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Zebras' iconic thick, black stripes may be more for cooling than camouflage

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 13:09

Zebras' iconic thick, black stripes may be more for cooling than camouflageWashington, Jan. 16 - A new study has recently revealed that zebras' thick, black stripes may be more used as a cooling system than camouflage.

Some researchers have suggested that the stripes may help zebras camouflage themselves and escape from lions and other predators; avoid nasty bites from disease-carrying flies; or control body heat by generating small-scale breezes over the zebra's body when light and dark stripes heat up at different rates, the Fox News reported.

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Civilization has crossed tipping point of sustainability due to human activities

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 12:37

Civilization has crossed tipping point of sustainability due to human activitiesWashington, Jan 16 - A recent study has suggested that civilization has crossed four of nine so-called planetary boundaries as the result of human activities.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin said that the climate change, the loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change and altered biogeochemical cycles like phosphorus and nitrogen runoff have all passed beyond levels that put humanity in a "safe operating space."

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Extrasolar planets more Earth-like than previously thought

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 11:44

Extrasolar planets more Earth-like than previously thoughtWashington, Jan 16 - A new study has revealed that planets outside our solar system are likelier to have liquid water and be more habitable than we previously thought.

Astrophysicist Jeremy Leconte at the University of Toronto said that planets with potential oceans could have a climate that is much more similar to Earth's than previously expected.

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Vatican defends Pope's punch gesture saying it was not meant to justify Paris shootings

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 11:38

Jorge Mario BergoglioWashington, Jan 16 - Pope Francis' pretend punch at the doctor, while stressing the limits of freedom of expression post Paris massacre, has been defended by a Vatican spokesperson saying that it was not meant to in any way defend violence or terror that took place in France last week.

The Pope made the gesture and accompanying remarks while flying from Sri Lanka to the Philippines saying to Doctor Gasparri who arranges his trips that if he spoke badly of the Pope's mother, he could expect a punch.

However, Pope Francis did not mention the attack at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's headquarters, reported CNN.

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US reacts cautiously to Pope's statement on freedom of speech

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 11:13

White House Press Secretary Josh EarnestWashington - The US has reacted cautiously to the statement made by the Pope Francis on freedom of speech, who had said such rights entail limits and that other people's religion could not be insulted or mocked.

Noting that freedom of speech comes with responsibilities, the US said that violence in no way could be justified to disagreements on freedom of speech.

"There is no act of public expression in terms of free speech that would in any way justify an act of violence. That is a principle that we have reiterated on a number of occasions. I think it's something that the vast majority of the world agrees with."

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Indian-American appointed minority floor leader in Michigan

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 11:05

Indian-American Sam SinghWashington - Indian-American Sam Singh, a two-term legislature, has been appointed as the Democratic Floor Leader in the Michigan State Assembly in the US.

This is his first term as the Democratic Floor Leader.

Republicans form the majority in the State.

"My position works very closely with the Republican floor leader to make sure, as we discuss policy, that ideas from both sides of the aisle are being heard, and work closely with my Democratic colleagues to make sure our ideas and voices are heard here at the Capitol," 43-year-old Singh was quoted as saying by the local The State News.

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David Cameron arrives in US to discuss IS, counter-terrorism

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 10:29

David Cameron arrives in US to discuss IS, counter-terrorismWashington - British Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived in the city to hold talks with US President Barack Obama on a wide range of issues including counter-terrorism, joint campaign against IS and cyber-securities.

The two leaders had a private dinner at the White House after Cameron arrived here yesterday.

Substantive discussions are scheduled to take place today after which the two leaders would address a joint press conference.

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Indian-American appointed to Maryland Cabinet

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 10:22

Maryland Governor-elect Larry HoganWashington - In a first for the community in the state, an Indian-American entrepreneur has been appointed as the Secretary of the Department of Human Resources in Maryland State Cabinet.

Maryland Governor-elect Larry Hogan has announced to appoint Sam Malohtra as his pick to head the Department of Human Resources.

Malhotra, founder and CEO of Subsystem Technologies, a defense and safety company, had previously served in Governor Robert L Ehrlich's Administration in a volunteer capacity on Maryland Commission for Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.

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US looking to deepen economic relations with India

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 09:52

US President Barack ObamaWashington - The US is looking to deepen its economic relationship with India, a top American diplomat has said ahead of President Barack Obama's trip to the country, during which the two countries would take up a host of issues, including defence, intellectual property as well as the bilateral investment treaty.

Obama will be travelling to India as a Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations. During his three-day visit starting January 25, he will hold talks with top leadership in New Delhi on ways to make progress on key issues like defence and civil nuclear agreement, among other engagements.

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We came to US to become Americans not Indian-Americans: Bobby Jindal

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 09:50

Louisiana Governor Bobby JindalWashington - Asserting that he didn't believe in hyphenated identities, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has said that his parents came to the US from India four decades ago to become Americans and not Indian-Americans.

He invoked his ethnic heritage to make a call for immigrant assimilation and called people who talked about skin pigmentation as the "most dim-witted lot" around.

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Second US Navy captain pleads guilty in bribery scheme

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 09:46

Second US Navy captain pleads guilty in bribery schemeSan Diego - A second US Navy captain pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in a massive scheme involving a Malaysian defense contractor accused of bilking the US military out of at least USD 20 million.

Captain Daniel Dusek entered the plea yesterday in his first appearance in federal court in San Diego and waived his right to present his case before a federal grand jury. His plea comes the same day the key figure in the case defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, known as "Fat Leonard" is scheduled to change his not-guilty plea.

The scandal is considered one of the worst corruption cases to rock the Navy in years.

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Charlie Hebdo gunmen received 20K dollars from Al Qaeda affiliate

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 18:39

Charlie Hebdo gunmen received 20K dollars from Al Qaeda affiliateWashington, Jan 15 : One of the Charlie Hebdo gunmen was reportedly given 20,000 dollars for terrorist operations by an al Qaeda affiliate three years back.

However, two counter-terrorism officials said that the US has found no evidence indicating the group's involvement in the Paris attacks.

According to ABC News, Al Qaeda's Yemen affiliate AQAP said overnight it's leadership "chose the target, laid the plan and financed the operation" and called the shooters, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, "heroes."

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This China based restaurant would give you free meal if you're 'beautiful'

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 16:41

This China based restaurant would give you free meal if you're 'beautiful'Washington, Jan 15 : A China based South Korean restaurant has offered free meal s to its 50 first customers, but only if they are most beautiful.

The Jeju Island restaurant in Zhengzhou, China, launched a promotional offer, which is part beauty contest, part early-bird special, and would give away free food to the first 50 attractive customers to arrive at its doors each day, the Mashable reported.

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Growing older doesn't affect financial decision-making skills

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 15:13

Growing older doesn't affect financial decision-making skillsWashington, Jan 15 - Scientists have claimed that cognitive aging has no negative affect financial decision-making skills of people.

According to new research from Columbia Business School, though growing older slows the mind and the ability to make decisions, when it comes to making financial decisions, many baby boomers would be pleased to know that experience, knowledge, and expertise can compensate for the challenges that age-related deterioration present in finance.

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Jimmy Carter slams Mike Huckabee's parenting comment on Obamas

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 14:47

Jimmy CarterWashington, Jan 15 - Jimmy Carter has shot back at Mike Huckabee after he criticized the parenting skills of Obamas.

The former US President was at LaGuardia Airport, when he was asked about Huckabee's comment on the first family saying that good parents don't let their kids listen to Beyonce, reported.

Carter responded by saying that he disagreed with most of the things that the would-be presidential candidate said, and thought that President Obama was "doing a good job." (ANI)

As Turkey bans Charlie Hebdo cover, newspaper receives death threats for carrying its images

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 14:41

Yalcin AkdoganWashington, Jan 15 - While a court has reportedly banned website pages that showed the new cover of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a newspaper that published images of the cover received death threats in Turkey.

After Cumhuriyet printed a four-page sample of Charlie Hebdo's latest edition, translated into Turkish and published two columns on the inside pages that included small images of the cover, the entrance to the newspaper's Istanbul office and all the traffic around it was blocked by the police. Also, distribution trucks were stopped at the printing press in the city, reported the CNN.

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1 in 3 college men say they would 'forcefully have sex' if there was no penalty

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 14:32

1 in 3 college men say they would 'forcefully have sex' if there was no penaltyWashington, Jan 15 : According to a recent study, over a third of college men said that they would force a woman to have sex if nobody would ever know and there wouldn't be any consequences.

The researchers interviewed 86 heterosexual, mostly white, males, over 18, who filled out multiple questionaires that guaged their sexual attitudes and behaviors toward women, the Discovery reported.

The study's aim was to dig beneath the label of "rapist" to see what young men's attitudes were toward forceful and coercive sexual behaviors.

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Ola gears up to overtake Uber by announcing plans to cover 200 Indian cities in 2015

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 14:14

Ola gears up to overtake Uber by announcing plans to cover 200 Indian cities in 2015Washington, Jan 15 - Web-based taxi service Ola, which currently operates in nearly 50 Indian cities, has reportedly announced its plan to expand to 200 cities in India by the end of this year.

The announcement followed SoftBank's 210 million dollar investment in the startup last year that pushed its value to 1 billion dollars. Ola was present in 19 cities in October when the deal took place and it has now expanded to 40 new locations including, tier-two and three cities, in the past five months, reported TechCrunch.

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How artificial intelligence can help physicists predict hazardous solar flares

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 14:05

How artificial intelligence can help physicists predict hazardous solar flaresWashington, Jan. 15 - A new research has provided a deeper insight into how artificial intelligence can help physicists predict hazardous solarflares.

Though scientists do not completely understand what triggers solar flares, Stanford solar physicists Monica Bobra and Sebastien Couvidat have automated the analysis of those gigantic explosions. The method could someday provide advance warning to protect power grids and communication satellites.

Solar flares can release the energy equivalent of many atomic bombs, enough to cut out satellite communications and damage power grids on Earth, 93 million miles away.

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Big asteroid on its way to swoop by Earth on January 26

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 13:55

Big asteroid on its way to swoop by Earth on January 26Washington, Jan 15 - An asteroid, designated 2004 BL86, will safely pass about three times the distance of Earth to the moon on January 26.

From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that the asteroid is about a third of a mile (0.5 kilometers) in size and the flyby of 2004 BL86 will be the closest by any known space rock this large until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past Earth in 2027.

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