July 2019

SC stays proceedings before Madras High Court in case against Tamil magazine

first_imgA bench headed by Justice S A Nazeer agreed to examine the Tamil Nadu government’s plea against the Madras High Court order staying proceedings against the magazine and its editor.On June 4, the Madras High Court granted interim relief to Nakkheeran editor R Gopal by staying proceedings against him in the case in a lower court.Gopal was arrested on October 9 last year under Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which relates to “assaulting President, Governor etc with intent to compel or restrain the exercise of any lawful power”, triggering a controversy.The case was filed on a complaint from the Raj Bhavan over publication of a series of articles in Nakkheeran related to a woman assistant professor of a private college who allegedly asked girl students to extend sexual favours to university officials in return for marks and money. Harish Salve: The lawyer who represented India in Kulbhushan Jadhav case By PTI |New Delhi | Published: July 12, 2019 2:11:58 pm SC rules: Rebel Karnataka MLAs can’t be compelled to participate in trust vote Related News Advertising Nakkheeran, tamil nadu governor, banwarilal purohit, madras high court, supreme court, tamil magazine nakkheeran, Indian Express news A bench headed by Justice S A Nazeer agreed to examine the Tamil Nadu government’s plea against the Madras High Court order staying proceedings against the magazine and its editor. (Source: File)The Supreme Court on Friday stayed further proceedings in the Madras High Court in a case against Tamil magazine Nakkheeran for publishing articles allegedly denigrating Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit. Karnataka crisis: SC verdict a moral victory for rebel MLAs, says Yeddyurappa 1 Comment(s)last_img read more

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Worldwide problem must reach out says UKs Minister of Loneliness

first_img Top News Advertising Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook 1 Comment(s) What about London and other big cities? Among the people surveyed by YouGov research, the urban-rural divide is skewed — 56 % in the cities feel lonely as compared to 44% elsewhere. Interestingly, the weekends trigger more loneliness, according to the research — a 15% spike.Loneliness isn’t an emotional experience, but it also affects health. “It’s comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and can lead to obesity and physical inactivity, and even coronary heart disease,” says Campaign to End Loneliness, an organisation whose job is self-evident. Fliers can be seen in inner grimy lanes in London and elsewhere: “Feeling lonely? Call this number”. At first glance, they look like an advertisement for a sex-chat line, but they turn out to be something else. Human voices in lonely times. Not just elderly people or the homeless, but migrants too have a hard time in settling down in a new country.“Nobody has an arrow over their heads that says I am lonely, it’s fellow citizens who have to be more perceptive and aware,” says Davies. “Ask people who you know may be lonely. Pick up the phone and talk to your friends and others. Don’t just text.”India may not be any better; probably no one has cared enough to research and analyse the situation, but at least the chai addas and mohalla talks offer someone to talk to. “We don’t have that here… that social experience, environment play a big part, of course, but I would dare say that loneliness is a world-wide phenomenon. Humanity as a whole needs to be friendlier with each other,” says Davies. The ministry came up after a commission on loneliness was established by an MP, Jo Cox, who was later killed in 2016. The work was carried on by Cox’s friend and Labour MP, Rachel Reeves, and another MP, Seema Kennedy. After the commission’s report, the Prime Minister set up a ministry headed by Tracey Couch, the first Minister of Loneliness, before she stepped down and Davies took over.However, while the government may have set up a ministry, it also took some measures that haven’t gone down too well. Critics point out that Theresa May’s government cut down funding for libraries, which have acted as social lifelines for solitary people, and many public libraries have shut down. The Sure Start programme, established in the 1990s by the Labour government to help infants from disadvantaged backgrounds before they joined schools, has also been affected by the cuts in spending. The ongoing cuts in social spending, critics fear, would lead to more loneliness.“Those is sensible criticism indeed, but some of these were difficult to sustain financially, and (there were) other challenges on the ground,” says Davies. “But we are trying our best, in rallying together voluntary groups, NGOs, community cares and trying to put our best foot forward in eradicating this loneliness scourge from our society.” Advertising NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home UK’s Minister of Loneliness, Minister of Loneliness in uk, minister Mims Davies, uk news, Loneliness worldwide problem, world news, Indian Express Minister of Loneliness Mims DaviesThere are nine million lonely people in the UK, four million of them old. A staggering statistic that propelled the UK government to name a Minister of Loneliness last year, a move that seemed straight out of the classic British political sitcom Yes Minister.center_img Written by Sriram Veera | London | Updated: July 7, 2019 7:25:13 am Best Of Express In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Perhaps, it’s that English philosophy of “stiff upper lip, keep calm and carry on” that is to be blamed. Asked about this, Minister of Loneliness Mims Davies says, “You have a point there. It’s our culture, where we are almost encouraged to keep ourselves to ourselves — don’t reveal any vulnerability in particular, lest it be misconstrued.”Last month, her ministry launched a programme, “Let’s talk loneliness”, to enable exactly that: encourage people to talk about their feelings and reach out to others. “Just a small hi, how do you do, can help,” says Davies. “The community, as it existed in the eras gone by, is breaking — and we need to do something to fill the gap.”Maggie, 48, is a resident of Southampton, a small town where nothing much seems to happen. She lives in a lovely, leafy suburb, Hedge End, where houses are almost submerged in shrubs, or so it feels. “Nothing much to do here if you are alone, but this is cheaper compared to London. Not many people to talk to and I go sit in the cafes, chat with the baristas, or anybody else — like you turned up now,” she says. At least she knows the people in the small neighbourhood.last_img read more

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Alnylam submits CTA application to MHRA to initiate Phase 12 study of

first_img Source:http://investors.alnylam.com/news-releases/news-release-details/alnylam-submits-clinical-trial-authorization-cta-application-aln Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 3 2018Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that it has submitted a Clinical Trial Authorization (CTA) application to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to initiate a Phase 1/2 study of ALN-AAT02, an investigational RNAi therapeutic targeting alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) for the treatment of AAT deficiency-associated liver disease (alpha-1 liver disease). ALN-AAT02 is Alnylam’s first investigational RNAi therapeutic utilizing the Company’s enhanced stabilization chemistry plus (ESC+) GalNAc-conjugate technology.”We are pleased to reignite our efforts to develop a treatment for alpha-1 liver disease, where there is high unmet need with liver transplantation as the only available treatment option,” said Thomas Hoock, Ph.D., Vice President, Program Lead for ALN-AAT02 at Alnylam. “We are also excited for ALN-AAT02 to enter the clinic as the first investigational RNAi therapeutic that will leverage the significant enhancements we have made to our GalNAc-siRNA conjugate platform. Pending feedback from the MHRA, we look forward to evaluating the safety, pharmacodynamics, and clinical activity of this molecule in a Phase 1/2 study in healthy volunteers and adults with alpha-1 liver disease, which we expect to initiate by year-end 2018.”​last_img read more

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Apples HomePod Set to Barge Into Hot Speaker Market

first_imgApple’s emphasis on high-quality audio could be a farsighted strategy.”Agent functionality is being built into everything, so there’s less and less of a need for a dedicated smart speaker to provide the functionality,” said Reticle’s Rubin. “That means you’re going to want to compete on the quality of the audio, which has far more margin potential, even though that’s a crowded space, too.”Even with a focus on audio hardware capabilities, the primary competitive ground for the HomePod lies in the functionality of Siri, suggested Jonathan Collins, research director at ABI Research.”Increasingly, it will be the depth and power of each smart home voice control platform that will determine their appeal and long-term success,” he told TechNewsWorld.One area where Siri may have an advantage over competitors is in language support. In an ABI study comparing Alexa, Google Assistant and others, Siri led the pack in multilanguage support, Collins noted. Smarter Siri Needed HomePod has a number of technologies that contribute to its high-quality audio. Through software, it can do real-time acoustic modeling, audio beam-forming and echo cancellation.It also supports spatial awareness — so wherever it’s placed in a room it tailors its sound for the best audio — and has a woofer designed by Apple to output deep, clean bass.The unit has six microphones and the ability to obey spoken commands even when loud music is playing.In addition to managing music, Siri can be used for a number of smart speaker tasks. It can send messages, set timers, play podcasts, and check for information on news, sports, weather and traffic.It also can control smart home devices that support Apple’s HomeKit SDK and messaging apps that support SiriKit.Later in the year, Apple plans to add multiroom support for the HomePod. That will allow commands issued in one room to be executed in other rooms containing HomePods. Advanced Audio Tech How does the HomePod stack up against the entrenched competitors in the market?”It is one of the best products on spec, but it is by far the most expensive as well,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.”The difficulty will be entering a market that is dominated by Amazon and largely exists under $200 with a product that is two to four times as expensive,” he told TechNewsWorld.Coming to the party late hasn’t hurt Apple in the past — consider the iPhone and iPad — but this time things may be different.”Apple was successful with the iPhone and iPad by redefining what a smartphone and tablet were,” Enderle explained. “This product is similar to what is already in a market defined by Amazon. So the mechanism for past success doesn’t seem evident.” Emphasis on Quality Siri’s performance on the HomePod is even more important than the audio quality of the device, maintained Bob O’Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research.”Apple has been highlighting the audio aspects of this, but at the end of the day, this really needs to be a good platform for Siri,” he told TechNewsWorld.”If the Siri experience isn’t much better than it is on an iPhone, people will be frustrated. I think that will be a significant challenge for the HomePod.”Siri’s performance needs to be topnotch, or people interested in audio quality likely will seek other solutions, O’Donnell said, noting that “there’s plenty of audio-focused solutions from traditional audio makers that Apple would be hard-pressed to improve upon.” center_img Farsighted Strategy Competitive Market The music knowledge of Siri, Apple’s intelligent agent, has expanded significantly, Apple noted. Among other things, Siri can learn someone’s musical preferences and tastes.Still, Apple may be handicapping the HomePod out of the box.”Apple is restricting Siri support for third-party applications, which may hamper growth of the product ecosystem and play as an advantage to competitors,” said Dina Abdelrazik, a research analyst with Parks Associates.Where voice commands are processed for the HomePod also could be a problem for the product, she noted.”Apple is shifting the processing of vocal commands away from the HomePod and onto an iOS device paired to the HomePod,” Abdelrazik told TechNewsWorld. “That opens up a realm of issues.”For example, will the product be restricted to iOS devices? And will problems arise if the iOS device paired with the speaker is not in close proximity to it? HomePod, Apple’s long-awaited entry into the torrid smart speaker market, will be available Feb. 9, the company announced Tuesday.The HomePod, which is not quite 7 inches tall, will be offered in white and space gray. It can be pre-ordered at Apple’s website for US$349 starting Friday.Unlike other smart speakers, which support a variety of music services out of the gate, HomePod will support the Apple Music subscription service exclusively.Although Apple Music has a catalog of 45 million songs, that limitation could curb initial sales of the product, noted Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research.”That puts something of a natural cap on it,” he told TechNewsWorld.On the other hand, “Apple doesn’t support any competing smart speakers with Apple Music,” Rubin pointed out, “so if you’re a subscriber to Apple Music, the HomePod is the best product to take advantage of that.” John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John.last_img read more

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Apple Squashes FaceTime Eavesdropping Bug

first_imgSky Not Falling Twitter is also where questions about Apple’s responsiveness to bug reports have been raised.”It has been alleged that this bug was reported days ago,” Sudo’s Strafach explained.”My hope is that this will be a teachable moment on how their bug report triage processes can be improved in order to get reports to the right people more quickly,” he said.”I believe this bug serves as a reminder that mobile phones may be powerful tools these days, but they are created by humans who can make mistakes sometimes,” Strafach added. “I think a lot of people already understand that, but incidents such as this bug serve as a visceral reminder which can be easily understood.” Apple on Monday suspended its Group FaceTime application following reports that a bug in the software allowed callers to eavesdrop on the people they were calling.The flaw let a person making a FaceTime call listen through the phone of the person called before the call was accepted or rejected.It also allowed access to the front-facing camera in an iPhone, both 9 to 5 Mac and BuzzFeed reported.After making a FaceTime call from an iPhone X to an iPhone 8, a user could hear audio from the iPhone 8 before any action was taken on the call, BuzzFeed explained.Then, when the volume down button was pressed, video streaming from the front-facing camera could be seen on the iPhone X, even though the call on the iPhone 8 hadn’t been acted upon.A user could activate video functionality from a called phone by pressing the power button from the lock screen, 9 to 5 Mac reported.The eavesdropping bug didn’t seem to work on phones in “Do Not Disturb” mode, BuzzFeed noted. Not everyone is wringing their hands over the “fly on the wall” bug.”According to the rest of the world, the sky is falling right now,” observed Tyler Reguly, manager of security R&D at Portland, Oregon-based Tripwire, a cybersecurity threat detection and prevention company.”This FaceTime bug is the most critical defect we’ve ever encountered if social media is to be believed. I’m not sure I buy into that,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Is this bug a really stupid mistake and evidence that maybe Apple doesn’t put as much thought into features as they should? Definitely,” Reguly continued.”As a colleague put it, ‘How do you design a communication protocol such that it allowed communication before the connection is established?” he wondered.”There is no doubt that Apple has some egg on their face over this one,” Reguly said. “The simple fact is that stupid bugs exist everywhere because code is written by people, and people make mistakes and bad choices. It would be nice if we lived in an infallible society, but we don’t.” Twitterverse Speaks The FaceTime bug became a source of levity on Twitter.”I am not responsible for #FaceTime’s bug. Although, I do intend to take full advantage of it,” wrote @immortalhuey.Another user imagined what the bug could do for family relations. “I love this #facetime bug,” wrote @Pornhub. “Imma call you and spy on you while you ignore me….MOM.”@Taylorownsme13 added this tongue-in-cheek comment to the bug feed: “So are you telling me that my friends will hear me talk about how much I hate them and how their calls annoy me before I answer and be a fake bitch?”Other denizens of the twittersphere, though, had more serious thoughts about Apple’s snafu.”So everyone freaks out over this #FaceTime bug that basically let’s anyone turn your phone into a listening device, BUT nobody gives a fuck that the Government does this to almost ALL ‘smart’ devices as a matter of course,” declared @Socal_crypto.”Never wanted iPhone. After this never will,” added @theBeganovich. Delayed Reaction?center_img While access to Group FaceTime has been suspended, Lookout’s Murray still recommends disabling the application until Apple provides a more permanent fix to the problem.”More important than this single issue is to remember that the phone in our pocket is a powerful computer with access to all of your private life, and it should be protected like it,” he cautioned.”Many mobile malware families have the ability to listen in through the microphone, just like this Apple bug,” Murray added. “A vulnerability like this reminds us how easily phones can be used to steal personal information. The malware authors and nation-state attackers already know that.”The FaceTime bug illustrates that even the most diligent companies can falter from time to time, noted George Gerchow, CSO of Redwood City, California-based Sumo Logic, an analytics company focusing on security, operations and business information.”Even though Apple has gone through great strides to protect their users’ information,” he told TechNewsWorld, “this latest bug is yet another reinforcement that privacy continues to remain a major concern, regardless of your company’s size or security and privacy investments.” Pocket Protection Serious Issue Although Apple acted quickly once news of the bug went viral, the flaw is a grave one.”The bug is serious, but thankfully Apple was in a position to mitigate it by forcing the feature to be inoperable on their server-side end,” said Will Strafach, president of the Sudo Security Group, an iOS security company in Greenwich, Connecticut.”I don’t see a long-term impact, since Apple has now disabled the functionality and is quickly pushing an update,” he told TechNewsWorld, “but I am sure this will be joked about for some time, similar to the ‘goto fail’ bug a few years ago.”What makes the bug so serious is that it allows any user to be spied on without their knowledge, said Mike Murray, chief security officer for Lookout, a San Francisco maker of mobile security products.”All software has bugs and every company makes mistakes. What impacts a company’s reputation in the long term is their ability to respond to these issues,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Apple has already published an initial mitigation and rumors have a patch being released in short order,” Murray continued. “This is what should be expected from a company that takes user privacy and security seriously.” John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John.last_img read more

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New research seeks to address sex disparities in womens health

first_img Source:https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/new-scholars-named-program-promote-research-influence-gender-health Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 17 2018Traditionally many health-related research projects focused only on males, assuming that females’ bodies would respond the same way to a given intervention or drug. But more and more often scientists are uncovering important distinctions between men’s and women’s health, pointing to the need for dedicated attention to understand the intricacies of the differences.The Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program at the University of Pennsylvania was founded in 2016 to address the disparity in health-research attention to women’s health and sex differences by supporting faculty interested in these areas. With funding from the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women’s Health and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the program focuses particularly on bolstering the career development of junior faculty engaged in this vein of scientific work.BIRCWH offers funding enables select faculty to pursue pilot research projects on some area of sex differences or women’s health research. Junior faculty members Melanie Kornides of the School of Nursing and Jennifer Lewey of the Perelman School of Medicine have been announced as 2018 BIRCWH, and a third, C. Alix Timko of Penn Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), is continuing in a second year of a program-supported study.Kornides is an assistant professor at Penn Nursing’s Department of Family and Community Health. Prior to joining Penn’s faculty, Kornides completed her postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. Kornides received an Sc.D. from Harvard and a master’s degree from George Mason University, both in epidemiology. She also received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Ohio State University and a master’s from the University of Michigan in community health nursing.Overall, Kornides’ research focuses on the utilization of big data to contextualize sex disparities in pediatric and women’s health. The research she plans to conduct while in the BIRCWH program seeks to address sex disparities in HPV-vaccination uptake. Assessing these disparities bears on women’s health, as improving vaccination coverage of adolescent boys will reduce HPV infections in the general population and HPV-related diseases and cancers for both females and males.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchLewey is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Penn Medicine, director of the Penn Women’s Cardiovascular Center and co-director of the Pregnancy and Heart Disease Program. She completed her bachelor’s at Brandeis University and her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. After residency and fellowship, she received a master’s in public health in clinical effectiveness from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.For her BIRCWH-funded research, Lewey will study obesity prevention in high-risk postpartum women, primarily African-Americans. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, and pregnancy represents a timepoint in life when women gain excessive weight. At one year postpartum, almost one-third of lower-income women will become newly overweight or obese, increasing their risk for cardiovascular diseases in middle and older age. Lewey’s research aims to better understand the predictors of excessive postpartum weight retention in order to deliver effective and scalable weight loss interventions during a time when women are at the highest risk.Timko, a second-year scholar with the BIRCWH program, is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Penn Medicine as well as a psychologist in the Eating Disorder Assessment and Treatment Program in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at CHOP. Timko received her bachelor’s from St. Lawrence University followed by her master’s in clinical psychology from MCP Hahnemann University. She received her Ph.D. from Drexel University.Timko’s BIRCWH-sponsored research will use functional brain imaging to focus on the reward system in adolescent males who go to CHOP with anorexia. Her research aims to fully describe the course of eating disorders in a sample of adolescent males and to use this information to inform specific hypotheses regarding sex differences in the neurobiology of anorexia. During anorexia, a phenomenon referred to as reward and punishment occurs; food becomes a fear stimulus and consuming food becomes punishing, whereas restricting it becomes rewarding. Disruptions in the reward circuitry in anorexia have not yet been explored in males, and Timko’s research will serve to fill an important and critical hole in the research of adolescent eating disorders.last_img read more

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FDA warns against use of unapproved pain medications with implanted pumps

first_img Source:https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm625840.htm Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 15 2018The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today alerted health care providers and patients about the serious complications that can occur when using medications not approved for use with implanted pumps that deliver medication into the spinal fluid to treat or manage pain. Complications may include dosing errors, pump failure, opioid withdrawal, infection and other complications like pain, fever, vomiting, muscle spasms, cognitive changes, weakness and cardiac or respiratory distress.”The treatment of pain has become increasingly complex. While medical devices, such as implanted pumps that deliver medication directly into the spinal fluid, have the potential to play an important role in treating pain, their use must be judicious and their instructions for use must be carefully followed. This is especially true when it comes to implantable pumps that deliver analgesic medicine directly into the nervous system,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “We urge health care providers, patients and caregivers to be aware of the information the FDA is providing today so they can make informed treatment decisions. The FDA will continue to monitor the safety of these and other medical devices involved in the treatment of pain, and take action where needed to protect patients.”Implanted pumps are surgically inserted under the skin and connected to an implanted catheter to deliver medicines. They are used to treat diseases and conditions, including pain, by delivering medicine into the body, including directly into the spinal fluid, or intrathecal space. Implanted pumps require a health care provider to periodically refill the pump with medication. Intrathecal delivery of medication with an implanted pump for pain management is generally reserved for patients who are not adequately managed by other pain treatments.Currently, the FDA-approved implanted pump labeling (Instructions for Use) identifies pain medicines that have been evaluated by the FDA for compatibility with the pump, including Infumorph and Prialt. However, not all pumps are currently approved for use with Prialt. Drugs approved for intrathecal administration must meet additional safety standards over those administered in other ways because the spinal cord and brain tissue are highly sensitive to preservatives or infectious organisms such as bacteria or viruses, which can lead to serious complications.The FDA has found that patients are sometimes being treated with medications that are not approved (including compounded medicines as well as hydromorphone, bupivacaine, fentanyl and clonidine) for use with an intrathecal implanted pump. The reasons sometimes cited for the use of drugs not approved for use with implanted pumps have included that approved medications listed in the pump labeling may have undesirable side effects or may fail to deliver adequate pain relief for some patients. The FDA is alerting providers that using drugs not approved for use with these pumps may lead to serious risks to patients due to pump failure or dosage errors.Related StoriesResearchers survey orthopedic providers to understand factors that drive opioid prescribing practicesSleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyHow a simple MRI scan can help patients with anginaThe FDA has determined that implantable intrathecal pump failure is more frequent with the use of medicines not approved for use with the pump. For example, some medicines or fluids may contain preservatives or other characteristics that can damage the pump tubing or lead to corrosion of the pumping mechanism. This may cause the implanted pump to perform in unexpected ways, including motor stalls, which ultimately stop the medication delivery, leading to potential opioid withdrawal. When a pump fails, patients must undergo surgery to remove or replace the pump.Dosage errors may also occur when medicines that are not approved for intrathecal administration are nonetheless used in these pumps. Programmable implanted pumps have dose calculation software that provides options for users to select pre-programmed medicines and concentrations identified in the approved pump labeling to help prevent unintended dosing errors. The accuracy of the software calculations depends on using the approved medicine, medicine concentration and medicine characteristics. For example, if there is more than one medicine in the pump reservoir, the pump software can only calculate the dose based on the infusion rate of a single medicine.The FDA recommends that health care providers review the implanted pump labeling to identify the medicines and medicine concentrations approved for use with the specific pump.The FDA issued this safety communication after reviewing medical device reports, premarket device applications, mandated FDA post approval studies, publicly available scientific literature, current device labeling, and information from health care providers and device manufacturers.Patients and providers, who experience an adverse event due to an implanted pump or suspect an infusion pump is having problems, are encouraged to file a voluntary report through MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting program.last_img read more

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Breast tumors recruit bone marrow cells to boost their growth study reveals

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 10 2018Cancer-associated fibroblasts are derived from bone marrow cells called mesenchymal stromal cells, Tel Aviv University researchers sayTel Aviv University researchers have discovered that breast cancer tumors boost their growth by recruiting stromal cells that originate in bone marrow. While the recruitment of bone marrow-derived fibroblasts lowers the odds of surviving breast cancer, the study suggests that targeting these cells with new therapies could be an effective way of treating the disease.Research for the study was led by Prof. Neta Erez of the Department of Pathology at TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine and conducted by Prof. Erez’s former doctoral students Dr. Yael Raz and Dr. Noam Cohen. The study was published on November 23 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.Cancer cells within solid tumors are surrounded by other cell types that, though not cancerous themselves, boost tumor growth and metastasis. Breast cancer tumors, for example, contain large numbers of fibroblast cells that promote cancer cell proliferation, inflammation and the formation of new blood vessels, which then supply the growing tumor with nutrients and oxygen. Many of these cancer-associated fibroblasts derive from neighboring breast tissue, but others come from elsewhere in the body.The TAU researchers discovered that in mice with breast cancer, a significant number of cancer-associated fibroblasts derived from bone marrow cells called mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs).”We transplanted bone marrow in a transgenic mouse model of breast cancer to discover the origin of a unique subpopulation of cancer-associated fibroblasts,” says Prof. Erez. “We found that the recruitment of bone marrow-derived fibroblasts is a crucial step in breast cancer progression.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear’New shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patients”We discovered that breast tumors are actually able to recruit MSCs from the bone marrow and then cause them to develop into fibroblasts,” Prof. Erez continues. “These bone marrow-derived fibroblasts are different from other cancer-associated fibroblasts. For example, they lack a key cell-signaling protein called PDGFRα, a surface receptor. But bone marrow-derived fibroblasts are particularly effective at stimulating the formation of new blood vessels because they produce large amounts of a protein called ‘clusterin.'”The researchers found that the tumors containing bone marrow-derived fibroblasts in mouse models were more vascularized and therefore grew faster than tumors that only contained breast tissue-derived fibroblasts.Prof. Erez and colleagues also found that human breast cancers contain fibroblasts lacking PDGFRα. This suggests that human tumors also recruit bone marrow-derived cells. Moreover, tumors containing lower levels of PDGFRα tended to be deadlier.”Our study shows that the recruitment of bone marrow-derived fibroblasts is important for promoting tumor growth, likely by enhancing blood vessel formation,” Prof. Erez concludes. “Understanding the function of these cancer-associated fibroblasts could form the basis of developing novel therapeutic manipulations that co-target bone marrow-derived fibroblasts as well as the cancer cells themselves.”Source: https://www.aftau.org/weblog-medicine–health?&storyid4704=2425&ncs4704=3last_img read more

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first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 26 2019The American Psychological Association condemned the administration’s efforts to use federal rules to dismantle civil rights protections in health care for vulnerable populations, particularly transgender and gender non-conforming patients.A proposed rule, issued today by the Department of Health and Human Services, would weaken existing regulations implementing the Affordable Care Act’s non-discrimination in health care provisions. Related StoriesGender inequality bad for everyone’s health finds researchGovernment policy and infrastructure have substantial impact on hospitalization of seniorsStudy estimates health care costs of uncontrolled asthma in the U.S. over next 20 yearsThe proposed rule seeks to change a portion of the law known as Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs or activities. APA supported including non-discrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act when it was originally drafted and has advocated for strong enforcement of Section 1557 since the law was enacted in 2010. Psychological research has shown that discrimination in health care settings is closely tied to behavioral health disparities among vulnerable populations, and perceived discrimination is a key factor in chronic stress-related health disparities among women, racial and ethnic minorities and sexual and gender minorities.The revised rule would also make it easier for providers to ignore the legitimate needs of non-English-speaking patients.”The revised rule implementing Section 1557 of the ACA would severely limit or even eliminate patient access to comprehensive, clinically necessary health care,” Evans added. “Instead of weakening protections for vulnerable populations who need increased access to quality care, we need to do everything we can to put patient welfare front and center in all health care settings.”This action comes on the heels of HHS’ issuing a rule to expand health care providers’ ability to refuse to provide services or perform research on the basis of religious, moral, ethical or “other reasons,” which are not specified.These so-called “conscience protections” are likely to prevent access to reproductive health care and information, particularly for low-income and minority women, and could also prevent access to care and information for other populations, specifically lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and individuals living with HIV and AIDS.”While APA fully supports the religious freedom of psychologists and other health care providers, that freedom is already enshrined in law and need not be expanded,” Evans said. “The ethics code for psychologists is clear: Patient welfare comes first.” The proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act are part of a sustained effort to gut this important law and to make health care less accessible to underserved populations. Weakening discrimination protections is damaging and unnecessary and will place vulnerable populations at risk of losing key aspects of their health care coverage.”APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD.center_img Source:American Psychological Associationlast_img read more

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first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 24 2019The transfer of embryos cultured for five or six days (instead of two or three) after fertilization in IVF and ICSI has become routine in many fertility clinics. Many (but not all) studies show that transferring these longer and better-developed embryos – known as blastocysts – will increase the chance of pregnancy and live birth.However, concerns have been raised that this extended culture to the blastocyst stage may increase obstetric complications and increase perinatal risks. Some large studies have already shown slightly higher risks of preterm birth and large-for-gestational-age rates among infants born after blastocyst transfer than after transfer of traditional three-day embryos (or after natural conceptions).Now, a study based on the large cohort of the Committee of Nordic ART and Safety (CoNARTaS) has confirmed these concerns and found that blastocyst transfer is indeed associated with a higher risk of preterm birth (before 37 weeks), and large-for-gestational-age rates. ‘These results are important,’ say the investigators, ‘since an increasing number of all ART treatments are performed with blastocyst transfer.’The results of this large CoNARTaS study are presented today at the 35th Annual Meeting of ESHRE in Vienna by Dr Anne Laerke Spangmose from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark.The study itself was an analysis of almost 90,000 assisted reproduction (ART) babies born in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden) up to 2015 of which 69,751 were singletons and 18,154 twins. The singleton cohort comprised 8368 born after blastocyst transfer and 61,383 born after traditional (three day) embryo transfer; the twin cohort included 1167 children born after blastocyst transfer and 16,987 after three-day embryo transfer (at the ‘cleavage stage’).The analysis showed that the singletons born after fresh blastocyst transfer had a 23% higher risk of being large for gestational age than after cleavage stage transfer. In everyday terms the higher risk would mean an overall increase in incidence from 3.7% following cleavage-stage transfers to 4.3% following blastocysts; Dr Spangmose described this increase as ‘small’. While another small increase in the risk of preterm birth was found following the transfer of frozen blastocysts, none was found after the transfer of fresh.With a further objective, the study considered the chance of having twins following cleavage-stage or blastocyst transfer. Incidence was increased from 2.3% following the fresh day-three transfers to 4.0% following blastocyst, and at similar rates for frozen. ‘I would say that this a large increase,’ said Dr Spangmose, ‘considering the risks of perinatal and obstetric outcomes in twin births.’Related StoriesOpioids are major cause of pregnancy-related deaths in UtahMaternal obesity may negatively affect children’s lung developmentResearchers evaluate usefulness of fertility appsThe results suggest that blastocyst transfer does indeed carry a small but higher risk of obstetric complications than day-three transfers. The increased risk of large-for-gestational-age offspring has been reported in both human and veterinary studies.Explaining the higher rate of large-for-gestational-age following blastocyst transfers Dr Spangmose said: ‘Extended embryo culture implies more time in vitro for the embryo, leaving it more exposed to external potential stressors like temperature or oxygen concentration. Furthermore, the type of culture media used for cleavage and blastocyst stage embryos are different. Studies have suggested that the media itself may influence specific gene expressions and impact perinatal outcomes.'(1)However, despite these higher obstetric and twin risks, other meta-analyses have found that blastocyst transfer is associated with a higher delivery rate than cleavage-stage transfers – which no doubt explains its increasingly greater use in recent years. The latest Cochrane review (2016) of blastocyst vs cleavage stage transfer found the former associated with a 48% higher chance of live birth in an initial ‘fresh’ transfer cycle. The Cochrane results mean – as the reviewers explained – that if 29% of women achieved live birth after fresh cleavage stage transfer, between 32% and 42% would do so after fresh blastocyst transfer. Regulatory authorities have recognized this in their encouragement of single embryo transfer to reduce multiple pregnancy rate, still the greatest ‘complication’ of ART. Embryos which reach the blastocyst stage have been said to be more ‘physiological’ and thus better able to select themselves for viability.(2)’Today,’ said Dr Spangmose, ‘blastocyst culture plays a crucial role in ART treatment. It increases survival rates of frozen-thawed embryos and so supports the use of single embryo transfer to reduce twin births. From our results the greater use of frozen blastocyst transfer could offset the adverse effects of extended embryo culture. Nevertheless, we still believe that blastocyst culture should be used with caution – as a tool for embryo selection and for enhancing success rates in frozen ART cycles. But we still need to consider whether blastocyst culture should be the gold standard in fresh ART cycles given the adverse risks found in our study.’ Source:European Society of Human Reproduction and EmbryologyJournal reference:Glujovsky, D. et al. (2019) Cleavage stage versus blastocyst stage embryo transfer in assisted reproductive technology. Cochrane Library. doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD002118.pub5last_img read more

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Justices weigh 85M settlement with 0 to 129M Google users

first_img © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The Supreme Court struggled Wednesday over what to do about an $8.5 million class-action settlement involving Google and privacy concerns in which all the money went to lawyers and nonprofit groups but nothing was paid to 129 million people who used Google to perform internet searches. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Supreme Court to hear Google class action settlement case The justices considered objections to the settlement in a case involving Google searches people do about themselves. The lawsuit argues that Google sends website operators potentially identifying information when someone clicks on a link produced by a search. The suit says the practice violates users’ privacy under federal law.The issue at the court concerns the rare instances in which courts approve a “cy pres” settlement, roughly translated as near as possible, and find it’s impractical to send money to the very large class of affected people.Google agreed to settle the class action for users of its search function between 2006 and 2014. Of the $8.5 million, $2.1 million eventually went to lawyers, $1 million paid administrative costs and $5.3 million was set aside for six organizations that deal with internet privacy issues. Four of the groups are affiliated with universities, while the other two are the World Privacy Forum and AARP.The three individuals who initially sued received $5,000 each, but the millions of Google users they represented received nothing. If all 129 million people had been paid, they would have gotten 4 cents each.Settlements in which class members get no money at all are rare, class action expert and Harvard law professor William Rubenstein wrote in a court filing. Rubsenstein counted 18 such settlements stretching back to 1995.Theodore Frank, representing himself and other objecting Google users, said that if the court were to uphold the settlement, it would create “perverse incentives for class counsel to divert money away from their clients and to third parties.”The justices seemed to approach the case from several different angles, making it hard to see how it would be resolved.Chief Justice John Roberts, among the justices who appeared most critical of the settlement, tended to sarcasm in asking whether AARP was an appropriate recipient of some of the money. “As if this is only a problem for elderly people?” Roberts asked.The chief justice also raised questions about Google’s involvement in the process of picking the recipients of the money, including a group it had previously contributed to. “Well, don’t you think it’s just a little bit fishy?” Roberts asked lawyer Jeffrey Lamken, who supported the settlement on behalf of the individual plaintiffs and the class.Less than a month removed from his tumultuous confirmation with its allegations of sexual misconduct, Justice Brett Kavanaugh said he understood why people would object to the information about their searches being provided to websites. “I don’t think anyone would want the disclosure of everything they searched for disclosed to other people. That seems a harm,” Kavanaugh said.The justices’ understanding of the technology at issue in their cases can be imperfect. On Wednesday, Andrew Pincus, the lawyer representing Google, had to explain several times that the initial lawsuit was over referrer headers, information that is sent to a website when someone clicks on a link suggested by a Google search.Justice Samuel Alito complained that following a search for men’s shoes, he is bombarded by ads for shoes. Different issue, Pincus said.Justice Sonia Sotomayor wasn’t persuaded. “And given that I went into a store not long ago, and without giving them anything except my credit card, they came back with my website, I—it seems,” Sotomayor said, not explaining what she meant by her website.Pincus replied: “Well, there are lots of ways that information is disclosed that don’t have to do with the referrer header. Again, we’re talking about the referrer header here.” Citation: Justices weigh $8.5M settlement with $0 to 129M Google users (2018, October 31) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-justices-85m-settlement-129m-google.htmllast_img read more

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Uber resumes autonomous vehicle tests in Pittsburgh

first_img Uber wants to resume self-driving car tests on public roads Citation: Uber resumes autonomous vehicle tests in Pittsburgh (2018, December 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-uber-resumes-autonomous-vehicle-pittsburgh.html © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Explore further The restart Thursday comes just over nine months after one of its autonomous cars struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. Testing has been suspended since the accident in March.The ride-hailing company received permission to resume testing from the Pennsylvania Transportation Department on Monday. It plans to start with a few cars in an area near its offices.Uber has pledged to have two human backup drivers and take other safety precautions in each Volvo SUV. It also will stay in an area where speed limits on most roads are 25 mph.Uber also plans to resume human-controlled tests in Toronto and San Francisco. It has no immediate plan to resume tests in Arizona.The company says its SUVs will operate only during daylight hours on weekdays and not in inclement weather.It also has activated Volvo’s automatic emergency braking system as a backup to its self-driving controls.center_img In this March 15, 2017, file photo, a sign marks a pick up point for the Uber car service at LaGuardia Airport in New York. Uber will resume testing autonomous vehicles in an area near Downtown Pittsburgh starting Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) Uber is resuming autonomous vehicle tests in an area near downtown Pittsburgh. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Energy storage in the Midwest and beyond A timely analysis

first_img Energy storage paired with solar more cost effective in Minnesota today More information: Rao Konidena, FERC Order 841 levels the playing field for energy storage, MRS Energy & Sustainability (2019). DOI: 10.1557/mre.2019.5 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Provided by Cambridge University Press Last February, FERC unanimously approved a landmark order in the fast-developing field of energy storage. FERC Order 841 directed grid operators across the US to develop market rules for energy storage to participate in the wholesale energy, capacity and ancillary services markets by treating storage as a generation resource.The order was designed to enhance competition and to promote greater efficiency in the national electric wholesale market—and it effectively opened the floodgates for energy storage in wholesale markets. However, the FERC proposals have also stored up some problems for the future, which are examined in more detail in these three articles by leading experts from industry and academia in the Midwest.A review by Ellen Anderson from the Energy Transition Lab at the University of Minnesota focuses on a story that no one else is telling: the conspicuous transformation of energy storage in the Midwest. Her article delves into the far-reaching implications of two energy storage summits recently convened in Minnesota.She describes the role of energy storage in the Midwest as a case study, offering a detailed analysis of selected energy storage use cases.Anderson said: “Although the Midwest storage market is relatively young, the MISO2 region is one of the world’s largest organized electric grids and will play a critical role for bringing energy storage to scale.”As the FERC-regulated grid operator in the Midwest, MISO filed a plan for compliance with the Order 841 in December 2018, alongside other operators. This includes implementation details for integrating ESRs in the MISO market starting in 2020. This intervention makes this new collection of articles focusing on the Midwest particularly pertinent.In his commentary, Rao Konidena from Rakon Energy LLC in Minnesota writes that “energy storage is finally getting its due at the wholesale level, thanks to FERC Order 841.” He explains that storage increases the capacity value of renewables and decreases variability as the grid makes way for more renewables such as wind and solar. He writes that grid-scale energy storage is in the news for several other reasons too, including California Energy Storage mandate Assembly Bill 2514; Tesla’s Elon Musk backing stationary storage in Australia; the falling cost of levelized storage; and the ability of energy storage to address capacity needs of systems such as California’s Aliso Canyon gas plant, which was impacted by methane leaks.Konidena explains that FERC Order 841 focuses on standardizing electric storage resource (ESR) participation in wholesale energy and ancillary services and capacity market ruleset across the various Independent System Operators (ISO) and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) within FERC jurisdiction. Without this, each ISO is reacting in an ad hoc way to demands on its individual system needs.A joint perspective by Ted Thomas, Chair of the Arkansas Public Service Commission and Nancy Lange—former Chair of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and current board member of MISO—calls on state policy makers and regulators to consider how to respond to the emergence of new storage technologies while at the same time observing the regulatory and legal proceedings that will draw the line between state and federal jurisdiction over storage-related matters.Although the industry regards FERC Order 841 as a long-overdue overhaul of the wholesale markets, according to Konidena, there are several challenges still to overcome, including treatment of energy storage as a transmission asset (as well as a storage asset).In December 2018, the nation’s regional transmission organizations and ISOs filed their responses to Order 841, detailing a wide range of tariff changes for storage participation. On April 1 2019, FERC wrote to each operator asking for more details and issuing deficiency letters to all six RTOs and ISOs under its jurisdiction. MISO submitted a response letter to FERC on May 1 and FERC issued Order 841-A at their May 16 public meeting. Immediately, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) issued a statement saying they were disappointed with FERC’s decision because Order 841-A did “not recognize the jurisdictional divisions outlined in the Federal Power Act”.1Konidena said: “FERC Order 841-A and the immediate NARUC press release that NARUC is disappointed is one of the reasons why energy and electricity markets are so exciting these days. Don’t expect FERC or NARUC to back down. The utility industry is changing and storage can do what Netflix did to our entertainment industry. Storage As A Service is coming, the fun is just starting!!” Citation: Energy storage in the Midwest and beyond: A timely analysis (2019, May 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-energy-storage-midwest-analysis.html As the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released an update to last year’s order on energy storage, MRS Energy & Sustainability today publishes a timely collection of papers that unpack the issue of energy storage in the Midwest and beyond.last_img read more

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Modi marks beginning of Talcher fertiliser plant revival

first_imgConfident that he will be PM after 2019 general elections RELATED CCEA approves Rs 1,033 crore capital equity infusion in Talcher Fertilizers Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks after foundation stone laying of Talcher Fertilizer plant in Angul district of Odisha. Photo: Biswaranjan Rout   –  The Hindu COMMENTS SHARE fertiliser Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday unveiled a plaque to mark the commencement of revival activity at the Talcher fertiliser project in Odisha.The project is expected to be commissioned in the next 3 years. Keeping in mind the 2019 general elections, Modi expressed confidence in getting another term as the Prime Minister. He said, “I have been told that production from this plant will start in 36 months and I promise to be here in 36 months at the start of production.”The Talcher plant will be India’s first coal gasification based fertiliser plant and is being revived by Talcher Fertilizers Ltd (TFL), a joint venture between GAIL (India) Ltd, Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited (RCF) and Coal India Ltd (CIL). This plant will have the capacity of producing 1.27 million metric tonne per annum of neem coated urea using Coal and Petcoke as feedstock.A TFL statement said, “The feedstock for the plant will be derived from the North of Arkhapal coal block in Talcher.” The Petcoke will be sourced from IndianOil’s Paradip refinery, an official said.The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had recently approved an equity investment of ₹ 1033.54 crore by Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited (RCF) for setting up a Coal Gasification based fertilizer project by TFL in Odisha.An official statement had said this capital infusion is approximately 29.67 per cent of the total project cost. The capital expenditure of the project has been pegged at ₹ 11,611.48 crore with a 15 per cent cost escalation provision.(The reporter was in Talcher on invite of Talcher Fertilizer Limited) September 22, 2018 Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT Orissalast_img read more

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Congress threatened SC judges with impeachment who tried to hear Ayodhya cases

first_imgCOMMENTS RELATED COMMENT November 25, 2018 1 Prime Minister Narendra Modi (file photo)   –  PTI ‘Blunder, poorly drafted’: Jaitley slams Cong over CJI impeachment Modi also accused the Congress of indulging in caste politics and has “no courage” to talk about development Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged Sunday that the Congress threatened Supreme Court judges with impeachment when they tried hear the Ayodhya dispute cases earlier this year.Without naming anyone, Modi claimed that Congress party’s Rajya Sabha members, who are also lawyers, had tried to scare away the apex court judges to ensure the hearing in the cases is delayed until after the 2019 Lok Sabha election.In an unprecedented move, seven opposition parties led by the Congress had moved a notice for the impeachment of then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in April this year, accusing him of “misbehaviour” and “misuse” of authority.Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu rejected the notice, saying the case against the then CJI was based on “suspicion and conjectures“.At the political rally in Rajasthan’s Alwar district, Modi said the Congress has no faith in democracy and judiciary. “It does not hold dialogue and stall proceedings in Parliament, but the new game they are playing now is dangerous and this must be debated for a bright future of the country.” “If a Supreme Court judge does not prepare the time-table (for hearing cases) as per their (Congress’s) political intentions and wants to hear all to deliver justice on a serious and sensitive issue, such as Ayodhya, then the party’s lawyers, who are Rajya Sabha members, start the game of scaring the judges in the name of impeachment,” Modi said.He urged intellectuals to analyse this “dangerous game” of the Congress in the interest of the country.“They are working to scare judiciary on the ground of their numbers in Rajya Sabha. But we will not let this ‘kaala kaarnama’ happen in the temple of democracy,” he said.Caste politicsThe prime minister said the opposition party has “no courage” to talk about development and hence “they ask about the caste of Modi.” “Will you vote on the basis of the caste of Modi? Will the future of Rajasthan be decided on basis of birthplace of Modi,” he asked the crowd gathered at his rally. Modi’s remarks were a reaction to former Union minister CP Joshi’s statement when he had questioned the caste of Modi and others during a speech in Rajsamand district’s Nathdwara.Joshi is the Congress candidate from Nathdwara assembly constituency.“They are deep neck involved in casteism. Casteism and feeling of hate against poor, deprived, underprivileged is in their veins and such statements reflect the basic behaviour and conduct of the Congress. It does not matter who spoke that (Joshi’s renmarks) because everyone knows about the ‘naamdaar’ who make them speak,” he said, apparently referring to the Gandhi family.Modi also targeted the Congress over issues and discrimination faced by Dalits, saying the party “forgot” to give the Bharat Ratna to B R Ambedkar.Ambedkar was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1990, 34 years after his death.“Congress has only divided the country. For them, Dalits are a votebank while our values and traditions are different,” Modi claimed, trying to contrast his party’s attitude to the community, of whose members have been assaulted and beaten by right-wing activists for allegedly indulging in cow trade, with that of the Congress.In Rajasthan, Modi praised the BJP’s Vasundhara Raje government, saying it has done lot of work.He also attacked Congress over a recent video in which a Congress candidate is seen stopping a party supporter shouting “Bharat Mata ki jai” and then the supporter starts shouting: “Sonia Gandhi ki jai“.“For us, the country is bigger than the party but Sonia Gandhi is bigger than Bharat Mata for them,” he said.Modi recalled BJP leaders like former vice president the late Bhairo Singh Shkhawat and said he had started election campaign during the 2013 assembly elections in Rajasthan from Alwar.Chief minister Raje and the party’s candidates on all 11 constituencies of Alwar district were present at the rally.In Lok Sabha bypolls earlier this year, the BJP had faced defeat in Alwar.In the 2013 assembly election, the BJP won nine out of the 11 seats in Alwar but one of its sitting MLAs, Dharmpal Chaudhary, died in April this year; the party has given ticket to his son Manjit Chaudhary from Mundawar seat.Located in eastern part of the desert state, Alwar shares border with Haryana and forms a part of Mewat region having a sizable population of Mev (Muslim) community people.It also touches Jaipur, Bharatpur and Dausa districts.Alwar’s Ramgarh, a constituency represented by Gyan Dev Ahuja, who has been dropped by the BJP this time, was in bad light following the mob lynching of Akbar Khan on suspicion of cow smuggling in July this year. center_img regional elections CJI impeachment row: Apex court dismisses Congress plea as withdrawn SHARE Rajasthan Polls Published on Rejection of impeachment notice by Rajya Sabha Chairman well-reasoned: BJP SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more

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Minister reviews monsoon preparedness in Bengaluru

first_imgSHARE SHARE EMAIL April 24, 2019 Our Bureau As many as 246 low-lying areas have been identified in Bengaluru, where flooding occurs every year during monsoons. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, who is also Bengaluru Development Minister, held a review meeting of monsoon preparedness on Wednesday. Addressing reporters after the meeting, he said he has instructed the officials to take precautionary measures to ensure that the city is not crippled by heavy rainfall. Drains have been cleared of silt and garbage to prevent flooding. The meeting was attended by BBMP officials who apprised the Minister of the low-lying areas, stormwater drains and roads that get clogged every rainy season. Despite the efforts by the BBMP, heavy rains had created havoc and caused troubles last year. “The process of clearing encroached drains is being carried out. Each zone has been mapped and the clearing process in water-clogged areas are being carried out on a priority basis. Out of the 840-km stormwater drain network in the city, silt has been cleared for 400 km and preventive wall has been built. Work on rest of the drains is under way,” he said. COMMENT COMMENTS SHARE Monsoon Bengaluru Published onlast_img read more

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Cabinet committees constitution highlights Amit Shahs importance

first_imgpolitics Government reconstitutes various Cabinet committees RELATED COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL Home Minister Amit Shah figures in all the Cabinet committees constituted by the government, a development that highlights his importance in the second Modi dispensation.While Shah is a member of all the eight committees, details of which were released by the government on Thursday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s name figured in all but one of them.The government has reconstituted six committees to reflect the changes in the new dispensation and formed two new Cabinet panels to deal with issues such as investment, growth, employment and skill development, amid concerns over economic slowdown.Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was the Home Minister in the preceding government and member of six committees, is now a member of only two panels — economic affairs and security. He is not a member of the Cabinet committee on political affairs.The induction of Shah, who is also the BJP President, in the government has led many political observers to believe that he will be the second most powerful person in the new order. The new appointment has further cemented his position. Shah had chaired an informal meeting of several Cabinet ministers, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Commerce and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, besides Sitharaman, on June 4 over crude oil-related issues.Political sources noted that the government has been careful to maintain almost the same weightage of portfolios in the six committees, which existed earlier as well, as Singh during his tenure as Home Minister was a member of all of them.Sitharaman’s predecessor in the Finance Ministry, Arun Jaitley, was a member of all the committees which now figure her. He opted out of the new government over health issues.Cabinet ministers representing BJP’s allies, including Ram Vilas Paswan, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Arvind Sawant, are members of a few committees, like the last time.   ministers (government)center_img SHARE June 06, 2019 Home Minister Amit Shah (file photo) Published on COMMENTlast_img read more

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CWC may meet next week to elect successor to Rahul GandhiCWC may

first_imgRahul Gandhi   –  AP COMMENTS July 04, 2019 Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT The Congress Working Committee is likely to meet next week to elect the next president of the Congress. The party’s general secretary in-charge of organisation, KC Venugopal, is in talks with all the general secretaries and other senior leaders, including the first family of the party, so that Rahul Gandhi’s successor can be elected without any hassles in the CWC meeting.After the discussions, Venugopal will send an invite to the members of the CWC for the meeting. As former president, Rahul Gandhi can also attend the meeting.There are indications that a section of the top leadership prefers a Dalit face to succeed Gandhi. Names of Sushil Kumar Shinde and Mallikarjun Kharge are making the rounds in Congress circles. Rahul Gandhi has clarified that he would not like to nominate his successor but would leave it to the CWC.The meeting may also decide whether other leaders too should take responsibility and resign so that the AICC, scheduled to meet soon to ratify the CWC’s decisions, can elect a fresh set of leaders to the Congress. Various leaders have said that Rahul Gndhi alone is not responsible for the defeat and members who were in charge of various departments, such as pre-poll alliances, campaign and manifesto, should also review their work during the polls.Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said she respected her brother’s decision to resign as party president. “Few have the courage that you do, Rahul Gandhi. Deepest respect for your decision,” she said on Twitter. She had been outspoken against a section of the CWC who, according to her, did nothing to implement the party’s ideals. In the last meeting of the CWC, she said the murderers of the Congress were sitting in the room. SHARE politicslast_img read more

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Lok Sabha clears bill to set up central tribal universities in Andhra

first_imgLok Sabha clears bill to set up central, tribal universities in Andhra PradeshMoving the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for passage, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said the government has alloted Rs 450 crore for the central university and Rs 420 crore for the central tribal unversity.advertisement Press Trust of India New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 17:57 IST The two universities will increase access and quality of higher education. (Image for representation: Reuters)A Bill to set up a central university and a tribal university in Andhra Pradesh was passed by the Lok Sabha on Friday.Moving the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for passage, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said the government has alloted Rs 450 crore for the central university and Rs 420 crore for the central tribal unversity.Currently these two universiites are functioning in temporary facilities in Anantpur and Vijayanagaram respectively.He said the Modi government has given Andhra Pradesh two universities and seven institutions of importance.Stating that at present the education department has a budget of Rs 1.25 lakh crore, he said the government is moving at a fast pace in the area of education.It has put the education sector under focus to ensure all round development, he said.To a query, he said vacant posts in all central education institutions will be filled up in the next few months.According to the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the two universities will increase access and quality of higher education and also promote avenues of higher education for the people of the state.The Tribal University will provide instructional and research facilities in tribal art, culture and customs and advancement in technology to the tribal population of India.At present, there is no central university in Andhra Pradesh while other states, except Goa, have one or more such institution.Setting up a central university and a central tribal university in Andhra Pradesh is obligatory under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 for creation of Telangana.Participating in the discussion, K Suresh (Cong) said that the bill has not mentioned about detailed funding mechanism and funding of universities have remained an issue in the country.There is also no mention about curriculum and administration of these two universities in the bill, he said.He added that it was also not mentioned whether tribals would get reservation in the central tribal unversity.”The NDA government is known for reducing funding for central universities,” he said, adding there are several vacancies in different universities not yet filled.Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP) took a swipe at the TDP for questioning the intentions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.TDP, a former ally of NDA, currently has only 3 Lok Sabha members at against 15 in 2014.He also expressed concern over rise in number of students in coaching centres.Coaching centres have become a big business in the country, he said, adding as per a study, out of four students, one is going for tuitions.He demanded granting of central university status to Patna University and Jai Prakash University in Chhapra.Saugata Roy (TMC) said the Delhi University is one of the best in the country. He said unless the number of seats is increased in the university the “terrible pressure” would stay.He said the cut off marks for its enrollment are touching 95 per cent, 98 per cent and 99 per cent.He also alleged that the Nagpur University is including history of RSS in its curriculum.”Let the university not work on RSS agenda but on national agenda,” he added.Lavu Sri Krishna (YSRCP) said that a central university should attract students and faculty from all parts of the country.”Unless we strengthen the tribal schools, the central university will not be meaningful,” he said.Rahul Shewale (SS) demanded more funds for a campus in the Mumbai University and filling of all vacant vacancies.Also Read | 1,513 farmers committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh between 2014-19: CM Jagan ReddyAlso Watch | Karnataka: Here’s how this Indo-Israel collaboration is helping farmers in Kolar districtFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShifa Naseer Tags :Follow Andhra PradeshFollow Universities Nextlast_img read more

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