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.
On Monday, Bank of America released a report on annual Trends in Consumer Mobility Report, which reveals socking facts on consumers’ behavior toward their gadgets. The results claimed that a sad number of Americans (It’s not sad. its ‘SICK’) are bringing their phone to bed with them or keeping it within reach at night. The report shows how the gadgets intervenes our sleeping patterns. ‘Having it near the bed is not really shocking, as many set up the alarm in their mobiles. But holding it while sleeping like a teddy bear is worrisome’, quips the analysts. The survey was conducted among 1,000 Bank of America account holders, age 18 and above, who also own smartphones. A large majority of respondents, 71 percent, said they usually sleep with or next to their mobile phone -- and 3 percent of those people said they sleep with their device in their hand, 13 percent said they keep it on the bed and 55 percent leave it on the nightstand. Almost one in four said that at one time or another, they've fallen asleep with their smartphone in their hand. Thirty-five percent of respondents said their smartphone is the first thing they reach for when they wake up. Only 17 percent said they grab coffee as soon as they wake up, 13 percent said they go for their toothbrush and just 10 percent said they reach for their significant other. (A 2014 survey found that Americans consider their smartphones to be more important than sex; and in 2013 almost one in five Americans between 18 and 34 admitted to using their phones while doing the deed.)
While the increased population is emerging as the biggest concerns along with the pollution (in all forms) all over the world, a resident of the Sarajpura Road in Bangalore with his discovery has proved that has discovered a solution for water pollution with the help of the population. His discovery will change wastage into usable water. With his discovery Sekar believed that the water can be converted to usable water. Details in the below paragraphs: Srinivasan Sekar, who is the managing director of a firm, TerraCura Solutions, which specializes in creating sustainable solutions, tries to install a great deal of filters in his residence, which purifies waste water. As a result, Sekar is able to use the water for different purposes, such as gardening and washing. With this, he ensures there is no wastage of water as the water discharged is re-used. Sekhar uses different types of filters — ranging from charcoal to passing the water through plants, which absorb the nitrates and phosphates. “The water molecule is the most important. Even in waste water, there are different molecules other than water. So if one filters out the other molecules, all that is left is water. In fact, when I wanted to check where the waste water went eventually, I found that it would end up at a sewage treatment plant. Considering that water accumulates at such plants, with no outlet, I realized that there is no need to throw away the water and that it can be re-used,” Sekar said. Sekar also practices rainwater harvesting. He said rain is a good source of water that can be stored for future use. “In fact, due to the recent rains in the city, I got about 50,000 liters of water. This is a huge amount and can be used for five months at least. Apart from the rains, all I need is around six-seven tankers of water a year, at the rate of around Rs 300 per tanker. My expenditures have come down drastically. The best part is that the model is sustainable and can be incorporated in bigger establishments,” he said.
One cannot believe that a group of 13-14 year kids designed the new era Condoms, which can detect the “Sexually Transmitted Diseases.” It might not materialize in countries like India, but in U.K. the invention fetched them the award in “TeenTech” contest. The smart contraception device S.T. Eye detects the infection in the wearer and the partner, if any. The idea is the brainchild of Muaz Nawaz, 13, Daniel Ali, 14, and Chirag Shah, 14, who are all from the Isaac Newton Academy in east London. The condoms are still at the concept stage but the developers have been approached by a condom manufacturer that believes it can make their idea a reality. "We really want to make this a realistic thing, but we understand that it is not the easiest thing in the world to do," Nawaz said. "With today's molecular technology, it is quite possible," said Dr. Ward Cates, distinguished scientist and professor emeritus at fhi360, a nonprofit "human development" organization. "It would be quite sophisticated and my guess is quite costly," he said, adding that it might be too expensive to make condoms that detect more than one STI. "Anything that would get youth to wear condoms, I am for," said Cates, who was not involved in developing or judging the idea. Color-changing condoms could promote use because they are novel, and also because teens want to know their infection status, Cates said. Although it might be unrealistic to think people would stop in the heat of the moment if the condom changed color, the condom would be on and hopefully prevent the spread of disease, Cates said. "As a public health person, I applaud their creativity and willingness to transfer innovation to a world that usually doesn't have much consideration in that age group," Cates said.Some people took to Twitter to offer praise, as well as questions. Two things to discuss here: Firstly, when the whole world comes to know about AIDS, they stop behaving like careless animals. But the contraceptive devices again gave them the freedom. Now with the new smart devices, there is no need to rush to labs to test your STDs. Secondly, why did a group of 13-14 year old students designed condoms, as if there is nothing in the world to think about? what kind of school it is and what kind of studies they are teaching? God only Knows.