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A teenage – Christian – girl with Down Syndrome has been arrested in Islamabad on blasphemy charges in Pakistan, accused of burning pages inscribed with verses from the Quran, a conviction for blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan.
Local Ramna police say the girl, known as Rimsha, was arrested on Thursday after she was reported to be holding burnt pages which had Islamic text and Koranic verses on them.
A local police official said the girl, who he described as being in her early teens, was taken to a police station in the capital Islamabad, where she has been detained since. Indian press and All Pakistan Minorities Alliance is reporting that the girl is 11 years old. The police official, who requested anonymity, told AFP that angry Muslim protesters had held rallies demanding the girls punishment.
“We had to register the case fairly quickly to prevent any unpleasant situation,” the officer said, referring to the demonstrations.
Rimsha was produced before an Islamabad court on Friday and remanded in custody for 14 days, another police official said. She is expected to go before the court again by end of this month :: Read the full article »»»»
Researchers have made an important breakthrough in helping people suffering from addiction to opioid drugs like heroin. The team of scientists from Adelaide and Colorado universities has discovered a receptor in the body’s immune system that increases addiction to drugs such as heroin and morphine.
Both the central nervous and the immune systems influence addiction, but the study has shown only the immune response in the brain needs to be blocked to prevent cravings for opioid drugs.
The researchers have found that the immune-addiction response can be blocked by a drug known as plus-naloxone. The study’s lead author, University of Adelaide research fellow Mark Hutchinson, says the results could eventually lead to new drugs that help patients with severe pain, as well as helping heroin users kick the habit.
“We’re really excited about the opportunities that this presents for us in understanding the basic science behind drug addiction but also from the clinical perspective, the opportunities that it presents for safer pain relief and potentially treatment of drug addiction,” he said :: Read the full article »»»»
William Henry “Bill” Gates III, Microsoft co-founder, philanthropist and socially conscious billionare has launched a search for a new toilet more suited to developing countries in an effort to help prevent disease and death.
The flush – endowed with $US33.5 Billion – charitable foundation setup by Gates and his wife Melinda French kicked off a “Reinvent the Toilet Fair” in Seattle and awarded prizes for promising innovations.
The Toilet Fair was described as a swirl of about 200 inventors, designers, investors, partners and others passionate about creating safe, effective, and inexpensive waste management systems.
“Toilets are extremely important for public health and, when you think of it, even human dignity,” Mr Gates said. ”The flush toilets we use in the wealthy world are irrelevant, impractical and impossible for 40 per cent of the global population, because they often don’t have access to water, and sewers, electricity, and sewage treatment systems.”
Universities from Britain, Canada, and the United States were awarded prizes in a competition launched a year ago challenging inventors to come up with a better toilet :: Read the full article »»»»
The United States Air Force is poised to test an experimental aircraft designed to fly at six times the speed of sound, at almost 7,000 kilometres an hour, the Waverider can travel from New York to Paris in under an hour.
The Waverider project is jointly funded by the Pentagon and NASA, and is part of US plans to one day deliver missile strikes around the globe within minutes. The research could also be used to build a commercial plane which is able to reach much higher speeds than today’s jets.
The unmanned X-51A Waverider resembles a missile and will be dropped from the wing of a B-52 bomber off the California coast at an altitude of about 15,000 metres, according to the Air Force.
After a scheduled flight of about five minutes – in which it is expected to reach an altitude of 21,000 metres – the Waverider will splash down in the Pacific, the Air Force said.
X-51A achieves hypersonic speeds with what’s known as a scramjet engine, which has no moving parts. There are no plans to recover the test vehicle. Hypersonic flight renders conventional turbine jet engines useless due to the extraordinary heat and pressure generated at such high speeds :: Read the full article »»»»
UPDATED: Arthur Boyd’s, Bride Running Away has set a new record for a Boyd Painting, fetching $AU1.68 Million at auction. The work was created in 1957, and is part of the Love Marriage and Death of a Half Caste series of paintings that explores the plight of Indigenous Australians at a time when they were greatly marginalised. The painting has been in a private collection since 1969.
Geoffrey Smith from Sotheby’s said the sale presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy the famous painting. “Bride Running Away is an icon of 20th century Australian art,” Mr Smith said.
“It was purchased by the current owners from Australian Galleries in 1969 and has never been offered publicly for sale.”
Mr Smith pointed out that the piece had great cultural significance. ”It’s an incredibly seminal painting, a key work in his oeuvre. And was very confronting when it was first painted,” Mr Smith said. ”Arthur Boyd was a great humanist and as an artist he explored the themes, the issues that confronted human kind.” :: Read the full article »»»»