India, England resume battle amidst Anderson-Jadeja row

News4u-Sports Desk- The simmering row involving James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja has added some spice to the series as India and England gear up for the second cricket Test at Lord’s where a lively wicket is expected to welcome the two teams in London on Thursday.

As if the ‘lifeless’ wicket at Nottingham was not enough, the alleged altercation between the two players has marred the start of the five-match series.

A date for hearing has not been finalised as yet which means Anderson is sure to play and the incident is bound to have a bearing when the two teams square up.

ICC has charged the home paceman Anderson for pushing and abusing Jadeja during the lunch break on the second day of first Test.

If found guilty he could miss at least two and up to four Tests or upto 8 ODIs, something that the hosts will not desire under any circumstances.

The ECB has retaliated with a report against Jadeja as well. As much as the English team management will be lobbying hard for the leader of their attack, they will also be keeping an eye on the pitch for the game.

Two days ahead of the match, the centre-wicket at Lords bore a distinctive green tinge. Much of it is expected to disappear by time of the toss on the first morning. Even so, it is possible that the wicket will retain some juice in it, thanks to this delayed shaving.

It will be joyous news for the quicker bowlers on both sides then, a sort of reward for the hard work they put in during the Nottingham game.

At the same time, such a scenario will also be in keeping with how Tests at Lords have panned out in recent times.

The average first-innings score at this ground historically is 315 runs, but from 2010 until 2014, it has gone up to 403.

The fact that this is the only ground that hosts two Tests in an English summer helps of course.


India, England resume battle

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Germany World Cup heroes return home

News4u-Sports Desk- More than 250,000 jubilant fans massed at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on Tuesday to welcome the World Cup winners and new national heroes bringing home football’s top prize for the first time to a reunified Germany.

The flag-waving crowd erupted in applause after screens showed the flight bringing the triumphant players to the German capital from Rio de Janeiro touch down shortly after 0800 GMT.

Crowds began massing in central Berlin before dawn and thousands more supporters gathered on a viewing platform under warm summer sunshine at Tegel airport to meet the plane, a Lufthansa jet rebranded for the occassion “Fanhansa” on one side and “Victors’ Plane” on the other.


Germany World Cup heroes return home

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PM meets Putin; favours broadening of strategic partnership

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has favoured broadening of the special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia in nuclear, Defence and energy sectors and invited President Vladimir Putin to visit Kudankulam atomic power project during his trip in December.

The two leaders met for 40 minutes on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Fortaleza late on Tuesday night after their Monday meeting was deferred because of Putin’s engagements in Brazil’s capital Brasilia.

“Talked about strengthening Russia-India ties in my meeting with President Putin. We value our friendship with Russia,” Modi tweeted after his meeting with Putin as the Prime Minister.

Putin congratulated Modi on his great victory in the recent elections.

Modi, who has met Putin in 2001 in Moscow, said that India’s ties with Russia is a time-tested relationship and he appreciates that it has been so since early independence.

He expressed deep appreciation for Russia’s friendship and unstinting bilateral and international support for India’s economic development and security since India’s independence.

Speaking in Hindi, he remarked, “Even a child in India if asked to say who is India’s best friend will reply it is Russia because Russia has been with India in times of crisis.” “The Prime Minister conveyed his sincere appreciation and admiration for President Putin’s decisive leadership in deepening and expanding the India-Russia special and privileged strategic partnership,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

He said India is committed to taking the relationship forward and the focus is to broaden the strategic partnership including in the areas of defence, nuclear energy, space, energy, trade and investment, people-to-people contacts and addressing regional and global challenges.

The Prime Minister said there was need to look at a liberal visa regime, especially students going for studies.

President Putin acknowledged that there was a case for looking at it, MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.

Modi suggested that President Putin should travel outside Delhi when he comes for the annual summit dialogue in December and visit a nuclear construction site, an apparent reference to the Kudankulam II project.

Putin responded saying “it is a good idea”. Units 1 and 2 of Tamil Nadu-based Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) have been built with the help of Russian assistance at the cost of Rs 17,200 crore.

India and Russia signed a General Framework Agreement on unit 3 and 4 in April this year after crossing the initial hurdles of the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act 2010.

Modi fondly recalled his visit to Russia’s Astrakan region in his early days as Chief Minister of Gujarat which has ties with that region.

Talking about that visit, he said he felt as if he was in India.

Putin said Russia places its relations with India high enough in the strategic framework.

Nuclear power project has been a symbol of India-Russia relations.

Modi appreciated Putin’s speech at the BRICS summit saying it was clear on issues like reforms of the UN security council and international financial organisations.

The two leaders looked forward to their Annual Summit in Delhi in December 2014 as an opportunity to outline a bold vision and roadmap for their relationship in the years ahead.


PM meets Putin

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Obama calls German Chancellor to discuss Iran and Ukraine

News4u-News Desk- US President Barack Obama has called German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the current Ukraine situation and the progress made in negotiations with Iran and its nuclear program.

According to the White House the two leaders reiterated that Russia must take immediate steps to de-escalate situation in eastern Ukraine amid the ongoing violence by supporting a bilateral ceasefire.

They said Russia must prepare a roadmap for talks under the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)-mediated contact group, establish an OSCE border monitoring mechanism, urge separatists to release all hostages they hold and end the flow of heavy weapons, equipment, and fighters to separatists.

Both the leaders agreed that to date neither Germany nor the US had seen Russia fulfill these required actions as they reaffirmed their commitment to work together with other allies to ensure the US and Europe remained closely coordinated on measures to impose costs on Russia and to continue to support Ukraine’s long-term stability and prosperity, the White House said on Tuesday.

“On P5+1 talks with Iran, the two leaders reviewed the progress that has been made in the negotiations, while noting that important gaps still remain. They agreed it is imperative that Iran take the necessary steps to assure the international community that its nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful,” the White House said.

“The President and the Chancellor also exchanged views on US-German intelligence cooperation, and the President said he’d remain in close communication on ways to improve cooperation going forward,” the statement said.


Obama calls German Chancellor to discuss Iran and Ukraine

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Poaching of wild animals a serious issue, says govt

News4u-News Desk- Terming poaching of wild animals as a serious issue, government on Wednesday said wildlife in the country is “under stress” with illegal trade in South East Asia alone to the tune of USD 60 billion.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said killing of wild animals for illegal trade is a “serious issue” and government was taking a number of steps to prevent poaching and illegal trade.

Responding to supplementaries in the Lok Sabha, he said government is strengthening mechanisms in state through centrally sponsored schemes.

He said efforts are on to include wildlife smuggling in the agenda for bilateral interactions with relevant neighbouring countries.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed with Nepal to establish a joint task force to check trafficking across international borders.

To another supplementary, Javadekar said 17 species which are on the verge of extinction have been identified and plans are afoot to set up breeding centres.

He also said the number of tigers has increased in the country and the exact figure will be tabled in Parliament when available.

The minister also rejected suggestions that radio collars put on tigers affect their capability to hunt due to weight.

He said the government is not aware of study but was willing to look into the issue if it is provided with the study.

Responding to a question on man-animal conflict, he said following a court ruling, states have been asked to decide on the area around eco-sensitive zones to avoid incidents like animals damaging crops.

4.8 per cent of land including national parks, reserves and zoos have been declared as ‘eco-sensitive zone’, he said.


Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar

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Dhoti issue: Jayalalitha warns action against errant clubs

News4u-News Desk-Decrying the action of a private club imposing a dress code and denying entry to a dhoti-clad Judge as an “insult” to Tamil culture, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said the government would enact a new law in the current session to curb such practices.

While coming down heavily on the 11th July incident in which a sitting Madras High Court Judge Justice D Hariparanthaman was barred from entering Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) for wearing a dhoti, she warned such organisations of stringent action including cancellation of their licences.

Making a suo motu statement on the issue in the Assembly, which evoked widespread condemnation and protests across the state, she said a show cause notice would be issued to the club seeking explanation. “This is an act of insult to Tamil civilisation and culture. This is a denigrating act. I strongly condemn this act,” Jayalalithaa said.

There was no bylaw in the TNCA, which banned wearing of dhoti in its campus, Jayalalithaa said and asserted “So, the act of denial of entry to those wearing dhoti was an act of insult but also not in line with TNCA laws. This is sartorial despotism.” She said she has directed the Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies to issue a show cause notice to the TNCA.

Since there were reports that such practices were being followed in many such clubs in Chennai, Jayalalithaa said, “To bring an end to such practices, a new law would be enacted in this session. If any club engage in similar practices, licences given to them would be cancelled.”

“While there is no ban on wearing Tamil’s traditional attire of dhoti in functions in foreign countries, this act of banning dhoti in Tamil Nadu is against the Constitution, democratic traditions and Tamil culture,” Jayalalithaa said.

Recalling an incident during the colonial times, Jayalalithaa said the then Madras Corporation Mayor Sir P Thyagarayar rejected the then Madras Presidency Governor Lord Wellingdon’s directive to wear western attire to welcome the Prince of Wales.

“What is this club for us, when we have intimidated the English government?,” she asked the House, a remark that was welcomed by thumping of benches.


Jayalalitha

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Typhoon spares Manila, leaves 7 dead elsewhere

News4u-News Desk- Typhoon Rammasun left at least seven people dead and knocked out power in many areas but it spared the Philippine capital, Manila, and densely populated northern provinces from being directly battered on Wednesday when its fierce wind shifted slightly away, officials said.

Still, the typhoon’s 150-kilometre wind and blinding 185-kph gusts, brought down trees, electric posts and ripped off roofs across the capital of 12 million people where government offices and schools were closed.

More than 370,000 people moved from high-risk villages to emergency shelters in six provinces.

In a shantytown at the edge of Manila Bay, hundreds fled when strong wind tore tin roofs off their shanties.

Most were drenched by the rain before they reached an evacuation centre with the help of firemen and rescue personnel.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said he was relieved there were no reported deaths after the typhoon sideswiped his city although its wind still downed trees and damaged seaside shanties, prompting more than 1,000 residents to evacuate. “It was like a drill,” he said.

“We hauled people away from dangerous seaside areas, whether they liked it or not.” Elsewhere, a woman died after being hit by a fallen electric post in Northern Samar province and two men, including one travelling on a motorcycle, were separately pinned to death by falling trees in two other provinces.

Three members of a family were killed when a wall collapsed on them in Lucena city, southeast of Manila and an 11-month-old boy died after being hit by a wall in a house in Cavite province near the capital, officials said.

Three fishermen have been reported missing in Catanduanes, near Albay province, where Rammasun made landfall late on Tuesday.

There were no immediate estimates of the damage in communities that lost power and telephone connections while being pummeled by the wind and rain.

With last year’s massive devastation and deaths from Typhoon Haiyan still in many people’s mind, officials said 373,000 people readily evacuated after being told of the danger.


Typhoon spares Manila

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India’s exports up 10.22% to USD 26.4 bn in June

News4u-Business Desk- India’s exports grew by 10.22 per cent to USD 26.4 billion in June this year while imports stood at USD 38.24 billion, up by 8.33 per cent, leaving a trade deficit of USD 11.76 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s data.

Country’s exports stood at USD 24 billion in June last year while imports were at USD 35.3 billion, the data showed.

Exports in May rose by 12.4 per cent to USD 28 billion over the same month a year ago, while imports fell by 11.4 per cent to USD 39.23 billion.

In the April-June period, exports grew by 9.31 per cent to USD 80.11 billion.

Imports, however, dipped by 6.92 per cent to USD 113.19 billion during the first three months of this financial year. Trade deficit during the period stood at USD 33.08 billion.

Oil imports increased by 10.9 per cent in June to USD 13.34 billion.

Non-oil imports during the month under review were up by 7 per cent to USD 24.9 billion.

Country’s gold imports were up by 65.13 per cent to USD 3.12 billion in June this year from USD 1.88 billion in the same month last year.


India’s exports up 10.22% to USD 26.4 bn in June

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PM meets Chinese Prez; presses for solution to boundary issue

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met Chinese President Xi Jinping at Fortaleza and pressed for a solution to the boundary question, saying if the two sides could amicably resolve the vexed issue, it would set an example for the world on peaceful conflict resolution.

The two leaders, who arrived almost at the same time in this seaside city of Brazil last evening to attend the BRICS Summit, engaged shortly thereafter for what was described as “good discussions and good meeting”.

The meeting - first between the two leaders - was scheduled for 40 minutes but it went on for 80 minutes as it was a free-wheeling discussion without any constraints.

“Had a very fruitful meeting with Chinese President Mr Xi Jinping. We discussed a wide range of issues,” Modi tweeted after the meeting with Xi, also the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China.

“Both sides emphasised on the need to find a solution to the Boundary Question. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of strengthening mutual trust and confidence, and maintaining peace and tranquility on the border,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Prime Minister Modi told Xi that “if India and China could amicably resolve the Boundary Question, it would set an example for the entire world, on peaceful conflict resolution,” the statement added.

The two sides have held 17 rounds of the Special Representative talks aimed at resolving the boundary issue.

India asserts that the border dispute covered nearly 4,057-km long Line of Actual Control, while China claims that it confined to about 2,000 km to the area of Arunachal Pradesh, which it refers as Southern Tibet.

During the meeting, Modi also suggested the addition of one more route for the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra in Tibet, keeping in view the terrain difficulties.

President Xi “accepted this as a suggestion for consideration,” the statement said.

The Yatra involves trekking at high altitudes of up to 19,500 feet under arduous conditions.

The two leaders appeared well prepared for the meeting as both of them referred to the statements made by the other before they assumed power, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters.

“If I were to try and summarise what this meeting could be, perhaps I could do so in the sentence - ‘Baat bhi achhi hui, mulaqaat bhi achhi hui’ (They had good discussions and good meeting). That in sum and substance summarises the 80-minute meeting,” he said.

OPENING REMARKS by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, at the BRICS Summit, Fortaleza, Brazil: I am delighted to be in Brazil for the sixth BRICS Summit. This is my first Summit and I look forward to benefiting from your wisdom.

I convey my profound gratitude to our gracious host, President Dilma Rousseff, the people, and the Government of Brazil.

Madam, I congratulate you for successfully hosting the Football World Cup. Truly, the ‘beautiful game’ brings the world together.

I thank President Zuma for his leadership during South Africa’s Chairmanship of BRICS. We have made significant progress.

Your Excellencies, the first BRICS Summit took place in the middle of a global economic crisis. BRICS was aray of hope.

It supplemented existing international institutions with newer ideas and mechanisms.

It provided an additional avenue of working for global economic recovery and stability.

It was a new voice in the cause of global peace and development.

I am happy that we are living upto that promise.

However, the challenges of economic weakness, and political turmoil are still with us. The need to address them is urgent.

The choices we make now will shape the future of not just our countries, but the World at large. This is a great responsibility we bear.

I thus, commend Brazil for the theme of this Summit – Inclusive Growth: Sustainable Solutions. It captures our responsibility to humanity, and our obligation to future generations.

I am confident that this Summit will be a landmark in this mission.

I extend our best wishes to Brazil as it assumes the BRICS Chair.

India offers its full support in taking the BRICS agenda forward for the benefit of our countries, and the world at large.


PM meets Chinese Prez

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25 monuments to be declared as of national importance: Naik

News4u-News Desk- The Centre has identified 25 monuments in the country for according national importance, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

The sites include Shahpur Quila in Jharkhand’s Palamau district, Old High Court Building in Nagpur of Maharashtra, Sita Ram Ji Temple in Rajasthan and Brindaban Chandra Temple located in West Bengal.

In a reply, Minister of State for Culture Shripad Naik said, 25 proposals have been received from various parts of the country.

“As per sub-section 4(1) of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, the Central Government may after detailed scrutiny, verification of revenue records, ownership issues, preparation of site plan, take a decision to issue notification in the Gazette of India inviting objections and suggestions from interested persons on its intention to declare the same as of national importance,” he said.

To related question, the Minister said there were 3,680 monuments and sites under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

Out of these, 955 have been identified as places of worship in the country, he added.

Replying to another question on museums in Punjab, Naik stated that financial assistance has been provided to Government of Punjab for setting up of new memorials in connection with commemoration of 150 years of First War of Independence, 1857.


Sripad Naik

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