|3D Picture of Subhaditya Science News|
Top Science News of this week:
|Phoenix rising This handout illustration provided by Nasa shows a cosmic supermom galaxy that gives births to more stars in a day than the Milky Way does in a year.|
1) Is this the largest galaxy in the universe? Newly-discovered 'Phoenix' system produces 740 new stars a year:
a) Unnamed galaxy produces more stars in a day than the Milky Way spawns in a year.
b) Thought to be about 6 billion years old, and has appeared to have 'come back to life'.
c) Scientist says the galaxy 'pushes the boundaries of what we understand'.
Scientists have found a cosmic supermom. It's a galaxy that gives births to more stars in a day than ours does in a year.
|Eyes in the sky The distant gigantic galaxy was spotted by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched into space in 1999.|
Astronomers used Nasa's Chandra X-Ray telescope to spot this distant gigantic galaxy creating about 740 new stars a year.
By comparison, our Milky Way galaxy spawns just about one new star each year.
The galaxy is about 5.7 billion light years away in the center of a recently discovered cluster of galaxies that give off the brightest X-ray glow astronomers have seen.
It is by far the biggest creation of stars that astronomers have seen for this kind of galaxy. Other types, such as colliding galaxies, can produce even more stars, astronomers said.But this is the size, type and age of galaxy that shouldn't be producing stars at such a rapid pace, said the authors of a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.'It's very extreme,' said Harvard University astronomer Ryan Foley, co-author of the study. 'It pushes the boundaries of what we understand.'
The unnamed galaxy - officially known by a string of letters and numbers - is about 3 trillion times the size of our sun, said study lead author Michael McDonald of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.There's another strange thing about this galaxy. It's fairly mature, maybe 6 billion years old.Usually, this kind 'don't do anything new... what we call red and dead,' McDonald said in an interview. 'It seems to have come back to life for some reason.'
Because of that back-to-life situation, the team of 85 astronomers has nicknamed the galaxy cluster Phoenix, after the bird that rises from the ashes.The galaxy that is producing the stars at a rate of two per day is the biggest and most prominent of many galaxies there.
It's 'helping us answer this basic question of how do galaxies form their stars,' said Michigan State University astronomer Megan Donahue, who wasn't part of the study but praised it.There's lots of very hot hydrogen gas between galaxies. When that gas cools to below zero, the gas can form stars, McDonald said.
But only 10 per cent of the gas in the universe becomes stars, Donahue said.That's because the energy from black holes in the center of galaxies counteract the cooling.There's a constant 'tussle between black holes and star formation,' said Sir Martin Rees, a prominent astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge in England.
He was not part of the study, but commented on it during a Nasa teleconference Wednesday In this case, the black hole in the central galaxy seems to be unusually quiet compared to other super massive black holes, Rees said. 'So it's losing the tussle,' he said.But this massive burst of star birth is probably only temporary because there's only so much fuel and limits to how big a galaxy can get, Foley said.'It could be just a very short-lived phase that every galaxy cluster has and we just got lucky here' to see it, Foley said.
I think This newly -discovered cluster may give a scientific conclusion That " How our Universe and stars were Formed Just After Big-Bang".
|Using next-generation sequencing technology and a novel strategy to encode 1,000 times the largest data size previously achieved in DNA, a Harvard geneticist encodes his book in life's language.|
2) Writing the Book in DNA: Geneticist Encodes His Book in Life's Language:
Using next-generation sequencing technology and a novel strategy to encode 1,000 times the largest data size previously achieved in DNA, a Harvard geneticist encodes his book in life's language.Although George Church's next book doesn't hit the shelves until Oct. 2, it has already passed an enviable benchmark: 70 billion copies -- roughly triple the sum of the top 100 books of all time. And they fit on your thumbnail.
That's because Church, the Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and a founding core faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biomedical Engineering at Harvard University, and his team encoded the book, Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves, in DNA, which they then read and copied.
Biology's databank, DNA has long tantalized researchers with its potential as a storage medium: fantastically dense, stable, energy efficient and proven to work over a timespan of some 3.5 billion years. While not the first project to demonstrate the potential of DNA storage, Church's team married next-generation sequencing technology with a novel strategy to encode 1,000 times the largest amount of data previously stored in DNA.
The team reports its results in the Aug. 17 issue of the journal Science.
The researchers used binary code to preserve the text, images and formatting of the book. While the scale is roughly what a 5 ¼-inch floppy disk once held, the density of the bits is nearly off the charts: 5.5 petabits, or 1 million gigabits, per cubic millimeter. "The information density and scale compare favorably with other experimental storage methods from biology and physics," said Sri Kosuri, a senior scientist at the Wyss Institute and senior author on the paper. The team also included Yuan Gao, a former Wyss postdoc who is now an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
And where some experimental media -- like quantum holography -- require incredibly cold temperatures and tremendous energy, DNA is stable at room temperature. "You can drop it wherever you want, in the desert or your backyard, and it will be there 400,000 years later," Church said.
Reading and writing in DNA is slower than in other media, however, which makes it better suited for archival storage of massive amounts of data, rather than for quick retrieval or data processing. "Imagine that you had really cheap video recorders everywhere," Church said. "Just paint walls with video recorders. And for the most part they just record and no one ever goes to them. But if something really good or really bad happens you want to go and scrape the wall and see what you got. So something that's molecular is so much more energy efficient and compact that you can consider applications that were impossible before."
About four grams of DNA theoretically could store the digital data humankind creates in one year.
Although other projects have encoded data in the DNA of living bacteria, the Church team used commercial DNA microchips to create standalone DNA. "We purposefully avoided living cells," Church said. "In an organism, your message is a tiny fraction of the whole cell, so there's a lot of wasted space. But more importantly, almost as soon as a DNA goes into a cell, if that DNA doesn't earn its keep, if it isn't evolutionarily advantageous, the cell will start mutating it, and eventually the cell will completely delete it."
In another departure, the team rejected so-called "shotgun sequencing," which reassembles long DNA sequences by identifying overlaps in short strands. Instead, they took their cue from information technology, and encoded the book in 96-bit data blocks, each with a 19-bit address to guide reassembly. Including jpeg images and HTML formatting, the code for the book required 54,898 of these data blocks, each a unique DNA sequence. "We wanted to illustrate how the modern world is really full of zeroes and ones, not As through Zs alone," Kosuri said.
The team discussed including a DNA copy with each print edition of Regenesis. But in the book, Church and his co-author, the science writer Ed Regis, argue for careful supervision of synthetic biology and the policing of its products and tools. Practicing what they preach, the authors decided against a DNA insert -- at least until there has been far more discussion of the safety, security and ethics of using DNA this way. "Maybe the next book," Church said.
|Two new species of owls have been discovered in the Philippines, and an MSU researcher played a key role in confirming their existence (Top left Cebu Hawk owl Bottom right Camiguin Hawk owl).|
3) Two New Owl Species Discovered in the Philippines
Two new species of owls have been discovered in the Philippines, and a Michigan State University researcher played a key role in confirming their existence.
The discovery, which is featured in the current issue of Forktail, the Journal of Asian Ornithology, took years to confirm, but it was well worth the effort, said the paper's lead author Pam Rasmussen, MSU assistant professor of zoology and assistant curator of mammalogy and ornithology at the MSU Museum.
"More than 15 years ago, we realized that new subspecies of Ninox hawk-owls existed in the Philippines," she said. "But it wasn't until last year that we obtained enough recordings that we could confirm that they were not just subspecies, but two new species of owls."
Announcing the finding of a single bird is rare enough. But the discovery of two new bird species in a single paper is so rare that Rasmussen and the other researchers couldn't recall the last time it happened.
The first owl, the Camiguin Hawk-owl, is found only on the small island of Camiguin Sur, close to northern Mindanao. Despite being so close geographically to related owls on Mindanao, it has quite different physical characteristics and voice. At night, it gives a long solo song that builds in intensity, with a distinctive low growling tone. Pairs of owls give short barking duets that start with a growl. They also are the only owls to have blue-gray eyes.
The second new discovery was the Cebu Hawk-owl. This bird was thought to be extinct, as the forests of Cebu have almost all been lost due to deforestation. But it had never been considered a distinct form. Study of its structure and vocalizations confirmed that it was a new species. In fact, it was the unique calling or vocalizations of both owls that confirmed that the new classifications were warranted.
"The owls don't learn their songs, which are genetically programmed in their DNA and are used to attract mates or defend their territory; so if they're very different, they must be new species," Rasmussen said. "When we first heard the songs of both owls, we were amazed because they were so distinctly different that we realized they were new species."
The owls have avoided recognition as distinct species for so long because the group shows complex variation in appearance that had been poorly studied, and their songs were unknown. Both islands are off the beaten path for ornithologists and birders, who usually visit the larger islands that host more bird species.
Sound recordings of both new owl species and those from other islands are available free on AVoCet.
Since the discovery process is both tedious and time consuming, it took a team of scientists and contributors to confirm the owls' existence. The team included individuals from BirdLife International, the Oriental Bird Club, Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. and Birdtour Asia. Additional support was provided by National Geographic.
4) Brain's Mysterious Switchboard Operator Revealed:
A mysterious region deep in the human brain could be where we sort through the onslaught of stimuli from the outside world and focus on the information most important to our behavior and survival, Princeton University researchers have found.
The researchers report in the journal Science that an area of our brain called the pulvinar regulates communication between clusters of brain cells as our brain focuses on the people and objects that need our attention. Like a switchboard operator, the pulvinar makes sure that separate areas of the visual cortex -- which processes visual information -- are communicating about the same external information, explained lead author Yuri Saalmann, an associate research scholar in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI). Without guidance from the pulvinar, an important observation such as an oncoming bus as one is crossing the street could get lost in a jumble of other stimuli.
Saalmann said these findings on how the brain transmits information could lead to new ways of understanding and treating attention-related disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia. Saalmann worked with senior researcher Sabine Kastner, a professor in the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute; and PNI researchers Xin Li, a research assistant; Mark Pinsk, a professional specialist; and Liang Wang, a postdoctoral research associate.
The researchers developed a new technique to trace direct communication between clusters of neurons in the visual cortex and the pulvinar. The team produced neural connection maps using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), then placed electrodes along those identified communication paths to monitor brain signals of macaques. The researchers trained the monkeys to play a video game during which they used visual cues to find a specific shape surrounded by distracting information. As the macaques focused, Saalmann and his colleagues could see that the pulvinar controlled which parts of the visual cortex sent and received signals.
Saalmann explains the Princeton findings as follows:
"A fundamental problem for the brain is that there is too much information in our natural environment for it to be processed in detail at the same time. The brain instead selectively focuses on, or attends to, the people and objects most relevant to our behavior at the time and filters out the rest. For instance, as we cross a busy city street, our brain blocks out the bustle of the crowd behind us to concentrate more on an oncoming bus.
"The transmission of behaviorally relevant information between various parts of the brain is tightly synchronized. As one brain area sends a signal about our environment, such as that a bus is approaching, another brain area is ready to receive it and respond, such as by having us cross the street faster. A persistent question in neuroscience, though, is how exactly do different brain areas synchronize so that important information isn't lost in the other stimuli flooding our brains.
"Our study suggests that a mysterious area in the center of the brain called the pulvinar acts as a switchboard operator between areas on the brain's surface known as the visual cortex, which processes visual information. When we pay attention to important visual information, the pulvinar makes sure that information passing between clusters of neurons is consistent and relevant to our behavior.
"These results could advance the understanding of the neural mechanisms of selective attention and how the brain transmits information. This is a necessary step in developing effective treatment strategies for medical disorders characterized by a failure of attention mechanisms. These conditions include ADHD, schizophrenia and spatial neglect, which is an inability to detect stimuli often observed following stroke.
"For our study, we trained monkeys to play a video game in which they paid attention to visual cues in order to detect different target shapes. We simultaneously recorded brain activity in the pulvinar and two different areas of the visual cortex. We could see a clear connective path from one portion of the cortex to another, as well as connective paths from the pulvinar to the cortex. When the monkeys paid attention to the visual cues, the pulvinar sent electrical pulses to synchronize particular groups of brain cells in the visual cortex to allow them to communicate effectively.
"A challenge in this study was that we needed to record the activity of cells that were 'speaking' directly with each other so we could trace the line of communication. But there are billions of brain cells. Traditionally, finding a cell-to-cell connection is as likely as randomly selecting two people talking on cell phones in different parts of New York City and discovering that they were speaking to each other.
"To 'listen in' on a direct cell conversation, we developed a new approach of using electrodes to record groups of brain cells that were anatomically connected. We first mapped neural connections in the brain via diffusion tensor imaging, which uses an MRI scanner to measure the movement of water along neural connections. We then used these images to implant electrodes at the endpoints of the neural connections shared by the pulvinar and the visual cortex.
"Our mapping of these communication networks and our finding that the pulvinar is vital to attention prompts a new consideration of the mechanisms behind higher cognitive function. We challenge the common notion that these functions depend exclusively on the cerebral cortex, the outermost layer of the brain responsible for decision-making, attention and language, among other abilities. It also suggests that the prevailing view that visual information is transmitted solely through a network of areas in the visual cortex needs to be revised to include the pulvinar as an important regulator of neural transmission."
|T cells are immune cells important for the defence against viruses The on,going exposure to cytomegalovirus impairs their function In the picture Two T cells red interacting with a dendritic cell another type of immune cell.|
5) Virus Throws a Wrench in the Immune System:
The cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a member of the herpesvirus family. Although most people carry CMV for life, it hardly ever makes them sick. Researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and from the USA have now unveiled long term consequences of the on-going presence of CMV: Later in life, more and more cells of the immune system concentrate on CMV, and as a result, the response against other viruses is weakened. These research results help to explain why the elderly are often more prone to infectious diseases than young people.
The viral immunologist Professor Luka Cicin-Sain, head of the junior research group "Immune Aging and Chronic Infections" at the HZI in Braunschweig, Germany, and his colleagues have now published their discovery in the open access journal PLoS Pathogens. In the article, they describe that even months after infection with CMV, mice still show weaker responses against other viruses such as the flu virus.
Most adults are infected with CMV, yet this infection goes unnoticed. Usually that is of no consequence, because in the vast majority of cases, this herpesvirus does not make them sick. Only for people with a weak immune system, like organ recipients, AIDS patients, or unborn babies infected during pregnancy, the infection is dangerous. In everyone else, the virus becomes latent and persists in the body, but is kept at bay by the immune system. "In young people this lasting activation of the immune system might even be beneficial, because an active immune system may defeat other infections rapidly. But a bright candle burns down faster," says Cicin-Sain, to clarify that the immune defence will wear out over the years. In elderly, the immune system loses function and its changes that present a clear loss of immune protection are summarily termed the "Immune risk profile," shortly IRP. A relationship between IRP and the presence of CMV has been observed in several clinical studies. However, up to now it was unclear whether IRP is a consequence of the CMV infection or, vice versa, the IRP resulted in increased susceptibility to CMV infection.
The results of Cicin-Sain's group and his American colleagues from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland and from the College of Medicine of the University of Arizona in Tucson show that the on-going CMV presence contributes to immune ageing. "Of course the immune system ages without CMV as well," Cicin-Sain explains. On the other hand, CMV is a permanent guest that demands a growing amount of attention from the T cells, an important group of immune defence cells. The longer the mice were infected with CMV, the more of these cells were engaged with the cytomegalovirus and were missing for the fight against other pathogens. Accordingly, the immune system of CMV-infected mice could not respond well to other infections, for instance to the flu- or the West-Nile-virus. "We believe that the large number of CMV-specific T cells in the lymph nodes is likely to impair the activation of the remaining cells," the researcher concludes. What accelerated the immune defence in the young organism now becomes a burden in an old organism and takes its toll. Luka Cicin-Sain thinks a little further and summarizes: "Our results clearly show how important it would be to develop a vaccine against the cytomegalovirus, despite its low direct impact on human health."
|3D Picture of Subhaditya Sports News|
Top Sports News of This week:
1) Messi and Ronaldo back as La Liga begins:
The Spanish league season kicks-off this weekend with Barcelona star Lionel Messi insisting it is not just a battle between himself and Cristiano Ronaldo.
"With Cristiano I have absolutely no problem. All that is said about us is to do with the press who want us to have our own personal battle but I have never competed with him or fought him," said the 25 year-old current holder of the FIFA Ballon d'Or. "I just try to do my job in the best way possible to win trophies for my national team and Barcelona", he continued after scoring in Argentina's 3-1 win over Germany on Wednesday night.
The two players were neck-and-neck in the goalscoring charts last season, with the Argentinian hitting 50 in the league compared to Ronaldo's 46, with an incredible 73 in all competitions for Messi and 60 for the Madrid star.
Madrid finished the season nine points clear of a Barca side that still managed to lift 4 titles in what was to be Pep Guardiola's last season of a hugely successful time for the Catalans.
The two giants kick-off the new campaign on Sunday with home games against Valencia and Real Sociedad, with one eye on their two-legged Spanish Super Cup encounter over the next two weeks.
The first-leg is in the Camp Nou next Thursday before the return game in Madrid 6 days later.
2) Olympic Closing Ceremony 2012: British Closed Games with Amusing Spectacle:
The closing ceremony is one of the best things about the Olympics because it signifies that the Games are finally coming to a close. The countries and their athletes have all earned the right to kick back and enjoy themselves.
These Olympians have spent the past three weeks putting their bodies on the line for their countries, and the closing ceremony is a way for the host country to give the athletes a party to celebrate their accomplishments. It's the host country's way of saying, "Thank you."
In one of the most varied musical performances ever done, the Brits definitely surprised and accomplished everything they needed to. From the youthful One Direction, Tinie Tempah and Ed Sheeran to the more experienced George Michael, Fatboy Slim and the Spice Girls, the spectacle was fun and a great expression of not just British music, but their hospitality.
The best part of the musical portion, though, was easily when the band Queen came out and had Jessie J singing with them. She has an underrated vocal ability, and I enjoyed their rendition of "We Will Rock You."
It was also pretty awesome to see video of Freddy Mercury and John Lennon projected on screens as part of the Games this year. It wouldn't have been the same without having original music from those two performers, as they are two of the biggest British musicians of all time.
Opening with "Mr. Blue Sky" by the Electric Light Orchestra was a beautiful touch, especially with the human-cannonball part leading into Monty Python doing a Bollywood dance at the end of it. There is an actual human cannonball to close out the act?
Part of what makes the British sense of humor hilarious is that it's just completely random and nonsensical. That same style continued here at the end of the Olympic Games with the comedic portion. There was no rhyme or reason to the act, just random British humor. And in this case, simpler was not just better, it made the closing ceremony worth watching.
Overall, I was thoroughly entertained. This was an amazing way to end the Games. It didn't have the same kind of substance as the opening ceremony did, but it didn't have to. It was fun and entertaining. It's just what the world needed.
|Team USA Wins the Olympics|
3) Team USA Wins the Olympics! That Is How It Works, Right?
The United States ended the 2012 Olympics with 104 medals, including 46 gold, leaving London as the clear winner of the Olympics. If the International Olympic Committee gave out medals for the country with the most medals, Team USA would have won another gold medal.
China finished second in the medal count with 88 total medals, 38 gold. Great Britain finished with 65 medals, including 29 gold, giving those in the host nation the bragging rights of most medals per capita.
Still, no matter how many people live in the respective countries or how many athletes those countries sent to compete in the Olympics, it is clear the United States won the 2012 Summer Games. We are the winners at winning. The best. The greatest. Raise our flag and sing our national anthem for the 47th time in 16 days,
|VVS Laxman smashes to the boundary as Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist (L) looks on during the second day of the first three-day match between India and Australia in Nagpur, 18 February 2001.|
4) VVS Laxman announces retirement from international cricket:
VVS Laxman, who won many a match for India with his wristy elegance including an epic 281 against Australia in Kolkata, today announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect, bringing down the curtains on a glorious career spanning 16 years. The 37-year-old Laxman, one of the finest batsmen in contemporary cricket, said that he felt it was the right time to bid adieu to the game which he played with "great pride for the country".
"I would like to announce my retirement from international cricket with immediate effect. I think it's right time to move on", an emotional Laxman told a press conference here.
Laxman, who was picked in the Indian squad for the two-match Test series against New Zealand beginning here from August 23, surprisingly chose to hang his boots with immediate effect without taking the opportunity to bow out of international cricket in front of his home crowd.
|3D Picture of Subhaditya Political News|
Top Political and other News of this week:
1) Assam violence fallout: Thousands of Northeast people flee Bangalore after rumours:
Rumour mongering over Assam violence has caused panic among the Northeastern students and professionals. An estimated 4,000 people who hail from the Northeast, but were living in Bangalore, are now rushing to leave the I-T city and return to their home states as a fallout of the recent communal clashes.
This is because they fear for their safety after many reportedly received anonymous SMSes saying they would be targeted in retaliatory attacks. "Our relatives in the Northeast are calling us back due to security reasons," one of the Northeast students said.
Many were seen boarding trains out of Bangalore on Wednesday, even after Karnataka's Home Minister R Ashok addressed them on the station's PA system to reassure them of their safety.
Karnataka Home Minister R Ashok spoke on the station public announcement system and appealed the Northeast people not to leave Bangalore. "Bangalore is safe, don't believe in rumours, don't leave Bangalore," he said.
Karnataka DGP Lalrokhuma Pachuau appealed to the Northeast students to not panic. "People claim they have received anonymous messages and saw updates on the social media. They should not panic as there is not a single attack anywhere. Northeast students are meeting state home minister and other senior police officials at 11 am. We have called a meeting at 4 pm of the Northeast leaders and other community leaders," he said.
The government says there is no need to panic. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde have spoken to Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar. He has also called a high-level meeting with senior police officials and Northeast community leaders.
Ranjan Biswas, PRO divisional office Bangalore, said, "There were too many people going to Guwahati, so we had to give them two special trains."
But not just Bangalore, there have been similar attacks elsewhere as well. Thirteen people were arrested for allegedly beating up Northeastern students in Pune last week. The Pune police met members of the Muslim community urging them to disregard a controversial MMS clip that has been doing the rounds. Police say the clip is doctored and aimed at creating communal tension. A case has been filed against unknown persons for circulating it. Security is being stepped up at colleges in the city.
Meanwhile, a Tibetan college student was stabbed in Mysore by two people who suspected him to be from the Northeast.
Government must take rapid and proper action to stop the Assam Violence. People Who threatening Northeast people in many states should be punished immediately before it became a Horrible situation. These violent incidents affects our Integrity and National Harmony. Let`s Hope and Prey for best.
It is very shocking that none of the Government Machinery in the rumoured states taking Proper action against those violence towards Northeast people but they are just blaming on social network like Facebook and Twitter for spreading those rumours.
|(CAG report on coal block allotment has said private firms are likely to gain Rs 1.86 lakh crore from coal blocks that were allocated to them on nomination basis instead of competitive bidding.)|
2) Coalgate: CAG reports slam UPA government, BJP demands PM's resignation:
Three key CAG reports were tabled in Parliament on Friday indicting the government of causing a combined loss of crores of rupees to the national exchequer.
The much-awaited CAG report on coal block allotment said private firms are likely to gain Rs 1.86 lakh crore from coal blocks that were allocated to them on nomination basis instead of competitive bidding.
The audit report on Delhi airport slams the levy of development fee on passengers and says the civil aviation ministry violated the bid conditions for the benefit of GMR-led DIAL to the tune of over Rs 3,415 crore.
|CAG report on Reliance Power|
The third CAG report flays post-bid concessions to Reliance Power and says the Anil Ambani-led firm got undue benefit of Rs 29,033 crore when the government allowed use of surplus coal from blocks alloted to Sasan power plant for its other projects.
Reacting to the CAG reports, minister of state in Prime Minister's office V Narayanasamy said that the govt auditor was not following its mandate.
Meanwhile, the BJP demanded resignation of the government alleging that scams in the coal, power and airport sectors had exposed the "loot and plunder" of the country. "
The party sought Prime Minister's resignation as he headed the coal ministry at the time of alleged irregularities.
Government is badly exposed by the three CAG reports on power, coal and Delhi airport. The magnitude of these scams, according to the CAG report, is between Rs 1.6 and 1.86 lakh crore," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters outside Parliament.
CAG's coal report
The CAG in its report, tabled in Parliament, names 25 companies including Essar Power, Hindalco, Tata Steel, Tata Power and Jindal Steel and Power which have got the blocks in various states.
"Delay in introduction of the process of competitive bidding has rendered the existing process beneficial to the private companies. Audit has estimated financial gains to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore likely to accrue to private coal block allottees," CAG said in a report on allocation of coal blocks. The CAG said it has arrived at the estimates based on the average cost of production and average sale price of opencast mines of Coal India in the year 2010-11.
"A part of this financial gain could have accrued to the national exchequer by operationalising the decision taken years earlier to introduce competitive bidding for allocation of coal blocks," CAG said.
The auditing body said it is "of strong opinion that there is a need for strict regulatory and monitoring mechanism to ensure that benefit of cheaper coal is passed on consumers".
The concept of allocation of captive coal blocks through competitive bidding was announced in 2004. However, government is yet to finalise the modus operandi of competitive bidding.
3) CAG slams development fee, concessional land to GMR-led DIAL
Government auditor CAG today slammed the government for giving out Delhi airport and its land with a potential earning capacity of Rs 1,63,557 crore to private-led operator DIAL which made a total equity contribution of only Rs 2,450 crore.
With an equity contribution of Rs 2,450 crore of which the private GMR-led consortium's share was Rs 1,813 crore, the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) got a brownfield airport for 60 years, the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said. A brownfield airport is one which is already in existence.
The CAG report on the 'Implementation of Public private partnership Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi', tabled in Parliament, claimed that the commercial rights of land was valued at Rs 24,000 crore with a potential earning capacity according to its own estimates of Rs 1,63,557 crore.
Currently, the DF is charged from both outgoing and incoming domestic and international passengers at the Delhi airport. The fee, levied in terms of distances, ranges from Rs 220 to Rs 520 for domestic passengers and Rs 490 to Rs 1200 for international ones.
Allowing DIAL to levy DF "vitiated the sanctity of bidding process" and led to undue benefit of Rs 3,415.35 crore to the private firm GMR, the CAG said. GMR Infrastructure holds 54 per cent stake in DIAL.
"It was noticed that Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India, on some occasions, violated the provisions of the transaction documents in the interest of the concessionaire," the official auditor said.
4) Geetika death case: Kanda gets 7-day police custody:
Former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, a key accused in the Geetika Sharma suicide case, was on Saturday remanded by a Delhi [ Images ] court to 7-day police custody.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D K Jangala remanded Kanda to police custody after the Delhi police said they need his sustained custodial interrogation to recover various documents and some hard drives which were missing from the MDLR Group's office and they also need to confront him with other documents which they have recovered till now.
During the hearing the police sought 14-days remand of Kanda saying that he is the sole source through whom they can collect all the documents and key evidence relating to the case.Kanda, who was arrested in the wee hours on Saturday after being on the run for the past 10 days, was produced in the court room which was packed to capacity.Many of his supporters were stopped from entering the court with police personnel bolting the door from inside.
Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, appearing for Kanda, vehemently opposed the police' plea for 14-days custody saying that his client was not an absconder as termed by the police and he himself had surrendered in a police station.He said that no purpose will be served by keeping his client in police custody as the cops have already searched the premises and his office.
|Julian Assange's Wikileaks website published leaked diplomatic cables.|
5) Julian Assange: Ecuador grants Wikileaks founder asylum:
Ecuador has granted asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange two months after he took refuge in its London embassy while fighting extradition from the UK.
It said his human rights might be violated if he is sent to Sweden to be questioned over sex assault claims.Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK would not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the country and the move was also criticised by Stockholm.Ecuador said it would seek to negotiate arrangements for Mr Assange to leave.
"We don't think it is reasonable that, after a sovereign government has made the decision of granting political asylum, a citizen is forced to live in an embassy for a long period," Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said.Mr Assange took refuge at the embassy in June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over assault and rape claims, which he denies.Mr Patino had accused the UK of making an "open threat" to enter its embassy to arrest Mr Assange, an Australian national.
Mr Assange said being granted political asylum by Ecuador was a "significant victory" and thanked staff in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
However, as the Foreign Office insisted the decision would not affect the UK's legal obligation to extradite him to Sweden, Mr Assange warned: "Things will get more stressful now."It was not Britain or my home country, Australia, that stood up to protect me from persecution, but a courageous, independent Latin American nation," said Mr Assange, who watched the announcement with embassy staff in a live link to a press conference in Quito.
|The militants managed to escape after carrying out the attack.|
6) Yemen attack: 'Al-Qaeda' fires on Aden intelligence HQ:
Suspected al-Qaeda militants have attacked the intelligence headquarters of Yemen's southern city of Aden killing 14 people, officials say.
The militants attacked the building from two sides, firing rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons inside.The "well-planned" attack took place in Aden's coastal Tawahi neighbourhood. Al-Qaeda remains active in the area, after a security vacuum was created in a year of protests against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.Militants have seized large parts of the south and east of the country.
A recent, two-month military offensive backed by the US drove them from their strongholds in towns in the southern Abyan province but many escaped into nearby mountains from where they continue to launch attacks.Among the dead in the Aden attack were at least 11 soldiers, many of whom were reported to be sleeping when hand grenades were thrown into their rooms.The militants launched the attack from both sides of the intelligence complex, situated next to a state television building. They then managed to escape.
"The operation seemed to have been well planned," a security source told Reuters, adding he believed the attackers belonged to al-Qaeda.A few weeks ago, suspected al-Qaeda militants carried out a suicide bombing that killed at least 45 people during a funeral in the city of Jaar. In May, more than 90 people died in a suicide bomb attack at a military parade rehearsal in the capital, Sanaa.
|3D Picture of Subhaditya Movies News|
Movie release of this week:
Expendables 2 Poster|
Sylvester Stallone Sylvester Stallone
Jason Statham Jason Statham
Jet Li Jet Li
Dolph Lundgren Dolph Lundgren
Chuck Norris Chuck Norris
The Expendables are back and this time it's personal! After Tool (Mickey Rourke), the heart and soul of the Expendables, is brutally murdered on a mission, his comrades swear to avenge him. They're not the only ones who want blood. Tool's beautiful young and wild daughter Fiona embarks on her own revenge mission, complicating matters when she is captured and ransomed by a ruthless dictator plotting to destroy a resistance movement. Now Barney and the Expendables must risk everything to save her and humanity.
|The Awakening Poster|
Rebecca Hall Rebecca Hall
Dominic West Dominic West
Imelda Staunton Imelda Staunton
John Shrapnel John Shrapnel
Haunted by the death of the fiancé, Florence spends her time debunking supernatural claims, using methodical and rational explanations to disprove the notion that the dead can still haunt us. She feels compelled to accept a request to go to Rookwood, a boarding school in the countryside where a boy has recently been found dead and rumours about a ghostly boy haunting the school are causing panic amongst pupils and parents alike.
Florence sets to work immediately, laying traps, gathering scientific evidence, uncovering secrets and seemingly unravelling the mystery. However, as Florence is about to leave, she has a chilling spectral encounter which defies all of her rational beliefs and sets her on a journey toward a heartbreaking climax.
with Plums Poster|
Mathieu Amalric Mathieu Amalric
Maria de Medeiros Maria de Medeiros
Golshifteh Farahani Golshifteh Farahani
Eric Caravaca Eric Caravaca
Teheran, 1958. Since his beloved violin was broken, Nasser Ali Khan, one of the most renowned musicians of his day, has lost all taste for life. Finding no instrument worthy of replacing it, he decides to confine himself to bed to await death. As he hopes for its arrival, he plunges into deep reveries, with dreams as melancholic as they are joyous, taking him back to his youth and even to a conversation with Azrael, the Angel of Death, who reveals the future of his children... As pieces of the puzzle gradually fit together, the poignant secret of his life comes to light: a wonderful story of love that inspired his genius and his music.
Robert Pattinson Robert Pattinson
Juliette Binoche Juliette Binoche
Sarah Gadon Sarah Gadon
Mathieu Amalric Mathieu Amalric
Jay Baruchel Jay Baruchel
New York City, not-too-distant-future: Eric Packer, a 28 year-old finance golden boy dreaming of living in a civilization ahead of this one, watches a dark shadow cast over the firmament of the Wall Street galaxy, of which he is the uncontested king. As he is chauffeured across midtown Manhattan to get a haircut at his father's old barber, his anxious eyes are glued to the yuan's exchange rate: it is mounting against all expectations, destroying Eric's bet against it. Eric Packer is losing his empire with every tick of the clock. Meanwhile, an eruption of wild activity unfolds in the city's streets. Petrified as the threats of the real world infringe upon his cloud of virtual convictions, his paranoia intensifies during the course of his 24-hour cross-town odyssey.
Kodi Smit-McPhee Kodi Smit-McPhee
Tucker Albrizzi Tucker Albrizzi
Anna Kendrick Anna Kendrick
Casey Affleck Casey Affleck
Christopher Mintz-Plasse Christopher Mintz-Plasse