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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Subhaditya News Channel Presents Science,Movie, Political,Sports And Book News This Week (83)

Science News This Week:

1) Levitating objects with sound:

Step into Jun Rekimoto’s lab at the University of Tokyo and you might see a screw floating through the air. Don’t worry, it’s normal: Rekimoto’s team has built a new device that uses sound to levitate objects and — for the first time — maneuver them in all directions. For decades physicists have levitated milli­meter-sized objects by trapping them in pockets of low pressure between the crest of one sound wave and the trough of another.

But moving those suspended objects has been difficult. Rekimoto’s team set up four arrays of speakers pointed at the center of a half-meter-wide chamber. Once the researchers got an object hovering, they tweaked the intensity of waves in each array to move the object up and down, left and right, and back and forth.

They describe manipulating beads, feathers and alcohol droplets .Eventually the technique could remotely mix compounds to create pharmaceuticals without impurities.

2) A new laser for a faster Internet:

A new laser holds the potential to increase by orders of magnitude the rate of data transmission in the optical-fiber network -- the backbone of the Internet. Light is capable of carrying vast amounts of information—approximately 10,000 times more bandwidth than microwaves, the earlier carrier of long-distance communications. But to utilize this potential, the laser light needs to be as spectrally pure -- as close to a single frequency -- as possible. The purer the tone, the more information it can carry, and for decades researchers have been trying to develop a laser that comes as close as possible to emitting just one laser developed by a research group at Caltech holds the potential to increase by orders of magnitude the rate of data transmission in the optical-fiber network -- the backbone of the Internet.

The study was published the week of February 10-14 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The work is the result of a five-year effort by researchers in the laboratory of Amnon Yariv, Martin and Eileen Summerfield Professor of Applied Physics and professor of electrical engineering; the project was led by postdoctoral scholar Christos Santis (PhD '13) and graduate student Scott Steger.Light is capable of carrying vast amounts of information -- approximately 10,000 times more bandwidth than microwaves, the earlier carrier of long-distance communications. But to utilize this potential, the laser light needs to be as spectrally pure -- as close to a single frequency -- as possible. The purer the tone, the more information it can carry, and for decades researchers have been trying to develop a laser that comes as close as possible to emitting just one frequency.Today's worldwide optical-fiber network is still powered by a laser known as the distributed-feedback semiconductor (S-DFB) laser, developed in the mid 1970s in Yariv's research group. The S-DFB laser's unusual longevity in optical communications stemmed from its, at the time, unparalleled spectral purity -- the degree to which the light emitted matched a single frequency. The laser's increased spectral purity directly translated into a larger information bandwidth of the laser beam and longer possible transmission distances in the optical fiber -- with the result that more information could be carried farther and faster than ever before.
At the time, this unprecedented spectral purity was a direct consequence of the incorporation of a nanoscale corrugation within the multilayered structure of the laser. The washboard-like surface acted as a sort of internal filter, discriminating against spurious "noisy" waves contaminating the ideal wave frequency. Although the old S-DFB laser had a successful 40-year run in optical communications -- and was cited as the main reason for Yariv receiving the 2010 National Medal of Science -- the spectral purity, or coherence, of the laser no longer satisfies the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth."What became the prime motivator for our project was that the present-day laser designs -- even our S-DFB laser -- have an internal architecture which is unfavorable for high spectral-purity operation. This is because they allow a large and theoretically unavoidable optical noise to comingle with the coherent laser and thus degrade its spectral purity," he says.The old S-DFB laser consists of continuous crystalline layers of materials called III-V semiconductors -- typically gallium arsenide and indium phosphide -- that convert into light the applied electrical current flowing through the structure. Once generated, the light is stored within the same material. Since III-V semiconductors are also strong light absorbers -- and this absorption leads to a degradation of spectral purity -- the researchers sought a different solution for the new laser.The high-coherence new laser still converts current to light using the III-V material, but in a fundamental departure from the S-DFB laser, it stores the light in a layer of silicon, which does not absorb light. Spatial patterning of this silicon layer -- a variant of the corrugated surface of the S-DFB laser -- causes the silicon to act as a light concentrator, pulling the newly generated light away from the light-absorbing III-V material and into the near absorption-free silicon.This newly achieved high spectral purity -- a 20 times narrower range of frequencies than possible with the S-DFB laser -- could be especially important for the future of fiber-optic communications. Originally, laser beams in optic fibers carried information in pulses of light; data signals were impressed on the beam by rapidly turning the laser on and off, and the resulting light pulses were carried through the optic fibers. However, to meet the increasing demand for bandwidth, communications system engineers are now adopting a new method of impressing the data on laser beams that no longer requires this "on-off" technique. This method is called coherent phase communication.
In coherent phase communications, the data resides in small delays in the arrival time of the waves; the delays -- a tiny fraction (10-16) of a second in duration -- can then accurately relay the information even over thousands of miles. The digital electronic bits carrying video, data, or other information are converted at the laser into these small delays in the otherwise rock-steady light wave. But the number of possible delays, and thus the data-carrying capacity of the channel, is fundamentally limited by the degree of spectral purity of the laser beam. This purity can never be absolute -- a limitation of the laws of physics -- but with the new laser, Yariv and his team have tried to come as close to absolute purity as is possible.These findings were published in a paper titled, "High-coherence semiconductor lasers based on integral high-Q resonators in hybrid Si/III-V platforms." In addition to Yariv, Santis, and Steger, other Caltech coauthors include graduate student Yaakov Vilenchik, and former graduate student Arseny Vasilyev (PhD, '13). The work was funded by the Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The lasers were fabricated at the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech.

3) Clovis baby’s genome unveils Native American ancestry:

DNA from skeleton shows all tribes come from a single population.An ancient baby’s skeleton has revealed through its DNA that all Native Americans descended from a single gene pool with roots in Asia.

The bones belong to an infant that died between 12,707 and 12,556 years ago in Montana. The baby was covered in red ochre and buried on a hillside along with more than 100 stone and bone tools characteristic of Clovis people, a Paleo-Indian culture that was widespread in North America at the time. The grave of the 1-year-old boy, discovered by construction workers in 1968, is the only Clovis burial site ever found. 

4) White matter scaffold offers new view of the brain:

Neural map may explain why some injuries are worse than others.Buried amid the complexity of the human brain, a newly described scaffold carries important messages from one place to another. A map of the scaffold, which reveals intricate connections made by bundles of nerve fibers called white matter tracts, could help explain why some brain injuries are particularly devastating.

5) While exploding, supernovas not spherical:

X-rays reveal uneven allotment of element made by blowup. Giant stars are slightly off-kilter as they go kablooey, research in the Feb. 20 Nature suggests.

When massive stars run out of elements to fuse in their core, they collapse under their own gravity; the imploding material then bounces off the core and explodes in a bright display known as a core-collapse supernova. But computer simulations indicate that if material collapses symmetrically, as scientists long assumed, a star would not explode.

To address this conundrum, a team including Caltech astrophysicist Brian Grefenstette pointed NASA’s recently launched Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array at Cassiopeia A, the remnant of a nearby core-collapse supernova whose light first reached Earth about 350 years ago. The researchers plotted the spatial distribution of high-energy X-rays emitted during the decay of the radioactive element titanium-44, which is forged in the depths of supernova explosions.

The X-rays revealed that the titanium is concentrated in several dense clumps, which suggests that the explosion was not symmetrical. The study offers an unprecedented look at a supernova’s inner workings, Grefenstette says, bringing scientists closer to learning exactly how these spectacular cosmic fireworks get set off.

6) Whole genome analysis speeds up: 240 full genomes in 50 hours:

Although the time and cost of sequencing the human genome has plummeted, analyzing the 3 billion base pairs of genetic information can take months. Researchers working with Beagle —- one of the world’s fastest supercomputers devoted to life sciences —- report they can analyze 240 full genomes in 50 hours.Although the time and cost of sequencing an entire human genome has plummeted, analyzing the resulting three billion base pairs of genetic information from a single genome can take many months.
In the journal Bioinformatics, however, a University of Chicago-based team -- working with Beagle, one of the world's fastest supercomputers devoted to life sciences -- reports that genome analysis can be radically accelerated. This computer, based at Argonne National Laboratory, is able to analyze 240 full genomes in about two days.
"This is a resource that can change patient management and, over time, add depth to our understanding of the genetic causes of risk and disease," said study author Elizabeth McNally, MD, PhD, the A. J. Carlson Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Clinic at the University of Chicago Medicine.

"The supercomputer can process many genomes simultaneously rather than one at a time," said first author Megan Puckelwartz, a graduate student in McNally's laboratory. "It converts whole genome sequencing, which has primarily been used as a research tool, into something that is immediately valuable for patient care."
Because the genome is so vast, those involved in clinical genetics have turned to exome sequencing, which focuses on the two percent or less of the genome that codes for proteins. This approach is often useful. An estimated 85 percent of disease-causing mutations are located in coding regions. But the rest, about 15 percent of clinically significant mutations, come from non-coding regions, once referred to as "junk DNA" but now known to serve important functions. If not for the tremendous data-processing challenges of analysis, whole genome sequencing would be the method of choice.To test the system, McNally's team used raw sequencing data from 61 human genomes and analyzed that data on Beagle. They used publicly available software packages and one quarter of the computer's total capacity. They found that shifting to the supercomputer environment improved accuracy and dramatically accelerated speed."Improving analysis through both speed and accuracy reduces the price per genome," McNally said. "With this approach, the price for analyzing an entire genome is less than the cost of the looking at just a fraction of genome. New technology promises to bring the costs of sequencing down to around $1,000 per genome. Our goal is get the cost of analysis down into that range.""This work vividly demonstrates the benefits of dedicating a powerful supercomputer resource to biomedical research," said co-author Ian Foster, director of the Computation Institute and Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science. "The methods developed here will be instrumental in relieving the data analysis bottleneck that researchers face as genetic sequencing grows cheaper and faster."The finding has immediate medical applications. McNally's Cardiovascular Genetics clinic, for example, relies on rigorous interrogation of the genes from an initial patient as well as multiple family members to understand, treat and prevent disease. More than 50 genes can contribute to cardiomyopathy. Other genes can trigger heart failure, rhythm disorders or vascular problems."We start genetic testing with the patient," she said, "but when we find a significant mutation we have to think about testing the whole family to identify individuals at risk."The range of testable mutations has radically expanded. "In the early days we would test one to three genes," she said. "In 2007, we did our first five-gene panel. Now we order 50 to 70 genes at a time, which usually gets us an answer. At that point, it can be more useful and less expensive to sequence the whole genome."The information from these genomes combined with careful attention to patient and family histories "adds to our knowledge about these inherited disorders," McNally said. "It can refine the classification of these disorders," she said. "By paying close attention to family members with genes that place then at increased risk, but who do not yet show signs of disease, we can investigate early phases of a disorder. In this setting, each patient is a big-data problem."
Beagle, a Cray XE6 supercomputer housed in the Theory and Computing Sciences (TCS) building at Argonne National Laboratory, supports computation, simulation and data analysis for the biomedical research community. It is available for use by University of Chicago researchers, their collaborators and "other meritorious investigators." It was named after the HMS Beagle, the ship that carried Charles Darwin on his famous scientific voyage in 1831.

Movie Release This Week:

Set in the days leading up to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, a slave on a ship heading for Naples works to get home to save the woman he loves and his best friend, a gladiator trapped inside the city's coliseum.

The thriller explores a story about Secret Service Agent Ethan Runner who discovers he’s dying and decides to retire in order to reconnect with his estranged family. But when the Secret Service offers him access to an experimental drug that could save his life in exchange for one last assignment, he soon finds himself trying to juggle his family, his mission, and the drug’s hallucinatory side-effects.

In “The Wind Rises,” Jiro—inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni—dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes. Nearsighted from a young age and thus unable to become a pilot, Jiro joins the aircraft division of a major Japanese engineering company in 1927. His genius is soon recognized, and he grows to become one of the world’s most accomplished airplane designers. The film chronicles much of his life, and depicts key historical events that deeply affected the course of Jiro’s life, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan’s plunge into war. He meets and falls in love with Nahoko, and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo. A tremendous innovator, Jiro leads the aviation world into the future. Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in his creation of the fictional character Jiro—the center of the epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.

The "black sheep" son (Scott Speedman) of a wealthy family meets a free-spirited, but sheltered woman (Evan Rachel Wood). To convince his family that he's finally straightened out his life, he takes her home for his brother's wedding where an improbable romance blooms, as she impresses everyone with her genuine, simple charms.

Bethlehem tells the story of the unlikely bond between Razi, an Israeli secret service officer, and his Palestinian informant Sanfur, the younger brother of a senior Palestinian militant. Razi recruited Sanfur when he was just 15, and developed a very close, almost fatherly relationship to him. Now 17, Sanfur tries to navigate between Razi’s demands and his loyalty to his brother, living a double life and lying to both men. Co-written by director Yuval Adler and Ali Waked—an Arab journalist who spent years in the West Bank—Bethlehem gives an unparalleled, moving and authentic portrait of the complex reality behind the news.


The story begins on the eve of the wedding of Veera Tripathi (Alia Bhatt), the daughter of a rich business tycoon. She is on the highway at night with her fiance when she gets abducted. The gang who kidnaps her panics when they find out that her father has links in the government. However, Mahabir Bhati (Randeep Hooda), her abductor, is willing to do whatever it takes to see this through. They continuously move into different cities, to avoid being tracked by police. As the days go by, Veera finds peace in her bondage to the point that she confides in him of her troubled childhood. Her fear of abduction is taken over by a sense of freedom.

At one point while crossing a check post, the police forcefully search the truck, but Veera, surprisingly even to herself, hides. Veera confesses to Mahabir that she loves the journey and doesn't want to go back to her life. Mahabir can't help but care for Veera and his anger fades away, though slowly, he decides to let her go. Veera refuses and persist on staying with Mahabir. They both take shelter on a hilltop house. Next morning a sudden shootout starts, as police has tracked them down. Mahabir is shot dead on the spot, while shocked Veera is sent back to her parents. Disturbed by the incident, Veera tells her family the truth about her abusive uncle and her desire of not living with them anymore. It ends with Veera shown working and living on a hill station on her own, with memories of days she spent with Mahabir.

Political News This Week:

1) Mamata attacks 'Congress-BJP syndicate' for clearing Telangana:

A day after Parliament gave its nod to Telangana to become the 29th state, Mamata Banerjee on Friday attacked the "Congress-BJP syndicate" for clearing the bill to serve their respective political agendas describing the "unholy nexus" as an "alarming signal" for the country.

"I am astonished to see how the syndicate of Congress and BJP worked in tandem to fulfil their own political agendas," Banerjee, chief of the Trinamool Congress which had on Thursday vociferously protested against the bill, wrote in her post on Facebook."What will be the future of the country if the two political parties connive in this way to manipulate important legislations affecting states without taking the states into confidence?" she wondered.She went on to say, "The 'so-called' passing of the Telengana Bill in the Lok Sabha for creation of a new State has been unconstitutional, undemocratic, unethical and illegal, as I had earlier said".Banerjee, the West Bengal Chief Minister, said when division was sought by the Opposition and amendments were proposed, they were not allowed.

More so, such an important bill was taken up behind closed doors, even blacking out the usual live proceedings of the House on TV, demolishing the very spirit of democracy on that day, Banerjee said."This illegally 'so-called' passed bill was then placed in Rajya Sabha and 'so-called' passed. Our party protested how such an illegally passed bill in the Lok Sabha can come up to the Rajya Sabha.

"They are taking decisions unilaterally when election is knocking at the door. Is it fair, ethical, constitutional? This unholy nexus is indeed an alarming signal for the country," she observed.Creation of Telangana as India's 29th state was approved by Parliament last night with the Rajya Sabha clearing the contentious bill to split Andhra Pradesh after Congress and BJP came together amidst a bedlam.

2) Parliament nod to whistleblowers' protection bill:

A bill to provide for setting up a regular mechanism to encourage persons to disclose information on corruption or wilful misuse of power by public servants, including ministers, was passed by Parliament on Friday.The Whistleblowers' Protection Bill also seeks to provide "adequate protection to persons reporting corruption or wilful misuse of discretion which causes demonstrable loss to the government or commission of a criminal offence by a public servant."

While the measures set out the procedure to inquire into the disclosures and provides adequate safeguards against victimisation of the whistleblower, it also seeks to provide punishment for false or frivolous complaints.In his reply, Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said the legislation would supplement the RTI Act in checking corruption in the country.He said based on some recommendations of Parliamentary Standing Committee and other members, who had sought to bring some amendments. However, since it was session's last day, he was not pushing them as the bill would lapse.

"But appropriate steps will be taken to address concerns of members within constitutional methods in 10 days," he said.The bill was passed by Lok Sabha in 2011 and was taken up by the Upper House in 2012 for consideration. However, it could not be passed because of the death of Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.To a suggestion that steps should be taken to protect those who had blown the whistle on corrupt practices prior to the bill being passed, Narayanasamy said the government has already brought a resolution in 2004 under which the CVC was empowered to protect the whistleblowers.

The definition of 'disclosure' has also been amended to include wilful misuse of power or wilful misuse of discretion which leads to demonstrable loss to the government or demonstrable gain to the public servant or any third party.The definition of competent authority to which a complaint can be made has also been expanded.

3) India test-fires Akash SAM missile:

India on Friday test-fired the indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash missile from the IntegratedTestRange launch complex at Chandipur near Balasore in Odisha.The missile targeted a floating object supported by the pilot-less target aircraft 'Lakshya', defence officials said.

"Akash was test fired from launch complex-3 at 11.22 am," a defence official said, adding that "some more trials would be conducted within the next couple of days"."During the trial, the missile was aimed at intercepting a floating object supported by a pilot-less target aircraft, flown from launch complex-II, at a definite altitude over the sea," according to a source. Akash is a medium range surface-to-air anti-aircraft defence system developed by the DRDO as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.

It has a strike range of 25 km and can carry a warhead of 60 kg. It has the capability to target aircraft up to 30 km away and is packed with a battery that can track and attack several targets simultaneously, they said.

With the capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles, air-to-surface missiles etc, defence experts compare Akash to the American MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system. The last trial was conducted on June 6, 2012 from the same base.

4) Rajiv assassination case: Centre files review petition in SC:

The Centre on Thursday moved the Supreme Court, seeking a review of its judgment commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment of three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, on the ground of delay in deciding their mercy plea.

The review petition was filed hours after the apex court blocked the decision of the Tamil Nadu government to release Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, who had got relief on Tuesday from an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam.In a hurriedly-filed petition, the Centre contended that the three-judge bench, also comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and S K Singh, did not consider the merits of the case and also ventured into the domain of government by commuting the death sentence.

It further contended that the February 18 judgment was passed without jurisdiction by the three-judge bench, instead of a larger bench of five judges, as the case involved substantial interpretation of law and provisions of the constitution.“It is respectfully submitted that the impugned judgment is patently illegal, suffers from errors apparent on the face of the record and flies in the face of well-established principles of law laid down by this Court and contained in the Constitution and other statutes," the petition said.

"It is submitted that in the present case, the issue raised was that of the commutation of the death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground of delay, which allegedly attracted Article 21 in favour of the convicts. Therefore, it involved a substantial issue of interpretation of the constitution and ought to have been heard by a bench of five judges, as mandated by the Constitution," the petition said.The Centre contended that the apex court interfered with the order of the President, rejecting the plea for mercy without its jurisdiction."Furthermore, it is submitted that the interference of this court with the merits of the order of the rejection issued by the President, in exercise of the power conferred by Article 72, is without jurisdiction.

"It is submitted that once the President had, in exercise of his power under Article 72, rejected the mercy petition, this Court only has a limited power, under judicial review, to disturb the order of the President," the petition said.The Centre said if the apex court was of the opinion that there has not been a proper consideration of the mercy petition, the same ought to be remitted back to the President for reconsideration.Alternatively, if the issue raised was with respect to delay, as in the present case, this Court ought to have referred the matter to the President requesting an expeditious disposal of the petition, it said.The Centre said the President is not required to give any grounds and the only aspects required to be looked into by the President are those with respect to malafides, political expediency, extraneous factors, non-applicability of mind to the material available, undue haste, etc, which are all the negative aspects.

The petition said the judgment commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment of three convicts does not properly consider the arguments put forth by the Centre, which amounts to an error apparent on the face of the record as the delay was explained.The Centre said delay which causes torture, is agonising, and has a dehumanising effect, which can be one ground to be considered when considering the issue of commutation.

However, the judgment commuting the sentence in this case goes contrary to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 which leaves this to the jurisdiction of the appropriate government -- the central government -- as per Section 432, 433 and 435."It is submitted that the court ought to have passed an effective order which would have prevented the release and setting at large of the convicts," the Centre said.

5) 'Nalanda an international varsity, not another central university':

Noble laureate economist Amartya Sen, the chancellor of Nalanda University in Bihar's Nalanda district, has questioned the interpretation of the upcoming university as another central university rather than an international institution.“It is wrong to interpret Nalanda as another central university as it will be in contradiction with the parliamentary act and India’s assurance to other countries” he said on Tuesday in Patna.

Sen further said that it will also end the likelihood that “our own financial commitment to building this very special university will be increasingly supplemented by contributions coming from other countries as well as within India”.According to the Nalanda Act, 2010, Nalanda University has been described as an international institution. But the recent Union finance ministry’s queries have virtually equated it with central universities.

The next meeting of the Union Cabinet will be crucial for the university which plans to start its academic session from a makeshift venue in 2014 itself.Sen said that India had conveyed to members of the East Asia Summit that this would be an international university, an understanding that is already incorporated in the Nalanda Act of the Parliament in November 2010.He said nine countries have already signed an inter-government agreement at the invitation of the government of India to participate in the development of this non-state, non-profit, self-governing institution.Five of the nine countries have already made some financial commitment on the presumption that they were participating in an international effort, rather than only Indian efforts to build another central university.

Minister of state in MEA Preneet Kaur said on Wednesday that the countries which have made voluntary contributions to the varsity include China ($1 million), Thailand ($100,000), Laos ($50,000) and Indonesia ($30,000).Citizens of Singapore have offered to design, build and deliver university’s library at a cost of $5 million.Australia has offered 1 million Australian dollars for a chair in the school of ecology and environment studies.Japan has pledged to use its official development assistance for the renovation of highways leading to the university.The minister said the government has sanctioned Rs 272.10 crore to Nalanda university during its establishment phase from 2010-11 to 2021-22. The estimated capital cost of the project is Rs 1749.65 crore.

Sen said that he and his team had no problem at all with the expenses of the university being financially scrutinised with all the strictness.The finance ministry has made it clear that the government rules will have to be followed as Nalanda University is predominantly a government-funded institution.The university is set to come up on 446 acres in Rajgir, 10 kilometre from the site of the ancient university in Nalanda, about 100 kilometres southeast of Patna. The university will be fully residential, like the ancient Nalanda University. It will offer courses in science, philosophy, spiritualism and social sciences.The project took shape in 2006 at the initiative of then President A P J Abdul Kalam.

The ancient university at Nalanda was home to over 10,000 students and nearly 2,000 teachers. It existed until 1197 AD and attracted students and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey.

6) Kejriwal attacks Modi on Reliance gas issue:

Training his guns on BJP's prime ministerial candidate again over the Reliance gas issue, the Aam Aadmi Party on Friday asked Narendra Modi whether he will bring down the gas price if he comes to power.In a letter written to Modi by former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, the party has asked him to make the election expenses of the BJP public and also the people who fund the party's election campaign.

"You are a prime ministerial candidate, but why are you still quiet over the issue. A common man wants to know whether if your party forms government and you become the prime minister, would you bring down the gas price from 8 dollar per unit to 4 dollar?" said the letter, which Kejriwal read out to the media in a press conference.

He also questioned the silence of the BJP and the Congress over the issue and wondered whether they were quiet because of their close relations with Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani."Parimal Nathvani, the group president of the Mukesh Ambani companies, was recently elected to Rajya Sabha with your help."This creates suspicion over your relations with Mukesh Amabani. What is your relation with Mukesh Ambani?" the letter added.Kejriwal alleged that the UPA government is being run by Mukesh Ambani and if Modi comes to power, would his government be also run by the Reliance Industries Chairman? he asked.

"You in your speeches talk about bringing back the money from Swiss banks, but the Ambani brothers have money in these banks. If you have good relations with the Ambanis and if they fund you, then would you bring back the black money," he said.The former Delhi chief minister questioned the election funding of the BJP and the Congress."Helicopters and private jets are being used whenever you and Rahul Gandhi travel within the country and abroad. As per the news reports, the aircraft services you and Rahul Gandhi use are free of cost. Spending in your election rallies are worth crores of rupees. Some people say Mukesh Ambani funds you. Is that true?" he said.

The Aam Aadmi party led Delhi government had asked the Anti-Corruption Branch to register an FIR against Reliance led Mukesh Ambani and Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily among others for alleged irregularities in gas pricing.The party, in a press conference, had alleged that the UPA government had agreed to raise the gas price of the Krishna-Godavari basin from Rs 4 to Rs 8 from April 1. This would mean loss of government's revenue of over Rs 54,000 crore.Kejriwal said that the party would write a similar letter to Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi."To Rahul, we would say the decision (of increasing the gas price) was taken by the government which is known to run by his family. We want him to speak on the issue," he said.He added that the party would not take a single penny from Mukesh Ambani as election fund.

7) Cong's Arunachal stalwart Gegong Apang joins BJP:

Congress stalwart Gegong Apang, who served as the second longest serving chief minister in the country with a record 22 years, mostly with the party, has resigned and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Apang, in a letter to Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee president on February 17 resigned from the primary and active membership of the party, party sources said.

He joined the BJP in New Delhi during the day in the presence of senior party leaders, Arunachal Pradesh BJP unit president Tai Tagak said in Itanagar on Thursday.

Tagak said that the formal announcement would be made during the Vijay Sankalp Abhiyan Rally to be held at Pasight in East Siang district on February 22 which would be addressed by BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Apang is not new to the BJP as he had led a BJP-led coalition government in the state during 2003 for 42 days.

Sports News This Week:

1) How Adelina Sotnikova won gold:

Adelina Sotnikova won the women's figure skating gold medal at the Sochi Olympics pretty much because of one extra triple jump.
There were other differences in her favor over silver medalist Yuna Kim of South Korea and bronze winner Carolina Kostner of Italy, such as higher levels on her footwork and her layback spin.The Russian had lots of energy that propelled her to skate her best, and she also created an atmosphere of approval in the Iceberg. She clearly fed off the crowd, and such an environment often has an impact on the judging.

The 17-year-old Sotnikova's program improved throughout the four minutes. As she landed each jump, she got more excited, and instead of possibly running out of steam, she surged to the finish.She even waved to the crowd during the final portion of her program.Sotnikova's jumps were high and long, secure and solid. They included a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination; triple flip; triple loop, double axel-triple toe; triple flip-double toe-double loop — she stepped out on the loop and got a negative execution mark; triple salchow, and double axel.On the double axel-triple toe loop, her second jump was higher than the first, unusual but an indication of how much strength she had.
Kim did six triples.Sotnikova's layback spin was marked a level higher than Kim's. So was her footwork.

Even though Kim's component marks (performance, interpretation, choreography, skating skills, transition) were a bit higher than Sotnikova's, they didn't reflect enough the difference in how much better the South Korean's components actually were. The same seemed true for Kostner's components, which were more impressive than Sotnikova's, too.The emotion of Kostner's "Bolero," and the maturity in both her and Kim's performances better reflected the relationship between body movement and music.
But in the end, the biggest difference was one triple jump.

2) Dhoni's India slammed after latest tour flop:

India's latest away series defeat at the end of a dismal tour of New Zealand triggered calls on Tuesday for a change in leadership and a warning that financial muscle does not translate to on-field success. A majestic triple century from Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum in the drawn second Test in Wellington ensured that India lost the series 1-0 -- their fourth consecutive series defeat on their travels. The reverse in the Test series, which followed a 4-0 drubbing for Dhoni's World Cup champions in the preceding one-dayers, left India without a win on the month-long tour. India have now lost 10 of their last 12 Tests abroad -- the other two were drawn -- a record that included two successive 4-0 whitewashes in England and Australia. Former Test captain Bishan Bedi blamed the cash-rich Board of Control for Cricket in India ( BCCI), which has teamed up with England and Australia to ensure that the game's three most powerful countries have greater control over its governance and generate more money. "Money can buy many a cricketer or votes, but money can't buy a team performance," the outspoken Bedi said on Twitter.

Bedi also said it was time to review the performance of Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher, who took over from South African Gary Kirsten after India's World Cup triumph in 2011. "The top heavy team management is stagnating and needs a fresh look for now and the immediate future," Bedi wrote in another tweet. The Cricinfo website said India, who are to tour England and Australia again later this year, needed to look beyond Dhoni as a Test captain. "Have India reached the stage where they could do with a Test captain who will be more authoritative in big moments?" said its commentator Sidharth Monga. "Dhoni is a great ODI batsman, a very good ODI captain and Test captain at home, but in overseas Tests he always seems to lose the big moments."

The Times of India suggested that young batsman Virat Kohli should be asked to lead in Test matches. "The time is ripe to make Virat Kohli, the future of Indian cricket, the captain," said a blog by Times of India writer John Cheeran after Kohli scored a second innings century in Wellington. Leading commentator Harsha Bhogle questioned the International Cricket Council's Test rankings that had India at number two behind South Africa despite its poor away record. "India must think the ICC rankings are very generous," he said. "No away win for three years and still number. It does it say a thing or two about the rankings too?"

Former Test bowler Karsan Ghavri blamed the batting-friendly pitches in domestic cricket for the defeats abroad. "Batsmen may get a lot of runs at home, but they get exposed when confronted with fast and bouncy wickets abroad," he said. "We need to make challenging pitches in domestic cricket."

3) Devvarman in Delhi Open semis, Myneni-Sanam in final:

India's Somdev Devvarman entered the men's singles semifinals of the $100,000 ONGC GAIL Delhi Open ATP Challenger at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA) Complex here Friday.Unseeded Chinese Ze Zhang ceded the match after losing the opening set 2-6 in 35 minutes to the second seed, giving Devvarman an easy route to the last four.
Meanwhile, wildcard pair Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh beat fourth seeds Adrian Menendez-Maceiraz (Spain) and Aleksandr Nedovyesov (Kazakhstan) 6-3, 6-2 in 52 minutes to proceed to the men's doubles final.

Myneni and Sanam will take on Thai second seeds and twins Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana in the summit clash after the Thai combine beat wildcard duo of Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Vishnu Vardhan 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 in one hour and 14 minutes.In the singles match, the World No.96 Devvarman was leading 6-2 when the Chinese retired citing a shoulder injury. Zhang had injured his right shoulder before this match and could not play the second set.The 29-year-old Indian converted three of his four break points while the Chinese also broke the Indian once.Devvarman was up 5-0 when Zhang took time out for medical treatment. Post the break, he seemed to have reinvigorated and was back to winning ways, clinching back-to-back games. But Devvarman eventually held his serve to close out the set after which the Chinese retired.
Devvarman will next play Russian fourth seed Evgeny Donskoy Saturday, who beat Radu Albot of Moldova 6-2, 6-2 in 57 minutes in the other quarterfinal.

4) Coaches downplay World Cup problems in Brazil:

 National team coaches are keeping a close eye on Brazil's troubled World Cup preparations, but are confident that the problems will be solved in time.
After a workshop in Brazil on Wednesday, some of the coaches who will return with their teams in June cited traffic and street protests as things to watch for during the World Cup. However, they predicted that the hosts would deliver a successful tournament.Brazil is struggling to finish all the work needed for football's showcase event.
Five stadiums remain under construction with less than four months before the opener on June 12. One host city was on the brink of being excluded from the competition, and widespread demonstrations against the local government are expected.More than 20 coaches are attending the FIFA-run workshop to discuss organizational details ahead of the tournament.The fears of violence during the World Cup stem from last June's protests that erupted around Brazil against corruption, poor public services and the billions of dollars being spent on the World Cup and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

No matches were delayed during last year's Confederations Cup, although protests raged near the stadiums on several occasions."I believe everything will go well, the only problem could be the protests," Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto said. "It's possible that they will happen at some point, and they could come by surprise, maybe outside a stadium or during a match."The coaches had a taste of what could lie ahead when a few dozen demonstrators gathered outside the upscale resort where the workshop is taking place in the southern city of Florianopolis. Some carried banners saying "Go away FIFA" and "End Poverty." Police were on standby but no confrontations were reported.Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, acting as an unofficial host at the workshop, said some of the concerns from coaches who talked to him were related to the training centers."In general everyone is happy," Scolari said. "In a few occasions they asked me about the training centers that they will be using. But they will start visiting these locations and will have a better understanding of what to expect."

Greece coach Fernando Santos said he doesn't expect major setbacks in the monthlong tournament, although he is worried with the humid weather players will face and the possibility of heavy traffic in some of the host cities."The roads maybe will be a problem," Santos said. "If you have traffic, 'bye-bye!' Two hours in the bus is not good."
Delays with infrastructure work is among the main problems facing Brazilian authorities, although delays in stadium construction is probably top of FIFA's list of concerns, especially after the southern city of Curitiba was nearly excluded from the tournament. FIFA said on Tuesday the city will be allowed to host matches, but the venue won't be ready until about a month before the opener."I have some 25 years of experience with FIFA events and in the end everything will be all right, maybe with a tweak here or a tweak there," Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said. "There was a lot of speculation before the Confederations Cup, too, and it was a fantastic event."Portugal coach Paulo Bento also expected a successful tournament despite the preparation problems."I believe that everything will get done in time," he said. "The teams will have the proper conditions to be able to prepare themselves and play the best football possible."

5) Shakib Al Hasan suspended for 3 ODI matches:

Shakib Al HasanBangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been suspended for three One-day Internationals for “making an inappropriate gesture on live television”, according to the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

The incident occurred during the second ODI against Sri Lanka in Mirpur. BCB stated, “Bangladesh cricketer Shakib Al Hasan has been penalised for breaching the BCB Code of Conduct.“Shakib appeared at a disciplinary hearing of the BCB today and admitted the offence and accepted responsibility for the act.”
ESPN Cricinfo quoted BCB’s CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury as saying, “Shakib was repentant for the incident and readily accepted that the behavior was unbecoming of a player of his experience and stature. We also reminded him that his action was unacceptable.”

Shakib, one of world’s leading all-rounders, will be missing the first couple of matches of the 2014 Asia Cup, in addition to the final ODI against Sri Lanka in the ongoing bilateral series, as a result of the suspension: a hammer blow for the home team. The player, who has also been imposed a fine of BDT 300,000 ($3800), is yet to make any statement.

Book  of  This Week:

 Mohini of Bollywood Dreams and Obsession : By Ramendra Kumar
A beautiful and charismatic actress, a sensitive and immensely gifted director, a scheming, wily but brilliant manager - Mohini is the pulsating saga of three individuals, each driven by an obsession. Set in the backdrop of the bold and brazen world of Bollywood, it is a tale of passion, intrigue and suspense. The narrative moves at a roller-coaster speed and captures love in its myriad shades: Infatuation, Romance, Commitment, Lust and Obsession. A young girl growing up in the backwaters of Bollywood nurses a burning desire to become the number one star in the industry. In her ruthless and sometimes reckless pursuit, she uses and is used by many individuals. However, there are two men in her life who love her to absolute distraction. One she betrays and the other she rejects. Both unleash vengeance and in a strange quirk of serendipity are pitted against each other as the novel hurtles to a throbbing, thrilling climax. Mohini offers an insight into the biggest film industry - the murky manipulations, the dirty deals, the shameless shenanigans, the tears behind the glycerin, the pain behind the paint and the suffering beyond the celluloid.

Ramendra Kumar:

Ramendra Kumar is an award winning Indian writer for children with 24 books in English and translations in 7 foreign and 8 Indian languages. He also dabbles in satire, poetry, travelogues and adult fiction.Ramen was born in Hyderabad. . He did his schooling from Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet. After completing his Engineering and MBA he moved to Rourkela when he got a job in Rourkela Steel Plant. He is now settled in Rourkela with his wife Madhavi, daughter Ankita, son Aniket and labrador Aryan.


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