Biomimetics Still Trending Up

first_img(Visited 78 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The imitation of nature’s designs (biomimetics) is all the rage, and shows no sign of slowing down.Nature published a special Outlook feature this week on Biomaterials.  The nine articles mentioned lifeforms from armadillos to oysters, showing how revolutionary applications are coming from the study of how nature solves problems. The writers focused not only on the superstars (spiders, geckos, etc.) but on lesser-known stars of biomimicry like ivy stems, sea cucumbers, squid, pine cones, pitcher plants and cacao. Single cells and tissues like bone, hydrogels and nacre also made the list. Amid the praises for these natural designs was an unholy mix of credit given to Darwinian evolution for figuring out these designs over millions of years.But the world’s leading science journal is not the only place where biomimetics is making a splash. Here are a few recent reports, some of them about newcomers to biomimetics:Poison-dart frog skin that inspired an Arizona State engineer to figure out a new way to de-ice aircraft wings (PhysOrg)“Designer’s toolkit” for dynamic DNA nanomachines: Arm-waving nanorobot signals new flexibility in DNA origami (Science Daily, Science Mag)3-D printed bionic ants (“intelligent agents”) that can get the job done, the way real ants do big jobs with teamwork (New Scientist, PhysOrg)Flexible-wing flapping drones that can recover from collisions like birds and bats can (BBC News and Live Science; see embedded video demonstrations)Snake robots that can imitate the complex motions of sidewinders (PhysOrg)Bat traffic rules (Univ of Bristol): “By employing movement strategies that nature has optimized over millions of years, engineers may be able to improve the efficiency of search and rescue missions, monitoring tasks, and surveillance operations in the emerging market of flying drones and autonomous moving vehicles.”Something fishy about synthetic armor (Science Mag); “Many fish are covered in rigid scales attached to a flexible dermis layer, an arrangement that is compliant, resistant to penetration, and lightweight—in other words, an efficient coat of armor. Fink et al. use this as inspiration for a synthetic protective material based on a stretchable mesh that supports a set of hard plastic tiles.”Squid-inspired “invisibility stickers” that could help soldiers evade detection in the dark, even by infrared cameras (Science Daily)DNA-mediated engineering of multicomponent enzyme crystals that can allow scientists to make functional nanomaterials (PNAS)Sometimes a researcher can save a step and go right to the animal for the goods.Opossum antivenom:  Science Daily reports that “Opossum-based antidote to venom from snake bites could save thousands of lives.” That’s right; opossums are immune from snake venom. They make a peptide that binds to the venom protein, rendering it harmless. This could lead to antivenoms that are easier to produce and have no side effects. National Geographic is a tad skeptical, but the researcher stands by it; “It was like a miracle, that this peptide really has this activity.” Mice injected with the peptide showed no signs of being sick.Weed cleanser: In a similar vein, PhysOrg reports that a common weed can reduce water pollution; just plant it. Typha domingensis already grows in polluted waterways.  “This plant helps to reduce up to 98 percent of pollution by enterobacteria (usually found in the intestines of mammals) involved in the development of disease,” a Mexican researcher found. Are there other weeds we could learn to love? AEgg plastic: Another PhysOrg article says that the albumin in egg whites inhibit bacterial growth so well, it could be mixed with glycerol to create “bioplastics” that are effectively sterile for medical applications, as well as being more environmentally friendly. “If you put it in a landfill, this being pure protein, it will break down,” the inventor says. “If you put it in soil for a month—at most two months—these plastics will disappear.”Back to the biomimetics icon, the gecko. Live Science lists “6 Crazy Skills that Prove Geckos Are Amazing.” That’s five besides their famous ability to walk up glass with atomic-powered toes! They can also fall right side up, regenerate their tails, harness raindrops for cleaning, perform tail acrobatics, and adhere to surfaces even better in the rain.In conclusion, we see that biomimetics not only promises to improve human life and health; it will improve biology overall. Its very inspiration requires focusing on the plants and animals to understand them better. That’s bound to help science education, improve textbooks, and inspire a new generation to enter biology. With all these advantages—and so many organisms to learn from—the sky’s the limit.Another outstanding benefit of the Biomimetics Gold Rush is to watch Darwinism fall off the radar like yesteryear’s news. We won’t have to fight it any more, because it’s so– so 1859.last_img read more

South Africa tackles racism

first_img4 February 2016“Twenty-two years into democracy, we have to reflect on the path we have travelled so far as a rainbow nation, how far have we gone and what the challenges are,” said Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the launch of the inaugural Anti-Racism Week. The week will run from 14 to 21 March 2016. Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa speaks about anti-racism at the Nelson Mandela Foundation on 2 February 2016. (Image: Priya Pitamber)The initiative comes from the newly established Anti-Racism Network South Africa (Arnsa) and is a mechanism to deal with racism in South Africa. Facilitated by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the network was launched in November last year and is made up of approximately 80 civil society organisations and government institutions. Its aim is to tackle racism at a national level. Its slogan is simple and concise: Racism is wrong.The organisation held a press briefing to mark the launch of Anti-Racism Week at the Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Joburg on 2 February. The day coincided with the 26th anniversary of the announcement of the release of Mandela from prison.There are no more than a dozen organizations with a dedicated unit to tackle racism – @NeeshanB— ARNSA (@AntiRacismNet) February 2, 2016Causes and solutionsSouth Africa should adopt a multi-pronged approach, said the minister, to deal with racism. Mthethwa questioned what people could do if they went beyond their anger. He suggested mobilisation was the answer, and said Arnsa was an exciting initiative. “It’s one that we’ll support.”Nation-building was a project about which Mandela was passionate but we had not completed it, said the chief executive of the Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang. “Madiba helped us climb only one hill; we had to as a nation deal with our own wounds.” He said racism was entrenched in us from the times of colonialism and slavery.“While responses to racism are often seen as coming from government or corporates, there is a need to develop community responses,” Hatang noted. “One of our main goals is to uproot racism from families.“We also urge organisations to take the lead and introduce [an] Anti-Racism Week in the workplace; whether it’s staff training or a T-shirt campaign.“How wonderful it would be to go into banks or shops around the country and see employees wearing T-shirts that read: ‘Racism is wrong.’”Neeshan Balton of the Kathrada Foundation said eradicating racism was the responsibility of everyone, not only the government.We do not have dedicated material to deal with race/ racism in schools says @NeeshanB #ARNSA #AntiRacismWeek @AntiRacismNet @NelsonMandela— Kathrada Foundation (@KathradaFound) February 2, 2016“To tackle it effectively in South Africa requires consistent and sustainable anti-racism organisations and programmes nationally,” he said. “We approach this work with the realisation that it is not short-term work but must span across generations.”What you can do for Anti-Racism WeekArnsa convener Sean Moodley called on different sectors of civil society, such as faith-based organisations, municipalities, sports bodies and schools, to play a big role in the campaign by hosting activities and programmes that spoke of a non-racial South Africa.His first call to action was aimed at faith-based organisations, which, he said, already played a big role in fighting racism. “I strongly believe racism is a spiritual evil.“Over the weekend of Anti-Racism Week, from 18 to 20 March, we urge these organisations within the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Christian communities, to put a huge effort into making this an Anti-Racism Weekend,” he said. “We believe you already have the infrastructure in place to extend your reach far and wide.”Moodley called on corporate South Africa to take the week seriously and “put their money where their mouth is”.The following activities will take place during Anti-Racism Week:There’ll be an art competition for schools, nationally;Dialogues on anti-racism will take place at places of worship – churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples;Sporting bodies will be asked to dedicate all major sporting events to stand against racism;Arnsa will launch an anti-racism pledge for all South Africans to undertake;The focus for Human Rights Day on 21 March will be on anti-racism;There’ll be a national dialogue on the role white people can play in addressing racism; and,A social and traditional media campaign will focus on “Why racism hurts”.“Madiba would have said our diversity was our strength,” concluded Mthethwa. “The road to social progress is always under construction.”“Our differences are our strength as a species & as a world community” #NelsonMandela #LivingTheLegacy #Diversity pic.twitter.com/4glmwC4sor— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) February 3, 2016last_img read more

Don’t Shock the Goat — Geocache of the Week

first_imgContinue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. SharePrint RelatedMagic Wand – Geocache of the WeekOctober 3, 2018In “Community”Moon Tower — Geocache of the WeekApril 4, 2018In “Community”Another one down the drain. – A Crappy Cache (GC35T4T) – Geocache of the WeekFebruary 26, 2015In “Geocache of the Week” Location: Massachusetts, United States N 42° 25.049′ W 073° 16.657′ If you make it to the end of the challenge a blue light appears to show that you completed the cache, and the final door swings open both revealing the logbook and solidifying your friendship with the temperamental goat.  Share with your Friends:More Located at a ski resort just off the beaten path, our Geocache of the Week isn’t hard to find—opening it to get the cache is the true challenge. Aside from finding the code for the padlock on the outside, you’ll need to consider a few things. The geocache has electronic features on it and can’t function without some power. According to the cache page you are required to bring three AA batteries. Once the padlock is unlocked and the door to the cache opens, you’re greeted with a temperamental goat who remains happy so long as you don’t shock it. Some goats faint when they feel a sense of panic—this one will yell at you if you can’t keep a steady hand. Don’t Shock the Goat (GC6JZ0Q) requires you to have ultra-focus while navigating a metal “wand” around the outline of a goat. If the wand touches the metal frame, all your efforts are lost and you have to start at the beginning. With almost 300 Favorite points, this gadget cache is one of the most Favorited caches in Massachusetts.center_img To test your Dr. Doolittle skills, insert the AA batteries and wait for the three lights on the cache to blink. Then touch the wand to the top of the green bolt to reset the cache and to enable the green light on the cache. If you bump the wire with the wand after enabling it, it will make a loud buzzing sound and the light will turn red until you reset the cache again. Repeat this until you are able to make it around the wire and touch the opposite bolt.  Difficulty: 3.5 Terrain: 2 Caches that take added effort are always a thrill for the cachers who find them. According to cache owner hyliston this cache took 50 hours to create, but has sparked timeless memories for geocachers that have come to meet the goat. What was the last geocache that ‘shocked’ you? Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form. Don’t Shock the Goat GC6JZ0Q by hylistonlast_img read more

12 hours agoLazio boss Inzaghi upset with Celtic comeback

first_imgLazio boss Inzaghi upset with Celtic comebackby Carlos Volcano12 hours agoSend to a friendShare the loveLazio boss Simone Inzaghi was left frustrated with their Europa League defeat to Celtic.The Biancocelesti had taken the lead and were in control only to lose 2-1 in the final stages.“That’s the ugly thing about football, you don’t get the results you deserve. It’s difficult to swallow a defeat like that,” Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia.“We must realise that we won’t lose many if we maintain this spirit for 90 minutes. It’s already happened to us this season, but I couldn’t have asked much more from my lads.“The second goal was an individual error and you pay a heavy price when a player is allowed to lose his marker. It was a performance where we certainly deserved a different result, but we need to keep working, because evidently what we’re doing is not enough. We must keep believing in ourselves and I feel we’ll go far if we play like this.“It’s a pity, we deserved more in this wonderful arena.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Air strike kills 13 civilians, mostly children, in Afghanistan, says UN

first_imgKabul: At least 13 civilians were killed, mostly children, in an air strike by “international forces” in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz late last week, the United Nations said Monday. The strike happened between late Friday and early Saturday in support of ground operations conducted by pro-government forces fighting against Taliban militants in the area. “Initial fact-finding indicates that 10 of those killed were children, part of the same extended family whom were displaced by fighting elsewhere in the country,” the UN mission in Afghanistan said in a statement. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe US is the only member of the international coalition in Afghanistan that provides air support in the conflict. A NATO spokesperson told AFP the coalition was investigating the claims. The deaths come as ordinary Afghans continues to bear the brunt of the war in Afghanistan, with more civilians killed in the Afghan war in 2018 than during any other year on record, according to a UN report. The uptick in violence in 2018 coincides with a significant increase in the number of deaths caused by the “deliberate targeting of civilians”, according to the report, mostly stemming from suicide attacks by insurgents allied with the Taliban or Islamic State (IS). Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsAn increase in air strikes by US and Afghan forces also led to more civilian deaths in 2018, with more than 500 civilians killed by “aerial operations for the first time on record”. Fighting continues to flare across Afghanistan even as the US and Taliban press forward in peace talks aimed at ending nearly 18 years of fighting. The ongoing peace talks with the Taliban follow years of escalating violence in Afghanistan.last_img read more

The Last Time The Chiefs Were This Good They Won A Super

3D. Culpepper2004MIN4-172.21766183127.0 9T. Brady2015NWE5-070.61699141118.4✓ NE61NE66NE+0.1– DAL53GB57GB+6.7– OAK68%OAK58BAL+9.4– The Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 5 win over the the Houston Texans was significant for several reasons. It squashed any lingering doubts about who the NFL’s best team is, as the league’s only 4-0 team moved to 5-0. It also solidified KC’s place atop our NFL projections, as we now give them a 97 percent chance of making the playoffs and an 81 percent chance of earning a coveted first-round bye. But perhaps the team’s most impressive achievement so far is this: These are the best Chiefs since KC’s last (and only) championship team, 48 years ago.Using Elo, our pet metric for judging a team’s strength at any given moment, we can trace the various incarnations of the Chiefs week by week in NFL history. Their current Elo rating of 1701 is the highest it has been since the team hit its all-time peak rating of 1775 after defeating the Vikings in Super Bowl IV. Of the 899 weeks for which we have Elo data on this team, there are only eight in which Kansas City’s rating was higher than it is right now — and all of them came in that 1969 campaign, in the last year of the AFL. Move over, Len Dawson, make room for Alex Smith.But we have certainly seen hot starts from Andy Reid’s team before. They started the 2013-14 season 9-0 and then lost five of their next seven regular-season games before bowing out to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Wild Card game. So will this year be any different?The defense has regressed since the 2013 season, surrendering 22.2 points per game through five games, compared with 19.1 for the whole of the 2013 season. But they’ve maintained respectability despite losing star safety Eric Berry, who went down for the season with a torn Achilles tendon in the team’s opening-night road win over the New England Patriots. And any step back here has been more than compensated for by improvements on offense. Led by Smith and rookie running back Kareem Hunt, the offense is off to a blistering pace, averaging an NFL-best 32.8 points per game, 5.9 points better than the 2013 team managed to produce.This may be hard to digest, but Smith is having one of the best starts to a season of any quarterback in NFL history. In almost every major offensive category — passing completion rate, passer rating, adjusted yards per attempt and interceptions — Smith ranks among the best. Here are the best season-opening five-game stretches ever, according to passer rating, among QBs who made more than 150 passing attempts in that span in any season since 1950. 4A. Smith2017KAN5-076.61391110125.8 BUF51BUF57CIN-9.3– MIN58MIN64MIN+2.0– 7M. Ryan2016ATL4-169.11740122121.6✓✓ In addition to having the fourth-best passer rating in this time frame, Smith has yet to throw an interception. And among these quarterbacks, Smith’s completion rate of 76.6 percent is the highest. The table above puts Smith in some nice company: Every QB joining him is either a Hall of Famer already or will likely be one soon — with the exception of Daunte Culpepper. (And unlike Culpepper, Smith doesn’t have the luxury of being able to heave jump balls to Randy Moss.) In this group, Culpepper and Smith also stand out as the only ones to not start at least one Super Bowl in their career to date. Culpepper may be alone in that regard after this season.In the PittsKansas City’s Week 6 opponent had a slightly less glorious Week 5. In fact, the Pittsburgh Steelers suffered one of the worst losses in their 85-year history. Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions in a brutal 30-9 loss at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars (yes, them). The Steelers’ loss was so bad that they dropped 55 Elo points, the 49th-worst single-game drop in more than 30,000 NFL games, and the franchise’s third-worst loss ever. Steelers fans may not want to remember the two worse losses, but we’ll remind them anyway: a 24-6 defeat at home to the newly formed Houston Texans in 2002 and a 34-10 thumping on the road against the previously winless Cincinnati Bengals in 1979 (ouch!).The latest loss means Roethlisberger is under intense pressure to retire, with even the two-time Super Bowl winner admitting that he might not have it anymore. That, along with the quarterback’s public spat with wide receiver Antonio Brown in Week 4, means the Steelers could be in a minor crisis. Pittsburgh finds itself 3-2 and atop the AFC North standings, with the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals lurking just behind. Looking at the underwhelming slate of opponents the Steelers have played so far — the Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars — gives even more cause for concern. The Steelers travel to the Chiefs next week before a home game against their bitter rivals the Bengals and a visit to the surprisingly good Detroit Lions. The rest of October could alter Big Ben’s plans in 2018.FiveThirtyEight vs. the crowdWeek 5 in our NFL prediction game — in which we invite you to pick football games and try to outsmart our Elo algorithm — was much better for you readers than the previous two weeks had been — readers were just 21 points behind the Elo predictions in Week 5 compared with 146.2 points behind in Weeks 3 and 4 combined. The readers made gains mostly by being less wrong than our algorithm. Both Elo and the readers picked the Oakland Raiders to beat the Ravens and the New York Giants to beat the Los Angeles Chargers, and neither of those picks worked out. However, the average reader was less confident in either the Raiders or the Giants of winning than Elo was, so readers lost fewer points on those misplaced bets.The biggest net gain for Elo came in the Miami Dolphins’ win over the Tennessee Titans. Even without factoring in that the Titans’ Marcus Mariota was inactive for the game, Elo put its faith in Jay Cutler and the Dolphins and was rewarded. (Never doubt Jay Cutler! Haha, no, we’re kidding. Definitely doubt him.) That’s it for this week — be sure you make your picks for Week 6. NYG68NYG59LAC+9.0– 8D. Marino1984MIA5-065.21527153121.6✓✓ Source: Pro-football-reference.com QBYEARTEAMW-LCOMP %YDSTDINTPASSER RATINGWON DIV.?MADE SB? OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION 10D. Brees2009NOR5-069.21400132118.4✓✓ PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.WINNERREADERS’ NET PTS NYJ65NYJ59NYJ-7.3– 6K. Warner2000RAM5-072.11947147122.0 1P. Manning2013DEN5-075.8%1884201136.4✓✓ 5A. Rodgers2011GNB5-071.71721142122.9✓ PIT80PIT79JAX+0.0 Alex Smith is in royal company … plus Daunte CulpepperTop passer ratings among quarterbacks who have thrown at least 150 attempts in a team’s first five games of a season, since 1950 DET63DET59CAR+2.6– SEA55SEA51SEA-6.3– KC67KC65KC-4.1– 2T. Brady2007NWE5-074.11383162128.7✓✓ PHI65PHI67PHI-0.6– Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 5Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 5 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game IND75IND62IND-11.3– MIA59TEN51MIA-11.9– read more

Twitter shuts down Bengaluru development centre to lay off over 60 employees

first_imgTwitter has decided to discontinue its engineering tasks in India, which would lead to layoffs of staff at its development centre in Bengaluru. Between 60 and 100 employees are expected to lose their jobs following the decision.The online social networking service sent an email statement to the media, saying: “As part of our normal business review, we have decided to stop the global engineering work at the Bengaluru development centre. We thank the impacted individuals for their valuable contributions and are doing as much as we can to provide them a respectful exit from our company. The company remains committed to India as a strategic market for users, partners and advertisers.”It added: “Today, India is one of our fastest growing markets worldwide and we continue to invest in key initiatives to further expand our audience, increase user engagement and drive revenue in this important market.”Twitter is said to have been struggling to match the pace of growth of its competitors such as Facebook. The San Francisco-based company has posted disappointing sales figures and mixed results over the last few quarters.Bengaluru-based mobile marketing and analytics company ZipDial Mobile Solutions was brought last year by Twitter, which paved the way for the American firm to set up an engineering centre in the IT hub of India. Although unconfirmed, the value of the deal was estimated to be between $30-40 million, PTI reported.The micro-blogging site on Monday announced that it had tied up with the Bombay Stock Exchange to provide live updates of stock process, stock prices and opening and closing figures of companies to millions of investors. The collaboration is touted to be the first-of-its-kind deal between a social media website and a stock exchange.last_img read more

Bangladeshi immigrant Nina Ahmad to run for Congress

first_imgBangladeshi immigrant Nina Ahmad has resigned as deputy mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to run for US Congress Cap: Nina Ahmad.Nina Ahmad is one of the strongest candidates among the Bangladeshi immigrants aspiring to join mainstream politics in the United States so far. Recently she resigned as deputy mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to run for Congress.Nina talked about her preparations for the Congress election during a conversation with Prothom Alo on Thursday. She resigned her post as deputy mayor on 30 September to contest in the election against Congressman Robert Brady, a current member of Democratic Party. She had to leave the post to be nominated in the Congress election. Nina Ahmad will contest as a Democrat member from congressional district-1, consisting Philadelphia City of Chester, a part of Central Philadelphia, and another part of south Philadelphia. If she wins in the primary stage, her chance of victory in the main election will be quite strong.Nina previously served on president’s ‘Advisory Commission of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders’ being appointed by former president Barack Obama. She resigned after Donald Trump has sworn as US president on 20 January this year.  Congressman Robert Brady is the member of Democratic Party who has been under federal scrutiny in a case that snared his two top cohorts. So Brady’s candidacy in November election remains uncertain.On the other hand, Nina has been working in support of immigrants’ rights and respect for more than two decades. She is very popular among the black American, Asian, and Hispanic population. As 78 per cent of the residents of Philadelphia are Democrat supporters, Nina will certainly be at an advantage.Nina told Prothom Alo, “As an immigrant, a woman and a social activist, I am expecting support from people of all spheres.” She said she would start campaigning before Christmas. Earlier, Hashem Clark was the first Bangladeshi congressman in US from 2011 to 2013. Many other Bangladeshi immigrants have participated in the Congress election but never won. Nina Ahmad comparatively has the best chance to win so far.*This item, originally published in Prothom Alo online, has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakatlast_img read more

Moudud Sanaullah get anticipatory bail in 3 cases

first_imgBNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed. Prothom Alo file photoThe High Court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed and its law affairs secretary Sanaullah Miah in three separate cases filed with Hatirjheel and Khilgaon police stations.An HC bench of justice Muhammad Abdul Hafiz and justice Kashefa Hossain passed the order after the BNP leaders surrendered before the court and prayed for bail in the cases.Of the cases, two was filed with Khilgaon police station against Sanaullah Miah on 20 September on charges of preventing police from discharging their duty and the other was filed against Moudud with Hatirjheel police station on 1 October for “instigating” subversive activities.AKM Ehsanur Rahman, who stood for the BNP leaders, said the HC granted them bail until the submission of the charge-sheets in the cases.last_img read more

Kashmir journos frustrated by communications blockade

first_imgIndian security forces personnel patrol a deserted street during restrictions after the government scrapped special status for Kashmir, in Srinagar 9 August, 2019. Photo: ReutersKashmir has nearly 180 English and Urdu daily newspapers, but only five are publishing these days due to restrictions imposed by Indian authorities to prevent unrest after New Delhi revoked the state’s autonomy.That is frustrating for the region’s journalists, many of whom are veterans of covering a long insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir and operating under prolonged curfews.”This is the biggest story of our generation and we haven’t been able to report it,” said Faisul Yaseen, associate editor of Rising Kashmir, one of the handful of newspaper groups that is still publishing.With phone lines and internet services suspended, six newspaper editors and journalists told Reuters they have no way to access wire reports or any outside online news sources, their district correspondents, and seek comment from government officials.Only five newspapers out of 174 dailies are now publishing, according to newspaper distributor Mansoor Ahmed, and they are being distributed within a 5-km radius of Lambert Lane, the main newspaper hub of the region, because of severe restrictions on movement, he said.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government imposed the blackout after it stripped Kashmir of its special status this week and broke up the state into two federal territories aiming to fully integrate the Muslim majority region.Officials said restrictions will slowly be lifted. The big concern is there could be large scale demonstrations against the decision to withdraw Kashmir’s special rights to frame its own laws and lifting of a ban on people from outside the region buying property.An Indian foreign ministry spokesman said there was no restriction on the press.”Nobody has been prohibited or stopped from publishing anything. Now, because of logistical constraints if they are not able to publish it is a different matter,” the spokesman said.Usually a 12-page edition, the Rising Kashmir English daily is now only bringing out four pages, much of it sourced from a few national TV news channels and four reporters who have living and working from Rising Kashmir’s office.The final layout of the paper is hand-delivered to the press on the outskirts of the city in the evening when movement restrictions in some parts are slightly relaxed.Two other Rising Kashmir newspapers – one in Urdu, another in Kashmiri – that the group publishes are suspended.Within Srinagar, reporters and photographers are finding it difficult to work without any passes to go through security checkpoints.Editors of two Urdu newspapers in Srinagar said they had ceased publication because of a lack of news sources, movement restrictions, and staff being unable to reach the newsroom.”Even in the worst of times, the press were given curfew passes,” said Morifat Qadri, executive editor of the Daily Afaaq, which usually prints 4,000 copies daily.”They don’t want that anybody covers the current situation,” he said.last_img read more