News

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that enhanced focus on connectivity along with greater economic integration of our North East with ASEAN is crucial for the long-term progress, stability and better quality of life for all in the Northeastern region.

  • 30 months ago on November 30th, 2015, leader of 20 countries came together to launch Mission Innovation (MI), a landmark 5 year commitment to accelerate the pace of innovation and make clean energy widely affordable and accessible worldwide.

  • Following directions of the Union Health Minister, Shri J P Nadda, a multi-disciplinary Central team from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is presently in Kerala constantly reviewing the situation of the Nipah Virus Disease.

  • To collaborate to provide AI, big data and connectivity solutions across sectors

    NITI Aayog and ABB India signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) today to support the Indian government realize its ambitious vision of ‘Make in India’ through advanced manufacturing technologies that incorporate the latest developments in robotics and artificial intelligence.

  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a meeting to review the status of Nipah virus outbreak reported from Kerala here today.

     

    Representatives from Kerala apprised NDMA about the efforts being made by the State Government in tackling and containing the outbreak.

  • Ministry of Railways and Braithwaite & Company Limited (BCL), a CPSE under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). BCL’s core competency is in the field of manufacturing new wagons, repairing of wagons, steel structural fabrication and manufacturing of cranes.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today chaired his twenty-sixth interaction through PRAGATI - the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

    The 25 PRAGATI meetings so far have seen a cumulative review of 227 projects with a total investment of over Rs. 10 lakh crore.

  • Ministry of Railways and RailTel Corporation of India Limited (RCIL), a CPSE under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways, signed a Memorandum of Uunderstanding (MoU). RCIL is implementing several Rail projects all over India for doubling, New Line, Electrification, Workshops etc.

    The MoU was signed on May 22, 2018 by Railway Board Secretary, Shri Ranjanesh Sahai and RCIL, Chairman and Managing Director, Shri N. Kashinath and laid down the targets for 18-19, both financial and physical, for various important Projects.

  • Ministry of Railways signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd (MRVC), a Joint venture of Ministry of Railways and the Government of Maharashtra, under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways.

  • Ministry of Railways and), Indian Railway Construction Company, International Ltd (IRCON) a CPSE under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways, signed an MoU with Ministry of Railways. IRCON is implementing several Rail, Road & other construction sector projects in India as well as abroad.

  • The Meeting of Consultative Committee of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment held here today under the chairmanship of Shri ThaawarchandGehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the between India and Angola for promoting bilateral cooperation in the field of Electronics and Information Technology.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval tothe Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and France in the field of Renewable Energy on 10th March, 2018 in New Delhi.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Denmark regarding cooperation in the areas of food safety.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco on India-Morocco Cooperation in Renewable Energy.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Singapore on Cooperation in the field of Personnel Management and Public Administration.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Turkey on trade in poppy seeds to ensure quick and transparent processing for import of poppy seeds from Turkey.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved Implementation of a Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) for the North Eastern Region(NER) in Meghalaya at a total estimated project cost of Rs. 3911 crore to be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) and approval of the enhanced cost of CTDP Project for NER for an amount of Rs. 8120.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the "Universal Service Obligation Fund [USOF]” supported scheme to provide mobile services at 4072 tower locations identified by MHA in inhabited uncovered areas affected by Left Wing Extremism [LWE] of 96 districts in 10 States for Phase-ll project.

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for restructuring of balance sheet of Scooters India Limited, Lucknow (SIL) by way of:

     

    reduction of equity of Rs. 85.21 crore in the share capital of SIL held by Government of India against accumulated losses.



  • JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy was sworn in as Chief Minister of Karnataka by Governor Vaju Bhai Vala in Bengaluru this evening. At a ceremony ...




  • Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved Universal Service Obligation Fund supported scheme to provide mobile services at ...




  • Five civilians were killed while over 30 people, including five BSF personnel, were injured as Pakistan forces continued heavy shelling along the Inte...



  • In Jammu and Kashmir, the Vaishno Devi pilgrimage was suspended from new battery car track this afternoon after a major fire broke out in Trikuta Hills in Katra town of Reasi district. Reasi Deputy Commissioner P Ramaswamy said, the Yatra has been suspended on new battery car track while pilgrims are being allowed to use traditional old track to perform pilgrimage.



  • Six women officers of the Indian Navy, who successfully circumnavigated the globe on the sailing vessel, INSV Tarini today called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The expedition, known as the Navika Sagar Parikrama, was the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew.



  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, the historic meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jongun is set to take place on the 12th of next month.



  • India has launched a complaint against the United States to the World Trade Organization, WTO to challenge US President Donald Trump's tariffs on Steel and Aluminium.



  • In another incident, at least six civilians were injured in a grenade attack in Bijbehara town of South Kashmir's Anantnag district this morning.



  • Former South African captain and one of modern day cricket's best batsmen AB de Villiers has retired from all forms of international cricket with immediate effect.


  • KKR will now meet Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) here on Friday to decide who faces Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final on Sunday.

    Despite early hiccups, KKR posted 169/7 in 20 overs riding Russell's big hitting late on after Karthik had set the tone for the two-time champions at the Eden Gardens here.

    In reply, Royals could manage 144/4 even after Sanju Samson's belligerent 38-ball 50, containing four fours and two sixes and captain Ajinkya Rahane (46; 41b 4x4 1x6) kept their team in the hunt with a 62-run partnership off 54 balls for the second wicket.

    With 74 needed from 48 balls, chinaman Kuldeep got rid of Rahane in the 15th over with Chawla then sending Samson back after he brought up his half century in 37 balls.

    With the required run rate climbing up and set batsmen out, Royals, who have a thin middle order, could never recover.

    Rahul Tripathi (20; 13b; 1x4, 2x6) helped Royals to a brisk start by tonking Russell (0/22) for a six in the first over and thereafter smacking the usually economical Sunil Narine (0/39) for two back-to-back sixes in the fifth over.

    Rahane looked in effervescent touch at the other end, pulling and cutting M. Prasidh Krishna flawlessly in the fourth over after surviving a review when he was given out lbw by the umpire off Chawla on 14, two overs earlier.

    Royals were 47/0 inside five overs before Tripathi -- who also survived a review -- inexplicably chipped a googly back to Chawla for a soft dismissal.

    In came Samson with the well-set Rahane batting and the duo looked on course to chase down 170 before they got out in quick succession and it was all downhill from there on.

    Earlier, KKR rode on Karthik's well-paced fifty coupled with Russell's unbeaten 25-ball 49 blitz to recover from an early collapse.

    Russell came in to bat when KKR were trying to stem the rot through Karthik and Shubman Gill (28; 17b; 3x4 1x6) before the latter fell with the team on 106/5 in 14.2 overs.

    The big-hitting West Indian smoked five sixes and three fours in the last five overs to take 55 runs and help the purple brigade post a challenging score.

    Krishnappa Gowtham (2/15), Jofra Archer (2/33) and Ben Laughlin (2/35) got two wickets each for the Rahane-led side with leg-spinner Ish Sodhi conceding just 15 runs off his four overs.

    Royals' bowlers made early inroads to reduce KKR to 51/4 after eight overs when Karthik and Gill got together.

    The pair joined hands for a 55-run stand for the fifth wicket before Gill departed and Russell stepped on the gas.

    Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 169/7 in 20 overs (Dinesh Karthik 52, Andre Russell 49 not out; K Gowtham 2/15, Jofra Archer 2/33, Ben Laughlin 2/35) beat Rajasthan Royals 144/4 in 20 overs Ajinkya Rahane 46, Sanju Samson 50, Piyush Chawla 2/24, Kuldeep Yadav 1/18) by 25 runs.

  • The Cabinet on Wednesday under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi also discussed a number of other issues besides financial matters.

    Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government is very concerned over frequent fluctuations in energy prices and is considering long term solutions to solve the problem.

  • “After 114 test matches, 228 one day internationals and 78 T20 internationals it is time for others to take over. I’ve had my turn and to be honest I’m tired,” he said in a video message on Twitter and in a statement.

    “This is a tough decision, I have thought long and hard about it and I’d like to retire while still playing decent cricket. After the fantastic (test) series wins against India and Australia, now feels like the right time to step aside.

    “It would not be right for me to pick and choose where, when and in what format I play for the Proteas. For me, in the green and gold, it must be everything or nothing,” he added.

    The 34-year-old, whose swashbuckling batting style and razor sharp fielding has made him one of the sport’s leading lights, only returned to test cricket in December after a lengthy hiatus where he focused on the limited overs formats of the game.

    “It’s not about earning more somewhere else, it’s about running out of gas and feeling that it is the right time to move on,” he said. “Everything comes to an end. To the cricket fans around South Africa and the world, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and today, for your understanding.

    “I have no plans to play overseas, in fact, I hope I can continue to be available for the Titans in domestic cricket. I will continue to be the biggest supporter of (captain) Faf du Plessis and the Proteas.”

    De Villiers retires with a test average of 50.66 and as the fourth-highest scorer for South Africa with 8,765 runs. He made 22 test centuries.

    In ODI cricket, he holds the records for the fastest 50 (16 balls), 100 (31 balls) and 150 (64 balls).

    “AB is one of the all-time greats of South African cricket who has thrilled spectators around the world with his sheer brilliance, coupled to his ability to innovate and take modern day batting in all three formats but particularly in the white ball ones to new levels,” said Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani.

     

     

  • He said the North must meet conditions for the summit to go ahead though if it did not, it might happen "later".

    Trump raised doubts about the Singapore summit in talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who came to Washington to urge Trump not to let a rare opportunity with reclusive North Korea slip away.

    Meanwhile.. South Korean presidency Spokesperson said that the High-level talks between North and South Korea will likely resume after June 25 following completion of joint U.S.-South Korea military drills. He was speaking to reporters in Washington following a White House meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

    North Korea last week cancelled at the last minute a meeting with senior South Korean officials in protest over joint exercises between Seoul and Washington and also threatened to scrap an unprecedented summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

  • Government has approved a Ministry Home Affairs proposal to set up 4072 mobile tower locations in 10 states affected by Left Wing Extremism. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Phase-II project covering 96 districts in 10 states will cost 7 thousand 3 hundred and 30 crore rupees with support from the Universal Service Obligation Fund.

    The Narendra Modi government at the Center has been constantly working towards eliminating the Naxal problem in the country. Operations against left wing extermists have been going on, side by side, with development and infrastructure projects in the affected areas. There has been a special focus on building infrastructure like roads, bridges, mobile towers, school buildings, anganwadi centers and primary health centers.

    The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a program to install 4072 mobile towers in 96 districts affected by Left-wing extremism across 10 states. The towers will cost 7330 crore rupees and will provide 4G and broadband facilities.

    Government provides security and development, as a dual strategy to tackle the Naxal threat. As a result, the sphere of influence of Left extremists has remarkably reduced in the last four years.

    The Home Ministry says that only 90 districts are affected by Maoist violence, of which the number of badly affected districts was 35, which has now reduced to just 30. 3 districts of Jharkhand and 2 districts of Bihar are no longer affected by Maoist violence. 44 districts have been declared free of Naxal influence or their presence is negligible. Compared to 2013, there had been a 20% decline in Naxal incidents in 2017, and the numbers of people killed in such violence also decreased by 34%. Of the 90 Naxal affected districts, 32 have not seen a single incident of violence in 2017.

    The Cabinet also approved a Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan for the North East in Meghalaya at a total estimated project cost of Rs 3911 crore. It will be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund. It will provide 2G and 4G mobile coverage in uncovered areas of Meghalaya and complete coverage along National Highways in Meghalaya. This will greatly enhance mobile penetration in the state.

    All in all government is not only increasing mobile penetration in Naxal-affected areas but is also improving the socio-economic development of people in remote parts of the country.

    Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Cabinet today approved the proposal to bring an Ordinance to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

    Cabinet has also approved MoU between India and Turkey on trade in poppy seeds to ensure quick and transparent processing for import of poppy seeds from Turkey.

    Cabinet also approved sports university in Manipur.

    Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has also approved waiver of Penal Interest on government loans advanced to Visakhapatnam Port Trust & Paradip Port Trust.

  • Six women officers of the Indian Navy, who successfully circumnavigated the globe on the sailing vessel, INSV Tarini, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

    The expedition, known as the "Navika Sagar Parikrama," was the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew.

    During the interaction, the crew made a presentation on various aspects of the mission, their preparation, training, and experiences during the journey.

    The Prime Minister congratulated the crew on the success of their mission. He encouraged them to share and write about their unique experiences during the journey. Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, was present on the occasion.

    The vessel was skippered by Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi, and the crew comprised Lt. Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta. 

  • The novel by Olga, translated by Jennifer Croft, won the prize after coming top of a shortlist of six titles.

    The money will be split between the author and translator. Tokarczuk is the author of eight novels and two short-story collections whilst Croft is an accomplished translator of Polish, Spanish and Ukrainian.

    The Man Booker International Prize celebrates the English translations of works of international literature. The prize is a counterpart to the Man Booker Prize for English-language novels and is open to books in any language that have been translated into English.

    The 50,000-pound ($67,000) award is split evenly between the writer and her translator, Jennifer Croft.

  • The National Capital Region is in grip of an intense heat wave condition. Delhi on Tuesday witnessed the hottest day of the season.

    While the maximum temperature shot up to 44 degrees Celsius at Safdarjung, which was four degrees above the normal, the mercury touched 46 degrees Celsius at Palam, which was six degrees above the normal.

    The met department has warned the day maximum temperatures are "very likely" to remain in the range of 42 to 45 degrees Celsius in most parts of central and northwest India over the next few days.

  • Physical activity, including less vigorous forms such as walking and cycling, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, but despite this well-known benefit, levels of activity are still low in many countries.

    There are concerns that many peoples' lives involve increasingly sedentary occupations and little opportunity for leisure time physical activity.

    Researchers from the University of Cambridge, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Imperial College London in the UK set out to investigate the associations between using alternatives to the car which are more active for commuting and non-commuting purposes, and illness and mortality.

    For the study published in the journal Heart, they used data on 3,58,799 participants collected between 2006 and 2010. People were followed up for an average of seven years. They were asked about their commute and non-commute travel and to detail whether they relied exclusively on the car or used alternative modes of transport that were more active at least some of the time.

    Outcome measures used were incident and fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD), incident and fatal cancer, and all-cause mortality. Approximately two-thirds of commuters relied exclusively on the car to travel to work, with more active travel patterns being more frequently reported for non-commuting travel.

    Cycling was less prevalent, being mentioned by 8.5 per cent and 7 per cent of regular commuters for commuting and non-commuting travel, respectively, and by 4.8 per cent of other participants.

    Analysis of the data showed that regular commuters with more active patterns of travel on the commute had a 11% lower risk of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 30 per cent lower risk of fatal CVD. Those regular commuters who also had more active patterns of commute and non-commute travel combined had an even lower risk of fatal CVD - 43 per cent less risk.

    Among people who were not regular commuters, more active patterns of travel were associated with an 8 per cent lower risk of all-cause mortality.

    Researchers concluded that interventions that encourage people to make more use of public transport, walking and cycling could be more widely promoted, including by clinicians.

     

  • The study, published in the journal Electronic Markets, found that adult consumers across all age groups perceive ownership of e-books very differently than ownership of physical books, and this could have important implications for those in the business of selling digital texts.

    "We looked at what's called psychological ownership, which is not necessarily tied to legal possession or legal rights, but is more tied to perceptions of 'what is mine'," said Sabrina Helm, an associate professor at University of Arizona in the US.

    Peoples' sense of psychological ownership is affected by three primary factors: whether they feel like they have control over the object they own, whether they use the object to define who they are, and whether the object helps give them a sense of belonging in society, said Helm.

    "Psychological ownership is important in people's perception of how they value certain products or services or objects," she said. "In the context of digital products, we thought it would be appropriate to look at how people take ownership of something that's not really there - it's just a file on your computer or device or in the Cloud; it's more of a concept than an actual thing," said Helm.

    Researchers convened four focus groups in different age ranges: one group of Baby Boomers; one group of members of Generation X; and two groups of millennials. The millennial groups were split into current college students and older millennials. The researchers moderated discussions with the groups about their feelings surrounding ownership of physical books versus e-books.

    Participants across all age groups reported feeling a constricted sense of ownership of digital books versus physical books, based on the fact that they do not have full control over the products. For example, they expressed frustration that they often could not copy a digital file to multiple devices. Along similar lines, many study participants lamented restrictions on sharing e-books with friends, or gifting or selling the books, saying this made e-books feel less valuable as possessions than physical books.

    Participants described being more emotionally attached to physical books, and said they use physical books to establish a sense of self and belonging.

    Participants across age groups frequently spoke about their nostalgia for certain childhood books. They also talked about experiencing physical books through multiple senses - describing, for example, the sound, smell and tactile experience of opening a new book, and the ability to highlight or write notes on paper pages.

    Participants also said they use their physical book collections to express their identity to others who might be perusing their shelves. E-books did not have these associations.

    Minimalists expressed a preference for digital books because they take up less physical space, researchers said. Many participants said the e-book experience feels more like renting than buying.

    While almost everyone expressed strong attachment to physical books, and no one embraced a fully digital reading experience, older consumers, contrary to what one might expect, saw more advantages than younger consumers to reading with an e-reader. They referenced physical benefits that might not be as relevant to younger consumers, like the lightweight nature of e-readers and the ability to zoom in on text.

     

  • "Fourteen priests no longer are allowed to carry out their duties...These priests have taken part in actions that may be civilian crimes as well as within the church," the bishop's office in the city of Rancagua said.

    Just Friday, 34 Chilean bishops announced their resignation over the child sex abuse scandal. The striking announcement came after the pontiff summoned the bishops over the scandal.

    Several members of the Chilean church hierarchy are accused by victims of ignoring and covering up child abuse by Chilean pedophile priest Fernando Karadima during the 1980s and 1990s.

    On Thursday evening, Francis promised "changes" to the Chilean church to "restore justice" in a short declaration to the bishops, made public. But in a confidential 10-page document leaked Friday by Chilean TV channel, the Argentine pope goes much further in his indictment of the Chilean Church.

    The letter -- handed to the bishops at the start of their meetings with Francis -- evokes "crimes" and "painful and shameful sexual abuse of minors, abuses of power and conscience by ministers of the Church".

    It qualifies the removal of certain prelates from their roles as necessary but "insufficient," calling for "the roots" that allowed such abuse within an "elitist and authoritarian" Chilean Church to be examined.

    Some analysts note that Chile's long tradition of having the church not subject to civilian law lent itself to impunity and cover-ups.

    The damning letter also outlines findings of an investigation, ordered by Pope Francis, into the abuse allegations. It says the probe found senior church officials had destroyed proof in cases of sex abuse and that certain members of the clergy who had displayed immoral behavior had been transferred to other dioceses after attempts to "minimize" the gravity of their actions.

    Grave accusations "were superficially qualified as improbable," the letter says, denouncing bishops for their "terrible negligence in protecting children."

    Francis has apologized to the victims, three of whom he recently received at the Vatican, and admitted he had made "grave mistakes" after reading the 2,300-page report on the abuse in Chile. Since 2000, about 80 Roman Catholic priests have been reported to authorities in Chile for alleged sexual abuse. 

  • Asian shares drifted lower after US President Donald Trump said he was not satisfied with bilateral trade talks with China that occurred last week. Meanwhile, China announced on Tuesday that it would reduce tariffs on some vehicles to 15 per cent from as much as 25 per cent.

    Tariffs on certain automotive parts would also be cut.

    The rupee deprecating against the dollar also dampened sentiment. The 30-share index dropped 60.79 points or 0.17 per cent to 34,590.45. The gauge had gained 35.11 points in the previous session.

    In similar fashion, the NSE Nifty fell 19.80 points, or 0.18 per cent to 10,516.90. Sectoral indices led by metal, realty, oil and gas and auto were trading in the negative zone, falling up to 1.29 per cent.

    Major losers were Tata Steel, IndusInd Bank, Dr Reddy's, Hero Motocorp, M&M, HDFC Ltd, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints, Adani Ports, Bharti Airtel, Kotak Bank, HDFC Bank, Wipro, ONGC and RIL, falling up to 2.45 per cent.

    Brokers said sentiment remained weak in the absence of any positive trigger amid sustained capital outflows.

    Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 1,651.63 crore while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,496.83 crore Tueday, as per provisional data.

    In the Asian region, Japan's Nikkei fell 1.08 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.08 per cent in early trade. China's Shanghai Composite index too was down 0.89 per cent.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.72 per cent lower in yesterday's trade as uncertainty over trade policy and other geopolitical issues weighed on sentiment. 

  • Roth wrote more than 30 books, including the 1991 memoir "Patrimony," which examined his complex relationship with his father and won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and "American Pastoral," for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998.

  • The private aerospace company headed by Elon Musk said the rocket carried two earth monitoring satellites used for tracking the movement of the Earth's mass, plus five communication satellites for Iridium, which SpaceX called the "only satellite communications network that spans the entire globe".

    It said the Iridium satellites are part of the the company's "campaign to replace the world's largest commercial satellite network".

    The launch occurred at 12:47 p.m. local time (1947 GMT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base north of Santa Barbara.

    SpaceX said data from the twin GRACE satellites can be used to monitor "changes in ice sheets and glaciers, underground water storage, water in large lakes and rivers, and sea level, providing a unique view of Earth's evolving climate".

  • A Boeing 737 leased to national carrier Cubana de Aviacion crashed shortly after taking off from Havana's Jose Marti airport on Friday, with 113 passengers and crew aboard. Just two survivors remain -- both Cuban woman who are fighting for their lives at Havana's Calixto Garcia hospital.

    "I can inform you that we have identified 50 of the bodies through Tuesday midday," Forensics Office Director Sergio Rabell told a news conference. The Mexicans identified include the pilot, Angel Luis Nuez Santos, 53, and the co-pilot, Miguel Angel Arreola Ramirez, 40. Still awaiting identification are the remains of a couple from Argentina, a Mexican tourist, a passenger from Western Sahara, and some 50 Cubans, Rabell added.

    The Cuban government is investigating the cause of the crash and some of those killed have already been buried. Transport Minister Adel Yzquierdo has said one of the plane's two black boxes had been recovered in "good condition," and the other was likely to be found.

    Their data will be key to determining what happened.

    The 39-year-old plane, leased from a Mexican company, Global Air, was on a domestic flight to the eastern city of Holguin, where most of the passengers were from. In Mexico, Global Air's operations were suspended so that Mexican aviation authorities can run inspections of the aircraft it leases following the tragedy in Cuba.

    The review will again inspect aircraft already certified as safe to fly, and assist as needed in the investigation of the accident in Cuba, a company statement said.

    Built in 1979, according to the Mexican government, the Boeing 737 that crashed last passed inspection in November 2017. The accident happened Friday at 12:08pm (1608 GMT). The plane crashed in a potato field close to Havana's airport.

    Witnesses and airport officials said that the aircraft plunged as it was making its first turn after take-off.

    Most of the plane was reduced to a mangled carcass of burned metal. It came down just 200 meters from houses between the Boyeros and Santiago de Las Vegas districts south of Havana.

     

  • One gendarme was killed in the fighting in the Rayongo neighbourhood, while five people, including one civilian, were injured, the Minister of Security, Clement Sawadogo, said.

    Ouagadougou has been hit by several Islamist militant attacks in recent years.

    In March, militants from a Mali-based al Qaeda affiliate killed eight people and wounded dozens more in coordinated raids on the army headquarters and French embassy.

    Burkinabe soldiers and police have also come under repeated attack near the borders with Mali and Niger, where militant groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State easily cross the porous frontiers.

    "I think there is no point in calling them 'suspected' terrorists since they had a arsenal for combat which they used to respond to our men. So this is proof, clear and simple, that they were terrorists, equipped to carry out missions. A fourth one was captured who was near the toilet and this latter one will be used (part of) in the investigation. Unfortunately in this operation, a high risk operation, we lost one of our valiant men who died of his injuries and four others were injured and are now in hospital. Two civilians were also injured," Burkina Faso minister of security, Clement Sawadogo informed. 

     

  • Trump raised doubts about the Singapore summit in talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who came to Washington to urge Trump to not let a rare opportunity with the reclusive North Korea slip away.

    If the summit is called off or fails, it would be a major blow to what Trump supporters hope will be the biggest diplomatic achievement of his presidency, and a huge disappointment for the President himself.

    "And you know, there's a chance that it will work out. There's a chance, there's a very substantial chance, that it won't work out. I don't want to waste a lot of time and I'm sure he doesn't want to waste a lot of time. So there's a very substantial chance that it won't work out and that's okay. That doesn't mean it won't work out - over a period of time. But it may not work out for June 12th. But there's a good chance that we'll have the meeting," Trump told reporters at the White House.

    South Korea's Moon Jae-in said, "And we find ourselves standing one step closer to the dream of achieving complete denuclearization on the Korean peninsula and world peace. All this was possible because of you, Mr. President, and I have no doubt that you will be able to complete, accomplish, a historic feat that no one had been able to achieve in the decades past. I have to say that the fate and the future of the Korean peninsula hinge on this and, as such, I'll spare no effort to the end to support the success of the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit and stand with you all along the way." 

  • Even as the political storm that began with the declaration of election results on 15th May in Karnataka abated somewhat with the swearing in of Cm HD Kumaraswamy, the BJP on Wednesday observed Black Day in protest against the formation of the new state govt.

    Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy at a function held in the premises of the state's Vidhan Soudha.

    Also sworn in was the State Congress Chief G Parameshwar who took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister.

    Other ministers and portfolios will be announced after Friday's floor test.

    The new CM said he would provide a stable government for the next five years.

    Present on the occasion were Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA chief Sonia Gandhi, as well as CMs of other states.

    Karnataka BJP chief, BS Yedyurappa, meanwhile, slammed the new Govt and observed Black Day. A statewide agitation was carried out against what the party termed an impure govt.

    Yedyurappa  also called upon overlooked Congress leaders to join the BJP has even threatened to call bandhs if the state govt failed to fulfill its promises.
     

  • There could soon be relief from rising petrol and diesel prices. BJP chief Amit Shah said that the govt is taking serious note of the issue with Petroleum Minister Dharmendra set to discuss the matter with heads of oil companies soon. He said the govt was working on a formula to ease fuel prices at the earliest.

    The retail price of fuel is linked with the international market and the recent rise in petrol diesel is largely because the changing geopolitical situation. Blaming the international rise in crude oil prices on fresh US sanctions on Iran IOC Chairman Sanjeev Singh said the company cannot operate if prices don't match global prices.

    BJP Chief Amit Shah has said that the party's Gram Swaraj Abhiyan has been a success..He said that this helped govt programmes reach the doorstep of the poorest of poor in 16,850 villages in a short period of 20 days..The BJP President said now the goal is to ensure 100% benefit of govt's electrification and LPG supply initiatives to 65,000 villages.

    The BJP has claimed massive success in the execution of the many government programs through its Gram Swaraj Abhiyan conducted  between the 14th of April and May 5th.  BJP chief Amit Shah said that 16,800 villages have received the direct benefits of 7 ambitious govt programs including gas and electricity connections. The Gram Swaraj Abhiyan is the first campaign since independence launched by any govt to attempt to resolve the problems of nearly 16,850 villages.

    The BJP President has assured that the campaign will be taken further. The target is to supply gas and electricity to  65,000 of 115 districts by the 15th of August 2018. Shah said that instead of the poor seeking the govt it will now be the other way round.

    Here's a look at the programs that the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan focussed on -

    ---- 10 lakh 93,000 new gas connections distributed under Ujjwala Yojana

    ----Electricity to 5 lakh 2, 434 families under Saubhagya Yojana

    ----16,682 villages supplied with nearly 25 lakh  LED bulbs Under Ujala Yojana. 

    ---20 lakh 53 , 599 bank accounts opened Under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana  

    --- Under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana  more than16 lakh people benefitted

    --- 26 lakh10, 506 people receive benefits of Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana

    ----1 lakh 64, 398 infants and 42, 762 pregnant women vaccinated under mission Indradhanush 

     

  • The situation in Tuticorin remains tense but under control. Protestors set buses on fire at several places. One protestor died as security forces tried to keep angry protesting crowds under control. The state administration in Tamil Nadu has declared prohibitory orders under Section 144 in the violence hit areas of the city for 72 hours. The state government clarified that the police had to take unavoidable action to bring the situation under control.

    As a result, shops, schools and offices remained shut and the streets wore a deserted look. Buses and autos are still off the road for the second consecutive day. The Chief Minister has also announced compensation of 10 lakh rupees for the victims. Police force has been strengthened throughout the district. Extra security has also been provided to the Government Medical College Hospital where injured are being treated.

    Several political leaders, including Kamal Hasan who has recently launched a party visited the injured at the hospital. This caused crowds to gather at the Hospitals which hampered their smooth functioning. For this reason, senior doctors have appealed to public figures including politicians to stay away from the hospitals.

    BJP attacked the Congress for politicizing the issue. Party President Rahul Gandhi blamed the RSS for the violence.

    Meanwhile, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has stayed the extension of the plant of Sterlite Copper industry in Thuthukkudi, Tamil Nadu. Disposing of a petition in this regard, a High court bench ordered that all works in this regard must be stopped immediately. The bench also ordered that a public hearing should be held among people regarding the functioning and extension of the industry within four months. The court has also asked the central Government to provide details about the approval given for extension activities of the industry.  The case has been adjourned till 13th of next month.

    The National Human Rights Commission taking suo moto cognisance of the deaths has also sent a notice to the Tamil Nadu's chief secretary and police chief over the killing of 10 people during anti-Sterlite protest in Tuticorin. The state government issued orders appointing retired High Court Justice Aruna Jagadeesan as the single member enquiry commission into the police firing incident.

     

  • Emphasizing on the need for integrated approach to clean Ganga, Union Minister for Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari said that a clean Ganga will not only be helpful for the environment but will also boost our economy.

    He said this after inaugurating a workshop on "Ganga and its Biodiversity: Developing a Road Map for Habitat and Species Conservation" in New Delhi.

  • Five civilians including a minor boy and a woman were killed while over 40 persons including five BSF personnel, were injured today, as Pakistan forces heavy shelling along the International Border in Jammu continued for the third consecutive day.

    Pakistan's Rangers heavy mortar shelling is currently going on in R.S.Pura, Arnia, Ramgarh, Samba and Hiranagar sectors of Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts.

    The BSF has also been retaliating the shelling very effectively inflicting heavy damages on Pakistan forces across the border.

    Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure, all schools within five kms of the border are closed. The administration has deployed police forces in border areas to help those affected, reach safety. Relief camps have been set up, to ensure those displaced by Pakistan's ceasefire violations face minimum hardship.

    Home Minister Rajnath Singh has warned Pakistan over the repeated ceasefire violations. He said Indian troops won't fire first, but will respond if fired upon. The Home Minister clearly said that India's neighbour do not want peace, and its motives need to be evaluated.

     

  • Civil Aviation Ministry on Tuesday notified the draft of the Passenger Charter. The Passenger charter is open for public consultation and will be operational in a month’s time. 

    Addressing the media, Civil Aviation minister Jayant Sinha said that the draft lists measures for ensuring safety and security of passengers. This includes refund of the entire ticket fare if flight gets canceled due to airline’s fault and no charges on cancellation of tickets within 24 hours of booking.

    Though Aadhar will be used for booking of tickets, it has not been made mandatory. The ID shown by the passenger will be added to the database. 

    The draft also states that Wi-Fi connectivity will be available to passengers after the take off. Airlines will get the permission for Wi-Fi service within 2 months of the application. 

  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has made it clear that soldiers have the right to retaliate any violation of peace and tranquility at the border.

    Speaking at 16th BSF Investiture ceremony in New Delhi, the Home Minister said that though India is the nation that propagated the call of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, a neighbour is not mending its ways despite best efforts. He said that the forces are free to give a befitting response of any misadventure and no questions will be asked. 

    On the occasion, the Home Minister also released a BSF Wives Welfare Association stamp. 

    He also launched a book named "Happiness and Health: Endeavor towards holistic well being" and "Sipahi ka Safar." He also launched a BWWA "Prahari Sangini" magazine. 

    The Home Minister also presented the Police Medal for Gallantry and Police Medal for Meritorious Services to the BSF officials. He said that the commendations and medals signify the deep respect and gratitude for the brave soldiers from a grateful country. 

  • After a bevy of challenges that took social media by storm recently, here's another one that will inspire people to stay fit. Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore throws a fitness challenge to Indian citizens.

    On social media, the Minister's posted his Fitness video and Challenged 3 Celebrities. The Olympian challenged cricketer Virat Kohli, actor Hrithik Roshan and badminton player Saina Nehwal to join in.  

     

  • The outbreak of Nipah virus in Kerala claimed 2 lives on Tuesday. It is suspected that they were infected by the virus. their samples have been sent for lab testing. So far the virus has claimed ten lives in Mallapuram and Kozikode. Two persons are still in critical condition.

    Health Minister JP Nadda reviewed the preparedness of the administration. He discussed the matter with the state health minister KK Shailaja and assured the state govt all possible help from the centre.

    Meanwhile, a high-level team of the National Centre for Disease-Control, including its director arrived at affected area, took stock of the situation and collected necessary samples.

    Union Health Minister has appealed to citizens not to believe in rumors circulating on social media and not to spread panic.

    Given the situation in Kerala, areas adjoining the state are vigilant. Maharashtra Health Minister has said that due precautions are being taken in the state in view of the deadly virus.

    According to World Health Organization (WHO) Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging disease which can be transmitted to humans from animals. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats . NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998. On this occasion, pigs were the intermediate hosts.

    What causes Nipah virus infection?
    -Consuming food infected by fruit bats
    -Drinking sap of tree with infected fruit bats
    -Consuming water from wells with dead bats

    Some common signs and symptoms of Nipah virus are headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and mental issues such as confusion. These symptoms can last up to 7-10 days.

    As of now, there is no vaccine available for the treatment of Nipah Virus. The only way to treat this virus is through intensive supportive care. Complete quarantine of the cases is also essential to check the spread of virus.

  • PM Modi, who arrived in Russia Monday morning, held his first informal summit with Putin and discussed a range of bilateral topics, including defence cooperation as well as global issues of common concern.

    "Farewell, my friend! In a special gesture symbolising our friendship, Russian President #Putin personally bid farewell to PM @narendramodi at the airport at the conclusion of PM's short but successful visit to Russia," External Affairs Ministery spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

    Before leaving for home, the two leaders visited an incubator for gifted children. "PM @narendramodi and Russian President #Putin visited Sirius, an incubator for gifted children and interacted with exceptionally talented young people from all regions of Russia at a Special monthly camp.' 

    PM Modi said the strategic partnership between India and Russia has now been elevated into a "special privileged strategic partnership" which is a "very big achievement".

    Prime Minister Modi and the Russian President also took a boat ride from Bocharev Creek to Olympic Park after their informal summit. 

  • The 55-year-old is a member of the Dukha ethnic group, who roam the frozen Taiga forests on the Mongolian border with Russia herding reindeer.

    The lives of this tiny community have barely changed since their ancestors began domesticating the animals thousands of years ago. Every day Chuluu releases his reindeers out into the forests to graze, calling them back once their bellies are full. He has been herding reindeer all his life, circling through a seasonal migration pattern dictated by their search for food.

    The animals are everything to these people. They provide food, tools and transportation for the 280 Dukha, who are considered by some to be one of the smallest ethnic groups in the world.

    "These animals, the reindeers, were herded by our ancestors, so it's our will to maintain the tradition of herding these reindeer in the same way as our ancestors did."

    The Dukha's spiritual lives are ruled by shamanism -- a practice of worshipping spirits of nature and ancestors. Shamans carry out rituals that send practitioners into trances to find answers from these spirits that govern the forests.

    Kyzyl-Ool (Kizil-Ool), 39, is one of them. He taps out a rhythm on a large drum made of reindeer skin to communicate with the spirits. Some spirits are said to be benign, others are aggressive.

    "It's a very terrible feeling. Even though I do it often I still get scared when I put my robes on, sometimes I feel like I really don't dare wear them," he said.

    Kyzyl-Ool did not choose to be a shaman. After his father died he fell ill and began wandering the forest in a state of delirium. Eventually another shaman found him and told him the only way to cure his sickness was for him to become a shaman himself.

    "When I begin the ritual I know what I'm doing, but when the spirit comes to me I'm not in control any more. When it comes I feel like I'm going into a dark hole, when people ask me their questions a spirit gives them the answers," he said as he sat recovering from a ritual carried out to to mark the beginning of the lunar month.

    The mysticism of the Dukhas' way of life stands out in Mongolia, a predominantly Buddhist country.

    The modern world is slowly making its way even to this isolated place, but Chuluu believes the traditions held dear by the reindeer herders will be carried on into the next generation.

  • The cases were in the Wangata neighbourhood of Mbandaka, a crowded port city on Congo where millions of people live in slums with no sewer system. Several public boats travel downstream over the river to the capital on a daily basis, overcrowded with people using filthy toilets with no running water to wash.

    The campaign aims to vaccinate health workers first before moving to those who have been identified to be at risk due to contact with suspected cases.

    Use of the VSV-EBOV shot - an experimental vaccine developed by Merck - marks a "paradigm shift" in how to fight Ebola, said the World Health Organization's head of emergency response, and means regions with Ebola outbreaks can in future expect more than just containment of an outbreak with basic public health measures such as isolation and hygiene.

    The shot is designed for use in so-called ring vaccination plans. When a new Ebola case is diagnosed, all people who might have been in recent contact with the patient are traced and vaccinated to keep the disease from spreading.

    The same strategy was used to test Merck's vaccine in Guinea in late 2015, towards the end of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa from 2013 to 2016. The trial results showed it was safe and gave very high levels of protection against Ebola.

    Around 30 Guinean health workers who were directly involved in that 2015 vaccine trial have travelled to Congo to help with the immunisations there.

    Congo's minister of health, Oly Illunga posted photographs of two Ebola patients from Bikoro who were cured and released on Saturday (May 19) and an MSF worker said they were the first to recover in Bikoro.

  • The Hawaii County Civil Defense warned the public to beware of caustic plumes of "laze" formed from two streams of hot lava gushing into the ocean after cutting across Highway 137 on the south coast of the Big Island late Saturday and early Sunday.

    The laze - a term combining the words lava and haze - from the plume extended as far as 24 km west of where the lava met the sea. It was just offshore and running parallel to the coast.

    Laze killed two people immediately adjacent to the coastal entry point in 2000, said the U.S. Geological Survey. Scientists said even a wisp can irrigate the skin and eyes and cause breathing problems.

    Frankie Stapleton, a local resident, said they have not experienced such an eruption for decades.

    "We had a fissure eruption in a populated area, which had not happened since 1960. When this eruption started on January 3, 1983, it started up way far away from any population. This having the fissures - 24 fissures open up in a community that has more than doubled in size since the last community was effected," she said.

    Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, has been erupting continuously since January 1983. It started erupting over two weeks ago and has burned dozens of homes, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people.

    As most insurance companies do not cover houses near the volcano, many residents who lost their homes in the disaster will face some financial difficulties to rebuild their houses.

    It will take long before the lava stops flowing and solidifies - waiting it out is the only option for now.

  • Pence said that North Korea should not attempt to seek concessions from the United States for promises it did not intend to keep.

    "It would be a great mistake for Kim Jong Un to think he could play Donald Trump," Pence said according to excerpts of an interview. "Well, I think it's more of a fact. President Trump made it clear: the United States of America, under his leadership, is not going to tolerate the regime in North Korea possessing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that threaten the United States and our allies," Pompeo said.

    When asked if Trump could still walk away from the summit scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, he replied: "Well there's no question."

  • Philip Wilson, the archbishop of Adelaide, is expected to be sentenced by the court in June. He faces a maximum penalty of two years in jail.

    He was accused of covering up a serious indictable offence by another priest, James Fletcher, after being told about it in 1976 when he was an assistant parish priest in the state of New South Wales. Lawyers for Wilson, 67, had argued that he did not know that Fletcher had abused a boy, media reported.

    Fletcher was found guilty in 2004 of nine counts of child sexual abuse and died in jail in 2006.

    An emailed statement from the local court in Newcastle, New South Wales, said Magistrate Robert Stone ruled the "offence proven."

    Stone said he did not accept that Wilson could not remember a conversation in 1976 in which the victim, who would have been 15 at the time, had described how he was abused by Fletcher a few years earlier, according to media reports.

    Last year, Australia completed a five-year government-appointed inquiry into child sex abuse in churches and other institutions, amid allegations world-wide that churches had protected paedophile priests by moving them from parish to parish.

    The inquiry heard that 7 percent of Catholic priests working in Australia between 1950 and 2010 had been accused of child sex crimes and that nearly 1,100 people had filed child sexual assault claims against the Anglican Church over 35 years.

  • Passenger services on the segment, which has 16 stations, will begin on May 29 at 6 am from the Kalkaji Mandir and Janakpuri West stations simultaneously. Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs (Independent Charge) Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will officially inaugurate the corridor on May 28 at 4.30 pm at the Nehru Enclave metro station. The dignitaries will travel to Hauz Khas station after the inauguration.

    This section will be the longest stretch to have been opened so far in Delhi Metro Rail Corporation's (DMRC's) Phase-III project. With the opening of this stretch, the entire 38.2 km-long Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden Magenta Line corridor, covering the city's arterial Outer Ring Road, will become operational.

    On December 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the over 12-km-long stretch of the Magenta Line's Botanical Garden-Kalkaji Mandir corridor. Kalkaji Mandir is an interchange facility with the Violet Line (Kashmere Gate- Escorts Mujesar). The highlights of the Janakpuri West-Kalkaji Mandir corridor will be the two new interchange facilities at -- Janakpuri West (with the Dwarka-Noida/Vaishali Blue Line) and Hauz Khas (with the HUDA City Centre-Samaypur Badli Yellow line).

    The domestic terminals of the Indira Gandhi International airport here will also get connected to the metro network through Terminal 1-IGI airport station. Commuters travelling from Gurgaon will now be able to change trains at Hauz Khas station to reach south Delhi and Noida.

    Residents of Noida will also get direct connectivity to the domestic terminal of the airport. The stations on this new corridor are: Janakpuri West, Dabri Mor, Dashrathpuri, Palam, Sadar Bazar, Terminal 1-IGI Airport, Shankar Vihar, Vasant Vihar, Munirka, R K Puram, Hauz Khas, IIT, Panchsheel Park, Chirag Delhi, G K Enclave, Nehru Enclave.

    Out of the 25.6 km-long stretch, 23 kms is underground and the rest is elevated. Only two stations -- Sadar Bazar and Shankar Vihar -- are elevated and the remaining stations are underground, the DMRC said.

    "After the opening of this section, 88 km of Phase-III corridors would have been commissioned and another 72 km are in the final stages of completion," DMRC said.

    The nine stations on the Botanical Garden-Kalkaji Mandir section are -- Botanical Garden, Kalindi Kunj, Jasola Vihar, Shaheen Bagh, Jamia Millia Islamia, Okhla Vihar, Sukhdev Vihar, Okhla NSIC and Kalkaji Mandir. While the Kalkaji Mandir station is underground, all the other stations are elevated. "After the Magenta Line gets fully operationalised, we will be running 24 trains, to begin with, which we will gradually increase to 26, apart from operating reserve," the DMRC official said. "

    The frequency will be 5 minutes and 15 seconds through the whole section and if passenger traffic demands, we may introduce shorter intermediate loops with higher frequency after studying the traffic pattern," he said.

  • Addressing a press conference, Shah also mocked the Congress for its celebration at the turn of events in Karnataka, saying it has found a new way of discovering win in its defeat and added that he prayed that it sticks to its definition of victory. The BJP then would have no problem in winning the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he said.

    Describing the Congress-JD(S) alliance as "unholy", he said the H D Deve Gowda's party fought the election on an anti-Congress plank and benefited from people's mood against the incumbent party in the state.

    In the absence of a clear majority and when fresh polls is not an option, if they had not staked claim, it would be against the popular mandate, he said, claiming that people had made the BJP winner in this election.

    The JD(S) lost deposits of its candidates in over 80 per cent of seats, he said. He also rejected charges of horse-trading, saying if that was the case, then the Yeddyurappa government would not have fallen and noted that even Congress leaders, including an MLA, have said that these were "forged" claims. It was done to influence the case in the Supreme Court, he said, and asked why no question was raised when the Congress sold the "entire stable".

    In a jibe at the Congress, he said one "good" outcome of the Karnataka verdict has been that the party's respect for institutions like the Supreme Court and Election Commission besides Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) has increased. "I hope the Congress finds them good when it loses the coming elections and it does not bring impeachment motion if it does not like a Supreme Court judgement," he said.

    Asked about the fate of the alliance government, he said people will certainly question their MLAs when they come out of hotels as their vote was against the Congress but added that he is not an astrologer who can predict its future. The BJP will play the role of a constructive opposition, he said, adding that it will respond to any changed political situation when it arises.

    He also claimed that the Congress lawyer lied in the Supreme Court that Yeddyurappa had sought seven days time from the Governor to prove majority in the House. The BJP's win in Karnataka showed that the "vijay rath" (victory march) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached south India and that people in the state voted for his good governance like the rest of the country, Shah stressed.

  • The president was speaking at a convocation ceremony in Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni in Himachal Pradesh. Kovind accompanied by his wife arrived in Shimla on Sunday on a six-day visit to the state.

    Addressing the gathering at the ceremony, he said, “Several enthusiastic youths have opted for their own ventures in agri sector after attaining education and started organic farming of fruits, vegetables and flowers and have become exporters of these produce”.

    He presented gold medals and conferred degrees on 462 students and said, "it is encouraging that the girls have surpassed boys and out of nine medal winners, six are girls and one of them got two medals.” “Girls are proving their supremacy in education, sports, research, defence sciences, aviation and other areas which is a good sign for the country," he said.

    He said there were ample opportunities in fruit and vegetable processing and the farmers can be saved from losses by setting up cold storages. He appreciated the state for making a niche in agri-products' market, saying Himachal has done well in this area as Kinnauri apples, Sirmaur flowers, Solan mushrooms are famous worldwide.

    Himachal Governor Acharya Devvrat, who was also present in the ceremony, urged the students to always acknowledge the contribution of teachers in shaping their lives. He said since this university was the first Horticulture University in the country and the only horticulture university in the state, horticulturists had great expectations from it.

    Devvrat said that in order to promote zero budget natural farming in the state, the university was implementing Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) model in its campus. The zero budget natural farming would not only help in environment conservation, minimal wastage of water and increase the soil fertility, but will also produce healthy food.

    Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur lauded the contribution of the university in producing best scientists and professionals and said that horticulture was playing a major role in strengthening the economy of the farmers of the state.

  • Pro-Syrian government forces have been battling for weeks to recover al-Hajar al-Aswad district and the adjacent Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp since driving rebels from eastern Ghouta in April.

    A state television presenter said the recovery of al-Hajar al-Aswad meant the area south of Damascus had been completely cleared of insurgents. The ultra-hardline jihadist group now controls only two besieged desert areas in eastern Syria, while another insurgent group that has pledged loyalty to it holds a small enclave in the southwest.

    A temporary humanitarian ceasefire had been in place since Sunday (May 20) night in al-Hajar al-Aswad to allow women, children and old people leave, state media said early on Monday. Army soldiers fired into the air in celebration and held Syrian flags, against a smashed cityscape of shattered buildings and widespread destruction. Buildings and walls were pocked-marked from bullets and shell-fire, metal satellite dishes were bent and scorched, and the dome of a mosque had a gaping hole near its base.

    On Sunday, a war monitor said fighters had begun withdrawing from the area towards Islamic State territory in eastern Syria under a surrender deal, but state media said fighting continued. The war monitor, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said on Monday that buses had already started leaving south Damascus for Islamic State areas in eastern Syria. While Assad has vowed to win back “every inch” of Syria, the map of the conflict suggests a more complicated time ahead from now on.

    The U.S. military is in much of the east and northeast, which is controlled by Kurdish groups that want autonomy from Damascus. It has used force to defend the territory from pro-Assad forces. Turkey has sent forces into the northwest to counter those same Kurdish groups, carving out a buffer zone where anti-Assad rebels have regrouped.

    In the southwest, where rebels hold territory at the Israeli and Jordanian border, Assad faces the risk of conflict with Israel, which wants his Iranian-backed allies kept well away from the frontier and has mounted air strikes in Syria.

  • The leaders are believed to have given final touches to power-sharing arrangements in Karnataka including ministerial berths and a common agenda of an alliance.

    As B S Yeddyurappa stepped down as the chief minister without facing the floor test in the state Assembly as the Bharatiya Janata Party fell short of numbers, All eyes were on JD(S) leader HD  Kumaraswamy who met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Monday. The talks veered about the allocation of ministerial berths and the common agenda for the coalition government in the state.

    Kumaraswamy has met state Governor Vajubhai Vala and has been invited to form the government.

    Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot and K C Venugopal also met Rahul Gandhi and apprised him about the sense prevailing among the party MLAs in the state. The meeting of Kumaraswamy with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi was to give final touches to the power-sharing arrangement in the southern state.

    He also met BSP chief Mayawati while his stay in the national capital. JD(S) had a pre-poll alliance with BSP and the later has a single MLA in the JD(S) camp. 

    Kumaraswamy will take oath as the chief minister on May 23 in Bengaluru.

  • “We will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime. The leaders in Tehran will have no doubt about our seriousness,” Pompeo said in his first major foreign policy address since moving to the State Department from the CIA.

    “The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran,” he added in the speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.

    “Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East,” he said in outlining the new US strategy on handling the Islamic regime, including 12 tough conditions from Washington for any “new deal” with Tehran.

    Pompeo said if Iran were to abide by the stricter terms, including ending its ballistic missile program and its interventions in regional conflicts from Yemen to Syria, the United States would lift its sanctions.

    “We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world and crush them,” Pompeo said.

    “Iran will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights abroad. It will not have the resources to do both.”

    President Donald Trump has long said the original 2015 deal with Iran—also signed by Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia—did not go far enough, and now wants the Europeans and others to support his hardline strategy.

    “In the strategy we are announcing today, we want the support of our most important allies and partners in the region and around the globe. I don’t just mean our friends in Europe,” Pompeo said.

    The secretary of state also warned European businesses who work with Iran in violation of US sanctions that they will be held “to account.”

    The re-establishment of the US sanctions will force European companies to choose between investing in Iran or trading with the United States. In reality, there is no choice—European companies cannot afford to forsake the US market.

    For now, the European Union is trying to persuade Iran to stay in the 2015 agreement, even without Washington’s participation.

  • Needing 140 runs to win, Chennai chased down the target with five balls to spare.

    Du Plesis kept on playing sensibly throughout when no other batman clicked and went back cheaply. He played 42 balls and slammed five boundaries and four sixes.

    Hyderabad will now face the winner of the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2 on May 25 at Kolkata.

    Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad: 139/7 in 20 overs (Carlos Brathwaite 43 not out; Dwayne Bravo 2/25) against Chennai Super Kings: 140/8 in 19.1 overs (Du Plesis 67; Rashid Khan 2/12)

     

  • The reading was given by the Palam observatory. However, the Safdarjung observatory, whose reading is considered official for the city, recorded a maximum temperature of 41.8 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal.

    "The minimum temperatures recorded by Palam and Safdarjung observatories are 27 degrees and 25.5 degrees Celsius, respectively," a MeT official said.

    The humidity levels oscillated between 47 and 21 per cent. The weatherman has predicted mainly clear sky for Tuesday morning with possibility of strong winds during day. "Strong surface winds during day time expected.

    The maximum and minimum temperatures will be around 43 degrees and 26 degrees Celsius, respectively," the official said. On Sunday, the minimum and maximum temperatures were recorded at 26.4 degrees and 42.6 degrees Celsius, respectively.

  • In the study published in the journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, individuals with either a musical or bilingual background activated different brain networks and showed less brain activity, researchers said.

    "These findings show that musicians and bilinguals require less effort to perform the same task, which could also protect them against cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia," said Claude Alain, a senior scientist at Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute in Canada.

    "Our results also demonstrated that a person's experiences, whether it's learning how to play a musical instrument or another language, can shape how the brain functions and which networks are used," said Alain.

    Musicians and people who are bilingual have long been shown to have a better working memory, the ability to keep things in mind, such as remembering a phone number, a list of instructions or doing mental math. However, it remains a mystery as to why this is the case. This is the first brain imaging study looking at all three groups and this work uncovers how these activities boost different parts of the brain among individuals, said Alain.

    The study looked at the brains of 41 young adults between the ages of 19-35, who fit into three categories: English-speaking non-musicians, musicians who only spoke English and bilinguals who didn't play a musical instrument. Brain imagery was captured for each participant as they were asked to identify whether the sound they heard was the same type as the previous one.

    Sounds from musical instruments, the environment and humans were among those used in the study. Participants were also asked to identify if what they heard was coming from the same direction as the previous noise. Musicians remembered the type of sound faster than individuals in the other groups, while bilinguals and musicians performed better on the location task.

    Bilinguals performed at about the same level as individuals who spoke only one language and didn't play a musical instrument on remembering the sound, but they still showed less brain activity when completing the task.

    "People who speak two languages may take longer to process sounds since the information is run through two language libraries rather than just one," said Alain, who is also an associate professor at the University of Toronto in Canada. "During this task, the brains of bilinguals showed greater signs of activation in areas that are known for speech comprehension, supporting this theory," he said. As next steps, researchers are exploring the impact of art and musical training among adults to see if this leads to changes in brain function. 

  • Authorities on Sunday warned the public to stay away from the toxic steam cloud, which is formed by a chemical reaction when lava touches seawater. Further upslope, lava continued to gush out of large cracks in the ground that formed in residential neighborhoods in a rural part of the Big Island.

    The molten rock formed rivers that bisected forests and farms as it meandered toward the coast. The rate of sulfur dioxide gas shooting from the ground fissures tripled, leading Hawaii County to repeat warnings about air quality.

    At the volcano's summit, two explosive eruptions unleashed clouds of ash. Winds carried much of the ash toward the southwest.

    Scientists said the steam clouds at the spots where lava entered the ocean were laced with hydrochloric acid and fine glass particles that can irrigate the skin and eyes and cause breathing problems. The lava haze, or "laze," from the plume spread as far as 24 kilometers west of where the lava met the ocean on the Big Island's southern coast. It was just offshore and running parallel to the coast, said U.S. Geological Survey scientist Wendy Stovall.

    Scientists said the acid in the plume was about as corrosive as diluted battery acid. The glass was in the form of fine glass shards. Authorities warned that the plume could shift direction if the winds changed.

    The Coast Guard said it was enforcing a safety zone extending 984 feet (300 meters) around the ocean entry point. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. John Bannon said in a statement Sunday that "getting too close to the lava can result in serious injury or death."

    Gov. David Ige told reporters in Hilo that the state was monitoring the volcano and keeping people safe. "Like typical eruptions and lava flows, it's really allowing Madam Pele to run its course," he said, referring to the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes and fire. Ige said he was thankful that the current flows weren't risking homes and hoped it would stay that way.

    On Saturday, the eruption claimed its first major injury. David Mace, a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency who was helping Hawaii County respond to the disaster, said a man was struck in the leg by a flying piece of lava. He didn't have further details, including what condition the man was in.

    Kilauea has burned some 40 structures, including two dozen homes, since it began erupting in people's backyards in the Leilani Estates neighborhood on May 3. Some 2,000 people have evacuated their homes, including 300 who were staying in shelters. In recent days, the lava began to move more quickly and emerge from the ground in greater volume.

    Scientists said that's because the lava that first erupted was magma left over from a 1955 erupted that had been stored in the ground for the past six decades. The molten rock that began emerging over the past few days was from magma that has recently moved down the volcano's eastern flank from one or two craters that sit further upslope - the Puu Oo crater and the summit crater.

  • Morata paid the price for a disappointing debut season in the Premier League as Spain coach Julen Lopetegui picked Iago Aspas and Rodrigo Moreno up front, along with Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa.

    "The decision is always difficult because of the talent of the players we have," Lopetegui said. "We have opted for three other players who had different assets and including four players up front was not something we wanted to do."

    Two more Chelsea players also missed out as Marcos Alonso and Cesc Fabregas were not included in the 23-man group. Morata's absence was the stand-out decision, however, even if it was not an entirely surprising one given the 25-year-old's dramatic dip in form. After scoring seven goals in his first seven games for Chelsea, a back injury seemed to affect his confidence. Morata has scored only three times in 22 games since the turn of the year.

    "I've talked to the players I had to talk to," Lopetegui said. "I'm not going to name anybody, but there are players who had to find out from me that they were not going to be on the list."

    In contrast, Aspas and Moreno have been in excellent form for Celta Vigo and Valencia respectively, with Aspas the top Spanish scorer in La Liga on 22 goals. Costa is expected to start when Spain open up against Portugal in Group B on June 15 but Aspas, with his speed and direct running, remains an attractive option.

    Alonso only made his debut in a friendly against Argentina in March and lost out to Arsenal's Nacho Monreal. Fabregas fell behind Spain's impressive wealth of options in midfield, which will include Sergio Busquets, Saul Niguez, Koke, Thiago Alcantara, Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Isco, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez. Manchester United's David de Gea was included as expected, along with fellow goalkeepers Pepe Reina and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

    Chelsa defender Cesar Azpilicueta did make it in, as did Monreal. Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Nacho and Jordi Alba complete Spain's group of defenders. "I've had several doubts, making a list of 23 is very difficult," Lopetegui said. "But we have decided this was the most balanced decision and the one we think will help us most at the World Cup."

    Spain squad for 2018 World Cup:

    Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Pepe Reina, Kepa Arrizabalaga

    Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Cesar Azpilicueta, Jordi Alba, Nacho Monreal

    Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Saul, Koke, Thiago Alcantara, Andres Iniesta, David Silva

    Forwards: Isco, Sergio Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, Iago Aspas, Rodrigo, Diego Costa

  • Leading women players like Kiwi Suzie Bates, Aussies Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt and England's Danielle Wyatt were part of the game which took place before the Qualifier 1 between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

    After restricting the Smriti Mandhana-led Trailblazers to a modest 129/6, Supernovas rode on a collective batting effort from the top order to overhaul the target on the last ball of the innings.

    Needing four runs in the last over, Pooja Vastrakar (2 not out) and Ellyse Perry (13 not out) held their nerves to take Supernovas over the line.

    The Supernovas started the chase with a decent 47-run opening stand between Mithali Raj (22) and Danielle Wyatt (24) in the powerplay.

    Later, Meg Lanning (16) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (21) contributed handsomely but as the team came close to the target, the Supernovas switched on the self-destruction mode and started losing wickets at regular intervals.

    But the target they were chasing was not too big and middle-order players Sophie Devine (19) and Perry played sensibly to drag the match into the final over. The final over saw Perry coming to the rescue of Supernovas as they finished the match on the final ball.

    For Trailblazers, Suzie Bates and Poonam Yadav scalped two wickets.

    Earlier, Trailblazers posted 129/7 in their 20 overs with Suzie Bates (32), Deepti Sharma (21) and Jemimah Rodrigues (25) scoring handsomely.

    Skipper Smriti Mandhana, however, failed to convert her good start and fell after scoring 14 runs in nine balls.

    For Supernovas, Megan Schutt and Ellyse Perry scalped two wickets each.

    Brief scores: Trailblazers: 129/6 (Suzie Bates 32; Megan Schutt 2/18) lost to Supernovas: 130/7 (Danielle Wyatt 24; Poonam Yadav 2/21) by 3 wickets.

  • While Indian women's team, led by Saina Nehwal, notched up a dominating 4-1 win against Australia in the second Group A match of the Uber Cup, the men's team blanked their Australia counterparts 5-0 in the Thomas Cup Final later in the day.

    After going down 1-4 to Canada in the opening match, Saina and Co seemed to get their act together as they won all the matches, except the first women's doubles. World No 10 Saina saw off Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen 21-14 21-19 in a 35-minute opening match to give India a 1-0 lead. However, Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram suffered a 13-21 16-21 loss to Gronya Somerville and Renuga Veeran within half an hour.

    Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka, 16, then dumped Jennifer Tam 21-17 21-13 to once again hand India lead in the contest. Sanyogita Ghorpade and Prajakta Sawant then defeated Louisa Ma and Ann-Louise Slee 21-19 21-11 in the second women's doubles match to help India take an unassailable 3-1 lead. Anura Prabhudesai, the 19-year-old from Goa, then brushed aside Zecily Fung 21-6 21-7 in 18 minutes to seal the contest 4-1 for India.

    India's qualification for the knockout stage will now depend on Wednesday's match against top seeds and five-time champions Japan, who have fielded a full-strength squad.

    The Indian men's team, spearheaded by world no. 9 H S Prannoy also brought some cheers back to the camp after their disappointing outing against France on the opening day. Prannoy, who didn't take the court against France, started the proceedings for India, defeating Anthony Joe 21-19 21-13 in 32 minutes in the first singles.

    Doubles pair of Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok then streamrolled Aussie combo of Matthew Chau and Sawan Serasinghe 21-11 21-15 within 30 minutes to make it 2-0 in favour of India. B Sai Praneeth, who was the only Indian men to win his match on Sunday, then took just 20 minutes to see off Jacob Schueler 21-9 21-6 in the second singles.

    Arun George and Sanyam Shukla overcame Simon Wing Hang Leung and Raymond Tam 21-16 20-22 21-8 in the second doubles match, while young Lakshya Sen defeated Kai Chen Teoh 21-5 21-14 in the third singles as India sealed the contest 5-0. Despite the result, things still look pretty gloomy for the men's team as they will have to beat heavyweights China tomorrow to keep quarterfinals hopes alive. 

  • Torres scored twice on his final appearance for Atletico, even if a Lucas Hernandez red card helped Eibar claim a 2-2 draw on the last day of the La Liga season.

    Iniesta's 22-year association with Barcelona, meanwhile, ended with a victory as the player marked out as the Spaniard's successor, Philippe Coutinho, proved the difference in a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.

    With a tear in his eye, Iniesta walked off to a standing ovation from the Camp Nou in the second half, having unfastened his captain's armband and handed it to Lionel Messi. He hugged the Argentinian and then embraced the rest of his colleagues. The 34-year-old clapped the crowd, blew them a kiss, before exhaling and ducking into the dug-out.

    An extravagent post-match ceremony followed, celebratng both Iniesta and the winning of La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Barca's players returned to the pitch all wearing shirts with Iniesta's name on their backs. "It is a difficult day," Iniesta said in a speech to the crowd. "But it has been a wonderful 22 years. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to defend and represent this club, for me the best in the world. I will keep you in my heart forever."

    Barca's players then huddled beneath Iniesta and tossed him into the air. "I feel privileged," coach Ernesto Valverde said. "Just as they all do to have been a part of it. He is a unique, unrepeatable player. There is none like him."

    After 22 years at the club and 16 in the first team, Iniesta's 674 appearances for Barcelona is bettered only by Xavi Hernandez, who was also on the pitch before kick-off to join in the tributes. Real Sociedad welcomed Iniesta with a guard of honour while the crowd formed an impressive mosaic to spell out 'Infinit Iniesta' on the two sides of the stadium, with an infinity symbol, doubling up as number eights, at the ends. A giant flag behind one of the goals read 'Gracies Per Tant', 'thank you for so much'.

    Torres' swansong was less emotional, perhaps because his fairytale ending had already arrived on Wednesday, when he lifted his first Atleti trophy after the Europa League final against Marseille. But his double against Eibar added some extra sparkle in front of his own supporters, who stayed on after the final whistle to watch the team form another guard of honour as the striker left the pitch.

    On his 404th appearance for Atletico, Torres' goals were his 128th and 129th for the club, coming 17 years after his first, scored against Albacete in the Segunda Division in 2001. "I thank the whole Atletico family," Torres said afterwards. "I knew I wanted to play here and it has been an honour and a privilege to wear this shirt more than 400 times. You have made me the happiest person in the world."

    Torres, like Iniesta, has yet to declare his next move but this display -- speedy, sharp and clinical -- will have caught the eye of any interested parties. He had walked out before kick-off, with his three children, through a corridor formed by the Eibar players as Atletico's fans displayed the words, 'De Nino A Leyenda', meaning 'from a kid to a legend'. Outside the ground, fans had posed for photos next to life-size Torres cut-outs and peered at message boards, detailing the player's greatest moments.

     This, after all, was a boyhood Atletico fan, who first watched his team with his grandfather as a child, and who, when he returned to the club for a second spell in 2015, drew a crowd of more than 40,000 just for his presentation. Atletico coach Diego Simeone predicted Torres will one day be back again. "His return was something I'd never seen before and today's farewell was equal to that," Simeone said. "I have no doubt he will return to the Atletico, maybe we will meet again at some point. A life in football is very long."

  • Obesity increasingly affects millions of people worldwide, with cases rising sharply in young children and babies - a trend which is not explained by evolving diets and lifestyles alone. Chemicals that interfere with how our bodies store and process fat are referred to as 'obesogens', and have been suggested as a possible contributor to the increasing number of obesity cases.

    Researchers from the University of Aveiro and University of Beira Interior in Portugal reviewed existing studies, and showed that the most important sources of exposure to obesogens indoors are diet, house dust, and everyday products such as cleaning chemicals, kitchenware or cosmetics.

    Diet samples in some of the studies showed, for example, that obesogens such as tributyltin - a chemical in anti-fouling paint banned a decade ago, and cadmium - a metal widespread in the environment associated with certain cancers, can still be found in food products, in some cases at high concentrations.

    "Obesogens can be found almost everywhere, and our diet is a main source of exposure, as some pesticides and artificial sweeteners are obesogens," said said Ana Catarina Sousa, from University of Lisbon in Portugal. "Equally, they are present in plastics and home products, so completely reducing exposure is extremely difficult - but to significantly reduce it is not only feasible, but also very simple," said Sousa.

    Based on the findings of the review, the researchers suggest removing shoes when entering the house to avoid bringing in contaminants in the sole of shoes, vacuuming often, and minimising carpet at home or work.

    Researchers also recommend people to choose fresh food over processed products and buying organic fruit and vegetables produced without pesticides. Further studies are needed in order to provide unequivocal evidence of how obesogens contribute to the obesity epidemic.

    "These are baby steps to achieve an obesogen-free lifestyle but a really good start. Essentially, watch your diet and get rid of the dust at home," Sousa said.

    "Adults ingest about 50 milligrammes of dust every day, and children twice as much, so keeping the house clean is a very effective measure. And use a humid cloth to dust your furniture, rather than a cleaning product that may contain more of these chemicals," she said.

  • The study, published in the journal Applied Nano Materials, outlines a new method of producing a type of nanoparticle called quantum dots.

    “Our research confirmed previous evidence that tea leaf extract can be a non-toxic alternative to making quantum dots using chemicals,” said Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu from Swansea University in the UK, who led the study. “The real surprise, however, was that the dots actively inhibited the growth of the lung cancer cells. We had not been expecting this,” Pitchaimuthu said.

    Quantum dots can be made chemically, but this is complicated and expensive and has toxic side effects. The team, including researchers from K S Rangasamy College of Technology and Bharathiar University in Tamil Nadu, explored a non-toxic plant-based alternative method of producing the dots, using tea leaf extract.

    Tea leaves contain a wide variety of compounds, including polyphenols, amino acids, vitamins and antioxidants. The researchers mixed tea leaf extract with cadmium sulphate (CdSO4) and sodium sulphide (Na2S) and allowed the solution to incubate, a process which causes quantum dots to form.

    They then applied the dots to lung cancer cells. They found that tea leaves are a simpler, cheaper and less toxic method of producing quantum dots, compared with using chemicals, confirming the results of other research in the field.

    The study found that quantum dots produced from tea leaves inhibit the growth of lung cancer cells. The researchers penetrated into the nanopores of the cancer cells and destroyed up to 80 per cent of them.

    The CdS quantum dots derived from tea leaf extract showed exceptional fluorescence emission in cancer cell bioimaging compared to conventional CdS nanoparticles. Quantum dots are therefore a very promising avenue to explore for developing new cancer treatments, researchers said.

  • The film was chosen by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) to represent the spirit of secularism in the country, a release issued by the movie's director, Zaigham Imam said. Besides 'Nakkash', the Cannes festival, which commenced on May 8, saw Indian films like Nandita Das-directed and Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer 'Manto'.

     Nakkash, which stars Inaam-ul-haq and Sharib Hashmi -- the actors of National Award winning film 'Filmistan', is the story of a Muslim craftsman who uses his craft to do engravings in Hindu temples but gets boycotted by his community and faces hardship along with his son.

     "I & B Ministry especially chose 'Nakkash' for representing the spirit of communal harmony. The film represents a new and different perspective about India in the backdrop of the holy city Varanasi," Imam said in a statement.

    This was the third installment of Zaigham Imam's trilogy of stories revolving around Varanasi. His first film 'Dozakh: In Search Of Heaven', released in 2015, was based on his novel with the same name. The second film 'Alif' was released it in February 2017.

    "I was born in a Muslim family near Banaras. Since childhood I had a peculiar relation with mosques and temples. That bond grew as I started my journey as a journalist and became a successful one. That fascination became the fuel to my stories," he said in the release. "Nakkash (The Craftsman) is all about humanity and spreading your wings breaking all religious boundaries," Imam said.

  • Trump's move came after it was reported that the FBI dispatched a confidential source to speak with some aides to Trump's presidential campaign about its possible ties to Russia, according to US media reports.

    "I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!" Trump tweeted.

    Trump's latest demand came amid a series of tweets yesterday denouncing a "witch hunt" that, he said, had found no collusion by his campaign with Russia. US Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein said action would be taken if any infiltration was found.

    "If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action," Rosenstein said in a statement.

    There is already an investigation into all aspects relating to Trump's campaign for the 2016 election and whether Russia tried to influence the outcome. There is an ongoing investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 US election, whether there was any collusion between the Kremlin and Trump's election campaign and whether the president tried unlawfully to obstruct the inquiry.

    Trump has constantly attacked the inquiry. Trump first made the accusation that the FBI had sent a spy into his campaign team on Friday. "It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a 'hot' Fake News story," Trump had tweeted, adding: "If true - all time biggest political scandal!"

    The New York Times followed with an article that suggested there was, indeed, an FBI informant - whose identity it did not reveal - who had been sent to speak to campaign aides but only after the FBI had received reports of "suspicious contacts linked to Russia".

    The informant - an American academic working in the UK - had made contact with George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, the report said. The Washington Post too reported that in addition to Page and Papadopoulos, the source met with Sam Clovis, the Trump campaign's co-chairman, to talk about relations with China.

    Clovis' attorney told the Post that Russia never came up in their conversation. Although Trump has suggested the source was embedded in his campaign, US officials have told CNN that was not the case. The officials say that the identity of the source had been closely held at the highest levels of the FBI and intelligence community, and the individual has been a source for the FBI and CIA for years, the report said.

    Officials from the Justice Department, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence have maintained that turning over that information that congressional Republicans have requested on the source would pose a grave risk to the source's life. Trump's new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani said that he and the President talked over the weekend and agreed Trump should call for the Justice Department investigation involving the confidential source, adding that he expected the President to send a follow-up letter.

    "I mean, he's got to clean house in his agency," Giuliani said. "If there was an informant, we're entitled to know it. We're entitled to know the fact. We're entitled to know what he knows," the former mayor of New York said.

    Meanwhile, House Democrats stood by the Justice Department following the President's demand for an inquiry into the department's actions regarding the Trump campaign. California Democratic Representative Ted Lieu said that Trump's demand could amount to obstruction of justice.

    "This is appalling that President Trump would be so uninformed and that his chief of staff, his counselors, the White House counsel, would allow him to spew into the thinking of Americans that he has any right or authority to dictate to what the Department of Justice does," Texas Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, said.