French journalist detained in J&K for filming pellet victims

first_imgJammu and Kashmir Police has arrested a French journalist in Srinagar for making a documentary on pellet victims.“Comiti Paul Edward has been detained for violating visa norms in Srinagar,” a senior police officer said. Mr. Edward was arrested on Sunday evening from Kothibagh area. He was meeting separatists and pellet victims in the city to shoot his documentary, the officer said.Scores of protesting youths suffered injuries from pellet guns used in 2016 following an unrest in the valley after the July 8 killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani. Some lost vision totally or partially after their injuries. Mr. Edward has a passport and a business visa for India, valid upto December 22, 2018, the officer said.A business visa does not allow anyone to make a documentary on political or security related issues. An FIR under section 14B of the Passport Act has been registered against the French national, he said. The French Embassy has also been informed about Edward’s detention, the officer said.last_img read more

Bihar constrained by low per capita income, needs special status: Nitish

first_imgBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on July 12 told the assembly that his government felt hamstrung when it came to hiking the amount paid to beneficiaries of welfare schemes, a reason why he has been pressing for the special category status.Mr. Kumar also insisted that the State’s per capita income was “significantly lower” than the national average.“You talk about Haryana and Tamil Nadu. While comparing the amount paid (to beneficiaries of social welfare schemes) there, please also look at their per capita income vis–vis ours,” he said.“As a matter of fact, Bihar’s per capita income stands at less than Rs 40,000, which is significantly lower than the national average. This is the primary reason why we seek special status,” Mr. Kumar added, while responding to a calling attention motion introduced by a host of opposition leaders, including veteran Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLA Abdul Bari Siddiqui. The motion had sought to draw the government’s attention towards the fact that the amount paid under welfare schemes in Bihar was far less than that doled out by the states of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. For a pension scheme, the amount paid to beneficiaries in the state stood at ₹400 per month, while in Tamil Nadu and Telangana it was ₹1000, in Haryana it was ₹1800 and in Andhra Pradesh ₹2000, it said. Demand for special status for Bihar arose with the creation of Jharkhand in 2000, which deprived the state of its mineral-rich, relatively more industrialized and urbanized southern districts.It grew stronger in 2005 with ascendance to power of Mr. Kumar, who has often made the “special status’ issue a poll plank. After the 14th Finance Commission did away with the provision, the Chief Minister has, on many occasions, urged the Centre to make necessary amendments so that Bihar could get its due.“You (Siddiqui) have served as the state finance minister. I wish you had taken our financial situation into account before raising your question. You are comparing Bihar with states where the per capita income is higher than the national average,” Mr. Kumar said, turning towards the RJD leader.“Moreover, please do keep in mind that Bihar is the first state in the country to have introduced its own universal pension scheme – Mukhyamantri Vriddhajan Pension Yojana,” he added. Unlike other programmes, the pension scheme does not exclude those above the poverty line, he asserted.“All men and women, not drawing any other pension, shall be eligible to receive the benefit. This would put an annual burden of Rs 1800 crore and even though we need funds for development works, we are committed to implementing the scheme,” Mr. Kumar said. Talking to reporters outside the assembly, Mr. Siddiqui, however, appeared dissatisfied with the CM’s reply.“I am glad that the chief minister took seriously the issue raised by me. But his emphasis on the state’s financial situation leaves the basic question raised in our motion unanswered. The state’s budget this year stood at about Rs 2.05 lakh crore. This is a significant rise in comparison with what the size of budget was a few years ago,” he claimed.“There has not been a commensurate rise in the welfare benefits being extended to the vulnerable sections of the society. So, we had sought to know whether these matters were not high on the government’s list of priorities,” Mr. Siddiqui added.last_img read more

AL restored oneparty BAKSAL rule

first_imgBNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. File PhotoBangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Friday alleged that the ruling Awami League has depoliticised the country by ‘restoring one-party BAKSAL rule as it did in 1975’, reports UNB.”Now, there’s no politics in the country. Politics is now under the grip of one party,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.He came up with the remarks while exchanging views with local journalists at his house in Thakurgaon.The BNP leader said multiparty democracy was restored by their party founder Ziaur Rahman after Awami League had introduced one-party BAKSAL rule in 1975. “The one-party rule has now been again restored undercover of democracy.”He said their chairperson Khaleda Zia has been subjected to government’s political vengeance as she has been kept in jail by convicting her in ‘false’ cases.Fakhrul alleged that Khaleda is neither getting bail from the court nor proper treatment by the government though she is very sick.He renewed their party’s demand for shifting Khaleda to a specialised private hospital for her proper treatment.The BNP leader said Jatiya Oikya Front is united though two – MPs of Gono Forum, one of its components, took oath violating the alliance’s decision.”Organisational action has been taken against those who have taken oath. We’re united and working for the restoration of democracy. We must move forward together with people,” he said.About the stance of their party and the alliance on the current government, Fakhrul said they think Awami League has been ruling the country illegally by usurping the state power. “There’s no reason to accept such a regime.”He demanded the government immediately hold a fresh national election annulling the results of the 10th parliamentary one.last_img read more

Nonavian dinosaur found to have laid blue eggs

first_img(A) Pair of oviraptorid Heyuannia eggs (NMNS CYN-2004-DINO-05) from the Chinese province of Jiangxi before sampling. Porosity measurements and calculations of water vapor conductance are based on these eggs. Pieces of eggshell from each of the four zones depicted in (B) were used in porosity measurements. (B) Egg model separated into four zones used for zonal porosity measurements. Credit: PeerJ (2017). DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3706 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Germany and the U.S. has found that a non-avian dinosaur living in what is now China laid colored eggs. In their paper published on the peer-reviewed site PeerJ, the team describes their study of the egg fossils and what their findings suggest about the evolution of colored eggs in modern birds. More information: Jasmina Wiemann et al. Dinosaur origin of egg color: oviraptors laid blue-green eggs, PeerJ (2017). DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3706AbstractProtoporphyrin (PP) and biliverdin (BV) give rise to the enormous diversity in avian egg coloration. Egg color serves several ecological purposes, including post-mating signaling and camouflage. Egg camouflage represents a major character of open-nesting birds which accomplish protection of their unhatched offspring against visually oriented predators by cryptic egg coloration. Cryptic coloration evolved to match the predominant shades of color found in the nesting environment. Such a selection pressure for the evolution of colored or cryptic eggs should be present in all open nesting birds and relatives. Many birds are open-nesting, but protect their eggs by continuous brooding, and thus exhibit no or minimal eggshell pigmentation. Their closest extant relatives, crocodiles, protect their eggs by burial and have unpigmented eggs. This phylogenetic pattern led to the assumption that colored eggs evolved within crown birds. The mosaic evolution of supposedly avian traits in non-avian theropod dinosaurs, however, such as the supposed evolution of partially open nesting behavior in oviraptorids, argues against this long-established theory. Using a double-checking liquid chromatography ESI-Q-TOF mass spectrometry routine, we traced the origin of colored eggs to their non-avian dinosaur ancestors by providing the first record of the avian eggshell pigments protoporphyrin and biliverdin in the eggshells of Late Cretaceous oviraptorid dinosaurs. The eggshell parataxon Macroolithus yaotunensis can be assigned to the oviraptor Heyuannia huangi based on exceptionally preserved, late developmental stage embryo remains. The analyzed eggshells are from three Late Cretaceous fluvial deposits ranging from eastern to southernmost China. Reevaluation of these taphonomic settings, and a consideration of patterns in the porosity of completely preserved eggs support an at least partially open nesting behavior for oviraptorosaurs. Such a nest arrangement corresponds with our reconstruction of blue-green eggs for oviraptors. According to the sexual signaling hypothesis, the reconstructed blue-green eggs support the origin of previously hypothesized avian paternal care in oviraptorid dinosaurs. Preserved dinosaur egg color not only pushes the current limits of the vertebrate molecular and associated soft tissue fossil record, but also provides a perspective on the potential application of this unexplored paleontological resource. Citation: Non-avian dinosaur found to have laid blue eggs (2017, September 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-09-non-avian-dinosaur-laid-blue-eggs.html Explore furthercenter_img Journal information: PeerJ © 2017 Phys.org Tracing the evolution of bird reproduction Many modern birds lay colored eggs—some are monochrome, like blue robin’s eggs; others are multi-colored like those of the dove. But until now, it was believed that all dinosaur eggs were white because dinosaurs laid their eggs in protected nests. In this new effort, the researchers have found an example of a dinosaur that laid blue or green eggs.The team reports that theirs was the first effort to seriously study color in dinosaur eggs. It came about after the team noted some Heyuannia huangi fossilized eggs that had a bluish tint—researchers had previously assumed the tint was due to mineralization, but the new team thought maybe there was more to it. Prior research had shown that Heyuannia huangi were dinosaurs with parrot-like beaks that walked on hind legs. The team used mass spectrometry and chromatographic separation to take a closer look at the eggs and detected traces of biliverdin and protoporphyrin, pigments commonly found in modern colored bird eggs. The eggs were also dated back to the Late Cretaceous period, which ran from 100 to 66 million years ago.The oviraptor Heyuannia huangi were also feathered dinosaurs—many of their fossils have been found over the years, but until now, no one suspected that they laid colored eggs. The coloring, the team suggests, is a strong indication that the eggs were laid in open nests—the coloring would have served as camouflage. In modern birds, only those that lay them in open nests are colored. Their finding also shows that egg coloring began before the evolution of modern birds—it started with non-avian dinosaurs and was passed down to modern ancestors.The researchers report that as a result of their find, they are taking a look at other fossilized dinosaur eggs to see if perhaps some of those also were colored.last_img read more