Despite the various awareness campaigns, youngsters nowadays resort to smoking, either Hookah or e-cigarettes which are gaining popularity among youngsters. These products are positioned in the market by claiming that they are less harmful and safer than cigarettes. Although, many studies prove otherwise, it is proven fact that heavy metals in e-cigarettes and hookahs can cause toxicity in the lungs and give rise to breathing difficulties. And today another, alarming study has claimed that youngsters under 25 consider hookah and e-cigarettes to be safer in comparison to regular cigarettes. In the study, researcher Olivia A Wackowski studied data from 2,871 smoking and nonsmoking young adults, ages 18-34, and found that a quarter of young adults believed hookah to be less risky than cigarettes. The myths and reality of Hookah (H2) Myth #1: Hookah Smoke is filtered through water, thus making it cleaner. Reality Smoking tobacco through Water doesn’t filter out cancer causing carcinogens. It can still damage the heart and lungs as much as normal cigarette can. Myth #2: Inhaling hookah smoke does not burn the lungs. Reality: The hookah smoke does not burn the lungs because it is cooled through water before inhaled. Hookah smoke still contains carcinogens. Myth #3: Smoking hookah is healthier than smoking cigarettes: Reality: Smoking hookah is just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. Myth #4 Smoking hookah is not Reality: Just like cigarettes, hookah contains nicotine. Wackowski said that this was concerning as it suggested that even a substantial proportion of nonsmokers might view hookah as being a relatively safer and acceptable way to use tobacco. They found that 62.1percent of young adults ages 18 to 24 believed that e-cigarettes were less risky than cigarettes, while 54.6percent of 25 to 34-year-olds believed e-cigarettes to be less risky. In addition, 32.7percent of 18 to 24-year-olds believed hookah to be less risky than cigarettes while 18.5percent of 25 to 34-year-olds believed hookah to be less risky. Wackowski said that this might be associated with differences in advertising messages these groups were exposed to, the variety of flavors these different products were offered in, and added that in the case of e-cigarettes, possibly an inclination for younger people to attribute more positive feelings toward newer products that were seen as new and ‘techy.’ The study is published in the Journal Health Education and Behavior. An increasing number of young consumers have become drawn to hookah and have been led to believe these misleading safety statements. If you are going to smoke hookah, you might not know exactly how much more toxic, it is for you compared to cigarettes, but it is definitely not as harmless as most people might think. (with agency inputs) By Sree Teja
When was the first traffic light installed? It was an American policeman named Lester Wire, in Utah, who has first developed an electric traffic light in 1912 and used the red-green lights. The American Traffic Signal Company installed a traffic signal system on the corner of the East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio two years later, on 5 August 1914. Google gives the history of traffic light. Google celebrates the 101st anniversary with the animated doodle which shows cars with the letters spelling 'G-O-O-G-L-E' halting at a red traffic light and then rushing past it, as it turns green. This was not the first time an attempt was made to regulate the traffic, in the 19th century, gas-lit traffic signals were installed in the UK. The doodle is made quite interesting as it shows the old Model T built by Ford in the year 1908 waiting at the traffic signals when the light turns red and buzzing away in a hurry when the light shines green. Google’s doodle shows the traffic light with red and green light, but no orange indicator. The Illustrator for the Google’s Doodle for the traffic light anniversary special is Nate Swinehart. He has designed it sarcastically by including the old Model T built by Ford. Traffic signal lights were a good start for controlling the traffic in a better way. But now as the vehicle population has exploded not traffic control system is able to provide a smooth flow. By Premji
Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Monday has suspended 25 Congress MPs for five days for unruly behaviour in the House. An all-party meeting failed to break the parliamentary logjam, with the Congress and the NDA are reiterating their stated positions on the resignations over Lalit Modi and Vyapam issues. "The Congress stuck to its demand of 'first resignations and then only the house will run'. However, other parties are of the view that the house should function and there should be debates and discussions on a lot of issues, from regional to national," Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said. As Ms Mahajan announced about the punishment, the Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay requested her to take a more lenient view, but the Speaker did not relent. It has become a regular practice by the congress to stall the parliament, even after the government agreed for discussion on the matter. The congress that has lost the election and reduced to a mere 44 members which made them ineligible for the post of opposition leader, is determined to stall the development of the country. The irresponsible behavior of the congress members has affected the welfare measures announced by the Modi government. Congress is not able to digest their defeat at the hands of the country’s electorate. By Premji
A town in the north of Spain has become the first place to grant cats and dogs special rights as “non-human neighbours”. Trigueros del Valle, a town of 300 inhabitants in the province of Valladolid, has accepted a declaration which seeks to “dignify the lives of dogs and cats, animals which have stayed with man, thousands and thousands of years and have been a great help to him.” “It seems to me a very important, historic declaration, like, for example, the day that children’s rights were enshrined for the first time,” Mercedes Cano, an animal rights campaigner told. “Trigueros del Valle is a place where people love animals, they have lots of dogs and cats,” she said. “People coexist with them and often work with them.” “We’re not saying you have to love cats and dogs, but you have to respect them,” said Ms Cano. “If you respect them, then you’ll respect the other [human] neighbours as well.”This initiative is an attempt to protect the animals from cruelty and abuse, as well as acknowledging their importance in the town, which is situated in an agricultural area. Besides the symbolism of the decree, it also means that the town hall will take responsibility for any abandoned cats and dogs and it will rebuke owners who mistreat their animals. Town's Socialist mayor, Pedro Perez Espinosa said that, the new status for the town's animals is the right move. The mayor added, 'Dogs and cats have been living among us for over a 1,000 years. The mayor must represent not just the human residents, but must also be here for the others.' The new pet protections were welcomed by animal rights groups. They said, “Today, we are closer as species and we are now more human thanks to the sensitivity and intelligence shown by the people of Trigueros del Valle. This is a great day for humans and non-human citizens alike.” It is a landmark decision in a country like Spain, which still allows the controversial “sport” of bullfighting. By Premji
Human Rights Watch has said in a statement that Indian parliament should enact a bill to ensure better legal protection for the rights of the transgender population. The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill will allow for legal gender recognition, removing a fundamental barrier for transgender people towards realizing their basic human rights, including the protection from violence and discrimination, it said in a letter to Indian MPs. This bill will give the fundamental dignity for transgender people, who for too long have to endure public ridicule and humiliating treatment by police and other authorities, Human Rights Watch said. Indian parliament should ensure that transgender people have full legal recognition as required by the constitution and international law. In 2014, the Supreme Court has ruled that transgender people are to be recognized as a third gender and should be allowed to enjoy all the fundamental rights. The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on April 24 and calls for equal rights to transgender people. To become law, it has to be passed by the Lok Sabha, where the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a majority. “We won’t get employment if we declare our sexuality. We can’t attend schools if we [identify] as a third gender. This situation forces many of us to hide our sexuality,” Sreekutty, a 24-year-old who works as an anchor on a television channel, said. We need to accept [transgender people] and their identity for a healthy civil society,” Tiruchi Siva, a parliamentarian who originally moved the bill said. “When I voiced their rights, many people told me that I should not get involved with such controversial groups. It is a pity that we are not recognizing them as human beings,” M A Baby, a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and a state legislator in Kerala said. By Premji
Buckingham Palace has condemned the “exploitation” by a tabloid newspaper publishing the footage of the Queen and her family performing Nazi salutes in 1933. The seven-year-old Princess Elizabeth is shown in a home movie playing up to the camera in black and white footage shot by the future King George VI at Balmoral. The Queen, her sister Princess Margaret, their mother Queen Elizabeth and their uncle the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, all make Nazi salutes in what appears to be a mockery of Adolf Hitler. In the film, the Queen, apparently egged on by her uncle, salutes three times, while the Queen Mother salutes twice, Princess Margaret salutes once with her left hand and finally the future Edward VIII joins in with his own salute. The Sun newspaper has printed these still images taken from the film on its front page, with the headline “Their Royal Heilnesses”, which sources close to the Queen described as “misleading and dishonest”. The Sun accepts that Hitler, was “a faintly comic character” at that time, but argues that the involvement of the future Edward VIII, a known Nazi sympathiser, makes the film historically significant. Buckingham Palace spokesman said, "It is disappointing that a film, shot eight decades ago and apparently from HM's personal family archive, has been obtained and exploited in this manner.” A royal source said: “Most people will see these pictures in their proper context and time. This is a family playing and momentarily referencing a gesture many would have seen from contemporary news reels. If you watch the film it is people laughing and joking around and playing and it was one of the things of the day. No one at that time had any sense how it would evolve. To imply anything else is misleading and dishonest. The Queen was around six years of age at the time and entirely innocent of attaching any meaning to these gestures. The Queen and her family's service and dedication to the welfare of this nation during the war and the 63 years the Queen has spent building relations between nations and peoples speaks for itself.” By Premji
The Delhi High Court in a judgment held that though condoms fall within the definition of “drugs” under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and are “essential medicines”, the government cannot fix ceiling prices as there is no specified strength or dosage for the formulation. “Ceiling price can be fixed only for scheduled formulations of specified strengths and dosages as specified under the First Schedule. Therefore, according to us, the provisions of Para 4 cannot be made applicable to condoms, the dosage and strength of which have admittedly not been specified under the First Schedule,” held the court of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw. The bench, in a 67-page judgment, noted that condoms are “rightly considered as Essential Medicines and are included in the National List of Essential Medicians to ensure affordable healthcare to a majority of the population and also to improve accessibility of drugs for anti-HIV etc through the special assistance scheme.” "We are of the view that NPPA exceeded the powers conferred by DPCO-2013 while fixing the ceiling price for condoms. The language of para 4 (of DPCO 2013) is unambiguous and makes clear the legislative intent that the ceiling price can be fixed only for scheduled formulations of specified strengths and dosages as specified under the First Schedule," it said. "Consequently, fixation of the ceiling price for condoms under DPCO-2013 is impermissible under the law. Accordingly, we declare that the orders of NPPA dated November 5, 2013, and July 10, 2014, are illegal and unsustainable. In the result, both the said orders, are hereby set aside," the court said. The court’s verdict came on the plea of two pharma firms, Reckitt Benckiser and JK Ansell Ltd, which had petitioned that their products are “devices” and not “medicines” and thus will not fall under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO). The petitioners had claimed that the products are luxury products “meant for pleasure”.
Ahead of Bihar elections, which is around four months away, the poster war has already started. The posters showcases that the contest is between Modi and Nithish. The poster war on Patna’s skyline reflects the rising political temperature in Bihar months ahead of the polls. The JD-U and RJD are fighting for their existence. The message on the poster of JD (U) is loud and clear – “Aage badhata rahe Bihar, phir ek baar Nitish Kumar (Bihar needs Nitish Kumar again for its development).” The BJP posters say: "Apradh, Bhrashtachar aur Ahankar, Kya is gathbandhan se badhega Bihar? (Crime, corruption and ego, will this combination take Bihar forward?)” Another poster by the opposition leader in the Bihar assembly, Nand Kishore Yadav says, Kahan badha Bihar? Kyon phir Nitish Kumar? (Where has Bihar progressed? Why Nitish Kumar then?)" "It will usher in development, a victim of prejudice of the Centre in the past. If a BJP government is installed, Bihar will have a government led by the same party as in the Centre after 25 years," Yadav said. The BJP has accused the JD-U of seizing the main billboards in the state capital, leaving no space for others. Nitish Kumar accused the BJP of violating the Prevention of Defacement of Public Property Act by pasting their posters on government property. "The BJP has become uneasy over my hoardings placed at 10 to 20 places in the state capital and is now resorting to illegal means. They should recall that they had put up a number of posters during the last Lok Sabha polls. This time, they have grabbed all hoardings along the Patna-Digha route and along the railway line," Kumar said. The ally of JD (U), RJD chief Lalu Prasad does not have any space in any of the posters. Congress has pasted posters on the back of auto-rickshaws and public vehicles with state unit president Ashok Choudhary as its face. Their posters have no photos of party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi. By Premji
Principal of a Delhi school has accused an AAP MLA’s husband of “pressuring” him to admit a student. Principal of Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, BT Block in Shalimar Bagh, Ranjeet Kumar said in a complaint to the State Education Department, that AAP MLA Bandana Kumari’s husband Sajjan Kumar had “threatened” him of dire consequences if his demands were not met. “This is to inform that I have been facing a lot of political pressure for admission from Classes VI to XI, which do not come under RTE Act or departmental norms,” the principal said in the complaint titled “Harassment and misbehaviour by Sajjan Kumar”. “Various persons have come time and again from her (Bandana Kumari’s) office for admission and a few had been done, which come under departmental rules. Yesterday, Sajjan Kumar called me without introducing himself as the husband of Kumari. He said that his referred admission had not been done in Class X. I told him to come and meet me personally, audio of the same is with me,” the principal said. “He then came to the school and started speaking loudly along with his volunteer Sanjay Mishra. He did not listen to me and told me to either get VRS or he would get me terminated or make me face dire consequences,” the principal alleged. “I did visit the principal to request him for admission of a student who is needy and cannot enroll in a private school. But I did not threaten him about his job,” AAP MLA Bandana Kumari’s husband Sajjan Kumar said. By Premji
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's Iftar dinner is expected to be a significant affair ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament with all like-minded parties invited to it, in a desperate attempt to hog the limelight. Leaders of Samajwadi Party, RJD, NCP, National Conference, AIMIM, AIUDF, Janata Dal (United) and the Left parties are invited. Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is invited, but the AIADMK and the BJD have been kept out along with TRS. The leaders invited include Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP), Mayawati (BSP), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), H D Deve Gowda (JD-S), E Ahamed (IUML), Kanimozhi (DMK), D Raja (CPI) and Sudip Bandhopadhyay (TMC). Sonia’s invitees include Congress' rivals in West Bengal and Kerala, Trinamool's chief Mamata Banerjee and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI's parliamentary party leader D Raja. Leaders of all existing UPA allies such as Sharad Pawar's NCP, Indian Union Muslim League and KC (M) too have been invited. Top Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi will attend the Iftar. "Soniaji has invited leaders of many Opposition parties and we are hopeful that, depending on their convenience, these leaders or their representatives would attend the Iftar on July 13," said a source. By Premji
After their earlier plan to conduct Sterilization aka Family Planning Operations on monkeys went futile, the Uttarakhand Government now put a ban on monkey feeding in order to put an end for the booming population and monkey menace. The state government has announced strict penalizing action under provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, for all those found feeding monkeys. The punishment will extend to three years in jail. The wildlife department is going to set up two monkey sterilization centres, one in Garhwal and another in Kumaon. "We will start the sterilization centres as soon as we get funds from the CM. One of these will be set up in Chidiyapur, Haridwar Forest Division, and the other in Haldwani Forest Division, Kumaon. We have sought Rs 18 crore for Chidiyapur, where most of our infrastructure is ready, and Rs 50 crore for Haldwani, where we will have to start from scratch. For these centres, we will not need permission from the MoEF but from the Central Zoo Authority, which we are likely to get," Anil Dutt, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), said. The state government had planned sterilization programmes for monkeys at Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and Champavat Forest Division in 2013. Those proposals met stiff opposition from NGOs and animal activists. The matter has hogged publicity in recent months, mounting pressure on the state government. State Commission for Protection of Child Rights recently served notice to the PCCF (wildlife) after a five-year-old girl in Chamoli district died as a monkey hurled a brick at her while she was in school at Vikaskhand Ghat village five months ago. Recently, a group of 55 boys from Almora met the chief minister and moved the high court seeking relief, saying the monkeys were wreaking havoc. The hearing of this matter is progressing in court. Interestingly, in April this year, the HC, in a landmark judgment, offered compensation of Rs 2 lakh to victims of dog and monkey bites. That judgment was later stayed by the Supreme Court.
Two months after a cow was issued an admit card by Jammu and Kashmir authorities, A dog was issued an AADHAR card in Madhya Pradesh and now the owner of the dog is behind the bars. Azam Khan (35), who is working as a supervisor at an Aadhaar enrollment agency in Umri town, about 45 kms from the district headquarters, was arrested on Thursday following a complaint that he had made an Aadhaar card for his dog, Bhind Superintendent of Police Navneet Bhasin said today. The dog’s Aadhaar card reads: ‘Tommy Singh’, s/o Sheru Singh, Year of 26/11/2009 and sex as male, he said. The matter came to light when the locals complained to the Umri Police that they were facing lot of problems in registering for Aadhaar card, while, they alleged that the agency was issuing cards in the names of dogs and other animals. Following probe, Khan was arrested and a case of forgery was registered against him. Police is further investigating the matter to know whether the accused had made more such cards. Earlier this week, a bizarre image of an admit card that had a dog's picture on it also surfaced. The card was made for a certain Soumyadip Mahata, an Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) aspirant, for a common entrance examination at the West Bengal State Council. Instead of his photo, a dog's picture had been attached on the card. Soumyadip, who passed Higher Secondary Examination this year, soon contacted the nodal officer for conducting the examinations in the area and was assured of assistance. Later in the evening the dog's photo was removed from his admit card. Soumyadip could appear for the Common Entrance Test (CET) under West Bengal State Council for Vocational Training with the new admit card today. An inquiry has been ordered into the incident, the nodal officer said.