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    By Al Campbell

    LAKE LOUISE Marco Verratti Jersey , Nov. 29 (Xinhua)-- Aksel Lund Svindal showed strong form going into the year's first World Cup downhill event this weekend as the Norwegian skier posted the fastest time in the final day of training Friday in the Canadian Rockies.

    The gold medal winner in the Super G at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver overcame low visibility on a shortened course in Lake Louise to cross the finish line in 1:24.33. Austrian Georg Streitberger was 0.14 seconds behind, while American star Bode Miller was third, 0.45 second back.

    In a tight field, the 17 top skiers all finished within a second of the leader.

    The 30-year-old Svindal has been a dominant force at the Alberta course located in Banff National Park in posting five victories over the years, four in the Super G and one in last year's downhill. If he can win Saturday's downhill he will join Austrian great Stephan Eberharter as the only man to post back-to-back victories at Lake Louise.

    "It has been quite a bumpy ride down the course today," said Svindal, who finished second in the overall World Cup standings to Austrian Marcel Hirscher last season. "I got surprised by how big the 'Coaches' Corner' jump was today, there is a small kicker just before it and the flight was rather impressive."

    Miller, the two-time overall World Cup champion who has been in a high-profile custody battle for his infant son with an ex-girlfriend, showed no rust in competing in his first World Cup event since injuring his knee in Sochi, Russia, in February 2012.

    The 36-year-old, a winner of five Olympic medals, the most by an American, underwent surgery to correct the problem and then skipped all of last season to ensure he is healthy going into this February's Winter Games in Russia.

    Canada's Erik Guay posted the fastest time on the first day of training Wednesday in near-perfect conditions, but slipped to 26th on Friday in the low visibility. The 2011 downhill world champion, who is also coming back from knee surgery, said strategy would be of the utmost importance to cope with the conditions.

    "I skied the line that was fastest two days ago," said the Quebec native who finished in a time of 1:25.55 Friday. "If it clears up tonight and gets hard and they slip the track it could be hard and fast. If it's like this Saturday I for sure need to take more chances and ski deeper into the flat sections up top and down below."

    The Super G race takes place on Sunday with the mountain hosting the women racers next weekend.

    NEW DELHI, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- India's top environmental court National Green Tribunal (NGT) Thursday ordered a ban on the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags in the capital city New Delhi, officials said.

    "The NGT today imposed an interim ban on use of non-biodegradable plastic bags which are less than 50 microns in the entire national capital," an official said.

    The court said anyone found in possession of such banned plastic bags would have to pay a fine.

    The green panel directed local government in New Delhi to seize the stocks of plastic within one week.

    The court last year banned the use of disposable plastic in Delhi and national capital region (NCR) with effect from Jan. 1 this year and directed the government to take steps to reduce dumped waste.

    Indian government is aggressively campaigning for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Movement) to make an effort to see the entire country green and clean.

    The campaign kick-started after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of the country.

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    NEW DELHI, July 28 (Xinhua) -- India's Supreme Court Friday rejected a 10-year-old rape victim's plea to abort her foetus.

    A two-judge bench, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, took the decision based on the assessment of doctors who said a medical termination was not safe for the girl or the foetus.

    The girl, who was raped by her uncle, is 32 weeks pregnant. Indian law does not permit medical terminations after 20 weeks unless there is a threat to the mother's life.

    The plea for abortion was filed in the Supreme Court on behalf of the girl by a lawyer after a lower court in the Indian city of Chandigarh had earlier rejected her petition for abortion.

    The girl's pregnancy was discovered by doctors when her parents took her to a hospital for medical check-up after she complained of stomach pain.

    The girl then narrated her ordeal to her parents and doctors, saying that her uncle had raped her over seven months.

    Rapes of women, including minors, are on the rise in India, despite the government toughening laws against sexual assaults post 2012 fatal and brutal gangrape of a medical student in Delhi.

    Four of the men who had raped the 23-year-old student on a moving bus were sentenced to death by the top court earlier this year while the main accused ended his life during trial.

    The sixth accused, being a minor at the time of the crime, was let off after serving three years in a remand facility.

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    Hukou Wa.