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Pradeep downs Artur Gabrielian at Delhi International Chess tournament

NEW DELHI: R A Pradeep Kumar caused another flutter in the premier group of Parsvnath Delhi International Chess tournament, stunning Grandmaster Artur Gabrielian of Russia in the fourth round here on Monday.

Playing with black pieces, Pradeep Kumar continued the rampage by lesser-known Indians in the fray. The Indian took his tally to an excellent 3.5 points following his third victory in four games and stands a good chance to obtain his International Master norm from here.

Russian Grandmasters Ivan Popov and Anton Demchenko along with VItaly Sivuk of Ukraine emerged as the co-leader in the premier event with four points out of a possible four games.

As many as 11 players share the fourth spot on 3.5 points apiece and the highest-rated Indian among them is local Grandmaster Vaibhav Suri who put it across Ankit Gajwa in a neat game.

Dhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad, meanwhile, continued his dream run in the tournament. After beating Russian Grandmaster Vladimir Belous in the second round, Chandra Prasad added another Grandmaster scalp at the expense of Valeriy Neverov of Ukraine and then in the fourth played out a draw with another Ukrianian Grandmaster Vitaliy Bernadskiy.

Having beaten two Grandmasters and drawn with one, Chandra Prasad is in the thick of things and has an excellent chance to obtain a Grandmaster norm. Given the fact that Chandra Prasad is an untitled player yet, this would be a commendable feat for the 19-year old – almost unthinkable in recent times.

11-year old Nihal Sarin also came up with a sparkling effort to add to the woes of Vladimir Belous here. The Kerala boy was as his nonchalant best in holding the Russian Grandmaster to a draw.

In another notable result, Srijit Paul held Dutch Grandmaster Sipke Ernst to a draw while Mehar Chinna Reddy defeated Grandmaster-in-waiting Narayanan Srinath.

Terrorists could use drone bombs, warn UK experts

Ian Johnston

| The Independent | Jan 11, 2016, 08.33 PM IST

Representative imageRepresentative image
Drones that can be bought in High Street shops could be used by terrorists to attack nuclear power stations, major events like the G7 summit or even the Prime Minister’s car, according to a report.
The Oxford Research Group looked at more than 200 drones and concluded they “will be used as simple, affordable and effective airborne improvised explosive devices”, the Guardian reported.

“The UK government, police, military and security services will need to introduce countermeasures to reduce or mitigate the risk of commercially available drones being used for attack,” the security think tank warned.

“Islamic State (Isis) is reportedly obsessed with launching a synchronised multi-drone attack on large numbers of people in order to recreate the horrors of 9/11.”

The report recommends a licensing system for drones, using lasers and radio jammers to defend potential targets and issuing guidelines to the security forces on when to shoot down drones.

It pointed to a number of incidents where drones were used by protesters, including when a football match between Albania and Serbia was interrupted by a drone flying an Albanian flag.

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Tennis star Andy Murray helps Syrian refugees with every ace scored

LONDON: British tennis star Andy Murray has helped raise more than 83,000 pounds ($ 121,000) for Syrian refugee children by donating money for every ace he scored through his Andy’s Aces initiative, the UN children’s agency (UNICEF) said on Monday.


Andy Murray (Getty Images)
Murray, who is ranked world number two, announced in September he would donate 50 pounds for every ace he hit until the end of 2015.

He is the latest celebrity to donate money to Syrian war victims. Last month, actors Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher announced a $ 1 million donation to two charities working in Syria.

“I remember watching the news last summer and deciding I wanted to do something to help some of the millions of children whose lives have turned upside down by the situation in Syria,” said Murray, who is expecting his first child next month with his wife Kim.

“It’s amazing that we’ve been able to raise so much, and I’m very grateful to my sponsors and fans for their help in this – I couldn’t have done it without them,” he said in statement.

Murray’s donations to UNICEF were matched by his sponsors Standard Life and Under Armour, along with the Lawn Tennis Association and The Association of Tennis Professionals.

The U.K. government also matched all donations made by the British public from Oct. 29 October last year. And additional funds were raised through the Tie Break Tens tournament and the ATP ACES for Charity programme.

The money raised by the tennis champion can provide more than 16,000 children with blankets, UNICEF said.

“Almost five years into the conflict, Syria remains one of the most dangerous places to be a child and millions of children have lost loved ones, homes and schools,” UNICEF UK executive director, David Bull, said.

“Their world has been turned upside down by the conflict and humanitarian needs are becoming ever more urgent. The support of Andy, his fans and the wider tennis community will help us provide support for children who have lost so much.”

Al-Qaida threatens Saudis, US over execution of militants

AP | Jan 11, 2016, 07.20 PM IST

Representative imageRepresentative image
CAIRO: The expert bomb-maker from al-Qaida’s Yemeni branch has threatened Saudi Arabia and the United States, vowing revenge for the Saudi execution of several militants earlier this month.

Ibrahim bin Hassan al-Asiri says in an audio recording released Monday by the group’s official media that the militants were executed because they fought “Crusaders” occupying the Arabian Peninsula. He vows to continue battling America and says the Saudis will be dealt with in a “different way,” without elaborating.

Al-Asiri is believed to have built the sophisticated bombs used in a failed attempt to bring down a US passenger plane and a failed assassination attempt on Saudi Arabia’s then-deputy interior minister in 2009.

Saudi Arabia executed 47 people earlier this month, including several al-Qaida militants, in its largest mass execution since 1980.

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Rockets beat Hunters 4-1 in Premier Badminton League

HYDERABAD: The Mumbai Rockets achieved a brilliant come-from-behind victory to beat hosts Hyderabad Hunters 4-1 to solidify their position in the points table of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Monday.

This is the Rockets’ third win in four outings to give themselves a very strong chance of entering the semi-finals of the six-team tournament.

The Hunters, on the other hand, have played all their five ties, winning only one and losing four to stay in fifth position in the standings. The Jwala Gutta led side is more or less out of contention for the knockouts but it will finally be clear on Wednesday when the league phase ends.

The Hunters got off to a good start with women’s singles specialist Supanida Katethong beating Liu Zi Die 13-15, 15-14, 15-14 to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

“The match was an absolute screamer! The scoreline explains everything. I am relieved to have won the first match. I lost the first game but I spoke to my teammates during the break and it was a real booster for me,” said Supanida.

“I am sure this match will go down as one of the best of PBL. I congratulate Liu on being part of this amazing match.”

Men’s doubles pair of Carsten Mogensen and Markis Kido made it 2-0 for the Hunters when they beat Vladimir Ivanov and Chayut Triyachart 15-7, 15-14.

However, it was H.S. Prannoy who turned the tables in the tie when he beat senior and reigning Commonwealth Games men’s singles champion Parupalli Kashyap in straight games. The Hunters had put their Trump on Kashyap but the 29-year-old went down 11-15, 13-15 to lose his fourth consecutive match of PBL.

Prannoy’s victory opened the account for the Rockets and deducted a point off the Hunters as they lost their Trump Match. The scoreline at this point read 1-1.

“It was a very important match for us as we had already lost the first two matches. I am happy to have opened our team’s account. This was a Trump Match for them but we managed to snatch a victory,” said Prannoy.

R.M.V. Gurusaidutt gave the visitors a 3-1 lead by defeating junior World No.1 Siril Verma 15-12, 15-4 in the second men’s singles competition. This was Gurusaidutt’s Trump Match for the Rockets and he did not disappoint.

“I am pretty satisfied with the result. He played brilliantly and made me rethink on how to tackle him. This win also marks our victory in the tie. Siril is a very talented youngster. I wish Siril good luck for his future,” said Gurusaidutt.

The Rockets also clinched the final mixed doubles match when Vladimir Ivanov and Kamilla Rytter Juhl beat Kido and Jwala Gutta 15-8, 15-8 to give the visitors a 4-1 victory.

China to limit family size for up to 30 years

BEIJING: China will stick to family planning restrictions for up to 30 years, a senior Chinese official said on Monday, rejecting concern that limits on the number of children had shrunk the pool of workers needed to support an aging population.

Last year, the ruling Chinese Communist Party announced it would relax its long-standing and controversial “one-child policy”, allowing all couples to have two children.

But critics say the policy change comes too late to avert a dangerous population imbalance as many couples are now not keen on having more children.

China’s population is set to peak at about 1.45 billion by 2050 when one in every three people is expected to be more than 60 years old, with a shrinking proportion of working adults to support them.

But officials would adhere to family planning restrictions “for the long term”, Wang Pei’an, vice minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told a news conference.

“This long-term adherence is at least 20 years, 30 years,” Wang said.

“After a period of time, along with demographic changes, and along with changes in the population’s socio-economic development situation, we will adopt a different population policy.”

He said it was difficult to give a specific time on how long the restrictions on family size would be maintained, saying it was an issue that had to be dealt with “in line with the times”.

Asked about the danger the two-child policy would prevent China from getting rich before it got old, Wang said an ageing population was a global problem and “an inevitable trend of a society’s development”.

China’s main problem with its labour force was not the number of workers but “how to improve the quality of workers”, he said.

Wang said there was a demographic “imbalance” in China between poorer regions with higher fertility levels than cities, where many people are reluctant to have more children.

The one-child policy was introduced in the late 1970s to prevent population growth spiralling out of control, but is now regarded as outdated and responsible for shrinking the labour pool.

It has also led to the problem of an aging society, with a smaller number of productive young people, a phenomenon usually seen in industrialized countries.

With the adoption of the two-child policy, China’s labour force could rise by more than 30 million by 2050 and its aging population will be reduced by 2 percentage points by 2030, Wang said.

Germany says not considering sanctions against Poland

Reuters | Jan 11, 2016, 05.15 PM IST

German Chancellor Angela MerkelGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel
BERLIN: The German government said on Monday that it was not considering imposing sanctions against Poland for its crackdown on the media and judiciary, after a senior ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested Europe should consider such a step.

“No,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert responded when asked whether sanctions were being considered.

In a weekend magazine interview, the parliamentary leader of Merkel’s party, Volker Kauder, said: “If it is determined that European values are being violated, then (EU) member states must have the courage to impose sanctions”.

Seibert said Germany wanted to preserve and deepen its relationship with Poland.

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New edition of Mein Kamph sells like hotcakes in Germany

BERLIN: Adolf Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf, whose new annotated version hit bookstores in Germany last week, has been an instant sellout with one copy even being put up for re-sale online for a whopping 10,000 euros.

Hitler’s racist tome Mein Kampf returned to German bookshop shelves briefly on Friday as demand far outstripped supply of the first new edition published in the country since the end of the Second World War.

Publication of the work has split the Jewish community and a British historian warned that the annotated two-volume box set risked elevating the dictator’s demented ramblings to the status of a literary great.

Despite the 59 euros cover price, more than 15,000 advance orders were placed, nearly four times the initial print run of 4,000, The Times reported.

Demand was so high at Dussmann, Berlin’s biggest bookshop, that it had sold even its display copy by noon. It received 20 copies but had 50 orders, the report said.

One entrepreneur, sensing that the publisher, the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, had created a collector’s item, put his copy up for resale on Amazon.de for 9,999.99 euros.

Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, which means ‘My Struggle’, in jail after the failed 1923 coup attempt known as the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. It set out his ultranationalist, antisemitic and anticommunist ideology.

The state of Bavaria acquired a 70-year copyright after Hitler’s death and refused all modern republication, although it declined to try to extend a ban after it expired.

“At a time when the well-known formulae of far-right xenophobia are threatening to become socially acceptable again in Europe, it is necessary to research and critically present the appalling driving forces of National Socialism and its deadly racism,” Andreas Wirsching, director of the Institute of Contemporary History, was quoted as saying.

Three years were spent producing the 1,948-page ‘Hitler, Mein Kampf: A Critical Edition’, with 3,500 notes.

“This edition exposes the false information spread by Hitler, his downright lies and his many half-truths, which aimed at a pure propaganda effect,” Wirsching said.

Pathankot attack: Pakistan acts on India 'leads', arrests some suspects

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities carried out raids at different places following attack on the Pathankot airbase in India, leading to some arrests, intelligence officials said on Monday.

They said that raids were carried out in Gujranwala, Jhelum and Bahawalpur districts and an unspecified number of people were arrested.

“Probe has been going to ascertain if they were involved in the attack or some of them facilitated it,” they said.
The arrests led Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to order a joint investigation team of Intelligence Bureau(IB), Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence, Federal Investigation Agency and police to thoroughly probe the Pathankot attack links to Pakistan.

Sharif has already said that a transparent investigation will be made and those involved will not be spared.

READ ALSO:
Until we hurt those who give us pain, such attacks won’t reduce: Parrikar

On Monday, India linked the foreign secretary-level talks, scheduled for January 15, to Islamabad’s decisive action on the Pathankot terror attack.

The foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan won’t happen if Pakistan does not act against the Pathankot attack masterminds, national security adviser Ajit Doval said on Monday.

The decision to form the JIT, comprising officials from Intelligence Bureau (IB), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI), was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by PM Nawaz Sharif, the Express Tribune said.

Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, national security adviser Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua, Prime Minister’s adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz, special assistant to the Prime Minister on foreign affairs Tariq Fatemi and finance minister Ishaq Dar attended the meeting.

Prime Minister Sharif “is taking an active role in getting to the bottom of the Pathankot incident,” a Prime Minister’s House source was quoted as saying by the paper.

“He also discussed the issue with army chief Gen Raheel Sharif and took him on board about the decision to form a JIT,” the source added.

“This investigation will be a major test of the prime minister to move Pakistan-India relationship forward and to break the cycle of off-again on-again talks between the two neighbours,” the source added.

In a pre-dawn attack on January 2, a group of heavily armed Pakistani terrorists, suspected to be belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit, struck at the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.

Indian intelligence reports suggested that groups and people in Pakistan planned and executed the strike.

India has provided “specific and actionable information in this regard” to Pakistan.

The evidence is said to include some voice recordings and the cellular phone numbers of the attackers’ handlers which were traced to Pakistan.

Pakistan forms high-profile team to probe Pathankot attack

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered formation of a high-profile joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the links of the Pathankot airbase attackers with Pakistan, a media report said on Monday.

Sharif’s decision to form the JIT came after the leads provided by India which has linked the foreign secretary-level talks, scheduled for January 15, to Islamabad’s decisive action on the Pathankot terror attack.

The foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan won’t happen if Pakistan does not act against the Pathankot attack masterminds, national security adviser Ajit Doval said on Monday.

The decision to form the JIT, comprising officials from Intelligence Bureau (IB), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI), was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Sharif recently, the Express Tribune said.

Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, national security adviser Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua, Prime Minister’s adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz, special assistant to the Prime Minister on foreign affairs Tariq Fatemi and finance minister Ishaq Dar attended the meeting.

Prime Minister Sharif “is taking an active role in getting to the bottom of the Pathankot incident,” a Prime Minister’s House source was quoted as saying by the paper.

“He also discussed the issue with army chief Gen Raheel Sharif and took him on board about the decision to form a JIT,” the source added.

“This investigation will be a major test of the prime minister to move Pakistan-India relationship forward and to break the cycle of off-again on-again talks between the two neighbours,” the source added.

In a pre-dawn attack on January 2, a group of heavily armed Pakistani terrorists, suspected to be belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit, struck at the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.

Indian intelligence reports suggested that groups and people in Pakistan planned and executed the strike.

India has provided “specific and actionable information in this regard” to Pakistan.

The evidence is said to include some voice recordings and the cellular phone numbers of the attackers’ handlers which were traced to Pakistan.

Sharif has assured leaders from India and the US that Pakistan will investigate the matter and make the results public.