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Cuttack civic body slammed for jaundice outbreak

first_imgThe Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) and State administration have come under attack with public anger mounting due to the jaundice outbreak and mosquito menace here.On Sunday, Mayor Meenakshi Behera and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Debashis Samantray were severely criticised when they visited Tulasipur area, which has reported over 100 jaundice cases in the past two months.Ultimately, party workers had to step in and escort the leaders away.“We have been suffering for the last two months. But the leaders turn up only after reports of a jaundice outbreak appear in newspapers”, said Rama Pradhan, a residence of Ward 9. Jaundice cases have also been reported from neighbouring Ward 8 and 10.“Steps are being taken to identify the cause of the outbreak. People have been advised to use boiled water and avoid roadside eatables. We are planning to double the number of health camps in the affected area,” the Mayor said.New pipelinesAt a high-level meeting chaired by Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) Central range A. B. Otta, it was decided that at least 50 squads comprising mason and workers would replace damaged pipelines that supply water to the affected areas.District collector N. C. Mishra, meanwhile, said that both the government hospitals in the city, along with the SCB Medical College and Hospital were well-equipped to treat jaundice patients.“We are planning to open district control rooms in at least two localities of Tulasipur to provide 24-hour help to jaundice patients,” said Mr. Mishra, adding that random water samples had been collected and sent for testing.Similarly, the mosquito menace, particularly in areas like Bidanasi that are adjacent to the Petanala drain, is adding to the troubles. A member of the civic staff admitted that the crisis had worsened after the desiltation work.last_img read more

Bank scam accused held at Goa airport

first_imgRolly Reagon (48), an accused in the Bank of Baroda scam, was arrested by Goa police at Dabolim airport after he arrived from Canada on Monday.The Airport police produced the accused before the State-owned Institute of Psychology and Human Behaviour (IPHB) for a check-up at Bambolim on Monday evening. He was absconding for last 20 years after committing the alleged bank fraud, the police said.According to Dabolim police, Reagon was residing at Porvorim. He was shifted to Cottage Hospital in Chicalim in south Goa after he complained of chest pain. However, police sources said that he was later admitted to IPHB at Bambolim from where he was taken back to Vasco.After an intimation to the Mumbai police, a team of the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the case, arrived in Goa on Monday evening. Acting South Goa Superintendent of Police Umesh Gaonkar told The Hindu that he has instructed the investigating officer at the Airport police station in Dabolim to handover the accused to the CBI team only after producing him before local trial court judge.last_img read more

Darjeeling unrest: Four additional companies of CRPF to be deployed

first_imgAlso Read Bengal thinkers urge Modi to end Darjeeling unrest Four additional companies of CRPF are being sent to maintain aw and order in Darjeeling and Kalimpong which have been hit by the agitation for a separate Gorkhaland, the Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court.The government told a three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra that 11 CRPF companies are already deployed in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts and a decision has been taken to send four more companies to ensure the safety of citizens and maintain law and order there.Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench, which also comprised A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar, that the Calcutta High Court has on Friday asked the government to deploy four additional companies of CRPF there and they are sending additional paramilitary forces there.The bench made it clear that the 11 companies which are already deployed there and the four additional companies shall be utilised by the West Bengal government only for the purpose of maintaining law and order in the two districts.The bench also asked the authorities to ensure smooth movement of traffic and safety and security of passengers travelling in vehicles on the National Highway-10, the sole road link connecting West Bengal’s Siliguri with Sikkim.“Needless to say, the citizens of these areas must understand that sustenance of law and order and living in peace is the hallmark of progressive civilisation and therefore, they shall also see that free flow of life is not in anyway disturbed or affected,” the bench said.HC directiveIn a separate develpment, the Calcutta High Court on Friday directed the Centre to provide four additional companies of CRPF within 48 hours in Darjeeling to quell violence in the hills.A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T. Chakraborty directed the Centre to provide the forces from the CRPF in addition to 11 companies of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) already deployed there.The court also directed the state government to provide additional forces from its own resources in order to bring back normalcy in the hills, where an indefinite bandh demanding separate statehood has been going on for the last one month.Arson in the hillsEarlier in the day, a Railway Protection Force office, a police outpost and a state-run library were set on fire in the Darjeeling hills as the indefinite strike demanding a separate State entered its 30th day on July 14, 2017, police said. Internet services remained suspended for the 27th day on July 14, 2017.The RPF office in Kurseong and a police outpost in Sukhiapokhri were set afire in the early hours of the morning while the state-run library in Mirik sub-division was reduced to ashes by pro-Gorkhaland supporters on Thursday night, a police official said.The Army continues to be deployed in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sonada.The Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) decided to postpone its fast-unto-death programme from July 15, 2017 due to the upcoming presidential elections.center_img  “We have decided to postpone the programme of fast-unto- death as presidential elections are nearby. We’ll take a call on it at our next all-party meeting on July 18,” a GMCC member told PTI.The 30-member GMCC represents all hill based parties, including the GJM, the GNLF and the JAP.last_img read more

Adityanath talks Ram Rajya in Ayodhya

first_imgThe Chief Minister said he wanted to restore the ancient glory of Ayodhya. Referring to the 1.71 lakh earthen lamps lit on the banks of the Sarayu, Mr. Adityanath said the figure matched the population under the Ayodhya Nagar Nigam. Officials said 1.71 lakh earthen lamps at a single event could enter the Guinness Book of World Records. Among other major attractions at the grand event was a 22-minute laser show, with special sound effects, on Ramayana.Mr. Adityanath said this was first of the four phases planned for Ayodhya and similar development would be carried out in other places as well. “There will be beautification of Ayodhya and its ghats. This effort will continue in other historic places. Be it Kashi, Mathura, Namisharayna (Sitapur), Mirzapur, Tulsipur (Balrampur), Saharanpur, we will develop historical places. The State should become a world tourism hub and it is a beginning from Ayodhya,” he said.Mr. Adityanath said that a Ramayan mela will be associated with this programme next year onwards. In his speech, U.P. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said that “those opposed to Lord Ram cannot stop us from developing Ayodhya”. U.P. Governor Ram Naik lauded the efforts of the Adityanath government in developing Ayodhya and thanked him for this assurance that all the work would be completed in two years, before his (Mr. Naik’s) tenure ends. Prominent among those present included seers, Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, Union Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons and BJP State chief Mahendra Nath Pandey.After the main event, the stage was set for a grand laser show and ‘aarti’ (worship) of the Sarayu. ‘Public money wasted’Meanwhile, the Babri Masjid Action Committee raised objections to the fanfare with which the Adityanath government celebrated the event claiming that public money was “wasted” on the show.“It is a matter of grave concern that public funds were wasted on the event,” the body’s convener Zafaryab Jilani said after a meeting of the committee in Ayodhya. Taj Mahal built with blood, sweat of Indians: Adityanath Artistes dressed up as Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman arrive by a chopper for the U.P. government’s Deepotsav celebrations in Ayodhya on October 18, 2017.  There are some who are used to opposing everything we do, he said. “If I come to Ayodhya, they raise questions and if I don’t, they say I am afraid of coming here. Now they are saying that the Ayodhya programme is to divert attention of the people. I am here with my work, including loan waivers and wheat purchase done in the past six months,” he said. Ram Rajya means no poverty, grief or discrimination, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on October 18 as he asked critics not to see political designs behind his government’s efforts to develop this temple town. In a speech that began amid shouts of Jai Shri Ram and Bharat Mata ki jai at his government’s mega Deepotsav event on the banks of the Sarayu, Mr. Adityanath hit out at critics saying there were some who opposed all his actions no matter what he did.More than 1.7 lakh earthen lamps were lit up at the grand event while a chopper decorated as the mythological “Pushpak Viman” descended on the Ram Katha Park with artistes decked up to resemble Lord Ram, Sita and Laxman. “Ayodhya gave the concept of Ram Rajya — where there is no poverty, pain, grief or discrimination,” Mr. Adityanath said adding that the real meaning of the concept was a home for everyone; electricity and LPG cylinders for all households.Also Readcenter_img  Attacking political rivals, the UP Chief Minister said his government did not distinguish on the basis of caste or religion unlike what happened earlier. “We don’t discriminate on the basis of caste, creed and religion. In the previous ‘Ravan Raj’, there was discrimination on the basis of family, caste and other factors,” he alleged. The Chief Minister said he found it beneath dignity to even to react to “insulting and dirty” allegations levelled by the opposition.Mr. Adityanath said that Ayodhya had given much to humanity. “It gave the concept of Ram Rajya, where there is no poverty, pain or grief. Where there is no discrimination. The objective of the programme is to present the real picture to the world,” he said referring to the Deepotsav event.He equated the Narendra Modi government’s work for the masses with Ram Rajya. Mr. Adityanath, a priest-turned-politician, wondered as to why there were negative discussions on Ayodhya.“We are making an attempt to take it from negativity to positivity. I am happy all Ayodhya residents cooperated in this endeavour. Ayodhya remained neglected, faced attacks continuously, but it will not remain so. We have launched Rs 133 crore worth schemes here,” he said. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath welcomes artistes dressed up as Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman during the Deepotsav celebrations in Ayodhya on October 18, 2017.  | Photo Credit: PTI | Photo Credit: PTI last_img read more

Having trouble identifying Kasganj arsonists: police

first_imgThe Uttar Pradesh police said on Tuesday that unknown men had used petrol bombs to torch shops in Kasganj and that they were having trouble identifying them as the CCTV footage was not clear.The Home Ministry has sought a report from the U.P. government. D.K. Thakur, IG, Agra, said it was not clear if the motorcyclists were affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) or the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) as was being alleged by the residents of Badu Nagar where the first altercation took place.11 arrestedOn January 26, violence broke out in Kasganj after more than 100 motorcyclists tried to make their way through a flag-hoisting ceremony near a primary school at Veer Abdul Hamid Chowk. Twenty-two-year-old Chandan Gupta died after being hit by a bullet.In all, five FIRs have been filed. Eleven persons have been arrested in connection with Gupta’s death. Sushil Kumar Gupta, father of the deceased, named six people as being behind the killing. “Based on the father’s complaint, we have arrested a few people. The father was not present at the scene of the crime, but we are gathering evidence against the accused,” O.P Singh, Director General of Police, U.P., told The Hindu. Mr. Thakur said 99% of the shops burnt belonged to Muslims. “We are trying to catch those who set the shops afire. The CCTV footage from the market has not been of any help as the faces are not visible,” he said. In a communication, the Home Ministry asked the State government to send a comprehensive report about the violence and the steps it had taken to restore peace. BJP MP Vinay Katiyar said there were some miscreants who support Pakistan and would go to any extent to defy the tricolour. “They need to be dealt with strictly.” Mr. Thakur said that it was premature to say if pro-Pakistan slogans were raised at Veer Abdul Hamid Chowk.last_img read more

Islam not for unjustified violence, forced conversions: new Hurriyat chief

first_imgNewly-appointed Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) chairman Ashraf Sehrai, in his first ever public speech on Tuesday, said Islam was “a movement of justice for all, including Hindus and Sikhs,” and warned against “unjustified violence or forced conversions”. “Islam is a bestowed movement for social justice to all, including Hindus and Muslims. Its followers require to promote the good and fight the evil and the oppressor. It does not believe in forced conversions or use of violence, like beheading, to settle disagreements,” said Mr. Sehrai in his first ever public speech made on the death anniversary of lawyer Jalil Andrabi in Srinagar’s court complex.Mr. Sehrai, 74, took over from Syed Ali Geelani as chairman of TeH, which is an influential constituent of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference headed by Mr. Geelani.Describing Kashmir “an issue of right to self determination”, Mr. Sehrai said the people of Kashmir “was struggling against India’s broken promises and its ploys to usurp the State”. “Our sacrifices is our asset and will safeguard it till the goal is achieved,” he added.He said Kashmir requires a unification (among the separatists) against the present regime in New Delhi on the lines of Hurriyat of 1993.In an oblique reference to the militant outfits questioning Hurriyat’s role, Mr. Sehrai said: “Any disagreement with the Hurriyat leadership is positive. But any bloodshed in the name of differences is unacceptable. No one should divide people in the name of sects, Shias or Sunnis etc. The Hurriyat is open to accountability. Those who have issues should directly come to the leadership,” he added.Modi could launch mini war: Yasin MalikSpeaking on the occasion, JKLF chief Yasin Malik said the current BJP’s regime at the Centre “may thrust a mini war on Jammu and Kashmir to win votes in case their support base shrinks”.“This is time to withstand the onslaught and show resistance. The Modi government’s Kashmir approach is dangerous. He can impose a mini war on us to win polls. He is trying everything to make us surrender, which we will not,” said Mr. Malik.last_img read more

Wedding bells ring in backward Rajasthan village after 22 years

first_imgWhen 23-year-old Pawan Kumar brought his bride from Madhya Pradesh to the nondescript Rajghat village in Rajasthan’s Dholpur district earlier this week, the poor villagers had reason to rejoice. The wedding bells had tolled in Rajghat after a gap of 22 years because no parents were willing to marry their daughters off to anyone in the village.The pathetic state of Rajghat, situated 5 km away from Dholpur town, ruled out the possibility of the eligible bachelors getting any marriage proposals for two decades. The last marriage of a youth took place in the village in 1996.Situated on the banks of Chambal river, the small and dusty Rajghat village – with a population of only 350 – has no roads, electricity supply, water pipelines or basic medical facilities. The lone government primary school has only a few students. When the sun sets, the village is covered in utter darkness.No clean waterTill recently, the villagers living in the vicinity of the river had no access to clean drinking water. They drank highly polluted water directly from Chambal, where the animal carcasses could be seen floating. The villagers collecting water from Chambal faced an added risk of attack by crocodiles.The village, which shares its name with Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Rajghat in Delhi, falls in the Chambal river basin region on the Rajashan-Madhya Pradesh border, which is a forest area. Because of the technical glitch of its location within the Municipal Council’s jurisdiction, the rural settlement was deprived of the benefits of schemes designed for panchayats.Thanks to the sustained efforts of a medical student and his friends for improving the living conditions in Rajghat for the last three years, a kuchcha access road and community toilets have been constructed, solar lamps supplied and reverse osmosis water filters installed with the help of donors and crowdfunding. The group of students also gave utility items and clothes to poor people in the village.PIL filed in High CourtAshwani Parashar, a final year MBBS student in Sawai Man Singh Government Medical College in Jaipur and a native of Dholpur, moved a public interest litigation in the Rajasthan High Court on the conditions in Rajghat last year and wrote letters to the Prime Minister’s Office. He also launched a social media campaign with hashtag #SaveRajghat.Pawan’s father Darshan Lal said on Thursday that the slight betterment in the village’s living conditions had improved the marital prospects of its young men. “I am happy that my son has got married. The entire village was rejoicing and the people congratulated him,” he said.There are still three dozen men of marriageable age in Rajghat waiting for proposals. Pawan has got married to a girl from Kusait village in Madhya Pradesh.Planning for better interventions for improving the living standard of the people in Rajghat, Ashwani has appealed to the villagers to stop drinking liquor and focus their energy on community works. “The marriage of a youth after 22 years is an achievement in our journey for bringing Rajghat to the mainstream of development. A lot more still needs to be done.”CM Raje’s home districtThe 22-year-old medical student said the lack of basic infrastructure not only depicted the State government’s failure in Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s home district, but it also amounted to violation of the villagers’ fundamental right to dignified life under Article 21 of the Constitution. He laid emphasis on a “sustainable solution” from the government for evolving a robust infrastructure for the village.last_img read more

Former Lok Sabha MP’s chopper seized for flying over Chilika Lake: Police

first_img Panda, who quit the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in May following his suspension for “anti-party activities”, accused the State government of trying to “handicap his movement” on Twitter.“An FIR filed by the Chilika Development Authority (CDA) at the Marine Police Station in Puri has alleged unauthorised flying of a chopper at a “dangerous level” on September 15,” Superintendent of Police Sarthak Sarangi said.The action was taken Monday upon verification of flying records at the Bhubaneswar airport, the Puri SP said.“Panda’s chopper was seized and a hangar belonging to his family at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here sealed late on Monday,” Sarangi added.A CDA official said the FIR was filed on the basis of reports gathered from local people in the Chilika area.Panda, on his part, denied the allegation and claimed that he had no intention of landing on Chilika and the chopper was not flying low.“A local cop from Puri has come to Bhubaneswar airport & seized the hangar & the helicopter I fly Brazen attempt to handicap my movement around Odisha, but they can’t stop me,” he tweeted.The former MP also clarified that he was flying to Kendrapara to meet parents of two children, who recently drowned in a pond.“@odisha_police, yr (your) illegal seizure of helicopter may slow me, but can’t stop me from reaching ppl (people),” he added.The issue led to a heated exchange of words between the ruling BJD members and opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs during Tuesday’s Assembly session.The ruling party members staged a dharna on the Assembly premises, demanding immediate arrest of Panda over violation of environmental norms.BJP Legislature Party leader K.V. Singhdeo, however, extended support to the former parliamentarian. “We are maintaining double standards. We are opposing chopper landing in Chilika, while allowing hundreds of mechanised boats to operate in the lagoon,” he said.Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra sought a thorough investigation into the case.Meanwhile, Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray said the State government will take necessary actions in the matter as per law.“A preliminary investigation shows that the flight made a landing at Chilika. He (Panda) committed a mistake by flying at a low-level in a fragile and eco-sensitive area,” she asserted.S.C. Hota, the director of Biju Patnaik International Airport, stated that the former MP had received permission from the authorities after producing a “proper flight plan”. He, however, could not confirm if Panda flew over the restricted area. Former Lok Sabha MP Baijayant Panda’s chopper has seen seized by the police for his alleged bid to land over the Chilika Lake, an ‘eco-sensitive, no-flying zone’ in the coastal belt of Orissa, police said.Also Read Who is Baijayant Panda?last_img read more

Parties supporting banned outfits in J&K anti-national: Governor Satya Pal Malik

first_imgGovernor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday termed mainstream political parties that support banned organisations in Jammu & Kashmir as “anti-nationals” and “were playing into the hands of Pakistan and terrorists.”“The political parties coming out in support of banned organisations are making their position clear and are siding with separatists. This only helps militancy become stronger. Any party or person supporting separatists is anti-national and is playing into the hands of terrorists and Pakistan,” Mr. Malik said in Jammu.Both regional parties, Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference (NC) and Mehbooba Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have demanded revocation of the ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami, imposed by the Union Home Department on February 28. Ms. Mufti on Wednesday hit the streets against the ban and termed it “autocratic” and a “direct interference into religious rights.”last_img read more

Campaign for third phase ends in Odisha

first_imgOdisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik made a whirlwind tour of several districts as campaigning came for the third phase polling in the State came to an end on Sunday.Mr. Patnaik has been spearheading his party’s campaign across the State in his bid to stop the saffron surge, while the BJP has roped in several top leaders to campaign for their party nominees across Odisha at frequent intervals.Prominent among the BJP leaders who have already addressed public meetings in Odisha include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah are scheduled to visit Odisha again before the fourth and last phase of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the State on April 29. The two top leaders are focusing on Odisha claiming that their party will spring a surprise this time.While addressing a rally at Rajnagar on Sunday, Mr. Patnaik said that more than 40 lakh farmers had been extended financial support under the KALIA scheme, and no one can stop its implementation in future. He has been harping on the KALIA which been stopped in view of the model code of conduct.While the BJD and the BJP were engaged in high pitched campaign, the Congress has been lagging behind badly. The party has not organised many public meetings by its national leaders during the past few weeks.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Jazz Music Activates Some Language Centers of Brain

first_imgAs most jazz lovers know, the high point of a concert is when the musicians let loose and improvise, “talking” to each other with their instruments. Indeed, modern jazz owes a lot of its appeal to pioneers like pianist Art Tatum (photo above) who introduced improvisation into the art form. Scientists have long suspected links in the brain between music and language, although just what they are isn’t clear. In a new study, researchers recruited 11 professional jazz pianists to engage in sessions of what musicians call “trading fours”—a form of improvisation in which two soloists alternate playing four bars of music each, riffing off of each other’s spontaneous creations. The musicians took turns having their brains scanned with a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine while playing on an all-plastic keyboard (metal parts would be attracted to the fMRI’s powerful magnet), while their partners played within earshot. The scans showed that during the sessions, parts of the brain linked to language syntax—the structural way that words are put together to make sentences—were activated; but brain areas linked to language semantics—the actual meaning of words and sentences—were suppressed. The team concludes today in PLOS ONE that language and music partly overlap in the brain because they both employ the same syntactical neural circuits, but communicate meaning in very different ways: language verbally, and music nonverbally. This may be why music lovers often feel keenly that they know what the musician is saying, but can’t put it into words.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

ScienceShot: The Secrets of the ‘Goaty Smell’

first_imgSpend any time in a barnyard and you’ll notice that male goats produce a characteristic “goaty smell” that repels humans, but attracts does. Through a phenomenon called the “male effect,” just the presence of a male sends females into heat. Scientists had long suspected that bucks emit a pheromone to turn on does’ reproductive systems, and they’ve finally found the active ingredient. By using a specially made gas-absorbing cap, the researchers collected scent compounds from the heads of male goats and compared them with compounds from castrated ones. They isolated individual chemicals and then tested whether they stimulated a response when females took a whiff. The compound 4-ethyloctanal starts a hormonal chain reaction in the female’s brain, which triggers ovulation, researchers report online today in Current Biology. When exposed to air, 4-ethyloctanal converts to 4-ethyloctanoic acid, which makes that “goaty odor.” So males can attract females and turn them on using the same compound.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

U.S. urged to clarify extent of funding moratorium on risky virus research

first_imgThe U.S. government needs to move quickly to clarify and grant urgent exceptions to a recently announced moratorium on funding for potentially risky research involving certain viruses. Those are two of the main points made by a statement approved today by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which advises the government on life science research that can be used for good or evil.Today’s statement—which is still being finalized—is in part a response to a host of questions and concerns about the moratorium that researchers voiced at an NSABB meeting last month that focused on the so-called pause, which federal officials announced on 17 October. The pause, which has affected 18 research projects at 14 institutions, halts new federal funding for so-called gain-of-function (GOF) studies that make a pathogen more transmissible in mammals or more pathogenic. It applies to GOF work on any influenza strain and two coronaviruses, MERS and SARS. The idea is to provide a year for experts to work out a U.S. government-wide policy for reviewing GOF studies.Many researchers have been confused by exactly which viruses, and which experiments, are covered by the policy, said Dennis Dixon, a researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) who is leading efforts to implement the policy, during an NSABB teleconference today. But he said his agency—which funds all the research so far affected by the pause—has been working with researchers to clarify matters.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)For example, in letters to scientists, officials have made it clear that work involving any kind of influenza virus, and not just highly pathogenic strains, is potentially covered. But the criteria for determining exactly which experiments are GOF and must be put on hold “are much more complex and subtle,” he noted, and applying them “requires a case-by-case assessment” by a panel of NIAID scientists. Scientists are still “sending in the specifics” of their experiments so that the review process “can be done carefully,” Dixon said. The list of 18 affected projects is not expected to grow or shrink appreciably, he noted.Dixon also addressed questions about what kinds of research might fall under an exemption to the pause that allows the continuation of studies that address an “urgent” public health need. For example, he noted that the government is now examining MERS and SARS research that involves infecting mice with modified versions of those viruses, because wild-type viruses do not help address the targeted research questions. Decisions are expected soon, he said.That was music to the ears of some NSABB members, who said they were pleased the government appeared to be moving to clear up the confusion. They also reacted positively to an announcement by Andrew Hebbeler, assistant director for biological and chemical threats in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), that officials have posted a new Frequently Asked Questions document aimed at answering scientists’ questions.Still, several academic researchers called in to the meeting to share their concerns about how the moratorium is unfolding. Harvard University epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch, who helped push for the moratorium, raised questions about how the government is approaching certain studies that could be defined as GOF, but don’t appear to be covered by the pause. Influenza virologist John Steel of Emory University in Atlanta encouraged federal officials and NSABB members to remember that, even though just 18 projects are covered, the pause is a big deal to affected researchers.In issuing today’s statemnt, NSABB “wanted to make sure that we were formally heard,” NSABB Chair Samuel Stanley, the president of Stony Brook University in New York, told ScienceInsider by telephone after the meeting. “There should be clear definitions and pathways to exceptions where they are needed. We wanted to make clear that there is a sense of urgency. These are not the kinds of thing that should be dragging on for months and months.”Stanley says the group also wanted to remind government officials “that there are consequences to these actions, and to make sure that there aren’t unintended consequences,” such as halting work that is important to protecting public health. The group is also concerned that younger scientists could be scared away from the fields covered by the moratorium.During the teleconference, Stanley also announced that his group is making headway on developing the recommendations it will make to the government about GOF policy. It has appointed a 13 member working group to develop ideas. The group, which will meet twice by telephone in December and then face-to-face in January, is led by co-chairs Kenneth Berns, a microbiologist at the University of Florida, and biosafety expert Joseph Kanabrocki of the University of Chicago. The group is expected to draw input from a 15 to 16 December meeting on the GOF issue being organized by the National Academies in Washington, D.C. And Stanley said that, despite the early confusion about the pause, his group is “on schedule” to help the government meet its announced goal of devising a new GOF policy and lifting the funding pause within a year. “And we will work very hard to stay on schedule,” he added.Updated, 5:53pm, 11/25/2014: The story was updated to include comments from Samuel Stanley.last_img read more

Your computer knows you better than your friends do

first_imgAre you a shy person with a snarky sense of humor who secretly craves hugs? You might be able to conceal that from your friends, but not from your computer. A new study of Facebook data shows that machines are now better at sussing out our true personalities than even our closest acquaintances. The idea for the study came together last year when psychologist Youyou Wu and computer scientist Michal Kosinski, then both at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, watched Her, a 2013 science fiction film in which a man falls in love with his computer operating system. “By analyzing his digital records, his computer can understand and respond to his thoughts and needs much better than other humans,” Wu says, “including his long-term girlfriend and closest friends.” Wu and Kosinski wondered: Is that possible in real life?They had access to a perfect data set to put the idea to the test. In 2007, their colleague David Stillwell, another Cambridge psychologist, created a Facebook app called myPersonality. With consent, users give the app abundant personal data. Not only do they grant access to Facebook info such as their likes and list of friends, but they also take standard psychological tests and answer survey questions. Their only rewards are the results of those psychological tests and a synopsis of how they compare with the rest of the myPersonality user population.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)With Kosinski’s help, the app became a viral hit, with more than 4 million people signing up and using it so far. It also became a scientific gold mine. In a 2013 analysis of the myPersonality data published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a team led by Kosinski showed that the pattern of people’s likes on Facebook is enough to predict their personal traits such as gender, race, political persuasion, and even sexuality. The paper was one of the year’s most blogged about and cited.Computationally judging whether people on the Internet are gay or straight based on their Facebook likes is one thing, but determining those people’s personalities more accurately than a human seemed far-fetched, Wu admits. Experiments have shown that “people are very good at judging each other,” she says.One of the standard methods for assessing personality is to analyze people’s answers to a 100-item questionnaire with a statistical technique called factor analysis. There are five main factors that divide people by personality—openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism—which is why personality researchers call this test the Big Five. People can accurately predict how their friends will answer the Big Five questions. “For example, I got a 4.5 out of 5 on extraversion based on my answers about myself,” Wu says, “and my friend got a 4.4 out of 5 based on his answers about me.”Wu, Kosinski, and Stillwell focused on 86,220 people who took the Big Five personality test through the myPersonality Facebook app during the past 2 years. The researchers used those results and the people’s Facebook data to create a statistical model that predicts personality based on Facebook likes. To compare the computer’s accuracy with human judgment, they analyzed results from 17,622 friends of those participants who filled out the 100-item questionnaire based on how they thought their friends would answer. Those people “liked” thousands of things on the Internet—everything from David Bowie and atheism to Rush Limbaugh and smiling. If you really can predict personality from Facebook likes, these items should combine into fingerprints for different personality types.Computers aren’t yet as smart and sultry as the one in Her, but armed with your Facebook data, they can accurately judge your personality in a fraction of a second. Compared with humans predicting their friends’ personalities by filling out the Big Five questionnaire, the computer’s prediction based on Facebook likes was almost 15% more accurate on average, the team reports online today in PNAS. Only people’s spouses were better than the computer at judging personality.So what do our Facebook personality fingerprints look like? Some of the patterns make intuitive sense. For example, the “openness” factor ranges from liberal to conservative, loosely mapping onto political tendencies, and indeed liberal people tended to like Bowie and atheism, whereas conservative people like Fox News and Limbaugh. Other personality predictors seem bizarre. People on the cooperative side of the “agreeableness” spectrum tend to like The Bourne Identity, a film about a lone government assassin, but competitive people like the Oatmeal, an Internet cartoon that celebrates science, geek culture, and long-distance running, among many other topics.”It is a clever use of like data,” says Dana Carney, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who wasn’t involved in the study. Besides contributing to our understanding of how personality affects life choices, she notes that online marketing is the obvious application of the research, because the better you understand the “personality characteristics of an online user base,” the better your chances are of influencing them. A next step will be to increase the accuracy of the predictions by harvesting “other Internet behaviors and combine them with likes,” she says, such as individuals’ Web browsing behavior, which companies are already harvesting.last_img read more

Bank of Baroda gets reprieve in South Africa, but still faces criminal plaint

first_imgA South African court investigating corruption charges against former President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family on Friday absolved Bank of BarodaBSE -1.90 % (BoB) of the charges of being in possession of “proceeds of crime”. But the staterun Indian bank still faces a criminal complaint filed against it by the opposition Democratic Alliance party.Read more at: //economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/63243282.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppstRead it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img read more

India close to signing COMCASA with US

first_imgIndia may finally end up signing the second defence foundational pact with the US — the Communications, Compatibility, Security Agreement (COMCASA) — which will enable Indian military to obtain critical, secure and encrypted defence technologies from the other country.Being a ‘Major Defence Partner’ of the US, it is imperative for India to sign the mandatory three foundational pacts which allows greater interoperability between critical technologies and smooth facilitation of classified information.Read it at The Hindu Related Itemslast_img read more