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Tuesday
January 2019
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News Headlines
Full dress rehearsal for Republic Day Parade on Wednesday, traffic restrictions to be in place        Jaitey calls Congress remarks on EVM hacking "lie and garbage"        China''s economy slumps to 28 year low to 6.6 per cent in 2018        Venezuela military group calls in video for not recognizing Maduro        First Indian-American Senator Kamala Harris announces her 2020 US presidential bid        Ross Taylor praises Kohli''s batting prowess ahead of limited-overs series        Halep sent home but Djokovic, Williams headed to the Australian Open quarter-finals        Boo - The World's Cutest dog dies        PM condoles demise of Lingayat seer        CJI recuses from hearing plea challenging Rao's appointment as interim CBI chief        Ankita wins first singles title of 2019 season in Singapore        Kohli is greatest ODI batsman to have played the game: Clarke        Minister says UK faces 'political tsunami' if Brexit halted        Mumbai TDS office issued prosecution notices in 50 ''big'' cases in past one month: CBDT        UK police speak to 97-year-old Prince Philip for not wearing seat belt        Trump offers protection to undocumented immigrants in exchange of border wall funding        Cong must be large-hearted for allies, best equipped to lead alliance against BJP: Tejashwi        BJP MLA apologises for objectionable remarks on Mayawati        Mahagathbandhan an alliance of corruption, negativity: PM        Can''t become pawns in the hands of corporate giants: Sitharaman on Rafale        
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International News
"World's Oldest Woman" Died At 122. She Lied About Age, Says Researcher
 
(Moscow, Jan06, 2019): Jeanne Calment died in 1997 in the southern French town in which she was born, and her death drew a flurry of attention.

At 122, an age that had been certified by the Guinness World Records as well as public health researchers, she was the oldest documented person to ever have lived.

But a Russian mathematician is casting doubt on her record. Nikolay Zak, of the Moscow Center For Continuous Mathematical Education, said in a report that he believes that Calment was actually Yvonne Calment, Jeanne's daughter, who had assumed her mother's identity to avoid inheritance taxes in the 1930s. That would have made her 99 when she died.

The evidence produced by Zak in a paper published recently on the portal ResearchGate is not definitive.

He points to studies that showed that Calment had lost less than an inch of her height by the time she was well into her hundreds, significantly less than what would have been expected; Yvonne was also taller than Jeanne, he says. A passport for Jeanne in the 1930s lists different eye colors for her than she had later in life. And he raises questions about other physical discrepancies in her forehead and chin. He also claims that Calment had destroyed photographs and other family documents when she had been requested to send them to the archives in Arles.

The study has caused a global stir since it was issued. It has been covered by news media organizations around the world. Sample headline: "Jeanne Calment cheater?" France Inter radio asked.

But it has been denounced by some scientists, including the Jean-Marie Robine, who validated Calment's age and wrote a book about her around the time of her death.

"All of this is incredibly shaky and rests on nothing," Robine told Le Parisien.

According to Smithsonian magazine, he said Jeanne answered questions when he interviewed her that only she would have known the answer to, like the name of her math teacher and housekeepers in her building at the time.

"Her daughter couldn't have known that," he said. And he said that the whole town of Arles would have been in on the ruse.

"Can you imagine how many people would have lied? Overnight, Fernand Calment [Jeanne's husband] would have passed his daughter for his wife and everyone would have kept silent?" Robine said. "It is staggering."

Michel Vauzelle, who was the mayor of Arles when Calment died, has said the Russians' theory is "completely impossible and ridiculous."

Nicolas Brouard, research director at France's National Demographics Studies Institute said that there are some in the research community who do "favour of exhuming the bodies of Jeanne and Yvonne Calment" because of Zak's study, according to French public radio broadcaster RFI. He also said that DNA testing could settle the debate.

In an email, Zak told the Washington Post that he became convinced that Calment's age was suspicious in February while studying mortality patterns of people older then 105.

He said he started to investigate her life in September.

"I funded the work myself, it was a fascinating detective story in front of me," he said. "Those who criticize my work heavily are those who have a huge conflict of interest or those who didn't read it."

He called critics of his report "dishonest," and released a document where he sought to rebut their rebuttals point by point.

Still, he admitted to Reuters that he does not have "cast-iron proof."

"I reviewed the whole situation," he said. "There are lots of small pieces of evidence."

Guinness World Records said that it was aware of the report.

"Extensive research is performed for every oldest person record title we verify, which is led by experts in the gerontology field, and they have been notified of the current situation," it said in a statement distributed by spokeswoman Rachel Gluck.

Robine did not respond to a request for comment.

A Washington Post story about Calment's 120th birthday describes the broad contours of her life. She was born in Arles, in southern France, on Feb. 21, 1875, before the invention of the lightbulb. She grew up to marry Fernand Calment at 21.

"She dabbled in painting, played the piano in her parlor, rode her bicycle around town, hiked and hunted," reporter Dana Thomas wrote, buoyed by the success of her husband's fabric shop.

She said she met Vincent van Gogh as a teacher when he came to Arles to paint in 1888, saying she found him "very ugly, ungracious, impolite, sick."

"Pardon me, but we called him 'the madman.'" she said. She outlived much of her family. Yvonne died at 36 of pleurisy, Thomas wrote. Fernand died in 1942 at the age of 72 from eating tainted cherries. And her only grandchild, Frederic was killed in a car accident at 36 in 1963.

Questions about age-related records are not uncommon. Shigechiyo Izumi, of Japan, was dubbed the world's oldest man when he died in 1986 at what was believed to be 120 years old. But research that came out later claimed that he was around 105. Others claiming ages as high as 125 and up have lacked the required documentation to prove their ages.

And the secrets of an exceptionally long life remain elusive. Obituaries about Calment noted that she was known for her love of chocolate - she reportedly ate two pounds a week - treated her skin with olive oil and rode a bicycle until she was 100. She had only quit her two cigarettes a day habit a few years before her death - not for health, but because she could no longer light her own cigarette without asking for help, the Washington Post wrote.

Under an obscure French system called viager, where a buyer purchases a home from an older person and begins paying its mortgage, and are only able to move in after they die, Calment had a man paying her mortgage for more than 30 years, The Post reported. She had signed the deal with him when she was 90.


Venezuela military group calls in video for not recognizing Maduro
First Indian-American Senator Kamala Harris announces her 2020 US presidential bid
Boo - The World's Cutest dog dies
UK police speak to 97-year-old Prince Philip for not wearing seat belt
Trump offers protection to undocumented immigrants in exchange of border wall funding
Mexican pipeline explosion kills 71, leaves nightmare of ash
President Trump cancels Speaker Pelosi''s foreign ''excursion'' amid government shutdown
US-led airstrikes kill 20 civilians in eastern Syria: state media
European Council President says discussed next steps on Brexit with May
Talks on possible 2nd Trump-Kim summit set for Washington
May Bashes Corbyn for Refusing to Join Dialogue on Brexit, Says Door Still Open
Death toll from Colombia car bomb climbs to 10
Top Taliban commander among 4 militants killed in Pakistan
UN chief hails 'historic' moment as Palestine takes over reins of G77
Ex Lankan prez Kumaratunga warns Sirisena against any alliance with Rajapaksa
Maduro Vows to Punish National Assembly for Breaking Law
Trump threatens to devastate Turkey if it hits US-backed Kurdish forces, Ankara hits back
Brexit: House of commons prepare for historic vote
China coal mining accident: Death toll rises to 21
Pompeo calls for ending Gulf dispute during Qatar visit
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Vaikom Vijayalekshmi ties knot with Anoop
 Vaikom: Playback singer Vaikom Vijayalekshmi has tied knot with Anoop N. at Vaikom Mahadeva temple.  
Mohanlal's Odiyan: Official trailer launched
Mammootty narrates Odiyan's intro?
Sradha Kapoor as Saina Nehwal: First look poster is out.
KERALA NEWS
Mineral sand mining: Talks fail, agitaion to continue
 (Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 17,2019):Conciliatory talks to end the agitation by locals against m
Kerala HC disqualifies Koduvally MLA
Kanakadurga attacked by mother-in-law
Five killes as car and bus collide at Kottarakkara
NATIONAL NEWS
Jaitey calls Congress remarks on EVM hacking "lie and garbage"
 (New Delhi, Jan 21,2019):Union Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Monday
PM condoles demise of Lingayat seer
CJI recuses from hearing plea challenging Rao's appointment as interim CBI chief
Cong must be large-hearted for allies, best equipped to lead alliance against BJP: Tejashwi
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