5 07 2014
B V Wanchoo on Friday resigned as Governor of Goa as government went about finalizing its plans for replacing the Governors appointed during the previous UPA regime.
63-year-old Wanchoo sent his resignation after he received a call from Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami on Friday morning asking him to resign, official sources said.
The resignation of Wanchoo, a former chief of elite Special Protection Group, will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for acceptance.
A 1976-batch IPS officer, Wanchoo’s resignation came a few days after former National Security Advisor M K Narayanan quit from Governorship of West Bengal.
Wanchoo was quizzed by CBI as a witness in connection with AgustaWestland deal bribery scandal as was Narayanan just before his resignation.
Besides Wanchoo and Narayanan, three Governors have already resigned and they are B L Joshi (Uttar Pradesh), Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh) and Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland) following a nudge from the NDA government.
Two Governors H R Bhardwaj (Karnataka) and Devanand Konwar retired late last month.
However, a few other Governors appointed by the previous UPA regime continue to remain in office.
They include K Sankaranarayanan (Maharashtra), Sheila Dikshit (Kerala), Jaganath Pahadia (Haryana), Kamala Beniwal (Gujarat), Shivraj V Patil (Punjab), besides some others.
The sources said the government was considering appointing some BJP veterans as Governors.
The names doing the round include those of former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, former UP Assembly Speaker Kesari Nath Tripathi, former Union Minister Ram Naik, former Lucknow MP Lalji Tandon, former Bhopal MP Kailash Joshi, BJP leader from Kerala O Rajagopal besides others
5 07 2014
Nurses back thus end captive by ISIS militants in Iraq
05-07-2014 Forty-six nurses, who were held captive by ISIS militants in Iraq, on Saturday returned home by a special Air India flight to a happy reunion with their families in Kochi, bringing to an end their about month-long ordeal.
The special aircraft, which also had on board about 137 others, touched down the tarmac at the Kochi International Airport at 11.57 AM, a senior airport official said.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy whose coordinated effort with the Union Government that ensured liberty to nurses from his state, besides another who hails from Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu received them at the airport.
Family members of nurses, on whose face a sigh of relief was writ large had assembled in large numbers to see their beloved ones return and were joined by political leaders from BJP and Congress at the airport.
The ordeal of the nurses, who were working at a hospital in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, began when ISIS (Islamic State for Iraq and Syria) militants launched an offensive in that region on 9th June.
Even as Indian authorities continued to maintain constant touch with their counterparts at Iraq for safe release of nurses, they were moved out on Thursday against their will and detained in the militant-held city of Mosul.
Efforts by External Affairs Ministry led to setting free the nurses held in captivity and they were transported in buses to Erbil International airport on Friday.
The Special Flight that left Erbil in the early hours of on Saturday arrived at Mumbai for a brief stop over for refuelling and catering supplies.
Besides the nurses, the flight also carried 137 other Indian nationals, including 70 from Kirkuk in the northern part of Iraq, 23 crew members and three government officials, including a joint-secretary level IFS officer and an IAS woman officer from Kerala.
Chandy thanked the Centre, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Indian Embassy in Iraq and MEA for ensuring the return of nurses from strife-hit Iraq.
“The Centre has acted in complete understanding of the deep anxieties of Kerala. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Embassy in Iraq have made sincere efforts in securing release of the nurses,” Chandy told reporters in Kochi.
Kerala Government has made arrangements to enable nurses to reach their respective destinations across the state.
Oommen Chandy on Saturday thanked the Narendra Modi government for ensuring the return of the Indian nurses from strife-hit Iraq with their safe evacuation capping days of anxiety for the state as it waited for a resolution to the crisis.
A visibly relieved Chandy expressed his gratitude for the Centre, especially External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, for bringing the matter to a happy conclusion.
“The Centre has acted in complete understanding of the deep anxieties of Kerala. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Embassy in Iraq have made sincere efforts in securing the release of the nurses,” Chandy told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday morning.
Even his political rivals at home admitted that persistent efforts by Chandy, who had camped in Delhi for the last two days, saw the Centre making all out efforts to secure the return from Iraq of the 46 nurses, one of whom hails from Tamil Nadu.
The nurses remained trapped in a hospital in Iraq’s Tikrit for several days after the area came under the control of the militants of ISIS.
Voicing relief over the return of the nurses, CPI (M) leader VS Achuthanandan acknowledged the efforts of the Centre and the state government in the matter.
A special Air India flight carrying the 46 Indian nurses and 137 others released by ISIS arrived on Saturday morning in Mumbai, from where it is headed to Koch
5 07 2014
Mats Hummels headed Germany into the World Cup’s last four as his first-half goal sealed a 1-0 win over France in Friday´s quarter-final at Rio de Janeiro´s Maracana Stadium Brazil 2014
Mats Hummels’ first half header proved decisive as Germany marched into the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup for a record fourth time in a row with a 1-0 win over fellow European giants France in Rio De Janeiro on Friday.
The contest between the two European powerhouses lacked spark and Hummels’s 13th minute strike spelt doom for France at the iconic Maracana stadium.
Germany keeper Manuel Neuer was also outstanding under the bar as he made two spectacular saves in each half to deny France the equaliser.
Neuer also made a last-second save when he pushed Karim Benzema’s strong left-foot strike from the left to send his side into the World Cup semi-finals for fourth successive time.
Germany had more possession but it was France, who had first strike in the rival goal post in the seventh minute but Benzema could not provide the finishing touch as he hit a volley wide on a pass from Mathieu Valbuena.
The Germans were clearly the more dominating side and they were rewarded for their effort as Mats Hummels headed home a superb free-kick from the left taken by Toni Kroos.
Hummels not only jumped well but also out-powered French defender Raphael Varane, nodding home the lead in the 13th minute.
The Germans continued to enjoy great possession thanks to to some superb work by their midfield trio of Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
A rattled France upped their game and swung to action. Again it was Mathieu Valbuena from the left, making a superb effort but Germany keeper Neuer stuck his left arm out made a great save.
Germany also survived the resultant corner as Mahadou Sakha headed over the cross bar.
Veteran Germany striker Miroslav Klose was handled pretty badly as he was taken down a number of times by the French defenders.
Klose also sought a penalty on one such tackle but the referee did not oblige. France improved near the break. Benzema started to find holes in German defence.
The Real Madrid player rushed from the left took a pass from Paul Pogba but his feeble shot landed safely in Manuel Neuer’s arms.
The French side was different in the second half, which was far from the German domination. Antoine Griezmann and Valbuena were staying up as close to Benzema as possible.
Germany midfielder Sami Khedira was shown the first yellow card of the match as he brought down Griezmann, nine minutes into the second half.
The French side raided more even as efforts did not bear fruit. Their midfielder Blaise Matuidi rushed forward with a superb sprint but his cut-back from the left wing was well intercepted by a sliding Bastian Schweinsteiger.
German keeper Neuer came to action first time when he easily picked a header from Raphael Varane.
A couple of substitutions followed as Chelsea player Andre Schurrle replaced Klose for Germany while France brought in Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny in place for Mamadou Sakho.
France did succeed in creating a few half chances but never got that equaliser. Schurrle had a chance to double the German lead but his low shot was was blocked by Raphael Varane.
5 07 2014
Brazil set up semis date with Germany with 2-1 win.
David Luiz blasted a sensational free-kick into the net from 35 yards as Brazil knocked out South American rivals Colombia 2-1 to set up a FIFA World Cup semifinal clash with Germany, in Fortaleza Friday.
Luiz doubled the Brazilian lead with his spectacular free kick that crashed into the top right of the net in the 69th minute while skipper Thiago Silva’s first half strike on a Neymar corner kick had put the hosts ahead.
Colombia pulled one back when James Rodriguez converted a penalty in the 80th minute but Brazilians held nerves in the tense remaining time to set up a last-four clash with European powerhouse Germany, who ousted old rivals France 1-0 in Rio De Janeiro early in the day.
The hosts though have some worries going into Tuesday’s showdown as Brazilian skipper Silva will miss the last-four clash due to double booking and Neymar’s fitness is under cloud after he was carried off on a stretcher following a rough challenge from Colombian defender Juan Camillo Zuniga late in the second half.
Neymar, kneed on the back by Zubiga, was taken to a hospital to undergo tests.
Neymar ruled out of the World Cup after fracturing his vertebrae in the closing stages of the 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia on Friday, his team said.
“It´s not serious in the sense that it doesn´t need surgery, but he´ll need to immobilize it to recover,” team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said after the player had been taken to hospital.
“Unfortunately, he´s not going to be able to play,” he said, adding he expected the recovery period to take at least a few weeks.
“Neymar, who has scored four goals in the tournament to lead Brazil´s bid for a sixth world title,
In a fast and frenetic quarterfinal clash, Brazil came up with its best show so far in the home tournament even as Colombia put up a spirited fight.
Young Colombia striker Rodriguez was gutted as he left the field in tears before exchanging his shirt with Luiz, who consoled the rival player.
Rodriguez scored his sixth goal of the tournament but his penalty was not enough to keep his side alive in the tournament.
Silva struck as early as in the seventh minute when Neymar’s corner was missed by Luiz in the middle but the home skipper smashed in with knee.
Silva became the first captain to score for Brazil in a World Cup game in 20 years and it was Brazil’s quickest World Cup goal since Ronaldo scored in the fifth minute against Ghana in 2006.
It was slack defence from Colombia as Silva was allowed to drift in at the back post.
Two minutes later, Hulk struck powerfully but Colombia keeper David Ospina got down just in time to thwart the challenge.
The burly Hulk was at it again as he initiated a flurry of attacks but Ospina denied him once again and the hosts took the break with a 1-0 lead.
Surprisingly, the pace of the game dropped a bit in the second-half and there were fewer of chances as the play was restricted to mid-field.
Brazilian coach Felipe Scolari was frustrated when Silva collided with Ospania and was booked.
However, Luiz with his extraordinary free kick brought the cheers back.
A 2-0 lead had settled the home players but they were up to challenge again when Colombian substitute Carlos Bacca was brought down by Julio Cesar inside the penalty area.
Rodriguez converted the resultant penalty, sliding the ball left as Cesar dived on the right.
A charged up Colombia tried hard to get the equaliser but it never came.