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Indore-Patna Express train tragedy: Death toll mounts to 121 with nearly 200 injured

The death toll in the Patna Indore train tragedy has reportedly gone up to 121 with nearly 200 injured.

A special train with survivors of the tragic incident reached Patna early this morning. 14 coaches of the Patna-Indore Express derailed near Pukharayam in Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh on 20 November. Rescue operations were on for more than 14 hours. Several passengers are still feared trapped under the debris of the damaged coaches. Initial reports suggest that fractured rail tracks could be the possible cause of the accident.

Following the tragic Patna-Indore Express derailment, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced on 20 November that an ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh would be awarded to the families of the deceased.

J&K: 1 soldier dead, 3 injured in Pak firing in Rajouri sector

A soldier was killed and three others injured as Pakistani army resorted to heavy cross-border firing in Rajouri sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday night, in the third ceasefire violation in less than 24 hours.

"The firing is being responded to and will be responded to appropriately", the Northern Command of Indian Army said in a tweet.

Sunday's violation of ceasefire came a day after a Border Security Force or BSF jawan and a woman were injured and two houses damaged when Pakistani troops targeted Indian posts and civilian areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowshera and Sunderbani sectors of Rajouri with mortar attacks and small arms fire.

On Saturday, Pakistan army resorted to violation of the ceasefire in the Nowshera sector and in the afternoon, they started firing in the Sunderbani sector targeting Indian posts and civilian areas.

PM Modi's BJP as tolerant of corruption as Mamata Banerjee, says Congress

The Congress party on 21 November said that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cannot claim the high moral ground on battling and neutralizing corruption, as past history indicates that they too were complicit in such acts.

Describing Prime Minister Modi's indirect attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by highlighting the Saradha chit-fund scam as nothing but "political propaganda", Congress leader P. C. Chacko said both he and the BJP are not against corruption, but tolerate and encourage it.

"If the Prime Minister or the BJP or the Centre has any serious complaint against Mamata Banerjee's party (Trinamool Congress), they should have taken proper action against them such as inquiry and taken the people responsible to task. All this they could have done. Without doing anything and without completing the action required, they are simply using this for political propaganda," Chacko told ANI.

0.2% chance of humankind being wiped out within a year

Depending on how much of a xenophobe you are, this might come across as news that could either alarm or cheer you. A mathematician has found that the human race faces a one in 500 chance of total extinction in the next year.

Associated with the University of Barcelona's Institute of Cosmos Sciences, Dr Fergus Simpson has said that according to his research, there's a 0.2% chance of a "global catastrophe" set to hit humankind in any year over the 21st century.

The findings are part of an academic paper he authored called "Apocalypse Now? Reviving the Doomsday Argument," which can be accessed via the Cornell University's online library. The title draws from the basic source of Dr Simpson's calculation - the Doomsday Argument, which can supposedly predict the number of future members of the human species, if one factors in an estimate of the total number of humans born till date.

Scientists tap into photosynthesis to boost plant productivity

We've all heard of photosynthesis and how it's the core mechanism plants have of using sunlight to sustain themselves. Now, scientists have found a way to accelerate photosynthesis which means a huge boost to crop output.

American researchers working on the project have successfully tweaked the photosynthetic process by increasing three key protein levels that are involved in the process. The Hindu quotes Stephen Long, professor at the University of Illinois: "Crop leaves exposed to full sunlight absorb more light than they can use. If they cannot get rid of this extra energy, it will actually bleach the leaf."

Long explained that plants protect themselves accordingly by making changes within the leaf that can dissipate any excess energy as heat. The process, he said is called non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). Another researcher associated with the project, Krishna Niyogi told Popular Science that, "Our goal is to see this reach poor farmers around the world."

'Holy grail' of genetics: Researchers find way to fix

Researchers have made a vital breakthrough, developing a new way to edit DNA that repairs "broken genes" in the brain - which could also potentially cure almost incurable diseases.

The breakthrough, termed as the "holy grail" of genetics, has already been used to partially restore eyesight of rats who were blinded by a condition which affects humans in a similar manner. This common genetic disease, called retinitis pigmentosa, affects about one in 4,000 people in the UK.

Professor Izpisua Belmonte, of the Salk Institute in the US, associated closely with the project told Independent that, ""For the first time, we can enter into cells that do not divide and modify the DNA at will."