Nation’s mood revealed, says Naveen Patnaik

first_imgOdisha Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday said that the Assembly election results in the five States “shows the mood of the nation”.“All the States that have gone for elections are predominantly agrarian States. The Central government has done very little for the farmers as regards MSP and implementation of M. S. Swaminathan Committee recommendations,” said Mr. Patnaik.The Chief Minister congratulated the Congress, the TRS and the MNF for their electoral victory.Asked whether the elections outcome States would have any impact on the simultaneous Lok Sabha Assembly elections in Odisha next year, Mr. Patnaik said “this is the mood of the nation and Odisha is very much a part of the nation”.In response to a query about the party’s position in a changing political scenario , Mr. Patnaik reiterated that the BJD would maintain equal distance from the Congress and the BJP. “There is no formal Mahagathbandhan at the moment, let’s see to the future,” he said about the Mahagathbandhan initiative by some parties.Mr. Patnaik expressed hope that after the change of government in Chhattisgarh, the Mahanadi water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh would be resolved soon.last_img read more

One more question, Dr. Frieden: Eleven things we’d like to know about the new Ebola case

first_imgQ: Should all future patients be moved to one of the four Ebola-specialized treatment centers in the United States if their condition allows it? Q: What Ebola-specific training is provided now at Texas Presbyterian and at other hospitals around the country? A second health care worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has tested positive for the Ebola virus. Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that its investigations “increasingly suggest” that she and a colleague diagnosed with Ebola on 14 October were at highest risk of infection between 28 and 30 September, when Thomas Eric Duncan had been admitted to the hospital but had yet to receive confirmation that he was infected.“These two health care workers both worked on those days, and both had extensive contact with the patient when the patient had extensive production of body fluids because of vomiting and diarrhea,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden at a press conference today.The second health care worker flew from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas on 13 October, the day before she developed symptoms, leading CDC to try to contact the 132 passengers and the crew on that flight. (The woman had an “elevated” temperature of 99.5°F, or 37.5°C; that’s below the threshold for a fever, which is at 100.4°F, or 38.0°C.) Frieden said the woman, whose job he did not specify, “should not have traveled on a commercial airline” but stressed she did not vomit and was not bleeding during the trip. “The level of risk of people around her would be extremely low,” he said.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(*)Frieden vowed that this lapse would not happen again. “We will ensure from this moment forward that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement,” he said, which can include chartered planes or cars but puts restrictions on the use of public transport. The new patient will be transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which has a specialized unit to provide Ebola care, later today.From now on, CDC will send a rapid response “go” team to any health care facility that has an Ebola patient. CDC has also sent staff to Dallas and two Ebola-experienced nurses from Emory will provide training and supervision of the Texas Presbyterian health care workers.As often happens with major breaking news stories, CDC could not answer all the questions of the reporters who attended the press conference or joined by telephone. ScienceInsider had two reporters on the call who were not selected. They were left with the following questions.Q: You said that the two health care workers may have been particularly vulnerable between 28 September, when Duncan was admitted to the hospital and isolated, and 30 September, when he received his diagnosis. Was infection control inadequate during those days—and how so? Why is it less likely that they became infected after his diagnosis? Q: You said that about 50 health care workers entered Duncan’s room and that you want to limit the number of people exposed to Ebola patients. How do you do this? What is the minimum number needed for a single patient? Q: At CDC’s Ebola training course in Anniston, Alabama, health care workers are told to strictly limit shifts in Ebola treatment units, starting with 1-hour rotations. Is Texas Presbyterian using a similar strategy? Are Emory and the other dedicated centers? Q: You have repeatedly assured the United States that we know how to stop Ebola. Are you concerned about the impact the two cases have on your credibility? Q: In West Africa, some health care workers have been afraid to care for Ebola patients, and some have not shown up for work or even left their homes. Has anyone at Texas Presbyterian refused to take care of Ebola patients?center_img Q: Do you think the media are paying too much attention to the U.S. outbreak and too little to the epidemic in West Africa?*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public. Q: Nurses at the Dallas hospital have specified shortcomings in the way their hospital has handled Duncan’s case. Has your investigation confirmed these mistakes? Q: Why is the second case being moved to Emory? Are you concerned about the level of care at Texas Presbyterian, further infections, or both? Q: What training, specifically, did health care workers receive prior to treating Mr. Duncan? Who provided the training and how long did it last? Q: Are people taking care of Ebola patients allowed to help other patients?last_img read more

Shattered chromosome cures woman of immune disease

first_imgCall it a scientific oddity—or a medical miracle. A girl who grew up with a serious genetic immune disease was apparently cured in her 30s by one of her chromosomes shattering into pieces and reassembling. Scientists traced the woman’s improvement to the removal of a harmful gene through this scrambling of DNA in one of her blood stem cells—a recently identified phenomenon that until now had only been linked to cancer.The woman, who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, suffered from recurring bacterial infections as a child. Back then, doctors found that she had abnormally low levels of certain white blood cells needed to fight invading microbes. The 9-year-old’s illness, described in two reports in 1964 in The New England Journal of Medicine, was the first known case of what is now called WHIM (warts, hypogammaglobulinemia, infections, and myelokathexis) syndrome. In this extremely rare disease—only about 60 cases are known worldwide—patients live into adulthood, but they can develop lung scarring, hearing loss, and other health problems from the frequent infections. Those with WHIM are also highly susceptible to the human papillomavirus, which causes warts on their skin and genital areas that sometimes turn cancerous.In 2003, researchers linked WHIM to a gene called CXCR4, which codes for a cell surface protein that immune cells use to recognize chemical messengers called chemokines. In WHIM, patients have one normal copy of CXCR4 and a defective copy that causes the receptor to be overactive—it doesn’t shut off when it’s supposed to. This somehow causes white blood cells to “get stuck” in the bone marrow instead of entering the bloodstream, says Philip Murphy, an immunologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland.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(*)Murphy and colleagues have studied WHIM patients at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) Clinical Center to better understand the disease and develop a possible treatment with a drug that inhibits CXCR4. Two years ago, they heard from a woman who said she wanted to bring in her two daughters for evaluation because they had inherited the disease.The woman was that first WHIM patient, now 59 years old. Her two daughters in their early 20s did indeed have classic symptoms of WHIM, such as warts on their hands, and their blood cells carried the mutation in CXCR4 that usually causes it. But as for their mother, “When we asked a very simple question—‘How was she doing?’—she said she was fine,” Murphy recalls. She had not had warts or serious infections since her late 30s. “At this point we got very, very interested,” he says.The NIH team began sleuthing. To its surprise, the woman’s white blood cells no longer had the faulty CXCR4 mutation, although other cell types still carried it. Examining the chromosomes in her apparently normal white blood cells, they found an anomaly: One copy of chromosome 2 was about 15% shorter than the other copy. Whole-genome sequencing revealed that it had become scrambled and lost a chunk that included the defective CXCR4 and 163 other normal genes.The explanation seems to be chromothripsis, a phenomenon discovered only 4 years ago in a leukemia patient and occasionally seen in other cancers. A chromosome somehow shatters during cell replication, then reassembles with the pieces in a different order. Presumably, the cells typically die as a result of this damage, Murphy says. If the cell survives, the scrambled genes may contribute to cancer.In this case, however, the chromosome shattering seems to have occurred in a blood stem cell, which then replicated to give her a supply of normal white blood cells. The missing copy of CXCR4 also appears to explain why the cells now constitute all of her white blood cells, the NIH researchers say. They showed that transplants of stem cells lacking one copy of CXCR4 engraft better in mice than stem cells with two normal copies or a normal copy and the WHIM version, they report online today in Cell.Murphy says the woman’s case shows that chromothripsis can be curative, and it’s worth checking for it in patients with other rare diseases who spontaneously get better. It also suggests that disabling one copy of CXCR4 could improve efforts to treat diseases such as sickle cell anemia by editing a genetic defect in blood stem cells and returning the cells to the patient. Deleting one copy of CXCR4 while repairing the broken gene could make the transplant engraft more readily, Murphy says.“Very interesting,” says clinical geneticist George Diaz of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, who identified CXCR4 mutations as the cause of WHIM. He says the woman’s recovery reminds him of the story of the Berlin patient, an HIV-positive man who developed leukemia, then became virus-free after receiving a bone marrow transplant from a donor lacking a chemokine receptor that HIV needs to enter cells. The improved engraftment in mice lacking one copy of CXCR4, Diaz adds, “could definitely have clinical applications downstream.”last_img read more

Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE officially launched in India for Rs 53,500

first_imgSamsung has officially launched the LTE version of the Galaxy S5 in India for Rs 53,500. The phone will be available July 20 onwards. The LTE version of the Galaxy S5 is different from the standard version as it sports a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU, which supports eight 4G LTE bands including the ones which work in India. The standard version of the Galaxy S5 is powered by the Exynos Octa-core CPU, which does not support LTE networks in India. Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE.Additionally, the Qualcomm chipset facilitates features like download booster and Wi-Fi MiMO. Other features of the phone include a 16-megapixel rear camera with a hybrid auto-focus system, 2GB of RAM, a 5.1-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display, and a 2,800mAh battery. It also sports a IP67 certification for water resistance and dust proofing. The phone will be available in three colours – copper gold, charcoal black and shimmery white. Earlier, the company was criticised for launching the 3G only version of the Galaxy S5 in India, which was deemed overpriced.The Galaxy S5 was also met with a lukewarm response in the market.  Follow writer on Twitter @DigitallyBoneslast_img read more

Cristiano Ronaldo has silenced his critics: Nani

first_imgPortugal winger Nani believes star striker Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace against Hungary in their last Euro group encounter has helped silence the captain’s critics. (EURO 2016 – Full Coverage) Real Madrid star Ronaldo had two tough games and failed to score against Iceland and Austria. But he was the force behind Portugal’s 3-3 stalemate against Hungary on Wednesday.’FANTASTIC PLAYER’ “Everyone knows Cristiano and what he can do at any time, in any minute in a game. I am 100 per cent sure he will go on and score more goals now. Of course he can. No one can say anything against him. He is a fantastic player,” Nani was quoted as saying by ESPNFC on Friday. (Also read: Portugal were in dire straits against Hungary, says Ronaldo) “Every time he is faced with difficult moments — he showed it again against Hungary when everyone was talking about him. He has shut them all up now.”Nani also said he was pleased that they could score three against Hungary after suffering from a goal drought in the first two games where they netted just one.’CAN REACH OUR TARGETS’ “I think Cristiano has always been there, always playing well for us throughout the tournament. It doesn’t mean that when he is not scoring, he is not playing well. The whole team has been. We had two great performances in our other games as well but we promised we’d score against Hungary and we have got three so I am very pleased,” the Fenerbahce player said.advertisement”Obviously I am disappointed that we conceded three but we were a bit unlucky with the bounce on two of them. So we’re happy, we’re in the next stage, we will focus on that and keep believing we can reach our targets.”‘DIFFICULT AGAINST CROATIA’ Portugal will now face a strong Croatian side in the pre-quarterfinal on Saturday but Nani said they are here to win the trophy and it does not matter to him as to who they face along the way.”To tell you the truth, before we came here we said our ambitions were very high. We said we wanted to win this competition. Any team we play, we must believe we can win so it doesn’t matter who we will face now,” the 29-year-old said.”It will be difficult against Croatia. They have one day more than us to rest but we are professional, so we will get a quick rest and prepare for the game.”last_img read more

We Must Develop a Culture of Work – PM Holness

first_img “It is clear that the policy of the Government can’t just be employment. The policy of the Government has to be to create a culture of work. Employment can only happen in a significant way when there is a culture of work where people appreciate the value of their labour. So, it’s not just the employer that must appreciate the value of labour but people themselves and that culture is not always fully spread in the population. So, an agency like HEART has to configure its program to address this issue as to why it is some of its people (who) just don’t want to work and frown upon work and I hear it coming through in some of the criticisms of the BPO industry and I would rebuke those criticisms,” said Prime Minister Holness. Story Highlights Commenting on the increase in Global Services Sector through Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in the country and the record number of employment, Prime Minister Holness stated that the Government must increase training to support the expansion of the industry. Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the policy of the Government is not just to create employment but to create a culture of work. Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the policy of the Government is not just to create employment but to create a culture of work.Commenting on the increase in Global Services Sector through Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in the country and the record number of employment, Prime Minister Holness stated that the Government must increase training to support the expansion of the industry.“It is clear that the policy of the Government can’t just be employment. The policy of the Government has to be to create a culture of work. Employment can only happen in a significant way when there is a culture of work where people appreciate the value of their labour. So, it’s not just the employer that must appreciate the value of labour but people themselves and that culture is not always fully spread in the population. So, an agency like HEART has to configure its program to address this issue as to why it is some of its people (who) just don’t want to work and frown upon work and I hear it coming through in some of the criticisms of the BPO industry and I would rebuke those criticisms,” said Prime Minister Holness.The Prime Minister further explained that a culture work creates an environment that limits the chances of nefarious activities.“The truth is that you have to start somewhere, and we must recognise that it is better to be employed than doing nothing becoming candidates for all kinds of nefarious activities,” stated Prime Minister Holness.In the meantime, the Prime Minister charged the BPO industry and HEART NTA to transform the way they do business.“We the Government are very seized and understand that this industry is susceptible to rapid change. My view is that the industry will not go away but it will be transformed. Artificial Intelligence will transform the industry, so Jamaica cannot rest comfortably at the level that it is in the industry. It must increase its performance levels from merely being telephone operators to absorb more of the high-value skills. So, it has to move now, significantly and rapidly from the Business Process engineering and development to more the knowledge process and we can measure how that transformation is going,” said Prime Minister Holness.In that regard, the Prime Minister noted that Jamaica is in a competitive space and must conclude on certain decisions for the greater good of the economy.“We must conclude that we have to give priority to business and investment and we must become efficient in how we give our approvals,” said Prime Minister Holness.The Prime Minister was speaking at the Official Opening Ceremony for the Montego Bay Free Zone Company Limited Data Entry Building Number 7 on Wednesday, January 9.The facility was constructed by The Port Authority of Jamaica in the Montego Bay Free Zone (MBFZ)last_img read more

Biggest Fleet Boost for Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM

first_imgzoom Container shipping giants Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM have claimed three top spots on the list of companies that had the biggest fleet capacity increase last year.As shown in Alphaliner’s 2014-2015 fleet review, Maersk increased its capacity by 12%, MSC by 7% and CMA CGM by 9%.A.P.Møller-Maersk increased its total container vessel capacity by 318,000 TEU,  reaching 2.89 MTEH at the end of 2014.The group’s fleet was boosted by the delivery of nine Maersk-owned Triple-E ships of 18,340 TEU, as well as by charters of 19 newbuildings from non-operating owners, Alphaliner said.In 2015, the carrier will take delivery of its remaining seven Triple-E units, together with four chartered ships of 9,000 – 10,000 TEU.MSC’s fleet increased its operating capacity by a 168,000 TEU, or 7% in 2014, to reach 2.54m TEU on a fleet of 497 owned and chartered vessels.The company is going to expand its fleet with 30 new ships this year totaling in 357,000 TEU.French liner CMA CGM grew its fleet by 9% in 2014, adding 139,000 TEU to reach 1.6m TEU for 446 ships. The carrier is expected to expand its fleet with 25 ships this year, adding 268,800 TEU more, Alphaliner’s data shows.The fourth place in terms of fleet capacity was claimed by Hapag-Lloyd / CSAV followed by Evergreen on the fifth place.All of the world’s top 20 carriers recorded capacity increase in 2014, except Hapag-Lloyd / CSAV whose capacity was down by 2%, Hanjin Shipping which saw 3% dip and APL, which posted the biggest capacity decline amounting to 12%.last_img read more

Irans Rouhani hails special ties with Iraq ahead of visit

first_imgTehran: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Monday described ties with Iraq as “special”, as he prepared to travel to Baghdad on his first official visit to the neighbouring country. Rouhani’s three-day visit comes as Iraq has been under pressure from Washington to limit ties with its neighbour, particularly after the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and hit Tehran with sanctions. “Iran-Iraq relations are special,” Rouhani said at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport, state television reported. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping “Whenever the people of the region had a problem and asked Iran for help, the people and government of Iran rushed to their help with all their power,” he added. Iran has close but complicated ties with Iraq, with significant influence among its Shiite political groups. The two countries fought a bloody war from 1980 to 1988 and Tehran’s influence in Baghdad grew after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq toppled the government of Saddam Hussein. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang Iran was the first country to respond to Iraqi calls for help after Islamic State group jihadists captured Mosul in 2014 and threatened to overrun Baghdad and Kirkuk. Tehran dispatched “military advisors” and equipment overnight along with the famous Revolutionary Guards elite Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani to prevent IS jihadists from approaching its western borders. Following the defeat of IS in Iraq, Iran is trying to position itself to gain a prime role in rebuilding the war-ravaged country. “Iran-Iraq relations are not comparable with (Iraq’s relations) with an aggressor country like America,” Rouhani said. “America is despised in the region. The bombs that the Americans dropped on Iraqis, Syrian people and other countries cannot be forgotten and,” he said. Rouhani’s visit to Iraq will be the first since he became president in 2013. He is set to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, President Barham Saleh and the country’s chief Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, according to the Iranian government’s website. Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrived Sunday in Baghdad to prepare for the visit.last_img read more

Triangular contest on cards as Delhi votes

first_imgNEW DELHI: The stage is all set as the National Capital goes to polls on Sunday where the incumbent BJP, Delhi’s ruling AAP and the Congress are locked in a fight on all seven Lok Sabha seats.The Congress is looking to bounce back after ending up at the third spot in the 2014 elections. The lead up to the polls has not been without drama, with allegations and counter-allegations flying, and with all the trappings of a soap opera that could give the daily shows a run for their money. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesThe high-octane poll campaigning in the national capital ended on Friday but not before it saw a plethora of stars descending here to campaign for their respective parties. If Hema Malini and Sunny Deol provided the Bollywood quotient to the saffron party’s campaign, Raj Babbar and Naghma added the star quotient to the Congress, Prakash Raj, Swara Bhaskar and Gul Panag campaigned for the AAP. From Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal being slapped to AAP’s East Delhi candidate Atishi breaking down at a Press conference over “derogatory pamphlets” to BJP’s Udit Raj leaving the party and joining the Congress after being denied a ticket from northwest Delhi, the last two months have been quite eventful and have kept everyone on their toes. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarThe seven seats will see 164 candidates battling it out of which 18 are women. Prominent among them are former chief minister Sheila Dikshit from northeast Delhi, BJP’s incumbent MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who is contesting from New Delhi, and Atishi . BJP’s incumbent MP Manoj Tiwari is up against Dikshit for the Northeast Delhi seat and has already said that her entry has made the poll contest “one of the most interesting in the country”. AAP’s Dilip Pandey is also in the fray from the seat. Other prominent candidates in the race include veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit, Olympian boxer Vijender Singh, who is making his electoral debut from South Delhi, Union minister Harsh Vardhan from Chandni Chowk, and cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir . Voting will begin at 7 am on May 12 and it is scheduled to go on till 6 am. The 48 hour-period from 6 pm Friday to 6 pm Sunday, known as the silence period, will also be observed as ‘dry day’. A total of 13,819 polling stations will be set up at 2,700 locations in Delhi, with one model polling station in each of the 70 assembly segments. Seventeen polling stations will be staffed only by women. As many as 523 polling locations have been identified as critical and 60,000 personnel, including those of the Delhi Police, Home Guards and paramilitary, will be on their toes to ensure that there is no untoward incident. The campaign got off to a slow start as alliance talks between the AAP and the Congress lingered on till the last days of nomination, but it gained momentum over the last fortnight with senior leaders drawing huge crowds at mega rallies and road shows in the national capital. The campaign reached a crescendo in its last lap, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding a massive rally at the iconic Ramlila Maidan here, Congress president rahul Gandhi addressing two public meetings, and his sister Priyanka gandhi Vadra taking out two roadshows in the city. From trying to strike a personal chord with voters in parks at six am to holding door-to-door campaigns till late night, the candidates literally sweated it out in the oppressive heat as mercury crossed the 40-degree Celsius mark. While the BJP’s campaign revolved around the party’s high-pitched nationalism narrative and the popularity of Modi, the Congress kept him in the cross hairs and sought to hard sell its minimum income guarantee scheme, Nyay.last_img read more

Media Controversy and InfluencePeddling in Ronaldo Rape Case

Rabat – Footballing megastar Cristiano Ronaldo has been feeling the heat of the #MeToo movement in the past weeks.Late last month, Kathryn Mayorga, a 34-year-old American woman, spoke up against the star’s alleged sexual assault. The woman claims the Portugal and Juventus forward raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.She says she was coerced into signing a non-disclosure agreement of $375,000 in 2010. However, in late September, her lawyers filed a civil suit against Ronaldo for the rape. Fake news, fabrication, and manipulationFollowing the new lawsuit, the past few weeks have seen a media war between Ronaldo (and his attorney), the media, and his former club Real Madrid.According to Italian news outlet La Repubblica, the footballer last week said that he was convinced his former employer, the Spanish giant Real Madrid, had a hand in the affair. He believed they manipulated the American woman into filing a lawsuit.Ronaldo, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, has called the allegations “fake news” fabricated to sabotage his solid reputation. He added that his “conscience is clear” because he has been an example of professionalism and personal integrity during the nine years he spent in the Spanish capital.Der Spiegel vs. Ronaldo attorneyIn his defense of his client’s conduct, Ronaldo’s lawyer, Peter Christiansen, asserted that the footballer had consensual sex with Mayorga.Most importantly perhaps, Christiansen cast doubts on the authenticity of the news reports. He said the non-disclosure agreement and other documents used to corroborate the rape allegations were “fabricated” and “pure invention.”Der Spiegel, the German outlet which first broke the Ronaldo story, did not take long to reply. The newspaper stood by its report and said that the non-disclosure document used in their report was authentic and fact-checked multiple times before publication.“We have hundreds of documents from different sources that substantiate our reporting. We stand by our reporting. We have no reason to believe that those documents are not authentic.“Furthermore, as always and before publishing every single article in Der Spiegel, we have meticulously fact-checked our information and had it legally reviewed. The statement that was issued by Peter Christiansen on behalf of Cristiano Ronaldo presents the usual path that Mr Ronaldo and his lawyers have taken in the past when unsuccessfully fighting our investigative work.”Madrid sues Portuguese outletBut the latest episode of the Ronaldo-Real Madrid-Mayorga media circus came from a Portuguese outlet, Correio da Manha. On Wednesday, the outlet published a story closer to Ronaldo’s allegations that Madrid played a part in the newly reopened rape investigation.According to Correio da Manha, Ronaldo had consensual relations with Kathryn Mayorga, his accuser, but he was reluctant to financially settle with her.The newspaper reported that Ronaldo was convinced of his innocence and strongly opposed to any settlement deal. However, Real Madrid at the time forced him to settle the case.Madrid has since fumed at the Portuguese outlet’s allegations, strenuously denying having anything to do with the affair. In fact, Real Madrid did not even know that Ronaldo had a relationship with Mayorga, according to statement released by the Spanish club.Real said it has “absolutely no knowledge of any of the information the newspaper published.” The paper’s story, Real added, is “categorically false” and intended to “seriously damage the image of this club.”The Guardian reported on Thursday that the Spanish club has taken legal action against the Portuguese newspaper for defamation.Just like Der Spiegel, however, the Portuguese outlet has challenged Madrid. It says it stands by its report because everything in it was verified and diligently fact-checked.While Ronaldo, seemingly unperturbed, continues his recently signed contract with Italian giant Juventus, the dark clouds above the Portuguese star are nowhere near dissipation.The Las Vegas police have reopened an investigation into the case. read more