Thursday, 18 January 2018

Exceptional Kohli named ICC Cricketer of the Year

In phenomenal form across formats, Indian captain Virat Kohli was today named the world cricketer of the year, besides bagging the top honour for ODI players in the ICC annual awards, announced here.

In the qualification period from September 21, 2016 to the end of 2017, Kohli scored 2,203 Test runs at an average of 77.80 including eight centuries, 1,818 ODI runs including seven centuries at 82.63, and 299 T20I runs at a strike rate of 153.

He also captained India to the top of the ICC Test rankings.

"It means a lot to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for becoming the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2017 and also the ICC ODI Player of the Year," Kohli was quoted as saying in an ICC statement.

"I won that back in 2012 also but it's the first time winning the Garfield Sobers Trophy, and it's a huge honour for me. It's probably the biggest of all in world cricket and two Indians getting it back-to-back makes it more special," he added.

This is the second time in succession that an Indian won the overall cricketer of the year award. Off-spinner R Ashwin had claimed the honour last year.

It was Kohli's second gong at the 2017 ICC Awards, with the 29-year-old also being named the ODI Player of the Year.

Kohli was also named captain of the ICC Test and ODI teams of the year.

Australian captain Steve Smith claimed the Test Player of the Year honour after scoring 1875 runs in 16 matches at an average of 78.12, with eight hundreds and five 50s.

This is the first instance since 2013 that the ODI Cricketer of the Year award has been won by a non-South African, with Quinton de Kock receiving the accolade for 2016 and AB de Villiers winning it in 2014 and 2015.

In the nominations for ODIs, Kohli was placed nominated alongside Pakistan paceman Hasan Ali, Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan and his own teammate Rohit Sharma.

Smith, meanwhile, averages 63.75 from 61 Tests, the second-best average of all time for those who have played more than 20 Tests.

In the ICC rankings he has climbed to 947 points, just 14 shy of Don Bradman' high watermark of 961.

Smith beat off competition for the from last year's winner Ashwin, who took 111 wickets at 25.87, Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 1,914 runs, Kohli, and Ben Stokes, who hit 1,000 runs at 40.00 and took 35 wickets at 27.68.

Among other awards, Yuzvendra Chahal's incredible haul of 6/25 against England in Bengaluru last year, was named as Twenty20 International performance of the year.

Chahal was named Player of the Match and Player of the Series for his performance -- the best by an Indian bowler in T20I history, and the third-best of all time.

He is behind only Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis, who took 6/8 and 6/16 against Zimbabwe and Australia respectively.

Afghanistan's Rashid Khan was adjudged ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year after taking 60 wickets in 2017 -- a record for an associate player in a calendar year -- and 43 in ODIs, also a record.

Source : http://www.dailypioneer.com/

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Come to table and assist in fight against terrorism: US to Pak

The US today expressed hope that Pakistan would "come to the table" and demonstrate willingness to "aggressively" confront terrorist groups that operate from its territory, amid reports that Islamabad has suspended its military and intelligence cooperation with America.

According to media reports, Pakistan's decision to suspend military and intelligence cooperation with America came after President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of giving nothing to the US but "lies and deceit" and suspended about USD 2 billion in security aid to it.

When asked to comment on Pakistan's reported move, US Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein said: "We're hopeful for future cooperation from Pakistan."

"We stand ready to work with Pakistan in combating all terrorists without distinction, and we hope to be able to renew and deepen our bilateral security relationship when Pakistan demonstrates its willingness to aggressively confront the Taliban network, the Haqqani Network, and other terrorist and militant groups that operate from its territory," he said.

The US has been clear on this issue to Pakistan, Goldstein said.

"We would like Pakistan to come to the table and assist us in this effort," he said adding that the suspension of security aid is not a cutoff and no funds have been reprogrammed.

The US announced on Thursday that it would not deliver military equipment or transfer security-related funds to Pakistan.

On Monday, a Pentagon spokesman said the US had conveyed to Pakistan to take "concrete steps" against terror groups to earn hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.

Referring to his conversation with the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Goldstein hoped that Pakistan will join the US in its effort with regard to fight against terrorism.

"The Pakistani people have suffered greatly from terrorism, and its security forces have been effective in combating the groups that target Pakistan's interest. So, it’s to their benefit to join with us in helping resolve this matter," Goldstein said.

"We always look at that; but again, it's a suspension and not a cutoff. We haven't reprogrammed the funds. We’re hopeful that Pakistan will come back to the table and do what they told us that they would do," he said.

The US and others have long complained that Pakistan offered safe haven to the Afghan Taliban and their allies, the Haqqani Network, allowing them to carry out cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.

Pakistan denies allegations but President Trump has escalated the criticism against the country since he took office last January.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Bail denied to accused teenager in Ryan school murder case

A sessions court today rejected the bail plea of a 16-year-old student, accused of killing 7-year- old Pradhuman Thakur at the Ryan International School here.

Additional Sessions Judge Jasbir Singh Kundu declined relief to the accused, who is presently under custody.

The court had earlier reserved the order after hearing arguments of the counsel for the accused, the CBI and the complainant.

The defence counsel had claimed that the charge sheet in the matter was not filed within one month, as prescribed in the Juvenile Justice Act, and he was not given required documents.

Opposing the contention, the CBI had said that the mandatory period for filing a charge sheet is 90 days under CrPC provisions as the accused had been declared an adult by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB).

Pradhuman was found with his throat slit in the school's washroom on September 8 last year.

The Gurgaon Police had claimed the crime was committed by a school bus conductor, which was later refuted by the CBI.

The probe agency had claimed the teenager had killed Pradhuman in a bid to get the school closed so that a parent- teacher meeting and an examination could be deferred.

The court was hearing an appeal filed by the accused against an order of the JJB denying him bail.

The JJB had on December 20 held that the teenager would be tried as an adult and directed that he be produced before the Gurgaon sessions court.

The JJB had noted that the accused was mature enough to recognise the consequences of his actions.

If convicted, the accused will stay in a correctional home till he is 21 years old after which the court can shift him to a jail or grant him bail, it had said.

The board had earlier rejected the bail plea of the Class 11 Ryan International School student.

It had set up a committee which included a psychologist from the PGI, Rohtak, for an expert opinion on the accused, who was taken into custody by the CBI in November 2017.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 lowers the age of juveniles from 18 years to 16 years for heinous crimes such as rape, murder and dacoity-cum- murder, which warrant at least seven years of imprisonment.

However, the JJB first decides whether the crime was "child-like" or was it committed in an "adult frame of mind", following which it orders the accused to be tried as a juvenile or an adult.

Source : http://www.dailypioneer.com/top-stories/bail-denied-to-accused-teenager-in-ryan-school-murder-case.html

Friday, 5 January 2018

White House meltdown

Trump-Bannon row is making the world’s most powerful building look like a dysfunctional place
An American author and columnist Michael Wolff was given unprecedented access to the first weeks of the Donald Trump White House and his new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, paints a devastating portrait of the United States President as a weak man, controlled by forces he does not know and someone completely unfit to run the office of the most powerful politician in the world as well as being a warlord with the power of global destruction in a briefcase within arm's reach at all times. There are several excerpts from the book which has been released early to counter Trump’s legal team who tried desperately to stop the release of the book and that unfortunately seems to have given it increased publicity that make Trump look ugly. Some of the aspects of his win or the fact that he brought his wife Melania Trump almost to tears ahead of the election and possibly even the passage where the book states that he only believed that could be President after he won the November 2016 Election, strengthen the belief that Hillary Clinton lost the election rather than Trump winning it.

However, his fallout with his former chief strategist, the Editor of US right wing news website Breitbart News Steve Bannon may be the biggest disclosure. Bannon is quoted to be offering odds on Trump’s Presidency, equal chances he says of Trump either being impeached or removed under the Constitution's 25th Amendment that authorises the US Legislative bodies to remove the occupant of the White House for mental incapacity, and of Trump limping home to complete his Presidency. But with not even a year since Trump was inaugurated, this scandal broke just as Trump entered his fiftieth week in charge and has followed scandal after scandal, let alone foreign policy announcements on social media, even if they are to India’s advantage makes it seem like it has already been an eternity since he has been in charge. Barack Obama was in Delhi recently, but almost no-one remembers him because Trump has so decisively taken over the news cycle.

The fallout between Trump and Bannon is akin to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah falling out; you know that such a thing won’t happen because most people in power keep their own and their nation's best interests in mind. But over in Washington DC the Press corps and the Government bureaucracy have no idea what will hit them tomorrow. While some in the world find all of this amusing, this isn’t a hillbilly or folksy President with amazing acumen; this is a man who has a tremendous ego and on the face of it, a comment on the fact that democracy is not perfect. But then again, American-style democracy is strange. President Trump still has three years to go and despite problems with North Korea and Iran, there aren’t tens of nuclear mushroom clouds across the world. However, a dose of sanity and quiet may not be a bad thing either for President Trump or the rest of the world because even roller-coaster junkies need a break every once in a while.

Source : http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists

UP as a electronic manufacturing zone

The Uttar Pradesh government introduced UP Electronics Restructuring Policy under which Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway will be declared as electronic manufacturing zone and will be part of Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) industries.

Deputy Chief Minister Dr Dinesh Sharma said that the policy aimed at making Uttar Pradesh as electronics manufacturing hub by projecting the state as ‘preferred destination’ of electronic giants, who will be provided all facilities under one roof.

“The objective of the project is to generate employment for the youth. We have set a target to attract investment worth Rs 20,000 crore under ESDM sector which would generate over 3 lakh jobs by 2022,” he said.

Sharma said that the government also wanted private entrepreneurs to set up ESDM Parks across the state which would revive local economy and boost the GSDP.

Under the new policy, the state government would resolve problems that entrepreneurs may face through single window system. In some case, the government may also arrange finance and would allow concessions as per Industrial Policy announced recently.

Sharma, who is also IT and Electronic minister in the Yogi government, said that ESDM units might get cent per cent rebate in stamp duty and would also reimburse State GST.

Source : http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/lucknow/up-as-a-electronic-manufacturing-zone.html