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Josy Joseph’s Feast of Vultures

An award-winning journalist draws up on the stories of anonymous poor and famous Indians to weave together the challenges facing the nation.
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Mahasweta : Life And Legacy

Mahasweta Devi's ideas and writing will continue to be the guiding principle for generations of writers, activists, academics and journalists.
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'Court' gets triple win at Buenos Aires film festival

Writer-director Chaitanya Tamhane's critically acclaimed courtroom drama "Court" delivered a hat-trick at the 17th edition of the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival, winning the top prize in the international competition, the Best Actor award for star Vivek Gomber, and the jury award.

"Court", which has received rave reviews and audience appreciation across India, premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival on September 4 last year. It has won more than 18 awards in all, including honours at the Venice, Antalya, Singapore and Mumbai film festivals.

Apart from Vivek, "Court", which won the Best Feature Film award at the 62nd National Film Awards, also stars Vira Sathidar, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Pradeep Joshi, Usha Bane and Shirish Pawar.

Source: IANS

Tel Aviv Smart City Model proposed for Maharashtra cities

Maharashtra government has taken the decision to transform six metros in state on the model of Tel Aviv, considered amongst the “smartest cities” in the world.The cities which are shortlisted are Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Amravati, Aurangabad and Nashik.

The chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who had a roof top view of Tel Aviv during a recent visit, exclaimed, “It’s a brilliant planning and management. I am committed to transform the face of Maharashtra. And we will have to begin with smartening of the top cities followed by two tier and three tiers in phases in coming years.”

In 2014, Tel Avis beat 250 metros to emerge as smartest city of world. Despite major differences both in term of population and area, the striking feature between Tel Avi and Mumbai is - both cities don't ever sleep.

Source: The Indian Express

Sania Mirza creates history

Sania Mirza created history on Sunday by achieving the feat of becoming world No.1 in WTA tennis rankings. She is the first woman tennis player from India to do so after winning the Family Circle Cup final partnering with Martina Hingis.

Before Sania, only Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhuapthi had achieved the top rank when they dominated men's doubles circuit in the late 90s.

Sania is also the first female player from the country to win Grand Slam tournaments. It is Sania's third successive title win with Hingis and they have not lost a single match since joining forces in March. They won trophy in Indian Wells, which was their first tournament together and followed up that with win in Miami.


World's first malaria vaccine could be available by October

The world's first viable malaria vaccine could be available by as early as October, after final trial results showed it can potentially prevent millions of cases of the deadly disease every year.

The vaccine candidate (RTS,S/AS01) is the first to reach phase 3 clinical testing and is partially effective against clinical disease in young African children up to 4 years after vaccination, according to final trial data published in The Lancet journal.

The results suggest that the vaccine could prevent a substantial number of cases of clinical malaria, especially in areas of high transmission.

Source: PTI

U.S. court grants 'human rights' to chimpanzees

Last month, a revolutionary decision was made in a U.S. court: chimpanzees were acknowledged to have rights of their own. It is the first time legal rights of any kind have ever been accorded to anything other than a human.

The story started in 2013, when an organisation called the Nonhuman Rights Project filed a lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court on behalf of four chimps kept for research by Stony Brook University. The eventual conclusion of Justice Barbara Jaffe was that they were not to be treated as property, but as legal persons.

Not as persons with full human rights, but as persons with a right not to be held in captivity and a right not to be owned. The fact is that chimpanzees really are almost human. It’s a truth that humankind has tried to ignore ever since Charles Darwin declared in 1871 that humans were related to the apes of Africa.

Modern genetic studies have shown that this relationship is much closer than people thought. We have nearly 99 per cent of our genetic material in common. And if that one-and-a-bit per cent is unquestionably significant, the rest of it takes a fair amount of thinking about. Chimpanzees are more closely related to us than to their — or should it be our — fellow apes, the gorillas and orang-utans.

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