Everything will be decided by evening: Eshwarappa, Ashok, Shettar Bangalore Beat Bureau Bangalore: Three prominent leaders from the BJP met the central observers and discussed ways for smooth transition of power today. BJP state president K S Eshwarappa, home and transport minister R Ashok and rural development and panchayat raj minister Jagadish Shettar met BJP former national president Rajnath Singh and national general secretary Arun Jaitley today at Hotel Ashok after chief minister B S Yeddyurappa early morning meeting. After the meeting, they said, “All issues concerning the change in leadership would be resolved by this evening. There is no question of splitting the party. It is just a creation of the media.” They said, “All the legislators and MPs from the state are united. Ours is a disciplined party and we will adhere to the decisions taken by the BJP Parliamentary Board. Yeddyurappa has not put any conditions to relinquish his post. He has only sought time till tomorrow till amavasya gets over. It is not in the culture of our party to put conditions” “Yeddyurappa is a disciplined soldier of the party. He will not go against the decision of the party parliamentary board,” they added. “The high command will not yield to the pressure of anyone while deciding the next leader of the legislature. No MLA will go against the party central leadership’s decision. We will all go by that. There is no dissidence within the party. Central observers will meet legislators individually, hear the opinions and then take a decision,” they said. “There is no question of showing the strength of different groups. We are all united and work for the welfare of the party,” they added. All supporters of the Reddy brothers’ camp met at the residence of tourism minister Janardhana Reddy and discussed the next course of action. Revenue minister Karunakara Reddy, health minister B Sriramulu, MLAs Somashekar Reddy, B Nagendra and T Suresh Babu, Raichur MP Sanna Phakirappa and Bellary MP J Shanta took part. In other part of the city, 11 MLAs, who had been allowed to attend the assembly after their disqualification by speaker K G Bopaiah, held a meeting at a private hotel. They met the central observers after the meeting and told them that they stood by the decision of the high command. The meeting was led by Balachandra Jarkiholi, Belur Gopalakrishna, Y Sampangi, Anand Asnotikar, Nagaraj, Nanjundaswamy and others.
Boos from the Trent Bridge crowd motivated me: Sreesanth Nottingham: Indian paceman S Sreesanth has the English crowd to thank for his sparkling performance in the first England innings with the temperamental bowler saying that the boos he got from the spectators fired him up. Sreesanth, while bowling in his second spell, irked the crowd when he claimed to have caught Ian Bell but actually the ball had landed in his hand after one bounce. At that time he had already dismissed Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen and went on to add the wicket of Matt Prior despite repeated chants of ‘cheat’.. ‘cheat’ from the crowd. Seesanth (3/77) has made a comeback to the Test team in place of injured Zaheer Khan and wreaked havoc with his pace colleagues Praveen Kumar (3/45) and Ishant Sharma (3/66) in the cloudy conditions as India bowled England out for 221. “You leave me alone and I might do something else but when you say I can’t do it, I do my very best, indeed better than the best. Thanks to them (crowd) for cheering me up,” said the fiery right-arm pacer. Sreesanth credit his stint with Warwickshire last year for his improvement as a fast bowler. “Those four months with Warwickshire really helped me. (Warwickshire coach) Allan Donald worked with me. I used to try and do a lot of things. I used to bowl out-swingers but he taught me to bring the ball in. A few little things like where to bowl, how to bowl, observe the stance of a batsman. Those 3-4 months in county cricket surely helped me,” he said. The Kerala speedster feels that he has now matured as a bowler. “I just kept it simple. Since the wicket was doing it, I just had to hit the seam. It isn’t as if I quickly learnt to bowl the English length. For a fast bowler, it is important to hit the right area right length,” Sreesanth said. Talking about dangerman Pietersen’s wicket, Sreesanth said that he initially tried to fox the batsman with bouncers which didn’t work but was happy to get his wicket eventually. “Pietersen is not exactly comfortable against bouncers. It was part of our plan. I first tried slower and then faster bouncers but both went for boundaries. It was still nice to get him out and thankfully, I had the last laugh at the end of the day,” he said. He also wasn’t too upset that England managed to stage a recovery from a precarious position through the 73-run ninth-wicket stand between Stuart Broad (64) and Graeme Swann (28). “We knew one partnership would surely come. Broad went after us and took his chances. There were couple of chances but he got away with it. It’s good England is fighting and it should be a good game,” Sreesanth said. Sreesanth termed the Trent Bridge track as a bowler-friendly wicket. “It’s going to be a good wicket. It surely is swinging but the credit has to go to bowlers. If you bowl badly the batsmen will score runs.” PTI
Praveen fined for arguing with on-field umpire Nottingham: Indian pacer Praveen Kumar has has been fined 20 per cent of his match fee for arguing with the umpire after his LBW appeal against England batsman Kevin Pietersen was turned down during the ongoing second cricket Test here. According to an ICC statement, Praveen was found to have breached Article 2.1.3 of the Code of Conduct which relates to arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the umpire about his decision. After conclusion of the first day's play on Friday, Praveen admitted the offence and accepted the proposed sanction offered to him by ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle. The charge had been laid by on-field umpires Asad Rauf and Marais Erasmus and third umpire Billy Bowden as well as fourth umpire Tim Robinson. The charge relates to an incident at the end of the 18th over of the day during which Praveen had an LBW appeal against England Kevin Pietersen turned down and at the end of the over he then engaged in a debate with umpire Erasmus about the decision. PTIÂ Â
US in talks with India over oil payment to Iran Washington: The US is in talks with India over the issue of payment of billions of dollars in oil bills to Iran by New Delhi without being affected by American sanctions, a top State Department official has said. “We are working with the Indians to resolve the situation. There are, we believe, options available that will help them do that that would not trigger sanctions,” state department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on yesterday. “But beyond that, I can’t really comment,” he said replying to a question about India planning to pay billions of dollars to Iran in unpaid crude oil purchases through Turkey. “I’m just saying we’re discussing options with India that will help resolve it,” he said. Iran is India’s second biggest supplier for crude after Saudi Arabia, exporting about 400,000 barrels per day or 12 per cent of the country’s needs in trade worth some $12 billion a year. In July last year, the US imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Iran aimed at scuttling its oil and gas industries. It placed prohibitive restrictions on banking and foreign exchange transactions with Iranian banks and other financial institutions. PTI
Obama blames growing demand in India, China for rising gas prices Washington: Blaming growing demand for oil in countries like China and India for rising gas prices, President Barack Obama has unveiled a plan to improve the fuel efficiency of US vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. “For the last few months, gas prices have just been killing folks at the pump,” he told auto industry executives Friday at an event here announcing new auto fuel-economy standards beginning in 2017. “For decades, we’ve left our economy vulnerable to increases in the price of oil. And with the demand for oil going up in countries like China and India, the problem is only getting worse,” Obama said. “The demand for oil is inexorably rising far faster than supply. And that means prices will keep going up unless we do something about our own dependence on oil. That’s the reality,” he said. The new pact builds on an agreement the government and car companies struck two years ago that mandated a sharp rise in gas mileage for cars and light trucks from model years 2012 to 2016. The plan has the backing of auto companies like Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo, which the White House said account for over 90 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States. “This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we’ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said. Yesterday’s announcement extends a 2009 agreement with the auto industry to improve fuel efficiency in the next five years. The event included a display of recent models, including the all-electric Nissan Leaf and various hybrid options, which have “benefited from that standard,” he said.
Central leaders collect opinions of legislators Bangalore Beat Bureau Bangalore: BJP central observers, who have arrived here to force chief minister B S Yeddyurappa out of his seat, are collecting opinion of legislators on the new leader. Former BJP national president Rajnath Singh and party general secretary Arun Jaitley today met the legislators at the party office. By 12 noon, more than 40 MLAs had met the two leaders. Party sources told Bangalore Beat that by evening, the process would be completed. BJP state president K S Eshwarappa has instructed all party legislators to meet the leaders and give their opinion. But majority of the legislators did not accept the decision of the observers to collect their choice of leader. They collectively said that Yeddyurappa should first resign, and only then would they air their opinion. They want a discussion to be held with all the legislators together where they will select the next chief minister. After the consultation, the two leaders would announce the successor to Yeddyurappa, may be tomorrow. Though the decision would have been taken by then, it would be announced only after the incumbent chief minister announces his resignation. Yeddyurappa has been waiting for the “inauspicious” Ashada month to get over tomorrow to give his resignation. Some legislators also wanted the high command to first collect the resignation of Yeddyurappa before proceeding further. Ashwath Narayan, Arvind Limbavali, S Raghu, Ravi Subramaniam, Vijay Kumar and others are from this group. Forty of them however still supported Yeddyurappa’s continuation as CM and said they would not come out with their opinion till he sent in the resignation. Renukacharya, S R Vishwanath, Nandish Reddy, Satish Reddy and other prominent leaders belonged to this section of leaders.
BJP high command has no control: Siddu Bangalore Beat Bureau Bangalore: The BJP high command does not have any control over the state party unit. Chief minister B S Yeddyruappa is controlling the central leadership. He has the remote control in his hand, alleged assembly opposition leader Siddaramaiah here this morning. Though the BJP high command has asked him to go, Yeddyurappa has remained stubborn and is challenging the leadership by putting conditions before them. This shows that the high command does not have any control over the party. If the high drama continues, the Congress will meet governor H R Bhardwaj and request him to dismiss the government and seek Yeddyurappa’s resignation, he said. “The governor as a competent authority has the powers to act on the Lokyaukta report if the government fails to act on the recommendations made by Justice Santosh Hegde. The Lokayukta has recommended the prosecution of the chief minister. Yeddyurappa is scared now that he may land in jail for his involvement in illegal mining cases,” he said. The Congress will hold statewide agitations in different phases against the corrupt BJP government and its chief minister. We will continue to put pressure on the chief minister to step down, he added.
UNVA is open for business and classes being held as scheduled Washington: A day after authorities in the US raided its offices on charges of fraud, the University of Northern Virginia has said that it is open for business and classes are being held as scheduled. In a statement, the University said it’s in compliance with both federal and state authorities since it opened its doors in 1998. “We plan to continue our history and we are in full co-operation with all authorities involved,” it said. Dozens of officials, from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), entered the Annandale campus of the university on Thursday and took away with them number of boxes full of documents and computer hard drives from its administrative division. “Officials from ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) served UNVA with a Notice of Intent to Withdraw (NOIW) UNVA’s authorisation to admit foreign students,” ICE spokeswoman Cori W Bassett in a statement on Thursday. “Yesterday at about 9:30 am agents from ICE, SEVP, and other federal agencies arrived at UNVA to serve and execute a search and seizure warrant. We want to provide as much information here as we can to dispel rumours,” the university said in a statement. “Most importantly, we want to emphasise that UNVA is open for business, classes are being held as scheduled, and as long as students attend classes as required they will continue to remain in status,” it said. Based in Annandale, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, the university is believed to have 2,400 students of which 90 per cent are from India, with an overwhelming majority said to be from Andhra Pradesh. The university says it is certified to operate in Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and is accredited by the American University Accreditation Council (AUAC); besides being authorised by the US Government to enroll non-immigrant alien students. “The warrant included many items such as computers hardware, equipment and paper documents which were all subsequently taken into government control. We were told that they would be returned early next week after they are copied. Until then, UNVA staff will not have full access to their computer systems or filed including email. UNVA access to SEVIS and other immigration related systems are limited as well,” the University statement said. The University said that its students are expected to attend classes, and international students who fail to attend are jeopardizing their stay in the US. “Faculty members will be present to conduct their classes as scheduled and will do so normally, despite the seizure of some teaching materials,” it said. It also urged its students to stay away from rumour. “Regarding this incident, students should give the most credulity to communication from government authorities and from UNVA administration,” the statement said. PTI
US warns Indian students about ‘predatory visa fraud rings’ Washington: As another US university came under the scanner, the United States asked Indian students to be alert to the existence of “predatory visa fraud rings and fraudulent document vendors.” “We are looking into this matter, we’re following the case closely, and we’re in communication with the Government of India officials on it,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said yesterday, a day after a raid on the University of Northern Virginia. Based in Annandale, a Washington suburb, the unaccredited, for-profit private university has some 2,400 students of which 90 percent are from India, mostly from Andhra Pradesh, registered at three locations in northern Virginia. The US embassy in New Delhi has briefed the Ministry of External Affairs and the US Department of Homeland Security and the State Department have been in contact with the Indian embassy here, Toner said. Declining to give details as an investigation is ongoing, the spokesman said “it’s important to note that a hundred thousand Indians are receiving a good education at certified US institutions each year, and we certainly welcome the contribution of Indian students wishing to study in the United States.” “And of course, as always, we caution them to be alert to the existence of these so-called predatory visa fraud rings and fraudulent document vendors,” he said. Asked how US consulates or embassies in India issued visas for study at such institutions, Toner again declined comment in view of “an ongoing investigation”. “They’ve taken action against this school, and we’re in close coordination with the Indian government as we move forward. But beyond that, I don’t want to comment on details,” he said. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has warned the Northern Virginia University that it could withdraw the school’s authorisation to admit foreign students. Agency spokesperson Cori Bassett, however, would not say why the action was taken, saying it is part of a pending investigation. The school remains open and certified and will have the chance to rebut the government’s allegations. IANS