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Saturday, 19 January 2013

Subhaditya News Channel Presents Science, Movie Release, Political, Sports News This Week (27)

Animated Summery of Subhaditya News Week (27)

Subhaditya News Channel Presents Science, Movie Release, Political, Sports News This Week (27)

3D Picture of Science News

Science News This Week:


Why Wolves Are Forever Wild, but Dogs Can Be Tamed:

1) Why Wolves Are Forever Wild, but Dogs Can Be Tamed:

Dogs and wolves are genetically so similar, it's been difficult for biologists to understand why wolves remain fiercely wild, while dogs can gladly become "man's best friend." Now, doctoral research by evolutionary biologist Kathryn Lord at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggests the different behaviors are related to the animals' earliest sensory experiences and the critical period of socialization. Details appear in the current issue of Ethology.

Until now, little was known about sensory development in wolf pups, and assumptions were usually extrapolated from what is known for dogs, Lord explains. This would be reasonable, except scientists already know there are significant differences in early development between wolf and dog pups, chief among them timing of the ability to walk, she adds.To address this knowledge gap, she studied responses of seven wolf pups and 43 dogs to both familiar and new smells, sounds and visual stimuli, tested them weekly, and found they did develop their senses at the same time. But her study also revealed new information about how the two subspecies of Canis lupus experience their environment during a four-week developmental window called the critical period of socialization, and the new facts may significantly change understanding of wolf and dog development.When the socialization window is open, wolf and dog pups begin walking and exploring without fear and will retain familiarity throughout their lives with those things they contact. Domestic dogs can be introduced to humans, horses and even cats at this stage and be comfortable with them forever. But as the period progresses, fear increases and after the window closes, new sights, sounds and smells will elicit a fear response.

Through observations, Lord confirmed that both wolf pups and dogs develop the sense of smell at age two weeks, hearing at four weeks and vision by age six weeks on average. However, these two subspecies enter the critical period of socialization at different ages. Dogs begin the period at four weeks, while wolves begin at two weeks. Therefore, how each subspecies experiences the world during that all-important month is extremely different, and likely leads to different developmental paths, she says.Lord reports for the first time that wolf pups are still blind and deaf when they begin to walk and explore their environment at age two weeks. "No one knew this about wolves, that when they begin exploring they're blind and deaf and rely primarily on smell at this stage, so this is very exciting," she notes.She adds, "When wolf pups first start to hear, they are frightened of the new sounds initially, and when they first start to see they are also initially afraid of new visual stimuli. As each sense engages, wolf pups experience a new round of sensory shocks that dog puppies do not."

Meanwhile, dog pups only begin to explore and walk after all three senses, smell, hearing and sight, are functioning. Overall, "It's quite startling how different dogs and wolves are from each other at that early age, given how close they are genetically. A litter of dog puppies at two weeks are just basically little puddles, unable to get up or walk around. But wolf pups are exploring actively, walking strongly with good coordination and starting to be able to climb up little steps and hills."These significant, development-related differences in dog and wolf pups' experiences put them on distinctly different trajectories in relation to the ability to form interspecies social attachments, notably with humans, Lord says. This new information has implications for managing wild and captive wolf populations, she says.

Her experiments analyzed the behavior of three groups of young animals: 11 wolves from three litters and 43 dogs total. Of the dogs, 33 border collies and German shepherds were raised by their mothers and a control group of 10 German shepherd pups were hand-raised, meaning a human was introduced soon after birth.At the gene level, she adds, "the difference may not be in the gene itself, but in when the gene is turned on. The data help to explain why, if you want to socialize a dog with a human or a horse, all you need is 90 minutes to introduce them between the ages of four and eight weeks. After that, a dog will not be afraid of humans or whatever else you introduced. Of course, to build a real relationship takes more time. But with a wolf pup, achieving even close to the same fear reduction requires 24-hour contact starting before age three weeks, and even then you won't get the same attachment or lack of fear."

Scientists Shed Light On the 'Dark Matter' of DNA

2) Scientists Shed Light On the 'Dark Matter' of DNA:

In each cell, thousands of regulatory regions control which genes are active at any time. Scientists at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna have developed a method that reliably detects these regions and measures their activity.

Information on the new technology was just published online in the journal Science.

Genome sequences store the information about an organism's development in the DNA's four-letter alphabet. Genes carry the instruction for proteins, which are the building blocks of our bodies. However, genes make up only a minority of the entire genome sequence -- roughly two percent in humans. The remainder was once dismissed as "junk," mostly because its function remained elusive. "Dark matter" might be more appropriate, but gradually light is being shed on this part of the genome, too.

Far from being useless, the non-coding part of DNA contains so-called regulatory regions or enhancers that determine when and where each gene is expressed. This regulation ensures that each gene is only active in appropriate cell-types and tissues, e.g. hemoglobin in red blood cell precursors, digestive enzymes in the stomach, or ion channels in neurons. If gene regulation fails, cells express the wrong genes and acquire inappropriate functions such as the ability to divide and proliferate, leading to diseases such as cancer.

Despite the importance of gene regulatory regions, scientists have been limited in their ability to study them on a genome-wide scale. Their identification relied on indirect means, which were error prone and required tedious experiments for validating and quantifying enhancer activities..

Alexander Stark and his team at the IMP in Vienna now closed this gap with the development of a new technology called STARR-seq (self-transcribing active regulatory region sequencing), published online by Science this week. STARR-seq allows the direct identification of DNA sequences that function as enhancers and simultaneously measures their activity quantitatively in entire genomes.

Applying their technology to Drosophila cells, the IMP-scientists surprisingly find that the strongest enhancers reside in both regulatory genes that determine the respective cell-types as well as in broadly active "housekeeping" genes that are required for basic cell survival in most or all cells. In addition, they find several enhancers for each active gene, which might provide redundancy to ensure robustness of gene regulation.

The new method combines advanced sequencing technology and highly specialized know-how in bio-computing. It is a powerful tool which, according to Alexander Stark, will prove immensely valuable in the future. "STARR-seq is like a magic microscope that lets us zoom in on the regulatory regions of DNA. It will be crucial to study gene regulation and how it is encoded in the genome -- both during normal development and when it goes wrong in disease."

A massive effort to sequence and compare 29 mammalian genomes has shed new light on the “dark matter” of the genome, the over 98% of DNA that doesn’t code for proteins.

The DNA that lies outside of gene sequences was once called “junk DNA.” But researchers now know that these non-coding regions have important biological functions. Many disease-causing mutations have been found in these areas, and scientists have pieced together some clues to their functions. For example, some regions regulate the expression of genes, controlling when genes are turned on and off. Nevertheless, this vast genetic dark matter remains largely uncharted.

Enzyme Involved in Deadly Brain Tumors Identified

3) Enzyme Involved in Deadly Brain Tumors Identified:

One of the most common types of brain tumors in adults, glioblastoma multiforme, is one of the most devastating. Even with recent advances in surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, the aggressive and invasive tumors become resistant to treatment, and median survival of patients is only about 15 months. In a study published in Neuro-Oncology, researchers at Mayo Clinic identify an important association between the naturally occurring enzyme Kallikrein 6, also known as KLK6, and the malignant tumors.Our study of Kallikrein 6 showed that higher levels of this enzyme in the tumor are negatively associated with patient survival, and that the enzyme functions by promoting the survival of tumor cells," says senior author Isobel Scarisbrick, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The findings introduce a new avenue for potential treatment of deadly glioblastomas: targeting the function of KLK6. The tumor cells became more susceptible to treatment when researchers blocked the receptors where the KLK6 enzyme can dock and initiate the survival signal.Researchers looked at 60 samples of grade IV astrocytomas -- also known at this stage as glioblastomas -- as well as less aggressive grade III astrocytomas. They found the highest levels of KLK6 were present in the most severe grade IV tumors. Looking at the tumor samples, researchers found higher levels of KLK6 associated with shorter patient survival. Those with the highest levels lived 276 days, and those with lower levels lived 408 days.

"This suggests that the level of KLK6 in the tumor provides a prognosticator of patient survival," Dr. Scarisbrick says.The group also investigated the mechanism of the enzyme to determine whether it plays a significant role in tumor growth. Researchers also found glioblastoma cells treated in a petri dish with KLK6 become resistant to radiation and chemotherapy treatment."Our results show that KLK6 functions like a hormone, activating a signaling cascade within the cell that promotes tumor cell survival," Dr. Scarisbrick says. "The higher the level of the enzyme, the more resistant the tumors are to conventional therapies."

The study is the latest step in Dr. Scarisbrick's investigations of KLK6 in nervous system cells known as astrocytes. Glioblastomas arise from astrocytes that have grown out of control. Her lab has shown that KLK6 also plays a role in the perseverance of inflammatory immune cells that occur in multiple sclerosis and in aberrant survival of T-lymphocyte leukemia cell lines."Our findings in glioma affirm KLK6 as part of a fundamental physiological mechanism that's relevant to multiple diseases and have important implications for understanding principles of tissue regeneration," she says. "Targeting KLK6 signaling may be a key to the development of treatments for pathologies in which it is necessary to intervene to regulate cell survival and tissue regeneration in a therapeutic fashion. Ultimately, we might be able to harness the power of KLK6 for the repair of damaged organs."

The study was funded by a National Institutes of Health Brain Tumor SPORE grant, an NIH Mayo Neuro-oncology Training Grant and a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. Other authors include Kristen Drucker, Ph.D., Alex Paulsen, Caterina Giannini, M.D., Ph.D., Paul Decker, Joon Uhm, M.D., Brian O'Neill, M.D., and Robert Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., all of Mayo Clinic; and Sachiko Blaber and Michael Blaber, Ph.D., of Florida State University.

Sniffing Immune Cells: Immune Cells On the Move Are Guided by Touch and Smell

4) Sniffing Immune Cells: Immune Cells On the Move Are Guided by Touch and Smell:

Research at IST Austria shows how immune cells navigate through the skin by sensing graded patterns of immobilized directional cues.

A research paper by the group of Michael Sixt, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria), published January 17 in Science provides new insights into how immune cells find their way through tissues. The findings provide the first evidence for directed cell migration along concentration gradients of chemical cues immobilized in tissues, a concept that has long been assumed but never experimentally proven.

Immune cells constantly patrol our body to check for foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses. To do so they leave the blood stream, actively crawl through tissues and finally re-enter the circulation via lymphatic vessels. Research from the laboratory of Michael Sixt elucidates how the cells are guided through tissues like the skin.

It is thought that cells either sense their environment by 'touching' or ´smelling´: They adhere to structural molecules like connective tissue proteins using adhesion receptors. Or they 'smell' soluble signal molecules with specialized surface receptors. Especially solutes are thought to act as directional cues as they tend to be more concentrated closer to the production source. Like one can find a flower by following its scent, cells are able to follow such soluble gradients. Both principles, touching and smelling, have been demonstrated to work in cell culture experiments. But how cell guidance functions in real tissues is still not known.

According to the new study, immune cells in mouse skin use a mixed strategy. They follow gradients of guidance cues, which are not soluble but immobilized to sugar molecules in the connective tissue. In their newly published work, the scientists around Michael Sixt visualized both the immune cells, in this case dendritic cells, and the cue, the chemokine CCL21, and recorded movies of how the cells navigate through living tissues. The researchers found that the chemokine is exclusively produced by the lymphatic vessel. From there it distributes into the surrounding tissue, forming a concentration gradient.

In collaboration with Robert Hauschild and Tobias Bollenbach, two physicists at IST Austria, detailed quantitative maps of the chemokine distribution were drawn and compared with the migratory routes of the cells. Observation and quantitative prediction matched well: a cell can find the next lymphatic vessel by comparing the concentration of chemokine across its surface and then crawling towards the higher concentration. For this to work the cell only needs to be of a certain size because the gradients are noisy. A small cell would easily get trapped on a local concentration peak as it cannot "see" that there is an even higher peak nearby. To prove their concept, the scientists outcompeted the chemokine gradients in the tissue by applying excess chemokine from the outside. They found that this confuses the cells on their way to the lymphatic vessel. When they released the anchoring of the chemokine to the tissue, cells also got confused, demonstrating that the gradients are not soluble but bound to the tissue.

Doubling Down On Energy Efficiency

5) Doubling Down On Energy Efficiency:

Spending on energy efficiency programs funded by electric and natural gas utility customers will double by 2025 to about $9.5 billion per year, according to projections published January 17 by researchers at Berkeley Lab.

These funds, which come from a charge on utility bills, historically constitute the nation's largest source of spending on programs to foster the adoption of more efficient products and buildings. According to the Berkeley Lab report, energy efficiency programs funded by utility customers are projected to continue expanding beyond the traditional bastions of energy efficiency in the Northeast and West.By 2025, states in the Midwest and South could account for 49% of total U.S. spending on customer-funded energy efficiency programs, up from 27% in 2010. By 2025, only a handful of states would not have significant customer-funded efficiency programs.The projected growth in program spending is driven by policies in a number of states requiring that utilities obtain all cost-effective energy efficiency savings. Another driver is energy efficiency resource standards, which require electric utilities to meet minimum energy savings goals each year.

"In addition, we see some utilities turning to energy efficiency as part of their strategy for reliable delivery of electricity as older coal-fired generators are retired," said staff scientist Charles A. Goldman, a co-author of the study and head of the laboratory's energy analysis and environmental impacts department.

For the analysis, the Berkeley Lab team developed low, medium, and high scenarios for program spending and savings, intended to reflect a range of potential outcomes under the current policy environment -- that is, without considering possible major new policy developments. The analysis was based on a detailed review of all relevant state policies and legislation, regulatory filings and decisions, and utility integrated resource and demand-side management plans. The researchers refined the scenarios through extensive interviews with regional and national energy efficiency experts, efficiency program administrators, regulatory staff, and other industry actors.Galen Barbose, the lead author of the report, explained that "this study is intended to provide a detailed, bottom-up analysis of state policies and to capture the market context in which programs operate."

Total U.S. spending on electric and gas efficiency programs (excluding load management programs) is projected to grow in all scenarios examined, ranging from $6.5 billion to $15.6 billion in 2025, with a mid-range projection of $9.5 billion under a scenario in which states are fairly successful in ramping up their programs to meet state energy-savings policies now on the books. This compares to total spending of $4.8 billion in 2010. As discussed within the report, the range in potential spending trajectories reflects a number of key challenges and significant uncertainties in market and policy drivers, including concerns about utility rate impacts from energy efficiency programs, the timing and pace of the economic recovery, the long-term trend in natural gas prices, and the impact of recent and possible future changes to federal and state minimum efficiency standards for appliances and building codes.If states remain on their current policy paths, annual incremental savings from electric energy efficiency programs could be expected to reach about 0.8% of retail electricity sales in 2025, compared to about 0.5% of retail electricity sales in 2010.

Significantly, electricity savings at that level in 2025 could offset the majority of load growth forecasted through that year in the Energy Information Administration (EIA)'s most recent reference case forecast for electricity usage. This assumes that the EIA forecast correctly estimates savings from future customer-funded energy efficiency programs."So far, only a few very aggressive states have come close to offsetting growth in electricity needs through efficiency," Goldman said. "Our finding that, in aggregate, U.S. energy efficiency programs could offset a significant portion of projected load growth in the electricity sector over the next decade is subject to some uncertainties but striking nonetheless."In the current policy and market environment, spending on gas energy efficiency programs is projected to continue its rise in the near term but flatten from 2015 onward, reflecting the influence of low natural gas prices and new state and federal equipment efficiency standards.

India plans to launch Mars mission later this year

6) India plans to launch Mars mission later this year:

After its successful unmanned Chandrayaan mission to the Moon in 2008, which brought back the first-ever clinching evidence of the presence of water there, India is now eyeing the Mars.The Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO is planning to launch a space mission to the Red planet later this year. The unmanned satellite, Mangalyaan, will study the thin Martian atmosphere and will take eight months to reach the distant planet.

 Later this year, India may rendezvous with the Red planet. The Indian Space Research Organization is all set to launch a small unmanned satellite called Mangalyaan in the orbit of Mars to study the thin Martian atmosphere.

The first model of the Mangalyaan was unveiled at the Indian Science Congress in Kolkata on Sunday. The Rs. 450-crore mission will be launched from Sriharikota using the workhorse rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

There is deep strategic importance to the mission. Former President APJ Abdul Kalam underlined the importance of the project by saying, "Mars is international property, all the planets belong to the international community. It is essential to establish that we have done our job and our job has important scientific goals and we should do that only then we can say then that Mars belongs to us."

ISRO calls this small orbiting mission a technology demonstration project - the 1350 kilogram satellite will announce to the world that India has the capability to reach as far away as Mars. ISRO's Professor J N Goswami, lead scientist, Maangalyaan mission, said, "The mission is getting ready and the engineering models are ready and main Mars exploration instruments will be delivered by March-April and later they will be flown using the PSLV sometime in October-November."Critics of the mission, however, believe the government is being profligate.

"We have heard these arguments since the 1960s about India being a poor country, not needing or affording a space program. If we can't dare dream big it would leave us as hewers of wood and drawers of water! India is today too big to be just living on the fringes of high technology," said a government official.

The government says the satellite which will be placed in an orbit around Mars will be able to carry nearly 25 kg of scientific payload on board. According to ISRO, the tentative objectives of the mission will be to focus on remotely assessing "life, climate, geology, origin and evolution and sustainability of life on the planet". "This is technology demonstration project, a mission that will announce to the world India has the capability to reach as far away as Mars," an ISRO official said.

Since 1960, there have been 44 missions to Mars with just about half of them being successful; attempts have been made by the former USSR and Russia, the US, Europe, Japan and China. The first Chinese mission to Mars called Yinghuo-1 failed in 2011 alongside the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission with which it was launched - so some believe that India is trying to march ahead in what has been described as the "Asian Space Race".

3D Picture of Movie Release News

Movies Release This Week:

The Last Stand


1) The Last Stand:

After leaving his LAPD narcotics post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with remorse and regret, Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) moved out of Los Angeles and settled into a life fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction. But that peaceful existence is shattered when Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the western hemisphere, makes a deadly yet spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy.

With the help of a fierce band of lawless mercenaries led by the icy Burrell (Peter Stormare), Cortez begins racing towards the US-Mexico border at 250 mph in a specially-outfitted Corvette ZR1 with a hostage in tow. Cortez’ path: straight through Summerton Junction, where the whole of the U.S. law enforcement, including Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) will have their final opportunity to intercept him before the violent fugitive slips across the border forever.

At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately rallies his team and takes the matter into his own hands, setting the stage for a classic showdown.

Broken City

2) Broken City:

In a broken city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) seeks redemption – and revenge – after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure, the mayor (Russell Crowe). Billy’s relentless pursuit of justice, matched only by his streetwise toughness, makes him an unstoppable force – and the mayor’s worst nightmare. 


3) Mama:

Mama is a supernatural thriller that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their parents were killed. When they are rescued years later and begin a new life, they find that someone or something still wants to come tuck them in at night. 


4) LUV:

LUV follows 11-year-old Woody Watson, a timid Baltimore orphan who dreams of a better life -- and awaits the return of his absent mother. Woody also reveres his uncle Vincent as the father figure he never had. A street hustler and former drug dealer, Vincent's fresh off an eight-year stint in prison and wants a new direction.

When Vincent bypasses his nephew's school one day and offers to show Woody how a man handles his business, Woody jumps at the opportunity to join his uncle on a field trip of life lessons. But the temptations of Vincent's old life of crime return to haunt him, and a day once bright with optimism quickly spirals downward into a world of violence. Coming of age all too fast by day's end, Woody starts to doubt his hero and ultimately must decide where to stand.

Shoonyo Awnko

5) Shoonyo Awnko:

he role of a socially responsible journalist in a Goutam Ghosh movie is perfect in many ways since the character is an ideal person, says actress Konkona Sen Sharma about her role in 'Shoonyo Awnko' (Act Zero).

"Raka Bose is an ideal person. She is someone acutely aware about her social responsibilty. And when you work under one like Goutam Ghosh that becomes the ideal situation to work on such a character. So it becomes ideal in many ways,"

The film revolves round some people who in the passage of time became time travellers- one is the face of ultra modern society, and another a thousand miles far away from the so called 'civilised' society and modernism. The central focus of the film is to show the difference of the psyche of both the civilizations.

Gautam Ghose wove the cultural divergence between urbanization and rural civilization where the monopolistic, sophisticated urban culture tried to uproot the ancient roots to bring in social development and change.The film has been conceived in the backdrop of the Maoist problem in Jangalmahal of West Bengal which tends to be one of the burning issues of the recent days that gave birth to other social problems.How the joint forces in search of Maoist leaders break the peace of the rural society is an element of the film.

"My attempt was a protest against the conspiracy of turning rural civilization into an urban centric on that wanted to rob off the simplicity from the harmless and innocent rural belt." Ghose said at the premiere."Each of the actors have justified their characters here, so credit goes to all of them; and despite that if there is a setback I myself shall take the responsibility of it," the director said.

3D Picture of Political News

Political News This Week:

BJP holds protest against Government decision to de-regulate diesel


1) BJP holds protest against Government decision to de-regulate diesel:

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders staged a protest on Friday over the Congress-led UPA Government's move to de-regulate the diesel price, and demanded a rollback.The protestors in New Delhi raised slogans against the government, and accused it of being insensitive towards the people of the country.

"People are being looted in the name of economic policies. The cause of this inflation is the corrupt practices of the government. The people have to bear the brunt of all this. The move to deregulate diesel is in a way directly affecting the people," said Delhi BJP President Vijender Gupta.Similar scenes were witnessed in Gujarat's Ahmedabad city where the BJP leaders burnt effigies to vent their ire over the government's move.

"We are demonstrating against the Central Government's decision to deregulate diesel. This will cause more inflation, because the permission to hike diesel by 40-50 paise every month will impact the common man. The new rate of 9.60 rupees has come into effect for railways and several other companies. This is impacting day-to-day commodities," said BJP leader Alok Sharma.Talking to the media after the meeting on Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs in New Delhi yesterday, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dr. M. Veerappa Moily said that there is no increase in the prices of Diesel and Kerosene.

Dr. Moily, however, said that the oil companies have been permitted to raise diesel prices by a small quantum periodically till such time that they are able to cover Rs 9.60 per litre loss they incur on the fuel.Dr. Moily, who refused to provide details of diesel price increase, said the raise may take place as early as tonight.

The government also raised the cap on supply of subsidised LPG cylinders to nine bottles from six per year."I am happy to inform the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs has decided to raise the cap on subsidised LPG to nine cylinders per household in a year from existing six cylinders," Dr. Moily said.The consumers will get a quota of five subsidised cylinders between September 2012 and March 2013. They will be entitled to nine cylinders per annum from April 1, 2013.

Trinamool's Arabul held for attack on CPI-M's Rezzak

2) Trinamool's Arabul held for attack on CPI-M's Rezzak:

Former Trinamool Congress legislator Arabul Islam was Thursday arrested for allegedly leading attacks against CPI-M leader Abdur Rezzak Mollah and other Marxist activists, police said. A court sent him to five days police custody."We have filed a case against Islam under several non-bailable offences and he has been remanded to five days police custody by the court," South 24 Parganas police superintendent Pravin Tripathi told IANS.

Communists "fired the bullets and the one to get arrested is me. I do not know if there will be peace in Bhangar. It all depends upon my supporters", Islam an influential leader from Bhangar in South 24 Parganas district, said following his arrest.Mollah, a former minister and a senior legislator, was severely beaten up by Trinamool workers led by Islam Jan 6 when he went to Bamanghata area in the district where a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) office had been damaged.

The veteran Marxist is still in hospital with multiple injuries, including a lumber bone fracture. The attack caused a political uproar, with the civil society expressing concern over the law and order situation.The disturbances stretched to Jan 8 when a number of political activists were injured in firing and clashes between the Trinamool and CPI-M.Governor M.K. Narayanan had said: "This is not a good political culture. I think some sort of goondaism is going on here."

The CPI-M called Islam's arrest belated while Trinamool activists took out a protest rally.CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, who called on Mollah at the hospital Thursday, demanded that the law should take its full course to ensure justice."We have been demanding for nearly two weeks that those responsible for the attack on Mollah should be arrested. Today one of the main persons has been arrested. This is only the first step, a beginning," he said."We want the law to take its full course. Justice should be done. We will see if it (the arrest) is being followed up," he said.

CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury said the arrest should have been made earlier and hoped Islam would not be granted bail as he was responsible for attacking a veteran leader.Former CPI-M MP Sujon Chakraborty, now secretary of the party's South 24 Parganas district, said the government should have taken action against Islam earlier."We had to fight. All over the state people were disturbed. But if Arabul is released after two-three days, then we have to say this is only an eyewash," he said.Congress leader O.P. Mishra welcomed the police action but hoped the arrest was "genuine and not a mere eyewash".Enraged after the arrest, Trinamool activists hit the streets at Bhangor in the district where shops downed shutters. Additional police forces were rushed to prevent violence.

Indian Border Security Force soldiers patrol along the border fence at Suchategarh on the India-Pakistan border.

3) India alleges Pakistan cross-border attack was 'pre-planned,' warns of retaliation:

India's army chief accused Pakistan on Monday of detailed planning of an attack along Kashmir's de factor border last week in which two soldiers were killed and said India reserved the right to retaliate.The comments, which came as public anger mounts over the decapitation of one of the slain soldiers, appear certain to further inflame tensions between the nuclear-armed enemies.

Indian Border Security Force soldiers patrol

Last week's fighting was the worst outbreak of violence in Kashmir, the Himalayan region both nations claim, since the two sides agreed a cease-fire nine years ago. Indian and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.Army Chief General Bikram Singh was speaking just hours before local commanders were to meet at the border to identify ways of reducing tensions and avoiding further clashes."The attack on January 8 was premeditated, a pre-planned activity. Such an operation requires planning, detailed reconnaissance," Singh told a news conference in New Delhi.

The wife of an Indian soldier killed in Kashmir weeps before his cremation in the state of Uttar Pradesh Wednesday

He said India reserved the right to retaliate against provocative acts on the border at a time and place of its choosing."I expect all my commanders at the Line of Control to be both aggressive and offensive in the face of provocation and fire," he said.Protesters in India express outrage at Pakistan as India's army pays tribute to the two soldiers killed on the military control line of Kashmir.'s Dara Brown reports.

Both armies have lost two soldiers each in fighting along parts of 460-mile cease-fire line this month. One of the Indians was decapitated, New Delhi said, inflaming tempers in the country and prompting his family to start a hunger strike demanding that the severed head be brought back.Pakistan has termed the Indian allegations as propaganda and blamed it for violations on the cease-fire line.Islamabad accused Indian soldiers of entering its territory and killing a soldier on Jan 6. India said Pakistani soldiers intruded about 600 yards into its territory two days later and killed two Indian soldiers on patrol, the attack Singh was referring to.

Military control line of Kashmir

'Gruesome act'
Pakistan said one of its soldiers was killed in further fighting on Thursday.Singh said the beheading was a "gruesome act". He said a strong protest had been lodged with Pakistani authorities through diplomatic channels.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tripura and a church body in Meghalaya Friday have urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to defer the polling dates to ensure religious programmes remain unaffected.

4) Plea to defer Tripura, Meghalaya poll dates:

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tripura and a church body in Meghalaya Friday have urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to defer the polling dates to ensure religious programmes remain unaffected.The BJP, which has also announced candidates for 41 seats, has urged the ECI to defer the Feb 14 assembly polls in Tripura in view of Saraswati Puja Feb 15, a popular puja among Hindu students.State BJP president Sudhindra Dasgupta in a fax message to the ECI said: "Lakhs of students would be upset if they do not perform the traditional Saraswati Puja. Hence, the polls must be deferred by a few days."

"Our central leaders have also met the ECI in New Delhi and requested the commission to defer the polling date in Tripura to respect the sentiments of lakhs of school, college and university students," Dasgupta told reporters Friday.The BJP state chief has also threatened to launch a state-wide movement if the commission does not change the polling date within four days.Majority of the 3,018 polling stations in Tripura would be set up in various schools across the state and lakhs of students would have to perform Saraswati Puja Feb 15 in their schools, colleges and universities.A church body in Meghalaya has also requested the ECI to postpone the polling date (Feb 23) to make sure that churchgoers remain unaffected."As Feb 23 is a Saturday, the contention of the Garo Baptist Convention is that polling officials would have difficulty in attending service the next day," Garo Baptist Convention general secretary Rev R.G. Momin said in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath.

Momin in his letter said: "Conducting of polling on a Saturday means that election officials will have to travel back Sunday. Even if they are to return on the same night, being a mountainous state, travel is not comfortable, and majority of the roads is in a decaying condition."This will cause physical strain and make it difficult for them to attend service on Sunday, which is a day of worship for Christians not only in Meghalaya, but across the world," he said.Another Christians' dominated northeastern state Ngaland is also set for polling Feb 23.More than five million Christians live in Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Manipur besides many in the other northeastern states.Results of all three states' assembly polls will be announced Feb 28.The assemblies in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland have 60 seats each. The five-year terms of these assemblies expire March 10, March 16 and March 26, respectively.Meanwhile, by-election will be held Feb 23 in Chalfilh assembly seat in Mizoram.The assembly segment was lying vacant after the death of parliamentary secretary and Congress legislator Chawngtinthanga Sept 16 last year.

India rejects Hina Rabbani Khar’s talks offer

5) India rejects Hina Rabbani Khar’s talks offer:

India will maintain a tough outlook on Pakistan even as the LoC quietened after a fortnight of bruising skirmishes.

At a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Thursday, it was agreed that India would not respond immediately to Wednesday's offer by Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar for foreign minister level talks to clarify issues. Instead, if Pakistan makes an official request, it is possible for talks to start at a much lower official level.External affairs minister Salman Khurshid welcomed the resumption of ceasefire on the LoC. In an interview to a TV channel, he described it as "positive". "It's something that is within the domain of the armed forces on both sides... if it is contained at their own level then it doesn't create a larger political issue at the higher level."But Khurshid, who has maintained a moderate outlook even when others in his government were tough, agreed that Pakistan had to start an investigation which was demanded by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

India rejects Hina Rabbani Khar’s talks offer

Late on Wednesday, Khar said in a statement, "Instead of issuing belligerent statements by the military and political leaders from across the border and ratcheting up tension, it is advisable for the two countries to discuss all concerns related to the LoC with a view to reinforcing respect for the ceasefire, may be at the level of the foreign ministers, to sort out things."Defence minister A K Antony reportedly endorsed the military view at the CCS. Pakistan's commitment to maintaining the ceasefire would have to be tested, he is reported to have said. Only after that could India consider a response for talks with Pakistan.

One of the changes in the wake of this incident is that a more aggressive posture by the Indian Army on the LoC might become the new normal. This was articulated by Army chief General Bikram Singh, and this line has held in the defence ministry.Khurshid also indicated that a meeting between foreign ministers would happen only after officials prepared the ground. "Direct talks between counterparts don't just come in a jiffy; you sort of work up gradually," he said. This is an old India-Pakistan dissonance. Pakistan prefers to talk at the political level, even at the highest level. India prefers to go through the officials and then let the political leaders into the dialogue.The government doesn't want to be seen to be softening on Pakistan when the mood within the Congress and the opposition BJP remains belligerent. Given that Congress leaders are heading into their own brainstorming session in Jaipur, the government would prefer to maintain the line.

Manish Tewari, I&B minister and Congress spokesperson, said the party wanted the government to maintain a "recessed deterrence" against such adventurism. "Rather than giving sanctimonious homilies, it would be worth Pakistan's while to respond positively and constructively to India's concerns and hold those people who were responsible for this barbaric treatment to account. I think that's the minimalist response, which the Indian establishment is looking for," Tewari said.

On the larger canvas, the India-Pakistan engagement may be at a standstill for some time. Khurshid referred to "atmospherics". The visa-on-arrival programme, which is on hold, is not likely to be implemented just yet. The next item on the liberalized visa regime, which is group tourism, is not scheduled for operationalisation until March. There is also no clarity on whether the women's cricket team will play in India.Its possible that Pakistani commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim's visit, scheduled for end-January, may still go through. Pakistan could then have an opportunity to initiate high level contact with the Indian leadership as well as change the environment with a declaration on MFN status.But apart from this, no substantive engagement was being planned when ties were frozen. Given that the Zardari government in Pakistan is heading for elections amid unusual political turmoil in that country, there would have been an inevitable slowdown in bilateral initiatives until some clarity emerged inside Pakistan.The Indian government upped the ante against Pakistan after the latter refused to acknowledge the killing or even the violation of ceasefire during the recent brigadiers' meeting on the LoC.Officials said this attitude was very different from the one in 2011 when two Indian soldiers were similarly beheaded by Pakistani troops. In that incident, which was not made public, the DGMOs of the two countries spoke to each other and the Pakistanis promised to investigate. Whether that investigation was completed is unclear but there was an acknowledgement by Pakistan, which India respected.

That acknowledgment was missing this time, which made India suspect Pakistan's motives. Officials also indicated that the return of the Pakistani hockey players was not linked to the suspension of engagement. Other sources confirmed that the decision to send the Pakistani players back was taken by hockey officials.

The chief of the Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ), Dr Tahirul Qadri, will keep pushing for political reforms and a halt to corruption, his spokesman said Friday.

6) 'Triumphant' Pak cleric Qadri refuses to relent:

Pakistan-born Canadian cleric Tahirul Qadri said on Friday he reserves the right to take extreme measures if the agreement signed with the government was not implemented.Qadri, who shook the Pakistan government with his three-day siege of the capital demanding dissolution of parliament, had left for Lahore on Friday morning after signing an agreement with the government on the timing of the general elections.

Claiming his 'long march' as successful and congratulating the entire nation, the Tehrik Minhaj-ul-Quran (TMQ) leader after reaching Lahore told reporters that if the agreement signed with the government was not implemented, they reserved the right to take extreme measures, Geo News reported.


Qadri had been protesting in the capital since Tuesday after having begun his 'long march' from Lahore on Sunday.On Thursday night, while addressing participants of the sit-in in Islamabad, following the signature of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on what was termed as the 'Islamabad Long March Declaration', Qadri said: "The march that started on Sunday and continued till today had become a great model for the world to see."The agreement could be reached after a 10-member committee, formed by Ashraf and headed by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), held negotiations with Tahirul Qadri to end the sit-in.

According to the declaration, the National Assembly shall be dissolved at any time before March 16, 2013 (due date), so that elections may take place within 90 days. One month will be given for scrutiny of nomination papers for the purpose of pre-clearance of the candidates under article 62 and 63 of the constitution.It was also agreed upon that the focus will be on the enforcement of electoral reforms prior to the upcoming general elections.

According to sources, Qadri came down from his bulletproof cabin following an agreement with the government late Thursday, climbed into his his sleek black SUV and headed towards Lahore leaving thousands of his followers behind celebrating the "victory"."I congratulate you. Today is the day of victory for the people of Pakistan. You should go home as peacefully as you came here," Qadri told participants after signing the deal with the prime minister.Qadri's supporters danced and cheered in a carnival-style atmosphere despite the chilly winter night, before packing their bags, collecting their mattresses and blankets and getting into their vehicles.

3D Picture of Sports News

Sports News This Week:

Armstrong admits doping in "toxic" tale

1) Armstrong admits doping in "toxic" tale:

 Lance Armstrong ended years of vehement denial on Thursday by finally coming clean and admitting he had cheated his way to a record seven Tour de France titles with systematic use of banned, performance-enhancing drugs. Confessing his "toxic" tale to chat show host Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong described himself as a "flawed character" while at last owning up center of one of the biggest drugs scandals in world sport.

In just one word at the beginning of the interview broadcast worldwide, cancer survivor Armstrong confirmed his place in any gallery of fallen icons who have shamed their sport, the likes of drug-cheat sprinters Ben Johnson and Marion Jones."Yes," he replied when asked directly whether he had used performance enhancing drugs.Without flinching, Winfrey rapidly fired questions at him, offering the 41-year-old little respite, grilling him about every aspect of his tainted career.Without hesitation, and showing no signs of emotion, Armstrong replied "yes" to questions about whether he used specific drugs, including erythropoietin, human growth hormone, and blood doping.When asked why he had repeatedly lied about using banned substances until Thursday's startling admission, he told Winfrey: "I don't know I have a great answer.

"This is too late, probably for most people, and that's my fault. I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times."This story is so bad ... so toxic."It's not as if I said no and moved off it. While I've lived through this process, I know the truth. The truth isn't what I said and now it's gone."

Merciless Sharapova eclipses Venus to reach fourth round

2) Merciless Sharapova eclipses Venus to reach fourth round:

 Maria Sharapova missed out on a third successive 'double-bagel' but humbled Venus Williams 6-1 6-3 to charge into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.The centre court crowd was left stunned as the second seeded Russian scorched to a 4-0 lead in the first set to rattle her American opponent, and charged on in the second to wrap up the match in 79 minutes on a chilly evening at Rod Laver Arena.

The 25th seed Williams sparked raucous cheers by breaking Sharapova and holding her serve late in the second set, but the Russian sealed the match with an ace and unleashed a fist-pumping shriek.Sharapova will next play Belgian Kirsten Flipkens as she continues her bid for a fifth grand slam title and second at Melbourne Park. 

Lionel Messi Is Player of the Year for the Fourth Time

3) Lionel Messi Is Player of the Year for the Fourth Time

He breaks records as easily as he finds the back of the net. Barcelona and Argentina’s Lionel Messi, the soccer player many believe is the best of all time, won the prestigious Ballon d’Or for a record fourth time (in a row, no less) in Zurich on Monday, beating out his club teammate AndrĂ©s Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo, his great Real Madrid and Portuguese rival. “To tell you the truth, it’s really quite unbelievable to win this award,” he said on stage in Spanish. “The fourth award that I’ve had is just too great for words.”

Before we yet again extol Messi’s sublime talent, a case can be made in favor of awarding the prize — FIFA merged its World Player of the Year award with France Football’s Ballon d’Or in 2010 — to the other two players whittled down from an earlier 23-man short list. Iniesta didn’t merely win the same number of trophies as his more illustrious teammate but was named the best player of the 2011–12 Champions League tournament and also got his hands on the European Championships, as Spain won back-to-back titles after dismantling Italy 4-0 in the final last year. Oh, and he was declared the player of the Euros to boot.

England suffer batting collapse as Indian bowlers run riot to win by 127 runs in 36 overs, level series:

4) India vs England, second ODI, Kochi, Live : England suffer batting collapse as Indian bowlers run riot to win by 127 runs in 36 overs, level series:

After the narrow defeat in Rajkot, India would feel good with this win. The foundation for the victory was laid by first Dhoni and Raina and then Dhoni and Jadeja in the last 10 overs, and built on by impressive bowling by first the seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who did not let up in intensity despite bowling 10 overs on the trot, and Shami Ahmed, then the spinners Ashwin and Jadeja. A complete team performance this and it would go a long way in uplifting the team morale. 

India win second ODI against england by 127 runs in 36 overs

This was perhaps the most comprehensive, crushin win for  India across formats in a long, long time. The batting, bowling and fielding all came good, even though the batting top order remains a concern for their lack of converting starts into big scores. Still, at least they are beginning to get the starts.

India win second ODI against england by 127 runs in 36 overs, level five match series 1- 1

Subhaditya News Channel Presents Science, Movie Release, Political, Sports News This Week (27)

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