• Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir will inaugurate the 19th all India Conference of Directors of Finger Prints Bureaux in Hyderabad tomorrow. During the two-day conference, participants will deliberate on latest Automatic Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS), usage experience of AFIS in Maharashtra and Telangana, integration of Finger Prints with CCTNS/ICJS.

  • Three day National Yoga Olympiad  concluded at All India Council for Technical Education, VasantKunj in New Delhi today. Prizes to the children of winner states were distributed by the Chief Guest on the occasion Mr. Eric Falt, Director and UNESCO Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

  • Text of PM’saddress during his interaction with farmers across the country (20.6.2018)

  • The Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh will participate in the Yoga Day activities in Jammu on the occasion of 4th International Day of Yoga tomorrow.

  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), a premier Financial Institution for the Promotion, Financing and Development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector and TransUnion CIBIL, a Credit Information Company, in a joint endeavor with TransUnion CIBIL brings-out MSME Pulse, a Quarterly Report on MSME Sector, for providing the policy makers, regulators and industry with precise data-driven insights to support policy as well as business decisions.

  • In line with the commitment of Government to liquidate all pending GST refunds filed till 30th April, 2018, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has successfully concluded the 2nd Special Refund Fortnight extended from 31st May, 2018 to 16th June, 2018.

  • On 7th August, 2017, the Competition Commission of India (Commission) received a notice from Bayer Aktiengesellschaft (Bayer) in relation to its proposed acquisition of Monsanto Company (Monsanto). Bayer, the acquirer, is a German stock corporation and is a life sciences company with competencies in the areas of health care and agriculture.

  • In order to make the actual allocation of funds consistent with that of the primary adjustment, section 92CE was inserted in the Income-tax Act, 1961 (‘the Act’) vide Finance Act, 2017 with effect from 1st April, 2018, to provide for secondary adjustment by attributing income to the excess money lying in the hands of the associated enterprise (AE).

  • Nine awards in three categories, i.e., Project Award, Innovative Idea Award and City Award have been announced under the India Smart Cities Awards, which was launched on June 25, 2017 by Hon’ble Housing and Urban Affairs Minister.

  • The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), Government of India, invites comments and views from stakeholders on introductory note and draft on ?Cross-Border Insolvency. The MCA is keen to introduce a globally accepted and well-recognised cross-border insolvency framework, fine-tuned to suit the needs of aspirational Indian economy.

  • “India is making rapid strides in the field of renewable energy and we will overshoot the target of 175 GW renewable energy by 2022.” said Shri R.K Singh, Minister of State(IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy here today.

  • TRIFED has made purchases to the tune of Rs. 15.86 Crores (provisional) during Financial Year 2017-18 through its empanelled tribal suppliers/artisans as compared to Rs.5.95 Crores during Financial Year 2016-17.

  • To commemorate the 'Year of  Disabled Soldier in  Line of Duty', Indian Army  today honoured the soldiers who have been disabled while serving the nation in a seminar on 'Physical & Mental Issues of Disabled Soldiers' organised at Manekshaw Centre.

  • Shri Vishwas Mandalik, Nasik and The Yoga Institute, Mumbai are the recipients of the Prime Minister's Award for outstanding contribution for promotion and development of Yoga for the year 2018. The selection was done from among 186 nominations received under different categories.

  • Teachers of Government schools can now send their entries directly for National Award for Teachers. Announcing this, Union Minister for Human Resource Development Shri Prakash Javadekar said that this is a new initiative, as earlier entries were selected by the State Government.



    Fellow panelists, Excellencies and distinguished guests,

    It is indeed a pleasure to meet you all here at this OPEC forum. I have earlier attended this forum in 2015.

  •   Following is the Text of speech delivered by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in the “Conference on International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-28” held at Dushanbe, Tajikistan:-

    Tajikistan has taken a leading role to get the theme of water at the centre of global Sustainable Development Goals for the coming decade.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate and participate in a two-day National Consultation on ‘Making Agriculture Sustainable and Profitable’, at Pune, Maharashtra tomorrow.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has received the book "Vedvigyan Alok" (Maharishi Aitareya Mahidas Praneet - Aitareya Brahmina ki Vaigyanik Vyakhya) authored by Acharya Agnivarat Naishthik, here today.

  • Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya has been selected as 100th Smart City after evaluating the proposal submitted by it. Till now, 99 smart cities had been selected in four rounds of competition and with today’s announcement, selection of 100 cities has been completed under the Smart Cities Mission.

  • The 4th International Yoga Day will be celebrated tomorrow to raise awareness of the many benefits of practicing yoga. In India, the main function wil...

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said, the budget for the agriculture sector has been doubled during first four years of NDA government compared to ...

  • After assuming charge as the head of the Jammu and Kashmir government today, Governor N N Vohra held meetings with top civil administration and police...

  • The world's first International Centre for Humanitarian Forensics was launched at Gandhinagar in Gujarat today.It is a joint venture of the Regional delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in India, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives and also Gujarat Forensic Science University.

  • BJP today slammed Opposition parties for politicising the death of Rohit Vemula and using his mother as a political tool. Briefing media in New Delhi, Union Minister Piyush Goyal criticised the Opposition for giving false temptation to Vemula's mother to give false statements against BJP.

  • In Afghanistan, 30 soldiers were today killed in a Taliban attack on an Army checkpoint in Badghis province.

  • European champions Portugal edged closer to the last 16 in the FIFA World Cup today, as Cristiano Ronaldo powered-home a fourth-minute header to give Portugal a 1-nil victory over Morocco at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

  • Union Minister Arun Jaitley today said that Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian will be leaving the finance ministry because of "pressing family commitments" and will return to the US.

    Subramanian was appointed as CEA to the finance ministry on October 16, 2014, for a period of three years. In 2017 his term was extended for a year.

    "Few days ago Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian met me over video conferencing. He informed me that he would like to go back to the United States on account of pressing family commitments. His reasons were personal but extremely important for him. He left me with no option but to agree with him," Arun  Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post.

    He further said that on expiry of Subramanian's three-year term in October last year, he had requested him to continue for some more time.

    "Even at that stage he told me that he was torn between family commitment and his current job which he considered the best and most fulfilling he has ever done," the minister said.

  • Vice President  M. Venkaiah Naidu will participate as Chief Guest at the International Yoga Day 2018 Celebrations being held at Bandra Reclamation Sealink Promenade Mumbai tomorrow.

    Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis will also attend the event which is being organized by a voluntary organization from Mumbai.

    Recognizing that Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being, the United Nations has proclaimed June 21 as International Day of Yoga.

    Since the first International Day of Yoga held on June 21, 2015, the event is being celebrated in many countries across the world every year to raise awareness on the benefits of practicing Yoga.

  • The International Cricket Council, on behalf of its Members, today released the men’s Future Tours Programme (FTP)   from 2018-2023.

    The FTP provides clarity and certainty around all bilateral international fixtures and incorporates all three formats of the game.
    The result of a significant collective effort from the Members, with the support of the ICC, the FTP focuses on bringing more context to bilateral cricket.

    A World Test Championship has been created along with a 13-team men’s ODI league that will act as a qualification pathway for the ICC Cricket World Cup.
    Nine top-ranked sides will participate in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship, which will run from 15 July 2019 to 30 April 2021.

    The sides will play six series in the two-year cycle on a home and away basis against opponents they have mutually selected.

    The two top-ranked sides will then progress to the June 2021 final to decide the World Test champions.
    In addition, the 12 Test playing nations and the Netherlands, will participate in the 13-team ODI League, which will run from 1 May 2020 to 31 March 2022 and all the sides will play eight series over a two-year cycle on a home and away basis against mutually agreed opponents.
    India’s opening series in the World Test Championship is against the Windies in the Caribbean in July 2019, while their first ODI series in the league is against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in June 2020.
    This league will serve as a qualification pathway for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

    India (as host) plus the seven highest-ranked sides in the ODI league as on 31 March 2022 will qualify directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, while the bottom five sides will get a second chance to qualify through the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

  • The current figure of refugees is equivalent to the entire population of Thailand, and the number of people forcibly displaced equates to one in every 110 persons worldwide, it said. By the end of 2017, the number was nearly three million higher than the previous year and showed a 50-per-cent increase from the 42.7 million uprooted from their homes a decade ago, according to a report by the UN refugee agency.

    "We are at a watershed, where success in managing forced displacement globally requires a new and far more comprehensive approach so that countries and communities aren't left dealing with this alone. But around 70 per cent of that number are people from just 10 countries", said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in Geneva, ahead of the report’s launch.
    "If there were solutions to conflicts in those 10 countries, or in some of them at least, that huge figure, instead of rising every year, could start going down", he said, calling for more political will to halt the crises driving so many from their homes.

    The report showed that 16.2 million people were freshly displaced last year, and included those forced to flee for the first time as well as those who had been previously displaced. This equates to some 44,500 people being pushed out of their homes every day -- or one person every two seconds, UNHCR said.

    Most people flee within their own country, and are defined as internally displaced people, or IDPs. By the end of 2017, there were some 40 million IDPs worldwide, down slightly from previous years, with Colombia, Syria and Democratic Republic of Congo accounting for the greatest numbers. Another 25.4 million people -- more than half of them children -- were registered as refugees last year. That is nearly three million more than in 2016, and 'the highest known total to date' it said.

    Syria's seven-year conflict alone had, by the end of last year, pushed more than 6.3 million people out of the country, accounting for nearly one-third of the global refugee population. Another 6.2million Syrians are internally displaced. The second largest refugee-producing country in 2017 was Afghanistan, whose refugee population grew by five per cent during the year to 2.6 million people. The increase was due mainly to births and more Afghans being granted asylum in Germany, UNHCR said.

    South Sudan, meanwhile, saw the largest increase last year, with the number of refugees fleeing the world's youngest nation soaring from 1.4 million at the beginning of the year to 2.4 million at the end. Grandi said South Sudan was experiencing "a very bad emergency" which had apparently escaped the notice of both the government and the opposition who did not appear to be "taking seriously the desperate situation of their own people.

    “Refugees from Myanmar more than doubled last year to 1.2 million, as a brutal army crackdown forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to pour across the border into Bangladesh. Today's report also highlighted large-scale displacements in Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, and DR Congonm among others. And as Israel marks 70 years of independence, there are some 5.4 million Palestinians still living as refugees”, it said.

    “Despite the focus on migrant numbers arriving in Europe and the United States, a full 85 per cent of refugees are living in low- and middle-income countries like Lebanon, Pakistan and Uganda”,
    Grandi said. Turkey was hosting by far the largest number of refugees, with 3.5 million registered there by the end of 2017, most of them Syrians.

  • Governor N N Vohra had Tuesday evening sent his report to the President recommending imposition of Governor's rule in the state. 

    The report was sent after the Governor held consultations with political parties over the current situation in the state that arose after BJP's pull out from the Mehbooba Mufti-led government.

    BJP and National Conference had demanded imposition of Governor's rule in the state while PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti said that her party would not go into alliance with any party. Congress also rejected any possibility of joining hands with PDP.

    With no major political party showing no interest in forming or continuing any coalition for a government in the state, way was paved for the imposition of Governor's rule. 

    President Kovind who is on a three-nation visit to Greece, Suriname and Cuba, gave his assent to the recommendation of the Governor with immediate effect. 

    Earlier, on Tuesday Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also held consultations with top officials on the J&K situation.

    Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba briefed the Home Minister about the ongoing developments.

    Rajnath Singh also chaired a meeting attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Joint Secrtary (Kashmir), Special Secretary (Internal Security) and other senior officials.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the 4th International Yoga Day Celebrations in Dehradun tomorrow.

    The Prime Minister will join thousands of volunteers, performing Yoga asanas in the lawns of Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, located in the lap of the Himalayas.

    A series of Yoga related events are being organized across the world to mark the occasion.

    The Prime Minister had earlier participated in Yoga celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi in  2015, the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in 2016, and the Ramabai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow in 2017. 

    Greeting Yoga enthusiasts across the world on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that Yoga is one of the most precious gifts given by the ancient Indian sages to humankind.

    “Yoga is not just a set of exercises that keeps the body fit. It is a passport to health assurance, a key to fitness and wellness. Nor is Yoga only what you practice in the morning. Doing your day-to-day activities with diligence and complete awareness is a form of Yoga as well,” the Prime Minister said.

    “In a world of excess, Yoga promises restraint and balance. In a world suffering from mental stress, Yoga promises calm. In a distracted world, Yoga helps focus. In a world of fear, Yoga promises hope, strength and courage,” the Prime Minister added. 

    In the run-up to International Yoga Day, the Prime Minister has also taken to social media to share the intricacies of various Yoga Asanas. He has also shared pictures of people performing Yoga, at various locations across the world.

  • Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and George Mason University in the US developed a simple treatment that can improve the survival time for a conventional wetsuit
    by a factor of three. "The process works by simply placing the standard neoprene wetsuit inside a pressure tank autoclave no bigger than a beer keg, filled with a heavy inert gas, for about a day. The treatment then lasts for about 20 hours, far longer than anyone would spend on a dive&quot", said Jacopo Buongiorno, professor at MIT.

    When rescue teams are diving under ice-covered rivers or ponds, the survival time even in the best wetsuits is very limited - as little as tens of minutes, and the experience can be extremely painful at best.
    "The process could also be done in advance, with the wetsuit placed in a sealed bag to be opened
    just before", he said.

    Researchers looked at the different strategies that various animals use to survive in these frigid waters, and found three types: air pockets trapped in fur or feathers, as with otters and penguins; internally generated heat, as with some animals and fish; or a layer of insulating material that greatly slows heat loss from the body, as with seals' and whales' blubber.

    After simulations and lab tests, they ended up with a combination of two of these - a blubber-like insulating material that also makes use of trapped pockets of gas, although in this case the gas is not air but a heavy inert gas, namely xenon or krypton.

    Researchers found that if the trapped air is replaced with xenon or krypton, the material's insulating properties increase dramatically. The result is a material with the lowest heat transfer of any wetsuit ever made."We set a world record for the world's lowest thermal conductivity wetsuit. It';s like wearing a coat of air", said Michael Strano, a professor at MIT.

    The material that has become standard for wetsuits is neoprene, an inexpensive material that is a mix of synthetic rubber materials processed into a kind of foam, producing a closed-cell structure
    similar to styrofoam. Trapped within that structure, occupying more than two-thirds of the volume and accounting for half of the heat that gets transferred through it, are pockets of air.

    They found this could improve survivability in water colder than 10 degrees Celsius, raising it from less than one hour to two or three hours. The result could be a boon not just to those in the most extreme environments, but to anyone who uses wetsuits in cold waters, including swimmers, athletes and surfers as well as professional divers of all kinds.

  • The Prime Minister of Nepal K. P. Sharma Oli has left on a 6 day official visit to China.

    K.P. Oli is accompanied by his wife Mrs Radhika Shakya and a high level delegation.

    According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal PM Oli is visiting northern neighbor at the invitation of his counterpart Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.

    During the visit Prime Minister Oli will hold delegation level talks with  Li Keqiang. He will also meet senior Chinese leaders.

    Oli will address Nepal-China Business Forum and think tanks in Beijing.

    Some agreements and memorandum of understandings will also be signed during the visit. Mr. Oli will also visit Lhasa, the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region of China and meet provincial leaders.

    He will return to Kathmandu on June 24.

    This is Oli's first visit to China after assuming the office of Prime Minister in February this year.

  • The ‘Petau Book of Hours’ went at an auction in Paris on an estimated price of 700,000 to 900,000 euros. Written and exquisitely illustrated over 500 years ago around 1495, this manuscript was the highest bid in a sale dedicated to medieval and Renaissance writings.

    The manuscript, written in Latin and illustrated with 16 golden medallions by French painter and illuminator Jean Poyer in the city of Tours, was probably executed for a member of the royalty or a religious dignitary of the time.The overall sale fetched €10,012,187. 

    This auction is the first of a series of seven auctions that are taking place until June 20, 2018. 942 manuscripts are expected to be sold during those 4 days, as an attempt to liquidate a 130,000-strong collection of artworks and literary treasures pulled together by Aristophil. The group, set up in 1990, raised funds from some 18,000 investors in exchange for a share in the pieces.

    Aristophil went bankrupt in 2015, causing losses for its backers, while founder Gerard Lheritier was detained and put under investigation for fraud, a charge he denies.


  • In Nepal a large number of programmes are being organised to celebrate 4th International Day of Yoga.

    The Embassy of India organised a Yoga Camp in Kathmandu today to celebrate International Day of Yoga.

    The programme started with a message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Yoga day.

    Hundreds of people including representatives from various Yoga associations, friendship societies, film personalities, school children and officials of the embassy and their family members took part in the camp with enthusiasm.

    They practiced various asanas as per the common yoga protocol.

    On this occasion, winners of yoga competitions held in various schools were also given certificates by the Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri.

  • Top chefs are due to attend the event at which the annual ranking of the world's best restaurants is announced.

    New York's 'Eleven Madison Park' won first place in 2017 while Denmark's 'Noma' has been crowned best restaurant four times.The Best 50 list, which was launched in 2002, has gained prominence among chefs around the globe, rivalling the long-standing Michelin guide with its star system.

    There are no criteria for putting a restaurant on the list, which is based on a poll of more than 1,000 chefs, food critics and other industry insiders spread across 26 regions. Each member gets 10 votes and at least four of those votes have to be for restaurants outside their region.The Basque region is well known for its culinary traditions. The Basque Country region was well represented in 2017 with six restaurants making the top 50 list, including Etxebarri Grill in 6th place and Mugaritz taking 9th place.


  • The report, published in the journal Current Biology, shows that the ancient panda found in Cizhutuo Cave in the Guangxi Province of China separated from present-day pandas 144,000 to 227,000 years ago, suggesting that it belonged to a distinct group that are not found today. "Using a single complete mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequence, we find a distinct mitochondrial lineage, suggesting that the Cizhutuo panda, while genetically more closely related to present-day pandas than other bears, has a deep, separate history from the common ancestor of present-day pandas," said Qiaomei Fu from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. "This really highlights that we need to sequence more DNA from ancient pandas to really capture how their genetic diversity has changed through time and how that relates to their current, much more restricted and fragmented habitat," said Fu.

    Very little has been known about pandas' past, especially in regions outside of their current range in Shaanxi province or Gansu and Sichuan provinces. Evidence suggests that pandas in the past were much more widespread, but it has been unclear how those pandas were related to pandas of today. In the new study, researchers used sophisticated methods to fish mitochondrial DNA from the ancient cave specimen. That is a particular challenge because the specimen comes from a subtropical environment, which makes preservation and recovery of DNA difficult.

    The researchers successfully sequenced nearly 150,000 DNA fragments and aligned them to the giant panda mitochondrial genome reference sequence to recover the Cizhutuo panda's complete mitochondrial genome. They then used the new genome along with mitochondrial genomes from 138 present-day bears and 32 ancient bears to construct a family tree. Their analysis shows that the split between the Cizhutuo panda and the ancestor of present-day pandas goes back about 183,000 years. The Cizhutuo panda also possesses 18 mutations that would alter the structure of proteins across six mitochondrial genes. The researchers said that those amino acid changes may be related to the ancient panda's distinct habitat in Guangxi or perhaps climate differences during the Last Glacial Maximum. The findings suggest that the ancient panda's maternal lineage had a long and unique history that differed from the maternal lineages leading to present-day panda populations.

     The researchers said that their success in capturing the mitochondrial (mt) genome also suggests that they might successfully isolate and analyse DNA from the ancient specimen's much more expansive nuclear genome. "Comparing the Cizhutuo panda's nuclear DNA to present-day genome-wide data would allow a more thorough analysis of the evolutionary history of the Cizhutuo specimen, as well as its shared history with present-day pandas," Fu said.  

  • Located in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas at US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, the juvenile manta ray habitat is the first of its kind to be described in a scientific study. Joshua Stewart, a PhD candidate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego in the US, observed the juvenile mantas while conducting research on manta population structure at Flower Garden Banks.

     "The juvenile life stage for oceanic mantas has been a bit of a black box for us, since we're so rarely able to observe them," said Stewart, lead author of the study published in the journal Marine Biology. "Identifying this area as a nursery highlights its importance for conservation and management, but it also gives us the opportunity to focus on the juveniles and learn about them," he said. "This discovery is a major advancement in our understanding of the species and the importance of different habitats throughout their lives," he added. Known as the gentle giants of the sea, oceanic manta rays (Mobula Birostris) are large, plankton-eating rays that live in the open ocean and can reach sizes of up to 7 metres in wingspan as adults. Oceanic mantas are typically found in subtropical and tropical waters around the world with aggregation sites commonly found far from coastal areas, making their populations hard to access and study.

     For this reason, major knowledge gaps remain in their basic biology, ecology, and life history. Baby mantas are virtually absent from nearly all manta populations around the world, so even less is known about the juvenile life stage. Stewart has spent the past seven years studying manta rays and encountered hundreds of adults in the wild, but his sighting of a juvenile at Flower Garden Banks in 2016 was a rare encounter for him. After noticing several other small mantas in the area, he talked with the marine sanctuary staff to see if this was a regular occurrence. Working with marine sanctuary staff, Stewart and colleagues looked through 25 years of dive log and photo identification data collected by sanctuary research divers. Mantas have unique spot patterns on their underside that can be used to identify individuals, much like a human fingerprint. Using the photo IDs and observational data, researchers determined that about 95 per cent of the mantas that visit Flower Garden Banks are juveniles, measuring an average of 2.25 metres in wingspan. The researchers also compared the habitat use of mantas at the banks to established criteria for defining shark and ray nursery habitats and determined that the sanctuary is the world's first confirmed manta nursery ground. Recent genetic evidence indicates that oceanic mantas and a proposed third manta species (Mobula Birostris) are present at the banks.

  • Messi made an unhappy start to the World Cup on Saturday, missing what would have been a winning penalty as Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw by minnows Iceland. It was a result that has renewed doubts about Argentina's ability to mount a sustained challenge at this World Cup, four years after they reached the final in Brazil.

    Another adverse outcome on Thursday and many may even start to consider the unthinkable -- that Argentina could be on their way out at the group stage, mirroring their shock first round exit in 2002.

    Legend Diego Maradona called the Iceland result a "disgrace" and warned coach Jorge Sampaoli he would not be able to return to Argentina with similar performances.

    Adding to the sense of disappointment, Messi's missed penalty was accompanied by 11 unsuccessful shots, the most in a World Cup game without return by a single player since Italy's Luigi Riva in 1970.

    Argentina's players however have been quick to close ranks around the Barcelona superstar. "We are all with him, he knows that he can count on the support of all of us more than ever," said Argentina striker Paulo Dybala. "We are here to help him every moment, and of course we will be at his side," Dybala added. Defender Cristian Ansaldi meanwhile insisted Messi was in good spirits despite the Iceland setback.

    "We all know what Messi represents to our team and to our country," Ansaldi said. "Not only is he the best player in the world on the pitch, he is also best player off the field. He's in good shape and that's good for us." Despite the solitary point against Iceland, Argentina can take solace from a performance which saw them muster 26 shots and have 72 per cent possession against Iceland.

    Sampaoli is reportedly considering several changes for the game, including drafting in young forward Cristian Pavon for Angel Di Maria for more creativity up front. Similarly in midfield, Paris Saint-Germain's Giovani Lo Celso could start as Argentina seek more attacking options, possibly at the expense of Lucas Biglia.

    Their jobs would be to supply Messi and goalscorer against Iceland Sergio Aguero with the kind of service on which they would thrive in a potential 3-3-3-1 formation.

    Croatia may have secured a vital three points in their 2-0 win against Nigeria in their opening game, but their mood can hardly be described as euphoric. They came into the tournament under a cloud, with captain Luka Modric charged with perjury in a corruption scandal which has rocked Croatian football. And striker Nikola Kalinic has left Russia due to a back injury, says coach Zlatko Dalic, but amid reports he refused to come on as a substitute after being left out of the starting line-up.

    Off-field problems for now though have not affected them and they are expected to field an unchanged team, which also includes Messi's Barcelona teammate Ivan Rakitic. The teams have met only once before in the World Cup, in 1998, when Argentina won 1-0 and were the only team that year to prevent Golden Boot winner Davor Suker from scoring.

    One other possible omen for Thursday: when Riva racked up his unwanted record in 1970, the Italian legend promptly scored two goals in his next match. Argentina will be hoping for the same from Messi.


  • Aurangzeb was abducted from Pulwama by terrorists and later his bullet-ridden body was recovered on June 14.

  • Standing with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Haley slammed Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting U.S. efforts to reform the council.

    She also criticized countries which shared U.S. values and encouraged Washington to remain but "were unwilling to seriously challenge the status quo."

    "I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from human rights commitments, on the contrary, we take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights," said Haley, who was speaking from the State Department in Washington D.C.

    Last week activists and diplomats said talks with the United States over how to reform the main U.N. rights body had failed to meet Washington's demands, suggesting that the Trump administration would quit.

    The United States is half-way through a three-year term on the 47-member body. Any suspension or withdrawal would be the latest U.S. rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal.

    It would also come as the United States faces intense criticism for detaining children separated from their immigrant parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein on Monday called on Washington to halt its "unconscionable" policy.

  • India's Permanent Representative at the United Nations at Geneva has said that the UN Report legitimises terrorism by referring to the UN designated terrorist entities as "armed groups" and calling terrorists as "leaders". 

    India said that it was dismayed at the reference to a fallacious and motivated report that has already been rejected by the country.

    It added that the selective compilation of largely unverified information, aimed at promoting a false narrative, distorts the truth.

  • Governor N N Vohra had Tuesday evening sent his report to the President recommending imposition of Governor's rule in the state. 

    The report was sent after the Governor held consultations with political parties over the current situation in the state that arose after BJP's pull out from the Mehbooba Mufti-led government.

    BJP and National Conference had demanded imposition of Governor's rule in the state while PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti said that her party would not go into alliance with any party. Congress also rejected any possibility of joining hands with PDP.

    With no major political party showing no interest in forming or continuing any coalition for a government in the state, way was paved for the imposition of Governor's rule. 

    President Kovind who is on a three-nation visit to Greece, Suriname and Cuba, gave his assent to the recommendation of the Governor with immediate effect. 

    Earlier, on Tuesday Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also held consultations with top officials on the J&K situation.

    Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba briefed the Home Minister about the ongoing developments.

    Rajnath Singh also chaired a meeting attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Joint Secrtary (Kashmir), Special Secretary (Internal Security) and other senior officials.

  • Swaraj, who arrived in Paris from Rome on Monday on the second leg of her four-nation tour, addressed the Indian diaspora at a reception organised in her honour. She said that Indians in every part of the world carry India and its civilisational ethos in their heart.She also addressed the Indian students and unveiled a plaque at the India Hostel to commemorate the golden jubilee of the landmark building.

    Earlier she also called on the French President emmanuel macron and discussed vital bilateral issues with him.

  • It is a direct dialogue with farmers across the country, in which various initiatives related to doubling farmers incomes by 2022 were discussed. The farmers are participating through Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Common Service Centers. It is being telecast on Doordarshan, DD Kissan and All India Radio.

    The Narendra Modi government is constantly working for the welfare of the farmers. Agriculture has been PM Modi's biggest focus, which is led not only by plans on paper but also implementation of them at the grassroot level. 

    Continuing his drive to directly connect with the beneficiaries of his government's pet schemes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is speaking to farmers on issues concerning them.

    Statistics show that in the last 48 months, the polices of the Centre have changed the working conditions and income of the farmers. During this interaction, PM Modi spoke to farmers on developments and advancements in the agriculture sector. 

    It is being broadcast LIVE to all parts of the country from various Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Common Service Center (CSC), Doordarshan, DD Kisan and  Akashwani.

    Krishi Vigyan Kendra is a major institution that helps promote agriculture in the country. Established in Puducherry in 1974 ther are 690 centers across the country. Let us a take a look at its salient features. 

    -- It provides technical support to the farmers 
    -- It provides facilities and information related to agriculture 
    -- At the same time, it also conducts training programs for farmers

    About 65 percent of the country's business depends on agriculture. That is why the Modi government has initiated many new schemes for agricultural farmers and its development in the last four years. Production and productivity in agricultural sector have increased during the four years of NDA rule at the Centre and the country is made self reliant. Let us take a look at the steps taken by the central government.

    -- To examine the health of soil, the Prime Minister's Crop Insurance Scheme has been started.

    -- for proper compensation for the crops which are destroyed by the soil health plan.

    -- Neem coating of urea has begun to stop the leakages in supply of urea to the grey market, which has reduced the cost and increased production. 

    -- All the mandis of the country were added by creating e-NAM portal under the National Agricultural Market, so that farmers can decide to sell their prodice at the best price available.

    -- Now the government's goal is to double the income of farmers of the country by 2022.


    The emphasis of the government is to provide adequate technical support to the farmers for better production of the crop and to provide one and a half times the cost of them. Overall, the government is constantly trying to empower farmers. The PM's interaction will help him get first hand information from the farmers about what more needs to be done for their growth and increased productivity.


  • Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Kagawa scored from the spot as early as in the sixth minute after Colombia's Carlos Sanchez handled the ball inside the area and was given the marching orders by referee Damir Skomina.

    Colombia equalised through Juan Quintero, who curled in a free kick into the bottom right corner in the 39th minute.

    In the second half, Colombia struggled with a man down as their Asian counterparts restored their lead after Keisuke Honda's corner saw Osako nod in from close.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind, addressed a gathering of diplomats, policymakers and academics in Athens today on the subject “India and Europe in a Changing World”. The event was organised by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) – a leading foreign policy think tank in Greece and in Europe.

    The President said that India is committed to world peace. He said that India sees peace not just as the absence of conflict but as a reflection of sustainable development and indeed of any effort that anticipates and prevents strife and suffering

    President said that radicalisation and terrorism are pressing global concerns. Pockets of instability and extremism can be found in the region to Europe’s east and India’s west. They are a worry for both Europe and India.

    Promotion of terrorism by state and non-state actors; extremism in a variety of forms and rooted in senseless hate; the proliferation of sensitive weapons; the use of regular communication and financial channels by terror groups – these pose a challenge to not one nation or the other but to all humanity.

    Earlier in the day, the President addressed the India – Greek Business Forum meeting in Athens.Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India-Greek bilateral trade at US Dollars 530 million is way below its potential.

    With some efforts this can easily be made to cross US Dollars 1 billion in the next few years and India is keen to take lead in this effort.The President said that there are clear complementarities between the Indian and Greek economies.

    He urged Greek shipping, agriculture, food processing, tourism, infrastructure, technology, defence and Start-up companies to look at investment and technology tie-up openings in India. He stated that there are lucrative opportunities for the Greek Shipping Industry in India's ambitious Sagarmala project.

    He also touched upon the opportunities to collaborate in defence manufacturing, pharma, tourism, real-estate, entertainment, infrastructure and technology sectors as well.


  • Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday submitted  her resignation to Governor NN Vohra, after the BJP announced it was leaving the alliance with her Peoples Democratic Party.

    The BJP's decision to end the coalition leaves Mufti with just 28 out of Jammu and Kashmir's 87 elected seats.

  • The entire world is feverishly preparing for the international yoga day. Before the 4th yoga day, prime minister has appealed to the people to make yoga  a part of their daily lives. In a video message posted on his Twitter handle, the prime minister said that yoga is not just a set of exercises that keeps the body fit, it is a "passport" to health assurance and a key to fitness and wellness. 

    PM said that yoga is one of the most precious gifts given by the ancient Indian sages to humankind. He added that it makes one a better individual in thought, action, knowledge and devotion adding that it is a journey from me to we. 

    PM said that : It brings about oneness about the mind body and intellect. He said yoga makes us understnad opurselves better and when we understand ourselves better we  become ready to form a constructive bond with society at large. He said that yoga goes beyong the boundaries of age gender caste creed religion and nations.  He said that in a world of excess yoga promises restraint and balance. In a world of fear yoga promises hope strngth and courage. yoga gives peace of mind.  He  said that we have found ways to control communicable diseases, but the focus is now shifting to dealing with non communicable life style diseases where yoga can be of great help. 
    Meanwhile preparations are going on on war footing to make this yoga day even more memorable and a grand success. On June 21, PM will lead a massive mass yoga event in Dehradun. About 50000 have already registered for the yoga event to be held at Forest Research Institute grounds. 

    The campus will remain closed on June 19-20 as various measures are being undertaken to clean its premises, spread over an area of about 500 hectares. To ensure the success of the program many yoga functions are being organised in the institute. 

    All over the globe, preparations are going on for the yoga day. people are excited about the day and are preparing for the same. 

    Prime Minister's brain child which started as an effort to popularise yoga has turned into a massive international movement that keeps on gaining strength with each passing day.  

  • The BJP on Tuesday pulled out of its alliance with Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir."It has become untenable for the BJP to continue its alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir, hence we are withdrawing" BJP general secretary Ram Madhav announced. 

    He added that restoring peace in Kashmir and encouraging fast development in Jammu and Kashmir were the objectives with which BJP formed government in the state with PDP. 

    Ram Madhav also said that whatever was feasible has been done for the state's development by the Modi government.

    He added that still terrorism, violence and radicalisation have risen and fundamental rights of the citizens are under danger in the Valley.

    He added that despite support from the Central government, PDP failed to control the situation.

    Ram Madhav also said that keeping in mind the larger interest of India's integrity and to bring the deteriorating situation in the state under control, it would be apt to hand over the governance to the governor of J&K.

    He said that BJP have even appointed an interlocutor for the state to talk with all the stakeholders and added that  the central government has done whatever the state government had sought.

    The union Minister said that even if Governor rule is imposed in the Jammu & Kashmir, government's efforts to fight terrorism will continue.

    He said that  PDP has not been successful in fulfilling its promises and Centre did everything for the Valley trying to put a full-stop to the ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

  • The Embassy of India organised a Yoga Camp in Kathmandu today to celebrate International Day of Yoga. 

    The programme started with a message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Yoga day. Hundreds of people including representatives from various Yoga associations, friendship societies, film personalities, school children and officials of the embassy and their family members took part in the camp with enthusiasm.

    They practiced various asanas as per the common yoga protocol. 

    On this occasion, winners of yoga competitions held in various schools were also given certificates by the Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri.

  • Since the 1970s, hundreds of studies have suggested that each hemisphere of the brain is home to a specific type of emotion.

    Emotions linked to approaching and engaging with the world - like happiness, pride and anger - lives in the left side of the brain, while emotions associated with avoidance - like disgust and fear - are housed in the right.

    However, those studies were done almost exclusively on right-handed people. That simple fact has given us a skewed understanding of how emotion works in the brain, according to Daniel Casasanto, associate professor at Cornell University in the US.

    That longstanding model is, in fact, reversed in left-handed people, whose emotions like alertness and determination are housed in the right side of their brains, Casasanto said.

    Even more radical: The location of a person's neural systems for emotion depends on whether they are left-handed, right-handed or somewhere in between, the research shows.

    According to the new theory, called the "sword and shield hypothesis," the way we perform actions with our hands determines how emotions are organised in our brains.

    Sword fighters would wield their swords in their dominant hand to attack the enemy - an approach action - and raise their shields with their non-dominant hand to fend off attack - an avoidance action.

    Consistent with these action habits, results show that approach emotions depend on the hemisphere of the brain that controls the dominant "sword" hand, and avoidance emotions on the hemisphere that controls the non-dominant "shield" hand.

    The work has implications for a current treatment for recalcitrant anxiety and depression called neural therapy. It involves a mild electrical stimulation or a magnetic stimulation to the left side of the brain, to encourage approach-related emotions.

    However, the study, published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, suggests the treatment could be damaging for left-handed patients.

    Stimulation on the left would decrease life-affirming approach emotions.

    "If you give left-handers the standard treatment, you're probably going to make them worse," Casasanto said.

    "Because many people are neither strongly right- nor left-handed, the stimulation won't make any difference for them, because their approach emotions are distributed across both hemispheres," he said.

    "This suggests strong righties should get the normal treatment, but they make up only 50 per cent of the population. Strong lefties should get the opposite treatment, and people in the middle shouldn't get the treatment at all," Casasanto said.


  • Around 50 people were rescued from the building. According to the police, the death toll might rise. 

    The fire broke out at the two hotels in Charbagh's Doodh Mandi area around 6 am.

    SP Lucknow Vikas Tripathi said cause of fire is being ascertained as investigation continues. 

  • The document has been filed before a special court under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, naming the defunct Kingfisher Airlines, UBHL and Vijay Mallya under the new law.

    The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 aims to deter economic offenders from evading the law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

    Vijay Mallya is the first person to be booked under the new law to deal with those who commit financial crimes and leave the country. The special PMLA court will now begin the process to declare Vijay Mallya a "fugitive"

    This is the second prosecution complaint against Mallya in the bank fraud case. 

  • The meeting is reviewing implementation of various centrally-sponsored schemes and party's preparations for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

  • Yoga enthusiasts across the globe are practicing yoga to celebrate the annual event in grand manner.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the people across the globe to make yoga a part of their lives, saying it is not just a set of exercise to keep the body fit, but a passport to health assurance. 

    In video posted on his twitter handle the Prime Minister said, the yoga is the key to fitness and wellness. 

  • Medak district of Telangana is one of the most backward districts of the state. The literacy rate is really low and poverty rate is high.

    Agriculture is the major source of livelihood but water scarcity makes agricultural highly vulnerable.

    Cooking was another difficult task for them. Till recently they were disproportionately affected by the indoor air pollution caused by the use of solid fuels and traditional stoves. Ujjwala scheme is a blessing in disguise for them.


  • The Tihar Jail complex held an elaborate exercise with Ramdev holding the session and teaching inmates various postures of yoga .Hundreds of inmates donning custom made t-shirts actively took part in the session.


    Director General of Tihar Jail, Ajay Kashyap said the aim of the event was to provide every inmate an opportunity to de-stress themselves and not develop suicidal tendencies. "Our aim is to provide help to every person who is in the jail and who is mentally depressed and in the jail there should not be even one inmate who becomes a victim of depression or takes any extreme step like suicide or any other step which harms them. So this is a small step but an important step," he said.

    The practice of yoga originated in ancient India. It includes exercises, postures called asanas, and meditation - all aimed to achieve physical, mental and spiritual well-being. 

    The United Nations had in 2014 declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga after adopting a measure proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The day is marked by mass practice of yoga across the world.



  • Puan -- Indonesian for "lady" -- died at Perth Zoo, where she had lived since being gifted by Malaysia in 1968.

    "She did so much for the colony at Perth Zoo and the survival of her species," said primate supervisor Holly Thompson. "Apart from being the oldest member of our colony, she was also the founding member of our world-renowned breeding program and leaves an incredible legacy. Her genetics count for just under 10 per cent of the global zoological population."

    Puan had 11 children and a total of 54 descendants in the United States, Europe, Australasia and the jungles of Sumatra. Her great grandson Nyaru was the latest individual to be released into the wild.

    Born in 1956, she was noted by the Guinness Book of Records as being the oldest verified Sumatran orangutan in the world. Female orangutans rarely live beyond 50 in the wild.

    Thompson said she was an aloof and independent individual. "You always knew where you stood with Puan, and she would actually stamp her foot if she was dissatisfied with something you did."

    She leaves two daughters at the zoo, along with four grandchildren and a great grandson.

  • Krnáčová said it was an honour and privilege to be the producer of the opening film. "It's a great honour and a great privilege to be here not only as a representative of a film (Little Harbour) which was selected for the festival but moreover, as a producer of a film which is an opening film, which is always the most what a producer can actually wish for."

    Inspired by a true story, 'Little Harbour' tells the tale of two children whose innocence changes their lives forever and how they feel safer on the streets than at home.

    The film has won many awards and accolades including the main prize at the 4th Chinese International Film Festival Silk Road.

    Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore inaugurated the event that will be showcasing a selection of 24 latest European films from 23 European Union (EU) Member States. "I remember watching English movies without really understanding them actually and still enjoying it. That's the specialty of somebody emoting something on the screen...that even if you don't understand the language, you can still understand the emotion. And I think, this further reiterates the fact that we are able to communicate with each other, not necessarily by language, but also by body language. And that truly makes us as one world, world people," he said.

    The event to be held from June 18-24 in New Delhi will traverse through 11 more Indian cities later in the year bringing some unusual and inspiring stories for world cinema enthusiasts.

    As a special attraction this year, audience, students and filmmakers will get an opportunity to interact with well known film personalities from across the world who are travelling to India for the festival.

  • The WHO's International Classification of Diseases (ICD), a reference bible of recognized and diagnosable diseases, describes addiction to digital and video gaming as "a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior" that becomes so extensive it "takes precedence over other life interests".

    The WHO's expert on mental health and substance abuse, Shekhar Saxena, said an addicted gamer "loses control over the gaming and ignores other essential activities like sleep, like eating, like taking part in education or work."

    He stressed that only a small minority of people who play digital and video games would develop a problem, but said recognition of early warning signs may help prevent it.

    "The very fact that we did not put gaming disorder earlier in the classification means that it's an emerging problem and certainly it's more common in those countries and regions where gaming is readily accessible," he said.

    Responding to the decision to including gaming addiction, the Video Games Coalition - an industry lobby group - said their products were "enjoyed safely and sensibly by more than 2 billion people worldwide" across all kinds of genres, devices and platforms.

    It added that the "educational, therapeutic, and recreational value" of games was well-founded and widely recognized and urged the WHO to reconsider.

    The ICD, which has been updated over the past 10 years, covers 55,000 injuries, diseases and causes of death. It forms a basis for the WHO and other experts to see and respond to trends in health.

    The ICD is also used by health insurers whose reimbursements depend on ICD classifications.

    This latest version - known as ICD-11 - is completely electronic for the first time, in an effort to make it more accessible to doctors and other health workers around the world.

    ICD-11 also includes changes to sexual health classifications. Previous editions had categorized sexual dysfunction and gender incongruence, for example, under mental health conditions, while in ICD-11 these move to the sexual health section. The latest edition also has a new chapter on traditional medicine.

    The updated ICD is scheduled to be presented to WHO member states at their annual World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption in January 2022, the WHO said in a statement.


  • Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen said, ""DHS (Department of Homeland Security) is not separating families legitimately seeking asylum at ports of entry. If an adult enters at a port of entry and claims asylum, they will not face prosecution for illegal entry. They have not committed a crime by coming to the port of entry. DHS does have a responsibility to protect minors and in that case as well we will only separate the family if we cannot determine there is a familial relationship, if the child may be at risk with the parent or legal guardian or the parent or legal guardian is referred for prosecution. We have a duty to protect the American people and it's one that I take very seriously. Here is the bottom line. DHS is no longer ignoring the law. We are enforcing the laws as they exist on the books."

    She further added, "As long as illegal entry remains a criminal offense, DHS will not look the other way."

    Earlier U.S. President Donald Trump said that the United States would not be a "migrant camp," as he blamed Democrats for not coming to the table to negotiate immigration legislation.

    Trump, whose administration faces heavy pressure to stop separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, was speaking at the White before opening a meeting of the National Space Council.

    The family separations are the result of the administration's "zero tolerance" policy in which all those apprehended entering the United States illegally, including those seeking asylum, are criminally charged.

  • Veteran Swedish skipper Andreas Granqvist scored the only goal of the game from the spot after Viktor Claesson was upended by South Korean substitute Kim Min-woo Kim in the 62nd minute.

    Despite furious appeals, El Salvadorean referee Joel Aguilar, who had ironically been whistle-happy up until that point, intially waved away Swedish penalty claims. But after consulting the video, he pointed to the spot.

    It was the third VAR penalty awarded at these championships after France and Peru also benefitted from video referrals.

    The win was reward for Sweden's more attacking approach, but it was unsurprising the winner came from the penalty spot in a game between two sides who had only managed two goals between them in seven games heading into Russia.

    Sweden never really convinced that they would score prior to the penalty despite their domination and a toothless South Korea did not manage one shot on target. However they should have equalised in the 90th minute but Hwang Hee-chan put a free header wide, spurning the Koreans' best chace of the game by far.

    The victory leaves Sweden joint top of the group after Mexico's surprise victory against world champions Germany Monday.

    Next up for the Swedes is an intriguing encounter against Germany in Sochi on June 23.

    South Korea started the game brightly, forcing the first corner in the fourth minute, but were gradually forced back by an attritional Swedish side. It was the Europeans who came closest to breaking the deadlock when forward Marcus Berg was denied by a fine point-blank save Jo Hyeon-woo in the 20th minute.

    Berg was denied again nine minutes later by a desperate last-ditch block from Kim Young-gwon. Despite their increasing dominance, Sweden also demonstrated why they have struggled to score goals. Berg, again, and Claesson went close before the end of the half, but it was clear for everyone to see why they had only scored once in their four matches prior to Russia. Korea threatened only on the break where Son Heung-min's pace troubled 33-year-old Granqvist, who was without defending partner Victor Lindelof, who was ill.

    The somewhat rancorous build-up to the game -- where Sweden were accused of spying on their opponents -- was increasingly reflected in the niggly nature of the match. Resilient Sweden held firm after the goal and the Hwang late scare aside, and a half-hearted South Korea appeal for a penalty, their defence rarely looked troubled.

    The huge celebrations, the first match played in the USD 290 million stadium, at the end showed the importance the Swedes attached to this match. Before the game, South Korea's coach Tae Yong-shin called it a "must win" game but the defeat leaves his side contemplating only an early exit. 


  • On a day when their captain, Dinesh Chandimal, who has been charged by umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould with ball tampering on the second day of the match, is likely to know his fate, the tourists stayed focused on events on the field in reducing the home side to 64 for four in early afternoon after setting the West Indies an unlikely victory target of 296.

    However Brathwaite's obdurate, unbeaten 59, with support from Shai Hope and captain Jason Holder ensured that the showers which came in the final session, coupled with deteriorating light, eliminated the Sri Lankans' chances of levelling the series.

    Shannon Gabriel took the last two wickets of the Sri Lankan second innings within minutes of the start of play to finish with the outstanding innings analysis of eight for 62 and match figures of 13 for 121, the third-best by a West Indian in Tests and the best-ever by a Caribbean bowler in home conditions.

    When he wrapped up the Sri Lankan innings for 342 by bowling Akila Dananjaya, Gabriel also reached the landmark of 100 Test wickets. Kasun Rajitha, the debutant fast-medium bowler who claimed three wickets in the first innings, rocked the West Indies with the wickets of Devon Smith and Kieran Powell within the space of three deliveries at the start of the final innings of the match.

    Senior seamer Suranga Lakmal accounted for Roston Chase and Hope but time ran out on the striving Sri Lankans and they were left frustrated by the weather, which once again closed in during the final session and leaves them trailing in the series ahead of the final Test in Barbados, beginning on Saturday.

    It will an historic occasion at Kensington Oval as the first day/night Test to be played in the Caribbean and will also be starting on the 90th anniversary of the West Indies' first day of Test cricket against England at Lord's in London on June 23, 1928. Yet it is quite possible that Chandimal will only be a spectator to all that history if he is found guilty of ball tampering. While he has challenged the charge, match referee Javagal Srinath will be required to adjudicate in a hearing immediately upon the conclusion of the match to make a final determination on the Sri Lankan's skipper's fate.

    Evidence to be presented against Chandimal will include video footage from the television broadcasters which appear to show him taking sweets from his pocket and placing them in his mouth and subsequently applying saliva onto the ball in a manner that the umpires determined to be in violation of the code of conduct regulations in relation to "changing the condition of the ball."

    There were concerns that the Test match was in jeopardy on the third morning on Saturday when Chandimal refused to lead his team onto the field for the continuation of the West Indies first innings after he was informed of the charge by the umpires and the application of a five-run penalty. Play was delayed for two hours as animated discussions took place involving Srinath and Sri Lankan team officials.

    It required clearance from Sri Lanka Cricket authorities in Colombo to clear the team to continue the match under protest. SLC also issued a statement saying they were satisfied their players were not involved in any wrongdoing, based on the information provided to them by the officials on location.

    Should he be found guilty though, Chandimal faces a one-Test suspension which will rule him out of the last match of the series.

    While the International Cricket Council's cricket committee has recommended an increase to the penalty for ball tampering to suspension for four Tests or eight One-Day Internationals, that has yet to be ratified by the ICC. 

  • Gareth Southgate's men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia's Ferjani Sassi slotted home a softly-awarded penalty 20 minutes before half-time. And the north Africans were still level as the game went past the 90-minute mark.

    But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the winner before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.

    England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes. First Jordan Henderson's lofted first-time pass released Dele Alli and when the ball eventually broke to Jesse Lingard he saw his shot from six yards saved by the outstretched left boot of Mouez Hassen in the Tunisia goal.

    Kane had been kept quiet in the opening salvos but he exploded into action in the 11th minute when he cut inside from the left and saw his shot from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner.

    Ashley Young delivered the set piece for John Stones to rise highest and meet with a powerful header. Hassen saved acrobatically but Kane was on hand to tap home the rebound with his right foot and open his World Cup account.

    Hassen, who had injured his left shoulder making an earlier save, could not continue and left the field in tears as he was replaced in goal by Farouk Ben Mustapha. England continued to press and were made to pay for not converting a succession of chances when they conceded a soft penalty.

    Kyle Walker swung a lazy arm across Fakhreddine Ben Youssef who fell as if poleaxed and Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot, with his decision being upheld by the VAR.

    Ferjani Sassi took one step and fired home confidently past the hitherto unemployed Jordan Pickford and Tunisia who had been outplayed for the first half-hour were somehow level 10 minutes before half-time.

    Still there was time for Lingard to come close again twice, first from a goalbound shot and then a dink over the keeper which agonisingly struck the post. Alli too hit the woodwork with a header and England went into half-time wondering how they had not sealed victory already.

    England still enjoyed the lion's share of possession but could not find the same zip and penetration they had enjoyed at the start of the first half. The ineffective Sterling gave way to Marcus Rashford with just over 20 minutes to go and the Manchester United man almost fashioned a chance straight away with a jinking run into the box.

  • President Ramnath Kovind paid respects at monument of The Unknown Soldier at Athens, Greece.

    President then led delegation-level talks with President Pavlopoulos of Greece & discussed issues of economic, culture and political importance.

    President presented his counterpart a painting of Heliodorus Pillar, erected in 2nd century by Heliodorus who was the Ambassador of Indo-Greek King Antial kidas near Vidisha, M.P. and a sculpture replica of Buddha belonging to Kushan period, 2nd century A.D.

    He also met Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece. The two leaders emphasised on strong relations between the two nations and discussed various issues of mutual interest to India and Greece.

  • In a Facebook post, he said those who predicted a 2 per cent decline in GDP growth have been proved wrong. Arun Jaitley pointed out that the economy rewards structural reforms, fiscal prudence, and macro-economic stability. 

    In an article titled 'The Economy and the Markets Reward Structural Reforms and Fiscal Prudence', Union Minister Arun Jaitley makes it clear that the Modi government's policies have established India as the fastest growing global economy, with the high GDP growth rate of 7.7 percent likely to continue for a few years.  His article hits out at some earlier Finance Ministers who had predicted a 2 percent decline in GDP growth after demonetisation, saying they had been proved wrong.

    Arun Jaitley substantiates his assessment under three main points.

    He contends that all structural reforms, social sector schemes and rural development programmes over the last four years, have resulted in high government spending which has promoted  growth.

    Where are the Jobs?

    He points out that data analysis clearly shows construction sector expanding by double digits, creating massive numbers of jobs. Both FDI and Domestic investment are increasing, and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is unlocking value in Non-Performing Assets. Fixed capital formation and Manufacturing are growig, and expenditure on rural projects along with financial inclusion have promoted self-employment.

    The Revenue Situation

    He also said country has become more tax compliant due to Demonetisation, GST, digitisation, AADHAR and anti-black money measures. Income tax returns have shown a 25 percent growth, corporate returns have increased by 17 percent. Tax-GDP ratio has increased to 11.5 percent, of which 9.8 percent is non-oil taxes to GDP.

    But he makes a fervent appeal to citizens to honour their patriotic duty of being more tax compliant. Saying that the government has very strong reputation for fiscal prudence, he contends reducing taxes on oil by 25 rupees, would take the country into a debt trap. He concludes that the economy and markets reward structural reforms, fiscal prudence, and macro-economic stability and that the  transformation from UPA's "policy paralysis" to NDA's "fastest growing economy" conclusively 


  • The 15th such annual gathering, is also being attended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to discuss important anti-doping issues that will help in the fight for clean sport.

    WADA President Sir Craig Reedie said this is an important meeting for the region and the global anti-doping movement.

    Addressing a press conference Monday afternoon, Craig said several sportspersons in the region are in the habit of using traditional medicines but are unaware of presence of some active substance under prohibited list and hence there is need for more awareness on it.

    He also emphasized on conducting research in the field to prevent athletes becoming positive or prohibited.

    Sri Lanka’s sports minister Faiszer Musthapha said such meetings provide vital information-sharing opportunities for Governments and National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) throughout the region.

    The two-day meeting will discuss how to make the most of government engagement, ensure compliance with the world anti-doping code, support capacity building and a range of other topics.

  • Trekking experts believe that the culture of trekking has been the most-sought after among people from all over the country.

    Jampa Negi, a trekking professional says, "This is getting very popular. I feel each person has their own aims and objectives for doing it. Some people want to trek professionally, some just want to explore and then there are those that just want to have fun”.

    The hilly state of Himachal Pradesh is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the country due to its exotic valleys, glorious slopes and snow-capped mountains trekking and mountaineering.

    A trekker, Jayant says, “On the higher reaches in the mountain, we get pure oxygen and the blood circulation also becomes really good. One more use of high altitude is that, even by not doing exercises in our daily life, but by trekking and constantly taking upward steps, our thighs and legs also get toned up."

    One of the most visited hill towns in the state, Shimla, is quite popular for its scenic beauty as well as for the variety of adventure sports, especially trekking.

    Negi says that, “I personally feel that the people who are coming here to Himachal to escape the heat to enjoy the amazing temperature here, the clean air, the beautiful jungle. So for this people get attracted and fascinated and come here".

    Summers in India are a difficult time and soaring temperatures lead to people going up to the mountains to get some respite. With the hilly regions and scenic beauty in the sight, Himachal Pradesh still remains among the favorite tourist destinations in the country.


  • Cheng's first miniature model, created over three years ago, was based on a restaurant he used to visit while studying in Japan.

    He has since tried to push his boundaries in intricacy by creating smaller and smaller models. "Some people use words to note down their memories, but the possibilities of contemplating with words have limitations in the end. So I tried to use the real feeling of living in this room to recreate all the tiny details in this model,” he said.

    Although Cheng has participated in several international competitions with his creations, the most important reward for him is the process of making and appreciating his artworks.

    He says immersing himself in the "small people world" of his creations, and turning them into something that attract peoples' affection, helps him to relax.

    Cheng sometimes spends up to twelve hours a day on his art and says that although the minute detail work can be excruciatingly boring, it is always worth it in the end. “After I finished this artwork, my high school classmates came to visit me at home and couldn't stop laughing, remembering how we used to eat, joke around, sleep, smoke and drink alcohol,” Cheng said.

    While some of the vehicles used in Cheng's street scenes are bought in shops, all the buildings and small details like the magazines and the furniture for his model houses are created from scratch.

  • The e-trading platform is allowing farmers to have access to markets across the country and sell their produce at good price. 

    Using a tablet, Mani Bhai Patel takes no time in exploring markets across India to find suitable place to sell his wheat and maize produce. He is not the only one. Lalit Bhai is also  among those who have been greatly benefited by eNAM scheme. 

    The traders who buy the produce from farmers are also happy with eNAM because now they have access to a bigger market which means more sellers.

    There is also a laboratory in the market that provides a certificate to the farmers as per the quality of their produce. 

    As more farmers are joining eNAM, they are now realising benefits of the electronic trading portal.  

    eNAM is a major step forward in this regard and to target of doubling farmers' income by 2022. 

  • Anti-militancy operation was launched following information about their presence in the area. A proactive approach was launched and check barriers were set up at various places across the valley.

    The aim is to create a terror-free state.

    Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, S P Vaid, has ensured that no terrorists will be spared. They are also ensuring a safe pilgrimage for Amarnath devotees.

  • However, the real test of Southgate's abilities to lead his country on the biggest stage will come when England face Tunisia in their World Cup opener in Volgograd on Monday.

    When Southgate was promoted from his role as under-21 manager in the wake of a scandal that saw Sam Allardyce sacked after just 67 days and one match in charge of Three Lions last September, the appointment was labelled by many as uninspiring and a safe option by the Football Association. Yet, Southgate's tenure has so far defied expectations.

    Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere were among the more experienced names jettisoned as he picked the third youngest squad on show in Russia. Off the field, he has fostered a relaxed atmosphere while also facing up to difficult issues such as fears over racial abuse in Russia and left-back Danny Rose revealing on the eve of the tournament he has suffered from depression. "He's empathetic, he's articulate, he has high emotional intelligence and a really good understanding of connecting with the players and getting the best out of the players - and the staff," said the FA's technical director Dan Ashworth.

    Southgate also drew the sting from the only media storm to blight England's preparation when Raheem Sterling was criticised for a tattoo of a gun on his leg. "It's his calmness, the way he handles situations within the group and difficult situations that always occur before tournaments," said midfielder Eric Dier. "I think the squad really appreciate that and we have massive respect for the way he does it." 

    - Relaxed in Repino -

    Just two years ago the media were banned from asking questions about darts competitions among the players at Euro 2016 as a tense atmosphere around the camp was reflected in a series of dismal performances that ended in a humiliating defeat to Iceland.

    This time round in the sleepy seaside resort in Repino, 45 kilometres north-west of Saint Petersburg, England players are taking on and beating the press pack at the oche. On paper that shouldn't be their only victory in Russia with opening games against Tunisia and Panama offering the chance to have qualification for the last 16 sealed before facing Belgium.

    Warm-up win over Nigeria and Costa Rica stretched England's unbeaten run to 10 games, stretching back a year, and including impressive friendly results against the likes of Brazil, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

    But questions remain over whether Southgate will be able to change a game in England's favour. His previous managerial experience amounted to just over three years at Middlesbrough that culminated in relegation from the Premier League, and his England under-21 side boasting Harry Kane failed to get out of the group stages at the 2015 European Championships.

    Southgate, though, seems determined to erase the fatalism that has come to define England in a 52-year wait for success at major international tournaments. "That's been a danger in more recent history thinking about what the problems might be, how it might feel if it goes wrong, we know all of that. Frankly I've dealt with it in the past. We've got to focus on what might be possible with this team," he said when selecting his squad. Near-perfect preparation complete, Southgate needs England's first win to start a tournament since 2006 to keep the feel-good factor going. 


  • A team who sit third in the FIFA rankings and who boast what is frequently labelled a golden generation featuring the likes of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne have come to Russia with a considerable weight of expectation on their shoulders.

    They are strongly fancied to progress to the knockout phase as winners of Group G, despite being drawn alongside England, and so it would be a major upset if they slipped up in Sochi against a side making their World Cup debut. "I would like to see that the team can play a game and not play the World Cup, to see a team where they enjoy the responsibility that they carry," Martinez said at the Fisht Stadium on Saturday.

    "I'm excited. I see the players work, I see them in training, and they are just desperate to perform for the fans back in Belgium." Belgium's results under Martinez have been excellent, with last Monday's 4-1 friendly win over Costa Rica in Brussels meaning they are unbeaten in 19 matches going back almost two years, to the very start of the Spaniard's reign. "I think we know how strong we are and I hope we can show it in this tournament," said the Napoli forward Dries Mertens, who along with his teammates trained in the shadow of the Sochi stadium on Saturday.

    The prospect of facing England in Kaliningrad on June 28 is a mouthwatering one. All going to plan for these sides, first place will be up for grabs. Then there are Martinez's past links to the Premier League and the presence of Thierry Henry and Englishman Graeme Jones on his coaching staff.

    The majority of his squad either play or have played in England, but for now Martinez is only thinking about Panama.

    "Getting to the World Cup has been a great result for Panamanian football. I am not expecting an easy game," he said. 

    - Defensive worries - 

    The Belgians came to Russia's Black Sea coast early from their base near Moscow to adapt to the warmer, and more humid, conditions here that could suit the Panamanians better. Improving on quarter-final exits at both the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 has to be the aim, but Belgium's preparations have not been aided by defensive injury problems.

    Both Thomas Vermaelen and Vincent Kompany are struggling for fitness, and Martinez can make a change to his 23-man squad as late as Sunday. However, Los Angeles FC defender Laurent Ciman left Russia on Saturday having been with the squad as a standby option.

    Barcelona centre-back Vermaelen will not play against Panama due to a hamstring problem, while Manchester City skipper Kompany is not expected to be available before the match against England due to a groin complaint. However, Martinez believes the 32-year-old's experience is invaluable, even if he is unable to play against Panama or against Tunisia in Moscow next weekend.

    "Vinny Kompany has been in this sort of situation for a long time now, and the decision is to use his know-how, and his experience, around the group. "He did it with his club this season after not playing for four months, he performed against Chelsea in one of the most demanding games of the season. He is a player who with his experience can perform straight away."