Monday, March 5, 2018

China warns Taiwan

China said on Monday that it would never tolerate any separatist schemes for self-ruled Taiwan and would safeguard China’s territorial integrity with the aim of“reunification” with an island it considers its sacred territory.
Premier Li Keqiang issued the warning in a speech at the opening of the annual session of China’s parliament, his stern words coming amid mounting Chinese anger over a US bill that seeks to raise official contacts between Washington and Taipei.
On Friday, China said Taiwan would only get burnt if it sought to rely on foreigners, adding to the warnings from state media about the risk of war.
The US legislation, which only needs President Donald Trump’s signature to become law, says it should be US policy to allow officials at all levels to travel to Taiwan to meet their counterparts, permit high-level Taiwan officials to enter the United States “under respectful conditions” and meet US officials.
In his address to the largely rubber-stamp assembly, Li said China would promote the peaceful growth of relations across the Taiwan Strait and “advance China’s peaceful reunification”.
“We will remain firm in safeguarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will never tolerate any separatist schemes or activities for Taiwan independence,” Li said, to applause from the 3,000-odd legislators at the Great Hall of the People.
“As fellow Chinese living on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, we share a bond of kinship. As long as we go with the tide of history and work together for our nation’s greater good, we will together create the future — a beautiful future of national rejuvenation.”
Taiwan’s China policy-making Mainland Affairs Council said it could not immediately comment.
Democratic Taiwan has shown no interest in being run by mainland China.

Best actress Oscar goes to ‘Three Billboards’ star Frances McDormand

The OSCARS, 2018: 90 the Academy award Best Actor goes to Gary Oldman for Darkest hour. Best Actress Frances McDonald Guillermo del Toro wins best director award for ‘The Shape of Water.Nolan’s Dunkirk win 3 Oscars.Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney win support.
Frances McDormand goes eclectic on Sunday for her the Oscar for best actress for her role as a rage-filled woman seeking answers over her daughter’s murder in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
“I’m hyperventilating a little bit. If I fall over pick me up cause I’ve got some things to say,” she said. “I want to thank Martin McDonagh look what you did. We are a bunch of hooligans and anarchists but we do clean up nice.”
McDormand, who won her second Oscar after her performance in Fargo placed her statuette on the stage and dedicated the prize to all female nominees, across categories.
“If I may be so honoured to have all the female nominees stand with me in this room tonight. The film-makers the producers the directors, the writers, the cinematographers, the songwirters, the designers,” she said as many women in the audience got to their feet.
She bested Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) and Meryl Streep (The Post).
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri also won the award for best supporting actor, which went to Sam Rockwell for his acclaimed turn as a racist, violent police officer in the film.

RBI releases Priority Sector Lending

RBI releases Priority Sector Lending-Targets and Classification

This is in reference to the revised priority sector guidelines issued to banks vide FIDD.CO.Plan.BC.54/04.09.01/2014-15 circular dated April 23, 2015 by RBI. It was stipulated therein under Para (II) (i) that the sub-targets for lending to small and marginal farmers and micro enterprises shall be made applicable for foreign banks with 20 branches and above, post 2018 after a review in 2017.
Accordingly, after undertaking a review of the priority sector lending profile of the above banks and to create a level-playing field within banks, it has been decided by RBI that the sub-target of 8 percent of Adjusted Net Bank Credit (ANBC) or Credit Equivalent Amount of Off-Balance Sheet Exposure (CEOBE), whichever is higher, shall become applicable for the foreign banks with 20 branches and above, for lending to the small and marginal farmers from FY 2018-19. Further, the sub-target of 7.50 percent of ANBC or CEOBE, whichever is higher, for bank lending to the Micro Enterprises shall also become applicable for the foreign banks with 20 branches and above from FY 2018-19.
Additionally, in the light of feedback received from various stakeholders and in line with the increasing importance of services sector in our economy, it has been decided by RBI to remove the currently applicable loan limits of Rs 5 crore and Rs 10 crore per borrower to Micro/ Small and Medium Enterprises (Services) respectively, for classification under priority sectorAccordingly, all bank loans to MSMEs, engaged in providing or rendering of services as defined in terms of investment in equipment under MSMED Act, 2006, shall qualify under priority sector without any credit cap.

Quake of M6.0 – NEW GUINEA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Nearly 67 people were killed by a major earthquake that devastated Papua New Guinea’s remote highlands last week, the Red Cross said Monday, with thousands homeless and without food and clean water.
Terrified locals in the Southern Highlands, Western, Enga and Hela provinces have also had to deal with strong aftershocks, including two 6.0-magnitude tremors early Monday.
Compounding the fallout was an announcement Monday that the impoverished country’s biggest-ever development — the PNG LNG project operated by US energy giant ExxonMobil — will be offline for up to eight weeks as the quake-hit facilities undergo repairs.
National Disaster Centre and disaster management teams on Friday is 67,” the PNG country head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Udaya Regmi told AFP from the capital Port Moresby.
“Around 143,000 people are affected and 17,000 people have been generally displaced because their homes are either fully or partially damaged and not in a condition to live in.”
Regmi added that water and sanitation were major concerns for local communities, with relief workers unable to get bigger trucks carrying food through to some areas because of damage to roads by landslides.
Relief efforts are slowly being ramped up, with millions of dollars in aid pledged by the government, ExxonMobil and the Australian energy producers, Oil Search and Santos, involved in the gas project.
The Australian and New Zealand defence forces have began delivering aid, while the China Red Cross and Beijing have pledged financial assistance, according to the PNG Post-Courier.
Oil Search managing director Peter Botten, who travelled to the Highlands to survey the damage, said the impact “has been enormous, with many deaths in the region as well as the destruction of houses, schools, roads and bridges”.
“Many communities are without basic necessities, such as food, clean water, shelter and medical support.”
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said last week the shutdown of the gas plant would have a “huge impact” on the economy, which is heavily dependent on its natural resources.
ExxonMobil PNG managing director Andrew Barry said production at the US$19 billion project would be restored as quickly as possible, adding that it was an “unprecedented event for the country” and the firm.
Preliminary Earthquake Report
Magnitude6.0
Date-Time
  • 4 Mar 2018 14:33:22 UTC
  • 5 Mar 2018 00:33:22 near epicenter
  • 4 Mar 2018 18:33:22 standard time in your timezone
Location6.063S 142.733E
Depth16 km
Distances
  • 151 km (94 miles) ENE (68 degrees) of Lake Murray, New Guinea, PNG
  • 170 km (106 miles) W (261 degrees) of Mount Hagen, New Guinea, PNG
  • 269 km (167 miles) E (88 degrees) of Tanahmerah, Irian Jaya, Indonesia
  • 453 km (281 miles) SSE (150 degrees) of Jayapura, Irian Jaya, Indonesia
  • 621 km (386 miles) NW (307 degrees) of PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea

Shubhankar Sharma posts creditable tied ninth at WGC –Mexico Championship  

Shubhankar Sharma posts creditable tied ninth at WGC – Mexico Championship

Twenty-one-year-old climbs nine places to 66 in world ranking after posting top-10 at first PGA Tour and WGC appearance

March 5, 2018: Twenty-one-year-old Indian sensation Shubhankar Sharma, playing his first PGA Tour and WGC event at the US$ 10 million WGC – Mexico Championship in Mexico City, posted a creditable tied ninth finish.
With his top-10 finish at the event that featured an elite field of 64 and the who’s who of international golf, the European Tour and Asian Tour Order of Merit leader has now moved up from 75 to 66 in the world rankings.
Shubhankar (65-66-69-74), a two-time European Tour winner, became the talk of the golfing world after emerging as the solo leader after 36 and 54 holes.
Sharma led by two shots going into the final round with the chasing pack consisting of the world’s best such as Major winners Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas.
At the start of round four, the Chandigarh lad was on the cusp of creating history as he looked to conquer uncharted territory by achieving the biggest win by an Indian golfer in terms of prize money earned (US$ 1,660,000), stature of the event (only second to the Majors) and world ranking points earned.
However, as the putts didn’t roll in for him on the final day, Shubhankar posted a three-over-74 to end the week in tied ninth with a total score of 10-under-274. He made four bogeys on the last six holes.
American star Phil Mickelson (66), playing alongside Shubhankar in the leader group, went on to win the tournament after defeating compatriot Justin Thomas (64) in a playoff. Mickelson and Thomas were tied at the top with totals of 16-under-268 after the regulation 72 holes.
Shubhankar now returns home to India for this week’s Indian Open, a tournament co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.

Mithun Perera wins Chennai Open 2018,

Mithun Perera ends winless streak at Chennai Open 2018, posts tenacious 70 to come through; Climbs to second on PGTI Order of Merit 
Digvijay Singh cards day’s best 62 to finish joint second with Mukesh Kumar 
Chennai, March 4, 2018: Sri Lankan Mithun Perera ended a four-year winless streak with his hard-earned one-shot victory at the Rs. 30 lakh Chennai Open 2018 Golf Championship at the Madras Gymkhana Club Golf Annexe in Guindy on Sunday.
Perera, the overnight leader by three shots, came up with a tenacious even-par-70 in the final round to sign off with a winning total of 14-under-266.
Gurgaon-based Digvijay Singh posted the day’s best score, a scorching eight-under-62, to finish joint runner-up at 13-under-267 along with Mukesh Kumar (66) of Mhow, the winner of the last edition of the Chennai Open.
Mithun Perera (68-63-65-70) had an unexpectedly quiet final day as he managed only two birdies and two bogeys. But the 31-year-old came through after his closest rival, good friend and compatriot N Thangaraja’s (61-70-68-69) challenge faded away on the back-nine.
There was a four-shot swing against Mithun and in favour of Thanga over the first five holes that gave the latter a one-shot lead. But Perera played some solid golf that kept him on course even as Thanga made a bunch of errors to drop four shots from the 14th to the 16th. Mithun was back in the lead from the 15th onwards and saw it home despite a bogey on the 17th.
Perera, who bagged his sixth title on the PGTI, said, “I was really hungry to win and break my victory drought. This means a lot for me. My family has supported me throughout my lean phase and so have my sponsors. I thank them all for backing me through all these years.
“I had a shaky start today. But I played my normal game even after Thanga went in the lead. I kept in touch with the lead with a long birdie conversion on the ninth and a tap-in birdie on the 12th. I then got a little lucky when Thanga opened the door for me with that poor second shot on the 14th that rolled into the bunker and led to a bogey for him.
“Thereafter, my confidence was sky-high as I knew Thanga had literally given away the match after having a firm hold on it. I then just had one blemish on the 17th but kept my nerve to come through at the end.
“The week’s been fantastic as far as my hitting is concerned. I’ve been accurate off the tee and with the approaches. I’ve also kept the errors out having dropped just three bogeys all week. It’s a huge confidence-booster going ahead. I must add that I really enjoyed the conditions here at the MGC in Chennai as they were quite similar to my home town Colombo,” added Mithun, who took home a cheque of Rs. 4,84,950 and thus climbed from 21st position to second place on the PGTI Order of Merit.
Digvijay Singh (70-66-69-62) returned a sublime 62, the best score of the day, to climb 11 places from overnight tied 13th to tied second. Digvijay, a former Asian Tour winner, put together an eagle and seven birdies at the cost of a bogey.
Joining Digvijay in tied second was Mukesh Kumar (66-66-69-66), who had won at the MGC on the last three occasions. Mukesh worked his way up from overnight tied fourth after making an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys on Sunday at one of his favourite venues.
N Thangaraja, who was overnight second, finished in fourth at 12-under-268 despite his heroics on the front-nine on Sunday. Thanga was four-under on the front-nine in round four and looking good for the title. But he had a disastrous back-nine where he shot a three-over and lost out to fellow Sri Lankan Mithun Perera who was also his room partner for the week.
Chennai-based rookie Shivnaren Srinivasan fired a final round of 76 to finish tied 45th at seven-over-287.

INDIAN COAST GUARD RESCUES SEVERELY INJURED SRI LANKAN FISHERMAN

  • INDIAN COAST GUARD RESCUES SEVERELY INJUREDSRI
    LANKAN FISHERMAN FROSRILANKAN FISHING BOATGEETH
    BABA III
    A request from Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Colombo
    was received on 27 Feb 18 at the Maritime Rescue Coordination
    Centre, Mumbai for assistance of an injured fisherman onboard
    Srilankan fishing vessel which was fishing at 100 Nautical Mile west of
    Suheli Par Island.
    The boat bearing registration number IMUL-A-0507-CHW had
    left Sri Lanka on 14 Feb 18 with 5 crew for carrying out fishing. One of
    the crew Shri Malwatta Pathirannehalage Sunil Shantha aged about
    47 years had suffered deep cut injury on his neck.
    Further, MRCC Colombo intimated that the patient is stable and
    fishing boat was heading towards Colombo , Further, evacuation of
    the patient is being planned by Sri Lankan Naval Ship on 28 Feb 18.
    On 01 Mar 18, at about 10 AM the Director General Operations
    of Sri Lanka Navy intimated that condition of the injured fisherman
    was not stable and the fishing boat was 98 Nautical Mile from
    Chenyakara light house.
    Indian Coast Guard Ship Samar which was on a separate
    operational mission in the Lakshadweep area and was approximately
    174 Nautical Mile away from the fishing vessel was diverted to reach
    the Sri Lankan fishing vessel at the earliest to render medical aid.
    Indian Coast Guard Ship Samar located the Sri Lankan fishing
    vessel at 9 PM on 01 Mar 18 and the medical team onboard Coast
    Guard ship administered necessary first aid to the injured fisherman.
    The injury was a 8 CM long and 1.5 CM deep cut at back of head.
  • Considering the critically of the injured fisherman, he was taken
    onboard Coast Guard ship Samar and stitching/ scalp suturing of the
    wound under local anesthesia was undertaken by the Medical Officer.
    The patient is presently stable and is under observation.
    ICGS Samar alongwith the patient is being taken to Kochi for
    further treatment. The ship is likely to reach Kochi by AM 03 Mar 18.
    MRCC, Colombo has been informed to take further necessary
    administrative arrangement

Seoul to send envoys to N.Korea

President Moon Jae-in has chosen the head of the National Security Office, Chung Eui-yong, and the chief of the National Intelligence Service, Suh Hoon, as his special envoys.
Chung will lead the 10-member delegation and spend 2 days in Pyongyang.
The presidential office said the delegates will travel to the North to reciprocate for last month’s visit by the North Korean leader’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong.
Seoul will send a five-member delegation, led by chief of the presidential National Security Office Chung Eui-yong, to the North on Monday, according to the presidential office cited by Yonhap. During the two-day trip to Pyongyang, the envoys are expected to hold high-level talks with North Korean officials. The goal of the negotiations is to discuss “the ways to reach peace on the Korean Peninsula and develop the bilateral relationship” as well as set up “conditions for North Korea-US dialogue aimed at denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

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