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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Subhaditya News Channel Present Latest News From Science , Sport , Politics, Environmental Disaster , World Economy (6)

Science News of This Week:
3D Picture of Subhaditya Science News This Week

1) Selfish' DNA in Animal Mitochondria Offers Possible Tool to Study Aging:
Roundworm with selfish DNA  This roundworm has been found to have selfish mitochondrial DNA  a biological oddity never before discovered in an animal

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered, for the first time in any animal species, a type of "selfish" mitochondrial DNA that is actually hurting the organism and lessening its chance to survive -- and bears a strong similarity to some damage done to human cells as they age.

The findings, just published in the journal PLoS One, are a biological oddity previously unknown in animals. But they may also provide an important new tool to study human aging, scientists said.

Such selfish mitochondrial DNA has been found before in plants, but not animals. In this case, the discovery was made almost by accident during some genetic research being done on a nematode, Caenorhabditis briggsae -- a type of small roundworm.

"We weren't even looking for this when we found it, at first we thought it must be a laboratory error," said Dee Denver, an OSU associate professor of zoology. "Selfish DNA is not supposed to be found in animals. But it could turn out to be fairly important as a new genetic model to study the type of mitochondrial decay that is associated with human aging."

DNA is the material that holds the basic genetic code for living organisms, and through complex biological processes guides beneficial cellular functions. Some of it is also found in the mitochondria, or energy-producing "powerhouse" of cells, which at one point in evolution was separate from the other DNA.

The mitochondria generally act for the benefit of the cell, even though it is somewhat separate. But the "selfish" DNA found in some plant mitochondria -- and now in animals -- has major differences. It tends to copy itself faster than other DNA, has no function useful to the cell, and in some cases actually harms the cell. In plants, for instance, it can affect flowering and sometimes cause sterility.

"We had seen this DNA before in this nematode and knew it was harmful, but didn't realize it was selfish," said Katie Clark, an OSU postdoctoral fellow. "Worms with it had less offspring than those without, they had less muscle activity. It might suggest that natural selection doesn't work very well in this species."

2) Scientist Discovers Plate Tectonics On Mars:
View of central segment of Mars' Valles Marineris, in which an older circular basin created by an impact is offset for about 93 miles (150 kilometers) by a faul

For years, many scientists had thought that plate tectonics existed nowhere in our solar system but on Earth. Now, a UCLA scientist has discovered that the geological phenomenon, which involves the movement of huge crustal plates beneath a planet's surface, also exists on Mars.

"Mars is at a primitive stage of plate tectonics. It gives us a glimpse of how the early Earth may have looked and may help us understand how plate tectonics began on Earth," said An Yin, a UCLA professor of Earth and space sciences and the sole author of the new research.

Yin made the discovery during his analysis of satellite images from a NASA spacecraft known as THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) and from the HIRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. He analyzed about 100 satellite images -- approximately a dozen were revealing of plate tectonics.

Yin has conducted geologic research in the Himalayas and Tibet, where two of Earth's seven major plates divide.

"When I studied the satellite images from Mars, many of the features looked very much like fault systems I have seen in the Himalayas and Tibet, and in California as well, including the geomorphology," said Yin, a planetary geologist.

For example, he saw a very smooth, flat side of a canyon wall, which can be generated only by a fault, and a steep cliff, comparable to cliffs in California's Death Valley, which also are generated by a fault. Mars has a linear volcanic zone, which Yin said is a typical product of plate tectonics.

"You don't see these features anywhere else on other planets in our solar system, other than Earth and Mars," said Yin, whose research is featured as the cover story in the August issue of the journal Lithosphere.

The surface of Mars contains the longest and deepest system of canyons in our solar system, known as Valles Marineris (Latin for Mariner Valleys and named for the Mariner 9 Mars orbiter of 1971-72, which discovered it). It is nearly 2,500 miles long -- about nine times longer than Earth's Grand Canyon. Scientists have wondered for four decades how it formed. Was it a big crack in Mars' shell that opened up?

"In the beginning, I did not expect plate tectonics, but the more I studied it, the more I realized Mars is so different from what other scientists anticipated," Yin said. "I saw that the idea that it is just a big crack that opened up is incorrect. It is really a plate boundary, with horizontal motion. That is kind of shocking, but the evidence is quite clear.

"The shell is broken and is moving horizontally over a long distance. It is very similar to the Earth's Dead Sea fault system, which has also opened up and is moving horizontally."

The two plates divided by Mars' Valles Marineris have moved approximately 93 miles horizontally relative to each other, Yin said. California's San Andreas Fault, which is over the intersection of two plates, has moved about twice as much -- but Earth is about twice the size of Mars, so Yin said they are comparable.

Yin, whose research is partly funded by the National Science Foundation, calls the two plates on Mars the Valles Marineris North and the Valles Marineris South.

"Earth has a very broken 'egg shell,' so its surface has many plates; Mars' is slightly broken and may be on the way to becoming very broken, except its pace is very slow due to its small size and, thus, less thermal energy to drive it," Yin said. "This may be the reason Mars has fewer plates than on Earth."

Mars has landslides, and Yin said a fault is shifting the landslides, moving them from their source.

Does Yin think there are Mars-quakes?

"I think so," he said. "I think the fault is probably still active, but not every day. It wakes up every once in a while, over a very long duration -- perhaps every million years or more."

Yin is very confident in his findings, but mysteries remain, he said, including how far beneath the surface the plates are located.

"I don't quite understand why the plates are moving with such a large magnitude or what the rate of movement is; maybe Mars has a different form of plate tectonics," Yin said. "The rate is much slower than on Earth."

Earth has a broken shell with seven major plates; pieces of the shell move, and one plate may move over another. Yin is doubtful that Mars has more than two plates.

"We have been able to identify only the two plates," he said. "For the other areas on Mars, I think the chances are very, very small. I don't see any other major crack."

Did the movement of Valles Marineris North and Valles Marineris South create the enormous canyons on Mars? What led to the creation of plate tectonics on Earth?

Yin, who will continue to study plate tectonics on Mars, will answer those questions in a follow-up paper that he also plans to publish in the journal Lithosphere.

3) Evidence Further Suggests Extra-Terrestrial Origin of Quasicrystals:

Meteor striking Earth's atmosphere. Scientists reveal that new, naturally occurring quasicrystal samples have been found in an environment that does not have the extreme terrestrial conditions needed to produce them, therefore strengthening the case that they were brought to Earth by a meteorite

Results from an expedition to far eastern Russia that set out to find the origin of naturally occurring quasicrystals have provided convincing evidence that they arrived on Earth from outer space.

Writing in IOP Publishing's journal Reports on Progress in Physics, Paul J Steinhardt and Luca Bindi reveal that new, naturally occurring quasicrystal samples have been found in an environment that does not have the extreme terrestrial conditions needed to produce them, therefore strengthening the case that they were brought to Earth by a meteorite. Furthermore, their findings reveal that the samples of quasicrystals were brought to the area during the last glacial period, suggesting the meteorite was most likely to have hit Earth around 15 000 years ago.

"The fact that the expedition found more material in the same location that we had spent years to track down is a tremendous confirmation of the whole story, which is significant since the meteorite is of great interest because of its extraordinary age and contents," said Steinhardt.

In their report, Steinhardt and Bindi describe the expedition in which ten scientists, two drivers and a cook travelled 230 km into the Koryak Mountains of far eastern Russia to pan one and a half tons of sediment by hand, and survey local streams and mountains.

The group of researchers were on the look-out for naturally occurring quasicrystals -- a unique class of solids that were first synthesized in the laboratory by Israeli scientist Dan Shechtman in 1982. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2011 for this discovery.

The concept of quasicrystals was first introduced by Steinhardt and his student Dov Levine. Until their work, it had been believed that all solids, synthetic or natural, form ordinary crystals -- materials whose entire structure is made of a single-type cluster of atoms that repeat at regular intervals, joining together in much the same way as identical tiles in bathroom tiling.

It was also thought that crystals could only have two-, three-, four- and six-fold symmetries; however, Steinhardt and Levine found a new theoretical possibility, which they dubbed quasicrystals. A quasicrystal has two or more types of clusters that repeat at different intervals with an irrational ratio, which allows all the symmetries that were thought to be forbidden, such as five-fold symmetry, to be possible.

Since their discovery in the laboratory, researchers have created over one hundred artificial quasicrystals that have been used in a variety of applications, from non-stick frying pans and cutlery to ball bearings and razor blades.

4) And Then There Was Light! Discovery of the World's First Eyeless Huntsman Spider:
Front view of Sinopoda scurion – The spider’s eyes are completely missing.

A scientist from the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt has discovered the first eyeless huntsman spider in the world. The accompanying study has been published by the scientific journal Zootaxa.

With a leg span of only six centimetres and a body size of around twelve millimetres, the spider Sinopoda scurion is certainly not one of the largest representatives of the huntsman spiders, which include more than 1100 species. However, it is the first of its kind in the world without any eyes.

"I found the spider in a cave in Laos, around 100 kilometres away from the famous Xe Bang Fai cave," reports Peter Jäger, head of the arachnology section at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt. "We already knew of spiders of this genus from other caves, but they always had eyes and complete pigmentation. Sinopoda scurion is the first huntsman spider without eyes."

The regression of the eyes is attributable to living permanently without daylight. This adaptation was also observed in other cave-dwelling spider species by the Frankfurt arachnologist. "The Sinopoda species described demonstrate all kinds of transitions to cave adaptation -- from eight functioning eyes to forms with six, four and two lenses, right up to blind spiders," explains Jäger.

The spiders are in good company: fish, scorpions and crabs that have adapted to caves have already been found in the caves of Laos.

In total, the Frankfurt spider researchers have described nine new species of the genus Sinopoda. The fact that all of the species have been found in caves confirms the animals' preference for underground habitats. Because of the small-scale area in which the spider species can be found it is possible to study their adjustment to the cave as a dwelling -- the number of eyes present and the visual faculty may possibly shed light on the time of settlement. "Furthermore, the spiders can be used as indicators for the threat to their habitats. These are often endangered by tourism or the exploitation of the limestone rocks to make cement," says Jäger.

The eyeless huntsman spider was named after the Swiss company "Scurion" that makes headlamps for caves. "Sinopoda scurion is the first species that I have named after a company in the context of the Patrons for Biodiversity programme," explains Jäger. "The headlamps by Scurion help me to illuminate the darkest corners on my cave trips, and thus recognise hazards such as poisonous snakes and scorpions, but also discover very small organisms."

5) NASA Curiosity Mars Rover Installing Smarts for Driving:
Traces of Landing- This mosaic image shows part of the left side of NASA's Curiosity rover and two blast marks from the descent stage's rocket engines.Several small bits of rock and soil, which were made airborne by the rocket engines, are visible on the rover's top deck.

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity will spend its first weekend on Mars transitioning to software better suited for tasks ahead, such as driving and using its strong robotic arm.

The rover's "brain transplant," which will occur during a series of steps Aug. 10 through Aug. 13, will install a new version of software on both of the rover's redundant main computers. This software for Mars surface operations was uploaded to the rover's memory during the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft's flight from Earth.

"We designed the mission from the start to be able to upgrade the software as needed for different phases of the mission," said Ben Cichy of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., chief software engineer for the Mars Science Laboratory mission. "The flight software version Curiosity currently is using was really focused on landing the vehicle. It includes many capabilities we just don't need any more. It gives us basic capabilities for operating the rover on the surface, but we have planned all along to switch over after landing to a version of flight software that is really optimized for surface operations."

A key capability in the new version is image processing to check for obstacles. This allows for longer drives by giving the rover more autonomy to identify and avoid potential hazards and drive along a safe path the rover identifies for itself. Other new capabilities facilitate use of the tools at the end of the rover's robotic arm.

While Curiosity is completing the software transition, the mission's science team is continuing to analyze images that the rover has taken of its surroundings inside Gale Crater. Researchers are discussing which features in the scene to investigate after a few weeks of initial checkouts and observations to assess equipment on the rover and characteristics of the landing site.

The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft delivered Curiosity to its target area on Mars at 10:31:45 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5 (1:31:45 a.m. EDT on Aug. 6), which includes the 13.8 minutes needed for confirmation of the touchdown to be radioed to Earth at the speed of light.

Curiosity carries 10 science instruments with a total mass 15 times as large as the science payloads on NASA's Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Some of the tools, such as a laser-firing instrument for checking rocks' elemental composition from a distance, are the first of their kind on Mars. Curiosity will use a drill and scoop, which are located at the end of its robotic arm, to gather soil and powdered samples of rock interiors, then sieve and parcel out these samples into the rover's analytical laboratory instruments.

To handle this science toolkit, Curiosity is twice as long and five times as heavy as Spirit or Opportunity. The Gale Crater landing site at 4.59 degrees south, 137.44 degrees east, places the rover within driving distance of layers of the crater's interior mountain. Observations from orbit have identified clay and sulfate minerals in the lower layers, indicating a wet history.

3D Picture of Subhaditya Sports News This Week

Sport News This week:

1) London Olympics 2012 boxing: Mary Kom settles for bronze:
India's Mary Kom

India's Mary Kom went down to Nicol Adams 6 - 11 in the semi-final bout to settle for bronze in the women's fly category at the London Olympics 2012.: Mother Mary of Boxing.The mother of two from Manipur was completely out-boxed by the second-seeded Briton in all the four rounds (1-3, 1-2, 2-3, 2-3) to deny the Indian to enter the final of the event.

“I am sorry, couldn’t win gold or silver. I know my fans prayed and wished for me. I tried my hardest. Happy got a bronze,” she told reporters after the match.
Losing semi-finalists in Olympic boxing are awarded the bronze medal. This is India's fourth medal at the London Games, making it the highest ever medal haul for the nation.She became the first Indian women boxer to claim an Olympic medal by entering the semifinal of women`s 51 kg category defeating Maroua Rahali of Tunisia.The diminutive boxer from Manipur increased her weight category from 48kg to 51kg in order for her to be eligible for participation in the prestigious quadrennial event. The mother of two has been a five-time world champion in the 48kg category.

2) Usain Bolt wins Olympic gold in 200 meters, 1st man to win back-to-back sprint doubles:
Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt backed up his billing as a "living legend" by winning the Olympic 200 meters and becoming the first athlete to repeat as double Olympic sprint champion.

"It's what I came here to do. I'm now a legend," Bolt said. "I'm also the greatest athlete to live. I've got nothing left to prove."

Undaunted by the first world record of the Olympic track meet run by 800-meter winner David Rudisha less than an hour before the 200 final, Bolt was not about to be upstaged by anyone.

He dominated his favorite event almost from the starting gun and had enough of a lead to slow down at the line, bring his left index finger to his mouth and signal a "ssssshhh" that was broadcast around the globe.

It should certainly silence the critics who doubted his form ahead of the Olympics. But he didn't stand a chance of hushing the 80,000-capacity crowd at the Olympic Stadium, which went wild as Bolt delivered on his promise of winning when it counts most.

His 19.32-second winning time was just .02 seconds outside his winning mark at the Beijing Olympics.

Just like Sunday's victory in the 100, his junior training partner Yohan Blake stayed closest, and Warren Weir made it a full Jamaican medal sweep before Wallace Spearmon of the United States crossed in fourth place."The guy is just on another planet right now," Spearmon said of Bolt.

3) India end tour on a high with big win:
Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli and Irfan Pathan starred in India’s 39-run win over Sri Lanka in the lone Twenty20 International at Pallekele on Tuesday, capping a successful tour that also saw the visitors winning the ODI series 4-1 this past week.

The win took India to the No.4 spot in the ICC’s Twenty20 rankings.

India was sent in by Sri Lanka and posted 155-3, chiefly through Kohli’s maiden T20 half-century, and pegged Sri Lanka back in the chase through Irfan Pathan’s three early strikes.

The hosts stuttered Pathan removed the top three batsmen with just 35 on the board.

Pathan picked up a wicket in each of his first three overs. Dilshan was bowled by a late inswinger in the first over and Upul Tharanga followed a horribly wide delivery with an equally horrible shot

Mahela Jayawardene (26), who had appeared to be the lone batsman with a head for the chase, was handed a marginal leg before verdict in the fifth over when he had raced to 26.

Jayawardene had spanked four fours in Umesh Yadav’s fourth over of the chase, but after his dismissal Sri Lanka slowed down.

They attempted to course correct through Thirimanne (20) and Angelo Mathews (31), but R. Ashwin came on in the tenth over and bowled the former as he went for the reverse sweep.

After Mathews was caught behind off Ashok Dinda, Sri Lanka needed 60 in 7 overs. But Perera and Mendis failed to move along, and the run rate soon crept beyond the point of attainment. Dinda mopped up the tail to finish with four for 19, the game ending when he had Lasith Malinga caught behind on the last ball of the 18th over, with the score on 116.

4) Yuvraj, Harbhajan Singh back in India colours:

The national selectors came up with many surprises in their last meeting here on Friday as they sat down to pick up the Indian teams for the two-Test series at home against New Zealand and the Twenty20 international meets.

Barely months after his remarkable recovery from a rare germ cell cancer, Yuvraj Singh has been included in the team for the World T20 to be held in Sri Lanka from September 18. The same team will do business in the two T20Is against New Zealand prior to the biennial event.

Another interesting pick is the selection of senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was dropped from the national side for want of performances and has been out for a year. Hardworking seamer from Tamil Nadu, Lakshmipathy Balaji, makes a comeback to the national side after three years. His remarkable performance with the ball for the triumphant Kolkata Knight Riders in this year’s IPL must have paved the way for his selection. He is yet to play T20Is, though.

5) Olympic 2012 Men's Football Results: Brazil Thrashes South Korea, 3-0, to Advance to Gold Medal Match Against Mexico:
Mexico's Javier Cortes (7) celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal against Japan during their men's semi-final soccer match at Wembley Stadium in London at the London 2012 Olympic Games, August 7, 2012

South Korea's eye-opening run at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London has come up short of the gold medal match, as one of the world's foremost football nations took one step closer towards complete domination of the field.

Leandro Damiao scored a pair of goals to become the leading scorer at the Olympics, powering Brazil to a 3-0 win over South Korea on Tuesday at Old Trafford in Manchester. The win in the second semifinal of the 2012 Olympic men's football tournament put the Brazilians into the gold medal match against Mexico, a 3-1 winner over Japan earlier in the day at Wembley Stadium in London. The Brazilians started the scoring in the 38th minute with a goal by Romulo. After a great run by Oscar, the newly-minted Chelsea midfielder sent a pass off to Romulo on his right, and Romulo fired a shot toward the near post that slipped under the outstretched leg of South Korean goalkeeper Bum Young Lee.

Brazil struck again in the 57th minute, as Damiao scored his team-best fifth goal of the Olympics. Damiao was the beneficiary of a great cross from Neymar on the left side, who found the International star near the top of the box for the second goal of the match.

With the win, Brazil advances to Saturday's final against Mexico, scheduled for a 3 p.m. local start (10 a.m. in the U.S.) at Wembley Stadium. South Korea will face Japan for the bronze on Friday evening, a match scheduled for a 7:45 p.m. start local time (2:45 p.m. in the U.S.).

 6) London: Yogeshwar Dutt won India's fith medal and fourth bronze at London Olympics in Men's 60kg freestyle category wrestling. 
London Olympics 2012 Wrestling: Yogeshwar Dutt wins bronze medal
Yogeshwar Dutt won India's fith medal and fourth bronze at London Olympics in Men's 60kg freestyle category wrestling.

Dutt defeated Jong Myong Ri of DPR Korea 3-1 taking the thrid period 6-0. This is India's 3rd Olympic bonze medal in wrestling.Yogeshwar Dutt wrestled three bouts in a span of 45 minutes to clinch bronze.

After losing his second round match to Besik Kudukhov of Russia Dutt won two repechage rounds and then the bronze medal match. Yogeshwar Dutt defeated Masoud Esmaeilpoorjouybari of Iran 3-1 in the second repechage round to book a place in the bronze medal bout.

Earlier, Yogeshwar Dutt won his first repechage round against Franklin Gomez Matos of Puerto Rico 3-0.A determined Yogeshwar, who had lost in the quarterfinals in Beijing, churned out one of his best performances against North Korean Jong Myong Ri to win the bronze medal play-off match 3-1 at the ExCel Arena, which was packed with Indian supporters.

Yogeshwar, who was in his third Olympics, also became the third Indian wrestler after Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav and Sushil Kumar to win an Olympic medal. Jadhav and Kumar had won bronze medals in 1952 Helsinki and 2008 Beijing Games.

3D Picture of Subhaditya Political News This Wee


Political and Other news of this week:
Two woman hug as community members pay respects to the six victims in the mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, at the Oak Creek High School August, 10, 2012 Oak Creek Wisconsin.

1) Sikh Temple Shooting: Wisconsin Community Reacts to Shocking Attack:

At least seven people were killed Sunday when a gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, authorities said. The suspected shooter was later killed in exchange of gunfire with police and is counted among the dead. Earlier unconfirmed reports suggested there were multiple shooters. Police were called to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek on Sunday morning, when witnesses said several dozen people had gathered for prayers.

Chief Minsiter Tarun Gogoi said no fresh incidents have been reported from any place since the past 24 hours

2) Gogoi orders judicial inquiry into Assam violence :

A judicial inquiry will be held to probe the Bodo-minority violence in lower Assam even as CBI has taken up seven cases related to the clashes that have claimed 77 lives so far.

"We have decided on a judicial inquiry. This will be done at a much larger scale and cover the entire gamut of issues, including lapses by administration and recommendations for preventing such incidents in future," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters in Guwahati on Saturday.

His announcement came a few hours after the state police said CBI will investigate seven cases related to the violence, which started on July 19-20 and have displaced over four lakh people. However, the details of the judicial inquiry was not divulged. Gogoi said no fresh incidents have been reported from any place since the past 24 hours.

"We have formed peace committees in the violence hit areas to ensure that confidence return to the people," he said adding and an all party meeting would be organised soon to coordinate relief and rehabilitation work.

The chief minister said 1.6 lakh people displaced in the conflict have returned to their homes from refugee camps.

"We have already closed down 101 camps. Our effort is to send back the rest of the camp inmates back to their respective homes."

Gogoi denied allegations by some parties that formation of the Bodoland Territorial Council(BTC) had led to mistrust and enmity among Bodos and non-Bodos in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).

"There were more violent clashes and more deaths before BTAD was formed," he said.

Gogoi charged opposition AGP and BJP with playing politics and said his government had done its best to prevent illegal immigration from Bangladesh. Border patrolling had been intensified, strengthening riverine policing strengthened and floodlights erected on Indo-Bangla border. Refuting the opposition charge that illegal immigrants were behind the clashes, he shot back saying "If there are any foreigners they (AGP and BJP) should prove it. The statement made by them are false."

There are no illegal infiltrators in the camps for displaced persons of the ethnic violence, he said.
Senior BJP leader LK Advani

3) Advani’s bombshell: ‘Non-Cong, non-BJP PM feasible in 2014’:

Senior BJP leader LK Advani hurled a political bombshell on Sunday by writing in his blog that a non-Congress, non-BJP Prime Minister heading a government supported by one of these two principal parties can’t be ruled out in 2014 elections.

"A non-Congress, non-BJP Prime Minister heading a government supported by one of these two principal parties is, however, feasible. This has happened in the past also", Advani wrote in his latest blog post.

He, however, cautioned that this may not be a very stable dispensation.

The BJP leader cited the examples of Charan Singh, Chandrashekhar, Deve Gowda and I K Gujral (all supported by Congress) as well as V P Singh (supported by BJP) to bring home his point.

Advani said there has been stability at the Centre only when the government has had either a Congress or a BJP Prime Minister.

Ruling out the possibility of a third front government in 2014, Advani said, “The shape which national polity has acquired in the past two and a half decades makes it practically impossible for any government to be formed in New Delhi which does not have the support either of the Congress or of the BJP.”

Advani quoted his recent interaction with two Union Ministers who expressed the apprehension that neither the Congress nor the BJP-led coalitions may get a clear majority in the next Lok Sabha elections The BJP veteran, however, termed the Congress-led UPA as “badly mismanaged”.

“Unfortunately, the two Governments since 2004, UPA-I and UPA- II have both been so badly mismanaged that the current state of anxiety in the ruling establishment is quite understandable”, he wrote.The BJP patriarch said that the principal beneficiary of the Congress Party’s “fast eroding reputation” continues to be the BJP.

Predicting a huge loss for the Congress in the next general elections he said, its score will sink to “double digits”.

Delay in monsoon hampers rice sowing

4) Delay in monsoon hampers rice sowing:

WITH the delay in monsoon rains, rice sowing is in trouble in Punjab. By the end of July, the province had cultivated only 64 per cent of its 4.2 million acres target — putting 36 per cent in the late sowing category.

A part of it might never be sown at all if the situation does not improve in the next few days.

What is more distressing for farmers is that meteorological forecasts for August are not encouraging either. The meteorological officials have warned of even August being a less rainy month.

The nursery is already mature but cannot be taken to the fields because of lack of rains and water. A traveler in the central Punjab, the main hub of rice production, could see the nurseries going yellowish in the June-July heat and absence of enough rain.

The governments (federal and provincial) need to improve the meteorological forecast system. Two months ago, the forecasts warned of up to 15 per cent more rains during this monsoon, spinning federal and provincial flood control paraphernalia into action. Till three weeks ago, Punjab was assembling and training manpower for flood controlling and mitigating measures. Within a fortnight, it is getting ready to deal with draught after meteorological officials’ assessment that rains might be actually 30 per cent less.

The fluctuation of 45 per cent within a span of few weeks is a recipe for disaster in agricultural terms. No farmer can plan crops under such uncertain circumstances. Thus, the government needs to figure out what went wrong, where and why?

Rain forecast is more crucial for rice for two reasons; canal supplies are minimum in the area and rains, along with water, bring weather conditions necessary for the plant growth. Canals in the rice growing area are designed to cater for minimum needs of the crop.

For the last two weeks, the canals are being run up, in some cases, over and above their capacity. All five crucial canals (upper and lower Chenab, upper and lower Jhelum, MR Link) having a capacity of 26,200 cusecs are being run on 27,000 cusecs since June 21. But farmers have still not been able to sow rice because the second part (rains) of sowing process is missing.

Apart from water and natural nutrition, rains also bring cloud cover hampering evaporation in the field and help maintaining water levels. That is why they are crucial — turning forecast about them into a decisive factor for rice sowing and early growth. Without rain, there would be no rice.

Based on the earlier meteorological rains forecast, Punjab water planners diverted early water to South Punjab for cotton sowing and watering. They were confident that they would have abundance of water by end of July, supplemented by additional rains. Everything stands topsy turvy now, as they term the situation “critical for rice crop.”

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivers foreign policy remarks at Mishkenot Sha'ananim in front of the Old City of Jerusalem,

5) Burman: Middle East needs daring leadership from Western politicians:

Having not been back to this wondrous city for nearly a decade, I had forgotten its magic. From afar, its politics can smother. But walking its ancient streets — so holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians for so long — can be uplifting. Thousands of years of history and so much still survives.

But we can take nothing for granted in this part of the world, and present-day politics always intrudes. Thus, the question: will Jerusalem survive the bizarre partnership of Mitt Romney, casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson and Benjamin Netanyahu?

Having apparently drawn the short straw, I was in Jerusalem when Romney and his gang of well-heeled American Republicans came to town. My visit was part of a three-week personal trip to Israel, Lebanon and Jordan. Overall, it was striking how nervous the region is this summer. Not only are there widespread fears that war with Iran is only weeks away, there is also worry about a third “intifada” among angry Palestinians and the possibility of renewed warfare between Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Israel.

This is not happening merely by chance. There are reasons and one in particular, I believe, rarely gets mentioned. There has been an abysmal failure of leadership regarding the Middle East — not only failure by Israeli and Arab leaders, but also by American and other Western leaders, including Canada’s. If one looks back at the seemingly intractable challenges of recent decades, such as the Cold War and apartheid in South Africa, they were solved largely because particular leaders chose to do daring things, often at considerable political risk, to break the impasse.

And this gets me back to Romney’s odd visit to Israel the other week. In a brief 48-hour period, Romney perfectly embodied the ill-informed, pandering politician whose actions can only serve to make a delicate situation in the Middle East worse. His sidekick, at a breakfast “fundraiser” with about 50 top U.S. Republican donors, was Nevada casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson is strongly pro-Israeli, a generous financial backer to Prime Minister Netanyahu and owner of Israel’s most popular newspaper, Israel Hayom (Israel Today). Although an American, Adelson was once quoted as saying that “the uniform that I wore in the military, unfortunately, was not an Israeli uniform. It was an American uniform.” He also was Newt Gingrich’s biggest backer when he was running for president and encouraged Gingrich to describe Palestinians as an “invented people.”

As Adelson’s power and influence within the conservative movement grows, this is the strange circle in which Romney — and Netanyahu — now find themselves.

From the trip, it may be Romney’s attitude regarding Iran that will be most enduring. In his meeting with Netanyahu, Romney indicated he felt the United States should do nothing to interfere with Israel’s “right” to defend itself against a possible nuclear threat from Iran. In Israel, this was widely interpreted as a “green light” from Romney for Israel to strike Iran.

In recent days, the debate over Iran has dominated Israeli media. Although much of Israel’s military establishment opposes a strike, it is widely believed that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak favour it and want to strike before the Nov. 6 U.S. presidential elections. Efraim Halevy, former Mossad intelligence chief, recently gave an interview in which he said: “If I were an Iranian, I would be very scared of the next 12 weeks.” His comments prompted two other former Israeli military leaders to suggest they felt an attack was “imminent.”

3D Picture of Subhaditya Movie News This Week

Movies Release of This Week:
Poster of The Bourne Legacy

Director:Tony Gilroy
Writers:Tony Gilroy (screenplay), Dan Gilroy (screenplay),
Stars:Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton

An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum's novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films. The Bourne Legacy is an upcoming 2012 American action thriller film and the fourth installment in the Bourne film series, which is based on Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne novels.

Poster of RedHook Summer

Director:Spike Lee
Writer:Spike Lee (screenplay)
Stars:Jules Brown, Thomas Jefferson Byrd and Toni Lysaith

A middle-class boy from Atlanta finds his worldview changed as he spends the summer with his deeply religious grandfather in the housing projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. 

Poster of 2 days in New York

Director:Julie Delpy
Writers:Julie Delpy (screenplay), Alexia Landeau (screenplay),
Stars:Julie Delpy, Chris Rock and Albert Delpy

2 Days in New York is a 2012 romantic comedy film co-written and directed by Julie Delpy. It is a sequel to Delpy's 2007 film 2 Days in Paris. Manhattan couple Marion and Mingus, who each have children from prior relationships, find their comfortable family dynamic jostled by a visit from Marion's relatives. 

Poster Of Hope Springs

Director:David Frankel
Writer:Vanessa Taylor
Stars:Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell

After thirty years of marriage, a middle-aged couple attends an intense, week-long counseling session to work on their relationship. 

Poster of Freelancer

    Robert De Niro Robert De Niro
    Forest Whitaker Forest Whitaker
    Dana Delany Dana Delany
    Beau Garrett Beau Garrett

Director:Jessy Terrero
Writer:L. Philippe Casseus

The son of a slain NYPD officer joins the force, where he falls in with his father's former partner and a team of rogue "Gotham cops." His new boss, Sarcone (De Niro), will see if he has what it takes to be rogue through many trials and tribulations of loyalty, trust and respect. However, when the truth about his father's death is revealed, revenge takes over and he won't stop until justice has been truly served.

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