Citizens' Issues
JD-U leader's bodyguard killed in parcel bomb blast
The bodyguard of a Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader was killed on Tuesday in Bihar's Gaya district when a bomb - wrapped in a parcel - exploded at the politician's house, police said.
"A parcel bomb has exploded at the house of JD-U's Gaya district (rural) president Abhay Kushwaha. His body guard was killed and his relative was seriously injured," said Gaya Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj.
Kushwaha's brother-in-law, who was seriously injured, has been admitted to a hospital in Gaya, about 100 km from here.
Maharaj said police have begun investigation into who sent the parcel and are probing the courier company that delivered it.
"It is a matter of investigation," he said.
Additional Director General of Police Sunil Kumar told media here that preliminary investigations have ruled out Maoists' hand in it.
"So far, it appears that Maoists were not involved in it," he said.


Pulse Beat

Marigolds To Fight Mosquito Menace

Mosquitoes are a menace everywhere, especially in summer. Chemicals do not kill mosquitoes. In fact, they have become resistant to DDT. The latter also contaminates our food, increasing the risk of cancer. One natural way of keeping mosquitoes away is to grow marigolds. They blossom for most part of the year, in India.
Marigolds can be grown anywhere by anyone—even gardening novices. There are two varieties and both smell good—the French variety, which is small in size and comes in many colours, and the African variety, which gives large flowers, again in many colours. but the same smell. The French variety is easier to grow. One-time seed purchase is good enough; later, you can get the seeds easily from your own plant.
For some reason, mosquitoes cannot stand the marigold’s smell and are repelled by it. Mosquitoes try and keep away from the plant. Plant the flowers all around the house. 
If one grows marigolds in the company of the basil plant, it is even better as the latter also repels mosquitoes. Marigold plants in pots kept on window sills are a good insurance against the entry of mosquitoes. One of the biggest worry about mosquitoes is malaria but many viral diseases, like dengue, are also conveyed by them.

Increase in Myopia

A recent study published by Ulster University found that the rate of nearsightedness among young people has doubled in the past 50 years: 23% of British children now suffer from myopia; this number was just 10% in the 1960s. East Asian countries are much worse off with 90% of children being short-sighted.
This rising number of children with myopia is being blamed partly on a lack of exposure to daylight. 
Dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain, is important for eye health and is released by daylight, says David Allamby, an ophthalmologist and medical director of Focus eye clinics. “Not having enough daylight may cause the eye to grow in an uncontrolled manner,” he says. Many other serious eye diseases can be related to myopia. In fact, direct sunlight also stimulates the pineal gland which is the top boss of the endocrine orchestra. Wearing dark glasses even inside the house might be bad for eye health.

Disturbing Matter in Beards

A recent research shows that growing beards might not be a healthy habit. A shocking new study has warned that facial hair could be dirtier than a toilet bowl. According to a group of microbiologists in New Mexico, “The rancid bacteria that beards collect could be putting owners’ health at risk.” Microbiologist John Golobic, of Quest Diagnostics, found that some of the bacteria “are the kind of things that you find in faeces.” There would be a degree of uncleanliness that can be somewhat disturbing.

Fruits and Chronic Diseases

Increased fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with a modest, although not statistically significant, reduction in the development of major chronic disease. The benefits appeared to be primarily for cardiovascular disease and not for cancer, according to an article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Cranberries, avocados, blueberries and pumpkin seeds are supposed to be super-foods in this range. For people at risk of killer diseases, tart cherries might actually be better than what the doctor ordered, according to new research. The results, which were seen in stroke-prone rats, were presented on 23rd April, at the Experimental Biology 2013 meeting in Boston.
There are a few more things one has to do, in addition to the diet, to remain healthy. Don’t smoke or use tobacco; exercise regularly; maintain a healthy weight; get your regular sleep; cut out processed foods; and keep an eye on how much alcohol you drink; in fact, don’t drink alcohol at all. 


Shah panel on MAT levy on FIIs holds first meeting
The Justice A.P. Shah-led three-member committee on direct tax matters held its first meeting on Monday on the applicability of the controversial minimum alternate tax (MAT) on Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) for previous years.
An official source told IANS on late Monday evening that the three-member panel met to discuss on its terms of reference and the methodology it is going to adopt for considering the contentious tax issue.
The panel, headed by Law Commission chairman Shah, was formally set up last week with former chief economic advisor Ashok Lahiri and noted chartered accountant Girish Ahuja as the other members.
The finance ministry in a statement on Wednesday said other tax issues would be referred to the Shah committee in due course.
The Income Tax department had sent notices to 68 FIIs demanding Rs 602.83 crore as MAT dues of previous years, with FIIs, in turn, moving the higher court challenging the demand.
The Shah committee will examine MAT notices for the period before April 1, 2015, and has been requested to "give its recommendations expeditiously".
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget 2015-16 had exempted FIIs from paying MAT with effect from April.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) earlier this month said it will not issue any new demands for payments, and will take no coercive action to pursue claims that have already been filed under the controversial MAT.
Even after Jaitley's announcement exempting FIIs from paying MAT on capital gains earned by them, the income tax department sent notice to at least 90 foreign portfolio investors.
With the uncertainty created by MAT, foreign investors sold around $630 million in Indian shares and bonds on May 6, marking the biggest single-day sales since January 2014.


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