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India police say rats ate 200kg of seized cannabis

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Police in India have blamed rats for destroying nearly 200kg (440lbs) of cannabis seized from pedlars and kept in police stations.

“Rats are tiny animals and they have no fear of the police. It’s difficult to protect the drug from them,” a court in Uttar Pradesh state has said.

The court had asked the police to produce the stash as evidence in cases of drug peddling.

The judge cited three cases in which marijuana was destroyed by rodents.

Judge Sanjay Chaudhary said in an order that when the court asked the police to produce the seized drug as evidence, it was told that 195kg of cannabis had been “destroyed” by rats.

In another case involving 386kg of the drug, the police filed a report saying “some” of the cannabis was “eaten up by the rats”.

Judge Chaudhary said some 700kg of marijuana seized by the police was lying in police stations in Mathura district and that “all of it was under danger of infestation by rats”.

He said the police had no expertise in dealing with the matter as the rats were “too small”. The only way to protect the seized goods from “such fearless mice”, he added, was to auction the drugs to research labs and medicine firms, with the proceeds going to the government.

MP Singh, a senior police official of Mathura district, told reporters that some of the marijuana stored in police stations under his vicinity had been “damaged due to heavy rains” and not destroyed by rats.

In 2018, eight Argentinian police officers were fired after they blamed mice for the disappearance of half a ton of cannabis from a police warehouse. But experts disputed the claim, saying that the animals were unlikely to confuse the drug for food and “if a large group of mice had eaten it, a lot of corpses would have been found in the warehouse”.

A study published in 2019 found that when laboratory rats were given cannabis-laced dough, they “tended to become less active and their body temperature also was lowered”.

In 2017, police in the eastern state of Bihar had blamed rats for consuming thousands of litres of confiscated alcohol, a year after the state banned the sale and consumption of alcohol.

In 2018, technicians who arrived to fix a malfunctioning cash machine in the state of Assam found that currency notes worth more than 1.2m rupees ($14,691; £12,143) had been shredded – and the suspected culprits were rats.

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Alka Yagnik diagnosed with “rare sensory hearing loss

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Veteran Bollywood singer Alka Yagnik, who revealed that she has been diagnosed with a “rare sensory hearing loss” due to a viral attack, has suffered a type of hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways that transmit sound from the ear to the brain.

According to Dr Manish Munjal, Vice Chairman, ENT, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, sudden sensory hearing loss is a medical emergency as it can become irreversible if not aggressively treated in 48-72 hours.

“The centre of the problem is the inner ear organ called Cochlea, where it happens due to damage to the hair cells,” Munjal told IANS on Tuesday.

The causes may range from simple viruses like Herpes, Varicella, and Mumps or sudden loud exposure to noise levels above 85 decibel (dB).

Munjal also mentioned that this disorder may also result from more serious causes like painkiller overdose, chemotherapy, tumour compression, meningitis and stroke.

“The need of the hour is usually to rush to an ENT specialist to get the necessary ear examination done as well as get an audiometry test. Once diagnosed, the treatment may require a cocktail of antivirals, oral and intratympanic steroids, as well as rest from noisy environments,” he stated.

According to the doctor, once the treatment is initiated, the chances of recovery are usually 70 per cent and above.

The disorder affects only 1 per cent in bilateral ears as compared to single ear, Munjal noted.

(IANS)

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President apologizes over compulsory cremations during Covid-19 pandemic

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has apologized for making cremation compulsory during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“During this time there was a lot of pain, mainly felt not only by the Muslims, but also Hindus, Buddhists and Christians, I know who also prefer burial,” President Wickremesinghe said in Parliament.

He said that a committee appointed to look into the matter at the time had recommended cremation, a decision which was upheld by the Supreme Court as well. So, that had to be followed. There was no other alternative during that time, he said.

He assured that Sri Lanka will bring in a law that will allow the right of burial, right of cremation or gifting one’s body to medical institutions.

(Excerpts : dailymirror.lk)

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Postage stamp to be increased to Rs. 100 in July

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A proposal has been made to increase the price of an ordinary postage stamp to Rs. 100 by July, Mass Media Ministry Secretary Anusha Palpita said.

He told the Daily Mirror that the Postal Department is currently incurring an annual loss of Rs. 7,000 million.

“Last year, the loss was reduced to Rs. 3,200 million. However, with a salary increase for postal employees costing Rs. 2,800 million this year, the Postal Department’s loss will rise again to Rs. 7,000 million.” he said.

“If the losses continue to increase, it might reach Rs. 5 billion by 2025. Less than 1.5 million people use postage stamps, yet the entire country bears the burden of the Postal Department’s losses,” he added.

The price of a stamp was Rs. 15 until 2022, and the current price is Rs. 50.

“We are awaiting approval from the Treasury to raise the price of a postage stamp. This decision is necessary due to the ongoing losses of the Postal Department,” Palpita said.

(dailymirror.lk)

(This story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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