|3D Picture of Science News|
Science News This Week:
|3 new species of venomous primate identified by MU researcher|
1) 3 new species of venomous primate identified by MU researcher:
A venomous primate with two tongues would seem safe from the pet trade, but the big-eyed, teddy-bear face of the slow loris (Nycticebus sp.) has made them a target for illegal pet poachers throughout the animal's range in southeastern Asia and nearby islands. A University of Missouri doctoral student and her colleagues recently identified three new species of slow loris. The primates had originally been grouped with another species. Dividing the species into four distinct classes means the risk of extinction is greater than previously believed for the animals but could help efforts to protect the unusual primate. "Four separate species are harder to protect than one, since each species needs to maintain its population numbers and have sufficient forest habitat," said lead author Rachel Munds, MU doctoral student in anthropology in the College of Arts and Science. "Unfortunately, in addition to habitat loss to deforestation, there is a booming black market demand for the animals. They are sold as pets, used as props for tourist photos or dismembered for use in traditional Asian medicines."
According to Munds, slow lorises are not domesticated and are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. She contends that keeping the animals as pets is cruel and that domesticating them is not feasible.
"Even zoos have difficulty meeting their nutritional needs for certain insects, tree gums and nectars," said Munds. "Zoos rarely succeed in breeding them. Nearly all the primates in the pet trade are taken from the wild, breaking the bonds of the lorises' complex and poorly understood social structures. The teeth they use for their venomous bite are then torn out. Many of them die in the squalid conditions of pet markets. Once in the home, pet keepers don't provide the primates with the social, nutritional and habitat requirements they need to live comfortably. Pet keepers also want to play with the nocturnal animals during the day, disrupting their sleep patterns."
The newly identified species hail from the Indonesian island of Borneo. Munds and her colleagues observed that the original single species contained animals with significantly different body sizes, fur thickness, habitats and facial markings. Museum specimens, photographs and live animals helped primatologists parse out four species from the original one. Now instead of one animal listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, there may be four endangered or threatened species. This potential change in conservation status may serve to draw attention the plight of the primates and increase legal protections.
"YouTube videos of lorises being tickled, holding umbrellas or eating with forks have become wildly popular," said Anna Nekaris, study co-author, primatology professor at Oxford Brookes University and MU graduate. "CNN recently promoted loris videos as 'feel good' entertainment. In truth, the lorises gripping forks or umbrellas were simply desperate to hold something. The arboreal animals are adapted to spending their lives in trees constantly clutching branches. Pet keepers rarely provide enough climbing structures for them."
The pet trade isn't the only threat to loris survival. The animals also are used in Asian traditional medicines. The methods used to extract the medicines can be exceedingly violent, according to Nekaris, who also is director of the slow loris advocacy organization, Little Fireface Project. For example, in order to obtain tears of the big-eyed lorises, skewers are inserted into the animals' anuses and run through their bodies until they exit the mouth. The still-living animals are then roasted over a smoky fire and the tears that stream from their eyes are collected and used to supposedly treat eye diseases in humans. "Taxonomy of the Bornean Slow Loris, with New Species Nycticebus Kayan," was published in the American Journal of Primatology. The paper described the physiological and habitat differences that justified dividing the three new species of slow loris (N. bancanus, N. borneanus and N. kayan) from the original species of slow loris N. menagensis.Susan Ford of Southern Illinois University also was co-author.
|See-through 'MitoFish' opens a new window on brain diseases|
2) See-through 'MitoFish' opens a new window on brain diseases:
Scientists have demonstrated a new way to investigate mechanisms at work in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases, which also could prove useful in the search for effective drugs. For new insights, they turned to the zebrafish, which is transparent in the early stages of its life. The researchers developed a transgenic variety, the "MitoFish," that enables them to see -- within individual neurons of living animals -- how brain diseases disturb the transport of mitochondria, the power plants of the cell. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and MS (multiple sclerosis) are quite different in their effects on patients' cognitive and motor functions, behavior, and prognosis. Yet on the level of individual neurons, common mechanisms can be observed that either cause or accompany nerve degeneration in a number of different diseases. One of these is a disturbance in the transport of mitochondria, organelles that play several vital roles in the life of a cell -- above all, delivering energy where it is needed. And in a neuron, an extremely power-hungry cell, that means moving mitochondria all the way down its longest extension, the axon. Studying mitochondria transport in other animal models of neurodegenerative disease, particularly in mice, has been revealing. But the MitoFish model opens up new possibilities.
The new model was jointly developed in the labs of Prof. Thomas Misgeld of the Technische Universität München (TUM) and Dr. Bettina Schmid, a senior scientist of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) based at the institute of LMU Prof. Christian Haass. "This collaboration has provided a system," Misgeld says, "with which we can try to understand the traffic rules or the life cycle of a given organelle, in this case mitochondria, in the context of a nerve cell that's existing in its physiological environment, where it is developing and changing. Most of these things we don't understand well enough to model them in another setting, so we have the organism do it for us."
The MitoFish is both readily manipulated, enabling researchers to pose specific questions, and literally transparent -- allowing non-invasive in vivo observation of changes relevant to disease processes. It is possible to image a whole, living neuron over time and to follow the movements of mitochondria within it. "The zebrafish is an established genetic model," Schmid explains, "which means you can bring foreign genes or certain proteins into a fish to test hypotheses about basic biology, disease mechanisms, or potential therapies. And because the early embryo is transparent, you can label specific nerve cells with a fluorescent protein and then look at them in an intact, living animal."
The researchers stress that this new window into the neurodegenerative diseases could not have been opened without combining complementary expertise: from Misgeld's lab, imaging and analysis focused on organelle dynamics; and from Schmid's lab, development of transgenic zebrafish models that are stable enough for long-term study. The first authors of the team's report in The Journal of Neuroscience are Gabriela Plucińska (TUM) and Dominik Paquet (LMU). The collaboration leaders are linked through participation in the newly established Excellence Cluster SyNergy (Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology), as well as in the DZNE and the Excellence Cluster CIPSM.
"Just talking to each other," Misgeld recalls, "we realized that this would be a perfect match -- that she would have situations in which the kind of trafficking question I wanted to look at could be of high relevance, and that she had all the tools we would need to carry this forward."
The driving force, they emphasize, is to understand more about Alzheimer's and other brain diseases to help steer the search for therapies in the right direction. "We need to understand how the machine works before we can operate it," Schmid says, "and modern biology is so technically advanced that no lab can be cutting-edge across the whole range of needed expertise."
|Saying 'Godspeed' to a Spidernaut: Eight-Legged Nefertiti Spent 100 Days On International Space Station:|
3) Saying 'Godspeed' to a Spidernaut: Eight-Legged Nefertiti Spent 100 Days On International Space Station:
Nefertiti didn't spin a web like Charlotte; her kind never could. But the red-back jumping spider earned a classy nickname, Spidernaut, as well as a bunk at the popular Insect Zoo of the National Museum of History of Washington for her out-of-this-world exploits.
Her move to the nation's capital in late November followed a 100-day mission aboard the International Space Station. There Nefertiti demonstrated that, like humans, her eight-legged species can adapt to the microgravity of space, then transition back to life on Earth.
On Dec. 3 the museum discovered that Nefertiti had died of natural causes. She lived for 10 months. Her species, Phidippus johnsoni, usually lives for one year.
Amr Mohammed of Alexandria, Egypt, proposed Neferiti's trip to the 250-mile-high station. The spider's trip is inspiring future generations of space explorers and scientists. Mohammed's proposal was one of two winning entries in the 2011 global YouTube SpaceLab contest. More than 2,000 students, ages 14 to 18, competed for the opportunity to fly an experiment to the space station based on two-minute YouTube videos explaining their research proposals.
Mohammed, now 19, suggested that leaping insects like Salticus scenicus, the zebra jumping spider, and Phiddipus johnsoni, a red-back jumping variety, might have difficulty hunting in space before they adapted to microgravity. The red-backs are native to the grass, brush and woodlands of the western U.S. Spiders like Nefertiti hunt, not by spinning elaborate webs, but by vaulting towards their prey of smaller insects. They trail silk-like structures spun with their spinnerets and tacked to the leaves and logs from which they leap to serve as safety tethers.
"The idea of sending an experiment to space is the most exciting thing I've ever heard of," Amr told Bill Nye, the Science Guy, in a YouTube Spacelab documentary on the student competition.
So Nefertiti traveled to the station on July 21 aboard an unpiloted HTV-3 cargo carrier launched from Tanegashima, Japan. She was housed in a multi-chambered enclosure that included a spider den, as well as an isolated compartment for her space prey, fruit flies.
NASA astronaut and Expedition 33 commander Sunita Williams kept tabs on Nefertiti while they were both in orbit. By activating small plungers, she could periodically release waves of fruit flies into the spider's den.
Nefertiti dined well, leaping towards the fruit flies, injecting them with a poison before feeding -- just as she would on Earth. Remnants of silken red-back safety tethers were evident everywhere.
"I saw her stalking a fruit fly," Williams explained in the documentary. "Unbeknownst to that poor little fruit fly, she was looking at it and getting real close. All of a sudden, she jumped right on him. It was amazing. So, I think the spiders absolutely adapted to space."
Nefertiti made history with her return to Earth, as well. She descended aboard the first SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services mission, splashing down on Oct. 28 in the Pacific Ocean. The spidernaut was removed from the Dragon capsule and returned to BioServe Space Technologies of Boulder, Colo., a collaborator on the spider investigation.
Kirk Johnson, the National Museum of Natural History's director, escorted Nefertiti to Washington. She was presented to the public on Nov. 29. She was put on display along with the home she lived in while in orbit.
|NASA Progressing Toward First Launch of Orion Spacecraft|
4) NASA Progressing Toward First Launch of Orion Spacecraft :
Recent engineering advances by NASA and its industry partners across the country show important progress toward Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), the next step to launching humans to deep space. The uncrewed EFT-1 mission, launching from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2014, will test the re-entry performance of the agency's Orion capsule, the most advanced spacecraft ever designed, which will carry astronauts farther into space than ever before.
"These recent milestones are laying the foundation for our first flight test of Orion in 2014," said Dan Dumbacher, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The work being done to prepare for the flight test is really a nationwide effort and we have a dedicated team committed to our goal of expanding the frontier of space."
A tool that will allow the titanium skeleton of the Orion heat shield to be bolted to its carbon fiber skin is at the Denver facility of the spacecraft's prime contractor Lockheed Martin. This will enable workers to begin assembling the two pieces of the heat shield. Almost 3,000 bolts are needed to hold the skeleton to the skin. A special stand was built to align the skin on the skeleton as holes for the bolts are drilled. Work to bolt the skeleton to the skin will be completed in January. The heat shield then will be shipped to Textron Defense Systems near Boston where the final layer, an ablative material very similar to that used on the Apollo spacecraft, will be added. The completed heat shield is scheduled to be ready for installation onto the Orion crew module at Kennedy next summer.
To test the heat shield during EFT-1's re-entry, Orion will travel more than 3,600 miles above Earth's surface, 15 times farther than the International Space Station's orbital position. This is farther than any spacecraft designed to carry humans has gone in more than 40 years. Orion will return home at a speed almost 5,000 mph faster than any current human spacecraft.
This week, engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., received materials to begin manufacturing the adapter that will connect the Orion capsule to a United Launch Alliance Delta IV heavy-lift rocket for EFT-1. Two forward and two aft rings will be welded to barrel panels to form two adapters. This adapter design will be tested during EFT-1 for use during the first launch of NASA's next heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), in 2017. SLS will launch NASA's Orion spacecraft and other payloads beyond low Earth orbit, providing an entirely new capability for human exploration.
Data from the adapter on the flight test will provide Marshall engineers with invaluable experience developing hardware early in the design process. Designing the adapter once for multiple flights also provides a cost savings.
Of the two adapters welded at Marshall, one will attach Orion to the Delta IV heavy-lift rocket used for EFT-1. The other adapter will be a structural test article to gain knowledge on the design.
NASA's Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program also has passed a major agency review that lays the groundwork at Kennedy to support future Orion and SLS launches. The GSDO Program completed a combined system requirements review and system definition review, in which an independent board of technical experts from across NASA evaluated the program's infrastructure specifications, budget and schedule. The board confirmed GSDO is ready to move from concept development to preliminary design. The combination of the two assessments represents a fundamentally different way of conducting NASA program reviews. The team is streamlining processes to provide the nation with a safe, affordable and sustainable launch facility.
The GSDO program last week also led the third Stationary Recovery Test Working Group session in Norfolk, Va. The team presented to the U.S. Navy detachment that will recover the capsule during EFT-1 a complete list of tasks required to accomplish stationary recovery test objectives. The working group outlined the plan for roles and responsibilities to accomplish required test procedures. Included in these presentations were the commanding officer of the USS Mesa Verde and the fleet forces command director of operations, who both expressed complete support for the test.
|Protein strongest just before death:Tumour suppressor protein 'strongest just before death'|
5) Protein strongest just before death:Tumour suppressor protein 'strongest just before death'
Researchers at Michigan State University have discovered a protein that does its best work with one foot in the grave. The study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, focuses on the nontraditional lifestyle of Retinoblastoma tumor suppressor proteins, which could lead to new ways to treat cancer.
"Retinoblastoma proteins are unique in that they use controlled destruction to do their jobs in a timely but restrained fashion," said Liang Zhang, a lead author and MSU cell and molecular biology graduate student. "This is an unusual way for proteins to act."
As an organism grows, proteins essential for fueling its prosperity typically toe a tight line, performing their jobs at the right place and time. If these proteins go rogue, disasters such as cancer can result.
Retinoblastoma proteins, which could be labeled as rebellious as opposed to rogue, perform acts of valor rather than destruction. And just like fireworks, they save their best work for the finale.
Proteins' lifecycles end with degradation, and like most living things they become weaker and less efficient at their jobs near the end of their lives. For Retinoblastoma proteins, however, their destruction is linked to their ability to efficiently control excessive cell growth.
Using the fruit fly Drosophila, MSU researchers isolated the specific region that controls the protein's ability to degrade. Strikingly, this is the same region the protein uses to hit its stride and exert its full power to suppress genes related to unrestrained cell growth. Other categories of genes, such as those linked to cell death, may not be influenced by this specific region that controls degradation. This sheds light on a single mechanism that controls both living and dying at the genetic level.
Identifying this mechanism in fruit flies could be beneficial to humans. David Arnosti, MSU biochemist and director of MSU's Gene Expression in Disease Development initiative, noted the genetic similarities between humans and Drosophila, describing fruit flies as "resembling little people with wings."
"By revealing the molecular details about the regulation of the fly Retinoblastoma protein, we can start to understand the possible roles of the human counterparts in cancer," he said.
The research was a product of NIH-funded research between the laboratories of Arnosti and R. William Henry, MSU biochemist.
|3D Picture of Movie Release News|
Click on Movie Picture and Movie Name to see The Youtube trailer
Movie Release This Week:
|he Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey|
1) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:
The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands. Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities... A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
|Any Day Now|
2) Any Day Now:
Inspired by a true story from the late 1970s and touching on legal and social issues that are as relevant today as they were 35 years ago, a powerful tale of love, acceptance and family. When a teenager with Down syndrome is abandoned by his mother, a gay couple takes him in and becomes the loving family he's never had. But when their unconventional living arrangement is discovered by authorities, the men are forced to fight a biased legal system to save the life of the child they have come to love as their own.
|Saving Grace B. Jones (2012)|
3) Saving Grace B. Jones (2012):
Miller and Biehn will play Bea and Landy Bretthorse, a couple whose life in a 1950s-era Missouri town is thrown into chaos when Landy's sister Grace (O'Neal) is released from the local asylum and comes to live with the family. Gretsch will play Grace's ex-husband, who was married to her for one day, and Laurie will play the administrator who runs the asylum where Grace stayed for 15 years.
The story is personal for singer-actress Stevens, who is producing the project with Ralph Singleton (Because of Winn Dixie) for Saving Grace B Jones. She was visiting relatives in Boonville, Mo., in 1951 during severe floods that play a pivotal role in her screenplay. Her film is now being shot on location there.
|Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (2012)|
4) Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (2012)
England, 1932. Today is the wedding day of Dolly Thatcham (Felicity Jones), and her family is arriving at the manor house with all the cheerfulness, chaos and grievances that bubble to the surface at such gatherings. Trouble soon appears in the shape of Joseph (Luke Treadaway), Dolly's lover from the previous summer, who throws her feelings into turmoil. Dolly's mother (Elizabeth McGovern) will not allow her carefully laid plans for her daughter's future to be threatened, and as the clock ticks, the bride can't decide whether to run away with Joseph or start a new life in Argentina with her husband-to-be.
Tchoupitoulas is a story of the New Orleans night. It is a visually exhilirating and aurally immersive record of one night in the many lives of a thriving nocturnal populace. Three young boys act as our wide-eyed conduits to a parade of entertainers and revelers as they dance through the lamp lit streets and doorways of the Crescent City. From dusk to dawn, from Rampart to the river, we explore the lives and locales of one of the world's most unique cities. In moments, vignettes, performances, and exchanges,Tchoupitoulas is a kaleidoscopic odyssey into another side of New Orleans.
|3D Picture of Political News|
Political and Other News This Week:
|BJP may win 122 seats in Gujarat: survey|
1) BJP may win 122 seats in Gujarat: survey:
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to win a near two-thirds majority of 122 seats in the 182-member Gujarat assembly, according to a survey released Wednesday.The LensOnNews survey projected 53 seats for the Congress and just one seat for former chief minister Keshubhai Patel's Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP). In the last election, the BJP had won 117 seats.Six other states could go to independents and other parties.According to the survey, the BJP is likely to secure 46 percent and the Congress 36 percent of votes, followed by six percent for GPP.
These are findings of a statewide opinion poll conducted by LensOnNews among a representative cross-sectional sample of 12,078 voters between Nov 28 and Dec 8.According to the survey, the Keshubhai-led GPP has taken away from the BJP a sizeable chunk of the numerically strong Leuva Patel vote in the Sourashtra region."Yet, it has neither helped the GPP winning seats (except in Visavadar where Keshubhai Patel is tipped to win) nor has it hurt the BJP in Sourashtra," it said.
The projected tally for the BJP could swell beyond 130 seats if the state records either a high voter turnout of over 65 percent or the women's turnout matches or exceeds that of men, it said.The survey said Chief Minister Narendra Modi enjoyed a significantly higher popularity among women than men."Thus, higher participation of women in Gujarat can act as an antidote to the local level anti-incumbency factor or the caste factor ... on the strength of Modi's personal charisma."
It said the Congress was defensive throughout the campaign and "showed some aggression" in speech only towards the end when Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul descended on the state.It pointed out that the BJP had fielded strong candidates against all important Congress leaders, forcing them to stay put in their respective constituencies.The first phase of Gujarat election will be held in 87 constituencies covering the entire Sourashtra region and south Gujarat Thursday. Polling for the second phase will be held in 95 constituencies Dec 17.
|Rehman Malik arrives in India for bilateral talks|
2) Rehman Malik arrives in India for bilateral talks:
Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik arrived here on Friday evening on a three-day visit to India.Malik, who arrived at the International Airport here in a military plane, was received by Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh.
Malik, who was accompanied by a Pakistani delegation, arrived in New Delhi on the invitation of Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
Counter terrorism, border management, fake Indian currency notes and co-operation among security and investigation agencies are on the agenda to be taken up for discussion between Malik and his Indian counterpart Shinde.
India is likely to raise several issues relating to terrorism especially handing over of the JuD Chief Hafiz Saeed, the chief mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.The two sides are also expected to sign a liberalized Visa regime.
The visiting Minister is scheduled to call on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, National Security Adviser Shri Shiv Shankar Menon and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, tomorrow.
|Court extends anticipatory bail to Zee group Chairman and son|
3) Court extends anticipatory bail to Zee group Chairman and son:
A Delhi court on Friday extended the duration of anticipatory bail to Zee Group Chairman Subhash Chandra and his son Punit Goenka till December 20 in the alleged extortion case of Rs. 100 crore from Congress MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal.
Additional Sessions Judge Raj Rani Mitra granted the extension for interim protection from arrest and said that the court will hear arguments on December 20.
The court's order came after Chandra and his son's counsel Geeta Luthra sought extension of the interim protection, as she had to rush to Supreme Court to argue in another matter listed there.
She said that the passports of her clients are already with the police so there is no chance of their fleeing from justice. She also mentioned that after the interim protection granted on December 6, Chandra and Goenka have joined the probe on December 8 and 9.
Special Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan opposed the request for extension of interim protection. He said if the court wants to adjourn the matter, police have no problem in this but it should not extend their interim protection as it expires today.
The court, meanwhile, also heard arguments on the regular bail application of Zee News Editor Sudhir Chaudhary and Zee Business Editor Samir Ahluwalia, who were arrested on November 27 in the case.
|Vidya Balan is now Mrs Siddharth Roy Kapur|
4) Vidya Balan is now Mrs Siddharth Roy Kapur:
Actress Vidya Balan and UTV head Siddharth Roy Kapur were married on the morning of December 14. The wedding took place at the Green Mile bungalow in Bandra, contrary to earlier reports of a temple wedding in Chembur. The morning wedding was conducted in a mix of South Indian and Punjabi styles, in keeping with both the bride and groom's cultural traditions. Vidya is Tamilian and Siddharth is Punjabi.
According to reports, the wedding rituals went on for over an hour at the well-decorated venue in the presence of family members of the bride and groom.According to reports, the actress underwent three changes in costume during the wedding ceremony, including a mustard sari with a pink blouse, matching the groom's yellow kurta and pink turban. Vidya wore flowers in her hair and a big smile.
After the wedding ceremony was over, the bride and the groom came out for a photo op and posed happily for the waiting cameras. By this time, Vidya was in a tomato red banarasi sari with gold jewellery and sindoor on her forehead.
According to sources, Vidya is said to be excited about wearing toe rings on both her feet after the actual ceremony, like newly-wed Tamil brides. She will also sport the thaali, a woven yellow thread with small photographs of Lord Balaji and his consort Ambana. Vidya and Siddharth will likely play a traditional wedding 'game' that involves searching for a ring in a bucket of milk and water.
After their quiet wedding, the couple intends to send sweets to people from the industry.
The couple's wedding celebrations kicked off on December 11 with a private sangeet that was attended by close family members of the bride and the groom. Vidya wore a kanjeevaram sari and heavy gold jewellery.
Vidya's mehendi, held at her Khar residence in Mumbai on Dec 12, was also a private affair like her sangeet. Again, only close family and friends were invited for the ceremony.The only celebrity to be invited was veteran actress Rekha, a close friend of the much-younger Vidya
The bride-to-be was glowing in a sari designed by her favourite Sabyasachi Mukherjee. She wore it in Bengali style with floral ornaments. Despite the function being private, Vidya obliged the waiting cameras by coming out for a brief photo-op.Family presence at both the sangeet and mehendi included Vidya's parents Saraswathy and P R Balan. The actress' elder sister Priya and brother-in-law Kedar have been overseeing all arrangements. The couple have so far remained tight lipped about their wedding and post wedding plans though Vidya will reportedly take a sabbatical. The couple will reportedly be hosting a reception in Chennai.
|CBI Director exposes Congress abuse of agency|
5) CBI Director exposes Congress abuse of agency:
Former CBI director US Mishra’s allegation that he faced political pressure during investigation of the disproportionate assets case against then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati is, by itself, nothing startling. Everyone knows that the UPA Government is bartering with SP and BSP. Earlier, on the FDI retail logjam, BSP had bailed the Government out in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. UPA is repaying the debt by ensuring that the Quota Bill gets passed in Parliament.
There is nothing unusual and unprecedented in Mishra’s statement. Similar views have been expressed by another former CBI director Joginder Singh, who was asked to go slow on the Fodder Scam against Lalu Prasad Yadav by then Prime Minister IK Gujral. Singh had declined to oblige saying that he needs that thing in writing. The written statement never came but the CBI chief was transferred soon after.
|CBI Director exposes Congress abuse of agency|
According to Sunday Guardian, former joint director of CBI NK Singh who arrested Indira Gandhi in 1977 also had to face similar incidents in the past.
Remembering one such incident, NK Singh had said that because of this CBI-Congress nexus, D Sen was given two extensions by Indira Gandhi and he stayed on as CBI director for six years between 1971 and 1976. Later on Shah Commission, which was formed to look into Emergency excesses, slammed D Sen for abusing his power and authority.There is no need to give more examples to prove that the current UPA Government is completely exposed. Congress has always used CBI for their own benefits and to settle scores.
|Pandit Ravi Shankar, sitar maestro, passes away in California|
Click on The Picture and News Headline on Ravi Shankar to Read The Detail Post On Him
6) Pandit Ravi Shankar, sitar maestro, passes away in California:
Legendary sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, who spearheaded the worldwide spread of Indian music and had a major influence on Western musicians like The Beatles, died today in San Diego at the age of 92.Shankar, whose health had been fragile for the past several years, underwent heart-valve replacement surgery on Thursday at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California where he breathed his last. The music icon was admitted to the hospital last week when he complained of breathlessness.
"It is with heavy hearts we write to inform you that Pandit Ravi Shankar, husband, father, and musical soul, passed away today," his wife and daughter, Sukanya and Anoushka Shankar, said in a joint statement.A recipient of Bharat Ratna in 1999 rpt 1999, Shankar maintained residences in both India and the United States.He is survived by his wife Sukanya; daughter Norah Jones; daughter Anoushka Shankar Wright and husband Joe Wright; three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
"As you all know, his health has been fragile for the past several years and on Thursday he underwent a surgery that could have potentially given him a new lease of life."Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the surgeons and doctors taking care of him, his body was not able to withstand the strain of the surgery. We were at his side when he passed away," the joint statement said. "We know that you all feel our loss with us, and we thank you for all of your prayers and good wishes through this difficult time. Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able to have him as a part of our lives. His spirit and his legacy will live on forever in our hearts and in his music," they said in their joint statement.
A three-time Grammy award winner, Shankar last performed in California on November 4 along with his daughter Anoushka Shankar.
Shankar has also been nominated for the 2013 Grammys for his album "The Living Room Sessions Part-1" and was pitted against Anoushka in the same category.
"Shankar had suffered from upper-respiratory and heart issues over the past year and underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last Thursday. Though the surgery was successful, recovery proved too difficult for the 92-year-old musician," said another statement issued by the Ravi Shankar Foundation and East Meets West Music. In recent months, performing, and especially touring, became increasingly difficult for the musician.However, health couldn't prevent Shankar from performing with Anoushka on November 4 in Long Beach, California."This, in what was to be his final public performance, was in fact billed as a celebration of his tenth decade of creating music," the foundation said.
|Defence experts give mixed opinion on Rehman Malik's India visit|
7) Defence experts give mixed opinion on Rehman Malik's India visit:
Bharat Verma, the editor of Indian Defence Review, said such meeting between the two sides would not improve the relations, as Pakistan has adopted a different authoritarian Islamic fundamentalist trend, which is against India's policy.
"First thing is, Rehman Malik carries no authority coming from Pakistan because it is the Pakistan army and the ISI that control. He is just a front. Second, Rehman Malik has, if you go back into his history, he has been anti-India in a very big way. Third, to invite him at this stage when you are paying homage to the martyrs of 13th December attack on Parliament and to have Rehman Malik here is itself very derogatory, degrading and against the self-respect of the country," said Verma.
"But importantly, Rehman Malik brings with him nothing that can resolve any issue because 65 years, people-to-people contacts have been going on. No improvements in relationships are possible because Pakistan has taken a totally a different authoritarian Islamic fundamentalist trends, which are contradictory to India's policy," he added.Rehman Malik will be arriving on a three-day visit to India beginning today on the invitation of Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh will be receiving the Pakistan delegation at the airport.
The official delegation accompanying the Pakistan Interior Minister includes Members from Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Federal Administration and High Commission of Pakistan in India.The official engagements will commence on December 14, 2012 afternoon itself which will include Launch of Revised Visa Agreement.The agenda also includes counter terrorism border management, fake Indian Currency Notes and cooperation among security and investigation agencies.
The Indian delegation led by Shinde will include R.P.N. Singh, senior officials from Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and security agencies.
The visiting Minister is scheduled to call on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, National Security Adviser Shri Shiv Shankar Menon and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj,
|3D Picture of Sports News|
Sports News This Week:
|New low at Eden: England beat India by 7 wkts, lead Test series 2-1|
1) New low at Eden: England beat India by 7 wkts, lead Test series 2-1:
A listless India succumbed to their second successive humiliating defeat on home soil has England overcame a few hiccups to clinch the third cricket Test with an emphatic seven-wicket victory and take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four match series in Kolkata on A listless India succumbed to their second successive humiliating defeat on home soil has England overcame a few hiccups to clinch the third cricket Test with an emphatic seven-wicket victory and take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four match series in Kolkata on Sunday.
Though the Indian bowlers took three wickets in the second innings, they looked completely ineffective in the first innings unlike the English bowlers who exploited the conditions far better.
After the humiliating 10-wicket defeat in Mumbai, the hosts once again seemed clueless in their own den with neither batting nor bowling clicking, raising questions on whether some players need to be changed.
The two teams will now travel to Nagpur for the fourth and final cricket Test beginning December 13. England just need a draw to record a historic series triumph while India have no option but to win to level the series and save the blushes of a seires defeat in their own den.
After the defeat at Eden Gardens on Sunday, India’s score against respectable opposition in Tests — starting with the series against England in England last year — is 1-10.
Even as Indian batsmen were struggling against English bowlers at Eden Gardens on Saturday, 15 km away at the Salt Lake Stadium, former Columbian goalie Rene Higuita showed Dhoni’s boys how to middle the ball.
This is the first time since 1999-2000 that we have lost two consecutive Tests at home.
Before the glorious period of 2000-2010 — when India won more Tests away from home than in any other decade — we were trounced overseas, but used to be heroes at home.
This begs the question: Will our selectors and cricket board ask the hard questions and find the right answers? Here are two samples: What is India’s record in Tests since Duncan Fletcher took over as coach? How long can iconic players remain in the team purely on the basis of past achievements?
Virender Sehwag’s dismissal — castled by offie Graeme Swann — opened the floodgates. India lost six wickets between lunch and tea on the penultimate day, and it was left to the tailenders to avoid an innings defeat.
|Violence stops Kolkata derby, Nabi hurt|
2) Violence stops Kolkata derby, Nabi hurt:
Soccer violence stopped a high-voltage East Bengal-Mohun Bagan Derby match of I-League in Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday after the players of Bagan walked out while their star player Rahim Nabi was hurt by a stone hurled by angry spectators who went berserk for a while.
Nabi was hurt seriously by a stone that hit his jaw and ear and led to his hospitalization. He would have to undergo an operation though he is out of danger, officials said.Police had to baton charge at the spectators while things went for worse when Mohun Bagan players walked out of the field.
Now the Match Commissioner will decide if Mohun Bagan would be punished for the walkout and the penalty can be as severe as suspension from I League for two years.The I League management committee is holding a meeting to decide its course of action.
Eye witnesses said the trouble started over a decision of referee Vishnu Chauhan who showed red card to Nigerian Okolie Odafa of Mohun Bagan after East Bengal fired the first salvo in the 42nd minute.The decision of referee angered the Mohun Bagan supporters who started indulging in violence.
Protesting the referee's decision and the injury of Nabi, Mohun Bagan walked out and things went out of hand with a free for all following for a while.
Several arrests were made by police as the violence broke out and mob started hurling missiles.
The rivalry between the hosts East Bengal (it's their Home-match) and Mohun Bagan has a lot to do with the socio-cultural aspect. The match has always been seen as a 'Derby' between Bangals and the Ghotis (each representing the two groups of Bengalis, one from what is now Bangladesh or East part of undivided Bengal and the others who were from this side of Bengal originally).
|Unified Chelsea continue to improve under Benitez|
3) Unified Chelsea continue to improve under Benitez:
After taking four games to register a victory under Rafael Benitez, the Chelsea squad appears to be warming to the Spaniard's meticulous methods with a run of three consecutive wins.
By racking up 12 goals in the process, five of them scored by a resurgent Fernando Torres, Chelsea's 3-1 win over Monterrey at the Club World Cup on Thursday provided the latest evidence of a marked progression under their interim manager.
"We have improved as a team under Benitez," Torres, so prolific for his Spanish compatriot while they were together at Liverpool, told reporters in Yokohama.
"We are more compact and difficult to break down," added Spain's World Cup and European championship winner. "I think we are better in all departments."
Benitez again refused to take the credit for Torres's resurgence after the striker scored in their semi-final in Japan, but midfielder Frank Lampard called for Chelsea fans to show patience.
The Stamford Bridge faithful have jeered Benitez since he took over from Italian Roberto Di Matteo last month but Lampard said the new manager deserved the chance to prove himself at Chelsea.
"Obviously we know the atmosphere is different," said Lampard, asked about the booing of Benitez, whose appointment triggered anger among Chelsea fans.
"Maybe that doesn't help us quite so much. But as players we have to concentrate on our game regardless."
Lampard, whose future at Chelsea is unclear with his contract expiring at the end of the season, said Blues supporters had the right to express their feelings.
|Australia's Hughes grabs third lifeline with both hands|
4) Australia's Hughes grabs third lifeline with both hands:
Having lived with a question mark over his name for the last three years, Australian batsman Phil Hughes was delighted to get some reward for the work he has done on his technique with 86 runs against Sri Lanka on Friday.
Hughes was making his return to test cricket after a year in the wilderness at the same Hobart ground where his second spell in the longest form of the international game came to an end against New Zealand last December.
The 24-year-old's knock was brought to an end when he was clean bowled by seamer Chanaka Welegedera but the lefthander helped Australia reach 299 for four at the close of play on the first day of the first test.
"There were a couple of nerves, but overall I was quite calm," he told reporters. "There was more excitement around me than anything. I was just happy to get out there and back in the colours again.
"It was nice to get a few, it would have been nice to get three-figures and a few more, that's cricket. To get 80-odd was good for my confidence."
At least Hughes could say that he was not caught out by a nick to the slips.
Having previously been dropped when England's bowlers bounced him out of the 2009 Ashes series, Hughes fell victim to New Zealand paceman Chris Martin in four straight failed innings last year - all caught by Martin Guptill in the cordon.
While the phrase "c Guptill b Martin" became permanently associated with his name, Hughes went off to work on his technique in domestic cricket before piling on the runs with new state South Australia.
"I worked on my game," he said. "I was a lot more patient through my innings than I have been 12 months to two years ago, mentally knowing I've been here before is probably a good thing as well, but technique no doubt feels a lot more comfortable."
|Anthony inspires surging Knicks to big win over Lakers|
5) Anthony inspires surging Knicks to big win over Lakers:
Adding more hope to their dream of a long-awaited return to the NBA winner's circle, the New York Knicks enjoyed a role reversal night against the once-mighty Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
Raining down three-pointers and playing tight defense in sticking to their new formula for success, Carmelo Anthony and his team mates beat the struggling Lakers 116-107, easing to victory after building a 26-point lead in the second quarter.
Anthony scored 30 points in just 23 minutes, sinking 3-of-4 from beyond the arc before being sidelined with a left ankle sprain after crashing to the floor on a drive to the basket.
Despite cooling off in the second half, New York shot 12-of-25 from long-range and 53.2 percent overall with Raymond Felton scoring 19 points and Tyson Chandler chiming in with 18 as the Knicks improved to 9-0 at home.
Reveling in their best start to a season in more than 15 years, the Garden crowd serenaded Anthony with chants of "MVP, MVP" and fans could not be blamed for thinking this season could bring the Knicks their first NBA crown in 40 years.
They also mocked a Lakers franchise, winners of 16 NBA titles, including five since the 1999-2000 season, that look lost under new coach Mike D'Antoni, who left the Knicks job towards the end of last season.
"We were clicking on all cylinders," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson, who categorised Anthony's injury as a slight sprain. "I tip my hat to our guys because our key guy goes out and other guys came in and stepped up and played."
New York improved their Eastern Conference-best record to 17-5 against Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and the hapless Lakers, losers of four in a row and mired in 12th place in the West at 9-14.