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Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson speaks at a campaign rally in Boston, Massachusetts, Aug. 27, 2016. VOA
  • In the 2012 presidential election, Johnson set a record for most votes won by a Libertarian candidate
  • By framing an ignominious lapse presidential candidate from Libertarian Party Garry Johnson attracted people’s attention
  • The Libertarian agenda promotes civil liberties and a small-government agenda

Sept 11, 2016: On Thursday during an interview with MSNBC Garry Johnson Libertarian Party presidential candidate when being asked that, ‘if you were elected, what would you do regarding “Aleppo” condition’?

Then there it came an astonishing answer, – Aleppo???

Surprisingly MSNBC interviewer said, are you kidding?

‘’No’’ Johnson replied.

‘’Aleppo is in Syria…. It’s the epic center of the refugee crisis, the MSNBC interviewer said.

Ok got it got it, Jonson said.

The incident also followed its course to the public meeting on Wednesday night in which Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican rival Donald trump sought to showcase their national security and defense credentials. Johnson, a former Republican governor of New Mexico, has been trying to turn the two major candidates’ low approval ratings to his advantage in the race to win the November 8 election in 2016.

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However, he has just 8.6 support in the current average of opinion polls by website RealClearPolitics in a matchup with Clinton, Trump, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

While the Libertarian Party has long rejected U.S. military intervention abroad, the candidate’s failure to recognize one of the most troubled spots in the Middle East drew ridicule and prompted speculation that his campaign was essentially over.

Clinton asked at a news conference about Johnson’s remarks, laughed and quipped, “You can look on the map and find Aleppo.”

In a statement after the MSNBC interview, Johnson said the mistake showed he was human and explained that, when asked about Aleppo, he was thinking of an acronym and not the Syrian war.

War-torn Aleppo in Syria. Wikimedia Commons

“Can I name every city in Syria? No. Should I have identified Aleppo? Yes. Do I understand its significance? Yes,” he said.

In the 2012 presidential election, Johnson set a record for most votes won by a Libertarian candidate- about 1 percent of the popular vote – and was aiming to attract disaffected Republicans and Democrats to sustain steady growth in the party.

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The Libertarian agenda promotes civil liberties and a small-government agenda. Johnson has pledged to cut spending, stick to conservative fiscal policies and legalize marijuana.

Appearing on ABC’s talk show “The View” later, Johnson reacted mildly to suggestions the gaffe would kill his campaign. “I guess people will have to make that judgment,” he said.

– by Aakash Mandyal with inputs from VOA


Photo by Pixabay

Indian astronomers have found an active galaxy in a very bright state with 10 times more X-ray emission than normal

Indian astronomers have found an active galaxy in a very bright state with 10 times more X-ray emission than normal, equivalent to more than 10 trillion of the sun, and located five billion light years away that could help probe how particles behave under intense gravity and acceleration to the speed of light.

It could help study the role of strong gravity and acceleration of matter in the formation, interaction and evolution of galaxies in the early universe.

Every galaxy in the universe is believed to host a supermassive black hole at its centre. In some galaxies, the black hole is actively devouring a large amount of material and shooting a jet of plasma almost at the speed of light towards us. These are called blazars.

OJ 287 belongs to a class of blazars known as BL Lacertae objects which show very rapid and large amplitude flux variations but barely discernible emission line features.

This class of sources emit in the whole electromagnetic spectrum, a rather uncommon phenomenon which requires extreme physical conditions. Hence, a study of such sources tells us about the behaviour of matter in an extreme gravitational field where it is difficult for light to escape from the vicinity of the black hole.

Astronomers at Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, have been monitoring one such black hole system named 'OJ 287' since 2015. This source shows a repeated optical brightness enhancement almost every 12 years.

"The repeated optical enhancement makes OJ 287 very intriguing as this class of sources does not show any repeating features in flux variations. The repeated optical enhancement made the researchers believe that the system hosts a binary black hole," said a release from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

In 2020, the source was very bright at optical and X-ray bands with X-ray flux more than 10 times the normal (non-active phase) flux. This flare was very different as it was not expected in models proposed for this source and thus, indicated a more complex system and physical conditions.

Investigating the extreme brightness shown by OJ 287 at optical and X-ray bands, astronomers led by Pankaj Kushwaha and Alok C. Gupta reported the source in a completely new spectral state.

The team argued that this change of state holds clues to the researcher's quest to understand how matter behaves in very strong gravity and how it accelerates the particle to almost the speed of light -- a feat that is out of the scope of even the most advanced CERN accelerator.

The research published in 'The Astrophysical Journal' tracked the details of changes in optical to the X-ray emission spectrum of the source with time from 2017 to 2020 -- after the second brightest X-ray flare of the source. It revealed how the source gradually started to change its spectral behaviour from mid-2018 to the new spectral state in 2020.

The study included data recorded by the ground-based facility operated by Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, operated Mount Abu observing facility in near infra-red bands and the space-based NASA's satellites -- the Niels Gherel Swift satellite at optical, UV and X-rays with gamma ray data from the Fermi satellite, the release added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Science, NASA, Satellites, Black Hole, Gravity, India

Photo by Flickr

Tospread awareness about the significance of reading, Rachna Kalra, who hails from Gurugram (Haryana), started the Silent Book Club in the year 2019.

Who doesn't like reading, and that, too, reading along the company of mother nature? Well, this book club is truly a fantasy turned to reality.

As said by a regular reader at the Silent Book Club, “There is something meditative about reading. Sitting quietly with a book, without any distractions, is almost spiritual for me," this exactly is the case with many such readers.

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Ninety-eight per cent of Indian travellers say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the coming year.

A Travel Sustainable badge, provides highly coveted information to travellers all over the world looking to make more sustainable travel choices. has launched the Travel Sustainable Badge, a first of its kind in the industry, designed to be applicable to a wide range of property types, from apartments, B&Bs, and vacation homes to hotels, resorts, and even treehouses, and adaptable to local realities and considerations.

Ninety-eight per cent of Indian travellers say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the coming year, and with more than 28 million listings on, the company sees a huge opportunity to highlight more of the impactful efforts its partners are making to create more sustainable experiences, making it easier for travellers to find a sustainable way to stay.

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With 88 percent of Indian travellers indicating that they would be more likely to choose a specific accommodation that implements sustainable practices, it rewards and encourages providers to take the next steps on their individual sustainability journeys.

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