India will be vying for their first final appearance in the tournament's history while reigning World Champions Australia will look to enter their sixth consecutive Champions Trophy final, having won the tournament the last four times in a row (2008-2011).
The eight-time Olympic champions, however, have their hands full with a number of injuries in the squad.
Captain Sardar Singh and midfielder Manpreet Singh have carried on playing despite not being fully fit, which will play to the advantage of World No.2 Australia.
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Retail FDI win opens way for more reforms in parliament: Kamal
The government's double victory in parliament votes on retail reform opens the way for financial sector reform bills to be taken up in parliament next week, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said on Friday.
He was speaking to reporters after the government won a vote in the Rajya Sabha on allowing foreign supermarkets such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc to set up shop in India for the first time.
It won a similar vote in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
I will not resign: Gadkari
Amid demands from some party leaders that he should step down in the wake of allegations of dubious fundings of his companies, BJP president Nitin Gadkari today said he is an "honest man" and ruled out resigning from his post.
"I am an honest man, I will not resign," the BJP president said in reply to a question at the two-day programme 'Agenda-Aaj Tak' organised by TV Today network here.
Gadkari's present tenure as party chief ends this month. BJP leaders Ram Jethmalani and Yashwant Sinha have come out in the open to demand that Gadkari should resign immediately as the charges against him were denting the party's fight against corruption in the Congress-led UPA government.Read more
The government secured the victory after Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party voted in favour of retail reform and the Samajwadi Party abstained.
The government won a vote in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday due to abstentions of the same two parties.
The government has won the vote on FDI in retail in the Rajya Sabha. The government won with 116 votes. 95 MPs opposed FDI while one MP abstained.
Meanwhile the Samajwadi Party MPs have walked out of the Rajya Sabha
while Anand Sharma concludes his defence of FDI. 'We don't make policies under western influence, our policies are to uphold supreme national interests,' said Sharma.
The Fukushima Nuclear plant which is located in the Migayi Prefecture is currently being evacuated.
A one metre high Tsunami has hit the Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan according to reports. More details are awaited.
The Rajya Sabha has reconvened and Anand Sharma has begun his defence of FDI.
More update on the tsunami alert in Japan. A warning for a one metre tsunami was issued for the coast of Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan according to Reuters.
This region was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011
A strong earthquake struck Friday off the coast of northeastern Japan in the same region that was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Authorities issued a warning of a possible tsunami.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 and struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Miyagi prefecture at 5:18 p.m. (0818 GMT). The epicenter was 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) beneath the seabed.
The warning said the tsunami could be as high as 2 meters (2.19 yards).
NHK television broke off regular programming to warn that a strong quake was due to hit shortly before the earthquake struck. Afterward, the announcer repeatedly urged all near the coast to flee to higher ground.
Buildings in Tokyo swayed for at least several minutes.
The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that slammed into northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, killed or left missing some 19,000 people, devastating much of the coast. All but two of Japan's nuclear plants were shut down for checks after the earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in the worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Immediately following Friday's quake, there were no problems at any of the nuclear plants operated by Fukushima Dai-Ichi operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., said a TEPCO spokesman, Takeo Iwamoto.
The Sports Ministry has announced that it has de-recognised the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation as well as the Archery Association of India. The ministry has said that its sports code is the same as the IOC and has asked the associations to explain why the code was violated.
The beleaguered President of the IOA Abhay Singh Chautala has offered to quit from his post as Chairman of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF).
Chautala also said that he is ready for fresh elections to the boxing federation.
This follows the decision of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) to suspend the IABF for allegedly manipulating its elections earlier this year.
The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2.30 pm as opposition MPs stall proceedings over Anand Sharma's defence of FDI in retail.
Uproar once again in the Rajya Sabha as Anand Sharma accuses the opposition of fear mongering. The Deputy Chairperson appeals for calm
and says that he will be forced to adjourn the house if order does not prevail.
Meanwhile in the Rajya Sabha Opposition MPs have raised a ruckus over discrepancies in the post harvest loss figures data provided by the government. The BJP has asked for a clarification on the matter.
After Anand Sharma is allowed to continue he says that FDI in retail has not come about because of foreign pressure.
India has put on hold a loan of Rs 250 crores intended for Maldives according to reports. The loan was a form of bilateral aid and this has been put on hold due to the GMR row.
The country's government is set to take over the Male airport from the GMR group today.
Uproar in the Rajya Sabha as Minister of Commerce Anand Sharma says that the government had tried to reach out to the Opposition on the subject of FDI.
'On Dec 7, the BJP president met the then Finance Minister and then announced that the BJP was opposed to it,' said Sharma.
He further elaborate on the consultation process. 'Consultation process means the Secretary to government of India writes to Chief Secretaries of all states to elicit response. This was done and 21 states responded. 11 states supported the move,' said the minister.
Meanwhile in the Rajya Sabha, Ram Vilas Paswan has supported the government's move to bring in FDI in the retail sector. 'There should not be opposition just for the sake of opposing. We are living in the 20th century but are trying to go back to 18th century,' said the leader of the Lok Jan Shakti Party.
White House petition calling 1984 riots a 'genocide' gains supports
A White House petition seeking recognition of the November 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India as "genocide" has crossed the threshold of 25,000 signatures for receiving a response from the Obama administration.
The petition urging the Obama administration to fulfil its obligation under Article 1 of the UN Convention on Genocide by recognizing the Nov 1984 violence as "Sikh Genocide" was launched for signatures Nov 15 by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a New York based rights organisation.
The petition alleges that during Nov 1984 the Congress Party leaders organized and perpetrated violence against the Sikh community resulting in more than 30,000 killed. The systematic violence against Sikhs has always been portrayed as anti Sikh riots, it said.
Proceedings have begun in the Rajya Sabha. BJP's MP from Himachal Pradesh, Shanta Kumar, began the debate today and expressed his misgivings about FDI in retail.
Voting on the motion brought in by the BJP is set to take place at 2.45 pm today.
The UPA is expected to win in the upper house with the support of the BSP behind it.
Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi will campaign in Gujarat today.
She is set to address rallies in the Surat district and the Junagadh district according to reports.
Both areas will go to poll in the first phase of Assembly election on December 13.
Rahul Gandhi will campaign in Gujarat on Tuesday.
Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar has rejoined the Maharashtra cabinet as the deputy chief minister today after he was given a clean chit in the irrigation scam.
Pawar took oath at the Raj Bhavan this morning. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena boycotted the swearing-in.
Pawar was forced to step down as deputy CM on September 25 over allegations of irregular deals when he was the state's irrigation minister.
After IOA, India's boxing federation also suspended
There seems to be no end to India's sporting woes. Close on the heels of the suspension of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), it was the turn of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) to receive the same treatment.
The IABF has been provisionally suspended by the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) for allegedly manipulating the IABF elections held in September.
The AIBA in an official statement said: “Further to the International Olympic Committee’s suspension imposed on the Indian Olympic Association, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee Bureau has decided today, 6 December 2012, to provisionally suspend the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF). This provisional suspension is also due to the fact that AIBA had learned about possible manipulation of the recent IABF’s election. AIBA will now investigate this election and especially a potential political link between IOA President, as former Chairman of the IABF, and the IABF election.”
McAfee hospitalized after being denied asylum
Software company founder John McAfee was hospitalized briefly Thursday after being denied political asylum in Guatemala, and his lawyers said they were making a last-ditch effort to keep him from being flown back to Belize for questioning about the killing of a fellow American expatriate.
McAfee told The Associated Press that he suffered chest pains overnight but didn't believe he had a heart attack. A government doctor who examined him agreed, saying that McAfee's heart rhythm and blood pressure were normal and that he appeared to be suffering from high stress.
Shettar to meet PM over Cauvery row today
Karnataka tonight began releasing Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu from the Krishna Raja Sagar Reservoir as per a Supreme Court directive.
Irrigation Department sources said four crush gates of the reservoir have been opened for releasing water.
The current water level at the reservoir stood at 9.08 ft as against its full level of 124 ft, they said.
Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party is protesting outside Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's residence. The party is protesting the demolition of nearly 500 houses in the Shaheen Bagh locality.
President seeks Indian membership in UNSC
India President Pranab Mukherjee Thursday said that India is eminently suited for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.
Addressing the delegation of the 13th conference of chief justices of the world organized by City Montessori School, Lucknow; Mukherjee said that India has affirmed its willingness and capacity to shoulder the responsibilities of permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
The President said that by any objective criteria such as population, territorial size, GDP, economic potential, civilizational legacy, cultural diversity, political system and past and ongoing contributions to the activities of the UN-especially to UN peacekeeping operations-India is ready to be a member of the UN Security Council.
He also asserted that it is important that States reaffirm their adherence to the rule of law, with a commitment to abide in good faith to an international order based on respect for international law, including obligations under the Charter of United Nations, the principles of justice and peaceful co-existence.
"Jurists have an important role to play in persuading States to abide by the rule of law and building support amongst the public for the same," Mukherjee added.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar would be re-inducted in the Maharashtra cabinet on Friday.
Pawar had resigned from the council of ministers led by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on September 25 in the wake of expose on his alleged involvement in the multi-crore irrigation scam.
However, NCP pressed for Pawar's re-induction after the 800-plus page white paper on the irrigation sector released by the state government last week gave the former a clean chit. The white paper has been silent over the alleged unholy nexus between contractors, politicians and government employees and did not take into account recommendations made by two panels which had probed scam in the irrigation sector.
NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has given his consent for Ajit's re-induction in the cabinet. The move comes at a time when there are at least five petitions pending before various courts against the multi-crore irrigation scam.