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2nd Test: Rain washes out fourth day's play in Colombo

Reuters | Oct 25, 2015, 03.56 PM IST

Highlights

• West Indies will resume their second innings on 20 for one on the final day and need another 224 runs for a series-levelling win.

• The ground at the P Sara Oval remained covered with Colombo receiving heavy overnight rain and more showers during the day.

Match officials walk on the covers as they inspect the situation of the ground in Colombo. (AP Photo)Match officials walk on the covers as they inspect the situation of the ground in Colombo. (AP Photo)

COLOMBO: The fourth day’s play in the second and final Test between Sri Lanka and West Indies was washed out due to persistent rain on Sunday.

West Indies will resume their second innings on 20 for one on the final day and need another 224 runs for a series-levelling win after the hosts won the first Test in Galle by an innings and six runs.

Shai Hope (17) was unbeaten overnight after his opening partner Kraigg Brathwaite (three) fell lbw to paceman Dhammika Prasad on the final delivery of the second session on Saturday before rain washed out the entire final session.

The ground at the P Sara Oval remained covered with Colombo receiving heavy overnight rain and more showers during the day.

The umpires made a couple of inspections during the day and finally called off play shortly after the scheduled tea break.

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Bangladesh rejected IS claim over Shia shrine blasts

DHAKA: Bangladesh on Sunday rejected as “entirely baseless” claims by the Islamic State (IS) that it was behind bomb blasts targeting Shia community that killed a 12-year-old boy and injured 90 others and said people trying to discredit the government were behind the incident.

“The (reported IS) claim is entirely baseless and Islamist militants were not involved in it…give us just one or two days and by that time we expect the real culprits to be exposed to justice,” home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told PTI.

A boy was killed and about 90 others injured in Saturday’s blasts targeting a Shia procession in front of the community’s main shrine in the Bangladeshi capital.

The bombing comes just weeks after an Italian aid worker and a Japanese farmer were shot dead in attacks claimed by the Islamic State.

Kamal said the culprits planned such an attack under a well drawn up design coinciding with the Shia Muslim mourning festival of Ashura so that the incident could be attributed to the ultra Sunni IS.

“For now, I would also like to tell you briefly that all the three incidents, the murder of the two foreign nationals and the blasts at the Husseini Dalan, are interlinked… the same group of people masterminded the attack to create instability and discredit our (ruling Awami League) government,” the minister said.

Police said three bombs were hurled at the procession joined by more than 20,000 people around 1.30am at Huseni Dalan, an important 17th century centre of learning for the Shia community.

They said it was believed to be the first attack on the Shias in the Sunni-dominated Bangladesh, which has witnessed an increase in violence this year claimed by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

Hours after the attack, the US-based Site Intelligence Group that monitors militant threats reported that the Islamic State claimed the responsibility for the bombing on the Shia shrine.

The attack came hours after a suicide bombing at a Shia Muslim mosque in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province killed at least 12 people.

“But here in Bangladesh, there is a different motive behind the attack unlike Pakistan…the explosions at Husseini Dalan was carried out on Ashura to give it a colour of Sunni-Shia clash,” Kamal minister said.

Earlier too, Bangladesh authorities had rejected the claims that the IS was involved in the murder of two foreigners in the country and blamed a section of ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia’s BNP-led right-wing coalition with fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami for the incident to create instability in the country.

The US and the UK have condemned Saturday’s attacks.

Younis completes century as Pakistan build big lead

AFP | Oct 25, 2015, 02.06 PM IST

DUBAI: Younis Khan completed his 31st century as Pakistan amassed a formidable lead on the fourth day of the second Test against England on Sunday.
Younis was unbeaten on 112 and Asad Shafiq 47 not out as Pakistan reached 311-4 at lunch, extending their lead to 447 at Dubai stadium. Younis punched paceman Stuart Broad to the point boundary for his 11th four to reach three figures off 193 balls, his third hundred against England.

He has so far hit 12 boundaries during his 203-ball stay and added 87 in an unbroken fifth-wicket stand with Shafiq. Pakistan, resuming on 222-3, looked for quick runs to set England a target and secure a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The first Test in Abu Dhabi ended in a draw.

Misbah had scored a brilliant 102 in Pakistan’s first innings of 378, but failed to add to his overnight 87. He played an uppish shot to a slower delivery from fast bowler James Anderson which landed in the safe hands of Alastair Cook at mid-off.

Misbah hit eight boundaries and five sixes in his enterprising 147-ball innings. England’s bowlers failed to make an impact on the fourth-day pitch, with leg-spinner Adil Rashid costing 90 runs in his 22 wicketless overs. Anderson with 2-22 and Mark Wood 2-29 were the most successful bowlers.

The third and final Test will be in Sharjah starting on November 1.

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Syria's Assad says ready to hold presidential elections with people's blessing

Reuters | Oct 25, 2015, 02.01 PM IST

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (AP File Photo)Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (AP File Photo)
MOSCOW: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Russian lawmakers at a meeting in Damascus that he was ready to take part in presidential elections, if the Syrian people support the idea, RIA news agency reported, citing a lawmaker at the meeting.

“Assad said that if the Syrian people consider it necessary, he would not be against taking part in presidential elections,” RIA quoted lawmaker Alexander Yushchenko as saying.

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Afghanistan celebrate historic series triumph in Zimbabwe

AFP | Oct 25, 2015, 08.01 AM IST

Highlights

• Afghanistan became the first Associate nation to defeat a Test-playing country in a one-day series

• The victory gave Afghanistan a 3-2 series win after the two sides had shared the first four games

• Fast bowler Dawlat Zadran finished with a career best 4-22 in his 10 overs

The Afghanistan cricket team with the winners trophy. (AFP)The Afghanistan cricket team with the winners trophy. (AFP)

BULAWAYO: Afghanistan made history on Saturday when they became the first Associate nation to defeat a Test-playing country in a one-day series with a comprehensive 73-run win over Zimbabwe.

The victory gave Afghanistan a 3-2 series win after the two sides had shared the first four games at the Queen’s Sports Club. Chasing a 246-run winning target, Zimbabwe were skittled out for 172 in the 45th over despite Sean Williams making a fine 102 off 124 balls with three boundaries and four sixes.

Fast bowler Dawlat Zadran finished with a career best 4-22 in his 10 overs. Earlier, opener Noor Ali Zadran made 54 and Mohammad Nabi, who hit a maiden century in the second match of the series, chipped in with 53 as Afghanistan reached 245-9 in their 50 overs.

“Simply an awesome display of cricket by our lads. We created a history, congrats everyone,” tweeted Afghanistan batsman Samiullah Shenwari.

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Smoke bombs thrown at police during London migrant protest

LONDON: Projectiles including smoke bombs were thrown at police on Saturday outside a London train station where a protest to highlight the plight of migrants seeking refuge in Britain was taking place, transport police said.

Protesters gathered against the detention of migrants who walked along the Eurotunnel to Britain and those who have died at the French port of Calais, a posting on a website called “Calais Migrant Solidarity” read.

There is currently a camp in the Calais area of around 6,000 migrants fleeing war, political turmoil and poverty outside Europe.

Pictures on a news website showed over a dozen police holding protesters behind metal gates placed in front of an entrance to London’s King’s Cross St Pancras station, from where Eurostar trains to continental Europe arrive and depart.

Images on Twitter showed protesters holding a banner inside the station reading: “Close Down Yarl’s Wood and All Detention Centres”, referring to centre where new arrivals await immigration clearance.

British Transport Police said in a statement that they had been facilitating a peaceful protest at the station when others arrived.

“Around this time a number of other individuals arrived at the station causing disorder, and missiles, including smoke bombs were thrown at police officers.”

The Daily Mail reported on its website that up to 150 protesters tried to enter the station. Transport police were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.

Saina Nehwal: Not being 100 percent fit affecting my game

NAGPUR: Saina Nehwal blamed lack of full fitness for her string of early losses in the past one month.
The Indian ace lost in the quarterfinals of the French Open Super Series against Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand on Friday. It was the third consecutive below-par performance by Saina in recent times. In the previous two tournaments, the Japan Open and Denmark Open, Saina could not progress beyond the second round. This has resulted in Saina slipping to No. 2 in world rankings as Carolina Marin of Spain is back on top.

Saina admitted that she is not fully fit and that is affecting her game. “I had some pain in my right leg after the World Championships, so it is taking me time to get 100 percent fit. It’s an Olympic year so there is no time to take break. I cannot afford to miss any tournament to protect my ranking,” Saina told TOI from Paris.

The 25-year-old produced a sensational performance to storm into the final of the World Championships in Jakarta in August. She was on the verge of becoming the first world champion from India but Spanish girl Marin shattered the Indian’s hopes in an exciting final. In reaching the final, Saina stretched herself too much which caused an injury to her right leg which has stopped her from playing to full potential. “I will have to get fully fit first. That is my top priority now. Performance will automatically take care of itself once I manage to attain my peak fitness,” said Saina.

The London Olympic bronze medallist is not bothered about losing the world No. 1 ranking to Marin. “I don’t know when I will regain my top ranking. It is not in my hands. Giving performance is in my hands and I will do that,” said Saina, who trains under Vimal Kumar in Bangalore.

She is flying back to India from Paris and will rest for a few days preparing for her next challenge, the China Open Super Series Premier slated to be held in Fujjan from November 10 to 15. “I hope to make the most of these couple of weeks. Hopefully the pain will vanish before I fly to China. I want to be fit and healthy,” said Saina.

Female bomber kills 3 in Nigeria's Maiduguri

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: A female suicide bomber blew herself up in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Saturday, killing three people and injuring several others, residents said.

The bombing in the city’s Dala Yazaram neighbourhood happened a day after at least 55 people were killed in attacks in northeast Nigeria, where jihadist group Boko Haram are seeking to create a hardline Islamic state.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s blast, immediate suspicion fell on Boko Haram.

A local resident said he saw two female suicide bombers arrive in the area, but one was stopped by people nearby while the other blew herself up.

“Three people have been killed and many injured. One of the terrorists was arrested before she could detonate,” Shuaibu Umara, a security guard at a nearby petrol station, told AFP.

In a conflicting account, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said one person, a member of a civilian vigilante group assisting the military in the fight against Boko Haram, was killed and 10 injured in the blast.

NEMA spokesman Sani Datti said there had been four female suicide bombers who targeted Dala Ajeri but were intercepted by vigilantes.

“Three of the female suicide bombers detonated the explosions in their bodies immediately and the fourth one was intercepted but later died,” Datti said in a statement.

Maiduguri has now been hit seven times this month, killing 79 people, according to an AFP tally, underscoring an increased risk to civilians after similar strikes in neighbouring states and near the capital Abuja.

On Friday, two explosions ripped through mosques in Maiduguri and nearby Yola, capital of Adamawa state, leaving at least 55 people dead and more than 100 injured.

The Yola explosion took place shortly after the imam had finished a sermon to inaugurate the new mosque.

Boko Haram has regularly targeted mosques and religious leaders who do not share their extremist ideology.

NEMA’s Adamawa coordinator Sa’ad Bello said Saturday the toll from the mosque attack had risen to 30 from 27 on Friday, with 93 others injured.

Residents said the interior was still littered with shoes, prayer mats and worshippers’ belongings.

Yola has been seen as a relatively safe haven from the Boko Haram insurgency, which has ravaged the northeast for the last six years, leaving at least 17,000 people dead and more than 2.5 million homeless.

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a delegation to Adamawa and Borno states to express condolences and to stress the need for residents’ vigilance, his office said.

“In this new phase of the war, all of us are generals, all of us are foot soldiers, all of us are intelligence officers,” the statement quoted Buhari as saying.

Buhari has given his military commanders until December to end the insurgency.

The military has claimed a series of successes against the jihadists, saying Saturday that troops had destroyed Boko Haram camps and enclaves at the border towns of Kerenowa and Chikun Gudu as well as neighbouring villages in Borno state.

“During the operation which is ongoing, troops discovered and destroyed over 20 well fortified terrorist camps in the general area of Kerenowa,” the army said.

Sweden planning a feminist cyber policy to tackle women abuse online

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2,500-year-old Tibetan monument returns to glory

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