Brexit is Britain’s most significant political and economic decision since World War Two.
Lawmakers in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party on Wednesday triggered a confidence vote in her leadership after Britain’s planned divorce from the European Union was plunged into chaos.
With less than four months left until the United Kingdom is due to exit on March 29, the world’s fifth largest economy was tipping towards crisis, opening up the prospect of a disorderly no-deal divorce or a reversal of Brexit through a referendum.
Graham Brady, the chairman of the party’s so-called 1922 committee, said the threshold of 15 percent of the parliamentary Conservative Party seeking a confidence vote had been reached.
“The threshold of 15 percent of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded,” Brady said.
A ballot will be held between 1800 and 2000 on Wednesday in a room at the House of Commons and an announcement made as soon as possible afterwards, he said.
“The votes will be counted immediately afterwards and an announcement will be made a soon as possible in the evening,” Brady said.
Brexit is Britain’s most significant political and economic decision since World War Two though pro-Europeans fear it will divide the West as it grapples with the presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russia and China.
The ultimate outcome will shape Britain’s $2.8 trillion economy, have far reaching consequences for the unity of the United Kingdom and determine whether London can keep its place as one of the top two global financial centres.
Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh’s Mumbai wedding reception on December 1 saw the who’s who of Bollywood and business industries in attendance. India’s richest man, Reliance chairperson Mukesh Ambani was also among the invitees at Deepika and Ranveer’s Mumbai reception party. He attended the event with wife Nita Ambani, daughter Isha, sons Akash and Anant, Akash’s fiancee Shloka Mehta and Anant’s just friend Radhika Merchant. The entire Ambani family posed for photos at the reception party. And then…
As the Ambanis took their places in front of the lenses, a photographer cracked a joke. The paparazzo can be heard shouting, “Sir, Jio nahi chal raha!”
A controversy has broken out in Madhya Pradesh over the delay in Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs reaching the collection centre in Sagar on Friday, a full 48 hours after voting ended in the state elections on Wednesday.
The EVMs were kept at a police station in Khurai city in the district, where Madhya Pradesh home minister Bhupendra Singh is the BJP legislator. He is contesting against Congress’s Arunoday Chaubey.
The Congress has alleged that before being brought to the collection centre to be stored till counting day, the EVMs were taken to a hotel owned by Bhupendra Singh. Hundreds of agitated Congress workers on Friday protested outside the collection centre demanding an inquiry and action against officials involved. They allege it is the ruling BJP’s attempt to manipulate results.
“In Madhya Pradesh home minister’s area, EVMs were deposited using a bus without a registration plate, 48 hours after polling. Is this a conspiracy by the government to ensure a BJP win?” the Madhya Pradesh Congress tweeted.
The Chief Electoral Commissioner of Madhya Pradesh, however, said these EVMs were not used for voting, and were among the ones kept on standby to be used in case of a technical snag. Sources say there were 34 such EVMs.
“These are EVMs kept as ‘Reserve’ stationed at some Police stations, to be used as replacement for malfunctioning machines during Poll. Such machines were to be stored separately from polled EVMs. Strong room having Polled EVMs was neither opened nor was supposed to be opened,” the Chief Electoral Officer tweeted.
“Every EVM has a unique number code for it. The numbers of EVM used in polling have been shared with all political parties. The numbers of reserved EVM’s have been checked by political parties in sagar districts. Their numbers are different,” the Chief Electoral Officer also said.
EVMs are sealed and transported immediately to collection centres after polling ends.
Sources in the BJP say transporting the EVMs is the duty of the Election Commission and they have nothing to say on the controversy.
The Congress in Madhya Pradesh is hoping to unseat the BJP, which has been in power for the last 15 years. The state recorded a voter turnout of over 74 per cent, higher than what it did in last elections in 2013. Results will be declared on December 11.
We said last year that Sony had put Bose “on notice” when it comes to active noise-cancelling headphones. Our review of Sony’s WH-1000XM2 reported that Sony not only delivered incredible audio quality, but that the company offered some high-tech features Bose couldn’t match.
This year, Sony fully eclipses Bose with its third-generation noise-cancelling cans: The WH-1000XM3. These headphones are superior to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II in almost every way. Sony retained all the features that we liked in the previous iteration, including adaptive sound control, gesture recognition, and great audio reproduction (at least when powered), and made significant improvements to its active noise-cancellation technology. Sony’s new headphones are also more comfortable to wear for long listening sessions.
The great features Sony retained
First up is the gesture control pad located on the right-hand cup. After a brief learning curve, I grew accustomed to controlling my music and podcasts with simple swipes.
Swiping up and down with your fingertip raises and lowers volume, while back-to-front and front-to-back strokes move up and down your playlist respectively. Holding your finger down for a few seconds activates Google Assistant on Android devices, or Siri for iOS hardware. This worked flawlessly, though I do wish the virtual assistant appeared more quickly after being summoned. Perhaps Sony can add a preference setting to its app.
Sony’s Adaptive Sound Control is something special. When this mode is selected, the headphones monitor your level of activity and automatically choose the appropriate noise-cancelling profile. You can also customize these profiles using Sony’s excellent Headphone Connect app.
If I’ve been sitting still for a bit, for example, the Staying profile will kick in with a short notification chime. This one uses the headphone’s onboard microphones to monitor ambient sound, so those noises can be cancelled out, while allowing the sound of human voices to come through. You get a personalized mix of your music and the sound of the outside world, with 20 levels of noise cancellation available. The Bose QC35 II offer just three stages of cancellation, so there’s no way to fine-tune the mix of music and ambient sound.
When I listen to music while walking home after work, I want to hear the environment around me, so I don’t get run over by a cranky San Francisco driver. I quickly learned that I couldn’t do that with Bose QC35 II. No matter which settings I applied, I couldn’t hear enough of what was going on. Sony’s headphones not only delivered a great listening experience—even at low volume—but I was always able to maintain situational awareness.
In conditions where it’s inconvenient to launch Sony’s app, you can control the headphones’ active noise cancellation using the NC/Ambient button on the left-hand ear cup. This limits you, however, to three values: Fully engaged (the strongest level of active noise cancellation), fully open (the least amount of active noise cancellation, with the mics piping ambient noise into the ear cups), or active noise cancellation turned off (in which case, the headphones behave as conventional Bluetooth headphones).
Audio performance hasn’t changed much compared to last year’s model, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In a head-to-head comparison with the Bose QC35 II, I found Sony’s WH-1000XM3 to be slightly more musical. Sony’s headphones maintain a more accurate frequency response across the full spectrum, where Bose seems to favor a scooped EQ that emphasizes bass and high frequencies at the expense of the mid-range. Sony’s cans never muddied the mid-range even while playing bass-heavy tracks at high volume levels, although I did notice some very minor distortion in the upper frequency range when I really cranked the volume.
Major strides in wearability
Sony’s WH-1000XM3 are much more comfortable than its previous generation headphones. I noted this during my briefing last month; it’s one of the biggest improvements over last year’s model.
Sony added extra padding to the bottom of the headband to distribute the weight on the top of your head more evenly. The ear cups are also wider and deeper, which reduces the pressure placed on the sides of your head and allows you to wear them for longer listening sessions without feeling fatigued. As such, wearability is another clear win against Bose’s product. Sony knocked it out of the park on this count.