Thursday, 31 July 2014

Goa's Carambolim lake to have bird watching site

PANAJI: Goa's Carambolim lake will have a bird watching site near the second watch tower, environment minister Alina Saldanha told the Goa legislative assembly on Wednesday. 

The development of a bird watching site is just one of the various proposals being undertaken at the scenic lake, about 14 kilometres east of Panaji. 

Already the government has spent around Rs 9 lakh for various works undertaken for the development of the lake since 2011. While Rs 2.17 lakh was spent for protection work and rehabilitation of wildlife there in 2011-12, Rs 2.41 lakh was spent for eradication of Salvinia weeds from the lake in 2013-14. Till date, around Rs 2 lakh has been spent on vegetation, installation of signage and protection work at the lake. 

Ongoing works include construction of three earthen mounds and vegetation of these mounds by planting of grass and fruit bearing trees to improve bird habitat. There is also a proposal to plant tall "Badam" seedlings on the embankment along with the Karmali railway station. A proposal for construction of an interpretation centre on equitable cost sharing basis with Konkan Railway Corporation limited has been submitted for government approval, Saldanha said.

Japanese delegation calls on Environment Minister Javadekar in Delhi

New Delhi, July 31 (ANI): A Japanese delegation met Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar here on Thursday.
On Friday, Javadekar had met a delegation led by Edward Jonathon Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, United Kingdom.
Both sides had discussed issues related to environment and climate change. (ANI)

Cook delighted with 'perfect' win

hailed "the perfect game" as England clinched their first victory in 11 Tests in Southampton. Cook, in particular, had come under increasing pressure for his place as captain following a grim run of form but he admitted a "weight has been lifted" after he scored half-centuries in both innings and saw several other players contribute valuable performances to help the side to victory by 266 runs over India.
"We had as good a game as you could have," Cook said. "We performed really well, to a man. We set the game up with the bat and then kept pressure on with the ball. Scoreboard pressure told and we had as good a game as you could have."
Cook admitted that concerns over results and his own form - he was averaging 14.33 in 2014 before this game - had started to threaten his position. But though he expressed relief at the result, he also conceded that he had to contribute more consistently if his critics were to be silenced.
"It was getting to a crux situation," Cook said. "If it had carried on like that who knows what would have happened? The weight is lifted. Certainly if I'd scored nought and five and we'd lost the game… Under that pressure, the first innings meant a lot.
"One game does not change everything and we know how important my runs are from the top of the order. I don't know if my captaincy got dragged into it but when you are losing there will be focus on it.
"This summer we've played good cricket for one or two sessions out of three. But this time we sustained it. We were relentless. We never let India off the hook. We kept them under pressure and it takes a lot of skill and determination to do that. We did not let up.
"The guys who were questioned really delivered. Ian Bell scored a big hundred; Stuart Broad bowled incredibly well - when he bowls at that pace no one wants to face him. Chris Woakes bowled with fantastic control and good pace and I've never seen a bowler improve as much as Moeen Ali in a short space of time. Gary Ballance is doing well at No. 3 and Joe Root is doing well at No. 5. We've won a game and I've scored runs. It's been a better week."
The experience of winning would, Cook reasoned, prove vital for a young side. "For some guys, that was their first experience of winning a Test," he said. "Gary Ballance ran to collect a stump at the end and I realised he did not know what it was like. Now he knows. He knows what it takes. The challenge is to repeat it at Old Trafford and try and win the series."

Anderson pleased with return to form

  • James Anderson rated his bowling at the Ageas Bowl as close to his best after winning the Man-of the-Match award for the second time in the series. Anderson claimed his first five-wicket haul in a year in the first innings and then took two important wickets at the start of the final day to end India's chances of fighting for a draw.
  • "I was somewhere near my best in this game," Anderson said. "The ball swung, which helps as that is my strength. But at the same time it swung at Lord's and we didn't get it right as a group.
  • "But I felt we were absolutely relentless here as a group of four seamers. Everyone bowled brilliantly. Chris Woakes is walking out of the Test without a wicket but he bowled fantastically well. If he bowls like that again he'll get wickets.
  • "That's our benchmark as a team and an attack. That's how good we can be. Our job now is to maintain that throughout the series."
Cook paid particular tribute to the work rate of Moeen after his six second-innings wickets handed England a thumping win. Moeen was labelled a part-time spinner when handed a Test debut at the start of the summer but showed ability far beyond that tag with 6 for 67 to bowl England to victory. Cook praised the effort Moeen has put in to develop his promising offspin, which includes a fledgling doosra.
"His bowling has come on leaps and bounds since the start of the summer," Cook told Sky Sports afterwards. "Credit to Mo, he's worked really hard, it's difficult being a bit part-time, bowling behind Saeed Ajmal at Worcester, but he's fronted up to the responsibility."
Moeen's bowling proved a useful option in the first two Test of the series; he arrived at the Ageas Bowl with seven wickets but finished the match as the joint-second highest wicket-taker in the series with 15 scalps, one behind James Anderson.
Cook identified Moeen's adaptability as the key to his return in the third Test. "The guys in the nets have been telling him the lines are slightly different bowling in international cricket when you've got to hold an end and he's responded really well. Then on a spinning wicket to get six wickets and win the game, you can't ask for any more."
Moeen is one of several young players that have performed well since coming in as part of England's "new era" at the start of the summer. Ballance made his third century in six Tests at the Ageas Bowl and is now the leading run-scorer in the series.
"People will remember that for a long time," Cook said of the moment of victory. "We've worked incredibly hard and had some tough moments. We said we want to see the senior guys stand up as well as the youngsters, and one to 11 we've been fantastic.
"I don't think I'm relieved, happy is probably a better word. It's a great performance from day one, I don't think we lost a session and that's credit to the guys. Every one of the 11 has contributed."
That included Cook, whose batting featured more positive play on the front foot after a run of five Tests without a fifty. "I said at Lord's I thought my game was heading back in the right direction," Cook said. "With a 10 and a 20 there it was quite a hard thing to say, but backing it up here I'm incredibly pleased. Getting back into the ball is vital for my game, I'm pretty good on the short ball, but in the danger zone I've nicked off quite a lot, so I need to make sure I'm getting my feet and my head back into the ball."

Kareena Kapoor Confident of Aata Majhi Satakli Success

Kareena Kapoor is confident that the song Aata Majhi Satakli, which she has shot with composer-rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh for Singham Returns, would be a chartbuster.

The song's video also features Ajay Devgn in his Singham avatar along with hundred kids dressed as cops. (Also Revealed: Kareena Kapoor's designer look in the song)

"I am a big fan of Honey Singh just like everyone here. So I was very excited," the actress told reporters here at an event to launch the film's merchandise on July 30. 

"I am so happy as it is the first time that he has composed a track for any of my films and what better than Singham Returns. So the way it is shot, the track itself I think is going to be a chartbuster," she added. Directed by Rohit Shetty, Singham Returns will release on August 15.

Mundra takes charge as RBI deputy governor

MUMBAI: Reserve Bank of India's new deputy governor S S Mundra has been given charge of banking supervision, currency management, financial stability and rural credit. The government on Thursday notified his appointment for a period of three years. 

Prior to taking charge Mundra was chairman of Bank of Baroda, the country's second large bank. He had begun his career as a probationary officer in Bank of Baroda in March 1977. During a banking career he held various positions including heading the bank's European operations (UK) before being elevated as Executive Director of Union Bank of India in September 2010 and further as Chairman of Bank of Baroda in January 2013. 

The position of deputy governor had fallen vacant in March after former deputy governor KC Chakrabarty put in his papers three months before his term ended. 

No Further FII Investment in Persistent Systems: RBI

Foreign institutional investors won't be allowed to buy further shares in IT firm Persistent Systems as the overseas investment limit for the company has crossed the prescribed limit, the Reserve Bank said today.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in a release said it is monitoring the foreign investment in the company under the portfolio investment scheme (PIS) which has crossed the limit of 24 per cent of its paid-up capital.
"Therefore, no further purchases of shares of this company would be allowed through stock exchanges in India on behalf of FIIs/RFPIs," RBI said.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), Registered Foreign Portfolios Investors (RFPIs), NRIs and PIOs (Persons of Indian Origins) can invest in primary and secondary capital markets in India through PIS.
The RBI monitors the ceilings on FII/NRI/PIO investments in Indian companies on a daily basis.
To effectively monitor the limit, RBI has fixed cut-off points two percentage points lower than the actual ceiling.

LIVE UPDATES: Eight Israelis wounded by mortar fire near Gaza border; two injured by rocket in Kiryat Gat

As Israel's Operation Protective Edge entered its 24th day on Thursday, the security cabinet has ordered the military to press on with the offensive in the Gaza Strip, focusing on the destruction of Hamas' tunnel network.
An Israeli delegation traveled to Cairo on Wednesday for several hours of talks over Egypt’s efforts to broker a truce in Gaza. An official said Israel will continue to allow temporary humanitarian cease-fires in certain areas.
Three Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed and 12 wounded on Wednesday afternoon in the Khan Yunis area of south Gaza, bringing the death toll in the military to 56. Three Israeli civilians have been killed in the current round of fighting.
In Gaza, the death toll in the Israeli operation has topped 1,360 according to Palestinian health officials. More than 6,500 Palestinians have been wounded in the Israeli strikes.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared Gaza a "humanitarian disaster area" and urged the international community to protect and provide relief to the battered enclave. In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, he accused Israel of committing war crimes.
Latest updates [Thursday]: 
9:31 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Ashkelon, Gaza-bordering regions (Haaretz)
8:11 P.M. Two IDF solider wounded by sniper fire in Shujaiyeh (Gili Cohen)
8:10 P.M. Mortar shells hit house, barn in Eshkol Regional Council; rocket siren sounded, no injuries reported. (Shirley Seidler)
7:50 P.M. UNRWA spokesman in Gaza Chris Gunness says the IDF is responsible for yesterday'sartillery strike on the UN-run school in Jabalia, where 15 Palestinians were killed. Speaking on Israel's Channel 2, Gunness said the conclusion was made after checking the shooting's trajectory. He also said the accusations that weapons found inside UNRWA schools were returned to Hamas are lies, and that the arms were in fact turned over to disarmament experts.(Haaretz)
7:42 P.M. Number of Israelis wounded from mortar fire attack near Gaza border rises to eight. (Shirley Seidler and Gili Cohen)
7:40 P.M. Rocket hits high-voltage electricity line, cuts power to nine communities near Gaza border. (Shirley Seidler)
7:37 P.M. Ministers Sa’ar, Shalom critizise handling of Gaza op, say goal of IDF operation should have been to topple Hamas’ reign. For full story, click here (Barak Ravid)
7:31 P.M. Call for residents of towns in Sdot Negev to stay indoors canceled. Announcement made due to fears, now refuted, of suspected security-related incident. (Haaretz)
7:13 P.M. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says there’s “no promise” of a negotiated cease-fire between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip.
Kerry told reporters Thursday in New Delhi that the U.S. remains hopeful that a cease-fire is achievable, and he said the sooner it happens, the better.
He urges both sides to begin, quote, “bona fide negotiations” to stop the bloodshed.
The violence is now in its fourth week and has killed over a thousand Palestinians living in Gaza and several dozen Israeli troops fighting there. (AP)
7:10 P.M. The French Interior Ministry is considering placing a ban on the radical Jewish group Ligue de Défense Juive. The ministry announced it is “analysing” its legal options against the group, which has been accused of provoking pro-Palestinain demonstrators in the Paris area in recent days, the Independant reports. (Haaretz)
6:52 Several mortar shells and rockets hit open areas in Eshkol Regional Council (Shirley Seidler)
6:40 P.M. Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar confronted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a cabinet meeting on Thursday over the goals of the Gaza operation. A source who took part in the meeting says Sa'ar told the prime minister that the goal of the operation should have been to topple Hamas' reign in Gaza.
 “I wasn’t one of those (ministers) to go out in public, in front of the media, and say we need to topple the Hamas regime but today I am saying it here that that should have been the operation’s objective,” the source quoted Sa’ar as saying.

In response, Sa’ar told Haaretz, “I am legally obliged to avoid responding to things that were said in the cabinet meeting even if those quotes are incorrect.” (Barak Ravid)
6:02 P.M. Two people wounded by rocket-fire in Kiryat Gat; one, a 30-year-old man, was hospitalized in serious condition. The rocket, one of several shot at the southern city, struck the third floor of a residential building. Three other rockets were intercepted above Kiryat Gat, and another landed in an open area within the city limits. Seven people are being treated for shock.