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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Indian Rupee soars to three-month high against US $ Friday Dec 15,2017

Maintaining its upbeat momentum, the rupee surged by 30 paise to hit a fresh 3 month high of 64.04 against the U.S. dollar, with all exit polls on assembly elections suggesting the BJP retaining Gujarat and returning to power in Himachal Pradesh.

This is the highest closing for the home currency since September 13, when it had closed at 64.00. It was also the biggest single-day gain for the rupee in over three weeks.

Overall currency market sentiment turned extremely bullish after the exit poll outcomes predicted BJP’s win in Gujarat for the sixth time and a clean sweep in Himachal Pradesh elections.

A smart rally in local equities also supported the rupee momentum.

It was further supported by unwinding of long-dollar positions by speculators and some foreign banks with the US dollar down on shaky outlook for the tax reform progress.

Big-picture economic indicators like improving current account deficit and abundant FII inflows largely weighed on the trading front, a forex dealer said. Brent crude, an international benchmark, is trading at $63.25 a barrel in early Asian trade.

2018 ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand Jan 13 - Feb 03,2018 - Former Australian Captain Steve Waugh’s son Austin in Australia Under-19 squad for World Cup

Former Australian World Cup-winning captain Steve Waugh’s son Austin has been included in Australia’s 15- man squad for the Under-19 World Cup, to be held in New Zealand next month.

The side led by Jason Sangha also includes Will Sutherland, son of Cricket Australia’s (CA) chief executive James Sutherland. Sutherland Jr is the vice-captain of the side.

In 2016, Waugh had hit an unbeaten hundred in the final of the Under-17 National Championships, and earlier this year represented Australia U-19s in a one-day series against Sri Lanka’s youth side.

Former Australia pacer Ryan Harris will coach the U-19 side, while former opener Chris Rogers will assist him.

The U-19 World Cup will be played between January 13 and February 3 in New Zealand.

Australia are slotted into Group B, and will open their campaign against India on January 14 in Mount Maunganui. The other teams in Group B are Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea.

Australia are aiming to win their first title since the Mitchell Marsh-led side claimed the title in 2010, and the 18 -year-old Sangha will have the services of paceman Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Param Uppal, among others, during the campaign.

Australia’s National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said: “This is a very exciting squad and there is some exceptional talent within this group. We have got a good spread of skills through the squad.”

Australia U-19 Squad

Jason Sangha (Captain), Will Sutherland (Vice Captain), Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Jack Edwards, Zak Evans, Jarrod Freeman, Ryan Hadley, Baxter Holt, Nathan McSweeney, Jonathan Merlo, Jason Ralston, Param Uppal, Austin Waugh, Lloyd Pope.

Mizoram becomes third power-surplus state in North-East Saturday Dec 16,2017

Mizoram had become the third power- surplus state in the north-east after Sikkim and Tripura, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday Dec 16,2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said the central schemes for the benefit of the north-east had gained momentum and that his government was committed to developing the region.

“Today, we celebrate a significant milestone in the history of Mizoram with the completion and dedication of the 60-MW Tuirial hydropower project,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, while addressing a public meeting here after inaugurating it.

With the commissioning of the project, Mizoram became the third power-surplus state in the north-east, he added.

The hydro power project would produce “251 million units” of electrical energy every year and boost the economic development of the state,Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

“The completion of this project is a reflection of our commitment to completing the ongoing projects and ushering in a new era of development in the north-east,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi added.

The Tuirial project, which was announced and cleared in 1998 by the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, was the first major central project to be successfully commissioned in Mizoram, the prime minister said

Coal Scam Case - Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and ex coal secretary H.C. Gupta were on Saturday Dec 16,2017 sentenced to three years imprisonment Saturday Dec 16,2017

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and ex coal secretary H.C. Gupta were on Saturday Dec 16,2017 sentenced to three years imprisonment by a special court here in a case of coal block allocation scam.

Besides the jail term, the special court also imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on Mr. Koda and Rs one lakh on Mr. Gupta.

Former Jharkhand chief secretary A.K. Basu and Vijay Joshi, a close aide of the then Chief Minister, were also awarded jail term of three years for indulging in corrupt practices and hatching criminal conspiracy in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to a Kolkata-based private company, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL).

Special judge Bharat Parashar convicted the private firm and imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh on it.
The convicts including Mr. Koda, however, were granted statutory bail for a period of two months to enable them to file appeals in the Delhi High Court challenging the conviction and the jail term.

The convicts were tried for offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) of the IPC and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI had said that the firm had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007.

It had said although the Jharkhand government and steel ministry did not recommend VISUL’s case for coal block allocation, the 36th Screening Committee recommended the block to the accused firm.

The CBI had said that Mr. Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had concealed facts from the then prime minister Manmohan Singh, who at that time headed the Coal Ministry too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block.

Time line -  coal scam case

*Dec 2014: CBI files charge sheet against Koda, others before a special court here.
*Jan 21, 2015: Court summons Koda, others as accused.
*Feb 18: Court grants bail to accused after they appear before it and seek relief.
*July 14, 2015: Court orders framing of charges against Koda, others.
*July 31, 2015: Court frames charges against accused.
*July 11, 2017: Court concludes hearing in coal case.
*Dec 5, 2017: Court reserves order.
*Dec 13, 2017: Special court holds Koda, Gupta and others guilty of corruption, criminal conspiracy and other offences.
*Dec 16, 2017: Special court awards three years jail term to Koda, Gupta and two others in the case. It also imposes fine of Rs 25 lakh, Rs 50 lakh and Rs one lakh on Koda, a Kolkata-based firm and Gupta respectively.

California issues business licenses for legal pot market Thursday Dec 14,2017

California’s legal marijuana market is finally, fitfully, taking shape.

The state on Thursday Dec 14,2017 issued the first batch of business licenses to sell and transport recreational-use pot, just 18 days before legal sales will begin on January01,2018

The 20 temporary licenses – some of which were for the previously existing medical marijuana industry – represent a fraction of the thousands of licenses expected to follow as the state embraces legal weed in 2018, but their release set off jubilation.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” said Jordan Lams, CEO of Moxie whose parent-company Pure CA received the first distributer license.

Peru Congress prepares to oust President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s chances of surviving the political crisis gripping Peru faded on Friday Dec 15,2017 after Congress passed a motion to start “presidential vacancy” procedures with enough votes to unseat him within a week.

The opposition-controlled Congress voted 93-17 on Friday to seek his removal from office over graft allegations, which he denies. Eighty-seven votes will be needed to oust him in a session scheduled for Dec. 21, when he will be asked to defend himself.

A Brazilian construction company at the center of Latin America’s biggest graft scandal disclosed this week payments totaling $4.8 million to companies owned by Kuczynski or a close friend, triggering calls for him to resign.

Kuczynski had previously denied any links to the Brazilian company, Odebrecht, and said on Thursday there was nothing improper about the payments. Flanked by his Cabinet, Kuczynski vowed not to resign in a defiant message to the nation.

However, Kuczynski was aware his chances of surviving the scandal were slim, said a government source who asked not be identified. By resisting calls to step down, he hopes to clear his name and defend due process as the Odebrecht graft investigation widens, the source said.

“This is a national disgrace,” said opposition lawmaker Lourdes Alcorta. “The less harmful option for Peru would be his resignation. He’s forcing us to impeach him.”

Odebrecht has rocked politics in Latin America since agreeing a year ago to provide details on bribery schemes across the region – landing elites in jail from Colombia to the Dominican Republic and nearly toppling a president in Brazil.

Two former presidents in Peru, Ollanta Humala and Alejandro Toledo, have been ensnared in the Odebrecht probe over alleged payments they deny. Humala was jailed pending trial in July and authorities are seeking Toledo’s extradition from the United States.

Opposition leader Keiko Fujimori, whom Kuczynski unexpectedly defeated in last year’s presidential election, is also under investigation and denies wrongdoing.

If Kuczynski is forced out, he would be replaced by First Vice President Martin Vizcarra, a former governor of a copper-rich mining region and Peru’s current ambassador to Canada.

Kuczynski was once lauded by many as a brilliant technocrat who would help uproot widespread corruption in Peru. But his 16 months in office have been marked by clashes with the right-wing opposition party that controls Congress.

Kuczynski said late on Thursday he was the owner, but not the manager, of a company paid by Odebrecht while he held senior government posts. He also acknowledged providing financial services for an Odebrecht project as a consultant for a friend’s firm when he did not hold public office.

The opposition slammed the explanation as too little, too late. “It’s really unfortunate that President Kuczynski has put the country in this situation,” said congresswoman Cecilia Chacon.

2017-18 Ranji TRophy SF in Pune Bengal Vs Delhi Sunday Dec 17,2017

The match can be safely termed a fight between one of the most potent domestic new ball attacks in the country and a batting line-up that has players who can win matches on their own on a given day.

An encouraging piece of statistic for Bengal is that they have never ever conceded a first-innings lead against Delhi from 2009-10 season.

And not to forget the bittersweet relation between Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary and Gambhir, who have had their share of run-ins in the past.


 Manoj Tiwary (captain), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Avishek Raman, Sudeep Chatterjee, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Anushtup Majumdar, Shreevats Goswami, B Amit, Ashok Dinda, Mohammed Shami, Aamir Gani, Writtick Chatterjee, Pradipta Pramanik, Mukesh Kumar and Kanishk Seth.

 Rishabh Pant (captain), Kunal Chandela, Gautam Gambhir, Dhruv Shorey, Himmat Singh, Nitish Rana, Vikas Tokas, Kulwant Khejroliya, Navdeep Saini, Vikas Mishra, Aakash Sudan, Unmukt Chand, Manan Sharma, Shivam Sharma, Milind Kumar.