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  1. *Type:Cover*Dimensions:1839x309Text:GOLDEN CsBlackDevil.com*Theme (Image(s) obligatory):Only Text GREEN COLOR *Last request link: Other informations:GREEN COLOR TEXT PLEASE
  2. Actress Rachel Brosnahan has said that wearing a corset for her role in the web series Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and delivering dialogues really fast has caused some of her ribs to fuse together. Speaking on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Brosnahan said that she has to wear a corset to play Midge Maisel, since it's part of the show's signature look. "We talk so fast on the show that to get all the words out you can't really take very many breaths. I think I wasn't breathing a lot and I was a bit constrained, and apparently some of my ribs are sort of fused together a little bit... And I can't take super deep breaths anymore. It's really fine guys. Champagne problems," she said. Although she's been left with an injury, the Amazon Prime show has earned Brosnahan numerous awards - including a Golden Globe and an Emmy, reports femalefirst.co.uk. However, she doesn't have much room in her New York City apartment, so to make space for her awards she has put them on her "toilet shelf", but she thinks it's a good spot for her visitors because they can take photographs with the gongs in private.
  3. Toyota will bring a new entry-level variant of its GR Supra sports car to Europe, powered by a 258bhp four-cylinder engine. The model has made its first public appearance at a Toyota event in Amsterdam, where it is being shown in limited-run Fuji Speedway trim, which features a bespoke metallic white paint finish, matt black alloy wheels, and red interior and trim elements. Like the 3.0-litre straight six already offered in the Supra, the new turbocharged 2.0-litre motor is taken from BMW’s sports car engine line-up. It sends 255bhp and 295lb ft to the rear wheels through an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, while emitting between 156 and 172g/km of CO2. Despite the 80bhp power deficit compared with the 3.0-litre model, the 2.0-litre Supra’s 0-62mph time is just 0.8sec slower at 5.2sec, and it can be expected to match the 149mph top speed of the BMW Z4 sDrive30i, which uses the same engine. Toyota says the new engine is more compact and 100kg lighter than the 3.0-litre unit, so it can be mounted further towards the middle of the car for 50/50 weight distribution. This, it is claimed, “improves the car’s inertia characteristics and chassis balance for even sharper handling”. Tetsuya Tada, the Supra’s chief engineer, said: “To achieve agile steering and stable cornering, we worked very hard to reduce the new car’s weight, while aiming for a 50/50 weight balance. This presented us with huge challenges, but we did not want to compromise on our targets.” From launch, the new model is equipped as standard with 18in alloy wheels, Alcantara-trimmed sports seats, an 8.8in infotainment display and a range of safety functions including pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assistance and automatic emergency braking. The optional Connect trim package brings sat-nav and heightened connectivity features, while a Sport Pack includes an active differential, adaptive suspension and upgraded brakes. While the 2.0-litre option will now be rolled out across Europe, Autocar understands there are no immediate plans to bring it to the UK where demand for a lower-cost variant is lower than in other markets. The firm has sold 300 Supras in the UK so far, with customers currently waiting three months for delivery. The entry-level Supra will go on sale in Europe in March, with prices to be confirmed nearer the time.
  4. Serena Williams is the firm favourite to win the Australian Open as she again bids for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title. The 38-year-old American is aiming to match the record set in 1973 by Australia's Margaret Court, who will be recognised at the tournament on the 50th anniversary of her calendar Grand Slam. Old guard Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are still expected to be the men to beat in Melbourne, while Britain's former world number one Andy Murray is missing because of a pelvic injury. The first Grand Slam of the 2020 season is set to go ahead as planned, despite the backdrop of raging bushfires that have devastated parts of Australia. Here is everything you need to know. How to follow the Australian Open on BBC TV, radio & online Tennis greats raise bushfire appeal money Why isn't Murray playing? For the eighth time in the past 10 Grand Slams, three-time major champion Andy Murray is unavailable to lead British hopes. Murray, 32, was hoping to make a poignant return to Melbourne - where he tearfully admitted last January he thought his career was coming to an end because of chronic hip pain. Since then, the Scot has had "life-changing" hip surgery, returned to competitive action and won ATP Tour titles in singles and doubles events. Now he must wait a bit longer to return to Grand Slam singles competition after picking up a pelvic injury while playing for Great Britain at November's Davis Cup finals. "Unfortunately I've had a setback and as a precaution need to work through that before competing," said the former world number one, who is planning to be back in action in February. "I've worked so hard to get myself into a situation where I can play at the top level and I'm gutted I'm not going to be able to play." Can any of the other Britons mount a challenge? Britain's best hope of winning a first Australian Open singles title since Virginia Wade did so in 1972 looks to be Johanna Konta - if she is not hampered by a long-term knee issue. Konta, ranked 13th in the world, reached at least the quarter-finals in three of the four Grand Slams last year. Although the Australian Open was the only major where she did not compete in the last eight, the 28-year-old does have previous success in Melbourne, having reached the 2016 semi-finals. The knee problem has disrupted the British number one's build-up, however, ruling her out of this week's Adelaide International and limiting her to only one tournament since September's US Open. Joining Konta in the women's draw will be Katie Boulter, who is using her protected ranking of 85 to play after an injury-hit 2019 meant she dropped to 317th. British number two Heather Watson is ranked 101 in the world, and was just outside the initial cut for direct entry, but has moved into the main draw automatically following several withdrawals by higher-ranked players. Harriet Dart and Samantha Murray Sharan are seeking to join them by coming through the qualifying rounds. In Murray's absence, British hopes in the men's singles are in the hands of 30th seed Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie. Evans, 29, is the nation's leading male player after a fine 2019 in which he climbed back into the world's top 50 by getting to his first ATP Tour-level final and playing in the main draws of all four Grand Slams in the same calendar year for the first time. Now, having reached a career-high ranking of 33 on Monday, he goes into a Grand Slam for the first time as Britain's leading male player and a seed. Edmund, 25, is hoping a new coach in Franco Davin, who notably helped his fellow Argentine Juan Martin del Potro win the 2009 US Open, can help him replicate the form that took him to the Australian Open semi-finals in 2018. The Yorkshireman slid down the rankings during a 2019 where he suffered for form and fitness before ending the year on a high by being Britain's standout player in their run to the Davis Cup semi-finals. In the men's doubles, Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski will be seeking to build on the promise they showed in their new partnership last year, when they reached the US Open semi-finals. New decade, same 'Big Three' It may be a new decade - but just as it was during the 2010s, and the latter part of the 2000s, the same three men are widely considered the main contenders to win the first Grand Slam of 2020. Defending champion Djokovic, world number one Nadal and 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer remain the players to beat, having won the past 12 major titles between them. Djokovic is aiming for a record-extending eighth men's singles title in Melbourne and showed just why he is so difficult to beat on the Australian hard courts, having led Serbia to glory in the inaugural ATP Cup. The 32-year-old, who is aiming for a 17th Grand Slam title to close on Federer and 19-time major champion Nadal, dropped only two sets in his six singles matches, which included another dominant win over the Spaniard in Sunday's final in Sydney. Nadal, 33, was outplayed by Djokovic in last year's Australian Open final and continues to struggle against the Serb, who has won their past nine encounters - and 19 sets - on hard courts. As the top two seeds, they are projected to meet in the final on 2 February, although players such as Swiss great Federer, Russia's Daniil Medvedev and Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas have the capability to stop them. It remains to be seen whether Federer, 38, was wise to skip the ATP Cup, a decision intended to preserve his body for Melbourne, but one that leaves him short of court time going into the tournament. Fourth seed Medvedev, 23, pushed Nadal in September's US Open final before losing an epic five-set match and, given his strong hard-court record over the past year, it seems a matter of time before he becomes a major winner. The same can be said for 21-year-old Tsitsipas, who showed he can beat the best by becoming the ATP Finals champion in November and is looking to at least match his run to last year's semi-finals in a city where there is a large Greek community spurring him on. Can 'relieved' Serena finally match Court's record? Williams has not won a Grand Slam title since the 2017 Australian Open, when she was eight weeks pregnant. Since returning from maternity leave in March 2018, she has reached four Grand Slam finals - two at Wimbledon and two at the US Open - losing them all. But she goes into this tournament as the clear favourite, having rediscovered how to win a final. Williams claimed the Auckland International on Sunday, beating fellow American Jessica Pegula in the final, to lift her first trophy in almost three years. "It's been a long time; I think you could see the relief on my face," she said. Williams' drought has helped open up the women's game; the past 11 Grand Slams have produced nine different winners, over a period that has seen seven players hold the world number one ranking. Younger players have grasped their chance over the past three years, with 22-year-old Japanese Naomi Osaka and 19-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu both landing their first majors by beating Williams in New York, while the more experienced Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, and Simona Halep, of Romania, finally landed elusive Grand Slam titles. Osaka, the defending champion in Melbourne, is expected to mount another title tilt on a surface that yielded a 14-match winning streak before she lost to Czech Karolina Pliskova in the Brisbane International semi-finals on Saturday. Andreescu will not be playing in Melbourne, having pulled out with a knee injury sustained at the season-ending WTA Finals in October. World number one Ashleigh Barty is aiming to become the first Australian woman to win at Melbourne Park in 42 years, while second seed Pliskova, having won the Brisbane title for the third successive year, is aiming prove wrong those who doubt she has the mindset to deliver a Grand Slam title. Meanwhile, there will be an emotional farewell for 2018 champion Wozniacki, 29, who will retire after the tournament. Has the tournament been affected by the bushfires? Bushfires across Australia have killed at least 28 people and an estimated half a billion animals since September, with more than 10.3m hectares of land destroyed and air quality in some areas reaching dangerous levels at various points. Australian Open qualifying was delayed by an hour on Tuesday and practice was temporarily suspended because of the air quality, while Slovenian player Dalila Jakupovic retired from her qualifier, saying she was "really scared" she was going to collapse because of the "unhealthy" air. Play was then delayed by three hours on Wednesday because of the air quality before being cancelled for the day because of rain. Tournament organisers said last week that matches could be suspended after Melbourne's air quality reached "very unhealthy" levels. However, they were also confident the tournament would not be disrupted by the crisis. "We don't expect any delays and we've implemented additional measures to ensure the Australian Open will be able to run as scheduled," tournament director Craig Tiley said. "As always, the health and safety of our players, along with our staff and our fans, is a priority, and we've committed substantial extra resources to analysis, monitoring and logistics to ensure this throughout the tournament." Court's milestone being 'recognised' rather than 'celebrated' While Williams seeks to match Court's Grand Slam singles record, the 77-year-old Australian will be marking one of her other milestones - the 50th anniversary of her 1970 sweep of all four of the majors. Court's opposition to same-sex marriage and her view that transgender children are the work of "the devil" have made her a controversial figure and Tennis Australia has said it plans to "recognise" her as a champion rather than "celebrate" her as a hero. The governing body has so far been vague on the details of what it is planning for Court, who is now a Christian pastor. Grand Slam winners Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King are among those who have called for the Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park to be re-named because of her views and the issue could come up again with the Australian invited to participate in a "significant programme of events".
  5. The funeral is due to take place in Vietnam of three policemen killed during a raid which has sparked rare public anger against the government. The deaths came during a massive security operation last week in a village near Hanoi which led to clashes in which a local leader also died. Villagers had been resisting attempts by the military to build an airfield on their land for several years. Land disputes are common in Vietnam, but rarely escalate into such conflict. The raid and the unexplained death of the po[CENSORED]r local leader, 84-year-old Le Dinh Kinh, have caused huge public controversy. The government has blamed the officers' deaths on "rioters", while President Nguyen Phu Trong posthumously decorated them with military honours. But locals say police used excessive force. What is the dispute in Dong Tam? The military began building an airport at Mieu Mon, close to Dong Tam, about three years ago. Local people say that in the process, about 50 hectares (124 acres) of their land was unfairly taken over and handed to Viettel Group, Vietnam's military-run communications company. All land in communist Vietnam is owned by the state, so the government can technically use what it wants for military or civilian purposes. But locals say they have farmed the land for generations and were not being properly compensated. Dong Tam first hit national headlines in 2017, when four people were arrested for "disturbing public order" in protests against the acquisition of the land. Villagers retaliated by holding 38 officials, including police officers, inside a community house, for about a week. They were eventually released after the authorities agreed some concessions. What happened in the 9 January clashes? Villagers told BBC News Vietnamese that early that morning, up to 3,000 security personnel turned up. "A lot of government people in mobile police uniforms, carrying sticks, clubs, clubs, guns, shields, rushed to the village," said one woman who asked to remain anonymous, fearing retribution. Another witness said the police "threw flares, fired tear gas, blocked every corner, beat up women and the elderly". In a statement, the Ministry of Public Security said police had been sent to protect the public from protesters and to help the army build the boundary wall, a couple of kilometres away. Construction of the wall annexing disputed land to the airfield was due to reach the edge of Dong Tam rural commune that day. As workers began building the wall "some people resisted, using hand grenades, petrol bombs and knives to attack police forces, fighting officers on duty and disrupting public order", the statement said, according to VNExpress. How did the four people die? Le Dinh Kinh was a Communist Party member and retired local official. But in recent years he had become an unlikely opponent of the government. He was leading a group of local people who had sworn to sacrifice their lives to defend the land. He had been detained - and allegedly beaten by police - during the 2017 clashes. According to the security ministry, three police officers who entered the village came under attack. They died after being set on fire. Local authorities said Mr Kinh was found dead inside a house holding a grenade. His family and supporters dispute this. They say a widely circulated video of his body shows apparent bullet wounds. His son, Le Dinh Chuc, was injured in the raid. Deputy Minister Luong Tam Quang said police had seized petrol bombs, iron rods and other weapons. Twenty people are being investigated on murder charges. Evicted and struggling to be heard MyHang Tran, BBC News Vietnamese There are thousands of land dispute victims across Vietnam, some homeless or living in miserable conditions, spending their days knocking on doors of government bodies, with land ownership documents in their hands, hoping for their case to be heard. Some struggle to get by on compensation which, per square metre, is barely enough to buy a bowl of noodles. Some have taken their lives. Le Dinh Kinh had regularly livestreamed to Facebook. He never spoke with hate about the government or the Communist Party. But he pledged the villagers would "fight to the very end" for the land they considered theirs. This case has shaken the country. As Vietnam's economy is booming, and the government wants more land for development purposes, the fear is such cases could become more common. What's the response been? The government and state-run media have painted Mr Kinh and the villagers as rioters and terrorists and the police officers as martyrs. On 13 January, three of Mr Kinh's family appeared on TV, with bruised faces, apparently admitting to possessing homemade weapons and petrol bombs. Rights groups have said these were forced confessions. Mr Kinh's wife, Du Thi Thanh, also says she was beaten by police. Coverage of the clashes on social media has been swamped by pro-government comment, while the government has demanded videos, articles and comments criticising the police operation be taken down. Nonetheless, many people have raised concern about the use of excessive force in the raid. "My feeling is a boundary has been overstepped, by both sides. Sending thousands of armed troops into a village at 4am can't have been the right solution," Pham Thi Loan, a former MP representing Hanoi, told BBC Vietnamese. Human Rights Watch called on Vietnam to hold anyone responsible for violence to account. "Government officials need to recognise the importance of carrying out dialogues and negotiations with farmers to solve land disputes like Dong Tam in a peaceful manner rather than using violence," said Phil Robertson, the group's deputy Asia director.
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  7. Just like Makar Sankranti and Lohri, Pongal is also a harvest festival, which is celebrated with enthusiasm in southern India, particularly in Tamil Nadu. Thai Pongal, the four day festival, also marks the starting of six month Uttarayan period, during which sun’s transition is towards north. It is known as Thai Pongal as it is celebrated in the tenth month of Tamil calendar. This year, Pongal is falling on January 15. Pongal is observed to thank God and the sun for a good harvest. People, on the first day of Pongal, offer prayer to God Indra and prepare traditional dishes, mostly made up of rice, milk and jaggery. The second day is dedicated to the sun. On the third day, people decorate their cattle and offer prayers and the day ends with Jallikattu, an event in which bulls are unleashed into the crowd of people. People, on the fourth day, organise a get-together and exchange sweets and gifts. However, just like any other Indian festival, Pongal is also famous for its dishes having south Indian flavour. Payasam Payasam is a kind of pudding, which is prepared using rice, milk and jaggery. Some dry fruits are added to get more flavours. It is cooked by putting rice and sugar in boiling milk. Sakkarai Pongal One of the must-try dishes on the festival, Sakkarai Pongal is a sweet dish cooked using jaggery, rice and moong dal, ghee, sugar, cardamoms and nuts. It is offered to God Indra as part of the tradition. Medu Vada Not only savoured on the occasion of Pongal, but Medu Veda is also a po[CENSORED]r snack, usually, taken in breakfast or as an evening snack. It is enjoyed with Sambhar and coconut chutney. Idli One of the most po[CENSORED]r south Indian dishes, Idli or rice cake is also generally served in breakfast. It is also savoured with Sambhar and coconut chutney. It is prepared by steaming a batter consisting of fermented rice and black lentils. Khara Pongal Khara Pongal is also a po[CENSORED]r breakfast in south India. It is cooking mainly using moong dal and rice, ghee, cashew nuts, raisins and mild spices. It is also served with Sambhar and coconut chutney. It can be prepared in two flavours – sweet and spicy.
  8. It has been a challenging fifteen months for Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc since the company took its ‘second century’ business expansion plan public on the London stock exchange. I’d imagine a stock market analyst would probably choose a word other than ‘challenging’ to describe it, in fact; one preceded, perhaps, with an even more colourful term beginning with the letter ‘b’ or ‘f’. The truth is, Aston’s stocks have yet to really become buoyant at all. They’ve been taking on water steadily since an ambitious debut at £19-a-share in October 2018, and rallied briefly over Christmas, but sat at a new low of £3.86-a-piece as these words were written. Painful stuff indeed. Although a change in ownership structure is rumoured to be close, the floatation experiment must now be weighing on the company’s balance sheet like a 20-stone life preserver resting not-so-lightly around the neck. Conveniently, the car that may be the company’s saviour is almost ready to enter the fray – and how urgently it is needed. The DBX is the new big second-century Aston. A four-door, five-metre, 542bhp ‘super-SUV’ of a contentious kind, it’s not likely to be welcomed by critics and commentators across the board – although, by my reckoning, it probably should be. And few at Gaydon will care in any case if it reproduces even a proportion of the commercial success of the Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga or Porsche Cayenne, and becomes the stabilizing and transformative influence that Andy Palmer and his team are quietly but squarely depending on. The DBX is not a car that seems so fundamentally alike to those polarizing fast and expensive 4x4s in the metal, actually. Aston invited us to its new factory in St Athan, South Wales, for a first drive which came courtesy of a mid-stage production prototype in a low-profile-keeping dark colour and with some very light disguise. The sight of it quickly confirmed that this car might very well change opinions about how excessive and objectionable big, powerful, exotically positioned SUVs must necessarily be. It’s just over five metres long; longer therefore than a Porsche Cayenne or a Range Rover Sport, but shorter than a Bentayga or an Urus. But being long-in-the-wheelbase and lower-roofed than many of its SUV rivals, it doesn’t looks its size somehow - being also rakish and tapering, with a relatively low bonnet height. I’d risk putting it on record, in fact, that it’s much closer to compact- and elegant-looking than ever I thought a car like this might get. It’s also not overwrought or aggressive-looking – at all. While I appreciate that recording as much will open me up to ridicule by a great many people who haven’t laid eyes on the car at all, to my eyes the DBX looks like a handsome modern Aston – and, considering its necessary size and proportions, that’s quite something. Under the aluminium and composite body panels it’s built around an all-new aluminium ‘platform’ chassis, the cost of which (combined with that of establishing the factory building it) has made the car an unusually sizable investment. It carries over very little from Aston’s wider model range, powered instead by a 4.0-litre turbo V8 sourced from Mercedes-AMG but not quite the same one that you’ll find in the Vantage and DB11. It’s effectively the same motor that appears in a Mercedes-AMG E63 S super saloon, and it comes packaged with the same ‘active’ four-wheel drive system and torque-vectoring rear differential as that car uses. Where its driveline makeup differs from that of the hot E-Class is for a gearbox; where the Merc uses a seven-speed multi-clutch gearbox for faster shifts and greater outright torque capacity (and other modern Astons use a ZF eight-speed auto, of course), the DBX uses Mercedes’ nine-speed torque-converter automatic ‘box for smoother changes – and importantly so that Aston could engineer-in the near-three-tonne towing capacity and the low-speed torque multiplication that it knew some DBX owners would want. Using the nine-speed box also meant that Aston had to limit engine torque to a peak 516lb ft – but with an updated gearbox of greater torque capacity apparently in the pipeline, and given that we already know how much more torque that engine can produce, there may well be more grunt to come in the not-too-distant future. Suspension is via four-chamber air suspension that can be adjusted for both spring rate and ride height, with adaptive Bilstein dampers and 48-volt ‘roll-cancelling’ active anti-roll bars. Two-out-of-those-three technologies have never been adopted by any Aston Martin before, but they’re pretty standard fare amongst the cars with which the DBX must compete – and so Aston Martin development guru Matt Becker and his team decided early on that the car would have ‘em. Ride height can be adjusted through almost 100mm of travel in total. What the DBX doesn’t have, interestingly, is four-wheel steering – and not by chance, as Becker explained from the passenger seat during our test drive. “We’ve ‘protected’ four-wheel steering for the car, so we can use it later if we feel it’s necessary,” says Becker, “and I appreciate what it can do for a car like this on low-speed agility and outright lateral grip. But, honestly, I just don’t like the effect it can have on steering and cornering behaviour. Too often I find myself having to ‘steer’ cars that have 4WS several times on the way around a corner, because they can be over-responsive and a bit unpredictable generally. And we really wanted the DBX to feel natural, intuitive; easy to place.” It’s not a stretch up to get into the DBX, and it’s not a car most will need to duck to enter either. You sit more recumbently than in most SUVs, and feel more enclosed because of the high windowline, the slim glasshouse and the fairly ‘fast’ windscreen angle – but also because door panels wrap reasonably closely around your outboard elbow. The rich, enveloping cabin has a more cosy feel than you’re expecting, then – but it’s also usefully roomy. There’s plenty space for bigger adults in the back, while Aston claims 632 litres of boot space. It’s certainly a cargo bay of a very good size, and looks like it ought to swallow bulky objects like pushchairs, golf bags and dog boxes with space to spare. There will be more practical SUVs I dare say, but the DBX ought to do very well for people who’ve been waiting for genuinely usable, comfortable and versatile four-seater from Aston Martin. Despite its only medium-high hip point and rakish screen, the car offers good forward visibility thanks to its lowish scuttle – and because you can see the front corners of bodywork directly above the front wheels, it’s easy to judge the car’s size on the road and it doesn’t feel any larger than it needs to. What the DBX doesn’t have, interestingly, is four-wheel steering – and not by chance, as Becker explained from the passenger seat during our test drive. “We’ve ‘protected’ four-wheel steering for the car, so we can use it later if we feel it’s necessary,” says Becker, “and I appreciate what it can do for a car like this on low-speed agility and outright lateral grip. But, honestly, I just don’t like the effect it can have on steering and cornering behaviour. Too often I find myself having to ‘steer’ cars that have 4WS several times on the way around a corner, because they can be over-responsive and a bit unpredictable generally. And we really wanted the DBX to feel natural, intuitive; easy to place.” It’s not a stretch up to get into the DBX, and it’s not a car most will need to duck to enter either. You sit more recumbently than in most SUVs, and feel more enclosed because of the high windowline, the slim glasshouse and the fairly ‘fast’ windscreen angle – but also because door panels wrap reasonably closely around your outboard elbow. The rich, enveloping cabin has a more cosy feel than you’re expecting, then – but it’s also usefully roomy. There’s plenty space for bigger adults in the back, while Aston claims 632 litres of boot space. It’s certainly a cargo bay of a very good size, and looks like it ought to swallow bulky objects like pushchairs, golf bags and dog boxes with space to spare. There will be more practical SUVs I dare say, but the DBX ought to do very well for people who’ve been waiting for genuinely usable, comfortable and versatile four-seater from Aston Martin. Despite its only medium-high hip point and rakish screen, the car offers good forward visibility thanks to its lowish scuttle – and because you can see the front corners of bodywork directly above the front wheels, it’s easy to judge the car’s size on the road and it doesn’t feel any larger than it needs to. When you’re using the car’s most laid-back and comfortable ‘GT’ driving mode, you’d characterize the ride and handling in similar terms to those of the last four-door GT that Aston made, the likable Rapide S. It’s a very comfortable car and a reasonably well isolated one too, even on 22in rims. The difference from the Rapide experience here is, of course, that that everything happens at a foot of greater altitude from the surface of the road. There is no doubt that, despite of its greater bulk and raised body profile, the DBX becomes tauter, quicker and more agile than the Rapide ever was when you put it into ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport+’ modes, as it squats over its wheels, gathers its powers of body control and responsiveness and takes on plenty of convincing sporting purpose. That’s perhaps the most meaningful dynamic compliment I can pay the car, and the team behind it; that it develops and improves the capacities of the four-door Aston at once to perform, to engage, to handle and simply to comfortably and agreeably transport, in apparently opposite dimensions all at the same time. Performance is very serious indeed and nicely flexible throughout the rev range, but not brutal or savage like you’ll find in an Urus in full cry – just as the DBX’s 4.5sec 0-62mph claim would suggest. Aston wanted the car to be class-leading for handling balance and steering, as Becker explained, and was content for it to be ‘among the best’ for acceleration and ride isolation – and, broadly, that’s how it seems. Although the ride is cushioned and fluent in all but ‘Sport+’ mode and over all but the nastiest surfaces, sharper lumps and bumps in the tarmac do clunk through into the cockpit just a little bit. Steering, however, is natural-feeling, ideally weighted and linear in its pace at all times; and handling is ever-predictable and intuitive, and secure yet balanced and poised, making the DBX surprisingly composed, controlled and agile for such a big, tall car. It’s even more fun on loose offroad surfaces (see sidebars), as some rallycross-style gravel cornering at the Walters Arena very vividly demonstrated. All up, the Aston Martin DBX makes quite the first impression, then: one of a car that’s smaller and more outwardly appealing, sweeter-to-drive and just a little bit more of a moderate than you expected it to be. One of a super-SUV, and whisper this, that’s been carefully considered in its design and positioning, and configured with just a little bit of willingness to judiciously compromise. And what a turn up that is. Walters Arena, near Merthyr Tydfil, granted a chance to find out how the DBX might handle wet gravel, mud and rocks, and some deep standing water. Much as few owners of a near-£200,000 car would ever be likely to find out with their own purchases, it handles all very capably indeed. The car’s air suspension and active anti-roll bars are apparently key in producing the chassis’ ability to stay level and to rotate into corners when you select ‘Sport+’ driving mode. So explains Matt Becker as you approach a wide gravel bend in 3rd gear, then throw the car’s nose into the apex on a trailing throttle and feel the rear pivot benignly wide as its rear-axle roll stiffness peaks. The car’s mid-corner handling adjustability is better off the throttle than on it; the driveline allows you to maintain a neutral attitude easily but will more often pull the car straight with lots of power than allow you greater slip angle. Still, it’s huge fun to slide about in. At much lower speed, some wading is possible (max depth is 500mm), while the DBX will crawl over smaller rocks easily enough, although its offroad modes could provide a more progressive throttle pedal map. On 22in wheels and mid-range all-season tyres (winter tyres and performance tyres will also be available) there was decent enough traction on mud for fairly steep climbs and decents, with standard-fit electronic Hill Descent Control helping on the latter. Outright offroad capability clearly isn’t what the DBX is about – and more clearly still, it needn’t be. What owners are likely to ask of it, however, it seems quite ready to cope with. So after Wales in the rain, the less relevant question of how well the DBX deals with the desert of Oman. I got to fly out in December to experience a same-generation prototype to the one we drove in the UK, on a route that included more than 100km of gravel and dirt. On tarmac the DBX’s native rearward torque bias only becomes obvious under faster progress, but on the loose it is always heavily evident. Even in the car’s default GT mode it is clear that most effort is heading to the back axle, with the electronically controlled biasing differential then helping the car to turn by overspeeding the outside wheel. The upshot on longer, faster corners is a modest but discernable yaw angle that the car both achieves and seems to hold by itself. Of course, that’s just where the bidding starts, with the more aggressive Sport and Sport Plus dynamic modes increasing both the car’s natural angle of attack and also increasing the intervention threshold of the stability control. But even with this switched fully off – at Becker’s suggestion – the DBX stayed both stable and adjustable on sweeping gravel corners, although the suddenness with which the AMG V8’s torque peak arrives required some respectful throttle technique. While all this was hugely fun, the DBX’s suspension impressed more. The combination of speed and big bumps is one that few road cars can comfortably deal with, a point made by the heaving ride of Aston’s Toyota Land Cruiser support vehicle as it followed behind. Yet the DBX’s combination of generous suspension travel and pillowy air springs enabled it to digest rough surfaces amazingly well, taking ruts that would get me bracing for impact without effort. The active 48 Volt anti-roll can still be felt working on slippery surfaces, the extent to which it cancels lean immediately obvious when the prototype’s system failed, turning the Aston’s speedboat impression into one of a bulk carrier. A stop-and-start reset got it working again. Adjustable ride height is another of the air suspension’s neat tricks. I didn’t do any serious rock scrambling, but the ability to add up to 45mm to ride height in Terrain Plus adds reassurance when maneuvering over sharp rocks. Becker cheerfully admits that the DBX is better off-road than his team expected it to be: “we aimed for Allroad and we got a Cayenne.” While few owners are likely to take it far from tarmac, there’s an undoubted reassurance in knowing it is capable of so much more.
  9. Quique Setien says he could not imagine becoming Barcelona manager "in his wildest dreams". Former Real Betis coach Setien, 61, was named Barca boss on Monday following Ernesto Valverde's sacking. Setien, who has signed a two-and-a-half year deal, led Betis to their highest finish since 2005 and to the Copa del Rey semis before leaving in May. "I want to thank this institution for giving me the chance," said the Spaniard at his first news conference. "Not even in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this. I have to thank the club. I'm excited about this challenge and this project." He added: "Yesterday, I was walking around my home town with cows around me and now I'm here at Barcelona managing the best players in the world." Guillem Balague column: Why Quique Setien was appointed and why Xavi said no After managing lower-league sides, Setien led Las Palmas to 11th in La Liga - their best finish for 40 years - and enjoyed further success at Betis, where in his first season he led them to sixth place and qualification for the Europa League. Betis also secured wins over Barca, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid during his two-year tenure, and he left the club by mutual consent in the summer. Barcelona are top of La Liga on goal difference and have won four of the last five league titles. "I thank Ernesto Valverde for leaving me with a side that is top of the league," he said. "My objective is to win everything! Everything you can win, this club has no other path to follow. "Year after year, to win as many trophies as possible. I think the best way to victory is by playing good football. It doesn't always happen but it's not just about one day, it's about keeping it going." Setien has previously stated he would cry when Barca and Argentina forward Lionel Messi retires. "I said that about a lot of players," he said. "I have enjoyed watching Barcelona for several years, watching them on television. "To be able to manage the best in the world, and his team-mates - he has great team-mates - I have spoken to him and others. "I have always said that the admiration is one thing but reality is different. Everyone needs to have their place. Messi is Messi, Busquets is Busquets."
  10. It is believed the person being detained will face charges related to national security. Flight PS752 was brought down after it took off from Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board. Iran has said it was shot down by accident and announced the arrest of several people over the incident. President Hassan Rouhani said his country's investigation would be overseen by a "special court". "This will not be a regular and usual case. The whole world will be watching this court," he said in a speech. Mr Rouhani also stressed that the "tragic event" should not be blamed on one individual. "It's not only the person who pulled the trigger, but also others who are responsible," he said. Iran faces watershed moment Plane crash victims 'were the best of us' What we know about flight PS752 Iran initially denied that the aircraft was hit by a missile, but later conceded that the passenger jet was hit by its air defence systems. When the video was shared on social media, it led analysts to say it showed the plane was hit by a missile. Who has been arrested? Iranian media reported that Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards had taken a person who posted a video last week of the missile striking the plane into custody. But an Iranian journalist based in London who initially posted the footage has insisted that his source is safe, and that the Iranian authorities have arrested the wrong person. Earlier on Tuesday, Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said that several people had been detained over the downing of the plane. He added that about 30 people had been arrested for "taking part in illegal gatherings" - an apparent reference to recent anti-government protests. Separately the New York Times said security camera footage showed two missiles were fired at the plane, more than 20 seconds apart. The paper said this would explain why the plane's transponder seemed to have stopped working before the missile strike - it had been disabled by the first missile. What are other countries saying? UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC on Tuesday that he was "glad" Iran had acknowledged making a "terrible mistake" in shooting down the plane. "It's good that they've apologised. The most important thing now is that tensions in the region calm down," he added. Mr Johnson said the next step for Iran was to "repatriate in a dignified way" the bodies of the passengers and crew of flight PS752, who included three Britons. Ukraine's Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said on Monday that five of the countries that had citizens on board the airliner - Canada, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Sweden and an unnamed country - would meet in London on Thursday to discuss possible legal action. He said the "grieving nations" would work out what steps to take individually and collectively to "bring the perpetrators to justice and how we can repay those families who have suffered". Canada, which lost 57 citizens, will meanwhile play a more active role than international rules require in the investigation into the shooting down of the airliner, according to Kathy Fox, the head of its Transportation Safety Board (TSB).
  11. Selena Gomez Reveals She Was Happier off Social Media Singer Selena Gomez, who recently released her studio album Rare, said that she was "so much happier" during the time she took a hiatus from social media for two years. Singer-actress Selena Gomez says she was "so much happier" when she was off social media. In an interview on New Music Daily on Apple Music's Beats 1, the singer opened up about her decision to ditch the virtual world In 2018, the Lose You To Love Me hitmaker decided to take a two-year break from Instagram and Twitter. "I didn't have social media for two years. You've just got to do it. I was driving myself crazy. First off, there was a million things that I didn't want to see. I would see them over and over and over again. Then I'm comparing. Then I'm looking at these people, and I'm like, 'How do they' ... It's all the things that people say, right? It's nothing new. It's that you usually sometimes feel like shit. You have FOMO (fear of missing out). Everyone's life looks amazing, and that happens to me, too. I'm like, "Well, what am I? I'm missing the plot here. Right? How come it's so fun for everyone else?," she said. The singer continued, "Then it just started getting dark. There were accounts that were dissecting me, down to my body, to my face, my features, choices I've made, telling stories, and it drove me crazy, because I honestly just wanted to be like, 'None of you even know what you're talking about', and it just destroyed me. So I stopped, and I tell every single person everything changed. "Also, I'm living in that time where there's a specific look that's going on within females. So that would get in my head as well. Yeah, I do look young, so there's nothing I can do about that. Of course, I am 27, but sometimes I'm like, 'Oh, I look like a baby', which is stupid. I don't fit into that look, which isn't a bad thing, and it's not bad that that's what people enjoy and like. It's whatever makes you feel comfortable, of course." Gomez said when she was out of social media, "I was so much happier with just me, myself, how I looked, and that helped a lot". "I just needed to let my old self go. I was purging multiple different things, but it was specifically who I was then," she dded.
  12. Toyota and Subaru are ramping up development of a successor to the GT86 and BRZ sports cars – and Autocar has learned that the Toyota version will be rebranded as the GR86. The GT86 and BRZ were launched in 2012, and their future had been in doubt because of relatively low sales. But both companies have committed to developing a replacement, with the Toyota version a key part of the brand’s growing performance car line-up. Toyota boss Akio Toyoda is a major proponent of using performance models to boost the brand’s image under the Gazoo Racing division, which also includes Toyota’s various motorsport programmes. The original GT86 pre-dated the creation of that brand, which started with the GR Supra and will also include the GR Yaris, the first model developed purely by Gazoo Racing. The next GT86 is set to be rebranded to bring it in line with that nomenclature. The next-gen sports car will feature some substantial changes from the existing model. While the original was built on a Subaru platform, the firm’s current architectures are not suited to rear-drive cars, so Autocar understands the new model is set to be built on Toyota’s TNGA platform. While Toyota underpinnings will be used, Subaru is expected to once again take the lead with powertrain development. Autocar understands the car is likely to retain a flat-four ‘Boxer’ engine, with reports in Japan suggesting that the existing 2.0-litre naturally aspirated unit will be switched for the turbocharged 2.4-litre powerplant currently used in the Ascent, Legacy and Outback models. That engine produces 255bhp in the Ascent, a figure that would represent a significant upgrade on the outgoing model’s output. Forced induction would also provide a substantial torque upgrade over the old car, too, providing a draw for those who weren’t satisfied with the performance of the outgoing GT86 and BRZ. Both brands may wish to retain the drivability and character of a naturally aspirated unit, but this needs to be balanced with what buyers are demanding – and that appears to be the on-tap grunt of a turbocharged unit. Toyota and Subaru will also want to improve the aesthetic appeal of the new car, both inside and out. The old GT86 and BRZ were widely criticised for their low-rent cabin, so expect improvements in technology, material usage and fit and finish. Whether or not the model becomes more of a true four-seater in order to really help it stand up against more practical rivals remains to be seen. Such changes – particularly the power upgrade – would be likely to see the price of both cars increase. However, both brands will be conscious of the close proximity of more premium models, such as the Audi TT and BMW Z4. Toyota won’t want to tread on the toes of its own Supra, either, particularly in Japan where a four-cylinder version of the reborn sports car is offered. The second-generation BRZ and GT86 will build on expanding links between Subaru and Toyota. As well as the sports car, the two firms are teaming up to develop a new EV platform and electric SUV. Toyota weighs up sports hybrids Toyota is considering hybrid versions of future performance car models – but only once the weight of the systems are reduced. The Japanese firm is in the process of electrifying all of its models, with a heavy focus on hybrid systems. But the new GR Yaris will only be offered with a three-cylinder, 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, despite 80% of Yaris sales expected to be hybrid.
  13. Sergio Ramos scored the decisive spot-kick as Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 4-1 on penalties to win the Spanish Super Cup. The Real captain sent Jan Oblak the wrong way to secure the trophy after a goalless 120 minutes in Saudi Arabia. Saul Niguez and Thomas Partey missed their penalties for Atletico. Real Madrid had ended the game with 10 men after Federico Valverde was sent off in extra time for fouling Alvaro Morata when he was clean through. Spanish Super Cup - who, why and where? The dramatic finale was at odds with what was a largely turgid encounter at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah. Joao Felix had the best opportunity of a quiet first half, but he could only shoot wide from the edge of the box after he had been gifted possession by Ramos. Real were much brighter at the start of the second period, with Serbia striker Luka Jovic driving just wide after he had wriggled past two Atletico defenders on the edge of the area. Atletico did not manage a shot on target until the 79th minute, Kieran Trippier's searching pass finding Morata, whose volley from the edge of the six-yard box was parried away by Thibaut Courtois. The game's major flashpoint came with five minutes remaining in extra time when Valverde cynically hacked down Morata just outside the area when he was clean through on goal, sparking a melee involving both sets of players. In the shootout, Saul saw his spot-kick hit the post before Thomas' effort was saved by Courtois, giving Ramos the chance to secure Real's 11th Spanish Super Cup triumph. The tournament had a new format this season, with the top two from La Liga and the Copa del Rey finalists playing in a four-team competition rather than the two winners playing each other. Real, despite finishing third in La Liga, qualified because Barcelona won the league and finished runners-up in the Cup.
  14. Iran's leaders have faced a second day of protests following their admission the military shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 people on board, many of them Iranians. Protesters in Tehran and in several other cities chanted slogans against the leadership. Clashes with security forces and the firing of tear gas are reported. Iran admitted "unintentionally" hitting the plane after initially denying it, amid rising tensions with the US. The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, was shot down near Tehran last Wednesday, shortly after Iran had launched missiles at two airbases housing US forces in Iraq. Those strikes were a response to the US killing of senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad on 3 January. Iran faces watershed moment What we know about flight PS752 Dozens of Iranians and Canadians, as well as nationals from Ukraine, the UK, Afghanistan and Sweden died on the plane. What happened at Sunday's protests? Demonstrators attended new protests despite a large deployment of security forces. Riot police, members of the elite Revolutionary Guard on motorbikes, and plainclothes security officials were out in force. Revolutionary Guards - what do they do? Iran's only female Olympic medallist defects In one apparently symbolic act rejecting state propaganda, video showed students taking care not to walk over US and Israeli flags painted on the ground at Shahid Beheshti university in Tehran. In some social media clips, protesters can be heard chanting anti-government slogans, including: "They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here." Many of the protesters are women. Social media footage showed clapping and chanting protesters in Tehran's Azadi Square. BBC Persian says there has been a crackdown there by security forces, with tear gas fired. The semi-official Fars news agency said up to 1,000 people were protesting at various points in the capital. Protests were also reported in other cities. Those who decide to continue demonstrating will be mindful of the violence with which the security forces have dealt with protest movements in the past, the BBC's Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher says. On Saturday, students had gathered outside two universities. They initially did so to pay respect to the victims, but angry protests erupted later in the evening and tear gas was reportedly fired to disperse them. A number of Iranian newspapers have covered the vigils for the plane victims alongside headlines such as "Shame" and "Unforgivable". But there has also been praise for what one pro-government newspaper called Iran's "honest" admission of error. There were also protests on Sunday in Tehran in support of Soleimani, and opposing the US and UK. What has the international reaction been? US President Donald Trump on Sunday repeated warnings that Iran should not target anti-government protesters, saying, "the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching". Britain, meanwhile, has condemned the arrest of the UK ambassador to Iran in Tehran as a "flagrant violation of international law". Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Rob Macaire was detained after attending a vigil where he was paying respects to victims of the crash, some of whom were British. UK condemns ambassador's arrest in Tehran Mr Macaire said he left the vigil when some people started chanting and had played no part in the demonstration. Iran on Sunday summoned the ambassador to complain about "his unconventional behaviour of attending an illegal rally", the foreign ministry website said. Iranian protesters set a UK flag alight in front of the UK embassy on Sunday. In other developments on Sunday: US Defence Secretary Mark Esper told CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday that he "didn't see" specific evidence that Iran was preparing attacks against US embassies. President Trump had said on Friday he believed four embassies were under threat. Mr Esper said he shared the president's belief that there "probably and could've been attacks on additional embassies" Eight Katyusha rockets were fired at the Balad air base, which has housed US forces north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Four Iraqis were wounded. There have been several recent attacks on the base blamed on Iranian-backed militias Hundreds of mourners are attending memorials in the Canadian cities of Toronto and Edmonton, At the latter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the crowd he would pursue justice and accountability on behalf of their families and friends At the scene: Canada mourns BBC's Jessica Murphy, Edmonton, Alberta Pedram Mousavi and Mojgan Daneshmand gazed out from the photograph projected on the screen with wide smiles, looking like they had been caught laughing at a shared joke. The "sweet couple" likely were. Along with their two daughters, Daria, 14, and Dorina, 9, they were remembered for their quickness to laughter, their generosity, their full embrace of life. The family of four were among the 13 victims of flight PS752 who came from the Canadian city of Edmonton. A crowd of some 2,300 people packed into a university gym on Sunday to pay respects to those lost - family, close friends colleagues, classmates - whose death has left a hole in so many lives. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the crowd that in their sorrow "your entire country stands with you". A friend of Pedram's, through a letter read by his former student Hossein Saghlatoon, said the loss was "too much to bear". He was looking forward to many more memorable moments with Pedram and his family, he wrote "but alas, the cruel hand of destiny had some other plans". How did the Iranian admission unfold? For three days, Iran denied reports its missiles had brought down the plane, with one spokesman accusing Western nations of "lying and engaging in psychological warfare". But on Saturday morning, a statement read on state TV accepted the plane had been shot down. Brig-Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace commander, said a missile operator had acted independently and alone, mistaking the plane for a "cruise missile". He also said he had informed the authorities about what had happened on Wednesday, raising questions about why Iran had denied involvement for so long. Both Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky and Justin Trudeau have demanded accountability from Iran. Plane crash victims 'were the best of us' Why were so many Canadians on the plane? Mr Trudeau said on Saturday there must be a full investigation with "full clarity on how such a horrific tragedy could have occurred".
  15. Ananya Panday is currently shooting for her upcoming film 'Khaali Peeli' with Ishaan Khatter. She has been travelling in Maharashtra with the cast and crew. Ananya Panday, who made her Bollywood debut in 2019 with Student of the Year 2 co-starring Tiger Shroff and Tara Sutaria, is currently busy shooting for her next film, Khaali Peeli in parts of Maharashtra. The Pati Patni Aur Woh actress has posted a sun-kissed photo on her Instagram account while she enjoys a boat in Mahabaleshwar. The diva looked delightful as she enjoyed her boat ride but what caught everyone’s attention was her nose piercing. Soon after the picture was posted, actor Sonam Kapoor dropped a sweet reply in the comments section. She wrote, “I like the piercing sweetheart.” Earlier, she had posted a BTS picture on her Instagram account with her stylist, Natascha and Stacy Gomes. She captioned the image as “Laughter is the best medicine". Maqbool Khan’s Khaali Peeli stars Ishaan Khatter as the male lead and is scheduled to release on June 12. Ananya was last seen sharing the screen space with Kathik Aaryan and Bhumi Pednekar in Pati Patni Aur Who. The actress will be next seen with Deepika Padukone in an untitled project co-starring Sidhant Chaturvedi. Expressing her delight on working with Deepika, Ananya said, "Deepika Padukone is an actress I truly love and I also really enjoyed watching Siddhant in ‘Gully Boy'. Moreover, I'm working again with Dharma Productions, which feels like home and I'm really happy about it. I'll forever be grateful to Karan (Johar). My director Shakun Batra, I believe, is one of the finest in the industry and he has been the dream director I've always wanted to work with."


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