Petrol bomb hurled at CRPF party in Jammu & Kashmir

first_imgA petrol bomb was today hurled at a CRPF party in Rainawari area here but no one was hurt in the incident, police said.Some miscreants threw a petrol bomb at a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) party which exploded on the road side near one of their vehicles, a police official said.He said no one was injured in the incident.However, tarpline of the vehicle suffered minor damage, the official said.last_img

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No break in Pune’s garbage impasse

first_imgPune: The twin villages of Uruli Devachi and Phursungi, located around 20 km from Pune and used as landfill sites for the city’s garbage, are in the grips of yet another impasse.For the last three weeks, civic authorities and ruling party leaders have failed to soothe the irate Uruli-Phursungi residents protesting against the indiscriminate dumping of garbage in the villages. The villagers continued to protest on Tuesday. The latest crisis arose after a fire broke out at the garbage depot at Uruli Devachi last month. The blaze was bought under control, but fumes continue to emanate from the depot.Furthermore, key decision-makers like Guardian Minister Girish Bapat and newly-elected Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak are out of the country: the former in Australia, and the latter in Mexico for a conference on women’s empowerment. Both are not expected to return to the city for more than a week. With no dumping of dry or wet garbage at the landfill, waste has been piling up within the city, which generates an average 1,700 tonne of garbage each day.“We are trying hard to clean the city by making more biogas plants operational. However, there is a massive backlog of 500 tonne of untreated waste,” said Rajendra Jagtap, chief of the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) solid waste department.On Tuesday, despite Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar who himself recently returned from a foreign tour, hurriedly left to inspect the depots in the twin villages. But residents remained firm on their long-pending demand for an alternative disposal site. As the relentless dumping has polluted the groundwater, the villagers have also sought construction of two water tanks after a pipeline scheme came a cropper. For years, these villages have faced the brunt of Pune’s indiscriminate expansion with the problem of solid waste disposal reaching monstrous proportions. In 1981, the Maharashtra government allotted 43 acres in Uruli for a landfill site, and provisioned another 120 acres in Phursungi in 2003 to meet the growing city’s waste-disposal demands.In 2016, the crisis brought into sharp relief the urban-rural divide in Pune district. While methane emissions from the landfills permeate the air, the villagers have been subjected to a litany of maladies owing to pollution of their water sources.Activists from the villages have noted at least 1,900 instances of fire breaking out in the garbage dumps in the last decade. The villagers have deployed every form of protest against the PMC, from sendng show cause notices to halting garbage trucks from entering.To compound the problem, the PMC in recent years has shut down the waste processing plants set up by Hanjer Biotech in the villages. Even when they were operational, despite a waste-treating capacity of 1,000 tonnes, the decrepit units were barely processing 200 tonnes of waste.Last year, NGOs had written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, demanding a probr by the Anti-Corruption Bureau into irregularities plaguing the garbage processing units. The Nagrik Chetana Manch and the Sajag Nagrik Manch had said taxpayers’ money was not being utilised properly.last_img read more

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Uttar Pradesh bypoll: BJP retains Sikandra Assembly seat

first_imgThe BJP retained the Sikandra Assembly seat of bandit Phoolan Devi fame in a bypoll today by a margin of over 11,000 votes.According to the Uttar Pradesh chief electoral officer’s office, BJP’s Ajit Singh Pal secured 73,284 votes (44.86 per cent), while his nearest rival, Seema Sachan of the Samajwadi Party (SP), bagged 61,423 votes (37.60 per cent).The victory margin of the BJP candidate was 11,861 votes.Prabhakar Pandey of the Congress secured 19,084 votes.While the SP and Congress had contested the State Assembly polls, held earlier this year, in an alliance, the two parties had decided to go alone in the bypoll.The scene turned ugly during the counting of votes today after the SP and Congress candidates and their agents claimed that the seals of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were broken. They alleged that the authorities had deliberately tampered with the machines to ensure the BJP nominee’s win.Superintendent of Police Ratan Kant Pandey, however, denied that there was any disturbance during the counting of votes.“The SP and Congress candidates twice attempted to create a nuisance, claiming that the seals of the EVMs were broken.“The EVMs had three seals and all of those, including the presiding officer’s seal, were intact,” he said.On December 21, braving cold weather, nearly 53 per cent of the total 3.21 lakh eligible voters had exercised their franchise in the bypoll.Bandit Queen Phoolan DeviThe Sikandra constituency falls under the Kanpur Dehat district, a place which had gained notoriety after the 1981 Behmai massacre of 21 upper caste Rajputs by “bandit queen” Phoolan Devi and her gang to avenge her rape.Phoolan Devi had surrendered before the police in 1983.After completing her jail term, she had successfully contested the 1996 Lok Sabha election on an SP ticket and became an MP from Mirzapur. The bandit-turned- politician was shot dead by masked gunmen outside her Delhi residence on July 25, 2001.The Sikandra bypoll was necessitated following the death of its sitting BJP MLA, Mathura Prasad Pal, on July 22.In the Assembly polls, Mr. Pal had polled 87,879 votes, defeating his nearest Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) rival, Mahendra Katiyar (Bablu), who had secured 49,776 votes.A total of 12 candidates were in the fray in the bypoll, including five independents.last_img read more

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IRCTC hotels contract case: CBI files charge sheet against Lalu Prasad, others

first_imgThe CBI on Monday filed a charge sheet against former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and others in connection with a railway-IRCTC hotels’ maintenance contract case.About a week ago, the CBI recorded a statement of the former Bihar Chief Minister and Prasad’s wife, Rabri Devi, in Patna. She is also an accused in the case along with their son Tejaswi.The CBI registered the case last year, alleging that the maintenance contracts for two IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri were awarded to the Patna-based Sujata Hotels by tweaking the conditions. Prasad was the Railway Minister then.Those named as accused include Sujata Hotels’ directors Vijay and Vinay Kochhar, Delight Marketing and others.Also Read Lalu Prasad family and CBI searches: all you need to know  The CBI has alleged that the contracts were awarded in lieu of about three acre commercial property in Patna. The property was first sold to “front company” Delight Marketing, which was later taken over by Prasad’s family members.14 in charge sheetIn all, 14 people have been arraigned in the charge sheet, including eight named in the FIR. They include Prasad, Ms. Devi and Mr, Tejaswi, close confidant Prem Chand Gupta, his wife Sarla Gupta, Sujata Hotels, its owners Vinay and Vijay Kochhar, LARA projects, then Managing Director P.K. Goel, then Director Rakesh Saxena and then Group General Manager B.K. Agarwal of IRCTC. Mr. Agarwal is currently additional member, Railway Board.Then IRCTC GGMs R.K. Gogia (company secretary) and V. K. Asthana have also been named as accused.It is alleged that in February 2005, the Kochhars sold the land to Delight Marketing and the same day the Railway Board informed the IRCTC that railway hotels were being transferred to it.Subsequently, maintenance contracts of the two hotels were given to Sujata Hotels, it is alleged.After Prasad’s family members took over the company between 2010-14, it was renamed as LARA Projects and then it was converted into a Limited Liability Partnership firm.The property’s circle rate was ₹.32 crore, while its market value was ₹.94 crore, the CBI had said.Based on the CBI case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) also launched a money laundering probe and attached the three acre land. It also recorded Ms. Devi’s statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.last_img read more

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Respect Parrikar family’s privacy, says Goa minister

first_imgGoa’s Minister for Health Vishwajit Rane on Thursday categorically ruled out any leadership change in the State, adding, “No question of new CM as long as he is there.”At a press conference on Thursday pertaining to issues of licenses to fish traders, he was asked for the CM’s health update, particularly in the context of continued rumours of his “deteriorating health” in social media. “I cannot give an update. It has something to do with his family, and I think we should not discuss his health. The CM is unwell and it is the prerogative of the family to give information. It is not for the Minister for Health,” Mr. Rane said.When journalists persisted, he said, “CM is in touch with Goa Medical College and Hospital, but this issue is family’s personal issue… We have to take care of their privacy.”last_img read more

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Naveen cancels brewery project in Dhenkanal

first_imgOdisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday cancelled the setting up of a brewery plant in Dhenkanal district where hundreds of trees were felled despite strong protests by the villagers.Mr. Patnaik took the decision based on the recommendations of Revenue Divisional Commissioner D.V. Swamy, who probed the felling of trees in Jhinkargadi forest.“Based on the factual report, the allocation of bottling plant may be cancelled and alternative site may be provided. Unnecessary felling of trees may be stopped forthwith, and immediate plantation should be taken up,” Mr. Swamy noted in his report submitted to the government.The government went back on its decision following a massive public outcry.Mr. Patnaik had himself performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the ₹102-crore project, which was to be set up by P&A Bottlers Private Limited, on November 3. The plant was to come up on 12 acres of forestland in Jhinkargadi. In a throwback to the Chipko movement of the 1970s, women of Balarampur village successfully thwarted the tree-felling bid by the Dhenkanal district administration on November 7 by embracing the trees.On November 17, the administration descended on the scene with hordes of police personnel and chased away the villagers who were putting up a stiff resistance to save the trees. Even then, more than 500 trees were felled.The images of women clasping the trees had then gone viral and condemnation of the police high-handedness poured in from all parts of the globe. Activists and citizens had rushed to Balarampur to give moral support to the villagers.“Although our resistance was a small one, it never lacked the determination. We welcome the Chief Minister’s decision to cancel the project. Now, we want the government to declare Jhinkargadi forest a prohibited zone for all non-forest use,” said Sushanta Kumar Dhala, Secretary, Balarampur Gramya Parichalana Parishad.Balarampur villagers, who had congregated at Jhinkargadi forest to intensify their agitation against the project, celebrated their victory on Monday by taking out a procession in the village.last_img read more

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Woman who complained about sexual harassment set on fire by accused in UP

first_imgA woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur district was allegedly set on fire by a youth after she resisted sexual harassment by the accused, police said on Sunday.The victim is admitted to the district hospital with burn injuries.The victim, a resident of Tambour area of Sitapur, had recently approached police with a written complaint that she was being sexually harassed by a local youth, police said. On December 1, the accused youth along with his brother attacked the woman and set her on fire, said Additional Superintendent of Police Sitapur Madhuvan Singh. “When she went to the sugarcane field to relieve herself, the youth along with his brother poured kerosene oil on her and set her on fire,” said Mr. Singh.One of the two accused have been arrested, said SP Prabhakar Chaudhary.The local station officer Om Prakash Saroj was suspended for failing to take action when the woman, who is said to be 19-20 years of age, approached the police. A case has been registered under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 326 ( voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.The victim was living in her maternal house when the incident took place and had been married last year. Police said they also found a romantic link between the accused and the victim.The matter is being probed by the additional SP.last_img read more

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Treatment Gives Dwarf Mice a Growth Spurt

first_imgIt may sound counterintuitive, but the most common type of human dwarfism results when cells in a child’s bones are overstimulated by growth factors. A mouse study, however, suggests that injecting such children with a molecular decoy that sponges up these factors could treat the condition.People with the form of dwarfism called achondroplasia rarely stand more than 1.5 meters tall. The mutation responsible for the condition ends up stunting the growth of the long bones in the arms and legs, bowing the vertebral column, and often constricting the passage through which the spinal cord runs. Along with short stature, the condition can cause difficulty walking; fluid buildup around the brain; and apnea, or the temporary inability to breathe. Although researchers haven’t identified a treatment for achondroplasia, they have uncovered the molecular flaw that triggers it. As a typical child’s bones elongate, cartilage cells called chondrocytes mature and then die, allowing hard, bony material to supplant them. In children with achondroplasia, a genetic flaw causes a receptor on the surface of these chondrocytes to be hyperactive. When stimulated by molecules called fibroblast growth factors, this receptor, known as FGFR3, prevents the cells from maturing and impedes bone formation.To calm this overzealous receptor, molecular biologist Elvire Gouze of INSERM in Nice, France, and colleagues resorted to deception. They repeatedly injected a solution of FGFR3 into mice that had a growth-hindering condition equivalent to achondroplasia. The researchers hypothesized that these free-floating copies of the receptor would serve as decoys, capturing fibroblast growth factor molecules and reducing stimulation of the cartilage cells’ receptors. That’s what appeared to happen. The treatment restored normal growth in the mice and forestalled skeletal defects characteristic of achondroplasia, the researchers report online today in Science Translational Medicine. Injections of the decoy cut the percentage of mice that showed abnormal curvature of the spine from 80% to as little as 6%, depending on the dose. When the treated mice matured, the females gave birth to normal numbers of pups, another sign that the skeleton—specifically, the pelvis—had reached full adult size.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(*)FGFR3 injections benefitted the mice in another way, cutting their mortality rates by more than two-thirds. “We suppressed complications,” Gouze says. “They don’t have problems breathing, they don’t have paraplegia [inability to walk] anymore.” After dissecting the animals, weighing their organs, testing their blood, and scrutinizing their tissues under the microscope, she and her colleagues didn’t detect any signs of ill effects from the treatment. The team plans further studies on mice to confirm the approach’s safety and to nail down the optimal schedule for doses, she says.“I think it’s a really exciting paper,” says clinical geneticist William Horton of the Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland, Oregon. “It clearly shows that if you give this agent, the bones grow.” Medical geneticist Jacqueline Hecht of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston concurs. Growth in a bone occurs in a region called the growth plate, and Hecht says the study suggests that the injected FGFR3 “restores the growth plate and increases bone growth. You really can’t ask for more.”Decoy FGFR3 is among four molecules that have recently shown promise for sparking bone growth; a tweaked version of one molecule, C-natriuretic peptide (CNP), has already gone through human safety trials. But Hecht notes that although CNP breaks down within minutes in the body, decoy FGFR3 lasts for hours and produces normal growth in the mice with just twice-weekly injections. The new treatment “is the best by far” of these approaches, she says. What researchers should do now, Horton says, is test all four molecules in mice to determine which one causes the fewest side effects and provides the best results. “At some point there needs to be a direct comparison,” he says.last_img read more

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Horizon 2020 Fires €7.8 Billion Funding Gun

first_imgBRUSSELS—The European Commission has launched its first funding competitions as part of Horizon 2020, Europe’s flagship research and innovation program. About €15 billion will be available in the next 2 years, with yearly budgets rising gradually until the program ends in 2020.“This is funding that is sorely needed … by researchers who, in many countries, are finding national science budgets squeezed and little money available for pan-European collaboration,” research commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn told reporters here today.Out of €7.8 billion available in 2014, down from about €8.1 billion this year under Horizon 2020’s predecessor program, €3 billion will fund “excellent science” projects. This includes €1.66 billion for the European Research Council’s (ERC’s) elite grants for basic science.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(*)ERC has toughened up its rules to discourage weaker applications and prevent a flood of submissions: Unsuccessful candidates whose proposals receive a low score in 2014 will be barred from applying again in the following 2 years, instead of one. And for the first time, candidates who receive a middle score will face similar restrictions for 1 year.The message is clear, says a senior ERC official: “Think twice before applying. Do you have the right level of excellence?” The resubmission rule will put a “damper in the system” so that candidates prepare better before applying, improving the overall quality of the pool of candidates, he says.Since its launch in 2007, ERC has received a rising number of applications, and only about 10% of them receive grants. The volume of submissions is likely to grow even more in the coming years, as 18 months have elapsed since the last calls for proposals and many scientists face a shortage of funding from their cash-strapped governments.The rest of Horizon 2020 is likely to face a similar flood of eager applicants. But unlike ERC, the European Commission’s research directorate did not put in place measures to deter would-be grantees.Geoghegan-Quinn acknowledged that competition would be fierce: “Only the quickest out of the blocks—and the fittest—will have a chance of securing funding in this first round,” she said. But she also encouraged “as many people as possible to prepare proposals and submit them.”Average success rates during the Seventh Framework Programme, which started in 2007 and ends this year, were between 20% and 22%. This may fall to between 15% and 22% under Horizon 2020, Geoghegan-Quinn said. Member states could chip in and use their national budgets to fund good proposals that narrowly missed Horizon 2020’s bar, a commission official suggested.The commission has selected 12 areas that will share about €2 billion of the funding, including personalized health and care (€549 million), transport (€375 million), and low-carbon energy (€359 million). The calls are less prescriptive than in previous years, describing challenges to be addressed and allowing “considerable freedom to come up with innovative solutions,” the commission says.Businesses can compete for funding, too. About 23% of the money available in 2014 will go to projects aimed at boosting Europe’s “industrial leadership” in areas such as space, information and communication technology, and biotechnology, with a special effort to boost the participation of small companies.Science Careers also has coverage of opportunities for young scientists in the new Horizon 2020 program.last_img read more

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No way to stop human population growth?

first_imgAn asteroid impact that wiped out hundreds of millions of people would barely slow down human population growth. That’s one of the surprising results of a new computer model, which still finds that there may be a couple of things we can do to keep our numbers in check.Every dozen years or so, we add another billion people to the planet. If the trend continued, we’d eventually run out of food and water, and we’d be unable to handle the massive amounts of waste and pollution we produce. Yet we know that population growth is already leveling off due to a combination of family planning programs and education for women. Is it possible to slow population growth even more in the next few decades? Corey Bradshaw decided to find out.Bradshaw, a population biologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia, studies population ecology in animals. But when he gives talks at scientific meetings on declining biodiversity, audience members increasingly ask, “What about the elephant in the room? What about human population size?” he says. “I’ve modeled changing populations in other species for years,” he says, “but I never applied [those models] to human beings.”  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(*)So Bradshaw and University of Adelaide climate biologist Barry Brook decided to see how much momentum the human population has. They also wanted to see how sensitive population growth is to factors like mortality and fertility. The duo obtained data on death rates, average family size (i.e., fertility), and regional population size from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Census Bureau International Data Base. They created a computer model that projects human population growth from 2013 to 2100. They added variables to the model that they could modify to create different scenarios. Their goal was to assess how sensitive human population growth is to changes in mortality, life span, family size, and a mother’s age when she has her first baby.The team then created 10 scenarios, including a “business-as-usual” scenario in which death and fertility rates stayed the same as they were in 2013. The other scenarios projected the effects of alterations such as longer life spans, mothers having their first children at older ages, the imposition of a global one-child policy, and catastrophic deaths due to war or pandemics. Using the regional data, the researchers also examined the effects of population growth on biodiversity hotspots in different parts of the world.The business-as-usual model matched U.N. projections of 12 billion people by 2100, giving the researchers confidence in their model. But they also saw booming population growth even when they introduced global catastrophic deaths of up to 5% of the population, the same seen in World War I, World War II, and the Spanish flu. When the computer model population lost half a billion people, the total population was still 9.9 to 10.4 billion people by 2100, the team reports online today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “It actually had very little effect on the trajectory of the human population,” Bradshaw says.Some economists argue that shrinking populations create an unsupportable burden of elderly dependents that leads to economic collapse. But the team’s model showed otherwise. When the population is growing, more of the dependents are children, and when the population is shrinking, more are older adults, the model indicates. A dependent is always supported by 1.5 to two workers. The idea that shrinking populations cannot support older adults is a “fallacy,” Bradshaw says.Two factors did have an impact on human population growth: eliminating unwanted pregnancies, which make up about 16% of all live births, and adopting a global one-child policy. Eliminating those births year after year resulted in population sizes in 2050 and 2100 that are comparable to those produced with a global one-child policy—about 8 billion and 7 billion, respectively.The models also confirmed that the worst human impacts on biodiversity hotspots will occur in Southeast Asia and Africa, which by 2100 will likely have the highest human densities in the world. Pressures in those parts of the world, Bradshaw says, will be higher than anywhere else in the world. Elephants, rhinos, and lions will likely disappear faster. “So, will my 7-year-old daughter ever see an elephant in Africa unless I get her there very quickly?” Bradshaw says. “I don’t know.”Bradshaw and Brook are not advocating any particular policy. But they make the case that population momentum in humans is strong, says Richard Cincotta, a political demographer at the Stimson Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank. The study’s results aren’t surprising, Cincotta says: Demographers have known this for years—they just don’t communicate it very well.last_img read more

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A Band-Aid that could suck bugs out of your wound

first_imgBALTIMORE, MARYLAND—Medical engineers have long used nano-sized fibers as sturdy scaffolds for growing tissues. Now, researchers are developing nanofiber meshes that might suck bugs out of wounds and accelerate healing, they report here this week at the 61st annual AVS meeting. Scientists have injected cell-carrying nanofibers into wounds to jump-start tissue repair, but to design a truly smart dressing, they need to know how the material interacts with bacteria. After testing nanofibers of various sizes, researchers found that bugs transfer most easily to nanofibers with diameters that match the bacteria’s sizes. When the scientists placed nanofibers in a petri dish of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium involved in chronic infection, the bugs quickly attached themselves to 500-nanometer-wide fibers (as seen above), but hardly onto fibers with larger diameters. When the researchers coated the nanofibers with different compounds and tested them on the bacteria Escherichia coli, also responsible for chronic wounds, the bugs formed bridges on fibers coated with allylamine, a colorless organic compound, but stayed away from fibers coated with acrylic acid. The researchers, who plan to test the meshes on composites that resemble human skin, hope that they will eventually lead to smart wound dressings that could prevent infections. Doctors could stick the nano–Band-Aid on a wound and simply peel it off to get rid of the germs.last_img read more

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Wrap-up: U.S. Senate agrees climate change is real—but not necessarily that humans are causing it

first_imgNearly all U.S. senators agreed today on a measure affirming that climate change is real and not a hoax—including, to the surprise of many observers, Senator James Inhofe (R–OK), the man who once declared global warming a hoax. Meanwhile, although two other measures stating that humans are contributing to climate change won a majority of votes from the 99 senators present, they failed to garner the 60 votes needed to be adopted by the Senate.All three measures were offered as amendments to legislation that would approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which could carry crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to the United States.By a 98 to 1 vote, the U.S. Senate approved Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D–RI) amendment that asked simply whether it is “the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax.” The only senator voting no was Roger Wicker (R–MS).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(*)Whitehouse’s amendment takes an implicit jab at Inhofe for his past statements. Like other Democrats, Whitehouse was seeking a vote that would serve as a first step toward future climate policy action. “I’m hoping that after many years of darkness and blockade that this vote can be a first little beam of light through the wall that will at least allow us to start having an honest conversation about what carbon pollution is doing to our climate and to our oceans,” Whitehouse said just before the vote on his amendment.Then, courtesy of Inhofe, some political theatrics ensued on the Senate floor. To many observers’ surprise, Inhofe announced he wanted to be a co-sponsor on the Whitehouse amendment, eliciting gasps and scattered applause from the chamber. Inhofe, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and has promised to try to block many Obama administration environmental initiatives, declared his support for the amendment—but perhaps not in the way climate activists hoped he would. He said that climate change itself is not a hoax, but that “the hoax is that there are some people who are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful to think they can change climate,” Inhofe said. Inhofe then joined 97 of his colleagues in voting yes on the Whitehouse amendment.Votes on two other measures declaring that humans are changing the climate were much closer.Senator John Hoeven (R–ND) offered an amendment affirming that climate change is real and humans are contributing to it. But it also included the State Department’s finding that the Keystone XL pipeline wouldn’t significantly worsen climate change, a provision likely meant to entice moderate Republicans into supporting the measure. In the end, the vote was 59 to 40 in favor, one shy of the 60 needed for adoption.Hoeven’s measure was seeking to serve as a more GOP-friendly alternative to a third climate amendment from Senator Brian Schatz (D–HI). Schatz’s measure asked whether it’s the “sense of Congress” that “climate change is real” and that “human activity significantly contributes to climate change.” It also failed to reach the 60 vote threshold, on a vote of 50 to 49.Senator Lisa Murkowski (R–AK), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said that she backed Hoeven’s amendment but would vote against Schatz’s amendment because its wording—that humans are “significantly” changing the climate—was stronger than the wording in Hoeven’s.Meanwhile, many Democrats supported Hoeven’s amendment despite its inclusion of the Keystone XL language. Senator Barbara Boxer (D–CA), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said a yes vote on Hoeven’s measure didn’t necessarily mean endorsing the State Department’s findings about the pipeline’s climate impact. She urged a yes vote on the amendment because an acknowledgment by the Senate that humans are changing the climate would have served as “breakthrough in the climate debate. … What a breath of fresh air this amendment is,” Boxer said.Even though the two amendments that clarified that the Senate agrees humans are changing the climate fell short of adoption, Senator Bernie Sanders (I–VT) still sees the votes as a victory. “I think this is a significant step forward, and I think in the months and years to come more and more Republicans will accept that position,” Sanders said after the vote.Sanders is sponsoring a climate amendment of his own, which would specify not only that humans are changing the climate but also that climate change is already having major impacts and that society should take steps to clean up its energy supply. It’s unclear whether that amendment will get a vote.Inhofe, meanwhile, indicated after the vote that he would unleash a “truth squad” to examine the science of humanmade climate change, which he says liberals want to use to justify tax increases. “We’re going to have hearings with prominent scientists to come in and talk about this thing,” he said, “because all they say now is, ‘Oh, the science is settled.’ ”last_img read more

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GOP Convention of Liars

first_imgThe 2012 U.S. presidential election offers a stark choice between two competing worldviews of the relationship between the individual and the state. On the one hand is an ideology, to which most Democrats subscribe, that government is an enabler, referee and backstop, even occasional cushion against the vicissitudes of life. Posited against that is a vision, represented by Republicans, by and large, that government coddling stifles innovation and undermines individual initiative and self reliance by creating a culture of dependency. In the words of the Republican Party’s favorite son, Pres. Ronald Reagan, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”Of course, reality is more nuanced and complex than ideologies. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc countries (remember?) is demonstrable evidence of the rot that excessive governmental intrusion fosters, smothering societies and undermining the social and economic liberation of individuals, for which Communists and Socialists profess to strive. Likewise, except for diehard Ayn Rand fanatics, most conservatives would acknowledge that government does serve a role in rebuilding after a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina, or providing emergency care or putting out a fire, even a negligent one, in a private home.But we will not have a debate on the two contrasting governing philosophies. The Republican Party, which has nominated an Ayn Rand faddist Paul Ryan as its nominee for vice president to placate the extremist wing of the party, recognizes well that the vision of dismantling the widely popular social safety net of social security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, etc., would be toxic and disastrous in an election.So the Republican National Convention was a carnival of prevarication, duplicity and outright lies. Although several media organizations have exposed the brazen falsehoods peddled by the Romney campaign at the convention — most notably by Rep. Ryan, who, perversely, in his acceptance speech pledged “to level with” Americans — Republican campaign handlers remain undeterred.In his speech Rep. Ryan denounced Pres. Barack Obama for ignoring the recommendations of a bipartisan deficit-reduction panel, when it was Ryan’s own opposition as a member of the commission that was most responsible for scuttling the implementation of its report. He held Pres. Obama accountable for the lowering of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poors, when it was the brinkmanship of Rep. Ryan and House Republicans, who refused to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, that actually resulted in the lowering of the U.S. rating.Most audaciously, Rep Ryan, who has long advocated the privatization of Medicare, converting it into a voucher system for private insurance, accused Pres. Obama of cutting $716 billion from the program — an amount that Rep. Ryan’s own Medicare plan targets. Even the Republican echo chamber, Fox News, couldn’t swallow the dissembling, headlining Ryan’s speech as “Dazzling, deceiving and distracting.”Nevertheless, Republican apparatchiks are supremely confident that they can deploy the arsenal of hundreds of millions of dollars they are raising from self-serving corporate tycoons to wager a dishonest and deceptive campaign that overwhelms and drowns out any media attempts to unmask their mendacity. Romney pollster Neil Newhouse bluntly told journalists, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”The democratic process ought to be about competing ideas that are tested through the electoral process. The Republicans have concluded, however, that political logjam renders government dysfunctional and ineffectual and thus achieves their ideological goals without leveling with the American public and regardless of which party prevails. Grover Norquist, one of the leading conservative lights in the Republican Party, has repeatedly said, “Our goal is to shrink government to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub.”Those who share Norquist’s agenda should vote for the Republican ticket. But will the U.S. electorate be able to see through the fog of deception and falsehoods, the unvarnished truth that really animates Tea Party darlings, like Rep. Ryan, which is: the emasculation of the American government itself? Related Itemslast_img read more

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Sahara Group Bidding for MGM

first_imgThe Indian real estate and media conglomerate Sahara India Pariwar is bidding for the faltering Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. The iconic studio with a roaring lion logo is struggling with its $4 billion debt and recently received an extension until Oct 29 from its debtors on its interest payments. Its library includes the coveted Rocky, Pink Panther and James Bond franchises and the studio is being courted by Time Warner and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. The studio dominated the movie industry between 1924 to 1954, producing such classics as Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. MGM boasts a 205 Academy Awards, 15 of them for best picture , including Hamlet (1948), West Side Story (1961), Tom Jones (1963), In the Heat of the Night( 1967), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Rocky (1976), Annie Hall (1977), Platoon (1986), Rain Man (1988), Dances With Wolves (1990), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).  Related Itemslast_img read more

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Two Chinese nationals among three killed in Haryana explosion

first_imgThree persons, including two Chinese nationals, were burnt to death when a boiler exploded at an animal feed manufacturing unit in Nuh’s industrial area on Sunday. The deceased were identified as senior engineer Jin Jin Yang, production engineer Jang Yang and Vicky Rajput, an operator. Vicky was a resident of Sohna in Gurugram.Nuh Superintendent of Police Sangeeta Kalia said the incident took place around 3.30 p.m. when the boiler in the Pusilin Biotechnology Private Limited exploded during a repair. “Vicky was carrying out some welding to repair the boiler and the two Chinese nationals were standing close to him when the boiler exploded causing the fire. All three were engulfed in the flames and died on the spot,” said Ms. Kalia.The company is a manufacturer, wholesaler and trader of animal and poultry feed. Set up in 2017, it employs 11-25 people.Ms. Kalia said preliminary investigation revealed that the mishap was due to lack of proper maintenance of the boiler. and the police were trying to contact the management officials. “A case will be registered against the management. We are trying to procure documents about the periodic maintenance of the boiler,” said Ms. Kalia.Five fire tenders from Nuh and Sohna were called to put out the fire. Locals claimed that the fire tenders took 30 minutes to reach the spot.The charred bodies were pulled out after the fire was doused and sent to the Shahid Hasan Khan medical college for post-mortem.last_img read more

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Court rejects plea against Salman Khan

first_imgThe Chief Judicial Magistrate court here on Monday rejected two applications filed by the Rajasthan government against actor Salman Khan alleging that he had submitted false affidavit about his arms licence during his trial in an Arms Act case lodged along with the 1998 blackbuck poaching case.The case of possessing arms with expired licence was registered against Mr. Khan at Jodhpur district’s Luni police station on October 15, 1998. He was acquitted in the case on January 18, 2017. He was convicted and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment on April 5, 2018, for killing two blackbuck in Kankani village during the shooting of a film.The prosecution had filed applications seeking registration of a case under Section 193 (false evidence) of the Indian Penal Code against Mr. Khan for stating in an affidavit that he had lost his revolver’s licence. The applications stated that the licence was deposited in the Mumbai police commissionarate for renewal.‘Bona fide mistake’Mr. Khan’s counsel told that the licence was not available when the court had asked his client to deposit it during the trial. The court accepted his plea. The sessions court here had granted bail to Mr. Khan after he spent two nights in the Central Jail following his conviction in the blackbuck poaching case. He was found guilty of killing two endangered antelopes when he was in Jodhpur for shooting Hindi movie Hum Saath Saath Hain in 1998.last_img read more

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Use paper ballots for Assembly polls: NCP

first_imgNationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jayant Patil on Monday dared the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led State government to conduct the Assembly polls on ballot instead of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). “In Lok Sabha you (BJP) won a massive mandate. It is being said that you will win more than 220 Assembly seats. Everyone is wondering how you won. Therefore, I dare you to hold the next Assembly elections on ballot paper instead of machines,” Mr. Patil said while initiating the discussion on an Opposition’s resolution. “If the election is held on ballot paper, the government’s real popularity will be clear,” he said, prompting uproar from the ruling benches. BJP’s Baburao Pacharne raised the point of order claiming it was NCP leader Ajit Pawar who had discarded the EVM malfunction theory. Mr. Pawar replied saying in a democracy everyone is entitled to their views and Mr. Patil’s opinion cannot be judged from his own statement outside the House. Mr. Patil appealed to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to bring a resolution in the Assembly asking the Election Commission of India to hold elections on ballot paper. “Just like the act for Maratha reservation we will pass this resolution unanimously. It will show whom Maharashtra supports,” Mr Patil said.Earlier, Mr. Patil accused Mr. Fadnavis of aiding irregularities in the construction of Seven Eleven Hotel within the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation by cutting mangroves. “The hotel has been built by destroying mangroves and the permission letter has the CMs sign. The hotel has a partnership of BJP MLA Narendra Mehta’s brother,” Mr. Patil said.He also alleged that Darshan Developers, a company which extended donations to the BJP formed four shell companies and raised loan worth ₹2,000 crore without having any project.last_img read more

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Madhya Pradesh government to offer cows for adoption online

first_imgThe Madhya Pradesh government is going to launch an online service for those wanting to adopt a cow and provide sheds to them at gaushalas (cow shelters) across the State. While paying for a cow’s feed for 15 days would cost ₹1,100, one could take care of its diet for 10 years for ₹3 lakh. Feeding a cow for six months would cost ₹11,100.“We have added an extra hundred to multiples of thousands of rupees as that’s considered holy while making donations,” said an official of the Animal Husbandry Department. Through the service, donors would be able to pick a gaushala from the 626 in the State, and pay the amount to fulfil a cow’s diet of half a kilo of grain, five kilos of green feed and 10 kilos of wheat chaff a day, in case of a non-lactating, non-pregnant cow. “For now, donors wouldn’t be able to pick a specific cow to feed. If that is allowed, it would be an injustice to other cows who may be left without proper feed and even starve,” said the official. “But if the service receives a positive response, we may post details of cows with photographs online — say, of Bablu or Pinky — so that donors could pick their choice.”Each contributor will be featured on the department’s website and receive a certificate. Using the service, donors, including NRIs, could pay gaushala managers directly for a borewell, a bull, a biogas plant or a shed. A bull would cost them ₹1.5 lakh that the Department would procure from other States to the designated gaushala. While District Collectors would make sure donations are put to the desired use, the Department will keep donors informed. There are 7 lakh abandoned cattle in the State and 13 lakh left on the streets by rearers during the day. Gaushalas house at least 75% stray cattle.In January, the Kamal Nath government had announced it would build 1,000 gaushalas in the State, a promise made ahead of the Assembly election. In the Budget this year, ₹132 crore was earmarked for it. Meanwhile, industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, as part of corporate social responsibility, has agreed to build 100 high-tech gaushalas in the State. Recently, Mr. Nath had stated that protecting cows was the State’s priority. “Gaumata [cow] is a symbol of faith and pride for us. We can’t see it suffering on the streets.”last_img read more

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