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Saturday, 16 February 2013

Subhaditya News Channel Present Science, Movie, Sports and Political News This Week (31)

Subhaditya Newsweek(31) in Animated Form

Subhaditya News Post (31)

Science News

Science News This Week:

A Little Molecule's Remarkable Feat: Prolonging Life

1) A Little Molecule's Remarkable Feat: Prolonging Life:

Nitric oxide, the versatile gas that helps increase blood flow, transmit nerve signals, and regulate immune function, appears to perform one more biological feat -- prolonging the life of an organism and fortifying it against environmental stress, according to a new study.

The study reveals that a roundworm called Caenorhabditis elegans, an animal widely used in laboratory studies of aging, lives significantly longer when fed bacteria capable of manufacturing nitric oxide. The tantalizing observation points to one of the mechanisms by which the microbiome, the trillions of microbial cells inhabiting our bodies, may play a vital role in our health.Our own nitric oxide levels decrease as we get older, a decline that may contribute to normal aging, says Evgeny Nudler, PhD, the Julie Wilson Anderson Professor of Biochemistry at NYU Langone Medical Center, who led the new study. Supplemental bacteria, he speculates, might provide a healthy boost by supplying humans with some of the missing compound.

"In worms, we now know that bacteria can use nitric oxide not only to their own advantage but also to provide their host with a beneficial response, and the same thing could be true in a human gut," says Dr. Nudler. "It may well be the case that our commensal bacteria control some of our genes, at least in the gut, to protect those cells against stress and age-related decline." Commensal bacteria provide a benefit to the organisms they colonize.

Although humans and many other organisms have the enzyme needed to produce nitric oxide, C. elegans does not. Instead, Dr. Nudler and his team report in the February 14th online issue of Cell that the worm can "hijack" the compound from the soil-dwelling Bacillus subtilis bacterium that is not only a favored food but also a common colonist within its gut. This resourcefulness, Dr. Nudler says, partially explains why worms fed B. subtilis live roughly 50 percent longer than counterparts fed Escherichia coli, which does not produce the compound.In the new study, the average C. elegans lifespan increased by nearly 15 percent, to about two weeks, when researchers fed the worms nitric oxide-producing B. subtilis bacteria, compared to worms fed mutant B. subtilis with a deleted nitric oxide production gene. The research group also used fluorescent sensors to show that C. elegans does not make its own nitric oxide gas. When the worms were fed normal B. subtilis bacteria, however, the fluorescent signal appeared in their guts.

Fluorescent labeling and other tests also demonstrated that B. subtilis-derived nitric oxide penetrated the worms' tissues, where it activated a set of 65 genes. Some had been previously implicated in stress resistance, immune response, and increased lifespan, though others have unknown functions. Importantly, the researchers showed that two well-known regulatory proteins were essential for activating all of the genes.

"What we found is that nitric oxide gas produced in bacteria inside the worms diffuses into the worm tissue and activates a very specific set of genes acting through two master regulators, hsf-1 and daf-16, resulting in a high resistance to stress and a longer life," Dr. Nudler says. "It's striking that a small molecule produced by one organism can dramatically affect the physiology and even lifespan of another organism through direct cell signaling."As part of nitric oxide's expansive repertoire, Dr. Nudler's lab previously showed how dangerous pathogens can exploit the molecule to fight off antibiotics. Despite its versatility, the new research suggests that nitric oxide is only one of multiple beneficial molecules produced by B. subtilis, Dr. Nudler says. His lab plans to look more closely at other potential mechanisms by which commensal bacteria can promote health and longevity, using the powerful and easily manipulated C. elegans system as a model.

The study co-authors include Ivan Gusarov, Laurent Gautier, Olga Smolentseva, and Ilya Shamovsky from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at NYU Langone Medical Center; and Svetlana Eremina and Alexander Mironov from the State Research Institute of Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms in Moscow, Russia.The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Biogerontology Research Foundation, and the Dynasty Foundation.

Indian Plant Could Play Key Role in Death of Cancer Cells

2) Indian Plant Could Play Key Role in Death of Cancer Cells:

Scientists at the Georgia Regents University Cancer Center have identified an Indian plant, used for centuries to treat inflammation, fever and malaria, that could help kill cancer cells.

Cancer cells typically avoid death by hijacking molecular chaperones that guide and protect the proteins that ensure normal cellular function and then tricking them into helping mutated versions of those proteins stay alive, says Dr. Ahmed Chadli, a researcher in the Molecular Chaperone Program at the GRU Cancer Center and senior author of the study named the Journal of Biological Chemistry's Paper of the Week.

Drug development has focused on the chaperone Hsp90 (heat shock protein 90) because it plays a key role in assisting mutated proteins, making it an attractive cancer drug target. However, the clinical efficacy of Hsp90 inhibitors has been disappointing. Most current small molecules targeting Hsp90 have inadvertently resulted in the expression of proteins that protect cancer cells from programmed cell death and compromise the Hsp90 inhibitors in the clinic.

In this study, however, Chaitanya Patwardhan, a graduate student in Dr. Chadli's lab, found that gedunin, an Indian plant compound, attacks a co-chaperone, or helper protein, of Hsp90 called p23.

"This compound binds directly to p23, leading to inactivation of the Hsp90 machine -- without production of anti-apoptotic proteins -- thus killing cancer cells," said Dr. Chadli. "The idea here is that this will open a door for new ways of targeting Hsp90 by targeting its helper proteins, which may be used in combination with established Hsp90 inhibitors that are ongoing clinical trials. In the future, this research could have applications in drug development for hormone-dependent cancers, including breast, prostate and endometrial cancers."

"One of the major areas of scientific emphasis of the GRU Cancer Center is to develop therapeutic approaches to cancer targeting specific molecules within the cancer cell, including chaperones," said Dr. Samir N. Khleif, Director of the GRU Cancer Center. "This finding is an important piece of the puzzle, bringing us closer to our goal of helping patients with cancer."

New Owl Species Discovered in Indonesia Is Unique to One Island

3) New Owl Species Discovered in Indonesia Is Unique to One Island:

A new owl is the first endemic bird species discovered on the island of Lombok, Indonesia, according to research published February 13 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by an international team headed by George Sangster of the Swedish Museum of Natural History and colleagues from other institutions.

The new species has long been confused with a more widespread Indonesian owl species because of its similar plumage. However, in September 2003, two members of the team independently discovered that the vocalizations of the owls on Lombok were unique and different from all other Indonesian owls.

George Sangster comments, "It was quite a coincidence that two of us identified this new bird species on different parts of the same island, within a few days of being on the island. That is quite a coincidence, especially considering that no-one had noticed anything special about these owls in the previous 100 years."

Because owls are mostly nocturnal, they use songs to communicate and recognize their own species. Thus, when owls have consistently different vocalizations this is generally taken to mean that they are different species. The new owl's song is a whistled note completely unlike that of other owls. Locals on the island recognize the bird and refer to it as "burung pok," an onomatopoeic name reflecting the song note of the bird, which sounds like "pok" or "poook," say the authors.

Based on their field work, comparisons to museum specimens and previous studies, the researchers suggest that the new owl species is unique to this one island. When surveyed, locals on the neighboring island of Sumbawa were unfamiliar with the bird. The researchers say, "With one exception, none of the locals recognized the songs from playback of recordings made on Lombok except for one man, but he was an immigrant from Lombok who knew the song only from Lombok and had never heard it on Sumbawa."

The new species of owl is named Otus jolandae, after the wife of one of the researchers who co-discovered the species in 2003. The authors suggest using the common name Rinjani Scops Owl, after Gunung Rinjani, a volcano on Lombok that is the second highest volcano in Indonesia.

Life Experiences Put Their Stamp On the Next Generation: New Insights from Epigenetics:

4) Life Experiences Put Their Stamp On the Next Generation: New Insights from Epigenetics:

The 18th century natural philosopher Jean-Baptiste Lamarck proposed that the necks of giraffes lengthened as a consequence of the cumulative effort, across generations, to reach leaves just out of their grasp. This view of evolution was largely abandoned with the advent of modern genetic theories to explain the transmission of most important traits and many medical illnesses across generations.However, there has long been the impression that major life events, like psychological traumas, not only have effects on individuals who directly experience these events, but also have effects on their children. For example, cross-generational effects have been well-documented in the children of Nazi death camp survivors. Similar issues have been reported in the context of mood disorders and addiction. Until recently, these trans-generational effects were attributed to changes in the way that parents treated their children or the child's reaction to learning about the parent's history.

In the most recent issue of Biological Psychiatry, Swiss researchers from the University of Zurich and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, led by Dr. Isabelle Mansuy, discuss how the emergence of the field of epigenetics has introduced a new component to this discussion -- the trans-generational transmission of changes in the regulation of gene expression."The question of the inheritance of acquired traits has puzzled biologists and clinicians for decades. Although it has been consistently observed as early as in the 18th century, the time has now come that sufficiently strong and convincing evidence has accumulated to firmly accept it," said Mansuy.The genetic transmission of traits reflects alterations in genetic structure, i.e., the base pairs that form DNA. Epigenetics, on the other hand, involves cellular processes that do not alter the structure of DNA. Instead, epigenetic mechanisms, including the methylation of DNA or of specific residues on histone "supporter" proteins, influence the extent to which individual genes are converted into messenger RNA. These changes can occur in any cell of the body, but when they occur in the germ cells (sperm or eggs) the changes may be passed to the next generation.

The changes in DNA structure are random events that acquire functional significance in the context of Darwin's "natural selection" process. In contrast, the epigenetic reactions to specific environments are designed to enable that organism to cope with that context. When these traits are passed to the next generation, it is as if the newborn arrives prepared for that specific environment. Problems arise when the epigenetic processes give rise to traits that are not adaptive for the offspring, such as heightened stress reactivity, or when the environment has changed."This is a remarkable story with far-reaching implications," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. "There is a suspicion that epigenetic processes may be reversed more easily than genetic traits, exemplified by the development of HDAC inhibitors. This is a rapidly evolving research area that has captured a great deal of attention."

The article is "Transgenerational Epigenetic Effects on Brain Functions" by Johannes Bohacek, Katharina Gapp, Bechara J. Saab, and Isabelle M. Mansuy. The article appears in Biological Psychiatry, Volume 73, Issue 4 (February 15, 2013)

A Glimpse Inside the Control Centers of Cell Communication

5) A Glimpse Inside the Control Centers of Cell Communication:

Researchers  have detected characteristic constructional features in a family of sensors that process signals in the human body and control physiological processes.

The cells within the human body continually communicate with one another in order to fulfil their various tasks. For that purpose, they are equipped with sensors with which they receive signals from their environment. Sensors on cell surfaces are known as receptors. Numerous processes taking place within our body -- such as sight, smell or taste -- are performed by an important family of receptors known as G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR). Other receptors that belong to this group are those that control emotions and those that contribute to our reaction to fear and stress. Researchers at the Paul Scherer Institute, together with colleagues from Great Britain, have now analysed the structures of GPCRs and compared them with one another. From this, they have discovered stabilising frameworks of fine struts present in all receptors and therefore characteristic of the architecture of the entire GPCR family. In addition, they have also found a universal connector for docking molecules in the binding pockets of these receptors. Knowledge of this constructional feature, which has been conserved over the course of evolution, can be of significant assistance in the development of new pharmaceuticals.

The scientists have reported on their results in a review article in the scientific journal Nature.

Receptors are complex biomolecules composed of proteins that are embedded in the outer shell of a cell -- the cell membrane. These consist of thousands of atoms and have a defined spatial structure that determines their function. As the effective control centres of cell communication, they recognise stimuli or messenger substances that bind to the cell from outside and change the receptors to transmit the information about the incoming signals into the interior of the cell. The family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) contains about 800 related sensors that perform the most varied tasks within the body: They process light, smell and taste stimuli, transmit the effect of numerous hormones, including adrenaline and histamine, and recognise brain messenger substances such as dopamine and serotonin.Whenever a messenger substance becomes bound to the GPCR meant for it the biomolecule becomes activated. It changes its shape in such a way that a so-called G protein molecule can dock onto it inside the cell. The binding of the G protein to the receptor initiates a cascade of biochemical events that lead to different responses according to cell type.

Molecular signature of the GPCR family

Over the past 20 years, the determination of the structure of GPCRs has taken great steps forward, so that until now the detailed structures of 17 important receptors in this family have been solved. GPCRs generally consist of a total of seven rod-like molecular components that are joined together and that reach from the outside to the inside of the cell. Within this construct, small electrostatic and hydrophobic forces ensure that contacts are formed between neighbouring molecular rods that hold the nano-machine together.Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge (UK) have now managed to analyze all known GPCR structures at the atomic level and determine the exact positions of contact for each of the components that form the individual molecular rods. Subsequently, the scientists compared the data they had gathered and were able to identify 24 common contacts that appear in all the receptor structures they had examined, and that always occupy the same key positions in the molecule. "One can imagine these contacts as a framework of fine struts that has been conserved throughout the course of evolution and is characteristic of the architecture of the entire GPCR family," explains Xavier Deupi, structural biologist at the Laboratory for Biomolecular Research at PSI.The researchers also discovered similarities in the binding pockets of various GPCRs. Here, however, they focused on contacts between receptors and the ligands connected to them, i.e. the signal molecules that dock onto the binding pockets. "The binding pockets of various receptors differ greatly, depending on the size and shape of the ligands. Nevertheless, we were able to identify a type of universal connector deep down on the base of pocket. This connector covered four positions in the protein that together invariably formed four contacts to the ligand -- independent of how the individual ligand is constituted," explains Deupi. Because the universal connector is preserved in all receptors, the scientists believe that this region of the binding pocket plays a decisive role in the activation of GPCRs.

Comparative analysis of protein structures

For their investigations, the researchers developed a method that enabled the information about the spatial structure of proteins to be reduced to the pattern of the contacts within the molecule. In order to be able to compare the patterns obtained, they applied the method of network analysis that bio-information specialists routinely use for studying interactions within biological networks. "This approach enabled us for the first time to objectively observe related receptor structures and filter out similarities. Naturally, contacts emerged that were already known and, in this way, we were able to validate the method. The remaining contacts -- far more than half of them -- we have effectively newly discovered, including contacts between the universal connectors and ligands," says Gebhard Schertler, head of the Biology and Chemistry Department at PSI.

Starting point for developing new medications

GPCRs are involved in quite a number of processes in the body. They act as light sensors in our eyes, make the senses of smell and taste possible, govern how we react to fear and stress and regulate our emotions. This is why the GPCR family is of great interest for pharmaceutical research. "A better understanding of receptor structures and the knowledge of their constructional characteristics will, on the one hand, lead to a better understanding of fundamental vital processes. On the other hand, the results will create a basis for computer-assisted development of new substances. Our results can help, for example, to build better models of GPCRs of those receptors whose spatial structure is still not known," explains Deupi.About half of all medications available today operate by binding to a GPCR and influencing how it functions. Well-known examples of these are the familiar beta blockers, which control blood pressure, anti-inflammatory substances such as anti-histamines, various psychotropic medications and drugs for treating migraine.

Asteroid to whizz past Earth today

6) Asteroid to whizz past Earth today:

A small asteroid will pass closer to Earth on Friday than the TV satellites that ring the planet, but there is no cha­nce of an impact, NASA said .

The celestial visitor, known as 2012 DA14, was discovered last year by a group of amateur astronomers in Spain. The asteroid is about the size of an Olympic swimming pool at 46 metre in diameter and is projected to come as close as 27,520 km from Earth during its Friday’s approach.

That would make it the closest encounter since scientists began routinely monitoring asteroids about 15 years ago. Television, weather and communications satellites fly about 800 km higher. The moon is 14 times farther away.Even so, “no Earth impact is possible,” astronomer Donald Yeomans, with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told reporters during a conference call.

The time of the asteroid’s closest approach will be 2.24 pm EST (1924 GMT), daylight in the United States, but dark in Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia where professional and amateur astronomers will be standing by with telescopes and binoculars to catch a view.

DA14 will soar through the sky at about 13 km per second. At that speed, an object of similar size on a collision course with Earth would strike with the force of about 2.4 million tons of dynamite. The last time that happened was in 1908 when an asteroid or comet exploded over Siberia, leveling 80 million trees over 2,150 sq km.
“Although they wouldn’t (cause) a global catastrophe if they impact the Earth, they still do a lot of regional destruction,” said Lindley Johnson, who oversees the Near-Earth Object Observations Program at NASA headquarters in Washington DC.
NASA has been on a mission to find and track all near-Earth objects that are 1 km in diameter or larger.

Movie News

Movie Release This Week:

A Good Day to Die Hard

1) A Good Day to Die Hard:

Bruce Willis returns in his most iconic role as John McClane - the "real" hero with the skills and attitude to always be the last man standing. This time the take-no-prisoners cop is really in the wrong place at the wrong time after traveling to Moscow to help his estranged son Jack. With the Russian underworld in pursuit, and battling a countdown to war, the two McClanes discover that their opposing methods make them unstoppable heroes. 

Escape from Planet Earth

2) Escape from Planet Earth:
The 3D animated family comedy catapults moviegoers to planet Baab where admired astronaut Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) is a national hero to the blue alien population. A master of daring rescues, Scorch pulls off astonishing feats with the quiet aid of his nerdy, by-the-rules brother, Gary (Rob Corddry), head of mission control at BASA. When BASA’s no-nonsense chief Lena (Jessica Alba) informs the brothers of an SOS from a notoriously dangerous planet, Scorch rejects Gary’s warnings and bounds off for yet another exciting mission. But when Scorch finds himself caught in a fiendish trap set by the evil Shanker (William Shatner) it’s up to scrawny, risk-adverse Gary to do the real rescuing. As the interplanetary stakes rise to new heights, Gary is left to save his brother, his planet, his beloved wife Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker) and their adventure hungry son Kip. 

Murder 3

3) Murder 3:

A hot-shot fashion and wildlife photographer Vikram (Randeep Hooda) gets into a relationship with a waitress from a lounge, Nisha (Sara Loren). She moves in with him in his palatial house outside of the city. The old world house, made decades ago is as beautiful as scary it is. It holds many secrets which Nisha is soon to unearth; of the life of the man who made it and of Vikram, who is dealing with the mysterious disappearance of his former girlfriend Roshni (Aditi Rao Hydari). 

Safe Haven

4) Safe Haven:

 An affirming and suspenseful story about a young woman's struggle to find love again after she arrives in a small North Carolina town. Her reluctance to join the tight-knit community raises questions about her past. Slowly, she begins putting down roots, and gains the courage to start a relationship with Alex, a widowed store owner with two young children. But dark secrets intrude on her new life with such terror that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller.

The Power of Few

5) The Power of Few:

Revolves around an enigmatic smuggling ring’s efforts to steal a priceless artifact. The story unfolds through the unique perspective of five characters who cross paths on a day filled with danger, hope and possible transformation.

Political News

Political News This Week:

Government begins process to cancel VVIP chopper deal

1) Government begins process to cancel VVIP chopper deal:

As more high-profile names cropped up in connection with bribery allegations in the $750 million VVIP chopper deal, the Indian government Friday put the contract with Italian firm Finmevcanica on hold and began the process to cancel it.The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has been entrusted to probe the bribery allegations, is likely to send a team to Italy within a week to probe the alleged around 51 million euro crore kickbacks paid by Finmeccanica to clinch the deal.

The headquarters of Italian defence and aerospace company Finmeccanica is seen in Rome.

In a three-para statement, the ministry of defence said it has "initiated action for cancellation of contract for procurement of 12 AW101 helicopters for the use of VVIPs".It also issued a formal show cause notice to AgustaWestland, the subsidiary of Finmeccanica, seeking cancellation of contract and "taking other actions as per the terms of the contract and the Integrity Pact". The company has been given seven days to reply.

The action comes a day after the government warned Finmeccanica of legal action, including blacklisting, and asked whether any slush money had been paid to fix the deal that has led to a political uproar.The defence procurement scam came to light when the Italian government arrested Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi Tuesday for allegedly paying bribes to clinch the chopper deal.The government launched a CBI probe into the bribery charges on Tuesday.

Clarifying its position, the government Thursday had noted that the mandatory technical requirements of the chopper were changed in the tender during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 2003, with the then national security adviser Brajesh Mishra playing a key role.

It had also noted that the changes in the tender were incorporated during March 2005 to September 2006 when Pranab Mukherjee was defence minister and S.P. Tyagi was the Air Chief. Mukherjee is now president of India and Tyagi is facing allegations that three of his kin took kickbacks to swing the deal.The defence ministry has asked the external affairs ministry for more information from Rome on the AgustaWestland chopper deal, said a source.In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has said his government would guarantee the "correct governance" of state-controlled defence firm Finmeccanica."The government was able to intervene with some measures to guarantee the correct governance of the company and the whole group," Monti said.The Italian prime minister had earlier promised to do "whatever necessary to clean up" Finmeccanica.

He also assured that the prosecution would do its duty in the case of Orsi."I am sure that the prosecution in this case will do its duty as in other similar cases," he told reporters.India has inducted only three of the 12 AgustaWestland-101 helicopters till now, with the remaining nine slated for delivery later this year.

India so far reported to have paid a part of the total amount to AgustaWestland, the Britain-based subsidiary of Finmeccanica.The government move can be seen in the light of the upcoming budget session of the parliament, beginning Feb 21, which could see the government put in the dock over the bribery allegations.

Former Air Chief Tyagi and his three kin -- Julie, Docsa and Sanjeev - have denied allegations of receiving kickbacks of around Rs.72 lakh from middlemen.The Italian probe report suggests that the former IAF chief had met the middlemen more than six to seven times and allegedly briefed them about the developments in the contract.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has compared the defence scam to Bofors, slammed the government for "unnecessarily" dragging the National Democratic Alliance into the chopper deal."First, they deny the existence of a scam; then they try to evade an answer. They try not to have an inquiry, their mission is to cover up and deflect attention to some other issue," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters here.

VVIP Chopper Deal Ex-IAF Chief Refutes Bribe Allegation.

a factsheet prepared by the UPA government mentions President Pranab Mukherjee’s name in the controversial AgustaWestland chopper deal with Italy.

2) Congress trying to divert attention from chopper scam: BJP:

By unnecessarily dragging the National Democratic Alliance into the $750-million VVIP chopper deal, the Congress-led government aims at diverting attention from the real issue, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Friday.

'First, they deny the existence of a scam; then they try to evade an answer. They try not to have an inquiry, their mission is to cover up and deflect attention to some other issue,' BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters here.

The Congress had stated that the chopper deal process was initiated during the NDA government's term, though it culminated under the United Progressive Alliance government.'The issue is not about changing technical specifications (of the chopper) but the fact that kickbacks were received,' Javadekar said.'It was the Italian government which ordered a probe while the Indian government refused to do so,' he added.Javadekar blamed the defence ministry. 'They (government) said that the defence ministry conducted an internal enquiry and found nothing wrong. What are the details and findings of that report? We want to know'.

The BJP spokesman listed six questions for the government: 'Who gave the contract for the helicopters; who received kickbacks; according to the charge sheet submitted to the Italian court, Rs.200 crore was paid to a particular family. Which one; what is the relation of the kingpin of this scam with the director of Emaar-MGF, who was involved in the CWG scam; what is known about the company IDS India, reported to have received more than Rs.100 crore; has the government sent Letters Rogatory for information?'

Speaking about the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the bribery charges, the BJP said that the investigations should be monitored by the Supreme Court or be carried out by a Special Investigative Team appointed by the court.

INLD starts 'Pol Khol' campaign against Congress

3) INLD starts 'Pol Khol' campaign against Congress:

On a day the Delhi High Court refused to give interim relief to Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leaders Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay Chautala in a teachers' recruitment scam, the party launched its 'Pol Khol' (expose) campaign against Haryana's ruling Congress.

Om Parkash Chautala's other son and INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala Friday called upon the people to uproot the Congress-led government from the state and the centre.He was addressing a rally in Panchkula town, 15 km from here.Chautala accused the Congress of "a conspiracy under which it misused the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) to downgrade the image of innocent INLD leaders by sending them behind the bars"."The truth will prevail and soon, conspiracy of the Congress will be exposed," he said.

He said Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was more concerned about spreading misleading information about INLD leaders than focussing on the deteriorating law and order situation in Haryana and carrying out development work."We will prove that the Congress and CBI had planned a conspiracy to send INLD leaders to jail," Chautala said, while challenging the Congress leadership to come forward for an open debate on the conspiracy against INLD leaders.

"Worried over the increasing popularity of the INLD, the Congress is using cheap tactics to downgrade the image of the party," he told the gathering.The INLD held rallies in other places of Haryana too.

Prime suspects Sk Suhan and Md Ibn (hooded), arrested in connection with SI Tapas Chowdhury's murder during poll-related violence at a Garden Reach college

4) Kolkata college violence: Police remand for 12 accused:

The two main accused of Garden Reach violence were on Wednesday remanded in police custody till February 26.

The other 10 accused of yesterday's campus violence that claimed life of a police officer and wounded one critically were also remanded in police custody till February 19.Sk Suhan and Ibon, the two main accused, were arrested yesterday along with 10 others after sub-inspector Tapas Chowdhury was shot dead during a clash between Congress and Trinamool Congress student unions at Hari Mohan Ghosh college during filing of nominations for a college election.

Police Commissioner RK Pachnanda handed over a cheque for Rs 2 lakh to the SI's widow Minati at her Thakurpukur residence during the day and assured of providing a job to her daughter Tanushree.

"We will also take care of her son's studies," Pachnanda said after meeting Minati who broke down.Minati said she expected Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is in charge of the Home (police department), "to see how the family was facing a crisis with the death of the only earning member".

"Responsibility to maintain security has been given to those who have no security for themselves," she said.Chowdhury's daughter Tanushree demanded exemplary punishment to the killers of her father. 

BJP pulls up Govt., demands rollback of hike in petrol, diesel prices

5) BJP pulls up Govt., demands rollback of hike in petrol, diesel prices:

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday lashed out at the Congress-led UPA Government over its decision to hike petrol price by Rs 1.50 per litre and diesel price by 45 paise a litre with effect from midnight tonight, saying this is absolutely atrocious and will increase the prices of all commodities.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said this is absolutely unacceptable, and added that the petrol and diesel prices increased by the government are totally unacceptable because already the Centre has taken it to the height.

"In last one year, the petrol prices were raised by twelve rupees, the diesel prices were raised by eight rupees. And now, the government wants to increase it further by ten rupees diesel and ten rupees petrol. This is absolutely atrocious. This will increase the prices of all commodities, all transports and people will really be paying heavily. The farmers, the fishermen and everybody will be suffering because of this diesel price hike," said Javadekar.

"The government's intentions are very clear. We oppose this, we immediately demand the rollback. And we will raise this issue because this affects the lives of the people in the Parliament and outside the Parliament. This is absolutely unacceptable," he added.New rates for petrol in Delhi would be Rs 69.05 per litre, while a litre of diesel will cost Rs 48.16.Petrol price was last revised on January 18 when the price was cut by 30 paise to Rs 67.26 a litre in Delhi.

Sports News

Sports News This Week:


Blade Runner Pistorius sobs in court after murder charge

1) Blade Runner Pistorius sobs in court after murder charge:

South African 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, broke down in tears on Friday after he was charged in court with shooting dead his girlfriend in his Pretoria home.

The 26-year-old Olympic and Paralympic superstar stood with head bowed in front of magistrate Desmond Nair to hear the charge that he had murdered model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp.

England thrash New Zealand to claim Twenty20 series

2) England thrash New Zealand to claim Twenty20 series:

 England's opening batsmen Alex Hales and Michael Lumb made a mockery of the New Zealand bowling attack to guide the visitors to a 10-wicket win in their third Twenty20 international and a 2-1 series victory on Friday.

After England's bowlers restricted New Zealand to 139 for eight, Hales blasted 80 off 42 balls while Lumb scored 53, including a six that landed on the roof to win the match and bring up his half century, as the pair pushed England to victory in just 12.4 overs.

"The power the two openers have shown there was pretty spectacular," England captain Stuart Broad told reporters. "What was it 12, 13 overs to chase down 140?

"We know that early wickets kill you in Twenty20 cricket so it was great to see the guys get used to the wicket and take their time for two or three overs and then once Alex Hales got going it looked hard to stop him."

Much of England's damage was done in the fifth over when Ian Butler lost his composure and sprayed the ball all over the wicket, yielding five wides, four leg byes and three further boundaries by Hales.

Hales then took to Mitchell McClenaghan in the 11th over, blasting a six, a four and two more sixes in four successive deliveries to race towards the victory target on the drop-in pitch at Wellington Regional Stadium.

"We were blown off the park," New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said. "Batting, bowling and fielding nowhere near the standard it needed to be. England were ruthless in their approach and thoroughly deserved their victory."

Cricket: Ajmal strikes to put Pakistan on top

3) Cricket: Ajmal strikes to put Pakistan on top:

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took all five wickets as Pakistan finished on top on the second day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands on Friday.South Africa were struggling at 139 for five at the close, still 199 runs behind Pakistan's first innings of 338.Ajmal took five for 41.Three of Ajmal's wickets came after the use of the decision review system, including a controversial dismissal of star South African batsman Jacques Kallis.

South African captain Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla were both out leg before wicket after being given not out by umpire Steve Davis.Kallis was given out caught at short leg and immediately called for a review, which showed that the ball had not touched his bat before looping off his pad to the fielder.

But he was then given out leg before on the advice of television umpire Billy Bowden, although replays showed the ball was only brushing the outside of his leg stump, in the area known as "umpire's call".Kallis was clearly shocked and stood at the wicket seeking clarity before reluctantly returning to the pavilion.

It was not clear what the conversation between Davis and Bowden had been and on what basis Kallis was given out on what was a marginal call.

Controversy apart, it was a superb display of bowling by Ajmal, who bowled 25 overs unchanged into a stiff south-easterly wind, varying his flight and mixing off-spin with cleverly disguised top spinners and "doosras" which turned away from the right-handed batsmen.

It was a productive day for Ajmal, who helped fellow tailender Tanvir Ahmed put on 64 for the ninth wicket to take Pakistan comfortably past the 300 mark. Their eventual total seemed unlikely when Vernon Philander took three wickets in his first three overs to reduce the tourists to 268 for eight.

Ajmal came on to bowl after 11 overs had been bowled in South Africa's innings and struck with his ninth delivery, Smith missed a sweep and Pakistan successfully sought a review.

Two overs later Ajmal had Alviro Petersen smartly caught at short leg by Azhar Ali, who dived to his right to hold a sharp chance.At tea, Ajmal had taken two for 20.
Amla went back on his stumps and was also given out on review before Kallis was dismissed.He was followed by Faf du Plessis, caught at slip off a "doosra" for South Africa's highest score of 28.AB de Villiers and Dean Elgar survived until the close.Pakistan batted until lunch after resuming at 253 for five, although Philander's early strikes raised the home side's hopes of wrapping up the innings quickly.Philander, who took five for 59, struck with his first ball of the day when Asad Shafiq was caught at first slip without adding to his overnight score of 111.Shafiq batted for 308 minutes and faced 230 balls.

Sarfraz Ahmed, the other overnight batsman, fell for 13 in Philander's next over when Petersen dived full length to his right to hold a good catch at third slip.Umar Gul was leg before wicket without scoring as Philander completed his ninth five-wicket haul in Test matches.But Tanvir and Ajmal went for their strokes, with Tanvir in particular hitting out aggressively as he made 44 off 59 balls with four fours, while Ajmal made 21 not out.South Africa suffered a blow when fast bowler Morne Morkel left the field after bowling three balls of his 21st over with what was described as a tight left hamstring.Tanvir fell shortly before lunch when he hit left-arm spinner Robin Peterson to Philander at deep mid-off, with last man Mohammad Irfan following in the next over when he was bowled by Peterson, going for a big hit.

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