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Indian scientists protest congress speakers discrediting works of Newton, Einstein

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Indian scientists have protested about claims made at a local science conference that rubbish the work of some of the world’s greatest physicists and suggest modern breakthroughs such as in-vitro fertilization were in fact invented in ancient India.

In a lecture at the Indian Science Congress and posted on YouTube, one speaker, Kannan Jegathala Krishnan said Isaac Newton was wrong about gravity, Albert Einstein made a “big blunder” and questioned Stephen Hawking’s achievements.

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Another speaker, G. Nageswara Rao, a vice-chancellor at Andhra University in southern India, used stories from Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata as proof the people of ancient India had aircraft, test-tube babies and that stem-cell research “was done in this country thousands of years ago”.

While organizers of the congress have promised to make changes for next year’s event following the criticism, Soumitro Banerjee, a physics professor and general secretary of non-profit Breakthrough Science Society, told Reuters the comments lent respectability to absurd theories.

Scientists in Kolkata and five other cities carried placards and held silent demonstrations on Monday against the comments, he said.

“This is very harmful for the growth of scientific temper because these ideas are being propagated through the Science Congress which gives it a respectability,” said Dhruba Mukhopadhyay, a retired professor and the president of the BSS, said.

The conference’s organizer, the Indian Science Congress Association, will soon issue a statement condemning this episode, said Premendu P. Mathur, a general secretary at the body and a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.

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“From next year we have decided that all the people, even top scientists, who want to interact with anybody at the Science Congress, would be asked to submit their abstracts, not to deviate from their abstracts and we will place one of our members there as a moderator.”

The annual Indian Science Congress, which this year ran over five days at a university in northern Punjab state, ended on Monday.

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Alison Williams

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Colbert names Trump’s siege on DC the ‘Tinyman Square’ incident

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It wasn't quite Tiananmen Square, where a still-unknown number of Chinese protesters were murdered by the government in 1989, but it was the closest thing President Donald Trump managed to score this week.

After watching the footage of the military tear gas, beat and shoot at protesters so Trump could march from the presidential bunker to St. John's Church for the cameras.

"It was like Tiananmen Square," Colbert deemed. "Except, in Trump's case, Tinyman Square."

Trump claimed on "The Fox & Friends" that no one was tear-gassed, so it's unclear what was stinging people's eyes and making them cough, choke and tear up. The Park Police released a statement saying it wasn't tear gas. While the moment was captured on video from dozens of different camera angles, one protester actually grabbed a canister of Oleoresins Capiscum, or "OC," the gas that was used.

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Vladimir Putin must love watching the US fall apart: columnist

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New Yorker columnist Susan Glasser made the astute observation that if Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to destabilize the United States with the election of President Donald Trump, he's clearly achieved his objective.

It was reported in March that Russian intelligence services are working to incite violence using white supremacist groups to try and sow racial chaos in the United States ahead of the November election.

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Conservative columnist links all Republicans to the attack on Lafayette Square

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Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump decided to walk across Lafayette Square for a photo-op. To get there, however, it took an outright battle with mounted park police, police covered in body armor and rattled Secret Service members who had just rushed the president to the bunker several nights before. Armed with semi-automatic weapons and military gear, they staged a siege on Lafayette Square against unarmed hippies, woke whites and people of color, again, forced to fight for justice.

Writing for the Washington Post Wednesday, conservative columnist Max Boot attacked Attorney General Bill Barr, who accepted responsibility for demanding that demonstrators be tear-gassed, beaten and shot with rubber bullets. Like Bull Conor ordering fire hoses on students marching in Birmingham, Alabama, Barr's attack on Lafayette Square for a photo-op proved he is willing to do what it takes to stroke the fractured ego of a president forced to cower in a bunker.

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