(Eds: updating with more results)By Abhishek HoreNew Delhi, Oct 25 (PTI) Ravi Kumar finished at the bottom of the heap in a high-scoring 10m air rifle final as hosts Indias medal count remained static at one gold in the ISSF World Cup Finals here today.Competing in maiden World Cup Final, Kumar shot 123.4 in the eighth-man event before becoming the first to be eliminated in the third series on the second day of the competition.On day one yesterday, Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu combined to give India the gold medal in 10m mixed air pistol event at the prestigious annual event of the International Shooting Sport Federation, being organised at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges.In the womens skeet final, the days last event, three- time Olympic champion Kimberly Rhode of the USA, won her third WCF gold and sixth WCF medal overall when she bested reigning Olympic gold medallist Diana Bacosi of Italy after a fascinating shoot-off for the top two spots.Rhode prevailed 22-21 over Bacosi, after both were tied on 56 hits after the allotted 60 shots in the final.USAs reigning World champion Dania Jo Vizzi won the bronze.Earlier, with 623.9, Kumar managed a fifth-place finish in the qualification.The 2014 Incheon Asian Games team bronze medallist started the final with a 10.5 and followed that up with a 10.3. A 10.2 in the third shot of the first series kept him in fray, but a very low 9.2 in the following shot pulled him to the last place, from where he could never stage a fightback.advertisementHe produced quite a few high 10s in the next two series, including a 10.8 and two 10.6s, but they were not enough to see him through to a better finish.20-year-old Istvan Peni of Hungary clinched the gold medal with 249.8, equalling the junior world record in the process, while Belarus Vitali Bubnovich won the silver with a score of 249.5 in the final.Peter Sidi, a Hungarian shooting legend and a man the likes of Peni looks up to, bagged the bronze — his seventh air rifle medal in World Cup Final — with 228.5.Serbias Milutin Stefanovic fought gamely before finishing fourth with 207.6.”I am very disappointed with this performance. That one nine let me down and I could not come back. I have been practicing hard for this and that is what I am disappointed. I am now looking forward to the Commonwealth Shooting Championships (in Gold Coast, Australia),” said the 27-year- old Kumar.In the days other event, Frances Celine Goberville bagged the gold medal in womens 10m air pistol with 240.9, Yuemei Lin of China won the silver with 237.0 and Mengxue Zhang, also a Chinese and reigning Olympic champion, finished with the bronze after scoring 218.7.There was no Indian interest in this event.Anna Korakaki of Greece, a bronze winner in this event at the Rio Games last year, missed out on a podium finish here and was placed fifth with 177.5. Mexicos Alejandra Zavala Vazquez was fourth with 198.7. PTI AH CM CM
Republican leaders to date have not made any decision as to how long a fiscal 2017 continuing resolution (CR) would extend, but House conservatives are making clear their preference for a stopgap spending measure that lasts until March 2017.A CR almost certainly will be needed for most, if not all, spending bills to avoid a government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins in October, as the regular appropriations process appears to be coming to an end. Conservatives are pushing for a CR that lasts about six months to avoid the last-minute negotiations on an omnibus spending measure that typically take place behind closed doors as the December holidays approach.“The last thing we want to see is some kind of a shutdown scenario in December, and then basically giving the president everything that he asks for,” Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) told CQ.Other Republicans, especially appropriators, favor a shorter stopgap, including Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.“I would, yeah,” Rogers told reporters. But he added, “It’s just beginning to be talked about.”Discussion of a six-month stopgap has largely taken place only in the House, with at least one Senate appropriator leaning toward finishing work on FY 2017 appropriations before the end of the congressional session.“The problem with pushing these things out too far [is] you’ve got the old year to consider and you’ve got the new year to consider, and you really get into a time crunch,” Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) told CQ.Democrats similarly favor finishing the process in 2016. Placing spending on autopilot for the first half of the fiscal year cheats agencies out of the opportunity to start new programs, said Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the chamber’s Democratic whip and a senior appropriator.“Try to run the Department of Defense on a CR. You know the bottom line or top dollar number, but to put into each one of your agencies, sub-agencies, the same amount of money as last year, is not a good way to govern and it’s certainly not a good way to respect the taxpayers’ dollars,” Durbin said. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
A man walks with the Catalan flag in Barcelona on Tuesday. AFPSpain’s government prepared to hold crisis talks on Wednesday after Catalan leaders signed a suspended declaration of independence and called for dialogue with Madrid.Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will chair an emergency cabinet meeting in response to Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont’s announcement on Tuesday that he had accepted “the mandate of the people for Catalonia to become an independent republic” following a banned referendum earlier this month.But Puigdemont in his declaration to parliament called for Catalonia’s independence to be suspended to allow for negotiations with Madrid.Rajoy has vowed to use everything in his power to prevent independence and has refused to rule out imposing direct rule over the semi-autonomous region — an unprecedented move many fear could lead to unrest.At stake is the future of a region of 7.5 million people, one of Spain’s economic powerhouses, whose drive to break away has raised concern for stability in the European Union.Crowds of thousands gathered outside the parliament building in Barcelona on Tuesday evening, waving Catalan flags and banners screaming “democracy” in the hope of witnessing a historic night in a region that remains deeply divided over independence.But Spain’s political establishment rounded on Puigdemont following the declaration, and support among separatists in Catalonia was mixed.Deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told reporters shortly after the signing that Puigdemont was “a person who doesn’t know where he is, where he’s going or with whom he wants to go”.Barcelona resident Maria Rosa Bertran said she was against a delayed secession.”I find it even worse because it is suffering a longer agony. Indecision and uncertainty is the worst thing that can happen to us,” she told AFP.- Unknown consequences -Political leaders in Catalonia, Spain and Europe have come out against secession, concerned over the country’s biggest upheaval in decades.Following his declaration to parliament, Puigdemont and his allies signed an independence declaration outside the chamber, but its legal validity was unclear.Spain and Catalonia now enter into the unknown, as Madrid has repeatedly said independence is not up for discussion.Marc Cazes, a student in Barcelona, said: “I did not expect independence to be declared today because of all the processes that the government of Spain has begun, both with police actions and with threats.”Catalonia pressed ahead with an independence referendum on October 1 that the central government said breached Spain’s constitution.Around 90 percent of those who cast ballots voted for independence but the poll was poorly monitored and many Catalans opposed to secession boycotted what Madrid branded an illegal plebiscite.The crisis has caused deep uncertainty for businesses in one of the wealthiest regions in the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy.Spain’s stock market shed nearly 1.0 percent ahead of Tuesday’s parliamentary session and a string of companies have already moved their legal headquarters — but not their employees — from Catalonia to other parts of the country.The stand-off has also put significant strain on the euro but the single currency was up after Puigdemont’s announcement and held onto gains in Asian trade on Wednesday, buying $1.1815.However, it was still down two cents from its recent highs seen last month, with uncertainty continuing to dog the unit.Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA, said that while the euro rose it “gained little traction as this is little more than kicking the can down the road. It’s unlikely we’ve heard the last of this debate despite cooler heads prevailing”.Demands for independence in Catalonia, which has its own language and cultural traditions, date back centuries.But a 2010 move by Spain’s Constitutional Court to water down a statute that gave Catalonia additional powers, combined with a deep economic meltdown in Spain, sparked a surge in support for independence.