Ahead of the Indian National Lok Dal’s (INLD) plan of marching towards Punjab on February 23 in an attempt to dig the controversial Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday said that the issue should not be politicised.“An all-party delegation led by him had called on the President of India on this issue and he had given a patient hearing. Supreme Court has already repealed the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act-2004 passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and now the matter was pending with the apex court for implementation,” said Mr. Khattar.He said that though the SYL issue was sub-judice, Haryana should get its due share of water. “I’m hopeful that the State would get its rightful share,” he said.“I urge to the people and other political parties not to take law in their own hands. Even though this issue is related to Punjab government yet I believe that peace would prevail in the State,” he said, adding the law and order situation in Haryana would be maintained.INLD leader Abhay Chautala has announced that party worker would march towards Punjab after gathering in Ambala’s grain market – to dig SYL canal in an attempt to get its share of water.Barricades erectedIn the wake of INLD’s proposed march security arrangements have been beefed by both Haryana and Punjab police at the border villages of the two States in a bid to keep law and order situation under check. Barricades have been erected at Shambhu barrier on NH1 on Punjab and Haryana border and to prevent individuals from assembling in the area, section 144 has been implemented.While Punjab has deployed 10 companies of paramilitary forces and around 5,000 policemen in villages adjoining Haryana border. Haryana on other hand has deployed five companies of paramilitary forces, besides heavy deployment of police.Even the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to maintain surveillance in view of the proposed march by INLD workers.Punjab and Haryana are set for a face-off on the issue of sharing water from the SYL canal after political parties from both the States have taken a stiff stance on water sharing.While Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has been reiterating that Punjab does not have extra water to spare for any other State and not a single drop can be allowed to flow through SYL, the Punjab Congress president Capt. Amarinder Singh had demanded preventive arrest of INLD leader Abhay Chautala and alleged that it was evident that the Haryana government was not serious about nipping the situation that could arise out the proposed march.PTI adds:The Haryana Congress on Wednesday hit out at the INLD, accusing it of doing politics over the water-sharing issue.Speaking to scribes here, State Congress chief Ashok Tanwar dubbed the INLD’s announcement as “a political stunt” and said the party had earlier failed to support various accords which were in Haryana’s favour.Fight for survival“What INLD is doing is just a political stunt. The party is on its last legs and fighting for its survival. Now, suddenly it has dawned upon them that they have to safeguard Haryana’s interests on water issue,” said Mr. Tanwar. “INLD opposed Rajiv-Longowal and other accords which were in Haryana’s favour. Everyone knows that the Chautalas and the ruling Badal family in Punjab share close family ties. Both the Akalis and the INLD have been shadow-boxing on the water issue to fool the people,” he said.The State Congress chief alleged the INLD of using the SYL issue “like a political football for its vested interests”.“In Haryana, everyone knows they are playing second fiddle to the BJP and now no one is going to believe in the stunts they are trying to indulge in,” Mr Tanwar said.
A gunbattle broke out this afternoon between militants and security forces in Shopian district of Kashmir, police said. The exchange of fire is going on between the two sides, a police spokesman said. He said further details of the incident are awaited.
The Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation on Monday relieved Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and the AMC’s deputy mayor Shripad Chhindam from his post for his alleged derogatory remarks against Chhatrapati Shivaji just before the ‘Shiv Jayanti’ celebrations recently.In a unanimous resolution passed by all parties within the AMC, the civic body has further demanded that a case of sedition under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) be lodged against Mr. Chhindam, who is now in judicial custody. He was suspended from the party soon after his controversial remarks came to light on February 16. On mondya he was officially stripped of his corporator’s post through the resolution passed at a special AMC session.An audio clip of a conversation between Mr. Chhindam and a PWD contractor went viral on social media three days before Shiv Jayanti celebrations on February 19.In the clip, the BJP corporator is heard talking abusively about Chhatrapati Shivaji and his birth celebrations which werer ostensibly hampering the completion of works in his ward.Mr. Chhindam’s remarks prompted a storm of protest in Ahmednagar and resulted in acts of vandalism by activists of the pro-Maratha Sambhaji Brigade, and Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). A case was lodged against Mr. Chhindam on the evening of February 16.
At an undisclosed location in Purnia district of North-East Bihar, 350 km from capital Patna, Kumar Aman Ashish, 21, and Prerna Kumari, 20, are hiding. They are a couple in love, who are on the run. Prerna’s family is hunting them for daring to love, elope and marry; her father has registered a case of kidnapping against the young groom. They change their location every three to four days for “fear of reprisal.”There is a twist to the love tale too. This is not an inter-religious or inter-caste marriage. Neither has Ashish kidnapped Prerna. Both, Ashish and Prerna belong to the forward Rajput caste. And both are adults. The hitch? Prerna’s parents wanted their daughter to marry a boy of their choice.Ashish joins the long list of men against whom a case of abduction has been made out under the IPC.40% casesThe website of the Bihar Police Department, biharpolice.bih.nic.in, claims that more than 40% cases of kidnapping in Bihar last year (until November), were for “marriages” such as those of Ashish and Prerna’s where couples eloped.In Khurhan village under Alamnagar police station of Madhepura district, Ashish and Prerna were neighbours, growing up together and falling in love in their teens. That’s when trouble started for the couple. Prerna’s parents were opposed to the relationship and when Prerna was caught talking to Ashish on her mobile phone, her mother confiscated it. She was also beaten up. When her parents fixed her marriage to a boy of their choice, Prerna and Ashish decided to elope. Leaving home was the only option left for the couple, who fled on January 5 midnight. They drove on a motorbike for six hours to cross the neighbouring Nepal border through Jogbani in Araria district. On the run, they were stopped by patrolling policemen, questioned and let off. They entered Nepal at the break of dawn and checked into a local hotel at Biratnagar, stayed there for four days and reached Patna to solemnise their marriage secretly in a local Arya Samaj temple in Mithapur locality on January 15. They intimated the Chief Minister, State police chief, SPs of respective districts and the local police station officer-in-charge about their marriage with all relevant documents as proof of their age as consenting adults. They also notified their marriage through an advocate in Patna.Meanwhile, Prerna’s father Kundan Kumar Singh lodged an FIR (no: 5/2018) on January 17, against Ashish, his parents, younger brother, and a cousin sister, at the Alamnagar police station, accusing them of abducting his daughter.The Bihar police records show that 222 cases of “kidnapping for marriage and kidnapping for elopement” were registered in Purnia district while, 136 such cases were lodged in neighbouring Madhepura district till November 2017.“When we got to know that they had married we approached the girl’s family to accept their marriage but we were threatened with death,” says Amir Kumar Singh, father of Ashish. Mr. Singh himself had a love-marriage 23-years back.“But we received threatening calls… death sentences and, the police too became hostile,” he adds.At the remote village home of Prerna, her father Kundan Kumar Singh, concedes, “It is all a frivolous charge… what can we do when she is already married. She has brought dishonour to the family by running away.”In hiding, Prerna asks, “Did I do something wrong in marrying the boy I love?” Ashish wonders whether their marriage amounts to a crime. “If it is not, why has the police lodged a case not only against us but three other members of our family?”, he asks.A Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had observed on February 5, 2018, “When two people get into wedlock, no one should interfere. Neither parents, society, panchayat…no one at all.” The court also ruled that two adults are free to marry and “no third party” has a right to harass or cause harm.
It looked like a normal goat carcass, and a group of vultures in Assam’s Sivasagar district settled down to devour it quickly. But at the end of the meal, 32 of them lay dead on Saturday. The incident has dealt a blow to India’s conservation programme for these highly endangered birds.Seven vultures survived, of which four were released on Sunday after treatment. The goat carcass had been poisoned as revenge for the dogs that killed it, but vultures became the unintended casualty.The mass poisoning is one of the worst such incidents in recent years, according to the Vulture Breeding Conservation Centre near Guwahati.Among the survivors, three each were Himalayan griffon (Gyps himalayensis) and slender-billed (Gyps tenuirostris), and one was an Oriental white-backed (Gyps bengalensis) vulture. Of the 32 that died, 29 were Himalayan griffons.There have been multiple incidents of mass poisoning. One was reported from western Assam’s Goalpara district in March 2011. At least 20 vultures had died then, after consuming the poisoned carcass of a dog.“The death of the vultures has been a major loss, but the small relief is that seven survived. We are trying to identify the man who is believed to have poisoned the goat’s carcass,” said Bidya Bordoloi, DFO of Sivasagar Division.Flushed outConservationist Simanta Medhi said doctors of the Bombay Natural History Society that runs the vulture breeding centre in collaboration with the Assam Forest Department, flushed out the poison from the system of the vultures, and gave them medication.“Only seven could make it, and four of these have been released. The remaining three need some more treatment,” he said.The vulture breeding centre in Assam hosts 104 birds, but the ones that died are not among those cared for by it.Vultures have fallen victim in the past due to carcasses that are either infected or poisoned. Last year, 20 birds died in March after eating cattle remains, in Lakhimpur district. Of the 50 that were found alive, 45 were released after treatment. No one was proceeded against in that case since it was not seen as a deliberate act.On the declineResearch data cited by the BNHS last year show that populations of white-backed vultures appeared to have stabilised, but that of long-billed vultures was on the decline.A steady reduction in the numbers of vultures in India was linked to the use of veterinary medicines such as diclofenac, leading to a ban on its use in animals.BNHS scientists have pointed out that several other medications are also toxic to the birds, and yet, these have not been restricted by the government.Without action on both veterinary medications and incidents of revenge killing of wildlife in villages, the bird population is at serious risk, they contend.
Those excluded from final NRC can appeal in Foreigners Tribunal: Home Minister “The civil administration had filed 24 cases against such people when the NRC first draft was being published. There papers were found to be forged,” the district’s Superintendent of Police Ankur Jain told The Hindu.Some of these people have since obtained bail from the Gauhati High Court and the lower courts, he said.NRC Assam’s State Coordinator Prateek Hajela had on July 2 submitted before the Supreme Court that some 1.5 lakh would be deleted from the first draft due to various anomalies. The first draft, published on December 31, 2017, had the names of 1.9 crore of a total 3.29 applicants.The 1.5 lakh included 65,694 cases of “family tree mismatch” while 48,456 cases were of married women who had submitted doubtful panchayat certificates. Another 19,783 were left out because of data entry errors. District officials in Assam have begun work to delete the names of ‘declared foreigners’ whose names had been included in the complete draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was published on July 30.In central Assam’s Morigaon district, officials have identified some 200 people declared foreigners by various Foreigners’ Tribunals or facing cases related to their doubtful citizenship.Assam has 100 such tribunals where people of suspect nationality are required to prove they are Indians.Also Read 200 in Morigaon“These 200 belong to 39 families scattered across the district. Some of them are declared foreigners while some others are suspected illegal immigrants with cases pending,” Morigaon Deputy Commissioner Hemen Das said.“Their detection was not based on any complaint. A mechanism we have in place helped us find their names in the draft NRC. We are deleting their names from the list suo motu so that people don’t lose their faith in the system,” he said. However, he declined to reveal their names or their villages of residence for “security reasons”.Fake papers in HojaiThe police in central Assam’s Hojai district too have filed charge-sheets against 91 people who had submitted fake documents while applying for NRC.Also Read The citizenry test: Assam NRC explained
A 19-year-old Srinagar boy, enabled by social media platforms, is infusing new life into what is considered the soul of Kashmir’s folk music — the rabab, a long-necked lute.Sufyan Malik’s 45-second video, shot on a mobile phone against the backdrop of the heavy snowfall witnessed on November 3, has stormed the internet, with over 4 lakh views and counting. “I came for a short vacation to Kashmir. As my parents left home in the morning, my friend and I decided to shoot the video with snowfall as the backdrop. Initially, I played it for my friends in Pune, to show them snow. To my surprise, the tune of a local song, ‘Janaat-e-Kashmir’, on the rabab, became an instant rage on Internet,” Mr. Malik, a student of engineering at Pune’s MIT College, told The Hindu.Mr. Malik shot the video 18 times because his hands fingers in the cold weather. “There was no electricity to warm my hands. I had to match the speed. It was hard to play three beats down and one beat up. Finally, we did it,” said Mr. Malik, a resident of Srinagar’s Nowshera area. The effort paid off as the video attracted 1.54 lakh views on Twitter in just a couple of days, with more views on Facebook and Instagram in the weeks that followed. From politicians like National Conference’s (NC) Nasir Sogami to activist Shehla Rashid Shora, the young player earned plaudits from across the spectrum in the Valley and outside. “Snow and the rabab probably reflect our identity. People felt an immediate connection. I have pledged to play the rabab all my life. I will do my Masters in composition to enable the survival of the rabab,” said Mr. Malik, the son of a doctor mother and a hotelier, Wahid Malik, who support their son’s efforts.The makers and listeners of the rabab are both fast dwindling in Kashmir. In north Kashmir, only two families continue with the trade of crafting the rabab, from the dozens of just a few decades ago.Seen in many variants across central Asia, the rabab arrived in Kashmir from Afghanistan many centuries ago. “Compared to the seven strings of the Afghan rabab, the Kashmiri version has 22 strings, with two strings crafted out of goat gut through an elaborate process. It’s these two strings that create its mesmerising echo,” Mr. Malik said.Soul-stirringGhulam Muhammad Ganai, 63, from Ganderbal’s Kangan area, is among the few instrumentalists left from the old school. “I play the rabab only in Sufi mehfils (night-long devotional gatherings). The word ‘rabab’ comes from rooh (soul) and bab (expression). It should stir the soul. Only those who are nearer to god value the instrument. Around 15 of us are left now,” said Mr. Ganai.However, young players like Mr. Malik are bringing the instrument back into mainstream culture. “I played the rabab for a musical fusion called ‘Firdous X-He is a pirate’ based on the theme song of [the film] Pirates of Caribbean and the theme music of [TV show] Game of Thrones in 2017. It was an instant hit here,” he said.On June 28 2018, Mr. Malik played the rabab at The Hilton hotel in Los Angeles. “Many Kashmiri-origin people in the audience wanted to have a workshop for their kids after the show. After the hits we produced in 2017, at least 50 students registered to learn to play the rabab at the Delhi Public School (DPS) in Srinagar,” said Mr. Malik.
The Bombay High Court will hear petitions on 16% reservation to Marathas on December 10.A Division Bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice M.S. Karnik was hearing a petition filed by Advocate Dr Jayanti Patil, founder of a body called – Indian Constitutionalists Counsel, which wants the reservation to be struck down as NEET forms have been issued and the recruitment for teachers has also begun. Senior Counsel VA Thorat said pending petitions at HC had opposed the reservation on the basis of 2014 Act but now the new Act has come in place.Advocate Sadavarte said in the present situation “there are around two lakh applicants in the State who annually apply for the engineering and the medical courses with the new reservation there will be only 32% seats left for the open category.”An intervention application filed by Dr. Kanchan Vadgaonkar opposing the PIL urges that reservation should be allowed. The court will hear both petitions on December 10.
Nearly 150 drugs and surgical device suppliers are planning to stop supply to government-run hospitals if their pending dues worth over ₹23 crore are not paid immediately. The All Food and Drug Licence Holders Foundation (AFDLHF), an association of suppliers, in a letter to the State government on Wednesday, stated that their dues have mounted for the last three years.“The overall dues had mounted to nearly ₹95 crore, some of which were cleared over the last few months. But we still have pending bills worth over ₹23 crore,” said Abhay Pandey, president of AFDLHF. The 150-odd companies under the association supply essential drugs, implants, surgical devices and other hospital requirements like masks, gloves and gauzes to 17 State-run hospitals attached to medical colleges. These suppliers are selected through the tendering process of the lowest price offers. For example, a pair of gloves that costs ₹45 in retail is sold at about ₹9 to the government, a face mask costing ₹10 in retail is sold at ₹0.70 to the government.“The Chief Minister had sanctioned ₹120 crore to clear the pending bills at State hospitals. But instead of clearing our dues, the hospitals began clearing their local purchase dues with that money,” Mr. Pandey said. In his letter, he mentions bills worth over ₹28 lakh from GT Hospital, ₹2.73 crore from St. George Hospital, ₹40 lakh from Akola Medical College and ₹31 lakh from Nanded Medical College, pending for approval at the Mantralaya. Additionally, bills of over ₹6 crore from Cama Hospital are yet to be sent for approval either to Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) or Mantralaya. “The bills at Cama are pending only because the Administration Officer has not found the time to sign them,” he said. Till six months ago, the drugs and devices would be supplied to DMER, Directorate of Health Services (DHS) and the Haffkine Institute and further be distributed to the State hospitals. Now, Haffkine has been appointed as the only purchase point by the government. “We hope this changes the scenario on the ground level for us as well,” Mr. Pandey said.Dr. Prakash Wakode, joint director of DMER said that the State is looking at clearing the dues as soon as possible. “Once the bills extend to a certain amount a clearance process has to be followed. For example, the dean of the hospital can sanction only a certain amount. If the amount is beyond what the dean can approve, it is further sent to the director and then to the Mantralaya. This process takes time,” he said. He is yet to see the letter sent by the AFDLHF.
A spell of heavy and widespread snowfall in the plains and upper reaches of the Kashmir Valley on Friday uplifted the mood here. In contrast to grim, violence-related pictures and posts, hundreds of local netizens, for a change, took to social media to live-stream snowfall or post selfies.The entire Kashmir valley, including capital Srinagar, received snowfall in the afternoon on Friday, as predicted by the Meteorological Department. As more snow fell, locals took to social media platforms to post videos of dancing kids, images of snowmen, and live-streamed driving through snow-clogged roads.Former chief minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah also took to the Twitter to express his happiness. “Fresh snow is always gorgeous. It’s time to go back inside, leaving just footprints in the snow,” wrote Mr. Abdullah, as he uploaded his pictures with snow in the backdrop, and a video.Srinagar received the season’s second snowfall on Friday. Tourist hotspots of Gulmarg and Pahalgam recorded several feet of snowfall. “Weather will remain wet till January 6. Visibility will improve after the wet spell ends. Day temperature will also improve,” said Deputy Director, Met. Dept., Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad. Avalanche warning Snowfall did, however, play spoilsport for travellers as the Srinagar-Jammu and Srinagar-Poonch highways were closed “due to slippery road conditions and fears of landslides.” The Srinagar airport cancelled all flights scheduled in the afternoon,. An avalanche warning has been issued for all vulnerable areas of Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.
Several students’ bodies of the north-eastern region have decided to observe a “bandh” on Tuesday in support of the call given by an influential students’ union to protest the proposed Citizens Amendment Bill, 2016. The Mizo Zirlai Pawal (MZP), the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) and the All Assam Students Union (AASU) have extended their support to the 11-hour “bandh” called by the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO).The “bandh” has also been called to condemn Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent statement that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 would be passed in Parliament soon, a NESO leader said. “Despite staging various dharnas even in New Delhi by students’ bodies from the north-east, the Centre is continues to be particular about passing the controversial bill, undermining the sentiments of the indigenous people of the region,” NESO coordinator Pritambai Sonam told reporters at Itanagar on Sunday.Mr. Modi had said at a rally near Silchar in Assam’s Barak Valley on Friday that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 would soon be passed in Parliament as a “penance against the injustice and many wrongs done in the past.” MZP general secretary Lalnunmawia Pautu said the 11-hour bandh would begin from 5 a.m. in Aizawl on Tuesday.He added that the people of the north-east were against the proposed amendment as it would grant citizenship to people on religious grounds. In Mizoram, it would mean legalising thousands of Buddhist Chakmas who had illegally entered the state from Bangladesh, Pautu said.The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was introduced in the Lok Sabha to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.Demanding immediate scrapping of the bill, AAPSU president Hawa Bagang said, “If the bill is passed, we will be left with no option but to take up arms to protect our indigenous population.” The NSF, in a press release, said as a constituent of the NESO, it had apprised the Centre of the detrimental effects of the bill, if it was passed in Parliament.Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya, the chief advisor of the NESO and AASU, had told a press conference in Guwahati on Saturday that the “bandh” was called by the two organisations, along with 30 allied ethnic organisations in Assam, to oppose the bill and condemn the prime minister’s statement.
BJP national general secretary Bhupender Yadav said on Sunday that the saffron party would form the government on its own in Odisha as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies had gained wide acceptance.“The people of the State this time will reject the Biju Janata Dal and install a BJP government,” Mr. Yadav told reporters here. Claiming that the BJD government in Odisha had failed to provide benefits of various Central schemes to the people at grassroot level, Mr. Yadav said: “We are determined to form our government in Odisha and ensure that Central schemes really reach the people here.”Mr. Yadav, however, avoided questions Mr. Modi’s alleged soft stand on the BJD chief and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during his last three public rallies in the State. “This may be your personal observation,” Mr. Yadav said.Spreading the wordThe BJP leader said he would visit different States carrying the message of resolutions of the BJP’s national meet held in New Delhi. “I am travelling to different States to inform people about the hike in MSP (minimum support price), work done by PM and the pro-people initiatives taken by the Central government,” he said. Asked about Saturday’s Opposition rally, Mr. Yadav said: “They are not united and lack leadership. Many of the leaders have past cases of corruption against them. They have joined the Mahagathbandhan as they are feeling the heat from the NDA government.”
It was all just a misunderstanding.That’s NASA’s explanation for a decision to bar six Chinese nationals from attending a conference to be held at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California. The agency has now reversed that decision. And it says a ban that agency chief Charles Bolden imposed in March on citizens from China and seven other countries from attending events at NASA facilities is no longer in place—and hasn’t been since this past July.Earlier this month, officials at NASA Ames informed the six individuals—all graduate students at U.S. universities—that they could not register for the conference from 4 to 8 November to discuss scientific findings from the Kepler mission because of language that Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) put in a 2011 appropriation bill. The decision sparked an outcry from conference participants, some of who threatened to boycott the event. It also prompted Wolf to send a scathing letter to Bolden pointing out that his legislation could not have been the basis for NASA’s decision. Among other things, the legislation prohibits NASA from hosting representatives of the Chinese government at any of the agency’s facilities; however, it does not place any blanket restriction on Chinese citizens entering NASA centers.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 fact, officials said, the decision to bar the students was based on the policy that Bolden announced at a congressional hearing in March. Bolden said it would be a temporary moratorium and would be lifted after NASA completed an internal review of security procedures for allowing citizens of these countries access to NASA facilities.That review concluded in July, according to a NASA spokesperson. But not everybody in NASA management seems to have been aware that the moratorium was no longer in effect when the Chinese students attempted to register for the conference at Ames.The resulting uproar appears to have lifted the fog of confusion. “The initial decision about the Kepler conference was based on an internal misunderstanding of the Administrator’s foreign national access moratorium implemented in March, which is no longer in effect,” writes Allard Beutel, a NASA spokesperson, in an e-mail to ScienceInsider. “But because NASA was essentially closed during the federal government shutdown (until October 17), we weren’t able to address and remedy this situation sooner than last Thursday.”Beutel said NASA has asked the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to conduct an independent security review of its facilities and procedures. “NASA is working closely with the NAPA review team and looks forward to its conclusions,” he writes.
A hurricane can dump nearly 2 trillion liters of water a day. But this massive rainfall has an upside, according to a new study. Researchers have discovered that the deluge can weaken the tempest by up to 30%—a finding that may improve future storm predictions.The hurricane engine has many parts. The calmest part—the eye—is surrounded by the most active: a narrow, 15-kilometer-wide band of wind and rain known as the eyewall. Through the eyewall flows the updraft, a vertical wind that draws water vapor from the ocean surface. At the top of the eyewall, water condenses; as the resulting drops fall back down to the ocean surface they lose power through friction with the surrounding air. The sum of this lost energy per unit time has been dubbed “rainpower.”“The rainpower is colossal, comparable in magnitude to the ocean-derived power that fuels the hurricane,” says Pinaki Chakraborty, a fluid mechanician at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan. Activity within the eyewall is closely connected to the hurricane’s overall intensity, with the vertical updraft fed by an inward-spiraling, ocean-hugging wind whose average speed is the highest across the whole storm.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(*)Previously, researchers thought rain in the eyewall increased a hurricane’s intensity, as heat released from the condensing water added to the overall power of the storm. In contrast, Chakraborty and his colleagues found the opposite to be true: Rainpower acts to significantly lessen, not increase, hurricane intensity.To calculate rainpower, the researchers culled 15 years of data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, a joint NASA–Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency satellite. For every hurricane in the North Atlantic Basin between 1997 and 2013, they pulled information such as mean sea-level pressure and temperature as well as vertical temperature and humidity profiles, and entered it into a thermodynamic hurricane model that treats each storm as a gigantic heat engine. Based on these factors alone, they then predicted the intensity of each hurricane, with and without rainpower.The results were surprising. The team’s model predicted a 10% to 30% reduction in storm intensity that varied with the overall strength of the storm. What’s more, whereas many models tend to overestimate the intensity of hurricanes in their predictions, theirs was a much closer match to historical observations, the researchers report online in Geophysical Research Letters.“The authors have honed in on a potentially ignored effect of the friction of falling condensate on the intensity of tropical cyclones,” says Vasubandhu Misra, a meteorologist from Florida State University in Tallahassee. He says the finding should be placed in the context of other under-researched factors that could affect hurricane intensity, including vertical changes in wind speed and the ocean surface cooling created by the storms themselves.Dave Nolan, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Miami in Florida, calls the paper “thought-provoking,” and says it makes a good case for considering the effect of rainpower. Still, he also cautions against the assumption that rainpower is the only factor impacting hurricane intensity, as not all the eyewall’s rain falls directly down through the updraft. “The eyewall and its updraft typically slope outward at angles from 30 to 60 degrees,” he explains. “Thus, much of the rain is falling down through a less active part of the storm.”Regardless, with their initial work complete, the scientists are now moving to incorporate rainpower into the models of hurricane evolution used for weather and climate change forecasting. Their hope is to improve storm intensity predictions for the future.
Robbers have made off with gems worth 300,000 euros ($370,000) snatched from two Indian diamond traders as they were entering a Paris metro station, a source close to the investigation said Friday.“The two traders were coming back from a business meeting and were attacked Monday afternoon by two men,” the source said, confirming a report by French magazine Le Point.“A bag containing several precious stones — but no diamonds — was stolen,” the source added. “Early indications are that it could have been a premeditated attack.”Read it at India Abroad Related Items
The man, who drove through the main gates of a major US air base carrying propane tanks and gas cans on Wednesday and died as his vehicle caught fire, has been identified as an Indian-origin American, the FBI said Saturday, denying any terror angle in the incident so far.Hafiz Kazi, 51, was living in the US since 1993 and was a legal resident, FBI Special Agent Sean Ragan said at a news conference, adding that he was originally from India.Read it at Khaleej TImes Related Items
As per fresh reports coming in, US Govt. has made up its mind to implement what analysts are terming as H-1B visa’s biggest ever change.Now, the effect would be so huge, that Indian Govt. will have to intervene now.Now, the effect would be so huge, that Indian Govt. will have to intervene now.Read it at Trak Related Items
Indians flying abroad for employment and education, who fail to register their details with their government, may have their passports revoked, suspended or cancelled if a new law is approved, Gulf News can reveal.The draft Emigration Bill, 2019, has also mooted a fine of not less than Rs10,000 (DhDh515.5) on those who fail to register, as per the 51-page Bill posted on the website of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).Read it at Gulf News Related Items
In a hate crime, a Hindu temple has been vandalised in the US state of Kentucky by miscreants who sprayed black paint on the deity and walls, and left a knife stabbed into a chair in the main hall.The incident happened between Sunday night and Tuesday morning at the Swaminarayan Temple in Louisville.Read it at NDTV Related Items