Friday, 09 December @ 13:00

Pakistan violates ceasefire in Kathua, RS Pura

Unprovoked firing by Pakistani rangers continued on 29 October morning. In a fresh round of ceasefire violations, Pakistani troopers fired on Indian posts and civilian areas along the LoC and international border in Kathua and RS Pura sectors.

On 28 October, a girl was injured in unprovoked firing by Pakistani rangers.

Defence spokespersons said that the BSF and Army have responded "appropriately and befittingly".

"There was unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army in Sunderbani, Pallanwala and Nowshera sectors of Rajouri and Jammu districts," the spokesman said.

They used small arms, automatics, 82 mm mortars and 120 mm mortars in the firing and shelling, he said.

Fourth man held for allegedly spying for Pakistan

Delhi's Crime Branch on 29 October confirmed the arrest of a fourth spy, claiming that he was carrying out espionage activities for Pakistan.

The arrested person was identified as Fahat, a resident of Uttar Pradesh and a close aide of Samajwadi Party leader Munawwar Salim.

On 28 October, Shoaib, a Jodhpur-based man, who was detained on Thursday by the Rajasthan Police, was placed in the custody of the Delhi Police till 8 November.

The other two alleged Indian spies arrested by the Crime Branch are Maulana Ramzan Khan alias Hazrat and Subhash Jangir.

ISRO eyes world records, plans to launch 83 satellites on a single rocket

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is aiming to set a world record by putting 83 satellites - two Indian and 81 foreign - on a single rocket.

A top official of Antrix Corporation - the commercial arm of ISRO - revealed that the satellites will be put in the orbit in the early 2017.

"During the first quarter of 2017 we plan to launch a single rocket carrying 83 satellites. Most foreign satellites are nano satellites," Rakesh Sasibhushan, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Antrix Corporation told IANS.

Sasibhushan said that 83 satellites will be put in single orbit and there will be no switching off and on of the rocket.

The biggest challenge that Antrix will face would be to keep rocket in the same orbit till all 83 satellites are ejected.

ISRO will use Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle XL (PSLV-XL) rocket variant for the launch. The total payload carried into the space on the rocket will stand around 1,600 kg.

India refrains from voting on nuclear weapons ban at UN

A UN General Assembly committee has adopted a resolution to launch negotiations next year on a new treaty outlawing nuclear weapons, even as India abstained saying it is not convinced the move can lead to a comprehensive instrument on nuclear disarmament.

The General Assembly's First Committee, which deals with disarmament and international security, adopted the draft resolution yesterday on nuclear disarmament negotiations.

Through the resolution, the General Assembly would reiterate that the universal objective of taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations remains the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons.

The resolution emphasises the importance of addressing issues related to nuclear weapons in a comprehensive, inclusive, interactive and constructive manner, for the advancement of multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.

Friday, 09 December @ 13:00

Scientists identify neural region responsible for placebo effect

In a clinical trial of 95 patients suffering from acute osteoarthritis, scientists at the Northwestern Medicine and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) have used the technique of functional magnetic resonance brain imaging to identify the part of the brain responsible for the placebo effect.

Researchers found that patients who had mid frontal gyrus, an area in the front part of the brain, that had more connectivity to other parts of the brain were far more likely to experience the placebo effect. The region also plays an important role in emotional responses and decision making.

The findings could lead to clinical trials being more accurate in the future as placebo responders can be screened out. Moreover, by mapping patients brains, scientists can now create more targeted pain therapy rather than the current hit and hope approach.

China set to build world's fastest supercomputer

A billion billion calculations per second -- that's how fast China's planned exascale computer will function.

With the government demanding an exascale computer be up and running within five years, the Ministry of Science and Technology recently funded three research institutions to develop prototypes, according to Xinhua.

Now, government sources will pick the two best proposals to proceed. If China can implement the computer by 2020, they will be the first country to do so. Currently both Japan and France are building exascale computers, while the US will have one operational by 2023.

Last year, China surpassed the US as the country with the most supercomputers.

Friday, 09 December @ 13:00

Rohingyas raped, homes razed

In the latest crackdown by the Myanmar government on the minority Rohingya community, Myanmar armed forces have resorted to extreme brutality.

Armed forces have shot dead scores of Rohingya Muslims in western Rakhine state. Rohingya's have also alleged that the forces perpetrated sexual atrocities on dozens of women, burned copies of the Koran and burned, looted and razed shops, businesses and homes. This is the biggest upsurge in violence against the community in 4 years.