Kaziranga Report Gets BBC Banned From Tiger Reserves For 5 Years
- NAGPUR : Stung by a BBC documentary questioning India's aggressive protection measures at Kaziranga national park in Assam, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) that governs all tiger reserves in the country has imposed a ban on the network and its journalist Justin Rowlatt for five years. As reported by TOI on February 15, BBC's South Asia correspondent Justin Rowlatt's documentary titled `One World: Killing for Conservation' on Kaziranga's rhino conservation methods came in for sharp criticism from the Union environment ministry for being "grossly erroneous".
- The documentary had claimed forest guards in Kaziranga had been given powers to shoot and kill anyone they think was a threat to rhinos. In a memorandum issued on Monday evening, NTCA said BBC had failed to submit the documentary to MoEFCC and Ministry of External Affairs for obligatory previewing "in order to remove any deviations, so as to achieve a balanced and accurate exposition of the theme". It has asked chief wildlife wardens of all tiger range states and field directors of tiger reserves to disallow filming permission to BBC for five years.
Federer Returns With Easy Win Over Paire In Dubai
- DUBAI : Roger Federer breezed back into action to reach the second round of the Dubai Open with a straightforward 6-1 6-3 over erratic Frenchman Benoit Paire on Monday. In his first match since memorably claiming his 18th grand slam title by beating Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open a month ago, the 35-year-old was immediately back in the old routine to give Paire the runaround.
- There was precious little resistance from the Frenchman as Swiss maestro Federer, the third seed, delighted a packed Centre Court crowd with some flashes of brilliance. Paire was warned for unsportsmanlike behaviour at one point after hurling his racket and also needed treatment on a foot injury. Federer claimed victory in less than an hour.
- The Swiss, who does much of his training in Dubai, is looking for his eighth title at the tournament. Top seed and world number one Andy Murray also returns after a lengthy layoff, which included a bout of shingles, when he takes on Tunisia's Malek Jaziri on Tuesday.
Fowler Closes Out Honda Classic Victory
- MIAMI : Rickie Fowler, buoyed by a brace of long-range birdie putts, won the US PGA Tour Honda Classic on Sunday with a one-over par 71 in the final round at PGA National. Key birdie putts of 40 feet and 25 feet helped Fowler overcome two tee shots into the water. He started the day with a four-shot lead and with five birdies, four bogeys and a double-bogey finished with a 12-under total of 268 -- four strokes ahead of Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland. "My putter saved me," said Fowler, who was in the water off the tee en route to a double bogey at the sixth, and shockingly in the water again off the tee at 17, where he salvaged a bogey.
- He dropped another shot at the par-five 18th, where his third shot found a greenside bunker. Despite the ugly ending, the round saw Fowler win for the first time when holding the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, after four prior misses. His lead had dwindled before he rolled in a 40-footer at the 12th and a 25-footer at the next, and his advantage was up to five strokes when he birdied 16. "It's nice to have a cushion when you are playing the last two holes," Fowler said, adding that the round in breezy conditions wasn't easy.
- "To go from 27 February 2017, where it was pretty chill out here, not a whole lot of breeze, and good conditions to just go hit golf shots and pick this golf course apart, today was completely different, a lot of crosswinds," he said. "This was a tough wind to play this golf course in. And I felt like I hit some good shots that got just on the wrong side of the wind and didn't come back like I was." Woodland had applied some early pressure, but he finished with back-to-back bogeys to settle for a 69 and a share of second on 272 alongside Hoffmann, who carded a 68. "I gave myself a lot of chances.
- Just didn't get the putts to come in down the stretch," Woodland said. "But obviously Rickie is playing some great golf. So happy with the way I'm playing and looking forward to next week." England's Tyrrell Hatton, who started the day in second place, carded a two-over 72 to finish in a large group sharing fourth on 273. The group also included Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas, whose 64 was the best round of the day and included a hole in one at the par-three 15th.
ISSF World Cup : Jitu-Heena Pair Wins Mixed Event For 10m Air Pistol
- NEW DELHI : There was some cheer for India after two barren days as the duo of Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu triumphed in the 10m mixed team air pistol event of the ISSF World Cup on Monday. However, since the mixed event is being used on a trial basis in line with IOC's aim to achieve gender equality in its 2020 Tokyo Olympics program, medals are not being awarded even though the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) executive committee has ratified the recommendations. The mixed event got its start with the 10m air rifle event at the World Cup on Saturday with China winning the gold medal over Japan.
- In an event where coordination plays a key role, Rai teamed up with Heena to finish ahead of Japan's Yukari Konishi and Tomoyuki Matsuda 5-3. Slovenia's Naphaswan Yangpaiboon and Kevin Venta were placed third. They were trailing in the semifinal stage but staged a spirited fightback to enter the gold medal match and eventually won the 'golden badge'. "It was good, very interesting, opinions are still divided since it is early days. It will take time to settle down. But we will have to start preparing for this in earnest as this, we assume, is going to be part of the Olympics and World Championships," Heena, a former world number one, said after the event.
- World Championship and Asian Games silver medallist Jitu said, "I am trying to figure out how it works. We are having a little difficulty right now as far as coordination is concerned but once the rules gets clear it will be better for us." The recommendations to include mixed gender event was given by the Abhinav Bindra-led ISSF Athletes Committee and the world governing body soon approved the proposal.