DD/AIR News

  • NCP Chairpersons, K.P. Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and SSFN Chief Upendra Yadav signed a two point agreement in Kathmandu on Monday. Both the parties have agreed that demands raised by SSFN during its agitation and issues related to constitution amendment would be addressed on the basis of mutual understanding.  Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli gave assurance in the parliament on Sunday that constitution would be amended keeping in view people’s aspirations and the country’s interest.  SSFN and another prominent Madhesi party, Rashtriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) had been demanding constitution amendment on various issues including citizenship and language.  In the historic parliament and provincial elections held last year SSFN and RJPN had performed well and formed government in Province 2.

  • In an interaction with the scheme's beneficiaries, he underlined his government's pro-Dalit credentials by comparing benefits given to the community under it against what they received under the Congress-led UPA government. While Dalits got 445 petrol pumps under 2010-14 during the UPA rule, more than 1200 of them got it during 2014-18 in his government's rule, he said, adding the corresponding figures for LPG distribution centres for the community are over 900 and 1300. "Since people started to get benefits under the Ujjwala Yojana, a big social transformation is visible. I am happy to tell you that out of its four crore beneficiaries 45 per cent are Dalits and tribals," he said. "Till 2014, 13 crore families got LPG connection. This means, for over six decades the figure stood at 13 crore. It was mostly the rich people who got LPG connections. In the last 4 years, 10 crore new connections have been added and the poor benefited," he said. The LPG reach is now 100 per cent in 70 per cent villages and more than 75 per cent in 81 per cent villages, he said. The clean fuel is leading to healthy India, PM Modi said, citing benefits of LPG fuel. During the recent 'Gram Swaraj Yojana', 11 lakh people received LPG connection in one day, he said, adding more and more people are joining the list of its beneficiaries.  "Ujjwala Yojana has strengthened the lives of the poor, marginalized, Dalits, tribal communities. This initiative is playing a central role in social empowerment," PM Modi said. The Prime Minister said that when he was young, he would see rich and influential people had gas connections and they would tell the poor that it was unsafe to have a gas connection at home. "When we would ask them why do they have it in their homes, they were silent," he said. Following his speech, PM Modi also interacted with beneficiaries of the scheme. "This is the month of Ramzan. We read the Holy Quran daily. We are going to pray daily for you and we hope that you continue to serve us as the prime minister," a group of women from Anantnag in Kashmir told him. PM Modi recalled that when he was young he had many Muslim neighbours. "Many of my friends were Muslims. I remember during Ramzan, women woke up particularly early but the coming of the Ujjwala Yojana would have changed that too," he told them.    

  • In the past, finding links between music preference and personality type has been hampered because respondents were younger and shared a narrow band of tastes. Researchers from Fitzwilliam College in the UK conducted worldwide, online studies of over 20,000 respondents. More than half those surveyed were over 22, and they were presented with 25 unfamiliar musical excerpts pre-categorised by musicologists. The surveys differentiated personality types on the 'big five' model used by scientists for 50 years: openness, extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness. The team, led by Jason Rentfrow from Fitzwilliam College, found 'open' personalities liked 'sophisticated' music - defined as "inspiring, complex and dynamic" - but were less impressed with slow, mellow music. People who score highly for openness like to learn new things and enjoy new experiences, researchers said. Extroverts, who are talkative and energetic, showed a preference for 'unpretentious' music categorized as uncomplicated, relaxing and acoustic. The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, also concluded that once you have evidence of a person's musical tastes you can predict their personality type. "An active measure of naturally occurring behaviour, Facebook Likes for musical artists, also predict individual differences in personality," researchers said. Agreeable people tended to give all the music clips higher scores, while neurotics marked more harshly. Conscientiousness did not seem to be correlated to any particular genre of music. 

  • After the auction, Super Kings were criticised for picking nine players in their 30s including Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu but they proved to be instrumental in the team's triumph after coming back from a two-year ban. Rayudu (602) and Watson (555) were among top-five run-getters this IPL. "We talked a lot about age but what matters is the fitness. Rayudu for example is 32, he's someone who is fit, covers a lot of ground. Even if he plays a few games where he spends a lot of time in the ground and in the field, he never complains. So it is the fitness that really matters more than the age aspect," said the 36-year-old Dhoni after the crushing win over Sunrisers Hyderabad. "What captains want is players who move well in the field. It doesn't matter which year a player is born in, whether you are 19 or 20 - you have to be agile. You have to accept your shortcomings. For example, if I push Watson to stop a single, there is a very good chance that he'll burst his hamstring and won't be available for the next game. So what you tell yourselves is that they have to commit and try, but there's no point getting injured for a single," said Dhoni. Watson's sensational unbeaten 117-run knock ensured CSK chased down a challenging 179 with ease. It was a memorable tournament for the 36-year-old Australian, who ended with 555 runs with two centuries and as many half centuries. "It's been a special season to be honest. To get a special season especially after the last season with RCB. It means a lot to be with a franchise like CSK. After those first ten balls I was only hoping to catch up to at least a run-a-ball," said the Australian. Watson battled pain and injury to take the team home. "The good thing is that I wouldn't be playing for the next three-four months; feels great. It gives me plenty of time to recover. Throughout the back end of the tournament I was hanging on. Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni have been looking after me really well and I am really glad to contribute like I did tonight (Sunday)," said. SRH captain Kane Williamson also had a rich run with the bat, amassing 735 runs to end as the season's highest run-getter. Willamson had replaced the suspended David Warner as captain just ahead of the IPL. The New Zealander was disappointed that the team could not win the all-important final after posting 178 for six. "We thought it'll be a competitive total, but the pitch did hold a bit. We saw that in our first five-six overs, and for the large part of the game we were doing okay. But hats off to Shane Watson. You do have to congratulate CSK," he said. "It's (loss) frustrating, because we played some really good cricket for the large part. Wasn't to be, and they certainly showed their experience. The boys are hurting at the moment, but we've fought hard. A shame not to come across the line, but a lot of positives," he concluded.    

  • Both main contracts tanked on Friday after Saudi oil minister Khaled al-Faleh said his country could open the taps wider in the second half of the year to ensure against any supply shocks. His Russian counterpart Alexander Novak said they had spoken about a two-year-old deal capping production, adding OPEC and other members of the pact would discuss lifting limits next month. The comments come as supply worries increase, with major producer Venezuela hit by economic uncertainty, Iran facing painful export sanctions and demand seen picking up. On Friday, Brent sank three per cent and WTI fell four per cent, and in early Asia business they were both down a further two percent. The losses come after crude earlier this month hit levels not seen since November 2014, and led to sharp selling in Asian energy firms. S​ydney-listed Woodside Petroleum was 3.6 per cent down and Inpex dived a similar amount in Tokyo. CNOOC plunged three per cent in Hong Kong, while Sinopec was off more than two per cent. Broader markets were mostly up as the oil sell-off was offset by renewed hopes for the Trump-Kim summit after the US president appeared Friday to do a U-turn 24 hours after cancelling the meeting. Markets fell in Asia Friday after Trump said he had pulled out of the June 12 gathering, citing "open hostility" from Pyongyang. However, a flurry of diplomacy -- led by South Korea, whose President Moon Jae-in met Kim Saturday -- has put it back on track. And Sunday, Trump tweeted that a US team "has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the summit". He added: "I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!" By the break in Tokyo, the Nikkei was flat, Hong Kong added 0.5 per cent and Shanghai gained 0.1 per cent. Singapore, Seoul and Jakarta were all sharply higher but Sydney fell 0.6 per cent and Manila dipped 0.2 per cent. On currency markets, the euro edged up despite political uncertainty in Italy, with investors welcoming news that President Sergio Mattarella had vetoed the nomination of fierce eurosceptic Paolo Savona as economy minister. While the decision led to the resignation of prime minister-elect Giuseppe Conte and could lead to fresh elections, it was seen as a positive move for the euro. However, Ray Attrill, head of foreign-exchange strategy at National Australia Bank in Sydney, said.  "We may now be in for an extended period of heightened uncertainty ahead of fresh elections -- assuming that's where we're headed. "For now it's more relief that Italy will not -- for now at least -- have an avowed eurosceptic finance minister." The single currency's gains are also being limited by the prospect of upheaval in Spain, where Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy could face a no-confidence vote after his party was found guilty of benefiting from illegal funds in a massive graft trial.  

  • The apparatus consisting of a stethoscope and a microphone has to be wrapped around the abdomen. The stethoscope will listen to the intestinal sounds while the microphone will amplify it and send it to a smartphone, which will record these sounds. "Using a pre-trained machine learning classifier, the sounds will be classified as either a bowel sound or a non-bowel sound in the smartphone. In case if the sound is a bowel sound, the person will be notified that s/he is about to experience a bowel movement," assistant professor at the institute's Computer Science department and team member Juhi Ranjan said. "Due to the muscle function loss, people with lower body paralysis find it difficult to sense their bowel timings which may sometime result in bowel accidents making it a situation of embarrassment for them. To avoid such awkward situations, they tend to follow a very restricted lifestyle which includes strictly monitoring the food they should eat, the timings of food intake, using an enema, etc." The project is a creative blend of internet of things and machine learning techniques and aims to help such patients live a healthy and less-restricted life in terms of the food they take, she added. Other student members of the team are Anmolpreet Kaur, Yashika Arora, Kritika Bansal, and Kunal Suryavanshi. The project is right now in testing phase and the team aims to test it on at least 100 users before it is made available for commercial use. "Right now accuracy rate is 95 per cent and after completion of testing phase, we are expecting 100 percent accuracy. Possibly by the end of this year, the product will be available for commercial use," Ranjan said. With the availability of smartphones, the apparatus may cost somewhere around Rs 1,000, they said.

  • It was a double delight for Pant, who also received the Stylish Player Award. Pant ended as the second highest run-getter in the tournament with 684 runs from 14 games. Sunil Narine also picked up two awards -- Super Striker and Valuable Player. Among other awards, Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson (735 runs) got the Orange Cap while Kings XI pacer Andrew Tye (24 wickets) got the Purple Cap. Kiwi Trent Boult got the Perfect Catch award for his stunning one-handed catch of Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli. Defending champions Mumbai Indians, who could not make it to the play-offs, were given the Fairplay Award.   Awards: Man of the Match (Final): Shane Watson Orange Cap (Most Runs) : Kane Williamson Purple Cap (Most Wickets) : Andrew Tye Emerging Player: Rishabh Pant   Stylish Player : Rishabh Pant  Perfect Catch: Trent Boult  Super Striker: Sunil Narine Valuable Player : Sunil Narine  Fairplay Award: Mumbai Indians

  • A 41-year-old senator, Duque will face his leftist rival, former guerrilla Gustavo Petro, in the run-off on June 17. With most of the vote counted, Duque had polled 39.7 per cent of the votes, compared to Petro's 24.8 per cent. Petro beat off a late challenge from former Medellin mayor Sergio Fajardo to narrowly take the second runoff spot. It was the first presidential poll in half a century free of the threat of the FARC, though Duque, 41, has campaigned strongly on a pledge to rewrite a peace agreement with the former rebel movement. Polling closed on schedule at 2: 30 am IST after eight hours of "totally normal" voting, said electoral authority chairman Juan Carlos Galindo. Bogota and other major cities reported a high turnout in a country where voter abstention is traditionally around 50 per cent. The peaceful election was an achievement celebrated by outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos after casting his ballot in Bogota. "So far not a single voting station has had to be moved for security reasons," he said in a televised speech. "It's been many decades since that has happened. In other words, these elections are going to be the most secure, the calmest." Ironically, the peace Santos made with the FARC, which is now a political party, has opened sharp divisions, reflected in the leading candidates to succeed him. Duque has vowed to rewrite an accord he sees as too lenient on a group that waged a decades-long war of terror in Colombia before transforming itself into a political party. "I want a country of legality, a full-on fight against corruption, a country where peace can breathe throughout the land," said Duque after casting his ballot in Bogota. Outside one Bogota polling station, Paula Rubio, 38, said she voted for Duque "to maintain order in the country." Petro, a former member of the disbanded M-19 rebel group, has defied expectations in a country where presidential elections have traditionally been the domain of the right. Petro said he wanted a Colombia "present and future" without hatred or vengeance and to leave behind "the machinery of corruption." The 58-year-old rallied many Colombians with his campaign speeches against inequality and corruption, making him the country's first leftist candidate going to the second round of a presidential poll.     

  • The organic farming concept is gaining ground rapidly in India. Veera Reddy, a resident of Aknoor village in Karimnagar district of Telangana, comes from an agricultural background. He served the state government as an electrical engineer. But after his retirement, he decided to go back to his roots and take up traditional occupation. Initially, he confined himself to his mango cultivation and two acres of paddy. But now there is no looking back. "My friends in horticulture encouraged me into farming. During this time, I had learnt the importance of raising crops using bio-pesticides. This has impressed me a lot. Initially, for my one and half acre land, I had reaped 25 to 30 bags of paddy. Then I learned about raising sugar-free rice, Telangana Sona - this variety gave me good results and today I am raising seed quality variety using bio-pesticides. Since rice variety requires more water, I am trying to raise this crop during rainy seasons. Last season, my neighbors' crops were infested by mosquito byte but I am saved because I had used bio-pesticides. This year I am expecting 40 bags from my land," Reddy said. He is not the only one reaping the benefit. There are others as well who are reaping the benefit. There is a 38% increase in total certified organic produce in 2016-17 as compared to 2013-14 as per Agricultural & Processed FooProductsts Export Development Authority( APEDA) report.  

  • Passenger services on the 24.8 kilometer-long stretch will begin from Tuesday. This section, comprising 16 stations, will be the longest opened so far in Delhi Metro's Phase 3. With the opening of this stretch, the entire 38.2 kilometer-long Janakpuri West - Botanical Garden Magenta corridor covering the city's arterial Outer Ring Road will become operational. The highlights of the Magenta Line will be the two new interchange facilities at Janakpuri West and Hauz Khas. The domestic terminals of the Indira Gandhi International Airport will also get directly connected by the Metro.  With the commissioning of this section, the entire Delhi Metro corridor will expand to 278 kilometres with 202 stations.

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