PIX: An auto show at last!

Phyllis Somerville, Actor of Stage And Screen, Dies at 76

New York (AP) — Phyllis Somerville, an actor with a lengthy career of roles in film, television and Broadway productions, has died. She was 76.

Somerville’s manager Paul Hilepo says the actor died Thursday in New York City of natural causes.

A native of Iowa, Somerville moved to New York in the 1970s. She most recently appeared onstage in the Broadway production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“She took pride in calling herself a New Yorker but she had salt of the Earth mid-western roots which she was also proud of,” Hilepo said in an email.

On television, she appeared in “The Big C,” “NYPD Blue” and was in films like “Arthur” and was among “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” cast members nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Her last film credit was “Poms,” in which she appeared alongside Diane Keaton and Pam Grier in a comedy about older women who form a cheerleading squad.

In “The Big C,” she played the foul-mouthed neighbor to Laura Linney’s character, a straight-laced history teacher who is given a grim cancer prognosis.

Ray-Ban Maker Starts Legal Action for Takeover Target

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EssilorLuxottica SA, the maker of Ray-Ban sunglasses, says it has initiated legal proceedings in the Netherlands to obtain information from takeover targetGrandVision N.V. on how it managed the business during the coronavirus crisis.

The company is also trying to assess whether GrandVision “has breached its obligations under the support agreement,” according to astatement on Saturday.

EssilorLuxottica said that despite “repeated requests,” Grandvision had failed to provide the information on a voluntary basis, so it had to resort to legal proceedings.

Last month, EssilorLuxottica wassaid to be committed to its proposed 7.3 billion-euro ($8.3 billion) purchase of GrandVision, with European antitrust authorities reviewing the transaction.

— With assistance by Tommaso Ebhardt

HDFC Bank reports nearly 20% rise in Q1 profit

Likewise, net NPAs fell to 0.33% (₹3,279.96 crore) from 0.43% (₹3,567.18 crore), the bank said in the filing.

HDFC Bank on Saturday reported 19.6% rise in standalone net profit at ₹6,658.62 crore for June quarter of the current financial year.

The country’s largest private sector lender clocked a net profit of ₹5,568.16 crore in April-June 2019-20.

Income of the bank rose to ₹34,453.28 crore in June quarter 2020-21 from ₹32,361.84 crore in the year-ago same period, HDFC Bank said in a regulatory filing.

The bank improved on its asset front with gross non-performing assets (NPAs) falling to 1.36% of the gross advances as on June 30, 2020 from 1.40% by June-end 2019.

In value terms, gross NPAs or bad loans were at ₹13,773.46 crore as against ₹11,768.95 crore.

Likewise, net NPAs fell to 0.33% (₹3,279.96 crore) from 0.43% (₹3,567.18 crore), the bank said in the filing.

However, the bank’s provisions for bad loans and contingencies during April-June 2020-21 were raised to ₹3,891.52 crore as against ₹2,613.66 crore in the year-ago same period.

On consolidated basis, the bank reported 22% increase in net profit at ₹6,927.24 crore for the quarter under review as against Rs 5,676.06 crore in the year-ago same period.

Consolidated income rose to ₹36,698.59 crore from ₹34,324.45 crore.

Chinese Province Offers Free Virus Testing Amid Outbreak Fears

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The capital of China’s Xinjiang province will offer free coronavirus tests amid fears of an outbreak that has led to a lockdown of housing compounds and the closure of malls and hotels.

Testing will be conducted in two phases in Urumqi, local government officials said at a press conference on Saturday. People in residential areas who’ve had direct or indirect contact with those who are confirmed or suspected to be infected will be tested first, they said.

Residents in other housing compounds, and government and civil servant institutions will be tested in the second phase. Urumqi, a city of more than 3.5 million people, has 17 confirmed cases and 23 asymptomatic carriers since it reported its first infection in five months on July 15.

Residents have been banned from leaving their housing compounds, with provisions made for those who are sick or in special situations, Caixin reported on Friday. People arriving from other provinces will be quarantined for seven days.

China Limits Movement in Xinjiang Capital to Stem Virus (3)

— With assistance by Sharon Chen, and Dong Cao

PIX: An auto show at last!

Auto shows across the globe have been forced to cancel or delay due to COVID-19.

After a long delay, Thailand opened its twice-postponed Bangkok international motor show to the public as coronavirus restrictions eased, with nearly all attendees wearing masks and face shields.

25 car brands — including Toyota, Audi, Lexus, Nissan, BMW, Mazda, Ford, Suzuki, Hyundai — and 22 motorcycle manufacturers were on show.









Concept: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com
Feature Production: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com