Drones deployed during fourth phase of panchayat polls in Odisha

first_imgDrones have been deployed in Maoist-hit Malkangiri district of Odisha for aerial surveillance during the fourth phase of panchayat elections on Sunday to ensure smooth voting.“Drones have been deployed to conduct aerial surveillance on several highly sensitive polling booths in the district during voting for panchayat polls,” said Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra.While drones played a significant role in keeping sensitive areas under close observtion, CCTvs have also been installed to keep an eye on the election booths and areas around, the SP said, unwilling to specify the number of drones deployed during Panchayat polls.Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Malkangiri, Rahul PR said polling was held in 23 gram panchayats under three zilla parishad zones of Kalimela block of the district during the 4th phase of polling during the day.Out of 334 polling booths where polling was held today, as many as 175 booths were identified as sensitive and 53 as hyper-sensitive, he said.The drones, equipped with sophisticated cameras, were used for the first time in the naxal-hit district for the first time for aerial surveillance of the hypersensitive booths to ensure smooth and peaceful conduct of the poll, the SDPO said.According to Director General of Police (DGP), K B Singh, all possible steps were taken to prevent any untoward incident and additional forces were deployed in sensitive and hypersensitive booths besides others places.The move to engage drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), assumed significance since the Maoists had warned people in the tribal-dominated region to boycott the panchayat elections.The red rebels, who had warned to take drastic action against people who participate in the polling process and cast their votes, had also unleashed violence in some areas in the run-up to the three-tier panchayat polls, police said.Meanwhile, the State Election Commission (SEC) said all arrangements were in place for the fourth phase of the five round panchayat elections held on Sunday.Polling took place in 28 out of the 30 districts of Odisha barring Jharsuguda and Boudh districts.According to SEC Secretary Rabindranath Sahu, a total number of 50,61,974 people were eligible to exercise their franchise for electing 1324 sarpanchs and 17,876 ward members in 162 Zilla Parishad (ZP) zones.The SEC asked the police to provide escort to polling parties in view of incidents of snatching of ballot boxes, setting fire to ballot papers and attack on polling officials during the first phase polls on February 13.last_img read more

Ahmedabad-based call centre dupes U.S. citizen

first_imgIn a first such instance, a U.S. citizen has filed a complaint with the Ahmedabad police, alleging that he was duped of $17,000 by a city-based illegal call centre executives, who impersonated as officials of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), equivalent to the Income Tax department in India.Tax dispute In his compliant to city police commissioner A.K. Singh, the complainant said that he had received a series of calls on his mobile, demanding payment to settle an old tax dispute.“We have been vigilant on illegal call centres in the city. In the last six months, the city police have busted around half a dozen such call centres and arrested over 75 people,” a senior police officer told The Hindu, adding, “In case of the American complainant, we sought details from him to launch a probe.”Recently, U.S.-based Gujarati Harsh Patel pleaded guilty in a U.S. court for being part of an IRS scam involving call centres in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. In last October, the Thane police had busted a call centre racket involving 26-year-old Sagar Thakkar alias Shaggy, mastermind of the $300 million scam.last_img read more

Chat shows a drain on treasury

first_imgChat shows promoting Maharashtra government policies, featuring Chief Minister, Ministers and officials seem to be burdening the treasury with extra weight, at a time when the State struggles for financial resources.Production, broadcast and publicity of one episode of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s Mi Mukhyamantri boltoy ( ‘This is Chief Minister speaking’), Jai Maharashtra — a chat show with Ministers and senior government officials and a radio chat show Dilkhulas with government authorities cost exchequer ₹27.09 lakh. This is irrespective of the fact that the State has its own studio, camera set-up and the show neither has popular actors nor exorbitant sets.The government launched a chat show with the Chief Minister few months ago, where he addresses the citizens of Maharashtra on various issues affecting the State. As per the show format, he takes questions live from the selected citizens present in the studio. The government has its own studio with state-of-the-art facilities in Mantralaya.Total budgetA government resolution was issued on October 5, detailing the expenditure incurred on these programmes which are touted as tools to publicise and make people aware of government policies and initiatives. The total annual budget for these initiatives is fixed at ₹4.45 crore.According to the GR, ₹10 lakh is required for the production — which includes script writing, make up, colour correction, grading, montage music, montage editing, floor manager, lightman etc. Publicity of the shows, which are meant for publicity of government policies, by advertising in newspapers would cost ₹16.34 lakh each episode.The State publicity department, however, calls it a necessary expenditure and also low cost.last_img read more

Magicians exchange wizardry notes

first_imgTwo hundred and fifty magicians from across the country came together on Friday, demanding that their illusionary tricks be recognised as a form of art by the government. Jaddu Utsav, the first ever congregation of magicians was organized by the Association of Illusionists and Magicians (AIM). Besides a medical check-up for all the registered delegates and public performances by thirty magicians in junior (below 18) and senior (above 18) categories, the magicians used the occasion to interact among themselves and exchange notes about their feats. Rafik Zitouni from Tunisia and Mark Arom Tass from Malaysia were two international magicians who were invited for the congregation. They judged a magic show that was performed by the delegates in the presence of Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar.Atul Patil, president of AIM, said, “The purpose of this convention is to showcase hidden talent. We are trying to push the government to recognise magic under the category of art. A magician’s life does not work like magic. A lot of hard work goes behind earning a livelihood as a magician, on weekends one performs and the rest of the days go in preparing for the performances. It is high time we treat magicians as artists.”M.Arun, vice president of AIM, said “Because there is no clarity, auditorium or hall owners do not allow us to use their facilties on weekends. Other art forms like drama or stand-up comedy are given the priority. Often we have been over-charged. If an auditorium charges Rs 10,000 for drama and dance, magicians are charged more than Rs 15,000,” he said.Magicians gathered at the congregation said that since their work was not recognised as art, they could not even get government jobs under the cultural quota, and that they were not eligible for national awards.last_img read more

Mamata Banerjee sets the ball rolling for a front of regional parties

first_imgSetting the ball rolling for a front of regional parties Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday night spoke to the working president of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), M.K. Stalin, stressing the need for all federal parties to work cohesively inside and outside Parliament.According to sources, in a conversation that lasted 10-12 minutes, Ms. Banerjee told Mr. Stalin that she expects the DMK to do well in Tamil Nadu in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. She reportedly told him her party is fairly confident of a good performance in the elections. “She told Mr. Stalin that, together, the DMK and TMC control 70-75 seats and need to work cohesively,” a senior TMC functionary said. West Bengal has 43 Lok Sabha seats, while Tamil Nadu has 39 seats.Other than Mr. Stalin, the West Bengal Chief Minister also spoke to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, with whom she has been in close touch for several months, and also to Telengana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao. She had spoken to Mr. Rao, congratulating him on his speech where he had pitched for a non-BJP, non-Congress government at the Centre.Interestingly, the last time Ms. Banerjee spoke to Congress President Rahul Gandhi was to recommend an overarching alliance in Tripura to counter the BJP in the recently concluded Tripura elections, where the BJP-IPFT (Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura) combine won.“The Congress party, in their wisdom or compulsions, decided to not accept the suggestion We are disappointed with their decision,” leader of the TMC in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’ Brien said. He asserted that in August 2019, Narendra Modi will not deliver the address to nation from the ramparts of Red Fort.Ms. Banerjee too reprimanded the Congress on Saturday, saying the Congress supplied the BJP with “oxygen” by refusing to accept her suggestion to form an alliance with the TMC and other hill parties.Reacting to the parleys between the regional parties, Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said that in a democracy, every political party had the right to reach out for allies to form “federal fronts, sub-fronts and super fronts”. “Having said that, the number of allies that the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) has is also formidable, including two parties in Nagaland that want to ally with us now. The idea of a Third Front is not new. We have seen it since 1989 and the consequences [of it], and I believe Indian polity has moved far beyond these kind of formations,” he said.In November 2016, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes, the TMC took the lead to organise the first protest march to Rashtrapati Bhavan. “It was Mamata Banerjee who initiated the idea of bringing the federal parties together to defeat the BJP. With this in view, many leaders of stature have been in touch with her. We are on track,” Mr O’ Brien said.The TMC has been jockeying for the lead position in Opposition, saying that Mamata Banerjee has the credibility to be the face of the Opposition in Lok Sabha polls in 2019.last_img read more

J&K Deputy Chief Minister’s convoy vehicle falls into canal, 1 killed

first_imgA vehicle in Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta’s convoy skidded off the road and fell into a canal in Jammu on May 5, killing a photographer of the State’s information department and injuring five others, police said.The deceased was identified as Suram Singh (50), the police said, adding that the driver and four passengers were among the injured.The accident took place near the Greater Kailash area, on the outskirts of Jammu, when Mr. Kumar’s convoy was returning from a function, a senior police official said.The driver escaped with minor injuries and Mr. Singh’s body was retrieved from the vehicle, the official added. Ruling out rash driving, Mr. Gupta said the accident took place as the driver lost control of the vehicle.“I will visit the deceased’s family to personally express my condolences,” the Deputy Chief Minister added.last_img read more

Alliance with BSP still possible, says Chhattisgarh Congress

first_imgLast week’s meeting between Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati and former Congress leader Ajit Jogi was at best a courtesy call; ‘theoretically’ the alliance between Congress and BSP is still possible, Leader of the Opposition in Chattisgarh, T.S. Singh Deo said.Ms. Mayawati had visited the ailing leader last Wednesday. Mr Jogi has floated his own party — the Janata Congress — giving the Congress reasons to worry as it looks for allies ahead of crucial Assembly and Parliament elections. “They have known each other for a long time and have been in touch. So I think it is a courtesy call. I doubt whether the BSP would decide to ally with Mr. Ajit Jogi’s party,” Mr. Deo told The Hindu.He said “theoretically” there could be an alliance between the BSP and Congress in the State. “At a time when all the Opposition parties are talking about building a larger alliance at the national level, there is definitely a scope for alliance between BSP and Congress in the State too. However, at this moment there has been no formal talks between the two parties,” he said.‘Committed votebank’ Mr. Deo said that even if the BSP and Janata Congress were to come together, the Congress’ own electoral fortunes will not be affected. “BSP has a committed votebank. Their voters do not vote for Congress or BJP so it doesn’t affect us. And if at all, it will impact BJP more than us, because they won nine out of 10 reserved constituencies,” he added.The Congress is hopeful of trouncing Chief Minister Raman Singh, who has won three consecutive terms, in the Assembly polls later this year. The difference in voteshare between the two parties in the 2013 Assembly elections was merely 0.7%. An alliance with BSP is crucial for the Congress to bridge the narrow gap. The party has already initiated informal talks with the Communist Party of India, which got over 86,000 votes.last_img read more

Raje’s ‘Suraj Gaurav Yatra’ from next month, says BJP

first_imgDecks have been cleared for the beginning of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s pre-poll yatra across the State next month to seek public mandate for the BJP in the Rajasthan Assembly elections due later this year. The ‘Suraj Gaurav Yatra’ got the nod from the party’s central leadership on Tuesdy in New Delhi where Ms. Raje and party’s State president Madan Lal Saini met the BJP chief Amit Shah. Detailed schedule“It has been decided in-principle that the Yatra will be taken out in August. Dates are not finalised yet and we are working out the detailed schedule,” Mr. Saini told reporters on Wednesday. He said the party will discuss with the Chief Minister in detail for finalising the number of days and dates for the Yatra.Focus on schemes“Our workers will accomplish the target of winning more than 180 seats in elections,” he said. Mr. Saini said that public welfare schemes of both the Centre and State governments will be highlighted during the yatra. Before the 2013 Assembly elections too, Ms. Raje had taken out ‘Suraj Sankalp Yatra’ in the State from Rajsamand’s Charbhuja temple. The State has 200 Assembly constituencies.last_img read more

18 booked for rape of Haryana girl

first_imgA teenage girl in Haryana’s Kaithal district has accused an assistant sub-inspector of police of allegedly raping her and her mother in their home about two months ago while the village sarpanch and several policemen stood guard outside.The police have booked 18 people, including seven police personnel, on charges of rape, voluntarily causing hurt, wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code and different sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.SIT formedSP (Kaithal) Astha Modi told The Hindu over phone that a Special Investigation Team, headed by a DSP, had been set up to probe the matter. “The matter is under investigation. The arrests would be made based on the facts emerging in the investigation,” said Ms. Modi.The 17-year-old girl had also accused her father of allegedly raping her three months ago following which a case was registered and the accused was arrested. “The police also filed a charge-sheet in the case. But the girl, his mother and brother, all three, turned hostile when the accused applied for a bail. It later led to his acquittal,” said Ms. Modi.On Wednesday, the girl approached the police saying that Assistant Sub-Inspector Shamsher Singh, who also happened to be the Investigation Officer into the earlier rape case, came to her house on July 26 and raped her and her mother. She claimed that village sarpanch Birbal, several locals and policemen stood as guard outside. The teenager also accused Shamsher of taking away ₹50,000 from the house.She also accused Birbal of keeping her and her mother confined at his home for several weeks and forcing her to lodge a false rape case against her father. The teenager claimed that she was too scared to report the matter to the police earlier, said Ms. Modi.last_img read more

EC, Cong. clash over voters’ list

first_imgThe Congress and the Election Commission sparred in the Supreme Court on Monday over the pleas by two senior Congress leaders alleging duplication of names in the voters’ lists for the upcoming Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.A Bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan reserved its verdict after concluded the hearing of the pleas during which senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and Vikas Singh traded charges over conduct of the polls.Mr. Sibal is representing Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot while Mr. Singh is the counsel for the EC. The two leaders also sought random verification of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines in the two States.Mr. Singh said attempts have been made to malign an important constitutional institution like the EC and get favourable order by fabricating documents by alleging discrepancies in voters’ lists.“I stand by what I had said earlier,” the senior lawyer said, adding the poll panel had taken note of the allegations of the Congress and undertaken corrective measures with regard to discrepancies in the voters list which was evident from the EC’s communication of June 8 this year.Despite this, the Congress party alleged discrepancies in their petition in September and this was a clear attempt to malign the institution, he said, adding the leaders have “casually filed something” to “malign” and “denigrate” the poll panel.Observing that free and fair polls are the “essence of democracy”, Mr. Sibal strongly rebutted the submissions of the poll panel and referred to alleged discrepancies and duplication in the voters’ list, giving illustrations of four Assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh.Fake voters Giving an illustration, Mr. Sibal said 36 voters have different details, but their photographs are the same and this assumed significance against the backdrop of 60 lakh fake voters having been found in Madhya Pradesh alone. Also, 24 lakh names have been deleted from the list by the poll panel, he alleged.The plea filed by Mr. Nath through advocate Varun Chopra said directions should be issued to publish the voters list in a “text format as per rules”, instead of the PDF format and expeditious decisions be taken on all complaints before its final publication.Mr. Nath also said a direction should be issued to the poll panel to randomly verify VVPAT slips with Electronic Voting Machine votes at 10% of randomly selected polling stations in every constituency.On September 18, the poll panel in its affidavit justified providing the draft electoral rolls in PDF format in Madhya Pradesh without any pictures of voters and said it was done to prevent manipulation of the electors’ data.It had sought dismissal of the petition filed by Nath alleging duplication of names in the voters list as “not maintainable”, “completely frivolous” and “an abuse of the process of court”.last_img read more

No headway in rescuing coal miners in Meghalaya

first_imgMore than 100 rescue workers, comprising the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and police personnel, could not rescue or recover the bodies of at least 13 miners trapped in an illegal coal mine in the East Jaintia Hills district. The mine got flooded when the workers drilled into an abandoned water-filled mine on December 13.“We employed pumps to empty the water in the 370 ft mine, but it keeps filling up 70-80 ft with water. We will bring more pumps tomorrow (Monday) for our rescue mission on the fourth day,” Federick M. Dopth, Deputy Commissioner, said.Five miners, who escaped from the flooded mine in the Hills, said that there were at least 17 people trapped inside. The police said the number could be ascertained only after rescuing any survivors or recovering the bodies.”The chances of their survival are very slim. Still, we are hoping for the best,” the district’s Superintendent of Police Sylvester Nongtnger said.last_img read more

2 militants killed in encounter at Kashmir’s Sopore

first_imgTwo unidentified militants were killed an operation in north Kashmir’s Baramulla on Friday. The police said arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of the encounter. The police said their identities and affiliations were being ascertained. “Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, was recovered from the site of encounter,” said a police spokesman.A Srinagar-based police spokesman said security forces cordoned off Warpora area of Sopore in Baramulla on February 21 night “after a credible input about the presence of militants”.“As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the militants. In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter,” said the police.The site of operation also witnessed a clash when local youth made attempts to attack security personnel with stones. Tear smoke shells were used to chase way the mobs. Internet was also stopped as a precautionary measure.last_img read more

AAP to contest three seats each in U.P., Bihar

first_imgThe Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday announced that it will contest three seats each in Uttar Pardesh and Bihar, and also introduced its candidates.In a series of tweets, AAP leader Sanjay Singh said that in Uttar Pradesh, the party will contest from Saharanpur, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Aligarh.“The Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of AAP has given its approval for three names in Uttar Pradesh. Yogesh Dahia from Saharanpur, Prof Shweta Sharma from Gautam Buddh Nagar and Satish Chand Sharma from Aligarh will be AAP’s candidates,” Mr. Singh said.While Saharanpur and Gautam Buddh Nagar will vote on April 11 in the first of the seven-phase general elections, Aligarh will go to the polls on April 18.Mr. Singh also said that in Bihar the party will contest three seats — Kishanganj, Sitamarhi and Bhagalpur.AAP will field Alimuddin Ansari from Kishanganj, Raghunath Kumar from Sitamarhi and E. Satyendar Kumar from Bhagalpur, he said.While Kishanganj and Bhagalpur will vote in the second phase on April 18, Sitamarhi vote in the fifth phase on May 6.The AAP is contesting in all the seats in Delhi, Goa, Haryana and Punjab.The party has named all seven candidates for the seats in Delhi, and for two seats in Goa.last_img read more

Assam’s Sankara Sangha member reportedly expelled for rearing pigs

first_imgA month after a middle-aged Muslim man was assaulted for allegedly selling beef, north-eastern Assam’s Biswanath district is in the news again for another animal – pig.A district branch of the Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha, popularly Sankara Sangha, reportedly expelled Balenda Nath, a member, on Tuesday for rearing pigs. This has sparked resentment among the largely rural people associated with the largest socio-religious and cultural organisation of Assam formed in 1930.“You are running a pig and poultry farm despite our advice not to. We have thus decided to keep you and your family out of our branch,” a letter from the president and secretary of the Afrakhat unit of the Sangha told Mr. Nath.Balenda Nath’s “expulsion” caused resentment among the locals while a relative took to social media to criticise the Sabha. “Pig farming is not a crime. Those running the Sangha should reform themselves,” Indrajit Nath said.“We have been alerted about the incident, but we need time to find out what actually happened. The Sangha does not empower anyone to expel anybody or making anyone an outcast. We are looking into this and would make amends if any injustice has been done to a member,” the Sangha’s chief secretary Babul Bora told The Hindu.last_img read more

ScienceShot: A Rare Turn-On

first_imgWhen it’s time to find a mate, the female guppy (Poecilia reticulata) hunts for someone special. The value she places on rarity—specifically, in the shiny, colored marking on a male’s body—may drive the surprising diversity of guppy patterns in the wild, according to new research published online today in Nature. In the lab, female guppies have shown a preference for males with uncommon markings. Now, researchers have confirmed these results in the wild by fiddling with the ratio of different fin patterns among pools of the fish in Trinidad. They sorted wild males into two groups based on whether their tail fins were mostly transparent (like the guppies in the left column, above) or mostly colored (right), then reintroduced them into different breeding pools so that one fin type outnumbered the other three to one. They waited 16 to 17 days while females mated with their favorite males in the bunch, then scooped up these pregnant females to run paternity tests on their broods. Based on the first round of offspring (693 guppies in all), they found that a rare male sired more than twice as many guppies as a common one, no matter which pattern he bore. The evolutionary reason behind the effect isn’t clear, but it could be a way of avoiding inbreeding between genetically similar fish to create a more diverse population.See more ScienceShots.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

ScienceShot: Did Fairness Evolve From Spite?

first_imgIt seems simple: People are more likely to cooperate if everyone plays fair. But a new study suggests that fairness itself arises from an unlikely source: spite. Researchers made a mathematical model based on the so-called ultimatum game. In it, two players are offered a reward, and the first player makes an offer for how it should be split up. If the second player agrees, then they divide it accordingly. But if the second player refuses, then neither gets the reward. As shown in the image above, depending on the interaction of the players, the outcome can be classified as altruism, cooperation, selfishness, or spite. Previous experiments have shown that, over multiple rounds of the game, a culture of cooperation evolves where everyone makes fair offers. But the new study, published online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, finds that when players start out using multiple different strategies, by making fair or unfair offers, and rejecting or accepting unfair offers, some will act out of spite. These spiteful players deny the first player the reward at a cost to himself. The calculations further show that the antisocial behavior will eventually cause fairness to become the most successful option, because there is no reason to reject a fair offer. In essence, fairness evolves in spite of spite, when players start out using different strategies. Though they warn against generalizing to humans, the researchers point out that if fairness is the basis for a moral society, then paradoxically, spite may have played a role in the evolution of morality.See more ScienceShots.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

ScienceShot: Butterflies Sip Crocodile Tears

first_imgNever smile at a crocodile—or sit on its face and drink its tears. Yet that’s exactly what ecologist Carlos de la Rosa spotted a butterfly and a bee doing this past December as he boated down Costa Rica’s Puerto Viejo River. In one encounter (pictured above and caught on video), the spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) placidly sunbathes on a fallen tree trunk as a Julia butterfly (Dryas iulia) and a solitary bee (Centris sp.) flutter around its face and taste its tears. The brave bugs’ tear-sipping behavior likely provides salts and proteins scarce in the tropics, de la Rosa writes this month in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Scouring online photographs snapped by amateur photographers and other researchers, de la Rosa was surprised to find ample evidence of insects supping tears from crocodiles and other reptiles such as tortoises. He now thinks the practice may be more common than scientists once thought—just rare to witness.See more ScienceShots.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

Aging space probe records odd emanations on Mercury

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C.—In an unusual press conference here today, NASA released a batch of bizarre sound recordings and video from the Messenger spacecraft moments before it impacted the surface of Mercury. Scientists are struggling to decipher what the data mean, but some contend they sound like human voices crying out in agony.Messenger had been orbiting Mercury since 2011, but it used up nearly all of its propellant and was drifting closer to the surface of the planet. So last week, NASA officials decided to point the probe nose downward for a controlled crash. “We were hoping it would kick up some soot for spectroscopic analysis,” says Messenger Principal Investigator Angra Mainyu, a planetary scientist at Columbia University. Just what it did find instead is not entirely clear.At the press conference, Mainyu played grainy recordings of what sounded like anguished voices in various languages. And she showed even grainier images of what appeared to be writhing figures. When asked by a reporter how NASA interpreted the data, Mainyu shrugged her shoulders and said, “How the hell should I know?”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(*)Reactions to the news were swift and, in some cases, decisive. Welcoming what he called “ineluctable evidence of hell,” Father Felix Flammis, a spokesperson for the Vatican Observatory in Italy, said: “This wonderful discovery shows that science and religion can work together to discover the truth.” But Richard Dawkins, the famed evolutionary biologist and atheist, rejected the finding. “This is clearly a bunch of drivel,” he says. “Wind whistling past the spacecraft, electronic noise—there obviously has to be some other explanation.” Even if the evidence holds up, he quips, “proof of the devil ain’t the same as proof of God.”The findings are somewhat of a surprise, because Venus had long been the leading contender, in our solar system at any rate, for harboring Hades. With a mean surface temperature of 462°C, an oppressive atmosphere, and sulfuric acid rains, it certainly seems to fit biblical descriptions. “Plus, it’s much closer to Earth, so lost souls would be only a hop, skip, and a jump from hell,” says Thor Kölski, an astrophysicist at the University of the Valkyrs in Reykjavik. Kölski has pinpointed the likely epicenter of hell as Venus’s Ganiki Chasma, a rift zone where infrared flashes were first observed last year—phenomena that he asserts are new arrivals to the underworld.Still others think there may be multiple hells within our solar system. “Everything we know about string theory tells us that the ‘Many Hells theory’ isn’t only plausible, it highly likely,” says Franklyn Stein, a theoretical physicist at University College London.Luminaries in the scientific community are by and large embracing the notion of hell. Even Stephen Hawking is on board. The cosmologist stirred controversy in 2010, when he wrote in his book The Grand Design that “[i]t is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” Earlier today, Hawking tweeted: “The devil is a different story. All hail Messenger!”The discovery should provide a major shot in the arm to NASA, whose fortunes in Washington have faded since it retired the space shuttles in 2011. “This is a proud day for the space agency,” says Don Tey, a spokesperson for the Planetary Society in Pasadena, California, who insists that it’s merely a coincidence that the announcement was made on April Fools’ Day. “Congress told NASA to go to hell, and, by Jove, they made it.”last_img read more

City of Lodi in Northern California to Pay $2.6M to Indian American Family of Veteran Killed by Police

first_imgThe Northern California city of Lodi has agreed to pay more than $2.5 million to an Indian American family of a mentally ill Gulf War veteran killed by police in 2014.Police at the time responded to the home of Parminder Singh Shergill, a veteran of Operation Desert Storm in the 1990s, when Shergill’s sister-in-law called 911 and said the veteran was attacking his mother.Read it at India West Related Itemslast_img

U.S. Voices Concern As India’s E-commerce Restrictions Hit Amazon, Walmart

first_imgThe United States government is concerned about India’s revised e-commerce regulations and has told officials in New Delhi the policy will hinder the Indian investment plans of Amazon.com and Walmart Inc , three sources familiar with the talks told Reuters. Read it at Euro News Related Itemslast_img