HP budget session likely to be stormy

first_imgThe last budget session of the Congress government is going to be a stormy affair in view of the latest round of allegations and counter allegations on the issue of corruption and mafia rule in the hill State. Both the government and the Opposition are planning to have their legislature party meetings on February 28 to chalk out their strategies.The BJP legislature party meeting will be addressed by Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Prem Kumar Dhumal at the State Guest House in Peterhoff. The party will focus mainly on the issue of corruption and raise the charges levelled against the various Ministers and MLAs in past four years. The party had recently submitted a detailed chargesheet on the Congress government’s misdemeanours, during the present tenure, to Governor Acharya Dev Vrat.Forest mafia The BJP is already running a campaign against the Congress government and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for ‘patronising’ various drug peddlers, mining and forest mafias in the State. The Chief Secretary and Director General of Police admitted a few days ago that there had been a sharp increase in the number of drug and narcotic seizures in the State.Though the police have denied any political patronage to the drug mafia, the manifold increase in its trade has raised many eyebrows.last_img read more

Joint call to fight BJP sounded at Lalu rally

first_imgJD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, who has opposed party president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to rejoin the NDA, declared on Sunday that a national level grand alliance will be formed to take on the BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections as “the country today is passing through a dangerous phase.”Mr. Yadav was speaking at the massive BJP bhagao, Desh bachao (oust BJP, save country) rally at the Gandhi Maidan here, organised by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Leaders of over 20 political parties joined RJD supremo Lalu Prasad on the stage to attack the ruling BJP at the centre and its alliance partner in Bihar, the JD(U) and appealed to the crowds to oust them from power in 2019. “It was to oppose communal forces…fascist forces [that] I supported Nitish Kumar as Chief Minister, though I knew him well that he is not a trustworthy person but the situation demanded so…and see how overnight he did a turnaround and solemnized his marriage with the BJP in hours,” said Mr Prasad in his half-hour scathing attack. He added, “Now no political party would trust Nitish Kumar…this was his last palti (somersault)”.“Now Nitish will not come to power, but Lalu will,” asserted Mr. Prasad.The RJD chief also attacked BJP and said he would not be cowed down with their pressure tactics. “Phansi per latak jayenge par BJP se samjhauta nahi karenge..hum jhukane wale nahi hai (will be hanged but not compromise with the BJP…I’ll not be cowed down),” he said.Mr. Sharad Yadav also attacked the BJP and said, “Here on this stage a grand alliance has been made…earlier attempts were made in Delhi but it was not successful…here, at this stage in Patna it has been formed.” Mamata flags PanchkulaMeanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “They [BJP] can only spread violence but cannot control one as was evident recently in Panchkula”. “It is a government at the Centre of the agencies, by the agencies and for the agencies…they use agencies to terrorise people whoever dares to speak against them,” said Ms. Bannerjee. She also declared that “like nasbandi (sterilisation) had cost Indira Gandhi’s government, this notebandi (demonetisation) will remove BJP from power.”last_img read more

Show Padmavat in court, directs Rajasthan HC

first_imgThe Rajasthan High Court on Friday directed producer-director Sanjay Leela Bhansali to show his film Padmavat in court before passing an order on his petition seeking the quashing of a First Information Report.The FIR was registered at the Didwana police station in Nagaur on February 17, 2016. Besides him, actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone were also named as accused.The case was lodged on the complaint of two individuals who alleged that the movie would disrupt communal harmony and hurt religious sentiments of a community. Padmavat is slated for release on January 25.Meanwhile, Gujarat has also joined the States where the film will not be released. Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani on Friday said, “We banned the film based on inputs on the law and order situation. The ban continues in the State.”last_img read more

Pashmina and silk: Global buyers flock to Kashmir

first_imgOver 120 delegates from 16 countries converged in Srinagar on Saturday to have a first-hand experience of exquisite products handmade by Valley artisans, providing a ray of hope to the otherwise-declining handicraft industry in the wake of growing instability in Jammu and Kashmir.“We are showcasing world-famous carpets, shawls, chain-stitch work, rugs, copper wares and paper mache to our visitors. We are hopeful it will go a long way to boost the handicraft sector here,” Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Javed Ahmad Tenga told The Hindu.Prospective buyers have come all the way from countries including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Australia, Mexico and Lebanon. The biggest group has come from Turkey.“My sister is launching a new line of products in Egypt. Pashmina is what has attracted us to Kashmir as brides would prefer it there. The material is light, fine and warm. Designs are equally exquisite,” Abdelrahman M. Abdou, an Egyptian carpet seller, said. “The weather is also an attraction to come to Kashmir.”The government failed to hold the seventh international buyer-seller meet in Srinagar for the past two years due to the ongoing instability and violence. The government sees the event as a good omen for the tourism industry too. “The presence of foreign buyers conveys a message to the outside world. Kashmir is a victim of deliberate vilification campaign in the country. This should dispel the myth globally that Kashmir is not just about conflict,” said J&K Public Works Minister Naeem Akhtar.‘Open J&K to Silk Route’Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti used the occasion to pitch for the opening up of Kashmir to the outside world. “I hope J&K opens up to the world as an international trading destination through land routes, realising its geopolitical situation, as part of a peaceful region,” said Ms. Mufti.She said Kashmir’s reintroduction to the influences of the Silk Route, as in the past for seven centuries, “would help in making the state a hub of economic activity in the region.”“I hope you will go back as our ambassadors in the international trading community and the masterpieces you carry from here will act as souvenirs of peace and goodwill,” the chief minister told the buyers.last_img read more

Want cheaper fuel? Visit this border outpost in Bhutan

first_imgDecades of informal trade between Assam and Bhutan, disrupted by insurgency, took a formal shape with the inauguration of a border trade centre at Darranga on Wednesday.About 90 km north of Guwahati, Darranga in Baksa district under Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) adjoins Samdrup Jongkhar, a major trade point in southern Bhutan.Besides oranges and potatoes, Bhutan exports some items produced by five industrial units near Samdrup Jongkhar. They include gypsum, ferro-silicon and iron nails.Attraction: cheap fuelFor Indians the real big attraction across the border is not iron and nails but is fuel — ironically imported from India. A litre of diesel and petrol in Bhutan averages ₹54 and ₹59 respectively, about ₹20-25 cheaper than the nearest oil outlet in Assam, where a litre of diesel is about ₹75 and petrol is ₹84.“I have four commercial vehicles, including two dumpers. The day I fill up all the four vehicles, I save more than ₹10,000. Cheaper fuel across the border is probably the reason why we do not have a fuel outlet despite the town developing into a major trade centre,” Ikram Ali, a Darranga-based contractor, said.Locals used to buy fuel in jerry cans from the lone outlet in Samdrup Jongkhar – about 500 metres from the trade centre on a 45-acre plot – but restrictions by Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and police put a stop to it six months ago. People in Assam, though, can get their vehicles filled across the border.The trade centre was completed in fiscal 2016-17 with ₹14.03 crore provided by the Centre under the Assistance to States for Development of Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities scheme. Though the centre started in fiscal 2017-18 to notch up ₹ 234.74 crore in exports to and ₹126.96 crore in import from Bhutan, the Government opened it formally on Wednesday.Has trade history “We have a history of trade with Bhutan through nine points along the border with Assam. But we could not give it a formal shape because of certain situations. We hope the trade centre would benefit the local economy,” Hagrama Mohilary, the Chief Executive Member of BTC and a former extremist, said.Bhutan made him nostalgic because of “days spent there”, referring to the time he headed the now-disbanded Bodo Liberation Tigers. Many insurgent outfits, including the United Liberation Front of Asom, had camps near Samdrup Jongkhar until they were dismantled during a joint operation by Indian and Bhutanese forces more than a decade ago.“This centre has been possible because of the change the people have sought. We hope it will strengthen trade and cultural ties with Bhutan,” Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said after its inauguration. A four-lane highway along the 264-km border with Bhutan that the Centre has approved for better connectivity is on the cards. “Among others, we are starting work on developing Rupsi Airport from October,” he added.last_img read more

Rajasthan Cabinet formation likely after CM’s Delhi visit

first_imgThe much-awaited move towards Cabinet formation in Rajasthan, where the Congress has been elected to power, is likely to be made in a couple of days, after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s visit to New Delhi. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, with whom the State’s top leaders will hold deliberations, is likely to have the final say in the matter.Deputy CM Sachin Pilot told reporters here on Wednesday that the decision would be taken at the All India Congress Committee office in Delhi after consultations with Mr. Gandhi. He said the State Cabinet would have representation from all communities and geographical regions, besides maintaining a balance between young and experienced legislators.About 15 MLAs are likely to get ministerial berths in the first phase. In view of the impending 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Gehlot faces the tough task of balancing caste and regional factors, as the major communities — Jat, Rajput, Gujjar, Meena, Brahmin and Muslim — expect to be represented. Each region is expected to contribute two Ministers.While Mr. Gehlot may keep the Finance and Personnel portfolios with himself, like in his previous tenure, Mr. Pilot may get the Home, and Urban Development and Housing Departments. Several members of Mr. Gehlot’s old team could make a comeback, according to sources in the Congress party here.Mr. Gehlot took charge of his office at the State Secretariat here on Wednesday. He offered floral tributes at Mahatma Gandhi’s statue on the Secretariat premises before assuming charge.Since Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), with its six legislators, has extended support to the ruling Congress, one or two MLAs of the party may be appointed Ministers. Similarly, the lone Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) MLA Subhash Garg, elected from Bharatpur, is certain to get the Cabinet berth, as the party was in a pre-poll alliance with Congress.Dr. Garg was the chairperson of the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education in the previous Congress regime. In the profile of the ruling party’s MLAs, the number of victories in Assembly polls, and previous appointments as Ministers, are expected to be important considerations.In addition to veteran leaders C.P. Joshi, B.D. Kalla, Raghu Sharma and Shanti Dhariwal, other names doing the rounds for Ministers’ appointments are Mahesh Joshi (Hawa Mahal, Jaipur), Deependra Singh Shekhawat (Srimadhopur), Pratap Singh Khachariawas (Civil Lines, Jaipur), Rajendra Pareek (Sikar), Krishna Poonia (Sadulpur), Harish Chaudhary (Baytoo), Ameen Khan (Sheo) and Vishvendra Singh (Deeg-Kumher).last_img read more

‘Forged alliance with BSP to ensure Netaji’s win in LS polls’

first_imgSamajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has said that he forged an alliance with the BSP so that his father Mulayam Singh can win with “record votes” from whichever seat in Uttar Pradesh he chooses to fight the Lok Sabha polls.His comment came days after SP patriarch Mulayam Yadav — popularly known as Netaji — expressed “displeasure” over his son’s decision to enter into a tie-up with the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party. “I have made the alliance with the BSP so that Netaji can win with record votes in the State from wherever he contests the Lok Sabha polls,” Mr. Yadav said.Ms. Mayawati and Mr. Yadav had jointly announced the alliance in January, saying the BSP and the SP will contest 38 parliamentary seats each out of the 80 in Uttar Pradesh. However, when the parties released the list of seats shared between them, the SP got 37 seats and the BSP 38.‘With his blessings’Asked about Mr. Mulayam Singh’s statement last week in which he sought to know the basis for “giving away” 38 seats to the BSP, Mr. Yadav said, “When I was going to address a press conference to announce the alliance with the BSP, I had met Netaji and took his blessings. I had informed that in the alliance we will be getting half of the seats.” Following the seat-sharing announcement, the SP patriarch had said, “Now, we have only half the seats left. Our party was stronger.” On the distribution of tickets, Mr. Yadav said, “The seats which we are going to contest are final. Now, the list of party nominees will be finalised soon. We have already identified candidates. There is no problem in it.” When asked about reports of some SP members being disgruntled over not being considered for ticket, he said the party has been making preparations for the past one year on all seats and its leaders were asked to work on the ground in their respective areas and support whoever is given a ticket. “We all are united and contest with full force,” the SP president said. Several times, decisions in politics are taken keeping in mind equations. “Our ticket selection was on for a year, and we got 40 applications, the maximum, from those interested to contest from Amroha, 32 applied for the Jaunpur seat. We will take a decision accordingly,” he said. He said two seats — Raebareli and Amethi — have been left for the Congress and two for the RLD. On the alliance’s objective, Mr. Yadav said, “Our fight is to save the Constitution and fight those who have taken two oaths, one of government and the other of the RSS. Our goal is one — to remove the BJP and change the PM.”last_img read more

Doctors seek Ministry help over exam fee

first_imgDoctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, have written to the Union Health Ministry asking it to urgently look into the “irregularities in MD/MS examination fee in AIIMS Rishikesh”, which is charging ₹15,000 as exit fee for the exam. While the AIIMS in Delhi charges ₹300, the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, charges ₹1,100 for the same exam, they said.In the letter, AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association president Dr. Amarinder Singh Malhi said: “We believe that appearing for final exams after fulfilment of all due requirements is the basic right of a resident and charging such exorbitant money for an exam is forceful and organised loot. We also want to highlight the fact that when you compare this fee with AIIMS Delhi, it is beyond logical reasoning.”‘No RDA’ They also demanded that all AIIMS should have administrative uniformity and such irregularities should be checked by a committee.“RDA is not allowed in AIIMS Rishikesh, which is highly unfair as residents have no proper channel for voicing their grievances against excesses of the administration. Such a decision by the AIIMS Rishikesh administration is hurting the credibility of AIIMS,” the letter added.last_img read more

‘Total Recall’ for Mice

first_imgOur imperfect memory is inconvenient at the grocery store and downright dangerous on the witness stand. In extreme cases, we may be confident that we remember something that never happened at all. Now, a group of neuroscientists say that they’ve identified a potential mechanism of false memory creation and have planted such a memory in the brain of a mouse.Neuroscientists are only beginning to tackle the phenomenon of false memory, says Susumu Tonegawa of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, whose team conducted the new research. “It’s there, and it’s well established,” he says, “but the brain mechanisms underlying this false memory are poorly known.” With optogenetics—the precise stimulation of neurons with light—scientists can seek out the physical basis of recall and even tweak it a bit, using mouse models.Like us, mice develop memories based on context. When a mouse returns to an environment where it felt pain in the past, it recalls that experience and freezes with fear. Tonegawa’s team knew that the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for establishing memory, plays a role in encoding context-based experiences, and that stimulating cells in a part of the hippocampus called the dentate gyrus can make a mouse recall and react to a mild electric shock that it received in the past. The new goal was to connect that same painful shock memory to a context where the mouse had not actually received a shock.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(*)First, the team introduced a mouse to a chamber that it had never seen before and allowed it to explore the sights and smells: a black floor, dim red light, and the scent of acetic acid. In this genetically modified variety of mouse, neurons in the hippocampus will produce a light-sensitive protein when they become active. Because only the neurons involved in the mouse’s experience of this chamber became sensitive to light, these cells were essentially labeled for later reactivation.The next day, the mouse found itself in a decidedly more unpleasant chamber: The lights, colors, and smells were all different, and it received a series of mild electric shocks to its feet. While the mouse was getting shocked, the scientists used optical fibers implanted in its brain to shine pulses of blue light on its dentate gyrus, reactivating specific cells that had been labeled the day before as the mouse explored the first, less painful chamber. The hope was that the mouse would form a new (and totally false) association between the first room and the painful shocks.Even though the mouse never got shocked in the red-and-black, acid-scented room, it froze in fear when it returned there, confirming that it had formed a false, context-specific memory, the team reports online today in Science. Tonegawa says that it’s impossible to know just what the mouse experienced as the scientists stimulated its brain with light—whether it felt some or all of those earlier sensations, or even perceived that it was back in the first chamber during the shocks. But it is clear that the rodent recalled a painful experience when it returned to that first environment. It showed no signs of fear when placed in a third, unfamiliar chamber, demonstrating that the fear response was indeed triggered by the first room.Tonegawa suggests that these results could help explain some of the cases in which humans form false memories. We are constantly imagining, daydreaming, and remembering, and these activities might alter our experience of the events around us, he says. He offers the extreme example of a woman who was watching a TV show at home when someone broke in and assaulted her. She later insisted that the host of the show had been her attacker, apparently transplanting the object of her attention into a memory of the physical experience.The results are “clear and strong,” and the work is “a very profound finding,” says neuroscientist Mark Mayford of the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, who was not involved in the study. No previous experiment has shown that activating a precise pattern of cells can serve as a substitute for a real-life experience and create a learned behavior, he says. Mayford, whose work also focuses on learning and memory manipulation in mice, says it’s theoretically possible that humans form false memories in a similar way. But more importantly, he says, the research offers clues about where and how a new experience gets encoded in the brain to begin with. With this knowledge, he believes that neuroscientists can start to take a more quantitative approach, someday figuring out how many neurons it takes to give us the perception of what’s around us and what goes on in our neural wiring when we remember—or misremember—the past.last_img read more

Ancient Roman Military Camp Unearthed in Eastern Germany

first_imgArchaeologists have confirmed the presence of a long-lost Roman military camp deep in eastern Germany. The 18-hectare site, found near the town of Hachelbich in Thuringia, would have sheltered a Roman legion of up to 5000 troops. Its location in a broad valley with few impediments suggests it was a stopover on the way to invade territory further east.“People have been searching for evidence of the Romans in this part of Germany for 200 years,” says team leader Mario Kuessner, an archaeologist working for the state of Thuringia. “It took a long time before we realized what we had, and we wanted to be sure.”After a stinging defeat in 9 C.E., Rome largely abandoned hope of conquering the fractious German tribes north of the Rhine River. Yet written sources suggest that the Romans occasionally campaigned in Germany, probably to punish German tribes for raids on Roman territory. Until recently, the reports have been largely dismissed as braggadocio. The Hachelbich site, along with a battlefield near Hannover uncovered in 2008, show that the reports had more than a kernel of truth to them—and that the Romans were willing to cross their frontier when it suited their political or military needs.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(*)The encampment was discovered in 2010, during routine excavations as part of a road-building project. In the years since, Kuessner and his collaborators have excavated more than 2 hectares and used geomagnetic surveys to analyze disturbances in the soil over an additional 10 hectares to reveal the outlines of the camp.A rough rectangle with round corners, the camp is standard Roman military issue. No matter where they were, legions on the move set up a minifortress in the wilderness at the end of each day’s march. At Hachelbich, the meter-deep trenches dug around the camp were the easiest feature to spot in the soil. Two perimeter trenches have been found, each more than 400 meters long.On the camp’s northern edge, the soldiers built a gate protected by another trench that projected out past the perimeter. “It’s typically Roman—no Germans did that sort of thing,” Kuessner says. The trenches were part of a simple, but effective makeshift perimeter defense: A low wall of dirt was thrown up behind the trench, then topped with tall stakes, to create a defensive barrier almost 3 meters wide and 3 meters high. Erosion wiped away the wall long ago, but it left discolorations in the soil where the trench was dug.Additional evidence of an ancient encampment includes traces of eight makeshift bread ovens not far from the camp perimeter and a handful of artifacts, including four nails from the bottom of Roman boots, a piece of horse tackle, and part of a scabbard. The style of these artifacts—and a few radiocarbon dates—place the camp somewhere in the first 2 centuries C.E., too broad a range to be linked to a known specific event in Roman history.Michael Meyer, an archaeologist at the Free University of Berlin, who was not part of the team but who attended a press conference about the discovery last week, says that any of the elements by themselves wouldn’t have been convincing, but together the find is compelling. “Now we have the first camp that’s clearly more than a day trip from the edge of the empire,” he says. “It’s no isolated frontier outpost, but something that clearly points to the Elbe River,” hundreds of kilometers deep in German territory.The site’s exact whereabouts are being kept under wraps, to protect it from metal detector hobbyists who might loot or disturb it. When the fields of wheat and canola that cover it are harvested in the fall, excavations will continue. “The best would be if we could find coins or something with the legion number written on it,” Kuessner says. “That would help us pin down the date.”last_img read more

NIH responds to calls for investigation of monkey lab

first_imgThe National Institutes of Health (NIH) has responded to calls from members of Congress to investigate monkey experiments being carried out at a government lab. Four U.S. representatives—prompted by an aggressive ad campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which claimed that baby rhesus macaques at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development lab of Stephen Suomi were being ripped from their mothers at birth and being mentally traumatized—called on NIH to conduct a bioethical review of the lab.In a letter to the representatives sent late last week, NIH Director Francis Collins said that his agency “takes animal welfare allegations seriously” and that it had recently conducted an investigation into the lab. The review, he wrote, found no major problems with the research, though he did say additional steps would be taken to “further protect and improve animal welfare.”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(*)A day before Collins sent his letter, the American Psychological Association wrote to one of the U.S. representatives—Dina Titus (D–NV)—defending Suomi’s work, stating that the research “has enhanced our understanding of and treatments for mental illnesses such as depression, addiction, and autism.”last_img read more

Challenges Mount For Rahul Gandhi, Congress After Verdict

first_imgThe results of the assembly polls to five states, especially Uttar Pradesh, appear to mostly have accentuated difficulties for the Congress and raised questions about party Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s electoral appeal. Related Itemslast_img

Apparel exports to the US: India posts second-highest growth among top 5

first_imgWhile US President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ approach to curb imports of several products might have been a cause for concern to India, the apparel sector seems to be an exception. During the January-November period of 2017, India emerged as the only large apparel-sourcing destination other than Vietnam to post a jump in exports to the US. According to the US government trade data, among the top five apparel exporters to the country, Vietnam posted a 7.42 per cent growth in exports, while India saw its exports rising 2.19 per cent during the period on a year-on-year basis, show data from the Office of Textiles and Apparel (Otexa), under the US Department of Commerce. For India, the growth came despite its overall month-wise apparel export growth declining October and November 2017.Read it at Business Standard Related Itemslast_img read more

Deepening Fault Lines Within the Indian-American Community

first_imgIndian Americans are increasingly occupying an important place in political conversations both in the US and India. Being one of the fastest growing groups in the US – the third largest after Mexican and Chinese Americans – they have lately been targets of anti-immigrant rhetoric and actions. There have been policy proposals such as cutting down of H-1B visas, imposing new restrictions and reducing the number of immigrants entering through family reunification visas, the last one reiterated by President Donald Trump in his first State of the Union address.Read it at The Wire Related Itemslast_img read more

South African Indians Are Slowly Coming To Terms With Their Indian Identity

first_imgIn her recent book, “What Gandhi Didn’t See: Being Indian In South Africa”, author Zainab Priya Dala looks back from the vantage point of her own personal history – a fourth-generation South African-Indian of mixed lineage – and recalls that, as a child, she was hesitant about accepting her Indian identity, but contends that she has now come to terms with it.Read it at IOL Related Itemslast_img

Playing For India

first_imgWhat our babus propose, our judges dispose!Or so it seems. Indian sport — and with it the careers of several young and talented sportspersons, in particular — finds itself in a peculiar quandary, admittedly not of its own making. In 2008, in a piquantly timed move, the Indian government came out with its perverse version of a New Year “gift” for foreign-based people of Indian origin who were not citizens: a directive effectively prohibiting anyone who does not carry an Indian passport from representing the country in international sports meets.The directive disappointed and angered non-residents who felt that allowing their kids to represent their homeland was but a minor concession the Indian government could give in return for the remittances and expertise they have been collectively repatriating into their mother-country for decades. Furthermore, if an Italian-born foreigner like Sonia Gandhi could be offered India’s prime ministership, and run the country albeit by remote control, why stop a person of Indian descent from bringing sporting glory to the nation?  Equally vociferously, those who supported the policy decision viewed it as apt justice for “Indians” who opt to live and train in the more salubrious climes of the countries whose citizenship they have embraced, and who then feign Indian-ness only to be able to participate in international sports events where they otherwise wouldn’t have a sniffing chance of participation — leave alone, success — if they sought to represent their adopted countries. The issue of local contenders who face the odds of living and training in the grind of India’s less-than-international-standard conditions, and thus are unable to shine against the imported “Indians” in the selection trials, was another spiky issue in the controversy. Where would the home-grown talent end up if the latter routinely jostled them out of reckoning and deprived them of their own national colors? When would these sons and daughters of the soil ever get international exposure in the field of competitive sport?The prohibitory policy directive from India’s Sports Ministry (“Not Required Indians” Little India, February 2009) appeared at the time to have effectively resolved the controversy for good. But true to the traditional Indian belief that nothing dies, it only gets reincarnated in another form, the contentious issue raised its head again when the High Court of Punjab and Haryana last month struck down the governmental directive as discriminatory, and instead directed the government to allow people with Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards to represent the country in international tournaments.In Sorab Singh Gill v Union of India, the High Court bench was ruling on the petition of a shooter of Indian origin who obtained an OCI card in 2007, won two gold medals representing India in the Asian Championships in Kuwait, but was sidelined under the 2008 policy directive. The Court based its judgment on an April 2005 gazette notification by the Ministry for Home Affairs specifying that, apart from a multiple-entry lifetime visa and the exemption from registering with the Foreign Registration Office on every visit, an OCI cardholder could claim equal status with NRIs “in respect of all facilities available to them in economic, financial and educational fields….”Two later notifications from Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in 2007 and 2009 heaped several more benefits on OCIs, but the key citation was the April 2005 directive. But even here, the Court resorted to some rather sharply convoluted reasoning.For one, the word “sports” features nowhere in the cited notification. That however did not restrain the Court from enthusiastically accepting the petitioner’s argument — based on two precedents from the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India — that, since modern educational policies regard sports as an essential component of good education, the expression “education” must be given a broad meaning. The relevant question is how broad? Isn’t there a real danger of vitiating a concept by diluting — even polluting — it beyond a reasonable point? How far can one stretch an argument and expand its scope before it snaps like an over-extended rubber-band?  True, education at its most basic involves the positive development of every student’s mind, body and spirit. Also true, every educational institution catering to a growing generation of youths is duty-bound to provide facilities for sports and wholesome recreation as part of that experience. But aren’t we comparing apples with oranges? Can we honestly equate the honest-to-goodness sporting activity envisaged in a school curriculum with the glittering tamashas put on brazen display in the name of sport to push sales-driven corporate agendas? Even a cursory look at the rampant commercialization of international sports — cricket is the prime suspect here — puts into serious question this forced yet curiously facile linkage between sports and education today.For another, the court put forth the rather curious conclusion that it has not struck down the government’s policy directive, but merely put OCIs (meaning persons of Indian origin anywhere in the world who can afford to pay the one-time card fee of $275 or equivalent in local currency) on parity with NRIs. This defies comprehension. By allowing a non-citizen to represent the country in the face of a policy decision that sought to ensure “that players who are Indian citizens only represent the country in national teams,” the Court has all but pulled the rug from beneath the governmental authority and riddled its directive with loopholes. That’s not all. It cleverly sought to fine-tune the notion of Indian citizenship and its relinquishment to suit its ends. According to the judgment, the constitutional provision stripping Indian citizenship from someone who voluntarily acquires the citizenship of another country does not apply to Sorab Singh Gill, because he never “voluntarily” acquired U.S. citizenship. Reason: he was born there — obviously an act beyond the pale of his own volition. Add to this happy circumstance, the fact that he was brought to India by his parents when he was a year old, and has since resided and studied in India — and you have the argument sealed and delivered at least in the case of Sorab.All of which opens a Pandora’s Box of possibilities. The possibility that the Indian Government might appeal the judgment in the Supreme Court. The possibility that future litigation on this issue might turn and twist on the point that this is after all a High Court verdict which normally holds only within its state borders. Also that it was expressly relevant to a single individual, and so lacks broader application. And the possibility that our bureaucrats might circumvent the judgment with another cleverly crafted policy. To be fair, the government had come up with the exclusionary directive only at the behest of an earlier judgment: Delhi High Court, in Karm Kumar v Union of India, had asked for a uniform policy to standardize the selection process across different sports and sports bodies in the country. But the possibility one dreads the most is the devastating effect such a ping-pong skirmish between the bureaucracy and the judiciary could have on the careers of Indian-origin sportspersons the world over. Imagine the uncertainty of training for an international tournament with the gnawing suspicion that another policy directive or court verdict might scramble again one’s aspirations of playing for India.Karm Kumar’s father, Rahul, lambasted the system for ruining his son’s international career, which was on hold during the two-year pendency of the Sorab Gill suit, during which squash player Karm reportedly lost his peak form. An embittered Kumar (senior) has an interesting question for the ministry babus: “If my son has an OCI card, but was not allowed to play for his country because he does not have an Indian passport, what does the word ‘citizen’ in OCI mean?” Related Itemslast_img read more

Senators questioning tech company use of H1-B visa program

first_imgTwo senators are questioning several Indian companies on their use of H-1B visa program for highly skilled workers.Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and , have targeted nine Indian companies that used over a quarter of the 75,000 H-1B visas issued last year.The senators asked the companies several questions about their visa use, wages and layoffs, to which they are required to respond by May 29.“I continue to hear how people want to increase the number of H-1B visas that are available to companies. Considering the high amount of fraud and abuse in the visa program, we need to take a good, hard look at the employers who are using H-1B visas and how they are using them,” Grassley said in a news release.The letters, posted on Grassley’s Web site, were addressed to Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Saytam, Patni Computer Systems, Larsen & Toubro Infotech, I-Flex Solutions, Tech Mahindra Americas and Mphasis Corp.India’s Commerce Minister Kamal Nath has denounced the letters. “I am surprised both with the form and the content of the letter,” he said in a statement. “Issues such as work visas are intergovernmental in nature and should be dealt with accordingly.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

Vijay Mallya to Get £5,000 a Week as Allowance

first_imgAn application has been successfully filed by 12 Indian banks and a financial institution in a UK high court to freeze liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s assets worth nearly Rs 10,000 crore. The documents filed at the Queen’s Bench Division of the high court of justice state that the freezing order came on Nov. 24 but Mallya is seeking that the order be set aside.Mallya’s application that sought to set aside the freezing order was filed on Dec. 7. The claim brought by the Indian banks against the 61-year-old embattled businessman will come up for a hearing in April next year, according to the court document.“The First Respondent’s (Mallya) application to set aside the Freezing Injunction is to be set down for hearing on the first available date after 11 April 2018 with a time estimate of 2 days,” states the court document, PTI reported.As of now, Mallya is entitled to get only £5,000 a week and has requested the court that while his assets are frozen, the allowance should be raised to £20,000.The 13 Indian banks that have been listed as applicants in the litigation in the Queen’s Bench Division of the commercial court in England’s High Court of Justice are as follows: State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank Ltd, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, United Bank of India and JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Co. Pvt Ltd.The respondents listed are Mallya and related concerns — Ladywalk LLP, Rose Capital Ventures Ltd and Orange India Holdings.The banks moved the Commercial Court quoting an order of the Debt Recovery Tribunal, Bengaluru, that Mallya owed them Rs 6,203 crore. They sought enforcement of the Indian judgment in the United Kingdom under the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933 and the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments (India) Order 1958. They obtained an order restraining Mallya from moving his assets out of the United Kingdom up to a limit of Rs 9,853 crore and to prevent him from diminishing assets of the same value in or out of the country.The “freezing order” involves Mallya and related concerns being “restrained until further order, from removing from the jurisdiction any of their assets in the jurisdiction” up to a limit of £1,145,000,000. They cannot in any way dispose of, deal with or diminish the value of any of their assets whether they are inside or outside the jurisdiction up to the same value.Mallya has until Dec. 22 to give a statement confirming his worldwide assets. A two-day hearing will take place in April.“English court freezing orders impose onerous obligations. If full and frank disclosure is not provided, the courts will likely fine or imprison a defendant. It is therefore imperative that Mallya complies with all the court orders,” Pavani Reddy, the managing partner of Zaiwalla & Co Solicitors, London, said, the Times of India reported.Mallya faces accusations that his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines defaulted on loans and interest to a consortium of 17 Indian lenders in 2010. Mallya fled to the United Kingdom in 2016, and his extradition is now being sought by the Indian government. Related ItemsUnited KingdomVijay Mallyalast_img read more