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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Superstar Rajinikanth’s ''Kaala'' Slated for release on April 27,2018

''Kaala ''  directed by Pa Ranjith is the director’s second collaboration with Rajinikanth after Kabali.

The film is about the life of a underworld slumlord hailing from Tamil Nadu and settled in Dharavi

The film also stars Pankaj Tripathi, Anjali Patil, Huma Qureshi and Samuthirakani in pivotal roles.

 The film will also be dubbed and released in Telugu.

 Some rumours hint that the project might also be released in Hindi as it has dialogues in Hindi, since Marathi as it’s predominantly shot in Mumbai.

2017-18 Premier League Thursday March 01,2018

Arsenal Vs Manchester City

Match Facts

  • Manchester City have won only one of their last 32 top-flight away matches against Arsenal (D11, L20).
  • Pep Guardiola's side could do the league double over Arsenal for the first time since 1975-76.
  • They could become the first team to beat Arsenal three times in the same season since Chelsea in 2005-06.
  • Arsenal have won just twice in their last seven Premier League fixtures (D2, L3).
  • The Gunners have won only one of their eight league games this season against the other teams in the top six of the table (D3, L4).
  • Only the two Manchester clubs have earned more points at home than Arsenal's total of 32 this season.
  • They have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine Premier League matches - they last went 10 without a shutout back in February 2002.
  • Petr Cech is one short of becoming the first goalkeeper to keep 200 Premier League clean sheets.
  • Mesut Ozil has provided 49 assists in 138 Premier League appearances. If he adds to that tally in this game he will set a competition record for the fewest games taken to reach 50 assists.
Manchester City
  • Manchester City have lost just one of their last 35 Premier League games, winning 29 and drawing five.
  • City could remain winless in four consecutive Premier League away fixtures for the first time since a run of six in a row under Manuel Pellegrini from September to December 2015.
  • City's tally of 72 points from 27 games is the most by an English top-flight side at this stage of the season. If they win this game, it will match Arsenal's 75-point tally from the end of last season.
  • Sergio Aguero has scored in each of his last five appearances against Arsenal in all competitions - he has never scored in six games in a row against a single opponent for City.
  • Aguero's next goal will be his 200th for the club in all competitions.
  • Kevin De Bruyne has two goals and two assists in his last four Premier League games against Arsenal. He has provided 14 Premier League assists this season, but only two of those have come in away fixtures
Manchester City beat Arsenal 3-0

Manchester City are "close" to winning the Premier League title after comprehensively beating Arsenal for the second time in five days, says manager Pep Guardiola.

Goals from Bernardo Silva(15)David Silva(28) and Leroy Sane(33) at Emirates Stadium extended City's lead at the top of the table to 16 points

Manchester City's victory - in Guardiola's 100th game at the club - extended their lead over second-placed Manchester United, while Arsenal stay sixth, 10 points off the top four.

Guardiola has now won 69 of his 100 games in charge of City and the first-half performance was one of the best he has overseen, although he denied it afterwards.

The football was spectacular but they also showcased their clinical finishing and have scored nine goals from just 13 shots on target against Arsenal this season.

Guardiola has won one trophy this season, has all but sealed another and will also be eyeing the club's first Champions League title.

Interestingly the Spaniard's record after 100 games in Manchester is actually worse than his starts in previous jobs with Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

City have fewer wins, more defeats, have scored fewer goals and have conceded more than Guardiola's sides in Germany and Spain.

Guardiola's record after 100 games

BarcelonaBayern MunichManchester City
Goals scored242265236
Goals conceded766992

  • Arsenal suffered their joint-heaviest home Premier League defeat, having also lost by three-goal margins to Coventry (1993), Middlesbrough (2001) and Chelsea (twice in 2009).
  • Manchester City have now scored more Premier League goals this season (82) than they scored in the entirety of last season (80).
  • This was Manchester City's biggest away win at Arsenal in any competition since a 4-0 triumph in November 1912.
  • David Silva is only the third David to score on St David's Day in the Premier League, after David Dunn (Blackburn v Man City in 2003) and David Luiz (Chelsea v Man Utd in 2011).
  • This was the first time Arsenal conceded three goals in the first half of a home league game since March 1989 against Nottingham Forest.
  • Sergio Aguero has had a hand in 14 goals in his past nine Premier League starts (11 goals, three assists).
  • Man City have saved 11 of the past 19 penalties they have faced in all competitions (excluding penalty shootouts), with Ederson saving three of the five he has faced this season, including both in the Premier League (also against Crystal Palace).

Cricket Ireland announce plan to build new stadium in Dublin

Cricket Ireland has revealed plans to develop a new permanent stadium in west Dublin.

The board has voted to pursue the creation of a new national cricket stadium at the National Sports Campus.

Irish internationals have traditionally been staged at Malahide or Clontarf in Dublin, Stormont in Belfast or Bready in County Tyrone.

Multiple Nobel Prize Winners

World's Youngest Leaders

In Oct 2017 New Zealand’s newly-sworn in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern becomes the 12th world leader under 40

World Radio Day - February 13

World Radio Day is an observance day held annually on  February 13

It was proclaimed on 3 November 2011 by UNESCO's 36th General Conference after originally being proposed by the Kingdom of Spain

UNESCO's Executive Board recommended to the UNESCO 36th session of the General Conference that it proclaim a World Radio Day at its 36th session, and that this day be celebrated by UNESCO on 13 February, the anniversary of the day the United Nations established United Nations Radio in 1946

In December 2012, The General Assembly of the UN endorsed the proclamation of World Radio Day, thereby becoming a Day to be celebrated by all UN agencies, funds and programmes and their partners.

World Radio Day is about celebrating radio, why we love it and why we need it today more than ever.

A day to remember the unique power of radio to touch lives and bring people together across every corner of the globe

Why you shouldn't get into water after alcohol consumption?

Alcohol affects the cerebellum, the brain center for movement and balance.

In fact, no part of the brain is left unaffected. Studies show a deadly relation between consumption of alcohols and drugs and getting into water

Dont drink and dive 
Dont drink and dive2 (1) 
Dont drink and dive3

2018 Australia Tour of South Africa - First Test South Africa Vs England @ Kingsmead, Durban March 01 - 05,2018

4-Match Test Series Schedule

  • First Test @ Kingsmead, Durban March 01 - 05 ,2018
  • Second Test @ St George's Park, Port Elizabeth March 09 - 13,2018
  • Third Test @ Newlands, Cape Town March 22 - 26,2018
  • Fourth Test @New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg March 30 - April 03,2018

First Test Preview

In battles between Australia and South Africa, the visitors should start as favourites. The past three series in Australia have all been won by South Africa; Australia haven't lost a series in South Africa since 1970. 

When the home team last won a series between these two sides, it was Ricky Ponting's men in 2005-06, at the beginning of a world-record stretch of 16 consecutive Test wins
The last two times Australia and South Africa played series of more than three Tests, South Africa won them both - but they were in 1966-67 and 1970 respectively
Morne Morkel is six wickets from reaching the milestone of 300 in Tests and he would be the fifth South African to the mark, behind Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini and Allan Donald
South Africa enter this series ranked No. 2 in the world, with winning form behind them, and no shortage of class and experience. There's Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, both over the 8000-run mark in Tests; the soon-to-retire Morne Morkel with nearly 300 Test wickets; Dean Elgar, the leading opener in Test cricket in 2017; Kagiso Rabada, the top fast bowler in Tests last year. And that's without even mentioning du Plessis, Vernon Philander and Quinton de Kock, all of whom have previously troubled the Australians
For Australia ,its captain  Steven Smith is clearly the best batsman in Test cricket right now and David Warner has three centuries from his three previous Tests in South Africa. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are a pace attack of match-winning potential, and Cummins will relish a return to the country of his unforgettable Man-of-the-Match performance on Test Debut as an 18-year-old. And then of course, there is Nathan Lyon, Test cricket's leading wicket-taker in 2017

Day One Thursday March 01,2018

Australia won the toss and chose to bat first

At close of play Australia were 225/5  with Mitchell Marsh 32* and Tim Paine 21* at the crease when bad light ended play four overs before second new ball was due
Opener David Warner scored 51(79 Balls 4x6) ;Captain Steve Smith 56(114 Balls 4x11)and Shaun Marsh 40(96 Balls 4x6)

Captain SteveSmith made his fifth consecutive score of 50 or more as he continued the form he showed in the Ashes series against England in which he scored 687 runs at an average of 137.40.

Day Two Friday March 02,2018 

Resuming from 225/5 Australia were all out for 351

Mitchsell Marsh fell four short of what could have been his second Test hundred in consecutive innings as Australia were dismissed for 351 on the second day at Kingsmead

Mitchell Marsh scored 96(173 Balls 4x13 and 6x1)
Tim Paine 25(72 Balls 4x3)
Mitchell Starc 35(25 Balls 4x4 and 6x2) 

Keshav Maharaj finished the innings with a five-wicket haul -  5/123(33.4 Overs)
Kagiso Rabada finished with 2 /74 (25 Overs)

 The spin of Nathan Lyon and the reverse swing of Mitchell Starc sent South Africa crashing on the second day of the first Test against Australia at Kingsmead on Friday.

South Africa were bowled out for 162 in 51.4 Overs shortly before the close, giving Australia a lead of 189 runs on the first innings.

Lyon started the slide for the hosts and finished with 3/50( 16 Overs) before the tall left-armer Starc gave a magnificent display of fast, reverse swing bowling to take 5/34(10.4 Overs)

AB de Villiers played almost a lone hand for South Africa, making 71*(127 Balls 4x11)

2018 England Tour of New Zealand - Second ODI New Zealand Vs England @ Mount Maunganui Wednesday Feb 28,2018

5-Match ODI Schedule 

  • First ODI @ Hamilton Sunday Feb 25,2018
  • Second ODI@Mount Maunganui Wednesday Feb 28,2018
  • Third ODI @Wellington Saturday March 03,2018 
  • Fourth ODI @ Dunedin Wednesday March 07,2018
  • Fifth ODI @ Christchurch Saturday March 10,2018  

2-Match Test Schedule
  • First Test @Auckland March 22 -26,2018
  • Second Test @Christchurch March 30 - April 03,2018

5-Match ODI Series Results

First ODI @ Hamilton Sunday Feb 25,2018
England                  284/8 in 50 Overs
New Zealand          287/7  in 49.2 Overs
Match Result          New Zealand won by 3 wickets
MOM                      Ross Taylor(NZ) for his 113(116 Balls 4x12)
Series Result           New Zealand led the 5-match series 1-0

Second ODI@Mount Maunganui Wednesday Feb 28,2018
New Zealand  223/10 in 49.4 Overs
England          225/4 in 37.5 Overs
Match Result England won by 6 wickets
MOM             Ben Stokes(England)for his 2/42(8 Overs) and 63*74 Balls 4x7 and 6x1)
Series Result  5-Match ODI Series level at 1-1

England won the toss and chose to field

New Zealand  223/10 in 49.4 Overs
England          225/4 in 37.5 Overs
Match Result England won by 6 wickets
MOM             Ben Stokes(England)for his 2/42(8 Overs) and 63*74 Balls 4x7 and 6x1)
Series Result  5-Match ODI Series level at 1-1 

Ben Stoke's all-round performance in his second match back in the England fold to help level the ODI series. He helped seal a reasonably straightforward chase of 224 with a crisp 63 off 74 balls to follow two sharp run-outs, as part of an outstanding fielding display, and a brace of wickets.

This was a victory set up in the field, by the fielding. Four run outs, equalling England's most in an innings, and three fine catches keeping the pressure on New Zealand throughout.

New Zealand were without their captain, Kane Williamson, due to a hamstring injury  and in his absence Tim Southee captained NZ

Opener Martin Guptill scored 5087 Balls 4x7) - 34th ODI Fifty 
Mitchell Santner scored 63*(52 Balls 4x6 and 6x1) - maiden ODI fifty

NZ had slumped to 108 for six after 30 overs, despite Martin Guptill scoring 50, his 34th ODI half century.

2018 England Tour of New Zealand - First ODI New Zealand Vs England @Hamilton Sunday Feb 25,2018

5-Match ODI Schedule 

  • First ODI @ Hamilton Sunday Feb 25,2018
  • Second ODI@Mount Maunganui Wednesday Feb 28,2018
  • Third ODI @Wellington Saturday March 03,2018 
  • Fourth ODI @ Dunedin Wednesday March 07,2018
  • Fifth ODI @ Christchurch Saturday March 10,2018  

2-Match Test Schedule
  • First Test @Auckland March 22 -26,2018
  • Second Test @Christchurch March 30 - April 03,2018

New Zealand won the toss and chose to field

England                  284/8 in 50 Overs
New Zealand          287/7  in 49.2 Overs
Match Result          New Zealand won by 3 wickets
MOM                      Ross Taylor(NZ) for his 113(116 Balls 4x12)
Series Result           New Zealand led the 5-match series 1-0

New Zealand's Mitchell Santner was the hero of the day as he scored 45*(27 Balls 4x2 and 6x4)

Ben Stokes2/43(8 Overs) playing for England for the first time since September 24, 2017 was brought back for a second spell in the 38th over, with New Zealand strongly placed, needing 98 off 13 overs with two well-set batsmen, and revived his team when Latham pulled to mid-on and Colin de Grandhomme edged a slower ball behind. Between those scalps Henry Nicholls also departed and when Ross Taylor charged at Rashid, being stumped for superb 113, it appeared England would get home. New Zealand needed 41 off 25 balls with three wickets in hand.

Class 12 Exams Begins Today Thursday March 01,2018


State board students too are not a relaxed lot as they prepare for three consecutive years of board exams at Classes X, XI and XII. 
The Tamil Nadu Government introduced board exams for Class XI for the first time, it will start from March 07,2018
After the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system was scrapped last year, CBSE students from Class VI to Class X will for the first time in eight years write annual exams covering lessons taught throughout the year. Earlier, students would prepare for frequent tests and two main exams split with 50% of the syllabi. The new system has done away with the option of school-based exams for Class X students who now will have to prepare for the compulsory board exam.

Tamil Nadu attracts less than 1% of investments in India in the year 2017


Tamil Nadu received less than 1% of the ₹3.95 lakh crore investments attracted by various states across the country in the year 2017

 In what could be seen as a reflection of the prevailing political stalemate, it drew a mere ₹3,131 crore, or less than 1% (0.8%) of the total investments in the country, through 62 proposals last year.

While the share of investments attracted by Tamil Nadu has been on a downhill since 2015, it has been increasing in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Maharashtra, according to data compiled by Dept of Industrial Policy & Promotion  (DIPP), Union ministry of commerce & industry.

 The data shows India received 1,972 investment proposals worth ₹3.95 lakh crore across all states and Union Territories in 2017.

42 lakh bikes jam Chennai, 1 in 2 people has one


There has been a virtual explosion of two wheelers in Tamil Nadu, mainly Chennai, which is struggling to cope with the 42 lakh Bikes on its roads.

The city now has the third largest number of bikes in the country after New Delhi (67 lakh in March 2017) and Bengaluru (50 lakh in January 2018)

From 18 lakh in 2009, the bike population in Chennai — which is home to 85 lakh people — had jumped threefold in nine years.

Across Tamil Nadu, there has been a 25 % hike in the sales of two-wheelers this January compared to the same time period last year, show government records accessed by TOI. The registration of motorcycles, mopeds and scooters in regional transport offices (RTOs) across Tamil Nadu rose from 1.18 lakh in January 2017 to 1.5 lakh in January 2018, says data.

This figure is expected to increase further later this week as the Amma twowheeler subsidy scheme, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 24, gains ground. Nearly 9,500 bikes are set to be registered this week, say sources in the transport department.

While the increase in government bus fares, and the hike received by government employees under the Seventh Pay Commission are cited as reasons for the recent jump is two-wheeler sales, the subsidy scheme is thought to be the big attraction.

Increments raised sales of 2-wheeler

Under the scheme, the government provides 50 % of the the vehicle cost or ?25,000 for working women. Thousands of women who applied for the scheme booked vehicles in the hope that they might be among the lucky ones, said a senior transport department official.

Besides, many regular users of government buses, particularly those residing in Chennai’s suburbs, have shifted to bikes, seeing them as a more affordable mode of transport, said K Anbazhgan of Nethaji transport Union.

Ambattur resident R Swapna who made the switchover said that after the recent bus fare hike it cost at least100 everyday for her husband and herself to travel to their offices located in the city via MTC buses and get back home. “The travel cost comes down by as much as 40%-50 % when we use a twowheeler,” she said

The state government in January 2018 increased MTC fares by up to 67% and reduced services along key routes following to cut losses faced by the transport corporation

The exponential increase in thesalesof two-wheelers is also attributed to the rise in salaries of state government employees after the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations. Retired staff received a lump sum in arrears

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Becomes(MMSI) Fastest Manufacturer to Sell 3.5 Crore Two-wheelers in India

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India celebrates a historical milestone as the company’s four manufacturing plants in India have together crossed the 35 million two-wheeler mark in total.

 Honda is the only two-wheeler brand in India to reach this milestone and cross the 35-million-unit mark in just 17 years.

Honda 2Wheelers India started operations in 2001.

It took 11 years to achieve the initial 10 million units cumulative production in India (milestone achieved in 2012).

Honda added the next 25 million customers in just five and half years.

With this, Honda is now 35 million customers strong.

Rolling out the historic 35th million two-wheeler, an ‘Activa 4G’ from Honda’s second plant in Tapukara (Rajasthan), Mr. Minoru Kato – President & CEO, Honda 2Wheelers India said, “Thanks to great support from customers in both India and 68 countries across the world, Honda 2Wheelers India is celebrating our 35 millionth two-wheeler landmark today. Taking forward this love and trust, we at Honda are committed to provide quality products and experiences that make customers’ lives more enjoyable.”

Honda produced approximately 14.8 million units of motorcycles worldwide (from April to December 2017). Of this, Honda 2Wheelers India accounted for approximately 31% of the motorcycle production and reinforced its position as the biggest two-wheeler production hub for Honda globally.

Honda 2Wheelers made its entry in 2001 into the then dying segment of automatic scooters with its first offering for India – the Activa.

In 2004, Honda made its entry into the motorcycle segment with 150cc CB Unicorn and followed this with the launch of 125cc CB Shine (India’s largest selling 125cc motorcycle) in 2006.

Today, Honda is the only two-wheeler brand to offer a diversified portfolio, with as many as 24 two-wheeler models ranging from 110cc to 1800cc capacity

Drones Replaced Models at the Italian Fashion house Dolce & Gabbana's Milan Fashion Week Show Sunday Feb 25,2018

At the show’s start, bells chimed, the gates opened and drones flew out, carrying the brand’s handbags down the catwalk.

According to a report, audience members were asked to turn off the Wi-Fi on their phones before the show began, so as not to interfere with the drones.

The drones' appearance was accompanied by a Kendrick Lamar song - 'All The Stars' - while men and women wearing white lab coats walked alongside the aircraft with remote controls. 

What is Money Laundering? - All You Need To Know

What is Money Laundering?

Money laundering is a term used to describe a scheme in which criminals try to disguise the identity, original ownership, and destination of money that they have obtained through criminal conduct.

The laundering is done with the intention of making it seem that the proceeds have come from a legitimate source.

A simpler definition of money laundering would be a series of financial transactions that are intended to transform ill-gotten gains into legitimate money or other assets

Money laundering is accomplished in many ways, though most include three common steps, including
  1. Obtaining the money or introducing it into the financial system in some way
  2. Transferring or concealing the source of the money through complex or multiple transactions
  3. Returning the money back into the financial world so that it appears legitimate.
Large scale criminal groups may use complex money laundering techniques in order to avoid detection. However, smaller scale criminals or first time offenders often use simpler methods in their attempt avoid detection. Such money laundering techniques may include:
  • Transferring money from bank to bank or from account to account
  • Breaking up large amounts into smaller bank deposits
  • Purchasing money orders in smaller money amounts
  • Breaking the cash into small amounts 
There are many forms of money laundering though some are more common and profitable than others. Some of the more popular money laundering techniques include:
  • Bulk cash smuggling involves literally smuggling cash into another country for deposit into offshore banks or other type of financial institutions that honor client secrecy.
  • Structuring, also referred to as “smurfing,” is a method in which cash is broken down into smaller amount, which are then used to purchase money orders or other instruments to avoid detection or suspicion.
  • Trade-based laundering is similar to embezzlement in that invoices are altered to show a higher or lower amount in order to disguise the movement of money.
  • Cash-intensive business occurs when a business that legitimately deals with large amounts of cash uses its accounts to deposit money obtained from both everyday business proceeds and money obtained through illegal means. Businesses able to claim all of these proceeds as legitimate income include those that provide services rather than goods, such as strip clubs, car washes, parking buildings or lots, and other businesses with low variable costs.
  • Shell companies and trusts are used to disguise the true owner or agent of a large amount of money.
  • Bank capture refers to the use of a bank owned by money launderers or criminals, who then move funds through the bank without fear of investigation.
  • Real estate laundering occurs when someone purchases real estate with money obtained illegally, then sells the property. This makes it seem as if the profits are legitimate.
  • Casino laundering involves an individual going into a casino with illegally obtained money. The individual purchases chips with the cash, plays for a while, then cashes out the chips, and claims the money as gambling winnings
The Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) was formed in 1989 by a coalition of countries. This intergovernmental agency was designed to develop and promote international cooperation for combating money laundering. As of 2015, the FATF is comprised of 34 different countries, but the agency is always seeking to expand its membership to more regions. Headquartered in Paris, France, the FATF also works to combat the financing of terrorism.The FATF has developed recommendations to combat money laundering, and the agency has three functions in regards to this criminal activity:
  1. Monitoring the progress of member countries in their anti-money laundering measures
  2. Reviewing trends and techniques in money laundering, reporting these, as well as new countermeasures, to member countries
  3. Promoting FATF anti-money laundering measures and standards globally

 Prevention of Money Laundering Act(PMLA), 2002 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted by the NDA government to prevent Money Laundering and to provide for confiscation of property derived from money-laundering. PMLA and the Rules notified there under came into force with effect from July 1, 2005.

The Act and Rules notified there under impose obligation on banking companies, financial institutions and intermediaries to verify identity of clients, maintain records and furnish information in prescribed form to Financial Intelligence Unit - India  (FIU-IND).

The PMLA seeks to combat money laundering in India and has three main objectives:
  • To prevent and control money laundering
  • To confiscate and seize the property obtained from the laundered money; and
  • To deal with any other issue connected with money laundering in India.[

INX Media money laundering case - All you need to know

In 2008, as much as Rs 305 crore of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was made in INX Media Pvt Ltd (now called 9X Media Pvt Ltd) by three Mauritius-based companies.

The amount of FDI was a red flag to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which registered a case against INX Media for alleged irregularities in the transaction and violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act(FEMA)

The ED alleged that approval for the FDI was granted in 2007, when P Chidambaram was finance minister in the UPA 1 regime. INX allegedly violated the conditions of approval and to avoid legal action, entered into a criminal conspiracy with minister Chidambaram’s son Karti, the ED said. Based on information provided by the ED, the CBI filed an FIR against Karti in May 2017.

The FIR registered by the CBI suggests that the now disbanded Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) granted permission to INX Media on May 30, 2007, to bring in FDI of Rs 4.62 crore. However, INX Media flouted the conditional approval of the board and brought in over Rs 305 crore. CBI further alleged that Karti exercised influence over certain FIPB officials – owing to proximity to his father’s high office - and the department, and they extended undue favours to the media firm

Since filing the FIR, as many as 14 locations across the country were raided by the CBI. On February 16, Karti's chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman was arrested from a five-star hotel in Delhi by the ED which is also investigating a money laundering case against Karti. Last week, Karti moved the Supreme Court, seeking a stay on summons issued by the ED. The apex court denied the stay order. The ED had earlier summoned Karti on February 2, after which he informed them he would be unable to depose as he had an interlocutory application pending in the Supreme Court in this case.

2017-18 Deodhar Trophy March 04-08,2018 - Ravichandran Ashwin Named Captain of the India A Team

The 017–18 Deodhar Trophy will be the 45th editionwhich will be played between the winner of the Vijay Hazare Trophy and two other Teams selected by BCCI

This Year Karnataka won the Vijay Hazare Trophy

Tamil Nadu were the defending Champions of the Deodhar Trophy

Former world number one Test bowler Ravichandran Ashwin has been named the captain of the India A team for the upcoming Deodhar Trophy, which is scheduled to be played in Dharamsala from 4th March to 8th March 2018.

"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked the India A and India B squads for D B Deodhar Trophy 2018 to be held in Dharamsala. The two teams will compete against Karnataka, the winners of the Vijay Hazare Trophy," the BCCI said in a statement.

shwin will lead an illustrious India A side which possess a good mix of experienced and young stars like Mohammed Shami, Prithvi Shaw and Shubhman Gill. Indian Premier League sensations Krunal Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav and Basil Thampi are also there.

Ashwin was recently named as the captain of the Kings XI Punjab for the eleventh edition of the IPL as well, which starts on April 7.

"I see it as a natural progression for having played cricket for so long at the top level. I have always felt I had it in me (to be captain). WV Raman identified me as a captain when I was 21 years old. I ended up winning a few titles for TN. But for a bowler to become a captain, which is not something natural in the country, this is something fascinating,” Ashwin was quoted as saying by 'Times of India'.

Ashwin also felt that he has confidence in his tactics, and that would help in becoming a successful skipper.

"Being a bowler captain, I will be able to understand the bowlers and field changes. There are so many numbers and stats that can be crunched in T20s. I believe in a certain amount of preparation before a match. I also believe my tactical and strategic sharpness which might stand me in good stead. I think I have got enough experience inside the dressing room to be able to fall back on to with those decisions," he added.

India A Squad: R Ashwin (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, Unmukt Chand, Akshdeep Nath, Shubman Gill, Ricky Bhui, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Krunal Pandya, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Basil Thampi, Kulwant Khejroliya, Amandeep Khare, Rohit Rayudu

India B Squad: Shreyas Iyer (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Ankit Bawne, Manoj Tiwary, Siddhesh Lad, KS Bharat (WK), Jayant Yadav, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Umesh Yadav, Rajat Patidar

After 71 Transfers in 34 Years, Haryana IAS Officer Pradeep Kasni Retires Without 6 Months' Pay Wednesday Feb 28,2018

Known for his honesty, IAS officer Pradeep Kasni is retiring on Wednesday Feb 28,2018 after a career spanning 34 years and 71 transfers. Kasni has not received his salary in the past six months.

The bureaucrat used to serve as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in Haryana Land Use Board, however, according to government records, the post does not exist any longer. Thus, Kasni has been living without a salary for the past several months.

This was revealed only after an RTI application.

Kasni has appealed at the Central Administrative Tribunal, which will decide on the case on March 8.

At the time of joining the Land Use Board, Kasni had asked authorities at the state government about the absence of staff and official files in his office. Failing to get an answer, he filed an application and sought reply under the RTI Act. Now, the Haryana government has admitted that the Board has not been in existence since 2008.

The Land Use Board was first introduced under the Department of Environment and later moved under the Department of Agriculture.

The Department of Agriculture later sent a proposal to the Centre to shut down the Board, which was accepted.

Yet, the Haryana government transferred Kasni to the defunct Land Use Board as its OSD.

Kasni is now fighting a legal battle for his rights, which he says will continue even after his retirement.

The 1984-batch batch Haryana Civil Services officer started his career with the Government of Haryana in 1984 and was later elevated to the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), while his wife Neelam Kasni worked as ADC to the Haryana governor and retired last year.

Pradeep Kasni was transferred the maximum number of times under the Congress regime of Bhupinder Singh Hooda, while under the Khattar government, he was transferred thrice in September 2016.

His hopes of getting any important assignment were dashed after being posted as the Divisional Commissioner of Gurgaon.

Meanwhile, he has been active in fighting for social issues while his father Dharm Singh was a known leader of farmer and labour movements, who had led the agitation in Riwasa against then Haryana Chief Minister Bansilal.

As a teenager, Pradeep Kasni would help his father in churning out articles against then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in local newspapers.

Later in life the IAS officer organized public rallies in support of fellow IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who has a similar track record of numerous transfers

Indian cinema icon Sridevi cremated with state honours Wednesday Feb 28,2018

Indian cinema icon Sridevi cremated with state honours on Wednesday Feb 28,2018

Wrapped in tricolour, Bollywood actor Sridevi on Wednesday Feb 28,2018 began her final journey with thousands of mourners jostling with each other to catch a glimpse of her cortege as it slowly made its way through the city to the Vile Parle crematorium for her funeral.

The body of the 54-year-old, who died in Dubai on Saturday, was taken in a hearse that was covered with white flowers. Sridevi, Indian cinema’s first woman superstar, was given a gun salute at the Celebration Sports Club, minutes away from her home in Green Acres Lokhandwala where her body was kept before leaving for its last journey.

Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan becomes youngest captain in International cricket Tuesday Feb 27,2018

Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan on Tuesday Feb 27,2018 earned the distinction of being appointed as the youngest captain in international cricket.

The leggie was promoted to captaincy after regular skipper Asghar Stanikzai was diagnosed with appendicitis.

Rashid Khan will be leading the Afghan side for the group-stage matches of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers.

They will take on Scotland on March 4 in the campaign qualifier for the qualification to the World Cup 2019.

 Before Rashid Khan, the man to hold the title of the youngest captain in international cricket was Bangladesh’s Rajin Saleh who was 20 years and 297 days at that time.

The Afghan cricket board in its official statement said,”The doctors have advised that he ( Asghar Stanikzai) will be able to return to cricket in approximately 10 days. Current vice-captain Rashid Khan will lead the team in his absence.”

Rashid Khan was promoted to the number one spot in the ICC ODI bowler rankings last week. He is also the youngest player to hold the spot in the ICC men’s ranking. He was only 19 years and 152 days when topped the ICC Player Rankings for men, surpassing former Pakistani off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq record of 21 years and 13 days.

The 19-year-old leggie in 36 ODI has 86 wickets while in T20I he has taken 47 wickets in 29 matches. Khan was the amongst the most expensive players sold in the IPL. The leg-spinner was bought by IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 9 crore using the Right-to-match (RTM) card. In Indian Premier League, he has 17 wickets to his name in 14 matches.

Rashid Khan made his One-Day International debut for Afghanistan against Zimbabwe in October 2015 and rallied on to make his Twenty20 International debut against the same team later that month. Khan is an agile fielder and can also bat in times of need. His ability to clear big ropes in the slog overs is a crown to the jewel

2018 Bijepur Assembly bypolls in Odisha - BJD's Rita Sahu wins by a margin of 41933 votes Wednesday Feb 28,2018

Rita Sahu won the by-election by defeating her nearest BJP rival Ashok Panigrahi by a margin of 41,933 votes, an EC official said.

After 21 rounds of counting, Sahu polled 1,02,871 votes while BJP's Ashok Panigrahy was a distant second at 60,938 votes. Congress candidate Pranay Sahu was relegated to an also ran and secured 10,274 votes.

Hailing his party candidate Rita Sahu’s victory in Bijepur Assembly bypolls today, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the outcome of the polls would have an impact on the general elections in 2019

“Such an enormous victory with a margin of over 40,000 votes will have an impact on future elections,” Patnaik told

“Odisha is a peaceful state; the people will not stand for violence in a democracy,” he added. “I would like to express my deep gratitude to the people of Bijepur Assembly constituency for having showered their blessings on the BJD,” Patnaik said.

2018 Henley Passport Index - Singapore, Japan topple Germany as nations with most powerful passports

If you hold a passport of either Singapore or Japan, you sure are a lucky person as you will get to enjoy visa-free travel in 180 countries of the world.

 In the race for the world’s most powerful passports, Germany has been outperformed by two Asian nations – Japan and Singapore. As per Henley Passport Index of 2018, released on Wednesday Feb 28,2018 Germany has slipped to second spot with Japan and Singapore jointly grabbing the top rank.

The development comes after Uzbekistan lifted visa requirements for citizens of both countries earlier this month.

Notably, a person with German passport is allowed visa-free access by 179 nations.

The third spot is shared by seven countries together – France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and South Korea.

One holding the passport of these countries are allowed visa-free travel to 178 nations.

In an official release, Henley & Partners claimed that cross-border agreements on short-term travel have been far more frequent in the Asian and Middle East regions in comparison to their European and American counterparts in the recent months.

The United States ranked fifth with its passport holders getting visa-free access to 176 nations. Russia trailed far behind the US in the ranking standing on the 45th spot while China closely followed Russia securing the 47th spot. India was given the 81st spot.

The Indian passport holder gets a visa-free-access to 56 countries, as per the index. Ukraine (42) was found to be the biggest climber as the country scaled 16 spots.

As many as 118 countries allow visa-free-access to Ukranian passport holder.

Meanwhile, countries like Somalia (101), Pakistan (102), Syria (103), Iraq (104), and Afghanistan (105) were kept given the bottom five spots in the index.

Aircel applies for protection under bankruptcy code with National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Wednesday Feb 28,2018

Telecom service provider Aircel has filed for bankruptcy protection with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai, after its Malaysian promoter Maxis Communications decided against pumping additional funds into the company.

 Aircel was weighing various options, including venturing into 4G services through partnerships, but this entailed fresh fresh investments from promoters.

However, Aircel said that in a statement that filing of CIRP is not a proceeding for liquidation, rather is a process to find best possible resolution for the current situation.

The move follows a Joint Lenders’ Forum meeting held in Mumbai Wednesday Feb 28,2018, wherein the lenders sought moving NCLT for bankruptcy protection.

In a statement in New Delhi, Aircel said that intense competition following the disruptive entry of a new player, legal and regulatory challenges, high level of unsustainable debt and increased losses had together caused significant “negative business and reputational impact” on the company

“The Board of Directors of the Corporate Debtor today announced that they have filed an application under Section 10 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 for undertaking Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process(CIRP) for the respective companies: Aircel Cellular, Dishnet Wireless, Aircel Ltd,” the statement said.

Led by State Bank of India, the lenders, including China Development Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank, had earlier stated that Aircel will have to cease operations in case shareholders decline to infuse funds.

Maxis holds a 74 per cent stake in the company, while the remaining 26 per cent is held by Sindya Securities & Investments.

Amazon launches Prime Music service in India Wednesday Feb 28,2018

US online retail giant Amazon has launched its Prime Music subscription service in India as it pushes to capture a larger chunk of the fast-growing content streaming market in the country. The service will be available to customers who subscribe to its Prime programme in India at no additional cost and can be accessed via apps on Android, iOS, the web and on Amazon's Fire TV Stick and Echo devices. Customers of Amazon's Echo devices have got a taste of Prime Music since their launch here, but now it is being rolled out to everyone

Amazon will take on other streaming services such as Gaana, Wynk and even Apple Music in India. The service is paid owing to the annual Rs 999 subscription cost for Prime, but is being perceived as one of the most economical options considering it includes access to Prime Video as well as free expedited deliveries for products they buy on Amazon.

Amazon announced the launch of the service in a press release on Wednesday Feb 28,2018 , a few hours after it went live for users in the country. 

The app’s listing on the Play Store reads that the service will offer music across 12 languages - English, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Rajasthani.

Subhiksha promoter R Subramaniam arrested by ED in money-laundering case

Subhiksha Trading Services promoter R Subramaniam had been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in relation to a case of alleged cheating and remanded in Puzhal jail by the Metropolitan Magistrate

Enforcement Directorate(ED)officials have confirmed the development and said the case was filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). In 2015, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Tamil Nadu Police had arrested Subramanian, who had started Viswapriya Financial Services Pvt Ltd in 1991, for allegedly cheating depositors to the tune of around Rs 1.50 billion. Earlier, CBI had also been searching and enquiring the promoter after a complaint was filed by one of the public-sector banks for diverting funds

R Subramaniam,an alumnus of IIT and IIM and also a gold medalist, Subramaniam earlier had short stints at City Bank Mumbai and Enfield India. Subhiksha, a retail chain founded by Subramaniam in 1997, had decided to shut down operations in 2008 amid a cash crunch. The company also made a Rs 7.5-billion default to a consortium of banks, triggering a host of litigation. The retail chain also got into trouble with investors, including Azim Premji's PE arm, Zash Investment. The lenders and investors had moved various courts. Subhiksha had suspended operations in 2008 after running out of cash and closed around 1,600 stores.Subhiksha approached banks which had collectively lent it around Rs 750 crore, to restructure its debt, citing falling demand as a reason for its inability to follow the original repayment schedule. It became the first major retail chain to be referred to the corporate debt restructuring cell.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Indian and South African cricket teams donates about USD 8,500 for supply of bottled water and drilling of borewells for the residents of drought-stricken Cape Town,

Indian and South African cricket teams have donated about USD 8,500 for supply of bottled water and drilling of borewells for the residents of drought-stricken Cape Town, which is facing the worst water crisis.

Virat Kohli,the Indian Captain and his South African counterpart Faf du Plessis made the donation of 100,000 Rand to the Gift of the Givers Foundation at the third T20 International cricket match at the Newlands Stadium on Sunday Feb 25,2018

 The Gift of the Givers Foundation is the largest disaster relief organisation of the African continent.
Appreciating the move, Chairman of the Foundation, Imtiaz Sooliman said that the donation will be put to good use.
"The Gift of the Givers appreciates the support from the South African and Indian cricket teams towards our Western Cape drought initiative

2018 Madhya Pradesh Assmebly By Polls in Mungaoli and Kolaras - Congress Retains both the seats Wednesday Feb 28,2018

The Congress is leading in both the Mungaoli and Kolaras assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, as votes are counted in crucial by-elections, seen as a semi-final before assembly elections later this year.

Kolaras saw a voter turnout of 70 per cent; in Mungaoli it was 77 per cent. Votes are being counted at the Government ITI College in Kolaras and Government Nehru Degree College in Mungaoli.

The Congress held both seats, which were vacated by the death of its sitting legislators. The ruling BJP has gone flat out to try and wrest the seats away from the opposition party with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan leading an aggressive campaign

Both the seats fall under Mr Scindia's parliamentary constituency Guna and were earlier held by the Congress. The formal royal had claimed during the campaign that the contest was not between two parties but "between Shivraj Singh Chouhan and me".

The by-polls were necessitated due to the death of Congress MLAs Mahendra Singh Kalukheda (Mungaoli in Ashoknagar district) and Ram Singh Yadav (Kolaras in Shivpuri district). With the BJP recently losing all the three by-polls in Rajasthan, these elections were being closely observed and the neck-and-neck fight till the very end did not make it a dull affair.

At Mungaoli, BJP's Baaisaheb Yadav had taken an early lead over Congress candidate Brajendra Singh Yadav. However, the Congress candidate surged ahead from second round onwards and maintained the lead till the seventh round. The BJP candidate again caught up and left his opponent behind between rounds 12 and 15. In the last round, the Congress managed to gain a lead once again.

While the Congress candidate bagged 70,808 votes, the BJP nominee polled 68,684. Notably, the Congress had won the seat by a margin of 20,765 votes in the 2015 assembly election.

The fight was equally intense in Shivpuri's Kolaras, where Congress' Mahendra Singh Yadav had gained a lead since the first round but BJP's Devendra Jain kept bouncing back in the later stages. After around 13 hours of grueling counting, Yadav emerged victorious by over 8,000 votes

Elphinstone Bridge: The tragedy and how Mumbaikars demanded and got a new bridge

In September 2017, overcrowding on the foot-over bridge connecting Elphinstone Road and Parel stations in Mumbai caused a stampede in which several innocent commuters died.

What angered Mumbaikars was the fact that many earlier requests to augment the capacity of the foot-over bridge, and warnings of a stampede during peak hours in Mumbai's local train crush, were ignored.

Here’s what happened on the fateful day and how a new bridge was built in short notice by the Army.

Elphinstone Bridge Open To Public

Irina Shayk flaunts her phenomenal figure and enviably long legs for Intimissimi's latest lingerie campaign

Irina Shayk welcomed her first child less than a year ago

Yet Irina Shayk proved she'd had no trouble snapping back into shape and work as she posed up a storm for Intimissimi's latest lingerie campaign. 

 Yummy mummy! Irina Shayk proved she'd had no trouble snapping back into shape and work as she posed up a storm for Intimissimi's latest lingerie campaign

Flaunting her phenomenal figure in an array of scanty ensembles, the 32-year-old Russian model oozed glamour as she smouldered down the lens.

Legs eleven! The brunette bombshell looked incredible in silk negligee, with one lace-trimmed garment skimming over her lithe frame and showcasing her enviably lean legs

2018  Mexican Open - Rafael Nadal pulls out with leg injury

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of this week’s ATP Mexican Open in Acapulco after aggravating the leg injury that forced him out of the Australian Open last month.

The world number two, who was due to face fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez on Wednesday Feb 28,2018, said he felt a sharp pain during his final training session on Tuesday and decided not to compete on the advice of his medical team.

“Doctors have told me that it is impossible to play, regardless of whether it hurts,” said Nadal. “There is a significant risk of increasing the injury and I have no choice.

“I was well prepared to play and I had hopes of doing something important here.”

Rafael Nadal, who has not competed since retiring against Croatia’s Marin Cilic in Melbourne last month, was in Acapulco hoping to close the gap on world number one Roger Federer.

“I still don’t know what it is, because we don’t know. It seems it’s not as bad as what I had at the Australian Open,” the 31-year-old added.

“Now my main goal is to find out the extent of the injury.”

2018 Laureus World Sports Awards - US Olympic legend and Laureus Academy member Edwin Moses received the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award

US Olympic legend and Laureus Academy member Edwin Moses received the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition for his remarkable sporting career in which he won two Olympic gold medals and remained unbeaten for nine years, nine months and nine days in the 400 metres hurdles.

2018 Laureus World Sports Awards - Houston Texans defensive end J J Watt received the Laureus Sporting Inspiration Award

Houston Texans defensive end J J Watt received the Laureus Sporting Inspiration Award for his incredible fundraising efforts after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, where he raised more than USD 37 million to support relief efforts.

2018 Laureus World Sports Awards - Italy and Roma football legend Francesco Totti received the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award,

Italy and Roma football legend Francesco Totti received the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award, honoured for his inspirational 22-year one-man-club career with Roma and his 2006 World Cup success with Italy.

2018 Laureus World Sports Awards - Brazilian football team Chapecoense honoured with the Laureus Best Sporting Moment of the Year Award.

Brazilian football team Chapecoense, which was torn apart by a devastating plane crash but made a remarkable comeback six months later which inspired the sporting world, were honoured with the Laureus Best Sporting Moment of the Year Award.

2018 Laureus World Sports Awards - Roger Federer bags twin honours in Monaco, becomes most decorated Laureus Award winner

Roger Federer became the most decorated winner in the history of Laureus World Sports Awards after he won twin honours, his sixth, which includes the Sportsman and Comeback titles at the 18th edition of the prestigious awards ceremony

In the Sportsman of the Year category, Federer waved off tough competition from the likes of Rafael Nadal and Cristiano Ronaldo to bag the honours.

The Swiss tennis star, who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year, also clinched the Comeback of the Year award following his achievements after making a comeback from a serious knee injury.

While Federer bagged the title in the men’s category, American tennis great Serena Williams won the Sportswoman of the Year Award following her Australian Open success, her 23rd Grand Slam title.

Serena, who gave birth to her first child last year, is now the most decorated female Laureus Award winner with five Laureus statuettes.

Speaking after receiving the awards, an ecstatic Federer said, “This is a very special moment for me. Everyone knows how highly I value my Laureus Awards, so to win another would have been wonderful, but to win two is a truly unique honour. It was so unexpected. I am delighted and I would like to thank the Laureus Academy for all their support.

“It was an unforgettable year for me, to come back after a very difficult 2016, and these awards just make it even more memorable. When I won my first Laureus Award back in 2005, if you had said I would have ended up winning six I would not have believed you. It’s been an amazing ride.”

Attended by sports stars, celebrities and business leaders from around the world, the awards recognised sporting achievement in the 2017 calendar year and were hosted by Hollywood superstar Benedict Cumberbatch, while world-renowned singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé performed for guests.

Jyothika to reprise Vidya Balan’s role in Tumhari Sulu Tamil remake

Jyothika, who is currently basking in the success of Naachiyaar, will be next seen in the Tamil remake of Hindi film Tumhari Sulu. She will reprise the titular role originally played by Vidya Balan

Actor Suriya on Wednesday Feb 28,2018 took to Twitter to make the announcement about his star wife’s next film. “Happy to announce that Director #RadhaMohan and Jo are working together again after #Mozhi Hoping to see the magic repeat. All the best to the entire Team and Producer @dhananjayang sir @BOFTAindia congratulations!,” he posted.

The filmmakers have roped in cinematographer Mahesh Muthuswami and editor Praveen KL for the project, while the details of the remaining cast and crew are yet to be revealed.

Tumhari Sulu falls in the expertise of Radha Mohan, who has a track record of making successful feel-good movies that mostly explores changing dynamics in relationships. In the past, Radha had given a musical hit called Mozhi, which became the most memorable film in Jyothika’s career.
Tumhari Sulu follows the life of an ambitious housewife, who aspires to break out of her mundane life and make a name for herself.

Jyothika’s recent release Naachiyaar, which marked her debut collaboration with director Bala, has received mostly positive reviews from the critics and the fans. The makers even held a success meet recently.

Jordan King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein on a 3-dat visit to India Tuesday Feb 27,2018

Jordan King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, who arrived on Tuesday Feb 27,2018 on a three-day visit, was accorded a grand welcome with Prime Minister Narendra Modi receiving him at the airport, in a special gesture.

The Jordanian king's visit comes nearly three weeks after Modi travelled to Jordan as part of his trip to West Asia, including Palestine

German village votes to keep ‘Hitler bell’ as memorial against violence Monday Feb 26 ,2018

A German village has decided to keep a contentious Nazi-era church bell that bears a swastika and the words “All for the Fatherland — Adolf Hitler”, arguing it serves as a reminder of the country’s dark past.

The parish council of Herxheim am Berg voted 10-3 on Monday Feb 26 ,2018 that the bronze bell from 1934 should remain as “an impetus for reconciliation and a memorial against violence and injustice”.

The council rejected an offer by the regional Protestant Church to pay for taking down the 240kg bell and replacing it. A memorial pointing to the bell’s history will now be fixed on the heritage-listed church, the Jakobskirche.

The village of just 700 people has repeatedly caught national attention for the controversial “Hitler bell” since a former church organist complained about the inscription. Some churchgoers were dismayed to find out that they had got married, baptised their children or joined other religious ceremonies and events under the Hitler bell.

7.5-magnitude earthquake rattles remote Papua New Guinea Monday Feb 26,2018

A powerful earthquake rattled forest villages and a large gold mine in central Papua New Guinea on Monday Feb 26,2018, and the government sent officers to the region to assess unverified reports of fatalities and check the extent of the damage

The magnitude 7.5 quake hit about 89 kilometers (55 miles) southwest of Porgera, the site of a large gold mine that employs more than 2,500 residents. The area also is home to a number of oil and gas operations and coffee plantations.

ExxonMobil Papua New Guinea said it had shut down the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant, where there was damage to the administration buildings, living quarters and mess hall.

The company said it had also suspended flights from Komo airfield, which it built to service its operations, and was planning to evacuate nonessential plant staff.

Oil Search Managing Director Peter Botten said the company was closing down some production operations in the region as a precaution.

Both Oil Search and ExxonMobil said there were no reports of any injuries to their staff, and ExxonMobil said its staff was accounted for and safe.

An official at the Porgera gold mine wrote on Facebook that he planned to find out what caused power blackouts and other damage after the quake shook the whole area.

Top German Court Rules in Favour of Cities to Ban Diesel Cars, Europe's Car Market to be Hit Tuesday Feb 27,2018

A top German court ruled on Tuesday Feb 27,2018 in favour of allowing major cities to ban heavily polluting diesel cars, a move likely to hit the value of 12 million vehicles in Europe's largest car market and force carmakers to pay for costly modifications.

There has been a global backlash against diesel-engine cars since Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating US exhaust tests, meant to limit emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide (NOx), known to cause respiratory disease.

While other countries are also considering restrictions on diesel cars, a ban in the birthplace of the modern automobile is a new blow for the car industry, and an embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, which opposes bans.

The ruling by the country's highest federal administrative court came after German states had appealed against bans imposed by local courts in Stuttgart and Duesseldorf in cases brought by environmental group DUH over poor air quality.

Merkel's government, which has come under fire for its close ties to the car industry, had lobbied against a ban, fearing it could anger millions of drivers and disrupt traffic in cities, with public transport not in a position to take up the slack.

Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi ( July 18, 1935 - February 28,2018) Dies At 82 Wednesday Feb 28,2018

Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, the senior seer of Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt, passed away on Wednesday Feb 28,2018

The 82-year-old seer was admitted to a hospital near Kamakshi Amman temple on Wednesday due to breathing problems. The hospital and Mutt sources confirmed his demise.

His health condition had reportedly deteriorated in January after which he was admitted in a hospital and later discharged. In 1954, Jayendra Saraswathi was given the title. The senior pontiff succeeded in 1994 as the 69th Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam after Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal, hailed as Maha Periyava.

The junior pontiff, Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi will be the 70th Jagadguru of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

About Jayendra Saraswathi

Born in Tamil Nadu’s Thiruvarur district, Jayendra Saraswathi was chosen as the successor to Parmacharya Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi when he was only 19.

In 1987, Jayendra Saraswathi mysteriously disappeared from the mutt. He reportedly left behind his sacred thread and other articles of faith in his living quarters. Jayendra Saraswathi, however, was traced in Karnataka’s Talacauvery three days after he went missing. His chosen successor, Sankara Vijayendra Sarasvati, was given charge of the mutt’s daily rituals in Jayendra Saraswati’s absence. Jayendra Saraswathi, till date, hasn’t fully explained the circumstances surrounding his sudden disappearance.

Nearly forty years after he was chosen as a successor, Jayendra Saraswathi succeeded Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi as the 69th Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam in 1994.

Jayendra Saraswati’s role as the senior-most seer increasingly came under the spotlight in 2004 after he was named as an accused in the murder case of Sankararaman, a temple manager.

In 2000, when Jayendra Saraswati intended to visit China, Sankararaman sought the court intervention to stop the senior seer from travelling abroad. Sankararaman argued that a Hindu would lose his/her religion if he/she crossed the ocean, and as the head of the Kanchi mutt, Jayendra Saraswati should have known better. Jayendra Saraswati was forced to abandon his plans.

Sankararaman was allegedly barred from entering the mutt owing to differences between the two. He even wrote open letters to Jayendra Saraswati, warning him against abusing his position at the mutt and threatened to move to court seeking his removal. The junior seer and his successor, Vijayendra Saraswathi was also named as an accused in the case. Jaynedra Saraswathi was however acquitted in the case in 2013 after a prolonged legal fight.

In 2004, Sankaraman was attacked by five men at the Debrajasamy temple and stabbed him to death.

CBI Areests Karti Chidambaram in the INX Media Case

Karti Chidambaram has been arrested by the CBI for not cooperating in the investigation of the INX media Money Laundering Case

Karti, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, was at the Chennai airport just after he arrived in a flight from London

The CBI has alleged that firms with links to Karti had influenced FIPB approval for Rs 305 crore irregular investment in INX media. This took place in 2007 when his father was the Finance Minister. The FIR has been registered against Karti, INX Media along with eight others and unknown officials of the finance ministry.

The Finance Ministry received an application from INX media for FIPB approval on March 15, 2007. The FIPB, in a meeting on May 18, 2017, recommended the proposal of INX media. However, the board did not approve downstream investment by INX media in INX news. And even for INX media, FIPB allowed fdi inflow of only Rs 4.62 crore.

As per the CBI FIR, contrary to approval of FIPB, INX media deliberately violated conditions and made downstream investment up to 26% in the capital or INX news.

They allegedly generated over Rs 305 crore of FDI in INX media against the allowed foreign inflow of Rs 4.62 crore by issuing shares to foreign investors at a premium of over Rs 800 per share

The CBI has alleged that officers concerned of the FIPB unit by virtue of influence of Karti Chidambaram, not only ignored serious illegalities on part of INX media, on both accounts, but also deliberately showered undue favours. The officers also ignored the request of Revenue Department seeking an investigation into the matter.

As per the CBI, INX Media tried to wriggle out of the situation by entering into a criminal conspiracy with Karti Chidambaram, promoter of Chess Management Services, “to get the issue resolved amicably by influencing public servants of FIPB unit of the Finance Ministry by virtue of his relationship with the then Finance Minister (P Chidambaram).”

The FIR goes on to describe the quid pro quo by showing how INX media made the payment to Karti “for the services rendered by Karti P Chidambaram to INX Group through Chess Management Services…considerations in the form of payment were received against an invoice raised on INX Media by one Advantage Strategic Consulting (P) Limited (ASCPL).”

The FIR further states that the “very reason for getting the invoice raised in the name of M/s/ ASCPL for the services rendered by Chess Management Services was with a view to conceal the identity of Karti.”

The CBI in its FIR has also claimed that “such deceitful and fallacious deal was favourably considered by Ministry of Finance and Approved by the then Finance Minister.” And thus in a way has also brought the role of his father P Chidambaram under scanner.

  INX Media Case - All You Need To Know 

In 2008, as much as Rs 305 crore of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was made in INX Media Pvt Ltd (now called 9X Media Pvt Ltd) by three Mauritius-based companies.

The amount of FDI was a red flag to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which registered a case against INX Media for alleged irregularities in the transaction and violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act(FEMA)

The ED alleged that approval for the FDI was granted in 2007, when P Chidambaram was finance minister in the UPA 1 regime. INX allegedly violated the conditions of approval and to avoid legal action, entered into a criminal conspiracy with minister Chidambaram’s son Karti, the ED said. Based on information provided by the ED, the CBI filed an FIR against Karti in May 2017.

The FIR registered by the CBI suggests that the now disbanded Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) granted permission to INX Media on May 30, 2007, to bring in FDI of Rs 4.62 crore. However, INX Media flouted the conditional approval of the board and brought in over Rs 305 crore. CBI further alleged that Karti exercised influence over certain FIPB officials – owing to proximity to his father’s high office - and the department, and they extended undue favours to the media firm

Since filing the FIR, as many as 14 locations across the country were raided by the CBI. On February 16, Karti's chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman was arrested from a five-star hotel in Delhi by the ED which is also investigating a money laundering case against Karti. Last week, Karti moved the Supreme Court, seeking a stay on summons issued by the ED. The apex court denied the stay order. The ED had earlier summoned Karti on February 2, after which he informed them he would be unable to depose as he had an interlocutory application pending in the Supreme Court in this case.

2018 Nidahas Twenty20 Tri-Series between Sri Lanka-India -Bangladesh in Colombo,Sri Lanka March 06 - 18,2018 - Angelo Mathews ruled out with calf injury


Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of the upcoming Nidhas Trophy – tri-series comprising the islanders, India and Bangladesh which begins from March 6.

His frustrations with injuries continued after picking up a calf injury ahead of the series in training. Previously he had played just one game since being reappointed as the team skipper in ODIs before being ruled out with a hamstring injury. Dinesh Chandimal is expected to lead the side.

Mithali Raj to lead India in ODI series against Australia

Mithali Raj will lead a confident India in the upcoming three-match series against Australia in Vadodra.

The All-India Women’s Selection Committee has named the India Women’s squad for the Paytm ODI series which will be followed by the Paytm T20I tri-series and the squad for the same will be named later.

The hosts will be brimming with confidence after wrapping up historic dual series win in South Africa. India claimed both ODI and T20I series victories after Harmanpreet Kaur sealed a 3-1 victory in the fifth and final T20I match at Newlands.

The three-match series that will be held in Vadodara is part of the ICC Women’s Championship (2017-2020). Mithali was adjudged the Player-of-The-Series after posting three half-centuries in four innings. The only match India saw defeat in was the third one when the skipper Raj was dismissed without scoring. The series also saw solid debuts from teenagers Pooja Vastrakar and Jemimah Rodrigues.

The Indian side return from South Africa to face Australia in Vadodra next month, efore a T20 tri-series also featuring England.

India Women ODI Squad vs Australia

 Mithali Raj (Capt), Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Sushma Verma (wk), Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Sukanya Parida, Pooja Vastrakar, Deepti Sharma

2018 Ludhiana Municipal Corporation Election - Congress Sweeps sweeps to power with 62 seats Tuesday Feb 27,2018

Two months after sweeping municipal elections in Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala, the Congress on Tuesday Feb 27,2018 continued its winning streak by wresting control of the cash-rich Ludhiana Municipal Corporation from the BJP-SAD alliance.

The Congress, which runs the government in Punjab since March 2017, won as many as 62 wards, while the SAD and BJP were relegated to the second and third position, winning 11 and 10 wards, respectively.
Congratulations to all @INCPunjab workers for leading the party to a sweeping victory, winning 62 out of 95 seats, in the MC polls. The results are a further vindication of our programmes and policies, it reflects the confidence of the people in our government.

Balwinder Kaur, who contested from ward number 11, was the lone winner from the AAP. She defeated Congress candidate with a margin of more than a thousand votes.

The Lok Insaf Party managed to secure 7 seats.The LIP and AAP were in alliance for the municipal elections.

Independent candidates won 4 wards.

A total of 494 candidates contested for the 95 municipal wards. Over 59 percent of the 10.5 eligible voters exercised their franchise in the election for 95 wards on Saturday Feb 24,2018


Buddhist Stupa Phra Phra Pathommachedi in Thailand

The name Phra Pathommachedi means the first holy stupa given by King Mongkut

Phra Pathommachedi is the tallest stupa in Thailand, standing at 120.45 meters and with circumference of 235.50 meters