17 Nov

Gold director Reema Kagti: Both Aamir and Akshay are disciplined actors

first_imgWith Gold just crossing the Rs 100 crore mark at India box office, director and writer Reema Kagti speaks about her biggest hit so far and why she decided to fictionalise her sporting drama. Edited excerpts from the interview.Is there anything you’d change in Gold?I’m sure there will be. Whenever I watch Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd or Talaash, which is not too often, I only see mistakes. I think that’s good because it keeps you on your toes. I am sure when I see Gold that initially it will be the same reaction. I am sure over the years it will be better.Why centre a film about an incredible sporting feat not on a player?When I started researching on the 1948 match I’d heard names but it is only when I got into it I realised that it all started from the 1920s. There were many players who were very nationalistic, Dhyan Chand being the most well-known. It was a general dream amongst them to play for their own flag. That didn’t happen because all these players retired when the opportunity finally came in London in 1948.In my research it was apparent that the squad of ’48 was inspired by players of 1920s and ’30s. I started realising it is a much bigger film – about one generation inspiring the next to fulfil their dreams. That’s the story I saw. I understand the individual players are legendary and they deserve not one but ten films, but this is what I fell in love with.advertisementI came across this story of this Bengali gentleman, Pankaj Gupta, who was a hockey administrator. In Berlin 1936 the German players were rough on the field so much so that Dhyan Chand had his tooth broken. Indian players were very demoralised at half time. This young assistant manager pulled out a flag. It’s not a made-up scene. It happened.I knew I had come across the name Pankaj Gupta somewhere in my research. I started looking and realised he was also the manager in 1948. He was called Mr Hockey. He did a lot for the sport. He was one of Dhyan Chand’s best friends. There is very little known about the man. A character very loosely inspired by him felt the best instrument to tell the story of Gold.Why go with fictional names and not actual names of the players involved?When you manipulate the story this much, you can’t be like this is this person’s story. A conscious decision was taken to go this way. There is a flipside to everything. There is a lot of objection from people saying that’s not what happened to Dhyan Chand but I am screaming from rooftops that it is fictionalised.I feel there is a backlash already. Can you imagine if I had dared to go with the real story? The story I was telling didn’t necessarily happen that way in history. I didn’t want to make a film on just 1948 victory but to tell a story of our glorious tradition and how it took several generations to get there.Akshay’s Bengali has come under fire. Did you always want to cast him?There have also been a fair amount of people who have enjoyed his performance. I have always wanted to work with him. He is a terrific actor. He brings a physicality which worked really well for Tapan Das. I felt that he took what was on paper a couple of notches above. I can’t imagine anyone else playing Tapan.How was your experience working with Akshay vis-à-vis Aamir?Though they are very different personalities there are some things that are very similar. I don’t think that you get to the level they have gotten to, without serious kind of dedication and discipline. They both are extremely interested – it’s not about them and their character it’s about the whole film. I had really good time working with both AKs.Sunny Kaushal has been a revelation in Gold.Now that he has had a haircut and shaved nobody can recognise him. In fact we had a couple of screenings before the release and in one of them he was standing right next to me and someone said, “Where is the Sardarji, we loved him.” Sunny was like what do you mean. A lot of people were pleasantly surprised to know that he’s Vicky Kaushal’s brother.All credit to casting director Nandini Shrikent who put him on tape. I loved his test and that’s how I met him.advertisementFor those who have seen your earlier films, many feel that Gold is very unlike a Reema Kagti film.Honeymoon is really different to Talaash. The first was a small quirky film made for a very alternative audience. Talaash for a Bollywood movie dealt with grief and how to overcome your demons. Gold is something that I really wanted to do. I have made it the way I wanted to.There are people who keep doing the same genres but I am not like that. I don’t know what idea is going to grab me. Wherever the idea leads me, I go with that. Good, bad, or ugly, Gold is me. I’d write a Dil Dhadakne Do, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Gully Boy. I am all of these things. They are completely different films. I jump genres, concepts and ideas.Do you think you could have toned down on the jingoism?I have not asked people to stand up for the national anthem. People have sent me random texts where foreigners are seen standing during the national anthem. The events made them feel that. I think it is something beautiful.I am talking about a time where this was important. Freedom came at a price. So all I was trying to do was honour that. I am not trying to give weight to one side or the other side of this debate.If you want to know what I am politically is a kneejerk liberal. Why can’t a kneejerk liberal give respect and honour to something that I think was tremendous for us as a nation?I don’t think people are forcing anybody to stand up. There have been people who have sent me videos saying see these people are not standing up. It doesn’t bother me. I am happy they are exercising their own feeling. I am sorry if anybody felt pressurised into standing up. That kind of thing I wouldn’t do.MOVIE REVIEW: GOLDALSO READ: Gold true story – How independent India won its first Olympic goldALSO WATCH: Akshay Kumar is the real ‘Khiladi’ of Bollywoodlast_img read more

14 Nov

Signing Malcom will be ‘hard’ for Arsenal

first_imgTransfers Arsenal will have a ‘hard time’ signing Malcom, say Bordeaux Tom Webber Last updated 1 year ago 00:18 1/17/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Malcom - cropped AFP Transfers Arsenal Ligue 1 Bordeaux Premier League While the Brazilian has been closely linked with a move to the Emirates, his current club insist there has been no official approach for his services Reports Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Malcom are “hot air” and they will have a “hard time” trying to purchase the Brazilian, according to Bordeaux president Stephane Martin.It has been claimed Arsenal have agreed a €50million move for Brazilian forward Malcom, who signed a four-year renewal in September and has scored seven goals in Ligue 1 this season.The Gunners are believed to be keen to bolster their attacking options with Alexis Sanchez seemingly set to depart this month or when his contract expires at the end of the campaign. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Malcom E1Martin says Bordeaux have not had any contact with Arsenal about Malcom and he does not anticipate an agreement being reached in the transfer window.”Things are clear with his agents. He has not had his contract extended this summer just to give him away this winter,” Martin told L’Equipe.”We haven’t had any discussions with Arsenal. From our point of view, it’s all hot air.”They can always try, but they will have a hard time taking him from us.”last_img read more

24 Oct

Discussions Under Way for Aviation School in Jamaica

first_img Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, says stakeholder discussions are under way for the establishment of a globally recognised aviation school in Jamaica. Story Highlights Mr. Montague advised that the consultations involve representatives of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), and two overseas institutions. He said this forms part of the Government’s plans to further boost the local aviation industry by establishing a world-class facility to train more Jamaican commercial pilots. Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, says stakeholder discussions are under way for the establishment of a globally recognised aviation school in Jamaica.Mr. Montague advised that the consultations involve representatives of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), and two overseas institutions.He said this forms part of the Government’s plans to further boost the local aviation industry by establishing a world-class facility to train more Jamaican commercial pilots.The Minister was delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony for the second annual two-day aviation seminar, jointly hosted by the AAJ, JCAA and Aeronautical Telecommunications Limited (AEROTEL) at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston on Thursday (December 6).Mr. Montague, who noted that Jamaican pilots have long established themselves among the best in the world, said data suggest that the global aviation industry is short of approximately 600,000 commercial pilots.He contended that Jamaica needs to tap into the potential opportunities that this presents. “We believe we are selling the industry short if we do not give to general aviation, more Jamaican pilots,” he added.Meanwhile, Mr. Montague said the Government has given the JCAA approval to seek a seat on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), when the elections are held next year in Montreal, Canada, where the ICAO is headquartered.The Minister, who indicated that “we are confident of victory”, said securing a seat would be a major boost for the country and the wider Caribbean.The two-day seminar, being held under the theme ‘Air Transport as an Engine of Economic Development in Jamaica and the Caribbean’, forms part of Jamaica’s observance of International Civil Aviation Day on December 7 by the United Nations (UN), in commemoration of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s establishment in 1944.last_img read more

14 Sep

Magazine Groups Publishers Band Together Against Proposed Postal Rate Hike

first_imgUPDATE: Motion Filed Against Postal Rate Hike ProposalIn another effort to help stem its staggering financial losses, the U.S. Postal Service today proposed enacting an exigent rate case, which could force rates for periodicals mailers up 8 percent. If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the rate increases would take effect January 2, 2011.The USPS also proposed to raise First-Class mail stamps to 46 cents, a 5.1 percent rate hike for catalogs and a 23 percent increase for standard mail parcels. It believes the price changes will help raise about $2.3 billion over the first nine months of 2011. In reaction to the potential rate hikes, several magazine publishers, associations and other groups have formed the Affordable Mail Alliance—a coalition that is calling for the PRC to reject the USPS’ proposal “to increase postal rates by ten times the rate permissible by law.” According to Jim Cregan, executive vice president for government affairs at the Magazine Publishers of America, the USPS is abusing its emergency power to raise mailing rates above the rate of inflation. “We firmly believe that this filing is unlawful, is bad economics and is bad public policy,” he said during a press call this afternoon. “What they’re about to do will only accelerate their own death spiral by forcing out the last groups of profitable mailers.”In addition to the MPA, the Affordable Mail Alliance is made up of more than 100 publishers, paper producers, printers and other groups, including American Business Media, Bonnier Corp., Conde Nast, Time Inc., the Direct Marketing Association and IDEAlliance.“The USPS customer base, and the b-to-b media industry specifically, are as financially beleaguered as the Postal Service itself, so the last thing the Service should do is raise its prices, driving more mail out of the system, causing still more lay-offs and exacerbating the effects of the economy on the media industry,” ABM says in a statement e-mailed to FOLIO:. “The days when the USPS had a captive customer base in its flagship, lucrative First Class, are over, courtesy of the Internet; it should act as if it must compete for this business.”  Despite several cutbacks, and a proposed service reduction to five days a week, the USPS is projecting a $7 billion deficit during the next fiscal year. Over the next decade, the USPS projects a $238 billion loss.last_img read more

5 Sep

Budget 2015 3yr FDs could get Tax Exemption Financial Institutions Call for

first_imgReutersThe upcoming Budget 2015 could see the Narendra Modi government making fixed deposits of three years and above tax-free against the current five-year term, in a bid to bring term deposits on par with mutual funds and tax-free bonds, which have seen a large number of investors. In a pre-budget meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, senior bank executives and heads of financial institutions recommended the introduction of corporate tax slabs, in the lines of individual taxation.The banking industry reportedly strongly supports the idea of fixed deposits of lower maturity being considered for tax-free status. In the recent past, mutual funds have been able to draw many customers, thanks to the three-year lock-in period, making the financial instruments more attractive to the common man.However, banking officials want a level playing field, and fixed deposits allow the cost of funds to be brought down. Tax rebates under Section 80C are inconsistent in their minimum lock-in periods, with investments in public provident funds account being locked-in for 15 years, while the national savings certificate has a six-year lock-in period, and three-years for equity linked savings scheme (ELSS.)As a percentage of gross domestic spending, financial saving has slipped by 10 basis points to 1.7% in 2012-13, with gross domestic savings too witnessing a more significant 1.2% fall to 30.1%, for the same period, according to EconomicTimes.Currently, investments up to ₹1.5 lakh in post office savings schemes, bank deposits, principal on home loan, public provident fund and life insurance are exempted from tax.last_img read more

3 Sep

AL begins illpolitics Fakhrul

first_imgBNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir speaks at a discussion meeting at the National Press Club on Saturday. Photo: Prothom AloThe Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, on Saturday alleged the Bangladesh Awami League-led (AL) government has begun “ill politics”, as it did during the 2014 general elections.“The government has begun doing whatever needs to keep BNP away [from the elections],” Mirza Fakhrul told a discussion at the National Press Club in the capital.BNP-led 20-party alliance partner Bangladesh Kalyan Party organised the discussion marking the tenth founding anniversary of the party.“What do you [AL] want to bring through this ill-politics? Do you want to hold an election like that of 5 January 2014? You’ve started doing whatever is required to keep the 20-party alliance as well as BNP away [from the elections],” said Mirza Fakhrul.Warning the AL government against any move to hold 5-January like elections once again, the BNP spokesperson said, “The people of Bangladesh will never allow elections like that of 2014. Don’t underestimate the people of Bangladesh. Don’t think that they will tolerate everything.”Dwelling on the prime minister and AL president Sheikh Hasina’s allegation that Zia family has siphoned money to Saudi Arabia, Fakhrul said, “We’ve enquired about the allegation. We’ve talked to ambassadors. It has no basis. This is unfounded.”About the disappearance of Kalyan Party general secretary Aminur Rahman, the BNP leader said, “Even the general secretary of a political party has been forced to disappear. His whereabouts remain unknown over the last 97 days.“Former ambassadors are being picked up from their cars. MPs, university teachers, physicians, engineers, our leaders Ilias Ali, [city corporation] commissioner Chowdhury Alam and numerous people have been forced to disappear.“Where will you go? They will make anyone who differs from their [AL] views disappear. Can we call this party [AL] democratic? This party struggled to establish democracy in the past. Its original character, that is fascist character, is exposed whenever it comes to power,” Fakhrul added.    Kalyan Party chairman Syed Muhammad Ibrahim told the discussion that the AL-led government with all its power is hatching conspiracies to silence the 20-party alliance.last_img read more

3 Sep

SC accepts lower court judges disciplinary rules

first_imgSupreme CourtThe Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted the gazette notification on the disciplinary rules for lower court judges, reports UNB.A five-member Appellate Division bench, led by acting chief justice Abdul Wahhab Miah, granted the disciplinary rules citing that the government issued the gazette giving primacy to the opinions of the apex court at every stage.Some media outlets are making unnecessary comments on gazette notification without reading it, the apex court observed.Earlier, attorney general Mahbubey Alam read out the gazette on judges’ disciplinary rules before the Appellate Division bench.On 11 December last, the government issued the gazette notification.Later, on 13 December, the SC fixed 3 January (today) for an order on the notification.The lower judiciary was officially separated in November 2007 but the disciplinary rules for lower court judges had not been formulated.On 2 December 1999, the Supreme Court in the Masdar Hossain case issued a seven-point directive, including formulating separate disciplinary rules, for the lower court judges.The law ministry on 7 May 2015 sent a draft of the rules to the Supreme Court which was similar to the Government Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules 1985.last_img read more

3 Sep

Nobel peace laureate Tawakkol Karman to address AUW

first_imgTawakkol KarmanTawakkol Karman, Nobel peace prize winner from Yemen will address Asian University for Women in Chattogram in May, reports Times of Oman.Karman, an activist, journalist and politician will give the keynote address during the Sixth Commencement Ceremony of AUW on 12 May, 2018, adds the English-language daily of Oman.Karman is the first Arab and second Muslim woman to win a Nobel peace prize. At the time of receiving the award, Karman was also the youngest person to ever receive it.Two hundred women are expected to graduate from AUW on the occasion. AUW will also honour Ismail Serageldin, founding director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt with a doctorate of arts, honoris causa, according to Times of Oman.“In order for women to play active roles in society and be able to overcome policies that marginalise and weaken them, their education and qualification are an unavoidable option,” said Tawakkol Karman.“AUW is deeply honoured that Nobel peace prize laureate Tawakkol Karman will share her insights and outstanding efforts toward advancing human rights in Yemen at the Sixth Commencement Ceremony.“I am confident that the exceptional young women graduating on that day will be emboldened by such a courageous role model,” said vice chancellor of AUW, professor Nirmala Rao.last_img read more

3 Sep

Russia forces among dozens dead in IS east Syria attacks

first_imgA man carries a wounded child out of a building following a car bomb explosion in the northern Syrian city of Idlib on May 26, 2018. Photo : AFP Russia forces among dozens dead in IS east Syria attacksRussian fighters were among dozens of pro-government forces killed in eastern Syria this week in a deadly wave of attacks by Islamic State group jihadists, Moscow and a monitor said Sunday.After the collapse of its so-called “caliphate” last year, IS now only holds tiny pockets of Syria, mainly in the vast desert stretching to its eastern border.This week, the jihadists ramped up their hit-and-run attacks on regime positions there, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.The deadliest was on Wednesday, when IS targeted a group of Syrian and allied Russian fighters near the town of Mayadeen in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.”There were 35 pro-government forces killed, including at least nine Russians. Some of those Russian nationals were government troops, but not all of them,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.The remaining 26 were all Syrian forces, he told AFP. A steadfast ally of President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow has helped his army recapture swathes of territory since 2015 by providing air strikes and ground troops.There are also widespread reports of private Russian mercenaries on the ground.Moscow’s defence ministry said Sunday four of its servicemen were killed in clashes in Deir Ezzor.Two were military advisers supporting Syrian artillery operations and died immediately, and another two died of their wounds in a Russian-operated military hospital in Syria.Three others were wounded.IS claims attackRussia did not specify when, where, or whether IS was involved, but it appeared to be the same incident as the IS attack reported near Mayadeen.The jihadist group itself claimed it attacked regime forces in eastern Syria on Wednesday.The assault was the largest in series of IS guerilla raids on regime positions this week.On Tuesday, 26 regime forces were killed in a surprise IS attack in desert areas of the neighbouring province of Homs, according to the Observatory.And a pair of IS assaults between Saturday night and Sunday morning killed at least 11 pro-regime forces in Deir Ezzor.”The latest attack brings to 76 the number of Syrian troops and allied Iranian and Russian forces killed since the escalation,” Abdel Rahman said Sunday.He said the uptick came the day after the last IS fighters were bussed out of southern parts of Syria’s capital Damascus, including the ravaged Palestinian camp of Yarmuk, in a negotiated withdrawal.Many headed towards the Badiya, the stretch of Syrian desert extending from Homs province through Deir Ezzor to the eastern border with Iraq.The Observatory said the evacuated fighters were actively involved in the recent attacks.”IS is trying to take the initiative and show it can still threaten the regime and its allies despite the losses it suffered in other areas,” said Abdel Rahman.Government positions in the Badiya make for an easy target: they are few and far between, so reinforcements take a long time to arrive.’Hinder’ armyRussian-backed Syrian troops hold the western half of Deir Ezzor province, which is divided diagonally by the Euphrates River. US-backed fighters hold the east bank.The river is meant to serve as a de-confliction line to prevent the two sides from clashing as they pursue separate assaults against IS.A Syrian military source based in the east told AFP that Assad’s troops had cleared large parts of territory from IS, which was now lashing out.”Daesh wants to hinder the army’s combing operations in the Badiya by waging these intermittent attacks,” said the source, using the Arabic acronym for IS.It confirmed Russian military advisers were present during Wednesday’s attack and were among those killed.Russia’s government officially acknowledges that 92 soldiers have been killed in Syria, although some estimate the number is even higher.The highest casualties were in March, when a transport plane crashed at Hmeimim airbase where Moscow’s airforce is based, killing all 39 people on board.On Sunday, a local Russian newspaper in the Siberian city of Chita reported on the funerals of four soldiers it said were killed in Syria on May 23.The international group Conflict Intelligence Team said up to six Russian soldiers could have been killed in the attack, quoting social media reports of a funeral for a Russian soldier that took place in the Western Russian city of Smolensk this week.last_img read more

2 Sep

UPDATED Federal Judge In Hawaii Blocks Trumps Third Attempt At Travel Ban

first_imgMark Ralston/AFP/Getty ImagesPeople marching in the “#NoMuslimBanEver” rally in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday. Organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the march was in response to President Trump’s most recent travel ban, which has now been partially blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii.Updated at 4:15 p.m. ETA federal judge in Hawaii has partially blocked President Trump’s third attempt to restrict entry into the U.S. for citizens of certain countries. The Department of Justice says it plans to appeal.The newest version of the travel ban was due to go into effect on Wednesday. Like two previous executive orders, it was challenged in multiple courts. The new ruling by Judge Derrick K. Watson is only one piece of the complicated legal puzzle over the long-term fate of the president’s efforts to limit travel to the U.S.In his ruling, Watson wrote that the third version of the ban, like those before it, “lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States,’ ” evidence that he says would be necessary for the ban to be enforceable.As a result, he issued a temporary restraining order that will keep the ban from being enforced for six of the eight named countries — the six majority-Muslim nations. North Korea and Venezuela, which were added in the most recent version of the ban, are not affected by the ruling, and the restrictions on travel from those countries can go into effect.The Department of Justice said in a statement that the ruling “is incorrect, fails to properly respect the separation of powers, and has the potential to cause serious negative consequences for our national security.”The White House, in a separate statement, said the judge’s decision is “dangerously flawed.”“The entry restrictions in the proclamation apply to countries based on their inability or unwillingness to share critical information necessary to safely vet applications, as well as a threat assessment related to terrorism, instability, and other grave national security concerns,” the White House says. “These restrictions are vital to ensuring that foreign nations comply with the minimum security standards required for the integrity of our immigration system and the security of our Nation.”The ruling in Hawaii v. Trump is the latest in the legal tug of war over Trump’s attempt to impose a ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim nations.And this temporary restraining order is far from the end of the story. The Department of Justice says it will appeal the decision, and another federal court is also expected to rule on the third version of the ban.The original ban, signed by the president in the first week of his term, targeted seven countries — Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan — for 90 days. Syrian refugees were banned indefinitely. The ban also was imposed on lawful permanent residents, commonly known as green card holders, and travelers who had valid visas issued before the ban was to be implemented. That action met with immediate resistance as protesters flooded airports in major cities in support of travelers from those countries. Legal challenges to this first ban were successful as a federal district court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked it.In early March, Trump signed a new executive order. As NPR’s Joel Rose reported, “There are some key differences between Trump’s original order and this one. It applies only to people from six majority-Muslim countries. Iraq has been dropped from the list. Lawful permanent residents or green card holders are explicitly exempt. So are travelers who already have valid visas. And refugees from Syria are no longer banned indefinitely, though the U.S. refugee program is still suspended for 120 days and the number of refugees admitted this year cut by more than half.”Watson, the judge in Hawaii, blocked that second travel ban too, saying that it was unconstitutional because it disfavored a particular religion. A court in Maryland came to the same conclusion. The parallel rulings were upheld by appellate courts.That set the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene. In late June, the justices allowed Trump’s travel ban to take partial effect, but they allowed people with “close familial relationships” with someone in the U.S. to enter the country.The debate then turned on which familial relationships would be considered valid. The administration interpreted that decision as favoring only certain family members such as parents, spouses, children, adult sons or daughters, sons- and daughters-in-laws, siblings and fiances/fiancees.Left out were grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people currently living in the United States.In September, the 9th Circuit ruled the government couldn’t bar entry to grandparents and other extended family members. However, the Supreme Court did allow the administration to ban refugees even if they had formal ties to U.S. resettlement agencies.Then, late last month, the president amended the travel ban, as NPR’s Brian Naylor reported: That’s the version of the ban that has now been blocked from going into effect, nationwide — at least for now.However, the state of Hawaii did not challenge the ban as it applies to North Koreans or Venezuelans. Therefore, the judge’s restraining order does not apply to those portions of the ban, which can be enforced starting Wednesday.________________A federal judge in Hawaii blocked the Trump administration Tuesday from enforcing its latest travel ban, just hours before it was set to take effect.U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson granted Hawaii’s request to temporarily block the policy that was to be implemented starting early Wednesday. He found Trump’s executive order “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor.”The judge, appointed by former President Barack Obama, said the new restrictions ignore a federal appeals court ruling that found President Donald Trump’s previous ban exceeds the scope of his authority. The latest version “plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the 9th Circuit has found antithetical to … the founding principles of this nation,” Watson wrote.The Trump administration in September announced the restrictions affecting citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — and some Venezuelan government officials and their families.The government has said the new policy was based on an objective assessment of each country’s security situation and willingness to share information with the U.S.Hawaii argued in court documents that the updated ban is a continuation of Trump’s “promise to exclude Muslims from the United States” despite the addition of two non-majority Muslim countries.Other courts are weighing challenges to the latest travel restrictions.In Maryland, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups are seeking to block the visa and entry restrictions in the president’s latest proclamation.Washington state, Massachusetts, California, Oregon, New York and Maryland have challenged the policy before U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who struck down Trump’s initial ban in January.That policy led to chaos and confusion at airports nationwide and triggered several lawsuits, including one from Hawaii.When Trump revised the ban, state Attorney General Doug Chin changed the lawsuit to challenge that version. In March, Watson agreed with Hawaii that it amounted to discrimination based on nationality and religion.A subsequent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed the administration to partially reinstate that 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees.But it said the policy didn’t apply to refugees and travelers with a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the U.S.Hawaii then successfully challenged the federal government’s definition of which family members would be allowed into the country. Watson ordered the government not to enforce the ban on close relatives such as grandparents, grandchildren, uncles and aunts.The judge’s order Tuesday prevents acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from implementing the latest travel ban.Watson said he would set an expedited hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order should be extended. Sharecenter_img “The latest version of the travel ban — version 3.0, if you will — limits travel from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen. The nations of Chad, North Korea and Venezuela have been added. And Sudan, which was part of the original ban, has been dropped.“The new rules take effect Oct. 18. And unlike previous versions, the new ban is not temporary. It will remain in place until the affected nations comply with stringent requirements for vetting their citizens before they can receive visas to enter the U.S.”last_img read more

26 Aug

How to secure an Azure Virtual Network

first_imgThe most common question that anyone asks when they buy a service is, can it be secured? The answer to that question, in this case, is absolutely yes. In this tutorial, we will learn to secure your connection between virtual machines. On top of the security, Microsoft provides for Azure as a vendor, there are some configurations that you can do at your end to increase the level of security to your virtual network. For a higher level of security, you can use the following: NSG: It is like a firewall that controls the inbound and outbound traffic by specifying which traffic is allowed to flow to/from the NIC/subnet Distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection: It is used to prevent DDoS attacks and at the time of writing is in preview This tutorial is an excerpt from the book, Hands-On Networking with Azure, written by Mohamed Waly. Network Security Groups (NSG) NSG controls the flow of traffic by specifying which traffic is allowed to enter or exit the network. Creating NSG Creating NSG is a pretty straightforward process. To do it, you need to follow these steps: Navigate to Azure portal, and search for network security groups, as shown in the following screenshot: Figure 2.13: Searching for network security groups Once you have clicked on it, a new blade will be opened wherein all the created NSGs are located, as shown in the following screenshot: Figure 2.12: Network security groups blade Click on Add and a new blade will pop up, where you have to specify the following: Name: The name of the NSG Subscription: The subscription, which will be charged for NSG usage Resource group: The resource group within which the NSG will be located as a resource Location: The region where this resource will be created Figure 2.13: Creating an NSG Once you have clicked on Create, the NSG will be created within seconds. Inbound security rules By default, all the subnets and NICs that are not associated with NSG have all the inbound traffic allowed and once they are associated with an NSG, the following inbound security rules are assigned to them as they are a default part of any NSG: AllowVnetInBound: Allows all the inbound traffic that comes from a virtual network AllowAzureLoadBalancerInBound: Allows all the inbound traffic that comes from Load Balancer DenyAllInbound: Denies all the inbound traffic that comes from any source Figure 2.14: Default inbound security rules As shown in the previous screenshot, the rule consists of some properties, such as PRIORITY, NAME, PORT, and so on. It is important to understand what these properties mean for a better understanding of security rules. So, let’s go ahead and explain them: PRIORITY: A number assigned to each rule to specify which rule has a higher priority than the other. The lower the number, the higher the priority. You can specify a priority with any number between 100 and 4096. NAME: The name of the rule. The same name cannot be reused within the same network security group. PORT: The allowed port through which the traffic will flow to the network. PROTOCOL: Specify whether the protocol you are using is TCP or UDP. SOURCE and DESTINATION: The source can be any, an IP address range, or a service tag. You can remove the default rules by clicking on Default rules. You can customize your own inbound rules, by following these steps: On the Inbound security rules blade, click on Add. A new blade will pop up, where you have to specify the following: Source: The source can be Any, an IP address range, or a service tag. It specifies the incoming traffic from a specific source IP address range that will be allowed or denied by this rule. Source port ranges: You can provide a single port, such as 80, a port range, such as 1024 – 65535, or a comma-separated list of single ports and/or port ranges, such as 80, 1024 – 65535. This specifies on which ports traffic will be allowed or denied by this rule. Provide an asterisk (*) to allow traffic on any port. Destination: The destination can be Any, an IP address range, or a virtual network. It specifies the outing traffic to a specific destination IP address range that will be allowed or denied by this rule. Destination port ranges: What applies for the source port ranges, applies for the destination port ranges. Protocol: It can be Any, TCP, or UDP. Action: Whether to Allow the rule or to Deny it. Priority: As mentioned earlier, the lower the number, the higher the priority. The priority number must be between 100 – 4096. Name: The name of the rule. Description: The description of the rule, which will help you to differentiate between the rules. In our scenario, I want to allow all the incoming connections to access a website published on a web server located in a virtual network, as shown in the following screenshot: Figure 2.15: Creating an inbound security rule Once you click on OK, the rule will be created. Outbound security rules Outbound security rules are no different than inbound security rules, except inbound rules are meant for inbound traffic and outbound rules are meant for outbound traffic. Otherwise, everything else is similar. Associating the NSG Once you have the NSG created, you can associate it to either an NIC or a subnet. Associating the NSG to an NIC To associate the NSG to an NIC, you need to follow these steps: Navigate to the Network security groups that you have created and then select Network interfaces, as shown in the following screenshot: Figure 2.16: Associated NICs to an NSG Click on Associate. A new blade will pop up, from which you need to select the NIC that you want to associate with the NSG, as shown in the following screenshot: Figure 2.17: NICs to be associated to the NSG Voila! You are done. Associating the NSG to a subnet To associate the NSG to a subnet, you need to follow these steps: Navigate to the Network security groups that you have created and then select Subnets, as shown in the following screenshot: Figure 2.18: Associated subnets to an NSG Click on Associate. A new blade will pop up, where you have to specify the virtual network within which the subnet exists, as shown in the following screenshot: Figure 2.19: Choosing the VNet within which the subnet exists Then, you need to specify which subnet of the VNet you want to associate the NSG to, as shown in the following screenshot: Figure 2.20: Selecting the subnet to which the NSG will be associated Once the subnet is selected, click on OK, and it will take some seconds to get it associated to the NSG. Azure DDoS protection DDoS attacks have spread out lately, by exhausting the application and making it unavailable for use, and you can expect an attack of that type any time. Recently, Microsoft announced the support of Azure DDoS protection as a service for protecting Azure resources, such as Azure VMs, Load Balancers, and Application Gateways. Azure DDoS protection comes in two flavors: Basic: This type has been around for a while as it is already enabled for Azure services to mitigate DDoS attacks. It incurs no charges. Standard: This flavor comes with more enhancements that mitigate attacks, especially for Azure VNet. At the time of writing this book, Azure DDoS protection standard is in preview and it is not available at the portal. You need to request it by filling out a form that is available here. If you found this post useful, do check out the book Hands on Networking with Azure, to design and implement Azure Networking for Azure VMs. Read More The Microsoft Azure Stack Architecture What is Azure API Management?last_img read more