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Sharapova?s WTA title hope and No. 1 chance over Open in new window
The Hindu
Maria Sharapova?s hope of winning the WTA Finals and claiming the year-end No.1 ranking both ended on Friday despite a three-set victory over Agnieszka Radwanska. Sharapova needed to win in...

Wal-Mart India names Murali Lanka as Chief Operations Officer Open in new window
Deccan Herald
The worlds biggest retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc today named Murali Lanka as the Chief Operations Officer of its Indian subsidiary with effect from December 1.Lanka will lead store operations, sales and business development, membership and marketing and asset protection functions for the Best Price Modern Wholesale stores, Wal-Mart India, the wholly owned subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc, it said in a statement.He will report to Krish Iyer, President and CEO, Wal-Mart India.Announcing the appointment, Iyer said: His depth of knowledge and global experience will bring a fresh perspective to our business. He is a veteran at Wal-Mart with almost 25 years in the company.He further said Lankas experience in food and general merchandise and commitment to e-commerce will help the company serve customers even more effectively in the years to come.Murali had joined Wal-Mart in 1989 and played various roles in its Sams Club.In 2008, he came to India as the Head of Operations and spent five years before repatriating to US in 2013 as the Developmental Regional General Manager in the Texas division.Wal-Mart India owns and operates 20 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores in eight states across India. The first store opened in Amritsar in May 2009.Earlier in April this year before the general elections, Wal-Mart had announced that it would focus only on wholesale business and decided to stay away from multi-brand retail in India.It had announced plans to open 50 wholesale stores in the next four to five years to expand its footprint in the country.Later when the NDA government led by BJP, which opposed FDI in multi-brand retail, came into power in May, Wal-Mart India had stated it would engage and work with the new government and continue to focus on the cash and carry business in the country.

No relief for farmers, tribals hit by Hudhud: CPI (M) Open in new window
The Hindu
The Andhra Pradesh Government has totally ignored the interests of farmers and tribals in announcing relief packages to those affected by the Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Hudhud, CPI (M) State secre...

Pakistan won't let India build bunkers Open in new window
Deccan Herald
Pakistan has said it wont allow India to build bunkers along the Jammu and Kashmir border in violation of a bilateral pact.The foreign office also accused the Indian armed forces of targeting the civilian population in Pakistan-held Kashmir, Geo TV reported.Ministry spokesman Tasnim Aslam said Pakistan had highlighted the issue of unprovoked Indian firing at the United Nations and other fora. She said that according to an agreement on the working boundary in Jammu and Kashmir, India and Pakistan cannot carry out any construction within 500 meters of the border. She said India was trying to construct new bunkers which Pakistan will not allow.

Mortar fire on Pakistan-Iran border Open in new window
Source Icon BBC - South Asia
Pakistani and Iranian forces have exchanged mortar fire, in the latest incident between the two countries along their porous border.

Wal-Mart India appoints Murali Lanka operations chief Open in new window
Source Icon Reuters
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc's India unit said it had appointed company veteran Murali Lanka to the newly created position of chief operations officer to lead store operations and business development in the world's second most populous country.

I won't like to do sex comedy: Randhir Kapoor Open in new window
Deccan Herald
Randhir Kapoor says he likes to watch sex comedies, but is not open to that genre as an actor.Asked if he would like to be associated with a sex comedy like Grand Masti, he said: No, I wouldnt. I like to see them, but I wont like to do a film like that. I prefer films like Super Nani because I can connect with it.The veteran actor also shared about his experience of working with the forthcoming films director Indra Kumar, popular for films like Dil, Ishq and Grand Masti.Well, I connect Indu with Beta and Dil even though he went into different films after that. Super Nani is a family entertainer. I am happy working with Indu because the role is good and so is the money, said the actor. The film also features Rekha and Sharman Joshi.

Ebola epidemic likely to explode by mid-December Open in new window
Deccan Herald
The Ebola epidemic already devastating swaths of West Africa will explode by mid-December and could kill tens of thousands of people unless urgent action is taken, a new study warned today.A team of seven scientists from Yale Universitys Schools of Public Health and Medicine and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Liberia developed a mathematical transmission model of the viral disease and applied it to Liberias most populous county, Montserrado, an area already hard hit.The researchers determined that tens of thousands of new Ebola cases - and deaths - are likely by December 15 if the epidemic continues on its present course.Our predictions highlight the rapidly closing window of opportunity for controlling the outbreak and averting a catastrophic toll of new Ebola cases and deaths in the coming months, said Alison Galvani, professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health and the papers senior author.Although we might still be within the midst of what will ultimately be viewed as the early phase of the current outbreak, the possibility of averting calamitous repercussions from an initially delayed and insufficient response is quickly eroding, said Galvani.The model developed by Galvani and colleagues projects as many as 170,996 total reported and unreported cases of the disease, representing 12 per cent of the overall population of some 1.38 million people, and 90,122 deaths in Montserrado alone by December 15. Of these, the authors estimate 42,669 cases and 27,175 deaths will have been reported by that time.Much of this suffering - some 97,940 cases of the disease - could be averted if the international community steps up control measures immediately, starting October 31, the model predicts.This would require additional Ebola treatment centre beds, a fivefold increase in the speed with which cases are detected, and allocation of protective kits to households of patients awaiting treatment centre admission.The study predicts that, at best, just over half as many cases (53,957) can be averted if the interventions are delayed to November 15. Had all of these measures been in place by October 15, the model calculates that 137,432 cases in Montserrado could have been avoided.There have been approximately 9,000 reported cases and 4,500 deaths from the disease in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea since the latest outbreak began with a case in a toddler in rural Guinea in December 2013, researchers said.For the first time cases have been confirmed among health-care workers treating patients in the US and parts of Europe, they said.At a minimum, capable logisticians are needed to construct a sufficient number of Ebola treatment units in order to avoid the unnecessary deaths of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people, co-author Dr Frederick Altice, professor of internal medicine and public health said. The findings are published in journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Bedlam at maiden Zilla Parishad meet in Visakhapatnam Open in new window
The Hindu
Bedlam ensued at the maiden meeting of the Visakhapatnam District Zilla Parishad here on Friday with YSR Congress Party faulting the Government for not taking up relief works in Agency areas of th...

Google, Oxford University team up on artificial intelligence Open in new window
The Hindu
Technology giant Google is teaming up with Oxford University to advance research on artificial intelligence to ultimately enable machines to better understand human users. The partnership...

BSF in Rajasthan offered sweets to Pakistani Rangers on Diwali Open in new window
Source Icon DNA - India
BSF personnel offered Diwali sweets to their Pakistani counterparts on the Indo-Pakistani border but very few of them accepted it amid border tensions between the two countries. BSF personnel offered sweets to Pakistani rangers at 14 outposts. However, Pak rangers at only 4 outposts accepted the sweets, BSF, DIG, Ravi Gandhi said. On Thursday, the Border Security Force in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir did not offer sweets to the Pak Rangers in the wake of repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the border. Gandhi said the BSF jawans celebrated the festival of lights by decorating the border areas with earthen lamps. The jawans were also on alert and regular patrolling was done at the border to check any suspicious activity, he said. ReportIndiaPTIJaisalmerBorder Security Force (BSF)Pakistani RangersIndian ArmyDiwalisweetsceasefire violationsFriday, 24 October 2014 - 2:43pm

US prosecutor honoured for probe against Infosys Open in new window
Deccan Herald
A US prosecutor who successfully investigated a precedent-setting work visa fraud case against Infosys, resulting in the Indian IT giant paying a whopping USD 34 million in fine, has been recognised by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson for his work.Shamoil T. Shipchandler, former Eastern District of Texas federal prosecutor, and his investigative was presented with the Meritorious Service Award (Silver Medal), on October 21 in Washington DC by Johnson.This is one of the highest awards for service granted by the Secretary of Homeland Security.The award was presented to Shipchandler for investigating and bringing to justice an illegal visa fraud operation that resulted in the largest immigration fine to date.Infosys was a precedent-setting case, said US Attorney John M Bales. The case was investigated and resolved in a precedent-setting district. Successful prosecutions are based on a team effort, and I am delighted that DHS has singled out the Infosys team for special recognition.Shipchandler led a team in the investigation and settlement of claims against Infosys Corporation, an Indian company involved in consulting, technology, and outsourcing services, a media release said.According to court documents, the government alleged instances of Infosys circumventing the requirements, limitations, and governmental oversight of the H-1B visa program by knowingly and unlawfully using B-1 visa holders to perform skilled labor in order to fill positions in the US for employment that would otherwise be performed by United States citizens or require legitimate H-1B visa holders, it said.The government also alleged that Infosys did so in order to increase profits, minimize costs of securing visas, increase flexibility of employee movement, obtain an unfair advantage over competitors and avoid tax liabilities, the official statement said.The unique settlement in the case involved the payment by Infosys of USD 34 million, the largest payment ever levied in an immigration case. The agreement also required additional auditing for I-9 forms; a reporting requirement for B-1 usage; an agreement to continue to use only detailed invitation letters, and the continued use of corporate disciplinary processes for employees that violate the immigration laws of the US, the media statement said.

Saina, Kashyap in French Open quarters Open in new window
Deccan Herald
Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap continued his giant-killing spree, stunning World No.9 Tian Houwei 21-19, 21-18 in the pre-quarters of the French Open Super Series while Saina Nehwal also advanced to the quarterfinals at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin here.Kashyap, Commonwealth Games champion, got off to a good start, taking a 5-1 lead before Houwei fought back to equalise at 7-7. However, Kashyap snatched three consecutive points to rattle the Chinese here Thursday night. The World No.21 Indian continued the momentum to pile further pressure on Tian and surged to a 15-8. But Tian had his moment of brilliance to take four straight points and reduced the deficit at 17-14. He later managed to equalise at 19-19 before Kashyap stepped up to seal the first game 21-19.In the second game, Kashayap didnt waste time to race to a 8-1 lead. With his regal cross-court smashes and sharp net-play, he handled the pressure exerted by Tian to win the game 21-18 to enter quarterfinals, where he will meet World No.7 Wang Zhenming Friday.Kashyap defeated World No.3 Jan O Jorgensen in the quarter-final of Denmark Open last week and also upset World No.4 Kenichi Tago 21-11, 21-18 in the first round here.In other match, the World No.6 Saina was made to work hard for a 21-19, 21-16 victory over Scotlands World No.21 Kirsty Gilmour. The Scottish girl matched the class and quality of the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist to take a 7-5 lead in the first game before Saina, finalist here in 2012, remained strong to win the first game 21-19. In the second game, the 24-year-old India played aggressively to win the game 21-16.In the quarterfinals, Saina faces an uphill task of going past the Chinese World No.2 Shixian Wang.However, it was curtains for the womens doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, who was thrashed 6-21, 8-21 in 23 minutes by the Chinese pair of Wang Xiaoli and Yu Wang.Also going out were mens doubles team of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar and mens singles shuttler Kidambi Srikanth.While the Chopra-Dewalkar pairing lost 15-21, 21-19, 15-21 to the Chinese Taipei pair of Lee Mu Sheng and Tsai Hsin Chia, Srikanth lost 20-22, 14-21 to Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.

Google doodle celebrates one month of India?s Mars mission Open in new window
The Hindu
Google on Friday celebrated one month of India?s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), the Mangalyaan, by putting up a special doodle on its home page for India.The recently launched Mangalyaan by the...

Modi lauds ITBP on its raising day Open in new window
The Hindu
The Indo Tibetan Border Police Force, raised on October 24, 1962, is deployed on border guarding duties from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh, covering 3488 km of the India-China border.

PCB releases Saqlain from Ajmal duty Open in new window
The Hindu
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have released former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq after completion of a one-month contract but said that suspended off-spinner Saeed Ajmal will continue his remedial wo...

Film Review: 'Happy New Year' is one of the best entertainers of 2014 Open in new window
Source Icon DNA - India
Film: Happy New Year**** Directed by: Farah Khan Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Sonu Sood, Boman Irani and Vivaan Shah   What it's about: When you have a reigning superstar, a spectacular ensemble cast and a canvas as vivid as your imagination, it’s indeed clever thinking to adapt the most successful plot of Bollywood and turn it into a colorful visual spectacle. Director Farah Khan does just that in one of the most awaited films of the year, and in style! It’s the tried-and-tested (and also seldom gone wrong) idea – the lead protagonist putting together a team of underdogs to achieve the unthinkable. In HNY, it’s Charlie (Shah Rukh Khan) who has waited eight years to seek revenge on Charan Grover (Jackie Shroff), the man responsible for the death of his father. To make it possible, he would require the help of four unusual partners-in-crime – Nandu (Abhishek Bachchan), Mohini (Deepika Padukone), Tammy (Boman Irani) and Rohan (Vivaan Shah). As if that’s not tough enough, the road to Grover’s destruction would need them all to win a world dancing championship! HNY is a heist film topped with a generous garnishing of dance and laced with revenge as its backdrop – entertainment doesn’t get more mainstream than this.  What's Good: This is Farah Khan’s return to form – quite easily, this is her most complex script to date but she handles effortlessly. There are stereotypes (more on that later) but what’s commendable is the manner in which she springs a surprise everytime the screenplay becomes a tad tiresome. The mounting is jaw-dropping – from the colorful chawls of Mumbai to the elaborate sets to the pristine skyline of Dubai. HNY is dripping with extravagance and flamboyance – in a good way. The film has the quintessential Farah Khan moments -- the lavish introductions of all characters, grand songs, the camaraderie between the actors and a touch of patriotism. And not to miss quirky Farah moments – Malaika Arora Khan’s flirtatious gestures towards Sonu; the hilarious Anurag Kashyap-Vishal Dadlani track; Sajid Khan’s cameo; Abhishek’s stripping scene (the funniest scene in the film) and many more. Farah handles her actors brilliantly too. Shah Rukh Khan is restrained, subtle and dignified – the result is outstanding. Deepika is brave enough to play another accented character (after Chennai Express) and scores this time too. Newcomer Vivaan Shah is endearing. Abhishek Bachchan has all the highlights and the punch lines – he brings the house down every time he is on screen. Totally uninhibited and true to his character, Bachchan Junior is at his best. HNY’s scene-stealer, for me (and the pack theatres I watched it in) was Abram Khan who makes his debut in the film’s end credits – he got maximum applause!    What's not: Despite having everything going for it, you wonder why they didn’t fine-tune the screenplay a bit more. There are logic issues; there are sensibility issues and in a heist film, you can’t have that. Fortunately for Farah, she pulls out a trick every time you begin to look at your phone screen. I wish Boman Irani would stop playing the lonesome Parsi guy – he’s better than that. What to do: Make this Diwali even more special with Happy New Year. One of the best entertainers of 2014. ReportEntertainmentSarita A TanwarDNAMumbaiAnurag KashyapAbhishek BachchanDeepika PadukoneFarah KhanChennai ExpressMalaika Arora Khanjackie shroffHappy New YearShah Rukh KhanSajid KhanVivaan ShahVishal DadlaniSonu SoodBollywoodFilm ReviewFriday, 24 October 2014 - 2:29pmFriday, 24 October 2014 - 2:29pm 851

India never violates ceasefire: Rajnath Open in new window
Deccan Herald
India has never violated the 2003 ceasefire with Pakistan on the Jammu and Kashmir border, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Friday.India never violates the ceasefire. It is a country which believes in peace, the minister said in response to Pakistani allegations. In the last two days, it is Pakistan which has violated the ceasefire. They did not even spare a day like Diwali, he added.The latest ceasefire violation by Pakistani forces occurred Thursday, the day of Diwali, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was visiting Kashmir. The minister was speaking at an event to mark the 53rd Raising Day of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at Soorajpur here.

South storm into Duleep final with crushing win Open in new window
Deccan Herald
South Zone took just 40 minutes into the third morning to decimate East Zone by an innings and 118 runs en route their entry into Duleep Trophy final, here.Easts second innings was terminated at 62 for nine with Wriddhiman Saha nursing a bruised thumb not coming out to bat.Easts innings lasted a mere 8.3 overs on the third day morning after starting at 30 for four being asked to follow on on a seamer-friendly track at Bansi Lal Stadium.With only 23.4 overs in the second innings, East batted merely 70-odd overs across two innings.Even more embarrassing was the fact that none of their batsmen could cross individual score of 20 in both innings. The highest score for East in the second essay was Laxmi Ratan Shuklas 18.Shukla was the first to go as he played an atrocious pull shot off HS Sharath, who returned with figures of four for 27.There was no resistance from other batsmen and with Wriddhiman taking a logical decision of resting before the Sri Lanka one dayers, the match got over in just a shade over two days.Robin Uthappa was certainly the standout performer among the 22 players as he scored 100 on a track where the next best score was 32 by Karun Nair.No wonder East skipper Manoj Tiwary admitted that his boys lacked technique to adapt to the surface despite winning their earlier match against Central.Some of the boys need to go back to the drawing board and get their techniques right. It is disappointing to get out without scoring 100 in both innings. We will have to get better as we will come back here in future and play again, Tiwary said.South Zone will meet the winners of the other semi-final between Central and North Zone currently on at Mohali. The final will be held at Delhis Feroz Shah Kotla ground from October 29 to November 2.Brief Scores: South Zone 1st Innings 264. East Zone 84 and 62/9 (f/o) (LR Shukla 18, HS Sharath 4/27).

Brazil coach Carlos Dunga cautions players to avoid wearing hats, earrings and flip flops during matches Open in new window
Source Icon DNA - India
Brazilian football team players have been told not to wear hats, earrings or flip-flops while playing for their country under coach Carlos Dunga. The Brazilian footballers reportedly also can't use mobile phones or tablets at certain times, and are discouraged from engaging in religious or political discussions. The internal code of conduct was published on Thursday in a Brazilian newspaper. The Brazilian football confederation confirmed its existence during a news conference, in which Dunga announced the squad for friendlies against Turkey and Austria in November, Sport24 reported. The confederation's guide for good behavior already existed, but was revised after Dunga took over following Brazil's disappointing performance in the 2014 World Cup. Dunga said that the code of conduct is needed to maintain 'good harmony' in the national team. ReportSportANIJohannesburg2014 World CupBrazilDungaFootballFriday, 24 October 2014 - 2:45pmFriday, 24 October 2014 - 2:47pm Carlos Dunga, Brazil coachGetty

Three major nations absent as China launches World Bank rival in Asia Open in new window
Source Icon Reuters
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Australia, Indonesia and South Korea skipped the launch of a China-backed Asian infrastructure bank on Friday as the United States said it had concerns about the new rival to Western-dominated multilateral lenders.

Aliyar, Parambikulam set to surplus Open in new window
The Hindu
Continues rain results in inflow into reservoirs

Century-old colonial building to give way for Coimbatore District Police Office Open in new window
The Hindu
The century-old colonial building that houses the District Police Office (DPO) near the District Collectorate will be demolished to give way for the new spacious DPO. As a first step before demoli...

Sardar to lead 21-member hockey squad for Australia tour Open in new window
The Hindu
The Indian squad is set to depart for Perth on October 29, 2014.

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