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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Subhaditya News Channel Presents Science,Movie, Political,Sports And Book News This Week (75)

Science News This Week:

1) Canine genealogy:

Competing clues confuse story of dog domestication. The ancient lineage of man’s best friend is kind of a tangled mess. But scientists made some progress this year in identifying dogs’ ancestors and in estimating the timeline of canine domestication.

Dogs may have descended from a now-extinct wolf species, Adam Freedman of Harvard and colleagues reported in June They date dog domestication to between 11,000 and 16,000 years ago, before the rise of agriculture.

But not all the new clues tell the same story. Archaeologists have unearthed fossils from doglike animals in both Europe and Siberia that date to more than 30,000 years ago. And in November, Olaf Thalmann of the University of Turku in Finland and colleagues used DNA from the fossils to trace domestic dogs’ origins to Europe between 18,000 and 32,000 years ago .

In January, though, a team analyzing canine genes proposed that dogs became domesticated about 10,000 years ago. Other geneticists examining dog and wolf DNA have placed dogs’ origin in both the Middle East and East Asia.

Freedman’s work relies on genetic evidence from an Australian dingo, a Basenji, a golden jackal and wolves from Croatia, Israel and China — regions where experts have proposed that domestication occurred. The new data all but rule out modern-day wolves as dogs’ ancestors. Still, the location and timing of dogs’ domestication remain uncertain.

Because Freedman’s and Thalmann’s studies tap into a bigger pool of genetic data than previous work, though, their findings may offer better tools for scientists trying to untangle dogs’ lineage.

2) A double dose of virus scares:

MERS, H7N9 join list of potential pandemics. Outbreaks of two deadly viruses captured the world’s attention in 2013, but neither turned into the global pandemic expected to strike one of these years.One of the viruses, known as MERS, causes Middle East respiratory syndrome. The other, H7N9, is a new bird flu virus from China. Each virus has infected fewer than 200 people, but both kill a sizable number of the people who contract them. Although the viruses have not spread far from where they started, the scientific effort to decipher and combat them has had global reach.The MERS virus was first isolated from a patient in Saudi Arabia by an Egyptian physician who sent the sample to the Netherlands to be tested. There researchers in the lab of Ron Fouchier (who made headlines in 2012 for work on the bird flu virus H5N1) deciphered the MERS virus’s genetic makeup. It turned out that MERS is a coronavirus related to SARS, a virus identified in 2003 as the cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome

Since it first appeared in people in 2012, MERS has sickened 163 people, killing 71. Most of the victims live in Saudi Arabia, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, or had recently traveled to the Arabian peninsula. H7N9, a new strain of avian influenza, began circulating in China in February. The outbreak peaked by early April, nearly halting after Chinese officials closed live poultry markets. Still, sporadic cases appeared in the summer and fall, raising concerns that the virus could make a resurgence in the coming flu season (SN Online: 10/15/13). By early December, of the 139 people with confirmed H7N9 infections, 45 had died.It came as a surprise that this type of bird virus was seriously sickening and killing people. Experts have been worried for a long time that the H5N1 bird flu would sweep the globe as the 1918 Spanish flu did. If H5N1 gained the ability to spread from person to person through the air while retaining its potency, it could potentially kill millions. But until this year, no serious human infections with H7N9 had ever been recorded.As more and more cases of MERS and H7N9 infection appeared, scientists and health workers scrambled to investigate basic questions about the viruses: Where did they come from? How did they get into humans? How do they infect cells? And perhaps most important, do they spread easily from person to person, becoming a candidate for a pandemic? Only partial answers have emerged, and some are not comforting.

MERS deaths since September 21

H7N9 deaths in 2013

Researchers found molecular handles on human cells that the MERS virus grasps during infection . One study revealed that H7N9 can grow well in human lung cells
Studies of ferrets revealed that H7N9 can spread through the air from one of the animals to another, raising the possibility that it might also pass from person to person that way But so far, the virus hasn’t been easily transmitted between people. A few people may have spread the virus to their relatives, but most people probably caught it from chickens, ducks, pigeons or other birds at live poultry markets .But the MERS virus does spread from person to person, particularly among people who are elderly or have other health problems. Hospital dialysis wards proved important for at least one big outbreak.Researchers have been using DNA data and old-fashioned health sleuthing to track down the source of the MERS virus. It probably originated in bats and may have spread to camels and other animals before infecting humans Whatever its origin, MERS probably made the leap from animals to people multiple times . New cases of the virus continue to emerge, and there is ongoing concern that it could become a worldwide problem.

3) Sleep clears the cluttered brain:

Gunk between cells is cleansed during slumber.Sleep showers away cellular grime that builds up while the brain is awake — just the sort of process that could have made sleep a biological imperative, scientists reported in October

People have long puzzled over the evolutionary pressures that led animals to need sleep even though it leaves them vulnerable to predators and other dangers. Rinsing off the brain and disposing of waste proteins and other gunk might help explain why sleep evolved.

Many other things that sleep does, such as strengthening memories, are important. But they are probably bonuses to the real reason that slumber is necessary, says Suzana Herculano-Houzel of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Researchers led by Maiken Nedergaard of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York stumbled upon sleep’s cleansing function while studying how the brain disposes of waste products.

The brain pushes fluid in between its cells to flush out buildup products, such as protein pieces that form plaques in people with Alzheimer’s disease, the team had found. After training mice to sit quietly on a microscope stage, the researchers could measure the fluid flow while the rodents were awake and asleep. Space between cells increased by at least 60 percent when the animals fell asleep, allowing cerebrospinal fluid to gush in and hose away buildup. When the animals woke up, some brain cells — probably ones called astrocytesswelled up, narrowing the crevices separating the cells.

With the drainage system clogged, waste from hardworking nerve cells begins to pile up. Sleep deprivation or damage to the irrigation system may make it impossible for sleep to fully wash away the by-products, eventually contributing to neurodegenerative dis-orders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, the researchers speculate.

4) 91 New Species Described by California Academy Of Sciences in 2013:

In 2013, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences discovered 91 new plant and animal species and two new genera, enriching our understanding of the complex web of life on Earth and strengthening our ability to make informed conservation decisions. The new species, previously unknown to science, include 38 different ants, 12 fishes, 14 plants, eight beetles, two spiders, one reptile, and one amphibian. In addition, Academy scientists discovered a new genus of beetle and a previously unidentified genus of sea fan. More than a dozen Academy scientists along with several dozen international collaborators described the newly discovered plants and animals.

Proving that there are still plenty of places to explore and things to discover on Earth, the scientists ventured into remote jungles and descended to the bottom of the sea, looked in their own backyards (California) and explored the other side of the world (Africa). Their results, published in more than 30 scientific papers, help advance the Academy's research into two of the most important scientific questions of our time: "How did life evolve?" and "How will it persist?" "Our best estimates are that we have discovered and described less than 10 percent of the life forms on Earth," said Dr. Terry Gosliner, Dean of Science and Research Collections at the Academy. "As we race to discover the other 90 percent of the species that make up the tapestry of life, we are focusing our efforts on global biodiversity hotspots -- places that are both unusually diverse and highly threatened, including many tropical forests, coral reef communities and our own backyard, California." Below are a few highlights among the 91 species described by the Academy this year.

Madagascar's list of endemic species grows
The islands of the southwestern Indian Ocean, especially Madagascar, are composed of extremely fragmented natural habitats and are renowned for hosting many endemic species -- those that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. This is a place the California Academy of Sciences considers a global biodiversity hotspot. However, Madagascar's biodiversity is increasingly threatened, adding new urgency to the research being conducted on the island. This year, Academy scientists were able to identify 38 previously unknown ant species, seven new plants and two new spider species from Madagascar.
Academy scientist Brian Fisher, an entomologist who specializes in the study of ants, calls them "the glue that holds ecosystems together." "Ants are one of the most important members of ecosystems," says Fisher. "They turn over more soil than earthworms." But they're also some of the most overlooked, he says. "If they were bigger, they would be the most studied type of organism, but people don't see them."
Now, Fisher and his team are able to look for these small creatures in a new way. Recently, satellite companies and engineers from Google have provided Academy researchers with high-resolution satellite images of some of the least explored areas of Madagascar. Equipped with a GPS-enabled tablet loaded with customized software and recent high-res images, Fisher and his colleagues can identify which patches of forest are most likely to contain new species of ants based on their elevation, vegetation and adjacent habitats.

The work being done by Academy scientists is helping to correct a long-standing bias in habitat conservation. "If you base conservation on just vertebrates," Fisher says, "it leads you to conclude that only the largest forests are important. Ants and other insects provide a better map of true biodiversity."

New species unearthed close to home
While researchers from the California Academy of Sciences are spanning the far reaches of the globe to find new plants, animals, and other life forms, there are still many things to discover closer to home. In 2013, Academy scientists discovered two new plant species and eight new beetles from Mexico.
In his time as a naturalist, Charles Darwin was fascinated with beetles and amassed one of the world's most important collections. Today, researchers at the Academy are continuing that tradition. On November 19, 2013, Igor Sokolov, a Schlinger Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Academy of Sciences, published a paper on ZooKeys, describing eight new species and a new genus of beetle.

According to Sokolov, these miniscule ground beetles remain largely uninvestigated. Prior to his recent discoveries, there were only two other species from two different genera described from Mexico. These beetles rarely emerge and are so tiny that they have gone largely unnoticed. "These types of beetles live all over the world, including here in California, but are very difficult to collect," says Dr. Dave Kavanaugh, Senior Curator of Entomology at the Academy. "Even if you can isolate them from the dirt and leaf litter where they live," Kavanaugh explains, "They're no bigger than the head of a pin, so they are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye." Then once you have found the beetles and get them back to the lab, it takes a steady hand to dissect them and tediously compare each specimen under a microscope. "Igor is the only person I know who has good enough hands to do this work," Kavanaugh says.

The study of these beetles illustrates how isolation and slight changes in habitat can influence the evolutionary process. "These beetles are blind, flightless and don't move around very much, yet they are found in nearly every corner of the world," says Kavanaugh. "This tells us that they are probably ancient. They have evolved and diverged to succeed in lowland and highland elevations, from tropical islands to dry environments. They're practically everywhere and they've been there forever, but we're only just now learning about them.Through this research, Academy scientists are carrying on the work of Charles Darwin. "And there are more species to come," says Kavanaugh.
A case of mistaken identity points to need for increased protectionsThis year, Academy scientists identified three new species of soft corals and two new species and a new genus of sea fan found off the Pacific coast.For 100 years, the fiery red sea fan with long, elegant branches had been lumped in with 36 other species of Euplexaura, until Academy octocoral expert Gary Williams was able to set the record straight. After comparing a colony collected off the coast of San Francisco to older samples in the Academy's collection, Williams announced an entirely new genus -- and challenged our assumptions about familiar waters. Major cities, as Williams pointed out to Live Science, "aren't places you'd think there are still discoveries waiting to be made."

Williams, the Academy's Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology, encountered the sea fan now named Chromoplexaura marki during a two-week survey of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and it was far from the only surprise. Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the expedition team uncovered "rich and abundant habitats never seen before" in the area, prompting Williams to recommend that NOAA expand the existing sanctuary. The proposed expansion -- roughly 2,000 additional square miles -- would encompass the largest upwelling site in North America, better protecting the nutrient-rich waters that support everything from reefs and seabird colonies to endangered whales.

A Walk on the Ocean Floor
That was not the only new species found in the ocean this year. Scientists at the Academy dove into their collections to discover 24 other new species that live in the world's oceans. Along with the sea fan, are three new species of worm eels, three colorful gobies, three nudibanchs, two snappers, two now-extinct species of sand dollars, corals, barnacles and two new sharks. Hemiscyllium halmahera, a new species of bamboo shark from Indonesia, was described by Academy research associate Mark Erdmann. This small shark can fit in the palm of your hand and is recognized by interesting clusters of brown or white spots in polygon configurations all over its body. The color pattern it displays is a perfect camouflage that helps the animal blend into its habitat on the bottom of the sea. This bamboo shark, like a similar species on display at the Academy's Steinhart Aquarium, uses its pectoral fins to "walk" along the ocean floor. According to the paper published this year in the International Journal of Ichthyology, sharks of this genus are nocturnally active, bottom-living animals, which exhibit a peculiar "walking" gait while foraging for invertebrates and smaller fishes. Due to their reproductive mode, limited swimming ability, and poor dispersal capability most species have restricted distributions and are therefore often of conservation concern.

5) Researchers Generate Kidney Tubular Cells from Stem Cells:

Investigators have discovered a cocktail of chemicals which, when added to stem cells in a precise order, turns on genes found in kidney cells in the same order that they turn on during embryonic kidney development. The kidney cells continued to behave like kidney cells when transplanted into adult or embryonic mouse kidneys.

Researchers have successfully coaxed stem cells to become kidney tubular cells, a significant advance toward one day using regenerative medicine, rather than dialysis and transplantation, to treat kidney failure. The findings are published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).Chronic kidney disease is a major global public health problem, and when patients progress to kidney failure, their treatment options are limited to dialysis and kidney transplantation. Regenerative medicine -- which involves rebuilding or repairing tissues and organs -- may offer a promising alternative.

Albert Lam, MD, Benjamin Freedman, PhD, Ryuji Morizane, MD, PhD (Brigham and Women's Hospital), and their colleagues have been working for the past five years to develop strategies to coax human pluripotent stem cells -- particularly human embryonic stem (ES) cells and human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell -- into kidney cells for the purposes of kidney regeneration."Our goal was to develop a simple, efficient, and reproducible method of differentiating human pluripotent stem cells into cells of the intermediate mesoderm, the earliest tissue in the developing embryo that is fated to give rise to the kidneys," said Dr. Lam. He noted that these cells would be the "starting blocks" for deriving more specific kidney cells.The researchers discovered a cocktail of chemicals which, when added to stem cells in a precise order, causes them to turn off genes found in ES cells and turn on genes found in kidney cells, in the same order that they turn on during embryonic kidney development. The investigators were able to differentiate both human ES cells and human iPS cells into cells expressing PAX2 and LHX1, two key markers of the intermediate mesoderm. The iPS cells were derived by transforming fibroblasts obtained from adult skin biopsies to pluripotent cells, making the techniques applicable to personalized approaches where the starting cells can be derived from skin cells of a patient. The differentiated cells expressed multiple genes expressed in intermediate mesoderm and could spontaneously give rise to tubular structures that expressed markers of mature kidney tubules. The researchers could then differentiate them further into cells expressing SIX2, SALL1, and WT1, important markers of the metanephric cap mesenchyme, a critical stage of kidney differentiation. In kidney development, the metanephric cap mesenchyme contains a population of progenitor cells that give rise to nearly all of the epithelial cells of the kidney.

The cells also continued to behave like kidney cells when transplanted into adult or embryonic mouse kidneys, giving hope that investigators might one day be able to create kidney tissues that could function in a patient and would be 100% immunocompatible."We believe that the successful derivation of kidney progenitor cells or functional kidney cells from human pluripotent stem cells will have an enormous impact on a variety of clinical and translational applications, including kidney tissue bioengineering, renal assist devices to treat acute and chronic kidney injury, drug toxicity screening, screening for novel therapeutics, and human kidney disease modeling," said Dr. Lam.

6) Producing Electricity On the Moon at Night:

Scientists from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and other international collaborators have proposed a system of mirrors, processed lunar soil and a heat engine to provide energy to vehicles and crew during the lunar night. This would preclude the need for batteries and nuclear power sources such as those used by the Chinese rover that recently landed on the moon.

The lunar night lasts approximately 14 days, during which temperatures as low as -150 ºC have been recorded. This complicates vehicle movement and equipment functioning on the lunar surface, requiring the transport of heavy batteries from Earth or the use of nuclear energy, as exemplified by the Chinese rover Yutu.
Now, a team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, along with collaborators from the USA, have studied two options for storing energy on the Moon during the day for use at night. The details have been published in the journal Acta Astronautica, in an article featuring the participation of former NASA administrator, Michael Griffin."The first system consists of modifying fragments of regolith or lunar soil, incorporating elements such as aluminium, for example, such that it becomes a thermal mass," Ricard Gonzalez-Cinca, a physics researcher at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and co-author of the study, explains.
"When the Sun's rays hit the surface, a system of mirrors reflects the light to heat the thermal mass, which later," he adds, "can transmit heat during the night to rovers and other lunar equipment."

The second system is similar, but incorporates a more sophisticated series of mirrors and a heat engine. The mirrors are Fresnel reflectors, such as those used in some solar energy technologies on Earth, which concentrate solar rays upon a fluid-filled tube.This heat converts the liquid into a gas, which in turn heats the thermal mass. Afterwards, during the long lunar night, the heat is transferred to a Stirling engine to produce electricity."This system is better equipped than the previous model for lunar projects with greater energy needs, such as a manned mission spending the night on the moon," reports Gonzalez-Cinca.Starting in 2020, the world's major space agencies, including NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the China National Space Administration, are planning their first manned missions to our satellite. Other countries, such as India and Japan, have also voiced their interest to send their own missions from that date onwards.

7) Researchers Develop New Generation Visual Browser of Epigenome:

ChroGPS is a software application that serves to facilitate the analysis and understanding of epigenetic data and to extract intelligible information, which can be downloaded free of charge in Bioconductor (, a reference repository for biocomputational software. The scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) describe the uses of the program in an article published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research, in which they explain that ChroGPS is the answer to a problem that has been dragging on for the last ten years. In the last 15 years, researchers worldwide have generated a large amount of information about the epigenome: proteins, factors and epigenetic markers which, when bound to DNA, regulate gene expression. Enormous projects such as ENCODE (for humans and mice) or modENCODE (for other lab model systems, such as the fly Drosophila or the worm C. elegans) have been devoted to collecting these data in order to analyse and interpret them in the framework of genomic data and to form hypotheses about functions and relations. In spite of these efforts, tools are still needed to extract functional and relational information about the epigenome and to present the results in a visual manner, as ChroGPS does.

"With ChroGPS we wanted to integrate epigenetic data with genetic data to reap the great benefits from them and to be able to understand this information. The analyses continue to be extremely complex and the results to be interpreted very unclear," says Ferran Azorín, head of the Chromatin Structure and Function lab at IRB Barcelona and CSIC researcher professor, who studies epigenomic regulation. "With this tool we have reached the same conclusions as those presented in Nature by researchers working on the modENCODE, but the enormous difference is that instead of seeing the information in hundreds of graphs and figures like in modENCODE, we have achieved a single map," explains Azorín.

The initiative emerged from dialogue between Azorín's group, through the PhD student Joan Font-Burgada, and the bioinformatician Òscar Reina, a member of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Unit of IRB Barcelona, which was managed by David Rossell at that time. "ChroGPS is based on the sequential application of two steps: first the generation of distances (or degrees of similarity) between epigenetic components on the basis of several possible measurements that we have developed, and after, in the representation of these distances in the form of bi- o tri-dimensional maps to facilitate their interpretation.For example, they are like visual maps from which distance tables can be drawn up in kilometers between cities," describes Òscar Reina, one of the developers of the software application. "The most important thing for us in this first stage has been to present the biological information in a simple but at the same time reliable manner from the point of view of data treatment, for example correcting systematic biases between experiments that can lead to erroneous conclusions," adds Rossell, who is now at the University of Warwick, in the UK.Now that the program is available to the entire community, the researchers contemplate new challenges with ChroGPS. Among his objectives, Ferran Azorín aims to follow the complex transformation of a healthy cell into a cancerous one through tracking the genetic and epigenetic changes that occur. To tackle this project with ChroGPS, the researchers will have to take new steps in statistical and mathematic methods.

Movie Release This Week:

A New York stockbroker refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, the corporate banking world and mob infiltration. Based on Jordan Belfort's autobiography.

From ancient Japan's most enduring tale, the epic 3D fantasy-adventure 47 Ronin is born. Keanu Reeves leads the cast as Kai, an outcast who joins Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), the leader of 47 outcast samurai. Together they seek vengeance upon the treacherous overlord who killed their master and banished their kind. To restore honor to their homeland, the warriors embark upon a quest that challenges them with a series of trials that would destroy ordinary warriors.

47 Ronin is helmed by visionary director Carl Erik Rinsch (The Gift). Inspired by styles as diverse as Miyazaki and Hokusai, Rinsch will bring to life the stunning landscapes and enormous battles that will display the timeless Ronin story to global audiences in a way that's never been seen before.

Ben Stiller directs and stars in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, James Thurber's classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

The story revolves around retired boxers Billy "The Kid" McGuigan and Henry "Razor" Sharp, lifelong bitter rivals who are coaxed out of retirement and into the ring for one final grudge match -- 50 years after their last title fight.

Political News This Week:

1) Huge relief for Narendra Modi, gets clean chit in 2002 riots:

In a major relief to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a metropolitan court on Saturday rejected the protest petition filed by Zakia Jafri, wife of a former Congress MP, against the clean chit given to him and others by the Special Investigation Team in the 2002 Gujarat riots.Metropolitan Magistrate B J Ganatra while pronouncing the order in open court told Zakia's counsel Mihir Desai that her petition has been rejected and they have the liberty to approach a higher court.Jafri, whose husband Ehsan Jafri, a former Congress MP, was among the 68 people killed in the Gulbarg society massacre here during the post-Godhra riots, had filed a protest petition on April 15, this year objecting to the Supreme Court-appointed SIT's closure report absolving Modi of complicity in the conspiracy behind the carnage.Seventy-four-year-old Zakia, who was present at the court, broke down after the verdict was out and said she will appeal against it in the higher court in a month.

"The only hurdle in the acceptance of SIT's recommendations was the protest petition and the protest petition was rejected, obviously the SIT report has been accepted. So, SIT's investigation, integrity, impartiality, all have been given a judicial stamp," R S Jamuar, SIT's counsel, told reporters after the verdict.After completing its investigation on Zakia's complaint, the SIT had had filed its closure report on February 8, last year. It concluded that despite difficulties in obtaining evidence in the case because of the lapse of eight years, whatever material it could gather was not sufficient enough to prosecute those against whom allegations of hatching the conspiracy had been levelled.

In her petition, Zakia had demanded rejection of the SIT report and an order by the court to file chargesheet against Modi, BJP's prime ministerial candidate, and others.
Zakia had filed a complaint against 63 persons, including Modi, his ministerial colleagues, top police officers and BJP functionaries accusing them of a wider conspiracy in the riots, which left more than 1,000 people dead, mostly Muslims.Jamuar said the complainant had the option to move the court of the district judge or the high court against the order.The apex court had ordered an inquiry into Zakia's complaint by SIT headed by the Central Bureau of Investigation former Director R K Raghavan.

The SIT had submitted its report to the Supreme Court after investigations into the complaint. It had interrogated several people, including Modi, who was quizzed for more than nine hours in March 2010.The Supreme Court, after going through the report, had asked amicus curiae Raju Ramchandran to independently verify the SIT investigations. Ramchandran had also submitted his report to the Supreme Court and, according to Zakia, it had sufficient grounds to put Modi and others on trial.After going through both the reports, the Supreme Court had on September 12, 2011 directed the SIT to submit the final report along with the entire material collected during the investigation to the metropolitan court.

Zakia had filed a complaint against 63 persons, including Modi, his ministerial colleagues, top police officers and BJP functionaries accusing them of a wider conspiracy in the riots, which left more than 1,000 people dead, mostly Muslims.Jamuar said the complainant had the option to move the court of the district judge or the high court against the order.The apex court had ordered an inquiry into Zakia's complaint by SIT headed by the Central Bureau of Investigation former Director R K Raghavan.

The SIT had submitted its report to the Supreme Court after investigations into the complaint. It had interrogated several people, including Modi, who was quizzed for more than nine hours in March 2010.The Supreme Court, after going through the report, had asked amicus curiae Raju Ramchandran to independently verify the SIT investigations. Ramchandran had also submitted his report to the Supreme Court and, according to Zakia, it had sufficient grounds to put Modi and others on trial.After going through both the reports, the Supreme Court had on September 12, 2011 directed the SIT to submit the final report along with the entire material collected during the investigation to the metropolitan court.

2) Kejriwal to be sworn in as Delhi CM on Saturday at Ramlila Maidan:

Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal will take oath as Delhi's seventh chief minister on Saturday at historic Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi, capping his party's stunning electoral debut in the December 4 assembly polls.The date for the swearing-in ceremony was finalised at a meeting Kejriwal held with Chief Secretary D M Spolia.

Top officials in the Delhi government said Kejriwal and six Aam Aadmi Party members of Legislative Assembly will be sworn-in in a public ceremony at 12 pm at the Ramlila Maidan, the venue of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement two years ago.The cabinet ministers to take oath along with Kejriwal are Manish Sisodia, Rakhi Birla, Somnath Bharti, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Girish Soni and Satendra Jain.Born in Haryana and a resident of Kausambi in nearby Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh, the IIT-Kharagpur graduate in mechanical engineering, had defeated three-time chief minister Shiela Dikshit in the New Delhi constituency by a huge margin of over 25,000 votes.

Forty-five-year-old Kejriwal had met Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Monday and handed over him a letter staking claim to form the government with outside support from the Congress.Following this, Jung had sent a proposal to President Pranab Mukherjee detailing AAP's stake to form the government. The President approved the proposal on Tuesday and left it to the Lt Governor to finalise the date for swearing-in ceremony in consultation with the Chief Minister-designate.One-year-old AAP had made an electrifying debut in elections winning 28 seats in the 70-member assembly and decimating the Congress, which bagged only eight seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party, along with its ally Shiromani Akali Dal's one seat, had 32 MLAs but the party declined to form the government, citing lack of majority.

Sources in the AAP said Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi, Santosh Hegde and all those associated with the anti-corruption movement will be invited to the swearing-in ceremony.

Kejriwal had announced formation of AAP on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, last year and it was formally launched on November 26 coinciding with the anniversary of India's adoption of its Constitution in 1949. The party's name reflects the phrase ‘aam aadmi’, or common man, whose interests Kejriwal pledged to represent.

The party produced a separate manifesto for each of the 70 constituencies for the Delhi polls. The candidates were screened for potential criminal backgrounds and the party claimed to have selected honest candidates.From 26-year-old Birla to 41-year-old Sisodia, the Cabinet is not just going to be the youngest ever but also probably the first in which all members, including the chief minister, are debutant MLAs.Birla had emerged as a giant killer after thumping four-time MLA and Public Works Department Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan in the SheilaDikshit government in Mangolpuri by around 10,500 votes. Before joining AAP, Birla had worked with a private news channel.Sisodia, a trusted aide of Kejriwal, came to prominence during Anna Hazare's movement for Janlokpal Bill in 2011. The 41-year-old journalist turned-activist-turned-politician defeated BJP's Nakul Bhardwaj by over 11,000 votes from Patparganj constituency in East Delhi.Another face in Kejriwal's team is Saurabh Bhardwaj, an engineering graduate who had also studied law. The 34-year-old defeated Ajay Kumar Malhotra, son of veteran BJP leader V K Malhotra, by a margin of around 13,000 votes from Greater Kailash constituency.

Kejriwal has another IITian in his cabinet in Somnath Bharti who is an MLA from Malviya Nagar. He holds a Master's degree from IIT, Delhi, and a degree in law. The 39-year-old defeated BJP's Arti Mehra and another Delhi government minister Kiran Walia.MLA from Shakur Basti (North) Jain, who will also be inducted as a minister, is an architect by profession. Girish Soni, an MLA from Madipur, had participated in Bijli-Pani agitation of the AAP and motivated people to join the movement.

3) Blast in Egypt kills 13, 'terrorist' group Brotherhood blamed:

At least 13 people were killed on Tuesday and over a hundred injured when a powerful car bomb ripped through a police headquarters, an attack blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood aimed at derailing Egypt's democratic transition.The bomb ripped through the multi-storey police headquarters in Mansoura, a city in Nile delta north of Cairo, shortly after 1:00 am (local time), killing at least 13 people and wounding 134, officials said.

"The majority of the casualties are from the police," said Omar al-Shawatsi, the governor of Daqahleya, of which Mansoura is the capital.Daqahleya security chief Sami El-Mihi was wounded in the blast and two of his aides were killed, security officials said.Earlier medics had put the dead toll at 14 but later revised it to 13. The interior ministry said 12 of the dead were policemen and a civilian was also killed in the blast. The bombing comes ahead of the January 14 referendum on a new constitution seen as the first major step towards democracy after the Islamist president Mohammed Morsi's ouster earlier this year.Hours after the bombing, interim prime minister Hazem Beblawi labelled the Muslim Brotherhood as a "terrorist" group, accusing them of orchestrating the attack.

"This is an act of terrorism that aims at frightening the people and obstructing the roadmap. The black hands behind this act want to destroy the future of our country. The state will do its utmost to pursue the criminals who executed, planned and supported this attack," Beblawi told Egyptian TV channel ONTV.

The massive explosion -- whose impact was felt about 20 kilometres away -- stripped off the facade of the building and caused part of its structure to cave in and damaging parts of adjacent buildings which include the state's council, a theatre and a bank.Interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim visited the site of the blast and said Egypt "will not be scared, on the contrary it will reinforce our determination to fight the terrorists".Meanwhile, The Brotherhood condemned the bombing "in the strongest possible terms", and lashed out at Beblawi."It is no surprise that Beblawi, the military junta's puppet prime minister, has decided to exploit the blood of innocent Egyptians through inflammatory statements designed to create further violence, chaos and instability," the brotherhood said in a statement.The 85-year-old Brotherhood, a political and social movement, came to power in Egypt last year following the overthrow of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and Morsi became the country's first freely elected leader.

4) AAP, Cong in self-serving exercise, govt won't last long: BJP:

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday alleged that Congress and Aam Admi Party were collaborating to form government in a "self- serving" exercise with "dishonourable" motive, as the Congress wanted a breather and feared another electoral humiliation while the AAP was keen to prevent its members of Legislative Assembly from being "scattered".Predicting that such a government will not last long, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, "Both the Congress and the AAP have entered in to this political adjustment with a self serving motive.

"Each wants to outfox the other. The Congress wants the AAP to make a few mistakes so that it can recover its constituency and then force a poll."In an article, Jaitley said that Congress has chosen to get insulted and become the B-team of the AAP by supporting its government as in an event of an early re-election it would get squeezed out even more.The BJP leader charged AAP with falling to the temptation of forming a government in Delhi to have a national presence. To achieve this, AAP resorted to a "farcical referendum" and went back on its commitment of not taking support of the Congress.The Congress, Jaitley maintained, is a clear loser in these elections with only eight seats.

"The Congress cannot afford an early re-election. It needs breathing time to recover. If no government had been formed in Delhi, a re-election could have been held along with Lok Sabha polls. In that event, the ‘Modi factor’ would also have influenced the outcome of the polls," Jaitley said.A re-election in Delhi would be polarised between the BJP and the AAP with the Congress squeezed out even more, he added.The BJP maintained that this "convergence of two contradictory interests" is self-serving and is not likely to last long."Government formation would help it (AAP) to prevent its MLAs getting scattered. Government formation in the national capital in its assessment would further enable it to make its presence felt nationally.The AAP knows that such a government cannot be a lasting one. It, therefore, takes a calculated risk. It continues to denigrate the Congress and take its support," Jaitley said.Meanwhile, the Congress has chosen to get insulted in order to defer the prospects of another electoral humiliation, he said.

Jaitley maintained that Congress is trying to buy time by supporting a AAP government for "some reasonable period" so that it can recover politically before the next assembly elections are held.BJP charged AAP with sacrificing its principle of "no Congress support" merely to make its presence felt nationally by having a government here though it is aware that it is forming a fragile dispensation.

"When the two parties jointly constituting a majority in the assembly are allowing a government formation with a dishonourable motive, one only hopes that governance and eventually the citizens of Delhi do not become a casualty," Jaitley said.

5) Meet the RICHEST politician in Pakistan!:

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is the country's richest parliamentarian with assets of over Rs 1.43 billion, according to data released by the Election Commission of Pakistan.The fortunes of the elected representatives in Pakistan range from billions of rupees to just a few lakhs.

Several legislators are industrialists who own sugar and textile mills, landlords and businessmen.Sharif, as per the declarations, owns agriculture land worth Rs 1.43 billion. He has made investments of over Rs 13 million -- he has shares in six different mills -- and has Rs 126 million in seven bank accounts .He also owns a Toyota Land Cruiser 2010 as well as the 1973 and 1991 models of Mercedes Benz. The premier also owns a 1991 model tractor.

.The prime minister has also given details of the jewellery of his spouse and its value has been pegged at Rs 1.5 million.Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan was relatively poorer this year as his net assets slightly decreased by Rs 500,000 as compared to the previous fiscal year.His net assets amounted to Rs 29.6 million this year. Of the 14 different properties he owned in Pakistan, he inherited eight while two were gifted, according to his declaration.Khan also owned a Toyota Prado whose estimated value is Rs 5 million. He also has cash worth Rs 13.6 million in a bank account.Independent Member of National Assembly Jamshed Dasti was declared the 'poorest' MNA last year, declaring nothing save his MNA salary. This year, he 'owned nothing'.He did not fill his asset-declaration form and only informed the ECP of a cash-less account in Allied Bank.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Parvez Khattak has declared ownership of real estate priced at Rs 221 million and a Toyota Corolla worth Rs 1.3 million.Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif's assets are valued at Rs 142.2 million and his wives attained more wealth than him, according to the declarations.Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik has declared agricultural land worth over Rs 280 million but claimed that he does not own any vehicle.Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah valued his movable and immovable property at an implausible Rs 16.2 million. He also claimed that he does not own a car and uses his daughter's Honda City.

6) Blast by suspected militants kills 5 in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district:

Five people were killed and four others injured when suspected Kamtapur Liberation Organization (KLO) militants triggered a bomb blast in Jalpaiguri district of northern West Bengal on Thursday evening, police said.

"Five people have been killed. Some others are injured. Our reading is that the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) kept in a cycle," said inspector general of police, north Bengal range, Sashikant Pujari. Jalpaiguri's deputy superintendent of police Prabhat Chakraborty told IANS that four injured people were admitted in Jalpaiguri District Hospital. The blast occurred around 7pm in Bajrapara area.

"We suspect KLO militants are behind the blast. Recently some of their activists have been arrested. The blast could be a retaliatory action on their part," said Pujari. The blast took place two days ahead of December 28, the foundation day of KLO, which came up in 1996. Following the incident, a high alert has been sounded across north Bengal.

"There is high alert also in the international borders with Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh and the Bengal-Assam inter-state border," said Pujari. A bomb disposal squad has already reached the spot from Siliguri in Darjeeling district.

A forensic team would arrive on Friday. Two days back, three KLO militants were rounded up in Jalpaiguri district for their alleged involvement in extortion from tea garden owners and other businessmen from north Bengal by issuing threats.

A separatist outfit, the KLO has been demanding a Kamtapur state comprising six districts — Cooch Behar, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, North and South Dinajpur and Malda — of West Bengal and four contiguous districts of Assam — Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara.

Sports News This Week:

1) Quick singles - Day 2, Session 1: Never write-off Dale Steyn:

Finally, the sun came out in Durban and play began in the post-lunch session on Day 2. India resumed the day on 181/1 with Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay zeroing in on their respective milestones. Day 1 was majorly dominated by the visitors. Even though almost 30 overs were lost due to bad light, India laid a solid foundation for a huge total.

The Steyn stomp
On Day 2, Dale Steyn came out all guns blazing. He surpassed his average bowling speed of 142.8 kph in the match and rose to a fiery 147.2 kph. The frustration was quite evident on the world's best Test bowler's face and right in that moment Steyn found his long lost luck. Cheteshwar Pujara, who had not given away any chances to opposition fell prey to Steyn's perfect short ball and AB de Villiers made no mistake in bagging it. Next to go was the potential centurion Murali Vijay on a heart-breaking 97. Suddenly, it seemed that Steyn made up for his wicket-less 69.2 overs in just two balls.

And then, the next one plucked out Rohit Sharma's middle stump. That one swung in from Steyn and was too hot to handle for Sharma, who did not even offer a shot. Suddenly from being 198/1, India were 198/4 as Steyn stomp had struck Kingsmead.

The game-changer
The Indian dressing room anticipated more than a reason to celebrate when the well-set pair of Pujara and Vijay came on to the crease on Day 2 after the rain subsided. Pujara, who is aptly called the new 'wall' of Indian cricket, rose to the occassion and scored a patient 70. For Murali Vijay it was a case of so close, yet so far as he fell short by just 3 runs from getting his fourth Test ton. Rohit Sharma got yet another reason to wipe-off this tour of South Africa from his memory. All of it courtesy Dale Steyn.

The Wake-up call
South Africa took the second new ball in the 81st over and handed it over to (no prize for guessing) Dale Steyn. Ajinkya Rahane, who seemed to have gone off to sleep as he hardly scored anything in the six overs he played, got struck by an alarm clock traveling at a speed of 138kph. Rahane was not even watching the ball, looking to duck, off the forearm guard before clattering into the helmet, quite the wake-up call.

2) Liverpool's main objective is to set up camp in top four, says Brendan Rodgers:

Liverpool proved they deserved a place among the top four clubs in England despite the 2-1 defeat in the Boxing Day fixture at Manchester City, manager Brendan Rodgers said.City were forced to come from behind to preserve their perfect home record on Thursday and also had cause to be thankful for a controversial disallowed Liverpool goal in the first half.That decision added a little anger to Rodgers' disappointment at his team's failure to come away from Manchester with at least a point but his overwhelming emotion was one of pride."I was very proud of the players, I thought they were absolutely outstanding," he told the club's website."They really took the game to a team that is a top, top side full of top European players."I think people will go away and look at us as a team that's hopefully going to be up there challenging," he added.

"Our main objective is to set up camp in the top four. That's what this club has been striving for, for a number of years.

"But we've shown consistently over this year that we're hopefully going to be in with a right good chance of doing that.

"I think performances like tonight... show that we have the quality to do that. We didn't get the points, but we'll recover well now and get onto the next game."The defeat leaves Liverpool, who could have gone top with a victory, in fourth place in the league behind their next opponents Chelsea, who they meet in London on Sunday.While it has been their attacking prowess that has attracted the headlines this season, Rodgers said Liverpool needed to improve their game management after conceding Alvaro Negredo's winner just before halftime."Our enthusiasm and attitude is to score goals, but when you've got three or four minutes until half-time, it's important you manage the game and we didn't quite do that at that period," he added."But I thought we were excellent in our attitude. Some of the quality of our movement and passing was exceptional, and for me it was great to see because it's what we try to work on out on the training field.

"We've lost the game, but we take a great deal of encouragement from it."Liverpool last finished in the top four in the 2008-09 season and won the last of their 18 titles in 1989-90.

3) Andy Murray sees positive in defeat:

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was happy with his movement if not the result after making a losing return from 15 weeks on the sidelines at an Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament this week.The 26-year-old world number four called an early end to his 2013 season after playing a Davis Cup tie in mid-September to have surgery on his lower back.

Murray has been trying to lower expectations as he begins his comeback from injury and was not too concerned at losing his first match in the Mubadala world tennis championships event at Zayed Sports City.

"I moved well in the first set, especially once I got into the rallies," he told the National newspaper after a 7-5 6-3 defeat to French world number 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday.

"I didn't feel slow at all. In the second, I slowed down slightly, but that's something that is going to get better by playing matches. I can't expect to feel great for long periods of matches straightaway."But it was a good workout. You want to play your best, but you need to be realistic and patient. I will play better tomorrow than I did today.

"I was hitting the ball okay, moving well for the most part. Moving is the most important thing. I just need to be able to do it for a longer period. I just felt like I hadn't played a match for a while."Murray missed this year's French Open due to a back injury but recovered in time to become the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years.

The Scot lost his U.S. Open title in a quarter-final defeat to Stan Wawrinka and then played in Britain's world group playoff against Croatia before deciding to have the operation.He has spent the intervening months in Florida recuperating and will make his return to the ATP tour at next week's Qatar Open in Doha."Some parts of it were nice. I got to spend a lot of time at home, which is something we don't get to do much," he said of the layoff.

"It wasn't that difficult for me, mentally, to be sitting because it wasn't like I was playing one day and twisted my ankle and couldn't play or my back just went one day. I feel fresher."

4) Theo Walcott lifts Arsenal, Manchester City sink Liverpool:

Theo Walcott's double fired Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win at West Ham United on Thursday and title favourites Manchester City moved ominously into second spot by beating Liverpool 2-1.When Carlton Cole opened the scoring for lowly West Ham just after the break Arsenal were staring at a fourth consecutive league match without a win but Walcott struck twice and Lukas Podolski sealed the victory to lift the Gunners to 39 points.

"When you do not win for four games it's important to come back for the confidence level of your environment," manager Arsene Wenger told a news conference.

"For us we have another good game now on Sunday at Newcastle who are in full confidence as well so that will be another test. I believe we have had a difficult period just now but honestly that was mainly down to the schedule we had."

City, who have been imperious at home this season, fell behind to an early goal by Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho. Captain Vincent Kompany headed the equaliser before Alvaro Negredo grabbed the winner in first-half stoppage time.Chelsea are third on 37 points after Eden Hazard earned an unconvincing 1-0 home victory over Swansea City.

Wayne Rooney scored his 150th league goal for Manchester United as they came from 2-0 down after 13 minutes to beat Hull City 3-2, James Chester's own goal clinching a fifth consecutive win for the champions in all competitions.United moved up to seventh position, three points behind fifth-placed Everton whose hopes of completing 2013 without a league defeat at Goodison Park were ended by a 1-0 loss to bottom club Sunderland.Loic Remy scored twice for sixth-placed Newcastle United in a 5-1 home win over Stoke City, who took the lead but were reduced to nine men before halftime after Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson were sent off. Stoke manager Mark Hughes was also dismissed. Tottenham Hotspur lost ground as they were held 1-1 at home by West Bromwich Albion in Tim Sherwood's first game in charge since being named as the permanent replacement for sacked manager Andre Villas-Boas.

It was a great afternoon for the three clubs who started the day in the bottom three with Crystal Palace moving out of the relegation zone at West Ham's expense thanks to a 1-0 win at Aston Villa.Fulham were 2-1 winners at Norwich City and only four points separate the bottom six clubs.Cardiff City were trounced 3-0 at home by Southampton to raise more doubts over the future of embattled manager Malky Mackay who has fallen out of favour with owner Vincent Tan.

Arsenal arrested a form slump with a vibrant performance in the London derby, although they had to do it the hard way after Wojciech Szczesny's mistake allowed Cole to open the scoring in the 46th minute at Upton Park.West Ham missed a glorious chance to make it 2-0 and were punished when Walcott's scuffed shot made it 1-1.

The England wide man then headed Arsenal in front and Podolski, on for the injured Aaron Ramsey, marked his return from a long-standing injury to complete victory from Olivier Giroud's layoff.Manchester City have a 100 percent home record in the league but they were given their stiffest examination at the Etihad Stadium this season.

Liverpool had an early goal unluckily disallowed when Raheem Sterling poked the ball past keeper Joe Hart and was wrongly adjudged offside.The visitors refused to get downhearted in a pulsating end-to-end contest and took the lead in the 24th minute when a flowing move ended with Coutinho slotting the ball into an empty net after Sterling had dribbled round Hart.City equalised seven minutes later with Kompany heading a left-wing corner past Simon Mignolet despite a vain effort by Joe Allen to hack the ball off the line.

5) Chelsea wins too close for comfort, says Jose Mourinho:

Jose Mourinho is starting to feel drained at having to watch his Chelsea team hang on for scrambling victories despite dominating opponents, the manager said after Thursday's 1-0 Premier League win over Swansea City.The 2012 European champions were always in control at Stamford Bridge but only had Eden Hazard's first-half goal to show for their superiority."They kill me every game," said a smiling Mourinho after Chelsea climbed to third in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Arsenal.

"Every game I am tired at the end. At halftime we should all be relaxed with a comfortable score but time goes on, we didn't score the second goal and you feel the opponent is keen to risk a bit more and put in a second striker and you are a bit in trouble," he told a news conference.

"But the boys worked hard defensively and in the last part they looked comfortable and we had control of the game so it was a deserved victory and an important victory."

Mourinho, who has bemoaned the lack of goals from his misfiring strikers all season, said German goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel was the reason why Chelsea did not produce a more emphatic scoreline.Samuel Eto'o was preferred to Fernando Torres in attack and he was thwarted by Tremmel with the goal gaping after twice being set up by the returning Juan Mata."Today I can say the biggest responsibility for the lack of goals was the Swansea goalkeeper because he made three or four big saves," said Mourinho.

"He played really well and also this time I complain about a big penalty decision so my words have changed a bit," he added, referring to a foul on Belgium winger Hazard.

"We didn't miss chances, Tremmel made fantastic saves. The first-half save from Eto'o was brilliant and the first save in the first minute of the second half from him was the same. "That action was good. David Luiz's pass was good, Mata's control and pass were fantastic and Eto'o attacked the ball perfectly."

Brazil midfielder Ramires picked up his fifth yellow card of the season and will be suspended for Chelsea's home game against fourth-placed Liverpool on Sunday.

Book Of The Week:


The Secret History of the World :by Jonathan Black

Here for the first time is a complete history of the world, from the beginning of time to the present day, based on the beliefs and writings of the secret societies. From the esoteric account of the evolution of the species to the occult roots of science, from the secrets of the Flood to the esoteric motives behind American foreign policy, here is a narrative history that shows the basic facts of human existence on this planet can be viewed from a very different angle. Everything in this history is upside down, inside out and the other way around.At the heart of "The Secret History of the World" is the belief that we can reach an altered state of consciousness in which we can see things about the way the world works that are hidden from us in our everyday, commonsensical consciousness. This history shows that by using secret techniques, people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton and George Washington have worked themselves into this altered state - and been able to access supernatural levels of intelligence. There have been many books on the subject, but, extraordinarily, no-one has really listened to what the secret societies themselves say. The author has been helped in his researches by his friendship with a man who is an initiate of more than one secret society, and in one case an initiate of the highest level.

Jonathan Black examines the end of the world and the coming of the Antichrist - or is he already here? How will he make himself known and what will become of the world when he does? - and the end of Time.

Having studied theology and learnt from initiates of all the great secret societies of the world, Jonathan Black has learned that it is possible to reach an altered state of consciousness in which we can see things about the way the world works that hidden from our everyday commonsensical consciousness. This history shows that by using secret techniques, people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton and George Washington have worked themselves into this altered state - and been able to access supernatural levels of intelligence.

This book will leave you questioning every aspect of your life and spotting hidden messages in the very fabric of society and life itself. It will open your mind to a new way of living and leave you questioning everything you have been taught - and everything you've taught your children.

Jonathan Black:

He was educated at Ipswich School and Oriel College, Oxford, where he studied Philosophy and Theology. He has worked in publishing for over 20 years, and is currently Publishing Director of Coronet, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton.His first book The Secret History of the World was published by Quercus in 2007. It is the outcome of a lifetime spent reading literature in this area, publishing many of the leading authors in the field and hanging around antiquarian bookshops.  His next book The Sacred History, a history of the world through the spiritual dimension, will publish in 2013.

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