SAN FRANCISCO — Hunter Pence, the 36-year-old Texas Rangers designated hitter, will start the 2019 All-Star Game.Pence, who last played in the All-Star Game in 2014, was the leading vote-getter among American League designated hitter candidates as he earned the fourth All-Star selection of his 13-year major league career.The selection marks a seminal moment in an incredible comeback story for Pence, who did not receive any major league contract offers this winter after hitting .226 in his …
You have a biological version of Photoshop in your eyes. That’s what Richard Robinson, a freelance science writer from Massachusetts, said in PLoS Biology.1 The eye is not a camera, and the retina is not a piece of film. Indeed, the retina might be better likened to a computer running Photoshop, given the extent of image processing that it performs before passing visual information along to the brain. A central aspect of that processing is called center-surround inhibition, in which illumination stimulates the firing of a small number of retinal cells, accompanied by inhibition of surrounding cells. This phenomenon increases spatial contrast and sharpens perception of edges.Robinson was discussing a new find from UC Berkeley that the retina employs both positive feedback and negative feedback systems to improve imaging, something that researchers had missed before in 50 years of study. (See also Robinson’s article about cell zip codes last month: 04/20/2011). Medical Xpress has a graph showing how these two independent mechanisms work together. “The human eye long ago solved a problem common to both digital and film cameras: how to get good contrast in an image while also capturing faint detail,” the article said, with the headline announcing that the eye does the better job. Speaking of vision, eyesight has been found where biologists might have least expected it – in sea urchins. National Geographic News reported that work by European scientists publishing in PNAS2 shows that the spines transmit light to the animal, making these pincushion-critters like big eyeballs on the seafloor; “we suggest a model in which the entire sea urchin, deploying its skeleton as PRC [photoreceptor cell] screening device, functions as a huge compound eye,” the authors said.1. Richard Robinson, “After 40 Years, Retina Reveals It Uses Positive Feedback, as Well as Negative,” PLoS Biology, 9(5): e1001058. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001058.2. Ullrich-Luter et al, “Unique system of photoreceptors in sea urchin tube feet,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, pprint May 2, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1018495108 PNAS May 2, 2011.WYSIWYG-BWYGINWOT: What you see is what you get, but what you get is not what’s out there. This bears on old philosophical questions about perception, sensation, and correspondence. If what we get has been Photoshopped, what would it look like before the image processing? It would probably render life impossible, because we would not be able to make sense of the world. The Creator has given each creature what it needs to carry on its life. For that we should remain thankful, and amazed.(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Pace presents a bold new vision for a continent that is as contemporary as it is African. It challenges perceptions of African craft and design to witness a continent on the cutting edge, where traditional meets contemporary. Tekura: Tekura Designs has turned export-oriented contemporary African furniture into a sustainable enterprise. The minimalism and modernity of the pieces earned praise at the International Contemporary Furniture Faire in New York and won the 2008 Africa SMME Award in the trade sector. The Pan African Craft Exhibition (Pace) opened at the Gauteng Craft and Design Centre on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton on 21 June and runs until 31 July. Aida Duplessis: Aida Duplessis’ studio in Mali has pioneered the use of scented vetiver root in African soft furnishings. Her understated design ethic highlights the organic tone and texture of her materials. World’s biggest necklace: young Nigerian artist Okechuku creates immense jewellery pieces from bronze, wood, beads and found objects. The piece being exhibited, GIANT takes jewellery to an absurd scale, rendering it unwearable and playing on the futility of excessive adornment. The exhibition is open from Monday to Friday, from 09:00 to 18:00; on Saturday from 09:00 16:00; and on Sunday from 09:00 to 13:00. Entrance is free. The Craft and Design Centre is also the dedicated hub of the Gauteng Gateway 2010 International Media Centre for the duration of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. 24 June 2010 Curators Adam Levin and Andile Magengelele have scoured the African continent in search of unusual new pieces that base their identity less on ethnicity and more on shape, texture or individual creativity. Kente Digital: Ghana’s master Kente cloth weaver, Nana Kwaku Duah II, mixes technology and tradition, working on a computer to create his new designs while handweaving each square on a double-heddle loom and then stitching them together. Aboubakar Fofana: Mali’s pre-eminent textile artist fuses ancient indigo dying techniques with Japanese shibori techniques of wrapping, tying and folding the cloth, which he studied in Kyoto, in Japan. Exhibitors include: Seringa: working chiefly in Kenya, Virginia Greenwell uses traditional Masai symbols and beadwork, along with Nigerian sacks or Kuba cloth from Democratic Republic of Congo, to create a chic, contemporary range of luggage and accessories. Cutting-edge craftwork is on display at the Pan African Craft Exhibition in Johannesburg, where convention and stereotypes are being challenged as craft blurs with fashion and decor. The Lovers Drum: djembe drums are ubiquitous in West Africa. This Lovers Drum has been inscribed with a love letter, in a colloquial mixture of Twe, English and pidgin. It reads: “You are as sweet to me as toffee. I beg. I love you more than Harmattan pawpaw.” The exhibition is supported by the City of Johannesburg, Gauteng provincial government, Gauteng Craft and Design Centre and the national Department of Arts and Culture. Highlights include Ronel Jordaan’s new felt chair, Kpando Pottery’s earthy forms from Ghana and Malian master dyer Aboubakar Fofana, who has created a unique indigo masterpiece. Source: City of Johannesburg
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A researcher at The Ohio State University is conducting a multi-state study testing for flu among pigs at fairs as swine infected with a flu virus were confirmed at two recent county fairs in Ohio.Andrew Bowman, a veterinarian with Ohio State’s Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, has found that, on average, one out of every four fairs he attends every year has at least one pig infected with the Influenza A Virus Infecting Swine (IAV-S). Some of the infected pigs don’t show clinical signs of the illness when they’re tested.The influenza A virus can infect pigs as well as other animals and people. When one case is discovered at a fair, more often than not, several cases are found at the same fair, said Bowman.Bowman is little more than halfway through his seven-year study involving 100 county and state fairs in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana as well as a handful in Iowa, Kentucky and West Virginia.Besides collecting nasal swab samples from 20 pigs at each fair, Bowman and his team also study what prevention measures are taken at the fairs and how often they are used to keep people and animals safe from flu.This summer Bowman’s research is especially relevant as the Ohio Department of Agriculture has identified sick pigs with influenza A virus at agricultural fairs in Clinton and Franklin counties. The strains of the influenza A flu detected in the pigs at each of the two fairs differed, with Clinton County’s pigs having H3N2, the strain most commonly spread to humans, and Franklin County’s pigs having H1N1. At the Clinton County Fair, 11 individuals who had contact with the pigs tested positive for H3N2.In animals and people, the clinical signs of influenza can include fever, a runny nose, coughing and sometimes nausea. People previously infected with influenza from pigs generally report mild symptoms, much like seasonal flu. However, people most threatened by serious complications to influenza A virus infections are children under 5, older adults, pregnant women and individuals with weakened immune systems.“People don’t tend to think these animals might have something, or that people might have something they can give to the pigs. They think, ‘This is my chance to see a pig,’ and they go charging into the barns,” Bowman said.In a 2012 study of 40 Ohio agricultural fairs, Bowman and his team found 10 with H3N2-infected pigs, and at the majority of fairs with infected swine, people also caught the flu.Agricultural fairs vary in prevention measures taken to keep people and pigs safe and in how well the public heeds the warnings, Bowman pointed out.His staff watched people as they exited the pig barns and recorded whether they washed their hands. Most fairs in Bowman’s multi-state study provide hand wash stations outside the animal barns, but they were used, on average, by less than 10 percent of visitors, he said.Bowman found that it’s not unusual for people showing pigs to sleep and eat in the barns with their animals, sometimes for several days, conditions that make it easy for flu, if present, to spread among people and animals. Also, keeping pigs at a county fair for more than three days puts the pigs at greater risk of catching a flu because they mingle, so illnesses can spread quickly.But encouraging people to change a longtime tradition of pigs staying at the fair for a week or people sleeping or eating in the barn with their animals is tough, Bowman said.“It’s like trying to change the rotation of the earth,” he said.Influenza A virus infections in pigs may seem inconsequential to those who aren’t especially vulnerable, but whenever a flu transitions from infecting only animals to infecting people, that can be problematic, Bowman said. Each time a new influenza A virus has emerged and spread around the world with most people not having immunity, it came from animals.One focus of Bowman’s research, he said, is to come up with scientific data “so that we can make evidence-based decisions about how to have agricultural fairs in a way that’s safe and still fun, just by doing things a little differently.”Every year, Bowman shares his test results with the participating fairs, as well as state and national animal and public health officials. His research is primarily funded through a contract with the St. Jude Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance with funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.Bowman advises fair goers to wash their hands after being in contact with animals, avoid eating, drinking or sleeping in the animal areas, and refrain from taking toys, baby bottles, strollers or similar items into the barns.Eating pork, as long it has been properly cooked, cannot cause someone to catch the influenza A virus.“Go ahead and enjoy a giant pork tenderloin or my favorite, a pork chop sandwich,” Bowman said. “Just don’t eat your treat in the barn.”
It’s that time of year when heating systems start coming out of their summer hibernation. (Except maybe in Vermont. Michael Blasnik’s Nest data showed that Vermonters are about the last to start heating their homes in the fall.) Then everyone starts looking for their lotion and lip balm. Gaps appear in hardwood flooring as it dries out. Buildings begin to creak and pop. And then the humidifiers come out.Yes, humidifiers can help with low indoor humidity. But what effect might they have on indoor air quality?Why does indoor air get so dry in winter?We’ve been through this before. I wrote about it in A Humidifier Is a Bandaid back in 2013. Shortly afterward, a certain manufacturer of humidifiers called and left me a nasty voicemail. I didn’t save it, but the gist was, “You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Call me back so I can yell at you.” I didn’t call back.OK, let’s go through it quickly.Low temperatures mean less water vapor in air.When outdoor air comes into a building, it gets heated up.When air with little water vapor comes in and gets heated up, it can end up with a really low relative humidity (RH).I proved this with the psychrometric chart in the bandaid article. There’s no disputing it.How does that cold, dry air get into a home? For most homes, it comes in through infiltration. Most homes leak. A lot. When they leak, heated air with decent humidity leaves the building. Cold, dry air enters. The humidity goes down. The lotion comes out. The humidifier gets turned on. A better solution is to reduce the infiltration with air sealing. The ideal range for relative humidityThis is the part that confuses a lot of people. If you go online, you can find all kinds of recommendations for what the relative humidity should be inside a home. Some say 30-50% RH. Others, including the creators of the chart shown in Image #2 below, say that you should keep it between 40% and 60%.That chart is a really interesting one. It shows some of the problems that develop when the relative humidity goes toward the extremes on either end. Also, it’s important to note that its focus is purely on health effects. Even more important, this chart is focusing on the relative humidity in the middle of a room. What happens near surfaces can be very different.The ideal humidity for winterAgain, this isn’t new ground. Earlier this year I wrote an article on the best relative humidity for winter. The short answer is that when you look at recommended RH ranges, you want to shoot for the high end in summer (staying below 60%) and the low end in winter.In an article titled, What You Need to Know About Mold, Joe Lstiburek, Nathan Yost, and Terry Brennan wrote, “There is rarely a reason to use a humidifier if the RH is above 25%.” This is more true in cold climates than in warmer climates for reasons explained below.Why? Because you don’t want to get frost on your ceiling or condensation on your windows. More about that in the next section.Humidity and indoor air quality in winterIn winter, it’s cold outside. In Florida, the temperature can drop down into the 60s or even the 50s Fahrenheit. In Vermont, subtract a hundred degrees. In Canada, they get down to -40° FC sometimes. (You can write it FC because at -40°, the Fahrenheit and Celsius temperatures are equal. Or you can say the FC stands for something else. Either way, it’s just really cold.)When it’s cold outside, some parts of the building enclosure will be cold. Some of those parts will even be able to “see” that indoor air with all its water vapor. Let’s say you have a ceiling where some of the insulation above has gotten disturbed. That part of the ceiling will be cold. Water vapor likes cold surfaces. It starts sticking to the cold places. If enough sticks, you start growing stuff. In Image #3 below, you can see mold on the ceiling. This house is in Georgia, and the mold grew in winter. Why? The humidity was too high and it found the cold surfaces. This was only one of them. (In this case, the homeowner was running a different kind of humidifier: unvented gas space heaters.)In that house, the mold was visible because it was on the ceiling. But it can grow in places where you don’t see it so easily, too. If you’re keeping the humidity high to save on lotion and lip balm, you may be growing mold in a number of hidden places. Take a look behind the furniture on your exterior walls. It could also be in the closets. Or it could be in that most hidden of places, inside your walls.Of course, there’s another way that humidifier could be growing mold. If it’s attached to your central heating system, like the one in the photo above, it sprays water into the heated air. That warm, moist air then travels through the ducts. Where are your ducts? If they’re in unconditioned spaces like an attic or crawl space and if they aren’t insulated well — or at all — that moist air may find the cold surfaces it so desires. As a result, you may well be growing mold inside your ducts. This really happens. It’s not hypothetical.When you crank up the humidifier in winter, you may well be growing mold in your home. You don’t really want to do that, do you?Relative humidity recommendationsGeneral recommendations for the ideal range of relative humidity are all well and good, but you’ve got to understand what can happen if your humidity is too high. Here’s a better list of recommendations for dealing with low humidity in winter.Infiltration is the source of dry air in most homes. Air sealing is the solution.Water vapor likes cold surfaces. For surfaces in contact with your indoor air, use insulation and air sealing to keep them warmer. As long as the temperatures of those surfaces stay above the dew point of the indoor air, you shouldn’t have a mold problem.Shoot for different parts of that range in different seasons: the low end in winter, the high end in summer.If your indoor relative humidity is above 25%, you don’t need to use a humidifier. If it’s below 25% RH, don’t humidify to higher than about 35%.What spurred this article was something Joe Lstiburek said last week at the Experts’ Session. Discussing walls in cold climates, he said, “It’s totally unhealthy to put in a humidifier.” If you have a house with a good building enclosure (airtight and well insulated), your indoor humidity should be fine without having to resort to a humidifier. If your enclosure isn’t so good, do what you can to improve it before doing something that could have a negative impact on your indoor air quality.Extending that earlier metaphor a bit, if a humidifier is a bandaid, in some cases it might be a used bandaid. It may give the appearance of making things better — but who knows what kind of infection you’re introducing? Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. RELATED ARTICLESWhat Is the Ideal Relative Humidity in Winter?How to Use the Psychrometric ChartAll About Indoor Air Quality Understanding Indoor Air QualityPreventing Water Entry Into a HomeAll About DehumidifiersDehumidifiersDesigning a Good Ventilation SystemVentilation Rates and Human HealthHow Much Fresh Air Does Your Home Need?
Beau Belga led Rain or Shine with 17 points and five rebounds, while Ed Daquioag got 16 markers as both came off the bench.The scores:GINEBRA 88 — Tenorio 16, Devance 15, J. Aguilar 14, Thompson 14, Mercado 13, Ferrer 6, Mariano 6, Cruz 4, R. Aguilar 0, Caguioa 0.RAIN OR SHINE 80 — Belga 17, Daquioag 16, Ahanmisi 10, Ponferrada 9, Nambatac 8, Trollano 6, Washington 5, Norwood 4, Tiu 3, Maiquez 2, Almazan 0, Borboran 0.Quarters: 21-23, 44-43, 68-64, 88-80. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Joe Devance wanted no part of any overtime periods this time out as he helped Ginebra to an 88-80 Game 1 win over Rain or Shine in their 2018 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals duel Monday at Mall of Asia Arena.The 36-year-old forward triggered a telling 12-0 run in the middle of the payoff period that turned a close 70-69 Gin Kings lead to a decisive 82-69 advantage, capped off by a Sol Mercado trey with 4:49 to play.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Alaska’s Abueva vows to get back at NLEX in Game 2 Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus LATEST STORIES Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Tenorio unloaded 16 markers on a 4-of-9 shooting from downtown, to go with four boards and three assists, while Scottie Thompson flirted with a triple-double with 14 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists.Japeth Aguilar also had 14 markers, nine boards, four dimes, and four blocks for the Gin Kings, who outlasted the Painters in triple overtime, 100-92 on Friday.For Cone, the tough Game 1 was a perfect example of how hard the games are in the playoffs.“It wasn’t a pretty game, but playoffs aren’t pretty. Let’s put our heads together and bang them, let’s see who can stand up, and that’s what we did tonight.”Game 2 is on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Ed Daquioag and Don Trollano tried to keep the Elasto Painters within striking distance, chopping the deficit down to six, 84-78, in the final 1:49, but Devance was there to clean up Japeth Aguilar’s miss, 86-78, with 1:22 remaining.LA Tenorio iced the victory from the charity stripe as he canned his freebies with 46.2 ticks left.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Luckily, we had that stretch where we stretched in the lead in the fourth quarter and hung on,” said a relieved coach Tim Cone as Ginebra.Devance posted 15 points, four rebounds and five assists to lead his side in only his third game back from a foot injury. Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments
Zaheer Khan gave India a promising start dismissing Kiwi opener Brendon McCullum in the second ball of the innings after skipper Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to bowl third One-day International at Reliance Stadium in Vadodara on Saturday. Live scoreMartin Guptill too did not last long and was run out in the fifth over.India have made two changes to their side with paceman Zaheer Khan coming in place of S Sreesanth and Ravindra Jadeja taking place of Suresh Raina.New Zealand line-up has been bolstered by comeback man Brendon McCullum, who takes place of indisposed Jamie How.Paceman James Franklin replaces Tim Southee.India are 2-0 up in the five-match series.Teams:India: Gautam Gambhir (C), Murali Vijay, V Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel and Zaheer KhanNew Zealand: Daniel Vettori (C), Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Kane Williamson, Gareth Hopkins?, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Andy McKay and James Franklin.- With PTI inputs
Following last weekend’s training camp in Queensland, Australian Women’s Open player, Marikki Watego tells us about how the camp went, what the team got up to and how the team is feeling in the lead up to the 2013 Trans Tasman Series.It was the last but definitely one of the most important events on what has been a jam-packed year for Touch Footy; the Open Women’s training camp. In preparation for the Super Trans Tasman Series in 2013, any chance for the team to get together, train and bond as a team, I think is a vital component to walking away with the series in two months’ time. Following my debut in the Trans Tasman series in Mudgee, it was evident that the Kiwis gave us a run for our money and ambushed us with a new hybrid Kiwi-Aussie style of Touch and all credit to them for a competitive series. However, I think in 2013 the Kiwis will face a more finely-oiled machine that is the Australian Open Women’s team. The camp last weekend was only a routine service for this machine to ensure it will be ready for game day come February 2013. The camp kicked off on Saturday 15th in Brisbane with both the Open Women’s and Under 20’s Women’s training at Ballymore. In typical Queensland fashion the weather was as hot as it gets. Most of us lathered up on the sunscreen, some of us not knowing that finger painting it on your face won’t be terribly useful hey Emilee Cherry? But then again, at least Chez wasn’t sporting a ‘Louise Winchester’ singlet tan by the end of the weekend. After a quick welcome by Belly and introduction to Marto our new manager, we went for warm up. Marto’s warm up was awesome because this kept Oz in check from trying to make us run a cross country before stretches. Karley Banks then took us for some drills, she often suggested watching Dylan Thompson for a few pointers. Sooo Dyl, looks like Touch vids of you will be copping some YouTube hits. The day went pretty quick after that, thanks to a super organised coaching staff who catered to our every need, whether that be a cold sweat towel on the neck, icy cold water in our water bottles and even lunch ready on demand. Our last task for the day was a game against the very skillful Under 20’s Women. The heat, and the fact that there were a lot of sore bodies (from a massive year of Touch) on both teams made the game very tough. They tested every facet of our game and I think it was a great demonstration of mind over matter from our team to play as if none of the external factors had any influence on the task at hand. It was definitely a tiring day but the fun was yet to come. The two day camp was to continue on the Sunshine Coast at Belly’s house which I would like to name ‘Bell Manor’. After a little trek up the coast we finally arrived on the coast and were guided through ‘Bell Manor’ like an episode of MTV Cribs. 14 women and one man in a mansion was a great recipe for team bonding (nothing suss)! The rest of the afternoon was very cruisy but team bonding was at its finest by the end of the night. El capitano Squeeze and the experienced Pete Rogerson were very instrumental in establishing this great time of bonding with some great moments caught on camera. Mrs Hennessey may need to see a professional hairdresser to rectify a little mishap to her lovely locks of hair over the weekend. Sunday was as hot as the day before but ‘Bell Manor’ had some more surprises up its sleeve consisting of kayaking in a bull shark infested canal which was always fun. After the stint of kayaking it was back to business and time to train. We headed off to Belly’s school and trained until midday where the camp concluded. Over all it was a great camp to catch up with the girls, re-run through our game plan and confirm that we were all on the same page. With Belly being happy at where we are at, I think that it’s safe to say we are well on the way to being in peak condition for February 2013. Lastly I would like to say thanks to the TFA High Performance team, Cathy and Wayne for your efforts. A big thank you to Belly and Belly’s family for evacuating the family home to allow for us to stay and also Hayley Rogerson for accommodating some of the girls. Thanks to the guys and girls who came out to give us a run on the Sunny Coast as well. And lastly to Marto, Karley and Belly for such a well organised camp! Related LinksCamp Diary – Marikki Watego
For more information on #shiftintowinter; CLICK HERE DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Argo Road Maintenence Road Contractor is reminding drivers to slow down as the snow has arrived.Tweeted on Thursday, September 26th, 2019, Argo posted, slow down and adjust your driving speeds according to the weather conditions.Argo’s twitter feed has posted shoulder gravelling has started along the John Hart Hwy (BCHwy 97S) near Fabric Road today and tomorrow. Traffic will be single lane and to expect minor delays.
Itanagar: The Congress will restore special category status to all states of the Northeast if voted to power at the Centre, party president Rahul Gandhi said Tuesday, reaching out to the electors of the region where it is a sensitive issue.He also accused the BJP of trying to destroy the social and cultural ethos of the people of the Northeast by imposing on them the “RSS ideology”. Addressing a Congress rally in the run up to the Lok Sabha and Arunachal Pradesh assembly polls to be held simultaneously, Gandhi sought to appeal to the regional sentiments, saying his party will never “attack the language, culture, customs and traditions” of the Northeastern states. “The people of the region are close to Congress’s heart. The Congress has always worked for the development of the region. My party, if voted to power, will restore the special category status to Arunachal Pradesh and other states in the Northeast,” he told a well attended rally at Indira Park here. The Congress party’s last standing citadel in the Northeast fell in November last year when BJP ally Mizo National Front stormed to power in the state. There are some states which require special status because of their “unique problems and difficulties” such as connectivity, terrain and infrastructure, he said. Gandhi said these states had special status when the Congress helmed the central government. The Congress president called Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP’s slogan of “Congress mukt Bharat” an expression of “hatred” towards the main opposition party. “However, the Congress being a secular party would not even want the BJP finished,” he said. Accusing the BJP-led central government of imposing “RSS ideology” across the country, including the Northeast, Gandhi alleged ineligible people with Sangh family background were appointed as vice chancellors. Touching upon yest another sensitive issue of Citizenship (amendmdent) Bill, Gandhi said his party will never allow it to be passed by Parliament as it is detrimental to the people of the region. “We will not allow the suppression of the people of the Northeast,” he asserted. “After the NDA government came to power, the Planning Commission, which was set up for meticulously planned development, keeping in mind the special requirements of the region, was replaced with Niti Aayog. “Earlier, all schemes for northeastern states were planned in due consultation with the respective state governments, but now all planning is done in Delhi,” he added. Noting that Arunachal Pradesh has a special place in the Congress’s scheme of things, Gandhi said his party wants a “bonding of hearts” with the people of the northeastern state. The Congress leader promised his party will give a fresh impetus to infrastructure development in Arunachal Pradesh if voted to power. He also pledged to revive the Special Plan Assistance (SPA) scheme and North East Industrial Policy for giving a boost to the region’s economy. Reaffirming the Congress’s commitment to providing ‘Guaranteed Minimum Income’ to every citizen, Gandhi claimed that instead of giving loans to the unemployed youth of Arunachal Pradesh, the Modi government wrote off the Rs 3.5 lakh crore debt of a handful of industrialists. He dubbed as a “blantant lie” the BJP’s promise of creating two crore jobs a year. “Instead, there are more than two crore unemployed youth now,” he said.