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VOL. 15, ISSUE - 761, 6 - 12 MARCH, 2018 PH: (905) 671 - 4761

Darshan Kang says he’s not stepping down Ryan Rumbolt Darshan Kang says he will stay on as an MP despite a House of Commons investigation finding he violated Parliament’s harassment policy. On Friday, an investigator found the Calgary Skyview MP acted improperly by trying to enter the hotel room of a young female staffer who worked in his constituency office in June of 2017. The probe concluded allegations against Kang were “partially substantiated,” including that Kang had tugged at her jacket, grabbed and caressed her hands, and persistently tried to enter her hotel room in Ottawa despite her refusals, according to documents obtained by Postmedia. Kang said the investigation “is not distracting” him from his work as an MP and he is not stepping down. “All I’m going to say right now is it’s a confidential process, it’s continuing and I respect that process,” Kang told Postmedia on Saturday. “I have been serving (my constituents) to the best of my ability and I will keep on serving them to the best of my ability.” Kang was a member of the Alberta legislature before being elected as a Liberal MP in 2015. He resigned from the caucus last August to sit as an Independent when the allegations of

harassment were first made public, denying the claims and vowing to clear his name. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Kang is no longer a Liberal MP and would otherwise not comment on the case. “Whether it is this process or others, the Liberal party has no interactions or responsibility over what his next steps are,” Trudeau said in Barrie, Ont.

Kang isn’t the only MP from Calgary under investigation. Kent Hehr, Liberal MP for Calgary Centre, is facing accusations he made sexually inappropriate comments to staff members at the Alberta legislative assembly when he was a provincial MLA. Hehr resigned his position in the Liberal cabinet in January pending the results of a third-party investigation because the alleged incidents did not

B.C. Liberal MP now says he didn’t invite Atwal

By Kelsey Johnson A Liberal MP from British Columbia says he didn’t invite convicted attempted murderer Jaspal Atwal to a reception attended by Prime Minister

Justin Trudeau in India – despite having previously taken sole responsibility for the invitation. “I didn’t invite the person,” Randeep Sarai said of Atwal in an interview with his riding’s local

newspaper, The Surrey Now Leader. Atwal, a Sikh extremist, was found guilty of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister in 1986. Canadian officials eventually revoked Atwal’s invitation to the reception put on by the Canadian High Commission after media reports revealed he had been formally invited – but not before Atwal had been photographed beside the prime minister’s wife, Sophie Trudeau, and one of his cabinet ministers, Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, at an earlier event. At the time, Sarai said in a statement it was his choice alone to include Atwal on the guest list and he realized afterwards that he exercised poor judgement in doing so. This past week, Sarai Continued on Page 4 resigned

occur while Hehr was an MP. Lori Williams, an associate professor at Mount Royal University, said the damage to Kang’s credibility has already been done and he will have a tough time sitting as an Independent in what she called a “pretty traditional” Calgary riding. “Sitting as an Independent, somebody who probably has lost significant credibility and connection in that community, his ability to represent them, I think, has been seriously compromised.” She said it makes sense that Kang is choosing not to resign because stepping down could appear as “an admission of guilt.” “There will be those that stand by him but, my guess is, because this goes so deeply against cultural norms, that it’s going to be pretty hard for him to retain support,” she said. “Some people might still be loyal to him, some people might question, like he has done, the conclusions of the investigation.” Williams said the allegations against Kang and Hehr will do more damage to the Liberals’ chances of winning more Calgary ridings in the next election, adding the party’s chances of making gains in Calgary are already very low due to voter dissatisfaction. — With files from the Canadian Press

Hindu woman elected to Pakistan’s senate in historic first KARACHI Kirshna Kumari Kolhi from Pakistan’s Sindh province has become the first-ever Hindu Dalit woman Senator in the Muslim-majority country, the Pakistan People’s Party has said. Kolhi, 39, from Thar is a member of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). She was elected Senator on a minority seat from Sindh. The PPP awarded her the Senate ticket, it said. Her election represents a major milestone for women and minority rights in Pakistan. Earlier, PPP had elected first Hindu woman named Ratna Bhagwandas Chawla as a senator. Kolhi belongs to a remote village in Nagarparkar district of Thar in Sindh province.

Born to a poor peasant, Jugno Kolhi, in February 1979, Kolhi and her family members spent nearly three years in a private jail owned by the landlord of Kunri of Umerkot district. She was a grade 3 student at the time when held captive. She was married to Lalchand at the age of 16, when she was studying in 9th grade. However, she pursued her studies and in 2013 she did masters in sociology from the Sindh Continued on Page 4 University.

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500,000 New Residents Expected in Peel Over Next Two Decades

By Christine Sharma Brampton is Canada’s ninth largest city with a population of 593,638, and our population is on a steep incline. It’s no surprise that Brampton is part of a region that will contain almost two million residents by 2041. According to the Region of Peel, Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga are set to welcome 500,000 new residents over the next 23 years, and 250,000 new jobs. By 2014, Peel will be home to a whopping 1.97 million residents and 970,000 jobs. In Brampton, 2,400 new jobs and 290 new businesses are created per year on average, according to the City’s 2016 Economic Review. Brampton is the second fastest growing city in Canada, with approximately 14,000 new residents per year, over 89 languages spoken by 209 different cultures, and a median age of 34.7 - the lowest in Canada. Here’s a look at how Peel is expected to grow by the city (and town) over the next two decades, until 2041: According to the Region, these projections are in part based on development across the province, and overall population and employment

forecasts that are assigned to regional municipalities from the province. “Peel is going to continue to evolve into an urban setting with more complete communities,” John Yeh, acting manager of the policy development team with the Region of Peel’s Public Works

attract new students to Peel Region as well, and large infrastructure projects will hopefully attract people from other provinces.” Our community is flourishing, but how will the Region manage this unprecedented growth? The Region of Peel’s Growth

(primarily focused on how Brampton and Mississauga in particular will accommodate the growth as they are the more dense municipalities in the Region), transportation, and water and wastewater management. In terms of land use, the current report draws a distinction

Department, told According to Yeh, federal immigration policies, demographic shifts including Peel’s aging population and migration northward, and birth and death rates are all factors of our fluctuating population. But immigration to southern Ontario is perhaps the largest driver of them all. “We are also trying to attract people to more vibrant and attractive urban amenities, like the new university in Brampton, over the next couple of years,” said Yeh. “[This will] hopefully

Management Strategy has been in the works since 2013, which, at a very high level, aims to create an “integrated approach to planning, servicing and financing growth” according to the regional council’s latest report. “The Region has been working collaboratively with stakeholders, including local municipalities, to plan for communities where people can live, work, learn, and play,” said Yeh. The Region’s strategy includes three major aspects of planning for the kind of growth Peel is expecting: land use

between protecting lands in the Region for employment (i.e. manufacturing/industrial lands) versus for residential areas. Employment areas will be more industrial, while residential areas will be more connected to urban amenities, like the Hurontario LRT and other major transit and commercial areas. Land use planning was heavily dependent on the GTA West Corridor, a.k.a. Highway 413, which was slated to be built in Caledon and west Brampton, so it’s back to the high-level drawing board since the province has nixed the major new highway, says the Region. According to the Region, employment forecasts for 2041 were predicated on that corridor being built. But the Region still expects a huge influx of job opportunities. According to Yeh, some of the top industries with the highest projected growth over the next two decades are manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, wholesale trade, technology, and pharmacare. In terms of transporation, promoting clean energy alternatives and a more connected community are part of the plan to decrease congestion

Lab meat made from animal cells coming soon LAB-GROWN meats have been hailed as a solution to climate change and ending global hunger. Now, one manufacturer claims synthetic burgers created using animal stem cells could be on sale sooner than we think. Josh Tetrick, CEO of San Francisco-based ‘clean meat’ firm JUST, says lab-made sausages, chicken nuggets and foie gras could be served in Asia and the US ‘before the end of 2018’. Tetrick told CNN that public perception and the ‘sensory experience’ of the products remain considerable hurdles for the clean meat industry to overcome. Clean meat ‘will be a complete fantasy if (we) cannot bring the full sensory experience to bear’, he

said, including colour, texture, smell, and shelf life. “Communication issues and regulatory issues also present

considerable challenges to clean meat firms,” he said in a separate interview with the Guardian. Other companies forecast that we’re still a few years away from mass marketed lab-grow meat products. Professor Mark Post, chief scientific officer of Mosa Meat,

whose lab in the Netherlands produced the world’s first cultured hamburger, told CNN regulatory approval processes could delay samples being distributed to suppliers by years. Another issue to overcome is price — Memphis Meats, a clean meat firm based in San Francisco, spends around £1,800 (`1.6 lakh) to make just 450 grams of beef. But as techniques improve, the price is falling, and the firm believes it will send its first products to market within three years. The WHO says meat production is projected to rise to 376 million tonnes by 2030 from 218 million tonnes annually in 1997-1999.

on the roads, “moving away from single occupant vehicles that tie up traffic,” said Yeh. “The Long Range Transportation Plan update has set a 50 per cent sustainable mode share target in order to support Peel’s growing population and employment growth,” says a recent council document. “The goal being that by 2041, 50 per cent of trips will be made using sustainable modes such as walking, cycling, carpooling, and transit.” There will indeed be a larger cycling network on regional roads by 2041, which will cost a “conservative estimate” of $74 million, according to the Region. With all of this planning in mind, how much will the drastic increase in residents cost the Region? According to the Region, 500,000 new residents is expected to cost $9 billion: The Water and Wastewater Plan is the most expensive part of the strategy - clean water that services all residents is a top priority, after all. This plan considers expanding major wastewater treatment plants and water pumping stations, and upgrading sewage systems. While these plans are exciting (depending on your standpoint - some readers might be hatching an escape plan before the Region gets even more dense), they are still in the works. Now, the Region is hosting public consultations, and aims to present a report on next steps by spring 2018. The February 22 consultation will be rescheduled, so stay tuned to this page if you’re interested in attending. What do you think of the incredible population growth coming to Peel Region? All charts and graphs courtesy of the Region of Peel

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Italy polls: Five Star shines in ‘hung parliament’ sky

TWO anti-establishment leaders made early plays to govern Italy on Monday, sending ripples across the euro zone after voters relegated mainstream parties to the sidelines in delivering a hung parliament. With the bloc’s third-largest economy seemingly facing political instability, antiimmigrant League claimed the right to rule after its centre-right alliance won the largest vote share.

“We have the right and duty to govern,” its leader Matteo Salvini told a news conference, adding, investors should have no fear of it taking office as shares, bonds and the euro weakened on prospects of a eurosceptic-led administration promising to ramp up spending. Minutes later, the head of the biggest single party, the antiestablishment 5-Star Movement, said it was ready to take on a responsible leadership

role. “We’re open to talk to all the political forces,” 31-year-old Luigi Di Maio said in a statement. “We feel the responsibility to give Italy a government as a political force that represents the entire nation.” With the vote count well advanced and full results due later on Monday, it looked almost certain that none of the three main factions would be able to govern alone, and President Sergio Mattarella is not expected to open formal coalition talks until early April. In Brussels, a European Commission spokesman said it was confident a stable administration could be formed, “and meantime, Italy has a government with whom we are working closely”. Salvini criticised both the euro and European Union restrictions on national budgets. “The euro was, is and remains a mistake,” he said, but added that a referendum over Italy’s continued participation in the single currency was “unthinkable”. The rightist alliance that also includes former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Go Italy!) was on course for around 37 percent of the vote, but for the first time, the League emerged as the senior partner. The role reversal marks a bitter personal defeat for the billionaire media magnate and his party, which took more moderate positions on the euro and immigration while the far-right League campaigned on a fiercely antimigrant ticket. Salvini said while not interested in a broad “minestrone” coalition, the League would be willing to talk to all parties. Earlier on Monday, its economics chief Claudio Borghi raised the prospect of an alliance with 5-Star — heading for some 32 per cent of the vote — which would likely be little interested in further European integration. Anti-establishment parties have been on the rise across Europe since the 2008 financial crisis. In Italy, where the economy is six per cent smaller than a decade ago and unemployment is stuck near 11 per cent, Sunday’s biggest loser was the party that has ruled since 2013. Despite overseeing a modest recovery, the Democratic Party’s centre-left coalition trailed on 22 per cent, also a victim of widespread anger over an influx of more than six lakh migrants over the past four years.

‘M5S & League pact ultimate dream’ MEDIA mogul Silvio Berlusconi’s rightwing coalition was set to win the most votes but may fall short of a majority in Italy’s election on Sunday, with farright and populist parties surging ahead, according to exit polls. Berlusconi fourparty coalition was expected to win between 31 and 41 per cent of the vote, followed by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement with 29-32 per cent, according to an exit poll published by Rai public television. An exit poll by private channel La7 put Berlusconi’s coalition between 32 and 37.6 per cent and the Five Star Movement between 28.8 and 30.8 per cent. The ruling centre-left Democratic Party was trailing in third place, according to the exit polls. The vote comes after a gloomy campaign characterised by anti-immigration

tubthumping, widespread public anger at Italy’s slow economic recovery and clashes between far-right and anti-fascist activists. The killing of a teenaged

recovering drug addict blamed on Nigerian immigrants last month inflamed tensions. The murder prompted a racist revenge gun rampage by a fascist sympathiser, who shot and wounded six

Africans. The right has promised to deport six lakh immigrants and block new arrivals — a prospect judged unfeasible by ruling centre-left government. The surge in rightwing and populist parties has drawn comparisons to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the rise of US President Donald Trump. Former White House adviser Steve Bannon — the man who helped Trump ride a populist wave to power — told the Italian press that a hookup between the antiestablishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and the antiimmigration League was the ultimate dream. The Italian people have gone farther, in a shorter period of time, than the British did for Brexit and the Americans did for Trump, said Bannon, who was in Rome on Sunday. He characterised the election as pure populism. There was concern ahead of the vote that a lacklustre campaign and a confusing political landscape could push turnout down to a record low.

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Toronto ranked 5th best city in the world for millennials Toronto The city of Toronto has been ranked one of the best cities in the world for millennials, which means that if you were born sometime between 1980 and 2000, this is a great city for you to live, work and buy avocado toast in. Nestpick, a youth-focused aggregator site for furnished apartment rentals, just released its second annual millennial cities ranking for we “digitally native, entrepreneurial and well-travelled” citizens of Earth. Based on such factors as internet speed, gender equality, nightlife, access to contraception and the ability to work remotely, the European website has ranked Toronto as the fifth best city in the world for millennials in 2018.

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A total of 110 cities were analyzed for the ranking this year using data provided by organizations like the UN, the WHO, Euromonitor, Crunchbase and the U.S. Bureau of Labour. Berlin came out on top with an overall score of 7.14 out of 10, while Montreal was ranked second thanks to its high scores in housing, healthcare, immigration tolerance and number of annual music festivals. Osheaga is pretty dope, I’ll give them that.

“For this year’s ranking, we’ve delved deeper into what millennials truly care about,” wrote Nestpick of its final ranking. “For instance, although they often garner negative press for their perceived sense of entitlement and apathy, most millennials actually care more about housing and human rights than partying.” Toronto scored particularly well when it comes to things like the success of local startups, LGBT friendliness and food. Our score for housing was a dismal 2.7 out of

10, but that should come as little surprise to anyone who lives in the city right now. Here are the top 10 cities for millennials in 2018, according to Nestpick. You can see the full list of all 110 cities right here (spoiler: Bruges, Geneva, and Bologna round out the bottom three). 1. Berlin, 2. Montreal, 3. London, 4. Amsterdam, 5. Toronto, 6. Vancouver, 7. Barcelona, 8. New York City, 9. Cologne, and 10. Manchester.

B.C. Liberal MP now says he didn’t invite Atwal continued from page 1 as the chair of the Liberals’ B.C. caucus over the incident. Now, in his first interview since the incident, Sarai told the newspaper that Atwal was among more than two dozen people who had expressed interest in attending the reception. His office simply passed on the names of any interested party to the event’s organizers. “There’s no spots on the list. All we did is forwarded anyone who wanted to attend, had expressed interest in the office, we forwarded those names to, forwarded those names forward,” he said. “People were excited — people were calling in the office, there was about 25 or 30 names that came in from various different industries and we forwarded those name forward.” Atwal told The Canadian Press in an interview Feb. 24 that he received an invitation directly from the Canadian high commissioner’s office for the event in New Delhi the week before. In the same interview, he said he has a friendly relationship with the prime minister and stayed away to save him from further embarrassment. The Prime Minister’s Office has denied the friendship. Trudeau told reporters in India

Atwal “should never have been invited.” The prime minister’s trip has triggered a firestorm of public and political criticism with Opposition MPs demanding to know how Atwal was invited and whether Canada now considers India a hostile country. Meanwhile, Canadian officials are struggling to contain the escalating diplomatic incident after a national security official briefed reporters travelling with the Canadian delegation on Atwal’s invitation during a media backgrounder organized by the PMO while in India. The adviser, identified by Conservative MPs as Daniel Jean, suggested to reporters over the phone that Atwal’s attendance may have been orchestrated by factions within the Indian government to distance India from Ottawa, and that the move was driven by concerns that Canada is not fully committed to a united India. Trudeau stood by his senior national security advisor Tuesday. “Our professional, non-partisan public service does high quality work and when one of our top diplomats and security officials says something to Canadians, it’s because they know it to be true,” Trudeau said in question period this

week. But Indian officials have vehemently refuted those claims. On Wednesday, India’s Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement that the Indian government had no role in an attempted murderer being invited to a pair of events Trudeau attended during his visit to India. “Let me categorically state that the Government of India, including the security agencies, had nothing to do with the presence of Jaspal Atwal at the event hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner in Mumbai or the invitation issued to him for the Canadian High Commissioner’s reception in New Delhi,” said Raveesh Kumar in a brief statement posted on the ministry website. “Any suggestion to the contrary is baseless and unacceptable.” Liberal MPs on the House of Commons public safety committee used their majority Thursday to vote down a motion that asked to have Jean testify in front of committee. Conservative public safety critic Pierre Paul-Hus had also suggested the committee make recommendations to the House. With files from Janice Dickson, The Canadian Press

Hindu woman elected to Pakistan’s senate in historic first continued from page 1 She had joined the PPP as a social activist along with her brother, who was later elected as Chairman of Union Council Berano. Kolhi also actively participated and worked for the rights of downtrodden people of marginalised communities living in Thar and other areas. She is from the family of the valiant freedom fighter Rooplo Kolhi, who had waged a war against the invading British colonialist forces when they

had attacked Sindh from Nagarparkar side in 1857. Subsequently, he was arrested and hanged by the Britishers on August 22, 1858. Pakistan’s ruling PML-N of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday won 15 seats in Senate and became the largest party in the upper house of Parliament, according to the provisional results. Provincial and federal lawmakers voted to elect 52 Senators in the Senate elections, according to the

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The Moon Sailor Twelve seats each from Punjab and S i n d h , 11 e a c h f r o m K h y b e r Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, four from tribal region and two from federal capital territory were up for grab due to retirement of 52 senators this month. More than 130 candidates, including those nominated by political parties and independent candidates were in the contest.

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Sunny thanks God for twins born by surrogacy BOLLYWOOD siren Sunny Leone welcomed twins via surrogacy with husband Daniel Weber on Monday. The 36-yearold former porn star shared photographs on Instagram saying this was “god’s plan”, and revealing the newborn boys have been named Noah and Asher. Sunny and Weber, who identifies on social media as @dirrty99, had adopted a baby girl Nisha in June 2017. On Monday the couple posted a family snapshot on Instagram with all three kids. “God’s Plan!! June 21st, 2017 was the day @dirrty99 and I found out that we might possible be having 3children within a short amount of time. “We planned and tried to have a family and after so many

years our family is now complete with Asher Singh Weber, Noah Singh Weber and Nisha Kaur Weber. Our boys were born a few weeks ago but were alive in our hearts and eyes for many years. “God planned something so special for us and gave us a large family. We are both the proud parents of three beautiful children. Surprise everyone! (sic)” Sunny captioned the photograph. “We didn’t know we were going to have a chance to have such a big beautiful family. We are beyond overjoyed and are truly blessed to have all three miracles in our life. Our family is complete. We chose to do surrogacy with a fertilised egg from Daniels genes and my genes. Asher and Noah are our

biological children and God sent us a angel surrogate to carry our boys until they were born,” Sunny stated. Sunny also confirmed the news on Twitter. “Just so there is no confusion Asher and Noah are our biological children. We chose surrogacy to complete our family many years ago and it’s now finally complete.. so happy! (sic)” she tweeted. Sunny’s husband Daniel Weber, who is also her professional manager, wrote on social media: “Say Hello to Noah and Asher Weber !!!.. The next chapter of life!!! Karen, Nisha, Noah, Asher and Me !!!!! Proud!!!! (sic).” Karen, incidentally, is Sunny’s real name. Sunny’s upcoming assignment is an item number in the Bangladeshi film Mamla Hamla Jhamela.

(Right) Sunny Leone and her husband Daniel Weber welcomed Noah & Asher

‘Will give pro-poor rule, just like MGR’

SUPERSTAR actorturnedpolitician Rajinikanth is yet to announce the name of his political party name, but he seems to be making the right political moves. Rajinikanth on Monday unveiled the statue of former Tamil film colossus and state chief minister MG Ramachandran (MGR) at a private medical college in Chennai. He was dressed in a white veshti and shirt—a traditional garment worn by many in the state— just like MGR. But he started the speech with an apology to people for the banners put up by his supporters on the roads against the Madras High Court order. Rival Kamal Haasan took a swipe at Rajini with a snide “change must begin from within” remark. Perhaps emulating the former film doyen’s legendary humility, Rajinikanth clarified that there cannot be another MGR. “Many ask can anyone emulate MGR. No, there can never be another MGR in thousands of years”. “But I can take forward the propoor, pro-people governance like MGR did,” with this statement, Rajinikanth was surrounded by fans breaking into a frenzy, once again perhaps in a recreation of MGR’s mass appeal. Rajini acknowledged this at the event. “If a movie is shown to a single person, he or she may

say it’s a bad movie. But if it plays to a big crowd, they will embrace it. That’s mass appeal,” Rajini said, probably with reference to MGR and himself. He also answered those posing why he was entering politics now when he did not do so in 1996. “There is a political vacuum now,” Rajini said. After MGR, the only actor who is accorded demigod status by Tamil people was Rajinikanth. However, Rajini and the late MGR were not too close in real life. Rajini was climbing the dizzying heights of Tamil cinema when MGR was up in his game in politics. But, Rajini chose to recall

how MGR helped him construct his Poes Garden residence and Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam. At an event in 2015, Rajini had confessed how he was a die-hard MGR fan and had once stood in a queue from 5.30 am to buy a 65 paise ticket for his film. For those wondering if MGR’s magic still works in Tamil Nadu more than 30 years after his demise, the answer is a big yes. Recently, actor-turned-politician Vijayakanth saw fortune in Tamil Nadu politics using MGR’s name in 2011. He called himself “Karuppu MGR” (Black MGR), but could not

maintain his position due to health conditions and faulty alliances. Rajinikanth was also tactical in explaining his spiritual politics and not wanting to cash in on MGR’s legacy. Rajinikanth said spiritual politics meant “corruption-free, transparent, and good governance for the people”. While Kamal Haasan is assuming a completely new path with nonDravidian politics, there were questions if Rajinikanth will bank on the internal tension in AIADMK. “No, I am not hunting for AIADMK votes just because I spoke a lot about MGR,” Rajini was categorical.

Ambani’s elder son may tie the knot

AKASH Ambani, elder son of tycoon Mukesh Ambani, is set to marry diamantaire Russell Mehta’s daughter Shloka later this year, if sources close to the two business empires are to be believed. While Ambani is the one the richest and most influential industrialists in the country, Shloka’s father Russel Mehta is the owner of Rosy Blue Diamonds, counted among the world’s largest diamond specialists. Unconfirmed reports have stated that Shloka’s mother Mona Mehta is related to fugitive diamond merchant, Nirav Modi. Akash, 27, is the elder son of Reliance Industries baron Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani, and is on the board of the group’s telecom venture, Reliance Jio. He has a twin sister Isha and a younger brother, Anant. The Ambanis and the Mehtas are residents of South Mumbai and the two families have known each other well for a while. Akash and Shloka also have been close friends for long, too. The two met while studying at Dhirubhai Ambani International School in Mumbai. Even though both families have refused to comment on the wedding, buzz is that an engagement has been planned in Mumbai on March 24. The grand wedding is most likely to take place in Switzerland in December. However, a confirmation regarding the wedding is yet to come. After completing her schooling at Dhirubhai Ambani International School in 2009, Shloka studied anthropology at Princeton University, US, and did her masters in Law at The London School of Economics and Political Science.

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‘I know he’s going to explode’: Caller warned FBI about Florida shooting suspect Washington A woman close to the man charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school warned the FBI in chilling detail that he had a growing collection of guns and a temper so uncontrollable she worried about him “getting into a school and just shooting the place up.” The Associated Press on Friday obtained a transcript of the Jan. 5 tip to the FBI’s call centre. The FBI acknowledged it failed to investigate the tip about 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, but the transcript provides the fullest glimpse yet into the seriousness of the woman’s concerns. “I know he’s going to explode,” she told the calltaker.The FBI briefed congressional staff Friday about its failure to act on the alarming tip, as well as why it did not delve into aSeptember 2017 YouTube comment posted by a “Nikolas Cruz” that said, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The FBI linked the January call to the report of the YouTube comment, but an FBI intake specialist and a supervisor at the call centre took no further action, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s office said Friday.Google, which owns YouTube, also briefed congressional staffers. The tips were among a series of what authorities now describe as the clearest missed warning

Four cousins shot dead in Pakistan

Islamabad Four cousins were shot dead as a result of an old enmity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, police said. The police said that the rivals came face to face and the four accused opened indiscriminate fire at the other party on Thursday in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Naway Kalay area. According to the police, the accused had been traced with the help of sniffer dogs and arrested. Two Kalashnikovs and two pistols were also recovered, Dawn News reported on Friday. The deceased have been identified as Mohammad Bilal, Mohammad Rauf, Mohammad Shafique and Ehsanullah.

signs that Cruz, who had a history of disturbing behaviour, posed a serious threat. The FBI declined to comment on the transcript, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. During the phone call, which spanned more than 13 minutes, the woman described a teenager prone to anger with the “mental

capacity of a 12 to 14 year old” that deteriorated after his mother died last year. She pointed the FBI to several Instagram accounts where Cruz had posted photos of sliced-up animals and rifles and ammunition he apparently purchased with money from his mother’s life

insurance policy. “It’s alarming to see these pictures and know what he is capable of doing and what could happen,” the caller said. “He’s thrown out of all these schools because he would pick up a chair and just throw it at somebody, a teacher or a student, because he didn’t like the way they were talking to him.” The woman said she called the local police in Parkland, Florida, after Cruz began posting online that he wanted to kill himself. Then, she said, the threat changed to “I want to kill people.” She said he had killed animals and once held his mother at rifle-point.“I just want to, you know, get it off my chest in case something does happen,” the woman said. “And I do

believe something’s going to happen.” The revelation of the FBI’s failure to refer the tip to agents in the field who could have investigated comes as the agency is already facing intense political pressure. Lawmakers, including Grassley, immediately sought more information from FBI Director Chris Wray on what went wrong. Acting Deputy Director David Bowdich told reporters Thursday the bureau is still trying to determine exactly how the tip got botched. As for the YouTube post, Grassley’s office said the FBI opened a counterterrorism lead but closed it less than a month later because agents were unable to identify the person behind it. Google told congressional staff it could have helped, if the FBI had asked last year.

Celebratory gunfire kills Indian bridegroom NEW DELHI A bridegroom in New Delhi has been killed by a stray bullet after a member of his wedding party opened fire to celebrate the occasion, police said Wednesday. Deepak Kumar, 21, was shot while leading the party to his bride’s home in the Indian capital on Tuesday evening. Police said a guest dancing with the wedding party opened fire but a stray round struck the husband-to-be. “He collapsed and was rushed to hospital where he was declared dead after midnight,” Nupur Prasad, deputy commissioner of Delhi police, told AFP.

Firing weapons in the air at weddings and other festivities is a common celebration across South Asia.The practice is illegal in India but remains rife, though fatalities are relatively few.Prasad said the groom’s family had identified the man who fired the bullet.“It is an ongoing

investigation and we are trying to ascertain the source of his weapon,” he said.Amit, one of the wedding guests, told the Times of India newspaper there “were a couple of people carrying guns for celebratory firing, which is considered a tradition in the family”.

Over 100 killed in Philippines drug war

MANILA More than 100 drug suspects have been killed since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the police to rejoin his “war on drugs”, an official said Saturday. Duterte was elected in 2016 on a promise to eradicate drugs, and launched an unprecedented campaign in which - rights activists allege - as many as 12,000 people have been killed. Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao confirmed that 102 drug suspects were killed by police between December 5 when Duterte ordered the force to rejoin the drug war - and March 1. In October last year, the president had announced that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency would replace the police in counter-narcotics operations following mounting public opposition, including rare street protests. But Duterte, 72, also repeatedly said the antidrug agency, with only around 2,000 officers, would not be able to effectively conduct the crackdown. He eventually ordered the police back into the anti-drug campaign without any major reform

of the force. Bulalacao could not give comparative figures for the death toll before December 5, but according to figures released separately by the government, 4,021 “drug personalities” were killed between June 2016 - when Duterte took office - and February 8 this year. Activists allege that around 12,000 people have been killed in the drug war, many of them by shadowy vigilantes, and warn that the fiery president may be carrying out a crime against humanity. In early February, the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court said she had opened a “preliminary examination” into the alleged abuses. In recent weeks, the Philippine government has said it is willing to let a UN Special Rapporteur into the country to look into the accusations. But the foreign secretary has called for fairness in the investigation, and Duterte has told police and the military to not cooperate with the rapporteur. “If they ask you about wrongdoing, do not answer. And if they ask you why, tell them: we have a commander in chief,” Duterte told police and soldiers on Thursday.

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6 - 12 Mar., 2018

Jailed Instagram model says she has secrets Journalist shot dead in to trade about Trump campaign’s Russia ties high-security zone in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi Thailand A Belarusian woman jailed in Thailand for offering sex lessons without a work permit says she has a story to tell involving the Kremlin, Russian billionaires and even the president of the United States.

Anastasia Vashukevich, whose extraordinary claims and racy selfies have propelled her to internet fame in recent weeks, told The Associated Press from a police van on Wednesday that she fears for her life, and wants to exchange information on alleged Russian ties to Donald Trump’s campaign for her own personal safety. But she refused for now to offer any such evidence, and it’s not clear if she has any. Vashukevich’s story offers a glimpse into the shady world of Russian oligarchs. Trump’s onetime campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, also had ties to that world through his consulting

work for one of those oligarchs. Manafort has been indicted on money-laundering charges related to his overseas consulting work by special counsel Robert Mueller. But Mueller has offered no evidence that Manafort linked his Russian

contacts to Trump’s campaign or helped Russia meddle in the 2016 US election. That has not stopped Vashukevich from claiming she has such evidence as she faces possible deportation. Vashukevich shot to fame in early February when Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin’s top foes, published an investigation drawing on Vashukevich’s social media posts suggesting corrupt links between billionaire Oleg Deripaska and a top Kremlin official, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko. The report featured video from Deripaska’s

Pakistani Hindu lawmaker moves HC saying he was prevented from taking oath

yacht in 2016, when Vashukevich claims she was having an affair with him. Russians have focused on the ties between Deripaska and Prikhodko. But now Vashukevich says--so far without proof--that she can link the Kremlin to Trump and Manafort, who worked for Deripaska a decade before Trump hired him. Even Navalny told the AP on Wednesday he has “certain doubts” that Vashukevich has any evidence about alleged direct ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. “I think such statements are made because of fears for her own life because they have been detained in Thailand,” he said, adding he believes her fears are well-founded. Navalny’s report made no claim that Vashukevich knew anything about a Russian campaign to influence the US election, and she has produced no evidence that she does. As for her claims of Deripaska’s ties to the Kremlin official, Deripaska has called them nonsense when Navalny alleged them. In an emailed response February 8, Deripaska’s spokesman said: “These scandalous and mendacious assumptions are driven by sensationalism and we totally refute these outrageous false allegations in the strongest possible way.” Deripaska sued Vashukevich and her “sex guru,” Alexander Kirillov, for breach of privacy. The Russian court imposed an injunction, and communications providers blocked access to Navalny’s website for several weeks until he deleted the videos.

Islamabad A journalist was shot dead by unidentified assailants in a highsecurity zone in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi, according to a media report. Anjum Muneer Raja, 40, was returning home on a motorcycle late on Thursday night when the bike-borne attackers waylaid him and opened fire, the police said. The incident had taken place on the Bank Road, minutes away from the Pakistani military’s national headquarters, the Dawn News reported. Raja was shot six times on the head, neck and torso, killing him instantly, the report said, adding the attackers then fled Raja was father to a five-yearold boy and used to teach at a school in the mornings and worked as a sub-editor for a Islamabad-based Urdu newspaper in the evenings, his uncle Tariq Mehmood said. Mehmood said his nephew did not have a personal enmity with anyone and expressed shock over the killing in such a

“highly-secured” area, according to the report. The journalist community condemned Raja’s murder and demanded immediate arrest of the attackers. The scribes have also demanded protection for all journalists and threatened protest if Raja’s killers are not held soon, the report said. Last year, prominent reporter Ahmed Noorani was also savagely beaten and stabbed in the head after being dragged out of his car in Islamabad by armed assailants. Pakistan is among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalism, France-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in its annual press freedom report last May. According to the 2017 World Press Freedom Index compiled by RSF, Pakistan ranks at 139 out of 180 countries. At least 117 journalists have been killed in the past 15 years in Pakistan, and of these, only three cases were taken up in the judicial courts.

Former engineer sues Google, says ‘bro culture’ led to repeated sexual harassment

Peshawar A Hindu lawmaker in Pakistan has moved the court after he was prevented from taking oath in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for his alleged role in the murder of a Sikh legislator in 2016. Member of the provincial assembly-elect Baldev Kumar, who is in jail in the murder case of Sikh lawmaker Sardar Soran Singh, moved the Peshawar high court against the Speaker, treasury and opposition members of the provincial assembly for contempt of court. In his petition, Kumar hoped that senate elections which are due on March 3 should be stopped until his swearing in ceremony. The petitioner further claimed that he was deliberately maltreated in the assembly hall

on February 27. Arbab Jehandad Khan, a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Member of the Provincial Assembly, threw his shoe at Kumar which landed close to him while some other members of Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf threw copies of the assembly agenda towards Kumar. Singh, a lawmaker from Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf party, was shot dead in April 2016 in Buner district of the province. Singh was elected to the provincial assembly on a minority seat. His son Ajay on Sunday appealed the provincial government not to bring the “killer” of his father in the provincial assembly for obtaining his vote for Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf Senate candidate in the upcoming Senate elections due for March 3.

New Delhi A woman software engineer has sued Google alleging that the “bro-culture” prevalent at the tech giant allowed her to be sexually harassed daily while the tech giant did nothing to intervene, media reports said.Loretta Lee, who began working for Google in 2008 and was fired in 2016 for poor performance, filed the suit in February against Google for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and wrongful termination in a California court, Gizmodoreportedlate on Wednesday.According to the lawsuit, Lee was routinely sexually harassed, throughout her time at Google and targeted by lewd comments and ogled. She said that her male coworkers spiked her drinks with alcohol with one asking her for a “horizontal hug” and another slapping her while intoxicated. While working late one night

in January 2016, she said she found a male colleague hiding under her desk.He refused to say what he was doing. The next day, he grabbed her name badge

on a lanyard around her neck and asked her name, while his hand grazed her breasts, Lee claimed. Lee initially did not report the incident, frightened that a complaint would only generate retaliation from her co-workers. When finally she filed the complaint at the urging of her supervisor and the company’s Human Resources Department, her claims were found to be “unsubstantiated”. After the complaint, her coworkers also refused to approve the code she wrote, and stalled

her projects, leading to her being labelled a “poor performer”, according to the lawsuit. “Google’s failure to take appropriate remedial action is consistent with its pattern and practice of ignoring sexual harassment in the workplace, making no significant efforts to take corrective action, and punishing the victim,” the lawsuit states. Reacting to the suit, Google in a statement said: “We have strong policies against harassment in the workplace and review every complaint we receive.” “We take action when we find violations including termination of employment.” Earlier in February Tim Chevalier, a former Google engineer, sued the company for discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination after he was fired in November 2017 following several internal posts he made against racism and sexism.

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6 - 12 Mar., 2018

Paris Metro slaps pregnant Brazil seeks extradition of man arrested for gun trafficking in Florida woman with 60-euro fine for walking wrong way

Brasilia Brazil’s government is seeking the extradition of a Brazilian man who was arrested by US authorities in Florida, allegedly for shipping automatic weapons to the South American country.

The arrest of Frederik Barbieri came one week after Brazil resorted to the military to try to control violence and crime in Rio de Janeiro, where heavily-armed drug gangs control the city’s slums.The United States is the largest source of guns entering Brazil that end up in the hands of armed criminals and drug traffickers, according to a Brazilian police report seen by Reuters last month.Barbieri was arrested on Friday evening at his home in Fort Pierce, Florida, Nestor Yglesias, spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Miami Field

Office, said on Saturday. “He was arrested by special agents from Homeland Security Investigation, which is a component in ICE,” Yglesias said, adding Barbieri will make an initial appearance before a federal magistrate on Monday.

A Brazilian law enforcement officer had earlier said Barbieri was arrested in Miami. Brazil has sought his arrest since 60 automatic rifles, including AK-47s and other combat rifles, were found at Rio de Janeiro airport in June hidden in a shipment of pool heaters.Barbieri denied involvement in gun running at that time, but Brazilian police have suspected his involvement since a container of ammunition was found in his name in 2010 at the port of Salvador in northeastern Brazil.Fabricio Oliveira, head of the Federal Police’s

disarmament unit in Rio, told reporters that Barbieri was arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement who seized 40 automatic weapons at his home. Brazil’s Ministry of Justice said it has already asked for his extradition and is waiting for a Brazilian court to approve additional documents requested by US authorities. Barbieri moved to Florida in 2012 and obtained US citizenship, which could rule out his extradition and lead to his prosecution in the United States. “The US continues to be the largest indirect source of illegal handguns and assault rifles as a result of unrestricted sales in stores and fairs in American cities,” the Brazilian Federal Police report seen by Reuters said.The December 2017 report said a study of more than 10,000 arms seized by police in Brazil since 2014, mostly in Rio de Janeiro, found that roughly 1,500 guns originated in the United States. The guns often traveled through a third country before arriving in Brazil, with Paraguay being the top intermediary. Guns from the United States tended to be assault rifles and higher caliber handguns, while guns already circulating in Brazil or arriving from other countries were smaller handguns.

Paris A pregnant passenger on the Paris Netro has been hit with a 60-euro fine for walking the wrong way, sparking outrage on social media. The woman, who wanted to save some time on her journey, was given the ticket last Tuesday by inspectors at Concorde station near the Louvre art gallery. “Bravo for this racket,” her partner wrote sarcastically on Twitter, alongside a picture of her printed penalty notice. “A 60-euro fine without notice for a pregnant woman who goes

the wrong way.” The Paris Metro operator RATP stood by the penalty, a spokesman telling AFP on Saturday the one-way systems are clearly marked and are aimed at avoiding “incidents” and controlling the flow of people. However, he added the tickets for such offences were “infrequent” and it is up to the RATP inspectors to apply them or not. Michel Babut from the leading passenger group FNAUT branded the fine “completely stupid”, adding the rules need changing.

UN Geneva staff plan work stoppage over pay cuts

Will poll strategist Prashant Kishor be a part of Team Modi for 2019 campaign? New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2019 re-election bid may see the return of election strategist Prashant Kishor to his side. The two have met in recent

meetings where both discussed the possibility of working together again and a role for Kishor in the 2019 campaign. Kishor is also learnt to have met BJP chief Amit Shah. Reports had indicated his

months, and considered the possibility of Kishor working for Modi’s campaign in the year ahead, said a key political interlocutor familiar with the development. After having worked closely with Modi during the BJP’s Gujarat 2012 campaign and the Lok Sabha 2014 election, Kishor developed differences and went his separate way — working for BJP’s political adversaries, including the Grand Alliance in Bihar and Congress. But Modi and Kishor had “personally” been in touch over the past six months. This, it is understood, led to direct

split from the BJP had come due to differences with Shah after the 2014 campaign. “The meetings have happened. But it remains tentative. Modi is not the Modi of 2012 when Kishor had first joined his office in Gujarat — he is the PM and India’s tallest leader. The BJP is not the BJP of 2014 when Kishor ran a parallel campaign from Gandhinagar — it is a much stronger party. And Kishor is also not the same Kishor — he has gone his separate way over the years. But it is on the table,” said the person aware of the conversations.

Nothing, he reiterated, was final. Kishor, who runs the Indian Political Action Committee, works on personal leadership branding, political strategy, macro and micro campaign events, communication, messaging and speeches, besides proving inputs on ticket distribution and constituency micro-dynamics. If he returns, he is likely to work directly with PM Modi on his personal campaign. “The BJP organisation is robust. But its role is act as a converter - to turn support into votes. That support comes from the brand, which is Modi. And the 2019 elections will focus once again on the brand,” said the person quoted above. Kishor’s role, if conversations reach a final conclusion, will focus on how to convey a new message for 2019 to the electorate. After splitting from Modi, Kishor first advised Nitish Kumarand helped the Grand Alliance of Kumar-Lalu PrasadCongress win in Bihar in 2015. Kishor then moved to the Congress in 2016, where his record was mixed. Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has publicly recognised his role in the successful Punjab campaign.

GENEVA Angered by “unfair” pay cuts, UN staff in Geneva are planning a half-day strike next week, as dozens of ministers and other dignitaries attend high-level events at the organisation’s European headquarters. “We have tried other forms of protest before, to no avail... They have left us no choice,” Ian Richards, who heads the UN staff unions association in Geneva, told AFP Sunday. He said it remained unclear how many of some 9,500 UN staff members in Geneva would participate in Tuesday’s work stoppage, or what impact it would have, pointing out that “this is not like a bus company where the buses just stop.” “But we certainly expect this to have an impact,” Richards said. The half-day work stoppage will come during what is arguably one of the busiest weeks of the year at the UN in Geneva, with

around 100 heads of state, government ministers and country representatives from around the world set to attend the main annual sessions of the UN’s top human rights and disarmament bodies. According to a letter sent to all UN agency chiefs late last week, Tuesday will mark only “a first day of action, (and will) be followed by others.” It complained of a “substantial deterioration in the employment conditions of UN staff around the world,” and warned that “the reputation of the UN as a leading employer that treats its staff with respect and fairness has been tarnished.” The letter, sent by the unions and representatives of civil servants working for the UN, went out as staff received their first pay slips showing a 3.5percent salary cut, and with the knowledge that the cut will swell to five percent by June, Richards said.

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Suitable Canadian citizen/ immigrant match for fair beautiful, family oriented girl, belongs to a Brahmin family, 28 yrs. old, 5'-4" tall, Canadian citizen, Bachelor’s degree from Canadian University, employed. Seeking a professionally qualified and well settled match from Canada. Toronto area prefered. Please contact with latest pictures and bio-data to : ***761*** at Sikh family seek a suitable match for their Amritdhari son, 31 yrs. old, 6' tall, born and raised in Canada, degree in crimnology, well settled in good job with govt. The girl should be from Canada, well educated, tall with family values. Please send your bio-data and recent pictures to : or call :-1604-830-2371 ***761*** Jat Sikh family seek a suitable match for their Canadain born daughter, 28 yrs. old, 5'-5" tall, B. Sc. Biology (UBC), B.SN (RN) degree, working in a hospital. The boy should be Canadian, well educated, professionally qualified and employed, belongs to educated Jatt Sikh family, non-smoker, non-drinker. Please send your bio-data and recent pictures to : ***761*** A very respectable and well settled Jatt Sikh family in California seek a suitable match for their son, 31 yrs. old, 5'-10" tall, handsome, down to earth, US citizen (India born), UCLA graduate working as a Residential/ Commercial Loan Officer. Please send your bio-data & recent picture to: or call: 1559- 547- 6271 ***761*** Jatt Sikh parents seek a suitable match for their daughter, born & raised in Canada, 1988 born, 5'-4'’ tall, slim, beautiful, athletic, well versed in both cultures, university degree holder,working as a teacher in Vancouver. The Boy should be Canadian, American or UK raised, professionally educated and employed. Please send your biodata & recent picture to: ***761*** Well settled, New York-based, Saini Sikh family seek a professionally qualified match for their USA born daughter, 28 yrs. old, 5' -3" tall, Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), working as a business consultant, well balanced in both American and Punjabi cultures.The boy should be well educated, USA based. Please send your bio-data & recent picture to: ***761*** A very respectable and well settled Jatt Sikh family in California seeking Professionally qualified, US based match for their slim, beautiful daughter, 5’-5" tall, Dec. 87 born,Age 30, US Citizen (India Born), Working full-time after completing Master’s in Nursing in May 2017. Please send your bio-data & recent picture to: or call: 1559- 301- 7276 ***761*** Jat Sikh parents seek a suitable

6 - 12 Mar., 2018

match for their daughter, 28 yrs. old, 5'-3" tall, Canadian born, well educated, working in her own field. The boy should be handsome (sardar), no haircut, well settled, professionally qualified, belonging to a respectable family, British Columbia (BC) prefered. Please send your biodata & recent picture to : or call :-1604-728-3530 ***761*** Oberoi Sikh parents invite matrimonial alliance for their daughter, 32 yrs, old, 5'-8" tall, M.Sc. IT, senior software developer, 7 bands in IELTS, divorced (5 yrs. daughter), presently in Canada (Toronto) on visitor visa ; belongs to a very good family. The boy shuld be candian Immigrant/citizen, well educated and Settled. Brother is well settled in Canada. Please email recent pictures and bio-data to : or call :-647856-7734 ***761*** Jat Sikh parents seek a suitable match for their daughter, 25 yrs. old, 5'-8" tall, Amritdhari, B.Sc. Nursing, American citizen, persuing M.Sc. degree , well settled in job. The boy should be American/Canadian immigrant/green card holder/citizen, equally qualified, Amritdhari. Call :1-619-745-9491 ***761*** Jat Sikh family seeking a suitable match for their daughter, Canadian citizen, 36 yrs. old, 5'-2" tall, B. Tech. in IT from India, M. Tech. IT form Canadian University, working as software engineer, never married before. The boy should be well educated, professionally employed, from a respected family in US/ Canada. Please email your bio-data and recent pictures to: or call :-1-519-721-7014 ***761*** Jatt sikh girl,1989 born , 5’-5’’ tall, master’s in public health, (BDS from india) working in US research based company. The boy should be US citizen, well settled, educated, having good job.Please send your bio-data &recent picture or call: 1-610-202-0893 ***761*** Sikh Arora Sachdeva family from Ludhiana seek a suitable match for their son, 26+ old, 5’-11" tall, B.Sc.Hostipality and Hotel Administration,PU Chandigarh. At present doing job in Dubai as Sales Manager in TAK International Fze,Dubai, pay in 6 figures. The girl should be Canadian/ American immigrant or citizen, educated, divorcee without kids can also be considered.Caste no bar. Call :1559-796-9906 ***761*** Jat Sikh parents seek a suitable match for their son, 35 yrs. old, 5'-8" tall, born and raised in Ontario, B. Tech. degree holder, living and working full time in Toronto. The girl should be Canadian born or Canadian citizen, well educated from a good family background. Please email your bio-data and recent pictures to: or call :905-574-2520 ***761***

Jat Sikh family seek a suitable match for their daughter, 35 yrs. old, 5'-3" tall, Master’s degree, fluent in English, beautiful, living in India. The boy should be well settled professional, US citizen/ green card holder, between 35-40 yrs. of age. Please send your biodata and recent pictures to : or call :-1510-329-6644 ***761*** Tonk Kshtriya Punjabi Sikh, parents seek a suitable match for their daughter, Canadian citizen, 28 yrs. old, 5'-7" tall, slim, family oriented, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Pharmacy Technician, working in hospital, as registered nurse. The boy should be Canadian citizen or PR, well educated and professionally settled with family values. Caste no bar. Please email recent pictures and bio-data to : or call :-647-296-5065 ***761*** Well settled Jat Sikh family in USA (California) since 1984, seeking a suitable match for their son, 36 yrs. old, 5'-9" tall, handsome, slim, athletic built, Bachelor’s degree in Biology and professionally employed. The girl should be simple, family oriented, slim, beautiful, educated from Canada/ America and willing to relocate to California. Please send your recent pictures and bio-data to Whatsapp. Please call :-1-209-480-9022 (WhatsApp) ***761*** Jat Sikh Gill parents seeking a suitable match for their son, Canadian citizen, 1980 born, 6' tall, vegetarian, non-smoker, nondrinker, clean shaven, B. Tech, software engineer in a govt job, divorced after less than one week marriage. The girl should be from Jat Sikh family, well educated, beautiful and family oriented. GTA area prefered. Send your bio-data and recent pictures on WhatsApp. Please call :-1-437-774-2714 (WhatsApp) ***761*** Well settled Jatt Sikh family seek a suitable match for their Canadian born daughter, 25 yrs. old, 5'-7" tall,university graduate, slim, Well versed in both Canadian and Punjabi culture. The boy should be living in Canada and well settled. Call: 416-669-2144 or 647574-2434 ***761*** Well established, well educated, Jat Sikh family seeking a match for their Canadian born daughter, 27 yrs. old, 5'-4" tall, beautiful, athletic with down to earth values. Dentist (Doctor), all education from private schools and top ranking Canadian University, Gold Medalist and well versed in punjabi language as well, seeking professional respondent only from Canada. Brother is also Dentist (Doctor) in Canada. Please respond with recent pictures and bio-data to: ***761*** Jatt Sikh family looking for a suitable match for their son, 26 yrs. Old, 5’-10" tall, living in India,

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6 - 12 Mar., 2018

Murder or madness: Trial for Manhattan nanny who killed 2 children begins New York A defence lawyer says it was an act of madness. Prosecutors will begin trying to prove on Thursday that it was murder. Five years ago, Yoselyn Ortega, a trusted nanny to a well-to-do family, took two young children in her care into a bathroom at their Manhattan apartment, slaughtered them with a knife and then slit her own throat. The killings of Leo Krim, 2, and Lucia Krim, 6, shocked New Yorkers, especially the thousands of parents who depend on loving nannies to take care of their children. At a trial that begins Thursday, the central mystery isn’t whether Ortega killed the children, but why she did it — and whether she was too mentally ill to be held responsible. “This case is about the insanity defence,” defence attorney Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg told prospective jurors last week. “Not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect.” Prosecutors plan to present their own psychiatric experts who will say that Ortega understood the consequences of her actions, even if her motive may never be understood. “It’s the slaughter of two innocent children,” Assistant District Attorney Stuart Silberg said. A judge has already declared Ortega, 55, mentally fit to stand trial.

New York has a high bar for the insanity defence and it is rarely successful. To win, Ortega’s lawyers will have to prove that she didn’t understand the consequences of her actions and didn’t know right from wrong

for about two years, in one of the city’s wealthiest neighbourhoods, a block from Central Park, and by some measures had a close relationship with her employers. Once, the family travelled

On October 25, 2012, the day of the killings, she asked a neighbour to come over because she was afraid to be alone, Dr Karen Rosenbaum said. And three days before, she was out of control at her sister’s

at the time. During jury selection, some potential members of the panel were dismissed after telling the court they believed mental illness does not excuse someone from a moral understanding of right and wrong. Others were rejected as jurors after saying they couldn’t be impartial because they had small children themselves or a close relationship with a caregiver. Ortega had worked for the Krims

together to the Dominican Republic to meet Ortega’s family. Some of Ortega’s friends and relatives said she appeared to be struggling emotionally and financially before the killings, and she’d started seeing a psychologist. A doctor who testified for the defence during pre-trial legal hearings said Ortega had serious delusions.

apartment, throwing pots and pans, and then being unable to remember the outburst. But police said that while she was in custody after the killings, Ortega gave interviews that paint a picture of an unhappy employee: She told authorities that she hurt the children because she was having money problems and was angry at the parents, according to court papers. She said her schedule

Bangladeshi writer Zafar Iqbal injured in knife attack, say police

Dhaka One of Bangladesh’s top writers was attacked and injured in the northern city of Sylhet on Saturday, the police said, the latest in a series of attacks on authors and bloggers. The police said Zafar Iqbal, a celebrated secular activist and bestselling science fiction writer, was rushed to a hospital in Sylhet after the attack. “He was hit on the back of his head and he was bleeding,” a police constable posted at the hospital told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. Abdul Wahab, a spokesman for the Sylhet city police, confirmed the incident, saying police suspect he was attacked with a knife. “He was in a seminar when he was attacked. His gunman caught an attacker,” he told AFP, referring to Iqbal’s police guard. Bangladesh’s government

provides security for the country’s top secular writers and activists. Police do not know how many people were involved in the attack nor whether they belonged to any Islamist extremist groups, he said. “He has been taken to the operating theatre,” he said. Iqbal, who teaches at a staterun university in Sylhet, is a longstanding a champion of free speech and secularism in Bangladesh. He is also a top selling author and celebrity speaker who regularly appears at university campuses nationwide. Suspected Islamist extremists have carried out a series of attacks on secular and atheist writers and bloggers in the last four years, killing around a dozen of them including a top Bangladesh origin American atheist blogger.

constantly shifted, she had to act as a cleaning lady though she didn’t want to and she missed an appointment with “the psych,” according to the papers. “Oh, my God, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” she said, according to the court papers. “Relieve me of my misery.” The parents of the two slain children rarely speak publicly about the killings, but both are expected to testify. Their mother, Marina Krim, discovered her two dead children and the bleeding nanny in the darkened apartment after returning from picking up another daughter, age 3, at a class. Marina Krim and her husband Kevin Krim, a CNBC executive, use a Facebook page to post updates on how they are doing, writing about the arrival of two new children, Felix born in 2013 and Linus in 2016. Strangers post messages of support; more than 80,000 people like and follow the page. In the wake of the tragedy, the couple started the Lulu and Leo Fund that aims to support innovative art programs for children and they recently posted a video message on Facebook asking that people mention the fund as their case becomes news again.

Former church assistant held for killing Kerala catholic priest Kochi A former church assistant who went absconding after allegedly killing a 52-year-old Catholic priest near Kochi was arrested on Friday, the police said. The accused, Johnny Vattekkadan (56), was nabbed from a forest in Malayattoor following a massive manhunt, they said. Police had on Thursday recovered the weapon used in committing the crime. Fr Xavier Thelakkatt, who is also the rector of St Thomas International hill shrine ‘Kurisumudi’, was allegedly stabbed to death on Thursday by former sacristan Johnny, whom he had recently suspended from the post for “misconduct”, the police said. Thelakkatt, who suffered grievous injuries, died while being rushed to a hospital in nearby Angamaly, they said.The priest was attacked while he was climbing down Kurisumudy, a hilltop believed to have footprints of St Thomas, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ.Johnny was suspended from the post of sacristan some weeks ago for his alleged misconduct. The body of the priest, handed over to the Church authorities after autopsy, was kept in Malayattoor Church for the public to pay their last respects on Friday.The funeral would be held

in East Cheranallore tomorrow, a Church spokesman said.his parents inside a campus dormitory during a domestic dispute was arrested on Saturday, the school said, after

The shooting led authorities to order a lockdown of the campus, which has more than 20,000 students, and police also warned Mount Pleasant residents to be on guard.Police

a day-long manhunt. The suspect was seen by a bystander on a train passing through the north end of campus in Mount Pleasant, about 125 miles (200 km) northwest of Detroit, shortly after midnight and taken into custody without incident, said Heather Smith, a university spokeswoman, in a statement.The suspect was identified as James Eric Davis Jr., 19, after the two victims were found inside a residence hall at the university, police said. “It was an isolated incident, but we had two people that were killed in a residence facility. That’s traumatic,” Michigan governor Rick Snyder said at a news conference hours after the Friday morning shooting.

in helicopters and patrol cars spent Friday scouring the locked down campus and the area for the suspect, local media reported. Police escorted people leaving the campus, as university events were cancelled and Saturday classes were called off, university officials said in a statement. Davis had been taken to a local hospital on Thursday night after an apparent overdose or “bad reaction to drugs,” Klaus told reporters. The two victims were James Davis Sr. and Diva Davis, both 47, university officials said on Twitter. James Davis Sr. was a police officer in Bellwood, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, Emanuel Chris Welch, an Illinois state lawmaker, said in a post on Twitter.

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TEHRAN An ex-intelligence minister in Iran on Sunday criticised the handling of an environmentalist’s death in prison, saying the public would not believe he was a spy unless the case was handled by a “competent agency”. Ali Younessi, who was intelligence minister under reformist president Mohammad Khatami between 2000 and 2005, shone a rare light on the turf war between Iran’s multiple security agencies in his interview with the daily Iran newspaper. He referred to the case of Kavous Seyed Emami, 63, the Iranian-Canadian citizen who founded the Persian Heritage

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Iran’s ex- minister slams handling of prison death

Wildlife Foundation. He died in prison this month after being arrested along with seven members of his NGO on espionage charges. “Unfortunately the intelligence ministry has no jurisdiction over this case,” said Younessi, who now serves as an advisor to President Hassan Rouhani on religious minority affairs. ”I believe the case should be given to the intelligence ministry... Given the events that have occurred, if a competent and legal agency does not intervene and doesn’t give its opinion on the dead individual or those under arrest, public opinion will not believe they are spies even if they are convicted.”The authorities say Emami committed suicide, but the

family have questioned the verdict and say they were threatened by security forces. Iran has a wide array of s e c u r i t y agencies, which often act independently of each other and are responsible to competing centres of power. Younessi did not name the agency running the case, but the Revolutionary Guards run a powerful intelligence service that is separate from the government’s intelligence ministry. Younessi also gave details of the infamous case of Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian photographer who died from head injuries after being arrested for taking photos outside Evin prison in 2003.“The prosecutor at the time insisted she was a spy,” he said, referring to the notorious Tehran prosecutor Said Mortazavi, who was last year jailed for his part in another custodial death

Texas teen arrested with rifle, 100 rounds of ammunition near high school

Rowlett A Dallas-area teenager was being held on $1 million bond Thursday after a police officer encountered him sitting in his car outside of a high school sporting event with a semi-automatic rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition. Rowlett police arrested Diego Horta, 17, on Tuesday night on drug and weapons charges. Officer Cruz Hernandez, a spokesman for the department in Rowlett about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Dallas, said the officer approached the teen while patrolling near Rowlett high school and the city’s community center as two sporting events were wrapping up. “We’re glad that our officer encountered him early,” Hernandez said. “He had the

weapon, ammunition and a mask ... Whatever we prevented, the outcome was going to be bad.” An earlier release from the Rowlett police department said police had no specific evidence to substantiate beyond a reasonable doubt that Horta planned to harm anyone. Hernandez said with the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and highway shootings in Dallas, including the fatal shooting of a postal worker and shots fired into a police car on nearby Interstate 30, the department has been exercising added caution. Court records did not show attorney information for Horta, who is charged as an adult with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful carrying

of a weapon in a weapons free zone. Court records showed a Dallas County magistrate set the $1 million bond on the drug charge, and Horta was scheduled to go before the magistrate to decide if an additional bond would be set on the weapon charge. Hernandez said officers were briefed about the two sporting events— a soccer game and basketball championship— before the patrol shift change. He said the arresting officer’s normal patrol area includes Rowlett High School, where the events were taking place. He also noted that Rowlett students were not playing in any of the games, and that Horta is home-schooled and not a student at Rowlett High or any of the participating schools. The officer noticed Horta sitting in his car after 9 p.m. in an area behind the high school near the community center. Hernandez said the officer approached the car because it seemed suspicious and saw the semi-automatic rifle on the seat. The officer took Horta into custody and initiated a search of his car. Police found more than four grams of a penalty group 2 drug they believed to be hallucinogens. They also found an illegal club and about 100 rounds of ammunition. Hernandez said officers obtained a warrant and later searched Horta’s cellphone, where they found an image containing apparent child pornography.

during protests in 2009. “We sent two counterespionage experts from the ministry to investigate this woman in a hotel. After the interview, the two experts concluded that from a technical and scientific standpoint, Zahra Kazemi was not a spy,” said Younessi. But Mortazavi refused to listen to their verdict, he said, and handed the case back to the police. In Younessi’s version of events, Kazemi, who was 54, died from a brain haemorrhage caused at the moment of her arrest. She “was beaten because she refused to hand over her items and her head hit a concrete road divider, which caused a haemorrhage”, he said. That goes against a statement from the reformist government at the time, which said Kazemi was violently beaten in prison - a view supported by her family and their lawyer who say she was tortured and sexually assaulted. The judiciary initially claimed she died of a stroke and only later

that she was injured in a fall. An intelligence agent, Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, was acquitted of her murder in November 2005 and subsequent trials failed to find anyone accountable, while Canada blocked an attempt by the family to sue the Iranian government. Younessi said the handling of the case had damaged Iran’s international reputation. “For having reacted badly, with stubbornness, and for accusing others and politicising the affair, the Islamic republic of Iran imposed a heavy political cost on itself,” he said. The case soured relations with Canada for years. Canada withdrew its ambassador after Iran refused to hand over Kazemi’s body for an independent post-mortem, and eventually severed diplomatic relations entirely in 2012 over a range of differences.

US seeks UN ban on 33 ships, 27 firms over North Korea smuggling

United Nations The United States is seeking to have the United Nations ban 33 vessels from ports worldwide and blacklist 27 shipping businesses for helping North Korea circumvent sanctions. The US request to a UN sanctions committee, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, came as President Donald Trump announced Friday the “heaviest sanctions ever” on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests. Japan joined the United States in supporting the request concerning three of the 33 vessels for carrying out ship-toship transfers of oil destined for North Korea in violation of UN resolutions. Council members have until Friday at 3:00 pm to raise objections to the proposed sanctions. The measures will come into effect if none of the council members, including the North’s ally China, block the request.

Only eight vessels have so far been banned from ports for sanctions-busting and the US request would significantly expand the blacklist in a bid to cripple North Korea’s maritime network. Last year, the Security Council adopted a series of resolutions to ban North Korean exports of commodities in a bid to cut off revenue to North Korea’s military programs. The measures severely restrict deliveries of oil and refined petroleum products to North Korea, but a recent report by a UN panel of experts found that Pyongyang was flouting sanctions. North Korea earned $200 million in revenue last year from exports of coal, iron, steel and other banned commodities, the report said. The United States and Japan are strong backers of sanctions as a way to pressure Pyongyang to come to the negotiating table and end its drive to develop nuclear weapons.

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Galaxies die by slow strangulation London When galaxies stop making stars, their death is usually a slow process that chokes them of the necessary cool gases over about four billion years. That is the conclusion of astronomers who surveyed thousands of galaxies, living and dead, to assess whether the transition is rapid or slow. In the dead galaxies they detected high levels of metals, which build up during star formation and point to a slow strangulation process. The work appears in the journal Nature. ‘Metals are a powerful tracer of the history of star formation: the more stars that are formed by a galaxy, the more metal content you’ll see,’ said Dr Yingjie Peng from the University of Cambridge, the paper’s lead author. ‘So looking at levels of metals in dead

galaxies should be able to tell us how they died.’ If a galaxy’s death was quick and violent, with the cool gas that feeds star formation stripped away by internal or external forces, it would immediately stop forming stars and its metal content would remain the same. On the other hand, if the galaxy is cut off from its supply of gas but it continues to use up what remains, metal would continue to build up until the galaxy eventually ‘suffocates’. In a commentary for Nature, fellow astronomer Andrea Cattaneo from the Observatoire de Paris compared this tell-tale evidence to the high levels of carbon dioxide seen in a strangled human body. ‘During strangulation, the victim uses up oxygen in the lungs but keeps producing carbon dioxide, which remains trapped in

the body,’ wrote Dr Cattaneo. ‘Instead of building up CO2, the strangled galaxies accumulate metals - elements heavier than helium - produced by massive stars.’ The team led by Dr Peng spotted that accumulation of metal when they compared the spectrum of light emitted by 23,000 red, passive galaxies and 4,000 blue, star-forming ones. They used data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey - a vast collection of detailed, multicoloured images spanning a third of the sky, which has been used to compile a precise 3D map of the universe. On average, the living, star-forming galaxies were four billion years younger than the dead ones. This matches the amount of time that the astronomers calculate would be needed for the galaxies to burn

up their remaining gas supply during the strangulation. It is also considerably longer than the four minutes it takes to strangle a human - but the analogy stands. ‘This is the first conclusive evidence that galaxies are being

strangled to death,’ Dr Peng said. ‘What’s next though, is figuring out what’s causing it. In essence, we know the cause of death, but we don’t yet know who the murderer is, although there are a few suspects.’

Octopus inspires medical robotics PARIS Scientists in Italy said Thursday they had devised a prototype arm inspired by the octopus that may one day lead to minimally-invasive robotic surgery. Like the octopus’ limb, the slender remote-controlled gadget can extend and bend and be either soft or rigid, the goal being to enable surgery in the abdomen and other cramped parts of the body. The arm would be able to slither

Supreme Court expresses concern over foreigners adopting Indian children The functioning of women and child development ministry’s nodal agency, which handles adoption requests, has come under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court. The apex court has expressed its concern over increasing complaints of overseas child trafficking in the garb of adoption.The court is hearing a PIL by NGOs Advait Foundation and Sakhee seeking a moratorium on foreigners adopting Indian children, alleging that many children who are being illegally taken away to foreign countries faced post-adoption abuse. This was due to the absence of any inter-country adoption guidelines combined with apathy and total apathy from Central Adoption Research Agency (CARA), the PIL alleges.The NGOs told the apex court that while Indian couples wait endlessly, approximately 600 to 800 Indian children are adopted annually by foreigners easily by paying huge amounts to international agents through whom they fraudulently obtain consent from parents.The hearing in the PIL filed in 2012 took a new twist on May 7 when a bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi barred an Indianorigin Canadian woman from adopting a child from the country after it emerged from records that her Power of Attorney holder had bribed the then CARA chairman J.K. Mittal in 2006.The

development assumes significance at a time when the new rules in the amended Juvenile Bill gives preference to overseas Indians or people of Indian origin in inter-country adoption.Rejecting the woman’s plea for adoption, the bench shot back: “... when the person who

represented the woman who wants adoption in courts is involved in a criminal case and that too relating to giving of bribe to the chairperson of CARA, we are of the view that the petitioner would not be entitled to any relief or order from any court in the country as far as the adoption is concerned.”Says Kunal Cheema, the lawyer for petitioner NGO: “a massive adoption racket is operating in the country involving Indian and foreign adoption agencies. While thousands of Indians couples wait endlessly, foreign nationals,

mostly from Europe and the US, easily adopt Indian children, year after year, mostly by fraudulent means aided by unscrupulous agencies. The CARA turns a blind eye in most cases”.By an estimate, about 600 to 800 Indian children are adopted by foreigners every year despite

allegations that these children are often abused after adoption and that large-scale rackets fraudulently obtain consent from parents whose children are taken away. A lack of guidelines on international adoptions, along with the government’s denial have allowed the scandal to grow to humongous proportions over the years.“There were cases where signs were obtained by falsely saying they were needed for admission purposes or higher education,” alleged Sakhee director Anjali Pawar.

between soft organs or gently hold them to one side while a miniature tool kit in its tip carries out the operation, the inventors hope. ‘The human body represents a highly challenging and non-structured environment, where the capabilities of the octopus can provide several advantages with respect to traditional surgical tools,’ explained Tommaso Ranzani of the BioRobotics Institute in Pontedera, central Italy. ‘Generally, the octopus has no rigid structures and can thus adapt the shape of its body to its environment. ‘Taking advantage of the lack of rigid skeletal support, the eight highly flexible and long arms can twist, change their length, or bend in any direction at any point along the arm.’ The prototype, designed to prove the concept of flexing and stiffening in man-made materials, is

described in a British scientific journal, Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. It comprises a 32millimetre (1.25-inch) -wide silicon tube with inflatable cylindrical chambers inside.By varying or combining the inflation of the chambers, the tube can be made to bend to up to 255 degrees and stretch to up to 62 percent of its initial length. To stiffen the tube, the scientists inserted a plastic core filled with light granules. When air is sucked from the core, it becomes rigid, and the tube’s stiffness can be doubled. The arm has been put through its paces, manipulating water-filled balloons to represent body organs in the abdominal cavity. ‘Traditional surgical tasks often require the use of multiple specialised instruments such as graspers, retracters, vision systems and dissectors to carry out a single procedure,’ Ranzani said in a press release.

Man’s genitals chopped off for asking to continue an extra-marital affair A man’s genitals were chopped off by a married woman and three of the latter’s neighbours here for asking her to continue an extra-marital affair with him, Bihar police said on Saturday. The incident took place in Gopalganj district and the victim is now battling for his life in a hospital. “This incident took place late Saturday, when the victim Ashok Ram forcibly entered the house of Parwati Devi and insisted she continue the extra-marital affair with him despite her repeated refusals,” officer in charge Naushad Alam told IANS.“In a fit of anger, she, along with the help of her neighbours, chopped off Ashok’s private parts.”Alam said that Ashok, 26, was admitted to a hospital for

treatment.“Till now, no FIR has been lodged as the victim’s family members were busy attending to his treatment. A complaint will be lodged after his return from hospital,” he said. Some villagers told police that Parwati Devi -- a mother of three -- was having an affair with Ashok for the last few years. After news of the affair spread, the villagers opposed the illicit relationship and Ashok left the village.A few days ago, he returned to his village and started pressurising Parwati to continue their affair but she was fed up with Ashok’s demands, police said. Last year in Madhepura district, a woman chopped off an exorcist’s genitals when he attempted to rape her.

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Sikh soldier who fought racist US laws Chandigarh He was arguably the first turbaned Sikh to serve in the US Army – as a drill sergeant during World War I. When asked how he got inducted despite a beard, Bhagat Singh Thind (18921967) had quipped: “I suppose they figured I could kill just as many Germans with it as I could without it.”He was “honourably discharged” after the war ended in late 1918. But it was another battle that defined his life, one that he fought for over a decade. On February 19, 1923, he was denied American citizenship by the US Supreme Court. The ruling, which determined that Thind, “a high-caste Hindu of full Indian blood,” was not a “white person”, led to the revocation of his naturalisation as an American citizen and shut the immigration door on other South Asians too. His “Aryan origin” contention cut no ice with the judiciary, which accorded precedence to Caucasian lineage. The 95th anniversary of the landmark verdict in the ‘The United States vs Bhagat Singh Thind’ case was commemorated earlier this week by the South Asian Bar Association, Washington DC (SABADC), which organised a panel discussion in the US capital. The speakers included Sim J Singh, National Advocacy Manager, Sikh Coalition; Lakshmi Sridaran, Director of National Policy and

Advocacy, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT); and

Kritika Agarwal, Associate Editor, Publications, American Historical Association. The panellists underlined the case’s impact on the South Asian Americans’ struggle for their rights.A native of Taragarh Talawa village in Amritsar district, Thind graduated from the holy city’s Khalsa College. At the age of 20, he arrived in the US in 1913 for higher studies (a year later, his brother Jagat Singh set sail for Canada on the Komagata Maru, but had to return to India after being refused entry). He worked in the lumber mills of the Pacific Northwest and got a doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley. “He was granted American citizenship in the state of Washington, only to have it quickly cancelled by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service. Thind then applied for citizenship in Oregon in 1919 and received it the following year. The immigration authorities appealed against it and the

case went to the Supreme Court,” says Philip Deslippe, a doctoral student in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.“The apex court ruled unanimously against him. The decision is usually understood as a matter of racial prejudice,” he adds. Thind’s association with the proIndependence Ghadar movement was apparently among the factors that influenced the judgment. After protracted litigation, he finally emerged victorious, becoming a US national once and for all in 1936. A decade later, the Luce-Celler Act reversed the 1923 order, opening a historic window for Indian immigrants.Refusing to rest on his laurels, Thind made a name for himself as a teacher of spirituality and a wellness guru, holding lecture tours across America and propagating Sant Mat (path of saints). Fondly called Doctorji by his students, he perceived Sikhism as “the future religion of mankind”. In 1963, Thind returned to India for the first time after leaving its shores half a century ago. He and his wife Vivian met then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, even as he delivered lectures on metaphysics in several universities. He passed away on September 15, 1967, in Los Angeles at the age of 74.

Philippines arrests widow of slain militants MANILA The widow of two slain militant leaders has been

found firearms, ammunition and bombmaking components, a

arrested for allegedly supporting extremist groups and possessing firearms and explosives, Philippine police said Sunday.Juromee Dongon was married to a senior leader of the notorious Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group, Khadaffy Janjalani. After his death in 2006 she married Malaysian bombmaker Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, who was killed in 2015 in the Philippines, police said. Authorities arrested Dongon along with her relatives in her home in Lanao del Norte province in the restive southern region of Mindanao where they

police statement said. “She assists, associates, networks and supports terrorist groups,” regional police spokesman Superintendent Lemuel Gonda told AFP. “Juromee is linked with Abu Sayyaf during the time of Janjalani and then later Jemaah Islamiyah,” he added, referring to a Southeast Asian militant group. Marwan was a leading member of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and a suspect in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people as well as in two deadly Philippine attacks.

He died in a raid in the southern Philippines that also left 44 police commandos dead. The US had offered a $5 million bounty for him. In two operations on Sunday, police arrested Dongon as well as her two sisters and father, Gonda said, adding the family had “connections with terrorists”. The Dongons faced charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Abu Sayyaf is an Islamist militant group which was set up in the 1990s with seed money from the Al-Qaeda network, and has been blamed for the worst terror attacks in the Philippines’ history, including bombings. The Abu Sayyaf had harboured JI militants in their bases in remote southern islands, including key suspects in the Bali bombings.Security analysts have said widows of militant leaders played important roles in extremist groups as they enhanced the status of their second husbands.

Christian man accused of blasphemy, jumps off FIA building in Pakistan: Report Lahore A Christian man accused of blasphemy in Pakistan reportedly jumped off the fourth floor of the building of an investigation agency in Lahore, according to officials. Sajjad Masih, 28, who has been in critical condition at Mayo Hospital, said the FIA had called him to their headquarters at Regal Chowk to record statement. He said the officials allegedly tortured him and snatched his mobile phone. “They asked me to abuse myself, but I refused to do so. Later, they asked me to sexually assault my cousin, but I remained silent and jumped from the building,” he said. An FIA spokesman, however, rejected the allegation, saying the suspect was called for inquiry because he was a member of the Facebook group allegedly involved in sharing blasphemous

material. “The suspect was asked to unlock his mobile phone. He got panicky and jumped from the building. No one even had touched him (suspect),” the spokesperson added.

demanding producing him before them. Police stopped them from entering the Christian colony and arrested Masih and shifted him at undisclosed location. Later police handed

According to doctors, Masih had life changing injuries. “He has multiple fractures on his legs, ribs and jaw. However, his condition is out of danger,” the doctors said. Police had arrested Masih a few days ago after the activists of Tehreek-eLabaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) and other religious parties gathered in Shahdara area and surrounded the Christian families living over there

Masih over to FIA. Maish is accused of posting blasphemous content about Muslim’s holy places on his Facebook account. A senior FIA official told PTI that the agency had suspended two officials for their negligence in the matter. “A inquiry has been initiated against four officials. If found guilty punitive action will be taken against them,” he said.

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NAVJOT Singh Sidhu has been a very busy man these past weeks. As the minister in charge of tourism and local government in the Amarinder Singh cabinet, the former cricketer has set the ball rolling on a number of long overdue urban projects. These projects include proposals to clean up Ludhiana’s reeking Budha Nallah and the Tungdhab Nallah in Amritsar; bringing in efficient and environmentally friendly management of a 20-year-old garbage dump outside the Sikh Holy City; and a promise to roll out online access to 67 urban services across Punjab’s municipalities. While a fairly large bouquet of citizen-centric services are already available to urban residents at the numerous Suvidha Centres opened during the previous Shiromani Akali DalBharatiya Janata Party government in 2016, Sidhu, on February 26, tied up with

A VERY BUSY MAN Nandan Nilekani’s eGovernance Foundation, which will manage the transition of services to e-platforms. The plan, he says, is to provide online access to an entire range of services pertaining to property tax, water and sewerage management, complaints and grievances, licensing, fire services, verification services, birth and death registration. These would be made available

within a year via an urban local body’s web portal as well as a mobile application. Besides this Sidhu’s department will also collaborate with the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to clean up the Budha Nallah and Tungdhab Nallah — two of Punjab’s worst polluted drains. The former cricketer has also roped in Balbir Singh Seechewal, the much decorated

Amarinder meets up with an ‘old friend’

environmentalist and religious leader, who cleaned up the Kali Bien rivulet in central Punjab. And towards fulfilling a promise he made to the residents of Amritsar when he was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004, Sidhu has commissioned a scientific study to suggest ways for the longpending cleanup and efficient management of the swelling dump of garbage outside Amritsar City.

AAP ALMOST WITHOUT A LEADER IN PUNJAB THE Amarinder Singhled Congress, clearly on a roll since it swept the state legislative assembly elections in March 2017, pulled off yet another convincing victory in walking away with 62 seats in the 95-member Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. But the February 27 verdict from Punjab’s industrial hub, carried a more emphatic message than the ruling party’s triumph. This was in the virtual wipeout of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which was reduced to an ignominious minority of a single seat. Even the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP), the AAP’s ‘junior’ ally in the state, recorded seven wins. For the record, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) won in 11 wards and its saffron partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party took 10 wards. These results have stunned the AAP’s Punjab leadership into silence.

PUNJAB chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh especially took the time out to meet up with an old friend. And no, this is not about Justin Trudeau. At the Punjab Police Academy at Phillaur near Ludhiana for its annual passing out parade and investiture ceremony, the chief minister made a stop at the PPA’s wellkept stables to catch up with Sunny Kid. And no again, that is not a sobriquet Amarinder uses for young Trudeau. The Kid, actually, is a handsome Arabian steed Amarinder received as a personal gift in 2004 from the then chief minister of Pakistani

Punjab, Parvez Elahi. The horse, and a spanking new Sonalika Tractor that he sent across as a ‘return gift’, were all part of the happy bonhomie between the two Punjab’s that had at the time paved the way for the first real postKargil War dialogue between Delhi and Islamabad. And as much as he loves his animals, Amarinder gifted the Kid to the Police Academy, where he’s blossomed into one of the best horses in the PPA’s stables. Now, 14 years later, the chief minister was delighted at being able to meet up with the Kid. And amid some whinnying, the horse seemed happy too.

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My Generation Of Stars Lucky To Have Loyal Fan Following: Ajay Devgn

To enjoy continued success and stardom for over 25 years is no easy task and Ajay Devgn says his generation of actors was lucky to have a dedicated fan following, which is a rarity today. The ‘90s was dominated by icons like Ajay, the three Khans - Shah Rukh, Salman, Aamir - and Akshay Kumar who continue to be on the top. In a media interaction, when asked if his generation would be the last of the superstars to enjoy matchless adulation, Ajay said, “I think we were very lucky because when we had started work, the kind of fan following we got at that point of time, they

were very loyal fans. Till today they maintain that and watch our films.” “The new generation who is watching films, they have become very sensible, smart and intelligent. They go by the content, film to film. This will keep on changing. They will decide if the film is good or not, it won’t matter who is in the film,” he added. The actor has been on a golden run with his back-toback releases Baadshaho and Golmaal Again doing well at the box office. Ajay, however, said there was never a phase in his career where he felt “lost”.

“I’ve been very lucky in that sense. Everybody goes through a phase when films don’t do well but someone analysed it for me that in my whole career, except for a year or two, there has never been a year when I didn’t have a hit. “May be if there are two or three flops, there has always been a hit. I’ve luckily never had a phase where I was struggling.” Currently, the 48-year-old actor is awaiting the release of his next, Raid. Directed by Raj Kumar Gupta, the film is set against the backdrop of the 1980s and features Ajay as an Income Tax officer hailing from Uttar Pradesh. “I like rotating my genres, doing different things. I did Golmaal now Raid, then a romcom and then Dhamaal. I think I’ve been lucky. I’ve tried most of the genres and they all have worked. “Otherwise an actor starts struggling. He wants to break out of a genre and then it gets very difficult. It (trying new genres) has got nothing to do with stereotype. It’s about me enjoying my work and not getting repetitive and bored,” he added.

Irrfan Reveals He’s Suffering From A Rare Disease

Actor Irrfan says he is suffering from a rare disease and is fighting for choices. Last month, filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj had announced that he was pushing back his film, starring Deepika Padukone and Irrfan. “I am pushing back the film by a few months as both of my lead actors are down with different health problems. Irrfan is down with jaundice,” the filmmaker had said. Now, Irrfan has shared that he has a rare disease and has requested people not to speculate. “Sometimes you wake up with a jolt with life shaking you

up. The last 15 days, my life has been a suspense story. Little had I known that my search for rare stories would make me find a rare disease,” Irrfan tweeted on Monday. “I have never given up and have always fought for my choices and always will. My family and friends are with me and we are working it out the best way possible. In trying times, please don’t speculate as I will myself share with you my story within a week - 10 days, when further investigations come with a conclusive diagnosis. Till then, wish the best for me,” he added.

Shraddha Kapoor’s No To Ranbir Kapoor Shares His Thoughts On Manjeet Hirani’s Book Fans, Yes To Pals Shraddha Kapoor turned 31 on Saturday. Fans gathered outside her Juhu home to greet her and present gifts, but the actor did not step out. She took to social media and wrote, “Thank you for your birthday wishes and sorry to everyone who came to wish me under my building. As we are all aware it isn’t much of a time for celebration so, I hope you guys understand (sic).” When fans spotted the actor’s mum Shivangi Kapoor (inset), they requested her to accept the gifts on the actor’s behalf. But Shraddha Kapoor stepped out with friends and family to celebrate at a suburban nightspot and cut cakes. The time was right then, perhaps.

Wife of celebrated filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, Manjeet Hirani is set to launch her book How To Be Human - Life Lessons by Buddy Hirani. In this book, Manjeet Hirani, who is a wellknown influencer and speaker, writes about attachment, parenting, and karma, among other things. She shows how having a dog in the house can alter your perspective and change the way you experience life. Ranbir Kapoor who read the book recently shared his thoughts on the book. The

actor shared, “‘Manjeet’s book reinstates everything I have ever felt about my pets. It made me realize my goal in life is to be as good a person as they think me to be! How to be human: Life lessons from Buddy Hirani is her story, but it could very well be yours or mine.’” Ranbir Kapoor will be seen in Rajkumar Hirani’s upcoming film based on the life of Superstar Sanjay Dutt. How to Be Human is a charming and heart-warming book that, with its light touch, will make you look at life from a less cynical standpoint.

Don’t Want To Live Fake, Manufactured Life In The Film Industry: Richa Chadha Keeping one’s sanity alive in the make-belief world of Bollywood can be quite challenging but Richa Chadha says she has navigated her way through it by not being pretentious and trying to please people. The 31-year-old actor says she is open about her vulnerability in front of fans as it helps her remain sane. In a interview with PTI, Richa says, “I want to be as real as possible. I aim to be that. I can’t keep changing myself according to how someone sees me. ‘Oh this project is happening so be nice to that person’, I can’t work like that. I know actresses who do this, I have fallen out with many of them.”

“If you are turning 40, just be graceful, don’t get into teenager outfits, put two hair bands and go ‘aww’. Don’t do that! Don’t be stupid. I don’t want to live that life. It is so fake, so manufactured. I am not interested,” she adds. While personally Richa is clear of how she wants to go about her career, the actor is baffled by how the industry struggles to slot her. Though she was noticed in her debut Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Nagma Khatoon in Anurag Kashyap’s acclaimed Gangs of Wasseypur was her breakout role. The 2012 film, however, put her in a zone where she was

afraid of being typecast, that Richa consciously tried to shed

the image. “I think the industry struggles in trying to slot me. I am not a kurta-jhola type of actress, I have

consciously chosen to be glamorous. That’s the identity I chose because I was so afraid of being stereotyped after ‘Gangs...’ so that’s what I went for. So, I think they struggle a little bit to slot me.” Despite making wrong choices initially in her career, Richa says she is happy the way things have turned out for her. “I think I only made mistakes in the beginning of my career. But after that I have been conscious of the films I want to

be in. It is a tough choice. “I am a woman, an outsider who wants to be a part of quality films and I won’t even sleep around. So I am in extreme minority with the kind of work I want to do,” she says. There is, of course, a price to pay for being selective but for the actor it is largely materialistic - “no penthouse, or a fancy bungalow or millions of followers”. “But you have to choose and stand by your choices,” she adds.

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90th Academy Awards in LA on Sunday had glamour and gossip in attendance

OSCARS glitz & goss EMMA looked every inch a winner on the red carpet of the 90th Academy Awards outside the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday. The reigning Best

Actress, having won the Oscar last year for her role in La La Land, wore a pink sash tied at her slim waist around her cherry red suit. She paired them with simple black trousers. Emma later slipped into something sexier — a yellow and grey satin mini-dress — to attend Vanity Fair’s Oscars bash. The petite number hugged her tiny frame and showed off her lithe pins. Emma’s dress was yellow with a buttoned detailing at the bust and a block of dove great at the top. Two black straps clung onto her shoulders and she matched these with black heels. She has dazzled at over a dozen of Oscar ceremonies in the past. And Nicole Kidman well and truly knocked it out of the ball park at this Academy Awards in Los Angeles. The 50-year-old showed off her slender figure in a stunning strapless form-fitting navy Armani Privé gown. A large leg split directly up the center of the design drew further attention to the gown’s dramatic bow. Oscar nominee Margot Robbie cut a resplendent figure in a custom Chanel couture gown at the event. The 27-year-old was a vision in white on the red carpet. Her figurehugging dress featured a fitted corset with jewelled detail

that enhanced her decolletage and showed off her slender frame. The blonde beauty carried a tiny statement clutch as she sauntered down the carpet. Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot was a statuesque beauty in her fringed metallic Givenchy Spring 2018 Haute Couture dress, which included a revealing neckline; she added a pendant necklace and crimson lips. Emma Watson sported a temporary tattoo on her arm bearing the words ‘Times Up’ in support of Hollywood’s movement against sexual harassment. The 27-year-old Harry Potter actress stormed the red carpet, where her sleeveless dress left the new inking on full display while she rubbed shoulders with fellow stars and pioneers of the movement. She was among the first to speak out against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who is facing accusations by numerous female stars of sexual harassment and rape.

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Russian envoys in drug trade Ukrainian lived with mom’s mummified body for 30 yrs now eyeing World Cup?

KREMLIN-CONNECTED diplomats are targeting the World Cup with a state-sponsored cocaine-smuggling operation, it has been claimed. This astonishing allegation suggests a major supply route — masterminded by a shadowy figure nicknamed ‘Lord K’ with ties to the highest echelons of the Kremlin — has regularly delivered drugs from Argentina to Europe using Russian diplomatic channels. The alleged plot appears to be straight out of BBC drama McMafia about the son of Russian exiles with mafia ties, who is drawn into the world of organised crime. But Russia has angrily denied accusations that its diplomats are involved in large scale cocaine smuggling. The allegations stem

from a case revealed last week when a $61 million (`400 crore)) stash of cocaine weighing 385 kg was found hidden in the school inside the Russian embassy compound in Buenos Aires. Its seizure led to half a dozen arrests in Russia and Argentina. Another key figure since named as Andrey Kovalchuk — aka ‘Lord K’ — last heard of in Berlin was put on the Interpol wanted list, who is alleged to have made 11 trips to Argentina since 2013. Now, an expat Russian professor, Maxim Mironov, an economist, whose children attend the embassy school where the vast cocaine haul was found, has alleged the official Moscow version of the drugs find revealed last week is full of ‘lies’. The school is so closely guarded by

FSB security service agents, he said, that no-one could leave a large cargo of cocaine on its premises without the authorities knowing. Parents were not even allowed inside the school by the FSB guards to meet teachers, he said. He disputes the official Moscow version which suggests the failed smuggling bid was a oneoff operation by low grade diplomatic staff backed by two Russian emigres who hold Argentine citizenship. High ranking officials must have been involved, he claimed. He believes in the recent case Russian ambassador Víktor Koronelli blocked the cocaine being exported — but only after Argentine authorities expressed fury at the embassy routing and confronted him with it. Earlier, such consignments had been sent, he alleges. Bugged conversations between detained suspects indicate a major smuggling route was operating previously via the embassy, said economist Mironov, finance professor of IE Business School in Madrid, who obtained his doctorate from Chicago University and is now on secondment in Argentina.

A WOMAN has been found living with the mummified body of her mother in a squalid apartment in Ukraine. Police believe the 77- year-old woman had kept the remains of her deceased mother for at least 30 years in a flat strewn with rubbish including stacks of newspapers. Officers found the body lying on a sofa next to religious ichnography after being called to the address in the city of Mykolaiv by concerned neighbours. The body had been dressed in a white dress and head covering, with blue shoes and green socks. Her daughter — now an elderly woman herself — was found alive but paralysed in both legs. She was discovered lying on the floor in urgent need of assistance. There was no water, gas or electricity supply in her flat. A police report said: “In order to rescue the 77-year-old woman, officers called the rescue service which helped to break into the flat. In one room on the floor was sitting a woman surrounded by rubbish.” “The pensioner could not walk

and needed urgent help. An ambulance was called for her. Having checked other rooms, police found a mummified body of a woman.” The report went on: “The woman pensioner lived alone, and did not communicate with her

neighbours. She never opened her front door. Despite this, neighbours tried to take care of her and left food for her on the doorstep.” “Nobody guessed that the woman was living with a dead body of her mother. Now the mummified body was removed from the flat and sent to forensic experts.” A criminal investigation is underway.

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UN study reveals 7 tongues may soon never be heard

Languages on the verge of extinction NEARLY 200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal go extinct each day. While this figure is shocking, it is not surprising. The fact that one spoken language goes extinct every two weeks may be more so. New statistics from the United Nations reveal the astonishing rate at which we are losing languages. In 8,000BC humans spoke as many as 20,000 dialects. Today, just 6,500 remain in use and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) lists more than 2,000 of them as vulnerable or endangered. About 97 per cent of the world’s population speaks four per cent of its languages. Three per cent speaks the remaining 96 per cent of them. This means that when small communities stop speaking their native tongue, it has a disproportionate effect of the diversity of language. “Languages are humankind’s principle tools for interacting and for expressing ideas, emotions, knowledge, memories and values,” says a UNESCO report. “Languages are also primary vehicles of cultural expressions and intangible cultural heritage, essential to the identity of individuals and groups. Safeguarding endangered

language is thus a crucial task in maintaining cultural diversity worldwide.” How does a language die? Sometimes it might be because the people that speak it have died. Natural disaster, disease or war are all contenders, told MNN. In other cases people may just decide to stop speaking indigenous language. Of late, many regional languages have been replaced by global languages like English, Spanish, French and Mandarin. Listed are seven languages that are on the brink of extinction. 1. JEDEK: Spoken by just 280 people in a small village on the Malay Peninsula, Jedek was discovered only last year. Before then it had never been documented. “Jedek is a language spoken in a village previously studied by anthropologists,” Niclas Burenhult, associate professor at Lund University, said. The huntergatherer people do not use language to describe violent acts, nor do they have the verbal tools to describe competition between children. 2. AKA: An Indian language, Aka is spoke only in Arunachal Pradesh. The town in which it is spoken is reachable only by driving five-and-a-half hours into the jungle. But the dialect is

dying. The village’s youngsters now choose to learn Hindi, There are just a few thousand Aka speakers left. 3. ICELANDIC: An entire nation’s language is slowly seeping away. Iceland’s ancient language is indeed doing just that. Icelandic has been around since the 13th Century and is best known for its incredibly complex grammatical structure. Sadly, it appears the internet and social media are sounding its death knell. Younger Icelanders are speaking more English because. It’s called “digital minoritization 4. MARSHALLESE: Environmental factors can also kill off a language. On the Marshall Islands, people are leaving. On the coral atolls that lie between Australia and Hawaii life is becoming increasingly tough. Climate change and rising sea levels have had a tangible effect on its inhabitants and many are moving. Strangely, the largest population of Marshallese immigrants is in Springdale, Arkansas. But when communities immigrate they tend to lose their language within a few generations. 5. WINTU: Before the arrival of Europeans in North America the Wintu tribe numbered about 14,000. Now, ravaged by foreign disease and violent settlers it has

dropped to 150. According to UNESCO there is only one fluent Wintu speaker left alive, and just a handful or semi-speakers. Wintu is very close to vanishing completely. 6. TOFA: UNESCO estimates that there are 40 Tofa speakers left. Thuis Siberian language is spoken only in Russia’s extremely remote Irkutsk Oblast by the Tofalars. Three villages in the Easter Sayan mountain range use the language, and reaching those village is extremely difficult.

This isolation has helped to preserve the language. However, almost of the children of the town attend boarding school and therefore grow up speaking Russian. 7. ELFDALIAN: Elfdalian is the closest thing to Old Norse that exists today. It is only spoken by the people of Älvdalen in a remote part of Sweden. The North Germanic language spoken by up to 3,000. Of late, many of its speakers have veered towards using Swedish.

Chilly storm and flood in northeast US kill 5 AT LEAST five people were killed after a major winter storm pounded the US East Coast on Friday, with strong winds, heavy rain and snow disrupting thousands of flights and forcing the closure of federal government offices in Washington. Coastal flooding alerts were issued from New Jersey to Massachusetts with winter weather advisories, winter storm warnings and high wind warnings in effect from the Northeast to the Mid-Atlantic, the National Weather Service said. Winter Storm Riley dropped more than a foot (30.5 cm) of snow in the western and northern parts of New York, as heavy rain lashed coastal areas. The storm is expected to taper off overnight or by early Saturday. Police in James City County, southern Virginia, confirmed a 44-year-old man was killed when a tree fell on the truck he was travelling in, while in Chesterfield County, south of Richmond, authorities said

a six-year-old boy was killed when a fallen tree struck him as he slept in his home. Outside Baltimore, a 77-

year-old woman was also killed when she was hit by a large tree branch in Kingsville, Baltimore County Police and fire department said. Meanwhile, local media said

fallen trees also killed an 11-year-old boy in Putnam Valley, New York, and a man in his 70s in Newport, Rhode Island. More than 3,000 domestic and international flights were cancelled on Friday and more than 2,400 others were delayed, reported FlightAware site. More than half the flights scheduled to arrive and depart from New York’s LaGuardia Airport were cancelled, with sweeping disruptions at Boston Logan International, Newark and John F Kennedy International airports. Amtrak, the US public railway service, announced that “for safety”, all services along the northeast corridor were temporarily suspended. Trains already en route between the New York and Boston would continue to their destinations and hold, it said. New York was expected to avoid heavy snow but was forecast to receive two to three inches of rain and wet snow, with gusts of up to 96 kmph.

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Researchers Nina Brochmann & Ellen Stokken Dahl want you to stop looking for that elusive erogenous zone YOU MIGHT imagine, in this oversexed world of ours, that there’s nothing we don’t know about making love; that no secrets remain about women’s bodies. Well, you’d be wrong. As we can reveal, there are plenty of myths which stubbornly persist — and some truly extraordinary unknown facts that, once understood, could transform your love life for ever. Because, despite living in an age that’s more medically advanced than ever, few doctors concern themselves with trying to learn more about the most private parts of a woman’s anatomy. In fact, throughout our own medical training, we found senior gynaecologists would sometimes brush aside our questions as unimportant — an attitude which only proves medical research has been a man’s world for too long. Yet we believe there are few more important things than truly understanding the intricacies that make up the wonder that is a woman’s body. And so, despite just being one medical student and one doctor fresh out of university, we embarked on what proved to be rather enlightening


journey. It’s one of the most discussed areas of the female sexual anatomy: the G-spot, the supposed key to women’s pleasure. Described as an extra-sensitive point, it was ‘discovered’ by a German gynaecologist, Ernst Grafenberg, in the Forties — hence why it’s more formally known as the Grafenberg spot. It’s been suggested that some women can achieve orgasm just by stimulating it. Some experts think it might be linked to a group of glands in the pelvis. Known as Skene’s glands, they are considered the female equivalent of the male prostate and may play a role in sexual pleasure. But the precise location — and nature — of the Gspot has been endlessly debated. Indeed, new research from an Australian study claims that it doesn’t exist at all. Researchers from Austin Hospital in Melbourne examined 13 women and found nothing in the area where the Gspot is said to be. So what has all the talk been about? Well, research based on imaging techniques has failed to find any separate structure capable of producing orgasm or sexual pleasure in women other than the clitoris. One new hypothesis is that the G-spot is not a separate physical thing at all, but simply a deeplying inner part of the clitoris that’s stimulated during

sex. Hold on, you might say. The inner part of the clitoris? What inner part? And this brings us to perhaps the biggest myth we discovered in our research. We’ve been brought up to believe the clitoris, the site of all female sexual pleasure, is roughly the size of a raisin. But the truth is this little button is just the tip of an iceberg, a small part of a large and extraordinarily sensitive organ that extends deep into a woman’s pelvis. And despite anatomists knowing as far back as the 1800s that the clitoris is really much larger than the visible bit of it, this is far from general knowledge. While the male penis is described in detail in anatomies and textbooks, the clitoris has remained a curiosity. Nor has the male-dominated medical world been particularly interested in conducting further research. There’s still disagreement over what exactly forms part of the clitoris and how it

works. So let’s reveal what we know about this most vital area of a woman. It is shaped rather like an upside-down Y, with one arm of the Y stretching each side of the genitals, filled with erectile tissue which swells during arousal as blood flow to the area increases. Obviously, now you know that the site for female pleasure is far larger than you imagined, you can see how this could exponentially increase your pleasure — and stop wasting your time looking for a specific G-spot that probably doesn’t exist. One study found a woman’s clitoris could experience a physiological reaction eight times in a night. Our potential for pleasure is greater than you might think. Since medieval times we’ve been told that women are born with a hymen, a sort of seal over the vagina that breaks when a woman loses her virginity. The bleeding that then supposedly takes place has been used

as proof of virginity. Indeed, in India, the Middle East and many other countries, this still exists. Yet we can tell you there is no absolute physical ‘seal’ that acts as a proof of virginity. There is, however, an anatomical structure which has caused the misunderstanding. Yes, women are born with hymens — but they are by no means all the same. They are simply a rim of tissue in the vaginal opening, left over from our development in the womb. Most commonly, rather than something akin to a sheet of cling film, hymens actually resemble a scrunchie for your hair or a doughnut covering the vagina. That’s right: they have a hole in the middle, most often a large one. So much for the ‘seal’. So if there’s a big hole in the hymen anyway, why do some women, roughly half, bleed when they first have sex? This could be because their hymen isn’t that elastic (which is normal), or they’re understandably nervous as they have sex for the first few times and so tense up, which can lead to small abrasions in their vaginal walls. So let’s be clear — after all, women in less progressive parts of the world are losing their lives over this misinformation — there is no medical examination that can determine whether or not a woman is a virgin with any certainty.


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Why female Viagra is doomed to failure MEN ARE, to be frank, more straightforward creatures than us when it comes to desire. There’s around a 65 per cent correspondence between their physical arousal and their mental arousal. In other words, they are more likely to feel sexy in their mind and body at the same time. That’s why pills like Viagra work incredibly well to assist a man who has been struggling in the bedroom. Viagra doesn’t work on the brain, but simply ensures that a man gets an erection. This is likely to trigger a response in a man’s brain — job done. But for women, things aren’t so simple — and that’s why any kind of female Viagra, the so-called ‘pink pill’, is unlikely to work. Women only have a 25 per cent overlap between their mind and the workings of their genitals. So a woman can easily be physically aroused but not feel ‘turned on’ or ready for sex at all. Put simply, women’s desire is first and foremost located in their heads. It simply isn’t enough for an attractive person to be lying in our bed. We need more — it’s our brain that needs stimulating. For women’s sexual desire to be affected by pills, you have to fiddle with the intricate pathways in the brain and that’s medicine at a whole new level. One attempt at a ‘pink pill’ involved giving

women testosterone, since this sex hormone is believed to be central to sexual desire. But in the best study, carried out on women aged 35 to 46, no rise in desire was found. However, researchers have noted a strong placebo effect: in one experiment, women were given a harmless sugar pill — but told it was Viagra. Some 40 per cent reported an increase in sexual desire as a result. What this proves is how profoundly women’s emotions matter when it comes to sexual

arousal. Many women rely on the Pill to allow them to enjoy a healthy sex life. But there’s a myth that hormonal contraception like the Pill causes you to put on weight. Actually, the real cause of putting on the pounds could be that a lot of women put on a bit of weight when they find a partner, which is also likely to be the time they start taking the Pill. Instead of blaming the extra pounds on cosy nights and a nice meal, women are more likely to blame the Pill for their newfound heft.


STUDIES have shown that the longer a couple stay together, the less sex they have. At the same time, we know the happiest couples are the ones who have the most sex. Yet there is good news for those of you who are simply too exhausted to increase your lovemaking. There seems to be a happiness ‘ceiling’ associated with sex. A Canadian study of 30,000 people found the level of happiness didn’t increase among people who had sex more than once a week, when compared to those who had sex just once every seven days. So there’s no need to feel guilty that you don’t have more sex — as long as you’re both content with it, once a week seems to be enough to keep the home fires burning. So often we’re told to relax to increase our sexual

pleasure. But this is both the best and worst advice: yes, you should try to relax your mind, but if you lie there motionless and expect an orgasm to hit you like a bolt from the blue, it’s rather unlikely. Instead, when you’re in bed, it’s best to tense your muscles. Squeeze your bottom and the muscles of your private parts, relax for a moment, and then tighten again. This increases the blood flow to your genitals making it all much more enjoyable, and more likely to lead to an orgasm. Another way to increase blood flow is to use your muscles before sex. If you go for a run, or exercise, before making love, it makes it easier to get aroused and increases many people’s capacity to reach orgasm.

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Military court clears deceased Army officer in arms’ sale case, orders FIR into suspicious death


THE mother of a deceased Army officer won a long legal battle to fully restore the honour of her son who was facing a court martial over allegations of trying to sell a pistol to a civilian. Durgawati Singh, mother of late Captain Vivek Anand Singh of the 16 Garhwal Rifles, won the fight in a military court which has not only set aside the court martial proceedings against her son but also ordered the Army to lodge an FIR into the accident in March 2011 that led to the officer’s death. Taking over the case filed by her son, the officer’s mother had pleaded that since the general court martial was likely to culminate in her son’s exoneration and the guilt of some officers of the Army was likely to be exposed, “a conspiracy was hatched against him and he was removed from their way in a

purported accident.” The ordeal of Capt Vivek started in 2007 when he was admitted to the Base Hospital in Delhi due to a knee injury when a military intelligence unit team led by one Maj Yuvraj Singh Rathore gave input from Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir that one Maj Qayoom Khan also admitted in the hospital, was trying to sell a pistol under an arms racket. But when the military intelligence team raided the Base Hospital, Capt Vivek, who was walking with the help of a medical stand, was allegedly apprehended by them for his involvement in arms sales and he was kept under detention by them for almost over a month. The detention was followed up by a court of inquiry and a summary of evidence by the Army where the Captain was indicted and he was made to

face a general court martial. All along the officer insisted that he was not involved in any such activity and he was being framed wrongly. His general court martial started in March 2009, where it came to the notice of the authorities that the pistol produced before the court martial was different than the one which was claimed to have been recovered from him by the Army intelligence team. While the proceedings were on in the GCM, Captain Vivek allegedly met with an accident on a bike in Meerut where he suffered a serious head injury after which he was admitted to the Research and Referral Hospital. The mother of the officer also raised questions over the death of her son and the court of inquiry into it. The judgment by the Armed Forces Tribunal

Christians punished for playing banned game TWO Indonesian Christians were publicly flogged in Banda Aceh province on Tuesday for playing a children’s entertainment game. The game is seen by authorities in the conservative Muslim province as ‘gambling’ and therefore it violates Islamic Sharia law. Some 300 people jeered and held up their mobile phones to record when Dahlan Silitonga, 61, and Tjia Nyuk Hwa, 45, were flogged six and seven times respectively. The pair had been arrested along with a third man for playing a game at a children’s entertainment complex that lets users exchange coins for prizes

or vouchers, including cash. Banda Aceh is the only province Indonesia that imposes sharia

law and people can be flogged for a range of offences; from gambling, to drinking alcohol to having gay sex or relations outside of marriage. “You are old, show remorse,” the crowd screamed.

Non-Muslim Tjia Nyuk Hwa tried to hide her face in a specially provided white cloak with head-covering hijab. “This is to create a deterrent effect, in order for people not to repeat violations of Islamic sharia law,” Banda Aceh’s mayor Aminullah Usman said. “We purposely do it in front of the public... so it won’t happen again.” The two Christians are among just a handful of nonMuslims to be punished under Aceh’s strict religious law since it was adopted in 2001 as part of a deal with the central government to end a longrunning insurgency.

bench headed by Justice DP Singh said, “No seizure memo was prepared nor the article alleged to have been recovered was sealed at the time of recovery. Even the article seized in pursuance to recovery was not produced during the proceedings of GCM. In this view of the matter, an inference may be drawn that the recovery made from late Capt Vivek Anand Singh was a sham and a farce.” The court said in view of absence of even basic documents “we have no option but to hold that the alleged recovery of pistol from the Ms Durgawati’s son is based on unfounded facts.” Commenting on the procedures followed by the authorities in the case, the court observed that it “indicates how the provisions of law have been abused while dealing with such a sensitive case where the allegation is of recovery of a pistol from a commissioned officer of the Indian Army holding the rank of Captain.” “It further shows how and to what extent sometimes the prosecuting officer goes ahead to involve an innocent person in a farce case in our country,” it said. “We have no hesitation in holding that the right of Capt

Vivek Anand Singh for fair trial was infringed in a most arbitrary and illegal manner for reasons best known to the respondents and he was subjected to GCM proceedings with a predetermined mind,” the court said. Allowing the petition filed by the mother, the court said, “The impugned convening order as well as the charge-sheets are set aside and late Capt Vivek Anand Singh is exonerated of all the charges levelled against him.”

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People skate on city canals in Amsterdam, some take a chilly bath in lakes

ICE AGE IN EUROPE EUROPE remained in the grip of the ‘Best from the East’ as temperatures continued to hover below freezing and snow fell across the continent. Making the most of the bad weather, families in Amsterdam — where the temperature was -1 degree Celsius on Friday — decided skate down the city’s frozen canals. Dozens of men, women and children strapped on their blades and glided along the Prinsengracht canal on Friday, with people even taking their dogs out over the frozen water. Water authorities imposed a ban on boats on some of the city’s canals this week and closed locks and sluices to help the ice

develop. A skater in nearby Oostzaan, just north of Amsterdam, made a heartbreaking discovery in the ice — a bird frozen solid in the ice. Christoph van Ingen discovered the bird while ice-skating in a wide ditch on Thursday as the temperatures in the region had hit -8 degree Celsius. He explained: “I found the bird while I was skating. I saw something blue under the ice and stopped skating. Then I took the photos.” It is thought the kingfisher might have dived into the water through a hole in the ice to catch a fish, but may have not been able to find its way out, or the hole quickly froze over. Meanwhile, swimmers in

Dortmund and Hyde Park in London, where the temperature was also below freezing on Friday, took a dip in an icy outdoor pool. Further, south snow continued to fall across northern Italy with Milan, Florence, Bologna and Parma all given a coating of flakes on Friday. Trucks and cars were also pictured stuck near the tollgate of the Melegnano motorway, a few miles south of Milan, after icy conditions caused highways to shut across the region. On Thursday, one in two trains were cancelled across the north, with the government blaming poor planning by the rail companies for the disruption. Schools were also cancelled in Florence, while the usually sundrenched hills of Tuscany were coated with a thick blanket of snow. While Germany has escaped the worst of the snow, temperatures remain punishingly low with the town of Barth, along the Baltic Sea, reaching a low of -17.5 degree Celsius overnight. Relief is set to come over the weekend, however, with the south and west due to see the mercury above freezing. Even the typically winter-hardened nations of Sweden and Denmark were suffering with the severity of the

weather, with the Swedish government warning against allbut essential road travel. Meanwhile in Denmark, authorities warned people not to walk out on to frozen lakes and rivers after a 12-year-old wandered

on to the ice in North Jutland. While the girl managed to make it back to shore safely, it comes after a seven-year-old boy plunged through the ice in Copenhagen and had to be rescued.

Gangster on parole marries his sweetheart EVEN the most dangerous criminals have a tender spot for their loved ones. Gangster Neeraj Bawana’s close aide Rahul Dabas alias Kale, accused of beating two members of a rival gang to death in a moving police van, got married to his girlfriend of seven years amid tight police security. Kale had applied for parole with the sole purpose of getting married after he came to know that the girl’s parents were forcing her to get married to another man. The two had met through common friends and soon fell in love. Despite being lodged in Tihar Central Jail, Kale decided to seal his relationship by marrying his long-time girlfriend when he saw that the girl’s parents were against their relationship. Anita (name changed) is seven years elder to Kale. The two married on February 5 in an Arya Samaj temple

amid tight security provided by 40-50 police personnel, who also recorded the proceedings. Kale’s counsel Pradeep Rana said, “After immense pressure from

his girlfriend’s family which was against the relationship, the couple decided to marry even though they will have to stay apart for an unknown period. We had

applied for an interim bail but were eventually granted custody parole for the occasion.” In August 2015, while Neeraj Bawana and Kale were being transported to Tihar Central Jail from Rohini, they had allegedly beaten to death two rival gang members Bhola and Goldy after a scuffle broke out in the prison van. They strangled the duo and hit their heads on the walls and floor of the van. When the duo collapsed, the accused continued kicking them until the van stopped at the hospital. The attack was allegedly led by Bawana, who apart from Kale, was also accompanied by his other aides Naveen Bhanja and Bali. The incident took place when nine prisoners were being escorted to jail in the prison van by two police officials — an assistant subinspector and a constable (driver) — both posted at the 3rd Battalion of Delhi Police.

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Your professional mastery and intelligence is exposed in important business ventures this week. You are intensely perceptive and discerning when faced with clever and ambitious adversaries. You are gracious in family matters and caring in relationships with great expectations from people who love you. There are bound to be a couple of unreliable people in your social circle who are jealous of you; ignore them. You take away masks and point to the truth, which might put people on the defensive. Try to be clear but not ruthless or you may not be received well by people around you.

You have the courage and forbearance to face personal difficulties and take up professional challenges this week. All your hard work makes victory possible. Relationships could be strained this week if you are not clear about intentions. Health and finances need to be balanced. You are quite admirable in your efforts to stand up for justice. You keep up with family and key people at work despite disagreements outside. Don’t allow others to impose on your hospitality or take advantage of your good nature. A trip is on the cards. Do not allow old fears to get you!

You can be frustrated this week as some great ideas in which you invested time and energy did not actualise. It’s best to be practical and realistic. Over-analysing professional situations and personal relationships only causes stress. Your heart gives you the best answers and your intuition reveals uncanny insights. Disruption in the work area is temporary and should be taken in your stride. Beware of idle chatter and social gossip. Be light, playful, and in touch with your sense of humour at this point. Love, romance, and celebration at the end of the week change your mood to a happy one.

Great expectations can bring disappointment, so it is best to take life as it comes, and go with the flow this week. There may be disturbance at home and disruption at work when you least expect it. It is best to not wait for reward or appreciation but treat it as a gift when it comes in personal or professional aspects. You are capable of deep feelings and lasting commitments but put them on hold till you are certain about the other person’s priorities. Balance is advisable in all aspects of life this week. You are clear about personal and professional targets at the end of the week.

The beginning of this week puts focus on health, fitness, and diet. Health problems need to be resolved and not allowed to linger. You are able to resolve financial and legal matters with advice and support from professionals and specialists. You may consider buying or selling land, home or property, which would be gainful. Spending time in natural surroundings can be therapeutic and a journey towards the sea or mountains is indicated. You are emotional, loving, and caring in family situations. An older man offers you a golden opportunity to actualise creative potential.

You can expect teamwork and synergy to move business projects towards successful completion. Your personal charisma and power will take you through difficult situations and to important people. You retain a position of authority in a business set up and prove your metal despite competition and rivalry. You enjoy love and support in personal relationships as romance is in the air. There is a lightness to your step. A sound investment in land, home or property is likely. You focus on fitness and diet programs this week. You stand by friends and stick your neck out for justice, values, and priorities.

A bit of introspection and new perspective brings illumination from within, as you are inspired with divine wisdom to resolve situations. You are prudent in professional matters as they need completion in a stipulated time. Spending time in solitude among natural surroundings is therapeutic. You look forward to a short vacation or retirement. Friends and family are caring. Do not forget to share and express your feelings to the one who loves you dearly. A new associate is afraid to make a financial commitment. The best answers lie within you and it is best to trust your own wisdom than be manipulated by others.

You are youthful, swift, and strong in professional projects to achieve success and completion this week. You can be impulsive when faced with choices, be aware. Your sense of humour and lightness take you smoothly out of difficult and embarrassing situations. Love and romance in personal relationships leads to new attitudes and lasting commitments. Beware of a prejudiced and intolerant youth in the work area, as he can be a corrupt and negative influence. A son or close associate is ready to embark on an independent path.

A week of happiness and harmony can be expected! You feel energetic and enjoy the feeling of well-being and confidence. There is a steady increase in income in creative business projects. A brief vacation is on the cards! Shortterm loans or assignments might be gainful for you. A media splash or coverage is just what you need to enhance your public image. Family, children, and personal relationships bring joy and light in your life. A Scorpio person can be trusted and depended upon but not taken for granted. Don’t forget about lasting commitments while you are dealing with short-term situations.

Dynamic, forceful and assertive energy is infused into your professional ventures as you move into new fields. Transformation of priorities and attitudes is on the cards this week. You inspire others to cut away from the past and make important changes. A friend is becoming emotionally dependent on you and needs to be encouraged towards independence. A senior person makes a formidable adversary or a loyal benefactor, depending on his mood. You are in touch with Yang energy and abilities this week, and need to watch out for violent outbursts.

The week starts on a positive note as you make a truce in an ongoing conflict. Inner and outer choices and problems are resolved. Concentrate on finishing present projects creatively and dropping perfectionist attitudes that only lead to delay. Bad attitudes and confirmed ideas can be a failing as a fresh approach is gainful at this point. Balance can now be achieved in financial situations and personal relationships as Lady Luck smiles on you. It is a good week to attempt difficult tasks or meet tough people as you disarm them with friendship. A socially busy time as friends catch up with you.

You mask intense passion with a calm surface this week as you become aware and feel disturbed about subtle and crafty people in the work area. Such ruthless people with overweening ambition need to be avoided. Be flexible and elastic about plans and ideas if blocks come in your way, as this is a time to get on with your business rather than being caught up in emotional or ego conflicts. Deep feelings of love in emotional relationships are countered by negative attitudes at work. Trust your intuition and use a light approach to deal with negative or traditional people around you.

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EXPERTS ranging from Facebook to health researchers are studying Internet users’ digital footprints to track their well-being. The results are being used as part of the emerging industry of digital phenotyping, which focuses on learning from people’s tech habits, according to The New York Times. Facebook is using digital phenotyping to try to prevent suicides, while mental health experts have been using the data to monitor behaviours linked to depression. To draw those conclusions, the researchers are tracking the number of times people click on their phones in a given day, which as it turns out, is a lot. People typically touch their phones 2,617 times daily, The New York Times said.

Researchers note how often a person posts on social media websites, how speedily they scroll through their contacts and the amount of times they check their phone to get a sense of their mental and physical health. Mental health experts are not the only ones studying this behaviour to make estimations about people’s health. Technology companies are doing it too, even though they are not exactly experts in the field. BUT with a mountain of data at their disposal, it serves as fertile ground for them to draw insights from. Facebook is scanning for potentially suicidal users by turning to artificial intelligence. Each day we unlock our phone 28 times — and over a third of the time this is impulsive and totally

Could life survive on planet Mars?

LIFE on Mars could be possible, based on a breakthrough in the world’s driest desert. Scientists have found bacteria in South America’s Atacama desert that can lie dormant without rain for decades

before being ‘reactivated’. The Atacama, which gets less than 20 millimetres (0.8in) of rainfall a year and can go without rain for decades, is the most similar place on Earth to rocky, barren Mars. The finding that bacteria there can exist for decades without water suggest similar tiny forms of life could be hiding under the surface of the frozen Red Planet. Professor Dirk SchulzeMakuch, lead author of the desert study at Washington State University, said, “In the past researchers have found dying organisms near the surface and remnants of DNA but this is the first time that anyone has been able to identify a persistent form of life living in the soil of Atacama desert.”

unnecessary, a recent study found. More than 40 per cent of the 10,000 times users check smartphones each year is

person’s Facebook page saying things such as ‘Can I help?’ or ‘Are you O.K.?’ a Facebook team might be alerted about the

‘compulsive’. More than one in three people think they are addicted to checking their phone with the average user spending nearly an hour each day on their phone. The apps we crave most are Facebook, followed by WhatsApp, Gmail and Instagram. Google Maps is considered the most useful app while WhatsApp and Gmail came second and third. Google Chrome was fourth and Facebook came in fifth. If the company’s system detects that friends have commented on a

person’s potentially alarming mental health state. Facebook might send a notice that suggests calling a helpline, or, in extreme cases, it might notify local authorities about the problem. Facebook told the Times that it has worked with local emergency personnel more than 100 times over the course of one month. While some health professionals do not see a downside to the effort, others are wary. “It’s a great and huge unmet need,” Dr Steve

Steinhubl, a director of Scripps Translational Science Institute’s digital medicine department, told the Times. “[But it is] certainly right up to that line of practicing medicine not only without a license, but The phone habits that may reveal depression maybe without proof that what they are doing provides more benefit than harm,” he added. One potential problem with the practice is the fact that people cannot opt out of Facebook’s scans for possibly suicidal thoughts. Additionally, it is unclear what is done with the highly sensitive information Facebook collects on people’s mental states. University of Maryland law professor Frank Pasquale commented on the issue, saying, “Once you are characterised as suicidal, is that forever associated with your name? Who has access to that information?” A Facebook spokesperson told the Times that data associated with possibly suicidal users is deleted after 30 days.

VIRTUAL NATION SET TO BUILD OWN ECONOMY THE ‘virtual nation’ Asgardia has successfully launched its first satellite into space, established its own parliament and counts close to 2,00,000 people as citizens. Now, Asgardia is about to name its own space currency. The world’s first space kingdom has launched a global competition to create financial and economic systems for the sovereign nation. Participants in the Future of Finance and Economics Competition are tasked with submitting proposals that outline

a payment instrument for goods and services, savings functions and liquidity of national currency. Asgardia, which formed in 2016, has a constitution that has already been accepted. The constitution calls on the space nation to create a ‘sustainable and robust economy, rich in financial opportunities and incentives, as crucial to our long term success.’ The kingdom is now seeking ideas for what kind of financial ecosystem should exist in Asgardia. “It is history in the

making,” said Igor Ashurbeyli, Asgardia’s head of nation, in a statement. “Everyone has an opportunity to help create the Asgardian economy,” he added. Participants can take part in the competition as individuals or in teams of up to five people. They can submit text proposals, animations, videos or infographics describing their ideas. After the competition closes, proposals will be judged by a panel of global finance, economics and digital technology experts to choose the winner.

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Call girl threatens to reveal Russian link to Trump election The self-proclaimed call girl ‘mistress’ of a Russian billionaire has said that she will reveal Moscow’s purported connections to the 2016 US presidential elections if America rescues her from a Thailand. Nastya Rybka was thrust into a corruption scandal in 2016 when she filmed billionaire Oleg Deripaska and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko on Deripaska’s private yacht. She took to Instagram on Tuesday begging the US for help after she and nine others were allegedly arrested in Thailand on Sunday for being sex experts and running a course in ‘lovemaking’. In return for help from the authorities, Rybka said she would hand over information that she claims would expose the ties between the Kremlin and Washington, D.C. “If we go back to Russia we will die in Russian’s prison or they will kill us,” she wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Please USA help us not to die from Russians!” Rybka, whose real name is Anastasiya Vashukevich, said she is willing to offer members of the US media information that she claims to possess regarding the ties between Russian lawmakers, President Donald Trump and the US elections. She claims she ‘knows a lot’ and has ‘audio and video’ proof. In the video, Rybka said that she and her ‘associates’ were

arrested on someone’s order that came from Bangkok. She claimed that someone was paid off to throw her in jail, in violation of Thai laws. “If you find me in Thai jail still alive, I’d gladly talk to you. I am awaiting your proposals,” she said in the video. Rybka and nine others were arrested by Thai police for being sex experts running a course on lovemaking. Just last week, the ‘sex guru’ Alex Lesley, 36, claimed to have played a part in the events which led to YouTube and Instagram being threatened with a nationwide ban in Russia. His ‘student’ Rybka claimed she and other models were hired to spend time on the yacht off

Norway two years ago. Rybka is the author of tell-all book, Who wants to seduce a billionaire? The book and her numerous Instagram posts inadvertently exposed ties to the Kremlin of a Russian billionaire who’d done business with Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager.

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Top Trump aide Hope Hicks to resign WASHINGTON Hope Hicks, one of Donald Trump’s longest-serving aides and perhaps his most trusted confidante, on Wednesday announced her resignation in the

latest of a string of departures from the embattled White House. The 29-year-old former model and PR operative took her first job in politics as spokesperson for the Republican’s victorious campaign, before joining him in the White House where she was named communications director last September. While she cut a discreet figure in the White House refusing all interviews - the former advisor to Ivanka Trump was known around the West Wing for her close relationship with the president’s family and as a keen defender of his image. She was well known to have the ear of the president, who

never publicly voiced even the slightest criticism of her. “There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump ,” the 29year-old Hicks said in a

statement on her departure. Trump paid tribute to Hicks’ “outstanding” contribution over the past three years, calling her “as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person.” “I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood,” he added. “I am sure we will work together again in the future.” White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Hicks had “served her country with great distinction.” “To say that she will be missed, is an understatement,” Kelly said.

Trump nomination for Nobel Peace Prize-a fake

Hicks’ announcement came a day after she testified before a Congressional intelligence committee about the Russia election meddling investigation. She reportedly told lawmakers she had told “white lies” for Trump in the course of her duties, but never over the Russia probe. The White House said Hicks had informed Trump she wished to leave in order to explore other opportunities. Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said no timeline had been set for her departure, adding that her exit was not linked to her testimony to Congress. In a sign of the high turnover in Trump’s administration, Hicks was the fourth person to head the communications team - her immediate predecessor, the brash Anthony Scaramucci, having lasted just 10 headspinning days in the role. Hicks’ departure follows that of a succession of senior administration figures: from national security advisor Michael Flynn, to Reince Priebus as chief of staff, Sean Spicer as press secretary and Steve Bannon as the president’s chief strategist. As communications director she was responsible for shaping the administration’s message, but Hicks was far less visible to the public than the press secretary Sanders, and before her Sean Spicer. But she was brutally thrust into the spotlight in early February when another topTrump aide with whom she had become romantically involved was accused of domestic abuse by an ex-wife. Former White House staff secretary Rob Porter - who denies the claims - resigned following the allegations.

Rare relief for H-1B spouses as work permit restrictions delayed

Washington The Trump administration plans to delay till June the end of a programme that granted work authorisation to spouses of H-1B visa holders awaiting their Green Cards, mostly from India. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was expected to announce the end of H-4 Employment Authorisation Document (EAD) in February but told a court on Thursday it needed more time to re-evaluate implications of the decision. But it still intends to shut it down. A response from US citizenship and immigration services, which runs the visa programme, was awaited. The postponement will give H-1B spouses more months of work authorisation, according to Immigration Voice, an advocacy group that challenged the administration’s proposal to kill the programme. “This is great news for our members since they can continue to work and provide for their families,” it said in a Facebook post. There are an estimated 1.5 million Indians on H-1B visas whose Green Card applications are being processed. But there is a long waiting period for them

— 70 years, by one estimate — because of the backlog caused by a country-limit on Green Cards. As the primary visa holders awaited their turn, their spouses were prevented from working in the US until 2015, when the Obama administration unveiled the H-4 EAD programme (only for spouses of those awaiting their Green Cards) as an incentive to attract and retain highly skilled professionals required by US employers. The DHS in December announced plans to end it in line with the president’s Buy American, Hire American executive order that seeks to protect American jobs for Americans. The administration has been squeezing the H-1B visa programme to that en,d arguing it has been abused and misused to displace American workers. A spokesperson for USCIS, which runs these visa schemes, had said in December that the agency “is focused on ensuring the integrity of the immigration system and protecting the interests of US workers, and is committed to reforming employment based immigration programs so they benefit the American people to the greatest extent possible”.

Israeli police grill Netanyahu on new fraud case

OSLO Has Donald Trump really been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize? The Norwegian Nobel Institute said Wednesday it had filed a police report after receiving a seemingly fraudulent nomination for the US president. “We have good reason to believe that a nomination we received concerning Trump has been falsified,” Nobel Institute director Olav Njolstad told AFP. He refused to provide further details, saying it was for the police to give more information. Each year, nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize must be submitted by January 31. Among those entitled to propose names are members of parliament and government, former laureates and some university professors. While the list of candidates is kept secret for at least 50 years, those who nominate are however allowed to disclose their

choice. The Peace Research Institute of Oslo (Prio) said in early February that Trump’s name was on the list.Like last year, Trump was nominated for his “ideology of peace by force” by an American who did not want his identity revealed, according to Prio, a body independent of the Nobel organisation which closely monitors the nominations revealed publicly.It is possible that this nomination was submitted by a person suspected of committing identity fraud to appear eligible to nominate. The Nobel Institute said it had received 329 valid nominations for the 2018 Peace Prize. The five members of the Nobel committee that selects the winner are also allowed to submit names during their first meeting of the year, which was held on Monday. The name of the 2018 winner will be announced in early October.

JERUSALEM Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife for several hours on Friday over corruption allegations that threaten the rightwing premier’s long tenure. The questioning, the eighth such session since 2017, came after police last month recommended Netanyahu’s indictment in two graft cases. “The Prime Minister and his wife were questioned for a number of hours as part of an investigation,” a policespokesman said in a statement without giving more details. Israeli media said the five-hour grilling related to allegations Netanyahu sought a deal with Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder of telecoms group Bezeq, which would have seen Netanyahu receive good press on Elovitch’s Walla! news website in exchange for business concessions. Netanyahu , 68, has denied all charges and rejected talk of stepping down. He is due to meet US President Donald Trump, perhaps his closest international ally, at the White House on Monday.

“I am sure that there will be nothing and I want to tell millions of Israelis that the extraordinary show of support me, my wife and my family have received is heartwarming,” he said in a video posted on Facebook after the questioning.

former media adviser to the Netanyahu family, were among seven suspects arrested last week as fraud suspicions against Netanyahusnowballed. In addition, Israeli army radio said Friday that “a former senior communications ministry official

He added he was looking forward to meeting Trump, who he called a “true friend of Israel.” An AFP journalist saw police arriving at Netanyahu’s official Jerusalem residence in two vehicles at around 9 am (0700 GMT). His wife Sara was questioned at the national fraud squad headquarters near Tel Aviv, media said. Elovitch and Nir Hefetz, a

close to the prime minister was detained this morning for questioning in the Bezeq affair.” The former official was not named. Channel 10 News reported on Thursday evening that police have seen text conversations between Sara Netanyahu and Elovitch’s wife Iris which strengthen suspicions that their husbands traded favours.

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Kremlin says no interest in US arms race in ‘invincible weapons’ row

Kremlin The Kremlin on Friday said Russia will not be part of a new arms race as the United States and NATO voiced concern over Vladimir Putin’s boasts of new “invincible”weapons . Putin stunned the West -and many in Russia -- on Thursday by using his state of the nation address to unveil a new arsenal of hypersonic weapons and submarines less than three weeks before an election is expected to extend his rule until 2024.The revelations came with ties between Russia and the West at post-Cold War lows over the Syria and Ukraine conflicts, and accusations that Moscow interfered in theUS presidential election in 2016. Putin said the weapons would render Western missile defence systems obsolete, prompting a harsh response from NATO, which insisted its systems based in Europe were not directed against Russia. “Russian statements threatening to target Allies are unacceptable and counterproductive,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in a statement. Putin insisted the next

generation weapons would only ever be used in self-defence, though his presentation featured video montages of missiles crossing mountains and oceans, including the Atlantic. US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel shared worries in a phone conversation over Putin’s claims, Berlin said Friday. “The chancellor and the president voiced concern about Russian President Putin’s latest remarks on arms development and its negative impact on international arms control efforts,” said a statement by the German chancellery. - ‘No new arms race’ Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected accusations Russia was violating any arms control agreements. “We categorically reject any accusations that Russia is violating any provisions and articles of international law on disarmament and arms control,” Peskov said. “Russia is not going to be pulled into any arms race.” Washington accused Moscow of breaching Cold Warera arms treaties, with a State Department spokeswoman saying it was “unfortunate” to have

watched a video animation that depicted a nuclear attack on the United States. Putin presented Russia’s military efforts as a response to actions by the United States, which last month unveiled plans to revamp its own nuclear arsenal and develop new lowyield atomic weapons . “No one really wanted to talk to us basically. No one listened to us then. Listen to usnow,” Putin said Thursday, prompting a standing ovation from the audience of top officials, lawmakers and celebrities. Nearly half of his almost twohour speech was dedicated to the country’s latest weaponry. Peskov denied suggestions that one of the videos allegedly used a map of the United States to simulate an attack on Florida. “No maps were used there, these are absolutely symbolic contours, there is not any tie-up to any concrete country,” he said. - ‘Declaration of new Cold War’ Analysts said Putin -- who is all but guaranteed to win a fourth Kremlin term in March 18 elections -- was effectively challenging Washington to a new arms race. “This is a formal declaration of a new Cold War,” independent security analyst Alexander Golts told AFP. He compared Putin’s address to former British prime

minister Winston Churchill’s 1946 speech in which he condemned the Soviet Union and effectively announced the beginning of the Cold War. The US State Department expressed outrage at Putin’s presentation and his “cheesy” animated video of warheads over US soil -- and said the Russian leader had confirmed long-held

allegations about his programme. “We don’t regard that as the behaviour of a responsible international player,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “President Putin has confirmed what the United States government has known for a long time but that Russia has denied prior to this.”

Kenyan doctor performs brain surgery on wrong patient

NAIROBI A neurosurgeon at Kenya’s largest hospital has been suspended after performing brain surgery on the wrong patient, the hospital said in a statement on Friday. The scandal, which prompted an outpouring of horror on social media, is the latest drama to hit the Kenyatta National Hospital in recent weeks, after allegations of staff sexually assaulting patients, and

the theft of a baby. The hospital said the surgeon, as well as two nurses and an anaesthetist, had been suspended pending an investigation into the operation “on the wrong patient”.–AFP Health Minister Sicily Kariuki also suspended the CEO of the hospital over the blunder. An investigation by the Daily Nation newspaper revealed that two men had been taken to the hospital last Sunday.

China should have three-child policy, Eleven sick after envelope lawmaker says before Parliament session opened at US military base

WASHINGTON An envelope containing an “unknown substance” was opened at a US base near Washington, leaving 11 people sick, including military personnel, the Marine Corps said. The envelope, which was received at Joint Base MyerHenderson Hall around 3:30 pm (2030 GMT), led to an evacuation of the building, the US Marine Corps said in a statement. “Shortly after receiving the letter, 11 people started to feel ill,” three of whom were “transported in stable condition for further medical evaluations,” it said. “Joint Base Police Department officials are working with local HAZMAT teams, NCIS

(Naval Criminal Investigation Service) and the FBI. The building was screened and cleared,” it said. CNN reported that a corporal, gunnery sergeant and a colonel complained of a “burning sensation” on their hands and face. Marine spokesman Major Brian Block said it was too soon to say whether the incident was being considered a terror attack. “It’s way too early to start speculating on any of that, we have to wait and let the investigators do their jobs,” Block told AFP. Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall overlooks Arlington Cemetery just across the Potomac River from Washington.

Beijing Couples in China should be allowed to have a third child, a lawmaker has proposed, arguing it is the only way to stem a worrying slide in the birth rate despite the scrapping of the onechild policy two years ago. The number of births fell sharply in 2017 after an increase in 2016, a year after the one-child policy was discontinued following nearly 40 years of strict implementation. Experts have said China is looking at a “gloomy demographic” situation in future, raising questions whether the current two-child policy was implemented too late. It means a steady decline in the number of people in the working age and the government having to spend millions more to take care of the increasing number of elderly in society. Zhu Lieyu, a member or deputy of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s Parliament, which convenes on Monday, agrees with experts who have sounded the alarm. “There is a big gap between the effect and expectation of the second-child policy, as it did not result in a population blowout, but a decline in China’s birth rate,” Zhu, a lawyer from the southern province of Guangzhou, was quoted as saying by online news

platform Zhu has argued in his proposal that a moderate rise in population will help China resolve the problem of an ageing society

of 17.23 million babies were born in 2017, declining from 17.86 million in 2016, and the birth rate dropped from 1295 to 1243 per 100,000 population.

by upgrading its economy. “The essence of future competition among countries is competition in technology, economy and population, and the fundamental competition is the competition of talent. Thus, the fertility rate of a country is very important,” Zhu was quoted as saying. There were 630,000 fewer births in 2017 than the year before, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said earlier this year. A total

The NBS said the decline was because of 2.5 million fewer couples having first children. Experts have even suggested that what China needs is to abandon the family planning policy to encourage more births. Questions, however, remain whether Zhu’s idea of a third child will work as one reason why couples are not opting for a second child is the increasing costs of rearing children.

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Baby born on British roadside in freezing conditions after snow blocks hospital road London It may have been a frosty welcome, but the dramatic birth of a British baby on a snowy roadside has warmed hearts as the country shivers in a blast of freezing weather.

The child was named Sienna but quickly earned her own social media hashtag “#A66snowbaby”, referencing the name of the road in northern England where her mother Daniella Waring gave birth on Thursday morning with the help of her husband Andrew, after heavy snow impeded their dash to hospital. “The weather was very bad and I struggled to find somewhere to pull over and barely had time to ring 999 (emergency services) when the baby started coming,” Andrew Waring said, according to

details released by Great North Air Ambulance service. “Having been present at the birth of our two other children I just copied what I had seen then. “I opened the passenger door and knelt in the snow to deliver

the baby.” Paramedics arrived soon after and tended to mother and newborn before rushing them to Darlington Memorial Hospital maternity unit. There, Sienna Louisa Dottie Waring weighed in at a healthy 10lbs 1 oz (4.6 kg) and was “doing really well”, according to staff. Britain -- and most of Europe -- has been gripped by extreme cold weather and major snowfall throughout the week. “The conditions were challenging to say the least and we initially had difficulty finding the family,” said air ambulance

crew member Philip O’Donnell. “The baby had arrived shortly before we arrived so the hard work had been done, but we were able to check baby and mum over before the ambulance crew arrived and took her on to hospital. “It was a lovely job to be involved in and we’d like to congratulate them on the new arrival.” Anne Hodgson, labour ward sister at Darlington memorial hospital, said the newborn was being cared for in a special cot which has a mattress filled with warm water to regulate her temperature, and was regularly monitored throughout Thursday. “Daniella and Sienna had been in freezing temperatures so our priority was making sure they had skin to skin contact to warm Sienna up,” she said. “We have no cause for concern and they’re both doing really well despite their experience.” Sharing details of the episode on social media, the air ambulance crew christened the new baby with her first hashtag. “Sienna Louisa Dottie Waring, born by the side of the A66, welcome to the world!” they wrote on Twitter.

‘Come be part of the celebrations’: Prince Harry and Meghan invite public to wedding

London Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle have invited 2,640 members of the public into the grounds of Windsor Castle for their wedding in May, Kensington Palace said Friday. The prince and the US actress “want their wedding day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too”, a spokesperson said. The group will be invited to watch the arrivals of the bride, groom and their guests at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, a residence of Queen Elizabeth II’s located west of London. They will also be able to watch the royal couple depart in a horse-drawn carriage. Those invited include 1,200 members of the public from

across Britain, chosen to represent a broad range of backgrounds and ages, including young people who have “shown strong leadership” and served their communities. There will also be 200 people from charities and organisations associated with the couple, 100 pupils from local schools, 610 members of the castle community and 530 royal and crown staff. Harry and Meghan had already announced they would make a short carriage ride through the town of Windsor after their wedding on May 19, to “share their celebrations with the public”. There will be a reception afterwards at St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle, while Harry’s father Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, will host a private party in the evening.

Turkish paedophile given record 572-year sentence

Facebook removed page of Buddhist Bin Laden YANGON Facebook has removed the page of a Myanmar monk once dubbed the “Buddhist Bin Laden”

has been likened to ethnic cleansing by the US and the UN, but which has been applauded by Myanmar nationalists online. A

for his incendiary posts about Muslims, the company confirmed, as it faces pressure to clamp down on hate speech. Wirathu, a prominent face of Myanmar’s Buddhist ultranationalist movement, had amassed hundreds of thousands of followers on the network, using it as a platform to attack Muslims, singling out the stateless Rohingya minority. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since last August following a military crackdown in Rakhine state that

Facebook spokesperson told AFP late Monday that Wirathu’s page had been removed. “Our Community Standards prohibit organizations and people dedicated to promoting hatred and violence against others”, a Facebook spokesperson said in an email. “If a person consistently shares content promoting hate, we may take a range of actions such as temporarily suspending their ability to post and ultimately, removal of their account.” The page was taken down in

late January. Wirathu could not be reached for comment, but he said in a video last year that his account had been temporarily banned for 30 days because “Facebook is occupied by the Muslims.” Facebook use has grown exponentially in Myanmar since a quasi-civilian government opened up the telecoms sector in 2013, making it easier for people to access the internet in the largely Buddhist country. Hardline monks like Wirathu took to the platform as well, gaining notoriety for fanning antiMuslim hatred through inflammatory posts. His tirades have been blamed for stoking sectarian violence, which has plagued Myanmar’s transition to democracy. After Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi came to power in 2016, the government dissolved the Ma Ba Tha group to which Wirathu belonged, and slapped the monk with a one-year speaking ban. But the man who once appeared on the cover of Time magazine as the “face of Buddhist terror” remains influential. The social media giant has faced calls to rein in hate speech on its Myanmar accounts for years, with pressure mounting during the Rohingya crisis.

ANKARA A Turkish court jailed a paedophile a record 572 years for abusing 18 children at the school where he worked, reports said Tuesday, as alarm grows over the extent of child abuse in the country.The court in the southern province of Adiyaman convicted the janitor after it was found he raped children and would sneak into some of the pupils’ beds, Hurriyet daily said. The defendant was found guilty of multiple crimes including “child sexual abuse” for which he was given 30 years for each of the 18 boys he abused, the newspaper reported.He was also sentenced to 32 years for other crimes including “depriving someone of their liberty”, “obscenity” and “blackmail”, thus adding up to 571 years 11 months and 25 days, Dogan news agency and Hurriyet reported. The paedophile started working at a high school offering a specialised religious education, known as an Imam Hatip school, in 2012 but lived at the school between 2013 and 2015, the newspaper said. At one point, the former cleaner would physically hit the children, force them to watch

pornographic films, make them smoke as well as threaten the students, Hurriyet said.The subject of child abuse has been under the spotlight in the past week after two recent separate incidents of child sexual abuse reported in local media shocked Turkey. Following public outrage, the government was quick to respond by setting up a commission on preventing child abuse with officials including six government ministers. The government said it would also consider introducing chemical castration, which involves using drugs to reduce libido, for child abusers.Chemical castration had already been introduced in 2016 but the country’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, halted its implementation last August. Women’s rights groups have opposed the measure, saying that the solution to stopping child sexual abuse was to stop giving reduced sentences to offenders. The number of court rulings on child sexual abuse in Turkey has soared, rising from 3,778 in 2006 to 21,189 in 2016, according to justice ministry data cited by human rights groups.

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Slovak police probe journalist’s murder BRATISLAVA Police in Slovakia launched a murder probe on Monday after a leading journalist who investigated high-profile tax fraud was found shot dead along with

his fiancee, sending shock waves through the small eurozone state. The body of Jan Kuciak, a 27year-old reporter for the news portal owned by Germany’s Axel Springer and Ringier, was discovered alongside that of Martina Kusnirova at their home in Velka Maca, 65 kilometres (40 miles) from the Slovak capital Bratislava. Police commander Tibor Gaspar told reporters Kuciak died of a gunshot wound to the chest while his partner was shot in the head. He said the motive was “most likely

related to the investigative work of the journalist.” Leftist Prime Minister Robert Fico said his government was offering one million euros ($1.2 million) for any information

leading to the capture of those responsible. “If the death of investigative reporter Jan Kuciak proves to be linked to his journalism, it would be an unprecedented attack on freedom of the press and democracy in Slovakia,” Fico said. Police discovered the bodies on Sunday after after family members failed to reach the pair for several days. Police reportedly found ammunition arranged around the bodies with the Pravda daily describing the scene as a “warning”. Tom Nicholson, a Bratislava-

based journalist, told media that Kuciak had been working on a story about an Italian mafia scam based in eastern Slovakia defrauding EU structural funds. The murder was condemned by European Parliament chief Antonio Tajani and the OSCE. “The EU cannot accept that a journalist is killed for doing his job. I call on the Slovak authorities to launch a thorough investigation with international support if needed for Jan Kuciak,” he wrote on Twitter. “We cannot accept a new reality in which journalists become regular targets for attack because of their investigative work,” Harlem Desir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, said in a statement urging a swift investigation. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also condemned the attack, saying Kuciak and his family had recently been threatened, and noting that he was the fifth journalist to be killed in the EU over the past decade. “We demand an investigation to shed light on the exact circumstances of this case, especially since Jan Kuciak and his relatives received threats in recent months,” said a statement from Pauline AdesMevel who heads RSF’s EUBalkans office. Slovakia is ranked 17th in the 2017 RSF World Ranking for press freedom, dropping five places compared to the previous year.

In a First, Saudi Arabia Women Participate in All-female Marathon Riyadh In a first, the women in Saudi Arabia participated in large numbers in an all-female marathon on Saturday. The threekilometer run took place in the eastern province of al-Ahsa. It saw the participation of around 1,500 women. The event, titled as ‘Al-Ahsa Runs’, was won by Mizna al-Nassar of Saudi Arabia.

She completed the race in 15 minutes leaving behind her rivals from different nationalities. The marathon which hosted professional, amateur, old and young women was sponsored by the Saudi General Directorate of Sports, al-Moosa Hospital and alAhsa municipality. Saudi Women Spectate Football Match Earlier in January, Saudi Arabia allowed its women, for the first time, to spectate at a football match as a part of an easing of strict rules on gender separation by the ultra-conservative Muslim country. The match was a clash

between Saudi Premier League clubs Al-Ahli and Al-Batin in the Red Sea city of Jeddah at Pearl Stadium. However, glass panels were set up to separate men supporters from the women and family section of the stadium. Saudi Women Can Issue Fatwas Meanwhile in September last year, the Saudi women were allowed to issue fatwas. The development came following a vote in the Shoura Council. The historic move was approved by 107 votes. The Shoura Council’s decision was welcomed by the majority of the population, as well as the specialists in Islamic law and jurisprudence. Saudi Women Allowed to Drive Recently, Saudi Arabia gave a nod to its women to drive in the country. The reform will be effective from June 2018 and is being seen as a stern blow to several Islamic clerics who justified banning women from driving by saying that it would lead to promiscuity and the collapse of the Saudi family. Saudi Arabia Approves Yoga as a Sports Activity The Saudi Arabian government, in November last

year, approved the practice of yoga as a sports activity. The news was confirmed after a social media post by Nouf Marwaai, founder of the Arab Yoga Foundation in the Saudi kingdom. In her post, she thanked the Indian Government and the Consulate General for “unlimited” support.

War-wracked Yemen facing catastrophic conditions

UNITED NATIONS Living conditions in Yemen are “catastrophic” after three years of war, with a growing risk of famine and cholera still raging in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, a senior UN aid official said Tuesday. The UN Security Council was meeting to discuss Yemen a day after Russia vetoed a Britishdrafted resolution that would have pressured Iran over the supply of missiles to Yemen’s Huthi rebels. “After three years of conflict, conditions in Yemen are catastrophic,” John Ging, UN director of aid operations, told the council. “People’s lives have continued unravelling. Conflict has escalated since November driving an estimated 100,000 people from their homes,” said Ging. A record 22.2 million people are in need of food aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. Cholera has infected 1.1 million people since April 2017 in the world’s worst outbreak, and diphtheria has returned to Yemen for the first time since 1982, said Ging. A Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen’s government

has been fighting the Huthis since 2015 in a war that has killed thousands and left one of poorest countries in the Arab world on its knees. Delivering a final report to the council, outgoing UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said that in the last two months, there had been renewed large-scale escalation in several areas including the Yemeni-Saudi border. A report by a UN panel of experts in January found that ballistic missiles fired by the Huthis on Saudi Arabia were made in Iran, but Russia has questioned those findings. “The parties have continued the destructive pattern of zerosum politics which has led the country to plunge into more poverty and destruction,” said the envoy, who is stepping down after nearly three years as peace negotiator. Cheikh Ahmed raised particular concern over the recruitment of thousands of child soldiers in the war, especially by the Huthi rebels. UN SecretaryGeneral Antonio Guterres this month appointed Martin Griffiths of Britain to replace Cheikh Ahmed and lead UN efforts to end the war in Yemen.

NY to pay Muslim women forced to remove hijabs NEW YORK The city of New York has agreed to pay $180,000 to three Muslim women forced by police to remove their headscarves to have mug shots taken, officials said. Each of the women is to receive $60,000 after the settlements were finalized in a Brooklyn federal court earlier this week, their lawyer Tahanie Aboushi said. Two of them were arrested in 2015 and one in 2012. All three incidents took place in Brooklyn, New York’s most populous borough, she added. The women claimed their religious rights had been violated, suing the city and the New York Police Department, the largest city police force in the United States, which was represented by the city’s law department. New York police have since changed their guidelines to give

detainees wearing a religious head covering the option of having their photograph taken in private by a police officer of the same gender. “It’s a step in the right direction and it was a collaborative effort to address a gap in the patrol guide,” Aboushi told AFP. “The resolution of these

matters were in the best interest of all parties involved,” said Kimberly Joyce, a spokeswoman for the city of New York’s law department. US media identified one of the plaintiffs as a high school pupil at the time, detained on a harassment complaint and said another was cuffed in a dispute over parking.

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German Taliban fighter arrested in Afghanistan KANDAHAR A German national has been arrested with the Taliban in Afghanistan ’s insurgencyracked Helmand province, Afghan officials said, one of the only Europeans found among the militants throughout the 16-year war. The man, who calls himself Abdul Wadood and was pictured wearing a black turban with a long, reddish beard, identified himself as a German resident of Frankfurt and spoke German , provincial officials and the Afghan army have said. He was serving as an adviser to Maulavi Nasir, the commander of the Taliban ’s elite “Red Unit” in Helmand, said Abdul Qadeer Bahadurzai, a spokesman for the 215th Army Corps - a claim that was also made by a local police chief. The Taliban ’s Red Units serve as the insurgents’ special forces and have carried out many fatal attacks on the Afghan army and police. Bahadurzai told AFP Thursday the man has no identity

card or passport. There was no immediate statement from German officials in Kabul or Berlin. Afghan commandos aided by the air force arrested the man during a raid on aTaliban minemaking centre in Gereshk district on Monday, officials said, adding that he was taken first to Camp Bastion and then on to Kandahar. “This is the first time a European national has been arrested in Helmand,” Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, told AFP. It is also believed to be one of the first times any European has been detained with the Taliban in Afghanistan since the US invasion in late 2001. International forces fighting in the country have spoken in the past of hearing European accents on intercepted Taliban radio transmissions, and in 2009 NATO forces reportedly killed an unidentified insurgent with a tattoo of English football team Aston Villa. But - unlike with international

India ready to invest in Kabul dam project

Kabul A senior Indian official has said his country is ready to invest in Shahtoot Dam project in Chahar Asiab district in Kabul province. The dam will be built in the Kabul river basin, one of the five river basins in Afghanistan, reported Tolo News. Vijay Keshav Gokhale, the foreign secretary of India , said in the meeting on Wednesday that India will start work on the dam in the near future. The project will provide drinking water, and irrigation water for Kabul province. The feasibility study of the project which cost $1.86 million USD was completed in 2012 when Mohammad Ismail Khan was the minister of energy and water. According to the Ministry of Energy and Water, the project will provide healthy drinking water to two million people in the capital city, Kabul . “The design and feasibility of the dam has been completed. Previously, Afghan and Iranian companies have worked on the

project. The construction of the dam has remained. It will be used mostly for drinking water,” said Asif Ghafoori, a spokesman for the Ministry of Energy and Water. Analysts said the dam project is a good step towards overcoming healthy water shortages in the city. “Underground water has reduced in Kabul and people are concerned about it. The project will overcome this problem,” Abdul Wase Haidari, an economic affairs analyst, told TOLOnews. The construction of the dam will cost $236 million USD, the Ministry of Energy and Water said. This comes after the underground water level in Kabul dropped to about 10 meters last summer. This has caused severe water shortages in certain areas of the city. The project will provide irrigation water to at least 4,000 hectares of land in Chahar Asiab and Khairabad districts in Kabul . It will also provide drinking water to the New City in Dehsabz.

jihadist groups such as the Islamic State group or Al-Qaeda - citizens of Western nations are almost unknown among the Taliban ranks, with most foreigners hailing from Pakistan, Central Asia or Arab nations. Perhaps the most famous Western fighter was John Walker Lindh, the so-called “American Taliban ”, who was captured in Afghanistan and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2002. In the photographs shared by the Afghan military the man, who appears to be in his 40s, is flanked by two members of the Afghan special forces dressed in combat gear and with night vision goggles pulled up onto their helmets. He is dressed in a traditional Afghan long shirt and wide trousers worn under a khaki military jacket.

Bahadurzai said three suspects were detained in total during the raid. “Three Kalashnikovs, one machine gun, four walkie-talkies and dozens of landmines were confiscated from them,” he added. The German man, he said, spent four years in Quetta in neighbouring Pakistan, long believed to be a refuge for Taliban militants. The man also spent one year in Afghanistan ’s Paktia province near the Pakistani border, and one year with the Red Unit in the Taliban stronghold of Helmand,

Bahadurzai said. It was not clear if the information had been confirmed by Afghan officials. German newspaper Die Welt reported Thursday that the man was a convert to Islam called “Thomas K” from RhinelandPalatinate, near Frankfurt. It said he had been known to authorities since 2009, and had travelled to Afghanistan in 2013 to join theTaliban , adding that German police had warned Kabul in 2014 that he could carry out a suicide attack targeting foreign interests.

Prosecutors seek 30 years’ jail for Park SEOUL South Korean prosecutors on Tuesday demanded a 30-yearjail sentence for former president Park Geun-hye, sacked over a wide-ranging corruption scandal which exposed shady links between big business and politics and prompted massive street protests. The 66-year-old daughter of a former dictator was dismissed in March 2017 and has now been in custody for almost a year. “We ask the court to hand down 30 years in prison and (a fine of) 118.5 billion won ($110 million) for the accused, who must take ultimate responsibility for the scandal as the 18th president of this country,” prosecutors said in a statement. They said Park, in collusion with her secret confidante and longtime friend Choi Soon-sil, took or was promised bribes totalling 59.2 billion won ($52 million) from three South Korean companies, Samsung, Lotte and SK, in return for policy favours. Park has also been charged with coercing 18 large firms to “donate” a total of 77.4 billion won to two dubious foundations controlled by Choi. The Seoul Central District Court earlier this month found Choi guilty of abuse of power, bribery and interfering in government business and sentenced her to 20 years in prison. The verdict and sentence was seen as a potential pointer to the decision in Park’s separate trial in the same court, because 15 of the 18 charges Choi faced mirror charges against the ex-president. The verdict on Park is expected on April 6. “The accused (Park) abused her power delegated by the

people for private gain for Choi and herself... violated core constitutional values on the protection of the market economy and free democracy,”

arrest warrant for the accused Park, she tried to cover up the true picture of the case by describing the move as political revenge.”

the statement said. “Consequently, the accused became the first president to be sacked through impeachment, leaving an indelible scar on the country’s constitutional history.” The prosecutors also rebuked Park for “allying with the chaebol instead of the people”, in reference to the country’s familycontrolled large conglomerates, accusing her of strengthening “unhealthy ties between political power and economic power”. They also decried her attitude toward justice. When allegations about Choi’s misdeeds started surfacing in news media, Park tried to mislead public opinion and denounced the reports as “political offensives”, prosecutors said. “When the court issued an

Park since October has stopped attending the court, which she denounces as politically biased. Some legal experts believe she is in an even worse position than Choi was, noting that the judge who sentenced Choi had denounced Park for having “delegated” presidential authority to a private individual. Park’s lawyers denied all the charges, asserting there was “no solid evidence” to back them up. “The allegations that the accused has obtained material gains are mere speculations”, Lawyer Kim Hae-Yeong said at the court. The conservative opposition Liberal Korea Party reacted angrily as hundreds of pro-Park supporters took to the street to protest.

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Japan’s jobless rate at Kuwait’s homegrown priest lowest in nearly 25 years celebrates Bible and bedouin culture

Tokay Japan’s jobless rate stood at 2.4 percent in January, the lowest in nearly 25 years, official data showed Friday, a major boost for the world’s third-largest economy. The figure -- the lowest since April 1993 when the rate hit 2.3 percent -- comes as Japan has notched up eight straight quarters of economic growth, the longest positive run since the “bubble” boom days of the late 1980s. Japan’s government and central bank are hoping for a “virtuous cycle”, with an exportled recovery boosting jobs and household income and thereby domestic demand, which accounts for roughly 60 percent of Japan’s economy. However, the former economic powerhouse is still battling deflation fears, failing to achieve the 2.0-percent inflation rate target set by the central bank, which is thought crucial to boosting the economy.

Experts say boosting domestic demand is key to exiting deflation and it requires better salaries for workers and removing fears over the snowballing costs of social welfare in the rapidly ageing society.The data offer some good news for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a day after he was forced into an embarrassing climbdown over a key plank of his economic policy linked to labour market reforms.

Kuwait Dressed in a traditional white Gulf headdress and with two red crosses embroidered on his black clerical robe, Kuwait’s first homegrown priest cuts a unique figure in the predominantly Muslim emirate. Father Emmanuel Benjamin Jacob Gharib, 68, celebrates both the Bible and Gulf Arab culture with his Christian congregation in Kuwait City. In an interview with AFP ahead of the 20th anniversary of his ordination, he stressed the level of acceptance he has felt from fellow Kuwaitis. “Everyone welcomes me wherever I go,” said Father Emmanuel. Born in the Qibla district of Kuwait City, Gharib was raised in a devout Christian family and surrounded by mostly Muslim neighbors.Like many Christian Kuwaitis, his roots lie elsewhere in the Middle East. The priest’s father was born to an Assyrian family in southeast

Paris Metro slaps pregnant woman with 60-euro fine for walking wrong way A pregnant passenger on the Paris Netro has been hit with a 60euro fine for walking the wrong way, sparking outrage on social media. The woman, who wanted to save some time on her journey, was given the ticket last Tuesday by inspectors at Concorde station near the Louvre art gallery.“Bravo for this racket,” her partner wrote sarcastically on Twitter, alongside a picture of her printed penalty notice. “A 60-euro fine without notice for a pregnant woman who goes the wrong way.” The Paris Metro operator RATP stood by the penalty, a spokesman telling AFP on Saturday the one-way systems are clearly marked and are aimed at avoiding “incidents” and controlling the flow of people. However, he added the tickets for such offences were “infrequent” and it is up to the RATP inspectors to apply them or not.

Turkey but forced to flee Ottoman massacres against the Armenian and Assyrian Christian minorities.

in geology in 1971 and soon found a job at the Kuwaiti oil ministry. Ten years into his career,

The Red Cross took his father to Iraq, where he would eventually wed Gharib’s mother — a fellow Assyrian — in the northern city of Mosul in 1945. With the former Ottoman cities reeling from the upheaval of World War I, the couple decided to build their future in Kuwait . They raised four girls and three boys — the eldest Emmanuel — in a religious environment, taking them to Sunday School each week. They always felt close to their Muslim neighbors PRIEST Emmanuel Gharib was not always destined for the priesthood. He graduated from engineering school with a degree

Emmanuel Gharib and his wife took part in a religious conference in Kuwait . “That was the turning point,” he said. “That was where the Lord changed my life... where I was born again and began my journey with Jesus Christ.” He quit his job and embarked in 1989 on a theology degree at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo. He was ordained as a priest in 1999 and subsequently elected to head the National Evangelical Church of Kuwait , becoming the first and only Gulf Arab priest . Father Emmanuel also serves as vice president of the IslamicChristian Relations Council in Kuwait , which he co-founded in 2009.

Human leg and arm found inside belly of 20-foot crocodile in Indonesia

Driving not ‘be all’ of Saudi women’s rights, says Princess Reema Riyadh Saudi Arabia is working to address deeper issues on the path to women’s rights after allowing them to drive and attend soccer matches, one of the Kingdom’s top female officials has

said. “These are things that are quick wins, we know we can do them, women in stadium, women driving , that’s great, but women driving is not the end all, be all of women’s rights,” Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud told the Atlantic Council in Washington. As part of a wide-ranging social and economic reform initiative in the face of falling oil revenue, King Salman announced in September that Saudi women

would be allowed to drive from June this year. Saudi Arabia then tackled the male bastion of soccer, letting women into stadiums to watch matches for the first time in January. Princess Reema , a vice

president at the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia, said deeper issues are still being worked on including “a woman feeling safe in her home” and having any career path open to her in a traditionally maledominated society. “Those are things that will be more dynamic in moving the conversation for women’s rights than just getting her driving ,” said the princess, who in 2016 became the first woman named

to a senior post in the authority, which is the equivalent of a ministry. “Domestic violence is so critical. I promise you we really are working on it.” The Sports Authority is trying to get more Saudis exercising as part of efforts to build a healthier population. Saudi women traditionally cover themselves from head-totoe in black robes, known as abayas, but Princess Reema said the attire will be no hindrance to women’s exercise. She said she knows of three companies making abayas for running and two more that have robes designed for cycling. “Innovation will come. It has to come,” she said. “Guess what, I’m wearing trousers today,” added the princess, also dressed in sparkling silver shoes, purple, black and grey flowing sleeves, and with a blue scarf around her head. The Kingdom sent four women as “wild cards” to the 2016 Olympics, but Princess Reema told AFP on the sidelines of the Atlantic Council event that she will be happy when one gets to a future Olympics “on her own merit ... however long it takes.”

Balikpapan (Indonesia) A human leg and arm have been found inside the belly of a huge crocodile suspected of mauling a man to death in Borneo, Indonesian police said Friday. Authorities shot and killed the six-metre (20-foot) long crocodile close to a riverbank where a local palm oil plantation worker had gone missing two days earlier, with only his motorbike and sandals found at the site, they said. The search ended Thursday when 36-year-old Andi Aso Erang’s lifeless body -- missing two limbs -- was discovered floating in a different part of the river in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. Police said they spotted a crocodile nearby and killed it.

“Inside the crocodile’s stomach, we found the left arm and a leg that we believe belonged to the victim,” local police chief Teddy Ristiawan said. The victim’s wife said he had left home to hunt for clams they could eat. “I never expected he would end up in a terrible situation like this,” said Anisa, who like many Indonesians goes by one name. In 2016, a Russian tourist was killed by a crocodile in the Raja Ampat islands, a popular diving site in the east of the archipelago. Human-animal conflicts are rampant in Indonesia, especially in areas where the clearing of rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations is destroying animals’ habitats and bringing them into closer contact with humans.

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UK man tried to form army of child terrorists, showed kids videos of executions London A man who used his role as an unqualified teacher to try and recruit an “army” of children to commit terror attacks was convicted in a British court on Friday. Umar Ahmed Haque, 25, tried to radicalise scores of children to commit “a multi-faceted attack on businesses and communities in London”, according to a Metropolitan Police statement. Haque, from east London, showed pupils at an after-school madrasa videos of “extreme terrorist violence” and made them “role play terrorists” stabbing police officers. His two accomplices, Abuthaher Mamun, 29, and Muhammad Abid, 27, were also convicted at London’s Old Bailey court. “Haque was a dangerous man who was inspired by attacks

in Europe and Westminster. He wanted to orchestrate numerous attacks at once, using guns, knives, bombs and large cars to kill innocent people,” said Dean Haydon, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command. “We recovered a number of exercise books from his home and it was evident from his notes that his plan was a longterm one.” “He intended to execute his plan years later, by which time he anticipated he would have trained and acquired an army of soldiers, including children.” In a phone message heard in court, Haque told Abib that he was using his role as an administrator at after-school madrasa “Lantern of Knowledge”

UK historian wants to return 1857 uprising skull to Kanpur

in east London to radicalise 16 children. Schools watchdog Ofsted is under pressure to explain how the school received an “outstanding” rating following an inspection conducted while Haque was working there. Further investigation revealed that Haque had also attempted to radicalise 55 children aged 11 to 14 while working at the Ripple Road Mosque. “When specially trained officers interviewed the children, they described being shown by Haque horrific videos of extreme terrorist violence including executions,” said Haydon. “They told police how Haque

made them roleplay terrorists and police officers, with the children acting as terrorists being made to stab the ‘police officers’ to death.” “The children were paralysed by fear of Haque, who they understood to have connections to terrorists and who essentially told them that a violent fate would befall them if they told anyone what he was doing. They were too afraid to confide in anyone,” he added. Haque was convicted by a jury of offences including plotting terrorist attacks, having previously admitted to four charges of collecting information useful for terrorism and one count of disseminating a terrorist document.

India map used at reception for Trudeau omitted Jammu and Kashmir Toronto The missteps during Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent visit to India are multiplying. According to a columnist in the Ottawa Citizen, among these mistakes was a map of India used at the official dinner reception at the Canadian high commissioner’s residence in New Delhi had deleted the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir. In his column, commentator Terry Glavin noted that “mercifully overlooked last week: a map of India displayed at last Thursday night’s High Commission party in New Delhi omitted the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir – the shellshocked, heavily militarised Muslim-majority Indian state that Pakistan claims as its own territory.” He went on to write, “Imagine the Indian High Commission in Ottawa throwing a party and showing off a huge map of Canada with Quebec missing, and you get the picture.” This was yet another instance of that reception causing embarrassment for Team Trudeau during his eightday tour across India. Earlier, of course, Jaspal Atwal, who was convicted in 1987 of an attempt to murder a visiting minister from Punjab, featured in the list of those invited for the do.

Money-laundering: UK acts against foreign politician London A London-based historian who was sent a skull out of the blue in 2014 and put together the fascinating story of Alum Bheg, a soldier blown to pieces by the British during the 1857 uprising, is keen to send it back to India for a respectful burial. Kim A Wagner, a senior lecturer in British imperial history at Queen Mary, University of London, was given the skull by the family that took over the Kent pub, The Lord Clyde. It had been at the pub for a long time with a 170-word note that identified it as that of Alum Bheg, a havildar of the Bengal Native Infantry. Wagner’s research revealed that Bheg - one of many unknown soldiers who died during the 1857 uprising and its aftermath - was blasted with a cannon in Sialkot, when the unit was stationed there. Most soldiers of the unit were recruited from Cawnpore, the erstwhile name for Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Bheg’s skull was taken away as a trophy by one Captain Costello. Wagner’s research tracing the skull’s journey was published in November 2017 in the book The Skull of Alum Bheg: The Life and Death of a Rebel of 1857. Wagner said: “My main aim with writing the book was to tell the world about the existence of Alum Bheg because nobody knows about him and also

ultimately to repatriate him to India. But that is quite a long and elaborate legal process. The book is an invitation to Indian authorities. “He died in Sialkot in today’s Pakistan, but he is most probably from Kanpur. In any case, there is not much interest in the 1857 uprising in Pakistan. He was a Muslim and probably doesn’t fit the Indian narrative, identified more with Mangal Pandey, but I am keen for it not to be politicised.” The Lord Clyde pub, where the skull was found, is named after Colin Campbell, later the first Lord Clyde, a British general who played a leading role in suppressing the 1857 uprising. He was also involved in the Second Anglo Sikh War of 184849. Wagner said he would like Bheg to be “finally put to rest in a respectful manner after he’s been kept in various boxes and attics for more than a century”. His research included a skull analysis at the Natural History Museum in London, which suggested the age was consistent with a mid-19th century date, and that it was definitely from a male who was probably in his mid-30s and was likely of Asian ancestry. Bheg was likely involved in the killing of British individuals based in Sialkot, as the note accompanying the skull suggests.

London British officials, under a new anti-corruption provision, have begun a money laundering investigation into the assets held by an unnamed foreign politician holding assets in the United Kingdom worth nearly £22 million. The National Crime Agency (NCA) said it had secured two unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) to investigate assets believed to ultimately be owned by a politically exposed person (PEP). The orders came into force in January, following growing concerns of money laundering. “These are the first such orders granted and represent the first time the legislation will be tested through the court. The orders relate to two properties, one in London and one in the south east of England,” the NCA said, without naming the politician or the country except that he is from Asia. In addition to the UWOs, interim freezing orders were granted, meaning that the assets cannot be sold, transferred or dissipated while subject to the order. Donald Toon, director for Economic Crime at the NCA, said: “Unexplained wealth orders have the potential to significantly reduce the appeal of the UK as a destination for illicit income. They enable the UK to more effectively target the problem of money laundering through prime real estate in London and

elsewhere. “We are determined to use all of the powers available to us to combat the flow of illicit monies into, or through, the UK.” Corrupt foreign politicians and criminals are estimated to

prime minister Nawaz Sharif in London. Provided under the Criminal Finance Act, the UWO allows authorities to freeze and recover property if individuals are unable to explain how they acquired

launder nearly £90 billion every year through the United Kingdom. Property in London and other major cities is said to be the major destination of corrupt cash. British media mention Russian oligarchs in this regard, but the measure applies to individuals from all countries. Anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International UK has identified £4.4 billion worth of property in the UK that may be the target of UWOs. The group suspects that five properties been bought using corrupt wealth, including two allegedly by former Pakistan

assets in excess of £50,000. Rachel Davies Teka of anticorruption Transparency International UK said: “The introduction of UWOs is a significant moment in the fight against dirty money flowing into the UK. They will allow law enforcement to much more easily investigate assets that are highly likely to have been bought using corrupt money, often stolen from populations in some of the poorest parts of the world. “From Russia to Nigeria to the Middle East it is no secret that corrupt officials have channelled ill-gotten funds into the UK via the property market.”

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19-year-old Michigan college student Texas teen arrested with rifle, 100 rounds of ammunition near high school suspected of killing parents arrested Rowlett A Dallas-area teenager was being held on $1 million bond Thursday after a police officer encountered him sitting in his car outside of a high school sporting event with a semi-automatic rifle

and 100 rounds of ammunition. Rowlett police arrested Diego Horta, 17, on Tuesday night on drug and weapons charges. Officer Cruz Hernandez, a spokesman for the department in Rowlett about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Dallas, said the officer approached the teen while patrolling near Rowlett high school and the city’s community center as two sporting events were wrapping up. “We’re glad that our officer encountered him early,” Hernandez said. “He had the weapon, ammunition and a mask ... Whatever we prevented, the outcome was going to be bad.” An earlier release from the Rowlett police department said police had no specific evidence to substantiate beyond a reasonable doubt that Horta planned to harm anyone. Hernandez said with the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and highway shootings in Dallas, including the fatal shooting of a postal worker and shots fired into a police car on nearby Interstate 30, the department has been exercising added caution. Court records did not show attorney information for Horta, who is charged as an adult with

UK man convicted of running over Muslim woman in hate attack A British man has been convicted of attempted murder for running over a Muslim woman in a hate crime he saw as revenge for Islamic extremist attacks. A jury found Paul Moore guilty of the September 20 attack, which left 47-year-old Zaynab Hussein with lifechanging injuries. Prosecutors say 21-year-old Moore drove his Volkswagen into Hussein in the central England city of Leicester, then ran her over as she lay on the ground. Hussein suffered fractures to her pelvis, her spine and leg. Minutes later, Moore tried to drive into a 12-year-old schoolgirl, who wasn’t hurt. After the verdict, Hussein’s husband said Moore “wasn’t attacking terrorists. He was joining their ranks by doing what they do and attacking an innocent woman.”

possession of a controlled substance and unlawful carrying of a weapon in a weapons free zone. Court records showed a Dallas County magistrate set the $1 million bond on the drug charge, and Horta was scheduled

to go before the magistrate to decide if an additional bond would be set on the weapon charge. Hernandez said officers were briefed about the two sporting events— a soccer game and basketball championship— before the patrol shift change. He said the arresting officer’s normal patrol area includes Rowlett High School, where the events were taking place. He also noted that Rowlett students were not playing in any of the games, and that Horta is home-schooled and not a

student at Rowlett High or any of the participating schools. The officer noticed Horta sitting in his car after 9 p.m. in an area behind the high school near the community center. Hernandez said the officer approached the car because it seemed suspicious and saw the semi-automatic rifle on the seat. The officer took Horta into custody and initiated a search of his car. Police found more than four grams of a penalty group 2 drug they believed to be hallucinogens. They also found an illegal club and about 100 rounds of ammunition. Hernandez said officers obtained a warrant and later searched Horta’s cellphone, where they found an image containing apparent child pornography. He declined to elaborate on the content, but said it did not appear to be from consensual sexting. Hernandez said the investigation is ongoing but a charge related to the image is pending. Warrants on the drug and weapons charges were not posted to the Dallas County court system as of Thursday night. Hernandez said federal and county authorities are assisting in the investigation.

Michigan A student at Central Michigan University suspected of shooting to death his parents inside a campus dormitory during a domestic dispute was arrested on Saturday, the school said, after a day-long manhunt. The suspect was seen by a bystander on a train passing through the north end of campus in Mount Pleasant, about 125 miles (200 km) northwest of Detroit, shortly after midnight and taken into custody without incident, said Heather Smith, a university spokeswoman, in a statement. The suspect was identified as James Eric Davis Jr., 19, after the two victims were found inside a residence hall at the university, police said. “It was an isolated incident, but we had two people that were killed in a residence facility. That’s traumatic,” Michigan governor Rick Snyder said at a news conference hours after the Friday morning shooting. The shooting led authorities to order a lockdown of the campus, which has more than 20,000 students, and police also warned Mount Pleasant residents to be on guard. Police in helicopters and patrol cars spent Friday scouring

the locked down campus and the area for the suspect, local media reported. Police escorted people leaving the campus, as university events were cancelled and Saturday classes were called off, university officials said in a statement. Davis had been taken to a local hospital on Thursday night after an apparent overdose or “bad reaction to drugs,” Klaus told reporters. The two victims were James Davis Sr. and Diva Davis, both 47, university officials said on Twitter. James Davis Sr. was a police officer in Bellwood, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, Emanuel Chris Welch, an Illinois state lawmaker, said in a post on Twitter. The incident came just over two weeks after 17 students and educators were killed by a 19year-old gunman with an assaultstyle rifle at a Florida high school.

Murder or madness? Trial for Manhattan nanny who killed 2 children begins New York A defence lawyer says it was an act of madness. Prosecutors will begin trying to prove on Thursday that it was murder. Five years ago, Yoselyn Ortega, a trusted nanny to a wellto-do family, took two young children in her care into a bathroom at their Manhattan apartment, slaughtered them with a knife and then slit her own throat. The killings of Leo Krim, 2, and Lucia Krim, 6, shocked New Yorkers, especially the thousands of parents who depend on loving nannies to take care of their children. At a trial that begins Thursday, the central mystery isn’t whether Ortega killed the children, but why she did it — and whether she was too mentally ill to be held responsible. “This case is about the insanity defence,” defence attorney Valerie Van LeerGreenberg told prospective jurors last week. “Not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect.” Prosecutors plan to present their own psychiatric experts who will say that Ortega understood the consequences of her actions, even if her motive may never be understood. “It’s the slaughter of two innocent children,” Assistant District Attorney Stuart Silberg said. A judge has already declared

Ortega, 55, mentally fit to stand trial. New York has a high bar for the insanity defence and it is rarely successful. To win, Ortega’s lawyers will have to prove that she didn’t understand the consequences of her actions and didn’t know right from wrong at

relationship with her employers. Once, the family travelled together to the Dominican Republic to meet Ortega’s family. Some of Ortega’s friends and relatives said she appeared to be struggling emotionally and financially before the killings, and she’d started seeing a

the time. During jury selection, some potential members of the panel were dismissed after telling the court they believed mental illness does not excuse someone from a moral understanding of right and wrong.Others were rejected as jurors after saying they couldn’t be impartial because they had small children themselves or a close relationship with a caregiver. Ortega had worked for the Krims for about two years, in one of the city’s wealthiest neighbourhoods, a block from Central Park, and by some measures had a close

psychologist. A doctor who testified for the defence during pre-trial legal hearings said Ortega had serious delusions. On October 25, 2012, the day of the killings, she asked a neighbour to come over because she was afraid to be alone, Dr Karen Rosenbaum said. And three days before, she was out of control at her sister’s apartment, throwing pots and pans, and then being unable to remember the outburst. But police said that while she was in custody after the killings, Ortega gave interviews that paint

a picture of an unhappy employee: She told authorities that she hurt the children because she was having money problems and was angry at the parents, according to court papers. She said her schedule constantly shifted, she had to act as a cleaning lady though she didn’t want to and she missed an appointment with “the psych,” according to the papers. “Oh, my God, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” she said, according to the court papers. “Relieve me of my misery.” The parents of the two slain children rarely speak publicly about the killings, but both are expected to testify. Their mother, Marina Krim, discovered her two dead children and the bleeding nanny in the darkened apartment after returning from picking up another daughter, age 3, at a class. Marina Krim and her husband Kevin Krim, a CNBC executive, use a Facebook page to post updates on how they are doing, writing about the arrival of two new children, Felix born in 2013 and Linus in 2016. Strangers post messages of support; more than 80,000 people like and follow the page. In the wake of the tragedy, the couple started the Lulu and Leo Fund that aims to support innovative art programs for children and they recently posted a video message on Facebook asking that people mention the fund as their case becomes news again.

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TEST OF BENCH STRENGTH Youngsters will look to make every opportunity count as India face Sri Lanka in Nidahas Twenty20 Cup THE aim would be to stay on the selectors’ radar for next year’s World Cup when India’s second-string team, led by Rohit Sharma, begins yet another Sri Lankan sojourn by taking on the islanders in the opening match of the TriNation Nidahas Twenty20 Cup, in Colombo. Having faced Sri Lanka in 18 international matches this season (6Tests, 8 ODIs and 4 T20 Internationals) on home and away basis, another faceoff can only add to the players as well as viewers’ fatigue due to lack of context. Bangladesh is the third team in this series and though the sprightly bunch is known to add excitement, the series itself is not exactly an anticipated event after a rather exhausting trip to South Africa. However, for a bunch of youngsters, who will get to wear the India blues with as many as six top players being rested, would consider this a god-sent opportunity. At this point in time, the senior national team has only that many specific roles but the enormous supply line means that the queue has only gotten longer. Enter Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda and Mohammed Siraj, who otherwise would have been cooling their heels back home and waiting for their respective IPL camps to start. For all those who are likely to get a game, there will be just one target — to make the most of their chances as some of them might not get too many with just about 16 months left for the ICC World Cup. Even though this is a T20 tournament, a good performance will keep the national selection committee interested for those limited batting slots in the middle-order and perhaps the reserve pacers. They have mauled Sri Lanka on most of the occasions and stand-in captain Rohit Sharma will have plenty of reasons to remain upbeat about taking the trophy back home. On a personal front, Rohit will be itching to get back to form after a poor

hour is an extra spinner, then Axar Patel is the option at hand. One thing can be expected from chief coach Ravi Shastri. He will not play anyone, who is not in the team management’s larger scheme of things — that is the World Cup.

South Africa tour where he managed only a single hundred in the one-dayers. In the familiar territory of Premadasa Stadium, Rohit will love to come out all guns blazing in the company of Shikhar Dhawan. Suresh Raina is slowly getting back into the groove at No 3. The Lankan pitches and the pace trio of Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera and Dasun Shanaka are not expected to pose too many problems to the stylish lefthander, who was out of the side for a year owing to fitness and formrelated issues. The extremely talented KL Rahul may have to miss out if he is not allowed to open by the team management. With Raina back in the

team, Rahul can only bat at No.4, where Manish Pandey has been staking claim for some time now. Dinesh Karthik is expected to bat at No.5 and don the big gloves which would leave Deepak Hooda and Rishabh Pant fighting out for specialist batsman’s place at No.6. Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal are the two spin bowling options. Shardul Thakur after an impressive show in South Africa, is expected to share the new ball with Jaydev Unadkat. It will be interesting to see if India opt for an extra pacer or an all-rounder. In case the team wants an extra pacer then Mohammed Siraj will come in or else Tamil Nadu allrounder Vijay Shankar. If the need of the

Glenn McGrath all praise for India’s pace attack CHENNAI Glenn McGrath was all smiles when asked about Australia’s sensational win over South Africa in the first Test at Durban on Monday afternoon. “It’s 4-0 for Australia,” McGrath, who is in the city to train pacers at the MRF Pace Foundation, said with glee. McGrath firmly believes that Mitchell Starc & Co can inflict a washout on South Africa, who, the legendary pacer termed aren’t the same team that they used to be in the past. “SA are still not a bad team but I don’t think they are quite the same side that they were. They haven’t been playing with the same confidence. They did bounce back

in the second innings. Yet they lost by a huge margin. I think our batsman need to

improve a little bit and we have got the bowlers to pick 20 wickets and knock the South Africans over. Starc, Pat (Cummins), Josh (Hazlewood) and Nathan (Lyon) are bowling exceptionally well as a unit. I

predict a 4-0 win for Australia,” McGrath said. It was the lethal swing and pace of Starc, who claimed nine wickets in the first Test, which undid the Proteas in their own backyard. McGrath believes Starc is the best pacer in the world right now. “I think Starc is best. When he is swinging the new ball, he is the most dangerous bowler in the world. He has good pace, bowls attacking lengths swinging into stumps and he is always going to reverse the old ball. Starc takes the pitch out of the equation as he bowls attacking full lines. That’s why he did well in Lanka, over here and he can do well anywhere in the world,” added the 48-year-old.

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NZ SPY PAPERS REVEAL 1981 ATTEMPT TO KILL QUEEN Teen fired a shot at her car as she toured the nation A MENTALLY disturbed teenager tried to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II during a 1981 visit to New Zealand and police covered up the botched attempt, according to official documents released Thursday. Christopher Lewis fired a single shot towards the Queen’s car as she toured the South Island city of Dunedin, the documents from New Zealand’s Security Intelligence Service (SIS) spy agency revealed. No one was hurt and police reportedly assured members of the royal party who asked about a gunshot that they had simply heard a firework exploding. Lewis, 17 at the time, was picked up soon after on an unrelated armed robbery charge and made a rambling confession about his attempt on the monarch’s life. While police said he was delusional and lives in a dream world they found a .22 rifle and spent cartridge in the building where he said the attempt took place. He claimed to be a member of a right-wing organisation called the National Imperial Guerilla Army, which police concluded had only three members. Officers at the time decided against charging him with treason over the October 1981 assassination attempt but pursued firearms and robbery charges. The SIS documents, released publicly in response to a media request and seen by AFP, show police were concerned the incident would become public and conspired to keep it secret. The New Zealand Herald said authorities were worried it might jeopardise future royal visits to the former British colony. Lewis

did indeed originally intend to assassinate the Queen, the documents say. However, he did not have a suitable vantage point from which to fire, nor a sufficiently highpowered rifle for the range from the target. Lewis had a string of serious criminal convictions and was in jail for murder when he killed himself in 1997. The Queen’s role as head of the Commonwealth has made her a high-profile target for extremist groups and the mentally unwell over the years. In 1982, unemployed decorator Michael Fagan had a few drinks and scaled the walls of Buckingham Palace, climbing up a drainpipe to enter the Queen’s London residence. He wandered into her bedroom and reportedly sat on the end of the bed for a chat with the perturbed monarch before a palace staffer lured him away with the promise of a shot of whiskey. Fagan later described the Queen’s floral nightie and said he was motivated by a desire to meet his head of state. Another 17-year-old threatened the Queen’s security in 1981, just four months before Lewis’ attempt, when Marcus Sarjeant fired six blanks at her during the trooping the colour ceremony in London. He was quickly overpowered The Queen’s role as head of the Commonwealth made her a high-profile target for extremist groups. A 12-YEAROLD girl hanged herself after taking part in the deadly Blue Whale suicide game. Anastasia Kysluk was found dead in a barn at her home in the village of Rudka in western Ukraine after watching snuff videos on the internet and looking for

information online about the best type of rope to use. Police spokeswoman Inna Glega told local media: “During the hour before committing suicide the girl was watching online clips of people hanging themselves. “She also was interested in how to make a noose.” The spokeswoman added that Anastasia had been a member of the Blue Whale suicide game. She hanged herself after receiving an order from the organisation’s leader, it is claimed. The Blue Whale Suicide game is a social media group which encourages people to kill themselves. It’s thought a group administrator assigns daily tasks to members, which they have to complete over 50 days. The horrific tasks include selfharming, watching horror movies and waking up at unusual hours, but these gradually get more extreme. On the 50th day, the controlling manipulators behind the game reportedly instruct the youngsters to commit suicide. The girl’s body was found by her grandparents with whom she had been living while her mother worked in Poland to raise money to send her to a prestigious school. Daily Mail Ukranian teen latest victim of Blue Whale Before death, Anastasia watched clips of people hanging themselves. and sentenced to five years in prison for treason. An unconfirmed assassination plot occurred in Australia in 1970 when a train carrying the Queen hit a log as she was travelling to Lithgow, west of Sydney. A local police officer said unknown extremists put the log there to derail the train and send it down an embankment. It turned out the engine was

Sex change surgeries see steep rise in US GENDER-affirming surgeries are on a steep rise in the US, according to the first study of its kind. Genital operations increased four-fold between 2000 and 2014 for patients with governmentsubsidized health insurance alone. According to the most recent estimates, more than 1.3 million Americans identify as transgender. Based on the new report from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, more and more of that population is seeking surgery to align their anatomies with their identities as they gain insurance coverage for their operations. Transgender issues – including civil rights, military service, or medical care – have come to the forefront of the public eye in the last several years. After President Trump attempted to ban transgender Americans from serving in the military last year, the first openly transgender person officially signed up for service earlier this week. But until recently, health insurance providers have refused to cover surgeries for gender-affirmation. In the new study, published in JAMA surgery this week, the authors suggest that the introduction of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act that year may have contributed to broader coverage and the dramatic increase in the surgeries. ‘This expansion of coverage may represent an important first step in enabling transgender patients to access previously unaffordable, yet

necessary, gender-affirming care,’ the study authors wrote. Genderaffirmation surgeries include a broad range of procedures to alter the appearance of physical features to more closely align with a person’s identity. They range from breast augmentations and reductions to body contouring and penis construction, among others. The health effects of

undergoing these surgeries are mixed, according to research. Some studies have linked gender-reassignment surgery to greater job satisfaction and better overall mental health, while others have suggested that the operations have little effect on psychological well-being. Regardless, the transgender and LGBTQ community have fought hard for the right to elect to have these operations, and for them to be covered by insurance. By 2017, many medical associations, such as the American Medical Association had come out in support of expanded care for

transgender people, and the ‘medical necessity’ of gender affirming surgeries. Some private insurance providers have denied coverage for the operations, a decision that has been the subject of unresolved legal debate. The Johns Hopkins study examined only data from surgeries Medicare and Medicaid, which may or may not cover gender-affirming surgeries, depending on state laws. There were 4,118 gender-affirming surgeries performed between 2000 and 2014, the research found. Between 2000 and 2011, about half of these operations were not covered by insurance. But by 2014, only 39 per cent of gender-affirming operations were not covered by insurance, a c c o r d i n g t o t h e s t u d y, suggesting that Medicare’s 2014 decision to cover the operations may have had a significant effect. The study authors recognised that the data they collected do not paint the full picture, largely because so many patients’ insurers refuse to cover the procedures, forcing them to pay out of pocket for their operations and making them more difficult to track. ‘Policies banning discrimination based on gender identity among third-party payers are essential to engage transgender patients in care and ensure coverage of these medically necessary procedures,’ the study authors wrote

travelling too slowly and merely pushed it along the tracks. There was a far more sinister scheme in 1981, when the Queen opened an oil terminal in the remote Shetland Islands, north of Scotland. It was the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland and the anti-British IRA smuggled a powerful bomb into the facility. However, a detonator failed to fire and the Queen was unharmed.

SDP up for coalition with Merkel MEMBERS of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SDP) have voted to form a coalition government with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bloc. The decision clears the last major hurdle to the formation of a new government and a fourth term for Merkel. Sunday’s

announcement by the party’s leadership ends almost six months of uncertainty in German politics, the longest the country has been without a government in its postwar history. Merkel praised the SPD’s decision and said she looked forward to working with them in coalition. “I congratulate the SPD on this clear result and look forward to continuing to work together for the good of our country,” she said. The center-left Social Democrats had furiously debated whether to extend the socalled grand coalition for another four years after suffering a slump in last year’s election. In the end, two-thirds of the party’s 4,64,000 members approved a coalition deal. Parliament is expected to meet next week to elect Merkel as chancellor, confirming her position as one of Europe’s dominant politicians.

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Health Eating almonds, peanuts may boost colon cancer survival

New York People with colon cancer who regularly eat nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, and peanuts may be at significantly lower risk of cancer recurrence and mortality, researchers say. The findings showed that those who regularly consumed at least two, one-ounce servings of nuts each week showed a 42 percent improvement in disease-free survival and a 57 percent improvement in overall survival. In patients with stage III colon cancer, recurrence was reduced by nearly half. “These findings are in keeping with several other observational studies that indicate that a slew of healthy behaviours, including increased physical activity, keeping a

healthy weight, and lower intake of sugar and sweetened beverages, improve colon cancer outcomes,” said lead author Temidayo Fadelu, a postdoctoral student at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. “The results highlight the importance of emphasizing dietary and lifestyle factors in colon cancer survivorship,” Fadelu added. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, followed 826 participants in a clinical trial for a median of 6.5 years after they were treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Patients may not be eating nuts due to concerns about the high-fat content and that increasing nut consumption will lead to obesity, which leads to worse outcomes.

Hearing loss may indicate memory impairment for some Los Angeles Elderly people with a certain type of hearing loss may be more likely to also have memory loss and thinking problems called mild cognitive impairment, says a study. The study, presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 70th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, looked at people with peripheral agerelated hearing loss, which is caused by problems in how the inner ear and hearing nerves function and leads to people not being able to hear. It also looked at central agerelated hearing loss, which is caused by problems in the brain’s ability to process sound and leads people to say, “I can hear, but I can’t understand.” The researchers found that people with central hearing loss were twice as likely to have mild cognitive impairment as people who had no hearing loss. “These preliminary results suggest that central hearing loss may share the same progressive loss of functioning in brain cells that occurs in cognitive decline, rather than the sensory deprivation that happens with peripheral hearing loss,” said

study author Rodolfo Sardone from the University of Bari in Italy. “It’s a problem with perception. Tests of hearing perception should be given to people who are older than 65 and also to people with cognitive impairment,” Sardone added. Hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities in elderly people, affecting about one-third of people over age 65. The study involved 1,604 participants of the Great Age Study, a population-based study conducted in the south of Italy, with an average age of 75,

whose hearing and thinking and memory skills were tested. Of the participants, 26 per cent had peripheral hearing loss and 12 per cent had central hearing loss, 33 per cent were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. Of the 192 people with central hearing loss, 144 people, or 75 per cent, had mild cognitive impairment. In contrast, people with peripheral hearing loss were no more likely to have mild cognitive impairment than people with no hearing problems.

In pain? Hold your partner’s hand, Varicose viens may increase risk of blood clots suggests study – Here’s why

New Delhi Does holding your partner’s hand help your pain subside? No, it isn’t love – it has been shown why this happens and it has something to do with your brainwaves. A study has found that holding your partner’s hand helps the brainwaves sync and reduces pain. As per the study’s findings, the more empathy a comforting

partner feels for a partner in pain, the more their brainwaves fall into sync. And the more those brain waves sync, the more the pain goes away. “We have developed a lot of ways to communicate in the modern world and we have fewer physical interactions. This paper illustrates the power and importance of human touch,” said the lead author of the study Pavel Goldstein, from the

University of Colorado at Boulder. For the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers recruited a group of heterosexual couples, aged between 23 to 32 who had been together for at least one year. The researchers put them through several two-minute scenarios as electroencephalography (EEG) caps measured their brainwave activity. The scenarios included sitting together not touching; sitting together holding hands, and sitting in separate rooms. Then they repeated the scenarios as the woman was subjected to mild heat pain on her arm. Merely being in each other’s presence, with or without touch, was associated with some brainwave synchronicity in the alpha mu band, a wavelength associated with focused attention.

London Adults with varicose veins — gnarled, enlarged veins, most commonly appearing in the legs and feet — may be at increased risk of suffering from a blood clot that could lead to vascular

diseases, a study has found. The study found people with varicose veins were at five times increased the risk of developing a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) — a clot in the legs which can lead to amputation or even death, the Daily Mail reported. They were twice as likely to develop a pulmonary embolism — a clot which travels into the

lungs and can be deadly. They also had double the risk of peripheral arterial disease, which reduces blood flow to the arms and legs. The study led by researchers including Pei-Chun Chen, a doctoral student from China Medical University in Taiwan, examined 212,984 patients aged 20 years and older with varicose veins, and a control group of equal patients without varicose veins. The results, published in the journal JAMA, showed that among adults diagnosed with varicose veins, there was a significantly increased risk of incident DVT. Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins break down, allowing blood to flow backward and collect at certain points. The condition is more likely to affect the elderly as age causes the skin to lose elasticity and valves in veins to weaken.

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6 - 12 Mar., 2018

Mothers sharing a bed with their babies Arthritis drug may help more likely to feel depressed: Study lower blood sugar levels

New Delhi Adding to the side-effects of parents co-sleeping with their baby, a study has found that mothers sharing a bed or room with their infant after six months were more likely to feel depressed. This was a result of recent trends and popular advice telling mothers not to sleep with their babies. Thus, those who do choose to co-sleep with their infants tend to be worried about their babies’ sleep and think their decisions were being criticised. A US study, in February, had cited an increase in the number of parents sharing beds with their infants as the primary reason behind babies dying of suffocation. According to the new study, mothers that were still cosleeping after six months reportedly felt 76 percent more depressed than mothers who had moved their baby into a

separate room. In addition, these mothers were also 16 percent more criticised or judged for their sleep habits. “We definitely saw that the persistent co-sleepers – the moms that were still co-sleeping after six months – were the ones who seemed to get the most criticism,” said Douglas Teti, Professor at the Pennsylvania State University. “Additionally, they also reported greater levels of worry about their baby’s sleep, which makes sense when you’re getting criticized about something that people are saying you shouldn’t be doing, that raises self-doubt. That’s not good for anyone,” Teti added. In the study, published in the journal Infant and Child Development, the researchers garnered concerns about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or the desire for babies to learn how to fall asleep on their own are

some of the reasons why parents should prefer their babies to be sleeping alone. Researchers analyzed the sleeping habits of 103 mothers in their baby’s first year of life. “We found that about 73 percent of families co-slept at the one-month point. That dropped to about 50 percent by three months, and by six months, it was down to about 25 percent,” Teti said. “Most babies that were in cosleeping arrangements, in the beginning, were moved out into solitary sleep by six months.” Moreover, even when cosleeping works well, it can still cause more loss of sleep for the parents than if the baby slept in its own room. “Co-sleeping, as long as it’s done safely, is fine as long as both parents are on board with it. If it’s working for everyone, and everyone is okay with it, then cosleeping is a perfectly acceptable option,” Teti said. Teti said that it is not about whether co-sleeping is good or bad, but about the importance of finding a sleep arrangement that works well while not neglecting your partner or spouse. “Co-sleeping needs to work well for everyone, and that includes getting adequate sleep. To be the best parent you can be, you have to take care of yourself, and your child benefits as a result,” Teti noted.

Bejing A common rheumatoid arthritis drug may be an effective new therapy for lowering blood glucose levels in patients with Type-2 diabetes, according to a study. Rheumatoid arthritis, affecting approximately one per cent of the worldwide population, is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints. The anti-inflammatory drug, lefluonamide, lowered blood glucose levels and reversed insulin resistance in mouse models of Type 2 diabetes, which suggests that this therapy could be repurposed as an effective antidiabetic treatment, particularly suitable for patients with both diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. “We found that lefluonomide targets a protein involved in desensitising the insulin receptor, which is responsible for instructing the cells to start

absorbing sugar from the bloodstream”, said Xiulong Xu, Professor at the Institute of Comparative Medicine at Yangzhou University in China. Lefluonamide has long been approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis and previous clinical studies have noted that patients taking the drug tended to have lower blood glucose levels and that obese patients lost weight. However, lefluonomide also acts on other molecular targets in the body. This suggests that more studies are needed to confirm that the anti-diabetic effects observed are solely caused by lefluonamide’s effect on the insulin receptor. “We know some inflammatory factors can also desensitise the insulin receptor, and lefluonamide is an antiinflammatory, so it may be that it controls blood sugar partly by its anti-inflammatory effect,” Xu said, in a paper published in the Journal of Endocrinology.

Daffodil extract may help combat Drink grassmilk to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, suggests study cancer, reveals study

New Delhi As scientists tirelessly work towards discovering a cure for cancer, a hope for improvement in the treatment of the disease has come forth in the form of daffodils. Scientists have extracted a natural anti-cancer compound from daffodils that may help improve treatments for the deadly disease. Researchers, led by Denis Lafontaine from Universite libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium, discovered that this compound triggers the activation of an antitumoural surveillance pathway. The compound is an alkaloid named haemanthamine and binds to the ribosome, the scientists established. Ribosomes are nanomachines essential to the survival of our cells because they synthesize all our proteins. To sustain their unrestrained growth, cancer cells rely on

increased protein synthesis. They are therefore particularly sensitive to treatments that inhibit the production and the function of ribosomes. In the study published in the journal Structure, the researchers have shown that haemanthamine from daffodils blocks the production of protein by ribosomes, thus slowing the growth of cancer cells. Haemanthamine also inhibits the production of these nanomachines in the nucleolus (the “ribosome factory”). This nucleolar stress triggers the activation of an anti-tumoural surveillance pathway leading to the stabilization of the protein p53 and to the elimination of cancer cells, researchers said. The study provides for the first time a molecular explanation to the anti-tumoural activity of daffodils used for centuries in folk medicine.

New Delhi A study has found that ‘grassmilk’, which is rich in omega-3 boosts cardiovascular health, as compared to conventional milk. ‘Grassmilk’ is what cows produce when they are fed 100 percent organic grass and a legume-based diet. While omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are essential human nutrients, consuming too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. Grassmilk brings the omega6/omega-3 ratio to a near one to one, compared to 5.7 to one in conventional whole milk, the findings showed. Grassmilk provides by far the highest level of omega-3s – 0.05 grams per 100 grams of milk (g/ 100 g), compared to 0.02 g/100 g in conventional milk – a 147 percent increase in omega-3s. Grassmilk also contains 52 percent less omega-6 than conventional milk, and 36 percent less omega-6 than organic milk. “The near-perfect balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in grassmilk dairy products will help consumers looking for simple lifestyle options to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and other

metabolic diseases,” said Charles Benbrook, from Johns Hopkins University in the US. In addition, grassmilk also has the highest average level of a valuable, heart-healthy fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – 0.043 g/100 g of milk, compared to 0.019 g/ 100 g in conventional milk and 0.023 g/100 g in organic, the researchers said. Daily consumption of grassmilk dairy products could potentially improve health trends, the study noted. Besides metabolic and cardiovascular benefits, omega-3

fatty acids and CLA is also beneficial for pregnant and lactating women, infants and children. Various forms of omega-3 fatty acids play critical roles in the development of eyes, the brain, and the nervous system. Adequate omega-3 intakes can also slow the loss of cognitive function among the elderly. For the study, the team analyzed over 1,160 samples of whole grassmilk taken over three years from onfarm bulk tanks prior to any processing.

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6 - 12 Mar., 2018

Kung Pao Chicken

Ingredients: 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks 2 tablespoons white wine 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dis-

solved in 2 tablespoons water 1 ounce hot chile paste 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar 2 teaspoons brown sugar 4 green onions, chopped 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts 4 ounces chopped peanuts

Directions: To Make Marinade: Combine 1 tablespoon wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon cornstarch/ water mixture and mix together. Place chicken pieces in a glass dish or bowl and add marinade. Toss to coat. Cover dish and place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes. To Make Sauce: In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon cornstarch/water mixture, chili paste, vinegar and sugar. Mix together and add green onion, garlic, water chestnuts and peanuts. In a medium skillet, heat sauce slowly until aromatic. Meanwhile, remove chicken from marinade and saute in a large skillet until meat is white and juices run clear. When sauce is aromatic, add sauteed chicken to it and let simmer together until sauce thickens.

Sour Cream Pork Chops Ingredients: 6 pork chops salt and pepper to taste garlic powder to taste 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 large onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick 2 cubes chicken bouillon 2 cups boiling water 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream Directions: Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and then dredge in 1/2 cup flour. In a skillet over medium heat, lightly brown chops in a small amount of oil. Place chops in slow cooker, and top with onion slices. Dissolve bouillon cubes in boiling water and pour over chops. Cover, and cook on Low 7 to 8 hours. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C). After the chops have cooked, transfer chops to the oven to keep warm. Be careful, the chops are so tender they will fall apart. In a small bowl, blend 2 tablespoons flour with the sour cream; mix into

Tofu Parmigiana

Ingredients: 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs 5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided salt to taste ground black pepper to taste 1 (12 ounce) package firm tofu 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 1 clove garlic, minced 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese Directions: In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon oregano, salt, and black

pepper. Slice tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices, and place in bowl of cold water. One at a time, press tofu slices into crumb mixture, turning to coat all sides. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook tofu slices until crisp on one side. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, turn, and brown on the other side. Combine tomato sauce, basil, garlic, and remaining oregano. Place a thin layer of sauce in an 8 inch square baking pan. Arrange tofu slices in the pan. Spoon remaining sauce over tofu. Top with shredded mozzarella and remaining 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 20 minutes.

Pollo Fajitas

meat juices. Turn slow cooker to High for 15 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve sauce over pork chops.

Spinach and Feta Pasta Ingredients: 1 (8 ounce) package penne pasta 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 clove garlic, minced 3 cups chopped tomatoes 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms 2 cups spinach leaves, packed salt and pepper to taste 1 pinch red pepper flakes 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled Directions: Bring a large pot of lightly salted

water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and garlic, and cook until golden brown. Mix in tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook 2 minutes more, until tomatoes are heated through and spinach is wilted. Reduce heat to medium, stir in pasta and feta cheese, and cook until heated through.

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 clove garlic, minced 1 dash hot pepper sauce 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 onion, thinly sliced 1 green bell pepper, sliced 1/2 lemon, juiced Directions: In a medium bowl, combine Worcestershire

sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, chili powder, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Place chicken in sauce, and turn once to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for several hours. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add chicken strips to the pan, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the onion and green pepper, and saute another 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with lemon juice.

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6 - 12 Mar., 2018

‘If a woman has sex to advance career, that is not rape’

Facebook doesn’t depress people

FACEBOOK does not decrease the amount of time people spend with each other, a new study claims. Researchers found that social media use was not associated with changes in direct social contact, and may never withstand the scrutiny in their actually improve social well-being. The personal lives that he has been exposed adoption of new technologies from to. If they had that type of horrific smartphones to social media, has led to investigation, they would come out with many flaws that you could then exploit in the tabloids,” he added. Weinstein himself has been accused of keeping a stable of tabloid journalists on his payroll or otherwise under his influence, using them to smear women who refused his advances or threatened to expose him. In one case, after Italian actress Ambra Battilana Gutierrez filed a sexual assault complaint against him in 2015, she found herself the subject of tawdry reports that she’d attended Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s infamous ‘bunga bunga’ parties. “I’m not prepared to condemn him simply because he has lived during a

HARVEY Weinstein’s lawyer has defended his client’s alleged sexual misconduct as a product of Hollywood culture, calling the ‘casting couch’ a distasteful tradition but not illegal. “The casting couch in Hollywood was not invented by Harvey Weinstein,” high-flight attorney Benjamin Brafman, 69, said in a lengthy profile by the Times of London published on Saturday. “If a woman decides that she needs to have sex with a Hollywood producer in order to advance her career and actually does it and finds the whole thing offensive, that’s not rape,” Brafman continued. “You made a conscious decision that you’re willing to do something that is personally offensive in order to advance your career. Now, however offensive the whole saga may be on both of your parts, that’s not a crime. “That’s bad in many ways, when you look at it. But that’s been the reputation of that industry [since] before I was born.” More than 70 women have accused Weinstein of a range of sexual misconduct, including rape. Weinstein has denied having nonconsensual sex with anyone, but apologised for “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past.” Some of the allegations against him did recall the storied ‘Hollywood casting couch’, with young actresses claiming they were invited to a casting meeting with Weinstein

and then subjected to sexual overtures. “There was no explicit mention that to star in one of those films I had to sleep with him, but the subtext was there,” Heather Graham recalled of casting meetings with Weinstein in an op-ed for Variety. Brafman, in the new interview, claimed Weinstein’s behaviour was par for the course in Hollywood, and blamed a mob mentality for the rush of accusers last fall. “What you have now is there are people who have been emboldened by the climate to speak out who would never have gone public with their claims years before,” Brafman said. “I have found that a lot of the people who are condemning him could

period of time in a manner that may not be appropriate or may be embarrassing,” Brafman told the Times. “But there’s a big difference between that and criminal conduct.” Criminal probes into Weinstein are ongoing in Los Angeles, New York and London, but so far, no criminal charges have been filed. Brafman said he didn’t expect any criminal prosecution against Weinstein to pan out: “I see many of the allegations against him [that] would suggest criminal conduct, when you drill down and really look at the facts and complaints I don’t believe many of them to be true.”

concerns about their potential for reducing happiness and social interactions. The current study, conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri, is the latest to suggest social media does not negatively impact face-to-face interactions. ‘People tend to assume the worse about the emergence of technology,’ said researcher Mike Kearney, assistant professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. “The assumption that social media use has a universal and negative effect on faceto-face social interactions is tenuous at best.” Investigators, led by Kearney, conducted a long-term and short-term experiment for their study. The first experiment, which followed the social media use of 2,774 individuals from 2009 to 2011, found that increased use of social media was not associated with changes in direct social contact. The second study, which surveyed 116 adults and college students through text-massaging over the course of five days, found that social media use earlier in the day did not have any impact on future social interactions. There’s been controversy about whether people are using social media to replace face-to-face interactions. A 2017 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that social media use was associated with feelings of social isolation.

Indonesian police question yacht crew in 1MDB probe INDONESIAN police on Thursday questioned the captain and crew of a luxury yacht seized in Bali at the request of US authorities probing alleged money laundering at a Malaysian state fund they said. The yacht was impounded in Bali on Wednesday amid a multi-billion dollar corruption investigation launched by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and tied to Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). “Police seized the yacht ‘Equanimity’ after receiving a letter on February 21 from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) requesting help to enforce a court order,” Indonesian National Police Spokesman Muhammad Iqbal Abduh said. “Police had questioned the captain and crew and would check their immigration papers and see if there was any evidence of a crime being committed” Abduh said in

a statement. Citing information provided by the FBI, he said the yacht’s Automated Identification System (AIS) had been switched off several times in waters around the Philippines and Singapore. The AIS system uses satellites to pinpoint locations and switching it off would make it harder to detect the vessel. Over the past 180 days the Equanimity sailed from the northeast to the northwest of Malaysia and Singapore and then from the Indonesian island of Bali to Papua and back again, according to shipping data on Thomson Reuters Eikon. There are several points where its movements are unclear. 1MDB is at the centre of money-laundering

probes in at least six countries, including in the past two years. Malaysian Prime the US, Switzerland and Singapore. Minister Najib Razak set up 1MDB in 2009 A total of $4.5 billion was and previously served as chairman of its advisory board. He and the fund have denied any wrongdoing. In August 2017, the DOJ asked for a stay on its civil lawsuits seeking to seize more than $1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB funds because it was conducting a related criminal probe. Among the assets sought is Equanimity cited as a $250 million luxury yacht bought by Malaysian financier Jho Low named as a key figure in the US lawsuits. The lawsuits said Low used proceeds diverted from 1MDB to buy Equanimity, which it described as a 300- foot yacht registered in the Cayman Islands. The head of the National Police misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level special crimes investigation unit said officials of the fund and their associates, Indonesian authorities were not looking according to civil lawsuits filed by the DOJ for Low.

The contact  
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The Contact Epaper 06 March, 12 March 2018