Science News This Week:
1) Prehistoric migrations: DNA study unravels the settlement history of the New World Arctic:
We know people have lived in the New World Arctic for about 5,000 years. Archaeological evidence clearly shows that a variety of cultures survived the harsh climate in Alaska, Canada and Greenland for thousands of years. Despite this, there are several unanswered questions about these people: Where did they come from? Did they come in several waves? When did they arrive? Who are their descendants? And who can call themselves the indigenous peoples of the Arctic? We can now answer some of these questions, thanks to a comprehensive DNA study of current and former inhabitants of Greenland, Arctic Canada, Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and Siberia, conducted by an international team headed by the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen.
Looking for ancient human remains in northern Greenland.
The North American Arctic was one of the last major regions to be settled by modern humans. This happened when people crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia and wandered into a new world. While the area has long been well researched by archaeologists, little is known of its genetic prehistory. In this study, researchers show that the Paleo-Eskimo, who lived in the Arctic from about 5,000 years ago until about 700 years ago, represented a distinct wave of migration, separate from both Native Americans -- who crossed the Bering Strait much earlier -- and the Inuit, who came from Siberia to the Arctic several thousand years after the Paleo-Eskimos."Our genetic studies show that, in reality, the Paleo-Eskimos -- representing one single group -- were the first people in the Arctic, and they survived without outside contact for over 4,000 years," says Lundbeck Foundation Professor Eske Willerslev from Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum, University of Copenhagen, who headed the study."Our study also shows that the Paleo-Eskimos, after surviving in near-isolation in the harsh Arctic environment for more than 4,000 years, disappeared around 700 years ago -- about the same time when the ancestors of modern-day Inuit spread eastward from Alaska," adds Dr. Maanasa Raghavan of Centre for GeoGenetics and lead author of the article.
Migration pulses into the Americas
Greenlandic Inuit from the 1930s pictured in their traditional boats (umiaq), used for hunting and transportation.
In the archaeological literature, distinctions are drawn between the different cultural units in the Arctic in the period up to the rise of the Thule culture, which replaced all previous Arctic cultures and is the source of today's Inuit in Alaska, Canada and Greenland. The earlier cultures included the Saqqaq or Pre-Dorset and Dorset, comprising the Paleo-Eskimo tradition, with the Dorset being further divided into three phases. All of these had distinctive cultural, lifestyle and subsistence traits as seen in the archaeological record. There were also several periods during which the Arctic was devoid of human settlement. These facts have further raised questions regarding the possibility of several waves of migration from Siberia to Alaska, or perhaps NativeAmericans migrating north during the first 4,000 years of the Arctic being inhabited."Our study shows that, genetically, all of the different Paleo-Eskimo cultures belonged to the same group of people. On the other hand, they are not closely related to the Thule culture, and we see no indication of assimilation between the two groups. We have also ascertained that the Paleo-Eskimos were not descendants of the Native Americans. The genetics reveals that there must have been at least three separate pulses of migration from Siberia into the Americas and the Arctic. First came the ancestors of today's Native Americans, then came the Paleo-Eskimos, and finally the ancestors of today's Inuit," says Eske Willerslev.
Genetics and archaeology
The genetic study underpins some archaeological findings, but not all of them.
It rejects the speculation that the Paleo-Eskimos represented several different peoples, including Native Americans, or that they are direct ancestors of today's Inuit. Also rejected are the theories that the Greenlanders on the east coast or the Canadian Sadlermiut, from Southampton Island in Hudson Bay, who died out as late as 1902-03, were surviving groups of Dorset people. Genetics shows that these groups were Inuit who had developed Dorset-like cultural traits.The study clearly shows that the diversity of tools and ways of life over time, which in archaeology is often interpreted as a result of migration, does not in fact necessarily reflect influx of new people. The Paleo-Eskimos lived in near-isolation for more than 4,000 years, and during this time their culture developed in such diverse ways that it has led some to interpret them as different peoples."Essentially, we have two consecutive waves of genetically distinct groups entering the New World Arctic and giving rise to three discrete cultural units. Through this study, we are able to address the question of cultural versus genetic continuity in one of the most challenging environments that modern humans have successfully settled, and present a comprehensive picture of how the Arctic was peopled," says Dr. Raghavan.
The first inhabitants
The study was unable to establish why the disappearance of the Paleo-Eskimos coincided with the ancestors of the Inuit beginning to colonise the Arctic. There is no doubt that the Inuit ancestors -- who crossed the Bering Strait about 1,000 years ago and reached Greenland around 700 years ago -- were technologically superior.The Inuit's own myths tell stories of a people before them, which in all likelihood refer to the Paleo-Eskimos. In the myths, they are referred to as the 'Tunit' or 'Sivullirmiut', which means "the first inhabitants." According to these myths they were giants, who were taller and stronger than the Inuit, but easily frightened from their settlements by the newcomers.
2) Home is where the microbes are:
Person's home is their castle, and they populate it with their own subjects: millions and millions of bacteria.A study published tomorrow in Science provides a detailed analysis of the microbes that live in houses and apartments. The study was conducted by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago.
The results shed light on the complicated interaction between humans and the microbes that live on and around us. Mounting evidence suggests that these microscopic, teeming communities play a role in human health and disease treatment and transmission."We know that certain bacteria can make it easier for mice to put on weight, for example, and that others influence brain development in young mice," said Argonne microbiologist Jack Gilbert, who led the study. "We want to know where these bacteria come from, and as people spend more and more time indoors, we wanted to map out the microbes that live in our homes and the likelihood that they will settle on us."They are essential for us to understand our health in the 21st century," he said.
The Home Microbiome Project followed seven families, which included eighteen people, three dogs and one cat, over the course of six weeks. The participants in the study swabbed their hands, feet and noses daily to collect a sample of the microbial populations living in and on them. They also sampled surfaces in the house, including doorknobs, light switches, floors and countertops.Then the samples came to Argonne, where researchers performed DNA analysis to characterize the different species of microbes in each sample."We wanted to know how much people affected the microbial community on a house's surfaces and on each other," Gilbert said.They found that people substantially affected the microbial communities in a house -- when three of the families moved, it took less than a day for the new house to look just like the old one, microbially speaking.
Regular physical contact between individuals also mattered -- in one home where two of the three occupants were in a relationship with one another, the couple shared many more microbes. Married couples and their young children also shared most of their microbial community.Within a household, hands were the most likely to have similar microbes, while noses showed more individual variation.Adding pets changed the makeup as well, Gilbert said -- they found more plant and soil bacteria in houses with indoor-outdoor dogs or cats.In at least one case, the researchers tracked a potentially pathogenic strain of bacteria called Enterobacter, which first appeared on one person's hands, then the kitchen counter, and then another person's hands.
"This doesn't mean that the countertop was definitely the mode of transmission between the two humans, but it's certainly a smoking gun," Gilbert said.
"It's also quite possible that we are routinely exposed to harmful bacteria -- living on us and in our environment -- but it only causes disease when our immune systems are otherwise disrupted."Home microbiome studies also could potentially serve as a forensic tool, Gilbert said. Given an unidentified sample from a floor in this study, he said, "we could easily predict which family it came from."The research also suggests that when a person (and their microbes) leaves a house, the microbial community shifts noticeably in a matter of days."You could theoretically predict whether a person has lived in this location, and how recently, with very good accuracy," he said.Researchers used Argonne's Magellan cloud computing system to analyze the data; additional support came from the University of Chicago Research Computing Center.The study was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Additional funding also came from the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation.
3) Electric current to brain boosts memory: May help treat memory disorders from stroke, Alzheimer's, brain injury:
Stimulating a particular region in the brain via non-invasive delivery of electrical current using magnetic pulses, called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, improves memory, reports a new Northwestern Medicine® study.The discovery opens a new field of possibilities for treating memory impairments caused by conditions such as stroke, early-stage Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury, cardiac arrest and the memory problems that occur in healthy aging.
"We show for the first time that you can specifically change memory functions of the brain in adults without surgery or drugs, which have not proven effective," said senior author Joel Voss, assistant professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "This noninvasive stimulation improves the ability to learn new things. It has tremendous potential for treating memory disorders."The study will be published August 29 in Science.
The study also is the first to demonstrate that remembering events requires a collection of many brain regions to work in concert with a key memory structure called the hippocampus -- similar to a symphony orchestra. The electrical stimulation is like giving the brain regions a more talented conductor so they play in closer synchrony."It's like we replaced their normal conductor with Muti," Voss said, referring to Riccardo Muti, the music director of the renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra. "The brain regions played together better after the stimulation."The approach also has potential for treating mental disorders such as schizophrenia in which these brain regions and the hippocampus are out of sync with each other, affecting memory and cognition.
TMS Boosts Memory
The Northwestern study is the first to show TMS improves memory long after treatment. In the past, TMS has been used in a limited way to temporarily change brain function to improve performance during a test, for example, making someone push a button slightly faster while the brain is being stimulated. The study shows that TMS can be used to improve memory for events at least 24 hours after the stimulation is given.
Finding the Sweet Spot
It isn't possible to directly stimulate the hippocampus with TMS because it's too deep in the brain for the magnetic fields to penetrate. So, using an MRI scan, Voss and colleagues identified a superficial brain region a mere centimeter from the surface of the skull with high connectivity to the hippocampus. He wanted to see if directing the stimulation to this spot would in turn stimulate the hippocampus. It did."I was astonished to see that it worked so specifically," Voss said.
When TMS was used to stimulate this spot, regions in the brain involved with the hippocampus became more synchronized with each other, as indicated by data taken while subjects were inside an MRI machine, which records the blood flow in the brain as an indirect measure of neuronal activity.The more those regions worked together due to the stimulation, the better people were able to learn new information.
How the Study Worked
Scientists recruited 16 healthy adults ages 21 to 40. Each had a detailed anatomical image taken of his or her brain as well as 10 minutes of recording brain activity while lying quietly inside an MRI scanner. Doing this allowed the researchers to identify each person's network of brain structures that are involved in memory and well connected to the hippocampus. The structures are slightly different in each person and may vary in location by as much as a few centimeters."To properly target the stimulation, we had to identify the structures in each person's brain space because everyone's brain is different," Voss said.
Each participant then underwent a memory test, consisting of a set of arbitrary associations between faces and words that they were asked to learn and remember. After establishing their baseline ability to perform on this memory task, participants received brain stimulation 20 minutes a day for five consecutive days.During the week they also received additional MRI scans and tests of their ability to remember new sets of arbitrary word and face parings to see how their memory changed as a result of the stimulation. Then, at least 24 hours after the final stimulation, they were tested again.At least one week later, the same experiment was repeated but with a fake placebo stimulation. The order of real stimulation and placebo portions of the study was reversed for half of the participants, and they weren't told which was which.Both groups performed better on memory tests as a result of the brain stimulation. It took three days of stimulation before they improved.
"They remembered more face-word pairings after the stimulation than before, which means their learning ability improved," Voss said. "That didn't happen for the placebo condition or in another control experiment with additional subjects."
In addition, the MRI showed the stimulation caused the brain regions to become more synchronized with each other and the hippocampus. The greater the improvement in the synchronicity or connectivity between specific parts of the network, the better the performance on the memory test. "The more certain brain regions worked together because of the stimulation, the more people were able to learn face-word pairings, " Voss said.
Using TMS to stimulate memory has multiple advantages, noted first author Jane Wang, a postdoctoral fellow in Voss's lab at Feinberg. "No medication could be as specific as TMS for these memory networks," Wang said. "There are a lot of different targets and it's not easy to come up with any one receptor that's involved in memory."
4) Wake of nearby supernova hints at explosion's origins:
Observations add fuel to the debate over what causes some cosmic blasts. Radiation pouring out of a nearby supernova is giving astronomers an in-depth look at the aftermath of a stellar explosion. The unprecedented peek has revealed never-before-seen details of how gamma rays are produced by such detonations. Although these observations confirm some long-held predictions, the debate continues about what causes some supernovas to explode.
The nearby explosion, named SN 2014J, is one of a class of powerful supernovas known as type 1a, which can outshine an entire galaxy and are used as evidence for the accelerating expansion of the universe. SN 2014J, discovered in January is right next door cosmologically speaking: a mere 11 million light-years away in the M82 galaxy. Type 1a’s are rare. The last time astronomers saw one as close was 1972, when they weren’t able to make such detailed observations.
5) Walking fish reveal how our ancestors evolved onto land:
About 400 million years ago a group of fish began exploring land and evolved into tetrapods -- today's amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. But just how these ancient fish used their fishy bodies and fins in a terrestrial environment and what evolutionary processes were at play remain scientific mysteries. Researchers at McGill University published in the journal Nature, turned to a living fish, called Polypterus, to help show what might have happened when fish first attempted to walk out of the water. Polypterus is an African fish that can breathe air, 'walk' on land, and looks much like those ancient fishes that evolved into tetrapods. The team of researchers raised juvenile Polypterus on land for nearly a year, with an aim to revealing how these 'terrestrialized' fish looked and moved differently.
"Stressful environmental conditions can often reveal otherwise cryptic anatomical and behavioural variation, a form of developmental plasticity," says Emily Standen, a former McGill post-doctoral student who led the project, now at the University of Ottawa. "We wanted to use this mechanism to see what new anatomies and behaviours we could trigger in these fish and see if they match what we know of the fossil record."
Remarkable anatomical changes The fish showed significant anatomical and behavioural changes. The terrestrialized fish walked more effectively by placing their fins closer to their bodies, lifted their heads higher, and kept their fins from slipping as much as fish that were raised in water. "Anatomically, their pectoral skeleton changed to became more elongate with stronger attachments across their chest, possibly to increase support during walking, and a reduced contact with the skull to potentially allow greater head/neck motion," says Trina Du, a McGill Ph.D. student and study collaborator.
"Because many of the anatomical changes mirror the fossil record, we can hypothesize that the behavioural changes we see also reflect what may have occurred when fossil fish first walked with their fins on land," says Hans Larsson, Canada Research Chair in Macroevolution at McGill and an Associate Professor at the Redpath Museum.
Unique experiment The terrestrialized Polypterus experiment is unique and provides new ideas for how fossil fishes may have used their fins in a terrestrial environment and what evolutionary processes were at play.
Larsson adds, "This is the first example we know of that demonstrates developmental plasticity may have facilitated a large-scale evolutionary transition, by first accessing new anatomies and behaviours that could later be genetically fixed by natural selection.The study was conducted by Emily Standen, University of Ottawa, and Hans Larsson, Trina Du at McGill University.
6) Robot swarm takes many shapes:
Kilobots follow simple rules to take the form of a wrench and more. One Kilobot is not very smart. Each quarter-sized bot scuffles along on three rigid legs and can communicate only with its neighbors. Yet by instructing more than 1,000 Kilobots to follow a few simple rules, computer scientist Radhika Nagpal and her team at Harvard can get the crude bots to assemble into multiple shapes including a wrench (left),a star and the letter K without human intervention.
The demonstration, reported in the Aug. 15 Science, is the closest scientists have come to mimicking cooperative swarms in nature, such as ants that clump together to form makeshift rafts (SN Online: 6/17/14). Previous attempts involved smaller swarms of more expensive and sophisticated robots. But Kilobots, which the Harvard team developed in 2011, cost about $20 apiece; they move using the motors that make cellphones vibrate. The trick was developing a program that made the most of the bots’ capabilities, along with patience: The bots need about 12 hours to form each shape.
Eventually researchers hope to develop intelligent swarms of sand-grain-sized robots that autonomously form 3-D structures say, an actual wrench. To entice robots to form shapes, researchers upload an image of the desired shape (shaded area) to each bot. The four white bots are called seed robots they mark the position and orientation of the shape and never move. The other bots use information from neighbors to figure out their distance from the starred seed bot; the farthest ones (darkest red) start moving along the edge of the swarm. Upon reaching the seed bots, the moving bots are able to triangulate their exact position. The bots stop when they are within the shaded area and either reach the boundary or touch the bot that has just stopped in front of them. Following these rules, the bots gradually fill in the shape
Movies Release This Week:
Based on the novel The Switch, by Elmore Leonard, Louis and Ordell — two common criminals in 1970s Detroit — kidnap the housewife of a corrupt real estate developer and hold her for ransom
Code named ‘The November Man’, Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is a lethal and highly trained ex-CIA agent, who has been enjoying a quiet life in Switzerland. When Devereaux is lured out of retirement for one last mission, he must protect valuable witness, Alice Fournier, (Olga Kurylenko). He soon uncovers this assignment marks him a target of his former friend and CIA protégé David Mason (Luke Bracey). With growing suspicions of a mole in the agency, there is no one Devereaux can trust, no rules and no holds barred.
Detective Hazel Micallef hasn't had much to worry about in the sleepy town of Fort Dundas until a string of gruesome murders in the surrounding countryside brings her face to face with a serial killer driven by a higher calling.
From "The Hollywood Reporter": Story follows an American (Facinelli), widowed from his Colombia-born wife, who flies to Bogota with his new fiancée (Myles) to retrieve his rebellious teenage daughter Jill (Ramos). After a car accident leaves them stranded in a rundown isolated inn, they discover the old innkeeper has locked a young girl in the basement and their decision to set her free has unintended consequences.
Meet Shivani Shivaji Roy, Senior Inspector, Crime Branch, Mumbai Police, as she sets out to confront the mastermind behind the child trafficking mafia, which makes the mistake of kidnapping and smuggling a teenage girl who is like a daughter to her. Fighting a war which is very personal and in an obsessive hunt for the girl, Shivani stumbles into the world of debauchery, cruel desires and exploitation and onto a case that will change her life forever. What follows is a cat and mouse game between a fearless cop and a young and ruthless mafia kingpin. Catch Rani Mukerji in the lead, playing an edge of the seat role of a lifetime, in this raw and gritty film which will be a distinct departure from Pradeep Sarkar's style of filmmaking
Director: Pradeep Sarkar
Running time: 152 minutes
Cast: Rani Mukerji, Jisshu Sengupta, Tahir Bhasin, Sanjay Taneja
Music composed by: Shantanu Moitra, Karthik Raja
Political News This Week:
1) SC notice to Centre on PIL for precautions against Ebola:
The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre on a Public Interest Litigation seeking immediate steps for proper screening of international flyers coming to India from Ebola virus-affected countries to prevent the deadly virus from spreading.
A bench of Chief Justice R M Lodha, justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman also issued notice to ministries of Health, Home Affairs, Civil Aviation and External Affairs and the governments of Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal and sought their response on the PIL filed by an advocate.
The petition by advocate Vineet Dhanda sought the court's direction to the Centre and state governments to take adequate steps to prevent the deadly epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease from spreading.It sought the government "to ensure proper facilities at the airports to isolate and cure the possibly infected travellers to avoid infection to other citizens and patients".
The petition said that the government and other ministries should spread the information regarding the virus throughout the country to create more awareness about it. According to the World Health Organisation, EVD, formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. Its fatality rate is up to 90 per cent and EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rain forests.The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the virus, as per the WHO.The petition said that WHO has declared international emergency regarding EVD as 1,500 people have died so far across the world."International passengers are travelling to India from these Ebola-affected nations and no check whatsoever is being done by the government authorities to properly screen the passengers of possible virus infection," it said.
2) BSF, Pak Rangers meet amid firing in Samba:
backdrop of the night-long firing by Pakistan Rangers targeting civilians areas and BoPs, BSF troops and the Rangers on Friday held a commandant-level flag-meeting along International Border in Samba sector of Jammu and Kashmir, during which they impressed upon each other to respect the ceasefire."BSF and Pak Rangers held a flag-meeting in Ramgarh sector of Samba district on Friday," a police officer said.The commandant-level flag meeting was held at zero-line between Ballard Post of India and Imran Post of Pakistan this afternoon, he said, adding the Indian side was represented by Commandant of 126 Battalion, Hari Singh. As per reports, two sides are reported to have impressed each other to respect ceasefire along Indo-Pak border.
Barely seven hours after the commandant-level flag meeting to resume derailed talks and prepare ground for sector commander-level flag meeting, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire "again" and resorted to firing on forward Border Out Posts and civilian areas along International Border in Jammu's Akhnoor sector."There was firing by Pak Rangers on BoPs and civilian areas in Devora forward belt in Pargwal sub-sector of Akhnoor teshil around 2315 hours last night and it continued till 0430 hours today," police said.This is the second commandant-level flag meeting in series of meetings scheduled in various affected sectors ahead of formal sector commander (DIG-Brigadier) level meeting to defuse the tension and bring much needed peace on two sides of IB.
India and Pakistan on Thursday held a commandant-level flag meeting to resume the derailed talks following heaviest shelling and firing along IB since 1971 war in Jammu sector, as Pak requested a sector commander level flag meeting to defuse the situation on the border and bring peace.
3) Ganpati Bappa Morya: Bringing the Lord home:
It's that time of the year again, when the homes in Mumbai turn into temples.As Lord Ganesha comes to visit his devotees, homes are scrubbed clean and a special, beautifully decorated area is created for the Lord.The fragrance of incense fills the air, merging with the aroma of delicious home cooked meals and prasad.
The sound of soothing bhajans and the rise of voices in prayer have a purifying effect even as family and friends, dressed in their best, walk in to take Lord Ganesha's blessings and share in the festive joy.Sonil Dedhia, Hitesh Harisinghani and Afsar Daytar bring you glimpses of the first day of Ganeshostav, Mumbai's favourite festival.
There is a festive atmosphere in the streets of Mumbai. Over the past night and through the day, many enthusiastic Mumbaikars -- as the citizens of the megapolis are called -- have spilled out into the city's streets. They are bringing home their favourite God, Lord Ganesh.Cymbals and drums set up a foot-tapping beat that urges you to dance; there seems to be no other appropriate way to express your joy.Accompanied by the bursting of crackers and the singing of favourite bhajans -- yes, it's also blasted it on loudspeakers (everything is forgiven these 10 days :)) -- the elephant-headed deity begins his journey on two wheelers, four wheelers, carts... many even carry Him home, balanced on their head or cradled lovingly in their arms.
Hundreds of Ganesha idols -- from tiny little home made ones to those who tower several stories tall -- are ceremonially welcomed into homes and pandals. The 11-day Ganesha festival has begun, and the zeal and fervour with which it is celebrated needs to seen to be experienced.Roads and bylanes glitter with lights and decorations, and the city is resounds to the chant of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’.
4) Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif booked in murder case:
Lahore Police on Friday finally registered a murder case against Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shahbaz, key cabinet members and senior officials for their role in the killing of 14 supporters of Tahir-ul Qadri in the city, meeting a major demand of the fiery cleric.
Although minister and close aide of the prime minister, Pervaiz Rashid on Thursday made it clear that the government would not register the FIR against the premier and others unless Qadri ended his sit-in in Islamabad, on Friday on the Lahore High Court's order the police had to register the murder case against 21 persons."The FIR has been registered on the order of the LHC," Punjab police spokesperson Nabila Ghazanfar confirmed to PTI. She said the FIR had been registered on Qadri's PAT application under murder and other charges. Pakistan Awami Tahreek head Qadri has rejected the FIR saying the section 7 Anti-Terrorism Act had not been included in it as the PAT's application had this section."Unless the Sharifs and others are booked under terrorism charges we will not accept this FIR," he said.
The FIR No 696 has been registered against 21 persons, including Premier Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shahbaz, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Railways Minister Saad Rafique, State Minister Abid Sher Ali (also a relative of Sharifs), former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah and those senior police officers who took part in the operation.
A source in ruling PML-N said Premier Sharif after consulting his brother today morning gave a go-ahead to Inspector General Police Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera to register the FIR to meet the demand of Qadri to defuse the crisis.
"After registration of the FIR, Qadri will have no justification to continue with his sit-in along with his thousands of supporters in Islamabad," the source said. Fourteen people including two women were killed and 100 suffered bullet injuries when police raided the house and offices of Qadri in ModelTown on June 17 in a bid to remove barriers from there.The sessions court had ordered registration of the FIR on Qadri's Pakistan Awami Tahreek.Three federal ministers (named in the FIR application) challenged the decision in the LHC but it upheld the lower court's decision.
The filing of murder charges is the first major concession by the government and a sign of its increasing vulnerability to the threats by Qadri and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, who is protesting against alleged rigging in last year's general election.Political stalemate has continued for the last two weeks with Khan's PTI and Qadri's PAT refusing to budge from their demand for the prime minister's resignation.The protesters have been sitting in front of the Parliament House and the Supreme Court building since August 19, demanding Sharif's resignation.
5) Railway minister's son accused of rape, cheating by actress:
The Karnataka government on Thursday said the law would take its own course on the complaint of rape and cheating lodged by an actress against the son of Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda, who maintained he had been falsely implicated.
As the issue snowballed, the woman, a small-time model-turned actress, appeared on TV channels, insisting she was married to the minister's son' Karthik Gowda and their family should accept her as the daughter-in-law.
The issue also reached Karnataka Women's Commission, whose chairperson Manjula Manasa said the woman's sister had approached it. "I will talk to the woman and her family. An FIR has been registered. We will write to police department."The woman alleged she and Karthik knew each other from May and got married in June in the presence of Karthik's driver. "I want his (Karthik) family to take me as their daughter-in-law and I will be good daughter-in-law to them."On allegations that her photo with Karthik may be morphed, she said, "These are not morphed photos, because they were not taken by me. These were actually taken by his friends....which he sent me.""Law will take its own course," Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said in his reaction.
The railway minister, who faced severe embarrassment over the unfolding drama, said in Kochi,"...it's a falsely implicated complaint ...you very well understand as a minister I'm here (in Kochi) today in spite of that complaint.""I don't want to say anything, law will take its own course, even if it is my son or somebody law will take its own course. I will not interfere in the matter, I will do my duty," he said.A case was booked on Wednesday night against Karthik under sections 376 (punishment for rape) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code on the basis of the complaint filed by the woman on a day when his engagement ceremony with another woman took place at Kushalnagar in Kodagu district.Karnataka Home Minister K J George said, "She has given a complaint. Investigation officer will probe into the complaint and will take action in accordance with law."
The government would in no way interfere in the case, he said, adding, "The investigation officer will be given a free hand."Responding to questions on some allegations that the Congress is behind the incident, he said, "No one is behind it. A complaint has been registered and based on it an investigation officer will probe; we will not interfere in any way. I don't know who is behind it."
6) Rajnath refuses to play blame game on 'rumours' about son:
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday refused to point fingers as to who could be behind "rumours" of his son being ticked off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an alleged "misconduct", which have been denied by the Prime Minister’s Office."You are an investigative journalist and you should find out who is the rumour mongerer," was his curt reply to queries by reporters on whether he suspected any person or leader to be behind the "rumours".
Singh had on Wednesday asserted that he would quit politics if even "prima facie" it is proved that any of his family member had been involved in any misconduct following reports which claimed that his son Pankaj had been ticked off by the prime minister for an alleged "misconduct".The PMO too had reacted sharply saying, "The reports are plain lies, motivated and constitute a malicious attempt at character assassination and tarnishing the image of the government.""Those indulging in such rumour-mongering are damaging the interest of the nation. These reports are strongly denied," the PMO had said.The denials came in the wake of a media report that Singh was unhappy over rumours being spread by "a ministerial colleague" and "party rival" about his son being pulled up by the PM over some alleged misconduct.
7) Happy over success of 'experiment' with RJD, Cong: Nitish:
With the "secular alliance" successfully halting a Bharatiya Janata Party victory in Bihar bypolls, an elated Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar today expressed satisfaction over the "experiment" and said the results would have been better had the parties discussed seat sharing in better way."The experiment we made through tie-up has proved successful. People have expressed their mind and mood in favour of it," a visibly happy Nitish Kumar told media persons. As per results and trend available so far, the secular alliance has won four seats and is ahead in two more seats. The BJP has won three seats and is ahead in one.The BJP had bagged six seats out of the 10 in 2010 election while the Rashtriya Janata Dal had 3 and JD-U 1. The secular alliance has annexed two seats from BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.Kumar said, "The results in the bypoll would have been better if we had taken a decision on seat sharing in a better way." In the bypolls, RJD and JD-U contested on four seats each while the Congress fought on two seats.
"But, still in a short span of time the alliance has managed a good show in the bypoll that has taken place a little after the general election in which the BJP had registered stupendous victory in Bihar," Kumar accompanied by state JD-U president Basistha Narayan Singh and state minister Shyam Rajak, said at his 7 Circular road residence.
"Though the results are satisfactory, we still need to do a lot in future for more better outcome," he said.
Kumar took the opportunity to attack the BJP. "They had made tall claims (of winning all 10 seats)...the results of bypoll have a clear message that people will not tolerate divisive politics," Kumar said, adding the voters have expressed their "displeasure" over the government at the Centre within a little time of its formation.
"They managed to win some seats but if their arrogance continued they will not have even this," the senior JD-U leader, who resigned from the post of chief minister in the wake of Parliamentary poll debacle, said.He said, "The myth that BJP enjoys support of upper castes has also been broken in the bypoll.""The secular alliance candidates (belonging to upper castes) have won at Parbatta, Jale, Bhagalpur and Chapra," he said. Asked that his reunion with Lalu was described as "immoral" by the opposition, the JD-U leader dismissed the charge.
"In 1967, the Congress and Jansangh had united, in 1977 Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan had brought together many parties to form Janata Party while V P Singh government enjoyed support of the Left as well the BJP," he said to justify his alliance with the RJD and the Congress."Today, BJP is in the centre of power so parties opposed to its policies will naturally unite against it," he said. On question of leadership of the alliance for assembly poll next year, Kumar said "every partner party will first discuss the issue within its own organisation and than will talk with each other at the appropriate time."Kumar took potshots at BJP whose leaders have said that the state did not deserve special category status and said "while displaying this arrogance they forget the fact that Bihar contributed a lot in putting them in power in Delhi."
Sports News This Week:
1) India tour of England: Rohit Sharma ruled out of ODI series with fractured finger:
India claim first Win in the one-day international series against England
India opener Rohit Sharma will miss the next three one-day internationals and the one-off Twenty20 game against England with a finger injury and will be replaced by Murali Vijay, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) said on Friday.
“Rohit Sharma has sustained a fracture on the middle finger of his right hand, and has been ruled out of the ongoing ODI and T20 International series against England, as a result,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.
Sharma scored 52 in India’s 133-run win in the rain-marred second one-dayer at Cardiff on Wednesday to help the visitors go 1-0 up in the five-match series. Nottingham hosts the next match on Saturday.
The UP batsman raced away into the 90s with back to back fours off Ben Stokes and with a single off a Jordan full toss, brought up a memorable hundred. His first in four years seven months and 13 days, and his first-ever outside the sub-continent. Raina perished soon after, to Woakes, but not before preparing a platform for the bowlers to bowl India to their first high after the abysmal lows of the past one month.
Rain followed Raina, and the target was revised to 295 from 47 overs. Cook and debutant Alex Hales gave England a half-century starts. But after the skipper fell to a dubious lbw decision off Mohammad Shami, England’s wheels came off. Ravindra Jadeja, pedestrian during the Tests, looked unplayable here as the home team lost their next nine wickets for just 107 runs to be bowled out for 168 in 38.1 overs.
Colour returned to the Indian camp with a 1-0 lead. But a word of caution here: The last time MS Dhoni & Co led a five-match series after game two, they went on to lose it 3-1.
2) Assured bronze, PV Sindhu scripts history at World Championships:
PV Sindhu beats world no.2 Shixian Wang in the quarter-final of the World Badminton Championships at Copenhagen. Assured at least a bronze, she becomes first Indian to win two medals at the Championships.Sindhu beat her opponent from China 19-21, 21-19, 21-15 in an evenly fought contest on Friday.Earlier, India’s star shuttler Saina Nehwal crashed out of the World Badminton Championships after suffering a straight game defeat at the hands of top seed Li Xuerui of China.
The seventh-seeded Saina was no match for World No.1 Xuerui, who took just 45 minutes to sent packing the Indian with identical 15-21 15-21 scoreline.With this victory at the Ballerup Super Arena, the Chinese had extended her head-to-head win-loss record against Saina to 8-2.Olympic bronze medallist Saina, who had to fought her way back from a game down to register a 14-21 21-18 21-12 win over Sayaka Takahashi of Japan in the previous round, looked rusty from the start and was trailing Xuerui in the entire first game.Xuerui took advantage of Saina’s erratic play and raced to a 9-4 lead before the Indian brought the gap down to 10-8. But just when it seemed Saina is slowly getting her acts together, the Chinese regrouped herself and increased her lead to 18-11 before closing down the first game.
The second game was more competitive as it was neck-and-neck fight between Saina and Xuerui till the first five points before the Indian pocketed four consecutive points to lead 9-5.Saina maintained her four point lead till 12-8 before Chinese shuttler earned four straight points to draw level at 12-all.Fatigue seemed to have caught up Saina thereafter as she struggled to match her opponent, who rose from strength to strength.From 13 apiece, Xuerui again won four consecutive points to take the lead for the first time in the game and then sealed the match in her favour with another straight points.Xuerui will play 16th seed Minatsu Mitani of Japan in the semifinals. Mitani stunned fifth seede Ji Hyun Sung of Korea 9-21 21-18 22-20 in hard-fought contest.
3) Refreshed Murray beats Bachinger in straight sets:
Eighth seed Andy Murray, who overcame cramping in his first-round victory, roared past unseeded German Matthias Bachinger in straight sets on Thursday to reach the third round of the U.S. Open.Murray, the 2012 U.S. champion and 2013 Wimbledon winner, looked fresh and strong in cool, breezy conditions as he rolled to a 6-3 6-3 6-4 victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium in his first meeting against the German.The Briton, never broken in the one hour 46-minute match, ripped 36 winners, more than doubling the 17 unforced errors he was charged with.
Murray said he was well over the effects of the cramps he suffered in Monday's first-round match against Dutchman Robin Haase.
"I felt fine the last couple days. Had no problems on the Tuesday or Wednesday," the Scotsman said. "I practiced well and didn't have any problem. Tonight was fine, too."Murray also had few problems deflecting questions about his thoughts on a referendum on Scottish independence next month."I haven't thought that much about that yet because I don't think it's looking too likely that it's going to happen," said the London-based Murray, adding that he had watched about 45 minutes of the second debate.
Murray did concede he would play for Scotland at the 2016 Rio Olympics, if they gained independence from the rest of Britain, though was not keen on getting too drawn into a political discussion."I'm not going into that," he said. "I don't want to talk about politics in here. I'll worry about my tennis."Murray will next meet Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, who eliminated 31st seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain in five sets 6-3 4-6 4-6 7-5 6-3."He's had a couple big wins in the slams this year," said Murray. "He beat (David) Ferrer at Wimbledon and obviously today against Verdasco"I've never played him before. I don't know his game that well, but I've seen him play a little bit. He hits the ball pretty flat."Likes to go for his shots a lot. This court's fairly quick, so that will probably help him."
Maria Sharapova, of Russia, blows kisses to the crowd after defeating Alexandra Dulgheru, of Romania, during the second round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, in New York
4) Del Piero signs for Delhi in Indian Super league:
Former Italy great Alessandro Del Piero will play for the Delhi franchise of the Indian Super League (ISL) and will also be the competition's brand ambassador, the ex-Juventus player has said."I am happy to announce that I have just signed a contract that will tie me to the club Dynamos Delhi and the Indian Super League for the season that is about to begin," Del Piero said on his website (www.alessandrodelpiero.com).
"I'll be a member of the team that will participate in the new Indian football championship and being the ambassador of this league I will have the honour and responsibility of promoting the image and popularity of football in the country."
Delhi Dynamos officials were not immediately available for comment.Del Piero left Australian club Sydney FC earlier this year after a two-year stint that helped lift the A-League's profile and he will be expected to play a similar role with the eight-team Indian league that runs from Oct. 12 to Dec. 20."I've always looked for something different, I see myself as a 'traveller on the roads of football', for me, the pitch isn't the only thing that counts, that what surrounds the game counts just as much," said the Italian who turns 40 in November."This is the reason why I went to Australia. Also why I'm happy with the results obtained with Australian football (soccer!), in the two years I was there, and with everything that country has given me."This is the reason why I'm going to India."Another stopover during this fantastic journey."Former France and Juventus striker David Trezeguet, his compatriot Robert Pires, Spaniards Joan Capdevila and Luis Garcia and former Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra have also confirmed their participation in the league
5) In kabaddi, the classic Ram-Shyam tale unfolds:
Chaos and high-intensity jostling: It’s almost always on display when a raider gets a touch on a defender in kabaddi. As such it becomes hard for referees to ascertain who is the tagged player in the melee once the attacker gets back to the mid-line. Over the years, Indian officials had steadily gotten sharper in judging the genuine touch. Very rarely could a defender, or even a raider fake his way to save or earn an extra point. That is until Ram and Shyam entered the kabaddi court.
The identical twins from Kolkata would often cause mayhem when either was tagged. The touch, the ensuing hustle, and both raider and referees would be confused as the attacker would end up tagging the same twin twice. “Sometimes they’d just tag Shyam or me more than once thinking they touched us both. Sometimes the raider did tag us both but we’d claim he only touched one. We cause so many fights that way,” chuckles Ram Kumar Saha.
Book Of This Week:
Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes :
Which of two stuffed parrots was the inspiration for one of Flaubert's greatest stories? Why did the master keep changing the colour of Emma Bovary's eyes? And why should it matter so much to Geoffrey Braithwaite, a retired doctor haunted by a private secret? In "Flaubert's Parrot", Julian Barnes spins out a multiple mystery of obsession and betrayal (both scholarly and romantic) and creates an exuberant enquiry into the ways in which art mirrors life and then turns around to shape it.The novel follows Geoffrey Braithwaite, a widowed, retired English doctor, visiting France and Flaubert locations. While visiting sites related to Flaubert, Geoffrey encounters two incidences of museums claiming to display the stuffed parrot which sat atop Flaubert's writing desk for a brief period while he wrote Un Coeur Simple. While trying to identify which is authentic Braithwaite ultimately learns that Flaubert's parrot could be any one of fifty ("Une cinquantaine de perroquets!", p. 187) that had been held in the collection of the municipal museum.
Although the main focus of the narrative is tracking down the parrot, many chapters exist independently of this plotline, consisting of Braithwaite's reflections, such as on Flaubert's love life and how it was affected by trains, and animal imagery in Flaubert's works and the animals with which he himself was identified (usually a bear, but also a dog, sheep, camel and parrot)
Julian Patrick Barnes: is a contemporary English writer of postmodernism in literature. He has been shortlisted three times for the Man Booker Prize--- Flaubert's Parrot (1984), England, England (1998), and Arthur & George (2005), and won the prize for The Sense of an Ending (2011). He has written crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh.
Following an education at the City of London School and Merton College, Oxford, he worked as a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary. Subsequently, he worked as a literary editor and film critic. He now writes full-time. His brother, Jonathan Barnes, is a philosopher specialized in Ancient Philosophy.He lived in London with his wife, the literary agent Pat Kavanagh, until her death on 20 October 2008