Panaji: Goa Governor Mridula Sinha asked the State’s Chief Secretary, Dharmendra Sharma, to take appropriate action on a complaint filed by activist lawyer Aires Rodrigues against an illegal bungalow built by Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar in Old Goa. This was confirmed to The Hindu by a Raj Bhavan spokesperson on Wednesday.On April 9, in a petition to the Archaeological Survey of India, Goa Circle, copied to the Governor and the Prime Minister, Mr. Rodrigues alleged that Mr. Madkaikar’s company, Nikitasha Realtors, had built a palatial bungalow in Old Goa, which violated the law by being within 300 metres from the Basilica of Bom Jesus, a UNESCO heritage monument. The bungalow’s compound wall was less than 50 metre from the protected monument.The ASI, in its reply on April 10, had informed Mr. Rodrigues that it does not have the magisterial powers either for removal of encroachment or for demolition of illegal structures and asked him to approach the local authorities for further action in the matter. The ASI also told him that it had asked the Old Goa Police to register an FIR against Mr. Madkaikar over the unauthorised compound wall, copying local authorities, including the North Goa Collector and the local panchayat, but no action was taken.Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Mr. Madkaikar said that his bungalow was legal in every way and he was willing to offer documents related to his newly constructed house to any authority for examination. “I have all the approvals, licences from the authorities,” he said. “If required I will present it before appropriate authority.”
The Army on Friday ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) against Major Leetul Gogoi’s conduct, hours after Army chief General Bipin Rawat promised “exemplary punishment in case the officer was found guilty of any wrongdoing.”“Any rank of Indian Army — if he does anything wrong — an action will be taken. If Major Gogoi has done something wrong I will punish him and the punishment will be exemplary,” General Rawat said in Anantnag in south Kashmir.Terms of reference According to Army sources, the terms of reference of the CoI will be finalised after a meeting of senior Army officials in New Delhi.Major Gogoi, who used a civilian as a human shield by tying a man to an Army vehicle in Budgam in 2017, was detained from a Srinagar hotel along with a woman and a member of the Territorial Army on May 23.The officer has been now removed from the 53 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) unit posted in Budgam and attached to the Army headquarters pending the inquiry.The woman accompanying the Major was not a minor: the police said. A senior police official, probing the incident, told The Hindu that preliminary investigation suggested the woman was “a major and not a minor” and was born in 1999 as per the Aadhaar card details.The woman, a resident of Budgam, has told a magistrate that she had gone to the hotel “on her own free will” and “wanted to spend time with the Major”.A hotel room was booked by the Major for two persons on May 23. However, an altercation ensued when the hotel staff objected to allowing a local woman to the room as per the hotel policy.The Major has allegedly been in touch with the woman before also and got connected through a Facebook account named “Aadil Adnan”.Sources said the police are yet to establish any legal grounds to file an FIR in the case as “both the individuals were adult”.
Rajasthan has sought establishment of an Inter-State Basin Authority with the powers to resolve disputes among different States on sharing of river waters. The desert State does not agree with a proposal to set up an integrated group of watershed agencies, which it says will not serve any meaningful purpose.Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said at the 13th meeting of the Inter-State Council’s Standing Committee in New Delhi last week that since several Boards were already functioning for management of inter-State basin waters, there would be no utility for the integrated group of watershed agencies.The Boards include Bhakra-Beas Management Board for Indus basin, Upper Yamuna River Board for Yamuna river waters, Narmada Control Authority for Narmada river waters and the Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan Chambal Inter-State Board for Chambal river waters.Mr. Kataria said the practice being followed for distribution of water on the basis of catchment areas of rivers went against the interest of a State like Rajasthan because it had very little such areas. “Rajasthan should be exempted from the rules framed on the basis of catchment areas,” he said.More allocation soughtWhile seeking allocation of more Central funds for expansion of forest areas to meet the national targets, Mr. Kataria sought a special status for Rajasthan in view of its “scattered environmental status” with the presence of the Aravalli hills range and the vast Thar desert. Rajasthan was geographically the biggest State in the country, he pointed out.
Dusty weather conditions continued to prevail across parts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh on Friday even as the weather department said the situation is likely to improve over the next 24 hours as a fresh western disturbance approaching the region is expected to bring in rain.Owing to low visibility, as many as 26 domestic flights were suspended at the Chandigarh international airport.According to India Meteorological Department, strong dusty winds are likely to continue across Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh over the next 24 hours. The density of dust in the atmosphere is likely to decrease from Friday evening, with thundershowers expected over parts of north-west India. The key reason for the dusty weather has been the prevalence of west and south-western strong surface winds travelling from Rajasthan.Strong winds “The winds have resulted in increase in levels of coarse particles in the atmosphere in most parts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. The situation is likely to continue over the next 24 hours and would dissipate afterwards as a fresh western disturbance is approaching, which will affect parts of north India from June 15 evening onwards,” said Surinder Pal, Director of IMD, Chandigarh.Mr. Pal said light to moderate thunderstorm and rain is likely to occur from late Friday in the north-eastern parts of Punjab including Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Pathankot and adjoining areas and northern parts of Haryana, including Panchkula, Ambala,Yamunanagar, Kaithal including Chandigarh.Rain relief“The rain will increase in intensity and distribution and will cover most parts of Punjab and Haryana from June 15 to 18. Also, strong surface winds are expected in some parts of Punjab and Haryana during this period,” he added.Meanwhile, the Punjab Pollution Control Board has said that the situation is alarming as the air quality has deteriorated due to the haze. “The air quality index is alarmingly high in many cities of Punjab due to dust… Schools should be shut, children and old aged people should avoid going out as the weather condition could adversely impact their health,” Chief Environmental Engineer Krunesh Garg said.
Making light of the Congress’ efforts to cobble up pre-poll tie-ups in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Wednesday that outfits that allied with the grand old party have suffered destruction.“The Congress is a ‘dhokhebaj’ (deceitful) party. Those who had formed an alliance with the Congress had invited destruction [upon them],” Mr. Chouhan said at Maihar in Satna district, around 450 km from Bhopal, from where he launched the second leg of his ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’.The Chief Minister was reacting to the Congress’ efforts to stitch an alliance with parties such as the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party ahead of Assembly elections due later this year.‘Remember history’“You must remember that the Congress had pulled down the Chaudhary Charan Singh government within four months and humiliated him. The Congress did the same with I.K. Gujral and H.D. Deve Gowda [former Prime Ministers],” he said.Before launching the second leg of the yatra that would cover Bundelkhand, Mahakaushal and Vindhya regions, the Chief Minister, who has been helming the State since November 2005, paid obeisance at the Maa Sharada temple in Maihar.The first leg of the 75-day yatra was flagged off by BJP president Amit Shah on July 14 from Ujjain after offering prayers at the Mahakaleshwar temple.Two vehicles have been converted into chariots for the yatra. One of the chariots is being used in central Madhya Pradesh, Malwa and Nimar regions which were covered in the first leg of the yatra, the other chariot is meant for Bundelkhand, Mahakaushal and Vindhya regions.Mr. Chouhan had embarked on a similar yatra ahead of the Assembly polls in 2008 and 2013.The opposition Congress, which has been out of power since 2003, has been trying to forge ties with BSP and SP.State unit Congress president Kamal Nath had announced that his party was ready to align with like-minded parties, especially the BSP, ahead of polls to unseat the ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh.He had met BSP chief Mayawati in Delhi recently.
A Muslim woman from Uttar Pradesh’s Sikandrabad, who had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking abolition of ‘nikah halala’ practice earlier this month, on Tuesday alleged that she has received death threats from her husband. The woman, Farzana, had claimed in her petition that she had been illegally divorced by her husband, leaving her and their daughter without any means of living or financial support. “From the day I have filed the petition, my husband has been pressuring me to withdraw it and has even threatened to kill me. He has also told me that going to the Supreme Court will not help me and I will be forced to do halala,” Farzana told reporters here. The practice of ‘nikah halala’ requires a divorced woman to marry someone else, consummate the marriage and then get a divorce in order to again marry her first husband under the Muslim Personal Law.
Despite poor voter turnout in the recently-concluded civic bodies’ elections in J&K, State Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra on Monday announced the schedule for the panchayat polls. “The elections to 316 blocks in 4,483 panchayat halqas comprising of 35,029 panch constituencies will be held from November 17 to December 11 in nine phases,” he said.The last panchayat elections were held in 2011 after a gap of 10 years and completed its term in July 2016. The elections were repeatedly deferred due to volatile situation in the valley in the past three years.A total of 58,54,208 voters were registered for the polls, “In Kashmir division, 29,91,128 voters are registered, while in Jammu Division the number is 28,63,080 voters,” said Mr. Kabra.Migrant Kashmiri Pandits would be provided facility to vote in panchayat elections through postal ballot.“All critical events will be video-graphed and concerned deputy commissioners will arrange sufficient number of video and digital cameras and camera teams for the purpose,” said the CEO.The announcement came despite two main regional parties, Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference, deciding against participating in these polls.Due to boycott by the regional parties and separatists boycott call, the recently-concluded civic bodies elections saw just 35.1 percent in the State. In Kashmir, the voters turnover was less than eight percent.
Over 8.75 lakh applicants in Gujarat who were set to take exam for 9,713 unarmed police constable jobs were in for a shock when the exam was cancelled hours before scheduled time as the question paper was allegedly found to be leaked. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered probe in the matter.The exam was scheduled to start at 3 p.m. on Sunday in 2440 centres across the State. However, the written examination was called off barely a few hours before it was scheduled to start after it surfaced that the question paper was leaked, said Vikas Sahay, chairman of the Lokrakshak Recruitment Board, the body that conducts recruitment for constables in the State.“Questions and answers started circulating on some social media before the exam was to begin,” Mr. Sahay told media persons in Gandhinagar.Mr. Sahay said the exam will most probably be conducted again within a month.“Chief Minister ordered probe immediately after he learnt about the leak of exam paper. He also said that the State government will provide free transportation to the applicants during the exam when it is held,” a CMO press release stated.
A young industrialist, Gunjan Khemka, was shot dead on Thursday at the gate of his factory in Hajipur near Patna. He had been receiving extortion and threat calls for the last six months.Vaishali Superintendent of Police Manavjeet Singh Dhillion said: “An unidentified criminal fired at Gunjan Khemka when he was waiting outside the gate of his factory in industrial area of Hajipur…three rounds were fired at him and he was declared dead when taken to the local hospital…his driver Manoj Ravidas too has received gunshot injuries”. Gunjan Khemka, 38, owned G.K. Cotton factory at Hajipur in Vaishali district and his father Gopal Khemka, too, is a big businessman of the State. The family is said to be owners of a big hospital, medical stores and a private school in Patna.Gopal Khemka is the State convener of small industries cell of BJP in Bihar. Family members of the Gunjan told journalists that he and his wife have been receiving extortion calls for the last six months. “He had lodged a complaint regarding this at the local Gandhi Maidan police station but no action was taken…had the police acted upon his complaint, he would have been alive today,” said a family member requesting anonymity.Traders shocked Meanwhile, the daylight murder of Gunjan Khemka has sent a shock wave among the business community of the State. Some local BJP leaders too reached his residence to offer condolences. “I would request to the government to act swiftly…the culprits must be booked soon”, said local BJP MLA Nitin Navin. Opposition leaders slammed the Nitish Kumar government for complete failure on the law and order front in the State. “Everyday people are being killed, looted and raped in Bihar…but there is no one to look after…governance has collapsed in the State,” charged RJD leader and party spokesperson Bhai Birendra.
Twenty-nine students of a residential high school for girls at Antarba in Odisha’s Gajapati district left their hostel on Saturday night and are missing since.Despite efforts of the school authorities as well as the administration, the girls had not been traced till Sunday evening. They have not even returned to their homes. Most of the girls are from Class IX. It is suspected that they escaped from the hostel to complain to the District Collector about the state of affairs in the hostel.Gajapati District Welfare Officer Santosh Kumar Rath is monitoring the search operation. According to Mr. Rath, the girls have left behind a handwritten letter mentioning some reasons for leaving the hostel.Speaking to newsmen, school headmaster Manoj Rath accepted that the girls had earlier expressed their resentment over some issue with their teachers. As per the headmaster, the issue had been resolved. He felt the same reason may have prompted them to leave the hostel.
If you’re a bird enthusiast, you can pick out the “chick-a-DEE-dee” song of the Carolina chickadee with just a little practice. But if you’re an environmental scientist faced with parsing thousands of hours of recordings of birdsongs in the lab, you might want to enlist some help from your computer. A new approach to automatic classification of birdsong borrows techniques from human voice recognition software to sort through the sounds of hundreds of species and decides on its own which features make each one unique.Collectors of animal sounds are facing a data deluge. Thanks to cheap digital recording devices that can capture sound for days in the field, “it’s really, really easy to collect sound, but it’s really difficult to analyze it,” say Aaron Rice, a bioacoustics researcher at Cornell University, who was not involved in the new work. His lab has collected 6 million hours of underwater recordings, from which they hope to pick out the signature sounds of various marine mammals.Knowing where and when a certain species is vocalizing might help scientists understand habitat preferences, track their movements or population changes, and recognize when a species is disrupted by human development. But to keep these detailed records, researchers rely on software that can reliably sort through the cacophony they capture in the field. Typically, scientists build one computer program to recognize one species, and then start all over for another species, Rice says. Training a computer to recognize lots of species in one pass is “a challenge that we’re all facing.”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(*)That challenge is even bigger in the avian world, says Dan Stowell, a computer scientist at Queen Mary University of London who studied human voice analysis before turning his attention to the treetops. “I realized there are quite a lot of unsolved problems in birdsong,” says Stowell, who is lead author on the new paper. Among the biggest issues: There are hundreds of species with distinct and complex calls—and in tropical hotspots, many of them sing all at once.Most methods for classifying birdsong rely on a human to define which features separate one species from another. For example, if researchers know that a chickadee’s tweet falls within a predictable range of frequencies, they can program a computer to recognize sounds in that range as chickadee-esque. The computer gets better and better at deciding how to use these features to classify a new sound clip, based on “training” rounds where it examines clips with the species already correctly labeled.In the new paper, Stowell and his Queen Mary colleague, computer scientist Mark Plumbley, used a different approach, known as unsupervised training. Instead of telling the computer which features of a birdsong are going to be important, they let it decide for itself, so to speak. The computer has to figure out “what are the jigsaw pieces” that make up any birdsong it hears, Stowell says. For example, some of the jigsaw pieces it selects are split-second upsweeps or downsweeps in frequency—the sharp pitch changes that make up a chirp. After seeing correctly labeled examples of which species produce which kinds of sounds, the program can spit out a list—ranked in order of confidence—of the species it thinks are present in a recording.Stowell and Plumbley tested this approach on several natural recordings, including birdsong from the British Library Sound Archive, and a large data set recorded in Brazil (77 hours; 501 species) that was publicly released as part of an annual classification challenge organized by the Scaled Acoustic BIODiversity platform project. Their unsupervised approach performed better than the more traditional methods of classification—those based on a set of predetermined features—and managed to reach up to 85.4% accuracy in the large Brazilian data set, they report today in PeerJ.The new system’s accuracy fell short of beating the top new computer programs that analyzed the same data sets for the annual competition. But Potamitis Ilyas, a computer scientist at the Technological Educational Institute of Crete in Greece, says that the new system deserves credit for applying unsupervised computer learning to the complex world of birdsong for the first time. He also suggests that this approach could be combined with other ways of processing and classifying sound, because it “can squeeze out some info that other techniques may miss.”Eighty-five percent accuracy on a choice between more than 500 calls and songs is impressive, Rice says, and shows “both the biological community and the computer community what you can do with these large sound archives.” The next step, he says, is to test the technology with new recordings to see if it can hold its own.
Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz went committee-hopping this week, defending President Barack Obama’s 2016 budget request for the Department of Energy (DOE) before two panels in the U.S. House of Representatives. And although some lawmakers worried that DOE’s request tilts too far toward applied research in its science programs, their grilling of Moniz on science was relatively light.On Wednesday, Moniz appeared before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and yesterday testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies. Representatives mostly peppered Moniz with questions that focused on hot-button energy issues—including DOE’s role in evaluating the controversial Keystone pipeline and efforts to promote nuclear power—but the department’s science programs also saw some time in the spotlight.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 few highlights:Applied versus basic science—At the House science committee, several Republican lawmakers complained that DOE was putting too much emphasis on applied energy research in its spending plan for the 2016 fiscal year, which begins 1 October. Representative Brian Babin (R–TX) compared the whopping 42%, $809 million increase that DOE has requested for its Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program, which in part funds R&D for new energy technologies, with the 5%, $272 million increase requested for the Office of Science, which funds the national labs and basic research. “Are the Office of Science’s basic research programs a lower priority for this administration, when compared with these renewable programs?” he asked. Representative Randy Hultgren (R–IL), whose district includes Fermilab, later added: “There’s a problem that has been ongoing with this administration’s choice to value applied R&D over basic scientific research.” But Moniz pushed back, saying the 5% boost for basic science would “fully support” needed programs, and defended the applied programs. “We think we have to work across the entire innovation chain,” he said.Fusion research cuts—Representative Don Beyer (D–VA), a new member of the House, asked about the reasoning behind a requested cut in DOE’s fusion program budget, which would decrease by 10% under the request—the only loser in the Office of Science. (Last year, the House rejected a similar proposal for a cut in DOE’s fusion budget, which is increasingly dedicated to the ITER fusion project under construction in France, forcing cuts in domestic projects.) Franklin Orr, DOE’s under secretary for science and energy, suggested the trim was part of a long-term approach to achieving fusion power. “It’s a tough enough problem that a measured approach is appropriate,” he said, without addressing specifics. (Moniz has recused himself from fusion funding issues, in part because proposed cuts have targeted a DOE-funded fusion project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT], where he used to work. The MIT project is now scheduled to close within a year or two.)Exascale computing—At the appropriations panel hearing, Representative Mike Honda (D–CA), whose district is located in Silicon Valley, asked about DOE’s efforts to achieve exascale computing—computers that can perform a billion billion calculations per second—calling it the “next technological leap.” DOE has requested a 15%, $80 million increase for its Advanced Scientific Computing Research program—the largest boost in the Office of Science—to help accelerate the effort, which Moniz said could bear fruit as early as 2022 or 2023. But he noted several challenges, including the whopping energy consumption of exascale computers and the massive amount of data they generate.Moniz’s appearances this week concluded the first major round of hearings on the DOE request; earlier this month he also appeared before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power. The Senate appropriations panel has yet to schedule its DOE hearing. The House and Senate will soon begin the work of deciding how much of the DOE request will become reality—and what will get left on the cutting room floor. That process isn’t expected to be complete until late this year.
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Actually the 3 Idiots versus My Name is Khan releases did it, one more time. For some time now, Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan have been chewing public space and hijacking popular imagination as few have done in the history of B-town. Sure there were the earlier Dilip-Raj, Dev-Shammi, Rajesh-Shatru, Anil-Jackie face-offs, but hey, this is different. Because in this age of cut-throat competition and a zillion entertainment alternatives — TV, Internet, digital, stage — their red-hot rivalry through mega-starrers, monster fan-following and thumping box-office receipts (aided and abetted by a hysterical 24×7 media) is way above anything else in recent memory…..Actually, so are they. Unique, special and different. Aamir may have started out as the chochweet cute, chocolate-faced lover boy in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, but after a series of bombs — and later hits — decided to forget the Bollywood script and follow his heart. Sure he did pot-boilers like Dil, Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahin, Ghulam, even great commercial zingers like Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, the timeless Andaz Apna Apna and Sarfarosh. But he really got his act together with Lagaan and Dil Chahta Hai.This was Aamir cutting loose, wooing risk to break new ground. Mangal Pandey and Rang De Basanti only re-affirmed this brave new journey and with Taare Zameen Par, Gajini and 3 Idiots, he’s carved his very own signature and seal on every project he connects with. His heart’s “Go” always appears to veto his heads “No!” Guts, courage, instinct, self-belief powered by passionate and full-on follow-up is AK’s lethal work-ethic — and god knows, he’s scored a perfect 10 (both critically and commercially) each time!SRK is a different kettle of fish. A mesmerizing star presence, flamboyant, electric energy, over-the-top moves, in thought, word and deed (don’t we know it?) and charismatic, he is all style, drama and color! With no filmy background, a couple of successful TV serials (Fauji, Circus) and a host of arty projects as starters, SRK zoomed into popular psyche with Deewana and Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman. However, it took guts for this young, unknown actor from Delhi to accept a hugely rejected negative role (an echo of Amitabh Bachchan and Zanjeer?) in Darr. He had already gone this route, successfully, earlier in Baazigar, but the Yash Chopra film was the big turnaround that he was looking for. Not since Shatrughan Sinha and Amjad Khan was a villain’s role so wildly cheered and celebrated. The new star however was in no mood to rest on his laurels. Doing an astonishing volte-face, he played the ultimate, romantic charmer in a film that was to create box-office history (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge) and slot his pairing with Kajol as the romantic pair of the day. He went along playing Mr. Romantic, with all cylinders firing, blowing everyone’s — read women — mind to smitherns. Dil To Pagal Hai, Pardes, Devdas, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna — SRK was on fire and the glow flared big time to every part of the globe where a SRK starrer was screened.However, like Aamir Khan, SRK too wanted to explore the “actor” within and two films demonstrated clearly that there is much more to him than the predictable, mushy, melodramatic, hi-pitched stylized romances. Swadesh and Chak De India may have faired lamely at the box-office, but any SRK-watcher would agree that these were landmark, path-breaking efforts from a super-star renowned more for style than substance. And now with My Name Is Khan, SRK appears truly serious to turn a new leaf. Is SRK the actor sending across a strong message to SRK the star, “Watchout buddy, I could just overtake you?” So what gives? What’s the score? Who’s winning? It really depends on whom you’re asking! Globally, SRK is clearly the hotter ticket. Spontaneous, rebellious, enterprising, charming, audacious, rocking and hugely entertaining in a mesmerizing, matchless audience-friendly way, King Khan is dynamite, eliciting rock-star like hysteria. Aamir is diametrically opposite. Studied, focused, methodical, with an obsessive eye for detail and perfection, maddeningly selective and completely private when not promoting his film or a cause, he lets his films do the talking… and man, do they talk!Despite the lack of frontal and full-on public glare that SKR enjoys, Aamir seems have the last laugh. His 3 Idiots, has pipped My Name Is Khan in the box office stakes and his astonishing $7 million endorsement deal — over SRK’s $3 million — signed with a UAE-based telecommunications service provider last month, jolted even the jaded in Bollywood. However, at the end of the day, for devotees of the two Khans, it’s an embarrassment of riches! Both love cinema passionately, take their work very seriously and over time have entered the production business as well. Dedicated to their calling and completely focused on endeavouring to “be the change you want” in their very own, special and unique ways, the conclusion is simple: Don’t compare them. Just love them. B-town — and their zillion fans — need them both! Related Items
The Centre will conclude the Naga peace process by October 31 and there will be no separate national flag or constitution for the Nagas, interlocutor R.N. Ravi told The Hindu.Accusing National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) [NSCN-IM] of delaying the talks, Mr. Ravi said, “Endless negotiation under the shadow of guns is not acceptable.”Mr. Ravi said the NSCN-IM, with which the Centre signed a framework agreement on August 3, 2015 to find a solution to the Naga issue, had adopted a “procrastinating attitude to delay the settlement, raising the contentious symbolic issues of separate Naga national flag and constitution.”Mr. Ravi, who is also Nagaland’s Governor, said the Naga political movement belongs to the Naga people and the civil society groups had given their opinion clearly. He said a “mutually agreed draft comprehensive settlement, including all the substantive issues and competencies, is ready for inking the final agreement”, and it has the blessings of the Church.Also Read Tribal groups push for early settlement of Naga political issue Details of 2015 Naga agreement emerge Mr. Ravi shared the details of the 2015 framework agreement signed with NSCN-IM and the 2017 agreement signed with the armed Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) with the delegation on Friday.“The two agreements do not mention any separate flag or constitution for the Nagas… NSCN-IM has been misleading and lying to the people. It only talks of power sharing. I read out the details in front of the civil society groups, they have made up their mind to conclude the process,” Mr. Ravi said.A statement issued by Mr. Ravi’s office said, “Political maturity and wisdom of the Naga leaders who expressed their overwhelming support in favour of a settlement without any further delay is deeply appreciated. Respecting the Naga people’s wishes, the Government of India is determined to conclude the Peace Process without delay. Endless negotiation under the shadow of guns is not acceptable.”NSCN-IM has been fighting for ‘Greater Nagaland’ or Nagalim — it wants to extend Nagaland’s borders by including Naga-dominated areas in neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh — to unite 1.2 million Nagas. Centre has said there will be no disintegration of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur to merge the Naga inhabited areas with the existing State of Nagaland. “Naga people are represented by their traditional tribal apex bodies, village headmen, civil society groups etc…. they have collectively taken a decision for the first time on one platform. We have a written endorsement from them to go ahead and conclude the peace process,” Mr. Ravi said.Asked if the peace deal would be signed without the NSCN-IM, Mr. Ravi said, “I would expect that since the Nagas have expressed their voice, the NSCN should heed the voice.”Details sharedOn Friday, Mr. Ravi held detailed consultations for over three hours with the apex leadership of all the 14 Naga tribes of Nagaland, all the minority non-Naga tribes of Nagaland, the Nagaland GB Federation, the Nagaland Tribes Council, the Church leaders and civil society organizations in Kohima.Also Read
Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES ‘Disappointed’ Amit says Centeno deserves the gold LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Samuel Thomas Harper Morrison of the Philippines battles Ardian Prayogo Dinggo of Indonesia in the finals of the men’s -74kg of the 29th Southeast Asian Games taekwondo competition. Morrisson prevailed to win the gold medal. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES MEDIA POOLKUALA LUMPUR — The Philippine taekwondo team scored a gold through an emotional Samuel Morrison but lost one after a questionable decision on Arven Alcantara Sunday in the 29th Southeast Asian Games at KLCC Hall 1 here.Morrison, motivated by his promise to his deceased grandmother, didn’t hide his tears after blasting Dinggo Ardian Prayogo, 28-18, in the men’s 74-kilogram or lightweight division.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Read Next SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses “Sorry,” said Morrison as he broke down before Filipino media at mixed zone. “I got very affected. I was thinking about her all day today.”Morrison said he went to the grave of his maternal grandmother, Rosario Barrios, before flying here promising to win the gold for her.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt had almost the same level of emotions as far as Alcantara is concerned after he was disqualified in the final against hometown bet Rozaimi Bin Rozali in the men’s -68kg or featherweight.The Philippine team were up in arms after the referee raised the Malaysian’s hand via “referee punitive declaration.” Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games The score was tied at 17 and with only seconds left in the third and final round when the referee arbitrarily decided the fight, which drew uproar from the big crowd.But coach Japoy Lizardo said there were only eight ganyeums (violations) called. Ten would be automatic disqualification.“That’s why he went for turning long kick and then fall,” said Lizardo. A fall is meted with one ganyeum.Pauline Lopez, former champion in her division women’s -62kg, fell to Vietnamese Ha Thu Nguyen, 4-3, in the semis and settled for bronze.The Philippines, thus, garnered one gold, one silver and one bronze on the first day of taekwondo competitions. Three more jins will action on Monday including Olympian Kirstie Elaine Alora.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments
Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa In his return, Melecio scored just three points and turned the ball over twice in the Green Archers’ 85-62 win over University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 83 men’s basketball tournament.Melecio, though, is just glad to be back for La Salle after missing four games and didn’t mind the measly numbers he tallied. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I told myself that I’d be happy by just being on the floor, if I do that I’m already set,” said Melecio in Filipino. “I really missed playing and I was so happy when I was able to play again.” “I’m not at a hundred percent yet because it’s not like you’ll play well immediately after an injury or sickness,” said Melecio. “I’ll just have to be patient.” For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City MOST READ View comments BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:36Archers, Eagles favorites to win UAAP Season 8002:16Duque: It’s up to Palace to decide on Dengvaxia’s fate01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games FILE – La Salle’s Aljun Melecio during the Green Archers game against the UP Fighting Maroons in the first round. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDe La Salle guard Aljun Melecio just had his first game back after contacting dengue fever almost a month ago, and looked like a shell of his former self.Melecio averaged 14 points, three rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.8 steals in his first four games before getting hospitalized for two weeks.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Tenorio flourishing in finals despite playing through injury Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC
MOST READ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Beijing’s urban center will host indoor events such as ice hockey and figure skating, largely in venues left over from the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. However, a lack of mountains and natural snow requires that ski events be held at sports clusters in Chongli as well as Beijing’s rural Yanqing county, both of which will be connected to the city center by a high-speed rail line. Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In this picture taken on August 22, 2017, people snowboard at the Wanda Harbin Ice and Snow Park in Harbin.At Dalian Wanda Group’s new Ice and Snow Park, chilly winds blew snowflakes around skiers zipping down the manmade slopes of the world’s largest indoor ski park, a potent symbol of China’s ambitions to turn itself into a winter sports powerhouse ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. / AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI / TO GO WITH China-lifestyle-ski, FEATURE by Yanan WANGBEIJING — Beijing, host of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, has a snow problem: Hardly any of the white stuff falls on the Chinese capital despite freezing temperatures.Taking the matter in hand, the games organizing committee has formed a “snow affairs work team” and invited experts from Finland, Canada and other nations to help out, according to the official “2017 Beijing FactFile” produced by the city government.ADVERTISEMENT View comments The work team would “expedite research on key technologies for making and preserving snow, and start to formulate a work plan to ensure suitable snow resources,” the publication said.Also on Thursday, Beijing Vice Mayor Zhang Jiandong said all venues and transport links for the games would be completed by the end of 2019, allowing Beijing to begin staging test events the next year.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Progress on all these projects has been moving ahead smoothly,” Zhang said at a briefing on the sidelines of the twice-a-decade congress of China’s ruling Communist Party.Beijing was awarded the games in 2015, defeating Almaty, Kazakhstan, in the voting to become the first city to have been awarded both the Summer and Winter Olympics. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP LATEST STORIES CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA 60-40 sharing ‘fair’ as China will spend for WPS exploration—Esperon PLAY LIST 01:2760-40 sharing ‘fair’ as China will spend for WPS exploration—Esperon00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:31Ban on online gambling? ‘China can’t dictate on us’ — PH envoy01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kings see Game 4 as ‘do-or-die’ Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101