Refinery given week’s time to demolish wall on jumbo corridor

first_imgThe administration of eastern Assam’s Golaghat district had set a week’s deadline to Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) to demolish a boundary wall erected on a major elephant corridor.The Supreme Court had on January 18 ordered NRL to remove the 2.2 km wall around its proposed township that included a golf course. The refinery was given a month’s time to comply.In a notice to NRL’s Chief General Manager (Human Resources) on February 14, the district’s Deputy Commissioner said the refinery should demolish the entire wall within seven days and ensure that the land so acquired was kept free of any barrier for facilitating the movement of elephants.The order, the notice pointed out, was in reference to the apex court’s order as well as that of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in 2016.Environmentalists had objected to the wall the refinery had erected in 2011 in – as the NGT had observed later – a part of the 133.45-hectare Deopahar Reserve Forest which the Assam Forest Department notified a day after the Supreme Court’s order.The refinery received flak from wildlife activists when a seven-year-old male elephant died of haemorrhage in May 2015 after trying to force its way through the wall. Videos also captured herds trying to cross the high boundary wall with barbed wire in vain. In August 2016, the NGT ordered NRL to demolish the wall within a month, but only a 289-metre stretch was demolished.The refinery challenged the NGT order to demolish the entire wall, but the Supreme Court said “there cannot be any township as elephants have the first right on forest”.last_img read more

Maharashtra Budget session curtailed to ease pressure on police

first_imgTo ensure tight security in the city and adequate police deployment across the city in wake of the current tension on the India-Pakistan border, the Budget session of the Maharashtra legislature was curtailed on Thursday. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in the Assembly that at least 6,000 police personnel are deployed in the Vidhan Sabha presmises during the session. “There is tension at the border and at this time it is important to maintain internal security. Mumbai being the financial capital of the country, the vigil needs to be tighter. There is no need to panic, but we must take extra precaution,” said Mr. Fadnavis. He informed the Assembly, that in a meeting [all party? or CM only?] held with security establishments [when?], it was observed that police required extra force to ensure adequate deployment. “This was conveyed to leaders of all political parties and it was unanimously decided to curtail the session. This decision has been taken to ensure the release of extra police force and make them available to provide security cover at other areas,” he said, reiterating that there is no need to panic. Mumbai police intelligence sources had told The Hindu on Wednesday that the city was put on high alert since the air strikes. Vote on accountThe Assembly approved the vote-on-account which has budgetary provisions for four months of the next financial year (April to July this year), without any debate.Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs Ajit Pawar and Jayant Patil said they were tabling their respective speeches on the interim budgetary provisions on the floor of the House. The appropriation Bill and vote-on-account were subsequently passed by a voice vote. The House was then adjourned for an hour and a meeting of the State cabinet was also held.Earlier, at the start of the day, NCP legislator Jitendra Awhad urged Mr. Fadnavis to move a motion that the State along with rest of the country stood firmly behind the armed forces and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan after an air combat on Wednesday. Accordingly, a one-line resolution was unanimously passed with the Assembly expressing solidarity with armed forces and demanding release of Wg. Cdr. Varthaman.last_img read more

Two militants killed in Kashmir’s Kulgam

first_imgSecurity forces killed two Hizbul Mujahideen militants in a pre-dawn operation in Kulgam on Wednesday. The police said Irfan Manzoor Bhat from Poniwah in Kulgam and Zahid Ahmad Mantoo from Ferripora in Shopian were surrounded by a joint team of the Army, the police and the CRPF in the Gopalpora area of Kulgam. “The operation was launched on credible inputs. Both the militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site,” the police said.Mantoo, they said, was involved in planning and executing a series of attacks in the area. “He was involved in a case pertaining to the killing of three policemen at Batgund Shopian last year,” the police said.Bhat, who joined militancy recently, was “part of a militant group behind the killing of Abdul Majeed Dar from Shalipora in Kulgam”.In Poonch district in the Pir Panjal Valley, one solider was killed died and two others were injured in an “accidental” blast.An Army spokesman said the blast took place around 9.15 a.m. “during a training activity on a military post in the Mendhar sector”.“One soldier was critically injured in the incident and later succumbed to his injuries,” the Jammu-based Army spokesman said.last_img read more

Depression’s Tipping Point

first_imgSomeday, a smart phone app that asks what you’re feeling 10 times a day may be able to tell you if you’re edging closer to depression—and recommend that you seek preventive therapy or drugs. Scientists have discovered that how quickly someone bounces back from negative feelings, over hours or days, can predict whether that person is at risk of an episode of major depressive disorder.“The holy grail of depression epidemiology is that we want to intervene early to prevent people from having depressive episodes,” says social scientist Stephen Gilman of Harvard University, who was not involved in the study. “Where this work is headed is making an advance in that direction, toward early detection and therefore early intervention.”Researchers asked more than 600 people—some healthy and some with a diagnosis of depression—to track their emotions for 5 or 6 days. Ten times a day, at random intervals, a watch would beep and the subjects would record how strongly they identified with each of four emotions: cheerful, content, sad, and anxious. Six to 8 weeks later, participants filled out a more detailed questionnaire that rated their levels of clinical depression.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(*)By the end of the follow-up period, about 13% of the subjects had experienced a shift toward being more depressed, a number consistent with what would be expected in the general population. Trends in the daily mood records, the team discovered, could predict whether a previously healthy person would make that shift toward depression.Mathematically, it turns out, the shift from a healthy state to a depressed state resembles other so-called tipping points—moments of critical mass where a system, such as changes to Earth’s climate or a social trend—shift rapidly from one state to another. Theories on tipping points suggest that as a system nears a tipping point, it becomes less resilient.“In any system, if you push the system a little bit out of equilibrium, then the closer it is to the tipping point, the longer it takes to return to equilibrium after that perturbation,” explains Ingrid van de Leemput, an ecologist at Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands who led the new work. Indeed, the longer a patient took to recover from feelings of sadness and anxiety, the more likely they were to be more depressed by the end of the study, suggesting that they were closer to a tipping point between health and depression, her team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The results matched with a mathematical model that the researchers had previously created to represent how emotional swings could signal an impending tipping point.“If a healthy person has an unpleasant call with their employer, they will be unhappy about it and dwell on it for 10 or 20 minutes but be done with it fairly quickly,” says psychiatry researcher Angelique Cramer of the University of Amsterdam, who collaborated with Van de Leemput. “What you see in people who are about to become depressed is that the next day, they are still sad about a phone call the day before.” Over time, she says, various symptoms of depression—negative mood, fatigue, and concentration problems, for example—can create a negative feedback loop that causes full-blown psychiatric disease. Cramer says the new research could lead to new ways for psychiatrists to track their patients’ well-being.“I think this could open up new avenues of research in many ways,” Gilman says. He’d like to see the work expanded to include more variables that are already known to increase depression risk—such as family history, previous episodes of major depression, and social factors. “Really what we want to know is where on the distribution of sadness and mood is the dividing line between a serious depressive episode and nondepression. And are there factors that can push people further from or towards that dividing line?”last_img read more

President’s Bioethics Panel Weighs in on How U.S. Should Handle Incidental Findings

first_imgJumping into the fray of a controversial topic, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues released a report this afternoon on how to handle incidental findings, discoveries about an individual’s DNA and other health-related information that show up while hunting for something else. Such potentially problematic findings could include an individual’s risk of certain cancers, her chance of passing on a deadly disease to her children, or a chromosomal abnormality that could cause infertility. Incidental findings have garnered increasing attention and concern of late, especially in genetics, where broad genome scans are turning up unexpected information that no one knows quite what to do with.The bioethics commission, chaired by Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, argues that physicians, researchers, and companies marketing DNA tests need to reframe how they think about all of this: While of course no one knows what will be buried in a given gene sequence, the fact that ancillary findings may be part of it should hardly be a surprise. Practitioners, the commission argues, should be ready to discuss this possibility with patients or research subjects. Gutmann penned an article in this week’s issue of Science summarizing the rationale behind the recommendations.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 commission left some of the stickiest details to others—which findings to return, for example, and whether biobanks have an obligation to supply incidental findings to the people whose DNA they store and share. In general, the commission recommended that researchers, physicians, and companies describe to potential recipients the findings that might arise; that recipients have a say in whether they get those findings back; and that research continue into incidental findings, to determine how common certain DNA variants, for example, might be in the general population. A full list of the recommendations can be seen here with the full report.The commission did suggest that researchers had the right to exclude from studies people who didn’t want potentially lifesaving findings returned to them and wondered whether researchers have a legal obligation to return certain findings and can be sued if they don’t.The new report is the latest in a growing stack trying to clarify the issue. This spring, a group of geneticists urged labs to actively look for incidental findings, such as certain genes predisposing to breast and ovarian cancer, and return those results whether people want them or not. That’s something the bioethics commission didn’t support. As the science that picks up incidental findings moves rapidly, the policymakers are doing what they can to keep up.last_img read more

Taking a Shot at a Tropical Killer

first_imgA vaccine against the disease leishmaniasis could save tens of thousands of lives every year. Now, scientists report that they have used snippets of DNA to spur mice to fight back against the parasites responsible for the illness, an approach they hope to soon begin testing in people.Leishmaniasis is caused by microscopic parasites of the genus Leishmania; some 20 different species can sicken humans. Leishmaniasis hits poor residents of tropical countries the hardest. The sandflies that spread the disease are silent and smaller than a mosquito. After a sandfly’s bite injects them into the body, Leishmania cells can attack the skin or mucous membranes, causing ulcers or disfiguring lesions. In an often lethal variety of the disease, they damage the liver, spleen, and bone marrow. Although the disease’s toll isn’t certain, estimates suggest there are about 1.3 million new cases and up to 40,000 deaths each year.Leishmania parasites are tricky foes, and so far no vaccine has received approval for use in humans. One challenge is that the parasites lay low inside our cells, out of reach of the antibodies triggered by most other vaccines. The key to eradicating these sheltered invaders, researchers suspect, is stimulating the immune cells known as T cells. Although two experimental leishmaniasis vaccines that use this strategy have undergone preliminary safety and effectiveness tests in people, the best method for enlisting T cells isn’t clear.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(*)Immunologist Peter Walden of Charité University Medicine Berlin and colleagues decided to try a DNA vaccine, a type of vaccine that is good at inciting T cells. Such vaccines contain DNA strands coding for proteins from a pathogen. Cells in the vaccine recipient’s body absorb the DNA and start churning out the proteins—also called antigens—which alert the immune system and prime it to attack if a real infection occurs.First, the researchers had to choose the right antigens. They settled on five different proteins that vary little across Leishmania samples from a range of species found around the world. To determine whether the antigens galvanize human T cells, the team obtained blood samples from people in India and Tunisia who had recovered from the disease or had been exposed to it without getting sick. They found that portions of all five proteins sparked a response by T cells from the blood samples.The researchers’ final vaccine mixture, which they tested in mice, contained five kinds of DNA strands, each coding for all or part of one of the proteins. The vaccine stimulated the mice to produce defenses against leishmaniasis parasites, Walden and colleagues report online today in Science Translational Medicine. T cells from the vaccinated animals reacted vigorously to Leishmania antigens. To confirm that the vaccine helped the animals combat the invaders, the researchers injected the mice with cells of one Leishmania species. Three weeks later, mice that received the highest vaccine dose carried 94% fewer parasites in their liver than did mice that received a control shot. Although some parasites remained in the mice that received the largest dose, Walden says there weren’t enough of them to cause disease symptoms.“We are ready for human trials,” he says. The vaccine should provide protection against different human Leishmania species, he adds, because the selected antigens are the same across species.Immunologist Paul Kaye of the University of York in the United Kingdom agrees that the time for human trials has come. “There is every reason to believe that they should move forward as soon as possible,” says Kaye, who’s excited that there are now three vaccines to try in humans. Kaye and colleagues’ own vaccine candidate, which stimulates T cells with a harmless virus that carries sections of two Leishmania genes, has already undergone a safety study in people, but the results have not yet been published.“This is a significant advance,” says vector biologist Jesus Valenzuela of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Rockville, Maryland. Walden’s group deserves credit for using human blood samples to identify the antigens, he says; other vaccine developers have used rodents.Leishmaniasis is one of the neglected tropical diseases for which research cash is hard to obtain. Still, Walden is hopeful that he and his colleagues will find financing for safety trials.last_img read more

Reader slideshow: Your most electrifying lightning photos

first_img By Meghna SachdevDec. 17, 2014 , 3:00 AM Bradley Kloostra A 2011 lightning storm in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Zuzana Pilková Eliot M Herman ‹› A summer storm in a small village in southwestern Slovakia in 2013. William Livingston A composition of 13 images taken between 11 p.m. and midnight during a July monsoon storm in Phoenix. Jonas Doerr Geoffrey Giller A summer thunderstorm in Bonn, Germany. Josef Brůna A reader’s backyard view of Tucson, Arizona, as another summer monsoon storm hits the city. A 2012 lightning strike in Rome. A summer thunderstorm in Bonn, Germany. center_img Arizona is world-renowned for its spectacular lightning displays. Here, lightning strikes the town of Tucson. Reader slideshow: Your most electrifying lightning photos Scott Matthews A reader on Florida’s Captiva Island looks west at lightning over the Gulf of Mexico in 2014. See more. Matt Zinn Lightning in Šumava National Park in the Czech Republic in 2013. A 2011 lightning storm in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Gianluca Casponi Lightning strikes Toronto’s CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. Geoffrey Giller Part of a time-lapse series, this photo was taken in front of the Center for Biofilm Engineering at Montana State University, Bozeman, in 2014. Scott Chimileski Jonas Doerr Last month, we asked you to send us your best photos of lightning—and boy, did you come through. From Arizona’s famous monsoon storms to lightning in Kenya’s Maasai Mara, here are 11 amazing, awe-inspiring, and electrifying photos of lightning taken by Science readers.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

Incredible India Roadshows in US to Woo American Tourists

first_imgShowcasing India as a “must visit” tourist destination, the Indian government organised roadshows in four US cities to woo American travellers and make them aware of magnificent holiday options in the country.The ‘Incredible India’ roadshow was held in New York, Houston, Chicago and St Louis from June 18 to 22 during which American travel enthusiasts walked through various tourist destinations digitally and informed about travel options through experts and tour operators.Read it at Times of India Related Itemslast_img read more

Three Indian-origin Businessmen Jailed For Rorting $2 million

first_imgThe national vocational education and training (VET) regulator Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has welcomed the conviction of three Indian-origin businessmen who operated fake training organisations in Melbourne and received more than $2 million in fraudulent subsidies from the Victorian government.Read it at SBS Related Itemslast_img

The Surprising Indian Origin Of Blue Jeans

first_imgWho hasn’t worn blue jeans? Today, they are simply everywhere, from the USA to Ghana to Vietnam. Here is the story of the unexpected relationship between the world’s most popular clothing item and India.It all started with indigo. A beautiful, rich blue dye could be extracted from the variety of indigo plant found in India (Indigofera tinctoria). Other varieties of indigo were found in various tropical countries, but India was the indigo centre of the world; Harappans first started making this dye 5,000 years ago!Read it at Indian Express Related Itemslast_img read more

Dubai Remains Most Searched Destination on Google India

first_imgHoliday-related queries increased 27 per cent in 2017 winter, with most people searching for ‘luxury’, ‘honeymoon’, and ‘safari’ destinations on Google search, the company said on Dec.27.Seychelles, Maldives and Bali were on top of the honeymooners’ international search list this season, with 40 per cent rise in these queries.According to Google India’s top travel trends observed from September to November, both international and domestic luxury searches increased by 34 per cent and the online hunts for ‘royal holidays’ spiked 12 times as compared to the same period in 2016.The quest for warmer topographies and related activities became widespread during winters, witnessing an increase of 32 per cent in safari destination explorations.Searches for Desert Safari in Dubai, Night Safari in Singapore, Bali Safari and Marine Park, as well as Safari World in Bangkok surged in 2017.The search perusal for international destinations such as The Vatican grew almost eight times, followed by Myanmar (thrice) and Hungary (double).Buzz about these locations range from “private tours of the Sistine Chapel after-hours”, “what to see at the Vatican Museum”, to “Myanmar tourism”, “Burma tourist map”, and “things to do in Budapest.”Talking about international travel trends, Dubai still continued to be the most searched destination, followed by Bangkok, Thailand and Disneyland in the United States.Apart from the search for destination activities such as safaris, international cricket as an international excursion observed a rise of 456 per cent, fueled by matches held at Melbourne in Australia, and Lords, Britain.Within India, Kerala topped the list of the most crowd-pleasing destination for domestic travelers.Weekend getaways, specifically near Delhi, became an extremely popular search term, culminating a 361 per cent increase.The trends also showed that Indians are now planning their travel in advance as last-minute bookings reduced by 17 per cent for domestic travel and 20 per cent for international trips. — (IANS) Related ItemsGoogleTourismlast_img read more

Google Appeals Against ‘Search Bias’ Verdict by India’s Competition Commission

first_imgGoogle has filed an appeal against the judgement by Competition Commission of India (CCI), which found the search engine guilty of “search bias.”“We disagree with aspects of the CCI’s decision, so we have filed an appeal and sought a stay on those findings,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.The commission’s verdict was “robust” and it plans on defending its judgement at the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), a CCI official said, according to Reuters. CCI imposed a fine of Rs 1.36 billion ($20.95 million) on Google in February, saying that the internet firm was ill-treating its dominance in online web search and online search advertising markets.“Google was found to be indulging in practices of search bias and by doing so, it causes harm to its competitors as well as to users,” the CCI stated in its judgment, Reuters reported.After the verdict came out, Google had said that the issues brought up by the CCI were “narrow concerns.” It added that the order showed that on most issues examined by the CCI, Google’s conduct was in compliance with the competition laws of India.The investigation was started by the CCI in 2012 after complaints were filed by Bharat Matrimony (Matrimony.com) and Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS), a not-for-profit organization. The ruling in February brought an end to the probe.Matrimony.com is, however, not satisfied with the verdict. It filed an appeal against the size of the fine, saying it is too small. It has also filed an appeal against CCI’s verdict that neither of the two — Google’s specialized search design and its advertising service, AdWords — were breaching the competition rules.Murugavel Janakiraman, the founder-CEO of Matrimony.com, said that the company has filed an appeal against CCI’s order, although the judgement is in their  company’s favor, according to the Business Standard. Earlier, however, Janakiraman was full of praises about CCI’s verdict and had said, “This order is significant as the CCI recognizes that Google is the gatekeeper to the internet and has a special responsibility to ensure a level playing field.”The duties of the CCI, established by the Indian government in October 2003, involve eliminating practices that have an adverse effect on competition, protecting the interests of consumers, and ensuring freedom of trade in Indian markets.In 2017, the European Commission imposed a fine of 2.4 billion euro ($3 billion) on Google for backing its shopping service and demoting offerings from rival companies. Google has filed an appeal against the judgement. Related ItemsGooglelast_img read more

Many in Odisha denied PDS rice due to non-seeding of Aadhaar

first_imgThe ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme seems to be not working in favour of many in Odisha, according to a survey that found that hundreds of people have not been provided rice through the Public Distribution System for two months due to non-seeding of Aadhaar. The study also found that exclusion due to Aadhaar linking is more prevalent in tribal areas.A study of 63 villages in Nabarangpur district found that out of 1,271 people in 272 households surveyed, 435 have not been provided PDS rice for September and October due to non-seeding of Aadhaar. Out of these, 35% are children between 0-10 years of age.The survey was conducted during the first week of October by the Odisha chapter of the National Right to Food Campaign, an informal network of organisations and individuals working on right to food issues.PDS rice for two months was distributed in Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput area from September 20 to 30, according to Sameet Panda of the food campaign.Ineligible personsOut of 272 families, there were 17 households having a total of 50 members who have not received grain for September and October as none of the family members were seeded in PDS-Aadhaar.There are 255 such families where Aadhaar of one or more family members has not been seeded. There are 385 persons across these 255 households who have not been seeded into Aadhaar, so their names have been eliminated.The survey found that there are 17 persons who are ineligible. They include those dead; female members married outside; and not available in the village.Out of 435 persons whose Aadhaar has not been seeded, 185 persons don’t have Aadhaar. The survey team met those who have applied for Aadhaar several times but have not received it so far, said Mr. Panda.There are 228 persons who have an Aadhaar number but it has not been seeded yet. Out of them, 72 persons have submitted their Aadhaar in the gram panchayat but they don’t know why it has not been seeded. There are 17 such persons whose Aadhaar number is reflected in the PDS card but their name has been deleted.last_img read more

Woman languishing in Assam detention centre since 2010

first_imgWrong details received twice by the authorities have delayed the release of a woman lodged in one of Assam’s six detention camps for foreigners since 2010.Mamiran Nessa, lodged in western Assam’s Kokrajhar detention centre, should have been set free following the Supreme Court’s order in May to conditionally release all declared foreigners who have completed three or more years in detention.But officers of the Assam Police Border Organisation – it has been tasked with detecting and deporting foreigners or illegal immigrants since 1962 – said she could not be released as they “twice received details wrongly”.In July, the State government informed the Assembly that 335 out of the 1,145 declared foreigners across the six detention centres had spent three years or more in captivity. About a dozen had by then been released.More than 25 declared foreigners have been released and another 56 are to be released soon. Ms. Nessa is not among them.“Her case is in process. Police are hand-holding to submit the correct information,” Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Special Director General of Police (Border), told The Hindu via message.Formalities fulfilled Guwahati-based lawyer Aman Wadud, who fights cases of poor declared foreigners pro bono, said all formalities according to the Supreme Court’s guidelines have been fulfilled in Ms. Nessa’s case. The formalities include two sureties of ₹1 lakh each and collection of biometric information.On Sunday, a team that included activist Harsh Mander, SC lawyer Prashant Bhushan and Mr. Wadud visited Ms. Nessa’s paternal home near Abhayapuri in Bongaigaon district. “When she was detained, her sons were 2 and 9 years old. Both brothers were brought up by their elder sister who was still a minor. She dropped out of school and worked as maid to raise them at their maternal uncle’s place,” Mr. Wadud said.Ms. Nessa was married in the 1990s to Jel Hussain of village Takakata near Baghbor in western Assam’s Barpeta district. Her family said she was randomly marked a doubtful voter in 1997 without any investigation.“She was subsequently declared a foreigner without any competent legal representation,” Mr. Wadud said.Ms. Nessa’s parents took her children home after her husband fell ill and was mostly confined to the bed. He could visit her in the detention centre only once in nine years. Mr. Hussain died two months ago due to cardiac arrest. Members of his family said his last wish was to see his wife out of jail and beside him.Ms. Nessa has not been told about her husband’s death yet.last_img read more