Seriously, Ceres and Comets Look Surprising

first_imgHere are surprises found at asteroid Ceres and Comet 67P by spacecraft arriving there this year.CeresThe DAWN spacecraft is continuing its science orbits around asteroid Ceres (also classified as a dwarf planet). Here are some of the recent headlines:Dwarf planet Ceres offers big surprises for scientists (PhysOrg):The closer we get to Ceres, the more perplexing the dwarf planet grows. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has found several more bright spots as well as a pyramid-like peak jutting out of the frigid world’s surface.The discovery is painting an increasingly complex portrait of one of the biggest “fossils” from the early solar system.“I expected to be surprised because we knew so little about Ceres,” Christopher Russell, Dawn’s principal investigator and a planetary scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in an email. “I never expected bright spots and a pyramid to be the surprises.”Mystery haze appears above Ceres’s bright spots (Nature News). “Discovery bolsters idea that intriguing marks are made of ice, not salt.” Relation to Pluto? “Ceres’s striking 5-kilometre-high mountain, informally dubbed the pyramid, may be like the mountains seen last week on Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft, Russell adds.”Strange Bright Spots on Ceres Create Mini-Atmosphere on Dwarf Planet (Space.com): The spots appear to have a haze layer above them, indicating possible sublimation. “This is our major mystery,” Russell said.  “Overall, Dawn’s observations are showing Ceres to be a relatively active world rather than an inert chunk of rock and ice,” the article states.Dawn has also spotted numerous long, linear features whose cause is unknown, as well as one big mountain that mission team members have dubbed “The Pyramid.” This massif, which is about 3 miles (5 km) tall and 19 miles (30 km) wide, features a flat top and strangely streaked flanks, Russell said.New names and insights at Ceres (PhysOrg): some of the features have been named. The crater with the bright spots has been named Occator by the IAU. Other features are named after other pagan gods. Article includes map and rotating globe of Ceres in false color.Update 8/10/15: Crater counts come up short, creating a “mystery” of the “missing craters.” Ceres has only 10% the number of craters scientists predicted from its assumed age. “There is a story there — what it is, exactly, needs to be seen,” a member of the DAWN science team remarked on Space.com. Ceres never seems to have been volcanically or tectonically active. The only possibility scientists are toying with is moving ice. Crater count results are preliminary, but “I don’t think we will find a factor of 10 more craters,” they said.Comet 67PRosetta’s Philae Lander was featured in a special edition of Science Magazine.  Here are the primary findings reported there and on other sites:CHO-bearing organic compounds at the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko revealed by Ptolemy (Science Mag): “an apparent absence of aromatic compounds such as benzene, a lack of sulfur-bearing species, and very low concentrations of nitrogenous material.”Organic compounds on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko revealed by COSAC mass spectrometry (Science Mag): “The absence of large quantities of NH3, HCHO, and CO2 in our best fit may seem surprising because they were expected to be present as components of cometary ice.” It’s a stretch to call cyanide (HCN) a “prebiotic” material, but they say, “The complexity of cometary nucleus chemistry and the importance of N-containing organics imply that early solar system chemistry fosters the formation of prebiotic material in noticeable concentrations.”The landing(s) of Philae and inferences about comet surface mechanical properties (Science Mag): “the cometary matter near the surface may be processed and thus not representative of the pristine state after formation.”Philae’s comet discoveries create series of conundrums (Nature): “One puzzle is that the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is much harder than scientists had expected,” Elizabeth Gibney writes. But that’s not compatible with another finding: “The data also show the comet to be very porous — between 75% and 85% empty space.”Some scientists say the findings suggest that the comet is not an unaltered time capsule from the dawn of the Solar System, as researchers had presumed.“It seems like the more we know, the less we know,” says Geraint Morgan, a co-investigator on the lander’s Ptolemy instrument and a physical chemist at the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK. “The comet is more complicated than we might have imagined.” ….That the comet could have changed since its formation has implications for the wider mission, which had assumed that such bodies had existed largely unaltered since the start of the Solar System, says Seiferlin. But both the hard crust and a large variety of surface materials and structures found on the comet could be the result of recent modifications, he says.Surprising Comet Discoveries by Rosetta’s Philae Lander Unveiled (Space.com)“Before the landing of Philae, we believed cometary surfaces might be very soft (loose regolith under low gravity). Some colleagues even feared the lander may sink deeply into the surface at touchdown,” Philae project manager Stephan Ulamec, of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), told Space.com via email. “Although we were aware of our limited knowledge, the fact that some of the material is so hard, and that the surface is so heterogen[eous], was indeed a bit surprising.“Spacecraft Sees What a Comet Is Made Of (National Geographic): the comet “has a surface that varies from hard as asphalt to soft as a sandy beach. Its interior isn’t like a rocky snowball, as scientists thought it might be, but rather a smooth mixture of dust and ice. And it’s home to organic compounds that not only have never been seen on a comet before, but also support the idea comets brought the building blocks of life to Earth billions of years ago.”Comets: Soft Shell, Hard Core? (Science Daily): “the near surface material might have changed since its formation. Up to now, many researchers had assumed that it has remained in virtually the same state since its formation about 4.5 billion years ago.”Science on the Surface of a Comet (Astrobiology Magazine): “Taken together, these first pioneering measurements performed on the surface of a comet are profoundly changing our view of these worlds and continuing to shape our impression of the history of the Solar System.”Comet yields ‘rich array’ of organics (BBC News): article quotes Ian Wright who bows before the holy OOL (origin of life):“I see this cometary material that we’re analysing as frozen primordial soup. It’s the kind of stuff that if you had it, and warmed it up somehow, and put it in the right environment, with the right conditions, you may eventually get life forming out of it.“What we may be looking at here is our abiological ancestral material – this is stuff that went into the mix to produce life.“In many ways it’s quite a humbling thing to be working on, because this is life before life happened.“Inside Imhotep [Crater] (PhysOrg): “A few bright patches are seen on exposed walls. They appear bluer than the average colour of the comet in colour-composite images and suggest the presence of ice. If they are confirmed as water-ice, these could be some of the youngest areas on the comet.”Need we point out that secular astronomers were wrong again? Just about every body in the solar system has turned out to be much different than predicted by slow-and-gradual, bottom-up models (see a partial list in the 6/05/03 commentary). We have been told for decades that comets are dirty snowballs, fluffy objects unchanged for billions of years. Wrong. DAWN scientists are surprised at Ceres, like they were surprised at Vesta last year. No one is saying that the observations match what they predicted from accretion models. We expect more surprises for the secular crowd as data continue to come down.The origin-of-life stuff is just silly. Ian Wright deserves three SEQOTW awards. He bows down before chemicals like cyanide and soot, humbled in the presence of great possibilities. So let him test it scientifically. Warm it up, put it in the right environment, in the right conditions, and see if life forms. It will be a long wait (see online book). (Visited 25 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Boks give England a record hammering

first_img24 November 2008After narrow victories over Wales and Scotland, the Springboks were expected to be pushed hard by England in their final test of the year on Saturday. As it happened, South Africa saved their best for last, crushing England 42-6 to hand them their biggest loss ever at Twickenham.The victory was built on a stubborn hard-hitting defence and opportunistic counter-attacking with a sharp edge.Captain John Smit said afterwards that South Africa won the battle of the advantage line: when the Boks had the ball they dented the line, while England were knocked backwards when they had the ball.Committed and ferociousThe image of England retaining possession but losing territory is one that will remain from the test; time after time they were repulsed by committed and ferocious gang tackling which earned the Springboks the upper hand at the collisions.England did well to force a number of turnovers – probably the area of South Africa’s game that was most concerning – but they were unable to do much with the ball they won because of the Boks’ fierce tackling.When England managed to get close to the South African tryline some outstanding defence stopped them crossing the whitewash; Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha came up with two of the best stops of the game, with England looking odds-on to score on both occasions.Attacking defenceA number of tries resulted from defence – attacking defence – as the Springboks ran in five tries to nil.Meanwhile, the experiment of converting Ruan Pienaar from scrumhalf to flyhalf proved to be an outstanding success. He performed well in all three of the Springboks’ tests on their tour and was very impressive at Twickenham.The suggestion by former Brumbies and Wallabies coach that Pienaar reminds him of Australian legend Stephen Larkham looks as if it could be accurate.Kick offEngland started the game with a grubber from the kick off. Schalk Burger managed to gather the ball, but the Springboks were penalised for going off their feet at the breakdown. Danny Cipriani stepped up and slotted the penalty to give the home team a 3-0 lead in the first minute.When Conrad Jantjes kicked off for the Boks, his kick went directly into touch. From the resulting scrum on the halfway line South Africa were penalised. After the unconvincing showings of the previous two weeks, Springbok supporters could have been forgiven for thinking it was going to be “one of those days”. However, the SA ship was soon righted.LevelCaptain Smit forced a penalty at a ruck by staying on his feet as he tried to win the ball while England held onto possession. Ruan Pienaar took a kick at goal and struck it sweetly to pull South Africa level at 3-3.The early scrums were a mess and after nine minutes referee Nigel Owens penalised the Boks at a set piece. England flyhalf Cipriani attempted a penalty from 49 metres out, but was short of the uprights.There was a heart-in-mouth moment for South African fans when Jantjes had a kick charged down inside the SA 22. Bryan Habana raced back to gather the ball, but conceded a five-metre scrum to the England.First tryFour minutes later the Springboks had turned defence into attack and forced a scrum near the England tryline. Pienaar made a half-break to force England onto the back foot. Then, when the ball was moved inside, Danie Rossouw ran onto it at pace, fought his way through three would-be tacklers and crashed over near the posts for the first try of the match.Pienaar knocked over the easy conversion to put the Springboks seven points clear at 10-3.The flyhalf was then solely responsible for South Africa’s next try when he charged down a kick by Cipriani, fielded the bouncing ball and ran through to score under the English uprights.His conversion increased the SA advantage to 17-3.Try-saving tackleThree minutes later England broke out after a swiftly taken penalty. Delon Armitage headed for the right hand corner, but Bakkies Botha with a superb effort and excellent cover defence, tackled him and forced the fullback to put a foot on the sideline only metres from the tryline as JP Pietersen arrived to assist him.Pienaar knocked over another penalty to put South Africa 20-3 ahead, but Cipriani answered with one for England to make the score 20-6.Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira was yellow-carded 10 minutes from the break for going off his feet at a ruck, leaving South Africa to play most of the rest of the half with only 14 men. England, though, could not take advantage of their numerical superiority.After the break England worked their way up to the South African tryline, but Victor Matfield made an outstanding tackle to turn back the English charge less than a metre short of the line.Sharp blowShortly afterwards the Boks struck a sharp blow in response to England’s attacking efforts. JP Pietersen made an incision into the England backline with a nice run before offloading to Adrian Jacobs who, with a sharp change of direction, wrong-footed Armitage and then held off the covering Paul Sackey to crash over for South Africa’s third try.Pienaar slotted the conversion to move South Africa into a 27-6 lead.Once again England worked their way up the field, but South Africa’s defence was stubborn and Bryan Habana stopped the home team in their tracks with an outstanding and powerful tackle.30 points upAfter an hour Jaque Fourie, on as a substitute, won SA a penalty and Pienaar made it 30-6.For the second time in the contest South Africa were reduced to 14 men when referee Owens deemed Jantjes guilty of obstruction as England sought a way through the stubborn Springbok defence. It appeared to be a dubious decision with replays indicating that Jantjes had merely stood his ground after the ball had been chipped over his head.With less than 10 minutes to go Francois Steyn almost created a fourth try for SA with a neat break. Habana was up in support and offloaded to Jean de Villiers, but he was brought down just short of the tryline.Fourth trySpringbok determination and doggedness was underlined four minutes from time when they once again blunted an England attack and turned the ball over. Steyn punted far downfield and Fourie chased. He arrived at the ball fractionally after Paul Sackey, but wrestled the ball from the England winger.Delon Armitage raced back to tackle Fourie, but he handed off the fullback, stumbled to his knees, regained his feet and ran through for South Africa’s fourth five-pointer. Steyn, whose kick had started the try-scoring movement, knocked over the conversion to extend the South African lead to 37-6.Habana scoresWith time running out the Springboks were awarded a free-kick, which they quickly moved wide. Good hands gave Habana some space and he dived over for Boks’ fifth try.Steyn was wide with the attempted conversion, but when the final whistle sounded straight after that South Africa had ended their three-match tour of the United Kingdom with a record 42-6 victory over England.Ironically, it was the same margin of victory as the Springboks achieved over the English in pool play at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, when they won 36-0.While most of England’s fans quietly left Twickenham, the Boks did a victory lap of the stadium, cheered on by the many South African fans in attendance.Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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TPP poised to move forward

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Numerous agricultural organizations, after reviewing the text of the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, expressed strong support for the TPP deal and called on the U.S. Congress to expeditiously pass the agreement.Initiated in late 2008, TPP is a regional trade deal that includes the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which account for nearly 40% of global GDP.“Past U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) have demonstrated the importance to our industry of opening international markets,” said Dr. Ron Prestage, a veterinarian and president of the National Pork Producers Council. “TPP will provide benefits to our producers that dramatically exceed those of prior trade agreements. I assure you that pork producers across this great nation will do whatever it takes to get TPP passed by Congress and implemented.”Previous agreements have increased U.S. pork exports by 1,550% in value and almost 1,300% in volume since 1989 — the year the United States began using bilateral and regional trade agreements to open foreign markets — and now are valued at nearly $6.7 billion.“The United States now exports more pork to its 20 FTA partners than to the rest of the world combined,” Prestage said. “Free trade agreements work,” he stressed, “not just for pork producers and U.S. agriculture but for the entire U.S. economy. As a nation, we export almost as much to our FTA partners as we do to the rest of the world combined.”More than a quarter of total U.S. pork production now is exported, and those exports add more than $62 to the price pork producers receive for each hog marketed. Pork exports help generate an estimated 110,000 pork-related U.S. jobs.Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, who said a final TPP agreement would be “the most important commercial opportunity ever for U.S. pork producers,” estimates the TPP will exponentially increase U.S. pork exports and help create more than 10,000 U.S. jobs tied to those exports.“Without the TPP agreement, U.S. pork exports to the Pacific Rim region would be at a serious competitive disadvantage,” Prestage said. “Competitors such as the European Union, which are negotiating FTAs with countries in the region, will leap at the opportunity to fill the void that congressional delay would create. It is important that Congress act swiftly so that we don’t fall behind.”The TPP has the potential to provide even greater trade benefits if and when it is opened to additional countries, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, all of which have expressed interest in joining the trade bloc.“NPPC deeply appreciates the efforts of U.S. trade officials in achieving an outcome from the TPP negotiations that will provide enormous new market opportunities for high-quality U.S. pork products,” Prestage said.Not everyone in agriculture, however, is as pleased with the TPP.“This agreement has been peddled to farmers and ranchers as a potential goldmine for farm exports. But as with other trade deals, these benefits are likely to be overshadowed by increased competition from abroad, paired with an uneven playing field that will not only reduce revenues for farmers and ranchers but will also speed the loss of U.S. jobs,” said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union.
“This agreement looks to be particularly bad for the nation’s ranchers. The beef export opportunities are very modest. Japan included a snapback provision that will allow them to fully reinstate the current high levels of tariffs if it deems that beef imports are hurting its domestic farmers. Japan’s protection, coupled with the very generous access the U.S. gave the rest of the world, will likely push down domestic prices.“While NFU will continue to analyze the text of the agreement, we already know TPP includes no enforceable language to address currency manipulation, an effective maneuver used by our competitors to immediately tilt the playing field in their favor, even after signing an agreement of this scope and magnitude, having the potential to completely wipe out any gains.”last_img read more

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TechStars Boston Hosts Invite-Only Mini-Camp on Jan. 5

first_imgRelated Posts chris cameron Tags:#start#startups Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Startups in the Boston area considering applying for TechStars Boston 2010 should bite the bullet and fill out that application today in order to receive an invitation to tomorrow’s special meet and greet with TechStars mentors.The event, dubbed TechStars For A Day, will be held in Cambridge, Mass. and will provide startups with the opportunity to find out more about the TechStars program while getting some early networking under their belts. While it isn’t possible to make a definitive correlation between TechStars’ events and nation’s VC funding climate, the cities TechStars is based in – Boston, Boulder and Seattle – is where the money is flowing. In December, the Wall Street Journal reported that six out of the eight venture-backed companies that went public in 2009 were from outside of the Valley – two of which were from Massachusetts, one of which was from Seattle.In attendance will be Shawn Broderick, the executive director of TechStars Boston and founder/CEO of TrustPlus, TechStars founder and CEO David Cohen, as well as many other Boston mentors.The deadline for startups to apply for TechStars Boston 2010 is midnight, Jan. 11. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Kolkata Opposition rally | Live: ‘We have a responsibility of removing BJP from power’, says Sharad Pawar

first_imgTrinamool Congress MPs and various party leaders take the stage during the anti-BJP rally at Brigade Parade ground, Kolkata, January 19, 2019 Trinamool party cadres near Bijan Setu in Ballygunje proceed towards Brigrade Parade Ground in Kolkata for the mega rally, January 19, 2019  Arun Shourie calls demonetization a lunatic decision: “There can be no difference of opinion about removing this government. Rafale scam the biggest ever scam in defence sector. Modi is aware that his grip is loosening. What is happening in Karnataka will happen in Madhya Pradesh. We have to approach it with a sense of sacrifice. One strong candidate of the Opposition against BJP candidate. Mamataji has set an example . Every State should have similar rallies.  So far only Modi was working to unite the Opposition. Now since the Bengal tigress has taken this job I think other parties will follow it.Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi calls this rally a rainbow of 22 parties: “I want to thank Mamataji for this grand attempt. This government has institutionalized politics of revenge. The politics of division is a hallmark of this government. (Refers to the proposed Bengal rath yatra) The Supreme Court has so far supported the State government but BJP will not give up it’s divisive politics. Division of votes should stop. Tne BJP has always been beneficiary of that. I want to ask the Prime Minister when he criticises this alliance that the most immoral alliance was what BJP did in Jammu and Kashmir.”Sharad Yadav refers to The Hindu report on Rafale, says this government has indulged in a “dakaiti” on the issue.12.15 p.m. Lalduhawma, of Zoram Nationalist Party in Mizoram: “I want to give a warning to the Prime Minister that the Citizenship Bill should be withdrawn. If not India will not be a suitable place for people of the northeast. I appeal to all regional parties of northeast to cut all association with the BJP.”Jayant Chowdhury of  Rashtriya Lok Dal: “There are about 19 to 20 parties on the stage. Mamataji has done the impossible bringing all of us together. People of the country have a lot of faith in Mamataji. Country should learn from Bengal. Next government at Centre should be a government of farmers. Modi should apologize for demonetization. Maybe the people of the country will forgive him.”11.45 a.m.’Citizenship Bill is dividing the northeast’Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav and Sharad Pawar arrive. Hardik Patel starts his speech.Jignesh Mewani: “There is an unprecedented crisis in the country. The spirit of the constitution is to be protected.”Hemant Soren from Jharkhand Mukti Morcha: “Communal forces are gaining ground. Atmosphere of fear. Regional parties will come together to fight communal forces. We thank Didi (Mamata) for this platform. Not only will we be able to uproot BJP from the Centre but dislodge it from different States.”Gegong Apang, former Arunachal Pradesh CM, speaks: “Jewels of Indian leadership are present here. We are here to save democratic principles laid in the constitution. In Arunachal Pradesh, democracy is going through its worst stage. Former CM of my State committed suicide. Citizenship Bill is dividing the northeast.”11.30 a.m.TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee and other leaders are yet to arrive. Surojit from Bangla band Bhoomi, Kabir Suman and Nachiketa – all attached to TMC – are performing at the venue.Suvojit Bagchi writes:As the top and entire anti-BJP spectrum leaders meet on Saturday in Kolkata, their messages will be carefully monitored. What is the roadmap that that they provide for the Opposition if at all they provide one? Do they back Mamata Banerjee’s earlier proposed Federal Front and push her formula of “one is to one” or favour putting up one United Opposition candidate against against one of NDA?It would also be interesting to find out if anyone proposed a plan to elect a leader which, though, is unlikely. Particularly critical would be the message of Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Leader in Lok Sabha, who is there as Rahul Gandhi’s envoy.10.30 a.m. Andhra Pradesh CM N. Chandrababu Naidu extends a warm welcome to Akhilesh Yadav as Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy looks on during the Opposition rally called by the TMC at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade ground, January 19, 2019  | Photo Credit: Ashoke Nath Dey | Photo Credit: Suvojit Bagchi “There will be so many leaders that it would be difficult to allot more than 10 minutes to each of them,” said a close aide of Ms. Banerjee. Trinamool activists have arrived from all over West Bengal and are housed in various stadiums; food is distributed at various points in the city.Read more People gather at Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata for the Opposition party rally led by Mamata Banerjee, January 19, 2019  | Photo Credit: Ashoke Nath Dey People gather at Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata for the Opposition party rally led by Mamata Banerjee, January 19, 2019  | Photo Credit: Shiv Sahay Singh center_img  Andhra CM N. Chandrababu Naidu: “We want to unite India, BJP wants to divide India. This PM is a publicity PM, we want a performing PM. Earlier the economic growth rate was better. Because of low growth jobs are not being generated. We are warning the Centre if they want to dislodge the government in Karnataka they will pay a heavy price. EVM is a big fraud. No other nation has the EVM so we have to go back to paper ballot. The downfall of BJP has started. In 2019 there will be a new Prime Minister. Extraordinary initiative by Mamata Banerjee.” Mr. Naidu offers a meeting on similar lines in Amaravathi. Mr. Kejriwal too made a similar offer.Sharad Pawar of NCP: “We are hopeful with the gathering that has assembled here. For five years the BJP has been ruling the country. The people feel that they have been cheated. Institutions are being targeted. Industries are closing down, people are losing jobs . We have a responsibility of removing them from power. Many, particularly those from BJP say that all of us on stage will not remain united. I want to assure that we are not here to become Prime Minister. I have been Chief Minister for four terms, been Minister at Centre, I  don’t want anything but to see interest of people are protected.”1.30 p.m.’Our democratic government is headed by anti-democratic leaders’: KumaraswamyKarnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy: “Happy to be part of the rally. My father has taught me to be humble like Mamata Banerjee. The leaders gathered here have built strong regional parties. All these leaders have tried to protect interest of the State. India one of the strongest democracies in the world. Our Democratic government is headed by anti-Democratic leaders. Demonetization was like digging up a hill only to find rats. Union government has turned blind to the  interests of the people. Federal system being jeopardised. (Refers to loan waiver in Karnataka, said that banks agreed but later backed out.) Government of Karnataka is waiving the loans but banks are sending notices to farmers. On one hand BJP a makes resolution to fight corruption but it is offering cash to legislators of JDS and Congress. This is a mockery of democracy. Let us show that BJP is a paper tiger. Let us come together and show them our strength.”Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party: “On January 12 an alliance of SP-BSP was sealed. Many believed that alliance can never be forged. They saw that we have number of PM aspirants. We have so many but I want to ask that those who have failed tried to divide society other than one name do you have any other contender? You are allying with CBI and ED but we have faith in people. We have one responsibility that the BJP should draw a blank in every State. This is a historical rally and I thank Mamataji for that.”Instead of promising jobs, demonitisation destroyed jobs, says KejriwalDelhi CM Arvind Kejriwal: “Today is an important and historical day in the country’s politics. Instead of their promise of giving jobs demonitisation destroyed jobs. Insurance companies are reaping profits and farmer distress continues. Muslims are being targeted, lynchings are occurring. In seventy years what Pakistan could not do in five years Modi and Shah have been successful in dividing the people. In they come again in 2019 the country will be divided. They have insidious agenda of changing constitution. What Hitler had done in Germany they want to do the same. 2019 election is not for electing the Prime Minister but to remove Modi-Shah from power. Kuch bhi karna ho 2019 mein inko hatao.”1.00 p.m.EVM a ‘chor’, bring back the ballot, says Farooq AbdullahFarooq Abdullah of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference: “The BJP is responsible for the situation which Jammu and Kashmir is in. We have to love Jammu and Kashmir if we want to progress. Our students study in Bengal. We have to remove BJP and we have to fight election together. This EVM is a ‘chor’ machine. We all need to go to the Election Commission and ensure that ballot is brought back. For many years, Women Reservation Bill is pending in Parliament and they have passed Triple Talak Bill but not women’s reservation. We will decide later on who will be the Prime Minister but first we have to fight the election together.” | Photo Credit: Subham Dutta  All roads leading to Brigade Parade Ground in Central Kolkata are blocked as Trinamool party cadres are either marching towards the venue or traveling in open lorries or buses. The above photograph is near Bijan Setu in Ballygunje. As many as 10,000 security personnel will be deployed in and around the venue of the rally and around 400 police pickets have been set up to ensure foolproof security, the police said. Lakhs of TMC supporters and workers have started arriving in the city from all over the State.  Besides the huge stages, 20 watchtowers have been erected and 1,000 microphones and 30 LED screens put up for the crowd.Janata Dal(S) leader H.D. Deve Gowda, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Gegong Apang, who quit the BJP a few days ago, arrived in Kolkata by Friday evening. Congress leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge, are expected early on Saturday. The city is covered with Trinamool’s flags and billboards featuring Ms. Banerjee and her nephew Abhisekh Banerjee, MP. The city is full of hoardings featuring three Chief Ministers, one former Prime Minister (Mr. Gowda) and leaders representing the entire anti-BJP spectrum. On Saturday, at least two dozen top national leaders participated in a Trinamool Congress-hosted rally at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground. It’s part of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s efforts to bring the anti-BJP parties together on one platform.Congress president Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi had sent their good wishes for the rally. Leaders who attend the rally: HD Deve Gowda, HD Kumaraswamy,  N Chandrababu Naidu, Arvind Kejriwal, MK Stalin, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav, Sharad Pawar, Sharad Yadav,  Omar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah, Satich Chandra Misra, Ajit Singh, Jayanta Chowdhury, Mallikarjun Kharge, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Shatrughan Sinha, Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha, Gegong Apang, Hemant Soren, Babulal Marandi, Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mevani, Pu Lalduhoma(Inputs from Shiv Sahay Singh, Suvojit Bagchi, PTI)Here are the updates:3.20 p.m.Modi govt has passed its expiry date: Mamata West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee: “Modi government has passed its expiry date. There are 22-23 parties here. Bengal has always shown the way. Taking a cue from Kejriwal’s speech, in 70 years what Pakistan failed to achieve, Modi government has done it in four years. From demonetisation to GST, they have looted the country. He claims that he is only saint, let the government fall, you will realise. Their party offices are like shopping mall. Politics has a courtesy, there is a Lakshman rekha. They have spared none why should we spare them?They are changing everything – history, geography, constitution. There are no jobs and they are promising reservation. This brigade has seen historical rallies. Today’s call from the brigade has come out of a historical necessity. Everybody should come together. Collective leadership is required.They ask who will lead us, there are so many leaders here. We will not think of who will be Prime Minister. We will decide that after the election. Similar rallies will be organised by Chandrababu Naidu, Arvind Kejriwal. If Farooq ji does a similar rally in Kashmir, if Tejwashi does it in Bihar, we will go.If people vote to BJP again, they will lose their deposits in banks. I will not allow any rath yatra in Bengal. In Bengal, they have two seats; we will ensure they draw a blank here. People have made up their mind. Whatever BJP can promise to people, their ache din will not return. If you want country to remain united, remove BJP. We will ensure a stable government for five years. Have they given respect to anyone? Have they given respect to Rajnath ji, Sushma ji, Gadkari ji? Now elections are here, so they are talking about collective leadership. Those who cannot take everyone along cannot be leaders. We want those parties which are with BJP to come to us before election. BJP’s beginning of the end has started today.”3.00 p.m.’People ask me why I speak against BJP’: Shatrughan SinhaShatrughan Sinha: “I have not seen a more lively and well attended gathering. We are here to present a new leadership to the country. The mood of the nation is clear. It is ‘change’. People ask me that being with the BJP, why do I speak against the party. I am answerable to the Janata of Bharat and not to the Bharatiya Janata Party. Yashwant Sinha was saying that after today’s rally I will be expelled from the party. In the government of Atal Behari Vajpayee there was democracy now there is tanasahi (dictatorship). Demonetisation and implementation of GST democracy destroyed the country.”On Rafale, intellectualist N. Ram has said costs increased by 41%. We have such a good company like HAL which can built Sukhoi. Why was it not involved? Modi can promise to build a bridge where there is no river. This is the time to be united,” he refers to Mr. Kharge’s speech. “Matbedh ho to ho manbedh Na ho (There can be different of opinion but there is should be no differences in heart).”Tejashwi Yadav: “I got delayed because of the blessing of Amit Shah and Modi ji. My father has been jailed owing to a political controversy. You can be chowkidaar (watchman) but people are thanedar (policemen). Country is in tatters and we are all acting like a needle to sew it with different threads. Mamata ji has always stood by my father.”2.30 p.m.’Even coalition government can do better than BJP’: Deve GowdaCongress leader Mallikarjun Kharge: “In a Rafale scam, you have given ₹30,000 core to Anil Ambani. This has been reported in The Hindu newspaper.” He refers to an article on Rafale deal.Sonia Gandhi’s message: “As crisis looms from farmers to our borders, farmers under crisis, political institutions are being undermined. Upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be not an ordinary one. This rally marks an important attempt fight arrogant Modi government.”Janata Dal (Secular) patriarch H.D. Devegowda: “I know keeping aside differences is not easy. Following the SP BSP alliance, chargesheet was filed against Akhilesh Yadav. I urge all leaders to come together to form a manifesto. It is difficult to come together. There is no senior leader like Jayprakash Narayan or Acharya Kriplani. Modi raises that stable government is necessary for running country. We have to create confidence among the people of the country that we can give stable government. Mamata ji has held the first mahagathbandhan meeting. Even coalition government can do better than what BJP government has done. We have to show coalition government can create a stable government. Small committee should form policy document. Time is very short. There was a doubt whether Congress will come or not. The doubt has been cleared.”2.00 p.m.  DMK president MK Stalin speaks in Bengali and Tamil. An interpreter translates for him: “There is a long relationship between Bengal and Tamil Nadu. The memorial of Swami Vivekananda is in Tamil Nadu. In politics and in other aspects like religion, Bengalis and Tamils are like brothers and sisters. I have come here to participate in the second war of independence on the call of Mamataji. The next general elections are next war of independence. All of us have one goal. to remove BJP and send Modi back to his home. Irrespective of political affiliations we have to be united. If we are united Modi will lose. A few months ago Modi used to say he has no Opposition. Since we have come together he is feeling scared and now he feels that he is facing a sure defeat. Many ask him whether I have personal animosity with Modi. I say no, but his policies are bringing disaster. Before coming to power he promised to bring back black money. Have you got Rs 15 lakh? Can there be a bigger lie? This is not a government for people but a private limited company headed by Narendra Modi.”Stalin continues: “Modi claims there is no allegation of corruption against his govt. Is Rafale deal  not corruption? Vijay Mallya fled the country after meeting Arun Jaitley, is it not corruption? Modi is the centre of all corruption. If Modi returns to power the country will go back by 50 years. I want to thank Mamata ji for the rally. Modi is scared of some people Mamataji is one of them.”Satish Mishra of BSP: “This government at Centre has failed on all counts. They made grand promises and instead of fulfilling those promises their policies have affected the poor and the backward (classes) of the country. On January 12 the announcement of SP and BSP of alliance in Lucknow began the process of dislodging the government. This rally takes the initiative further.”12.30 p.m.’This government fudges data to suit their ends’Yashwant Sinha: “In the past four and half years the government at the Centre has not spared any institution. This is the first government that fudges data to suit their ends. They want to divide society. If you oppose the government you are branded anti-national. I have suggested that the Kashmir issue can be resolved through dialogue and have been branded as an agent of Pakistan. I have only one goal in life, that is to dislodge this government from power. We have to ensure that there should be a joint candidate against BJP in the coming election.”last_img read more

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