Bangalore, July 10 (IANS) India would soon return to high growth path soon in light of several measures being taken by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to reboot the economy battered by external and internal factors, Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram said Tuesday. "We are confident that the measures being taken and will be taken will enable us to get out of the hostile turf and return to the high growth path soon once the Eurozone crisis gets over," Chidambaram, a former finance minister, told reporters here. Giving a report card on the performance of the second UPA government in the past three years, Chidambaram said despite a challenging year when developed countries the world over registered zero or no growth in 2011-12, India registered 6.8 percent GDP growth. "It was a difficult year when we have faced a number of challenges due to various international and domestic factors. Headline inflation continued to be high, so also fiscal deficit and revenue deficit. Attracting investments from overseas was also a challenge," he recalled. Noting that the Eurozone crisis was deeper than the 2008 global financial crisis, Chidambaram said though the country registered a healthy GDP growth of 8.4 percent during the first two years (fiscal 2009-10 and 2010-11) of the UPA-II, it dipped to 6.8 percent in fiscal 2010-11 owing to international and domestic pressures resulting in lower capital inflows, sluggish exports, high import bill, widening current account deficit and volatile exchange rate. "Compared to other countries, India continues to be a high investment destination, as a whopping $46.55 billion of foreign direct investment in 2011-12. We also continue to be a major overseas investor after the US, Britain, Canada, Germany and France. Exports contributed 22 percent to the GDP in 2011-12 from a mere 5.3 percent over a decade ago," Chidambaram pointed out. Reeling out comparative statistics and achievements of the UPA government since 2009, Chidambaram said millions of people across the social strata benefited from the schemes, programmes, subsidies and financial assistance provided year after year. "Across the board spanning, education, health, agriculture, industry and basic and social infrastructure, the country has done remarkably well to improve the lot of farmers, weaker sections, rural and urban people despite resource constraints and challenging environment," Chidamabram asserted.
Paris, July 10 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A gunman Tuesday broke into a kindergarten hosting a summer camp near Paris and took hostages, including four children, all of whom were released a few hours later. The incident occurred around 7 a.m. in Vitry-sur-Seine village in the southeastern suburbs of Paris. The siege ended around 11.30 a.m., after a parent of one of the children, who was also among the hostages, persuaded the gunmen to release them. The attacker was arrested by police. No one was reported hurt. --IANS/RIA Novosti pm/vm
The team selection ahead of the 1952 Games was marred by such controversy that India looked destined to return home from Finland empty handed. There was a near-riotous situation concerning the inclusion and omission of players to an extent that the critics wrote off the team, led by Kunwar Digvijay Singh 'Babu', as a bunch of no-hopers despite India having won four gold medals at consecutive Olympics. 'Babu' was at his wit's end as the team played a few matches at home and was even beaten 0-1 by a Madras XI with Susainathan scoring the lone goal that cruelly exposed the tottering defence. The forward subsequently lost his front row teeth following a collision with one of the defenders, but by then, the damage had been done. Thus, it was with some relief that the team left Indian shores to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the pre-Olympic camp and in a bid to acclimatise to the Nordic weather conditions. The move was probably the best thing that the beleaguered team could have done. To top it, in a moment of panic, centre-forward C.S.Gurung was rushed to Helsinki, but his presence hardly mattered as he did not get to play even a single match. With 13 teams in the fray, the competition was held on a knock-out basis with India, Pakistan and Great Britain receiving a bye into the second round (quarter-finals). For all the pre-Games turmoil back home, the Indian team put on a classy display by defeating Austria 4-0, Great Britain 3-1 in the semi-final and outclassing Holland 6-1 for their fifth gold medal in a row. 'Babu' was the toast of the tournament as also Bablir Singh who fired nine of the 13 goals that India scored in the competition 'Babu' was decorated with the 'best sportsman of Asia' and also the 'best hockey player in the word' titles. Indian team: Kunwar Digvijay Singh 'Babu' (captain), Ranganadhan Francis, Chinnadorai Deshamuthu, Dharam Singh, Swarup Singh, Randhir Singh Gentle, Govind Perumal, Meldric St Clair Daluz, Keshav Dutt, Leslie Walter Claudius, Jaswant Singh Rajput, Balbir Singh Sr, Grahanandan Nandy Singh, Muniswamy Rajagopal, GS Dubey, CS Gurung, Raghbir Lall Sharma, Udham Singh Kullar. Results: India beat Austria 4-0 (Raghbir Lall Sharma 1; Randhir Singh Gentle 1; Kunwar Digvijai Singh 'Babu' 1; Balbir Singh 1). Semi-final: India beat Great Britain 3-1 (Balbir Singh 3). Final: India beat Holland 6-1 (Balbir Singh 5; Kunwar Digvijai Singh 'Babu' 1) Positions: India 1; Holland 2; Great Britain 3; Pakistan 4; Germany 5; Poland 6; Austria 7; Switzerland 8; France 9; Belgium 10; Italy 11; Finland 12.
Mumbai, July 10 (IANS) In a broad-based rally, a benchmark index of Indian equities markets Tuesday surged 226 points on positive cues from European bourses and hopes of better-than-expected quarterly earnings in interest-sensitive stocks. All sectoral indices closed in the green. Buying was led by banking, auto, capital goods and FMCG stocks. Shares of Anil Ambani-led Reliance group companies such as Reliance Communications, Reliance Capital, Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Power jumped 3-7 percent on the back of huge volumes. The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 17,431.68 points closed at 17,618.35, up 1.30 percent or 226.37 points from its previous close at 17,391.98 points. The BSE mid-cap was up 68.49 points and small cap was higher by 54.77 points. The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also closed 1.33 percent higher at 5,345.35 points. The Sensex was trading over 79 points in the early trade. It extended gains after European markets opened strong Eurozone finance ministers agreed on the terms of a bailout for troubled Spanish lenders. The rupee also appreciated against the dollar. The BSE capital goods index was up 175.73 points, while the FMCG index and the automobile index were 85.18 points and 151.67 points up respectively. Major Sensex gainers were Hindalco Inds, up 2.74 percent at Rs.127.60; Maruti Suzuki, up 2.72 percent at Rs.1,221.30; ITC, up 2.71 percent at Rs.258.15; Tata Motors, up 2.58 points at Rs.246.40 and Sterlite Inds, up 2.46 percent at Rs.108.30. The only two Sensex losers were Wipro, down 0.36 percent at Rs.384.50 and NTPC, down 0.03 percent at Rs.159.75. In the Asian region, the Japan's Nikkei closed 0.44 percent down, Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 0.16 percent down and China's Composite index closed 0.29 percent down. At closing bell here, European markets were trading in the green. France's CAC was up 1.34 percent and so were Germany's DAX, up 1.41 percent, Britain's FTSE 100, up 0.94 percent.
London, July 10 (IANS) Glaciers nestling under the shadow of Diran and Rakaposhi, two towering peaks in the Karakoram Range of northern Pakistan, remain impervious to global warming and have even grown slightly in recent years, suggests a new study. Bucking regional and global trends that indicate ice loss, French glaciologists have confirmed that glaciers in Himalayan Karakoram have remained impervious to global warming and climate change. The results have implications for local water supplies and glacial hazards and, the team says, underscore the value of high resolution monitoring in accurately determining regional scale glacial changes, the journal Nature Geoscience reports. Additionally, the results "show that we need to be careful as glaciologists when we are extrapolating measurements made on a few small glaciers", says Etienne Berthier, glaciologist at the Universite de Toulouse in France and study co-author. Berthier says the next plan is to take a closer look at regional climate models and meteorological data "to better understand the origin of this anomaly", according to a Toulouse statement. They also hope to expand their geodetic surveying to the rest of the Himalayas, which, he says, would provide a "comprehensive and consistent dataset to really look at the difference between glaciers". Using spaceborne data to study a 5,615 sq km section of the Karakoram Range of northern Pakistan and western China, the researchers found an increase in ice thickness of 0.11 (plus or minus 0.22) metres of water equivalent (w.e.) per year between 1999 and 2008. Although small in magnitude, the value is significant because it diverges from best estimates of glacial ice volume change globally and over the entire Himalayan mountain range, which suggest a loss of about 0.4 to 0.8 metres per year. Given the uncertainty in the measurement, "it's not 100 percent sure" that there was really a mass gain, says Tobias Bolch, glaciologist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. But, says Bolch, who was not involved in the study but co-authored a recent review article on the current state of Himalayan glaciers in the journal Science, "what is clear is there is no significant mass loss". The results imply that the Karakoram glaciers might have lowered global sea levels over the period studied, albeit by only 0.006 mm per year. But previous estimates assuming the Karakoram glaciers had behaved like others in the Himalayas that had been better characterized suggested that their expected ice loss would have raised sea level by roughly 10 times as much.
Madrid, July 10 (IANS/EFE) The economic crisis in Spain is sending almost 5,000 horses a month to the slaughterhouse and has increased the number of animals abandoned because their owners can no longer afford to keep them. The number of horses slaughtered increased by 31 percent in the first four months of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011, to a total of 19,793, according to official figures. Pounds also have a waiting list of several months to be able to handle about 165 animals a day, the immense majority of which are horses. The secretary general of the Professional Association of Slaughterhouses and Meat-packing Companies, Manuel Gonzalez, said that since "there is no market" for selling, renting or breaking-in horses at the moment, some breeders find themselves unable to afford the high cost of feeding the animals, estimated at an average of 300 euros ($369) each per month. The trend started two years ago, Gonzalez said, adding that he was talking about young steeds, "not old or worn-out nags". He recalled that in Spain there is scarcely any demand for horse meat, so that it is either used for pet food or is exported to France, Italy, Belgium or Greece. The president of the National Association of Breeders of Spanish Thoroughbred Horses, Javier Conde, said that intensive breeding farms are hit hardest, because sales "are difficult", the prices they can get for their horses are low while their costs are through the roof, which has led any number of stockbreeders to eliminate part of their animals. Veterinarian Carlos Carreira of the agricultural organization Asaja-Malaga said he knows a number of breeders who "are sending all their stock to the slaughter" and that the first to go are the mares. He said that an owner cannot get more than 150 euros ($185) for a mare, which "in bonanza years" could sell in the range of 6,000-50,000 euros ($7,382-$61,521), since many are registered thoroughbreds. At the CYD Santa Maria Horse Rescue Center in Alhaurin el Grande, Virginia Solera said that the abandonment of horses increased by 80 percent over the past 18 months, and that the center's capacity for helping the animals has been "overwhelmed". --IANS/EFE rd
Caracas, July 9 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia has avoided the United States but has been drawn in a group with European champions Spain for the men's Olympic basketball tournament. The Russians secured one of the last three berths for the 12-team competition at last week's Olympic qualification tournament in Venezuela, along with Lithuania and Nigeria. A draw held early Monday in Caracas placed Russia in Group B for the Olympics alongside Spain, host Britain, Brazil, Australia and China. The reigning champion US team is in with Argentina, France, Tunisia, Lithuania and Nigeria. Former Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko told R-Sport Sunday that Russia would welcome being drawn with the Americans because it would rule them out as potential quarterfinal opponents. Spain, defeated by the US in a dramatic Beijing final 118-107, beat France to win the 2011 Eurobasket in September. --IANS/RIA Novosti abr/vm
Paris, July 9 (IANS) The French Football Federation (FFF) has confirmed former captain Didier Deschamps as the new coach of the national team, replacing Laurent Blanc. "Noel Gael, president of the FFF and Didier Deschamps had finalised their discussions and reached an agreement to name him France coach," the federation said in a statement. No details were given on the duration and the value of the accord, Xinhua reported. Gael and Deschamp will hold a press conference later in the day, the statement added. According to a report of news channel BFMTV, France's World Cup and Euro winning captain is due to sign "2-year renewable contract until Euro 2016 in France." Les Bleus are scheduled to make their first appearance under the new coach in a warm-up versus Uruguay scheduled for August 15 while their first World Cup qualifier versus Finland will take place Sep 7.
Doha, July 9 (IANS) Aparajitha Balamurukan came up with a special performance as she fought back to outsmart Colombian Laura Viviana Tovar Perez and enter the second round of the World Junior Individual Squash Championship here. Joining Aparajitha was Anaka Alankamony who made quick work of Oxanne Ah Hu from France, dropping only six points. Also on the winning side were Mahesh Mangaonkar, Abhishek Pradhan and Vrishab Kotian all of whom advanced to the men's third round with comfortable victories. Meanwhile, 14-year-old Harshit Kaur went down fightingagainst higher ranked Melissa Alves. Harshit had her chances after winningthe first game, but Melissa's experience and ability to finish the ball ball denied the Indian further joy as the French girl won in four games. The results (Indian matches): Junior Women (1st Round): Aparajitha Balamurukan beat Laura Viviana Tovar Perez (Col) 14-12, 9-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-9; Anaka Alankamony beat Oxanne Ah Hu (Fra) 11-3, 11-2, 11-1; Lakshya Ragavendran lost to Julia Le Coq(Fra) 6-11, 11-1, 11-8, 11-13; Harshit Kaur Jawanda lost to Melissa Alves (Fra) 11-5, 9-11, 6-11, 9-11; Harshit Kaur Jawanda beat Megan Page(PSA) 6-11, 11-3, 11-3, 5-11, 12-10; Sachika Ingale lost to Marie Stephan(Fra) 11-8, 10-12, 8-11, 5-11. Junior Men (Round 2): Vrishab Kotian beat Faisal Hassan (Zim) 11-7, 11-6,14-12; Mahesh Mangaonkar batt Zac Leman (Can) 11-5, 11-4, 11-9; Abhishek Pradhan beat Manuel Wanner (Sui) 11-7, 11-5, 11-5; Deepak Mishra lost to Richie Fallows (Eng) 2-11, 9-11, 10-12; Vivek Dinodia lost to Ryosei Kobayashi(Jap) 3-11, 11-1, 11-5, 7-11.
London, July 9 (IANS) Following are the all time leading Grand Slam winners after Roger Federer won his 17th major title Sunday, defeating Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final: 17 Roger Federer (Switzerland) 14 Pete Sampras (US) 12 Roy Emerson (Australia) 11 Bjorn Borg (Sweden), Rafael Nadal (Spain), Rod Laver ( Australia) 10 Bill Tilden (US) 8 Ken Rosewell (US), Fred Perry (Britain), Jimmy Connors (US), Andre Agassi (US), Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic) 7 John Newcombe (Australia), John McEnroe (US), Mats Wilander (Sweden), Henri Cochet (France), William Larned (US), Rene Lacoste (France), William Renshaw (Britain), Richard Sears (US) 6 Boris Becker (Germany), Stefan Edberg (Sweden), Don Budge ( US), Jack Crawford (Australia), Tony Wilding (Australia), Lawrence Doherty (Britain) 5 Novak Djokovic (Serbia), Tony Trabert (US), Frank Sedgeman (Australia)