Nine-year-old Indian-born chess prodigy wins fight to stay in Britain

A nine-year-old India-born chess prodigy whose fight to stay in Britain drew international attention can remain in the country, the UK government said yesterday.

Shreyas Royal, who came to Britain with his family when he was three years old, has competed internationally and came fourth in the World Cadets competition in Brazil last year. But his family faced having to leave the UK when his father's work visa expires next month.

The English Chess Federation and two lawmakers had appealed to Home Secretary Sajid Javid to let the family stay, saying Shreyas was the UK's greatest chess talent in a generation and had lived in the country most of his life.

Javid said Friday (local time) that, "after carefully reviewing the evidence, I have taken the personal decision to allow Shreyas and his family to stay in the UK."

"We have always been clear we want a world-class immigration system that welcomes highly talented individuals from across the globe," he said.

The boy's father, Jitendra Singh, said Shreyas "jumped on the sofa and started dancing" when he heard the news.

He said the decision was "such a relief for us."

"Yesterday we were packing to leave, we thought we had to go," said Mr Singh, an IT project manager.

London's Battersea Chess Club, where Shreyas plays, thanked supporters and said the young chess player had "a big future ahead of him on the world stage, hopefully representing England."

Immigration is a divisive issue in Britain, and reducing the number of newcomers was a major factor for many voters who in 2016 backed leaving the European Union. The Conservative government says it wants Britain to remain open to global talent, but has tightened policies in recent years in a bid to create a "hostile environment" for illegal immigration.

Critics say many legal immigrants to Britain have suffered as a result of excessive bureaucracy and harsh decisions. Earlier this year it was revealed that hundreds of legal long-term residents from the Caribbean had been refused medical care or threatened with deportation because they could not produce paperwork to prove their right to remain in the UK.

Javid, who was appointed in April after the migration scandal felled his predecessor, has said the term "hostile environment" ''does not represent our values as a country."

Nigel Short is in Auckland for a tournament, but took the afternoon to back up his controversial claims that women just aren’t "hardwired" for playing chess.
Source: 1 NEWS

US newspaper calls for coordinated war of words against Trump

A Boston newspaper is proposing a coordinated editorial response from publications across the US to President Donald Trump's frequent attacks on the news media.

"We are not the enemy of the people," said Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor for the editorial page of The Boston Globe, referring to a characterisation of journalists that Trump has used in the past.

The president, who contends he has largely been covered unfairly by the press, also employs the term "fake news" often when describing the media.

The Globe has reached out to editorial boards nationwide to write and publish editorials on August 16 denouncing what the newspaper called a "dirty war against the free press."

As of today, Ms Pritchard said about 70 outlets had committed to editorials so far, with the list expected to grow.

The publications ranged from large metropolitan dailies, such as the Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald and Denver Post, to small weekly papers with circulations as low as 4,000.

The newspaper's request was being promoted by industry groups such as the American Society of News Editors and regional groups like the New England Newspaper and Press Association.

It suggested editorial boards take a common stand against Mr Trump's words regardless of their politics, or whether they generally editorialised in support of or in opposition to the president's policies.

"Our words will differ. But at least we can agree that such attacks are alarming," the appeal said, acknowledging that newspapers were likely to take different approaches.

Ms Pritchard, who oversees the Globe's editorial page, said the decision to seek the coordinated response from newspapers was reached after Mr Trump appeared to step up his rhetoric in recent weeks.

At an August 2 political rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Mr Trump told his audience that the media was "fake, fake disgusting news."

"What ever happened to the free press? What ever happened to honest reporting?" the president asked, pointing to journalists covering the event.

"They don't report it. They only make up stories."

Ms Pritchard said she hoped the editorials would make an impression on Americans.

"I hope it would educate readers to realise that an attack on the First Amendment is unacceptable," she said.

"We are a free and independent press, it is one of the most sacred principles enshrined in the Constitution."



Watch: Indonesian air force deliver 90 tonnes of aid to quake-hit Lombok Island

The Indonesian air force today delivered 90 tonnes of aid to the earthquake-affected island of Lombok.

The aid included food, medicine, tents, and blankets, which will be distributed to residents in affected areas.

Almost 390,000 people, about 10 per cent of Lombok's population, are homeless or displaced after the earthquake, which damaged and destroyed about 68,000 homes.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said today that 387 people died in the earthquake, as search and rescue teams continued to sift through the rubble and people already buried by relatives are accounted for.

Almost 390,000 people are homeless or displaced after an earthquake destroyed around 68,000 homes. Source: Associated Press