@Eden_RichardsThe 2017 Men’s Elite Eight grand final will be an all-Queensland affair after two thrilling semi-finals at the National Touch League in Coffs Harbour.The Queensland Titans and the Queensland Cowboys will play-off in the decider and it is sure to be an intense clash between the two rivals.The Cowboys have an opportunity to write their own history in this 21st event and go back-to-back after winning the 2016 competition. But they will know the tough task ahead of them after having been made to work extra hard for their spot in the grand final.They were pushed all the way by the New South Wales Mets, with the team that finished in 4th position on the ladder playing well above their weight.The Mets ended up going down 7-5 to the reigning premiers, but they can hold their heads high after an outstanding tournament.The 2017 competition also ended for the New South Wales Scorpions after a spirited display saw them fall just short of upsetting the Titans.The Titans had their fans on the edge of their seats as the Scorpions almost pulled off a huge upset, falling one-touchdown short of the win.The heartbreaking 6-5 defeat will be hard to take for the Scorpions, but they too can take solace knowing they were beaten by a very good touch football team.The grand final promises to be a thriller, with the Titans being the only team to beat the Cowboys in this tournament.That match ended 9-8 in what was arguably the match of the tournament, with neither team giving an inch for the full 40 minutes.Touchdown machine Shaun Francis will be hoping to add to his regular season tally of 14 for the Cowboys, but he will face strong opposition in the form of the Titans’ Drumayne Dayberg-Muir who found the line nine times in the regular rounds of the tournament.It promises to be one of many exciting match-ups in the grand final beginning at 7:00PM.Related LinksSemi Final Wrap
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday said it would hear on September 26 the plea by Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar seeking copy of his statements recorded by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case. Justice Brijesh Sethi fixed the matter for the next date after Shivakumar’s lawyer said the senior advocate who has to argue the case was not available. Shivakumar, arrested by the ED on September 3, sought the court’s direction to call for the transcript of his statements recorded by an Assistant Director of the ED under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghHe also sought from the court to hold that the probe agency has no jurisdiction to invoke provisions of PMLA against him. Shivakumar, MLA from Kanakapura assembly seat, is in judicial custody till October 1 and his bail plea is pending before a trial court here. In his plea before the high court, he claimed that the statement under Section 50 of the PMLA could only be recorded by the Director of the ED and the statement recorded by any other officer in Shivakumar’s case be removed from the records. He said that in no manner he can be linked to money laundering as contemplated under the PMLA and alleged that the ED officers “for extraneous reasons, are trying to impute criminality into the same, so as to harass him”. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadThe proceedings initiated against Shivakumar are “laced with bias” at the behest of the ED officials, the plea alleged, adding that the investigation was conducted with “political bias”. The trial court had earlier allowed ED to interrogate the politician in custody, saying the allegations made against him were serious in nature. The ED has also questioned Shivakumar’s daughter Aisshwarya, a management graduate, and her statement was recorded under PMLA. According to sources, she was also confronted with documents and statements made by Shivakumar with regard to a trip to Singapore he made with her in 2017. Aisshwarya is a trustee in an education trust floated by her father.
Poetry has the power to change, transform and bring in a better social order said, Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha on October 2, 2019.Inaugurating the 39th World Congress of Poets (WCP) at KIIT, he said, “We are celebrating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the epitome of peace and non-violence. And, as the world congress of poets is all about promotion of poetry as a natural and vital network connecting poets to the world’s need for cooperation and peace; for us here, creativity coupled with peace and non-violence is taking new strides.” Also Read – The Puja carnival”Odisha is a land of cultural pluralism having a rich and enviable tradition of poetry. The worldview in the immortal lines of our 19th century poet Bhima Bhoi in the UNO Headquarters, which is now illuminating and igniting million minds.” he further added. Speaking on the occasion Akhilesh Mishra, Director General, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Government of India stated, “Poetry is the way to develop mutual understanding between us. Indian literature and poetry is very ancient. We can develop universal brotherhood and peace through poetry. Our rigved is the ancient poetry of the world. ” Also Read – Wave City brings special offers this NavratraProfessor Ernesto Kahan, the 1st Vice President, World Academy of Arts and Culture also extended his thoughts on the occassion by saying, “WCP is increasing day by day in terms of quality and quantity. Its main motto is world brotherhood and peace through poetry. We can bring change in the world through poetry.” Dr Maurus Young, President, WCP shared that India is the land of poetry. And, he has seen many WCP, but this World Congress is unique and marvellous. he also thanked Dr Achyuta Samanta for organising the event. Dr Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS and President, 39th P gave the welcome address, while Dr María Eugenia Soberanis, General Secretary, World Academy of Art and Culture proposed the vote of thanks. On this occasion of 39th WCP conferred D Litt on Eminent Writer and Poet, Padma Bhushan Ruskin Bond; Eminent Artist, Ganesh Haloi; and presented Gandhi Prize for literature to eminent Gandhian and Anthropologist, Acharya Bhabananda. Poets from 82 countries unveiled the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and paid tribute to him early in the morning before the event. They also inaugurated the public library Karamchand (Gandhi Library) and celebrated Gandhi Jayanti with the 27500 students of KISS.
Mumbai: The rupee on Friday closed almost flat at 70.88 against the US dollar after the Reserve Bank of India in a widely expected move cut key interest rates by 0.25 percentage point. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee had opened strong at 70.82 against the US dollar at the interbank forex market. During the day, the domestic unit fluctuated between a high of 70.78 and a low of 71.03. The rupee finally settled at 70.88, down 1 paise over its previous close. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: Icra On a weekly basis, the local unit slumped by 32 paise. The Reserve Bank on Friday cut its benchmark lending rate by 0.25 percentage point to revive economic growth and affirmed commitment to remain accommodative to address growth concerns ‘as long as necessary’. “Overall the policy was in line with market expectations and it did not have any major impact on the rupee,” said Rahul Gupta, Currency Head Research, Emkay Global Financial Services. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 days Gupta further said that “the only surprise factor was a sharp cut in FY20 GDP to 6.1 per cent from 6.9 per cent as local economic activity has weakened along with a slowdown in the global economy and lingering geopolitical tensions”. In the fourth bi-monthly review of the policy, the RBI sharply reduced its GDP growth estimate to 6.1 per cent for FY20 as against 6.9 per cent it was expecting earlier. This cut came in the wake of June quarter growth slipping to a six-year low of 5 per cent, which is attributed to a slowdown in consumption, lack of new investments by the industry and also a slump in the global economy. Forex traders said markets had discounted the rate cuts. Moreover, foreign fund outflows, heavy selling in domestic equities and rising crude oil prices also kept pressure on the Indian rupee. “Going forward we are not expecting USDINR to fall below 70.50. hence the range for next week will be 70.65- 71.35,” Gupta added. Foreign funds pulled out Rs 682 crore from the capital markets on a net basis on Friday, provisional data showed. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.12 per cent to 98.74. Meanwhile, the 10-year government bond yield was at 6.69 per cent on Friday. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.75 per cent to trade at USD 58.14 per barrel. On the domestic market front, the 30-share Sensex ended 433.56 points or 1.14 per cent lower at 37,673.31. It hit an intra-day low of 37,633.36 and a high of 38,403.54. The broader NSE Nifty plunged 139.25 points or 1.23 per cent to close at 11,174.75. The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 71.1163 and for rupee/euro at 77.8927. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 87.4195 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 66.39.
Durga Puja is being celebrated with much enthusiasm by the capital’s Bengali community, as various cultural programs, feasts and fests have been organised at several pujo pandals and venues across the city.Lodi Road Sarbojanin Puja Samity, one of the oldest puja samity of the city– is celebrating its 75th year Platinum Jubilee of Durga Puja festival in a grand manner at Durga Puja Park, Lodhi Colony, New Delhi. The celebrations will on until October 8, 2019. Festival was inaugurated by Secretary, Swami Shantatmananda Maharaj of Ramakrishna Mission New Delhi on October 3, 2019. Also Read – The Puja carnivalDurga Puja at Lodhi Road always remains a special attraction for people close to art, as one will get lost in the beauty of the pandal /marquee made on different themes every year. It is an eye catcher puja of the city for innovative concept of celebration and unique style of pandals having largest footfalls. Speaking on the occasion Debashis Panja, General Secretary of Samity said, “This Puja started in 1945 at the same Park with the initiatives of some energetic, devoted and dedicated people of the locality. The Samity faced many ups and downs, but with the blessings of Maa Durga, we continued with our willful endeavor and today, we are celebrating our platinum jubilee.” Also Read – Wave City brings special offers this Navratra”This year’s theme is Belur Math which symbolises love for humanity, irrespective of caste and religion,” added Panja. Elaborating on the spirit of oneness, Panja said, “Our mission is to spread the message of love and humanity. We aspire to rise above the narrow divides of caste, colour, religion and ideology. We choose Ramakrishna Paramhans, Sree Sarada Maa and Swami Vivekananda as the role model who spread their universal messages – “Love for Humanity and serve to living things are the best religion and serve to Almighty”. Talking about and this year’s attraction Panja, said, “We are doing exclusive decoration for pratima (idol) of Maa Durga with ‘Daker Saaj’– special illumination (lighting) from Chandannagore (Calcutta), and among others, through one lighting gate, we will salute India and Indian ärmy. Artisans have come from Kolkata for decoration of entire marquee”. “A number of devotees visit our pandal each day for delicious Bhog which will be served on eco-friendly plates made from areca leaf. The enigmatic celebration will witness added glamour and cultural extravaganza as renowned artists from Kolkata will be performing live.” Dignitaries like Delhi C M Arvind Kejriwal, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural gas are likely to visit during festival. “Our entire team is fully charged up for this year as well. We are confident that people would appreciate our efforts like always” he concluded.
Chandigarh: Haryana, once infamous as the land of turncoat politicians, continues to be a fertile ground for them with many shifting their decades-old loyalties just ahead of the upcoming assembly polls.The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has been the first choice for such ‘Aaya Ram Gaya Ram’ politicians while the Congress and the Jannayak Janta Party too has managed to attract a few. The term ‘Aaya Ram Gaya Ram’ is said to have originated when a legislator from Haryana, Gaya Lal, changed his political loyalty thrice in a matter of days in 1967, barely a year after Haryana was carved out as a separate state on November 1, 1966. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadA few of the turncoats, who were sitting MLAs, also had to face disqualification. Five legislators of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), four of whom switched sides by joining the JJP, were disqualified last month as members of the Haryana Assembly under the anti-defection law by Speaker Kanwar Pal. Those disqualified were Naina Singh Chautala, wife of jailed leader Ajay Singh Chautala, Rajdeep Phogat, Pirthi Singh and Anoop Dhanak, all of whom joined the JJP while another legislator Naseem Ahmad first switched over to the Congress and later came to the BJP fold. Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka GandhiAll were disqualified under the anti-defection law after petitions were filed before the Speaker by INLD leaders Abhay Singh Chautala and Balwan Singh. With INLD going through rough times ever since its vertical split last year following a feud in the Chautala clan, desertions have hit the party the most ahead of the October 21 assembly polls. Majority of the legislators of former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala led party have switched over to the BJP, prominent among them being Parminder Dhull, Naseem Ahmad, Ranbir Gangwa and Zakir Hussain, all of whom were rewarded with tickets to fight the assembly polls. All these politicians were senior leaders of the party. INLD’s Rohtak district leader Satish Nandal also switched his loyalties to the BJP and has been fielded against former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda from Garhi Sampla-Kiloi constituency. Lone MLA of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Balkaur ditched SAD to join the saffron outfit, barely days before the upcoming polls. Despite BJP ally SAD raising strong objection to his joining, Balkaur Singh was rewarded with a ticket by the BJP from his Kalanwali reserved seat in Sirsa district. INLD’s vice president and its former state unit chief Ashok Arora also snapped his decades-old loyalty with his parent party and joined the Congress and was given ticket from Thanesar. While former Congress MLA Sharda Rathore joined the BJP, former INLD Minister late Jaswinder Singh Sandhu’s son Gagandeep Sandhu joined the Congress. Ex-INLD MLA Pradeep Chaudhary too joined the Congress while senior INLD leader Rampal Majra switched over to the BJP. Tek Chand Sharma, who was the lone BSP member, also switched over to BJP. Former Minister and Congress leader Satpal Sangwan also joined the JJP. Four of the five independent MLAs of the outgoing assembly also shifted their loyalties to the BJP while Independent MLA Jai Prakash, a former MP from the Congress, returned to his earlier party. Those who joined the BJP had earlier maintained that they joined “unconditionally” and had said that they were impressed with the development work undertaken by the Narendra Modi and M L Khattar governments. Those joining the Congress and other outfits had claimed that the state government had failed on all fronts.
New Delhi: The Mirage 2000 squadron that carried out the Balakot air strikes and the squadron of Wing Commander Abhinandan will be honoured by IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Air Force Day in Ghaziabad on October 8. Defence officials said here on Saturday that IAF chief Bhadauria will present citations to both squadrons on the occasion of Air Force Day. Besides, the 601 Signal Unit that “Citations will be presented to the 51 Squadron of the IAF as also the 9 Squadron on the occasion of Air Force Day. Air Chief RKS Bhadauria will present the citations to the group commanding officers of the squadrons on Air Force Day,” a senior IAF official told IANS. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework The 601 Signal Unit that foiled Pakistan’s aerial attack on February 27 will also be presented with a citation. The 51 Squadron, also known as ‘Sword Arms’ or ‘Falcon Slayers’, is based at the Srinagar Air Force Station and comprises MiG 21 Bison fighter aircrafts. Wing Commander Abhinandan, who belongs to the 51 Squadron, had shot down a Pakistani F-16 jet that had intruded into the Indian borders on February 27. During the dogfight, Abhinandan’s MiG 21 Bison had also been shot. He had been captured by the Pakistani forces only to be released a day later. Also Read – Afghan Taliban frees 3 Indian hostages in exchange for 11 top militant leaders: Reports The 9 Squadron of the IAF, also known as ‘Wolfpack’, is based at the Gwalior Air Force Station and comprises Mirage 2000 fighter jets. Five Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the 9 Squadron had carried out the airstrikes against a terror camp near Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, in a pre-dawn aerial attack. On Independence Day this year, Abhinandan was awarded with the gallantry medal Vir Chakra. The five pilots who flew the Mirage 2000 over Balakot to carry out the aerial attack had been conferred the Vayu Sena medals. Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal of the IAF, who belongs to 601 Signal Unit, had been awarded with the Yudh Sewa Medal for controlling the fighter jets when Pakistan violated Indian airspace on February 27.
London: Indian-origin Miss England 2019 Bhasha Mukherjee helped raise funds for a UK charity working with street-connected and slum children in Kolkata as part of her beauty with a purpose mission. Mukherjee, a doctor by profession who spent her childhood in Kolkata, took time out from preparations for the Miss World contest next month to join the Hope Foundation’s annual fundraiser in London on Friday night. The evening raised over 20,000 pounds for the charity through ticket and auction sales and also received several pledges to sponsor children in India. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja “I think it’s destiny that brings people together. I am from Kolkata, so Hope Foundation is very special to me,” said the 23-year-old, who moved to UK as a nine-year-old and is currently employed as a junior doctor in Lincolnshire, eastern England. “Hope isn’t just about the children of Kolkata, it’s about children all over the world as well. And, my beauty with a purpose project is health education, which I am very passionate about as a doctor. I want to take this platform of Miss England and empower people to take control of their own health and stay well in the community,” she said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway The Hope Foundation was founded in 1999 by Irish humanitarian Maureen Forrest to provide protection and safety to 14 young girls in Kolkata who were forced to survive on the streets. It has since grown from just one protection home to 12 homes and also operates a range of other outreach work, which has impacted the lives of millions who reside in Kolkata’s slums and on the city’s streets. “I suppose it was my dream, and is my dream, to live in a world where it would never hurt to be a child. Our legacy will not be the buildings we have left there (Kolkata), but the thousands of children that we have introduced to education these children are in turn breaking the cycle of poverty,” said Forrest, honorary director of the foundation. The fundraiser, which was backed by historic India-connected tea brand Britannia and UK fitness retailer DW Sports, raised nearly 9,000 pounds through an auction of lots including a holiday to India and signed sports memorabilia. The rest of the profits raised are also intended to go towards implementing the work of the foundation, which has offices in the UK, Ireland, US as well as India. “This evening is not just about celebrating the great part that Hope (Foundation) plays in the lives of these street-connected children. It’s also about the inspiration that these children provide us so that we can endeavour to make changes to their lives, said Reza Beyad, London-based entrepreneur and the foundation’s UK ambassador. “Hope offers, through its various programmes, opportunities for these kids to step out of the social bubble created for them by injustices in society,” he said.
Los Angeles: In his witty Nick Fury style, Samuel L Jackson responded to legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s “theme parks” comments on Marvel movies, saying everybody doesn’t like “his stuff either”. In a recent interview, Scorsese had said that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies don’t serve the purpose of cinema and are rather a theme park adventure. Jackson, who plays the inimitable Nick Fury in the MCU, said that the director is entitled to an opinion but that can’t stop people from making movies they believe in. “I didn’t pay much attention to it. I mean that’s like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny. Films are films. Everybody doesn’t like his stuff either. We do..but not everybody…Everybody’s got an opinion, so I mean it’s okay. Ain’t going to stop nobody from making movies,” Jackson told Variety. Scorsese said he had seen some of the Marvel Studios projects and found them lacking on the “emotional and psychological experiences”.
New Delhi: The primary market has emerged as the cash cow for investors in 2019, amid high volatility in the secondary market, as 70 per cent of the new entrants are trading well above their issue prices, giving returns of up to 95 per cent to shareholders. Several factors including trade conflict between the US and China, slowdown in the economy, poor investor sentiment and pullout of funds by foreign investors have kept the market volatile, experts said. They further said that despite the volatility, there is always demand for good initial public offerings (IPOs). Out of 11 companies that got listed in 2019, as many as eight have registered smart gains ranging from 7 to 95 per cent against the price at which they had issued shares to investors; while the rest three firms have failed to attract investors and are quoting below their issue price, an analysis of the stock performance of the newly-listed firms as of October 4 showed. IndiaMART InterMESH, which made its stock market debut in July, has seen the steepest rally in its share price and is trading 95 per cent higher than the IPO price on the BSE. This is followed by Neogen Chemicals that has provided 76 per cent per cent return. The public offers of Affle (India) Ltd and Metropolis Healthcare have given smart returns to their investors soaring about 49 and 40 per cent, respectively. Besides, Polycab India, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd, Chalet Hotels and Spandana Sphoorty Financial have risen 24 per cent, 21 per cent, 12 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively, against their issue prices. In stark contrast, three companies — MSTC, Sterling & Wilson Solar and Xelpmoc Design and Tech — have failed to give positive returns. MSTC, which listed its shares in March, has seen its shares plummet by 24 per cent and Sterling & Wilson Solar, which made its debut August, has seen its stocks fallen by over 23 per cent. Besides, shares of Xelpmoc Design and Tech dropped by 4.5 per cent against its issue price. “Over the past one year, markets have not been upbeat due to several factors so there has been a negative sentiment among investors. In such a situation, IPOs are very well priced, giving good opportunity to investors. However, when markets are upbeat, IPOs are generally very aggressively priced,” said Narendra Solanki, Head Fundamental Research (Investment Service) -AVP Equity Research, Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers. Another reason could be some of these companies have clean book, which are attracting investors, he added. Arindam Chanda CEO at IIFL Securities said, “while stock price is subject to various factors, there is always demand for quality papers”. The BSE’s benchmark Sensex, which has seen a highly volatile trend, has gained over 4 per cent so far this year. A total of 13 companies came out with initial public offerings and collectively raised Rs 11,000 crore so far this year. This was much lower than 24 firms raising Rs 30,959 crore in entire 2018. Among the 13 companies that hit the capital markets in 2019, IPO of IRCTC and Vishwaraj Sugar Industries closed for subscription on Thursday and Friday, respectively. These two firms will list their shares this month.