MUNICH: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is the best player ever, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said on Tuesday after the Spanish side eliminated the Bavarians 5-3 on aggregate to reach next month’s Champions League final.
“He is the best player of all time,” Guardiola said. “I compare him with Pele. I am so happy to see this football.”
Messi, who is enjoying a sensational season and has scored 10 goals in Europe’s elite competition alone, destroyed Bayern in Barca’s 3-0 first-leg win after scoring twice last week.
The diminutive Argentine was again instrumental as Barcelona eased into the European Cup final for an eighth time.
“He is back, he is there where I had the privilege to train him,” Guardiola, who twice won the Champions League with the 27-year-old in his four years at Barca between 2008-2012, told reporters. “He is definitely back at his best.”
Messi, who last made the final under Guardiola in 2011 when they Barca won it, has also scored 40 goals in La Liga this season as the Spanish side chase a treble of titles. Messi’s role on Tuesday was less of an executioner and more of an orchestrator as he fell deeper allowing Neymar and Luis Suarez to receive his pin-point passes. (Reuters)
Munich: Neymar struck twice as Barcelona reached the Champions League final by beating Bayern Munich 5-3 on aggregate in their semi-final despite losing Tuesday’s second-leg 3-2 at the Allianz Arena.
Luis Enrique’s Barca survived a Bayern second-half fightback to keep alive their treble dreams as they close in on winning the Spanish league and face Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Cup final on May 30.
“It’s a great achievement to reach the final,” said Enrique, whose side has still yet to win in Munich despite five attempts.
“We forced the opponent to attack us, so we took some risks.
“Bayern were very physical, especially in the second half, they really wanted to turn it around.
“I am very satisfied with the performance of my players, the whole team deserved the victory and we have to enjoy this.”
In contrast, Pep Guardiola’s Bayern bowed out at the last-four stage for the second year running, despite ending Barcelona’s 18-game unbeaten run.
Bayern were facing what looked like an impossible task after going down 3-0 in last week’s first leg at the Camp Nou, but they were given an early glimmer of hope in the return when the unmarked Medhi Benatia headed home on seven minutes.
However, the final outcome of the tie was put beyond doubt when Luis Suarez twice set up Neymar to score for the visitors before half an hour had been played.
Bayern produced a rousing second-half performance and goals from Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller allowed them to win the game on the night, but Barcelona advance to the final in Berlin on June 6, where they will face either bitter rivals Real Madrid or Juventus.
“We believed in the miracle, but we couldn’t make it happen,” said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm.
“It’s impossible to stop those players for the whole 90 minutes.
“We didn’t lose it today, but in the first leg.”
While Lionel Messi dazzled in the first leg by scoring twice and setting up Neymar in a 3-0 romp, it was the Selecao star who extinguished Bayern’s Berlin dreams and took his tally to 11 goals in his last 10 games.
Before that, Bayern opened the scoring when Xabi Alonso floated in a corner and Benatia headed home unmarked for his first Champions League goal.
That ended Barca’s seven-match run without conceding and briefly put life back into the hosts’ faint dreams of reaching an 11th European Cup final. But it was not to last.
With the game running at a frantic pace, Messi put a ball in behind the Bayern defence for Suarez to square for Neymar to have a simple tap-in on 15 minutes.
Bayern pressed forward and Mueller’s header was palmed over by Barca’s Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen on 19 minutes.
Both sides had their chances when Lewandowski, then Mueller, fired at ter Stegen and at the other end Messi did the same at Manuel Neuer.
But Barcelona put the tie beyond the hosts when Suarez broke on the right and again squared unselfishly for Neymar to fire inside the near post and make it 2-1 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate.
Luis Enrique rested Suarez for the second half and the game’s tempo dropped, but Lewandowski kept home fans dreams alive by firing past ter Stegen on 59 minutes, while Mueller fired wide with a shot minutes later.
Thomas Mueller made good on his pre-match promise that Bayern would fight until the final whistle when he blasted Schweinsteiger’s squared pass home on 74 minutes to make it 5-3 on aggregate, but it was too little, too late for Bayern Munich. (AFP)
DONGGUAN (China): Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal was the only bright spot in what turned out to be a dismal day for the Indian badminton team as it crashed out of the prestigious Sudirman Cup after a 1-4 loss to three-time champions Korea in a Group 1D tie on Wednesday.
World No. 2 Saina produced a determined performance to edge out former world no. 5 Bae Yeon Ju 22-20, 17-21, 21-13 in the women’s singles but no other Indian could outwit the Koreans as their campaign ended on a disappointing note.
India were pegged back 0-1 after men’s doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar went down 10-21, 19-21 to world no. 8 combination of Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang.
The 25-year-old Saina then brought India back in the contest but once Parupalli Kashyap’s gritty fight against world no. 5 Son Wan Ho ended with a 21-13, 14-21, 13-21 loss, the writing was on the wall for India.
2011 World Championship bronze medallist combo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa then conjured up hopes of a win before going down fighting 21-18, 12-21, 12-21 to Chang Ye Na and Jung Kyung Eun.
India’s mixed doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sikki Reddy N then lost 12-21, 20-22 to Kim Ha Na and Ko Sung Hyun in the final match to end the agony for India.
India had suffered a 2-3 loss against Malaysia in their opening tie of Group 1D on Monday.
In women’s singles, Korea fielded Ju Bae ahead of world no. 7 Sung Ji Hyun against Saina probably because of her better record against the Indian and the ploy seemed to be working initially.
In the second game, Saina managed a slender 11-10 lead at the interval but Ju Bae started dominating the rallies and after a intense battle, the Korean broke off at 14-14 to roar back into contest with a six-point burst.
Saina was at her aggressive best in the decider as she dished out a game which Ju Bae could not negotiate. In a jiffy, the Indian marched ahead and sealed the match comfortably to bring India on an even-knell.
Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand then handed Commonwealth Games champion Kashyap the responsibility of taming Son, whom he had beaten in straight games at the Singapore Open last month.
In the decider, Kashyap failed to curb his errors as he lost quite a few points hitting wide and long, and also rushed into a few shots to see Son holding 11-8 advantage and then zoomed ahead to a 17-12 lead.
Eventually, a miscued shot from Kashyap took Son to a 20-13 lead before the Korean sealed the match with a powerful smash to make it 2-1 in favour of his team.
Up next, Jwala and Ashwini produced a gritty performance and engaged in a fierce battle with Chang and Jung to move neck and neck for most part of the first game.
While Jwala troubled with her sharp-angled returns, Ashwini dished out some superb smashes from back of the court to eventually wrest the first game.
However, Chung and Jung changed their tactics in the second game and started dominating the rallies to lead 11-6. The Koreans continued their domination after the interval and moved to game point when Jwala hit the net.
The Indians saved two game points before Ashwini’s return found the net and the Korean pair bounced back into contest.
In the decider, Chung and Jung surged ahead to 10-4, Although Jwala and Ashwini managed to narrow it down to 9-11 at the break, they lost steam after the interval as India lost the match. In the inconsequential fifth match, Manu and Sikki showed fighting spirit in the second game but they lacked nerves in crucial moments to go down in straight games. (PTI)
New Delhi: PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan on Wednesday said that the broadcast rights issue will not be a hindrance for the proposed Indo-Pak cricket series and exuded confidence that the two boards will sort out the matter soon.
The revival of Indo-Pak cricketing ties has hit a roadblock after differences emerged between PCB and BCCI over broadcast rights issues, in particular the PCB’s series-by-series association with Ten Sports.
The BCCI reportedly does not approve of the PCB-Ten Sports deal and is not keen on an India-Pakistan series being broadcast by a potential ‘rival’ group.
Asked if it would be a hindrance for the proposed series, Khan said: “No. I must explain that we will be dealing with the issue in the next few weeks and hopefully we will find a resolution to that.”
The proposal to revive Indo-Pak cricketing ties also faced opposition from political leaders with former home secretary and BJP MP from Bihar’s Arrah, RK Singh, raising the issue in the Lok Sabha during zero hour on Tuesday.
Khan said: “It is not so much with the Government of India. It is the BCCI and the broadcasters. We will jointly try to overcome it and I’m hopeful we can.”
The proposed full fledged series, which will involve three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s, is part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two Boards last year and will be hosted by Pakistan in the UAE.
Talking about the MOU, Khan said: “India used to be hestitant in coming to UAE for the matches but ever since they had their IPL in UAE, I think their reservation have been resolved.
“Therefore, the MOU, clearly says that the first series will be hosted by Pakistan in UAE and BCCI agreed to that,” he told Times Now.
Currently in India, Khan had a series of meetings with BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya, Union Minister Arun Jaitley and BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur during the past few days. “I met Jagmohan Dalmiya in Kolkata; yesterday I met Arun Jaitley, today I met Anurag Thakur. After meeting all three, I feel we are on the right track and hopefully Indian govt, will give its permission too,” Khan said.
Since 2007, India have not played a proper bilateral Test series with Pakistan mainly due to political reasons, particularly after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks which led to suspension of cricketing ties. The two countries played one short series of 3 ODIs and 2 T20 matches in India in December 2012, otherwise they have met only in ICC organised events or the Asia Cup. (PTI)
Opportunity for GH lads to be a part of U-17 FIFA WC
By Our Reporter
TURA: Young football enthusiasts from all over Garo Hills has been given an opportunity to be a part of the first ever Under 17 FIFA World Cup which is being hosted in India come 2017. A trial run will be conducted for Garo Hills on May 15 and 16 from 7:00 am onwards in which 18 boys will be selected to participate at the State Level selection. An official of the District Football Association (DFA) informed that the selection from Garo Hills would be done giving special preference to those born in 2000 and 2001. The State Level selection has been scheduled for May 18 and 19 after which the AIFF Main selection would be conducted from May 21 to 23 to decide the final list of players. The selection for the final list of players to participate in the tournament would be done by Head Coach of Under 17 Indian Team, Nicholas Adam who will be arriving at Shillong. Interested players have been advised to contact the General Secretary of DFA, Tura, Gino A Sangma on his personal mobile number- 9612155002.
Buddha Niketan, Gandhi Buniyadi, Mawprem Modern win
Shillong: Buddha Niketan defeated Little Angel’s by 4 runs via D/L Method in the 7th Babu Ondromoni Dkhar Memorial Senior Cricket Tournament organised by the Shillong Cricket Association at the SCA Cricket Ground, Polo, on Tuesday.
Electing to bat first Buddha NIketan scored 102 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in 15 overs. Amir Shek remained not out with 49 runs off 42 balls and Pratap Chanda scored 15 runs off 12 balls. Nicholas Kharwanlang took 1 wicket for 22 runs for Little Angel’s.
In reply, Little Angel’s scored 30 runs losing 5 wickets in 5 overs when rain interrupted the match. Sushil scored 10 runs off 17 balls. Md. Aman took 2 wickets for 2 runs and Barshat took 1 wicket for 5 runs for Buddha Niketan.
Gandhi Buniyadi defeated St. Nanak in a ‘Bowl Out rule’, in the second match.
In the third match, Mawprem Modern defeated Ruprekha Parishad by 2 wickets. Being put into bat first , Ruprekha scored 80 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in 15 overs. Amir Hussain scored 20 runs off 28 balls and Bijay Thapa scored 12 runs off 7 balls. Ronald Joshi took 3 wickets for 18 runs and Gulshan Sharma took 2 wickets for 16 runs for Mawprem Modern.
In reply, Mawprem Modern reached the target in 14.4 overs losing 8 wickets. Bijay Kr. Sharma scored 33 runs off 28 balls and Ricky Sah scored 15 runs off 19 balls. Kishan Thakur took 3 wickets for 15 runs and Jagnath took 1 wicket for 10 runs for Ruprekha Parishad.
Retirement on hold for shoulder injury: Manny Pacquiao
Manila: Boxer Manny Pacquiao has said he will decide on retirement after completely healing from his shoulder injury. The 36-year-old Filipino, returned to his country on Wednesday after his defeat to American Floyd Mayweather in their world welterweight super-fight on May 2. “I will focus on healing my shoulder. After that, I will announce continuing my career or retirement,” Pacquiao was quoted as saying by bbc.com on Tuesday. “I’m not saying I am going to retire, but it’s near. I’m already 36, turning 37 this December,” he said. Despite a unanimous points defeat in Las Vegas, Pacquiao, a six-weight world champion, received a warm welcome back to the Philippines by fans. Pacquiao fought the contest with a shoulder injury and is the now subject of a Nevada law suit for failing to declare his injury prior to the bout. He underwent a shoulder surgery shortly after the fight. He has expressed a desire to fight Mayweather in a rematch, but his wish has been turned down by the American who termed his opponent a “sore loser”. Pacquiao also said he has accepted the defeat against Mayweather but believes he won the fight by a slim margin. “I reviewed the fight and kept score. I won by two points, but a decision has been made and we have to accept it,” he added. (IANS)
SHILLONG, May 13: Succumbing to the mounting pressure, the Meghalaya government on Wednesday decided to drop the criminal cases registered against the 13 pressure groups during the 4-month long agitation demanding the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) to curb influx into the state.
The decision came after a sit in protest was staged by the pressure groups held in the city on Wednesday demanding immediate dropping of all the charges filed against them as well as unconditional release of Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) president Daniel Khyriem.
SHILLONG, May 13: A surprise procession by the pro-ILP activists on Wednesday resulted in pandemonium across the city. The aggressive activists took out a surprise procession at the end of their sit-in-demonstration at the parking lot adjacent to the Additional Secretariat.
In the process, pro-ILP activists also got into a brawl with a police officer and security personnel. The police officer fell down while trying to stop the NGOs members from taking out the procession as there was no permission from the district administration.
SHILLONG, May 13: Traditional chiefs and headmen in Ri Bhoi District have decided to call for a 12-hour bandh on May 19 in protest against the government’s failure to pass the KHAD (Village Administration) Bill, 2014.
The decision was taken at a meeting convened by the Dorbar Ki Rangbah Shnong Ri-Bhoi District (DKRSRD) held at Umbuda in the district on Wednesday.
The 6 am to 6 pm bandh will be effective in the entire district of Ri Bhoi, the meeting announced.
SHILLONG, May 13 (IANS): Interpol’s Dhaka unit has asked its Indian counterpart to arrest Salahuddin Ahmed, a former Bangladesh minister and joint secretary general and spokesman of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), who was arrested here in Meghalaya on charges of illegally entering India, police said on Wednesday.
“We received a red alert notice from Dhaka Interpol yesterday (Tuesday) requesting us to arrest Salahuddin Ahmed. We have informed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in New Delhi about their request,” Meghalaya Police chief Rajiv Mehta said.
New Delhi: Faced with irritants like the boundary issue and China’s plans for infrastructure projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, PM Narendra Modi will have a tough task as he meets the Chinese leadership during his three-day visit to China from 14 of this month which he hoped will set a “new milestone” for Asia.
Modi, who is undertaking his first visit to China as Prime Minister, will reach the ancient city of Xi’an, the home town of President Xi Jinping, for a summit meeting, an unusual departure from normal protocol and seen as a reciprocal gesture by the Chinese leader who was hosted by Modi in Ahmedabad when he visited India in September last year.
“I am looking forward to the trip to China… the 21st century belongs to Asia,” the Prime Minister told Chinese media ahead of his visit.
The Prime Minister, who spoke in Hindi, hoped that his visit will “further deepen” India-China relations and set a “new milestone” for Asia and developing countries.
“I believe that my trip to China will not only deepen the China-India friendship, but also set a new milestone for the relations between developing countries in Asia as well as around the world. There is no doubt about that,” he told state-run CCTV ahead of this visit.
He said India and China have made great progress in bilateral relations in recent years and managed their differences with patience and maturity.
“Interacted with the Chinese media, where I highlighted the strong potential of India-China ties,” Modi tweeted.
“I talked about our shared responsibility to help developing nations, especially in poverty eradication,” he added. In another tweet, he said, “Asia, being the land of Buddha has the responsibility to ensure that this is a century free from war.”
Modi noted that he had met President Xi three times during the last one year and held extensive talks on a wide range of issues.
This is first time since Xi took over power two years ago that he will be receiving a foreign leader outside Beijing and will spend considerable time informally interacting with Modi.
The only other leader Xi has spent time walking around was with Barack Obama last year during APEC summit when he took the US President around Zhongnanhai, the imperial garden in Beijing where the top Chinese leadership resides.
But the list of problems both countries face are considerable, ranging from the festering border dispute to China’s support for India’s arch-rival Pakistan.
President Xi had during his visit to Pakistan on April 20 announced a USD 46 billion package ato construct infrastructure including highways and hydel power projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through PoK to the Gwadar port in Balochistan.
New Delhi has lodged a protest with Beijing over the China-Pakistan economic corridor. During Modi’s stay in Beijing, the first meeting of the India-China State and Provincial Leaders’ Forum would be held attended by Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Gujarat Devendra Fadnavis and Anandiben Patel respectively.
The Prime Minister will also witness a Yoga-Tai Chi joint event at the Temple of Heaven and deliver a public address at the Tsinghua University in Beijing.
The Prime Minister will have a business stop at Shanghai where he will meet Chinese CEOs, visit the Fudan University where he will inaugurate the Centre for Gandhian Studies. He will also be addressing a community event in Shanghai.
On the second leg of his visit, Modi will reach Mongolia on May 17.
“There is a rare honour being bestowed on our PM because this is for the first time on a holiday the Parliament of Mongolia is going to allow a foreign leader to speak and address the membership there,” said Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East).
The Prime Minister will meet Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj to strengthen bilateral cooperation in diverse areas.
The two sides will ink several agreements including one on application of nuclear technology for cancer cure, solar and wind energy, traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy, cyber security and other areas.
The PM will also attend a mini Naadam festival which includes display of horse racing, traditional wrestling and archery.
This will be the first ever visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Mongolia and takes place in the backdrop of celebrations of the 25th year of democracy in Mongolia and 60 years of its diplomatic relations with India. (PTI)
Rakhra (Patiala): Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday said that the state government was making persistent efforts with the Centre to bring back the books, rare manuscripts and other artifacts taken away by the Indian Army from Sikh Reference Library in Amritsar during the Operation Blue Star.
He said these rare artefacts were of immense historical and religious significance for each and every Sikh and there have been constant vigorous efforts to bring these valuable back to the state.
“We will further intensify our efforts to bring these valuable articles snatched away from us during the operation blue star back to the state,” Badal said.
The CM said that Shiromani Akali Dal would vehemently raise these issues with the centre.
He bemoaned that time and again the successive Congress led governments at the centre had done grave injustice with the state by denying its capital, legitimate share in river waters and even the Punjabi speaking areas.
Renewing his firm pledge to get back the Punjabi speaking areas and Chandigarh, the Chief Minister said that Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) would vehemently raise these issues with the centre.
He said there was hardly any example in the country where the parent state has been denied of its capital, after the formation of linguistic states, other than Punjab.
On referring the Land Ordinance Bill to Joint Parliamentary Committee, the CM said that Punjab model of land acquisition was the best in the country and it should be replicated at the national level.
He said that the clauses of consent, adequate compensation and rehabilitation of the farmers were must so as to devise any pro-farmer land acquisition bill.
“A farmer loves his land far more than his child so it should not be taken away in any case without his express consent,” he added.He reiterated the firm commitment of the state government to maintain law and order in the state at every cost.
He said that sporadic incidents of law and order problem were persistent in every state and even the advanced countries like USA were also not aloof from it.
On the issue of appointment of Tara Singh as the Chief of Management Board at Takht Sri Hazur sahib, the CM said that it has hurt the Sikh psyche, as every Sikh was against the political interference in their religious affairs. (PTI)
They make news whenever they pair up on the big screen but actress Deepika Padukone says no media speculation comes close to explaining the relationship she shares with former boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor.
The actors, who broke up after one year of dating, were last seen in Ayan Mukherjee’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani in 2013.
While the media tried decoding their bond during the film’s promotions, the audiences were all praise for their onscreen chemistry in the movie.
The two are working together again in Imtiaz Ali’s upcoming romantic-drama Tamasha and the 29-year-old actress is prepared to be under scrutiny again.
“No matter how much we move on in our lives and no matter how comfortable we keep telling people we are working with each other, the question will keep coming up. But the point is, it was, is and will always be a very special equation that we share. Something that one can’t explain and describe in too many words,” Deepika said.
“Our work is an example of that. We did YJHD together and it was a super success and people gave us so much love for that film and then we have finished another film (Tamasha) in less than two years. I think that’s amazing,” Deepika said.
The actress, who is currently riding high on the success of Piku, said a film with Ranbir and Imtiaz was on her wishlist since she saw Rockstar.
“I am fascinated by Imtiaz and then there is Ranbir, who again is supremely talented and I have worked with both of them individually. Why I love and respect Imtiaz so much is also because he cast me in Love Aaj Kal even before my first film released.
“I knew it would be really exciting for three of us to come together and I wanted it one day, the same way I wanted Ranbir and me as an onscreen pair to be directed by Ayan because I had seen their work in Wake Up Sid. I was like ‘I want to work with these people’. And that’s what happened when I saw Rockstar,” she said. (PTI)
Himachal sends 25,000 blankets to quake-hit Nepal
Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government has provided relief in the form of 25,000 blankets, amounting to Rs.1 crore, to the people in earthquake-hit Nepal, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said here on Wednesday.Nepal has been facing a catastrophe after a massive earthquake and thousands of people require humanitarian assistance, the chief minister was quoted as saying in a statement.Singh said the people of India were with the people of Nepal in this hour of distress.The death toll in the powerful earthquake that rocked Nepal on Tuesday has reached 65. As many as 8,151 died in the April 25 quake and 17,866 people were injured. (IANS)
SIT arrests two youths for posing as dummy candidates
Indore: Two youths were arrested for allegedly impersonating candidates of the Madhya Pradesh Pre-Medical Test (PMT) conducted in 2009, police said on Wednesday. Brijesh Aghari (28), a resident of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Ashish Uttam (27), belonging to Jabalpur, allegedly appeared for Amar Singh Meda and Ravindra Dulavat at the examination respectively, said Special Investigation Team (SIT) ASP, Indore, Devendra Patidar. He said both Meda and Dulavat passed the test for MBBS course and the former secured admission in state-run Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College here, adding that the duo was apprehended recently. PMT is conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) which is under the scanner for alleged scam in various recruitment and appointment examinations. The SIT has been probing the alleged irregularities in PMT, under which hundreds of students secured admission in MBBS courses by fraudulent means through racketeers who procured dummy candidates for them in return of huge premium. (PTI)
Joining BJP was a mistake : Manjul
Kolkata: Terming his joining the BJP a ‘mistake’, former Trinamool Congress minister Manjul Krishna Thakur on Wednesday requested West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to forgive him and take him back into the party. “Earlier I had applied to the party (TMC) leadership to take me back to the party fold. Just like any other normal human being I too commited a mistake and requested the party leadership to forgive me. Today I met the speaker Biman Banerjee and party leader Partha Chatterjee,” he told reporters. Thakur had in a letter to TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last month accepted his ‘mistake’ of leaving the party and appealed to be taken back. Asked whether he wanted to get back his ministerial portfolio, Thakur said “I can’t comment on this matter. I just want to return to my party and forget the mistakes. I want to work for the people. I had then taken the step after being misguided by BJP.” State BJP president Rahul Sinha refused to comment on the recent developments. Thakur had resigned as minister of refugee relief and rehabilitation department and along with his son Subrata had joined BJP just ahead of the February 13 bypolls in Bongaon Lok Sabha seat. Manjul, who hails from Matua community – a vote bank which holds the sway in Bongoan area, had then accused the TMC government and party of functioning in a ‘whimsical’ way. Later on, Subrata was given a BJP ticket to contest from Bongaon seat against his aunt, TMC candidate Mamata Bala Thakur. Mamata Bala had registered a massive victory in Bongaon polls handing a humiliating defeat to BJP and Subrata Thakur. (PTI)
‘No ban on cell phones in police stations for general public’
New Delhi: There is no ban on bringing devices such as mobile phones and pen drives to police stations in the national capital, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday. Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said Delhi Police has reported that there is no ban on bringing mobile phones, pen drives etc by common people at police stations to the places which are accessible to the general public such as Reporting Room, Sakraman Kaksh, Women Help Desk etc. “There is no inconvenience to public or common men going to police stations for registration of FIRs as no such ban is exercised at the places which are accessible to general public like Reporting Room, Women Help Desk etc,” he said in reply to a written question. The Minister also said that Delhi Police follows a zero tolerance policy toward corruption. The various steps to improve transparency include eFIR, web-based police clearance certificate, advertisements of helpline numbers 1064/9910641064. (PTI)
Man murders wife in full public view
Tamilnadu: In a bizarre incident, a man hacked to death his wife in full public view over frequent domestic squabble at Kariyapatti, here on Wednesday.Police said the deceased R.Azhagu Meenal (56) was hacked to death by her husband Ramalingam (60), this morning when she was walking on the Kariyapatti-Kallikudi road enroute to the Office of Tamilnadu Electricity Board, where she was working as a sweeper. The woman, who sustained multiple cut injuries died on the spot.Ramalingam surrendered before the Kariyapatti police. The body was removed to government hospital for post-mortem. Further investigations were on. (UNI)
Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra’s debut American TV project Quantico has released its first trailer, which shows her playing a young FBI recruit.
In the ABC thriller series, the 32-year-old actress plays the lead role of Alex Parish, an agent whose past resurfaces soon after she arrives at the training camp.
Things go wrong for her after there is a terrorist attack as the authorities blame her.
Accuse her to be the mastermind “behind the biggest terrorist attack on New York City since 9/11″.
“Here it is the trailer of #Quantico! Say whaaaa? Me so nervous (sic),” Priyanka posted on twitter.
The series has been penned and executive produced by Josh Safran.
The actress has been cast as the female lead in the pilot, which also stars Dougray Scott, Jake McLaughlin, Aunjanue Ellis, Yasmine Al Masri, Johanna Braddy, Tate Ellington and Grahaam Rogers. The series will premiere this fall. (PTI)
Karachi: Heavily-armed militants donning police uniforms attacked a bus on Wednesday carrying Shia Ismaili Muslims and shot them in the head, killing at least 47 people and leaving behind a pamphlet of ISIS claiming responsibility for the grisly attack in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi.
Police officials said it appeared that six to eight assailants on motorbikes first opened fire on the bus just near the Dow Medical College and then entered the bus when it stopped at Safoora Chorangi, Gulistan-e-Johar area of Karachi.
The attackers killed 47 people, including 16 women, and wounded more than 20 others before fleeing from the scene.
“It was a targeted attack,” Sindh Police Inspector General Ghulam Haider Jamali told reporters. The death toll could further rise as some persons are seriously injured. The injured and dead were shifted to various hospitals by rescue workers.
A senior police official said the attackers entered the bus and shot the passengers in the head. A blood-stained pamphlet of terrorist group Islamic State was recovered from the scene, according to a police official.
But government has not so far named any group for the attack. Balochistan-based militant group Jundullah also claimed responsibility for the attack. A rescue official quoted a victim as saying that the attackers were dressed in police uniforms. Jamali said initial investigations showed that the armed men used 9mm pistols in the massacre. Empty bullet shells of pistols and Kalashnikovs were found at the scene.
This was the worst attack targeting the members of the minority community after a suicide bomber in January blew himself up in a Shia mosque in Shikarpur in the Sindh province killing 61 worshippers and bystanders.
A senior police official said the bus belonged to the Al-Azhar Garden welfare, a non-profit organisation for the Ismaili community which provided them low cost housing just near the site of the attack and free transport service. “Most of these people were going towards the city centre for jobs or were vendors or small traders,” the official said. Police and Rangers arrived at the scene and started manhunt. More than 60 people were on the board the bus.
Ismaili community is a branch of Shia Muslims and they are known for their progressive Islamic views.
President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have strongly condemned the terrorism incident. Sharif sought a preliminary report from the authorities on the incident.
The attack came a day after Sharif’s Kabul visit where he said that enemies of Afghanistan are also enemies of Pakistan.
The Director-General of the ISPR tweeted that Army Chief General Raheel Sharif had cancelled a pre-schedule three-day visit to Sri Lanka because of the attack. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah termed it a “terrorist attack” and said the culprits will be arrested and justice will be done. He announced Rs 500,000 compensation for the dead and free treatment for the injured. (PTI)
Michael Jackson’s daughter shares cosy selfie with footballer boyfriend
Paris Jackson’s has shared a selfie with footballer boyfriend Chester Castellaw. The 17-year-old daughter of the late King of Pop Michael Jackson features in the pic while cuddling up to the footballer dressed in her usual punk attire. Showing off her streaked red and brown hair, the beauty can be seen smiling for ear-to-ear in a bathroom mirror shot as her blonde boy friend stands with his mouth open giving her a kiss on the cheek. The 18-year-old hunk has shared a number of snaps of the loved-up teenagers on Instagram, confirming their romance over the past few months. (PTI)
Stallone to exhibit paintings
Hollywood action star Sylvester Stallone will exhibit his art work in Nice, France, from this weekend.
The 68-year-old actor will showcase some of the artwork he has created over the last 50 years at Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporaine in Nice, and will personally be at the event’s opening on Saturday, May 16, reported Female First. Following the opening, VIPs will gather at the Place Massena with the mayor of the city for a celebratory dinner Many of the Expendables star’s paintings are inspired by his movie roles, or feature references to the likes of Michael Jackson, James Dean and his ex-wife Brigitte Nielsen. (PTI)
J Lo hints she is back in love with Casper Smart
Jennifer Lopez seems to be getting in love again with her former boyfriend Casper Smart as she calls him her man crush.The Booty singer recently posted a picture of her with the Step Up 3D actor on Instagram and wrote that he is her “Man Crush Monday” and she posted it as the actor loved this picture,reported a website. Lopez and Smart were also spotted together at a low-key vacation to Mexico previously. (ANI)
Kris Jenner wants Kendall,Bieber to be the next Brangelina
Kris Jenner has admitted that she wants her daughter Kendall Jenner and her good friend Justin Bieber to be the next Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie .A source informed that the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star wants the friendship between her model daughter and her singer friend to blossom more and take a step forward as she adores the Baby singer, reported a website.The source further informed that the 59-year-old TV personality has compared the singer and her daughter with Pitt and Jolie as she adores Bieber and thinks he is perfect for her daughter. (ANI)
SEOUL: North Korea has executed its defence chief on treason charges by putting him in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range, Seoul’s National Intelligence Service NIS told lawmakers.
Hyon Yong Chol, 66, who headed the isolated country’s military, was purged late last month for disobeying Kim Jong Un and falling asleep during a meeting at which North Korea’s young leader was present, according to South Korean lawmakers briefed in a closed-door meeting with the spy agency on Wednesday.
His execution, the latest of a series of high-level purges since Kim took power in 2011, was watched by hundreds of people, they said.
It was not clear how the NIS received the information and it is not possible to independently verify such reports from within secretive North Korea. Hyon, last known to have spoken publicly at a security conference in Moscow in April, was said to have shown disrespect to Kim by dozing off at a military event, the Seoul lawmakers said, citing the agency briefing. Hyon was believed to have voiced complaints against Kim Jong Un and had not followed his orders several times, according to the lawmakers.
He was arrested late last month and executed three days later without legal proceedings, the NIS said.
The reported execution comes after South Korea’s spy agency said late last month that Kim ordered the execution of 15 senior officials this year as punishment for challenging his authority.
In all, around 70 officials have been executed since Kim took over after his father’s death, Yonhap news agency cited the NIS as saying.”North Korean internal politics is very volatile these days.
Internally, there does not seem to be any respect for Kim Jong Un within the core and middle levels of the North Korean leadership,” said Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership and contributor to the 38 North think tank.
“There is no clear or present danger to Kim Jong Un’s leadership or stability in North Korea, but if this continues to happen into next year, then we would seriously have to start looking at a contingency plan for the Korean peninsula”. The lawmakers said Hyon was executed at a firing range at the Kanggon Military Training Area, 22 km 14 miles north of Pyongyang.
The U.S.-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea said last month that, according to satellite images, the range was likely used for an execution by ZPU-4 anti-aircraft guns in October. The target was just 30 metres 100 feet away from the weapons, which have a range of 8,000 metres, it said.
“The gut-wrenching viciousness of such an act would make ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ sound like a gross understatement,” the group said on its web-site. “Given reports of past executions this is tragic, but unfortunately plausible in the twisted world of Kim Jong Un’s North Korea.
“North Korea is one of the most insular countries in the world and its ruling power structure is highly opaque.
The current leader is the third generation of the Kim family that has ruled with near-absolute power since the country was established in 1948.
But the hierarchy around them has long been subject to infighting and factionalism which makes it impossible for outsiders to ascertain who makes decisions, and why.
In 2013, Kim purged and executed his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, once considered the second most powerful man in Pyongyang’s leadership circle, for corruption and committing crimes damaging to the economy, along with a group of officials close to him.
Pyongyang’s military leadership has been in a state of perpetual reshuffle since Kim Jong Un took power. Kim, who is in his early thirties, has changed his armed forces chief four times since coming to power.
His father Kim Jong Il, who ruled over the isolated nuclear-capable country for almost two decades, replaced his chief just three times.
Hyon, a little-known general, was promoted within the military at the same time as Kim Jong Un in 2010. He later became a vice marshal of the North Korean army in 2012.
The South Korean spy agency told lawmakers that Ma Won Chun, known as North Korea’s chief architect of new infrastructure under Kim, was also purged.
Ma had also once served as vice director of the secretive Finance and Accounting Department in the ruling Workers’ Party and, up until recently, was effectively the regime’s money man. (PTI)
Beirut: Investigators and lawyers have built war crimes cases against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and key institutions of his regime with documents smuggled out of the country, a report said on Wednesday.
The Guardian newspaper said the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) had already built three cases against the regime for crimes against humanity and is continuing to assemble evidence against others in the regime as well as in the opposition.
The British daily said the cases were largely based on government documents smuggled out of Syria by a team of 60 investigators who had risked their lives to collect the evidence that now runs to around half a million pages.
The group is also building up possible war crimes cases against rebel groups fighting Assad, including the jihadist Islamic State group, and has hired staff to review hours of video evidence. So far, the CIJA has compiled three cases against the regime based mostly on its bloody suppression of anti-government protests in 2011 that triggered the descent into civil war. The first case centres on Assad and his war cabinet — the Central Crisis Management Cell (CCMC). A second focuses on the National Security Bureau, which includes the intelligence and security chiefs.
The third involves the security committee responsible for Deir Ezzor and Raqa provinces, and is based on smuggled documents detailing “how precise orders to crush the popular uprising flowed from Damascus to the governorates.” The Guardian reported that the regime bureaucracy’s passion for paperwork had made it easy both to document crimes and to determine who was giving the orders.
“The regime’s mania for documenting orders as they travel down the chain of command — and after-actions reports that flow back upwards — has meant that the paper trail led unexpectedly to the very centre of power in Damascus,” the paper wrote.
The documents provided insight into how the regime has organised itself during the war, revealing that the CCMC meets daily and minutes from the meeting are taken directly to Assad for review and notes that are then passed down the chain of command. (PTI)
The material also showed that the country’s ruling Baath party structure has become a key “enforcer” across the country and that similar torture methods were being used in different provinces, “suggesting a centrally guided policy.” Despite compiling detailed evidence and receiving funding from several Western governments, CIJA staff acknowledged to the Guardian that for now there is no court to prosecute the cases they have compiled.(AFP) UZM 05131646
New Delhi: Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay on Wednesday accused police of working under pressure and not arresting the AAP government’s Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar in connection with the fake degree issue.
“Under the pressure of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal or Law Minister Tomar, I dont know what type of pressure it is, we had been demonstrating on the matter for 12 days but police have taken no action despite a statutory body (Bar Council) writing against him (Tomar),” he said.
Earlier in the day, a Delhi BJP delegation met Police Commissioner B S Bassi demanding that an FIR be registered and action taken against him for possessing “fake” degrees.
“We presented documents including the Bar Council complaint and papers of Awadh University and Bhagalpur University proving Tomar’s degrees were fabricated,” he said.
He said Kejriwal, who talked of “high standards and morality, was keeping his eyes shut towards Tomar’s case”.
Upadhayay said they demanded the Commissioner register a case against Tomar and AAP MLA Pramila Tokas “who is charged with a non-bailable offence and take action against them”.
“We have given one week’s time to police after which if no action is taken, BJP will launch a massive agitation for removal of Tomar,” he said.
Upadhyay said BJP has demanded an investigation into Tomar’s case by the Crime Branch apprehending it may involve a big racket of fake degree suppliers. S(PTI)
SHILLONG, May 12: The Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) on Tuesday decided to go ahead with its proposed one-week office picketing which will commence from Wednesday, even as state government has warned of strict action against any unauthorized absence by its employees.
The decision was taken after the state government failed to provide any official communication on the interim measures taken by it in view of the High Court ruling passed on December 10, 2014.