Nagaland’s tourism showpiece attracts record visitors

first_imgThe Hornbill Festival of Nagaland attracted a record 2,43,214 visitors this year, a sharp climb compared to the previous years, a government official said.Toka E. Tuccumi, an officer with the Department of Tourism, said a total of 2,43,214 visitors, including 2,401 foreign tourists, 38,700 domestic and 2,02,113 locals enjoyed the festival during the 10 days. The number of visitors this year was higher than last year’s total of 1,12,604 visitors by 1,30,610, he said.10 days of festivitiesThe 10-day festival, which is the annual showpiece tourism event of the State, was inaugurated on December 1 — coinciding with the 54th Statehood Day celebrations — by President Ram Nath Kovind.The festival concluded at the picturesque Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, on Sunday amid mega bonfires and the tunes of Naga war cry and beats of traditional log drums reverberating in the background.The massive turnout at the festival provided the visitors ample opportunity to take prized photos and getting a lowdown on some of the Naga cultural dances during the “Unity Dance” performed by the 17 tribes of the State.Nagaland Governor P.B. Acharya said, “The Hornbill festival is designed in such a manner that it coincides with Statehood Day celebrations, which gives an opportunity to all the Naga tribes to converge on one location to showcase the best of their tribal costumes, songs and dance.”Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Governor of Odisha S.C. Jamir, Governor of Arunachal Pradesh Brig. (retd) B.D. Mishra, Manipur CM N. Biren Singh, Arunachal CM Pema Khandu and Director General of Assam Rifles Lt. Gen. Shokin Chauhan were among the several dignitaries gracing the festival.last_img read more

Nehru Cup 2012: Underdogs Nepal hold India to draw

first_imgTheir pre-match billing as underdogs seemed to have spurred Nepal to give their all as they held India to a goalless draw in a Nehru Cup encounter on Tuesday.After rain forced a delay of 30 minutes, both sides went on the offensive but the stray attacks did not result in any goal.Nepal took control of the midfield early on and did not allow medios Mehtab Hossain and Lenny Rodrigues any space. Nepal earned four corners in the space of ten minutes and there was a close shave for the hosts in the 14th minute as Jagajit Shrestha’s corner created panic in the Indian defence.The ground conditions forced the Indians to resort to the long ball strategy and Sunil Chhetri was tightly marked by the Nepal defence.In the 19th minute, Chhetri tried an overhead-kick but the ball was cleared by Rohit Chand and that was his only attempt at goal in the first half.India got a free-kick just before halftime and Nepal’s Sandip Rai was shown a yellow card for an infringement. But Anthony Pereira failed to make use of the opportunity.Nepal’s display must have surprised India coach Wim Koevermans and he was forced to bring striker Robin Singh in place of winger Clifford Miranda, who failed to provide any spark to the Indian attack during his stay on the field.The second half started with India switching to the 4-4-2 formation with Koevermans hoping that the taller Robin would be able to unsettle the Nepalese defenders.advertisementAnthony Pereira, who had switched to the left wing, tested Nepal goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong for the first time in the second half but his shot was saved by the latter.Mehtab, however, found his bearings in the second half and in the 57th minute, found an overlapping Syed Rahim Nabi but his shot from 40 yards was easily collected by Chemjong.The Indians looked more composed in the second half but the through ball needed to pierce the rival defence was missing in the Indian players’ repertoire.Rodrigues was replaced by Jewel Raja in the 77th minute. Jewel’s introduction had an immediate effect as he made a fine run into the rival box as he dribbled past Sagar Thapa and shot a right-footer which was palmed out by Chemjong for a corner.India almost got the elusive goal from the corner but Chemjong somehow blocked Robin’s powerful left-footer.India upped the ante in the last ten minutes and Jewel was once again in the thick of the action. He found Chhetri near the box but the Indian skipper’s feeble shot was easily collected by Chemjong. In the 91st minute, Chhetri came close to breaking the deadlock but his shot went over the bar.In the dying moments of the game, India got a free-kick and Nepal’s Bikash Singh Chhetri was shown the red card for protesting.In the post match press conference, Koevermans said that Nepal played well in the first half but the slushy turf did not allow the players to play to their potential. “The conditions were difficult and it’s unfortunate that the matches have to be played on these conditions. But we can’t do anything about it,” he said.last_img read more

World Cup 2018: We can’t play without Paul Pogba, says France manager

first_imgBefore the start of France’s 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign, all the talk was about France’s top three of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele but in the end, it was another man, who came to their rescue.It was Manchester United and France’s talismanic midfielder Paul Pogba, who came to Les Blues’ rescue with a crucial goal against Australia in Kazan on Saturday as France beat Australia 2-1 in the afternoon kick-off.Although he did not put up a scintillating display in midfield, Pogba powered into the box after a couple of one-twos and scored with a slightly deflected lob to earn Les Bleus all three points.It had been rumoured that the Manchester United player could lose his place in the starting line-up at the World Cup after a hit-and-miss season, but France coach Didier Deschamps eventually kept faith in Pogba.”We can’t do without him,” Deschamps had said during the build-up to the World Cup.#FRAAUS #FiersdetreBleus pic.twitter.com/XigVaylmdiEquipe de France (@equipedefrance) June 16, 20182018 FIFA World Cup, Day 3: UpdatesAs Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele failed to have an impact in open play, Pogba, one of only four players with previous World Cup experience, came up with the goods nine minutes from time.According to Griezmann, he even over-delivered, becoming the first French player to score in consecutive World Cups since Michel Platini found the back of the net in 1982 and 1986.”We are not expecting him to score, he needs to keep the ball, and win some balls,” said Griezmann, whose second-half penalty was cancelled out by another penalty from Mile Jedinak.advertisement”On his goal, he was strong, went for a couple of one-twos, that’s what we expect from him.”Pogba was unfazed, admitting he got a little help from Aziz Behich as his shot looped off the shin of the Australia defender before going under the bar.”I was really helped by the defender. But scoring with my ear, my nose, my foot, I don’t care. As long as it’s in, it’s fine,” he said.While he has been largely disappointing at United, Pogba manages to raise his level when he wears the Blue shirt, and Deschamps has an explanation.”I know how to use him,” the coach, who captained France to their only World Cup title on home soil in 1998, told a news conference.”Paul has got a lot of potential, he puts himself in the best position.”A big goal at an important time for @FrenchTeam from @paulpogba #FRAAUS pic.twitter.com/X1JvfoSCcFFIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018Deschamps’ 4-3-3 system gives Pogba more freedom as the formation features three defensive midfielders.”It suits him very well because he has the freedom to go forward, which he would not be at liberty to do if we were playing with two defensive midfieders,” said Deschamps.France will also face Peru and Denmark in Group C.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

PM Minnis excited by discussions during Austin Texas trip

first_img Related Items: By: Matt Maura (BIS) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#UnitedStates, January 25, 2018 – Austin, TX – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis Tuesday described his stopover visit to Austin, Texas, as being “very productive” after meeting with State, technology and business officials from a number of major U.S. companies operating there.  The Austin visit is part of the Minnis Administration’s plan to establish Grand Bahama as the technology hub of the region, and follows on the heels of Grand Bahama hosting its first major Technology Summit in Freeport, in November 2017.Austin is considered the “Silicon Hills” of Texas because of the cluster of high-tech companies in the Austin metropolitan area including Dell, Hewlett Packard, Google, Samsung and Cisco Systems, among others.  Its name “Silicon Hills” refers to the hilly terrain on the west side of Austin.  The area employs more than 2,000 persons from major corporations like Apple and Microsoft.  The city also has a booming bio-tech industry with more than 8,000 employees.Prime Minister Minnis, who departed New Providence on Sunday (January 21) for Austin – the first stop on a visit to the State of Texas which includes a stopover in Houston – also met with Governor Greg Abbott “in order to establish a relationship between the Governor of Texas and the Prime Minister with the expressed purpose of identifying foreign investment and business opportunities that would benefit The Bahamas.”Prime Minister Minnis and his delegation also met with officials from the Austin Technology Council (ATC).  Since 1992, the Austin Technology Council has been the “informed opinion leader and unifying voice” of technology in Austin and Central Texas and is the region’s largest tech industry organization.“We had a very productive day in Austin where we met with the Austin Technology Council,” Prime Minister Minnis said.  “I made a presentation on doing business in The Bahamas and creating a technology hub, especially in Grand Bahama.  I further spoke about the great benefits of Grand Bahama and all of the infrastructure already present.  I spoke of the Port, of our stable government, and after completing that we had a very productive lunch meeting with Governor Greg Abbott and quite a number of business leaders.“We are now in a digital revolution and it is essential that The Bahamas gets on board and moves with that revolution.  We must not get left behind.  We can be the technology hub in the region and be the leading technology centre for the Caribbean,” the Prime Minister added.Prime Minister Minnis said that meeting involved discussions surrounding business opportunities for Bahamians and businesses opportunities between the State of Texas and The Bahamas.“We also spoke about the educational opportunities for our students as you know we have a large student population here.  We will continue those meetings.”The Prime Minister and his delegation, which includes Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Darren Henfield; Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator the Hon. James Kwasi Thompson; His Excellency Sidney Collie, Bahamas Ambassador to the United States of America; His Excellency Joshua Sears, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister; His Excellency Cornelius A. (C.A.) Smith, Non-Resident Ambassador-designate for Central American States and Mrs. Linda Mackey, Bahamas Consul-General, Miami, also toured the Dell Headquarters where presentations were made.“I met with and spoke with their Chief Commercial Officer on possibilities of future ventures, and that will be followed up especially by State Minister Thompson with respect to creating such a hub in Grand Bahama,” Prime Minister Minnis added.The Prime Minister and his delegation traveled to Houston to meet with Television Evangelist Joel Osteen and members of the Bahamian Diaspora, including the Bahamian student population in Texas.last_img read more

Italian Movie Channel to Launch in US via Amazon EXCLUSIVE

first_imgItaly’s Minerva Pictures is launching an SVOD channel dedicated to Italian cinema for the North American market using the Amazon Prime Video Direct program, in a move that breaks new ground and could provide an additional revenue stream for the Italian film industry.After successfully launching a U.S. outpost called RaroVideo, Minerva Pictures is set to launch the streaming service, MovieItaly, in October in the U.S. and Canada. The Rome-based company boasts a vast vintage Italian cinema library with works ranging from Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Conformist” to horror master Mario Bava’s movies,MovieItaly will use Amazon’s self-publishing service, which enables rights-holders to reach an audience by creating a channel on the Amazon Prime Video platform on a revenue-sharing basis. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety center_img Prime Video Direct has been used to launch niche movie channels by U.S. indies such as Samuel Goldwyn Films and by South Korea’s leading studio, CJ Entertainment. Minerva chief Gianluca Curti said his company will be the “first Europeans to launch an SVOD channel dedicated to a national cinematography in the North American market,” on Amazon’s platform or anywhere.Minerva Pictures will actually be the first continental Europeans to do so, since Prime Video customers in the U.S. can already stream English-language content from BritBox which was created by the BBC and Itv and features British content.MovieItaly will kick off in October with 100 mostly vintage titles mostly drawn from RaroVideo’s vault of classic, cult and horror films, spaghetti Westerns and experimental Italian movies. The service will add at least 10 new titles each month and will also feature extras and an Italian talent introducing a movie-of-the-month.After launching the service in North America, Minerva hopes to expand to the U.K. by year’s end. “We will be catering to Italian cinema cinephiles who love art movies but also to second- and third-generation Italians [in the U.S.] who have a craving for genre, comedies and more lowbrow popular cinema,” Curti said.He added that Minerva is in the process of closing non-exclusive SVOD deals with Italian cinema rights-holders in Italy and the U.S. to bring in more recent Italian feature films and documentaries.To promote MovieItaly in the U.S., Minerva is planning to organize presentations and monthly screenings of Italian movies in a still-unspecified New York venue.last_img read more

Pop theatre Manto flavour of NSD fest

first_imgThe crossover between literature, performance, classicism and its modern interpretations will be on showcase at the 15th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the National School of Drama’s (NSD) annual theatre festival.The festival will celebrate the legacy Saadat Hasan Manto, William Shakespeare and popular theatre in the perspective of the modern Indian stage.Announcing the 15-day theatre gala, NSD chairperson Amal Allana said the festival will bring to the Capital and twin venue of Jaipur a total of 87 plays, lectures, interactions, offsite projects and special packages. It will open with Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Atmakatha, a two-hour play directed by Vinay Sharma, featuring former Bollywood actor Kulbhushan Kharbanda. It will mark the actor’s return to the stage, Allana said. ‘The wider variety of plays this year has allowed us to package them into categories. The ‘Manto section’ has six plays adapted from stories by Manto and the section on Shakespeare will explore the ‘inter-cultural influence on the dramatist’ with seven productions,’ Allana said, adding: ‘The focus will be on popular theatre that evolved from the Parsi form of theatre in the second half of 19th century.’ The 450 entries from which 87 were shortlisted were from across regions and genres that were not always ‘dependent on the government for support’. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe Indian panorama with 11 productions and 52 other performances — adaptations, re-visitings, improvisations, devised plays and traditional renditions — will reflect contemporary theatre practises. The Shakespeare panorama will play host to the likes of indigenous improvisations of King Lear, a solo performance from Turkmenistan, an Assamese adaptation of Julius Caeser, a Hindi makeover of Twelfth Night, Piya Behroopia that played at the Globe Theatre in London last season, Footsbarn Theatre’s Indian Tempest as physical theatre. Wendy Jehlen of the US will present excerpts from Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and Titus Andronicus in a choreographed non-verbal piece as The Knocking Within.A Malayalee adaptation, Yamadoothu: After the Death of Othello in Malayalam from Kerala, based on Shakespeare’s Othello will also be staged. Pointing to the trends in Indian contemporary theatre, Amal Allana said: ‘the trend to go back to traditional forms of theatre has waned’.‘We don’t have to go back to folk theatre and traditional theatre to sustain contemporary theatre. Plays are being staged as performances and devised scripts. There is more exchange and effort between theatre people because of greater a sense of participation and lack of original scripts,’ Allana said.She said: ‘The complexity of new theatre has brought in wake more non-verbal plays and physical theatre’. NSD director Anuradha Kapur said ‘there was a flowering of another kind of script that were meant to be read. We are reading scripts and performing them as well’. Bharat Rang mahotsav will feature plays divided into several categories.last_img read more

How Facebook data scientists use Bayesian optimization for tuning their online systems

first_imgFacebook data scientists had released a paper, Constrained Bayesian Optimization with Noisy Experiments in 2017 where they describe using Bayesian optimization to design rounds of A/B tests based on prior test results. An A/B test is a randomized experiment, used to determine which variant of A and B is more “effective”. They are used for improving a product. Facebook has a large array of backend systems serving billions of people every day. They have a large number of internal parameters that must be tuned carefully using live, randomized experiments, also known as A/B tests. Individual experiments may take a week or longer, so there is a challenge to optimize a set of parameters with the least number of experiments. Bayesian optimization Bayesian optimization is a technique used to solve optimization problems where the objective function (the online metric of interest) does not have an analytic expression. It can only be evaluated through some time consuming operations like a randomized experiment. Bayesian optimization allows joint tuning of more parameters with fewer experiments compared to a grid search or manual tuning. It also helps in finding better values. The Gaussian process (GP) is a Bayesian model that works well for Bayesian optimization. GP provides good uncertainty estimates of how an online metric varies with the parameters of interest. It is illustrated as follows: Source: Facebook research blog The work in the paper was motivated by several challenges in using Bayesian optimization for tuning online systems. The challenges are noise, constraints, and batch experimentation. In the paper, the authors describe a Bayesian approach for handling observation noise in which they include the posterior uncertainty induced by noise in EI’s expectation. In the paper, they describe a Bayesian approach for handling observation noise. A posterior uncertainty is induced by noise in EI’s expectation. Instead of computing the expectation of I(x) under the posterior of f(x), it is computed under the joint posterior of f(x) and f(x*). This expectation no longer has a closed form like El but can easily draw samples of values at past observations f(x_1), …, f(x_n) from the GP posterior. The conditional distribution f(x) | f(x_1), …, f(x_n) has closed form. The results The approach described in the paper is used to optimize various systems at Facebook. Two such optimizations are described in the paper. The first is to optimize six parameters from one of Facebook’s ranking systems. The second one was to optimize seven numeric compiler flags for the HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM). The web servers powering Facebook use the HHVM to serve requests. The end goal of this optimization was to reduce CPU usage on the web servers, with a constraint of keeping the peak memory usage less. This following figure shows the CPU usage of each configuration tested. There is a 100 total, it also shows the probability that each point satisfied the memory constraint: Source: Facebook research blog The first 30 iterations were randomly generated configurations depicted as a green line. After this, the Bayesian optimization was used to identify parameter configurations to be evaluated. It was observed that Bayesian optimization was able to find better configurations that are more likely to satisfy the constraints. The findings are that Bayesian optimization is an effective and robust tool for optimizing via noisy experiments. For full details, visit the Facebook research blog. You can also take a look at the research paper. Read next NIPS 2017 Special: A deep dive into Deep Bayesian and Bayesian Deep Learning with Yee Whye Teh Facebook’s Glow, a machine learning compiler, to be supported by Intel, Qualcomm and others “Deep meta reinforcement learning will be the future of AI where we will be so close to achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI)”, Sudharsan Ravichandiranlast_img read more