Science News This WeeK:
1) Squeezing light into metals: engineers control conductivity with inkjet printer:
Using an inexpensive inkjet printer, electrical engineers produced microscopic structures that use light in metals to carry information. This new technique, which controls electrical conductivity within such microstructures, could be used to rapidly fabricate superfast components in electronic devices, make wireless technology faster or print magnetic materials.
Using an inexpensive inkjet printer, University of Utah electrical engineers produced microscopic structures that use light in metals to carry information. This new technique, which controls electrical conductivity within such microstructures, could be used to rapidly fabricate superfast components in electronic devices, make wireless technology faster or print magnetic materials.
The study appears online March 7 in the journal Advanced Optical Materials.High-speed Internet and other data-transfer techniques rely on light transported through optical fibers with very high bandwidth, which is a measure of how fast data can be transferred. Shrinking these fibers allows more data to be packed into less space, but there's a catch: optical fibers hit a limit on how much data they can carry as light is squeezed into smaller and smaller spaces.In contrast, electronic circuits can be fashioned at much smaller sizes on silicon wafers. However, electronic data transfer operates at frequencies with much lower bandwidth, reducing the amount of data that can be carried.
A recently discovered technology called plasmonics marries the best aspects of optical and electronic data transfer. By crowding light into metal structures with dimensions far smaller than its wavelength, data can be transmitted at much higher frequencies such as terahertz frequencies, which lie between microwaves and infrared light on the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that also includes everything from X-rays to visible light to gamma rays. Metals such as silver and gold are particularly promising plasmonic materials because they enhance this crowding effect. "Very little well-developed technology exists to create terahertz plasmonic devices, which have the potential to make wireless devices such as Bluetooth -- which operates at 2.4 gigahertz frequency -- 1,000 times faster than they are today," says Ajay Nahata, a University of Utah professor of electrical and computer engineering and senior author of the new study.Using a commercially available inkjet printer and two different color cartridges filled with silver and carbon ink, Nahata and his colleagues printed 10 different plasmonic structures with a periodic array of 2,500 holes with different sizes and spacing on a 2.5-inch-by-2.5 inch plastic sheet.
The four arrays tested had holes 450 microns in diameter -- about four times the width of a human hair -- and spaced one-25th of an inch apart. Depending on the relative amounts of silver and carbon ink used, the researchers could control the plasmonic array's electrical conductivity, or how efficient it was in carrying an electrical current.
"Using a $60 inkjet printer, we have developed a low-cost, widely applicable way to make plasmonic materials," Nahata says. "Because we can draw and print these structures exactly as we want them, our technique lets you make rapid changes to the plasmonic properties of the metal, without the million-dollar instrumentation typically used to fabricate these structures."Plasmonic arrays are currently made using microfabrication techniques that require expensive equipment and manufacture only one array at a time. Until now, controlling conductivity in these arrays has proven extremely difficult for researchersNahata and his co-workers at the University of Utah's College of Engineering used terahertz imaging to measure the effect of printed plasmonic arrays on a beam of light. When light with terahertz frequency is directed at a periodic array of holes in a metal layer, it can result in resonance, a fundamental property best illustrated by a champagne flute shattering when it encounters a musical tone of the right pitch.Terahertz imaging is useful for nondestructive testing, such as detection of anthrax bacterial weapons in packaging or examination of insulation in spacecraft. By studying how terahertz light transmits through their printed array, the Utah team showed that simply changing the amount of carbon and silver ink used to print the array could be used to vary transmission through this structure.With this new printing technique, Nahata says, "we have an extra level of control over both the transmission of light and electrical conductivity in these devices -- you can now design structures with as many different variations as the printer can produce."Nahata says these faster plasmonic arrays eventually could prove useful for:
-- Wireless devices, because the arrays allow data to be transmitted much more quickly. Many research groups are actively working on this application now.
-- Printing magnetic materials for greater functionality (lower conductivity, more compact) in different devices. This technology is more than five years away, Nahata says.
Although the Utah team used two different kinds of ink, up to four different inks in a four-color inkjet printer could be used, depending on the application.
2) New dino species named Europe’s top predator:
Fossils found in Portugal could belong to a new dinosaur species called Torvosaurus gurney. At up to 10 meters long and weighing in at four to five tons, this Tyrannosaurus rex–like beast could have been the biggest predator to ever roam Europe and among the largest dinosaurs to walk Earth during the late Jurassic period.
The fossils were first identified as part of the Torvosaurus tanneri species when they were discovered in 2003. But further analysis suggests that this new dino’s jaw has a distinct bony bulge and fewer teeth than T. tanneri's, scientists report March 5 in PLOS ONE. More evidence is needed to determine how distinct these species were.
3) Detailed picture created of membrane protein linked to learning, memory, anxiety, pain and brain disorders:
The most detailed 3-D picture yet has been created of a membrane protein linked to learning, memory, anxiety, pain and brain disorders such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and autism. The mGlu1 receptor, which helps regulate the neurotransmitter glutamate, belongs to a superfamily of molecules known as G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs sit in the cell membrane and sense various molecules outside the cell, including odors, hormones, neurotransmitters and light. After binding these molecules, GPCRs trigger a specific response inside the cell. More than one-third of therapeutic drugs target GPCRs -— including allergy and heart medications, drugs that target the central nervous system and anti-depressants.
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and Vanderbilt University have created the most detailed 3-D picture yet of a membrane protein that is linked to learning, memory, anxiety, pain and brain disorders such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and autism."This receptor family is an exciting new target for future medicines for treatment of brain disorders," said P. Jeffrey Conn, PhD, Lee E. Limbird Professor of Pharmacology and director of the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, who was a senior author of the study with Raymond Stevens, PhD, a professor in the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology at TSRI. "This new understanding of how drug-like molecules engage the receptor at an atomic level promises to have a major impact on new drug discovery efforts."The research—which focuses on the mGlu1 receptor—was reported in the March 6, 2014 issue of the journal Science.
A Family of Drug Targets
The mGlu1 receptor, which helps regulate the neurotransmitter glutamate, belongs to a superfamily of molecules known as G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).
GPCRs sit in the cell membrane and sense various molecules outside the cell, including odors, hormones, neurotransmitters and light. After binding these molecules, GPCRs trigger a specific response inside the cell. More than one-third of therapeutic drugs target GPCRs—including allergy and heart medications, drugs that target the central nervous system and anti-depressants.The Stevens lab’s work has revolved around determining the structure and function of GPCRs. GPCRs are not well understood and many fundamental breakthroughs are now occurring due to the understanding of GPCRs as complex machines, carefully regulated by cholesterol and sodium.
When the Stevens group decided to pursue the structure of mGlu1 and other key members of the mGlu family, it was natural the scientists reached out to the researchers at Vanderbilt. “They are the best in the world at understanding mGlu receptors,” said Stevens. “By collaborating with experts in specific receptor subfamilies, we can reach our goal of understanding the human GPCR superfamily and how GPCRs control human cell signaling.”
Colleen Niswender, PhD, director of Molecular Pharmacology and research associate professor of Pharmacology at the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, also thought the collaboration made sense. “This work leveraged the unique strengths of the Vanderbilt and Scripps teams in applying structural biology, molecular modeling, allosteric modulator pharmacology and structure-activity relationships to validate the receptor structure,” she said.The Challenge of the UnknownmGlu1 was a particularly challenging research topic.In general, GPCRs are exceedingly flimsy, fragile proteins when not anchored within their native cell membranes. Coaxing them to line up to form crystals, so that their structures can be determined through X-ray crystallography, has been a formidable challenge. And the mGlu1 receptor is particularly tricky as, in addition to the domain spanning the membrane, it has a large domain extending into the extracellular space. Moreover, two copies of this multidomain receptor associating in a dimer are needed to transmit glutamate’s signal across the membrane.The task was made more difficult because there was no template for mGlu1 from closely related GPCR proteins to guide the researchers.“mGlu1 belongs to class C GPCRs, of which no structure has been solved before,” said TSRI graduate student Chong Wang, a first author of the new study with TSRI graduate student Huixian Wu. “This made the project much harder. We could not use other GPCRs as a template to design constructs for expression and stabilization or to help interpret diffraction data. The structure was so different that old school methods in novel protein structure determination had to be used.”
The team decided to try to determine the structure of mGlu1 bound to novel “allosteric modulators” of mGlu1 contributed by the Vanderbilt group. Allosteric modulators bind to a site far away from the binding site of the natural activator (in this case, presumably the glutamate molecule), but change the shape of the molecule enough to affect receptor function. In the case of allosteric drug candidates, the hope is that the compounds affect the receptor function in a desirable, therapeutic way.
"Allosteric modulators are promising drug candidates as they can 'fine-tune' GPCR function,” said Karen Gregory, a former postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University, now at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. “However, without a good idea of how drug-like compounds interact with the receptor to adjust the strength of the signal, discovery efforts are challenging."The team proceeded to apply a combination of techniques, including X-ray crystallography, structure-activity relationships, mutagenesis and full-length dimer modeling. At the end of the study, they had achieved a high-resolution image of mGlu1 in complex with one of the drug candidates, as well as a deeper understanding of the receptor’s function and pharmacology.The findings show that mGlu1 possesses structural features both similar to and distinct from those seen in other GPCR classes, but in ways that would have been impossible to predict in advance.“Most surprising is that the entrance to a binding pocket in the transmembrane domain is almost completely covered by loops, restricting access for the binding of allosteric modulators,” said Vsevolod “Seva” Katritch, assistant professor of molecular biology at TSRI and a co-author of the paper. “This is very important for understanding action of the allosteric modulator drugs and may partially explain difficulties in screening for such drugs.
4) Cosmic lens exposes spin of supermassive black hole:
A chance alignment of a bright, distant galaxy behind a much closer one has given astronomers a rare opportunity to determine the spin of a supermassive black hole 6 billion light-years from Earth.
The alignment of the galaxies, a phenomenon called a gravitational lens, magnified and split the light coming from matter falling into the more distant galaxy's supermassive black hole. From the four split images, astronomers were able to calculate that the supermassive black hole spins at nearly half the speed of light, which is considered relatively fast.
The new study is the first to measure the spin of a supermassive black hole that is roughly 7 billion years old and the first to suggest that supermassive black holes from this time acquire matter consistently rather than chaotically, the team reports March 5 in Nature
5) Future electronics with super-efficient hard drives: Electricity controls magnetism:
Researchers have demonstrated how a magnetic structure can be altered quickly in novel materials. The effect could be used in efficient hard drives of the future. Data on a hard drive is stored by flipping small magnetic domains. Researchers have now changed the magnetic arrangement in a material much faster than is possible with today's hard drives. The researchers used a new technique where an electric field triggers these changes, in contrast to the magnetic fields commonly used in consumer devices. This method uses a new kind of material where the magnetic and electric properties are coupled. Applied in future devices, this kind of strong interaction between magnetic and electric properties can have numerous advantages.
Researchers from ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI demonstrate how the magnetic structure can be altered quickly in novel materials. The effect could be used in efficient hard drives of the future.Data on a hard drive is stored by flipping small magnetic domains. Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and ETH Zurich have now changed the magnetic arrangement in a material much faster than is possible with today's hard drives. The researchers used a new technique where an electric field triggers these changes, in contrast to the magnetic fields commonly used in consumer devices. This method uses a new kind of material where the magnetic and electric properties are coupled. Applied in future devices, this kind of strong interaction between magnetic and electric properties can have numerous advantages. For instance, an electrical field can be generated more easily in a device than a magnetic one.
In the experiment, the changes in magnetic arrangement took place within a picosecond (a trillionth of a second) and could be observed with x-ray flashes at the American x-ray laser LCLS. The flashes are so short that you can virtually see how the magnetisation changes from one image to the next -- similar to how we are able to capture the movement of an athlete with a normal camera in a series of images with a short exposure time. In future, such experiments should also be possible at PSI's new research facility, the x-ray laser SwissFEL. The results will be published in the journal Science. They appear online in advance of print in Science Express on 6 March.
One common method of data storage uses materials in which different magnetic domains can be oriented in different directions. In other words, the tiny elementary magnets inside the material are aligned along two possible directions, which enables one bit to be saved in the material. A bit is the smallest unit of information, for which there are two possibilities, often referred to as 0 and 1. In the storage device, these correspond to the two different magnetic directions. In a real hard drive, which must store a large amount of information, there are many small areas that correspond to single bits. To change the information on the hard drive, the direction of the magnetism in one domain must be flipped. In modern consumer devices this is achieved using a small magnetic field.An electric field can be generated in a small space more easily than a magnetic field, which means that, in principle, smaller storage devices can be constructed if magnetism is switched by electric fields. A strong connection between magnetic and electric properties is exhibited by so-called multiferroic materials, which have been one of the hottest topics in materials research for a number of years. Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and ETH Zurich have now studied the material TbMnO3 and demonstrated that its magnetic arrangement can be changed by an electric field in a matter of picoseconds (10-12 s = one trillionth of a second), which is considerably shorter than the time it takes for today's hard drives to be switched. "This shows that multiferroic materials can be switched quickly enough electrically for them to be used in magnetic storage devices," explains Urs Staub, a research group leader at PSI and one of the research project supervisors. "Electric switching could have numerous advantages. In order to generate a magnetic field, you need a coil through which a current flows. An electric field can be generated without current."The material we studied can't be used in technical devices -- you need very low temperatures and strong electrical fields to observe the relevant phenomena. However, the basic result probably also applies for materials that are more suitable for applications and will presumably consist of a combination of thin layers of different materials."
Exposure time: 0.000 000 000 000 1 seconds
The experiment is based on the interaction between pulsed light produced by two lasers -- terahertz light generated by a laser which can easily fit into a lab, and the radiation from the x-ray laser Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a large-scale research facility located at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, that is roughly three kilometres in length. In the experiment, the material was illuminated with short flashes of terahertz-frequency light which were only a few picoseconds long. Light consists of an electric and a magnetic field, which periodically become stronger and weaker. The terahertz flashes were so short that the electric fields in them were only able to perform a few oscillations. With experiments at the LCLS, the researchers were able to demonstrate that the magnetic arrangement was distorted by the flash of light and -- with a slight delay -- this distortion followed the oscillation of the electrical field within the flash. The magnetic component of the light was too weak to influence the magnetic structure. The x-ray laser generates very short (100 femtoseconds = 0.000 000 000 000 1 seconds) and intense flashes of x-ray light which are so much shorter than the terahertz flash. This allows the x-rays to measure the magnetic distortion along the different stages of its motion, similar to how a camera with a fast shutter speed captures still images of rapid motions. Today, the LCLS is one of two facilities where such experiments are possible. In the future, they will also be possible at the x-ray laser SwissFEL, which is currently under construction at the Paul Scherrer Institute. "An experiment like this can only be conducted at an x-ray laser because only the pulses from the x-ray laser show the magnetic order and are short enough for you to follow the chronological sequences," explains Staub.
Tilted elementary magnets
Magnetic materials which can be used to store data can have different magnetic arrangements. In today's hard drives, the magnetic areas are arranged ferromagnetically, which means that the elementary magnets or, to use the technical term, magnetic moments are all pointing in same direction within the area encoding one bit. In the material studied in the experiment, the moments are arranged in rows but in such a way that two neighbouring moments are slightly rotated with respect to each other as opposed to being parallel. If you move from one moment to the next, the direction of the moments keeps turning and overall the sequence of magnetic moments forms a cycloid. Generally speaking, there are two directions in which the moments can turn, clockwise and anticlockwise -- and these could correspond to the two values of a bit. To change between "0" and "1," the magnetic moments would have to change the turning direction within the sequence, which is equivalent to rotating the entire sequence of magnetic moments by 180 degrees.
Positive and negative -- offset from each other
The multiferroic material also has another property: electric polarisation, which means that the positive and negative charges are shifted slightly against each other. The interior of the material is constructed from atoms that have fixed positions in a three-dimensional structure. As there are just as many negative charges (electrons) as positive ones (atomic nuclei) in the atoms, the entire material is electrically neutral. Some of the electrons, however, are not bound rigidly to the atomic nuclei. These electrons can be displaced with respect to the atomic nuclei, which means that one side of the material is positively charged, the other negatively. In other words, the material is electrically polarised. In everyday life, electrically polarised materials are primarily known thanks to the piezoelectric effect used to produce sparks in lighters or sound in loudspeakers, for instance.
Electrically and magnetically linked
In TbMnO3, the electrical polarisation is linked to the magnetic arrangement, which means that if the magnetic moments turn in one direction, this always corresponds to an alignment of the electric polarisation; if you reverse the polarisation, the rotational direction of the magnetic moments also turns around. The researchers studied this coupling in their experiment. Using the alternating electric field of the terahertz pulse, they influenced the electric polarisation and observed the extent to which the magnetic arrangement followed the alternating field. Although the electric field was too weak to actually turn the sequence of magnetic moments by 180 degrees, the scientists were able to observe that it was turned by around four degrees in time with the electrical field. "This procedure is also important for possible applications," explains Teresa Kubacka, a doctoral student in the Ultrafast Dynamics Group at ETH Zurich and first author of the paper. "The terahertz pulse is designed in such a way that it influences the magnetic arrangement only in this particular way. If the magnetic arrangement in a device could be changed so specifically, much less energy would be wasted and the material would not heat up as much.
6) BPA linked to breast cancer tumor growth:
Researchers have attempted to trace how bisphenol-A may promote breast cancer tumor growth with help from a molecule called RNA HOTAIR. "We can't immediately say BPA causes cancer growth, but it could well contribute because it is disrupting the genes that defend against that growth," said a corresponding author on the paper. BPA has been widely used in plastics, such as food storage containers, the lining of canned goods and, until recently, baby bottles. Previous studies have linked BPA to problems with reproductive development, early puberty, obesity and cancers.
UT Arlington biochemists say their newly published study brings researchers a step closer to understanding how the commonly used synthetic compound bisphenol-A, or BPA, may promote breast cancer growth.Subhrangsu Mandal, associate professor of chemistry/biochemistry, and Arunoday Bhan, a PhD student in Mandal's lab, looked at a molecule called RNA HOTAIR. HOTAIR is an abbreviation for long, non-coding RNA, a part of DNA in humans and other vertebrates. HOTAIR does not produce a protein on its own but, when it is being expressed or functioning, it can suppress genes that would normally slow tumor growth or cause cancer cell death.
High levels of HOTAIR expression have been linked to breast tumors, pancreatic and colorectal cancers, sarcoma and others.UT Arlington researchers found that when breast cancer and mammary gland cells were exposed to BPA in lab tests, the BPA worked together with naturally present molecules, including estrogen, to create abnormal amounts of HOTAIR expression. Their results were published online in February by the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology."We can't immediately say BPA causes cancer growth, but it could well contribute because it is disrupting the genes that defend against that growth," said Mandal, who is corresponding author on the paper.
"Understanding the developmental impact of these synthetic hormones is an important way to protect ourselves and could be important for treatment," he said.
Bhan is lead author on the new paper. Co-authors include Mandal lab members Imran Hussain and Khairul I Ansari, as well as Linda I. Perrotti, a UT Arlington psychology assistant professor, and Samara A.M. Bobzean, a member of Perrotti's lab."We were surprised to find that BPA not only increased HOTAIR in tumor cells but also in normal breast tissue," said Bhan. He said further research is needed, but the results beg the question -- are BPA and HOTAIR involved in tumor genesis in addition to tumor growth?
BPA has been widely used in plastics, such as food storage containers, the lining of canned goods and, until recently, baby bottles. It belongs to a class of endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, which have been shown to mimic natural hormones. These endocrine disruptors interfere with hormone regulation and proper function of human cells, glands and tissue. Previous studies have linked BPA to problems with reproductive development, early puberty, obesity and cancers.
Under normal circumstances, estrogen regulates HOTAIR, turning its expression on and off through interaction with molecules called estrogen-receptors, or ERs, and estrogen receptor-coregulators, or ER-coregulators. The new study found that BPA disrupts the normal function of the ERs and the ER-coregulators when estrogen was present and when it wasn't, potentially implicating it in tumor growth in a variety of cancers."Research work is at its best when results can shed light on issues of public concern. Dr. Mandal and his team are using their expertise to do just that. Their findings continue to advance what we know about how the chemicals in our environment could be affecting us in unseen ways," said Pamela Jansma, dean of the UT Arlington College of Science.Researchers saw similar results when they exposed HOTAIR to a synthetic estrogen called diethylstilbestrol (DES). DES has been shown to increase risks of breast cancer and other health problems in women who used it and their daughters. It was formerly used as a hormone replacement and as an attempt to prevent pregnancy complications.
7) Study of antibody evolution charts course toward HIV vaccine:
In an advance for HIV vaccine research, a scientific team has discovered how the immune system makes a powerful antibody that blocks HIV infection of cells by targeting a site on the virus called V1V2. Many researchers believe that if a vaccine could elicit potent antibodies to a specific conserved site in the V1V2 region, one of a handful of sites that remains constant on the fast-mutating virus, then the vaccine could protect people from HIV infection. Analyses of the results of a clinical trial of the only experimental HIV vaccine to date to have modest success in people suggest that antibodies to sites within V1V2 were protective. The new findings point the way toward a potentially more effective vaccine that would generate V1V2-directed HIV neutralizing antibodies.
The study was led by scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health; Columbia University; the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA); and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg.
They began by identifying an HIV-infected volunteer in the CAPRISA cohort who naturally developed V1V2-directed HIV neutralizing antibodies, named CAP256-VRC26, after several months of infection. Using techniques similar to those employed in an earlier study of HIV-antibody co-evolution, the researchers analyzed blood samples donated by the volunteer between 15 weeks and 4 years after becoming infected. This enabled the scientists to determine the genetic make-up of the original form of the antibody; to identify and define the structures of a number of the intermediate forms taken as the antibody mutated toward its fullest breadth and potency; and to describe the interplay between virus and antibody that fostered the maturation of CAP256-VRC26 to its final, most powerful HIV-fighting form.
Notably, the study revealed that after relatively few mutations, even the early intermediates of CAP256-VRC26 can neutralize a significant proportion of known HIV strains. This improves the chances that a V1V2-directed HIV vaccine developed based on the new findings would be effective, according to the scientists, who have begun work on a set of vaccine components designed to elicit V1V2 neutralizing antibodies and guide their maturation.
This is a representation of an image taken with an electron microscope of one of the numerous spikes that jut out of the surface of HIV. The green area marks the location of the V1V2 region, where CAP256-VRC26 and other broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies bind. The blue, red and circled areas mark the three other sites where most known
broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies bind. The flat area at the top represents the surface membrane of the virus.
Movies This Week:
Based on Frank Miller's latest graphic novel Xerxes and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster "300," this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield--on the sea--as Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton)attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. "300: Rise of an Empire" pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemesia (Eva Green), vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune—all against the backdrop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent. Starring Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Léa Seydoux, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson and Owen Wilson.
Mr. Peabody, the most accomplished dog in the world, and his mischievous boy Sherman, use their time machine - The Wabac - to go on the most outrageous adventures known to man or dog. But when Sherman takes The Wabac out for a joyride to impress his friend Penny, they accidently rip a hole in the universe, wreaking havoc on the most important events in world history. Before they forever alter the past, present and future, Mr. Peabody must come to their rescue, ultimately facing the most daunting challenge of any era: figuring out how to be a parent. Together, the time traveling trio will make their mark on history.
Driving, lost and tormented in the night, primal fears of the dark and the unknown give way to fear that you have let the evil in, or that it is already there.
This is a world plagued by demons, who cause its human inhabitants unspeakable suffering. Young demon hunter Xuan Zang, fearlessly guided by his belief in “giving himself for the greater cause,” risks his all and conquers a water demon, a pig demon and the demon of all demons, Sun Wukong. He embraces them as his disciples, and melts them with love. Meanwhile, Xuan Zang discovers the true meaning of Greater Love himself. In order to atone for their own sins and save the common people, the four of them embark on a journey to the West that’s full of challenges...
Political News This Week:
1) Lok Sabha elections 2014: All the dates that you need to know
The Election Commission of India has announced the dates for the Lok Sabha elections 2014. The elections will begin on 7 April and end on 12 May. 16 May has been set as the counting date and the EC will complete counting on this day. With the final dates being announced, the model code of conduct has also come into being in the country from today itself. The elections will be held in 9 phases. Below are the dates and the number of constituences in each state that will go to poll on a particular day: 7 April: 2 states will have polls in 6 constituencies. The states are Assam, Tripura. 9 April: 5 states will have polls in 7 Parliamentary constituencies. The states are Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.
10 April: Elections will take place across 12 states and 3 union territories in 92 Parliamentary constituencies. The states are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi. The union territories are Chandigarh , Lakshwadeep Islands and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. 12 April: Polls will be held in 3 states in 5 constituencies. States on the list are Assam, Tripura and Sikkim. 17 April: The polls will take place across 13 states in 122 constituencies. States on the list are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Mahararashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. 24 April: Elections in 12 states across 117 constituencies. States where polls will take place are Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Mahararashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnatak, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal. The only union territory on the list is Puducherry. 30 April: Elections take place in 9 states across 89 constituencies in the country. The states are Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal. Two union territories where elections will take place are Dadra and Nagar Havelli and Daman and Diu. 7 May: Polls take place in seven states and will cover 64 constituencies. States on the list are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. 12 May: This is the last date for polls where elections will take place across 41 constituencies in three states. States on the list are Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. And now the list according to the states and union territories in alphabetical order: Andhra Pradesh - 30 April and 7 May Arunachal Pradesh - 9 April Assam - 7 april, 12 April and 24 April Bihar - 10 April, 17 April, 24 April, 30 April, 7 May and 12 May Chhattisgarh - 10 April, 17 April and 24 April Goa - 17 April Gujarat - 30 April Haryana - 10 April Himachal Pradesh - 7 May Jammu Kashmir - 10 April, 17 April, 24 April 30 April and 7 May Jharkhand - 10 April, 17 April and 24 April Karnataka - 17 April Kerala: 10 April Madhya Pradesh: 10 April, 17 April and 24 April Maharashtra: 10 April, 17 April and 24 April Manipur : 9 April and 17 April Meghalaya : 9 April Mizoram: 9 April Nagaland: 9 April Odisha: 10 April and 17 April Punjab: 30 April Rajasthan: 17 April 24 April Sikkim: 12 April Tamil Nadu: 24 April Tripura: 7 April and 12 April Uttar Pradesh: 10 April, 17 April, 24 April, 30 April, 7 May, 12 May Uttarakhand: 7 May West Bengal: 17 April, 24 April, 30 April, 7 May and 12 May Andaman Nicobar Islands: 10 April Chandigarh: 10 April Dadra and Nagar Haveli: 30 April Daman and Diu: 30 April Lakshadweep: 10 April NCT Delhi: 10 April Puducherry: 24 April
The high-stake Lok Sabha elections pitting Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi in a virtual presidential-style contest with a number of other PM aspirants thrown in will be held between April 7 and May 12 on nine days, the highest number of phases so far.
Counting of votes in all the 543 constituencies involving an electorate of 81.4 crore will be done on May 16, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath announced today at a press conference releasing the election schedule.
Assembly elections will also be held simultaneously in the states of Andhra Pradesh, including Telangana region, Odisha and Sikkim.
Flanked by Election Commissioners H S Brahma and S N A Zaidi, Sampath was at pains to explain the difference between nine polling days and phases saying the whole process from today to counting of votes on May 16 will be over in 72 days, three days less than it took in the last elections.
The model code of conduct for parties and governments comes into force with immediate effect, he said.
Calling it yet another milestone in the history of Indian democracy, Sampath appealed to political parties and candidates to uphold the democratic traditions of the nation by maintaining high standards of political discourse and fair play in the course of their election campaigns.
The first polling day on April 7 will cover six Lok Sabha constituencies in two states — Assam and Tripura — while the second on April 9 will cover seven constituencies in five states — Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.
Ninety-two constituencies will go to polls in 14 states on the third day on April 10, while a small number of five seats in three states will be covered on the fourth day on April 12.
The largest chunk of 122 Lok Sabha seats will go to polls in 13 states on April 17, the fifth day of poll, while the sixth day will witness polling in 117 seats in 12 states on April 24.The seventh day of polling on April 30 will choose representatives in 89 constituencies spread over nine states and the eighth day on May 7 will cover 64 seats in seven states.Polling will conclude on the ninth day on May 12 with elections in 41 constituencies in three states.Battleground state of Uttar Pradesh with the maximum of 80 seats that can tilt the scales will go to polls on six days on April 10, 17, 24, 30 and May 7 and 12.Andhra Pradesh, which has 42 Lok Sabha seats, will go to polls on April 30 and May 7. Elections in the respective Assembly segments will be held simultaneously.The first day of polling on April 30 will over 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 Assembly seats in the Telangana region and the second on May 7 will cover 25 Lok Sabha seats and 175 Assembly seats in the Seemandhra region.Sampath explained that irrespective of the appointed day for the creation of the new state of Telangana, elections will be held in the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies as they exist on Wednesday On the menace of 'paid news', he said the commission would keep a close watch on the expenditures of the candidates. There is no law right to now to deal with the issue and so the commission has proposed that it should be made an electoral offence, the CEC said.
To a question on banning opinion polls, he said it was for Parliament to decide while the commission has recommended to the government that the ban should be in force from the date of notification to the last day of election.As the Election Commission set in motion the electoral process, BJP expressed confidence that it will be the preferred choice of people when votes are counted on May 16, while the Congress said it will prove wrong opinion polls which have ruled out a third term for it.
2) Yet another Navy ship mishap, one commander dies:
The Indian navy suffered yet another mishap on Friday with gas leakage in an under-construction warship in the Mazagaon Docks here, claiming the life of a Commander and hospitalisation of two dockyard employees.In the 11th incident in seven months stalking naval assets, Commander Kuntal Wadhwa, 42, lost his life after he inhaled carbon dioxide that was leaking from a malfunctioning unit just a little after noon while undergoing trials in the Mazagon Dockyard Limited, officials said.
Two employees of the defence ministry shipyard also were affected by the gas leakage and were taken to hospital, in the second mishap to involve the navy in nine days. An MDL official said they have been discharged.The Kolkata Class 'Yard-701' warship is yet to be commissioned and was slated to be inducted into operational service soon.
The Navy and the shipyard have set up separate boards of inquiry into the incident."Navy officer Kuntal Wadhva, 42, was declared dead before admission in St George Hospital at 1317 hours. He was a resident of Colaba and his relatives are coming from Thane," Additional CP Krishna Prakash.
"Yard-701, being built by Mazagaon Docks Limited, while undergoing machinery trials in Mumbai Port Trust had a malfunction in its carbon dioxide unit, leading to gas leakage," an MDL spokesperson said.Prakash said that at about 1245 hours during fire fighting testing, the CO2 bottle neck opened accidentally, releasing the gas.
Last week, INS Sindhuratna had met with a fire accident in which two officers lost their lives leading to the resignation of former Navy Chief Admiral DK Joshi.Prakash said the 6,500 tonne warship, the largest after an aircraft carrier and amphibious warfare vessels, was undergoing testing. It was to be commissioned on March 27.
"Today at about 12.45 hrs fire fighting testing carbon dioxide released in hatch, bottle neck opened accidently and gas came out in this incident.Wadhva, Commander (Engineering), was declared dead before admission in St George Hospital at 13.17 hrs. He was a resident of Colaba and his relatives are coming from Thane."Aslam Gafar Kazi, 51, worker of MDL, also suffered from suffocation and was admitted in Prince Ali Hospital Mazagaon in ICU," the police officer said."He is able to give statement, we are now recording his statement. He is a resident of Noorani Masjid building at Bangur plot No 204 Pathanwadi, Malad(E). His relatives are coming to hospital," he said.
3) Read: What Delhi police says about AAP's 'instant reaction':
Delhi police have accused Aam Aadmi Party protesters of indulging in "riotous acts and using criminal force" during the violent protests outside the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters in Delhi on Wednesday.According to the report submitted by police, “Sub-inspector Sunil Kumar along with force from Parliament street police station reached the BJP headquarters and found that around 50 AAP activists had assembled.
He tried to persuade and pacify the protestors to go back but the crowd continued shouting slogans and soon, the number of AAP protestors swelled to 150-200," said the report.Following this, Assistant Commissioner of Police Anyesh Roy reached the spot with extra force. By that time, protestors had started climbing the wall and the main gate. They had also torn off the hoardings outside."The assembly was declared unlawful on the PA system and they were asked to disperse, but the crowd continued to indulge in riotous acts and stone pelting," the report stated.With no alternative left, police had to resort to the usage of water cannons to disperse the crowd.
"They got more aggressive and broke the glass panes of the vehicles, tore off the seats, broke the nozzle of the water after mounting over it. Further, the unruly mob regrouped and moved towards the main gate of the BJP headquarters and started throwing sticks and stones upon the few BJP workers assembled inside," the report said.
In the melee, the cars parked outside also got damaged.With reinforcement, including senior officers of New Delhi District, the crowd was brought under control.According to the report, four policemen, 16 AAP workers, nine BJP workers and one media person suffered injuries during the scuffle and were taken to RML Hospital.In connection with this incident, 14 protestors were arrested and a FIR was registered on charges of rioting, assaulting or obstructing public servant from discharging his duty and on charges of causing damage to property.On Thursday, Delhi's Chief electoral office served a notice to the AAP for alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct over the violent protest outside BJP headquarters.New Delhi's Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer Ameya Abhyankar had asked the AAP to explain why action should not be initiated against it for holding a protest without permission from poll officials and in violation of the MCC, which came into force after the poll dates were announced.The Aam Aadmi Party replied to the show-cause notice by saying it was an "instant reaction" to its chief Arvind Kejriwal's detention in Gujarat.In its reply, the AAP said the protest was not a "planned event" and maintained that it respects the Model Code of Conduct in force ahead of Lok Sabha polls, officials said.The protest was an instant reaction to the events in Gujarat and it was not part of campaigning for a party candidate, the party said.The party said it respects the Model Code of Conduct and will cooperate with the Election Commission in implementing it.
4) Russia's actions violate Ukraine's sovereignty: Obama to Putin:
United States President Barack Obama has said that Russia's actions are in violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and suggested that there is a diplomatic solution that would protect the interest of both Russia and Ukraine and end the worst East-West stand-off since the Cold War.
Obama spoke for an hour Thursday afternoon with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and told him that "there is a way to resolve the situation diplomatically, which addresses the interests of Russia, the people of Ukraine, and the international community", the White House said in a statement.
This was the second telephonic conversation between the two leaders in less than a week. It came hours after Obama slapped sanctions and placed restrictions on individuals supporting the Russian incursion and activities undermining democratic processes in crisis-hit Ukraine.
The new restrictions were announced as the US began stepping up pressure on Moscow after Russian forces reportedly took control of Crimea, an autonomous peninsula within Ukraine with a Russian ethnic majority.
“As a part of that resolution, the governments of Ukraine and Russia would hold direct talks, facilitated by the international community; international monitors could ensure that the rights of all Ukrainians are protected, including ethnic Russians; Russian forces would return to their bases; and the international community would work together to support the Ukrainian people as they prepare for elections in May," the White House said.
Obama indicated that Secretary of State John Kerry would continue discussions with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Ukraine and other international partners in the days to come to advance those objectives, it said.
Earlier, the White House had said the US is pursuing and reviewing a wide range of options in response to Russia's ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity -- actions that constitute a threat to peace and security and a breach of international law.
5) Election Commission awards EVM contracts to ECIL, BEL:
The Election Commission has placed orders estimated at more than Rs 300 crore with Electronics Corporation of India Ltd and Bharat Electronics Ltd to deliver Electronic Voting Machines for the Lok Sabha elections.
"The EC needs 16 lakh EVMs for the Lok Sabha elections to be held in April and May. We placed order for 2.5 lakh controlling units and around 4 lakh ballot units with ECIL Hyderabad and BEL, Bangalore, on a 50-50 basis," a commission official told PTI, adding that delivery is expected to be completed by the month-end.
Each EVM consists of one controlling unit and one ballot unit. Although the price is yet to be fixed by the ministry of finance, the orders were placed with a tentative tag of Rs 10,500 per EVM.
"The price will be fixed by the finance ministry. The law ministry will have to send a request to the finance ministry. The price the EC said was tentative," the official said, adding that 30 per cent of the total order has already been supplied to the EC.
ECIL confirmed it received orders for 1.91 lakh ballot units and 1.25 lakh controlling units and said it is fully geared up to supply them before March end.
The PSU has supplied 7.4 lakh EVMs to the EC since its introduction in the poll process. Announcing the Lok Sabha poll schedule yesterday, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath said voters will have the option of not voting for any of the candidates.
Each EVM will have a ‘None of the Above’ button for electors to use if they don't want to vote for any of the contestants.
6) 26 New Faces in Trinamool Candidates List for LS Poll:
Going it alone in the coming Lok Sabha elections, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) today announced candidates in all 42 seats in West Bengal, bringing in 26 new faces including soccer star Baichung Bhutia and Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee, head of Trinamool Yuva.
Party supremo Mamata Banerjee also announced candidates for some seats in three other states.Four sitting MPs were left out of the candidates list while the new faces also included film stars like Moonmoon Sen, matinee idol in Bengali cinema Deb (Dipak Adhikari) and yesteryear star Sandhya Roy apart from sitting MPs Shatabi Roy and Tapas Pal.Moonmoon Sen, daughter of Suchitra Sen, will be fielded from Bankura Lok Sabha seat while Sugata Bose, grand nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose from prestigious Jadavpur constituency replacing suspended party MP Kabir Suman.
Mamata's nephew Abhishek Banerjee would contest from Diamond Harbour seat in South 24-Parganas district. The seat was held by Somen Mitra, a former Congress state unit chief who had joined TMC in 2009 only to quit recently.Some singers also found place in the list.The TMC chief said that she had chosen "candidates from all walks of life to give a proper representation to Bengal".
TMC, which had shared seats in alliance with Congress in the 2009 elections, had fought from 27 seats and the latter from 14 seats. It had left one seat to SUCI, a Leftist party opposed to the CPI(M).Justifying her stand to fight the elections alone, she said, "People have wanted us to go it alone. We are happy that we won't have to see the political faces of the corrupt." "We hope to win from all seats," Banerjee said.
Bhutia, who hails from Namchi in Sikkim, would interestingly fight from Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, which the BJP's Jaswant Singh held with support from the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.Banerjee also announced the names of TMC candidates for two Lok Sabha seats in Tripura, two in Jharkhand and two in Manipur.Expressing her happiness at the five-phase election announced by the EC, she said, "It will take two months and seven days. But this will give me time to campaign in all places."However, she also mentioned that in some other large states like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, elections would be held in one phase only."We respect the Election Commission. But we have seen that in Gujarat election is in one phase while in Tamil Nadu also it will be held in one phase," she said adding "thanks to the EC, it will give us time to campaign."
The party shifted sitting Basirhat MP Haji Nurul Islam to Jangipur, a seat held by President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee of the Congress.While Dr Sugata Bose, a Harvard University professor of history, has replaced rebel MP Kabir Suman from Jadavpur seat, the MPs from Bongaon and Ranaghat have been replaced owing to health reasons.At Raiganj in North Dinajpur district, ailing Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi's brother Satya Ranjan Dasmunshi has been fielded as the TMC candidate.
the seat is at present held by Deepa Dasmunshi, wife of Priya Ranjan, who is a Union Minister of State in the UPA-2 Cabinet and a bitter critic of Mamata Banerjee.
Dinesh Trivedi, who had been unceremoniously removed as Railway Minister by Banerjee after he went against the party line and hiked passenger fares in the 2012 Railway Budget, has been renominated from Barrackpur constituency.Trinamool Congress, which had won 19 of the 42 seats in 2009 elections, has fielded 11 women candidates this time.Noted Bengali singer Indranil Sen has been fielded from Beharampore constituency, presently being held by West Bengal Pradesh Congress chief and Minister of State for Railways Adhir Chowdhury."Of the 42 seats in Bengal, we are fielding 26.19 per cent women candidates and seven candidates from Minority community will fight under the Trinamool banner," Banerjee said.Yesteryear film star Sandhya Roy and Dev have been put up in Medinipur and Ghatal constituencies respectively.
7) First list: Which party tops in candidates with criminal records?:
Various political parties have released their first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. But how do they fare in the criminal case barometer? Vicky Nanjappa finds out.
According to the Association for Democratic Reforms, out of 70 candidates analysed, 34 candidates (49 per cent) had declared in all 224 criminal cases against them in their previous election affidavit. Of these, the Shiv Sena is currently leading . Out of the 14 declared by them in the first list 12 have a criminal background, the ADR has said.
The Shiv Sena has 12 out of 14 candidates (86 per cent) with criminal cases, the Bharatiya Janata Party has 13 out of 32 (41 per cent) candidates with criminal cases, the Nationalist Congress Party has 8 out of 13 (62 per cent) candidates with criminal cases and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has 1 out of 6 (17 per cent) candidate with criminal cases.Twenty candidates (29 per cent) out of 70 analysed had declared serious criminal cases in their previous election affidavits. Seven out of 14 (50 per cent) candidates of the Shiv Sena have declared serious criminal cases, 5 out of 13 (38 per cent) candidates of the NCP, 7 out of 32 (22 per cent) candidates of the BJP and 1 out of 6 (17 per cent) candidates of the AIADMK have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.Four candidates had declared cases of murder, attempt to murder in their election affidavits. Bhonsle Shrimant Chhatrapati Udyanraje Pratapsinh (sitting member of Parliament) of the NCP from Satara constituency had declared a charge of murder.
Two candidates of the Shiv Sena -- Eknath Shinde (sitting member of the legislative assembly, Maharashtra) from the Kalyan constituency and Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil (sitting MP) from Shirur constituency -- had declared a charge of attempt to murder.Dhananjay Mahadik of the NCP from the Kolhapur constituency had declared a charge related to culpable homicide by causing death of person other than person whose death was intended.Kirit Somaiya of the BJP had declared a charge of dacoity against himself. Three candidates had declared cases related to kidnapping in their previous election affidavits. Pratapsinh and Gopinath Munde of the BJP (Beed constituency) have declared a case related to kidnapping.Sanjay Jadhav (sitting MLA) of the Shiv Sena from the Parbhani constituency had declared two charges related to illegal payments in connection with an election and one charge related to failure to keep election accounts in his previous election affidavit.
The average assets of 70 candidates analysed is Rs 5.76 crore. The average assets of 13 NCP candidates is Rs 17.10 crore followed by five candidates of the Shiromani Akali Dal with average assets of Rs 16.30 crore, 14 candidates of the Shiv Sena with average assets of Rs 2.16 crore, 32 candidates of the BJP with average assets of Rs 1.81 crore and six candidates of the AIADMK with average assets of Rs 1.89 crore.
Out of 70 candidates, 36 candidates (51 per cent) have declared total assets (self assets and others assets) of more than Rs 1 crore.
Four out of five SAD candidates (80 per cent) followed by nine out of 13 (69 per cent) candidates of the NCP, nine out of 14 (64 per cent) candidates of the Shiv Sena, 13 out of 32 (41 per cent) candidates of the BJP and one out of 6 (17 per cent) candidates of the AIADMK have declared total assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
Praful Patel (sitting MP) of the NCP from the Bhandara-Gondiya constituency has declared the highest assets among the 70 candidates analysed, at Rs 125.46 crore followed by Harsimrat Kaur Badal (sitting MP) of the SAD from Bathinda constituency with assets worth Rs 60.31 crore and Supriya Sule (sitting MP) of the NCP from Baramati constituency with assets worth Rs. 50.45 crore.
Sports news this week:
1) Ranji Trophy: Who will carry forward the Mumbai legacy?:
It would have hurt a lot of people in Mumbai cricket after they lost to Maharashtra in the last Ranji trophy quarter final. Mumbai cricket is going through a phase, what is known as, transition period in cricketing dictionary. A certain Sachin Tendulkar won’t even make those rare appearances for them any more.
With national selectors forgetting him, Wasim Jaffer may find it difficult to motivate himself for more than couple of seasons. Add to that, he has to decide where he should bat, opening or coming in the middle order. That question arises mainly because Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma will be busy in national duties.
Rahane definitely in Tests for his recent exploits in overseas conditions and Rohit has the “wow” factor that will remind the selectors that he is too classy a batsman to be wasted in domestic circuit. In the bowling department, Zaheer Khan is approaching the end of his cricketing career. If he retires from international cricket, he won’t be playing Ranji and if he is dropped, it won’t be an easy and a lengthy comeback. Without the motivation of representing India, it is difficult to think Zaheer will come day in and day out for Mumabi. Ajit Agarkar did exactly that for 6 years but he won’t be there as well. So who are the players who must step up for the domestic power house in the next five years?
Abhishek Nayar is now 30 years old. He has bowled 18 balls and faced 7 balls in three international appearances and is yet to open his account on either count. To make matters worse, MS Dhoni bowled alongside him in the 18 ball spell and picked up a wicket. It can be argued that he wasn’t given enough opportunities and chances are slim that he will get a second look. That might turn out be a blessing in disguise for Mumbai Ranji team.
In first class cricket, he still averages over 50 with the bat and good enough to be considered as a genuine fifth bowling option. He may not be exciting to the eyes but he is dependable and very effective. As he shown against the match against MP, where he bowled unchanged for 14 overs and delivered a memorable win, his commitment to the team is unquestionable. He is returning from injury and should lead Mumbai in the next season.
2) F1 Indian Grand Prix return highly unlikely: Vicky Chandhok:
Former Indian motorsports body chief Vicky Chandhok, who helped the Jaypee Group get Formula 1 to India, says the chances of the race returning to the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida are unlikely, unless the government liberalises its policies.Chandhok obviously was referring to the stakeholders' demand that the teams get tax relief and hassle-free import of vehicles and equipment into the country.His reaction comes two days after F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said India's return to the F1 itinerary was likely to be delayed beyond 2015, fuelling speculation whether the event will ever be held again after getting dropped from the 2014 calendar.
"After what all has happened recently, it will be very tough for India to get the race back. The sport raised the country's profile around the world, but unfortunately the Indian government does not see it as a sport to help the stakeholders cross the hurdles," Chandhok told IANS Friday.Chandhok was president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) in 2007 when a provisional agreement was signed between the Formula One Management (FOM) and race promoters Jaypee Group before he returned to head the body again in 2010.The inaugural Indian Grand Prix eventually took place in 2011 and after three fairly successful editions, suddenly insurmountable glitches surfaced, putting the future of the race in jeopardy.The reason for that is that the stakeholders (especially FOM and teams) are not happy with the country's taxation policies and bureaucratic redtape. What makes matters worse is that motorsports is not considered as a sport in India even when the country's parent Olympic body, International Olympic Committee (IOC), recognises the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
"Just to give an example on how taxation policy is a major hindrance: The Indian government expects the teams to share their sponsorship contracts with them and based on that the authorities will tax them. The teams are not required to do that anywhere else in the world and more so they are not at all comfortable sharing their sponsorship agreements. This is one of the many ticklish issues," said Chandhok."It makes me sad that we are talking about the event's future only after three races, but its return is highly unlikely with the way things are. We needed to welcome F1 with open arms," he lamented.As it is, the history shows it is tough for a race to return in the increasingly crowded calendar. San Marino Grand Prix (1981-2006), Mexican Grand Prix (1962-1992) and French Grand Prix (1950-2008) are among the many historical races which have not been successful in making a comeback.
3) Cricket: Sangakkara, Afridi set to light up Asia Cup final:
Rampaging Shahid Afridi and prolific Kumar Sangakkara have set the stage for a rousing contest when Pakistan face Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup one-day final in Dhaka on Saturday.Angelo Mathews' Sri Lanka have been the dominant team in the five-nation event with four straight victories in the league, including a 12-run win over Pakistan in the tournament opener on February 25.The charge was led by Sangakkara, the 36-year-old left-hander who has been in prime form during his team's current tour of Bangladesh which began with a bilateral series in January.
Sangakkara scored 75, 319 and 105 in two Test matches and 128 in the second one-day international to steer Sri Lanka to series wins in all three formats against the hosts.
The veteran has also played three match-winning innings in the Asia Cup, making 67 against Pakistan, 103 versus World Cup champions India and 76 against minnows Afghanistan.He remains the leading scorer in the tournament with 248 runs despite falling cheaply for two in Thursday's last league match against Bangladesh.
"It is great to have Sangakkara in such good form, but the others will also need to step up and rally around him if we are to win," Mathews said."Pakistan have shown how tough a side they are to beat. But we have our plans and are confident of doing well if we execute them well."
Pakistan, the defending champions, bounced back after the loss against Sri Lanka to qualify for the final with three successive victories against Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh.
The mercurial Afridi fashioned two tense last-over wins, slamming an 18-ball 34 against India before making an astonishing 59 off 25 balls against Bangladesh.
Short boundaries at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium where even mis-hits land over the fence appear tailor-made for Afridi, and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq hoped for another power-packed display in the final."Afridi is our main player," a grateful Misbah said. "The kind of form he is in and the kind of confidence he shows, it's good for the Pakistan team.
"We just tell him to make sure he bats for at least 25-30 balls. If he does that he can score a 50. I'm really happy with the way he's playing."Pakistan Cricket Board official Zakir Khan said Afridi, Umar Gul, Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad were suffering from injury niggles, but he expected them to be fit for the final."Afridi has a hip strain and the others have minor niggles, but all of them have responded well to rest and treatment and should be available to play tomorrow," Khan said in Dhaka on Friday.
Both teams boast of destructive bowling attacks with Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis the tournament's joint leader with nine wickets and Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal in second place with eight.Sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who has taken six wickets, said Afridi's explosive game-changing form did not worry him."I am more concerned about how I bowl," Malinga said. "Afridi does not worry me and I don't think they (Pakistan) are thinking too much about me either."
4) A steady start for Tiger Woods at Doral:
Tiger Woods only made it through six holes Thursday until he walked off the golf course — along with the other 67 players at Doral.
The opening round of the Cadillac Championship was delayed for more than two hours Thursday because of a large band of thunderstorms that eventually dumped rain on the new Blue Monster at Trump National Doral.Woods was 1-over par through six holes, picking up his lone bogey on the par-3 fourth hole when he went long of the green.
PGA champion Jason Dufner ran off four straight birdies at the start of his round, and then made birdie on the par-5 first hole to reach 5-under par when the round was halted. He was one shot ahead of Russell Henley, coming off a win last week in the Honda Classic. Henley was on the other side of the course.The first round brought plenty of curiosity, starting with Woods.The world's No. 1 player withdrew after 13 holes in the final round at the Honda Classic because of lower back pain and spasm. He said he received treatment all week, and while declaring himself fit to defend his title in this World Golf Championship, said he was concerned about recurring back injuries.
Woods showed no sign of obvious discomfort in the six holes he played before the suspension.
Donald Trump bought the resort and hired Gil Hanse to redesign the Blue Monster. The course looks nothing like it once did except for the routing, with brand new greens and more water in play than ever before.Hanse was in the gallery. He is regarded as a good listener, and while he has spoken to players throughout the week, he was most curious to see how the Blue Monster would fare when the scores actually counted.Seventeen players were under par at various points on the golf course.Luke Donald was at 3 under, while Rory McIlroy dropped two shots to fall back to 1 under. McIlroy three-putted from long range on the 17th, and then tried to take on too much of the water on the 18th with a driver and saw it tumble down the bank and into the hazard.Phil Mickelson was playing in the same group as McIlroy. He was even through nine holes after hitting his approach into the water on the 18th.Adam Scott was playing with Woods and was at even par. Scott can go to No. 1 in the world if he were to win the Cadillac Championship and Woods finished out of the top five.
5) Balotelli returns for AC Milan:
Mario Balotelli returns to the AC Milan squad for their Serie A clash at Udinese on Saturday after recovering from a shoulder injury.
"Balotelli is fine. He is still feeling a bit of pain but he needs to learn to live with it," Milan coach Clarence Seedorf told a news conference on Friday.
The Italy striker, who has scored 10 league goals in 18 appearances this season, has missed Milan's last two matches after leaving the field 12 minutes from the end of the 1-0 Champions League defeat by Atletico Madrid in Milan last month.
The attacker has been at the centre of more controversy after he published a picture of himself on Twitter playing table tennis, sparking claims in Italian media that he was not taking the injury seriously.
"I'm not here to tell people how to use their own means of communication," Seedorf said."What makes for news in Italy is a worry to me. This is such a trivial thing. Who cares if he played table tennis? He had a six-hour treatment."
Book Of This Week:
Uganda Be Kidding Me :by Chelsea Handler:
Wherever Chelsea Handler travels, one thing is certain: she always ends up in the land of the ridiculous. Now, in this uproarious collection, she sneaks her sharp wit through airport security and delivers her most absurd and hilarious stories ever.
On safari in Africa, it's anyone's guess as to what's more dangerous: the wildlife or Chelsea. But whether she's fumbling the seduction of a guide by not knowing where tigers live (Asia, duh) or wearing a bathrobe into the bush because her clothes stopped fitting seven margaritas ago, she's always game for the next misadventure.
The situation gets down and dirty as she defiles a kayak in the Bahamas, and outright sweaty as she escapes from a German hospital on crutches. When things get truly scary, like finding herself stuck next to a passenger with bad breath, she knows she can rely on her family to make matters even worse. Thank goodness she has the devoted Chunk by her side-except for the time she loses him in Telluride.
Complete with answers to the most frequently asked traveler's questions, hot travel trips, and travel etiquette, none of which should be believed, UGANDA BE KIDDING ME has Chelsea taking on the world, one laugh-out-loud incident at a time.
Chelsea Joy Handler is an American comedian, actress, author, television host, writer and producer. She hosts a late-night talk show called Chelsea Lately
They travel to the Spanish capital on Tuesday for the second leg of the last-16 tie with Atletico.