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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Infosys announces buyback worth Rs 13,000 cr at price of Rs 1,150 per share

The board of India’s second-largest IT company Infosys on Saturday Aug 19,2017 approved buyback worth Rs 13,000 crore, at a premium of 19.08% and 18.70% over the weighted average market price on BSE and NSE respectively.

The board, in its first meeting after the resignation of its CEO and MD Vishal Sikka, approved the buyback offer. This is said to be the first-ever share buyback offer in its 36-year history. 

The company will purchase 11,30,43,478 equity shares at the rate of Rs 1,150 per share. The company is offering a premium of 19.08% and 18.70% over the weighted average market price over past three months on BSE and NSE respectively.

“The buyback offer size is 20.51% of the total paid-up equity capital and free reserves of the company, as per the latest audited balance sheet,” company said in a filing to BSE.

Kerala’s elephant population goes up

Preliminary results from the All India Synchronised Elephant Population Estimation released by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on August 12 peg Kerala's elephant numbers at 3,054, the third highest among the 23 States where elephants are found. Of the four elephant reserves in Kerala, the Anamudi elephant reserve has the highest elephant density at 0.41 elephants per sq km.
According to the seventh elephant census (which lists elephant numbers based on direct sighting-based counts between 17 and 19 May this year), elephants were found to occur in 37 forest divisions in the State, and distributed across 9,670 sq km. While the Wayanad and Nilambur elephant reserves have a density of 0.25 elephants per sq km, the Periyar elephant reserve supports 0.31 elephants per sq km.
Elephant population densities (the number of individuals within a given area) are crucial baseline data that are necessary to study the dynamics of elephant populations in the wild.
While the State's current elephant population of 3,054 is a significant decrease from the census estimates in 2012 (which estimated the then elephant population to be 6,117), parallels cannot be drawn between both numbers because the estimation methodologies are different, cautions the report.

‘Dung count’ method

In 2012, elephant population estimates were based on the indirect 'dung count' method, which estimates pachyderm numbers based on elephant dung density and its distance from transects (straight lines up to 2 km along which data collectors walk), in a elephant habitat.
The rate at which dung decomposes and the frequency with which elephants defecate are factored into this data.
However, the direct 'sample block count' method in 2012 listed only 2,735 elephants in the State.
In the second method used to estimate wild elephant populations, volunteers locate elephant herds in blocks (areas between 4 and 7 sq km) and count the number of individuals, which is later used to derive elephant densities and the number.
“This is definitely comparable, and shows that the numbers of elephants has increased slightly in Kerala,” says Raman Sukumar, professor at the Indian Institute of Sciences and Director of the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation, who led the team that conducted the analysis.
However, a much better picture will emerge in three months when the results from the indirect count are examined, says Sukumar. “Overall, the report is a reasonably good first cut,” he adds.
The current census lists the total number of elephants in India at 27,312. Karnataka has the highest number of elephants at 6,049, followed by Assam (5,719).
The southern region, which includes Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, has the highest number of elephants (11,960) among the four regions in India

Why antibiotics are a bane for India ?

Overuse, misconceptions and large population that is susceptible to infections because of other diseases – India has a lot at stake when to comes to the use of antibiotics.

Madonna shares first family portrait with her six kids

Singer Madonna has for the first time ever shared her family photo featuring all six of her children from her 59th birthday party.
She celebrated her 59th birthday with a gypsy-themed party in Lecce, Italy, on Thursday, and was showered with love from sons Rocco, 17, and David, 11, as well as daughters Lourdes, 20, Mercy James, 11, and twins Estere and Stella, 4, reports
The singer wore a corseted costume while her girls wore matching Dolce and Gabbana hydrangea-print ensembles. Madonna adopted the twins from Malawi in February, which she announced in an Instagram post.

State Funeral For 'Pakistan's Mother Teresa' Saturday August 19,2017

Pakistani soldiers on Saturday August 19,2017 carried the flag-draped coffin of German-born Catholic nun Ruth Pfau to a state funeral where she was honoured after devoting her life to eradicating leprosy in the country

Widely known as Pakistan's Mother Teresa, Pfau died last week in the southern city of Karachi at age 87. She is to be buried in her adopted homeland.

Mourners paid their last respects as Pfau's coffin was carried to the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre that she founded before being taken on to St. Patrick's Cathedral for the official service.

Pfau had been living in Pakistan since 1960, and her leprosy centre in Karachi was Pakistan's first hospital dedicated to treating the disease. She later opened treatment centres across the country.

"It is a big loss to this hospital and to humanity. It is very hard to find a person like her in today's era," said Yasmeen Morris, a staff member at the centre.

"She led a very simple life and she loved humanity."

In 1996, the World Health Organisation declared that leprosy had been controlled in Pakistan, which led Pfau to the more challenging task of eliminating the disease.

Last year, the number of patients under treatment for leprosy fell to 531 from over 19,000 in the 1980s.

About 'Pakistan's Mother Teresa' Ruth Katharina Martha Pfau

Born in Leipzig, Germany, in 1929, she went to France to study medicine and later joined the Society of Daughters of the Heart of Mary. Archbishop Coutts said she arrived in Karachi in 1960 due to some visa problems en route to India and was touched by what she saw at the leprosy colony off Macleod Road in Karachi. She decided to join the work Mexican Sr. Bernice Vargasi had begun three year earlier, Archbishop Coutts said.
In 1962 Sr. Ruth founded the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre in Karachi, Pakistan’s first hospital dedicated to treating Hansen’s disease, and later set up its branches in all provinces of Pakistan. She spent the rest of her life in the country and was granted Pakistani citizenship.

2017 India Tour of Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka Vs India First ODI @ Dambulla Sunday August 20,2017

The Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium hasn't been a happy hunting ground for the Men in Blue, though.
They have played 17 ODIs here, stretching back to 2004, and won nine of those matches, including bilateral and triangular series (in 2005 and 2010 involving West Indies and New Zealand respectively), and two Asia Cups in 2004 and 2010.
Head-to-head against Sri Lanka, they have played 11 ODIs at this venue but only managed to win four of them. Perhaps the most important marker in India's history at Dambulla was their game here in August 2008, when Virat Kohli made his international debut.
He returns here now, not only as a premier batsman in world cricket but also as the Indian skipper.
Having led his side to a comprehensive Test series win, back in 2015 and again this year, it is perhaps an indicator of the shift in balance between the two neighbours.
For Sri Lanka, meanwhile, this series is more than just a matter of saving face after their heavy losses in the Test series.
The hosts need two more ODI wins to confirm their spot in the 2019 ODI World Cup by way of automatic qualification.
If they do manage this feat against India in the upcoming series, they will move to 90 points and then West Indies will not be able to overtake them even if they win all the six ODIs against Ireland and England (taking their points from 78 to 88 at best) before the September 30 deadline
It is easier said than done, of course. India blanked Sri Lanka 5-0 the last time these two sides played a bilateral ODI series, back in November 2015 (in India).
The hosts also lost 3-2 to Zimbabwe at home before the Indian tour, a defeat that prompted Angelo Mathews to quit captaincy.
As such, new skipper Upul Tharanga will have his task cut out ahead of a major challenge.
But he will be buoyed by the fact that this inexperienced Lankan side did manage to upset the Indian applecart in their last ODI meeting at the Oval in the Champions Trophy. 
India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (c), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando

MS Dhoni Gears Up For 1st ODI In Dambulla

Mahendra Singh Dhoni joined the India One-Day Internationals (ODIs) team on August 18 for a five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka which starts on August 20 at Dambulla. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have been uploading a series of tweets where the visitors can be seen training hard for the series. In a newly uploaded BCCI video on Twitter, MS Dhoni is seen all padded up and practicing hard. The video is captioned as, "The cut, leave, drive, slog, upper cut, pull - @msdhoni batting session #SLvIND."
The BCCI, on Friday, tweeted out photos of the Indian team playing football to warm-up before the training session and wrote," It was @imVkohli vs @msdhoni vs @klrahul11 at the football today. #SLvIND."
After outclassing Sri Lanka, 3-0, in the three-match Test series, the Men in Blue with their explosive batting line-up with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Dhoni and Hardik Pandya are ready for another series victory and will be looking to capitalise on the weak Lankan bowling attack
On the other hand, Sri Lanka will be looking for redemption in the ODIs under their new captain Upul Tharanga after Angelo Mathews stepped down from the post after a historic series defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe.
"Sri Lanka have always been stronger in the white-ball format, and I am confident that we will come out strong and beat India," Tharanga sai

2017 Cincinnati Open - Simona Halep beat Johanna Konta Friday Aug 18,2017

Johanna Konta is out of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati after losing her quarter-final against second seed Simona Halep 6-4 7-6 (7/1) on Friday Aug 18,2017

The Brit looked in enviable form coming into the tie, having beaten Dominika Cibulkova in the last round.

Meanwhile Halep, the world No 2, had not dropped a set in her opening two matches, making the quarter-final clash highly anticipated.

Seventh seed Konta, who beat Halep in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in July, did not go quietly, saving a series of match points and keeping Halep on court for almost two hours.

Konta, who had not lost to the Romanian in three previous meetings, saved two match points when trailing 5-3, and was down 40-0 down at 6-5 before battling back to win the game.

But Halep regrouped and romped through the tiebreaker to set up a semi-final against Sloane Stephens

Nitish Kumar's JD(U) Passes Resolution to Join NDA, No Action Against Sharad Yadav Yet Saturday Aug 19,2017

The Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) on Saturday August 19,2017 passed a resolution to formally join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), but refrained from taking action against former party chief Sharad Yadav who has spoken out against the decision to ally with the BJP.

"A resolution that the JD(U) will join the BJP-led NDA was unanimously approved in the meeting," a senior party leader said. According to the leader, party general secretary KC Tyagi moved the resolution, which was approved by all invited members.

"KC Tyagi will announce it formally at a press meet after the meeting is over," the party leader said.

The resolution was passed at the party’s National Executive Committee meeting at the chief minister’s residence. Most of the JD(U) leaders, including 70 party MLAs, two Lok Sabha MPs and seven Rajya Sabha MPs also participated. 

Sharad Yadav held a rival meeting of his supporters at the SK Memorial Hall, further fuelling speculation that the JD(U) is heading for a vertical split. 

It was speculated earlier that the Nitish camp would take disciplinary action against Sharad Yadav who has accused the CM of “betraying the people’s mandate” by joining hands with the BJP.

The party will now keep a watch on an August 27 rally organised by RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav against the BJP.

Nitish had resigned as chief minister and broken ties with a Grand Alliance that included the Congress and the RJD over corruption charges against Lalu and his family, including his son and then deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav.

He returned as CM the next day, this time in alliance with the BJP.

Friday, August 18, 2017

2017-18 La Liga - New Blow For Barcelona As Luis Suarez Ruled Out For A Month

Troubled Barcelona were dealt a new blow ahead of the start of the Spanish league season when Luis Suarez was ruled out for a month with a knee injury on Thursday. The Uruguayan striker suffered the injury in the second half of Wednesday Aug 16,2017 2-0 defeat away to Real Madrid in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup, although he played on to the end as Barcelona lost 5-1 on aggregate.
"Luis Suarez will be out of action for around four weeks. Tests carried out on Thursday morning confirm that the Uruguayan has a distension in the posterior articular capsule in his right knee picked up in the second half of the Clasico on Wednesday in the Santiago Bernabeu," said Barcelona in a statement in English published on their website.
The news means Suarez will miss Barcelona's first three games of the season in La Liga, at home to Betis on Sunday, away to Alaves on August 26 and at home to Espanyol on September 9.
He will also miss Uruguay's World Cup qualifying ties against Argentina on August 31 and Paraguay on September 5 and is likely to sit out his club's first Champions League group game on September 12 or 13.
Barcelona also revealed that defender Gerard Pique is a doubt for the meeting with Betis due to a groin strain, meaning further bad news for the Spanish giants whose summer has been overshadowed by the sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

Vladimir Putin Appoints Nikolay Kudashev As Russia's New Envoy To India

Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday August 18,2017 appointed career diplomat Nikolay Kudashev as Russia's new ambassador to India, the country's embassy said.

Mr Kudashev, a specialist in South East Asia, is currently the Deputy Director General Secretariat of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Russia.

"President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin by the executive order appointed Nikolay Kudashev as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India," the Russian Embassy said in a statement.

The appointment of Mr Kudashev comes nearly seven months after the death of Russia's previous ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin.

Mr Kadakin, a fluent Hindi-speaking career diplomat considered a great friend of India, passed away on January 26 at a hospital after a brief illness. He was 67.

Mr Kudashev was the Russian Ambassador to Micronesia and the Marshall Islands in 2014-2015.

Good news for mobile phone users, call drop rules tightened by TRAI

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Friday Aug 18,2017 made its quality of service norms relating to call drops more stringent by changing the measurement criteria — moving from the circle level to the tower level — and steeply increased the penalty for breaching the benchmark from Rs 1 lakh per violation to a maximum of Rs 5 lakh. The penalty can even go up to Rs 10 lakh if operators fail to meet the benchmark for three consecutive quarters. 

“We have proposed financial disincentive in the range of Rs 1-5 lakh. It is a graded penalty system depending on the performance of a network,” Trai chairman RS Sharma said. 

According to Trai secretary (acting) SK Gupta, if an operator fails to meet the call drop benchmark in a consecutive quarter, the penalty amount will be hiked 1.5 times and in the third consecutive month it will be doubled.

 “However, there is cap of `10 lakh on financial disincentive,” Gupta said. 

Unlike the previous regulation which allowed call drops up to 2% on average in a circle, the new methodology has introduced a drop call rate (DCR) spatial distribution measure, which means that call drop rate should not exceed 2% for 90% of the telecom towers of an operator in a circle for at least 90% of the days. 

This means call drops will not be measured on the basis of circle but that of towers.

Similarly, the DCR temporal distribution measure stipulates that in the worst case or during busy hours, call drop rate must not exceed the 3% benchmark for 97% of the towers in a telecom circle for 90% of the days. 

“We have added a temporal (time-based) and a spatial (geography-based) calculation for call drops.
 This will be done on a percentile basis.
 Averages many times hide many things. This new method will help in providing good services to even areas which suffered even though the overall call drop level was within the stipulated level,” Sharma said
The calculations will be made on a quarterly basis. These new regulations will be applicable from October 1, 2017, which means that the October-December period will be the first quarter when this system will come into effect. Industry body Cellular Operators’ Association of India’s (COAI) director general Rajan S Mathews said that the amendment has made the benchmarks more stringent with a shift in methodology towards a cell-wise measurement.
“Quality of service available from a network is dependent on a number of extraneous factors which may not only be environmental. These include factors such as number of users accessing the network at that time; the area covered by the BTS (base transceiver station); whether the customer is indoors or outdoors, application being used by the customer; peak/off-peak time; kind of device or hardware being used; additional external interference as well as the quantum of spectrum available. All of these are dynamic in nature and the slightest variations in these parameters can cause major changes in the QoS,” he added.
Mathews added that issues such as right-of-way and misinformation regarding EMF emission are also major problems preventing telecom operators from accessing crucial sites for setting up telecom towers. “As there are a lot of technicalities involved in call drops, if and when they occur they do in pockets; therefore, a collaborative approach is the most conducive one for resolving this challenge, which the industry has been grappling with on an everyday basis, despite additional investments and constant enhancement of infrastructure,” Mathews said.

2017 Cincinnati Masters - Australia's Nick Kyrgios beat Rafael Nadal(Spain)and enters the SF's

Australia's Nick Kyrgios pulled off a stunner to upset incoming World No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-2 7-5 in the round of 32 of the Cincinnati Masters on Saturday 
Rafael Nadal took hold of the numero uno spot in the ATP World Rankings after Roger Federer had announced his withdrawal from the Western and Southern Open owing to back injury which he incurred during the Montreal Open final. With Andy Murray already recovering from a hip injury, the Spaniard was guaranteed of the top spot for the first time since 2014.
However, the Aussie youngster set an upset over the 31-year-old ergo scripting his 100th victory at ATP Tour. Courtesy to an astounding double break, Nick had taken a 4-0 lead in the first set, a sure sign that he is back to form. Nadal did pull off a fightback in the second set roaring with a 2-1 start. But Nick shifted back the momentum on him cheeky volleys and ravishing groudstrokes. For a moment hope returned for the Spaniard as he drew it at 5-5 breaking the Canberran for the first time in the match, but the Aussie didn't hold things back as he finished things off for Nadal at 7-5 in the second set
For Nadal, this was his third straight upset after his La Decima at Roland Garros, barring him each time to even head into the semis. He had lost to Giles Muller in a pulsating five-setter in the round of 16 of Wimbledon 2017, then came a shock in Montreal quarters when 18-year-old Dennis Shapovalov scripted his first upset in the highway to US Open. And now Kyrgios.
Kyrgios, ergo stormed into his very first Cincinnati Masters semifinals and will now face another Spaniard, David Ferrer

Reserve Bank of India(RBI) will shortly issue new Rs 50 denomination banknotes

The Reserve Bank of India(RBI)will shortly issue new Rs 50 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, bearing signature of RBI Governor Urjit R Patel.
"The new denomination has motif of Hampi with Chariot on the reverse, depicting the country’s cultural heritage. The base colour of the note is Fluorescent Blue. The note has other designs, geometric patterns aligning with the overall colour scheme, both at the obverse and reverse," RBI said in a statement on Friday August 18,2017

Asus Zenfone Zoom S With 12X Digital Zoom Unveiled at Rs 26,999

Asus has announced ZenFone Zoom S, which it claims to be the world’s slimmest and lightest 5.5-inch smartphone. 

The announcement by the Taiwanese tech giant comes as a mark of celebration of the World Photography Day. 

Asus has embedded a 2.3X Optical and 12X Digital Zoom in the Dual Camera setup of the smartphone. 

The ZenFone Zoom S is priced at Rs 26,999 and will be available exclusively on Flipkart.

ZenFone Zoom S’ dual-camera system consists of two cameras: 

The main camera with a f/1.7-aperture, 25mm wide-angle main lens paired to a 12-megapixel SONY IMX362 sensor with 1.4┬Ám pixels (1/2.55in sensor size); and a dedicated 59mm, 12-megapixel zoom camera with a 2.3X true optical zoom and 12X of total zoom. Supportive camera technology includes SuperPixel camera for light sensitivity, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), 4K video recording capability at 30fps, Dual Pixel PDAF, Laser AF and more.

As for its specifications, the Zenfone Zoom S sports a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 X 1080) AMOLED display with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.

 It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 14nm processor and carries a 4GB RAM along with 64GB of internal storage, which is further expandable up to a whopping 2TBG. 

The Zenfone Zoom S is powered by a 5,000 mAh battery that supports reverse-charging, meaning, it can be used to charge other devices as well. 

The device runs the Android 7.0 Nougat OS out-of-the-box. 

The Asus smartphone sports a full metal body with a fingerprint sensor at the back. 

It is 7.9 mm thin and weighs 170-grams. 

The Zenfone Zoom S will be available in two colours - Navy Black & Glacier Silver.

2017 US Open - Australian Samantha Stosur Withdraws from U.S. Open With Injured Hand

Former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia has withdrawn from the tournament with an injured right hand, organisers said on Friday Aug 18,2017

The 33-year-old world number 43 has not competed since her fourth round loss at the French Open to Latvia's eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko in June.

Stosur, who won her lone grand slam title at the 2011 U.S. Open when she upset Serena Williams in straight sets, suffered the stress fracture in her hand during a third round clash with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands at Roland Garros.

Stosur's withdrawal has opened up a place for Germany's Annika Beck in the main draw at the year's final grand slam, to be played from Aug. 28-Sept. 10 in New York


Samantha Stosur is Australia’s first female grand slam singles champion in 31 years after pulling off a stunning upset over a ranting Serena Williams in the 2011 US Open final.

Stosur produced the match of her life against 13-times grand slam champion Williams and won 6-2 6-3 in one hour and 13 minutes in front of 23,000 people on Arthur Ashe Stadium

The result made her Australia’s first grand slam champion since Evonne Goolagong Cawley secured her second Wimbledon title in 1980.

It was the first time the nation had claimed the women’s singles crown at the tournament since Margaret Court Smith in 1973.

2017-18 France Ligue 1 - Juventus Sign French Midfielder Matuidi from PSG Friday August 18,2017

Juventus have signed France midfielder Blaise Matuidi from Paris St Germain on a three-year deal, the Italian champions announced on Friday August 18,2017

The 30-year-old arrived in Turin earlier this week for a two-day medical and was confirmed as a Juventus player on the Serie A club's website (

Matuidi, who has 58 caps, has joined Massimiliano Allegri's Juve side for 20 million euros ($23.48 million), which may rise by up to 10.5 million based on appearances.

The midfielder played 295 times for PSG, scoring 33 goals, after joining from Ligue 1 rivals Saint-Etienne in 2011.

"I'm delighted. I feel really proud to be able to wear this shirt. I'm honoured to wear the Juventus colours," Matuidi said on the club's official Twitter page (@juventusfcen).

"I can't wait to meet my new team mates, get onto the field and start the season with my new team."