San Miguel-ALAB PH, Thai 5 begin duel

first_imgTruck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident “All the elimination round stuff goes out of the window (in the finals),” said Alapag. “We will have to come out and continue to play the way we did in the semifinals against Hong Kong [Eastern]. As good as we played against Hong Kong, Mono was just as impressive in beating (Chong Son) Kung Fu.”Alab dethroned 2017 champion Eastern via a two game-sweep capped by a 79-72 win in Santa Rosa on Sunday, before Mono overcame Kung Fu, 83-80, to also win their best-of-three semifinal series.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownFor Alapag’s players, there will be plenty of motivation on top of winning the title.Puerto Rican import Renaldo Balkman will be looking to complete his redemption campaign in the finals, while Bobby Ray Parks Jr., whose late father Bobby Sr., coached San Miguel to a second-place finish in 2012, aims to get the job done this time. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Today in Belfast: Remember the Filipino Flash? ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames View commentscenter_img Alapag: Elims games don’t matter anymore —ABL.COMThe elimination round sweep of Mono Vampire of Thailand counts for nothing as far as San Miguel Alab Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag as the Filipino club hosts Game 1 of the best-of-five Asean Basketball League (ABL) finals on Sunday night at Santa Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.Alab won both meetings with the Thai club, which meant it will also hold homecourt advantage in the Finals as Alab tries to become the third Filipino club to win the regional crown after the inaugural champions Philippine Patriots in 2010 and the San Miguel Beermen in 2013.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Balkman, whose lifetime ban from the PBA was lifted recently, starred in the semifinals against Hong Kong, joining forces with Justin Brownlee.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water recedinglast_img read more

Wednesday’s QPR quiz

first_imgTest your knowledge by seeing how many of these five QPR-related questions you can answer correctly.[wp-simple-survey-102] 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Police ‘winning war on organised crime’

first_img20 September 2012 Organised crimes such as carjackings, cash-in-transit heists and bank robberies decreased in South Africa in 2011/12, according to the country’s annual crime statistics. Releasing the national statistics in Cape Town on Thursday, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said car hijackings had declined by 11.9% between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012, after falling by 23.6% in the previous financial year, indicating that the strategies the police had put in place over the past three years were yielding results. “Both motor vehicle theft and carjacking are more organised in nature and frequently linked to the export of stolen or hijacked vehicles across the borders of the Republic of South Africa,” Mthethwa said. “But we are encouraged by the work done by the crime intelligence, working with various SAPS units, and this collaboration resulted in a number of arrests thus disrupting and halting some of these syndicates.”‘Better co-ordination, information sharing’ There was a dramatic decrease in cash-in-transit heists, dropping by 37.5% in 2011/12. Mthethwa attributed this to better coordination and information sharing between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and various role-players. Bank robberies, meanwhile, decreased by 10.3%, while ATM bombings fell by almost 35% – from 399 cases in 2010/11 to 251 cases in 2011/12 – after increasing by 62% in 2010/11. These successes “were not achieved through sheer luck but through well-coordinated planning and partnerships with the business and banking sectors, and we shall continue to sustain these partnerships,” Mthethwa said. Aggravated robbery – the second-largest generator of other “contact” crimes, particularly attempted murder and murder, because victims were sometimes killed or seriously injured during such robberies – decreased by 1.4%.Business robberies increase While house robberies fell by almost 2%, business robberies continue to increase and were up by 7.5% – most of these against small businesses. The seriousness with which government viewed crimes against small businesses required a comprehensive strategy to ensure that the phenomenon was addressed in all its dimensions, Mthethwa said. “We need to implement a shared vision, a collective and integrated approach [incorporating] business involvement and participation and improved crime prevention.” A strategy to combat robberies at small business had been finalised and, through the Civilian Secretariat of Police there would be engagement with relevant parties to ensure the implementation of the strategy within the next few weeks, Mthethwa said. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Memcached and Beyond: NorthScale Raises Bar with $10m Series B

first_imgCloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Tags:#Announcements#Architecture#cloud How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud NorthScale is on the move. Hot off its recent accomplishment of winning several awards – including best in show at the 2010 Under the Radar event – the company announced a successful round of financing from the Mayfield Fund.Its successful product release in March put the company on the map as a defining leader in the noSQL approach to data persistence. The company has already gained Zynga as a customer of its beta version of Memcached, and has announced its plans to provide elastic data infrastructure as an approach to scaling applications in the cloud.Along with the new funding, industry veteran Bob Wiederhold has joined the company. In Wiederhold’s first blog post as CEO, “Simply Transformational,” he shares the attitude for the company in a word: simplicity. If the company can make scaling high-performance Web applications in cloud infrastructures easier, a big opportunity exists for them to scale a portion of the persistence data market.Scaling Out: noSQL ApproachHere is the company’s presentation (along with Q&A) from the presentation at Under the Radar. In this demonstration, the company shares the places where the noSQL works well – and its vision for moving beyond Memcached for scaling both within and beyond the walls of the data center.Scaling: It is The Biggest Show on Earth One of the things that is satisfying in light of NorthScale and the growth of Memcached is how the usage pattern of the Web has changed the underlying assumptions of data architecture. Since Web applications scale in the cloud, the data layer needs to scale in the same manner too to avoid being the bottleneck.When we look to the list of Memcached users we see many of the current leaders in scaling Web architecture such as Facebook, YouTube, and Zynga using the simple yet effective approach.On Facebook’s Open Source page, the company describes its involvement with Memcached:Memcached is a distributed memory object caching system. Memcached was not originally developed at Facebook, but we have become the largest user of the technology.NorthScale is building its business on the premise that elastic data infrastructure is a key layer in the stack. From what we see, serving the full gambit of distributed applications will be needed in order to reach the scale-out potential of cloud computing.Will NorthScale help evolve Memcached high-scaling Web object technology to a ubiquitous data tier used by the majority of cloud applications? mike kirkwoodcenter_img Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts last_img read more

How to Create an Animated Envelope in After Effects

first_imgLearn to create line art animation for your videos in this step-by-step After Effects tutorial.Line art refers to a style that uses generally one color and one stroke weight. In this tutorial, we will create a line art envelope icon that animates on and off for use in looping gifs. Here’s the finished product:You can watch the tutorial below.Download Free Animated Envelope TemplateWant to follow along with the tutorial? Simply download the free project file by hitting the button below.DOWNLOAD FREE ANIMATED ENVELOPE PROJECT FILE FOR AFTER EFFECTS Step 0Create a new composition. Since we’re working with a .gif output, we don’t need to adhere to any broadcast standards. For this piece, we’re working with a 640 by 640 pixel composition size, 5 seconds long, at 29.97 frames per second.Step 1Make a new white solid to serve as your background.Step 2The next step is to get the circle in place. Double click on the Ellipse Tool and change the fill to none and the stroke to 10px, then pick a dark color for the line. This will draw a circle the same size as your composition, which in this case is 640 by 640. Twirl into the shape layer to access the contents and change the size of the ellipse to 450 by 450. A circle is a nice, clean way to frame our icon, and it sets up an easy exit at the end of the animation when it swallows the icon.To animate on the circle, we use the trim paths. Add a trim path to the ellipse group and keyframe both the end and offset property. The end should start at 0% and animate on to 100% in 1 second. At the same time, the offset should animate from 30 degrees to 90 degrees.Finally you will want to use round caps and round joins on the stroke of your circle. Throughout this tutorial, all strokes should be 10 pixels thick with round caps and joins.Step 3Now we need an envelope. This begins with a rectangle. You can double click on the rectangle tool with nothing selected to produce a rectangle the same size as your composition and then edit the details by twirling down into the contents of the new layer. This rectangle should have a white fill, the same color as your background, and a black stroke, the same color as your circle. This project will use only these two colors. You should also match the stroke of the circle in thickness and roundness. Change the size of the envelope to 300 by 175 pixels.We animate this layer on by adding trim paths, and instead of animating the end of the path from 0 to 100, we animate both the start and end from 50 to 0 for the start and 100 for the end. This trims the path to write on from the middle outward. This should produce a line that writes on from corner to corner.You will want to easy ease the first keyframes, but leave the last one linear so the animation starts slowly and accelerates to a constant speed by the time the animation has completed.Step 4That leads us to the next section, where we animate on the flap of the envelope. We create the flap by duplicating the “envelope back” layer and converting the rectangle path to points. It is also best to parent the flap to the back and position the envelope lower so that when the flap opens, the image is balanced.This will allow us to remove one of the points and move another to form a triangle. I recommend using the grid to line up the middle point exactly in a predictable position. We can remove the keyframes for the start of the trim paths and only use the end property to animate on the flap from 0 to 100. This should begin one frame before the “envelope back” completes and end around 20 seconds in. You will want to change the first keyframe to linear and the last to eased. This will create a smooth transition and the illusion that the envelope and the flap share the same back line.Now you’ll likely notice the fill of the flap is making an ugly little overhang. You can keyframe the opacity of the file so that it is not visible before the animation completes. Once the trim paths is finished writing on the flap, you can set the opacity to 100. Set these keyframes to be hold keyframes if you like or just situate them right against each other.Finally, we need this flap to open. To do this, we will simple keyframe the path. Twirl into the contents of the shape and keyframe the path. The start state should be flap-down. The end state should be the open envelope. Just move the middle point up to the new position. You’ll want both of those keyframes eased, and you’ll want to pull the handles of the last keyframe to have 100% influence. This makes a nice acceleration curve for the movement.Step 5If we’re going to put a letter in the envelope, we need to form the front of the envelope. We will again duplicate the “envelope back” layer, convert the rectangle to points, and instead of deleting points, add one in the middle of the top line. Bring that point to match the location of the tip of the flap. This layer will remain mostly unchanged. You should also parent it to the envelope back. This layer doesn’t need to animate on, and you should trim it in time to exist only after the trim paths have resolved for the layers that make up the envelope. You can just delete the trim paths from this layer entirely. This layer should also live above the envelope back but below the flap.Step 6So we have an envelope that animates on and then opens up. Now we need a letter to come out of the envelope. We can again duplicate the envelope back so we don’t have to tweak any fills or strokes. And we may want to solo this layer as we’re working on it and rename it “letter” or something useful.This layer is going to be the page that exits the envelope and flops over. However, this will only be one half of the flop. The bend that happens in the paper is made of two layers, and together they form the illusion that one piece of paper is flopping out of an envelope.To make the first part of the flow we will first enlarge the rectangle path in the letter layer. Then we will add another rectangle path and convert that to a bezier path. We then make it taller and add points to the top to make the curve.Then we will add a merge paths to these and set the merge method to “intersect,” so we will only see where the two paths overlap each other. After that, we can move the rectangle path up and down to reveal more or less of the curved path. We then set keyframes to make the rectangle change position and move all the way up the layer until only one line is visible at the top of the shape.This layer should be between the envelope’s back and front. However, it also needs to be above the flap after the flap opens up. So you should split the flap layer (command+shift+d) and position the second flap behind the letter. You will need to time the letter’s emergence and animation to not intersect strangely with the flap.Step 7You can create the second half of the flopping letter by duplicating and flipping the first letter and then time reversing its keyframes so the rectangle moves from revealing only a line at the top of the “paper” to the straight rectangle section. I recommend parenting the second paper to the first so when you keyframe the paper’s position, the two move together. Then, it’s a matter of lining up the timing so that as the paper appears to come out and flop over, it continues that motion in the second layer. You will need to alter the graph editor by easing their keyframes to give it a pleasing motion. But, once they’re lined up right, the trick is complete!You will want the paper to change position to rise up a little as it flops. You can set keyframes for the position to make that happen. Just remember to ease your keyframes so it doesn’t look jerky.Step 8The last thing to do is add some embellishments. Now that the whole piece is moving around and animating on as you would expect, I recommend putting a burst of some kind at the start when the write on of the circle and envelope end. You can make a burst using shape layers by animating a rectangle from size and position 0,0 out to size 0,55 and position 0,-375 over about 10 frames and ease the keyframes. In the middle of those keyframes, however, you’ll want the size to be 0,155 and position to be 0,170 — and set the middle keyframes to “auto bezier,” which you can do by holding alt and clicking the keyframe until it becomes a circle. Then go into the graph editor and change the influence handles of the first keyframes to 0%. This causes a nice burst on.Then you just need to use the repeater to make an array of 6 of these changing their rotation to 60 degrees. I then duplicate a group containing all those rotating at 30 degrees and scaling it up. But then you have two different strokes from the scale. So you should remove the stroke from one of the groups and drag the other stroke below the two groups. This applies the stroke to the contents of the groups after transformation so it won’t deform the stroke at all. Next, you can set it to round, 10 pixels thick, and give it a dash of 20, a gap of 30, and a dash of 60 to complete the look. Line up this layer with the envelope’s completion, and it really calls attention to the frame. You may want to trim the layer down so you don’t need to see the first few frames and only get the exciting bits of the animation.I highly recommend watching the video tutorial to get all the step-by-step nuances. And if you had trouble with the tutorial, download the project file and really dive in.Do you have tips about line art animation? Share in the comments.last_img read more

Promotion quota Bill set for delay

first_imgA contentious bill providing for reservation to SCs and STs in government job promotions is set for a delay notwithstanding the urgency displayed in bringing it, with government on Wednesday citing paucity of time in passing it during the current session of Parliament.The indication that the bill will be delayed was given by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held consultations with him and Defence Minister A K Antony soon after introduction of the proposed legislation saw a scuffle between members of Samajwadi Party and BSP in Rajya Sabha.”There is no time now,” Shinde told reporters when asked whether the Constitution Amendment Bill would be passed by Parliament in the ongoing Monsoon Session.On the strong opposition to the bill witnessed in Rajya Sabha, he said, “We will convince them. It is a question of giving justice to the SC/STs who have been struggling for ages.”He said the Prime Minister and Congress President Sonia Gandhi were keen to have such a law in place.Shinde disapproved of BSP chief Mayawati’s bitter remarks calling Congress and BJP ‘snakes’.”It cannot be said. Our intention is very clear. The intention of the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi is very clear. Justice has to be given to them,” he said.Shinde said Congress had also tried to bring the bill earlier but had not succeeded.He said SC/ST MPs and MLAs have been demanding for the past two-three years reservation in promotion in government jobs.advertisementlast_img read more

Market Challenges Cut Milahas Quarterly Earnings

first_imgzoom Qatar-based marine transport and logistics conglomerate Qatar Navigation (Milaha) has seen its net profit drop by some 33 percent for the first quarter of the year ended March 31, 2017.Namely, the company ended the quarter with a net profit of QAR 236 million (USD 64.8 million), significantly lower than QAR 352 million (USD 96.6 million) reported in the same period in 2016.Milaha’s operating revenues also decreased to QAR 648 million for the first three months of the year, compared to QAR 767 million reached a year earlier, representing a decrease of 15 percent, while its operating profit dropped by 27 percent to QAR 185 million from QAR 256 million in the respective periods.“We are continuing to face the same market challenges as in 2016, but we remain confident in our ability to drive growth and capitalize on new opportunities while exercising financial discipline,” H.E. Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman of Milaha’s Board of Directors, said.Additionally, Milaha Maritime & Logistics’ net profit declined by QAR 14 million, mainly as a result of continued rate pressure in the company’s container shipping unit, while Milaha Gas & Petrochem’s net profit plunged by QAR 46 million mainly driven by a global downturn in shipping rates that impacted all major sectors.Similarly, Milaha Offshore reported a drop in its profit as well, which decreased by QAR 25 million, with QAR 22 million of that related to impairments.“Given the difficult environment we are working in, we posted solid operational results. We will continue moving ahead with our multi-year growth strategy to build a stronger and more sustainable business,” Abdulrahman Essa Al-Mannai, Milaha’s President and CEO, said.last_img read more

Chinas moon lander sprouted a plant but now its dead

first_img Share your voice The Chang’e 4 lander is the first to visit the far side of Earth’s natural satellite, sometimes called “the dark side of the moon.” It successfully deployed the Jade Rabbit 2 rover and has now once again made history by sprouting the first seedling on the moon.The ability to grow food on the moon would be important if humanity ever attempts to make good on the sci-fi dream of building a crewed lunar base. We could probably make some nice sweaters from moon-grown cotton.The space agency is already looking ahead to its next lunar mission, Chang’e 5, which is designed to collect lunar samples and bring them back to Earth. It’s also exploring options for a crewed moon mission.First published Jan. 15, 8:19 a.m. PT.Update at 2:28 p.m. PT: Adds that the plant died.  11 Photos Post a comment 0 NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.Fight the Power: Take a look at who’s transforming the way we think about energy.  Enlarge ImageA cotton seedling growing in a biosphere habitat. CNSA/Chongqing University There once was a miniature garden growing on the far side of the moon.The China National Space Agency’s Chang’e 4 lander is exploring the mysterious side of our lunar neighbor that faces away from Earth. It also had some unusual guests on board and — in a first for the moon — one of them sprouted. Xinhua announced the sprout Tuesday and posted a series of progress images covering the course of nine days and showing a seedling reaching up inside the habitat. The experiment didn’t last long. The same day, China’s state-run Xinhua News declared that it’s already ended.Chang’e 4 touched down in early January.  A team from Chongqing University in China developed a sealed biosphere habitat stocked with seeds, fruit fly eggs and yeast that it hoped would create a mini-ecosystem. The cotton seed was the only one to sprout. The experiment also contained potato and oilseed rape seeds. China moon machines snap striking pictures of each other Chinese lunar rover makes tracks on the far side of the moon Tags The seeds, flies and yeast were selected for their ability to withstand low gravity, strong radiation and wide temperature swings on the moon. The experiment’s chief designer, Xie Gengxin of Chongqing University, told Xinhua that life inside the canister would not survive the lander’s first lunar night, which started on Sunday. The moon’s nighttime period lasts for about two Earth weeks.The temperature plummets during the lunar night. NASA says the moon’s temperatures near its equator can dive to -238 Fahrenheit (-150 Celsius). Chang’e 4 is located in the Von Karman crater in the moon’s southern hemisphere. The lander is in sleep mode during the lunar night. First time for humankind: A seed taken up to #Moon by China’s Chang’e-4 probe has sprouted #ChangE4 pic.twitter.com/N6fA3A4ycv— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) January 15, 2019 Memorable moon photos from NASA and beyond (pictures) Xinhua also posted a video showing a simulated seedling growth test on Earth, leading to some questions about the earlier images and whether they came from the moon experiment or its Earth counterpart. CNSA has yet to clarify the issue. Chang’e 4 explores the moon Seedlings in space! First-ever cotton plant on the Moon growing in #ChangE4 mini biosphere https://t.co/L8YpXqoVIG pic.twitter.com/3NVoCBUn5M— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) January 15, 2019 Sci-Tech Spacelast_img read more

World Cup 2019 5 reasons why Australia could retain the trophy

first_imgAustralia seem to have what it takes to win the World Cup in 2019Cricket Australia / TwitterA few months ago, Australian cricket seemed to be in an intractable crisis. Both the Test and ODI team were looking hopeless and the prospect of defending their world title bleak. But in the last couple of months, the Aussies have roared back and established themselves as among the top contenders to win the World Cup in England.The 15-man squad picked on Monday, April 15, has raised some questions. The exclusion of Josh Hazlewood and inclusion of Steve Smith is being discussed in cricketing circles fervently. Despite these few doubts, the team looks strong on paper and stronger on the form. Let’s enumerate those five reasons which make Australia capable of successful retaining the World Cup trophy.Experience of winningJust as England and South Africa have repeatedly failed to win major ODI tournaments and therefore, may struggle to close the deal when they have a chance, Australians know all about triumphing in major events. Many players like Aaron Finch, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, were part of the World Cup winning squad in 2015. Hence, they know how to handle pressure and succeed in high-stakes matches. There is unlikely to be any stage-fright for this lot.Australia’s squad: Aaron Finch (C), Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa Aaron Finch’s form has boosted the strength of Australian teamReuters/Craig BroughIn-form batsmenWhat brought about the turnaround in the Australian team’s fortunes was their batting. It was started by Usman Khawaja who started scoring heavily in India. But the form of his partner Finch was in doubt. That was put to rest in the next series that Aussies played where Finch emerged as the leading run-scorer. Shaun Marsh too returned to his scoring ways and Maxwell regained the magic touch which makes him a special player. With the arrival of an in-form Warner and a proven commodity in Smith, the batting would look even stronger.Wicket-taking bowlersGone are the days, when bowling defensively was a good option. These days, taking wickets is everything. Australia have an advantage in this regard. Their bowlers – especially – Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc have mastered this art. The latter had been the most lethal bowler in 50-over cricket till some time ago due to his deadly yorkers and lively pace. In the middle overs, such wicket-taking options are a must for any team aspiring to be world champions.Experience of winning in dry conditionsHaving won their last two series in India and UAE, the Aussies have shown that they are capable of adapting to different types of conditions. This would be very useful in England where teams would encounter a wide variety of challenges. These days, English pitches tend to be much drier than in the past. This wouldn’t worry Australia as they have recently excelled in such conditions.Good spin-bowling combinationAustralia may not possess the best spin-bowling attack in the world – that distinction belongs to India – but they don’t have the worst either. Nathan Lyon has settled nicely into his role as a holding bowler who can deliver 10 economical overs. What makes this off-spinner special is his consistency and accuracy, allowing him to succeed in not so friendly wickets also.He will have Adam Zampa to assist him if Australia go in with two spinners. Initially, not so successful, he is now using his variations a lot more effectively. This has turned him into a genuine wicket-taking option. So, Lyon keeping the batsmen honest from one end and Zampa attacking them from other seems a very promising combination.Expected XI:Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (WK), Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nilelast_img read more

Indian warships will stay longer in Persian Gulf as crisis escalates

first_img Close Tensions between Iran and the United States have escalated India’s navy, which has traditionally operated closer to home waters, has over the past year or so begun deployments across the Indian Ocean stretching from the Malacca Strait in Southeast Asia to waters off Africa, largely as a response to China’s expanding weight across the region.But the maritime operation in the Gulf is also to heed US President Donald Trump’s call that major buyers of Middle East oil protect their own tankers, a second Indian official with knowledge of India’s policy on the region said.The issue figured during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Trump on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Japan last month and Modi told the US leader he had sent ships to protect Indian-flagged vessels, the official said.Trump has been putting pressure on European and Asian allies to shoulder security responsibilities and not depend on the United States alone.Deepening regional tensions, Iran said on Thursday it had seized a foreign tanker smuggling fuel in the Gulf, and the US military commander in the region said the United States would work “aggressively” to ensure free passage of vessels.REFUELLING On Friday, US officials will speak to members of the Washington diplomatic corps about the new initiative to promote freedom of navigation and maritime security around the Strait of Hormuz, the State Department said.New Delhi will not be formally joining such a force, in large measure because that would pit it directly against Iran, with which it has had historical political and energy ties. It also has never been part of foreign military task forces, preferring to work under the United Nations flag instead, the first official said.India is the biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China.”We will be carrying out the force protection measures on our own for Indian-flagged vessels. So far, nearly two dozen ships have been provided security,” the official said.But there is coordination with the US military with which India has a logistics support agreement, the official said.Indian naval ships operating in the Gulf have been fuelled by the large fleet of US tankers and such assistance will remain because of the indefinite length of operation, the official said.There have been no incidents so far involving Indian commercial shipping in the vital waterways.”I surmise in a conflict we will be neutral. We will be drawn into it only if our shipping is hit,” said former Indian naval officer Abhijit Singh, who heads the Maritime Policy Initiative think-tank at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation.Singh said Indian navy ships had sailed in the Persian Gulf earlier though never exclusively to escort merchant marine.About 15 Indian ships – destroyers, frigates, corvettes and large patrol vessels – are operating at the entry and exit points of the Indian Ocean, stretching from the Malacca Strait, through which much of China’s trade and fuel is routed, to the Gulf of Aden in the west. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:02/1:35Loaded: 0%0:03Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:33?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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COPY LINKAD Loading … Indian Navy officers hoist the ensign aboard the INS Chennai, India’s third indigenously designed guided missile destroyer during its commissioning ceremony in Mumbai, India, November 21, 2016.ReutersIndian warships escorting merchant vessels in the Persian Gulf will remain deployed for the longer term, officials with direct knowledge of the matter said, as tensions between Iran and Western powers rise.But the two ships – INS Chennai and INS Sunanya, backed by surveillance aircraft, will not be part of a military coalition that the United States is assembling to safeguard the waters off Iran near the Straits of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s oil moves, the two officials said.Since June following attacks on tankers that the United States blamed on Iran and Iran-aligned fighters, a charged Tehran denies, the Indian navy ships have been escorting Indian-flagged vessels in and out of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.”This is not going to stop, the situation being what it is, we will be there for the foreseeable future,” said an official with knowledge of naval deployments.last_img read more