Crocodiles and gazelles don’t really see eye-to-eye on a number of issues—the culinary virtues of gazelle meat being the most prominent. But these animals do see the world differently, in part because of their pupils. The crocodile’s has a vertical slit, whereas the pupil of the gazelle is horizontal. The lion, lurking nearby, has a circular dot similar to humans. So why the different shapes? Researchers propose today in Science Advances that an animal’s status as predator or prey may be the determining factor. After analyzing the pupils of more than 200 land species including canines, felines, reptiles, and ungulates, the scientists found that short ambush predators such as alligators and foxes are more likely to have vertical pupils, whereas prey species—like gazelles or sheep—are more likely to have horizontal pupils. A vertical view is best for gauging distances along the ground, a useful ability when you’re lurking in the shadows and have only one shot at a mouse. A horizontal shape gives prey animals a panoramic view suited to spotting predators approaching from nearly any angle. This ability is enhanced by a feature that lets grazers rotate their eyes to keep their pupils parallel with the horizon. Circular pupils are generally found on animals that chase down their prey, such as cheetahs, or on taller ambush predators like lions and tigers. This suggests that above a certain shoulder height—about 42 cm—the functional advantages of vertical pupils are lost. The will to survive, it seems, has helped the eye of the tiger—and the fox and the horse—evolve pupils best suited to helping them do just that.(Video credit: 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(*)
New ways to fight HIV and tuberculosis emerge at AIDS conference By Jon CohenMar. 5, 2018 , 5:50 PM Tuberculosis piggybacks on HIV and many people, like this woman in South Africa, wind up hospitalized with life-threatening cases of the curable lung disease. Jon Cohen/Science BOSTON—Some people naturally handle HIV infection better than others, but only two clear genetic explanations have ever been found. Now, a new study reported here today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections finds a third: a genetic signature that leads to a better control of the virus in people of African descent. It could clarify sometimes puzzling differences in the way the disease progresses in untreated people, and it might offer clues about new treatment strategies.Weeks after a person is infected with HIV, levels of the virus in the blood skyrocket before dropping down to a “set point” that remains relatively constant after the immune response kicks in. Lower set points confer a couple benefits: Even without HIV/AIDS drugs, people progress more slowly to disease, and they’re less likely to transmit the virus to others. About 25% of the time, genetic factors drive the lower set point, according to previous genome-wide association studies.Of the two known genetic factors, the most powerful comes from genes that control proteins known as human leukocyte antigens (HLAs). Different HLAs determine the strength of a person’s immune response against HIV. The second factor is white blood cells that are naturally resistant to HIV infection. HIV needs to dock on two different receptors to enter a cell, and mutations in one of them, known as CCR5, thwart HIV.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(*)To find out whether other genetic factors affect the HIV set point, researchers probed the International Collaboration for the Genomics of HIV, which contains genetic and clinical information from a database of about 11,000 people around the world living with the virus. Until now, most studies using the database have focused on people of European descent, says geneticist Paul McLaren of the Public Health Agency of Canada in Winnipeg. So, McLaren and colleagues looked at 2500 people of African descent. And they found a third factor at play.The genetic signature popped out on a stretch of chromosome 1 that the researchers linked to a lower HIV set point. Although they did not find an affected gene, the region plays a role in the integration of HIV DNA into human chromosomes, a key step in the viral life cycle. “This is a real signal of something new,” says John Coffin, a virologist at Tufts University here. “Discovering the gene and the specific mutations involved in the association could reveal previously unexpected virus-cell interaction pathways and both contribute significantly to our basic understanding of HIV and point the way to new therapies.”A separate report at the meeting found a simpler way to prevent tuberculosis (TB), the No. 1 reason people with AIDS die from the disease. Researchers followed 3000 people in 10 countries over 2 years who were living with HIV and also likely had latent TB, a bacterial infection that can be cleared with proper treatment. Instead of subjecting them all to a recommended prevention strategy—a 9-month course of the drug isoniazid—they treated half with the 9-month course and half with a monthlong combination of isoniazid and rifapentine.Nearly an identical number of people in each group developed an active case of TB or died from the disease during the study, meaning that the drug combo might work as effectively as the standard treatment, says Richard Chaisson, a TB researcher at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, who presented the report. “The results are a game changer,” he says. What’s more, 97% of the participants in the two-drug group completed the 1-month treatment, compared with just 90% for those in the 9-month group. (Those rates are far higher than seen in the real world.) “This is an outstanding trial,” that could lead to real changes in policy recommendations, says Haileyesus Getahun, a coordinator at the Global TB Programme of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.The 1-month course of treatment now costs $72, which Chaisson says will break the budgets of many hard-hit countries. “The cost needs to come way down,” he says. But the drugs are off patent, he notes, and could be made by generic drug companies if enough interest existed.The vast majority of people who have latent TB are not infected with HIV, and—although they’re at lower risk of developing active cases—this finding may apply to them, too. “It’s high time to explore if it’s potential could be extended beyond just people living with HIV,” Getahun says. “New studies are urgently needed.”
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s presence during the current domestic season has been of immense help to the Jharkhand youngsters but on Friday, it was the turn of Bengal’s wicket-keeper Shreevats Goswami to get some priceless suggestions from the former India captain. (Security beefed up at Kotla for MS Dhoni’s Vijay Hazare semifinal)”I have never had an opportunity to enjoy a one-on-one session with Dhoni bhai. Today since the match was postponed, I went up to him and sought his time. He obliged almost immediately. I spent good 15-20 minutes talking about my game. I was a fan but today I was more of a student,” Shreevats said. (Dhoni rescued from Delhi hotel after it catches fire)The former India U-19 skipper spoke about mental make-up before big games, the concept of bad patch and other stuff like that.”Dhoni bhai said that no one exactly knows what is poor form and there is nothing called getting out of a bad patch. Often, it just takes two to three good shots while batting that will indicate that things are on right track for a player,” the Bengal keeper, who has been in good form during the season, said.Being a keeper himself, it’s rare opportunity to get a chance to speak to someone of Dhoni’s stature and Shreevats did not want to miss a chance to pick his brains.”He (Dhoni) told me that if I am playing at this level, I need not worry about the basics. He spoke more about mental frame of a player at the highest level. He said that it is never possible that a player can shut out all sorts of worries ahead of a big match but the key is to ensure that external factors are kept at bare minimal. The less one thinks about the end, the better he knows about the means,” Shreevats said.advertisement
Xiaomi’s Mi Note 3 was launched back in September in two storage variants – one with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The smartphone came with a starting price of CNY 2,499 (approx Rs 24,500). Two months later, Xiaomi has launched a new variant of the Mi Note 3 in China that offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of inbuilt storage, and comes with a cheaper price tag of CNY 1,999 (approx Rs 19,500).The new variant of the Mi Note 3 at a lower price will look to attract more customers. Additionally, both the 6GB variants have also received a price cut. The current price of the 6GB + 64GB model stands at CNY 2,299 (approx Rs 22,500) while the 6GB + 64GB model retails at CNY 2,699 (approx Rs 26,400). The Mi Note line has not been launched in India and it is unlikely that we’ll see the Mi Note 3 in the country as well.The Mi Note 3 is a dual-SIM supported smartphone that sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920) display. It is powered by a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 660 processor coupled with 6GB or the newly launched 4GB of RAM. The smartphone bears a dual rear camera setup with one 12-megapixel sensor wide-angle lens and f/1.8 aperture and one 12-megapixel sensor with a telephoto lens and f/2.6 aperture. The front sees a 16-megapixel sensor for selfies.Also Read: Xiaomi announces third manufacturing facility in India, launches Mi Power Bank 2iAdditionally, the Mi Note 3 also highlights an AI Beautify feature, facial recognition and a 4-sided curved body, among other things. Connectivity features on board include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11c, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/ A-GPS and USB Type-C. The handset houses a 3500mAh battery, measures 152.6×73.95×7.6mm and weighs 163 grams.advertisement
India’s 325 member strong contingent to the Gold Coast Commonwealth games next month will include 221 athletes, 58 coaches, 7 managers, 17 doctors and physios and 22 other officials.The government however, won’t be bearing the cost of some members accompanying the athletes.PV Sindhu’s mother Vijaya Pusarla and Saina Nehwal’s father Harvir Singh are among the 15 non-athletes who will travel without government bearing their costs.IOA bats for parents of PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal to accompany them in CWGTwo-time Olympian and former world No. 1 shooter Heena Sidhu too was only belatedly allowed to be accompanied by her technical coach Ronak Pandit, who is also her husband.The Sports Ministry had raised objections earlier as well in designating Ronak as her personal coach under TOPS funding scheme. The National Rifle Association of India hired Ronak as High Performance Director after resistance from the ministry.Multiple Commonwealth games winner and three-time Olympian Anjali Bhagwat backs Heena’s case. “We should give importance to athlete’s comfort first. If Heena is comfortable with her personal coach Ronak then we shouldn’t be looking at her relationship that he is also her husband. He is her coach first. Whatever support an athlete requires we should be giving,” she told India Today.Another Olympian and someone who deals with these issues closely as CEO of Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), Viren Rasquinha also backs the athlete in a more measured response.”It’s tough for me to answer that. I leave that to the ministry. But in general I agree with what Anjali says that we need to take a close look at people who are making a difference to the athletes. Officials are as important as athletes. We need to ensure we get the best mix of professionals and efficiency at the time of the tournament. It includes the entire medical staff be it doctors, physios and nutritionists,” he told India Today.advertisementOGQ supports all the three athletes in question – Heena Sidhu, Saina and Sindhu. Elaborating further Viren adds, “athletes at that level, be it coach to trainer or physio, trust is very important and trust does not come overnight. If someone new comes in at the time of the tournament, it will not work with athletes. Someone who is close to the athlete and understands them inside out, sometimes it may be a parent, sometimes that may be the physio. But I think understanding between athlete and officials is very critical during that final week of preparations before the tournament as it is six months before.”While Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu and London Olympics bronze medallist Saina will be part of India’s star-studded badminton contingent at Gold Coast, Heena will also start as a medal prospect.She is expected to receive stiff competition from 16-year-old Manu Bhaker, who won double gold in the ISSF senior World Cup recently.
John Stones says winning trophies is “addictive” but the England defender, who has helped Manchester City claim successive Premier League titles, admitted he is desperate to taste success with his country, starting with the Nations League in Portugal this coming week.If Gareth Southgate’s side beat the Netherlands in Guimarães on Thursday, they will proceed to the final of the two-game tournament in Porto next Sunday. Stones – who was part of a City side that celebrated winning a treble this season, lifting the Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Premier League, as well as the Community Shield – has urged England to build on the achievement of reaching last summer’s World Cup semi-finals and hopes to end the week savouring silverware with his teammates at international level.“I want to give them that hunger of something so special, so addictive, that when you lift a trophy and know that you’ve been the best in whatever competition, it is something so special,” says Stones, who turned 25 this week. “It’s so addictive; I can’t describe it in any other way. When I think back now to lifting that [FA Cup] trophy at Wembley, up on the balcony, it’s something that will never leave your mind and for me it’s so unique when you can’t have anyone say they were better than you. Read more Barney Ronay The Observer Share via Email “I remember away [at Hoffenheim] in the Champions League, I came on and in possession I played in midfield, and out of possession I was a centre-half. After we’d won – David [Silva] had scored late on – Pep praised me for my impact when I came on.”Stones reveals he voted for Tottenham’s Son Heung-min as his PFA player of the season but says he is a big fan of Virgil van Dijk, as well as Matthijs de Ligt, the Ajax centre-back who partners the Liverpool man in the Netherlands team. “They are two great players but I have every confidence in our strikers that they can cause them problems. I always say it about myself that for whoever plays up top, they will get the best out of themselves because they are playing against top players.”After the Nations League Southgate is set to fly to Italy to take in the European Under-21 Championship. Aidy Boothroyd’s side spent the past week at St George’s Park training alongside a depleted senior squad, owing to several Champions League final absentees.A sub-strength England senior team beat the under-21s 5-0 in a 60-minute match at the national base in Burton on Tuesday. Southampton’s Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse, who remained in training despite not making Southgate’s final 23-man squad, both scored, as did Marcus Rashford, while Jesse Lingard twice found the net. Read more Share on Twitter Reuse this content England Topics Eden Hazard looks to the future having proved he can make time stand still FA urges travelling England fans to cut out antisocial behaviour Nations League Share on LinkedIn Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest “And last season as City boys we were so confident, as we’d finished the league with a month to go. And going to a World Cup, knowing that we were the best in the Premier League, is something so special. Pep [Guardiola] used to say it. That’s a benchmark and a confidence thing no other player can take into the competition.”Stones, who started all seven games in Russia last summer, hopes England can capitalise on galvanising a nation. “We were probably so low in people’s thought process, maybe – I hope I’m wrong – but I hope we have probably gone to another level now where everyone is so excited.“We need to deliver again now and that’s the expectation that we have put on ourselves. It’s not the biggest tournament but I think if there’s a trophy there to be won there’s no way you can say it’s nowhere near as important as any other. It’s there in its own right and that makes it so important. The Nations League is so important, for a country that for 45 years or so has not done anything.”“[City teammate] David Silva is always making fun of me and he’ll send me a picture of the three things he’s won [with Spain], the World Cup and two European [championships]. He says: ‘This might be you one day.’ But that’s something that he is so proud of and I don’t want to say that I can’t imagine it – I couldn’t imagine it years ago happening – but now we are so close to something special. I cannot imagine what the scenes would be like if we do it. It would be something special for all of us.”The centre-back is likely to return to partner Harry Maguire in defence after missing the March victories over Czech Republic and Montenegro with a groin injury but has acknowledged the continual fight to retain his place for club and country.At City, Guardiola opted to interchange between playing Stones, Vincent Kompany or Nicolás Otamendi alongside Aymeric Laporte, with the former Everton defender reduced to a substitute role towards the end of a title-winning season. Stones, who has also been utilised in defensive midfield, most recently against Watford in the FA Cup final, insists it is a position he is happy to continue playing in. “We had Fernandinho out and Gundo [Ilkay Gündogan] came off in that game,” he says. “I’m happy that the manager trusts me in that position. It’s another string to my bow. I feel comfortable in there. features Manchester City Share on Facebook John Stones
Rajarshi Gupta New DelhiMarch 22, 2019UPDATED: March 23, 2019 09:17 IST IPL 2019: The biggest names of world cricket are ready for a one-month T20 frenzy. (@IPL Photo)The Indian Premier League is an important part of the cricket calendar. Top players from all over the world converge in India for the biggest and the richet T20 league in the world. Fans brave the punishing heat to see their heroes in action and journalists have their hands full – the rivetting cricket is reason enough to stay hooked but over the years, several controversies have rocked the IPL – yet the tournament has survived those hardships and is today in its 12th year.The inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008 brought about a cricketing revolution. Several IPL teams have given India some stunning cricketers. Several others hope to impress in the IPL and make their way back into the team – a few have successfully been able to do that while several others have failed. The Indian summer is all about the IPL, then is it not.Well, not this time. This year, the IPL will battle for space and attention with the general elections. In 2009, the whole tournament had to be shifted to South Africa. In 2014, part of the IPL was played in the Middle East. The entire IPL will be played in India in 2019. However, the BCCI is yet to announce the dates for the knockout matches. Moreover, there is a feeling key players of all nationalities could be rested at different phases with the World Cup barely weeks away.Besides, there is another first. In 2011 and 2015, the IPL was played after the World Cup. This year, the World Cup starts days after the final. No team would want their players jaded and exhausted when they head out to battle for cricket’s most coveted trophy. There’s another school of thought – some feel the IPL could be superb preparation for the World Cup.advertisementIndia have completed their international season – they did very well in Australia and New Zealand before being caught out by a charged-up Australian team in their own backyard. After India lost the ODI series 2-3, Virat Kohli said there were still a couple of slots yet to be decided for the World Cup. He had also said the IPL won’t influence World Cup selection but news agencies later quoted a BCCI official as saying the first month of the IPL will be important.What if Suresh Raina has a sensational stint with Chennai Super Kings? What if Umesh Yadav picks 20 wickets for Royal Challengers Bangalore? What if Rishabh Pant really turns it on for Delhi Capitals? What if Dinesh Karthik scores over 500 runs for KKR? Surely, those performances will weigh in on the selectors’ minds.This IPL will be extremely critical for two Australian superstars trying to work their way back into the team after one of the darkest chapters in cricketing history. David Warner and Steve Smith were banned for a year over their roles in the ball-tampering scandal – obviously, now their performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals will hold plenty of significance.Warner did tell India Today World Cup selection was not on his mind but the Australian team management will keep a close eye on how he and Smith perform. Form, fitness. Add these two to the World Cup mix and you have a formidable Australian team ready to defend their world title in England.Chris Gayle was on fire for West Indies in the ODI series against England at home. Can be bring that red-hot form for Kings XI Punjab? If Gayle gets in the mood, it’s good news for both KXIP and Punjab.MSK Prasad, India’s chief selector, speaking at the India Today Conclave, said the IPL will provide players with a competitive atmosphere to get ready mentally for the World Cup. “Rather than sitting and training, this IPL offers a competitive atmosphere.”Prasad said India did well in the 2013 Champions Trophy in England because they played the IPL. But there’s hardly any gap between the IPL and the World Cup. It’s very likely India will rest some of their big guns in the latter half of the tournament.But no player will take the IPL for granted. They are paid big bucks and they play for pride. When Kohli, Dhoni, Gayle, Rohit, Bumrah and the other big boys walk out to play for their respective IPL sides, they will have only one thing on their mind: IPL glory.Also Read | Pre-tournament photo shoot suggests Bhuvneshwar Kumar likely to lead SRHAlso Read | World Cup not on my mind, want to do well for Sunrisers Hyderabad: David WarnerAlso Read | Onus on Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers as RCB seek to end 5-year drought vs CSKAlso Read | MS Dhoni vs Virat Kohli: Friends set to turn rivals in IPL 2019 openeradvertisementFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow IPL 2019Follow Indian Premier LeagueFollow 2019 ICC World Cup It’s IPL time: Cricket superstars set to rock and roll with an eye on World CupIPL 2019: The World Cup has dominated cricket chatter but once the IPL gets underway on Saturday, some of biggest cricket superstars will be determined to make their mark on the richest T20 league in the world.advertisement
Geneva – Morocco moved six spots in the Global Innovation Index 2016, ranking as 72nd out of 128 countries, according to a report by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), presented on Monday in Geneva.Based on the “Global Innovation Index 2016”, the Kingdom is among countries with best ranked economies of average intermediary income given the main analysis criteria as the innovation quality and expenditure.Morocco posted an average figure of 32.26 points enabling it to rank with Tunisia in the 77th spot, ahead of Egypt (107th) and Algeria (113th). The Kingdom is among the sixteen countries of north Africa and western Asia which are positioned among the top 100, notably Qatar (50th), Bahrain (57th), Kuwait (67th), Oman (73rd) and Jordan (82nd).
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Dubai’s Emirates NBD bank has revised its acquisition price of Turkey’s Denizbank following a slide in the Turkish lira, saying it has now agreed to pay 15.48 billion lira ($2.8 billion).The new price reflects a $400 million savings based on the price of the lira at the original time of the agreement 10 months ago.Emirates NBD issued a statement Wednesday with the revised terms, which reflect the sharp depreciation of the Turkish lira over the past year.Emirates NBD first announced in May it had agreed to acquire 99.85% of the shares of Denizbank from Russia’s Sberbank. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed by July.Local media reported that Emirates NBD shares soared to their highest level in 10 years Wednesday.The Associated Press
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Delta Airlines jets are pictured at a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Sept. 4, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Reed Saxon by David Koenig, The Associated Press Posted Apr 23, 2014 5:58 am MDT DALLAS – Delta Air Lines Inc. is making more money by filling more seats on its planes and paying a bit less for fuel.Delta’s first-quarter profit beat expectations and underscored how most big airlines are prospering with a combination of strong business travel, slightly higher fares and money from extra fees.Even bad weather couldn’t stop Delta from boosting profit, although it cancelled more than 17,000 flights in January and February — double the number from a year ago — which cost the company $90 million in revenue and $55 million in pretax income.The Atlanta-based airline said Wednesday that it expects solid demand throughout the year, and it predicted that a key statistic of revenue per mile will grow in the mid-single digits during the April-through-June second quarter.Delta shares jumped $1.72, or 4.9 per cent, to $36.67 in midday trading after hitting an all-time high of $37.41 earlier in the session. They began the day up 27 per cent in 2014.Delta said that net income in the first quarter was $213 million, or 25 cents per share, up from $7 million, or a penny per share, a year earlier.Excluding items such as fleet-restructuring costs and fuel-hedging, Delta earned 33 cents per share. Analysts, who usually exclude one-time costs and benefits like that, were expecting 29 cents per share, according to FactSet.Revenue rose 5 per cent to $8.92 billion, matching analysts’ forecasts.Passengers flew 4 per cent more miles than in early 2013, which helped boost occupancy to 82.7 per cent on the average flight, up from 81.2 per cent a year ago. The average fare per mile rose 1 per cent.Including Delta Connection regional flights, the company spent $2.70 billion on fuel, its largest expense in the quarter. Still, that was a savings of $109 million, or 4 per cent, as Delta paid $3.03 per gallon instead of last year’s $3.24. The company expects total fuel costs of $2.97 to $3.02 per gallon in the second quarter.The break on fuel spending more than offset an increase of $58 million, or 3 per cent, in labour costs, the company’s second-biggest expense at $1.97 billion.As long as travel demand holds up, Delta should be able to cover those costs.The company overcame severe winter weather and the shift of Easter travel into April.The airline’s president, Ed Bastian, said Delta saw gains from corporate travel accounts and passenger fees — and predicted that money from fees will rise.In the 12 months that ended last Sept. 30, Delta took in $1.66 billion just in fees for checked bags and changing reservations — the most of any airline and 22 per cent more than runner-up United — according to government figures.Bastian said that “merchandising” — that’s other fees such as charging extra for priority boarding, economy seats with more legroom, and upselling to first-class — grew 20 per cent in a year to $165 million.“We think we can grow this high-margin revenue stream by $500 million annually over the next three years,” he said on a call with analysts.Helane Becker, an analyst with Cowen and Co., said Delta was aggressively controlling costs other than fuel and said the company’s outlook for the second quarter was stronger than expected. Standard & Poor’s analyst Jim Corridore said Delta was driving the entire industry to focus more on return for shareholders.The financial strength of U.S. airlines has increased as mergers have reduced competition and made it easier for the carriers to control the supply of seats. Later this week, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are expected to report that their first-quarter profits also rose sharply from last year. Among the largest four U.S. airline companies, only United Continental Holdings Inc. is expected to report a loss.___Contact David Koenig at http://www.twitter.com/airlinewriter Delta tops 1Q expectations despite $90 million revenue hit from a wave of winter storms
.“Climate change carries no passport and knows no national borders. Countries must work toward the common interest, beyond narrow national interests,” declared Mr. Ban in a briefing to an informal meeting of the General Assembly on the ongoing preparations for the 21st Conference of States Parties to the UN Framework convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known as COP21, to be held in the French capital from 30 November to 11 December.Telling UN Member States that while he is optimistic that after months of talks and rising calls “from all sectors” that their Governments will conclude a meaningful agreement in Paris, some key issues have proven too challenging for negotiators to resolve on their own, including on equity and differentiation, finance and ambition.“I will be very actively engaging with Heads of State and Government over the next four weeks to help them unlock these issues. Ultimate responsibility for success in Paris rests firmly in their hands,” said the Secretary-General, pledging to urge world leaders to tell their negotiators that now is the time for compromise and consensus building.Indeed, he continued, bridges must be built to span the traditional divides between developed and developing countries. “A meaningful agreement must be universal and fair. It must address urgency. And it must strengthen opportunity ¬– not just for some, but for all people in the world.”The UN chief said that for Paris to be a success, it must deliver on several key fronts: “The agreement must be durable and flexible. It must be rooted in solidarity. And it must be credible in its response to the urgency of climate change, including by providing the financial and other means to support this response.”Welcoming the recent agreement between the Presidents of China and France in Beijing that they have agreed to have a 5 year review process, Mr. Ban said a Paris agreement must not lock in a level of mitigation ambition that undermines the below-2 degrees goal. “There can be no backsliding. Current ambition must be the floor, not the ceiling, for future efforts.”On resources, he said an agreement must provide for credible means of implementation, including climate financing. Developed countries must keep their pledge to provide $100 billion a year by 2020. All concerned – both developed and developing countries – must be part of a consultative, politically credible process for defining the $100 billion trajectory. “I call on developed countries to make public finance pledges before Paris that balance both adaptation and mitigation needs. This is essential for building the trust that is needed to secure a meaningful, universal agreement,” the Secretary-General explained, adding that developed countries must also take the lead in, and enhance their support for, financing post-2020.Overall, he said that an agreement in Paris must mark a decisive and irreversible turning point in the world’s collective response to the climate challenge. “The impacts of climate change are rapidly increasing. The world’s collective ambition must increase, too. Action must be fuelled by a sense of urgency as well as opportunity. We must ensure that all countries are part of the solution, and that the benefits of low-carbon, climate-resilient growth are realized by all.”Mr. Ban said that he would continue to do everything in his power to help shepherd a meaningful global agreement. “I will call on your leaders to own this agreement, and to closely guide your ministers and negotiators. I will continue to encourage the path of compromise for the common good.”“Alongside an agreement, I will also continue to work with the COP Presidents and the UNFCCC Executive Secretary to advance the Lima-Paris Action Agenda,” which, he said, builds on the many, successful partnerships that were showcased at the Climate Summit he convened last year.“At this time, solutions are what we urgently need. By working together, we can and we will reach a meaningful, universal climate agreement in Paris,” the Secretary-General concluded. In his remarks to the briefing, General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft noted that only two months ago, world leaders adopted the revolutionary 2030 Agenda which followed the agreement of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Both the meeting in Lima, and in particular, the conference in Paris are directly linked to deliver on those commitments.“According to the World Meteorological Organization, our world has just experienced the hottest January-September on record. It is high time for the international community to take decisive action on climate change and COP 21 in Paris is our last chance to do so,” he said, underscoring that success in Paris means agreeing ambitious actions to address mitigation as well as other key issues related to adaptation, finance, technology, capacity building and transparency.He said that the last negotiating session in Bonn produced a balanced draft agreement, as a basis for the final consultations in Paris. “Parties must now build on this positive and constructive spirit in order to reach consensus on an ambitious and universally binding agreement in Paris.”“If leadership and enlightened self-interest lead to concrete agreements in the negotiations themselves, then Paris will not just help secure the rights of future generations, it will be the first major step towards delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.Thereafter, continued, the Assembly President, it will be up-to all actors to take swift and decisive action for implementation and on 11-12 April, I will hold a high-level thematic debate to catalyze early progress on sustainable development, finance and climate commitments and I look forward to the active engagement of all stakeholders in that meeting.
HERE ARE THE five stories you need to know before you head out the door this evening.1. #FIONA DOYLE The Director of Public Prosecutions has lodged appeal papers regarding the ‘undue leniency’ of the sentence against Patrick O’Brien, who was found guilty of raping and indecently assaulting his daughter Fiona Doyle over a 10-year period. Doyle told Pat Kenny on RTÉ this morning that she hoped to be able to pursue her mother in the courts.2. #HORSEMEAT Rangeland has said all of its products are now being DNA tested before release, after the catering company Compass Group announced that independent tests found a minor level of horse DNA in its products despite assurances from Rangeland. Rangeland said it is “deeply concerned” by the findings and is working with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the Food Standards Agency.3. #PISTORIUS The family of athlete Oscar Pistorius have issued a statement saying the “alleged murder” of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is “disputed in the strongest terms”. This came after lawyers representing the South African were granted a postponement for a bail application to allow time for their own investigations into the model’s death. Pistorius is being held in custody.4. #RUSSIA Around 950 people are reported to have been injured after a meteorite struck the Chelyabinsk region of the Russian Urals, with 3,000 buildings damaged. Two people are in intensive care. Many of the videos of the meteorite were captured using dashboard cameras – we look into why such cameras are so popular in Russia.5. #VIDEO A video of a fistfight involving Irish emigrants in Perth has emerged online, showing several men trading punches while onlookers watched and others attempted to end the fighting. According to a police spokesperson, there were no reports in relation to the incident.
NEW RESEARCH RELEASED today by AIB has revealed significant changes in consumer behaviour with customers putting in the work to hunt down special offers.The figures in AIB’s first outlook report for the small and medium business sector shows that close to three out of four retailers are now seeing customers buying more items on special offer. 83 per cent of retailers said customers are also buying fewer branded products.Retailers also said that they are seeing an increase in customers visiting their store more often in an attempt to manage their spending more carefully through the week by spreading out their spending and visits with 93 per cent saying customers are shopping around more.Many retailers are testing new ways of keeping and growing their customer bases, according to the report, which also found that engaging customers through social media and loyalty schemes are being considered more frequently by a majority of retailers. Just over a third have reduced the range of products in store in response to consumer trends with 32 per cent changing opening house and 30 per cent reducing the numbers of managers or office staff.The report said several retailers also pointed out that reducing staff levels and product ranges risks undermining the shopper experience to the point where they don’t come back, no matter how low the prices. However 66 per cent of retailers have reduced the number of floor staff.Retailers remain positive with more than half surveyed saying they plan to expand their operations in the next three years while more than one in five said they expect their business to eventually be taken over by a family member.The survey also found that less than 5 per cent of retailers surveyed expect a recovery in the Irish economy in the next year while 65 per cent said it would take at least five years for a recovery.Some 57 per cent of retailers said they saw their turnover decrease between 2011 and 2012 while 16 per cent reported an increase. The reduction in profit margin was the main concern facing most retailers, followed by wage costs) and competition from larger outlets like the larger supermarket chains.Read: 54 per cent of people still believe now is a bad time to save>Read: Money advice: National Consumer Agency’s top five tips>
Verizon and Motorola have announced three new Droid phones to be available soon, in an attempt to offer something for everyone.We’ve known that Verizon was up to something for a little while now, and thanks to the leaks we had a pretty good idea Motorola was involved. The DroidLanding twitter account has been resurrected, a new AR game stepped up to keep people thinking about Droid, and now the phones are finally here.The Droid Mini, Droid Ultra, and Droid Maxx are three different phones with identical user interfaces designed to offer something for every kind of user on Verizon Wireless. The phones look and feel like thinner, sharper versions of the Droid Razr phones that were announced last year, and these successors to the Droid throne seem able to step up and compete with the flagships on the market today.The new Droid line up is all about being as similar as posisble in three different form factors. Each phone is sporting the familiar kevlar design on the back of the phone, with the Mini looking like the old Razr M and the Maxx looking like the Razr Maxx HD. The Mini has kept the 4.3-inch size from the original M, while the Ultra and the Maxx have traded up to 5-inch screens.The Droid Ultra stands out in bright red, but still packs a design familiar to the Razd HD from last year. What you give up for that incredibly slim profile and firetruck red paint job (it’s also available in black or white) is wireless charging, which the other two phones have.The big features being announced with these new phones are a crazy battery boost with the Maxx and a 10MP camera in the Ultra. The Maxx is now rated for 48 hours of battery life as opposed to the previous 32 hours, and manages to be nearly a full milimeter thinner than its predecessor.The phones are being driven by a unique new octo-core processor, dubbed the Motorola X8 mobile computing system. The X8 splits processing power between GPU, application, contextual computing, and natural language processing. According to Motorola, the core split gives four cores to the GPU and two cores to application processing, leaving one for context and the other for listening and understanding you as you talk. As a result, the new Droid lineup features always listening command systems and a refreshed UI that very closely resembles the current Moto UI to handle the experience.The new Droid phones will feature the voice control system seen recently in the Moto X video leaks, where you can wake the phone and give commands without ever having to touch the phone. The phone personalizes its responses to you, and in the demo the phone was aware of the name of the user. Also included from the Moto X leak is the active notification display, which only lights up a portion of the display with a simple notification as opposed to using a notification light to show you what you are missing on your phone. The new Droid lineup will also come with a quick capture feature that takes photos instantly, as well as a sharing tool that is sadly dubbed Droid Zap to push photos to friends nearby.Motorola is showing off their new Google parent by including Google Music and Ingress with the new phones. These will be the first phones to include Ingress on the phone, and anyone who picks one of these handsets before September 30 gets 6 months of Google Play Music All Access for free.The Droid Mini starts off at $99 on a new contract, making the Ultra $199 and the Maxx $299. It’s an impressive launch from Verizon, and it will be very interesting to see how these phones hold up against the current Snapdragon based flagships on the market today.
Abdoulie G. DibbaFamily Members of Imam Cherno Gassama of Dasilami informed this reporter yesterday that they still are denied access to him after being detained incommunicado for 15 days.Imam Cherno Gassama is the Imam of Darsilami Mosque in the Lower Fulladou West District, Central River Region of Gambia.He was arrested on Monday 2 November 2015 at his residence by a personnel of the National Intelligence Agency accompanied by a police officer at Brikamaba Police Station.Family members had indicated earlier that when the Imam was arrested, he was detained briefly at the Brikamaba Police Station before the finally took him to Janjanbureh Central Prison on the same day.However, they later said during the first visit of Janjanbureh Central Prison by some members of the family, they were told that Imam is being detained there but they were not allowed to see him at that material time.“To our disappointment, when the family members returned the following day, they were told that the Imam is no longer with them,” stated the family source.They expressed concern for his health condition and not being able to take clothes and toiletries for him. They further said the entire family is appealing to the authorities to allow them access to their loved one since they could not tell why he was arrested and detained.Section 19 Subsection (3)(b) of the Constitution states that “Any person who is arrested or detained… who is not released, shall be brought without undue delay before a court and, in any event, within seventy-two hours”.
Wayne Rooney bagged his first MLS hat-trick as DC United thrashed Real Salt Lake 5-0.The former Manchester United striker was in red-hot form for DC to help them nail the second win of their three opening games in the 2019 MLS campaign.Rooney broke the deadlock in the 34th-minute by smashing home a penalty-kick and struck again just seven minutes later by chipping the ball into the back of the net.DC headed into the break 2-0 up at the Audi Field Stadium in Washington with Real Salt Lake down to 10-men upon Jefferson Savarino’s straight red card in first-half stoppage-time.Therefore, Ben Olsen’s side enjoyed an even stronger outing in the second half with Rooney finding the net again to complete his treble in the 65th-minute.Real Salt Lake’s misery was later doubled when Marcelo Silva picked up a second yellow card for fouling Lucas Rodriguez just two minutes later.The Argentine striker soon got on the scoresheet himself before Ulises Segura finished off nine-man Real Salt Lake by adding a fifth goal for DC in the final 10 minutes of the game.The victory on Sunday morning ensured that DC go top of the Eastern Conference standings on seven points from their opening three games.“Obviously, we were expecting a difficult game and I think we started ok, we were sticking to our gameplan and obviously the first goal helped us and then the red card made the game a bit more different than what we planned for,” said Rooney on DC’s Twitter.Report: Rooney talks Engalnd Kane and Guardiola George Patchias – September 12, 2019 Wayne Rooney has spoken of his England record, Harry Kane smashing it and Pep Guardiola for England.In an interview on his Wayne Rooney podcast…“We were clinical, we had chances. Apart from the header I missed, we were quite clinical in front of goal so it’s a strange game especially when two players are sent-off.“But I think the referee, whether it was his decision or if it went upstairs or wherever it goes to I don’t know, but it was a comfortable night in the end.“To score a hat-trick is always great and I’m really pleased with getting the three goals. I’m pleased for the team, it was a great victory for us. Preparing for pre-season and knowing the first three games we had before the break, to come away with seven points is a good tally for us.“But also three clean sheets is big for us as a team and we’re working hard defensively to try and keep that and build from the last two games.”DC United, who haven’t conceded a goal in their opening three matches, will next take a trip to Orlando City on April 1.Post-match reaction from @WayneRooney after a 5-0 victory over @realsaltlake.Oh yeah, he scored a hat trick. ⚽️⚽️⚽️#DCU | #DCvRSL pic.twitter.com/Tp2UP4YC78— D.C. United (@dcunited) March 17, 2019
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed his delight after reports surfaced of Sir Alex Ferguson returning to Manchester United training ground.The Red Devils caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken advice from Fergie since his appointment last month, and Pochettino is pleased to hear that the former United boss is back involved.“I think it’s fantastic news because he is football,” he said, according to ESPN. “Sir Alex means football and to be involved in his football club as always is fantastic news after he suffered a massive problem.”“To be involved again, I think for him and for Manchester sure it’s a massive, important thing. Of course I sent [my best wishes] and I cannot hide my admiration and my relationship with him. He always was one of the people I admired the most, an inspiration.”Solskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“I think he was one of, or was the best manager in the world, in the history of football, and to have the possibility to see him every day is massive. He is like an encyclopaedia of football.”Pochettino also spoke about transfer dealings regarding United and Spurs, saying:“Today the Premier League is so competitive and for Tottenham to go to, I don’t know, Southampton and sign a player like they used to do, like with Gareth Bale, today it’s so difficult.”“It’s the same situation that happens with big clubs, like the example of Manchester picking players from Tottenham, Tottenham picking players from [other clubs]. I think everything has changed.”“Today it’s so difficult to do business in between the English clubs because in the end the market has changed a lot. Today an English player [moving] in between the clubs, it’s so difficult to do business because the market is so high if you compare with Europe.”
A salesman carries items in a basket inside a family-run grocery store in New Delhi September 18, 2012 (representational image).Reuters fileMany fast moving consumer products (FMCG) like shampoo, chocolates, nutrition drinks and condensed milk likely to fall under 5-15 percent tax slab after Goods and Services Tax (GST) and majors in the segment have decided to slash prices with immediate effect. But the benefits of the price cuts are unlikely to reach the consumers very soon as some retailers want the companies to take back old stocks before price reduction. The GST Council eased many items, including FMCG products, from higher tax slabs on its November 9 meeting held at Guwahati. Firms like Hindustan Unilever, Dabur, Amul, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Procter & Gamble, Nestle and Perfetti Van Melle said they have either decided to cut down prices or are planning to do so after the GST Council cut tax on consumer goods to 18 percent from 28 percent, the Times of India reported.”We will drop prices at least by 5 percent on our shampoo range,” said Sunil Duggal chief executive at Dabur.Amul, India’s largest dairy firm said it would slash prices of condensed milk and chocolates by 5-10 percent with immediate effect. GSK might also cut the price of popular chocolate health drink Horlicks in line with the new rate.But according to the industry executives, some retailers have said that they would not slash prices unless producers protected their margins and took back old stocks before the implementation of price cuts. This might act as a hurdle for the companies on passing the benefits to the end consumers.”Technically, the retailers have an option to either reduce the price right away or a bit later. However, since the law states that no one can profit from GST, the entire profit made from the date of reduction would eventually need to be passed on to customers,” said Pratik Jain National leader at PwC India.However, discussions between the major FMCG firms and the retailers have already started and will take about a week to take a final call on the matter. Also as the law makes it compulsory for the retailers to pass on the benefits to the consumers, even the tax experts have asked them to settle the issue as soon as possible. Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley chairs the 23nd GST Council meeting in Guwahati< Assam on November 10, 2017.TwitterThe 23rd meeting of the GST council headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was held in Guwahati on November 9-10. The Council has shifted 178 items from the top bracket of 28 percent to 18 percent and introduced changes in GST returns filing to ease the burden of taxpayers.The new rates will be applicable from 15 November which is expected to provide relief to consumers. Earlier Jaitley also said that the purpose of tweaking GST rates is to ease the affordability for consumers.
The winter session of Lok Sabha came to an end on Wednesday after passing 13 bills despite persistent uproar created by opposition Congress over various issues, including certain allegations against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in connections with DDCA affairs.The 20-day session, adjourned sine die, was considerably much productive as compared to the last Monsoon session which was a virtual washout due to the ruckus caused by the opposition which had been pressing for ouster of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over various allegations. Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra damIn the session which concluded on Wednesday, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan preferred to carry on with the listed business even as protesting Congress members stormed the Well and shouted slogans, many times walking out of the House for the day.She twice threatened to take action against the Congress members who were disrupting the House by asking officials to note down their names.In the last session, she had suspended as many as 25 of the 44 Congress members for their unrelenting disruptions. Also Read – Union Min doubts ‘vote count’ in Bareilly, seeks probeThis session saw the rare action of the Speaker expunging her own controversial “vested interests” remarks made about Congress members on Tuesday.In her valedictory remarks, Mahajan said, “I hope this coming year brings new hope and new energy in our lives and we reflect with resolve that in the New Year we will take conscious decision while using all Parliamentary instruments to forcefully register our dissent and disagreement, if any, and will attempt to ensure less disruptions.” . In this session, the Finance Minister was in the firing line over the alleged financial bungling in the Delhi cricket body DDCA with even BJP MP Kirti Azad targetting him.Congress also created uproar and disrupted the House after a Delhi court issued summons to its leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in connection with alleged financial irregularities in National Herald case.The opposition party alleged “political vendetta” by the Modi government which maintained that it was purely a legal case and the government had nothing to do with it.The Congress also created ruckus over political developments in Arunachal Pradesh.The House passed 13 bills, including the Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Bill and the National Waterways Bill.A highlight of the session was the special sitting for the first two days to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar.Two bills aimed at creating commercial benches in select high courts and amending a law on arbitration for speedy settlement of high value business disputes were also cleared by Parliament.
1 min read August 4, 2016 How Success Happens Japanese engineers have unveiled an eerily human-like robot that possesses qualities so realistic, it’s creepy.“Alter,” the singing and breathing android, has taken the media by storm this week with a video of the machine making “creepily eery movements.”So you’re probably wondering: What makes this bot different than any of the other strange-looking robots we’ve seen this year?Alter has a neural network that breathes life into its muscles, allowing it to react to outside stimuli such as temperature, proximity and humidity. In other words, it can mimic human behavior patterns and it makes its own decisions such as when to move and when to sing.Humans don’t have the capability to change the bot’s levels of responsiveness — that’s up to Alter and how its sensors respond to the environment. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.If that’s not creepy enough, here’s something that may give you goosebumps: the country expects to have its own robot Olympics in just a few years. Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. Listen Now