Odisha zilla parishad poll results out: BJD 473, BJP 297

first_imgAfter compiling information on the election results, the State Election Commission on Sunday announced results for 846 zilla parishad seats for which elections were fought on party symbols.Single largestThe ruling Biju Janata Dal has emerged as single largest party winning 473 ZP seats while the BJP has improved its tally to 297. The Congress has won 60 seats.While independent candidates have won 11 seats, the CPI(M), the JMM and the Ama Odisha Party have succeeded in one seat each.Victorious candidatesThe State Election Commission will publish names of victorious candidates in a gazette notification to be issued on March 2.There are total 853 ZP seats. Elections could not be held in Chitrokonda-7 and Chitorkonda-8 in Malkangiri district, Komna-2 zone of Nuapada and Gania-20 of Nayagarh district. Announcement of results of Belapada-26 of Bolangir, Sheragarh-3 of Ganjam and Niali-20 of Cuttack districts was held up for varied reasons.Expressing dissatisfaction over elections results going against party candidates, State unit of BJP on Sunday announced to provide legal assistance to candidates who would approach the courts seeking recounting.Five phase pollsParty sources said at many places party candidates had won basing on the counting that followed voting in five phase of panchayat elections, but final results gave a different picture. It needs to be mentioned that the BJP had estimated its tally over 300 while the State Election Commission results put its tally at 297.last_img read more

Ghost streets and deserted booths mark Srinagar bypoll

first_imgGhost highways and young men armed with stones and stationed in alleys were the dominating feature of the Lok Sabha byelection in Budgam district of central Kashmir on Sunday. It’s 11 a.m. at the Bagura High School polling station. Just 40 out of the 1,800 voters arrived early in the morning to cast their vote and left swiftly to avoid being held up by protesters in the vicinity. “The killing of three civilians at Chadoora in March acted as a spark in the powder keg. All five Assembly constituencies in Budgam saw protests all day,” Reyaz Ahmad, a lecturer who decided not to vote, said. At the Parinooo polling station around 11.30 a.m., no voter turned up. However, there was brisk polling in the Gujjar-dominated Khan Sahib area. The morning trickle of voters was followed by massive street protests in the major towns of Chadoora, Beerwah, Charar-e-Sharief and Khan Sahib. Eight persons died here and more than 50 were injured.Polling staff face ordealA presiding officer said many employees failed to reach the polling stations because of stone-throwing. Nissar Azim, a polling staff member, was injured when youth hurled rocks and a petrol bomb on his booth in Budgam. “Since morning, we have faced stone-throwing. Around 1 p.m., we decided to stop polling,” Mr. Azim said.Several vehicles carrying polling officials were damaged. The police fired in the air and lobbed teargas shells to safeguard booths and the polling staff all day. In several areas, the protesters denied the polling staff exit. Around 14 EVMs were damaged. “It’s the first time, since the 1990s, that I saw Budgam erupting this way. The district has become a new source of violence,” Khazir Ahmad, a village elder said.last_img read more

No government can ensure zero crime: BJP Minister

first_imgAmid huge criticism of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh for failing law and order, a Cabinet Minister of the Yogi Adityanath government has raised eyebrows by claiming that no government can ensure zero crime.“No government can ensure zero crime…police cannot be deployed at every place given the size and population of UP,” said Urban Development Minister Suresh Khanna.But if there is a culprit, that person shall be punished, he said.While in the opposition, the BJP had regularly criticised the previous Samajwadi Party for failing to control violent crimes.Mr. Khanna says his party’s “objection with the previous government was that they give patronage to those people who commit crimes.”“Under our govt no official or party worker can give shelter to any criminal.Earlier many cases would not get registered. Now all FIRs are registered,” Mr. Khanna told journalists on Thursday.His comments came in the wake of a gangrape and murder case in Greater Noida, similar to the one witnessed in a highway in Bulandshar last year.A 40-year-old scrap dealer was shot dead and four women members of his family gang-raped by a group of armed men who waylaid their vehicle in Jewar, 60 km from Delhi, close to the Yamuna Expressway in the early hours of Thursday.The victims — three couples, an elderly woman and her son — were on their way to Bulandshahr carrying money for the treatment of a relative when the incident took place.last_img read more

Mamata agrees to some demands of Hill leaders

first_imgSigns of thawing of relationship between the West Bengal government and leaders of Gorkhaland movement was evident on Tuesday at the second all-party meeting when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee agreed to some of the demands of the hill parties.Five political parties of the hills participated in the meeting held at Uttar Kanya, which serves as Secretariat in north Bengal. Ms. Banerjee chaired the meeting where seven leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), including Benoy Tamang, who has recently been expelled by the GJM, was present.Mr. Tamang submitted a memorandum of 17 demands on behalf of the GJM. The Chief Minister agreed on at least two major demands of providing compensation to those killed in the Darjeeling hills in the three-month-long agitation and constituting a high level inquiry to probe the series of small intensity blasts that have rocked the hills. The Chief Minister also promised to pay salaries in advance to government employees who are ready to join work. Mr. Tamang described the talks as fruitful and emphasised on the need for a tripartite meeting on the ongoing impasse. Though expelled from the party, the State government still recognises him as the face of GJM. Mr. Tamang also stayed away from inner squabbles of the party at the meeting. He introduced all seven members of the GJM, including his supporters, as the representatives of GJM. The Chief Minister, who underlined the need for a permanent solution, said she would have to take opinion on the issue of tripartite talks as the hill leaders elected to the regional autonomous body of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration ( GTA) have resigned. The GTA provided provisions for tripartite talks, she added.“ I want peace in the hills … I don’t want to leave the hills and I feel people of the hills do not want to leave us,” Ms. Banerjee said. The next meeting on the issue will be held on October 17.Later, the GJM issued a statement urging the Centre to “immediately convene a meeting on the issue at the earliest so that the stalemate in the hills can be resolved.” While expressing disappointment with the outcome of the meeting, the GJM said it was “partly appreciative” of the CM’s statement that “every citizen has the right to do agitation.” The statement also added that the “90 days of indefinite strike and the death of 11 Gorkhaland supporters was not bargain for bonus, salary, winter allowance for teachers and development issues.”last_img read more

BJP MLA questions Virat Kohli’s patriotism

first_imgA BJP MLA from Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday questioned the patriotism of cricketer Virat Kohli for preferring Italy over India to get married to Hindi cinema actor Anushka Sharma. While inaugurating a ‘Skill India Centre’ here, the legislator from from Guna, Panna Lal Shakya, told a gathering: “Virat earned money in India… But he didn’t find any place to marry in the country. Is Hindustan untouchable?” He went on to add, “Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Vikramaditya, Yudhishthir got married on this land. You all must have got married here. None of us goes to a foreign country to get married … (Mr. Kohli) earned money here and spent billions there (Italy)… (he) doesn’t have any respect for the country. This proves he is not a patriot.” The Indian cricket captain and Anushka got married at a private ceremony in Tuscany, Italy, last week. Mr. Shakya said that the training (imparted at Skill India Centre) would be useless, if the trainees would not work here.“After getting trained, you all should work here in the country. This would be the biggest national service. Otherwise, earn money and go to Italy to marry like Virat, enjoy picnic and come back,” he said. He even said that dancers from Italy become millionaires in India.“If you think minutely, then you will know that the dancers of Italy become millionaires here and you are taking country’s money there. Then what will you give to the country? Howsoever big one may be, he can’t become our ideal person. Our ideal person is one who is honest to the country and earns money through hard work,” he added.last_img read more

Una Dalit victims to convert to Buddhism

first_imgA Dalit family, which was beaten up allegedly by ‘cow vigilantes’ in Una tehsil in Gujarat, have decided to embrace Buddhism. In July last year, seven Dalits of Mota Samadhiyala village were paraded and flogged for skinning a dead cow, an incident that caused nation-wide outrage after its video went viral. Later, four of these Dalit youths were taken to Una town, where they were tied up with a vehicle and thrashed allegedly by the cow vigilantes. A member of the Dalit family has alleged that the State government did not fulfil its promise to give jobs and a piece of land to the victims.“We have decided to convert to Buddhism as we have faced a lot of discrimination due to our traditional profession for skinning dead animals,” Vashram Sarvaiya said, the eldest of three brothers who were beaten on July 11, 2016.“We are yet to finalise the date, but we have asked the community members to come together and convert to Buddhism in large numbers,” he told PTI. Sarvaiya alleged that the government did not constitute a special court to try the case of assault — as was promised by the then Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. The police had arrested 20 people in the matter. “The accused are roaming free after they were released on bail, and the case drags on. We haven’t been given anything as promised by the State government.“All we have got was ₹3 lakh that is given to Dalit victims in atrocity cases, but most of the money was spent on litigation and medicines as our father Ashok Sarvaiya continues to suffer due to the thrashing and needs to be taken to a Ahmedabad hospital for treatment,” he said. With most of the accused out on bail, the family members are scared of stepping out of their home, Sarvaiya said.last_img read more

Left Front releases list of candidates in Tripura

first_imgCPI(M)-led Left Front on Tuesday announced its list of candidates for the coming assembly elections in Tripura without major changes. While all Ministers and prominent MLAs had been renominated again, 12 new faces also figured in the list. .Surprisingly, the smaller constituents of the front such as the CPI, RSP and the Forward Bloc had altogether been allotted three seats Except Forward Block, the other two were allotted two seats each in the last elections.CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar along with senior leaders of the front announced the list of nominees at the party head office. However, none of them explained why smaller left parties were given just three seats in the 60-member assembly.Chief Minister Manik Sarkar’s candidature from Dhanpur assembly seat came as no surprise though rumours were doing round that he might change his constituency. CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member Jharna Das Baidya was named for Badharghat constituency in Agartala city outskirts. With her and Krishna Mazumder, Mayor of Agartala Municipal Council, seven of the candidates were women.CPI(M) front DYFI’s state president Amal Chakraborty had been nominatedfrom Banamalipur seat. Current MLA Gopal Roy of Congress had won the seat for three successive terms.CPI(M) also nominated three Muslim candidates and one from Manipuri community.last_img read more

₹11 lakh spent on furniture for AAP MLAs

first_imgOffice furniture worth ₹11.75 lakh was bought by the Public Works Department for 21 MLAs who were appointed parliamentary secretaries to ministers and a trip taken by one of the MLAs was paid for by the Information Technology Department, documents submitted by the Delhi government to the Election Commission of India reveal. According to the submission of the Chief Secretary to the ECI in September 2016, all 21 parliamentary secretaries wrote to the General Administration Department (GAD) on April 8, 2016 to ask for “information/details regarding salary/remuneration, expenses, official vehicle etc”. The GAD replied on April 21, 2016 that “no facility” —“technical devices, vehicle, staff for office, residential accommodation, office space, travelling allowance or any additional emoluments/reimbursements of any nature” —had been given to parliamentary secretaries. The ECI on Friday recommended that 20 of the Aam Aadmi Party MLAs who had been appointed parliamentary secretaries on March 13, 2015 be disqualified for holding an office of profit. One of the 21 MLAs, Jarnail Singh of Rajouri Garden, had resigned in 2017. While the AAP has maintained that the MLAs did not get any monetary benefits or perks, the reply to the ECI shows that some departments did spend money on the parliamentary secretaries. Offices set upThe 21 MLAs were given rooms in the Delhi Assembly for their offices. The PWD said on September 14, 2016 that it received a requisition letter from the Deputy Secretary in the Delhi Assembly secretariat on May 15, 2015 for “providing 21 executive tables, 21 executive chairs, 136 visitors chairs for the 21 parliamentary secretaries for which ₹11,75,828 was spent by PWD”.The PWD said the Assembly secretariat had on June 16, 2015 “conveyed approval of ₹13,26,300 for this purpose”.Referring to the offices provided to the parliamentary secretaries, AAP Delhi convenor and Minister Gopal Rai said the decision was of the Assembly, not of the government. The Chief Secretary’s reply said the Sindhi Academy, which is under the Art, Culture and Language Department, had provided two small rooms to parliamentary secretary Alka Lamba for her office. The reply said the PWD had renovations done and the water and electricity bills were paid by the ACL department. When asked, Ms. Lamba told The Hindu “all 70 MLAs of Delhi are given office space in their constituency”. The Chief Secretary also informed the ECI that MLA Adarsh Shastri, parliamentary secretary to Minister of Information and Technology, was given ₹15,479 “on account of attending a conference session”. Mr. Shastri told The Hindu the amount was a “reimbursement for a trip to Mumbai to attend a conference”.“Under the office of profit law at the time, reimbursements were exempt. We were not given a chance by the ECI to reply,” said Mr. Shastri. The 20 MLAs on Saturday asked for an appointment with President Ram Nath Kovind, who has yet to give his assent to the ECI’s recommendation.last_img read more

Outgoing Tripura CM Manik Sarkar moves in to party office

first_imgOutgoing Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar left his official bungalow on Marx-Engels Sarani and moved in to the CPI(M)’s State headquarters here on Wednesday.Mr. Sarkar quietly checked into a room in Dasarath Deb Smriti Bhavan, the party headquarters, in the Melarmath area late in the afternoon. But party leaders let this be known only after 9pm.The Bhavan is about 500 metres from the Chief Minister’s bungalow.Mr. Sarkar, officiating until Biplab Kumar Deb is sworn in as the Chief Minister of the first BJP-led government on Friday, is entitled to a government accommodation, personal staff, multi-purpose worker and a house guard besides Y-category security. But he is unlikely to avail himself of such facilities and will continue to live in the party office’s one-room guest house, a party member said.“He moved in with his personal belongings and a few books. Only a TV set was added to the room for him to be updated with events across the world,” said a party leader wh did not want to be quoted.Mr. Sarkar, regarded as India’s poorest Chief Minister, does not own a home. The CPI(M) has said he donated his ancestral property in Udaipur, 65 km south of Agartala, to the party.Mr. Sarkar was born in Udaipur, as was his BJP successor, Mr. Deb.last_img read more

E-cigarette sale continues unabated in Rajasthan

first_imgDespite the Centre’s advisory issued last month asking the States to stop the sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) which use a nicotine-laced liquid, the Rajasthan government is yet to take action to protect the adolescents and youths against nicotine addiction. The sale of e-cigarettes continues unabated in the State.The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare had asked all States in an advisory issued on August 28 that the ENDS, including e-cigarettes, vape, e-sheesha, e-nicotine flavoured hookah and heat-not-burn devices were not sold, manufactured, distributed, traded, imported and advertised in any manner.Seven States – Punjab, Karnataka, Mizoram, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh – have already prohibited manufacturing and sale of e-cigarettes and the Ministry had asked others to follow suit.Great health riskThe Ministry, which was deliberating on framing regulations on ENDS since 2014, has found that the products which enable nicotine delivery are a great health risk to the public at large, especially the children, adolescents, pregnant women and women of reproductive age. The ENDS are also not approved as nicotine replacement therapy under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.In Rajasthan, a committee headed by a medical expert, Nalin Joshi, had submitted its report to the Medical and Health Ministry earlier this year with the recommendation for a ban on e-cigarettes. The committee had found that the nicotine-laced and heat-not-burn devices were “extremely harmful” for the youths.Vaagdhara, a voluntary organisation working for tobacco control in the State, has called for immediate ban on e-cigarettes in compliance with the Centre’s advisory.“Rajasthan has been a champion State in tobacco control. A prompt action on this front will protect our youths,” Vaagdhara secretary Jayesh Joshi said.last_img read more

Sex-sorted semen to control stray bulls

first_imgIn Uttar Pradesh, where the ban on cow slaughter is taken very seriously, what’s illegal for humans may well prove a godsend to tackle the growing menace of stray bulls: sex selection. The State government plans to reduce the numbers of stray bulls by making sure that they are never born.The government on Monday approved a ‘Sex Sorted Semen’ scheme, under which chances of cows delivering a female calf are as high as 90-95%. After successfully testing the scheme as a pilot project in three districts (Etawah, Lakhimpur Kheri and Barabanki), the government has decided to launch it in all the 75 districts of U.P. The State Cabinet has approved the project.Shrikant Sharma, U.P. government spokesperson and Cabinet Minister, said that in the pilot project, of the 581 calves born, 522 were female. “A success rate of around 90%,” he said. A senior government official said the scheme would be implemented on indigenous breeds, such as Sahiwal, Gir, Haryanvi, Tharparkar and Gangatiri. To avail of the scheme, cattle-breeders would have to pay ₹300 per conception, while in the drought-prone region of Bundelkhand, this levy would only be ₹100. Common practiceThe practice of ‘Amnapratha’, or the letting loose of unproductive cattle, is a common practice in Bundelkhand.The official said the aim of the project was two-fold: to increase the productivity of cows and to decrease the number of unproductive male cattle. “It will provide a permanent solution to the stray cattle menace in the next 2-4 years,” he said. With a 90% fall in the number of male calves, “there will be lesser number of unproductive animals, which will bring down the number of stray and destitute cattle,” said a government note. The government added that the fall in the number of male cattle will bring down the damage to crops and the number of road accidents caused by the animals. A production unit for the project will come up at Babugarh in Hapur district. Production is expected to start by March, said the official. A firm has been selected through global e-tendering to execute the project.Earlier this year, State Animal Husbandry Minister S.P. Singh Baghel had claimed that the number of stray cattle heads had increased only because the government had, since March 2017, strictly implemented anti-cow slaughter laws and shut illegal slaughterhouses.last_img read more

Plea challenges extension of 77th, 103rd amendments to J&K

first_imgA petition was on Monday filed in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court challenging the extension of 77th and 103rd amendments of the Indian Constitution to the State through a presidential order earlier this month. Advocates Mohammad Ashraf Bhat and Adil Asimi filed the petition on the grounds that the Constitution of India cannot be applied to Jammu and Kashmir in the absence of a Council of Ministers. They pleaded that as the State was under the President’s Rule since December last year, there could be no consultation and concurrence of the State government which has to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers. “There was hardly any need to apply 77th and 103rd constitutional amendment to the State. Similarly, there was no emergent situation to issue J&K Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019. The timing of these amendments especially when the State was in war-like situation, makes the entire exercise suspect,” the petition reads. ‘Damage to the State’“It appears that the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 and Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019, have been issued to pave way for a greater constitutional damage to the State,” it added. The petitioners said there are already a number of petitions pending before the Supreme Court, which seek the striking down of Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution which has been inserted in the said Constitution by virtue of Constitutional (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954. They said it is possible that by using the mechanism, which has been adopted for issuing Constitutional (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order and J&K Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019, the respondents will do away with Article 35-A. They said it is also possible that the respondents will amend any State law, including J&K Transfer of Property Act, for doing away with the requirement of being a permanent resident for acquiring any property in the State or applying for a job.last_img read more

Senior BJP leader quits party in Odisha

first_imgSenior BJP leader Subash Chauhan, who was denied a party ticket to contest from the Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency, resigned from the party on Tuesday. Mr. Chauhan quit despite being appointed vice-president of the party’s Odisha unit.In his resignation letter to the BJP’s State unit president, Mr. Chauhan said he felt that the party was now being controlled by a particular leader and the Sangh Parivar was being used to protect him.A former national president of the Bajrang Dal, Mr. Chauhan had contested the Lok Sabha election as a BJP nominee in 2014 and lost the election by 11,000-odd votes.The BJP has fielded its national secretary Suresh Pujari from Bargarh for the upcoming poll. Mr. Pujari had unsuccessfully contested from Sambalpur in 2014.After being denied the Lok Sabha ticket, Mr. Chauhan was offered a ticket to contest from the Bijepur Assembly constituency, which he had turned down. Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik is contesting from Bijepur this time.Mr. Chauhan’s resignation comes close on the heels of the resignation of Raj Kishore Das, a senior leader from Mayurbhanj district, from the BJP.Mr. Das, who resigned from the party on March 23, had formally joined the BJD on Monday.According to political analysts, the two resignations will affect the BJP’s poll prospects in western Odisha as well as in the Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha constituency in north Odisha.last_img read more

Curfew extended in Assam town

first_imgSlit bike seats trigger communal tension in Assam’s Hailakandi, curfew clamped The administration in southern Assam’s Hailakandi town extended curfew by 24 hours besides suspending mobile Internet services on Saturday.A person died on Friday night after two groups clashed over the parking of two-wheelers at a mosque. Officials said the condition of two among the 10 injured, including policemen, was critical.Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli said the situation was under control. “We have extended prohibitory orders by a day and suspended mobile Internet services to prevent spread of rumours.”Kuladhar Saikia, DGP, said the cybercell had been scanning social media activities. “Anyone found fuelling communal passion would be dealt with sternly,” he said. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal ordered a probe by an Additional Chief Secretary. Apart from sending Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya to Hailakandi, he had been coordinating with Addl. DGP Mukesh Agarwal and Barak Valley Division Commissioner Anwaruddin Choudhury, who are camping in the town.Also Read  “I met the local leaders of Hindu and Muslim communities in the presence of senior officials for lasting peace,” Mr. Suklabaidya said, adding that he visited the injured at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital.He also announced ₹5 lakh as compensation for the family of Jasim Hussain, who succumbed to his injuries, and ₹50,000 each for the injured.The All Assam Minority Students’ Union blamed the government for failing to pre-empt the violence that had been brewing for a long time.“The administration appears to have let things happen,” its president Azizur Rahman said.The violence was triggered after two-wheelers a group had been parking haphazardly, allegedly to block the entrance to the mosque, were damaged. Things went out of control when another group decided to offer namaz on the road.The two groups began pelting stones. This led to mobs vandalising shops and setting vehicles on fire.last_img read more

ScienceShot: When Is a Plant No Longer a Plant?

first_imgChloroplasts are what make plants so special. They give plants their green color, convert sunlight to sugars, and carry out a variety of other key chemical processes; they even have their own DNA. So two new studies are coming as a bit of a shock to the plant community: Researchers have found two types of plants that have ditched the genetic guts that make chloroplasts work. One, Rafflesia lagascae (pictured), sometimes called a corpse flower because of its smell, is a parasite that lives off a grapelike tropical vine. It has entirely lost its chloroplast genome, researchers report this month in Molecular Biology and Evolution. The second is four Polytomella algae that are also missing this DNA. Polytomella is a free-living, single-cell plant that gets its food from the fresh water it lives in. Like Rafflesia, this alga still has the shell of the chloroplast, a so-called plastid, but no chlorophyll to make it green. Typically, plastids still rely on their own DNA. But intensive DNA sequencing of four species of this alga did not turn up any plastid; nor did the alga’s main genome have any of the genes typically needed to keep a plastid genome running smoothly. The same proved to be true when other researchers sequenced all the DNA in Rafflesia. That team did find remnants of chloroplast genes, but those gene fragments belonged to the vine that this parasitic plant lives off. Both teams suggest that once the chloroplast lost its main job, photosynthesis, the plastid’s genes gradually disintegrated or moved either into the main genome or into the genome of the mitochondria, another cellular component, making the plastid genome unnecessary.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

White House plans big 2016 budget ask to fight antibiotic resistance

first_imgIn advance of the 2016 budget proposal, the White House has tipped its hand on one big priority: the fight against antibiotic resistance. A fact sheet released today describes how President Barack Obama plans to double the government’s investment in combating the mounting public health crisis of drug-resistant infections by spreading roughly $1.2 billion in funding across several federal agencies.That sum includes $650 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to study mechanisms of resistance in bacteria and promote the development of new antibiotics and diagnostics. Funding for NIH would also support a clinical trial network that would let drug developers more easily collect data across multiple clinics, according to the fact sheet.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would receive $280 million for monitoring and research, including the addition of 10 sites to its Emerging Infections Program. The fact sheet also hints at two new programs: a detection network to identify new outbreaks and a comprehensive “isolate bank” to collect known resistant bacteria.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(*)Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration would receive $47 million to evaluate new drugs and diagnostics and to continue its efforts to phase out the use of certain antibiotics in feed animals—a major threat to the value of these drugs as human medicines. The Department of Agriculture would also see a quadrupling of its funding to explore alternatives to antibiotic use in livestock.The comprehensive approach closely follows recommendations from a recent report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, notes Amanda Jezek, vice president of public policy at the Infectious Diseases Society of America in Washington, D.C. “This seems to be what we were hoping for in terms of next steps,” she says.The proposal is the latest in an international effort to revitalize research and drug development on antibiotics—a historically inhospitable industry for big pharmaceutical companies. The short course of treatment for antibiotics and physicians’ desire to withhold the most effective drugs for future emergencies make it hard for companies to turn a profit. And in the scientific quest to identify new targets for antibacterial drugs, “the low hanging fruit has been picked,” says Gail Cassell, a drug company executive and visiting scholar at Harvard Medical School who chairs a task force on antimicrobial resistance for the American Society for Microbiology.But the new funding is likely to stimulate development, says Cassell, who praises in particular the White House’s emphasis on new diagnostics. Doctors desperately need ways to detect resistant microbes and choose the right treatment quickly, without waiting days for lab results. Earlier this year, the White House announced that NIH and BARDA would co-sponsor a $20 million prize for a quicker test to recognize highly resistant infections. But Cassell points out that companies developing these technologies face other barriers—notably the complexities of health care reimbursement for their products—that can’t be addressed with a government funding boost alone.Jazek expects this part of the budget proposal to meet with friendly ears in Congress—both the House of Representatives and the Senate have prioritized the issue and have proposed bills to create an accelerated approval pathway for new antibiotics, she points out. “The federal budget picture is going to be challenging,” she says, but in the jockey for new money, this proposal “stands a better shot than most.”The antibiotics initiative will part of Obama’s budget request, to be fully unveiled on 2 February, for the 2016 fiscal year, which begins in October.Click here to see all of our Budget 2016 coverage.last_img read more

Stem cell pioneer joins forces with stem cell fraudster

first_imgThe scientist who once fraudulently claimed to have created embryonic stem cells matched to human patients and the one who really did it plan to conduct joint research, a Korean newspaper reported this morning. A Chinese regenerative medicine company will provide financial support, according to the account.The two scientists would seem an odd match. In 2006, Woo Suk Hwang had to retract two papers published in Science in which his team claimed it had used the technique employed in cloning Dolly the sheep to create human embryonic stem cells matched to specific people who had various diseases.    After investigators determined all the claims were bogus, Hwang was fired from Seoul National University and later convicted of embezzling research funds and bioethics violations. He escaped jail time with a suspended sentence. Since his downfall, Hwang has quietly continued his cloning work on animals, particularly pet dogs, at Seoul-based Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, a private institute friends established specifically for him.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(*)Despite his claims being deemed fraudulent by a Seoul National University panel, Hwang was awarded an American patent covering his technique in February 2014. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, of the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, made a series of breakthroughs in primate stem cell research in recent years. He reported in May 2013 using the Dolly technique, known more formally as somatic cell nuclear transfer, to derive stem cells from cloned human embryos, including from a baby with an inherited disorder. More recently he has published several papers related to gene replacement to prevent inherited mitochondrial diseases. He also founded MitoGenome Therapeutics, reportedly to commercialize his work.Hwang, in what is billed as an exclusive interview, now tells South Korea’s Dong-A Ilbo newspaper that he, Mitalipov, and Xiaochun Xu, CEO of Boyalife Group of Wuxi, China, have agreed to jointly work on the mechanisms of cloning. Boyalife, which has a number of stem cell– and regenerative medicine–related research and commercial efforts, will put up about $93 million.The newspaper says initially work will focus on animal cloning but eventually move on to work with human materials. Mitalipov’s “strength is in primate stem cells. My specialty is in cell nuclear transplantation. So we’ve agreed that if we combine his strength with mine, we can create a breakthrough outcome in curing maternal line genetic disease, on which he is now focusing,” the paper quotes Hwang as saying. Hwang said they will place their laboratory in China to avoid Korea’s strict bioethics regulations. An official at Sooam confirmed in an e-mail that the newspaper story was accurate. A Boyalife official sent pictures indicating that a signing ceremony with Hwang and Mitalipov took place in Jeju, South Korea, on 13 January. Mitalipov has not yet replied to requests for  confirmation and comment.Ahn Mi-Young is a freelance writer in Seoul.last_img read more

Unilever To Acquire GSK Health Food Portfolio For Over Rs 27,750 Crore

first_imgAnglo-Dutch FMCG giant Unilever Monday said it will acquire health food portfolio, including popular brands Horlicks and Boost, from GlaxoSmithKline in India and over 20 other markets for 3.1 billion pounds (about Rs 27,750 crore).As part of the transaction, Unilever’s Indian arm, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) will acquire GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (GSK CH India) via an all-equity merger, valuing the total business of the latter at Rs 31,700 crore.Read it at India TV Related Itemslast_img read more

The Most Beautiful Woman In The World

first_imgOne of my most evocative childhood memories is sitting cross-legged on the edge of my parents’ bed watching my mother, Sandhya, putting on her sari before an evening party. Deftly folding the fabric still warm from my father’s expert ironing job, she would transform the long cloth into a garment. Pink, orange, gold, the intricate threadwork would catch the light as she pleated and wound the sari around her body. With a satisfied flourish she would toss the ornate pallu over her shoulder as my father, younger brother, and I admired her handiwork. Determined to help I would pick out matching bangles and a bindi. When at last she carefully positioned the bindi between her eyebrows she was ready, hopelessly glamorous, a Bollywood heroine of my very own. The birth of my own baby girl this past July has had me pondering the unique relationship between my mother, an Indian immigrant, and myself, her daughter, born and raised here. Unfortunately, the theme of generational and cultural conflict has come to dominate Indian American explorations of female identity and familial relationships. The tired cliché of tradition versus modernity is very often played out in literature and film, particularly through the clothing choices of women. One has only to think of the common stereotype of the “Westernized” daughter who rebels against her family by hiding her tank top and miniskirt under bulky clothing, surreptitiously changing in the car before going out. Or the mother making yet another cup of chai in the kitchen dressed in a drab salwar kameez, a dupatta modestly covering her head.The prevalence of such images points to the importance of clothing as a marker of identity and belonging, but reduces mothers and daughters to ciphers of so called tradition and modernity, of East and West. As Indian American women navigate our way among the intersecting cultural norms that make up our lives as diasporic subjects, clothing and beauty rituals are one of the most powerful ways we define ourselves. Practices like threading, mehndi, or wearing a sari are not simply reproduced here in the U.S., but continue to change and evolve, as they do in India itself. Mothers do not just pass down traditions to their daughters. They involve them in a dynamic process of interpreting these practices to make them relevant to their everyday lives. Sharing in this process gives us ownership of the stylistic modes by which we perform our racial and gender identities.Growing up desi in the Bay Area in the 1980s presented certain challenges. As an Indian American girl I was bombarded with idealized images of femininity in the pages of the books and magazines I devoured (I’ll never forget the Sweet Valley High twins: tall, blond, green-eyed, “the perfect size 6”) and later from the Bollywood pop culture I became obsessed with in my teens. Nevertheless, my mother was my first and most influential model of femininity, of what it meant to be an Indian American woman. She was always effortlessly chic even in jeans and a shirt, but when she wore Indian clothes she dazzled me. Far from being embarrassed when my mother would wear saris or salwar kameez to school functions or out to dinner, I felt like I had the most beautiful mother in the room. This perception of beauty developed my sense of what Indianness could mean: a brand of glamour and cosmopolitanism to ameliorate the provincial nature of small town America. By sharing her comfort in pulling from the sartorial traditions and stylistic sensibilities of the many cultures in which we moved, my mother imparted to me a sense of self-confidence as I shaped my own version of Indian American femininity.Part of the richness of the relationship between mother and daughter is its symbiotic nature, something I am only really beginning to understand after the birth of my own daughter, Naina. Just as a mother imparts confidence to her daughter, a daughter’s gaze, full of love and admiration, provides her mother with a renewed sense of her own intrinsic beauty.Our society is one that prizes youth above all else. Becoming a mother and turning thirty all within a span of three months, I suddenly felt old for the first time in my life. But when I see the way Naina looks at me I am reminded of the way I still look at my mother. I like to think that while she always modestly brushes off my effusive praise my mother is able to see herself through my eyes for even a moment, duniya ki sabse badi haseena — the most beautiful woman in the world. Related Itemslast_img read more