BJP makes big gains in Maharashtra civic polls

first_imgResults at 6.00 p.m.  CorporationTotal SeatsBJPShiv SenaINCNCPMNSOthersDeclaredPending1BMC2275978259713191362Thane1311749317 389423Pune16238149 3551074Pimpari-chichwad12828209 241875Nashik12242203421182406Nagpur15156 17  376757Amravati871534  729588Solapur102171961 750529Akola80397135 6701010Ulhasnagar78322514 16780 Total126834320476589717615076.30 p.m.It is definitely a setback, says CongressMaharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) concedes that the results so far for the 10 municipal corporations, 25 zilla parishads and 283 panchayat samitis across the State have signaled a setback to the party.“The results are mixed, with the party doing well in zilla parishads while suffering reverses in the municipal corporations. It is definitely a setback,” party spokesman Ratnakar Mahajan told PTI.He said the results have been unexpected and need to be analysed on the organisational level at the popularity level. “Whether there has been a disconnect between voters and the party leaders should be seen,” he said.6.10 p.m.The BJP’s win in the civic polls is a result of people’s acceptance of our agenda of transparency, says Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.BMC results | 5.50 p.m.Shiv Sena victorious on 84 seats; BJP gets 80The Shiv Sena emerges as the single largest party in the cash-rich BMC, winning 84 seats, closely followed by the BJP, which bagged 80 seats, as results for 225 seats poured in.The Congress was relegated to the third position in the civic body with 31 seats, followed by the NCP with 9 seats, MNS 7, SP 6, AIMIM 3, Akhil Bhartiya Sena 1 and others 4.Results for two seats in the 227-member House are still awaited. — PTI5.30 p.m.Pankaja Munde offers to quitMaharashtra Minister Pankaja Munde offers to quit the Fadnavis-led government for the BJP’s poor performance in the local body polls in her constituency in Beed district.However, BJP State president Raosaheb Danve downplays the issue. “I had a word with Pankaja Munde. Victory never went into our head and we never got depressed with defeat. We will decide about her stand [resignation],” Mr. Danve says. — PTIResults at 1:45 p.m.BMC: BJP-61, Shiv Sena-93, Congress-22, NCP-7, MNS-10, Others-7. Total: 200/227Thane: BJP-11, Shiv Sena-28, Congress-, NCP-7, MNS-4, Others-4. Total: 54/131Ulhasnagar: BJP-21, Shiv Sena-15, Congress-1, NCP-4, Others-5. Total: 46/78Pune: BJP-54, Shiv Sena-9, Congress-11, NCP-29, MNS-6, Others-5. Total: 114/162Pimpri-Chinchwad: BJP-21, Shiv Sena-6, NCP-22, Others-1. Total: 50/128Solapur: BJP-24, Shiv Sena-20, Congress-6, NCP-4, Others-5. Total: 59/102Nashik: BJP-24, Shiv Sena-13, Congress-4, NCP-2, MNS-2. Total: 45/122Akola: BJP-25, Shiv Sena-3, Congress-9, NCP-4, Others-12. Total: 53/80Amravati: BJP-17, Shiv Sena-2, Congress-4, NCP-1, Others-11. Total: 35/87Nagpur: BJP-44, Congress-14. Total: 58/151Here are the updates:Akola The BJP gets a clear mejority in the Akola muncipal corporation by winning 42 out of the 81 wards. The Congress secures 12 wards, the Shiv Sena 7, the NCP 5, the BBM 3 and the MIM 1.ThaneThe Shiv Sena leads in Thane with 28 seats and the BJP and the NCP in eight and seven seats respectively.AmaravatiThe BJP is ahead in 17 seats, the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM and the BSP in 3 each. There are a total of 87 seats.Sanjay Nirupam blames it on infightingMumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam offered to resign taking moral responsibility for the party’s poor performance in the BMC polls. He says party infighting cost them these elections. “I was alone campaigning, as others tried to defeat me, but in turn they cost the party.” BJP and Shiv Sena workers get into an argument near BJP office in Dadar.  | Photo Credit: Deepak Salvi MPCC president Sanjay Nirupam addresses media at his residence, in Mumbai on Thursday. The BJP made big gains in the Maharashtra civic polls, even as it was in a neck-and-neck fight with the Shiv Sena for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, according to latest trends.The BJP is leading in Pune, Nashik, Akola and Amravati Corporations, while the Shiv Sena is ahead in Thane and the NCP in Pimpri-Chinchwad.Read more: BJP set for decisive gains, Shiv Sena has an edge in BMCcenter_img | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate  SolapurOut of the 102 seats in the Solapur Municipal Corporation, the BJP has won 12 and the Shiv Sena 4. This corporation was once the bastion of the Congress owing to regional stalwarts such as Sushilkumar Shinde.The AIMIM makes in roads by winning 8 seats.Trends show the BJP is poised to sweep the SMC.PuneReshma Bhosale, wife of NCP legislator Anil Bhosale, wins from ward number 7 in the Pune Municipal Corporation poll in the city’s Shivajinagar area.Ms. Bhosale, who was denied an NCP ticket, decided to contest on a BJP ticket. However, owing to a controversy in her nomination form, the Bombay high Court quashed her BJP candidature, compelling her to contest as an independentNagpurEarlier reports said that the BJP has secued 54 wards and Congress trailing in 19, BSP in 4 and NCP in 1.The BJP and the NCP are neck-and-neck in the Gadchiroli Zila parishad.Wife of Bhandara BJP MLC Parinay Fuke Mrs. Parinita Fuke wins for the BJP ward 13 in NagpurThe Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra council and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde camp wins Ambejogai panachayat Samiti in Beed.This is seen as a setback to BJP leader Pankaja Munde, a cousin of Dhananjay Munde.Pimpri-ChinchwadIn the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, the NCP is leading in 20 wards, followed by the BJP in 15PCMC, the bastion of Sharad Pawar’s NCP in Pune, has 128 seats.Incumbent Pune Mayor and NCP leader Prashant Jagtap bags ward number 25 in the Wanowrie area.The results till noon: NCP 5, BJP 3, IND 1. Leads: NCP 19, BJP 19, Shiv Sena 2.MumbaiEarly trends in the BMC indicate a major victory for the Shiv Sena.Despite high octane campaign by Chief Minister Devendra fadnavis, the BJP seem to be failing to grab the top post.Till noon, the Sena was leading in 85 seats, while the BJP was leading in 53. The Congress, however, is turning out to be the major loser as it was leading in only 19 seats.(With inputs from PTI )last_img read more

Seven coaches of Shaktipunj Express derail in Uttar Pradesh

first_imgSeven coaches of the Jabalpur-bound Shaktipunj Express derailed on Thursday in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, a railway official said.“The accident occurred at around 6:25 am  and we have already cleared out the site,” railway ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena said.“All passengers were put on the remaining coaches and by 7:28 AM all of them had left the spot. All of them are safe and no one was injured in the accident,” he said.The train was running at a speed of about 40 km/hr which, officials say, prevented any injuries when the incident occurred.This is the third such derailment in the State in less than a month.On August 19, the Utkal Express had derailed in Muzaffarnagar district, killing 22 people and injuring 156.About 100 passengers were wounded when 10 coaches of Kaifiyat Express train derailed after crashing into a dumper which strayed on to the tracks in Auraiya district on August 23.last_img read more

Haryana books owner of school

first_imgHaryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma on Sunday said some security lapses were found on the part of Ryan International School and a case was registered against its management and the owner under Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. “Action will be initiated against the school management and its owner,” said Mr. Sharma, after a brief meeting with senior district administration officials. He, however, ruled out revocation of the affiliation for the school saying that over a thousand students would be affected. On the demand for a CBI probe into the murder, the Minister said the government was ready for probe by any agency if the family was not satisfied with the police investigation. Mr. Sharma said the safety and security of the students was the responsibility of the school managements during school hours and strict action would be initiated if any laxity was found by any private school.Deputy Commissioner, Gurugram, Vinay Pratap Singh told The Hindu that preliminary investigation by a three-member committee had found several security lapses on the part of the school management. “Though there are closed-circuit television cameras on the school premises, they were missing at a few strategic points. Another major lapse was to allow the support staff to share the washroom with students. Also, there were some discrepancies related to the verification of the support staff. The things would be more clear after the detailed report expected on Monday,” said Mr. Singh.last_img read more

Congress announces 59 candidates

first_img  According to media reports, Mr. Singh had earlier said that he wanted to contest the election from a seat which the Congress has not won in previous polls. Arki in Solan district was won by the BJP in the previous two Assembly polls. State Congress chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukkhu has been fielded from the Nadaun seat, which the latter had unsuccessfully contested in the previous election to the 68-member Assembly.The Chief Minister’s son, Vikramaditya Singh’s name did not figure in the first list. Mr. Virbhadra Singh had two days ago had said that Mr. Vikramaditya Singh will contest from his Shimla (Rural) seat. Late Ayurveda Minister Karan Singh’s son, Aditya Vikram, is in the race from Banjar constituency. Karan Singh passed away in May.The Congress has fielded all its senior State leaders in the election. Rajya Sabha MP Viplove Thakur will contest the election from the Dehra Assembly segment, which she had lost in 2012.Other senior leaders including AICC secretary Asha Kumari, Kaul Singh Thakur, G.S. Bali, Mukesh Agnihotri and Gangu Ram Musafir will contest from Dalhousie, Darang, Nagrota, Haroli and Pachchad, respectively. Party veteran Vidya Stokes was supposed to contest from Theog, one of the seats left out in the first list. But Ms. Stokes announced quitting politics on October 18. Assembly Speaker Brij Behari Lal Butail is currently representing the Palampur seat. Former Union Minister Sukh Ram’s son Anil is currently representing Mandi. But he has quit the party and joined the BJP, which has already fielded him from the same seat. The Congress on October 18 announced its first list of 59 candidates for the November 9 Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls, with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh being fielded from the Arki constituency in Solan district.The list was finalised after a marathon meeting of the Congress central election committee chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi. Nominees for the remaining nine seats, including Shimla (Rural), would be announced later.Also Read Ex-CM Dhumal, State chief in BJP list of candidateslast_img read more

Rahul attacks Modi on farmers’ plight

first_imgTaking forward his ‘question-a-day’ campaign, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on December 7 targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the problems afflicting the farm sector and farmers.Asking his 9th question in the series, he asked, “Neither loan waiver, nor remunerative price for produce, neither received crop insurance benefit, nor were tubewells installed.”The Congress leader also used the ‘Gabbar’ jibe to target the Prime Minister. “Agriculture hit by Gabbar Singh, land snatched and the (Annadatta) farmer was rendered useless. PM sahib, explain why such step-motherly treatment with the farm labour?” he said on Twitter.Mr. Gandhi had earlier termed the Goods and Services Tax as Gabbar Singh Tax to attack the government.Under the ongoing offensive, the Congress leader is using the tagline 22 saal ka hisab, Gujarat maange jawab (22 years of account, Gujarat demands answers), in the run-up to Gujarat elections starting December 9.The Congress vice-president has been tweeting to pose daily questions to the Prime Minister over the performance of the BJP in Gujarat and its “unkept” promises over the past 22 years of its rule in the State.last_img read more

Suspension of Maharashtra MLC revoked

first_imgMumbai: The Council on Wednesday revoked the suspension of Prashant Paricharak, MLC. He had been suspended for a year-and-a-half for his remarks on soldiers and their wives during campaigning for local elections last year. The government formed a 10-member all-party committee comprising members of the Council headed by chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar. On Wednesday, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said, “Paricharak told the committee that he made the remark casually and there was no intention to hurt the sentiments of soldiers or their families. He also apologised for the comment. Hence the committee recommended to revoke his suspension.”last_img read more

Agra put on 72-hour weather alert till Monday

first_imgThe weather office on Friday sounded a 72-hour alert till Monday here in Uttar Pradesh, Agra District Magistrate Gaurav Dayal said and issued a detailed advisory to manage any imminent disaster.This comes after a 132-kmph dust storm hit the city on the intervening night of Wednesday-Thursday, bringing heavy showers and hailstorm that killed 44 people and destroyed properties worth in crores. The doctors at the S.N. Medical College conducted the postmortem of 44 bodies who succumbed to injuries. The number of deaths were expected to rise.Agra witnessed two devastating storms in 20 days. More than 1,400 villages continue to remain without power supply, an official said. Trains were still running late. Historical buildings, including the Taj Mahal suffered extensive damages. Two wooden doors of the Taj minarets were damaged and several trees in the mausoleum were uprooted.Divisional Commissioner K. Ram Mohan Rao and Dayal visited the medical college hospital to review arrangements.A separate ward has been opened there and a dedicated team of doctors has been deputed. Mr. Rao told medical staff to provide prompt services and ensure there was no lack of medicines.Dayal along with Special Superintendent Amit Pathak and other senior officials visited several villages in Khairagarh. A team of officials were deputed to survey affected villages and evaluate loss of property and crop. The district magistrate has promised adequate compensation.last_img read more

AAP MLA assaulted by Punjab sand mafia

first_imgAn Aam Aadmi Party MLA in Punjab was allegedly assaulted by a group of people involved in illegal sand mining near Nurpur Bedi in Rupnagar district on Thursday, prompting Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to seek a detailed report on the incident.Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Sukhpal Singh Khaira alleged that MLA Amarjeet Singh Sandoa was attacked for trying to expose the ongoing illegal activities of the sand mafia.The AAP MLA and his gunman, head constable Sukhdeep Singh, were injured in the incident.“Both were taken to a civil hospital, from where Mr. Sandoa was referred to PGI, Chandigarh, for further check-up after he complained of chest pain,” an official spokesperson said.Three arrestedThe police have arrested three persons allegedly involved in the incident. The spokesperson said three relatives of Ajwinder Singh — the key accused from Baihara village — have been arrested. Ajwinder and another accused, Bachittar Singh, of Bhauwal village fled after the incident. Those arrested have been identified as Jaswinder Singh Goldy, Manjit Singh and Amarjit Singh, all residents of Baihara. One vehicle and two guns were seized from them.The Chief Minister has sought a detailed report from the Deputy Commissioner and asked him to ensure a free and fair probe.The two PSOs attached to the MLA have also come under the Chief Minister’s scanner for evidently failing to protect him and have been transferred to the police lines. “The Chief Minister has directed the DGP to investigate their role in the entire episode,” the spokesperson added.‘CM should resign’Reacting to the alleged attack, the AAP in Delhi said the Chief Minister should resign if he cannot rein in the mafia.AAP spokesperson Ashish Khetan said Mr. Sandoa had raised his voice against the sand mafia in the past as well. He said the Chief Minister had during last year’s election campaign promised to rid the State of the drugs, transport, extortion and mining mafia. “Instead, the influence of the mafia has increased. They are carrying out lethal attacks on MLAs,” he said.The AAP has demanded a new policy to put an end to illegal mining and also called for a White Paper detailing the loss of revenue caused to the State by illegal mining during the past 15 years.last_img read more

Intruder beats up headmaster for making students clean school

first_imgThe headmaster of a primary school in Odisha’s Ganjam district was attacked and injured by an intruder on Tuesday during a cleaning exercise on the premises.The headmaster, Purna Chandra Das, was admitted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur. The incident happened at Gangadhar Primary School in Kavisuryanagar. The intruder, a youth in early 20s, was angry as the headmaster had engaged the school students in cleaning their classrooms, said sources. It is to be noted that Gangadhar Primary School has been adjudged the best school for cleanliness in Kavisuryanagar Notified Area Council. The headmaster, according to the sources, had asked two Class V students to clean their classroom. The accused saw this from outside and entered the campus to record it on his cell phone. He protested against students being used for cleaning work and entered into an altercation with the headmaster. He hit Mr. Das’s head with a boulder, injuring him seriously, the sources added. The headmaster has lodged a complaint at Kavisuryanagar police station but the culprit is yet to be arrested.Ganjam District Education Officer Sanatan Panda condemned the violent act and said that if the youth had any complaints he could have conveyed them to the authorities instead of taking the law into his own hands.“Under the ‘Swachh Vidyalaya’ drive going on in the district, students and teachers together clean their school campuses.last_img read more

Gujarat BJP leaders fight over location of AIIMS

first_imgThe Union government is yet to announce the setting up of a world-class All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home State Gujarat, but some State Bharatiya Janata Party leaders are already fighting over its location.Gujarat BJP leaders and legislators from Rajkot and Vadodara have been fighting over the venue of the facility, which is likely to be set up in the State. Recently, Gujarat State BJP president Jitu Vaghani said in Rajkot that the AIIMS would be set up in Rajkot to cater to the healthcare needs of the people of the Saurashtra region.Mr. Vaghani said this while campaigning for the recently held by-election for the Jasdan Assembly constituency in Rajkot district. Mr. Vaghani’s impromptu announcement caught even State Ministers off guard. Deputy Chief Minister and Health Minister Nitin Patel feigned ignorance over an AIIMS in Rajkot.“I am not aware of any development regarding the AIIMS in Rajkot,” Mr. Patel reportedly said. Legislators meet CMSubsequently, a group of eight legislators from the Vadodara district called on Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in an attempt to persuade him to select Vadodara as the venue for AIIMS.“We want AIIMS in Vadodara as was promised earlier. Now, they cannot change the location and pick up Rajkot,” said the party’s veteran legislator Yogesh Patel, who led the delegation of legislators from central Gujarat to the Chief Minister.According to Mr. Patel, there are tribal pockets like Chhota Udepur, Narmada, Godhara and Dahod near Vadodara, so a world class medical institute can cater to them, too, besides Vadodara city. Another legislator who was part of the delegation said that the CM himself was not sure whether Rajkot was being picked as the location for the AIIMS, as was suggested by the State party chief.last_img read more

Hope floats for women in politics

first_imgThe women’s wings of the three major political parties in Odisha have become more active since the State Assembly passed a resolution unanimously for providing 33% reservation for women in the Legislative Assemblies and Parliament on November 20 last year. Ahead of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the State, the number of meetings and demonstrations by the women’s wings of the ruling Biju Janata Dal and Opposition Congress and BJP has also started multiplying after Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik took up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 4. Mr. Patnaik had urged Mr. Modi to initiate necessary steps for passing the Women’s Reservation Bill for reservation of one-third seats in Parliament and State Legislatures for women. “I assure full support of my government in providing women their rightful place in the decision-making process,” Mr. Patnaik wrote to Mr. Modi.The Chief Minister, who has been focussing on women’s empowerment, has not stopped there. Senior party leaders have been meeting top leaders of different parties across the country seeking their support for passage of the Bill in Parliament.Positive signs In fact, the three major parties have also strengthened their women’s wings in the recent months. While the BJD and the Congress have appointed new presidents in their women’s wings, the BJP has inducted some prominent women to add strength to its women’s wing. Such has become the political atmosphere that women leaders of these parties from far-off districts have started frequenting Bhubaneswar hoping to get party tickets. They are of the view that more women will be given tickets to contest the coming elections even if the Bill is not passed in Parliament. “This is a positive sign that more and more women are coming forward to actively participate in politics. Odisha has produced many women leaders, including former Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy, in the past and the current trend should be encouraged by different parties,” said political analyst Rabi Das. Buoyant by the developments with regard to women’s political participation, transgender rights activists too have become active in their work with the hope that they may also be given tickets by different parties. “Time has come for all parties to give tickets to transgender people to ensure their participation in the decision-making process,” said Meera Parida, chairman of the All Odisha Transgender Welfare Trust.last_img read more

Secret Maoist camp busted in Odisha; no arrests made

first_imgA secret Maoist camp was busted by Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Niyamgiri hills region under Kalyansinghpur police station limits of Odisha’s Rayagada district on Thursday.According to police sources, 15 gelatin sticks, 15 detonators, one Improvised Explosive Device in the form of a ‘tiffin box’, batteries and wires were seized from the spot. The Maoists using the camp could not be traced as they had managed to escape taking advantage of the hilly jungle terrain, said the sources.During their continuing anti-Maoist search operation, the CRPF personnel had unearthed this secret Maoist camp inside the jungle near Tuluba village in Niyamgiri hills region. The explosives seized from the spot suggested that the Maoists were planning to plant them to target security forces.last_img read more

Enforcing a ban will not end the menace of stubble burning, say researchers

first_imgOnly educating farmers about the monetary costs of burning stubble can address the environmental crisis triggered every year in Punjab, says a team of Swiss and Indian researchers who interviewed 600 farmers over two years. Burning stubble, the rice chaff left over after harvesting, is linked to winter air-pollution in the State as well as down-wind DelhiAccording to the team, the government’s efforts — earmarking funds for specialised farming equipment (for straw management) or enforcing the state-led ban on the practice — are unlikely to solve the problem.Farmer cooperative groups — a key link between government and farmers — ought to be playing a more active role in educating farmers, say key authors associated with the study. Watch | Farmers continue to burn stubble despite ban Cheap solution“The main message is that farmers are not to blame (for the pollution crisis),” says Max Friedrich, a post-doctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). “There are deeper causes beyond economic incentives or awareness about the health consequences of burning at play.”On average, about 20 million tonnes of straw are generated in Punjab, and they barely have two to three weeks to dispose them of and prepare the fields for the next crop. Hence the popularity of deploying stubble-burning as a quick and cheap solution.For about a decade now, the Delhi and the Centre have held this practice responsible for the abysmal air quality in the capital in winter.In 2013, the National Green Tribunal issued a directive to Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh asking them to ban such stubble burning. The environment ministers of these States as well as top officials at the Centre declared a “zero tolerance” policy on the burning of stubble, which has been estimated to contribute anywhere from 7% to 78% of the particulate matter-emission load in Delhi during winter.The Centre has spent about ₹600 crore in subsidising farm equipment via village cooperatives to enable farmers to access them and avoid stubble burning. In 2018, Punjab had disbursed about 8,000 farm implements to individual farmers and set up 4,795 custom hiring centres, from where such machinery could be leased. The cost of hiring these machines was about ₹5,000 an acre, as The Hindu has previously reported.Mixed resultsHowever, the success of these efforts has been mixed, even though stubble-fires in 2018 were fewer than in 2017 and 2016, according to satellite maps by independent researchers.In their interviews, the researchers found that farmers who had bigger landholdings were more likely to burn straw; those who used combine harvesters (for cutting the straw) as opposed to manual labourers were more likely to engage in burning; and those who burnt or didn’t burn were equally aware of the steps and procedures required to abstain from burning, said Dr. Friedrich. On average, the input costs of farmers who burned straw were about ₹40,000 per acre and those who didn’t about ₹25,000 per acre but the incomes of those who burned and those who didn’t were closer — about ₹60,000 and ₹50,000 respectively.“There needs to be greater participation by village cooperatives in being able to impose social norms that would dissuade burners,” said Banalata Sen, an independent public health professional, associated with the study, coordinated by Ranas Mosler (affiliated to Eawag), the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), Hyderabad and Kethi Virasat Mission (KVM), Jaitu, India.center_img Farmers continue to burn stubble despite banVolume 90%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9Live00:0001:1501:15  last_img read more

Rape case filed against Congress MLA

first_imgA case was registered on the court’s order against Congress MLA Johari Lal Meena, representing Rajgarh-Laxmangarh constituency of Rajasthan’s Alwar district, on charges of raping a 38-year-old widow several times during the last two years and threatening to release the video of the alleged act. The FIR was registered at Raini police station over the weekend.The woman, who filed a complaint in the Judicial Magistrate’s court for registration of FIR, alleged that Mr. Meena, 68, whom she had met two years ago, took her to a hotel in the temple town of Mehandipur Balaji on the pretext of taking her to a doctor when she was ill. At the hotel, the MLA allegedly gave her some medicines and raped her when she fell unconscious, according to the complaint.Mr. Meena denied the charge on Saturday and said the complaint against him was a “political conspiracy” hatched to prevent him from campaigning for his party in the Lok Sabha election. “The objective is to damage the prospects of Congress. This is also a ploy to reduce my popularity in the public,” said Mr. Meena, who had defeated his BJP rival with a margin of 30,298 votes in the 2018 Assembly election.The complainant alleged that Mr. Meena had made a video of the act and started blackmailing her with the threat to release it. She also alleged that the MLA had forced her to establish a physical relationship with him several times.The FIR was registered under Sections 376 (rape), 384 (extortion) and 328 (causing hurt by means of poison) of Indian Penal Code and investigation handed over to CB-CID in view of the accused being a legislator.last_img read more

Yes, You Can Blame the Moon for a Bad Night’s Sleep

first_imgIf you were tossing and turning and howling at your pillow this week, you’re not necessarily a lunatic, at least in the strictest sense of the word. The recent full moon might be to blame for your poor sleep. In the days close to a full moon, people take longer to doze off, sleep less deeply, and sleep for a shorter time, even if the moon isn’t shining in their window, a new study has found.“A lot of people are going to say, ‘Yeah, I knew this already. I never sleep well during a full moon.’ But this is the first data that really confirms it,” says biologist Christian Cajochen of the University of Basel in Switzerland, lead author of the new work. “There had been numerous studies before, but many were very inconclusive.”Anecdotal evidence has long suggested that people’s sleep patterns, moods, and even aggression is linked to moon cycles. But past studies of potential lunar effects have been tainted by statistical weaknesses, biases, or inconsistent methods, Cajochen says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Between 2000 and 2003, he and his colleagues had collected detailed data on the sleep patterns of 33 healthy volunteers for an unrelated study on the effects of aging on sleep. Using electroencephalograms (EEG) that measure brain activity, they recorded how deep and how long each participant’s nightly sleep was in a controlled, laboratory setting. Years after the initial experiment, the scientists were drinking in a pub—during a full moon—and came up with the idea of going back to the data to test for correlations with moon cycles.“What’s nicest about this study is that it uses data that wasn’t originally intended for this purpose, so you know there couldn’t be any bias and that makes it quite convincing,” says neuroscientist Kristin Tessmar-Raible of the Max F. Perutz Laboratories in Vienna who was not involved in the new work.When the researchers investigated how sleep patterns changed during moon cycles, they found a striking association between poor sleep and lunar cycles. In the few days before and after a full moon, people took an average of 5 extra minutes to fall asleep, slept 20 minutes less per night, and had 30% less deep sleep, as measured by the EEG. Moreover, the volunteers recorded poorer sleep on a survey around the full moon, the scientists report online today in Current Biology.“This paper showed that it’s possible to detect a correlation between the human sleep cycle and lunar phases, which strongly suggests to me that there is some kind of synchronization,” Tessmar-Raible says. “And the question now is what is the mechanism behind this?”Because the subjects couldn’t see the moon, increased light levels aren’t producing the effect, at least not entirely. It’s more likely influenced only in a small part by light or other external factors, and maintained through internal hormones, like people’s 24-hour sleep-wake cycles, which persist even in the absence of light or darkness, Cajochen speculates. “In terms of the lunar cycle, light could be important to synchronize this biological clock with environmental stimuli,” Cajochen says. “But the clock itself then continues on independent of light.”To test that possibility, he says, scientists could set up additional controlled experiments that measure how physiology and brain activity varies over the 29.5-day lunar cycle. Studies on animals with mating or migration patterns that revolve around lunar cycles could also illuminate the underlying biological drivers as well as the evolutionary benefit of having a moon-synced clock. Whatever the mechanism, inconsistent sleep around the full moon could be partially responsible for the origin of the word lunatic, which derives from the Latin for “moonstruck.”last_img read more

Tracing Cichlids Through the Seas

first_imgMore than 1600 species of cichlids swim in fresh water around the world, spanning a rainbow of colors and a myriad of shapes. They’re popular with evolutionary biologists, who study the diverse, rapidly evolving fish in the rift lakes of East Africa and elsewhere. A new study casts doubt on an old hypothesis, that cichlids reached multiple continents by swimming in place while an ancient supercontinent split up. Instead, the researchers say the freshwater fish must have undertaken death-defying dispersals by paddling across the salty seas.Cichlids live in South America, Africa, Madagascar, and India—all former components of the supercontinent Gondwana that broke up about 135 million years ago. Several decades ago, scientists hypothesized that cichlids dispersed by going along for the ride as the continents spread.But this theory came with a big assumption: Cichlids must have evolved before Gondwana broke up. The oldest cichlid fossils are only about 45 million years old. That leaves about 90 million years of cichlid history unaccounted for. The fossil record is spotty, so it seemed possible that older cichlid fossils just hadn’t been discovered yet.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Matt Friedman, a paleobiologist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, thought he could estimate just how likely it was that there are more ancient cichlid fossils out there. He and his colleagues assembled a database of known fossils of cichlids. They compared that to a list of sedimentary rocks that might plausibly contain cichlid fossils. The rocks were from the former Gondwana, had formed in fresh water, and contained other fish fossils. The researchers concluded it wasn’t likely that so many cichlid fossils remain undiscovered: The cichlids’ fossil records would have to be 10 to 30 times worse in the older time period than in more recent times—an unlikely scenario, Friedman says. The work is published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.The researchers also counted mutations in genes shared between cichlids and their close relatives. Mutations accumulate gradually and can be used to measure the time that has passed since two groups of species diverged. They sequenced 10 nuclear genes from 89 modern species of cichlids and 69 other fish to come up with dates when cichlids diverged from their fishy relatives.All of these tests pointed toward a cichlid origin of 65 million to 57 million years ago, long after Gondwana split apart. “It seems much too late for these guys have been sitting and rafting with the continents as they broke up,” Friedman says.That leaves a weirder alternative: that the fish dispersed after the continents started splitting up. Dispersal across salt water “seems highly unlikely” for these smallish freshwater fish, Friedman says, but not impossible. Strong east-west currents, a possible island chain, and even the Congo River’s enormous flow of fresh water might have helped cichlids across the South Atlantic, which was of course much narrower then. And some cichlids can handle salt water.George Turner, an evolutionary biologist and self-described “cichlid nerd” at Bangor University in the United Kingdom, says the study is well done. Drawing conclusions from fossils is difficult, he adds. Not everything gets preserved; not everything that’s fossilized gets found; and after species diverge, millions of years can go by before any differences appear in the hard body parts that get fossilized. So cichlid ancestors could be in the fossil record, but looking so much like their closest relatives that nobody has recognized them. “Saying that, it’s a very interesting stab and it makes me feel a lot more skeptical of the Gondwanan idea than I was before,” he says.“I think it’s definitely a move forward in our understanding of cichlid evolution,” says Leo Smith, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, who studies cichlid evolution. “We’re closing in on something that we haven’t really had good answers for yet,” Smith says.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Powering Up the Magnetosphere

first_imgTaking advantage of a rare chance alignment of eight Earth-orbiting spacecraft, space physicists have pinned down where and how the energy of the solar wind can surge Earthward to power the celestial light of the auroras and help fire up the Van Allen radiation belts. Researchers knew that the magnetosphere—Earth’s magnetic bubble of plasma—gets its energy from solar wind, which blows the plasma into its teardrop shape and stores energy by stretching and compressing the magnetosphere’s magnetic field lines (blue). These stressed magnetic field lines can merge, or reconnect, at a point about halfway between Earth and the orbit of the moon. But, contrary to expectations, the stored energy is not just released where reconnection occurs, researchers report online today in Science. Instead, energy is released at a magnetically intense “front” as reconnection slings the front toward Earth at almost 1.5 million kilometers per hour (and sends another front toward deep space). The passage of a front heats the plasma (yellow zone) and sends charged particles flying toward Earth (red arrow), where the onslaught powers both radiation belts and aurora.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Bloody Rag May Not Have Touched Louis XVI’s Severed Head

first_imgIt seemed like the perfect forensic tale. Earlier this year, a geneticist concluded that the remains of a blood-soaked cloth stored for centuries in an 18th century gourd likely belonged to the severed head of the last French king, Louis XVI—a conclusion supported by the fact that the DNA matched that taken from a mummified head belonging to his direct ancestor, King Henry IV. So confident were some people about the findings that a company now offers a blood test for anyone who wants to see if they, too, are descendants of this royal family.But new research released today calls into question the identities of both the blood and the head, arguing that the DNA in those samples does not match the DNA in living relatives of these kings. The data “make a strong case,” against the previous work, says Cristian Capelli, a geneticist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work.According to legend, when King Louis XVI was beheaded in 1793 during the French Revolution, a witness soaked up his blood with a handkerchief and stored it in a decorated gourd. A few years ago, the family that owned the gourd asked geneticist Carles Lalueza-Fox of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, Spain, to look at the DNA from the remains of the cloth. At the time, all he could say was that the DNA came from a blue-eyed European male because he didn’t have any DNA from any of the king’s relatives. (Louis XVI supposedly had blue eyes.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)So Lalueza-Fox turned to the mummified head of Henry IV for help. Henry IV was a direct ancestor of Louis XVI, so a match would provide further evidence that the blood belonged to the French king. Lalueza-Fox was able to isolate a small amount of Y chromosome from the inner part of the head, which is transmitted from male to male each generation. Enough of it matched the blood’s Y chromosome for him to conclude that the blood and head came from individuals who were related to each other.French historian Philippe Delorme wasn’t convinced. There was so little Y chromosome from the head that the matchup could have been by chance. He teamed up with geneticist Jean-Jacques Cassiman from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium and identified three living descendants of the French kings, members of the House of Bourbon, to find out what the Y chromosome of that lineage should look like. They analyzed the Y chromosomes of these male relatives, and came up with a “Bourbon” Y chromosome profile. That profile did not match that obtained from the blood and head, Cassiman, Delorme, and their colleagues report today in the European Journal of Human Genetics.Who is right depends in part on what the Bourbon family tree really looks like—and that is also under dispute. Cassiman and Delorme argue that the three relatives they analyzed come from different branches of the tree, so the matching parts of their Y chromosome indicate true Bourbon inheritance. But Lalueza-Fox and his French historian collaborator Philippe Charlier think that the living relatives all trace back to Philippe I, who was homosexual and thus perhaps unlikely to have actually fathered the next generation. “It seems likely that what we have here is just a case of false paternity within a royal family,” says Lalueza-Fox, who sticks by his original work. “Moreover, we should be cautious with the genealogies claimed by people. These are often less accurate than we may think.”Both sides think the best way to get to the bottom of this forensic tale would be to study the DNA of more living relatives. But neither has the funds to do so. So for now, the new work “leaves still open the hunt for true remains of these historical figures,” Capelli says.last_img read more

Lasers Unearth Lost ‘Agropolis’ of New England

first_imgHidden ruins are customary in the wild jungles of South America or on the white shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Now, researchers have uncovered a long-lost culture closer to Western civilization—in New England.Today, southern New England is shrouded by lush forests, whose autumnal colors attract thousands of tourists and hikers each year. Urban hubs—Boston, Providence, Hartford—are peppered throughout. Rewind the clock 300 years, however, and the landscape would be unrecognizable, with much of the wooded countryside replaced by hundred-acre farms. Agriculture was king in New England until widespread industrialization in the 19th century led farmers to abandon their fields and move to cities. The forest stirred and soon reclaimed the disavowed land, cloaking the structural relics of a vast agrarian past.In a new study, which will be published in the March issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, geographers Katharine Johnson and William Ouimet of the University of Connecticut, Storrs, uncovered these preserved sites without ever lifting a shovel. Using aerial surveys created by LiDAR, a laser-guided mapping technique, the team detected the barely perceptible remnants of a former “agropolis” around three rural New England towns.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Near Ashford, Connecticut, a vast network of roads offset by stone walls came to light underneath a canopy of oak and spruce trees. More than half of the town has become reforested since 1870, according to historical documents, exemplifying the extent of the rural flight that marked the late 1800s. Some structures were less than 2 feet high and buried in inaccessible portions of the forest, making them essentially invisible to on-the-ground cartography.In rural Westport, Massachusetts, modern property boundaries overlapped with weathered stone walls that were unveiled by LiDAR. By examining historic maps from the early 1700s, the team learned these demarcations had barely changed over the centuries.The untold consequences of this agricultural abandonment on the modern ecosystem are another story told by LiDAR archaeology. Invasive plants like Japanese barberry shrubs capitalized on abandoned open fields that were reverting to forests. Native species benefited as well. White pine, an aggressive timber species, gained a foothold in New England in the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century as farms were abandoned, says ecologist David Foster of Harvard University, who was not involved with the work. “The basic fact is the history of a site strongly influences the environmental conditions and the type of vegetation that develops,” he says. “Therefore, it ends up having a legacy of impacts on the vegetation today.”“This fabulous work opens the eyes of people like me and other researchers,” says Foster, who plans to use LiDAR in his future investigations of forest ancestry in Massachusetts. It shows “that with relatively little effort, you can generate a completely new data set of information about the landscape.”Discoveries like a dam and the forgotten walls of a once-buzzing sawmill near Tiverton, Rhode Island, will help quantify the impact that English-style agriculture had on the continuity between historic and modern landscapes, Johnson says. Studying vegetation dynamics near the sites could create a living history of the ecosystem, she says, that explains how much earth was moved by farmers or how humans impacted river systems in the past to guide land conservation in the future. She will also help historical societies document new landmarks. Given that some ruins reside on private land, this mapping will preserve a fuller historical picture, in case the land is ever sold and developed, she says.last_img read more

White House teams with private sector on plan to reduce HFC emissions

first_imgThe White House today announced a plan to reduce U.S. emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas with 2400 times the climate impact of CO2. Companies that make the refrigerants have pledged to dramatically reduce and eventually phase out their production at the same time they develop greener alternatives, and retailers have agreed to use equipment that is HFC-free.HFCs became a significant climate issue in the wake of the success of the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which eliminated the emissions of ozone-depleting chemicals including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). HFCs were a common substitute for CFCs in refrigerators and air conditioners in the 1980s and 1990s. Scientists have warned of the impact of HFCs on climate for years, but government action has been slow to follow. Today’s announcement notes that U.S. emissions of HFCs, if left unchecked, were on track to double by 2020.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In 2009, the U.S. State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency suggested cutting global HFC production and emissions by the equivalent of 76 billion tons of CO2 under the Montreal Protocol. But large developing countries, including China, India, and Brazil, blocked action at the 2009 and 2010 meetings of the protocol’s signatories, arguing that the timeline to cut HFCs was too rapid.The campaign gained momentum in June 2013 when the United States signed a bilateral agreement with China on limiting HFCs. Three months later, the G-20 group of industrialized nations agreed to limit HFC emissions. More than 110 nations now say they support an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to reduce HFCs.The White House said its approach would reduce global consumption of HFCs by the equivalent of 700 million metric tons of CO2 through 2025. The plan is being rolled out 1 week before the U.N. Climate Summit in New York.last_img read more