BENGALURU: Always aiming to be the best in the business since his early days, India captain Virat Kohli says he very well knew that he has to consistently perform in all three formats of the game to realise his dream. Kohli, who won the Polly Umrigar award for BCCI's International Cricketer of the Year at the Cricket Board's annual awards on Wednesday night, said he always wanted to be one of the top players in the world. "I always wanted to be one of the top players in the world for sure. So I understood what it would take for me to maintain my form in all three formats. It is very important in transition phase to be available in all three formats and take the country forward," Kohli said. Kohli also took a dig at his detractors and said he always believed in his abilities although there were many doubters around him. "All along in my career, there were many people who had doubted the way I have gone about my game. Even now there are doubters and haters all around, but one thing is for sure that I have always believed in myself," he said. "I always believed in my heart that if I work 120 per cent every day in my life I am answerable to no one." Kohli also became the first Indian cricketer to receive the Polly Umrigar award for the third time.

Hailing his teammates for their support and contribution in helping India reach the pinnacle of Test cricket, Kohli said the last 12 months have been a breakthrough year in his career. "It is been quite unbelievable in the last 10 to 12 months. As cricketers you always have a breakthrough year for everyone. Starting late 2015 to the end of 2016, probably I could term is as the breakthrough year in my career. All the hard work, all the training on a daily basis, all the sacrifices, came together nicely. It could not have been possible without the help of the teammates throughout," he said. "At times you don't do well but when the champion players in your side step up and everyone delivers what when you start producing results. "That is why we are the top side in the world at the moment, and it is testimony to the kind of talent we have in the team and how players have stepped up on occasions which helped the team pull through different situations. I thank my teammates for their support, trust and effort," Kohli said.

The Indian skipper said the mantra behind the team's success in the last one year is it's care-free attitude and belief. "We play with a kind of attitude, we don't care about what happens outside that change-room door," Kohli said. "That is the attitude I have adopted since late 2015 when I stopped putting pressure on myself. I told myself I am working hard enough, I have the talent and I have the ability. I am going to go and express myself, but if I get an opportunity I make sure that I win games," he added. Kohli also thanked the Cricket Board (BCCI) for being given an opportunity to lead the Indian team. "I am thankful to BCCI for the kind of position it has put me in. I take this as an opportunity. I don't take this as a job. It is an opportunity and a responsibility. I need to do right things, set right examples and follow certain path that the whole team believes in," he said.

News source: The Times of India

Published in Sports


Defending champion Novak Djokovic was knocked out in four hours and 48 minutes by world No 116 Denis Istomin in the second round, losing 7-6 (10-8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. It was the first time that Djokovic had been beaten in the second round of a Grand Slam since Wimbledon 2008. Andy Murray's hopes of winning a first Australian Open title ended with a shock defeat to world number 50 Misha Zverev. Murray, the world No 1, dropped serve eight times as his German opponent won 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in the upset of the season. A few hours after Murray's exit, the defending champion and world No 2 Angelique Kerber was beaten in the fourth round by unseeded Coco Vandeweghe, ranked 35 in the game. German Kerber, 29, won Grand Slam titles at Melbourne and New York last year, but went down to Vandeweghe 6-2, 6-3. 

Britain's Dan Evans, ranked 51, came from a set down to upset seventh seed and former US Open winner Marin Cilic 3-6 7-5 6-3 6-3 in the second round. This was the 26-year-old's biggest career victory, and came after he struggled with an eye problem while Cilic breezed through the first set in 31 minutes. The British No 3's next victim was the home favorite Bernard Tomic, a victory which put him into the last 16. Evans beat the 27th seed 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 in two hours and 48 minutes in another great display of his handskills, holding his nerve in both tiebreakers. There was even arguments with the officials after a rain shower disrupted play at a crucial time in the third set.

This was a high-intensity match which Italian Andreas Seppi won, but made headlines for yet another Nick Kyrgios meltdown that sent him crashing out of the tournament. Perennial bad boy Kyrgios was accused of tanking, or giving up, during his 1-6, 6-7 (1/7), 6-4, 6-2, 10-8 loss to Seppi. Australian Kyrgios won the first two sets, then lost two, before the final went back and forth in riveting manner. 

News source: The Times of India 

Published in Sports


The high-pitched Assembly elections conclude on Wednesday with last phase

Published in Politics


A victory for Samajwadi Party in the election would be vindication of Akhilesh Yadav. A loss would unleash many dark possibilities and critical challenges for him. It was a rather stormy entry into the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections for Akhilesh.

He was still fighting a serious battle on many fronts when the election commission sounded the poll bugle. The in-house challengers had to be neutralised and many conspiracies to destabilise him needed to be smothered. The Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav had to be eased out with every ounce of his dignity intact. He had landed in a direct, no-holds-barred conflict with the party’s powerful nuts and bolts man Shivpal Yadav. The party was on the brink of a vertical split before the other side gave up the fight.

The possibility of a split drove him into a hurried alliance with the Congress. According to poll observers and party insiders, it was an unwise alliance where the Samajwadi Party conceded a quarter of the 403 seats in the state to a party with negligible presence on the ground. It led to heartburn and mini revolts within party ranks and it didn’t help that party elders were reluctant to offering the soothing touch.

Under him the party had made a definitive generational shift but the new leadership had to find wider acceptance among the party’s followers and sympathisers. Father Mulayam, the party’s founder, was the natural leader of a social coalition that stood him in good stead all through his active political career. Akhilesh had to prove he was a genuine claimant to that position. He not only had to woo the Yadav’s, the traditional backers of the Samajwadi Party, but also the other caste groupings that aligned well with party. With election so close, time was too short for him.

Akhilesh’s biggest challenge, however, was to find a counter to the resurgent BJP. The general election of 2014 was a shocker. The saffron surge under Narendra Modi, had disturbed the traditional poll arithmetic in the state. The accepted caste equations in relation to voting behaviour had gone for a toss. The fact that the party had secured a whopping 43 percent of the vote share called for drastic rethink on poll strategy from others, particularly the ruling Samajwadi Party which had to deal with the incumbency factor too. Akhilesh shifted the debate to performance with some deliberateness. It was risky but Modi had forced a change in the poll idiom and language; others had no other option but to follow.

A victory for Akhilesh would thus be a vindication of whatever moves, political or otherwise, he has made in the recent months. A loss would mean going back to the drawing board and starting from the scratch. Lost constituencies may not be easy to get back. It would be a long, arduous task to be back as a political force.

News source: http://www.firstpost.com

Published in Politics


They were heralded just months ago as "the only people" Pauline Hanson could trust with the task of engineering One Nation's resurgence in Western Australia. Within weeks, the plan was in tatters. Ron McLean and wife Marye​ Louise Daniels, associates of Senator Hanson for 20 years, were unceremoniously dumped as state president and secretary of One Nation, and expelled from the party. Two axed One Nation officials intend to take legal action against Pauline Hanson for alleged age discrimination. Now, as the party implodes just days out from the election, the pair have engaged a lawyer to file an anti-discrimination claim against Senator Hanson for allegedly telling Mr McLean he was "too old" to run for a seat.

"She said: 'Ron, I'm sacking you from the position on [the] agriculture [ticket], I believe you're too old and you'll be 91 when the term's finished'," Mr McLean, 87, told reporters at a shambolic media conference on Thursday. She also took aim at Senator Hanson's chief of staff James Ashby, who is resented by many One Nation operatives for the power he wields in the party. "Oh, James Ashby's present everywhere," Ms Daniels said.

Mr Ashby told Fairfax Media the party did not want to comment on matters that could be subject to legal proceedings, but conceded the pair's age had been a factor in them being rejected for pre-selection.
"If that's the path they want to go down, so be it," he said. "Pauline did say it's not a good look having an 88-year-old run as a candidate. I know they were upset and disappointed but Pauline still thinks the world of them." The couple's lawyer John Hammond said proceedings had been filed in the WA Equal Opportunity Commission and a full explanation about the dismissal had been sought in writing from Senator Hanson. "We do not agree that anyone should be told that they're too old to stand for Parliament," he said, citing Bernie Sanders, who was 74 when he sought the Democratic nomination for US president last year. WA One Nation leader Colin Tincknell did not return Fairfax Media's calls on Thursday, but told Sky News the party had found "a younger, more virile candidate" to take Mr McLean's position on the ticket.

"We were concerned for his health," Mr Tincknell said. The pair were sacked for disloyalty and not their age, he said. It came as rumours spread that up to a dozen furious One Nation candidates were preparing to denounce the minor party over Senator Hanson's preference deal with Colin Barnett's Liberal Party. One former candidate, retired bricklayer Ray Gould, last week declared he had "had enough" and abandoned his candidacy. "Nothing has been up front. We haven't been told the truth from day one," he said. One Nation was expected to be a potent force at Saturday's election, but polling by Fairfax Media has put the minor party on a primary vote of just 8.5 per cent - ahead of The Nationals but behind The Greens.

News source: http://www.smh.com.au

Published in Politics


New Delhi: Mint brings to you your daily dose of political news reported by newsrooms across the country.

Missing VIPs in Uttar Pradesh poll campaign

Congress president Sonia Gandhi was conspicuous by her absence from the campaign for assembly elections in five states, especially in Uttar Pradesh, which she skipped for the first time since her election as party leader in 1998. Seven months ago, she held a roadshow in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, in a symbolic launch of the Congress campaign in UP, India’s largest and most populous state.

Mulayam Singh Yadav’s low poll profile raises questions about his relevance

During the 2012 assembly elections, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav addressed over 300 election rallies. In the current one, he addressed just three. The low profile maintained by the patriarch in the party’s election campaign has raised questions about his relevance in the party. The political sidelining of the 77-year-old Mulayam Singh Yadav, which began with him being replaced as national president by son and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav following a bitter family feud in January, was accentuated in the just wrapped-up elections, with Mulayam Singh playing only a limited role in the Samajwadi Party campaign.

Education, health main focus in Delhi budget

Education and health remained the key focus areas for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government in its Rs48,000-crore third budget, presented by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday. Education accounted for 24% of the budget and health for 12%. For the first time, the AAP government presented an outcome budget to increase accountability. In line with the Central government, the Delhi government has done away with the plan and non-plan component.

Shiv Sena’s Vishwanath Mahadeshwar is new Mumbai mayor

Shiv Sena nominee Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was on Wednesday elected the new mayor of Mumbai in an election which had turned predictable after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulled out of the contest. Mahadeshwar’s election as the 76th mayor of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, India’s richest civic body, comes as the culmination of a fierce battle between the Sena and the BJP for the political reins of the country’s financial capital.

Winds of change in Odisha?

On the face of it, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and state chief minister Naveen Patnaik still holds sway over Odisha. In the just-concluded 2017 three-tier panchayat elections, BJD remained the lead party with 473 zila parishad seats out of 853. Dig deeper, however, and the cracks in the BJD edifice are beginning to show. First, its tally has dropped from 651 seats in 2012. Second, this has come because of a stunning surge in the number of seats won by the BJP—growing from 36 to 297 zila parishad seats in the same period.

News source: http://www.livemint.com

Published in Politics


New Delhi: Mint brings to you your daily dose of political news reported by newsrooms across the country.

Last phase of polling in UP, Manipur

The nearly two-month-long electioneering process for assembly polls in five states culminated on Wednesday when the last phase of voting began in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur. While 40 assembly constituencies go to polls in the seventh phase in UP, 22 constituencies are voting in the second phase in Manipur. Five assembly constituencies under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha seat, Varanasi, is keenly watched in this phase of UP apart from districts like Jaunpur, Bhadohi and Ghazipur as well as Naxal-affected districts of Sonbhadra, Mirzapur and Chandauli.

UP elections: Yadav family feud erupts on eve of last day of voting

The knives are out in the first family of the Samajwadi Party (SP) once again, even before the final vote is cast in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. On Tuesday, Sadhna Yadav, wife of party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, signalled her desire to see her son Prateek Yadav enter politics. Though she was careful to qualify her statement by stating she would like to see her step-son Akhilesh Yadav as the chief minister once again, the contradiction in her remarks was evident.

Elections 2017: Do they really care about women in politics?

So much for their talk of smashing gender barriers and supporting a law to reserve one-third of legislative seats for women: all frontline political parties have given fewer tickets to women candidates in the ongoing assembly elections as compared to 2012.

What it is like to be a man in India today

Manhood, manliness, masculinity are terms which mean different things to different people in different societies—with the definitions mostly swinging between being a construct of the society to being a biological constitution. Feminist anthropologists argue that most of the sex selective qualities are just values society attributes to the sexes.

Rural India trades up on its housing

Rural India traded up on housing needs in the first decade of the new millennium, reveals new data released by the government. A report on household capital expenditure based on the 70th round of the National Sample Survey reveals a sharp increase in the percentage of households incurring fixed capital expenditure, particularly in rural areas, in the 10 years ended 2012-13.

BJP-Shiv Sena’s BMC politics plays out in Maharashtra assembly

BJP legislators on Tuesday demanded an inquiry into alleged corruption in road contracts awarded by Shiv Sena-controlled Mumbai municipal corporation in 2016-17—an extension of the political battle between the two parties in the city. Ranjit Patil, minister of state for urban development, spurned the demand for a special investigation team to carry out the inquiry.

India ready to compete with the world: Narendra Modi

India is going to compete with the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, adding that Gujarat’s infrastructure growth story was a success that needed to be replicated by other states. Modi was in Bharuch and Dahej to inaugurate two major infrastructure projects, including the largest extradosed span bridge over the Narmada river.

News source: http://www.livemint.com


Published in Politics


"The Bihar plunge into the election was haphazard, it was like jumping into fire,'' says Asaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad MP and president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM). "But Uttar Pradesh has been a more organised affair.'' Owaisi has just got back to Delhi after spending the better part of the last two months campaigning in the heat and dust of UP. For someone who knows every nook and corner of Hyderabad like the back of his hand, UP is comparatively a geographical stranger. But contesting in 38 Assembly seats has been a good debut, he believes. "The Bihar plunge into the election was haphazard, it was like jumping into fire,'' says Asaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad MP and president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM). "But Uttar Pradesh has been a more organised affair.''

"I made life hell for secular parties. Congress leaders were cursing me because without any effort, I could mobilise up to 5,000 people for each one of my public meetings. What is important is that 90 percent of that crowd was youth in the age group of 18 to 25,'' says Owaisi. File photo of Asaduddin Owaisi. AFPFile photo of Asaduddin Owaisi. AFP Owaisi knows that is precisely the reason why he is branded an 'Amit Shah ka aadmi' who has made forays into Bihar and UP only to take away a part of the Muslim vote and thereby help the BJP in a closely-contested fight.

"Take the example of Amaravati or Solapur municipal corporation in Maharashtra. In both the cities, the BJP secured a majority in the 23 February election,'' points out Owaisi. "The Congress blames us for splitting the Muslim vote but the reality is that the Hindu vote of the Congress has moved over to the BJP.'' Owaisi on many occasions has also pointed out that his party never contested in Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Haryana where too the Congress suffered humiliating losses. "This is a feudal mindset,'' he points out. What he means is that the Congress bosses think that the AIMIM is just a Hyderabad party that should not dare spread its wings beyond the city.

News source: http://www.firstpost.com


Published in Politics
Friday, 03 March 2017 10:49

Amazon typo knocked websites offline


Amazon has said that a simple typo was the cause of several several high-profile websites and services being knocked offline earlier in the week.

Hours of problems struck services like Q&A forum Quora, and Giphy, an image hosting service. The sites rely on hosting provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) - a cloud computing provider. A typo made during a routine debugging of the AWS billing system caused the failure. "Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended," Amazon said in an online statement. The error required a full restart that "took longer than expected". Around 150,000 websites and services rely on AWS. Among those affected by the failure was - somewhat ironically - Down Detector, a service that tracks downtime at major websites. Amazon, which is the world's largest provider of cloud services, says it is now making changes to help prevent a similar incident occurring in the future.


Published in Technology
Friday, 03 March 2017 05:41

Snapchat firm share price soars on debut


Shares in Snap, owner of messaging app Snapchat, began trading on the US stock market on Thursday.

At the close of trade shares were $24.48 each, a jump of more than 40%. The flotation valued the company at $17 a share, or $24bn in all, although Snap has never made a profit. The firm's inital public offering (IPO) is the biggest for a US tech firm since Facebook in 2012 and will turn the company's founders, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, into multi-billionaires. Snapchat, which is especially popular with teenagers, allows users to send images and messages which then vanish.


The company's losses widened last year, and user growth is slowing down in the face of intense competition from larger rivals such as Facebook. Despite the challenges in converting "cool" into cash, Snap's valuation is the richest for a US tech flotation since Facebook in 2012. At the beginning of February Snap's formal announcement to regulators of its plans revealed that the company had revenue of $404m last year, but made a loss of $515m. Unlike in most listed companies, people who buy the floated shares in Snap will not get any voting rights.


Some analysts argued the company was overvalued. "Snap is a promising early stage company with significant opportunity ahead of itself. "Unfortunately, it is significantly overvalued given the likely scale of its long-term opportunity and the risks associated with executing against that opportunity," wrote analyst Brian Wieser from Pivotal Research in a note. He gave it a "sell" rating. Others were more positive. Before the trading debut, Jordan Hiscott, chief trader at Ayondo Markets, said: "What sets it apart from other messaging apps like WhatsApp for me is the innovative features built into the app's interface, such as the lenses function.

"A pertinent point in the company's S1 filing for the IPO is that it doesn't call itself a messaging service, but a camera company."

"This seems to be an intentional move to differentiate it from Facebook and Twitter and the success and failure of their respective IPOs, which in my view, is very clever."

News source: bbc

Published in Technology
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