Dissension surfaces in JD (U) over alliance with RJD

Widespread dissension has surfaced among JD(U) legislators and party leaders over alliance with Lalu Prasad’s RJD for the bypoll in 10 Assembly seats, party sources said today.

JD(U), RJD and Congress officially announced entering into alliance yesterday for the bypoll in 10 Assembly seats going to vote on August 21.

JD(U) MLA from Islampur in Nitish Kumar’s native Nalanda district, claimed that as many as 65 party MLAs out of a total 116, were against the party joining hands with RJD against whom Kumar and the party had fought in the name of ending ”jungle raj”.

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New Rashtrapati Bhavan museum to open today

President Pranab Mukherjee will on Friday inaugurate a museum at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The story of the presidential palace will be narrated in the museum through sound, light and video animation.

Housed in what used to be stables and a coach house used by the British rulers, the museum has been dedicated to the nation by the President, who completed two years in office earlier this month.

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India, US ask Pakistan to bring 28/11 attack perpetrators to justice

India and the US today asked Pakistan to work towards bringing the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks to justice even as they vowed to eliminate terrorist safe havens and disrupt terror networks including that of al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

In a joint statement after marathon talks between visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the leaders reiterated their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms.

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Colombo Test was ‘best winning save’

Allan Donald, the South African cricket team’s bowling coach, has described his side’s remarkable defiance during the Test match played against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo as the best “winning save” he had ever experienced.

Donald said that it was even better than the extraordinary escape in Adelaide in 2012 when Faf du Plessis batted for 466 minutes to deny Australia an almost certain win.

Sport24 quoted Donald, as saying that it was a tougher and better match saving effort than Adelaide.

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Google brings 76 more heritage sites, rare archives online

After Taj Mahal and Humayun Tomb, Google and Archaeological Survey of India together have now brought online 360-degree panoramic imagery of 76 more Indian heritage sites and 30 new immersive exhibitions of arts and historical institutions from across India.

The new historical sites include the Safdarjung Tomb, Ellora Caves, and Purana Quila, a statement released here said.

These panoramas, collected using Street View technology, are available for viewing on the Google Cultural Institute site.

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Taiwan gas blast kills 22

An explosion caused by a gas leak in Taiwan’s second city killed 22 people, injured 270 and sent flames shooting 15 storeys into the air, a government agency said.

The Central Disaster Emergency Operation Center said police and soldiers had been drafted in to help firefighters in a neighbourhood of apartment buildings and small shops in the port city of Kaohsiung.

Media reports suggested the death toll was likely to rise sharply.

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Curfew to be relaxed in Saharanpur for 8 hours today

Curfew will be relaxed in the violence-hit Saharanpur district for eight hours on Friday.

The curfew will be relaxed from 10 am to 6 pm.

All government offices will remain open from 10 am to 5 pm.

District Magistrate Sandhya Tiwari had on Thursday announced that during curfew relaxation hours, only one youth will be allowed to travel on a motorcycle. Two youths in the age group of 22-24 years will not be allowed to ride a motorcycle, she had said.

Tiwari had said till now 87 FIRs have been registered in connection with the riots and 104 people have been arrested.

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Obama nominates Indian-American as district court judge

US President Barack Obama has nominated yet another Indian-American counsel, Amit Privardhan Mehta, to the key post of US District Court judge for Washington DC.

Announcing Mehta’s nominations along with other judiciary posts, Obama said, “I am pleased to nominate these distinguished individuals to serve on the United States District Court bench.”

“I am confident they will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice,” he added.

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Kerry to meet PM today

A day after meeting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for the 5th India-US Strategic Dialogue, visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry will on Friday meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Notably, Kerry’s is the first high-level contact of the US government with the Modi government.

Kerry arrived here on Wednesday on a three-day visit to strike up the US’ first high-level engagement with the Modi government.

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Breastfeeding lowers risk of cardiovascular, metabolic diseases in kids

A new study has found that birth weight and breastfeeding both have implications for children’s health decades later.

According to the research from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, young adults who were breastfed for three months or more as babies have a significantly lower risk of chronic inflammation associated with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

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Soy-rich diet helps women’s heart stay healthy

A new study has found that a diet rich in soy helps in keeping women’s heart healthy.

According to the study by Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, women who consume soy throughout their life, similar to the diet of women in Asia, have the least atherosclerosis.

NAMS Executive Director Margery Gass said that this study underscores how important it is for women to get into the best cardiovascular shape before menopause.

The study was published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society. (ANI)

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Exposure to pesticide DDT leads to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol

A new study has revealed that exposure of pregnant mice to the pesticide DDT is linked to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and related conditions in female offspring later in life.

According to a study by University of California, Davis, developmental exposure to DDT increases the risk of females later developing metabolic syndrome-a cluster of conditions that include increased body fat, blood glucose, and cholesterol.

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Resistance to vital malaria drug spreads widely in Southeast Asia

It has been recently revealed that resistance to the main drug, artemisinin, used to treat Plasmodium falciparum malaria has been spreading at an alarming stage in Southeast Asia.

It has likely been caused by a genetic mutation in the parasites, Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum). However, a six-day course of artemisinin-based combination therapy, as opposed to a standard three-day course, has proved highly effective in treating the drug-resistant malaria cases.

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E-ciggs less harmful than conventional ones

A new study has revealed that although long-term health effects of e-cigarette use are unknown, they are less harmful to users or bystanders than conventional cigarettes.

The study carried out by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) concluded that despite gaps in the knowledge which require further research, the current evidence about e-cigarettes does not justify regulating them more strictly than, or even as strictly as, conventional cigarettes.

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Kazakh president says Eid al-Fitr unites whole nation

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has said that the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, which is also known is Oraza Ait in Kazakhstan, promotes both peace and stability among various communities, and not just Muslims.

Tengrinews quoted President Nazarbayev, as saying recently that the month of Ramadan is a period during which Muslims all over the world seek spiritual purification.

He also said that it was a period of spiritual reward for noble intentions and good deeds.

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DMRC achieves tunnel breakthrough at Lal Quila

DMRC today achieved a tunnel breakthrough at Lal Quila Metro station on the Central Secretariat – Kashmere Gate corridor of Phase 3 in the presence of Managing Director of DMRC Mangu Singh.

The Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) emerged at the Lal Quila metro station site after making about 650 m long tunnel from Jama Masjid on the Down Line.

The maximum depth of the tunnel is 14 meters. Another TBM is currently operational on the same stretch for the construction of tunnel on the UP Line and is likely to make a breakthrough by October 2014.

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Petrol prices cut by rupees 1.09 a litre

The price of petrol price was reduced by Rs.1.09 per litre, while the price of diesel was hiked by 50 paise per litre on Thursday.

This is the first drop in the prices of petrol since April.

However, the increase in the price of diesel is as per the January 2013 Government directive to increase diesel prices.

The revised prices will take effect from midnight. (ANI)

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Heavy rains cause massive traffic jams, waterlogging in Mumbai

Heavy rains left a majority of roads in Mumbai flooded, and caused a pile-up of traffic at key intersections on Thursday.

Traffic was reported to be moving at slow pace at several places following the rains.

Commuters had a hard time travelling due to poor visibility. (ANI)

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Bus accident kills five in Kashmir’s Udhampur District

A bus plunged into a gorge in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir, killing five people and injuring several others on Thursday.

The accident occurred in the Dubigali area of the district, when the driver lost control of the bus packed with local passengers.

The injured were immediately shifted to a hospital.

Additional Deputy Commissioner, Vikas Sharma, said four people died on the spot and one women died on the way to the hospital.

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Dhoni rules out Ishant from Manchester Test

Indian cricket captain M.S. Dhoni has ruled out fast bowler Ishant Sharma from the fourth Test to be played against England at Old Trafford, Manchester, from August 7.

“Definitely, he won’t be fit for the next game,” Dhoni said during the post-match presentation at the Ageas Bowl.

“Never really had a discussion with our physio, but as of now, he won’t be available for the fourth Test match,” Dhoni added.

India had been forced to leave Ishant out of the third Test after he suffered what the team management described as a “sore leg”.

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Japanese delegation calls on Environment Minister Javadekar in Delhi

A Japanese delegation met Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar here on Thursday.

On Friday, Javadekar had met a delegation led by Edward Jonathon Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, United Kingdom.

Both sides had discussed issues related to environment and climate change. (ANI)

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Women visit markets in Gorakhpur ahead of Raksha Bandhan

Women in Gorakhpur flocked markets to buy ‘rakhis’ for their brothers on Thursday ahead of Raksha Bandhan festival.

‘Rakhi’ is a symbolic holy thread, which a sister ties on her brother’s wrist as a mark of bonding between them on the sibling festival known as ‘Raksha Bandhan’.

A shopkeeper, Pradeep Kumar Gupta, said people reeling under the effect of inflation are buying Chinese rakhis as they are affordable.

“Chinese rakhis are light weight and beautiful. That’s why they are better and customers find them affordable also,” said Gupta.

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Ahead of 2015 cricket World Cup, Kiwi lawmakers move to make match fixing a crime

Lawmakers in New Zealand have unanimously supported legislation to make match fixing a criminal offense in time for next year’s Cricket World Cup.

A bill providing penalties of up to seven years in prison for those who try to influence the outcome of a sports event or race passed its first reading in Parliament on Thursday and could become law by the end of the year, reports Sport24.

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Ex-skipper Graeme Smith lauds Kallis for his honesty

Former Proteas cricket captain Graeme Smith has praised Jacques Kallis for his honesty in accepting that he could not face the possibility of letting down the Proteas in the run-up to next year’s World Cup.

Smith said that in accepting his poor ODI form on the recent tour to Sri Lanka, Kallis had shown maturity in his decision to re-evaluate his future in the sport, Sport24 reports.

Smith admitted that he had been ribbing Kallis about him getting on in years, and of having a hint about his retirement from all forms of the game sonner than later.

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UN, US announce 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza

The United Nations and United States announced that Israel and Hamas had agreed to a “unconditional humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza for a period of 72 hours starting today, allowing both sides to negotiate on a “durable” armistice.

A joint statement issued by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the UN representative in Jerusalem, Special Coordinator Robert Serry, has “received assurances” that all parties have agreed to an unconditional humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

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