Salman Khan:Tralee, Ireland-Jaskalsi

The bad boy of Bollywood, Salman Khan, has many things in him that have made him one of the top ten actors of all time. He is the son of a famous screenwriter, Salim Khan, and his first wife Salma.

Despite being the son of a famous father, he had to struggle hard to get fame and popularity in the Indian film industry. Even, he did not use his father’s name for his success.

Making his appearance in a supporting role in the film Biwi Ho To Aisi(1988), he started his career as an actor. With the film Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), he made his adult debut. It was his first commercial success. It also helped him to win a Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut. For his appearance in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, he got Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Since making his debut, he has spanned more than two decades and has acted in more than eighty Hindi films as a leading actor. Some of his well known films are- Maine Pyar KiyaHum Aapke Hain Kaun,Karan ArjunPyar Kiya To Darna KyaKuch Kuch Hota HaiTere NaamWantedDabangg, and Ready.

Salman Khan has a huge fan following in India. He was followed by youngsters for many years for his muscular body as well as his acting skill. He has been featured many times for his love relationships with many actresses. He is considered as one of the most wanted bachelors at the age of 45. He is also regarded as one of the most glamorous actors of his contemporaries.

To his fans, it is a big question that when he will get married.

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Raj Kapoor:Drogheda-Ireland-Jaskalsi

Raj Kapoor came from a famous film family. His father, Prithvi Raj Kapoor, was a well-known actor and pioneer in Hindi Cinema.

Raj Kapoor was blessed with versatility. He was not only an actor but also a director and producer of Hindi Cinema. He is considered to be a master in both acting and directorial fields. He was given the title as “show man” of Bollywood cinemas for his filmmaking skills.

This one of the legend actors started his acting career at the age of twelve in the 1935 film Inquilab. His first big break through came after twelve years when he was selected for the lead role in Neel Kamal (1947) opposite Madhubala. With this film, Madhubala also made her debut as an adult.

Besides acting, he was actively involved in producing and directing films. When he established his own studio, R. K. Films, he was just twenty-four year old. His first directorial film was Aag. Making his directorial debut with the film, he became the youngest film director of his time. In this film, he starred opposite Nargis.

His first major success came in n Mehboob Khan’s blockbuster Andazwhere his co-stars were Dilip Kumar and Nargis.

He continued his working as a producer, director and actor and gave some box office hit films, such as – Barsaat (1949), Awaara (1951),Shree 420 (1955), Chori Chori (1956), Jagte Raho (1956) and Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (1960). Because of his popularity in these films, he gained his screen image as The Tramp, which is Charlie Chaplin’s most famous screen persona. He was also called charlie chaplin of Indian cinema by film historians and movie lovers. Raj Kapoor produced, directed and starred Sangam was the first color film. It was released in 1964.

Besides acting in his own productions, he was appeared in a number of successful films- Anari (1959), Chhalia (1960) and Teesri Kasam(1963).

Though he died long times ago, he is still remembered for his film making style and acting skills in the recent time too.

During his career, he won nine Filmfare Awards. The Indian government also gave him the Padma Bhushan in 1971 and because of his contribution towards Indian cinema he was also given the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1987.

CHANGES TO THE CELTIC TIGER-Drogheda-Ireland-Jaskalsi

“CAN’T wait to celebrate” declare posters at Dublin airport with a picture of revellers enjoying fireworks. The marketing of “The Gathering”, a year-long succession of festivals and feel-good events, is meant to draw the Irish diaspora back to the ancestral island. Some scornfully see this as a mere ploy to squeeze dollars from sentimental foreigners. A stronger criticism is that the Irish clans are scattering once more. Emigration, Ireland’s traditional response to its economic woes, has resumed and is even accelerating.
Ballads have long evoked the sorrow of separation. “Many young men of twenty said goodbye,” sang The Dubliners in the 1960s. By the 1980s the archetypal emigrant was not just the poor labourer but the frustrated graduate. Then the economic boom of the “Celtic Tiger” years seemed to break the curse. Young men and women could get well-paid jobs at home. Ireland attracted back some of the departed, whose skills and networks acquired abroad fuelled the boom. For the first time Ireland drew in many foreign workers, especially from Eastern Europe.
That the Irish are once again on the move is taken as one more indictment of the incompetent political and business caste that wrecked the economy. Radio talk-shows tell bittersweet stories of churches installing webcams so that emigrants (and the elderly at home) can follow services. For all the anger, emigration provides an economic and social safety-valve. It has reduced Ireland’s unemployment rate and the burden on the state’s overstretched finances. And emigration may help to explain a puzzle of Irish politics: why the Irish people, for all their history of political revolt against British rule, have been less rebellious against austerity than, say, the Greeks.
Other factors are at play, not least the strong electoral mandate in 2011 for the coalition of Fine Gael and Labour led by the prime minister, Enda Kenny; a deal with trade unions to preserve public-sector pay that was controversial but avoided big strikes; and the fact that Sinn Fein, the natural party of protest, seeks respectability after its connection to Northern Ireland’s troubles. Still, many in Ireland accuse Mr Kenny of being too subservient, in particular to Germany. The former schoolteacher prefers to capitalise on his image as the good pupil of the euro-zone periphery to secure better terms for Ireland’s bail-out. The country, he says, is a “unique and special case”.
This is not to draw a parallel with the euro zone’s other unique case, Greece, but to stand as its antithesis. If the obstreperous Greeks recently got a softening of their bail-out terms (in essence a partial debt write-off) to avert the threat of “Grexit” from the euro, surely the Irish deserve help to secure their exit from the bail-out and return to markets on schedule at the end of the year. At the start of its six-month rotating presidency of the European Union, Ireland says it wants to lead the euro zone out of crisis-management to the era of recovery.
Ireland has a good claim to being a model of adjustment through austerity and structural reform. After suffering a catastrophic banking and property bust, it has met its deficit-cutting targets. It has recovered much of its export competitiveness. Multinational firms that use Ireland as a low-tax base are investing keenly once more. The Irish economy has been growing, albeit slowly, in contrast with the shrinking in the troubled periphery of the euro zone. And Ireland is regaining market confidence, this week selling €2.5 billion ($3.3 billion) worth of bonds at a lower interest rate than its bail-out loans.
Yet success is far from assured. The Irish economy is a strange hybrid: the front legs of its export sector may have recovered tigerlike strength, but the hind legs of the domestic economy are more akin to those of a sickly Mediterranean goat. Both parts are vulnerable. As a big exporter Ireland is exposed both to recession in the rest of Europe and to a global slowdown. At home the burden of its collapsed banking sector is a heavy drag on the economy (Ireland’s public debt shot up from 25% of GDP in 2007 to about 120% this year, and the budget deficit is still 8% of GDP).
There may be more banking losses if the housing market has not bottomed out, as some fear. In March Ireland must make a €3 billion repayment on expensive promissory notes (a form of IOU) issued to try to save the doomed Anglo Irish Bank, the most cavalier of its banks. By cruel coincidence, this is roughly the same amount that the government has had to cut from the 2013 budget. During his EU presidency Mr Kenny must show fellow Europeans that his government can impartially run EU ministerial business. But to his citizens he must demonstrate that he is seizing the opportunity to press Ireland’s case for relief.
From debt to equity?
There are two parts to this. First, Mr Kenny wants an extension in the maturity of the promissory notes. Secondly, he wants the European rescue fund to take over some or all of the government’s stake in two surviving Irish banks as part of the emerging banking union. The IMF is supportive, but the ECB has reservations about making concessions on the promissory notes and Germany says it never promised to take over past liabilities of other countries’ banks. Some in Europe resent Ireland’s free-market ethos, its low-tax strategy and the past recklessness of its banks. The Irish, for their part, resent the fact that they were prevented in late 2010 from imposing losses on senior bondholders of the kind now envisaged in the latest EU proposals for banking union. There is much blame to spread for what went wrong in the past; for every irresponsible borrower there was an irresponsible lender. Yet everybody in the euro zone could do with a confidence boost. If Ireland succeeds, then it is not just the country and its émigrés that will rejoice. All of Europe could celebrate too.

LOOKING BACK AT THE IRISH FAMINE-Tralee, Ireland-Jaskalsi

In 1997 Tony Blair, the British prime minister, made the first formal apology for Britain’s role in the Irish famine. Between 1845 and 1855 Ireland lost a third of its population—1 million people died from starvation and disease and 2 million emigrated. Mr Blair regretted a time when those who governed in London had failed their people. Two new books explore Britain’s role in the famine and rekindle the debate about whether its misdeeds can be considered genocide.

“The Graves are Walking” by John Kelly, a historian and popular science writer, is an engrossing narrative of the famine, vividly detailing Victorian society and the historical phenomena (natural and man-made) that converged to form the disaster. The decimation of the potato crop in the 1840s brought on the danger of mass starvation, but it was the British response that perpetuated the tragedy. The hand of nature, as illustrated in both books, caused only part of the problem.

Both authors describe the folly and cruelty of Victorian British policy towards its near-forsaken neighbour in detail. The British government, led by Sir Charles Trevelyan, assistant secretary to the Treasury (dubbed the “Victorian Cromwell”), appeared far more concerned with modernising Ireland’s economy and reforming its people’s “aboriginal” nature than with saving lives. Ireland became the unfortunate test case for a new Victorian zeal for free market principles, self-help, and ideas about nation-building.

Ireland still functioned as a basic barter economy—few hands exchanged money and the peasant population relied on their potato crops, which had failed. But rather than provide aid and establish long-term goals for recovery, Trevelyan and his cohorts saw a chance to introduce radical free-market reforms. As Mr Kelly notes, Trevelyan sent his subordinates to Ireland equipped with Adam Smith’s writings, like missionaries sent to barbarian lands armed with bibles. One absurd project to introduce a money economy was part of the public works scheme. Peasants were hired to build unnecessary roads in order to earn money to buy food. But wages were often not enough to match the high food prices enforced by Trevelyan as a measure to attract imports to Ireland, especially from America.

The belief that the famine was God’s intention also guided much of Britain’s policy. They viewed the crop failures as “a Visitation of Providence, an expression of divine displeasure” with Ireland and its mostly Catholic peasant population, writes Mr Kelly. Poverty was considered a moral failure. Within a few years Irish immigrants flooded the port cities of Liverpool in England, Montreal and Quebec in Canada and New York. The emigrant was considered an object of horror and contempt, as Mr Kelly writes: “pedestrians turned and walked the other way; storekeepers bolted the door or picked up a broom; street urchins mocked his shoeless feet, filthy clothing and Gaelic-accented English.” Throughout the book, Mr Kelly bemoans the tragic effects of human folly, neglect and Victorian ideology in causing the famine and its aftermath. He rejects the charge of genocide. Tim Pat Coogan, however, takes a more radical view in “The Famine Plot”.

Mr Coogan, an Irish historian and journalist, is, to many, the unofficial voice of modern Irish history. In the introduction to his polemical history of the disaster, he labels the famine genocide and criticises other Irish historians as revisionists who are sanitising the famine’s story. His previous books about the IRA and the reputation of Eamon de Valera, Ireland’s president in the 1960s, caused controversy, but his view of the Irish famine is more widely accepted. Like Mr Kelly, Mr Coogan blames the free market economics that Britain tried, and failed, to apply to Ireland’s problem, but believes that their negligent actions were deliberate. He also describes, in painful detail, the indignity and hardship suffered by the peasant population who were stigmatised by anti-Catholic prejudice and the belief that poverty was self-inflicted.

His most compelling argument for British negligence is in the final chapter, in which he recalls the xenophobic images and words commonly used to caricature the Irish in Victorian England. Trevelyan and other architects of the famine response had a direct hand in filling the newspapers with the “oft-repeated theme that the famine was the result of a flaw in the Irish character.” And Punch, a satirical magazine, regularly portrayed “‘Paddy’ as a simian in a tailcoat and a derby, engaged in plotting murder, battening on the labour of the English workingman, and generally living a life of indolent treason,” explains Mr Coogan. The result of such dehumanising propaganda was to make unreasonable policy seem more reasonable and just.

The question remains as to whether misguided ideology of a previous era can be found culpable of a greater evil. Mr Kelly’s engrossing book lays out the evidence but stops short of calling it genocide. Mr Coogan’s opinion that the famine was genocide is clear. But both books make a compelling case for why we should revisit our current understanding of it.

 

DESPITE INWARD INVESTMENTS, THE IRISH ECONOMY IS STILL FRAGILE-Sligo, Ireland-Jaskalsi

If 2012 was the year when a sense of calm returned to euro-zone financial markets, 2013 will be when Europe needs to show that its recipe of austerity and reforms can work. Strong evidence for that would be if a bailed-out country could finance itself again. Hence the hopes invested in Ireland, which entered its rescue programme in 2010 and is scheduled to make a full return to the bond markets at the end of 2013.

The markets seem to be signalling it can be done. Yields on Irish government bonds maturing in 2020 fell from 8.5% at the start of 2012 to 4.5% by the end of the year. Renewed appetite for Irish debt allowed the government to regain partial access to bond markets in 2012. Ireland’s debt-management agency plans to raise €10 billion ($13.2 billion) by issuing bonds in 2013. That will leave it with €19 billion of cash reserves, sufficient to cover the government’s needs for 2014.

There are stirrings of life in the battered Irish economy. Although GDP is thought by the IMF to have grown by only 0.4% in 2012, that compares well with deep recessions in Italy and Spain and followed a 1.4% rise in 2011. The current account has been in surplus since 2010. Underlying competitiveness has improved sharply, judging by unit labour costs.

Helped by a low corporate-tax rate of 12.5%, Ireland continues to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), especially from American firms and particularly in pharmaceuticals, information technology and financial services. The number of new FDI projects in 2012 has been similar to that in 2011, itself the highest for a decade, says Barry O’Leary, the boss of Ireland’s inward-investment agency.

The foreign presence is now a towering one, so much so that Irish exports actually exceed the value of GDP. The contribution from net trade—exports less imports—has more than offset falls in domestic demand, which remains traumatised by excessive debt (households owe 209% of disposable income), continuing austerity and a financial squeeze as the now well-capitalised but unprofitable Irish banks limp along.

But this brightening picture is not all that it appears. Take Ireland’s reliance on foreign firms. That gears the Irish economy to global growth so that it suffers when world trade falters, says Simon Hayes of Barclays. Exports have been growing at only 2% a year since last spring, the slowest since they started to recover in early 2010.

It also makes the economy vulnerable to shocks affecting specific sectors. Ireland’s success in attracting global drugs firms—pharmaceuticals made up half of goods exports in 2011—means that it is being affected by the “patent cliff”, the expiry of patents on many blockbuster drugs. In 2011 the value of Irish pharmaceutical exports rose by almost 7%, but in the first ten months of 2012 it fell by 3% compared with the same period a year earlier.

Another concern is that Irish progress, both economic and fiscal, is typically measured using GDP, the output generated within Ireland. But for an economy where foreign firms are so dominant, GNP, or the income that goes to residents, is more relevant. Irish GNP is lower than GDP because of the big profits made by foreign firms. The gap between the two has been widening, from 14% in 2007 to 20% in 2011.

That widening shortfall reflects the fact that the Irish people have fared much worse than the Irish economy. National output measured by GDP was 7% smaller in 2011 than in 2007, whereas national income measured by GNP was 11% smaller. This matters not just for living standards but also for Ireland’s fiscal situation: it is GNP that does the heavy lifting on the public finances, since multinational profits are taxed so lightly.

If measuring Ireland’s debt as a share of GDP understates the burden, measuring it as a share of GNP overstates it because it neglects the contribution that foreign firms do make to taxes. The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, a watchdog, has suggested a hybrid measure in which 40% of the excess of GDP over GNP is added to GNP. This offers a better gauge of fiscal sustainability for the Irish economy, says John McHale, who chairs the council. On this basis, the debt burden, which is expected to peak in 2013 at around 120% of GDP, would really be close to 140% (see chart).

Ireland’s vulnerabilities explain why the IMF wants Ireland’s European creditors to give it more help. In particular it advocates lightening the debt-servicing charges on promissory notes, a sort of IOU, which the Irish government issued in 2010 mainly to prop up the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank. It also wants the European Stability Mechanism, a euro-zone rescue fund, to relieve Ireland’s public-debt burden by taking an equity stake in banks which have had state help. A lot has gone right for Ireland (which has just begun its six-month stint in the EU’s rotating presidency). But it wouldn’t take much for the euro zone’s model pupil to fail to graduate from its rescue programme.

 

CHANGES TO THE CELTIC TIGER-Drogheda-Ireland-Jaskalsi

“CAN’T wait to celebrate” declare posters at Dublin airport with a picture of revellers enjoying fireworks. The marketing of “The Gathering”, a year-long succession of festivals and feel-good events, is meant to draw the Irish diaspora back to the ancestral island. Some scornfully see this as a mere ploy to squeeze dollars from sentimental foreigners. A stronger criticism is that the Irish clans are scattering once more. Emigration, Ireland’s traditional response to its economic woes, has resumed and is even accelerating.

Ballads have long evoked the sorrow of separation. “Many young men of twenty said goodbye,” sang The Dubliners in the 1960s. By the 1980s the archetypal emigrant was not just the poor labourer but the frustrated graduate. Then the economic boom of the “Celtic Tiger” years seemed to break the curse. Young men and women could get well-paid jobs at home. Ireland attracted back some of the departed, whose skills and networks acquired abroad fuelled the boom. For the first time Ireland drew in many foreign workers, especially from Eastern Europe.

That the Irish are once again on the move is taken as one more indictment of the incompetent political and business caste that wrecked the economy. Radio talk-shows tell bittersweet stories of churches installing webcams so that emigrants (and the elderly at home) can follow services. For all the anger, emigration provides an economic and social safety-valve. It has reduced Ireland’s unemployment rate and the burden on the state’s overstretched finances. And emigration may help to explain a puzzle of Irish politics: why the Irish people, for all their history of political revolt against British rule, have been less rebellious against austerity than, say, the Greeks.

Other factors are at play, not least the strong electoral mandate in 2011 for the coalition of Fine Gael and Labour led by the prime minister, Enda Kenny; a deal with trade unions to preserve public-sector pay that was controversial but avoided big strikes; and the fact that Sinn Fein, the natural party of protest, seeks respectability after its connection to Northern Ireland’s troubles. Still, many in Ireland accuse Mr Kenny of being too subservient, in particular to Germany. The former schoolteacher prefers to capitalise on his image as the good pupil of the euro-zone periphery to secure better terms for Ireland’s bail-out. The country, he says, is a “unique and special case”.

This is not to draw a parallel with the euro zone’s other unique case, Greece, but to stand as its antithesis. If the obstreperous Greeks recently got a softening of their bail-out terms (in essence a partial debt write-off) to avert the threat of “Grexit” from the euro, surely the Irish deserve help to secure their exit from the bail-out and return to markets on schedule at the end of the year. At the start of its six-month rotating presidency of the European Union, Ireland says it wants to lead the euro zone out of crisis-management to the era of recovery.

Ireland has a good claim to being a model of adjustment through austerity and structural reform. After suffering a catastrophic banking and property bust, it has met its deficit-cutting targets. It has recovered much of its export competitiveness. Multinational firms that use Ireland as a low-tax base are investing keenly once more. The Irish economy has been growing, albeit slowly, in contrast with the shrinking in the troubled periphery of the euro zone. And Ireland is regaining market confidence, this week selling €2.5 billion ($3.3 billion) worth of bonds at a lower interest rate than its bail-out loans.

Yet success is far from assured. The Irish economy is a strange hybrid: the front legs of its export sector may have recovered tigerlike strength, but the hind legs of the domestic economy are more akin to those of a sickly Mediterranean goat. Both parts are vulnerable. As a big exporter Ireland is exposed both to recession in the rest of Europe and to a global slowdown. At home the burden of its collapsed banking sector is a heavy drag on the economy (Ireland’s public debt shot up from 25% of GDP in 2007 to about 120% this year, and the budget deficit is still 8% of GDP).

PREDICTING A FISCAL DOOMSDAY-Waterford-Ireland-Jaskalsi

It seems like high public debt levels ought to represent a looming economic problem. Why, then, is it so difficult to demonstrate, conclusively, that they are? It could be due to the econometric challenges posed by any macroeconomic issue: sample sizes are small and the possibility of any number of statistical biases throwing things off is large. Or it could be that debt levels simply aren’t, in many cases, as bad as everyone seems to think.

A new paper illustrates the trouble economists have when they try to show that debt is scary. In a paper prepared the US Monetary Policy Forum, economists David Greenlaw, James Hamilton, Peter Hooper, and Frederic Mishkin conclude that “countries with debt above 80% of GDP and persistent current-account deficits are vulnerable to a rapid fiscal deterioration as a result of…tipping-point dynamics”. But their work is remarkably unpersuasive.

They begin by exploring an intuitive framework for debt tipping points. Markets, in deciding what interest rate to charge sovereigns wishing to borrow, weigh the probability that explicit or implicit default will eventually rob them of expected earnings on their loans. Other things equal, a higher debt load translates into higher probability of default. If the outlook for growth deteriorates, or if political changes make sustainable fiscal policy less achievable, markets may again update their outlook. And if the current-account deficit is larger, suggesting that more of the debt is owed to foreigners, then the temptation to default is greater and the odds of default rise.

The authors put together a model showing how a change in the above variables can lead markets to adjust their default expectations and raise the interest rate charged to the sovereign. But a higher rate worsens the fiscal outlook, leading markets to worry more and raise rates again. Under certain circumstances, expected sovereign borrowing can grow explosively, leading to a debt crisis.

They then turn to a statistical exercise, and report their findings:

The regression covers 20 countries for years t = 2000 − 2011 for a total of 240 observations. Interestingly, the coefficients on gross and net debt are both highly statistically significant. The regression suggests that if the country’s primary deficit increases by 1% of GDP (causing both gross and net debt to increase by one percentage point relative to GDP), the borrowing cost would increase by…4.5 basis points.

How to parse this, though? I was immediately concerned by the data sample: 20 advanced economies over 12 years. What’s particularly distressing is that just over half of the sample countries are members of the euro zone. In choosing to study advanced economies, the authors specifically note the problem of “original sin” in studies of emerging markets—that countries which borrow in foreign currencies are subject to different debt dynamics—only to then use a sample in which most of the chosen economies are unable to print their own money.

With that understood, the possibilities of spurious findings are clear. Prior to the crisis deficits and debt across the sample were generally falling, as were interest rates, helping to build a misleadingly tight statistical relationship between changes in borrowing and in sovereign yields. After the crisis, the relationship didn’t vanish entirely because several of the sampled economies did experience soaring debts and skyrocketing borrowing costs. Troublingly for this analysis, all of those economies were on the euro-area periphery. Even more troubling, yields reversed after the ECB effectively broke the link between banking system solvency and sovereign obligations, even though total debt stocks have continued to grow around the periphery.

If one looks at changes in debt-to-GDP ratios since the onset of the crisis in 2012, one observes that the largest increases occurred (in order) in Ireland, Greece, Spain, Japan, Portugal, Britain, and America. Yields over that time frame soared in Ireland, Greece, Spain, and Portugal, of course. But they fell, sharply, in Japan, Britain, and America. We can draw a lot of important macroeconomic lessons from the sample the authors consider, but I’m not sure that the universal danger of a debt stock above 80% of GDP is one of the top ones.

Does that mean that Japan, Britain, and America can relax? Not necessarily. Consider America. As the economy improves sovereign yields rise, reflecting the increased attractiveness of private investments relative to government debt. That will raise the governments interest-rate costs and partially offset the improvement in the deficit that will also accompany recovery. A lot of America’s outstanding debt is held abroad, and over the course of the crisis and recovery the average maturity of American debt has grown substantially. Both factors make a partial default via above-normal inflation more attractive (though of course the Fed would have to play ball to achieve such a thing). Meanwhile, the spectre of rising pension and health care costs remains. By 2020, the government will be dealing with the substantial fiscal demands of the Boomer generation. These factors might all push rates higher than they otherwise would be, thereby worsening the long-run debt outlook and pushing America toward a tipping point.

Given these threats, why aren’t American yields already soaring? On the one hand, markets might (quite reasonably) focus on shorter time horizons than the Congressional Budget Office. At the moment, the budget picture in 2030 looks daunting. But so much can happen before that time. Technological progress may buoy American growth and hold down health costs. America may welcome more immigrants than anticipated, spreading the burden of existing debts over more taxpayers. There are at least as many ways a bet on an American debt crisis could go wrong as there are ways it could go right. That’s not an argument for complete fiscal irresponsibility in Washington. It does suggest