Probe Santosh Danve’s ‘lavish’ wedding, lawyer urges I-T dept

first_imgCity-based lawyer Asim Sarode has complained to the Income Tax Department to probe the lavish wedding ceremony of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Santosh Danve, son of Maharashtra BJP chief Raosaheb Danve.In a letter to the I-T authorities, Mr. Sarode has urged them to look into the extravagant display of wealth at the wedding, which took place on March 3 in Aurangabad, in the State’s Marathwada region, and was attended by 40,000 people, including the State Cabinet led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.The younger Mr. Danve, who represents the Bhokardan constituency in Jalna district, married the daughter of well-known musician and composer Rajesh Sarkate. The marriage pandal was constructed at a cost of ₹1 crore, while ₹1.5 lakh was spent on the wedding invites.The top hotels in Aurangabad city were booked well in advance, with charter planes and special bookings on Air India Flights done by the Danve family.Mr. Sarode said in his letter, “By special order, all vacations and leaves of police officers from the Aurangabad police department were cancelled and they were following only one duty — to monitor the smooth function and provide security at the marriage. To facilitate easy access of VIPs, the Beed by-pass road was closed for common people.”The letter states that the lavish show-off of money is sufficient for the I-T Department to investigate the source of funding and determine whether unaccountable money was used in violation of the Money Laundering Act. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Sarode said Mr. Danve’s reception for his son was especially shameful in backdrop of a raging agrarian distress in the parched Marathwada region.“As per the Aurangabad Revenue Department, it is estimated that at least 117 farmers committed suicide in the region during the last two months. It is therefore incumbent on Raosaheb Danve and his son Santosh to present true facts before the public on whether they have organised the wedding in a ‘cashless’ way,” he said.“Such exorbitant marriage ceremonies create an acute feeling of discrimination in a society where a majority people are economically deprived. It is pertinent to note that some States in India, like Haryana, have taken a positive step to stop the large spending on such political marriage ceremonies,” Mr. Sarode said, remarking that the State government ought to make use of Section 10 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 to frame its own set of strict rules.last_img read more

Yashwant Sinha demands the setting up of a Commission to revisit the reservation cap, swipes back at Jaitley

first_imgFormer Union Finance Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Singh on Friday demanded that the Centre should set up a new Commission to look into whether the reservation cap of 50% for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) could be increased or not. Mr. Sinha also took a swipe at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for reading out his budget speech while sitting in his chair. “I am for a new Commission to further strengthen the principles of the existing reservation [policy].” Yashwant Sinha“Though the implementation of reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs have brought changes in society,a lot [still] needs to be done. For this, the Central government should set up a new Commission to study their present status…the Commission should give its recommendations on whether increasing the cap of 50% of quota fixed by the Supreme Court is needed or not,” said Mr. Sinha, while speaking at a programme organised by Vanchit Varg Morcha, a non-political organisation, in Patna. Mr. Sinha, who was the chief guest of the programme, further said that the new Commission should also look into questions such as, “What is the present status of people belonging to the SC, ST and OBC categories vis-a-vis reservation?… What are the problems and how will these problems be dealt with in days to come…on the issue of reservation in promotions, scholarships and the social uplift of these communities, which is of utmost importance.” Later, on the sidelines of the programme, he explained to mediapersons that he was not saying the reservation cap of 50% should be increased. “I am for a new Commission to further strengthen the principles of the existing reservation [policy],” he asserted.Earlier, when former Bihar Assembly speaker and patron of the programme, Uday Narayan Choudhary, requested Mr. Sinha to address the audience while sitting in his chair, the senior BJP leader took a swipe, without taking the name of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, to say that he “…was not like the FM who had read out his budget speech while sitting.”“I have delivered all seven of my budget speeches in a standing position, whereas the current Finance Minister has delivered his budget speech sitting in his chair…here also, I will deliver my speech from the podium,” Mr. Sinha said, drawing applause from the audience. In an oblique comment on Mr. Jaitley’s reference to him as a “a job applicant at the age of 80”, Mr. Sinha said, “This is the State where people in their 80s [freedom fighter Veer Kuer Singh] took up swords to fight against the Britisher.”last_img read more

Goa inches closer to plastic ban

first_imgGoa will ban PVC-based plastic from May 30, and no plastic packaging will be allowed in the State from December 19, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Thursday. Speaking at a public function in the city, he also said that littering would be made a punishable offence soon. “When I talk of a plastic ban, I am talking about PVC-based plastic. From December 19, plastic packaging will be banned. Let us make Goa free of plastic,” Mr. Parrikar said.last_img

Eminent economist and former West Bengal Finance Minister Ashok Mitra dead

first_imgNoted scholar and the first Finance Minister in the Left Front government in West Bengal Ashok Mitra passed away in a private hospital in Kolkata on Tuesday morning. He was 90.Mitra was suffering for a long time and was admitted to the hospital in April.Besides serving the State Government, he also worked with the Central Government as the Chief Economic Adviser and was a member of Rajya Sabha.Also Read Ashok Mitra: The end of multiple eras  A teacher of Economics, who taught in UN Economic Commission, Mitra was also associated with World Bank for many years. He also edited a Bengali magazine till his last days. Mitra was the first Finance Minister in the Left Front government after it came to power in Bengal in 1977 but resigned later following his differences with the Chief Minister Jyoti Basu.One of Bengal’s most prolific columnists, he was known for his deep and critical analysis of society and its politics.He criticized CPI(M) led government’s land acquisition policy during the Nandigram-Singur agitation about a decade back and had warned the Left for annoying its traditional vote place, the peasants.A lifelong Communist, Mitra, during one of his last interviews to The Hindu, said, “death is a great equalizer which finally erases the differences between the rich and the poor.”Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who was often criticized by Mitra, offered her condolence.“Saddened at the passing away of noted economist, former Finance Minister of Bengal and former Rajya Sabha MP, Dr Ashok Mitra. He had a long career with the World Bank, IIM Calcutta and as Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India. Condolences to his family & well wishers,” Ms Banerjee tweeted.  Mitra authored many books of which a few, penned decades ago, continue to be in the best seller list.last_img read more

Lalu Prasad rushed to hospital for vertigo, uneasiness

first_imgRashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad was rushed to a hospital here on Friday after he complained of vertigo, breathing problems and uneasiness.He was discharged after a couple of hours. The former Bihar Chief Minister would visit Mumbai next week and then Bengaluru for further treatment, his family physician said.“The former Bihar Chief Minister was admitted here following complaints of vertigo, because of which he had fallen at home. He also complained of breathing problems and uneasiness. He has thoroughly been examined by our specialists,” a hospital official said. Manish Mandal, medical superintendent at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), told reporters.last_img read more

BJP on the way out, says Punjab CM

first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that a united Opposition would oust the BJP-led government at the Centre in the Lok Sabha elections due in 2019.Captain Singh was talking to presspersons in Shahkot during a roadshow ahead of the Assembly byelection in the constituency on Monday. He said that anti-BJP forces were coming together and would throw the BJP-led Central government out as the people were completely fed up with it. “People want a change, they want a future, they want a government that delivers,” he said, adding that the BJP-led government would face the consequences of its ill-conceived policies.“The economy has been destroyed, industry is fleeing, law and order has collapsed,” he said.last_img read more

Another sex scandal hits BJP in Gujarat

first_imgA rape case by a 21 year old woman from Surat against former BJP lawmaker Jayanti Bhanushali is escalating as a major sex scandal involving two former lawmakers trading charges and allegations against each other. The whole episode and it’s 24/7 coverage on local media and social media platforms have become a major cause of embarrassment for the ruling party.The state BJP said Mr. Bhanushali has already resigned from post as Vice President of Gujarat BJP. On Tuesday, the 21-year-old complainant in Surat appeared before media and alleged that despite her complaint, the local police have not yet arrested Mr. Bhanushali, an influential BJP leader from Kutch. She again narrated a series of incidents in which she was subjected to rape and sexual harassment by the accused, who promised her admission in a private college and a job. Based on her complaint, Surat police have lodged an FIR naming Mr. Bhanushali, who has been summoned to appear before police. Meanwhile in Ahmedabad, a man claiming to be former husband of rape victim told media that in the past also, the woman had played victim for money. He claimed that she had sexual relationships with multiple men and used to make CD to extort money from them. “Within two months of our marriage, we divorced because she had multiple affairs and sexual relations,” he told media persons, stressing that her complaint cannot be taken seriously. He also named another BJP leader Chhabil Patel, a former Congress legislator who joined BJP in 2014 and unsuccessfully contested assembly polls in 2017 as BJP candidate from Abdasa assembly seat, for threatening him to divorce the woman. It may be noted that Mr. Bhanushali and Chhabil Patel are local political rivals and have been trying to establish their dominance in Kutch district politics. Chhabil Patel denied all allegations and said “he was being dragged in the matter at behest of Bhanushali, who has been exposed and facing arrest.” “Everybody in Kutch knows about Bhanushali, who is a blackmailer and land grabber. He has trapped many people including several leaders in honey trap at his farm house in Kutch,” a senior party leader and former legislator from Kutch told The Hindu. He added that other victims are also likely to come forward and file complaints as Mr. Bhanushali cheated them as well, by promising money and jobs in return of sexual favours to him and others. “She is not the only girl. There are dozens of his victims and gradually they all will come forward,” he added. This is second sex scandal to hit BJP in Gujarat. Last year, a Mumbai based woman had filed a case against 10 persons including local BJP leaders for repeated gang rape and sexual harassment in Naliya police station in Kutch. After the complaint, police had arrested the accused BJP workers including a local municipality member.last_img read more

NGO points out ‘exclusion errors’ in PDS

first_imgAs Odisha is set to roll out its own food security scheme from October 2, Rupayaan, a non-government organisation working on food and nutrition issues, has written to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the exclusion and inclusion errors in the public distribution system and suggested measures to strengthen the programme in the State.Congratulating Mr. Patnaik for the decision to start the scheme for an additional 34.44 lakh people, Rajkishor Mishra, director of Rupayaan and former State advisor to the Commissioners of Supreme Court on Right to Food case, said he hoped that it will pave the way for universalising PDS in the State.On the process of identification and selection of beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act, Mr. Mishra said that fixing the number of beneficiaries on the basis of 2011 census has been a major reason for large-scale exclusion error in the underdeveloped districts of Odisha.Ignored factorsThe other major reasons for exclusion of beneficiaries have been the intra-State allotment made following the simple rule of aggregate ST and SC population and ignoring multiple deprivation factors such as migration at the district level. This has created a paradox where districts like Balasore, Boudh, Jajpur, Kalahandi and Nuapada come in the same bracket of 100% (i.e. 77% of total population), Mr. Mishra said.Nuapada district has more OBC population compared to ST and SC combined, and they are equally poor and have been migrating seasonally. However, while allocating the quota, these districts are being kept on par with Jajpur and Balasore. This has created problems at both the districts – exclusion error in Nuapada and probably inclusion error in Balasore and Jajpur, he pointed out.Mr. Mishra further said that there was no clear-cut guideline for intra-district allotment. In Kalahandi, tribal-dominated blocks of Thuamul Rampur and Lanjigarh were treated on par with irrigated blocks of Junagarh and Jaipatna, which put tribal regions in a disadvantaged position.District Collectors should be given a free hand for reallocating the quota based on development criteria set by the State government to further minimise exclusion and inclusion error at district and sub-district level, he added.Stating that food availability has decreased at the household level with transition from family entitlement to individual entitlement under the NFSA, Mr. Mishra suggested that the government should follow positive discrimination at the State, district and sub-district-level while making allotment, and underdeveloped areas be given utmost priority.Mr. Mishra said the government should also consider diversification of PDS and include dal, salt, edible oil and millet for ensuring nutrition security.last_img read more

Ex-CM Buddhadeb confined to home

first_imgIt was a daily routine of former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to visit the State headquarters of the Communist Party of India-Marxist in the afternoon. But things have changed in the last couple of years with his deteriorating health and fading eyesight. The veteran CPI(M) leader has remained confined to his small apartment on Palm Avenue for the last six months due to health issues.“Since he suffers from acute chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, doctors have advised him to not to walk and talk too much. So he doesn’t go out of his home and has not been at the party office in the last six months,” said senior CPI(M) leader Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya.Party leaders close to Mr. Bhattacharjee, known to be an avid reader, revealed that his reading habit has also been hampered. Since he suffers from dry eyes, he cannot bear much light and always keeps the light in his room very dim, said senior CPI(M) leader Rabin Deb, known to be close to the former Chief Minister.Sources close to Mr. Bhattacharjee also revealed that his left eye has been “damaged” for a long time and his right eye has also developed problems over the last few months.Financial help However, the CPI(M) leadership denied reports that Mr. Bhattacharjee has turned down financial help from the party for treatment and said that his medical expenditure is being borne by the party.“We are in regular contact with Mr. Bhattacharjee and his medical expenditure is being borne by the party,” said Mr. Deb. In October last year Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had called on Mr. Bhattacharjee to inquire about his health. Mr. Bhattacharjee stepped down from the CPI(M) State committee in March due to health issues despite being urged by senior party leaders to continue as a committee member. He had also stepped down from the party’s Central Committee and Polit Bureau earlier.last_img read more

Hardik discharged, continues fast

first_imgPatidar leader Hardik Patel, who has been on a fast for the past 16 days, was discharged from a hospital here on Sunday, but he is continuing his hunger strike at home.Mr. Patel, 25, who heads the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), went on the fast on August 25 demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for Patidars and loan waiver for farmers. As his health deteriorated, he was first shifted to the Sola Civil Hospital by his supporters on Friday and later to the privately run SGVP Holistic Hospital. He had continued his fast in the hospital.Before being discharged, he told his supporters in a Facebook Live message that he would continue the hunger strike from his residence.He said he was firm on his demands, which include the release of PAAS member Alpesh Kathiriya, who was arrested on the charge of sedition.He alleged in a tweet that a police officer had threatened to kill him.In the tweet, he condemned the “attack” on media personnel on the road to his residence on Sunday. Some of them were roughed up and baton-charged by the police.He said the police deployment reminded him of British Raj and the scene appeared to be one from the “Wagah border”.last_img read more

Majerhat Bridge to be demolished, new bridge in another year: Mamata

first_imgWest Bengal government will demolish the Marjerhat Bridge, a portion of which came down on September 4, killing three people and leaving more than 20 people injured.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that the inquiry committee headed by Chief Secretary Malay Kumar De has recommended razing down the bridge and constructing a new bridge on the Diamond Harbour Road in a time of one year. After the collapse of the bridge, Ms Banerjee had set up a committee headed by Chief Secretary to look into the reasons for the collapse.“He (the Chief Secretary) has pointed out two things…It was the responsibility of the PWD (Public Works Department) and their negligence is to be blamed… The metro construction work might have had an impact on the structure but it needs to be probed further,” Ms Banerjee told journalists at the State Secretariat.She also clarified that the work of Joka-BBD Bag Metro project was closed on the site of bridge collapse only for seven days for necessary inspection. “Some people have said that I stopped the work of Joka BBD bag. How can I stop the work which I started?” she said. The Chief Minister later told journalists the officials of PWD did not raise the issue of the poor maintenance of a bridge with the Minister of department, thereby giving a clean chit to the Minister Arup Biswas. She also said that talks are on with Railway authorities on constructing a level crossing at the site of the collapse. The 54-year-old Majerhat Bridge is a railway over bridge on the suburban line, which connects Sealdah with Budge Budge. The bridge on Diamond Harbour Road connects Behala and its adjoining suburbs to the city. “The State government has proposed to bear all the cost of the level crossing… We can allow small vehicles and buses to use the railway level crossing. This would give some reprive to the people as Durga Puja is approaching and so is Ganga Sagar Mela,” the Chief Minister said. The Majerhat Bridge collapse was the second such tragedy in Kolkata since March 2016, when a portion of under construction Vivekananda Flyover collapsed in north Kolkata killing 27 people. After the Majerhat Bridge collapse, Ms Banerjee had said that 20 bridges in the city and adjoining suburbs have crossed their expiry date.last_img read more

Sidhu’s wife faces flak for leaving site

first_imgThe train accident became a political blame game with the Opposition holding Punjab’s Congress government responsible for allowing a Dussehra event near railway tracks and accusing ex-MLA Navjot Kaur Sidhu of running away from the site.Ms. Sidhu, wife of Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu who was the chief guest at the event, later talked to media at a hospital where injured were taken and said the incident happened after she had left.“The effigy of Ravana was burnt and I had just left the site when the incident happened. Priority should be to get the injured treated,” she said.She also asked people to refrain from politicising the tragedy.Union Minister and Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the entire onus was on the State government.“There are not enough words to mourn the Amritsar train tragedy that claims so many innocent lives. My deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones. The incident needs to be probed as it casts serious question on administration,” she tweeted.Could have been avoided: JaitleyBJP leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the initial reports suggest it was a tragedy that could have been avoided.Another Akali leader Bikram Majithia said he was distressed to hear the unfortunate news of the train accident.“The authorities concerned must be held accountable for the ill-fated accident & strict action must be taken against the guilty police officers and organisers,” he said.He demanded registration of a case against Ms. Sidhu. “I demand immediate registration of case against people present on the stage including Mrs Sidhu and arrest of those who gave permission for holding function near rail track.”Mr. Majithia also targeted Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. “Heads need to roll right from the top,” Mr. Majithia said.Union Minister Vijay Sampla also lashed out at Ms. Sidhu.“The most condemnable and inhuman behaviour is of Navjot Kaur Sidhu who was present at the Dusshera festival as chief guest at the time of the accident and instead of providing relief to the victims, she ran away from the incident site,” claimed Mr. Sampla.Some Opposition leaders also alleged that the Dussehra was organised by the Congress near the tracks without receiving any proper approval.Badal demands inquiry by retired judgeFormer Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal demanded an inquiry by a retired high court judge to fix responsibility and punish the guilty.His son and senior party leader Sukhbir Singh Badal said he was extremely sad to hear the unfortunate incident.“Local organisers and police must answer how the celebrations were allowed to be held near the railway track,” he said on Twitter.At least 52 people were killed and 72 injured Friday evening after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching burning of Ravana effigy was run over by a train near here, officials said.The train was coming from Jalandhar to Amritsar when the incident occurred at Joda Phatak where at least 300 people were watching ‘Ravana dahan’ at a ground near the tracks.Sub Divisional Magistrate Amritsar I. Rajesh Sharma said 52 people have died and at least 72 injured have been admitted to Amritsar hospital.All major parties including the BJP, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said they have asked their respective local party workers to help in relief and rescue operation.The AAP too held the Punjab government responsible for the accident.AAP MLA Harpal Singh Cheema and its MP Bhangwant Maan expressed deep condolences over the deaths but blamed the district administration for the deaths as it allowed people to burn effigies close to railway tracks.The AAP leaders demanded a judicial probe into the incident and punishment for the guilty. They also demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore and a government job to one family member of those dead.last_img read more

Water Vapor Plumes Erupt From Europa

first_imgEuropa, an ice-swaddled jovian satellite that has long fascinated both scientists and science fiction writers, just got a bit more interesting. Data gathered by the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that plumes of water vapor hundreds of kilometers tall, possibly originating in a subsurface ocean, spew from the moon’s south pole. The phenomenon is similar to the sprays of ice particles found emanating from the saturnian moon Enceladus almost a decade ago.Oxygen and hydrogen atoms emit or absorb certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light. If these telltale signs appear together in light from a distant object, they hint that water vapor might be present there, explains Lorenz Roth, a planetary astronomer at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. So, late in 2012, in hopes of detecting vapor plumes, he and his colleagues used the Hubble Space Telescope to observe Europa in ultraviolet light. Oxygen is often present in Europa’s tenuous atmosphere, and sometimes it’s more concentrated in the space above the moon’s southern hemisphere, Roth says. But for one lengthy interval during the observations, the team spotted emissions from hydrogen (at a wavelength of 121.6 nanometers) in the same region. Because the satellite’s surface is covered with ice, the clearest observations came from portions of the purported plumes that were silhouetted against space rather than against the moon itself.That whiff of hydrogen, which apparently lasted no more than 7 hours, burst forth when Europa was farthest from Jupiter in its orbit, the researchers report today in San Francisco at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union and online in Science. Intermittent and short-lived plumes of water vapor, possibly as much as 200 kilometers tall, are the best explanation for the observations, the researchers contend.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The orbital timing of the plumes, probably not coincidentally, is the same as that for Enceladus, Roth says. That moon’s sprays of ice are most profuse when Enceladus is farthest from Saturn in its orbit. Most likely, scientists have proposed, the tidal flexing induced in a moon’s icy surface causes cracks in polar regions to open widest while the satellite is farthest from its parent planet but clamp shut at other times. It’s not clear whether Europa’s plumes, like those on Enceladus, are triggered by icy surfaces of a surface fracture rubbing together—somewhat akin to the sides of a tectonic fault scraping past one another—or whether they represent water vapor spewing from Europa’s subsurface ocean through narrow cracks in the moon’s polar ice at supersonic speeds, Roth says.The new finding “is very exciting,” says Geoffrey Collins, a planetary scientist at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. “I’m not sure that this paper clinches the case for Europa plumes, but you can bet that it will inspire a lot of follow-on work.” Nevertheless, he notes: “If the plumes are real, this shows that Enceladus isn’t the only icy moon where this happens. … The resemblance between Europa and the south polar terrain on Enceladus has always been striking to me, so perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising if they share more in common than just looks.”Christophe Sotin, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, calls the new results “quite compelling.” But it’s important to note, he says, that what’s been discovered is evidence of individual hydrogen and oxygen atoms. To show that those atoms are bonded together into water vapor or a similar substance, observations at other wavelengths would be needed.If Europa’s vapor plumes are confirmed by more observations, “that would change the kinds of instruments you’d want to install on future probes to the moon,” Sotin continues. In particular, sensors that could analyze the chemical composition of the plumes, either remotely or by sampling the material as it whizzed through the vapor, could provide keen insights into the chemical processes taking place on or deep beneath Europa’s icy surface.last_img read more

Science and Religion, Genome Cryptography, and the Coolest Science Fact

first_imgLast week, thousands of scientists gathered in Chicago, Illinois, to share their latest research with the world. Here are some of our favorite stories from the meeting, held each year by AAAS, which publishes Science.What Is the Coolest Science Fact You Know?Science’s news team grabbed researchers, students, and even celebrity science advocate Alan Alda in the hallways and asked them to tell us the coolest science fact they knew. Some of the answers really shocked us.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(*)Seeing the Skies Through Galileo’s EyesWhen Galileo peered up at the heavens hundreds of years ago, his observations revolutionized our understanding of the solar system. But what exactly did he see? Scientists may finally be able to figure that out, thanks to the most extensive online database of early refracting telescopes, revealed at the meeting.How to Hide Your GenomeWant to have your genome sequenced, but don’t want it to fall into the wrong hands? Cryptographers have your back. In a session at the meeting, researchers described a new way to encrypt the sensitive data stored in our DNA.What Would You Do With the World’s Most Powerful Laser?That’s the question we asked a group of physicists during a roundtable interview. The query, spurred by the announcement last week that the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California had reached an important milestone on the road to fusion energy, elicited some fascinating responses.Finding Common Ground Between Science and ReligionCan science and religion coexist? What might the cities of the future look like? And what does 29 years in solitary confinement do to your brain? Science attempted to answer those questions in a series of live video chats from the meeting.For more stories, see our full coverage of AAAS 2014.last_img read more

Video: What Makes Beetles Such Great Wrestlers?

first_imgWhen beetles brawl, they put professional wrestlers to shame. Male Cyclommatus metallifer stag beetles use their long jaws, called mandibles, in scuffles for rotten wood and mating rights (as seen in the above video). During a bout, the beetles maneuver their opponent between their pinching pincers and try to flip them helplessly upside down. Scientists wondered why beetles touting larger mandibles win more fights even though their long jaws should transmit less force to the pinching point, significantly reducing the strength of their grip. Wrestling with this issue, a team of researchers tested the crunching force of male and female stag beetles. While female stag beetles have tiny nublike mandibles, the team found that females gripped with one-sixth the force of their male counterparts. Even accounting for differences in body size, male beetles still clenched three times harder. CT scans revealed that the muscle responsible for closing the mandibles is almost four times larger in males and that the lever connecting this muscle to the mandibles is three times larger, the researchers report online today in The Journal of Experimental Biology. The team says that male stag beetles adapted their head shape to accommodate the longer muscles and levers, allowing them to wield their ungainly weapons and become the undisputed wrestling champions of the insect world.(Video credit: Jana Goyens/University of Antwerp)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Video: Take a whirl above the massive LIGO gravitational wave detector

first_imgEinstein’s general theory of relativity turns 100 this year! Find out more in a special issue from Science. After decades of effort, physicists with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) say they’re on the verge of detecting ripples in space and time called gravitational waves. Such waves would be set off when, for example, two neutron stars or two black holes merge. Their detection would open a new window on the cosmos and fulfill perhaps the most spectacular prediction of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Fly above the massive LIGO interferometer in Livingston, Louisiana—which has a twin in Hanford, Washington—and learn how physicists will search for those tiny, elusive signals.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Top stories: The origin of life, a new drug for Crohn’s, and chemical weapons

first_imgResearchers may have solved origin-of-life conundrumThe origin of life on Earth is a set of paradoxes. Now, chemists report that a pair of simple compounds, which would have been abundant on early Earth, can give rise to a network of simple reactions that produce the three major classes of biomolecules—nucleic acids, amino acids, and lipids—needed for the earliest form of life to get its start. Although the discovery does not prove that this is how life started, it may eventually help explain one of the deepest mysteries in modern science.Speaking a second language may change how you see the worldSign 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(*)Speakers of two languages put different emphasis on actions and their consequences, influencing the way they think about the world, according to a new study. The work also finds that bilinguals may get the best of both worldviews, as their thinking can be more flexible.Scientists may have solved mystery of dwarf planet’s enigmatic bright spotA mysterious bright spot on Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt, is looking more and more like ice—and could even be emitting water vapor into space on a daily basis.House approves EPA ‘secret science’ bills despite White House veto threatDefying a White House veto threat, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved two mostly Republican-backed bills that would change how the Environmental Protection Agency uses scientific data and advice in writing its regulations. Many Democrats, scientific organizations, and environmental groups have called the bills thinly veiled attempts to weaken future regulations and favor industry.New drug for Crohn’s disease targets RNAA new drug, constructed with building blocks like those of RNA and DNA, seems to alleviate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, a condition that can devastate the intestines. Still, there are lingering questions about how successfully the drug beats back the inflammatory illness, and researchers are now looking to launch a much larger clinical trial to address them.New compound quickly disables chemical weaponsOne roadblock to chemical weapons disposal is that heat and humidity quickly break down enzymes that can disable the deadly chemicals. Now, researchers have developed a highly stable compound that can inactivate nerve agents such as sarin in a matter of minutes.last_img read more