|Animated Posters of NewsWeek 45|
|Collage of News Week (45)|
Science News This Week:
1) Fossil muddies the origin of birds:
|Fossil muddies the origin of birds|
A birdlike fossil that dates to roughly 155 million years ago is ruffling the feathers of some paleontologists. At issue is whether the fossil is a dinosaur, an early bird or something in between.“This new animal is the most primitive bird in the world,” says paleontologist Pascal Godefroit of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. He and an international team of colleagues describe the new specimen May 29 in Nature. The fossil comes from northeastern China’s Tiaojishan formation and is named Aurornis xui.Not everyone agrees with Godefroit’s interpretation. “This is very birdlike, but it is not yet a bird,” says paleontologist Luis Chiappe of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.If Aurornis is in fact a bird, the specimen may have implications for scientists’ view of Archaeopteryx, the most famous birdlike dinosaur (or dinosaur-like bird). A controversial 2011 paper argued that Archaeopteryx and two other specimens were feathered dinosaurs, not birds. But Godefroit’s team proposes that Archaeopteryx is evolutionarily younger than the newly discovered Aurornis. So if Aurornis is on the bird lineage, as Godefroit argues, then Archaeopteryx should be, too.There isn’t any well-preserved plumage on the new specimen, but Godefroit says that the shapes of bones in the fossil’s pelvic region are part of what make him think the animal was a bird.Still, the fossil’s forelimb is much shorter than that of true birds, Chiappe says. That detail, he says, along with the fossil’s longish reptilian tail and several skull features, suggest it is a dinosaur.
2) Researchers Gain Insight Into Key Protein Linked to Cancers, Neurodegenerative Disorders:
|Researchers Gain Insight Into Key Protein Linked to Cancers, Neurodegenerative Disorders|
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers studying a key molecular player called Hsp70 that is responsible for protein homeostasis have uncovered how it binds together with another molecule responsible for intracellular energy transfer to enhance its overall activity and efficiency -- details that have previously not been well understood.
Heat shock proteins, particularly the 70-kilodalton heat shock proteins, Hsp70, are important for cellular processes such as protein folding and protecting cells from stress. It is also involved with protein assembly, degradation and transport. Imbalances in protein homeostasis have been previously found to contribute to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases and cancers.In the study, published this week in the Online First section of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, a publication of the Nature journal family, researchers conducted a biochemical analysis of the structure to learn how ATP binding allosterically opens the polypeptide-binding site. In order for Hsp70 to do its job of regulating its binding to unfolded polypeptide substrates, it gains energy from the process of ATP hydrolysis. ATP is a molecule responsible for intracellular energy transfer.
The team found that when Hsp70 binds ATP it promotes the allosteric opening of the polypeptide binding site."Due to their essential roles in protein trafficking and proper folding since mis-folded proteins can disrupt cell function, Hsp70s are inextricably linked to the development of cancers, aging and neurodegenerative disorders," said Qinglian Liu, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in the VCU School of Medicine.
"Understanding the structural properties at the atomic level and molecular working of Hsp70s will pave the foundation for designing efficient and potent small molecule drugs to specifically modulate the function of Hsp70s. The small molecule drugs may become novel and efficient treatments for cancers or neurodegenerative disorders," she said Liu said that the team's structural and biochemical analysis revealed how Hsp70s use ATP to open their peptide substrate binding site and thus regulate their ability in binding peptide substrates."These findings help us understand at the atomic level how Hsp70s function in maintaining the well-being of cellular proteins, such as folding, assembly, transport and degradation," said Liu.According to Liu, future work will move the team in two directions. First, based on this published work, they aim to design specific and potent modulators for Hsp70s and test their potential in treating cancers or neurodegenerative disorders. A second focus will be to study how Hsp70s cooperate with their Hsp40 partners to achieve their optimum activity in maintaining protein homeostasis.
3) Asteroid Has Its Own Moon, NASA Radar Reveals:
|Asteroid Has Its Own Moon, NASA Radar Reveals|
A sequence of radar images of asteroid 1998 QE2 was obtained on the evening of May 29, 2013, by NASA scientists using the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., when the asteroid was about 3.75 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth, which is 15.6 lunar distances.
|Asteroid Has Its Own Moon, NASA Radar Reveals|
The radar imagery revealed that 1998 QE2 is a binary asteroid. In the near-Earth population, about 16 percent of asteroids that are about 655 feet (200 meters) or larger are binary or triple systems. Radar images suggest that the main body, or primary, is approximately 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) in diameter and has a rotation period of less than four hours. Also revealed in the radar imagery of 1998 QE2 are several dark surface features that suggest large concavities. The preliminary estimate for the size of the asteroid's satellite, or moon, is approximately 2,000 feet (600 meters) wide. The radar collage covers a little bit more than two hours.
The radar observations were led by scientist Marina Brozovic of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
The closest approach of the asteroid occurs on May 31 at 1:59 p.m. Pacific (4:59 p.m. Eastern / 20:59 UTC), when the asteroid will get no closer than about 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers), or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon. This is the closest approach the asteroid will make to Earth for at least the next two centuries. Asteroid 1998 QE2 was discovered on Aug. 19, 1998, by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program near Socorro, N.M.The resolution of these initial images of 1998 QE2 is approximately 250 feet (75 meters) per pixel. Resolution is expected to increase in the coming days as more data become available. Between May 30 and June 9, radar astronomers using NASA's 230-foot-wide (70 meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, will perform an extensive campaign of observations on asteroid 1998 QE2. The two telescopes have complementary imaging capabilities that will enable astronomers to learn as much as possible about the asteroid during its brief visit near Earth.
Radar is a powerful technique for studying an asteroid's size, shape, rotation state, surface features and surface roughness, and for improving the calculation of asteroid orbits. Radar measurements of asteroid distances and velocities often enable computation of asteroid orbits much further into the future than if radar observations weren't available.NASA places a high priority on tracking asteroids and protecting our home planet from them. In fact, the United States has the most robust and productive survey and detection program for discovering near-Earth objects. To date, U.S. assets have discovered more than 98 percent of the known Near-Earth Objects.In 2012, the Near-Earth Object budget was increased from $6 million to $20 million. Literally dozens of people are involved with some aspect of near-Earth object research across NASA and its centers. Moreover, there are many more people involved in researching and understanding the nature of asteroids and comets, including those objects that come close to Earth, plus those who are trying to find and track them in the first place.
In addition to the resources NASA puts into understanding asteroids, it also partners with other U.S. government agencies, university-based astronomers, and space science institutes across the country that are working to track and better understand these objects, often with grants, interagency transfers and other contracts from NASA.NASA's Near-Earth Object Program at NASA Headquarters, Washington, manages and funds the search, study, and monitoring of asteroids and comets whose orbits periodically bring them close to Earth. JPL manages the Near-Earth Object Program Office for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.In 2016, NASA will launch a robotic probe to one of the most potentially hazardous of the known Near-Earth Objects. The OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid (101955) Bennu will be a pathfinder for future spacecraft designed to perform reconnaissance on any newly-discovered threatening objects. Aside from monitoring potential threats, the study of asteroids and comets enables a valuable opportunity to learn more about the origins of our solar system, the source of water on Earth, and even the origin of organic molecules that lead to the development of life.NASA recently announced development of a first-ever mission to identify, capture and relocate an asteroid for human exploration. Using game-changing technologies this mission would mark an unprecedented technological achievement that raises the bar of what humans can do in space. Capturing and redirecting an asteroid will integrate the best of NASA's science, technology and human exploration capabilities and draw on the innovation of America's brightest scientists and engineers.
4) Low Doses of THC (Cannabis) Can Halt Brain Damage, Study Suggests:
|Low Doses of THC (Cannabis) Can Halt Brain Damage, Study Suggests|
hough marijuana is a well-known recreational drug, extensive scientific research has been conducted on the therapeutic properties of marijuana in the last decade. Medical cannabis is often used by sufferers of chronic ailments, including cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder, to combat pain, insomnia, lack of appetite, and other symptoms. Now Prof. Yosef Sarne of Tel Aviv University's Adelson Center for the Biology of Addictive Diseases at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine says that the drug has neuroprotective qualities as well. He has found that extremely low doses of THC -- the psychoactive component of marijuana -- protects the brain from long-term cognitive damage in the wake of injury from hypoxia (lack of oxygen), seizures, or toxic drugs. Brain damage can have consequences ranging from mild cognitive deficits to severe neurological damage.Previous studies focused on injecting high doses of THC within a very short time frame -- approximately 30 minutes -- before or after injury. Prof. Sarne's current research, published in the journals Behavioural Brain Research and Experimental Brain Research, demonstrates that even extremely low doses of THC -- around 1,000 to 10,000 times less than that in a conventional marijuana cigarette -- administered over a wide window of 1 to 7 days before or 1 to 3 days after injury can jumpstart biochemical processes which protect brain cells and preserve cognitive function over time.
This treatment, especially in light of the long time frame for administration and the low dosage, could be applicable to many cases of brain injury and be safer over time, Prof. Sarne says.
Conditioning the brain
While performing experiments on the biology of cannabis, Prof. Sarne and his fellow researchers discovered that low doses of the drug had a big impact on cell signalling, preventing cell death and promoting growth factors. This finding led to a series of experiments designed to test the neuroprotective ability of THC in response to various brain injuries.In the lab, the researchers injected mice with a single low dose of THC either before or after exposing them to brain trauma. A control group of mice sustained brain injury but did not receive the THC treatment. When the mice were examined 3 to 7 weeks after initial injury, recipients of the THC treatment performed better in behavioral tests measuring learning and memory. Additionally, biochemical studies showed heightened amounts of neuroprotective chemicals in the treatment group compared to the control group.The use of THC can prevent long-term cognitive damage that results from brain injury, the researchers conclude. One explanation for this effect is pre- and post-conditioning, whereby the drug causes minute damage to the brain to build resistance and trigger protective measures in the face of much more severe injury, explains Prof. Sarne. The low dosage of THC is crucial to initiating this process without causing too much initial damage.
Preventative and long-term use
According to Prof. Sarne, there are several practical benefits to this treatment plan. Due to the long therapeutic time window, this treatment can be used not only to treat injury after the fact, but also to prevent injury that might occur in the future. For example, cardiopulmonary heart-lung machines used in open heart surgery carry the risk of interrupting the blood supply to the brain, and the drug can be delivered beforehand as a preventive measure. In addition, the low dosage makes it safe for regular use in patients at constant risk of brain injury, such as epileptics or people at a high risk of heart attack.
Prof. Sarne is now working in collaboration with Prof. Edith Hochhauser of the Rabin Medical Center to test the ability of low doses of THC to prevent damage to the heart. Preliminary results indicate that they will find the same protective phenomenon in relation to cardiac ischemia, in which the heart muscle receives insufficient blood flow.
5) How Turtles Got Their Shells: Fossil of Extinct South African Reptile Provides Clues:
|How Turtles Got Their Shells: Fossil of Extinct South African Reptile Provides Clues|
Through careful study of an ancient ancestor of modern turtles, researchers now have a clearer picture of how the turtles' most unusual shell came to be. The findings, reported on May 30 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, help to fill a 30- to 55-million-year gap in the turtle fossil record through study of an extinct South African reptile known as Eunotosaurus.
"The turtle shell is a complex structure whose initial transformations started over 260 million years ago in the Permian period," says Tyler Lyson of Yale University and the Smithsonian. "Like other complex structures, the shell evolved over millions of years and was gradually modified into its present-day shape."
The turtle shell isn't really just one thing -- it is made up of approximately 50 bones. Turtles are the only animals that form a shell through the fusion of ribs and vertebrae. In all other animals, shells are formed from bony scales on the surface; they don't stick their bones on the outsides of their bodies.
"The reason, I think, that more animals don't form a shell via the broadening and eventually suturing together of the ribs is that the ribs of mammals and lizards are used to help ventilate the lungs," Lyson says. "If you incorporate your ribs into a protective shell, then you have to find a new way to breathe!" Turtles have done just that, with the help of a muscular sling.
Until recently, the oldest known fossil turtles, dating back about 215 million years, had fully developed shells, making it hard to see the sequence of evolutionary events that produced them. That changed in 2008 with the discovery of Chinese Odontochelys semitestacea, a reptile about 220 million years old, which had a fully developed plastron -- the belly side of the shell -- but only a partial carapace on its back.Eunotosaurus takes the turtle and its shell back another 40 million years or so. It had nine broadened ribs found only in turtles. And like turtles, it lacked the intercostal muscles running between its ribs. But Eunotosaurus didn't have other features common to Odontochelys and turtles, including broad spines on their vertebrae.Lyson says he and his colleagues now plan to investigate various other aspects of turtles' respiratory systems, which allow them to manage with their ribs locked up into a protective outer shell. "It is clear that this novel lung ventilation mechanism evolved in tandem with the origin of the turtle shell," he says.
Movie Release of This Week:
1) Crazy Kind of Love:
|Crazy Kind of Love|
While re-evaluating her life, a mother relies on her stoner son and his awkward brother to keep life interesting. When an unlikely romance blossoms between the youngest son and the girl next door, she realizes the key to her happiness can be found where she least expects it.
2) After Earth :
A crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity's escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help, facing uncharted terrain, evolved animal species that now rule the planet, and an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash. Father and son must learn to work together and trust one another if they want any chance of returning home.
3) The East:
Sarah Moss (Marling) is a brilliant operative for an elite private intelligence firm whose top objective is to ruthlessly protect the interests of their A-list corporate clientele. She is assigned to go undercover to infiltrate an anarchist collective known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. Living amongst them in an effort to get closer to their members, Sarah finds herself unexpectedly torn between two worlds as she starts to fall in love with the group's charismatic leader (Skarsgard), finding her life and her priorities irrevocably changed.
4) American Mary:
“Twisted Twins” Jen and Sylvia Soska are back with their stunning follow-up to the indie hit Dead Hooker in a Trunk. AMERICAN MARY is the story of a medical student named Mary who is growing increasingly broke and disenchanted with medical school and the established doctors she once idolized. The allure of easy money sends a desperate Mary through the messy world of underground surgeries which leaves more marks on her than the so-called freakish clientele. Appearances are everything.
5) Now You See Me:
|Now You See Me|
Now You See Me pits an elite FBI squad in a game of cat and mouse against "The Four Horsemen", a super-team of the world's greatest illusionists. "The Four Horsemen" pull off a series of daring heists against corrupt business leaders during their performances, showering the stolen profits on their audiences while staying one step ahead of the law.
Filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh passes away:
|Filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh passes away|
National award winning eminent filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh passed away Thursday morning following a cardiac arrest, family sources said. He was 49.
He died at his residence around 7.30 a.m.Colleagues and friends gathered at his home as the news spread. Bollywood filmmakers and actors expressed shock.
Born and brought up in Kolkata, Ghosh was the son of documentary filmmaker Sunil Ghosh.He started his career in advertising. After making hundreds of ads, he went behind the camera in 1994 to direct his first film "Hirer Angti". The filmmaker, who won 12 national awards in various categories, made movies like "Chokher Bali", "Unishe April", "Raincoat" and "The Last Lear". His 2012 directional venture "Chitrangada" won him a special jury award at the 60th National Film Awards ceremony.For "Arekti Premer Golpo", "Memories In March" and "Chitrangada", he faced the camera to show his acting skills.
Political News This Week:
1) South Indian actor arrested for fraud in Delhi:
|South Indian actor arrested for fraud in Delhi|
South Indian actor Leena Maria Paul was arrested from a farmhouse here for allegedly cheating a bank of Rs.19 crore, police said Tuesday.
Paul, 25, was living with her male friend, Balaji alias Sekar Reddy alias Sukkesh Chandrasekar, who is the kingpin in the case. He is absconding.
A joint operation by Delhi Police and Chennai Police led to Paul at the farmhouse in Fatehpur Beri in south Delhi Monday night.According to police, Balaji had approached Canara Bank in Chennai posing as an IAS officer and got a Rs.19 crore loan sanctioned using forged documents on the pretext of opening a firm.
Balaji had submitted forged documents to the bank.
2) Srinivasan's fate may be sealed in BCCI's June 8 working committee meeting:
|rinivasan's fate may be sealed in BCCI's June 8 working committee meeting|
The emergent working committee meeting of the BCCI might just be the last nail in the coffin for N Srinivasan. Some of the BCCI officials, led by joint-secretary Anurag Thakur, were demanding for an emergency meeting where they wanted to ask the BCCI president N Srinivasan the questions that had been going on in the media for a while now.The president was not keen to convene the meeting till Friday evening, but the pressure became so much that he wasn't left with too many options but to give the go-ahead. It's understood that the joint-secretary Thakur, secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke had gone to the extent of threatening that they might quit from their posts if this emergency meeting is not convened.
"This is going to be a crucial meeting. Difficult questions are going to be asked to Srinivasan and the pressure might just be on him to resign from the post of the president," a source close to the developments, said.When asked in the morning, Thakur, the joint-secretary, who represents Himachal Pradesh and is also a BJP MP, had said that it's not a numbers game and that everyone in the Board wants the mess to be cleared out. "Our aim is to ensure a fair running of the BCCI and that's why we want to call the meeting," he said.Now that it has been called, the next week is going to be crucial with hectic back-room parleys where the course of action will be decided upon.
3) IPL spot-fixing: CSK boss Gurunath Meiyappan arrested in Mumbai:
|IPL spot-fixing: CSK boss Gurunath Meiyappan arrested in Mumbai|
The IPL spot-fixing scandal netted its biggest catch Friday as the Mumbai Police arrested Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of the Indian cricket board president N Srinivasan and head of the most successful team in the six-year-old league, for his suspected role in the betting-fixing racket. Express Editorial: Disqualify CSK, sack SrinivasanMeiyappan, the chief of the Chennai Super Kings team owned by Srinivasan's India Cements, was questioned for nearly three hours by Mumbai Police Crime Branch officers before being arrested late on Friday night. Shekhar Gupta's National Interest column: The giant fix"We have interrogated Meiyappan and based on information that we have and this interrogation, we find that he was involved in the offence. He will now be placed under arrest and we will produce him within 24 hours before the magistrate as per law," said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Himanshu Roy.
Roy declined to share details of Meiyappan's questioning. He is the tenth person to be arrested by the Mumbai Police in the case.Meiyappan's name allegedly emerged from the phone call records of Vindoo Randhawa, the actor-son of the late wrestler-turned-actor Dara Singh, who is believed to have worked as a bookie under the nickname 'Jack'.Police sources said his name also surfaced during the interrogation of Vindoo, hawala operator Alpesh Patel and bookie Prem Taneja. Vindoo has alleged that Meiyappan was placing bets through him, police said.The Crime Branch had Thursday summoned Meiyappan to Mumbai for questioning and had given him time until 5 pm on Friday to present himself. Meiyappan's request for time until Monday was rejected Friday, forcing him to rush to Mumbai.
The face of CSK during the IPL auctions, Meiyappan spent the first half of Friday evading the media by changing SUVs in Kodaikanal. He reached the Madurai airport at 5.25 pm, and once inside, shifted to another SUV to evade the media.
4) Mumbai cops may quiz Harbhajan Singh, 3 Chennai Super Kings players:
|Mumbai cops may quiz Harbhajan Singh, 3 Chennai Super Kings players|
The Mumbai crime branch is likely to question Harbhajan Singh and three players from Chennai Super Kings who were close to Gurunath Meiyappan to know if he had tried to influence them.Police want to record the players' statements to ascertain if Meiyappan and Vindu Dara Singh were into match-fixing.
Harbhajan plays for Mumbai Indians and Meiyappan had told the police that Vindu had asked him to get close to Harbhajan with the intention of cultivating him for future matches."We are legally examining whether to record the statements of a few players who were in touch with Meiyappan," a crime branch official said on the condition of anonymity.The crime branch will also summon Chennai-based hotelier Vikram Aggarwal alias Victor, who is suspected to be the key link between bookies and punters, to appear before it on Friday.Officials said that Vindu and Meiyappan have both denied Aggarwal's role in the scandal but police want to know more about the back-to-back calls between him and absconding bookies Sanjay Jaipur, Pawan Jaipur and Chandresh alias Jupiter.
Several players also used to visit Aggarwal's Chennai hotel often, police said. Aggarwal is a close friend of Meiyappan. On Tuesday, a Mumbai crime branch team had gone to serve summons on Aggarwal but returned after learning that the Chennai police wanted to question him on Thursday."We have enough reasons to question him in regard to betting. We will be issuing fresh summons asking him to appear on May 31," said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime).
Investigators stumbled upon Victor while going through the call records of Vindu after the actor was arrested on May 21. Chennai police, too, are probing Aggarwal's role in connection with the betting racket.They said Aggarwal had bought a SIM card in the name of his wife and used it used to make scores of calls to arrested bookie Uttamlal Jain alias Kitty on IPL match days.Meanwhile, Vindu's police custody was extended till May 31, after the crime branch said it wanted to probe further his connections with bookies, players and teams.Police said Vindu's questioning has exposed his links to the betting syndicate and revealed the names of several bookies and Bollywood celebrities.
The police have unearthed a link between local network of bookies involved in IPL spot-fixing scandal and celebrities.
|The police have unearthed a link between local network of bookies involved in IPL spot-fixing scandal and celebrities|
Though officials refused to disclose the identity of these celebrities till completion of investigation, sources hinted that these celebrities were associated with bookies that used to deal with Vindu Dara Singh, the son of late actor Dara Singh.The pace of investigation picked up on Monday. Investigators are expecting a major breakthrough as connections of celebrities with local bookies are being procured, said the sources.The crime branch started tracing the routes of bookies a month-and-a-half back after the Chowk and Dashaswamedh police busted small rackets of bookies.The trail had led the cops to the doorstep of Mahendra Singh of Cholapur.Now, settled in Gujarat, he was operating his spot-fixing racket from Mumbai.He had been running his racket in the city with the help of several agents. The probe eventually led to the arrest of 11 bookies from different localities of the city on Saturday and Sunday. Apart from cash and other articles the police had recovered a laptop, a desktop and 26 mobile phones.The data procured from laptop, desktop and mobile phones are being analysed by the crime branch. During the same exercise the investigators are becoming aware of the connections of local bookies with many big names including celebrities.
Spot-fixing: Vindu Dara Singh's police custody extended till 3rd June:
5) Shinde holds high-level meet, says Centre, states will launch joint action against Naxals:
|Shinde holds high-level meet, says Centre, states will launch joint action against Naxals|
Days after the brutal attack by Maoists on Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Friday said that the Centre and states would undertake joint operations to eliminate the Naxal threat.Shinde, who was presiding over a high-level meeting to review the security situation in Chhattisgarh in the wake of the May 25 Naxal attack, said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is investigating whether their was a security lapse that led to the tragic Bastar incident.Chhattisgarh Governor Shekhar Dutt and Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh participated in the meeting that was attended by other top officials and chiefs of all central and state security agencies.
Shinde on his arrival earlier in the day visited the native place of former Chhattisgarh PCC Chief Nand Kumar Patel in Raigarh to convey his condolences to the bereaved family. He also visited the injured admitted to a hospital in Raipur.Shinde had earlier on Thursday assured full protection to politicians working in Naxal-affected states irrespective of their party affiliation."The security arrangement for everyone will be strengthened and especially for those persons, who are working towards bringing a democratic set up in the Maoist-affected (areas). Leaders and workers of all parties will be given full security," he told mediapersons in the national capital last evening.Shinde admitted that the ultras pose a threat to urban cities of the country."We have intelligence reports of the same. In Pune also, I had said that Maoist outfits are spreading their wings. We have information that the rebels might attack many urban cities," he said.The Home Minister also refuted media reports about him extending his stay in the United States, saying he had to stay on for consultations with an eye specialist.
Shinde had earlier led a delegation to the United States for a homeland security dialogue before deciding to stay back for eye-related consultations.
An all-party meeting convened by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh on the Maoist issue yesterday urged the Central Government to come out with a work plan, and called for better coordination to tackle the threat.The meeting, which was attended by leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Left Parties, concluded that the Maoist issue is a national problem and not specific to a particular state.
Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh had earlier on Tuesday said anti-Naxal operations will be intensified with more security forces and modern weapons being provided by the Central Government to the affected regions."We will coordinate with Naxal-hit states adjoining Chhattisgarh and forces and modern weapons would be provided by the Centre for anti-Naxal operations," he told mediapersons in Raipur after holding a meeting of senior officials at the police headquarters.
Singh further said a judicial inquiry has been set up to find out the error."The state government has requested the honourable Chief Justice to nominate a sitting judge. We will come to know where was the error," he said.Singh further said there is proper coordination with the neighbouring state governments, and added that the ultras are on the backfoot at several places.The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing the attack by the Maoists on Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh.
Heavily-armed Maoists had on Saturday ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in the state"s Bastar district, killing 28 people including PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar and injuring 37 others.Former Union Minister V.C. Shukla injured in the attack is being treated at a Medanta hospital in Gurgaon. His condition is stated to be critical, but stable.
Maoists say Bastar attack was to punish Cong leaders:
|Maoists say Bastar attack was to punish Cong leaders|
Three days after the grisly strike on the Congress convoy in the jungles of Chhattisgarh's Bastar district, which killed 27 people including senior party leaders, Maoists have claimed responsibility for it. In a four-page letter and an audio cassette sent to the media on Tuesday, they said the May 25 attack was meant as a revenge on Congress leader Mahendra Karma, PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel and former Union minister VK Shukla.
In the letter, Gudsa Usendi, spokesperson for Dandkaranya special zonal committee of Maoists, said, "The purpose was to punish Mahendra Karma, who had launched the anti-naxal movement Salwa Judum. His family has been traditional oppressors of tribals". Patel was "punished" for deploying paramilitary forces in Bastar when he was the state's home minister. Shukla was the "enemy of the common man".The Maoists had shot Karma and staged a victory dance around the body. Patel and his son Dinesh were dragged out of their car and shot as well.Shukla, who had been hit by three bullets, is in a critical condition.The central leaders of the Congress and the BJP came in for fire as well.
The letter criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and BJP chief Rajnath Singh for terming the killing "an attack on democratic values".It further demanded that the anti-Maoist Operation Green Hunt be called off and jailed Maoist leaders be released.The Centre ruled out accepting the demands or holding talks.Indicating that the anti-Maoist operations will be intensified, minister of state for home RPN Singh said, "There is a need to take a relook at the policy dealing with Maoists".The Chhattisgarh government has already suspended Jagdalpur superintendent of police Mayank Shrivastava and transferred Bastar inspector general of police Himanshu Gupta.Karma's district, Dantewada, meanwhile, crawled with security forces, while locals stayed home. His village, Kavalnar, looked desolate. The neighbouring Alnar village was silent."We are terrified of going out, as Maoists or the security forces might target us," said a local, Jaldev Nag.In Keshpur, BJP leader Napu Tula said he was thinking of quitting politics."No one thought politicians would be targeted this way. Security comes first," he said.The attitude did not help mitigate the fear factor.Farmer Pusao Saran voiced everyone's concern: "We are poor. Who will make us feel secure?"
|Maoists say Bastar attack was to punish Cong leaders|
Sports News This Week:
1) Cricket: Dhoni sidesteps IPL row:
|Cricket: Dhoni sidesteps IPL row|
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni kept his own counsel Thursday when questioned on corruption claims regarding the Indian Premier League but promised to reveal his views at the "right time".Controversial accusations of 'spot-fixing' have engulfed the sixth edition of the lucrative Twenty20 tournament, with Indian police making several arrests in recent weeks.The investigations started on May 16 when Delhi police arrested three cricketers including Test fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, accusing them of deliberately bowling badly in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars.The scandal is threatening to bring down N. Srinivasan, the head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), who has been under intense pressure after his son-in-law was arrested for allegedly betting on IPL games.
Gurunath Meiyappan, is an executive at the Chennai Super Kings IPL team -- owned by Srinivasan's India Cements and featuring Dhoni as one of its star players.
Dhoni, speaking at a news conference in Birmingham, central England, on Thursday to preview India's Champions Trophy bid, said he was glad to be abroad.
"It's good to be out of there (India)." But asked for his views on the evolving IPL row, which has seen Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf stood down from the Champions Trophy following fixing allegations in the Indian media, Dhoni was cautious.
"It's not that the reputation (of Indian cricket) is gone," he said. "When the right time comes I'll answer (more thoroughly), but as of now I don't think we have lost reputation because whatever the set-up will be throughout the world or in any sport, still you'll have people who will be slightly mentally weak compared to some of the others."I would love to elaborate but at the right time I'll do it. I just want to keep our side away from everything as of now."
Reigning world champions India are in the process of rebuilding their side and have arrived for the 'mini World Cup' that is the Champions Trophy without Sachin Tendulkar, now retired from ODIs, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan.Fans sad to see some of their favourites no longer involved have been critical of India in recent months but Dhoni backed a youthful squad to come good."It's an ongoing process. A few of them (fans) will ask questions and you have to silence them," he said.
"It's for us to see what kind of a squad we've got with a fresh bunch of players."You have to look at the positives. If you look at the positive you can say the players that have been playing in the IPL have had good exposure to international bowlers because bowlers from all over the world, they come and play in the IPL.
"The best that the world has to offer (play IPL) which means most of the players are in touch and are in good rhythm," wicketkeeper/batsman Dhoni added.
India have warm-up matches against Sri Lanka on Saturday and Australia on Tuesday before facing South Africa in the opening match of the tournament proper in Cardiff on June 6.
2) IPL 2013: Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs to win maiden title (Earlier Forecasted by Various Match Fixer Bookies):
|IPL 2013: Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs to win maiden title (Earlier Forecasted by Various Match Fixer Bookies)|
The duo was also wanted in two other cases in Chennai."They came to Delhi and started living here at the farmhouse a month ago," said an official. Nine luxury cars were recovered from the farmhouse.On the basis of photographs available with Chennai Police, Paul and five to six bouncers were arrested.
"Paul revealed that she did her schooling in Dubai, where her parents live. Her father is an engineer there. She was modelling and acting in films for the past two years," said the official.It wasn't quite the great final Rahul Dravid had hoped for, but the title clash of Pepsi IPL 2013 was no less edifying, courtesy a wonderful display of hostile pace bowling from Mumbai Indians. (Scorecard)Chennai Super Kings are the masters of the big occasion, but in their fifth final in six editions, they were blown away by the sheer ferocity of the Mumbai attack, spearheaded by Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson. In front of a full house at the Eden Gardens on Sunday (May 26) night, the two-time former champions were brought to their knees by an inspired Mumbai outfit which surged to its maiden title with a most convincing 23-run triumph in a one-sided clash. (Read: Sachin announces retirement from IPL)
Chennai began the match strongly after Rohit Sharma opted to put runs on the board in a cup final, strangling two wickets inside the first seven deliveries and bowling with the discipline and nous one has come to expect of them. It took a spectacular unbeaten 60 off just 32 deliveries from Kieron Pollard - who astonishingly only faced 13 balls in the last five overs - for Mumbai to reach some kind of respectability, for 148 for 9 was no more than that.Malinga has generally come on second, sometimes third-change, for most of this competition, but aware that his team needed to make an early statement, and early inroads, Rohit summoned Malinga, to bowl the first over. It turned out to be a masterstroke. (Match pics: How Mumbai clinched the title)Malinga, all nerves and profligacy in Qualifier 2 against Rajasthan Royals, fired out Michael Hussey with a screaming, inswinging yorker off the third delivery of the chase, then had Suresh Raina fending a lifting delivery to short square-leg off the next delivery. Chennai never really recovered from losing their two most prolific scorers so early in their reply and slipped rapidly to 39 for 6. And when the spinners stepped in to do some damage of their own, it was all over. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, batting too low at No. 7, made a battling unbeaten 63 but was always ploughing a lone furrow as Chennai subsided to 125 for 9, and a chastening defeat. (Watch Analysis: Chennai batsmen played like they wanted to lose)
It wasn't, however, a Malinga show alone by any stretch of the imagination. Johnson too cranked up the pace - both men regularly topped the 140 kmph mark - and played his part, forcing a loose drive from S Badrinath to a wide delivery outside off, then coming back to get rid of M Vijay, top-edging a pull and putting up a skier to cover. Malinga and Johnson together unleashed high-octane quick bowling on a pitch that wasn't the paciest by any account, temporarily helping the fans forget the depressing off-field events of the past ten days and partake of wholesome entertainment.
Mumbai's batting stint was neither the most impressive nor the most intelligent, particularly in the last fourth of their innings when Pollard was a mute spectator at the non-striker's end. Dwayne Smith, their form player, was undone by a delivery from Mohit Sharma that jagged back in in the first over and Aditya Tare received an excellent yorker first-ball from Albie Morkel. Rohit then tamely poked Morkel back to him, forcing Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu to rebuild rather than look to accelerate.Karthik played some pleasing strokes through the offside, driving handsomely on the up, though it was one such stroke that proved his undoing, the ball going off inside edge on to his pad and then on to his stumps. The 36-run Karthik-Rayudu stand had steadied the ship somewhat, but at 52 for 4 in the 10th, Mumbai had plenty of work ahead of them.Fortunately for them, the man walking in knew a thing or two about striking a cricket ball. Pollard smashed his first delivery, from Chris Morris, back past him, the ball crashing into the boards at long-off long before the bowler had completed his followthrough. He did offer a half-chance off Ravindra Jadeja, but R Ashwin at slip was a trifle wide and a trifle slow to react, and the moment had passed. Pollard was then just six out of 66 for 4 in the 12th; he took that as his cue to lash out, launching Ashwin for a giant six over deep mid-wicket to set the ball rolling.Rayudu, enterprising in Karthik's company, was happy to play second fiddle, clearly the junior partner as he scored just 10 in a fifth-wicket stand of 48. His dismissal at the start of the last block of five overs was untimely, but till such time that Pollard was around, Mumbai were always in with a chance of posting a competitive total.Dwayne Bravo got rid of Rayudu with a full delivery on his way to figures of 4 for 42 and the Purple Cap with 32 wickets - the first time a bowler has topped 30 wickets in a season - but it was all about Pollard towards the end. When he did get the strike, he made it count, hammering fours and sixes at will to reach 50 in just 31 deliveries. On another day, Mumbai might have paid for denying Pollard so much of the strike at the death, but with their bowlers in such jaw-dropping form, it was almost inconsequential.
3) Arunima Sinha's journey from railway tracks to Mount Everest:
|Arunima Sinha's journey from railway tracks to Mount Everest|
Having achieved the world record feat of becoming the first woman amputee to conquer Mt. Everest, Arunima Sinha said her journey from the railway tracks to the highest peak in the world was full of struggle.An ex-volleyball player at the national level, Arunima was thrown off a moving train nearly two years ago, and in a bid to save her life, the doctors had to amputate her left leg below the knee."My journey from the railway tracks to scaling Mt. Everest is a story of a real struggle," Arunima, who reached the top of Mt Everest on May 21 before returning to the Capital from her Himalayan sojourn, said here on Thursday.
With an aim to climb Mt. Everest, Arunima had joined the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation-run training camp in Uttarkashi and since March 3, 2012 she had continuously been training under Bachendri Pal.Stating that her expedition was full of challenges, Arunima explained, "Every step is dangerous there. I had more problems than normal people because of my artificial leg.There was a time when the gel in my leg had slipped out and there was blood but I could not dare to either remove my gloves or bare my leg as it could have led to severe frost bites. But I took my time and fixed it up before starting to climb back again.
"I also had to get acclimatised properly otherwise there could be a splitting headache. Moreover, there was a time when little oxygen was left in my cylinder and some people advised me to stop my expedition but I did not want to give up," Arunima said."I continued against all odds and managed to reach the top and then could climb down also. I was extremely careful while coming down because if you are not careful, it could become fatal," elaborated the 26-year-old.Recollecting her days when she was admitted to a hospital after being thrown off from a train, Arunima said she decided to scale the Everest while she was still in the hospital bed.
"I was completely shattered when I was lying at the hospital bed with my one of my legs amputated and the other having a rod inside it, besides having other injuries in my body. Whosoever came to visit me at the hospital was sympathising with me and was wondering what I would do with my life," she said. " But I never wanted myself to be seen as a handicap or a helpless person, so I decided to conquer Mt Everest while I was still in the hospital," recollected Arunima.On her future plans, she said, "I want to start a sports academy for poor and physically challenged children in Unnao, UP."
4) Malik knocks out Balaji in Futures tennis:
Vijayant Malik caused a flutter as he ousted top seed N Sriram Balaji 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) to set up a title clash with Prajnesh Gunneswaran who overcame Karunuday Singh 7-5, 7-5, in the MPTA ITF Men's Futures tennis tournament here Friday.Balaji drew some consolation as he, along with Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, outplayed third-seeded Japanese pair of Toshihide Matsui and Bumpei Sato 6-1, 6-4, in the doubles final.Against third-seeded Malik, Balaji got off to a great start when he broke to lead 4-1 and then 5-2 in the first set. At this point, Balaji lapsed in concentration in the humid heat and allowed Malik to break back twice in a row to level the score at 5-all.As the set moved into a tiebreak, Balaji was ahead with a mini break 3-1, but Malik once again caught up and went on to clinch the tie breaker 7-5.
In the second set, the players traded breaks in the first two games and then went with the serve till 4-all when Malik broke to nudge ahead 5-4 with the aid of a double-fault. However, Balaji broke back for 5-all with Malik committing two double-faults.
|N Sriram Balaji|
The two held serve to set up another tie-break where Balaji fought back from 2-5 and 4-6 to level before a forehead error and a netted backhand gave Malik the tie-breaker, set and match.In the other semi-final, the lanky Gunneswaran put up a strong, consistent display of good serving and powerful groundstrokes to put out Karunuday who blew a 3-1 lead in the first set and wilted in the second that went with serves until 5-all. Gunneswaran came up with a break at this stage and went on to close the tie.