File vision document for protection of Taj Mahal: SC to UP govt

first_imgIndia’s cleaning quandary: How to scale the Taj Mahal dome?  Meanwhile, the state government filed a separate application for cutting 234 trees for laying pipelines for water supply in Agra city.The bench, however, directed the state to apprise it as how many tress have already been planted in the TTZ and posted the matter for hearing after four weeks.The top court had earlier said that “ad hoc” measures were not enough to preserve the Taj Mahal for “a few hundred years” and directed the state government to prepare a document with a futuristic vision to protect the historic 17th century mausoleum for future generations.Environmentalist M.C. Mehta, who had filed a plea seeking protection of the Taj from the ill-effects of polluting gases and deforestation in and around the area, had earlier told the bench that the TTZ was an “ecologically sensitive area” and the government should have come out with a comprehensive policy for preservation and protection of the Taj.The apex court, which is dealing with Mr. Mehta’s petition, has been monitoring development in the area to protect the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1631. The mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Supreme Court today directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file within four weeks a vision document for protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal.The apex court also directed the state government to explain why there was a sudden flurry of activities in and around the Taj Mahal and the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) and why leather industries and hotels were coming up there.TTZ is an area of about 10,400 sq kms spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan.“You file the vision document within four weeks,” a bench comprising Justices M.B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.“There is sudden flurry of activities in TTZ. Is there any particular reason for that? Leather industries and hotels are coming up there. Why?” the bench asked Additional Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the state.Mr. Mehta told the top court that he would get instructions on this issue and get back to it.Also Readlast_img read more

Nirmala Sitharaman meets family of slain jawan Aurangzeb in Poonch

first_imgDefence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday visited the family of soldier Aurangzeb, who was abducted and killed by terrorists two days ahead of Eid, and described him as an inspiration for the nation.Accompanied by senior Army officers, the Minister went to the remote hamlet of Salani in the border district of Poonch to express her condolences to the family of the slain soldier, officials said.’An inspiration to nation’“I have come here to meet the martyr’s family,” Ms. Sitharaman told reporters after meeting the family, including Aurangzeb’s father, a former Army man who reiterated his resolve to sacrifice his all to safeguard the integrity and sovereignty of the country.“Here is a family, here is a martyr, who to me and I am sure to the whole nation, stands out as an inspiration… and that is the message I am carrying from here,” she said.Aurangzeb, who was posted with 44 Rashtriya Rifles, was on his way home to celebrate Eid when terrorists abducted him in south Kashmir on June 14 and killed him the same day. He had boarded a private vehicle for Shopian, from where he was supposed to go to Rajouri district.The terrorists intercepted the vehicle as it approached Kalampora and abducted him. His bullet-riddled body was found at Gussu village, about 10 km from Kalampora, in Pulwama district.The Minister’s visit to his family came two days after Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat spent over 30 minutes with his parents.Aurangzeb family’s emotional appeal to PMEarlier, Aurangzeb’s family had made an emotional appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Army and the Jammu and Kashmir government to eliminate militancy from the State and avenge his death.“My son has laid down his life for the country. He was a brave soldier. My sons and I will also sacrifice [ourselves] for the nation. We want goons to be wiped out,” Mohammad Hanief, Aurangzeb’s father and a former sepoy of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, had said.last_img read more

Charge sheet filed against 11 persons in land fraud case in Jammu and Kashmir

first_imgThe Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) on Monday filed a charge sheet against 11 persons, including four former revenue officials of Kishtwar district, for preparing fraudulent mutation of State land documents, officials said.The charge sheet was filed in the court of special judge anti-corruption, Doda, against four retired revenue officials and seven persons to whom the land measuring over 7.5 acre was transferred on monetary consideration, a spokesman of the SVO said.He said a complaint was received in 2011 alleging that a large chunk of land in Pouchal area of Kishtwar, which was shown in revenue records in 1971 as government land and not inhabited by anyone, was fraudulently mutated by the revenue authorities.It was alleged that the said land was going to have the alignment of the Kishtwar-Chatroo-Sinthan Road and there would be huge compensation in the offing. The spokesman said the verification confirmed the allegations and revealed that the then revenue officials, including Tehsildar (now expired), Girdwar and two Patwaris (all retired) entered into a criminal conspiracy with seven residents. The spokesman said the officials made fraudulent entries in revenue records exclusively in favour of the seven.This was done by initially changing the status of the land in 2003 and subsequently attested mutations of the said land in favour of the beneficiaries in 2010 by showing their possession over the same since 1971.Dates discrepancyThe possession (land) of the two beneficiaries — Kuljeet Singh and Pardeep Singh — shows since 1971, whereas their dates of birth have been found as February 2, 1977, and April 5, 1964, respectively, the spokesman said.He said the verification also found that the land came under alignment of Kishtwar-Sinthan Road, and the revenue officials in connivance with beneficiaries intended to grab the compensation.Meanwhile, the spokesman said another charge sheet was filed in the same court against the then Kishtwar Tehsildar Irshad Ahmad Bhat, who was caught red-handed demanding and accepting bribe of ₹7,000.last_img read more

Police officer killed in encounter with criminals in Bihar

first_imgBarely hours after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asked police officials to pull up their socks and not leave anything on bhagwan bharose (mercy of God), a police official late on Friday night was killed in an encounter with criminals in Khagaria district of the state.On a tip off Parsaha police inspector Ashish Kumar Singh led a team of policemen to arrest gangster Dinesh Muni in Salarpur riverine area of Khagaria district and engaged in encounter with them.The remote Salarpur riverine area is known to be a hiding place for notorious criminals in the state.Police had also got information that criminals of neighbouring Naugachhia district too had congregated at the place.The criminals started firing at policemen and a fierce encounter took place between them late on Friday night.A bullet hit Ashish Kumar Singh on his chest and he died on the spot. Another policeman too was injured in the encounter while a criminal too was shot and injured.Later, senior police officers including Meenu Kumari and Pramod Kumar Jha reached the spot with reinforcement. No criminal was arrested yet in the intensive combing operation launched by the policemen in the area.Known as a brave police officer, Ashish Kumar Singh, a 2009 batch Inspector, had survived a bullet injury after he was shot at during an encounter with local gangsters in the same area.Earlier in the day on Friday while inaugurating a new building for police headquarter, chief minister Nitish Kumar had asked police officials to pull up their socks and not to leave things bhagwan bharose (God’s mercy).“It is a fine structure which would help you to work efficiently…get your act together and spare some thoughts for keeping corruption and crime under control…do not leave things bhagwan bharose”, said Nitish Kumar.last_img read more

Day curfew lifted, night curfew on in Kishtwar

first_imgDay curfew has been lifted in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district following improvement in situation, though night curfew will remain in force as a precautionary measure, authorities said on Thursday. Curfew was imposed in the district last Thursday following the killing of BJP State secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar by suspected militants.Deputy Commissioner Angrez Singh Rana said that the situation has improved and there was no report of any untoward incident in the district.last_img read more

‘Changing names of places a gimmick’

first_imgFormer Jammu & Kashmir CM and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said that changing the names of places “is a gimmick and was done to deflect attention from the real issues”.In an apparent reference to renaming certain places in U.P. and Gujarat, Ms. Mufti said: “At a time when our country is witnessing rising agrarian distress and unemployment, crores [of people] still live without a roof over their head, name changing seems to be a mere gimmick to deflect attention from the real issues.”Meanwhile, CPI(M) leader M.Y. Tarigami said there was a spurt in atrocities against Dalits and minorities in the country. “The attacks are fostered to divide people… the government policies have only deepened people’s misery.”last_img read more

‘Modi doesn’t know how to speak the truth’

first_imgWith just days to go before the Lok Sabha election in Gwalior on Sunday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi told a rally at Phoolbagh on Wednesday evening that while his party has delivered on promises made in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi “does not know how to speak the truth”.‘Cong. waived loans’Speaking in Gwalior three days after Mr. Modi addressed a BJP rally here and attacked Mr. Gandhi’s “naamdar” family, Mr. Gandhi hit out at the Prime Minister for remaining silent on his 2014 poll promises. He said the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh had waived off loans of lakhs of farmers, including two relatives of former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. “The people had so much faith in Narendra Modi and his words. He said he’ll put ₹15 lakh in every bank account, will give jobs to 2 crore youth and will give loan waivers and right prices to farmers. What happened to that? These days, Mr. Modi doesn’t talk of employment, farmers, or corruption,” said Mr. Gandhi.He added that while youth were facing unemployment and agrarian crisis was pushing farmers to end their lives, Mr. Modi was “doing his mann ki baat”.Challenge for debate“He said he’ll make Gwalior a smart city. It’s been five years. Did it happen? Wherever he goes, he lies…He talks of nationalism. I want to ask him did the Congress send Masood Azhar to Pakistan? Did the Congress make him sit on a plane and send him to Kandahar? Was it our Minister who sat in the plane? Was it our Minister who gave money to a terrorist organisation? No, it was the BJP… Narendra Modi should tell the country the truth… Narendra Modi does not know how to speak the truth,” said Mr. Gandhi, adding that he had challenged the Prime Minister to a debate on the Rafale matter.Accusing the former BJP government in the State of reducing the number of factories from 400 to 80, he said a Congress government at the Centre would work with the party’s government in the State to make Gwalior an “industrial centre again”. Chief Minister Kamal Nath, while addressing the rally in support of Congress candidate Ashok Singh, said his government had waived off loans of 21 lakh farmers, while the BJP candidate from Gwalior, Mayor Vivek Shejwalkar, had not done anything for the city.“Shivraj was yelling that loans have not been waived. His own brother and nephew’s loans have been waived,” said Mr. Nath.Mr. Singh, who has contested three times before, had lost by a margin of about 29,000 votes in 2014 to the BJP’s Narendra Singh Tomar, who went on to become a Union Minister. This time, Mr. Tomar is contesting from the neighbouring Morena constituency, which was won by late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s nephew, Anoop Mishra, in 2014.last_img read more

The Big No: Republicans on Science Panel Reject Budget Deal

first_imgThe science committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has a long history of expressing bipartisan support for research. But science lobbyists have grumbled that the panel has become highly partisan in recent years, stacked with conservative Republicans who don’t necessarily believe that research spending is a high priority.Yesterday’s vote to end the 16-day government shutdown may feed such perceptions. The bipartisan deal offered by the Democratic-controlled Senate was not popular in the Republican-controlled House. It won the support of only 38% of 232 Republicans while attracting unanimous support among Democrats. But the measure fared much worse within the 22-member Republican delegation on the science committee.In fact, only one Republican on the panel—freshman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota—voted yea. Every other member, from Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) on down, nixed the agreement to fund the government for another 3 months and extend the nation’s ability to borrow money while both sides try to negotiate a long-term solution to the financial crisis.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(*)Even Cramer’s support was half-hearted, however. In a short press release that doesn’t actually mention how he voted, the legislator describes the measure as “a short-term solution which will finally bring both sides to the table to further correct our federal deficit. It is far from ideal; however, we cannot let the pursuit of perfection be the enemy of improvement.”That argument didn’t cut any ice with one Republican who has been a staunch supporter of basic research. Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL), whose district borders the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, has been outspoken about the need for the federal government to invest in fundamental research that the private sector will not support. But he voted against the 3-month extension of funding every federal agency, with his fear of a growing national debt apparently trumping his passion for science.“The Senate and President have chosen to add $1 trillion to our debt for an agreement with no teeth, all the while ignoring our massive debt that threatens our economy and our future,” he said in a statement explaining his nay vote. “The debt crisis is not make-believe, and I was not elected to stand by while we sacrifice our children’s future for short-term political gain. … It’s ridiculous to pay lip service to addressing our debt every few months and then do nothing.”Panel chair Smith echoed such concerns in a statement explaining his vote against the deal: “I did not support the legislation because it failed to address our growing national debt and the need to get our economic house in order.”last_img read more

BICEP2 paper published—with big caveat

first_imgWhat was supposedly the biggest discovery in cosmology in a decade has finally been published, even as a cloud of doubt enshrouds the result. In March, researchers working with BICEP2, a specialized telescope at the South Pole, reported at a press conference that they had seen pinwheel-like swirls in the polarization of the afterglow of the big bang—the cosmic microwave background (CMB)—that came from gravitational waves rippling through the infant universe. Those B modes were “the first direct evidence” that the newborn universe underwent a bizarre exponential growth spurt called inflation, at least according to a press release issued by the BICEP2 team. However, other researchers soon pointed out that the signal might emanate instead from dust within our galaxy. Now, the BICEP2 paper has been published in Physical Review Letters. And in the abstract to the final version, the team writes that its models of galactic dust “are not sufficiently constrained by external public data to exclude the possibility of dust emission bright enough to explain the entire excess signal.” Although stark, that statement isn’t entirely surprising. Previously, the BICEP team had acknowledged that they couldn’t quantify how much of the signal was really from the CMB.last_img read more

Ebola’s heavy toll on study authors

first_imgSign 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(*)Mbalu Fonnie, a licensed nurse midwife and the nursing supervisor of the KGH Lassa Ward, was “matron of nursing at KGH,” says Robert Garry, a study co-author and virologist at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mrs. Fonnie had more than 30 years of experience treating Lassa fever, a hemorrhagic illness with many symptoms similar to Ebola, and specialized in the management of severe Lassa cases in pregnant women. She began her career working at Nixon Memorial Methodist Hospital in Segbwema, Sierra Leone, and participated there in Lassa fever research trials conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Aunty Mbalu was a mother figure to the entire staff,” Garry says. She had survived Lassa fever. She was infected with Ebola while caring for one of her fellow nurses, who was pregnant and had Ebola. Sidiki Saffa, who died of a stroke unrelated to Ebola while the paper was in press, was a laboratory technician who collected blood samples and processed them. Mr. Saffa had more than 20 years of experience collecting blood samples from Lassa fever patients. “Very well organized and great with the record keeping … [he was] always on the move from the clinic to the laboratory and back,” Garry says. “He was the lifeblood of the operation.”*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public. The ongoing Ebola virus disease outbreak is taking an appalling toll on health workers in West Africa. More than 240 have been infected and more than 120 have died. At Kenema Government Hospital (KGH) in Sierra Leone, where the country’s first case was diagnosed, more than 2 dozen nurses, doctors, and support staff have died of Ebola. KGH is where many of the samples were collected for a paper published online today in Science that analyzes the genetics of the virus responsible for the disease. Highlighting the danger to those caring for infected people, five of the paper’s co-authors—all experienced members of the hospital’s Lassa fever team—died of Ebola before its publication. (A sixth co-author, uninfected, also recently died as well.) Sheik Humarr Khan was the director of the national Lassa fever program for the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone and an expert on treating viral hemorrhagic fevers like Lassa fever and Ebola virus disease. He studied medicine at the University of Sierra Leone and completed a residency in internal medicine at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana. He worked with the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Disease, the Human Heredity and Health in Africa Initiative, and was a founding member of the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium. Khan had treated Lassa fever patients for more than 10 years. At the time of his death, he was helping coordinate his country’s response to the Ebola outbreak. Widely respected by colleagues, President Ernest Bai Koroma hailed him as a “national hero.” His death sparked widespread discussion about whether he should have been treated with the untested drug ZMapp. “I will miss his smile and good nature, and will always admire his exceptional bravery, loyalty, and strength,” writes Pardis Sabeti of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who led the published genetics study, in a tribute page dedicated to Dr. Khan. Mohamed Fullah, a laboratory technician who helped on the study, was an instructor at Eastern Polytechnic College in Sierra Leone, where he served for more than 10 years. Extremely popular with his students, Mr. Fullah had worked part time in the Lassa fever laboratory for 6 years. Mr. Fullah was intense, disciplined, and very hard-working, Garry says. He was “very dedicated and serious about the laboratory and science in general.” He lost several of his close family members to Ebola and presumably contracted the disease from one of them.center_img CREDIT: Kelly Krause, AAAS Alice Kovoma was helping Mrs. Fonnie treat the pregnant nurse when she, too, became infected. A Lassa Ward nurse for more than 6 years, Ms. Kovoma was “a wonderful person … very dedicated and professional with a devotion to the patients and her teammates,” Garry says. Alex Moigboi, a registered nurse with more than 10 years of experience caring for Lassa fever patients, was also infected while treating the same colleague. Mr. Moigboi “loved to interact and raise everyone’s spirits with his great sense of humor,” Garry says. “Always with a smile on his face … the last one off the dance floor.”last_img read more

Rosetta mission’s lander settles on a comet and makes history

first_imgThe mission team settled on a relatively risk-free region on the “head” of the duck-shaped comet, where only 20% of the terrain contained potentially hazardous slopes greater than 30°. Plans were hatched for the 7-hour landing descent and were loaded up to the spacecraft.The landing almost didn’t take place. In the night before separation, software trouble nearly forced Ulamec to postpone it for 2 weeks. Ulamec also learned that gas thrusters—meant to pin the lander to the surface while its harpoons fired—hadn’t pressurized correctly. But mission managers decided to go ahead anyway, and just past 4 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Philae slipped out of Rosetta’s grasp at walking speeds.Step by step, Rosetta’s instruments followed the lander down and found it to be right on track. A picture taken by a camera on the underbelly of the lander at a 3-kilometer altitude showed it to be nearly in the middle of a 1-kilometer-wide landing ellipse. “The real error was much smaller than the error ellipse,” says ESA Head of Mission Operations Paolo Ferri. Sensors on the legs of the lander indicated that the surface was soft and had helped dampen Philae’s fall.But team members were still confused by conflicting data coming back from the lander, and ESA officials planned to reconvene on Thursday in Darmstadt—hopefully with more answers. “It’s complicated to land on a comet,” Ulamec says. “It’s also very complicated to understand what has happened.”To read more Rosetta coverage, visit our Rosetta collection page. DARMSTADT, GERMANY—The Rosetta orbiter on Wednesday dropped a spidery, three-legged robot the size of a small refrigerator and watched as it tentatively set down on a comet—the first time that the surface of these primordial balls of dust and ice has ever been explored.In the hours after the 11:03 a.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time touchdown, European scientists and engineers struggled to make sense of how stably the lander was resting on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Radio connections between the lander and the orbiter were tenuous, solar power generation was fluctuating, and the lander was not anchored by two harpoons that were supposed to have fired on touchdown. It was even possible that the lander, called Philae, had slipped or bounced—but not hard enough to fling it back into the void. Stephan Ulamec, the Philae project manager for the European Space Agency (ESA), said that the lander’s scientific instruments were taking data and that he was confident Philae would live for another day. “Maybe today, we didn’t just land once, but twice,” he said at a press briefing at ESA’s control center here.In addition to being a first for humanity, the €1.4 billion Rosetta mission marked a strikingly ambitious effort for ESA’s planetary exploration program. It was the first successful landing for the agency since January 2005, when ESA dropped the Huygens probe onto the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. To a packed audience here, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain celebrated the historic aspect of the comet landing with obvious pride. “We’re the first to have done that, and it will stay that way forever,” he said.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(*)If healthy, the lander will now pursue a preprogrammed science routine on battery power lasting about 2.5 days. With sufficient solar power, Philae could continue to work for months. And already, 11 science instruments on the Rosetta orbiter have been taking measurements of 67P’s coal-black, organic-rich crust. But Philae, equipped with a drill that can sample more than 20 centimeters deep, has the potential to reveal the nature of material lying underneath the crust—where ice, dust, and organic molecules have been less altered by sunlight and outgassing. The sun’s heat causes buried ices of water, carbon dioxide, and other molecules to burst forth in diffuse jets of gas and dust.Moments after the landing, Philae lead scientist Jean-Pierre Bibring, of the Institute for Space Astrophysics in Orsay, France, was passing out toasts of Nicolas Feuillatte, a Champagne he had on hand for the occasion. He said he hadn’t been so nervous about the outcome. “As when you go to a plane, you are not the driver,” he says. “We couldn’t do more than what we did.”Getting to the moment was by no means easy. The Rosetta spacecraft launched in 2004 and whirled around the solar system on one of the longest planetary journeys ever, traveling 6.5 billion kilometers. In August, Rosetta arrived at 67P, and scientists began a frantic effort to map the feeble gravity of the comet’s mountain-sized nucleus even as they searched for boulder-free, level landing terrains. The time pressures were severe because Rosetta had to drop Philae before 67P got too close to the sun’s heat. An instrument on Rosetta is already measuring 5 liters per second of water vapor production, but that rate is expected to rise to 500 liters per second by the time 67P makes its closest approach to the sun in August 2015. ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS/DLR center_img The target area of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko looms 3 kilometers below the Philae lander as it descends to the surface. last_img read more

Disney’s Next 700 Million Viewers Might be in India

first_imgIf its blockbuster deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox (FOX) goes through, Disney (DIS) will gain a new audience of more than 700 million people in India, one of the world’s hottest media markets.That’s how many viewers Fox’s Star India network says it reaches every month through over 60 television channels offering sports, entertainment and news.Read it at CNN Related Itemslast_img

Taxman Issues Prosecution Notices To MNCs To Meet Steep Revenue Targets

first_imgTax officials have issued prosecution notices to directors of several multinationals, intensifying their pursuit of collections with a view to meeting steep revenue targets, said people with direct knowledge of the matter.Prosecution notices make such cases equivalent to criminal offences and give income tax officers additional powers, akin to those of the police, said experts, adding that taxpayers can only seek relief from a magistrate’s court in such instances. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img read more

Dan Nainan, Half Indian, Half Japanese, Fully Funny

first_img1. Your father is Indian and your mother is Japanese. How do you see yourself?A: Being born here I identify most with being American. Until recently I had no idea who Amitabh Bachchan was. However, when I was a child we hung around mostly with Indians, so I was subjected to many Indian functions growing up. So I sat through many awful talent shows, four-hour Malayalee weddings, and of course Indians never want to pay for a babysitter so you have children running around screaming at all these events. 2. Does this mixed heritage make for some very funny stand up comedy?A: I like to think so. Everyone I meet tells me they’ve never met an Indian-Japanese comedian before. I think I’m the only Indian Japanese comedian, unless my sister decides to take up the profession.3. What’s the South Asian material that draws the most laughs?A: South Asian audiences are really wonderful about laughing at themselves. So I think it’s the things that are really true that draw the most laughs, for example the outsourcing jokes or the jokes about Bollywood films.4. And the Japanese anecdote? A: I was driving with my whole family and we saw some cows grazing in a field. My father pointed out that the word graze could have a lot of different meanings, and I said for example you can be grazed by a bullet, and then my mother said “or it’s a kind of doughnut.” The funniest part of this is that she actually meant it! The Japanese have a big problem distinguishing between the L and the R! as Indians have a problem with the V and the W. 5. Do the Japanese find you funny?A: South Asian audiences are the most receptive. I don’t think the Japanese are as expressive; it’s not really part of their culture. Once I performed at a Japanese show and when I started, I yelled out, “Come on, make some noise, who here is from Japan” fully expecting everybody to yell “Woo-Hoo”or “Banzai” or “Bonsai”or something like that but instead they all raised their hands! Afterwards a few people came up and said they didn’t understand the doughnut joke! 6. What do you eat at home?A: I love going home, because my mother makes a combination of Indian, Japanese and American food. Of course the first day I come home she always makes keema for me. Even though she’s Japanese she has become quite a fire breather because of my father. She absolutely loves mango pickles.7. What’s the line that never fails to make South Asians laugh?A: It’s the line where I say that it’s just a matter of time before Indian companies start outsourcing to poor Americans who are pretending to be Indian. (In a southern accent, “Thank you for calling Air India. This is Mahatma Gandhi.”8. Do you have a lucky talisman?  A: Unfortunately I am a complete atheist and do not believe in anything except science. No religion, no astrology, no professional wrestling, so I would have to say no to a talisman. 9. Any chance your dad might get you into an arranged marriage?A: My father tried fixing me up with various Malayalee women, but it was always a disaster. I went to one girl’s house and when the door opened, I asked her “Is your daughter here?” But it turned out that that actually was the daughter! 10. You must be having a lot of fun with Indian and Japanese last names and accents? A: Yes, I thank God that I didn’t get a combination Indian Japanese name like Sanjay Hajimoto, or Mahatma Mitsubishi. 11. Any real life funny incidents?A: I was backstage at an Intel event and was talking to a security guard who was a Muslim Indian. I asked him what the reasoning was behind having multiple wives in Islam. He told me that the reason was if you want to have relations with your wife, but she has her periodical, then you need to have another wife or two. He actually said the word periodical. I almost fell over laughing. 12. Any plans to take your show on the road to India?A: Now that I know who Amitabh Bachchan is, a lot of people are encouraging me to do an act where I do impressions of him. Of course I would love to go to India. Last time I was there I was only six years old, and it was extremely crowded and overpopulated, so imagine what it will be like now since there are twice as many people in India as when I was last there! Related Itemslast_img read more

Mahindra Reva

first_imgMahindra & Mahindra Ltd. has agreed to buy a majority st ake in Reva Electric Car Co. from General Motors.“Our association with Reva will only help us further expand our green footprint both in India and overseas,” Mahindra & Mahindra managing director Anand Mahindra said in a statement.Reva launched its first electric vehicle in 2001 in Bangalore and presently has an estimated 3,500 G-Wiz vehicles on the road, mostly in England.  Related Itemslast_img

Hi Tech Mahabharata

first_imgGrant Morrison, author of Batman and Superman comics, is collaborating with Indian artist Mukesh Singh to publish a four book series on the Mahabharata. The books accompany an animated television series and video game, which its creators say, is a “Psychedelic Lord of the Rings with Star Wars technology.” The first book is the series was released on Aug 25.“Just as you don’t have to be a hobbit and live in the Shire to appreciate The Lord of the Rings, you don’t have to be well-versed in Indian culture to enjoy the Mahabharata,” said Morrison, adding there is an “enormous techno-atomic hammer of the gods,” an “albino super-elephant” and “super-massive hi-altitude dreadnaughts.” Morrison says, “All technology should consider embracing some of this retro-Indian-steam punk aesthetic.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

Half of cases of atrocities against SCs in U.P. alone

first_imgThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has registered 104 cases in the past two-and-a-half months of “discrimination and victimisation of minorities and Scheduled Castes,” the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday. At least 52 cases of atrocities against the SCs were filed in Uttar Pradesh alone.In 2018-19, 672 cases of atrocities against the SCs and 79 against the minorities were filed. MoS Home G Kishan Redddy said in a written response that “data regarding crimes against specific communities is not centrally maintained”. He said the State police must take action in the cases registered by the NHRC.last_img read more