Date: 4/28/2019

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  • Lionel Messi fittingly sealed Barcelona’s 26th La Liga title on 27 April by coming off the bench to score the goal in a 1-0 win over Levante in front of a jubilant Nou Camp crowd, who celebrated a remarkable eighth league crown in 11 years.
  • Barca’s captain decided the game and the title in the 61st minute as he received a header from Arturo Vidal, effortlessly freeing himself from two defenders with his right foot before using his left to plant the ball into the far bottom corner.
  • He had started on the bench along with Sergio Busquets as Ernesto Valverde had one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg at home to Liverpool.
  • But the coach inevitably turned to his talisman with the game goalless at halftime, despite the best efforts of Philippe Coutinho, who had numerous attempts on goal and clanged the crossbar before being withdrawn for Messi.
  • The Argentine needed just over a quarter of an hour to have the desired effect, lighting up the stadium with his 34th league goal of the season in 32 appearances.
  • With 13 assists to his name as well he has his footprints on more than half his side’s 86 goals.
  • “Messi was always ready to come on and I always knew he was going to play but we also have a game on 25 April. He has to stay active and he scores goals everywhere he goes and he has won us this title,” Valverde told reporters.
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  • The Centre on 26th April raised wheat import duty by a third to 40 per cent to support local farmers from further price fall and prevent its possible import on the back of a growing demand for animal feed in drought hit states including Maharashta, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
  • A notification issued by the Ministry of Finance on 26 April evening said that wheat import will attract 40 per cent duty from existing 30 per cent effective immediately.
  • The government in its latest estimates has forecast India’s wheat output at 100 million tonnes, the highest ever, as against 99.12 million tonnes forecast by the Ministry of Agriculture's Second Advance Estimate released in February 2019.
  • “There has been negligible import of wheat in India during the last financial year due to bumper domestic output. But, there is a fear in the market that wheat demand would pick up especially for animal feed due to the scarcity of fodder in some states.
  • Perhaps, the government must have taken a preventive measure to restrict import and support local wheat farmers,” said Vedika Narvekar, an analyst with Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.
  • Data compiled by the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) showed India’s total wheat import at 2700 tonnes worth $0.8 million for the period between April 2018 and January 2019 as against 1.65 million tonnes ($365 million) imported in the financial year 2017-18 and 5.7 million tonnes (worth $1269 million) in the previous year.
  • Despite negligible import, wheat prices in India have declined by around 13 per cent so far this calendar year and over 8 per cent in April alone following a spurt in arrivals of the new season harvest in spot mandis.
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  • Cyclone Fani, which has been strengthening in south-east Bay of Bengal, is very likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours and into a very severe cyclonic storm during the subsequent 24 hours.
  • Fani is very likely to move northwestwards till May 1 and thereafter recurve towards northeast gradually.
  • “Cyclonic Storm ‘FANI’ lay centred at 0530 hrs over southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood, about 745 km east-southeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), 1050 km southeast of Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and 1230 km south-southeast of Machilipatnam (Andhra Pradesh), a bulletin by the Indian Meterological Department (IMD) said.
  • Gale wind speed reaching 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph is prevailing over south-east Bay of Bengal and adjoining areas.
  • It is very likely to become 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph from the evening of April 28 over the same area, 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph over south-west Bay of Bengal from morning of April 30, and 155-165 kmph gusting to 175 kmph over southwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh Coasts from the evening of May 1,” the IMD said.
  • The wind speed is likely to decrease gradually thereafter with gale wind speed reaching 130-140 kmph gusting to 150 kmph over west-central Bay of Bengal off Andhra Pradesh Coast on May 3.
  • Light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy rains at isolated places are very likely over Kerala on April 29 and 30. Light to moderate rainfall is expected at few places over north coastal Tamil Nadu and coastal Andhra Pradesh on April 29 and 30, the IMD said.

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