SETI Gets Good Press

first_img(Visited 33 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 For an enterprise that has failed for 50 years, SETI gets good press.  There are many worthy enterprises on the planet; what is it about SETI that gets honorable mention with nary a critical word?Galaxy Quest:  The second SETICon is underway in Santa Clara, with not only scientists, but artists, entertainers and “people from all walks of life whose area of interest intersects on the topic of the search for intelligent life somewhere other than here on planet Earth,” reported PhysOrg.  All the SETI bigwigs are there: Frank Drake, Seth Shostak, Tim Allen (not sure about that one).  It’s a bit of a send-off for Jill Tarter, reported Live Science.  Tarter is retiring from the SETI Institute after spending 35 years looking at nothing.  Even though the event is “much more upbeat than the last” SETICon in 2010 because of the Kepler spacecraft’s discovery of over a thousand planets, SETI is not about planets; it’s about intelligent signals from beings like us.  There haven’t been any yet, except…The Wow, and how:  Figuring large in SETI lore is the “Wow!” signal, “a mysterious radio transmission detected in 1977 that may or may not have come from extraterrestrials,” said Space.com.  Its signal strength was so strong that SETI researcher Jerry Ehrman wrote “Wow!” by it.  Even though “No one knows whether the seemingly unnatural signal really was beamed toward us by aliens, and despite great effort, scientists have never managed to detect a repeat transmission from the same spot in the sky,” Space.com reported that a reply is being planned.  It’s a bit of a publicity stunt by the National Geographic Channel to promote their new series, “Chasing UFOs,” even though most SETI researchers discount UFOs as scientifically unsupported.  Interested parties can use Twitter to contribute to a crowdsourced message that will be beamed toward the signal source by the Arecibo radio telescope, in a publicity stunt reminiscent of the first Arecibo message of 1974.  This may concern some SETI researchers who worry that aliens may use the information to attack us 30,000 years from now (see last paragraphs of report from Astrobiology Magazine), but like Keynes said, by then we’ll all be dead.SETI 3.0:  Just when the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) is shutting down for lack of funds, visionaries are planning a granddaddy SETI project reminiscent of NASA-Ames’ 1971 pipe dream, “Project Cyclops.”  That was to be a monster array of 1,000 radio telescopes, each 100 meters across, linked as a giant interferometer to listen in on alien TV shows.  The ridiculously unaffordable proposal was never taken seriously, but the next best thing is coming: SKA, the Square Kilometer Array, to be based in South Africa and Australia.  Astrobiology Magazine described how this ambitious project, to be completed in 2024, will make the ATA look like a stick horse at the Kentucky Derby.  Even so, new worries have come up.  If aliens repeat human history, leakage of their TV transmissions to space will be temporary, dramatically decreasing the detection window for each planet.  Furthermore, Astrobiology Magazine did not say who’s paying for all the hardware, software and personnel.  “Assuming funding is in place, construction on phase one is set to begin in 2016,” it said, which is like the philosopher’s solution to opening a lone can of tuna among survivors on a desert island: “Assume a can opener.” Presumably, the SETI faithful can hitchhike on the array that will be used for serious astronomical research.As SETI researchers continue to hope for signals, they have plenty of time to ask philosophical and even theological questions.  On Live Science, in an article adorned by a scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the suggestive but discredited microphoto inside Martian Meteorite ALH 84001 that launched the contentless science of Astrobiology, Mike Wall speculated, “Would Finding Aliens Shatter Religious Beliefs?”  The short answer is, No, because religion thrived after Copernicus, who (according to popular myth) removed man from the center of the universe (watch The Privileged Planet documentary for needed correctives).  SETI Institute talking heads Seth Shostak and Doug Vakoch were given the typical softball questions for granting Live Science readers authoritative opinions about a field – theology – for which they are unqualified.Wall did not consider the inverse question, “Would not finding aliens shatter naturalistic beliefs?”  Nick Lane did, though.  On New Scientist, he asked an either-or fallacy question, “Life: is it inevitable or just a fluke?”  Most inhabitants of Earth believe an unstated third option, that it was designed, but to humor Mr. Lane for awhile, we watch as he puzzles over the Fermi Paradox (the “Where are they?” conundrum).  He was clearly astonished by the complexity of Earth life’s energy transport systems.  He even included a link to an animation of ATP synthase in his article.  For relief of headache caused by contemplation of irreducible complexity, he practiced transcendental meditation repeating Michael Russell’s mantra that life could have started in hydrothermal vents (see  2/15/2008 and its embedded links).  “Such vents, Russell realised, provide everything needed to incubate life,” Lane comforted himself as he prepared to recline back to his naturalistic slumbers; “Or rather they did, four billion years ago.” Drifting off, the thought generated a nightmare: if life is a fluke, intelligent life might indeed be rare.  Maybe that’s why SETI hasn’t heard anybody yet.Update 06/28/2012: New Scientist interviewed Jill Tarter, who excused the lack of success by comparing it to scooping a glass of water out of the ocean and finding no fish.  “Does this mean there are no fish in the ocean, or does that mean we haven’t sampled it very well yet? I certainly think it’s the latter,” she said.  Pursuing this analogy, though, raises other questions.  How many glasses of ocean water would one need to sample to have a reasonable chance of finding a fish?  How many samples of glasses should a fisherperson be permitted to take, and at whose expense?  What if each sample cost thousands of dollars?  On Earth, we know about fish (and plankton and microbes any typical glass of ocean water would contain), but nobody has any objective evidence of life beyond our planet.  There are profound differences, therefore, between SETI and STF (search for terrestrial fish).The acronym that is being ignored here is TESI: Theology of Evolutionary Scientist Imagination.  Anyone see science here?  (Note: antenna engineering is not derivative of SETI, but ancillary to it; same for Kepler’s planet hunting).  There is no science in SETI, because there have been no observations supporting its reason for being.  SETI, nevertheless, is replete with imagination based on theological assumptions.  The answer, therefore, to the question “Would not finding aliens shatter naturalistic beliefs?” is, No, because evolutionary imagination is boundless and creative.  Hollywood would never let their imagineers lose hope.  In TESI’s favorite scripture, I Vulcans 13, thus saith Shostak, “But now abide funds, hope, and imagination: but the greatest of these is imagination, with the other two close behind.”Late Breaking News:   PhysOrg reported on a poll that asked which presidential candidate would be better suited to protect earth from an alien invasion.  Nearly 2/3 voted for Obama.  National Geographic also stated that a third of Americans believe in UFOs.  Readers can draw their own conclusions.last_img read more

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Inspirational Josiah Thugwane

first_imgJosiah Thugwane celebrates his win at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. Next to him is South Korea’s Lee Bong-Ju. Thugwane was the first black South African to win a gold medal at the Games. (Image: Zar.co.za) MEDIA CONTACTS • Department of Sport and Recreation  +27 12 304 5000• Athletics South Africa  +27 11 880 5800 RELATED ARTICLES • Running into the history books • Olympic countdown begins • Laureus honour for Blade Runner • Semenya takes gold for SA Valencia TalaneAlthough his childhood dream was to become a professional football player, it was his unexpected triumph at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 – in the men’s marathon – that won Josiah Thugwane his long-standing fame and glory as one of South Africa’s greatest sport achievers.Thugwane, who was only 25 years old at the time, ran into the Olympics history books as the first black South African to ever win a gold medal in the history of the Games.South Africans and the world at large were in love with the inspirational story of the young man who emerged from humble beginnings of rural South Africa to conquer the odds against him and succeed where many others could not.Memorable win for newly-reinstated SABeating South Korea’s Lee Bong-Ju and Kenya’s Eric Wainaina, who finished second and third respectively, Thugwane went for the finish line at Olympic stadium, first glancing behind him to see the substantial gap he’d cleared between himself and Lee.As he crossed the line he waved his hands in the air, signing an upside-down number “7” with his fingers. This is a gesture that is common among South Africans who use it to signify a celebration of sorts. It would become one of the new South Africa’s greatly used, symbolic visual memories for years to come.“I won the medal for all the people of South Africa and especially for my president, Nelson Mandela, who made it possible for us to be part of the international community,” he said later when interviewed by international media.South Africa’s inclusion in the Olympics was withdrawn in 1962, owing to the UN general assembly resolution 1761 that barred the country’s participation due to its apartheid policy. It was only reinstated in 1992.Back home, for many South Africans, Thugwane was a new hero, what with the taste of new found freedom still on everyone’s lips hardly two years after the demise of apartheid.His story was a great example of the inspiration that Mandela had been speaking of since his release from prison six years before. The Johannesburg Press Club named him the joint newsmaker of the year, alongside swimming sensation Penny Heyns, who had won two gold medals in the same year.An inspiration to othersThugwane’s story inspired a lot of interest from the world in the man who, at the time of his Olympic victory, had been running in local competitions for eight years, since the age of 17. His first experience of a marathon yielded a R50 (just under US$6) prize, for a 21km effort.The drive to continue running came from realising that he had set the bar for his career and loved the feeling of winning.Thugwane did not receive much education while he was growing up. In fact, he learned to read and write only after Atlanta, through the help of a tutor. At the time of the Olympics, he had been working for a mining company in his home province of Mpumalanga, and was a member of the company’s athletics club.Beyond AtlantaWith the eyes of the world now on him to see what his next move would be, Thugwane continued to take part in national and international marathons and half marathons after Atlanta.In 1997 he won the Fukuoka Marathon, an annual event that takes place in the Japanese city of the same name. Thugwane is ranked 10th best in the Fukuoka’s all-time best achievers. In the same year he was crowned South Africa’s Sportsman of the Year.Thugwane remains an influential part of South African sport, his profile being one of those featured in a 2012 series of great African sport stars by educational publishing company Awareness Publishing Group.In the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Thugwane again made history as only the third man ever to qualify to defend his marathon title. He did not succeed, finishing 20th.Some of Thugwane’s memorable events:1997 – Old Mutual Marathon champion, London Marathon (third)1998 – New York Marathon2000 – Olympic Games in Sydney2002 – Nagano Olympic Memorial Marathon2003 – World Championships2005 – 50km Forever Resorts Loskop MarathonOther accolades to his name1997 – World Athlete of the Year Award2008 – Inducted into the African Athletes Hall of Fame2011 – Received the order of Ikhamangalast_img read more

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Ohioans win national pork industry scholarships

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Pork Checkoff has awarded 20 scholarships to college students around the United States as part of its strategy to develop the pork industry’s future human capital. A National Pork Board committee judged the pool of 48 applicants based on scholastic merit, leadership activities, involvement in the pork production industry and the applicants’ plans for a career in pork production. Ohio has four 2019 scholarship recipients.“The Pork Checkoff is proud to support these young people who are showing a real interest in the pork industry as a career choice,” said Steve Rommereim, president of the National Pork Board and a producer from Alcester, South Dakota. “As our industry continues to evolve, we know we will need more qualified young people to take on the various roles in the pork chain. We must support this effort to help ensure the next generation of talent for our dynamic industry.”The 20 student recipients hail from 10 states and 11 universities across the U.S. The 2019 Pork Industry Scholarship recipients from Ohio are: Lucas Buehler, Botkins, Ohio State University; Owen Michael, Sidney, Kansas State University; Mikayla Shanks, McClure, Ohio State University; and Ariel Taylor, Medina, Ohio State University. Each of the Ohio students plans on majoring in animal science.“Recruiting the next generation of thought leaders and decision makers for the swine industry is critical to making continual improvement in how we raise pigs” said Chris Hostetler, Director of Animal Science for the National Pork Board. “The Pork Industry Scholarship program supports students that have made a commitment to the swine industry to pursue advanced degrees in areas of study directly related to pork production.”The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotionand consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management.For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or go to at www.pork.org.last_img read more

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Ten tips for a tip-top geocache

first_img SharePrint RelatedTop Five Tips for Creating a World-Class GeocacheJuly 11, 2013In “Geocaching.com Videos”Geocaching in Harmony with Nature (Part 2)November 23, 2013In “Community””Basics of Hiding a Geocache” A Geocaching.com Lost & Found VideoDecember 21, 2010In “Lost & Found Stories” Loading… * Special thanks to Moun10Bike, CacheShadow, NCreviewer, onecrazycanadian, ThunderEggs, Skookum Bear, Graculus, GeoCrater, srebeelis, Cache-witch, BlueRajah, Keystone, Greatland Reviewer, inspicio, FitReviewer, LavaLizard, Xanthe Terra, RoadRunner, New York Admin, and Rock Rabbit for all their suggestions, advice, and input!Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

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Four Fugitive Tycoons Loom Large Over India’s Election

first_imgA group of fugitives could play a crucial role in the world’s largest election.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is set to face about 875 million voters in his re-election bid, has stepped up efforts to punish a liquor tycoon, an arms dealer, a billionaire jeweler and a corporate lobbyist after they fled overseas to avoid undergoing trial at home. Just ahead of the polls due by May, the premier has already had some success.U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed an order on Sunday to extradite Vijay Mallya, a colorful beer baron who now lives in London after an airline he owned defaulted on $1.3 billion in loans. The move follows a successful extradition of Christian Michel, an arms dealer accused in a $759 million chopper scandal and lobbyist Deepak Talwar, who were flown back from Dubai.These developments are at the core of two major election issues for Modi — addressing corruption in a society mired with decades of graft and a banking system reeling under billions of dollars of soured debt. After winning a record mandate in 2014, Modi is looking increasingly vulnerable, with his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party losing key state elections. Prosecuting wealthy individuals accused of breaking the law could boost his image at a critical time in the campaign.“This greatly enhances Modi’s reputation as an anti-corruption fighter and shows that he’s trying to clean up the system,” said Niranjan Sahoo, a senior fellow with the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi-based think-tank. “Elections are about perceptions and optics, and this comes at the right time.”Extraditing businessmen like Mallya and Nirav Modi, a billionaire diamond jeweler accused of defrauding $2 billion from a state-run bank will help to puncture an opposition narrative centered around the government’s coziness with big businesses.Getting back Michel and Talwar, an aviation industry middleman alleged to have misused foreign funds that came to his non-profit organization, will feed into the image of Modi as a premier with no tolerance to corruption.Mallya, Nirav Modi, Michel and Talwar deny the allegations. Mallya said he will appeal the extradition order.Nabbing high-profile individuals accused of corruption also helps draw attention away from the government’s inability to create jobs and the ongoing fallout from demonetization and a poorly implemented goods and services tax.“The Modi government is hailing this decision as a success in its anti corruption campaign,” said Katharine Adeney, director of the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute. “However, this is unlikely to have much impact on the election. For most Indians it’s the lack of jobs, rural poverty and the state of the economy that are the big pressing issues.”His administration has already announced $13 billion worth of measures including cash handouts for farmers, a pension program for informal sector workers and tax relief for India’s squeezed middle class in the federal budget on Feb. 1 to win back voter support.The accused represent a slice of India’s wealthy elite who are loathed by the poor for their perceived ability to avoid being brought to justice.While the flamboyance of Mallya – a globetrotter with his private jets and yachts in his heyday – makes voters uncomfortable, Nirav Modi, whose jewelry were worn by Kate Winslet to Dakota Johnson, represents the power of the rich who typically get away with looting money from taxpayer-funded state-run banks.“Symbolically, it has a lot of relevance for the election. Elections are a lot about optics,” Observer Research Foundation’s Sahoo said. “This is a big victory for the ruling party.”(c) 2019, Bloomberg Related Itemsfeaturedlast_img read more

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Encephalitis toll in Bihar mounts to 69

first_imgThe death toll among children suffering from suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur rose to 69 on Saturday, with most of the victims aged between one and seven years.“The death toll today [Saturday] of children has gone up to 69 — 58 at government hospital, SKMCH, and 11 at privately owned Kejriwal hospital,” Muzaffapur civil surgeon Shailesh Prasad Singh told The Hindu over phone.“We’re making all efforts to tackle the situation with all our infrastructure and additional support… sick children continue to come in at the hospital and total 110 children are currently admitted at the SKMCH”, Dr. Singh added.“It has been a critical moment for all and the district administration is quite alert to tackle the situation,” asserted Muzaffarpur District Magistrate Alok Ranjan Ghosh.“There are enough ambulances for the convenience of patients and the awareness campaign about AES too has been launched in a big way in the district,” he added.On Wednesday, a central team of doctors had visited the hospital to monitor the situation and submitted its report to the director general, health services on Friday.A person privy to the report, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Hindu that the team had pointed out several inadequacies at the SKMCH in Muzaffarpur, including the fact that available resources were not being “optimally utilised” at the hospital.last_img read more

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Coach Mark Sangiao vows Team Lakay will be back ‘stronger, better’ after rough start in 2019

first_imgOverall, Team Lakay’s record in ONE Championship in the first month of the year is 1-4 with flyweight contender Danny Kingad the only one to win his fight in January.Mark Sangiao, the patriarch and head coach of Team Lakay, knew that his team will recover and that they’ve faced tougher struggles before especially during the dark days of 2017 when they went 0-4 in their last four fights.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“Of course, we’ll do our best,” said Sangiao in the post-fight press conference of ONE: Hero’s Ascent Friday at Mall of Asia Arena. “We’ll go back to the drawing board, train harder, we’ll go back to our room and try to see what’s lacking and we’ll be back stronger and better.”Team Lakay, though, is still one of the top stables in ONE Championship with Kevin Belingon and Eduard Folayang still the reigning champions in the bantamweight and lightweight divisions, respectively. Gabe Norwood lifts Rain or Shine over Ginebra Sangiao acknowledged that there will be struggles along the way especially with how they performed in 2018 capturing World titles in every weight division his fighters fought in.“We’re back to the drawing board, we’ll talk about what went wrong, and bring out things that needs to be said because that’s how we work as a team,” said Sangiao.“We always help each other and we really help one another. We’re open to whatever needs to be said because we have to discuss everything so we can improve our skills even more.”ADVERTISEMENT Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Team Lakay’s start to 2019 is off to a rocky path after the famed stable from Baguio City lost two of the four world titles it won back in 2018.The first champion to fall was Joshua Pacio when he lost his ONE World strawweight title via unanimous decision to Yosuke Saruta on Jan. 19 and exactly seven days later it was Geje Eustaquio losing his ONE World flyweight strap to rival Adriano Moraes.ADVERTISEMENT US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostingcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Team Lakay’s rough start lights a fire under Danny Kingad PLAY LIST 01:04Team Lakay’s rough start lights a fire under Danny Kingad00:52ONE CEO believes Joshua Pacio won the fight00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte View comments Oil plant explodes in Pampanga townlast_img read more

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Can have ‘big role’ to play in Champions Trophy: Adam Zampa

first_imgAustralian leg-spinner Adam Zampa has insisted that he can have a big role to play for his side in the upcoming Champions Trophy beginning June 1 in England and Wales.Australia highly depend on their pacers, considering it’s their strength and Zampa knows that skipper Steve Smith may not always play a specialist spinner.However, the 25-year-old believes that the heat-wave that is there in the United Kingdom, could play into his hands.”I am not assuming I won’t play, but obviously with the firepower we have with the ball it comes down to conditions,” news.com.au quoted Zampa as saying.”I am hopeful that the conditions will suit me. You see a lot of dry wickets in England and I think I can have a big role to play,” he added.The entire tournament will be held across three venues, The Oval, Edgbaston and Sophia Gardens, thus meaning that the centre wicket square should deteriorate considerably over the course of the competition, thus assisting the spinners.”I think the general feel is that the wickets will slow up at the back end of the tournament and I am preparing for that, but I’m prepared to play every game,” said the tweaker.Australia begin their Champions Trophy campaign against New Zealand on June 2, followed by games against Bangladesh and England on June 5 and June 10 respectively.Australian squad: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade and Adam Zampa.advertisementlast_img read more

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Push-ups, Beatles and football: Northeast CMs know how to have fun

first_imgA perfectly executed soccer nutmeg, over 40 push-ups, and renditions of Chhodo Kal Ki Batein and Let It Be: Over the course of a single afternoon in Kolkata, four Northeast chief ministers showed they weren’t all work and no play.Biplab Kumar Deb, Conrad Sangma, N Biren Singh and Pema Khandu — all NDA leaders — attended Day Two of the India Today Conclave East 2018 today. Guess who did the push-ups?It was Deb, the chief minister of Tripura, who pulled that feat off — and received a standing ovation to boot. Check out the video here. Biplab Deb (left) and Rahul Kanwal faced off in a push-up battle.Next, it was Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s turn.But Sangma had a condition. “It was Rahul versus Biplab”, he said, pointing out that TV Today News Director Rahul Kanwal and the Tripura CM did push-ups together. “So it has to be Rajdeep versus Conrad.”And so, when Conrad Sangma sang the Beatles hit “Let It Be” and a Hindi number, “Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye”, India Today Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai sang along. Conrad Sangma singing “Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye” with Rajdeep Sardesai.Now, another treat for fitness and sports enthusiasts: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh with a football on the conclave stage.Singh initially lost possession of the ball, but didn’t disappoint when he got it back. He slid it between a defender’s feet — a move that’s known as a nutmeg — and the audience was delighted.advertisement Nutmeg! Are you watching, Mr Messi?Finally — another chief minister, another song: Arunchal Pradesh’s Pema Khandu sang “Chhodo Kal Ki Batein”. Oh, and did we mention that Union Minister of State Babul Supriyo sang a Kishore Kumar number? Pema Khandu with Rajdeep Sardesai. (Photo: Subir Halder)Of course, the India Today Conclave East wasn’t all fun and games. Over two jam-packed days, top newsmakers discussed everything from the BJP’s general election prospects in West Bengal to drugs in Tripura. You can read IndiaToday.in stories on the conclave sessions here.WATCH | Northeast CMs show all work no play makes politics a dull gamelast_img read more

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