Final Build Of Meridian Jailbreak Is Now Available To Download On All 64-Bit Devices Running iOS 10

Posted Posted by Admin in News     Comments Comments Off on Final Build Of Meridian Jailbreak Is Now Available To Download On All 64-Bit Devices Running iOS 10
Aug
12

If you happen to own a 64-bit device running iOS 10, you would be pleased to know that a development team with PsychoTea, Siguaza, and others have released a new jailbreak tool. The Meridian Jailbreak tool was resting in the beta phase for quite a while and it is now being offered for device liberation purposes. As mentioned earlier, the Meridian tool will allow you to jailbreak your 64-bit devices running iOS 10.0 – 10.3.3. So let’s dive in to see some more details on the matter.

Meridian Jailbreak Tool Released For All 64-bit Devices Running iOS 10

The Meridian Jailbreak tool will provide further extensions to what iOS 10 users have been previously using to jailbreak their devices. Yes, we’re referring to Luca Todesco’s Yalu102 jailbreak that also provided users with Cydia access. However, one major drawback of the tool was that it was only limited to certain firmware and devices. The new Meridian Jailbreak tool is looking to change that.

iphone-8-47Related Here’s How iOS 12 Beta 5 Stacks Up Against iOS 11.4.1 In A Speed Test Comparison

Yalu102 jailbreak tool featured no support for the iPhone 7 and the support ended at iOS 10.2. Meridian jailbreak tool, on the other hand, adds support for the iPhone 7 and extends as far as iOS 10.3.3. Meridian is pretty similar to what we are used to with other jailbreaks.

Interested users would download the Meridian IPA file and use Cydia Impactor to sideload it onto their devices. From this point onwards, the process simply involves running the jailbreak process through the added “go” button in the middle of the tool’s interface. Compared to other jailbreaks on the market, Meridian is sem-untethered in nature. So if you turn off or restart the device, you will have to re-run the Meridian app in order to jailbreak again.

If you’re running iOS 10.0 – 10.3.3 and are not willing to update to the latest iOS firmware from Apple, you can go ahead and download the Meridian Jailbreak tool from meridian.sparkes.zone.

There will be more to the story, so be sure to stay tuned in for more details on the matter. This is all for now, folks. What are your thoughts on the new Meridian Jailbreak tool for 64-bit devices running iOS 10? Let us know in the comments.

Amy Jones guides Loughborough Lightning into finals day

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Aug
12

Loughborough Lightning 137 for 1 (Jones 66*) beat Lancashire Thunder 136 for 7 (Satterthwaite 47) by nine wickets
Scorecard

Loughborough Lightning booked their place at finals day in the third Women’s Kia Super League with a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Lancashire Thunder, knocking off a target of 137 with 33 balls to spare.

England’s Amy Jones led with the way with a sparkling unbeaten 66 off 39 deliveries, backed up by an unbeaten 40 from Australian opener Rachael Haynes in an unbroken partnership of 110 in 11 overs.

Wicketkeeper Jones hit eight fours and three sixes to post comfortably her best score in three seasons with Lightning but maintaining a run of improved performances with the bat, which included two 50-overs half-centuries for England in their series against New Zealand earlier this summer.

The win means that Lightning complete their fixtures at the Haslegrave Ground with a 100 percent record before decamping to Edgbaston for their final ‘home’ match, the televised showdown with Western Storm that may well decide who finishes top of the table.

Thunder, who had chosen to bat first after winning the toss, had looked on for a more substantial total after Georgie Boyce and Amy Satterthwaite had built on a productive Powerplay with a stand of 47 for the second wicket.

Boyce, who had been part of the Lightning squad in 2016 and 2017 without making an appearance in the KSL, looked at home on the Haslegrave Ground pitch. Replacing Evelyn Jones in the Thunder line-up and pushed up the order to open with the Australian Nicole Bolton, Nottingham-born Boyce calmed any nerves with a couple of early boundaries and had the confidence to take the initiative after Bolton had been leg before to left-arm spinner Linsey Smith for 19 in the sixth over, at the end of which Thunder were 40 for 1.

Boyce launched a straight six off Lightning skipper Georgia Elwiss’s medium pace. Her luck ran out when Jenny Gunn, who had dropped her in the previous over, held a catch at deep midwicket in the 12th over but her 38 off 41 balls was comfortably her best KSL score and her partnership with Satterthwaite had added 47 in 6.1 overs.

Having been 81 for 1, Thunder looked to have a platform for a more challenging total but although the tall left-hander Satterthwaite maintained her consistent form with the bat, no one could provide the supporting role the innings needed as Lightning’s spinners built pressure through the middle overs.

Harmanpreet Kaur gave an easy return catch to Elwiss and Natalie Brown was lured down the track by Kirstie Gordon to give Amy Jones a straightforward stumping.

Satterthwaite had success against most of the bowlers but Thunder’s attempts to push up the scoring rate became desperate in the end and four wickets fell in the final three overs of the innings, including Satterthwaite, caught off a thick edge by Smith at cover off seamer Sophie Devine, whose two wickets took her to 13 for the series as KSL 2018’s leading wicket-taker.

In typical style, Devine was quick to find the boundary at the top of the Lightning innings before a rare mix-up with partner Haynes resulted in a run-out in the fourth over. Nonetheless, with Jones picking up the temp immediately to pull Emma Lamb for six, Lightning were 46 for 1 after six overs.

Hazell and Brown managed to slow the scoring pace but a couple of costly overs by Alex Hartley and Kate Cross tipped the balance back with Lightning comfortably on track at 89 for 1 after 10 overs.

Jones reached her fifty off just 30 balls with a couple of boundaries off Hazell and Lancashire’s afternoon was summed up when Hartley managed to bowl Haynes only for the left-hander to be recalled when the umpires pointed out that there were four fielders inside the circle.

Jones levelled the scores with her third six off Sophie Ecclestone, hit high over extra cover, before pushing another single to complete the win.

Whats Popular Today Sat 11 Aug

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Aug
11

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Erdogan says U.S. ‘wrong’ to threaten Turkey after Trump doubles tariffs

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Aug
11

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said it was wrong of the United States to try to bring Turkey into line with threats, a day after President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish metal imports as the row between the two NATO allies deepened.

The two governments have been at odds over a wide range of topics – from diverging interests in Syria, to Turkey’s ambition to buy Russian defense systems, and the case of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges.

“You can never bring this nation in line with the language of threats,” Erdogan told a crowd of supporters in the Turkish town of Unye on the Black Sea coast. “I am once again calling on those in America: It is a pity that you choose a pastor over your strategic partner in NATO,” he said.

After almost 20 months in a Turkish jail, Brunson was moved to house arrest in July by a court. Since then Trump and his vice president Mike Pence have repeatedly called for his release while Ankara said the decision was up to the courts.

Washington in response sanctioned two Turkish ministers and Trump on Friday announced it was doubling the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey, saying relations with Ankara were “not good at this time”.

The ailing Turkish lira, which had already lost one third of its value this year largely over worries about Erdogan’s wider control of the economy, crashed further to a fresh record low, at one point losing 18 percent, its biggest fall since 2001.

A meeting on Friday unveiling a new economic approach by Turkey’s finance minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law, did little to offer support for the free-falling lira as investors sought concrete steps such as an interest rate hike to restore confidence.

Erdogan on Saturday repeated a call to Turks to help support the lira to win what he described was a “war of independence”.

“If there are dollars under your pillow, take these out. If there are euros, take these out .. Immediately give these to the banks and convert to Turkish lira and by doing this, we fight this war of independence and the future. Because this is the language they understand,” he said.

VOLATILE REGION

An important emerging market, Turkey borders Iran, Iraq and Syria and has been mostly pro-Western for decades. Financial upheaval risks further destabilizing an already volatile region.

Erdogan has cast the recent slide in the lira as a war and without naming countries said supporters of a failed military coup two years ago, which Ankara says was organized by a U.S.-based Muslim cleric, were attacking Turkey in new ways since his re-election two months ago.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, he warned the U.S. that Ankara had other alternatives as allies.

“Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives. Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies,” Erdogan said.

Turkey, home to the Incirlik air base which is used by U.S. forces in the Middle East, has been a NATO member since the 1950s. It is host to a critical part of the Western alliance’s missile defense system again Iran.

In a separate opinion piece in the pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah, Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey’s efforts to solve the crisis with diplomatic methods have been dismissed by the Trump administration, warning that Washington might completely lose Ankara as an ally.

“The U.S. runs the risk of losing Turkey as a whole. The entire Turkish public is against U.S. policies that disregard Turkey’s legitimate security demands. Threats, sanctions and bullying against Turkey will not work,” he said.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Andrew Bolton

Kapil, Salman, Arjun have pending challans

Posted Posted by Admin in News     Comments Comments Off on Kapil, Salman, Arjun have pending challans
Aug
11

There is no denial of the fact that being a celebrity you get certain perks. And a recent report throws light on the extent of those advantages.

According to a report, vehicles belonging to Bollywood celebrities like Salman Khan, Arjun Kapoor and Kapil Sharma had been issues challans multiple times for flouting traffic rules. However, the fines still remain unpaid.

Salman Khan’s vehicle, registered under the name of his brother Arbaaz Khan’s film production company, has been reportedly fined Rs 4000 for four traffic violations this year. His family reportedly said that they did not get any intimation from the police in this regard or the fines would have been immediately paid.

As far as Kapil is concerned, he has a challan of Rs 2000 pending against him. The comedian is currently out of the city.

Arjun Kapoor, who also features in the list, has a fine of Rs 2000 pending against him. The vehicle was reportedly challaned for three cases of speeding.

Other than the celebs, many politicians and public functionaries were on that list too.

Final Build Of Meridian Jailbreak Is Now Available To Download On All 64-Bit Devices Running iOS 10

Posted Posted by Admin in News     Comments Comments Off on Final Build Of Meridian Jailbreak Is Now Available To Download On All 64-Bit Devices Running iOS 10
Aug
11

If you happen to own a 64-bit device running iOS 10, you would be pleased to know that a development team with PsychoTea, Siguaza, and others have released a new jailbreak tool. The Meridian Jailbreak tool was resting in the beta phase for quite a while and it is now being offered for device liberation purposes. As mentioned earlier, the Meridian tool will allow you to jailbreak your 64-bit devices running iOS 10.0 – 10.3.3. So let’s dive in to see some more details on the matter.

Meridian Jailbreak Tool Released For All 64-bit Devices Running iOS 10

The Meridian Jailbreak tool will provide further extensions to what iOS 10 users have been previously using to jailbreak their devices. Yes, we’re referring to Luca Todesco’s Yalu102 jailbreak that also provided users with Cydia access. However, one major drawback of the tool was that it was only limited to certain firmware and devices. The new Meridian Jailbreak tool is looking to change that.

iphone-8-47Related Here’s How iOS 12 Beta 5 Stacks Up Against iOS 11.4.1 In A Speed Test Comparison

Yalu102 jailbreak tool featured no support for the iPhone 7 and the support ended at iOS 10.2. Meridian jailbreak tool, on the other hand, adds support for the iPhone 7 and extends as far as iOS 10.3.3. Meridian is pretty similar to what we are used to with other jailbreaks.

Interested users would download the Meridian IPA file and use Cydia Impactor to sideload it onto their devices. From this point onwards, the process simply involves running the jailbreak process through the added “go” button in the middle of the tool’s interface. Compared to other jailbreaks on the market, Meridian is sem-untethered in nature. So if you turn off or restart the device, you will have to re-run the Meridian app in order to jailbreak again.

If you’re running iOS 10.0 – 10.3.3 and are not willing to update to the latest iOS firmware from Apple, you can go ahead and download the Meridian Jailbreak tool from meridian.sparkes.zone.

There will be more to the story, so be sure to stay tuned in for more details on the matter. This is all for now, folks. What are your thoughts on the new Meridian Jailbreak tool for 64-bit devices running iOS 10? Let us know in the comments.

Ryan Ali accepts footage shows bottle used in Ben Stokes fight

Posted Posted by Admin in News     Comments Comments Off on Ryan Ali accepts footage shows bottle used in Ben Stokes fight
Aug
11

The co-defendant in the Ben Stokes trial has accepted video footage shows he struck a man with a bottle before he was punched by Stokes.

Ryan Ali, who like Stokes is on trial for affray at Bristol Crown Court, accepted under cross-examination from Gordon Cole QC, acting on behalf of Stokes, that he could be seen “going towards” England cricketer Alex Hales with a bottle in the footage.

Ali, who suffered a fractured left eye socket in the incident, also accepted the footage showed he struck another man, Kai Barry, with the bottle. Ali insisted, however, that he did so only to defend himself.

“Do you remember, with a bottle in your hand, going towards Hales?” Cole asked.

“I don’t recall that,” Ali replied.

“But you agree the footage shows that?” Cole continued.

“Yes,” replied Ali.

“And do you accept the footage shows you striking Mr Barry with the bottle?”

“I do,” Ali said.

Ali was also pressed on his claim that he attempted to place Stokes in a headlock after Ali’s friend, Ryan Hale, was apparently unconscious on the pavement. CCTV footage shown to the jury, Cole suggested, demonstrated that Ali could only have placed Stokes in a headlock after Hale had regained his feet, picked up a length of metal from a broken road sign and returned to the scene of the action.

“Had you been struck by the time Mr Hale returns?” asked Cole.

“Not on the footage,” replied Ali.

Ali also accepted, under Cole’s cross-examination, that he could only have taken hold of Stokes when the England cricketer had turned away from him and not when he was coming towards him as previously suggested.

“When you got hold of him from behind, did you put your arm around his neck and grab his left arm and pull it in against you?” Cole asked.

“Yes,” replied Ali.

“So he could not have been coming towards you, could he?” Cole continued.

“No,” said Ali. “Because he had turned away.”

Stokes accepts he threw “multiple punches” and connected with both Hale and Ali, but insists he did so only because he feared for the safety of himself and others and only after a bottle had been used in the fray. His defence team have also shown the jury CCTV footage of Hale running towards the group with the metal bar.

With all sides having now provided their evidence in the case, Monday will see a summing up from the barristers involved. On Monday or Tuesday, then, the jury can be expected to retire to make their decision. The charge of affray carries a maximum prison sentence of three years and an unlimited fine.

Hale, who saw the case against him dismissed on Thursday, watched proceedings on Friday from the public gallery.

The trial continues.

Whats Popular Today Fri 10 Aug

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Aug
10

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Corrected: Overworked, underpaid: Bangladesh bus drivers say accidents not entirely their fault

Posted Posted by Admin in News     Comments Comments Off on Corrected: Overworked, underpaid: Bangladesh bus drivers say accidents not entirely their fault
Aug
10

(Adds dropped letter in Hasina’s name, paragraph 2)

By Serajul Quadir and Ruma Paul

DHAKA (Reuters) – Khurshid Alam says he pulls 17-hour shifts three days a week driving a private bus in Dhaka, where tens of thousands of students held angry protests for over a week demanding an end to rash driving that killed two teenagers late last month.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has moved swiftly to defuse the protests that were threatening to spiral, with an eye on general elections due by the end of the year. On Monday, the cabinet approved raising the maximum jail time for rash driving deaths to five years from three.

Overworked and underpaid drivers like Alam are often blamed for Bangladesh’s high traffic casualty rate – road accidents kill or injure at least five people an hour in the country – and the resentment against them has been aggravated by the deaths of the two students last Friday.

Most bus drivers do not get paid monthly salaries but earn commissions based on the number of passengers picked, leading them to race each other for passengers.

The two students were killed when the driver of a bus speeding to pick up passengers ahead of other buses in a congested part of Dhaka lost control and ploughed into the bus stop, a court heard this week.

The crowded capital of 18 million has been paralysed by angry students since then, although the protests have now tapered off. Police have fired tear gas and used water cannon to disperse protesters, as students, many in their school uniforms, stopped vehicles, demanding to check drivers’ licences and their vehicles’ roadworthiness.

“I start driving at 6 am and continue up to 11 pm,” said a bearded Alam, 45, as he got ready for a trip on his green and ash bus with a cracked windshield, in a city teeming with scuffed up buses and beaten-up, used cars.

Alam said he had reported the cracked windshield to the bus owner, but it was yet to be replaced.

He said he works for three days a week, making up to 1,200 taka ($14) a day. A bus driver on contract with the Delhi Transport Corporation in neighbouring India earns as much as three times that.

“If we get a monthly salary then we can drive without any tension. We always have to keep thinking about our earnings,” Alam said.

As he stepped on the accelerator, a cycle-rickshaw with two passengers suddenly appeared in front of the bus, forcing him to hard-brake.

SAFETY COSTS

“We are working to bring discipline in the streets,” said Khondaker Enayet Ullah, secretary general of the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association.

“It’s true that shortage of drivers often compels us to hire unskilled drivers. But we are asking the transport owners not to appoint anyone without proper licenses from now on.”

About 4,000 people were killed in driving deaths in Bangladesh in 2017 and 2,350 in the first seven months of this year, according to data compiled by the Accident Research Institute at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.

Many protesters have demanded the government tighten transport regulations, including by setting limits on the hours worked by drivers and providing a minimum monthly salary.

But Abul Qasem, who owns the Tusher Transport Company in Dhaka that has 10 buses, said implementing those suggestions would mean higher fares that customers in the price-sensitive country would not readily agree to.

“If the government asks us to fix eight hours duty a day, we will follow it. In that case, fares will increase because then there will be at least two shifts a day,” said Qasem. “That will anger passengers. Will the government then subsidise us?”

The drivers say they also want the government to install more traffic lights and build dedicated lanes for pedestrians, instead of putting all the blame on drivers.

“Everybody has a guardian to take care of their interests but we don’t,” said bus driver Alam.

($1 = 83.75 taka)

Slideshow (4 Images)

Writing by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Ranveer Singh: ‘Gully Boy’ is a classic case of my performance being constructed by my co-actors

Posted Posted by Admin in News     Comments Comments Off on Ranveer Singh: ‘Gully Boy’ is a classic case of my performance being constructed by my co-actors
Aug
10

Refrain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks, name calling or inciting hatred against any community. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by marking them offensive. Let’s work together to keep the conversation civil.

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Final Build Of Meridian Jailbreak Is Now Available To Download On All 64-Bit Devices Running iOS 10

Posted Posted by Admin in News     Comments Comments Off on Final Build Of Meridian Jailbreak Is Now Available To Download On All 64-Bit Devices Running iOS 10
Aug
10

If you happen to own a 64-bit device running iOS 10, you would be pleased to know that a development team with PsychoTea, Siguaza, and others have released a new jailbreak tool. The Meridian Jailbreak tool was resting in the beta phase for quite a while and it is now being offered for device liberation purposes. As mentioned earlier, the Meridian tool will allow you to jailbreak your 64-bit devices running iOS 10.0 – 10.3.3. So let’s dive in to see some more details on the matter.

Meridian Jailbreak Tool Released For All 64-bit Devices Running iOS 10

The Meridian Jailbreak tool will provide further extensions to what iOS 10 users have been previously using to jailbreak their devices. Yes, we’re referring to Luca Todesco’s Yalu102 jailbreak that also provided users with Cydia access. However, one major drawback of the tool was that it was only limited to certain firmware and devices. The new Meridian Jailbreak tool is looking to change that.

iphone-8-47Related Here’s How iOS 12 Beta 5 Stacks Up Against iOS 11.4.1 In A Speed Test Comparison

Yalu102 jailbreak tool featured no support for the iPhone 7 and the support ended at iOS 10.2. Meridian jailbreak tool, on the other hand, adds support for the iPhone 7 and extends as far as iOS 10.3.3. Meridian is pretty similar to what we are used to with other jailbreaks.

Interested users would download the Meridian IPA file and use Cydia Impactor to sideload it onto their devices. From this point onwards, the process simply involves running the jailbreak process through the added “go” button in the middle of the tool’s interface. Compared to other jailbreaks on the market, Meridian is sem-untethered in nature. So if you turn off or restart the device, you will have to re-run the Meridian app in order to jailbreak again.

If you’re running iOS 10.0 – 10.3.3 and are not willing to update to the latest iOS firmware from Apple, you can go ahead and download the Meridian Jailbreak tool from meridian.sparkes.zone.

There will be more to the story, so be sure to stay tuned in for more details on the matter. This is all for now, folks. What are your thoughts on the new Meridian Jailbreak tool for 64-bit devices running iOS 10? Let us know in the comments.

Ed Smith insists door isn’t shut to Dawid Malan after Lord’s axe

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Aug
10

England selectors, Ed Smith and James Taylor © Getty Images

Ed Smith, England’s national selector, has clarified his perceived criticism of Dawid Malan in the wake of the batsman’s axing for the second Test against India at Lord’s.

Malan endured a difficult match in the opening Test of the series at Edgbaston last week, making scores of 8 and 20 in England’s two innings, as well as dropping three catches in the slips, including a crucial reprieve for Virat Kohli, India’s captain, early in his first-innings century.

And Smith, who has made a number of big calls in his brief tenure, including recalls for two white-ball specialists in Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid, had suggested, in preferring the 20-year-old Surrey rookie, Ollie Pope for the Lord’s Test, that Malan’s game might be better suited to overseas conditions.

Speaking at Lord’s during a washed-out first day, however, Smith explained in greater detail why he had dispensed with the services of a player who scored an excellent maiden Test hundred at Perth during the Ashes and seemed to have emerged from a disappointing 4-0 defeat as England’s middle-order discovery.

“[Malan] has had a full calendar year of Test cricket and he knows where he is at,” Smith said. “He showed with that excellent Test hundred at Perth that he can play very well on the international stage.

“Not that many people score hundreds at Perth … not that many Englishmen have looked as comfortable at the WACA as Dawid did.

“Moving forward we talked about how his strengths could come into play, but in no way did I mean that line as an implicit criticism, he has scored over 10,000 first-class runs in England and the guy has shown he can play very well on different surfaces.

“But in an England shirt, one of the things he has done distinctively is play very well in very alien conditions so I wanted to reaffirm to him that one of the things we are looking at is having the right players for the right conditions, which is not horses for courses.

“I bridle at that sense because you wouldn’t play someone who can only play well at one ground. That is not going to happen. We are not interested in going back to picking one player for one Test.”

Despite his promising winter, Malan’s average in England is a paltry 20.23 in eight Tests, with a top score of 65 against West Indies last summer – an innings that was carefully compiled but didn’t display the same fluency that he showed in making three half-centuries in Australia, including his 140 at Perth, as well as a further fifty in New Zealand.

“With Dawid we talked it all through, the decision and his game – we played together [for Middlesex], I have seen him whack it out of the park in training – but it also is about constructive feedback to give them the best chance to come back into contention. And he remains in contention.

“Out of it all, the most important thing is that anyone in the England side should feel very comfortable approaching me and James Taylor. We are a little bit closer in age than has sometimes been the case – it’s not everything – but we are around. I am aware of giving them space but if anyone wants to chat about selection, I will relish those conversations. And I have had those with selections that predate me too, guys who are looking to come back in.”

The wash-out at Lord’s meant that Pope, Malan’s replacement, will have to wait until Friday morning to be confirmed as England’s latest Test cap. MCC will have to refund up to GBP2 million in tickets through its insurance after the first full day lost to weather at the ground since 2001.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo @miller_cricket

Whats Popular Today Thu 9 Aug

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Aug
9

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China’s state firms cementing lucrative role in South China Sea, new research shows

Posted Posted by Admin in News     Comments Comments Off on China’s state firms cementing lucrative role in South China Sea, new research shows
Aug
9

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Beijing’s giant state-owned enterprises are playing an increasing role in China’s build-up in the South China Sea and could seek to cement their dominant position in coming years, according to new research.

The work by academic Xue Gong and published by Singapore’s ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute this week sheds light on a little-examined element of rising tensions across the vital trade route, showing extensive work by Chinese SOEs in developing infrastructure and tourism, as well as oil and gas, some in hotly disputed areas.

Some experts and regional diplmats believe the strong commercial presence could further complicate any future regional solution should Beijing, which research shows has encouraged firms to operate, protect them politically and militarily.

China’s state-owned enterprises operated in a complex and often opaque environment, serving national strategic interests as they sought new opportunities, Gong told Reuters.

“They cannot operate independently but they are ultimately opportunists and when the policy environment is favourable, then they will go for it. And we have seen signs of that behaviour in the South China Sea,” said Gong, who is based at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

“If the Chinese government can maintain an upper hand and leverage while achieving stability, there might well be greater opportunities.”

China’ Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

While the research notes the difficulty in obtaining financial information, it suggests turning China’s seven reefs and cays in the Spratlys archipelago into man-made islands was a multi-billion dollar effort.

It cites state media estimates that building up Fiery Cross island alone, now home to a 3km runway and military facilities including missile and radar installations, cost around $11 billion.

The on-going build up of the seven islands deep in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia has alarmed the United States and other regional powers.

China’s so-called nine-dash line claim covers much of the South China Sea, overlapping claims of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

DIGGING IN

Gong’s research shows how China Communications Construction Corporation (CCCC) and its subsidiaries seized on policies advocated by President Xi Jinping in 2012 to expand its maritime capabilities via the South China Sea, in part by developing some of the world’s largest dredgers.

CCCC planned to list its dredging operation in 2015, but its application later lapsed, according to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

CCCC has formed new units centred on the Paracels, which China disputes with Vietnam, that are eyeing expansion in tourism, logistics, fishing as well as on-going construction business, according to the paper.

It has earmarked $15 billion for investment across various sectors – a plan that “stems from the fact that it has quietly benefited from land reclamation in the South China Sea through implementing national tasks”, the research states.

CCCC also collaborated with other state firms, including China Travel Service Group (CTSG), to develop a nascent cruise ship and tourism industry in the Paracels after state leaders in 2012 overcame earlier reluctance to back such moves.

CCCC, which has units listed in Hong Kong and Shanghai, did not respond to requests for comment. China National Travel Service, which oversees CTSG after a series of mergers, did not respond to requests for comment.

More than 70,000 tourists have traveled on four cruise ships that ply the South China Sea since the Paracels route was opened in April 2013, the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration said in January.

Some 680 commercial flights landed on the expanded runway at Woody Island, where Sansha City is now the administrative hub of China’s South China Sea operations, in the year ended December 2017.

ENERGY PUSH

The Singapore research also details how China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) lobbied for funding and greater Chinese involvement in the South China a decade ago after facing criticism from scholars concerned at activities by rival claimants.

CNOOC later earmarked $32 billion for exploration, and built a giant deep water drilling rig which was placed off central Vietnam in 2014, sparking tensions with Hanoi.

According to its first quarter filings of listed unit CNOOC Ltd which is in charge of all the group’s exploration and production business, the South China Sea’s share of the company’s total oil and gas output rose to 45 percent – up from 43 percent last year. That was second only to its Bohai operations off north China.

CNOOC’s latest annual report listed eight new discoveries in the South China Sea, out of a total of 19 struck offshore China in 2017.

Some players like CNOOC “appear more skilful and effective in mobilising resources to influence state policy, while some actors, such as enterprises in the tourism industry, respond only when the state provides incentives,” Gong noted.

In a statement to Reuters, CNOOC Ltd said it had a deep water development strategy for the South China Sea and planned to extend investment on future exploration and development.

“All oil and gas companies among the globe are welcomed to jointly invest and operate in offshore China and to achive success together with the company,” CNOOC Ltd said.

A host of other state firms are reportedly eyeing slices of the South China Sea action, from nascent nuclear energy programmes, telecommunications, fisheries and banking.

Ian Storey, a South China Sea expert at ISEAS, said the work showed “Beijing is incentivising companies to become major players in the South China Sea.”

“This is something that China can do that the other claimants cannot do, particularly on this scale,” he said.

“The dispute is absolutely no closer to resolution, either a legal or a political resolution, and the role of China’s state owned enterprises only highlights that.”

Reporting by Greg Torode in HONG KONG, Brenda Goh in SHANGHAI and Aizhu Chen in BEIJING. Additional reporting by SHANGHAI Newsroom. Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Photo: Sanskruti Balgude’s displays her love for painting

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9

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This day in Engadget history: The iPhone jailbreak era begins

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Aug
9

Back in 2007, however, the walled garden of Apple’s ecosystem was firmly in place; there wasn’t even an App Store to go find third-party apps in. On July 19, 2007 — just a few weeks after the iPhone launch — a hacker called “Nightwatch” compiled and launched the iPhone’s first third-party app, a “Hello World” program. A typical first program on any computing platform, the app didn’t do much but display those words. It did, however, usher in a whole new era of “jailbreaking” iPhones, along with app repositories like Cydia and the like.

So, whenever you bemoan Apple’s fierce gatekeeping around the apps it allows on the iOS App Store, remember it wasn’t that long ago when there weren’t any at all. And pour one out for Nightwatch, the one who started it all.

Prolific form revives Ian Bell’s thoughts of England comeback

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Aug
9

A prolific season with Warwickshire and Birmingham Bears has renewed Ian Bell‘s hunger for the game to the extent that he has entertained the possibility of reviving his England career.

Bell, 36, played the last of his 118 Tests against Pakistan in late 2015, but this season is averaging 55.41 in the County Championship and is currently the second-highest run-scorer in the Vitality Blast with 471 runs at a strike-rate of 144.92 a year after he stood down from the Warwickshire captaincy.

Early in Ed Smith’s tenure as national selector there has been a clear push for youth in the Test side with Ollie Pope to make his debut against India at Lord’s following the call-ups of Sam Curran and Dom Bess, but England’s middle-order remains far from settled

“The questions have started to come a little bit more now, with the form I’ve had through the season and obviously England’s middle order,” he told BBC WM.

“If you asked me that question now I would definitely want to play again. If you’d asked me that 12 months ago, it would have been a different answer.

“Whether it is with Warwickshire, Birmingham Bears or England, I just still want to be winning games of cricket.”

Bell admitted he went through some tough times last year and struggled to adjust to life outside the England team where he had been a fixture since returning to the side during the 2009 Ashes until being axed ahead of the South Africa tour in 2015-16.

“Last year, I wasn’t in a particularly good place,” said Bell. “I’d struggled with the batting and there were some massive questions in my own mind as to whether it was time to retire and I did ask myself those questions.

“It’s been quite a tough adjustment not being an England player any more. But I felt even when I finished with England that I had a lot of cricket left under my belt. I spoke to a lot of ex-players and they all said ‘you’re a long time retired, don’t look back with any regrets’.”

Whats Popular Today Wed 8 Aug

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Sam Dekker, Ohio Special Election, Tesla, Ruby Rose, …

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Chinese exports accelerate even as Trump escalates trade war

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Aug
8

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s exports surged more than expected in July despite U.S. duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as the world’s two major economic powers ramp up a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth.

In the latest move by President Donald Trump to put pressure on Beijing to negotiate trade concessions, Washington is set to begin collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on Aug. 23.

In a statement on its official website late on Wednesday, China’s commerce ministry criticised the U.S. move as being “unreasonable”, saying it had no choice but to adopt the same measure on an equal amount of American goods ranging from oil and steel products to autos and medical equipment.

Wednesday’s Chinese data provide the first readings of the overall trade picture for the world’s second-largest economy since U.S duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports came into effect on July 6.

All the same, China’s exports for July rose a bigger than expected 12.2 percent year-on-year, showing little tariff impact for now and beating June’s 11.2 percent rise and analysts expectations in a Reuters poll for 10 percent growth.

Of more direct consequence in the Sino-U.S. trade war, China’s surplus with the United States shrank only marginally to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion in June. Washington has long criticised China’s trade surplus with the United States and has demanded Beijing cut it.

Those demands could get even more strident if the yuan’s sharp drop in recent months raises the ire of the United States, which has in the past repeatedly criticised Beijing for manipulating its currency to gain an unfair trade advantage.

Economists say China appears to be taking a more hands-off approach to the yuan, which marked its worst 4-month fall on record between April and July and has provided some reprieve for exporters in the face of the rising trade tensions.

ANZ senior China economist Betty Wang said Beijing will likely resist using its closely managed currency as a tool in the trade war.

“Currency devaluation, which may have helped exports to some extent, has been largely market-driven in our view and is not a preferred policy tool by Chinese policy makers as part of the retaliation measures,” Wang said.

China’s trade with the U.S. also continued to rise in July despite the tariffs, with exports up 11.2 percent year-on-year, and imports increasing 11.1 percent.

Analysts still expect a less favourable overall trade balance for China in coming months given it’s early days in the tariff brawl.

BEIJING BOOSTS LIQUIDITY SUPPORT

After a strong start to the year, growth in the world’s second-largest economy cooled slightly in the second quarter, partly hit by the government’s years-long efforts to tackle debt risks.

China’s imports rose 27.3 percent year-on-year in July, in a sign domestic demand remains solid, but the worry is that the escalating Sino-U.S. trade war, rising corporate bankruptcies, and a steep decline in the yuan could put a significant dent on the economy.

The government has responded by releasing more liquidity into the banking system, encouraging lending and promising a more “active” fiscal policy.

World financial markets have taken a battering in recent months as fears grow that Trump’s “America First” policies could derail a global economic revival.

Several large American companies have said they would adjust their supply chains to source outside of China if tariffs on Chinese goods impacted them, while China’s Haier Group said rising steel prices amid hefty U.S. import tariffs was driving up costs for its business in America.

In a sign there may be more difficulties ahead, a private survey last week found that the business outlook among Chinese services firms was the second-weakest on record in July in part due worries about the trade war.

“STICK OF HEGEMONY”

China has repeatedly warned it will strike back against any further punitive measures by Trump, saying the United States is threatening the global free trade order with its protectionism.

Chinese state media, reflecting the government’s stance, has said China will not be cowed in the face of U.S. threats.

The latest commentary from state media on Wednesday took a softer line after resorting to personal attacks against Trump earlier in the week, saying China could get through the storm but refrained from directly mentioning the U.S. president.

All China’s main state newspapers published a lengthy commentary by the official Xinhua news agency, entitled “declaration”, on their front pages.

“Certain people go against the tide for their own private ends and go against morality; the barrier of tariffs wantonly rise, and the stick of hegemony is raised all around,” the commentary said.

“Although this may for a moment bring preening with delight, it will make it hard to resolve economic imbalances or out of kilter politics and other deep-rooted problems,” it said.

China has not yet given a date for its previously announced retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in U.S. goods, which will target commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

The latest $16 billion list from the United States will hit semiconductors from China, even though many of the basic chips in these products originate from the United States, Taiwan or South Korea.

John Neuffer, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said in a statement they were disappointed and puzzled why semiconductors remain on the final tariff list.

Slideshow (3 Images)

“We have made the case to the Administration, in the strongest possible terms, that tariffs imposed on semiconductors imported from China will hurt America’s chipmakers, not China’s, and will do nothing to stop China’s problematic and discriminatory trade practices,” he said.

Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Clarence Fernandez

Photo: Sanskruti Balgude’s displays her love for painting

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Aug
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