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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday expelled its Uttarakhand MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion from the party for six years. The expulsion came a week after a video of him dancing while brandishing guns was widely shared on social media.

The party said it had taken note of the lawmaker’s indiscipline. Party spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni said the saffron party had also taken note of Champion’s continuous public misconduct. Champion had been sent a showcause notice by the state leaders after the video surfaced.

“Since his reply was not satisfactory as per our disciplinary committee, he has been expelled from the party for six years,” ANI quoted Baluni as saying.

Singh had earlier tried to justify his actions in the video, saying that the weapons were not loaded and that he had a licence for them. “This is a conspiracy,” NDTV quoted him as saying. “They are licensed weapons and not loaded. I am not pointing towards anyone or threatening anyone. What’s the crime? Is drinking alcohol and keeping a licensed gun a crime?”

Last week, Champion’s gun licence had been revoked after the video triggered controversy. Singh had already been suspended by the saffron party for three months on disciplinary grounds after he had allegedly misbehaved with journalists in June.

...

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Nine people were killed and at least 19 injured in firing over a land dispute in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. Five people, including two nephews of the village head, have been arrested, Director General of Police OP Singh told ANI.

The injured have been taken to hospital, and some of them are said to be in critical condition. “The sub-divisional magistrate and the superintendent of police are on the spot,” District Magistrate Ankit Kumar Agarwal told News18.

The police said the incident took place when Ubha village head Ek Dutt had gone to take possession of the land that he had purchased two years ago. Villagers gathered at the spot and started to protest. Dutt and his supporters allegedly opened fire on the victims.

Director General of Police Singh said the dispute was related to 90 bighas bought by the village head from an IAS officer. “When the village head started work on the land he had bought, he was confronted by some villagers, which led to a tiff between the two sides,” Singh told News18. “A clash then took place and several people were killed.”

Chief Minister Adityanath offered his condolences to the families of the deceased. The CM’s Office said Adityanath has directed the police chief to personally...

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Anish Bhanwala on Wednesday claimed the gold medal in 25m rapid fire pistol competition to continue India’s dominance in the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany. Bhanwala topped the qualification with 584 and shot 29 in the final to finish on top of the podium.

There were two other Indians in the final – Adarsh Singh, who came fourth with a score of 17, while Agneya Kaushik finished sixth with nine points.

Russian Egor Ismakov won the silver medal in the event with 23, while Florian Peter of Germany bagged bronze with 19. India have so far won eight gold, seven silver and three bronze medals in the tournament.

...

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The Committee of Administrators running Indian cricket has tasked the Kapil Dev-led ad-hoc committee to pick the next national coach, a move that could again divide the Supreme Court-appointed panel.

The ad-hoc body comprising former India captain Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy had earlier appointed WV Raman as the Indian women’s team coach in December.

One of the members has confirmed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India has approached them to pick the men’s head coach as well.

Back then, the CoA was a two-member panel – comprising chairman Vinod Rai and former India captain Diana Edulji, who had called the women’s coach selection process unconstitutional.

She had asserted that only the Cricket Advisory Committee was empowered to do so. CoA is now a three-member body with the appointment of Lt General Ravi Thodge in February.

But with serious doubts over the future of CAC – comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman – the CoA thought it was prudent to hand the responsibility to the ad-hoc panel.

While Tendulkar has been cleared of conflict of interest charges, Ganguly and Laxman have been asked to choose one out of their multiple cricketing roles as per the BCCI constitution. The CoA, however, is yet to take a call...

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After taking their grievances to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asking him to conduct a probe on All India Football Federation over their functioning on the matter of the domestic league structure of Indian football, six I-League clubs have now decided to write to Asian Football Confederation and Fifa before approaching the courts.

Representatives of the six clubs – Churchill Brothers, Minerva Punjab, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Aizawl FC, and Gokulam Kerala – met in New Delhi on Tuesday and came to a conclusion that it was better to notify the issue to the parent football bodies before moving to court.

AIFF President Praful Patel said during their meeting early July that he would recommend the AFC to let the I-League and the Indian Super League run concurrently for another 2-3 years before implementing a potential merger.

Read - I-League club’s proposed roadmap suggests they’re unsure about Praful Patel’s narrative

That was further discussed during the AIFF Executive Committee meeting, who requested to AFC to solve the issue, but also requested the Asian body to “positively consider” ISL’s request to grant it the AFC Champions League playoff slot, that has been reserved for the I-League winners so far.

Moreover, the AIFF has not communicated with the clubs ever since the Executive Committee meeting...

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The Karnataka unit of the Congress on Wednesday criticised the Supreme Court’s order on the rebel MLAs, calling it a “bad judgement” that seemed to protect the “defectors” and encourage horse-trading. The Supreme Court had earlier in the day said that the 15 rebel legislators from the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) cannot be compelled to take part in the floor test on Thursday.

“Supreme Court order seems perfectly coordinated to help the rebel MLAs to violate the whip,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief Dinesh Gundu Rao tweeted. “It has set a wrong precedent as the value of the Whip as per 10th schedule of the Constitution is now redundant. An extraordinary order indeed!!!”

“The #SupremeCourt verdict is now encroaching upon the rights of the Legislature,” Rao added. “This is a bad judgement which seems to protect the defectors and encourages horse trading and also violating the doctrine of separation of powers.”

Supreme Court order seems perfectly coordinated to help the rebel MLA’s to violate the whip.

It has set a wrong precedent as the value of the Whip as per 10th schedule of the constitution is now redundant.

An extraordinary order indeed!!! https://t.co/KE0pn8b2ZF

— Dinesh Gundu Rao / ದಿನೇಶ್ ಗುಂಡೂರಾವ್ (@dineshgrao) July 17, 2019

The #SupremeCourt verdict is now encroaching upon the rights of...

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Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis thinks that his side’s senior Pakistan players are guilty of stretching their careers despite being well past their prime.

Waqar urged the Pakistan Cricket Board to make no compromises on fitness and form to avoid a debacle like the just-concluded World Cup. Sarfaraz Ahmed and Co were knocked out in the round-robin stage, and the tournament ended with hosts England winning the title in thrilling fashion on Sunday.

“Till the last moment, our World Cup squad was not clear,” Waqar said in an interview to Daily Jang. “There is a big problem that senior players try to linger on in their careers and there is no one to tell them it is time for them to retire gracefully.”

He added, “For the last so many years, we see the same thing. At the last moment, seniors are brought in as the authorities are scared to lose in a big tournament.”

Lashing out at those defending Pakistan’s performance in the World Cup on the basis of the fact that the team won its last four matches, Waqar argued that the team should never have been in such a position.

“The way we struggled to win against Afghanistan in the final over – it should...

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Bidding to make the sport safer, the International Cricket Council might introduce concussion substitutes during next month’s Ashes series before implementing it across all formats.

Introducing concussion substitutes has been a major bone of contention for the ICC since the tragic death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes, who was struck on the head by a ball during a Sheffield Shield match in November 2014.

According to an espncricinfo report, the issue is on the agenda at the ongoing ICC annual conference in London and changes to playing conditions are likely to be approved and implemented quickly, so that all matches played in the World Test Championship, beginning Ashes series, will have the same safety protocols in place.

Hughes’ untimely death prompted the ICC affiliates to work on raising awareness about the short and long-term effects of a concussion.

In 2017, the ICC had started concussion substitutes in domestic cricket on a two-year trial basis.

Cricket Australia introduced concussion substitutes for their men’s and women’s domestic one-day cups and the BBL and Women’s BBL for the 2016-17 season.

But CA had to wait for the ICC’s approval till May 2017 before they could introduce it to the Sheffield Shield the following year and maintain the competition’s first-class status.

During Sri Lanka’s Test tour of Australia earlier this...

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5.30 pm: India has contended before the Hague court that this is a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Article 36 of which says that consular officers have the right to visit a national of their country who is detained or taken into custody in on foreign shores “to converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation”.

5.29 pm: India maintains that Jadhav, a former naval officer, was working on his private business in Iran when he was kidnapped by Pakistan.

5.28 pm: Pakistan has repeatedly denied India access to Jadhav. The latest was on April 6 when Pakistan said India’s request for consular access to Jadhav was “not appropriate” at this point because a verdict on his case is pending at the International Court of Justice.

5.27 pm: On February 20, India had delivered its final arguments in the case before ICJ. Indian counsel Harish Salve had said that Jadhav has become a pawn in Pakistan tool to divert international scrutiny from itself. He then referred to the terror attack in Pulwama on February 14 that killed at least 40 CRPF personnel.

4.41 pm: “I am hopeful that Jadhav will be freed soon,” Vandana Tulsidas Pawar, another friend of Jadhav says. “Pakistan is a liar. We have...

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Bali is purring loudly. She looks at me with huge green eyes. She is not my cat. Rather, she is the fifth floor cat. There are three of us on the fifth floor. Ginny Kalra across and the Mudgaonkars on the other side. The flat next to mine is mostly locked up. Someone comes and goes for sure but in my one year here I have never seen that person. Sometimes I can hear the shower running and sometimes a muffled voice. The wall between our flats is only five inches thick. I can tap tap and hear an answering tap tap. Sometimes I wish Ginny Kalra lived in that apartment. Then we could talk in Morse code in the night.

Ginny Kalra is an air hostess. She has been here much longer than me. She flies to New York and Stockholm and Rio and Vegas. When she is in town, we spend a lot of time together. She is very tall, fair and slim as a reed with blonde streaks in her short cropped hair.

We sit and drink wine from small bottles bought from duty free shops and laugh a lot. She gets funny stuff for me. Perfumes and toiletries that...

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