Samples collected from the patient during the illness initially showed no evidence of a Marburg virus infection, the agency said. But a sample taken during the patient’s convalescence yielded evidence of a possible infection, and more detailed testing of both samples at the CDC confirmed that the patient had the virus. The case appears to be the first Marburg infection reported in the United States. CDC table of Marburg outbreakshttp://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/marburg/marburgtable.htm See also: The patient had visited the bat-infested “python cave” in western Uganda, the CDC said. Fruit bats can harbor the Marburg virus, which is a cousin of the deadly Ebola virus. A Dutch woman who visited the same cave in July 2008 contracted Marburg fever and died after returning to the Netherlands. “Both patients likely acquired their infections as a result of contact with cave-dwelling fruit bats,” the CDC said. CDC advice to travelers related to Marburg casehttp://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentMarburgUganda.aspx “The patient developed illness four days after returning to the US, was hospitalized, discharged, and fully recovered,” the CDC Special Pathogens Branch said in an online notice. No details about the patient or the illness were released. A CDC official told CIDRAP News the agency expects to be able to provide more information soon. The appropriate state and local health departments were working with the CDC to further investigate the American patient’s case, the CDC reported. The investigation includes assessing anyone who might have been exposed to the patient during the illness and checking on travelers who visited the same cave or other caves in Africa. Officials said there was no evidence that the disease spread to anyone else. Feb 3, 2009 (CIDRAP News) A case of the often deadly Marburg hemorrhagic fever was retrospectively identified in an American who fell ill after a trip to Uganda in January 2008 and eventually recovered, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported recently. CDC questions and answers about Marburghttp://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/marburg/qa.htm CDC outbreak postings with report on Marburg casehttp://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/outbreaks/index.htm The Ugandan Ministry of Health officially closed the cave to visitors in August, after the Dutch case, the statement said. The Marburg virus, like the Ebola virus, can cause a severe febrile disease for which there is no vaccine or specific treatment. Case-fatality rates in recorded outbreaks have ranged from 21% to 90%, according to CDC data. A major outbreak occurred in Angola in 2004 and 2005, involving 252 confirmed cases with 227 deaths, as listed by the CDC. The virus is believed to spread through contact with bodily fluids. Jul 10, 2008, CIDRAP News story on case in the Netherlandshttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/vhf/news/jul1008marburg.html
Charlie Austin returns to the QPR starting line-up for the game against Championship leaders Brighton at Loftus Road.As expected, Austin comes back in with Matt Phillips switching to the flank and Karl Henry dropping to the bench.Austin, who has been nursing a calf problem, has not started a match for more than a month.Meanwhile, former QPR striker Bobby Zamora is among the Brighton substitutes.QPR: Green; Perch, Onuoha, Hall, Konchesky; Sandro, Faurlin; Phillips, Fer, Hoilett; Austin.Subs: Smithies, Chery, Henry, Polter, Angella, Tozser, Emmanuel-Thomas.Brighton: Stockdale, Bruno, Greer, Dunk, Calderon; van La Parra, Kayal, Stephens, Murphy; Wilson, Hemed.Subs: Maenpaa, Chicksen, Huenemeier, Crofts, Forster-Caskey, Manu, Zamora.See also:QPR needed Henry’s experience – HasselbainkAustin lined up for QPR return against BrightonQPR’s Hill passed fit for Brighton gameAustin will not be rushed back – HasselbainkFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
To build South Africans’ pride in the country’s natural, cultural and historical heritage, South African National Parks (SANParks) is offering free entry to citizens during SANParks Week. It runs from 12 to 16 September.“When people take pride in the national parks, they will start to understand the importance of conservation,” said SANParks acting head of communications, William Mabasa.#FreeAccess to National Parks starts in 2 weeks. Which Park will you be visiting? https://t.co/LrfOWBBpBL pic.twitter.com/xnfKFLkVGn— SANParks (@SANParks) August 30, 2016Started in 2006, the theme of the week this year is “Know your national parks”. Access to the parks is free to South Africans with a valid identity document; however, entry will also be free to children under the age of 16 without proof of identity.“It should be noted that the free access to the parks will not include accommodation and any commercial activities in the park such as guided safaris in vehicles or guided walks, etc,” said SANParks.Mabasa said this year’s SANParks Week would include exhibitions showcasing the myriad geographical regions of the parks. “The expo will include cultural, conservation, nursery and tourism aspects from the community, rangers and various conservation entities in order to highlight the broader South African biodiversity landscape.”Click here for a detailed list of the parks taking part in the initiative.Source: SANParks and South Africa.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info material
The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping that more people will take steps to reduce their exposure to radon, a naturally occurring, odorless gas that kills more than 21,000 Americans every year.January is “National Radon Action Month,” and the EPA has posted a variety of links to information on radon and how to lower risks from exposure. Radon is produced by the breakdown of radium and uranium in the soil and gets into houses through cracks in the foundation or via well water. Health officials estimate that one in 15 homes in the U.S. have elevated levels of radon in indoor air.Radon’s only known health effect is lung cancer. Radon substantially increases the risk of lung cancer among smokers, and it kills nearly 3,000 people a year who have never smoked.The World Health Organization says that radon is responsible for up to 15 percent of all lung cancer cases worldwide. The “action level” is not a safe levelConcentrations of radon can be tested with a simple kit. (Home Depot sells kits for about $10, and they’re also available from a number of online sources.) The EPA recommends that homeowners take steps to reduce radon levels when tests show concentrations of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) in indoor air. But because there is no known “safe level” of exposure, the EPA also suggests homeowners consider remedial steps when radon levels are between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.“Unfortunately, many Americans presume that because the action level is 4 pCi/L, a radon level of less than 4 pCi/L is ‘safe,’” the EPA says. “This perception is altogether too common in the residential real estate market. In managing any risk, we should be concerned with the greatest risk. For most Americans, their greatest exposure to radon is in their homes; especially in rooms that are below grade (e.g., basements), rooms that are in contact with the ground and those rooms immediately above them.”Radon mitigation systems typically pull radon from inside the house and vent it above the roofline. (The EPA has published a guide describing a number of mitigation techniques and also offers advice on choosing a radon mitigation contractor.For more information on radon mitigation, see Martin Holladay’s article, “All About Radon.”
Two notorious criminals were killed in an encounter with police in New Mandi area here on Tuesday, an official said.They were involved in several cases of loot and murder. Rohit alias Sandu and Rakesh were carrying cash rewards of ₹one lakh and ₹50,000 on their heads, respectively, ADG Prashant Kumar said. During the encounter, two policemen also sustained injuries, he said. Police have seized two pistols, cartridges and a motorcycle, Mr. Kumar added.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic returned brilliantly and swatted winners from all angles to beat defending champion Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1 on Monday night and earn his first U.S. Open title and third Grand Slam trophy of 2011.Djokovic improved to 64 wins from 66 matches with 10 tournament titles in a simply spectacular year, one of the greatest in the history of men’s tennis – or any sport, for that matter.”I’ve had an amazing year,” Djokovic said, “and it keeps going.”Against No. 2 Nadal, Djokovic is 6-0, all in finals – three on hard courts, including Monday; two on clay; and one on grass at Wimbledon in July. Djokovic also won the Australian Open in January, and is only the sixth man in the 40-plus years of the Open era to collect three major titles in a single season.”Obviously I’m disappointed, but you know what, this guy is doing is unbelievable,” Nadal said.Addressing Djokovic, Nadal added: “What you did this year is impossible to repeat, so well done.”The best win-loss record in the modern era was John McEnroe’s 82-3 in 1984, although that included two Grand Slam titles, because he lost in the French Open final and didn’t enter the Australian Open. Roger Federer was 81-4 in 2005 with two majors, exiting twice in the semifinals. Rod Laver (twice) and Don Budge are the only men to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in a year.Djokovic attributes his rise this season to a number of factors, including a vastly improved serve, better fitness – owing, at least in part, to a gluten-free diet he doesn’t like to discuss in any detail – and a seemingly endless reservoir of confidence that dates to December, when he led Serbia to its first Davis Cup title.advertisementThat’s where Djokovic began a 43-match winning streak that ended with a semifinal loss to Federer in the French Open semifinals. The only other blemish on Djokovic’s 2011 record was a loss to Andy Murray in the Cincinnati Masters final last month; Djokovic stopped playing while trailing, citing a painful shoulder.That was the 24-year-old Serb’s last match before heading to Flushing Meadows. His shoulder was fine, clearly, and while he was treated by a trainer for a bad back three times in the late going Monday – perhaps the reason his serves slowed to the 90s mph (140s kph) in the fourth set – he overcame it.With both men playing fantastic, court-covering defense, there were more than two dozen points that lasted at least 15 strokes.Nadal won three major titles in 2010, including beating Djokovic in the U.S. Open final. But this rematch was more of a mismatch, with Djokovic quickly turning things around after falling behind 2-0 in each of the first two sets.Only in the third set did Djokovic really falter for a few moments, getting broken while serving for the match at 6-5, then being outplayed in the tiebreaker.But in the fourth set, Djokovic was in control from the start, breaking in the opening game with a forehand winner, then cruising from there.When Djokovic ended it with another forehand winner, he raised his arms, then tossed aside his racket and dropped to the court. He pulled off his shirt and threw it into the stands, then put on a dark hat with “FDNY” written on it – a nod to Sunday’s 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which both he and Nadal mentioned during the trophy ceremony.Of all of Djokovic’s skills, the one that separated him the most across the 4-hour, 10-minute final was his return. He repeatedly sent serves back over the net and at Nadal’s feet, forcing errors or taking control of the point, helping Djokovic accumulate an astounding 26 break points and convert 11.Consider this: When Nadal completed his career Grand Slam by winning last year’s U.S. Open, he was broken a total of five times in seven matches.Another telling statistic: Four times Monday, Nadal broke Djokovic – only to have Djokovic break right back in the next game.That’s exactly what happened in the third game of the second set, which lasted 17 minutes and featured a bit of everything: 22 points; eight deuces; six break points; a time violation warning against Nadal (Djokovic was admonished later in the set); complaints by both men that the glare from the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights was bothersome; seven exchanges that lasted at least 10 strokes.After a 28-shot point, Djokovic leaned over and put his hands on his knees, his chest heaving. Nadal was the one who faltered, though. He double-faulted to set up break point No. 6, then – on a great defensive lob by Djokovic – put an overhead into the net.advertisementThe final – delayed a day to Monday by rain for the fourth consecutive U.S. Open – was marked by spectators calling out during points or as the players were in their service motions, and while that’s perhaps to be expected in New York (as opposed to, say, the staid All England Club), Djokovic and Nadal were bothered by it, and the chair umpire repeatedly chastised the unruly crowd.Once he adjusted to the conditions, Djokovic disguised shots well, rearing back and ripping big shots off both wings – often right near lines, if not right on them. He wound up with 55 winners – 23 more than Nadal – and all in all, put on a masterful display of as diverse a game as one can have. He excelled at everything – serving, returning, volleying, groundstrokes and the sort of constant movement and retrieving with which Nadal usually frustrates opponents.At 25 years old, Nadal owns 10 Grand Slam titles.He has acknowledged, though, that Djokovic holds a psychological advantage. Late in Monday’s first set, Djokovic hit two drop shots that the normally relentless and indefatigable Nadal didn’t even bother to chase.
zoom UK-based power systems provider Rolls-Royce has signed a deal with Swedish ferry company Stena Line AB to collaborate in the development of its first intelligent awareness system.“Intelligent awareness systems will make vessels safer, easier and more efficient to operate by providing crew with an enhanced understanding of their vessel’s surroundings,” Rolls-Royce said.The company added that this would be achieved by fusing data from a range of sensors with information from existing ship systems, such as Automatic Identification System (AIS) and radar. Data from other sources, including global databases, will also have a role, the company informed.“We have been exploring and testing how to combine sensor technologies effectively and affordably for some time. Pilot projects such as this will allow us to see how they can be best adapted to the needs of a commercial vessel and its crew and allow us to develop a product which better serves both,” Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce, Director Digital & Systems – Marine, said.“Successful pilots and product development programmes are also an important step towards the further development of remote and autonomous vessels and meeting our goal of having a remote controlled ship in commercial use by the end of the decade,” Skaro added.Rolls-Royce said it expects to be able to undertake an Approval of Concept and have its intelligent awareness product commercially available later in 2017.Earlier in March, the company received an approval for a research grant by Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, supporting its aim to make remote and autonomous shipping a reality bu enabling it to invest further in a research and development centre in Turku, Finland.Rolls-Royce plans to carry out further development projects there focused on the future development of land-based control centres, and the use of artificial intelligence in future remote and autonomous shipping operations.The intelligent awareness system will benefit from Rolls-Royce’s experience in the Tekes funded project Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA), which has been running since June 2015.
Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already made huge strides since he replaced Jose MourinhoThe Red Devils named Solskjaer as interim coach for the remainder of this season following Mourinho’s dismissal this month.Under the Norwegian, United have secured convincing wins over Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town over the past week.Now Shaw, who himself had a difficult relationship with Mourinho at times, believes Solskjaer has made an instant impact on the squad.“I think you can see from the outside how much he has changed things in such a short space of time,” Shaw told Sky Sports.“He is just a really positive manager, he knows what the club needs and also what the fans want in the way we are playing.Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“He’s bringing that attacking, quick play back to Old Trafford. I’m sure the fans are going to appreciate that as much as we [the players] do.”As for how he found out about Solskjaer’s appointment, Shaw said: “The truth? My girlfriend told me.“I woke up in the morning and had a shower and she ran out of the room and told me.“I did not have a clue, I didn’t look at my phone or anything. That’s how I found out… from my girlfriend.”Solskjaer will take charge of his third game on Sunday when United host Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
DMV building in Hillcrest renovations to get pushed back 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsHILLCREST (KUSI)- The Department of Motor Vehicles pushed back the plans to renovate the Hillcrest office.Originally the DMV was planning on building a smaller new facility to replace the old one.Now after the community persuaded the DMV to reconsider the plans the building will be renovated into a new, vibrant center to reflect the Hillcrest community.“The DMV is going to back to the drawing board and draw up some proposals and what i believe will actually result in a better project.” said State Assembly Member Todd Gloria.The new plan is expected to improve user experience at the DMV and save tax payers money.Demolition on the building has been pushed back so city officials can perfect the new plan. KUSI Newsroom, Posted: December 5, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom December 5, 2018 Updated: 1:53 PM
Photo via Twitter @news_liveworldAsher Abid Khan, 23, of Spring, Texas.A Houston-area man pleaded guilty Monday to providing material support to the Islamic State group under a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors.Under terms of the agreement, Asher Abid Khan, 23, of Spring, Texas, must fully cooperate with any further federal investigation of his case. In return, prosecutors will drop five other counts of the indictment against him, including three conspiracy counts.Khan could get up to 15 years in prison, but prosecutors agreed not to oppose leniency in sentencing if he’s true to his agreement. If he had gone to trial and been convicted of all charges, Khan could have been sentenced to life in a federal prison.Prosecutors initially alleged Khan used social media to join and support IS, but his attorney has said he used social media to persuade another Texas man not to join the IS.The indictment alleged that Khan, a U.S. citizen, traveled from Australia to Turkey in February 2014 as part of a plan to join the Islamic State in Syria. But once he got to Turkey, Khan had a change of heart and returned to his home in suburban Houston.He was supposed to rendezvous in Turkey with Sixto Garcia, of McAllen, Texas, who authorities said went on to join the group and was killed in fighting later that year.According to court documents, investigators allege that in one message on Facebook, Khan asked, “I’d like to join.”Khan’s attorney, Thomas Berg, has contended that his client went online to try to persuade Garcia to not join the Islamic State.The case was seen as a reflection of a growing use of social media by authorities to prosecute U.S. citizens suspected of trying to aid terrorists.“We aggressively investigate and prosecute persons who provide material support to terrorist organizations,” said Abe Martinez, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas. Martinez said Khan provided IS “a battlefield soldier to further the terrorist organization’s violent agenda.”Asher Abid Khan, 23, of Spring, TX pleaded guilty today to providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization. #FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force investigated https://t.co/B5lZV1Qwwh #HouNews— FBI Houston (@FBIHouston) December 4, 2017 Share
Share Two teenagers from Atascocita High School were killed and a driver was hurt when a car struck a tree and the force of the collision caused the vehicle to break in two. Harris County Sheriff’s Office Vehicular Crimes Unit has charged Jaggar Clayton Smith, 17-year-old, with two counts of intoxication manslaughter. HCSO Traffic Investigators Charge 17 Year Old with Two Counts of Intoxication Manslaughter — full release: https://t.co/CE6stAOtRh#HouNews pic.twitter.com/682xvXkGmA— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) July 25, 2018Authorities said on approximately 12:05 a.m. July 25, 2018, Smith was operating his Nissan Altima in the 18300 block of Timber Forest with two 16-year-old girls, Salma Gomez and Chloe Robison. Smith failed to drive in a single lane and left the roadway traveling southeast into the center median of the roadway rotating counter-clockwise. The right side of the Smith’s vehicle struck a tree and the force of the collision caused the vehicle to break in two. The defendant was transported to Houston Northwest Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries and arrested on two counts of Intoxication Manslaughter.Teens involved in this accident were close friends and students at @HumbleISD Atascocita High School. #hounews— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) July 25, 2018
How to Find Signs of Life on Mars This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Stromatolites. Credit: Macquarie University The scientists, led by Associate Professor Nora Noffke of the Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, did not strictly find fossils of that age, but actually found web-like patterns criss-crossing the surfaces of the Pilbara sandstone. Dr. Noffke calls the patterns and textures Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) and said the structures were created by a complete ecosystem of different types of bacteria living in the Archean eon (roughly 3.8 to 2.5 GA) almost three-and-a-half billion years ago. The Pilbara region is a popular area for scientists searching for traces of early life on the planet because the ancient sedimentary rocks are extremely well preserved. The rocks were originally sand, and the region was originally a coastal plain. The sand was then built up into microbial mats by microbes, and over time the sand turned to rock and preserved the bacterial mats and structures such as MISS.A separate group of scientists working in the Pilbara published a paper last year describing their find of microbial fossil traces dated at around 3.4 billion years old. Similar fossils have also been found by Noffke’s group in sedimentary rocks in South Africa, but these were dated at 2.9 billion years old.Noffke’s team measured the carbon content in the rock and examined the ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12. In non-living sources the ratio is around 1:99, while in photosynthesizing bacteria and other living organisms there is even less C13. Noffke and her group found the ratio in their samples was consistent with organic carbon. Unfortunately, there were no traces of preserved fats, proteins or fossilized microbes to definitely confirm the material is from living organisms.Microbial mats still form today in a few places such as the Pilbara. They contain mats of photosynthesizing cyanobacteria that produce food for use by themselves and other bacteria in the mat, and they also produce oxygen through photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria are believed to have created the Earth’s oxygen around 2.4 billion years ago. Dr. Noffke said her findings could help in the search for signs of early life on other planets, by giving more information on what to look for, as explained in an earlier Phys.Org article.Dr. Noffke presented the paper at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Charlotte, North Carolina in November. (Phys.org)—A group of US researchers studying some of the oldest rocks in the world in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, say they have found the oldest traces of life on Earth, dated at 3.49 billion years old. More information: A MICROBIAL ECOSYSTEM IN AN ANCIENT SABKHA OF THE 3.49 GA PILBARA, WESTERN AUSTRALIA, AND COMPARISON WITH MESOARCHEAN, NEOPROTEROZOIC AND PHANEROZOIC EXAMPLES, gsa.confex.com/gsa/2012AM/webp … ram/Paper205981.htmlAbstractGerald Friedman’s actualistic research on microbial processes in modern coastal sabkhas has opened the path of understanding of ancient microbial biota. Some of Earth’s oldest sedimentary rocks exposed in the Pilbara area of Western Australia include a mixed carbonate-evaporite-siliciclastic coastal sabkha. In the present day such sabkhas are widely colonized by microbial mats. Interacting with sedimentary processes such as erosion or evaporate crystal growth the microbial mats generate biogenic structures such as stromatolites or MISS. In the Pilbara area of Western Australia stromatolites occur which belong to the oldest fossils in Earth history. However, there also exists a plethora of well preserved MISS. These structures represent an entire ecosystem of surprising diversity. Actualistic comparison of fossil and modern biogenic structures and their facies-related distribution in sabkha settings points towards the presence of microbial communities in the Paleoarchean time highly similar to those we are familiar with today. Citation: Earliest evidence of life found: 3.49 billion years ago (2013, January 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-earliest-evidence-life-billion-years.html Explore further © 2013 Phys.org
The festival will be inaugurated by D.M Spolia, Chief Secretary, Govt. of NCT of Delhi on 23 December.This festival will offer culinary delights of Purani Dilli. The festival was started in the year 2010 and, since then Delhi Tourism organises Dilli Ke Pakwaan every year. The event has been receiving encouraging response from Delhiites and foreign tourists alike. The festival will have vendors from Purani Dilli who will showcase their expertise in grafting some of the most delectable, mouth watering cuisines. Visitors will be able to savor the Mutton Korma, Chicken Tikka, Kabab, Special Chaat, Hot Jalebi, Ice Candy, various flavors of kulfi, Daulat ki chaat, puri aloo chaat, rabri falooda, firni and many more. There will be more than 150 varieties of food on offer for the visitors. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The entrance gates of the Dilli ke Pakwaan venue will be designed in the shape of a samosa and malai tikka. There will be theme corners where visitors will be able to enjoy the taste and also get a vivid glimpse of its culture and tradition.Renowned chefs will be giving interactive sessions on cooking besides various competitions for the visitors, such as best recipe and best food lover will also be held during the seven day event.Another addition to this year’s Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDilli Ke Pakwaan Festival is that a special kid’s zone will be designed for the children. Various competitions will also be held for children in that zone.To embark the history of Delhi the entire venue will be redefined with the Old Delhi charm. Cultural performances will bring Dilli Ke Pakwaan alive along with appetizing regional food and street food.Delhi food has always been an amalgamation brought in by people who have migrated to the city and settled. The original food of Delhi mainly refers to the days of Shahjahanabad. This festival is the celebration of this social and cultural diversity.Dilli Ke Pakwaan Festival is one event that is a testimony that despite modernity and the thriving fast food culture, traditional street food is still the flavor any day.
Kolkata: Bidhannagar police have arrested two persons on the charges of threatening a local youth on gunpoint.The incident sparked tension among locals, who were walking along the Shaymnagar road on Saturday evening.The complainant, Pradip Nayek, told the police that he was passing through the area when one person, later identified as Debu Mukherjee, took out a firearm and threatened him on gunpoint.One Gazi Oraon, a local resident, was accompanying the accused. Some of the locals managed to catch hold of the accused.They were also roughed up by the irate mob. After being informed, police rushed to the spot and arrested both the youth. Police have recovered one firearm and two rounds of cartridges from his possession. Both the youths have been remanded to five-day police custody after being produced before Bidhannagar court on Sunday.
Bollywood films are seeing cuts and beeps by the censor board, musicians are facing flak and being misinterpreted, actors are being judged on the basis of their religion. So, is stand up comedy the only platform devoid of interference from “moral policing”? In stand-up comedy, artistes take bold pot shots at politicians or comment on social issues like the beef ban – yet most of them feel that people in India are not quite ready to be criticised or mocked. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfStand-up comedian Appurv Gupta, who has more than 200 shows to his credit, says “online trolls are making sure that even comedians won’t say what they want to say”.”These days, everyone is getting hurt over even small things and if we say something that affects them emotionally or forces them to think about their past decisions, then they can go to any level – especially on internet – and they make sure that either they win the argument, or you stop arguing with them,” Gupta said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”I, as a comedian, think twice before writing a small tweet and think about the consequences; so I doubt whether I have freedom of speech, specially at this point of time. Things were different 2-3 years back. I don’t know whether this change is good or bad for everyone, but, yes, freedom of speech is facing a struggle in India,” he added.On the other hand, Amit Tandon, who has done more than 700 shows in India and on foreign shores, feels stand-comedy is “one of the voices” against the negativity escalating in the country, but he believes that “other people are doing better jobs than comedians, like RTI (Right To Information) activists, NGOs, etc”. “In fact, stand-up comedy shows you that there is still freedom of speech because, despite all the FIRs, no comedian has actually gone to jail. It shows that it is okay to speak against the government,” Tandon quipped.On a positive note, Neeti Palta, who gives a female point of view on a variety of subjects, from Indian idiosyncrasies, to daily irritants, to current affairs – all the while poking fun at men, pointed out that since the time of “Akbar and Birbal, comedy has always been used as a tool to sugarcoat hard truths and make them more palatable. And so is the case today”.”It reflects the ethos of the era it exists in. Be it a poking fun at intolerance or a bunch of idiots who are all too easily offended, or the current political scenario, or even the alter lives we lead in cyber space. Everything is rich ground for material,” she said.Arjun Anand, co-founder at Punchliners, a stand-up comedy platform, said that every comedian expresses his perspective through distinct forms of comedy. But he believes that “sensitive issues must be handled sensitively”.Sorabh Pant concurs, saying that he thinks twice about his jokes only when it is related to Indian politicians.”I want to make sure that I am not saying anything that is incorrect. I will criticise (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi, (Chief Minister of Delhi) Arvind Kejriwal and (Congress leader) Rahul Gandhi, but I am also going to figure out their positive side to keep it balanced because all three of them have quite a vast number of supporters in the country and it is a little unfair to disrespect them,” Pant said.