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In a desperate bid to cover up the nexus between the D-Company and ISI from being exposed to the world, Pakistan’s top sleuths allegedly ‘manipulated’ a key FBI witness, who turned hostile and paved the way for Dawood Ibrahim’s financier Jabir Motiwala, to go scot-free in a high profile extradition case heard in London. Last week, the US dropped charges and withdrew an extradition case against Jabir, giving a breather to Dawood, India’s most wanted fugitive, declared a global terrorist by several countries.
FBI informer and key witness in the case of Kamran Faridi, a Pakistani-American who trapped Dawood’s financier Motiwala in the drug racket, was reportedly ‘influenced’ by ISI officials to give a favourable statement in British extradition court which made Dawood’s right-hand man to walk free from London jail, top sources in Indian agencies revealed to IANS, while explaining how Pakistani establishment managed to save D-company from being put to trial in a US court.
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Earlier on the basis of very strong evidence, the London court had cleared the extradition of Dawood’s financier to the US. All the charges relating to drugs and money laundering against Dawood aide were established in the court. However at a very later stage when the case was being finalized by the High Court, Kamran Faridi, the key witness surprised everyone while revealing that he was pressured by his bosses in the FBI to trap D-company’s finance head Jabir Motiwala in a fake drug case. Prime witness Faridi’s complete U-turn on the story embarrassed the FBI, which ultimately dropped the charges against Dawood’s aide.
Indian Intelligence officials said that Kamran Faridi, a former agent and informer of FBI, whose financial condition was presently not good, was allegedly approached by ISI sleuths and manipulated. Close to the final hearing in the High Court, a leading Pakistani newspaper, part of ISI’s game plan, published Kamran Faridi’s statement wherein he revealed that Dawood’s aide was “trapped” by him in a false case. Faridi also told the Pakistani newspaper that he was forced by FBI bosses to involve D-company in the trap. But Indian agencies do not buy Faridi’s side of the story.
“D-company and ISI worked in tandem to influence Kamran Faridi. For them, Faridi was the only hope as Jabir Motiwala had almost lost the case. The ISI sleuths finally managed Faridi to contradict his own revelations about Jabir. We have come to know that initially Kamran’s relatives in Karachi were approached. A few officials in the Pakistani High Commission and a journalist of a prominent Pakistan TV channel based in London too played a crucial part in highlighting Kamran Faridi’s manipulated statement,” an IPS officer of the Indian agency disclosed.
Boasting about its role, a major Pakistani news Channel, Geo TV claimed that “most critical intervention in the case came when the channel and its English newspaper published a story on March 19, 2021, revealing that a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informant was stopped from entering the UK by the UK Immigration authorities, as Kamran Faridi wanted to record his testimony before the High Court of Justice. The former FBI agent had wanted to testify under oath before the Court that he was involved in the abuse of process to trap Jabir Motiwala. “How a former FBI agent, and a key witness who remained mum for so many years, turned hostile at such a late stage. Obviously ISI managed this agent, as Motiwala’s extradition would have opened a can of worms in the US court, exposing the underworld, terror nexus between Dawood Ibrahim and his handlers in Pakistan,” a senior officer of Indian agency alleged.
After years of persuasion, the US withdrew the extradition request against Jabir Motiwala, involved in drug trafficking and handling international financial deals of Dawood Ibrahim. Jabir, who flew from Cyprus to London in 2018, was arrested by Scotland Yard at the request of the FBI. During the extradition trial in London, FBI lawyers had disclosed to the court that Jabir Motiwala was managing funds of Dawood Ibrahim in UAE, Britain and other overseas countries. Regarding drug dealing, FBI agents recorded Motiwala on camera, who was seen talking about finance and supply of drugs from Karachi to Atlantic City. Based on such solid evidence the court had earlier cleared extradition of Jabir Motiwala to the US. (IANS/JC)
Scientists temporarily attached a pig's kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for lifesaving transplants.
Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.
Surgeons attached the pig kidney to a pair of large blood vessels outside the body of a deceased recipient so they could observe it for two days. The kidney did what it was supposed to do — filter waste and produce urine — and didn't trigger rejection.
"It had absolutely normal function," said Dr. Robert Montgomery, who led the surgical team last month at NYU Langone Health in New York. "It didn't have this immediate rejection that we have worried about."
This research is "a significant step," said Dr. Andrew Adams of the University of Minnesota Medical School, who was not part of the work. It will reassure patients, researchers and regulators "that we're moving in the right direction."
The dream of animal-to-human transplants, or xenotransplantation, dates to the 17th century with stumbling attempts to use animal blood for transfusions. By the 20th century, surgeons were attempting transplants of organs from baboons into humans, notably Baby Fae, a dying infant, who lived 21 days with a baboon heart.
With no lasting success and much public uproar, scientists turned from primates to pigs, tinkering with their genes to bridge the species gap.
Pigs have advantages over monkeys and apes. They are produced for food, so using them for organs raises fewer ethical concerns. Pigs have large litters, short gestation periods and organs comparable to those of humans.
Pig heart valves also have been used successfully for decades in humans. The blood thinner heparin is derived from pig intestines. Pig skin grafts are used on burns, and Chinese surgeons have used pig corneas to restore sight.
Kidney ready for transplantation from a live donor Image credit: wikimedia commons
In the NYU case, researchers kept a deceased woman's body on a ventilator after her family agreed to the experiment. The woman had wished to donate her organs, but they weren't suitable for traditional donation.
'Good could come from this'
The family felt "there was a possibility that some good could come from this gift," Montgomery said.
Montgomery himself received a transplant three years ago, a human heart from a donor with hepatitis C because he was willing to take any organ.
"I was one of those people lying in an ICU waiting and not knowing whether an organ was going to come in time," he said.
Several biotech companies are in the running to develop suitable pig organs for transplant to help ease the human organ shortage. More than 90,000 people in the U.S. are in line for kidney transplants. Every day, 12 die while waiting.
The advance is a win for Revivicor, a subsidiary of United Therapeutics, the company that engineered the pig and its cousins, a herd of 100 raised in tightly controlled conditions at a facility in Iowa.
The pigs lack a gene that produces alpha-gal, the sugar that provokes an immediate attack from the human immune system.
In December, the Food and Drug Administration approved the gene alteration in the Revivicor pigs as safe for human food consumption and medicine.
But the FDA said developers would need to submit more paperwork before pig organs could be transplanted into living humans.
"This is an important step forward in realizing the promise of xenotransplantation, which will save thousands of lives each year in the not-too-distant future," said United Therapeutics CEO Martine Rothblatt in a statement.
Experts say tests on nonhuman primates and last month's experiment with a human body pave the way for the first experimental pig kidney or heart transplants in living people in the next several years.
Raising pigs to be organ donors feels wrong to some people, but it may grow more acceptable if concerns about animal welfare can be addressed, said Karen Maschke, a research scholar at the Hastings Center, who will help develop ethics and policy recommendations for the first clinical trials under a grant from the National Institutes of Health.
"The other issue is going to be: Should we be doing this just because we can?" Maschke said. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Transplant, Pig, Human, Kidney, FDA
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Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.
The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.
These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.
The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.
Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.
Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."
The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.
"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences
On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020. Apart from senior RSS leader Suresh Soni, representatives of various organisations associated with the Sangh Parivar -- working in the field of education -- were present in the meeting in New Delhi.
According to sources, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who attended the meeting on behalf of the government, shared information related to the National Education Policy-2020 and the government's policy on important issues related to the education sector. Pradhan also shared details of the efforts being made by the government in the field of education.
Discussions were also held regarding the impact of the situation arising out of Corona and how much it has affected the education sector. In the meeting, the RSS leaders asked several questions and provided suggestions to the Union Minister regarding the education policy of the government.
According to the sources, RSS wants the policy to be implemented expeditiously. All aspects related to the policy were discussed in Tuesday's meeting. On the second and the last day of the meeting on Wednesday, special issues related to education will be discussed in which representatives of various organisations of the Sangh, Union Ministers and several BJP leaders will be take part.
Meanwhile, in order to convey its point of view to the government on various issues, the Sangh keeps on calling such coordination meetings related to specific issues, in which RSS representatives -- working in that particular area -- provide feedback to the government. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: BJP, RSS, New Education Policy, Education, India