Sony Launches ‘World’s Toughest and Fastest’ SD Cards in India


Sony Launches 'World's Toughest and Fastest' SD Cards in India

Sony’s new SF-G Series models have a monolithic structure that involves a one-piece design

Sony on Monday expanded the SF-G Series with the launch of the new UHS-II SD card range that is touted to be the world’s toughest and fastest. Dubbed Tough, the new SF-G series is claimed to offer read speeds up to 300MBps and write speeds up to 299MBps. Sony has also offered a bend proof build that can be bent to 180N and resist a drop of up to five metres. All this makes it the new SD cards 18 times stronger than the SD standard that withstands 10N force, Sony claims. Further, the new SF-G Series SD cards have an IP68 rating that makes them water- and dust-resistant. While the 64GB Sony SF-G64T in the new series comes with a price tag of Rs. 13,290, the 128GB SF-G128T is priced at Rs. 24,590. Both new models are already available for purchase through all Sony Center, Alpha Flagship stores, and major electronics stores in India.

The new SF-G series Tough has a monolithic structure that involves a one-piece design along with no empty space in the card. Sony also claims that it has provided high-grade hardness materials, unlike conventional SD cards that are made of thin, three-part ensemble. There is also the world’s first rib-less design with no write protection switch. The company says that these two inputs are additionally aimed to ensure that there are no fragile components to make the new SD cards prone to drops, bends, water, and dust. Similarly, the build is stated to resist issues of broken plastic casing, broken data protection lock, and broken connector ribs. The SDs are also X-ray proof, magnet proof, anti-static, temperature proof, and include UV Guard.

Alongside the robust design, the Sony SF-G series range has read speeds up to 300MBps and write speeds up to 299MBps. Also, there is support for V90 that is the so far the highest standard of video speed class. There is a bright yellow banding design that makes the card easier to spot in dark shooting conditions.

Furthermore, the new SD cards include an SD Scan Utility and File Rescue Software. The former lets users to check the condition of the card, whereas the latter is used to enable data recovery.



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Coimbatore Doctors Remove World’s Heaviest Ovarian Cancer Tumour


This is the world’s heaviest ovarian cancer tumour removed so far, say Coimbatore doctors.

Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu): 

Vasantha, an agricultural labourer from Ooty in Tamil Nadu, noticed her tummy size growing but ignored it thinking she was gaining weight with age. She felt no pain or discomfort till the tummy size grew massively. On vising a local hospital, surgeons detected a large tumour in her abdomen, but refused the surgery, saying her chances of survival were slim.

Seeing Vasantha’s crying husband in a bus, a co-passenger referred them to a Coimbatore hospital. The chief surgeon of the hospital, Dr Senthil Kumar, investigated the patient and formed a team of doctors to remove the tumour, which he said, turned out to be the world’s heaviest ovarian cancer tumour removed so far in the world.  

“When the patient came to us, she weighed 75 kg and the tumour we removed weighed 33.5 kg. The patient is now doing well and weighs around 42 kg,” Dr Kumar told news agency ANI.

He said that so far, the record for the removal of largest tumour (20 kg) in India was held by AIIMS Delhi and a hospital in Pondicherry. “While heavier ovarian tumours have been removed before, they were benign or non-cancerous in nature. With this surgery, we have created the record of removing world’s heaviest ovarian cancer tumour in the world weighing 33.5 kg,” he said.

The record has been approved by the Indian book of records and the Asian book of records, the doctor said, adding that they have applied for World Book of Records and the Guinness book of world records.

Talking about the difficulties they faced, Dr Kumar said, “The main difficulties we faced was in giving her anesthesia and ensuring that there was minimum blood loss during the surgery. A highly competent team and the most sophisticated machines and instruments were used to ensure this.”

“Since it was an early stage of cancer, it has not spread in the body through nodes, Vasantha can survive like a normal person,” he added.





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19-Hour Marathon For Passengers As World’s Longest Flight Departs From Singapore To New York


The long-range Airbus A350-900ULR is configured to carry up to 161 passengers. (Representational)

Singapore: 

The world’s longest commercial flight took off from Singapore on Thursday, with excited and apprehensive passengers on board settling in for a marathon 19 hours in the air to New York.

A spokeswoman for Singapore Airlines told AFP that Flight SQ22 departed at approximately 11:35pm (1535 GMT) with 150 passengers and 17 crew on board.

Two pilots, a special “wellness” menu and more than seven weeks’ worth of film and television entertainment accompany the travellers on the 16,700-kilometre (10,400-mile) journey to the Big Apple.

The long-range Airbus A350-900ULR is configured to carry up to 161 passengers – 67 in business class and 94 in premium economy, with no regular economy seats available.

For the flight crew – which also includes two first officers and a 13-strong cabin contingent – the workload will be broken up, the airline said, with each pilot having a minimum eight hours’ rest during the flight.

But for passengers, the challenge will be what to do with all that down time when they’re up in the air.

For those not packing a weighty novel (or two), there will be 1,200 hours of audio-visual entertainment to choose from.

Dining options will include dishes the airline says have been selected to promote well-being in the skies, with organic offerings on the menu.

Passenger Peggy Ang, 52, said before the flight that she felt “apprehensive because I’m not sure what would I do in 18.5 hours” inside the plane.

“Now that you asked me, I’m a little bit worried. I’m thinking of sleeping, watching TV, doing my work,” she told reporters after checking in at Changi Airport for the flight.

“I have a lot of notes to read, hopefully I can sleep well,” said Ang, a membership director of an IT services firm.

Some of the passengers were flight enthusiasts, like Singaporean engineer Danny Ong, 50, who bought a return ticket.

“I’m coming back on the next flight. I enjoy the passion of flying,” he told AFP, adding he would binge on the in-flight entertainment.

Pier Messaggio, 41, an Italian electronics designer based in Singapore, said he is part of a group called “First to Fly” whose members have been on board all of Singapore Airlines’ inaugural flights.

He and his group met during the world’s first commercial flight of the Airbus A380 double-decker plane operated by the airline in 2007 and discovered that everyone had a passion for flying.

“I fly for fun… I’m an aviation enthusiast,” Messaggio told AFP.

Airbus said the A350-900URL plane’s cabin has higher-than-normal ceilings, larger windows and lighting designed to reduce jet lag — all part of an effort to lessen the stresses that can accompany almost a day on a plane.

“Research has shown that hydration and food intake are important factors (to consider), such as avoiding foods that cause gas or bloating as well as excessive alcohol,” Rhenu Bhuller, a healthcare expert at consultancy Frost & Sullivan, told AFP.

“The biggest concern is Deep Vein Thrombosis from a combination of sitting for too long and also from dehydration,” said Gail Cross, an associate consultant at the National University Hospital in Singapore.

The twin-engine plane uses a modified system that burns 25 percent less fuel than other aircraft of a similar size, Airbus said.

The flight from the city-state to Newark Airport can take up to 18 hours and 45 minutes under normal weather conditions, but the pilots will have something in reserve in an aircraft capable of flying more than 20 hours non-stop.

Singapore Airlines originally flew the route for nine years using the gas-guzzling, four-engine A340-500 before abandoning it in 2013 because high oil prices made the service unprofitable.

But the carrier is hoping that the introduction of more fuel-efficient planes will set cash registers ringing even as crude prices soar above $80.

Thursday’s flight will top the current longest direct air link between cities — Qatar Airways Flight 921 from Auckland to Doha, which takes 17 hours 40 minutes.

“It’s turning out to be a race between a few airlines eyeing the longest routes inter-continentally,” said Shukor Yusof of aviation consultancy Endau Analytics.

“They are hoping to capitalise and exploit a very niche market,” he told AFP.

Facing increasingly strong competition in recent years, Singapore Airlines has consolidated its low-fare subsidiaries and is strengthening its premium segment.

“Ultra-long haul services comprise an important component of that strategy,” an airline spokesman told AFP.

The company is the first airline in the world to operate the A350-900ULR plane. It received the first aircraft in September. Six more are due for delivery by the end of the year.

“We are optimistic about the demand for non-stop services to the US,” the spokesman said.

Analyst Shukor, however, said it remained to be seen whether the airline and other operators of marathon flights can withstand the pressure from rising oil prices. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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How Donald Trump Is Rerouting the World’s Oil Tankers: Report


It’s not yet clear to what extent China will curb shipments of Iranian crude due to US sanctions.

US President Donald Trump is redirecting global oil flows.

West African and Latin American producers are sending ever-growing volumes of crude to China. America’s exports to the Asian country have slumped in favor of its neighbors. There’s an urgent global need to find replacement barrels for Iran’s, whose exports might just collapse next month.

The thing that connects the shifting flows is Trump’s foreign policy. China’s slumping purchases of American crude — and its extra buying from elsewhere — have coincided with a trade war between the US and the Asian country. Likewise, reimposed sanctions on Iran, which start November 4, have increased the need for the type of heavy, sour crude that the Persian Gulf state sells.

“If you combine the impact of US sanctions on Iran and the US trade war with China, it is Trump’s foreign policy which is reshaping oil flows,” said Olivier Jakob, managing director of consultancy Petromatrix GmbH. “The US is becoming a great energy power and they will use that, we are starting to see the implementation of that in different parts of the energy scene, part of that is being seen today in the oil flows.”

Oil markets are also grappling with record US output, fueled by shale production, and America’s removal in late 2015 of longstanding crude-export limits. Those shipments — just a few hundred thousand barrels a day a few years ago — now consistently top an average of 2 million barrels a day each month. American crude increasingly flows to markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America, data from the US Energy Information Administration show.

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Shifting Flows
But there have been recent changes in precisely where those barrels are going. China, the world’s largest energy consumer, in August didn’t import any US crude for the first time since September 2016, according to the most recent data from the US Census Bureau. That compares with almost 12 million barrels in July, when China was the second-largest recipient.

Shipments to South Korea soared to a record 267,000 barrels a day in August — a 313 per cent year-on-year increase, according to Bloomberg calculations from Census data. Volumes to Japan and India rose by 198 per cent and 165 per cent, respectively. Exports to the UK, Italy and the Netherlands have also surged this year.

“The pattern of trade does look as though it’s going to ebb away from a focus on China to other Asian countries, and Europe,” said Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics.

China is also increasingly turning to other regions. Colombian exports to the Asian nation rose fivefold in September, while Brazilian shipments hit their highest level this year. Chinese refiners bought 1.71 million barrels of crude a day from West Africa for October loading, the most since at least August 2011.

Sanctions’ Effect
It’s not yet clear to what extent, if any, China will curb shipments of Iranian crude due to US sanctions. However, buyers in India, Japan and South Korea are reducing purchases from the Persian Gulf state. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said that the kingdom and other OPEC producers are making up for lost supply from Iran.

The demand for replacement crudes is apparent. Exports from Oman last month rose to their highest levels this year on healthy demand from China, Bloomberg tanker-tracking showed. Kuwait is directing more flows to Asia, while its shipments to the US by late September all but dried up — the first time that’s happened since the Gulf War of 1990-91.

The curbs on Iran are having an effect on oil prices, with global benchmark Brent trading now trading near its highest level in four years. Oman was the talk of one of the oil market’s biggest gatherings last month, as its crude surged past $90 a barrel. Supertankers, which often benefit when trade flows are dislocated, are earning the most since early 2017.

Flows from Iran could drop by 2 million barrels a day, to below 1 million barrels day in November and possibly December, Energy Aspects Ltd. said in a report dated October 1.

Whether it’s the need he’s created for replacement supplies from Iran, or other actions by the US, president Trump’s policies are now having a direct impact on where oil is flowing, said Eugene Lindell, an analyst at JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna.

“What you can say beyond doubt is that it’s creating lots of exotic trade flows that hadn’t been in the market before,” he said. “It’s been a major influence that has forced a change in trade flows.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Shane Warne Feels Joe Root Can Be ‘World’s Best Batsman’ If Freed From Captaincy


After a terrific one day series against India, England Test skipper Joe Root had a par Test series against the visitors. In the five-match series against the number one ranked Test side, Root could only manage a century and a fifty in the 10 innings. Former Australian spin legend Shane Warne on Thursday opined that that Joe Root should give up the Test captaincy in order to become world’s best batsman. Warne said that England team management should seriously consider replacing Joe Root with Jos Buttler as Test captain to allow Root to focus on becoming a terrific batsman. Australia spin great Warne said that the Yorkshire star could dominate the global game with the bat and feels Buttler would make a “very, very good” Test skipper.

Warne, who is promoting his autobiography, said Root is England’s best player but would be disappointed with his conversion rate when it came to hundreds.

“He’d love to have more hundreds to be able to be spoken about in the same sentences as Virat Kohli and Steve Smith,” Warne said.

“Maybe England could think about their best player having the shackles off, not having the responsibility of captaincy, and give it to someone like Jos Buttler.

“If he (Root) totally 100 percent concentrates on his cricket, his batting and nothing else, then maybe we might see Joe Root become the best batsman in the world. He’s got the talent to do it,” Warne added.

Warne has worked with Buttler in his role as mentor for Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals and is convinced the Lancashire player has credible Test leadership skills.

“I’ve worked with Jos a bit this year, and I think he’s someone who would make an excellent captain,” said Warne. “I really enjoyed working with him, I’d like to think I helped him out a little bit.”

(With AFP inputs)



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Singapore Airlines Ready To Take Off World’s Longest Flight Of 19 Hours


For passengers, the challenge will be what to do with all that down time up in the air

Singapore: 

Passengers were getting ready to board the world’s longest flight on Thursday — a marathon 19 hours in the air between Singapore and New York.

Two pilots, a special “wellness” menu and more than seven weeks’ worth of film and television entertainment were expected to accompany travellers on the 16,700-kilometre (10,400-mile) journey to the Big Apple.

Singapore Airlines Flight SQ22 will use the long-range Airbus A350-900ULR, configured to carry 161 passengers — 67 in business class and 94 in premium economy.

For the flight crew — which also includes two first officers and a 13-strong cabin contingent — the work load will be broken up, the airline said, with every person getting a mandatory minimum four hours’ rest.

But for passengers, the challenge will be what to do with all that down time up in the air.

For those not packing a weighty novel (or two), there will be 1,200 hours of audio-visual entertainment to choose from.

Dining options will include dishes the airline says have been selected to promote well-being in the skies, with organic dishes on the menu.

The cabin has higher-than-normal ceilings, larger windows and lighting designed to reduce jet lag — all part of an effort to lessen the stresses that can accompany almost a day on a plane.

“Research has shown that hydration and food intake are important factors (to consider), such as avoiding foods that cause gas or bloating as well as excessive alcohol,” Rhenu Bhuller, a healthcare expert at consultancy Frost & Sullivan, told AFP.

“The biggest concern is Deep Vein Thrombosis from a combination of sitting for too long and also from dehydration,” said Gail Cross, an associate consultant at the National University Hospital in Singapore.

‘Race between airlines’
The twin-engine plane that will make the journey uses a modified system that burns 25 percent less fuel compared to other aircraft of a similar size, Airbus said.

The flight from the city-state to Newark Airport can take up to 18 hours and 45 minutes under normal weather conditions, but the pilots will have something in reserve in an aircraft capable of flying more than 20 hours non-stop.

Singapore Airlines originally flew the route for nine years using the gas-guzzling, four-engine A340-500 before abandoning it in 2013 because high oil prices made the service unprofitable.

But the carrier is hoping that the introduction of more fuel-efficient planes will set cash registers ringing even as crude prices soar above $80.

Thursday’s flight will top the current longest direct link between cities — Qatar Airways Flight 921 from Auckland to Doha, which takes 17 hours 40 minutes.

“It’s turning out to be a race between a few airlines eyeing the longest routes inter-continentally,” said Shukor Yusof of aviation consultancy Endau Analytics.

“They are hoping to capitalise and exploit a very niche market,” he told AFP.

Facing increasingly strong competition in recent years, Singapore Airlines has consolidated its low-fare subsidiaries and is strengthening its premium segment.

“Ultra-long haul services comprise an important component of that strategy,” an airline spokesman told AFP.

The company is the first airline in the world to operate the A350-900ULR plane. It received the first aircraft in September. Six more are due for delivery by the end of the year.

“We are optimistic about the demand for non-stop services to the US,” the spokesman said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Sri Lanka’s National Air Carrier SriLankan Airlines Named Worlds Most Punctual Airline


The data showed that 91.37 per cent of SriLankan Airlines flights in September were on time

Colombo: 

Sri Lanka’s national air carrier, SriLankan Airlines, has been named the “World’s Most Punctual Airline” by global flight data analysis company Flightstats, a statement from the Airline said on Friday.

According to data analysed by Flightstats, SriLankan airlines was selected under the key categories of “Global Airlines” and “Major Airlines”, Xinhua news agency reported.

The data showed that 91.37 per cent of SriLankan Airlines flights in September were on time.

The statement said that Flightstats had analysed data of 41 carriers from Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East and South America, including most of the world’s largest and most prestigious airlines.

“SriLankan’s consistently high level of on-time performance is the result of a structured process that monitors and co-ordinates the performance of all departments and individual staff members responsible for various aspects of its operations,” the Airline said.

“The degree of attention given for punctuality monitoring is infallibly high with zero tolerance for slips in the process,” the Airline added.





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World’s First Lion Cubs Conceived Through Artificial Insemination In South Africa


The world’s first lion cubs born through artificial insemination, Victor and Isabel. (AFP)

Brits, South Africa: 

Watching the two little lion cubs boisterously play with each other at a conservation centre outside of South Africa’s capital Pretoria, it’s hard to see anything out of the ordinary.

But these cubs are unique.

“These are the first ever lion cubs to be born by means of artificial insemination — the first such pair anywhere in the world,” announced the University of Pretoria, whose scientists are researching the reproductive system of female African lions.

The two cubs, a male and female, born on August 25 are healthy and normal, said Andre Ganswindt, the director of the University of Pretoria’s mammal research institute.

His team’s breakthrough came after 18 months of intensive trials.

“We collected sperm from a healthy lion,” Ganswindt told AFP.

Then when the lioness’ hormone levels were found to be viable, she was inseminated artificially.

“And luckily it was successful,” said Ganswindt, adding that “there were several attempts, but surprisingly it didn’t take too much effort”.

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Victor and Isabel play under a tree at the Ukutula private game conservation centre, South Africa. (AFP)

He said the breakthrough could be repeated, with scientists hoping the technique can be used to save other endangered big cats.

Lions are extinct in 26 African countries and numbers in the wild have plummeted 43 percent over the last two decades, with roughly only 20,000 left, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which lists the African lion as vulnerable.
“If we are not doing something about it, they will face extinction,” said Ganswindt.

‘Another tool in conservation box’
He said that rather than move the lions for breeding, the new technique would let breeders to simply transport the sperm to receptive females, as is done with the captive elephant population in Northern America and Europe.

The findings are part of research being done by Isabel Callealta, a Spanish veterinarian and PhD student at the University of Pretoria.

Callealta personally trained the lions to lie next to a fence, where they would freely give blood samples to determine hormonal levels and assess the perfect time for insemination.

The research was carried out at the Ukutula Conservation Center, 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Pretoria in South Africa’s North West province.

Imke Lueders, a scientist involved in the study, said “having the first lion cubs ever born from artificial insemination in their natural range country, and not in a zoo overseas, is an important milestone for South Africa”.

“Assisted reproduction techniques are another tool in our conservation box, of course not a sole solution, but another technology that we can use to protect endangered species,” she said.

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The world’s first lion cubs born through artificial insemination, Victor and Isabel. (AFP)

Andre Mentz, a prominent lion breeder in South Africa’s Free State province, described the birth of the cubs as “very revolutionary”.

But animal welfare organisations are less enthused.

“The captive lion breeding industry in South Africa is exploitative and profit-driven,” said Mark Jones of the Born Free Foundation.

“It generates its income through interaction activities (lion cub petting and lion walks), canned trophy hunting of lions and the lion skeleton trade, while contributing nothing to lion conservation,” he added.

A group of 18 international and African conservation organisations wrote a letter addressed to the scientists saying they do not support the study, but did acknowledge artificial insemination could help other imperilled wild cats like the cheetah.

However Paul Funston of wild cat conservation organisation Panthera raised fears about “anything new which gives any validity to the captive lion industry”.

After all, he said, “in captivity lions breed like flies — most cats do”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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What The World’s Youths Might Learn From BTS, The K-Pop Stars Who Spoke At UN


K-pop band BTS have been phenomenally popular in South Korea and other parts of Asia for years

The seven young men of the Korean pop group BTS stepped up to a single microphone Monday, looking familiar but not immediately placeable. They had traded in their flashier stage outfits for dark, fitted suits. And when the leader of the group opened his mouth, he spoke rather than sang.

The blockbuster K-pop boy band was in New York this time not for one of their sold-out concerts but to speak at the United Nations’ “Youth 2030” event to launch Generation Unlimited, a new U.N. initiative with UNICEF “that aims to ensure that every young person is in education, learning, training or employment by 2030.”

BTS’s message for the world’s youths that day, however, was less about vocation than inspiration and self-acceptance.

Kim Nam Joon – better known as BTS lead singer “RM” – opened by talking about his childhood in Ilsan, a city near Seoul that was idyllic, to hear him describe it.

“It is a really beautiful place with a lake, hills and even an annual flower festival,” RM said. “I spent a very happy childhood there and I was just an ordinary boy.”

His days were filled in with a fanciful imagination, including the thought that he was a “superhero who could save the world.” When RM was 9 or 10 years old, however, self-doubt began to creep into his thoughts.

“In an intro to one of our early albums, there is a line that says, ‘My heart stopped when I was maybe 9 or 10.’ Looking back, I think that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes,” RM said. “I stopped looking up at the night sky, the stars. I stopped daydreaming.”

He continued: “Instead, I tried to jam myself into the other molds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I – we – all lost our names. We became like ghosts.”

Fortunately, RM continued, he found his “one sanctuary” in music.

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Members of K-Pop band BTS at a meeting focused on youth issues at the United Nations in New York

“There was a small voice inside of me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself.’ But it took me quite a long time to hear music calling my real name,” he said. “Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were a lot of hurdles. Some people might not believe, but most people thought we were hopeless, and sometimes I just wanted to quit.”

The idea that BTS was ever a struggling group might be unthinkable to those who are familiar with their astronomical success. Formed in 2013, BTS is now K-pop’s most successful group, selling out stadium shows where they are usually greeted with a frenzied energy not seen since Beatlemania.

They have been phenomenally popular in South Korea and other parts of Asia for several years but recently have made great strides in breaking through to the U.S. market as well. As The Post reported, BTS celebrated a number of “firsts” in the U.S. over the past few years:

“It was one of the first K-pop acts to perform at the American Music Awards in November 2017. The group also made history as the first in the genre to take home an award at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. [In May], BTS became the first Korean band to perform live at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.

“Now, BTS, the seven-member group also known as the Bangtan Boys, has made history again as the first K-pop band to have an album debut at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 chart. “Love Yourself: Tear,” the group’s third album, was released May 18 and in its first week had the equivalent of 135,000 sales in the United States, of which 100,000 were traditional album sales, according to Nielsen Music.”

RM acknowledged the group’s success but said he was “still an ordinary 24-year-old guy.” He credited their achievements to the support of his band mates and because of the love from their fan base, who have dubbed themselves the “ARMY.”

“Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. Today I am who I am with all of my faults and my mistakes,” he said. “I have come to love myself for who I am, who I was and for who I hope to become.”

It’s certainly not the first time BTS has spoken out about the importance of loving oneself. The group has released several albums, videos and “creative projects” that have been part of its “Love Yourself” series. Last year, BTS partnered with UNICEF to launch a worldwide campaign called “Love Myself” with the same message.

RM said they frequently hear from fans who tell them how the message helped them overcome hardships in life and start loving themselves.

“Those stories constantly remind us of our responsibility. So let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so I urge you to speak yourself,” RM said. “No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin color or gender identity, speak yourself, find your name and find your voice by speaking yourself.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Luka Modric Ends Ronaldo-Messi Era To Be Crowned World’s Best


Modric beat out Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah and Ronaldo, who along with Messi did not attend the glitzy awards ceremony in London.

Both are in action for Juventus and Barcelona on Wednesday, but their no-show attracted criticism after so many years on top.

“Everyone has their own reasons,” said Modric. “Obviously I would have liked them to be here but they aren’t.”

Modric’s success means Ronaldo remains tied with Messi having won FIFA’s award in different guises five times each.

At 33, Croatia’s run to the final was the culmination of a brilliant career for Modric that had often been overshadowed by Ronaldo’s goalscoring in their time together in the Spanish capital, before the Portuguese left for Juventus in July.

Modric scored twice and also netted in penalty shootout wins over Denmark and Russia, but it was his playmaking ability that caught the eye in winning the Golden Ball for the best player at the World Cup.

“It was an unbelievable season, the best season in my life,” said Modric.

“I’m still not realising how good a year I had collectively, individually, and I’m very proud for everything I achieved this year and it will be remembered forever.”

For a sixth straight season, Ronaldo was the Champions League’s top scorer with 15 goals and also scored four times at the World Cup, including a hat-trick against Spain in a thrilling 3-3 draw to open Portugal’s campaign.

However, Portugal’s last 16 exit to Uruguay in Russia and Ronaldo’s failure to score in the semi-finals or final of the Champions League opened the door for Modric.

For the first time in 12 years, Messi was not among the finalists with Salah earning a place on the podium for his incredible 44-goal debut season with Liverpool that carried the Reds to the Champions League final.

Salah did not go away empty-handed, however, as he picked up the Puskas award for best goal for his strike against Everton in the Merseyside derby last December.

Modric was joined by Real team-mates Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Marcelo in the FIFPro team of the year, also featuring David De Gea, Dani Alves, N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe, Messi and Ronaldo.

“I am as happy as if I had won it,” said Ramos of Modric’s success. “He deserves it, he is an excellent player and has marked an important era in the history of Real Madrid.”

France’s World Cup-winning coach Didier Deschamps won the best coach of the year prize in recognition for his work in leading Les Bleus to success in Russia.

Deschamps, who became just the third man to win the World Cup as a player and coach, beat off competition from Dalic and his former France team-mate Zinedine Zidane, who won a third consecutive Champions League title with Real Madrid before resigning in June.

Thibaut Courtois won the best goalkeeper award for helping Belgium reach the World Cup semi-finals as well as the FA Cup with Chelsea before a summer move to Madrid.

Brazil’s Marta was crowned best women’s player for a record sixth time for her role in winning the Copa America to beat out Lyon duo Ada Hegerberg and Dzsenifer Marozsan.

Lyon boss Reynald Pedros did win the award for best women’s coach, though, after winning the Champions League with the French giants.



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