Stump-hoarding Dhoni eyes more memorabilia at World T20

News4u-Sports Desk- Mahendra Singh Dhoni has grown a reputation as a notorious hoarder of souvenir stumps and considering India’s imperious form going into the World Twenty20, few would be surprised if he adds one more to his formidable collection on April 3.

After all, inaugural champions India go into the sixth edition of the tournament as the top-ranked team in the world, having won 10 of their 11 matches this year.

India started off the year blanking Australia in a three-match series before following that up with an Asia Cup triumph in Bangladesh.

Seeking to ride that momentum all the way to a second World Twenty20 title, India’s most successful captain has the comfort of being able to take on the challenge on home soil.

The flip side of India’s home advantage is the burden of expectations from an unforgiving 1.2 billion cricket fans but Dhoni has not earned his “Captain Cool” moniker for nothing.

Five years after calmly hitting a six to seal India’s 50-over World Cup triumph on a humid April night in Mumbai, Dhoni, who plays only shorter formats, seems to have all the necessary resources to triumph once more in the final phase of his career.

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have forged a potent right-left combination at the top followed by batting mainstay Virat Kohli, all three capable of winning matches single-handedly.

In Suresh Raina and Dhoni, India are lucky to have two batsmen who can effortlessly shift gears, while all-rounder Hardik Pandya can also bash a few out of the ground.

YORKERS AT WILL

Much to Dhoni’s relief, the team seemed to have finally fixed their death bowling issue.

In Jasprit Bumrah, India have discovered a bowler who can bowl yorkers almost at will, a virtue not really common in India. Even better, those are hurled with an unorthodox action which makes it even more difficult to pick them.

“The good thing with Bumrah is he technically has bit of pace,” Dhoni said.

“He does not have a normal action, so batsman also takes time to get used to it. At the same time, his execution of yorkers is also very good.”

Ravichandran Ashwin’s cunning and control — best combined in the ‘carrom ball’ that he flicks with his finger — has troubled the best in the business and the off-spinner will be a dangerous weapon in familiar conditions.

Apart from the fitness concerns around paceman Mohammed Shami, the team seem to have no real worries and Dhoni already has set his eyes on collecting more memorabilia.

“It would be great. I have to do my post-cricket plans you see,” he said at a recent promotional event.

“I don’t mark the stumps that I collect. (Post-retirement) I’d watch the matches, look at the stumps and say ‘ok, this is from that match’. I have enough to keep me occupied for years.”Reuters

M S Dhoni

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President inaugurates celebrations marking 150 years of Allahabad High Court

News4u-News Desk- President Pranab Mukherjee lighted the lamp and inaugurated the celebrations marking 150 years of Allahabad High Court on Sunday afternoon.

Addressing the 150 years celebration function of Allahabad High Court, President expressed concern over huge pendency of cases in courts across the country.

President Pranab Mukherjee today stressed on the need for quick, affordable and accessible judicial system for all.

The President also called upon the judiciary to facilitate early disposal of long-pending cases so as to serve the cause of justice and bring relief to those affected by the delay in disposal of such cases.

While lauding the government’s ‘Make in India Programme’, the President said the campaign will turn the country into a manufacturing hub.

President said that Government and judiciary must work in tandem to reduce costs and time.

President said that Government and judiciary must work in tandem to reduce costs and time.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Chief Justice of India, Justice T S Thakur, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav were present on the occasion.

President inaugurates celebrations marking 150 years of Allahabad High Court

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Gunmen attack Ivory Coast resort town, seven people killed - witness

News4u-News Desk- Unidentified gunmen staged an attack on a beach at a resort town in Ivory Coast on Sunday, killing at least seven people, a witness said.

The shooting took place at Grand Bassam, a weekend retreat for Abidjan residents about 40 km east of the commercial capital Abidjan. Its beaches, bars and hotels are popular with Westerners.

The gunmen were not identified and it was unclear if they were affiliated with any militant group. Security forces were called to the scene.

“I saw seven dead that I filmed. There were four attackers. I was swimming when it started and I ran away,” said Dramane Kima, who showed the video of the bodies to Reuters.

He also took pictures of grenades and ammunition clips that he believed had been left behind by the attackers.

A Reuters witness saw two wounded people.

The incident took place nearly two months after Islamist fighters killed dozens of people in a hotel and cafe frequented by foreigners in neighbouring Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, raising concern that the reach of militancy in West Africa was spreading.

Security forces evacuate an injured person in Bassam, Ivory Coast, March 13, 2016.

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Islamic State using birth control to keep supply of sex slaves - NY Times

News4u-News Desk- The Islamic State is using several forms of contraception to maintain its supply of sex slaves, the New York Times reported on Saturday, citing interviews with more than three dozen Yazidi women who escaped from the militant group.

The New York Times reported that Islamic State used “oral and injectable contraception, and sometimes both” to ensure that the women did not become pregnant and could be passed among the fighters.

“In at least one case, a woman was forced to have an abortion in order to make her available for sex, and others were pressured to do so,” the paper said.

Islamic State militants consider the Yazidis to be devil-worshippers. The Yazidi faith has elements of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam. Most of the Yazidi population, numbering around half a million, remains displaced in camps inside the autonomous entity in Iraq’s north known as Kurdistan.

Until late last year, some 5,000 Yazidi men and women were captured by the militants in the summer of 2014. Of those, around 2,000 had managed to escape or been smuggled out of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate, activists said.

The New York Times, citing a gynecologist who carried out the examinations, said that out of the more than 700 Yazidi rape victims who had gone to a United Nations-backed clinic in Iraq, only 5 percent had become pregnant during their enslavement.

Dr. Nezar Ismet Taib, head of the Ministry of Health Directorate in Dohuk which oversees the clinic, said that number was much lower than expected, according to the newspaper.

The United Nations and human rights groups have accused the Islamic State of the systematic abduction and rape of thousands of women and girls as young as 12. Many have been given to fighters as a reward or sold as sex slaves.

Far from trying to conceal the practice, Islamic State has boasted about it and established a department of “war spoils” to manage slavery. Reuters reported on the existence of the department in December.Reuters

A 27-year-old Yazidi woman, who escaped from captivity by Islamic State (IS) militants

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57 Naxals including 25 women surrender in odisha

News4u-News Desk- In a major blow to naxal menace, 57 naxals including 25 women surrendered in odisha and another 3 naxals laid down their arms in Chhattisgarh.

The rebel supporters of Maoists’ Kalimela and Padia Dalam units surrendered before the police with a pledge to join the mainstream.

Those who surrendered were members of Andhra Odisha Zonal Committee Division of the outlawed CPI-Maoist.

57 Naxals including 25 women surrender in odisha

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SEBI cracks whip on loan defaulters

News4u-News Desk- Cracking its whip on ‘willful loan defaulters’,markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) decided to bar them from raising public funds through stocks and bonds as also from taking board positions at listed companies - a move that would disqualify beleaguered Vijay Mallya from various posts.

Addressing media in New Delhi,SEBI Chairman U K Sinha said, willful loan defaulters barred from fund raising, taking positions at listed firms, from setting up market entities like mutual funds.

He said, the targets of SEBI is to complete probe and pass final orders in all cases within two years, starting this fiscal. U K Sinha said Finance Minister has asked to remain alert on supervision of markets keeping in mind impact of global developments.

SEBI cracks whip on loan defaulters

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Rescue team rescue six out of eight students in Kullu district

News4u-News Desk- In Himachal Pradesh, rescue teams have rescued six out of eight students who were stranded in remote Chandarkhani Jot area of Manikaran valley in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.

The students have been airlifted to Kullu.

The students from Sant Longowal Institute of Technology in Punjab had left from Nagger in Himachal for the 12,000-ft high Chandrakhani Pass in Kullu district on Friday.

The snowfall and extreme cold conditions were hampering the rescue operations.

Rescue team rescue six out of eight students in Kullu district

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President inaugurates Festival of Innovations

News4u-News Desk- President of India, Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated an exhibition of grassroots innovations in Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 12, 2016 kicking off thereby a week-long Festival of Innovations from March 12-19, 2016.

Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences; Dr. Najma A. Heptulla, Union Minister for Minority Affairs; Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, Chairperson, National Innovation Foundation (NIF); Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST and Prof. Anil Gupta, Executive Vice-Chairperson, NIF.

A total of 65 grassroots innovations are part of this Exhibition. The Festival is being organised by Rashtrapati Bhavan in collaboration with NIF.

The Exhibition of Innovations will remain open between 1000 to 1700 hrs from March 12-19, 2016 for the public. All visitors to the Mughal Gardens will be able to visit the Exhibition.

President inaugurates Festival of Innovations

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India favoured to keep Asia on top in World Twenty20

News4u-Sports Desk- The World Twenty20 has provided a stage for Asian sides to flourish in its short history and host India’s scintillating form leading up to the tournament will only fuel local hopes that the trend will continue.

India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have won three out of the five stagings of the biennial tournament, while the 2010 final was the only one that did not feature a team from South Asia.

Former players and pundits have been united in endorsing India, who won the 50-over World Cup at home in 2011, as favourites to add a second World Twenty20 title to their cabinet and given the side’s run of form, it is hardly surprising.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men have won 10 of the 11 Twenty20 contests they have played this year, including a 3-0 win in Australia, and have looked supremely balanced with their often-soft bowling attack also showing plenty of bite.

The only worry for India’s fanatical cricket following will be that the team have peaked too early and they will be desperately hoping that the law of averages catches up with them after the final at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens on April 3.

While India have enjoyed a relatively trouble-free build up to the tournament, it has been far from smooth sailing for fellow Asian contenders Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Pakistan, the 2009 champions, arguably have the most potent pace attack with left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir seamlessly integrating into the side after a five-year spot-fixing ban.

But Shahid Afridi’s men have had troubles with their top-order, prompting the selectors to twice tinker with the squad and a row over security leading to a venue change for the highly charged India match will not have helped matters.

Defending champions Sri Lanka have failed to adequately replace retired batting stalwarts Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene after their 2014 World Twenty20 triumph and were forced to install Angelo Mathews as their new captain this week.

The island nation have lost recent series against New Zealand, India and a woeful Asia Cup display led to the sacking of the entire selection panel.

The team and their supporters will keep their fingers crossed on the fitness of pace spearhead Lasith Malinga, who relinquished the captaincy due to the slow recovery of his injured knee but insists he can still play a part.

AUSTRALIA’S T20 CONUNDRUM

Australia will look to end their lack of success in the format and add the T20 title to their 50-over World Cup triumph on home soil last year, banking on their explosive batting line-up to make up for the lack of a potent spinner.

They have not left anything to chance though, replacing Aaron Finch with test and one-day international skipper Steve Smith to lead the side, who have had a number of players plying their trade in the Indian Premier League (IPL) over the years.

Another side hoping the experience of playing in the IPL will come in handy for their players will be South Africa, who once again will be determined to shed their ‘chokers’ tag at another global championship.

AB de Villiers, believed by most to be the most destructive batsman in world cricket, has often entertained crowds in India during the IPL with his 360 degree batting and South Africa will hope the 32-year-old can end their wait for a World Cup title.

FEARLESS ENGLAND

Jos Buttler, Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan will believe they can be match de Villiers’ pyrotechnics for England but the 2010 champions’ bowling attack appears short of experience.

They also have a powerful striker in Ben Stokes and the dependable Joe Root with the willow but it is to be seen if the batting can gloss over their bowling shortcomings.

Fellow contenders New Zealand may have a few psychological issues to resolve if they are to overcome their tendency to come up short on the big stage.

Their preparations have been overshadowed by the recent death of former captain Martin Crowe while the retirement of Brendon McCullum has robbed them of an exceptional reader of the game with unbridled batting firepower.

Darren Sammy will also have to inspire an understrength West Indies team, who just weeks ago were planning to boycott the tournament over a contractual dispute, if the 2012 champions are to stand any chance of winning a second title. Reuters

India favoured to keep Asia on top in World Twenty20

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Penguin swims 8000 kms to meet rescuer

News4u-News Desk- Far from the maddening rat race of the modern world here is a heartwarming story which promises an eternal bond between an animal and human being.

Dindim, a South American Magellanic penguin, who swims over 8,000km every year to meet his human friend Joao Pereira de Souza.

A 71-year-old retired bricklayer, Joao Pereira, is also part-time fisherman living on an island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Pereira de Souza rescued Dindim when he was close to death and washed up on the shore in 2011. He was starving and covered in oil.

Pereira de Souza cleaned Dindim’s feathers and nursed him back to health by feeding him fish to help him regain his strength.

After he recovered, Pereira de Souza took him to the sea to release him so that the penguin could migrate back to his habitat.

“But he wouldn’t leave. He stayed with me for 11 months and then just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared,” Pereira de Souza said.

Further explaining he said, “Everyone said he wouldn’t return but he has been coming back to visit me for the past four years. He arrives in June and leaves to go home in February.

South American Magellanic penguins usually breed in the Patagonia coasts of Argentina and Chile — 4,000-8,000km away.

Pereira de Souza said, “No one else is allowed to touch him. He pecks them if they do. He lays on my lap, lets me give him showers, allows me to feed him sardines and to pick him up.”

“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me. I’m flattered Dindim is happy to exchange his home with thousands of other penguins every year to find his way here to spend one-to-one time with me,” he reflects. “It’s a very special relationship.”

To commute between his old and his new home, the penguin has to travel a distance of 8,000km twice a year.

Joao Paulo Krajewski, a biologist who interviewed De Souza, mentioned in an interview that the penguin recognizes the part-time fisherman as ‘part of his family and perhaps a penguin as well’.

Penguin swims 8000 kms to meet rescuer

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