Fresh trial for doc who helped trace Osama

The 33-year jail term given to Shakeel Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA track Osama Bin Laden, was on Thursday overturned by an official who ordered a fresh trial. Frontier Crimes Regulation Commissioner Sahibzada Mohammad Anees ruled that a judge in the tribal belt had exceeded his authority when he handed down the sentence last year and ordered a fresh trial. Anees also handed over Afridi’s case to the political agent of Khyber Agency. He said that Afridi could only be released when the political agent gives the orders for his release.

Afridi, in his forties, has been sentenced to 33 years in jail on May 24, 2012 on a charge of aiding the banned Lashkar-e-Islam militant group. The verdict was issued by the assistant political agent, who also has judicial powers. He was also accused of conducting a fake vaccination campaign on behalf of the CIA in Abbottabad as part of their efforts to trace bin Laden. The Al Qaeda chief was killed in an unilateral US military raid in the garrison town in May 2011, sending bilateral relations into a tailspin and embarrassing Pakistan’s powerful military.

The US has been pressuring Pakistan to release Afridi and the matter is said to have been raised during Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent visit to Islamabad.

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A sperm bank to recreate animals on other planets

Japanese scientists have launched a sperm bank for endangered animals that uses freeze-drying technology they hope could one day help humans recreate animal populations on other planets, the chief researcher said. The team at Kyoto University’s Institute of Laboratory Animals Graduate School of Medicine successfully preserved sperm taken from two endangered primates and a type of giraffe, associate professor Takehito Kaneko said.

They mixed the sperm with special preservation liquid and freeze-dried it in a way that allows them to store it at just 4 degree Celsius, Kaneko said. The temperature much higher than conventional ways of storing sperm. Kaneko and his team have previously successfully freeze-dried sperm from rats and mice without the use of bulky liquid nitrogen equipment, and were able to prove the viability of the spermatozoa up to five years later.

“In this way, the scientists will be able to obtain genetic information more easily, which means we could help to preserve endangered animal species,” Kaneko said. Kaneko is quick to point out that there is presently no human application for the technology, but adds it is an avenue that may be explored in the future. “This may sound like a dream, but we could in the future take genetic information into space,” he said, adding it may allow for the transfer of material to help establish animal populations on future colonies.

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Looking for outdoor accessories for your home?

Home is where peace is, and home is where we all spend most of the time. Recently, I had been to my friend’s home and it was a newly built home. It was built spectacularly and one thing that struck me was the outdoor fountain! Yes, my friend has set up an outdoor fountain which looked spectacular. The fountain was a perfect fit to his new home and it was set up right opposite to the entrance of the home. It was really awesome and I had no words to express the beauty. I immediately decided that I need to buy one for my home as well, as there was sufficient space in front of my home.

So I inquired with my friend about the outdoor fountain and he guided me to an online store where they had exquisite collection of outdoor fountains for display. I had a look at them and they were indeed marvelous. So if any of you are looking for outdoor fountains, take a look at cast stone fountains for a wide range of outdoor fountains. You may even call up 1-888-839-3597 should you need telephonic assistance, anytime. Happy weekend ahead!

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