Aston Villa man insists players will not snub John Terry

first_imgGabby Agbonlahor has told The Sun on Sunday he will definitely shake John Terry’s hand when Aston Villa play Chelsea and believes all players will do the same.The Villa forward was reacting to speculation that some black players may snub the Chelsea captain in the wake of Terry’s clash with Anton Ferdinand.Terry was cleared in court of racially abusing the QPR defender during last October’s west London derby at Loftus Road.“Players like me have to set a good example to kids,” said Agbonlahor.“A lot of kids love their football and watch us all the time — that’s why we have to be good role models. That’s definitely more important than political points-scoring over an opponent“I don’t think there will be players who won’t shake his hand. I think they’ll all do it. When thousands and thousands are watching, you’re not going to refuse someone’s hand easily.”Meanwhile, Manchester United have stepped up their interest in Fulham’s Moussa Dembele and believe they can land the Belgium star before the start of the season, according to The People.Dembele has been consistently linked with a move from Craven Cottage. It is claimed that Fulham will demand at least £15m for him.The People also suggest Whites boss Martin Jol is keen on Marseille’s Alou Diarra, 31, but only if he can sign the France midfielder on a free transfer.The Sun say Fulham have clinched the signing of striker Romelu Lukaku on a season-long loan from Chelsea.The People say Portsmouth want midfielder Shaun Derry from QPR and that the R’s are planning a £6m bid for Celtic’s Korean star Ki Sung-Yeung as well as competing with Liverpool for the signing of Barcelona’s Spain Under-19 striker Gerard Deulofeu.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Permian Extinction Recovery Story Stretches Credibility

first_imgIt goes without saying that Darwin’s theory fits hand in glove with the geological dating scheme, but how reliable is the latter?  The textbook age names – Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Eocene and all the rest – have taken on their own life as assumed truths.  Every once in awhile, though, papers are published that require heavy doses of credulity to keep the scheme intact.  The Permian extinction is a case in point.  The textbook story is that 80 to 85 percent of marine organisms perished at the Permian-Triassic boundary (PTB).  A new kink in the story requires believing that cephalopods, those most affected by the crisis, recovered spectacularly within one million years of the extinction, but everything else took five times as long, as measured by species diversity.    Charles Marshall, the “Master of Disaster” of the Harvard Museum who tackled the Cambrian explosion problem in 2006 by saying that animals evolved because they evolved (04/23/2006), tackled the Permian extinction with David Jacobs of UCLA in Science last week.1  They were commenting on a paper in the same issue by Brayard et al who presented evidence that ammonites (a kind of shelled squid) recovered much faster than everything else.2  The two papers invoked copious amounts of hand-waving to explain the evolutionary difference.  Many statements amount to references to the Stuff Happens Law (i.e., the negation of explanation; see 09/15/2008 commentary).  For instance, Brayard et al entitled their paper, “Good Genes and Good Luck.”  Here are some example quotes from Marshall and Jacobs that cast doubt on scientific confidence in the Permian extinction story, both its causes and its effects:Two hundred and fifty-two million years ago, the Paleozoic Era came to a cataclysmic close with the end-Permian mass extinction, when as much as 85% of readily fossilizable marine species became extinct.  It took 5 million years for the biosphere to begin to recover from the event.  At least this has been the conventional view.  However, on page 1118 of this issue, Brayard et al. show that ceratitid ammonoids (see the figure, panel A) recovered much faster than did most other marine groups, attaining considerable diversity just 1 million years after the mass extinction.  Moreover, these mollusks reached a peak in their diversity at the end of the Early Triassic, when the diversity and body size of most other groups (particularly bivalves and gastropods) was still depressed.The cause of the end-Permian mass extinction has long been controversial.  There is increasing agreement that toxic waters decimated bottom communities in shallow waters, but it remains unclear whether the kill mechanism was hypercapnia (high CO2 levels), euxinia (anoxic water infused with H2S), or something else.  There is even less agreement on what might have caused the toxicity.Whatever the ultimate cause(s) of the extinction, the proximal cause appears to have been the inability of many species to handle the physiological demands of a changed ocean chemistry.  Evidence that conditions remained difficult for 5 million years after the extinctions comes mainly from the observation that the diversity and size of fossil bivalves and gastropods remained low, indicating stressed conditions.  Furthermore, the carbon cycle was unusually volatile, although the exact meaning of this volatility is not understood.The ammonoid data reported by Brayard et al. suggest a much more rapid recovery, at least for part of the biosphere.  Unlike the bottom-dwelling gastropods and bivalves, ammonoids live in the water column.  Thus, Brayard et al.‘s study suggests that conditions in the water column were better than those on the bottom.  Or does it?To better understand the meaning of Brayard et al.’s data, we need to know more about the biology and physiological tolerances of ammonoids in general, and of ceratitids in particular.These species lie deep in the evolutionary trees of living coleoids and living cephalopods, respectively, suggesting that a tolerance for low oxygen was ancestral for living cephalopods.Their Perspectives article did little more than to suggest this and that, and then to say more work needs to be done.  How about the other paper?  Did Brayard et al have anything more solid to lean on?  Keep in mind that classic Darwinian evolution explains diversification as gradual and continuous.One problem has been a lack of absolute age calibration of evolutionary trends across the PTB.It has usually been assumed that the end-Permian mass extinction affected ecological assemblages so deeply that the postcrisis biotic recovery spanned the entire Early Triassic [~5 million years (My)], if not more.The Triassic part of the time series consists of four successive diversity oscillations of declining magnitude, probably primarily shaped by global climatic and oceanographic changes.In the first oscillation…only 1 to 2 My after the PTB, based on the available radiometric ages and associated uncertainties—ammonoid diversity reached values equal to, if not higher than, those for the Permian (~85 sampled genera) and then were followed by still higher values …. This late Early Triassic generic richness is unsurpassed during the Middle and Late Triassic, where diversity oscillated around an average value…close to the Middle Permian maximum.  This rapid recovery less than 2 My after a mass extinction is also seen for Early Jurassic ammonoids.The Early Triassic rapid ammonoid diversification diverges from delayed recovery after the PTB suggested for many benthic groups…. Apparently, recovery rates strongly varied across marine clades, and ammonoids boomed well before the oceanic realm returned to a long-term steady state.Extreme contraction of survivorship and prenascence contour lines is diagnostic of high evolutionary rates, as echoed by the simultaneously high numbers and rates of Early Triassic originations and extinctions (Fig. 3).Ammonoid diversification during the Early Triassic produced more than 200 genera in less than ~5 My and was accompanied by a progressive change from cosmopolitan to latitudinally restricted distributions of genera.This trend was not a gradual, continuous, and smooth one.How did these cephalopods flourish in the presumably unstable and harsh environmental conditions prevailing at that time?  The same question applies to conodonts, whose Early Triassic diversity dynamics tend to parallel that of ammonoids.Ammonoids are morphologically and taxonomically so diverse that it is likely that they occupied a great variety of niches and exploited various food resources.  Their high diversity and abundance suggest that diversified and abundant food resources were already available less than 2 My after the PTB.  Consequently, even if Early Triassic trophic webs were possibly less complex than Permian and Middle-Late Triassic ones, they were far from devastated.  At least some sizeable, while still unknown, primary production made it possible for these two clades to diversify profusely and rapidly despite short-term fluctuations of environmental conditions.The Early-Middle Triassic transition was again marked by a severe drop in ammonoid diversity.  In this case, a fall in global sea level is implicated.In addition, the empirical (log) richness-rates relationships (table S4) illustrate a possible niche incumbency effect.  This hypothesis, which predicts that richness and extinction rates are independent, allows the estimate of an average steady-state generic niche saturation level of ~85% under the hierarchical model, compatible with species niche saturation levels previously published for various clades of marine organisms.Numerous Lazarus taxa3 among benthic and pelagic mollusks reappear during the Smithian.Coupled with the Triassic ammonoid nondelayed diversity dynamics evidenced here, this suggests that complex trophic webs based on abundant and diversified primary producers were already functioning less than 2 My after the PTB and opens the possibility that heterotrophic taxa other than ammonoids also rapidly recovered.This phased scenario for the Triassic biotic recovery accounts well for its generally accepted delayed character, which may reflect still inadequate sampling and time resolution and/or biased diversity estimates due to the lack of sampling standardization in the first million years after the PTB.Recoveries obviously show environment- and clade-specific dynamics.  Nevertheless, our results indicate that the time duration of the post-PTB recovery is likely overestimated, at least for some marine taxa.It should be noted that the statistics of biodiversity on which they relied for their graphs and charts depend heavily on sampling – a human enterprise.  The fossils, in other words, do not speak for themselves.  This was clear from several paragraphs in the paper that explained why Brayard et al leaned on some data sets but rejected others.1.  Charles R. Marshall and David K. Jacobs, “Paleontology: Flourishing After the End-Permian Mass Extinction,” Science, 28 August 2009: Vol. 325. no. 5944, pp. 1079-1080, DOI: 10.1126/science.1178325.2.  Brayard, Escargue, Bucher, Monnet, Br�hwiler, Goudemand, Galfetti, and Guex, “Good Genes and Good Luck: Ammonoid Diversity and the End-Permian Mass Extinction,” Science,28 August 2009: Vol. 325. no. 5944, pp. 1118-1121, DOI: 10.1126/science.1174638.3.  Lazarus taxa: resurrected extinct groups or “living fossils” – see 03/10/2006 and 12/04/2007.Who else but CEH is revealing, line by line, in detail, the arbitrariness of story generation in the evolutionary scientific literature?  The Framework is never called into question, no matter how many anomalies are found, and no matter how many suspensions of disbelief are required.  The Stuff Happens Law is everywhere – “good genes and good luck.”  There is no pattern or sense to any of this.  Here is the story in a nutshell:Through causes we don’t understand, something happened at some uncalibrated time, and, if our sampling methods are not completely biased, some groups of animals, based on some method of deciding what constitutes a species or genus among extinct animals we cannot observe except by their shells, using controversial measures of classification and sampling, recovered much faster than others, through reasons we also don’t understand, perhaps due to their level in the water column, or climate, or availability of food, or tolerance to carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, or a number of other possibilities.  This points out that their evolutionary potential, whatever that means, was greater than that of shellfish, because of mechanisms not well understood, i.e., some sizeable, while still unknown, primary production that made it possible for ammonites and conodonts to diversify profusely and rapidly compared to their depressed contemporaries, despite rapid fluctuations and oscillations in their environment, illustrating their ability to occupy a variety of ecological niches, though stressed by the unknown extinction event of unknown duration or cause–perhaps volcanoes, which surprisingly killed almost everything on the sea floor (which one would think more robust against calamities in the climate or on the surface, but whatever).  Yet some of them, nevertheless, somehow, resurrected like Lazarus (but we don’t want this to get anyone started thinking about the Bible or miracles, which is forbidden; only Darwinian miracles are allowed).  So whatever the cause, or causes, or no cause at all, while all we have is confusing data and a Framework to put it in bequeathed to us by Saint Lyell, we at least came up with a “scenario”, illustrated with a few graphs and charts and math, that was good enough to get published by the Keepers of the Darwinian Flame in Science, even though we diverged a little bit from Saint Darwin’s concept of gradual, smooth, continuous change, because we know his heirs have become more tolerant of unexplained hiccups in the geological record, or the biological record, or in evolutionary theory itself, because of the need to keep Evolution reigning supreme in the public eye, by sounding sophisticated with terms like “diversity dynamics” (which we don’t have to define or explain), but that doesn’t matter because it sounds scholarly, and helps to keep at bay the constant threat from those rascally Creationists, who might expose our methods and threaten our jobs and funding unless we present a unified front and an air of confidence in the journals and cooperative science news outlets.Abbreviated version:  Something happened.  We’re not sure what, when, or how, or why, or even if something happened at all, but some day we may figure it out.  Praise Darwin for modern science!Welcome to modern evolutionary biology.  Stuff happens.  Evolution happens.  Diversity happens.  Niches magically get filled.  Rates of change vary with no known reason.  Facts are convenient props, but keeping the Framework intact while weaving more intricate stories is the name of the game.  Don’t even THINK about criticizing us.  We are scientists.  Don’t even think.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Maple to the Rescue

first_imgThe SWAT team surrounds the compound.  An officer tosses a maple seed into an open window and checks the readout on his computer.  The team bursts in and, surprising the terrorists, rescues the hostages safely.This scenario may become a reality, thanks to a new flying robot called Samarai, fashioned after the winged “samara” shape of the maple seed.  A high-energy video clip at Live Science tells the story of a tiny drone developed by Lockheed Martin for the military.  Engineers analyzed the shape of the seed’s wing and studied its flight dynamics.  Then they outfitted a plastic replica with a motor and a camera to create their miniature surveillance tool.Like a maple seed, Samarai has the advantage of very stable flight.  It can be launched from the floor, by a flick of the wrist, or from an elevated platform.  A remote control allows the operator to make it rise or turn in an any direction, or hover indefinitely.  (See “Introducing the Maple Copter,” 10/21/2009.)One problem was how to produce images on a spinning camera.  The team developed software that can take out the blur and stitch together the frames into a normal wide-angle motion picture, providing a stable 360° image.  This would allow our imaginary SWAT team to see inside the building to pinpoint the location of the terrorists and hostages.  The military would love to have these on the battlefield for reconnaissance.  Some day Samarias could be standard equipment for law enforcement, search and rescue, and other applications – thanks to the common, humble, ordinary maple seed.If it ever comes to the day when government snoops on citizens this way, be sure to have a strong fly swatter handy.  More likely, this will be one of the coolest toys for Christmas sometime.  Lawyers will undoubtedly find new opportunities to go after people spying on their neighbors.  Wise parents, though, will take their kids into the forest with their toy, let them enjoy it for awhile, then show them that the Creator designed it first.  The Creator even devised a way to stabilize an image from a moving platform (see 11/10/2006, 4/12/2005). (Visited 44 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The 2018 Ohio Crop Tour – I-75 Leg – Day 1

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Van Wert CountyCorn: The field looks great. It was planted on May 1. It looks a little dry right now but there is rain on the way. This is a tall hybrid and the ear is about eye level. The lower leaves are gone but four leaves below the ear are still green. There was GLS but it was controlled and there is none above the ear. The ear fill was excellent with a little tip back. It is dented and the most advanced we’ve seen. The population was at 32,000 or 33,000. The rows around were 14 to 18 with an average yield of 193 bushels.Soybeans: The planting date was May with a dropped population of 170,000. It was at R6 with very good, healthy plants. There were many pods on top with a 41-inch canopy with 2 to 3 inches between nodes, one of the tighter clusters we’ve seen today. There was a little frogeye and a little bean leaf beetle feeding. There were many 3- to 4-pod clusters with many 3- to 4-bean pods. It was very impressive and one of the best fields we’ve seen, if not the best. The crops have gotten better as we have moved back further south.Van Wert Co. cornVan Wert Co. soybean fieldVan Wert Co. beansVan Wert Co. corn fieldVan Wert Co. cornVan Wert Co. soybean fieldVan Wert Co. beansVan Wert Co. corn fieldPaulding CountyCorn: We had a planting date of May 1. The corn was fired up but the stalks were still intact. We had cracks in the ground here with some pollination issues and some aborted kernels and abnormal ears. We had maybe a 10% GLS on leaves and some NCLB up high. We found what appears to be western bean cutworm and other pest damage. We found a yield of 148 bushels with fair field conditions.Soybeans: This field was planted and replanted in late May. The field was uniform with good color. It looks like it went through a dry spell early in the season. The nodes are closer together at the bottom and further apart at the top. These were non-GMO soybeans with some downy mildew and a little bit of frogeye. They did spray a couple of weeks ago. We did see some holes in the leaves from feeding. Soybeans were at R4. Pod numbers varied quite a bit but there were many three-bean pods and more variability than we’d want to see. Countywide, this was the second worst for crop condition that we have seen.Paulding Co. cornPaulding Co. fieldsPaulding Co. bean fieldPaulding Co. corn fieldPaulding Co. cornPaulding Co. fieldsPaulding Co. bean fieldPaulding Co. corn fieldDefiance CountyCorn: It was a late May planting date for this field of silage corn. It was at least in the R3 stage. There was no lack of nitrogen and no-till conditions. There had not been much rain but field conditions were not dry with a population of 33,000. There was very limited disease pressure. Ear fill was excellent. A couple of ears had a little tip back in the field with a yield of 165 bushels.Soybeans: The beans were at R4 and planted on May 29. It had 3.4 inches of rain in June and rain stopped June 11 and the next rain was not until July 20 with 1.1 inches of rain. The nodes were close together and then they stretched out. They went from 1.5 to 3.5 with an average of 2.5 inches apart. There was no disease or insect pressure. There were quite a few two-pod nodes but there were still pods there that had not been aborted that could fill more with more rain. Canopy height was 36 inches and we think the field was good with fair yield potential. I seems like weed pressure has maybe increased into Defiance County. The beans in the area still have more potential with more rain.Defienace bean fieldDefienace corn fieldDefiance Co. beansDefiance CornDefienace bean fieldDefienace corn fieldDefiance Co. beansDefiance CornWilliams CountyCorn: The planting date was May 4, one of the earlier fields planted in the area. It was planted after a barley and rye cover crop. The planted population was 34,000. Our check was 32,000. There were some skips. The outside edge of the field had heavy NCLB but inside the field showed little to no disease, with a little GLS. It was sprayed by ground application. There was no insect pressure but an insecticide was included with the fungicide. The ear fill was excellent and it was just beginning to dent. The final yield was 218 bushels. There was no nitrogen deficiency.Soybeans: The field was planted April 30 with a very uniform appearance. It was probably a bit dry earlier in the season. The plant height was 39 inches with 2 to 4 inches between nodes. We did see Sudden Death Syndrome in spots. There was a little Japanese beetle feeding but a very clean field. The pods per node were a little on the light side in this good overall field. As we have moved west from Fulton County, crops seem to generally get better, though still variable.Williams Co. corn fieldWilliams Co. beansWilliams Co. soybean fieldWilliams Co. cornWilliams Co. corn fieldWilliams Co. beansWilliams Co. soybean fieldWilliams Co. cornHenry County Corn: The field was planted May 27, but it seems to be behind. Some of the plants just finished pollination and there was variation in the ears. The corn was planted into cover crops. Disease pressure was very minimal. The ears were R1 to R3. One check was 191 with consistent ears. The other check was very inconsistent with a spotty stand and a yield of 138 for an average yield of 165 bushels for the field with some upside potential.Soybeans: They were planted June 2 drilled at 175,000 with extremely healthy plants. The height was 39 inches and there was no insect or disease pressure. There were some aborted pods and blooms, two-nodes and two-bean pods. The number of pods was disappointing with a good rating on health and good to fair on yield potential. It was predominantly at R4, with some at R3. We found soybean aphids in the field but probably not high enough levels to warrant spraying in the roughly 40-bushel field.Henry Co. corn fieldHenry Co. cornHenry Co. bean fieldHenry Co. beans with soybean aphidsHenry Co. corn fieldHenry Co. cornHenry Co. bean fieldHenry Co. beans with soybean aphidsFulton CountyCorn: It was planted June 2 and the corn is at R1. It is not even to blister yet. It is showing nitrogen deficiency. We’ve got potential out there but this field needs plenty of water between now and harvest. The population is 35,000 and we had no disease pressure. There was no insect pressure. We are estimating the yield at 168 bushels, but if everything is ideal (no early frost and plenty of water) this could be 210. If everything goes south, it could be 120. There is a lot of up and down corn in this county. The majority of the corn in this area is finishing up pollination.Soybeans: This had an early June planting date with gaps and spotty stands. The canopy height was on the short side at 27 inches. The distance between the nodes was 3 inches. There is good moisture now but it was dry earlier. Disease wise it was very clean and very few insects. The beans are at R3 with three bean pods, but there were not that many pods. This field is fair.Fulton Co. corn fieldFulton Co. cornFulton Co. bean fieldFulton Co. beansFulton Co. corn fieldFulton Co. cornFulton Co. bean fieldFulton Co. beansWood CountyCorn: It was planted May 9. It was dry in early to mid July. Now there is mud between the rows. We found more NCLB here than in other places. We did see some European corn borer damage. We assume those were in the refuge plants. The hot and dry weather during pollination really shows up here. It was a fair field. It is for silage corn and it will have better tonnage than yields from the ears. We found a 121-bushel per acre average.Soybeans: These were planted May 9 with a thick population. They are clean, healthy beans with a canopy height of 36 inches. As dry as it seems like the corn field was earlier in the season, the beans are green and healthy. We saw some four bean pods, some aborted pods and some two-bean pods. We saw a little more leaf feeding than we have found. Yields might hit 50 with an overall rating of good. There was some frogeye but it came in pretty late.Wood Co. corn fieldWood Co. cornWood Co. bean fieldWood Co. beansWood Co. corn fieldWood Co. cornWood Co. bean fieldWood Co. beansHancock CountyCorn: There may be a little more corn variability in this county. There were three different planting dates for this field but it was finished on May 8. It had fairly heavy GLS below the ear and then some above the ear, but no more than 5% above the ear. The corn was fired up to two or three leaves below the ear, some from N loss and some because it may have gotten a little too dry for the population. There was some tip back but overall pollination was really good. The ears were very consistent for a population of 35,000. The rows were perfect. The yield was the best so far at 210 bushels.Soybeans: There was an early May planting date. It looks like there were some dry conditions. They were 32 inches tall and a little short but the nodes were close and they are heavily podded. This is the least disease pressure we have seen and also very light insect pressure. There was a little bean leaf beetle feeding. There were many three-bean pods in this good to excellent field. The yield may have lost a little from the dry conditions but still around 60 bushels.Hancock Co. corn fieldHancock Co. cornHancock Co. bean fieldHancock Co. beansHancock Co. corn fieldHancock Co. cornHancock Co. bean fieldHancock Co. beansPutnam CountyCorn: Conditions look to be a little dry, but not terrible. Where we entered the field there was primarily gray leaf spot but mostly below the ear leaf, though there may be some yield loss from this. Limited water and heat also caused some yield loss. The corn is in dent. Ear fill was pretty good, but there was some tip back. The field was planted at 36,000 on April 29. Corn is on the short side but yields are not bad. The yield was 191 bushels.Soybeans: Planting date was May 7 with 160,000 population. The soybeans are at R5. The canopy height was 38 inches with two inches between nodes. There was one small spot with sudden death syndrome. We also saw some light frogeye and downy mildew. There was a fungicide and insecticide application. There was a little Japanese beetle feeding. There were more two-bean pods, probably from dry conditions. This was a good field with yield potential in the 50s. County-wide there is maybe a little more weed pressure.Putnam Co. soybean fieldPutnam cornPutnam Co. beansPutnam Co. corn fieldPutnam Co. soybean fieldPutnam cornPutnam Co. beansPutnam Co. corn fieldHardin CountyCorn: This is a good to excellent field with some disease pressure. Northern Corn leaf blight is creeping up above the ear but conditions are pretty good and disease pressure is not too bad. This was sprayed with fungicide and insecticide. There were some pollination issues with some irregular rows and undeveloped kernels. This is probably due to heat during pollination. The average number of rows was 18 with average kernel depth. There is a population of 34,000 planted on May 6 with a yield of 192 bushels.Soybean: The soybeans were planted May 10 with a population of 135,000 population and canopy height of 40 inches. Distance between nodes was around 2 inches. There was some frogeye but on less than 5%. There was some bean leaf beetle feeding with mostly three-bean pods. The field overall looks excellent.Hardin Co. corn fieldHardin Co. cornHardin Co bean fieldHardin Co. beansHardin Co. corn fieldHardin Co. cornHardin Co bean fieldHardin Co. beansAllen CountyCorn: The population was 32,000 planted on May 7. The corn looks good with good color but it is showing dry conditions. There was virtually no disease pressure with just a little gray leaf spot. There was a little tip back but pretty good pollination. There were some aborted kernels. The yield is 212 in this excellent field.Soybean: This was planted May 7 with excellent conditions. There are some dry areas showing up on the hilltops. The canopy height was 42 inches and the distance between nodes was a little over two inches. There was a little frogeye that came in late. There was little insect pressure. There were three pods per node most at three beans. It looks like a 60+ bushel field.Allen Co. corn fieldAllen Co. cornAllen Co. bean fieldAllen Co. BeansAllen Co. corn fieldAllen Co. cornAllen Co. bean fieldAllen Co. Beanslast_img read more

Voting begins for Dantewada Assembly bypoll in Chhattisgarh

first_imgVoting for the bypoll to the Naxal-affected Dantewada Assembly constituency began on Monday morning amid tight security. The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi in a Naxal attack in April. Polling began at 7 am and it will go on till 3 pm, an election official said here. A total of 1,88,263 voters, including 89,747 men and 98,876 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the constituency, which has 273 polling stations. A massive security blanket of around 18,000 personnel, including those from paramilitary forces, and drones have been thrown around the Dantewada Assembly segment, which is part of the insurgency-hit Bastar region, for conducting peaceful polling, a police official said. The counting of votes will be taken up on September 27. Nine candidates are in the fray for the seat, the only one in Bastar division that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to win in last year’s Assembly election. Both the ruling Congress and the BJP have fielded candidates who have been victims of Naxal violence, with the former pitting Devti Karma, wife of senior party leader Mahendra Karma who was killed in the Jhiram Valley attack in 2013, against the latter’s Ojaswi Mandavi, wife of slain MLA Bhima Mandavi. The other candidates are Hemant Poyam (Bahujan Samaj Party), Sujit Karma (Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J)), Bhimsen Mandavi (Communist Party of India), Ajay Nag (Nationalist Congress Party), Ballu Ram Bhawani (Aam Aadmi Party), Yogesh Markam (Gondwana Gantantra Party) and Independent Sudru Ram Kunjam. Stakes are high for the main opposition BJP as it is fighting to retain the seat. In the 2018 Assembly polls, Devti Karma had lost to Bhima Mandavi by a thin margin of 2,172 votes in the Dantewada seat. In the 90-member state Assembly, the Congress won 68 seats last year and the BJP 15. The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) and the BSP had bagged five and two seats respectively.last_img read more

Peguis chief and council hit by allegations of misuse of flood money

first_imgAPTN National NewsQuestions are beginning to mount over an audit of Peguis First Nation emergency spending, released by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.The audit looks at how money for flood relief was spent between 2009 and 2011. It contains details of payments in excess of $200,000 made directly to chief and council, and large discrepancies on the number of houses that were sandbagged.Peguis chief Glenn Hudson responded by referring to the document as a draft audit, and labelled it as another attempt by critics to undermine his leadership.The CTF says that band members came forward with the document. Aboriginal Affairs has yet to comment.APTN National News reporter Tiar Wilson has the details.last_img read more