A 30-year-old man was killed and his friend sustained head injuries after the two were allegedly pushed off the moving local train on the Delhi-Agra route near the Asaoti Railway Station here on Saturday, by a group of teenage students following a minor altercation. Three of the accused were arrested, while the fourth managed to escape.Same stationThe incident comes less than two months after Junaid, a minor Muslim boy from Khandawali village was stabbed to death, and his older brother seriously injured in a similar fashion, by a group of men, following an argument over a seat in a local train at the same railway station.The deceased in the present case has been identified as Devender Kumar, a resident of Mohan Nagar in Palwal. Lalit, 29, who was injured in the incident, belongs to Tikri Brahman village in Palwal.Superintendent of Police, Haryana Railway Police, Kamal Deep Goyal told The Hindu that the accused, all of them students, were headed to Agra for a fun trip when they entered into an altercation with the accused on the train around 8:30 p.m. “One of the accused students got down at Asaoti railway station to fetch drinking water from a tap. He had an argument with the duo travelling on the footboard of the train when he tried to board the train and asked them for the passage. Later, his friends also got embroiled into it and the four allegedly pushed the two off the moving train,” said Mr. Goyal.Three caughtThree of the accused were caught by fellow passengers and handed over to the police at the Palwal Railway Station, but the fourth managed to jump off and escape when the train slowed down. “He will also be arrested soon,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police, Faridabad Railway Police, Mohinder Singh.The three have been identified as Manmohan alias Mohit, Vipin Gupta and Maniket Jaiswal. While Maniket belongs to Faridabad, the other two belong to Delhi.Though the accused maintained that the duo fell off accidentally during the scuffle, the police have registered a case of murder and attempt to murder under the Indian Penal Code based on the statements of fellow passengers.Devender, who worked at a workshop in Ballabgarh, is survived by his wife and four children, including two girls. Lalit also works at a lathe machine in Ballabgarh and would usually travel with Devender on his way back home. He was admitted to the AIIMS Trauma Centre and discharged on Sunday evening.
Unhappy with the functioning of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, at least two senior leaders of the ruling Congress in Meghalaya today openly said they would quit the party before the Assembly election due next year.Senior leaders such as former deputy chief minister Rowell Lyngdoh and former cabinet minister Prestone Tynsong decided to leave Congress.“I have the intention of joining the NPP as the Congress’ ticket on which I was elected had betrayed me and the people,” Rowell Lyngdoh told PTI.Claiming that he and his ‘friends’ were ignored by the chief minister, he said they would resign from Congress and join the NPP the moment the elections are announced.Mr. Tynsong said, “I am not happy with the way the chief minister functions as a leader. I will resign very soon, may be before the last session under the present government.”The tenure of the current Assembly expires on March 6 next year.Sources in the Congress said there were at least three more MLAs who would not contest the next Assembly polls on party tickets.Mr. Lyngdoh, Mr. Tynsong and the other three MLAs have been removed from their positions in the party or the government this year.The BJP state leaders have said the party welcomes any person who is willing to work for development of the state and is ready to root out corruption in Meghalaya.
The Committee on Privileges of the Goa Assembly has issued a notice summoning Right to Information (RTI) activist and State government officer Kashinath Shetye to appear before it on Monday.The notice has been issued by Ligia Godinho, Under-Secretary, Legislature, on November 16, in connection with an alleged breach of privilege motion raised by Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Nilesh Cabral against Mr. Shetye.Mr. Cabral had raised the matter during the monsoon session of the Assembly, after a starred question was allegedly leaked by the activist on Facebook before it was raised in the session.The complaint had been referred to the Privileges Committee by Speaker Pramod Sawant, who had also filed a police complaint and asked the Chief Secretary to investigate the leak.On July 12, Mr. Shetye, who is also a junior engineer with the State electricity department, had uploaded a photograph of Mr. Cabral’s legislative question, prior to it being answered in the Assembly. Mr. Cabral had said Mr.Shetye had not behaved like a government servant.Mr. Shetye had said that he had filed various petitions in the past as a private citizen, and that the Assembly question was an open document sent to various departments, including his.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said he is ready to compromise the interest of his own party for the unity of secular forces in the country.“If we are required to stand with Didi [Mamata Banerjee] for a secular battle, we will do so. It does not matter if our party does not grow here,” Mr Yadav said while addressing the State conference of the Samajwadi Party at Mahajati Sadan in Kolkata. Later in the evening, he met Trinamool Congress chairperson and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at her residence. Describing her as a tall leader, he said that she should win more seats from West Bengal in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.“The efforts made by Didi to stop BJP is very important and it should continue in future,” he said. Mr Yadav also warned the people of West Bengal to remain cautious of the BJP and said it is trying to extend influence in the State. Senior Samajwadi Party leaders Azam Khan and Kiranmoy Nanda were present at State Conference of the party where former MLA Janmejay Ojha was elected as the head of State unit of the party.Asked if BJP has improved its performance in the civil polls, the SP chief pointed out that party had won three-fourth of seats in general elections, but on this occasion many seats went to independent candidates.
‘Historic day’“It was a historic day for Madhya Pradesh as the State Assembly, as per the wish of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, passed a Bill making a provision to award the capital punishment to those indulging in such crimes (raping girls aged 12 or younger),” Singh said.Capital punishment would be awarded to convicts under Section 376 (A), which is related to rape, and Section 376 (D, A), pertaining to gang rape.Welcoming the bill, Mr. Chouhan said, “There are people in society who can be set right only by severe punishments. It [the legislation] will deal with them. We will also raise awareness in society against such crimes.” The Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a Bill awarding death to those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 and below. With this, Madhya Pradesh becomes the first State where those convicted of such rapes will face the gallows.Introduced in the House by Law and Legislative Affairs Minister Rampal Singh, the Bill was discussed in detail and then passed by all parties, including the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress.The Bill will now be sent to the President for his assent after which it will become a law, State Home Minister Bhupendra Singh told reporters outside the Assembly.
In dry Bihar, liquor has found a new route for tipplers: the railways. Drivers, attendants and employees have been caught in the recent past with liquor bottles in trains despite regular announcements that consumption, sale and trade of liquor in the State is illegal. On Thursday, a coach attendant of the Patna-Delhi Rajdhani Express was arrested by the Government Railway Police (GRP) for smuggling liquor in violation of provisions of the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act 2016. Acting on a tip-off, a GRP team searched coach B-9 of the Patna Rajdhani express train and seized 15 bottles of Indian-made foreign liquor from a bag reportedly belonging to the coach attendant, Rambali Paswan, who was immediately taken into custody and later sent to jail.Earlier on Tuesday four employees, including the driver of the Ahmedabad-Patna Express train, were arrested after 24 bottles of IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor) and 64,650 liters of countrymade liquor stuffed in a bag was seized from the driver’s cabin. Driver Mohammad Shashuddin was taken into custody after the train reached Patna Junction.Confirming the arrests, Patna superintendent of railway police Ashok Kumar Singh said the four persons have been arrested for smuggling liquor in the train. Half of the consignment was delivered to a bootlegger at Ara railway station in Bhojpur, said the police. “An FIR was lodged with the Danapur GRP against all the four railway employees who were produced in the railway court and later sent to judicial custody for 14-days,” said Mr. Singh. “Authorities have stepped up vigil on long-distance trains following intelligence inputs that liquor was being smuggled in them to the State.” More than 1.2 lakh people have been arrested and over 6 lakh litres of liquor have been seized ever since the new State Excise Act was enforced.
The brother of doctor Kafeel Khan, who is out on bail in connection with the BRD Medical College incident, was shot at by unknown assailants in his hometown Gorakhpur late on Sunday. Two men on a scooty allegedly fired at Kashif Jameel at around 11 p.m. and fled from the scene leaving him grievously wounded, his family said. Kashif was hit by three bullets — two bullets pierced through his shoulder and arm while the third was lodged in the neck. It was removed after an emergency operation early on Monday. The victim is stable, said his family. Doctor Kafeel Khan said he had apprehended a murder attempt on his family members. “They was an attempt to murder by brother. I always said they would try to kill us,” said Kafeel Khan. He alleged that the police caused a delay of a few hours in his brother receiving urgent medical care. Doctor Kafeel said the police forced them to take the patient, who was rushed to a private nursing home initially, to the medical college for a medico legal test despite the emergency to get the third bullet removed. “Medico legal done in sadar hospital but SSP is forcing for one more medico legal in medical college gorakhpur by medical board,” doctor Kafeel said. Doctor Kafeel said the attack on his brother reflected the poor law and order in the State as it took place around 500 metres from the Gorakhnath temple where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was lodged for the night. Copy will be updated with police inputs. A police case is not yet registered.Kashif Jameel, 35, runs a battery inverter business.
In about a week’s time, an entire forest division in Assam will start moving 160 km northeast. The one-horned rhino of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) is the reason for this “long march”.On August 14, Assam’s Environment and Forest Department issued a notification saying the KNP had been split into two divisions — the existing Eastern Assam Wildlife and the new Biswanath Wildlife — for “intensive wildlife management”.The Brahmaputra separates the two divisions straddling a total area of 1,030 sq.km. Kaziranga had an area of only 232 sq.m when it began its journey as a proposed reserve forest on June 1, 1905.The KNP officials said the creation of the Biswanath Wildlife Division, with headquarters at Biswanath Chariali in northeastern Assam, will entail relocating the Central Assam Afforestation Division at Hojai 160 km away. In fact, the afforestation division has been renamed a wildlife division.All these years, the KNP was being administered by the Eastern Assam Wildlife Division with headquarters at Bokakhat on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra. This division was formed in 1966, two years before the State government designated Kaziranga a national park, though it was given the official status in 1974.The Eastern Assam Wildlife Division had five ranges — Eastern or Agratoli, Kaziranga or Kohora, Western or Bagori, Burapahar and Northern — until the split. All except the Northern Range are on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra.Now, the Northern Range, with an area of 401 sq.km, has been upgraded to the Biswanath Wildlife Division with four ranges of its own — Eastern or Gamiri, Central or Biswanath Ghat, Western or Nagshankar and Crime Investigation Range.“Much of the rhino poaching was being done from the northern side of the Brahmaputra, which was difficult to manage for officers posted on the southern side. Splitting the KNP into two divisions means there will now be two divisional forest officers under one director (based in Bokakhat near the Agratoli range), ensuring better vigil,” Assam’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forest N.K. Vasu told The Hindu.“We will start moving to Biswanath in six or seven days. Not all the officers and staff of the division to be shifted might be suited for wildlife protection, so there could be transfers. But at the end, Kaziranga will now have many more hands,” he said. He could not provide an estimate of the number of people to be shifted to Kaziranga.The KNP, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, currently has a staff strength of nearly 1,300. Wildlife officials estimate that the park would require at least 3,000 men if they were to be deployed in eight-hour shifts.Between 2015 and February this year, 74 rhinos fell to poachers in Assam. Many of these rhinos were from the KNP, though there have been fewer cases of poaching since 2017.According to the last rhino census in March, the KNP has an estimated 2,413 rhinos. The park also has 57% of the world’s wild water buffalo population, one of the largest groups of Asian elephants and 21 Royal Bengal tigers per 100 sq.km – arguably the highest striped cat density.
Activists and legal experts on Friday termed the statements made by the Maharashtra Police on the arrest of five activists as ‘highly suspicious’ and a ploy to divert attention from other issues.Advocate Susan Abraham, wife of one of the accused Vernon Gonsalves said the claims made by the police on the alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi were ludicrous and imaginary.“This is just a ploy to divert attention from the actual assassinations of Narendra Dabholkar, Gonvind Pansare, M.M. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh, and the demand to declare Sanatan Sanstha a terror organisation,” Ms. Abraham said.Retired Justice Suresh Hosbet of the Bombay High Court called the police’s disclosure of the contents of the letters as “highly improper”. Advocate Suresh Rajeshwar of the Committee of Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR) termed the press conference as a media trial since the police had not submitted the letters as evidence. “If they are so sure of the evidence, why haven’t they submitted it in the court of law,” he asked.Ms. Abraham added the flashing of letters was a blatant breach of government resolutions and a Bombay High Court judgment.
The Jammu and Kashmir police witnessed the highest number of casualties among its men in two decades, with 37 policemen killed in 2018 in heightened militant attacks on them, according to police data. Of the 37 policemen, eight were special police officers (SPOs) and 29 were ‘regular’ policemen. The data also shows that J&K Police lost 31 men to militant attacks in 2017, with increased militancy in the wake of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s killing in 2016. “However, this year  J&K police saw even more casualties than the last year ,” said a police officer.The highest number of 23 policemen were killed in the first half of the year. Even during the Ramzan ceasefire, when security forces followed a cessation of operations from May 16 up to June 17, militant attacks continued and left five policemen dead.The abduction and killing of three policemen by over two dozen militants on September 21 in Shopian triggered a wave of panic in the police ranks, especially among lower-rung SPOs in south Kashmir. According to police figures, 47 policemen, mainly lower-rung SPOs, uploaded videos online and made public announcements of their resignations. SPOs withdrawnA police advisory has asked all policemen to “avoid visiting their homes in south Kashmir without informing the respective police stations.” In a fresh order, under-trained SPOs, who have of late become the targets of militants in south Kashmir, have been withdrawn from serving as personal security officers to senior police officers and protected persons.“SPOs performing duties of personal security officers is not as per the norms and [they are] not trained to do so,” said an order issued by Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Law and Order, Muneer Khan. The order also seeks a list of SPOs withdrawn by October 5. “In case any SPO does not report back, the honorarium may not be released and their disengagement orders will be issued,” reads the order. The fresh order comes in the wake of resignations made by the SPOs, and the latest case of a SPO stealing eight service rifles from a legislator in Srinagar.Rifles lootedIn another disturbing trend, militants made 25 attempts to snatch weapons this year, and succeeded in decamping with 24 service rifles from the policemen, mainly in the volatile districts of south Kashmir. There is a spike in such incidents, too, with only 15 cases of rifle snatching reported in central and south Kashmir in 2016. The gun snatching forced the police to set a new standard operating procedure, which included banning the use of mobile phones while on duty.
Restarting alliance talks, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday held a meeting with leaders of the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). The VBA has announced candidates for 22 seats, but said that the announcement is not concrete.Action against RSS“Action against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and seat sharing are two issues before us. Even though we have announced candidates for 22 seats, we will continue talking to them,” said Laxman Mane of the VBA. Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan, who was present in the meeting said that the Congress and NCP are committed to bring the RSS under the ambit of the Constitution. “Our president Rahul Gandhi is even fighting a court case against the RSS. That issue is sorted. We are discussing seat sharing now and even though nothing concrete has been reached, talks will continue,” he said.NCP MLA Dr. Jitendra Awhad said the VBA had announced candidates for Nanded, Madha and Baramati Lok Sabha seats. “Even they know that these seats cannot be exchanged at any cost, they have come to talk, which is a positive sign and we will surely move towards forming a secular front in the State with Mr. Ambedkar,” he said.Following Mr. Ambedkar’s demand to bring RSS under constitutional ambit, the State unit of the Congress had written a letter to him asking for a draft and promising to sign it. However, Mr. Ambedkar replied saying Congress should send it. In Tuesday’s meeting, leaders of the parties’ legal cell, including noted counsel and Rajya Sabha member from NCP Majid Memon were present.Ambedkarites’ appealMeanwhile, a group of intellectuals and social activists from the left and the Ambedkarite movement from Maharashtra have made an appeal to Mr. Ambedkar to think twice on his decision to contest the general elections independently. Activists Bharat Patankar, Milind Ranade, Uka Mahajan and Suresh Sawant said that Congress-NCP’s push to bring RSS under constitution and willingness to give four or more Lok Sabha seats has cleared the path for further discussions. “We are sure that, if taken, your decision to contest polls independently, will not help fascism of the BJP,” the appeal said.Mr. Ambedkar’s Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh has allied with AIMIM to form VBA. Congress has already clarified that it will not join hands with the AIMIM, but is open to form an alliance with Mr Ambedkar.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday promised that 25 lakh more identified peasants will get ₹10,000 under the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme on the day the Biju Janata Dal forms the government again in Odisha. Addressing a public meeting at Jeypore in Koraput district on Friday, he said a list of 25 lakh more farmers has been prepared who will get the benefit under the scheme. “Not a single farmer will be left out,” he reiterated. According to him, 40 lakh farmers have already benefited from this scheme.Although the party election manifesto is yet to be declared, Mr. Patnaik said “farmers’ welfare” was his top priority.Mr. Patnaik’s promise coincided with a meeting of a BJD team with the Election Commission of India in New Delhi on Friday afternoon. The team demanded permission for disbursement of its stalled second instalment. It alleged that the Odisha Chief Electoral Officer was not allowing disbursement of funds under the KALIA scheme citing model code of conduct, while there was no such restriction on transfer of funds under the Centre’s ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana’.On Friday, Mr. Patnaik had a whirlwind campaign tour of the Maoist-affected Malkangiri district and Koraput district. He addressed public meetings at five places to campaign for Lok Sabha and Assembly candidates in Nabarangpur and Koraput parliamentary constituencies. Following Maoist violence in bordering Chhattisgarh that saw four security personnel being killed, security was tight during his visit.At Kalimela and Mathili in Malkangiri district, he promised to alleviate the problems of Bengali settlers, terming them as family members. Bengali refugees from erstwhile East Pakistan had been settled in Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts since 1972. Polavaram project Mr. Patnaik also addressed rallies at Pottangi, Jashwantpur, Dumuriput and Jeypore in Koraput district. At all these places he alleged that leaders of national parties visited Odisha only during election time for votes. He also came down on the Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh, promoted by the Central government, that is expected to adversely affect life and livelihood of tribals in Malkangiri district. He criticised the BJP-led Central government for stopping the Central assistance for development of the KBK region and scholarship of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students of Odisha.
People with autism experience a more extreme version of the world than the rest of us. For more than 90%, sounds are louder, colors are brighter, and touch can be a disturbing intrusion. The reason, according to a new study, may be that many autistic people also have synesthesia, a condition of intertwined perception in which one sense stimulates another.Most people with synesthesia don’t find the condition disturbing; many enjoy it. It certainly makes the world a more interesting place. Synesthetes may see the sound of a symphony as a skein of rippling lines, for example, or a black letter “A” as bright red. People with synesthesia say their experience is not the same as imagination, but they also realize their perceptions are in their own mind and not part of objects in the outside world. “Their experience is somewhere in between, neither imaginary not external, an extra layer in the mind,” says cognitive neuroscientist Simon Baron-Cohen of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, who led the study.Synesthesia has been linked to autism in a few isolated instances. But Baron-Cohen, who studies both conditions, felt that the underlying similarities warranted closer scrutiny. Scientists believe synesthesia is caused by an overabundance of connections between neurons. Curiously, a similar surfeit has been proposed as the cause of autism. While these interconnections may provide synesthetes with a rich intermingling of sensory experience, people with autism might find the blending of the senses distracting—sometimes to the point where they become withdrawn or soothe themselves with monotonous movements, such as rocking.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)So Baron-Cohen and Donielle Johnson, who was studying autism for her graduate work at Cambridge, along with a few colleagues, sent online questionnaires to a group of adults, with and without autism or Asperger syndrome. Because autistic people often have trouble relating to others, respondents’ ratings of their social skills—like the ability to empathize with a fictional character or judge from another person’s tone when it was their turn to speak in a phone conversation—were used as a gauge of the disorder. Tests for synesthesia included questions like, “Do you see colors when you hear musical notes, or read individual (black) letters?”People with autism were almost three times as likely to have some type of synesthesia, the researchers report online this week in Molecular Autism. Of the 164 adults with autism, 31, or 18.9%, met the criteria for synesthesia, compared with only seven (7.2%) of the 97 “typical” respondents. The most common types of synesthesia reported were “grapheme-color” synesthesia, in which black letters appear in color, and “sound-color,” in which sounds evoke colors.”We were surprised at the size of the difference—almost a fifth of people with autism had synesthesia as well. It is remarkable that this link hasn’t been documented before,” Baron-Cohen says. One explanation may be that the study was limited to people with autism capable of answering online questionnaires, he surmises; many people with autism may not be able to understand or explain their experiences.According to Baron-Cohen, the mixed senses in each condition may result from extra neural connections that are usually pruned away in infancy, as the brain’s wiring develops. In autism and synesthesia, he explains, this pruning may not occur in the typical way, so the interconnections persist even into adulthood.Baron-Cohen says that brain imaging protocols used to study synesthesia could now also be used for autism. He also suggests that genetic investigations into the overlap between the two conditions might help the hunt for “autism genes.””This is a very clever study that provides important new information,” says neuroscientist David Amaral, the research director of the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute at the University of California, Davis. He feels it’s too early to draw conclusions about the neurobiological basis of autism from responses given by a small group of high-functioning people with autism. But, he says, “it will be interesting to see whether the individuals with autism and synesthesia differ in some fundamental way from those with either condition alone—whether they have different brain organization, for example.”Johnson adds that the work may point to ways of helping caregivers to figure out which colors and stimuli may be distracting or soothing, resulting in more autism-friendly environments.
The government of the Pacific island nation Kiribati has announced that it will close one of the world’s biggest marine reserves to all commercial fishing at the end of the year. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area, about the size of California, is home to the world’s last major stocks of tuna. Since creating the protected area in 2008, Kiribati has allowed unrestricted fishing in 97% of the reserve; an estimated 50,000 tons of tuna were taken there in 2012 alone.“To have such a big no-take zone in such a productive area will allow the species that are fished, like tuna, billfish and sharks to go back to their natural densities and make that part of the ocean whole again,” says Daniel Pauly, a fisheries scientist at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in Canada. “And that has never been done.”Kiribati President Anote Tong had been widely criticized for maintaining in public forums that commercial fishing was prohibited in the entire reserve from the start. The planned moratorium, set to take effect on 31 December, “is fantastic news,” says Sari Tolvanen, an oceans campaigner at Greenpeace International in Amsterdam.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)
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Daniel Kotchen would not be a name familiar to India’s $1.5-billion software services industry if not for half a dozen lawsuits bedeviling the sector, including two against the country’s largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services. Read it at Economic Times Related Items
Tell us about your writing as “discovery”.I write from images, characters, or scenes that lure me on to discover more about them. In “The Girl on the Bench,” for example, I was haunted by the memory of a young woman I’d seen in India years before and had to write her story to discover what she meant. In the process of writing, a good story rises above its original historical details and has its own necessity and significance. I do my best to express them.Picasso made a statement that has always intrigued me, “I do not seek. I find.”How has Raja Rao, as both mentor and friend, influenced your writing? David InglehartMost importantly, he showed me the richness of India’s traditional, living culture. In his way, he’s been utterly fearless in life, and he’s always stressed the importance of finding truth through his writing. His understanding of writing as a sadhana, a spiritual discipline, is a goal to live up to.He also introduced me to the rasa theory of aesthetics, which is the best explanation I know of for what happens in the best moments of fiction, when we lose ourselves through powerful, generalized emotions of unlimited significance. And since I knew better than to try to imitate him, I was forced to create a style of my own.The tone of your short stories is wonderful, crisp and to the point, not at all excessive or overdone. How much crafting do your stories go through to achieve this effect? How do you know when a story is finished?I usually write many drafts, focusing at first on the overall flow of the story and polishing after that. A few stories need very little revision. Some I’m afraid I’ll never finish. A story is finished when it feels right, when it produces its necessary, significant emotion in me as my own reader. When Mozart was a child, his mother is supposed to have gotten him out bed by playing a scale but leaving off the last note. He couldn’t stand the effect until he supplied the right sound.Your interactive website, www.storiesofindia.com is, unlike other author websites, not just about yourself, in that you actually encourage the participation of your readers experiences of India by inviting them to submit stories, photos, reviews, etc. Why is this “sharing” aspect important to you as a writer?Many people have been kind enough to read my work and offer helpful criticism. It seems natural to host other writers in return. And I love to hear the stories and voices of people from around the world who write about India. My life’s much richer because of them.How would you respond to the criticism that a white American male could never begin to understand the Indian psyche? Conversely, it can be pointed out that when Vikram Seth wrote An Equal Music, nary a review thought his being an Indian male put him at a disadvantage in imagining the life of a white man, and a woman for that matter.After one of my stories was posted on Indian website, I was vehemently attacked by a small number of readers for being a “white boy trying to write about India.” And a publisher in New York told my agent that they would never publish fiction about India that hadn’t been written by an Indian. These positions are ill conceived. The very nature of fiction is to see through others’ eyes.How can the scope of the imagination be limited? The majority of the Indian readers who’ve responded to my work have said that it put them in touch with their own roots, which I find very satisfying because I’m interested in those roots. A few have said they couldn’t believe at first that I wasn’t an Indian, though I wasn’t writing in disguise.Finally, tell us what you are currently working on, and if India figures in this new effort.I’m writing a novel tentatively called A Torch in the Night. It’s about a young American who loses someone in the World Trade Center disaster, withdraws to India, and reawakens to life through a school, a woman, and a man in a banyan tree. Related Items
The Indian government is aiming at attracting five million cruise tourists to the country by 2040. India’s tourism sector records an annual growth of 15.6 percent, as compared to the global average of 5 percent, Union Minister of State for Tourism KJ Alphons said on July 28 during the inauguration of a new international cruise terminal at the Ernakulam Wharf of Cochin Port in Kerala.“Visitors to India, which has a history dating back to 5,000 years, leave with a new outlook. The Center will provide all help to enable more cruise ships to call at the Kochi Port,” Alphons said at the occasion, the Hindu reported.“Last year, 2.6 crore people undertook cruise tourism but only 1.6 lakh arrived in India. We need to increase the number of ships that berth here. Our consultants have informed us that by 2040 around five million tourists will visit India via cruise tourism alone, but I am sure that we can do better that,” he was quoted as saying by the Times of India.The government has granted Rs 53 crore to the Cochin Port Trust and Rs 106 crore for boosting cruise tourism in India, Alphons added. The new terminal at Cochin, spread over 2,253 sq.m, would be equipped to handle up to 5,000 tourists. The facility would be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 25.72 crore, of which Rs 21.41 crore has been provided by the Union Ministry of Tourism.The terminal will feature tourist facilities such as a passenger lounge, crew lounge, 30 immigration counters, eight customs clearance counters, seven security check counters, tourist information counter, duty-free shops, bank services, foreign exchange counter, gaming zone, and cafeteria. The construction of the new terminal is expected to be completed by February 2020.The upcoming terminal will be the second one in Kochi, which gets around 40 cruise liners every year, according to the Hindu.A total of 162,660 cruise passengers visited India at six ports — Mumbai, Chennai, Cochin, Kolkata, New Mangalore and Mormugao — during 2017-18, Alphons said in the Lok Sabha on July 30. During the same period, 139 cruise ships visited India at these ports, the minister added.The government has also set up immigration counters at five major Indian ports visited by cruise ships. The facility of E-visa has been extended to sea ports in Mumbai, Goa, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai. Cruise tourists arriving with E-visa have also been exempted from the requirement of biometric enrollment till 2020 to facilitate expeditious immigration clearance, Alphons said in a written reply in the parliament. Related ItemsshippingTourism