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Monday, May 2, 2011

11-Year-Old Visually Challenged Boy Becomes Tamil Channel News Anchor

Close on the heels of introducing a transgender as a new anchor, city-headquartered Tamil channel Lotus News today presented a visually challenged boy as a news reader, claiming it was the first in the world.

Eleven-year-old Sriramanujam, born blind at birth, read the special news live with the help of Braille for 22 minutes, while his anxious teary-eyed parents watched.

The news he read included the follow up of the Nepal earthquake and the Mahinda Rajapaksa trial.

Channel Chairman, GKS Selvakumar told PTI that the main purpose of introducing the visually handicapped boy was to promote and create awareness on eye donation among the public,

"So that such talented people get their vision back and achieve their goals."

At present he has been tasked with reading special newseekly and after some time, Sriramanujam would become a permanent daily news reader, he said.

Sriramanujam said being blind, he wanted to achieve something in life and chose the TV medium, so that many people could see him reading the news.

A fifth standard student of Government School at Uliyampalayam on the outskirts of the city, Sriramanujam, hailing from Palani, said he went through these news items six times before going live.

"I was scared in the first two minutes but then it was business and I read it fluently," he said.

Asked what his ambition was, he said he wants to become a Collector.

England Faces Major Rise in Record Hot Years Due to Climate Change

Record-breaking hot years in England have become at least 13 times more likely because of man-made climate change, scientists have discovered.

The new study suggests England faces a “significant and substantial increase” of years similar to 2014, which was the hottest on record worldwide and the warmest in England since records began more than three and a half centuries ago.

Dr Geert Jan van Oldenborgh from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, who co-authored the study, said climate change had become so influential on the world’s weather that its effects could be modelled at increasingly local levels.

“Climate change has become so strong over the last 10 to 15 years that you can really sense it now on the local level. Fifteen years ago you could only really see it if you looked at the global mean temperature. And now any old thermometer can show you that the temperatures are increasing,” he said.

The international team used computer models to compare years of natural variation with years with the current level of manmade warming. Lead author Dr Andrew King, from the University of Melbourne, said larger scale continental or global modelling tended to iron out regional variabilities.

“As a result of this low variability, it is easier to spot anomalies. This is why larger regions tend to produce stronger attribution statements, so it is remarkable that we get such a clear anthropogenic influence on temperatures in a relatively small area across central England,” he said.

Central England has the world’s longest running temperature record, dating back to 1659. Van Oldenborgh said the changes observed by weather watchers over the last 356 years matched closely with the findings of the models. He said the 13-fold increase was at the lowest end of predictions and the increase was realistically higher.

The first quarter of this year has already been warm globally, smashing all previous records just months before governments meet in Paris at the end of the year for major UN climate summit.


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