Current Affairs Current Affairs - 2 May 2015 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 2 May 2015

Dawood Ibrahim wanted to surrender, says former Delhi Police chief Neeraj Kumar.

  • Gangster Dawood Ibrahim, main accused in the 1993 Mumbai blast, wanted to surrender but he was worried that the rival gang would finish him off if he comes back to India, claims former Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar.
    "I spoke to a jittery Dawood three times in June 1994...He seemed to be toying with the idea of surrendering but had one worry - his rival gangs could finish him off if he returned to India. I told him his safety would be the responsibility of the CBI," Kumar told Hindustan Times.
    According to a report published in Hindustan Times, the underworld don even spoke thrice to the then CBI DIG Neeraj Kumar but for some reason, the agency didn't take him up on his offer.
    The report further stated that after granting Kumar the permission to talk to Dawood, his seniors abruptly told him to put an end to the phone calls.

Kejriwal asks AAP ministers to explain progress of development in Delhi.

  • Facing flak for non-performance of his government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked his ministers and heads of various departments to explain the progress of development works so far.
    The chief minister has sought a detailed presentation that started from Friday, from each department over the next one week. A direction to this effect has been issued by Rajendra Kumar, Secretary to Chief Minister Kejriwal.
    Official sources said the review meeting would focus on the Aam Aadmi Party's 70-point agenda, which it had promised before the Delhi Assembly polls. The heads of all departments have been apprised of the AAP agenda and asked to implement the same in a time-bound manner.
    The departments include home affairs, vigilance, Delhi Jal Board, power, trade and taxes, general administration, revenue, excise and information and technology among others. Sources said exploring new sources of revenue generation was the prime focus of the government as implementation of AAP's key poll promises would require huge expenses. This assumes greater significance in wake of the cash deficit of ` 4,000 crore which the Delhi government has been suffering.

Trouble for Mars-bound astronauts, researchers say cosmic rays may damage brain.

  • It may not be space debris, errant asteroids, supply shortages, thruster malfunctions or even the malevolent aliens envisioned in so many Hollywood films that thwart astronauts on any mission to Mars. It may be the ubiquitous galactic cosmic rays.
    Researchers said on Friday long-term exposure to these rays that permeate space may cause dementia-like cognitive impairments in astronauts during any future round-trip Mars journey, expected to take at least 2-1/2 years.
    In a NASA-funded study, mice exposed to highly energetic charged particles like those in galactic cosmic rays experienced declines in cognition and changes in the structure and integrity of brain nerve cells and the synapses where nerve impulses are sent and received.
    The irradiated particles in galactic cosmic rays, remnants of star explosions called supernovas, can penetrate spacecraft and astronauts' bodies. Earth itself is protected by its magnetosphere.

    University of California, Irvine radiation oncology professor Charles Limoli said "without a doubt" people would face the same issues as the mice.
    "Astronauts may incur cognitive impairments that lead to performance decrements, confusion, increased anxiety and longer-term problems with cognitive health," said Limoli, whose study appears in the journal Science Advances.
    This could compromise mission critical activities, especially if unanticipated situations arise during deep spaceflight, Limoli said.
    The mice, genetically altered to have green fluorescent neurons to help structural analysis, were exposed to the rays at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York and then analyzed six weeks later.
    In addition to the brain neuron and synapse changes, the mice exhibited decreased performance on learning and memory tests. They also lacked curiosity and were sluggish in experiments involving objects placed in a box with them.
    "Previous studies show synaptic impairment or loss of synapses is an early and invariant feature of Alzheimer's disease, and there is a strong correlation between the extent of synapse loss and the severity of dementia," said University of California, Irvine neuroscientist Vipan Kumar Parihar.
    NASA says it is developing the capabilities needed to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars in the 2030s.
    NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz said a Mars mission would take at least 2-1/2 years: a six-month journey there, a stay on Mars of at least 18 months, and a six-month flight back.

Nepal earthquake death toll crosses 6,600, thousands still missing .
  • A week after a massive earthquake hit Nepal, police say the death toll from the disaster has climbed past 6,600.
    The deputy inspector general of Kathmandu police, Kamal Singhbam, said on Saturday that 6,624 people died in the April 25 earthquake.
    He said 14,025 people were injured in the magnitude-7.9 quake, the worst to hit Nepal in 80 years.
    Efforts are ongoing to retrieve bodies from the rubble, though hopes have faded for finding anyone still alive.
    In the capital Kathmandu, many unclaimed bodies were being quickly cremated because of the need to avert disease and reduce the stench of corpses in areas where buildings had collapsed.
    "Morgues are full beyond capacity and we have been given instructions to incinerate bodies immediately after they are pulled out," said Raman Lal, an Indian paramilitary force official working in coordination with Nepali forces.
    Many of the dead could be migrant workers from neighbouring India, local officials said.
    The head of the European Union delegation in Nepal said up to 1,000 Europeans were still unaccounted for, mostly around popular trekking routes.

Rahul Gandhi to visit quake-hit Bihar to meet victims, take stock of rescue operations.

  • Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will visit earthquake-hit areas of Bihar on Saturday to meet victims and to take stock of the ongoing rescue and relief operations, party leaders said.
    "Rahul Gandhi will visit Raxaul, Darbhanga, and Sitamarhi on Saturday to meet victims and to take stock of the situation of ongoing rescue and relief operations in Bihar," said a party leader.
    According to Congress leaders, Gandhi will visit relief camps housing hundreds of people, who returned from earthquake-ravaged Nepal in Raxaul of border East Champaran district.
    It will be first visit of Gandhi to the state after last Lok Sabha polls when he visited Bihar for campaigning.

Mayweather, Pacquiao all set for boxing's fight of the century.

  • When Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao enter the ring on Saturday the stakes could not be higher, even for a bout already labelled the "Fight of the Century."
    The richest prize fight of all-time will give each fighter a multi-million-dollar payday and smash pay-per-view numbers while eye-popping ticket prices, out of reach for all but the rich and famous, will see the 16,800-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena rival the Super Bowl in gate receipts.
    There is a garish championship belt embossed with 3,000 emeralds on the line along with the mythical title of world's best pound-for-pound fighter but more significantly it is a bout that could cement a boxing legacy and a fight on which the future of the sport could hang. Five-plus years in the making, all the hype and elements are in place to elevate the welterweight showdown into one of those memorable watershed sporting moments. Or it could be a flop, providing another blow for a sport that is just starting to lift itself back off the canvas.

Joy, relief in Baltimore as police are charged in black man's death.
  • Baltimore residents cautiously celebrated news on Friday that six police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray face criminal charges, a marked contrast to recent rioting over fraught relations between police and the African-American community.
    Residents shouted with joy, embraced one another and honked car horns to hail the swift action by Baltimore city's chief prosecutor to file charges in the death of Gray, a black man who suffered severe spinal injuries while in police custody.
    "I am proud for Baltimore," said Mae McKinney, 48, waving a large American flag. "I feel so happy, mostly happy that this wasn't swept under the rug and someone did something about it." A jubilant crowd gathered in West Baltimore, where Gray was arrested on April 12, chanting "Freddie! Freddie!" and dancing on top of cars.

Indian Air Force evacuates 3,358 from Nepal, relief operation.

  • New Delhi: The number of people evacuated from Nepal by the Indian Air Force (IAF) reached 3,358 as another flight carrying the evacuees landed in India on Friday, the defence ministry said.
    "One of the last sorties of C-17 from KTM (Kathmandu) to Palam. Total pax brought back by IAF fixed wing a/c 3,358," Defence spokesperson Sitanshu Kar tweeted.
    The Indian Air Force conducted 311 fixed wing aircraft sorties since the efforts started on last Saturday after Nepal was hit by a quake.
    They also transported around 571.65 tonnes of relief material. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, along with India Ambassador in Nepal Ranjit Rae along with Maj. Gen J.S. Sandhu flew over Gorkha district and landed at Barpak where they interacted with residents. The rescue operations, assisted by the Indian Army, meanwhile, continues as the army relief convoys moving by road started arriving in Kathmandu on Friday. Five Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of the army continue to be deployed for rescue efforts in Pokhra and adjoining areas in spite of weather and terrain limitations. Officials said army aviation conducted 77 sorties and evacuated 94 casualties apart from rescuing 363 people on Thursday alone. Army choppers are also being used for transporting troops, and delivering relief material to inaccessible areas, along with helicopters and other aircraft of the IAF. Six Medium Lift Helicopters (MLH) of the IAF are, meanwhile, positioned at Kathmandu and two at Pokhara.


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