Rahul Gandhi misled nation, says Narendra Modi

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said Rahul Gandhi’s ‘childishness’ had been exposed in the manner in which he was raking up the Rafale deal and asserted that the Congress leader was misleading the country on defence procurement.“You must have seen how the country’s first woman Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman elucidated a critical subject like defence and her inner truth in Parliament yesterday using her skill and competence,” Mr. Modi said at a public rally here. “I congratulate Nirmalaji for the accomplishment,” he added.“The Defence Minister has exposed the intentions of those who misled the country, played politics with national security and used Parliament for their own entertainment, besides their childishness, before the country,” Mr. Modi said.Sustaining his attack on the Congress over defence procurement, Mr. Modi said: “Now, the country can see through how a conspiracy was hatched to weaken our defence sector between 2004 and 2014 and figure out all finer points of the plot. When our government is bringing the defence personnel from the clutches of the conspirators, it is stinging them like thorns.”The Prime Minister also returned the fire on ‘chowkidar chor hai’ barb of the Congress president saying, “at any cost they want to get rid of the ‘chowkidar’ from their path. Anywhere, ‘choron ki jamat’ [troop of thieves] in a society or house or in an apartment tries to remove the security guard first.‘Secret is out’“The truth is now stinging them because their secret is getting exposed. Recently, media reported about a middleman in helicopter purchase… Christian Michel, who had been extradited from abroad. One of his letters has come out in public domain. It reveals that he had contacts with top leadership of Congress and ministers,” Mr. Modi said.“He had access to the Prime Minister’s Office. He used to have knowledge of every file movement in the PMO. Perhaps, the middlemen had more information than the Prime Minister used to have. Moreover, proceedings of Cabinet Committee on Security, which takes crucial decisions on national security and procurement of weapons, were being supplied to the middlemen. He used to send the information overseas and sell details of decisions taken by Ministers outside,” alleged the PM.“It cannot be understood if Congress had run a government or managed durbar [court] of Michel mama [uncle]. I am now making it clear that that those who had a role in safeguarding interests of middlemen instead of the country would be taken to task.“My government is constantly taking big and important decisions. Should we not rectify the wrong decisions taken by previous governments? Should not those who had done injustice to defence personnel be taken to task? I assure you that law will not spare anybody,” said Mr. Modi.last_img read more

Read more →

Indian-origin man jailed for match-fixing in Singapore

first_imgFrom Gurdip Singh Singapore, Sep 22 (PTI) An Indian-origin man in Singapore, rated by prosecutors as a “criminal match-fixer extraordinaire” has been sentenced to four years in jail by a court here for conspiring to fix a football match during the Southeast Asian Games held in March this year. Rajendran R Kurusamy, 55, was sentenced to four years jail, the stiffest sentence ever imposed for a single match-fixing charge, Today newspaper reported today. Rajendran yesterday pleaded guilty to two charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act, involving payments to Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes, former technical director of the Timor Leste Football Association, and at least seven players of the Timor Leste Southeast Asian Games (SEA)football team. Rajendran, had met Nasiruddin, an Indonesian, on March 20, and directed him to rope in others interested in fixing the match to ensure a defeat to Malaysias football team on May 30, the paper said . Rajendran wanted Timor-Leste to not concede a goal in thefirst 20 minutes, but eventually lose to Malaysia by a few goals. He offered Orlando SGD15,000(USD 10,700), and SGD4,000 (USD 2,844) to each complicit player, to ensure the defeat. He also told Orlando that seven players would be enough to help lose the game, but it would be better if all 11 players were involved. The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau arrested Rajendran, and others. The match ended 1-0 in Malaysias favour. Pressing for a sentence of four-and-a-half years, the prosecution, led by Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Khoo, charged that Rajendrans ploy to fix a match in an international tournament hosted by Singapore tarnished the countrys reputation, and would have distorted the true capability of the Timor Leste football team while denying the Malaysian team true sporting achievement. The prosecution had described Rajendran as one of the most prolific match fixer here. “In fact, we would go so far as to state that the accused is a criminal match-fixer extraordinaire”. They also argued that Rajendran was a prime mover in the conspiracy and who played an integral role in arranging meetings to discuss the fix in Singapore and in Batam, an Indonesian island off Singapore, two months before the games, as well as provided the funds to move the plan along. They also highlighted the transnational nature of the offence, where actors of an organised criminal group were “procured from abroad in order to execute a well laid out plan”. Defence lawyer Edmond Pereira pleaded for a sentence of36 to 42 months, asking the court to not “over-emphasise the status of the game”. District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim took into account Rajendrans string of related offences dating back to 1997. He was jailed 27 months in 1997 for attempting to bribe three players. Two years later, he was jailed another 24 months for agreeing to give SGD20,000 to a prison warden to smuggle him a cellphone, which he used to make football bets and illegal personal calls. PTI GS AJR AKJ AJR TRKadvertisementlast_img read more

Read more →

Who does PV Sindhu belong to? Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in bitter fight

first_imgPusarla Venkata Sindhu has created history. While she clinched the Silver medal at Rio Olympics, she also won millions of hearts across the nation. (Rio Olympics – Full Coverage) While almost all the states of India have garnered praises on her historic feat, an interesting claim game has started between the two Telugu states. (Shobhaa De hails ‘hero’ P.V. Sindhu’s Olympic feat) Sindhu was born and brought up in Hyderabad and so the newly-carved state of Telangana claims that she is her ‘bidda’ (kid). While countering the claim, the logic is given that her mother and father belonged to Vijayawada and still rooted there and therefore she is an Andhra ‘ammayi’ (girl). (Wanted Gold, got Silver but I am really proud, says PV Sindhu) Sindhu was born in Secunderabad and lives in Marredpally. (Sindhu fought like hell, says coach Pullela Gopichand) Her father P.V. Ramana, who works with the Indian Railways, was born in Nirmal, Adilabad district of Telangana while Sindhu’s mother Mrs. Vijayalakshmi, a volleyball player like her husband, is the daughter of a Vijayawada businessman. Images of the her carrying the Bonam (decorated pot) during Telangana’s state festival Bonalu in Hyderabad strengthened her connect claim her supporters from Telangana. While after the victory of Sindhu, the Telangana government enthusiastically hinted a cash reward of Rs 1 crore to the Silver medallist while 50 lakh to her coach Pullela Gopichand. But IT minister of state K. Tarak Ramarao later tweeted. “For sake of clarity: Telangana Govt is yet to announce reward for Sindhu. An announcement will be made after the cabinet meet by Hon’ble CM”. (Name a storm after PV Sindhu, says Kapil Dev) Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh too announced rewards for the ‘Daughter of its Soil’. (‘Rustom’, Hyderabadi biryani await Sindhu after Silver in Rio) After a cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu cleared resolution of Rs 3 crore, 1,000-yard land plot to the dream capital of State Amaravati and State Govt Group – 1 Job to ‘Silver Sindhu’. Not forgetting the efforts of coach Gopichand, the AP government also announced Rs 50 Lakh as encouragement with an invitation to start an academy in the state with willingness to provide required land. Amidst the claim game between the two states, few large hearted calling her a Telugu ‘Tejam’ (pride) brushing aside the debate over her originality. Her proud mother Vijayalakshmi has insisted, “her girl is an Indian first and request all to enjoy this moment of triumph and look forward for many more such achievements”.advertisementlast_img read more

Read more →

Trekking: This sensor measures more than just speed

first_img The Best Netflix Food Documentaries to Savor Right Now The Nomadic Beer Maestros of Evil Twin Brewing Find a Permanent Home in Queens The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now Man isn’t meant to stay indoors — our weekly “Trekking” column can attest to that. It’s a column dedicated to the adventurer inside of all of us, the one pining to ditch the office humdrum for a quick surf session or seven-week jaunt in the Grand Tetons. One day we may highlight an ultra-light stove and the next a set of handmade canoe paddles. Life doesn’t just happen inside the workplace, so get outside and live it.Smartwatches are all the rage right right now — I mean, have you heard of a little thing called the Apple Watch? However, fitness trackers and wearables in general typically only track and provide data pertaining to so many metrics, often allowing you to do little more than track your calories and distance over a short duration. XensrAIR ($180) isn’t necessarily a wearable, though, and the sensor-jammed device does far more than what you might expect once strapped to your snowboard or bike helmet.Related: SmrtGRiPS get you where you’re going while keeping your eyes on the roadAlthough there certainly have been similar physics-based sensors in the past, Xensr CEO David Troup designed the device with a set of particular capabilities in mind. He initially concocted the idea while watching kiteboarding and windsurfing competitions, which often crowned a victor based on the view of a single judge opposed to a set of measurable statistics. He soon developed a reliable device for measuring metrics such as airtime and rotation, but given his interest other sports, he expanded upon the versatile design to encapsulate other outdoor recreation.Now in its final form, the squared sensor measures just under 2 inches and weighs less than a half an ounce. It’s outfitted with TruMotion metrics, which allow it to conveniently feed statistics pertaining to your jump height, airtime, speed, runs, rotation, landing impact, and slew of other data that could potentially help you become better when it comes to your sport of choice. The entirety of the information is relayed to your phone, too, from up to 100 yards away via Bluetooth. Ever wonder just how much air you caught coming off that half-pipe? Well, now you don’t have to.Check out Xensr online for more information. You can pre-order the XensrAIR for $180 until June 2, but once the device officially launches, the price will jump to $250. Editors’ Recommendations 16 Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now 12 Best Seiko Watches for Men, From Flashy to Functionallast_img read more

Read more →

Congolese leader calls for UN reform including Security Council enlargement

“Reform of the United Nations and the Security Council should be undertaken without delay because it will help the realization of our dreams in the face of new challenges and changes that affect our planet,” he told the Assembly on the first day of its annual session.“Enlarging the Security Council is an indispensable democratic necessity and this vision must be reinforced by assuring the authority of the General Assembly to enable its president to play a primary role in the search for solutions to the problems of our times.”At present only resolutions of the 15-member Security Council, on which the five permanent members have veto power, are legally binding. The Council has not changed for decades, with 10 non-permanent members holding no veto and elected for two-year terms, and talks to reform it have been under way for more than 17 years.Some countries have argued that this structure does not represent the realities of today’s world. Key issues under discussion are the category of membership, the question of veto, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council, and the Council’s working methods and its relationship with the Assembly.Mr. Kabila also called for a world environmental authority to confront the impact of climate change. Turning to his own country, which has benefited from one of the largest UN peacekeeping efforts ever launched as it tries to recover from years of civil war and ethnic conflict, he stressed his government’s efforts to eradicate violence in the strife-torn east, especially “the calvary” of Congolese women in rebel-infested North and South Kivu provinces, where there have been numerous incidents of mass rapes as well as massacres.“Instability is the principal cause of this tragedy,” he said. “Armed groups who feed off the illegal exploitation of natural resources are the source of this scourge. We have drawn up appropriate measures to confront this unacceptable situation.”President Paul Biya of Cameroon also called for Security Council enlargement, with Africa holding a permanent seat.“How can we today explain why Africa is the only continent without a Permanent Member on the Security Council,” he asked. “How can we explain that it is unable to make its voice heard when its problems are examined in global economic and financial bodies whereas the decisions taken will be imposed on it?” He also called for another Marshall Plan to help Africa stand on its own feet. 23 September 2010President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today called for United Nations reform to enlarge the 15-member Security Council and strengthen the authority of the 192-member General Assembly. read more

Read more →

Kosovo members of transitional council back UN dialogue with Serbian leader

KTC members voiced their support today after hearing a briefing by Hans Haekkerup, the head of UNMIK, on his 15 August meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Nebosja Covic. According to the UN Mission, the purpose of the meeting was to address the problems plaguing the territory and to seek Mr. Covic’s help in encouraging Kosovo Serbs to participate in the province’s institutions.Noting that the meeting had gone “very well,” Mr. Haekkerup told the KTC that he had informed the Serbian leader that no parallel structures would be accepted in Kosovo, and had underlined the fact that full security and administrative responsibility for Kosovo rested with UNMIK peacekeepers and troops from the NATO forces known as KFOR. Mr. Covic agreed, stressing that he wanted to resolve problems and not create them, Mr. Haekkerup said. He added that Mr. Covic had been supportive in urging Kosovo Serbs to register. Other issues discussed during the encounter included the Kosovo Albanian detainees in Serbian prisons, the Kosovo Serb prisoners in Kosovo, missing persons, and Mitrovica. The issue of educational systems had also come up, but it needed to be discussed again in the future, Mr. Haekkerup said. Responding to reservations expressed by some KTC members about the role of Mr. Covic, the UNMIK chief emphasized that the purpose of talking to the Serbian leader had been to resolve problems. In no way did it infringe the authority of UNMIK and KFOR under UN resolution 1244. “Mr. Covic understands that,” he said. read more

Read more →

FDA investigating new evidence of pancreas problems with recently approved diabetes drugs

by Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press Posted Mar 14, 2013 11:00 am MDT FDA investigating new evidence of pancreas problems with recently approved diabetes drugs AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration is looking into new evidence that suggests a group of recently approved diabetes drugs can increase the risk of pancreatitis and other problems.The agency said Thursday samples of pancreas tissue taken from a small number of patients showed inflammation and cellular changes that often precede cancer. Academic researchers took the samples from diabetes patients who were taking the new medications, after they died from various causes.Details of the research have not yet been published, but the agency said in an online statement it is seeking more information.While the FDA has issued previous alerts about the pancreatitis risk, the agency had not notified the public about pre-cancerous cell changes seen with the drugs.For now, regulators say they are still investigating the issue.“FDA has not concluded these drugs may cause or contribute to the development of pancreatic cancer,” the agency said in an online statement. “At this time, patients should continue to take their medicine as directed until they talk to their health care professional.”The drugs under review come from a wave of recently approved diabetes medications, including Merck’s Januvia and Janumet, Novo Nordisk’s Victoza and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Byetta and Bydureon, among others. All the drugs mimic natural hormones that the body usually produces to spur insulin production after a meal.Citi Investment Research analyst Andrew Baum told investors the investigation would likely have “minimal impact” on drug sales. Similar investigations in recent years have not resulted in safety restrictions, he says.“We believe that the likely worst case for the market incumbents is that the FDA could add additional warnings about increased risk of pancreas-related adverse events” Baum stated in a research note.People with type 2 diabetes are unable to properly break down carbohydrates, either because their bodies do not produce enough insulin or because they’ve become resistant to the hormone, which controls blood sugar levels. These patients are at higher risk for heart attacks, kidney problems, blindness and other serious complications.Many diabetics require multiple drugs with different mechanisms of action to control their blood sugar levels.With more than 25 million people living with diabetes in the U.S., some of the world’s biggest drugmakers have launched new treatments in recent years, though safety questions have emerged.The FDA previously added information about cases of pancreatitis, some of them fatal, to the labels of Byetta in 2007, and Januvia and Janumet in 2009.A recent study of insurance records found that use of those drugs could double the risk of developing acute pancreatitis, according to the FDA.Januvia is a once-a-day pill. Janumet combines the drug with metformin, a decades-old drug commonly prescribed for diabetes. Byetta is a twice-a-day injection originally developed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Bristol-Myers acquired the drug last year, along with the newer formulation Bydureon, which is taken once-a-week.Byetta and Bydureon are part of a drug class that mimics the GLP-1 hormone, triggering insulin production after a meal.Januvia and Janumet work by blocking the DPP-4 enzyme, which spurs release of more insulin from the pancreas. Those drugs brought in a total of about $5.75 billion last year, making them Merck’s biggest franchise.The pancreas produces various hormones, including insulin, that help the body break down sugar. Pancreatitis causes an inflammation of the organ and can lead to fatal complications, including difficulty breathing and kidney failure.Shares of Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck & Co. Inc. fell 32 cents to $44.27. Shares of New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. declined 1 cent to $38.48.____AP Business Writer Linda A. Johnson contributed to this story from Trenton, N.J. read more

Read more →

Portfolio defences — April 22 to 26

The following is a list of portfolio defences taking place at Brock from April 22 to 26.All are open for the University community to attend.PhD in Educational Studies comprehensive portfolio defenceEducation student Gianluca Agostinelli will defend the portfolio “Playing between beyond the lines: The pursuit of doctoral studies as an educator, a student and varsity athlete” on Monday, April 22 at 2 p.m. in WH 147.The examination committee includes Susan Drake, Chair; Robert McGray, External Examiner; Nancy Taber, Supervisor; Hilary Brown, Committee Member; and Gerald Watson, Committee Member (Lakehead University).

Read more →

University mourns longtime employee

Brock University is mourning the death of one of its longest-serving employees.Athletics Department Administrative Co-ordinator Marilou Iusi died Sunday in Niagara Falls after battling an illness. She was 63 years old.Iusi worked for Brock for 39 years after starting her tenure on Sept. 7, 1976, when the varsity sports teams were still known as the Generals.“She was a very hard worker,” said Assistant Athletic Director Chris Critelli. “She loved her job and she loved being around the students and coaches.”Critelli said Iusi was a key resource for coaches, who relied on her to keep track of all of their team budgets and special requests like booking buses.“Marilou had history here so she knew exactly what was going on at every level. She was very well organized and kept all of us on track,” Critelli said. “If coaches wanted any information about their program, they would go to her. She was always so happy to help. And she always did it with a smile.”Iusi is survived by her husband, Tony, and the couple’s son, Eddie.A Celebration of Life will be held at noon on Saturday, Jan. 30  at Stamford Lane United Church in Niagara Falls. In Iusi’s memory, the flags at Brock University will be lowered to half-mast Friday, Jan. 29. read more

Read more →

Most important Buckeyes for 2014 – No 7 Doran Grant

Then-junior cornerback Doran Grant (12) scores a touchdown during a game against Purdue Nov. 2 at Ross-Ade Stadium. OSU won, 56-0.Lantern file photoWith three down and seven to go, The Lantern continues its rundown of the top 10 most important Buckeyes as their 2014 kickoff is less than two months away.No. 7: Doran Grant, senior cornerbackLooking back at the Ohio State football team’s 2013 campaign, it is easily apparent that the team’s achilles heel was located at the cornerback position. Even though he was supposed to be OSU’s shutdown corner last season, former Buckeye Bradley Roby had a number of slip-ups in covering the opposition. Journeymen receivers like California’s Chris Harper and Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis each had 100-plus yard games against Roby, who consistently gave up big plays throughout the season.In the final game of the Buckeye’s season at the Discover Orange Bowl, then-junior Doran Grant took the reigns from Roby in becoming, the team’s No. 1 corner. Grant’s first assignment was a test that he was almost destined to fail –– covering Sammy Watkins, who was the best wideout in college football.While few were expecting Grant to contain Watkins, the result was still disappointing as Watkins went on to have the game of his collegiate career in racking up 16 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns. While Watkins is sure to be Grant’s greatest challenge for the near future, Grant’s performance in no way assured Buckeye fans that he was ready to become OSU’s top cover man.In his first season as a full-time starter, Grant showed flashes of brilliance, muddled with inconsistency. In the 2013 season, Grant netted 58 total tackles, 10 pass break ups and three interceptions. He started off strong, having nine total tackles and four pass deflections in the Buckeye’s first two games against Buffalo and San Diego State. In the middle of the season, Grant had continued success against Northwestern, where he tallied nine tackles and an interception, and Purdue, where he tallied his lone pick-six of the year.It was at the end of the schedule when the then-junior corner floundered. In the last three games of the season, Grant only put up 11 tackles with no deflections or interceptions. His withering at the end of last season can be explained by either an upgrade in competition via the likes of Michigan, Michigan State and Clemson, or perhaps just mere fatigue after having started the first 11 games of the season. Whatever the excuse, Grant has to make sure that he can contribute throughout the whole season if he wants to give the Buckeyes a chance at defending the pass in the latter part of the year.Like his predecessor in Roby, Grant is a gifted athlete with loads of speed. He reportedly runs a 4.32 second 40-yard dash and won OSU’s fastest student contest, besting a number of OSU students outside of the football team as well as Buckeye H-back Dontre Wilson. Grant also has experience on his side, as he has played in 39 games during his time in Columbus.Additionally, Grant is the only returning member of the Buckeye’s secondary who started all 14 games last season. As the seasoned veteran of the corner unit, it is important for Grant to establish himself as a strong leader for the underclassmen below him on depth chart, who include junior Armani Reeves, sophomore Cam Burrows and redshirt-freshman Eli Apple.What is perhaps most concerning about Grant’s position in the Buckeyes’ defensive backfield is that he lacks no true replacement. Reeves showed flashes last season with three pass deflections against Buffalo and six tackles against Iowa. However, like Grant, it was inconsistency that plagued Reeves. The other members of the corner unit –– Apple and Burrows –– are very green and will need to prove themselves early on in the 2014 campaign.Grant’s first real test will come on Sept. 6 against Virginia Tech under the lights at Ohio Stadium. On the outside, Virginia Tech has sophomore receivers Joshua Stanford and Demitri Knowles, who are each coming off 600-plus receiving yard seasons in 2013.OSU’s first game of the season is scheduled for Aug. 30 when the Buckeyes face Navy in Baltimore, Md. read more

Read more →

Womens lacrosse Eleven Buckeyes score Rizzo shuts out Dukes in second half

Ohio State freshman midfielder Liza Hernandez looks to pass in the offensive zone against Stanford on Feb. 24 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: James King | Lantern reporterThe Ohio State women’s lacrosse team continued its winning ways, beating the Duquesne Dukes 17-5 on Friday afternoon. The Buckeyes had no shortage of offense with 11 different players scoring, but they were led to victory by sophomore midfielder Baley Parrott’s four-goal outing.The Scarlet and Gray are now 5-1 on the season after the team’s 14th win over the Dukes in 17 meetings.Duquesne opened up the scoring just 16 seconds into play, but the Buckeyes retaliated with three goals, giving them an early lead. Junior attacker Molly Wood and two New Albany High School graduates — senior midfielder Morgan Fee and freshman midfielder Liza Hernandez — netted the goals for the Buckeyes.The Dukes would tie the game up at three goals a piece with 19:27 remaining in the half after goals from freshman defender Maddie Hart and junior attacker Jill Vacanti. OSU would begin their barrage of goals with two goals from freshman attacker Alex Vander Molen and two goals from Parrott.Duquesne would cut into the Buckeye lead with two more goals right before the end of the first half, the latest of which came with just 15 seconds remaining. However, that would be the final time that the Dukes beat freshman goalie Jill Rizzo as OSU shut the Dukes out for the entire second half.The Buckeyes have been one of the most prolific offenses in the Big Ten this season, averaging 13.8 goals per game. This latest outpour of goals was just the most recent example of the volatility of their attack.In the second half, Hernandez began OSU’s 10-goal run just 44 seconds after the restart. From then on OSU continued to fill up the net. Parrott scored her third with sophomore midfielder Erika Keselman scoring within the next minute, pushing the Buckeyes’ lead to five.Junior midfielder Shannon Rosati scored her second goal of the year with 21:45 left on the clock. Wood scored her second goal of the day — rounding out her two-goal and three-assist game — off of a Hernandez helper. OSU would hold Duquesne to just 20 shots on the day while registering 44 of their own. Freshman goalie Jill Rizzo had more saves (7) than goals allowed (5).The Buckeyes added six more goals before the end of the game, including sophomore attacker Sara Dickinson’s first of the year. Junior attacker Lauren Sherry netted her second of the season before Parrott scored her fourth unassisted goal of the game. Two freshman would score their first collegiate goals when midfielder Regina Doty and attackman Jaclen Moxley found the back of the net finishing off OSU’s thwarting of the Dukes 17-5.The Buckeyes will need all of this production to continue as their next game is against the No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. read more

Read more →

Sex attacker slashes throat in courtroom dock during sentencing hearing

first_imgA sex offender has slashed his own throat in a courtroom dock as he was due to be sentenced for attacking a shop assistant.Lukasz Robert Pawlowski, 33, appeared in the dock on the sex assault charge when he asked to leave to go to the toilet.But when he returned he “slashed wildly” at his throat, a witness said, and collapsed at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.Ambulance workers and a helicopter were called to the court to treat Pawlowski, who was flown to hospital in Swansea on Wednesday morning. He asked to go to the toilet… came back, muttered something then started slashing at his throatcourt witness Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The incident happened at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court in PembrokeshirePawlowski, of Pembroke Dock, West Wales, pleaded guilty to sexual assault in December and was due to be sentenced on Wednesday.He had been banned from entering the shop after assaulting the woman worker in October.The court earlier heard Pawlowski gestured to the woman to kiss him when he walked into the shop where she worked on October 30.After she declined he leant towards her, grabbed her wrists and kissed her on the cheek, then walked off into the store.Pawlowski later grabbed her from behind while she carried cans of lager across the store.A victim impact statement read to the court said: “The incident made me fell dirty and I feel vulnerable in work now. It impacted on my job, and I don’t feel I can work nights.”Pawlowski originally denied the offence but later changed his plea to guilty.Magistrates adjourned sentencing for a probation report and Pawlowski was released on bail until Wednesday, with the conditions not to contact the complainant or enter the shop. He is understood to have lost consciousness after the incident, but later awoke and was receiving medical treatment.A reporter who was in the court, who said they did not see what weapon was used, said: “He came into the dock, then asked to go to the toilet.”He went out, came back, muttered something then started slashing at his throat. The courtroom was then cleared out, and first aid was given by paramedics in the dock.”Dyfed-Powys Police said officers were called at 10.20am.A spokesman said: “Officers attended and found an injured man at the scene, who was receiving treatment by paramedics. He has been conveyed to Morriston Hospital by air ambulance.”The extent of his injuries are unknown at this time. The court has been closed in order for enquiries to take place. Police are not looking to speak to anyone else in connection with this incident at this time.”last_img read more

Read more →

Journalists ordered to leave courtroom in trial of Palestinian teenager accused of

first_img File photo of Ahed Tamimi attending a hearing at the military court of the Israeli-run Ofer military prison in the West Bank city of Beitunia. Tuesday 13 Feb 2018, 11:11 AM No Comments A PALESTINIAN TEENAGER charged after a viral video showed her hitting two Israeli soldiers in a case that has gained global attention went on trial in military court today in closed-door proceedings.The judge in the trial ordered journalists removed from the courtroom, ruling that open proceedings would not be in the interest of 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, who is being tried as a minor.Only family members were allowed to remain in the courtroom, with diplomats present to observe also asked to leave.A large crowd of local and international journalists had shown up to cover the trial of Tamimi, who has become something of an icon for Palestinians and supporters of their cause worldwide.Trials of minors in military court are typically closed, but Tamimi’s lawyer said previous hearings for the teenager were open and she argued for it to remain that way.“They understand that people outside Ofer military court are interested in Ahed’s case, they understand that her rights are being infringed and her trial is something that shouldn’t be happening,” Tamimi’s lawyer Gaby Lasky told journalists after having unsuccessfully objected to the judge’s decision to close the trial.So the way to keep it out of everybody’s eyes is to close doors and not allow people inside the court for her hearing.Tamimi arrived at the military court near Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank dressed in a prison jacket with her hands and feet shackled, smiling slightly as journalists photographed her.Her father Bassem Tamimi waved to her from the audience, yelling out “stay strong, you will win”.Tamimi has been hailed as a hero by Palestinians who see her as bravely standing up to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.Israelis accuse her family of using her as a pawn in staged provocations.She has been charged with 12 counts including assault and could face a lengthy jail term if convicted.The charges relate to events in the video and five other incidents. They include stone-throwing, incitement and making threats.Criticism of caseTamimi’s mother, Nariman, and cousin Nour (20) were also due to go on trial later today. It was not clear whether those proceedings would take place as planned.Ahed Tamimi and her mother have been ordered held in custody until the end of the proceedings, while her cousin has been released on bail.The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has criticised Israeli authorities’ actions in the case, while the European Union has expressed concern over Israel’s detention of minors, including Ahed Tamimi.Amnesty International has called for her immediate release, saying her “continued detention is a desperate attempt to intimidate Palestinian children who dare to stand up to repression by occupying forces”.Ahed Tamimi’s family says the 15 December incident that led to the arrests occurred in the yard of their home in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah in the West Bank.The Israeli military said the soldiers were in the area to prevent Palestinians from throwing stones at Israeli motorists.A video shows the cousins approaching two soldiers and telling them to leave before shoving, kicking and slapping them.Ahed Tamimi is the more aggressive of the two in the video.The heavily armed soldiers do not respond to what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.They then move backwards after Nariman Tamimi becomes involved.The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.Relatives say that a member of the Tamimi family was wounded in the head by a rubber bullet fired during those protests.Twenty-three Palestinians have been killed since Trump’s declaration on 6 December, most of them in clashes with Israeli forces. Two Israelis have been killed since then.Ahed Tamimi, who comes from a family of prominent activists, has been involved in a series of previous incidents, with older pictures of her confronting soldiers widely published.Palestinians have flooded social media with praise and support.- © AFP 2018Comments are disabledRead: Israel’s PM vows further action after ‘serious blows’ to Iran and Syria following airstrikesRead: Protests erupt in Palestine in response to Trump’s Jerusalem decision 43,584 Views http://jrnl.ie/3849404 Journalists ordered to leave courtroom in trial of Palestinian teenager accused of hitting two Israeli soldiers A video showing the incident went viral in December. Share120 Tweet Email center_img File photo of Ahed Tamimi attending a hearing at the military court of the Israeli-run Ofer military prison in the West Bank city of Beitunia. Image: Ilia Yefimovich/DPA/PA Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Feb 13th 2018, 11:11 AM Image: Ilia Yefimovich/DPA/PA Images Short URL By AFPlast_img read more

Read more →

ExLiverpool and England player Paul Stewart goes public with sexual abuse ordeal

first_img By The42 Team Nov 23rd 2016, 1:58 AM http://the42.ie/3096884 Paul Stewart (left). Share7 Tweet Email 20 Comments Wednesday 23 Nov 2016, 1:58 AM FORMER LIVERPOOL, TOTTENHAM and England forward Paul Stewart has accused a youth coach of sexually assaulting him from age 11 to 15.Stewart told his story to the Daily Mirror in the hope that more victims of the unnamed man will come forward.The revelations come after ex-Crewe Alexandra defender Andy Woodward waived his right to anonymity to tell the Guardian that Barry Bennell – a youth coach and subsequently convicted serial paedophile — abused him while underage during his time the club.On Tuesday, the newspaper published the account of another former Crewe player — midfielder Steve Walters — who revealed he was also one of Bennell’s victims.Stewart said that his alleged abuser spoke to him about Bennell’s crimes in an attempt to legitimise his actions.He told me Barry was doing it to kids on a team we played. I think I was 12 or 13, he was trying to infer it was normal,” he said. “I have never met Andy Woodward, but I read [his story] at work and when I saw it, it was like reading my own life story.center_img Ex-Liverpool and England player Paul Stewart goes public with sexual abuse ordeal The former footballer accused a youth coach of sexually assaulting him. “It brought a lot of issues up for me, and wanted people to know how difficult it was to come forward.”Stewart explained how his family were threatened in order to keep him silent over his ordeal, which he highlighted as a reason for him suffering drug and alcohol problems.One day, travelling in the car, he started to touch me,” he said. “It frightened me to death, did not know what to do, I tried to tell my parents not to let him in but I was only 11.“From then, it progressed to sexually abusing me, he said he would kill my mother, my father, my two brothers if I breathed a word about it. And at 11 years old, you believe that.The mental scars led me into other problems with drink and drugs. I know now it was a grooming process. The level of abuse got worse and worse.”Earlier on Tuesday, six days on from Woodward going public regarding his abuse and the debilitating struggles that followed but before Walters’ story was published by the Guardian, Crewe issued a club statement.Crewe Alexandra Football Club appreciate that concern has been expressed about the delay in the club making any comment to recent media coverage,” it read.“When things come out of the blue like this, you first want to make inquiries and reflect from within. That is the process we started last week.We are a proud football club and would always take any allegation seriously. Any form of abuse has no place in football or society.“We have already concurred with the statements made by the Football Association, the Premier League and the Football League that described Andy Woodward’s ordeal as ‘heart breaking’ and praised him for his ‘immense courage.”Pochettino cites need for change after Spurs’ UCL exit>Ibrahimovic was motivated to succeed by envy and racism> Paul Stewart (left). 24,524 Views Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Read more →

Papa Gassama Gambias Pride In Russia World Cup

first_imgBy Sulayman BahGambia may not have qualified for the events in Moscow but there certainly is connection which comes through Bakary Papa Gassama.Papa is the man flying the flag high up the skies where Gambian footballers failed to reach.He took charge of proceedings as incumbent on him from start to finishing, dictating events in the last weekend fixture that saw Denmark sashay over Peru by a solitary goal.In Saturday’s Group C opening encounter, the record Confederation of African Football best whistle-man effected a decision that the watching football-mad world and fans of either side would remember.It followed a 45th minute penalty ruling. Denmark’s striker Yussuf Poulsen bundled Peru’s striker Christian Cueva in the box to which the Gambian initially waved play-on before reversing the decision to point to the spot-kick after consulting the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).It was the first time the controversial VAR was being used twice in a day in the World Cup after Argentinian arbiter Andres Cunha also gave France a 58th minute opening penalty call.This is not Gassama’s first time in a global event of this magnitude after the first came four years ago in Brazil.The 39-year-old is one of 36 elite referees drawn from six continents and will be $70,000 richer by end of the tournament, an increase of $20,000 from the $50,000 paid referees in the 2014 WC edition in Rio.last_img read more

Read more →

Lyfts AllAccess subscription service comes to San Diego

first_img October 16, 2018 KUSI Newsroom SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The ride-hailing service Lyft announced Tuesday it will expand its All-Access subscription plan to all markets nationwide, including San Diego.Lyft’s All-Access plan offers residents a discounted fare for 30 rides of $15 or fewer. Lyft customers would normally pay up to $450 for that many rides, according to the company; the All-Access plan costs $299 per month. Customers receive a 5 percent discount for additional rides, but unused rides at the end of a 30-day period do not roll over to the next 30-day period.“This is the first step toward delivering on our goal of making car ownership optional, and we’re constantly looking for more ways to provide passengers with the easiest, most convenient options possible,” the company said in a statement.Lyft piloted the program earlier this year with differing costs and ride amounts, ranging from $199 per month for 30 rides or $399 for 60 rides. The All-Access plan has been compared to subscription services like Costco Wholesale and Amazon Prime. In a March interview with technology news outlet Techcrunch, Lyft CEO Logan Green expressed a desire to eventually move the transportation industry toward a subscription model similar to Netflix. KUSI Newsroom, Posted: October 16, 2018 Lyft’s All-Access subscription service comes to San Diego Categories: Local San Diego News, National & International News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Read more →

India leading in big cat conservation

first_imgHyderabad: Wildlife trade is second only to narcotics in terms of its scale and extent, yet this activity is largely neglected in India, said Imran Siddiqui, the founder of Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society (HyTiCoS). The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has only 109 sanctioned posts across India and lack of manpower is affecting surveillance. Also Read – Hyderabad: Intermediate student dies of cardiac arrest in class Advertise With Us Unlike in the past, there is no dearth of money for conservation. On the contrary, too much spending under the guise of conservation is leading to devastating impact on the ecosystems because the money is supporting infrastructure or civil constructions, he deplored. On state of tigress K4 in Chennur forest The good news about K4 is that she is doing quite well. Despite the snare, she walks for 10-15 km at a stretch and is killing large domestic or wild prey. She is very smart, moves very fast and is extremely shy. “We now plan to set up 6 permanent baits and use 30-40 monitoring locations with the objective of locating her, after which we may plan to capture using dating from a machan or hide,” he said Also Read – Hyderabad: Wall collapse in Kukatpally damages four cars Advertise With Us K4 was probably injured by a wire snare laid for hunting herbivores or protecting crops. It would have been traumatic for her, and now the snare seems to have tightened up like a noose around her abdomen. She is naturally very shy and the snare incident has made her more cautious and alert. The main challenge is that K4 does not return to kills often and her route is quite unpredictable. She is moving in a range of 500 sq. kms, thus making it difficult to locate her. After the capture she would receive a through medical checkup to rule out presence of internal injuries. Advertise With Us India world leader in tiger conservation Tiger was being written off and thought to have been extinct before the dawn of 21st century, yet it has remarkably recovered. India is undoubtedly the world leader in tiger conservation, with its project tiger programme, and it hosts around 70% of the global tiger population, and we have over 50 tiger reserves covering more than 2% of our land, Imran Siddiqui observed. The science developed in India by relentless research from people like Dr K Ullas Karanth and adoption of these methods by the apex body National Tiger Conservation Authority, specially under the leadership of Dr, Rajesh Gopal, and Wildlife Institute of India has led to India taking up the largest wildlife monitoring exercise in the world. Most countries look up to India and its model for tiger conservation, especially in states like Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. and parks like Corbett, Kaziranga, Kanha, Nagarhole etc, he added proudly.last_img read more

Read more →

Spotify Hits 83 Million Premium Subs in Q2 as Net Loss Doubles

first_imgDuring Q2, Spotify expenses included €30 million related to its direct listing of shares on the NYSE.For the third quarter, Spotify forecast total monthly active users to be 188 million-193 million, with Premium subs to be 85 million-88 million. It projected revenue of €1.2 billion-€1.4 billion and an operating loss of €10 million-€90 million.Spotify also provided expectations for Q4, project total MAUs of 199 million-207 million, total Premium subscribers of 93 million-97 million, with revenue of €1.35 billion-€1.55 billion and operating loss of €20 million-€100 million.As of June 30, Spotify had 3,969 full-time employees and contractors globally, with R&D representing the biggest portion of new hires in the second quarter (accounting for almost half of the added headcount).Spotify was founded in Stockholm, Sweden, and maintains a large presence there, but its official corporate headquarters is in Luxembourg. Spotify largely hit expectations on all metrics for the second quarter of 2018, although the music-streaming giant remained firmly in the red with its net loss doubling year over year.The quarterly results were generally in line with expectations. The company ended the quarter with 180 million monthly active users (7 million net adds) and 83 million Premium subscribers (up 8 million sequentially) worldwide.Shares of Spotify, which launched an unconventional IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in early April, fell as much as 5% in pre-market trading Thursday after it reported results — but rebounded after the market opened, up 2.4% as of 10 a.m. ET.Total Q2 revenue was €1.27 billion ($1.49 billion), up 26% from the year-earlier period. Spotify said the topline was up 34% year-over-year adjusting for changes in foreign exchange rates. Subscriber revenue was €1.15 billion ($1.35 billion) in Q2, up 27%. Operating losses grew to €90 million (vs. €79 million in the year-ago quarter), while operating margin of -7.1% improved 70 basis points. Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Net loss for the quarter roughly doubled to €394 million ($461 million), versus €188 million in Q2 2017, on higher finance expenses. Spotify is continuing to invest aggressively in the music service; operating expenses rose 26% in Q2, in line with revenue growth. The company faces fierce competition from Apple Music — which topped 50 million subs (including free trials) in May — and others.On the Q2 earnings call, co-founder/CEO Daniel Ek addressed reports about the company striking direct deals with artists. Ek said this was consistent with how Spotify has always acquired content.“Licensing content does not make us a label… We are not acting like a record label, nor do we have any interest in becoming a label,” he said, pointing out that Spotify’s licensing agreements with artists do not grant it exclusivity.Spotify cited “disruption” resulting from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect May 25, a law that requires explicit user consent to allow companies to collect and use their data. The company’s ad-supported revenue grew 20%, to €123 million in Q2.“We did see some GDPR disruption across our European markets during Q2 but seem to be largely past that now,” the company said in reporting the results. “We are, and will remain, GDPR compliant thanks to a terrific cross-functional effort.” CFO Barry McCarthy, on the earnings call with analysts, said the revenue impact from GDPR was very small, representing about €1 million in the quarter.Asked if Spotify’s recent hiring of chief content officer Dawn Ostroff, formerly head of Condé Nast Entertainment, represented a big push into original video programming, company execs said no — that it would remain heavily focused on audio and music.Spotify said its midyear campaign to drive Premium subs “performed well and was a significant portion of our subscriber intake in the quarter.” The Family Plan ($14.99 in the U.S. for up to five concurrent users) continued to be a primary driver of gross adds and lower churn, because of that tier’s relatively strong retention rate, according to the company. In addition, the company widened its offer of a Spotify Premium-Hulu bundle for $9.99 monthly to all consumers in the U.S.last_img read more

Read more →

Proof of life Reevaluating oldest known Archean trace fossil for indications of

first_img Citation: Proof of life: Reevaluating oldest known Archean trace fossil for indications of early biology (2014, June 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-06-proof-life-reevaluating-oldest-archean.html Titanite microtextures in Archean metavolcanic pillow lavas now comprising a chlorite dominated matrix, compared with partially mineralized microtunnels from younger oceanic crust. (A–F) A continuum of titanite microtextures from spheres with or without filamentous projections, to well-developed clusters with radiating filaments, LA tracks for U–Pb titanite dating are shown (white bands in C). (G) Partially mineralized microtubules radiating at high angles from a fracture in volcanic glass from Ocean Drilling Program hole 418A in the West Atlantic. (H) Curvilinear and spiral-shaped (Inset) microtunnels in volcanic glass of the Troodos ophiolite Cyprus (drill core CY-1A). (I) Histogram of measured Archean titanite filament widths (n = 303) in 12 samples from the Barberton drill core showing that they are much larger in diameter (dark green line = mean of 12 μm and light green band = SD) and span a wider range compared with microtubules in younger volcanic glass (dark purple line = mean of 1.3 μm and light purple band = SD, replotted from ref. 2). (Scale bars: 50 μm A–H except G and H, Insets, which are 10 μm.) Credit: Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1402565111 Dr. Eugene G. Grosch discussed the paper that he and Dr. Nicola McLoughlin published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Previous work2 argued that titanite formed inside, or infilled, hollow tubes initially proposed to have been made by microbes living in the volcanic subseafloor at around 3.472 billion years ago – but the age estimate of the trace fossil formation and mineralization was not well constrained,” Grosch tells Phys.org. “In our PNAS study we took a critical approach, conducting a syngenicity test of the previous bioalteration model to determine if the titanite did indeed form 3.472 billion years ago during subseafloor hydrothermal alteration and Paleoarchean glass microbial bioalteration.” Using two laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, or LA-ICP-MS, instruments (single- and multi-collector), and a uranium-to-lead isotopic decay radiometric system, the scientists dated the titanite at roughly 2.9 billion years old – too recent for the titanite to be syngenetic with the 3.472 billion year old bioalteration model. “This was a challenge,” Grosch adds, “because these rocks are extremely old, so we had to be careful to take into account common lead in the titanite mineral.”In order to potentially make a claim or confirm earliest candidate traces of life in Archean subseafloor environments, the researchers propose that careful geological work should first be conducted and that low-temperature metamorphic events should be completely characterized in Archean greenstone belt pillow lavas (bulbous, spherical, or tubular lobes of lava attributed to subaqueous extrusion). They accomplished this by using a new quantitative electron microprobe microscale mapping technique to map the composition of different minerals associated with the putative titanite filaments. In addition, they applied an inverse thermodynamic modelling approach to the mineral chlorite in the maps and calculated a metamorphic temperature map in the matrix surrounding a candidate titanite trace fossil. Their results showed, for the first time, constraints on metamorphic conditions and that on a microscopic scale, the best-developed titanite filaments were associated with the low-temperature microdomains. “This discovery indicates a cooling history around the titanite filaments, and supports an abiotic – that is, not associated with life – mineral growth mechanism at 2.9 Ga,” Grosch explains. “This proves that the titanite was a result of much younger metamorphic growth and not related to the posited biological activity in the 3.472 Ga bioalteration model constructed by previous investigators. Moreover, filamentous titanite cannot be used as a biosignature because it has failed a wide range of syngenicity and biogenicity tests.” More information: Reassessing the biogenicity of Earth’s oldest trace fossil with implications for biosignatures in the search for early life, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Published online before print on May 27, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1402565111Related:1Ultramafic rocks are <45% silica, >18% magnesium oxide, high iron oxide, low potassium igneous and metamorphosed igneous, or metaigneous, rocks usually composed of >90% mafic (dark-colored, high magnesium, high iron) minerals2 Early Life Recorded in Archean Pillow Lavas, Science 23 April 2004: Vol. 304 no. 5670 pp. 578-581, doi:10.1126/science.10958583 Sulfur isotope evidence for a Paleoarchean subseafloor biosphere, Barberton, South Africa, Geology v.40 no.11 p.1031-1034 (2012), doi:10.1130/G33313.14 Microscale mapping of alteration conditions and potential biosignatures in basaltic-ultramafic rocks on early Earth and beyond, Astrobiology March 2014 14(3):216-28, doi:10.1089/ast.2013.1116 Finding that these titanite microtextures exhibit a morphological continuum bearing no similarity to candidate biotextures found in the modern oceanic crust also supports their conclusions. “One of the main lines of evidence in our study that questions the biogenicity of the titanite microtextures is the huge range of shapes and sizes that they exhibit,” Grosch tells Phys.org. “This contradicts the general principle accepted by palaeontologists that a fossil population should show a restricted size distribution that reflects biological control on growth, as opposed to self-organizing abiotic processes that do not show restricted size distributions. Furthermore, we argue that the growth continuum in the Barberton titanite microtextures, from oval-shaped hornfelsic (thermally metamorphosed rock) structures with few projections to coalesced oval-shaped structures that progress into bands with increasing number and size of filamentous projections, records an abiotic, metamorphic growth process and not the earlier seafloor trace fossil model. Lastly, in contrast to the microtextures of argued biogenic origin from the modern oceanic crust which do show a narrow size distribution and specific shapes, the Barberton microtextures show a much greater range in sizes – at least an order of magnitude greater – and a much larger spectrum of morphologies.”To address the challenges encountered in their research, Grosch says that the key insight was that all the tests and in situ data indicated that titanite microtextures failed as a biosignature that represents Earth’s oldest trace fossil. “In addition,” he notes, “there are no organics such as decayed carbon or nitrogen associated with the titanite; the size, shape and distribution of the filamentous titanite are all not compatible with that expected for a biogenic population; the age is much too young at 2.8-2.9 billion years ago; and the quantitative petrological mapping indicates a thermal history compatible with an abiotic growth of titanite filaments, not as infilling minerals as previous studies have proposed.” (Petrology is the branch of geology that studies the origin, composition, distribution and structure of rocks.). Grosch concludes that filamentous titanite microtextures, such as those in the Barberton pillow lavas, can no longer be used as a biological search image for life in Archean metavolcanic glass, and that other search images combined with morphological and biogeochemical evidence for early life need to be found. “If we want to make a robust case for early life preserved in Archean volcanic rocks or any other ancient rock, we need to look for early morphological and biogeochemical biosignatures – but we also have to combine these with high-resolution 2- and 3-dimensional mapping and reconstructions,” he points out. “We also need to prove a ‘fossil’ is a very early structure preserved in the rock and not a later abiotic feature. We need to find new ways to carefully peel back layers of deep geological time and eliminate all abiotic scenarios first before we can be sure of an early body or trace fossil.” , Science Pillow lava outcrop formed when hot magma erupted onto the Archean ocean from the previously proposed Biomarker type locality in the Barberton Greenstone Belt of South Africa. Courtesy: Nicola McLoughlin Regarding biogeochemical traces of life on early Earth, the scientists have found that the sulfur isotopes of microscopic sulfide minerals found in the Barberton pillow lavas have unusually large fractionations (the ratio of light to heavy 32 to 34 sulfur atoms), and that this could record the activities of sulfur-based microbes in the Archean subseafloor. “In a previous study led by co-author Dr. Nicola McLoughlin3,” Grosch continues, “we suggested that these types of chemical signatures need to be further investigated as possible alternative evidence for an early subseafloor biosphere on early Earth. Such signatures are known from ancient sediments, where they are widely accepted as evidence of early sulfur based life forms – but this was the first and earliest evidence from subseafloor volcanic rocks.” In a previous work3, the scientists state that alternatives such as sulfur isotope fractionations recorded by basalt-hosted sulfides could be more promising in the search for evidence of ancient life. Grosch notes that today’s microbes use the light isotope in their metabolic pathways, such as 32S in microbial sulfate reduction. As a consequence, when seawater sulfate is used for energy by these microbes, the mineral pyrite, or FeS2, is formed as a reaction byproduct. As such, the fraction in the sulfur 32S/34 S ratio is large and can therefore be measured in the FeS2. “We can measure the pyrite 32S/34S ratio relative to an international standard derived from meteoritic sulfide and use the degree of fractionation as a biogeochemical marker. That’s a wide range of 32/34S ratios – and a negative range is a good geochemical sign of possible early Archean microbial life.”Grosch also discusses the prospect of looking for signs of early life in extraterrestrial mafic-ultramafic rocks by adopting a highly critical and multi-pronged analytical testing approach towards biogenicity. “Until one day in the future when space missions return samples from Mars, we have to use satellite-based remote sensing techniques to investigate the abundant mafic-ultramafic rocks found on Mars.” (He adds that Martian meteorites are also of interest – particularly a group called Nakhalites that contain igneous minerals and are believed to show evidence of aqueous alteration and possible biosignatures) A good strategy,” he says, “would be to focus on locations where there’s strong evidence for water-rock interaction and preserved organic carbon, because these sites may have chemical gradients that could help sustain microbes.” In fact, in another study4 the scientists explore how microscale mapping of the low-temperature minerals in such rocks could be used to investigate their alteration history and to evaluate the possibility of preserving chemical and textural traces of life in extra-terrestrial mafic-ultramafic rocks. Quantitative microscale maps of candidate titanite biosignatures and surrounding metamorphic conditions in Archean metabasaltic pillow lavas from the BGB. (A) Map of TiO2 (wt%) showing the image of titanite filaments of interest (arrows) highlighted in the dashed-line box. (B) Calculated metamorphic conditions in the chlorite matrix using a chlorite thermodynamic modeling approach (SI Materials and Methods). The dashed-line box highlights a typical area with well-developed titanite microfilaments surrounded by chlorite pixels recording relatively low temperature conditions of less than T = 350 °C (pixel group 2). (C and D) Image pixel grouping above and below the mean value of T = 350 °C, indicating a higher proportion of pixels recording conditions below T = 350 °C surrounding the titanite microfilaments (dashed-line box in C). In D the y axis variable Al(iv) = atoms per formula unit of Al4+ in tetrahedral coordination modeled in the chlorite crystal structure. Credit: Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1402565111 , Astrobiology Grosch notes that there are other areas of research that might benefit from their study. “In the field of paleontology, fossil experts now need to go and look for the oldest robust trace fossils – and while that our study questions the evidence in ancient metamorphic pillow lavas, and that the oldest bona fide candidate trace fossil comes from 1.7 billion year old rocks in China, if paleontologists look harder and in the right places, they may find trace fossils and evidence of microbial activities in older rocks, such as silicified seafloor sediments or in shallow marine Archean environments. In addition, from our findings we propose to astrobiologists and planetary scientists that looking for filamentous titanite microtextures as an extraterrestrial biosignature is misleading, and therefore they should seek other evidence for subsurface life on other wet rocky planets in our solar system – especially Mars – and possibly beyond.”center_img , Geology Explore further (Phys.org) —In the hunt for early life, geobiologists seek evidence of ancient microbes in the form of trace fossils – geological records of biological activity – embedded in lavas beneath the ocean floor. Filamentous titanite (a calcium titanium silicate mineral) microtextures found in 3.45 billion-year-old volcanic pillow lavas of the Barberton greenstone belt of South Africa, have been argued previously2 to be Earth’s oldest trace fossil, representing the mineralized remains of microbial tunnels in seafloor volcanic glass. However, scientists at the University of Bergen, Norway have reported new data based on in situ U-Pb (uranium-lead) dating, metamorphic temperature mapping constraints and morphological observations that bring the biological origin of these fossils into serious question. The new age determined for the titanite microtextures is much younger than the eruptive and seafloor hydrothermal age of the previously proposed bioalteration model. As a result, the researchers have analyzed these fossils’ syngenicity (age as estimated by a textural, chemical, mineral, or biological feature formed at the same time as its encapsulating material) and biogenicity (any chemical and/or morphological signature preserved over a range of spatial scales in rocks, minerals, ice, or dust particles that are uniquely produced by past or present organisms). The scientists conclude that the oldest bona fide biogenic trace fossil now reverts to roughly 1.7 Ga microborings in silicified stromatolites found in China, and that the search for subsurface life – both on the early Earth as well as in extraterrestrial mafic–ultramafic rocks1, such as Martian basalts – be based not only on new biosignatures, but on new detection techniques as well. “We need to look carefully for possible microbe morphologies and possible preserved microbial activity in extraterrestrial samples. We need to apply new thermodynamic and high-resolution analytical petrological techniques such as metamorphic, nano-SIMS and soft X-ray (synchrotron) mapping techniques to understand very low-temperature conditions of hydrothermal alteration and possible signs and preservation of microbial life in samples from other rocky planets, such as Mars.”Moving forward, Grosch identifies the key next steps in their research and other possible innovations:Extensive geological mapping of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa to identify alternative locations and evidence for early microbial lifeFurther studies of recent seafloor volcanic glass to establish if the microtunnels are really the product of microbial life – and if so, what type of microorganisms are involvedFurther geochronological work – that is, radiometric dating to better establish the timing of geological events and age of different environments in these ancient Archean rocksDevelopment and refinement of thermodynamic models, in metamorphic petrology tools and in situ geochemistry techniques to better characterize and test microscopic textural and chemical evidence of putative life in Archean rocksApply and compare multiple high-resolution techniques to candidate biosignatures in ancient rocks © 2014 Phys.org Contrasting models for the origin of titanite microtextures in Archean pillow lavas of the BGB. (A) The complex microbial bioalteration or bioerosion model previously proposed by refs. 1–3 involving inferred microbial etching to form hollow microtubules, with a titanite infilling process and early ca. 3.488 Ga seafloor hydrothermal alteration. (B) An alternative, abiotic metamorphic origin for the titanite microtextures proposed in the current study as the most likely scenario. The titanite microtextures form as a result of retrograde alteration in a late Archean contact metamorphic aureole during intrusion of a mafic igneous body at ca. 2.9 Ga. Progressive development of the titanite porphyroblast is shown on a pressure–temperature (PT) diagram with relevant reactions for metabasaltic rocks from refs. 4–8. The retrograde metamorphic path during thermal contact metamorphism of the pillow lava country rock adjacent to the mafic intrusion is indicated by the red arrow. Fresh basaltic glass and anhydrous minerals in the pillow basalt, such as clinopyroxene, plagioclase and ilmenite become unstable during alteration and are converted to the assemblage actinolite + epidote + chlorite + albite + quartz + titanite. The appearance of this mineral assemblage marks the transition to the greenschist facies and is the result of net transfer and exchange metamorphic hydration reactions (relevant reactions). The continuous growth of titanite microtextures as abiotic metamorphic porphyroblasts is shown from i to iv and occurs under increasing fluid/rock ratios and decreasing temperature along the retrograde PT path on the diagram. Amph, amphibolite facies BS, blueschist facies; GS, greenschist facies; PA, pumpellyite–actinolite, pumpellyite–prehnite, and prehnite–actinolite facies; Ze, zeolite facies. Minerals: Act, actinolite; An, anorthite (or plagioclase); Cln, clinochlore (or chlorite); Cpx, clinopyroxene; Czo, clinozoisite (or epidote); Ilm, ilmenite; Pmp, pumpellyite; Prh, prehnite; Qtz, quartz; Tn, titanite (or sphene). Credit: Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1402565111 A 3.45-billion-year-old diet Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 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.last_img read more

Read more →

Paul van Ass named new hockey coach

first_imgFormer Dutch national team coach Paul van Ass was on Friday named as the new head coach of India’s men’s hockey team, ending three months of uncertainly after Australian Terry Walsh quit under controversial circumstances. While 54-year-old Van Ass, who was at the helm of affairs of the Dutch team from 2010 to 2014, will take charge of the men’s team, New Zealand’s Anthony Thornton, 47, will replace Neil Hawgood as the coach of the women’s senior team. According to a statement from SAI, the name of the coaches were finalised at a special selection committee meeting headed by secretary sports and interim director general of SAI Ajit Sharan, Hockey India president Narinder Batra, high performance director Roelant Oltmans and Olympian Harbinder Singh, among others.last_img

Read more →