Rajasthan 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.
The 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.
A U.S. appeals court appeared skeptical on Tuesday about reinstating a $1.3 billion jury verdict won by Oracle Corp against SAP, in a case where the European software company admitted massive copyright infringement.At a court hearing on Tuesday, two 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges also suggested Oracle may deserve more than the roughly $300 million it had been assigned by a lower court.A Northern California jury awarded Oracle $1.3 billion in 2010 over accusations that SAP AG subsidiary, TomorrowNow, wrongfully downloaded millions of Oracle files. SAP had acquired TomorrowNow as part of a strategy to provide software support to Oracle customers at lower rates than what Oracle charged, and eventually convince some of those companies to become SAP customers.The trial between the two enterprise software competitors was widely watched at the time, as top Oracle executives Larry Ellison and Safra Catz testified. However, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California ruled that Oracle had proven actual damages of only $272 million.Oracle has asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse that ruling.At a court hearing on Tuesday before a three-judge 9th Circuit panel, Oracle attorney Kathleen Sullivan said internal SAP documents showed SAP had expected about $900 million in new revenue by using TomorrowNow to poach Oracle customers. That, and other evidence, was sufficient for the jury to arrive at its $1.3 billion figure, Sullivan argued.However, 9th Circuit Judge Susan Graber questioned whether those SAP revenue figures were objective evidence of the value of the copyrighted material.”It’s hypothetical revenue information, which is not the same,” Graber said.”These may be pie in the sky dreaming,” Judge William Fletcher added.The judges did not issue a formal ruling from the bench. SAP eventually shuttered TomorrowNow, which pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement and other charges.SAP admitted liability for the downloads just prior to the 2010 trial, so the only issue in dispute was how much SAP would pay Oracle in damages. Oracle said that figure should be calculated based on what SAP would have paid Oracle had it licensed the materials, instead of downloading them without permission. Oracle estimated that amount in the billions.In her lower court ruling, however, Hamilton decided Oracle is only entitled to profits it had lost as a result of the downloads, as well as any profits SAP gained. The judge calculated that amount at $272 million.At the 9th Circuit hearing on Tuesday, Graber said $272 million “seems low,” and Fletcher said it “seems to me wrong.”SAP attorney Tharan “Greg” Lanier defended the amount, though he acknowledged that Oracle presented evidence at trial that the profits calculation could come to $487 million.The case in the 9th Circuit is Oracle Corp et al. vs. SAP AG et al., 12-16944.
© 2014 Phys.org A team of researchers looking for oil and gas deposits beneath the seafloor off the western coast of southern Africa has found four large “fish-falls” on the seabed: the carcasses of one whale shark and three mobulid rays. Finding vertebrate carcasses on the seafloor is quite rare, ocean scientists Nicholas Higgs, Andrew Gates and Daniel Jones report in their paper on the discovery published in PLoS ONE—the “graveyard” offers a unique opportunity to learn more about how the death of large sea creatures and the food they provide to other smaller creatures impacts marine life in general. Still images showing each of the observed carcasses. A Whale shark (Rhincodon typus); B Mobulid carcass 1; C Mobulid carcass 2; D Mobulid Carcass 3. Images have been enhanced. Credit: PLoS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096016.g002 Citation: Oil searchers discover and record deep-sea graveyard off Angola coast (2014, May 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-05-oil-searchers-deep-sea-graveyard-angola.html Antarctica’s first whale skeleton found with nine new deep-sea species To date, just nine vertebrate carcasses have ever been found and studied on the deep ocean floor—this recent discovery pushes that number to thirteen. Such carcass remains are categorized by “fall” type. These four were all fish falls, other’s such as whale falls generally attract more attention.Recorded along with the carcasses were scavengers that had arrived at the scene to feast on the large creatures’ remains. The researchers note that quite often the first to arrive at a fall of any sort are sharks, though they rarely consume what has been found. Next to find the carcasses are usually crabs and amphipods and at some point osedax that feed on the bones. In the footage the researchers were able to see large numbers of fish surrounding the carcasses, the majority of which were eel pouts, which don’t eat carcass remains, but instead feed on other fish that do. The researchers noted that no evidence of osedax were present which suggested that the carcasses hadn’t been on the sea floor very long, perhaps just a month or two. Explore further Journal information: PLoS ONE More information: Higgs ND, Gates AR, Jones DOB (2014) Fish Food in the Deep Sea: Revisiting the Role of Large Food-Falls. PLoS ONE 9(5): e96016. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096016AbstractThe carcasses of large pelagic vertebrates that sink to the seafloor represent a bounty of food to the deep-sea benthos, but natural food-falls have been rarely observed. Here were report on the first observations of three large ‘fish-falls’ on the deep-sea floor: a whale shark (Rhincodon typus) and three mobulid rays (genus Mobula). These observations come from industrial remotely operated vehicle video surveys of the seafloor on the Angola continental margin. The carcasses supported moderate communities of scavenging fish (up to 50 individuals per carcass), mostly from the family Zoarcidae, which appeared to be resident on or around the remains. Based on a global dataset of scavenging rates, we estimate that the elasmobranch carcasses provided food for mobile scavengers over extended time periods from weeks to months. No evidence of whale-fall type communities was observed on or around the carcasses, with the exception of putative sulphide-oxidising bacterial mats that outlined one of the mobulid carcasses. Using best estimates of carcass mass, we calculate that the carcasses reported here represent an average supply of carbon to the local seafloor of 0.4 mg m−2d−1, equivalent to ~4% of the normal particulate organic carbon flux. Rapid flux of high-quality labile organic carbon in fish carcasses increases the transfer efficiency of the biological pump of carbon from the surface oceans to the deep sea. We postulate that these food-falls are the result of a local concentration of large marine vertebrates, linked to the high surface primary productivity in the study area. Because fall finds are so rare, researchers have resorted to dropping dead animals into the ocean and then studying what happens—finding four such natural carcasses is unprecedented, leading to questions as to why so many of the animals died seemingly at the same time. The researchers suggest the graveyard may not be as rare as the finding would suggest, as its possible many exist but have simply not been found—the ocean floor is a vast expanse after all, and the chances of happening upon a fall while studying any given section of sea floor would be slim. Despite that, many must exist as many sharks, rays, whales, exist in the sea and they all must die at some point. Scientists estimate that as much as 4 percent of food in the ocean comes from falls—the rest is in the form of marine snow. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.