India vs Australia: Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara hold fort after Mayank Agarwal show

Powerhouse Indian pair Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kolhi built on an impressive 76 from debutant Mayank Agarwal to pile pain on Australia in the crunch third Test Wednesday. On a docile, batsman-friendly Melbourne Cricket Ground wicket, India ground their way to 215 for two at stumps on day one with the rock-like Pujara not out 68 and superstar Kohli unbeaten on 47 as the bowlers toiled in hot conditions for little reward. Pat Cummins was the pick of the attack, taking two for 40. India came into the Boxing Day…

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In Meerut, Muslims sell their cows to stay clear of vigilantes

Badar-ul-Islam, an influential leader from Syana area of Bulandshahr who contested Lok Sabha election against BJP stalwart Kalyan Singh in 2004 and lost by a slender margin of 8,000 votes, says he sold his two cows after Yogi Adityanath came to power in UP. “Sensing the winds of change, I decided to sell my two cows as I didn’t want to buy trouble for myself. I have affection for cows and raised them at my home for over a decade as cow milk is considered best for the health of…

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The second migrant child to die in US detention this month

An eight-year-old boy from Guatemala has died in US government custody, officials say, the second migrant child to die in US detention this month. The border agency says the boy died on Monday night hours after showing signs of illness. A Texas congressman named him as Felipe Alónzo-Gomez. The child was detained with his father on 18 December after illegally crossing the US-Mexico border. A seven-year-old girl died earlier this month just hours after being detained. Jakelin Caal, also from Guatemala, developed a high fever and died of liver failure. Her…

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Syrian refugees enduring harsh winter in Lebanon camps

Syrian refugees are facing up to make it through another harsh winter in the camps of Lebanon with the country’s rainy season and plummeting temperatures adding to their woes. Due to limited resources and bitter conditions, most of the one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley find themselves in a difficult situation to cope with the cold weather. Munzer Hamad, an official at a local camp which holds about 750 people from more than 100 Syrian families, said many of the displaced people are struggling in the tough environment due…

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Syrian air defense systems intercept ‘hostile targets’ near capital Damascus

Syrian air defense systems have intercepted “hostile targets” near the capital Damascus, nearly a month after government forces shot down several missiles following an Israeli attack and foiled its goals despite the “intensity of the aggression.” Syria’s state-run al-Ikhbariyah Syria television news network said that air defenses had intercepted the targets in the skies over the western outskirts of Damascus. The report added that the projectiles had flown over the Lebanese territories, suggesting that they had been most likely launched from Israel. A witness said the sound of loud explosions echoed through Damascus. Lebanese…

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