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Hyderabad: The cash-for-vote scam in Telangana took a dramatic turn on Sunday with the release of an audio tape of a purported telephonic conversation between Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and nominated Telangana legislator Elvis Stephenson.
The Andhra government denied that it’s Naidu’s voice.
This is perhaps for the first time in India that a Chief Minister of a state has been tapped while allegedly trying to lure a legislator. Denying that it is Naidu’s voice, the Andhra Pradesh government has taken the release of audio tape seriously and vowed to fight it legally, constitutionally and politically.
The new twist may create a constitutional crisis as Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Telangana is planning to summon Naidu for questioning in the case.
Hyderabad is the common capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Both Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) governments have taken up the issue with E.S.L. Narasimhan, who is the governor for both the Telugu states.
The audio tape was released three days after Telangana Home Minister N. Narasimha Reddy said that the government has proof that Naidu spoke to Stephenson and some other MLAs of TRS, to lure them to vote for TDP-BJP candidate in Telangana legislative council elections.
The audio tape was first played at T News, a Telugu news channel owned by ruling TRS and was later picked up by others.
During the conversation, Naidu purportedly assured the nominated member that he is with him.
“Our people briefed me. I am with you, don’t bother. For everything I am with you. What all they spoke we will honour,” Naidu was heard as telling the legislator.
In swift developments on Sunday night, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao met Governor Narasimhan at Raj Bhavan while Naidu called a meeting with Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police J.V. Ramudu and other officials to take stock of the latest situation.
Rao’s meeting with the governor, the second in three days, came minutes after the release of the audio tape.
Telangana TDP legislator A. Revanth Reddy was arrested by the ACB on May 31 when he was offering Rs.50 lakh to Stephenson to make him vote for TDP-BJP candidate in the elections to Telangana legislative council.
ACB, which had laid a trap on a complaint by Stephenson, also arrested Revanth Reddy’s aides Sebastian Harry and Uday Simha.
TRS leaders have been alleging that Naidu is the mastermind in the scam and he should be booked.
The audio tape came to light a few hours after ACB questioned Revanth Reddy and two others for a second day. A city court had sent them to four-day custody of ACB.
Earlier in the day, Naidu met Narasimhan, who is governor for both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The TDP chief reportedly complained to the governor about TRS government tapping his phone.
Meanwhile, Naidu’s media advisor Prakala Prabhakar told reporters on Sunday night that the voice in the audio tape is not the voice of Naidu.
He said the government was taking the release of the audio tape seriously and will not keep quiet.
“We will fight it legally, constitutionally and politically,” he said.
He wanted to know from the TRS government as to how it got the audio tape.
“If you have done telephone tapping, it is a crime and if you have recorded Mr. Chandrababu Naidu’s voice on different occasions, tampered it and presented to mislead people that it is his conversation, it is also a crime,” he said.
Naidu’s aide wondered how the audio tape could be released as evidence when the same should be produced in the court, where the case is being heard. Prakala condemned the attitude of Telangana government towards Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister in the common capital. He said both the governments and both the Chief Ministers had equal rights in the common capital.
He pointed out that under section 8 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, the governor is responsible for law and order, protection of lives and property of people and vital installations in Hyderabad.
He alleged that the release of audio tape was a conspiracy to tarnish Naidu’s image and disrupt the public meeting scheduled to be held in Guntur on Monday to mark TDP government’s first year.
The media advisor said that the government would go ahead with the meeting and fight the conspiracy.
Andhra Pradesh’s Finance Minister and senior TDP leader Y. Ramakrishnudu said that the audio tape was a proof that the TRS government was violating law by tapping phones. (IANS)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
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This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.
Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.
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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)