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first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe league’s best speedster remained from Mapua.Cardinal guard JP Nieles ruled the Skills Challenge in the 2017 NCAA Season 93 All-Star, beating St. Benilde rookie Unique Naboa in the Finals on Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Nielestopped Letran’s Jeremiah Taladua in the semifinals to earn his spot in the championship round.Still, it was a huge validation for Nieles given the Cardinals’ woeful campaign this season.“I’m really happy. It shows that even though we’re down, I can prove that some of us can still step up,” he said.Nieles recorded the best time in the first round with 20.7 seconds, leading the list that also had Naboa (21.9 seconds), Lyceum’s Jaycee Marcelino (25.8 seconds), and Taladua (27.5 seconds) to qualify for the final round.Also joining the competition were Perpetual’s Keith Pido, Arellano’s Levi dela Cruz, San Sebastian’s Michael Are, San Beda’s Radge Tongco, EAC’s Jervin Guzman, and JRU’s Karl Bordon.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes01:16CJ Peralta says QC judge followed rules in giving nod to raids on militant offices00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games UFC: Trilogy bout with Nate Diaz should happen at 155 lbs, McGregor insists MOST READ SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Read Next Nieles had a perfect run, but faced a slight hitch when his ball didn’t go down the net after his lay-up.“I wanted to get the ball, but (Naboa) was still shooting a layup,” he said, as he allowed Naboa to shoot two more attempts before taking the ball and cruising to the top of the arc to drill the game-winning jumper.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutNieles retained the Skills Challenge plum for Mapua after Darell Menina won the title last year.“I checked Shane’s time last year and he got 24.6 seconds. I felt I needed to best that and I was really inspired with what he did,” he said. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games View commentslast_img read more


first_imgCPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA People and The Daily Mail, citing unnamed sources, have reported that about 250 guests will be invited to the ceremony at the Contemporary Arts Center in the Big Easy.The Daily Mail said the wedding planning has been shrouded in secrecy and guests would not learn the details until Thursday morning.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt said the event would cost more than $1 million and guests would be asked not to bring their cell phones because an exclusive photo deal has been signed with Vogue.Williams, 36, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, and Ohanian, 34, welcomed their first child, daughter Alexis Olympia, on September 1. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Lions go for the kill They announced their engagement in December after meeting in 2015 in Rome.Williams won this year’s Australian Open while pregnant, and is expected to defend her title in Melbourne in 2018 — just four-and-a-half months after giving birth to her baby girl. /cbb MOST READ Read Next Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion WWII veteran celebrates 110th birthday in New Orleans PLAY LIST 01:53WWII veteran celebrates 110th birthday in New Orleans00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gamescenter_img Serena Williams and Lynda Carter pose backstage at Glamour’s 2017 Women of The Year Awards at Kings Theatre on November 13, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. AFPWASHINGTON, United States — Tennis superstar Serena Williams is used to hoisting trophies, but on Thursday, it looks like she’ll be carrying a wedding bouquet.Music royalty Beyonce and Jay Z, along with actress Eva Longoria are among the A-listers reportedly convening in New Orleans for Williams’ wedding to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more


first_imgKris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa FILE PHOTO – Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees celebrates with Aaron Hicks #31 and Brett Gardner #11 after defeating the Minnesota Twins in the American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium on October 3, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The New York Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins with a score of 4 to 8. Elsa/Getty Images/AFPNEW YORK — The New York Yankees acquired 17-year-old Dominican prospect Juan Then from the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.New York sent right-handed reliever Nick Rumbelow to Seattle for the right-hander Then and left-hander J.P. Sears.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC PLAY LIST 01:04Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC01:35Zubiri, Marcos cold to Senate adopting House-OKd budget00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Then was signed by Seattle last year at age 16 and went 2-2 with a 2.64 ERA in 13 starts with the Dominican Summer League Mariners in 2017.Sears, 21, was drafted by Seattle in the 11th round this year and went 1-2 with a 0.65 ERA and three saves in 17 relief appearances for Single-A Everett and Clinton.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutRumbelow, 26, made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015, going 1-1 with a 4.02 ERA in 15 innings. In five minor league seasons, he’s 14-8 with a 2.73 ERA and 29 saves in 126 relief appearances. Mavericks stop 4-game slide with win against Bucks Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 View commentslast_img read more


first_imgRobredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ He is itching to play but added he is not going to take any risks in reaggravating the injury.“The doctor advised me not to play until I’m 100% healed and I also don’t want to return prematurely.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Filipinos fail to finish Gilas stint on a high note despite win over Iran Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PBA IMAGESStar is expected to miss veteran forward Marc Pingris for another four to six weeks due to a recurring hip injury.But the warrior that he is, Pingris aims to return within the next month. ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet View comments National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ “Returning in four to six weeks is doable. I don’t have any problems with my conditioning, but my target is really to come back in four weeks,” said Pingris in Filipino after the Hotshots opened their campaign in the 2017 Governors’ Cup with a 103-86 win over Blackwater.The 35-year-old Pingris returned from his one-month trip in Los Angeles, where he underwent rehabilitation to treat his injury.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“Right now he said, he’s 60 percent. In three weeks time, he’ll be back practicing with us,” said Star head coach Chito Victolero.Pingris hasn’t seen action since playing in Game 7 of the Philippine Cup semifinals against Barangay Ginebra four months ago where he played through the injury. FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’last_img read more


first_imgMayweather promoter tired of talk about ticket sales MOST READ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers LATEST STORIES View comments Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Photo from asianvolleyball.netBIÑAN, Laguna—Powerhouse Thailand and Korea breezed through their respective opponents in the final day of the group stages and advanced to the quarterfinals with unblemished records.The Koreans were the first ones to advance to the next stage after upending Vietnam in four sets 25-23, 25-19, 17-25, 25-22, in the opener Friday at Alonte Sports Arena here.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Tran Thi Thanh Thuy put up a game-high 25 points to lead the also quarterfinals-bound Vietnamese to a 2-1 recordIn the second game, Thailand made quick work of Chinese-Taipei, 26-24, 25-14, 25-15, to top Pool D with a 3-0 record.Chatchu-on Moksri led the Thais with 20 points while Wilavan Apinyapong and Hattaya Barmrungsuk added 15 and 12 points, respectively.Tseng Wan-Ling led Chinese-Taipei with 11 points as they finish the group stages with a 2-1 record en route to the quarterfinals.ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Ace spiker Kim Yeon-koung, after resting out the first two games of the tournament, stepped through in the clutch for the Koreans as a fourth set substitute and put up five points in just 10 minutes.“I think we played well in the first two sets, then in the third set we had a problem,” said Kim as they topped Pool C with a 3-0 card. “We didn’t have a leader but we still won so it’s good.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsKim had to sit out the first two games as she just played in the FIVB Grand Prix that lasted nearly a month from July 7 until August 6.Yang Hyojin had a team-high 15 points to lead Korea while Kim Heejin and Kim Suji had a dozen points apiece.last_img read more


first_imgRobredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim After going undefeated in the group stages, Gilas’ campaign took a turn for the worse following a blowout loss to fierce rival South Korea in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 29th SEA Games officially open in Kuala Lumpur Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Lebanon’s naturalized big man Norvel Pelle also gave the Filipinos’ fits, dominating the paint on both ends with 23 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocks.Gilas, which sorely missed the services of Fil-German Christian Standhardinger, faces Jordan on Monday in a duel for seventh place.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingTerrence Romeo paced the Philippines in scoring with 19 points, most of which came in the fourth quarter where the game was already decided.Frustrations mounted for Gilas late with head coach Chot Reyes getting tossed midway through the final frame. Photo from Fiba.comGilas Pilipinas’ woes continued as it suffered a second straight beating this time, at the hands of Lebanon, 106-87, in the classification phase of the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup Sunday night at Nouhad Nawfal Stadium in Beirut, Lebanon.Fadi El Khatib led the Lebanese’ wire-to-wire win with a tournament-high 36 points.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more


first_imgRobredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games By now, Nadal was pulling his own intimidating, topspin-lathered forehand up the line and attacking whenever del Potro left a ball short.It was quickly clear that the only doubt remaining was what the final score would be.“Just the fight to be in the final, and have a chance to fight for another title here, is so important for me,” Nadal said.Hours earlier, Anderson was so excited that he celebrated his semifinal victory as if it made him the champion, stepping on a chair and then a flower box to help him climb into his guest box in the stands.“I don’t know if it’s appropriate,” Anderson said. “It certainly felt the right thing to do.”Hip, leg and elbow injuries caused him to miss time this season. Ankle surgery, plus left knee, right shoulder and groin injuries were problems last year.He is appearing in his 34th major tournament and took advantage of a draw depleted by withdrawals of several top players, including past champions Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.“It’s nice that some of them gave us a bit of a shot to make a run in this tournament,” Anderson said. South African Kevin Anderson advances to US Open final Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after beating Juan Martin del Potro, of Argentina, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)NEW YORK — Once Rafael Nadal went from passive to aggressive and got his uppercut of a forehand going, it didn’t take long for him to power into the U.S. Open final.Closing in on a third title at Flushing Meadows and 16th Grand Slam championship overall, Nadal overcame a so-so start with an overwhelming performance the rest of the way Friday night, taking nine games in a row during one stretch to beat 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals.ADVERTISEMENT No. 1 Nadal will be a significant favorite Sunday against No. 32 Kevin Anderson of South Africa, who beat Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to become the lowest-ranked U.S. Open finalist since the ATP’s computer rankings began in 1973. The 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) Anderson, who won an NCAA doubles title at the University of Illinois, is equipped with a big serve, certainly, but he only once had even been a quarterfinalist at a major until this week. He’s also lost all four previous matches against Nadal.Plus there’s this: Nadal looked as good as ever over the last three sets against del Potro, further confirmation of his return to the height of his powers. Nadal is again healthy and capable of excellence, after wrist and knee injuries dulled his effectiveness in 2015 and 2016 — the first seasons since 2004 in which he not only failed to win a Grand Slam trophy but didn’t even make a final.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“It’s been an amazing season, of course, after a couple of years with some troubles, injuries, tough moments,” Nadal said. “So this year, since the beginning has been a very emotional year.”He reached the Australian Open final in January, losing to Roger Federer, then claimed his record 10th French Open championship in June. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul LATEST STORIES Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Save for a less-than-dominant opening set Friday, in which Nadal had nine winners and 10 unforced errors, he barely missed his targets. His numbers the rest of the way: 36 winners, 10 unforced errors.Eventually, Del Potro’s flat, fearsome forehand became less dangerous, as if he suddenly remembered just how weary he was. Dealing with an illness, del Potro came back from a two-set deficit to win his fourth-rounder in five sets, then got past 19-time major champion Federer in the quarterfinals in four. Maybe it was all too much for del Potro, whose one Grand Slam title came via wins over Nadal in the semifinals and Federer in the final in New York eight years ago.That was the last time Nadal lost in a major semifinal ; he’s now won 15 in a row. This time, the 24th-seeded del Potro actually edged ahead with the match’s first break, going up 3-2 in the first set when a backhand return caught the net tape and took a fortuitous roll over to Nadal’s side for a winner.That was greeted with a chorus of “Ole, ole, ole, ole! Del-po! Del-po!” for the popular Argentine, who would serve out that set, punctuating it with a forehand.Maybe that woke up Nadal, who wouldn’t again relinquish a game until he owned the second set and a 3-0 lead in the third. The next time del Potro served, Nadal finally earned his first break point with some fantastic defense, throwing himself to his left to somehow get back one massive forehand from del Potro, who — perhaps stunned that ball came back — sent his next forehand long.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more


first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJose Rizal U tries to tighten its grip on third spot as it clashes with Letran on Thursday, while Emilio Aguinaldo College seeks to boost its Final Four hopes in NCAA Season 93 basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Coming off overtime losses last week, the Heavy Bombers and Knights are gunning for victories that will give them the inside track in the race for Final Four berths.ADVERTISEMENT View comments For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READcenter_img Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Busmen hope to chart return course toward AFC Cup Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games With a 6-4 record, JRU sits at third behind unbeaten Lyceum and San Beda. But a victory by the Knights, who hold an even 5-5 record, will forge a tie at third spot.The Generals tangle with the Mapua Cardinals at 4 p.m. with a win allowing them to move up to solo sixth spot.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingTied with Arellano and Perpetual Help at 4-6, EAC hopes for an improved performance after losing to San Sebastian last week.The Bombers absorbed a 110-115 double overtime defeat to Arellano last Thursday in a game where Tey Teodoro exploded for 30 points. JRU, however, faded late in the game and saw its four-game winning run snapped. —CEDELF P. TUPASlast_img read more


first_imgConnect with the Editor World champion wrestler Sushil Kumar entered the Indira Gandhi stadium to the sort of deafening applause India reserves usually only for Sachin Tendulkar. When Saina Nehwal smashed her way out of a match point, the celebrations at Siri Fort and in millions of homes across India was no less than when India beat Australia in the nerve wracking, nail biting test match at Mohali.  A young mother came up to Organizing Committee Vice Chairman Randhir Singh at the Karni Singh shooting ranges, requesting for her son to be introduced to Abhinav Bindra. She wanted to click a picture of Abhinav Bindra with her son, so that each morning when the young boy woke up, he would have Bindra’s picture above his bed and would be inspired to emulate the heroics of the Olympic Gold Medalist. I cite these instances for all those who argue that the Commonwealth Games were a colossal waste. Never before in the history of this country have so many, followed the fortunes of sports stars outside cricket so closely. While the games are unlikely to transform India into a sporting power overnight, they are very likely to herald a new beginning for Indian sports. The ball that began to roll when Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore shot his way to a silver medal at Athens, the same ball that gathered momentum when Abhinav Bindra plucked gold at Beijing and Vijender and Sushil chipped in with a bronze each, is now likely to acquire an even greater momentum of its own. Because inspired by the heroics of Abhinav Bindra, Sushil Kumar, Vijender Singh and our other CWG stars, dozens of young boys and girls are taking to sports like never before. 10 years ago, few parents would have encouraged their children to take up professional sports. But just ask Pullela Gopichand about the impact that Saina Nehwal’s accomplishments have had on the number of young kids wanting to join his badminton academy in Hyderabad and you will know about the silent revolution that has begun to take shape. Before Saina, Sania’s exploits too had the same impact on tennis.  Haryana is a shining example of the magic that can unfold when youthful energy finds a platform and patronage. Inspired by Vijender, Akhil and Sushil and actively backed by the state government, hundreds of young kids are taking to taking to wrestling and boxing. The fact that athletes from Haryana won a whopping 14 golds and that Haryana would have stood 5th in the games had it contested as an independent country, is an example of what India’s youngsters can do when opportunity marries hard work.  While some might find the ways of Haryana Chief Minister Bhoopinder Singh Hooda to be very rustic, the fact remains that his patronage has transformed the lives of sportspersons in Haryana and given others the confidence that if they bring sporting glory they too can be assured of a good government job and enough money to sustain themselves and their families. The job of Deputy Superintendent of Police might not mean much to someone brought up in a middle class urban household but it means the world to a poor villager whose family has been denied growth opportunities for decades.  Where was Haryana in the last Commonwealth Games. In 2006 in Melbourne athletes from the state won 1 gold, 3 silvers and 1 bronze. In a period of four years, athletes have managed to win 15 of India’s 38 gold medals in the CWG. This is no less than a minor miracle. His cahoots might break CWG protocol by getting medalists to come and touch his feet after winning bouts, international delegates might be appalled by the sycophancy, foreign athletes might snigger but India owes a big thank you to the Haryana chief minister and his government for the champions the state has produced. Each champion will inspire a hundred dreams to take wing.While sports may not be a priority for Mayawati’s government in Uttar Pradesh, Karunanidhi’s government in Tamil Nadu, or for Yeddurappa’s bumbling government in Karnataka, but what is to stop some of the country’s more effective administrators like Narendra Modi, Nitish Kumar, Ashok Gehlot or Shiv Raj Singh Chauhan to give sports the same impetus and push as the Haryana CM. Just imagine the collective energies that would get unleashed if Chief Ministers got competitive about whose state wins more medals in international sporting events. India’s tally could double from 38 in time for Glasgow 2014. This is not an idle dream but one that India can achieve. We have one-sixth of the world’s population, if the state finds the will, the population will throw up the champions.  But will this ever happen in our country. I’m afraid the chances are bleak. The international athletes have barely left India’s shores and we are already getting word that the All India Congress Committee session to be organized on November 2, will be held at the Talkatora Boxing stadium. This is a royal shame. Thousands of crores of tax payer money was spent on building world class sports infrastructure. It will be the biggest travesty if politicians now come and hijack these facilities. Talkatora was created for boxers and must be used by them. Netas should find other venues to hold their political bouts.   In fact, if these games are being considered a success it is because of the stellar performances of our athletes, in no way attributable to the mess that India’s politicians landed the country in just before the games began. Every Indian had to bow his head in shame as story after story broke of gross mismanagement and unimaginable plunder. From the Prime Minister downwards, they are all to be held accountable for having allowed the mess to perpetuate. What was the PM doing when Suresh Kalmadi and company dragged their feet, intentionally allowed the delays to happen and then tried to push all expenses through at the last minute, knowing that the government had no option but to clear the spending because the game were nearing.  Ex-CAG Chief VK Shunglu has been appointed by the Prime Minister with the carte blanche to investigate all CWG related fraud, but it will serve no good, if the committee only looks for easy scapegoats. Kalmadi and Bhanot have gone underground, the noose is tightening around them. But they are not the only ones, responsible for having defrauded India. The rot runs deep. Even people close to the PM are culpable. Suresh Kalmadi and Sheila Dixit have been given a cold shoulder by both the PM and Sonia, who did not invite them for the athletes’ felicitation functions. But a mere cold shoulder is not enough. The villains of CWG need to be punished and sent to jail for having shamed India.  Chief Minister Sheila Dixit is already talking about giving the Olympics a shot somewhere during the 2020’s. There can be no worse idea. Unless accountability is fixed, unless the corrupt are jailed, unless professionals are brought in, unless the right lessons are learnt, the hosting of no mega sporting event will have the backing of the people of India, who will view them as another opportunity for corrupt netas to line their pockets.  Four CWG gold medal winner Gagan Narang said as he left our studios last night that he fears that taint and corruption are all that people of India will remember and that the achievements of our sportspersons will be forgotten after a week. The citizens of India cannot afford to do that. Athletes must be hailed and encouraged to strive for greater glory and the men and women who let India down must brought to book. One without the other would be a great disservice to this nation.last_img read more


first_imgRahul GandhiThis could be the year of change for the Congress. The buzz within the party is that Rahul Gandhi will be taking on a more decisive leadership role within the next few months. Highly placed Congress sources say that while Sonia Gandhi is keen to make him working president, Rahul does not feel he is ready yet. He has, however, agreed to play a more active role within the party. This will be the first step back that Sonia takes as Rahul steps forward to claim his legacy; party leadership is a major stop on the road to the goal to making him prime minister.An organisational as well as a comprehensive Cabinet reshuffle is planned post the Assembly elections slated for April-May. This will see many Cabinet heavyweights shifting to the organisation. Contrary to reports, Team Rahul will comprise not only greenhorns from his youth brigade, but will also have experienced leaders from the Rajiv Gandhi or Sanjay Gandhi era.Cabinet ministers such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, Veerbhadra Singh, Sushilkumar Shinde, Kamal Nath, C.P. Joshi and G.K. Vasan are tipped to be drafted for party work. Most have been complaining that they are at odds in Manmohan Singh’s Government, where emphasis is on bureaucratic-like delivery systems instead of political governance. Manmohan has made this a government where professionals have eclipsed party veterans. The only genuine veteran who cannot be ignored is Pranab Mukherjee.Non-performers such as S.M. Krishna, B.K. Handique, Veerappa Moily and M.S. Gill are likely to be dropped. Gill, the former sports minister, is already sulking at being sidelined to the Department of Statistics in the last reshuffle.advertisementSonia Gandhi and Manmohan SinghThe idea is to groom a team that would connect with Rahul. Fresh faces that could be inducted into the government will vary from professionals such as spokespersons-cum-lawyers Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Manish Tiwari, young tribal leaders such as Gajendra Singh Raju Kheri and firebrand youth leaders Manicka Tagore and Vijay Inder Singla. “Low-profile state leaders will be inducted. Their brief will be to use their ministerial posts to improve development in their states. At least, this is what we are expecting,” explains a Cabinet minister.There is a need for revamp. “This is a government where the foreign minister reads the wrong speech, the law minister has not seen the inside of a court room for the last 40 years, the information and broadcasting minister is kept out of government information management, and where we have a risk-averse defence minister who is scared of taking a decision,” says a Congress Lok Sabha MP. Congressmen also complain that upa II is but an extension of upa I. “There are no new faces in the Cabinet. Despite all this talk of bringing in performers and young blood, we still see the same handful of people in Cabinet who were there for the last six and half years,” says another party MP.A change had been promised at the party headquarters ever since upa II took over in 2009 and four of the nine general secretaries became Union ministers. Of the remaining five, the only one with whom Rahul has a working equation is General Secretary Digvijaya Singh. He is courteous to Mohsina Kidwai, helping her with her luggage when he bumped into her on a flight to Lucknow, but has not called on her for political guidance even though she is a part of the Indira era. Another General Secretary, V. Narayanasamy, had a hard time keeping up with Rahul’s swift strides during the Madhya Pradesh Assembly campaign. When he takes over the party apparatus, he needs a team that can both mentor and walk alongside him.There is already a fledgling Team Rahul in place. He has a band of young MPs helping him plan his tours and take on such projects as the Youth Congress talent hunt. However, they work from Rahul’s residence at Tughlaq Lane and not the party headquarters. These include Milind Deora, Deepender Hooda, Jitin Prasada, RPN Singh, Madhu Yaskhi, Sandeep Dikshit and Sachin Pilot. Most are second-term MPs and young dynasts who entered politics at the same time as Rahul. He could now bring them into the system. Some are already ministers but they will be part of the Rahul rejig as he reshuffles his loyalists between the party and the Government. Congress Secretary Jitendar Bhanwar who is currently helping Rahul revamp the youth wings will remain at the party headquarters as Rahul’s right hand man.advertisementWhat is also worrying the party is the power play between senior Cabinet ministers. With Rahul still to indicate whether he is interested in the top job, a turf war has broken out between the second rung of leadership. “The planned reshuffle will end this, especially if he takes over as the working president or some post of authority. This will answer the question-after Manmohan, who?” says a Congress minister.Congressmen have also taken note of Sonia’s statement earlier this month. At a function in honour of the late Ranbir Singh Hooda, a freedom fighter and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s father, she said, “The biggest thing is that he chose to retire from politics at age 64. Today when people are hankering after power and post, the importance of such an outlook increases.” This was seen as a signal not just to end the power play within the Cabinet but some of her colleagues say that she has also indicated her own retirement plans. Sonia is 64 years old.Rajiv Gandhi was party general secretary in 1983-84 while his mother was the Congress president. But unlike Rahul, he did not limit himself to the youth wings but took an active interest in other party affairs. This kind of initiative is lacking in Rahul, who shrugs his shoulders and says that he has his own schedule whenever asked whether he will take on more responsibility. Hence the need to propel him in directions other than his own chartered course.For long, Rahul had only limited himself officially to the brief given to him as a general secretary. It’s only recently, however, that he has been increasing his scope of activities, albeit unofficially. Whether it is M. Karunanidhi or Hillary Clinton dropping in at 10 Janpath to meet Sonia, the young scion is there by his mother’s side. Whenever Rahul is asked about his views on anything other than the youth wing, he says he is a mere general secretary and not authorised to comment on such matters. But as a working president his brief would be broadened, while Sonia would function as the upa Chairperson and a Rajmata-like figure, overseeing the party.The feedback from Uttar Pradesh is not encouraging. This is a state that Rahul has identified himself very closely with. A wipe-out, especially after Bihar, would erode his credibility. Hence the need for him to consolidate his leadership before that. While touring Uttar Pradesh recently, Rahul met a group of young party workers at Raiphulwari. When he exhorted them that the only way forward in the state was to destabilise Mayawati, a young worker stood up and told him, “If you want to destabilise Mayawati, bring Priyanka.” According to the india today Mood of the Nation poll, Rahul’s ratings dropped nine points in a mere span of six months. Clearly, Sonia has realised that she needs to move fast before more party workers turn to Priyanka as their beacon of hope instead of Rahul.The 40-year-old has spent the last six-and-a-half years readying himself for leadership. “Why are you harping about 40 when we have a prime minister-in-waiting at 91,” laughs Digvijaya, taking a dig at L.K Advani, though the BJP leader is not yet a nonagenarian. Yet there is no denying the feeling of drift that has crept into the party. Talk to the average Congress worker and he will complain that the Sonia-Manmohan combination is on the wane. The reluctant Rahul has to play a larger role to energise the party. Now his party wants him to step up. “There is a wide constituency both inside and outside the party which believes he should play a far bigger role across the spectrum of issues in the public domain,” says Tiwari.advertisementThis is also one reason why Manmohan had to limit himself to a cosmetic reshuffle in January. The blueprint of the great Rahul makeover is still being worked out. “Rahul is achieving a quiet revolution of youth empowerment at the grassroots levels,” says Abhishek Singhvi. But this has not really happened.The much-trumpeted process of democracy in the youth wing has only thrown up a bunch of dynasts as youth Congress chiefs. Rahul admitted this at a press conference claiming that democracy has to start from somewhere. Unlike Sanjay or Rajiv, he has not been able to build his band of performers from the youth wing. A Meenakshi Natarajan lacks the fire of an Ambika Soni.During the party plenary last December, Digvijaya had told Rahul that most leaders on the dais, such as Bhupinder Hooda, Ahmed Patel, Ashok Gehlot, Mukul Wasnik and himself, were brought into the Congress by Rajiv when they were in their 30s. He added that they had passed their expiry date and it was now time for Rahul to groom his team.Rumours of Rahul being made working president have been doing the rounds ever since he refused a ministerial berth in upa II. “I cannot confirm or deny this news,” says a party general secretary enigmatically.There has not been a working president of the party since Kamlapati Tripathi was appointed by Indira. Later, Arjun Singh was made vice-president by Rajiv. This experiment did not work well in either case, leading to turf wars. However, Sonia would have no problems of promoting her heir apparent as the working president. The waiting game has to end soon.last_img read more


first_imgIrish ChickenTrent JohnstonIreland’s Trent Johnston has become very popular with children with his chicken dance. “I had decided not to reprise it (chicken dance) in this tournament, but the kids kept pestering me so I decided that if I knocked over a top player, I would do it. If I get Chris Gayle or Graeme Smith’s wicket, there will be dancing,” the 36-year-old pacer said. He could not get Smith and Gayle did not play against Ireland. Johnston did dance when he got Virender Sehwag’s wicket though. Late BloomerImran TahirImran Tahir was 30 when left Pakistan in 2006. His dream of playing international cricket was going nowhere. A chance meeting with a woman from Durban changed his life. He followed her to South Africa, became a citizen and soon came to the notice of the selectors. Tahir dedicates his success to wife Sumayya. “I always believed that I was going to play international cricket, especially after I got married,” he says.   Baby ShowerRicky PontingAustralian captain Ricky Ponting and his wife Rianna are expecting their second child in September. “Rianna and Ricky are extremely excited. The baby is due in September,” says Ponting’s manager James Henderson. Ponting is expected to return to Australia next month immediately after the World Cup before going to Bangladesh on April 9 for an away series. If the Australians retain the Cup, it would surely be Ponting’s present to the newborn.- by Kaushik Dekalast_img read more


first_imgThank you!  Such an honor!I appreciate getting to see some of your magnificent city – this is 1st time here & I sincerely hope it won’t be my last!  During my brief time here I’ve enjoyed India’s famous “Gift for Hospitality.” And next time, I want to visit the Taj Mahal with my husband, Todd. Considering how patiently he’s endured during my political career & been so supportive, it would be nice to reinforce our teamwork/commitment before that monument to eternal love. Todd is here with us tonight. When I had the honour of meeting your Prime Minister a few years ago, I expressed my admiration for your country’s rich history & culture & most recent achievements! I now am humbled with this opportunity to express that to you, here, in this beautiful ancient land. This has so captured the imaginations of artists & poets & explorers throughout human history. Todd & I are honoured to be here to see the site of some of the world’s oldest civilizations…the birthplace of major religions, the crossroads of the ancient “Spice Route & Silk Road”. All those precious resources of their day: spices, pepper, silk, indigo – My country was essentiallly “discovered” in the age of exploration, because Western Europeans were looking for a route to your country to exchange & enjoy those resources!  (Yes, the connection between our two countries was there from the beginning!) During the flight here, between our countries, it did not escape me that Japan lies about halfway between my Alaskan home & India. I trust you will join me in expressing solidarity with the Japanese people as they recover from such tragic events. Their determination & resiliency won’t fail them. The world community stands united to offer help to them in the “Land of the Rising Sun”. Thoughts and prayers are with you, Japan.  Life is fragile – precious – we’re in this together; may Japan know our caring heart at this time. I’ve been asked to speak today about my vision for America, & share with you a little about my background. I grew up in a very small town, perhaps like some of you (though half-a-world-away). My town’s tucked between two grand mountain ranges, in a valley quite far from the avenues of political power. There, in my home state of Alaska, we’re so proud of nature’s beauty & our towering mountains, but certainly here relatively near the spectacular Himalayas can I appreciate an even greater sense of nature’s enormity! One of the mountains near my home (I see it everyday from my kitchen window!) is called “Pioneer Peak” – named in honour of the brave pioneers who settled our Valley just a few generations ago. By the sweat of their brow & rugged work ethic – they turned raw land into a valuable agriculture community. I have loved my upbringing there?big family, Todd’s from a big family. I was a school teacher’s kid, loved sports & anything outdoor. I tell my parents the greatest gift they ever gave me was this upbringing in AK, the young, 49th state of the United States. AK is known as the “Last Frontier” & it’s a place that IS rugged & you can still feel an optimistic, pioneering spirit – like the spirit that had inspired Americans to carve a nation out of the wilderness! It was “pioneer families” – strong & hopeful – who made a good life (though not an easy one) for themselves in the Northern Wilds! That “pioneering spirit” shaped me. It instilled in me a sense of independence & self-reliance. And: a belief in the ‘Power of Ordinary People’ working together to help one another. In a small community in such a vast state (AK’s about half the size of India), you learn to help your neighbour; & to help yourself. And you learn to value (& have faith in) personal freedom – especially the freedom to chart your own course!  So, it was there I learned there’s no limit to what you can achieve with strong work ethic. That optimism & respect for (& empowerment of) individual liberty shaped both my political beliefs & my vision for my country. I started in politics on the local level two decades ago; inspired by a desire to serve the ordinary folks in my hometown! As a city councilman, then a city mayor, I led the fastest growing area in our state. I experienced firsthand the power & success of the free market, & the proper role of government in fostering economic growth. I cut property taxes, I invited business in & focused on building infrastructure (roads, water & sewer systems); not a lot of glamour in that – but I have a solid belief in what government’s proper role is & it shouldn’t be glamorous. It’s not government business to spend the working man’s tax dollars recklessly – & certainly not government’s business to centrally “plan” an economy & control an entrepreneurial spirit! That doesn’t work. Government should lay infrastructure, level the playing field, then get out of the way. Allow the private sector to grow/thrive/create jobs & generate wealth! Then as governor of my state, my goal was to clean up corruption & develop our rich natural resources: Our abundant oil, gas, minerals & our robust fisheries! An important project that was a ‘center-point’ was jumpstarting a natural gas pipeline project that had been stalled for decades. We brought all stakeholders together for mutual benefit – our state, the energy industry, our neighboring country, consumers & together with ordinary citizens (who are the resource owners) & major energy producers who ‘bid on the right to develop our resources’, AK was finally able to move forward on a project that can help lead America towards energy independence. Through my work in AK (as an oil & gas regulator, then as governor), I’ve seen firsthand how energy development, job creation & national security are inextricably linked.  Access to affordable, reliable energy is the key to economic growth, which is the key to job growth. Securing that stable domestic supply of fuel will lead to a more peaceful & prosperous America – an America that’s not subject to the whims of foreign dictators who could cut off energy supplies & seek to control. Of course, energy issues are critical to the whole world’s stability & economic opportunities! By 2030, the world’s energy consumption will increase by 50% & almost half of that will come from here in India & from China. We all face similar challenges in this arena & this makes America’s quest for energy security all the more crucial as we seek to stabilize our economy, secure our homeland & cooperate with our allies who would also seek peace on earth. Energy is key! My vision for a free & prosperous America has much to do with energy. Now, we hear a lot about “green energy” today.  And I am a true believer in environmental conservation & responsible stewardship of our lands. (It’s why I live in AK! A pristine environment to be passed on to future generations – I don’t want to mess it up! I am a conservationist. I married into an Alaska native family, where Todd’s connection to the land through his Yupik Eskimo heritage, an indigenous people, reinforces my respect for God’s creation. And we’ve made our living off the land – as commercial fishermen & Todd working in North Slope oil fields – so we don’t want to mess it up!) So, I’m in favour of “all-of-the-above” approach to energy security. But “all-of-the-above” means including “conventional” resources! That means, the kind we actually use to reliably fuel our economy. That means crude oil, for example. And our natural gas, our coal, nuclear power. Unfortunately, some have stymied resource development – like responsible domestic oil drilling. As a result, hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs won’t be created in the U.S. until we change course; it means Americans get hit with huge gas prices at the pump unless we change course; it means we’re continuing to transfer hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars to foreign regimes to purchase energy from them – regimes that don’t have our best interests at heart. And I’m not just talking about gasoline here. Remember that ‘petroleum products’ are all around you! Look at your everyday surroundings – the foodstuffs; the agriculture products grown with fertilizer; the plastics all around you; medical supplies; the transportation of all these products. It’s not just gas that increases as the price of crude increases: Everything is affected. Basic commodities. So as government locks up land & we lose good jobs in the ‘Conventional Resource’ arena, you may hear that “green jobs” will be the saviour! But look around the world & try telling that to the thousands of English & Scottish workers who’ve lost jobs as a result of government investments in “green energy” projects. A recent UK study shows that for every “green job” created, nearly four jobs were lost elsewhere in the economy due to lack of affordable energy! Same story in Spain – investment in “green jobs” brought massive debt, skyrocketing energy costs & 20% unemployment. This push for ‘green’ at the expense of ‘conventional, reliable’ sources is not a credible energy policy or economic policy. It’s “Social Engineering” by Central Government Planners. And it leads to nothing but more debt & more job loss. And taxpayers will be stuck subsidizing the failure and paying more for energy.  The good news is there’s a choice/another option! Instead of funding non-viable special interest projects, Americans can capitalize on our own viable resources that are just waiting to be tapped – they’re right on our doorstep!  Billions of barrels of oil warehoused underground in AK!  And so much natural gas – Clean, green, affordable! Easy to transport, abundant across the U.S. – Whether used conventionally, or to power natural gas cars, or run power plants that charge electric cars, natural gas is an ideal “bridge fuel” to the future. (A future when renewable gas can someday become more available, reliable & affordable.) I warn Americans so often: it’s a ‘false, utopian fairytale’ told that would want you to believe we don’t need to drill for oil today. No, government manipulating energy supplies? Manipulating any aspect of an economy – it leads to more people becoming more dependent upon government to meet needs – it is social engineering, it’s immoral, & it’s a problem we-the-people must be brave enough to take on. Our need for energy independence is only one of the strategic challenges we face today. The other is an unsustainable government debt which hampers economic growth. On this: there are no “easy” solutions, but there are “simple” ones, if we just apply courage & political will to confront the problem squarely. Obviously, we need to stop digging the hole we’re in; cut spending; cut government back down to size; get rid of overly-burdensome regulations. And most of all, we need job growth! And that won’t come from ‘top-down government planning’!  It’ll come from the ‘Free Market Ingenuity’ of ordinary American entrepreneurs! To release creative energy, we need to do on a national level what President Ronald Reagan did in the 1980’s. It’s what I believed in as a ‘Reforming Mayor & Governor’ in my state, because I want the free economic choices of ordinary men & women to power the marketplace – rather than distant bureaucrats thinking they can plan & grow an economy by “government decree”. (That just doesn’t work!) I know you understand this, because in the early 1990’s, due to clear, commonsense, pro free-market reforms, India’s economy took off! You abolished import licenses; cut import duties; removed investment caps & broke the union’s grip on industry. You unleashed the creativity & hard work of the Indian people; you turned away from a system where ‘Central Government’ sets targets for all sectors of the economy, to a system that lets the market set its own targets. That works. People no longer speak of India as a “struggling economy” as they would have 30 years ago. Today we speak of India as a “dynamic & vibrant economy”. You empowered individuals & in doing so, you’ve reminded America of the free, entrepreneurial model that made our country great, prosperous & exceptional! See, if we unshackle the creative energy of our workers, & entrepreneurs, there is no reason in the world why we can’t get back to rapid growth & prosperity! Friends: some people want to claim that the geopolitical stage is ‘so changing’ & some actually claim ‘America is in decline’. “The United States,” they’d say, “will soon be a shadow of its former self.”  I completely reject this! It represents wrong-headed thinking by some friends & wishful thinking by our enemies! America’s demise has been predicted before. It didn’t happen then. It won’t happen now. No, America is not in decline! What is in decline? It is the idea of a ‘Tax-&-Spend, Centralized Bureaucracy’ that has brought America to the point of debt & deficits in the first place. These “Big Government” ideas are once again being consigned to the ash heap of history – though they won’t go quietly to the grave. From the beginning: my faith has never been in Big Govt.  My faith is in the American people, & we are turning things around! All great nations face the challenges that come with a changing economy, demographics, & new technologies. The nations that succeed in the face of these challenges are the ones that show innovation & ingenuity – & will empower a free power! These qualities are the hallmarks of the “American Experience” & the unique strengths of the American people. My vision for my country is a strong America that unleashes those strengths & confidently engages in leadership in the world & can welcome the healthy competition & partnership of rising economic powers in a democracy, like India. The relationship between our countries could shape the course of the next century! Tilting it in the direction of free people & free markets! The future lies with us!  We’re half-a-world apart geographically, but connected with much in common! We both have deep & historical ‘democratic traditions’. We are the world’s most diverse, tolerant & dynamic societies. Our peoples enjoy very close ties (& in recent years our governments have been catching up!) There are few limits to what India & America can do together to allow a more peaceful & prosperous world. Tragically, we have both been the targets of terrorism. We have both witnessed the courage of our people in combating terror. Both our peoples want it defeated. And we both want to ensure that China’s rise is peaceful – while hedging against risks that it could be otherwise.  We both want to expand trade & investment with allies in a liberal international order that will soon boast India as its fastest-growing major economy. Our diplomatic, military & political ties are deepening, because we have a genuine strategic partnership! But it is our people who are driving this relationship!  Indian entrepreneurs are investing in the U.S., even as U.S. businesses expand here.  Indian students are throughout American universities & more Americans seek to study here – including through an expanded Fulbright programme. Our tech companies are working together in impressive ways. And our ethical partnerships could transform both our development trajectories. Our ties & bonds are deep! And they’re not driven so much by “political leadership summits” & bureaucrats – they’re driven by free people & free markets! That’s why there are no natural limits to the future of U.S.- India relations. And that is why the world’s largest democracies – NOT its largest autocracy – will lead the 21st century. We will lead because we are on the side of empowering individuals to make choices for themselves. Not government /not some New World Order organization making decisions & decrees for us.  We are on the side of religious tolerance & women’s rights! (And in recent years, India has helped lead by example in the area of women’s education by narrowing the gender gap in women’s literacy. You’ve helped remind the world that a culture cannot advance when it holds back half its creative & intellectual power!) And its political power! I admire India’s tradition of strong women leaders – at home & abroad! In fact, last year, I had the honour of supporting a strong American woman of Indian descent when I endorsed the candidacy of South Carolina’s new governor – their first female – Nikki Haley! I met Nikki’s parents & was impressed by their story, work ethic! And, by Nikki’s upbringing that led her to become part of a ‘grassroots movement in American politics’ that’s known as “The Tea Party”!  (I’m proud to be a part of this movement as well.)  The “Tea Party” is named after that famous event in American politics that was a precursor to our Independence! In 1773, when American patriots were upset about British taxes, they dumped tea into the Boston Harbor. (The British had forced a monopoly on the American people that prevented us from importing tea from anyone but the British East India Company. See, even back then we believed in free trade!) Today’s “Tea Party” is a strong & vibrant movement in the U.S. & it’s only going to grow & become more influential! India Conclave:  the theme of this conference is the “Changing Balance of Power”. Well, the present day Tea Party is a perfect example of that!  It’s all about the empowerment of ordinary, everyday, independent patriots who are rising up & making their voices heard to positively change the “Balance of Power”! To protect our U.S. Constitution & live out our Declaration of Independence!  It reminds our ‘Central Govt’ that our Constitution gives great power to our 50 individual states – and to individual citizens – & that these powers (these God-given ‘RIGHTS’) aren’t to be trampled on. The “Changing Balance of Power” throughout the world today is driven by the empowerment of the individual – & mankind’s desire for freedom! The American people understand this. And India understands this, too. Back home in AK, where the fresh snow blankets the ground today, where my kids texted me to report they see a Mama Moose & her two baby calves outside our door by the firewood pile: There at home, I have a beautiful pencil drawing on my kitchen wall. A framed drawing by Robin Coran. It’s a picture of Mother Teresa, of Calcutta. She’s holding a precious child (a baby). It was said of Mother Teresa that “perhaps the greatest message she has given to the world is the value & dignity of human life!” From India, she was able to share this crucial message with the world! And it is a crucial message because the freedom & empowerment of the individual is rooted in an understanding of every man & woman’s inherent dignity & worth! I looked at the picture as I typed out this speech on my home computer set up there in the kitchen. I was struck with this: Countries that deny that message of individual worth (& destiny) inevitably stifle their own advancement because the fire of human progress is sparked by the aspirations of ordinary men & women seeking a better life! These simple “working class” aspirations for a good job, a home, a good education for our children are what motivate economic progress & positive change! Not bureaucrats! Not ‘Central Planners’! Not government decrees! Just hard-working women & men seeking the freedom to chart their own course & succeed by their own merits! When people realise even the briefest glimpse of this freedom & opportunity – even a hint that they can succeed through honest hard work – they run towards it!  They embrace the promise of “better days ahead!”  They will sacrifice today for a better tomorrow for their children & grandchildren. With individual responsibility, drive & determination, they will work together to carve a life for themselves out of the wilderness! They’ll voluntarily contribute to help their neighbours even those half-a-world-away! That’s the ‘Optimistic/Pioneering Spirit of America’s Frontier’! That’s the spirit of India’s progress too. America has long been famous for our rags-to-riches stories. Now India is, too. Take pride in this – it’s inspiring! Together, as the worlds’ largest democracies, we are a testament to the positive force of human aspirations! Today, all across the world, we see individuals, “ordinary” men & women, rising up/moving to advance (& a great tool they’re using in this ‘demand of human rights’ is social media). We don’t know where all of this will lead. But we should look at it as opportunity to advance the cause of human freedom – not naively, but optimistically. Friends: our two democracies understand this struggle for freedom. It’s the struggle of those who defiantly dumped tea in Boston Harbor to protest a British tea tax. & it’s the struggle of those who courageously marched to the seacoast near Don-dee to make their own salt in defiance of a British salt tax! This hunger for ‘Freedom & Opportunity’ is proof that what we call the “American Dream” is not just “American.” It is the universal dream of people everywhere! I believe it’s created within us! And that is where the march for freedom has found its most eager advocates: ‘ordinary people’ who have ‘extraordinary determination’ to seek justice & make a better life for their families. This is as true in AK, as in Andhra Pradesh.  Half-a-world-apart?  And yet we are connected by this.  My ‘Vision for America’ is one of a country that lives that dream! And, in turn, inspires & empowers women & men around the world to live it, too! We can lead by example. What America can show the world is what is possible – the potential of human possibilities when women & men are free?Yes, may we be free! Thank you & God bless you!advertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more


first_img“I have great respect for Sai Baba phenomenon minus the tricks. He has done lot of development work, which is praiseworthy.”P.C. Sorcar Jr, Magician”Seventy to 85 per cent polling shows that people want to decide their fate themselves and are capable of doing so.”Manmohan singh, Prime Minister on Kashmir panchayat,”I have great respect for Sai Baba phenomenon minus the tricks. He has done lot of development work, which is praiseworthy.”P.C. Sorcar Jr, Magician”Seventy to 85 per cent polling shows that people want to decide their fate themselves and are capable of doing so.”Manmohan singh, Prime Minister on Kashmir panchayat pollsUnion Sports Minister, Ajay Maken”The person who is in jail or who has been charge-sheeted, it would not be in the national interest that he should represent the country anymore.” Ajay Maken, Union Sports Minister on Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi’s future as IOA chief.”I love Australians. They are very outdoorsy. They make me laugh-their accents amuse me.”Elizabeth Hurley, on why she was attracted to Australian cricketer Shane Warne.last_img read more


first_imgIn the eye of storm after letting banned Pakistani pacer Mohammad Amir play for it, Surrey League side Addington has insisted that the cricketer, penalised for spot-fixing, was not paid any money.Mohammad Amir is serving a ban for spot-fixing. APAddington club secretary Raheal Shafi said that the club could not afford paying the teen pacer, who is serving a five-year ban for his involvement in last year’s spot-fixing scandal.Amir turning up for Addington has created a storm with the ICC investigating if the appearance was in contravention with the terms and conditions of the ban.”We are nowhere near Test or county standard and there was no money involved. He was very down to earth. He was relaxing and sitting on the grass and talking about life in Pakistan, life in England and where he has travelled,” Shafi was quoted as saying by Skysports.Amir, who took four wickets and scored 60 with the bat against St Luke’s CC, said that he didn’t know that the match was part of competitive cricket under England Cricket Board.”I was informed by club representatives before the game that it was a friendly match, being played on a privately- owned cricket ground,” the 19-year-old said.”I asked the club representatives if the match fell under the jurisdiction of the ECB and they informed me that the match did not.”I spoke to several club representatives about the issue and they all told me that it was a friendly match and therefore would not contravene my ban from the ICC. I was informed that I was fine to play,” Amir told ‘pakpassion.net’ on Wednesday.advertisement- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more


first_imgUS President Barack Obama.The United States will withdraw all 33,000 Americans troops from Afghanistan by the summer of 2012, beginning with an initial drawdown of 10,000 surge forces by this year-end, President Barack Obama said.”Starting next month, we will be able to remove 10,000 of our troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and we will bring home a total of 33,000 troops by next summer, fully recovering the surge I announced at West Point (in December 2009),” Obama said in a nationally televised speech from the White House late on Wednesday night.”After this initial reduction, our troops will continue coming home at a steady pace as Afghan Security forces move into the lead. Our mission will change from combat to support. By 2014, this process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security,” he said.The US President said America was starting the drawdown from a position of strength, asserting that al-Qaeda was under “more pressure” than at any time since 9/11.”Together with the Pakistanis, we have taken out more than half of al-Qaeda’s leadership. And thanks to our intelligence professionals and Special Forces, we killed Osama bin Laden, the only leader that al-Qaeda had ever known,” he said. .Obama said nearly ten years ago, America suffered the “worst attack” on its shores since Pearl Harbour.”This mass murder was planned by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan, and signaled a new threat to our security – one in which the targets were no longer soldiers on a battlefield, but innocent men, women and children going about their daily lives,” he said.advertisement”In the days that followed, our nation was united as we struck at al-Qaeda and routed the Taliban in Afghanistan. Then, our focus shifted. A second war was launched in Iraq, and we spent enormous blood and treasure to support a new government there. By the time I took office, the war in Afghanistan had entered its seventh year.”But al-Qaeda’s leaders had escaped into Pakistan and were plotting new attacks, while the Taliban had regrouped and gone on the offensive. Without a new strategy and decisive action, our military commanders warned that we could face a resurgent al-Qaeda, and a Taliban taking over large parts of Afghanistan,” the President said.For this reason, Obama said, “in one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve made as President, I ordered an additional 30,000 American troops into Afghanistan.”He said when he had announced this surge at West Point, US had set clear objectives — to refocus on al-Qaeda, reverse the Taliban’s momentum and train Afghan Security Forces to defend their own country.”I also made it clear that our commitment would not be open-ended, and that we would begin to drawdown our forces this July.”- With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more


first_imgHarbhajan Singh achieved his 400th Test wicket while Ishant Sharma grabbed a five-for as India bundled out West Indies for 204 before rain and bad light stalled the visitors’ reply on day 2 of the third and final match here. Score | PhotosAt stumps, India were eight for no loss, with Abhinav Mukund and Murali Vijay batting on six and one, respectively. India now trail by 196 runs with 10 wickets remaining in the first innings.Only 49.2 overs were bowled on the second day, leading to a loss of a total of ninety-seven overs in the last two days. The first day too saw the match being marred by showers.Even as the officials seemed optimistic despite a sharp shower interrupting play in the post-tea session, the light was deemed too poor for umpires to resume play.The poor weather apart, the facilities at the Windsor Park could be termed primitive as carts were used to scoop the water from the covers. The drainage facility is quite good but it proved to be of little use as water from cover-sheets took a long time to be removed.Earlier, Harbhajan became the third Indian and 11th overall to reach the landmark, while Ishant continued from where he had left off on day 1, as the duo hastened the West Indies’ collapse.Just as the West Indian innings folded up, a slight drizzle again brought the covers on, and an early tea was taken.West Indies were in the middle of a revival of sorts when the gritty Harbhajan claimed two quick wickets.advertisementThough Harbhajan achieved a milestone, the wrecker in chief was once again Ishant, who claimed five for 77 in yet another inspirational display of fast bowling.Resuming at an overnight 75 for three, West Indies lost two of their most experienced batsmen in a rain-curtailed opening session.Shivnarine Chanderpaul (23) and Marlon Samuels (9) fell to Munaf Patel and Praveen Kumar even as Darren Bravo (50) and Calrton Baugh (60) stood firm.But the hosts, 128 for five at lunch, began the afternoon session with a flurry of shots, to entertain the sparse crowd.Baugh was the aggressor as he flexed his arms to good effect, and no less than 37 runs came from the first four overs.Baugh survived a caught-behind appeal off Munaf Patel but then decided to cut loose, crashing Ishant for three fours in one over.He first produced a back cut, steered the next one over slips, and then crashed one past the extra cover boundary.He didn’t hold himself back against Munaf either, managing two fours past the slip cordons.Meanwhile Bravo, unbeaten on 41 at break, completed his half century when he flicked Ishant to square leg for a single.Bravo, though, departed to Ishant in dramatic fashion after he had put on 59 runs for the sixth wicket with Baugh.In a tense Sharma over, he first edged a delivery to slips, where Rahul Dravid caught it, but promptly indicated he wasn’t sure if he had caught cleanly.The replays proved that Dravid hadn’t caught it cleanly but Bravo made little use of it, departing in the same over when he inside edged a catch to Mahendra Singh Dhoni.Bravo made 50 from 134 balls with eight fours and this was his second successive fifty against the tourists after his match-saving 73 not out at Kensington Oval last week.Baugh then found an unlikely support in Darren Sammy as the two added 41 runs for the seventh wicket.Sammy, as he had indicated before the start of the match, looked to play down the ground before plonking Ishant for a huge six.But Harbhajan ended Sammy’s innings, having him caught at forward shortleg for 20 and later, clean bowled Baugh (60) for his 400th wicket.Baugh played only 79 balls during his knock and hit six fours and a six.This is Harbhajan’s 96th Test and he follows Anil Kumble (619) and Kapil Dev (434) in the exclusive club of 400-wicket takers for India.He is the second off-spinner ever in the history of the game to take 400 scalps after Muthiah Muralitharan (800).After the celebrations were done with, Sharma cleaned up Fidel Edwards and Ravi Rampaul for his second successive five-wicket haul.An unwell Ravi Rampaul didn’t come on to bowl in India’s innings that didn?t make much difference as only four overs were possible before rain and bad light had the final say.- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more


first_imgAbhinav MukundAbhinav Mukund shone with a fluent century after Virender Sehwag made a disappointing return to cricket as India scored 327 for seven on the first day of their warm-up match against Northamptonshire here on Friday.Though the visitors made enough runs, the ones who needed to prosper again drew blank on a track that was not really condusive for pace bowlers.Most of the top-order batsmen were again found wanting against a mediocre attack on a far from intimidating track.The much-heralded return of Sehwag (8) ended early and Gautam Gambhir (18) was also back in the hut in the first session. In the final two hours, the failures of Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2) and Suresh Raina (33) rankled the visitors.Sehwag batted for just 30 minutes in the Indian innings, before he was adjudged lbw to fast bowler David Burton, who has not represented Northants in a first-class match since September 2010.In between, left-hander Abhinav Mukund (113), VVS Laxman (49) and Amit Mishra (48 not out) helped themselves to some useful runs, but the other batsmen’s failures hardly lifted the mood in the camp.While Sehwag and Gambhir fell leg before wicket in the pre-lunch session, Dhoni and Raina departed in the final session after being squared up Luke Evans’ lifting deliveries.Dhoni strode to the middle after young Mukund was made to retire on his tea-time score of 113.Mukund’s innings is good news for the Indians as Suesh Raina, the other left-hander, did not seem too comfortable against the short-pitched stuffs.Mukund reached his century when he drove Best down the ground for a single. He had till then faced 138 balls and hit 17 fours.advertisementHowever, what is worrying for the India camp is its captain’s form.The world-cup winning captain faced no less than 13 balls and flirted with danger on a couple of occasions before making his way back to the pavilion.Raina departed in the very next over. While trying to hook Evans, the batsman only managed an edge to the wicketkeeper.Evans is a tall right-arm bowler but has not been considered good enough to make the first eleven for Northamptonshire, who incidentally are competing in Division 2 of County Championship.The young pace attack of Northamptonshire went flat out but the wicket, certainly, was not to their liking.-With PTI inputslast_img read more


first_imgIn my new book, Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century, I argue that our foreign policy must serve the interests of our domestic transformation. At the same time, much of what we are in the process of accomplishing at home-to pull our people out of poverty and to develop our nation-enables us to contribute to a better world. This is of value in itself, and it is also in our fundamental national interest.A world that is peaceful and prosperous, where trade is freer and universally agreed principles are observed, and in which democracy, the coexistence of civilisations and respect for human rights flourish, is a world of opportunity for India and for Indians to thrive.ChallengeIf this century has, in the famous phrase, made the world safe for democracy, the next challenge is to make a world safe for diversity. It is in India’s interest to ensure that the world as a whole must reflect the idea that is already familiar to all Indians-that it shouldn’t matter what the colour of your skin is, the kind of food you eat, the sounds you make when you speak, the God you choose to worship (or not), so long as you want to play by the same rules as everybody else, and dream the same dreams. It is not essential in a democratic world to agree all the time, as long as we agree on the ground rules of how we will disagree. These are the global principles we must strive to uphold if we are to be able to continue to uphold them securely at home.advertisementBecause the distinction between domestic and international is less and less meaningful in today’s world, when we think of foreign policy we must also think of its domestic implications. The ultimate purpose of any country’s foreign policy is to promote the security and well-being of its own citizens. We want a world that gives us the conditions of peace and security that will permit us to grow and flourish, safe from foreign depredations but open to external opportunities.Whether global institutions adapt and revive will be determined by whether those in charge are capable of showing the necessary leadership. Right now many of us would suggest that there is a global governance deficit. Reversing it would require strong leadership in the international community by a number of powers, including the emerging ones. India is an obvious contender to provide some of that leadership.In March 2012, the authors of a report entitled ‘Nonalignment 2.0’ put it well when they argued that ‘India must remain true to its aspiration of creating a new and alternative universality. . . . India already has enormous legitimacy because of the ideological legacies its nationalist movement bequeathed to it. But this legitimacy, once frittered away, cannot be easily recovered. India should aim not just at being powerful: it should set new standards for what the powerful must do.’AnalogyThis is a huge challenge, and one to which India must rise. An analogy from another field is not encouraging; many would argue that India has not acquitted itself well when given the chance to have a global impact in one domain – that of the sport of cricket, where India accounts for more than 80 per cent of the game’s revenues and perhaps 90 per cent of its viewership, giving it an impact on the sport that no country can rival. According to a tough editorial by Lawrence Booth, the editor of the “cricketers’ bible,” the 2012 Wisden Cricket Almanack, international opinion does not believe that in its domination of world cricket, India has set new standards for what the powerful must do. Broadening the analogy to global geopolitics, one could well say: India, your world needs you.So India must play its due part in the stewardship of the global commons (including everything from the management of the Internet to the rules governing the exploitation of outer space). We can do it. India is turning increasingly outward as a result of our new economic profile on the global stage, our more dispersed interests around the world, and the reality that other countries, in our neighbourhood as well as in Africa, are looking to us for support and security. The ‘problems without passports’ that consume the world need blueprints without borders-blueprints that require rules which India can contribute to making. The creation of global public goods is a new challenge, and it is one that a transforming India can rise to.advertisementExampleIndia has the ability and the vision to promote global partnerships across the broad range of its interests; it only needs to act. In a recent speech, National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon stated that ‘As a nation state India has consistently shown tactical caution and strategic initiative, sometimes simultaneously. But equally, initiative and risk taking must be strategic, not tactical, if we are to avoid the fate of becoming a rentier state.’ He provided an instructive example of what this would mean in practice:It means, for instance, that faced with piracy from Somalia, which threatens sealanes vital to our energy security, we would seek to build an international coalition to deal with the problem at its roots, working with others and dividing labour. Today the African Union has peacekeeping troops on the ground in Somalia. We could work with others to blockade the coast while the AU troops act against pirate sanctuaries on land, and the world through the Security Council would cut their financial lifelines, build the legal framework to punish pirates and their sponsors and develop Somalia to the point where piracy would not be the preferred career choice of young Somali males.This is an intriguing idea, one which so far remains in the realm of ideas rather than of implementable policy. But it is an encouraging indication that responsible Indians are already thinking beyond the established prisms of conventional policy-making to a broader and more effective Indian internationalism in the twenty-first century.- The writer is a member of Parliamentlast_img read more


first_imgGoogle has today created a very innovative and engaging Olympic Google Doodle to celebrate the London 2012 hurdles. The interactive doodle gives an opportunity to the users to participate in the hurdles race game. One can easily play the game using the left-right arrow keys on the keyboard to run and the spacebar to jump over the hurdles.Moreover, the scores are also displayed on the screen once the game ends. So what’s your score?last_img