BJP leaders meet to discuss Shourie’s remarks

New Delhi, Aug 25 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders met here today to discuss Arun Shourie’s remarks against the party.

Besides party president Rajnath Singh, party Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, party general secretaries Vijay Goel and Vinay Katiyar attended the meeting at the party headquarter.

According to sources, the leaders reviewed the situation but apparently no decision regarding any action against Shourie was taken.xpressing confidence that the party would emerge stronger, Naqvi said there was no revolt in the party.

On Monday, Shourie asked the RSS to takeover BJP’s control and described Rajnath Singh as “Alice in Blunderland”.

“You want to be the Humpty Dumpty and also want everyone to believe what you write. Rajnath Singh is Alice in Blunderland,” said Shourie during the Walk the Talk an interview-based programme of NDTV.

Making observation of the present state of affairs in the BJP, Shourie said: “BJP Ek Kati Patang ki tarah hain (BJP is like a kite without its string attached),”

“The RSS should take BJP’s control in its hands and BJP’s all top leaders should be removed,” Shourie suggested.

Shourie wants action be taken against him, NDTV quoted Rajiv Pratap Rudy as saying later on. (ANI)

Iran cabinet has 11 new members

Tehran (Iran), Aug.20 (ANI): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced a new cabinet that includes eleven new faces, including three women. None of the 11 new faces have had any ministerial experience.

The line-up was submitted to parliament late on Wednesday, two weeks after Ahmadinejad was sworn in on August 5, the ISNA news agency reported.

Lawmakers will begin examining the names from August 23 before holding a confidence vote on August 30.

Iranian media did not react with any enthusiasm to the news.

The nomination of three women in the 21-member government is a first in the 30-year history of the Islamic republic, although in 1997 then reformist president Mohammad Khatami appointed a woman to the post of vice president.

According to ISNA, Ahmadinejad named Sousan Keshavarz, Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi and Fatemeh Ajorlou as his ministers respectively of education, health, and welfare and social security.

The ministers of foreign affairs, economy, industries, cooperatives and transport have all retained their portfolios.

Mostafa Mohammad Najjar meanwhile has been moved from defence to the interior, Masoud Mir Kazemi from commerce to oil, and Mohammad Aliabadi from vice president and the head of physical education organisation to the energy ministry. (ANI)

Edwards to move ex-mistress closer to help raise love child

Washington, Aug.20 (ANI): Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has said that he will move the mother of his love child into his North Carolina neighborhood so he can help raise their 18-month-old baby.

According to the National Enquirer, which was the first to crack the story on Edwards affair with campaign aide Rielle Hunter, the former candidate’s wife, Elizabeth Edwards, who is stricken with cancer, was furious when her husband told her of his parenting plans.

With a secret DNA test proving Edwards is the father of Hunter’s daughter, Frances, Edwards is expected to admit his paternity before the end of an ongoing criminal investigation into whether his campaign illegally paid her to keep quiet about their affair, according to a TV news station in North Carolina.

Hunter apparently agreed to testify to a federal grand jury investigating whether Edwards broke campaign finance law by paying “hush” money to Hunter and another aide who claimed paternity of the child. Hunter was spotted last week in Raleigh, N.C., entering a federal courthouse, where she spent nine hours.

Edwards has admitted to an affair with Hunter that he says ended in 2006. That year, Edwards’ political action committee paid Hunter’s video production firm 100,000 dollars for work. Then the committee paid another 14,086 dollars on April 1, 2007.

Edwards, a North Carolina senator from 1998 until his vice presidential bid in 2004. (ANI)

Nepal PM visits Rajghat

New Delhi, Aug.19 (ANI): Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who is on a five-day official visit to India, visited Rajghat, the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, on Wednesday.

Later, Nepal will meet External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna at the Hotel Oberoi. He will proceed to meet President Pratibha Patil for about 30-minutes.

He will also attend and address a business luncheon meeting hosted jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM).

On Wednesday evening, he will call on Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari at the latter’s official residence and will meet UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence.

Thereafter, he will proceed to Hyderbad House for delegation level talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. A signing of bilateral agreements will follow the meeting. Although the Pancheshwar multi-purpose project will be discussed, no specific agreement will be signed.

The main opposition CPN (Maoist) has warned the government not to sign any agreement related to the Pancheshwar project without a consensus.

On Thursday, Nepal will meet Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

In the evening, he will address a meeting of intellectuals and academia at the India International Centre.

He will leave for a day-long visit to Mumbai on Friday and will return to Kathmandu on Saturday afternoon.(ANI)

Hiring of Raphel to coordinate non-military Pak aid against Obama’s lobbying rules

Washington, Aug. 8 (ANI): The US State Department has hired a former Pakistan lobbyist to coordinate the non-military aid to Islamabad, highlighting loopholes in the Obama administration’s tough new lobbying rules.

Soon after taking office, Obama had issued an executive order designed to prevent federal agencies from hiring individuals who had lobbied the agencies within the past two years.

Robin Raphel, who held top foreign posts during the Clinton administration, has been a senior vice president for Cassidy and Associates, one of K Street’s largest firms, The Hill reports.

The records indicate that Raphel’s appointment could conflict with the order since she lobbied State and also was a foreign agent for Pakistan, albeit briefly.

She, however, might be exempted from the ban already. The order specifically exempts “any person appointed as a member of the Senior Foreign Service or solely as a uniformed service commissioned officer,” according to the order.

Raphel’s position could also not be a political appointment, which likewise would exempt her from the ban.

If Raphel is not exempted already from the ban, she could earn a waiver from the president.

Obama has already issued waivers from the lobbyist-hiring ban for several appointees, such as Bill Lynn, the deputy secretary for the Defense Department.

The exemptions have however, been criticized by lawmakers and watchdog groups.

The Cassidy and Associates, which had finalized its 696,000 dollars contract with the Pakistan Embassy in Washington to “engage in efforts to improve Pakistan-U.S. relations, issued a statement congratulating Raphel.

“While we hate to lose Robin as part of our team, we wish her all the best in her new position and we’re confident of her success as she works to strengthen and improve America’s reputation around the world,” said Gerry Cassidy, executive chairman stated. (ANI)

Teen pregnancy ‘a symptom, not cause, of psychological stress’

Washington, July 28 (ANI): Teenage mothers suffer a lot of psychological stress in their lives, however, a new research has shown that the distress comes before the pregnancy, not because of it.

“Psychological distress does not appear to be caused by teen childbearing, nor does it cause teen childbearing, except apparently among girls from poor households,” said Stefanie Mollborn, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sociology at the Institute of Behavioral Science of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The study has been published in the September issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

To reach the conclusion, researchers used data from two large long-term U.S. surveys that followed thousands of teen girls and women.

Participants responded to items on symptoms associated with depression, such as how often they found things that did not usually bother them to be bothersome, how easily they could shake off feeling blue or whether they had trouble concentrating.

The researchers did not use the term “depression,” which is a clinical diagnosis.

Only the combination of poverty and existing distress was a good predictor of teen pregnancy.

“Psychologically distressed girls are at risk for teen childbearing and vice versa, even if the two things usually do not cause each other,” Mollborn said.

“This could help educators and clinicians identify at-risk adolescents,” Mollborn added.

Looking for symptoms of depression or distress should be part of normal health screening for all teenagers, said Diane Merritt, M.D., director of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“Talking to teenagers about their sexuality and responsible behavior is key,” she said.
ne of the best ways to prevent teen pregnancy is for teens to have long-term goals and good self-esteem, Merritt added. (ANI)

British police fear rise in sex workers during 2012 London Olympics

London, July 15 (ANI): Police in Britain fear that the 2012 Olympics, which will be hosted in London, may spark a rise in sex workers.

With thousands of spectators, site workers and athletes around, there will be a huge demand for prostitutes, and the chances of sex workers being smuggled in, are huge.

Vice cops have already reported that more and more sex workers are plying their trade around the five Olympic host boroughs in London.

Lynne Abrams of the Met Police Authority said that women’s safety could be affected.

“The risk of damage to the reputation of London and the UK is considerable,” the Sun quoted her as saying. (ANI)

Palin quit because she couldn’t take the heat, says Levi Johnston

Washington, July 14 (ANI): The ex-boyfriend of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s daughter, Levi Johnston, has claimed that Palin has decided to resign because she could not take the political heat anymore.

“She’s very smart. But, I just don’t think she can handle the stress level as governor-I don’t think she can handle it as president or vice president,” the Daily News quoted Johnston, as saying.

The 19-year-old high school dropout and former fiancĂ© of Palin’s daughter Bristol, said on the “Today” show that he wouldn’t vote for Palin if she launched a presidential bid.

“If you would have asked that question a while back, I think I would have voted for her. But after what she has done now…I’d do just about anything for her. But I really don’t think I’d vote for her if she ran for president,” Johnston said.

Johnston also said he heard the vanquished GOP vice presidential nominee saying money was a primary motive.

“We had tons of offers coming in from everybody out there and just all kinds of ridiculous things. There’s been talk about it would be nice to just take the money and run,” he said.

Earlier, Palin’s spokeswoman publicly disputed Johnston’s commentary on her reasons for resigning.

“It is interesting to learn Levi is working on a piece of fiction while honing his acting skills,” the spokeswoman said.

On the show, Johnston also recalled his stay at the Palins’ last year, saying Palin would come home “stressed out” in the weeks following the election.

“She wasn’t as outgoing. I just didn’t see the spark in her eyes about, you know, being governor anymore.She was quiet, spending time in her room, he said. “We could tell something was wrong. She was sad, she lost. I mean, who wouldn’t be,” he said. (ANI)

Now, tires made of oil from orange peels

Washington, July 11 (ANI): Reports indicate that tire manufacturer Yokohama is now selling a model made with 80 percent non-petroleum material, substituting orange oil as the primary ingredient to make vulcanized rubber.

According to a report carried out in www.earth911.com, the new tire is called the ‘Super E-spec’ and has already received the Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award in 2008.

Yokohama will initially market the tire for hybrid car models such as the Toyota Prius.

“The eco-focused dB Super E-spec mixes sustainable orange oil and natural rubber to drastically cut the use of petroleum, without compromising performance,” said Yokohama vice president of sales Dan King.

“It also helps consumers save money at the gas pump by improving fuel efficiency via a 20-percent reduction in rolling resistance,” he added.

Orange oil is considered sustainable because it is produced from a renewable resource.

The same philosophy of reducing petroleum use is utilized in producing plastics from corn starch or vegetable oil.

The process for recycling tires involves devulcanizing the rubber, which would essentially remove the oil and extract natural rubber.

Because this is an expensive process, used tires are often shredded and turned into playground surfacing or additives for the soil in sports turf. It can also be reused as artwork. (ANI)

Ex-Miss USA says Sarah Palin can offer ‘so much more’

Washington, July 10 (ANI): Responding to Sarah Palin’s resignation from the post of Alaska Governor, former Miss USA Shanna Moakler has said that the former Republican Vice-Presidential candidate can still do “so much more”.

The reality star has said that Palin certainly has the potential to really make an impact.

“I think she can make a lot more money if she resigns, she has a lot more to offer us than her current position,” Fox News quoted Moakler as saying at Diddy’s White Party over the weekend.

Moakler hit headlines earlier this year when she resigned from her position at the co-executive director of the Miss California pageant, after Donald Trump announced that the controversial Carrie Prejean could keep her crown.

Miss California Prejean came under fire after she voiced her “traditional” belief against same-sex marriage during the interview portion of the Miss USA pageant. (ANI)

Radio Pakistan now comes to the aid of Dalits in India

Abohar, July 6 (ANI): Radio Pakistan in its Punjabi Durbar programme has taken up the cause of Dalit community in India.

The Radio Pakistan has said that the Dalits in India do not have even basic rights.

The allegation has been rubbished by Babu Ram Chawla, General Secretary of All India Khatik Samaj and Mangat Ram Chayal, Vice Chairman of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (Schedule Caste department).

“The statements of Pakistan radio about schedule castes in India are illogical. For, people of schedule caste have gained all rights in India from Government and the society. They have been given reservation in jobs, educational institutions, and a number of them are Members of Parliament. So the statements by Pakistan Radio are malicious and we should not believe it,” said Babu Ram Chawla, General Secretary of All India Khatik Samaj.

“Pakistan wants to mislead us. There are special welfare programs in politics, administration for the people of schedule castes. The schedule castes have positioned themselves from Gram Panchayat to the designation of President, the highest position in India,” said Mangatram Chayal, Vice Chairman of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Supreme Court Department.

Broadcasters of Radio Pakistan will do their listeners a good service by first keeping themselves update about India through newspapers and other news sources.

As they must also remember that only recently all Member of Parliaments unanimously chose Meira Kumar as the head of Lok Sabha, who besides being a highly educated and experienced parliamentarian, comes from a schedule caste community. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is also one of the most popular personalities which inspires the Dalits across the country.

India has a history of individuals from schedule caste or Dalit community occupying highest positions in all walks of life without prejudice.

In jobs and education, all socially backward or schedule caste people today have reservations to encourage their participation in mainstream.

Moreover, the Right to Equality is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India. (ANI)

Teens who think they’ll die young more likely to engage in risky behaviour

Washington, July 3 (ANI): One in seven adolescents think they’re going to die young, leading many to drug use, suicide attempts and other unsafe behaviour, a new research has suggested.

University of Minnesota Medical School researcher Iris Borowsky, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues analyzed data collected by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative sample of more than 20,000 youth in grades 7 through 12 during three separate study years. In the first set of interviews, nearly 15 percent of adolescents predicted they had a 50/50 chance or less of living to age 35.

The researchers found that those who engaged in risky behaviours such as illicit drug use, suicide attempts, fighting, or unsafe sexual activity in the first year were more likely in subsequent years to believe they would die at a young age.

Vice versa, those who predicted that they’d die young during the first interview were more likely in later years to begin engaging in these same risky behaviors and have poor health outcomes, the researchers found.

Notably, these teens were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS just six years later, regardless of their sexual preference.

“While conventional wisdom says that teens engage in risky behaviours because they feel invulnerable to harm, this study suggests that in some cases, teens take risks because they overestimate their vulnerability, specifically their risk of dying,” Borowsky said.

“These youth may take risks because they feel hopeless and figure that not
much is at stake,” Borowsky added.

Nearly 25 percent of youth living in households that receive public assistance and more than 29 percent of American-Indian, 26 percent of African-American, 21 percent of Hispanic, and 15 percent of Asian youth reported believing they would die young-compared to just 10 percent of their Caucasian peers.

“Our findings reinforce the importance of instilling a sense of hope and optimism in youth.

Strong connections with parents, families, and schools, as well as positive media messages, are likely important factors in developing an optimistic outlook for young people,” Borowsky said.

There was no significant relationship between perceived risk of dying before age 35 and actual death from all causes during the six-year study period.

The study has been published in the July issue of Paediatrics. (ANI)

US analyst shows class divisions between Facebook, MySpace users

Melbourne, July 2 (ANI): A social analyst in the US has come up with evidence of class divisions between the users of networking websites like Facebook and MySpace.

Danah Boyd, who works with Microsoft Research New England, reckons that most Facebook users are white and wealthy, while MySpace users are uneducated and obnoxious.

She says that Facebook’s arrival sparked a migration from MySpace of white users, the educated and the wealthy, while non-whites had stuck together on MySpace.

“It wasn’t just anyone who left MySpace to go to Facebook,” News.com.au quoted her as having told a crowd at New York’s Democracy Forum.

“We might as well face an uncomfortable reality … what happened was modern day ‘white flight’,” she added.

According to Boyd, MySpace has become a digital “ghetto”.

“The people there are more likely to be brown or black and to have a set of values that terrifies white society,” she said.

Based on her interviews with American teenagers since 2006, she said that online migration mimicked the patterns of class groups’ movements across cities.

Her findings showed that teen Facebook users were far more likely to talk down to those who used MySpace than vice versa.

Boyd said that her research showed high school students found Facebook “more cultured” and “less cheesy” than MySpace.

“Any high school student who has a Facebook page will tell you MySpace users are more likely to be barely educated and obnoxious,” she said.

She also warned that the class divisions on social sites would harden over time.

“Their decision to (move to Facebook) was wrapped up in their connections to others, in their belief that a more peaceful, quiet, less-public space would be more idyllic,” she said. (ANI)

Palin e-mails show infighting with staff

Washington, July 2 (ANI): The tension between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and top McCain campaign aides in the closing days of presidential campaign is elucidated in a profile in the new issue of Vanity Fair.

Internal campaign e-mails exchanged three weeks before Election Day, offer a rare look at just how frustrated the then Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin had become with the manner in which top McCain campaign aides were handling her candidacy.

The e-mails, obtained exclusively, also highlight the power struggle and thinly veiled acrimony that pervaded the relationship between Palin and the campaign’s chief strategist, Steve Schmidt.

CBS News’ Scott Conroy and special contributor Shushannah Walshe, who are writing a book about Palin, reveal how the mutual frustrations went even further than what has been disclosed so far.

The episode in question began when an investigative report published on the left-leaning Web site Salon.com raised questions about Palin’s relationship with members of the Alaska Independence Party (AIP) when she was mayor of Wasilla.

The AIP’s platform calls for a vote giving Alaskans the option to secede from the United States. It had already been widely known that Todd Palin was a registered member of the AIP from 1995 to 2002 and that Governor Palin had taped a recorded greeting at the party’s 2008 convention.

On the morning of October 15, Palin was aboard her campaign jet and en route to New Hampshire when she happened to catch a disparaging CNN segment that touted the Salon.com story, complete with a provocative graphic at the bottom of the screen reading, “The Palins And The Fringe”.

While shaking hands after a rally later that afternoon, someone on the rope line shouted a remark at Palin about the AIP, CBS News reported.

The comment set her off. She worried that the campaign was not sufficiently mitigating the issue of her alleged connection to the party, which despite a platform that harkens more to the Civil War than the 21st century, continued to play a serious role in Alaska politics.

Palin blasted out an e-mail with the subject line “Todd” to Schmidt, campaign manager Rick Davis and senior advisor Nicolle Wallace, copying her husband on the message.

Schmidt hit “reply to all” less than five minutes after Palin’s e-mail was sent. “Ignore it,” he wrote. “He was a member of the AIP? My understanding is yes. That is part of their platform. Do not engage the protestors. If a reporter asks say it is ridiculous. Todd loves America.” (ANI)

Paradip Port to have iron ore terminal

New Delhi, July 1 (ANI): An agreement has been signed between Paradip Port Trust and Blue Water Iron Ore Terminal Pvt. Ltd for construction of a deep draught iron ore terminal.

K. Raghuramaiah, Chairman, Paradip Port Trust signed the concession agreement on behalf of the Port and Harindar Pal Singh Banga, Vice-Chairman, Nobel Group signed on behalf of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) here today.

Union Cabinet Minister of Shipping G.K. Vasan and other senior officers including Secretary (Shipping) A.P.V.N. Sarma, Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor and Joint Secretary (Ports) were present on the occasion.

Under the agreement, the iron ore terminal will be developed by the concessionaire at an estimated cost of Rs. 506.30 crores.

Paradip Port will provide supporting facilities like dredging of channel and berth, railway lines and back-up area at an estimated cost of Rs. 85.05 crores.

Besides this, the Port will also incur an expenditure of Rs. 20 crores towards shifting of the CISF complex and Rs. 15 crores towards upgradation of electrical reception facilities in order to facilitate implementation of the project.

On completion of the iron ore terminal, capacity addition to the Port will be ten MTPA. Since the dredging of the channel is in progress and the depths at the proposed channel and berth will be 17.1meters, it will facilitate handling of cape size vessels upto 1, 25, 000 DWT.

The concessionaire, Blue Water Iron Ore Terminal Pvt. Ltd. have offered a revenue share of 36.802 per cent to the port during the concession period of 30 years.

The concessionaire will complete the construction of the project facilities within 36 months from the date of award of concession.

This is the first project under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) to be implemented in the port sector as per the new Model Concession Agreement approved by the Cabinet and the tariff has been fixed up front by the TAMP.

As part of the PPP scheme of Government of India, Paradip Port Trust floated global tenders for construction of deep draught Iron ore berth on BOT basis.

Five bidders were short listed including the successful bidder, the consortium of Noble Group Ltd., Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd. and MMTC for this port sector BOT project.

The consortium has formed a SPV, Blue Water Iron Ore Terminal Pvt. Ltd. under the companies act to implement the project. (ANI)

Virage Logic expands presence in India to serve growing market demand for broad IP portfolio

Fremont, July 1 (ANI/Business Wire India): Virage Logic Corporation, the semiconductor industry’s trusted IP partner, announced it has expanded its presence in India with the appointment of CoreEL as its sales representative.

CoreEL joins a growing global network of sales representatives that complement and expand the reach of Virage Logic’s direct sales channel.

CoreEL’s more than 15 years experience working with India’s networking, telecom, computing, consumer, industrial, defense and automotive customers make them ideally suited to represent Virage Logic’s broad portfolio of silicon proven IP.

“As the semiconductor industry continues to globalize and more semiconductor companies rely on their India-based teams to make SoC design project decisions, the time was right to bring CoreEL on board to service our growing India customer base,” said Jai Iyer, Virage Logic’s vice president of Asia sales.

“We are confident that the combination of CoreEL’s strong technology and design services experience will enable them to provide the superior sales and support services Virage Logic’s customers worldwide have come to expect,” added Iyer.

“India is rich in engineering talent and a target for companies worldwide to tap into the engineering resources,” said Vishwanath Padur, vice president of Sales and Marketing for CoreEL.

“With Virage Logic’s highly differentiated IP offering – including embedded SRAMs, embedded NVMs, embedded memory test and repair, logic libraries, memory development software, and interface IP solutions – we look forward to being able to provide even greater value to our extensive customer base as we help them address their SoC design challenges,” added Padur. (ANI)

Palin described as Alaska’s lipstick wearing pit-bull and a `Little Shop of Horrors’

Washington, June 30 (ANI): A longtime friend and campaign trail companion of John McCain, the vanquished 2008 GOP presidential nominee, has described his vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin as Alaska’s lipstick-wearing pit-bull and as a “Little Shop of Horrors.”

This comment appears in the August edition of Vanity Fair, reports the New York Daily News.

Several senior members of McCain’s campaign team contacted by Vanity Fair said they worked their tails off to try to elect as vice president of the United States someone who, by mid-October, they believed for certain was nowhere near ready for the job, and might never be.”

During the campaign, there were reports of anonymous McCain aides describing Palin, the governor of Alaska, as a “diva” and a “whack job.”

The Vanity Fair article recounts how strained Palin’s relationship was with McCain advisers.

She, on the other hand, maintained “only the barest level of civil discourse” with Tucker Eskew, the operative assigned to be her chief minder, the magazine reports.

She believed Steve Schmidt, McCain’s top strategist, had lied to her about conducting polling in Alaska – that was a “belief she conveyed to anyone who would listen,” the magazine reported.

According to the magazine, Palin was so intent on delivering her own concession speech on Election Night that she wouldn’t accept advisers telling her that McCain had decided he would be the only one to speak.

She took the issue up with McCain himself, discussing it on the walk from his hotel suite to the farewell rally. Palin did not speak on Election Night. Only McCain addressed the crowd and the nation.

Palin has refused to comment for Vanity Fair. (ANI)

Teens who think they’ll die young more likely to engage in unsafe behaviour

Washington, June 29 (ANI): One in seven adolescents believe think they’re going to die young, leading many to drug use, suicide attempts and other unsafe behaviour, a new research has suggested.

University of Minnesota Medical School researcher Iris Borowsky, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues analyzed data collected by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative sample of more than 20,000 youth in grades 7 through 12 during three separate study years. In the first set of interviews, nearly 15 percent of adolescents predicted they had a 50/50 chance or less of living to age 35.

The researchers found that those who engaged in risky behaviours such as illicit drug use, suicide attempts, fighting, or unsafe sexual activity in the first year were more likely in subsequent years to believe they would die at a young age.

Vice versa, those who predicted that they’d die young during the first interview were more likely in later years to begin engaging in these same risky behaviors and have poor health outcomes, the researchers found.

Notably, these teens were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS just six years later, regardless of their sexual preference.

“While conventional wisdom says that teens engage in risky behaviours because they feel invulnerable to harm, this study suggests that in some cases, teens take risks because they overestimate their vulnerability, specifically their risk of dying,” Borowsky said.

“These youth may take risks because they feel hopeless and figure that not
much is at stake,” Borowsky added.

Nearly 25 percent of youth living in households that receive public assistance and more than 29 percent of American-Indian, 26 percent of African-American, 21 percent of Hispanic, and 15 percent of Asian youth reported believing they would die young-compared to just 10 percent of their Caucasian peers.

“Our findings reinforce the importance of instilling a sense of hope and optimism in youth. Strong connections with parents, families, and schools, as well as positive media messages, are likely important factors in developing an optimistic outlook for young people,” Borowsky said.

There was no significant relationship between perceived risk of dying before age 35 and actual death from all causes during the six-year study period. (ANI)

Minor fire at Taj Mahal hotel of Mumbai

Mumbai, June 27 (ANI): Six fire tenders and eight water tankers were rushed to the Taj Mahal hotel on Saturday after a minor fire broke out in the basement area of the hotel.

The incident, which took place due to short-circuit, however, did not involve any casualty and the fire was soon brought under control.

“Fire down at the basement near the main locker room, has been put out under control, there was lot of smoke nobody injured, nobody hurt. We are just clearing out the whole thing. By evening we should be back in operations,” Krishnakant, vice chairman, Taj Hotel told media.

Fire officials said the fire was because of the short circuit detected near the staff locker room.

“The fire was there in the basement, mainly in the cable shaft, the cable caught fire so there was lot of smoke. We went inside and the fire is now totally under control,” said Uday Tatkare, deputy chief officer of Fire Brigade department.

The same hotel bore the brunt of the militant attack on November 26, 2008. (ANI)