Jat agitation raises spectre of last year’s violence

first_imgHaryana is on the edge as the ongoing Jat agitation seeking reservation in education and government jobs has once again raised the spectre of last year’s violence that killed 30 people.Members of the Jat community have been sitting on dharnas in 19 of the state’s 22 districts since January 29.The fresh protests come at a time when Haryana is observing golden jubilee of its formation.The images of mobs setting houses, schools, eateries and other places on fire during last year’s quota agitation are still fresh in public memory.The Delhi-Ambala National Highway, the gateway for travel to Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, had remained blocked for days.The Manohar Lal Khattar government had drawn flak from various quarters, including the opposition, for its alleged inept handling of the situation last year.A complete breakdown of the official machinery was witnessed between February 19 and 22 last year.Later, a committee headed by former Uttar Pradesh DGP Parkash Singh probed the acts of omission and commission of officers during the Jat quota violence and indicted several officers for not taking appropriate steps, thus allowing the situation to worsen.As many as 1,196 shops were set ablaze, 371 vehicles torched, 30 schools/colleges were burnt, 75 houses were set on fire, 53 hotels/marriage palaces were devastated, 23 petrol pumps were attacked and vandalised, the committee had observed in its report.An industry body had pegged the loss at around Rs. 34,000 crore in last year’s violence.The mode of protests this year is giving sleepless nights to the first ever BJP government in Haryana, a state carved out in 1966.Despite the government assuring the Jats that it will do whatever possible within the ambit of the law and the agitation leader promising that the stir will be peaceful, the growing number of protesters with each passing day is proving a tightrope walk for the Khattar government, which does not want to allow a repeat of last year’s situation.Notably, opposition parties — the Indian National Lok Dal and the Congress — have given their support, asking the Khattar government to fulfil the promises it had made to the Jat community.Jats are demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions, besides withdrawing of criminals cases registered against several youths of the community during last year, release of those lodged in jail, compensation and government jobs to the next of kin of those killed in last year’s agitation.last_img read more

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2019-12-03

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Gorakhpur hospital deaths: Opposition onslaught on Adityanath government

first_imgOpposition parties cornered the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government on Saturday, holding it responsible for the deaths of at least 30 children in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College allegedly due to non-supply of oxygen by the contractor over non-payment of dues.While the Congress demanded the sacking of UP Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh and asked Chief Minister Adityanath to apologise to people, the Samajwadi Party accused the BJP government of trying to cover up its lapses. The Bahujan Samaj Party accused the BJP government of “criminal negligence.”Lapses to blameLed by Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, a delegation of Congress leaders inspected the hospital and concluded that the incident was caused due to the lapses of the State government.Mr. Azad said the State government did not pay heed to the warnings issued by the local administration about the crisis in oxygen supply. “The health secretary, Health Minister and the CM are all responsible,” Mr. Azad said, demanding that Mr. Adityanath sack Mr. Siddharth Nath Singh and himself tender an apology to the people.Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also criticised the Yogi Adityanath government on Twitter: “…BJP government is responsible & should punish the negligent, who caused this tragedy.”Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the BJP government was trying to cover up the facts in the incident and dispatched a six-member delegation led by Leader of Opposition in U.P., Ram Govind Chaudhary, to the hospital to take stock of the ground situation. They will submit their report to the SP chief on Sunday. No autopsy“The kin of the dead were handed over the bodies and chased away. A post-mortem was also not conducted and the admit cards were also made to vanish,” Mr. Yadav said. He demanded strict action against those responsible, while demanding that the family members of the victims be given a compensation of ₹ 20 lakh each.BSP chief Mayawati demanded a high-level probe into the incident and suggested that Mr. Adityanath should use his “discretion” and sack the Health Minister as the deaths were a case of “criminal negligence.”“No amount of condemnation of the BJP government is enough for this horrific incident,” Ms. Mayawati said, adding that it raised “100 questions” on the “potential” of the Yogi Adityanath government. She also formed a three-member probe delegation under her state president Ram Achal Rajbhar, which will submit a report to her.last_img read more

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2019-12-03

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NBW against 7 persons

first_imgA court here on Friday issued non-bailable warrants against seven people, including former in charge of AES ward Dr Kafeel Khan, in connection with the death of children at the BRD Medical College hospital.The development comes a day after the former principal of the college Dr Rajiv Mishra and his medico-wife Purnima Shukla were sent to judicial custody for 14 days. Additional sessions judge Shivanand Singh issued the NBW against seven of the nine people named in the FIR, IO C. Abhishek Singh said.last_img read more

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2019-12-03

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Human chain formed on Rajasthan border

first_imgA record 700-km-long human chain was formed in Rajasthan’s four border districts – Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Sriganganagar – on Tuesday as a tribute to the martyrs on the eve of the Independence Day. About 5 lakh people participated in the initiative by forming the chain along the roads parallel to the India-Pakistan border.Organised by govt. The event was organised by the State government as part of its ‘Shahadat Ko Salam’ (A salute to martyrdom) programme to pay homage to the soldiers who laid down their lives for the country. Citizens carrying the National Tricolour joined hands to form the chain and raised slogans hailing the martyrs. They also released balloons.Youths, scouts and guides, students, government employees, Army personnel and the public at large formed the chain, which was inspected by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje from a helicopter. According to the official sources, Ms. Raje visited the Army’s War Museum in Jaisalmer and showered rose petals on the participants from her chopper.As the event ended with the rendition of the National Anthem in the afternoon, a separate programme to pay tributes to the martyrs was organised at Amar Jawan Jyoti in Jaipur. Senior civil and Army officers placed wreaths at the memorial, while the students and the Rajasthan Police Academy’s central band presented patriotic songs.last_img read more

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2019-12-03

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15 held for attack on Raje’s ‘Gaurav Yatra’

first_imgWith politics in election-bound Rajasthan heating up after disruptions caused to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s ‘Gaurav Yatra’, the police have arrested 15 persons on charges of throwing stones at her bus, modified as a “chariot”, during her public meeting in Jodhpur district’s Pipar town on Saturday night.Jodhpur (Rural) Superintendent of Police Rajan Dushyant said a first information report had been registered against 29 persons after identifying them from photographs and video recording of the yatra. Since a couple of police constables performing the security duty were also injured, the accused have been charged with disturbing peace and assaulting public servants.Ten of the accused were arrested on Sunday and five on Monday, while raids were being conducted at suspected places in Jodhpur and Pali districts to apprehend others. Those arrested were produced before a Judicial Magistrate and remanded in judicial custody after rejection of their bail applications.Many of the arrested persons are active Congress workers. According to the police, they vandalised the meeting spot and tore off banners and hoarding of Ms. Raje and other BJP leaders. The protesters reportedly shouted slogans in support of Congress leader Ashok Gehlot during Ms. Raje’s address and allegedly disrupted the meeting by pelting stones on her bus.‘Political conspiracy’Jodhpur District Congress Committee (DCC) has taken exception to the arrest of its workers and accused the BJP government of hatching a “political conspiracy” to implicate them in the crime. A delegation led by DCC president Heera Ram Meghwal met senior police officers on Monday and claimed that no Congress worker had gone to Ms. Raje’s meeting. He said the disruption was caused because of rivalry among BJP workers.last_img read more

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2019-12-03

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Sidhu for mechanism to prevent rail track mishaps

first_imgPunjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has written a letter to Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal asking for an effective mechanism to prevent accidents on railway tracks.Mr. Sidhu told reporters in Amritsar that in the letter sent to the Railway Minister, he has demanded that fencing on the pattern of the Mumbai-Pune highway should be done on the railway tracks in densely populated areas.“I have also suggested installing of CCTV cameras and alarms besides constant patrolling on the railway tracks,” he said.Mr. Sidhu said that during the pasts two years several accidents have taken place in northern India on rail tracks, claiming about 50,000 lives, which makes it important for the Union Ministry of Railways to take some effective measures.Mr. Sidhu said that till now monetary assistance has been provided to 41 persons of the Amritsar train mishap so far. “The Punjab government is fully committed to provide every assistance to the families affected by the tragedy,” he said.Mr. Sidhu added that those indulging in petty politics over the Dussehra day tragedy should shun their destructive approach and help the victim families in every possible way.last_img read more

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2019-12-03

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Mulayam continues his balancing act

first_imgIn the battle of ego between his son and younger brother, whose side is Mulayam Singh on? That question continued to intrigue followers and observers alike on Tuesday as the Samajwadi Party (SP) patron first surprised everyone by turning up at the office of Shivpal Singh Yadav’s new party, the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia), before balancing it with a visit to the SP office.Morale boosterMr. Shivpal received a morale booster as his elder brother paid him a visit at the 6, Lal Bahadur Shastri Road office. Soon after, the younger Yadav, made an informal offer to declare Mulayam Singh as the national president of his outfit that he formed after differences with his nephew Akhilesh Yadav, president of the SP.While Mr. Mulayam Singh did not give a clear reply to the proposal, he did not decline it either. At the small gathering, he accepted the flag of the new party and a huge garland.This emboldened Mr. Shivpal to announce that a formal decision would be taken soon in a national convention of his new party. Later Mr. Mulayam provided relief to his son, turning up at the SP office where he addressed party workers and leaders on the birth anniversary of social reformer Acharya Narendra Dev.last_img read more

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2019-12-03

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Army rifleman dead after Pak. sniper fire

first_imgA soldier was killed in a sniper fire by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu’s Sunderbani Sector, while two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in the Kashmir Valley.A Jammu-based Army spokesman said the Pakistan Army resorted to an unprovoked ceasefire violation in Sunderbani sector at around 9.45 a.m. on Saturday. “In the incident, rifleman Varun Katal was critically injured. Later, he succumbed to gunshot wounds at 11.10 a.m.” said the spokesman. The Indian Army retaliated “strongly and effectively” on Pakistan Army posts, said the spokesperson.Two Border Security Force (BSF) personnel were wounded in Pakistan army’s firing. An official said “heavy fire and shelling” along the LoC were exchanged on Saturday evening.2 Hizb militants killedTwo Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in an operation on Saturday. A police spokesman said a cordon-and-search operation was launched by the security forces in Tikken area of Pulwama early in the morning.“As the search operation was on, the hiding militants fired on the search party. In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site,” the police said.The slain militants were identified as Liaqat Munir Wani and Wajid-ul-Islam from Pulwama. Wani joined the Hizb in 2017 and was a postgraduate in history. Wani’s father Munir Ahmed Wani was also a militant commander and died in 1997 after remaining active for eight years.last_img read more

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2019-12-03

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Of Mark Twain and Hopping Frogs

first_imgIn the Mark Twain story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, a frog named Daniel Webster “could get over more ground at one straddle than any animal of his breed you ever see.” Now, scientists have visited the real Calaveras County in hopes of learning more about these hopping amphibians. They’ve found that what they see in the lab doesn’t always match the goings-on in the real world.  If you wanted to know how far the bullfrog Rana catesbeiana could jump, the scientific literature would give you one answer: 1.295 meters, published in Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology in 1978. If you looked at the Guinness Book of World Records, though, you’d find a different answer. In 1986, a bullfrog called Rosie the Ribeter covered 6.55 meters in three hops. If you divide by three, at least one of those hops had to be no shorter than 2.18 meters—about four bullfrog body lengths more than the number in the scientific paper.The disparity matters. If bullfrogs can hop only 1.3 meters, they have enough power in their muscles to pull off the jump without any other anatomical help. But if they can jump farther, they must also be using a stretchy tendon to power their hops—an ability that other frogs have but that researchers thought bullfrogs had lost. These particular amphibians, scientists speculated, might have made some kind of evolutionary tradeoff that shortened their jumps but enabled them to swim better in the water, where they spend much of their lives.To resolve the dispute, researchers attended the Calaveras County Fair. Since a few decades after Twain’s story came out, locals in this region 200 kilometers east of San Francisco have been hosting an annual Jumping Frog Jubilee. Now anyone can walk up, rent a bullfrog, and try to motivate it to show its jumping mettle. It’s the place where Rosie the Ribeter made that record-setting series of hops.In 2009, Henry Astley, then a Ph.D. student at Brown University, and colleagues brought a video camera in hopes of learning more about how far frogs can jump. The frogs perform their hops on the floor of a stadium, one at a time, through days of qualifying rounds. “Fortunately, it turns out we were able to measure the frog jumps without getting in anyone’s way, by videotaping the arena from a seat in the stands,” Astley says. During the contest, an announcer says the name of each frog. “Quite a few Kermits,” Astley says. “Mr. Slimy, things like that.” Then it’s time for the “frog jockey” to motivate his or her amphibian. “They literally will lunge their whole body after the frogs, imitating a predator—reaching for it and yelling and everything, trying to scare it.” (The local agricultural association has a frog welfare policy.)When the researchers got back to the lab with more than 20 hours of high-definition video, they measured the length of each jump. Fifty-eight percent of the 3124 jumps they recorded were longer than 1.295 meters, the longest jump reported in the scientific literature. One athletic bullfrog covered 2.2 meters in a single bound. Unsurprisingly, frogs jumped by professionals—those committed entrants who catch their own frogs every year and screen them for jumping ability ahead of time—managed longer jumps.The discrepancy between the longest reported jump for a bullfrog in the scientific literature and the feats pulled off by frogs at a fair shows that scientists may be wrong when they think they’re getting maximal performance out of animals in the lab, Astley says. And that means their conclusions about how bullfrogs jump are wrong, too. It seems that, like other frogs, they likely jump with help from a stretchy tendon that acts like a bow and arrow, storing energy until the frog springs from the ground, the team reports online today in The Journal of Experimental Biology.The study shows the advantages of collecting data from the real world—even if that world is a frog-jumping contest, says Steve Adolph, an animal physiological ecologist at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. He can time sprinting lizards on a little racetrack in his lab, but he’s often wondered if he’s getting the lizards’ peak performances. The Calaveras County Fair suggests perhaps not. “This is one of those cases,” he says, “where the general public had better data than the scientific community.”last_img read more

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2019-12-03

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Is the Dingo Special Enough to Save?

first_imgWhen you look at the picture above, what do you see? A wild dog? A strangely colored wolf? Or something entirely different: a dingo? For centuries, scientists have debated whether Australia’s native canine is its own species or merely a type of wolf or dog. Now, based on physical and genetic evidence, a team of scientists is making the case that the dingo is a unique species that deserves protection under Australia’s federal conservation laws. If they can’t convince governments and landholders, the dingo may be doomed.Wild dingoes live across Australia, in grasslands, deserts, and even wetlands and forests. Archaeological evidence suggests that the animal arrived on the continent at least 3500 years ago as people sailed back and forth from Asia, where it first appeared, then continued to evolve in isolation until the arrival of Europeans and their dogs in the late 18th century. The European naturalists who first heard descriptions of the dingo believed it represented a new species of canine and gave it a species name to match: Canis dingo. Domesticated dogs, on the other hand, are known as Canis lupus familiaris, indicating that they are a subspecies of wolf (Canis lupus).But over the next 300 years, scientists began to argue about what to call the dingo, given the lack of early physical specimens and the fact that the original classifications were based on nothing more than a painting and description given by Australia’s first governor, Arthur Phillip. Dingoes have continued to change as they bred with settler dogs. Today, Australia’s native canine is most often referred to by scientists as C. lupus dingo, relegating it to a subspecies of wolf based on a notion that dingoes evolved from wolves in Asia. Recent studies suggest that dingoes, dogs, and wolves are cousins, all descended from a distant ancestor.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(*)That classification left University of Sydney wildlife biologist Mathew Crowther unsatisfied, given his experience studying wild dingoes. He believed that conservation and management decisions were not being based on firm evidence. “A dingo is a distinctive thing in Australia,” identifiable by its erect ears, bushy tail, and neck that can arc backward into prime howling position, he says. Still, it’s difficult to tell a dingo from a dingo-dog hybrid, or even a feral dog, because natural variation within dingoes is poorly understood and mating with wild dogs may have altered the genome of living dingoes, Crowther explains.Being able to define what a dingo is—and isn’t—is increasingly important in Australia. While some scientists argue that dingoes with no dog DNA fill the important niche of apex predator in Australia’s ecosystem by eating feral cats and foxes, ranchers lump dingoes, feral dogs, and dingo-dog hybrids into the category of pests that attack and kill valuable livestock. Current policies in some jurisdictions of Australia aim to exterminate dingo-dog hybrids while conserving dingoes. But without a clear definition of what distinguishes a dingo, it’s hard to manage wild dingoes, dingo-dog hybrids, and free-roaming domestic dogs, says Damian Morrant, an ecologist with James Cook University, Cairns, who was not involved in the new study. He says the work is a “baseline” for developing clear guidelines for identifying dingoes in the wild.To begin sorting dingo from nondingo, Crowther and his colleagues at the universities of Sydney, New South Wales, and Western Sydney reviewed genetic work conducted by other researchers and began tracking down pre-1900 dingo specimens, which would allow them to study the species before it encountered—and mated with—domestic dogs brought by European settlers. “One of our colleagues went to all the European [natural history] museums: London, Paris, Germany, Oslo,” Crowther explains. The team discovered a range of coat colors on dingoes preserved in the museums: yellow, brown, ginger/red, black, and white. That indicated that these colors are not the product of recent mating with dogs, and that animals boasting them today can be considered pure dingoes.The researchers also compared the skulls of the dingo specimens with those of wolves and similar-looking domestic dogs such as Australian cattle dogs and collies. While there were overlaps, the dingoes had wider and shorter skulls and no hind leg dewclaws, vestigial toes that don’t touch the ground, which are common among dogs and wolves, the team reported online this week in the Journal of Zoology. Based on these physical and genetic differences, the researchers propose changing the dingo’s scientific name back to Canis dingo, once again classifying it as its own species.Given the contentious attitudes about dingoes as either top predators or pests, as well as the uncertainty among scientists about their evolutionary past, the paper will “inflame passions across the board,” says Christopher Dickman, a conservation ecologist at the University of Sydney who is not part of the team. And so it has. Although J. William Ballard, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, says the study provides a “road map for the debate,” he believes the methodology is weak and the data unconvincing. Still, dingo specialists such as Christopher Johnson, a conservation biologist and ecologist at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, welcome the work. “It places the dingo on firmer biological ground as a distinct [group],” he says.Crowther and his colleagues acknowledge that they’ve not yet identified “consistent and clear diagnostic features” that characterize all members of C. dingo, but they claim they’ve set limits on physical traits of the species. And for conservation and land managers that’s a start, says Euan Ritchie, an ecologist at Deakin University, Melbourne Burwood. “If it looks like a dingo, smells like a dingo, and acts like a dingo, is that enough” to count it as a dingo?last_img read more

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2019-12-03

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NOAA Gets First Chief Scientist in More Than a Decade

first_imgPresident Barack Obama today announced that he intends to appoint oceanographer Richard “Rick” Spinrad to become the next chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Spinrad would be the agency’s first chief scientist since former astronaut and earth scientist Kathryn Sullivan—now NOAA’s Administrator—held the job in the mid-1990s.The move marks the administration’s second effort to fill the post, which it reestablished in 2009 as a presidential appointment requiring confirmation by the U.S. Senate. (Previous administrations downgraded, eliminated, or refused to fill the position.) But the White House’s initial nominee, geochemist Scott Doney, ultimately withdrew his name in 2012 after a 2-year battle with Republicans in the U.S. Senate. In particular, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) blocked a vote on the nomination to protest the Obama administration’s response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.Because of changes to federal personnel rules, Spinrad will not need Senate confirmation.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(*)Now the vice president for research at Oregon State University (OSU), Corvallis, Spinrad is a known face at NOAA and in Washington. He served as NOAA’s assistant administrator for research from 2005 to 2010 and led its oceans and coastal zone programs from 2003 to 2005. From 1987 to 2003, he worked for the U.S. Navy, including as technical director for the oceanographer of the Navy. He earned his doctorate at OSU.“Rick will do a terrific job,” predicts marine biologist Jane Lubchenco, a former NOAA administrator who returned to OSU in 2013 after 4 years in Washington. “He understands science and politics, has an extensive network of key players and he knows the agency well. I’m delighted this essential position will finally be filled.”“He’s got a lot challenges waiting at NOAA, but having that history [at the agency] makes him a great choice,” says Doney of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. Spinrad, he adds, has “a great combination” of science and management experience.last_img read more

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2019-12-03

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ScienceShot: The Yellowstone of Mars

first_imgOne of Mars’s most prominent features is a volcanic province known as the Tharsis bulge, a near-circular, 2000-kilometer-wide hump (center, depicted in shades of red and brown) near the planet’s equator that is 10 km high in places. Volcanism there is likely fueled by a plume of hot material welling up from deep within the planet. Problem is, computer simulations and lab studies suggest that such a plume wouldn’t develop where the bulge is now—that is, along the relatively sharp boundary between Mars’s thinner crust of the northern hemisphere and the much thicker crust beneath the southern highlands. Using measurements of the planet’s gravitational field and elevations (ranging from low [blue] to high [white]) taken from orbit, researchers have identified a swath of thicker-than-normal crust that may mark the slow but steady migration of the volcano-fueling hot spot from the planet’s south pole (bottom), they will report in a forthcoming Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. Previous studies have noted a lower-than-normal number of craters along that swath—a hint that volcanism may have smothered ancient pockmarks in that region—but the new findings bolster the notion that the hot spot migrated from where studies suggest it should have formed in the first place. Interestingly, the team notes, the overall pattern of terrain in that region of Mars is similar to that in the western United States, where the higher-than-normal topography of Idaho’s Snake River betrays the presumed path of the hot spot that drove past volcanism, as well as current geothermal activity, in and around Yellowstone National Park.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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2019-12-03

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Robbers target Indian homes in UK for gold

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2019-12-02

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Baijnath: An Indian Town Where Dusshera Isn’t Celebrated Out Of Fear

first_imgWhen we think of Dusshera, the first thought that comes to our mind is of fire crackers bursting out of Ravan’s effigy. This festival, which celebrates the victory of Lord Ram, the king of Ayodhya, over the king of Lanka, Ravan, in essence, symbolises that truth wins over evil, despite the challenges in its way.However, there’s a place in India whose residents may not share the same mental image most others may have of Dusshera.Read it at SBS Related Itemslast_img

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2019-12-02

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Hindus For Democrats

first_imgNearly two-thirds of all Hindus identify themselves as Democrats or lean toward that party, according to a national survey.The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reported that 41% of Hindus identified themselves as Democrats and another 22 percent leaned Democratic. By contrast just 6% identified themselves as Republican and 7% leaned toward that party.Ideologically, 32% of Hindus identified themselves as liberals, 44% as moderates and 12% as conservative. Almost 79% of Hindus believe that abortion should be legal in most or all cases, the highest percentage of any religious groupHindus were the most tolerant religious group with 89% sharing the view than “many religions can lead to eternal life” and only 5% stating that their religion is the only true faith. By contrast, 36 percent of Evangelical Churches and 33% of Muslims view their religion as the only path to salvation.  Related Itemslast_img read more

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2019-12-02

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NRI Taxation

first_imgA new bill pending in India’s parliament proposes to tax NRIs on their global income if they spend more than 60 days in a year in India. Under existing Income Tax laws, NRIs are taxed on global income only if they spend over 182 days in India in a year. NRIs are also liable for Indian taxes if they reside in India for a period of more than 365 days over a four-year period. The taxes will kick in on the global income of NRIs who live in countries with which the country has Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) , and that have lower income tax rates than India. India has DTAAs with 74 countries, including the USA, Singapore, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. The liability will be even higher for NRIs living in non DTAA countries, as they will be subject to double taxation, both in India and their foreign country of residency.  Related Itemslast_img read more

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2019-12-02

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Coal India Gearing Up For $10 Billion Investment

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2019-12-02

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AirAsia India Aims at Launching International Routes Next Year

first_imgAirAsia India is on track to launch its international routes as soon as it gets 20 aircraft in the country in the second half of 2018. The move will put AirAsia in the league of Indian carriers such as Jet Airways, IndiGo and Air India, that fly on international routes.“We are on target to launch our international routes the minute we achieve 20 aircraft in India next year. We foresee our Indian operations to be very profitable once we start flying regional routes and connecting them to our wide network,” CEO Tony Fernandes said in a statement on Nov. 29. AirAsia India is a joint venture between AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia, owned by Fernandes, who is a Malaysian of Indian origin, and Tata Sons Limited.The airline, which started its India operations in June 2014, has a domestic market share of 4 per cent with its fleet of 13 Airbus A320 aircraft. It competes with budget airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet in the country.Meanwhile, Jet Airways on Nov. 29 announced a partnership with Air France-KLM to increase their presence in Europe and to extend their connectivity to the United States.Jet and SpiceJet are also planning to bid for national carrier Air India should the Union government float a disinvestment plan, according to the Times of India. Getting Air India, which has a 14 per cent domestic and 17-18 per cent international market share, would result in a paradigm shift for the buyer. IndiGo, Vistara and AirAsia India have been reported to have shown interest as well.AirAsia India’s net loss narrowed by 74 per cent to Rs 16.40 crore in the September quarter from the year ago period, Fernandes added. “Our associate airline in India has grown tremendously, achieving 99 per cent year-on-year growth on passengers carried and a remarkable 104 per cent year-on-year growth in capacity this quarter,” the statement added.AirAsia India would have 14 aircraft by the end of 2017 and it aims to increase the fleet size to 21 aircraft by the end of 2018. AirAsia India saw a loss of Rs 62 crore in the same period last year, but the revenue increased by 126 per cent year-on-year in 2017.Factors like lower fuel prices and flying more passengers helped in the reduced losses of the airline. While the company posted a net loss of Rs 140 crore for the 2017 fiscal year, which was 23 per cent less than 2016 fiscal year, the losses were almost Rs 182 crore in 2016 fiscal year. Revenue of the airline rose nearly by 45 per cent to Rs 952 crore.SpiceJet, meanwhile, saw a 79 per cent increase in net profit to Rs 105.3 crore in the September quarter from Rs 58.9 crore in the year earlier.The profits of IndiGo’s parent company InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, on the other hand, almost quadrupled to Rs 551.55 crore in the September quarter.Domestic air traffic in India this year has grown at about 15 per cent while international traffic growth is at 8-10 per cent, as per the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.  The International Air Transport Association has projected India to become the world’s fifth largest aviation market in 2025. Related ItemsAirAsiaAviationlast_img read more

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2019-12-02

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Indian Embassies Issue Advisory Against Fake Calls

first_imgIndian embassies in Canada, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal have issued public notices against fraud calls that display their landline number. The callers usually asked people who have legally migrated to the country to transfer a sum of money citing some reason or the other.The Indian embassy in Canada issued the notice five days ago, after Canadian resident Vinod Kuruvilla was told by a caller that he must transfer $1,000 immediately to a bank account as his immigration papers were not in order, the Hindustan Times reported. Kuruvilla, 40, told the publication that he recognized the number as that of the Indian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada.The engineer from India who had moved to Canada six months ago then called the high commission, where an official told him that the call he received was one of the many cases of cyber fraud in which people are asked to transfer a sum for some reason. “The embassy officials told me to approach local police and advised me against giving out bank details or money,” he told HT.These calls are not isolated as four other embassies — France, Italy, Spain, Portugal — have sent out similar notices.“The high commission in Ottawa has taken up the matter with the Canadian government and we too have put out a public notice,” an Indian official was quoted as saying in the report.The notice from the Canadian embassy said: “Protect yourself from a telephone scam that relates to security deposits. We’ll never ask you for any sort of security deposit or payment over the telephone.” The notice added that scamsters can use telephone scams to steal people’s money or identity and asked people to be careful of such calls. “You should be very careful of scams asking for details like your credit card, bank account or passport numbers, and any other types of personal information. If you get a suspicious call, hang up right away and contact your local police to report it. You can also contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre,” said the notice.The notice from the Indian embassy in France said: “Beware of fraudulent/hoax calls purportedly from telephone number 0140505070/71 belonging to Indian embassy asking for Indian students/diaspora transfer money, embassy of India never asks for such transfers.”These are not the only countries where people are vexed with fraudulent calls. Such fake calls also plagued Indian communities in Australia and Germany last year, with the Indian embassy in Berlin issuing at least four notices about fraudulent calls.Canada has over 1.2 million persons of Indian origin, almost 90 per cent of whom live in metropolitan areas and other major cities.According to the Indian embassy estimates, 106,000 Indians live in France. Related ItemsFraudlast_img read more

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2019-12-02

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Operation continues to rescue boy from borewell in Punjab

first_imgLarge-scale rescue operations continued on Saturday to pull out the two-year-old boy who fell into an over 150-feet-deep borewell near his house in Punjab’s Sangrur district almost 48 hours ago. Fatehvir Singh, who would turn three next week, fell into the unused borewell in a field while he was playing near his house around 4.00 pm on Thursday, officials said. The borewell was covered with a cloth and the boy accidentally stepped on it. His mother tried to rescue him, but failed. A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Army experts, assisted by the police, civil authorities, villagers and volunteers, were carrying out the rescue operations. The toddler is stuck around 110 feet deep in the borewell which is seven inches wide. Officials said a parallel shaft of 36 inches in diameter was being installed to bring out the child safely. So far, rescuers have dug about 90 feet by taking out soil manually, officials said.last_img read more

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2019-12-01

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