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Indian-American hotelier Vikram Chatwal gets community service for trying to torch 2 Dogs

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Stray dogs. (representational image )Wikimedia Commons.
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Washington, April 19, 2017: Indian-American hotelier Vikram Chatwal, who was found guilty of trying to torch two dogs has been ordered by a Manhattan judge to do five days of community service after he agreed to a plea deal.

Chatwal, the founder of the Dream Hotels, was found guilty for trying to burn a pair of Jack Russell terriers last year.

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The 45-year-old hotelier pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors — aggravated animal cruelty and animal cruelty violation, the New York Post reported on Tuesday.

When Manhattan Judge Gerianne Abriano asked Chatwal whether he “attempted to cause serious physical injury to two dogs using an aerosol can and lighter to set fire to them”, Chatwal answered in the affirmative.

In addition to the five-day community service that he agreed to do, Chatwal also agreed to pay $1,000 in restitution to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which took care of the dogs that Chatwal tried to put on flame.

Chatwal’s lawyers said he suffers from bipolar disorder, reported the New York Post.

He was also asked to continue his mental-health treatment, submit to random drug testing and still live with his parents under the deal.

According to the ruling, if Chatwal complies with the terms and conditions, the misdemeanor charge of aggravated animal cruelty will be dropped in one year.

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“We’re pleased that the DA’s office realised all of the mitigating factors and is offering this disposition,” Arthur Aidala, Chatwal’s attorney, said after the plea.

Assistant District Attorney Tanisha Palvia said that “given the defendant’s mental health history and lack of criminal history and minimal injury to the dogs, we are offering a no-jail deal”.

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Chatwal was arrested by the police in October last year after he attacked two Jack Russell dogs on Wooster Street in Soho, Manhattan, near his condominium.

Isabell Suquilanda, the dog walker, filed a lawsuit against Chatwal citing that the incident deeply traumatised her.

Chatwal’s name also will be added to the animal abuse registry, and he is barred from owning or caring for a pet for five years.

He would appear in the court again on July 19. (IANS)

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Stronger people have sharper brains: Study

Previous research by the group has already found that aerobic exercise can improve brain health

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It is best to begin your gym workout with a dynamic warm-up routine. Pixabay

 If you thought hitting the gym only builds your physical strength, think again. A study of nearly half a million people has revealed that stronger people perform better in brain functioning tests.

Muscular strength, measured by handgrip, is an indication of how healthy our brains are, said the study published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.

“Our study confirms that people who are stronger do indeed tend to have better functioning brains,” said study co-author Joseph Firth from NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, Australia.

Strong people have sharper brains. Wikimedia Commons

Using data from the 475,397 participants from all around Britain, the new study showed that on average, stronger people performed better in brain functioning tests that included reaction speed, logical problem solving, and multiple different tests of memory.

The study, which used UK Biobank data, showed the relationships were consistently strong in both people aged under 55 and those aged over 55. Previous studies had only shown this applies in elderly people.

The findings also showed that maximal handgrip was strongly correlated with both visual memory and reaction time in over one thousand people with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

Also Read: Riding a bike to work as good as gym workout: Study

“We can see there is a clear connection between muscular strength and brain health,” Firth, who is also an honorary research fellow at the University of Manchester in Britain, said. “But really, what we need now, are more studies to test if we can actually make our brains healthier by doing things which make our muscles stronger — such as weight training,” he added. Previous research by the group has already found that aerobic exercise can improve brain health. “These sorts of novel interventions, such as weight training, could be particularly beneficial for people with mental health conditions,” Firth said.

“Our research has shown that the connections between muscular strength and brain functioning also exist in people experiencing schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder — all of which can interfere with regular brain functioning,” he added. “This raises the strong possibility that weight training exercises could actually improve both the physical and mental functioning of people with these conditions,” he said. IANS