Explained snippets: More Amarnath yatris than last year, but short of 2013-15 peakhttps://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-snippets-more-amarnath-yatris-than-last-year-but-short-of-2013-15-peak-5325951/

Explained snippets: More Amarnath yatris than last year, but short of 2013-15 peak

While the total number of pilgrims until Friday was already higher that last year’s 2,60,003 — this year’s count took 33 days to cross the 2017 total (40 days) — the years between 2013 and 2015 had a much higher number of pilgrims, with a peak of 3,72,909 in 2014.

Explained snippets: More Amarnath yatris than last year, but short of 2013-15 peak
The 60-day Amarnath Yatra is scheduled to end Sunday. (Photo: Praveen Khanna)

Until Friday evening, 2,84,332 Amarnath Yatra pilgrims had paid obeisance at the shrine, according to figures posted on the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board website. The 60-day Yatra is scheduled to end Sunday. With no pilgrim having reached or left the base camp in Jammu Saturday, a batch that left Friday (137 pilgrims) is being treated as the last batch from Jammu to Kashmir, a PTI report quoted officials as saying.

From the Kashmir base camps, 162 pilgrims left for the shrine along two routes Saturday morning.

From the Kashmir base camps, 162 pilgrims left for the shrine along two routes Saturday morning. While the total number of pilgrims until Friday was already higher that last year’s 2,60,003 — this year’s count took 33 days to cross the 2017 total (40 days) — the years between 2013 and 2015 had a much higher number of pilgrims, with a peak of 3,72,909 in 2014.

Tip for Reading List–One More Trump Story

Back in 2004, when George W Bush was US President, investigative journalist Craig Unger published House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World’s Two Most Powerful Dynasties, pitched as an “uncover[ing of] the thirty-year relationship” and “its impact on American foreign policy, business, and national security”. Unger wondered how, just “two days after 9/11… 140 Saudis, many immediate kin to Osama Bin Laden, were permitted to leave the country without being questioned by US intelligence” — and found the explanation “in a hidden relationship that began in the 1970s, when the oil-rich House of Saud began courting American politicians in a bid for military protection, influence, and investment opportunity”. With the Bushes, he wrote, “the Saudis hit a gusher — direct access to Presidents Reagan, George H W Bush, and George W Bush”.

Unger has now returned with a new book on a similar theme, with a similar name — this time involving the current President and his counterpart in Russia, Vladimir Putin. House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia claims to carry out “the first comprehensive investigation into the decades-long relationship… that ultimately helped win Trump the White House”, and to tell “a chilling story that begins in the 1970s, when Trump made his first splash in the booming, money-drenched world of New York real estate, and ends with his inauguration as President… the culmination of Russia’s long mission to undermine Western democracy, a mission that began more than 30 years ago when the Russian Mafia first targeted Trump properties to launder money, and led to Putin’s oligarchs and Mafia kingpins rescuing Trump from a string of sensational bankruptcies”.

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However, as several reviews have pointed out, large parts of the book appear to be based on secondary sources, new information is not enormous, and Unger underdelivers on his promise to tell an “untold story”. Says The Guardian, “Expecting any author to come up with the definitive story on Trump and Russia at this stage is unrealistic. This is a highly competent collation of what we already know. But that only serves as a reminder of just how numerous and troubling those links are.”

This Word Means–Yolk sac retention

One of the factors that caused death of newborn penguin at Mumbai zoo. How does it affects chicks?

The first penguin born in India died recently, a week after birth at Mumbai’s Byculla Zoo. A postmortem identified the cause of death as anomalies including a dysfunctional liver and “yolk sac retention”. The latter condition is a failure to absorb yolk, and is common among newly hatched chicks of various bird species. The disease usually occurs within days of birth and is caused by bacterial infection of the navel and the yolk sac, which is a membranous sac attached to the embryo. The yolk sac supplies food material to the embryo. While most healthy chicks absorb the yolk sac just before hatching, others are born with part of the sac unabsorbed. Symptoms shown by affected chicks include loss of appetite; Byculla Zoo authorities have said that the penguin chick had appeared to have stopped feeding.

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