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China condemns US ‘Freedom of Navigation’ mission South China Sea



China on Monday reacted sharply to a “Freedom of Navigation” operation by the US military in disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told media on Monday that a US warship on Sunday sailed near the disputed Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by China and the Philippines. He said the ship passed by the shoal without Beijing’s permission.

China effectively controls the shoal. Lu said the act by the US warship violates China’s sovereignty and undermines peace, security and good order in the waters. He stressed that China resolutely opposes it.

This is the fourth reported “Freedom of Navigation” operation this year. It comes as China continues to increase its military presence in the South China Sea, such as by constructing artificial islands.

Lu urged the US military to end the operations, adding that China will take all necessary measures to defend its sovereignty and security.

170 footwear firms urge Trump to raise tariffs on shoes



More than 170 footwear companies, including top brands Nike and Adidas, have urged US President Donald Trump not to raise tariffs on shoes made in China.

In a letter to President Trump, the companies warned that the proposed tariff hike would be catastrophic for their customers and the American economy as a whole.

They said the proposed actions would add seven billion dollars in additional costs to their customers ever year.

They added that it is time to bring the trade war to an end.

The Trump administration has begun procedures to charge duties of up to 25 percent on Chinese imports worth about 300 billion dollars.

If implemented, the move means tariffs will be raised on nearly all Chinese goods imported to the US, including toys, cell phones and sneakers.

The US sneaker industry, which is valued by some at more than 63 billion dollars, is known for its heavy reliance on manufacturing bases in China.

32 killed in Tajikistan prison riot

At least 32 people, including three guards, have been killed in a riot at a prison near capital Dushanbe. The justice ministry, in a statement, said the riot broke out late yesterday, as convicted members of the Islamic State armed themselves with knives and killed three guards and five fellow prisoners. The 24 others died in clashes with security forces.

Authorities said the prison was now functioning normally, with the situation currently under control. Local media reported that two of the prisoners murdered by the rioters were well-known activists of the banned opposition group Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan.

CPI Condemns Murder of Begusarai Party Worker


The Communist Party of India CPI has strongly condemned the kidnapping and brutal murder of Com. Fago Tanti allegedly by BJP goons along with a criminal group of Begusarai.

According to a CPI release, Com Tanti was an active worker of the party’s Matihani Anchal under Begusarai Lok Sabha Constituency.

Com Tanti had worked very hard in Matihani Assembly Constituency to mobilise support for CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar. This had annoyed the local BJP leaders and criminal feudal forces who managed to kidnap Com Tanti on May 16. He was badly beaten up and was finally killed in the night. Though the local police was informed immediately after the kidnapping, the police did not take any precautionary step to save the life of Com Tanti.

The National Secretariat of CPI urged the Nitish Kumar government to arrest the culprits immediately and extend proper compensation to the family of Com Tanti.

Sonia Lather, Manisha, Sachin give home side a winning start at 2nd India Open



World Championships silver medallist Sonia Lather (57kg), Asian Championships bronze medallist Manisha Moun (57kg) and former world youth champion Sachin Siwach (52kg) gave India a bright start as the second edition of the India Open International Boxing Tournament began here on Monday.

2017 youth world champion Jyoti (51kg), 2018 world youth silver medallist Anamika (51kg) and Shashi Chopra (60kg) led the youth brigade to wins as all seven Indians emerged victorious on an opening day to move into the quarter-finals.

Sonia proved too strong for Nepal’s Chandra Kala Thapa and was declared a winner by unanimous decision to move into the 57kg quarter-finals.

Manisha, who won the bronze in the continental event in 54kg, continued her good form to notch up a 4-1 win over Nesthy Alcayde Petecio of Philippines and join Lather in the last-eight.

Having impressed at the GeeBee Boxing tournament this year with a bronze, the lanky Sachin Siwach used his height and exuded confidence with his flurry of punches to secure a flawless 5-0 win over Argentina’s Ramon Nicanor Quiroga.

In 60kg, Preeti Beniwal boosted her medal-winning hopes with a commanding 5-0 win over Nepal’s Sangita Sunar. Among the rising stars, Jyoti put up a spirited display in her 4-1 win over Irish Ardiente Magno of Philippines while Anamika was deemed the winner by virtue of RSC (Referee Stop Contest) over Filipino Claudine Decena Veloso in Round 3.

Shashi Chopra, youth world champion in 2017 in 57kg, made a seamless transition to 60kg to start off with a one-sided 5-0 victory over Tandin Choden over Bhutan.

Thailand’s two-time Olympian and former Asian champion Chatchai Decha Butdee asserted his supremacy in 56kg with a dominant 5-0 victory Nepal’s Surendra Rai.

On Day 2, some of the key bouts will feature Mary Kom, Nikhat Zareen in 51kg, local girl, Ankusihta Boro (64kg) and Ankit (60kg), Ashish (64kg) and Pawan Kumar (69kg) in men.

Key Results:

Sonia Lather (57kg) def Chandra Kala Thapa (Nepal) 5-0

Manisha (57kg) def Nesthy Alcayde Petecio (Philippines) 4-1

Jyoti (51kg) def Irish Ardiente Magno (Philippines) 4-1

Anamika (51kg) def Claudine Decena Veloso (Philippines) RSC (Round 3)

Shashi Chopra (60kg) def Tandin Choden (Bhutan) 5-0

Preeti Beniwal (60kg) def Sangita Sunar (Nepal) 5-0

Sachin (52kg) def Ramon Nicanor Quiroga (Argentina) 5-0

Chatchai Decha Butdee (56kg) (Thailand) def Surendra Rai (Nepal) 5-0

Women Football: Manipur Police to take on Sethu FC in the final of Hero Indian League


Harpal Singh Bedi

Manipur Police and Sethu FC (Tamil Nadu) chalked out contrasting victories over their respective rivals on Monday to set up a title clash in the Hero Indian Women’s Football League in Ludhiana.

In the first semi final of the day, riding on Bala Devi’s four goals Manipur Police overpowered Gokulam Kerala FC 4-2 despite being one player down in the second half, while in the other semi final Sethu FC thrashed SSB Women FC 8-1

Thanks to Bala Devi, Manipur Police ousted Gokulam after trailing 1-2 at one stage and played with one player less after defender Romi Devi was sent off on the 47th minute.

Manipur took the lead the quarter-hour mark. Daya was played into the box via an aerial through ball, but was fouled by Gokulam centre back Poli Koley resulting in a penalty and Bala Devi made no mistake in converting it..

Gokulam, started to play their counter-attacks off Manisha and got their equalizer through a corner, as Bina Devi turned it into her own net from a melee.

In the second half, Gokulam striker Anju Tamang penetrated the Manipur box and fired a shot that was blocked off the line. However, it had struck Romi Devi’s hand and she was subsequently sent off. Ranjana Chanu converted the ensuing penalty to put Gokulam in front for the first time.

Manipur, however, did not lie low, despite being one player down. They pressed forward, and earned another foul inside the opposition box, which gave them a penalty to equalise from. Bala Devi duly converted it to put her side level.

10 minutes of regulation Bala put Manipur ahead again with a superb goal. A minute later, Bala with a powerful left-footer sent the ball home (4-2)

With this performance, Bala now moves on to 26 goals six matches in this tournament so far.

In other semi final Sabitra Bhandari scored four goals enabling Sethu FC rout SSB Women FC 8-1

Dangmei Grace put them in the lead within the first quarter of an hour. The India international was on form as she created the chance that led to the second goal which was off scored by Nepal international Sabitra Bhandari. Grace soon added a third on the stroke of half time,

Grace scored one a few minutes after the restart, while Sabitra Bhandari scored two more as both the India and the Nepal internationals completed their hat-tricks, before Dular Marandi pulled one back for SSB. However, Ratanbala soared up the pitch from the restart and immediately restored Sethu’s six-goal cushion just a minute later.

The final will be played on Wednesday

Indian women’s Hockey team defeat South Korea 2-1


India In Hockey, Indian women’s team defeated hosts South Korea 2-1 in the first match of the three-match bilateral series in Jincheon today.

Young striker Lalremsiami in the 20th minute and Navneet Kaur in the 40th minute scored for India, while Shin Hyejeong found the net for Korea in the 48th minute.

High on confidence after its impressive outings in Spain and Malaysia earlier this year, India made a strong start against the hosts. India will play its second match of the tour on Wednesday.

India missed a chance to take the lead when they missed out on an opportunity to score through a penalty corner early in the first quarter. However young striker Lalremsiami put the visitors ahead with a splendid field goal in the 20th minute.

Indian team, backed by good results in their previous tournaments in Spain and Malaysia earlier this year, exhibited fast paced game throughout

The visitors second goal came in the 40th minute when Navneet Kaur struck beautifully that took India’s lead to 2-0.

Though the hosts earned five penalty corners in the course of the match, including a penalty stroke in the last quarter, they managed to convert only one PC in 48th minute through Shin Hyejeong.

India’s experienced goalkeeper Savita made some commendable saves to keep her team in lead throughout the match.

Speaking about their performance today, India’s Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne said: “Considering this was our first match, I think the result was good but the performance can be better. We tried some new things in the match and it was interesting to see how we handled the change.”

India will play their second match against the hosts on Wednesday, 22 May.

For the upcoming match, Marijne feels the team must up their technical skills. He said, “We must bring our technical skills to a higher level in order to play faster and that will be one of our priorities for the next match.”

‘Exit Polls Only Nautanki’ says Sharad Pawar

agencies / Mumbai

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday termed the exit polls that have projected BJP-led NDA win in the election as ‘nautanki” (farce)  and said that  the “truth” will be out in two days when counting of votes for Lok Sabha polls is held on May 23.

pawar was was speaking at an iftaar event in south Mumbai in the evening.

“There is a strange atmosphere in the country today…After 6 pm yesterday, there was a sense of unease after seeing all TV channels and newspapers.

“People have been calling me…I told them that an attempt is being made by those who control the electronic media to present a different view (through the exit polls)…

The truth will come out after two days (on May 23),” Pawar said.

The NCP chief said elections will come and go and someone is bound to win or lose.

“But I have never seen that after elections, those who shoulder the country’s responsibility have left Delhi and gone to the Himalayas,” Pawar said, taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Kedarnath visit.

“There is ‘nautanki’ in politics also,” Pawar said.

Exit polls Sunday projected another term for Modi, with some of them even predicting 300 seat for the NDA .



All eyes on May 23 results

Counting of votes for 542 Lok Sabha seats to take place on May 23

Staff Reporters

India is eagerly waiting for D day May 23 when results of 17 Lok Sabha elections come out. The over a month-long general elections to elect the 17th Lok Sabha concluded with end of seventh and final phase of polls on May 19,

Preparations are in full swing in all the states for smooth conduct of the counting process. Counting of votes for Lok Sabha and four state assemblies- Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha- will take place on Thursday.

As per the instruction from the Election Commission of India, five Polling stations will be randomly selected for verification of VVPAT slip. So far, twenty observers have been appointed for the day.

Media cells has also been set up in all the districts under the supervision of the District Administrations. On the counting day, there will be three tier security arrangements whereby, Central Armed Police Forces will be guarding the inner most cordon, while the first and second tier will be manned by the state police, and Indian Reserve Battalion.

Besides, necessary training were also imparted to all the counting personnel deployed in the districts along with the Assistant ROs who will be supervising the counting process.

Counting of votes along with four state assemblies of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will be taken up on Thursday.

Briefing media in New Delhi, Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said 2019 general elections were more peaceful as compared to the 2014 edition.

With the completion of the polling, the fate of 8,049 candidates, in the fray for 542 Lok Sabha seats, has been sealed.

Meanwhile the  exit poll forecast has led to hectic parleys in political circles with TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu taking the lead in huddling up an anti-BJP front as pollsters predict comfortable majority for the National Democratic Alliance. With just two days left for the counting day, the top leaders are up for a busy Tuesday to devise post-result schemes.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to host a dinner for all top NDA leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, the opposition leaders will meet in the national capital to discuss the political situation and possibilities to stake claim for government formation.

Different Political parties hold meetings to discuss post-poll scenario

File photo


Hectic political activities is going on in the National Capital, with the leaders of various parties holding consultations for formation of a new governemnt at centre.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu has been holding talks with top opposition leaders, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi and NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, in New Delhi. Mr Naidu has been meeting with leaders of different parties to rally support for a non-BJP government at the Centre.

On Saturday, Mr Naidu had met Mr Gandhi and Mr Pawar before flying to Lucknow to hold talks with Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP President Mayawati. He also met Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav and leaders of the Communist Party of India.

The TDP Chief had earlier held several rounds of discussions TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

BJP President Amit Shah will meet leaders of National Democratic Alliance tomorrow ahead of the declaration of poll results on Thursday.

The meeting will take place in New Delhi where top NDA leaders will chalk out a strategy on the possible outcome of the elections.

Mr. Shah is also likely to host a dinner for them. The meeting comes in the backdrop of exit polls which have predicted a return of BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. The leaders of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance have expressed confidence that the NDA would get a clear mandate with a comfortable majority.

Opposition leaders, on the other hand, are preparing for the eventuality of a fractured mandate, consolidation of non-NDA parties and other splinter groups for the formation of a new government at the Centre.