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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

World Cup: Malinga hat-trick helps Sri Lanka maul Kenya

Lasith Malinga recorded his second World Cup hat-trick
Lasith Malinga recorded his second World Cup hat-trick and a career-best 6/38 to spark Sri Lanka's crushing nine-wicket win over Kenya on Tuesday.
The 27-year sling-action bowler, who missed Sri Lanka's opening two matches due to a back strain, trapped Tanmay Mishra (nought) lbw with the last ball of his seventh over.
At the start of his next, he bowled Peter Ongondo and Shem Ngoche in successive balls to complete his hat-trick, finishing the innings at 142 in 43.4 overs, by bowling Elijah Otieno (0) to complete a four-wicket burst off six balls.
Sri Lanka polished off the runs in just 18.4 overs with Tillakaratne Dilshan (44) and Upul Tharanga (67 not out) giving the co-hosts a flying start with a first-wicket stand of 72 by the ninth over.
Even after Dilshan's 30-ball knock, which was spiced with eight boundaries, skipper Kumar Sangakkara (27 not out) and Tharanga polished off the runs with more than 31 overs to spare, completing another miserable day for Kenya.
Tharanga hit 12 boundaries during his rampaging 59-ball knock, his fifth World Cup half-century.
The win put Sri Lanka back on track in Group A after losing to Pakistan by a narrow 11-run margin on Saturday.
The 1996 champions, who won their first match against Canada by 210 runs, now have four points from three games. They next play defending champions Australia on Saturday.
It was all Malinga in the afternoon after Kenya, who chose to bat, were on track for a near-200 total but lost their last eight wickets for a mere 40 runs with Malinga the destroyer-in-chief.
Malinga's previous best of 5/34 was recorded against Pakistan at Dambulla last year.
His hat-trick is the seventh in all World Cup matches and came just a day after West Indian Kemar Roach took three-in-three against the Netherlands in New Delhi.
But the curly-haired Malinga is the only man to have two hat-tricks in World Cup history, his first coming against South Africa at Guyana in the 2007.
Kenya, shot out for 69 against New Zealand and 112 against Pakistan, started disastrously with Nuwan Kulasekara dismissing opener Morris Ouma (one) in the second over before Malinga had Seren Waters (three) lbw in the next.
Brothers Collins Obuya (52) and David Obuya (51) steadied the innings during their snail-paced, 94-run partnership which came off 178 balls before Malinga broke the family association, by bowling Collins Obuya.
Collins Obuya, whose five wickets helped Kenya upset Sri Lanka at the 2003 World Cup, hit four boundaries during his sedate 100-ball knock. His elder brother hit three fours during his 106-ball innings.
With Malinga firing all cylinders, four of the last seven batsmen failed to score.Kenya, who have no points after three matches, now face fellow minnows Canada in New Delhi on March 7.
score card 

Kenya innings (50 overs maximum) R B 4s 6s SR
MA Ouma† lbw b Kulasekara 1 7 0 0 14.28
SR Waters lbw b Malinga 3 4 0 0 75.00
CO Obuya b Malinga 52 100 4 0 52.00
DO Obuya c Samaraweera b Muralitharan 51 106 3 0 48.11
SO Tikolo c Dilshan b Mathews 7 17 1 0 41.17
T Mishra lbw b Malinga 0 13 0 0 0.00
JK Kamande* run out (Silva) 1 3 0 0 33.33

NN Odhiambo not out 8 10 2 0 80.00
PJ Ongondo b Malinga 0 1 0 0 0.00
SO Ngoche b Malinga 0 1 0 0 0.00
E Otieno b Malinga 0 2 0 0 0.00

Extras (b 1, lb 6, w 9, nb 3) 19

Total (all out; 43.4 overs) 142 (3.25 runs per over)
Fall of wickets1-4 (Ouma, 1.2 ov), 2-8 (Waters, 2.1 ov), 3-102 (CO Obuya, 31.4 ov), 4-120 (Tikolo, 36.2 ov), 5-127 (DO Obuya, 40.1 ov), 6-128 (Kamande, 41.1 ov), 7-137 (Mishra, 41.6 ov), 8-137 (Ongondo, 43.1 ov), 9-137 (Ngoche, 43.2 ov), 10-142 (Otieno, 43.4 ov)

Bowling O M R W Econ

SL Malinga 7.4 0 38 6 4.95 (2nb, 3w)
KMDN Kulasekara 9 1 18 1 2.00

AD Mathews 7 0 20 1 2.85 (1w)

BAW Mendis 9 2 23 0 2.55

M Muralitharan 8 0 24 1 3.00

LPC Silva 3 0 12 0 4.00 (1w)

Sri Lanka innings (target: 143 runs from 50 overs) R B 4s 6s SR

WU Tharanga not out 67 59 12 0 113.55
TM Dilshan c †Ouma b Otieno 44 30 8 0 146.66

KC Sangakkara*† not out 27 24 3 0 112.50

Extras (w 7, nb 1) 8

Total (1 wicket; 18.4 overs) 146 (7.82 runs per over)
Did not bat DPMD Jayawardene, TT Samaraweera, LPC Silva, AD Mathews, KMDN Kulasekara, M Muralitharan, SL Malinga, BAW Mendis
Fall of wickets1-72 (Dilshan, 8.2 ov)

Bowling O M R W Econ

PJ Ongondo 3 0 28 0 9.33 (1w)

NN Odhiambo 5 0 26 0 5.20

SO Ngoche 4 0 39 0 9.75

JK Kamande 1 0 14 0 14.00 (2w)
E Otieno 4 0 26 1 6.50 (1nb, 1w)

C Obuya
1.4 0 13 0 7.80 (1w)    

Costliest planet: Earth valued at £3,000 trillion

Earth is worth £3,000 trillion, according to an astrophysicist who claims to have created a formula to calculate the value of a planet.
The astrophysicist, Greg Laughlin, came up with the figure by calculating the sum of the planet's age, size, temperature , mass and other vital statistics – and Earth came out as the most expensive.
"The formula makes you realize just how precious Earth is and I hope it will help us as a society safeguard what we have," he said.
Mars was only valued at £10,000, while Venus is said to be worth less than a penny. There are about 1,235 other planets in the universe, most of which weren't given a high price tag because of their inhospitable climates.

China defends police action against journalists

The Chinese foreign ministry on Tuesday defended police action in detaining some journalists on Sunday saying they had not followed the necessary procedures for covering an incident at a major shopping street in Beijing last Sunday.
"The Beijing police properly handled the incident at Wangfujing," Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in the face of criticism voiced by foreign correspondents and envoys of United States and European Union over incidents of beating and detention of journalists. At least four journalists were pushed and kicked around at the Wang Fu Jiang shopping street on Sunday. They had gone there expecting protests by rebels who has been giving calls for demonstrations to create a Egyptian type 'Jasmine revolution' in China.
She asked a Bloomberg correspondent, who was severely hit in the face by unidentified plainclothes men, if he had obtained permission from the local administration managing the shopping area before doing interviews at the place.
Yu said there is no change in China's policy on press freedom, which was liberalized before the 2008 Olympic Games. But journalists should show respect and abide by rules and regulations in the country while carrying out their reporting duties.
"Some journalists did not follow relevant procedures,"she said while answering nearly 25 questions from foreign correspondents at the regular briefing in the ministry. Foreign journalists were "China protects foreign journalists' lawful rights within the law," she said. Her ministry hopes "journalists understand that it takes two sides -- both the government and the journalists -- to understand each other, and patiently handle the situation."
In a statement, Paris-based 'Reporters Without Borders' condemned the "thuggish attitude of the police officers who used force and violence against the journalists" in Beijing on Sunday.
Meanwhile, there has been some fresh postings on the Internet asking people to demonstrate next Sunday at the same places. Two such attempts to hold demonstrations by giving calls over the Internet have proved unsuccessful.

US competing with China, India to maintain leadership stature: Obama

US President Barack Obama
In highly connected and competitive world, US is competing with fast developing economies like India, China and Brazil, President Barack Obama said as he asked state governors to gear up to meet the challenge and maintain America's leadership stature.
"We now live in a world that's more connected and more competitive than ever before. When each of you tries to bring new jobs and industries to your state, you're not just competing with each other but you're competing with China, you're competing with India, you're competing with Brazil, you're competing with countries all around the world," Obama said in his address to the National Governors' Association.
The US needs to make sure that it is the best place on earth to do business, he said. "We need a skilled and educated workforce, a commitment to cutting-edge research and technology, and a fast and reliable transportation and communications network. That's how we're going to bring new jobs to America, and that's how we're going to win the future."
"Making these necessary investments would be hard at any time. But it's that much harder at a time when resources are scarce. After living through a decade of deficits and a historic recession that made them worse, we can't afford to kick the can down the road any longer," Obama said.
Vice President Joe Biden also had the same views. He said that while US is still ahead of these countries, many Americans believe that they have already lost the race to India, China and Brazil.
"I know you all know, but sometimes our constituents, you look at some of the polling, they think we've already lost the future to China. They think we've already lost the future to India. They already think we are behind the eight ball," Biden said.
"We are still better positioned than any country in the world -- any country in the world -- to own the 21st century economically. Our GDP is bigger than that of China, Japan and Germany combined," he asserted.
"We're in a situation where, here in the United States of America, the median income is close to USD 50,000. In China, it's USD 4,500. We wish them better," he said.
Biden said if Americans take right steps than they have "overwhelming prospect -- an overwhelming prospect -- of not only recovering here in the United States but leading the world in the 21st century."
"We may have a different prioritization, but we all know we have to do something about the long-term debt. We all know that we have to do something about preparing ourselves to compete in the future in terms of education, innovation and infrastructure," he added.

We must stop Gaddafi 'murdering' Libyans: British PM

British Prime Minister David Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday that the international community must not let Libyan leader Moammer Gaddafi murder his own people.
"It is not acceptable to have a situation where Colonel Gaddafi can be murdering his own people, using aeroplanes and helicopter gunships and the like.
"We have to plan now to make sure that if it happens we can do something to stop it," Cameron said in a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai dominated by events in Libya.
The prime minister said the need to protect Libyan civilians from attack was why he had asked his military chiefs to look into the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya.
"It's right for us to plan and look at plans for a no-fly zone," he said.
"We should also be making contact with, getting a greater understanding of, the opposition forces that are now in Benghazi and in control of quite a lot of the country.
"We are trying to step up our contact with them so we can know them better and what their intentions are."
But he added: "I don't think we should go beyond that for now."
Cameron was asked to compare the Libyan revolt to the end of the first Gulf War in 1991 when Shiites in southern Iraq rose up against Saddam Hussein, encouraged by the West, but were ultimately left to their fate and brutally crushed.
The prime minister said: "We mustn't let that happen in Libya and I think there are some very immediate dangers of what Colonel Gaddafi could do to his own people."
Cameron said there were political and legal difficulties with taking action against Gaddafi's regime but stressed that should not stop the international community from planning ahead for bringing the crisis to a swift end.
Britain and its allies must do "everything we can to isolate and starve that regime of money and support," he said.
"The next stage in our planning must be, tragically, planning for the humanitarian difficulties, potential humanitarian crises there could be. Let us hope this doesn't happen."
He added: "We should see the whole of what is happening in North Africa and the Middle East as an opportunity."
The West should try to ensure "this is a democratic awakening and not a time of risk and difficulty".

EU court bans insurance sex discrimination

The European Union's highest court on Tuesday barred the insurance industry from charging different rates for men and women, saying the widespread practices amounts to sex discrimination against millions.
The ruling ordered changes effective December 21, 2012, to auto insurance, life insurance, medical coverage and other plans, potentially affecting tens of millions of customers across the continent. For example, many women driver would see their car insurance costs rise even though they are considered safer on the road.
Insurers grudgingly accepted the ruling, but say their current policies are statistically fair and the change will be bad for customers because it will force cost hikes across the board.
``The judgment ignores the fact that taking a person's gender into account, where relevant to the risk, enables men and women alike to get a more accurate price for their insurance,'' said Maggie Craig, the acting Director General of the Association of British Insurers.
The EU had already imposed an equal treatment system in 2007 but left the possibility for some unlimited transitional period. Tuesday's ruling closes that loophole.
Currently millions of insurance policies take gender into account, with insurance companies arguing it is typically easy to check and is statistically sound. The court said that is inappropriate, since there are myriad other factors that could also be considered.
``Taking the gender of the insured individual into account as a risk factor in insurance contracts constitutes discrimination,'' the court said in a statement.
The Belgian consumer group Test-Achats, which brought the case, said the decision is a ``historic ruling.''
``The equal treatment of men and women must be absolute,'' the group said in a statement.
Even if women are considered safer drivers, the question remains whether a man should be punished by paying more despite taking special care to drive safely. Test-Achats says there are other ways insurance companies can make a distinction, for example, by taking the accident history of a driver more into account.
In traffic-choked Rome, Antonello Parenti welcomed the ruling. ``Men and women are equal, so it has to be a matter of equal opportunities, so it's not fair that women pay less,'' he said.
Test-Achats also questioned why a woman who smokes and lives more dangerously should be assessed for medical or life insurance by the standards of an average woman while a man who works out, eats healthily and does not smoke cannot see his lifestyle taken into account.
``You have to complement the statistical approach but one which is more respectful of the rights of each individual taking lifestyle into account,'' the group said.
It was not immediately clear exactly how insurance prices would be affected, but the British think tank Open Europe said British insurance providers alone will need an extra 936 million pounds ($1.52 billion) under the new circumstances.
It said that on average a 17-year-old female in Britain would have to pay 4,300 pounds ($7,000) more in car insurance over 10 years while a male would save 3,250 pounds ($5,300) over the same period.
Philip Jarvis, head of insurance at the international law firm Allen & Overy, said it was tough to put financial figures on the change, but that it was clearly a major ruling.
``It is nontrivial, it is a significant change to the industry,'' he said in an interview.
He expects overall charges to rise. Since the gender analysis is out, insurers have to spend more money figuring out pricing. Insurers could push up charges across the board to protect themselves or fine tune other, more expensive ways to differentiate between people, he said.
``The chances of this change leading to lower premiums for more people is relatively low,'' he said.
The British Conservatives called the ruling outrageous. ``It is a statistical reality that young men have more accidents than women so it should be reflected in their premiums,'' said European Parliament member Sajjad Karim.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, saw a possible positive consequence of the ruling. ``If insurance premiums for young male drivers fall, this might encourage those who currently drive uninsured to take out insurance, which would be a good thing,'' Clinton said.`On the flip side, some young female drivers might be discouraged from insuring their vehicles if the cost of their premiums rises significantly.''

Finally, FIR on catering could name Kalmadi

Commonwealth Games chief organizer Suresh Kalmadi
Sacked Commonwealth Games chief organizer Suresh Kalmadi will for the first time be named by the CBI in a case relating to losses of close to Rs 16 crore incurred due to delays and retendering of the main catering contract for the Games Village.
Meanwhile, CBI also searched two of Kalmadi's bank lockers in ICICI and Saraswat banks that were sealed by it in December.
CBI plans to register a first information report (FIR) naming Kalmadi as an accused in a few days.
While Kalmadi aides are under arrest in criminal and fraud cases relating to the Queen's Baton Relay and a contract for scoring, timing and results equipment for the graft-hit Games, the Pune MP is now directly linked to the contract that was retendered despite an in-house warning of escalated costs.
Australian firm Delaware North won the catering contract for the Games Village near Delhi's Akshardham temple which was cancelled on the ground that the company failed to submit earnest money. Yet, the same firm got the bid again after the contract was tendered afresh at an enhanced cost.
The failure to deposit earnest money could be set right with the firm asked to pay up, an internal OC note said pointing out that retendering could mean higher costs while stretching deadlines dangerously close to the mega sports event scheduled to begin on October 3, 2009.
Kalmadi has defended his decision saying, "The contract was cancelled because earnest money wasn't paid by Delaware. I went strictly according to rules."
The ex-OC chief overrode a note written by special director general Jiji Thomson, an IAS officer deputed to the Organizing Committee. "At the risk of sounding like a Cassandra" there are risks attached to cancelling the Delaware North contract, the note said.
With the first contract annulled in early 2010, the fresh award took time forcing OC to take emergency measures to ensure that kitchen catering to 7,000-odd athletes was ready for the Games as Delaware North insisted it will not, as earlier envisaged, deliver a turnkey project.
The OC had no option but to buy kitchen equipment worth Rs 8 crore from a UK firm PKL, a supplier identified by Delaware North. Further, it hired two special flights costing another Rs 8 crore instead of Rs 50 lakh by sea passage as originally planned. OC remains saddled with the kitchen equipment four-and-a-half months after the Games got over.
An agency source said, "We have analysed documents of the catering contract and losses suffered. Kalmadi delayed tendering first and then rebidding was done. He was actively involved in the decision."

'Raja used wife's a/c to stash bribe money in Mauritius and Seychelles'

former telecom minister A Raja
The CBI is believed to have gathered evidence of former telecom minister A Raja using his wife's bank accounts in Mauritius and Seychelles to deposit part of the Rs 3,000 crore bribe he allegedly took for favouring telecom companies with 2G spectrum.
CBI sources said that in response to letters rogatory (LRs), authorities in both the island countries have provided the agency with details which confirm a quid pro quo between Raja and the telcom companies that were helped by him to jump the queue for spectrum, in contravention of the first-come first-served policy.
The LRs were sent soon after the CBI lodged an FIR in October 2009 on the spectrum scan, and much before Supreme Court started probing its investigation into the alleged swindle.
TOI had reported on February 11 that the investigating agencies believe that Raja allegedly recieved almost Rs 3,000 crores in bribes, and that the entire 2G scam could have caused a loss of Rs 45,000-50,000 crores to the exchequer.
Enforcement Directorate, the other agency probing the spectrum scam, will soon send LRs to as many as 10 countries. The ED is investigating the flow of foreign funds in the telecom sector as well as whether money was sent abroad by suspects in the spectrum scam.
It has so far conducted source-based investigations (preliminary soundings) in Singapore, Mauritius, Cyprus, Dubai (UAE), Moscow ( Russia), Norway, Isle of Man, Jersy Island and British Virgin Island.
Sources in the ED, whose work has been appreciated by the SC, said that the scam money invested in little known companies in these countries has been routed back either as foreign direct investment (FDI) or as payoffs.
On Tuesday, a SC Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly expressed satisfaction with CBI's investigations, saying that they prima facie appeared to be going in the right direction. The Bench made the observation after senior advocate K K Venugopal submitted a fresh report detailing the status and progress of the probe.
Venugopal informed the court that the agency had questioned 63 persons including an MP, CEOs and promotors of 10 mobile service providers who got spectrum during Raja's tenure, and department of telecom (DoT) officials.
The Bench adjourned the hearing on a petition filed by an NGO, the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), and asked both the CBI and ED to submit probe status reports by March 15.
While CBI is staring at the March 31 deadline for filing chargesheet against the accused persons, the ED had last month sought time till June to complete its probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).