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Physicians Take the Helm at India’s Science and Health Ministries

first_imgNEW DELHI—India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, today appointed a pair of physicians to the top science jobs in his Cabinet.Science minister Jitendra Singh, 57, a diabetes specialist from the conflict-riven state of Jammu and Kashmir, has studied, among other things, stress as a cause of diabetes in Kashmiri Hindus forced to migrate from the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley in the 1990s. Singh has several hot potatoes already on his plate, including crafting regulations governing genetically modified foods and how to make clinical trials more transparent. Singh told ScienceInsider that he feels “tense” about meeting the expectations of India’s scientific community. “A new odyssey has begun,” he says.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(*)Indian scientists are giving Singh’s appointment a warm reception. He’s a “genial man with great organizational skills,” says Ambrish Mithal, past president of the Endocrine Society of India. “[I’m] very excited to have a new minister with such high professional qualifications,” adds K. VijayRaghavan, secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, who will report to Singh.The other physician joining the Cabinet is Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, 59, an ear, nose, and throat specialist. A champion of the oral polio vaccine in India in the 1990s who coined the phrase “two drops of life,” Vardhan is credited with having helped India achieve polio-free status earlier this year.Modi struck a pro-science tone during the campaign and reiterated his support on the eve of his party’s resounding victory, remarking on National Technology Day on 11 May that “[o]ur Scientists are our strength and will help shape our future in this Knowledge Era.”last_img read more

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(Repeating with addition of two paras)

first_imgChopper debate: Govt talks of invisible hand, Antony says dont threaten New Delhi, May 4 (PTI) The controversial AgustaWestland chopper deal today triggered a stormy debate and trading of charges in the Rajya Sabha with the entire opposition pressing for a Supreme Court-monitored probe while Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar spoke of an “invisible hand” in preventing an investigation in UPA tenure. Newly-nominated BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who was fielded by the ruling side, demanded recording of statement from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with others named in the judgement of an Italian court recently. The ruling and the opposition benches clashed repeatedly as the House took up a short-duration discussion on the raging row over the Rs 3600 crore deal in the wake of an Italian courts judgement in which certain initials like “AP” have been recorded. The five-hour debate ended with a walkout by Congress after its demand for SC-monitored probe was rejected by the government. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad described as an “insult” the Defence Minister reading out a prepared statement in his reply and said it contained only allegations. As Congress members raised objections to Parrikar reading out his reply from a prepared text, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien ruled that a Minister has all the right to read from a prepared speech. Swamy, who has already tilted at the windmills last week seeking to drag Sonia Gandhi into the row, refrained from naming her but made suggestive remarks on Congress leadership, repeatedly drawing protests from the opposition side. He asked, “We need to ask Mr Manmohan Singh whether you had decided not to give documents to the Italian government despite the request. Was it a Cabinet decision or a super Cabinet decision?” At another point, he said he would not name anybody and in an apparent reference to Gandhi, he just remarked “blank, blank, blank…” The Congress fielded the then Defence Minister A K Antony, Congress President Sonia Gandhis political secretary Ahmed Patel along with Abhishek Manu Singhvi to defend the actions of the previous UPA government, insisting that there was no wrongdoing. All of them pressed for a thorough and urgent probe into the matter to clear the air, with Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad wanting the investigation to be monitored by the Supreme Court and completed in three months. The government, however, rejected the demand. “Act now… Take strong action but dont threaten, dont blackmail,” said Antony, while contending that he had immediately taken action after allegations of corruption surfaced in 2012. He contended that it was the Vajpayee government which had taken all the “major” decisions, including with regard to the parameters of cabin height and flying altitude of the helicopters. Patel, whose name has been dragged into the row because of the initials “AP found on a hand-written note cited in the judgement, also sought a probe, declaring that he will quit Rajya Sabha as well as public life if any wrongdoing on his part was proved. While replying to the debate, Parrikar said the ongoing probe will focus on those named in the Italian Court judgement even as he suggested the role of an “invisible hand” in preventing a proper investigation earlier. (MORE) PTI SAP RNK LUX AKK VSCadvertisementlast_img read more

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Bang & Olufsen’s super-sized Avant 4K TV hides away when not in play

first_imgThere was a time when an 85-inch TV was unheard of. Now, those out to inject their homes with a shot of cinematic splendor have several options to choose from—nearly every major TV manufacturer offers such a super-sized model, with a super-sized price tag to match. It comes as little surprise, then, that Bang & Olufsen, maker of some of the most iconic consumer electronics ever produced, now has one too. Earlier this week, the Danish company unveiled the big-daddy version of the 55-inch BeoVision Avant it released earlier this year, and it truly is a marvel to behold.This 4K Ultra HD television offers more than just superior resolution and picture quality. It’s been meticulously designed and crafted to be the aesthetic centerpiece of whatever room it occupies, and it comes packing a stunning sound system, one which Bang & Olufsen is particularly well suited to create. But perhaps the Avant’s most compelling feature is one that isn’t readily apparent at first: When turned off, the TV remains quietly tucked away, but when powered up, its motorized stand or wall mount springs to life, bringing the TV and its on-board audio system center stage, and turning to wherever its viewer may desire.Upon pressing one of three pre-programmed buttons on the Avant’s remote control, the television emerges from a recessed state and turns to face one of three pre-defined locations. In this way, the user is able to optimize the television for viewing in the living room, dining room, or kitchen area of a great room.The accompanying sound system, which offers separate channels for left, right and center speakers, delivers high-quality stereo sound, with dialogue anchored in the center for optimal positioning and clarity. Using a proprietary algorithm, bass output is optimized based on the TV’s distance from the wall behind it. For those interested in cinematic surround sound, wireless speakers can be added to support up to a 7.1 surround system.Of course, all that pomp and circumstance would lose its luster quickly if the TV didn’t also deliver when it was time for the pixels to perform. Fortunately, Bang & Olfusen have outfitted the Avant with top-notch TV tech, including a full array of direct LED backlights controlled by a local dimming system comprising 240 individual zones for superior black levels and contrast across the entire screen. There’s also an “eye” that constantly measures ambient light and color conditions, which allows the TV to adapt its output in order to deliver an optimal picture in varied room conditions.You might think such cutting-edge design and technology would cost a pretty penny, and you’d be right. But you may be surprised to learn that the 85-inch Avant is priced surprisingly close to its counterparts. At a suggested retail price of $23,000, the Avant stands shoulder-to-shoulder with comparable models from LG and Sony, and well below Samsung’s similarly sized and equipped option. For those with the means to afford it, this should come as good news, because the Avant delivers in spades what many other oversized 4K televisions lack: the sort of style and refinement that allows a television to function spectacularly as both a piece of art, and a source of entertainment. The Best Kegerators for Serving Fresh, Cold Draft Beer Right at Home The 12 Best Laptop Bags for Men The Bond-Inspired AddArmor Audi RS7 Is the World’s Fastest Armored Car Editors’ Recommendations The Best Small-Space Furniture for Living Tiny What It’s Like to Drive a NASCAR Race Car (and Where You Can Get Behind the Wheel)last_img read more

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First Public Sector Innovation Garage in Canada to Open in Halifax

first_imgA new place for the public sector to test ideas and develop solutions opened today, March 26, in Halifax. The Public Sector Innovation Garage, a government and IBM collaborative initiative, is the first of its kind in Canada. The province has extended an existing agreement with IBM that will see $5 million worth of projects flow through the garage over the next three years. It will be a dedicated, creative space that will enable a new approach to delivering public sector programs and services. “We are committed to developing new and better ways to meet the diverse, changing needs of the public sector and Nova Scotians,” said Patricia Arab, Minister of Internal Services. “This is not a traditional approach to innovation. The garage is a place where we can safely generate and test ideas, and explore and experiment with possible solutions.” The garage is a workspace where IBM will offer its expertise, methodologies, tools, software and processes. Technology business partners SAP, Microsoft and Apple will also participate. “Our goal is to work with the Government of Nova Scotia to build innovative solutions that will deliver improved services to the people of this province,” said Claude Guay, general manager, Global Business Services, IBM Canada. “With the innovation garage, we can quickly prove new solutions leveraging artificial intelligence, analytics, blockchain, internet of things, and IBM Cloud.” Other public sector partners can also use the garage. Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) is already discussing how it can participate and benefit from its world class advisors and graduates. “To have another outlet for our students to not only share their knowledge and skills, but to also gain vital practical experience doing so, is a tremendous opportunity for the college,” said Anna Burke, vice president, Academic, NSCC. “At the same time, the students will be contributing to NSCC’s mission by supporting our communities and local businesses through innovation and problem-solving.”last_img read more

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Livid over his daughters affair man strangled her to death

first_imgNew Delhi: In a suspected case of honour killing, a man with the help of his friend strangled his daughter to death in North West Delhi’s Adarsh Nagar area. Police have arrested the accused in the case. Investigation revealed that the father was unhappy over his daughter’s affair with a boy and hatched the plan to kill her and make it look like a suicide.Police said that the accused, a 50-year-old man, and his friend (30) are the residents of North West Delhi. A police officer, elaborating more about the case, stated that on July 24 a secret informer came at Adarsh Nagar police station and informed that a girl has committed suicide and her family members have taken her to the cremation ground in a hurry. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”On receipt of the information, sub-inspector Ravi Kumar along with head constable Mohan reached Azadpur area, where it was learned that family members of the girl have taken the body for cremation at Kewal Park cremation ground,” police said. Both the police personnel reached cremation ground and found that the body of girl Sheetal has been put on the pyre and all arrangements have been made to burn the body. The policemen stopped the ritual. For further investigation, the girl was shifted to a hospital where the doctors declared “patient brought dead”. Therefore body was shifted to the mortuary where post mortem was conducted. “The doctor mentioned multiple external injuries and cause of death, in this case, was asphyxia due to manual strangulation (throttling). All the injuries are antemortem. Later a case was registered,” police said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe Delhi Police on Monday said that based on the post-mortem report, the police registered a case under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and arrested the two accused on Sunday. They have confessed their involvement in the commission of the offence. “The father was unhappy with her daughter’s affair with the boy and he had also warned her,” police added. A police officer said that further investigation is on and the role of other suspects is also being probed. They have questioned several persons in this regard.last_img read more

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Living laboratory Ecological surprises in Waterton two years after wildfire

first_imgWATERTON, Alta. — Trees are charcoal black on one side and bone white on the other, evidence of the path a wildfire took as it tore into Waterton Lakes National Park in southwestern Alberta nearly two years ago.Clusters of showy purple asters line a hiking trail amidst a flush of vibrant green new growth on the forest floor. Crowds of fat black gallium sphinx caterpillars, drawn to burned forests and tasty bright pink fireweed, lounge on leaves. “I think it’s spectacular and beautiful,” park superintendent Sal Rasheed says of the transformed landscape. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the consequences of a natural disturbance event that you would otherwise never see again.”The wildfire, sparked by a lightning strike in British Columbia, forced everyone out of Waterton on Sept. 8, 2017. Flames breached the park’s boundaries three days later.Firefighters managed to save the townsite and the historic Prince of Wales hotel, but Parks Canada lost several buildings and the scars of the fire are evident on the blackened mountain slopes.Parks Canada scientist Kim Pearson says wildlife populations are generally healthy and there’s renewed growth in the forest.She says the park has become a “living laboratory” for researchers studying how a powerful wildfire transforms an ecosystem as climate change makes such events more frequent and severe.“The Kenow wildfire was of exceptional intensity,” she says. “Understanding what’s happening here might be key to understanding what happens in the other post-fire landscapes in the future.”  Already, researchers have encountered some surprises.Wood-boring beetles which have shown up after past wildfires in the area haven’t in Waterton. Neither have woodpeckers that feed on those bugs.Researchers are keeping an eye out for any unusual algae blooms caused by higher-than-expected nutrient levels in water.Pearson says scientists will also be watching to see whether the forest regenerates into its earlier state, or into grassland or another type of ecosystem, since the climate is warmer and drier now than it was when the trees first took root.Parks Canada is wary of invasive species taking advantage of bare ground exposed by the fire, so hiking trails are equipped with boot-brushing stations to prevent visitors from spreading seeds.Locals have had mixed feelings about the changed landscape.Deb Watson, whose family-run trail riding outfit Alpine Stables burned to the ground, says she cries every time she looks at the scorched forest on Crandell Mountain because she knows she’ll never see it green again.“I don’t like to ride into the back country,” she says. “I don’t want to see it. It just breaks my heart.”Hotel and restaurant owner Lockey Craig, who lives just outside the park, says it won’t be the same in his lifetime either.But he’s noticed the views from some of the hiking trails are better now that trees aren’t in the way.“Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s worse.”Jordan Wammes — whose family has a bike rental, gas station and treat shop in town — said things were stark during the summer of 2018, but this year was better.“It was our best wildflower season that I’ve ever seen down here.”Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Michael Kors now Capri Holdings completes Versace deal

first_imgNEW YORK — Having adding a pair of high-end brands to its stable, Michael Kors is changing its name to Capri.The company announced the acquisition of the Italian fashion house Versace for more than $2 billion (1.83 billion euros) in September, less than two years after acquiring Jimmy Choo, the shoemaker that rocketed to fame on the high heels of “Sex and the City.”Michael Kors Holdings, like its counterparts in France, has charged aggressively into the upper echelons of luxury fashion hoping to pump up sales. Kering snapped up Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Pomelato and LVMH bought Bulgari and Loro Piana.Capri Holdings Ltd. is projecting $8 billion in annual sales, with most of that coming from Michael Kors. Starting Wednesday, its New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol will be CPRI.Gianni Versace founded Versace in 1978. The family-run business was thrown into chaos with Versace’s murder 21 years ago. His sister, Donatella Versace, will continue with the company, holding the position of creative director.Michael Kors, who founded the company under his name, also remains as creative director of that wing of the company.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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President Bouteflika Returns Home in Algeria amid Protests

Rabat – A plane carrying President Abdelaziz Bouteflika landed in Algeria yesterday. The 2019 election candidate had been in Geneva for medical care.Bouteflika’s plane landed in Algeria in the midst of weeks of protests, involving both adults and minors, who have been condemning Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fifth mandate for more than two weeks now.March 8 marked the beginning of the third week of protests with hundreds of thousands of Algerians taking to the streets calling for Bouteflika to remove himself as a candidate in the election. Under pressure from protesters, the government ordered the shutdown of universities across the country ahead of a scheduled holiday, according to Al Jazeera.Read Also: Dozens Injured in Algeria’s Anti-Bouteflika ProtestsAlgeria’s Ministry of Education did not explain the decision, announcing that the spring holiday would start 10 days earlier than before.Throughout the weeks of protests, which erupted on February 22, students have been on the street to lead peaceful demonstrations.In addition to the protests in Algeria, thousands of people marched in a demonstration in Paris and in other French cities on Sunday against Bouteflika’s campaign.Rachid Nekkaz, a well-known businessman opposing Bouteflika, attended the Paris protest.On Friday, Swiss police arrested Nekkaz when he attempted to check on Bouteflika’s health situation at the Geneva University Hospital. A police spokesperson, Joanna Matta, said that the hospital filed a complaint against Nekkaz for trespassing.In an interview with France 24 yesterday, Nekkaz said that every Algerian has the right to know the president’s health status, and the government should not keep it a secret.Other people also protested in front of the Geneva University Hospital.Speaking at the gathering, Nekkaz said there are “40 million Algerians who want to know where the president is.”The Algerian-French businessman had attempted to submit his candidacy for presidency. Nekkaz complained that the Constitutional Council refused his candidacy because he holds French citizenship. In response, the businessman renounced his French citizenship and had his cousin of the same name submit his candidacy. read more

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