Elephant hit by train dies

first_imgAn elephant was killed after being hit by a train in the Naxalbari block of the Darjeeling district in the early hours of Wednesday.The incident took place near the Bagdogra town at around 4 a.m., when the tusker was hit from behind by the Katihar-bound Intercity Express from Siliguri. The carcass was discovered by locals who informed the forest officials. ‘Not part of herd’Range officer of the Bagdogra elephant squad Pemba Sherpa said, “A police complaint has been lodged against the train driver. We will also ask the Railways about the speed limit for train in the area.” Mr. Sherpa added that an elephant herd has been moving around the area recently but, “It seems that the tusker was not a member of the herd.”last_img

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How did you assess Sanjay Dutt’s conduct, High Court asks Maharashtra government

first_imgMonths after actor Sanjay Dutt walked out of Yerwada Jail, the Bombay High Court on Monday directed the State to file an affidavit on what ground he was let out eight months before time.A Division Bench of Justice R.M. Sawant and Justice Sadhana Jadhav was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Pradeep Bhalekar, chairperson of Samajik Karyakarta Saurakhan Samiti. The petition alleged that Mr. Dutt was given a special treatment by being allowed to go scot-free. There are 27,740 prisoners in the state who deserve to be released on the same ground. The petition also said the actor has already benefited a lot from furlough and parole.“The remission granted to Mr. Dutt is wrong and illegal,” said the PIL.Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Nitin Satpute said, “What was the good behaviour and conduct that were held as the ground for granting him remission and reducing his sentence? What about all the other convicts, especially those in petty offences, who are rotting in jail? They have also filed applications seeking remission, but there has been no order on those.”A day after the jail superintendent announced that Mr. Dutt would be let out on February 25, 2016, Mr. Bhalekar had written a letter to acting Chief Justice V.K. Tahilaramani about this.The court directed the government to file an affidavit on what defines good behaviour and who is the sanctioning authority of the pre-mature release. “Was the Deputy Inspector General of Police consulted or did the jail superintendent directly send his recommendations to the Governor? How did the authorities assess good behaviour?” The matter was adjourned to July 3.According to the Maharashtra Home Department, he was given remission (reduction of sentence) on account of good conduct. During his time in jail, Mr. Dutt was granted parole of 90 days in December 2013 and later for 30 days.The actor was convicted for illegal possession of an automatic assault rifle, part of cache of arms and ammunition that landed ahead of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts in which 257 people were killed.last_img read more

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No need for fear, says Amit Shah about mob violence

first_imgBJP president Amit Shah on Saturday said that after Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly criticised mob violence, there was no need for apprehension about mob killings in the country. He said the criticism of the Modi government was unfair and wondered why journalists were being caught in the flow. “There is no apprehension anywhere in the country,” Mr. Shah said in an interaction with presspersons here.last_img

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Two Naroda Patiya convicts who jumped parole arrested

first_imgThe city police’s special operations group (SOG) has arrested two convicts in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case who had jumped parole.Pintu Jadeja and Dinesh Barge were released on parole in May and June respectively, the SOG said in a statement. They were nabbed on Tuesday from different areas in Ahmedabad, the statement said.With their arrest, three of four convicts who jumped parole in the case have been caught.The Sabarmati central jail authorities had lodged a case when the four did not return after their parole ended, following which the police launched a search.On Sunday, the police arrested Prakash Chhara, one of the four who was absconding. Police is on the look out for the fourth convict, Shasikant Kadam.All four were awarded were sentenced to life in prison by a special SIT court on August 30, 2012 for their role in the Naroda Patiya massacre.As many as 32 accused, including former BJP minister Maya Kodnani, had been sentenced to life imprisonment by the court.Their appeals challenging the sentence are being heard by the Gujarat High Court.Ninety seven people belonging to the minority community were killed in a riot in Naroda Patiya area of Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning incident in which 59 kar sevaks were killed.last_img read more

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‘Proud that my brother is a martyr’

first_imgThe family of Brahmpal Singh, the solider who was martyred in an encounter with militants in Pulwama in Kashmir on Monday night, said they were proud that one of them had sacrificed his life for the nation. “We are proud that one of us sacrificed his life for the country. It is the best death that a nationalist can ask for,” said Om Prakash Singh, the brother of the slain solider. Brahmpal, 35, was a resident of Sayana village in Bulandshahr district of western UP. He belonged to 22 Rajputana Rifles. Three Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants were killed in the Pulwama gunfight on Monday night, and they included one who is supposed to be the nephew of the outfit’s founder, Masood Azhar, according to General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Victor Force, Maj. Gen. B.S. Raju.“We were informed about my brother’s martyrdom by Subedar Shyam Singh on Tuesday. But we could not share the news with my mother because she is extremely unwell. His wife is also unwell, so we have not shared the sad news with her. We are waiting for the mortal remains,” the brother said. “It is certainly a sad news obviously and every one is mourning. We will take some time to come out of this tragedy. But I also want to mention that it is something which fills my heart with pride and nationalism,” Mr. Omprakash added. He said that the mortal remians of his brother was expected to reach by Wednesday night after which the last rites will be performed. Brahmpal joined the the army in 2003 and was posted in J&K. His father Sukhpal Singh was also an armyman. He is survived by his wife and two children.last_img read more

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U.P. govt. allots ₹233 cr. for conserving cows

first_imgThe Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has allocated ₹233 crore in the State budget for promoting and conserving cows. As part of the mandate, the State Ayurvedic department has also proposed to make and promote a health drink from cow urine. Of the ₹233 crore, the State government proposed to allocate ₹100 crore for National Cattle Health and Disease Control Programme. ₹75 crore for the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Mini Dairy Scheme, ₹15 crore for Pashu Arogya Melas (cattle health fairs) in every single block in the state, ₹27 crore for 700-odd mobile cattle hospitals to “ensure cattle health and breed improvement” and ₹15 crore has been allocated for Dairy Development Fund.Award for producing milk from native breed cowsThe State government has also announced the setting up of “Nand Baba Puraskar , an award of ₹52 lakh for people who produce largest quantity of milk from Indian breed cows. The award was launched to popularise breeding of Indian cows. Another award “Gokul Puraskar” worth ₹54 lakh has been announced by the State government for people who run best cowsheds. On the recommendation of the Gau Sewa Ayog, the State government sanctioned ₹2 crore, apart from the 233 crore, for setting up of gaushalas in 12 jails of the State.Medicines from cow urineAccording to R.R. Chaudhary, director of the UP Ayurveda department, the department planned to promote eight medicines which had been prepared at its official pharmacies in Pilibhit and Lucknow using cow urine, cow ghee and cow milk. These medicines are beneficial for medical problems related to liver, joint pain and immune deficiency. The proposal was confirmed by Dr. Prakash Chandra Saxena, principal and superintendent of Government Ayurveda College and Hospital in Pilibhit.last_img read more

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Hire retired officials to hasten land acquisition in Goa: Gadkari

first_imgTo expedited lengthy land acquisition procedures delaying major infrastructure projects in Goa, including the Mumbai–Goa National Highway redevelopment, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, advised the state government to hire retired officials.“I suggested to them that they take some retired people,” he said, speaking on the side lines of another event on Tuesday. “National Highways Authority of India will pay them. The maximum problems are related to land acquisition. That is the reason we are taking more people to strengthen the land acquisition department.” He expressed concern over the delay of, and therefore cost escalation in, major projects. “Work is going on everywhere from Maharashtra border to the Karnataka border,” he said. “So we need the process of land acquisition to become faster.”On Monday, at a review meeting with the Public Works Department, Mr. Gadkari had expressed unhappiness at the slow pace of the redevelopment of the Goa section of the national highway.last_img read more

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Maratha protest: over 200 held in Pune, Aurangabad

first_imgOver 200 people were arrested across Aurangabad and Pune in connection with the arson and vandalism during the bandh on August 9, which was called by the Maratha Kranti Morcha. The outfit’s coordinators, however, disclaimed responsibility for the violence and dubbed it the handiwork of anti-social elements.A total of 185 people, including five women, were arrested by the Bund Garden, Deccan, and the Kothrud police for indulging in stone-pelting and vandalism in Pune city. Some of them were later released on bail. The Aurangabad police arrested 31 people. Mobs went on a rampage in Waluj MIDC, damaging nearly 60 processing plants and offices of big firms, including Siemens Ltd, Worckhardt Ltd, Endurance Technologies, and Sterlite Technologies.Emergency meeting Appalled by the violence in Waluj MIDC, an emergency meeting convened by the Chamber of Marathwada Industries and Agriculture (CMIA) decided it would not give jobs to those found guilty of vandalism.“It was not the spontaneous outrage of any community. It was a carefully planned and premeditated attack in which around 250 people participated. The perpetrators smashed CCTV cameras, computers and office cabins. The industry as a collective and investors are agitated after the incident,” Ram Bhogale, president, CMIA, told The Hindu from Aurangabad. “What have the agitators gained by targeting the industry which is the primary source of employment in a region like Aurangabad?” he asked.CMIA sources said the canteen inside the Siemens compound was ransacked, while the cabin of the managing director of Endurance Technologies and several two-wheelers parked on the company premises were completely damaged. Tonnes of literature were reportedly stolen from Akar Tools while the plants of Man Diesel & Turbo India and Mylan Laboratories were attacked.“If some of the vandals, as we have reason to believe, are employees of firms, then they would be terminated while we [the CMIA] will be making sure the others do not get jobs in companies,” Mr. Bhogale said.Kishore Rathi, vice-president, Marathwada Association of Small Scale Industries and Agriculture, said such incidents of lawlessness could hinder promotion of Aurangabad as a major industrial hub. Action sought Meanwhile, in parallel press conferences in Aurangabad and Pune, Morcha leaders condemned the violence and demanded action against perpetrators. Shantaram Kunjir, a Morcha coordinator in Pune, said henceforth, all agitations will be conducted in the form of relay fasts wherein only select activists from the outfit will participate.Stating that the Morcha stands with the industry, Ravindra Kale-Patil, a coordinator in Aurangabad, said the violence was a deliberate attempt to defame the quota agitation. “The vandalism was clearly the act of anti-social elements. A code of conduct was laid down by us during the shutdown. We demand a Criminal Investigation Department probe and request the district administration to scrutinise the video footage and book the culprits,” Mr. Kale-Patil said.last_img read more

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Torrential rain batters coastal Odisha

first_imgTorrential rain battered the coastal region of Odisha on Thursday, worsening the deluge and disrupting normal life in the State.Although heavy rains sent several rivers into spate, the office of the Special Relief Commissioner said there was no possibility of large-scale floods except in a few areas in Keonjhar district where the Baitarani river was flowing above the danger mark.“There was very heavy and extremely heavy rainfall in some coastal districts of Odisha in the last 24 hours ending on Thursday morning. Theaverage rainfall in the State was 54.9 mm,” said the SRC analysing the situation.Average rainfall (more than 100 mm) was recorded in five districts — Kendrapara (271.7 mm), Jagatsinghpur (236.1 mm), Jajpur (137 mm), Cuttack (113.5 mm) and Bhadrak (105.7 mm). Ersama block of Jagatsinghpur recorded the highest 450 mm rain during the last 24 hours.“All major rivers are flowing below the danger level. Only Baitarani river is flowing above the warning level at Akhuapada. There has been waterlogging in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur districts which have received extremely heavy rainfall,” said SRC Bishnupada Sethi.Waterlogging was also reported on the campus of Sun Temple in Konark.The Archaeological Survey of India deployed four high-powered motors to pump out the water from the campus.The Cuttack district administration ordered closure of educational institutes in view of heavy rain on Thursday.More rains predictedThe Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre has predicted heavy rainfall on Friday. “The depression over north-west Bay of Bengal and adjoining West Bengal and north coastal Odisha moved slightly westwards and intensified into a deep depression. It is very likely to continue to move west/north-west and weaken gradually during the next 24 hours,” it said.last_img read more

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Central BJP observers head for Goa

first_imgThe BJP national leadership is likely to despatch observers to Goa after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has been ailing for sometime, met with his Council of Ministers and reportedly also spoke to BJP president Amit Shah on Friday evening, suggesting that he be relieved due to his ill-health. BJP general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal and B.L. Santosh may be despatched as observers. Mr. Parrikar had been away in the U.S. for a few weeks for treatment early this year. In his absence, a Council of Ministers had handled the administration but the fragile coalition in the State appears to be tottering. Several names are doing the rounds including that of Central Minister Shripad Naik as an alternative. The challenge would be to persuade allies like Vijay Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party, who was with the Congress before the results were out but crossed over to the BJP once Mr. Parikkar returned to Goa.last_img read more

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Sukhbir appears before ‘politically motivated’ SIT

first_imgShiromani Akali Dal chief and former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal told members of the Special Investigating Team probing the 2015 police firing incidents at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura on Monday that he has never met Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar outside the State.Mr. Badal appeared before the SIT at Punjab police headquarters here and was quizzed for about an hour even as he described its investigation as “politically motivated”. The name of Mr. Kumar was mentioned in the Justice (Retd.) Ranjit Singh Commission report on sacrilege incidents which was tabled in Punjab Vidhan Sabha in August this year. The police firings followed in the wake of the sacrilege incidents.“They (SIT) asked me whether I met Akshay in Mumbai. I told them, ‘You are asking me a question and not telling me who said this. They said they cannot share,’” Mr. Badal told reporters later. “I told them I never met Akshay Kumar outside Punjab in my life. I met him at a sports function (in Punjab).”According to the report, a meeting between Mr. Badal and Dera Sacha Sauda sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in connection with the release of latter’s movie MSG was held at the actor’s flat in Mumbai in 2015. It said the meeting was held before the pardon given to the Dera head in a blasphemy case. MSG could not be released in Punjab in September 2015 because of an edict by Akal Takht.Mr. Kumar had then denied having met the Dera head.last_img read more

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Tripura peace negotiator Nagendra Jamatia dead

first_imgNagendra Jamatia, the veteran tribal leader who brokered peace with the insurgent Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) in 1988, passed away on Monday. He was 71 and is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.Family members said Mr Jamatia had been unwell for the past few years suffering from health complications for past few years. Congress ministerMr Jamatia, who was admired for his writing and people connect, was a minister in the Congress-led coalition government for five years from 1988. The leader of Tripura Upajati Juba Samity (TUJS), now known as the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (INPT), Mr Jamatia is best known for his success in bringing TNV supremo Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl to the negotiating table with the Centre. His efforts culminated in the peace accord signed at New Delhi in presence of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.Mr Jamatia later said the entire exercise of dialogue with the TNV had to be kept top secret under instruction from New Delhi and became public only after the signing of the accord. Only then Chief Minister Sudhir Ranjan Majumder was in the loop, apart from him.Mr. Hrangkhawl, who is now president of the INPT nurtured by Mr Jamatia, offered his condolences at the leader’s home. Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, his cabinet colleagues and prominent personalities expressed grief at Mr. Jamatia’s demise..last_img read more

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Lok Sabha elections 2019: All parties, candidates must advertise criminal record

first_imgAll political parties recognised, registered and un-recognised shall submit a report to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of a State stating that they have followed the directions of the Supreme Court regarding criminality of candidates and enclosed the relevant newspaper cuttings within 30 days of the completion of elections. Talking to presspersons here on Thursday, Mr. Bhasker Assoldekar, co-ordinator of Delhi-based Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) said that the criminal record includes charge sheets or convictions but does not include a mere first information report. The guidelines of the Supreme Court pertaining to declaration of criminal record in the prescribed form will be applicable to Lok Sabha elections as well as Assembly bypolls across the country.The same should be published in three prominent newspapers, but the definition of prominent has not been defined, Mr. Assoldekar said. It is mandatory for political parties and candidates with criminal antecedents to publish the declaration on at least three different dates from the date following the last date of withdrawal of candidatures and upto two days before the date of poll. The matter should be published in font size of at least 12 points and should be placed suitably in a minimum of three newspapers. In case of declaration in TV channels, the same should be completed before a period of 48 hours ending with hours fixed for conclusion of poll. There is a format provided by ECI for such a declaration by the candidates and political parties.When asked what punitive measures would be taken if candidates don’t comply with the directives, Mr. Assoldekar said that in case of non-compliance of the direction by the candidate or political parties, the returning officers will give a written reminder to them and in the event of non-compliance till the end of the elections, the returning officer will report to the State’s CEO who will intimate the Election Commission of India (ECI). The ECI will take a final decision in the matter. The standard format for such a reminder to the candidates and political parties is also prescribed.Mr. Assoldekar said that after the report is submitted to the CEO within 30 days, thereafter, in the next 15 days, the CEO should submit a report to the ECI confirming compliance and pointing out cases of defaulters. On the issue of submission of financial assets, he said that now a candidate has to file his or her income tax returns of previous five years and of their spouse. And in case of a Hindu Undivided Family, the Karta and dependents as well. He further said that the value of the assets has to be stated at market value.These guidelines are applicable to all the candidates and political parties contesting elections to Lok Sabha, Council of States, Legislative Assembly or Council.last_img read more

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Kejriwal holds roadshow in Sangrur

first_imgAam Aadmi Party national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday held a roadshow in the Sangrur parliamentary constituency harping on the “successful” Delhi model of governance. Standing atop an open vehicle, Mr. Kejriwal sought vote and support for party candidate Bhagwant Mann, who is seeking re-election from Sangrur. During his day-long roadshow through Khanauri-Moonak-Lehragaga-Sunam-Cheema-Longowal-Dhanaula-Barnal areas, the AAP leader was seen striving to convince people about his government’s good governance in Delhi besides hitting out at the ruling Congress government in Punjab, accusing it of backing out on its Assembly poll promises. “Capt. Amarinder Singh promised you jobs, smart phones, complete loan waiver, increase of old age pension to ₹2,500 per month but has failed to deliver…We on the other hand in Delhi are fulfilling our election promises. You must have heard that in Delhi, schools and hospitals have improved. If you want to improve quality of life vote for AAP,” said Mr. Kejriwal.“The Congress and the BJP are only befooling people as they don’t have any interest in working for the welfare of the public,” he added.As the roadshow cruised through Khanauri, a group of people also raised black flags and shouted slogans against him for allegedly “defaming” Punjab on the issue of drugs. The police cleared the protesters.Mr. Kejriwal also tried to strike a cord with Sikhs by claiming that it was due to the efforts of Mr. Mann that for the first time in Parliament tribute was paid to the martyrdom of Chhote Sahibzaade (younger son) of Guru Gobind Singh.“Neither the Congress nor the Shiromani Akali Dal in the last 72 years of independent India had been able to do this. It was due to your MP’s [Bhagwant Mann] effort that tribute was paid to Chhote Sahibzaade. And, now every year this will continue,” said Mr. Kejriwal.As the roadshow reached Lehragaga, 33-year-old Beant Singh, a vegetable vendor, felt that while the party does not have the kind of wave it had during the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, yet the sitting MP has an edge over his competitors owing to his “personal touch’” with the public.At Moonak, Aman Kumar, who runs an electronic repair shop, also believes that the way the sitting MP has been in touch with the locals in his constituency, could benefit him in the upcoming election. “Also, the ruling Congress government has failed to keep its promises…I am still waiting for a smart phone…Akali Dal has also not done anything that I can trust them,” he says.Deepak, who works with a leading mobile phone company at village Jakhal, says “while several development work in the village has been done by Shiromani Akali Dal’s Parminder Dhindsa as MLA, yet I somehow feel Bhagwant Mann is finding favour among people, will he win or not I can’t say.”Sangrur, which has predominantly seen electoral battle between the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress, in this election is witnessing a three-cornered fight. While AAP MP Bhagwant Mann is fighting to retain his seat, the Congress has fielded former MLA Kewal Singh Dhillon. Shiromani Akali’ Dal’s Parminder Dhindsa, a five-time MLA and former Finance Minister in the previous SAD-BJP government is also in the fray. The Punjab Democratic Alliance has fielded singer and actor Jassi Jasraj as its candidate.last_img read more

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The strange history of the North American Arctic

first_imgArchaeologists mapping ancient cultures in the North American Arctic—a region spanning present-day Greenland—have long puzzled over how different cultures relate to one another. Now, an unprecedented large-scale genomics study has traced many such cultures to the Paleo-Eskimos, a people who early inhabited the harsh environment continuously for 4000 years, only to vanish mysteriously about 700 years ago. The discovery could change how scientists understand migration patterns in the North American Arctic.“This type of study … will be the key to solving many questions in history and prehistory,” says Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who was not involved with the research.Archaeologists have found many distinct cultures in the New World Arctic’s past that belong to the Paleo-Eskimo tradition. First came the Saqqaqs, people who lived in tent camps and chased caribou and seals about 4000 years ago. Succeeding them were the Dorsets, walrus hunters whose culture went through three distinct phases 2800 years ago. Finally came the Thules, ancestors to modern Inuits, who sailed in large skin boats and hunted whales 1000 years ago.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(*)What puzzled scientists was the relationship between these cultures. Did they belong to one people or distinct groups? Did they represent one migration into the Americas from the Old World, or multiple waves?To answer these questions, biologist Maanasa Raghavan of the University of Copenhagen and her colleagues collected bone, teeth, and hair samples of 169 ancient humans from different time periods in the New World Arctic region. The team generated mitochondrial DNA and low-coverage whole genome data from these samples. They also sequenced genomes from present-day Inuits and Native Americans—the latter marked a first in research, as Native Americans often refuse DNA testing. The team obtained tribal permission with help from an indigenous woman.After comparing the ancient and modern genetic data, the researchers found that the Saqqaq and Dorset cultures belonged to one Paleo-Eskimo people, whose genetic lineage continued in the region for more than 4000 years, from 3000 B.C.E. to 1300 C.E., contradicting previous theories that the diverse cultures came from different peoples.The Paleo-Eskimos are genetically distinct from Native Americans and Inuits, which means they represent a separate, later pulse of migration into the New World, says evolutionary geneticist Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen, a co-author of the study. This contradicts previous theories that humans arrived in the Americas in three waves, painting a scenario of four waves instead—the Amerinds, the Na Dene Native Americans, the Paleo-Eskimos, and the Neo-Eskimo Thules.The discovery, reported online today in Science, gives researchers a better understanding of Paleo-Eskimos—a people who were close to nature and held on to traditional values—while raising more questions about them. For one, the study suggests that Paleo-Eskimos were a resilient people who survived Artic climate changes for thousands of years, including cold spells that depopulated most of the region. During those times, they likely took refuge in resource-abundant areas such as southern Canada, and spread out across the Arctic again during warmer times, Willerslev says.Those residing in southern Canada would have shared the land with Native Americans for thousands of years, he says, yet genetic and archaeological evidence indicates no signs of mingling or intermarriage. “When we see people meeting each other, they may fight each other, but normally they also have sex with each other,” he says. “That does not seem to be the case here.”In fact, genetic analysis shows that all Paleo-Eskimos shared the same mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mothers to children. This unusual homogeneity suggests few women were among the early Paleo-Eskimo settlers, Willerslev says.The finding is consistent with previous Y-chromosome analyses that suggest early Paleo-Eskimo settlers could have ranged from as few as 40 to 50 people closely related to one another, says anthropologist Theodore Schurr of the University of Pennsylvania, who was not involved with the research.The tiny founder population might also explain why Paleo-Eskimos didn’t interact with other groups, but instead evolved diverse cultures on their own, Schurr says. Scientists suspect that even at the height of development, the Paleo-Eskimo population never exceeded 3000.These reindeer hunters would have broken off into small pockets scattered across the New World Arctic, Schurr says. Each pocket may have adapted to local conditions and developed individual lifestyles in isolation.What intrigues researchers most is why the Paleo-Eskimo lineage disappeared after the late Dorsets, around the same time that Neo-Eskimo Thules expanded rapidly to the Arctic. Archaeologists have found no evidence of violent conflict between the Thules and the Dorsets, but it would be hard to ignore contrasts between the two groups. The whale-hunting Thules lived in large, well-organized villages and boasted advanced technologies such as dog sleds and sinew-backed bows. The Dorsets, on the other hand, lived in small villages of 20 to 30 people and hunted with chipped stone blades.The researchers suspect that the Dorsets might have been pushed out to the fringes of the Arctic, or perhaps annihilated by a disease. “It’s just mind-blowing to imagine an entire people who just completely vanished,” Willerslev says.last_img read more

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Here’s what draws carnivores to blood

first_imgWhat is it about the scent of blood that makes carnivores go crazy? It may all come down to a single molecule, according to a new study. Tigers and wild dogs were drawn to this compound as much as to blood itself. The findings shed light on how animals recognize complex substances through smell and could even help curb some human phobias.Like footprints in the snow, the scent of blood can guide meat-hunting animals to wounded prey. Yet blood, like many substances with strong smells, contains myriad molecular ingredients, only some of which may play a role in attracting predators. In general, it’s tough to pin down the role that all molecules in a substance might play, says Matthias Laska, a zoologist at Linköping University in Sweden. “You have to start by making a best guess.”For Laska and his colleagues, that guess started with a molecule called trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal. The molecule—a so-called aldehyde—carries the telltale metallic stench of blood and is found in pigs’ blood and perhaps in all mammalian blood, Laska says.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(*)To find out if the molecule is really what attracts predators, Laska and colleagues tested how 40 meat-eating mammals from four species would react to its scent. The researchers partnered with Kolmården Wildlife Park, a zoo in Sweden, which gave them access to Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica), South American bush dogs (Speothos venaticus), African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), and Asian wild dogs (Cuon alpinus) for the study.The researchers soaked wooden blocks with one of four substances: the aldehyde, horse blood, the fruity-smelling molecule isopentyl acetate, or a nearly odorless solvent. After throwing these substance-laced blocks to the animals, the researchers observed and noted how the creatures responded and interacted with the blocks.The researchers recorded thousands of interactions between the animals and the blocks in 20 days of experiments per species. On average, all four carnivore species played with the aldehyde-laced blocks just as much as with the blood-laced blocks, the team reports today in PLOS ONE. Moreover, the animals interacted with the blood- and aldehyde-laced blocks twice to four times as much as they did with blocks laced with the other two substances.Laska says he was surprised that his team’s initial best guess worked so well. “This is one of the things you can only dream of and hope for that happens not so often in your experiments,” he says.Still, he warns that the findings may not apply to all carnivorous animals and their olfactory systems. “Other animals and other olfactory systems might have evolved an alternative strategy,” he says. He hopes to answer that question by doing similar studies on other blood compounds and other carnivorous species, such as wolves. Laska even has a student performing a similar study using mice instead of carnivores. “We want to see if blood elicits escape behavior in prey species,” he says.“It’s an elegantly done study that’s trying to answer a basic question: whether one single molecule can trigger a complex behavior as well as a complex odor does, and it answers that question beautifully,” says Johan Lundström, an experimental neuropsychologist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Lundström notes the findings could have implications for human health, as some people fear blood’s smell or link it to a traumatic past event. By understanding which components of blood trigger responses in people, researchers could generate better treatments for mental issues such as blood-related post-traumatic stress disorder or phobias.last_img read more

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NIH sets aside more than $40 million for study of human placenta

first_imgThe Human Placenta Project, launched last year by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) despite uncertainty over how much money would back in the effort, has just received a whopping $41.5 million in 2015 to study the vital mass of tissue that sustains a developing fetus.The placenta carries nutrients and oxygen to a fetus from its mother’s bloodstream and removes waste; problems with its performance may contribute to health concerns ranging from preterm birth to adult diabetes. Yet it is the least understood human organ, according to Alan Guttmacher, director of NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Last year, Science reported on a NICHD workshop where planning began for a Human Placenta Project that would aim to monitor the placenta during a woman’s pregnancy, using new imaging approaches, tests for fetal molecules shed into a mother’s blood, and other tools.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 plan is reflected in the title of a 26 February request for grant applications, from NICHD and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), that calls for “Paradigm-Shifting Innovations” in how to assess the human placenta. One objective is to learn how environmental factors such as a mother’s diet and exposure to pollutants affect the placenta. The $41.5 million will support eight to nine awards lasting up to 4 years.The new funding commitment for the project comes on top of about $4.5 million in 2015 that NICHD and NIBIB have already set aside for research on tools to study the placenta. An NIH representative says that some of the additional $41.5 million could come from leftover funding from the National Children’s Study (NCS), a controversial plan to follow the health of 100,000 children for 21 years that NIH canceled in December. NIH is now looking for ways to spend $140 million that Congress appropriated for the NCS in 2015 on related studies.last_img read more

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Sikh soldier who fought racial US laws

first_imgHe was arguably the first turbaned Sikh to serve in the US Army – as a drill sergeant during World War I. When asked how he got inducted despite a beard, Bhagat Singh Thind (1892-1967) had quipped: “I suppose they figured I could kill just as many Germans with it as I could without it.”He was “honourably discharged” after the war ended in late 1918. But it was another battle that defined his life, one that he fought for over a decade. On February 19, 1923, he was denied American citizenship by the US Supreme Court. The ruling, which determined that Thind, “a high-caste Hindu of full Indian blood,” was not a “white person”, led to the revocation of his naturalisation as an American citizen and shut the immigration door on other South Asians too. His “Aryan origin” contention cut no ice with the judiciary, which accorded precedence to Caucasian lineage.Read it at Tribune Related Itemslast_img read more

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