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Found 28 results

  1. While most of us were either busy with parties and celebrations or planning one on Christmas Eve, ardent Cricket fans were busy watching the nail-biting match between India and Sri Lanka. And one thing that all those watching the match can vouch for is that it was one of the best gifts that one could ever wish for, to end this year on a high note. © Reuters Even if you cancelled a dinner date with your girl or ditched your friends who went drinking without you, India's victory against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede stadium compensated for all that regret that was hovering over your mind earlier. It was this match that also gave us the 'coolest Santa' of this year and for those wondering who it is, we are talking about MS Dhoni (the only one who deserves to add cool as a suffix or prefix with his name). Merry Christmas ð to everyone from #TeamIndia A post shared by Team India (@indiancricketteam) on Dec 24, 2017 at 10:05am PST Just like Santa Claus, Dhoni too made this Christmas merrier for all of us by guiding Team India towards a massive win against the Lankans, with a clean sweep of 3-0, in the T20 International series. Following this epic match, Dhoni and his fellow team players kick-started the celebrations by donning the Santa caps and Twitter was more than elated to see Dhoni as Santa. These tweets speak volumes about how excited the fans were to see Dhoni as Santa. Merry Christmas everyone â¤ï¸ð pic.twitter.com/z9G3J5nCXJ — hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) 24 December 2017 What i see in every picture.. ð Only MS Dhoni.. ðð Most Calm & Cool Santa.. ð#MSDhoni #INDvsSL #INDvSL pic.twitter.com/NdzvuwkSa6 — Kajol (@kajol_0714) 24 December 2017 I never seen cool Santað Now he is hereðð@msdhoni MS Dhoni @ChennaiIPL #Dhoni pic.twitter.com/jhW1wztSQ8 — sαnkαr mαhí 07 (@Im_sankar07) 24 December 2017 Dhoni is Santa Claus of the cricket. He gives cricketing knowledge & acumen as free gifts. Merry Christmas pic.twitter.com/TdqdGo1FWt — Chandan (@sportsbloggerCK) 25 December 2017 We have spotted the coolest Santa ever ðð#Dhoni #INDvSL pic.twitter.com/7bNgxj3S5I — MS Dhoni MS Dhoni (@msdfanofficial) 25 December 2017 From guiding Indian bowlers to other country bowlers.. From Helicopter mode to Funful cheering Santa mode..one and only our Ms Dhoni..ððð #INDvSL #INDvsSL #HappyChristmas #Dhoni #MSDhoni pic.twitter.com/myxPuRuwsR — HARIPRIYAð®ð³ (@HARIPRI50971667) 24 December 2017 #MerryChristmas Mahiii @msdhoni u r always a Santa of mineðððð Thank you for all good memories that u've given to us.. tons of love for uððððððstay blessed nd keep rocking forever #Dhoni #Thala #legend ð pic.twitter.com/6lXI0yW1ni — Pooja Awasthi (@imspritual) 25 December 2017 MS Dhoni delivers happiness every day. My Santa all year long! ⤠pic.twitter.com/FdjF0XeG37 — MSDian Harshalið®ð³ (@DhonixFaithful) 24 December 2017 The partnership of Dhoni and Dinesh Kartik helped India beat Sri Lanka in the third and final match in the T20 series by five wickets.
  2. First things first: for all those who don't know about the 2G scam, let us enlighten you! Six years ago, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) alleged that 122 2G licenses were given to telecom operators at throwaway prices, causing a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer. Eventually, the licenses were scrapped by the Supreme Court in 2012. However now, due to lack of substantial evidence the court has set free all the accused including former Union telecom minister A Raja and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi. © Twitter © Twitter This scam was one of the reasons the Congress party-led UPA was regarded as one of the most corrupt governments ever which eventually lead to the coalition's collapse. The judge OP Saini said, “There is no evidence on the record produced before the court indicating any criminality in the acts allegedly committed by the accused persons relating to fixation of cut-off date, manipulation of first-come first-served policy.” As the news of the verdict spread, people on Twitter were extremely confused and angry. And why won't they be? After 6 years, this verdict cannot be expected to go down well with the citizens of the country. While some were extremely annoyed, others took a hilarious dig at the verdict: 1. Looks like, he isn't guilty either. Vijay Mallya on his way to India after hearing #2GScamVerdict ðð pic.twitter.com/tTtCZhGX2o — Sandeep Dinesh (@Sandeep605) December 21, 2017 2. Too many “tareekhs” led to this? Congress Party Right Now. #2GScamVerdict ðð­ pic.twitter.com/zIQJkhlxkS — Pankaj (@Memes_ka_diwana) December 21, 2017 3. True story bro This what exactly happens everytime inside the court.#2GScamVerdict pic.twitter.com/r5y1wx4nVF — Mask (@Mr_LoLwa) December 21, 2017 4. Kya ukhaad liya? A Raja to Indian Judiciary#2GScamVerdict pic.twitter.com/tGCygQUVl2 — Deewan. (@NKDeewan) December 21, 2017 5. We think this is exactly what happened. Judge : Give one good reason to free you from all the charges? Kanimozhi & A Raja : Sir duniya 4G pe paunch gayi, aap abhi 2G pe hi atke ho. Judge : Point hai, jao free... #2GScamVerdict ðð — â¤ï¸ (@Melt_Alien) December 21, 2017 6. Relatable AF #2GScam is like your salary money. You have no idea where it's gone. — SAGAR (@sagarcasm) December 21, 2017 7. Ah well… #2GScamVerdict No one killed Jessica No one killed black buck No one was driving No one was scamming — Diwakar (@diwakarlmishra) December 21, 2017 8. *slow claps* MMS : Signal Theek aa rha h ab? Sibal : Full Signal With Zero Loss. MMS: Vadhiya Ji Vadhiya, Anna aur Vinod Rai ko conference pe le ab. (2017) ð#2GScamVerdict pic.twitter.com/GWAi49w682 — History of India (@RealHistoryPic) December 21, 2017 9. Wait, what? All accused in the 2G scam are acquitted by the CBI court. That means 2G scam never happened ?? That means we all were made to believe in something that never took place ??#2G_Verdict — Farhan Ali Naqvi (@FarhanAliNaqvi) December 22, 2017 10. As pavitra as Ganga All accused in the 2G scam are acquitted by the CBI court. That means 2G scam never happened ?? That means we all were made to believe in something that never took place ??#2G_Verdict — Farhan Ali Naqvi (@FarhanAliNaqvi) December 22, 2017 11. Seems like it. #2GScamVerdict Official Logo of Indian Judiciary. pic.twitter.com/HJHtw3wX7O — Abhijit (@abhijitbora4991) December 21, 2017 12. “It's not you, it's me” Great verdict. I did the scam. None of them did anything wrong ð¤ All Humble, honest, clean people ðð» It's my fault. #2GScamVerdict — Danish Sait (@DanishSait) December 21, 2017 So ladies and gentlemen, once again, justice has gone out the window and this scam had come to an abrupt end with absolutely no one to be blamed. All hail the judiciary of our country!
  3. This NASA FILE photo shows an artist's rendition of the Kepler space telescope. MIAMI: A solar system with as many planets as our own has been discovered with the help of NASA?s Kepler space telescope and artificial intelligence, the US space agency said Thursday. "Our solar system now is tied for most number of planets around a single star," NASA said in a statement. However, none of the planets are expected to be hospitable to life. The eight-planet system -- the largest known outside of ours -- orbits a star called Kepler 90 some 2,545 light-years away. "The Kepler-90 star system is like a mini version of our solar system," said Andrew Vanderburg, an astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin. "You have small planets inside and big planets outside, but everything is scrunched in much closer." The newly identified planet, Kepler-90i, is a rocky planet like Earth, but orbits its star once every 14.4 days, meaning a full year there is the same as two weeks on Earth. "Kepler-90i is not a place I?d like to go visit, though," said Vanderburg. "Its surface is likely far too hot." NASA calculated its average temperature at about 800 degrees Fahrenheit (426 Celsius) -- as hot as Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun. Artificial intelligence Scientists found it by using machine learning from Google. The process involved teaching a computer to scan a trove of 35,000 possible planetary signals collected from NASA?s Kepler space telescope for search for signs of planetary transits. Transits are the dimming of light when planets pass in front of a star. The Kepler space telescope launched in 2009, and has scanned some 150,000 stars. Astronomers have already confirmed the existence of some 2,500 far-away worlds using Kepler data. "I became interested in applying neural networks to astronomy when I learned that the Kepler mission had collected so much data that it was impossible for scientists to examine it all manually," said Christopher Shallue, a senior software engineer with Google?s research team. "Instead scientists selected the strongest signals, which are the most likely to be actual planets, to receive the most attention." Shallue likened this process to "looking for a needle in a haystack." "Machine learning really shines when there is too much data for humans to examine for themselves." More planets are expected to be found, because researchers plan to apply their neural network to Kepler?s full set of more than 150,000 stars. "There is a lot of unexplored real estate in the Kepler 90 system," said Vanderburg. "It would almost be surprising to me if there weren?t any more planets in around that star." One day, artificial intelligence might even be used to search specifically for more Earth-like planets, which have proven difficult to pin down. "For the first time since our solar system planets were discovered thousands of years ago, we know for sure that the solar system is not the sole record holder for the most planets, and we have just scratched the surface," Vanderburg added. "Maybe there are systems out there with so many planets that they make our eight-planet solar system seem ordinary." The findings are published in The Astronomical Journal.
  4. Saudi comedian Abdulrahman al-Soumali performs on stage during the Stand-up Comedy Festival at the Riyadh´s King Fahd Cultural Centre on November 29, 2017-AFP RIYADH: Saudis took the stage one by one to poke fun at the world -- and themselves -- introducing a hissing, cackling audience to an art form widely unknown in the kingdom: stand-up comedy. Chuckles and squeals ran through the crowd at a rare amateur comedy festival last week in the capital Riyadh, organised by the official General Entertainment Authority, the main engine of social reforms sweeping the kingdom. The authority is boosting entertainment options like never before, from a Comic-Con festival to concerts by female musicians, helping shed the kingdom´s austere reputation and introducing many Saudis to a novel concept -- having fun in public. "I am a jobless dentist," 26-year-old Battar al-Battar said in a slow, deadpan delivery on stage to a smiling audience. "My prayers have been answered. I see lots of braces in this crowd." Next up was a short, corpulent man, equally deadpan as he took on the skewed power relations between the sexes in the patriarchal kingdom. "I called my fiancee to say: ´Listen, I am the man. If I eat dust, you eat dust´. "She hung up. A week passed by. I heard nothing. "In a panic I texted her: ´I am not the man! Take me back!´" Men in the audience -- as well as women sitting across the aisle -- erupted in laughter. The festival would hardly be unusual if it weren´t in Saudi Arabia, typically stereotyped as a nation of stern, unsmiling hardliners. "The common perception is that Saudis don´t have a funny bone," Yaser Bakr, a festival jury member and founder of the kingdom´s first comedy club, told AFP. "Saudis love to laugh. Numbers don´t lie," he said, scrolling through a list of Saudi comedy videos on his mobile´s YouTube app, each with hundreds of thousands of views. ´Comedy cleanses the soul´ The venue for the five-day festival, Riyadh´s King Fahd Cultural Centre, was like a bubble of laughing gas over the course of the performances. The festival, a talent-hunt of sorts for Saudi Arabia´s own version of "Seinfeld", was a rare attempt to introduce stand-up comedy to the masses. Aside from a handful of Saudi YouTube comedy stars, performers are largely struggling without theatres and entertainment companies, as well as a lack of mass awareness of the art form. "Many people think comedy is only *** jokes. We are trying to change that," festival director Jubran al-Jubran told AFP. "Saudi Arabia needs to cultivate this art. Comedy has a purifying effect, it cleanses the soul. It´s a relief to laugh about our own problems." But the audience was only mildly amused by cringe-worthy jokes and low-brow humour from some performers. None of the participants breached what are typically considered red lines in the conservative kingdom -- ***, religion and politics. But some deftly pulverised a few old stereotypes associated with Saudis, including perceived links to extremists, while others dared to mock the once-untouchable elites. "When I first came to Riyadh I was afraid they would lock me up in the Ritz," quipped Rakain al-Zafer, one of the performers, prompting sniggers and groans from the audience. Riyadh´s opulent Ritz-Carlton hotel has become a gilded prison for dozens of princes, ministers and tycoons swept up in an anti-corruption purge. The joke resonates with most Saudis -- except perhaps those locked inside -- reflecting a strong public revulsion for the elite. ´Destroy extremism through comedy´ The performing comedians were all men, but the festival organisers said women were expected to participate next year despite the risk of riling conservatives. The festival highlights a broader reform push by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the powerful heir to the throne who has curbed the influence of the religious police, once notorious for disrupting such mixed-gender events. The prince appears to be balancing unpopular subsidy cuts in an era of low oil prices with more social freedoms and entertainment. Saudis themselves appear quietly astounded by the torrid pace of change -- including the historic decision allowing women to drive from next June and plans to reopen cinemas after a decades-long ban. Legendary Greek composer and pianist Yanni performed to a packed mixed-gender audience in Riyadh last week, accompanied by female vocalists. The change chimes with Prince Mohammed´s recent pledge to return Saudi Arabia to an "open, moderate Islam" and destroy extremist ideologies. Expanding on the prince´s comment, Jubran said: "We aim to destroy extremism through comedy, by making people laugh."
  5. A Czech court on Wednesday found the former mistress of the country?s ex-prime minister guilty of illegally deploying military intelligence officers to spy on his then wife, in a scandal that saw Petr Necas resign in 2013. Photo: AFP file PRAGUE: A Czech court on Wednesday found the former mistress of the country?s ex-prime minister guilty of illegally deploying military intelligence officers to spy on his then wife, in a scandal that saw Petr Necas resign in 2013. The Prague tribunal handed a two-year suspended jail term to Jana Nagyova-Necasova, dubbed the ?femme fatale? of Necas, whose cabinet was forced out over a string of corruption scandals. Nagyova, Necas?s chief of staff and then-mistress, was found to have deployed intelligence officers for her personal use in 2012 to spy on Radka in an attempt to speed up the latter?s impending divorce. Weeks after the divorce came through, the former premier married Nagyoya at a castle near Prague. Judge Pavla Hajkova said Nagyova?s guilt had been ?clearly established,? her motive the ?profound hatred? she felt for her love rival. The judge said Nagyova had abused the power that came with being chief of staff to a ?submissive? Necas. The verdict came after Nagyova had twice been acquitted by the same court, judgments which the Prague municipal court then annulled. Necas, 53, divorced Radka Necasova, his wife of more than 25 years, with whom he had two sons and two daughters, in September 2013. Nagyova was not in court for her sentencing, and her lawyer Eduard Bruna said she would likely appeal. Three intelligence officials were meanwhile handed suspended terms of 18 to 20 months. The scandal led to a snap election which saw Necas?s centre-right party suffer a humiliating defeat.
  6. In what appears to be a major boost for Majid Khan, former Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia has offered full support to the Kashmiri footballer-turned-terrorist after he gave up arms and surrendered to the authorities on Friday. The Indian football legend has written to Jammu and Kashmir's football association extending his support to the youngster in pursuing his football dream. Considered one of the top talents in football from the Valley, Majid had reportedly joined terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). However, the talented goalkeeper had recently returned to his hoemtown and surrendered to the local police following his mother Ashiya Begum's emotional pleas on the social media. Reacting to the positive outcome, Bhutia has offered Majid a training stint at the Bhaichung Bhutia Football School in New Delhi. I felt concerned reading this news and hence I have spoken to J&K Football Association President to Reach out to him and convey my offer that he can train with @BBFSchools in Delhi which will give him an opportunity at becoming a pro footballer. I hope #Majid accepts my offer. pic.twitter.com/ZGkjBPraRr — Bhaichung Bhutia (@bhaichung15) 18 November 2017 Taking to Twitter, the 40-year-old said: "I felt concerned reading this news and hence I have spoken to J&K Football Association President to Reach out to him and convey my offer that he can train with @BBFSchools in Delhi which will give him an opportunity at becoming a pro footballer. I hope #Majid accepts my offer". "I was very sad to read reports of Majid joining a terrorist organisation. Football has provided solace to many over the years and I felt he requires a platform to play the 'Beautiful game' again" Bhutia was quoted as saying by the HT. Majid Khan in voluntary work b4 joining the Mujahideen ranks. “Who would translate the ground Sentiments into best words? Who? pic.twitter.com/Xq8NUJumVY — Mir Ada (@MirAda94) 13 November 2017 “I have already touched base with the J&K Football Association offering him to train with Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools in Delhi. I want him to train under my Coaches and then we can decide where he stands as a player. I believe he deserves an opportunity and hence, felt best to open the doors for him,” Bhutia revealed. “I also read that he has been a promising footballer since his childhood and has even won quite many trophies. Once you start kicking the ball again, you never know, your lives may just kick-off again. We want Majid to come back to normal life eat the earliest,” Bhutia concluded.
  7. Officials in the Chahardara district outside Kunduz city said 13 people in two villages had been killed by US air strikes in the area KABUL: A US investigation into reports that at least 13 civilians were killed during an operation in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz last week found no evidence of any civilian casualties, a statement from the US military in Kabul said on Tuesday. ?United States Forces ? Afghanistan (USFOR-A) has investigated allegations of civilian casualties in Kunduz province during the period of November 3 and 4; no evidence of civilian casualties has been found,? the statement said. Officials in the Chahardara district outside Kunduz city said 13 people in two villages had been killed by US air strikes in the area, while some reports said as many as 65 people had been killed. However, other Afghan civil and military officials denied the reports and said civilians had been evacuated before a combined operation in the area began. They said dozens of Taliban insurgents had been killed. ?We can confirm operations occurred in this area and numerous enemy combatants were killed, as also confirmed by Kunduz Governor Omarkhail and Ministry of Defense Spokesman Major General Dawlat Waziri,? the US statement said. ?The USFOR-A investigation was conducted independently and concluded that there were no civilian casualties. Specifically, no hospitals or clinics in the local area indicated treatment of people with wounds from armed conflict,? it said. The issue of civilian casualties has taken on increasing sensitivity as the United States has stepped up air strikes against the Taliban as part of a more robust strategy aimed at breaking the stalemate with the insurgents. United Nations figures from last month showed a 52 percent increase in civilian casualties from air strikes in the first nine months of the year from the previous year, with 205 killed and 261 wounded.
  8. India's T20 match with New Zealand on Saturday will be remembered for two reasons– first, the men in blue lost to the Kiwis by 40 runs and second, our very own Mahendra Singh Dhoni's epic split. The sheer disappointment of the cricket fans from the dismal result of the match was washed away by the joy of looking at Dhoni pull off that extraordinary split to save his wicket in the 17th over. The man who has literally always had his team's back from behind the stumps, showed off his athletic and flexible side that 'stumped' the kiwis and his fans alike. Well, when you perform something so extraordinary on the field, how can you expect it to go unnoticed from the eagle eyes of the Internet? We often feel that the third umpire should be replaced with Twitter, because nothing, I mean NOTHING escapes its eye. © Twitter He came, he ran and even performed an epic split and then walked away like it's nobody's business. We guess even the refrigerator will have to take classes from Dhoni on how to stay cool in every situation. After all, there's a reason why he is often referred to as one of the fittest members of the Indian cricket team. In all honesty, this kind of fitness level will be hard to match for anyone who is in his mid 30s. While Dhoni was trying to save the wicket, the Internet was busy doing what it does best – create 'dank memes'. People soon started flooding the social media with their hilarious versions to this move and let's just say we are now left in 'splits'. This isn't the first time that Dhoni found his name floating in the pool of memes. Earlier this year, Dhoni was seen taking a power nap on the field, in the middle of the India-Sri Lanka match, when the game came to a halt because of the angry fans. © Twitter Following the 'split', fans were visibly smitten by Dhoni's fitness and started comparing him to martial artist and actor, Jean-Claude Van Damme. But Van Damme isn't the only person or thing Dhoni was compared to; people had some of the most hilarious and bizarre interpretations to this pose. From calling him 'Dhonicopter', yoga guru, to cupboard hanger and making him beat Usain Bolt in a race; we are in love with their whacky sense of humour. Phool Aur Kaante - 2 pic.twitter.com/X4UaHcwfZD — Krishna (@Atheist_Krishna) 4 November 2017 I've some real cool hangers in my closet.. pic.twitter.com/7tCK7nQLDb — The Skin Doctor ð© (@thecyberbully13) 4 November 2017 Notout-Aasaanð Never Easy To Stump The King Of Stumpings, MS Dhoni. ðð®ð³#INDvNZ #INDvsNZ #Dhoni #MSDhoni pic.twitter.com/uqU3Fa9byR — Sir Jadeja (@SirJadeja) 4 November 2017 Buffet closes at 10:30. Me at 10:29. pic.twitter.com/2IOMilFXNX — Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) 5 November 2017 Reaching the mess for breakfast on a Sunday morning before it closes #Hostels pic.twitter.com/3V5IGZ7BY3 — Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) 5 November 2017 Dhoni stretching the required run rate. pic.twitter.com/vtPfFYaGbn — Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) 4 November 2017 When your Crush Brozone you but then comes to you when she have a Fight with her a Boyfriend pic.twitter.com/x4klUj7lOL — Kunal âï¸ (@kunalstark1) 5 November 2017 When you are playing cricket and someone tells you its yoga day ð#MSDhoni #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/SiWkZ9xRGb — TestUser (@tweetKohlic) 4 November 2017 Dhonicopter. pic.twitter.com/P3nM9Po76K — Godman Chikna (@Madan_Chikna) 4 November 2017 My Life Explained. pic.twitter.com/sqrpQtv15X — Godman Chikna (@Madan_Chikna) 4 November 2017 Sales managers trying to achieve their target. pic.twitter.com/BIoCQpSUVW — Yash R Shah (@ShahYashR) 4 November 2017 Dear Dhoni, keep doing what you do and continue to blow our brains out with your awesomeness!
  9. Zakir Naik, an Indian Islamic preacher and founder of Islamic Research Foundation, speaks to the media via a video conference in Mumbai, India, July 15, 2016. Photo: Reuters KUALA LUMPUR: When Zakir Naik emerged from a prominent Malaysian mosque last month fans swarmed about him, seeking selfies with the Indian Muslim televangelist whose hardline views have sparked a criminal investigation in his home country. Accompanied by a bodyguard, Naik was making a rare public appearance at the Putra Mosque in Malaysia?s administrative capital, where the prime minister and his cabinet members often worship. Naik, who has been banned in the UK, has been given permanent residency in Malaysia, and embraced by top government officials. Critics see Naik?s presence in Malaysia as another sign of top-level support for hardline Islam in a country with substantial minorities of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists, and which has long projected a moderate Islamic image. Support for a more politicised Islam has grown in recent years under Prime Minister Najib Razak, especially after he lost the popular vote in the 2013 general election ? the ruling coalition?s worst-ever electoral performance. Since then, his ruling party has been trying to appease an increasingly conservative ethnic Malay-Muslim base and religion has become a battleground ahead of elections the prime minister has to call by mid-2018. Naik, a 52-year-old medical doctor, has aroused controversy with his puritan brand of Islam ? recommending the death penalty for homosexuals and those who abandon Islam as their faith, according to media reports. A Youtube video shows Naik saying that if Osama bin Laden ?is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him?. India revokes Zakir Naik?s passport Naik?s passport was revoked after he failed to respond to a show-cause notice Last week, India?s counter-terrorism agency prepared charges against Naik, saying he has been ?promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups in India through public speeches and lectures.? Bangladesh suspended Peace TV channel, which features Naik?s preachings, after some media reports claimed bombers of a Dhaka cafe that killed 22 people last year were admirers of him. Daesh had claimed responsibility for the attack. The Malaysian government accommodates Naik because ?he remains a reasonably popular character amongst Malays, who gloss over his more controversial aspects,? said Rashaad Ali, an analyst with S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore. ?If the government were to kick him out of the country, it causes them to lose religious credibility in the eyes of the public.? Facebook photos At his appearance at the Putra mosque last month, a female Reuters reporter asked about the investigation in India. Naik would only say: ?Sorry, it is not right for me to speak with ladies in public.? Naik did not respond to subsequent requests for comment from Reuters. Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told parliament on Tuesday that Naik, who obtained permanent residency five years ago, was not being given ?preferential treatment?. ?Over the time spent in this country, he has not broken any laws or regulations. As such, there is no reason from a legal standpoint to detain or arrest him,? Zahid said. The government has not received any official request from India ?related to terrorism allegations involving him?, he added. Zahid and the prime minister have both posted photos on Facebook of their meetings with Naik last year in Malaysia. A group of Malaysian activists has filed suit in the High Court to deport Naik, saying he is a threat to public peace in the multi-racial society - about 40 per cent of Malaysia?s population is non-Muslim. The group said it was unaware Naik had been going to the Putrajaya mosque ? or where he might be in Malaysia. Officials at the Putra Mosque said Naik has been attending Friday prayers there for about a month. He has also been spotted in other mosques, hospitals and restaurants in the administrative capital in recent months, according to witnesses that Reuters spoke to. Zakir Naik. Photo: File Naik has in the past denied India?s allegations. In an interview with a Kuwaiti television channel in May, he said he was being targeted by the Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi because of his popularity. Malaysia?s opposition Islamic Party (PAS), which has defended Naik in the past, last week urged the government to disregard any potential Indian extradition request, saying the allegations aim ?to block his influence and efforts to spread religious awareness among the international community.? Nine Sultans Islamic groups have stoked controversy for trying to impose their ethos in a multi-cultural country. Malaysian authorities canceled a planned beer festival last month, citing security concerns, and for some years now international pop stars who wish to make appearances in Malaysia face restrictions over clothing and dancing. Islam is the official religion in Malaysia. The laws, however, are secular, though the country does have shariah courts for civil cases for Muslims. Malaysia?s nine sultans, who take turns as the mostly ceremonial monarch and are the official guardians of Islam in Malaysia, last month called for unity and religious harmony after what they described as ?excessive actions? in the name of Islam. One of them harshly condemned a Muslim-only launderette. ?We are seeing this gravitation toward fundamentalism and a conservative idea of Islam because the current government doesn?t want to be seen as secular anymore,? said Ahmad Farouk Musa, founder of a moderate Islam think-tank, Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF). To ensure Malay support, the government thinks it has ?to have Islamic credentials just like PAS,? Farouk told Reuters. In September, Turkish writer Mustafa Akyol was detained for giving ?an unauthorised speech? in the Malaysian capital, in which he argued that governments shouldn?t police religion or morality. Zahid, also the home minister, said Akyol?s book ?Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty? has been banned as it ?contravened norms of the society in Malaysia?. Farouk, who organised the speech, said he now faces charges for abetting Akyol.
  10. An ashtray with cigarette butts is pictured in Hinzenbach, Austria, February 5, 2012. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/Files MIAMI: Smokers who are offered cash incentives are far more likely to give up cigarettes than those who are simply offered tips on how to quit, said a US study Monday. The approach could offer ways to cut the number of smokers, which has remained steady at about one-fifth of the US population in recent years, according to the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine. The rate among the poor is even higher. Twenty-six percent of smokers in the US in 2015 were below the poverty line, compared to 14 percent of smokers at or above the poverty line, according to background information in the article. The randomized clinical trial included 352 people in Boston, Massachusetts. Participants were recruited from hospital waiting rooms. Those entering the study all smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day and wanted to quit. Most were African-American women. Some were given a brochure and a list of community resources available to help people quit smoking. Others received the same resource list, along with extra counselling sessions on how to quit from "patient navigators," and were also told they would get a cash payment if they managed to give up cigarettes. Participants were not told how much they would get paid for quitting when they entered the year-long study. Halfway through, those who quit were paid $250 and told they would get an additional $500 if they were not smoking at 12 months. Nearly 10 percent of the incentive group had quit by six months, compared to less than one percent of those offered a brochure. Those who had not quit by six months were given a chance to keep trying in exchange for a payment. "After 12 months, 12 percent of the intervention group quit smoking, while two percent of the control group had quit," said the study. Urine and saliva tests confirmed whether smokers had indeed quit or not. Lead author Karen Lasser, associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, said the study shows a multi-faceted approach that employs incentives works best. "Most of the participants who quit smoking utilized patient navigation, but it's unclear whether navigation alone would achieve the rates of smoking cessation we observed," she said.
  11. MIAMI: Smokers who are offered cash incentives are far more likely to give up cigarettes than those who are simply offered tips on how to quit, said a US study Monday. The approach could offer ways to cut the number of smokers, which has remained steady at about one-fifth of the US population in recent years, according to the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine. The rate among the poor is even higher. Twenty-six percent of smokers in the US in 2015 were below the poverty line, compared to 14 percent of smokers at or above the poverty line, according to background information in the article. The randomised clinical trial included 352 people in Boston, Massachusetts. Participants were recruited from hospital waiting rooms. Those entering the study all smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day and wanted to quit. Most were African-American women. Some were given a brochure and a list of community resources available to help people quit smoking. Others received the same resource list, along with extra counselling sessions on how to quit from "patient navigators," and were also told they would get a cash payment if they managed to give up cigarettes. Participants were not told how much they would get paid for quitting when they entered the year-long study. Halfway through, those who quit were paid $250, and told they would get an additional $500 if they were not smoking at 12 months. Nearly 10 percent of the incentive group had quit by six months, compared to less than one percent of those offered a brochure. Those who had not quit by six months were given a chance to keep trying in exchange for a payment. "After 12 months, 12 percent of the intervention group quit smoking, while two percent of the control group had quit," said the study. Urine and saliva tests confirmed whether smokers had indeed quit or not. Lead author Karen Lasser, associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, said the study shows a multi-faceted approach that employs incentives works best. "Most of the participants who quit smoking utilized patient navigation, but it´s unclear whether navigation alone would achieve the rates of smoking cessation we observed," she said.
  12. MIAMI: Smokers who are offered cash incentives are far more likely to give up cigarettes than those who are simply offered tips on how to quit, said a US study Monday. The approach could offer ways to cut the number of smokers, which has remained steady at about one-fifth of the US population in recent years, according to the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine. The rate among the poor is even higher. Twenty-six percent of smokers in the US in 2015 were below the poverty line, compared to 14 percent of smokers at or above the poverty line, according to background information in the article. The randomised clinical trial included 352 people in Boston, Massachusetts. Participants were recruited from hospital waiting rooms. Those entering the study all smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day and wanted to quit. Most were African-American women. Some were given a brochure and a list of community resources available to help people quit smoking. Others received the same resource list, along with extra counselling sessions on how to quit from "patient navigators," and were also told they would get a cash payment if they managed to give up cigarettes. Participants were not told how much they would get paid for quitting when they entered the year-long study. Halfway through, those who quit were paid $250, and told they would get an additional $500 if they were not smoking at 12 months. Nearly 10 percent of the incentive group had quit by six months, compared to less than one percent of those offered a brochure. Those who had not quit by six months were given a chance to keep trying in exchange for a payment. "After 12 months, 12 percent of the intervention group quit smoking, while two percent of the control group had quit," said the study. Urine and saliva tests confirmed whether smokers had indeed quit or not. Lead author Karen Lasser, associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, said the study shows a multi-faceted approach that employs incentives works best. "Most of the participants who quit smoking utilized patient navigation, but it´s unclear whether navigation alone would achieve the rates of smoking cessation we observed," she said.
  13. On one hand where cricket continues to take centre-stage in the Indian sports scenario, badminton is evolving as the turtle that is slowly catching up in the race towards success. Earlier, badminton players never really managed to enjoy the mainstream popularity as compared to their counterparts in other sports, but the trend is changing now and the credit goes to the young prodigies who are leaving no stone unturned in leaving an imprint on the world. Kidambi Srikanth, who is at the pinnacle of his career, is spearheading this race with his back to back victories. © Reuters While the nation was busy cheering for Team India, who defeated the Kiwis by 6 runs ; Kidambi Srikanth was busy giving a tough time to Japan's Kenta Nishimoto, who finally gave in and lost the French Open Super Series men's singles final to him. It took him only 35 minutes to register a 21-14, 21-13 win over Nishimoto and show the world his true mettle. With his spotless performance, Srikanth picked his fourth Super Series title of 2017 and became the first Indian to win four Super Series titles in a year. This is his second consecutive victory, after he brutally crushed his South Korean opponent Lee Hyun Il for the Denmark Open title. © Twitter Like a proud father whose happiness knows no bounds, Srikanth's coach Pullela Gopichand said, “It's a phenomenal achievement. Some fine badminton. Very, very attacking, overall I think he really played a perfect game.” He further added, “He is in such fine form for the last few months that I expected him to win the World title. I always said that if he plays to his potential he has the ability to win many more titles.” © BCCL After this triumph, Srikanth said, “I feel good winning two titles in two weeks. I am lucky to pull off some close matches this week. I thank everyone who helped me doing this,” Srikanth said. In fact, after yesterday's iconic match, he has joined the league of stalwarts like Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long, as the only men's singles players to win three or more Super Series titles in the same year. With this victory, Srikanth has joined the league of legendary players like Prakash Padukone and Gopichand and we don't think there's anything that's stopping him now. Source: The Times Of India
  14. Trance music pioneer Paul van Dyk had hoisted himself onto an elevated ridge of the stage to greet the cheering crowd. He waved and took a stroll -- and plunged into an abyss. A 4.5-meter (15-foot) cavity in the stage had been covered as if it were a solid surface. The German DJ's girlfriend was told that van Dyk may never speak or walk again. Just a year and a half after the February 2016 accident at a festival in The Netherlands, van Dyk has not only recovered but has recorded a new album, "From Then On," which comes out Friday. The 45-year-old, one of the key creators of the fast, free-flowing electronic style that has become trance, has brought to the album a new appreciation for life -- and determination to be his own master. "I was in a coma and when I woke up I wasn't able to do anything. So whatever I do now is to me a miracle, a gift," van Dyk told AFP in New York, where he recently premiered a visual-rich live show. After cheating death, van Dyk will also no longer suffer the recommendations of managers. He said that every sound on "From Then On" is "1,000 percent how I want it to be." "I don't want to waste my talent -- or call it whatever -- on somebody else's idea of how my music should be," he said. "I am closer to myself and to my music than I have ever been, simply because there is a certain element of myself that sees life very differently." Hidden scars remain As he sat in a hotel suite with a postcard-like view of the Manhattan skyline, little appeared different about van Dyk, who conversed in English with no trace of trauma. But van Dyk said the scars were present, if invisible. His legs still go numb and he gets tired after two hours in the studio, whereas once he could spin for eight hours straight. "When I'm on stage with the adrenaline and the energy of music -- because this is what I love to do -- people don't see this, but as soon as I'm off stage, plfff!" he said, making a noise as if collapsing on a couch. Van Dyk, who broke his spine in two places and bled inside his brain, was in a coma for two days and later had to relearn the motions of speaking. But van Dyk did not lose long-term memories, nor did he need to relearn how to make music. The album stays true to van Dyk's style of smooth synthesizer melodies that crescendo into climaxes. But the music of "From Then On" carries a new scale of drama and urgency. "While You Were Gone," the album's first track, starts with more than three minutes of melancholic piano before the rhythms kick in. The tellingly titled "I Am Alive" opens with piercing, solitary beats before escalating into a refrain of self-affirming joy. 'Stronger Together' The album's first single -- "Stronger Together," written with Namibian DJ Pierre Pienaar -- similarly layers on keyboards to project a transition from loneliness to community. An accompanying video shows young people striving to find one another in an ultra-hi-tech city of the future. (The city is unnamed, although the street signs intriguingly are in Tibetan script.) Van Dyk said "Stronger Together" reflected how support from others helped him survive. Told that "Stronger Together" was also the slogan of Hillary Clinton's ill-fated presidential campaign, van Dyk was visibly surprised. The song has no connection to Clinton. But van Dyk -- whose previous "Politics of Dancing" series united DJs from around the world -- said there was a political subtext. "I still seriously believe that in the big challenges of this planet we can only pull through together as humans. The Americans can't deal with climate change alone, the Europeans can't, the Asians can't," he said.
  15. In an attempt to address several key issues in the game, the International Cricket Council (ICC) recently introduced some drastic changes to the rules in cricket. Implemented from 28 September, the fresh alterations in regulations range from limiting bat sizes to fielding restrictions. While there has already been a long debate about some of the new regulations, the 'fake fielding' clause has already found its first victim in an Australian domestic team. © Reuters The ongoing JLT Cup - a limited-overs cricket tournament - provided one of the first instances where the new rule pertaining to on-field play was put into practice by the umpires. The new rule was introduced to prevent 'fake fielding' which often creates doubts in the minds of batsmen that could lead to their dismissals. Playing in the JLT Cup clash between Queensland Bulls and the Cricket Australia (CA) XI on Friday, Marnus Labuschagne's error saw the umpired adding five additional runs to CA XI's total for his 'fake fielding'. The incident occurred in the 27th over of CA XI's innings when Labuschagne dove to his right and failed to stop the ball which was hit in his direction by batsman Param Uppal. The Queensland Bulls fielder had visibly failed to collect the ball, but as the batsmen were scurrying for a run, he faked to have stopped it and gestured throwing it towards the wickets. CA XI batsman Clint Hinchliffe got alarmed and increased his pace to complete the run, only to realise that Labuschagne had faked the throw. © Twitter/@qldcricket The umpire were quick to spot the mistake - a violation of rules - and immediately signalled the scorers to add five more runs to CA XI's total, despite Labuschagne's apology. The Queensland Bulls were charged five penalty runs according to the new ICC rule of ‘intentionally deceiving or distracting a batsman'. While the new rule will now be seen taking a toll on fielding violations - courtesy ICC, it was already implemented in Australian cricket even before the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) introduced their updated laws on the game earlier this year.
  16. Fish have complex individual personalities, a British university study found in research published Monday. Photo: National Geographic LONDON: Fish have complex individual personalities, a British university study found in research published Monday. Scientists from Exeter University in southwest England studied how individual Trinidadian guppy fish behaved in various stressful situations and discovered wide differences in how they responded. The researchers studied their coping strategies in situations designed to trigger various levels of stress. They found their modes of behaviour could not simply be explained as risk-taking or risk-averse. "When placed into an unfamiliar environment, we found guppies have various strategies for coping with this stressful situation -- many attempt to hide, others try to escape, some explore cautiously," said Tom Houslay, of the university´s Centre for Ecology and Conservation. "The differences between them were consistent over time and in different situations. "So, while the behaviour of all the guppies changed depending on the situation -- for example, all becoming more cautious in more stressful situations -- the relative differences between individuals remained intact." The tiny guppies were individually transferred to an unfamiliar tank, to create a mild level of stress, while a higher level of stress was caused by adding models of predatory birds or fish. The study found that while introducing predators made the guppies overall more cautious, individuals still retained their distinct personalities. "We are interested in why these various personalities exist, and the next phase of our research will look at the genetics underlying personality and associated traits," said Alastair Wilson, from the CEC. "We want to know how personality relates to other facets of life, and to what extent this is driven by genetic -- rather than environmental -- influences. "The goal is really gaining insight into evolutionary processes, how different behavioural strategies might persist as species evolve." The paper, entitled "Testing the stability of behavioural coping style across stress contexts in the Trinidadian guppy", was published in the journal Functional Ecology.
  17. VIENNA: Tests show that some imported egg products in Austria have been contaminated with a potentially harmful insecticide, Austria's food safety agency said on Monday, adding to the list of countries affected by an international health scare. Millions of chicken eggs have been pulled from European supermarket shelves as a result of the scare over the use of the insecticide fipronil, and hundreds of thousands of hens may be culled in the Netherlands. "Fipronil was detected in a quarter of the samples," Austria's Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) said in a statement, adding that 80 samples had been taken from a range of products. Contamination was found in wholesale products used in the restaurant industry that had come from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland, AGES said, without elaborating. The contaminated products would be withdrawn immediately, even though there was no public health risk, it said. "The highest measure recorded was 0.1 milligrams (0.000003 oz) per kilogram (2.2 lb), or more than 10 times less than the highest measure recorded until now in Belgium," AGES said. Some national regulators in Europe have voiced concern that many contaminated eggs have entered the food chain, mainly through processed products such as biscuits and cakes. While a large amount of contaminated eggs would need to be eaten to show negative health effects, fipronil is considered moderately toxic and can cause organ damage in humans. Fipronil is widely used to treat pets for ticks and fleas but its use in the food chain, for example to clean out barns, is forbidden in the European Union. Germany received at least 28 million possibly contaminated eggs, nearly three times the number previously reported, the Neue Osnabrueckner Zeitung newspaper reported in Wednesday editions. It cited data obtained by the government of Lower Saxony from a European Union database. Dutch authorities on Thursday arrested two directors of the company at the center of the food safety scare, with prosecutors saying they suspected them of threatening public health and possession of a prohibited pesticide. Fresh eggs sold in Austria are mostly produced within the country, and the health ministry had said last week there was no indication that the Austrian poultry industry had been affected. The first reports of suspected cases in Austria last week involved eggs that had been processed abroad and imported. "There is no indication so far that fipronil was detected in Austrian products, especially in fresh Austrian eggs," health ministry official Ulrich Herzog told ORF radio. Batches of possibly contaminated eggs from the Netherlands and Germany have been shipped to Sweden, Switzerland, France and Britain, EU filings showed earlier this month.
  18. YAOUNDE (Thomson Reuters Foundation): These days, the word on the street in war-torn Syria is that hospitals are best avoided - even if you´re injured. "Sometimes we hear that people feel the home is safer than the hospital," said Mohamed Elamein, an information officer at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Gaziantep, Turkey, close to the Syrian border. Communities often oppose plans to build a clinic in their town or village fearing it will be targeted, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone. Keeping a standardised track of attacks on health facilities and workers has been a major challenge in conflict zones. But a new digital instant messaging tool that relies on smartphone application WhatsApp has been developed by the WHO and its partners to detect, verify and log the devastating consequences of such attacks. It is hoped the WhatsApp-based tool will provide vital evidence for the international community, which in the future could be used to hold perpetrators to account. More than 800 medical workers have been killed in Syria since 2011 Syria has been named the most dangerous place on earth for healthcare providers by a Lancet Commission on Syria report, published in March, which revealed that more than 800 medical workers had been killed since 2011. Nearly half of hospitals in non-government controlled areas were attacked and a third of services hit more than once between November 2015 and December 2016, according to a separate study published by Elamein and others. The new tool piloted in Gaziantep by health organisations working in Syria involves a WhatsApp group of nearly 300 trusted contacts on the ground. After the initial alert of an attack, further details are logged and cross-referenced with a range of sources in a central database. ´WHO´ you gonna call? Mobile messaging is the fastest-growing digital communication phenomenon ever, according to a report compiled this year by the International Committee of the Red Cross. From the Syrian hospital alert system to refugees who share information about safety at sea, digital messaging services like WhatsApp, owned by Mark Zuckerberg´s Facebook Inc, are becoming indispensable in fast-unfolding humanitarian crises. Their potential is growing every day, experts say, with 3.6 billion people globally expected to use messaging apps by 2018. In Syria, the WhatsApp tool identified 402 attacks against health facilities and medical workers between November 2015 and December 2016. It is also designed to report attacks on ambulances and patients. 3.6 billion people globally are expected to use messaging apps by 2018 The tool is already being deployed in Jordan and Pakistan, and the WHO plans to roll it out in Iraq and Yemen. The UN agency is also considering its use in other troubled hotspots, including in Africa. African apps While smartphones are less widespread in Africa, the number of users almost doubled between 2014 and 2016, reaching 226 million. In Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania, up to 90 percent of smartphone owners regularly use at least one messaging service, such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, according to a study issued last month by GSMA Mobile Economy. During the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, 25,000 people subscribed to the BBC´s first "Lifeline" humanitarian service using WhatsApp. It disseminated public information via audio, image and text message alerts to combat the disease´s spread. In Somalia, a country grappling with drought and attacks by militants, messaging apps also play a critical role for the diaspora, said Amor Almagro, a spokeswoman for the World Food Programme. "It´s one of the ways by which they stay in contact with their families in Somalia, get news from home and arrange for money transfers through the informal networks," she said. Fanning the flames But instant messaging is far from a panacea in crisis zones, and some experts say it can also be used to fuel violence. In Central African Republic, diamond smuggling gangs are plundering the country´s resources and funding conflict by making illegal sales via WhatsApp and Facebook, said a recent report by NGO Global Witness. Connectivity disruptions are another hurdle. Earlier last month, Somalia plunged into an internet blackout lasting more than three weeks, after a cargo ship damaged an underwater cable. Other countries simply pull the plug. In 2016, 11 African governments suspended internet connections during elections or protests. A 2016 paper by Adebayo Fayoyin of the United Nations Population Fund warned of a "new media utopianism", adding "technology is a tool of development, not an end in itself".
  19. This handout video grab taken with an underwater robot and provided by Japan's International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning on July 21 shows a part of the pedestal wall inside reactor No. 3 at Fukushima nuclear power plant Lava-like rocks believed to be melted nuclear fuel have been spotted inside Japan's stricken Fukushima reactor by an underwater robot, the plant's operator said at the end of a three-day inspection. Large amounts of the solidified lumps and deposit were spotted for the first time by the robot on the floor of the primary containment vessel underneath the core of Fukushima's No. 3 reactor, the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said. "There is a high possibility that the solidified objects are mixtures of melted metal and fuel that fell from the vessel," a TEPCO spokesman said, adding that the company was planning further analysis of the images. The three-day investigation using the small, remote controlled underwater robot, which is about the size of a loaf of bread, ended Saturday, the spokesman said. TEPCO said the images were the first "highly likely" sighting of melted fuel since the 2011 disaster, when a massive undersea earthquake sent a huge wave barrelling into Japan's northeast coast, killing more than 18,500 people, and sending three reactors into meltdown at the plant in the worst such accident since Chernobyl in 1986. Locating the fuel debris is a key part of the decommissioning process for the plant, which is expected to take decades. In February, TEPCO sent another robot into one of three damaged reactors where radiation levels have hit record highs. But the mission at the No. 2 reactor was aborted as the robot had difficulty moving and could not reach its target destination beneath the pressure vessel, through which nuclear fuel is believed to have melted. The Japanese government said in December that it expects total costs including compensation, decommissioning and decontamination to reach 21.5 trillion yen ($192.5 billion) in a process likely to take at least four decades as high radiation levels slow operations.
  20. LONDON: Children exposed to antidepressants during their mothers' pregnancies seem to have a slightly higher risk of autism than children whose mothers had psychiatric disorders but did not take antidepressants while pregnant, a study has found. But publishing their findings on Wednesday, researchers said the results should not cause alarm since the absolute risk of a child developing autism remains very small. Depression is common in women of childbearing age. In Europe, experts say that between 3 and 8 percent of pregnant women are prescribed antidepressants. Several previous studies have suggested associations between antidepressant use during pregnancy and autism in offspring, but researchers say it is not clear whether this is due to the illness itself, the antidepressants, or other unknown factors. A Canadian study published late in 2015 found that women who take antidepressants while pregnant may be more likely to have children with autism ? but it also noted that the overall risk is very low. For this research, a team led by Dheeraj Rai at the Britain's University of Bristol analysed data from more than 254,000 children living in Stockholm, Sweden, aged between 4 and 17. Their mothers were either women with no mental illness who had not taken antidepressants, women who'd had a disorder and taken antidepressants while pregnant, or women with psychiatric disorders who had not taken antidepressants during pregnancy. Of the 3,342 children exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy, the study found that 4.1 percent were diagnosed with autism, compared with 2.9 percent of the 12,325 children not exposed to antidepressants whose mothers had a history of a mental illness. The researchers stressed, however, that the absolute risk was small: More than 95 percent of women in the study who took antidepressants during pregnancy did not have an autistic child. They estimated that, even if the association between antidepressant use and autism is causal, only 2 percent of cases would be prevented if in future no women with psychiatric disorders took antidepressants when pregnant. In a commentary on the findings, published in the BMJ British medical journal, Diana Schendel at Denmark's Aarhus University said the findings "should be viewed through the kaleidoscope of possible causes of autism". She said the small apparent increased risk of a child developing autism "must be carefully weighed against the substantial health consequences associated with untreated depression."
  21. Eranga's bowling action has been found to be legal by ICC The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday confirmed that the bowling action of Sri Lanka?s Shaminda Eranga has been found to be legal, and the player can now resume bowling in international cricket. Eranga underwent a re-assessment of his bowling action at the ICC accredited testing centre in Chennai. The assessment concluded that the amount of elbow extension in his standard deliveries was within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under the ICC regulations for the review of bowlers reported with suspected illegal bowling actions. The umpires are still at liberty to report Eranga in future if they believe he is displaying a suspect action or that he is not reproducing the action that has been declared legal during this assessment. To assist the umpires in this respect, they have been provided with images and video footage of the bowler?s legal bowling action. The fast bowler was initially reported after the second Test against England at Chester-le-Street on May 31 last year and was suspended following an independent assessment which found his bowling action to be illegal.
  22. Jamshed Dasti seen speaking to media outside the ATC on June 29, 2017 - Screen grab LAHORE: A medical report of Member National Assembly (MNA) Jamshed Dasti has found no visible marks of violence, however, expert advise has been sought from a cardiologist, physician and dental surgeon on complaints of chest pain, epigestrim and toothache. A medical board was constituted to examine Jamshed Dasti after the MNA alleged that he was being tortured in jail. Dasti was imprisoned for forcefully opening a canal gate and speaking to the media outside an anti-terrorism court on Thursday claimed he was being tortured and his barrack had scorpions crawling around. The MNA said he was beaten and had been deprived of food at the Multan Central Jail. Following Jamshed Dasti?s video being broadcast on television, Chief Justice Lahore High Court took notice of the MNA?s alleged torture. The LHC chief justice has demanded a report on the matter from the sessions judge Sarghoda and the anti-terrorism court. The judges will send their report after visiting the jail on June 30. Meanwhile, a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court by Advocate Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta seeking suo moto notice on the video of Jamshed Dasti. The petition seeks Dasti?s appearance in the apex court and a medical examination of the MNA.
  23. An artist's rendering shows the South American native ungulate Macrauchenia patachonica which had a number of remarkable adaptations, including the positioning of its nostrils high on its head in this illustration released on March 17, 2015. Photo: Reuters PARIS: Charles Darwin, Mr. Evolution himself, didn´t know what to make of the fossils he saw in Patagonia so he sent them to his friend, the renowned paleontologist Richard Owen. Owen was stumped too. Little wonder. "The bones looked different from anything he knew," said Michael Hofreiter, senior author of a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications that finally situates in the tree of life what Darwin called the "strangest animal ever discovered". "Imagine a camel without a hump, with feet like a slender rhino, and a head shaped like a saiga antelope," Hofreiter, a professor at the University of Potsdam, told AFP. Macrauchenia patachonica -- literally, "long-necked llama" -- also had a long rubbery snout and with its nostrils high on the skull just above its eyes. For nearly two centuries, biologists and taxonomists argued over the pedigree of this bizarre beast, which weighed 400 to 500 kilos (850 to 1100 pounds), lived in open landscapes, and snacked on grass and leaves. But its mixed bag of body features, and a paucity of DNA evidence, made it nearly impossible to determine whether M. patachonica was truly related the llama after which it was named. As it turns out, not really. Evolutionary dead end A new kind of genetic analysis revealed that Macrauchenia was more akin to an ancient placental order known as Perissodactyla that includes horses, rhinos and tapirs. "We had a difficult problem to solve here," said lead author of the new study Michael Westbury, also at the University of Potsdam. "When ancient DNA is so degraded and full of unwanted environmental DNA, we rely on being able to use the genomes of close relatives as a kind of scaffold to reconstruct fossil sequences," he said in a statement. But Macrauchenia -- itself an evolutionary dead end -- didn´t have any close cousins that we know of. To solve the puzzle, Westbury and a 20-strong team of scientists used mitochondrial DNA extracted from a fossil found in southern Chile to decode the extinct mammal´s origins. Inherited from the mother alone, the mitochondrial genome is smaller and has more copies in the cell -- and thus in fossils -- than DNA from the more complex nuclear genome, Hofreiter explained. "Mitochondrial DNA is very useful for evaluating the degree of relatedness among species," he said. The team eventually pieced together almost 80 percent of the total genome, making it possible to situate Macrauchenia in an evolutionary timeline. The creature´s lineage, they concluded, split with that of modern perissodactyls some 66 million years ago, about the same time a massive asteroid slammed into Earth and wiped out non-avian dinosaurs. Macrauchenia survived until the late Pleistocene, 20,000 to 11,000 years ago. "Why it disappeared we really don´t know -- it is still an open question whether it was humans, climate change, or a combination of the two," said Hofreiter.
  24. Astronomers on Monday added 219 candidates to the growing list of planets beyond the solar system, 10 of which may be about the same size and temperature as Earth, boosting the chances for life. Scientists found the planet candidates in a final batch of NASA's Kepler Space Telescope observations of 200,000 sample stars in the constellation Cygnus. The candidates include 10 newly discovered rocky worlds that are properly distanced from their parent stars for water, if it exists, to pool on their surfaces. Scientists believe liquid water is a key ingredient for life. ?An important question for us is, ?Are we alone?'" Kepler program scientist Mario Perez said in a conference call with reporters. ?Maybe Kepler today is telling us indirectly ... that we are not alone.? The National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched the Kepler telescope in 2009 to learn if Earth-like planets are common or rare. With the final analysis of Kepler data in hand, scientists said they will now work on answering that question, a key step in assessing the chance that life exists beyond Earth. During a four-year mission, Kepler found 2,335 confirmed planets and another 1,699 candidates, bringing its tally to 4,034. That number includes about 50 worlds that may be about the same size and temperature as Earth. Including other telescope surveys, scientists have confirmed the existence of nearly 3,500 planets beyond the solar system. Kepler?s data also provided a new way to assess whether a planet has a solid surface, like Earth, or is made mostly of gas, like Neptune. The distinction will help scientists home in on potential Earth-like planets and better the odds for finding life. The Kepler team found that planets which are about 1.75 times the size of Earth and smaller tend to be rocky, while those two- to 3.5 times the size of Earth become gas-shrouded worlds like Neptune. ?It?s like finding what we thought was a single species of animal is really two different things,? said Benjamin Fulton, a graduate student in astronomy who analysed the Kepler data. So far, these planets, which scientists refer to as ?super-Earths? and ?mini-Neptunes,? have not been found in Earth?s solar system, though scientists are on the hunt for a potential ninth planet far beyond Pluto. ?It is interesting that we don?t have what appears to be the most common type of planet in the galaxy,? Fulton said.
  25. The date 18th June was being looked upon as one of the biggest days in the history of the sporting rivalry between India and Pakistan. While the cricket teams from both the nations were gearing up for the ICC Champions Trophy final, the hockey teams from the two countries were also looking to renew their rivalry in the Hockey World League Semifinal. However, it wasn't really surprising to witness the Indian fans choosing the cricket match over the hockey encounter with Virat Kohli's men on the cusp of winning the Champions Trophy for a second consecutive time. However, what eventually unfolded at The Oval, didn't just leave the Indian fans red-faced, but a bit frustrated as well. Tipped to overcome Pakistan's challenge in the final, the Kohli brigade failed miserably in an absolute shambolic performance in the final. Chasing a mammoth total of 338, the Indian cricket team was bowled out for a mere 158 runs. Clearly, the Indian fans were miffed, with some of them leaving the stadium much before the game ended. Reuters While Kohli's side was being hammered and staring at a heavy defeat at The Oval, the Indian hockey team led by Manpreet Singh registered their biggest-ever win over Pakistan following a 7-1 rout at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre just 10 miles away. Congratulations, @TheHockeyIndia team & @srikidambi for the victories today in #HockeyWorldLeague2017 and #IndonesiaOPEN2017 respectively — sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) June 18, 2017 In what turned out to be a complete domination by the Indians, dragflicker Harmanpreet Singh (13', 33'), Talwinder Singh (21', 24'), Akashdeep Singh (47', 59') and Pardeep Mor (49') were all on target for India, while Pakistan notched up a consolation goal through Muhammad Umar Bhutta in the 57th minute. While the scoreline might highlight India's dominance, it was Pakistan who made a bright start early on but couldn't keep up the pressure beyond 10 minutes. After getting an early chance to take the lead, Pakistan failed to convert a penalty corner that sailed over the bar. Twitter/@mansukhmandviya But, as the game progressed, the Indian team started controlling the tempo of the game with some quick attacks. Harmanpreet gave India the lead in the 13th minute, scoring through a penalty corner wuth a low grounded flick. India got another opportunity four minutes later, but Harmanpreet's flick was saved by Amjad Ali in front of Pakistan's goal-post. Congratulations to @TheHockeyIndia and #Srikanth & thanks for giving us memorable win today. #HockeyWorldLeague2017 #IndonesiaOPEN2017 🇮🇳 — Yogeshwar Dutt (@DuttYogi) June 18, 2017 India saw their lead getting doubled through Talwinder who combined well with Satbir Singh and SV Sunil. Three minutes later, Talwinder notched up his second goal after neatly lifting the ball over Pakistani goalkeeper to help India take a 3-0 lead in the first-half. The second half witnessed the same intensity from India who found their fourth goal through Harmanpreet's set piece three minutes later. While India was running riot, Pakistan, too, had their share of chances but they failed to get past an alert kash Chikte who was guarding the Indian goal-post. Twitter/@mansukhmandviya Chinglensana Singh came close to scoring the fifth goal for his side, but he was unfortunately denied by Pakistan goalkeeper Amjad Ali. In the 47th minute of play, Akashdeep combined with Sardar Singh in a brilliant one-two before scoring a sensational field goal from the top of the circle. Good news for India in Hockey- congratulations Team India on the fantastic victory! #HockeyWorldLeague2017 https://t.co/L2uuBx9dsl — Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) June 18, 2017 Two minutes later, Pardeep Mor drilled home from a tight angle to go past Amjad Ali at Pakistan's goal-post. India were cruising with a 6-0 lead when Umar Bhutta pulled one back for Pakistan. However, in the 59th minute, Akashdeep restored India's victory margin with yet another stunning strike. Congratulations @TheHockeyIndia. Fantastic win! Way to go for finals! #HockeyWorldLeague2017 https://t.co/Dy7Ofz4frZ — Suresh Raina (@ImRaina) June 18, 2017 It was India's third straight win in the tournament which also helped them maintain their top spot in Group B (nine points from three wins). The victory also ensured India of a quarterfinal berth in the tournament with a game still left to play against Netherlands on Tuesday. While the triumph of the hockey team was clearly pivotal in the tournament, it also served as a great relief for the Indian fans who were left licking their wounds after a dismal show from Virat Kohli and his team at The Oval. Congratulations to the Indian hockey team for a brilliant victory today!! 7-1 .... DAMN!! 👏👏😊#HockeyWorldLeague2017 — Adnan Sami (@AdnanSamiLive) June 18, 2017 Congratulations team #India 🇮🇳 Yayyyy!!!! #HockeyWorldLeague2017 #INDVsPak https://t.co/UVAdolGrrQ — Dia Mirza (@deespeak) June 18, 2017 Nalaykon. Mai na kehta tha. Leave cricket madness, watch hockey. #India thrashes #Pakistan 7-1 in the semifinals of #HockeyWorldLeague2017. — Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) June 18, 2017 If you are disappointed by #India in cricket then watch #HockeyWorldLeague2017 #Hockey#INDvPAK pic.twitter.com/ZC0m7bt3Ce — Babita Phogat (@BabitaPhogat) June 18, 2017 Loving watching hockey for a change! Go team india 🇮🇳 #HockeyWorldLeague2017 — Sonakshi Sinha (@sonakshisinha) June 18, 2017 The score board speak for us today..what a game guys 👏👏 congratulation.. india VS Pakistan 7-1 #WHL2017 @TheHockeyIndia @FIH_Hockey — sreejesh p r (@16Sreejesh) June 18, 2017 7-1 is not just a win, it's a STATEMENT! Well done team... PROUD OF YOU! 🤗 #INDvPAK #HWL2017 @TheHockeyIndia pic.twitter.com/EStV3I6o7T — Rupinder Pal Singh (@rupinderbob3) June 18, 2017 Congratulations #TeamIndia ! So well played!Just one more to go & then we celebrate at the awards! #HockeyWorldLeague #HockeyWorldLeague2017 https://t.co/ojWcEVswB4 — Sophie Choudry (@Sophie_Choudry) June 18, 2017 Making the nation proud in the national game! Congratulations #TeamIndia! #HockeyWorldLeague2017 @TheHockeyIndia pic.twitter.com/3U8607bIOd — Anil Kapoor (@AnilKapoor) June 18, 2017 what a win by indian hockey team.7/1.great reason to smile in the mid of all despair. .congratulations indian hockey team. — Manoj Bajpayee (@BajpayeeManoj) June 18, 2017