Priyanka Chopra apologises after The Activist backlash: ‘I’m sorry that my participation disappointed you’

Priyanka Chopra has apologised for her participation in the CBS show The Activist in the wake of controversy and social media backlash. She said she has been “moved” by the criticism. She acknowledged that the show “got it wrong” and is “sorry that my participation in it disappointed many of you”.

Earlier CBS had announced a change in The Activist’s format. It will be changed from a competition show to a one-time documentary.

“I’m happy to know that in this new format, their stories will be the highlight, and I’m proud to collaborate with partners who have their ear to the ground and know when it’s time to hit pause and re-evaluate,” Priyanka said.

The Activist was announced as involving six “inspiring activists” who will team up with three public figures, namely Usher, Priyanka, and Julianne Hough. The announcement was met with shock, ridicule, and in a few cases, outright disbelief. Many accused the makers of “performance activism” and trivialising the very concept of activism by turning it into cheap entertainment.

Priyanka went on to laud the “global community of activists who fight the fight every single day and put their blood, sweat and tears into creating change, but more often than not, they are rarely heard or acknowledged.”

“Their work is so important and they too deserve to be recognized and celebrated. Thank you to each and every one of you for all that you do,” she concluded.

Earlier, Julianne Houghton had also addressed the criticism in a note. “The last few days have been a powerful demonstration of real-time activism. Thank you for using your voices, calling me in, your accountability, and your candor. I am deeply listening with an open heart and mind,” she had written.

Earlier, a joint statement from CBS and co-producer, non-profit Global Citizen read, “The Activist was designed to show a wide audience the passion, long hours, and ingenuity that activists put into changing the world, hopefully inspiring others to do the same. However, it has become apparent the format of the show as announced distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do in their communities every day. The push for global change is not a competition and requires a global effort.”

The organisation had apologised to not only real activists, but also the hosts, who’d been dragged through the mud for associating themselves with the show.

Former Australian pacer Shaun Tait to coach Pondicherry

Former Australian pacer Shaun Tait will be the bowling coach of the Pondicherry cricket team for the upcoming domestic season. Tait, who is also the bowling coach of the Afghanistan cricket team, will be the lone foreign coach in the Indian domestic circuit.

Tait will join the team in the last week of September.

“We have roped him (Tait) in as bowling coach subject to his availability. He had expressed his willingness to come on board. Whenever he is not on any international assignment he will be with the Pondicherry team,” Cricket Association of Pondicherry (CAP) spokesperson said.

Tait played three Tests, 35 ODIs and 21 T20 internationals for Australia.

The CAP has announced former Rajasthan wicket-keeper batsman Dishant Yagnik as its coach for the season.

“Pondicherry has a lot of naturally talented fast bowlers. They need a professional coach to guide them. Tait will assist all age groups to groom our fast bowlers, he will also be going to work with our local bowlers in our academy,” the spokesperson said.

The BCCI released an extensive list of domestic fixtures on Monday. Delhi is the host of the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali final on November 22 and Kolkata will host the Ranji final on March 16. Neutral venues will be used across all tournaments with the men’s domestic calendar commencing with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on November 4. The Ranji Trophy will start on January 13, 2022 while the Vijay Hazare Trophy will get underway from December 8.

Matches will begin after the teams complete a five-day quarantine, with matches being held at Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum and Chennai. Kolkata will host all the knockout matches, starting February 20. On the other hand, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will be held across Lucknow, Guwahati, Baroda, Delhi, Haryana and Vijayawada, with the knockouts starting in Delhi from November 16.

The venues for Vijay Hazare Trophy have not been announced yet.

SC asks Amrapali home buyers to clear their dues, warns failure may result in cancellation of flats

The Supreme Court on Friday warned that the flat buyers of Amrapali Group who are not clearing their dues as per the payment plan should not be in any kind of delusion as their units can be cancelled and will be considered as unsold inventory.

A special bench of Justice U U Lalit and Ajay Rastogi observed that the home buyers are under the impression that the court is facilitating construction of their stalled flats and managing funds and they are at a convenience to pay their dues, whenever they like.

“They will have to strictly follow their payment plans else their unit will be cancelled and will be considered as unsold inventory,” the bench said.

The bench while referring to home buyers said, “It’s like you have been given lassi (buttermilk) and now you want malai (cream) on top of that”.

The top court remarks came after senior advocate R Venkataramani, appointed as court receiver submitted that some mistakes have been noticed in the list of 9,538 flats, which are unclaimed or booked on a fictitious name or are a benami property and is being corrected and the final list will be published in two-three days.

Advocate ML Lahoty, assisted by advocate Anchit Sripat appearing for home buyers, said that he had some discussions with officials of the NBCC recently in which they have said that if Rs 200 crores are made available to them, then the company would be in a position to handover around 2000-2500 flats situated in stalled projects of Amrapali Group by December, 2021.

Then the bench asked Lahoty, will all the home buyers especially of these 2000-2500 units be able to clear their dues by October 15 as per the payment plan.

The bench said that it can direct that if the home buyers fail to make payment of their dues their entitlement to the flats may be cancelled.

“Homebuyers want the flats but don’t want to pay the money. They just want the NBCC to construct the flats and hand over to them”, the bench observed.

The bench asked Venkataramani, that why there was such delay by home buyers to pay their dues and suggested that he should issue notice to the persons, who have not cleared their dues saying that if the payments are not paid, their allotments will be cancelled.

Venkataramani said that most of the home buyers are paying their dues as per the payment plan except for those whose payment is through bank loans, which have been stuck for one problem or other.

US Capitol rioter ‘QAnon Shaman’ pleads guilty, disappointed Trump didn’t pardon

The US Capitol rioter nicknamed the “QAnon Shaman” is disappointed former President Donald Trump did not pardon him, his defense lawyer said on Friday after the man pleaded guilty to taking part in the Jan. 6 unrest.

Jacob Chansley, of Phoenix, Arizona, was photographed inside the Capitol shirtless, wearing a horned headdress and heavily tattooed. He has been held without bond since his arrest shortly after the riot, and on Friday entered a guilty plea to obstructing an official proceeding.

While in detention, Chansley underwent mental examinations and was diagnosed by prison officials with transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.

Nearly 600 people have been arrested over the attack on the Capitol where Congress was meeting to certify Joe Biden’s November victory over Trump. Earlier Trump had given a fiery speech falsely claiming his defeat was the result of fraud.

While the felony charge Chansley pleaded guilty to carries both a maximum 20-year prison term and a fine of up to $250,000, prosecutor Kimberly Paschall indicated the maximum sentence the government was likely to request would be much shorter.

Chansley had been a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory that casts Trump as a savior figure and elite Democrats as a cabal of Satanist pedophiles and cannibals.

Although he did not get a pardon from Trump, Chansley’s defense lawyer Albert Watkins said “there will always be a soft spot” for Trump in Chansley’s heart.

At Friday’s plea hearing, Watkins asked Judge Royce Lamberth to allow Chansley to be released from prison pending a sentencing hearing, scheduled for Nov. 17. The judge said he would consider this request.

Watkins noted that prosecutors had acknowledged Chansley was “not a planner or organizer” of the riot. Watkins later told reporters that Chansley had cooperated with Jan. 6 investigations and informed on a group he saw stealing classified materials from a Senate office.

Kimi Raikkonen ruled out of Dutch Grand Prix after testing COVID-19 positive

Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen has tested positive for the coronavirus and will be replaced by Robert Kubica for the Netherlands Grand Prix.

The 41-year-old Raikkonen, who is retiring from Formula One at the end of the season, tested positive following on-site testing at the Zandvoort track.

“In accordance with COVID-19 protocols he will take no further part in this event. All contacts have been declared,” F1 said in a statement on Saturday.

“The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula 1 will ensure no wider impact.”

Alfa Romeo said that 2007 F1 champion Raikkonen was showing no symptoms.

“He has immediately entered isolation in his hotel,” the team said in a statement on Saturday. “There is no further impact expected for the team for the remainder of this event.”

The 36-year-old Kubica has not raced since the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP in 2019. It will be his 98th start and first for Alfa Romeo, where he is a reserve driver.

Verstappen tops last practice for Dutch GP, Bottas second

Dutch driver Max Verstappen had the fastest time ahead of the two Mercedes cars in the third and final practice session for the Netherlands Grand Prix ahead of qualifying later Saturday.

The orange-clad home crowd roared as the Red Bull star finished an impressive .56 seconds quicker than Valtteri Bottas and .79 quicker than Lewis Hamilton, the defending Formula One champion and current leader this season.

Ferrari faced a race against the clock to repair Carlos Sainz Jr.’s car in time for qualifying after he slid sideways off the Zandvoort track on the high-speed Turn 3 and into the crash barriers about 20 minutes into the session.

The session saw McLaren driver Lando Norris and Haas driver Mick Schumacher go off into the gravel, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took evasive action late on when he swerved sharply left to avoid two cars in front of him.

Hamilton looks for a record-extending 102nd career pole while Verstappen seeks his 10th. This season he leads Hamilton 6-3 for poles and 6-4 for wins, but Hamilton is three points ahead in the standings.

Mama Mia, Here They Go Again! 12 amazing facts about comeback ‘Kids’ ABBA

It is being seen by many as the music comeback of the year. Pop legends ABBA have finally announced that they will be releasing a new album, their first after almost 40 years — Visitors in 1981 was the last studio album from the group. The group had announced plans to have special performances through digital versions of how its members looked in the seventies (ABBAtars if you will). There had also been talk of some new songs, but now, there’s a whole album coming up. And if the band is to be believed, the magic has not left them.

“We’d see each other every now and then, but it was especially clear when we were in the studio for the first time for this album, together, because that was so strange and wonderful at the same time,” ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus told Zane Lower on Apple Music about the group’s return to recording. “Everything came rushing back, like it was yesterday. This was a very familiar, normal situation we were in, the four of us. ‘Yeah. Okay. We’re recording,’ like it was yesterday. …I looked around and I looked into Agnetha’s eyes and Frida’s eyes and there was the same kind of feeling, the warmth and the friendship and the bonds, between us that, as you suddenly realize no one on earth has experienced this kind of relationship that we have because, thinking about it, it’s true, nobody else has.”

Well, only time will tell just how well the album, “The Voyage,” comes out (it is set for release on November 5). But as music lovers welcome back perhaps one of the greatest groups in the history of music, here’s a look at twelve amazing facts about them:

Guess who were the first people to get the chance to hear the four band members perform together? No, it was not an audience in a club, a studio or a stadium. The first folks who got to see them together were the United Nations soldiers stationed at Cyprus in 1970. The four artists had gone to Cyprus on a holiday and while they knew each other, they had never performed together. It is said that they started off by singing at the beach and then performed in front of the UN soldiers. Alas, no recording of that performance exists (no phone cameras around those days).