Sudheer Shetty Kannur is new Mayor of Mangaluru, Sunitha is Deputy Mayor

News Network
September 8, 2023

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Mangaluru, Sept 8: BJP corporator Sudheer Shetty Kannur, who represents the Kodialbail ward of the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC), has been elected mayor for 24th term at an election held on Friday.

With the post of mayor for 24th term in MCC was reserved for the general category, the BJP with majority in the council selected Shetty. The BJP had bagged 44 seats in the election to MCC council held in 2019. While the Congress has a strength of 14 corporators, SDPI has two elected members in the council.

Naveen D'Souza of the Congress contested against Shetty for the mayor's post.

The BJP candidate Shetty bagged 47 votes, (including three votes of MLAs D Vedavyas Kamath, Dr Y Bharath Shetty and Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel). SDPI candidates remained neutral in the election.

The election of deputy mayor was unanimous as the post was reserved for SC Women category. BJP corporator from Panambur - Bengre ward Sunitha, who was the lone contestant for the post, has been elected as deputy mayor unanimously. Neither the Congress, nor the SDPI have SC women candidates to contest for the post.

While BJP corporators Divakar Pandeshwar and Premanand Shetty were the mayors in the first and second years, respectively, Jayanand Achan was elected in the third year. Sudheer Shetty will be the mayor of Mangaluru till September 7, 2024.
 

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News Network
May 11,2024

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Washington, May 11: The most powerful solar storm in more than two decades struck Earth on Friday, triggering spectacular celestial light shows from Tasmania to Britain -- and threatening possible disruptions to satellites and power grids as it persists into the weekend.

The first of several coronal mass ejections (CMEs) -- expulsions of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun -- came just after 1600 GMT, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Space Weather Prediction Center.

It was later upgraded to an "extreme" geomagnetic storm -- the first since the "Halloween Storms" of October 2003 caused blackouts in Sweden and damaged power infrastructure in South Africa. More CMEs are expected to pummel the planet in the coming days.

Social media lit up with people posting pictures of auroras from northern Europe and Australasia.

"We've just woken the kids to go watch the Northern Lights in the back garden! Clearly visible with the naked eye," Iain Mansfield in Hertford, England, told AFP.

That sense of wonder was shared in Australia's island state of Tasmania.

"Absolutely biblical skies in Tasmania at 4 am this morning. I'm leaving today and knew I could not pass up this opportunity," photographer Sean O' Riordan posted on social media platform X alongside a photo.

Authorities notified satellite operators, airlines, and the power grid to take precautionary steps for potential disruptions caused by changes to Earth's magnetic field.

Elon Musk, whose Starlink satellite internet operator has some 5,000 satellites in low Earth orbit, described the solar storm as the "biggest in a long time."

"Starlink satellites are under a lot of pressure, but holding up so far," Musk posted on his X platform.

Unlike solar flares, which travel at the speed of light and reach Earth in around eight minutes, CMEs travel at a more sedate pace, with officials putting the current average at 800 kilometers (500 miles) per second.

The CMEs emanated from a massive sunspot cluster that is 17 times wider than our planet. The Sun is approaching the peak of an 11-year cycle that brings heightened activity.

'Go outside tonight and look'

Mathew Owens, a professor of space physics at the University of Reading, told AFP that how far the effects would be felt over the planet's northern and southern latitudes would depend on the storm's final strength.

"Go outside tonight and look would be my advice because if you see the aurora, it's quite a spectacular thing," he said. People with eclipse glasses can also look for the sunspot cluster during the day.

In the United States, this could include places such as Northern California and Alabama, officials said.

NOAA's Brent Gordon encouraged the public to try to capture the night sky with phone cameras even if they couldn't see auroras with their naked eyes.

"Just go out your back door and take a picture with the newer cell phones and you'd be amazed at what you see in that picture versus what you see with your eyes."

Spacecraft and pigeons

Fluctuating magnetic fields associated with geomagnetic storms induce currents in long wires, including power lines, which can potentially lead to blackouts. Long pipelines can also become electrified, leading to engineering problems.

Spacecraft are also at risk from high doses of radiation, although the atmosphere prevents this from reaching Earth.

NASA has a dedicated team looking into astronaut safety and can ask astronauts on the International Space Station to move to places within the outpost that are better shielded.

Following one particularly strong flare peak, the US Space Weather Prediction Center said users of high-frequency radio signals "may experience temporary degradation or complete loss of signal on much of the sunlit side of Earth."

Even pigeons and other species that have internal biological compasses could also be affected. Pigeon handlers have noted a reduction in birds coming home during geomagnetic storms, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Officials said people should have the normal backup plans in place for power outages, such as having flashlights, batteries, and radios at hand.

The most powerful geomagnetic storm in recorded history, known as the Carrington Event after British astronomer Richard Carrington, occurred in September 1859.

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News Network
May 20,2024

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Hopes are fading that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister have survived a helicopter crash in mountainous terrain and icy weather, an Iranian official said on Monday after search teams located the wreckage.

"President Raisi's helicopter was completely burned in the crash ... unfortunately, all passengers are feared dead," the official told Reuters.

Rescue teams fought blizzards and difficult terrain through the night to reach the wreckage in East Azerbaijan province in the early hours of Monday.

“We can see the wreckage and the situation does not look good,” the head of Iran’s Red Crescent, Pirhossein Kolivand, told state TV.

Raisi, 63, was elected president in 2021, and since taking office has ordered a tightening of morality laws, overseen a crackdown US-Israel backed anti-government protests and pushed hard in nuclear talks with world powers.

A Turkish drone identified a source of heat suspected to be the helicopter's wreckage and had shared the coordinates of the possible crash site with Iranian authorities, Anadolu news agency said earlier on X.

State news agency IRNA said Raisi was flying in a US-made Bell 212 helicopter.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran's nuclear programme, sought to reassure Iranians, saying there would be no disruption to state affairs.

The chief of staff of Iran's army ordered all resources of the army and the elite Revolutionary Guards to be put to use in search and rescue operations.

Earlier, the national broadcaster had stopped all regular programming to show prayers being held for Raisi across the country.

In the early hours of Monday, it showed a rescue team, wearing bright jackets and head torches, huddled around a GPS device as they searched a pitch-black mountainside on foot in a blizzard.

“We are thoroughly searching every inch of the general area of the crash," state media quoted a regional army commander as saying. "The area has very cold, rainy, and foggy weather conditions. The rain is gradually turning into snow."

Several countries expressed concern and offered assistance in any rescue.

The White House said U.S. President Joe Biden had been briefed on reports about the crash. China said it was deeply concerned. The European Union offered emergency satellite mapping technology.

Possible successor to Khamenei

The crash comes at a time of growing dissent within Iran over an array of political, social and economic crises. Iran's clerical rulers face international pressure over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme and its deepening military ties with Russia during the war in Ukraine.

Since Iran’s open support to Hamas’ resistance against Israeli aggression, US and Israel have harshly criticised the President Raisi. 

In Iran's dual political system, split between the clerical establishment and the government, it is Raisi's 85-year-old mentor Khamenei, supreme leader since 1989, who holds decision-making power on all major policies.

For years many have seen Raisi as a strong contender to succeed Khamenei, who has endorsed Raisi's main policies. Raisi's victory in 2021 elections brought all branches of power under the control of revolutionaries, after eight years when the presidency had been held by pragmatist Hassan Rouhani and a nuclear deal negotiated with powers including Washington.

Raisi had been at the Azerbaijani border on Sunday to inaugurate the Qiz-Qalasi Dam, a joint project. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, who said he had bid a "friendly farewell" to Raisi earlier in the day, offered assistance in the rescue.

The chopper that was transporting President Raeisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and their companions encountered some difficulties and was forced to make a "hard landing".

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News Network
May 10,2024

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A day after National Commission for Women said no woman from Hassan approached the national body to file complaints against Karnataka MP Prajwal Revanna, a new FIR accusing BJP leader Devaraje Gowda of abusing and assaulting a woman has come to light.

The FIR against Gowda was filed by a woman at the Holenarasipura town police station on April 1, after her husband had filed a complaint against the BJP leader on March 30. 

The purported victim's husband has alleged in his plaint that Gowda barged into their home, and threatened the couple while the BJP leader also abused the woman.

Gowda, notably, flagged Prajwal Revanna's case to the saffron party.

Reacting to the allegations levelled against him, the BJP politico posted a video on Facebook where he details how he met the woman and her husband in his office. He also claims that the allegations against him are a plot and false.

It must be noted here that a Special Investigation Team is currently probing the sexual assault cases against Prajwal Revanna who along with his driver Karthik is no longer in the country. A Blue Corner notice is also in place to apprehend the son of H D Revanna who himself is placed under judicial custody till May 14.

In a major twist to the entire case— the woman in the FIR alleged that Devaraje Gowda who apprised BJP of the sex videos involving Prajwal Revanna— has been harassing her for the past 10 months under the guise of helping her sell a property.

The woman also said that she came in contact with Gowda during the process involving the property that she wanted to sell. However, on the pretext of guiding her, the woman alleged that the whistleblower BJP leader physically assaulted and harassed her while Gowda also threatened the couple.

The woman has now sought police protection for herself and family. Further levelling allegations against Gowda in her plaint, she said that the politico had taken her to an isolated place where he assaulted her and threatened to kill the couple.

Former chief minister of Karnataka and Prajwal Revanna's uncle H D Kumaraswamy recently demanded a CBI probe in the Prajwal Revanna matter. However, Home Minister G Parameshwara turned down the demand for the investigation to be handed over to CBI.

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