Karnataka in Ranji final after 112-run win

Getty Images

Getty Images

by Amol Karhadkar, ESPNcricinfo

Seventy minutes, 14.1 overs. That’s all it took for Karnataka to wrap up the Mumbai tail and take one step closer to defending their Ranji Trophy title.

Mumbai started the penultimate day of the semi-final at 277 for 6, 168 runs behind the target of 445. Their best hope of an outside chance to chase down the target was for one of the bowlers to bat with Siddhesh Lad, the specialist overnight batsman. However, Abhimanyu Mithun, S Aravind and Shreyas Gopal picked a wicket each to complete a convincing 112-run victory, their second successive win against Mumbai at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Lad, who resumed batting on 41, took the initiative on the fourth morning while Balwinder Singh Sandhu tried to occupy one end of the crease. Sandhu, however, was adjudged leg before off Mithun following a doubtful decision. The fuller, incoming delivery had taken a thick edge off his bat on to the pads, but the umpire Vineet Kulkarni ruled in favour of the bowler. The wicket was Mithun’s fourth of the innings

After Shardul Thakur survived the initial burst, captain Vinay Kumar brought Shreyas Gopal in his place. The legspinner struck with his second ball, getting an edge off Thakur’s willow straight into Vinay’s palms at slip.

Lad, who stretched his innings to 74, was left with too much to do and the end came when Aravind bowled a gem to extract an edge off his bat soon after the drinks break. With the target being completely out of reach, Mumbai opted not to play allrounder Abhishek Nayar, who had struggled while batting out 12 overs on the third evening. Nayar had suffered a concussive head injury on the first day. The defending champions will now get an extra rest day before heading to Mumbai for the final.

Fireballs appear in various parts of Kerala


Kozhikode: Bright fireballs were reported from various parts of the state on Friday night spreading panic.

The fire balls were reportedly seen at around 9.50 pm and in many places, mild tremors and thunder sounds accompanying the fire balls escalated apprehensions among the people.

The incidents were reported from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Thrissur districts.

Minister Adoor Prakash said there was no need to panic.

“I heard about the sonic boom sound and the rocket theory. However no strange activity has been reported in the radars. We have also received no clue for earthquakes,” said Ernakulam Collector M G Rajamanickam, who heads the Disaster Management Authority here.

Social media too was abuzz with reports about the sighting.

Recently, similar incidents were reported in the US, Russia and various parts of Europe. NASA had explained that these could be the debris of the disintegrated Chinese rocket that was carrying the Yaogan Weixing-26 satellite.


Cricket World Cup: Rampant India too strong for UAE in Pool B


by Steve Canavan, BBC Sport

Defending champions India maintained their perfect start at the World Cup as they outclassed United Arab Emirates in a one-sided contest in Perth.

India were on top throughout and dismissed UAE for 102 – the lowest total at the World Cup so far, behind England’s 123 against New Zealand.

Only a spirited 35 from Shaiman Anwar spared UAE from real embarrassment.

India lost just one wicket as they raced to their target in 18.5 overs, Rohit Sharma hitting a half-century.

“The bowlers have really stepped up and that has led to improvements in other parts of the side,” said a satisfied India captain MS Dhoni.

“We are getting wickets with the new ball and as a bowling unit they are doing well and showing they can do it game after game.”

The part-timers of the UAE won the toss and opted to bat, but lost wickets on a regular basis as a confident-looking India quickly took control.

Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets and registering his best one-day-international figures as the underdogs were reduced to 71-9.

Only a fighting last-wicket stand of 31 between Shaiman Anwar (35) and Manjula Guruge (10 not out) – the highest partnership of the innings – took UAE past three figures.

But the total was never going to be enough to trouble an Indian side who, after a run of poor form coming into the tournament, now look a force to be reckoned with.

UAE did have one magical moment in the field – Rohan Mustafa taking a superb one-handed catch off the bowling off Mohammad Naveed to dismiss Shikhar Dhawan for 14.

But otherwise it was a routine victory for the Indians, with Sharma (57 not out) and Virat Kohli (33 not out) guiding the team home without alarm.

“We were outplayed by the Indian bowling, because what we got was not a par score on this wicket,” said UAE captain Mohammad Tauqir.

“We should have scored 200 plus but Ashwin bowled brilliantly and we couldn’t cope.”

India, who beat Pakistan and South Africa in their opening Pool B games, face West Indies next in Perth on Friday.

UAE are still waiting for a first World Cup win for 19 years, since beating Netherlands in 1996.

Gaza rebuild effort could take 100 years: Oxfam

‘Only an end to the blockade of Gaza will ensure that people can rebuild their lives.’ — Catherine Essoyan, Oxfam

A Palestinian child sits above the ruins of his ruined home, and looks at thousands of homes destroyed because of the war on Gaza. © 2014 Pacific Press

A Palestinian child sits above the ruins of his ruined home, and looks at thousands of homes destroyed because of the war on Gaza. © 2014 Pacific Press

by Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams

Despair and destruction continue to envelop the blockaded Gaza strip, where the rebuilding of vital structures could take up to a century, Oxfam International has warned.

The organization’s statement comes six months after a ceasefire agreementended Israel’s 50-day assault on Gaza, which left over 2,100 Palestinians dead, decimated thousands of structures, and weakened already damaged infrastructure systems.

Oxfam is one of 30 international aid agencies that operate in Gaza, including the Norwegian Refugee Council and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), to issue a joint statement Thursday expressing alarm at the slow pace of reconstruction and worsening living conditions for Gaza’s residents.

Among the families hit by the destruction this summer was that of Abdel Momen Abu Hujair, who farms in Johr El-Diek. His wife, Um Mohammed, told the Norwegian Refugee Council:

Is this what our lives have come into? Living in a shack after we invested all what we had to build a house? I am very depressed and feel unable to take care of my children. I used to help them with their studies; their performance at school is now deteriorating. I feel no hope for the future or reconstruction. I am afraid we will spend the rest of our lives in this shack, in suffering and despair.

In their joint statement, the organizations lay out some of the ongoing problems:

since July, the situation has deteriorated dramatically. Approximately 100,000 Palestinians remain displaced this winter, living in dire conditions in schools and makeshift shelters not designed for long-term stay. Scheduled power cuts persist for up to 18 hours a day. The continued non-payment of the salaries of public sector employees and the lack of progress in the national unity government further increases tensions. With severe restrictions on movement, most of the 1.8 million residents are trapped in the coastal enclave, with no hope for the future.

Bearing the brunt of this suffering are the most vulnerable, including the elderly, persons with disabilities, women and nearly one million children, who have experienced unimaginable suffering in three major conflicts in six short years. Children lack access to quality education, with over 400,000 of them in need of immediate psychosocial support.

The statement adds that “Israel, as the occupying power, is the main duty bearer and must comply with its obligations under international law,” and concludes: “We must not fail in Gaza.”

In an update earlier this month, UNRWA said a funding shortfall had forced it “to suspend its cash assistance program supporting repairs and providing rental subsidies to Palestine refugee families in Gaza,” and Oxfam pointed to the responsibility of the international community as well.

“Only an end to the blockade of Gaza will ensure that people can rebuild their lives,” Catherine Essoyan, Oxfam’s Regional Director, said in a media statement.

“Families have been living in homes without roofs, walls or windows for the past six months. Many have just six hours of electricity a day and are without running water. Every day that people are unable to build is putting more lives at risk. It is utterly deplorable that the international community is once again failing the people of Gaza when they need it most,” Essoyan stated.

But Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah writes that little change to the dire situation will come if aid agencies continue to make appeals to the vague “international community” and avoid putting blame on “the home governments of many of the international civil society organizations have been complicit in Israel’s military attacks and siege on Gaza.”

He continues: “Aid agencies should not have waited six long months to speak out. Now that they have done so, they should have called for specific punitive measures against the party they correctly call the ‘occupying power’ to force it to end its siege.”

“Israel, moreover, could not carry on the way it does without the complicity of ‘Western’ governments: the aid agencies should hold their governments accountable and pressure them to end their complicity,” Abunimah writes.

Human rights organizations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have issued reports finding that some of Israel’s actions during the summer assault amounted to war crimes, but the head of a UN war crimes inquiry into the operation announced his resignation this month, stating:  “This work in defense of human rights appears to have made me a huge target for malicious attacks.”

The big melt: Antarctica's retreating ice may re-shape Earth

by Luis Andres Henao and Seth Borenstein, AP

In this Jan. 22, 2015 photo, a zodiac carrying a team of international scientists heads to Chile's station Bernardo O'Higgins, Antarctica. Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea, 130 billion tons of ice (118 billion metric tons) per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

In this Jan. 22, 2015 photo, a zodiac carrying a team of international scientists heads to Chile’s station Bernardo O’Higgins, Antarctica. Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea, 130 billion tons of ice (118 billion metric tons) per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Cape Legoupil: From the ground in this extreme northern part of Antarctica, spectacularly white and blinding ice seems to extend forever. What can’t be seen is the battle raging thousands of feet (hundreds of meters) below to re-shape Earth.

Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea — 130 billion tons of ice (118 billion metric tons) per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. That’s the weight of more than 356,000 Empire State Buildings, enough ice melt to fill more than 1.3 million Olympic swimming pools. And the melting is accelerating.

In the worst case scenario, Antarctica’s melt could push sea levels up 10 feet (3 meters) worldwide in a century or two, recurving heavily populated coastlines.

Parts of Antarctica are melting so rapidly it has become “ground zero of global climate change without a doubt,” said Harvard geophysicist Jerry Mitrovica.

Here on the Antarctic peninsula, where the continent is warming the fastest because the land sticks out in the warmer ocean, 49 billion tons of ice (nearly 45 billion metric tons) are lost each year, according to NASA. The water warms from below, causing the ice to retreat on to land, and then the warmer air takes over. Temperatures rose 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) in the last half century, much faster than Earth’s average, said Ricardo Jana, a glaciologist for the Chilean Antarctic Institute.

As chinstrap penguins waddled behind him, Peter Convey of the British Antarctic Survey reflected on changes he could see on Robert Island, a small-scale example and perhaps early warning signal of what’s happening to the peninsula and rest of the continent as a whole.

“I was last here 10 years ago,” Convey said during a rare sunny day on the island, with temperatures just above freezing. “And if you compare what I saw back then to now, the basic difference due to warming is that the permanent patches of snow and ice are smaller. They’re still there behind me, but they’re smaller than they were.”

Robert Island hits all the senses: the stomach-turning smell of penguin poop; soft moss that invites the rare visitor to lie down, as if on a water bed; brown mud, akin to stepping in gooey chocolate. Patches of the moss, which alternates from fluorescent green to rust red, have grown large enough to be football fields. Though 97 percent of the Antarctic Peninsula is still covered with ice, entire valleys are now free of it, ice is thinner elsewhere and glaciers have retreated, Convey said.

Dressed in a big red parka and sky blue hat, plant biologist Angelica Casanova has to take her gloves off to collect samples, leaving her hands bluish purple from the cold. Casanova says she can’t help but notice the changes since she began coming to the island in 1995. Increasingly, plants are taking root in the earth and stone deposited by retreating glaciers, she says.

“It’s interesting because the vegetation in some way responds positively. It grows more,” she said, a few steps from a sleeping Weddell seal. “What is regrettable is that all the scientific information that we’re seeing says there’s been a lot of glacier retreat and that worries us.”

Just last month, scientists noticed in satellite images that a giant crack in an ice shelf on the peninsula called Larsen C had grown by about 12 miles (20 kilometers) in 2014. Ominously, the split broke through a type of ice band that usually stops such cracks. If it keeps going, it could cause the breaking off of a giant iceberg somewhere between the size of Rhode Island and Delaware, about 1,700 to 2,500 square miles (4,600 to 6,400 square kilometers), said British Antarctic Survey scientist Paul Holland. And there’s a small chance it could cause the entire Scotland-sized Larsen C ice shelf to collapse like its sister shelf, Larsen B, did in a dramatic way in 2002.

A few years back, scientists figured Antarctica as a whole was in balance, neither gaining nor losing ice. Experts worried more about Greenland; it was easier to get to and more noticeable, but once they got a better look at the bottom of the world, the focus of their fears shifted. Now scientists in two different studies use the words “irreversible” and “unstoppable” to talk about the melting in West Antarctica. Ice is gaining in East Antarctica, where the air and water are cooler, but not nearly as much as it is melting to the west.

“Before Antarctica was much of a wild card,” said University of Washington ice scientist Ian Joughin. “Now I would say it’s less of a wild card and more scary than we thought before.”

Over at NASA, ice scientist Eric Rignot said the melting “is going way faster than anyone had thought. It’s kind of a red flag.”

What’s happening is simple physics. Warm water eats away at the ice from underneath. Then more ice is exposed to the water, and it too melts. Finally, the ice above the water collapses into the water and melts.

Climate change has shifted the wind pattern around the continent, pushing warmer water farther north against and below the western ice sheet and the peninsula. The warm, more northerly water replaces the cooler water that had been there. It’s only a couple degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the water that used to be there, but that makes a huge difference in melting, scientists said.

The world’s fate hangs on the question of how fast the ice melts.

At its current rate, the rise of the world’s oceans from Antarctica’s ice melt would be barely noticeable, about one-third of a millimeter a year. The oceans are that vast.

But if all the West Antarctic ice sheet that’s connected to water melts unstoppably, as several experts predict, there will not be time to prepare. Scientists estimate it will take anywhere from 200 to 1,000 years to melt enough ice to raise seas by 10 feet, maybe only 100 years in a worst case scenario. If that plays out, developed coastal cities such as New York and Guangzhou could face up to $1 trillion a year in flood damage within a few decades and countless other population centers will be vulnerable.

“Changing the climate of the Earth or thinning glaciers is fine as long as you don’t do it too fast. And right now we are doing it as fast as we can. It’s not good,” said Rignot, of NASA. “We have to stop it; or we have to slow it down as best as we can.”

Highlights of Union Budget 2015

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley along with his Budget team leaves for Rashtrapati Bhavan in this file photo. Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley along with his Budget team leaves for Rashtrapati Bhavan in this file photo. Pradeep Gaur/Mint

New Delhi: Presenting the national budget for the next fiscal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Saturday said the state of the country’s economy was better placed today with its credibility re-established by a series of measures taken by his government.

“I am presenting the union budget in an economic environment which is far more positive than in the recent past. While major economies of the world face difficulties, India is poised for higher growth trajectory,” Jaitley said as he started his budget speech in the Lok Sabha.

“The real GDP growth is estimated at 7.5 percent for this fiscal, making India the fastest-growing large economy of the world,” said Jaitley, watched keenly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seated next to him.

“We inherited a sentiment of doom and gloom and have come a long way by proper actions,” said the finance minister, adding: “Our objective is to improve quality of life and to pass benefits to common man.”

He also said a double-digit growth was now feasible. “Our objective is to conquer inflation. It will be only 5 percent by end of year.”

The finance minister said his government did not intend to do away with subsidies but target them better to achieve the goals. He also said some Rs.8.5 lakh crore will be provided to farmers in the form of credit, along with an allocation of Rs.5,300 crore for irrigation.

He also said allocations for a host of social sector projects was being enhanced substantially along with some new social security schemes. He particularly said the allocation for the rural job guarantee scheme will be the highest ever.


  • Changes in excise on tobacco items, including cigarettes, paan masala and gutkha

  • Tax exemption for contributions to ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and ‘Clean Ganga Fund’ by corporates as part of CSR

  • Increase in limit of deduction in health insurance from Rs.15,000 to Rs.25,000

  • For senior citizens, this limit to be increased from Rs.30,000 from present Rs.10,000

  • Deduction limit of Rs.60,000 on account of serious diseases to be enhanced to Rs.80,000 for senior citizens

  • Exemption on contributions to Pension Fund hiked from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1.5 lakh per year

  • All investment payments in ‘Sukanya Scheme’ will be fully exempted from tax

  • Transport allowance exemption raised from Rs.800 to Rs.1,600 per month

  • Wealth Tax to be abolished and additional two percent tax on super rich to yield Rs.9,000 crore annually

  • Excise duty on footwear with leather uppers to be reduced to six percent

  • Service tax and education levy to be consolidated from 12.36 percent to 14 percent

  • Swachh Bharat cess of two percent, if necessary

  • Law against Benami property in fight against black money

  • Quoting PAN essential in property transactions

  • Splitting of transaction not to be permitted

  • Tax regime to be rationalised

  • Applicability of General Avoidance Rules (GAR) to be deferred by two years in view of problems faced in its implementation

  • Non-Plan expenditure in 2015-16 estimated at Rs.1,312,200 crore; Plan expenditure estimated at Rs.465,277 crore

  • Tax collection in 2015-16 estimated at Rs.1,449,490 crore

  • Corporate tax to be reduced to 25 percent from 30 percent in four years

  • Rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years for concealing income

  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act to be amended to provide for forfeiture of property in India if the one abroad cannot be attached

  • Exemption to individual tax payers to continue

  • In last nine months several steps taken to effectively deal with problem of black money

  • Comprehensive new law to be brought against black money

  • New structure to be put in place in banking sector for seamless integration of data

  • Adequate provision for defence with Rs.246,727 crore earmarked this year

  • Fully IT-based student-help facility for needy students

  • Eastern states to be given opportunity to develop faster. Special boost to Bihar and West Bengal as in the case of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

  • Good progress in DMIC corridor and other infra-projects. Rs.1,200 crore earmarked and additional funds if pace of work picks up on ongoing projects

  • Procurement law to be drawn up to ensure transparency and remove corruption

  • Centenary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay to be celebrated; committee for this to be set up soon

  • During 2015-16 AIIMS-like institutes to be set up in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh; Bihar to get second AIIMS-like institution

  • Karnataka to get an IIT; Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad to be upgraded to IIT

  • Good progress being made on Digital India

  • To discourage transactions in cash, Rupee debit card to incentivise credit transactions

  • In line with ‘Act East Policy’, steps to catalyse investment in this sector through a project development company to oversee investments in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

  • Tourism has increased after Visa on Arrival introduced for 43 countries. This facility to be increased to 150 countries in different stages

  • Public Debt Management Agency to be created to strengthen the bond market

  • Gold Monetisation Scheme to be introduced; sovereign gold bonds to be introduced; working on developing Indian gold coin with Ashok Chakra on face

  • Vision of making India cashless society

  • Foreign Investment in alternative investment funds to be permitted

  • Ports in public sector to be encouraged to utilise land under their control

  • Make India investment-destination by streamlining permission procedures

  • Five ultra-mega power projects each of 4,000 MW to be set up

  • MGNREGA allocation to be enhanced by Rs.5,000 crore, if additional funds available

  • Integrated education and livelihood scheme to be launched

  • “The Everlasting Flame” exhibition on Parsis to be launched

  • National investment and infrastructure fund to be launched with corpus of Rs.20,000 crore to generate more funds

  • Innovation initiative to be launched in NITI Aayog in the name of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

  • Government committed to increasing access of people to the banking system

  • Universal social security system for all Indians, especially poor and disadvantaged sections

  • Atal Pension Yojna for economically disadvantaged

  • PPF and EPF corpus to be utilised for senior citizens’ welfare fund

  • Physical aids and assisting devices for physically challenged senior citizens

  • Main challenges: increasing agricultural production; increasing investment in infrastructure; with manufacturing declining, Make in India will create jobs; cooperative federalism

  • Agriculture credit targetted at Rs.8.5 lakh crore

  • Rural jobs scheme to get Rs.34,699 crore; Every poor to get a job

  • To work with NITI Aayog for creating a National Agricultural Market

  • Need well-targeted system for subsidies.

  • Direct transfer of subsidy to LPG consumers

  • Appeal to well-off consumers to surrender subsidised LPG connections

  • Organic farm schemes of agriculture ministry to be supported

  • ‘Per drop More crop’ scheme for better irrigation

  • Three achievements – Jan Dhan Yojna, coal auctions, Swachh Bharat

  • Two more gamechanging reforms: Goods and Services Tax, JAM trinity (Jan Dhan Yojna, Aadhar, Mobile number) to ensure transparency

  • Our achievement to conquer inflation, CPI inflation at five percent by year-end

  • GDP growth at 7.4 percent in 2014-15 and at 8-8.5 percent in 2015-16; double-digit growth feasible

  • We are in an economic environment far more positive than in the recent past

  • Undertaken several significant steps to energise the Indian economy in last nine months

  • India’s chance to fly

  • Budget proposals lay down roadmap for economic growth.

As ‘Jihadi John’ is unmasked, counter-terrorism tactics must also be unpicked

The man believed to be Mohammed Emwazi. PA

The man believed to be Mohammed Emwazi. PA

by Alan Greene, The Conversation

The unmasking of Islamic State militant “Jihadi John” as Mohammed Emwazi, a 26-year-old man from London, has raised new questions about the UK’s approach to counter-terrorism. As the media searches through his past for clues to explain how a “polite, mild-mannered young man” ended up as the chilling figure in horrific execution videos, it was revealed that Emwazi was known to security services before he left the UK.

It has been reported that Emwazi claimed he was harassed by security services to the point of filing a complaint with the Independent Police Complaints Commission over his treatment.

He had claimed that he was questioned by police in Tanzania when trying to travel there on holiday and was subsequently flown to the Netherlands, where he was interrogated by an MI5 agent. Upon returning to the UK, he said he was monitored by police and was prevented from leaving the country on several occasions.

He said that the surveillance and restrictions placed on him prevented him from finding work and damaged his relationships.

It should be noted that his claims may have been false or exaggerated. But they nevertheless serve to highlight the potential for counter-terrorist measures to have counterproductive effects – particularly if they target a specific minority group.

Heavy hand

The UK has past experience of counter-terrorist measures doing more harm than good. In Northern Ireland, at the height of the Troubles, tactics like the erosion of procedural rights, the use of arrest powers for information gathering purposes, and the use of internment without trial were deployed almost exclusively against Catholics.

Rather than helping in the fight against the IRA, this further strained the relationship between the security services in Northern Ireland and the Catholic minority, making some people more sympathetic to the IRA’s cause.

Today, David Anderson, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, is also aware of the damaging effects of counter-terrorist powers. When tentatively proposing the reintroduction of powers to relocate people placed under government control orders, he also stressed the need to assist those subject to a forced relocation to be helped to find work, training and housing.

Unfortunately, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act was subsequently passed in 2015, giving the government the power to relocate people, but without evidence of Anderson’s more holistic suggestions also being followed. People can therefore be moved away from their home and connections and be left to reconstruct their lives without assistance.

The UK is aware that terrorism cannot be defeated exclusively by locking up convicted or suspected terrorists or restricting their rights to liberty and privacy. This can be seen with the case of Brusthom Ziamani, a 19-year-old former Jehovah’s Witness and Muslim convert who was recently convicted of planning an attack similar to the murder of soldier Lee Rigby.

Prosecution and a prison sentence were the last resort for security services in this case. Prior to this, they had sought to enter Ziamini into the government’s PREVENT “de-radicalisation programme”. A difficulty with PREVENT, though, is that it operates in a way that requires trust between Muslim communities, and local authorities and the police. If this trust is damaged it can instead be seen as a vehicle for surveillance.

Good existing relationships between communities and public bodies therefore are vital. If these relationships are damaged, this strategy can run into difficulties. Take Project Champion in Birmingham, for example. This saw more than 200 security cameras set up in predominantly Muslim areas between 2010 and 2011 – leaving locals feeling victimised and threatening legal action. Breaches of trust like this may live long in the memories of communities.

No excuse

Of course, even if Emwazi felt ostracised and victimised, none of this condones, justifies or excuses his horrific actions. However, taking a heavy-handed approach causes problems for the people being monitored. And as much as we might rail against that resentment being used as justification for violence, we must also face up to the fact that it may simply not be productive for people to have their lives stunted by counter-terrorism efforts.

After appalling attacks such as the Charlie Hebdo murders in France, we must remember not to vilify an entire group of people. Indeed many, if not most of those most hurt by IS are Muslims themselves. Since 9/11, there has been a fivefold increase in deaths from terrorism and the Middle East is the area most affected.

We must be careful not to paint all individuals of a minority with the same brush when a terrorist attack happens or when one individual is named as a murderer. We must also realise that ostracising a minority group, while at the same time expecting them to “uphold British values”, is woefully contradictory.

Alan Greene is a Lecturer in Law at Durham University.

The Conversation

GDP in 2015-16 to be 8-8.5%; double-digit growth soon, says FM

Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said growth in the next financial year will rise to 8-8.5 per cent and clock double-digit level in the subsequent years.

“Growth in 2015-16 is expected to be between 8-8.5 per cent. Aiming for a double digit rate seems feasible very soon,” he said while presenting the Budget for 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha.

The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) has recently revised the base year for calculation of GDP growth to 2011-12. As per this, the economic growth rate in 2013-14 is estimated at 6.9 per cent and for 2014-15 at 7.4 per cent.

The Economic Survey had yesterday said that growth will receive a boost from the cumulative impact of reforms, lower oil prices, likely monetary policy easing facilitated by lower inflation, and forecasts of a normal monsoon in 2015-16.

The government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which assumed power in May last year, has initiated a slew of economic reforms, including de-regulation of diesel prices, raising FDI caps in several sectors, and direct transfer of LPG subsidy to beneficiaries.


13 Solapur Muslim men acquitted from terror charges after 12 years


Solapur: Thirteen persons, who were termed accused in a 2003 terror case under sections of Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), were acquitted by a session court here.

They were booked under the various sections of Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) in a 2003 terror case. However, it is an irony that they were absolved of all charges after undergoing 11 long year’s ordeal.

Solapur Session Court Judge N N Dhend acquitted all the 13 accused for want of evidence as they were arrested by Maharashtra police on August 8, 2003 on the charges of plotting to make crude bombs for explosion. Police had allegedly recovered a small amount of explosive material from some of the accused. Soon after their arrest, police had invoked sections of POTA in the case. All the accused were released on bail after spending six months behind bars. Police produced 62 witnesses in the case but prosecution examined only 14 of them. However, all the witnesses were declared hostile by the court.

It is to mention here that the previous UPA government had scrapped dreaded law POTA in 2004 but not with retrospective effect. Because of this, many innocents have been languishing in jails.

Those, who got absolved of all charges, are Farooq Tabeeb, Imaan Nadaf, Hamid Mulla, Mahboob Daula, Anwar Shaikh, Mansoor Shaikh, Ghulam Shaikh, Mudassir Shaikh, Ibrahim Momin, Mubin Shaikh, Yaqub Saudagar, Jabbar Shaikh, and Rahman Shaikh.

World Cup 2015: New Zealand beat Australia by one wicket


by Justin Goulding, BBC Sport

New Zealand survived a late collapse to beat Australia by one wicket in a thrilling World Cup Pool A game.

Chasing a meagre 152 to win, the Kiwis slipped from 131-4 to 146-9 as Mitchell Starc claimed 6-28.

However, Kane Williamson (45no) hit Pat Cummins for six to seal victory with 26.5 overs to spare in a wonderfully tense climax at Eden Park in Auckland.

Earlier, Australia lost eight wickets for 26 runs as they were bowled out for 151, with Trent Boult claiming 5-27.

New Zealand, who have won all four of their Pool A matches, need only one win from their remaining two group games – against Afghanistan and Bangladesh – to secure their place in the quarter-finals.

This was only the sixth one-wicket win in World Cup history, although such a slender margin of victory appeared unlikely in the extreme as Brendon McCullum flayed a 21-ball fifty to lead the Kiwi pursuit.

Even after he fell in the eighth over to spark a collapse of three wickets in five balls, few doubted the outcome.