The Cyber Center of Excellence is the U.S. Army’s force modernization proponent for cyberspace operations, signal/communications networks and information services, and electronic warfare. It is responsible for developing related doctrine, organizational, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facility solutions. A major aspect of the center’s mission is the training, education and development of world-class, highly skilled signal, cyber and electronic warfare professionals supporting operations at the strategic, operational and tactical level. Today’s broad and rapidly changing global operational environment means the DOD and the nation are required to function within an increasingly competitive, congested and contested cyberspace and electromagnetic spectrum. Ultimately, the center must enable the commanders and leaders to seize, retain and exploit freedom of action in both the land and cyberspace domains, while simultaneously denying and degrading the adversary use of the same.7TH SIGNAL COMMAND (THEATER)The 7th Signal Command was activated at Fort Gordon in July 2008. The command is responsible for the integration, security and defense of the Army LandWarNet within the continental U.S. The command is designed to extend LandWarNet capabilities to generating and operating forces in support of CONUS-based information-enabled expeditionary operations.15TH REGIMENTAL SIGNAL BRIGADETraining is the primary mission of the 15th Regimental Signal Brigade. The mission is as diverse as the personnel who train therein and the equipment that they learn to install, operate and maintain. The brigade conducts world-class training to produce expeditionary signal and ordnance warriors with full-spectrum competencies who live the Soldier’s Creed. It provides tough and realistic training in a contemporary operating environment that focuses on tactical and technical skills, knowledge and abilities.35TH SIGNAL BRIGADEThe 35th Signal Brigade is a subordinate element of the XVIII Airborne Corps. The brigade rapidly deploys worldwide to provide and protect expeditionary C4 systems and networks for the Army service component commanders and combatant commanders, as well as joint task force and coalition headquarters, to enable joint and combined battle command across the full spectrum of network-centric operations and warfare.359TH SIGNAL BRIGADEThe 359th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade exercises command and control over Army Reserve soldiers in six states. The brigade has a distinguished history dating to 1944 when it served admirably in Brazil and was decorated with the Meritorious Unit Commendation Award for its accomplishments.116TH MILITARY INTELLIGENCE BRIGADEThe 116th Military Intelligence Brigade conducts 24/7 tasking, collection, processing, exploitation, dissemination and feedback operations of multiple organic and joint intelligence aerial-intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions collected in overseas contingency areas of operation.513TH MILITARY INTELLIGENCE BRIGADEThe 513th Military Intelligence Brigade’s mission is to conduct intelligence in support of U.S. Army Central full-spectrum operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to defeat adversaries, promote regional stability, support allies and protect U.S. national interests.706TH MILITARY INTELLIGENCE GROUPThe 706th Military Intelligence Group conducts continuous full-spectrum signals intelligence and computer network operations at National Security Agency/Central Security Service – Georgia to gain information dominance in support of national, combined, joint and Army decision-makers and to shape future Army intelligence capabilities.480TH INTELLIGENCE, SURVEILLANCE AND RECONNAISSANCE GROUPThe Air Force’s 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group conducts real-time tactical and national intelligence collection, exploitation, analysis and reporting operations. The group provides cryptologic products and services to warfighters and decision-makers operating in, or concerned with, the U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Special Operations Command areas of responsibility. The group also conducts Air Force National Tactical Integration and Tactics Analysis Studies Element missions for the 609th Air and Space Operations Center. The group is the Air Force component of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service – Georgia.NAVY INFORMATION OPERATIONS COMMAND, GEORGIANavy Information Operations Command, Georgia was originally commissioned as Naval Security Group Activity, Fort Gordon. This organization was commissioned Nov. 1, 1995, at Fort Gordon to perform Naval Security Group-related functions. Specifically, it provided operational cryptologic personnel to support the Fort Gordon Regional Security Operations Center. In summer 2005, the security operations center was renamed the National Security Agency/Central Security Service — Georgia. National Security Agency/Central Security Service — Georgia serves as a joint service facility established by the director of the National Security Agency to conduct continuous security operations in support of national and warfighter intelligence requirements.
by Hilary Niles vtdigger.org A new method of harvesting sap from young trees could revolutionize maple syrup production in Vermont ‘ and potentially around the world.Researchers at the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center have discovered that sugar maple saplings produce the same sweet liquid that mature trees yield.Abby van den Berg and Tim Perkins at Proctor Maple Research Center with new technology they are applying to maple saplings for maple syrup. Photo by Sally McCay/UVMSugar maple saplings can out-produce mature trees by an order of magnitude. A plantation-style crop of 6,000 saplings can produce 400 gallons of syrup per acre, while a mature sugarbush of 80 mature maple trees produces 40 gallons per acre, researchers say.Saplings are ready to harvest in seven years, while mature trees take four decades to tap.The implications could be significant for one of Vermont’s signature products ‘ as a hedge against climate change, as a relatively cheap and fast way to grow a maple operation and as an opportunity for competitors to get a foothold in the market.A maple sapling cut off and fitted with a system to collect sap. Photo by Sally McCay/UVMTim Perkins, Proctor Center director and one of the lead researchers who made the discovery, said the plantation method is not a replacement for traditional maple sugaring. He described the innovation as a complement to sugarbush production ‘ in much the same way tube and vacuum technology recently transformed the industry.Matt Gordon, the executive director of the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association, is reserving judgment about what the technology will mean for producers in the state.‘Everything about it is so new and so cutting edge, it just sounds like really interesting experiments,’ Gordon said. ‘No one’s going to give up their old sugarbush with mature trees.’Innovation’s threats, opportunitiesPerkins said the sapling method might be most valuable to maple producers who have limited space or want to expand their operations quickly.Sapling plantations could help sugarmakers recover more quickly from a devastating storm or pest infestation, for example.Plantations also would give producers more control over growing conditions ‘ potentially crucial in the face of anticipated climate change.As the Proctor Center continues its research, Gordon said he will be most interested in what the developments mean for maple operations that struggle with the high cost of sugar maple forestland.The plantation method allows for dense planting of saplings in an open field, and the critical feature that makes sugarbush land so valuable ‘ a mature maple forest ‘ becomes moot.But that’s not to say maple saplings could be raised plantation-style anywhere, Perkins cautioned. The freeze-thaw cycle that turns starch into sugar is still needed to produce sweetness, he said. ‘But smaller trees freeze and thaw much faster,’ he said.Still, Perkins said, ‘You’re not going to see maple syrup being made in Florida. It’s going to be northern climates.’ Nor does the thought of growing maple saplings in greenhouses sound to him like a lucrative prospect.And due to the Northeast’s longstanding specialty in maple sugaring ‘ from equipment manufacturing and repair to expertise in plant biology ‘ Perkins thinks the maple brand will not escape the region any time soon.‘At least in the short-term, it’s unlikely that someone else will jump in and make maple syrup more economically than we can in New England,’ he said.Meanwhile, the University of Vermont is already doing what it can to maintain the state’s grip on the maple technology and brand. The school applied for a patent in 2012 for the vacuum process and all devices associated with plantation-style sapling production. That includes the contraptions Perkins and his colleague, Abby van den Berg, improvised to fit standard tubing to sapling tops.The application was published in September 2013, at which time the researchers could finally go public with what they had been studying since spring 2010.How it works, how it tastesIn the course of studying maple sap production, Perkins said, he and van den Berg realized that the sap they were collecting was being produced from tree roots ‘ not from the tops of the trees, as had traditionally been assumed.This was not an entirely accidental discovery. The scientists began studying sap production under different types of ‘flow conditions’ ‘ for example, in gravity versus vacuum collection systems. Partway through the season, Perkins said, it occurred to them to test the idea that sap was being produced from water being pulled up through the roots.What they found reinforced the theory.‘The main thing was that, after a long thaw, sap flow didn’t stop.’ Perkins said. The top of the sapling had already been cut off, so they knew the sap being pulled out by a vacuum was coming from below.‘But even with that, if you were only drawing from the tree itself, the moisture content would drop off,’ Perkins said. ‘The only place it could be coming from was from water in the soil.’This could mean that plantation-style production would be water-intensive, he said. But Perkins dismissed that as a problem in the Northeast climate, given spring snowmelt. If maple plantations were to require irrigation, he suggested, producers are already accustomed to working with tubing, so the new application would not be a stretch.Trees survive the plantation method, but must be managed carefully to continue production without interruption from season to season. After sap production, the vacuum apparatus is removed from the top of the stem, at which point the tree regrows a compact, bushy crown, Perkins said. The following year, about 6 to 12 inches must be cut off again to freshen the top ‘ attrition that growth can’t make up for. Eventually the tree would be trimmed to the ground.Instead of resting the sapling for a few seasons to regenerate, Perkins said alternate methods of coppicing or pollarding keep the sap active.The coppice method involves cutting the sapling close to the ground early, and letting it form multiple stems. A producer could alternate the harvest from one stem to another year after year, allowing sufficient growth on each stem before it’s decrowned again.Pollarding allows the tree to grow 4 to 5 feet off the ground. This has distinct advantages in the Northeast, Perkins pointed out, because at that height deer cannot nibble the tops of the trees.Perkins said in all cases, the chemistry of the sap is identical to that produced by mature maples. The taste is the same, too, he said ‘ though he confessed he hadn’t yet tried it on pancakes.‘Our value in a sense is the science and not the syrup,’ Perkins said.While maple syrup from wherever it originates might be chemically identical, it also differs slightly in taste, as another UVM research is keen to point out.In the Nutrition and Food Science department, Dr. Amy Trubek is extending a theory of a ‘taste of place’ from wine to maple syrup. Trubek is refining a matrix of flavors ‘ toasted, milky and fruity to name a few ‘ that can be traced to environmental conditions such as soil conditions or the bedrock over which maple trees grow.Gordon said he would not expect the syrup made from saplings to taste like anything other than maple.‘It’s the same product,’ Gordon said. ‘It’s still just the sap from the maple tree that was boiled down and evaporated to make maple syrup.’ Only the collection method is changing, and the industry has already weathered a lot of change, he and Perkins are quick to underscore ‘ despite its traditional brand image.‘It’s definitely something very different,’ Gordon said. ‘But tubing looks different than buckets. Most people don’t use horses to collect their sap anymore. Not everyone wears plaid in the forest.’Before he’s ready to get either excited or worried about what the sapling ‘plantation’ method could mean for Vermont producers, Gordon is more focused on products that lay false claim to maple’s cachet. He said the more popular maple syrup gets, the more shelves are stuffed with food items that claim maple flavoring without a bit of syrup in their ingredients.Gordon said his organization wants to change consumer preferences and hopefully food manufacturing protocols to demand real maple syrup if a maple leaf and bottle will appear on a label.
Centers for Disease Control offers updates on EVALI cases. Courtesy image CDC News:The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has announced that as of Dec. 27, 2019 the number of hospitalized cases or deaths from e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) was 2,561 nationwide.More specifically, there have been 55 deaths confirmed in 27 state and the District of Columbia.These states include: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.More deaths are under investigation.Current findings on the issue:Syndromic data on emergency department visits suggest that the EVALI outbreak began in June 2019. Cases have been declining since a peak in September.This data align with recently released CDC national epidemiologic data among EVALI patients suggesting that the number of new hospitalized EVALI cases has also been declining since a peak in September.While emergency department visits associated with possible EVALI have declined, they have not returned to levels before June 2019 and EVALI remains a concern.Laboratory data support previous findings that vitamin E acetate is closely associated with EVALI.This study analyzed samples from 51 EVALI cases from 16 states and a comparison group of samples from 99 healthy people for vitamin E acetate, plant oils, medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, coconut oil, petroleum distillates, and diluent terpenes.Vitamin E acetate was identified in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples (fluid samples collected from the lungs) from 48 of the 51 EVALI patients, but not in the BAL fluid from the healthy comparison group.Although progress in the investigation and response is being seen, the CDC encourages the public to remain vigilant. National data show that certain groups of EVALI patients released from the hospital are more likely to be rehospitalized or die.Characteristics of EVALI patients who were readmitted or died following hospital discharge indicate that some chronic medical conditions, including cardiac disease, chronic pulmonary disease, and diabetes as well as increasing age might be risk factors leading to higher morbidity and mortality among some EVALI patients.Based on the findings on EVALI patient rehospitalization and death, CDC has updated its guidance to clinicians to minimize these outcomes.The updated clinical guidance recommends that hospitalized patients be documented as clinically stable for 24–48 hours prior to discharge.Patients should have a follow-up visit with a primary care provider or pulmonary specialist, optimally within 48 hours of discharge—a shorter follow-up time than the previous recommendation of 1–2 weeks.Healthcare providers should continue to report cases of EVALI to their state or local health department. CDC will continue to update guidance as we learn more about EVALI.What We KnowLaboratory Findings Reported Dec. 20, 2019:Laboratory data show that vitamin E acetate, an additive in some THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products, is closely associated with EVALI.A recent study analyzed samples from 51 EVALI cases from 16 states and a comparison group of samples from 99 healthy people for vitamin E acetate, plant oils, medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, coconut oil, petroleum distillates, and diluent terpenes.Vitamin E acetate was identified in fluid samples collected from the lungs from 48 of the 51 EVALI patients, but not in the BAL fluid from the healthy comparison group.No other toxicants were found in BAL fluid from either group, except for coconut oil and limonene (1 EVALI patient each).This study built upon a previously released using a large number of fluid samples from EVALI patients, and added healthy controls, and yielded the same finding.These findings complement the ongoing work of FDA and some state public health laboratories to characterize e-liquid exposures and inform the ongoing multistate outbreak.About the Outbreak:CDC is only reporting hospitalized EVALI cases and EVALI deaths regardless of hospitalization statusData suggest two distinct periods: a gradual increase in ED visits associated with e-cigarette use since 2017, followed by a sharp rise in June 2019.About Patient Exposure:All EVALI patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.Vitamin E acetate has been identified as a chemical of concern among people with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI).THC is present in most of the samples tested by FDA to date, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing products.The latest national and state findings suggest THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly from informal sources like friends, family, or in-person or online dealers, are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.CDC has analyzed national data on use of THC-containing product brands by EVALI patients. Overall, 152 different THC-containing product brands were reported by EVALI patients.Dank Vapes, a class of largely counterfeit THC-containing products of unknown origin, was the most commonly reported product brand used by patients nationwide, although there are regional differences. While Dank Vapes was most commonly reported in the Northeast and South, TKO and Smart Cart brands were more commonly reported by patients in the West and Rove was more common in the Midwest.The data further support that EVALI is associated with THC-containing products and that it is not likely associated with a single THC-containing product brand.What We Don’t KnowWhile it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with EVALI, there are many different substances and product sources that are being investigated, and there may be more than one cause.What CDC RecommendsCDC and FDA recommend that people should not use THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly from informal sources like friends, family, or in-person or online sellers.Vitamin E acetate should not be added to e-cigarette, or vaping, products. Additionally, people should not add any other substances not intended by the manufacturer to products, including products purchased through retail establishments.While it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with EVALI, there are many different substances and product sources that are being investigated, and there may be more than one cause. Therefore, the best way for people to ensure that they are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from the use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products.Adults using e-cigarettes or vaping products as an alternative to cigarettes should not go back to smoking; they should weigh all available information and consider utilizing FDA-approved cessation medications. They should contact their healthcare provider if they need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.Adults who continue to use an e-cigarette, or vaping, product should carefully monitor themselves for symptoms and see a healthcare provider immediately if they develop symptoms like those reported in this outbreak.If you are an adult trying to quit smoking:Contact a healthcare provider for help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.Use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved cessation medications.If you are concerned about your health after using an e-cigarette, or vaping, product, contact your healthcare provider or local poison control center at 1.800.222.1222.Adults with ongoing cannabis (marijuana) use that leads to significant impairment or distress should seek out evidence-based behavioral treatment.Effective treatments are available, and recovery is possible. A number of therapy-based treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, motivational enhancement therapy, and multi-dimensional family therapy have been shown to be effective.Visit Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Treatment Locator to locate treatment in your area or call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).For adults currently using marijuana/THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products for medical use: We do not know if there are different health effects of using different forms of marijuana, such as smoking, vaping, and edibles, or whether transitioning from one form to another might reduce harm.Talk with your healthcare provider about other available treatment options for the conditions.Regardless of the ongoing investigation:E-cigarette, or vaping, products should never be used by youths, young adults, or women who are pregnant.Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette, or vaping, products. There is no safe tobacco product. All tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, carry a risk.THC use has been associated with a wide range of health effects, particularly with prolonged frequent use. The best way to avoid potentially harmful effects is to not use THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products. Persons engaging in ongoing cannabis (marijuana) use that leads to significant impairment or distress should seek evidence-based treatment by a healthcare provider.CDC will continue to update guidance, as appropriate, as new data becomes available from this complex outbreak.For updates on this investigation, visit www.cdc.gov/lunginjury.
Subscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.
While China is touring Europe and the United States to prepare for the World Cup, Li Nan is still working with a preliminary roster of 20 players; among those who will make the cut, we’ll likely find the names of Abudushalamu Abudurexiti, Ding Yanyuhang and Wang Zhelin, coming from strong showings in the Asian Qualifiers and looking for a spot in the starting five or a leading role off the bench. Ding, a 200 centimetres (just under six feet, seven inches) shooting guard, was his team’s third-best scorer thanks to his accuracy from the perimeter, while Abudurexiti, 23 years old and 203 centimetres (just under six foot, eight inches) tall, caught everyone off-guard with his poise and athleticism. Wang Zhelin could play second fiddle to Zhou Qi at the center spot. Last season he played in the CBA, in Fujian, to continue honing his skills, but his draft rights were acquired by the Memphis Grizzlies at the 2018 NBA Draft. Zhelin took the opportunity of his national team recently touring the US to compete in the Summer League, and offered three exciting performances. QUALIFYINGChina approached hosting the next World Cup in a peculiar manner. Even though they were already granted a spot among the 32 teams, they still took part in the Asian Qualifiers. The Chinese federation, though, decided to try out a new strategy from which, according to coach Li Nan, his current team is greatly benefiting. They divided the pool of players into two separate teams: the Red Team and the Blue Team, who took turns in playing the qualifiers. Obviously, that’s not a strategy meant for short-term results: this “divided China” performed a little less brilliantly than what we were accustomed to, ending the second group stage with 3 wins and 3 losses (one of those was particularly hard to digest, coming in an away game against Jordan). Fans are also a bit worried about New Zealand imposing itself over China with two wins; they’re an up-and-coming team in the Asia-Oceania basketball scenario, merged in the same FIBA zone for the Asia Cup, thus putting in jeopardy, alongside Australia, the Chinese leadership on the continent.That project, though, was looking to strengthen competitiveness among players and coaches, granting more people an opportunity to show what they’re capable of – most of the times young prospects, like Abudurexiti, were the one to squeeze the most out of those chances – with the added goal of “making the cut”. After all, China was probably the nation best positioned to take such a gamble. They’re an unmovable object in Asian basketball, winning 16 Asia Championship gold medals and qualifying over and over, in impressive fashion, to World Cups (although they missed out in 2014) and Olympic Games (finishing at the eight spot in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008).GROUPChina has been assigned to Group A and will host its opponents in the capital city of Beijing, where 19,000 people will be watching inside the Wukesong Sport Center. The draw has been kind to the host country, drawing Venezuela, Poland and Ivory Coast (they will debut against the latter, on August 31st). The goal is to at least come out of Group A at first or second place, gaining access to the second group stage. The Quarter finals are a much thinner hope, but it’s not entirely unrealistic; matchups will be key, and the chemistry coach Li Nan will be able to develop between his players will play a major role as well. Ivory Coast is one of the event’s underdogs, gladly taking advantage of FIBA extending the pool to 32 teams – before now, they only qualified for the World Cup twice in the Eighties and then once in 2010, both occurrences being the case of an unusually gifted squad that went on to win African Championship’s silver and gold medals in the same time frame. If China is pinpointing Ivory Coast as their number one target, they should also be aware of Poland reaching for the first place. The World Cup is a novelty for the Poles as well – they’re in for the first time in 52 years – but focusing on the European scenario, the team coached by Mike Taylor has put together solid showings in recent tournaments, punching a ticket for every EuroBasket since 2007. With Venezuela it’s more of the same. They too welcomed the new 32-teams format, a chance to enrich a résumé featuring just three appearances, but they’re still a dangerous opponent, gritty and resourceful. After all, Venezuela is only four years removed from their glory days: in 2015 they won the Americas Championship, making history along the way by winning a spot in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics too.MATCHUPSSpeaking of international experience, China is head and shoulders above its Group A opponents. It’s almost a no-brainer to see them qualifying for World Cups and Olympic games: they took part in four of them in a row, including Beijing 2008 where they felt all kinds of pressure from fans and specialized press to perform at their best. The Chinese national team is accustomed to playing under heavy scrutiny, and the current roster still features some holdover from that 2008 squad – namely, star player Yi Jianlian. On paper, Group A is not one of the toughest and being supported by local fans is a plus; nonetheless, China should focus on its most immediate goal: overcoming the first group stage without running any unnecessary risks. Poland and Ivory Coast sit at the opposite side of the spectrum, being almost “absolute beginners” on the global basketball stage, but they will try and compensate for their lack of experience by stepping on to the court with unparalleled enthusiasm. In the Ivory Coast matchup, China should leverage their more organized play style (some of its talents have been on and off of NBA radars, Ding Yanyuhang and Zhou Qi recently among them), whereas Poland will probably prove to be a more staunch opponent, inspired by Eastern-European basketball traditions. Mike Taylor is the head coach for Hamburg during the regular season, and some high-profile players like Mateusz Ponitka are competing for top European club teams, Lokomotiv Kuban in his case. Venezuela, instead, should not be able to contest China’s physicality too much – aside from Nestor Colmenares, who’s not nicknamed La Bestia, The Beast. Coach Li Nan should deploy his sets closer to the basket, taking advantage of Zhou Qi’s and Wang Zhelin’s height. Speaking of athleticism and pace of play, the Chinese national team have been preparing for the World Cup by touring the United States to face three Summer League teams, scoring an important win over the Charlotte Hornets. Coach Li Nan holds this experience in high regard: in a mere three games, he says, his players got an idea of how the game can be more high-paced and “muscular” than in the CBA.STORIESLet’s try and come full circle from where we started: looking forward to the World Cup, what is the status of Chinese basketball? According to some experts, both in China and abroad, there should be something to be worried about the current state of things. Two years ago, NBA commissioner Adam Silver famously complained saying he was feeling “frustrated” that so few Chinese prospects would try to play basketball in America. On the one hand, journalist Alex Wong argued for The Score, that the CBA’s economic growth was starting to guarantee local players a safe enough career at home, rather than encouraging them to head to the United States. On the other hand, despite the national team performing steadily through World Cups and Olympics, China is missing a Yao Ming-like player in terms of “gravity”, thus taking a few steps backwards on their international popularity. If we try and switch our Western perspective, though, we start to realize the argument has an hidden side for us to explore. According to recent data, in China over 300 million people play basketball in some way or another. The infrastructure is first-class, basketball has a huge following on television and the CBA is growing in popularity as well (Guo Ailun, a star player in his home country, became the first Chinese player to sign an endorsement contract with Jordan brand) thanks partially to Yao Ming himself, now standing as the league’s President and acting as a true ambassador for Chinese basketball – we’ll likely see cameras following him in every arena, during the World Cup. China is not hiding behind its national borders, not at all. Since 2011, the country started a program that involved both the NBA and Minister of Education, to build world-class academies all over China, giving young prospects a place to eat, sleep, practice and study. One of those academies was founded even in Xinjiang, a region far-off to the northwest: that’s exactly where Abudushalamu Abudurexiti comes from, a player who could turn out to be one of the tournament’s best stories. Born in Urumqi, the biggest city in Xinjiang, he showed up with the “Red” Chinese team during the Asian Qualifiers, winning himself over a roster spot thanks to unexpected performances. He’s from an ethnic group called uiguri, like the phonetics of his name suggests, linked to the Turkish heritage and later converted to Islam. Xinjiang and uiguri receive little exposure outside of China, but basketball, as it frequently does, has a way of reaching beyond geographical and ethnic borders. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/59/5b/yi-jianlian-fiba-china_23wifdv9tsr1196n1fzeyqcqr.png?t=-1201624740&w=500&quality=80 The duo of Yi Jianlian and Guo Ailun alone is likely enough to scare opponents off, a combination of versatile swingmen who are able to handle the ball and shoot from three point range as well. In the paint, Coach Li Nan will rely heavily on Zhou Qi, a 216 centimetres (just over seven feet, One inch) tall center, possessing a good touch around the basket. He signed a multi-year deal with the Houston Rockets, dividing time between the main roster and their G-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Vipers. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/d7/63/guo-ailun-china-fiba_16n1uo9if12i91kqr8r0q8w0fx.jpg?t=-1199901756&w=500&quality=80 What is the current status of Chinese basketball? After experiencing a boom in popularity around the year 2000, channelled by the legendary Yao Ming, the basketball scene seems to have come to a standstill – at least, from a global awareness point of view. In China however, people have high expectations for their national team, almost as high as their persistent passion for the game. China maintains a stranglehold on Asian basketball, a perennial contender for an Asia Cup gold medal. As hosts of the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup this is a prime opportunity for China to show the world exactly how far the national team has come. ROSTERAlthough lacking a worldwide famous star player, like Yao Ming was throughout his career, China is probably the most reliable and best equipped at every position among the Asian teams. A huge pool of players to choose from, thanks of course to China’s scale but also due to the ever-growing relevance of basketball in their sports culture. Similarly, the growth of the CBA into a highly competitive domestic league also provides the key to China cruising through tournaments even when they’re roster is not fully available, or rising to the occasion when all of their stars stand at the ready. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/15/59/abudushalamu-abudurexiti-china-fiba_1wues4lxl0ug112q9nbnday1y7.jpg?t=-1201147380&w=500&quality=80 The other story linking China to international basketball is Yi Jianlian. His résumé is one for the ages: sixth pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, and many seasons starring for Milwaukee, New Jersey, Washington and Dallas as a valuable role player. Then Yi, who’s now a 31 year old veteran and the cornerstone of his national team, decided to come back to China to play at home. But in his mind it was not a step backwards. Coming back to wear Guangdong Southern Tigers’ jersey, he was able to capture 5 CBA titles as well as 4 MVP trophies, solidifying is status in China.What is the status of basketball in China? Let’s see.
Dear Editor,We, the reading public, are being told a lot as to why there have been non-interference in the affairs of the Municipality, especially in Georgetown, and more precisely when it comes to the parking meter issues. Among the words used by His Excellency, our President doesn’t want to micromanage, the City Hall is an autonomous body, and that they should be allowed to function unimpeded.First of all, it might be good for the analysis to examine the word micromanage so as to determine what really is micromanaging, I am definitely not an expert of the definition of words, but from my layman point of view, no one in this dear land of ours could honestly accuse His Excellency of ever micromanaging, matter of fact, if one should ask me, he takes too long before he gets involved in matters that eventually affects the masses in a negative way and by then, it might be too late to salvage the ship so to speak, he gives his team members time to sort things out, but more often than not he has to come and clean up the mess.Micromanaging, to my mind and from the Merriam Webster Dictionary, is to “manage especially with excessive control or attention to details” and “to direct or conduct the activities of a group or an enterprise by micromanaging them” our President does not fit in here in the least, instead he has allowed things to run its course by insisting that autonomous bodies must be allowed to do their work without interference.Since His Excellency is not any of the above, then what would stop him from treating with a sense of urgency matters of bread and butter, not just for the affluent, but also for the bottom of the line citizen who might find themselves ignored, neglected or even rejected by autonomous bodies such as the Municipality, and of course we do have the case in question “parking meters”, the city Administrators went ahead hastily and unilaterally signed a contract without any survey, consultations or trying to ventilate what would be the reaction of the citizens and the business community in this now very volatile matter, why take so long before intervening in such a crucial matter that is affecting lives of his subjects?I know patience is virtue and the His Excellency is saturated with patience, but being overly patient can be a form of procrastination, during which things can deteriorate to a point of no return.Sincerely,Ivan John
Theft suspect arrested after store clerk’s leg brokenA clerk who was trying to stop a theft suspect fleeing an Alex City, Alabama, store early Wednesday morning suffered a broken leg when the suspect ran over them, according to the Alex City Police Department. Corp. Michael Howell, a detective with Alex City PD, said officers responded to the store on Hillabee Street around 6:30 a.m. in reference to a person being run over by a vehicle.On the scene, officers found the clerk, who was suffering non-life-threatening injuries. The victim was take to nearby Russell Medical Center before being transferred to a Montgomery hospital. Detectives determined that a man asked the clerk for cigarettes, then bolted from the store without paying. The clerk ran after him and as the suspect attempted to drive off, the clerk tried to grab him through the car’s window. The suspect subsequently ran over the clerk’s leg.The suspect didn’t get very far, however. Detectives identified him as 23-year-old Dameyune Kortez Horton, of Huntsville, and arrested him a short time later at a nearby apartment complex. Kortez, who is charged with first-degree robbery and attempting to elude, was transported from Alex City Police custody to the Tallapoosa County Jail. [Source: WSFA12 News]- Sponsor – Crafty thieves arrested for stealing hundreds of dollars of craft itemsTwo Michigan women were arrested in Grand Traverse County after hundreds of dollars worth of stolen crafting goods were found in their vehicle. On Monday around 2 p.m., Michigan State Police Troopers pulled over a vehicle on Rennie School Road for a registration violation. The troopers noticed a large amount of new craft merchandise in the backseat without any shopping bags and investigated the scene and found the items had been stolen from stores in the area.Managers at the stores had not reported the thefts yet but more than $600 more of merchandise was returned. A 36-year-old Kalkaska woman was arrested for first degree retail fraud and the driver, a 34-year-old Kalkaska woman was arrested for driving on a suspended license. Both women also had outstanding warrants for their arrest, troopers said. They were both taken to the Grand Traverse County Jail and posted bond, their arraignments are scheduled for next week. [Source: UpNorthLive]Can Rutgers’ lost season be traced to the credit card fraud scheme?In retrospect, Rutgers coach Chris Ash conceded he might’ve downplayed the impact that the loss of eight players involved in an alleged credit-card fraud scheme would have on his team this fall. “Anytime you lose that number of guys,” Ash said Monday, “it hurts.”It was a far cry from what Ash said in July, when he expressed confidence that his Scarlet Knights would be just fine without the eight players heading into training camp. “It’s not adversity; it’s not a speed bump,” Ash told NJ Advance Media at the time. “It’s an event that happened a long time ago that we’re going to deal with and get through.”Ash could’ve used the situation as a way to temper expectations heading into his third season. After all, his team was about to enter training camp without eight players who were expected to contribute to both the back-7 of the defense and to a variety of special teams units. “I look at it as ‘so what?’ ” Ash said. “It’s an opportunity for our football team to grow and get stronger. And that’s exactly what we have done.”Flash forward to today. The Scarlet Knights sit at 1-6 overall, 0-4 in Big Ten play, heading into a Homecoming affair this Saturday against Northwestern. The hope that Rutgers would reach a bowl game — one of Ash’s stated goals in July — has been squashed by the likelihood of more embarrassing losses heading into a brutal stretch of Big Ten powers over the final six weeks. “I really feel bad for our players,” Ash said Monday. “These guys have worked really hard, and I feel like they deserve a win … and we are going to keep working hard to get that done.”In recent weeks, Ash has talked openly about the loss of 16 players who he said would’ve likely had an impact this fall. But he stopped short of using the absence of the eight players — two were dismissed, two others left the program, and four are currently serving suspensions while their legal cases get resolve — as an excuse. As his team prepares for its next Big Ten match-up, Ash conceded the absence of the eight players had an effect. “You look back on it,” he said, “I knew there was a chance it would hurt us if things (didn’t) go perfect. Things haven’t gone perfect so, yes, it’s hurt us.” [Source: NJ.com]Man stole from same retailer four timesAn Illinois man accused of stealing from a Decatur Walmart four times this year is behind bars. Sworn statements from police say 49-year-old Tony Tyus stole from the same store, located at 4625 E. Maryland St., between July and October. Officers arrested him two days after what they say was the fourth theft attempt. Police say he went into the store on the morning of July 22 with a cart and took several things, include a Fisher Price Power Wheels “Dune Extreme” toy. That item alone carried a $199 cost. They say he left the store without paying for any of the stolen things.The statement says a Walmart worker caught Tyus in the parking lot after a theft on Oct. 23. It says he put more than one vacuum, an air fryer, soda, coffee and six bottles of alcoholic drinks – worth over $493 in total – in the cart and left the store. After 3 a.m. on Sept. 4, police say Tyus and 31-year-old Marcus James went into the store one after the other and walked out with things they didn’t pay for. Officers say one of them took a dehumidifier and air mattress, while the other left with 21 packages of meat in a cart. They’re accused of leaving the store in the same black SUV.In the last theft attempt sworn statements mention, police say Tyus went into the store just after 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 13 and headed for the fresh meat cooler and frozen food aisle. Officers say they saw on security video that his clothing seemed bulkier after he left the store. Walmart leaders then discovered $226.64 of meat missing. In total, the items listed in statements as stolen had a value of over $1,500. Tyus is facing burglary and retail theft charges. He is behind bars in the Macon County Jail. Investigators says they’re still looking for James on Tuesday. Tyus has three past convictions on his record, including two for theft and one for burglary. [Source: WAND17 News]Shoplifting suspect arrested and banned from local storesA prolific shoplifter in Wisconsin has been banned for life from West Towne Mall, East Town Mall and all Walmart, Walgreen’s and Hy-Vee stores. Madison police said the suspect’s latest arrest happened on Oct. 13 at a Walmart on 4198 Nakoosa Trail. He was caught stealing ten bottles of liquor worth $320.Madison police said officers had probable cause to arrest the suspect for two other recent incidents. Police said the victim has five open court cases including two felonies and three misdemeanors… all related to retail thefts. Jermaine Harris, 45 of Madison, was arrested for strong armed robbery, retail theft and felony bail jumping. [Source: WMTV15 News]Google moves into retailing with pop-ups; B8TA storesGoogle showed off its new Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL phones and the new Pixel Slate, along with a passel of other Google and Pixel-branded products, earlier this week. “A Few New Things Made By Google” was big news for tech watchers as Google, and a reminder that Google, once on the service end, is a fully established hardware marketer too. Google also announced that the new stuff will be on display and for sale at seven b8ta stores that are separately owned by the startup retailer, which will serve as demo showcases for its connected-home type products. B8ta locations seem to be retailing’s latest flavor, located in all the places you would imagine — New York, Chicago, Santa Monica, Seattle, San Francisco… and a few other big cities.In addition, B8ta operates 70 stores-within-a-stores at Lowe’s locations. The places serve as a hub for smart products displayed the way consumers might use them in their homes. The hired help are called “B8ta testers.” Google is no stranger to retail, of course. The company will also open pop-up stores in Chicago and New York, as it did last year, essentially acting as showrooms for Pixel (and other brands, too). The Google pop-ups open on October 18, the same day the new products are available, and they are due to close New Year’s Eve. Consumers in some locales will be able to order remotely and have Pixel products delivered, within minutes, via the new Google Enjoy service. So even in that “last mile” of retailing, Amazon and Google seem to be going head to head.In addition, B8ta operates 70 stores-within-a-stores at Lowe’s locations. The places serve as a hub for smart products displayed the way consumers might use them in their homes. The hired help are called “B8ta testers.” Google is no stranger to retail, of course. The company will also open pop-up stores in Chicago and New York, as it did last year, essentially acting as showrooms for Pixel (and other brands, too). The Google pop-ups open on October 18, the same day the new products are available, and they are due to close New Year’s Eve. Consumers in some locales will be able to order remotely and have Pixel products delivered, within minutes, via the new Google Enjoy service. So even in that “last mile” of retailing, Amazon and Google seem to be going head to head. [Source: Media Post] Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Stefano Pioli insists Milan “were at least on a par” with Juventus in the 1-0 defeat, but again paid the price for not taking chances. “We need results now.” This was probably the best Rossoneri performance of the season so far, with a series of Wojciech Szczesny saves on Krzysztof Piatek, Hakan Calhanoglu and Lucas Paqueta. However, Juve substitute Paulo Dybala got the decisive goal with a moment of magic as he dribbled past Alessio Romagnoli to drill home. The 1-0 result means Milan have now lost their last nine Serie A trips to Juve and are only four points off the relegation zone. “We put in the performance, were at least on a par with our opponents, if not more, but if you don’t turn those chances into goals, you are going to pay,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia. “We’ve got to keep working and improving. Our current position is unworthy of Milan and that must keep us worried and concentrated at all times. “Unfortunately, it’s the same thing I said last Sunday after Lazio, which is that we had the opportunities and I don’t think many have 15 shots on goal the way we did at the Juventus Stadium, but we need to convert more of them. “We also conceded a goal when we should’ve been tighter in our defending and marking. I can only underline that the performance is good, but we need the results too. We have to improve our position in the table, it’s time to take some punches and work hard. “I see improvements every day, I saw them in recent matches, as we were by no means inferior to Lazio or Juventus. We must understand that at this level, every single ball can be decisive. “We haven’t had as many points as we expected, nor as many as we probably deserved lately, but the performances have been there.” Pioli tested out the three-man defence in training this week, so can that be a solution for the near future? “I don’t think so.”
From hip-swinging Parveen Babi to the sexy Dimple Kapadia, gorgeous gals who caught our eye, and fancy. Shirtless Salman Khan, hirsute Kabir Bedi, flashy Feroz Khan. Men who turned our hearts to mush. PROTIMA BEDIFebruary 15, 1977Protima Bedi has an incredible knack of being in the news for no reason,From hip-swinging Parveen Babi to the sexy Dimple Kapadia, gorgeous gals who caught our eye, and fancy. Shirtless Salman Khan, hirsute Kabir Bedi, flashy Feroz Khan. Men who turned our hearts to mush. PROTIMA BEDIFebruary 15, 1977Protima Bedi has an incredible knack of being in the news for no reason and “over-exposure” appears to be her chief aim in life. When she shed her clothing and streaked across Juhu beach, onlookers merely smiled. The part-time model and ex-wife of Kabir Bedi, now engaged to I.S. Johar, has found a new passion, Odissi.SHARON PRABHAKARNovember 15, 1977″I’ve come to Delhi basically to create a stir,” purred Sharon Prabhakar, 25, one of Bombay’s more talented folk singers. With a style reminiscent of Joan Baez and a powerful voice, Prabhakar, like other Western pop singers in India, is still struggling to escape from the claustrophobic limbo of frustration and non-recognition that has always been their lot.ZEENAT AMANMarch 15, 1980Anything one Khan can do, the other can do better. Zeenat Aman, 29, busty star of several recent flops, has got over her divorce from Sanjay Khan, 39, jinxed star of other flops, with remarkable resilience. The new Khan in her life is Pakistani all-rounder Imran. The pair met during the Bombay Test at one of the many film parties thrown for the cricketers and it was love at first grope. Whether the couple has any future is unclear. Aman is too much in love with her career to give it up while Imran insists on staying in Pakistan where he has to support a mother and several sisters. And as for marriage, the lady is said to be unwilling to rush into anything after the last fiasco. Meanwhile, the lovers keep in touch over the phone and Aman has once again begun eating heavily, something she always does when she’s in love.advertisementREKHAJuly 15, 1986Recovering from heartbreak, yoga and seclusion, Rekha is all set and raring to play a glamourised, gun-toting Grande Dame of the Ravines- something of a Putlibai-Phoolan Devi combine which will have you on the edge of your seat. The film, directed by Mohan Sehgal and titled in the manner of all good dacoit films-Kasam Suhaag Ki-will have her hurling oaths like a trooper, spilling gore and swearing vengeance.MADHURI DIXITMarch 31, 1995When a film is called Mrityudand, the director is Prakash Jha and the thespians are Shabana Azmi and Om Puri, it’s decidedly uncool to call it an art film with a difference. But whoa, hold the snickers, this is truly like Maggi Ketchup. It is different. Otherwise what would Madhuri Dixit be doing in it? Maybe Bollywood’s Lady Boss is bored of running around trees. If so, playing an educated girl who marries into a feudal home, eventually inciting a revolt against the men, is guaranteed to be exciting. After all, she will be going take-to-take with the legendary Shabana. Says Madhuri: “Seeing these people perform teaches you a lot.”SRIDEVIMay 15, 1984Sridevi’s star is certainly in rapid ascendancy. Overnight the leggy teenager has turned into Bombay’s biggest sex symbol, the reigning queen of commercial cinema who made it right to the top-over the likes of Rekha and Shabana Azmi-by daring a little and baring a little. Said prominent film producer Romu Sippy, largely responsible for inducting her into the Bombay mainstream: “She is the leading film star today. The price people are paying her has never been paid to an actor before. She has the kind of appeal that will satisfy everybody.” In fact the one really genuine hit of 1984, say producers, is Tohfa. And little wonder-with sexy Sridevi balancing on a prostrate Jeetendra, the Tohfa hoardings were the most titillating ever seen.MAMATA KULKARNIMarch 15, 1993MGR isn’t the only one with the distinction of having a temple built in his memory. Perky actor Mamata Kulkarni, 19, has joined the celluloid pantheon. The people of Nellor have carried their infatuation for her a step beyond cinema halls by building a temple to her name. And the young lady has just three Telugu releases behind her. Her latest film Prem Shikram has broken all box-office records and created a brand new idol for all the hero-worshipping movie-goers of Andhra Pradesh.DIMPLE KAPADIADecember 31, 1982At sweet 16, she bombed the audiences with her innocent looks, bikini-clad body and big brown eyes. It’s been seven years since Dimple Kapadia left her one-film (Bobby) success behind, married Rajesh Khanna, and parted company with him. A tender 23, she has been signed up by Ramesh Sippy for his forthcoming venture along with Rishi Kapoor.MANDAKINIFebruary 28, 1987After being draped in thin saris and pushed under several waterfalls, Mandakini has at last got the chance to show the real stuff she is made of. The sullenly silent siren-who clamped a ban on the press for the constant dressing down it gave her is now making waves of another kind. She has sung her heart out in a freshly released album called Dancing City composed by-who else?-Bappi Lahiri, the music director who has taken it as his special mission in life to squeeze music out of the stars. “I belong to the world of music,” said Lahiri and going by the reports, it seems Mandakini does too. It should give Raj Kapoor’s hazeleyed heroine the chance to show she can perform-even when she’s not under a waterfall.advertisementSHARMILA TAGOREJune 30, 1979As if being a part-time begum between shooting schedules wasn’t enough, Sharmila Tagore has decided on a change of style. The Tigress of Bengal’s new vocation is being a newshound or is it “newshen” in the new sexist turn of phrase? Keeping step with cricket-star husband, the Nawab of Pataudi who edits a sports magazine, Tagore has joined forces with Nina Arora, an ex-writer of Film World, to let off some editorial steam.PARVEEN BABIOctober 15, 1976″Sweetheart, I didn’t try for the Time cover, these things just happen to me,” purred Parveen Babi. Her adventures with Danny and Kabir Bedi have netted her publicity but little screen success. At the moment, she is undergoing some kind of metamorphosis. “Tradition is truth,” she pronounced, “To rebel is immature. We have such a good deal in India while things are going wrong all over the West.”PERSIS KHAMBATTANovember 30, 1985Whatever happened to the bavi next door who took the first flight to LA and landed a Star Trek and a strange shave? Well, Persis Khambatta is back with a new haircut and assignment. “I was missing home,” says the aspiring Hindi actor who dashed into the thick of Shingora, a video film starring Marc Zuber. “This time I am definitely going to find a place in Hindi films,” gushes Khambatta. Is she here on a man hunt? “I know I am going to get a wonderful man-I have always got what I wanted,” she answers.KIMI KATKARMarch 31, 1990It was love on both sides of the camera for two shortlyto-be-married celebrities: Kimi Katkar and photographer Shantanu Sheorey. Unlike the rest, Kimi intends to quit her film career, but says she, “I’ll miss this life.” Already sounds like come-back noises.KALPANA IYEROctober 31, 1977Hitting the big time in Bombay’s fashion whirl is Kalpana Iyer. “I’m terribly talented,” declared the 20-year-old model, who is a curious blend of amazing frankness and excessive self-indulgence. Iyer, whose many virtues certainly do not include modesty, could well be following in the footsteps of Mohammad Ali as far as the gift of the gab goes. “I’ve made it really big in only a year,” she said. Possible rivals she waves aside with a shrug of her shapely shoulders. She is now undecided whether to represent India in the Miss World contest or “to go dancing all over the Fiji Islands”. “People say I always steal the show.” Don’t get caught, baby.advertisementMOON MOON SENOctober 15, 1981At a quick glance, she could well be mistaken for her famous younger days. But, 26-year-old Moon Moon Sen does not just resemble her mother but is following her footsteps. A former model, Moon Moon is embarking on her maiden celluloid venture in Bhaskar Chowdhury’s film Robi Shome. Said the petite Moon Moon, married to the grandson of Maharani of Cooch Behar: “Mummy never wanted me to join films; even I wasn’t too keen. I am just helping out Bhaskar, whose heroine let him down.” Asked whether she would take on any more movies, Moon Moon spouted the predictable: “It’s too early to say anything. I have two babies to look after.”KABIR BEDIFebruary 29, 1988Kabir Bedi’s coming home-again. With success on the Indian screen eluding him, the star of Sandokan had settled for Hollywood about a decade ago. There, he starred in some films and teleserials- like Magnum P.I. and Murder She Wrote. Now he’s acting in a Hindi film, Khoon Bhari Maang, in which he woos his wife-played by Rekha-in public, but beats her in private. “I wanted someone who looked good and was willing to play the negative role of a brutal husband,” said director Rakesh Roshan. As Bedi said, “Not all roles you do can be chocolate sweet.”IMRAN KHANOctober 31, 1983Imran Khan, the dashing Pakistani cricketer, proved more than ever that he reigns supreme. Cried an ardent fan before the super star of the pitch decided against coming for the Indo-Pak Test series: “Cricket without Imran is a big bore.” Last fortnight Bombay’s cricket fans were squealing with delight when Khan descended on the city for the Abid Ali Benefit Match. Despite the presence of film stars, it was clearly “Imran, Imran” all the way.RAJESH KHANNAOctober 31, 1984Over the last decade, income tax raiders have refused to let the waning star alone. They thunder into Rajesh Khanna’s house, overturn his mattress, peep into the attic and claim to recover lakhs of rupees. Except, says the harassed hero, only a few thousand of those rupees are his. “Every time the income tax authorities recruit a new crop of trainees, they send them to my house for training,” he growled.SHASHI KAPOORMay 31, 1986 He was never known for his acting ability. If anything, he was known for his crooked teeth, carefree gait and unruly mop of hair. But eventually the Kapoor genes come up trumps. Last fortnight, Shashi Kapoor walked away with the best actor’s national award for his performance in New Delhi Times-the first major acting award the star has won in his protracted career. Not surprisingly, the actor was the most taken aback.SALMAN KHANMarch 23, 1998You thought Bollywood heroines were under-dressed? Take a look at the guys. Well, Salman Khan in particular-the fellow can’t keep his shirt on. At the Filmfare Awards this January, he tossed off that garment on stage. In the yetto-be- released Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, he prances through a five-minute dance sequence in all his bare-chested glory. And if that isn’t enough toplessness for a season, in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, he’s done it again. Point taken, dude. Nice muscles! So why is he getting so upset about the attention? “You want to write that I take off my shirt at the drop of a hat,” he fumes, dropping his cool, “I don’t want to talk to you.” A shy exhibitionist. That’s a first.DHARMENDRAJuly 15, 1980All the world loves a lover-even if he is already married-till he gets married again. When the prolific Romeo of Hindi films, Dharmendra, 45, and his Dream Girl, Hema Malini, 30, recently decided to give their seven-year-old off-screen romance a happy finish, all they got were brickbats, recriminations and derisive laughter. “It is an excess against women,” ranted feminists in Parliament, taking up cudgels on behalf of Dharmendra’s first wife, Prakash, and demanding that action be taken against the bigamist for breaking the Hindu Code Act. According to the law, however, only the injured party can take the case to court.FEROZ KHANNovember 15, 1991Most of them think that slips are something you pick up in the lingerie department at Harrods and that maiden overs are something to do with lost virginity. But Sharjah wouldn’t be Sharjah without them. For the motley mixture of ageing film stars, nubile nymphets,and politicians, Sharjah is an important stopover. There was Feroz Khan with Sabrina, almost half his age, whom he describes as “more than a wife. She is my sweetheart”.KAMAL HASSANMay 31, 1988The don’s being wooed by all the warring factions. Filmstar Kamal Hassan’s impassioned portrayal of an underworld chief in Nayakan won him the national award for best actor. Felicitating him-and other awardees-at a function in Madras on May 9, were Tamil Nadu’s top politicians: the DMK’s Karunanidhi, AIADMK’s Janaki MGR, Congress(I)’s Kumari Anandan and Sivaji Ganesan. “I’m using cinema-glitter for social purposes,” says Hassan.RISHI KAPOORJanuary 15, 1977Rishi Kapoor, the Indian screen’s latest Majnu, though hardly vocal, was approachable despite rumours that he was refusing any interviews. “A certain magazine,” said Rishi very righteously, “printed a very dirty article on my father’s film, captioning it Satyam Shivam Boredom.” “And this talk about my having made it because I’m Raj Kapoor’s son. Why haven’t Premnath’s son and Kishore Kumar’s sons made it?” he asked.SANJAY DUTTSeptember 30, 1987It was an unexpected setback-and an unexpected bonus. Sanjay Dutt, hospitalised for a sudden “lung collapse” in New York last month, had a lady-in-waiting ready to nurse him to health-and happiness, forever after. After courting Richa Sharma for a year and a half, he finally decided to tie the knot.JACKIE SHROFFApril 15, 1987No wonder it’s called the seven-year itch. The seven-year romance between film star Jackie Shroff and model-cum-one-film-actor Ayesha Dutt is finally headed for matrimony. Shroff has admitted that the wedding would take place on June 5, Ayesha’s birthday-though that was not the only reason. Says Jackie, “My father has decided on the date and he is an astrologer.” It’s all in the stars, it seems.RAVI SHASTRIJanuary 31, 1985In the Bombay-Baroda Ranji Trophy match, the 22-yearold all-rounder Ravi Shastri gave such a smashing performance that the world forgot, for a while, to tut-tut over the recent Sunil Gavaskar-Kapil Dev ego clashes. One after another came Shastri’s sixes, six sixes in one over, making the kind of history cricket fans dream of.AMITABH BACHCHANJanuary 31, 1983Superstar Amitabh Bachchan certainly appeared to be the man of the moment. Raucous shouts of “Amitabh Bachchan zindabad” rent the air, as Bachchan, dressed in a railway porter’s uniform, which he had worn at the time of the accident last July, stepped onto the sets of Coolie. Every movement of the superstar was recorded for posterity, and perhaps if he enters politics, for the voting public.RAJIV GANDHIMay 31, 1987What extends Rajiv Gandhi’s range and keeps him roving? His sparklingly new silver grey Range Rover Vogue-gifted by the King of Jordan, in the exhaust wake of the Mercedes 500 SEL he gave the year before. But the new vogue took the prime minister on a bumpy ride, as questions are being asked about his Brezhnev-like fad.NASEERUDDIN SHAHSeptember 15, 1979Naseeruddin Shah has as many films and plays on hand as he has fingers. He is impressing Bombay’s theatre-goers with his performance in desi versions of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Edward Albee’s Zoo Story. For “personal satisfaction”, he prefers the stage to movies.