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Friday, February 15, 2019

February 15, 2019

India pick Pant ahead of Karthik, Rahul recalled

  • India ignore Karthik, Jadeja
  • Kohli back from rest, Rahul recalled
  • Australia series seen as World Cup rehearsal

India’s Rishabh Pant plays a shot. Photo: Reuters

MUMBAI: Dinesh Karthik’s World Cup hopes suffered a blow on Friday after India named Rishabh Pant as the second wicketkeeper for next month’s home one-day series against Australia.

With Mahendra Singh Dhoni assured of his place behind the stumps, 33-year-old Karthik has been optimistic of securing a back-up role having also transformed himself into a lower order batsman who can float in the order.

India, however, opted for 21-year-old Pant, who like Karthik can play as a specialist limited-overs batsman and has been very impressive in the test series in Australia.

Chief selector M.S.K. Prasad said having a left-handed Pant in the middle order suited the team, but added they were yet to decide on the back-up keeper’s slot.

“Prior to this, we had series in New Zealand and Australia where Karthik was chosen because Rishabh had played four test matches,” he said.

“We wanted him (Pant) to get a good break… he played a couple of one-day matches against England Lions, in which he did extremely well. Then we sent him to the T20 matches (in New Zealand). We want to give him a few ODIs also before taking a final call.”

Like Karthik, spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was also overlooked for the ODI series against the reigning world champions, which is perceived as a dress rehearsal for India’s World Cup campaign in England later this year.

The successful wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were the obvious picks for the ODIs and are set to travel to England where the two-times champions begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5.

Opener Lokesh Rahul, despite his struggle for form and provisional suspension for inappropriate comments on a TV chat show, was named both in the one-day and Twenty20 squads.

Captain Virat Kohli, who led India to their first ever test series victory in Australia and skipped the second half of the limited overs series in New Zealand, returns to lead the side.

India host Australia for Twenty20 matches on Feb. 24 and 27 before the five-match one-day series kicks off in Hyderabad on March 2.

India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Lokesh Rahul, Siddharth Kaul (first two matches), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (last three matches)

India Twenty20 squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul, Mayank Markande.


The post India pick Pant ahead of Karthik, Rahul recalled appeared first on The Himalayan Times.

from Sports – The Himalayan Times http://bit.ly/2GKzFmD
February 15, 2019

Trump says he will declare an emergency on US-Mexico border

US President Donald Trump declares a national emergency at the US-Mexico border while speaking about border security in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, US., February 15, 2019. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said on Friday he would declare a national emergency at the US-Mexico border, a move expected to plunge him into a fight with Democrats over what they call an unconstitutional attempt to fund a wall without approval from Congress.

“We’re going to be signing, today, and registering a national emergency and it’s a great thing to do,” Trump said during an event in the White House Rose Garden.

Trump had demanded Congress include money for the wall, one of his biggest 2016 campaign promises, in a funding bill approved overwhelmingly by lawmakers on Thursday. That bill did not give Trump the wall money he wanted, a legislative defeat for him.

A national emergency, if not blocked by the courts or Congress, would allow Trump to dip into funds lawmakers had approved for other purposes in order to build a border wall.

Trump predicted the fight over the emergency order would likely end up at the Supreme Court.

The Republican president’s demand for $5.7 billion in barrier funding, and the refusal of Democrats to provide it, led to a record-long, 35-day December-January partial government shutdown that hurt his opinion poll numbers.

Some of the president’s fellow Republicans, while sympathetic to his view that the southern border is in crisis, have worried that the action steps into Congress’ constitutional authority to control the government’s purse strings, a position widely shared among Democrats.

Other Republicans have expressed concern that declaring an emergency to achieve policy goals might set a dangerous precedent, inspiring future Oval Office occupants to seize on the tactic to bypass Congress.


The post Trump says he will declare an emergency on US-Mexico border appeared first on The Himalayan Times.

from World – The Himalayan Times http://bit.ly/2Iew2ri
February 15, 2019

South Africa on course for test win against Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka require 221 more runs with seven wickets remaining
  • Debutant spinner Lasith Embuldeniya bagged 5-66
  • Captain Du Plessis top-scored for South Africa with 90

Debutant Lasith Embuldeniya shows a match ball after a test match against South Africa. Photo: ICC

DURBAN: Debutant spinner Lasith Embuldeniya took five wickets as Sri Lanka produced a strong fightback with the ball on day three of the first test, but hosts South Africa remained on course for victory at the close at Kingsmead on Friday.

Set a target of 304 to win, Sri Lanka were 83 for three when bad light brought a premature end to proceedings, with Oshada Fernando (28 not out) and Kusal Perera (12 not out) to resume the victory hunt on the fourth morning.

The impressive Embuldeniya had earlier claimed 5-66 and sparked a South Africa collapse as the hosts were bowled out for 259 in their second innings, leaving Sri Lanka to chase what seems an unlikely victory.

The tourists have not posted over 300 in any of their last 12 test innings, while the record fourth innings total to win a game in Durban is 336 by Australia in 1950.

Openers Dimuth Karunaratne (20) and Lahiru Thirimanne (21) had put on 42 for the first wicket of Sri Lanka’s chase, before the latter was caught by Faf du Plessis at second slip off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada.

Visiting captain Karunaratne was out soon afterwards, trapped leg before wicket by Vernon Philander as the tourists wobbled.

They were three down two overs later when Kusal Mendis (0), batting with an injured finger, could only guide a Duanne Olivier delivery to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

Sri Lanka batted another anxious nine overs before the cloud cover that had threatened for much of the day forced the players from the field as the umpires deemed the light too gloomy to continue.

The visitors had skittled out South Africa’s lower order 40 minutes before tea, taking the final five wickets for the addition of only eight runs.

The home side were reasonably comfortable on 251 for five, but lost Philander (18) when he was bowled by a ball that kept low from the Embuldeniya.

Home captain Du Plessis (90) had looked largely in control, but was out when he left a straight ball from Vishwa Fernando (4-71) that trapped him leg before wicket, with the seamer going on to collect two more wickets for a total of eight in the match.

It was a swift end to South Africa’s second innings, but a sign of the variable bounce and generous turn on offer to the bowlers that will make Sri Lanka’s chase that much harder.

The second and final test of the series will be played in Port Elizabeth from Feb. 21-25.



The post South Africa on course for test win against Sri Lanka appeared first on The Himalayan Times.

from Sports – The Himalayan Times http://bit.ly/2Szpict
February 15, 2019

Nepal lose to Myanmar 3-1 in Hero Women’s Gold Cup final

Nepal’s Anita Basnet in action. Courtesy: ANFA

KATHMANDU: Nepal slumped to 3-1 defeat against Myanmar in the final of Hero Women’s Gold Cup at Kalinda Stadium in Bhubaneshwar of India today.

In the early exchanges, Nepal matched up with Myanmar and held them for half an hour. However, Myanmar took the lead but Nepal’s Manjari Yonzan equalised within a space of a minute on the stroke of half time in an enthrailing fixture in front of few nepali supporters in the stand.

Despite going strong in an early stage of the second half, Nepal conceded a goal in the 54th minute. Myanmar took the two-goal lead as they stun Nepal with a quick lightening counter-attack against-a-run-play in the hour mark.

After trailing by two goals, it was a chasing game for Nepal and they tried hard to reduce the arrears in the dying minutes of the game but to no avail.

With this victory, Myanmar lifted the coveted trophy as an undefeated team of the tournament. Earlier, Myanmar had defeated Nepal 3-0 and beat India and Iran with a same 2-0 scoreline in group stages.

Nepal had progressed into the final after defeating the hosts 2-1 and Iran 3-0.


The post Nepal lose to Myanmar 3-1 in Hero Women’s Gold Cup final appeared first on The Himalayan Times.

from Sports – The Himalayan Times http://bit.ly/2Gxdwcn
February 15, 2019

Liverpool’s Lovren unlikely to face Bayern, says Klopp

Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring their first goal. Photo: Reuters

LONDON: Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp concedes he faces a selection dilemma as centre back Dejan Lovren is unlikely to feature against Bayern Munich in Tuesday’s Champions League last 16 fixture at Anfield.

Lovren is still recovering from a hamstring injury sustained against Wolverhampton Wanderers last month and the Croatia defender did not travel with the rest of the squad to the club’s warm-weather training camp in Marbella this week.

“I don’t want to rule it out but I cannot really plan with it,” Klopp told the club’s website.

“He is not here for good reasons, because he cannot be part of training. We are back on Friday. Then from Saturday on, Dejan is back at Melwood and we will see.”

First-choice centre back Joe Gomez is out of action having undergone surgery on a fractured leg, with no timescale put on his return.

With Virgil van Dijk suspended for the first leg encounter against the German champions, Klopp may consider slotting in Brazil midfielder Fabinho alongside Joel Matip at the heart of the defence.

“Of course, we have to prepare it differently. If Dejan gives a sign on Monday – ‘I feel brilliant’ – then we’d have to think anew,” Klopp added.

“But in the moment we prepare the game and in this preparation Dejan is not involved. We have to find other solutions.”


The post Liverpool’s Lovren unlikely to face Bayern, says Klopp appeared first on The Himalayan Times.

from Sports – The Himalayan Times http://bit.ly/2IgLIKG
February 15, 2019

Du Plessis grows South Africa’s lead over Sri Lanka

South Africa’s Faf du Plessis in action. Photo: Reuters

DURBAN: South Africa captain Faf du Plessis struck a stylish unbeaten half-century as they extended their second-innings advantage over Sri Lanka on the third day of the first test, reaching lunch on 227 for five at Kingsmead on Friday.

The home side lead by 271 runs and will look to push towards 350 in the afternoon session, which would be a potentially match-winning total against a Sri Lankan side that has not passed 300 in any of their last 12 test innings.

Du Plessis (72 not out) will resume with Vernon Philander (12 not out) on a wicket that is starting to take turn and has provided seam movement all match for the quicker bowlers.

The only wicket to fall in the first session was that of Quinton de Kock (55) after he put on a quick 96 in 24 overs for the fifth wicket with Du Plessis before being trapped leg before wicket by spinner Lasith Embuldeniya (3-51).

De Kock added to his first innings score of 80, and a century in the team’s last test against Pakistan, as he continues to be a solid performer in an otherwise brittle South African top-order.

South Africa posted 235 in their first innings before bowling Sri Lanka out for 191, a first-innings lead of 44 runs.

The second and final test of the series will be played in Port Elizabeth from Feb. 21-25.

South Africa started their season with a home 3-0 whitewash of Pakistan to move up to number two in the International Cricket Council’s test rankings.




The post Du Plessis grows South Africa’s lead over Sri Lanka appeared first on The Himalayan Times.

from Sports – The Himalayan Times http://bit.ly/2SyzXEl
February 15, 2019

Geological survey being conducted on Narayanghat-Muglin highway

Kathmandu, February 15

The Narayanghat-Muglin Road Project is conducting a geological study in various areas of the road in the wake of reports stating that some sections of the highway have caved in in the last few years.

According to project information officer Shiva Adhikari, the study is being conducted by Swiss company Iteko, which is monitoring 7-8 dangerous points on the 40 km-long road.

Adhikari stated that the company found that 17 kilo and 25 kilo were two of the most dangerous points and added that a new design was needed to reduce geological pressure on the areas.

The study found that some areas near 17 kilo have moved towards the Trishuli river. This section of the road was widened in 2003 using rock anchoring technology. However, just as the construction of the road was completed, a part of it started to cave in.

Experts believe that the road caved in due to poor rock anchoring. They have called this part of the road the most dangerous and have asked the project chiefs to prepare a new design.

The Swiss company will submit a detailed report along with some new designs for the road. Project chief Rohit Kumar Bisura says that road construction work will only start once the technical team submits its report. He also says that they will try to finish the work before the monsoon ends.

from OnlineKhabar http://bit.ly/2TOXCg9
February 15, 2019

Nepal’s women’s team announced for T-20 world cup qualifier

Kathmandu, February 15

Nepal has announced its squad for the forthcoming T-20 Woman’s World Cup Qualifiers being held in Thailand from February 16.

The selection committee has selected 14 players, including emerging player Apsari Begam, who has been selected for the first time.

Nepal’s team will be led by captain Rubina Chettri, who will be assisted by vice-captian Sita Rana Magar. Karuna Bhandari, Sarita Magar, Nary Thapa, Indu Barma, Sonu Khadka, Arati Bidari, Kajal Shrestha, Roma Thapa, Kavita Kuwar, Mamata Kumari Chaudhary and Bindu Rawal have also made it to the squad.

The national team, along with coach Binod Das, will leave for Thailand Saturday afternoon. Nepal will be battling against hosts Thailand, China, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the UAE in the qualifiers.

Nepal will play its first game against Malaysia on February 19.

from OnlineKhabar http://bit.ly/2N8rJgj
February 15, 2019

Door likely to close for local and provincial level employees return to centre

Kathmandu, February 15

Parliament’s State Affairs Committee has put forward a report which recommends closing the door for local and provincial level employees to get a transfer to the central government in the future.

This comes at a time when the opposition party, the Nepali Congress, has been demanding that the law allow local and provincial level employees to return to the centre if they wish to do so. However, as the issue was not raised in Parliament, the report was passed without the transfer provision.

The Employee Adjustment Bill along with the report prepared by the State Affairs Committee will be presented in the House of Representatives.

On the other hand, the bill has opened a door for those working for the federal parliament to be transferred to government bodies other than the provincial assembly. The previous bill only allowed parliament employees to be transferred to provincial assemblies.

from OnlineKhabar http://bit.ly/2SOp7td
February 15, 2019

Human activities threaten red panda conservation efforts

Jumla, February 15

Red panda conservation efforts have hit a brick wall in Jumla due to growing poaching, forest encroachment and lack of public awareness.

Locals say that endangered animal, which used to be seen around the area is rarely sighted these days. The Karnali Bikash Hatemalo Sewa Samaj Jumla in coordination with the Habre Network has launched the Habre conservation drive at Sinja and Patarashi rural municipalities. The society is supported by over 150 community forests.

However, Habre Network’s researcher Saroj Shrestha shares that a lack of policy to conserve this rare mammal has made the efforts challenging.

According to data, there are around 500 red pandas in Nepal out of which 43 per cent can be found in Gidikhola, Devalgaun, Tamti, Patarasi and Riya.

Researchers have said that the number has declined in the past few years due to severe poaching. Conservationists have called for a combined effort from security personnel, locals and journalists to check and control poaching.

Division Forest Office, Jumla forest officer Niroj Jha shares that a need for a proper scientific forest management programme to build a safer space for this animal is at an all-time high. The panda mainly survives on bamboo shoots.

He argues that people still unaware of the ecological importance of red panda.


from OnlineKhabar http://bit.ly/2DGNjUE
February 15, 2019

Fearing impeachment, CIAA commissioner tenders his resignation


Kathmandu, February 15

CIAA commissioner Raj Narayan Pathak has tendered his resignation to President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Friday.

Pathak, who has been charged with corruption, resigned fearing impeachment after reports said that the ruling NCP planned to collect MPs’ signatures to in to start the impeachment process.

Sources close to the case add that a corruption case will move ahead as scheduled even though Pathak has resigned from his post. However, if the President doesn’t accept Pathak’s resignation, he will be impeached. If the resignation is accepted, the CIAA will be free to investigate into allegations levelled against Pathak.

The CIAA doesn’t have the right to investigate cases related to office bearers of constitutional bodies, but it can do so once the office bearer leaves office..

Pathak allegedly received a bribe from a management committee official of Nepal Engineering College in Bhaktapur in return for a promise to resolve an ownership row.

from OnlineKhabar http://bit.ly/2EbsAKd