Sudirman Cup 2019: India eye elusive medal, face tough tests in group stageSudirman Cup badminton: India will take on Malaysia in their opening tie of the mixed team championships on Tuesday before facing a tough test against powerhouses China on Wednesday.advertisement Next Press Trust of India NanningMay 18, 2019UPDATED: May 18, 2019 17:01 IST Sudirman Cup 2019: India will bank on their singles stars PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth to deliver (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSIndia take on Malaysia in their Sudirman Cup opener on TuesdayIndia have been drawn alongside Malaysia and China in Group DIndia have been seeded 8th in the mixed team championshipsIndia will continue their hunt for an elusive medal when top shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal spearhead the Indian challenge at the prestigious Sudirman Cup which gets underway Nanning Sunday.India reached the quarterfinals twice in the 2011 and 2017 editions but failed to cross the last eight stage.The Indians would have to ensure they pull no punches when they face heavyweights China and avoid any early hiccups against 2009 semifinalists Malaysia in Group 1D to qualify from the group.India’s chances during the mixed team championship will depend on the quality singles players such as reigning BWF World Tour Finals winner Sindhu, 2019 Indonesia Masters champion Saina Nehwal, 2019 India Open finalist Kidambi Srikanth and BWF World Tour Finals semi-finalist Sameer Verma.India first will look to quell the challenge of Malaysia on Tuesday before taking on the mighty 10-time champions China the following day.India fancy their chances against MalaysiaThe 13-member Indian team, seeded eighth this time, will look to draw inspiration from their sensational win over Malaysia en route to an unprecedented team gold at the Commonwealth Games 2018.With former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei missing in action this time, India will fancy their chances against Malaysia, who are likely to bank on Lee Zii Jia in the men’s singles.In women’s singles, Goh Jin Wei or Soniia Cheah will lead the charge for Malaysia but they are unlikely to pose any threat to Sindhu or Saina.Malaysia will need their doubles to put up a good performance to salvage hopes of making it to the knockout stage.advertisementSatwiksairaj’s return from injury boosts India’s chances of making the knockoutsBut the return of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy after an injury gap will fuel India’s hopes in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles.Satwik, who recovered from a shoulder injury to make a title-winning comeback at the Brazil International Challenge recently, will form a formidable men’s doubles pair with Chirag Shetty, while pairing with the experienced Ashwini Ponappa in mixed doubles.At the last edition, India had put up a superb performance to upset 1989 winners Indonesia on their way to the quarter-finals where their run was ended by eventual runners-up China.This time too China boosts of formidable team which comprises Olympic champion Chen Long and 2018 All England Champion Shi Yuqi in men’s singles and reigning All England champion Chen Yufei in women’s singles.Besides, China also possess quality doubles combinations and all three Indian pairs will need to punch above their weights to pose a challenge to the formidable neighbours, who are eyeing their 11th title this time.Also See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Sudirman Cup 2019Follow India badmintonFollow PV SindhuFollow Kidambi SrikanthFollow Saina NehwalFollow Satwiksairaj Rankireddy
Strongly condemning all the “horrific and brutal acts” witnessed in recent weeks in Libya, Bernardino León, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), underscored in his briefing to the Security Council that “no words can express my outrage and revulsion at the beheading of 21 men, including 20 Egyptian nationals who were targeted for no other reason than their religious belief and nationality.”Yet, that atrocity should not eclipse the barbarity of other acts committed by extremist groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Ansar al-Sharia. Speaking via video conference from Tripoli, Mr. León pointed out that in November, three young activists were beheaded in Derna; towards the end of December, a young Egyptian doctor and his wife, also Copts, were brutally murdered at their home in Sirte; their daughter, who was abducted, was found dead on the city’s outskirts the next day.“These are but a few of the many countless incidents which every day affect thousands of civilians, who bear the brunt of war and displacement and are victims of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, especially in areas like Benghazi,” said Mr. León, warning that without a swift agreement among opposing Libyan political factions, the country, its people and the wider region were at risk of even more turmoil.Indeed, he said, ISIL and its affiliates over the past weeks had shown blatant disregard for Libya’s sovereignty and state institutions. The capture of public installations in Sirte and the attack last month on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli reflect a growing ability and determination on the part of ISIL to exploit the political crisis and consequent security vacuum to consolidate its presence and influence across Libya.Mr. León said that extremist groups with radical ideologies, associated with Al-Qaida, have been on the rise since the end of the armed conflict in 2011, with Ansar al-Sharia’s strongholds in Benghazi and Derna already constituting a serious terrorist challenge in the context of the Libyan crisis. These have served as platforms for mobilizing support for ISIL.“[ISIL] has already shown its potential for destruction in Iraq and Syria. Operating across borders, it has mobilized recruits and significant financial resources, including through the use of social media,” he said, explaining that in Libya, the group has found fertile ground in the growing post-revolution political instability, capitalizing also on the weakness of state institutions and state security sector. A steady influx of foreign nationals has bolstered its ranks and now threatens to introduce yet another dimension to the conflict in Libya. “We should be gravely concerned by this turn of events and firmly oppose the ideology and terrorist practices of the [ISIL]. These radical forces must be confronted at every turn. No strategy will be successful without strong regional cooperation and an empowered Libyan State and authorities,” he stressed. This is particularly the case in light of the complexities of Libya’s crisis; of its weak and fragmented state institutions, their current political polarization; the predominance of armed groups seemingly oblivious to the national interest; and media incitement and inflammatory rhetoric and corruption.Mr. León said that since his last briefing to the Council, considerable headway had been made in the talks he has been mediating, in bringing the main parties to the negotiating table. “We have progressively structured a political dialogue along five mutually reinforcing tracks, bringing together representatives from a broad spectrum of the Libyan political, military and social landscape.”In January, the UN hosted two rounds of political talks in Geneva in which discussions were focused on reaching agreement on a national unity government and security arrangements to include also a comprehensive ceasefire. He reported that within Libya, reactions to the talks have been overwhelmingly positive and appear to have injected a new ray of hope regarding the possibility of a peaceful resolution of the political crisis and military conflict.He went on to report that a week ago, he had been in Ghadames, Libya, where for the first time, all the parties joined the UN-facilitated political dialogue. “No doubt this marks an important breakthrough towards an inclusive political agreement, which remains the only avenue for a sustainable way out of the crisis.” The envoy said that he is also hopeful a political agreement can be reached soon – “the differences among the parties are not insurmountable” – and that he is confident that their sense of responsibility for the fate of the Libyan people and national unity, democracy and territorial integrity of the Libyan State will prevail over their differences. “Yesterday, it was the anniversary of a revolution intended to realize these values, which look so far away today,” he pointed out, adding: “The images of the brutal acts of terror, which we have witnessed in Libya in the recent months, have shaken our collective conscience. We must capitalize on this sense of urgency and – today more than ever – we must stand firmly behind the political process.”Given the sense of urgency, Mr. León said he had called for the next meeting of the political dialogue to finalize discussions initiated in Geneva on the formation of government of national unity and security arrangements to pave the way for a formal and comprehensive cessation of hostilities.“Defeating terrorism in Libya can only be achieved through the political and institutional determination of a united Libyan Government, which will need the strong and unequivocal support from the international community in confronting the myriad challenges facing Libya,” he said, also emphasizing the international community’s shared responsibility to build consensus among the Libyan counterparts. “It is crucial for the international community as a whole to maintain a unity of purpose, through coherent messaging and actions. Our efforts to counter terrorism in a sustainable manner cannot be a series of isolated acts and we should not allow terrorism to disrupt the political dialogue.”
Taken by photographer Damien Stenson yesterday at around 10.30pm.For more like this, check out Damien’s Facebook page.Update: It was actually taken on September 21. And just to be clear, it’s the moon setting, not the sun.PHOTOS: The sun sets over Ireland>For more, follow @dailyedge on Twitter and like The Daily Edge on Facebook.