Shuttler Anand in third round of Canada Open

News4u-Sports Desk-India’s Anand Pawar reached the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals of the Canada Open Grand Prix tournament with a straight-game win over local shuttler Bobby Milroy in Vancouver.

The Indian thrashed the qualifier 21-12 21-11 on Tuesday to set up a clash with Chinese Taipei’s Kuei Chun Shih.

The fourth seed had defeated Korea’s Kim Dong Hoon 21-17 21-9 in the opening round.

Another Indian, Arvind Bhat, who had won the German Open Grand Prix Gold in March, had retired at 1-2 against Maxime Moreels of Belgium in the first round.


Anand Pawar

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Civilian group: 56 dead in Nigeria market blast

News4u-News Desk-A civilian patrol group says a car bomb in a marketplace in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri has killed at least 56 people.

Sadiq Abba Tijjani, leader of the Civilian Joint Task Force, said his group recovered at least 56 dead bodies at the blast site, although many were in parts or burnt beyond recognition.

Other witnesses also estimated the death toll to around 50.

Some officials said only 17 people died in the explosion that ripped through the market early on Tuesday, but officials regularly play down the death toll.

Witnesses and officials blamed Boko Haram, the Islamic extremists accused of a bombing campaign that has killed scores in recent weeks.


56 dead in Nigeria market blast

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Jaitley for fiscal prudence over mindless populism

News4u-Business Desk-Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said high fiscal deficit and inflation are major challenges for India.

He indicated that fiscal prudence and reforms would be the twin watchwords in his upcoming budget.

He also said that mindless populism in policy making needed to be checked.

Listing out the challenges before the country, he said fiscal deficit is high, inflation is beyond acceptable limits and the fallout of Iraq crisis looms large on the economy.

“If you indulge in mindless populism you burden the exchequer…you convert yourself into a high taxation society. It does not work. Therefore if you have to follow a path of fiscal prudence, (you should) have a certain amount of discipline,” Jaitley said.

Addressing a function of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), he said the rate of inflation compared to last year have somewhat come down but was “still beyond the acceptable limits.”

Inflation rose to five-month high of 6.01 per cent in May and there is likelihood of prices moving up further in view of predictions of below normal monsoon.

Referring to investment scenario, Jaitley said that after three-four years of pessimism there is hope and now “bold decision-making” is possible.

He further said: “You have a loss of credibility in the Indian economy. The fact that the world suspects we don’t have a stable tax regime itself has dissuaded investors. “Just as policy paralysis was unknown to our governance vocabulary, the other new addition which I have been reading comments from independent observers…is tax terrorism.”

Observing that India fell off the global agenda, he said, now an interest in the country has suddenly emerged. “The responsibility now lies on us to respond to this new opportunity that has come before us,” he added.

Jaitley said India is passing through a difficult situation of high fiscal deficit, inflation coupled with two years of sub-five per cent growth and only “ill informed” opinion will support support.

“We have huge amount of food, we have no scarcity and we are in a position to manage it. I think if we decide to go on that path, growth rates are going to pick up,” he added.

He also said foreign investment should be allowed where it is needed.

Talking about ease of doing business, Jaitley said cumbersome process or very oppressive legislations can also scare away investors.


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

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US Navy has its first four-star admiral

News4u-News Desk-In a first for the US Navy in its 236-year-old history, it has appointed a woman as its four star admiral.

“For the first time in the Navy’s 236-year history, a woman will be pinned with a fourth star,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said as Vice Admiral Michelle Howard was promoted to the service’s highest rank at a ceremony on Tuesday.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel congratulated Howard for being promoted to a four-star admiral.

“It is a milestone, of course, in her exemplary career, but it’s also a milestone for the United States Navy, as she becomes the first four-star female African-American admiral,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said.

Howard has served 32 years in the Navy. A 1978 graduate of Gateway High School in Aurora, Colorado, She graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1982.

She is also the first African American woman to command a ship, the amphibious, dock-loading ship, Rushmore, in 1999.

Kirby said the scope of her new duties as the vice chief of naval operations for the Navy is of immense responsibility and the Secretary is eager to seeing her get in the seat and get to work.

She is somebody who has done a lot of interesting things in her career, Earnest said.


Vice Admiral Michelle Howard

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Govt seeks report on forensic doc allegation in Sunanda case

News4u-News Desk- The government on Wednesday sought a detailed report from the AIIMS on the reported allegation by a senior forensic doctor that he was pressurised to manipulate the report of the autopsy of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor.

“After I became the Health Minister, Dr Sudhir Gupta of AIIMS had written to our department regarding his promotion. But after TV channels yesterday said that he has made a specific allegation, I have written to the AIIMS Director seeking a detailed information in this regard,” Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said.

The allegation by Dr Gupta, who heads the Forensic Science department of AIIMS, has added a new twist to the mystery surrounding the death of 52-year-old Sunanda.

Sunanda was found dead in a 5-star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17, a day after her twitter spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar over an alleged affair with Tharoor.

Gupta refused to comment on his reported allegation, saying he has already stated the facts before the “competent” authorities.

“I don’t want to comment on this issue. It is a legal matter, a serious issue, I cannot share with the media. I am a government servant. Whatever I wanted to say, I have said at a competent place,” he said.

Gupta, who was heading the panel that conducted Sunanda’s postmorterm, has reportedly alleged he was pressurised to show that her death was natural which he resisted.

The autopsy report had mentioned more than a dozen injury marks on Sunanda’s both hands and an abrasion on her cheek which suggests a “use of blunt force”, besides a “deep teeth bite” on the edge of her left palm.

Viscera samples were preserved after the autopsy at AIIMS and were sent to CFSL for further tests.

The CFSL report hinted at drug poisoning but its findings were not conclusive enough to file an FIR in the case, according to police.

The search and seizure memorandum of the police, which is a part of the report, mentioned finding of mix of two drugs - Alprazolam and Excedrin.

Excedrin is a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine while Alprazolam is an anxiolytic.

The probe into the case was handed over to the Crime Branch on January 23.

However, the case was transferred back to the South District police two days later on January 25.

Inquest proceedings under Section 174 CrPC were initiated in the Sunanda case according to which a sub-divisional magistrate inquires into the death of a woman if she dies within seven years of her marriage.

In a report to the police, the SDM, who had recorded the statements of Sunanda’s brother, son, Tharoor and his staff, had said that no family member suspected any foul play in the death


Govt seeks report on forensic doc allegation in Sunanda case

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Japan’s government approves larger military role

News4u-News Desk- Japan took a step away on Tuesday from an American-drafted constitution that has long kept its military shackled, approving a plan to allow greater use of a force that was vanquished at the end of World War II.

In one of the biggest changes to Japanese security policy since the war, the Cabinet approved a reinterpretation of the constitution on military affairs.

The contentious move will allow the military to help defend other nations in what is known as “collective self-defence.”

Previous governments have said that Japan’s war-renouncing constitution limits the use of force to defending Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a televised news conference, said the shift is intended to protect the lives and security of the Japanese people.

For example, he said, Japanese warships would be able to help protect US ships that were fighting to defend Japan.

“This is for the happiness of the Japanese people,” he said.

But not everyone was happy. About 2,000 opponents protested earlier today outside Abe’s office, saying that any changes to the constitution should be made through a public referendum, not simply a Cabinet decision to reinterpret it.

“For 70 years, Japan has kept its peace with its constitution,” said 67-year-old protester Toshio Ban.

“What are we to do with that stupid man trying to trample over the precious constitution?” Abe, who has made raising the country’s military profile a cornerstone of his nationalist policies, pushed hard for the change.

He cited a deteriorating security environment, notably China’s military rise and North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats.


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

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Kashyap’s ‘Ugly’ to open Jagran Film Festival in Delhi

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s yet to be released film ‘Ugly’ will open the fifth edition of the Jagran Film Festival (JFF) in Delhi.

The five-day festival will travel to 14 cities taking a host of world cinema to different parts of the country.

The festival will be inaugurated in Delhi on Saturday. ‘Ugly’, a psychological thriller-drama was earlier screened in the directors’ fortnight section at the 2013 Cannes film festival.

The film starring Girish Kulkarni, Ronit Roy, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Vinit Kumar Singh, Surveen Chawla and Vipin Sharma in pivotal roles.

It is slated to release on September 19. Filmmaker Amol Palekar will head the jury for Indian showcase which is the Indian competition for feature films.

Bengali filmmaker Goutam Ghose will judge the international short film competition.

The Indian showcase and the International short film competition will have 25 entries each from over 35 countries.

The jury will meet during the Mumbai leg of the festival in September and the results will be announced at a gala here. In Mumbai, the festival will be held from September 23-28.


Anurag Kashyap

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President to receive copy of coffee table book by ‘The Week’

News4u-News Desk- President Pranab Mukherjee will on Wednesday receive the first copy of a coffee table book brought out by the Malayala Manorama group containing articles on him.

The book is a compilation of articles which have appeared in ‘The Week’ magazine under the title ‘First Citizen’ from January 2013 to May 2014.

The book titled “First Citizen: Pranab Mukherjee in Rashtrapati Bhavan” will be released by former Union Minister Karan Singh in the presence of the President and Philip Mathew, Managing Editor of ‘The Week’.

In his foreword to the book, Mukherjee has written that the fundamental duty and responsibility of the President in the country’s political system is to be the guardian of the Constitution.

“But, going beyond this task, there are many areas in which Presidents have chosen to carve out their areas of interest. My focus, among other things, has been to open the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the people of India and return it to its past grandeur,” he wrote.

The President wrote that he has been to Rashtrapati Bhavan in different capacities as Minister or otherwise during his public life spanning over five decades but it was only after he became a resident of this wonderful building that its importance as a seat of history and value as ‘living heritage’ fully struck him.

“The contents cover the Presidents initiatives to reach out to citizens on issues concerning them, his tours across the country and abroad, the new initiatives taken to open up the doors of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the common citizen, the ceremonies associated with the presidency, the Kitchen etc,” a statement from President’s Press Secretary Venu Rajamony said today.

It said the book also includes never before seen archival photographs of former Presidents from the Rashtrapati Bhavan collection, interesting new snippets of information and three articles authored by the President on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda which were published in ‘The Week’.

‘The Week’ is published by the Malayala Manorama Group whose 125th anniversary celebration was inaugurated by the President at Kottayam in 2013.


President Pranab Mukherjee

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I am a cheat, says Vincent

News4u-Sports Desk- New Zealand’s disgraced batsman Lou Vincent was banned for life on Tuesday by the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Champions League Twenty20 within hours of publicly confessing his role in match-fixing and offering “deepest apologies” for shaming the game and his country.

“My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat. I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money in fixing,” Vincent said in an emotional statement.

“I have lived with this dark secret for so many years, but months ago I reached the point where I decided I had to come forward and tell the truth.

“It’s a truth that has rightly caused uproar and controversy in New Zealand and around the world. I have shamed my country, I have shamed my sport, I have shamed those close to me. And for that, I am not proud,” he added.

Within hours of this statement, the ECB banned Vincent for life.

“The England and Wales Cricket Board today announced that the former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent has been banned from cricket for life after he admitted breaching the ECB’s anti-corruption regulations,” the ECB stated.

“Mr Vincent pleaded guilty to 18 breaches of the regulations in total. Four breaches related to a Twenty20 match between Lancashire and Durham in June 2008. The remaining 14 charges related to two fixtures played at Hove in August 2011, namely a Sussex v Lancashire Twenty20 match and a Sussex v Kent CB40 match,” it added.

He was also banned for life by the Champions League Twenty20 after pleading guilty to seven charges of spot-fixing.

“Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) today announced that former Auckland Aces batsman Lou Vincent has been banned for life from participating in the tournament after pleading guilty to seven charges relating to spot fixing,” CLT20 said in a statement.

It was found that Vincent attempted to corrupt two matches involving the Auckland Aces during the October 2012 CLT20 played in South Africa by entering into agreements with a bookmaker for financial gain.

Vincent had also accepted bribes for fixing games during the now-defunct Indian Cricket League. He has also been held guilty for failing to report approaches by bookies during the Bangladesh Premier League last year.


Lou Vincent

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No commercial interest in e-rickshaw: Gadkari

News4u-News Desk- Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday dismissed reports that his family has links with a firm manufacturing e-rickshaws and asserted that he has no commercial interest in the sector manufacturing them.

An official statement explaining his position came in the wake of media reports claiming that PGT, a Nagpur-based company having interests in manufacturing of such battery- operated tricycles, has links with his family.

“Neither Gadkari nor any member of his family is associated with any e-rickshaw manufacturing firm,” the official statement said reacting to reports that had also raised question of conflict of interest since Gadkari as minister was favouring lifting of the ban on e-rickshaws in the national capital.

The statement said, “The Union Minister has no commercial interests whatsoever in the e-rickshaw manufacturing sector nor has he got any link with the Purti Green Technologies Pvt Ltd, which, according to reports in a section of the media, has shown interest in manufacturing battery-run rickshaws.”

Battery-run e-rickshaws have been in operation in several parts of the country for many years and these are being manufactured by a large number of companies in different states, the statement said, adding that more than two lakh e-rickshaws are already operating in Delhi-NCR and other parts of the country.

The production of e-rickshaws is allowed only by those manufacturers who have obtained a licence from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and it is “up to the CSIR to grant licence to e-rickshaw manufacturers and any firm interested in its production is free to apply for a licence to CSIR and start production,” the statement said.


Gadkari

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