Science News This Week:
1) Ancient fish may have set stage for jaws:
New fossils reveal gills possibly on their way to chomping on prey. One of the earliest outlines of jaws may have been written in the gills of a fish called Metaspriggina walcotti.
The fish, which lived roughly 500 million years ago, had been described previously. But 100 new specimens collected in the Canadian Rockies provide a detailed look at the creature’s gill bars, the structures that ran vertically down the body and supported the gills. In M. walcotti, each gill bar had an upper and lower arch, possibly made of cartilage-like tissue. The front set of gill bars was slightly thicker than the others and did not actually have gills beside them. These gill bars might have served as a precursor to the jaws that evolved around 420 million years ago in younger fish, researchers argue June 11 in Nature.
To form a jaw from M. walcotti’s front grill bars and achieve a chomping motion, one of its descendants would have needed a hinge where the gill bars’ upper and lower arches meet and some new muscles, the scientists suggest.
2) Oxytocin stimulates repair of old mice’s muscles:
Naturally produced hormone, well known for its role in social bonding, could help heal injuries in the elderly. The “love hormone” does more than trigger labor and cement emotional ties between people. Oxytocin also helps repair damaged muscles, at least in mice.
Oxytocin stimulates muscle stem cells to divide when muscle is damaged, researchers report June 10 in Nature Communications. Experiments with mice also showed that the hormone’s levels in the animals’ blood declines with age. Giving old mice shots of oxytocin restored their muscle-regeneration capabilities to match those of much younger rodents. But extra doses of the hormone did not boost muscle-building in young mice.
“This is not a performance-enhancing drug,” says study coauthor Irina Conboy, a stem cell scientist at the University of California, Berkeley.The findings raise the possibility that oxytocin may stave off muscle atrophy in aging people.
3) Preserved pterosaur eggs hint at reptile's social life:
3-D fossils discovered in China suggest flying reptiles laid eggs together. A vast graveyard of eggs and bones suggests that a newly discovered flying reptile species, Hamipterus tianshanensis, probably nested in groups.
The find cracks open an old question about pterosaur life — whether the animals flocked together or flew solo. Pterosaurs’ fragile skeletons make finding intact bones tough. Fossil eggs are even rarer. Until now, scientists had found only four isolated, squished ones. So the lifestyle of the winged animals’ was mostly a mystery.
In northwestern China, paleontologist Xiaolin Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and colleagues unearthed the fossils of about 40 pterosaurs, narrow-skulled creatures spouting Mohawk-like crests. The researchers also found five complete eggs. The eggs — Grade A compared with the flattened previous finds — have kept most of their original 3-D shape, the researchers report in the June 16 Current Biology.
About the size of skinny chicken eggs, the pterosaur eggs probably had a cushiony membrane covered with a thin shell, like a gummy bear with an M&M coating. Because the fossil eggs were found scrambled among the bones of so many pterosaurs, Wang and colleagues think the animals were a social bunch. Instead of ranging freely by themselves, the pterosaurs probably laid eggs together.
4) Gum disease bacteria selectively disarm immune system, study finds:
Bacteria responsible for many cases of periodontitis cause an imbalance in the microbial community in the gums, with a sophisticated, two-prong manipulation of the human immune system, research shows. Not only does the team's discovery open up new targets for periodontitis treatment, it also suggests a bacterial strategy that could be at play in other diseases involving dysbiosis.
The human body is comprised of roughly 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. In healthy people, these bacteria are typically harmless and often helpful, keeping disease-causing microbes at bay. But, when disturbances knock these bacterial populations out of balance, illnesses can arise. Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, is one example.In a new study, University of Pennsylvania researchers show that bacteria responsible for many cases of periodontitis cause this imbalance, known as dysbiosis, with a sophisticated, two-prong manipulation of the human immune system.Their findings, reported in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, lay out the mechanism, revealing that the periodontal bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis acts on two molecular pathways to simultaneously block immune cells' killing ability while preserving the cells' ability to cause inflammation. The selective strategy protects "bystander" gum bacteria from immune system clearance, promoting dysbiosis and leading to the bone loss and inflammation that characterizes periodontitis. At the same time, breakdown products produced by inflammation provide essential nutrients that "feed" the dysbiotic microbial community. The result is a vicious cycle in which inflammation and dysbiosis reinforce one another, exacerbating periodontitis.
George Hajishengallis, a professor in the Penn School of Dental Medicine's Department of Microbiology, was the senior author on the paper, collaborating with co-senior author John Lambris, the Dr. Ralph and Sallie Weaver Professor of Research Medicine in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. Collaborators included Tomoki Maekawa and Toshiharu Abe of Penn Dental Medicine.Work by Hajishengallis's group and collaborators had previously identified P. gingivalis as a "keystone pathogen." Drawing an analogy from the field of ecology, in which a species such as a grizzly bear is thought of as a keystone species because of the influence it has over a number of other species in the community, the idea suggests that, although P. gingivalis may be relatively few in number in the mouth, their presence exerts an outsized pull on the overall microbial ecosystem. Indeed, the team has shown that, although P. gingivalis is responsible for instigating the process that leads to periodontitis, it can't cause the disease by itself.
"Scientists are beginning to suspect that keystone pathogens might be playing a role in irritable bowel disease, colon cancer and other inflammatory diseases," Hajishengallis said. "They're bugs that can't mediate the disease on their own; they need other, normally non-pathogenic bacteria to cause the inflammation."
In this study, they wanted to more fully understand the molecules involved in the process by which P. gingivalis caused disease.
"We asked the question, how could bacteria evade killing without shutting off inflammation, which they need to obtain their food," Hajishengallis said.The researchers focused on neutrophils, which shoulder the bulk of responsibility of responding to periodontal insults. Based on the findings of previous studies, they examined the role of two protein receptors: C5aR and Toll-like receptor-2, or TLR2.Inoculating mice with P. gingivalis, they found that animals that lacked either of these receptors as well as animals that were treated with drugs that blocked these receptors had lower levels of bacteria than untreated, normal mice. Blocking either of these receptors on human neutrophils in culture also significantly enhanced the cells' ability to kill the bacteria. Microscopy revealed that P. gingivalis causes TLR2 and C5aR to physically come together."These findings suggest that there is some crosstalk between TLR2 and C5aR," Hajishengallis said. "Without either one, the bacteria weren't as effective at colonizing the gums."
Further experiments in mice and in cultured human neutrophils helped the researchers identify additional elements of how P. gingivalis operates to subvert the immune system. They found that the TLR2-C5aR crosstalk leads to degradation of the protein MyD88, which normally helps clear infection. And in a separate pathway from MyD88, they discovered that P. gingivalis activates the enzyme PI3K through C5aR-TLR2 crosstalk, promoting inflammation and inhibiting neutrophils' ability to phagocytose, or "eat," invading bacteria.Inhibiting the activity of either PI3K or a molecule that acted upstream of PI3K called Mal restored the neutrophils' ability to clear P. gingivalis from the gums."P. gingivalis uses this connection between C5aR and TLR2 to disarm and dissociate the MyD88 pathway, which normally protects the host from infection, from the proinflammatory and immune-evasive pathway mediated by Mal and PI3K," Hajishengallis said.Not only does the team's discovery open up new targets for periodontitis treatment, it also suggests a bacterial strategy that could be at play in other diseases involving dysbiosis.
5) Key step toward a safer strep vaccine:
The genes encoding a molecule that famously defines Group A Streptococcus (strep), a pathogenic bacterial species responsible for more than 700 million infections worldwide each year, has been identified by an international team of scientists. Efforts to develop such a vaccine have been significantly hindered by complexities in how the human immune system reacts to the bacterial pathogen. Specifically, some patients with strep infections produce antibodies that cross-react with their own heart valve tissue, leading to rheumatic fever and heart damage.An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, have identified the genes encoding a molecule that famously defines Group A Streptococcus (strep), a pathogenic bacterial species responsible for more than 700 million infections worldwide each year.
The findings, published online in the June 11 issue of Cell Host & Microbe, shed new light on how strep bacteria resists the human immune system and provides a new strategy for developing a safe and broadly effective vaccine against strep throat, necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease) and rheumatic heart disease."Most people experience one or more painful strep throat infections as a child or young adult," said senior author Victor Nizet, MD, professor of pediatrics and pharmacy. "Developing a broadly effective and safe strep vaccine could prevent this suffering and reduce lost time and productivity at school and work, estimated to cost $2 billion annually."
Efforts to develop such a vaccine have been significantly hindered by complexities in how the human immune system reacts to the bacterial pathogen. Specifically, some patients with strep infections produce antibodies that cross-react with their own heart valve tissue, leading to rheumatic fever and heart damage. Though rare in the United States, rheumatic fever remains common in some developing countries and causes significant disability and death.
The Cell Host & Microbe study suggests a way to circumvent the damaging autoimmune response triggered by strep. Specifically, the researchers noted that the cell wall of strep is composed primarily of a single molecule known as the group A carbohydrate (or GAC) which, in turn, is built from repeating units of the bacterial sugar rhamnose and the human-like sugar N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc).Previous research has indicated that GlcNAc sugars present in GAC may be responsible for triggering production of heart-damaging antibodies in some patients. Nizet said the latest findings corroborate this model, and suggest that eliminating the pathogen's ability to add GlcNAc sugars to GAC could be the basis for a safe vaccine.
"In this study, we discovered the strep genes responsible for the biosynthesis and assembly of GAC, the very molecule that defines the pathogen in clinical diagnosis," said first author Nina van Sorge, PharmD, PhD, a former postdoctoral fellow at UC San Diego who now leads her own laboratory at Utrecht University Medical Center in the Netherlands. "This discovery allowed us to generate mutant bacterial strains and study the contribution of GAC to strep disease."
The researchers found that a mutant strep strain lacking the human-like GlcNAc sugar on the GAC molecule exhibited normal bacterial growth and expressed key proteins known to be associated with strep virulence, but was easily killed when exposed to human white blood cells or serum. The mutant strep bacteria also lost the ability to produce severe disease in animal infection models"Our studies showed that the GlcNAc sugar of GAC is a critical virulence factor allowing strep to spread in the blood and tissues," van Sorge said. "This is likely important for the rare, but deadly, complications of strep infection such as pneumonia, necrotizing fasciitis and toxic shock syndrome."The researchers also identified a way to remove the problematic GlcNAc sugar so that a mutant form of the bacteria with only rhamnose-containing GAC could be purified and tested as a vaccine antigen.
"We showed that antibodies produced against mutant GAC antigen helped human white blood cells kill the pathogen and protected mice from lethal strep infection," said Jason Cole, PhD, a visiting project scientist from the University of Queensland, Australia, and co-lead author of the paper. "Because GAC is present in all strep strains, this may represent a safer antigen for inclusion in a universal strep vaccine."Researchers plan to assess the new modified antigen against other candidates in advanced strep throat vaccine tests in nonhuman primates beginning later this year in Atlanta, Georgia, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia."It is satisfying to find that a fundamental observation regarding the genetics and biochemistry of the pathogen can have implications not only for strep disease pathogenesis, but also for vaccine design," Nizet said.
6) A tiny molecule may help battle depression:
Levels of a small molecule found only in humans and in other primates are lower in the brains of depressed individuals, according to researchers at McGill University and the Douglas Institute. This discovery may hold a key to improving treatment options for those who suffer from depression. Depression is a common cause of disability, and while viable medications exist to treat it, finding the right medication for individual patients often amounts to trial and error for the physician. In a new study published in the journal Nature Medicine, Dr. Gustavo Turecki, a psychiatrist at the Douglas and professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry at McGill, together with his team, discovered that the levels of a tiny molecule, miR-1202, may provide a marker for depression and help detect individuals who are likely to respond to antidepressant treatment.
"Using samples from the Douglas Bell-Canada Brain Bank, we examined brain tissues from individuals who were depressed and compared them with brain tissues from psychiatrically healthy individuals, says Turecki, who is also Director of the McGill Group for Suicide Studies, "We identified this molecule, a microRNA known as miR-1202, only found in humans and primates and discovered that it regulates an important receptor of the neurotransmitter glutamate."
The team conducted a number of experiments that showed that antidepressants change the levels of this microRNA. "In our clinical trials with living depressed individuals treated with citalopram, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, we found lower levels in depressed individuals compared to the non-depressed individuals before treatment," says Turecki. "Clearly, microRNA miR-1202 increased as the treatment worked and individuals no longer felt depressed."
Antidepressant drugs are the most common treatment for depressive episodes, and are among the most prescribed medications in North America. "Although antidepressants are clearly effective, there is variability in how individuals respond to antidepressant treatment," says Turecki, "We found that miR-1202 is different in individuals with depression and particularly, among those patients who eventually will respond to antidepressant treatment."The discovery may provide "a potential target for the development of new and more effective antidepressant treatments," he adds.
MUST SEE! Sun puts on a fireworks show:
The NASA cameras on Wednesday captured a major solar eruption, the third X-class flare in two days.The flare was classified as an X1.0 and it peaked at around 3:30 pm IST on Wednesday. “Images of the flare were captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. All three flares originated from an active region on the sun that recently rotated into view over the left limb of the sun,” NASA said in a statement.
Harmful radiation from the short-lived explosions cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground. However, when intense enough, they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.
Movie Release This week:
It's been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snotlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island's new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons.
Three college students on a road trip across the Southwest experience a detour: the tracking of a computer genius who has already hacked into MIT and exposed security faults. The trio find themselves drawn to an eerily isolated area. Suddenly everything goes dark. When one of the students, Nic (Brenton Thwaites of The Giver and Maleficent), regains consciousness, he is in a waking nightmare…
When tragedy rocks Blackfoot High, rebellious outsider Mäddy Killian shocks the student body by joining the cheerleading squad. This decision drives a rift between Mäddy and her ex-girlfriend Leena Miller – a loner who claims to practice the Dark Arts. After a confrontation with the football team, Mäddy and her new cheerleader friends are sent on a supernatural roller coaster ride which leaves a path of destruction none of them may be able to escape.
Filled with considerable comedic beats, Lullaby explores the power of life, its transformative moments and reconnections between loved ones. Estranged from his family, Jonathan (Hedlund) receives word that his father, Robert (Jenkins), who has been fighting illness for over a decade has chosen to take himself off life support in less than forty-eight hours. What follows is an unexpected journey of love, laughter, and forgiveness.
In this futuristic science fiction thriller, government security agent Jerry Hipple has been unsuccessfully tracking the city's most infamous criminal The Red Harvest Killer. When two nomadic lovers, Katia and Gladys enter the city the death count rises and are being credited as Red Harvest killings. Obsessive compulsive Adrian, the actual Red Harvest Killer becomes furious that the sexy serial killing duo are grabbing media attention under his alias. Not only does Adrian attempt to reclaim his rightful reputation but he also decides to cleverly aid his detective counterpart through the case. All the while, killers and victims alike are unaware the world is about to reach an abrupt catastrophic ending.
Bengali Movie "Char" (2014) by Sandip Roy Bengali Movie "Char" will released in this month. Famous Bengali Director Sandip roy made this film based on four short story written by legendary writer Satyajit Roy, Saradindu Chattopadhyay & Parshuram. Story: Kaktaruya by Satyajit Roy, Porikha by Saradindu Chattopadhyay, Dui Bandhu by Satyajit & Boteshwarer Obodan by Porshuram
Bengali Movie "Char" (2014) by Sandip Roy Bengali Movie "Char" will released in this month. Famous Bengali Director Sandip roy made this film based on four short story written by legendary writer Satyajit Roy, Saradindu Chattopadhyay & Parshuram. Story: Kaktaruya by Satyajit Roy, Porikha by Saradindu Chattopadhyay, Dui Bandhu by Satyajit & Boteshwarer Obodan by Porshuram
Political News This Week:
1) 24 Hyderabad students washed away in Himachal Pradesh, five bodies recovered
At least 24 engineering students, including six girls, are feared to have been washed away this evening in River Beas near Thalot on Manali-Kiratpur Highway, 40 km from Mandi, police said on Sunday.The sight seeing trip to Himachal Pradesh turned tragic for the Hyderabad students who were taking photographs on the bank of the river.
Gushing waters of the Beas swept them away after water was suddenly released from the reservoir of 126 MW Larji hydropower project.The incident took place around 7 pm near Thalot, 61 km from Mandi, when the students from the Hyderabad-based engineering college VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering & Technology, Bachupally, Nizampet, were trying to click photos on the bank of the river.The students drowned when water from Larji dam was suddenly released without any warning.
As the tunnel joins river Beas, the students were thrown into the middle of the river. While some managed to reach the bank, others were swept away. Some students were drowned while trying to save others, police said.
"Exact number of students who were swept away is not known as the rescue operation is still on. They were trying to click the photos near the Larji dam tunnel when the dam staff suddenly released the water from the dam located on other side of the tunnel. The students were unaware of the water threat. The flow of the water was so strong that they did not get a chance to reach the bank. While some were washed away and were thrown into river Beas, some even tried to save themselves by climbing on rocks. They were drowned as the water force increased. Some were saved by locals by throwing ropes," Kuldeep Rana, Additional SP, Mandi, said.
Another police official said that when the water was being released, the locals also raised the alarm but the dam staff ignored the same.No warning was issued before releasing the water.According to the police, there were 61 people, including students and staff, who were on their way to Manali in two college buses. There were 13 girl students.Local administration swung into action after the police was informed by the locals.The darkness hampered the rescue operation which continued till late night.
People living along the two sides of the river bank downstream of the dam have been alerted to inform the police about any person sighted by them.Massive search operations have been launched to trace the missing students but there was no success due to darkness.The incident has sent shock waves and parents and friends of the missing students are making frantic calls to know about their whereabouts.This is the second major accident in the state in less than three months.
Nearly two months ago, 15 people were killed and nearly two dozen injured when their overloaded mini- bus rolled down a 400- feet deep gorge in Himachal Pradesh's Sirmaur district. The bus was on its way from Milla village to Paonta Sahib.In another accident in 2013, all 21 people travelling by a private mini-bus were killed when the vehicle skidded off the road and rolled down more than a 500-foot deep gorge in Himachal Pradesh's Sirmaur district.
2) 4th woman found hanging from tree in UP, family cries rape:
The body of a 19-year-old was found hanging from a tree in a village in Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh.
The woman, who had left the house on Wednesday evening without informing anyone, was found hanging from a tree near a temple in Thakurdwara police station area on Thursday, according to a report received by the Director General of Police's office in Lucknow from the police in Moradabad.
The family of the deceased has not insinuated anyone nor has it given any complaint in writing, it said, adding that there were also no visible injury marks on the body.
The body has been sent for post mortem examination, it said, adding that further details would be known only on that.
The family has alleged she was raped and murdered after she went missing last evening.
This is the fourth case of a woman being hanged from a tree. On Wednesday, a 45-year-old woman was found hanging from a tree on the outskirts of her village Kurianpurwa, in Uttar Pradesh.
The incidents in the last two days are a chilling reminder the rape and murder of two sisters in Badaun, which evoked a nationwide outcry.
3) Karachi attack, latest sign that ISI is losing control:
The attacks on Karachi airport and the Airport Security Force camp are growing signs how Pakistan’s home-made monster, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, is growing stronger and is no longer under the tight grip of the Inter-Services-Intelligence, its godfather. Vicky Nanjappa reports how these attacks are just the beginning and there are many more to come.
While Pakistan reels from the second attack by the Tehreek-e-Taliban, 48 hours after they claimed responsibility for the attack at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, the brazen strikes force one to question whether the Inter-Services-Intelligence, which at one point controlled these terrorist outfits, has lost all grip on them.
After the attacks, a member of the TTP is believed to have said that the attacks were revenge against the ISI for trying to weaken their outfit and disband them. They also wanted to seek revenge for the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, their leader who was killed in a US drone strike. “We attacked the airport to avenge the death of Mehsud, our late leader. There are many more to come as it is just the beginning,” said a representative of the TTP.The attacks and the statements clearly show that the TTP is no longer in a conciliatory mood with the ISI. C D Sahay, former head of India’s Research and Analysis Wing, says that over a period of time, groups such as the TTP have become extremely powerful and have sustainable resources in terms of money and arms. More importantly, they are highly indoctrinated in terms of religious beliefs which is the most significant reason as to why they would even go against their creators -- the ISI.
Michael Kugelman, an expert on issues relating to South Asia, South East Asia, particularly India, Pakistan and Afghanistan and the senior programme associate at the Woodrow Wilson Centre, WashingtonDC, says the attack in Karachi is just a reminder of how Pakistan is still in the tight grip of well-armed, determined militants who operate with sheer impunity.He adds that the airport attack is just a prologue and Pakistan can expect a new wave of attacks, after the government decided to no longer pursue peace talks with the Taliban.And with thousands of Taliban fighters in Karachi alone, it appears inevitable that other Pakistan cities, too, are about to experience violence, Kugelman points out.
Sahay adds that the TTP’s main intent today is to keep the Nawaz Sharif government on edge. “Today, the TTP is capable of acting on its own and I don’t agree that for an attack like the one at Karachi a mole in the government was required. It was a suicide attack and when they come on such a mission, they don’t need anyone.” And it is not just the TTP that the ISI is losing control over. According to sources, the home-grown Indian Mujahideen outfit is also trying to break away from the ISI, ever since it felt that Pakistan was cosying up to the United States.There are murmurs that sensing the pullout, the ISI themselves handed over Yasin Bhatkal so that he could be apprehended by the Indians, which would lead to a leadership vacuum within the IM and allow the ISI to appoint a person of its choice to head the terror outfit.And at a time when it seems that the ISI is losing control, Pakistan may have to look to Hamid Gul, former chief of the ISI, to help put things back in order. After all, Gul is the person responsible for keeping all the terror outfits under the rule of the ISI and also allegedly responsible for tipping off slain Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden of an impending US missile strike.
4) Heavy firing along LoC as Pak violates ceasefire:
Pakistan troops on Friday targeted Indian posts with heavy firing and mortar shelling along the Line of Control in the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir in yet another violation of the ceasefire, prompting retaliation by Indian forces.Pakistan troops fired 81-mm mortar shells and directed automatic and small-arms fire at Indian posts along the LoC in the Mendhar-BhimberGali-Keri forward areas of Poonch district around 7.30 am, said a senior army officer.
No casualty or damage has been reported on this side of the LoC due to the firing, he said.Indian troops guarding the border effectively replied with similar calibre weapons, he said, adding that the "exchanges occurred in three forward areas".
The firing comes a day after an IED blast in the Tarkundi forward area along the LoC in Poonch in which one jawan was killed and three others injured.Between end of April and mid-May, 19 incidents of ceasefire violation were reported along the LoC in Jammu.Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah questioned the timing of the ceasefire violation, a day ahead of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley's first visit to the state since assuming office.
"Is it just a coincidence that the defence minister is visiting J&K, for his 1st visit, to review the security situation tomorrow?" Omar wrote on micro-blogging website Twitter.Omar said that the ceasefire violations in the Rajouri and Poonch areas were significant as some of shells had landed in civilian areas."Significant ceasefire violation in Rajouri and Poonch with reports of some shells having landed in civilian areas. Some livestock loss," he further tweeted.In 2013, 12 jawans were killed and 41 injured in 149 ceasefire violations and firing incidents by Pakistan troops on forward posts, civilian areas and patrolling parties along the Indo-Pak border.
5) BJP leader's murder in Muzaffarnagar: Man taken in custody:
One person was taken into custody on Wednesday in connection with the murder of a Bharatiya Janata Party leader in Muzaffarnagar, police said.Monu was taken into custody in Muzaffarnagar in connection with the murder of Om Vir Singh in Mirapur, IG (Law and Order) Amrendra Sengar said.
47-year-old Om Vir Singh 'Fauji', a retired army man who was the vice-president of BJP unit in Mirapur town, was out for a morning walk when two assailants fired multiple shots at him on Tuesday, according to police. Singh, who had a licensed revolver with him, too fired at the attackers but they snatched it from him.In the preliminary inquiry, Monu has said that he along with his accomplice had gone to Mirapur with the aim of killing someone else, Sengar said.But on seeing Om Vir with a firearm, they thought that their plan had been leaked and so shot at him, Sengar said.
Monu claims that he was also injured in the shooting and was taken to hospital for treatment by his relatives, Sengar said, adding that his claims were being verified and police would come to a conclusion only after that.Following Singh's killing, his family members and BJP workers had staged protests and blocked a road.
6) Modi's first speech in Parl: Don't want to move forward without oppn:
Despite their depleted numbers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday extended an olive branch to the opposition, saying he would take them along in decision-making and would work for development of all sections, including Muslims.
Making his first speech in both the Houses of Parliament, he said victory teaches many lessons and that he welcomed criticism so that his government can be "saved from becoming arrogant"."Forget the bitterness of the past. We have to work together for the development of the country. "We can bring about change. I don't want to move forward without you (opposition). I don't have to move forward on the basis of numbers but on the basis of collective decision-making. If necessary, we will move forward with your guidance," Modi said in his reply to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President's address in both the Houses.After his reply, the motion was adopted unanimously. In his hour-long speech in the Lok Sabha heard in rapt attention, the prime minister rejected the Opposition's charge that the Bharatiya Janata Party had become arrogant after the landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections.Modi, a newcomer to Parliament, acknowledged the fact and said he would like to be guided by seniors even from the opposition and asked them to forgive any wrong words he may use.
But at the same time he did not fail to take a dig at Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the main opposition party, Congress, who had invoked Mahabharata to remind the BJP such as Pandavas Congress would come back to power."As Mahabharata was mentioned here (Lok Sabha) on Tuesday, I am reminded of Duryodhana who said he knew dharma and truth but did not have the inclination to follow that. Likewise, they (Congress) also knew what was the right thing to do but they did not do it. We will do it," he said amid thumping of desks by Treasury benches.
Reaching out to the minorities, he referred to the apprehensions expressed by some members over their fate and said his government would work for the development of Muslims."I believe if one organ of the body remains weak, can the whole be called healthy? We are committed to this (progress of minorities). We don't see it as appeasement," he said.Modi said political parties should now go beyond victory and defeat and take the right lessons from the verdict. "Victory gives lessons and we must learn. It teaches us humility," he said and gave an assurance that he would take the "blessings of seniors" so that "we are saved from becoming arrogant".
Underlining that decisions have to be taken with great courage, Modi made it clear that he would not be discouraged by criticism. "We welcome criticism. The more the criticism, the better it is... It is for the welfare of the country...In a democracy, criticism gives strength and it will guide us."The prime minister also touched upon a topic which was his favourite theme in his election speeches when he referred to criminal cases against elected representatives and the need to expedite trial in them so that guilty can be punished and the innocent protected."There should be fear of the law," he said, adding quick decisions in such cases will obviate the need for filing of affidavits by candidates who have to fill up details such as criminal cases pending against them whether they are genuine or false. The prime minister talked about his "dreams" of ensuring the country's progress and converting the image from "scam India" to "skills India" through "cooperative federalism".
He specifically mentioned his ideas about improving the agriculture and infrastructure sectors and for which best practices of any state would be adopted. He said the foremost priority of his government would be uplift of the poor and ensuring that nobody is without a house with water, electricity and toilet by 2022, when the country celebrates 75th year of Independence.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi repeatedly, Modi said, "Let us dream and make effort to fulfill those dreams. There will be difficulties but with your (opposition) cooperation we will move forward."Modi also had some assuring words for the states as he said, "We don't believe in big brother attitude (towards states). We believe in Cooperative Federalism."
7) Delhi power cuts: Kejriwal seeks PM's intervention:
Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal has sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in solving the power crisis in the national capital. “Kejriwal has written a letter to PM Modi and has sought his intervention to solve the power crisis, which the people of Delhi have been facing these days,” said an AAP leader.
As Delhi is under President’s rule, AAP leaders argue that the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is in power at the Centre, is entrusted with the responsibility of solving the power crisis.
On Tuesday, AAP members had staged a protest outside Union Minister Harsh Vardhan’s house in East Delhi, demanding urgent steps by the Centre to improve electricity supply in the city.
Delhi has been reeling under long power cuts ranging from one to six hours for over a week after a devastating storm severely damaged major power transmission lines across the city.
Sports News This Week:
1) 17 Wildest Things at the World Cup Opening Ceremony:
Brazil marked the beginning of its futbol festivities on Thursday with a grand opening ceremony that confused most viewers, but did manage to give us a plethora of ideas for our next Halloween costumes. There were dancing trees and running flowers and human soccer balls. Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull sang and kind of shouted into their microphones. If you watched the Spanish live stream it probably made no sense. If you watched the English version airing on NBC it probably made no sense.
And somewhere, Vladimir Putin and his giant Sochi Bear pal are grinning, thinking that they'd finally given up the spot for weirdest opening ceremonies of all time.
2) Neymar Leads Brazil to 3-1 Win Over Croatia:
Neymar showed why he is carrying Brazil’s hopes at the World Cup, scoring twice on Thursday to help the underwhelming hosts escape a disappointing start to the tournament.
With Brazil struggling and down a goal against a spirited Croatian team, Neymar came through to lead his team to a 3-1 win in the opening match, scoring once in each half. The killer goal to make the score 2-1 was a hotly contested penalty awarded by Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura.
“Things weren’t going well,” he said. “The first match is always difficult, we were anxious, we were nervous. I’m glad I was able to get the goals we needed at the time we needed them.”“He is a special player and we know that,” Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. “And he needs to know that we know that. Brazil got off to a slow start in its home tournament.
Defender Marcelo found his own net while trying to clear a low cross by Ivica Olic in the 11th minute, stunning the crowd of more than 62,100 packing the Itaquerao Stadium.But Neymar equalized in the 29th, firing a perfectly placed low shot that went in off the post. He said he didn’t hit the ball perfectly, “but it went in, it’s all that matters.”“It’s important to start these tournaments on the right foot, with a victory,” said Neymar. “I’m happy that I got to score, but the entire team deserves credit. We maintained our calm and showed we could battle back.”
The game turned on a controversial penalty awarded by Nishimura in the second half after striker Fred went down inside the area under minimal contact from defender Dejan Lovren.Neymar scored from the spot in the 71st minute, getting his 33rd goal with Brazil. Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa nearly saved Neymar’s shot, but it was struck hard enough to deflect into the net. The Croatians were furious.“If that was a penalty, we should be playing basketball. Those kinds of fouls are penalized there,” Croatia coach Niko Kovac said.“That is shameful, this is not a World Cup referee. He had one kind of criteria for them and another for us. The rules were not the same,” Kovac said.As Croatia searched desperately for an equalizer, Oscar added to the lead in the first minute of injury time with a toe poke from just outside the penalty area.
A draw would have been a huge disappointment for Brazil, which had won its opening match the last eight times and is overwhelming favorite to win the competition.“The team didn’t give up,” Brazil defender David Luiz said “We knew it would be hard but we played well and got that first goal and then the victory.”The tournament finally got underway as planned after months of talk about the preparation problems that plagued Brazil since it was picked as host seven years ago.The troubled Itaquerao, which wasn’t fully finished for the opener, held up without major setbacks to fans or the match itself, although part of the lights atop the pitch went out a few times for brief periods in the first half
3) French Open: Maria Sharapova wins 2014 crown with victory over Simona Halep:
She's been called "beautiful," "hot" and "sexy" but when it comes to tennis, the most apt description for Maria Sharapova has to be "tough."
The Russian rallied from a set down three straight times to reach this year's French Open final and then prevailed in Saturday's thrilling three-hour finale against rising star Simona Halep, 6-4 6-7 6-4."This is the toughest grand slam final I've ever played," Sharapova, who was contesting a ninth such match, summed up as she collected her trophy.
Even after losing the second set and hitting a flurry of double faults, Sharapova still had the edge.She's almost a sure thing in third sets on clay, having triumphed 20 times in a row. It's been six years since the 27-year-old was defeated after capturing the first set in a clay-court match, too.But if Halep maintains this form, it won't be long before she opens her grand slam account.
Smaller and with less power than Sharapova, the Romanian nonetheless almost did the unthinkable -- toughing out the now five-time grand slam champion. Her manager, Virginia Ruzici, remains the last Romanian to win a grand slam, in Paris in 1978.
4) French Open: Rafael Nadal wins unprecedented 9th title:
Trying to beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open is, without a doubt, the toughest task in tennis. Indeed, must be among the greatest challenges in all of sports.The pressure he applies, from set to set, game to game, point to point, shot to shot. That bullwhip of a high-bouncing, topspin lefty forehand. Those quick-reflex returns that help him break an opponent's serve — and his will.
Doing what he does so well on the red clay of Roland Garros, a surface and site he dominates so completely, the No. 1-seeded Nadal wore down No. 2 Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 in a muggy final Sunday to win his ninth French Open championship and fifth in a row, both records."For me," Nadal said, "playing here in Roland Garros is just unforgettable, forever."
It is also his 14th Grand Slam title overall, tying the 28-year-old Spaniard with Pete Sampras for the second most by a man, behind only Roger Federer's 17.That includes Nadal's two trophies apiece at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, along with one from the Australian Open, proving he can beat the best on grass and hard courts, too. But it's on the clay of Paris where Nadal reigns supreme: He has won 66 of 67 career French Open matches.Since the only loss, against Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009, Nadal has won 35 consecutive matches at Roland Garros.No other man has won more than seven titles at any of tennis' four majors."It's not impossible, but it's very, very difficult to stay with Rafa in this court, throughout the whole match, on the highest level of performance," said Djokovic, who was broken in the final game of each set, including with an anticlimactic double-fault on match point.
5) Spain vs Netherlands, the rematch:
The big rematch between Spain and Netherlands has come around quickly. The teams that played in the final of the last World Cup meet again on Day 2 in Brazil.
The 2014 tournament kicked off with host nation Brazil beating Croatia 3-1 after conceding an early own goal on Thursday. The Group B clash between defending champion Spain and Netherlands is one of three games set for Friday.
Here are some things to look for:
NO COMPARISON: Dutch winger Arjen Robben has consigned his team's 1-0 loss to Spain in the 2010 final to history, saying he doesn't believe in revenge and there's no way to compare a group game with a title decider.
That doesn't mean there'll be any less ferocity in the tackles.On the eve of the rematch, coach Louis van Gaal defended the tough tackling in the 2010 final that resulted in a total of 13 yellow cards, one red card and wide criticism for his predecessor. That sounds like a cue for more of the same.Van Gaal signaled he's considering playing five defenders to stifle Spain's slick-passing forwards in a further sign that the attacking "total football" style of the Dutch teams of the 1970s and '80s has been supplanted by a tough, uncompromising focus on defense.And they train as they intend to play — Robben was floored twice in tackles in practice this week and midfield playmaker Wesley Sneijder was left wincing in pain after a tackle from behind by Nigel de Jong.Spain coach Vicente del Bosque believes his team is in its prime and determined to continue a winning run in major events that started at Euro 2008.
Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa is expected to start up front for a Spain, which will likely be relying on a midfield containing David Silva, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Busquets to help the team dominate possession.Fabregas will be playing a day after announcing he is leaving Barcelona to return to Chelsea on a five-year deal.
Book Of This Week:
Origin of the Soul and the Purpose of Reincarnation: by Walter Semkiw
Origin of the Soul and the Purpose of Reincarnation serves as a complement to prior books on reincarnation written by Dr. Semkiw, such as Born Again and Return of the Revolutionaries, which focus on cases which demonstrate objective evidence of reincarnation. Dr. Semkiw draws upon independent research, including books such as Twenty Cases of Reincarnation, Xenoglossy, Unlearned Language and European Cases of the Reincarnation Type, all written by Ian Stevenson, MD, to better understand the nature of the soul and how reincarnation works. Dr. Semkiw also utilizes information gathered through Kevin Ryerson, a trance medium who has been featured in Shirley MacLaine's books, including Out on a Limb. Topics covered in Origin of the Soul and the Purpose of Reincarnation include when and how souls were created, how personality is determined, the nature of soul mates, stages of human evolution, and the nature of time and space. Split incarnation, where one soul inhabits more than one body at a time, as well as ghosts, astrology, the Kabbalah and Enneagram are also addressed. Stages of initiation, identified in the life of Jesus, are reviewed. Child prodigies are explained through reincarnation, as illustrated in cases involving Beethoven, Anne Frank, Gauguin, Picasso, Rubens and Oprah Winfrey. New reincarnation cases include those involving Hans Christian Andersen, Beethoven, Annie Besant, Francis Collins, Copernicus, Maneka Gandhi, Edvard Grieg, Jean Baptist Lamarck, Bruce Lipton, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Napoleon, Adam Smith, Craig Venter and St. Teresa of Avila. Respected clairvoyants, who can access spiritual realms and beings, have contributed to Origin of the Soul and the Purpose of Reincarnation. These include Echo Bodine, Judy Goodman, Wayne Peterson and Michael Tamura. In working together and through an organization called IISIS, contributors seek to establish a new science of spirituality.
Walter Semkiw :
Dr. Semkiw is a Board Certified Occupational Medicine physician who practices at a major medical center in San Francisco, where he served as the Assistant Chief of Occupational Medicine. Previously, he served as Medical Director for Unocal 76, a Fortune 500 oil company.His undergraduate years were spent at the University of Illinois, where he majored in biology and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with University Honors. After obtaining his medical degree at the University of Illinois, Chicago, he trained in psychiatry at the University of Colorado, Denver.
He subsequently entered an Occupational Medicine residency at the University of Illinois, Chicago, where he earned a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree. In this program, he studied epidemiology and biostatistics, disciplines concerned with establishing scientific proofs. On his Occupational Medicine board examination, he scored in the 99th percentile.
Walter embarked on reincarnation research in 1995 and he is the author of Return of the Revolutionaries: The Case for Reincarnation and Soul Groups Reunited, which was published in 2003. In this book, a cohort reincarnated from the time of the American Revolution is identified. Former President Bill Clinton wrote, regarding Revolutionaries, “It looks fascinating,” and neurosurgeon Norm Shealy, MD, PhD, wrote “For the survival of humanity, this is the most important book written in 2000 years.”
Walter is also the author of Born Again, which is available in the India, Indonesia and Serbia (2006 version). In this book, independently researched reincarnation cases with evidence of reincarnation are compiled with a focus on the work of Ian Stevenson, MD of the University of Virginia. Cases derived through world famous trance medium Kevin Ryerson, who has been featured in Shirley MacLaine's books, are also presented. Born Again has received widespread media attention in India and Walter was featured on CNN in March 2006.
An expanded international edition of Born Again (2011), which summarizes key reincarnation cases with evidence of past lives, is now available as an E-Book, as well as in a printed version.Born Again has been commented on by the former President of India, Abdul Kalam, and by Shah Rukh Kahn, one of India’s greatest film and television stars.
Walter has also penned Origin of the Soul and the Purpose of Reincarnation. Whereas Return of the Revolutionaries and Born Again present cases which demonstrate objective evidence of reincarnation, Origin of the Soul addresses the big picture of why we reincarnate and the nature of the spiritual world.Walter has presented at the Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE), an academic group that pioneer reincarnation researcher Ian Stevenson, MD cofounded. Walter spent a day with Dr. Stevenson in 2001 and Dr. Stevenson personally sponsored Walter's membership in the SSE. Walter is an advocate of Ian Stevenson's past lives research.Dr. Semkiw has been a speaker at the first four World Congresses for Regression Therapy, held in the Netherlands, India, Brazil and Turkey. He has appeared on CNN and in Newsweek, as well as numerous other television and radio shows, including Coast to Coast. He has been cited on numerous occasions in the Times of India, which has the largest circulation of any English language newspaper in the world. In sum, Dr. Semkiw is an expert in reincarnation research, particularly reincarnation cases which demonstrate objective evidence of reincarnation.