Over 8,000 shifted as rains continue to lash Gujarat

first_imgTorrential rains continue to batter parts of Gujarat, leading to floods in North Gujarat region. The state authorities have shifted more than 8,000 people from Banaskantha and Patan districts due to flooding in low lying areas while over 250 people stranded in floods were rescued by various agencies like NDRF, BSF and Air Force. According to Principal Secretary (Revenue) Pankaj Kumar, NDRF, Air Force, Army and other agencies are involved in rescue operations in affects parts. “Four choppers for rescue works in Banaskantha have been mobilised,” he said. Meanwhile, the government has issued high alert in North and Central Gujarat districts where the heavy to extremely heavy rains likely. So far, 7 persons have died in rain related incidents since July 20 while death toll since June 1, stands at 73. More than 900 animals have also died either being washed away in floods or in other related incidents.last_img read more

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Student raped by director, teacher of Rajasthan school

first_imgAn 18-year-old student of Class XII was allegedly raped by the director and a teacher of her school for three-four months at Ajeetgarh, in Sikar district of Rajasthan, and was forced to undergo an abortion. The accused, Jagdish Yadav and Jagat Singh Gujjar, are now absconding.After her condition deteriorated following the abortion carried out at a private hospital in Shahpura, the girl was shifted to the Sawai Man Singh Government Hospital here last week. The girl’s family stated in the complaint lodged with the police that the accused would call the victim to the school on the pretext of extra classes and sexually abuse her. The police said that when the girl’s abortion was carried out last month, the two accused tricked the family members into believing that a surgery was being conducted for treatment of her stomach pain.Neem-Ka-Thana Deputy Superintendent of Police Kushal Singh said on Monday that a case of gang-rape and causing miscarriage without the girl’s consent had been registered. The police have recorded the statement of two doctors at the hospital in Shahpura.last_img read more

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Separate chargesheets filed in drugs trade case

first_imgThe Anti-Narcotics Cell of Goa Crime Branch has filed three separate chargesheets against the three accused arrested for running a drug racket in north coastal belt of Goa in March this year.Superintendent of Police Umesh Gaonkar, Crime Branch in-charge, Goa Police, said the Anti-Narcotics Cell filed the chargesheets in the District and Sessions Court on Monday.David Johnson, a British national, Yusuf Mohammad, a resident of Chennai, and Ganesh Pondir, hailing from Himachal Pradesh, have been charged under various sections of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.The Anti-Narcotics Cell arrested Mohammad from Anjuna village seized narcotics such as methamphetamine and LSD from his possession. Johnson was picked up from another location in Anjuna village. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine and ecstasy tablets were seized from his possession. Based on the interrogation of the two accused , the police arrested the third accused, Ganesh, from Arambol beach in Pernem taluk of North Goa for allegedly possessing charas.last_img read more

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Vicious propaganda against Kashmiris by some TV channels affecting peace process, says Special Representative

first_imgThe Centre’s Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, has requested Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to convene a meeting with authorities of certain television news channels to ask them to be careful against spreading “vicious propaganda” against Kashmiris.A senior source said on Wednesday that at least four news channels routinely aired stories exaggerating events in the Kashmir Valley, defeating the dialogue and peace process initiated by the Centre. The meeting with the channel representatives would be convened shortly, the source said. Another official, however, said the Centre would tread cautiously on the subject as it did not want to impinge on the “freedom of the press”.“Sometimes these channels are just making a mountain out of a molehill. Many times, the debates are vitriolic and are distant from facts on the ground. This gives fodder to secessionist forces in the Kashmir Valley to sow hatred against the government,” a senior Home Ministry official said.Delegations’ protestsMr. Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, was appointed Special Representative by the Centre in October 2017 for carrying forward the dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir. As reported earlier, several delegations that met Mr. Sharma complained that a few news channels were propagating a negative image of Kashmiris. The official said they would share Mr. Sharma’s concern with the television channels, adding that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had, on several occasions, asked the Centre to address the issue of news channels going overboard when it comes to reporting events in the Valley.Delivering the keynote address at a seminar on “Understanding Kashmir” hosted by a Delhi-based think tank, BRIEF, last July, Ms. Mufti had hit out at television anchors based in the national capital for portraying Kashmir in a bad light.“I am sorry to say that this India that the [news] anchors are trying to project is not what India is and not the India I know. Few channels are showing Kashmiris in a bad light.”She said when she saw the retired “beard-wallahs” from the other side [Pakistan] and “mooch-wallahs” from this side screaming at the top of their lungs on television news channels, she felt they were airing their “frustrations” about the many wars that the two countries had fought. On stone throwingThe J&K administration have on previous occasions expressed similar concerns, and told the Centre that Delhi-based news television channels were portraying the State in a negative light. On the issue of reports of stone throwing by students, officials posted in south Kashmir had pointed out that schoolchildren from only four or five institutions had participated in the attacks on security forces.However, the national media had reported the incidents as if all the 50,000 school and college students were embroiled in violent acts in 2016 that erupted after Hizbul Mujahideen “commander” Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces.last_img read more

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U.P. criminal arrested after shoot-out; two cops hurt

first_imgAn Uttar Pradesh-based criminal was arrested after a shoot-out in the early hours of Saturday on Mehrauli-Badarpur Road in the Capital. Two police officers were injured in the operation.Deputy Commissioner of Police (south-east) Chinmoy Biswal said wanted criminal Harendra Nagar alias Harendra Pradhan (36), who had allegedly killed land mafia Moti Goyal on April 16 in Barola village over a property dispute, has been arrested after a brief exchange of fire.Trap laid after tip-offThe police said they received a tip-off that Pradhan, who has a bounty of ₹25,000 on his head, would go to Mehrauli via MB Road, following which a team was formed and a trap was laid.“Around 6.30 a.m., a car was spotted on the road and it was followed by the police party. The driver sped the car but the picket staff blocked it using barricades,” said Mr. Biswal.The police team then approached the car, opened the left door and asked Pradhan to surrender, but he opened fire at the officers with his carbine.The policemen managed to snatch the carbine after which Pradhan came out from the right door of the car and fired at the officers with a pistol; the police fired back. “The officers then overpowered him, snatched his pistol and managed to nab him,” said Mr. Biswal.In the operation, two officers — Sub Inspector Yogesh Tanwar and Head Constable Ravi — got injured while adjusting the barricades, the police said.Criminal recordDuring interrogation, Pradhan, who has 13 criminal cases registered against him, allegedly told the police that he met Goyal in Dasna jail in 2008. Goyal told him that he wanted to work with a person who could help him in land grabbing.The two started working together but later Goyal started avoiding him and stopped giving him his share. This enraged Pradhan and he decided to eliminate Goyal. He was shot seven times, allegedly by two contract killers identified as Rahul and Amit. The duo was arrested on April 25 but Pradhan managed to escape by firing at U.P. police officers.last_img read more

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Dhangars stage peaceful protest

first_imgIn contrast to the fury and chaos of the recent Maratha quota protests, a day-long, State-wide agitation on Monday called by the Dhangar (shepherd) community demanding inclusion into the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) passed off without incident.Barring traffic snarls at several places in Nagpur, Marathwada and parts of north Maharashtra, the agitation was largely peaceful, said police sources.However, Dhangar community leaders across the State warned of intensifying the agitation in the first week of September unless the Devendra Fadnavis government took a concrete step to resolve the long-pending issue. The agitation, under the banner of the Dhangar Sangharsh Samiti Maharashtra Rajya, received an enthusiastic response in Aurangabad, Nagpur, Solapur, Nanded and Jalgaon.“The Chief Minister has been putting us off with assurances. A meeting with him was held on August 10 and while the discussions were positive, he failed to clarify in how many days the State government would award the ST reservation to the community,” said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Rajya Sabha MP, Dr. Vikas Mahatme, who staged a ‘chakka jam’ in Nagpur with several protestors. Dr. Mahatme, an ophthalmologist and Padma Shri recipient, had spearheaded the agitation before the BJP came to power in 2014. He, along with 25 agitators, was briefly detained by the Nagpur police.In Sangli’s Atpadi Taluk, bus services were suspended in the wake of the agitation, while in Kolhapur, a meeting of Dhangar community leaders condemned the BJP government for hoodwinking the community with false promises. “Since 2015, the BJP-ruled government has been assuring us of granting reservation. But after four years in power, they seem to have no intention in fulfilling their pre-election promise,” said a leader at the meeting. Earlier in the day, protesters burnt tyres and blocked the Jalna-Auranagabad road for several hours, holding up traffic. Likewise, the Nagpur-Wardha road was jammed for a while as agitators demonstrated with sheep and goats along the Ahmednagar-Manmad road.In Jalgaon, peaceful protests commenced at several areas in the district.Speaking in Ahmednagar, senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse, too, urged the State to expedite the process of including the Dhangar community in the ST list.The community, currently included in the Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribes category, is seeking a higher quota in the ST list.Dhangar leaders in Maharashtra contend that while their brethren, called ‘Dhangad’ in other parts of the country are availing of ST benefits, those in the State are denied these owing to a long-standing typographical error on the name.On Sunday, a youth in Parbhani district had allegedly committed suicide over the delay in granting reservation to the community, which has demanded that the BJP government fulfil its poll promise to include them in the ST category.Before the 2014 Assembly election, the BJP had lured some leaders from the community with promises of reservation. After the poll, it had inducted Mahadev Jankar, a prominent Dhangar leader and chief of the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) and minor BJP ally, into the State cabinet as a sop to the community.It had also commissioned the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to make a study on the backwardness of the community.Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) too had jumped into the fray to win the hearts and minds of the community by expressing support for the contentious Dhangar reservation issue. Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) chief Prakash Ambedkar, too, held a rally in Pandharpur in May this year in a bid to reach out to the community.last_img read more

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Countdown begins for NDA exit: Nath

first_imgMadhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Monday said the countdown to the defeat of the NDA government at the Centre has begun with the announcement of the Lok Sabha poll schedule. The Election Commission Sunday announced in Delhi that Lok Sabha polls will be held in seven phases in the country, beginning April 11. “With the announcement of national elections, the countdown for the (PM) Modi government has started. I have faith that the voters would send a message by their ballots that they are not fools and won’t be taken for a ride again,” he said here. Asked about some State BJP leaders claiming that his government would “collapse automatically” after the NDA retains power in the 2019 general polls, Mr. Nath said, “I can’t stop them from dreaming.”last_img read more

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Kalyan Singh faces flak over remarks backing Modi

first_imgRajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh on Monday found himself in the middle of a controversy after his remarks supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s return to power in the Lok Sabha election came to light through a video footage. The video purportedly showed Mr. Singh telling reporters that the nation and society needed Mr. Modi to become the PM again.“All of us are BJP workers. We genuinely want the BJP to win. We want that Modiji should become the Prime Minister… It is necessary for the nation and society that Modiji becomes the PM again,” Mr. Singh said in the video shot in his hometown Aligarh last week.Mr. Singh, a former two-time Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, apparently made the remarks in the midst of a protest staged by some BJP workers outside his house against the party ticket for the Lok Sabha polls being given to sitting MP Satish Gautam.Non-partisan positionMr. Singh’s remarks drew criticism from various quarters, with leaders reminding him that a Governor should be non-partisan and should maintain distance from party politics.Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said Mr. Singh’s statements did not suit the dignity of the post he was holding. “We have utmost respect for Kalyan Singhji… He is holding a [high] Constitutional post. It is expected of the Governors to be non-partisan,” he said.Rajasthan Pradesh Congress president and Deputy CM Sachin Pilot described Mr. Singh’s remarks as violating the dignity of his Constitutional office. He said it was unfortunate that Mr. Singh had described himself as a BJP worker.Mr. Singh quit the BJP in 1999 and rejoined the party in 2004. The 87-year-old BJP leader was appointed Rajasthan Governor in 2014 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power at the Centre.last_img read more

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A Blood Test for Alzheimer’s Disease?

first_imgAlzheimer’s disease is expected to triple in prevalence by 2050, affecting 115 million people worldwide. There’s no cure or treatment yet for the fatal neurodegenerative condition, but many physicians and scientists suggest that drugs that have failed so far will work if given much earlier, a strategy that requires diagnosing the disease before symptoms develop. Now, a research team has discovered a group of molecules in the blood that they say can predict with 90% accuracy whether older people will develop the disease over the course of 2 to 3 years. Although such a test is not ready for general use, and may never be, the technique could still help recruit people most at risk of developing Alzheimer’s into clinical trials of possible treatments.Beyond an autopsy analysis of a person’s brain, two accepted methods of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease exist at present, says Douglas Galasko, a neuroscientist at the University of California (UC), San Diego, School of Medicine. One technique uses brain imaging to detect the hallmark protein found in plaques in brain tissue which marks the disorder. The other measures levels of these proteins by extracting fluid from the spinal cord. Few people wish to undergo that painful procedure, however, and because both techniques are expensive and not terribly accurate, particularly at the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s, researchers have spent decades looking for a less invasive, more affordable blood-based test. So far, however, these efforts have produced “no success,” Galasko says.To ferret out blood molecules that might signal the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in elderly people, a team from Georgetown University and several other institutions recruited several hundred senior citizens age 70 and up from retirement communities in New York and California. They took blood samples and shipped them on ice to a lab with a mass spectrometer in order to precisely quantify the blood samples’ chemical makeup.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(*)Over the next 3 years, the researchers tracked the seniors’ mental health, and identified 53 people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease, 18 of whom had not displayed any symptoms at the beginning of the study. At the 3-year mark, they returned to the analyses of the blood samples and compared those of the people who had developed symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease with 53 of the elderly people from the group who remained healthy. In the group whose mental health had declined, there were significant alterations in the blood levels of 10 different chemicals, including fatty molecules called phospholipids, which help keep cell membranes in the brain and body intact, the team reports online today in Nature Medicine.To check that its observations weren’t just a random event, the team tested whether the same altered pattern could predict whether 41 other elderly people from the same retirement communities had developed Alzheimer’s disease, and found that it hit the mark 90% of the time. Despite these encouraging findings, senior author Howard Federoff, a neuroscientist at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., says the test needs much more validation. “This is a new observation, and it’s imperative that it be extended and replicated on an independent group of individuals.”Others are equally cautious. “We won’t know if it’s going to be a big deal or not” until other groups replicate the study, agrees Michael Weiner, a neuroscientist at UC San Francisco. The population of people with Alzheimer’s disease is so diverse, and is fraught with so many health problems, that it may turn out that although the test is good at detecting people who are at risk for cognitive decline, it will pick up too many other conditions in the process to be useful as a diagnostic tool. If that’s the case, the test could still be used to screen people for preventative clinical trials of Alzheimer’s drugs for the disease, he says.That Federoff and colleagues validated their findings in an independent group of elderly people is “impressive,” says Robert Green, a medical geneticist at Harvard University. Many such studies “have turned out to be a flash in the pan,” he says, but the new study “is more sophisticated than most.”*Correction, 17 March, 4:06 p.m.: This story has been corrected to reflect that only one of Alzheimer’s two hallmark protein deposits can currently be imaged in the brain for diagnostic purposes.last_img read more

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In girding for climate change, Great Barrier Reef plan falls short

first_imgThe Australian government on Saturday unveiled a long-awaited plan to safeguard the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Scientists are unimpressed. It’s “a big disappointment,” says Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Townsville, Australia. The plan, he says, “virtually ignores climate change.”For years, scientists have fretted about degradation of the reef. Although 344,400 square kilometers are protected as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, researchers reported in a 2012 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the reef’s coral cover shrank by half between 1985 and 2012 because of storm damage, predation by crown-of-thorns starfish, and bleaching—the loss of the coral’s photosynthetic organisms when the water gets too warm. “Without intervention, the GBR may lose the biodiversity and ecological integrity for which it was listed as a World Heritage Area,” the team warned.Heeding such alarms, last summer the World Heritage Committee warned that unless the Australian government produced a long-term action plan to protect the reef, it might list the GBR as “in danger,” a step that could lead to the reef losing the World Heritage Site status it has held since 1981.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(*)The government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott responded with a draft plan last November. Academic societies and scientists called for “much bolder action,” more details on targets for such things as water quality, and consideration of climate change.Those recommendations did influence the final plan, which sets targets for reducing nitrogen runoff from fertilizer use by 80% and for cutting sedimentation from coastal development by 50% by 2025. The government recently banned dumping dredged sediment in the marine park. And there will be an additional $78 million over 5 years to improve water quality.Australia is telling the world “that we are utterly committed as an entire nation to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef,” Abbott said while unveiling the report at a 21 March press conference.Although the plan includes a number of good initiatives, it falls short of what’s required to halt the reef’s decline, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Australia said in a statement. “Billions not millions are needed to save the reef,” said WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman.Scientists are taking issue particularly with the lack of measures to address climate change, despite a statement in the plan calling it “the single biggest threat to coral reefs worldwide.” In a recent report, the Australian Coral Reef Society said that current plans to develop massive coal deposits and the associated expansion of ports near the reef would affect it both directly—with increased coal dust, coastal runoff, dredging, and increased shipping with its attendant threats to marine life—and indirectly by increasing worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. “We are still unhappy about the port expansions going ahead and the huge coal mines,” says Selina Ward, a reef ecologist at the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, in Australia and a report co-author.”Australia has to make up its mind about whether to build and operate the world’s largest coal mines over the next 60 years, or to reduce the threats to the Great Barrier Reef from climate change, pollution, and overfishing. We can’t do both,” says Hughes, who, with colleagues, warned the reef may be approaching a tipping point.In response to questions on this point at the press conference, Abbott said that his government is pursuing policies to address climate change separately, adding, “It’s important that we continue to strengthen our economy, because a strong economy and a better environment should go hand in hand.”The World Heritage Committee is due to announce a decision on the reef’s status in July. Conservationists and politicians are making separate bets. “The Australian government has so far failed to take the action necessary to avoid the Great Barrier Reef being added to the ‘World Heritage in danger’ list,” Greenpeace said in a statement. Appearing at the press conference with Abbott, Environment Minister Greg Hunt said that they have worked closely with representatives of the international organizations involved in World Heritage Committee deliberations to incorporate their suggestions into the plan. “I have to say, at this stage, the feedback has been extremely positive,” he said.With reporting by Leigh Dayton.last_img read more

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U.K. budget includes new money for innovation

first_img£60 million for a new “Energy Research Accelerator” One of the old traditions when the annual government budget is released in the United Kingdom is for the chancellor of the exchequer to carry his speech to the House of Commons in a red briefcase. This year’s budget, announced yesterday, contained few surprises for researchers—the core science budget is planned over 5 years—but did yield more than £240 million of additional funding and some details about previously announced commitments.“It is great to see the chancellor putting additional money into innovation and recognizing the value of science,” says Naomi Weir, acting director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), an advocacy group in the United Kingdom, which remains concerned about the effects of inflation on the flat budget for core funding. The new money will be spent mostly on technology-related research, according to a statement from CaSE. Specifically:£100 million for R&D on driverless car technology £20 million for analysis of health data £12 million for a new Centre for Agricultural Informatics and Sustainability Metricscenter_img £11 million for technology incubators in Manchester, Leeds, and SheffieldThe 2015 budget also spells out how £538 million of previously announced funds will be spent. Of this, $400 million is intended for competitive awards for scientific infrastructure in 2020 and 2021. The remaining £138 million goes to research hubs on infrastructure and cities.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(*) £40 million for R&D on the Internet of Thingslast_img read more

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Indian Women CEOs

first_imgThe number of women CEOs in India is nearly four times that of the United States.According to a survey of 240 mid and large domestic and foreign companies in India by international executive research firm, EMA Partners, nearly 11 per cent of the CEOs in Indian companies are women, compared to three percent among U.S. Fortune 500 companies.According to the EMA, nearly 25 per cent of the executives in Germany, 30 per cent in Britain, and 35 per cent in France are women.A sector-wise analysis by EMA found that women CEO presence highest in India’s banking and financial services sector (54 per cent), followed by media and life sciences (11 per cent each), Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and consulting (8 per cent each), and manufacturing and IT/ITES (4% each). In the United States, by contrast, women CEO were heaviest in the consumer sector (48%) while financial services accounted for just 7 percent.  Related Itemslast_img read more

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Increase in Visa Rejections May Cause Project Delays, Hike in Costs: Infosys

first_imgThe recent increase in visa rejections may cause a rise in costs of projects and delays in their execution, Indian technology major Infosys has said. The issue has also affected the firm’s ability to recruit new staff for projects, the Bengaluru-based multinational company said in a recent regulatory filing.“Recently, there has been an increase in the number of visa application rejections. This has affected, and may continue to affect, our ability to obtain timely visas and staff projects. As a result, we may encounter delays or additional costs in managing such projects,” Infosys said in the filing, PTI reported.Infosys has enhanced its drive to recruit local talent in countries such as the United States, after immigrations rules were tightened by the Trump administration. It had said recently that the company is focussing on hiring and training local workforce in markets such as the United States and Australia, which are undergoing changes in visa rules, the report added.“…. what we are building with this localisation approach is really gearing towards making sure that our business model evolves in the right way, without sacrificing the best elements of the business model for the future. So, I don’t think we see that this is going to constrain our business growth,” CEO Salil Parekh had said.The company will train and hire 3,000 American workers at its United States Education Center in Indianapolis by 2023, Infosys said in April this year. A month before that, it had announced the launch of a new office at Hartford, Connecticut, for which 1,000 American employees would be hired by 2022.The company also announced earlier this year that it has hired more than 2,500 American workers over the past year as part of its ongoing commitment to accelerate innovation for American enterprises.Besides ramping up local hiring in the United States and Australia, Infosys is also increasing its footprint in Europe.The firm has set up a new Digital Studio in Berlin, it announced on July 19.“Powered by Brilliant Basics, the Digital Studio in Berlin will provide clients comprehensive and continued digital transformation solutions. The studio will combine Brilliant Basics’ product design and customer experience capabilities with Infosys’ worldwide connected network of Digital Studios, technology capabilities, talent and cross-industry experience,” Infosys said.Infosys has set up new #DigitalStudio in Berlin to expand its digital capabilities. Powered by @BrilliantBasics, the studio will provide comprehensive & continued #DigitalTransformation solutions to clients #BrilliantBerlin https://t.co/NBbYJ58mK7 #NavigateYourNext #BeBrilliant pic.twitter.com/g0ktbYuUKC— Infosys (@Infosys) July 19, 2018The Digital Studio in Berlin is strategically positioned to support clients in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, specifically focusing on industries such as telecom and communications, oil and gas, technology, fintech, automotive, engineering and manufacturing.The company did not provide investment details for the studio.Last month, Infosys established a new Digital Center of Excellence in Marseille, France, to deliver the firm’s digital offerings to companies in the country. The facility would initially employ 60 workers, and focus on providing its clients services in the areas of Design and User Experience, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data and Analytics, the firm had said at the time. Related ItemsInfosyslast_img read more

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The New Janitor

first_imgA year ago the country was in uproar over the United Nations. It looked as if the great vision of a world platform was coming to an end. The United States railroaded the UN, ignored it, bullied it, disposed of it very publicly in a trash can and then went to war. As circumstances (and common sense) would have it, the war isn’t working out well. Almost everyone in this country is coming to the uncomfortable recognition that the war with Iraq is as good as lost or at best it is on the verge of a major failure. There are still a few in this country, especially some fanatical talk show hosts (Bob Grant and Sean Hannity in New York and the right wing clones elsewhere) who are convinced that we won the war and what is happening now are mere skirmishes (“We have to go in there with more troupes and wipe everyone out.”).Now the United States has turned to the UN because the it is the new janitor. They will help us clean it up. They are needed to make it all look legitimate. Some in the administration (including its gifted Defense Secretary) want a “UN” face on the “operations in Iraq.” In some looney fit, even the Indian Government was contemplating sending soldiers to help this facelift on an operation that the natives of Iraq call an occupation. We hope that brief gesture of generosity got some good will with the IMF or the World Bank, but it did not and would not fit well with anyone who has a semblance of understanding about the Iraq debacle.The UN has passed a resolution supporting an international administration in Iraq. All sorts of ridiculous, funny and outrightly insulting propositions have been trotted out. One of them suggests that a U.S. General would head the armed forces there, while the civil administration will be headed by UN diplomats. Read here cleaning services (Baghdad is literally awash in garbage, according to some reports), hospitals with lots of bandages and anesthetics and civic offers of bureaucracy. Sort of a front line for the military operations!The President once remarked that the UN has reduced itself to a debating society. Wouldn’t you know! If all you know is shooting from the hip, then you would not notice all the other shooting you do.Even though the UN has become an ineffectual body for a host of other reasons (among them, a steady starving of overdue funds from the United States, choking of UNESCO and other bodies, some of which were released some money only after Sept. 11, 2001), one cannot deny that UN is the only hope of conducting any dialog among the communities of the world. It has virtually no real authority, but it is a wonderful place where you could still stand face to face with the greatest superpowers and assert that you had the same single vote that the Big Ones do.What a beautiful idea that all nations, tiny and mighty, each have only one vote! You would think this could be nurtured in the greatest democracy in the world.Despite the continuous debilitating attrition in the value and effectiveness of the UN, we hope that there may be at least one hope. That the UN could become a great debating society where you could practice courage in free speech and tell the major honchos who want to run the world that they are wrong and arrogant and completely contemptible.Once Malcolm X remarked in Harlem that the Blacks in the United States could go to the UN to bring its pressure to remove racism in this country. Oh, how the world has changed!Although the vision of Malcolm’s dream is difficult to realize today, we hope that the UN can at least debate and discuss such issues, including the wretched war in Iraq which brings fresh news of new deaths every morning.   Related Itemslast_img read more

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Four killed in clashes in West Bengal

first_imgFour men were killed and several injured in North 24 Paraganas district of West Bengal in clashes between BJP and Trinamool workers on Saturday night. Three of the dead were BJP workers, while the other was a Trinamool member. The deceased were identified as Sukanta Mandal, Pradip Mandal and Tapan Mandal of the BJP and Kayum Mollah of the Trinamool.The parties blamed each other for the violence at Bhangipara of Sandeshkhali block, about 80 kilometres south of Kolkata.According to a post by BJP, at least 18 of their supporters are missing. The BJP said Trinamool cadre attacked their activists following a scuffle over removal of saffron flags. “They opened fire indiscriminately killing three of our cadres. Kayum Mollah was shot by Trinamool activists only,” said Sayantan Basu, a BJP leader.However, Trinamool leaders said armed BJP activists had attacked their members and killed Mollah.“Kayum Mollah was hacked to death by BJP. He was shot too. BJP bringing outsiders to attack us,” said TMC leader Jyotipriya Mullick.Reportedly, TMC cadres attacked BJP activists in retaliation. However, police administration has not issued any statement.Trouble was brewing in Sandeshkhali, albeit in a different area, over last few days as a senior Government official was beaten up. Incidents of sporadic violence was reported.Leaders of both parties are expected to visit Sandeshkhali on Saturday which may trigger more commotion.last_img read more

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Court questions Assam’s jumbo transport to Gujarat

first_imgThe Gauhati High Court on Monday asked Assam’s Chief Wildlife Warden Ranjana Gupta whether she had taken note of a 2016 Supreme Court order against transfer of elephants while clearing the transit of four juvenile elephants to Gujarat for a religious event.Hearing separate petitions filed by Kerala-born Canadian Sangita Iyer and Guwahati-based NGO Avinava Prayash, a division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice Manish Choudhury sought clarification from the Centre with regard to the operation of the apex court’s interim order in 2016 prohibiting transfer of elephants outside a State by their possessors.The Bench also asked Ms. Gupta to clarify whether she had taken note of the Supreme Court’s interim order when she authorised on June 12 the transit of the elephants to Ahmedabad’s Jagannath Temple for a Rath Yatra on July 4.The oldest of the four elephants — females Joytara and Rani, and males Babulal and Rupsing — is nine years old. ‘Will not survive trip’Wildlife activists had argued that these juvenile elephants would not survive the heatwave while travelling in a metal railway wagon 3,106 km from eastern Assam’s Tinsukia to Ahmedabad.Noting that the railways too had sought clarification on the Supreme Court’s interim order before transporting the elephants, the Bench referred to the March 8 letter of the Project Elephant Division of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change seeking legal steps for the “welfare of the captive elephants, etc., and strict monitoring” to prevent illegal transport of elephants between States.The petitioners’ counsel Bhaskar Dev Konwar, argued that the elephants would face adverse climatic conditions during their train journey to Gujarat.He also pointed out that unlike Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Assam has not framed rules for management and maintenance of captive elephants under Section 64(2) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. He also contended that none of the elephants sent outside Assam on temporary leases have returned till date. The case is scheduled to come up for hearing again on Tuesday.last_img read more

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