Total Pageviews

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Former king Michael funeral ceremony in Bucharest, Romania Saturday Dec 16,2017

Thousands of Romanians lined the streets of Bucharest on Saturday Dec 16,2017  for the funeral of the countrys former king Michael, one of the last surviving World War Two European heads of state.

Born in 1921, Michael ruled  Romania twice, switched its alliance away from Nazi Germany to the Allied side during the war and was subsequently forced into exile by a Communist takeover in 1947

He died in Switzerland on Dec 05,2017 at the age of 96, having retired from public life due to severe illness in 2016.

On Saturday Dec 16,2017, Bucharest churches rang their bells and mourners, many in tears, threw white flowers at the funeral procession, chanting “King Michael” and “Down with communism”.

European royalty attended, including Spain’s former king, Juan Carlos, Britains Prince Charles, King Carl Gustaf of Sweden and his wife Queen Silvia.

Even though the restoration of the monarchy is not an issue in the European Union state, Michael commanded great respect from Romanians who saw him in sharp opposition to a political class which they link with poverty and corruption.

His death comes at a time of deep divisions in Romanian society. Massive street protests against attempts by the ruling Social Democrats to weaken the fight against corruption and the rule of law have taken place on and off throughout 2017.

A descendant of the German Hohenzollern dynasty and a cousin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, Michael was in his early twenties when he participated in a 1944 coup that overthrew fascist leader Marshal Ion Antonescu.

Romania then broke with Nazi Germany and switched to the Allied side. Historians have said his actions might have shortened the war and saved thousands of lives.

After communism collapsed, politicians fearing Michael’s influence blocked his first few attempted visits after decades of exile in Switzerland, Britain and the United States. He finally returned to Romania in 1992 and regained citizenship in 1997.

With his passing, the Romanian royal familys relevance will likely fade, since his children have little public standing. Princess Margareta, his eldest daughter, remains custodian of the crown.

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) suspends Airtel, Airtel Payments Bank’s eKYC licence

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has temporarily barred Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank from conducting Aadhaar-based SIM verification of mobile customers using eKYC process as well as e-KYC of payments bank clients.

The action follows allegations of Bharti Airtel using the Aadhaar-eKYC based SIM verification process to open payments bank accounts of its subscribers without their ‘informed consent’. UIDAI also took strong objection to allegations that such payments bank accounts are being linked to receive LPG subsidy.

UIDAI, in an interim order, “suspended e-KYC licence key of Bharti Airtel Ltd and Airtel Payment Bank Ltd with immediate effect,” sources with direct knowledge of the development said.

This essentially means Airtel would not be able to, in the interim, carry out ‘electronic-verification’ or link mobile SIMs of its customers with their 12-digit biometric national ID Aadhaar though the efficient and paperless eKYC (or electronic Know Your Customer) process of UIDAI.

Also, Airtel Payments Bank will not be able to open a new account with Aadhaar e-KYC. However, accounts can be opened through alternate methods, if available.

When contacted, an Airtel spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we have received interim order from the UIDAI regarding temporary suspension of Aadhaar linked e-KYC services till their satisfaction on certain processes relating to Airtel payment banks onboarding of customers.”

“We are engaging with the authority and are hopeful of an early resolution. We are also undertaking to complete the said actions on priority and have commenced thorough checks of our process flows.
“Being compliant to all guidelines is paramount to us. In the interim, any inconvenience to our customers is regretted,” the spokesperson said.

Around the world in 42 days: Frenchman Francois Gabart smashes solo sailing record

Frenchman Francois Gabart smashed the world record for the fastest non-stop solo navigation of the globe on Sunday, completing the mammoth feat in 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds.

The 34-year-old sailor crossed a virtual finish line drawn between the island of Ushant off France's northwest tip and Lizard Point in southwest England at 0145 GMT, comfortably beating the previous record set by compatriot Thomas Coville last year by six days and 10 hours.

The race time was announced by an observer from the World Sailing Speed Council but will be subject to checks of the boat's black box and its GPS data before final confirmation.

Father-of-two Gabart becomes just the fourth title-holder for a world record of sailing the globe solo without stopping.

Since the record was first set in 2004, nearly 30 days have been shaved off.

The debut record holder was Frenchman Francis Joyon who completed the odyssey in 72 days and 22 hours.

British female sailor Ellen MacArthur took to the seas a year later, racing against the clock to break that record by just a day and a half (71 days, 14 hours).

She remained undefeated until 2016 when Coville set a new record of 49 days and three hours which many predicted would be difficult to topple.

Gabart's 30 metre (98 foot) long new generation maxi-trimaran was helped by good weather throughout much of the voyage, particularly during the long and arduous Pacific section.

He set a number of new solo race records along the way, including the fastest navigation of the Pacific (7 days, 15 hours, 15 minutes) and the longest distance covered in 24 hours (851 miles or 1,576 kilometres)

Sri Lanka's Upul Tharanga Completes 1000+ Runs in ODI in the Calendar Year 2017 Sunday Dec 17,2017

Image result for Sri Lanka's Upul Tharanga
Upul Tharanga missed out on his 16th century in the third and final ODI at the ACA-VDCA stadium on Sunday Dec 17,2017 as he was brilliantly stumped by MS Dhoni off Kuldeep Yadav for 95 off 82 balls. However, in the course of his knock, Tharanga went past 1000 runs in ODIs in 2017

Upul Tharanga became the third player to go past 1000 runs in ODIs in 2017 after Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma and in the process, also became the first Sri Lanka batsman since Tillakaratne Dilshan in 2015 to go past the landmark

2017 Dubai Super Series Final - P V Sindhu loses to Japan's Akane Yamaguchi Sunday Dec 17,2017

P V Sindhu won silver at the Dubai Super Series Finals after losing a titanic contest against Japan's top seed Akane Yamaguchi 21-15, 12-21, 19-21 Sunday Dec 17,2017

P V  Sindhu, who beat Chen Yufei in the semi-final on Saturday, is only the second Indian to make a finals appearance at the tournament

Saina Nehwal was the first, but she failed to conquer the finals of the 2011 edition losing to China's Wang Yihan.

North Korea Marks 6th Anniversary of Kim Jong Il's Death Sunday Dec 17,2017

Crowds of flower-bearing North Koreans on Sunday Dec 17,2017 streamed passed statues and portraits of their leaders to pay respects on the sixth anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il.

With somber, recorded music playing in the sub-zero air, thousands upon thousands of people marched up Pyongyang's Mansu Hill to bow and place flowers at the feet of two giant bronze statues of Kim Jong Il and national founder Kim Il Sung, who is North Korea's "eternal president" and Kim Jong Un's grandfather.

Kim Jong Il died on Dec. 17, 2011.

Although the sense of national mourning is less intense than in previous years, North Koreans are expected to avoid drinking, entertainment and inappropriate displays of enjoyment on the day before and the day of the anniversary.

2017-18 Premier League - Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-1,its 16th successive win Saturday Dec 16,2017

Manchester City soared above the fog swirling round the Etihad Stadium to demolish Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 and leave the rest of the Premier League peering into the distance in search of Pep Guardiola's record-breaking team on Saturday Dec 16,2017

Tottenham, who began the day fourth, were supposed to provide a proper test but, just like City's previous 15 opponents, were outclassed as goals by Ilkay Gundogan before halftime and Kevin de Bruyne and two from Raheem Sterling after it put City 14 points clear.

City's 16th successive win took them to 52 points, one game short of the halfway point of the season. Manchester United, who play at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, have 38 as do champions Chelsea who beat Southampton 1-0 on Saturday thanks to Marcos Alonso's free kick.

Arsenal sent Newcastle United into the drop zone with a 1-0 win that lifted the Gunners to fourth with 33 points while Burnley are fifth, a further point back, after a 0-0 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion for whom Glenn Murray missed a penalty. Tottenham tumbled down to seventh behind Liverpool, who are at Bournemouth on Sunday, on goal difference.

There were two big movers at the bottom with Crystal Palace winning 3-0 at Leicester City and West Ham United doing the same at Stoke City to move out of the relegation zone into 14th and 15th places respectively. Stoke are 17th. Even without the absent David Silva, City were too clinical for Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham side and could even afford a second-half penalty miss from Gabriel Jesus.

"It was solid, good, against one team demanding to be intense without the ball," Guardiola said. "Since August we are so happy and I admire the most the way we play without the ball -- thank you to the club to provide me with these amazing players."

City's attacking football is a thing to behold but there was nothing fancy about their 14th minute opener as Gundogan was left unmarked to head in from a corner -- a goal Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino described as an early Christmas present.

To their credit Tottenham took the game to City in the second half but were cut open in the 70th minute as De Bruyne finished off a rapid counter-attack. Sterling's double in the final 10 minutes took his tally for the season to 15 in all competitions before Christian Eriksen scored a late consolation for the visitors.

"Today yes, they showed better quality than us. The better team won," Pochettino said.

Chelsea have won eight of their last 10 games, but like Arsenal who beat Newcastle with a Mesut Ozil goal, are realistically playing for a top-four position unless City suffer a new year collapse of dramatic proportions.

"In the last 10 games we won eight games," Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said. "Some people are forgetting this run because there is a team that is winning every game." At the bottom Christian Benteke went from zero to hero as he scored his first goal of the season, and Crystal Palace's first on the road, as they trounced Leicester with Wilfried Zaha and Bakary Sako also on target.

Belgian striker Benteke made amends after disobeying team orders to take, and miss, a crucial penalty last week in a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth.

"The day after (the penalty miss) he came in and held his hand up, he spoke to the players and myself and made the point that he would make it up to team, and that is what he has done," Palace manager Roy Hodgson said.

Marko Arnautovic scored against his old club Stoke as West Ham made it seven points from three games without conceding. Huddersfield Town ended a long scoring drought on the road as they thumped stumbling Watford 4-1. Huddersfield's Jonathan Hogg was dismissed in the second half for asecond booking while Troy Deeney saw red for Watford in the first half

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Indian Rupee soars to three-month high against US $ Friday Dec 15,2017

Maintaining its upbeat momentum, the rupee surged by 30 paise to hit a fresh 3 month high of 64.04 against the U.S. dollar, with all exit polls on assembly elections suggesting the BJP retaining Gujarat and returning to power in Himachal Pradesh.

This is the highest closing for the home currency since September 13, when it had closed at 64.00. It was also the biggest single-day gain for the rupee in over three weeks.

Overall currency market sentiment turned extremely bullish after the exit poll outcomes predicted BJP’s win in Gujarat for the sixth time and a clean sweep in Himachal Pradesh elections.

A smart rally in local equities also supported the rupee momentum.

It was further supported by unwinding of long-dollar positions by speculators and some foreign banks with the US dollar down on shaky outlook for the tax reform progress.

Big-picture economic indicators like improving current account deficit and abundant FII inflows largely weighed on the trading front, a forex dealer said. Brent crude, an international benchmark, is trading at $63.25 a barrel in early Asian trade.

2018 ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand Jan 13 - Feb 03,2018 - Former Australian Captain Steve Waugh’s son Austin in Australia Under-19 squad for World Cup

Former Australian World Cup-winning captain Steve Waugh’s son Austin has been included in Australia’s 15- man squad for the Under-19 World Cup, to be held in New Zealand next month.

The side led by Jason Sangha also includes Will Sutherland, son of Cricket Australia’s (CA) chief executive James Sutherland. Sutherland Jr is the vice-captain of the side.

In 2016, Waugh had hit an unbeaten hundred in the final of the Under-17 National Championships, and earlier this year represented Australia U-19s in a one-day series against Sri Lanka’s youth side.

Former Australia pacer Ryan Harris will coach the U-19 side, while former opener Chris Rogers will assist him.

The U-19 World Cup will be played between January 13 and February 3 in New Zealand.

Australia are slotted into Group B, and will open their campaign against India on January 14 in Mount Maunganui. The other teams in Group B are Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea.

Australia are aiming to win their first title since the Mitchell Marsh-led side claimed the title in 2010, and the 18 -year-old Sangha will have the services of paceman Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Param Uppal, among others, during the campaign.

Australia’s National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said: “This is a very exciting squad and there is some exceptional talent within this group. We have got a good spread of skills through the squad.”

Australia U-19 Squad

Jason Sangha (Captain), Will Sutherland (Vice Captain), Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Jack Edwards, Zak Evans, Jarrod Freeman, Ryan Hadley, Baxter Holt, Nathan McSweeney, Jonathan Merlo, Jason Ralston, Param Uppal, Austin Waugh, Lloyd Pope.

Mizoram becomes third power-surplus state in North-East Saturday Dec 16,2017

Mizoram had become the third power- surplus state in the north-east after Sikkim and Tripura, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday Dec 16,2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said the central schemes for the benefit of the north-east had gained momentum and that his government was committed to developing the region.

“Today, we celebrate a significant milestone in the history of Mizoram with the completion and dedication of the 60-MW Tuirial hydropower project,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, while addressing a public meeting here after inaugurating it.

With the commissioning of the project, Mizoram became the third power-surplus state in the north-east, he added.

The hydro power project would produce “251 million units” of electrical energy every year and boost the economic development of the state,Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

“The completion of this project is a reflection of our commitment to completing the ongoing projects and ushering in a new era of development in the north-east,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi added.

The Tuirial project, which was announced and cleared in 1998 by the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, was the first major central project to be successfully commissioned in Mizoram, the prime minister said

Coal Scam Case - Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and ex coal secretary H.C. Gupta were on Saturday Dec 16,2017 sentenced to three years imprisonment Saturday Dec 16,2017

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and ex coal secretary H.C. Gupta were on Saturday Dec 16,2017 sentenced to three years imprisonment by a special court here in a case of coal block allocation scam.

Besides the jail term, the special court also imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on Mr. Koda and Rs one lakh on Mr. Gupta.

Former Jharkhand chief secretary A.K. Basu and Vijay Joshi, a close aide of the then Chief Minister, were also awarded jail term of three years for indulging in corrupt practices and hatching criminal conspiracy in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to a Kolkata-based private company, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL).

Special judge Bharat Parashar convicted the private firm and imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh on it.
The convicts including Mr. Koda, however, were granted statutory bail for a period of two months to enable them to file appeals in the Delhi High Court challenging the conviction and the jail term.

The convicts were tried for offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) of the IPC and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI had said that the firm had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007.

It had said although the Jharkhand government and steel ministry did not recommend VISUL’s case for coal block allocation, the 36th Screening Committee recommended the block to the accused firm.

The CBI had said that Mr. Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had concealed facts from the then prime minister Manmohan Singh, who at that time headed the Coal Ministry too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block.

Time line -  coal scam case

*Dec 2014: CBI files charge sheet against Koda, others before a special court here.
*Jan 21, 2015: Court summons Koda, others as accused.
*Feb 18: Court grants bail to accused after they appear before it and seek relief.
*July 14, 2015: Court orders framing of charges against Koda, others.
*July 31, 2015: Court frames charges against accused.
*July 11, 2017: Court concludes hearing in coal case.
*Dec 5, 2017: Court reserves order.
*Dec 13, 2017: Special court holds Koda, Gupta and others guilty of corruption, criminal conspiracy and other offences.
*Dec 16, 2017: Special court awards three years jail term to Koda, Gupta and two others in the case. It also imposes fine of Rs 25 lakh, Rs 50 lakh and Rs one lakh on Koda, a Kolkata-based firm and Gupta respectively.

California issues business licenses for legal pot market Thursday Dec 14,2017

California’s legal marijuana market is finally, fitfully, taking shape.

The state on Thursday Dec 14,2017 issued the first batch of business licenses to sell and transport recreational-use pot, just 18 days before legal sales will begin on January01,2018

The 20 temporary licenses – some of which were for the previously existing medical marijuana industry – represent a fraction of the thousands of licenses expected to follow as the state embraces legal weed in 2018, but their release set off jubilation.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” said Jordan Lams, CEO of Moxie whose parent-company Pure CA received the first distributer license.

Peru Congress prepares to oust President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s chances of surviving the political crisis gripping Peru faded on Friday Dec 15,2017 after Congress passed a motion to start “presidential vacancy” procedures with enough votes to unseat him within a week.

The opposition-controlled Congress voted 93-17 on Friday to seek his removal from office over graft allegations, which he denies. Eighty-seven votes will be needed to oust him in a session scheduled for Dec. 21, when he will be asked to defend himself.

A Brazilian construction company at the center of Latin America’s biggest graft scandal disclosed this week payments totaling $4.8 million to companies owned by Kuczynski or a close friend, triggering calls for him to resign.

Kuczynski had previously denied any links to the Brazilian company, Odebrecht, and said on Thursday there was nothing improper about the payments. Flanked by his Cabinet, Kuczynski vowed not to resign in a defiant message to the nation.

However, Kuczynski was aware his chances of surviving the scandal were slim, said a government source who asked not be identified. By resisting calls to step down, he hopes to clear his name and defend due process as the Odebrecht graft investigation widens, the source said.

“This is a national disgrace,” said opposition lawmaker Lourdes Alcorta. “The less harmful option for Peru would be his resignation. He’s forcing us to impeach him.”

Odebrecht has rocked politics in Latin America since agreeing a year ago to provide details on bribery schemes across the region – landing elites in jail from Colombia to the Dominican Republic and nearly toppling a president in Brazil.

Two former presidents in Peru, Ollanta Humala and Alejandro Toledo, have been ensnared in the Odebrecht probe over alleged payments they deny. Humala was jailed pending trial in July and authorities are seeking Toledo’s extradition from the United States.

Opposition leader Keiko Fujimori, whom Kuczynski unexpectedly defeated in last year’s presidential election, is also under investigation and denies wrongdoing.

If Kuczynski is forced out, he would be replaced by First Vice President Martin Vizcarra, a former governor of a copper-rich mining region and Peru’s current ambassador to Canada.

Kuczynski was once lauded by many as a brilliant technocrat who would help uproot widespread corruption in Peru. But his 16 months in office have been marked by clashes with the right-wing opposition party that controls Congress.

Kuczynski said late on Thursday he was the owner, but not the manager, of a company paid by Odebrecht while he held senior government posts. He also acknowledged providing financial services for an Odebrecht project as a consultant for a friend’s firm when he did not hold public office.

The opposition slammed the explanation as too little, too late. “It’s really unfortunate that President Kuczynski has put the country in this situation,” said congresswoman Cecilia Chacon.

2017-18 Ranji TRophy SF in Pune Bengal Vs Delhi Sunday Dec 17,2017

The match can be safely termed a fight between one of the most potent domestic new ball attacks in the country and a batting line-up that has players who can win matches on their own on a given day.

An encouraging piece of statistic for Bengal is that they have never ever conceded a first-innings lead against Delhi from 2009-10 season.

And not to forget the bittersweet relation between Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary and Gambhir, who have had their share of run-ins in the past.


 Manoj Tiwary (captain), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Avishek Raman, Sudeep Chatterjee, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Anushtup Majumdar, Shreevats Goswami, B Amit, Ashok Dinda, Mohammed Shami, Aamir Gani, Writtick Chatterjee, Pradipta Pramanik, Mukesh Kumar and Kanishk Seth.

 Rishabh Pant (captain), Kunal Chandela, Gautam Gambhir, Dhruv Shorey, Himmat Singh, Nitish Rana, Vikas Tokas, Kulwant Khejroliya, Navdeep Saini, Vikas Mishra, Aakash Sudan, Unmukt Chand, Manan Sharma, Shivam Sharma, Milind Kumar.

On This Day Dec 16 1997 Aussie woman cricketer Belinda Clark. Scored ODI's First Double Century

If one was to say that the first double ton in ODIs didn't come from Sachin Tendulkar's bat, no one is going to believe that.

But surprisingly, the first double ton came a good 13 years before the Master Blaster got one, and it came through the bat of Aussie woman cricketer Belinda Clark.

It was the women's World Cup in 1997, and Australia were facing lowly Denmark at Mumbai.

Belinda Clark was just too good on the day and smashed Danish bowlers all round the park.

Belinda Clark finished at 229 runs from just 155 balls, that included 22 fours.

Belinda Clark's innings took the Aussie total to 412/3, a record at that time.

Also Belinda Clark's innings was the highest individual score ever, before Rohit Sharma broke it with a 264 against Sri Lanka in 2014.

In the match, Aussies bowled out Denmark for just 49 runs, and won the match by 363 runs. 

2018 Australian Open - India's Sania Mirza to Miss Australian Open Due to Knee Injury

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza said on Saturday Dec 16,2017 that she will not be taking part in the Australian Open early next year due to a right knee injury.

"Basically I have something that's called a jumper's knee. So it's extrmely I am okay to walk but it's painful to change directions and play. That's the biggest problem. So I can run straight but I can't actually do plyometric stuff on it," the 31-year-old said told reporters on the sidelines of the Premjit Lall Invitational Tennis Tournament at the Jaidip Mukherjea Academy.

"When I spoke to my doctor a couple of months ago, they told me to take a couple of months off, then see how it feels before getting into a process of either surgery or injections or whatever.

"So when I saw them, the pain wasn't less after two months. So mow we have to take a call whether we have to do a surgery or take a couple of injections.

"So it's a little up in the air. I can't tell you a definitive when but it won't be before the next couple of months atleast. I will be missing the Australian Open for sure," Sania added.

Sania said she will need time to get back on the court though expressing hope that she will take part in the Commonwealth Games (April 4 to 15) and Asian Games (August 18 - September 2) next year.

"Hopefully I will be okay for that. I've always said that every time people ask me about plans ahead, as tennis players we don't know about our health. We don't know where will be at that point. It's still one year, it's a long time anything can happen. Hopefully I'll be healthy again," the 31-year old former former world No.1 in the women's doubles said.

Sania was the guest of honour in the three-day event alongwith former Indian tennis great Vijay Amritraj and Somdev Devvarman.

Asked if seeing so many kids in the academy asking for her autograph and a selfie reminded her of the first time she held a tennis racket, Sania said: "I was six years old. The coach did not want to take me as I was too small to play tennis at that time. My mum had to force him to take me. It was a big argument and then he took me.

"After a month, he called my parents and said 'you have to come and watch her play because I've never seen a six-year old play like that. That's how I remember my first memory of holding a tennis raquet."

At the podium while giving away awards, Sania wished she spent more time playing in India.

"It's good to be back in Kolkata. when Jaidip da calls us we come and that's why we come. I miss playing in India. I am hoping for a women's tournament as well," Sania said.

Jeep Compass Sales Cross 10,000 Units Milestone In 4 Months

FCA India Friday Dec 15,2017 announced that Jeep Compass sales have crossed the significant milestone of 10,000 units. The manufacturer has achieved this milestone in just four months of launching this Made in India Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).

FCA shipped 600 units, the first batch of the Ranjangaon-manufactured Jeep Compass to Japan and Australia in October this year and it is already on sale in Japan.

Commenting on the milestone, Kevin Flynn - President and Managing Director, FCA India said, “The Jeep Compass is proving to be a popular SUV in a short span of time. We are indeed proud to cross the 10,000 Sales milestone and we are confident to continue with this great momentum in the New Year as well.”

He added, “Customers have appreciated the competitive price positioning of the Jeep Compass since launch. Effective January 1, 2018, prices will increase by 2-4%, except for the entry level variant, which will be maintained at INR 15.16 lakh (ex-showroom). Jeep will continue to offer a compelling Product and Price package in the New Year.

The Made In India Jeep Compass was launched on July 31, 2017. FCA India offers three premium trims in the range - Sport, Longitude and Limited. The SUV is offered in 10 variants with 2.0-litre Turbo Diesel and 1.4-litre Turbo Petrol Multiair powertrain options, with 4x4 and 4x2 derivatives available in the range.

Kolkata ,West Bengal,India is set to make history by adding a floating market on its water front

Kolkata is set to make history by adding a floating market on its water front.

Officials say the proposed market is the first of its kind in India and third in Asia.

Located on the fringes on Biswa Bangla Sarani or the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in South Kolkata near Patuli area, this will be open for public in January 2018

Local councillor Arup Bhattacharya who has initiated the dream project of chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim explained: 'It is one of the biggest events in Kolkata. 

What makes the proposed market unique is the elevated walking path made over the water with small railings which open up to the boats parked next to them.

There will be 114 boats in the market and each boat will consist of two shops. Thus the market will have a total of 228 shops.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Australians Vote In Key By-Election in the Bennelong district of Sydney Saturday Dec 16,2017

Australians in a suburb of Sydney are voting in a by-election that could cost the governing conservative coalition its slim majority in parliament.

The poll was called after Bennelong MP John Alexander stepped down in a row over dual citizenship.

The citizenship crisis has forced nine Australian MPs to resign.

John Alexander, of the Liberal-National coalition, is standing for re-election but faces a strong challenge from Labor's Kristina Keneally.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is at risk of losing his one-seat parliamentary majority with a new poll showing the ruling Liberal-National coalition running neck and neck with the opposition Labor Party in a by-election in the Bennelong district of Sydney to be held on December 16.

A loss for John Alexander would see Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lose his one-seat majority in parliament.

The government would then have to rely on the support of five independents to push through its programme

Australia's constitution demands politicians are not dual nationals.

John Alexander, a former tennis star, resigned after revealing that he had probably inherited dual British citizenship through a UK-born parent.

He said at the time that he could "no longer... maintain the belief" he only held Australian citizenship. However, it emerged that he might not even be entitled to UK nationality and so he is re-contesting the seat.

Among the politicians unseated by the citizenship crisis was Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Mr Joyce easily won a by-election earlier this month and returned to parliament.

Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled plans to make all federal politicians clearly declare their citizenship status to avoid a similar crisis in the future.

Under the new plan, politicians will be obliged to make a formal declaration about their citizenship status, as well as provide details about the time and place of their birth, and the time and place of birth of their parents.

If any politicians formerly had citizenship of another country they will also be required to detail when and how they renounced it

Why INS Kalvari Matters To Indian Navy

On  Thursday December 14, 2017 INS Submarine Kalvari, the first of indigenously-built Scorpene submarines, was inducted into Indian Navy by PM Modi.

In fact, it is the first submarine that India got in 17 years; the last being INS Sindhushastra in 2000

Here're more insights into the submarine which is being hailed as important for Indian Navy

How INS Kalvari is a booster to Indian Navy-infographics-TOI

2017 Sri Lanka Tour Of India - India’s enviable record in deciders boosts chances ahead of the final and third ODI againstSri Lanka @ Vizag on Sunday Dec 17,2017

Ever since 2013, India have played 10 bilateral ODI series at home, winning 9 and losing one.

Out of the 10, five of them have gone to the decider. 

India has suffered only one setback in this period against South Africa in 2015. In the final ODI in Mumbai, centuries from Quinton de Kock (109), AB de Villiers (119) and Faf du Plessis (133) helped the Proteas reach 438/4. India lost the match by 214 runs to suffer a bilateral series loss to South Africa for the first time at home.

India in home bilateral series since 2013

Year: 2013
Opponent: Australia
Final match result: Won by 57 runs
Series result: Won 3-2
Year: 2013
Opponent: West Indies
Final match result: Won by five wickets
Series result: Won 2-1
Year: 2015
Opponent: South Africa
Final match result: Lost by 214 runs
Series result: Lost 2-3
Year: 2016
Opponent: New Zealand
Final match result: Won by 190 runs
Series result: Won 3-2
Year: 2017
Opponent: New Zealand
Final match result: Won by six runs
Series result: Won 2-1

Cricketers Who Have Hit Six Sixes In An Over

  • Sir Garfield Sobers(West Indies)
  • Ravi Shastri(India)
  •  Herschelle Gibbs(South Africa)
  • Yuvraj Singh (India)
  • Alex Hales(England)

Yuvraj Singh (against England’s Stuart Broad in 2007 World T20)

Herschelle Gibbs (against Holland’s Daan van Bunge in 2007 World Cup)

Ravi  Shastri had hit six sixes in a row against left-arm spinner Tilak Raj in a Ranji Trophy match against Baroda in 1984.

Gary Sobers, turning out for Nottinghamshire, did it against Glamorgan’s Malcolm Nash in 1968

 Coincidentally, it was for Nottinghamshire again in 2015 that Alex Hales achieved this mark, against Warwickshire in the Natwest T20 Blast.

Ravindra Jadeja in the  Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) inter-district T20 tournament on Friday Dec 15,2017

India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja hit six sixes in an over in the SCA Inter District T20 Tournament Friday Dec 15,2017

India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja hit six sixes in an over on way to a 69-ball 154 during an inter-district T20 tournament in Rajkot on Friday Dec 15,2017

Ravindra Jadeja, who holds the record of hitting a record three Ranji Trophy triple centuries, turned out for Jamnagar against Amreli in the opening match of the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) inter-district T20 tournament.

Ravindra Jadeja lifted off-spinner Nilam Vamja for six consecutive over-boundaries in the 15th over. Opening the batting, Jadeja batted till the 19th over when he was run out. By then he had already scored 15 boundaries and 10 sixes.

Ravindra Jadeja's whirlwind innings helped Jamnagar reach 239/6 on way to a 121-run defeat of Amreli in their first match at the Saurashtra Cricket Association ‘B’ ground in Rajkot. Rested for the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, Jadeja seems to be making best use of any practice available ahead of the tour of South Africa set to start later this month.

The innings also served a reminder that even though selectors are not too keen on picking him for limited-overs internationals, Ravindra Jadeja hasn’t lost touch with the art of piling quick runs.

With this feat, Ravindra Jadeja has joined the likes of an elite list of hitting  six sixes in an over
  • Sir Garfield Sobers(West Indies)
  • Ravi Shastri(India)
  •  Herschelle Gibbs(South Africa)
  • Yuvraj Singh (India)
  • Alex Hales(England)

Yuvraj Singh (against England’s Stuart Broad in 2007 World T20) and Herschelle Gibbs (against Holland’s Daan van Bunge in 2007 World Cup) have achieved this landmark in international matches.

Ravi  Shastri had hit six sixes in a row against left-arm spinner Tilak Raj in a Ranji Trophy match against Baroda in 1984.

Gary Sobers, turning out for Nottinghamshire, did it against Glamorgan’s Malcolm Nash in 1968. Coincidentally, it was for Nottinghamshire again in 2015 that Alex Hales achieved this mark, against Warwickshire in the Natwest T20 Blast.

Ravindra Jadeja in the  Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) inter-district T20 tournament on Friday Dec 15,2017

Amul's Ad On Shashi Tharoor Is Hilarious, But His Response Takes The Cake

Amul immortalized Shashi Tharoor's well-known penchant for obscure words in a witty creative yesterday, but it was the parliamentarian's response which took the cake. Famous for its topical ads, Amul took a good-natured dig at Mr Tharoor's habit of using long words which often left Twitter reaching for their dictionaries by tweeting a creative that took on the 'MP's fondness for tweeting big words like 'Rodomontade'!'

"Tharooraurus anyone?" read the ad which had Twitter laughing out loud.

View image on Twitter  

In response, Mr Tharoor tweeted that while he was 'butterly honoured' to be featured 'Tharoorosaurus Rex' or an 'ancient creature soon to be extinct, snuffed out in a cloud of incomprehension....'

Rohit Sharma,Shikhar Dhawan Shine as Indian Openers Dominate 2017

India have had a splendid 2017 and one of the key reason for it has been the performance of the Indian openers in the past year.

The team has scored the most number of runs in ODIs this year. It’s also the 6th highest aggregate runs for India in any year

Indian openers have the most number of century partnerships (9)

The 2nd best is 3 by Sri Lanka and South Africa

Indian openers in 2017 have a conversion rate of 90.00% which is the best by any team (minimum three 50+ scores). They have also scored the most number of runs this year.


Dhawan-Rohit have 2nd most ODI runs as openers in 2017. They have the most no. of century partnerships in ODIs this year and have a 50-100 conversion rate of 80.00.

Rohit, who smashed his third double hundred in ODIs, has scored seven hundreds this year (six in ODIs and one in Tests) marking a successful return to international cricket following a thigh surgery last November.

"I would say this year has been the best year for me as a cricketer. I have been hitting the ball well," said Rohit after India's series leveling win against Sri Lanka.

NDA Govt Cabinet Approves Amendment to Law on Cheque Bounce Cases Friday Dec 15,2017

The NDA Govt Cabinet on Friday Dec 15,2017 approved an amendment to a current law to allow for payment of an interim compensation in cheque dishonour cases with a view not to allow unscrupulous elements holding payments, pending long trial, sources said.

An amendment to the Negotiable Instrument Act will allow a court to order for payment of an interim compensation to those whose cheques have bounced due to dishonouring parties, a move aimed at promoting a less cash economy.

The amendment is likely to be introduced in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, while briefing the media about the Cabinet's decisions, said amendment to Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 has been approved.

The amendment would enable the court to order interim compensation to the payee of a cheque, a part of the cheque amount at the trial stage.

If the drawer is acquitted, the court may direct the payee to repay the amount paid as interim compensation with interest, they said.

Similarly, appellate courts would be enabled to order the appellant to deposit a part of the compensation awarded by the trial court at the time of filing appeal.

The amendment has been proposed to help trade and commerce, particularly the MSME sector, and in order to increase the credibility of the cheque as a financial instrument, sources added.

Dishonour of cheques due to inadequate funds in the account of the drawer of the cheque or for other reasons causes lot of distress in the trade, business and MSME sectors.

Dishonouring of cheque causes incalculable loss and inconvenience to payees and "erodes the credibility" of cheques to a large extent.

2017 Sri Lanka Tour Of India - Sri Lanka Squad For The 3- Match T20 Series Against India Announced

3-Match Test Series Results

First Test @ Kolkata Nov 16-20,2017
India 172 and 352/8 Declared
Sri Lanka 294 and 75/7
Match Result - Match Drawn
MOM - Bhuvneshwar Kumar(India)for his 4/88(27 Overs )and  4/08(11 Overs)

Second Test @ Nagpur Nov 24-27,2017
Sri Lanka 205 and 166
India 610/6 Declared
Match Result - India won by An Innings and 239 Runs
MOM - Virat Kohli(India) for his 213(267 Balls 4x17 and 6x2)
Series Result - India lead the 3-Match Test Series 1-0

Third  Test @ Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi Dec 02-06,2017
India            536/7 Declared and246/5 Declared
Sri Lanka    373 and 299/5
Match Result - Match Drawn
MOM -Virat Kohli(India)for his 243 and 50
Player of the Series - Virat Kohli(India)for scoring 610 Runs in 5 Innings(0 ,104*,213,243and 50)
Series Result - India won the 3-Match Test  Series 1-0

3-Match ODI Series Results

First ODI @ Dharamsala Sunday Dec 10,2017
India 112/10 in 38.2 Overs
Sri Lanka 114/3  in 20.4 Overs
Match Result - Sri Lanka won by 7 wickets
MOM - Suranga Lakmal(Sri Lanka) for his 4/13(10 Overs)
Series  Result - Sri Lanka lead the 3-Match ODI Series 1-0 
Second ODI @ Mohali Wednesday Dec 13,2017
India scored 392/4 in 50 Overs
Sri Lanka scored 251/8 in 50 Overs
Match Result - India won by 141 Runs
MOM - Rohit Sharma(India) for his 208*
Series Result - The 3-Match ODI Series level at 1-1

Veteran speedster Lasith Malinga has not been picked in the Sri Lanka T20 squad for the 3-match series against India, starting December 20,2017

The list has been ratified by sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera.

The list however says Malinga has been rested without stating any reason for that. Malinga has taken part in the Bangladesh Premier League.

Senior players Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Thirimanne have been rested. Vishwa Fernando and Dasun Shanaka have replaced them in the squad.

The first match will be played at Cuttack on December 20 followed by matches in Indore and Mumbai on December 22 and 24 respectively.

Sri Lanka T20 Squad

Thisara Perera(c), Upul Tharanga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Janith Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dasun Shanaka, Chaturanga de Silva, Sachith Pathirana, Dananjaya De Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Dusmantha Chameera. 

India's youngest batting sensation and U-19 captain Prithvi Shaw Joins the Likes of Tendulkar, Kohli With New Deal

India's youngest batting sensation and U-19 captain Prithvi Shaw has signed a deal with MRF, meaning he will sport the famous logo when he comes out to bat in the upcoming U-19 World Cup.

Shaw joins an elite list of athletes and cricketers who have MRF on their bats, with the likes of Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Waugh among the cricketers who have endorsed for the company before.

The 18-year-old has hit five hundreds in his first eight first class games so far, and slammed centuries on his Ranji Trophy and Duleep debut.

Speaking about it, Shaw said, Shaw said: "I'm honoured & humbled to be playing soon with a MRF bat as I have grown up watching my idols like Sachin sir, Brian Lara sir & now Virat sir playing with them and scoring tons of runs & bringing laurels for our country. I am thankful to MRF for associating with me."

MRF chairman & managing director, KM Mammen, said: "MRF has always stood for excellence in sports. Having been associated with sports for decades we have always come forward to nurture special talents and provide all assistance for them to flower on the International stage. Our brand ambassadors have always shone in their careers and have enthralled audiences across the globe. We are delighted to be a part of Prithvi's cricket journey and am sure his special talents will hold everyone spellbound in the coming years. We wish him all the very best and welcome him to the MRF family."

MRF currently endorses Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and AB De Villiers. 

National Medical Commission (NMC) to Replace Medical Council of India (MCI)

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017, which is set to replace the existing Medical Council Act, 1956, has been cleared by the NDA Govt Cabinet

The new Bill looks at moving to a less regulated environment in medical education, in favour of “outcome based monitoring”. Several conditions, such as increasing the intake of students, will be relaxed once the Bill is cleared. 

At present, the Medical Council of India (MCI) gives permission for the establishment and recognition of medical colleges, renews their licenses and approves increases in intake of students. Once the new Bill is implemented, colleges do not need to renew licences, and can increase student intake on their own. 

They can also start post-graduate courses on their own, without seeking permission from the National Medical Commission (NMC), which will replace the MCI. 

Opening up the medical education sector will lead to significant addition in the number of UG and PG seats and substantial new investment in this infrastructure sector

Under the new Bill, if a college does not fulfil any requirements, it will not face strict penalties such as not having its licence renewed or not being allowed to admit new students. Rather, it would face a fine of up to 10 times the annual tuition fee.

One of the critical changes that the new law is expected to bring about is determination of fees. While the MCI did not have any power to prescribe fees, the NMC can frame guidelines for determining the fee for up to 40 per cent of the seats in private medical colleges.

Customs duty on colour TVs, phones, microwave ovens hiked Friday Dec 15,2017

To curb surging imports of electronic items such as mobile phones and TV sets, the Finance Ministry on Friday Dec 15,2017 increased the basic Customs duty on a host of products, which makes them more expensive. 

The move will also give a boost to the ‘Make in India’ programme. According to the notification, the Customs duty on mobile phones has been hiked to 15 per cent. The duty on TV sets and microwaves has been doubled to 20 per cent while the duty on video cameras has been hiked to 15 per cent from 10 per cent. 

The Customs duty on water heaters and hair dressing instruments has similarly been doubled to 20 per cent along with changes in duty on television cameras, lamp and light fittings and smart electricity meters. 

Additionally, the basic Customs duty on LCD, LED and OLED panels for manufacture of TV has been withdrawn; they will attract 7.5 per cent duty.

Bangladesh completes registration of 8,44,227 Rohingya refugees

Bangladesh has completed biometric registration of 8,44,227 Rohingya refugees who have crossed the border to escape persecution in neighbouring Myanmar’s Rakhine state

Bangladesh’s Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP) carrying out the registration work in 12 makeshift camps in Ukhia and Teknaf till Thursday Dec 14,2017

The registration process started on September 11.

Out of the registered refugees, 36,373 have been identified as orphans, which include 17,395 boys and 18,978 girls

NDA Govt at the Centre to bear MDR on small digital transactions for two years

In a major push towards making India a less-cash economy, the union cabinet on Friday Dec 15,2017 decided to bear the merchant discount rate (MDR) applicable on digital payments via debit cards, etc., up to Rs2,000.

The MDR applicable on transactions made through debit cards, the unified payments interface (UPI) and Aadhaar-enabled payments system (AEPS) up to and including a value of Rs2,000 will be borne by the government for a period of two years with effect from January 01,2018, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, information technology and law minister, while announcing the cabinet decision.

 For merchants whose annual turnover exceeds Rs20 lakh, MDR has been capped at 0.9% for swipe machine-based transactions and 0.8% for QR code-based sales, subject to a maximum of Rs1,000 per transaction.

MDR is the charge paid by a merchant to a bank for accepting payment from customers via credit or debit cards. It is expressed as a percentage of the transaction amount.

It is estimated that the MDR to be reimbursed to banks in respect of transactions less than Rs2,000 in value will be Rs1,050 crore in FY 2018-19 and Rs1,462 crore in FY 2019-20, a government statement said.

“As a result of this approval, for all transactions less than Rs2,000 in value, the consumer and the merchant will not suffer any additional burden in the form of MDR, thereby leading to greater adoption of digital payment modes for such transactions,” the statement added.

India has largest diaspora population in world

Chennai 2 Singapore - Tamil Film

Cast -Gokul Anand,Rajesh Balachandran,Anju Kurien,Shiv Kesav,Emcee Jesz
Directed by Abbas Akbar

Produced by - collaboration between the Tamil and Singaporean film industries

Music Composed by Ghibran

Cinematography by Karthick Nallamuthu
scheduled to be released on  Friday Dec 15,2017 - Tamil Film

Cast -Nakul and Ashna Zaveri play the lead roles

Directed by P S Vijayakumar
Produced by
Music Composed by
Cinematography by
scheduled to be released on  Friday Dec 15,2017

Aruvi - Tamil Film

Cast - Aditi Balan,Lakshmi Gopalswamy,Shwetha Shekar
Directed by Arun Prabhu Purushothaman

Produced by Dream Warrior Pictures

Music Composed by Bindhu Malini and Vedanth Bharadwaj

Cinematography by Shelley Calist
scheduled to be released on  Friday Dec 15,2017