6 Allahabad High Court staff held for theft

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against six persons, including two employees with the Allahabad High Court, for allegedly stealing and destroying court documents.In September last year, the Allahabad High Court had directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the missing High Court and lower court documents in a particular case. The agency submitted its report on January 18.According to the CBI, the files were stolen in connivance with two peons posted with the High Court — Dilip Kumar Chandel and Narendra Kumar. The others named in the FIR are Subhash Chandra, Chandra Veer Singh, Basudev and Rajvir. On further directions of the High Court, the CBI has now registered a case against the accused persons, booking them under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.Untraced filesThe theft came to light when a Division Bench of the High Court was hearing a criminal appeal. The case files were sent to the Court on July 25 last year. The lower court record was returned to the office the same day. The High Court file was returned two days later and the same was received in the criminal appeal section. However, both the files could not be traced later.The High Court, during the next hearing on August 31 last year, observed that there would be no option, but to cancel the bail of the accused persons Basudev and Rajbir, and issue a direction for enquiry. In September, the Court directed the Registrar General to look into the matter and submit a report.last_img read more

Sidhu’s TV show puts govt. in a spot

first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has decided to seek legal opinion on whether his Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu can continue to appear as a celebrity judge on a popular television show. “Capt. Amarinder has said he is not sure what the law says regarding a Cabinet minister working on a television programme, and will have to ask the State’s advocate general to give legal advice on the matter,” his media advisor, Raveen Thukral, told The Hindu.Conflict of interest“It’s about whether there’s any conflict of interest if he [Mr. Sidhu] continues to work in television…If there is any, then the Chief Minister will talk to him [Mr. Sidhu] and bring it to his knowledge,” he added.The controversy erupted after Mr. Sidhu recently said that he will continue to appear on a popular TV show as a celebrity judge. “TV shows will not interfere with my Cabinet responsibilities. The public had elected me five times with what I have been doing…If they don’t have a problem, why should anyone else have it,” Mr. Sidhu had said. ‘Not office of profit’He insisted that his TV shows will not interfere with his Cabinet responsibilities. “I have no liquor, sand mining or transport business like former deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. I earn a living through TV shows and I will be in Chandigarh from Monday to Thursday and in Amritsar from Friday to Sunday. What I do at night should not be anyone’s concern. I will take first flight back to Punjab after TV shoots in Mumbai,” he said.Mr. Sidhu, who currently holds the portfolios of local government, tourism and cultural affairs, has been maintaining that doing a TV show does not come under the ambit of “office of profit”.Meanwhile, Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur has come out in support of his husband through a Facebook post, saying that the issue was being over-hyped without any reason.“Such hype has been created about Navjot earning a living from television. He has left 80 per cent of shows, which included IPL, commentary, etc.I think it is a meagre time for a non-socially active God-fearing workaholic,” she wrote on Facebook. (With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

Gorkha movement gathers steam

first_imgThe fresh movement for a separate State of Gorkhaland in the Darjeeling hills gathered steam on Tuesday with smaller parties backing the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) demand.At a meeting called by the GJM at the Darjeeling Gymkhana Club, representatives of the Gorkha Rashtriya Nirman Manch, Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists(CPRM) and the BJP were present. It was decided to collectively carry forward the struggle for Gorkhaland.In an embarrassment for the Trinamool Congress, the GNLF, with whom it had forged an alliance in the recent municipal polls, came out in full support of Gorkhaland.“The GNLF wholeheartedly supports the demand for Gorkhaland,” GNLF spokesperson Neeraj Zimba Tamang said, adding the alliance with the Trinamool Congress was only an “electoral understanding.” Mr. Tamang said the demand for Gorkhaland was raised by GNLF founder Subhash Ghising and the party would stand by whoever raises the issue.GJM general secretary Roshan Giri demanded a written clarification from the West Bengal government on the three language policy, which intends to make Bengali compulsory. He said the movement would be peaceful.last_img read more

Situation is worse than Emergency, says Mayawati

first_imgBahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati on Monday hit out at Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi, saying his government had led the country into an era that was “worse than the Emergency.” Addressing party workers of western Uttar Pradesh at a convention here, the BSP chief also reached out to OBCs, who had withdrawn their support in the last few elections. “Babasaheb wanted reservation for the OBCs. People belonging to OBCs are not getting reservation commensurate with their population. The issue of reservation in the private sector is still pending and so is reservation in promotions. The BJP is against the very idea of reservation,” said the four-time Chief Minister who is trying to revive the fortunes of her party after it won only 19 seats in the 2017 Assembly polls, down from 80 in 2012, its worst performance since 1991 when it had won 12 seats.Amid slogans hailing BSP founder Kanshiram, Babasaheb Ambedkar and herself by thousands of party cadres, many of whom had painted themselves in blue, the colour of the party, she said, “The situation in the country is worse than during the Emergency. In order to intimidate leaders of the Opposition and muzzle their voice, all the arms and agencies of the central government like Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and Income Tax (IT) have been let loose on them.” She repeatedly accused Prime Minister Modi of acting against the welfare and interests of Dalits, the downtrodden and weaker sections of society. “I resigned from the Rajya Sabha because I was not allowed to speak for my people. What is the point of being a member of Parliament when I cannot talk about atrocities on Dalits in the Parliament of the country,” she said. Dalit intellectuals like Dr. Satish Prakash, who came to listen to the BSP leader told The Hindu that “the extent of the crowd which turned up to listen to her proves that she is still a mass leader and she cannot be dismissed.” “But the real question is not attracting crowds at rallies but winning elections. And to win elections with an aggressive BJP and Modi at the helm, the BSP supremo needs to do a complete makeover in how she connects with her cadres and the language of her politics. She needs to go back to the way BSP started. She needs to hit the ground,” said Dr. Prakash.Ms. Mayawati said that she would hereafter interact more with workers at such conventions on the 18th of every month. The party has planned eight such conventions across the State.last_img read more

3 injured after unidentified object explodes at orchard in J&K’s Shopian district

first_imgThree people were injured on January 28 after an unidentified object exploded at an orchard in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district, police said. “While digging the fields at Chermarg in Zanipora area of Shopian, some suspicious object exploded, injuring the three people,” a police spokesman said.The injured were identified as Ghulam Nabi (55), Zubair Ahmad (18) and Umar Farooq (19), he said.The injured were taken to the district hospital in Anantnag for treatment. Their condition was stated to be stable, the spokesman said.The police have taken cognisance of the matter and the nature of the explosion is being investigated, he said.last_img read more

Sheikh Hasina to have luncheon meeting with Modi

first_imgBangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will have a luncheon meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday following the inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavana at the Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan. Her younger sister Sheikh Rehana will also be with her, sources on both sides confirmed to The Hindu. Before the programme around mid-day, the two Prime Ministers will attend the annual convocation of the Visva-Bharati University. Clearing the confusion on whether Ms. Hasina can have lunch during Ramzan, as she is fasting, an Indian government official said that the Bangladesh Prime Minister “does not observe fast while travelling.”Convocation On Friday, the Prime Ministers will also visit Rabindra Bhavana, the museum that houses Rabindranath’s original manuscripts, paintings, letters and sketches. PM Modi, the Chancellor of the University founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921, will attend the convocation for the first time after being appointed Chancellor in 2015.On Saturday, Prime Minister Hasina is “likely” to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata after her visit to Kazi Nazrul University (KNU) in Paschim Bardhaman in a Special Convocation programme presided over by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, Chancellor of KNU. She will be conferred with Degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) by the University. Bangladesh’s Minister of Cultural Affairs Asaduzzaman Noor said in Santiniketan that the sharing of water of the Teesta river will be discussed in the meetings.last_img read more

Loan waiver camps deferred

first_imgIn a surprise move, the BJP government in Rajasthan on Thursday deferred the holding of special camps for distribution of crop loan waiver certificates to farmers at the village cooperative societies in each of the 33 districts in the State. The camps were to be organised on May 26 and 28 to implement the decision for one-time loan waiver up to ₹50,000 each for farmers.The postponement of camps came amid the State government’s desperate attempts to find funds for the loan waiver scheme, which will cost ₹8,000 crore to the State exchequer. The Cooperative Department was asked at a meeting of a Group of Ministers on Wednesday to obtain a loan of ₹5,000 crore from banks to fund the loan waiver, for which the State government will provide guarantee.Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had announced one-time loan waiver up to ₹50,000 each for small and marginal farmers from their outstanding short-term debts in the 2018-19 State budget presented in the Assembly on February 12 this year. The scheme was later extended to cover all farmers.Cooperative Minister Ajay Singh Kilak said here on Thursday that Ms. Raje would formally inaugurate the loan waiver scheme by distributing certificates at a State-level function in Banswara on May 31. Among the 2.93 million farmers in the State set to benefit from the loan waiver, 1,09,000 farmers, whose loans worth ₹250 crore has been waived, live in Banswara district.The Congress has flayed the decision to defer holding of camps and described it as the ruling BJP’s ‘insensitivity’ and an attempt to reap political benefit from its decision, which in any case would not benefit thousands of farmers who had obtained loans from the institutions other than the cooperative banks.‘Scrambling for funds’“The cash-strapped BJP government is scrambling to arrange funds for the farm loan waiver. The government’s complete failure has been proved by over 90 farmers committing suicide in its four-year rule,” Pradesh Congress vice-president Archana Sharma said here, while alleging that the State government was never serious on the loan waiver issue.last_img read more

Meat trade was never an issue in market, says brother of man assaulted for allegedly selling beef

first_imgSale of meat of any kind was never an issue in the bi-weekly market of Madhupur on the southern edge of Biswanath Chariali town, the brother of a man who was assaulted by a mob on Sunday for allegedly selling beef, said.Biswanath Chariali, headquarters of Biswanath district, is about 240 km north-east of Guwahati.“Our father started running a rice-meal eatery at the Madhupur market every Thursday and Sunday more than 40 years ago. I took over from him and later let my younger brother Shaukat Ali ran it,” Mohammed Sahabuddin, who filed a police complaint on the assault on Monday, told The Hindu.The district authorities, he said, assured him that action would be taken within 24 hours. On Monday night, the police arrested two people identified from the video of the assault that was uploaded on social media. On Sunday, the day of the assault, the police picked up five people, including two market committee leaders, in a bid to disperse a mob. They were let go after signing a good behaviour bond under section 107 of Code of Criminal Procedure.Mr. Sahabuddin, who lives in Kalakati village 15 km from Biswanath Chariali, admitted that the eatery has had beef on the menu for decades while letting customers bring home-cooked meat too. “No one told us we could not sell meat. They could have served a notice instead of attacking my brother, and could have taken action officially if we did not comply,” he said, adding that the mob mostly comprised people from adjoining areas.In his complaint, Mr. Sahabuddin said some members of the mob threatened to force-feed pork to his brother, who stays in the town behind the local police station.District Deputy Commissioner Pabitra Ram Khaund said the authorities swung into action soon after the complaint was lodged and arrested two people connected with the assault. “We took the victim to the hospital and provided treatment. He is now out of danger.” Mr. Khaund said the district administration had summoned leaders of local organisations, including the All Assam Minority Students’ Union, for a meeting toward normalising the situation. “We have made it clear peace must be maintained under any circumstances with the Lok Sabha election a few days away,” he stated.Joint vigilAdditional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Mukesh Agarwal said the police had organised a joint vigil by people of both communities to maintain peace. “High visibility and domination of security forces are in place.” Biswanath Chariali falls under the Tezpur Lok Sabha constituency, which goes to the polls with four other seats in Assam on April 11. Ten candidates are in the fray but the contest is expected to be between Minister Pallab Lochan Das of the BJP and retired IAS officer M.G.V.K. Bhanu of the Congress.The constituency is currently held by the BJP’s Ram Prasad Sarmah, who was denied ticket by the party.last_img read more

Dreaming big and chasing their dreams

first_imgDriven by a desire to change the “political discourse of the country”, over 50 alumni of IIT have got together and formed a new party, the Bahujan Azad Party, to contest the Lok Sabha poll. Formed in April last year, the party has been allotted “slate” as its election symbol.“Our party symbol signifies our motto: nurture the root first,” say a group of IITians in one voice as their white SUV moves precariously on a narrow levee full of potholes in Bihar’s Sheohar constituency. “It (levee) has been in construction for 20 years… you can see its condition, and they [parties in power in Bihar and at the Centre] keep talking about development,” says Anand Kumar Kushwaha.A bespectacled young man clad in white kurta and blue jeans, Mr. Kushwaha is an alumnus of IIT-Delhi. He passed out in 2006 and founded a start-up in Bangkok. But somewhere in his heart, he says, there was an ache to do something for the people of his State.Online coaching He later came in contact with NGO ‘Mauka Foundation’ run by fellow IITian Akhilesh Kumar. Over 50 IITians were associated with the foundation that gives online coaching to IIT aspirants living in remote villages.However, they all had dreams in their eyes and wanted to empower the downtrodden. Their IIT fellows in Delhi had seen and participated in the “Anna movement”. But they got disillusioned with fellow IITian Arvind Kejriwal’s (now Chief Minister of Delhi) “hurry to get power” and decided to take the plunge themselves.“So we formed BAP,” says party president Naveen Kumar alias Virodhi Naveen.Local contribution BAP has decided to contest five seats in Bihar (Sheohar, West Champaran, Karakat, Patna Sahib and Patliputra), 22 in Maharashtra, one in U.P. (Allahabad), one in Punjab (Bathinda) and two in Delhi. “We’ve our own way of interacting with the locals… we move on bicycles fitted with loudspeakers and reach out to people through meetings. The response is very encouraging,” says Mr. Akhilesh, who is also the party’s Bihar unit president. “While campaigning we seek a contribution of ₹1 from the locals to meet our expenses.” Mr. Kushwaha is pitted against two-time sitting BJP MP Rama Devi and Syed Faisal Ali, a journalist, fielded by the RJD in Sheohar that goes to the polls on May 12.last_img read more

E.U. Parliament Committee Adopts Watered-Down Restrictions on Deep-Sea Fishing

first_imgBRUSSELS—After months of delays, the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee approved a report yesterday to restrict fishing practices deemed destructive for deep-sea ecosystems. But the committee did not back the proposal to ban bottom trawling and gillnetting altogether, an idea put forward by the European Commission in July last year.Bottom trawling and gillnetting are nonselective methods that catch 20% to 40% of unwanted fish, including vulnerable deep-sea species with long lifespans and slow reproduction rates. About 300 marine scientists have signed a petition in favor of the ban, released in June by a French marine conservation nongovernmental organization called Bloom.The Fisheries Committee agreed to close off northeast Atlantic areas known (or likely) to harbor vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as sponges and corals, to bottom trawling. “These areas are the spawning and nursing grounds of deep-sea species and their protection will be invaluable in achieving the recovery of deep-sea stocks,” said Kriton Arsenis, the social-democrat Member of Parliament from Greece who authored the committee’s report,  in a statement yesterday.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(*)Besides, the committee introduced more stringent rules for data collection and a more robust scientific basis to set sustainable catch limits. It also left the door ajar for a general phaseout later—but only after an assessment of the impact of deep-sea fishing gear on fragile species and marine ecosystems after 4 years.In a statement, Greenpeace said that the proposed measures are too weak and their effects uncertain, and that bottom trawling and gillnetting should be banned completely. These methods “contribute only around one per cent of the EU’s total catch, yet suck up millions of euros in subsidies, destroy large areas of fragile sea-floor and overfish many deep-sea species,” Greenpeace fisheries expert Saskia Richartz said in the statement.Other environmental groups are a bit more optimistic. The committee vote hands over the baton to the whole Parliament, which is slated to vote on the issue next month. Bloom and Oceana, a conservation organization in Madrid, hope the plenary—which usually takes a more radical stance than the Fisheries Committee on these issues—will reconsider a full ban.But there are more steps ahead before any restrictions can be rolled out. The Parliament must also negotiate the legislation with member states, and fisheries ministers haven’t even started discussing the issue. Sources close to the negotiations say that France and Spain—where most European deep-sea trawling fisheries are based—have blocked the file.last_img read more

A Better Berry, Thanks to Bees

first_imgThe next time you bite into a bright red, perfectly shaped strawberry, give a shout-out to the bees. A new study shows that pollination by the insects increases the quality and shelf life of strawberries, saving hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. Bees could be providing the same benefits for a variety of other fruits and vegetables as well.It’s well known that pollination increases the yield of most crops. Seeds, nuts, fruit, and grain can be larger and more plentiful when insects or other animals transfer pollen between plants, in contrast to when plants pollinate themselves, a process called selfing. But quality turns out to be important, too. Teja Tscharntke, an agroecologist at the University of Göttingen in Germany, got the idea to study quality about a decade ago, while he was investigating pollination of coffee plants in Indonesia. He and his student Alexandra Klein noticed that not only was coffee yield higher with more bee species, but malformations such as unevenly shaped beans were also reduced.To delve into the role of pollination in fruit quality, Tscharntke decided to study strawberries. They can be pollinated by insects or by the wind, but they can also self. Each berry is an unusual collection of many tiny fruits, so pollen must be delivered to each of the 200 or so ovaries inside the flower. This means that pollination by insects could be even more important than in other plants. There were also hints from studies of plant metabolism that the amount of pollination could affect the pace of decay and susceptibility to bruising.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 2008, Tscharntke selected nine major strawberry varieties and planted them in an experimental field with plenty of wild bees and domesticated honey bees living nearby. (Bee diversity matters: a study in 1993 showed that wild bees specialize in pollinating the base of the flower, while honey bees prefer the top. This specialization helps ensure that an equal distribution of ovaries are pollinated.) With Ph.D. student Björn Klatt, Tscharntke and other colleagues prevented bees from reaching some of the flowers by covering them with bags that still allowed wind to blow pollen in. Other flowers were covered by bags that trapped all pollen produced by the flowers, ensuring that only selfing would occur. Strawberries yield fruit more than once per season, so the team had to quickly harvest several times and take the berries to the lab for analysis with colorimeters and other instruments. “For a few months we were really overwhelmed by all these strawberries,” Tscharntke says.Strawberries pollinated by bees were redder and brighter than the other berries, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. They also had fewer deformities. And because they were firmer, their shelf life is likely about 12 hours longer than those that were wind-pollinated. This may not sound like much, but after just 4 days of storage, more than 90% of strawberries can’t be sold. If pollinators weren’t involved, growers would lose 11% of the fruits’ value, a reduction of $320 million in the European Union in 2009. The same rate of spoilage in the U.S. crop in 2011 would have cost farmers $264 million. Because the researchers graded the fruits according to a commercial scale, they could calculate the market value of the various strawberries. Pollination by bees led to 39% higher sales value than wind pollination and 54% higher than selfing. These values imply that just by improving fruit quality, bees are responsible for half of the value of the strawberry crop, which was worth $2.9 billion in the European Union in 2009 and $2.4 billion in the United States in 2011. However, Tscharntke says it was difficult to taste a difference due to pollination as opposed to the type of strawberry plant.Pollination likely improves fruit because it stimulates two major plant hormones, Tscharntke says. Auxin promotes cell division and growth, increasing weight and firmness of the fruit. Gibberellic acid delays softening, helping the fruit resist bruises and mold. It’s not known how pollination affects fruit color, but the change makes sense for the plant’s goal of attracting animals to disperse the seeds.Previous studies have shown that pollination by bees yields firmer melons and cucumbers and higher sugar content in a few fruits. But this analysis is more comprehensive and the first to assess the broad economic impact. “It’s a nicely demonstrated case,” says ecologist Nico Blüthgen of the Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany.Studying the impact of bees on fruit quality is an innovative way to better understand the contributions they provide to humans, says Claire Kremen, an ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley. “This is the next wave of getting at the value of pollinators.”last_img read more

Better Health Through Bullying

first_imgBullying casts a long shadow. Children who are bullied are more prone to depression and suicidal tendencies even when they grow up; they’re also more likely to get sick and have headaches and stomach troubles, researchers have discovered. A new study may have found the underlying cause: A specific indicator of illness, called C-reactive protein (CRP), is higher than normal in bullying victims, even when they get older. In contrast, the bullies, by the same gauge, seem to be healthier.The researchers focused on CRP because it’s a common, easily tested marker of inflammation, the runaway immune system activity that’s a feature of many chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic pain, and depression, explains lead author William Copeland, a psychologist and epidemiologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.To link inflammation to bullying, the researchers asked 1420 youngsters between the ages of 9 and 16 whether, and how often, they had been bullied or had bullied others. Interviewers asked participants whether they felt more teased, bullied, or treated meanly by siblings, friends, and peers than other children—and whether they had upset or hurt other people on purpose, tried to get others in trouble, or forced people to do something by threatening or hurting them. The researchers took finger stick blood tests at each assessment. Interviews took place once a year until the participants turned 16, and again when they were 19 and 21. The children interviewed were participants in the larger Great Smoky Mountains Study, in which some 12,000 children in North Carolina were assessed to track the development of psychiatric conditions.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 the short term, the effect of bullying on the victims was immediate. CRP levels increased along with the number of reported bullying instances, and more than doubled in those who said they’d been bullied three times or more in the previous year, compared with kids who had never been bullied. No change was seen in bullies, or in kids who hadn’t been involved with bullying one way or the other, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The real eye opener, Copeland says, was the change in CRP in the 19- and 21-year-olds. Levels of the protein increased over time in all groups, which is normal. But the increase was sharper in the bullying victims: Even 10 years later, average CRP levels were still higher (more than 1.5 mg/L) than in those who had never been bullied (about 1 mg/L). In the bullies, the levels were about 0.5 mg/L, slightly less than half that of the victims. The CRP differences between bullies and victims remained even when the researchers accounted for potentially confounding factors, such as mental disorders, substance abuse, and other forms of stress.Elevated CRP may be a specific route through which childhood stress leads to health problems down the road, the researchers conclude. Adults who were abused as children also show increased inflammation, as measured by CRP levels, in some studies.Despite the implied health benefits of bullying, Copeland doesn’t advocate picking on people to better your health. The advantage probably doesn’t lie in the aggression itself, but rather in the heightened control, power, and social status that bullies enjoy, he believes.The benefits of bullying are dispiriting but not surprising, says biological anthropologist Thomas McDade of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The slower-than-normal increase of CRP in bullies supports a growing mound of research showing that those at the top have it better, he says.A key strength of the new study, McDade says, is that it focuses on a specific measurement, checked repeatedly over time. “CRP is clearly one way in which social environment can get under one’s skin”—affecting health for better or worse, he says.Because inflammation is an underlying factor in so many chronic diseases, the fact that people in their early 20s are already showing signs of inflammation is a warning bell, Copeland adds. Using data from the larger study, his team will scrutinize other measures of adversity, such as the stress hormone cortisol, and epigenetic changes in which environmental factors affect the way genes are activated. The scientists will also look for biomarkers of more positive methods than bullying through which kids can increase their confidence and social standing.Ideally, antibullying programs, in addition to protecting potential victims, should help the more aggressive kids find ways to enhance their social status “without wreaking havoc on others,” Copeland says.last_img read more

Replication Effort Provokes Praise—And ‘Bullying’ Charges

first_img(Science’s transition to a new website has led to the temporary, we hope, loss of some comments on past online stories. We are working to restore those comments. Meanwhile, the previously posted comments for the story are available in this document. We encourage the scientific community to leave additional comments on the full-length version of this story at the link below, rather than on this summary as the restoration of past comments may override any new ones here. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.)This week, a global network of nearly 100 psychologists unveiled the results of their attempt to repeat 27 well-known psychology studies. In more than half of the cases, the replication was a partial or complete failure. Some are heralding the replications as a renaissance for the social sciences. But some on the receiving end of the replication are calling it an inquisition.For the full story, see this week’s issue of Science.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(*)last_img read more

Asia University Ranking 2018: India Sets Record With 42 Ranked Institutions

first_imgIndia’s entries in the Asia University Ranking 2018 improved after a total of 42 universities, from last years’ 33, were ranked in the annual list, with 12 new entrants. The list of Asia University Ranking 2018 has been topped by National University of Singapore. The Indian institutions that have been ranked in the Asia University Ranking 2018 include the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.While IISc is India’s highest-ranked institution, it has dropped two places to 29th position in the Asia University Ranking 2018. IIT Bombay has been put on 44th rank; it was at the 42nd in the Asia Univerity Ranking 2017 list.Read it at India Related Itemslast_img read more

While desis dither, expats keen to join Aadhaar club

first_imgWhile many Indians are in a tizzy over Aadhaar (to get one or not, to link your bank account or not) several foreigners based in India have quietly opted for the 12-digit number. Not many know this, but the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 says any resident of India who has stayed in the country for 182 days or more in the 12 months before applying for the card, is eligible for one. Related Itemslast_img

British-Indian steel tycoon makes bid for French aluminium wheels maker

first_imgBritish-Indian steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta has made a formal bid to acquire the only French manufacturer of aluminium wheels, AR Industries.Gupta’s global industrial group, GFG Alliance, submitted the bid to the court administrators for AR Industries (ARI) at Chateauroux in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France.If GFG Alliance is successful in its bid, it could help save nearly 400 jobs as part of a plan to rescue and revive ARI, the only French manufacturer of aluminium wheels.Read it at Hindustan Times Related Itemslast_img read more

US wants visa applicants to submit phone, email, social media details

first_imgThe Trump administration wants all US visa applicants to submit details of their previous phone numbers, email addresses and social media histories as part of its “vetting” practice and to prevent entry of individuals who might pose a threat to the country. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img

US Frowns Over India’s Forex Policies

first_imgIndia meets two of three criteria laid out for inclusion in the monitoring list. These are large trade surplus with US and excessive purchases of dollars. India’s bilateral merchandise trade surplus with US in 2017 at $23 billion was higher than the $20 billion benchmark used for assessment, and net purchases of foreign currency was 2.2% of gross domestic product (GDP), higher than the 2% cut-off. India did not meet the third criteria, which is having current account surplus of at least 3% of the GDP. India’s current account is in deficit. Related Itemslast_img read more

U.S. Congress Seeks to Strengthen Defence Partnership With India

first_imgThe United States Congress has passed the $716 billion defence spending bill which, among its many provisions, seeks to strengthen and enhance the country’s defence partnership with India.India was designated a major defence partner in 2016, towards the fag end of the Obama Administration’s tenure.Read it at The Hindu Related Itemslast_img