Pakistan beat Sri Lanka to clinch three-match series


Younus Khan remained unbeaten after a brilliant 171 as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the final test to win the three-match series 2-1 at Pallekele on Tuesday.

Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (59 not out) blasted Jehan Mubarak for a six to seal Pakistan’s first test series win in Sri Lanka since 2006 as the visitors chased down a daunting 377-run target in the second session of the final day.

Shan Masood (125) was the only Pakistani batsman to fall on Tuesday, having added a remarkable 242 runs with Younus to turn the match on its head after Sri Lanka had seized control.

Shot out for 215 in the first innings and reeling at 13-2 in the second, Pakistan’s stunning victory also saw them jump three places up to third in the test rankings.

“This series means a lot to me. It was a dream, after losing two-three series here,” Misbah said at the presentation ceremony.

“The way they (Younus and Masood) played, they almost took the game away from Sri Lanka. And once you have this sort of partnership at the top, it was an easy job for us,” he added.

Pakistan began the final day needing 147 for a memorable win and off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal drew Masood out of his crease with flight and turn to have him stumped. The opener had earlier survived a strong caught-behind appeal when he was on 120 with bowler Angelo Mathews and wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal convinced he had edged it.

Umpire Ian Gould, however, deemed otherwise and Sri Lanka moved on having exhausted both of their review opportunities. Younus continued to play with his characteristic fluency and was unbeaten after registering his 11th 150-plus score in test cricket, the most by any batsman from his country.

The 37-year-old batted for more than seven hours in a man-of-the-match display, also becoming the first batsman to score five fourth innings centuries in test cricket.

“It was not easy,” Younus said. “But I have my own expectations from myself, to do well when the team is under pressure. I take the onus on myself to take my team to victory.”

Mathews, who struck a defiant century in Sri Lanka’s second innings, did not hide his disappointment.

“I thought at 376, we were sitting pretty but that was not the case. We’ll take definitely a lot of time to digest this defeat,” the all-rounder said.

Pakistani leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who claimed 24 wickets in three matches, won the man-of-the-series award.


London is now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert


The City of London is the money-laundering centre of the world’s drug trade, according to an internationally acclaimed crime expert.

UK banks and financial services have ignored so-called “know your customer” rules designed to curb criminals’ abilities to launder the proceeds of crime, Roberto Saviano warned. Mr Saviano, author of the international bestseller Gomorrah, which exposed the workings of the Neapolitan crime organisation Camorra, said: “The British treat it as not their problem because there aren’t corpses on the street.”

His warning follows a National Crime Agency (NCA) threat assessment which stated: “We assess that hundreds of billions of US dollars of criminal money almost certainly continue to be laundered through UK banks, including their subsidiaries, each year.”

Last month, the NCA warned that despite the UK’s role in developing international standards to tackle money laundering, the continued extent of it amounts to a “strategic threat to the UK’s economy and reputation”. It added that the same money-laundering networks used by organised crime were being used by terrorists as well.

Roberto Saviano’s ‘Gomorrah’ has sold 10 million copies around the world (Teri Pengilley) Interviewed by The Independent on Sunday, Mr Saviano said of the international drugs trade that “Mexico is its heart and London is its head”. He said the cheapness and the ease of laundering dirty money through UK-based banks gave London a key role in drugs trade. “Antonio Maria Costa of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime found that drug trafficking organisations were blatantly recycling dirty money through European and American banks, but no one takes any notice,” he said. “He found that banks were welcoming dirty money because they need cash, liquidity during the financial crisis. The figures are too big to be rejected …. Yet there was no reaction.”

Referring to HSBC’s record $1.9bn (£1.2bn) US fine for money laundering for the Mexican Sinaloa drugs cartel in 2012, Mr Saviano said: “The biggest UK bank! Yet it has scarcely been written about. The British treat it as not their problem, because there aren’t corpses on the streets.

“They think it’s all happening ‘over there somewhere’, so they needn’t worry about it. Sure, HSBC has been reported but there has been no debate. You need to fill the papers. The intellectuals have said nothing. [David] Cameron has said nothing. It’s his country. How can he say nothing on such a piece of news?”

Sirisena-Chandrika-Ranil Alliance In Offing


COLOMBO: Following the grant of the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) parliamentary election ticket to former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his rival and serving President Maithripala Sirisena is set to form an anti-Rajapaksa alliance with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

This was evident on Sunday when Sirisena and Wickremesinghe attended Kumaratunga’s 70 th.birthday celebrations and spoke about Kumaratunga’s contribution to Sri Lanka in glowing terms.

While the function was attended by key supporters of Sirisena and Wickremesinghe, supporters of Rajapaksa were conspicuously absent.

Speaking on the occassion, Sirisena praised Kumaratunga for not being corrupt and for promoting ethnic reconciliation when she was Lankan President from 1995 to 2005.He was indirectly contrasting her with Rajapaksa who had become known for being corrupt and being against ethnic reconciliation.

Sirisena also praised Kumaratunga for the respect she enjoyed internationally, the kind of respect Rajapksa did not get from the international community.

Sirisena openly acknowledged that it was due to the recommendation of Kumaratunga that he had become the common opposition candidate backed by the UNP in the January 2015 Presidential election.

Wickremesinghe recalled the long ties his family had had with Kumaratunga’s family and the way the two of them worked to make Sirisena Lankan President and bring about a “revolution” in the country.

Sirisena had made it quite obvious that he gave the UPFA ticket to Rajapaksa against his will when he spoke at a function in Matara recently.

He promised that he would not let down the revolution that he had ushered in in January.He said he was still committed to ridding the country of family rule and corruption by which he meant the “Rajapaksa Raj.”

According to informed sources, the Sirisena-Ranil-Chandrika group will fight the August 17 parliamentary polls as an alliance with the “Swan” as the symbol- their symbol for the Presidential election.

This means that Sirisena will be breaking away from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the UPFA along with other anti-Rajapaksa elements.His continuation in the two outfits had become untenable after the General Secretaries of the two outfits opted to side with Rajapaksa along with the majority of the outfits’ leaders and members.

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU ),an anti-Rajapaksa party, announced on sunday that it has quit the UPFA.


Dalai Lama to Celebrate 80th Birthday in California


LOS ANGELES: The Dalai Lama launches three days of celebrations today in California for his 80th birthday at what is billed as a Global Compassion Summit but which is expected to draw protests.

Thousands of followers and fans of the Tibetan spiritual leader are to attend events in Anaheim and at the University of Irvine, including on his actual birthday tomorrow.

“This milestone occasion is a joyous opportunity for people to come together in celebration of His Holiness’ life and achievements,” said Venerable Lama Tenzin Dhonden, founder of the non-profit Friends of the Dalai Lama.

“On this very special birthday we will have a chance to celebrate his accomplishments in many areas and hear his exciting view for the years to come.”

The celebrations start with a speech by the Dalai Lama today on “awakening compassion” and the “transformative power of creativity and art” at the Honda Center in Anaheim, south of Los Angeles.

Tomorrow, the Tibetan religious figurehead will discuss climate change and “wisdom, vision and experience,” including with other Nobel laureates, while on Tuesday events wrap up with a session on youth leadership.

The Dalai Lama already marked his official 80th birthday last month — on June 21 according to the Tibetan lunar calendar — in Dharamsala, his hometown in exile in India.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of trying to split Tibet from the rest of China and has called him a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” In 2011 the Dalai Lama delegated his political responsibilities to a prime minister elected by Tibetan exiles in an attempt to lessen his own totemic status and secure the movement’s future after his death.

But he remains the most powerful rallying point for Tibetans, both in exile and in their homeland. Not everyone is celebrating his birthday in California: protests are expected by Shugden Buddhists, who revere a deity denounced since 1996 by the Dalai Lama — whom they accuse of religious persecution.

“We will be loudly and vividly protesting outside all three days of the Dalai Lama’s events in Anaheim and at UC Irvine,” spokeswoman Rachael Jeffrey told AFP, saying hundreds of Buddhist demonstrators were expected to turn out.

Ticket prices for the Anaheim event, which can host 18,000 people, range USD 35-USD 180, while tickets for the UC Irvine events cost up to USD 93.

Any profits from the three days will go to charities chosen by the Dalai Lama.

Happy fourth of July America


Hi everyone!
We would like to take the time to wish all the American a very happy 4th of July which is Independence Day in the United States. As you take the day to celebrate with family and friends, we have decided to do the same too. Have a wonderful weekend ahead and see you all again next week.




Sri Lankan president agrees to give party nomination to Rajapaksa


Colombo, July 4 (IANS) The main opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) on Friday said Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has agreed to allow former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the August 17 parliamentary election under the UPFA banner.

The announcement came a day after Sirisena, as the chairman of the party, refused to give the nomination to Rajapaksa, paving the way for a major split in the opposition.

Intense discussions were held between Sirisena and members of the opposition on Friday morning after which UPFA general secretary Susil Premajayantha in a statement released to media said that the president has given his consent, Xinhua news agency reported.

He further said that the party’s nomination list would be completed within the next few days.

The former Sri Lankan leader on Wednesday said that he would make a comeback to politics by contesting the August parliamentary election and look to form a new government in the island nation.

He however did not say under which political party he would look to contest the polls despite his supporters holding crucial meetings with Sirisena in the past month trying to negotiate a favourable settlement for him to contest on a UPFA ticket.

One of the main demands put forward by Rajapaksa when he met the president recently was that he be nominated as the UPFA’s prime ministerial candidate. Sirisena, however, rejected the request.

Sirisena Backtracks, Gives Election Ticket To Rajapaksa


Lankapage thanks President Maithripala Sirisena for the prudent decision and by doing so has unified the SLFP and UPFA… On August 17th former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will win the parliamentary election in a landslide and create history in our mother land..!!
#srilanka #MahindaRajapaksa #mithripalasirisena

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), on Friday backtracked from his earlier stand and agreed to give an UPFA  ticket to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to fight the August 17 Lankan parliamentary elections.

Sirisena’s chief political lieutenant and cabinet spokesman, Rajitha Senaratne, told Express that the decision was a “compromise” between one group wanting Rajapakasa to be designated as the Prime Ministerial candidate and another wanting Rajapaksa to be discarded totally.

“The President has now agreed to allow Rajapaksa to contest the election as an ordinary candidate of the UPFA and not as its group leader or its Prime Ministerial candidate,” Senaratne explained.

Asked if the Sirisena group will stop attacking Rajapaksa and his group, discarding the virulent anti-Rajapaksa stand taken during the January 2015 Presidential election, Senaratne said that the Sirisena group will continue to attack Rajapaksa and his cohorts.

But he also said that the Sirisena group will attack the United National Party (UNP), though the two of them are running  a coalition government.

Some political analysts say that the Sirisena-UNP alliance is heading for a crash, while others say that the pro-Sirisena group will break away and establish an alliance with the UNP.

UNP Irked

Meanwhile, UNP MP, R.Yogarajan, said that his party will break with Sirisena as he has failed to carry out his election promise to politically destroy the corrupt and authoritarian Rajapaksa.

“The UNP put him up as the joint opposition Presidential candidate on the basis of this promise, but he has made up with the corrupt Rajapaksa. We will hold him responsible for not fulfilling the election promise to establish Good Governance and ask the people to give us the vote to establish Good Governance,” Yogarajan said.

Jathika Hela Urumaya

Ven.Rathna Thero, leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and a  Sirisena supporter, said that one cannot say that Rajapaksa will emerge strong enough to be considered for Prime Ministership. It will depend on the overall results. As for the JHU, it will work to strengthen the Sirisena group in the SLFP/UPFA, Rathna Thero said.

Rajapaksa Faction Thrilled

National Freedom Front and UPFA leader Wimal Weerawansa said that the August 17 elections will throw up a “Maithri-Mahinda” government with Sirisena as President and Rajapaksa as PM. He  congratulated Sirisena for preventing a split in the SLFP and UPFA.

UPFA leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara congratulated Sirisena for “rescuing the SLFP and UPFA from the clutches of the UNP.”


Photo by infographic

Congrats! Mahinda Rajapaksa Prime Minister all the way👍👍


Press release via the UPFA


Have LinkedIn and Medium Killed the Old-Fashioned Blog?


I didn’t start my business: my blog did.

When I started blogging in 2004, I had just finished graduate school and I was trying to figure out what I was going to be when I grew up. I knew I wasn’t going to pursue a traditional academic career, but I wasn’t sure what else a Ph.D. had prepared me for.

But the emergence of the social web meant there was an ever-expanding set of websites and tools that were driven by the same kind of online participation I’d researched for my dissertation. Sites like Delicious, Flickr and 43Things were ushering in the new phenomenon of “user-generated content,” and technologies like RSS and tagging were providing new ways for regular web users to organize and share content. Suddenly my core research question-what drives online participation?-was something a lot of organizations cared about.

The still-newish phenomenon of blogging gave me a way of exploring what we then called “Web 2.0″, and sharing my thoughts about what it meant for online politics and nonprofit organizers. Pretty soon, people started calling me for advice about the kinds of tools I was blogging about, and that advice turned into a few gigs building participatory websites. Before I knew it, I had started what we’d now call a social media agency.

My experience wasn’t atypical in the early days of the social web. As recently as three or four years ago, establishing a blog was still the obvious way for a professional to showcase expertise and build a platform and professional reputation. Blogging your way into a career wasn’t just for social media professionals: Ricky Shetty transformed himself from an ESL teacher to a full-time blogger and online community organizer-beginning with his own Former broadcaster Amy Bronee started blogging her cooking experiments while at home with her kids-and now has a thriving business as a cookbook author and cooking teacher. And of course Nate Silver blogged his way from indie statistician to New York Times bestselling author.

Stories like theirs are why, whenever someone asked me how social media could help them shift their career path, I used to say: start a blog.

Is that still the right advice in 2015? Twitter has made it possible to demonstrate expertise by sharing links and short insights, 140 characters at a time. If you’re in a visual field-whether that’s fashion, design or even real estate-sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Houzz may offer the fastest route to establishing a vision, following and clientele. For folks who like to talk or shoot more than write, creating a podcast or YouTube channel can be a better fit than a blog, and just as effective at sharing your ideas.

But the real blog-killer isn’t any of these alternatives: it’s the hosted publishing that’s emerged on sites like LinkedIn and Medium, where anyone can just log in and start posting. In a world where you can now showcase your ideas on the site where you’re hosting your virtual résumé-LinkedIn-do you really need to have your own independent publishing platform?

Publishing exclusively on LinkedIn or Medium is indeed the right choice for some people, particular if you are a new or intermittent writer. If you’ve already invested time in building a LinkedIn network, you’re going to find an audience a lot more quickly than if you start a site from scratch. And unlike an independent blog, there’s no need to commit to a regular posting frequency on LinkedIn: you can write a post whenever you have something to share or say, and even if that’s only a few times a year, you’re extending your professional credibility and voice in a context where it can be discovered. It’s also a great way to try out posting without investing in setup or making a long-term commitment: you can write a few posts, develop your own voice, and then decide if you want to commit to running your own site.

For people who are already blogging, however, the right path is less obvious. Indeed, even though I’ve been blogging for more than ten years, I’ve found myself questioning the role of my own site, particularly in recent months. Since rebooting my consulting practice at the beginning of this year, I’ve once again picked up the pace on my blog-but as soon as I started posting more frequently on my own site, a few friends asked me why I was wasting my time on an independent blog when I could reach so many more people through LinkedIn, Medium, or my posts here at HBR.

But there are still good reasons to write on your own site, even if you’re also contributing to another site. First, if you’re an established blogger-even one with a modest following-there’s no reason to throw away any readership you’ve built up by abandoning your own site in favor of LinkedIn. Far better to post on your own site, and then cross-post to LinkedIn (for professional content) or Medium (for personal thought pieces) to extend your audience.

Second, if you maintain a website to showcase your professional work, business or consultancy, a blog can drive valuable traffic to that site-particularly if you use it in conjunction with LinkedIn. Occasional posts that reflect your interests or expertise act as proof points for the implicit or explicit claims you make on your website; even occasional stories are a nice way of offering a wider range of content and letting colleagues or clients see the person behind the résumé. Selecting highlights to share on LinkedIn can bring readers back to your site for additional insights; when they get to your site, you can use your sidebar to tout your related services or additional content.

Third, a blog on your own site allows you to shape the context and curation of your posts in a way you simply can’t achieve on LinkedIn. For example, you can organize past posts around a key theme all in one place; the theme or themes you select will help you define and demonstrate your specific areas of expertise. You can decide which posts to highlight on your site, and which posts should disappear into your archives after their moment in the sun.

Last but by no means least, blogging on your own site may allow you to take more risks than you’re ready to take on LinkedIn. It’s the difference between singing at a karaoke bar and performing at Carnegie Hall: while it may be great to have the largest possible audience for a major performance, sometimes you just want to cut loose and have fun. An independent blog is a place you can test out your ideas and hone your writing skills without necessarily hitting the radar of everyone you’ve ever met at a conference. Then you can choose just the best items to post and share more widely.

All of these are great reasons for independent blogging to continue even in the era of LinkedIn-enabled publishing. Yet the rise of LinkedIn, and its ever-stronger hold on our professional conversations and identity, means that more and more people are embracing established platforms rather than setting up (or maintaining) their own independent online presences.

That’s regrettable, because the value of blogging goes beyond the way it can help us build a professional reputation or clear personal brand: it’s also a tremendous tool for personal expression, and for the kind of exploratory writing and thinking that can help people discover new interests, new relationships and even new careers. (I often advise people to write their way into figuring out what they actually want to do with their working lives: write about what interests you, and share the ideas that get you fired up, without thinking about what is strategic or “on brand.” Do that for a few weeks or months, and then look at what you’ve written: are there a few key themes, topics or approaches that you keep revisiting? That’s a great clue about what you find so interesting that you’d pursue it even if nobody paid you.and what you might therefore love to do for a living.)

When you have a clear set of career goals and a set of blog posts that are designed to support those goals, LinkedIn blogging is a terrific way to help those posts find an audience. If we allow blogging on LinkedIn, Medium, and other hosted sites to crowd out independent blogging, we’ll lose an important way of finding those goals in the first place.


PayPal Acquires Xoom To Help Facilitate International Money Transfers


Apart from being used as a payment method on websites such as eBay, PayPal has also been used by users to transfer money to one another, like transferring money to a friend to pay for a meal, or parents transferring money to their children while they’re away at college. However to help themselves expand into a wider market, PayPal has announced that they have acquired Xoom.

For those unfamiliar with Xoom, they are a startup company that specializes in making money transfers in international markets. The company has boasted that in the past 12 months, they have facilitated a whopping $7 billion in transfers between customers all around the world, and no doubt this is a business that PayPal would definitely be very interested in.

Xoom is also currently playing host to about 1.3 million active customers in the US and has transferred money to 37 countries around the world. According to PayPal, “We believe this acquisition will allow PayPal to quickly expand into the large and growing global money transfer market. The acquisition aligns with our strategic vision to make the movement and management of money better for people, helping our customers find new and exciting ways to use PayPal, everyday.”

The company also believes that with this acquisition, it will allow them to expand faster into markets such as Mexico, India, Philippines, China, and Brazil. They are also expecting the acquisition to be finalized and closed in Q4 2015 assuming that there are no objections or irregularities.



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