Boxer Sonia Lather Eager To Forget CWG Snub, Eyes Asiad Glory


Two-time Asian Boxing Championship silver medal winner Sonia Lather is heading to the upcoming Asian Games with a positive attitude, leaving behind the disappointment of being excluded from the recently concluded Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (CWG). Lather has enjoyed considerable success during her full-fledged international career and has emerged as one of the brightest emerging stars of women’s boxing in India. The Haryana boxer had taken silver at the Asian Championships of 2012, her first year at the senior international level. She went on to finish runners-up in the 57-kilogram category at the 2016 World Championships before taking another Asian Championships silver last year. Having won the senior national title earlier this year, a confident Lather wants to repeat her past glorious performances when the 2018 Asian Games starts in Jakarta.

“I want to repeat the show again in Asiad. My preparations have been good and received a lot of help from our foreign coach Raffaele Bergamasco, who helped to learn new techniques,” Lather told IANS.

Speaking on her exclusion from the 2018 CWG boxing squad despite winning the national championship earlier this year, the Jind girl said, “Whatever happened during CWG, as a sportsperson I don’t regret about it. I try to keep off the negativity of the past when I am heading to a new competition.”

Lather was all praise for the support from the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), which served a four-year ban due to administrative problems and was again recognised by the sport’s international body on December 20, 2016.

“Earlier, we lacked the desired support from the federation but today we get it in advance. A sportsperson excels on motivation and today we receive a huge amount of it from the BFI,” she said.

“As a result, we head to any competition on a positive frame of mind. Now we get every facility well in advance,” Lather added.

When queried on the future of women’s boxing in India, Lather was hopeful that the present working culture of the BFI will result in further improvement in standards.

“When I see the present BFI, future of women’s boxing looks very bright,” the Haryana boxer opined.

“A player wants to feature in more and more of tournaments and the federation is organising a number of national and international competitions which is very beneficial for us,” Lather explained.

Commenting on her strategy at the upcoming Asiad, Lather said: “I personally believe in making strategies after entering the ring and not before that.”

“I simply believe in delivering my best and playing hard,” she signed-off.



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Big New Snub For India From Maldives As It Favours China


Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, is considered a backyard of India. (File)

NEW DELHI: 

The Maldives wants India to withdraw military helicopters and personnel posted there following the expiry of an agreement in June, its envoy said, the latest snub to Delhi by President Abdulla Yameen’s China-backed government.

India and China are going head to head in the Maldives, the Indian Ocean island chain where Beijing is building roads, bridges and a bigger airport, upstaging India which has been the country’s prime provider of military and civilian aid for decades.

India has opposed Yameen’s crackdown on political rivals and the imposition of an emergency this year and some of the president’s rivals have called on Delhi for military intervention, creating worries in the Maldivian government.

The tensions are impacting aid programmes such as security assistance that Delhi has given to smaller countries in the region to help them protect exclusive economic zones, carry out surveys and combat piracy.

The Maldives’ ambassador in India, Ahmed Mohamed, told Reuters that two military helicopters provided by India were mainly used for medical evacuations but were no longer required as the islands had built up enough resources of its own.

“They were very useful in the past but with the development of adequate infrastructure, facilities and resources we are now in a position to handle medical evacuations on our own,” he said.

However, India and the Maldives are still conducting joint patrols in the islands’ exclusive economic zone every month, Mohamed said. The Maldives, 400 km (250 miles) to the southwest of India, is close to the world’s busiest shipping lanes, between China and the Middle East.

Along with the helicopters, India had stationed around 50 military personnel, including pilots and maintenance crew, and their visas had expired. But Delhi has not yet withdrawn them from the island chain.

“We are still there, our two helicopters and the men,” an Indian navy spokesman said on Wednesday, adding the foreign ministry was handling the situation. The foreign ministry did not respond to a Reuters’ request for comment.

India has been demanding that Yameen free political rivals including former President Abdul Gayoom and Supreme Court justices. It also criticised Yameen’s decision to hold elections in September saying the rule of law should be restored before embarking on such an exercise.

India was a close supporter of Gayoom during his long years of stewardship of the island chain and sent troops to foil an attempted coup against him in 1988.

China, which opened an embassy in the Maldives in 2011, has rapidly built ties with the tropical island chain as part of its Belt and Road Initiative. It says it is opposed to any country interfering in the internal affairs of the Maldives.

Providing helicopters and patrol boats and satellite assistance to countries such as the Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles has been part of India’s naval diplomacy to retain influence in the Indian Ocean.

But in recent years China has moved in, building ports and roads backed by loans. In the Maldives, Beijing Urban Construction Group Company Limited took over a project to expand the airport servicing the capital Male, after the government cancelled a $511 million deal with India’s GMR Infrastructure.

Maldives has also given the Chinese a few islands to develop, officials said. Abhijit Singh, a former Indian naval officer who specialises on Indian Ocean politics at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation, said the Indian helicopters were deployed near the islands where the Chinese were present.

“Now the issue is Yameen wants the helicopters out, but more importantly he wants the personnel out. It is not the helicopters that trouble him so much, it is actually the fact that there are these people there.”

“Yameen has invited China to do a lot of infrastructure building and he suspects that India is trying to keep a watch on what the Chinese are doing and so wants to keep the Indians out,” said Singh.

Ambassador Ahmed declined comment on that view.

© Thomson Reuters 2018





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Manchester City’s Leroy Sane Determined After Germany World Cup Snub


Leroy Sane has thanked Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola for helping him overcome his World Cup heartbreak. The City forward, who was a key member of Guardiola’s Premier League title-winning side last season, was left stunned by Germany coach Joachim Low’s decision to omit him from the squad for the tournament in Russia. It was a move which backfired for Low after his side failed to exit the group stages, leaving many to question the wisdom of leaving out a player who scored 10 goals and provided 15 assists in a campaign which ended with him being named as the Football Association young player of the year. Yet with the Euro 2020 qualifiers on the horizon, Sane, who refused to comment on the Mezut Ozil racism scandal which has engulfed German football, believes he will have a chance to resurrect his international career under Guardiola’s guidance.

“Yes, Pep had a chat with me after it happened,” said Sane, when asked about his shock omission from Germany’s squad. “We talked about everything and how my mind was and now we are just looking forward.

“I was disappointed but from that moment and now I’m just looking forward. I’m just preparing to be ready for the start of the new season. It gives you motivation. It would be a dream to play in the World Cup.

“When I watched the World Cup I had the feeling that I wanted to be there. But I’m 22 and I still have a lot of years to prepare.

“I was disappointed at the time – it was really hard for the first week. It’s just made me want to come back really strong.

“It was a surprise because I thought I’d played quite a good season. I’m still feeling it (the disappointment) a bit but it’s another season for me and I’m looking forward to it.”

Sane took no joy in seeing his country suffer, despite experiencing such a difficult personal setback.

“I was disappointed for them too because some of them are my friends and I’ve played with them before, ” he added.

“They are all good guys – and that’s why I was disappointed for them. The World Cup has special games and losing them hurts more than the other ones.”

With Sane fresh after a summer break and one of the few first team regulars on duty for City’s pre-season tour of the United States, Guardiola will at least have the German ready for the Premier League season opener at Arsenal on August 12th.

Together with new signing Riyad Mahrez, both will look to feature in the International Champions Cup match with Liverpool in New Jersey on Wednesday and hand their manager a glimpse of what the future holds.

“A lot of the players went really far in the World Cup. I was really happy for them – especially Ben (Mendy) because he won it,” said Sane.

“Of course they now need a break to recover and be fresh for the new season.”

“I’m happy Riyad is here. Every time we played Leicester and he had the ball, I was like ‘ok please don’t do anything creative’.

“I’m really happy that he’s now with us as he’s a really good football player. You can see it already. He’s a really good player and a really good person.”

“Have I told him that? I can’t tell him that, then he’ll be stronger and take my place!”



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O Panneerselvam OPS After Nirmala Sitharaman Snub “Should Have Heart To Accept Anything”


Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had declared that he was meeting Nirmala Sitharaman for her help

NEW DELHI: 

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman refused to meet Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Tuesday who kept waiting in her office for around 20 minutes and finally left without meeting her.

Mr Panneerselvam accompanied AIADMK lawmaker Dr V Maitreyan who had taken an appointment to meet Ms Sitharaman.

But the deputy chief minister, who is seen to have been close to the ruling BJP government at the centre, wasn’t allowed beyond the minister’s office.

The defence minister’s office was also seen to rub in the snub.

When news outlets in Tamil Nadu reported that Mr Panneerselvam had met Ms Sitharaman, her office promptly tweeted a sharp rebuttal that made it clear Dr Maitreyan was alone.

O Panneerselvam, or OPS as he is often called, had reached Delhi last night and had declared that he was meeting the Defence Minister to thank her for providing an air ambulance to rush his ailing brother from Madurai to Chennai for treatment.

Sources told NDTV that the Defence Minister was not happy at how the Deputy Chief Minister had gone public with the favour and declined to meet OPS.

AIADMK sources told NDTV that OPS, along with Dr. Maitreyan and two other leaders went to South Block on Raisina Hill around 2 pm to meet the minister.

While Dr Maitreyan was called to the minister’s chamber, OPS was left sitting in the visitor’s room.

OPS waited for around 20 minutes and left when Dr Maitreyan came out of the minister’s room and it became clear that he wasn’t going to be able to meet her.

An AIADMK leader later told NDTV that Ms Sitharaman had initially agreed to meet OPS but later changed her mind, her claim denied by government sources.

OPS, who had come with a shawl and bouquet for the minister, left it behind the visitor’s room and headed straight to the airport. He didn’t talk to the waiting reporters in Delhi.

“One should have the heart to accept anything,” a dejected OPS told reporters in Chennai later in the night, according to news agency IANS.

The snub has taken AIADMK leaders by surprise.

Just days earlier, the AIADMK had reversed its decision to abstain from voting in the no-confidence motion against the government at BJP president Amit Shah’s request.

AIADMK’s 37 lawmakers eventually voted against the no trust motion, ignoring voices within the party that had opposed supporting the NDA government and exposing the party to attacks from the opposition AIADMK in the state.





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Rohit Sharma, Wife Ritika Sajdeh Fly Off For Vacation After Test Snub


Rohit Sharma, After Test Snub, Flies Off For Vacation With Wife Ritika


Rohit Sharma decided to go on a vacation with wife Ritika Sajdeh. © Instagram


Rohit Sharma, after being ignored from India’s 18-man squad for the first three Tests of the five-match Test series against England, decided to go on a vacation with wife Ritika Sajdeh. Opening batsman Rohit Sharma took to Instagram and posted a photo with his wife and wrote: “Exploring the beautiful city of Prague #PragueOldTown”. The India’s selection panel met in Leeds, the venue for England’s eight-wicket win in the third and deciding ODI at Headingley on Wednesday, to pick the Test squad but Rohit failed to make it to the squad for the Test series.


Rohit had posted a positive message a day after his was dropped. “Sun will rise again tomorrow,” his post read.

Rohit finished as highest run-getter in the Twenty20 International series against England. He had scored 137 runs in three matches at an average of 68.50, including one century.

In the ODI series, Rohit smashed a brilliant 137 not out in the opening match. He signed off the ODI series with 154 runs at an average of 77.00.

Rohit last played in whites in January earlier this year against South Africa. The right-hander scored just 78 runs in four innings at an average of 19.50.








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Rohit Sharma, Wife Ritika Sajdeh Fly Off For Vacation After Test Snub


Rohit Sharma, After Test Snub, Flies Off For Vacation With Wife Ritika


Rohit Sharma decided to go on a vacation with wife Ritika Sajdeh. © Instagram


Rohit Sharma, after being ignored from India’s 18-man squad for the first three Tests of the five-match Test series against England, decided to go on a vacation with wife Ritika Sajdeh. Opening batsman Rohit Sharma took to Instagram and posted a photo with his wife and wrote: “Exploring the beautiful city of Prague #PragueOldTown”. The India’s selection panel met in Leeds, the venue for England’s eight-wicket win in the third and deciding ODI at Headingley on Wednesday, to pick the Test squad but Rohit failed to make it to the squad for the Test series.


Rohit had posted a positive message a day after his was dropped. “Sun will rise again tomorrow,” his post read.

Rohit finished as highest run-getter in the Twenty20 International series against England. He had scored 137 runs in three matches at an average of 68.50, including one century.

In the ODI series, Rohit smashes a brilliant 137 not out in the opening match. He signed off the ODI series with 154 runs at an average of 77.00.

Rohit last played in whites in January earlier this year against South Africa. The right-hander scored just 78 runs in four innings at an average of 19.50.








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Supreme Court’s ‘Superman’ Snub To Anil Baijal, Lt Governor


Anil Baijal had been slammed by the top court over the state of garbage landfills in Delhi.

Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal faced the wrath of the Supreme Court today after he said garbage disposal in the city was the job of the civic body and he was in charge of monitoring it. The Lieutenant Governor’s response came after a livid top court had asked whether the centre or the Delhi government was responsible for the mounds of garbage that were slowly burying the city.

“You say ‘I have power, I am a superman’. But you don’t do anything,” the judges said today after amicus curiae Colin Gonsalves said no one from the Lieutenant Governor’s office has attended any meeting on the clean-up at three main landfill sites in Delhi — Gazipur, Okhla and Bhalaswa

The court ordered the Lieutenant Governor to provide identity cards and uniform to ragpickers and update it by 2 pm. 





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Glenn Maxwell Clarifies After Sarfraz Ahmed Handshake Snub


Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell on Monday provided some clarification after being criticised for allegedly snubbing Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed. Following Australia’s tri-series final loss to Pakistan, television footage showed Maxwell walking past Sarfraz, who had offered to shake the Australian’s hand. Maxwell went on to shake the hand of other Pakistan players, prompting angry reactions from cricket commentators and fans on social media. Maxwell took to Twitter and gave his side of the story, explaining the incident was not deliberate but a “genuine oversight”.

“Congrats to Pakistan on their win yesterday, Fakhar Zaman and Shoaib Malik were unstoppable. Sad note to end our tour of Zimbabwe, but still plenty of positives to take out of it. In regards to the incident shown post match, it appears unsportsmanlike, and certainly not the way I play the game. It was a genuine oversight on my behalf and I’m currently looking for Sarfraz in the hotel to shake his hand and congratulate him and his team on their series win,” Maxwell wrote on his Twitter handle.

Opener Fakhar Zaman cracked a career-best 91 to help set up Pakistan’s six-wicket win over Australia in the summit clash.

Zaman, who was adjudged Man of the Match, scored a magnificent 91 off 46 balls before being dismissed by Jhye Richardson. His inning was studded with 12 boundaries and three sixes.

Apart from Zaman, Pakistan’s experienced batsman Shoaib Malik scored an unbeaten 43 off 37 balls.

With 278 runs in five matches in the series at an average of 55.60, Zaman was also adjudged Man of the Series.



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EU Lawmakers Miffed Over New Facebook Snub


European Union lawmakers are unhappy that Facebook is refusing to comply with their request to send two senior officials to testify at a hearing into the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

The EU parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee wants to question Facebook’s chief privacy officer and the vice presidents for advertisements and global public policy.

The committee said Friday that global public policy vice president Joel Kaplan will attend Monday’s hearing, but he will only be accompanied two members of Facebook’s public policy team.

Committee Chairman Claude Moraes said “we had expected to hear from other speakers.”

Moraes said “it will be up to members to see if Facebook’s answers will be sufficient, convincing and trustworthy.”

Initially, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declined to appear before the assembly but finally attended last month.



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Ivanka Trump Slams Serena Williams Seeding Snub At Roland Garros


French Open: Ivanka Trump Slams Serena Williams Seeding Snub At Roland Garros


Serena Williams will be playing a Grand Slam for the first time since 2017 Australian Open © AFP


Ivanka Trump waded into the debate over the non-seeding of Serena Williams at the French Open on Thursday, branding the decision by tournament organizers “ridiculous.” The daughter of US President Donald Trump called on WTA officials to change rules to allow Williams to be seeded as the former world number one continues her comeback following time off to give birth to her first child. “This is ridiculous,” Ivanka Trump wrote on Twitter. “@SerenaWilliams is a formidable athlete (best ever!) and loving new mother. “No person should ever be penalized professionally for having a child! The #WTA should change this rule immediately. #FrenchOpen.”

Former world number one Williams, now ranked a lowly 453, will be playing a Grand Slam for the first time since her victory at the 2017 Australian Open, after which she stepped off the tour to give birth to her daughter in September.

The 36-year-old’s preparations for Roland Garros have prompted a debate over whether she should have been given a special dispensation and been seeded for the tournament.

French Open organizers ruled out giving special treatment to Williams, reaffirming the seedings would reflect the latest WTA rankings.

At Wimbledon, which runs from July 2-15, the All England Club could elect to seed Serena using its unique system that favors grass-court specialists.

Williams, a three-time Roland Garros champion, was drawn against Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the first round of the French Open at Thursday’s draw.




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Serena Williams Tennis



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