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Friday, 23 August 2013

Subhaditya News Channel Presents Science,Political,Sports and Movies News This Week (57)

Animated Collage of NewsWeek(57)

Collage of Main Pictures of NewsWeek(57)

Science News This Week:


1) For sheep horns, bigger is not better:

Trade-offs between studliness and survival keep less endowed sheep in the mix.Sometimes it pays to be mediocre. A new study shows that sheep with a 50/50 blend of genes for small and big horns pass along more of their genes over a lifetime than their purely big-horned brethren, who mate more often.The finding offers rare insight into an enduring evolutionary paradox—why some traits persist despite creating a reproductive disadvantage.The results, published online August 21 in Nature, reveal that while big-horned sheep mated most successfully each season, small-horned sheep survived longer. Rams who inherited one of each type of gene from their parents got the best of both worlds: they lived longer than bigger-horned sheep and mated more successfully than those with the smallest horns.As a result, middle-of-the-road sheep passed on more of their genes over time. “They’re the fittest of them all,” says Jon Slate of the University of Sheffield in Scotland, who led the study.“This is a marvelous combination of using the most modern tools available to confirm classic older views of sexual selection,” says evolutionary geneticist Allen Moore of the University of Georgia in Athens, who was not involved in the study.

Traits such as bold peacock feathers and giant antlers evolved to garner the attention of prospective females and boost reproductive success. Yet if each generation of females continues to pick the most stellar males, Charles Darwin wondered, how do sub-par versions of a trait continue to persist? “It’s something that has preoccupied evolutionary biologists ever since,” Slate says.Attempts to untangle the paradox have been confounded by the fact that most physical traits are thought to involve multiple genes. But in a population of sheep living on a chain of isolated Scottish isles, one gene bucks the trend.“This one gene had such a massive effect on the size of the horns, and that was really unusual,” says evolutionary geneticist and coauthor Susan Johnston of the University of Edinburgh. Johnston discovered the gene, called relaxin-like receptor 2 (RXFP2), two years ago while analyzing the genetic fingerprints of thousands of Soay sheep. Domesticated in the Neolithic era and roaming wild for the last 4,000 years, the Soay sheep weigh just 45 to 70 pounds and stand 2 feet high. Scientists have studied the colony in the St. Kilda archipelago since 1985.

Two different versions, or alleles, of the RXFP2 gene exist. One produces large, curled horns that work well in a fight, and the other produces small horns. Because sheep get a copy of the gene from each parent, males may possess two big-horned alleles, two small-horned alleles or one of each. Sheep with two big-horned alleles have the largest horns, whereas sheep with one of each have smaller, yet substantial, horns. Rams cursed with two small-horned alleles develop diminutive curled horns or stubby protrusions called scurs that are worthless in competition. “They’re really quite pathetic,” Slate says.Slate and his team analyzed samples collected from nearly 6,000 sheep on the island over three decades. The team correlated reproductive success and overall survival with the type of horn gene passed down with each generation.

Though it’s unclear why small-horned sheep live longer, the authors propose that these sheep may prolong their survival by steering clear of confrontation. Rather than attempting to square off with larger-horned males, the sheep stuck with scurs lie in wait for unattended females. The opportunistic breeders manage to spread their seed while avoiding a losing battle. In contrast, the sheep with the largest horns must protect and defend multiple females for several weeks each year—a violent and energy-consuming endeavor that taxes survival.

The concept of “heterozygote advantage”— when an animal benefits from having two different versions of a gene — isn’t new, Johnston says, but “it’s quite often overlooked, because there are just so few examples of it.” The gene that causes sickle cell anemia is one such example: People who carry one copy of the disease-associated allele and one healthy allele are resistant to malaria.

2) News in Brief: Pictures of young star show unusual outbursts:

Ejections from stellar newborn move faster, differently than astronomers thought.

New images of a young star suggest that its ejections move much faster and have more energy than previously thought.

As a young star bursts to life, it throws off material at speeds up to 1 million kilometers per hour. When the material collides with the surrounding cloud of gas and dust, the space region glows, creating what’s called a Herbig-Haro object.

Images of the glowing cloud Herbig-Haro 46/47 (pictured), which sits about 1,400 light-years away in the southern constellation Vela, revealed something unusual. Ejections moving toward Earth (pink and purple, upper left) slam directly into the surrounding cloud, while material flowing away (orange and green, lower right) escapes it. The star has an unexpected outflow that is also boring a hole through the surrounding cloud and could be coming from a lower-mass neighbor.

Scientists describe the observations, made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and the New Technology Telescope in Chile, August 14 in the Astrophysical Journal.

3) Human Brains Are Hardwired for Empathy, Friendship:

Perhaps one of the most defining features of humanity is our capacity for empathy -- the ability to put ourselves in others' shoes. A new University of Virginia study strongly suggests that we are hardwired to empathize because we closely associate people who are close to us -- friends, spouses, lovers -- with our very selves.

"With familiarity, other people become part of ourselves," said James Coan, a psychology professor in U.Va.'s College of Arts & Sciences who used functional magnetic resonance imaging brain scans to find that people closely correlate people to whom they are attached to themselves. The study appears in the August issue of the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience."Our self comes to include the people we feel close to," Coan said.In other words, our self-identity is largely based on whom we know and empathize with. Coan and his U.Va. colleagues conducted the study with 22 young adult participants who underwent fMRI scans of their brains during experiments to monitor brain activity while under threat of receiving mild electrical shocks to themselves or to a friend or stranger. The researchers found, as they expected, that regions of the brain responsible for threat response -- the anterior insula, putamen and supramarginal gyrus -- became active under threat of shock to the self. In the case of threat of shock to a stranger, the brain in those regions displayed little activity. However when the threat of shock was to a friend, the brain activity of the participant became essentially identical to the activity displayed under threat to the self.

"The correlation between self and friend was remarkably similar," Coan said. "The finding shows the brain's remarkable capacity to model self to others; that people close to us become a part of ourselves, and that is not just metaphor or poetry, it's very real. Literally we are under threat when a friend is under threat. But not so when a stranger is under threat."Coan said this likely is because humans need to have friends and allies who they can side with and see as being the same as themselves. And as people spend more time together, they become more similar.

"It's essentially a breakdown of self and other; our self comes to include the people we become close to," Coan said. "If a friend is under threat, it becomes the same as if we ourselves are under threat. We can understand the pain or difficulty they may be going through in the same way we understand our own pain."This likely is the source of empathy, and part of the evolutionary process, Coan reasons. "A threat to ourselves is a threat to our resources," he said. "Threats can take things away from us. But when we develop friendships, people we can trust and rely on who in essence become we, then our resources are expanded, we gain. Your goal becomes my goal. It's a part of our survivability.People need friends, Coan added, like "one hand needs another to clap."

4) Tuberculosis Genomes Portray Secrets of Pathogen's Success:

By any measure, tuberculosis (TB) is a wildly successful pathogen. It infects as many as two billion people in every corner of the world, with a new infection of a human host estimated to occur every second.

Now, thanks to a new analysis of dozens of tuberculosis genomes gathered from around the world, scientists are getting a more detailed picture of why TB is so prevalent and how it evolves to resist countermeasures. Writing today (Aug. 21, 2013) in the journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) Pathogens, a team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher Caitlin Pepperell describes a bacterium that marches in lockstep with human population growth and history, evolving to take advantage of the most crowded and wretched human conditions."It's as though the bacterium places bets on human behavior," says Pepperell, formerly of Stanford University, and now a professor of medicine and medical microbiology at UW-Madison. "It always bets that humans will go to war, send people to refugee camps, and gather in miserable places. Historically, that's been a winning bet on the bacterium's part."

The PLoS Pathogens study, whose senior author is Marcus Feldman of Stanford, reveals that tuberculosis experienced a 25-fold expansion worldwide in the 17th century, a time when human populations underwent explosive growth and European exploration of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania was at its peak."The timing is coincident with expansion, urbanization and colonial migrations of global human populations," Pepperell explains. "These findings suggest that much of the current TB pandemic has its origins in historical events of the last three centuries."

TB is only transmitted by people, and the organism cannot survive in the environment. It thrives, however, in the crowded conditions of prisons, refugee camps and slums, and TB populations tend to be dominated by the bacteria "lucky" enough to land in those environments.The analysis conducted by Pepperell and her colleagues focused on the role of natural selection, looking at patterns of genetic diversity among 63 TB and related pathogenic mycobacterial genomes gathered from around the globe.

The study shows a highly constrained bacterial genome, with most deleterious mutations quickly discarded. This was especially true for genes essential for causing disease, protein translation and the trafficking and metabolism of inorganic ions, which help control the interaction between the TB pathogen and its human host.The bacterium's "defense" genes, on the other hand, showed a high degree of tolerance for beneficial mutations, which may play a role in evolution of drug resistance and evasion of the human immune system.Pepperell notes: "Evolutionary theory predicts that Mycobacterium tuberculosis populations should be vulnerable to extinction. Yet it is obviously highly prevalent. It must have some incredibly clever strategies and tricks to hang on."

As a result, the explosive spread of TB parallels the growth of human populations and takes every advantage of a world where most people live in crowded and impoverished conditions.The study, according to Pepperell, should help other researchers home in on genes that may be good candidates for targeting with new drugs, and aid disease control strategies that accommodate or even co-opt the bacterium's evolution and help drive its extinction.In addition to Pepperell and Feldman, co-authors of the new study include Amanda Casto, Julie Granka and Omar Cornejo of Stanford; Andrew Kitchen of the University of Iowa; Eddie Holmes of the University of Sydney; and Bruce Birren and James Galagan of the Broad Institute.

5) Physicists Pinpoint Key Property of Material That Both Conducts and Insulates:

It is well known to scientists that the three common phases of water -- ice, liquid and vapor -- can exist stably together only at a particular temperature and pressure, called the triple point.

Also well known is that the solid form of many materials can have numerous phases, but it is difficult to pinpoint the temperature and pressure for the points at which three solid phases can coexist stably.Scientists now have made the first-ever accurate determination of a solid-state triple point in a substance called vanadium dioxide, which is known for switching rapidly -- in as little as one 10-trillionth of a second -- from an electrical insulator to a conductor, and thus could be useful in various technologies."These solid-state triple points are fiendishly difficult to study, essentially because the different shapes of the solid phases makes it hard for them to match up happily at their interfaces," said David Cobden, a University of Washington physics professor.

"There are, in theory, many triple points hidden inside a solid, but they are very rarely probed."Cobden is the lead author of a paper describing the work, published Aug. 22 in Nature.In 1959, researchers at Bell Laboratories discovered vanadium dioxide's ability to rearrange electrons and shift from an insulator to a conductor, called a metal-insulator transition. Twenty years later it was discovered that there are two slightly different insulating phases.The new research shows that those two insulating phases and the conducting phase in solid vanadium dioxide can coexist stably at 65 degrees Celsius, give or take a tenth of a degree (65 degrees C is equal to 149 degrees Fahrenheit).To find that triple point, Cobden's team stretched vanadium dioxide nanowires under a microscope. The team had to build an apparatus to stretch the tiny wires without breaking them, and it was the stretching that allowed the observation of the triple point, Cobden said.

It turned out that when the material manifested its triple point, no force was being applied -- the wires were not being stretched or compressed.The researchers originally set out simply to learn more about the phase transition and only gradually realized that the triple point was key to it, Cobden said. That process took several years, and then it took a couple more to design an experiment to pin down the triple point."No previous experiment was able to investigate the properties around the triple point," he said.He regards the work as "just a step, but a significant step" in understanding the metal-insulator transition in vanadium dioxide. That could lead to development of new types of electrical and optical switches, Cobden said, and similar experiments could lead to breakthroughs with other materials."If you don't know the triple point, you don't know the basic facts about this phase transition," he said. "You will never be able to make use of the transition unless you understand it better."

6) MERS Virus Discovered in Bat Near Site of Outbreak in Saudi Arabia:

A 100% genetic match for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has been discovered in an insect-eating bat in close proximity to the first known case of the disease in Saudi Arabia. The discovery points to the likely animal origin for the disease, although researchers say that an intermediary animal is likely also involved.

Led by team of investigators from the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, EcoHealth Alliance, and the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the study is the first to search for an animal reservoir for MERS in Saudi Arabia, and the first to identify such a reservoir by finding a genetic match in an animal. Results appear online in Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."There have been several reports of finding MERS-like viruses in animals. None were a genetic match. In this case we have a virus in an animal that is identical in sequence to the virus found in the first human case. Importantly, it's coming from the vicinity of that first case," says W. Ian Lipkin, MD, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity and a co-author of the study.

MERS was first described in September 2012 and continues to spread. Close to 100 cases have been reported worldwide, 70 of them from Saudi Arabia. The causative agent, a new type of coronavirus, has been determined; however, the origin of the virus has been unknown until now.Over a six-week period during field expeditions in October 2012 and April 2013, the researchers collected more than 1,000 samples from seven bat species in regions where cases of MERS were identified in Bisha, Unaizah, and Riyadh. Extensive analysis was performed using polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing revealed the presence of a wide range of alpha and beta coronaviruses in up to a third of bat samples. One fecal sample from an Egyptian Tomb Bat (Taphozous perforatus) collected within a few kilometers of the first known MERS victim's home contained sequences of a virus identical to those recovered from the victim.
Bats are the reservoirs of viruses that can cause human disease including rabies, Hendra, Nipah, Marburg, and SARS. In some instances the infection may spread directly from bats to humans through inadvertent inhalation of infected aerosols, ingestion of contaminated food, or, less commonly, a bite wound. In other instances bats can first infect intermediate hosts. The researchers suggest that the indirect method for transmission is more likely in MERS.
"There is no evidence of direct exposure to bats in the majority of human cases of MERS," says Ziad Memish, MD, Deputy Minister of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and lead author of the study. "Given that human-to-human transmission is inefficient, we speculate that an as-yet-to-be determined intermediate host plays a critical role in human disease."

"We are continuing to look for evidence of the virus in wildlife and domestic animals, and investigating the mechanisms by which the virus causes human disease," adds Dr. Lipkin. "This is but the first chapter in a powerful collaboration amongst partners committed to global public health."In the coming days, the group will be reporting the results of its investigation into the possible presence of MERS in camels, sheep, goats, and cattle.

Political News This Week:


1) J&K: Jawan injured in grenade attack by militants:

An Army jawan was injured in a grenade attack by militants in Shopian district of south Kashmir on Thursday.

Unidentified militants hurled a grenade on a patrol party of Rashtriya Rifles at Imam Sahib in Shopian town, near Srinagar, on Thursday afternoon, officials said.

"The injured jawan was shifted to hospital for treatment", a senior police officer said. The area was later searched by the security forces.

The grenade exploded causing splinter injuries to a jawan who was evacuated to hospital. The whole area has been cordoned off and a hunt has been launched to nab the militants involved in the attack, the officials said.

No militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the grenade attack.

2) Train kills dozens of Hindu pilgrims in Bihar:

A high-speed train plowed into a crowd of Hindu pilgrims who were crossing the tracks at a remote station in east India on Monday, killing at least 37 people and leaving behind a scene of carnage.

An enraged crowd dragged the driver out and began beating him, and set parts of the train on fire, sending up a pillar of thick black smoke that could be seen from miles away. The crowd remained so furious that hours passed before firefighters and rescue workers were able to approach the site of the accident, officials said. A train dispatched to assist the wounded was forced to halt on the tracks a mile away. The disaster stood out even in a season of terrible accidents.

The station was a remote one - inaccessible by road - and the high-speed Rayja Rani Express typically barrels through without stopping at a speed of around 50 miles an hour. Railway officials said the driver had been given clearance to pass through. But Monday was the last day of a holy month in India, and hundreds of people were disembarking from two stopped passenger trains, on their way to a temple a half-mile away to offer holy water to Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction. A top official at the railway ministry, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, said the driver had pulled the emergency brake when he saw people on the tracks but was unable to stop the train. "It was all quite frightening," said Rohit Kumar, a passenger, who jumped off the train and ran for a quarter-mile to the nearest station when the crowd began to attack. "I'm standing here and watching smoke billowing out from the train. It was nightmarish. So scary." SK Singh, the deputy magistrate of the Saharsa District, said 37 people were confirmed dead, including several children. India's railway minister, Mallikarjun Kharge, said 28 had died, and noted that the pilgrims were crossing the tracks illegally. Parliamentary discussion Monday afternoon deteriorated into a shouting match over whether the government bore responsibility. The chief minister of Bihar, the state where the disaster occurred, called it "the rarest of rare tragedies." He pledged 200,000 rupees (around $3,180) to the victims' families, and urged the Railways Ministry to do the same. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released a statement calling for "calm in the area so that the relief and rescue operations can be carried out without any hindrance." The station, Dhamara Ghat, was also inaccessible by car during the current flood season, so rescue workers were compelled to walk more than two miles from the nearest road to reach the injured, a regional police spokesman said.

A series of disasters have befallen pilgrims in India this year. In June, thousands drowned when flash floods struck the northern state of Uttarakhand, and the Indian authorities evacuated more than 100,000. In February, dozens were killed in a train-station stampede at the Kumbh Mela, a Hindu religious festival on the banks of the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers

3) Pak troops violate ceasefire along LoC again:

Pakistani troops yet again violated the bilateral ceasefire in the Hamirpur area along the Line of Control in Poonch district of Jammu region late on Wednesday evening, a defence spokesperson said.

“Pakistan army firing small arms, automatics and mortars in Hamirpur. Effective retaliation by own troops. Firing in progress. No casualty or damage on own side,” he added.

Pakistani troops had violated the ceasefire in the same sector on Tuesday. The firing exchanges had continued for several hours.The ceasefire violations have triggered tension on the LoC and international border in Jammu region.

4) It is a WAR out there in Egypt:

More than a month after the unceremonious ouster of President Mohamed Mursi, Egypt continues to burn with rage and throb with grief.

Smoke rises near Al-Fath Mosque during clashes at Ramses Square in Cairo. Thousands of supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi took to the streets, urging a 'Day of Rage' to denounce the assault by security forces on Muslim Brotherhood protesters that killed hundreds.

The army deployed dozens of armoured vehicles on major roads in Cairo, and the interior ministry has said police will use live ammunition against anyone threatening state installations.A torn poster of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi is seen as riot police clear the area of his supporters, at Rabaa Adawiya square, where they had been camping, in Cairo.

At least 95 Egyptians were killed after security forces moved in on protesters demanding Mursi's reinstatement, and the government imposed a state of emergency as unrest swept the most populous Arab nation. Egyptian army soldiers guard with armoured personnel carriers near Tahrir Square in Cairo.Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 24 Egyptian policemen in the Sinai peninsula, where attacks on security forces have multiplied since the army overthrew President Mohamed Mursi on July 3.

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans against the military and interior ministry during a protest in front of Al Istkama mosque at Giza Square, south of Cairo. Egypt's army-backed rulers met on Sunday to discuss their bloody confrontation with deposed President Mohamed Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood amid contrasting proposals for compromise and a fight to the death.

In a televised speech to military and police officers, army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi vowed to crack down on anyone using violence, but also struck an apparently inclusive note, telling Mursi's supporters, "There is room for everyone in Egypt". A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shouts slogans after being injured during clashes in front of Azbkya police station during clashes at Ramses Square in Cairo.

Islamist protests descended into a bloodbath across Egypt, with around 50 killed in Cairo alone, on a 'Day of Rage' called by followers of ousted President Mohamed Mursi to denounce a crackdown by the army-backed government.As automatic gunfire echoed across Cairo, the standoff appeared to be sliding ever faster towards armed confrontation, evoking past conflict between militant Islamists and the state in the Arab world's most populous nation.

Riot police and army soldiers protect themselves with riot shields as members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi throw stones during clashes around the area of Rabaa Adawiya square, where they are camping, in Cairo.

The death toll from an Egyptian police raid on supporters of Mursi at a Cairo protest camp has climbed to 60 at one hospital, according to a nurse, who said she counted the bodies.

5) Army sends out long range patrol to figure out Chinese plans:

The fact that the PLA patrol came nearly 20 km deep into what India perceives as its own territory and stayed put -- for four days -- has made the Eastern Command a little more cautious about Chinese intentions, reports RS Chauhan
A week after the faceoff with a Chinese army patrol near Chaglagam in eastern Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian Army’s leadership has sent out a long range patrol to the arduous region to once again get a first-hand feel of the area and determine what the Chinese are up to, top army sources said.

While the general area of "fishtail”, so called because of the way the Line of Actual Control looks on the map, has been one of the more hotly disputed points on the border, the fact that the PLA patrol came nearly 20 km deep into what India perceives as its own territory and stayed put -- for four days -- has made the Eastern Command a little more cautious about Chinese intentions.

The deep intrusion is all the more alarming since in the eastern sector (Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim), both India and China have more or less stuck to the “watershed" principle whereby the "line of perception" of each side is aligned to the ridge lines that exist in these mountainous terrains. In Ladakh, on the other hand, the vast expanse of plateau makes it difficult to delineate the LAC, leave alone the boundary whenever it is settled.

Often both sides patrol up to their own lines of perceptions, an argument that was also put forward in explaining last week's intrusion as deep as 20 km in Anjaw district by the Chinese patrol.

Guarding the LAC ahead of Chaglagam area is the responsibility of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, which reported the Chinese transgression to the army. The ITBP position is ahead of the army positions.

The army, however, said the incident was not comparable with the stand-off at Depsang in eastern Ladakh in April when Chinese troops pitched tents. That faceoff lasted 21 days before Indian and Chinese soldiers withdrew from their positions following a series of flag meetings.

The explanation of the Chinese pitching tents in Chaglagam area is that soldiers on long-range patrols might carry tents and equipment to shelter themselves from the weather in the heights. In the fishtail area, at heights above 11,000 ft, the patrols can last up to 12 days.

India has sought to plug the earlier gaps in its deployment in both western and eastern Arunachal Pradesh by placing the recently raised mountain divisions and reordering its earlier ORBAT (order of battle). So now, the Dimapur-based 3 Corps is in charge of eastern Arunachal Pradesh, deploying 56 and 2nd Mountain Divisions in the area against the earlier deployment of just the 2nd Mountain Division. In western Arunachal Pradesh, the Tezpur-based 4 Corps has under it the old 5 Division based at Tenga and the newly raised 71 Division.

6) PM may intervene in discussion on missing coal ministry files:

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may intervene in the discussion on several files pertaining to coal block allocations going missing, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla said on Thursday.Shukla made the announcement after main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam stalled Question Hour in Rajya Sabha seeking response from the prime minister on the issue of missing files.

"Prime Minister may also intervene in case it is required," Shukla told the House, which saw a brief adjournment after it met for the day.He said that in response to demands by Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley and several members, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal made a statement on the issue on Tuesday."Some clarifications were sought (and) clarifications were given. (However) it remained inconclusive. We are ready to conclude that discussion and if necessary prime minister may also intervene," he said.The response came after Jaitley said the opposition was not convinced by Jaiswal's statement and prime minister should give clarification."The prime minister is in the House... Prime minister should give his reaction," he said as Singh watched the proceedings from his seat.V Maitreyan (AIADMK), who had given a notice for suspension of Question Hour, said missing of important files has been termed by CBI director as a "serious set back" to investigation.

The CBI director had stated that "you can draw your own conclusions" when asked if there was a conspiracy in files going missing, Maitreyan said, adding this was a serious issue and "Prime Minister necessarily needs to intervene and clarify the matter."Earlier, when the House met Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) said Jaiswal should not have made the statement as it was in conflict of interest since he was arbitrator in deciding on a family feud in AMR Co, which was a beneficiary of coal block allocation.

7) Rs 5,000: Tunda's monthly salary for bomb-making:

Abdul Karim Tunda, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba’s bomb-maker, has revealed the terrorist organisation's salary structure and generous perks. Vicky Nanjappa reports.For a notorious bomb-maker, Abdul Karim Tunda earned just Rs 5,000 a month as salary from the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.Intelligence Bureau agents and police officers, who have interrogated scores of terrorists, reveal when someone joins the Lashkar -- which is among the richest terrorist organisations today -- they earn Rs 2,000 a month.

"This is just an appreciation fee; terrorists find it of no use,” one investigator said.Tunda and other terrorists revealed during their interrogation that the Lashkar ensures that all other needs --- clothes, shelter and food -- are taken care of and everything is paid for by the handler of each terrorist.The Lashkar is extremely generous when it comes to helping its terrorists send money back home. Arrested terrorists said they are given anything between Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 once in two months to give their families.According to Tunda, the Lashkar prefers recruits who believe in jihad.

'There was a time when we were hard pressed for recruits and hence started luring people with money. However, it was counter productive. We realised that such people did not sustain for long, and often gave away secrets when they were bribed by others,' Tunda told his interrogators.He added that the new batch of recruits consists of only educated youth who have left behind their comforts to fight for the cause of jihad.Tunda also revealed that while the salaries were low, the Lashkar does not think twice before spending money on operations.Several million dollars are allocated for the procurement of arms and ammunition. When a terrorist is sent for a major operation, he is given a lot of money.

Most of the funding, Tunda told his interrogators, comes in through the Dawood Ibrahim criminal network and through the sale of counterfeit currency.After Indian security agencies stepped up their vigil on the routes where counterfeit currency came into the country, the terrorists have expanded these operations to the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Holland.

The main terrorist counterfeit currency printing unit is located in Peshawar; it was moved out of Islamabad a year ago.Individuals involved in this racket demand a very high commission -- for every Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million) worth of fake currency circulated, the commission is Rs 1 lakh (Rs 100,000).

Sports News This Week:


1) Trials postponed, India in doubt for World Championship?:

The administrative wrangling in the suspended Indian Boxing Federation could end up costing the country's boxers a chance to compete in this year's World Championships.The national trials for the event were scheduled to be held on August 16 and 17 in Patiala but were postponed till the end of this month with neither the boxers nor the coaches having any clue about the reasons.

"We have just been told that the trials would now be held at the end of this month and nothing more. We have not been given any reason as to why the trials have been delayed," a boxer told PTI.It is learnt that the IBF plans to hold the trials after the much-anticipated August 25 meeting between the International Olympic Committee and the Indian Olympic Association to discuss the country's suspension.

But that would leave very little time for the team to be finalised as the last date for submission of entries for the October 11 to 27 Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan is September 1.The IOA-IOC meeting would be watched with bated breath by the IBF as the International Boxing Association (AIBA) had cited India's Olympic suspension as the primary reason for provisionally barring IBF.Even though putting together a team after the IOA-IOC meeting, if at all it brings some good news for IBF, would not be much of a hassle but the apprehension is that AIBA could altogether shunt India out of the World Championships due to the IBF's failure to conduct a re-election.

AIBA had given "possible manipulation" in elections as the second reason for suspending the IBF."A lot hinges on this IOC-IOA meeting. India's World Championships participation is dicey if all doesn't go well," a source said.It has been close to a year since the provisional suspension was handed out by the AIBA but the IBF has still not conducted the re-election which the international body had asked for.

2) Maria Sharapova pulls out of US Open due to shoulder injury:

Third-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova has pulled out of next week's U.S. Open due to a shoulder injury, tournament organisers said on Wednesday.The four-times grand slam winner, who triumphed at Flushing Meadows in 2006, fired coach Jimmy Connors last week after just one match together. Also Read: To finish the year in top-100 would be great, says SomdevThe 26-year-old world number three, who is suffering from inflammation in her right shoulder, said withdrawing from the year's final grand slam was "a really tough decision to make"."I have done everything I could since Wimbledon to get myself ready but it just wasn't enough time," she said in statement on her Facebook page. Also Read: Top-10 doubles rank is a very realistic goal, says Divij

"I have done many tests, received several opinions and it all comes down to taking the proper amount of time to heal my shoulder injury properly."It's certainly not an easy decision to make ahead of one of my favourite tournaments, but I know it's the right one that will get me back on the courts soon."I plan on taking the next few weeks off, receiving proper treatment and rehabilitation."Sharapova lost to 20-year-old American Sloane Stephens in the second round of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati last week in her only match since a second-round exit at Wimbledon.Her absence from Flushing Meadows at least puts to rest widely reported plans she had to legally change her name for the U.S. Open in a publicity stunt for her candy business.

Defending champion Serena Williams is the top seed for the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows in New York, ahead of Belarusian Victoria Azarenka and Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, who now moves up to third.Tournament director David Brewer had earlier announced Sharapova's withdrawal.

3) Neymar rescues Barcelona:

Brazilian forward Neymar came off the bench to head his first competitive goal for Barcelona and rescue a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday.

David Villa struck a superb 12th-minute volley against the club he left in the close season to put Atletico ahead in the two-legged showpiece that pits last term's league champions Barca against the King's Cup winners.On a sweltering night at the Calderon, Barca struggled to create chances for an equaliser against a typically resolute Atletico defence, with World Player of the Year Lionel Messi unusually anonymous.

The Argentina forward was replaced by Cesc Fabregas at the break as a precaution after picking up a problem in his left thigh muscle before Neymar made a near-immediate impact after coming on for Pedro.The 21-year-old sped in unmarked at the far post and leaped to nod home a cross from compatriot Daniel Alves for a 66th minute leveller.He had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes and it was his first goal in a competitive match since a high-profile move from Santos."If they had told us what his first goal in an official game was going to be we would not have expected a header," Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster TVE."Neymar is a player of great quality and we will give him time to adapt," added the former Barca and Spain goalkeeper.

Zubizarreta said Messi's injury appeared to be the result of bruising and the club said on their website ( he would be having more tests on Thursday.The return leg of the Super Cup is at Barca's Nou Camp stadium next Wednesday.

4) Key bookie Chandresh Jain held in IPL 6 spot-fixing case:

A bookie alleged to be a 'key' person was arrested on Thursday, taking the number of those held in connection with the IPL betting case until now to 22, the police said.

Chandresh Jain alias 'Jupiter' was arrested on Thursday after he was brought to the city on a transit remand, since he was in the custody of the Delhi police, which had registered the IPL spot-fixing case during its sixth season, an official said.'Jupiter' was in touch with Pakistani bookies via conference calls using four out of the 30 telephone lines, allegedly facilitated by one Ramesh Vyas who has been arrested, the official said."He was constantly in touch with Shobhan Mehta, a key bookie who has been arrested and the Jaipur brothers who are wanted by the police. He also placed bets during the IPL 6 season," the official said.With Jupiter's arrest, the number of those arrested in the IPL betting case so far has gone up to 22, including Ramesh Vyas, Ashok Vyas and Pandurang Kadam, among others.

After Ramesh Vyas's arrest in May, the police had recovered 92 mobile phones, 18 SIM cards, a laptop among other equipment. Thirty of these phones were used to facilitate contacts with bookies in India, Pakistan and Dubai through conference calls made by Vyas.Chennai Super Kings owner Gurunath Meiyappan, who is the son-in-law of N Srinivasan who had stepped aside as BCCI president and Bollywood actor Vindu Dara Singh were also arrested in the case and are currently out on bail.The Delhi Police had registered the case and filed a chargesheet naming Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, among 39 others as accused.

Movie Release This Week:


When her mom is attacked and taken from their home in New York City by a demon, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl, Clary Fray, finds out truths about her past and bloodline on her quest to get her back, that changes her entire life.

20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hell bent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King, a 40-year old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their home town and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, The World's End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind's. Reaching The World's End is the least of their worries.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Wong Kar Wai, The Grandmaster is an epic action feature inspired by the life and times of the legendary kung fu master, Ip Man. The story spans the tumultuous Republican era that followed the fall of China’s last dynasty, a time of chaos, division and war that was also the golden age of Chinese martial arts. Filmed in a range of stunning locations that include the snow-swept landscapes of Northeast China and the subtropical South, The Grandmaster features virtuoso performances by some of the greatest stars of contemporary Asian cinema, including Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang.

An Alaska State Trooper partners with a young woman who escaped the clutches of serial killer Robert Hansen to bring the murderer to justice. Based on actual events.

In the film a television documentary crew begins shooting a jungle survival special on the remote Mayaman Island in the Philippines. Things start out casual for host Sebastian "Seb" Beazley (Zane) and his team until the jungle takes a terrifying turn. With horror they discover a local legend is all too real when a mythical creature called the Aswang ultimately descends from the trees and begins stalking them through the jungle.

Book of This Week:

Book Collage of This Week

The Mayan Secrets : by Clive Cussler, Thomas Perry:


The Mayan Secrets

Husband-and-wife team Sam and Remi Fargo are in Mexico, when they come upon a remarkable discovery—the skeleton of a man clutching an ancient sealed pot, and within the pot, a Mayan book, larger than anyone has ever seen. The book contains astonishing information about the Mayans, about their cities, and about mankind itself. The secrets are so powerful that some people would do anything to possess them—as the Fargos are about to find out.

Before their adventure is done, many men and women will die for that book—and Sam and Remi may just be among them.

Meet the Author:


CLIVE CUSSLER is the author of dozens of New York Times bestsellers, most recently The Striker and Zero Hour. He lives in Arizona.


THOMAS PERRY is the author of many novels, including the Edgar Award winner The Butcher’s Boy, and the Jane Whitefield series. He is the coauthor with Cussler of The Tombs. Perry lives in southern California.

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