India field unchanged hockey squad for Asian Games

News4u-Sports Desk- India has named an unchanged side for the men’s hockey competition at the upcoming Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea as the selectors reposed faith on the 16-member squad that won the silver medal in this year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Hockey India on Thursday named the 16-member squad to be led by star midfielder Sardar Singh in the 17th Asian Games to be held from September 19 to October 4.

According to a statement from HI, the side was handpicked by selectors B P Govinda, Harbinder Singh, Dr R P Singh and Arjun Halappa along with High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans and chief coach Terry Walsh on the basis of the players’ performance in the Commonwealth Games, Bangladesh tour and selection trials conducted at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on August 11.

P R Sreejesh is the lone goalkeeper in the side and will also don the additional responsibility of vice-captain. The squad has five defenders Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra, Rupinder Pal Singh, Kothajit Singh and V R Raghunath.

While Sardar will man the midfield along with Dharamvir Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Chinglensana Singh and Manpreet Singh, the attacking line will feature Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, S V Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi and Nikkin Thimmaiah.

Last edition’s bronze medallist in Guangzhou, India will play their first match in the Asian Games against Sri Lanka on September 21, followed by clashes against Oman on September 23, arch-rivals Pakistan on September 25 and China on September 27.

The team is scheduled to depart for South Korea on September 12.


Asian Games

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NASA building air traffic control system for drones

News4u-Features Desk- NASA scientists, led by an Indian-origin researcher, are developing an air traffic control system for drones that would scan for adverse weather conditions and also prevent the small unmanned vehicles from running into buildings.

NASA’s drone traffic management programme would be a separate air traffic control system for things that fly low to the ground - around 400 to 500 feet for most drones.

Much like the air traffic control system for conventional aircraft, the programme would monitor the skies for weather and traffic.

The system would also prevent the drones from running into buildings, news helicopters or other lower-flying objects which will seem to be a challenging task than for an airplane flying at 30,000 feet.

There would also be no-fly zones, such as anywhere near a major airport, ‘New York Times’ reported.

“One at a time you can make them work and keep them safe. But when you have a number of them in operation in the same airspace, there is no infrastructure to support it,” said Parimal H Kopardekar, a NASA principal investigator who is developing and managing the programme.

NASA’s system, like the drones themselves, would dispense with the people and use computers and algorithms to figure out where they can and cannot fly.

The Federal Aviation Administration controls the skies in the US and it would have to sign off on any kind of drone management system.

An FAA spokesman said the agency expected to publish a proposed rule for small unmanned aircraft (less than 25 kg) this year, according to the report.


NASA building air traffic control system for drones

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Obama sanctions 350 additional military personnel for Iraq

News4u-News Desk- US President Barack Obama has authorised sending another 350 military personnel to Iraq, the White House said adding that this is to secure American diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad from the terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“These additional forces will not serve in a combat role,” the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

“The President has made clear his commitment to doing whatever is required to provide the necessary security for US personnel and facilities around the world,” he said.

The new arrangement will allow some previously deployed military personnel to depart Iraq, he said, while at the same time providing a more robust, sustainable security force for our personnel and facilities in Baghdad.

Obama’s action will result in a net increase of approximately 350 additional military personnel on the ground in Baghdad providing security at the Embassy Compound and its support facilities, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said.

“This builds upon previous embassy security deployments announced on June 15 and June 30 and will bring the total forces responsible for augmenting diplomatic security in Iraq up to approximately 820,” Kirby said.

In all, 405 US military personnel will be sent to Baghdad to provide a more robust and sustainable security presence to help the Department of State continue their critical mission, he added.

“With this order, 55 personnel who have been in Baghdad since June will redeploy outside of Iraq.

Those 55 personnel will remain postured to deal with other security contingencies in the region, if necessary,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon continued with its air-strikes against ISIL targets in Iraq. So far, the Pentagon has conducted a total of 124 air-strikes across Iraq.

Earlier in the day, Earnest told reporters that the President has laid out pretty clearly what the goal of his policy is in Iraq right now when it comes to confronting ISIL.

“The first priority is the protection of American citizens. There are American citizens in Baghdad and Erbil, and that is why the President has placed a priority on assisting Iraqi and Kurdish security forces as they protect those two cities,” he said.

The President has also authorized the use of American military force to prevent humanitarian disasters in Iraq.

That was something the President ordered earlier in August to try to protect the Yezidi people, a religious minority that had taken shelter at Mount Sinjar.

They were under threat of persecution from ISIL,” he added.

The United States, said the State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki, has done more than any country in the world, whether it’s humanitarian assistance or other military efforts to take on this threat in Iraq.


Obama sanctions 350 additional military personnel for Iraq

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Djokovic, Nishikori to clash for US Open final spot

News4u-Sports Desk- Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray to set up a US Open semi-final clash against Kei Nishikori who became Japan’s first semi-finalist in almost a century on Wednesday.

World number one Djokovic, the 2011 champion, reached his eighth consecutive US Open semi-final by downing Murray 7-6 (7/1), 6-7 (1/7), 6-2, 6-4 for his 13th win in 21 meetings against his childhood rival who had taken the 2012 title.

Nishikori, the 10th seed, had earlier needed more than four hours to defeat third seed Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9/7), 6-7 (5/7), 6-4 to become the first Japanese man in the semi-finals in 96 years.

Wimbledon champion Djokovic and Murray had spent a record-equalling 4 hours 54 minutes contesting the 2012 final and their quarter-final clash threatened to surpass that mark when they needed over two hours to get through the first two sets of a tie that started on Wednesday and finished Thursday.

By the end, however, Murray was struggling with what appeared to be a recurrence of his long-standing back problem, a legacy of having spent three and a half hours more on court than Djokovic in getting to this stage.

But victory was also a testament to the top seed’s intimidating defensive skills as he saved 12 of 16 break points in the 3-hour 32-minute encounter which saw Murray commit 65 unforced errors to Djokovic’s 48.

“We both gave our best and at times the tennis was not nice but that was due to the intense physical battle in the first two sets,” said Djokovic.

Djokovic and Nishikori are 1-1 in career meetings but their last clash was three years ago.

“It’s great for Kei and Japan for him to be in the semi-final. He serves and moves very well,” said the world number one who has made the final in New York in the last four years.

In a breathtaking first set of big-hitting, fine angles and lung-busting sprints, the two opening games were breaks, taking 13 minutes to complete.

Djokovic raced into a 4-1 lead but Murray pulled it back to 4-4 while the ninth game featured a 29-shot rally and the 10th a 104mph forehand off the Murray racquet.


Novak Djokovic & Kei Nishikori

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Serena storms into US Open semi-final clash with Makarova

News4u-Sports Desk- Serena Williams roared back from an early deficit to defeat Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday and book a US Open semi-final clash with Ekaterina Makarova.

Playing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final of 2014, world number one Williams kept her bid for a third-straight US Open title — and sixth overall — alive as she stretched her perfect record over the 11th-seeded Italian to 6-0.

“I’m just so happy to have won,” the 17-time Grand Slam champion said, noting that she’d had a “tough year” in the majors. “It feels so special to be back in a semi-final, especially in New York.”

In Makarova she’ll face a first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist.

The 17th-seeded Russian advanced with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over former world number one Victoria Azarenka — runner-up to Williams the past two years.


Serena Williams

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Japan PM names five women to new cabinet

News4u-News Desk- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today named five women to his new cabinet, leading by example in a country economists say must make better use of its highly-educated but underemployed women.

The five make up nearly a quarter of the 18-strong cabinet and come close to matching his declared aim for the percentage of women in senior positions.

“A society in which women shine is one of the big pillars of this government,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference ahead of the announcement.

Abe has repeatedly spoken of the need to get more women into the workforce to plug a growing gap in the labour market.

He has said he wants 30 per cent of senior business and political positions occupied by women by 2020, to mitigate problems caused by an ever-shrinking number of workers who need to provide for a growing number of retirees.

“We have to revise ideas of seeing everything from men’s viewpoint,” Abe said in a speech earlier this year.

“The most underused resource we have is the power of women,” Abe said.

“Japan must be a place where women are given the chance to shine.”

Government figures show only 11 per cent of managerial jobs are occupied by women, compared with 43 per cent in the United States and 39 per cent in France.

The reshuffle, Abe’s first since coming to power in December 2012, is seen as partly an exercise in shoring up his power base in the sometimes-fractious Liberal Democratic Party, and partly aimed at re-enlivening a flagging economic and security agenda.

Observers say the LDP, the bastion of age-based seniority that has ruled Japan for most of the last 60 years, is crammed with lawmakers who feel they have served their time on the back benches and deserve a shot at a government job.

Key figures of the administration remained in place, including Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Finance Minister Taro Aso and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, but the cabinet’s lower ranks saw fresh blood.

However, the female appointments up from two in the last cabinet marked a shift in emphasis for a body usually dominated by older men, where women frequently appear to be little more than a cosmetic afterthought.

One of those who won a ministerial portfolio was Yuko Obuchi, 40, the daughter of former premier Keizo Obuchi, who becomes economy, trade and industry minister.


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

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11 miners confirmed dead in landslide in China

News4u-News Desk- All the eleven miners who were buried in a rainstorm-triggered landslide in China’s southwestern Chongqing muncipality have been confirmed dead with the recovery of the last body, officials said.

The last body of the 11 workers of a mine in Yunyang County of Chongqing Municipality, was found last night.

The miners were moving from their dormitories to a safe area early on Monday when the landslide took place, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Rainstorms pounded the county on Sunday and Monday, with a precipitation of more than 300mm in some townships.

The bad weather has left 27 dead and five missing in Yunyang.


landslide in China :11 dead- File Photo

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Mamata for thrust on developing tourism in Darjeeling

News4u-News Desk- Emphasising on exploiting the unexplored areas in Kalimpong for increasing tourism in the district, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that thrust would be given on developing new tourist spots in the region for boosting the local economy.

“Darjeeling is becoming saturated. There are a lot of unexplored areas in Kalimpong. We have already set up Lamahatta eco-tourism. We are giving stress on home tourism,” she told a meeting in Darjeeling on Wednesday.

Work has begun for a marketing complex in Darjeeling, she said adding three marketing hubs will come up at Kalimpong, Kurseong and Gorubathan.

“82 per cent of the population in Kalimpong have received various benefits of government schemes,” Banerjee said, while announcing setting up of four hydel projects worth Rs 3300 crore for north Bengal by NHPC.

Referring to development in the transport sector, she said offer letters were given to 100 new ‘no-refusal’ taxis during the day.

“We have cleared a project worth Rs 11 crore for solid waste management. It is important to keep the hills clean and free from garbage,” Banerjee said.

She said work is on for a Rs 2000-crore drinking water project in the hills.

She reiterated her promise made on Tuesday to start a small branch office of CMO soon in the hills.

“A state secretariat wing has already been established in Jalpaiguri. Now we have decided to set up a branch of the CMO in Darjeeling,” Banerjee, who is on a three-day visit to Darjeeling Hills, said.


W B Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

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India to aim for clean sweep in the fifth ODI against England

News4u-Sports Desk- Series already in their pocket, a rampaging India would look to keep the foot on the pedal and press for a clean sweep when they take on England in the fifth and final cricket one-dayer in Leeds on Friday.

In a remarkable turnaround following their humiliation in the preceding Test series, India have called the shots in the ODI series, in which England have struggled to match the visitors be it batting, bowling or fielding.

After the first game was washed out, world champions India have asserted their supremacy in the ODI format by taking 3-0 lead to pocket the five-match series, which is their first in England since 2002, if the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy is neglected on account of a multi-team tournament.

In fact that 2002 win was a tri-series win as well with Sri Lanka as third participants. You have to go back all the way to 1990 for a bilateral ODI series win by India in England, when they took the Texaco Trophy 2-0.

The common thread between that series win and the current one is Ravi Shastri.

He was still playing for India in 1990 while this time around he has been involved as the director of cricket.

The other vital point being that Mohammad Azharuddin was captain of the Indian team back then. And Mahendra Singh Dhoni has just gone past his record for the maximum ODI wins as Indian captain.

Both Shastri and Dhoni will look to end this series on a winning note then.

And they should be successful in their bid because England have not really put up a worthy challenge in any of the matches. So much so that the hosts 2015 ODI World Cup plans lie in tatters.

To make matters worse, their captain Alastair Cook does not want to accept that selection or strategy is at fault in this defeat.

This claim is despite the fact that they have been very reluctant to play both Moeen Ali and James Tredwell together in the same eleven.


 Team India to aim for clean sweep

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Akshay Kumar can carry off anything: designer Rick Roy

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Designer Rick Roy, who has styled superstar Akshay Kumar in films, says the actor has an amazing positive energy and can carry off almost anything with elan.

Rick has styled Akshay for his upcoming film ‘Gabbar’. The designer has earlier worked with the 46-year-old actor for Shirish Kunder’s film ‘Joker’.

“I think you can give Akshay anything and everything and he carries it off like a dream. This time I was less paranoid around him in comparison to working with him during ‘Joker’ as it was my first movie and he is a big star. That time Akshay figured out what I was going through and asked me to stop being stressed,” Rick said.

“Akshay is very pleasant and has an amazing positive energy. He appreciated me and is very encouraging,” Rick added. ‘Gabbar’ also stars Shruti Haasan, Prakash Raj, Sonu Sood but Rick has styled only Akshay in the film.

The designer has also styled his muse Malaika Arora Khan for a song in her husband Arbaaz Khan’s upcoming home production ‘Dolly Ki Doli’.

“This song was a little difficult to crack because it is Indian and slightly rustic, the options were limited and we were very clear we did not want to do anything similar to what has been done before by anyone. Doing this song was a challenge,” Rick said.

“Item songs are tricky… there is a very thin line between stunning and vulgar and one needs to add the right amount of sensuality to the song without making it cheap,” Rick said.

The designer was all praise for Malaika. “She has mentored me a lot in my formative years… she still behaves like a principal whenever we are working together. She pushes me to do my best. She has confidence in my ability,” Rick said.


Akshay Kumar

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