get off the

inhabitants of towns such as this are far more likely to die two and a half years younger than the rest of the population. In fact, cities with a multitude of pharmacies and libraries are able to maintain the average living rate of their inhabitants to a much better rate. The study also gave vantage points to cities based n the number of opticians, dental infirmaries, leisure centres and museums they had. This is because they either worked towards taking better care of inhabitants’ health, or at least providing healthy-living and engaging activities outside of the home. Mr Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive of Guy’s, a Health Charity based in London said: “There are huge opportunities to be creative in improving the nation’s health…This work highlights the important interplay of environmental factors on our health and illustrates how many others, beyond the health and care system, can play a role in supporting

streets has lead to him receiving multiple global awards including an Award from Her Majesty the Queen. Also, his son Sahil Zafran has been providing me with love and support throughout my difficult journey. All these moments in my life have lead up to me creating this new organisation ‘All 4 Youth’. With the main objective of the group being to take as many youths off the streets as possible, in which they are immersed in misguiding societies and into a place where they are safe from the dangers of such decaying alliances, I believe with my personal experiences in life, I will be the driving force behind the success of the organisation. As well as the main objective, All 4 Youth will also provide support and guidance to those suffering from mental health issues, drug/alcohol addiction, bullying, depression, anxiety, and many

people’s wellbeing.” Some of the healthiest towns named included; York, Exeter, Cambridge, Cheltenham and Edinburgh. These places are known to be home to more of England’s well-off population. Findings discovered that around 4,000 fast food chain restaurants and takeaways newly opened in the last half a decade in Britain’s poorer areas. Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive of the RSPH, commented: “While the face of the British high street continues to change, the environmental and economic factors that influence inequalities in health outcomes across the country remain stubbornly intractable.” “Our Health on the High Street rankings illustrate how unhealthy businesses concentrate in areas which already experience higher levels of deprivation, obesity and lower life expectancy.”

others. To see that my aims and objectives are efficiently executed, I shall be taking various means to action to tackle these problems in our society such as lectures, interactive events, seminars, residential and educational trips, sports tournaments and many more. All 4 Youth have kept in to account that the youth require various methods for the organisation to connect to them as every person is unique. This has also been incorporated into the foundation of the organisation as it is a multi-cultural, multiracial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and universal organisation making it open to anyone and everyone in requirement of support without any discrimination as I will always remember what my mother told me, and will not allow anyone else to give up on their dreams because of a few wrong decisions.


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February 2019

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Town Hall Symphony Hall @THSHBirmingham townhallsymphonyhall thsh_birmingham

ASIAN SPRING SUN 3 MARCH 2019 6PM

RIZWAN MUAZZAM QAWWALI SUNDAY 31 MARCH 7:30PM

TOWN HALL

With Sampad’s track record of programming uncompromisingly high-quality dance, this year’s Asian Spring will be a wonderful evening of entertainment with stunning classical forms of Kathak and Bharatanatyam, incredible Bollywood moves, and breathtaking Indian folk dance.

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Rizwan-Muazzam continue to push the boundaries with their imaginative reinterpretation of classic Sufi texts breathes fresh life into this rich centuries old tradition.

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February 2019

WAKE UP CALL II: Child Grooming In early February, an event took place in Alum Rock at the Sultan Bahu Mosque, where a topic was picked up about Child Grooming. Now the question is what is Child grooming? Child grooming, comes in different forms, but when it is heard or said we all immediately know the abuse and control it involves. Child grooming is when someone is befriending and starting an emotional connection with a child to lower the child’s self-esteem with the objective of sexual abuse. This is the first thing that comes into a person’s mind when the term ‘child grooming’ is spoken of. Mohammed Ali who is a resident of Alum Rock and runs a football academy at Rockwood Academy called Jabs B8 FC said: “As soon as you mention grooming, we know

what we are talking about. Grooming can be taken by anyone; respective of their faith, background, and who they are.” This actually shows that anyone can be targeted, which the groomer (adult), will intend to manipulate a vulnerable individual in order to do something which they would normally not do in their everyday circumstances. If the groomer knows that the individual is an easy prey such as a child, then their task becomes easier. This is where the connection gets broken between the child and their parents and their lifestyle changes. The result of this is that once this happens, the groomer can highly take advantage of the situation. A few people have also mentioned that, young children are being

Imam Bilal, who was also one of the speakers, further commented that: “I work at the prison service, as an Imam. In regard to this event which took place today. In regards of child grooming and the RSE syllabus are being enrolled into schools. All I can do is urge parents to link themselves with the local mosque, learn the holy book Quran, learn about Islam and to teach their children and safeguard them as well. This is a request to all parents. This also applies to young people to learn about their religion to protect themselves, their friends and their families. Thank you all.”

By Tauseef Asif

especially affected by this topic as it being recalled in Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) classes, which are part of the new syllabus being enrolled in schools and the mothers are protesting outside schools to scrap the new curriculum. Haroon Iqbal, who was one of the organisers for the Wake Up Call event had stated that it will give them a change of mind and would think about what to do to guide the young children to the right direction whilst everyone in the community is coming together as one to act upon the situation. When we asked him about this subject being taught in primary schools, Haroon Iqbal said. “We are going to come as one as a community and stop it getting taught in schools”.

The host of the event Mohammed Haroon Raza had said. “We had the honour to participate in this event today, creating awareness on issues which is happening in the society today. Today in particular child grooming gangs. We heard from, lecturers, scholars of religion, activists and the people who are campaigning in the societies. We have gathered to give opinions and solutions and we will take everything on board and progress in living a brighter future. The message that we have, is that the communities need to come together as one to resolve the bigger picture”.

Tolly Boy Wins the Charity/ Community Campaign of the Year The nationwide campaign, which saw Tolly Boy rice donate over £20,000 to African and Bangladeshi charities to empower the community won the accolade at the inaugural award ceremony

In 2018 Tolly Boy rice went beyond the dinner plate and ran a grassroots campaign to help the African and Bangladeshi communities in the UK, by supporting community groups who are working towards education, society support, counselling or protection within these communities. ‘Spread the Joy with Tolly Boy’ got people from within the African and Bangladeshi communities to vote for their preferred community projects throughout the UK. The 3-month campaign saw a total of 20,341 votes placed for the respective community groups with the winner Wapping Bangladeshi Association receiving £10,000 towards funding for their Healthy Eating project. The campaign was a resounding success and showed how a humble grain of rice can empower the communities to make a real difference to their own community members. Recognising the effort and the success of the campaign, Spread the Joy with Tolly Boy won the British Asian Media Community / Charity Campaign of the Year Award 2018. Account Director, Westmill Foods Rakesh Oberoi collected the award from Martin Day MP and singer Juggy D. On receiving the award, Mr Oberoi said: “The campaign demonstrates the perfect collaboration between the agency, Westmill and our largest wholesaler Wanis who are our route to market which gets us into the community. Our agency Here & Now 365 have picked up the brief and done a great job at executing it.

We are proud to have a brand like Tolly Boy that can reach out to the community with a campaign like this. It’s the first time we have done a campaign like Spread the Joy with Tolly Boy and we are proud with the way it has worked out.” Talking about the win, Steven Perry, Senior Brand Manager, Tolly Boy said: “We are really thrilled to have won this Award. I think it’s a testament to how positively our community focused campaign has been supported by all involved. It represents a real acknowledgement of the huge amount of work carried out by the team at Tolly Boy, our agency Here & Now 365 along with our wonderful Asian and African community groups. This award is for them all!” About Tolly Boy: For over 50 years, Tolly Boy rice has been at the heart of the African and Bangladeshi communities in the UK. We have since become a traditional family favourite, which has been proudly passed down through generations. Be it jollof rice, biryanis or puddings, we’ve found our place within UK households as a trusted brand and are honoured to be consistently leading the market with rice that is of high quality, easy to cook and loved by our customers! We are built upon a strong heritage of feeding the vibrant communities that make up the fabric of modern Britain. We are proud to support the communities we serve, as well as those in the countries we source from.


LOCAL 4-17

GLOBAL 18-22

BUSINESS 23-28

GLAM 29-37

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TRAVEL 42-43

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February 2019

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Faulty Bank Card Gives Penniless Fraudster a Chance to Spend £60,000

Hack Job to Pay For

By Jemma Tennison

An ex-employee has been ordered to reimburse former company £20,000 after losing them thousands of pounds in illegal computer hack. 41-year-old Samir Desai, of Grange Drive in Streetly, hacked the network numerous times in 2017 between February and April, and caused “significant disruption” to the firm’s operations. The Warwickshire-based company remains unnamed, but the hack was discovered during an investigation by the Regional Cyber Crime Unit for the West Midlands. Desai was arrested after police searched his home and seized his computer, although detectives stated last year that they could not find a motive for the crimes against the company. Investigators discovered Desai had accessed the company’s systems multiple times. Det Con Mark Bird spoke from Warwickshire Police’s Regional Cyber Crime Unit following the conviction: “Cyber crimes of this type are a growing problem and here at the Regional Cyber Crime Unit we have a range of skilled investigators trying to stay one step ahead of the criminals.” Bird also commented on the extent of damage Desai caused, as “these types of crimes

aren’t victimless; they cause financial and reputational harm to businesses and ultimately their customers.” Bird’s claims are in accordance with reports of hacking incidents rising in the West Midlands – increasing by almost 20% across 2018. There were 277 reports of hacking 2017-2016 and this rose to 329 reports 2017-2018. The number of these incidents that were classified as a crime has also risen – from 40 to 61. These figures reflect the rise in cyber crime on the international scale, which has led The World Economic Forum to name cyber-crime amongst the Top 3 in the list of risks the world will face this year. Desai appeared before the Birmingham Crowd Court on Friday 11th January after having admitted to hacking charges on 18th April last year. He pleaded guilty to one instance of gaining unauthorised access to the company’s network with intent to commit further offences and another due to the intent to impair the operation of a computer within a network. He was given a 15-month sentence and suspended for two years. It was confirmed that £20,000 compensation and £1,800 costs fees would have to be paid to the company.

By Priyanka Dutta Allah Ditta is a homeless man, who has also a huge addiction to drugs. His drug addiction has ruined his marriage. This man has been on a spending spree recently at a Tesco store. The man spent £60,000 despite not having a single penny in his bank account. The 49-year-old rough sleeper and his friends next used the card to raid stores across the north-west 167 times and bought items worth £56,683. The man now has been put behind bars for a period of two years and three months for his act. Prosecutor Sophie Drake told Bradford Crown Court that a software error meant transactions were approved when they should have been declined. Ditta understood that something was not right and hurried to another store to try out his luck yet again. The fact that he knew that he had no money and yet tried out the same trick, proves that he knew what he was doing. At the court, he also mentioned that he had loaned his cards

to his other friends who had bought phones, computers, electric items and other items. Most of the sales of the items from the various Tesco stores went for funding his addiction. The faulty card was used for a total of 167 times at 14 different Tesco shops located in Bradford, Leeds, Garforth, Oldham and Manchester. Ditta began spending from January 21st last year and continued till February 15th where he was arrested at a store in Bradford. Ditta justified his actions by stating that he had done nothing wrong as hardly any individual is honest these days. Geraldine Kelly who was mitigating said that Ditta was going through a tough period in his life and he was also homeless. His actions suggest that he is having a sad time in his life. He has been a drug addict for thirty years and his married life went topsy-turvy due to his drug addiction. He was unable to meet with his wife and daughter.

Ditta had been previously convicted for burglary, shoplifting and theft in the last year. Apart from these, he also has a long list of other convictions too. Judge Robert Bartfield mentioned the fact that Ditta knew he had no funds in his account and his transaction would have been declined. But since the card malfunctioned once, Ditta saw an opportunity that his luck will shine again and he used it again. Either Ditta or his friends who were given the card had used the card repeatedly. The judge also mentioned that Ditta had done this to support his drug addiction and due to the term that he will be serving, he will not be able to see his daughter for a long time now. It was however not very clear if the software fault was with the Tesco stores or with the bank. Whoever may be at fault, Ditta and his friends did have some good times buying stuff from Tesco stores without having a single penny in their pockets.

Madni Ahmed Locked up for Killing a Grandmother

Madni Ahmed, from Stoke-on-Trent, has been jailed for the murder of 86-year-old Riasat Bi. After denying all charges, Madni Ahmed, 20, has been found guilty of murdering 86-year-old Grandmother Riasat Bi. He has also been charged of wounding with intent, being in possession of an offensive weapon and affray, meaning he is now facing at least 36 years in prison. The attack occurred on July 12th, 2018 at Bi’s home on Aubrey Road, Small Heath, where Ahmed viciously stabbed her to death and attacked one of her grandsons, Faizaan Javed. The extent of her injuries has been revealed by a post-mortem and proclaimed in front of Birmingham Crown Court by Dr Brett Lockyer: “I found a number of sharp-force injuries. There were injuries to the skull, a stab wound to the side of the neck, damage to the liver and the throat.” It is likely that the intended victim of the attack was, in fact, another of Bi’s grandsons, Islam Javed, whom it is purported was an old school friend of Ahmed’s and may have owed him

money. Drones were used to examine the scene and found the large knife that Ahmed had used to fatally wound Bi and horrifically injure her grandson, Faizaan, who was paralysed by the incident and is now wheelchair-bound. Ahmed was also found guilty of attempted

murder for this attack. Ahmed was caught when his father, Nadeem Nazir, was alerted by witnesses who saw the escapee fleeing the scene through their garden and recognised him, they became aware an old woman had been killed, potentially by his son.

After viewing footage of the escape which he had been sent, Nadeem noticed the similarity in the clothes worn by the assailant, and those which he had last seen his son wearing. He then notified police that he believed his son could’ve been involved in the attack.

Ahmed appeared remorseless in court; onlookers saw him ‘smirking’ as Judge Mark Wall QC delivered the verdict that he would spend 36 years behind bars. He also remained unmoved as it was revealed the effect that these events have had on Faizaan’s life. Flashbacks of the incident are commonplace and the injuries that he sustained at the hands of Ahmed are such that he will require dedicated care for the rest of his life. Other details that emerged during proceedings include the weakness and frailty of Miss Bi, who, according to Judge Mark Wall, “slept downstairs because she could not cope with the stairs in the house.” Although Ahmed had displayed aggression in the past (a previous conviction for robbery after he attacked a man for his iPad) it is impossible to comprehend the psychology behind such a savage attack on such a helpless victim. Although the family of Riasat Bi may find a certain closure in Ahmed’s lengthy sentence, nothing can be done to repair the trauma inflicted on them, especially those who witnessed the tragic incident. By Will Rymer


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February 2019

Sandwell Valley School Children Getting Free School Meals

Sandwell Valley School is now scrapping the £4 daily charge and providing free meals to all pupils. The owners of Smethwick’s Salma Food Bank and Cleone Foods have both vowed to give free school meals to Sandwell Valley School. The Black Country school had launched this programme two years ago on Birmingham Road in West

Bromwich. It has had an issue with many children going hungry for the duration of the day since they couldn’t manage the expenses of £4 for a meal, as per Wade Lyn, the owner of Cleone Foods. He has assured to keep the school’s coolers filled up with food at whatever point they require it. The Birmingham-based food

organisation is the brand behind the current Island Delight Jamaicanstyle patties that you will discover on the shelves in Asda and Sainsbury’s. Additionally, Imran Hameed the organiser of the Smethwick’s Salma Food Bank has prepared fresh foods to be delivered to the kitchens consistently every day. “I trained as a teacher back in the 1980s, and

By Tauseef Asif I know that a child who is hungry cannot concentrate. The school had a need; we manufacture food” said Mr Lyn. The school’s head teacher, Mim Hall has recognised a considerable effect; this move has had on both the students and staff. Ms Hall stated: “We are a charity and we can’t do everything by ourselves; we have limited assets. The help we have gotten from Wade and Imran implies that many of our kids don’t go hungry any more. Another thing that solves the issue is that it can get in the way of their education.” She also included: “To qualify formally with the expectation of free school meals, a student’s family should know the advantages. Many of these are considered to a lot of children, which are refugees who are hanging tight for advantages and were in danger of getting lost in through the cracks of the system. In any case, with the help of two local businessmen, rather than charging £4 per day for a meal, we can sustain numerous children for nothing. The individuals, who can bear the cost of it, can contribute from just £5 every week.” Sandwell Valley School has managed to cook for 138 students matured somewhere in the range of ages between 11 and 19, just by working with 40 apprentices.

Mundill Mahil to become Mayoress four years after serving sentence in jail

By Tauseef Asif

A ‘honey trap’ loveliness who tricked a smitten Sikh TV official to his horrific death is to become mayoress only four years after leaving jail. Mundill Mahil welcomed Gagandip Singh, 21, to her student flat where he was beaten brutally over the head by another man and then tied up with electrical line and stuck him in the car boot of his Mercedes, which was determined to flame. Mahil was punished for six years in jail for causing an offensive of real damage in 2012. However, it was discharged on a permit in 2014. Since her discharge from prison, serving half of her sentence, Mahil has modified her life by turning into a fitness coach and having a wedding with Varinder Singh Bola, a rising star of the Labour Party. Mr Bola this week declared he is the city’s Mayor-elect of one of London’s quickest developing precincts. This implies that Mahil will be allowed to enjoy the majority of the advantages just as the grandeur and functions that her better half’s position brings. His upset family today disclosed of how Mahil’s social climbing is an insult, particularly as she just served half of her sentence in jail. His sister Amandip Kaur Singh,

26, stated. “’That lady tricked my brother to a horrible death but served only three years in jail for it. She has just been out for a long time and is currently going to be a mayoress, through her better-half, however she will be respected as much regard as him. She will be on his arm at official functions, where without hesitation launch a charm offensive with the assembled celebrities. In any case, she doesn’t worth any of it. My sibling’s life was snatched away when it was going to truly start and as a family, we’ve

been attempting to struggle with it from that point onward. However, she’s served a small jail sentence, wedded a high-flying politician and is presently attempting to charm herself into the obliging society. Not once has she at any point admitted her fault or apologized to us. She’s proceeded onward and is attempting to imagine nothing at any point occurred.” Amongst her initial at the Old Bailey, the jury was informed that Mahil had ‘played God’ and

attracted Gagandip to his death by welcoming him to her flat in Brighton to get revenge for a sexual attack on her. Gagandip’s body was aftwerwards found in the boot of the burnt Mercedes vehicle, dumped 60 miles away close Greenwich Park, in South East London. Mahil appealed that she had no job in the assault and in spite of the fact that she was cleared of murder and she was sentenced for causing horrifying substantial damage. Another man, Harvinder Shoker, who was additionally captivated by Mahil, was sentenced for murder and imprisoned for at least 22 years and a third, Darren Peters, of murder, imprisoned for a long sentence. Condemning Mahil, Judge Paul Worsley QC said: “She had numerous remarkable characteristics, but on the other hand was manipulative, wrathful and tricky. Since her discharge, she has prepared as a fitness coach, aromatherapist and masseuse just as engaging with photography and charity work. She has likewise tried to agitatedly eradicate her past by launching no less than five websites, all giving nitty gritty portrayals of her accomplishments and qualities.”

Time To Tackle The Scourge Of The Smombies We all know them. Some of you may even count yourselves as among them. They’re the scourge of modern society, putting lives at risk with their selfishness and obsessive behaviour. They’re oblivious to others and their surroundings, engrossed only in feeding their never-ending addiction. They are the smombies – the smartphone zombies who stagger around like the undead, blind to everything but the screen in front of them. You’ll see them walking down the street, risking permanent spinal damage with their necks craned at 45 degrees, their elbows bent at 90 degrees and their eyes fixated on the device they’re holding in front of them. They’d rather walk face first into a lamppost than look up to see what obstacles – including other people - are in their way. It’s the same at roadsides. Forget the traffic on the road they’re about to cross – their priority is to squint at the latest social media update or WhatsApp message that are the foundations of their social interactions. The smombies are everywhere. Remember enjoyable, sociable conversations over dinner? Well forget it – the screen’s the only channel of nourishment they require. So before they lose all resemblance to living, breathing human beings, it’s time to act. In some parts of the world, they’ve realised the dangers posed by smombies and have enacted measures to combat them. In the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou last month, a woman was fined for using her mobile phone while crossing the road. The penalty was for infringing regulations which ban activities that affect other vehicles or pedestrians. The overwhelming response was a collective yippee, with the overwhelming majority calling for the measures to be rolled out nationwide – and China’s a big country! Some other parts of China are also acting. In the northern city of Xi’an they’ve designated special lanes for pedestrians using their phones. Meanwhile, in the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu, legislation in the form of the Distracted Walking Bill means pedestrians can be fined for looking at their phones while crossing the road. The smombies’ gaze is always downwards, so in the German cities of Augsburg and Cologne they’ve installed the equivalent of traffic lights in the ground with red LEDs embedded in the pavement at tram crossings which flash as a tram approaches. And in Munich special beacons have been fitted at some dangerous tram crossings which send warnings to smartphones via an app, thereby making (ironically) full use of the very instrument which the smombies rely on for their existence. Thankfully, restaurants – a favourite haunt of smombies – and other drinking or dining venues in this country are also acting. Some have banned the use of mobiles while others have encouraged customers to hand them over on entry. The popular Frankie & Benny’s chain has even offered free kids’ meals to parents who give their phones over. Hopefully this movement against smombies gains traction and others follow suit. It might be the only way we can drag our friends, relatives and colleagues back into the ranks of the living! Mohammed Ilyas is Press and Publicity Manager for the Birmingham charity Islamic Help. The views expressed here are his personal opinions and not necessarily those of his employer.


LOCAL 4-17

GLOBAL 18-22

BUSINESS 23-28

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HEALTH 38-41

TRAVEL 42-43

TECH 44-45

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February 2019

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February 2019

Asian World Motivation! Make Your Life a Masterpiece! Jag Singh

WOULD you like to make your life an excellent Masterpiece? Would you like to create your life to tailor-fit your dreams, goals, passions and interests? Well, I have news for you. You can! If you are truly serious about achieving and living your dreams in the financial and personal areas of your life, to make your life a masterpiece then please read on. In this month’s Asian World News motivational article I will be sharing some effective methods with you that, if followed instantly and precisely, can make your goals and dreams a reality. If you follow these methods with clear focused discipline, endurance and persistence you will eventually see your dreams unfold and materialise in

front of very own eyes. The following information will assist you in gaining perspective, and to grab the ‘helm’

of your life and steer it in the direction you want to go, not the direction anyone else wants you to go. I believe we all have the power to make our lives a ‘Masterpiece’, but in the first instance we need to pursue on-going action and develop never-ending determination. Put it this way, once you begin to walk the road towards your achievements and start to see small successes you will eventually see the big change and make your very own life a Masterpiece! First, you will need to decide exactly what it is that you want to achieve. Many people sit on the ‘ride of life’ and fail to plan or decide what it is that they actually want to achieve. So, grab a quiet spot, get a pen and paper and make a list of all the things you want to gain. I would like to emphasise that this task should be done with pen and paper, not on your phone, laptop or other device. From my very own experience of writing down my goals, I have discovered that there is an amazing connection between the hand and the brain. By physically writing your goals down on paper, it means that your hand sends these amazing messages and signals to your brain, these are needed in order to let your mind know that you mean business. The instant they are written, your brain will get into gear and start to find ways to making these goals a reality. Try it and see for yourself. Brainstorm everything you have always wanted to be or become. Write it all down, at this point don’t worry about the ‘how’ you are going to achieve anything on your list just simply make the list. The ‘How’ will come later. You don’t have to do this in one day, take your time, maybe a few days or even a week to think about this if need be. Those of you who are not clear about what goals you would like to pursue can simply ask yourself a few questions: What did you want to be when you growing up? What skill would you like to acquire? How much money would you like to earn? What could you do to strengthen your relationships with your friends and family? What are you good at? What abilities do you have?

Many people go through life and never, ever ask themselves these questions. But you are different, you are serious about your goals and that is exactly why you are reading this article right now. The above questions are not limited, the more the merrier. If you carry on doing what you are doing right now, and do not take the time to sit down and jot down your dreams and goals where do you think you will you be in 5 years time...10 years time...15 years time? Chances are, you will be exactly where you are today unless to take action to make those positive changes right now. It’s important to know what direction you are going and where you want to be in years to come. Sense of direction is an outcome of some simple constructive planning. As the saying goes, many people ‘don’t plan to fail, but fail to plan.’ Whilst conducting this list don’t only write about monetary gain, the cars and houses that you would like to own, but also think about having fun and enjoyment with your loved ones. Plan a day out for a romantic meal with your partner, plan that time with your children or contacting those friends and relatives that you keep saying that you should, but never get the time to do so. Make the time! Make a plan! Once you have completed your list and exhausted it with all the things that you would like to do and own in your life then start to complete step two, start to take action. For example, if one of your goals is to get physically fit then join the local gym or start a simple training regime and work your way up. Start slow, but don’t waste time, just start right now! Time is one of the greatest commodities we as human beings possess and many times end up taking for granted. Well, don’t! Don’t take the time that you have been given and gifted with for granted. Work your way through your list and begin to take small steps everyday to reach your goals. It is not going to happen over night, so be patient and keep taking those steps in the right direction. Go through one thing at a time on your list and plan every next step you possibly can to make it a reality. If you want to become a singer, join a

singing class, if you want to write your book, schedule quality time during the week to do so. If you truly want to make your life a masterpiece, plan and execute your action plans in each area of your life that is important to you and strive for constant improvement. You may even add to your list anything that you are currently doing in your life that you may like to improve on and take it to the next level. Finally, don’t forget that important word, ‘Deadline’; make sure you write down the dates that you are going to achieve your goals by. This will help counter-attack any procrastination you encounter and create a sense of urgency for you to take action. The only way you are going to succeed is if you make a plan, take action and engage your tasks with a positive state of mind. At times it’s not going to be easy and you will feel like giving up, but don’t! Your persistence will be tested again and again and if you work hard and smart you will prevail and materialise an existence that will one day be classed as a ‘Masterpiece’. Jag Singh from London/Essex is an inspirational speaker, writer and he is constantly campaigning for Anti-Bullying, Mental Health and many other areas that effect the well-being of our communities. Jag has supported the NSPCC (The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) by conducting seminars and workshops campaigning and working in child protection. He is supported by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, Sikh Channel, Zee TV and many other organisations. Jag is also an expert in Effective Sales/Business and Team Management. For constant daily motivation you may follow Jag Singh on Twitter ~ @jagsingh_ican You Tube ~ The Inspiration Zone Jag Singh Please feel free to contact Jag and his team for information regarding the following: – Business and Sales Seminars – Motivational Seminars – Virtual Mentoring – Anti-Bullying Workshops Email: jagsingh@asianworldnews.co.uk


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February 2019

Golfing tobacco smuggler below par after jail sentence A jobless Londoner who enjoyed a sociable lifestyle of golf and exotic holidays by dodging tax on smuggled tobacco has been jailed. Dhanji Varsani, 56, from Mill Hill, North West London, shipped in 6,930kg of hand-rolling tobacco worth £1.2 million in unpaid excise duty, an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed. The tobacco – hidden in a shipment of pocket tissues - arrived in a trailer on a container ship into Purfleet in Essex, but was traced to a storage company, IFL Sea & Air in Southall, West London and to Varsani. Despite claiming to be unemployed, Varsani lived a lifestyle of driving high-powered vehicles, playing at top golf courses and enjoying holidays in places like Dubai. Matt Palmer, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

Dhanji Varsani on a golfing holiday

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“Varsani thought he was above the law and could flout his wealth playing at top golf courses – but now he’s in the bunker. He is paying the price for denying a living for decent, hardworking retailers who don’t trade in such dodgy tobacco and have to fight against an unfair playing field. “Varsani cheated the public purse of the equivalent of the annual salary of 43 new London nurses. “HMRC continues to work with other enforcement agencies to reduce the availability of illicit tobacco, which costs the UK around £2.5 billion a year. Anyone with information about tobacco smuggling should call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.” Varsani pleaded guilty to evading excise duty at Harrow Crown Court on 6 November 2018 and was sentenced in January last month to three years and 10 months in jail.

Mosque makes its way to help homeless on cold nights

By Tauseef Asif

Rubbish tax cheat jailed

A Manchester waste management boss has been jailed for stealing more than £250,000 in VAT repayments. Chaudhry Akbar, 50, of Fairfields Road, Droylesden, used his two waste management businesses to fraudulently claim £253,426 in VAT repayments, a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation found. Akbar submitted 36 bogus invoices between June 2013 and November 2015 while director of Thermal Power Ltd and Hyder Engineering (UK) Ltd. He forged paperwork, making up business purchases for heavy machinery and goods. HMRC investigators found Akbar passed the stolen money through numerous bank accounts in an attempt to hide the cash.

Tim Atkins, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “This was a sustained attempt to steal taxpayers’ money and Akbar was shameless in his greed. He told lie after lie to line his own pockets and then tried to launder the cash so it couldn’t be traced back to him. “VAT fraud steals money from vital public services such as schools and hospitals – this money is equivalent to the wages of ten newly qualified paramedics. I urge anyone with information about VAT fraud to contact HMRC online or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.” Akbar’s two companies, which provided engineering and waste management services, were liquidated in August 2016.

Green Lane mosque in Birmingham has opened its doors to homeless people who are enduring the cold temperatures on the city’s roads. The Mosque and Community Centre have launched a winter freeze venture to help secure rough sleepers as temperatures tumble to zero and below amongst the present day. The thought was created by Humayun Saleem, the head of welfare administrations at the centre, who is worried about the expanding number of homeless people in the city during the sharply cool climate. The task launched two weeks back and when the mosque opened its doors on the primary night, four of the homeless people were welcomed on board under the plan. By the third night, there were twelve homeless people who had gone towards the warmth of the mosque as rain set in and word spread. One person is an impaired man in a wheelchair. On his first night, he made towards the mosque on public transport via bus, joined by another homeless companion. The companion said that they had turned out to be mindful of the mosque being open after volunteers passed out leaflets to the homeless in the downtown area on earlier evenings. They chose to try it out after the temperature had turned out to be cold to the point that neither of them said they could feel their hands or feet. Kamran Hussain, who was recently selected as the general supervisor at the mosque, said that although numerous associations are working superbly in giving free food out, the homeless should be off the streets in this type of weather. Kamran also stated: “Strolling around the city during the evening you see all the homeless crouched in doorways. They rest on solid floors in cold temperatures. In Birmingham, there have been instances of homeless freezing to death and we need to help them to stay

away from this.” GLMCC are giving away opportunities for free medium-term remains in their large community hall, where they will serve food, beverages, snacks and a warm tea to those who are staying over. The project is pursuing for half a month, which they will evaluate as the year continues. Humayun Saleem, head of welfare administrations, who has been in charge of the undertaking, stated: “We have had neighbourhood takeaways and restau-

rants partaking by giving free food. We had a decent reaction from our demand for nourishment from nearby eateries that the volunteers have possessed the capacity to return out each night and disseminate sustenance to the harsh sleepers. On our first night, we distributed 50 packs of foods in minutes. Our services strengthen everybody, which regardless of any race, belief or background as we don’t separate. Individuals are in need, and it’s our Islamic duty to help others around us.”


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February 2019

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Top 10 Historic Cities of India: 3. Agra

1. Ayodhya

Mahal was originally designed as a gallery, so that the royal ladies of the court could look out onto the city as they were always under ‘purdah’ (veil). 5. Allahabad

of its association with the great poet Kalidas. The city was also a central hub for astrology, arts and education. Significant places to visit in the city include the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Vikram Kirti Temples, and the Bhartihari Caves. 7. Madurai

By Manisha Bhanot

by Hindus, and then the British Rule captured the city until 1947. The most famous Temple in the city is the Brahma Temple, which is recorded as the only temple of its kind throughout the world dedicated to this deity. Other famous landmarks include the Savitri Temple and Pushkar Lake. 9. Amritsar

The great Indian city of Ayodya is dated as having been an established urban settlement as far back as the 5th or 6th Century BCE, when it was capital of the Kosala Kingdom. Located on the banks of the Ganges River, it is written in the Ancient Hindu Vedas that the city was built by the Gods. In the epic poem Ramayana, Ayodhya is also said to be the birth-place of Lord Rama, the 7th avatar of Lord Vishnu. The city is also historically important to Buddhists as according to scholars it is identical to the town of Saketa, where the Buddha allegedly lived for some time. Today, Ayodhya is located in the region of Uttar Pradesh. Some of the most famous ancient sites in the city are: The Babri Masjid, Gubtar Ghat and Treta ke Thakur. 2. Delhi

Agra was first established in 1504 by the Muslim Sultan Sikandar Lodi. Prior to that, the city is historically linked to Hinduism. Agra was first mentioned in the epic Sanskrit poem Mahabharata, where it is referred to as “Agrevana”, meaning “edge of the forest.” Agra is located on the banks of the river Yamuna in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The city is a popular tourist hub due to the fact it is enriched with many mughal-era buildings. Agra is one of the three cities belonging to India’s Golden Triangle tourist circuit, which also includes Jaipur and Delhi. Some of the most popular historic sites in the city include Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, and the iconic Taj Mahal, which is also one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Indeed, the Taj Mahal is a spellbinding Marble Paragon, which was designed to encapsulate the love of Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz. Whereas Fatehpur Sikri, which houses ‘Buland Darwaza’ , the highest gateway in the world, stands as a constant reminder of the great power and influence of the historic Mughal dynasty. 4. Jaipur

The Indian city of Delhi was established in 736 CE. According to ancient Hindu texts, the settlement was formerly referred to as Hasthinapur, which is Sankrit for ‘Elephant City.’ Delhi has served as the ruling capital of many different empires, including the Sultans, Mughals, Maratha and Sikhs, as well as the East Indian Trading Company. After India’s independence from the British in 1947, Delhi became the capital of the newly established Republic of India. Due to the city’s ancient heritage, the thriving economic capital has become a hot-spot for many national and international tourists. Some of the most famously historic sites to visit in Delhi include the Qutab Minar; one of the tallest monuments in Indian/Iranian architecture, which towers at an impressive 240ft. Another red stone design hosted by the city is the Red Fort, a merge of tasteful indigenous and Persian architectural styles. Along with the famous Jama Masjid, this famous fort was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan at the zenith of his empirical rule.

AW Facts Did you know? The Bay of Bengal is the biggest bay within the entire world

Jaipur is the capital city of India’s royal state of Rajasthan. The city was named after its founder Jai Singh, and first established in 1727. The capital has earned itself the epithet of “Pink City” due to the predominant pink colour of its buildings. The city was painted pink to primarily welcome the arrival of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, who later went on to become King Edward VIII, Emperor of India. Currently, many of the streets and commerce buildings remain painted pink, and local businesses are taxed heavily if they choose to paint their premises in a different colour. Some of the most popular historic landmarks in the city include Jantar Mantar, which features the world’s largest sun dial, Amer Fort and Hawa Mahal. Hawa

Now officially known as Prayagraj, the city is the judicial capital of India’s state of Uttar Pradesh. The name “Praygraj” translates from Sanskrit to “place of sacrifice”, as it is thought to be where Lord Brahma, the Hindu creator of the universe, took part in a ritualistic sacrifice. Ancient architecture found in the city, dates its origins back to 600-700BC. The city lies close to the three river confluence or Triveni Sangam, where the Ganga, Yamuna and two Sarasvati rivers converge. The Mughal emperor Akhbar also went on to make Allahabad the ruling capital of his empire in the 16th Century, since he valued the geographic placement of the city as a great strategical advantage. The city is famous for a number of sites including Allahabad Fort, which acts as a diverse religious temple for the city’s inhabitants, and Ashoka Pillar, a sandstone monument with Persian inscription, dating back to 232 BC.

Madurai is a historic city that is found in the state of Tamil Nandu in Southern India. The city is known to have Romanic trade links and relations with tzhe Maurya Empire, as historic records date Madurai back to 3000 BCE. According to ancient Hindu legend, Madurai was named for the divine nectar (madhu) that fell from the dreadlocks of Lord Shiva when he came down from heaven to bless the city. The architectural plans for the city were first laid out in the shape of a Lotus flower, with the renowned Meensakshi Temple placed at its core. Madurai is the birthplace of the first Tamil epic, the Silappathikaaram. Historic places of interest in the city include the Thirupparankandram and Kudal Alagar Temples, the Kazimar Big Mosque and the Anglican Cathedral, which was built during the rule of the British Empire.

6. Ujjain

8. Pushkar

Excavations in the surrounding areas of Ujjain have been found, revealing settlements from the Copper Age dating back to 2000 BCE. The city is a part of the state of Madhya Pradesh in Northern India. Ujjain is situated on the banks of the holy river of Shipra, and has many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Once every 12 years the Hindu festival of the Kumbha Mela is held at this sacred pilgrimage destination. Ujjain is mentioned in the great epic Mahabaratha, and was formerly a part of the Maurya Empire. It was invaded by the Delhi Sultanate in 1235 before being reigned over by Emperor Akhbar as part of the Mughal Dynasty. Ujjain is a notable destination because

Pushkar is an ancient city found in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The city has architecture dating back to the 14th Century CE, and is a significant place of pilgrimage for Hindus and Sikhs due to its many Mandhirs (Temples) and Ghats (Bathing pools). According to Folklore, the city was named by the Hindu creator of the Universe Lord Brahma when he descended to earth. As he came down from the heavens, he named the location where the flower (pushpa) fell from Brahma’s hand (kar) as Pushkar. Pushkar was reined over by Hindu Rajputs until the Delhi Sultanate invaded at the turn of the 4th Century. From the time of the rule of Akbar it remained a part of the Mughal Dynasty, before it was regained

Also known as Ambarsar, the city is a part of the state of Punjab and sits close to the Pakistani-Indian border. The city was allegedly founded in the 16th Century; the city’s name literally translates as “Pool of Nectar.” Folklore says that the fourth Sikh Guru, Shiri Ram Das Ji was gifted a plot of Land from Emperor Akhbar, where he dug a reservoir and temple as well as a small village; Ramdaspur. It was his successor, Guru Arjun Dev Ji who actually developed the village into a thriving and populous city. Famously historic places to visit in Amritsar include The Golden Temple, Ram Tirath and Baba Bakala. 10. Patna

Patna is the biggest city in the state of Bihar, and located within Eastern India. The city was founded by the King of Magadha in 490 BCE. Formerly known as Pataliputra, the city was the ex-capital of the Magadha Empire. It was a cultural hub of fine arts and education. The city has belonged to the Haryanka, Mauryan, Nanda, Shunga, Pala and Gupta empires as well. Pataliputra was a seat of learning and fine arts. After the disbanding of the Gupta Empire, Patna lost its former glory and power. It was revived again in the 1600s by the British Empire as an international trade centre. Historically renowned places to visit in Patna include the Golghar and the Sabhyata Dwar. Patna is an especially important city for the Sikhs as it is the birthplace of the 10th Guru, Shiri Gobind Singh Ji, and houses many Gurdwaras as well.

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February 2019

Rohingya Crisis - UN Special Envoy Should Drop ‘Appalling’ Support for NVC Process

Burma Campaign UK has described the UN Special Envoy’s support for the National Verification Card (NVC) process being imposed on Rohingya in Burma as “appalling” and urged her to reconsider her position on the process. In a statement on January 29th following her recent visit to Burma, the UN Special Envoy, Christine Schraner Burgener, issued a statement that endorsed the sham NVC process, stating: “In light of recent assurances that the

new NVC cards will no longer contain mentions of religion or ethnicity, she also encouraged the internally displaced people she met to consider applying for registration, so that they can move around within the country. The Special Envoy was satisfied to hear the Rakhine State Minister explain in her presence to the internally displaced persons that the “NVC cards are not for foreigners, but for people residing in Myanmar. It is a first step towards citizenship. It applies

to the whole country, even in the eastern part close to the Myanmar-Thai border, not just to Rakhine,” the Minister said.” The UN Special Envoy appears to have backed down to the racist demands of the Burmese government not to call Rohingya people Rohingya, but it is reasonable to assume that the internally displaced people referred to in the statement are Rohingya. “Either the UN envoy has been duped by the government of Burma or mis-

takenly believes that being obsequious in the face of genocide will buy her influence,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “There is no need and no time left for the NVC process. It is nothing more than a delaying tactic to avoid giving citizenship to the Rohingya. With elections coming up in Burma next year, the next few months may be the best and only chance of changing the Citizenship Law and starting to address the root causes of this

crisis. Of course the UN envoy needs to build a working relationship with the government, but not at any price.” The denial of citizenship to the Rohingya people is one of the foundation stones which underpins prejudice and violence against the Rohingya. Their right of citizenship is one of the top demands of Rohingya, including a key condition for refugees before returning to Burma.

Storm Norma floods Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon

– and more bad weather is on the way

Extreme weather in Lebanon has left thousands of Syrian refugees without shelter and protection, as strong winds, heavy rain and snowfall battered the country last week - blowing away hundreds of tents and makeshift homes. Storm Norma, which has damaged infrastructure, roads and

homes across Lebanon, began on 6th January and has affected more than 150 informal refugee camps in Akkar and the Bekka Valley. At least 70,000 refugees, more than half of whom are women and children, are now considered to be at risk as the bad weather is expected to continue.

Nidal Ali, Islamic Relief’s Lebanon spokesperson said: “The situation is absolutely dire. People are freezing cold, many have lost their already-flimsy homes and are now facing the elements without any kind of protection. Everywhere I go people are cold, wet and sick. No one can sleep in these condi-

tions. “Many of the people affected have already endured the horror of war, lost their homes and jobs, and now Mother Nature has dealt them a further blow. We are very worried about what will happen in the coming days if the extreme weather continues.”

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Islamic Relief is already providing blankets, fuel and food parcels. In the next few days, the charity will install water pumps to help relieve the flooding, repair tents and replace mattresses; and distribute emergency cash so people can quickly buy what their individual household most needs.


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February 2019

JAYANT KAIKINI ALONG WITH TRANSLATOR TEJASWINI NIRANJANA WINS THE DSC PRIZE FOR SOUTH ASIAN LITERATURE

‘No Presents Please’ emerges as the winner from a shortlist of six to take the coveted US $25,000 DSC Prize The novel ‘No Presents Please’ originally written in Kannada by noted author Jayant Kaikini and translated into English by eminent translator Tejaswini Niranjana has been announced as the winner of the prestigious DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet in Kolkata, India, during January 2019 last month. The DSC Prize has always encouraged writing in regional languages and translations, and this is the first time that a translated work has won the prize. This magnificent book gives us a protagonist that is vivid yet full of contradictions, spirited yet lonely, embattled yet bighearted – the city of Mumbai. Empathy and survival are the constant, codependent themes that unify every strand of this extraordinary book, creating a shimmering mosaic of a conflicted city that is as kind as it is, at times, cruel. In a glittering award ceremony, the US $25,000 DSC Prize was awarded to Jayant Kaikini and Tejaswini Niranjana along with a unique trophy by eminent writer Ruskin Bond. As per the prize process, the prize money would be equally shared between the author and the translator. The world’s literati including writers, publishers, media and literary enthusiasts who had gathered for the Award Ceremony at the iconic Victoria Memorial Hall enthusiastically applauded the winner of the DSC Prize 2018. The six shortlisted authors and books in contention for the DSC Prize this year were Jayant Kaikini: No Presents Please (Translated by Tejaswini Niranjana, Harper Perennial, HarperCollins India), Kamila Shamsie: Home Fire (Riverhead Books, USA and Bloomsbury, UK), Manu Joseph: Miss Laila Armed And Dangerous (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, India), Mohsin Hamid: Exit West (Riverhead Books, USA and Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India), Neel Mukherjee: A State Of Freedom (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, UK and Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India) and Sujit Saraf: Harilal & Sons (Speaking Tiger, India) Jury Chair Rudrangshu Mukherjee, speaking on behalf of the jury said, “The jury decided to award the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 to ‘No Presents Please’ by Jayant Kaikini which has been translated by Tejaswini Niranjana and published by Harper Perennial. The jury was deeply impressed

by the quiet voice of the author through which he presented vignettes of life in Mumbai and made the city the protagonist of a coherent narrative. The Mumbai that came across through the pen of Kaikini was the city of ordinary people who inhabit the bustling metropolis. It is a view from the margins and all the more poignant because of it. This is the first time that this award is being given to a translated work and the jury would like to recognize the outstanding contribution of Tejaswini Niranjana, the translator.” Malavika Banerjee, Director of the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet, made the opening address and welcomed the DSC Prize to the city of Kolkata. As part of the evening program, the 5 member international jury panel of the DSC Prize was introduced, the shortlisted authors read excerpts from their books, and culminated with Ruskin Bond, the Chief Guest for the ceremony, presenting the trophy to the winner of the DSC Prize 2018. Administered by the South Asian Literature Prize & Events Trust, the prestigious DSC Prize for South Asian Literature has helped to raise the profile of South Asian writing around the world by rewarding authors who write about the region. The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature which was instituted in 2010, is an established international literary prize that awards the best work

in South Asian fiction writing each year. The past winners have been from various countries and their work has reflected the importance of South Asian culture and literature. Congratulating the winner, Surina Narula, MBE and co-founder of the DSC Prize said, “My heartfelt congratulations to author Jayant Kaikini and translator Tejaswini Niranjana for winning the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 for their brilliant book ‘No Presents Please’. It was a pleasure reading the shortlist. The challenges faced by the authors to weave their protests against the wave of anti globalization into their writings of seemingly harmless pieces of literature could be seen through their work, migration being a major theme this year. The DSC Prize has completed eight years and reading South Asian literature written in English including translations has enabled larger global audiences to understand the issues globalization has brought about. The jury as usual has to do the difficult task of selecting the better amongst the best. My congratulations to the jury for their excellent choice of the winner.” The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 was judged by a diverse and distinguished five member jury panel comprising eminent figures drawn from the international literary fraternity who have worked in or around South Asian literature and issues. This

year’s international jury panel included Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Jury Chair, Professor of History and the Chancellor of Ashoka University and an internationally acclaimed historian of the revolt of 1857 in India, Nandana Sen, a writer, actor and child-rights activist and author of six books, who has worked as a book editor, a poetry translator, a screenwriter, and a script doctor, Claire Armitstead, who has also been a theatre critic, arts editor and literary editor, Tissa Jayatilaka, who was the Executive Director of the United States-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission and is the author of several publications and has translated and edited many journals, and Firdous Azim, Professor of English at BRAC University, Bangladesh, whose research has focused on women’s writings in the early twentieth century Bengal. About the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature The US $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature which was instituted by Surina Narula and Manhad Narula in 2010, is one of the most prestigious international literary awards specifically focused on South Asian writing. It is a unique and coveted prize and is open to authors of any ethnicity or nationality as long as the writing is about South Asia and its people. It also encourages writing in regional languages and translations and the prize money is equally

shared between the author and the translator in case a translated entry wins. Now in its 8th year, the DSC Prize has been successful in bringing South Asian writing to a larger global audience by rewarding and showcasing the achievements of the authors writing about this region. Past winners of the DSC Prize have been H M Naqvi of Pakistan, Shehan Karunatilaka of Sri Lanka, Jeet Thayil and Cyrus Mistry from India, American author of Indian origin Jhumpa Lahiri, Anuradha Roy from India, and Anuk Arudpragasam of Sri Lanka who won the prize last year. In line with its South Asian essence, the DSC Prize award ceremony is held in various South Asian countries by rotation. The winner of the DSC Prize 2016 was announced at the Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka, the winner of the DSC Prize 2017 was announced at the Dhaka Literary Festival, Bangladesh, and this year the winner was announced at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet, India. About the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet The Kolkata Literary Meet was launched in 2012 in the belief that a culturally rich city like Kolkata needed its very own festival for celebrating literature and the allied arts such as dance, music, recitation, cinema, and theatrical performances. Kalam, which is the popular name of the literary meet has been overwhelmingly well-received from the very first year and has grown to become an integral part of the city’s annual cultural calendar. The lit meet has drawn some of the most premier authors and speakers from across India and the world, and has hosted eminent writers such as Vikram Seth, Paul Beatty, Imran Khan, Alessandro Baricco, Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Thomas Keneally, Amitav Ghosh, Gloria Steinem, Jhumpa Lahiri, Tash Aw, Javed Akhtar, Peter Godwin, Adrian Levy, and Mark Tully, among several others. Kalam’s focus is to present writers from all over the globe, writers of as many different genres as possible, alongside speakers representing India. With topics as varied as history, sport, geopolitics and cinema, there’s something for everyone. The event programming caters to the reader so that they can enjoy a sumptuous literary feast and can rediscover the wonderful world of books and writing, all over again. Since 2015 the lit meet has been known as the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet.

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Punjab wants independence; sikhs for justice By Tauseef Asif

Muslim and Christian NGOs call for prayer for world’s ‘worst humanitarian crisis’ in Yemen

Leaders of faith-based international development agencies united to call on churches and mosques to pray for the desperate humanitarian situation in Yemen during the end of January. After nearly four years of war, more than 14 million people are facing starvation and 85,000 children may have already died from extreme hunger since 2015. Now, the CEOs of Christian Aid, Islamic Relief UK, CAFOD, Tearfund and World Vision UK are rallying their faith communities to pray for an end to the crisis. There is some hope in Yemen with a ceasefire brokered last month which promises to restore the port of Hodeida and allow food and medicine into Yemen. While the organisations welcomed the UK government’s announcement last week that it will be uplifting its funding to the UN Peace process in Yemen by £2.5 million, the situation is so desperate that much more needs to be done. Faith groups committed and came to take part, including the St Anselm Community at Lambeth Palace to pray for the people of Yemen. Amanda Mukwashi, CEO of Christian

Aid, said: “This is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, and we cannot let it be forgotten. The people of Yemen are crying out for hope; and we urge people of all faiths to join with us in praying for the hearts of international governments to be moved to further action, and for positive change to come to Yemen.” Tufail Hussain, Interim Director, Islamic Relief UK, said: “Our staff regularly share stories of the desperate situations Yemenis face every single day. Almost half the population is facing starvation and our staff are working tirelessly in the most challenging of circumstances to deliver life-saving food and medical supplies. We are proud to come together with other faith-based agencies to call for action and I’m urging our supporters and those of all faiths to remember the people of Yemen in their prayers.” Tim Pilkington, CEO of World Vision UK, said: “The conflict in Yemen is now approaching its fourth year. Every day, millions of children struggle to survive without food, clean water or medicine. Parents face the agony of seeing their children go hungry and die. They are desperate. They need hope. We urge people of faith to join with us

and pray for these children to get the protection they need. We also pray that international leaders find the wisdom and courage to broker lasting peace and secure a brighter future for the people of Yemen.” Nigel Harris, CEO of Tearfund, said: “We need to hear the people of Yemen’s cries, and to act. We each have a choice on whether we support our neighbours, or stay silent. Join us in lifting up the people of Yemen, pray for those suffering daily, for families torn apart, for our partners on the ground bringing hope and relief. We have to believe that everything is possible with God.” Chris Bain, CEO of CAFOD, said: “We see immense suffering in the faces of people in Yemen, of the children whose young lives have been stunted by malnutrition, and of those who find themselves homeless, because of the conflict, and in need of the basics of life – food, clean and safe water, and shelter. When a family receives a food parcel, hygiene kit, or medical attention, dignity and a sense of hope is restored. We hope and pray that the human suffering will end. Let us continue to keep the people of Yemen in our thoughts and prayers.”

Those who would like to pray are encouraged to be guided by the following prayer points: 1. For peace for the people of Yemen 2. For wisdom for those involved in diplomacy and a resolve to bring about an end to the conflict 3. For the religious authorities in all of the nations involved to speak truth to power 4. For the people of the UK to be stirred to act to raise awareness of the plight of those living in Yemen – men and women we believe are made in the image of God, just like us.

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Sikhs for Justice have announced that they would hold a ‘London declaration’ on an independence referendum, for the Indian state of Punjab. On August 12th, 2018, a public gathering of Sikh political activists was shown Sikhs for Justice put the case for the Sikh right to self-determination in Trafalgar Square. Jatinder Singh, Director of International Policy for Sikhs for Justice, advocates the referendum as a peaceful, democratic solution to the demand for an independent Punjab. Jatinder Singh stated: “Once we raise the issue of the referendum, it changes the dialogue. For a long time, the Indians have been framing the conversation with terrorism, violence and those types of activities. However, what we have said is that we want a democratic solution to this question. It is clearly not going away.” The director had had also said that the Hindu extremist groups have full support of the Indian government. He claimed they were allegedly raping, killing and abducting the children, women and young people belonging to their localities. On India’s Republic Day on the 26th January 2019, the pro-

Khalistan group was planning a ‘burning of the Indian flag’ protest across the Indian embassy building in Washington DC. In the public park, an invitation was sent out to join the protest across the street from the Embassy of India at Massachusetts Avenue in DC, where a thousands of Sikhs attended. The group burnt the Indian flag at the park over the street. They were chanting slogans against the Indian government and its Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Regarding this, a question was raised of what will happen to the Sikhs who live in India, but not in Punjab? The Sikhs for justice have said that the Sikhs will be given a choice to join an independent Punjab or they can continue to live in India. But it will be their choice. While another question was asked, will the Indians conduct another slaughter against Sikhs living outside of Punjab if it becomes independent? The Sikhs for justice have denied it because India will be very hesitant to organise another slaughter against Sikhs once Punjab becomes independent because an independent Punjab will do everything within its power to protect Sikh lives.

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February 2019

2019 Dawns the Congregation of Millions of Pilgrims in Ardh Kumbh at Prayagraj, India

By Khushboo Chauhan

Amid holy chants the world’s largest religious festival saw a record-breaking gathering of pilgrims from across the globe Kumbh Mela, the largest gathering of millions commenced on 15th January 2019 in Prayagraj and will continue for 50 days till 4th March 2019. This year’s devotees figure is expected to go over 15 crore, as per information released by the Uttar Pradesh government. The most auspicious day of the gathering, February 4th drew 30 million pilgrims to take a dip in the sacred waters of the River Ganges. There is an unparallel faith associated with this mela, which draws millions of pilgrims of varied race and religion from across the globe. Legend has it, the most pivotal role in the festival belongs to those who hit the water at Kumbh first - the Sadhus(saints). These Hermits live in solitude and follow the strict religious discipline of Naga Sadhus, followers of Lord Shiva. They are identified as being covered with ash on their bodies, and long dreadlocked hair. They leave their secluded lives of prayer only for a brief period to attend and bathe in the holy waters during the Kumbh Mela. The Sadhus, alongside all other devotees, attend the huge event at Prayagraj to wash away their sins in the Ganges which as they believe will lead them to liberation. The festival does not only have the bathing ceremony but hosts a lot of traditional and cultural ceremonies for people attending the event. Kumbh identifies itself as the consonance of people from all walks of life and adds to India’s rich cultural, historical and spiritual heritage. The marvel of the Kumbh Mela offers an amazing experience to pilgrims, but also those interested in

the fields of astrology, astronomy, and spirituality. It also excels the engagements of the indigenous peoples in terms of their interaction with traditional social, cultural and ritualistic Indian traditions. History of Kumbh Kumbh is translated from Sanskrit as meaning ‘Pot’. According to mythology, a Nectar urn emerged from the sea, which caused the Gods and demons to churn the ocean in order to battle one another to retrieve it. There was a long war between them which went on for twelve days, which is assumed to be the Kumbh cycle. As they were snatching the pot from each other, four drops from it spilled

in four places on Earth, namely Haridwar, Prayagraj in Allahabad, Ujjain and Nasil, where the Kumbh Mela is organised. This legendary story only makes bathing in the holy water even more tempting for the humans to get a portion of the nectar and be freed from all the earthly experiences to eventually attain salvation. Prayagraj, The city of Kumbh and its significance Prayagraj, The city of Kumbh in Allahabad, India is synonymous to the divine festival. It is one of the four pilgrimage spots in the country, hosting Kumbh in its grand image. Prayagraj Kumbh has a special sig-

nificance because it is the location of the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mystic Saraswati. According to astrologers, the venue of Kumbh is decided depending on the positions of the Sun, the Moon and Jupiter. Bathing at the Triveni Sangam (confluence of three rivers) is said to free a man from the eternal shackles of birth and death and liberates him by bringing him closer to God. Preparations for 2019 Kumbh This year, India has taken a leap in the technology area for better safety, security and health of pilgrims in the Kumbh Mela. Ahead of Kumbh 2019, the Government has come up with various cam-

paigns to promote a clean and healthy festival. The Government is also running a website to educate people about Kumbh, its bathing dates, main attractions, what India has to offer in this year’s largest peaceful congregation, their solutions to travel and stay, etc. A grand structure, the largest of its kind and as mystic as the festival itself has been constructed - a large temporary city at Prayagraj to shelter the sizeable gathering. Round the clock Emergency services are in place, directed by Uttar Pradesh government. Civil Police, Traffic police, Armed Police, Paramilitary force, Jal Police, Watchman and home guards have been deployed, alongside an ambulance service and 40 watch towers in the vicinity of the Kumbh Mela. Uttar Pradesh Police has come up with Quad Bikes for efficient rescue operations even on sand within the confluence area. Indian Railways will be running 800 special trains to Prayagraj to meet the large crowds. A new helicopter service namely “Joyride” has been launched by UP State Tourism which will take devotees on a Kumbh tour. To experience the physical presence of pilgrims at various Kumbh events, a special Virtual Reality (VR) headset is being used at various stalls. To keep the traffic movements safe and to avoid any stampede, an Integrated Control Command Centre has been established. For the first time, to monitor any mis-happenings and to maintain safety, security and for better management, Artificial Intelligence is being used to ensure public safety at the Kumbh Mela.

Indian Government Launches Global Technology to Fill Housing Shortage Quickly Hardeep Singh Puri, who is the Union Minister of India in New Delhi launched the Global Housing Technology Challenge early in January last month. The construction of the houses is to be cost effective and time efficient, as well as introducing the newest building technologies in development. The project will be launched by the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U), with the government holding a conference in March deciding which version of the technology would be best to use. Builders have also opted to identify the technologies so that the deliveries for the projects are given by the time set. The project was launched in June 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as he aims to build more than one million houses by 2022 and

provide the financial needs to fund the project. The launch of the project also saw the beginning of the websites and mobile app for the Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC). The Urban Affairs minister highlighted they are looking for new emerging, disaster-resilient, environment friendly, cost-effective and speedy construction technologies. The Housing Minister called in for a pattern shift in the technology transition so that using large scale construction under the PMAY-U will give a chance to use the best available construction technologies across the globe. The ministry has also sanctioned 68.5 lakh for construction under the PMAY-U. This ensures them to have 1.5 million houses approximately to be handed over to the beneficiaries. Hardeep Singh Puri

By Tauseef Asif has also planned to source technologies from all over the world and to identify those who would be suitable for the approval in India. At the time of the conference in March, the technologies would see the results on a trial basis. Also, the time frame for building the houses must be reduced to four to five months in the country said the NITI Aayong CEO Amitabh Kant, at the time of the event. At the event the Ministry Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra and other senior officers, were also present.


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IBM & Vodafone Business Join Forces to Drive Innovation

Speeds adoption of cloud technologies and innovative business applications enabled by 5G, Edge and Software Defined Networking IBM and Vodafone Business have announced that they are creating a new venture designed to help companies across Europe and beyond deliver innovation faster and succeed in a digital world. IBM & Vodafone join forces in a new venture which works like a start up and uses the latest garage methodologies to help businesses drive innovation faster with cloud, AI, edge and 5G. The two coleaders of the new venture Michael Valocchi, IBM (left) and Greg Hyttenrauch, Vodafone Business (right). Credit: IBM/Vodafone Building on more than two decades of collaboration between the two companies, IBM and Vodafone have entered into a new strategic commercial agreement. It will provide clients with the open, flexible technologies they need to integrate multiple clouds and prepare for the next wave of digital transformation enabled by AI, 5G, edge and Software Defined Networking (SDN). With more than 70 percent of organisations today using up to 15 cloud environments as they strive to access powerful new digital solutions and services, the interconnectivity of clouds and the vulnerability of data have become global issues. Together, IBM and Vodafone Business will help companies remove the complexity and barriers from their technology choices and ensure that data and applications flow freely and securely across their organizations. Under the new venture, Vodafone Business customers will immediately have access to the full portfolio of IBM’s cloud offerings, underpinned by IBM’s deep industry expertise and open technologies. As part of the agreement, IBM will provide managed services to Vodafone Business’ cloud and hosting unit, in an eight-year engagement valued at approximately $550 million (€480 million). Customers will benefit from IBM’s optimisation, automation and cognitive capabilities which help them to run their business effectively in a cloud environment. The new venture will co-develop new digital solutions, combining the strengths of Vodafone’s

leadership in IoT, 5G and edge computing with IBM’s multicloud, industry expertise and professional services capabilities. “IBM has built industry-leading hybrid cloud, AI and security capabilities underpinned by deep industry expertise,” said IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty. “Together, IBM and Vodafone will use the power of the hybrid cloud to securely integrate critical business applications, driving business innovation – from agriculture to next-generation retail.” “Vodafone has successfully established its cloud business to help our customers succeed in a digital world,” said Vodafone CEO Nick Read. “This strategic venture with IBM allows us to focus on our strengths in fixed and mobile technologies, whilst leveraging IBM’s expertise in multicloud, AI and services. Through this new venture we’ll accelerate our growth and deepen engagement with our customers while driving radical simplification and efficiency in our business.” The convergence of multicloud and connectivity promises to speed decision-making, enhance automation and personalize experiences for end users in any location – even some of the most remote. For example, in the past, innovating on an oil rig would have been a challenge due to lack of connectivity and disparate IT systems. Today, thanks to edge computing and IoT technologies from Vodafone working with the latest AI and augmented reality applications from IBM, engineers will be able to pinpoint and resolve faults on equipment in minutes rather than hours, potentially saving millions in lost productivity. Combining the capabilities of two industry leaders under one roof with dedicated executive leaders from both companies, the new venture is designed to act like a start-up and be responsive to rapidly changing market and customer demands. New digital solutions and services will be built using the latest agile methodologies. The new venture will be operational in the first half of 2019.

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Car insurance Rises Due to Brexit

By Tauseef Asif

According to the AA, since 2017 car insurance is rising because of Brexit uncertainty. The policy has climbed by 2.7% to £609.93 on average over the last three months. Premiums have also increased, because the cut in claims will not take effect until April 2020. “All the concerns underlying all of this are surrounding Brexit”, said the AA’s director of insurance Janet Connor. She also said that the market has continued to battle with the value of sterling, nevertheless whatever the final deal looked like. This would also lead to the rising of the cost for imported car parts, which further adds to the costs for car repair within the mechanical industry. The Civil Liabilities Bill is also another key factor in the trend, which limits the cost for whiplash. This Bill was planned to take immediate affect, but since the Bill became law last month, it will not be implemented for more than another year. “Although the Civil Liabilities Bill has now been approved, the new supplies are being delayed until April 2020. This means that the recent premium has been

decreased in expectation, which allows the claims to save costs, along with the rising change of the discount rate,” explained Ms Connor. Younger drivers have been warned by the AA that they are going to face paying premiums which are an average of £1,317. Ms Connor said: “Young and newly qualified drivers would face a significant penalty when it comes to the insurance price, but not least because they have not built up a no-claim bonus. Therefore, there is no surprise that some may take the risk of driving without an insurance.” She said that the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) would issue some 3,000 warning letters to uninsured drivers every day.

New drivers The AA have called in for new drivers using telematics to be exempt from the insurance premium tax, so that it helps cut out the cost for the policies. “The information which is transmission, policies track driver behaviour and premiums reflect on the driving standard of individuals,” Ms Connor said. The quantity of cases made by drivers with black boxes in their cars, is up to a third not than those without them, as per the AA. “Not only would it cut in the Tax, but for young drivers using the information policies discourage uninsured driving, which would also improve road safety for everyone,” she said.


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February 2019

Louisville Airport to be renamed in Honour of Mohammed Ali

Half of UK Workers Believe Skills Shortage Will be Biggest Problem of 2019 New research from workplace experts, Acas, has revealed that over half of workers (53%) believe that getting the right people with the right skills will be the biggest issue faced by their workplace in the year ahead. Acas commissioned YouGov to find out what UK employees identified as the most important workplace issues in the year ahead. The other two top issues identified were technological change (36%) and productivity (36%). Acas Chief Exec, Susan Clews, said: “Employees feel that getting workers with the right skills is a key concern in the year ahead. This could be attributed to uncertainty around our relationship with the EU at the moment or general concerns around skills shortages. "Technological change is also on people’s minds and we have found that if it is not managed well then it can cause stress and impact workplace relations.

“It is unsurprising that productivity continues to be a top concern in UK workplaces. We believe a wellmanaged and innovative workplace that encourages employee engagement can help improve the UK’s low productivity and make the most of people’s skills.” Acas has done a lot of work on the UK’s productivity puzzle with advice and a diagnostic tool for organisations. For more information, please visit: www.acas.org.uk/productivity Acas published research in 2017 which revealed how technological advances at work can have wide ranging and often overlooked implications for employment relations and health and wellbeing: http://www. acas.org.uk/media/pdf/i/9/Mindsover-Machines-New-Technology-andEmployment-Relations.pdf Other issues identified by participants in the poll included fit and healthy staff (18%) and Equality and Fairness (17%).

Following what would have been the boxing legend’s 77th birthday in January of last month, Mohammad Ali’s hometown of Louisville is set to be re-naming its airport after him in a touching tribute. The boxing star was born under the name of Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr on January 17, 1942, in Kentucky, Louisville. He was self-titled as the “Greatest of All Time” and famous for the catch-phrase “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” He was a three-time heavyweight champion, with a record of 56 wins, 37 of which he achieved via knock-out. He sadly passed away in 2016 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. The Mayor of Louisville, Greg Fischer announced that the city’s Regional Airport Authority had voted to rename the Airport after the late sports-star as ‘Muhammad Ali International Airport’. Later this year on June 3rd, a formal re-naming ceremony shall take place during the “I am Ali” festival, as new signage will be installed across the airport building and throughout the main city roads that lead up to it. Approximately 4.7 million pounds of cargo and 3.2 million passengers passed through the airport in 2014 alone. The airport constitutes of three runways and is spread out across 1,500 acres. It is inclusive of a range of postal services such as Worldport and UPS, the United Parcel Service. Muhammad Ali’s Widow Lonnie Ali released the following statement: “I am proud that the Louisville Regional Airport Authority and the City of Louisville are supportive of changing the name of the Louisville International Airport to reflect Muhammad’s impact on the city and his love for his hometown. I am happy that visitors from far and wide who travel to Louisville will have another touch point to Muhammad and be reminded of his open and inclusive nature, which is reflective of our city. Muhammad was a global citizen, but he never forgot

By Manisha Bhanot

the city that gave him his start. It is a fitting testament to his legacy.” The Airport Authority board has signed an official agreement with Ali Enterprises LLC for the legal use of the boxer’s name. The airport-renaming is expected to increase the city’s tourism, as hopefully Mohammad’s fans, following and new visitors will be encouraged to use its services.

“Adding Muhammad Ali’s name to the Louisville International Airport reminds travellers from around the world that our city is a place to have a touch-point with one of the mostrecognized icons of all time,” said president and CEO of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau Karen Williams.


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February 2019

Uncertainty surrounding the future of Brexit

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What the Result of the Withdrawal Agreement Vote means for the UK?

It comes as no surprise that the British Parliament has voted against the Brexit withdrawal agreement that British Prime Minister, Theresa May, presented last November. The agreement was criticised by many mainly because of its lack of solid trade agreements as well as a ‘backstop’ which was designed as a ‘safety net’ in order to avoid a ‘Hard Brexit’. Yet, without an agreement, a number of options have been put on the table as uncertainty for the future of Brexit remains high. Although the UK’s official departure from the EU was set for the 29th March 2019, many are convinced that, due to recent events, the date may be postponed to July. With a no confidence vote being held and the EU reluctant to approve another agreement, the hold-

ing of another referendum as well as a general election are all options for the future of Brexit. The Effects of a No Deal Brexit on UK Businesses The biggest possibility and equally great fear of many is that the UK will leave the UK without a deal, meaning that EU membership will abruptly end on the 29th March 2019. Concerns of a no deal Brexit range from what would happen to EU citizens leaving in the UK and vice versa, to concerns of trade agreements with no transition period in place. Whilst car manufacturers raise questions surrounding delayed production related to parts and increased expenses, pharmaceutical companies are concerned about moving medicinal goods across borders as well

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as remaining connected to EU research and databases. Meanwhile, the aviation market is looking into concerns surrounding recognition of licenses as well as transport accessibility in such a no deal scenario. Additionally, the abrupt change in trade regulations, as the UK would need to start operating under the World Trade Organisation rules, would mean that the UK will have to adapt to custom checks and tariffs with no transition period. The effect of increased trade prices coupled with fears that the pound as well as the cost of the country’s housing may fall significantly, could all have a negative impact on the UK’s economy. Small and medium business are said to be impacted the most, and many organisations are looking to relocate to

a jurisdiction within the EU to maintain access to the single market. All Eyes on Malta Amongst the possible jurisdictions, Malta is being marked as one of the top five countries that companies are eyeing for possible relocation. As a member of the EU as well as the Schengen Zone, the island provides a solution for trade within the EU as well as facilitates freedom of movement across the EU for employees. The jurisdiction has also been making headlines recently for its probusiness approach, being the first country to legislate innovative and emerging industries such as Blockchain and Fintech. In addition, the island has seen a number of large corporations move to Malta as a result of the country’s beneficial tax rates and cor-

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porate legislation. Chetcuti Cauchi has already helped a number of organisations safeguard their businesses amidst Brexit concerns, by assisting them with relocating or expanding to the island and advising them on the right solutions to suit their needs.

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February 2019

BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION BRINGS THE GREAT DEBATE TO ISLAMABAD

Tony Blair Building an Empire Worth £35M; When Not Trying to Wreck Brexit

By Tauseef Asif

The last semi-final of the British High Commission’s fourth annual GREAT Debate competition was held at the FAST National University in Islamabad today. The competition featured 65 students from 19 universities in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and was attended by senior members of academia and officials from the British High Commission. At the end of an intense competition, Lajpaal Ali from FAST National University was the winner and Hamna Amir Aziz from NUST was the runner-up. The GREAT Debate competition is taking place from December 2018 to February 2019 in five cities across Pakistan. The Counsellor and Director of Corporate Services at the British High

Commission Peter Abbott said: “We are honoured to see the best debaters from Islamabad and Rawalpindi take part in our GREAT Debate competition. Over the past five semi-finals, we have engaged over 120 debaters across Pakistan and I am looking forward to a strong competition in the grand final. “The UK and Pakistan have a strong relationship in education, culture, sports, infrastructure and trade. The UK is Pakistan’s second largest export market overseas and its second largest source of foreign direct investment. That relationship has been reflected in the themes for the GREAT Debate which include trade, entrepreneurship and innovation and it is these areas that can lead Pakistan to a bright and prosperous future.”

With its rusting tin rooftop and spoiled wooden dividers, the delicate structure has been utilized as a garage, workshop and storeroom. In any case, today, like never before, one man’s shed is another’s potential goldmine. This is why in the course of recent months the proprietors of this crumbling heap have been transforming it into a three-room house worth around £500,000. To be built from powder-covered aluminium and shaped glass, and with the rooftop raised to permit space for a level floor, included in the site would be a path giving untainted perspectives over the moving Buckinghamshire countryside. As it has been revealed, Tony Blair and his rich family are the owners of the controversial shed. The fortunes of the Blairs have been followed since their departure from 10 Downing Street and may come to many as no little surprise. For the most recent decade, they have developed an outstanding property range comprising of 39 homes and flats whose value is priced at £35million. Tony and Cherie’s investments include student digs in Manchester, homes in London and Buckinghamshire, worth more than £20million alone. Not to be beaten, their youngsters have caught up with their parents by achieving their own

statures on the property step. The Blair’s oldest child Euan, lives in a townhouse calculated to be worth around £4.6million. A year ago, his 33-year-old sibling Nicky splashed out £2.75million on another London property. In the mean-time, their sister Kathryn, 30, possesses two London houses, the first of which was purchased in 2015 and is worth approximately £1.4million. A year ago, she purchased a second house for

£2.4million. Now her second home is undergoing redesigning which will probably increase the property’s value even further. Leo, the Blair’s fourth and most youthful youngster turned eighteen last May. As we can uncover, extinguishing his birthday candles meant he was invited into the ‘family firm’, by being made the co-owner of a £800,000 house near the Blairs’ country seat.

Although Employees are Key to Business Performance, Most Organizations Still Struggle to Build an Engaged Workforce

Recent Survey Results Point to the Value in Relationship-Based, Candidate-First Talent Acquisition in Improving Employee Engagement Allegis Group, the global leader in talent solutions, has released a report highlighting the key talent acquisition practices that enable organizations to build engaged workforces. Based on a survey of more than 1,000 employers and nearly 7,000 candidates and employees around the world, “Stepping Up: Workforce Practices That Raise the Bar on Business Performance” reveals that a minority of organizations are achieving strong business impact through an engaged workforce committed to delivering positive outcomes. Allegis Group also found a strong, positive correlation between organizations committed to talent best practices and their ability to fill open positions quickly, attract and retain top-quality talent, and optimize costs. Organizations that perform well in all three areas are identified as high-performing talent organizations in the report and amounted to just 6.6 percent of total respondents. The talent management strategies that successful, relationship-focused employers adopt provide a roadmap for

all organizations seeking to build a committed, engaged workforce. Report Highlights Building relationships through great candidate and employee experiences is essential to developing an engaged workforce, yet less than a third (31 percent) of employers report they are very satisfied with their recruitment process. A lack of prioritization of the candidate experience creates several issues for employers, including an inability to find great talent (74 percent of respondents), an inability to achieve business objectives (65 percent of respondents), a poor employer reputation online (57 percent of respondents) and greater recruiting costs (53 percent of respondents). Allegis Group found that successful organizations consistently apply a relationship-focused approach to four fundamental phases of talent acquisition: job definition, sourcing, screening and onboarding. High-performing organizations optimize job definitions and create descriptions that set the stage for positive employee relationships. • Provide relevant job information: Seventy-two percent of high-performing talent organizations always provide ac-

curate, up-to-date job definitions, versus just 20 percent of all other respondents, and 65 percent always align job descriptions with an onboarding 30-, 60-, 90day plan versus 16 percent of all others. • Prioritize and streamline job requirements: Allegis Group found that high-performing talent organizations are more than three times more likely (69 versus 23 percent) to always clarify must-have and nice-to-have skills and requirements in their job descriptions. Align sourcing strategies to connect with talent on their terms. • Train and promote within: Seventyeight percent of employers and 83 percent of workers believe human resource teams need to make internal job openings more visible to all employees. Further, 81 percent of employers and 83 percent of workers agree management should do a better job of encouraging employees to apply. • Embrace digital acquisition tools: High-performing talent organizations are nearly three times more likely (64 versus 22 percent) to always ensure prompt responses to submitted applications. Innovations in digital recruiting technology, such as boosting data intelligence and automating many

high-volume, low-value activities, help employers improve responsiveness, and high-performing organisations are three times more likely (55 versus 18 percent) to employ such methods. • Personalized communications: Highperforming talent organisations are more than twice as likely as others (55 versus 21 percent) to always provide personalized responses to applications. Establish screening processes that boost the candidate experience. • Eliminate bias: High-performing talent organisations are more than twice as likely as others (89 versus 42 percent) to always take steps to eliminate uncon-

scious bias during screening. • Facilitate two-way communication: A candidate should be given a chance to respond to any concerns about their qualifications; however, only 25 percent of surveyed employers always share their concerns with candidates, with high performers being much more likely to do so (67 versus 23 percent). Treat onboarding as the foundation of a great employee relationship. • Be ready on day one: High-performing talent organisations are more than twice as likely (72 versus 33 percent) to always engage new hires in a community of peers and helpers during the onboarding process, are always prepared for the new hire’s first day (77 versus 35 percent) and always set clear expectations in the onboarding process (75 versus 32 percent). “The results of these findings confirm what we have long known as a leader in talent solutions: a great employer-employee relationship begins with great relationship-based talent acquisition best practices,” said Andy Hilger, president of Allegis Group. “In order to attract top talent, employers need to establish trust on all fronts by better understanding and prioritizing the employee relationship.”


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February 2019

From Fast Jets, Heathrow Might Get Sonic Boom

Heathrow Airport could be hit by a sonic boom as often as every five minutes, after a new class of supersonic aeroplane has been welcomed into the facility. It is predicted that by 2035, there could be a demand for up to 2000 passengers, which is likely to include long hour trips. According to the analysis by the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT), the new aeroplanes will further erode chances of lowering emissions contributing to global warming. The renewal of the supersonic aircraft would bring sonic booms to many parts of the

UK, not just London’s leading airport. The report author, Dan Rutherford said that there could be 300 daily landings and takeoffs by supersonic jets at the Heathrow airport, and the noise would affect twice as many people as large as the subsonic aircraft. He also said that the UK could be obstructed by the sonic boom from the flights between continental EU and North America. Central England might experience sonic booms up to 50 minutes per day, or almost every 20 minutes over a 16-hour flight day. The ICCT says that the supersonic jets are

expected to emit 2.4 gigatons of CO2 over their 25-year lifespan and take up a fifth of the flight sector of carbon emission within this century. After the US, the UK would be the second highest greenhouse gas transistor from the new jets. Climate Change research of Manchester University’s Tyndall Centre’s professor Kevin Anderson said: “Science has verified the global scale of the impacts that our addiction to relic fuels is having on global systems and on our own children’s futures. Rather than transforming the world to one of our low carbon prosperity,

our resources and skill is being squandered on toys for a few fortunate. Do we really think that the vision of attending Davos by supersonic jet is a suitable response to the existing threats we face?” The negotiators from the International Civil Aviation Organisation will congregate in Montreal in February to try to agree on noise standards and release them for the next generation of supersonic jets, which could take on effect from 2025. By Tauseef Asif


AW Facts Did you know? In her film Heroine, Kareena Kapoor wore over 130 unique dresses, tailored by designers from all across the globe

the amazing

e l l e i r a G t e p Tri

Kader Khan dies at age 81

Q & A with

Farhan

Interview with

a d d a h C a h Ric

s ’ h g n i S r e Ranve Teri Gully Mein


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February 2019

Gully Boy Ranveer Singh rap song Meri Gully Mein

Kader Khan, Who Worked in Over 300 Movies, Dies at Age 81 Bollywood actor and writer, Kader Khan who had performed in over 300 movies, has passed away at the age of 81 after suffering from age-related ailments. He was admitted into hospital in Canada when his health started to seriously decline. He then began to develop breathing problems and was upgraded from a regular ventilator to a BIPAP ventilator by medical staff. He was a sufferer of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a degenerative disease which causes loss of balance, difficulty in walking and memory loss. His funeral and last rites took place in Canada, where the remainder of his family is currently living. History The actor was born in Kabul and made his first debut in 1973, with Rajesh Khanna’s Daag.

He performed in many comic roles to entertain his fans, by working alongside Govinda, such as Dulhe Raja, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan and Raja Babu. He even wrote dialogues for many movies, his first film as a dialogue writer being Randhir Kapoor-Jaya Bachchan’s Jawani Diwani. As a screenwriter, he worked with Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra. Khan had also won numerous awards in his lifetime for acting. He was recognised by the American Federation of Muslims from India for his achievements and was notorious for providing his service towards the Muslim community in India as well. Film Society The loss of veteran actor Kader Khan has been mourned by the entirety of the Bollywood film society. Amitabh Bachchan had

also written an emotional tweet about his death, the pair were good friends and had worked together in many movies, such as Do Aur Do Paanch, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Mr Natwarlal, Suhaag, Coolie and Shahenshah. Bachan wrote on Twitter: “Kader Khan an actor a writer of immense talent lies ill in Hospital. Prayers are being made for his well being and recovery. I Saw him perform on stage, welcomed him and his creative writing for my films. Great company, and many might not know, but he taught Mathematics.” Shakti Kapoor who was also a close friend to Khan, expressed his sorrows and expressed his anger as to why the community were remembering the actor after his death and not whilst he was alive. By Tauseef Asif

Ranveer Singh track Meri Gully Mein with rappers DIVINE and Naezy With each passing day, Gully Boy has been garnering buzz on social media as well as among fans. While the trailer of the film has received a lot of acclaim from fans and movie buffs, the first song Apna Time Aayega, sung by Ranveer Singh, is turning out to be the youth anthem in India. Now the makers of Gully Boy have released the second track from the movie titled Mere Gully Mein. The track is a remix of DIVINE and Naezy’s breakout single of the same name. Gully Boy is inspired by the lives of the rappers, who broke onto the scene with the

viral, DIY-style music video for Meri Gully Mein, which introduced Indian fans others worldwide to the idea of ‘gully rap’ and propelled DIVINE and Naezy - both Mumbai rappers - into the limelight. The film’s version of the song is performed by Ranveer Singh and has been composed by DIVINE, Naezy and Sez on the Beat, with lyrics by DIVINE and Naezy. Set to release on 14th February 2019 the film has been produced by Ritesh Sidhwani, Zoya Akhtar and Farhan Akthar.


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New film on Dalai Lama to Celebrate World Kindness Day

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Kangana Ranaut slays in the song video Vijayi Bhava from Manikarnika

February 2019

0121 767 5344 Hello Peridot Gems!

How are we? Hopefully we will have some great weather this year! I sincerely wish that you all are in good health and still fully charged this Winter.

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London, UK - CinEvents, in partnership with Fathom Events, have secured the global theatrical distribution rights to “An Officer & His Holiness”, courtesy of Illumina Studios & Media. The live cinema event will be in cinemas in Autumn to celebrate World Kindness Day. Sixty years on, his incredible story will finally be told. Told in his own words on film, the documentary reveals how in 1959, His Holiness the Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet into India on foot over the Himalayas. This perilous trek took 13 days, with the Dalai Lama only able to travel at night

to evade detection. This singular event has influenced the lives of millions worldwide. The Dalai Lama is the head monk of Tibetan Buddhism and traditionally has been responsible for the governing of Tibet, until the Chinese government took control in 1959. Before 1959, his official residence was Potala Palace in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th Dalai Lama. An Officer & His Holiness, features an exclusive live Q&A event. More details to follow. An Officer & His Holiness will be coming to cinemas around the world in Autumn 2019.

Rani Laxmi Bai was undoubtedly a fearless warrior who fought till her last breath for her beloved Jhansi. Zee Studios and Kamal Jain’s magnum opus Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi will be showcasing her life story on the big screen this February, as the movie has been released on January 25, 2019. The makers have also debuted the film’s first song Vijayi Bhava. The song encapsulates her heroism and showcases her fighter spirit. Shankar Mahadevan who has lent his voice to the song says, “In any musicians career, a film like Manikarnika becomes a landmark and its truly becomes a dream project which is challenging and the same time musically very enriching. I think we have been lucky enough to be offered projects like these which are milestones in our career and even after fifty years we can look back and say that we were the proud ones to create music for this legacy, this kind of historic epic. The songs have got musical depth to it, a lot of melody, emotion of patriotism.

It is indeed a proud moment for Shankar Ehsaan and Loy.” Music has been composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy and lyrics penned by Prasoon Joshi in the film. Talking about the song, Kangana Ranaut says, “Vijayi Bhava was recorded first and is a massive scale song of war preparation. I’ve never done something of this nature ever before. It is upscale and has high tempo which will be celebrated.” Vibha Chopra, Head - Distribution, Acquisition and Marketing, Zee Studios International, says, “Vijayi Bhava is a song that encapsulates Manikarnika’s heroism and showcases her spirit in the truest sense. Audiences worldwide will be reminded of her bravery and sacrifice and it certainly will evoke a sense of patriotism amongst the Indian diaspora. Manikarnika’s persona has been defined from her challenges and victories and we are certain that through this song, the sensibility of this character will trickle down the hearts of the viewers.”

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February 2019

with Richa Chadda w e i v r Inte a Bhanot

By Manish

of Love Sonia

Based on true events, Love Sonia is a heart-breaking story about a girl who fights to rescue her sister from the international human trafficking trade. With an emotional storyline and gripping action throughout, Richa Chadda’s latest work is an unmissable and powerful drama which is in cinemas NOW.

1) You have obviously been one of the most vocal participants of the #MeToo movement in India. Can you tell us, in a few words, what the movement means to you? For me personally I hope that the movement means creating a safe working environment for women who work within any department of the film industry. Not just women who are actresses, but women who are editors, writers, and assistants. It’s 2019, and I think that it’s high-time that happened. India’s been notorious for gender rights for a long time and I hope we make progress in that sector soon.

I think more needs to be done from all authorities, the human trafficking trade is a well organised chain-link system. So, a child that goes missing in India could end up in the UK, or any one of the third-world countries across the globe. I think local governments and authorities need to take more action, this is the largest illegal trade in the world, surpassing the trade of illegal drugs and weaponry. I think more needs to be done to protect childhood in terms of legislation, more stringent measures need to be taken against people who are found guilty, and they need to fear their charges.

2) How would you encourage other people in India – both young and old to get their voices heard and make a bigger platform for protesting against gendered violence and for human rights? I think the first step to take is to come to terms with the ongoing gender-based struggles and acknowledge them. And then move on from them by seeking help; whether a victim needs psychological help in the form of a councillor, or even a lawyer to see that their rights are protected. I would definitely say that legal justice is the best bet one has for battling gender-based prejudices and human rights issues.

7) Many people are unaware of the modern slavery epidemic – but there are approximately 13,000 victims in the UK. Signs to look out for are individuals never leaving their homes – you always see them in properties performing manual labour. What other tell-tale signs can you disclose? Victims need to be more educated about their rights – very often people don’t know that they can seek help, they feel helpless, they feel like nobody cares for them. This makes it very difficult for them to reach the help they require. But I think citizens of the world need to be more aware, we need to stop assuming and ask questions, raise our voices and make ourselves heard.

3) Women’s’ rights relate heavily to human tracking, around 75% of victims are women and girls forced into drug abuse and prostitution. How does your film Love Sonia pick up on these global issues? I think the film is specifically focused on gender politics because the sex trade is controlled by men; the brothel customers, police and drug dealers within the storyline are all male. Therefore we need to create awareness on these global issues and create an environment where men worry about the consequences of their actions. The human trafficking industry is a multi-million-dollar trade and it needs to be stopped. 4) Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, was Love Sonia particularly emotional to film? It is definitely an emotional topic, I think many of us needed help after filming ended, and I for one went and saw a councillor before we were finished with shooting all the scenes. I think it created a shift in all of us in the sense that we acknowledged how lucky we are to be growing up in a country like India. At the same time, it helped us understand that we must use our voices in the best possible manner we can to help other women. 5) Without revealing too much, what was a particularly difficult scene in the film to act in? There is a moment in which my character recounts the instance where she was kidnapped and raped, and that I think that was my most challenging scene. I think it is also the scene which most people tend to remember from the film. 6) Around a quarter of child trafficking victims go missing from local council care in the UK. What are some of the measures the British government and other countries can undertake to protect young children?

8) Can you share the names of any human trafficking charities and feminist NGOs that our readers can go to for help or share their own stories of experience? There is a modern-day slavery helpline based in the UK named Unseen, and there is an organisation in India called Apne Aap. Both of these are global, and they do a lot of incredible work out in the field. They are always prepared to reach out and give people the help that they need.


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February 2019

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The biggest franchise of laughter is back with the wildest adventure comedy ever! Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor and others are caught in a jungle of bizarre characters! After treating the fans with quirky posters, an introduction to the beloved character of Crystal the Hollywood monkey, and promising heaps of mayhem and madness, the much-awaited trailer of director Indra Kumar’s Total Dhamaal has been released….and after watching the trailer fans can surely say the film is one complete laugh riot! Presented by Fox Star Studios in Association With Ajay Devgn Films & Maruti International, the Anil Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit, Arshad Warsi, Riteish Deshmukh and Johnny Lever starrer looks set to be hilarious as it promises to take audiences on a wild adventure. There are several moments in the trailer itself that will make fans laugh-out-loud like never before. From the trailer the film appears to based on a treasure heist of sorts. The characters are split into teams in pursuit of a huge sum of treasure which is hidden deep in a place called Janakpur. Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Mishra seem to be in one team, while yesteryear hit jodi Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit form another team. Keeping in sync with the previous films, Arshad Warsi and Javed Jaffery are also one team. Incidentally, the characters will face encounters with wild animals in the film, as can been seen in the trailer.

Uri: The Surgical Strike in cinemas NOW

Sudip Pandey’s film ‘V for Victor’ to release in march

February 2019

TOTAL DHAMAAL in its wildest comedy ever, TRAILER

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In the recent past, Mithun Chakravarti’s film ‘Boxer’, Dharmendra’s film ‘Apne’, Priyanka Chopra’s film ‘Mary Kom’, Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Mukkabaaz’ based on boxing were debated and were very much in the news. Now Bhojpuri super hit action hero Sudip Pandey’s Hind film ‘V for Victor’ is slated to be released in March 2019. After working in several Bhojpuri films as a hero, this is for the first time Sudip is playing a role of a hero in this Hindi feature film ‘V for Victor’. The film has been directed by S Kumar. “V for Victor’ deals with ups and downs in the life of a boxer. “I am playing the role of Victor who is a common man, who becomes the boxer with sheer dedication and great efforts and works for the welfare of the country. The film is a musical family drama full of action”, Sudip Pandey said. Sudip Pandey, Naseer Abdulla,Sanjay Swaraj, Usha Bachhani, Jaswinder Gardener, Ruby Parihar, Raashul Tandon,Sanatan Mody, Pamela Mondal, Suresh Chavhanke (CMD of Sudarshan news), Lavni Srivastava, Sumit Chaudhary (anchors of Sudarshan news), Srikant Pratyush (CMD of Nakshtra news, PTN news and Sanmarg newspaper) are in lead roles. It is for the first time Suresh Chavan, Chairman of the Sudarshan News will also been seen performing in this film.The film has been written by Ramesh Mishra (IAS), Camerawork by S.Pappu, while the music has been scored by Sanjiv- Darshan. Lyrics have been penned by Sanjeev Chaturvedi and Krishna Bhardwaj.

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Actor Vicky Kaushal has kicked off 2019 with the release of the first commercial Bollywood film, Uri: The Surgical Strike. Speaking to media, the Uri actor shared, “I have been craving this kind of pressure in order to gauge whether I am able to carry a film on my shoulders or not” When asked about why he took up the film Vicky was quoted as saying “The script had me hooked and I was affected by the story...It made me realise the valour and sacrifices of the armed forces. It made me feel patriotic.” Due to his role Vicky Kaushal had to go through intense training to look and act the part: “I needed to achieve the body frame of a commander who could lead a troupe of 80 soldiers on this mission” Vicky shared. For his future roles Vicky has said, “I am a greedy actor who has just begun three years ago. I want to explore myself as an actor in every possible way, be it in a glamorous role or in an indie or a grungy role or an action film.” Uri is based on the 2016 surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army in retaliation to an alleged terror attack in the Kashmir region of Uri. Also starring Yami Gautam and Paresh Rawal, Uri is out cinemas now for 2019.

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February 2019

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February 2019

with Farhan Akhtar w e i v r Inte a Bhanot

By Manish

1. You have openly declared yourself as a feminist. Do you think it’s hard for Asian males with a similar cultural background as yourself to do the same as many of them do not understand the importance of womens’ rights and the #MeeToo movement? Of course it isn’t easy to change people’s views, because when you grow up in a society where there is patriarchy, there will also be misogyny. Therefore, it’s never simple to change people, but it it’s also not possible. The fact is that through raising awareness, keeping a sustained level of dialogue at all times and by keeping the volume up, we can keep reaching out to more and more men. Making the male population aware of the issue is more important now than ever in order to help find solutions to the problem. 2. How did it feel becoming the first male UN HeForShe ambassador? Were there any challenges you had to face? The role definitely incorporates a big responsibility. I think the UN recognised the work I had been doing with the M.A.R.D foundation, which began in 2013. If anything, it’s only given me more confidence to keep walking down this path fighting for female rights, which I started to do 7 years ago. I hope my association with the UN and their trust in me is something I can constantly live up to. 3. Speaking of ‘M.A.R.D’, the Men Against Rape and Discrimination initiative, what has the response been so far? Can you highlight some of the discriminatory difficulties women around the world and India face on a daily basis? I believe the biggest issue is the feeling of insecurity or not being safe when you’re out and about. That in itself is a huge concern, because the minute you start altering your behaviour, restricting yourself, changing the way you would like to live your life because of a certain fear of something happening to you- it’s such a horrible feeling. The fact that you have to think twice as a woman “Would I be safe if I decided I want to go out wearing these clothes that make me happy?” , that in itself is such a depressing thing to think about. We should definitely start changing from that level up. 4. You have a huge social media presence, including 11.8 million followers on Twitter! Which campaigns are you running and promoting on there at the moment? Currently we’re working on a campaign called “Lalkaar”, which means “battle-cry.” It’s something that will be incorporated into a con-

We find out what’s been happening in the star’s busy life and get up to date.

cert on the 14th of February in Mumbai. We are working very closely with the Population Foundation of India, and Feroz Abbas Khan, who directs a programme called “Main kuch bhi kar sakti hoon” on the DoorDarshan channel in India. Last year the emphasis was on awareness against violence on women. This year, the focus of the concert will be on equal access of opportunities in careers and education between men and women. 5. What was the motivation and lyrical inspiration behind your empowerment song ‘Why couldn’t it be Me?’ The song is about the loss of innocent lives during war. It was inspired by an incident that took place around 4 years ago in a school in Pakistan, where the Taliban had stormed in and killed over 200 children. It was just

about the complete meaningless violence and the death of these young people during these conflicted times. 6. How does your song ‘Rearview Mirror’ differ? Does the album ‘Echoes’ have an overall theme or message? I’m not sure if there’s an overall message to the album. It’s really just talking about human emotion, dealing with loss, changes in life, discovering love, forgiving one’s self and many other concepts. For some years now, I’ve been going through a transitional phase myself. Through the process of reconstructing myself, healing and putting all of these feelings down on paper, I think releasing the album has been a part of that.

7. The release of Echoes as an album is obviously a very progressive step for you and your musical career. Do you have any upcoming tour dates to support its promotion? Not as of yet, we’re currently putting all of that together and the information will be released soon! 8. Let’s talk about your new film Gully Boy, which you produced alongside your sister Zoya. What’s the film about? What was it like working with such renowned and successful actors such as Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt and Pooja Gor? The film is about the emerging underground hip-hop/rap scene in India. The film is focused mainly on the location of Mumbai and the environment that’s creating these artists. It is a bit of a rags-to-riches story and of course, when you work with talented people, it always makes the experience amazing. 9. Do you prefer acting or producing? What would you say the ups and downs of each experience, in comparison to starring in your own featured films such as Dil Chata (2001) and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) and directing your film about HIV awareness, Positive (2007)? I think it’s really like comparing apples and oranges! I do enjoy making film, whether it’s producing, writing, acting or producing, for me it’s all serving one larger purpose, which is to tell a story. So, I’m happy to fulfill whichever role I can as long as I believe in the script and that the film will be a fun experience to make. 10. Tell us about your new song “Seagull”, what inspired the track and where can we stream it from? “Seagull” is probably the oldest song on the album, I wrote it in the early 90s – a person whom I had a tremendous amount of love for was leaving the city and moving back to her home town. I didn’t think I was going to see her again and the song was written around that concept. As far as streaming goes, it’s available on Apple Music, Spotify, and various other main platforms!


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THE ASIAN ARIANA, TRIPET GARIELLE, IS SET TO BE THE MOST TALKED ABOUT SINGER OF 2019 ‘MAST’

A CATCHY DANCE NUMBER WITH A BREATH TAKING VIDEO SHOWING POWER TRIPS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN

A new era of Tripet has arrived - the star has reinvented herself once again. Her latest single, ‘Mast’, has now been released, and we’ve been hyped ever since the superstar started teasing its name and concept! All it takes is one look at the music video to see where Tripet is going this year. What makes this even more exciting for fans is that this marks the first single from her second studio album, releasing mid-2019. Over the past few years, Tripet, known for her soulful voice, has taken the music industry by storm with her strength and prosperity, which has earned her a strong and dedicated fan base around the world in a short span of time. ‘Mast’ marks Tripet’s first new piece of music since the release of her successful debut album in 2018, ‘Love Was My Idea’, and the worldwide success of her singles, ‘Kho Jaaoon’ and ‘Woh Pal’.

Tripet is once again working alongside Bollywood producer Atif Ali, who has worked with Atif Aslam, Rahat Fateh

Ali Khan and other Bollywood singers. Talking about working with Atif Ali, Tripet says: “After 2 months of serious

deliberation to find my very own signature style, when Atif played the music to ‘Mast’, I remember thinking this is me, now I have found my signature sound. I loved it. Even though ‘Mast’ was only in its early stages of song writing, there was a certain cheekiness in it that excited and inspired me. I feel like I’ve finally found me.” In the coming months, fans can expect amazing fresh new material from the star as she moves towards publically announcing the release date of her second album, with a few more singles being released prior. 2019 looks promising for Tripet after she releases ‘Mast’, especially as she continues to work at her craft to achieve her dream of becoming the number one Asian Female Singer in her genre. ‘Mast’ is set to be Tripet’s most talked about music video, which is glamorously directed and produced and features her showing off her impressive vocal range, portraying the power trips of a man and woman and the joining of their power in the name of love. With Tripet being touted as the next big Asian superstar of the future, she said: “I’m blown away by the response my music is getting and ‘Mast’ is taking my musical career to a whole new level.” “Singing is not just a dream but a desire to achieve my dreams to sing in the language of Bollywood – it’s just more poetic” reveals Tripet. Available on iTunes NOW

February 2019

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Asian Lifestyle Expo Next Stop - Bollywood meets inTu Trafford Centre for this colourful and dynamic Asian Branding Company. Now in its third consecutive year running, the Asian Lifestyle Expo aims to place its thousands of visitors in front only the finest and most exclusive brands of fashion, beauty and media entertainment. The show is committed to presenting its exceptional taste and design onto its guests, who are expected to flock in from all corners of the country. Whether its bridal wear, the latest high-end jewellery or accessories you desire, Asian LifeStyle Expo is dedicated to suiting your every need! The event offers free entry to all! Exhibitors will include local and international fashion brands, bridal makeup demos, henna workshops and much more! See the best of what the Asian community has to offer from all over the UK and abroad.


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February 2019

HEALTH The Global Search for Education: More Mindful Citizens Please

T: 0121 771 4545

www.asianworldnews.co.uk

“We want mindfulness to be as common as brushing your teeth!” – Addie Wootten

The Dalai Lama once said, “If every 8 year old is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” Mindfulness has become much more relevant and effective in a constantly changing environment. Clinical psychologist Dr. Addie Wootten insists that inducting young children into the principles of mindfulness early on in education allows them to focus more in class, improve their learning outcomes and build healthier and more constructive relationships with all those around them. Addie is a well-known leader in delivering innovative programs to promote wellbeing. She is also the CEO of Smiling Mind. The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome Addie to talk about the numerous benefits of practicing mindfulness, the challenges to implementing good programs in classrooms, and how good practice can help every mind thrive in a modern world. Mindfulness has been used by clinicians to treat stress, anxiety depression, eating disorders and addiction. Why isn’t mindfulness an important part of every student’s education? We are passionate about bringing mindfulness into every classroom for exactly that reason. We envision a world where every young person has the skills and resources that they need to thrive. Mindfulness provides the foundation for young people to be mentally healthy and to build strong and compassionate relationships. It is this strong foundation that supports learning and academic success. Over the last 5 years, there has been exponential growth in schools’ interest to implement mindfulness programs. However, this implementation has varied widely according to each school. It ranges from one teacher who is

passionate about supporting their class using mindfulness techniques, to more systematic and structured programs spearheaded by the school leaders. We consider both approaches as equally important. Yet, it has proven to be passionate individual teachers who have been invaluable in helping us achieve what we have. Our aim is to eventually provide support to schools as institutions, rather than just individual teachers. “We can only focus when our minds are calm and therefore our learning is optimized by improved mental health.” – Addie Wootten Is mindfulness something that can be taught with toolkits and slides in a classroom? How do real world experiences enhance/amplify the learning? Toolkits and slides are just the begin-

ning. Initially, students need to be introduced to the foundational concepts and discuss them with their peers. Although peer-to-peer learning and debriefing is very important, it’s not until students are able to apply these concepts to the real world that they are able to appreciate the potential positive impact that mindfulness has on their life. Therefore, alongside meditation practices, we recommend mindfulness activities that clearly link mindfulness with everyday activities. This can be as simple as spending time in a garden or mindful movement activities, or more complex such as activities designed to build social relationships. We also encourage teachers to encourage students to use mindfulness more informally such as when they are interacting with

their friends and when they’re at home. It’s amazing to see the impact that mindfulness has on young people, and how it encourages students to support each other. What are the mindfulness learning skills needed at different points in a student’s learning journey? Our programs are designed to support students of all ages. We recently launched our new Mindfulness Curriculum for primary school years. Our programs for young students are more focused on emotional awareness. These younger level programs provide foundational mindfulness skills such as focusing your attention, tuning into your emotions and listening to your body. As students mature we incorporate a variety of practices such as emotion regulation

skills. Finally, as they mature into their senior years of school we focus on the integration of these ideas and concepts into real world experiences like exams, managing relationships and exploring personal values. “We should look for opportunities to integrate mindfulness across the learning environment.” – Addie Wootten Curriculum is “overloaded” and many believe kids are “overstressed” with required material. Do you see mindfulness education as another “add-on” or should it be part of school culture? This is one of the biggest barriers for many teachers; there is already so much required material that they can never find the time for mindfulness programs. I hope that more teachers and school leaders will begin to consider mindfulness as inherently part of their school culture and teaching way, rather than considering it an add on. Schools that have been successful in doing this have actually found that it helps save time. For instance, schools that begin with a mindfulness session every day have displayed a significant decrease in the time needed to gather the attention of students across all subject areas. Teaching quickly becomes more efficient as students are focused and there are often less behavioural disruptions during class time. Personally, I don’t think we have to choose between traditional curriculum and mindfulness sessions. Rather, we should look for opportunities to integrate mindfulness across the learning environment – even at the start of science or math class! “It’s amazing to see the impact that mindfulness has on young people, and how it encourages students to support each other.” – Addie Wootten

Can Brushing Your Teeth Cause Cancer? Colgate Toothpaste Found to Contain Deadly Chemical Deodorants, disinfectants, facial cleansers, tooth-paste, body-wash and baby wipes. These are all products that we use every-day, but what do they have in common apart from the fact they can be found in any bathroom cabinet? – Almost all of them contain the compound triclosan. Due to its anti-bacterial qualities, tricolan is also a part of antiseptics for wounds, facial tissues and laundry detergent. However, due to former results from animal testing, it has been confirmed that the chemical can stimulate cancer cells and lead to some other forms of illnesses. It can pass through skin and disrupt the normal function of hormones. In some animals, it has been proven to aggravate the gut, causing inflammation, also altering the microbes located in the intestines. According to statistics, triclosan is inclusive of more than 2,000 household products and contact with

it is sometimes next to impossible. Millions of pounds of the chemical are used by consumers each year, and it is traceable in 3/4 urine samples of

residents in the United States. A study in the University of Massachusetts tested to show that triclosan can encourage colonic inflammation

and lead to colon cancer in mice. This investigation proposes that national health authorities must re-evaluate the regulation of triclosan in everyday products and its impact on human health. The chemical is found in big name brands especially, such as Colgate toothpaste. Colgate have ignored the concerns of health researchers and stated that the afore-mentioned chemical is safe to use. They have listed the process that has led up to its use in their product. However, it is uncertain where these documents are available for the public to access. Other information regarding the testing of the chemical is listed by the US Food & Drug Administration as follows: “There are other ongoing studies that involve the safety of triclosan. One is a study investigating the potential of developing skin cancer after a long-term exposure to triclosan in animals. Another is a study on the

Manisha Bhanot potential breakdown of triclosan to other chemicals on human skin after exposure to triclosan to ultraviolet (UV) rays. At this time, neither study has been completed.” Little is known about the effects of Triscolan on human health and it is unsure when further research will be completed. Until more information becomes available, parents should refrain from allowing their children to be exposed to Triclosan-laden toothpastes completely.

AW Facts Did you know? Reading can lower the body’s hormonal stress levels


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February 2019

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Sweating over belly fat?

Tips to make The tire go away

Study identifies three simple ‘clinical risks’ and two biomarkers that could be used to screen patients with irregular heart rhythm Researchers at the University of Birmingham have found two biomarkers that could be used to identify a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation in patients who have three ‘clinical risks’. Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, affecting around 1.6 million people in the UK. Those with atrial fibrillation may be aware of noticeable heart palpitations, when their heart feels like it is pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly. Sometimes atrial fibrillation does not cause any symptoms and a person who has it is completely unaware that their heart rate is irregular. Now scientists have identified patients are more at risk of atrial fibrillation if they have three ‘clinical risks’ – they are older aged, male and have a high Body Mass Index. These patients, say the scientists, could be screened for atrial fibrillation by testing their blood to see if they have elevated levels of two biomarkers - a hormone secreted by the heart called brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and a protein responsible for phosphate regulation called fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23). The research was carried out by scientists from the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences at the University of Birmingham’s College of Medical and Dental Sciences and and has been published in the European Heart Journal. First author Dr Winnie Chua said: “People with atrial fibrillation are much more likely to develop blood clots and suffer from strokes. To avoid strokes it is important for them to take anticoagulant drugs to prevent blood clotting. However, atrial fibrillation is often only diagnosed after a patient has suffered a stroke”. “Therefore it is important that patients

at risk are screened so that they can begin taking anticoagulants to prevent potentially life-threatening complications.” Joint First author Yanish Purmah added: “An electrocardiogram (ECG), a test which measures the electrical activity of your heart to show whether or not it is working normally, is usually used to screen patients for atrial fibrillation”. “ECG screening is resource-intensive and burdensome for patients therefore it is important that the right patients are selected for this type of screening”. “The biomarkers we have identified have the potential to be used in a blood test in community settings such as in GP practices to simplify patient selection for ECG screening.” Until now, most studies identifying biomarkers in patients with atrial fibrillation have been hypothesis-driven and involved the analysis of a single or small selection of blood biomarkers. In this study, the scientists analysed 40 common cardiovascular biomarkers in a cohort of 638 hospital patients who were recruited between September 2014 and August 2016. To obtain the results, the scientists combined traditional statistical analysis with completely new and innovative machine learning techniques. Senior author Dr Larissa Fabritz said: “The research outcomes were surprising. While BNP is already a known and widely used in clinical practice biomarker, the results around the effectiveness of the FGF-23 biomarker was an unexpected and new finding. FGF-23 is only currently used in a research based environment, but we have shown how its use could be invaluable in a clinical setting.” Corresponding author Professor Paulus Kirchhof, Director of the University of

Birmingham’s Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, said: “We hope that, as the result of our findings, more people with what can often be a silent disease are diagnosed so that any complications can be prevented.” Funded by the University of Birmingham, the research was supported by CATCH ME, an EU-funded consortium led by the University of Birmingham, the British Heart Foundation and Leducq Foundation. The research was carried out in collaboration with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, the European Society of Cardiology, The German Atrial Fibrillation NETwork (AFNET), and Health Data Research UK. Professor Metin Avkiran, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), added: “Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke, a serious condition that causes over 36,000 deaths in the UK each year, but is often detected too late. This research has used sophisticated statistical and machine learning methods to analyse patient data and provides encouraging evidence that a combination of easy-tomeasure indices may be used to predict atrial fibrillation. “The study may pave the way towards better detection of people with AF and their targeted treatment with bloodthinning medicines for the prevention of stroke and its devastating consequences.” The research, which began in 2013, is ongoing and next steps will involve follow-up appraisals of the patients recruited to the study in order to further improve the prevention and treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Belly fat has been linked with many umpteen numbers of underlying health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. Belly fat can be deep and comprise the “visceral” fat cells that are said to produce hormones, thus negatively impacting overall health. While there is no “magic bullet” that can shrink the belly in a jiffy, here are a few tips to limit an expanding waistline and make tire go away naturally: 1. Mindful eating What you eat is important and you already know that. Yet, most people actually don’t have a clue of what they are really eating. Invest time and energy thinking of the medicinal and energy benefits of what you consume rather than taste alone. Listening to your body and mindful eating can go a long way in reducing belly fat. 2. Exercise your way to fitness Regulating the blood sugar levels and boosting metabolism, exercising is the way to a heathy mind and body, and effective at reducing belly fat. Aerobic exercise (like swimming, walking, running, cycling etc.) and besieged abdominal exercises are best to lessen the belly fat. As rightly said by Gene Tunney, “To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise”, so, exercise your way to good health!! 3. Consume fibrous foods Mostly indigestible plant matter, the fiber is essential part of the balanced diet, as it aids digestion and keeps the gut healthy. Slowing down the digestion and absorption of nutrients, fiber gives the brain signals of feeling fullness and hence lowering actual food intake. Best way to get more fiber is to consume lot of plant foods like raw vegetables, salads and whole fruit. 4. Protein rich, low carb diet A great source of energy, protein is known as the building block of life, and spectacular for weight loss. Great natural sources include chicken breast, cottage cheese, eggs, tuna fish, milk and chickpeas. Stock up on proteins to stack down on belly fat. Carbs, or carbohydrates, particularly pro-

cessed ones, tend to convert into sugars in the body very quickly, hence causing many health challenges. Sugar from carbohydrates can be an important source of energy when it is needed. When the body does not need all of the energy from carbs instantly, the body converts these to fat cells and stores for later use. Hence cutting carbs can be a great idea to lose fat. 5. Live sugar-free Studies across the globe show the harmful effects of consuming added sugar. Added sugar is uniquely harmful effects on metabolic health and very unhealthy. Added sugar has deeply been linked to causing fatty liver and fatty liver diseases directly links to the fat around the belly. Studies reveal sugar-sweetened beverages (including canned juices) if consumed daily increase obesity risks for children by 60%. A conscious call to reduce (if you can’t eliminate) sugary beverages, sweetened sodas, canned fruit juices can do a long way in reducing belly fat and in proving wellbeing. Intake jaggery and natural sugars in form of whole fruit, if you really want a sweet indulgence.

About the columnist Anshu is the founder and business head of researchPAL, a boutique research and content firm based out of India. She has over ten years of corporate experience in consulting and research. She holds a master’s degree in business management and is passionate about the application of research to do business faster, better, cheaper. She can be reached at anshu. sachdeva@researchpal.in


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February 2019

Bollyfit with

ReemaSarin By Reema Sarin

Ab Crunches to Trim that Belly Fat!

Local stroke survivor’s Resolution to Run for Stroke Association

A Blackburn running group is on a fundraising mission at the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run at Stanley Park on Sunday 14 April, after one of their members survived a stroke. More than 30 members of the Progression Group and Couch to 5k program in Blackburn will take on the 15km run for the charity, inspired by Chris Jolliffe, 49. In August 2017, Chris, a father-ofthree, was enjoying a holiday on the Amalfi Coast with his wife Louise, when he woke up on the last day and found he was struggling to speak. He said: “I knew something wasn’t right. I went to brush my teeth and the water spilled down my face. I felt really disorientated. Although I thought I might have had a stroke, I put the thought to the back of my mind and carried on.” Chris continued onto the airport, despite feeling really unwell. After attempting to sleep it off when he arrived home, he dialled 111 in the morning and was in Royal Blackburn Hospital within half an hour, where he was told he’d had a stroke.” Chris said: “When we got home I’d be fine, but of course I wasn’t. I spent four days on the stroke ward in hospital and I’ve been extremely lucky. My speech was affected for a while, but it’s now improved, and fortunately I haven’t been left with any lasting effects. I returned to work as a senior IT manager for QVC on a phased return, and I’m now working full time.” “The Stroke Association’s Stroke Recovery Service was there for me after my stroke to help with information and advice. Part of my recovery plan with the Stroke Association was to do regular exercise sessions in the gym with a specialist trainer. I also now volunteer with the service in Blackburn, visiting other stroke

survivors on the ward and at home to show there is life after stroke.” Chris started the Couch to 5k plan in 2018 took on the Stroke Association’s 5km Resolution Run at Stanley Park that year, alongside his wife Louise. He added: “After that I decided to progress to the next level; 10k. I joined the running group where I met a group of very special people. The group has a special bond. They feel like my extended family; we all support each other, and they understand my motivation. I completed the program culminating with my first 10k in June.” “When I entered the 2019 Resolution Run I wanted to push myself further and so I entered the 15k race with my wife Louise. To my surprise and joy my running group also decided to join us so we can support each other as we work towards our next milestone which is the Liverpool half-marathon in May!” “One of our members works for The Cardboard Box Company, based in Accrington. They have kindly said that they will match the amount we raise, which means whatever people donate is doubled. We’re very grateful for their support.” The Progression Group trains together twice a week on Monday and Thursday evenings, while they also have a group which takes part in a social run on Saturday mornings to complement the program. Claire Fahey is the group leader, adding: “My father is also a stroke survivor and strokes seem to have been quite a regular occurrence on his side of the family. It’s a word that I can remember hearing from a very young age. After one particular progression run early in 2018, I was approached by Chris who told me he was recovering from a stroke. Chris

is my inspiration for organising and setting up this fundraising group and we’re thrilled he will be running with us as part of the team on the day.” Rebecca Owen, Regional Fundraiser at the Stroke Association, said: “A Resolution Run is exactly that – a resolution for the New Year that counts. It’s the ideal event for people in Blackpool who want to do something fun together, while getting more active in 2019. “In the UK there are around 100,000 strokes every year. Our latest research shows that by training and taking part in a Resolution Run, you are helping to lower your stroke risk. The funds raised by each runner means we can reach out to more stroke survivors and their families to offer the support that they may need to rebuild their lives. On behalf of the thousands of stroke survivors and their loved ones that we support every year, I just want to say thank you.” Research from the charity shows that many strokes could be prevented if people made some simple lifestyle changes. Introducing physical activity into your routine is just one aspect of a healthier lifestyle required to reduce your risk of stroke. Monitoring (and managing) your blood pressure, eating a more balanced diet and stopping smoking can all significantly reduce your stroke risk. The money raised through the Resolution Run in Blackpool will help the Stroke Association to fund vital research and support people affected by stroke in the North West. Last year participants raised over £633,000 for the Stroke Association. This year the charity hopes to raise over £850,000 to continue supporting stroke survivors and their families throughout the UK.

The Belly zone is probably where we put on weight first, and it is one of the most difficult spot areas to lose fat from! To truly tame your trouble spots, you need to combine cardio with strength training. Ideally, you should do at least 30 minutes of cardio 4 to 5 days per week. Cardio activities can take the form of whichever form of aerobic exercise you’re doing—aerobics, dancing, walking, running, biking, swimming and hiking. The key is to be consistent with your exercise regime and to do the exercises with power. Indulging in being active all day, this would also help you in burning fat, as opposed to shunning any physical activity, which would slow down your system instead! For example, walking around to do the chores, cleaning up a little, working a little in the garden, are great activities to increase your activities of daily living. Here are 3 excellent spot training exercises to burn that Belly Fat! The ‘AB’ Crunch: This is your typical abdominal crunch exercise and if it is done right, it will really make your abs work and its super effective to burn the fat off the belly area. Lie on your exercise mat on your back. Bend your knees. Place your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows wide open. Press the small of your back into the mat by pulling your belly button towards your spine. Contract your abdominal muscles and slowly bring your shoulder blades about 2-3 inches off the floor. Exhale from your mouth as you contract and come up, and inhale from your nose as you come back down. Make sure to keep your neck straight and your chin up. Once you raise up to your maximum, hold the Ab crunch for a few seconds and then slowly lower your back down to the starting position. However, make sure that you never completely relax your back on the mat once you lower your back. Do 4 sets of 16 repetitions and increase the sets as your Abs get strength to do more shoulder lifts. Bicycle Crunch: This is a particularly effective exercise as it works to strengthen three different ab muscles at the same time: The Upper Abdominal muscle, the lower Abdominal muscle and the external Oblique Abdominal muscles. Lie flat on your exercise mat on your back, pressing your back onto the ground, as well as reducing the curve in your lower back. Contract your core ab muscles and position your hands gently behind your head. Lift your knees up to about 45-degree angle. Turn your right elbow to your left knee and twist it to try to reach that knee and go to your maximum, so that it contracts with your side oblique abdominal muscle. Now change your elbow and knee, and do the same to the opposite side, with your left elbow aiming for your right knee. Put in your maximum effort and intensity into each ‘pedal’ move. Do 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions to each side. Ball Crunch: The Ball crunch is excellent for strengthening your core abdominal muscle — the rectus abdominals. Position yourself in such a way that the ball is under your lower back. Take your arms and place them either behind your head or keeping your elbows wide open. Inhale your nose as you contract your abdominal muscles, pulling them in tight, and using them to lift your upper body or torso off the ball, straight up towards the ceiling, with the ball stationary and firmly being on the floor. Each time try and lift higher, contracting in your Abdominal muscle, and hence increasing the intensity of each Ab Ball Crunch. Now, gently lower your back into starting position and do 4 sets of 12 repetitions. The more resistance and intensity you put in to the above Abdominal crunches, it will help you strengthen your Abs further and get the flat belly look faster!


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More donor livers could be used for transplantation thanks to exciting new development

A procedure assessed by NICE and used in research led by the University of Birmingham has been hailed as an ‘exciting development’ in increasing the number of livers which can be safely used for transplantation. A perfusion machine can keep the donated liver viable for transplantation for longer. The machine reduces the rate of tissue deterioration that occurs after the liver has been removed from the donor and extends how long the liver can be stored before transplantation. Variations of the technique can also allow the liver to be flushed with blood at body temperature and supplied with oxygen, medications and nutrients allowing its viability and function to be assessed. It is hoped machine perfusion could increase the number of organs viable for transplant, saving more lives and reducing liver transplant waiting lists. Liver transplantation is a highly successful treatment for end-stage liver disease, which kills 11,000 people a year in England. Deaths from liver disease have soared by 25 per cent in a decade and continue to rise, while the average age of death from liver disease (currently 50-59 years) continues to decrease. NICE, the UK’s independent body responsible for driving improvement and excellence in the health and social care system, has issued final guidance which recommends the procedure — ex-vivo machine perfusion for extracorporeal

preservation of livers for transplantation — is used under special arrangements as more data is gathered into its efficacy. NICE’s independent advisory committee did not identify any major safety concerns. Surgeons undertaking the procedure must inform patients about the uncertainty of the procedure’s efficacy, comply with the relevant regulatory and legal requirements of the Human Tissue Authority and should enter details about all patients having this procedure into the NHSBT UK transplant registry. NHS England and commissioners will decide whether they fund the procedure. However research is already taking place at the University of Birmingham and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and other transplant centres across the country. University of Birmingham Honorary Professor Darius Mirza, Consultant Transplant Surgeon at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “In the 30 years I’ve been involved with transplantation there have been three or four events which have been game changers and I’m absolutely certain we are looking at a game changer that will change the way we practice organ storage and transplantation”. “It is already changing practice at the centres that have been able to use this technology either within clinical trials or within an expansion of service evaluation.”

Professor Kevin Harris, programme director and clinical advisor for the Interventional Procedures Programme at NICE, said: “This procedure offers hope for patients needing a liver transplant. It offers another way of preserving the liver, and assessing whether livers which might have previously been considered unsuitable, can be used safely”. “The latest evidence reviewed by a NICE committee concluded that the procedure worked well and was safe to be offered to patients who had been fully informed of the risks and benefits. Clinicians should seek approval from their trust’s management and record all data from the procedure in a database”. “By using this procedure, more patients on the organ transplant waiting list could be offered a chance of a transplant and there-by potentially extending their lives.”

Sue Bennett, 45, a mother of three from Ranton, in Staffordshire, UK, had a liver transplant using this new technique in 2015. She said: “I signed up for the trial not knowing I would be one of the first to have this procedure in the country. Before my transplant I was very ill. I was losing weight, I couldn’t sleep and my quality of life was quite low. I had a transplant after the hospital found a donor who was a match. The liver was kept alive using this procedure overnight and I was able to have the operation the following day. Nine days later I was back home”. “Having a transplant has changed my life. I‘ve joined the gym, got fit and gone back to work and did some voluntary work for the Staffordshire Search and Rescue team and I also compete nationally and internationally in the Transplant Games as a member of the Team GB transplant team. “My life is unbelievably wonderful. I’m very healthy, I’m very happy and very active. I think I‘ve been very lucky.” John Forsythe, associate medical director at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “There has been a huge amount of research in the area of preservation and perfusion methods that allow us to both assess precious donor organs and to enhance their function. This could potentially mean the organ works better and improve transplant outcomes. “Many of the lead researchers in the area of transplant preservation and

perfusion techniques are in UK and it is good to see UK researchers continue to be at the forefront in this field”. “Transplantation wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of organ donors and their families.” Vanessa Hebditch, director of policy at the British Liver Trust said, “Every year hundreds of people with advanced liver disease die whilst waiting for a transplant. “This new device offers real hope as it may improve transplant outcomes and allow livers that were previously thought to be unsuitable to be used and also increase the time that livers are able to be kept”. “It is an exciting development that has the potential to shorten waiting list times and reduce mortality rates from advanced liver disease. After transplant, the vast majority of people go on to lead full and healthy lives and it is truly amazing to see the transformation.” For the financial year ending 31 March 2018, there were 1,043 liver transplants in the UK and 359 patients on the UK active transplant list, according to NHS Blood and Transplant. The number of patients on the active transplant list reached a ten year high in 2015 when 611 patients were on the waiting list. However the large drop attributed to the 2018 figure may be due to the introduction of the National Liver Offering Scheme (NLOS) in March 2018.

38 million people in Britain facing pressures on close family, as campaign launches to help families face their monsters

Three in four adults in Britain, almost 38 million people, say their close family is under pressure according to new research published today by national charity Family Action to mark its 150th anniversary and launch its Family Monsters Project to help families with everyday challenges. The new research carried out for Family Action by ICM Unlimited shows that money, health and wellness, and quality time together are the main pressures on families in Britain today. Six in ten people (61%) with family pressures, an estimated 24 million people, say specific things are making tackling these pressures more difficult, such as thinking other families need help more or not being sure who to ask for help. Family Action is starting a national conversation about the everyday pressures on families or ‘family monsters’. The campaign aims to get these pressures out in the open and to stop family monsters from becoming overwhelming by helping families find ways to talk about and face their pressures together. Family Action has released a new short film bringing family monsters to life - go to www. familymonstersproject.com to watch and share it. When asked about the common pressures in their close family the five

most prevalent pressures people are willing to report are money (52%), health and wellness (50%), lack of time together (49%), pressure from work or education (40%) and family relationships (37%). Lack of communication (19%) and arguments, feuds or disputes (16%) are the most common relationship problems reported. An estimated 24 million people say specific things make it harder for them to deal with their main pressure on their close family. These include not being sure who could help (14%), feeling their family should be able to

overcome pressures without external support (13%), their family living far away (13%) or not having services near where they live (6%). Worryingly, many people say there are psychological barriers that are preventing them from getting help with their family monsters, including feeling other people need more support than them (12%), lack of confidence (11%), embarrassment (9%), feeling scared of being judged (9%), not thinking their family pressures will be taken seriously (6%) or not being ready to talk (7%).

When asked what they do personally about tackling their family monsters, an estimated 16 million people (42%) say they don’t do anything at all. While most people want to do more about their family monsters in future, not everyone is sure what to do. The preferred option currently is to talk to someone (32%), but one in six (16%) people with family pressures say they would like to do something but don’t know what to do. Family Action Chief Executive, David Holmes, CBE said: “Every family will have its pressures.

These monsters are with us every day, usually small and easy to deal with but at the worst times growing and becoming overwhelming, making daily life a struggle. We want to help families get these hidden monsters out in the open, as simply acknowledging and talking about our family monsters can often keep them small and under control”. “For 150 years Family Action has been helping families become stronger. To mark our 150th Anniversary we want to start a national conversation about family pressures, how normal they are and how best to manage them. Every family has its monsters, if we all recognise this and talk about them more, together we can build stronger families”. “From joining in the national conversation and sharing stories on social media, to visiting our family garden at RHS Chelsea or one of the hundreds of Family Monster Project picnics this summer, we’re creating opportunities for all families to get involved” To find out how the Family Monsters Project is helping every family face their pressures go to www.familymonstersproject.com or follow #MyFamilyMonsters on social media.


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Fred. Olsen brings stunning European waterways ‘closer’ with Scottish flights on 2019 Brabant sailings Fred. Olsen brings stunning European waterways ‘closer’ with Scottish flights on 2019 Brabant sailings Fred. Olsen River Cruises is bringing the stunning waterways of Europe ‘closer’ to its guests in Scotland and the north of the UK with flights from Edinburgh on 10 of its Brabant river cruises in 2019. On 4th April 2019, Brabant will set sail on its second river cruise season, serving some of Europe’s finest waterways, including the Rhine, Main, Moselle and Danube, with 33 tempting itineraries to choose from, 10 of which will include direct flights from Scotland. Guests can take advantage of a ‘FREE Tips & Dining Drinks’ upgrade on almost every Brabant itinerary in 2019, on all new bookings made by 28th February 2019, allowing guests to enjoy complimentary selected house wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks when served with lunch and dinner, with the ‘added extra’ of all gratuities being paid by Fred. Olsen. A ‘No Single Supplement’ offer with Scottish flights will also apply on Brabant’s R1903 ‘Springtime Dutch Discovery’ sailing in April 2019. Keith Norman, River Sales Manager at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “At Fred. Olsen, we pride ourselves on bringing the world ‘closer’ to our guests, and we know how important it is to those living in Scotland and the north of the UK to have convenient, direct flights available close to them. “We are now excited to begin another year of sensational scenic cruising on board stylish Brabant, along some of Europe’s most picturesque waterways, to culture-rich countries and sensational cities, and Scottish guests are sure to find an itinerary to suit all tastes and interests. “We believe that the option of hassle-free direct Scottish flights, together with our new range of great-value booking offers, will add that extra special touch to what we know will be a fantastic holiday, whether you are an existing Fred. Olsen river cruise guest, or you are trying Brabant for the very first time.” Brabant itineraries offering flights from Scotland, and featuring the ‘FREE Tips & Dining Drinks’ upgrade, include: Five-night R1903 ‘Springtime Dutch Discovery’ fly-cruise, ex Amsterdam, Netherlands (flights from Edinburgh/London Heathrow/Manchester) on 14th April 2019. Prices start from £999 per person. Solo travellers can sail from £1,199 per person with 0% single supplement on certain grades.

Discover Amsterdam’s world-famous attractions, such as the Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House, or view tulips in full seasonal bloom on a tour to the legendary Keukenhof Gardens. Enjoy scenic cruising across the Ijsselmeer, sail by the picturesque cities of Zutphen and Zwolle and see the imposing Pannderden Fort as Brabant transits the Pannerden Canal. Visit a string of towns and cities steeped in history and authentic culture, including Nijmegen – the Netherlands’ oldest city – and Kampen, home to one of the country’s best–preserved historic centres. Ports of call: Amsterdam, Netherlands (overnight stay) – Cruising Across Ijsselmeer, Netherlands– Hoorn, Netherlands – Kampen, Netherlands – Cruising on Ijssel River, Netherlands – Deventer, Netherlands (overnight stay) – Cruising by Zutphen, Netherlands – Arnhem, Netherlands (overnight stay) – Cruising Pannerden Canal & Fortress, Netherlands – Nijmegen, Netherlands – Düsseldorf, Germany For more details: Visit R1903 ‘Springtime Dutch Discovery’ Seven-night R1905 ‘Cities of the Beautiful Dan-

ube’ fly-cruise, ex Nuremberg, Germany (flights from Edinburgh/London Heathrow) on 26th April 2019.Prices start from £1,899 per person. Explore the spellbinding city of Salzburg on tour from Passau; journey through the fjord-like landscapes of the Schlögener Schlinge and enchanting destinations in the beautiful Wachau Valley will whet your appetite for stops at three stunning capital cities. Marvel at the majestic palaces and sweet symphonies of Vienna; uncover the classic and contemporary delights of Bratislava; and delight in the architectural, cultural and historical wonders of Budapest. Ports of call: Nuremberg, Germany – Regensburg, Germany – Passau, Germany – Cruising Schlögener Schlinge, Germany – Linz, Austria – Emmersdorf & Melk, Austria – Cruising the Wachau Valley, Austria – Dürnstein, Austria – Nussdorf (Vienna), Austria (overnight stay) – Bratislava, Slovakia – Cruising into Budapest, Hungary – Budapest, Hungary (overnight stay) For more details: Visit R1905 ‘Cities of the Beautiful Danube’ Seven-night R1910 ‘Exploring the Scenic Mo-

AW Facts Did you know? The word “siderodromophobia” translates as fear of railroads and train travel

selle Valley’ fly-cruise, ex Düsseldorf, Germany (flights from Edinburgh/London Heathrow) on 27th June 2019. Prices start from £1,499 per person. An effortlessly rewarding journey combining unforgettable daytime scenic river cruising and stops at enchanting towns and cities. See a medley of exquisite vineyards, forested hills, and picture-perfect historic towns as Brabant sails the Middle Moselle, Lower Moselle and Middle Rhine valleys; marvel at Cologne’s stunning cathedral, the half-timbered houses of Bernkastel-Kues, Cochem’s imposing Reichsburg Castle and more during time ashore. There’s a chance to explore the UNESCO-listed historic centre of Strasbourg before sailing through the Upper Rhine Valley and Grand Canal d’Alsace Ports of call: Düsseldorf, Germany (overnight stay) – Cologne, Germany – Cruising Passage of Bonn, Germany – Remagen, Germany – Cruising Middle Moselle Valley, Germany – BernkastelKues, Germany – Cochem, Germany – Cruising Lower Moselle Valley, Germany – Koblenz, Germany (overnight stay) – Cruising Middle Rhine Valley, Germany – Speyer, Germany – Strasbourg, France – Cruising Upper Rhine, Germany – Basel, Switzerland For more details: Visit R1910 ‘Exploring the Scenic Moselle Valley’ All prices shown are based on two adults sharing a twin-bedded Standard Room, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, port / airport taxes, flights and transfers, where applicable. Guests booking their holidays with Fred. Olsen River Cruises can also benefit from its ‘Book with Confidence’ guarantee. This means that, once a booking is confirmed, Fred. Olsen guarantees that no surcharges or supplements will be added to the cruise price. Bookings are underpinned by the security of ABTA and ATOL protection, as well as Fred. Olsen’s industry-leading ‘Enjoyment Promise’, giving real peace of mind. What is more, all cruises, shore tours and purchases made on board Fred. Olsen’s ships are priced in Pounds Sterling – so that guests can explore the world without having to worry about exchange rates. For further information on Fred. Olsen River Cruises, visit the website atwww.fredolsencruises. com/river-cruises Book online, call Reservations on 0800 0355 242 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 9am to 5pm; Sunday, 10am to 4pm), or visit an ABTA travel agent.


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February 2019

Carol Vorderman to host the British Coach Tourism Awards 2019

Author, presenter and Countdown legend Carol Vorderman MBE is set to host the British Coach Tourism Awards 2019 – the long-established and greatly-respected national awards scheme dedicated to the multi-billionpound coach tourism sector. Carol Vorderman MBE has been a household name on screens for many years, not only due to her 26 years on Countdown, but also numerous prime time TV shows including: BBC’s Tomorrow’s World, ITV’s Loose

Women, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and I’m A Celebrity…Get me out of Here! And for more than 20 years she has been the host and key champion of ITV’s acclaimed Pride of Britain Awards, honouring British people who have acted extraordinarily in challenging situations. As well as writing for newspaper columns, books on subjects ranging from school textbooks on mathematics, to a best-seller on Detox diets, she’s also an ambassador for the RAF

Air Cadets, becoming the first woman to be appointed as an Honorary Group Captain. For decades, Vorderman has been hugely influential in advocating and encouraging young women to study and work within the science and engineering sphere. Vorderman will be presenting the prestigious awards at The National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham on Wednesday 20 March at 7pm. The awards are timed to coincide with this year’s essential domestic tourism

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exhibition, The British Tourism & Travel Show, taking place at the NEC Birmingham on 20– 21 March. Now in its 14th year, the British Coach Tourism Awards offers a rare opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication of some of the most talented coach tour operators, destinations, visitor attractions, hotels, and suppliers across the country – setting the bar for excellence and making domestic coach tourism what it is today.

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Previous winners have included: National Memorial Arboretum, Condor Ferries, Broads Tours, West Somerset Railway, Rendezvous Hotel (Skipton), Hilton Worldwide, ICT Group Travel, Bateaux London, Gardiners NMC, Shaws of Maxey, Bakers Dolphin, Travel by Knight, and Beverley in Yorkshire. To view the 2018 British Coach Tourism Awards winners, please visit: www.britishcoachawards.co.uk/awards-2018.


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February 2019

TECHNOLOGY

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Breakthrough in organic electronics

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a simple new tweak that could double the efficiency of organic electronics. OLED-displays, plastic-based solar cells and bioelectronics are just some of the technologies that could benefit from their new discovery, which deals with “double-doped” polymers. The majority of our everyday electronics are based on inorganic semiconductors, such as silicon. Crucial to their function is a process called doping, which involves weaving impurities into the semiconductor to enhance its electrical conductivity. It is this that allows various components in solar cells and LED screens to work. For organic – that is, carbon-based – semiconductors, this doping process is similarly of extreme importance. Since the discovery of electrically conducting plastics and polymers, a field in which a Nobel Prize was awarded in 2000, research and development of organic electronics has accelerated quickly. OLED-displays are one example which are already on the market, for example in the latest generation of smartphones.

Other applications have not yet been fully realised, due in part to the fact that organic semiconductors have so far not been efficient enough. Doping in organic semiconductors operates through what is known as a redox reaction. This means that a dopant molecule receives an electron from the semiconductor, increasing the electrical conductivity of the semiconductor. The more dopant molecules that the semiconductor can react with, the higher the conductivity – at least up to a certain limit, after which the conductiv-

ity decreases. Currently, the efficiency limit of doped organic semiconductors has been determined by the fact that the dopant molecules have only been able to exchange one electron each. But now, in an article in the scientific journal Nature Materials, Professor Christian Müller and his group, together with colleagues from seven other universities demonstrate that it is possible to move two electrons to every dopant molecule. “Through this ‘double doping’ process, the semiconductor can therefore become

twice as effective,” says David Kiefer, PhD student in the group and first author of the article. According to Christian Müller, this innovation is not built on some great technical achievement. Instead, it is simply a case of seeing what others have not seen. “The whole research field has been totally focused on studying materials, which only allow one redox reaction per molecule. We chose to look at a different type of polymer, with lower ionisation energy. We saw that this material allowed the transfer of two electrons to the dopant molecule. It is actually very simple,” says Christian Müller, Professor of Polymer Science at Chalmers University of Technology. The discovery could allow further improvements to technologies which today are not competitive enough to make it to market. One problem is that polymers simply do not conduct current well enough, and so making the doping techniques more effective has long been a focus for achieving better polymerbased electronics. Now, this doubling of the conductivity of polymers, while

Review of the RHA MA650 Often, when purchasing earpieces, we are confronted with the decision of choosing between affordability and sound quality. Both factors are important, often we have to pick one from the other, but do we always have to? Audio company RHA seems to think not. They strive to create audio devices which combine technology, sound, and human experience. The RHA MA60 seems to be made for students and audiophiles on a budget, and despite its price, the sound it produces is excellent and backed by a three-year manufacturer’s warranty. Underneath the plastic-protected RHA MA650 is a mesh carrying pouch with an aluminum carrier which holds seven

pairs of ear tips which range from double-flanged to dual-density silicone. The aluminum chassis of the RHA MA650 is attractive and draws light to its understated profile. It uses the signature RHA aerophonic design trademark and in addition to the aluminum housing combines a sound chamber and sound pipe to deliver immersive, clear audio with lasting quality. The controls on the device are great. It provides full control over the devices function using the android-optimized remote which enables users to switch easily between playlists, calls and an active google assistant function via the three-button remote and microphone. The digital assistant commands allow

users to access advanced functions like the app control, internet searches and information searches. The connectivity on this device is the

traditional 3.5mm headphone jack which comes gold plated. Sound quality on the device is superb. The passive noise isolation is fantastic, especially for a low-end performance headset. On the downside, the bass notes take a backseat in some music mixes. But on the whole, we were extremely impressed with the MA650, and especially for the price it comes in at. Overall, the MA650, like other RHA products definitely doesn’t disappoint. It’s timeless, brushed aluminum aesthetics are sure to amass approval from persons with a sophisticated taste. Beyond the looks, RHA backs this well-crafted product with a number of ear tips to make for comfortable use.

using only the same amount of dopant material, over the same surface area as before, could represent the tipping point needed to allow several emerging technologies to be commercialised. “With OLED displays, the development has come far enough that they are already on the market. But for other technologies to succeed and make it to market something extra is needed. With organic solar cells, for example, or electronic circuits built of organic material, we need the ability to dope certain components to the same extent as silicon-based electronics. Our approach is a step in the right direction,” says Christian Müller. The discovery offers fundamental knowledge and could help thousands of researchers to achieve advances in flexible electronics, bioelectronics and thermoelectricity. Christian Müller’s research group themselves are researching several different applied areas, with polymer technology at the centre. Among other things, his group is looking into the development of electrically conducting textiles and organic solar cells.

By Uzair Janjua - Technology Correspondent

Furthermore, at the press of a button, you can ask Google whatever questions you may have. The audio reproduction is not flat, but it’s fun and sounds good, assuming you can do without some bass. The RHA MA650 headphones are well worth the price of £50.

AW Facts Did you know? More people across the globe have mobile phones than toilets


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IOT Spending to reach $745bn this year The term “Internet of things” or IOT was first coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 whilst he was working the role of an assistant brand manager at Procter & Gamble. However, the concept was generated in 1982 when the first coke vending machine was connected to the internet in order to make it possible to report its inventory. Up until now, much work has been done which make it able for the devices to be connected with the internet. Cisco systems later estimated that the IoT/people ratio grew from 0.08 in 2003, to 1.84 in 2010. But this is not the end of the development process as the field of artificial intelligence has also continued to grow alongside the IoT. With the increase in the number of devices in our environment per day, this field gets bigger and bigger as in 1991 Mark Weiser stated: “the computer of the 21st Century described the vision of IoT.” By 2017 the number of smart devices had crossed the human population, and is currently increasing with the rate of 1.2% annually. The Internet of Things is shaping the future very rapidly as electronic devices are getting smarter, the internet rapidly sensing data and processing it results in less human work and more automatic work being completed. With such impressive and creative ways to make things self-reliant, many startups are working on the Internet of Things in

By Muhammad Nadeem Jahangir - Technology Correspondent

order to take care of everything from intelligent door locks to automatic parking. 2018 has been the year of Artificial intelligence introduction to autonomous devices, self-driving cars will be introduced in 2019, but we still have so much further to go. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) $745 billion is the estimated global spending for this year, which is 15.4% more than the $646 Billion which was spent last year. With the continuous dramatic increase in the number of devices used these global spending statistics may reach up to 1 Trillion by 2022. This year, according to IDC, industries have predicted the IoT expenditure of a range of different sectors such as discrete manufacturing ($119 billion,) process manufacturing ($78 billion), transportation ($71 billion), and utilities ($61 billion). Moreover, the United

States and China will spend the most on IoT - $194 billion and $182 billion respectively. They will be followed by Japan who will lag behind with ($65.4 billion), and Germany ($35.5 billion) and Korea ($25.7 billion). The countries that will havethe fastest IoT spending growth over the forecast period are all located in Latin America: Mexico (28.3% CAGR), Colombia (24.9% CAGR), and Chile (23.3% CAGR). The future we used to hear about is getting closer day-by-day. The researches in the field of artificial intelligence are making our future prospects brighter with the advance of IoT devices and new machine learning algorithms. This year may be the year when we see even more startups coming based on the Internet of Things, an automation of industries and even humanoid robots.

Facebook to Merge Instagram, Whatsapp and Messenger By Khalid Karim - Technology Correspondent

Social Media giant Facebook has recently announced plans to integrate the Messaging features of .. wait for it… Messenger, alongside Instagram and WhatsApp. The integration is intended to create “the best messaging experiences” for the billions of users around the world who use the Facebook portfolio of apps. The apps will still remain distinct from each other, although the underlying messaging infrastructure would be unified, according to people close to the merger. Currently, on the Facebook Pages platform, Facebook comments and the inbox are subtly integrated with Facebook Messenger. For Instagram messaging is located within the Pages. Therefore, this seems like a natural move for an outward integration. A spokesperson for Facebook said the merger would deliver a messaging platform that was fast, simple, reliable and private, though data experts have warned it could have an impact on people’s privacy. It’s going to be interesting to see how they tackle the issue,

considering the bad press and backlash Facebook has experienced in most recent years, as privacy seems to be the biggest concerns on everyone’s mind. “We’re working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted and considering ways to make it easier to reach friends and family across networks,” The spokesperson said. The merger is expected to take place by early next year, although no official details have been released yet. The messaging app merger is a complete backtrack Facebook from CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s original position, arguing that both Instagram and WhatsApp would be kept autonomous from each other within the social network. Both platforms have since enjoyed rapid growth – Instagram has around 1 billion monthly active users and WhatsApp has 1.5 billion users – although all original founders of the apps have since left Facebook, possibly because after many of the recent scandals they have been unhappy with the recent direction Facebook is taking. WhatsApp employees have let their feelings known about the proposed plans to merge the services during a contentious staff meeting. Voicing their biggest concerns relating to data privacy. Currently, WhatsApp users are not required to provide their name or

any other identifying information other than their phone number to use the messaging app. Merging with Facebook Messenger and Instagram could force WhatsApp users to reveal information about themselves that they would normally want to keep private. Data privacy expert Tim Mackey, has commented on Facebook’s “spotty history” with user privacy. “Merging personal information and privacy configurations from three significant applications won’t be trivial,” he said. “Facebook development teams would do well to look at this precedent and prioritise user privacy”. “With the integration project currently expected to take a year to complete, and with end-to-end encryption as part of the plan, we should expect the Facebook engineering teams to focus attention on uniform data security both in their platform and in the apps themselves.” Facebook said in a recent statement: “As you would expect, there is a lot of discussion and debate as we begin the long process of figuring out all the details of how this [merger] will work.” Talking of Instagram, check out my account and that of Asian World News: Twitter: @Khalid_Karim @AsianWorldNews Instagram: @KhalidKarim72 @AsianWorldOnline

February 2019

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University of Birmingham wins WhatsApp award to research use of ‘fake-news’ in Nigerian elections

Dr Jonathan Fisher, lead of the project, said:

During November 2018, over a dozen Nigerian news organisations joined forces and committed to work together to identify and call out ‘fake news’ is circulated in the lead-up to the country’s general election in February. Our project – which is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham (UK) and the Centre for Democracy and Development (Nigeria) – is therefore part of a broader effort to shine a spotlight on the role of misinformation in this critically important election, and to devise strategies for tackling it.

A University of Birmingham-led project has been awarded a $50,000 grant by Social Media giant WhatsApp for the purpose of studying misinformation and its impact on society. The grant is one of twenty awards of $50,000 as part of WhatsApp Misinformation and Social Science Research Award pot of $1million. The grants have been offered to academics from around the world to see how misinformation through fake news, calls for violence, election-related propaganda and other topics can impact the democratic processes. As part of an international collaboration, the research team led by Dr Jonathan Fisher, Reader in African Politics at the University of Birmingham, will examine, how political messaging is developed during the elections and how it is disseminated and consumed via WhatsApp during the forthcoming Nigerian elections taking place in February 2019. The research project is a joint collaboration between the University of Birmingham which includes Professor Nic Cheeseman, Idayat Hassan from the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) Abuja, and Jamie Hitchen from AREA Consulting. The research project will specifically look at: 1. How WhatsApp is used by political candidates, their teams and supporters to tailor political messages to local and electoral contexts, and with what impact. 2. What strategies different actors and communities use to disseminate messages via WhatsApp during election campaigns. 3. How far voters are influenced by political messages shared on What-

sApp. To what extent they distinguish between ‘fake’ and ‘genuine’ news. 4. The research project will focus in particular on governor races in the states of Oyo and Kano, while also looking more broadly at how WhatsApp has been used in the presidential election. The project will combine in-depth interviews and focus group analysis with survey data to develop a comprehensive and empirically rich picture of how Nigerian candidates, campaigners and communities interact with platforms like WhatsApp during electoral processes. The results will be used to provide realworld guidance to key policy-makers, practitioners and stakeholders – including Facebook/WhatsApp at a workshop to be held in Menlo Park, California in April 2019. Results of the research will also be made available throughout the research project (which ends in April 2019) via online blog articles and podcasts as well as at two dissemination events in London and Abuja during April 2019. WhatsApp received 600 proposals which were submitted and reviewed. The University of Birmingham project is one of twenty research grants awarded across several relevant research areas. Recipients span the globe including Brazil, India, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. The goal of these research awards is to facilitate high quality, external research on these topics by academics and experts who are in the countries where WhatsApp is frequently used and where there is relatively limited research on the topic.


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February 2019

FOOD

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AW’S

Kitchen

Review of Laura Ashley The Tea Room, Solihull

Based in The Regency Hotel, Shirley By Manisha Bhanot

“A quiet and tranquil tea room, bound in a relaxing atmosphere where you can sip all of our worries away” The Laura Ashley tea room, is a sombre and charming little venue, which allows you to indulge in the Great British passtime of tea drinking with delight. Once welcomed into the reception, visitors are quickly seated in the neat and tidy all-white open pan space. At their table, they can expect to find clean and fresh linen, with a hand-picked floral centre piece, made to contrast with the tea room’s garden themed wall print. The high-hanging chandeliers, cast a warm and welcoming glow over the seating area, which draw your attention to the tea room’s tasteful wall hangings and décor. Visitors are made to feel at ease by the classical piano music playing whilst they take their seats and read over their menus. The waiting staff are keen and eager to serve, greeting you with a smile. Everything on your menu will be explained by the knowledgeable and courteous waiters and waitresses. If you have any dietary requirements, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options can be readily made by the tea-room’s expert in-house Chef. All guests also receive a complimentary appetizer, which is Laura Ashley’s ‘Soup of the Day.’ During the beginning of February, this is a thick and richly seasoned tomato and basil broth, freshly heated to warm up guests during the cold winter season. As afternoon tea is brought out to the guests in sophisticated glass tea-pots, they can expect an entrée of delicious delicacies to accompany their warm beverages. This includes; scrumptious savoury and raisin baked scones with fresh clotted cream and jam. Also served are brown and white bread finger sandwiches with creamy coleslaw, water cress, shallot chutney and roasted vegetables. For dessert, an enticing and mouth-watering selection is on offer; from double-chocolate cake, to banana cake and sugar-dusted Victoria sponge. Macarons and local strawberry preserve

are also available to indulge your taste buds. Whether you want your brew with a slice of lemon or a tall glass of Prosecco on the side, Laura Ashley is the perfect place to suit all of your tea-time needs. Whether you want to take your loved ones out for a treat or share a romantic evening with that special someone, this eligible and upper-class tea-room is not a place on your list to be missed!

AW Facts Did you know? Pepsi got its brand name from the body’s digestive enzyme pepsin


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February 2019

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What Would Life be Without Virgin Trains offers our Lifelines Called “Chefs” first vegan-friendly By: Rida Khan (Aviation Author) (Instagram Account - @aviationauthor.ridakhan)

Chefs play a very important role in our society. They are the people who rediscover, create and innovate various delectable dishes, which give happiness to the ones consuming them at the table. Their skills and enormous experience is exhibited through the various techniques and methods they use to cook their cuisines or dishes, and the style in which they present them. But if for a moment we think that there will be no Chefs in this world then what would have happened? A big Question Mark but the answer is simple. There will be no flavours and colours in our life because food not only brings immense happiness and flavours, but helps us to maintain good health. Life would be dull and bland, we will not get different dishes to eat, no variety of cuisines of different countries will be created, no food events will be held, food knowledge will be stagnant, people will eat food with monotonous recipes they have. Also, travellers’ interest to visit different countries and to try different cuisines will decrease, people will start living an unhealthy life, the economic growth rate will drop. Life will become stagnant at one point. Interviewing some Chefs on this topic, their thoughts on it are as follows:-

Chef Robin Batra Instagram Account @chef_robinbatra Chef Robin Batra is from Mumbai, the Executive Chef at The Oberoi, Bengaluru. He heads the culinary brigade of the three big restaurants at the hotel. Rim Naam – The Thai Restaurant, Szechuan Court- The Chinese Restaurant and Le Jardin- The all-day dining restaurant. Recently he has been awarded as the ‘Creative Chef of the Year 2018’ by Restaurant India. Also under his able leadership, Szechuan Court has been awarded as the best Chinese Restaurant in the city at the Times Food Award. Chef Robin’s mantra as a kitchen professional is learn with keenness, observe with an open mind and cook with all your heart and Soul! Chef Robin’s Views on this topic are – Food without chefs is going to be very weird and it’s going to be total chaos. I feel that there will be no creativity or innovativeness in food being consumed. Food will be very basic where it’s prime role will be to go in one’s stomach and will no longer appeal to our senses or linked to our emotions. Eating out will be a complete “No –No” as there will be nothing to look forward to. Chefs are scientists in their culinary world and they know what, why, and how to use and combine vari-

ous ingredients. With health issues and healthy eating, there will be information available but no one to create dishes out of those. Culinary exposure will come to stand, as there will be no linkage to cuisines from different nationalities and at last people will have to eat what they know. I feel that no one will enjoy eating as it involves all senses by creating and doing stuff which can come out of a chef’s experience and culinary intelligence.

train menu in UK

• Vegan option included in both First and Standard from morning to evening • Vegan Society calls on other train operators to follow Virgin’s lead • Comes as menu revamp delivers more fresh, locally sourced ingredients onboard

Chef Hector Laguna Instagram Account @hectorlaguna1 Executive chef Botanist Restaurant Fairmont Pacific Rim Vancouver Chef Laguna grew up surrounded by food, and his love for cooking first sparked while helping his mother in their family kitchen in Hidalgo, Mexico. His culinary career spans over a decade cooking in kitchens across North America’s top foodie destinations, including San Francisco, Miami, Toronto and Vancouver. When not in the kitchen, Hector can be found enjoying quality time with his family, whether playing soccer at the park, visiting the library, cooking for his friends and family, and creating new family traditions around the dinner table. Chef Hector Views on this topic are – Being in the Hotel Industry for almost seventeen years, sometimes I do think, what will happen if there are no chefs remaining in the world? I think Chefs are like Christopher Columbus, who was always in search of innovations, creations and new techniques of Cooking food. Just like if Columbus wouldn’t had discovered spices, then nobody would have had the interest in incorporating them in their cooking of various dishes thus enhancing its flavour, aroma and its nutritional values. Chefs are like artists who are not only skilled but talented too, who can create the best products with the minimum ingredients. By just adding one extra and significant Ingredient, which we called LOVE. I hope after reading this article, now you all know the importance of Chefs in our life and world. At the end I would only like to say: Chefs are the Artist who with their magic of enriched experience and skills make the culinary world beautiful and colourful, they are the most essential part of our lives. And I would like to especially thanks my sister Chef Reetu Uday Kugaji ( Instagram Account - @ chefreetuudaykugaji ) who helped me a lot in this article.

Virgin Trains has been praised by campaigners after becoming the UK’s first train operator to offer a full vegan menu for all its customers on all services. Passengers can now choose from a range of vegan-friendly options at nearly all times of day following a revamp of its onboard Shop and First Class menus. The move, which has been welcomed by the Vegan Society, comes in response to the growing number of people who have chosen to go vegan or simply reduce the amount of meat and dairy in their diet. As well as ensuring a vegan option is consistently available, Virgin Trains has also clearly labelled its First and Standard class menus to help identify vegetarian, vegan and glutenfree options. And the onboard Shop in Standard and First Class kitchens are now routinely stocked with soya as an alternative to cows’ milk. Virgin Trains is also working to increase the amount of locallysourced food served onboard its trains and to include more fresh ingredients in its meals. Julie Harper, Virgin Trains’ Food & Beverage Proposition Manager, said she was proud to offer vegan customers peace of

mind when boarding the train. “The clear message we’ve had from vegan customers is they need consistency so they have peace of mind when they board the train. We’ve worked really hard to ensure that our menus in First and Standard deliver that consistency throughout the day and include some really delicious, appetising options that we hope will tempt vegans and non-vegans alike.” Louise Davies, Head of Campaigns, Policy and Research at The Vegan Society, said: “We’ve been campaigning for decent vegan options on trains over the last few months and it’s great to see Virgin respond with a menu that anyone can enjoy. Market trends are showing a rapid growth in plantbased eating. We hope that others will follow Virgin’s lead and take notice of the power of the vegan pound.” Options for vegans in the Virgin Trains Shop currently includes a vegan breakfast pot complete with mushrooms, hash browns, spinach and baked beans, or vegan chilli in the evening. Its First Class menus now include items such as a potato hash breakfast, Mediterranean pasta salad and spicy Bombay potato.


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February 2019

MOTORING

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McLAREN 600LT SPIDER:

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT FOR NEW LONGTAIL CONVERTIBLE

• New 600LT Spider combines acclaimed track-honed dynamic excellence of 600LT Coupé with added exhilaration of open-air driving • Third model under the £1.2bn McLaren Automotive Track25 business plan and fifth car to carry the Longtail (LT) name • Maintains McLaren Longtail ethos of increased power, reduced weight, optimised aerodynamics, absolute driver engagement, track-focused dynamics and limited availability • Top-exit exhausts introduced with Coupé also feature on Spider, further amplifying aural and visual excitement, espeMcLaren Automotive today releases first images and details of the third new model in its £1.2bn Track25 business plan - the McLaren 600LT Spider. The fifth car to carry the Longtail name, the new convertible fully embodies the McLaren Longtail philosophy of increased power, reduced weight, optimised aerodynamics, track-focused dynamics and limited availability. In addition, it brings a new dimension of excitement over the 600LT Coupé, without compromise to the dynamic purity of the most performance-focused car in the Sports Series line-up: a retractable hardtop to give the choice of open-air driving. “The McLaren 600LT Spider adds a new dimension of excitement to the most extreme model in the Sports Series family, while losing none of the Longtail focus. Taking full advantage of the strength of the carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis has ensured that the new Spider has dynamic abilities and performance on par with the 600LT Coupé, for a weight premium of just 50kg and with no additional structural strengthening required. In addition to our weight advantage over competitors, we have also retained the top-exit exhausts that debuted on the Coupé – and I’m pleased to report that they sound and look even better with the roof or rear window of the Spider lowered!” Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive Like its 600LT Coupé sibling, the Spider records a significant weight saving over the model on which it is based,

cially when the roof or rear window are down • At least 80kg lighter than competition, with just 50kg premium over 600LT Coupé for lightest dry weight of 1,297kg; no additional strengthening required to maintain full structural rigidity • 100kg weight reduction over 570S Spider at DIN weight evidences determination to minimise weight of an LT model, benefitting dynamic finesse and overall performance • 600PS and 620Nm from 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine; power-to-weight ratio of 463PS/tonne at lightest dry weight underpins remarkable performance

with McLaren’s engineers achieving a reduction of 100kg at DIN weight over the 570S Spider. Furthermore, thanks to its lightweight but incredibly strong carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis, the convertible 600LT retains the structural rigidity of the Coupé with none of the strengthening that is usually required with conventional steel or aluminium structures. The result is a weight penalty of only 50kg over the Coupé, which contributes to a lightest dry weight of just 1,297kg for the Spider. This is at least 80kg less than any direct competitor and the equivalent power-to-weight ratio of 463PS-per-tonne underpins astonishing levels of performance and dynamic prowess. Enhancing the Sports Series Longtail experience with open-air motoring is as easy as pushing a button to lower or raise the three-piece, powered retractable hardtop roof at speeds of up to 40km/h (25mph). With the roof lowered, occupants benefit not only from wind in their hair, but also the memorable aural and visual drama provided by the top-exit exhausts that are unique to the 600LT. An electrically-operated, glazed wind deflector can be activated independently of the hardtop, to reduce buffeting or increase ventilation – or simply to allow more of the exhaust sound into the cabin. Incorporating technology proven in the 650S, 675LT and 570S Spiders, the hardtop roof is more secure and wear-resistant than a fabric alternative would be, as well as offering Coupélike cabin refinement when in the raised

position. Equally importantly, it allowed McLaren’s design team to maintain the focused design language and silhouette of the 600LT Coupé. When lowered, the roof stows elegantly with the assistance of soft-close technology beneath a tonneau cover located behind the seats; with the roof raised, this tonneau storage area provides an additional 52 litres of luggage space. The 600LT Spider benefits from the same portfolio of performance enhancements that has proved irresistible to 600LT Coupé buyers. The electronic control systems of the twin-turbocharged, 3.8-litre V8 engine have been revised, the cooling system uprated and the shorter exhausts tuned to liberate more power. The engine produces the same 600PS (592bhp) and 620Nm (457lb ft) in the Spider as it does in the Coupé. The uprated powertrain enables the driver to exploit the 600LT Spider’s carbon fibre monocoque chassis to the full, aided by a dual-clutch, Seamless Shift seven-speed Gearbox (SSG) that features Ignition Cut in Sport mode to facilitate faster changes whilst delivering a dramatic aural crack from the top-exit exhausts, plus Inertia Push in Track mode to optimise acceleration. The 600LT Spider will reach 100km/h (62mph) from a standstill in 2.9 seconds, with 200km/h (124mph) achieved in just 8.4 seconds – a nearindistinguishable 0.2 seconds slower than the Coupé. The maximum speed is 324km/h (201mph) with the roof raised, or 315km/h (196mph) with it lowered.

• Acceleration on par with 600LT Coupé: 0-100km/h (62mph) identical at 2.9 seconds; 0-200km/h (124mph) in 8.4 seconds is just 0.2 seconds slower. Top speed of 324km/h (201mph) • Bespoke Pirelli P Zero™ Trofeo R tyres for track-focused dynamics and enhanced engagement • Limited volume; all cars hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey, England • Available to order now; priced from £201,500 including taxes (UK)

Performance is further enhanced by the lightweight carbon fibre bodywork that creates the Longtail silhouette and the same design of fixed rear wing as the Coupé which – despite the aerodynamic challenges posed by a convertible body – generates the same 100kg of downforce at 250km/h (155mph). Ultra-precise, track-focused handling is supported by a forged aluminium double-wishbone suspension system with recalibrated dampers, firmer engine mounts and a lightweight braking system. The 600LT Spider is fitted with bespoke, track-focused Pirelli P- Zero™ Trofeo R tyres and the driving experience is further enhanced with quicker steering and sharpened responses from throttle and brake pedals. Lowering the roof of the 600LT Spider showcases the performance-orientated interior, which features lightweight Alcantara® trim and Carbon Fibre Racing Seats from the McLaren P1™ as standard. The Super-Lightweight Carbon Fibre Racing Seats designed for the McLaren Senna are available as an option, either on their own or within the MSO Clubsport Pack. Further weightsaving options and measures – including deletion of the audio and climate control systems – are available to buyers determined to shave off every kilogramme possible. The new 600LT Spider is the fifth model to carry the coveted LT badge, joining the illustrious bloodline that began in 1997 with the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’, of which only a development prototype and nine examples were built.

Victorious in five of the 11 rounds of the 1997 FIA GT Championship, the original Longtail also finished first and second in the GT1 class at Le Mans, almost 30 laps ahead of the opposition. McLaren Automotive revived the legendary Longtail name at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, with the launch of the 675LT Coupé, a limited-volume model that rapidly sold out. In response to customer demand, a 675LT Spider followed, all 500 examples of which were sold within two weeks. The fourth model to bear the Longtail name, the 600LT Coupé, was revealed in July 2018 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and has since been hailed by critics as one of the finest cars in its class – an accolade that will now be challenged by its new Spider sibling. Like the Coupé, availability of the 600LT Spider will be limited, with build slots scheduled around other Sports and Super Series models. Available to order now from McLaren retailers, each car will be hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey, England. The 600LT Spider is priced from £201,500 with taxes (UK).

AW Facts Did you know? The highest mileage covered by a single car is 2,850,000 million miles


LOCAL 4-17

GLOBAL 18-22

BUSINESS 23-28

GLAM 29-37

HEALTH 38-41

TRAVEL 42-43

TECH 44-45

FOOD 46-47

MOTORING 48-51

SPORTS 52-56

February 2019

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RECORD NUMBER OF HOMEOWNERS MAKE MONEY FROM THEIR DRIVEWAY

Huge surge in Brits making money from renting out their driveways as parking spaces Driveways and empty spaces made more than £15 million for their owners in 2018 YourParkingSpace.co.uk had almost 30,000 people register their driveway or empty space last year Latest figures released by YourParkingSpace.co.uk reveal a massive increase in the number of Brits making money from their empty driveway to help boost household income in a time of economic uncertainty. The online parking portal reveals that 29,621 people registered their driveway or empty parking space with them over the last year – a huge 41 per cent increase from 2017. In total, driveways and empty spaces registered with YourParkingSpace.co.uk made a combined total of just over £15 million for their owners in 2018 alone. Away from London, which took the lion’s share of driveway registrations in 2018, the other most popular cities in the top 10 were Manchester, York, Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Reading, Liverpool and Oxford. Harrison Woods, managing director at YourParkingSpace.co.uk, said: “Our latest research reveals a significant increase in driveway and empty parking space registrations in 2018, up by more than 40 per cent over the previous year.” “In a time of economic uncertainty, it would appear that more-and-more

Brits are realising they can make a tidy sum from renting out their driveway to needy motorists looking for somewhere to park. “Particularly desirable locations include those in town and city centres, near

railway stations, plus sports and music venues.” The other most popular towns and cities for driveway registrations in 2018 included Southampton, Coventry, Cardiff, Brighton, Croydon, Glasgow,

Cambridge, Norwich, Nottingham and Crawley, which is on the doorstop of Gatwick Airport. Harrison added: “Even less obvious locations, such as Crawley near Gatwick Airport, can provide a goldmine of

opportunity for those savvy enough to register their empty driveway to motorists looking for cheaper parking.” For more information, or to register your driveway or empty parking space, visit www.yourparkingspace.co.uk

GOLF WITH THE GENES OF A RACE CAR: PRESENTING THE GOLF GTI TCR

• Powerful engine with 213 kW / 290 PS, 7-speed dual clutch gearbox & exclusive equipment as standard • Vmax can optionally be increased from 250 to 260 km/h Wolfsburg (Germany) – The latest evolution of a true motoring icon – the Golf GTI – has arrived: the Golf GTI TCR1. This 213 kW / 290 PS sports car can reach speeds of up to 260 km/h, and is fitted with a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG), petrol particulate filter and highly exclusive equipment as standard4. The new Golf GTI TCR was derived from the racing car of the same name – the two-time overall winner of the international TCR racing series. The street version passes the 100 km/h mark after just 5.6 seconds, while the maximum speed is 250 km/h. The Vmax can optionally be increased to 260 km/h. The Golf GTI TCR is even more exclusive than the Golf GTI Performance2/3 (which produces 180 kW / 245 PS) and features technology such as Front Assist, Active Info Display and LED headlights. The standard equipment includes a front-axle differential lock, perforated brake discs, driving profile selection, premium front sport seats with a new microfibre/fabric design, seat belts with red edging plus an exclusive sports steering wheel. As with the racing series, its leather is specially imprinted (perforated leather) at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions as well as with

a red mark at 12 o’clock. The new Golf GTI TCR is also distinguished by the standard 18-inch Belvedere forged wheels (or 18-inch Milton Keynes alloy wheels, as an alternative), black exterior mirror caps, sill extensions, front splitter, TCR roof spoiler and a diffuser at the rear. he newcomer makes a further strong impression even before the driver settles behind the wheel, as the TCR

logo is projected onto the road when the front doors are opened. The Golf GTI TCR can be further customised with options such as a new honeycomb decor foil for the side panels, carbon door mirror caps, a black painted roof, as well as various 19-inch alloy wheels. The alloy wheels are offered as a package, which among other things includes a Vmax upgrade to 260 km/h.

The first package includes Reifnitz 19-inch rims with 235/35 R 19 tyres, the Vmax upgrade, a sports version of the rear damping system and the DCC adaptive chassis control system. The second package includes Pretoria 19-inch rims with racetrack-ready sports tyres (semi-slicks) sized 235/35 R 19. Here, too, the Vmax upgrade, the sports version of the rear damping and the DCC are included. This

package also includes additional wheel locks with expanded anti-theft protection. 1) Golf GTI TCR NEDC fuel consumption in l/100 km: urban 8.3 / extra- urban 5.8 – 5.7 / combined 6.7; CO2 emissions combined, g/km: 153 – 151, efficiency class: D. Golf GTI TCR WLTP fuel consumption in l/100 km: low 10.3 / medium 7.5 / high 6.7 / extra high 7.8 / combined 7.7; CO2-Emission combined, g/ km: 175; efficiency class: D. 2) Golf GTI Performance (NEDC) fuel consumption in l/100 km: urban 9.0 / extra-urban 5.5 / combined 6.8; CO2 emissions (combined), g/km: 155; efficiency class: D. Golf GTI Performance (WLTP) fuel consumption in l/100 km: low 10.1 / medium 7.1 / high 6.3 / extra high 7.5 / combined 7.4; CO2-Emission combined, g/km: 168; efficiency class: D. 3) Golf GTI Performance DSG (NEDC) fuel consumption in l/100 km: urban 7.5 – 7.3 / extra-urban 5.6 – 5.5 / combined 6.3 – 6.2; CO2 emissions (combined), g/km: 143 – 140, efficiency class: C. Golf GTI Performance DSG (WLTP) fuel consumption in l/100 km: low 10.6 / medium 7.2 / high 6.2 / extra high 7.1 / combined 7.3; CO2- Emission combined, g/km: 165; efficiency class: C. 4) German specification. UK specification may differ.


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February 2019

IAM ROADSMART BACKS POLICE SPEEDING CRACKDOWN AND CALLS FOR DRIVERS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS

A victimless crime? IAM RoadSmart backs police speeding crackdown and calls for drivers to take responsibility for their actions The UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, has backed the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) current crackdown on speeding on our roads – saying that there is clear evidence that ‘speed kills.’ The NPCC is encouraging police forces around the country to highlight these dangers in their own areas in the twoweek campaign, which started on 14th January. Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “Many people see speeding as a victimless crime – that is total nonsense. Many drivers think they can easily handle the speed they drive, and assume their skills are great enough to handle an emergency.

We at IAM RoadSmart would like to ask those people to take a long, hard look at their attitudes and stop kidding themselves they are always safe.” The latest annual road safety statistics shows that the contributory factor of ‘exceeding speed limit’ was recorded in 203 fatalities, 1,212 serious injuries, and 5,855 slight injuries. In addition, the figures reported for those who crashed because they were ‘travelling too fast for conditions’ revealed 136 fatalities, 1,327 serious injury collisions and 4,483 slight injury collisions. Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, NPCC Lead for Roads Policing, said to IAM RoadSmart: “Driving or riding at safe speeds is a key theme of the National Roads Policing Strategy and the speed campaign during January means police forces across the UK will focus on those who are travelling too

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fast on our roads, putting themselves and others at risk by doing so. He added: “Respecting the speed limit is fundamental to reducing danger on our roads. Enforcing those limits falls to the police and officers will be doing just that to ensure all road users remain as safe as possible.” Neil added that in order to reduce the number of people who become victims of speeding motorists, it is essential that all authorities work together to tackle this issue, rather than ad hoc individual measures. He continued: “If you combine ‘too fast’ with the far bigger numbers of contributory factors attributed to ‘driver or rider error’ and ‘behaviour and experience’ then it is clear that education still has a huge role to play in reducing the toll of death and injury on our roads.”

FORD KA WAS THE UK’S FASTEST-SELLING USED CAR IN 2018, WHILE ALL-ELECTRIC RENAULT ZOE MAKES THE TOP 10 • Ford Ka was fastest selling used car out of 1.1 million recorded on the Indicata UK portal • Renault Zoe’s popularity may help drive down monthly personal lease rates of electric cars • Ford takes six places in the Indicata top 10 fastest selling used cars The Ford Ka was the fastest-selling used car in the UK in 2018, taking an average of 32 days for dealers to sell, according to data from Indicata UK. Indicata, the real time used vehicle management portal from Autorola UK, recorded the fastest-selling used cars out of 1.1 million sold by dealers during 2018 between six and 36 months’ old. * The Hyundai ix35 at 34 days, was the second fastest-selling used car followed in third place by the Ford Galaxy which took an average of 36 days to sell. The biggest surprise was the pure electric Renault Zoe which made the top 10 in joint fourth place, on average selling in just 38 days. It supports the evidence of a growing demand for used electric cars and reinforces that dealers have the growing confidence and knowledge to sell a used EV to a consumer.

Top 10 fastest-selling used cars 2018

Ford dominated the 2018 list with six models in the top 10 including the Ka (1st); Galaxy (3rd); Kuga (5th); Tourneo Connect, Fiesta and EcoSport (= 6th). At the opposite end of the table, Subaru’s Outback, Forester and XV were the slowest-selling used cars at 103, 105 and 107 days respectively. “Overall the used vehicle market in 2018 was very buoyant and used cars were in high demand. Ford dominated the used market in 2018, while SUVs and small hatchbacks remain the nation’s most popular used car types,” explained Neil Gilligan, national business development manager, Indicata UK. “We are pleased to see the Renault Zoe in the top 10 as it’s a strong sign that electric cars are beginning to be accepted in the used market. Without this acceptance as a used car, new EV sales will always struggle to thrive.” “Competitive personal leasing and contract hire monthly rates are reliant on a car having strong residual values and we may start to see electric car costs fall over the coming 12 months if used cars like the Zoe continue to be in such high demand,” explained Gilligan.

Make and model Average number of days to sell Average sale price 1. Ford Ka 32 £6,518 2. Hyundai ix35 34 £11,855 3. Ford Galaxy 36 £21,889 4. Renault Zoe 38 £7,476 4. Dacia Logan 38 £8,502 5. Ford Kuga 40 £18,089 5. Škoda Karoq 40 £23,880 5. Citroën Berlingo 40 £11,997 6. Ford Tourneo Connect 41 £15,805 6. Ford Fiesta 41 £10,476 6. Ford EcoSport 41 £12,020 7. Peugeot 3008 42 £19,615 7. Hyundai Tucson 42 £17,061 8. Audi S3 43 £28,991 8. Škoda Yeti 43 £15,429 9. Mazda CX-5 44 £21,336 9. Seat Ibiza 44 £10,125 10. Fiat 500X 45 £11,738 10. VW Touareg 45 £30,128 10. Hyundai i800 45 £15,849 10. VW Polo 45 £11,758 Source: Indicata January – December 2018


LOCAL 4-17

GLOBAL 18-22

BUSINESS 23-28

GLAM 29-37

HEALTH 38-41

TRAVEL 42-43

TECH 44-45

FOOD 46-47

MOTORING 48-51

SPORTS 52-56

February 2019

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VISITOR NUMBERS CONTINUE TO GROW AT FERRARI MUSEUMS

The Ferrari Museums continue to flourish, attracting over 540,000 visitors in the course of 2018 and setting a new record in the process. More than 370,000 visitors passed through the doors of the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, confirming its hugely successful status and reflecting the exceptional numbers of the previous year during which the company also celebrated its 70th anniversary. The Museum also staged two exhibitions in the course of 2018 that are still running: “Driven by Enzo” is a collection of Enzo Ferrari’s favour-

ite four-seaters, while “Passion and Legend” pays homage to the company and its founder’s extraordinary story. The new “Michael 50” exhibition also officially opened on January 3rd in honour of Michael Schumacher’s 50th birthday, which will be open until March 31. The MEF in Modena finished the year having welcomed over 175,000 visitors, an increase of 11% on 2017. This was thanks in good part to the “Il Rosso & Il Rosa” exhibition, a celebration of Ferrari’s close bond with women through some of the favourite

cars of legendary female stars and personalities. The excellent synergic relationship between the two Museums was also demonstrated by the success of the single ticket covering entry to both. The abovementioned results confirm the Ferrari Museums’ status as one of the most popular visitor hubs in Italy as their new and enthralling themed exhibitions continue to draw in tifosi and enthusiasts from all over the globe from year to year.

JAGUAR LAND ROVER LIGHTS UP THE ROAD AHEAD FOR SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES OF THE FUTURE

• Intelligent system projects images onto the road ahead to inform pedestrians of direction of travel • Projections show when the vehicle is preparing to stop, pull away or turn • The technology helps understand how self-driving vehicles can gain pedestrian trust by communicating their intentions. Jaguar Land Rover has developed a system that projects the direction of travel onto the road ahead of self-driving vehicles, to tell other road users what it is going to do next. The intelligent technology beams a series of projections onto the road to show the future intentions of the vehicle - for example stopping and turning left or right - as part of research into how people can develop their trust in autonomous technology. In the future the projections could even be used to share obstacle detection and journey updates with pedestrians. These projections, tested on autonomous pods developed by Aurrigo, feature a series of lines or bars with adjustable spacing. The gaps shorten as the pod is preparing to brake before fully compressing at a stop. As the pod moves off and accelerates, the spacing between the lines extends. Upon approaching a turn, the bars fan out left or right to indicate the direction of travel. Trials were set up by a team of advanced engineers, working in Jaguar Land Rover’s Future Mobility division, supported by cognitive psycholo-

gists, after studies showed 41 percent of drivers and pedestrians are worried about sharing the road with autonomous vehicles. The innovative system was tested on a fabricated street scene at a Coventry facility with engineers recording trust levels reported by pedestrians both with and without projections. The trust trial programme - which also included fitting of ‘virtual eyes’ to the intelligent pods in 2018 to see if making eye contact improved trust in the technology - was conducted as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s governmentsupported UK Autodrive project. Pete Bennett, Future Mobility Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The trials are about understanding how much information a selfdriving vehicle should share with a pedestrian to gain their trust. Just like any new technology, humans have to learn to trust it, and when it comes to

autonomous vehicles, pedestrians must have confidence they can cross the road safely. This pioneering research is forming the basis of ongoing development into how self-driving cars will interact with people in the future.” Safety remains the priority as Jaguar Land Rover invests in self-driving technology, becoming automotive leaders in autonomous, connected, electric and shared mobility. The trial is aligned with the brand’s long-term strategic goals: to make cars safer, free up people’s valuable time and improve mobility for everyone. This commitment extends to Jaguar Land Rover’s current models with a suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems including Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Assist and Intelligent Speed Limiter available across its range of vehicles, including the Jaguar F-PACE and Range Rover Velar.

ONE-OFF CONVERTED VOLKSWAGEN AMAROK PICKS UP ARCTIC ROLE

• First-ever Icelandic-spec Volkswagen Amarok conversion revealed • One-off Volkswagen Amarok AT35 is being used as a support vehicle in Arctic winter • Expedition makeover features a portable generator and cappuccino machine • Unique model also features the standard vehicle’s class-leading load platform A one-off Volkswagen Amarok designed exclusively for life in the Arctic Circle has been revealed with a raised ride height, huge all-terrain tyres – and a cappuccino maker. The unique pick-up truck, modified by off-road specialists, Arctic Trucks, in partnership with local Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles dealer, Hekla, is currently being put to work in Iceland as a support vehicle for winter driving experiences, leading customers out onto the snow and ice. The Volkswagen Amarok AT35 features a raft of updates to take the standard Amarok to the next level including a 25 mm front and rear suspension lift. New flared fibre-glass wheel-arches have been trimmed to accommodate the larger wheels and the 315/70R17 all terrain tyres – plus larger mud flaps front and back have been added. Inside, the Amarok has been given an expedition makeover with a fire extinguisher, portable generator – and even a cappuccino machine. A VHF radio, toolbox, jack, first

aid kit with defibrillator and work light are also included in the Arctic Trucks conversion. Under the bonnet is the standard Amarok’s 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine with 224 PS to ensure there’s plenty of power to get through any snow drifts. The AT35 also retains the standard Amarok’s 45-degree climbing ability, a payload of 1,154kg, Hill Descent Assist and the widest load platform in its class. Nick Axtell, Specialist Sales Manager for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “The Volkswagen Amarok has been a massive hit since its introduction and we’re delighted to see it proving its worth in some of the toughest conditions in the world. For British drivers, the standard Amarok will be able to cope with everything winter has to throw at it.” He added: “Back in the UK, the ability of our Van Centres to convert vehicles through recognised partners remains one of our unique selling points. It doesn’t matter whether that’s fitting racking for a plumber, refrigerators for a supermarket chain or something altogether more extreme like the AT35 – we are always committed to Working With You.” For more details on Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ award-winning range of products and services, or to find your nearest Van Centre, please visit www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk.


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February 2019

SPORTS

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Dates Confirmed For England Women’s Tour of India

New Year Wicketz competition educates through cricket

The Lord’s Taverners Wicketz programme saw three of its projects come together through cricket at Edgbaston during January last month. School holidays can lead to teenage boredom, with some young people making poor choices, succumbing to peer pressure and becoming involved in anti-social behaviour. For others, tensions at home can drive them out onto the street, while families of others from disadvantaged backgrounds can struggle to find the money to provide the healthy, warm meals their children are used to when at school. In a bid to help address these issues, the Lord’s Taverners Wicketz programme brought young people from Birmingham, Luton, Manchester and Redditch together to provide a packed day of challenging, positive activity. Teams representing each area took part in an indoor cricket competition at the iconic cricketing venue while participants also took part in two workshops delivered by the Chidren’s Society, covering knife crime and child exploitation. The participants themselves were the driving force behind the event,

after three of them met for the first time at the Wicketz Festival in August and developed a great level of friendship and respect. This highlights how Wicketz does something for participants that nothing else has, as the annual Festival brings young people from different backgrounds and communities together. Wicketz is providing a positive outlet for young people with a cricketing passion who live in areas of limited opportunity. The programme provides accessible weekly activity where previously there was none. Even for those who have played cricket before, there wasn’t a local cricket club for them to join. Participants selected to take part in the event have been regular attendees over the last two years. The day brought young people from different backgrounds together through cricket and is the culmination and celebration of the Wicketz programme and how it’s developing a sense of togetherness and friendship in a supportive environment for what are usually marginalised young people. Wicketz Development Officer, Harry Kitchen, said: “We’ve run this event to get the older partici-

pants together and reward them for making good choices by turning up each week at their weekly hubs rather than making bad choices on the streets. “This event has allowed these young people to learn about teamwork, improve and create new friendships, showcase all the hard work they put in during their own weekly sessions and take part in a very important workshop on knife crime which will hopefully help them in their life outside of Wicketz.” Using cricket as a tool for change, Wicketz is aimed at hard-to-reach youngsters aged 8-16 within areas of high deprivation across the UK, by engaging young people who live in communities where there are few opportunities to play the game regularly. The Lord’s Taverners now successfully deliver Wicketz in Birmingham, Bristol, Crawley, Glasgow, Hartlepool, Leeds/Bradford, Leicester, Leyton, Luton, Manchester, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth, Tendring, Tower Hamlets, West Ham, Hull, Southampton, South Wales.

SCHEDULE

*February 22: 1st ODI, India Women v England Women, Mumbai, 9am

*February 25: 2nd ODI, India Women v England Women, Mumbai, 9am

*February 28: 3rd ODI, India Women v England Women, Mumbai, 9am

March 4: 1st IT20, India Women v England Women, Guwahati, 10am

March 7: 2nd IT20, India Women v England Women, Guwahati, 10am

March 9: 3rd IT20, India Women v England Women, Guwahati, 10am *Denotes match counts towards the ICC Women's Championship

Amy Jones and Nat Sciver during England's win over India in the ICC Women's World T20. The schedule for England Women's upcoming tour of India has been confirmed. The Paytm series will comprise of three ODIs - to be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai - and three IT20s - to be played at Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati. England will also play a warmup fixture against BP XI on February 18 in Mumbai. The ODIs will form part of the

ICC Women’s Championship, with a victory worth two points. Hosts of the ICC Women's World Cup 2021 New Zealand will automatically qualify, along with the three top-placed nations. England currently occupy third place, on 10 points.

AW Facts Did you know? On average, the golf ball has 336 dimples


LOCAL 4-17

GLOBAL 18-22

BUSINESS 23-28

GLAM 29-37

HEALTH 38-41

TRAVEL 42-43

TECH 44-45

FOOD 46-47

MOTORING 48-51

SPORTS 52-56

February 2019

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February 2019

Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019 is scheduled to start in middle of February

By Tauseef Asif

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019 is now expected to be played on the 14th of February and will end on the 17th March 2019. There will be 34 T20 matches, and the six groups that will participate are; Multan, Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Islamabad. All the games will be played in the UAE, except for eight matches, which will be

played in Pakistan. Pakistan Cricket Board has finished the plans of the considerable number of matches in the UAE and the last matches of PSL in our nation. The finishing up matches will be played in Lahore and Karachi, and the last will be sorted out in National Stadium Karachi. There will be six groups, which will play

against one another and all will attempt to win the trophy. Keep in mind, that Peshawar Zalmi has already won the trophy once; Islamabad United has won twice. The opening match will take place between contestants Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United on the 14th February 2019. Both the groups will confront each other in Dubai.

The PSL competition will take place in Dubai, UAE. There will be an opening ceremony pursued by the first match. The Lahore Qalandars will go up against Islamabad United, defending the championship title. In the UAE leg of the PSL competitions, matches will be played in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai.

English Premier League footballers take part in ground-breaking concussion study The University of Birmingham and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) have launched a new study funded by The Drake Foundation to review and potentially enhance concussion diagnosis in football. This new study, supported by the Premier League Doctors Group which is allowing access to players, is running throughout the 2018/19 football season. It involves saliva and urine samples being collected from injured Premier League players, as well as uninjured “control” players, by club doctors immediately post-match and at further time points over the course of a players’ recovery. These samples are then being tested in the laboratory at the University of Birmingham using a new ground-breaking test, called the ‘Birmingham Concus-

sion Test’, which has been developed following a decade of research led by academic neurosurgeon Professor Tony Belli. The test looks for molecules in the blood, saliva or urine known as microRNAs, which can act as biomarkers to indicate whether the brain has suffered injury. The patented technology from the University of Birmingham is being commercially developed in partnership with Mirna Diagnostics Limited which owns the global patent licence of these biomarkers. This expands research also being carried out by the University of Birmingham and UHB, which began in 2017 and is currently ongoing, testing the urine and saliva of concussed Rugby Football Union players. This research is part of the ongoing RE-

petitive COncussion in Sport (RECOS) study, being led by the University of Birmingham’s College of Medical and Dental Sciences and UHB through The National Institute for Health Research Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (NIHR SRMRC). In the future, it is hoped that the Birmingham Concussion Test could be used pitch-side and would have the potential to assist in return-to-play decisions or concussion diagnosis across sports, from grassroots to professional, in addition to military and other frontline settings. Professor Tony Belli, Academic Neurosurgeon at the University of Birmingham and UHB and Director of NIHR SRMRC, said: “Early and accurate diagnosis of concussion is one of the biggest challenges we face clinically

and is particularly a major concern in the sporting world. “This exciting new study is an important addition to the breadth of research we are undertaking into concussion and player welfare in sport more broadly.” Dr Patrick O’Halloran, Sports Concussion Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, Sport and Exercise Medicine Registrar at UHB, and Academy Doctor at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, said: “This research has the potential to benefit professional, grassroots and youth level footballers alike, making the process for diagnosing concussion as effective as possible. Similarly, this may be valuable in other sports or for patients in NHS Accident and Emergency departments.” James Drake, Founder of The Drake Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation

committed to improving evidence-based measures for the management of concussion injuries in contact sport, said: “We are delighted to fund this essential study in Premier League football. The conversation around concussion has come a long way in the last five years and scientific research such as this is essential in keeping our players safe.” This latest study will also look to evaluate the effectiveness of the current Premier League Doctors Group Standard Operating Procedure for diagnosis of concussion. When a team doctor suspects a player has been concussed, the following data will be sought to accelerate and more accurately diagnose any potential concussion.


T

he purpose of this exercise is to separate the triceps and develop the horseshoe shape of the muscle. This exercise is especially good for a contest or weak point training because by using a cable you can work with each arm muscle separately in isolation. To perform the exercise correctly and safely: -Use the overhead cable and pulley to take hold of the handle and with the reverse grip, palm up. - The next thing to do is to keep your elbow fixed and unmoving so that it straightens your arm until it is locked out and extended straight down. -Flex the triceps in this position, for extra contraction, while still not moving the elbow. Let your hand come up as far as possible, until the forearm approaches the biceps and you feel a complete stretch in the triceps. - Finish off the repletion and then repeat with the other arm with the same method. Remember: Move your hand as high as you can and then bring it back down, keeping it under control through the same arc. Simultaneously, curling the other weight up, ensuring that that both dumbbells are in motion and twisting the wrist of the other hand whilst you bring it up. Continue the alternate curls until you have done the required repetitions with both arms. (You have to make ensure that you completely extend and contract the arm to get the fullest possible range of motion). Using the Arm Blaster, you receive the strictness of a preacher curl with the elbows fixed solidly in place, which is especially ideal for training the lower biceps.

Press downs:

One Arm Cable Reverse


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June 2018

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