Ram Rahim Singh enjoyed BJP’s patronage

first_imgGurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, whose supporters went on the rampage in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan to protest the court verdict convicting him of rape, haD enjoyed the patronage and support of the BJP government in Haryana as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi.On October 29, 2014, Mr. Modi lauded the Dera chief for he Swachh Bharat (clean India) mission. “Appreciable effort by Baba Ram Rahim ji & his team. Will motivate people across India to join Swachch Bharat Mission,” he had tweeted.Modi condemns violenceOn Friday, Mr. Modi put out a series of tweets condemning the violence in Haryana. “The instances of violence today are deeply distressing, I strongly condemn the violence and urge everyone to maintain peace. The law and order situation is being closely monitored. I reviewed the situation with NSA & Home Secretary. Urged officials to work round-the-clock to restore normality and provide all possible assistance that is required,” he said in his tweets.The Dera chief supported the BJP in the 2014 Assembly elections and Haryana Chief Minister M.L. Khattar’s association with the self-appointed cult leader is an open secret. On May 6, Mr. Khattar launched a special cleanliness drive with the Dera chief at his constituency in Karnal.Known for flashy clothes and producing films where he is the main protagonist, the Dera chief has held ‘success parties’ where senior BJP leaders like Kailash Vijayvargiya and Manoj Tiwari were present.The website of Dera Sacha Sauda says it’s a “spiritual organisation” and the sect has a huge following among Dalit Sikhs.Haryana’s Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said last week that the Dera followers were peace-loving people. A few months ago he handed a cheque for ₹51 lakh to the Dera chief as a mark of support. A year ago, Health and Sports Minister Anil Vij drew flak from the Congress for donating ₹50 lakh to the Dera chief.last_img read more


ED files chargesheet against Lalu’s daughter Misa Bharti in money laundering case

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday filed chargesheet against RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti and her husband in a money laundering case.ED counsel Nitesh Rana filed the charge sheet before the court of Special Judge N.K. Malhotra.The probe agency had earlier attached a Delhi farmhouse in connection with its money laundering probe against Bharti and her husband, Shailesh Kumar.The farmhouse, located at 26, Palam Farms in south Delhi’s Bijwasan area was attached provisionally under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).It belongs to Bharti and Kumar and is “held in the name of Ms Mishail Packers and Printers Private Limited”, the central probe agency said.“It was purchased using ₹1.2 crore involved in money laundering in the year 2008-09,” the ED alleged.The agency had also conducted raids at this location and few others in July as part of its probe against two brothers, Surendra Kumar Jain and Virendra Jain, and others who have been alleged to have laundered several crore rupees using shell companies.The Jain brothers were arrested by the ED under the PMLA.It had also arrested a chartered accountant, Rajesh Agrawal, who mediated and provided a cash amount of “₹90 lakh to the Jain brothers in advance so as to invest in Ms Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd as share premium”.One of the firms that the arrested duo dealt with was Mishail Printers and Packers Private Limited. Ms. Bharti and her husband are alleged to have been directors of this firm in the past.“The company, Ms Mishail Packers and Printers, was registered at the address 25, Tuglak Road, New Delhi till the shares were bought by Bharti. It was only during the year 2009-10 that the address was changed to farm no 26 Palam Farms, VPO Bijwasan, New Delhi. Bharti and Kumar were the directors of the company during the relevant period,” the agency said.The couple were also interrogated and their statements recorded by the agency in this probe case.The agency said the Jain brothers, CA Agrawal and the daughter and the son-in-law of the former Bihar chief minister were the “key persons behind the money laundering of ₹1.2 crore”.last_img read more


Pulwama’s first-time offenders in the lurch

first_imgIn the sleepy town of Khrew in Pulwama, Murawat, 30, is busy in a door-to-door campaign to galvanise support for first-time protesters, who are facing charges for rioting in 2010. He claims that around 62 people of Khrew, who were “first-time offenders”, have been dropped from Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s amnesty scheme granted to 4,327 first-time stone-throwers recently.Not eligible“How is a first-time offender of 2010 different from [such an offender of] 2016? The Chief Minister has set a strange eligibility for dropping the cases. The fact remains we suffered more than anybody else. We have become nothing but a burden on our families,” Mr. Murawat told The Hindu.Though 4,957 cases have been withdrawn in the past two years, hundreds in south Kashmir and Srinagar claim that despite being first-time offenders, their cases continue to drag on. Mr. Murawat was arrested in August after a police station was set ablaze in clashes that left four civilians dead. “We were playing cricket when the incident took place. My friends Haroon Rashi, a mechanical engineer; Shahid Kamal, a post graduate and Mashooq Wani too are left without a future after the incident,” he added.Besides charges of rioting, Mr. Murawat was also slapped with Section 307 — attempt to murder. “All protesters are slapped with Section 307 by the police but no evidence is produced later to prove the same. My request to the government is that if they find any other case against me, please keep me behind the bars,” said Mr. Murawat, who is leading a street protest on Tuesday in Srinagar.Mr Murawat is also scheduled to meet the Centre’s Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma to raise the issue of first time offenders. “Mr. Sharma has given us appointment for this week. We have pinned our hopes on him,” he added.Another accused, Nazeer Ahmad, who is now 48, claims he remains busy attending court proceedings in Pulwama though the year. “I borrow money at times to meet court expenses,” said Mr. Ahmad, a resident of Shar Shali Khrew. “Why is the government dragging the case against us? I have four children, including three daughters, to raise,” he said.Around 62 residents of Khrew faces cases for the 2010 unrest and claim they are first-time accused and have no other cases against them. The PDP-BJP government on November 29 announced the dropping of cases against 4,327 youth who are first-time accused, involved in 744 cases of disturbing law and order. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said, “A process of review of cases against youth from 2008 to 2014 saw the release of 104 cases involving 634 youth.”Though 4957 cases have been withdrawn in the past two years, hundreds in south Kashmir and Srinagar claim that despite being first-time offenders, their cases continue to drag on. The 2010 unrest left over 113 civilians dead in street violence that disrupted the normal life for over five months.last_img read more


Seal pumps in Sambhal, says NGT

first_imgThe National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to seal hand pumps in the Sambhal district where contaminated water was being extracted. Further, the green panel has directed authorities to submit a comprehensive plan of water supply in the district.‘Supply potable water’ A Bench headed by acting chairperson U.D. Salvi directed authorities to provide potable water to the Sambhal residents after it was alleged that contaminated water was being supplied.The green panel was hearing a petition by advocate Gaurav Bansal who alleged that a survey of around 20 villages had shown that children were being forced to have contaminated water.last_img


CBSE Class 12 results: Separatist leader Shabir Shah’s daughter tops in J&K

first_imgSama Shabir Shah, daughter of incarcerated separatist leader Shabir Shah, has topped the CBSE Class 12 results in Jammu and Kashmir, securing 97.8% marks.Sama is a student of Delhi Public School, Athwajan in Srinagar. “I attribute my success to the guidance of my father. My father who is in the Tihar jail is yet to hear the news though. It has been tough times,” said Sama.Dr. Bilquees Shah, wife of the separatist leader, said, “My two daughters were often disturbed by my repeated appearances before the Enforcement Directorate officials in New Delhi. Despite huge physical and psychological disturbances, my daughter worked hard and passed the examination with a distinction.”Congratulating Sama Shabir on her success, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said, “Her hardwork and determination has helped her overcome all odds. She is truly an inspiration for the youth of our State.”Shabir Shah was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on July 25 last year in connection with a money laundering case.last_img read more


Upendra Kushwaha downplays skipping NDA meeting

first_img“Amit Shah [BJP president] also did not attend the NDA’s dinner meeting in Patna…why is nobody asking about his absence there?”, asked Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief and Union Minister of State Upendra Kushwaha on Friday after reaching Patna. On Thursday Mr. Kushwaha skipped the crucial NDA meet meant to put up a “united front” amid discordant voices from alliance partners.Speaking to the media at the airport, Mr. Kushwaha expressed surprise over why so much importance was given to his absence at the event, when it was for the party leaders and workers.“It was due to some personal reasons I could not attend the event but my party leaders did,” said Mr. Kushwaha. Before leaving for his Parliamentary constituency Karakat in Rohtas district, he also asserted that there was no discontent in the NDA in Bihar.Also read: BJP’s ally troubles — Upendra Kushwaha skips NDA dinner meeting“I’m not unhappy or displeased with the NDA as is being speculated…NDA is united and intact,” he said. Though, he also confirmed that he would not be attending the iftar party hosted by senior Bihar BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.Mr. Kushwaha evaded a question on his party’s senior leader Nagamani’s statement ahead of the NDA meeting that the alliance should declare him (Kushwaha) as its leader in the Assembly poll in 2020. “You should pose this question to Mr. Nagamani,” Mr. Kushwaha said.Mr. Nagamani, who is national working president of the RLSP, had said that his party chief “represents a caste group which comprised 10% of Bihar’s total population which is next only to the Yadavs and hence his projection as the NDA’s leader would benefit the coalition.”Meanwhile, taking a dig at Mr. Kushwaha’s absence, RJD Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson Manoj Jha said, “What is happening in the NDA shows there is a tectonic shift in Indian politics as the common man sees himself pitted against the arrogant BJP… leaders like Mr. Kushwaha have begun to do a rethink over their alliance with the BJP and many more would follow suit in the near future.”RJD alliance partner and leader of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) Jitan Ram Manjhi invited Mr. Kushwaha to join the RJD-led Grand Alliance but not with his demand “to be the CM candidate as this position is already reserved for Tejashwi Yadav.”Mr. Kushwaha had met RJD chief Lalu Prasad when he was admitted in the AIIMS in Delhi and the meeting had triggered speculation about Mr. Kushwaha’s future moves.last_img read more


Vikhe-Patil to meet Karnataka Home Minister

first_imgMaharashtra Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil will meet the Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara in Bengaluru on Friday and seek his cooperation in raising the demand to ban right wing Sanatan Sanstha, whose name has surfaced in the murder cases of rationalists and journalist in Maharashtra and Karnataka. “I will be meeting the Home Minister with a request to exchange more information regarding Sanatan Sanstha and other right wing outfits. Karnataka investigative agencies have done a remarkable job in tracking down the killers of Gauri Lankesh and have helped Maharashtra police as well. We will explore possibilities of pushing the demand of ban on this organisation,” said Mr Vikhe-Patil. Based on information received from the arrested accused in journalist Gauri Lankesh murder case, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested one Vaibhav Raut of Hindu Goraksha Samiti from Nallasopara and two others. These arrests led to Sachin Andure, the alleged shooter in the 2013 murder of rationalist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar in Pune. In wake of these arrests, Maharashtra’s Minister for State (Home) said a proposal to ban Sanatan Sanstha has been sent to the union government. Mr. Vikhe-Patil has already demanded inquiry into Sanatan Sanstha founder Jayant Athawale as the organisation’s name has been mentioned by investigative agencies.last_img read more


3 children killed in Arunachal blast

first_imgThree children, aged 2-10 years, were killed when a live bomb they thought was a toy went off accidentally near an Army firing range in Arunachal Pradesh’s Anjaw district, an official said on Sunday. The incident occurred at Chirang village under Hayuliang circle on Saturday evening. The children, including two girls, were playing with the live explosive device, which was collected by their parents from the nearby firing range and kept at their house. They died on the spot, said Deputy Commissioner (DC) D Riba. The victims have been identified as Anisha Krong (10), a student of Class V, Yuman Krong (2) and Riya Krong (8), said Khupa police station incharge Hage Loder. Chief Minister Pema Khandu expressed shock and grief over the incident. He also announced an ex-gratia of ₹ 4 lakh each to the next of kin of the victims from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Mr. Khandu cautioned the villagers to avoid going near danger zones like the firing ranges. He requested the Army to issue an advisory or put up signboards, saying ‘Danger Zone’ or ‘Restricted Area’, to avert trespassing.last_img read more


BJP govt. taking country on the wrong path: Manmohan

first_imgFormer Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday hit out at the BJP government at the Centre, saying the way it had worked in a negative manner on India’s history it could endanger country’s freedom again.“..our nation attained freedom years back in which the Congress party had a great role to play…but the way the BJP government during the last four-and-a-half years had been working in a negative manner on India’s history, it could endanger the country’s freedom once again,” said Mr. Singh at the relaunch of Navjivan, the Hindi newspaper of Associated Journals Limited (AJL) here.Mr. Singh said: “I appeal to people across the country that they should understand that this (BJP) government is taking the country in the wrong direction. People need to put up a fight.”Congress president Rahul Gandhi also lashed out at the Modi government for “failing to address the concerns of farmers and the youth of the country”.“The country is in the grip of anger, and it’s rising..the reason behind this is the fact that the BJP government is not able to give jobs to the youth and this is the key challenge before the government,” he said, adding that government was completely indifferent towards farmers’ problems as well.Mr. Gandhi said: “Farmers for them (BJP) is a liability. But I want to tell them that without farmers the country won’t move ahead – be it 21st or 22nd century. It’s absolutely clear that without food security and farmers prosperous future, the country can’t move forward.”“Institutions such as the Army, media and judiciary across the country are being used by the Prime Minister for political gains, putting the country’s independence under threat,” he said.‘Atmosphere of fear’ Mr. Gandhi said an atmosphere of fear has been created in the country, the media industry was being threatened and suppressed by the BJP. “The BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh don’t want to listen or read anything against them. The media should write and present facts without fear. Congress is always ready to face criticism and correct ourself if we are wrong – that is the difference between us (Congress) and them (BJP),” said Mr. Gandhi.Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu did not attend the event as both were unwell.last_img read more


Bihar Ministers’ disparagement of Priyanka’s political debut draws flak

first_imgThe disparaging remarks by senior State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and Ministers in Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s cabinet over Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s political debut led to controversy on Friday with leaders across party lines condemning them. Reacting to Ms. Gandhi Vadra being appointed Congress general secretary Senior State BJP leader and Minister of the Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED) Vinod Narayan Jha had told a private news channel: “Except for being beautiful, I see no other quality that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may be credited with. Nature has showered its bounty on her but the Congress should remember that beauty does not garner votes. She may be of 37-38 or even 44 years old but she is a political novice.”Earlier, on Thursday, senior State BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, too, had made similar disparaging remarks on Ms. Gandhi Vadra’s official entry into politics. He tweeted: “If the Congress wants to exult over the induction of a woman with a tainted life partner, congratulations to them…Priyanka’s businessman husband’s irregular land transactions are spread over two states and he is facing probes.”Referring to Ms. Gandhi-Vadra’s face resembling that of her grandmother, late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Mr. Sushil Modi further tweeted, “If a person could become as capable as someone else merely by resembling him or her, by now we would have many more Amitabh Bachchans and Virat Kohlis. Duplicates do not work in politics. Priyanka might resemble Indira but there is a big difference.”Leaders across party lines demanded the removal of Vinod Narayan Jha from the Nitish Kumar’s Cabinet and his expulsion from the BJP. “Mr Jha has displayed a perverse attitude towards women and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should immediately remove him from the Cabinet. We also expect the BJP would expel him from the party,” said State Congress leaders Prem Chandra Mishra and Kaukab Quadri. Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Tejashwi Yadav criticised the CM: “Nitish Kumar is running an institute where he trains to abuse and makes excuses…his Cabinet Ministers and spokespersons are trained there.”However, ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader and former State Congress president Ashok Choudhury said, “We cannot approve of such remarks…Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has her own aura which may or may not bring desired results in the elections…but the way she has been spoken about does not appear proper.” Senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, too, said that CM Nitish Kumar, “should immediately sack this Minister [Jha].”last_img read more


Scientists divided on causes of Palghar quake

first_imgPalghar district has seen thousands of small earthquakes since November 2018, but Friday’s quake measuring 4.3 on the moment magnitude (Mw) scale was the first time the magnitude crossed 4 here. Scientists, however, are divided on the primary cause of this phenomenon. Some believe it is related to groundwater levels, and others attribute it to tectonic activity. If high groundwater is the cause, the quakes may remain small. This phenomenon, called hydroseismicity, is common across the Deccan plateau. However, another hypothesis is that intra-plate tectonic forces could be generating stresses along faults in Palghar. Such a mechanism is believed to be behind the 1993 Latur earthquake. If intra-plate activity is the cause, Palghar could see larger, more destructive quakes.Till a while ago, seismologists believed the driver behind the Palghar activity was hydroseismicity. In this phenomenon, rainwater enters the faults in the earth’s crust. This increases pressure, which is released through small earthquakes. In 2017, after heavy rains, such a phenomenon occurred in Hyderabad’s Borabanda suburb. “It continued for a month and a half and stopped,” said D. Srinagesh, chief scientist at the National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad. Such earthquakes typically measure less than 4 Mw and subside by December. They are also very shallow, typically emerging from within 4-5 km underground. In contrast, the Palghar quakes have continued into February, indicating that tectonic activity is at play, says Dr. Srinagesh. Also, a few of the temblors originated from 15 km underground, deeper than most hydroseismic quakes. With magnitude crossing 4 Mw this month for the first time, “all we can say is that disaster mitigation procedures should be set into motion,” he said.However, Vineet Gahalaut, Director of the National Centre for Seismology, New Delhi, said hydroseismicity couldn’t be ruled out yet. The Mw 4.3 quake was not necessarily significant, he said, because previously, quakes measuring Mw 3.7 had occurred. This small increment in magnitude was consistent with the ‘swarm’ pattern of hydroseismicity, he said. Further, according to him, the quakes were clustered within a small area, again a feature of hydroseismicity. Yet, he cautioned that it was impossible to discount tectonic activity as a cause.Previously, scientists had estimated that Palghar could see a “maximum credible earthquake” measuring Mw 6.5. The MCE is the largest quake that can occur in a region. All of Palghar’s buildings must be prepared for this, seismologists say, though the timing cannot be predicted.last_img read more


Dalit marriage procession attacked

first_imgSome members of upper caste families allegedly threw stones and used foul language when a marriage procession of a Dalit family was passing through their locality in S. Gunduribadi village under the Sorada block in Odisha’s Ganjam district last Wednesday, according to Bainath Naik, a Dalit.Some Dalits in the procession were injured and taken to MKCG Medical College and Hospital for treatment. Since then, the Dalit families are facing threats and have been ostracised in the village, added Mr. Naik.Dalits are a minority in this village — only 40 families as against around 350 upper caste families. ‘Met IGP’ On Saturday (April 27), a delegation of these Dalit families reached the office of the Inspector General of Police, Southern Range, in Berhampur to lodge a complaint. They allege that although they had informed the police about the possibility of an attack during the marriage procession, no security had been provided.Peasants’ organisation All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha has come out in their support. AIKMS State committee member Pratap Naik said police officers were pressuring the complainants to change the FIR. The aggrieved families alleged that the police have not yet arrested the main accused, but have started framing ‘false’ cases and arresting local Dalits.Mass stir planned AIKMS national secretary Bhala Chandra Sadangi has threatened a mass movement in Ganjam district if strict action was not taken against the accused.last_img read more


ScienceShot: Honey, I Shrunk the Planet

first_imgMeasuring just 4880 kilometers across, Mercury is a small world. The planet became slightly smaller as its interior cooled, which caused Mercury to shrink, buckling its surface and creating numerous cliffs and ridges. Now, after studying 5934 of these features, researchers report online today in Nature Geoscience that Mercury’s contraction was much greater than previously thought: During the past 4 billion years, the planet’s diameter decreased by 7 to 14 kilometers. Earlier estimates date back to data from Mariner 10, a spacecraft that flew past Mercury three times during the 1970s but saw less than half the planet. In 2011, however, the MESSENGER spacecraft began orbiting the sun’s innermost planet, imaging the entire surface. The greater estimate of shrinkage accords with models that predict how much a rocky planet should contract as its interior cools; the new work may also lend insight into the evolution of extrasolar planets that, like Mercury and unlike Earth, lack any moving continents.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more


Q&A: Is politics influencing marijuana research?

first_imgThis week, a team from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that heavy marijuana use may damage the brain’s pleasure center. Meanwhile, researchers in the United Kingdom say they’ve figured out why pot makes you paranoid. But does focusing research on cannabis’s “bad side” give the drug short shrift? Science talked to Ian Mitchell, an emergency physician at the University of British Columbia’s Southern Medical Program in Kamloops, Canada, and author of the blog Clinical Cannabis in Context, who says that politics influences research in this controversial field. As a doctor who recommends medical cannabis to patients, he follows research on the drug and often critiques studies he believes are based on outdated information or were performed with an anticannabis bias.This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.Q: What do you think of the NIDA study? 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(*)A: They said they gave marijuana abusers Ritalin and nothing happened. One of the ways you could interpret that is, OK, these pleasure centers are damaged. But you could also say, perhaps marijuana decreases the effects of [Ritalin] on people. That would be equally as right an interpretation.Q: Why do we hear more about studies that show negative effects of marijuana?A: NIDA is at the center of cannabis research in America. And their mandate, very plainly, is to study drug abuse. So they overwhelmingly fund studies that look at abuse. In America, if you wanted to run a study that showed a benefit of cannabis, you weren’t allowed to do that because NIDA couldn’t give you samples to use. So there were no trials [on potential medical benefits] being done. For example, there hasn’t been a good trial yet to study marijuana’s potential for treating posttraumatic stress disorder. They couldn’t get it done, due to all these political roadblocks.Q: How are changing laws—for example, legalization in Colorado, Washington, and Uruguay—influencing research on marijuana?A: Research on marijuana is flowering. States like Colorado are earmarking portions of revenue generated from marijuana sales for research. That’s going to be very helpful, because that money [unlike NIDA funding] will be free to be applied to looking for benefits. There’s certainly a lot more interest in it, and the political situation I think has improved significantly.I think it’s also very important to track social data about recreational use. Now, in Washington and Colorado, they’re tracking data on traffic accidents and fatalities, pedestrian accidents, suicide rates, homicide rates, that type of thing. That’s a tremendously important amount of data that has not really been tracked so far. Now that recreational use in those areas is legal, it’s much easier to study. In areas where it’s illegal, you can’t really ask people about those kinds of behaviors because they don’t want to get arrested.Q: Is there a danger that research on the medical benefits of marijuana will be politicized, too? Sometimes you’ll hear about anecdotal evidence of marijuana shrinking tumors, for example.A: Absolutely, and I think that’s a big concern. But that’s why the research needs to get done, because we have all these little stories of people saying, “I used this and my cancer got better.” And that’s nowhere near enough good evidence to start changing practice.There’s a lot of criticism leveled at cannabis research overall, and I expect it to continue. So the studies have to be good. They have to be of excellent quality, and they have to be scrutinized. And I’m sure they will be, very closely.last_img read more


Glorious India to Honour US-based NRI Achievers

first_imgGlorious India Expo the mega Indian trade exhibition in New Jersey, is all set to bring the glory of India to the land holding the largest Indian diaspora. Related Itemslast_img


Netflix ‘far behind’ in the Indian OTT market

first_imgHong Kong-headquartered analysis firm Counterpoint said that local providers Hotstar and Voot ranked first and second respectively in the Indian market, followed by Amazon Instant Video in third place and SonyLIV in fourth.Star India-owned Hotstar and Viacom 18’s Voot have access to local and Western content and both monetise through advertising – with Hotstar offering a ‘freemium’ subscription and ads service and Voot opting for an entirely ad-based model.Read it at Digital VE Related Itemslast_img


Half Billion Mobile Phones

first_imgThe number of mobile phones in India are expected to top 500 million at the start of 2010, the largest after China. The number of landline phones has dropped to 37.25 million.  Related Itemslast_img



Night curfew lifted, mobile net services resume in Bhaderwah

first_imgNight curfew was lifted and Internet services resumed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bhaderwah valley on Thursday after nine days, officials said. Curfew was imposed in Bhaderwah valley of Doda district on May 16 following violent protests by members of a community against the killing of a person in firing under suspicious circumstances. Internet services on mobile phones started functioning on Friday evening after remaining suspended for nine days. Bhaderwah Tehsildar Zeeshan Tahir said the services were suspended as mobile Internet was misused in the past by miscreants to foment trouble in the valley.last_img


Rajasthan BJP chief Madan Lal Saini dies at 75

first_imgBJP Rajasthan unit president Madan Lal Saini died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Monday after a brief illness. He was shifted from Jaipur to Delhi on Saturday for treatment of blood-related ailment in Haematology Department after being diagnosed with infection in lungs.Mr. Saini, also a Rajya Sabha MP, was 75. He was appointed the BJP State chief in June last year, after the party remained headless for about three months following the resignation of Ashok Parnami. Mr. Saini had emerged as a “consensus candidate” after differences emerged over the selection of certain other leaders.He was shifted to the intensive care unit in AIIMS when his condition deteriorated. He breathed his last on Monday evening, the party sources said here.A large number of BJP workers, led by former BJP State president Arun Chaturvedi, gathered at the party’s State headquarters here and paid tributes to the departed leader. Mr. Saini was active in politics for several decades after joining the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in 1952.He was elected an MLA from Gudha in Jhunjhunu district in 1990 and had later unsuccessfully fought the Lok Sabha election twice from Jhunjhunu in 1991 and 1998. He was elected a Rajya Sabha member from the State in March 2018.According to the party sources, Mr. Saini’s body will be brought here on Tuesday morning and taken for cremation in his native village, Patan, in Sikar district in the afternoon.Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot expressed grief over Mr. Saini’s death and said he was “shocked and saddened” to hear about his passing away. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Mr. Saini’s death was a “major loss for the BJP family.”last_img read more