KCR Will Bend Delhi’s Neck If…


KT Rama Rao said the Congress is not in a position to gain confidence all over the country.

New Delhi: 

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s son KT Rama Rao, who is the working president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), emphasised on winning 16 out of 17 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Predicting that both the Congress and the BJP would not get majority, he said his father would “bend Delhi’s neck” if the party wins as many seats, implying that they would have better leverage in negotiating a post-poll alliance.

“If you see, across the country, BJP is losing confidence. Congress is not in a position to gain confidence all over the country. That’s why, each and every parliament seat is going to be crucial tomorrow,” he was quoted by news agency PTI.

“If we have 16 seats in our hands, because both (BJP and Congress) are not in a position to get majority. Our Chief Minister is already making efforts for a federal alternative. So, TRS can be in a decisive role at the centre post-Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

“If we give 16 seats to KCR, he will bend Delhi’s neck and we can get the funds for our state, the interests due to Hyderabad and schemes from the centre to our people,” he added.

If the BJP and the Congress fail to secure the majority in 2019, the role of regional parties with a number of Lok Sabha seats in their bag would become indispensable in government formation. Hence, parties on either side of the political spectrum are jostling to stitch pre-poll alliances with important regional players.

k chandrashekar rao

K Chandrashekar Rao recently led his party to a thumping win in Telangana (File)

KCR’s party recently got a thumping mandate in Telangana. After the verdict, K Chandrashekar Rao set his eyes on his new project — a federal alliance without the BJP and the Congress. He recently met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in this regard.

After the assembly election results, the Congress had to take outside support from regional parties to form governments in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh — underscoring the role of state-based parties in the future.

KCR’s rival N Chandrababu Naidu is one of the key figures in talks between regional parties and the Congress to form an anti-BJP alliance. The parties have come together on similar platforms many times to show that they are united, but rifts came on surface recently when MK Stalin proposed the name of Rahul Gandhi as their prime ministerial face. Many constituents of the proposed alliance opposed the comment.

Both the rival proposed alliances want Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav — major players in Uttar Pradesh– onboard, but they have not shown their inclination as yet.

The BJP is also struggling with their allies. They have lost the TDP, the RLSP and the PDP as allies last year. Many other regional players like Om Prakash Rajbhar and Apna Dal in Uttar Pradesh have openly spoken about their discontent in the alliance.

The BJP is trying to bring new allies in the NDA fold, especially in south India and the eastern India, for the general elections 2019.

With inputs from PTI





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Indian-American KP George Takes Oath As Fort Bend County Judge In Texas


KP George hails from Kerala’s Kakkodu city.

Houston: 

Indian-American KP George sworn in as the Fort Bend County Judge, becoming the first person from the community to hold the office of one of America’s most diverse counties.

Mr George, 53, a Democrat and Fort Bend Independent School District Board trustee, defeated Republican Judge Robert Hebert in November polls.

In the US, county judges’ duties vary from state to state. Depending upon the size of the county, they perform a wide range of judicial and administrative duties.

The Fort Bend county has a sizeable population of Indian-Americans.

According to the latest census, Fort Bend is now the most diverse county in Texas, and among the most diverse in the country with 35 per cent Anglos, 24 per cent Hispanics, 21 per cent Asians and others; and 20 per cent African-Americans.

KP George, who hails from Kerala’s Kakkodu city, said his father, a truck driver, earned only a couple of US dollars a day. He studied using a kerosene lamp.

He said that community engagement will be the top priority for his administration.

“I will continue spreading the word of county services and involving all people into the process. It is a historic moment for me as well as for the county.

“We will continue to have an open-door policy for the most diverse county which represents people who speak over 100 languages. We are here to represent each one of them and ensure a better place for residents and children of this county,” Mr George said.

Rice University professor Mark Jones said George is now the most prominent Indian-American to hold an executive position in the US government.

Mr George, 33, will govern a county with a larger population and a bigger budget than the Indian-American mayors of cities like Anaheim, California and Hoboken, Jones said, adding that as a county judge, he wields more outright power than most mayors.

While in India, George grew up speaking Malayalam and lived in a straw-thatch hut. When he was 15, his family moved to a bigger city where he attended college.

After his graduation, he got a job in Mumbai, where for the first time he started speaking English. He worked in the Middle East before moving to New York in 1993 to work for a financial firm.

Later, he moved to Texas and has been living in the Fort Bend county ever since along with his family.

“I strongly believe that success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It is what you do for others,” Mr George said.

He first ran for office in 2010, hoping to be elected as the county treasurer.

“People asked me in Richmond and Rosenberg, ‘Why are you running?’ It’s not easy for a person like me, brown in colour, with no political power, no name recognition. I’d say, ‘Because I can. I’m not a felon. I’m a citizen. Thank you, USA! I hold your values close to my heart.

“I honestly believe this is the time for me to do public service rather than complain. I am taking responsibility to get involved and work for the US, the country that has given me everything I’ve dreamed of,” Mr George added.





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Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Beats Apple’s iPad Pro (2018) in a Bend Test


Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Beats Apple's iPad Pro (2018) in a Bend Test

Surface Pro 6 bends significantly on the first attempt and appears to have some “massive flex”

After completely destroying the iPad Pro in his bend test, Zack from JerryRigEverything put the latest Microsoft Surface Pro 6 to his durability test to see whether the Redmond giant’s iPad Pro competitor can sustain his standard testing procedures. Zack tested out the display, structure, and ports of the Surface Pro 6. The tablet is seen to significantly flex upon multiple bends, while the display panel seems too fragile during his scratch test. Let’s see how the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 fares overall in the popular JerryRigEverything durability test.

YouTube channel JerryRigEverything published the latest video detailing a durability test of the Surface Pro 6, right after Apple’s iPad Pro (2018) was put to his excruciating procedures. Zack starts off with the scratch test wherein he uses the Moh’s scale of hardness to judge the display quality. He notes that the glass appears to be a tad thicker than the one on the iPad Pro (2018). Scratches start to appear at level 6, but the entire display develops a hairline crack at level 7. “A screen protector is probably a good idea with [Surface Pro 6].”

He then proceeds to scratch the structure of the tablet. The frame of the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is made from metal, but is not anodised making it vulnerable to scratches compared to the layer of anodising that Apple employs on its latest iPad Pro models. The power button and volume buttons on the Surface Pro 6 are made of plastic and easily scratchable as well.

Next up is the burn test. The Surface Pro 6 lasted 12 seconds under the heat of a lighter flame, but the LCD panel quickly recovered back all of those pixels within seconds of removing the flame from the surface.

As for the bend test, the Surface Pro 6 bends significantly on the first attempt and appears to have some “massive flex”. It does, however, lock out and multiple attempts of applying pressure back and forth show a gap between the screen and the frame, “We get a very twisted tablet, but with no catastrophic damage,” notes Zack. The Surface Pro 6 does not have any structural flaws at its weakest points, which makes it better than the iPad Pro (2018) in terms of structure quality. In conclusion, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 passes the bend test. The kickstand, according to the test results, is a major factor in improving build quality.

Zack then proceeds to show us the internals of the Surface Pro 6 by opening up the display panel. “Apple went for a thin, lightweight design and sacrificed structure in the process, while Microsoft packed their tablet with guts and metal,” he said.

 



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Xiaomi Poco F1 Seen to Pass Scratch Test, But Fail Pass Burn, Bend Tests


Xiaomi Poco F1 Seen to Pass Scratch Test, But Fail Pass Burn, Bend Tests

Photo Credit: YouTube/ JerryRigEverything

The plastic build of the Xiaomi Poco F1 was failed to pass the bend test

Poco F1, the new smartphone from Xiaomi that already gained huge popularity in India, has now undergone some durability tests. These come in the form of scratch, burn, and bend tests to ultimately check how the new smartphone performs in terms of toughness. The latest development comes days after Xiaomi officially confirmed the splash resistance of the Poco F1. The Chinese company also highlighted that the smartphone has Quick Charge 4.0 support, though it was initially announced with Quick Charge 3.0.

None other than YouTuber JerryRigEverything has released a video showing the durability of the Poco F1. Once unboxed, the YouTuber begins the Poco F1 durability test by start scratching the display panel that comes with a 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3 on top. The display is found to withstand scratches of up to 6 on Mohs’ scale of hardness. However, some deeper grooves were found at a level of 7. “It’s covered in Gorilla Glass, and you won’t have to worry about keys or coins or razor blades scratching the large 6.2-inch display,” the narrator describes in the video.

After scratch testing the display panel, the YouTuber took the sides of the Poco F1 to check the paint job. The shiny paint wasn’t able to resist the attacks of the sharp razor.

 

The fingerprint sensor that sits at the back of the Poco F1 is found to be “invincible” that resists scratches even from a sharp blade. Similar is the case of the protector covering dual rear camera setup that helps bear scratches. However, the back panel of the smartphone is highly prone to scratches. The plastic back, nevertheless, doesn’t shatter in case of any sudden drops, unlike models such as OnePlus 6 that carry a glass back.

Xiaomi Poco F1 Review

Further, the YouTuber took a burn test under which the screen of the Poco F1 wasn’t able to withstand an open flame even for few seconds. The phone also failed to pass the bend test. But notably, the body requires a huge force to change its shape.

 



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Rights Groups Urge Google Not to Bend to China Censors


Human rights groups and other advocacy organisations Tuesday urged Google to abandon any plans to craft a censored version of its search engine that could pass muster with regulators in China.

A reported Dragonfly project, which Google has not publicly confirmed, “would represent an alarming capitulation by Google on human rights,” argued a letter signed by 14 groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters Without Borders.

Google employees and whistle-blowers speaking out against the project should be protected by the Silicon Valley-based company, the groups said.

“Google risks becoming complicit in the Chinese government’s repression of freedom of speech and other human rights in China,” the letter read.

“Google should heed the concerns raised by human rights groups and its own employees and refrain from offering censored search services in China.”

Cynthia Wong of Human Rights Watch said Google “has failed to explain how it will shield users from the Chinese government’s efforts to monitor and suppress dissent.”

Google withdrew its search engine from China eight years ago due to censorship and hacking but it is now working on a project for the country codenamed Dragonfly, an employee told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The search project – which works like a filter that sorts out certain topics – can be tested within the company’s internal networks, according to the worker.

Although Google has not commented publicly on the plans, some reports said the company has described the effort as exploratory.

“We provide a number of mobile apps in China, such as Google Translate and Files Go, help Chinese developers, and have made significant investments in Chinese companies like JD.com,” spokesman Taj Meadows told AFP when news of Dragonfly broke early this month.

“But we don’t comment on speculation about future plans.”

US Internet titans have long struggled with doing business in China, home of a “Great Firewall” that blocks politically sensitive content, such as the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and The New York Times website are blocked in China, but Microsoft’s Bing search engine continues to operate.

Other organizations signing the letter include Access Now, Article 19, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights in China, International Service for Human Rights, PEN International, Privacy International and Witness.



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Hong Kong, US Airlines Bend To China Pressure Over Taiwan Listing


Cathay Pacific becomes the latest airline to list Taiwan as part of China on its website. (AFP)

Hong Kong: 

Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific and major American airlines moved to comply Wednesday with Beijing’s demand that they list Taiwan as part of China, sparking anger on the self-governed island.

Taiwan condemned what it called the “insolent actions” of Beijing which it said was wielding its political and economic clout to pressure international firms.

“Taiwan’s existence in the international community is an objective fact. It will not disappear because of suppression by Chinese authorities,” Taiwan’s foreign ministry said.

Taiwan is a self-ruling democracy but Beijing sees it as part of its territory, to be reunified by force if necessary, and is pushing to isolate the island on the international stage.

The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration sent a notice to dozens of airlines around the world in April asking them to adhere to Beijing’s standards, setting a deadline of Wednesday to make changes.

Cathay Pacific and subsidiary Cathay Dragon had previously listed Taiwan as its own entity, but as of Wednesday morning, the island was listed as “Taiwan, China” on both its English and Chinese language websites.

Asked about the move, Cathay said its airlines were registered as part of “the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China”.

“We must comply with the regulations and requirements of the relevant civil aviation authorities,” it added in an emailed statement.

American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said: “Like other carriers, American is implementing changes to address China’s request. Air travel is global business, and we abide by the rules in countries where we operate,” in an email statement to AFP.

That comes despite the White House slamming China’s demands as “Orwellian nonsense” in May.

‘Bullying’

Bloomberg News reported that four US carriers — American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta and Hawaiian Airlines — planned to change their websites over the coming days, citing a source familiar with talks.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines still mentioned “Taiwan” as an entity on parts of their websites Wednesday, but the name had been wiped from some searches.

A simple arrival or departure airport search on American Airlines listed Taipei and Kaohsiung without any reference to Taiwan. Its destination listings usually follow the template of city name, then country name.

Some searches on Delta’s website showed no country references for destinations in Taiwan, mainland China or semi-autonomous Hong Kong Wednesday, listing them simply by their city names.

Smaller airline operators Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express switched their listings to “Taiwan, China” on their English and Chinese sites.

A growing number of international airlines, including Qantas and Singapore Airlines, had already changed their website classifications of Taiwan to “Taiwan, China”.

As relations between Beijing and Taipei deteriorate under Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen, China is ramping up military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan.

It has also used its political and economic clout to woo away several of Taiwan’s few remaining official allies.

Taiwan’s cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka called China’s behaviour “unjust” and asked for support from the international community.

“We keep on urging the international community not to become an accomplice of China bullying Taiwan,” Kolas told reporters Wednesday.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)





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Vivo Nex S Seen Passing Bend, Burn, and Scratch Tests Ahead of India Launch


Vivo Nex S and Vivo Nex A were launched in China as the company’s latest flagship smartphones earlier last month, and the big highlight was its 91.24 percent screen-to-body ratio. To make room for all the screen, the company had integrated a motorised pop-up camera in both the phones. Vivo Nex S, the premium model featuring a Snapdragon 845 SoC, 8GB RAM, up to 256GB inbuilt storage, and an in-display fingerprint sensor, is set to be unveiled in India on July 19, where it is expected to be called just the Vivo Nex. While the performance of the new Vivo smartphone is yet to be reviewed, the handset has undergone a bunch of durability tests to help you determine its toughness. These come in the form of scratch, burn, and bend tests.

YouTuber JerryRigEverything, who is popular for stress testing flagships, has this time picked the Vivo Nex S. One of the first things to get tested in the video is the integrated motorised pop-up camera. The smartphone has a motorised slider with the camera sensor, that moves up and down from the body. The block does not seem to wobble and makes a sound while opening it. Also, when the YouTuber pressed the camera it either pops back up or automatically retracts to its position depending on the force applied. Interestingly, when he tried to grab the camera while retracting, the mechanism still seem to have enough power to pull free of his grip.

The narrator then continues his video with a scratch test that uses the Mohs scale to examine the hardness of the front glass panel of the Vivo Nex S. Scratches on the Vivo smartphone surface at the sixth level of the scale, while some deeper signs appear at the seventh level. This is somewhat similar to the OnePlus 6 that also resisted scratches until the Moh level six of hardness.

Furthermore, the narrator in the video shows how the sound coming out of the Vivo Nex S is like. One of the most interesting new features in the Vivo Nex S is the Screen SoundCasting technology. It replaces the earpiece from the front side to achieve a bezel-less display. It leverages screen vibrations through a micro-vibration unit to generate the sound – similar to the first generation Mi Mix bezel-less smartphone. According to the video, the sound is a bit different than the ones coming out of regular smartphones.

Notably, Vivo claims the Vivo Nex S comes with the third-generation under-display fingerprint sensor that is said to be 10 percent faster with 50 percent improved accuracy. The video suggests that the functionality is not affected even when there are a few scratched on the display.

Vivo has also bundled a screen protector to make the smartphone look fresh for a longer time. The sides of the Vivo Nex S are covered with the metal frame that seems to have a paint on top that can receive scratches.

Coming towards the burn test, the screen of the Vivo Nex S withstood an open flame for about 16 seconds before the pixels become completely dead. The frame of the smartphone does get bent a bit. The YouTuber found some flex, though the build didn’t result in any cracks or kinks.



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