Working with Alpha and Matte Clips in Autodesk Smoke

first_imgNow, create a CFX Clip. The resulting clip will have a front and matte result and be a CFXa clip. You can’t create a CFXa clip from Action, even with an an Matte output created. So the 2D Transform allows us to create what we need. The Create Matte Container button on the General Tab in the MediaHub is enabled by default. What this will do is create a matte container (obviously) when you import the Image clip. A Matte Container is Smoke’s way of creating an embedded alpha channel clip for you to work with on the timeline or in ConnectFX.  With the Create Matte Container disabled, when you drag a clip in in this mode, Smoke will automatically split up your image into separate Fill and Matte clips.Once your clips are imported, you can see how the clips end up in the Media Library.  A Matte Container will have a Sequence icon next to it, since it is actually a multi-track sequence.  Since this Matte Container clip isn’t really an edit, it would be nice if there was a better icon in the Media Library for it. Like an MC similar to the FX icon for effects.  If you look at the clips in thumbnail view you can see how Smoke sees alphas as high contrast RGB clips.In the timeline a Matte Container clip is is a dark blue-gray color in contrast to the pale blue-gray of normal source clips.Inside a Matte ContainerWhat’s inside a Matte Container clip?  By clicking the OPEN button in the FX Bar, your Matte Container will open and display as a new tab in the timeline area.The new tab will also be the dark blue-gray.  You can now see that Smoke creates a multi-channel sequence which contains the clips just as if you had imported them as split clips.  Matte Containers don’t key over other video layers automatically. You need to add an AX (axis) effect to it and then it will key.In Smoke, Matte Containers are similar to regular containers in that they contain multiple video layers, but Matte Containers have both Primary and Secondary video tracks.Working inside ConnectFX with Matte ContainersIn previous versions of Smoke, where the effects were modular based, it was common to always have your Front clips and your Matte clips separate. This was due to the fact that you loaded clips into modules one at a time. So Matte Containers were really only useful on the timeline.  Yet, they weren’t friendly for effects work. Now in 2013, I find Matte Containers, created and imported via the MediaHub, is the preferred way to work in Smoke.Matte Container clips when brought into ConnectFX have a video output and a matte output. This makes it easy to pipe your front and matte into any of the effects nodes.Since the clips combine front and matte, they help keep the schematic nice and clean. When both connections on the clip are made, the clip will show you a slip screen in the proxy to show you that the front and matte is being used.Many nodes like 2D Transform, Blur, Deform, Glow, all of the keyers, and more, both accept front and matte, and then effect the clips and pass the effected front and matte onto the output. So if you use the Deform node to warp a logo, both the front and matte get warped and output.Working with ActionAction has the ability to add multiple outputs and select what gets outputted. One of those output selections can be a Matte output. Once you add a 2nd output to Action you will get a new output connection on the node. You are free to then take that matte output and pipe it into other nodes along your schematic. You will see this clip in your CFX Sources folder.Copy that clip into your Media Library.  You will see that it is a CFXa clip but without an AXIS node. When you drop this clip on the timeline, add an Axis effect to enable the matte and it will key over another track. Since this basically creates the same thing as in option #1, but with more steps, you may want to use the Create CFX option when you want to save off just part of your schematic.3. Another method would be to just pipe the your final matte output into the Front result on the CFX node.  Then when you exit out, you will just have the matte as a clip if you want it separately.Exporting a Clip with a Matte:With a CFXa clip in your Smoke timeline, even with an axis effect, you still don’t have a physical matte clip.  This can be created by selecting the clip in the timeline, right-clicking to get the context menu… choose Commit, then Commit ConnectFX.This will hard commit the CFXa clip and create a Matte Container.center_img Outputing Mattes from ConnectFX:There are 3 ways to output mattes from ConnectFX.1. Simply connect your final matte result and pipe it into the matte input on the CFX result node. This will create a CFXa result. When you exit back out of CFX your resulting clip will be a CFX clip with an AXIS effect on the timeline. The Axis effect allows the CFXa clip to be keyed over another clip.2. Add a 2D Transform node as your final node which will accept your final result Front and Matte that you want to save as an element outside of CFX. Working with alpha and matte clips in ConnectFX can be a bit tricky.  Check out these tips & tricks to make the process easier when working in Smoke.Often when you are working in Action and ConnectFX you want to create a clip with an embedded alpha or matte channel so that you can use it as a keyable element on the timeline.  You might also want to export your clip so that you can use it in another program. Here are a few things to know about alpha/mattes in Autodesk Smoke to make that happen.Smoke Treats Alpha Channels as RGB ClipsWhen you import a Quicktime, .TIF, .TGA, .PNG, or .PSD with an alpha channel, Smoke can create several clips depending on how you like to work.If you double-click on the MULTI icon on the clip in the MediaHub it will show you the alpha/matte channel of your clip.  When opened you can selectively import just the alpha or just the RGB fill, or both. If you look inside the matte container, you will see the newly created media containing your front and matte clips. Note: this will wipe out the CFX effect, so it’s wise to make a copy of your CFX clip to another layer or to your Media Library in case you need to access it later.If you copy this clip to your media library, it will be available for export.You can export this matte container as a Quicktime or Image sequence.  The .mov or image sequence must use a codec that can support an alpha channel. This would be Prores 4444, RLE (animation), PNG, and Uncompressed for Quicktime.  For an Image Sequence use TGA, TIF, or OpenEXR.Working with alpha channels isn’t as transparent in Smoke (no pun intended) as in other programs like After Effects. However, the separation, even in a Matte Container, allows you to use many of the nodes in ConnectFX that directly effect mattes.  This allows you to have complete technical and creative freedom in effecting both video and mattes.For more information on working with Mattes in Smoke. See the Autodesk Smoke Learning Channel for a multipart series.last_img read more

Camera Rumor: DJI Phantom 5 Might Be Getting Interchangeable Lenses

first_imgLeaked pictures indicate that the highly anticipated DJI Phantom 5 might include an interchangeable lens system. Here’s why you should be excited.The DJI Phantom drone is one of the most popular drones on the consumer market right now. The current model, the Phantom 4, is a beast that can record in 4K at 60fps. One of the only downsides of this drone is that it only has a 20mm (35mm format equivalent) lens that records in a fixed wide frame.Recently, we have discovered some (possibly) leaked photos of the newest model, the Phantom 5. Here is a photo of the rumored lens design:That means drone filmmakers could capture tighter shots and pick the right lens for their shots. If DJI’s professional-grade drone, the Zenmuse X7, which features interchangeable lenses, is any measure, then we can expect the new interchangeable lens system to feature prime lenses with fixed focal lengths of 16mm, 24mm, 35mm and 50mm. This means more cinematic shots for a fraction of the cost of the current cost.Image via DJI.Now, that drone has a price tag of just about $2,700, so it’s not very accessible for the casual drone enthusiast. With the current Phantom 4’s price at around $800, we hope to see a successor with the same price, so anyone from the occasional drone videographer to drone professionals on a budget can purchase this model.Image via DJI.As with all rumors, you should take all this with a grain of salt. The image could just be a photoshopped version of the current Phantom lens — or it very well could be the first images of the brand-new Phantom 5. We will just have to wait and see when DJI releases the specs. After seeing their releases of the Tello, Ronin Mobile 2, and the Ronin S at CES 2018, we’re hoping for a big release of at least one of their heavy hitters at NAB 2018.Looking for more industry news? Check out these articles.SXSW 2018 Film Trends and AnalysisAn Interview with Andrew Shulkind, DP of Netflix Original film The RitualSXSW Arts: Meet the Interactive Documentary Connecting the WorldInterview: Showtime Docuseries Cinematographer from The TradeSXSW Discussions: 7 Tips on How to Develop a Digital Docuserieslast_img read more

Post-Production Tips: How to Save Corrupted Footage

first_imgThere is nothing worse than losing footage. However, if you’re vigilant and know what to watch for, you can still save a corrupted card.Cover image via Chaikom.In this article, we’ll cover some basics about what causes corrupted footage, how to spot it, what to do when you spot it, and how to give yourself the best chance of saving your footage.Let’s dive in.What Is Corrupted Footage?Photo via stefanphotozemun.Footage corruption is data corruption. It can occur whenever the footage is accessed or manipulated — whether in the camera or on the hard drive.Corruption can result in an array of problems — from small, nearly invisible glitches to full-on read failure and inaccessible footage.Data corruption usually occurs during saving processes. With cameras, this is typically during recording.What to Do If You Suspect Corruption?Image via Balazs Justin.If you notice any signs of corrupted footage, or something happens to the camera that could cause a problem with the media, quietly and quickly speak to appropriate members of the crew — communicate what happened and that you are going to perform a quick check on the media and camera to ensure no further problems or stoppages.If you haven’t already, at this point make sure to get a pen and notebook and note any and all potential problems with the drive or camera.If power went out while the camera was recording, playing back, or saving footage, do not remove the card. Instead, get a reliable supply of power back to the camera, turn it on, and after waiting for any prompts, attempt to view and verify that all footage on the card is properly recorded. Once you’ve done this, power the camera down and remove the card, immediately marking it as potentially compromised.Make a log of everything shot on the card in question. It will be important for the crew to know in case re-shoots become necessary, and you will also have a full accounting of everything on the card for further analysis and review.As soon as the card goes into a computer, make an image of the drive! Reading, writing, viewing, and playing back files is far harder on a drive than creating a disk image. The image will allow you to effectively work with a virtual version of the drive without the risk of faulty hardware.I’ll take you through creating a disk image step by step in just a bit.Once you have an image of the drive, quickly take notes, retracing your steps, and identify any potential causes for the problem. This information will be extremely helpful if the drive turns out to be damaged or corrupted.RecoveryImage via Jiri Vaclavek.If you’re lucky, you turned the camera on, it did a little progress bar thing, and your footage was fine.If it isn’t your lucky day and you lost footage, the work’s not done yet. But don’t worry yet, chances are that if you followed every step in this guide, the footage should be relatively easy to recover.Don’t reach for that card reader. Remember, we are only working with an image of the drive.The first thing we’ll need to do is create an image of the hard drive. If possible, try to avoid USB card readers and plug the card directly into the computer. This isn’t an option for many drives, but do it if you can.Once connected, we’ll need to use software to make an image of the drive. A great, free option is DriveImage XML. There are many other great programs available, but DriveImage should be able to get you going for free.In MacOS, you can do this natively with Disk Utility.Once we’ve got our drive imaged, we will need to begin recovery. Piriform’s Recuva is a super intuitive and effective data recovery tool that’s also free. There are other options for recovery, but Recuva should be able to give you an idea if the drive is salvageable.If these steps aren’t working, you are likely going to need professional help. A great first step is to contact the manufacturer of the card or the camera. Most manufacturers offer data restoration services for their products at no or low cost.If that turns out to be a dead end, search for a reliable data restoration company. Secure Data Recovery offers on-the-phone consulting and can remotely access your drive to attempt recovery offsite before having you ship the damaged drive. There are many other providers that offer similar services, but SDR is very highly regarded.Keep in mind that true data restoration doesn’t come cheap. Should you ever encounter corrupted data beyond the capabilities of this guide, you should weigh the costs and time to get the drive restored and compare them to simply re-shooting. As long as you acted quickly when you noticed damaged footage, the production should have all the variables in place to decide how to proceed with the least disruption.Looking for more on filmmaking and post-production? Check out these articles.Understanding the Opacity Blend Modes in Adobe Premiere ProThe Digital Imaging Technician’s Tool Kit — Gear for the JobCreate a Glitch Effect For Logos and Titles in After EffectsThe Many Different Ways to Use the Crop Effect in Premiere ProRemove Unwanted Shot Features With Resolve 15’s Patch Replacerlast_img read more

Industry Insights: Film Festivals, Shorts, and the Future of Viewing

first_imgFestival director, executive producer, and muse Kimberley Browning wears any hat she needs to. Here she is on festival programming and supporting artists.We sat down with this busy professional to get the skinny on all things film festival and film industry — and where it’s all going in the future.Hollywood Shorts/Season 20 @ Ford Theatre. (Photo by Timothy Norris.)PremiumBeat: You are a filmmaker, producer, and film festival programmer. And many independent filmmakers think you’re just a savior and a goddess. I can’t tell you how many directors I meet that gush and glow when your name is mentioned. What drives your support for filmmakers?Kimberley Browning: Hearing that is humbling, and wonderful. It means everything to me that Hollywood Shorts has been such a sanctuary for so many filmmakers over the past 20 years.  My motivation is simply creating access to information and support that was essential to me over the years. Having a place to consistently be encouraged and inspired is what I needed as a young filmmaker, and that led the vision for the screenings and programs I present.PB: You are always a step ahead of the trend. In 1998, you created Hollywood Shorts, a monthly showcase for short filmmakers that has since evolved. What was the need then, and what is the need now for short film festivals?KB: So much has changed in the past 20 years, and it is glorious to witness. The need then was simply to have a great venue that industry professionals would actually show up to and watch our films. Now filmmakers can truly focus on building a festival path for their work. A strategy that helps them spark long-range relationships with their audiences, utilizes every screening opportunity to meet new people and solicits interactive social media engagement. Audience building is so important now for short filmmakers.Image courtesy of Kimberley Browning.PB: You’ve watched a ton of short films! Having worked as an associate shorts programmer for Tribeca for the past three years (and having consulted for numerous other fests), what specific advice would you give filmmakers about what’s important in their work from the programmer’s perspective?KB: To me, a film that is truly unpredictable, that creates an unexpected moment or character choice, is so exciting. I wish filmmakers would fight harder for great performances. So many great stories don’t fulfill their potential because the acting is inconsistent. Filmmakers are always fighting with small budgets — and spread their resources too thin. Overly ambitious shooting schedules are a common downfall, and filmmakers don’t give their actors enough time to do what they do best, and get enough takes. It is disappointing to see films with tons of locations, and big period art department, and then the acting is not great.Image courtesy of HBOAccess (pictured Sandra Valde).PB: You are the executive producer of The HBOAccess Directing Fellowship, which provides emerging television directors the resources and crew to shoot pilots created and developed within the companion Writers Fellowship. How do you evaluate possible participants?KB: The evaluation for the HBOAccess Directing Fellowship is quite an extensive process. The films are watched by a large committee of HBO executives and scored, and the directors’ essays and bodies of work are reviewed. The twenty semi-finalists are chosen from the top scorers, and they are invited for a phone interview with a group of us. Then eight to ten finalists are invited to come in person to HBO offices in LA or NY to live pitch on one or two of the Writing Fellowship finalists. From that intensive process, three directors are selected for the Directing Fellowship.Image via Sterling (HBO ACCESS Fellowship pilot). Photo by Jaimie Milner.PB: As the landscape for content platforms continues to expand, what do you see as the next frontier for artists to get their work seen?KB: There are so many mind-blowing storytelling strides happening in the AR (augmented reality) and interactive storytelling communities. I would love to see more women creating AR projects; there is so much demand for more content, as more consumers are bringing AR systems into their homes. The current digital platform expansion also will continue to be a tremendous space for everyone to get their films seen. The audience for short form is not slowing down. Snapchat is adding narrative episodic programming, and even Netflix is demonstrating extensive support for short film — they invested significantly in short docs this past awards season.Cover image via Timothy Norris.Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Sundance 2019: Tips for Shooting Verite Documentary FootageThe Costume Design Behind Star Trek, House of Cards, and Greek WeddingIndustry Tips: Why Below-The-Line Talent Needs a PublicistThe Story Behind Editing a Movie About Dungeons and DragonsTom Cross on Editing First Man and Working with IMAX Footagelast_img read more

We Need to Invest in the Relationship

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now Invest in relationships. That sounds like a good idea when you say it that way, doesn’t it.Typically when sales people say that their company needs to invest in relationships they’re intimating that their company should spend money serving a client or prospect without billing them.Sometimes investing in a relationship means providing a level of support that is above and beyond what is customary. It might also mean providing goods, services, or a solution without being paid for having provided them. But that’s not investing.It’s Something Less Than InvestingProviding services you don’t bill for is discounting. And much of the time it’s discounting the future value that you can create.If offering a higher level support is worth having, if it differentiates the experience and creates value, it’s worth paying for. Once you “make an investment” by providing the service, regardless of how valuable it is, it is no longer worth paying for; it’s an expectation. Now, what you delivered is built into your price whether you like it or not.If you are providing goods, services, solutions, or manpower that you would customarily charge for at no cost, you are discounting. And like the examples above, you are setting a precedent that this will be built into your existing price.You may want to tell yourself that you’re making an investment in the relationship. You may even convince yourself that the investment in the relationship is necessary. But it’s not investing in a relationship. The real investment you need to make is different.The Real Investment You Need to MakeThe real investment you need to make in relationships is the investment of your time and energy. You need to invest your insight and  ideas and apply those ideas in a way that moves your client’s business forward. You need invest in building consensus around your solution. You are (in part, anyway) the investment your company is making in your dream client (or you should be).Discounting is discounting. It lowers the perception of value. Don’t pretend it’s investing.last_img read more

The Hustler’s Playbook: Hustlers Dwell On Their Future

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Your dwelling is the place where you live. Hustlers dwell in their future. Non-hustlers dwell in their past.A hustler doesn’t allow their past define them.Being born into humble circumstances only fuels the hustler to escape. Being born into privilege only provides a hustler with a head start and the responsibility to hustle to deserve they were given. The hustler doesn’t dwell on where they started.Hustlers don’t allow their past mistakes to define them either. They don’t dwell on their failures. They learn from their failures and mistakes, but they don’t agonize over them. They don’t replay their missteps over and over in their mind, living there instead of their future.Non-hustlers define themselves by their past. They live there.The non-hustler believes that being born into poor circumstances somehow prevents them from ever escaping to something better. They stay there. Other non-hustlers are born with so much of a head start—and so little adversity—that they aren’t motivated to do anything. Or be anything. They dwell on a past event that was merely chance.Other non-hustler types believe that they can’t outrun their past. They believe that they are defined by their mistakes and their past failures. They dwell on the past, and in their minds, they live in the past. Even though the past is just pictures and movies.Hustlers dwell on the future. They take the actions that move them towards that future. Hustlers aren’t haunted by their past, and they don’t believe it holds any power over their future.Your mindset is the foundation of all the results you produce in your life—and all that you fail to produce. It’s the difference between success or failure, happiness or misery.It matters where you dwell. Dwelling in the future provides you a powerful vision that pulls you forward. Dwelling on the past pulls you under and drowns you in cold, dark water. Hustlers dwell on their future.last_img read more

Can People and Can’t People

first_img“Can” people believe that there is a way to do things that “can’t” people believe can’t be done.It’s easy to lose customers and opportunities because you believe that you can’t do something that they need done. But the person who will eventually win that customer’s business will be the person who believes that they can do what you believe to be impossible.“Can” people are resourceful. They fearlessly generate new ideas. “Can” people sell those ideas inside their company. They find collaborators to help strengthen their ideas. Then they work to iterate, trying things to see what they can make work. They believe they are innovating.“Can’t” people cut them off from ideas by believing that there isn’t a way to do something different, something better. It’s this belief that confines them in an unresourceful state. Instead of finding collaborators, they find commiserators. Instead of working on the idea, they work finding evidence to confirm that what needs to be done is impossible.The key to creating and winning new opportunities is to create value by solving some problem or challenge your dream client is experiencing or helping them take advantage of some new opportunity. The key to retaining those clients is to create new value for them, never allowing yourself to rest or your laurels and never leaving the new challenges unmet.It’s better to be a “can” person than a “can’t” person. It is a lot more difficult, but it’s also a lot more fun and more meaningful work. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Heavy Hands

first_imgWhen a boxer is said to have “heavy hands,” it means that their punches cause a lot of damage. Some slight, very unassuming fighters possess devastating, knockout power. These heavy-handed punchers beat fighters who appear to be bigger, stronger, faster, and more skilled.“Heavy hands” in the world of sales is made up of a few different attributes, and a very specific set of skills.Business Acumen: Business acumen and situational knowledge (a set of experiences that give you insights, ideas, and the ability to execute) level up your power. What you know provides value to your clients and prospects beyond your product, service, or solution.Change Management: The ability to create a case for change and build consensus around how best to get to some future state is worth 2 or 3 weight classes. Creating the case for change is what is necessary when your client or prospect hasn’t yet perceived the need to change. Being able to compel your customer to change is the work of heavyweights. It’s a higher level of value.Leadership: One of the superpowers some salespeople have is the ability to lead. They can lead their clients and prospects. They also tackle the most difficult challenge of leading their teams, including their leadership team. Bigger deals require greater leadership. A bigger opponent, or more significant problem, requires heavier hands. Sticking with the boxing metaphor here, a lack of leadership skills is a salesperson’s “glass jaw.” Without the ability to lead, you do a lot of things right and still get knocked out.If you want real, effective power, look to business acumen, change management, and leadership skills. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Separatists slam BJP leaders

first_imgSeparatists on Monday termed the statements of BJP brass, including Union Minister Rajnath Singh and party president Amit Shah, “negative and aimed to create war euphoria.”Responding to Mr. Singh’s assertions that the “Kashmir issue will be resolved within a year,” Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani said, “a person running a state’s affairs should avoid negative and provocative remarks.”‘Vote-bank politics’Mr. Geelani said the BJP’s narrative on the Kashmir issue “is far from the reality” and “is aimed at vote-bank politics.” “They [the BJP leaders] are creating war euphoria. With each passing day, the situation is turning from bad to worse in J&K,” he said.On BJP president Amit Shah’s remarks that the Kashmir problem was “limited to three and a half district,” Mr. Geelani said, “If they are confident and sure about their claim, then it is best to ascertain people’s verdict and hold a referendum in J&K. We will accept whatever the verdict people deliver.”JKLF chief Yasin Malik, while seconding Mr. Geelani on holding a referendum, said, “Remarks like Kashmir movement is restricted to a few districts is laughable.” NC’s criticism National Conference’s provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani described Mr. Shah’s remarks as aimed at hoodwinking public.“Everyone is aware of the political contours of the issue. Unfortunately, there are political forces known for raising false bogeys to hoodwink public. May I remind him that only the Anantnag parliamentary constituency where their joint PDP candidate literally ran away from the byelection is comprised of four districts,” said Mr. Wani. “Setting a one-year deadline won’t matter. What matters is initiating a result-oriented dialogue and efforts to resolve the issue,” he added.State Congress president G.A. Mir said the BJP during 2014 Lok Sabha elections claimed that it would resolve the Kashmir issue if it got mandate. “Now, they are in government for the last three years and the worsening situation in the State is an open book before the world,” he said.Mr. Mir alleged that the BJP had no policy on Kashmir. “Kashmir has never been BJP’s priority. The party uses Kashmir for vote bank at the national level,” he added.last_img read more

Punjab, Haryana CMs in war of words over Honeypreet

first_imgA war of words broke out on Thursday between the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana following the arrest of Honeypreet Insan, the adopted daughter of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who has been jailed on two counts of rape.Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, talking to reporters in Panchkula, raised questions over the role of the Punjab Police saying the “Punjab police had information pertaining to Honeypreet’s presence in their State and they should have shared the information much earlier with the Haryana police.”‘Raises suspicion’“The way the Punjab police has worked, it raises suspicion,” he said.Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh lashed out at Mr. Khattar for questioning the role of the Punjab police, saying his Haryana counterpart was trying to shield his own government’s failure in the Dera Sacha Sauda case.“After trying unsuccessfully to pin the blame for the Panchkula violence on the Punjab government, Mr. Khattar is now trying once again to divert public attention from the total collapse of law and order that had gripped Haryana since the day Dera chief Ram Rahim was found guilty on rape charges,” Mr. Singh said.Rejecting any involvement of the Punjab government or any of its institutions in the episode, leading up to the arrest of Honeypreet, the Punjab Chief Minister said if his State police had any information about Honeypreet, they would definitely have shared the same with the Haryana police. Mr. Singh said reports suggested that some senior Haryana police officers had known of Honeypreet’s whereabouts for several days but had failed to arrest her.‘Officials’ role’ “Instead of probing his own officials’ role in the entire affair, Mr. Khattar is simply trying to shift the focus to Punjab, as he had done in the wake of the Panchkula violence,” he said.The Punjab Chief Minister trashed Mr. Khattar’s charges that the Punjab police failed to give intelligence inputs on Honeypreet to the police in the neighbouring state.“The Punjab police had been giving regular inputs to their counterparts in Haryana even before the Panchkula court hearing in the Ram Rahim case,” he said, adding that the Haryana government and its police had failed to take cognizance of the information or act on it.last_img read more

‘Will allow Padmavati screening in Punjab’

first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Saturday that his government would not stop the screening of film Padmavati. The Chief Minister said threats against the makers of Padmavati were uncalled for. The State government concerned should have acted against those issuing such threats. “Such people should have been locked up,” he said in Mohali.He said India was a free country, with free business opportunity for all. At the same time, it was the responsibility of the producers to ensure that history was projected in its correct perspective. ‘Don’t falsify facts’“While different historical perspectives can be there, attempt to falsify historical facts cannot be tolerated,” he said, adding that it became even more necessary in the current age when children acquired knowledge through the audio-visual medium rather than by reading.He said as far as Punjab was concerned, there would be no bar on the release of Padmavati. “Anything can be shown in Punjab as long as it does not hurt religious sentiments,” he said. Referring to the restrictions imposed on the media by the previous government, Capt. Singh said his government did not believe in censorship and would immediately clear the formalities for any media organisation wishing to operate in the State. “We want competition to grow so people get news as they should be getting it,” he added.last_img read more

Children have a ‘manifesto’ for Bengal’s panchayat polls

first_imgAkash Bhowmick, a Class 9 student of Parulia Modern High School in Bengal’s Purba Medinipur district, will not vote in the upcoming panchayat elections. But he has several demands for the adults contesting in the polls.“We cannot vote but there are several issues we want to convey to the elected panchayat members such as the lack of any security at our school and the absence of a proper drinking water facility,” Akash said at the release of a ‘manifesto’ highlighting the demands of the State’s children.The manifesto, which focuses mainly on health and social issues faced by children in rural Bengal, was recently launched by two child rights organisations — the West Bengal Education Network (WBEN) and Child Rights and You (CRY). The Key demands Its key demands are clean and hygienic schools, regular supply of electricity and clean water to them, eradication of child marriage and child labour, and curbing gender discrimination. The manifesto also raised the demand that there should be at least one doctor in every Primary Health Centre in the villages.Atindra Nath Das, regional director of CRY, said, “This is an attempt to remind politicians and governments in power that it is their obligation to undertake all measures to protect and promote child rights.” WBEN officials said that the panchayat plays a key role in ensuring that child rights are protected. Elections to the rural bodies inthe State are scheduled for the first week of May.last_img read more

BJP’s ally troubles: Upendra Kushwaha skips NDA dinner meeting

first_imgRashtriya Lok Samata Party president and Minister of State for Human Resource Development at the Centre Upendra Kushwaha on Thursday skipped the crucial NDA meet over dinner while his party leaders attended the meeting. The NDA had called the meeting of the leaders of alliance partners at Patna’s Gyan Bhawan to put up a united show.However, hours before the meeting, the Janata Dal (United) rued that the NDA government at the Centre had not treated it in a just manner and asserted that it would contest in not less than 25 seats out of 40 in Bihar in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The JD(U) recently declared that party president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would be the face of the NDA in Bihar during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.“Upendra Kushwaha did not attend the meeting as he was busy in some official work”, said RLSP MP from Sitamarhi Ram Kumar Sharma. Mr. Sharma and another party MP from Jehanabad, Arun Kumar, national working president of the party Nagmani and other party leaders were present at the meeting.Top NDA leaders in Bihar, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Bihar BJP in-charge Bhupendra Yadav, attended the meeting. Opposition RJD leaders called it “dinner diplomacy by the BJP to keep its flock together”.The RLSP has three MPs and two MLAs in the State Assembly. However, hours before the meeting, Mr. Nagmani expressed displeasure over the JD(U)’s declaration of Nitish Kumar as the face of the NDA in Bihar in the 2019 polls. “No one in the NDA, neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor BJP president Amit Shah, declared it… how could others take this decision without having a meeting with the RLSP”, asked Mr. Nagmani while asserting that “Kushwahas are nearly 10% in Bihar after Yadav caste … so numerically we’re in the second position in the State’s caste arithmetic”. He also suggested that the NDA contest the Bihar Assembly election in 2020 keeping Mr. Kushwaha as its face.BJP leaders attending the NDA meet said the meeting was called not to discuss seat-sharing but discuss how to win the upcoming Lok Sabha polls under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “To discuss seat settlement, the top leadership of all alliance parties will sit together and decide”, said senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav. Earlier, Deputy CM and BJP leader Sushil Kumar said: “The NDA will go to the polls with PM Narendra Modi’s face and Nitish Kumar’s work.”On Wednesday, both Mr. Kumar and Mr. Modi attended the Iftar party hosted by Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan where Mr. Paswan addressed them as Ram and Lakshman. However, earlier in the day, Mr. Paswan’s younger brother, Pashupati Kumar Paras, declared that the LJP would not spare a single seat it won in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. His son Chirag Paswan said that besides Mr. Kumar, the NDA had other faces like Ram Vilas Paswan and Mr. Modi for the Lok Sabha poll.last_img read more

Naveen Patnaik requests Prabhu to name Jharsuguda airport after freedom fighter

first_imgOdisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has requested Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu to name the upcoming airport at Jharsuguda after eminent freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai. Born on January 23, 1809 in Sambalpur district, Sai sacrificed his life fighting against the British East India Company. In a letter to Mr. Prabhu, Mr. Patnaik said been people had been demanding that the airport be named after Sai, who hails from the same region.“Naming the airport after him will be a fitting tribute to the legendary son of the soil,” Patnaik noted in the letter. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on May 4, had accorded aerodrome license to the Jharsuguda airport, the second in the state after Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar. Earlier, Odisha Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi, too, sent a letter to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry to make the same request, sources said. Air Odisha will operate flights from Jharsuguda to Bhubaneswar, Ranchi and Raipur, fulfilling a long-standing demand of the people of western Odisha. The average price of tickets for these flights would be around Rs 2,500. Jharsuguda is one of the five airports in Odisha that has been selected under the Centre’s flagship Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme to provide regional flight connectivity.last_img read more

Punjab okays fiscal incentives under new industrial policy

first_imgThe Punjab government on Monday gave its approval to detailed schemes and operational guidelines for availing of fiscal incentives under the new industrial policy.The operational guidelines include schemes for exemption from payment of stamp duty or reimbursement thereof to the industrial units. “The Cabinet also approved detailed guidelines for grant of exemption from payment of electricity duty, property tax and approving another scheme for investment subsidy by way of reimbursement of VAT-SGST. Operational guidelines have been also finalised for providing fiscal incentives, interest subsidy to MSMEs,” said an official statement.The Cabinet also approved a scheme for ‘Early Bird Units’ and another scheme for setting up the first unit in the Border Zone (BZ). To facilitate industrial units to migrate to the new policy, the Cabinet has approved a scheme for migration to the new policy 2017. It has also okayed a special relief package for sick MSME and large units.The Cabinet also agreed to revise the terms and conditions of the Paddy Straw Challenge Fund, as per the suggestions from the Punjab State Farmers’ and Farm Workers’ Commission and Punjab Agricultural University, to find a viable technological solution to combat the menace of paddy straw burning.It may be recalled that the State government had notified establishment of Paddy Straw Challenge Fund for accelerating in-situ degradation of paddy straw in 2017.“The Cabinet felt the terms and conditions of the Paddy Straw Challenge Fund should be easy and simple, allowing a larger number of institutions, individuals offering different technological solutions to participate in the contest. This move would not only help retain the fertility of the soil but also make environment pollution-free,” said the statement.The Cabinet also gave its nod to the proposal for restoration of the reservation of 14% to SC employees in Group-A and Group-B and 20% in Group-C and Group-D services for filling up the vacancies by promotion.“The Cabinet gave its nod to the proposal mooted by the Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Department and authorised the CM to approve the final draft of the ordinance in this behalf. The reservation would also be applicable to proforma promotion and appointment by transfer to the SC employees,” said the statement.last_img read more

Over 43,000 killed in road accidents in Odisha

first_imgRoad accidents have claimed 43,000 lives and left 57,684 people grievously injured in the past one decade, the Odisha Assembly was informed on Friday. In response to a query in the House, State Transport Minister Nrusingha Charan Sahu said as many as 43,312 people lost their lives in accidents between 2008 and September 2018, while the average annual road accident deaths crossed 4,000 after 2013. A whopping 1,04,713 accidents took place during the decade. According to statistics furnished by the Minister, accident fatalities have been on the rise since the past three years despite the government claiming to have taken up coercive and awareness programmes to bring down road deaths. While 4,790 people succumbed to injuries in accidents in 2017, the State has already lost 3,817 people till September this year. Recently, a SC-appointed committee had expressed displeasure over poor implementation of road safety measures in Odisha. It had pointed out that there was a 3% reduction of road-related fatalities in 2017 over 2016 in the whole country, whereas Odisha recorded an increase of 327 deaths (7.3%) during the corresponding period.last_img read more

It’s a fight for legacy between INLD and breakaway faction

first_imgAfter the split in the Indian National Lok Dal, the fight between the original party and its breakaway faction to claim the legacy of its founder, Chaudhary Devi Lal, is all set to hot up in the coming days.While the INLD will kick-start the ‘Jan Adhikar Yatra’ from December 1 with the emotive Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal issue to consolidate its position ahead of the Assembly polls due next year in Haryana, the leaders of the breakaway faction are travelling across the State, carrying forward the policies and principles of Chaudhary Devi Lal.Last week, the INLD saw a split, after the party’s national president Om Prakash Chautala’s elder son Ajay Singh Chautala announced that he would float his own political party. Mr. Ajay and his younger brother Abhay Singh Chautala, currently leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, had been at loggerheads amid a fight for supremacy within the party.Reaching out to peopleThe INLD now plans to reach out to the people and its traditional voters through rallies across all the 90 Assembly constituencies ahead of the elections.“From December 1, we will be undertaking the ‘Jan Adhikar Yatra’ across the State. While we will press for early construction and completion of the controversial SYL canal and other issues during the Yatra, we will also use this opportunity to strengthen the party and consolidate our position ahead of the elections,” Mr. Praveen Atrey told The Hindu.Mr. Atrey said the ‘Jan Adhikar Yatra’ led by Abhay Singh Chautala would start from Kurukshetra and cover all the 90 Assembly segments in the coming months. “Besides the SYL, early construction of the Dadupur-Nalvi and Mewat canal is also on our list of demands. Implementation of the Swaminathan report, jobs for the youth and the deteriorating law and order situation would be the other issues that we will take to the masses,” he said.Political experts believe that the fight between the brothers is for claiming the legacy of Chaudhary Devi Lal.“After the split, the fight between the brothers (Abhay and Ajay) is for claiming the legacy of Chaudhary Devi Lal. INLD’s Jan Adhikar Yatra is an attempt towards establishing this claim of legacy,” said Ashutosh Kumar, professor of political science at Panjab University.Mr. Ashutosh said with the SYL and issues of the farming community at the core of this ‘Yatra’, the INLD seems to be focusing on its traditional vote bank. “They want to project themselves as the real INLD among their voters as against the breakaway faction. The 2019 Assembly polls would be a litmus test for the INLD and the faction, the name for which is likely to be announced by Ajay Chautala in the coming days,” he added.‘Not met Amit Shah’Meanwhile, ahead of December 9, when the name is likely to be announced, Ajay’s sons — Dushyant, MP from Hisar, and Digvijay Singh, his younger brother — on Sunday denied reports that they have met BJP national president Amit Shah. “I would like to make it clear that neither me nor my brother Dushyant Chautala has had any meeting with BJP president Amit Shah. Rumours are being spread to weaken the new party, ” said Mr. Digvijay.last_img read more

Police Inspector, youth killed as mob attacks U.P. outpost

first_imgA police Inspector and a youth were killed when a mob of around 400 persons clashed with the police following the alleged discovery of cow carcasses in a village in Bulandshahr district of western Uttar Pradesh on Monday.Around half-a-dozen policemen, including a DSP, and several civilians were injured in the clashes, which saw firing from both sides and stones being pelted on the local police outpost at Chingravati in Syana.Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, who was killed in the attack, was in-charge of the outpost.A Special Investigation Team under the IG, Meerut, has been constituted to probe the incident, while the ADG-Investigation has been asked by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to submit a report within 48 hours.While the police had initially maintained that the officer had died due to profuse bleeding following a head injury suffered in stone-pelting, ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar confirmed later that Mr. Singh had died of a gunshot injury, as shown by the autopsy report. This was in addition to the injuries he sustained from hard and blunt objects.“The entry of the bullet is near the left eyebrow. As per the post-mortem report it appears to be a .32 bore bullet,” said Mr. Kumar.A police officer was killed in mob violence in Bulandshahr, UP after local outfits first stage jam and then go on a rampage angered by alleged discovery of parts of a dead cow. More details coming in, police on the spot.@the_hinduSpecial arrangement— Omar Rashid (@omar7rashid) December 3, 2018 Subodh Kumar Singh, who passed away in the Bulandshahr violence.   Caught aloneVideo footage showing the officer lying dead in his jeep in a field with youth seen around filming the scene on their mobile phones amid sounds of bullets being fired had put pressure on the police to clarify the cause of death. While the body was hanging by the door of the vehicle, the window panes were shattered and all doors were open. It is not known how the officer was caught alone in the vehicle.  Trouble started after the former pradhan of Mahav village Raj Kumar approached the police to complaining that bodyparts of five to six cows had been found in a field. Along with his team, Mr. Singh rushed to the spot to investigate and tried to calm the agitated locals, said police.While the police assured the villagers of action and an FIR was also under process, some miscreants carried carcasses, “possibly of cow progeny,” on a tractor trolley, parked it outside the police outpost and blocked the road, said Mr. Kumar. District Magistrate Anuj Jha said the locals did not allow the police to seize the carcasses. Around 400 persons had assembled near the police outpost from three villages — Mahav, Chingravati and Mahavas — said Mr. Kumar.While the villagers first seemed to agree with the police assurances, some began “heavy stone-pelting” on the outpost, following which police had to resort to a lathi-charge and firing in the air to disperse the crowd, said Mr. Kumar. The village mob retaliated with firing from countrymade pistols, the officer said.The mob also damaged at least 15 vehicles outside the police outpost, officials said.BJP activistIn the clashes, a local youth, Sumit Singh, suffered gunshot wounds and died later at a hospital in Meerut. Police are investigating whether he was killed in police firing or in firing from the villagers.BJP district president Himanshu Mittal said he had heard that two activists of the party had been shot in the incident. However, he could not confirm the names. It is alleged that local right-wing groups and BJP members instigated the locals to gather at the police outpost.Officer in Dadri caseInspector Singh was the investigating officer (IO) of the Dadri lynching case resulting in the death of Mohammad Akhlaq from September 28, 2015 to November 9, 2015. The chargesheet, however, had been filed by a different IO in March, 2016, said a senior police officer.Security has been beefed up in the district and five companies of the Rapid Action Force and six additional companies of the PAC have been deployed to maintain order.last_img read more

Journalist held on charges of sedition for video clipping

first_imgKishorechandra Wangkhemcha. Photo courtesy: Facebook A large number of men and women staged a sit-in here on Friday protesting the detention of Kishorechandra Wangkhemcha under the National Security Act (NSA) after being released by a court. He was arrested on November 21 for expressing his opinion in a video clipping. Mr. Wangkhemcha was working with the local cable network ISTV, but reportedly sacked shortly after his video clipping went viral.“So far we have not been given any reason for arresting my husband under the NSA. Soon after being released on November 27, police raided our house and whisked him away. Is it democracy to arrest someone for expressing one’s opinion?” Mr. Wangkhemcha’s wife Ranjita demanded. According to her, nobody has extended help to her in this respect and said she would fight for justice.In support Congress MLA Joykishan Khumukcham condemned the BJP-led coalition government and dared it to arrest him since he had been expressing opinions against the government all these days. According to Ms. Ranjita, her husband had questioned the rally taken out on the death anniversary of Rani of Jhansi since he was of the view that her contribution has no relevance in Manipur.Mr. Wangkhemcha was first arrested in August for posting another social media post, following which journalists took out a protest march and he was released. Ms. Ranjita and other family members met him in prison on November 29 during which it was learnt that he was arrested for ‘sedition’.In May, a politician, Erendro Leiombam, was arrested for posting a message criticising the government for its alleged failure to arrest some mischievous youths in other States for posting hate messages against Manipur.Sometime ago BJP activists burnt copies of a vernacular newspaper for criticising the party. Former Deputy Chief Minister and now Congress MLA Gaikhangam said, “It shows the intolerance of the BJP-led government of the democratic exercises and the party is muzzling the freedom of press.”last_img read more