Normalcy returns to riot-hit Baduria

first_imgLife returned to normal in riot-hit Baduria town and adjacent areas of North 24 Parganas district today after communal violence broke out over a Facebook post early this week.“Everything is normal now in Baduria, Swarupnagar, Deganga and Basirhat. There has been no problem anywhere in the district for the last 36 hours or more. People are trying to resume normal life and we are keeping everything under watch,” a senior police officer said.Though Internet services remained suspended in and around the area, locals came out to the streets to resume normal life as shops, market places opened on a sunny Sunday.Large number of state police and central paramilitary forces were posted in the area to keep close watch on “every proceedings”, the senior police officer told PTI.There was no report of any untoward incident from Baduria and nearby areas in Basirhat sub-division of North 24 Parganas district.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Saturday announced a judicial inquiry into the communal violence that rocked Baduria and Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district.Ms. Banerjee had also accused the Modi government and the BJP of trying to “disturb peace” and “destroy” the federal structure by allowing people from across the border to enter the state and vitiate the atmosphere.The West Bengal government had on Saturday transferred the Superintendent of Police of North 24 Parganas district and the Inspector General of Police (South Bengal).last_img read more

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Mamata calls Darjeeling hills political parties for talks on August 29

first_imgThe lowdown on the Darjeeling unrest  The hills have been facing a shutdown since June 15, which has severely affected the economy of the region and life has come to a halt.Attempts by the State government for holding talks to end the imbroglio failed, but the situation this time is different as many political parties in the hills are keen on talks.GJM leader Swaraj Thapa said the party will hold discussions on the issue before announcing their stand.  While Ms. Banerjee avoided any direct mention of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) — the outfit that is spearheading the Gorkhaland agitation — she said all major political parties in the hills are welcome to participate in the meeting.The development comes a day after the GJM made a request to the Central and State governments “to initiate talks at the earliest so that peace and normality can be restored in our region at the earliest.” Darjeeling unrest: The story till now West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday called political parties in the Darjeeling hills for talks to restore normality.Ms. Banerjee told journalists that she received a letter from the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), urging her to hold talks on the ongoing stalemate in the hills. Describing the letter “a constructive step,” she said that a meeting would be held on August 29 at the State Secretariat, Nabanna.Also Readlast_img read more

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Moderate intensity earthquake jolts Valley

first_imgA moderate intensity earthquake occurred in Kashmir in the wee hours of Thursday. No report of casualty or damage has come from anywhere so far.“A moderate intensity earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale occurred at 4.59 a.m. today,” sources in the disaster management department said on Thursday.“The epicentre of the quake was near J&K-Xingjian border and its coordinates are latitude 35.5 degrees north and longitude 77.6 degrees east.”Geologically, the Valley is situated in an earthquake vulnerable region.last_img read more

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In his rural turf of Thalibari, Manik Sarkar revels in the local idiom

first_imgThe storyteller in Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar is in full flow beyond the urban limits of the State capital of Agartala.The habit of embellishing the narrative with metaphors invariably makes him overshoot the schedule. At Thalibari, about 90 km south of Agartala, breaking down the BJP’s “dangerous design” for the predominantly tribal voters takes him 80 minutes.Thalibari is a market almost on the cusp of the tribal autonomous district council (ADC) and the non-tribal part of Mr. Sarkar’s pet Dhanpur Assembly constituency bordering Bangladesh. He is seeking his fifth straight victory from here since 1998.“The BJP is like the cuckoo that comes in the spring to sing, never to be heard again for the rest of the year. They will try to lure you with cash once so that they can fleece you on behalf of the rich people for the rest of the term,” he says.Colour symbolismMr. Sarkar then tries to drive home the difference between colours – the red of communism that is irrigated with the blood and sweat of the underprivileged and the saffron of fundamentalism that only spills blood.The tenor had been similar at Uttar Taibandal and Dakkhin Taibandal earlier in the day, and in Baramura later. “He has been attending an average five public meetings, and he uses a style the people at the grassroots can relate to,” a representative of the daily Desher Katha, the mouthpiece of CPI(M), says.The style is in contrast to the acerbic tone Mr. Sarkar often adopts in the urban landscape. In Agartala the night before, he was matter-of-fact: “The BJP’s credo is chalo paltai (Let’s change). Do they want to change the peace Tripura has been experiencing, or the performance of the State in various beneficiary schemes? In that case, they want violence and underdevelopment.”Dhanpur in Sepahijala district is one of the few constituencies in Tripura where three categories of voters — tribal, Bengali Hindus and Muslims — are almost equally distributed. Geographically, about 40% of the constituency falls in the ADC.“It will be difficult for the BJP to penetrate this seat where the tribal people and Muslims are solidly behind the Left Front,” the party’s district committee member Nakul Malla says.Mr. Sarkar, who had only two rivals in 2013, is up against two women — Lakshmi Nag Barman of the Congress and Pratima Bhoumik of the BJP — and Jahir Uddin of the Trinamool Congress.‘Battling two Maniks’Ms. Bhoumik, who fancies her chances in Dhanpur riding the “change wave”, says she is battling two Maniks — the Chief Minister and returning officer Manik Lal Das, the Additional District Magistrate.“One Manik (officer) is working for the other Manik (CM) to harass us. We have lodged a complaint against the ADM,” she said.Mr. Das denied he was being partial. “I am doing my job according to the guidelines of the Election Commission,” he told The Hindu.Mr. Sarkar is now know as the poorest Chief Minister with a paltry ₹1520 cash in hand and a bank balance of just ₹2410.last_img read more

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Tiger that killed a woman ‘out on bail’

first_imgA young male tiger that had been detained by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department after it killed a woman, romped back to freedom on Friday as the Forest Department and wildlife conservationists released it into the wilderness of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.On March 5, the tiger had killed 22-year-old Girija Devi in Chandupur, a village near Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. With the villages around Pilibhit erupting in angry protests — Devi was the fourth person from the area to be killed by a tiger since January — forest officials lost no time in capturing the big cat.Apart from the U.P. Forest Department, two non-governmental organisations — the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-India) — participated in the operation. “The tiger was a young male, around one to four years old as judged from its dentition and pelage (fur),” said Dr. Reetika Maheshwary of WTI. It was tranquilised and fitted with a GPS satellite collar so that its post-release movement could be monitored. “Since it had no injuries or deformities, it was an ideal candidate for rehabilitation,” Dr. Maheshwary said.The tiger’s rehabilitation was meticulously planned in keeping with established protocols, said Sunil Chaudhary, Field Director, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. Intensive monitoring“Over the next 15-20 days, the tiger will be intensively monitored by forest staff, WWF-India, and WTI. Later its movement will be tracked through the satellite collar,” he added.The rehabilitation team said the tiger was released in a forested area, where it will have ample access to wild prey.Prey availability, however, is not the only criterion that determines how well a tiger can adapt to a new location. Translocating a young male into a different area can cause territorial clashes between existing dominant tigers and the new individual. In such cases, young males could often be shunted out of the location.last_img read more

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Two Shiv Sena leaders murdered in Ahmednagar

first_imgTwo Shiv Sena leaders, including the deputy leader of the party’s Ahmednagar unit, were shot dead on Saturday evening in Ahmednagar’s Kedgaon area, leading to high tension in the district.According to the police, the shooting occurred between 6 and 6.15 p.m. Sanjay Kotkar, deputy chief of the city unit, and party leader Vasant Thube, were attacked by two people. “Both were killed on the spot. Reports suggest they were first shot at and later killed with sharp weapons. We have formed a team to nab the assailants and are trying to ascertain the motive for the murders,” said a senior police official.For some time after the murder, the bodies were lying on the street as onlookers were scared to come forward and report the crime.Authorities said prima facie, political rivalry seemed to be the motive.Angry Shiv Sainiks gathered in large numbers after news of the attack spread, resulting in vandalism and stone pelting. Shopkeepers downed shutters while residents stayed indoors following violent protests. A number of private vehicles and some police transport vans were damaged in the mob fury, according to reports.A large number of police personnel reached the Shahunagar locality to pacify incensed party workers. Shiv Sena leaders also reached the murder spot later. The murders come against the backdrop of Saturday’s bypoll to the Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation (AMC) in which Vishal Kotkar of the Congress won from Kedgaon (ward no. 32), beating the Sena and BJP candidates.Authorities said there was a strong possibility of the murders being the fallout of the bypoll results.last_img read more

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Army commanders want peace in Jammu and Kashmir

first_imgThe Army commanders attending a biannual conference feel that priority must be given to ushering in peace in Kashmir through counter-terror operations that “minimise collateral damage” and “de-radicalisation” of the youths who have taken up arms. An Army officer said the conference, which began on Monday, would end on Saturday when the senior generals would discuss military operations.The conference is being held amid rising violence in Kashmir, continuing ceasefire violations along the India-Pakistan border and the recent stand-off in Doklam with Chinese troops. Army officers said one of the focus areas was the military preparedness along the Chinese border. With inputs warning of flare-ups along the disputed border in the summer, the Indian military is leaving nothing to chance. The commanders discussed the situation in Kashmir and felt that radicalised youths must be “brought into the mainstream through de-radicalisation and a collective approach aimed at persuading the youths to shun violence,” an officer said. Points of discussionHe said the commanders discussed the situation along the Line of Control, the increase in ceasefire violations and the adequacy of the response mechanism. “The apex commanders discussed the prevalent situation in the Valley and reviewed the recent developments affecting the operations of the armed forces in the region,” he said.The senior generals spent considerable time on reprioritising the requirements to “ensure that the resources allocated for force modernisation and capacity-building are utilised optimally within the budgetary allocation.” They also discussed ways of increasing the indigenous content in procurements. Each of the Army commands briefed the commanders separately, and every Principal Staff Officer of the Army Headquarters briefed the meeting on issues ranging from human resource management to facilitation of veterans and career progression.last_img read more

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Migrant workers still out of reach of HIV screening

first_imgA large number of migrant labourers vulnerable to HIV infection in Ganjam, the most AIDS prone district in Odisha, are still out of reach of regular screening and test for possibility of presence of the deadly virus in their body. According to programme manager of the District AIDS Cell, Hemant Kumar Das, Ganjam is the eighth most HIV infection-prone district in the country. Most of the HIV infected persons of the district are migrant labourers, who work outside Odisha, especially in Surat of Gujarat. As per an assessment, there are around five lakh migrant labourers in Ganjam district. At present, around 1,47,000 persons in Ganjam are getting screened for HIV infection in a year. Out of them, around 60,000 are pregnant women, as now thrust is on preventing transfer of HIV from infected mothers to newborns. The other tests are targeted at migrant labourers.Eight months ago, the Odisha AIDS Control Society, with the support of social organisation ARUNA, had started a special project for cent percent screening of migrant labourers for HIV infection at 200 villages in six blocks of the district. At these villages, volunteers counsel and screen through HIV testing kits every migrant labourer returning to his home. Around 36,000 persons are to be tested under this project. Lokanath Mishra of ARUNA, who for more than a decade has been involved in rehabilitation of HIV infected persons as well as migrant labourers, said the project has to be extended to all the villages in the 22 blocks of the district to cover all migrant labourers. Ganjam has 3,250 villages that have migrant labourers. “As per the present facility, around 87,000 migrant labourers are getting screened for HIV infection after their return, which is less than one fifth of the total number of migrant labourers,” Mr Mishra said. Regular screening will also increase awareness about HIV among the migrant labourers, who are generally less educated, he added.‘90-90-90’ UNAIDS has envisioned to achieve ‘90-90-90’ target by 2020, which will result in controlling HIV infection to sustainable state by 2030. As per the ‘90-90-90’ target, 90% of all HIV infected persons should get diagnosed and know their HIV positive status. Ninety %of these diagnosed HIV positive persons are to be provided regular Antiretroviral Therapy (ART). Ninety % of persons taking ART should show signs of viral suppression which reduces their scope of infection. But in Ganjam district, getting 90% of all the HIV positive persons diagnosed is still a distant target. From May 2000 till October 2018, total number of persons tested to be HIV positive in Ganjam district is 15,373. It is around 33% of total number of 46,128 HIV positive persons in Odisha.last_img read more

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After Bogibeel, railway focus on double track in Assam

first_imgAfter the inauguration of the Bogibeel Bridge, India’s longest rail and road span, the Railway Ministry has focussed on doubling the arterial railway track in Assam for faster movement of trains to and from the Northeast.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the 4.94 km Bogibeel Bridge on Christmas Day, 21 years after his predecessor H.D. Deve Gowda had laid its foundation stone.Addressing a review meeting of senior officers at the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) headquarters in Guwahati’s Maligaon on Saturday evening, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said his ministry would soon approach the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for clearing the double track project in the region.The initial thrust is on doubling the railway line from western Assam’s New Bongaigaon to Guwahati via Rangiya, a junction from where the track to Bogibeel in eastern Assam starts. The bridge has a double track in place.Double track, existing from New Bongaigon to West Bengal westward, is expected to cut down train travel and consignment delivery time by three-five hours in the Northeast.“Prepare a plan of action within a week towards doubling of railway lines in the region for capacity enhancement,” Mr Goyal said, urging Assam’s Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya to ensure quick soil procurement permission that “is hampering the progress of projects” in the State.Railway officials told Mr. Goyal that several new projects including the international line from Jogbani in Bihar to Biratnagar in Nepal would be ready very soon.The Railway Minister also praised NFR’s Rangiya Division for using rural innovation to successfully install a mechanism where the sound of bees is amplified whenever elephants are spotted near railway tracks to chase them away. Such mechanism to prevent elephants from being hit by trains would be considered for replication elsewhere in the country.last_img read more

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Assam spurious liquor death toll mounts to 158

first_imgThe death toll in the Assam hooch tragedy rose to 158 on Tuesday while more than 300 people are still receiving treatment at hospitals in Jorhat and Golaghat districts, a health department official said.A man undergoing treatment died on Tuesday at the Golaghat Civil Hospital, taking the toll in the district to 56. More than 50 people are still under care in the hospital, the official said.In Jorhat district, 78 people were recorded to have died at Jorhat Medical College Hospital and another 20 were brought dead, while 260 are undergoing treatment, the official said. In Titabor sub-divisional hospital of Jorhat district, four persons had died so far, he added.As many as 22 people have been arrested in connection with the hooch tragedy in Golaghat and Jorhat districts, police said.Following Excise Minister Parimal Suklabaidya’s directions, the Excise department has launched a crackdown on sale and production of illicit liquor in both the districts as well as across the State to prevent recurrence of such tragedies in the future.The State government has also banned the sale of ‘lali gur’ or red molasses used in production of country liquor.last_img read more

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Spanish Stem Cell Star Steps Down

first_imgBARCELONA, SPAIN—A pioneering Spanish stem cell center has suddenly lost its leader—and some worry it may lose most of its research projects as well. On Monday, developmental biologist Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte stepped down as the director of the Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona (CMRB), which he helped create almost a decade ago.Izpisúa Belmonte was personally involved in most of the research projects at the center, which he ran while also a professor at the Gene Expression Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California. Press reports have suggested that he may try to take many ongoing projects with him and that this could reduce CMRB to an empty shell.Izpisúa Belmonte is one of the elite expat scientists lured back to help raise Spain’s scientific profile since the beginning of the century. After the adoption of a 2003 law for assisted reproduction that allowed researchers to use frozen human embryos and derive embryonic stem cells, the Catalan and Spanish governments charged him with the creation of CMRB as a pioneering research center in developmental biology and regenerative medicine.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(*)He became one of the most prominent scientists in his field; last year, his group produced mini-kidneys from pluripotent stem cells, one of the “organoids” that Science picked as runner-up for the Breakthrough of the Year in December.The Spanish newspaper El País, which broke the story on Wednesday, cited sources close to Izpisúa Belmonte who claimed that he is leaving primarily because of “the lack of financial and political support” from the national government in Madrid and Catalonia’s regional government. Some scientists have already chastised authorities for failing to keep him happy.But Joan Guinovart, the director of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona, says that CMRB’s funding so far has been “generous;” the two governments, too, say support has been unwavering. Each has poured €1.7 million a year into CMRB since 2008 just to cover its infrastructure, a spokesperson from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, which oversees science and innovation, tells ScienceInsider. Both Spain and Catalonia are committed “to continue to bring resources” to the center, adds Carles Constante, director-general of planning and research for health at the Catalan government.A rather opaque press statement issued on Wednesday by CMRB hinted at other issues. The institute’s board of trustees—which has representatives from the Catalan and Spanish governments, local universities, and sponsors—”acknowledges the quality of professor Juan Carlos Izpisúa’s research work while expressing the inevitable need to change aspects related to the management and organization of the Center,” it said.Andreu Mas-Colell, the government of Catalonia’s minister of economy and knowledge, says that Izpisúa Belmonte had made clear from the start that the Barcelona center would largely be an extension of his laboratory at the Salk Institute. While he successfully launched the center and the field of regenerative medicine in Spain, “after 10 years it is simply convenient and important that the director be somebody working full-time in the institution,” Mas-Colell says. The board wants the center to adopt a more standard management model that includes recruiting senior researchers, developing independent research lines, and attracting more European funds, he says. Constante adds that the board wants the center to do more so-called translational research, which is focused on clinical applications.Izpisúa Belmonte did not respond to requests for comment. He has not publicly discussed his future; many expect him to take up research at the Salk Institute full-time. El País has reported that “Izpisúa has the intention to take with him 18 out of the 21 scientific projects at the center, considering them his ideas or initiatives.”Mas-Colell confirms that there are concerns over patents and that government lawyers will look into the issues. “I very much hope that we don’t get entangled in legal disputes on matters of intellectual property,” he says. “The board … would love the scientific collaboration between researchers in Spain and Dr. Izpisúa [to] continue.” Constante says that Izpisúa Belmonte was principal investigator on 13 of the 21 projects, but that under Spanish law, the intellectual property rights remain with the institute.Guinovart credits Izpisúa Belmonte with helping Spanish science develop, but says that the country—and Barcelona in particular—is home to much more talent now, calling into question the practice of letting scientific stars from abroad work part-time in Spain. A change in leadership at CMRB is a natural way to foster dynamism and renewal, he adds: “Nothing abnormal has happened here.”The same day that Izpisúa Belmonte handed in his resignation, CMRB’s board nominated Ángel Raya, who now leads the Control of Stem Cell Potency Group at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia in Barcelona, as his successor. The two know each other well; Raya spent 6 years as a research associate in Izpisúa Belmonte’s lab at Salk and was CMRB’s scientific coordinator from 2006 until 2009.last_img read more

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India wants to stop the export of its financial markets, or does it

first_imgIn theory, theory and practice are the same; in practice, they are not—or so goes the saying. This dichotomy is starkly seen in India’s policy missteps when it comes to developing vibrant and liquid financial markets onshore.The government’s stated policy is to curb the export of financial markets to offshore centres such as Singapore and Dubai. In fact, this was one of the reasons it promoted an international financial services centre (IFSC) in Gandhinagar. But in practice, recurring policy mistakes continue to help these offshore centres gain at the expense of onshore markets.After handing over large chunks of the exchange-traded index futures and dollar-rupee futures markets to Singapore and Dubai, India has set things up nicely for these centres to seize a sizeable share of the single stock futures market.Read it at Live Mint Related Itemslast_img read more

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Indian-origin Policewoman In Singapore Jailed For Forging Molestation Survivor’s Statement

first_imgIn a serious case of dereliction of duty, an Indian-origin policewoman has been jailed in Singapore for four years for forging a statement of an alleged molestation survivor.A media report stated that Kalaivani Kalimuthu is a senior staff sergeant in the Singapore Police Force. She was an investigation officer in the Violence Against Persons Squad when she committed the offence.Read it at Connected to India Related Itemslast_img

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Asian Values: Loosening Up?

first_imgIn early December 2005, when the Crazy Horse Paris started its shows in Singapore, a topless dance revue, it attracted a lot of criticism in the media. Letter writers and commentators accused the show “of exploiting women, being chauvinistic, archaic, outdated, immoral, sleazy, a threat to marriages and a poor example to children.”“Soft porn has finally landed here…officially,” said a Singaporean blogger. Commenting on these reactions, humor writer Neil Humphreys quipped: “I am sure it also contributes to global warming and the hole in the ozone layer.”Questions were being asked: Is Crazy Horse Paris a step forward or a step backwards for Singapore?At the heart of this controversy is the debate over “Asian values.” Since the rise of the Asia’s tiger economies (Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore) in the last quarter of the twentieth century, the “Asian values” debate has been centre-stage. The main thesis of Asian values is the appealing notion that Asians sacrificed individual aspirations for the greater good of society. Historically, the unusual economic growth experienced within East Asian countries pushed the socio-political structures of these countries under the spotlight. The success of these countries as well the economic awakening of giants like China and India, coupled with the friction that has resulted over “trade protectionism, economic conditionality, democracy and human rights” have made the “Asian values” debate political. “Asian values’ is a fundamentally racist term,” says Fulbright scholar Ravi Veloo, managing director of Media Campus, Singapore. “Riding on rising Asian economic power the way a parasite rides on a healthy host, infects the Asian mind with a sense of false psychological well-being by looking at the former colonial masters in a negative light, and presenting good values as ‘Asian,’ ignoring the rest of the world where such values are embraced. I am embarrassed for those who use this term,” he adds.Veloo is referring to the idea of “Asian values” invariably being seen in the context of an East-West dichotomy, where “Asian values” celebrate the community over individualism, the family, frugality, respect for learning, hard work, public duty, teamwork, in contrast to the perceived breakdown of the family, decadence, hedonism, excessive individualism, lack of teamwork, fecklessness, and ill discipline in the West. “One commonly cited example of Asian values is close-knit families,” says Veloo. “But what about African and Latin American societies where families are also closely knit. Are they Asian societies?” he asks.He is also not comfortable with the allegation that the West is inherently morally debased. “Another common derisory example of Western values is the overt sexuality of westerners, as if India did not invent the Kama Sutra,” he says. He adds: “We also ignore the fact that large conservative groups of Americans make up the Bible belt who reject the so-called Hollywood values. By the way, no church in the world puts up sexually suggestive figures in places of worship, unlike certain Asian places of worship.”Finally, he asks, “In which part of the world is AIDS, transmitted primarily by sex, the biggest rising problem? How could this even happen in one of the homes of ‘Asian values’?” The debate has taken political ocvertones with leaders such as Mahathir bin Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia and Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore, exhorting for a renaissance of “Asian values,” in concert with their economic rise,, in contrast to the socially and economically deteriorating Western societies.“The Asian values debate was something Lee Kuan Yew, forced into the public domain in the 1980s,” says P.N. Balji, former editor of Today and The New Paper. “He framed the debate with Chinese philosopher Confucius as the pillar. Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s main fear was the loss of respect for elders (read the authorities) as the onslaught of Western values through Hollywood movies and American lifestyle gained prominence.”After the Asian financial crisis and the new wave of globalization aided by information technology, says Balji, “the preaching of values disappeared. Today, Singapore is even more plugged into the Western world than ever before. Differentiating between eastern and western values makes no economic sense. Singapore realizes that too, like many other ideological debates here, has been dumped into the dustbin of politics.”Ameerali Abdeali, a bureaucrat and community leader in Singapore, says: “Both Western and Eastern cultures have been influenced by historical events and media exposure. Values are a subset of these cultures. Western and Asian values may differ considerably, for example, values such as filial piety and discipline are associated with Eastern culture and materialism and individualism are largely regarded as Western value. However, it would be misleading to suggest that one set of values is inherently superior to the other. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. So I am not for the outright rejection of one value system over the other.”Crazy Horse Paris seems to be playing pretty well as Singaporeans loosen up.Singapore authorities hope the Crazy Horse Paris topless cabaret, which debuted in December, will help shake off the country’s staid   Related Itemslast_img read more

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August 2017: Identify Image Win $30

first_imgNameEmailAddressCity Zip State AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyomingOther Other State PhoneDescription The winner of the June mystery image is NITIN ASSUDANI of Camp Hill, Penn., who correctly identified the image as that of a wrench. Related Itemslast_img read more

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Students stage sit-in protests in Manipur

first_imgAs a part of the continuing agitation in the wake of the death of a female student who was found “hanging” in a hostel in Imphal on July 18, men and women staged sit-in at several places. Police say that there was no untoward incident.Students’ organisations are demanding arrest of the principal Mrs Landhoni and other senior officials of Standard Robarth School, Imphal for police interrogation. The student Babysana Ningthoujam was a resident of the girl hostel of this private school.last_img read more

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AIUDF legislator out of NRC

first_img19 lakh people left out of Assam’s NRC Final List. What next?Volume 90%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9Live00:0001:5001:50  A legislator of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) has failed Assam’s citizenship test – for now.A former lawmaker has also found his name among the 19,06,657 people excluded from final National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on Saturday, as has the daughter of a serving Congress MLA.Ananta Kumar Malo, the AIUDF’s representative from the South Abhayapuri Assembly constituency in western Assam, said he was surprised not to find his name in list of citizens.“My son is in the exclusion list too. This is very unfortunate. Like the others, we will also have to go through the legal process to establish our citizenship,” he said.Ilias Ali, Congress MLA from Dalgaon, has made it to the NRC but his daughter has not.In southern Assam’s Cachar district, former legislator Ataur Rahman Mazarbhuiya has been excluded from the NRC along with one of his two daughters and son. He had won the Katigorah Assembly seat twice on an AIUDF ticket before moving to the Congress.Mr. Mazarbhuiya’s entire family had figured in the first NRC draft published on December 31, 2018. But four members of his family, including Mr Mazarbhuiya – he had used his own legacy data – were put in the exclusion list published on July 30, 2018. Watch | Assam’s NRC Final List is outcenter_img “We had gone to the NRC service centres for reverification of our documents, and we received the last notice a fortnight ago. The NRC officials had said our papers were valid, and said the mistakes would be rectified. It is surprising that one of daughters is in the NRC and the rest are not,” he told newspersons in Cachar district headquarters Silchar on Saturday.The former MLA said that he would have to face a Foreigners’ Tribunal in which “I don’t have much faith”.Ex-Army officer excludedMohammad Sanaullah, a retired junior commissioned officer of the Army who spent a few days in a detention after being declared a foreigner, has been excluded from the NRC along with his two daughters and son.His wife, however, however has been included in the final list.Also excluded from the list are women from West Bengal married into Hindu Bengali families settled in Panbazar locality – Guwahati’s oldest – for more than 150 years. One of the reasons is believed to have been the failure of the local authorities in West Bengal in verifying their documents in time.Among more than a score of such families is that of Brigadier K.P. Lahiri, who received Veer Chakra for his exploits in the 1965 war and also played a key role in drawing up the strategies during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.Some members of the family of Radha Krishna Saraswati, the first exporter of Assam silk a century ago, are also in the NRC-reject list.last_img read more

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Leh coldest recorded place in Ladakh, mercury marks improvement in Kashmir

first_imgLeh town of Ladakh was the coldest recorded place at a low of minus 6.3 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday marked an improvement after plummeting several degrees below season’s average over the past couple of days, a MeT department official said.However, Jammu city recorded a dip in the maximum and minimum temperature as sun played hide and seek during the day, the official said. Besides Leh, he said the nearby Kargil town and the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir also recorded sub-zero night temperatures of minus 3.8 and minus 1.3 degrees Celsius, respectively. The high altitudes of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh including Gulmarg experienced a fresh snowfall, while the plains were lashed by light to moderate rains between November 21 and 23. With sun making an appearance in Srinagar, the official said the city recorded an increase of five notches in the maximum temperature which settled at 12.4 degrees Celsius — just 1.4 degrees below normal during this part of the season. The minimum temperature in the city also shot up to 4.9 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s 3.2 degrees Celsius, he said adding it is 4.8 degrees above the season’s average. The maximum temperature in Jammu fell by 0.8 notches and settled at 24.3 degrees Celsius, while the night temperature in the city fell by over two degrees to settle at 12.9 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s 15.0 degrees Celsius, the official said. Bhaderwah town in Doda district was the coldest recorded place in Jammu region with a high of 14.7 degrees Celsius and a low of 4.5 degrees Celsius, the official said. He said Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi shrine, recorded a maximum of 21.5 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 11.6 degrees Celsius. The weatherman has forecast dry weather in most parts of the two union territories during the next two days followed by a brief spell of rain or snow at most places on November 27.last_img read more

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