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Confederations Cup offers plenty of star power

Statesman News Service | Updated :

RIO DE JANEIRO, 12 JUNE: Despite featuring only eight teams, the Confederations Cup offers plenty of star power with Neymar, Mario Balotelli and Andres Iniesta among the top players to watch.
The focus starts with Brazil and its rock-star forward Neymar, a recent Barcelona signing who is sure to attract much of the attention in the warm-up tournament for the World Cup.
The 21-year-old striker hasn’t been as successful with Brazil as he was with Santos, but he remains the country’s biggest hope for a World Cup title at home in 2014.
At midfield, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari counts on Chelsea playmaker Oscar and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Lucas, who have successfully made the transition into European football.

  • On defense, it will be Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva and Chelsea’s David Luiz in the middle, and Barcelona’s Daniel Alves and Real Madrid’s Marcelo on the wings.
  • But Brazil isn’t the only team full of world-class footballers.
  • Defending world champion Spain will bring Iniesta and Barcelona teammates Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas and David Villa.
  • Spain coach Vicente del Bosque also named goalkeeper Iker Casillas on the team. He has not played a competitive match since breaking a bone in his hand in a Copa del Rey match in January.
  • “He’s one of us,” Del Bosque said of Casillas.
  • Balotelli has become Italy’s most explosive player. His two-goal performance in the Azzurri’s victory over Germany in the semifinals of last year’s European Championship was his most memorable night with the national team, and he now seems rejuvenated after transferring to AC Milan in January.
  • Having played only occasionally with Manchester City previously, Balotelli scored 12 goals in 13 appearances with Milan. His strike partner at Milan, Stephan El Shaarawy, also pairs with him in Italy’s attack.
  • Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is the main man for Uruguay, and he needs to use the Confederations Cup to rehabilitate himself. Suarez, who has a long list of disciplinary problems, was banned for 10 matches in the English Premier League after biting Chelsea defender Branisalv Ivanovic in April. Suarez has recently talked about wanting to leave England, saying he’s fed up with the British media.
  • “I love Liverpool and everyone knows I have a contract,” he said in a radio interview.
  • “But if there’s a chance of playing elsewhere, I’d think about it. “It would be tough to turn down Read Madrid.”
  • Along with Suarez, Uruguay also features Edinson Cavani, the top scorer in Italy this season playing for Napoli.
  • The team also has striker Diego Forlan, who was named the best player in the 2010 World Cup, and has had a strong season for Brazilian side Internacional. The backbone for Olympic champion Mexico is Manchester United forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

Although Hernandez lost his starting job this season with United, he still scored 18 goals. He has 50 in three seasons in England and has scored 30 goals in 45 games with the national team.
For Japan, watch Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda and Yuto Nagatomo. Kagawa finished the season with six goals for Manchester United and will need to deliver for coach Alberto Zaccheroni.
Nagatomo had been sidelined since April 14 because of a torn meniscus in his left knee at Inter Milan, but opted not to have surgery and made a successful comeback.
Honda, a CSKA Moscow midfielder, has scored 13 goals in 41 games for Japan since his international debut in 2008.
“I am not exactly sure what kind of shape they’ll be in as they arrive on different days,” Zaccheroni said.
“Honda is not 100 percent but he is getting better. I’ll ask the players coming back from Europe to take it easy for a while.”
Nigeria will likely be led by midfielder Sunday Mba, who scored the lone goal in the African Cup of Nations final, and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, while Tahiti boasts striker Marama Vahirua and the four members of the Tehau family _ twins Alvin and Lorenzo, their brother Jonathan and cousin Teaonui.
“We are a unit within the national team,” Alvin Tehau said. “I think it helps the team as a whole.” ap

Del Bosque considering scoring, stopping options

Statesman News Service |

MADRID, 12 JUNE: Spain coach Vicente del Bosque says he has yet to decide who will start in goal and up front when the world champions get their Confederations Cup campaign underway against Uruguay on Sunday.
Del Bosque’s men rounded off their preparations for the tournament with a 2-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in New York on Tuesday thanks to goals from Roberto Soldado and Juan Mata.
But they were also thankful for two fine saves from captain Iker Casillas in the second-half.
The Real Madrid veteran continues to shine on his comeback after being frozen out by Jose Mourinho towards the end of the season at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But despite the key contributions from Soldado and Casillas, Del Bosque insisted their places in the side were not guaranteed.
"The number nine works when the team works. I am not going to say who is going to start," he told a press conference after the match.
"Soldado has had two games in which he has shown himself to be very incisive, but (Fernando) Torres and (David) Villa have been too.
"There are no starters or substitutes because all of them are primary figures at their clubs and it is difficult to choose because they are all very good.
"Iker had a very good performance, but any of the three goalkeepers could play. On the 16th you will see."
Victory extended Spain’s unbeaten run to 21 games stretching back to November 2011 and Del Bosque believes they will arrive in Brazil full of confidence.
"We played well. We had possession and dominance and if we lacked something it was the final pass, but the victory was deserved and it would not have been unjust to have achieved it by another goal.
"We arrive with confidence, in a good moment and with excitement, but there are seven teams that are going for the title and they have the same chance."
After facing Uruguay in Recife, Spain will also take on Tahiti in Rio on June 20 and then African champions Nigeria three days later in Fortaleza. afp

City top world wages league across all sport

Statesman News Service |

martin hardy
Manchester City&’s staggering rise over the last five years was highlighted yesterday when they were revealed as the highest paying club in any sport in the world. City’s players now average £100,764 per week (or £5.2m per year) according to Sporting Intelligence’s Global Sports Salaries Survey for 2013.
That figure means the former Premier League champions, who yesterday completed the signing of Seville winger Jesus Navas for £15m, have the best-paid players in any team sport.
 City sit above Real Madrid (£90,734 per week) and Barcelona (£90,201 per week) as one of three football teams in the top five. Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers (£93,380 per week) are in second place and the New York Yankees (£89,407 per week) are fifth.
The figures are collated from average first-team pay to produce as close as possible comparison between 278 teams in 14 leagues in seven sports across 10 countries where first-team squads can vary in size.
The figures cover a variety of sports including football, basketball, ice hockey, cricket and baseball and come from a variety of countries. They do not however include France’s top football division, Ligue 1, where Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco are becoming major players.
Monaco have given a clear indication of the size of their ambition by spending £110m on new players already this summer. The French Ligue 2 champions have bought Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez and fought off competition for the signature of Radamel Falcao by paying Atletico Madrid £50m for the striker.
The last eight winners of the Champions League are in the top 12 of the pay charts with Chelsea in eighth place and current Premier League champions Manchester United in 12th. Perhaps unsurprisingly the list of English clubs then has Arsenal in 15th place (£70,503 per week), Liverpool in 21st place (£64,551 per week) and then Tottenham in 51st place (£50,538 per week).
What may cause consternation is the relatively high placing of Aston Villa (£41,736 per week), Sunderland (£35,938 per week) and Newcastle United (£34,815 per week) who are all in the top 75 payers.  All three teams spent most of last season fighting for Premier League survival at the foot of the table. Queen’s Park Rangers’ players, who were relegated, also averaged a salary of £32,569 per week, enough to put them in 91st place.
the independent

Brazilian father-son duo for East Bengal

Statesman News Service |

KOLKATA, 12 JUNE: Brazilian Marcos Falopa, who has been a FIFA instructor since 1996, will be the East Bengal coach for the upcoming season, the club announced here today.
64-year-old Falopa will join the club along with his son Americo who has been appointed as the fitness trainer-cum-goalkeeping coach, East Bengal president Pranab Dasgupta said at the club tent. In a coaching career spanning over three decades, Falopa has travelled more than 100 countries and coached various clubs and national teams including South Africa, Oman and Myanmar. pti

Sports Briefs

Statesman News Service |

Praneeth stuns Hidayat
Young Indian shuttler B Sai Praneeth stunned former world and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia to storm into the pre-quarterfinals of the Indonesian Super Series Premier on Wednesday. The 20-year-old Indian, who made it to the main draw through the qualifiers, came back from one game down as he won the remaining two in stunning fashion to shock the former world number one and 2004 Athens Olympics gold medallist 15-21 21-12 21-17 in a 52-minute gruelling first round contest. Three other Indians ~ Ajay Jayaram, RMV Gurusaidutt and Sourabh Verma ~ also reached the prequarterfinals but it turned out to be a bad day in office for world number 10 Parupalli Kashyap as he crashed out of the men&’s singles competition.
Danes defeated
Armenia smashed Denmark 4-0 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier in Parken, Denmark, crushing the hopes of the Danes to qualify for the finals. Armenia on Tuesday scored the first goal after only 27 seconds into the game through Yura Movsisyan and, 20 minutes later, the score was 2-0. Movsisyan scored his second goal to make it 3-0 14 minutes into the second half before Mkhitaryan sealed the victory with an 81st-minute goal. Meanwhile, Argentina managed a 1-1 draw against Ecuador on Tuesday in the thin air of Quito to remain on top of South America’s World Cup qualifying standings.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring with a penalty in the fourth minute for Argentina, but Segundo Castillo equalised with a header in the 17th. Lionel Messi came on as a substitute in the 60th minute.
Indians cruise
Indian players made a positive start in the Association of Tennis Professionals Nottingham Challenger event as Somdev Devvarman recorded a victory in singles while Divij Sharan and Purav Raja advanced to the doubles quarter-finals. Devvarman, ranked 140, defeated local qualifier Brydan Klein, 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the opening round of the 64,000-euro grasscourt event. The fourth-seeded Indian pair of Divij and Raja overcame a fighting Rik De Voest of South Africa and Adil Shamasdin of Canada 6-1, 3-6, 10-7 in the opening round.
India win
In Mulhouse, France, India outclassed Venezuela 3-0 to top pool H and make sure of their progress to the pre-quarter-finals of the men’s World Team Squash Championship. Results: India beat Venezuela 3-0: Mahesh Mangaonkar beatt Miguel Vallennilla 11-1, 11-2, 11-7; Harinder Pal Sandhu beat Gabriel Teran 11-3, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5; Ramit Tandon beat Miguel Mendez11-2, 11-2, 11-3.
Ministry&’s move
The Union sport ministry has decided to lay out synthetic surfaces for football, hockey and athletics and to invest in multi-purpose indoor halls across the country under the urban sports infrastructure scheme.

Food Security Bill: Govt opting for ordinance route

Editorial Team | Updated :

statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 12 JUNE: The Union Cabinet is likely to take up and clear tomorrow a proposal to promulgate an ordinance for giving effect to the ambitious National Food Security Bill, although there are reservations within a section of the Congress and the UPA coalition about taking the ordinance route.
The BJP and other Opposition parties like the Left are strongly opposed to an ordinance for implementing the Food Security legislation which has been the Congress and its president Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s “priority” Bill.
Like the Opposition ~ and NCP chief and Union agriculture minister Mr Sharad Pawar ~ a section of the Congress prefers that the Food Security Bill be passed after a thorough debate in both Houses of Parliament in the coming Monsoon session. They are also in agreement for advancing the session.

Union parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath has however, given clear indication that the government is set to approve the ordinance for implementing the Food Security Bill, which has been opposed by BJP president Rajnath Singh and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mrs Sushma Swaraj among others. Dismissing the charge that the government was rushing to push through the Food Security Bill through the ordinance route for gaining political mileage, and thereby showing disregard for Parliament, Mr Nath made a counter-allegation that the BJP and the Opposition had shown disrespect to Parliament by disrupting its proceedings when this Bill was slated to be considered for passage in the Lok Sabha during the second phase of the previous Budget session.
Mr Nath said that the ordinance will anyway have to be brought before both Houses of Parliament for discussion and passage in the next session.
The food minister Mr K V Thomas today also claimed that all UPA allies were on board and that there was consensus.

Neglect refrain in BJD’s Delhi show

Editorial Team |

statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 12 JUNE: The Odisha chief minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader, Mr Naveen Patnaik (sns photo), brought his state’s fight for special status to the national capital today and accused the Centre of pursuing a policy of political discrimination in grant of assistance.
Mr Patnaik’s move seems to be not only aimed at strengthening his party’s position in Odisha politics but also signals his desire to carve a place for himself on the national political landscape. In the wake of Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee proposing a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front, this gains greater significance. 
Hitting out at the Centre for neglecting Odisha’s interests at a Swabhiman  rally held at Ramlila Maidan here, Mr Patnaik pitched for special category status to his state on the lines of the demand raised by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who had organised a similar rally in Delhi in March.
 “It has been a very long standing demand of Odisha. Historically, Odisha has been neglected by the Central governments. We give vast revenues to the Railways but we hardly get any Railways allocation in return,” said Mr Patnaik. 
Accusing the Centre of being discriminatory towards his state even during natural calamities, Mr Patnaik said: “Such massive injustice and neglect can never be tolerated.” 
He also accused the Centre of granting funds to other states but not Odisha, saying: “The UPA government is following different policies in different states. The selfish interest of the party (Congress) has become the sole criteria of central assistance.” He said the just demand of states like Odisha which fulfil all criteria required for special status are being ignored. 
Seeking to strike a chord with the crowd, Mr Patnaik spoke in his mother tongue, Odia, though he was reading out a written speech. Mr Patnaik said the nation cannot move forward by denying even one state its rightful claim, but successive governments at the Centre have ignored Odisha’s demand for justice.
“The Central government has been giving funds to different states on political considerations. Should the money paid by crores of tax payers of the country be used for a narrow interest of a political party?” he asked. 
The demand for special status “shall continue till we achieve our just demand” because it concerns “Odia dignity” and the aspirations of the four crore people of the state, he said. 
Mr Patnaik referred to the low rail network penetration in the state and the alleged indifference of the Centre towards the poor and tribals living in and around mining areas to buttress his claim of neglect.  He also sought to know why a state should be deprived of its rights when it is trying its level

Mamata talks Front with Naveen, Nitish

Editorial Team |

JD-U leader says party has high regard for bengal CM
statesman news service 
KOLKATA,12 JUNE: Bolstered by the widening rift between the BJP and the JD-U, Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee today went a step further to concretise her proposal to form a Federal Front with “all regional” parties and held talks over the telephone with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik in succession.
Soon after her conversations Miss Banerjee told the media: “I spoke to Nitish Kumar. Nitishji is in agreement that it would be good if we come together and form a Federal Front. I also spoke to Naveen Patnaik on the issue over phone today. When we talk again we will decide the venue where we will meet. We will all talk (with regional parties) in different states.” 
With the national political scenario fast unfolding, JD-U general secretary K C Tyagi met Miss Banerjee in her chambers at Writers’ Buildings during the day. Expressing satisfaction over the progress of talks with Mr Tyagi, the chief minister said: “Tyagiji has come to talk to me on the subject. We are happy. And, you know, some days ago Babulal Marandi (JVM-P chief) also came from Jharkhand to talk on this. Two or three other leaders came and talked with us.” 
Miss Banerjee iterated that as she had posted in an appeal on a social networking site yesterday, the Trinamul Congress wanted a non-BJP and non-Congress front at the Centre.  She said several regional parties had expressed their willingness to form the Federal Front soon after she posted her appeal. 
Mr Tyagi said the JD-U has high regard for the Trinamul chief. “Our leaders Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar have a long association with Didi. Sharad Yadav had also participated in a rally held by Didi at Jantar Mantar."
The Trinamul Congress all-India general secretary Mukul Roy said that as things stood now the country was going to get a fractured mandate in the 2014 poll. “Regional parties are going to fare well in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Tripura, Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. As a result, they would together be a deciding factor in the formation of a government at the Centre. The Trinamul will increase its tally in the LS poll as it is expecting to do better in north Bengal. More seats will be won in Malda, Murshidabad, Cooch Behar and Balurghat because for the first time we have been able to field the maximum number candidates for the panchayat poll  beginning on 2 July. The increase in our tally will be reflected in our results in the coming Lok Sabha poll,” Mr Roy added.
In Delhi, asked about Miss Banerjee’s moves, Mr Patnaik said, “let us see what the future holds”.
In Patna, JD-U leaders said, “Views have been firmed up to end ties with BJP and only an announcement has to be made”.

Bihar JD-U set to snap ties with BJP
NEW DELHI, 12 JUNE: Hardly had the crisis sparked off by Mr L K Advani’s resignation following the elevation of Mr Narendra Modi as the BJP’s campaign panel chief been resolved, the party was faced with another major challenge  as its Bihar ally, JD-U, appeared headed towards a parting of the ways.
The JD-U’s move to quit the NDA has also triggered related developments on the formation of a new non-Congress, non-BJP front to fight the next Lok Sabha elections. A section of the JD-U wants the BJP to make the first move and feels merely having Mr Modi as ‘election panel chief’ is not an adequate excuse to quit the NDA. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has made no secret of his animosity towards Mr Modi and he would find it extremely difficult to pursue ‘joint poll management with the BJP under Mr Modi’. JD-U MPs and MLAs have been asked to stay put in Patna on Friday and Saturday, when a meeting could be held to take a final call on the tie-up with the BJP, party sources said. The JD-U, which heads the coalition with the BJP in Bihar, has 118 MLAs and does not need the support of the BJP’s 91 MLAs to continue in power in the 243-member Assembly. sns (another report on page 2)

Rape victim’s family insists on CM’s visit

Editorial Team |

statesman news service 
KOLKATA/BARASAT, 12 JUNE: Relatives and neighbours of the rape victim of Barasat today erupted with seething anger when state law minister Chandrima Bhattacharya and Trinamul Congress MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar visited the house to console the shattered family members. They insisted that chief minister Mamata Banerjee should meet the family at their residence.
The minister and the MP tried hard to persuade them to meet Miss Banerjee at Writers’ Buildings, but despite all efforts, the family members stood their ground that the chief minister should herself come to the area. 
The minister, who was in tears at one stage, condemned the barbarous attack and assured the relatives and neighbours that immediate action would be taken against the culprits. 
Eventually, two brothers of the victim and four area residents went to meet the chief minister in the evening and demanded “exemplary punishment and no job or compensation.”
The trip was accompanied by much tension and drama, with the two brothers returning mid-way after leaving for the state secretariat following protests by the neighbours who insisted the chief minister should come to the family&’s home.
Subsequently, state food minister Jyotipriya Mullick went to the victim’s house and persuaded a group of 40 residents of the area to accompany the brothers to the state secretariat. 
But, there was fresh trouble after police prevented the entire group from entering Writers’ and instead allowed only six of them. Mr Mullick escorted the delegation of six. One of the brothers said: “We have come here to seek neither job nor compensation. We want death sentence for all those involved in the incident”.
During the hour-long meeting, Mr Mullick said the victim’s family members expressed their grief and Miss Banerjee assured action as soon as possible. Apart from Miss Banerjee, law minister Chandrima Bhattacharya, sports minister Madan Mitra, Mr Mullick and chief secretary Sanjay Mitra were present at the meeting. 
A local resident said that demands for providing safe drinking water, uninterrupted power supply and construction of a police outpost were also placed before the chief minister.  
Meanwhile, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a CBI investigation into the gangrape and murder at Barasat was admitted by the Division Bench of Mr Arun Mishra, Chief Justice and Mr Justice Joymalya Bagchi of  Calcutta High Court  today. The court directed the state government to file an affidavit-in-opposition in a week’s time.
The state government will appeal to the court for death penalty for the culprits, chief secretary Mr Sanjay Mitra said at Writers’ Buildings. The police would frame a charge-sheet and plead in the court for awarding maximum possible punishment.
He, however, said the Barasat gangrape and the unrelated assault on TV reporters the same day were stray incidents.
“We will try to ensure the accused persons are tried in a fast track court and appeal for stringent punishment, the death penalty, if necessary,” he said.
Criticising the intellectuals for not raising their voice in protest against the Barasat rape incident, Trinamul MP Prof Saugata Roy said that mindsets need to be changed.

Centre allows CBI to grill ex-coal secy

Editorial Team |

statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 12 JUNE: A day after the CBI booked Mr Naveen Jindal and former Union minister of state for coal, Mr Dasari Narayana Rao, in the coal allocation scam, the government finally allowed the agency to question the former coal secretary, Mr H C Gupta.
The government had earlier denied the CBI permission to question Mr Gupta, who is now a member of the Competition Commission of India, a government agency that reports to the ministry of corporate affairs.
Mr Gupta was the coal secretary and headed the screening committee which was assigned the job of allocating coal blocks. According to sources, the CBI is soon going to summon Mr Gupta and the Congress MP, Mr Jindal, to join the probe into irregularities of allocation of coal blocks.
The CBI is also going to seek permission to question a few more senior officers who had handled files relating to coal block allocations when they were in the Prime Minister’s office and the coal ministry.
According to sources, the CBI has shortlisted half a dozen officers of the PMO and coal ministry who would be asked to join the investigation.  While the CBI had initially received a negative response from the government, it took a stern stand and insisted upon questioning of senior officers involved in the coal block allocations. 
In a further embarrassment to the government, the CBI yesterday booked Mr Dasari Narayana Rao and Mr Jindal.
Sensing the mood of the agency, the government quietly permitted it to question Mr Gupta. The agency is also ‘hopeful’ that it would soon get more permission to grill officers involved in the coal block allocations.
The agency had started its investigation into the coal block allocation case after the adverse remarks in a CAG report that claimed a revenue loss of Rs 1.86 crore by not auctioning the coal blocks. The agency has so far registered 11 cases relating to irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks.

Dear mayor, citizens’ letters turn into litter

Editorial Team |

tarun goswami
KOLKATA, 12 JUNE: Letters written by various state government departments to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) never reach their destinations as civic employees do not open them.
Important letters lie scattered on the floor of the KMC’s main building on SN Banerjee Road as the mail boxes are stuffed with letters which include hundreds written by aggrieved municipal tax payers. Recently, the municipal commissioner Mr Khalil Ahmed picked up some of the letters that lay scattered on the floor and realising their urgency, ordered officials to open the letter boxes. It was found that many of the letters had reached the KMC at least two years ago.
Litterateur Buddhadeb Guha would be shocked to know that his letter written to the then municipal commissioner Mr Alapan Bandopadhyay expressing his satisfaction over the production quality of Purasree, KMC’s Bengali journal, did not get to the addressee. The letter reached the KMC on 1 June, 2007. Seeing Guha’s name on the envelope, KMC employees opened the letter last week.
A letter from the state legal services authority to the chairman of borough VI Mr Iqbal Ahmed remained undelivered. The KMC received the letter on 5, September, 2012. Again, another letter written by the divisional railway manager, Eastern Railway, Sealdah also did not reach the addressee. The letter came to the KMC on 3 June this year. An urgent letter from the Fisheries department, sector V, Salt Lake came to the KMC on 12 May. But till date the letter has not reached the office of the Assessor-Collector, Jadavpur unit. The KMC head office is supposed to send it to the Jadavpur unit. The general secretary of the Sardar Patel Memorial Committee wrote a letter to the executive engineer borough VI which reached the KMC on 25 May, 2012. But the letter never reached him.
An aggrieved resident of east Kolkata,  Mr AK Sarkar of P- 229, CIT scheme, VII- M, Kolkata 54 wrote a letter to the assessor collector (North) on 1 June this year. The letter lay on the floor before being rescued by some civic officials.
When contacted, senior officials of the information department said they do not have adequate staff to sort the letters and so they are left on the floor unattended.
"So we ask people, government agencies and private firms to send letters by courier specifying the department to avoid misplacement," said senior officials.


Editorial Team |

Ronaldo bid
Monaco are ready to make a world record €100m (£85m) bid for Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo has just two years left on his contract at Madrid and is known to be disillusioned with life at the Santiago Bernabeu, at the end of his fourth season there. The Ligue 1 club, funded by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, have already spent over £110m this summer on Radamel Falcao of Atletico Madrid and James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho of Porto. They are now prepared to make their boldest move yet, taking advantage of the Portuguese forward’s frustration at Madrid, and failure to sign a new deal, to tempt him to join with a world record salary offer of €20m (£17m) per year. Monaco are closely monitoring Ronaldo’s negotiations with Real Madrid over a contract extension, and if no deal is done by late July or August they will make their move.
the independent
(details on page 11)

Rupee recovers
MUMBAI, 12 JUNE: Fitch today revised India’s outlook from “negative to stable”. The instant positive impact of the late afternoon development was felt on the currency market where the beleaguered partially convertible rupee appreciated significantly in final deals against the US dollar. It ended the day up 60 paise at 57.79 against Tuesday’s closing of 58.39. sns (see pg 9)

No more telegrams
TIRUCHIRAPALLI, 12 JUNE: Smart phones, emails and SMS seem to have pushed the humble telegram service to a quiet corner with the BSNL deciding to discontinue the 160-year-old telegraph service from 15 July.
Once the main source of quick and urgent communication, the service delivered many happy and sad news to people spread all over the country. pti
         (details on page 3)