Really to the point article on  India-South Africa one dayer today:

On days like these, you realise the value of hanging in there until the bitter end. On days like these, you become cricket theists; you start acknowledging the concept of cricketing gods. On days like these, you can waste a solid start, a middle-order rebuild, end up with 190 on a fairly good batting surface, and still win. On days like these, the opposition captain can go for glory, asking for a Powerplay when he needs only 2.4 runs an over, and lose three wickets for 20 runs. On days like these, you can get lbws without hitting the pad. On days like these, you can miss a run-out and nearly miss another but still get that wicket. On days like these, you can be lazy at third man, costing the team three crucial runs, but still come back and bowl two short and wide deliveries to take the last two wickets, with one run to defend.

Series is 1-1 though. Who cares about the gods :)

Read on here for the rest of the article:

Aaron Finch Australia Delhi Daredevils 300000
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Abhishek Nayar India Kings XI Punjab 800000
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Albie Morkel (retained) South Africa Chennai Super Kings 500000
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Amit Mishra India Deccan Chargers 300000
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Cameron White Australia Deccan Chargers 1100000
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Davy Jacobs South Africa Mumbai Indians 190000
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Doug Bollinger Australia Chennai Super Kings 700000
Dwayne Bravo West Indies Chennai Super Kings 200000
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Faf du Plessis South Africa Chennai Super Kings 120000
Gautam Gambhir India Kolkata Knight Riders 2400000
George Bailey Australia Chennai Super Kings 50000
Graeme Smith South Africa Pune Warriors 500000
Harbhajan Singh (retained) India Mumbai Indians 1300000
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Ishant Sharma India Deccan Chargers 450000
Jacques Kallis South Africa Kolkata Knight Riders 1100000
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Kevin Pietersen England Deccan Chargers 650000
Kieron Pollard (retained) West Indies Mumbai Indians 900000
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Manoj Tiwary India Kolkata Knight Riders 475000
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Matthew Wade Australia Delhi Daredevils 100000
Michael Hussey Australia Chennai Super Kings 425000
Michael Klinger Australia Kochi 75000
Michael Lumb England Deccan Chargers 80000
Mitchell Marsh Australia Pune Warriors 290000
Mohammad Kaif India Royal Challenges Bangalore 130000
Moises Henriques Australia Mumbai Indians 50000
Morne Morkel South Africa Delhi Daredevils 475000
MS Dhoni (retained) India Chennai Super Kings 1800000
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Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lanka Kochi 1100000
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Owais Shah England Kochi 200000
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Rusty Theron South Africa Deccan Chargers 85000
Ryan Harris Australia Kings XI Punjab 325000
Ryan ten Doeschate Netherlands Kolkata Knight Riders 150000
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Shane Warne (retained) Australia Rajasthan Royals 1800000
Shane Watson (retained) Australia Rajasthan Royals 1300000
Shaun Marsh Australia Kings XI Punjab 400000
Shaun Tait Australia Rajasthan Royals 300000
Shikhar Dhawan India Deccan Chargers 300000
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Steve O’Keefe Australia Kochi 20000
Steven Smith Australia Kochi 200000
Stuart Broad England Kings XI Punjab 400000
Sudeep Tyagi India Chennai Super Kings 240000
Suraj Randiv Sri Lanka Chennai Super Kings 80000
Suresh Raina (retained) India Chennai Super Kings 1300000
Thisara Perera Sri Lanka Kochi 80000
Tillakaratne Dilshan Sri Lanka Royal Challengers Bangalore 650000
Tim Paine Australia Pune Warriors 270000
Travis Birt Australia Delhi Daredevils 20000
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Virat Kohli (retained) India Royal Challengers Bangalore 1800000
Virender Sehwag (retained) India Delhi Daredevils 1800000
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Wayne Parnell South Africa Pune Warriors 160000
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Pakistani officials have stated that three US drone strikes have killed fifteen people in the country Saturday. The attacks occurred to the north of Miranshah town in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan.
Security officials in the town informed AFP that in the first strike, US drones fired four missiles on a car, killing seven suspected militants. A nearby "militant compound" was also destroyed by the missiles. "Three militants were killed in the car while four were killed in the house," the official said.The second attack occurred within minutes of the first, and four militants, who were carrying on rescue work were killed by the two missiles that had been fired.
Intelligence officials believe that the militants were associated with Hafiz Gul Bahadur. "We are trying to establish identity of the militants but most of them are believed to be fighters of Hafiz Gul Bahadur," an official told the media. However, the death toll and the identity of those killed was not officially confirmed. A local official stated that they had heard reports stating "that four foreigners were also killed in these fresh attacks". However, he added that their identity is "still not known" and mentioned that they "are collecting more information."

A police official in Mumbai has warned four suspected militants of Pakistani origin have entered the city, the capital of Maharashtra, India, and claims they are plotting attacks in the city. Police are now searching for the four people, thought to be members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Islamic fundamentalist militant group the Indian government holds responsible for the coordinated attacks which hit Mumbai in 2008. Joint police commissioner Himanshu Roy says intelligence suggests "the threat is serious."

Lashkar-e-Taiba are thought to be responsible for the coordinated attacks which hit Mumbai in 2008.
Image: Vinukumar Ranganathan.
A United States counter-terrorism official said the attacks are likely imminent, and will occur over the Christmas and New Year period. "There’s no question LeT remains interested in pulling off another large-scale attack in India," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, "and we are alert to the possibility that LeT might again try a holiday attack."
Speaking at a press conference, Roy said "[t]hey have recently arrived in Mumbai. We are not in a position to reveal their nationalities now but they are LeT members."
There’s no question [Lashkar-e-Taiba] remains interested in pulling off another large-scale attack in India
Armed police have been posted around high-profile destinations in the city, and roads around the Taj Mahal Palace hotel—seiged by militants in the 2008 attacks—have been closed. Police have released a sketch of one of the militants believed to be in the city.
"The police [are] on high alert all over the city. We cannot take any of these intelligence inputs lightly in the holiday season," another Mumbai official said. "Since yesterday, we are checking all the possible hideouts, small lodges and guesthouses, railway stations. We are checking all the vehicles that are coming into the city."
166 people died and hundreds more were injured in the 2008 attacks, in which multiple gunmen attacked the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, a hospital, a police station, and numerous hotels, amongst other sites. The attacks were dubbed "India’s 9/11" by local media. Only one militant survived the attacks, Ajmal Amir Kasab; in May this year he was sentenced to death by hanging, on 86 charges, including murder, terrorism, and waging war against India.

A report by the Chinese government states corruption is "very serious". Officials, it says, have investigated over 240,000 cases in the past seven years including bribery and embezzlement.

The document, released by state news agency Xinhua, states although "notable" steps have been made towards fighting corruption, attempts to flush out corrupt citizens need to be more effective. The report further warns of corruption within government, noting new regulations ordering government officials to report investment and income. It also praises the Internet and the media for exposing corruption.
In recent years China has launched several campaigns against corrupt practices, but a Chinese anti-corruption researcher told Xinhua the report indicated the Chinese government now have "a more open and cooperative attitude toward the problem."
Since the relevant mechanisms and systems are still incomplete, corruption persists, with some cases even involving huge sums of money

There have been several high profile cases of corruption in the country over the past several years; this year the highest ranking justice official in Chongqing, Wen Qiang, was executed for accepting bribes, shielding criminal gangs and rape, and in 2008 a powerful party boss was jailed for 18 years for involvement in a pension fund scandal.
Although the report notes efforts have been taken to stamp down on corruption in China, it adds ridding it completely will be difficult. "Since the relevant mechanisms and systems are still incomplete, corruption persists, with some cases even involving huge sums of money," it states. "The situation in combating corruption is still very serious, and the tasks are still abundant."

Many weeks after the scam broke out, the top man has been raided. Will it lead to any tangible action?
Is THIS the litmus test for India?

I hope so, but then again, as one of my ex-managers used to say – hope is not a strategy,
and India needs a strategy to tackle the beast known as corruption.

TAPI is in actuality a Silk Road project connecting Central Asia to the West via Gwadar, which will make Pakistan the U.S.’s gateway to Central Asia.

The significance of the signing of the intergovernmental agreement on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project (TAPI) on December 11 in Ashgabat cannot be overstated. It can only be captured if one says with a touch of swagger that TAPI has been the most significant happening in the geopolitics of the region in almost a decade since America invaded Afghanistan.

The heart of the matter is that TAPI is a Silk Road project, which holds the key to modulating many complicated issues in the region. It signifies a breakthrough in the longstanding U.S. efforts to access the fabulous mineral wealth of the Caspian and the Central Asian region. Afghanistan forms a revolving door for TAPI and its stabilisation becomes the leitmotif of the project. TAPI can meet the energy needs of Pakistan and India. The U.S. says TAPI holds the potential to kindle Pakistan-India amity, which could be a terrific thing to happen. It is a milestone in the U.S.’ “Greater Central Asia” strategy, which aims at consolidating American influence in the region.

Read the rest on thehindu.com

International police cooperation organization Interpol has put Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowers’ website Wikileaks, on its most-wanted list after a court in Sweden announced he was wanted for alleged sex crimes. Wikileaks is this week releasing more than 250,000 secret “cables” between US diplomats.
Two weeks ago, Swedish authorities ordered the arrest of Assange for suspected rape, sexual molestation and illegal use of force. Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, yesterday released a “Red Notice” calling for Assange’s arrest. Interpol stated that this type of notice is not an arrest warrant, but a request “to assist the national police forces in identifying or locating those persons with a view to their arrest and extradition.”
The incidents are alleged to have occurred in August of this year, several weeks after Assange released 75,000 documents detailing US military actions in Afghanistan. “The background is that he has to be heard in this investigation and we haven’t been able to get a hold of him to question him,” said Marianne Ny, director of prosecution in Sweden.
It was first reported that he was suspected of rape later in August, when he described the allegations as part of a “smear campaign” against Wikileaks. Wikinews reported at the time that he said “the charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing.” A statement posted on Wikileaks’ website after the charges were announced defended Assange. “We are deeply concerned about the seriousness of these allegations. We the people behind WikiLeaks think highly of Julian and he has our full support. While Julian is focusing on his defenses and clearing his name, WikiLeaks will be continuing its regular operations.”