The Truss Times – Online News Portal : Bangladeshi cricketers deny corruption charges.

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Bangladeshi cricketers deny corruption charges.

 

Two Bangladeshi cricketers declared their innocence on Tuesday after confirming they were among those charged with match-fixing following a probe earlier this month by the sport’s world body.

 

Paceman Mahbubul Alam and left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain said they would defend themselves against charges of fixing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), a scandal that has already brought down teammate and national hero Mohammad Ashraful.

 

"I am innocent, I was not involved in any kind of corruption," said Alam, 29, who has played four Tests and four one-day matches for his country.

 

"I have appointed a lawyer to represent me in the (upcoming) disciplinary panel hearing," Alam said.

 

Hossain, 31, also confirmed he would contest the charges laid under the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB) anti-corruption code, ahead of the deadline later Tuesday for officially responding to the allegations.

 

Selim Chowdhury, owner of the Dhaka Gladiators BPL franchise, confirmed that he and his son, co-owner Shihab Chowdhury, have also been charged along with the franchise’s Indian CEO Gaurav Rawat.

 

Selim Chowdhury said they would all plead not guilty at the hearing. The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced this month that seven unidentified people had been charged with fixing involving the Dhaka Gladiators, following an investigation by its anti-corruption officials.

 

Another two were charged with failing to report corruption when they were approached during the 2013 season of the Twenty20 tournament, in a scandal that further shook confidence in the game across South Asia.

 

English all-rounder Darren Stevens became the first among the nine accused to reveal his identity, when he confirmed that he has been charged with failure to report a corrupt approach made to him.

 

The scandal has already ensnared Ashraful, the former Bangladesh captain, who made a tearful confession to match-fixing on national television in June after being quizzed by the ICC’s officials.

 

He was allegedly involved in fixing a match between the Dhaka Gladiators and the Chittagong Kings. Local media have reported that the batsman was paid about one million taka ($12,800) to lose the match on February 2.

 

Ashraful, who became the country’s youngest Test centurion in 2001 at the age of 17, was also allegedly involved in fixing another match 10 days later against the Barisal Burners, which his team lost by seven wickets, local reports have said.

 

Across the border in India, the sport is embroiled in separate spot-fixing and betting scandals in the Indian Premier League, with three cricketers among 39 people charged by police in July.

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The Truss Times – Online News Portal : Nadal cruises into US Open second round.

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Nadal cruises into US Open second round.

 

Rafael Nadal nudged a career-best hard-court win streak to 16 straight matches as he crushed Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 on Monday in an opening round rout at the US Open.

 

Nadal achieved his 54th win of the season against just five defeats, taking victory with 28 winners.

 

“I just played very well, I’m happy the way I was playing,” said Nadal. “I don’t know if it was my best or not, but it was very good because I was able to win.

 

“I started the tournament with a good win, an important win. The first round is not easy. Conditions out there today were difficult, I’m so happy to be through.”

 

Evans upsets Nishikori

 

Roger Federer found his match called of by rain before the start against Grega Zemlja.

 

Japan’s 11th seed Kei Nishikori became the first upset just a few hours after the start when he lost to British qualifier Dan Evans 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

 

Nishikori lost in just under two hours, as he dropped serve six times to the number 179, committing 20 unforced errors in defeat.

 

“It’s not easy to lose the first round in a Grand Slam, but I didn’t play well and he played well,” said Nishikori. “Nothing I could do. I didn’t play well these three weeks, the two (August) Masters.

 

“I thought I was getting better, but still, the serve wasn’t there and there were a lot of unforced errors that I shouldn’t do.”

 

French eighth seed Richard Gasquet beat US journeyman Michael Russell 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

 

Australian Bernard Tomic needed almost four hours to fight past Albert Ramos 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3, while Nikolay Davydenko went to the limit against Rhyne Williams of the US, 6-3, 4-6, 1-6, 7-5, 6-0.

 

Serena sinks Schiavone

 

In women’s play, Serena Williams started her title defence with a 6-0, 6-1 crushing of former French Open winner Francesca Schiavone, with the top seed winning the first ten games, But Williams admitted: “I was nervous before the match, I was really tight.”

 

Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska crushed Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1, 6-2. Fifth seed Li Na, the former French Open winner, beat Olga Govortsova 6-2, 6-2.

 

German eighth seed Angelique Kerber defeated Czech Lucie Hradecka 6-1, 6-1; Jelena Jankovic eliminated American Madison Keys 6-3, 6-4. Venus Williams defied her 33 years and fragile fitness to upset Belgian 12th seed Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-2.

 

Australian Open semi-finalist Sloane Stephens need to rally past Mandy Minella 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).

 

Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki started with a win over Vera Dushevina 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).

 

Laura Robson of Britain overcame recent injuries to return to winning form, beating Spain’s Lourdes Dominguez Lino 7-5, 6-0.

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The Truss Times – Online News Portal : Google buys virtual imaging patents from Foxconn.

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Google buys virtual imaging patents from Foxconn.

 

Google has bought virtual imaging patents from Taiwanese supplier Foxconn, which could be used in its interactive "Google Glass" devices.

   

No details were released on the amount of the transaction.

   

The patents relate to a technology that permits virtual images to be super-imposed over real ones, according to media reports.

   

They could be used in the interactive voice-activated eyewear being developed by the US internet giant.

   

Facebook, Twitter and major news organizations have already tailored applications for Glass, which has only been made available to developers and a limited selection

of "explorers" who paid $1,500 each for the eyewear.

   

Envisioned uses range from practical tasks such as shopping or delivering local weather reports to sharing real time video streams or playing augmented reality games in which the world is the board.

   

Foxconn Technology, whose parent company is Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry, is the main supplier in Asia for Google’s biggest rival Apple, particularly for the manufacture of iPhones.

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The Truss Times – Online News Portal : US judge approves $20 million settlement in Facebook suit.

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US judge approves $20 million settlement in Facebook suit.

 

Judge clears deal in which Facebook will pay $20 million for using members ‘likes’ as endorsements for ads.

Facebook’s sponsored stories programme used members’ names or likenesses to endorse ads without getting their permission, according to the legal filing.

 

 

San Francisco: A US judge on Monday approved a deal in which Facebook Inc. will pay $20 million for using members “likes” as endorsements for ads.

The pot of money is to be divvied up among attorneys, Internet privacy rights groups, and Facebook users who filed claims in the class-action lawsuit.

US District Judge Richard Seeborg reasoned that the sum, a small fraction of the billions being sought in the case, was fair given the challenges of proving Facebook members were financially harmed or that signalling “likes” for products didn’t imply some form of consent.

Facebook’s Sponsored Stories programme used members’ names or likenesses to endorse ads without getting their permission, according to the legal filing.

Seeborg estimated the size of the class represented in the suit as 150 million people, but noted that so few had filed claims that there was ample money in the settlement fund.

“The settlement as a whole provides fair, reasonable, and adequate relief to the class, in light of all the circumstances, including the low probability that a substantially better result would be obtained through continued litigation,” the judge wrote in a ruling endorsing the deal.

The settlement calls for Facebook to modify its rules to give members greater control when it comes to how their information is used regarding Sponsored Stories.

“Sponsored Stories, in Facebook’s view, does nothing more than take information users have already voluntarily disclosed to their “friends,” and sometimes redisplays it to the same persons, in a column that also contains more traditional paid advertising,” the judge wrote while detailing his decision.

“Plaintiffs faced a substantial burden in showing they were injured by the Sponsored Stories.”

So few Facebook members have filed claims that those negotiating the settlement proposed paying out $15 to each person and having enough cash left over for attorneys fees and routing funds to Internet privacy groups, according to the ruling.

An original settlement rejected by the judge recommended the same pool of money, but allocated none of it to Facebook members.

The lawsuit was filed in early 2011 after Facebook launched its Sponsored Stories advertising programme.

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The Truss Times – Online News Portal : LG teases ‘just right’ tablet.

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LG teases ‘just right’ tablet.

 

Expected to be unveiled officially at September’s IFA consumer electronics show, the G Pad 8.3 is thought to be small, lightweight and designed to compete directly with the iPad Mini and Nexus 7 tablets.

 

The video, which consists of a number of vox pops with people apparently

stopped randomly on the street, gives a snapshot view of current tablet use and the disadvantages as well as advantages of current devices.

 

In the video, consumers claim that their existing tablet is too big to take out of the house, and when asked what would make a tablet better, the answers are overwhelmingly speed — of opening and closing applications — and a smaller form factor which would make it more mobile and therefore easier to carry with them, whether for work or on the annual holiday.

 

There are even requests for a device that links seamlessly with other smart devices such as TVs, phones and computers.

 

Although LG reveals no specifics about the tablet it is planning to launch, the overwhelming message is that it will be light and thin enough to be truly mobile, will pack a hell of a processing punch, will offer a superior video playback experience to an HD smartphone and will synch with existing Android and more specifically LG products. And, with IFA set to start officially on September 6 in Berlin, we won’t have long to wait in order to find out what the tablet looks like or how much it will cost.

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The Truss Times – Online News Portal : Why Indian IT needs to tweak business model.

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Why Indian IT needs to tweak business model.

 

India’s information technology (IT) industry might allow a good crisis go to waste. As US lawmakers bicker over immigration reform, delaying what could be costly and restrictive visa rules, Indian IT companies are beginning to relax. The reforms could have been disruptive to their business model. However, it would be a mistake to go back to business as usual.

 

Differences between Democrats and Republicans are delaying reforms.

 

The millions of dollars spent in lobbying on Capitol Hill may have paid off after all. But what the industry cannot afford to miss is the real message from all this: thou shalt not depend on visas for your business model to work.

 

This message was delivered two years ago, in a bottle called Border Security Bill. Republicans and Democrats unanimously passed a law to boost patrols along the US-Mexico border with aerial drones and armed guards. Indian IT companies footed much of the bill. The law raised visa fees for companies with over 50% of staff on work visas, the profile of most Indian IT firms.

 

Charles D Schumer, a Republican senator and lead sponsor of the legislation, pulled no punches when he said the measure would only impact afew, "foreign companies known as chop shops that outsource good, highpaying American technology jobs to lower-wage, temporary immigrant workers from other countries." He named Infosys as an example.

 

But visa restrictions are only a symptom of something deeper: the perception that they ship jobs out of US. High levels of unemployment in the US have brought this into focus.

 

The industry has responded to the emotionally-charged debate about job loss by circulating media statements about insufficient talent in the US. This demonstrates the lack of a more visionary strategy and lobbying effort in America.

 

Indian IT exporters should think about what got them to this pass. Founded on the premise of labour arbitrage, the 30-year-old industry has been very successful. It delivered quality services at a fraction of the prevailing cost and made a name for itself with its core audience: Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies. Profitability was high.

 

What members of the industry forgot for so long is to act truly global. They cannot exist in a bubble where they engage only with large companies. They must engage with the communities they operate in, and hire locally in meaningful numbers. A preference for higher margins cannot make it a parochial island — they employ far more Indians than locals in most countries they do business in, and non-Indians are non-existent in their senior leadership. And yet, India barely contributes 2-8% of sales.

 

Indian IT companies must go out of their way to create currency for their brands in their major markets — something that travels beyond their loyal clients. The wall of negativity must be scaled.

 

One Indian IT company recently sponsored the San Francisco Marathon. But such initiatives are still exceptions rather than the norm. Big-splash events can get a certain kind of exposure, but what these companies must recognise is the need for a consistent effort to make themselves more accessible and likeable among a wider audience: that includes students, recent graduates, job applicants, lawmakers and other average Americans. As long as the industry gets more than 60% of its Rs 4.6-lakh crore revenue from the US, this is a necessity.

 

Spending money on lobbying works to some extent, but a renewed effort requires more than just issue-centric bursts of activity. That, at best, will remain symptomatic treatment. What the industry really needs are advocates of goodwill, and clusters of influential advocates. There are well-defined models of public engagement and outreach.

 

A good place to start would be employees who are members of local communities and can be informal advocates of a corporation’s goodwill.

 

Then there are schools and universities, with whom active lines of communication and collaboration can be established, especially as they form the pools of talent from which hiring must be done.

 

For an industry that continues to evolve and innovate, the question is not so much about opportunities to act or the ability to do so but about willingness to spend time and energy to walk the line for as long as it takes.

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The Truss Times – Online News Portal : Snowstorm leaves 12,000 families stranded in Peru.

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Snowstorm leaves 12,000 families stranded in Peru.

 

Around 12,000 families have been left stranded after a two-day snowstorm cut off access to a high-altitude area in southern Peru, officials said Monday. Carabaya, a remote indigenous province some 1,550 km southeast of here, has been completely cut off after snow and ice blocked highways connecting the region with the outside world, Xinhua reported citing a Peruvian official who Monday urged the central government to provide support to the community.

 

Ronald Gutierrez, mayor of Carabaya province, called on the central government to send basic goods, including food, coats and medicine, saying children and the elderly were suffering the most from the frigid temperatures.

 

"We urgently need a helicopter to bring us the aid," Gutierrez said.

 

Peru’s high-altitude communities, such as Carabaya, are struggling through a harsh winter season that has seen several deaths due to respiratory ailments and  economic damage to local crops and animal stocks.

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The Truss Times – Online News Portal : US ‘ready’ to strike Syria, oil price worry for India.

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US ‘ready’ to strike Syria, oil price worry for India.

 

The US defence chief said on Tuesday his forces were ready to launch strikes against the Syrian regime over alleged chemical attacks, amid growing Western and Arab calls for action. Global stock markets dived and world oil prices hit a six-month high over fears of possible military intervention, as the drumbeat of war grew louder.

 

With oil prices rising, the crisis couldn’t have come at a worse time for India. The rupee is in freefall, markets are tanking and economy is virtually at a standstill. High oil prices will further widen the current account deficit that the government is struggling to control.

 

“We are prepared. We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfil and comply with whatever option the president (Obama) wishes to take,” US defence secretary Chuck Hagel said in Brunei.

 

Calling the use of chemical weapons a “moral obscenity”, secretary of state John Kerry said, “President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people”.

 

Though he did not spell out the consequences, Kerry was making a case for military intervention, according to experts.

 

“The question now is not whether the United States will respond,” said Richard Haas of the Centre for Foreign Relations in a conference call, adding, “but only when.”

 

There have been reports of the US moving its warships into the region in preparation of a cruise missile strike, which, Haas offered, was one of the possibilities.

Senior military officers from Western and Muslim countries met in Jordan to discuss the regional impact of the war in Syria, wrapping up a two-day meeting on Tuesday.

 

India will be watching the developments closely, having tried and failed earlier to end the dispute, working with its IBSA partners Brazil and South Africa.

The Washington Post cited senior US officials as saying the action would probably last no more than two days and involve missiles or long-range bombers, striking military targets not directly linked to Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.

 

In Paris, French President Francois Hollande said his country was “ready to punish” those behind the alleged chemical attacks.

 

Britain said its armed forces were drawing up contingency plans, and Prime Minister David Cameron recalled parliament from its summer break to debate the crisis.

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The Truss Times – Online News Portal : Sonia Gandhi back home from hospital.

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Sonia Gandhi back home from hospital.

 

Sonia Gandhi has recovered from a touch of viral fever and is fine now, says party official.

 

New Delhi: Sonia Gandhi, the president of India’s ruling Congress party who is widely seen as the country’s most powerful politician, was back home from hospital on Tuesday after she took ill during a marathon parliament debate, officials said.

Gandhi, 66, was led limping out of the lower house on Monday evening by her son and colleagues, and then taken by car to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in New Delhi.

A Congress party official said Gandhi had a touch of viral fever and was fine now. “Madam Gandhi is home now. She is perfectly fine,” the official said.

The Italian-born politician, who has led her party to two successive terms governing the world’s largest democracy, has played a slightly reduced public role since being treated abroad for an unknown illness in 2011. Still, she is the world’s sixth most powerful woman, Forbes magazine said last year.

The party is usually very secretive about Gandhi’s health, but several media reports said in 2011 that she had been treated for cancer at New York’s Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

On Monday, Gandhi participated in a parliament debate on a scheme to provide cheap food to more than two-thirds of India’s poor—one of her pet projects—when she felt unwell.

Gandhi and her son, Rahul, are banking on the nearly $20-billion food security programme to boost the Congress party’s prospects ahead of a difficult election next year and the party’s campaign is built around the two members of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

Food for all programme

Television images showed the normally strong-looking leader trembling as she read out from a clutch of papers a short speech on the food security bill, one of the world’s largest welfare programmes and one that Gandhi has insisted on to ensure India’s poor are not left behind in its emergence as an economic power.

“It’s time to take the historic step,” she said. “It is my fervent appeal that we shall pass this unanimously.”

Critics say the programme will strain government finances further at a time when the economy has slowed and the country’s external imbalance has deteriorated, with the rupee currency languishing at record lows.

The food security bill was passed two hours after Gandhi and her son left parliament. It must now go to the upper house.

Gandhi became Congress party president some years after the 1991 assassination of her husband, former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

She declined to become prime minister despite pressure from the party after the first victory in 2004, and chose the quiet economist Manmohan Singh for the top job. However, she arguably wields more power over policy than the prime minister.

Her son is now leading the party’s preparations for a national election—due to be held in less than a year.

The Gandhi family, descended from India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, enjoys a status similar to royalty in the country of 1.2 billion. They are not related to independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, a close ally of Nehru.

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The Truss Times – Online News Portal : Cabinet clears mega power projects.

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Cabinet clears mega power projects.

 

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Investment has cleared a slew of project investments, in which it has given go ahead to 18 power projects worth Rs 83,772 crore and nine other projects worth Rs 92,500 crore, finance minister P Chidambaram said here on Tuesday.

 

He said the banks have already disbursed Rs 30,000 crore for the power projects. The government has asked that the fuel supply agreement (FSA) for the power projects should be completed by August 31 and if there is any pending FSA that has to completed by September 6.

 

Regarding the other nine projects, Chidambaram said those projects are in petroleum and natural gas, roads, railways and steel sectors.

 

"Banks have already disbursed Rs.26,000 crore for the other nine projects," the finance minister said.

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