Monday, September 27, 2010

Gold hits record near 1,300 dollars, silver at 30-year peak

Gold hits record near 1,300 dollars, silver at 30-year peak

Updated at: 1829 PST, Friday, September 24, 2010
Gold hits record near 1,300 dollars, silver at 30-year peak LONDON: The gold price soared to a record peak within a whisker of 1,300 dollars an ounce on Friday, dragging sister metal silver to a 30-year pinnacle, as investment demand propelled precious metals higher.

Gold prices struck a record 1,299.90 dollars an ounce in mid-day trading on the London Bullion Market, as investors sought a safe-haven to park their cash amid heightened uncertainty over the global economic outlook.

And silver surged to 21.41 dollars an ounce -- nailing the highest level since October 1980.

"The underlying bullish trend in the gold market continues to be fuelled by the high level of uncertainty regarding the United States and European economies," said SEB Commodity Research analyst Filip Petersson.

"Wealth preservation are the keywords.

"As long as we do not see a reduction in the uncertainty regarding the long-term economic outlook, gold prices will remain well-supported as the currency of choice for risk-averse investors."

He added: "The strategic view remains bullish and we expect prices above 1,350 dollars per ounce before the end of the year."

Gold and silver were also propelled by keen demand from exchange traded funds (ETFs).

ETFs allow traders to invest money more easily in the commodities, without trading on the futures market. They are traded like shares and are widely regarded as an inexpensive and low-risk way of investing.

"Gold is fuelled by a combination of things," said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann.

"High investment demand can be seen in inflows into gold ETFs," added Briesmann.

"Some central banks in Asia are also diversifying their currency reserves further, even at the current high price levels.

"Furthermore, the general interest of investors is not waning and gold is
sought for mainly as a 'stable currency'."

PSMA opposes allowing unlimited raw sugar imports

PSMA opposes allowing unlimited raw sugar imports

Updated at: 1857 PST, Friday, September 24, 2010
PSMA opposes allowing unlimited raw sugar imports ISLAMABAD: Sugar millers oppose a government decision to allow unlimited imports of raw sugar after massive sugarcane crop losses, an industry official said on Friday, adding the shortfall would be smaller than expected.

The price, he said, expected to be between Rs 60 to Rs 65 per kilogramme.

The government this week waived a 25 percent regulatory duty and allowed millers and traders to import raw sugar at will after estimates the 2010/11 crop would produce about 3 million tonnes of refined sugar against an annual demand of 4.2 million tonnes.

Millers estimate output at 3.6 million tonnes and say the government should set a limit in line with total demand.

"We are telling the government that there should be a limit on the import of raw sugar. It should not be more than 500,000 tonnes," Iskandar Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA), said.

"We are expecting 3.6 million tonnes of sugar output after flood damage and together with raw sugar import and purchases being made by the TCP, the availability will be according to our consumption," he said referring to the state-run trading agency.

While Khan frames the issue in terms of protecting local farmers and even health issues surrounding unprocessed sugar, unlimited sugar imports would drive down domestic prices and cut into industry profits.

Pakistan aims for a sugarcane harvest of 54.8 million tonnes for 2010/11 -- which could produce roughly 3.8 million tonnes of white sugar -- before August floods destroyed millions of acres of cropland.

Khan said the government should specify a limit and it should be channeled through the Industry Ministry to millers according to their production last year.

The government said the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) would have no role and importers would decide the quantity and timing of purchases.

Khan said raw sugar should reach the country within three months to enable millers to refine it by the end of February, the end of the crushing season, which starts in late November this year.

Pakistan produced a little over 3 million tonnes of sugar from the 2009/10 crop and issued a series of tenders this year to import 1.2 million tonnes to make up the shortfall.

The TCP said this week it had so far received 478,155 tonnes and more was in the pipeline.

PSMA's Khan and a government official said that imported white sugar included shipment from India, Pakistan's first purchase from the neighbouring country after a three-year gap.

"MV Orbit carrying 30,000 tonnes of sugar from India reached Pakistan on Sept. 22," the government official said, speaking anonymously because he wasn't authorised to speak with the press, adding that another ship, the "Unicorn Brave," that was due the same day also carried Indian sugar.....

Floods may mar IMF-set targets: Qureshi

Floods may mar IMF-set targets: Qureshi

Updated at: 1136 PST, Saturday, September 25, 2010
Floods may mar IMF-set targets: Qureshi NEW YORK: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has feared that it may be hard for Pakistan authorities to meet IMF-set targets due to the worst devastations wreaked by deluge, Geo News reported Saturday.

Addressing a mass gathering of think-tank in New York, Qureshi worried that Pakistan authorities guaranteed IMF of bringing reforms in many sectors but the dismal situation emerged following worst spate of deluge, it appears second to impossible for them to meet the IMF targets.

“Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh visited IMF officials in Washington some weeks ago to discuss the said worries”, he maintained, adding, a delegation will meet IMF officials next month for finding a way out in this wake.

“Now, the government will have to devise new plans by sorting out its priorities given the havocs inflicted by floods”, he proposed.

Discussing fast sliding support of Taliban in country, he said, they are no longer popular among public in Pakistan after their brutalities made people think otherwise. con

Qayyum faces music after careless remarks

Updated at: 2207 PST, Saturday, September 25, 2010
Qayyum faces music after careless remarks ISLAMABAD: After failing to satisfy Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani over his remarks, State Minister for Defence Production Abdul Qayum Jatoi was made to resign Saturday, Geo News reported.

Earlier today, replying to a question while talking media on the occasion of his meeting with Talal Akbar Bugti here at Bugti House, he said everyone including Sindhi, Pashtun, Baloch, Seraiki and Punjabis should get share in corruption.

Later, taking serious notice of it PM Gilani summoned the state minister to Islamabad.

MQM leader Imran Farooq assassinated in London

Updated at: 0115 PST, Friday, September 17, 2010
MQM leader Imran Farooq assassinated in London LONDON: Senior MQM leader Dr. Imran Farooq was stabbed to death in Mill Hills locality in London late Thursday night, Geo News reported.

According to reports so far reached here, he was ambushed and killed by an unidentified assailant outside his house in London when he was on his way back home after a regular walk.

As per hospital sources, Dr. Imran Farooq was hurried to the hospital after receiving critical wounds in head but on arrival at hospital, doctors confirmed his death.

Police cordoned off the crime scene after the incident.

The Scotland Yard confirmed report of the incident at 5:00 PM, according to their local time. It further said that Dr. Imran Farooq breathed his last on the spot instantaneously following the attack.

A British newspaper said that Dr. Imran Farooq was supposed to attend a celebration program scheduled to be held at MQM Secretariat.

According to British media, no arrest has so far been made following the incident.

MQM leaders visited Dr. Imran Farooq’s home in Karachi and expressed condolence with the bereaved family.

MQM sources have also confirmed murder of Dr. Imran Farooq in London, adding that Quaid Altaf Hussain has issued party workers directives of extending condolence with his family members at his native residence in Karachi.

London Police Scotland Yard has cordoned off Mill Hills locality and is engaged in collection of evidences for investigation from assassination site, sources said.

It may be mentioned that Dr. Imran Farooq has remained associated with Altaf Hussain and MQM since establishment of the party. Besides, he has served as Convener and Deputy Convener MQM for a long time.

SSC Part I result on Monday

Updated at: 2129 PST, Saturday, September 25, 2010
KARACHI: The Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) will announce the result of SSC Part I (Class IX) General Group Regular and Private Annual Examination 2010 on September 27.

This was announced by the Controller of Examinations of the BSEK on Saturday.

Troika vow to defend democratic process

Troika vow to defend democratic process

Updated at: 1721 PST, Monday, September 27, 2010
Troika vow to defend democratic process ISLAMABAD: A meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvaiz Kiyani on Monday expressed resolve to defend and protect the democratic process and to resolve all issues in accordance with the constitution.

The meeting held here at the Presidency was presided over by President Asif Ali Zardari and lasted for over 90 minutes.

Spokesperson to the president, Farhatullah Babar said the meeting reviewed the current situation obtaining in the country.

The meeting also reviewed flood relief measures in the country and the ongoing fight against militancy.

Security situation in the country and the region also came under discussion in the meeting, he said.

SC gives time to govt in Implement NRO case

SC gives time to govt in Implement NRO case

SC gives time to govt in Implement NRO case ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has given two-week time to the government, as the apex court adjourned the hearing of NRO Implementation case till October 13 on the request by the government, Geo News reported Monday.

The apex court accepted government petition and adjourned the case hearing till October 13.

It should be mentioned here that Government of Pakistan filed a petition at Supreme Court (SC) to adjourn the case regarding implementation of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).

Earlier, Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq told Geo News the petition said Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani will take stock of various legal aspects of the summary sent by the Law Ministry.

Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq filed the petition that the Premier is busy with certain national and foreign affairs of the state in the perspective of flood situation in the country; accordingly he could not follow up on the case.

The petition pleaded the court to adjourn the case hearing in view of the busy schedule of the PM.

Former AG Anwar Mansoor said the government has no options.

Palestinian leader puts Israel talks decision on hold

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The BBC's Jon Donnison on the extent of Israeli construction work

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is to talk to Arab governments next week before deciding whether to continue talks with Israel.

His spokesman said there would be no official response yet to Israel's lifting of the ban on building in West Bank settlements.

Limited construction work began on Monday, with bulldozers clearing land on a handful of settlements.

The BBC's Wyre Davies in Jerusalem says peace negotiations are in the balance.

"Israel is ready to pursue continuous contacts in the coming days to find a way to continue peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority," he said in a statement.

On Monday morning, Israeli media said bulldozers had started levelling ground for 50 homes in the settlement of Ariel in the northern West Bank.

Similar activity was also reported in the settlements of Adam and Oranit.

However, construction work was expected to be slow because of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

'Waste of time'

The Palestinian leader, who was due to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday, made no immediate comment on the end of the freeze.

His spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeina, said there would be no official answer until the Palestinian leader had consulted other Arab leaders in Cairo on 4 October.

"During that day President Abbas will consult with the Arab governments and will come back to the Palestinian leadership to take the right decision and the right answer, with all what we have from the Americans and the Israelis," he said.

He added that there should be an immediate halt to settlement activity.

On Sunday, Mr Abbas warned that the peace talks renewed earlier this month would be a "waste of time" unless the ban continued.

If they see that the extent of construction in the West Bank has been limited, that might be enough to keep them at the table, our correspondent says.

In his statement, Mr Netanyahu made no direct mention of the issue of the settlement freeze.

But he maintained that it was possible "to achieve a historic framework accord within a year".

He had earlier urged settlers "to display restraint and responsibility".

Some Jewish settlers celebrated the end of the construction ban.

At the settlement of Revava, near the Palestinian town of Deir Itsia, they released balloons and broke ground for a new nursery school before the moratorium expired.

Earlier in the evening, a pregnant Israeli woman and her husband were slightly wounded in a gun attack in the West Bank.

Israeli police said Palestinian gunmen had opened fire on their car south of the city of Hebron. The woman later gave birth in hospital.

Compromise deal

Obstacles to peace

Palestinian women queue to cross a checkpoint in Bethlehem, West Bank (3 Sept 2010)

Meanwhile, the US has renewed calls for Israel to maintain the construction freeze, saying its position on the issue remained unchanged and the US state department was staying "in close touch" with all parties.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to Mr Netanyahu and also to Tony Blair, the representative of the Middle East Quartet (the EU, Russia, the UN and US), as the end of the construction freeze neared, a spokesman said.

Israel says the settlements are no bar to continuing direct talks on key issues, and US negotiators have been working intensively to secure a deal.

Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza, is strongly opposed to the talks.

On Saturday, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak told the BBC he would attempt to convince government colleagues of a compromise deal, and said the chances of a deal on the issue were "50/50".

It is estimated that about 2,000 housing units in the West Bank already have approval and settler leaders say they plan to resume construction as soon as possible.

The partial moratorium on new construction was agreed by Israel in November 2009 under pressure from Washington.

It banned construction in the West Bank, occupied by Israel since the Middle East war of 1967, but never applied to settlements in East Jerusalem.

US President Barack Obama has urged Israel to extend the moratorium, saying it "made a difference on the ground, and improved the atmosphere for talks".

Nearly half a million Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They are held to be illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

David Miliband rallying call: Ed's a great leader

"I don't know if you noticed but I came here on Saturday planning a slightly different week. I am now thinking what I am going to do instead," he told reporters ahead of the speech.

David Miliband

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David Miliband: 'I'm incredibly proud of my brother'

David Miliband has issued a rallying call to the Labour conference, saying the party now had a "great leader" in his younger brother Ed.

The shadow foreign secretary, long favourite for the top job, said "I'll be fine" before calling for party unity and getting a standing ovation.

He has yet to say whether he will serve in his brother's shadow cabinet.

Ed Miliband has said that his brother has a "huge amount" to give to the party and British politics.

David Miliband has said he is talking to colleagues about his future, and wanted to take his time to make sure he made the right decision - with no decision until after the conference.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson said a friend of Mr Miliband told him he was considering not running for the shadow cabinet and could quit politics, although colleagues insist he has yet to make up his mind.

Asked about his brother's future on Monday, Ed Miliband said he would make his decision "in his own way and in his own time" but praised his "loyalty to me and the country".

"He has a huge amount to offer our politics," he added.

The two brothers met in private for nearly 10 minutes on Monday but it is understood they did not discuss David's future.

Nominations have opened for the 19 shadow cabinet posts, to be elected by a ballot of MPs, but it is unclear whether David Miliband will put himself forward by Wednesday's deadline.

Ed Miliband will allocate posts to the successful candidates after the vote on 7 October and he has insisted that decisions about who will get what job must wait until then.

In a speech ahead of a session on foreign affairs, David Miliband told activists in Manchester that he had been "honoured and humbled" by the support he had received since narrowly losing the leadership election.

He urged the party to unify around his brother, saying he was "incredibly proud" of him.

"We have got a great new leader and we all have to get behind him," he told party supporters.

While he was proud of the campaign that he had fought, he said that no-one should enter such a high profile contest unless they were reconciled to the possibility of defeat.

Labour's task at the conference was to begin its "fightback", he added, and to show that it was focused on the country's future as well as its own.

A spokesman said many voters had failed to comply with "clear" instructions to tick a box confirming they were Labour supporters.

But Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of the Unite union, whose governing body recommended that members back Ed Miliband, said: "It's being portrayed as just getting the union votes. But, in fact, Ed got 175,000 votes to David's 147,000.

There must be "no more cliques, no more factions and no more soap opera" within the party, he said, arguing that "unless we are united, we will lose".

Former minister Vera Baird told BBC Radio Four's World at One that it would be "helpful" if David Miliband became shadow chancellor to ensure Labour continued to support the four-year plan for halving the deficit it endorsed at the election.

Union backing

But ex-Treasury minister Geoffrey Robinson said Ed Balls - who has argued for a slower approach to reducing borrowing - was the "outstanding candidate" for that crucial position and would be the best man to take the fight to the coalition on the economy.

Although David won a higher percentage of votes from Labour MPs, MEPs and party members, Ed Miliband's success with trade union members and affiliated societies pushed him into first place in the leadership contest.

He defeated his brother in the leadership race by just over 1% after second, third and fourth preference votes came into play.

Ed Balls was third, Andy Burnham fourth and Diane Abbott last in the ballot of MPs, members and trade unionists.

The party has revealed that nearly a tenth of the votes cast - more than 36,000 out of 375,000 - were spoiled.

"It was individual union members. All the candidates attended hustings meetings, and there were many of them over the campaign."

Mr Simpson also told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the leaderships of some large unions, including Usdaw and Campaign, had supported David Miliband.

Ed Miliband has been portrayed as being to the left of his brother and been dubbed "Red Ed" by some newspapers. But he rejected the tag as "rubbish" in a BBC interview on Sunday and said his leadership would not see "a lurch to the left".

Meanwhile, in his final speech to conference as a frontbencher, outgoing shadow chancellor Alistair Darling said Ed Miliband was capable of winning back the support and trust of the British people.

Mr Darling defended his original deficit cutting plan, describing it as "measured and balanced" approach, and accusing the coalition of pursuing billions of additional spending cuts for ideological reasons.

Ed Miliband has described Mr Darling's plans as "broadly the right starting point", but said he wanted to look at how they could be improved.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Asian stocks mixed as yen edges back up

Asian stocks mixed as yen edges back up

Updated at: 1219 PST, Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Asian stocks mixed as yen edges back up HONG KONG: Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday and the yen hit its highest level against the dollar in a week after the US central bank said it was prepared to pump more money into its economy if necessary.

At its key monthly policy meeting on Tuesday, the Federal Reserve warned that "the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed" in the world's biggest economy.

It did not announce any new stimulus measures but did say it "will continue to monitor the economic outlook and financial developments and is prepared to provide additional accommodation if needed to support the economic recovery".

The news pushed the dollar to its lowest level against the yen since Tokyo last week stepped into the currency markets for the first time in six years to rein in the Japanese unit.

In Tokyo morning trade the dollar was at 84.80 yen, down from 85.15 yen in New York late Tuesday. However, the yen is well off a 15-year high of 82.86 struck last week before the government's intervention.

"The dollar is being dumped as the suggested credit easing spawned expectations of lower interest rates" in the United States, said Daisuke Karakama, market economist at Mizuho Corporate Bank.

The Fed held interest rates at a record low of 0.1 percent on Tuesday.

Focus has now moved to Japan, where investors are waiting to see if the government will again step into the foreign exchange market to prevent the yen strengthening.

"The previous intervention was unexpected, so it's possible the government will intervene again at the lower 84 yen level," Takashi Ushio, general manager at Marusan Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

A strong currency weighs on the nation's key exporters as it makes them less competitive abroad and squeezes their repatriated earnings.

Tokyo's Nikkei slipped 0.12 percent in the afternoon as exporters were sold off. However, Hong Kong was up 0.81 percent and Sydney gained 0.18 percent while Singapore picked up 0.40 percent.

Markets in China, South Korea and Taiwan were closed for public holidays.

The region was given a weak cue from Wall Street, where the Dow posted a weak 0.07 percent gain as the Fed's comments did little to calm nervous traders.

Markets were also were little moved by better than expected data showing US housing starts jumped more than 10 percent in August.

Construction starts on privately owned homes rose to 569,000 last month, the Commerce Department said, a four-month high for the index.

The euro rose to $1.3275 from 1.3253 in New York, while holding steady at 112.84 yen.

Gold opened at a record high $1,287.50-1,288.50 an ounce in Hong Kong, up from Tuesday's closing price of 1,275.00-1,276.00 as traders picked up the safe-haven metal on growing concerns over the global economy.

On oil markets New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, gained 13 cents to $75.10 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for November fell seven cents to $78.35.

Banks write off loans worth over Rs50b in 2 years

Banks write off loans worth over Rs50b in 2 years
Updated at: 1603 PST, Thursday, September 23, 2010
Banks write off loans worth over Rs50b in 2 years ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly has been told that national banks have written off loans worth at least Rs50 billion in a span of last two years, Geo News reported Thursday.

It should be mentioned here that Pakistan is buckling under a debt juggernaut comprising over $31.16 billion borrowed from International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The federal Finance Ministry told the Assembly in a written reply, the loans waived off during the last two years are worth Rs50.854 billion owed by 212,000 individuals and companies.

State Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar told the National Assembly that 212,114 defaulters including some companies have got Rs50.85billion loans waived off in two years.

In a written reply to the NA,Hina stated that World Bank, Asian Development Bank and IMF have given loans amounting to $31,162milion to Pakistan till June 30, 2010.

She said the interest rate on the said loans is around $3,637 million.

PPP wants no confrontation with judiciary: CEC

PPP wants no confrontation with judiciary: CEC ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party during its Central Executive Committee meeting agreed that the party wants no confrontation with the judiciary and that it will continue to pursue the policy of reconciliation.

This was stated by PPP leader Jehangir Badar while briefing the media following the party’s CEC meeting here on Thursday.

He said balance of power between the Parliament and other institutions must be maintained.

To a question, he said the President has transferred his powers to the Parliament through 18th amendment of the constitution whose decisions will be acceptable to PPP.

When asked to make comment on conspiracies to destabilise the country and role of military and intelligence agencies in it, Jehangir Badar rubbished the same, saying: “It’s nothing more than rumours.”

He said PPP will continue to struggle towards strengthening the democratic process in the country. “The party will continue to carry forward the journey from dictatorship to democracy.”

He eluded the question regarding the appointment of Adnan khawaja as MD OGDCL, saying the party only focuses on policies in broader terms during interaction with senior party leaders and individual cases are not discussed.

When Jehangir Badar was asked as to why Safdar Abbasi was prevented from participating in PPP CEC meeting, he said no such directives were issued by Co-Chairman PPP Asif Ali Zardari and that this must have happened due to miscommunication from either side.

Dr. Afia news in urdu incarcerated for 86 years by US court

Dr. Afia incarcerated for 86 years by US court

Dr. Afia incarcerated for 86 years by US court WASHINGTON: US court has issued 86 years sentence to Dr. Afia Siddiuqi on seven counts including attempted murder, Geo News reported Thursday.

"It is my judgement that Dr Siddiqui is sentenced to a period of incarceration of 86 years," said judge Richard Berman.

Aafia Siddiqui, 38, denounced the trial and said an appeal would be "a waste of time. I appeal to God."

“I want no bloodshed over my conviction and sentence,” Dr. Afia who was present in court said after the announcement of the sentence.

Reacting angrily to the news, Dr. Fouzia Siddiqui, sister of Dr. Afia, at a press conference blamed Pakistani rulers for the sentence. “They (Pakistani rulers) failed to honour their promises to bring Dr. Afia back to Pakistan,” she added.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Champions League Twenty20, 11th Match, Group B: Royal Challengers Bangalore v South Australia at Durban, Sep 17, 2010


South Australia

Match scheduled to begin at 17:30 local time (15:30 GMT)

Current time: 10:06 local, 08:06 GMT

Royal Challengers Bangalore squad
A Kumble*, B Akhil, ND Doshi, R Dravid, D du Preez, JH Kallis, V Kohli, P Kumar, A Mithun, MK Pandey, DW Steyn, LRPL Taylor, RV Uthappa, R Vinay Kumar, CL White

South Australia squad
M Klinger*, CB Bailey, CJ Borgas, DT Christian, TLW Cooper, CJ Duval, CJ Ferguson, PR George, JA Haberfield, DJ Harris, TP Ludeman, GA Manou, AW O'Brien, GD Putland, SW Tait

Shahid Afridi history

Full name Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi

Born March 1, 1980, Khyber Agency

Current age 30 years 200 days

Major teams Pakistan, Asia XI, Deccan Chargers, Fly Emirates XI, Griqualand West, Habib Bank Limited, ICC World XI, Karachi, Leicestershire, South Australia

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Legbreak googly

Relation Brother - Tariq Afridi, Brother - Ashfaq Afridi

Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi
Batting and fielding averages

Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 27 48 1 1716 156 36.51 1973 86.97 5 8 220 52 10 0
ODIs 298 280 18 6250 124 23.85 5527 113.08 6 30 577 273 99 0
T20Is 37 35 3 602 54* 18.81 429 140.32 0 3 52 19 11 0
First-class 111 183 4 5631 164 31.45

12 30

75 0
List A 387 366 21 8844 124 25.63

8 49

121 0
Twenty20 72 65 5 1049 54* 17.48 690 152.02 0 3 92 43 22 0
Bowling averages

Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
Tests 27 47 3194 1709 48 5/52 5/43 35.60 3.21 66.5 1 1 0
ODIs 298 274 12654 9767 280 6/38 6/38 34.88 4.63 45.1 2 3 0
T20Is 37 37 858 884 47 4/11 4/11 18.80 6.18 18.2 2 0 0
First-class 111
13493 7023 258 6/101
27.22 3.12 52.2
8 0
List A 387
16629 12830 380 6/38 6/38 33.76 4.62 43.7 3 5 0
Twenty20 72 72 1575 1645 88 4/11 4/11 18.69 6.26 17.8 3 0 0

Pakistan tour of England, 3rd ODI: England v Pakistan at The Oval, Sep 17, 2010



Match scheduled to begin at 13:00 local time (12:00 GMT)

Current time: 09:00 local, 08:00 GMT

England squad
AJ Strauss*, JM Anderson, RS Bopara, TT Bresnan, SCJ Broad, PD Collingwood, SM Davies, EJG Morgan, A Shahzad, RJ Sidebottom, GP Swann, IJL Trott, LJ Wright, MH Yardy

Pakistan squad
Shahid Afridi*, Abdul Razzaq, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Yousuf, Saeed Ajmal, Shahzaib Hasan, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz

Eight of 16 former CJs were corrupt in India: Bhushan

Updated at: 1443 PST, Thursday, September 16, 2010
Eight of 16 former CJs were corrupt in India: Bhushan NEW DELHI: Former Law minister Shanti Bhushan has submitted a list of 16 former Chief Justices of India saying that 8 of them were definitely corrupt.

Bhushan has also dared the apex court to send him to jail for contempt of court.

Bhusan, who was Law minister in the Morarji Desai government, claimed six of the CJIs were honest and he could not comment on the remaining two judges. He submitted the name of eight "corrupt judges" to the Supreme Court.

Bhushan had written an article in 'Tehelka' magazine about the corrupt judges in Supreme Court after which the apex court started a contempt proceeding against him.

The application by Bhushan is in a contempt proceeding against his son Prashant Bhushan for casting aspersion on the integrity of present CJI SH Kapadia and former CJI KG Balakrishnan.

Bhushan also claimed that two former CJIs had personally told him while they were in office that their immediate predecessor and immediate successor were corrupt judges.

The father-son duo has been spearheading campaign against corruption in judiciary. Bhushan was the law minister in the Morarji Desai government from 1977 to 1979. con

MQM announces 10 day mourning at Imran’s murder

Updated at: 0316 PST, Friday, September 17, 2010
MQM announces 10 day mourning at Imran’s murder KARACHI: MQM’s Coordination Committee has announced observation of 10 day mourning in connection with assassination of Dr. Imran Farooq, who was stabbed to death in London late on Thursday night, Geo News reported.

According to details, All MQM’s chapters across world have announced suspension of party activities for 10 days in mourning over tragic murder of party’s former convener Dr. Imran Farooq.

Addressing a press briefing here at Nine Zero, MQM’s Convener Dr. Farooq Sattar, strongly denouncing the killing slaying of Dr. Imran Farooq, has extended condolences with heirs of deceased soul.

He also directed party workers to observe mourning days peacefully.

On the occasion, he termed killing of party leader Imran Farooq as ‘irreparable loss’ to party adding that all party workers including Quaid MQM Altaf Hussain are deeply grieved over tragic incident.

Altaf says Imran Farooq was Shaheed-e-Inqilab

Updated at: 0503 PST, Friday, September 17, 2010
Altaf says Imran Farooq was Shaheed-e-Inqilab KARACHI: Dr Imran Farooq, a founding member of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement, which later became the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was killed in London on Thursday evening.

Expressing his profound grief over the shocking incident, Quaid Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain termed the incident as the saddest incident of his life, saying the deceased was Shaheed-e-Inqilab.

When the news broke late Thursday night, streets and roads in Karachi became deserted as people headed for their homes. Also, in their immediate reaction to the killing, leaders of various parties, including President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani and the Awami National Party condemned the murder in strong terms.

Sources said on Thursday evening when Dr Imran Farooq was climbing the stairs of his flat in Mill Hill, North London, an unknown person stabbed him twice. He fell down the stairs. The assailant followed him and again stabbed him twice at the bottom of the stairs. He was shifted to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Following the confirmation of his death, all birthday celebrations of the MQM chief were cancelled.

In a late night development, senior MQM leaders assembled at Imran Farooq’s residence in Sharifabad, Federal B Area, to condole with the family. In a late night press conference at the residence of Dr Imran Farooq, his close associate Dr Farooq Sattar said the death of Dr Farooq was a great loss for the party and the MQM activists.

He announced 10-day mourning on behalf of the MQM Rabita Committee. During the mourning period, MQM activities throughout the world will remain suspended.

The Rabita Committee, he said, also condoled with the bereaved family. He said that the MQM chief was greatly upset over the death of Dr Imran Farooq. The place of burial of Dr Imran Farooq will be decided later. He hoped that the unidentified killer would be soon arrested.

Imran Farooq had attended the Sindh Medical College, where he was closely associated with Dr Farooq Sattar. Farooq was the secretary general of the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation (APMSO).

After the emergence of the MQM, he became the first convener of the party. Following the death of General Zia and the elections in 1988, Imran Farooq was elected as an MNA from Karachi. He was the parliamentary leader of the MQM in the National Assembly.

In 1992, when the military operation against the MQM started, Imran Farooq, like other party leaders, went into hiding. He was facing several cases of crimes of heinous nature. Though he remained underground, he continued to run the party. After several years, he resurfaced in London.

Dr Imran Farooq was suspended twice from the party membership in recent years. Dr Farooq’s father was also elected an MNA in 1997. Dr Imran Farooq had married some five years ago. He is survived by his wife, Shumaila Farooq, and two children. Shumaila Farooq was a Sindh MPA in 2002.

According to initial reports, Dr Imran was returning home after a walk in a nearby park when he was repeatedly stabbed by an unidentified attacker around 11.30 pm (PST). So far, it is not clear whether it was a case of a mugging gone bad or a pre-planned assassination.

The critically injured leader was rushed to a nearby hospital where he expired an hour or so later. According to another unconfirmed report coming in later, he may have been murdered by his own security guard. Dr Farooq’s parents reside in Karachi while his wife constantly shuttled between Karachi and London. cont..

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Slovenia 0-1 Northern Ireland Substitute Corry Evans scored with his first touch as Northern Ireland made a fine start to the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Slovenia 0-1 Northern Ireland

Corry Evans slots in the only goal in the Maribor qualifier
Corry Evans slots in the only goal in the Maribor qualifier

Substitute Corry Evans scored with his first touch as Northern Ireland made a fine start to the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Slovenia squandered a host of chances in the first half with Milivoje Novakovic and Zlatan Ljubijankic posing a potent attacking threat.

The hosts dominated after the break but the visitors netted in a rare attack as Evans turned in Craig Cathcart's low cross at the backpost on 70 minutes.

Maik Taylor saved from Josip Ilicic as Northern Ireland held on for the win.

Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington saw his men show more urgency than their hosts in the early stages, hustling and quickly closing down the Slovenians.

Click to play

Click to play

Scorer Corry Evans and debutant Craig Cathcart on Northern Ireland's 1-0 win in Slovenia

But they created nothing of note with Grant McCann firing his 25-yard free-kick against a defender in the fifth minute.

Slovenia were the first to threaten on 13 minutes as striker Novakovic failed to connect with Andraz Kirm's inswinging free-kick.

Chris Baird dragged his shot wide before debutant Craig Cathcart put in a last-ditch tackle to deflect Ljubijankic's effort over the bar.

David Healy was harshly booked as he struck a defender instead of the ball with an attempted overhead kick, two minutes before his weak curling shot was easily saved by Samir Handanovic.

Slovenia grew more dangerous as the half progressed and Novakovic squandered another opportunity, heading straight at Taylor from Kirm's cross.

Ljubijankic broke free on the right only to blast wide while there was no-one to turn Kirm's dangerous ball across the goalmouth into the net just before the break.

Slovenia assumed complete control on the restart but their pressure failed to produce a deserved goal.

Well done Corry Evans. Well done Norn Iron - bring on Italy at Windsor

Valler Birsa's deflected volley flew just wide after 49 minutes as they mounted attack after attack.

Changes were needed and Worthington brought Kyle Lafferty and Evans on for Healy and McCann after 67 minutes.

The introduction of Evans, who was making his competitive debut, proved to be an inspired substitution as the visitor's took a surprise lead with their first meaningful attack three minutes later.

Cathcart supplied a low cross to the far post and the young Manchester United midfielder sneaked ahead of his marker to slot in from two yards.

It was a case of hanging on as Slovenia searched for an equaliser, with Taylor saving from Ilicic before Ljubijankic blasted into the side-netting.

Northern Ireland players and fans celebrated at the final whistle in what was an unlikely success on the road and the first win in 11 games.

Andy Murray sees off flamboyant Dustin Brown at US Open

Andy Murray
Murray has not dropped a set in his opening two matches

By Piers Newbery

Andy Murray overcame the unorthodox style of Jamaica's Dustin Brown to reach the third round of the US Open.

The British number one coped well with Brown's mix of big serving, volleys and constant drop shots to come through 7-5 6-3 6-0 in New York.

It was another impressive display from the Scot in blustery conditions at Flushing Meadows.

Murray goes on to face Swiss 25th seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat Juan Ignacio Chela 7-5 6-3 6-4.

"I'd never played him before so at the start of the match it was very interesting," Murray said afterwards.

"He went for his shots huge and was hitting fun shots so I was glad to get off in straight sets. I kind of knew what to expect coming into the match. I've been told he likes to put on a bit of a show beforehand.

It's not bad losing to Andy Murray, I'm definitely not upset
Dustin Brown

"The crowd obviously enjoy watching that but it went from being a great atmosphere at the end of the first set to just pretty quiet because there wasn't a whole lot going on out there.

"I started well, I didn't really give him many chances. I've not really ever seen him play before. He has a very fast service action, so it took a few games to start to read the serve a little bit.

"I just had to focus on playing solid and making as many returns as possible. When you play as high-risk tennis as that, it's difficult over five sets to keep it up."

Brown, ranked 123 in the world, had become the first man from his country to reach the second round of a Grand Slam since 1974.

And the dreadlocked Jamaican certainly made his mark with his unusual playing style and on-court eccentricities, such as insisting on using the same ball throughout his service games and choosing not to sit down at the changeovers.

The match had something of a false start, with a 20-minute rain delay interrupting proceedings after three games, but once the action resumed it was the flamboyant Brown who gripped the attention of the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

And as the heavy serves and huge groundstrokes pounded down, there were moments of real hope for the Jamaican contingent in the early stages.


However, Murray remained calm under the onslaught with some solid serving of his own and and earned his first break point at 5-4, but Brown saved it with a heavy first serve and screamed his delight.

The Scot was beginning to get the measure of his man though, and two games later a breathtaking half-volley forehand winner took Murray to 15-40 before he sealed the set with a backhand arrowed down the line.

Brown's resistance might not have been broken but it had been dealt a heavy blow and Murray capitalised on his advantage, taking total control with successive breaks at the start of the second set as he moved 5-0 clear.

The world number four needed that cushion as Brown's radar kicked back into life in the latter stages of the set, but after dropping three straight games Murray focused well to close it out at the second opportunity.

A double-fault and a regulation volley into the net did for Brown at the start of the third and, with Murray increasingly keen to attack the net, the outsider was left with nowhere to go.

A blistering backhand winner helped Murray move 5-0 up for the second set in succession and this time he made no mistake to seal victory in one hour 24 minutes.

"It's not bad losing to Andy Murray," said Brown. "I'm definitely not upset, that's why it was a good first set. The other two sets he started getting more comfortable and definitely returning really well.

"I only know him from watching him on TV. I wasn't worrying about him too much, I just tried to play my game and make sure that I'm doing the things I'm supposed to do.

"I wasn't trying to go out there and worrying too much about the opponent. If you do that, then you're just going to go nuts out there. I lost 5, 3, and 0. It happens."

England 4-0 Bulgaria Jermain Defoe struck a hat-trick as England started the road to recovery after the bitter disappointment of World Cup failure wi

England striker Jermain Defoe
Hat-trick hero Defoe celebrates scoring England's opener

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer, at Wembley

Jermain Defoe struck a hat-trick as England started the road to recovery after the bitter disappointment of World Cup failure with victory against Bulgaria in their opening Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley.

England manager Fabio Capello has been under increasing pressure in the aftermath of the flawed South African campaign - so the emphatic manner and margin of the win will come as a huge relief to the 64-year-old Italian.

Defoe established the foundations with an early goal and added a second just after the hour as the home side eventually overran the Bulgarians.

Manchester City's Adam Johnson, on as a substitute for Theo Walcott, ended any slim hopes of a Bulgarian revival with England's third and his first for his country before Defoe completed his treble with a powerful drive four minutes from time.

England's win may have come at a cost however, with Tottenham defender Michael Dawson stretchered off with what looked like a serious injury after slipping as he made a challenge early in the second half.

Defoe also limped off after picking up an injury as he scored his third goal, but Capello expects him to recover in time for Tuesday's game in Switzerland.

The home side suffered the occasional anxious moment, but goalkeeper Joe Hart was flawless when called upon as he continued his impressive graduation to the international stage with some crucial saves.

And there was another plus as Wayne Rooney was a central figure in England's goals, despite occasionally appearing to be out of favour with the home support.

As Capello's men started their rehabilitation after the dismal World Cup exit in the last 16 against Germany in Bloemfontein, a bright start was essential to ease any concerns among the Wembley crowd - and it was duly delivered.

Phil McNulty blog
England made the perfect start on a road they hope will lead them to Poland and the Ukraine in two years

Rooney's wonderful pass played in Ashley Cole, and when he pulled a cross into the six-yard box Defoe volleyed expertly high beyond the reach of Bulgaria keeper Nikolay Mihaylov.

Steven Gerrard was relishing his central midfield role, dictating the tempo and showing his full range of passing in an encouraging England opening, but Bulgaria were almost handed a route back into the game from the unlikeliest of sources.

Glen Johnson appeared lost in confusion as he attempted to deal with a cross, succeeding only in turning the ball towards his own goal and bringing an instinctive save from the alert Hart.

Rooney had occasionally felt the impatience of the 73,246 at Wembley, but he demonstrated his enduring quality with a 20-yard chip four minutes after the interval that forced Mihaylov into a scrambling save to turn his effort over the top.

Ivelin Popov then posed a threat for England as he flashed a shot across the face of goal before England were forced into a defensive reshuffle following Dawson's unfortunate departure, with Bolton's Gary Cahill coming on for his international debut.

And two decisive moments just after the hour saw the balance of the game swing decisively in England's favour. Hart did well to block a powerful drive from Stanislav Angelov, giving England the opportunity to sweep forward on the counter attack as Gerrard and Rooney combined to set up Defoe for another clinical finish.

Hart had distinguished himself as he confirmed his status as Capello's first-choice keeper, and he came to the rescue again with a fine one-handed stop from Dimitar Rangelov just as he seemed poised to pull a goal back for Bulgaria.

Walcott had been a peripheral figure, and he was replaced by Johnson as the clock ticked down towards an England victory.

Gerrard almost gave the scoreline a more convincing appearance when Mihaylov dived low to save his shot, and then recovered well to claw away with loose ball as Defoe closed in on a hat-trick, but England were not kept at bay for long.

Johnson had proved a lively introduction for England and he was on the scoresheet for the first time at full international level with a low drive that left question marks over the positioning of Bulgaria keeper Mihaylov.

It was left to Defoe to round off England's triumph as he took advantage of more good work by Rooney to lash a finish past Mihaylov - although he picked up a knock in the process and limped off.

Switzerland will provide a sterner test in Basel on Tuesday, but Capello and England will regard this as the perfect tonic after the trauma of South Africa.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Quetta rally suicide bomb kills dozens

Quetta rally suicide bomb kills dozens

The blast was followed by firing, reports suggest

A suicide bombing has killed at least 50 people in Quetta, south-western Pakistan, police say.

Nearly 80 others were injured in the explosion at the Shia Muslim rally in the Meezan Chowk area.

Pakistani Taliban militants said they had carried out the bombing.

It was the second attack on Pakistan's Shia Muslim minority this week - bombs in Lahore on Wednesday killed dozens in an attack also claimed by the Taliban.

The bombings come at a time when Pakistan is grappling with unprecedented floods that have displaced millions of people.

TV pictures showed chaotic street scenes in the aftermath of Friday's explosion. Survivors fired guns in the air, said police.

Reports said several Pakistani journalists were among those injured.

Shia leader Allama Abbas Kumaili appealed for calm, telling a Pakistani TV channel: "We understand these are attempts to bring Sunni and Shia sects against each other."

Organised by the Shia Imamia Students' Organisation, the rally was one of many that take place in Pakistan each year on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to support the Palestinian demand for a homeland.

Shia Muslims make up an estimated one in five of Pakistan's Sunni-dominated population of 160 million.

The attack comes two days after bomb attacks on a Shia procession in Lahore killed 31 people on Wednesday. At least two of the attacks were suicide bombings, police said.

The Pakistani Taliban said they had carried out the blasts in revenge for the killing of a Sunni leader last year.

Earlier on Friday, in another attack on religious minorities in north-west Pakistan, a suicide bomber killed one person outside a mosque of the Ahmadi sect.

Members of the community have often been the victims of sectarian attacks.

While the Ahmadis consider themselves Muslim and follow all Islamic rituals, they were declared non-Muslim in Pakistan in 1973.

Konkona, Ranvir's to marry this week

Konkona, Ranvir's to marry this week

Updated at: 1513 PST, Thursday, September 02, 2010
Konkona, Ranvir MUMBAI: The talented actress Konkona Sen Sharma is all set to tie the knot with her long-time boyfriend actor Ranvir Shorey.

The tentative wedding day is September 3. Both Ranvir and Konkona have been dating each other for the past three years and have been living in together.

The marriage has been kept under wraps and only a couple of close friends are aware of it. The wedding will take place at their Goregaon residence this Friday.

Our source said, "Konkona Sen Sharma and Ranvir have always believed in keeping their personal life, private. They have never spoken about each other in the media and although everyone is aware about their relationship status, they have not let the media peep into their lives.

Now they are all set to tie the knot on the 3rd of this month and the wedding is also an extremely private affair. Very close friends are aware of it and only a couple of them are invited.

They plan to break the news after they get married this Friday. Konkona's mother Aparna Sen is already in town for the wedding and everything is set."

The source further said, "Ranvir's film The Film Emotional Atyachar is slated for release on September 3 and he is promoting the film everywhere. But he has not informed anyone amongst the cast and crew of the film about his wedding plans."

Labour politicians call for new phone hacking inquiries

News of the World logo The News of the World says the allegations should be treated with "extreme scepticism"

Labour politicians have urged fresh inquiries into phone hacking claims surrounding the News of the World.

Lord Prescott said he would go to court to find out if his phone was tapped. Ex Home Secretary Alan Johnson said last year's police probe could be reviewed.

A former reporter on the paper told the BBC he had been asked to hack into phone messages by Andy Coulson, then editor, now an aide to David Cameron.

No 10 said Mr Coulson "totally and utterly" denied the allegations.

The News of the World said the claims by Sean Hoare, who it said had been dismissed from the paper, should be treated with "extreme scepticism".

The News of the World's royal editor, Clive Goodman, was jailed for conspiracy to access messages in 2007 but the paper maintained that that was an isolated case.

Calls for further action by Labour politicians were prompted by allegations in the New York Times about the extent of phone hacking which went on at the News of The World.

Last year, the Metropolitan Police chose not to launch an investigation into claims, made by the Guardian newspaper, that a host of public figures - including Lord Prescott - had had their messages hacked by journalists there.

At the time, it said the evidence did not warrant it and suggested Lord Prescott's phone had not been tapped.

It reiterated that on Friday, rejecting suggestions that it had failed to follow up clear leads or come under pressure not to proceed with a full investigation.

While it was seeking clarification from the New York Times about its allegations, it said the investigation remained closed.

Lord Prescott said he wanted to "find the truth" about whether he had been targeted by journalists and would seek a judicial review unless the police supplied him with information in its possession by next week.

Fellow Labour MP Chris Bryant believes he was also targeted but said he had not been informed by the police. Solicitors acting for the MP said they would challenge the Met's decision in court.

And the BBC understands former Labour cabinet minister Tessa Jowell has said her phone was hacked 28 times, according to police, at a time when Mr Coulson was the paper's editor.

'Dark arts'

Separately, shadow home secretary Alan Johnson said there was a case for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to review the Met's handling of the case and he would ask to see Home Office files on the allegations.

Start Quote

Asked whether or not his position was in doubt, one very senior source in the government said Andy is going nowhere”

Gary O'Donoghue BBC Political Correspondent

However, Conservative MP and government minister Alan Duncan, speaking on Radio 4's Any Questions, said comments by Labour MPs were part of a concerted campaign to attack the government.

"Things are getting ramped up in the media based on rumour and innuendo and, as in the William Hague case, I don't think it's acceptable in this case. And unless anybody comes forward with any clear evidence this is not something that should be pursued," he said.

Mr Hoare, one of the sources for the New York Times' allegations, told the BBC that phone tapping was "endemic" within the industry and he had been personally "requested" to do so by his then editor Andy Coulson.

"He was well aware that the practice exists," he told Radio 4's PM programme.

"It was always done in the language of 'Why don't you sort of practice some of your dark arts on this' which was the metaphor for saying 'Go and hack into the phone'," he explained.

And former News of the World sport reporter Matt Driscoll said he thought it was "unconceivable" that Mr Coulson would have been unaware of phone hacking practices when he was at the paper because "he would be a part of all the big stories that were being made by the paper".

Andy Coulson Andy Coulson told MPs last year he did not "use or condone" phone tapping

Mr Coulson resigned after Mr Goodman - and a private investigator - were jailed in 2007, saying he took responsibility for the incident while insisting he was not aware of what the journalist had done and never sanctioned his activities.

He told a Commons committee which looked into the allegations last year that he never "used or condoned" phone tapping and was deceived by the journalist concerned.

While critical of the conduct of the News of The World's journalists, the Culture Committee found no evidence that Mr Coulson either approved of or was aware that phone tapping was taking place.

But Mr Hoare told the BBC that for Mr Coulson to "stand up in front of a Commons committee and say 'I was unaware of this under my watch' was wrong".

The News of the World said the New York Times allegations "contained no new evidence".

'Unsubstantiated allegations'

"It relies on unsubstantiated allegations from unnamed sources or claims from disgruntled former employees that should be treated with extreme scepticism given the reasons for departures from this newspaper," it said in a statement.

"We reject absolutely any suggestion there was widespread culture of wrongdoing at the News of the World."

No 10 has said Mr Coulson has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in relation to the case and said he stood by his evidence to the Culture Committee last year.

The BBC's Political Correspondent Gary O'Donoghue said there is "some political advantage to the Labour party to stir up as much trouble as possible for Andy Coulson" because he is "central to the Downing Street operation" since he is "very close to David Cameron and extremely important to what he does".

Our correspondent said No 10 "totally and utterly rejected the idea that he allowed anyone [or] asked anyone to hack into any phones".

"Asked whether or not his position was in doubt, one very senior source in the government said Andy is going nowhere," he said.

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