HC bans new buildings in Pune

first_imgIn a setback to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and builders in the city, the Bombay High Court on Friday issued a directive prohibiting new constructions in Pune.The court, which restrained the PMC from granting occupancy and commencement certificates to new buildings, was acting on a public interest litigation filed by Bharatiya Janata Party corporator Amol Balwadkar in March. The PIL contended that the city’s residents were forced to pay a lot of money to ensure water supply and many occupants were not given water connections by the PMC.The High Court has given the PMC time till June 30 to furnish details of the total amount of water used up in the construction of new high-rise buildings in the city, and provision made for supplying potable water to the residents.last_img read more

BHU students post online plea to NHRC

first_imgProfessors and students of the Banaras Hindu University have started an online petition demanding “protection without preaching” for girl students and condemning police action on students on Saturday night, resulting in injuries to girl students.Petitioning the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, the online statement on change.org has already received more than 1,450 signatures.last_img

Earthquake of 5.4 magnitude hits Ladakh

first_imgA moderate intensity earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter Scale hit Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh region in the early hours of today, MeT officials said here. The tremors were also felt across the Kashmir valley. The epicentre of the quake was near the India-China border in the Ladakh region, officials said.“The earthquake of 5.4 magnitude on the Richter Scale was recorded at 4:59 am today. The epicentre of the earthquake was at a depth of 35 km near the Jammu and Kashmir-Xingjian border in the state’s Ladakh region,” a meteorological (MeT) department official said. No damage to property or casualty was reported, the police said.last_img read more

Police seeks cancellation of FIR against IIM director

first_imgMore than a month after a complaint of sexual harassment against Indian Institute of Management Rohtak director Dheeraj Sharma, the Rohtak police have proceeded to cancel the First Information Report in the case saying that the “allegations levelled against him were not substantiated”.Station House Officer, Women’s Police Station, Garima, told The Hindu that no evidence was found against Prof. Sharma during the investigation spanning more than a month and the police had now moved the local court seeking cancellation of the FIR. ‘Evidence overlooked’The complainant, a former woman assistant professor of IIM-Rohtak, however, alleged that she was not satisfied with the investigation and the evidence produced by her was “overlooked”. She added that the police had failed to procure the closed-circuit television footage of two incidents — November 8, 2017 and March 9, 2018 — that could provide crucial evidence.She said that she was not “shocked” by the decision of the police to cancel the FIR since the accused was “influential”. The complainant said that she had also written to the Inspector General of Police, Rohtak, two days ago expressing dissatisfaction over the investigation. ‘DSP not neutral’In an email, the victim pointed out that she had submitted indirect circumstantial evidence to prove that her termination was motivated and also said that “it is difficult for me to trust DSP Ramesh Kumar (the Investigation Officer) as his role has not been neutral in my case”.The SHO, however, said that there was no CCTV footage available relating to the two incidents and the evidence submitted by the complainant did not prove her charges.The 35-year-old woman, in her complaint to the police, had alleged that Prof. Sharma began sexually harassing her soon after her appointment to the post of assistant professor on September 1 last year on a probation period of three years. The complainant, who was dismissed almost a month after she made an indicative complaint about Prof. Sharma’s behaviour to the institute’s board, had alleged in the FIR that the director would seek her views on extramarital relationships and make indecent remarks on her private life, looks and clothes. ‘Groped in cabin’She also said that he would ask her out for evening strolls and even groped her inside her cabin on one occasion.A case was registered at Rohtak’s Women Police Station on charges of an assault to outrage the modesty of a woman and making sexually coloured remarks under the IPC on May 29.last_img read more

Formalin in fish: West Bengal government warns of stern action

first_imgIn the wake of reports about the presence of formalin in fish, the West Bengal government has started State-wide collection of samples and monitoring of major fish markets. “We will ensure that no one can sell such fish in Bengal… stern action will be taken against those who are found to be selling formalin-laced fish.” State Minister of Fisheries Chandranath Sinha said. The development comes after fish samples tested positive for formalin in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Assam. The Assam government on July 10 imposed a 10-day ban on import of fish from Andhra Pradesh and other States.last_img read more

Siang situation normal, IAF rescues 19 stranded on island

first_imgThe water level of Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh has subsided after a scare triggered by an alert from China to India about the swelling of Tsangpo following heavy rain in Tibet. The water of the river, officials said, has turned very muddy.The Tsangpo – Yarlung Zangbo, as it is known in China – flows into Arunachal Pradesh as the Siang, which meets two other rivers in Assam downstream to become the Brahmaputra.As people along the banks of the Siang heaved a sigh of relief, the Indian Air Force evacuated 19 people stranded on an island in the river at Jampani under Sille-Oyan circle of East Siang district on Friday. The spot is about 27 km from East Siang district headquarters Pasighat.“An Mi17 helicopter from Mohanbarie airport in Assam’s Dibrugarh district carried out six sorties and rescued the 19 people, including six children, in an hour since 4.38 a.m.,” an IAF spokesperson said.Six people were winched up in areas where the helicopter could not land. Those rescued were mostly farmers who ventured out before the water surge for cattle grazing. Local officials said many animals remain stranded on the island. East Siang’s deputy commissioner Tamiyo Tatak had on Thursday night shot off a letter to the IAF’s station commander in Dibrugarh requesting evacuation of an estimated 30 stranded people.“The water volume of the Siang river has come down to the level we normally have during the rainy season. But the water is high on turbidity and there’s been a lot of erosion along the banks,” Mr. Tatak told The Hindu.Monitoring river flowIn Upper Siang district, where the Tsangpo enters India to become the Siang, officials are monitoring the flow of the river. “The water was flowing normally when last observed,” Nijhon Danggen, circle officer of Tuting bordering China, said.The turbidity of Siang is believed to be the outcome of a natural dam formed across the Tsangpo because of landslides caused by major earthquakes in Tibet in 2017. Around that time, the Siang turned turbid near Pasighat. “We have asked the experts to study the water quality,” Mr. Tatak said.last_img read more

JD(U)-BJP seat-sharing talks in final stage

first_imgLeaders of the ruling Janata Dal (United) in Bihar said seat-sharing talks for the 2019 Lok Sabha poll with the BJP were in the last stage, and a deal would be announced soon.“The seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP is in the final and last stage… It will be officially announced soon,” JD(U) Rajya Sabha member R.C.P. Singh told journalists after a four-hour State executive meeting on Sunday. Mr. Singh is considered close to JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. “The JD(U) will give priority to the youth in ticket distribution,” he added.JD(U) sources said the BJP had assured the party of 15 of the 40 seats. The other NDA allies, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), have been demanding early finalisation of seat-sharing. Mr. Singh said the executive discussed how to strengthen and expand the organisation. He said workers would be trained from the booth level.Mr. Singh said the NDA will hold meetings and rallies in each district of the State to reach out to “each and every section of society.”In the 2014 Parliamentary poll, the BJP had won 22 seats while the JD(U) had bagged only 2 seats.BJP’s alliance partners LJP and RLSP had won 6 and 3 seats while the RJD, Congress and NCP tally was 4, 2 and 1 respectively.Later, Mr. Nitish Kumar had joined hands with the Lalu Prasad-led RJD and the Congress and defeated the BJP in the Assembly poll to come back to power in 2015. However, Mr. Kumar ditched the grand alliance and joined hands again with the BJP in July 2017.last_img read more

Govt. will seek Parliament nod for triple talaq Bill, says Narendra Modi

first_imgDays after the promulgation of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Ordinance, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced here on Saturday that the NDA government would soon get the triple talaq Bill approved by Parliament.“Three days ago, the Centre took a decision that was needed for years. The decision was on triple talaq. Nobody was ready to mention it and talk about the problem fearing loss of votes,” Mr. Modi said at a public meeting.“When our government passed the triple talaq Bill in the Lok Sabha, attempts were made to stall it in Rajya Sabha. But now we are committed to saving our Muslim sisters and daughters from the ill practice. We have made the practice illegal by bringing in a new ordinance,” he said.“It will be our constant endeavour to get the nod of Parliament on it”.Opposition’s standWhile the BJP has hailed the ordinance as a step towards empowering women, the Congress-led Opposition has slammed the government saying it was politicising the issue.The PM was on a day’s visit to Odisha to inaugurate a number of projects, including the Veer Surendra Sai Airport at Jharsuguda, the Garjanbahal open cast mines project and the Jharsuguda-Sardega railway line of the MCL in Sundargarh district, and coal production and transportation from the Dulanga coal mine of the NTPC in Sundargarh.He laid the foundation stone for a coal gasification-based fertiliser plant at Talcher Fertilizers Ltd. here. Governor Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram were present at the inauguration of the airport at Jharsuguda.“Since Independence, around 450 airports have been built. In the past one year, 950 new airports have been proposed. The Veer Surendra Sai Airport is situated in the middle of Bhubaneswar, Ranchi and Raipur. It has huge potential for developing into a busy commercial airport,” Mr. Modi said.Chief Minister Patnaik requested the Centre to consider introduction of commercial flights in addition to the UDAN flights.“To begin with, one of the Air India flights from Bhubaneswar to Delhi may be routed through Jharsuguda,” he said.last_img read more

Venkaiah for liberal leadership

first_imgVice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said there is a need for men and women who would listen patiently to different voices, and called for nourishing of institutional structures put in place by the Constitution makers through a farsighted and liberal leadership. He was speaking on the occasion of 104th birth anniversary of former Supreme Court Judge Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer in New Delhi on Tuesday. Justice Iyer had also served as a Cabinet Minister in the first Communist government led by E.M.S Namboodiripad in Kerala. “We need men and women who are sensitive to the complex interplay of socio-economic, cultural and political realities of contemporary India. We need women and men who have the patience to listen to different voices and who have the wisdom to sift the grain from the chaff and those who have the courage of conviction to stand for constitutional values,” Mr. Naidu said.Democratic functioning Referring to the clear demarcation of the roles and responsibilities of the executive, judiciary and legislature for smooth functioning of democracy, Mr. Naidu spoke against any confrontation among this troika. To prevent erosion of public confidence, he urged the judiciary, legislature and the executive to be guided by a deep compassion for every Indian, especially those whose voice is too feeble to be heard, and a firm commitment to the broad vision of the Constitution.Mr. Naidu hailed Justice Krishna Iyer for opening up new vistas in Indian jurisprudence through his landmark judgments and for ensuring the access of justice to the poor and vulnerable people besides laying the foundation for legal aid system in the country.last_img read more

79.9% voting in J&K rural polls: CEO

first_imgIn the eight phase of panchayat elections on Saturday, 49.6% voting was recorded in the Kashmir division and 85.1% in the Jammu division. “The overall poll percentage stood at 79.9,” said Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra.Kashmir’s panch and sarpanch halqas of Budgam and Srinagar districts witnessed a lower voter turnout at 9.1% and 11.6% respectively. However, Baramulla witnessed the highest 56.9%, followed by Kupwara 53.8% and Bandipora 18%, said Mr. Kabra.The Jammu division witnessed higher voter turnout consistently for the eighth phase too. Reasi recorded the highest 89.8% turnout. Kathua stood at 84%, Samba 84, Jammu 84.8 and Rajouri 82.4, said Mr. Kabra.6,304 in frayA total of 361 polling stations were categorised as hypersensitive, including 171 in the Kashmir division and 190 in the Jammu division. “A total of 6,304 candidates were in the fray for 331 sarpanch and 2007 panch seats. Forty-three sarpanchs and 681 panchs were elected unopposed in this phase,” said Mr. Kabra.The ninth and last phase of panchayat polls will be held on December 11. Compared to the turnout recorded in 2011, when the previous panchayat polls were held, Kashmir witnessed far less voting.last_img read more

One more arrested in BJD leader’s murder case

first_imgThe police on Monday arrested another person for his alleged involvement in the murder of a BJD leader at Chhatrapur in Odisha’s Ganjam district, an officer said. The accused, Subrat Patnaik (18) alias Lucky of Pandiripada, was arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder of Chhatrapur NAC councillor Laxmidutta Pradhan on September 17, 2017. With this arrest, the total number of persons arrested in the case increased to 19. “Patnaik was absconding and was arrested on a tip-off,” said Chhatrapur SDPO Ramesh Chandra Sethi. Those arrested include BJP’s Ganjam district unit secretary Krushna Chandra Nayak and Laxmipur panchayat samiti member N. Duryodhan Reddy. The police again issued notices to BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra and general secretary Bhrugu Buxipatra.last_img read more

Legislator Blasts NASA’s Explanation for Excluding Chinese Students From Meeting

first_imgThe chair of a congressional spending panel that funds NASA has ramped up his attack on NASA’s Ames Research Center, calling it “a rat’s nest of inappropriate and possibly illegal activities.” The latest salvo from Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) criticizes the center’s rationale for excluding six Chinese students from an upcoming scientific meeting, a step that has prompted some scientists to call for a boycott of the 4 to 8 November meeting at Ames, located in Mountain View, California.The rejections were first reported over the weekend by The Guardian, a British newspaper. The article cites an e-mail from Ames’s Mark Messersmith to Yale University astrophysicist Debra Fischer explaining why one of her postdocs, Ji Wang, would not be allowed to attend the Kepler II conference. Wang was planning to present a poster based on data collected by the now-moribund NASA spacecraft.“Unfortunately, federal legislation … passed last March forbids us from hosting any citizens of the People’s Republic of China,” Messersmith wrote to Fischer in an exchange obtained by ScienceInsider. In an earlier e-mail to Wang rejecting his registration, Messersmith says “I apologize in advance for the inconvenience.”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(*)Writing today to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Wolf asks Bolden to “quickly correct the record” on why the students were excluded. Wolf says that the legislation to which Messersmith refers—language Wolf inserted into a 2011 spending bill—“primarily restricts bilateral … meetings and activities with the Communist Chinese government or Chinese-owned companies. It places no restrictions on activities involving individual Chinese nationals unless those nationals are acting as official representatives of the Chinese government.”“As such,” Wolf tells Bolden, “the email from NASA Ames mischaracterizes the law and is inaccurate. … NASA headquarters needs to send updated guidance to both the conference attendees and to the press to correct this misconception.”The application process for Kepler II isn’t the only thing that is sticking in Wolf’s craw. His seven-page letter to Bolden devotes considerable space to Wolf’s ongoing concern that NASA and other federal agencies aren’t doing enough to protect military and economic secrets from foreign countries bent on stealing them. And topping Wolf’s list of threats is the Chinese government.“There is good reason Congress is concerned about providing the Communist Chinese government with additional opportunities to work with the U.S. on space given their continued cyberattacks, espionage campaigns and development of space weapons to use against the U.S.,” Wolf tells Bolden. “[T]he misrepresentation of NASA policy quoted in the Guardian article is the latest in a series of questionable actions taken by the Ames center leadership. … I believe the center has become a rat’s nest of inappropriate and possibly illegal activities that appear to have occurred with the concurrence of the center’s leadership.”    Officials at Ames and at NASA headquarters were not available to comment because of the current government-wide shutdown.Meanwhile, conference organizers are struggling to cope with NASA’s decision, which they see as a reaction to the language crafted by Wolf. In a letter to all registrants, the organizers say they “strongly object” to the ban and “are pursuing other options that will allow participation by all interested scientists either in person or remotely. We are also considering ways that attendees can express their concerns about the impact of this legislation.”The ban isn’t the first obstacle that organizers have faced. The Kepler meeting was one of the few large conferences that NASA didn’t cancel as a result of budget cuts stemming from this year’s sequester.last_img read more

Can you be obese and still be healthy?

first_imgNot everyone who is obese is unhealthy. So say some researchers, who note that a small fraction of overweight people have normal blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and are thus “healthy obese.” Now, scientists have identified a single protein that seems to determine whether obesity is harmful or benign.The protein is a new player in our understanding of how obesity leads to disease, says Alan Saltiel, a cell biologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who was not involved in the study.It is well known that obesity leads to a wide range of health problems, from diabetes to heart disease to cancer. So established is the link between extra pounds and illness that last year the American Medical Association voted to classify obesity itself as a disease. Although some researchers have suggested that a small number of obese people are healthy, that idea remains controversial. Instead, the emerging consensus is that healthy obesity is a transient phase, says Ravi Retnakaran, an endocrinologist at the Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes in Toronto, Canada. Sooner or later, he says, these outliers will develop metabolic syndrome, a condition in which glucose, cholesterol, and lipid levels soar, causing diabetes and heart disease.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(*)In fact, so-called healthy obese people may already have early signs of disease, which are too muted to show up on routine tests. In a study of more than 14,000 metabolically healthy Korean people last year, scientists found early plaque buildup in the arteries of obese subjects more often than they did in the lean ones.To figure out when the transition from healthy to unhealthy obesity occurs, Harald Esterbauer, an obesity researcher at the Medical University of Vienna, and his colleagues took a closer look at a protein called heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), which was thought to suppress inflammation—the critical bridge that links obesity to metabolic disease. When the pancreatic islets, small masses of cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, are exposed to high levels of nutrients—as is the case among people who eat a lot—they become inflamed. This leads to the death of some islet cells,  in turn decreasing the secretion of insulin and causing type 2 diabetes.To understand the role of HO-1, the researchers examined blood, fat, and liver tissue from a group of 44 obese people and six controls. All the obese subjects were apparently healthy: They had normal fasting glucose levels, no obvious inflammation, and took no medicine. However, there was one critical difference among them: Twenty-seven of the subjects showed early signs of insulin resistance, a precursor of diabetes. Insulin responses were normal in the remaining 17 obese subjects. When Esterbauer’s team biopsied the tissues from both groups, it found HO-1 levels to be nearly twice as high in the insulin-resistant group. The finding suggested that HO-1 was causing the insulin resistance.To be doubly sure, the researchers removed the HO-1 gene from mice. When these knockout mice were fed a high-fat diet, they gained as much weight as normal mice did, but they managed to remain sensitive to insulin. In addition, the knockout mice also showed lower levels of inflammation.The researchers also tried the converse experiment: genetically engineering mice to produce more HO-1. This time, they found that the mice grew insulin-resistant, even when on normal diets.“We believe that HO-1 is a very early marker of metabolic disease,” says Esterbauer, whose team reports its findings today in Cell.Esterbauer’s team also found that levels of the HO-1 protein were slightly higher in healthy obese subjects than in the lean controls. This supports the concept of transient healthy obesity that Retnakaran advocates: Compared with lean, healthy people, obese people are already at a slight disadvantage.  Knowing what causes metabolic syndrome may make it easier to treat and diagnose it. Blocking HO-1 in mice controls inflammation, so it could possibly do the same in humans. But before that, it is important to understand how HO-1 causes inflammation, Esterbauer says. “Based on this knowledge, we can then develop drugs that interfere with a specific function of HO-1.”last_img read more

Captive orcas speak dolphin

first_imgTwo years ago, scientists showed that dolphins imitate the sounds of whales. Now, it seems, whales have returned the favor. Researchers analyzed the vocal repertoires of 10 captive orcas (Orcinus orca), three of which lived with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and the rest with their own kind. Of the 1551 vocalizations these seven latter orcas made, more than 95% were the typical pulsed calls of killer whales. In contrast, the three orcas that had only dolphins as pals busily whistled and emitted dolphinlike click trains and terminal buzzes, the scientists report in the October issue of The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. (Watch a video as bioacoustician and co-author Ann Bowles describes the difference between killer whale and bottlenose dolphin whistles.) The findings make orcas one of the few species of animals that, like humans, is capable of vocal learning—a talent considered a key underpinning of language.*Correction, 8 October, 2:24 p.m.: In the video, Ann Bowles describes the difference between killer whale and bottlenose dolphin whistles, not killer whale and orca whistles, as was previously reported.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

Fairy-wrens, like humans, learn as embryos

first_imgHuman fetuses are clever students, able to distinguish male from female voices and the voices of their mothers from those of strangers between 32 and 39 weeks after conception. Now, researchers have demonstrated that the embryos of the superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus, pictured), an Australian songbird, also learn to discriminate among the calls they hear. The scientists played 1-minute recordings to 43 fairy-wren eggs collected from nests in the wild. The eggs were between days 9 and 13 of a 13- to 14-day incubation period. The sounds included white noise, a contact call of a winter wren, or a female fairy-wren’s incubation call. Those embryos that listened to the fairy-wrens’ incubation calls and the contact calls of the winter wrens lowered their heart rates, a sign that they were learning to discriminate between the calls of a different species and those of their own kind, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (None showed this response to the white noise.) Thus, even before hatching, these small birds’ brains are engaged in tasks requiring attention, learning, and possibly memory—the first time embryonic learning has been seen outside humans, the scientists say. The behavior is key because fairy-wren embryos must learn a password from their mothers’ incubation calls; otherwise, they’re less successful at soliciting food from their parents after hatching.last_img read more

Indian Staffing Firms Hog H-1B visas

first_imgIndia-based staffing firms hog a disproportionate share of H-1 B visas, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.Just 10 staffing firms, six of which are based in India, account for 11,000 H-1B visas, one-sixth of the 2009 total. Staffing firms place these workers at worksites of other companies.The GAO found that “demand for new H1-B workers is largely driven by a small number of employers …. And only a few employers (fewer than 1 percent) garnered over one-quarter of all H-1B approvals.” According to the report, “Since 2000, most people that were approved to be H-1B workers were born in China or India, were hired for technology positions, and increasingly held advanced degrees.” India accounts for almost half of all H-1B visas.The GAO concluded, “Taken together, the multifaceted challenges identified in this report show that the H-1B program, as currently structured, may not be used to its full potential and may be detrimental in some cases.”The GAO urged Congress to consider “the adequacy of the qualifications of foreign workers the U.S. admits through the program, the appropriateness of H-1B hiring by staffing companies, and the role of the program with respect to permanent residency” in considering key provisions of the H-1B program.   Related Itemslast_img read more

NRI Father-Son Duo Arrested in Rs 3 Crore Cheating Case in Gujarat

first_imgA father-son duo was arrested by the Nerul police in Mumbai over a cheating case involving a sum of Rs 3 crore. The case was registered against them and five others in November 2015. reported Times of India.Kishor Shapriya, a 61-year-old resident of Tanzania, and his son Amish, 32, who lives in the United Kingdom, were arrested from a five-star hotel at Rajkot in Gujarat on Dec. 11 while they were on a visit to India.The FIR against them was registered by Dhiren Bhandari, a Nerul resident who the accused had appointed as the CEO of DB Shapriya Construction Limited, a company started by them in Ahmedabad in April 2012, senior inspector Ashok Rajput was quoted as saying by the Times of India. “The complainant had corresponded with the commissioner of immigration in New Delhi to arrest the duo in case they arrived at the airport from abroad,” Rajput said.Subsequently, the immigration authorities emailed him about their visit to India for a week and their stay at the hotel in Rajkot. “Nerul police reached Rajkot on Monday and arrested the duo in the cheating case,” Rajput added.The two accused had allegedly cheated Bhandari by using his property –two flats worth Rs 1.53 crore — for collateral mortgage with a bank. They obtained Rs 15 crore bank credit in lieu of Bhandari’s property. As soon as they got the money, they allegedly wound up their office at Platinum Techno Park near Vashi station.“They did not pay Bhandari his monthly salary from January 2015, which amounts to around Rs 1.43 crore. Key accused Kishor Shapriya had promised to return his mortgaged property papers within six months but did not fulfil his commitment,” said Rajput.This is the latest instance of a Non-Resident Indian being held in the country for alleged cheating. In November, the Haryana Police arrested Tajinder Gill, a United Kingdom-based NRI accused of fraud with the help of the CBI and the Interpol. A case under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC was registered against Gill at the Civil Lines Police Station in February 2015. He was charged with duping a doctor of Rs 48 lakh. A team of Haryana Police arrested the accused after the immigration authorities at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai informed the police about his arrival. Related ItemsFraudGujaratMumbailast_img read more

Former Managers of Nebraska Hotel Sentenced for Alien Harboring in U.S.

first_imgThe federal court in Omaha has sentenced two former hotel managers in Nebraska to one year and one day in prison, followed by two years’ supervised release, and deportation to India for enslaving a nephew. The Indian-origin couple was accused of forcing the nephew to work without any compensation as well as isolating and abusing him.Vishnubhai Chaudhari, 50, and Leelabahen Chaudhari, 44, of Kimball, Nebraska, were sentenced on March 19 in Omaha after previously pleading guilty on Dec. 18, 2017, to alien harboring for financial gain and conspiracy to harbor an alien, a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice said.“The defendants also agreed to the entry of a stipulated judicial order of removal to India at the completion of their sentences and paid the victim $40,000 in restitution as a condition of their guilty pleas,” the statement added.The couple, Indian nationals residing unlawfully in the United States, pleaded guilty on Dec. 18 in federal court in Omaha, to one count of conspiracy and one count of alien harboring for financial gain. The duo admitted to conspiring to harbor the victim, an Indian national who lacked immigration status, at Super 8 Motel in Kimball, Nebraska, between October 2011 and February 2013. During that time, the couple required the victim to work long hours, seven days a week at the motel.He was asked to perform manual labor, including cleaning rooms, shoveling snow, and doing laundry. “Although the defendants promised to pay the victim, they never did, but rather claimed to apply that amount to a debt the victim owed.  The defendants further restricted the victim’s movement, isolated him, and verbally abused him,” the statement added.Vishnubhai also threatened to find the victim if he ever left the motel, and Leelabahen regularly assaulted the victim, including on one occasion when she slapped his face several times because he had failed to clean a bathtub to her standards. The victim eventually escaped with the help of a motel guest.“Today’s sentence, and the restitution awarded to the victim, sends a clear message that the Justice Department will use its full resources to prosecute defendants like this one who motivated by their greed violate our immigration laws and exploit a vulnerable individual who lacked immigration status,” Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division said.“This case is a reminder that labor exploitation occurs in the United States, not just overseas, and federal law targets those who profit from human trafficking and related crimes,” U.S. attorney Joe Kelly for the district of Nebraska said, adding that this case is a testament that a conduct of this sort will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted in the district. Related ItemsHuman RightsSlaveryUnited Stateslast_img read more