Wednesday, October 21, 2015


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– Satnam Singh to Launch ACG-NBA Jump in Delhi on Oct. 26 –
– Top Player from the Program will Attend the NBA Development League
National Tryout in the United States –
MUMBAI, Oct. 21, 2015 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the ACG Worldwide Group (ACG) today announced the launch of ACG-NBA Jump, India’s first national basketball talent search program.  As part of the NBA and ACG’s commitment to grow basketball in India, the first-of-its-kind program will provide basketball players from around the country the opportunity to develop their skills.  One top player from the ACG-NBA Jump program will receive the opportunity to attend the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) National Tryout in the United States.  Satnam Singh, the first Indian-born player to be drafted into the NBA, will tip off the program at the Thyagraj Sports Complex in Delhi on Oct. 26.
“We strongly believe in the potential of India’s youth and believe in empowering them through sport,” said ACG Director Karan Singh.  “ACG-NBA Jump is an equal opportunity program for many who are talented but may not have the access.  This program is part of ACG Cares Foundation, and we are sure that with more programs like this, India’s basketball teams will have a richer talent pool to choose from.  With the help of such programs, we are confident that India’s performance on international platforms such as the Olympics and Asian Games will improve.  This initiative will also facilitate penetration of an active sport like basketball in far-flung regions of India and encourage the youth to take up basketball as a serious sporting option.”
“ACG-NBA Jump is the next step in our continued commitment to grow the game of basketball in India,” said NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco.  “With Sim Bhullar becoming the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA and Satnam Singh becoming the first Indian-born player to be drafted into the NBA, basketball playing youth in India now have relatable figures to look up to, and this program will give them the opportunity of a direct path to the professional ranks.”
ACG-NBA Jump will be broken up into three phases.  In the first phase, six regional, one-day elite camps will be held in six cities: Delhi, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.  The second phase will consist of a national elite training camp where 32 players selected from the six regional camps will assemble for a four-day training period.  In the third and final phase, one top player from the national elite training camp will be selected to attend the NBA D-League National Tryout in the United States for the opportunity to earn a spot on an NBA D-League roster.  The selected player will continue to undergo training up until the tryout in June 2016.
Sony SIX, the official broadcaster of the program, will create a feature around ACG-NBA Jump, following the program through its various stages and tracking the winner up until his NBA D-league tryout.
The NBA D-League is the NBA’s official minor league, serving to develop players, coaches, and front office executives.  Entering its 15th season, the NBA D-League features 19 teams in the U.S. and Canada, each of which is singly-affiliated with an NBA parent club.  An all-time high 38% of players on 2014-15 NBA end-of-season rosters had NBA D-League experience.
Visit to learn more about the program.  Fans can follow the NBA on Facebook ( and on Twitter (@NBAIndia) and download the NBA App for the latest news, updates, scores, stats, schedules, videos and more.

Two Chinese diplomats shot dead in Philippines

Two Chinese diplomats were killed and a third was injured in a gun attack at a restaurant in the central Philippine city of Cebu on Wednesday, police said.
The deputy consul and the finance officer for the Chinese consulate in Cebu were killed, and the consul general was wounded, national police spokesman Wilben Mayor told AFP in a text message.Two Chinese were arrested following the attack, one of whom is the husband of a diplomat at the consulate, Mayor said.The other person arrested was a woman who also worked at the embassy, according to Mayor.He said police retrieved a semi-automatic .45 Colt pistol from the scene.The attack occurred at 1:30pm (0530 GMT) at a popular Cebu restaurant that serves Filipino food.A spokeswoman at the Chinese embassy in Manila, Li Lingxiao, said she could not comment immediately.”Our embassy is still verifying the facts. We´ll update you as soon as I have anything new,” Li said in a text message to AFP.Philippine foreign ministry spokesman Charles Jose also said he had no comment, as authorities were still determining what happened. Media agencies

China-Australia FTA deal struck

Australia’s Opposition on Wednesday agreed with the government on terms which would allow the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to go ahead.Following a meeting between Labor senator Penny Wong and the government’s Trade Minister Andrew Robb on Tuesday evening, Labor’s caucus room approved the deal Wednesday morning, which now includes a number of small changes to Australia’s Migration Act.Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told the media on Wednesday that he was pleased to announce Labor’s backing of the FTA now that “legal protections” over Australian workers had been achieved.”Labor has stood up and expressed our concerns that there was insufficient legal safeguards and protections for Australian jobs, for Australian wages and conditions, for Australian skills and occupational licensing,” Shorten said.”Now Labor can now support the speedy passage of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.”
Under the Opposition’s requests, the Malcolm Turnbull government will make it mandatory for businesses to apply labor market testing to all new work agreements.Previously, the government indicated it would apply mandatory market testing to work worth in excess of 110 million U.S dollars.Labor indicated that this amendment gives Australian workers the first right to secure jobs before they are offered to overseas workers.Also, workers coming into Australia who require the temporary work visa 457 will now be required to be licensed in Australia (within 90 days of arrival) for the specific work they have been brought in for.Lastly, Labor requested that wages paid to workers gaining entry Australia because of the trade deal would be regulated and closely pegged to Australian standards so that the undercutting Australian wages would not occur.
Labor’s negotiator and shadow Trade Minister, Penny Wong, said that all three conditions would be “closely regulated” by the government at Labor’s request.”The package that we have agreed with the government has delivered legal safeguards in those three key areas.”
Trade Minister Andrew Robb said the government was “pleased” that the impasse had been resolved, adding that the agreement was a “very positive development” for Sino-Australian relations.”I’m pleased to say that today we’ve reached an agreement with the opposition that is consistent with the tradition of bipartisanship,” Robb told the media.”It’s a very positive development for the country.”This deal with China is the biggest series of concessions that they have made with any other developed country in the world. It gives us an advantage across services, across agriculture, across manufacturing, resources and energy and also, importantly, with investment, that no other country has got this level of advantage.
“For all sorts of reasons, this is a spectacular outcome. This will set Australia up for a wonderful future.”
Robb said he was extremely confident that China’s Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng would be satisfied with the progress of the FTA.”I have stayed in touch with the Chinese. I’ve taken the opportunity to informally run some of it past them and I’ve found that they were satisfied that it in no way halted what we’d agreed and it didn’t discriminate against them,” Robb said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised Robb as well as Penny Wong in Parliament on Wednesday, saying the FTA was “a deal that always had to be done.”Labor had previously threatened to block the FTA over its concerns that the agreement would negatively affect Australian jobs and workers’ rights, but the end of the stalemate paves the way for the necessary changes to be implemented before the end of the year.
Wong said the senate “understands the importance of passage prior to the end of this year,” and the government would be introducing the required bills into parliament before the end of Wednesday.Robb indicated that the first wave of tariff reductions would take place before the end of the year, with the second lot being removed on Jan. 1, 2016.Media agencies

Assad visited Moscow

Syrian President Bashar Assad visited Moscow on Tuesday for talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said here Wednesday.
“The President of Syria paid a working visit to Moscow on Oct. 20. Talks in narrow and expanded format with the participation of senior leadership of Russia were held in the Kremlin,” he said in a statement.
Putin said Russia is ready to cooperate with other world powers and countries in the region that are interested in a peaceful resolution to the conflict to provide support to the political settlement in Syria.
“We are ready to contribute as much as we can not only during the military action against terrorism, but also in the political process,” Putin said in a statement released on the Kremlin website.
He said Moscow believed that following positive dynamics of the military actions, a long-term solution to the Syria crisis can be achieved through a political process with the participation of all political forces, ethnic and religious groups.
“Of course, the Syrian people must have the final say,” Putin added.
Assad, for his part, thanked Russia for preventing the spread of terrorism in Syria to an even larger area and not allowing the situation develop into a more tragic scenario.
“I would like to thank the Russian people for the help that it has provided to our country, and to express the hope that we will secure a victory over terrorism and will continue to work together in order to rebuild the country economically, politically, and to guarantee peaceful coexistence of all,” Assad said.
Russia’s air force has been launching strikes against the Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups in Syria since Sept. 30 following a request by Assad.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said the air campaign has significantly diminished the military capacity of the IS and paved way for an offensive of the Syrian army, while Moscow has ruled out direct involvement of its troops in land operations.

Russia and United States sign deal

Russia and United States sign deal to avoid clashes between their air forces over Syrian skies<
Oct 21
Russia and United States have signed a deal that they hope will avoid clashes between their air forces in the skies over Syria, officials from both the countries said. Russian began air strikes in Syria on 30th of September, saying it was targeting Islamic State militants.
Last week, the US said both countries’ planes entered the same battle space and came within miles of each other. Officials had been seeking an agreement on the issue.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the text of the deal would remain secret at Moscow’s request, but that it laid out means for both sides to communicate and establish a hotline on the ground. The two countries would not, however, share intelligence on their targets.
Russia’s Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said the memorandum contains a number of rules and restrictions aimed at preventing incidents between American and Russian planes.

India and Russia discuss ways to boost their economic ties

Oct 21
India and Russia have discussed ways to boost their economic ties to achieve the target of 30 billion dollar in bilateral trade in the next 10 years. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin chaired the 21st India-Russia Inter-Governmental Consultations in Moscow Tuesday.
They also looked at ways to enhance mutual direct investment to 15 billion dollar by 2025. Both the sides identified various sectors to achieve the commercial targets, agreed upon by Prime Minister Narendra
Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin during their summit meeting last year. Officials said, India also reiterated its commitment to work towards having 12 Russian nuclear plants as was agreed between Modi and Putin.

India & Egypt to sign agreement on maritime transport

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval today for signing of an agreement between India and Egypt on Maritime Transport.
Recognizing the significant mutual benefit that can be derived from-cooperation in the area of shipping between the two countries, it has been decided to sign the Agreement with a view to strengthening cooperation and to render sustained mutual assistance and advice on merchant shipping and other related maritime matters.
The Agreement would be signed on a mutually convenient date and venue.
Signing of the Agreement will help, both countries to encourage and facilitate the development their maritime relationship and cooperate in the task of enhancing and stimulating steady growth of maritime traffic, exchange and training of staff and students from various maritime establishments, exchange-of information necessary for accelerating and facilitating the flow of commercial goods at sea and at ports, establishment of joint ventures in the fields of maritime transportation, shipbuilding and repairs, maritime training, information technology including development of simulators, port facilities and related maritime activities, etc.

Press Conference on India-Africa Trade Ministers’ Meet

Re: Press Conference on India-Africa Trade Ministers’ Meet
Dear Sir/Madam,
  The Minister of State (Independent Charge) Commerce and Industry Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, will brief the press regarding the India-Africa Trade Ministers’ Meeting 2015 as per the following programme:
Venue:  Roshnara Hall, Hotel Taj Palace, Sardar Patel Marg, New Delhi.
Date:   Friday, 23rd October,  2015
Time:   4.00 p.m.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met this evening with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said the following:
“Welcome to Jerusalem.
Your visit comes at a troubling time. In recent weeks Israelis have been deliberately run over, shot, stabbed and hacked to death, and in large part this is because President Abbas has joined ISIS and Hamas in claiming that Israel threatens the al-Aqsa mosque.
This, Mr. Secretary, is a total lie.
Israel vigorously protects the holy sites of all faiths. We keep the status quo.
The Palestinians, by contrast, are the ones who violate the status quo. Palestinians have brought explosives into al-Aqsa mosque. That’s a violation of the status quo.
They try violently to prevent Jews and Christians from visiting the Mount. That’s another violation of the status quo.
And, Mr. Secretary, they work to convince UNESCO to deny the Jewish people’s historic connection to the Western Wall.
These are the real threats to the status quo.
I believe it’s time to tell the truth about the causes of Palestinian terrorism.
It’s not the settlements.
It’s not the peace process.
It’s the desire to destroy the State of Israel, pure and simple.
President Abbas unfortunately has been fanning the flames.
He said on September 16th, just a few days ago, that he welcomes “every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem….” That’s a quote.
President Abbas has not condemned a single one of the 30 terrorist attacks on Israelis over the last month.
And he continues to glorify terrorists as heroes.
In the face of this terrorism Israel is acting as any democracy would to defend its citizens.
We are not, I repeat, we are not using excessive force.
Now, if the international community truly wants to help end the bloodshed and the violence, I believe it must affirm Israel’s proven commitment to the status quo on the Temple Mount, it must support Israel’s right to self-defense, and it must hold President Abbas accountable for his dangerous words.
Mr. Secretary, these are pressing subjects. I look forward to discussing them with you, how we can restore calm and reconciliation and security. That is important and that is the order of the day.
I welcome you here in Jerusalem. I look forward to our discussions.”
Photo: Kobi Gideon, GPO
The Prime Minister of Israel's photo.

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