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first_imgIn the wake of the Supreme Court order banning liquor vends, bars and pubs within 500 metres of national and State highways, a few hotels and complexes in Gurugram have changed the entrance to their establishments.At least three hotels – The Oberoi, The Trident and The Leela – have shut the main entrance and opened the staff gate for their guests.The move is being viewed as a way to increase the motorable distance from National Highway 8. The hotels have deployed security guards at the main gate to guide their guests to the new entrance.When asked if this had been done to circumvent the apex court order, Gurugram Deputy Commissioner Hardeep Singh said on Wednesday that it had been brought to his notice.He said he would seek the opinion of the Town and Country Planning Department on the new entrances before deciding on the distance from NH-8.“The new entrance will be considered for measuring the motorable distance only if it is not in violation of the plan,” Mr Singh added.A guard at one of the hotels said it was the only option left for them.The Leela has closed the earlier U-turn leading to its premises and instead opened another U-turn just opposite Lagoon Club. Both The Oberoi and The Leela refused to comment.The U-turn just opposite Leisure Valley park, too, has been closed, increasing the distance to the Sector 29 commercial complex by a few metres from the service road along NH-8.Similarly, the unauthorised cut to the main entrance of CyberHub has been closed and vehicles now have to take a detour from the U-turn underpass, exceeding the 500 metre limit. However, a bar owner maintained that the unauthorised cut was allowed due to the construction of DLF-HUDA road and the new route was as per the master plan.last_img read more

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first_imgGujarat is witnessing temperatures ranging from 41°C to 44 in most of places except for Surat where mercury hovered around 34°C.On Monday, Surendranagar was the hottest with 44.8°C while State capital Gandhinagar recorded 44.5°C and Ahmedabad 43.3°CThe State will continue to remain under the heat wave conditions for next five days dry weather conditions will prevail in most of North Gujarat and Saurashtra region. An average of 550 heat related emergency cases are reported across the state. An orange alert has been issued in the State asking citizens to take minimise outings between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The main cases are related to stomach pain, vomiting, dehydration, heat stroke, nose bleeding and flotation in blood pressure.In Ahmedabad city alone, around 100 cases are registered in government hospitals. “We are seeing surge in heat stroke cases for last two to three days. People of all age-groups are affected but senior citizens and children are more vulnerable to heat strokes,” said Dr. Pravin Garg, a senior medical professional in the city.He added that heart and diabetic patients are also vulnerable and they should not venture out of their homes during the day.last_img read more

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first_imgA jawan of Special Operation Group (SOG) was killed and six others were injured in a Maoist ambush near Khamankhol under Baliguda police station limits in Kandhamal district of Odisha at around midnight on Saturday.According to Inspector General of Police (IGP), southern range, Amitabh Thakur, an exchange of fire for around one hour occurred at the spot between the SOG personnel and naxalites after this ambush. Security personnel fired more than 300 rounds and also lobbed grenades at the ultras. “There are chances of casualties on the side of Maoists. So, reinforcement has been mobilized to the area to intensify search operation,” said Mr Thakur.This group of SOG personnel were returning in four vehicles after completion of an anti-Maoist operation based on intelligence reports. The last vehicle in the motorcade was targeted at the jungle ghat road near Khamankhol. The hiding Maoists fired heavily at this vehicle carrying SOG jawans. It was valiantly retaliated by the SOG jawans.During this exchange of fire, a SOG jawan named Laxmikant Jani from Kalahandi district was killed. Six others including driver of the targeted vehicle sustained injuries. They were first provided primary medical treatment at Baliguda hospital. Later, three of them were shifted to Kandhamal District Headquarter Hospital in Phulbani and other three seriously injured were transported to MKCG medical college and hospital in Berhampur.last_img read more

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first_imgIn stepped up activity over Thursday and Friday, militants attacked a policeman, a police station, a former counter-insurgent and the house of a Superintendent of Police in south Kashmir.The policeman, identified as Saleem Yousuf Bhat, who was on leave at Kulgam’s Yamrach area, was fired upon on Thursday evening. Also in Kulgam’s Qoimoh, suspected militants barged into the house of a Superintendent of Police-rank officer. However, he was not at home and the militants left after ransacking the premises. The house of a counter-insurgent, whose identity could not be ascertained immediately, was also set on fire by militants in Kulgam’s Bachroo area.The spurt in attacks on local police is being attributed to police action against the family of a militant, Tauseef Sheikh, whose role is being investigated in the killing of a policeman, Nazir Ahmad Tantray. Tantray was shot dead in Kulgam on Wednesday. Locals accused the security forces of excesses during a raid on Sheikh’s house with members of the family allegedly suffering injuries due to police action. Militants also fired upon an army patrol and a police station in nearby Shopian district on Thursday night. There were no reports of any injuries.Rawat in J&KArmy chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday arrived in Jammu and visited forward positions on theLoC in Rajouri and Poonch. He will chair a security review meeting.last_img read more

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first_imgThe electrocution of a tigress in the Chimur forest range in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra on November 7 brings the tiger death toll due to electrocution in the Vidarbha area alone to five this year.Why are tigers dying?In a desperate attempt to prevent herbivores like nilgai (blue bulls) and wild boar from destroying their crops, farmers often set up illegal high-voltage electrical fences around their fields drawing power from electrical lines meant for home or agricultural use. Tigers, which use human-dominated landscapes including agricultural fields to move about, die when they come in contact with these fences. In some places, poachers erect live wiretraps using overhead 11 kv lines to kill animals, says Nitin Desai, director (central India) of the Wildlife Protection Society of India, an NGO that operates in the area. “This is fatal to any animal that comes in contact with it and is generally done at night,” he points out.Why are there more incidents now?This year, seven tigers have been electrocuted in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh alone, says Bilal Habib, a scientist at the Wildlife Institute of India. Habib’s team had radio-collared four tigers to study their movement outside protected areas in the landscape; three of them died due to electrocution this year. “The radio collars highlighted the threat and helped us understand what is happening,” he adds. “Electrocution could be a major problem in other landscapes too, but we are probably not aware of it.”Though the last tiger death due to electrocution in the adjoining Telengana-Andhra Pradesh belt (parts of which are contiguous to the central Indian landscape) was reported from Andhra’s Chennur in December last year, electrocution of wildlife is a problem in these States too, says wildlife biologist Imran Siddiqui who studies tigers at the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary in Telangana. Why is this a problem?These tiger deaths are just the tip of the iceberg and point to a larger problem, says Milind Pariwakam, wildlife biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Central Indian Programme. “Many uncollared animals may be dying of electrocution. Rampant and illegal use of high-voltage electric fences and traps is making the agricultural matrix more hostile to tiger movement, raising the importance of unbroken forest corridors,” he says.Experts admit that electrocution is one of the major threats to tiger conservation in central India. The resulting tiger mortality could be a problem for the 50,000-sq km central Indian area — consisting of protected areas, reserved forests, agricultural land and villages in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh — which supports one of India’s largest tiger populations and has been identified as a global tiger conservation landscape.What are authorities saying?The threat of electrocution seems to be higher in villages near the core regions of the protected areas where crop raids by wild animals are more frequent, prompting farmers to put up high-voltage fences. With Maharashtra’s Electricity and Forest Departments, Habib’s team has identified nearly 200 villages that are prone to such a conflict and where tiger electrocutions are also highly probable. In these areas, the government hopes to initiate awareness campaigns to prevent the use of electric fences. The campaigns will also highlight the illegal use of such fences for crop protection: stealing power from overhead lines amounts to theft, and animal deaths that result from the erection of these fences are offences under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. “Solar fencing has been going on in the buffer zone of parks nearby for the past three years and we find that it is successful,” says Bandu Dothre, Honorary Wildlife Warden of Chandrapur district. “We have requested for it in the non-buffer areas also.”last_img read more

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first_imgOne person was killed and at least five others injured early on Wednesday when an Army recruitment drive was going on in Rohtas district of Bihar.All the injured were rushed to the Rohtas Government Hospital for medical treatment.The recruitment drive has been going on for the last five days at the BMP ground in Dehri-on-Sone area of the district.A large number of aspirants had come to the place and were asked to stand in the queue early on Wednesday. A stampede took place after the police is said to have resorted to lathicharge on them. One aspirant, said to be from Gaya district, was killed in the stampede. His identity has not been ascertained yet.Five others, including Shyamnandan Kumar, Manish Kumar, Dharmendra Kumar, Devdut Kumar, were injured in the stampede.“All the injured persons are being treated and out of danger,” said Rohtas civil surgeon Nawal Kishore Prasad Singh.The injured persons too are said to be from Gaya district.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Meghalaya government will take necessary steps to stop Assam from constructing roads in the rural areas of the State’s Ri-Bhoi district, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said on Friday.The neighbouring State is building two roads — Umsohbar to Belakhowa and Bakhlapara to Jimbarigaon — in Jirang area of the district, Mr. Sangma told the Assembly on Friday quoting official reports he received three days ago.“The government of Assam has decided to start construction of roads in areas that fall in Meghalaya. The government of Meghalaya will take all necessary steps to stop the road construction work,” he said, while replying to a calling attention notice by local MLA S. Sohtun.The alignment of the two roads, currently being undertaken by the Assam authorities, will overlap with the infrastructure development work of Meghalaya, he said.“The Jimbarigaon, Belakhowa and Ranibari areas have been included in the core network of the State and the road department prepared detailed project reports, which have been approved by the Union Ministry of Rural Development,” the CM said.The metalling work for three stretches — Bakhlapara to Junbarigaon, Junbarigaon to Belakhowa and Pahamshru to Ranibari — have been sanctioned for ₹222.16 lakh, ₹875.68 lakh and ₹686.81 lakh respectively, the CM said.last_img read more

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first_imgBharatiya Janata Party national president Amit Shah on Monday asked the media not to consider his attacks on Congress president Rahul Gandhi as personal ones.Addressing a press conference in Ambikapur town of north Chhattisgarh, he said the term “Congress-mukt Bharat” did not imply an India free from the Congress party but an India free from the Congress culture.“Don’t consider it a personal attack. He [Rahul Gandhi] presented some issues in front of people and I have only tried to answer them. No one is a danger in a democracy. Our party has done good work and as long as we continue it, the people will keep supporting us. I am asking an account of four generations (of Gandhi family’s rule) from him because he is the Congress president and his family has ruled this country for 55 years. When you become the president of the Congress, you have to answer about the Congress’s legacies — the way I am answering about the BJP’s, being its president. There can’t be an objection to this,” Mr. Shah said, while responding to a question on whether he considered Mr. Gandhi a threat.Mr. Shah, who is on a two-day trip to poll-bound Chhattisgarh, had accused the Congress of spreading lies and demanded an account of the 55 year-long rule of the Gandhi family at a rally in Sarguja district of north Chhattisgarh on Sunday.To a question whether his party does not want any opposition in the country when it talks of “Congress-mukt Bharat”, the BJP president responded, “When we talk of Congress-mukt Bharat, we imply the end of Congress culture, not an end of the opposition. Democracy is not possible without an opposition. But it is not my responsibility to keep alive the Congress. It is Rahul Gandhi’s responsibility. Your question is directed at a wrong address.”He also denied that the middle class was moving away from the BJP and said the government was equally concerned about the rising fuel prices. “If the middle class had been moving away from us, then we would not have won elections on such a massive scale. This is a misleading propaganda. All sections of society have supported the BJP which is why we could get elected and form the government in 14 States. The government is thinking about fuel prices constantly and in the last 12 days, they have been reduced,” Mr. Shah said.Tackling terrorAsked about the Congress’s allegations that the highest number of soldiers have died on the border during the Modi government’s four-year rule, he shot back saying the Congress should also give the number of terrorists killed during these four years. “The highest number of terrorists have been killed in these four years.”With Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh by his side, the BJP president reiterated that his party’s “Mission 65” for the Assembly election in Chhattisgarh was going to succeed and claimed that the people had made up their mind to elect a BJP government for the fourth time.When we talk of Congress-mukt Bharat, we imply end of Congress culture, not an end of the oppositionlast_img read more

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first_imgAmid seat-sharing tiff, the National Democratic Alliance constituent in Bihar, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, on Thursday split as rebel party MP Arun Kumar floated a new party. Mr. Kumar, MP from Jehanabad, was earlier suspended from the party by the Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP for anti-party activities.Not officialThe new party was named Rashtriya Samata Party (Secular) at a function here. Mr. Kumar was present at the programme but he did not join the party officially to avoid losing his Lok Sabha membership under the anti-defection law. “He will guide us from outside,” said a member. The symbol of the party would be ‘tractor’.Former MLC Ajay Singh Almast, Vinod Kushwaha, Ram Pukar Sinha, Shiv Kumar Singh, Khurshid Anwar, Manoj Lal Das, who were present, said the party would follow the principles of veteran socialist leader George Fernandes .Two MLAsThe RLSP had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha poll as a constituent of the NDA and won three seats in Bihar. Party president Upendra Kushwaha had won the Karakat Lok Sabha seat, Arun Kumar the Jehanabad seat and Ram Kumar Sharma the Sitamarhi seat. The RLSP has two MLAs in the 243-member Bihar Assembly, Lalan Paswan from Chenari and Sudhansu Sekhar from Harlakhi.In August 2016, the party had suspended Mr. Kumar and Mr. Paswan for indulging in anti-party activities. Of late, while Mr. Kushwaha had put the BJP in a tight spot demanding early seat adjustment, Mr. Kumar had declared that he would go with the BJP.last_img read more

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first_imgRescue teams have found bodies of eight persons who were swept away by surging waters at the Sultan Garh Waterfalls in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh on August 15 following heavy rains upstream.The Shivpuri police said search for some other persons is under way.Of the eight victims, five have been identified as Abhishek Kushwaha, Nishi Kushwaha, Lokendra Kushwaha, Sonu Chouhan and Faiz Khan, officers at Mohana police station informed over telephone.According to the police, members of at least nine families had filed missing complaints at the police station. A team of police personnel and divers are now searching for the other missing persons, Sub-Divisional Officer Suresh Dohre said.Video footageThe tragedy at the Sultan Garh Waterfalls struck on Wednesday when due to heavy rains upstream the water level rose dangerously around 4 p.m. and caught those bathing and relaxing near the waterbody unawares.The incident caught on camera showed several people being stranded on rocks in the middle of the water stream. Few seconds later, some of them were seen being swept away by the gushing water. The video clip of the tragedy was widely shared on social media.People from nearby villages helped in the rescue operation because of which 45 lives were saved.The Madhya Pradesh government on Thursday made an announcement to felicitate the rescuers involved in the operation. An amount of ₹5 lakh each will be given as Samman Nidhi to the rescuers, said an official.“The assistance rendered by Nizam Khan, Ramsevak Prajapti, Kallan Batham, Devendra Singh and Balram Bhagirath is noteworthy. They deserve to be praised,” Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Maharashtra police on Monday arrested Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former MP Ganesh Dudhgaonkar in an alleged land grab case in Parbhani. A police team took Mr. Dudhgaonkar — an important NCP leader in the district — into custody from his home in Pokharni village early this morning.“Following medical tests, he [Dudhgaonkar] was arrested at 9.45 a.m.,” said an officer from the Nanalpeth police station.In April, a case of cheating under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was lodged against five persons, including the former MP, in connection with attempting to illictly take possession of land belonging to employees of the Dnyanopasak Shikhshan Mandal (education society) which runs the Dnyanopasak College of Arts, Commerce and Science – a noted establishment in Parbhani.According to sources, the 16-acre plot was bought by the DSM to build a housing society for its employees. However, Mr. Dudhgaonkar, in collusion with the local revenue department officials, allegedly tampered with the land records in a bid to transfer the prime property, worth crores, in his name.A complaint was lodged at Nanalpeth police station by the college’s former principal, Dr. Baburao Solanke. earlier this year.This is the second arrest in this case. A talathi, Dattatrey Kadam, had been arrested by the police last week.A frequent party-hopper, Mr. Dudhgaonkar defected from the Congress to join Shiv Sena. He won the Parbhani Lok Sabha seat on a Sena ticket in 2009. He joined NCP before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, contested and lost.last_img read more

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first_imgRegional political parties in Jammu and Kashmir condemned the killing of six protesters in firing by security forces in the Valley, terming it a failure of Governor Satya Pal Malik’s administration. “South Kashmir has been reeling under fear for the past six months. Is this what was expected from Governor’s Rule? The administration has failed in securing civilian lives. No country can win a war by killing its own people,” said former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti.She asked the Governor’s administration “to shun this macho approach to deal with people and adopt a humane approach in dealing with day-to-day law and order issues”.Attacking the Governor’s administration, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah said, “The Valley has been turned into a theatre of death and destruction. Incidents like these put a big question mark on the working of the government and security agencies in such circumstances.”NC vice-president Omar Abdullah said, “It was a massacre orchestrated as a result of badly executed encounter. It seems lessons have not been learnt,” he said. The party called for revocation of the Armed Force Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and “strict adherence to the standard operating procedure”. Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone said, “If security forces end up killing seven civilians in order to kill three militants, it’s time for heads to roll. We can’t afford a state of impunity. Call off operation if there is fear of civilian casualty. I hope the administration abandons its Rambo mindset.”The Joint Resistance Leaders (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, called for a three-day shutdown and a protest march towards the Army’s headquarters in Srinagar on Monday. “The Indian Army chief had already indicated to the increase in civilian killings with impunity in his recently shocking statements,” said a joint statement.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Jammu and Kashmir administrationon Tuesday constituted a committee of secretaries to look into the demands of the people of Kargil, where a shutdown was observed for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday over the demand for rotational offices. “The Governor [Satya Pal Malik] and the government have taken note of the sentiments of the people of Kargil. The government is equally sensitive to the needs and aspirations of both districts,” a government spokesperson said.The spokesman said the government has formed a committee of senior officers “to determine the location and scope and size of division level offices, their staffing, size and most importantly, their location in the division.”Meanwhile, a Kargil-based civil society group, Joint Resistance Movement, has decided to continue with its protest shutdown against the administration’s decision to set up divisional commissioner’s office at Leh after Ladakh was declared a separate division recently and was split from Kashmir division.Work in offices and court was suspended for the day. Hundreds of people marched on the streets to press for their demand to have “rotational headquarters at both Kargil and Leh”. Rejecting the constitution of a committee, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLA Naeem Akhtar said: “The measure is a mere delaying tactic. The Governor’s administration didn’t feel the need to consult anybody in granting divisional status and why a committee now?” He alleged that the Governor’s move was “thoughtless with grave consequences and at the behest of the BJP”. “It has a potential to flare-up. The Governor must immediately rescind the order and set up six monthly full rotational of all offices,” Mr. Akhtar said. Former Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah also backed the demand of the people of Kargil. “It seems the decision was taken in a haste and is contrived to pitch one community against the other. Had the idea behind this act been to empower the people of Ladakh, then the governor would have held deliberations,” said Mr. Abdullah. He said divisional headquarters at Leh only will serve no good.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Cuban government is sending 165 doctors and nurses to battle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced this morning in Geneva, Switzerland, at a joint press conference with Cuba’s minister of public health, Roberto Morales Ojeda. The health care workers, 103 nurses and 62 doctors, are going to be deployed to Sierra Leone in the first week of October.It is the biggest contribution of health care staff by any single country so far to help control the epidemic, noted WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. “This will make a significant difference in Sierra Leone,” Chan said.To put the numbers in perspective: WHO has deployed about 500 foreign medical experts to the region. Because they rotate, at any one time about 170 of them are in the affected countries, Chan said.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Ebola has already sickened at least 4784 people and killed 2400 in the biggest outbreak on record, and its spread is still accelerating. Several governments have pledged support. For instance, the British government and the Wellcome Trust medical charity have announced they will spend £6.5 million to speed up research on Ebola vaccine candidates. Germany’s Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has announced it is increasing its contribution to WHO to fight Ebola from €1 million to €10 million. And the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $50 million to fight Ebola. But that does not address the main problem, experts say. “Money, materials are important, but those alone cannot stop Ebola transmission,” Chan said at the press conference. “The thing we need most of all is people.”According to WHO, more than 200 health care workers are needed to run an isolation ward with 70 beds. While it is still unclear how many Ebola patients there are altogether, WHO estimates several hundred extra beds are needed in Liberia alone. At the moment there is not a single bed available in the whole country to treat Ebola patients, Chan said.Several people on the ground in Liberia have confirmed that Ebola patients are being turned away at the treatment center in Monrovia to avoid staff being overwhelmed. “We need more actions. We need to surge at least two to four times in order to catch up with the outbreaks in these three countries,” Chan said. “I hope the announcement today will stimulate more countries to surge their support.”*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more

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first_imgOne of the most populous metropolises on the planet, Mexico City, stands atop the ruins of the 15th century Aztec capital Tenochtitlán. The two may not appear to have much in common, but according to a new study they obeyed the same mathematical formula. Scientists have found that—despite major differences in culture, government, and technology—the productivity of both ancient and modern cities grew faster than their populations did. The finding could lead to ways to improve the efficiency of today’s urban centers.“I think it’s great work,” says archaeologist David Carballo of Boston University, who was not involved with the research. “The fact that this is suggesting that there are some … trends in how settlement works I think is a message for contemporary urban planners.”After scientists observed this pattern in modern cities, archaeologists wondered if the trend would hold for ancient ones as well. Researchers led by archaeologist Scott Ortman of the University of Colorado, Boulder, combed through archaeological data describing thousands of ancient settlements established over 2000 years in the basin surrounding modern-day Mexico City. The inhabitants of this area were accomplished architects, constructing massive pyramids and temples, many of whose ruins remain. Because the material possessions of the inhabitants had been lost to the ages, researchers used a proxy for the productivity of each settlement—the number and size of such monuments and of villagers’ homes.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In larger ancient cities, there were more monuments per person, and houses and monuments were larger, the team reports today in Science Advances, meaning that the cities received a productivity boost beyond that provided by the increased number of workers. The trend was evident across a wide range of settlement sizes—from villages of a few hundred people to capital cities of hundreds of thousands: the larger the city, the bigger the boost.Superficially, ancient cities have little in common with today’s technology-driven metropolises. Tenochtitlán had a population of about 200,000 people, a bustling marketplace, and a grid of busy roads and canals. But it had no modern technology, no beasts of burden (let alone mass transit like that available in modern cities), and an economy based heavily on agriculture. Yet certain aspects of human social life—like the way people interact with and depend on one another—apparently remained the same throughout the ages. Despite the vast differences across time, the researchers were able to model modern and ancient cities’ higher productivity with the same mathematical equations. That may be because in any large city, you don’t have to go far for a social interaction, so it is easier to gain from your neighbors.“To me, the idea that the same fundamental processes that generate a place like New York were operating in ancient farming villages in other parts of the world is just astonishing,” Ortman says.“Because of this body of research, I think we’re closer to understanding cities in a fundamental way than we were previously,” says archaeologist Michael Smith of Arizona State University, Tempe, who was not involved in the work.Understanding how cities function might help us improve them, the researchers say. Studying different types of ancient urban centers, for example, could help architects construct public spaces that help people interact more easily and infrastructure that will simplify movement throughout the city.last_img read more

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first_imgHunter-gatherers may have brought agricultural products to the British Isles by trading wheat and other grains with early farmers from the European mainland. That’s the intriguing conclusion of a new study of ancient DNA from a now submerged hunter-gatherer camp off the British coast. If true, the find suggests that wheat made its way to the far edge of Western Europe 2000 years before farming was thought to have taken hold in Britain.The work confronts archaeologists “with the challenge of fitting this into our worldview,” says Dorian Fuller, an archaeobotanist at University College London who was not involved in the work.For decades, archaeologists had thought that incoming farmers from the Middle East moved into Europe beginning about 10,500 years ago and replaced or transformed hunter-gatherer populations as they moved west, not reaching Britain until about 6000 years ago. But that worldview had already undergone some modifications. Recent discoveries, for example, have shown some incoming farmers coexisted with the hunter-gatherers already living in Europe rather than quickly replacing them. In 2013, researchers reported that, beginning about 6000 years ago, farmers and hunter-gatherers had both buried their dead in the same cave in Germany and continued to do so for 800 years, suggesting that the two groups were in close contact.  More controversially, researchers claimed that about 6500 years ago hunter-gatherers in Germany and Scandinavia may have acquired domesticated pigs from nearby farmers.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The new findings promise to further upset the scenario that farming steadily marched from east to west. A team led by Robin Allaby, a plant geneticist at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, was looking for the earliest evidence of domesticated plants in the British Isles. The researchers decided to take a gander at an underwater site called Bouldnor Cliff, 250 meters offshore from the hamlet of Bouldnor in the northwest corner of the Isle of Wight. (The island is in the English Channel just off Britain’s southern coast.)Bouldnor Cliff, located 11 meters below the water’s surface, was discovered in 1999, when, as the United Kingdom’s Maritime Archaeology Trust puts it on its website, “a lobster was seen throwing Stone Age worked flints from its burrow.” Archaeologists have been working there ever since. The site was clearly occupied by hunter-gatherers, who may have built wooden boats. Allaby’s team took four core samples of sediments from a section of the site littered with burnt hazelnut shells apparently left by the hunter-gatherers and subjected the samples to both radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA analysis. The samples’ wood and plants were dated to between 8020 and 7980 years ago, after which the site was inundated by the rising seas that created the English Channel and separated Britain from France.For the ancient DNA analysis, the team used methods pioneered by paleogeneticist Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen to recover and sequence genetic material left behind in sediments even after the plants that originally contained it have disintegrated. As might be expected, Allaby and his colleagues found DNA from a wide variety of trees and plants known to have populated southern Britain 8000 years ago, including oak, poplar, and beech, along with various grasses and herbs. But the team also got a big surprise: Among the DNA samples were two types of domesticated wheat that originated in the Middle East and that have no wild ancestors in northern Europe. That meant they must have been associated with the original spread of farming from the Middle East, beginning about 10,500 years ago, rather than domesticated locally. Yet many archaeologists assume that by 8000 years ago farming was no further west than the Balkans region and modern Hungary.The researchers performed a number of tests to eliminate the possibility of contamination from modern wheat, including trying to sequence DNA from the chemical solutions it used in the experiments, but no plant sequences were detected. The only possible conclusion was that the domesticated wheat had actually come from the hunter-gatherer site at Bouldnor Cliff, the team reports online today in Science.“The paper is methodologically impressive,” Fuller says. Willerslev agrees: “The study is quite convincing,” he says, adding that loose DNA from sediments will provide “some of the earliest detectable evidence for farming” because cereal grains themselves are less likely to be preserved.So how did domesticated wheat get to Britain 2000 years before people began to farm there? Allaby’s team does not think the hunter-gatherers cultivated wheat themselves, because no wheat pollen was found in the samples—as should have been expected if the cereal had been allowed to go through its entire life cycle, including flowering.The team proposes that farming might have spread to western France earlier than had been thought, up to 7600 years ago, and thus only a 400-year gap would have to be explained. But Peter Rowley-Conwy, an archaeologist at the Durham University in the United Kingdom, rejects that suggestion. “The authors do not do justice to the chronology of the spread of agriculture,” he complains, noting that “thousands of directly radiocarbon-dated cereal grains” argue against farming in Western Europe that early. “One DNA study of this kind is just not enough to overturn all this.”Another possibility, Allaby says, is that the nomadic hunter-gatherers of southern Britain roamed much farther into the European mainland than previously realized, picked up wheat or wheat products from farmers to the east, and brought them back to Britain. He also suggests that the conventional dating of the spread of agriculture, based on clearly detectable cereal grains, might be missing earlier samples.Allaby may well be right, says Greger Larson, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. “Are we underestimating the degree to which there were exchange networks between farmers and hunter-gatherers which extended far across time and space? Maybe the only way to pick them up is from DNA signatures.”Yet Fuller says that the new finds do not necessarily indicate that the spread of farming needs to be radically redated. Rather, he suggests, small-scale pioneers of both farmers and hunter-gatherers may have been “operating beyond the frontier of farming” as it spread west in a wave of advance. The wheat might have been part of trade or cultural exchanges between them. Just as rare spices from the east are regarded as valuable commodities today, Fuller says, the wheat at Bouldnor Cliff might have been symbolically charged and seen as “rare, exotic, and valuable,” rather than something to be eaten daily.last_img read more

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first_imgBritain’s decision to leave the European Union has provided India a chance to increase its trade with the UK, India’s outgoing High Commissioner to the country Navtej Sarna has said. Related Itemslast_img

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first_imgAfricans who benefit from treatment at Indian hospitals, and via India’s tele-medicine services, will remember that India helped in their healthcare endeavour. Related Itemslast_img

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first_imgTapping into the global “me too” movement, UC Santa Cruz Professor Gopal Balakrishnan has been accused of various instances of sexual harassment, but the Indian American professor told India-West that in contrast to this wider movement, “Not a single person has stepped forward under their own name – it’s all anonymous accusers.”More than 130 students and faculty members have signed a widely-circulated public statement that details instances of the professor’s alleged harassment of women. When the allegations first surfaced last fall, UC administrators determined there was not enough evidence to merit an investigation. But, following an aggressive campaign by accusers, the university is taking another look, according to media reports.Balakrishnan vehemently denied the accusations. “I have never done anything like what is described in that account,” he asserted to India-West in an e-mail.Read it at India West Related Itemslast_img read more

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