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- The Election Commission (EC) gave clearance to the broadcast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Man Ki Baat on the condition that it should not have an impact on the elections in the five poll-bound States. The EC, in its letter to the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, said there should be nothing in the address — to be aired on Sunday — that might act as inducement to voters. The government had written to the EC on January 20, seeking clearance in view of the Model Code of Conduct in the five States.
- In a development that has left the Karnataka Congress stunned, veteran leader and former Chief Minister of Karnataka S.M. Krishna has decided to quit the Congress, apparently unhappy over him being “sidelined” by the Siddaramaiah government.
- U.S. President Donald Trump has banned people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the nation for 90 days and suspended admission of refugees for 120 days through an executive order. The order has also indefinitely barred refugees from Syria. U.S. immigration authorities have started detaining travellers from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, and all refugees, though the order allowed exemption for those who were already in transit.
- Scientists from NASA have found that space travel may alter gene expression. The study involved astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent a year in space, and his identical twin Mark who stayed on Earth. The changes that are likely attributable to Scott’s time in orbit include alterations to gene expression, DNA methylation and other biological markers.
- The search for physics beyond the Standard Model which until now has explained all interactions between the elementary particles, is an important area of research. Now, there is evidence that the Standard Model is not a complete description of the microscopic world of elementary particles. Scientists at Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Chennai, have come up with a calculation based on the observations made at the LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty) experiment at CERN, which shows definitively that in a specific interaction, the standard model predictions are violated and there is indirect evidence of new physics.