South Africa defeat India by 135 runs at Centurion; register a series victory

Debutant seamer Lungi Ngidi celebrates the dismissal of Indian batsmen during the 2nd innings of the Centurion test

South Africa defeated India by 135 runs during the second test at Centurion. With this, they have also registered a series victory. The loss marked an end to India’s nine series unbeaten run.  

Indomitable at their home turf, Indian batsmen failed to stand up against South African seamers. During the post-match presentation, Indian Skipper Virat Kohli held the batsmen accountable for the loss. He stated that the “bowlers were up to the mark and did their job pretty well”. 

Chasing a target of 287, the Indian batting line-up collapsed. Rohit Sharma’s 47 was the only noteworthy contribution. India could only manage a total of 151. 

Revenge was served since India had whitewashed South Africa 3-0 in 2015.  

Lungi Ngidi proved to be a valuable find for South Africa. The debutant managed to pick up 6 wickets for 39 runs in 12.2 overs. He became the sixth South African pacer to register a five-wicket haul on debut.  

Indian skipper Virat Kohli led from the front with a knock of 153 runs during the first innings. It was a record-breaking knock as Kohli became the only captain after Sachin Tendulkar to register a ton on the South African soil. He was all praise for the Proteas and felt that ‘they got what they deserved’.  

Sources: The Indian Express, The Hindu

Russia’s Alexei Navalny barred from contesting presidential elections 

Opposition leader and Vladimir Putin’s critic Alexei Navalny was barred from contesting the 2018 presidential elections. The ban was imposed by Russia’s Central Election Commission. 12 out of 13 members of the commission were in favor of barring Navalny, citing a suspended prison sentence he has received. 

Navalny has been imprisoned three times in 2017 in an embezzlement case. Even though he denies wrongdoings, he has broken the law by repeatedly organizing public meetings and rallies. The 41-year-old has been charged for the same. 

 According to polls, Vladimir Putin is on course to be re-elected as Russia’s President until 2024. HoweverNavalny believes that Putin’s support has been exaggerated. 

 In oppositionNavalny has asked his supporters to boycott the March elections. He also stated that the ban would lead to protests across the country. 

 Navalny is perceived as a fierce competitor and threat to Putin. He held that Putin’s main support came from a biased state media and an unfair system. He also held that he could defeat Putin in a fair election. 

 Artice Source – Scroll, Al Jazeera

Andhra Pradesh government suggests banning new year celebrations in temples

The Hindu Dharma Parirakshana Trust of Andhra Pradesh has come out against the practice of celebrating New Year in the state’s temples. The trust has issued a notice to temple authorities, directing them to impose a ban on New Year darshans and decorations. 

The circular mentioned that new year festivities in temples was against Hindu and Telgu traditions. According to the circular, however, temples ought to celebrate New year only on Ugadi, the first day of the year for Telugus. 

Temple management and priests were directed not to spend money on floral decorations and making special arrangements. Hindu Dharma Parirakshana Trust Secretary CV Raghavachariyalu held that temples were following the English calendar instead of the Hindu one. He also stated that temples were using lakhs of rupees donated by devoted and that this was ‘inappropriate’  

Ugadi, the spring festival, marks the beginning of the new year in the Telugu calender. It will be celebrated on March 18 is year. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra are the states which will witness the celebrations.  

Sources: Indian Express, Business Standard

Image Source: Express Photo

Vijender Singh continues his winning streak; emerges victorious against Ghana’s Ernest Amuzu

India’s boxing sensation Vijender Singh continued his winning streak as he defeated Ernest Amuzu of Ghana. With this victory, he has successfully retained the WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Oriental Super Middleweight championships. This is his 10th successive victory. Currently, the 32-year-old holds the sixth position in the WBO rankings. 

 Vijender was aggressive and dominated the match proceedings right from the outsetDuring the first three rounds, both played cautiously. The third round saw clever usage of the long range by Vijender. Post the sixth round, it was a oneway affair; Amuzu had no answer to Vijender’s punches. 

 His hunger for success was quite evident when he stated that he was looking forward to the Commonwealth and World title next year. 

 Prior to this bout, Amuzu held a phenomenal record .This included 21 knockouts after 25 fights.  

 Before Vijender’s bout against Amuzu, Dharmendra Grewal defeated Harsh Nagar by technical knockout in the first bout in cruiserweight category.  

Kuldeep Dhandha beat Fateh Singh by unanimous decision in the lightweight bout. 

In the bantamweight categoryAmandeep Singh emerged victorious against Manoj Kumar. 

Pardeep Kharera defeated Nikhil Sharma by unanimous decision. 

Sources: NDTV, Times of India.

Image Credits – Getty Images

Vijender registered his 10th consecutive victory after defeating Ernest Amuzu.
Vijender registered his 10th consecutive victory after defeating Ernest Amuzu.

Pakistan issues visas to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife

According to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan has granted visas to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife. Pakistan had earlier said that it had received the applications and they were being processed. 

Prior to this, Pakistan stated that it had allowed Jadhav’s family to visit Islamabad based on ”humanitarian grounds”. This was in adherence to the conditions laid down by India including ensuring security for the family and that they are accompanied by an official from the Indian High Commission. 

 External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had a personal conversation with Jadhav’s wife to convey the news. She had clarified the same in one of her tweets.  

On December 13, Pakistan had denied India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav, stating that India is looking for information gathered by it’s ”spy” 

Jadhav is a retired Indian Navy officer. He had been arrested by Pakistani counter-terrorism officials in March 2016.The Pakistani government suspected his involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi. The Indian government believes that he had been abducted by Pakistani military from foreign soil. In 2017, a Pakistani military court held him guilty of ”espionage and sabotage’ ‘and ordered a death sentence.  

Source: Times of India, India Today

France approves new law; bans oil and gas production from 2040

The parliament of France has passed a law that prohibits the production and exploration of oil and natural gas by 2040.The law is applicable to France and its overseas territories. The ban is an attempt to wean the French economy from fossil fuels. It also aims to curb global warming and fulfill France’s commitments under the Paris climate agreement.

According to the French government, the ban is a first of its kind in the world. However, symbolically, France’s production of oil and gas is just 1%.The rest accounts for its imports.

The French government also plans to cease the sale of diesel and petrol engine cars by 2040

Socialist lawmaker Delphine Batho held that the ban would inspire bigger producers to follow a similar course of action. According to Environment minister Nicholas Hulot, the law depicts the power of the present generation to take care of the future generations.

The ban is expected to affect companies prospecting for oil in Guyana, South America. It will also prohibit the extraction of shale gas by any means.

Source: The Local, Indian Express

Cabinet approves bill that seeks to make ‘Triple Talaq’ a punishable offense

A bill that declares’ Triple Talaq as punishable offense has been approved by the Union Cabinet. According to the draft bill, triple talaq would be made illegal and void and would invite a jail term of 3 years for the husband. Earlier in August 2017, the Supreme court had declared the Islamic practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional 

Judges held that triple talaq was an evil and violated the woman’s right to equality. The government believes that triple talaq continues to be practiced despite the court’s order.  

The draft bill titled the ”Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage)” was drafted by an inter-ministerial group headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Among the others, who contributed to the bill were External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and his junior PP Chaudhary.  

The draft bill would only pertain to cases of instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-ibadat.’ It would empower the victim to approach a magistrate and seek ”subsistence allowance” for herself and her children. 

Sources: NDTV, The Times of India

Image Source: PTI