India Successfully Test-Fires Land-Attack Version Of BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile


India today test fired the surface-to-surface version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

New Delhi:

India on Tuesday “successfully” test fired the surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos as part of a series of planned trials of the weapon, known for its precision strike capabilities, official sources said.

The range of the new land-attack version of the missile has been extended to 400 km from the original 290 km but its speed has been maintained at 2.8 Mach or almost three times the speed of sound, they said.

“The land-attack version of the missile was test-fired in the Andaman and Nicobar at around 10 am and it was a successful trial”, an official source told news agency PTI.

According to official sources, in the next few days, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy are scheduled to carry out separate test-firing of the new version of the air-launched and naval versions of the supersonic cruise missile respectively.

BrahMos Aerospace, an India-Russian joint venture, produces the lethal weapon that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or from land platforms.

India has already deployed a sizeable number of the original BrahMos missiles and other key assets in several strategic locations along the Line of Actual Control with China in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.

In the last two-and-half months, India has test fired a number of missiles including an anti-radiation missile named Rudram-1 which is planned to be inducted into service by 2022.

Newsbeep

On October 18, a naval version of the BrahMos missile was successfully test fired from an indigenously-built stealth destroyer of the Indian Navy in the Arabian sea.

The Indian Air Force on October 30 test-fired the air launched version of the weapon from a Sukhoi fighter aircraft in the Bay of Bengal.

The BrahMos missile provides the IAF a much-desired capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target at sea or on land with pinpoint accuracy by day or night and in all weather conditions.

The IAF is also integrating the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile on over 40 Sukhoi fighter jets which is aimed at bolstering overall combat capability of the force.
 

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



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New Netflix Series Dubbed Danish Version Of ‘Dark’


The teaser of a new and very intriguing Danish series, Equinox, was released by Netflix

NFLX
yesterday. After seeing the teaser of Equinox, many fans of the German series Dark have noted the similarities in the two storylines, with one fan asking whether Equinox is a Dark spinoff.

The highly effective teaser released on November 23 of Equinox reveals the premise of a new supernatural thriller with alternative realities. This is Netflix’s second Danish Original series, which will launch worldwide on December 30, 2020.

Equinox tells the story of Astrid, a young woman, whose sister, along with her entire class of graduating students, inexplicably disappeared without a trace when she was only 9 years old in 1999. Astrid is traumatized by her sister’s disappearance, plagued with nightmares and horrific visions. In 2020, Astrid is now living a peaceful life with her family and works as a late-night radio show host. Until, as the teaser shows, she receives the call from a stranger telling her that another dimension exists. “There is another reality. Another reality behind the one we’re living in. I was there, Astrid” he tells her.

But most crucially, the anonymous caller reveals he knows why her sister disappeared. “I know what happened back then,” he says before he is cut off. He was one the three survivors from the 1999 disappearance.

Astrid’s nightmares return. She is now determined to find out the truth, but it will turn out to be dark and unsettling for her, involving her in ways she could not have imagined.

For fans of the German series Dark—which concluded this summer with one of the most satisfying endings ever created in a series—this opening of a storyline will sound extremely familiar. Dark also began with the mysterious disappearance of young children. The search for the missing children led first to time travel between different timelines and then finally the discovery (careful! spoiler here if you haven’t seen the show) of different dimensions.

Many fans of the German series sound very excited about this new series. One fan on Twitter exclaimed: “This looks great!! Getting strong Dark vibes. I am in!” Some even see this new series as another dimension of the Dark cinematic universe (which does not sound so far fetched now that there might be a “Netflix Holiday Movie Universe” that links all the original holiday films together), while others see this new series as a fourth season of Dark.

To be fair, there is one particular image of Equinox in the teaser (shown below), where we see people in the woods, that does look a little like the entrance to the cave in Dark.

The story of the new series Equinox is based on an acclaimed podcast called Equinox 1985 which was a hit in Denmark topping the iTunes podcast chart. The podcast and series were written and created by Tea Lindeburg. The six-part series will star Danica Cucic (The Bridge), playing Astrid. The series is produced by Dorthe Riis Lauridsen and executive produced by Piv Bernth and her company, the ITV Studio-backed Apple Tree Productions, the Danish production company behind The Killing and The Bridge.

Equinox “is a very unique story about the difference between reality and imagination, and the relation between free will and fate—all set in a normal Danish family,” Piv Bernth said.

Equinox may just be the right series to fill the big Dark-shaped void in the streaming world, for those who love intricate and complex stories about different timelines and dimensions that make you question reality in very thought-provoking ways.

Equinox is due to be released on Netflix globally on December 30.



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Netflix’s ’40 Year Old Version’ Is a Sparkling Comedy


Radha (which I’ll call the character to distinguish from the real-life Blank) lives in Harlem, balancing her playwright dreams with teaching high-school theater. She was once placed on “30 under 30” lists, but unlike the real Blank (who has written for shows such as Empire), she has little to show for her early success. Her best friend, Archie (played by Peter Y. Kim), drags her to theater events to schmooze, but every conversation with the preening producer Josh Whitman (Reed Birney) involves him beseeching Blank to lean into the “darkness” of Harlem or collaborate with him on a Harriet Tubman musical.

jeong park / netflix

The movie is something of a love letter to Harlem, but rather than rendering her neighborhood in the bright, vibrant visuals one might expect, Blank shoots it in grainy black-and-white 35-millimeter film. The style is visually reminiscent of Spike Lee’s blistering debut, She’s Gotta Have It (Blank also wrote for that TV spin-off) but pays homage to the great Black photographer Roy DeCarava as well. The effect homes in on the characters’ faces and blurs the detail around them to focus on small nuances—a shaggy, vérité approach that helps the characters feel like real people.

Eventually, overcome with frustration, Radha starts dabbling in a teenage obsession of hers: freestyle rapping. She strikes up a friendship with D (the appealingly laid-back newcomer Oswin Benjamin), a local DJ who says Radha has some talent, and she performs in the less cloistered artistic space of underground rap battles. But Radha doesn’t suddenly storm to superstardom in a smooth narrative of rags-to-riches success. The only real power that comes with rapping is her ability to be entirely herself.

The producer, Whitman, eventually seizes on Radha’s latest play, a drama about a Black couple called Harlem Ave. He workshops it into the kind of “poverty porn” Radha has no interest in, and forces her to inject villainous white characters into the script, “to give the core audience a way into the play,” Whitman explains. In upsetting but truthful scenes, the work is staged for mostly white audiences, who revel in the faux-authenticity on display. In The 40-Year-Old Version, Radha’s struggles are tied in with the gentrification of Black art, and the limited avenues she has to produce something both commercial and authentic.

That’s why it’s heartening that the movie, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival (where Blank won a directing award), will be available on Netflix to a wide audience of subscribers. The film is not gritty, unvarnished, or hard to watch; it’s an easygoing, charming work, buoyed by Blank’s excellent lead performance and suffused with snappy jokes and sparkling supporting turns. If it’s occasionally too meandering, that’s part of the point: Radha is still looking for the best way to live her creative life, and sometimes that involves taking the long way around.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.



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Matt Canavan’s anti-solar posts rely on his version of the truth


Former Resources Minister Matt Canavan has been spreading misinformation on social media to steer people away from solar energy, writes Giles Parkinson.

THERE MUST BE an election in the air. And it must be in the Sunshine State. Queensland LNP Senator and former Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan is on the warpath against renewables again, this time with his focus on solar. And he’s getting his facts terribly wrong.

The state of Queensland does, indeed, go to the polls at the end of next month, so it’s no coincidence that Canavan should be taking aim at solar “dole bludgers” and is banging the drum in favour of a new coal-fired generator in the north of the state.

A series of social media posts this week by the self-described “Mr Coal” reveals a loose grip on facts. On Facebook, he reposted an “important” video claiming that the Clermont Solar Farm had not been connected to the grid.

In his post, he said:

‘Renewable energy are the dole bludgers of our power system, they only turn up to work when they want to.’

Actually, solar turns up when the sun shines as designed and Clermont was actually connected to the grid in July last year. According to Green Energy Markets, it has produced more than 142,734MWh in the last 12 months, about the average annual consumption of 26,000 Queensland households. And according to the state generators and the market operator, it has helped bring the state’s power prices down.

Why did Canavan think Clermont was not connected? Case of mistaken identity perhaps? Hardly. The only other two solar farms within 50 kilometres of Clermont are the Emerald and Lilyvale solar farms and they are both connected and working fine, too.

In a separate post, Canavan was also singing the praise of the refurbished Isogo coal-fired power plant in Yokohama, Japan, which he was lucky enough to visit in March 2017.

He was one of a number of Coalition ministers and MPs taken to Isogo that year — including then Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and backbenchers Tim Wilson and George Christensen.

In fact, several dozen parliamentarians – mostly Coalition – appear to have been taken to Isogo in recent years, with some visits kindly arranged by the Minerals Council of Australia, the coal lobby whose former CEO and deputy CEO are now advisors to the coal-waving Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Anyway, according to Canavan, Isogo burns “high quality” Australian coal and he made two claims about it that bear further investigation.

Coalition changes stance on renewable energy and is now relying on 50% target

The first was that it produced in one year more than all the solar in Australia. Nice line, but not true.

If the 1,200MW Isogo coal plant ran at full capacity for 24 hours a day and every day of the year – and no coal plant does that; many don’t even come close – then it would produce around 10,000 gigawatt hours. But all the solar installed at the end of 2019 in Australia produced more than 17,000 gigawatt hours and another four gigawatts will be added by the end of 2020.

And then there was emissions.

Canavan enthused:

The Isogo plant generates about 800 grams of carbon dioxide emissions per kilowatt hour of electricity. That is about 17% lower carbon emissions than the 1960s era plants it replaced.

 

The plant is so clean you can’t believe it is not renewable. How good would it be to have one of these in our backyard using Australian coal!

How good? Well, actually not that good. A 17% reduction in emissions over 50 years doesn’t sound like a major achievement. Australia has cut around that much from its electricity emissions just in the past decade by replacing crappy old coal generators with wind and solar.

And the Australian Energy market operator says that if wind and solar continue to replace Australia’s ageing coal fleet, then the emissions intensity will be reduced by 95% over the next 20 years. How good would that be?

Political change is the first step to stopping the climate crisis

You see, if you compare Isogo’s emissions intensity to the average emissions intensity of Australia’s main grid, it is no better. And that means it is actually quite possible to believe that a coal-fired generator is not renewable. You don’t even have to shut your eyes.

But there’s not much Canavan doesn’t like about coal.

In an earlier post, he took a photo from a plane and gushed:

‘Great to be back in Queensland with a beautiful view of the Gladstone coal-fired power station. Coal keeps the lights on!’

(Gladstone is Queensland’s dirtiest generator with an emissions intensity of 950 grams of Co2-e).

There’s no doubt that beauty does lie in the eye of the beholder. But not facts. Remember, this is a former cabinet minister responsible for resources and northern Australia and yet he can’t get his basic facts straight about an energy source (solar) which is a major competitive advantage for northern Australia.

But it might explain his attachment to the idea of a big coal generator in north Queensland. Beautiful one day, polluting the next.

This article by Giles Parkinson was originally published in RenewEconomy and has been republished with permission.

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John Boyega steps down from Jo Malone role after he’s cut from Chinese version of aftershave advert



John Boyega has stepped down from his role as a global ambassador for Jo Malone after he was cut from the Chinese version of an aftershave advert he helped create.

The British star, 28, said that while he accepted brands use different representatives around the world, “dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone”.

Perfume company Jo Malone had earlier apologised after removing Boyega, best known for playing Finn in the Star Wars films, from the advert, which has since been removed.


In a statement announcing he was stepping down from his ambassadorial role, Boyega said: “Their decision to replace my campaign in China by using my concepts and substituting a local brand ambassador for me, without either my consent or prior notice, was wrong.

“The film celebrated my personal story- showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family.

“While many brands understandably use a variety of global and local ambassadors, dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone.”

The London-born actor added: “It’s back to back but I assure you this will be dealt with swiftly. I don’t have time for nonsense. We press on and strong. Stay blessed people.”

The recreated advert had replaced Boyega with Chinese star Liu Haoran.

Boyega has been praised for speaking out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement since it was reinvigorated following the death of George Floyd.

In June he stood with protesters in London and delivered an emotional speech in Hyde Park, saying he did not care if speaking out harmed his career.

Figures from across Hollywood were quick to publicly support Boyega, who earlier this month accused Disney of marketing his character in Star Wars as an important figure before pushing him aside.

Speaking to British GQ, Boyega said Disney had given more “nuance” to his co-stars and suggested the company did not know how to treat him as a black actor.

Jo Malone’s parent company Estee Lauder has been contacted for comment.



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Watch Elon Musk unveil the next version of his AI-powered brain implant, Neuralink


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Leon Scott is England’s version of Cristiano Ronaldo


Meet Britain’s most ripped footballer.

Muscle man Leon Scott, 34, currently plays for West Auckland Town F.C., competing in the ninth tier of the English Football League system.

Watch European Football with beIN SPORTS and ESPN on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

But English fans may recognise the handsome ex-Darlington FC midfielder from one of his many fashion campaigns.

A MODEL PRO

Scott got into modelling when he was asked to wear Sik Silk’s first ever clothing range in 2012.

From there, he has appeared on billboards in the US and starred in campaigns for JD Sports and Footasylum — working as both a fashion and fitness model.

“I always wanted to feature in a magazine or in a fashion shoot, but I knew with my size I was too small,” he told SunSport.

“As a kid I always had to eat a lot of carbs, because otherwise I’d lose a lot of weight.

“I educated myself and learned what I needed to do to bring my weight and muscle mass up.

“I needed to be very careful with that because I was still playing football at a decent standard, and once you become a certain size there’s a borderline between being a fashion model and a fitness model, and I wanted to be both.

“Whatever I do I go all in. I knew I was playing at a good level but it was about where I was going to progress my career more.

“I was honest with myself, I probably wasn’t the best of footballers, but I was always the first one in and last one out.”

PUSHED HIS BODY

For super-fit Leon, training didn’t end after a two-hour session with his club.

While many players would head home and rest, the County Durham boy from a council estate would push his body further.

“I would lift weights for an hour and half, then potentially finish on a high-intensity circuit.

“My output of energy was very high, which is why I always ate lots of carbs.

“If I wanted to put more size on, I would eat 200, 300 and potentially 500 more calories than required.

“For me, it was about slowly building myself up with my strength. And that’s how I found myself getting bigger over time.

“My day-to-day diet would start with oats with some blueberries, that would be my go-to breakfast each morning.

“Mid-morning I would have two eggs, a protein bar. Then lunchtime I would eat chicken, rice and vegetable or jacket potato and tuna.

“Just before I train, I always have something high in sugar like a chocolate bar, bowl of Rice Krispies or two or three bananas.

“After that, I would have my protein shake. I eat sometimes up till 10 or 11 o’clock.

“I would say I eat around 2,800 to around 3,500 calories per-day.”

SIK SILK LUCKY BREAK

Leon’s start to his modelling career came from an unlikely place.

Starring for Whitby Town FC, he was scouted by Sik Silk – a brand now worn by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – to pose in their clobber.

“I was playing for Whitby Town and a young guy approached me after the game and said he had a clothing brand and if I’d be interested in modelling it.

“A few people had said to me in the past I should model, but I never really took it on board.

“I did do a shoot for him, I did it for free down an alley in Scarborough.

“Then the brand just blew up and I started getting loads of people reaching out and asking if I would model for them.”

‘IT WAS SURREAL’

Soon, JD Sports, Footasylum and many more clothing houses approached Leon and made him their poster-boy.

“It was surreal,” he said.

“I was just a small kid from a council estate and I was doing campaigns all over the world, in LA, New York and Las Vegas.

“Then I started seeing my face on shop windows. It didn’t feel real.”

Scott, who then signed for Darlington, revealed his teammates were delighted for him.

But he’s most thankful to his former understanding boss and close pal, Martin Gray

“Football being football, the lads have their banter. They were all sound about it and congratulated me.

“But football started getting hard. I would get offered campaigns that were shot over the weekend.

“I had to explain to my manager what the payment was and what I was doing, but I was lucky that he would let me go.

“He knew I loved playing football and gave my all, so it was a hard choice for me.

“He would say, ‘We’ve got a game next Saturday. That campaign in LA won’t happen next Saturday.’ So if I wanted to do it, I could come back next week.”

SUPPORTIVE WAG

Behind every great man is a greater woman. Leon’s long-term partner Melissa Jacques has supported him as a footballer and fashion model.

They laid eyes on one another in a gym 17-years ago, when she had a better six-pack than his working as a personal trainer.

“She met me when I was at Middlesbrough as a youth player,” Scott revealed.

“We’ve been together for 17-years, and she knew me first as a footballer and then as a fitness and fashion model.

“It was a bit hard for her at the time because my face was everywhere and I did get contacted by women on Instagram.

“But there’s always been a lot of trust between us. If there were ever any issues, we always talked things through.

“I think that’s why our relationship has always been so strong 17-years later.”

— The Sun



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Minecraft version of South Australian school created by students, to run virtual tours amid COVID-19


Students at Wallaroo Primary School on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula have recreated their entire school campus in Minecraft — during class time.

The game lets players build terrain, objects and structures from virtual blocks, producing colourful, three-dimensional images.

Armed with trundle wheels, it took a group of about 38 students 10 weeks to measure and then replicate their school, using the education version of the Minecraft program.

Technology teacher Damian McCarthy said the students were originally learning about hydraulics when he had to alter his lesson plans.

“With the social distancing and the COVID-19 stuff that has come into play, the kids weren’t actually able to work in small groups with each other,” he said.

A bird’s eye view of Wallaroo Primary School.(Supplied: Mojang)

Confronted with the problem of not being able to physically attend school, the students came up with idea of creating a virtual version.

Mr McCarthy had to make sure the lessons followed COVID-19 social distancing rules.

“The kids had to be separated due to the COVID-19 stuff and the best way to do that was for the kids to actually be on separate devices,” he said.

“With the COVID weeks involved, we had a fair few classes of 50 per cent (on-site) so there was work done, it was just at a slow pace.”

Throughout the process, the students learnt about ratio, area, perimeter, teamwork and used critical thinking.

Runaway turtle and other unique difficulties

Year 6 student A’Edan was responsible for building the playground, floors and an enclosure for the school’s pet turtle, Squirtle.

It proved to be easier said than done.

“We started off with wooden blocks and sand in the middle, glass and then water, but we couldn’t get the egg to hatch,” he said.

A laptop screen shows an animated green turtle in a glass enclosure.
The students had some difficulties keeping the school’s pet turtle, Squirtle, in its virtual enclosure.(ABC North and West: Shannon Corvo/Mojang)

“Then I found a code that gives me an invisible block called a ‘barrier block’ to block the top so it couldn’t jump out.”

Year 7 student Marnie said another issue they faced was making both the inside and outside of the buildings match the proportions of the real life structures.

“By doing the ratio of one over one, which is one block equals one metre, we found that the rooms appeared squished and smaller than what they were in real life,” she said.

A virtual room with computer screens and a green turtle in a glass enclosure.
This is one of many classrooms built by the students in Minecraft.(Supplied: Mojang)

One-of-a-kind school tours

The students will now plan virtual “fly-through” school tours.

“I’m going to have the Year 6/7s present a walkthrough to a student from another student’s point of view,” Mr McCarthy said.

There are also plans to display student work in the library of the digital world.

“There are going to be some Narungga books in there, different creative stories and a couple of persuasive text pieces,” he said.

Two boys and two girls sitting at a table with laptops in a library.
Roughly 38 students are involved in the project.(ABC North and West: Shannon Corvo)

Timely benefits of game-based learning

Associate Director of the Digital Media Research Centre at the Queensland University of Technology, Michael Dezuanni, has been studying Minecraft for the past six or so years.

Mr Dezuanni said there were multiple benefits to using the program as an educational tool in schools.

A man in a black shirt and dark blue blazer wearing glasses stands in front of a white background.
Associate Director Michael Dezuanni said video game-based learning can benefit students.(Supplied: Queensland University of Technology)

“When we see engagement with a game like this, we see that there’s a great deal of enthusiasm from the students and that they really want to learn.”

He said it provided a sense of connection for people who might be in self-isolation or working from home.



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Lite Foldable Version May Be Cheapest Variant Yet


Most probably know by now that getting a Samsung Galaxy Fold will not come cheap. However,  this has not stopped the company from coming up with cheaper alternatives. As far as foldable devices, there is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. Compared to the Samsung Galaxy Fold, a phone priced roughly around the $1,380 mark.

Compared to the Samsung Galaxy Fold, that is already a big slash off the suggested retail price. The SRP for the Samsung Galaxy Fold is at $2,000. But as mentioned in a previous post, Samsung plans to lower the price of the successor, the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2. The price is rumored to be roughly $1,899, a $101 off that some may not get excited about. Also worth noting is that there will be some downgrades. This includes getting a phone with only three cameras instead of the normal four that most phones are coming out with right now.

Aware that only a select few would likely consider buying their expensive Samsung Galaxy foldable, it appears that the South Korean company is trying to take it a notch lower. There are now rumors (via Sam Mobile) flying about a Samsung Galaxy Fold Lite 4G coming out and that it may be priced at $1,099. That is practically 50 percent savings from the Samsung Galaxy Fold in circulation right now.

But again, there will be features missing. The first is obvious, a phone that would run on 4G and not the 5G feature other phones are now toting. Aside from that, other changes likely to happen include the Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) and possibly a device running on a less-powerful processor. As of this writing, the potential specs of the Samsung Galaxy Fold Lite 4G remain scarce although most are already advised to taper their expectations.

It would be a curious variant to check out, assuming that these rumors are true. Focus remains on the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 which will reportedly be available in black and brown color themes. With regard to demand, it remains to be seen if sales will pick up. Most are expected to hold off on getting new phones, not to mention expensive ones, prioritizing other needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.





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