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Current Affairs in Short 14 August 2020

Current Affairs in Short 14 August 2020

A joint team of senior officials of Air India, security officers, and senior government officials has left for the United States to accept the delivery of VVIP aircraft Air India One.• A joint team of senior officials of Air India, security officers, and senior government officials has left for the United States to accept the delivery of the Special Extra Section Flight (SESF) or VVIP aircraft Air India One.• One out of the total two Boeing-777 ER aircraft is ready for delivery in August to India. The Air India One has been specially designed for the Prime Minister, President and Vice President of India. • Air India One is equipped with an advance and secure communication system which allows availing audio and video communication function at mid-air without hacked or taped. Air India will receive the aircraft and later hand it over to the Indian Air Force (IAF).• India in its effort to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Lebanon in the aftermath of the tragic explosions in Beirut has sent 58 MT of emergency humanitarian aid.• Humanitarian aid includes crucial medical and food supplies. The emergency supplies are being sent to Beirut in IAF C17 aircraft. The information was shared by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.• The Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan won the vote of confidence in the state assembly on August 14, 2020 by voice vote.• The vote of confidence was passed with a very good majority in the Rajasthan assembly, informed Congress leader Sachin Pilot. The confidence motion was brought in the assembly after the reunification of the Gehlot and Sachin Pilot factions of the Rajasthan Congress party. • While speaking to the media after the assembly session, Pilot said that this has put a full stop on all suspicions that were rising and a roadmap has been prepared for all the issues that were being raised. He said that he has complete faith that the roadmap will be announced timely.• Union Home Minister Amit Shah on August 14, 2020 informed that he has tested negative for COVID-19 and he will stay in home isolation for a few more days on the advice of doctors.• The Home Minister had tested positive for coronavirus on August 2 and was undergoing treatment in Medanta Hospital, Gurugram.• The minister further expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all those who have blessed him and his family and all the doctors and paramedical staff of Medanta Hospital who helped him in fighting the corona infection.• India on August 14, 2020 welcomed the full normalisation in relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), saying that the two countries are India’s key strategic partners.• The External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar received a call from UAE Foreign Minister on the announcement of full normalisation of relations between the UAE and Israel. • India has been a consistent supporter of the peace, development and stability in West Asia, which is its extended neighbourhood.• India continues its traditional support for the Palestinian cause and hopes to see the beginning of direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine for an acceptable two-state solution.Download our Current Affairs & GK app For exam preparationडाउनलोड करें करेंट अफेयर्स ऐप एग्जाम की तैयारी के लिए<br><br><b>Author:Sangeeta Nair</b><br><b>Source:https://www.jagranjosh.com/current-affairs/current-affairs-in-short-14-august-2020-1597417315-1?ref=list_ca</b>

Sourav Kumar

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Gold May Have Topped Out After Historic Uptrend

Gold May Have Topped Out After Historic Uptrend

The gold futures contract and gold mining stocks may have topped out after a historic uptrend that lifted the yellow metal to an all-time high above $2,000. Stabilization in the world economy and its beneficial effect on the bond market predict growing headwinds for gold bugs in coming weeks, perhaps offering a buying opportunity when the dreaded second wave of the pandemic makes an unwelcome appearance this fall and winter.Big cyclical highs posted in prior years represent major resistance levels that can take a long time to overcome, if at all. Just look at price action in big tech names that topped out when the internet bubble burst in 2000. It took more than a decade for many of these issues to complete round trips and then another few years to break out. There are exceptions, but there are also well-known tech stocks, like Intel Corporation (INTC), that have never mounted their peaks.Psychologically speaking, gold futures and gold miners are now overloaded with weak hands who need to be shaken out to support current and higher price levels. Predatory algorithms could target this massive supply at any time but might wait until a bearish catalyst comes along or until the fourth quarter, when traders return to their desks and volume hits higher levels. However it unfolds, now is a perfect time to place stops and avoid new long entries."Gold bug" is a colloquial expression used to refer to people that are particularly bullish on gold. Although people differ in their reasons for being a gold bug, they commonly share a perception that the purchasing power of fiat currencies will decline due to factors such as inflation, expansionary monetary policy, and the rising national debt.The SPDR Gold Fund (GLD) came public in 2004 and entered a strong uptrend less than one year later, lifting in multiple rally waves into the September 2011 high at $185.85. The fund then eased into a corrective pattern that carved a bearish descending triangle, finally breaking down in the second quarter of 2013. Aggressive sellers maintained control into December 2015, when the downtrend found support near $100 ($1,000 on the futures contract).The subsequent recovery wave posted lower highs in 2016 and 2018, carving a nearly perfect descending trendline that was mounted on heavy volume in June 2019, confirming the first new uptrend since 2011. Price action completed the round trip into the prior high on July 29, yielding an immediate breakout and an Aug. 6 all-time high at $194.45. The fund has now sold off into the prior high after posting heavy downside volume that raises the odds for a long-term top.A top refers to the price peak of an asset during a trading period, prior to a period of decline in price.The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) came public in the mid-$30s in 2006 and entered a modest uptrend that topped out near $57 in March 2008. It sold off to $15.83 during the economic collapse and turned sharply higher, reaching the prior peak in December 2009. A November 2010 breakout posted an all-time high at $66.98 in the third quarter of 2011, giving way to a decline that failed the breakout in April 2012.The downtrend reached the 2008 low in 2014, ahead of a 2015 breakdown that hit an all-time low at $12.40 in January 2016. The subsequent bounce stalled just above $30 in August, while downdrafts into the first quarter of 2020 found support in the mid-to-upper teens. The fund broke out above 2016 resistance in April and rolled over at the .618 Fibonacci selloff retracement after the gold reversal. This harmonic barrier should limit the upside until gold rallies to a new high.Gold futures and the gold miners fund may have topped out after powerful trend advances, warning investors and traders with exposure to protect profits.Disclosure: The author held no positions in the aforementioned securities or contracts at the time of publication.<br><br><b>Author:Alan Farley</b><br><b>Source:https://www.investopedia.com/gold-may-have-topped-out-after-historic-uptrend-5074875</b>

Sourav Singh

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Ecommerce Companies Want Six Month Extension To Comply With 'Country Of Origin' Rule

Ecommerce Companies Want Six Month Extension To Comply With 'Country Of Origin' Rule

In a letter to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, FICCI has asked for six to seven months time for complying with new Consumer Protection RulesThe new consumer protection rules for ecommerce companies mandate displaying 'country of origin' for products, among other thingsFailure to comply with the rules would attract penalties as per the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), 2019Ecommerce industry associations have sought another 6-7 months extension from the government to comply with the new consumer protection rules. The mandatory listing of 'country of origin' for products listed on ecommerce websites is one of the main rules to be followed. <br> Other key provisions include the appointment of grievance offers and resolution of consumer complaints within one month of receiving the complaint, among other such provisions.The Consumer Protection (Ecommerce) Rules, 2020, were notified on July 23 and came into effect immediately. The Rules are applicable to all goods and services, bought or sold over digital or electronic networks, including digital products. As such, even companies providing internet services such as online ticketing and hotel booking, are defined as ecommerce entities and subject to the new rules.Reportedly , the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICC) wrote to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs earlier this month, asking for six to seven months time for complying with the new rules."Some of these requirements will put undue stress on MSME sellers who already have their backs up against the wall due to excessive compliances that come with selling online," a senior executive at an e-commerce firm told Economic Times.The new rules also apply to overseas-based ecommerce entities supplying goods and services to Indian customers.Last month, the DPIIT had proposed August 1 as the deadline for etailers to display 'country of origin' information for all products being retailed on their website. In response, ecommerce companies Amazon and Flipkart sought more time, saying that a hastened deadline would harm small sellers, who may be unsure about ways of complying with the new rules. Later in the same month, Amazon, in a letter to its sellers, asked them to provide 'country of origin' information for products by August 10.According to the new consumer protection rules for etailers, failure to abide by them would attract penalties as per the recently ratified Consumer Protection Act (CPA), 2019.The CPA mandates every ecommerce entity to provide information relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, modes of payment and grievance redressal mechanism, among other things to enable the consumer to make an informed decision. Further, the Act also calls upon ecommerce entities to provide 'country of origin' information for all products. The 'country of origin' clause has attracted a lot of attention in the wake of anti-China sentiment in the country and the resultant call to reduce dependency on imports.There is some confusion regarding the timeline for the implementation of the 'country of origin' provision in the new rules. "DPIIT conducted stakeholder participation in early July 2020 and the proposed timeline indicated by DPIIT to the participant brands/platforms for displaying 'country of origin' was August 1, 2020 (for any new products/items) and October 1, 2020 (for any legacy products/items) however, the Ecommerce Rules do not clarify this," Kaushalya Venkataraman, partner, Chandhiok & Mahajan Advocates and Solicitors told Inc42 .<br><br><b>Author:Inc42</b><br><b>Source:https://m.dailyhunt.in/news/india/english/inc42-epaper-inc/ecommerce+companies+want+six+month+extension+to+comply+with+country+of+origin+rule-newsid-n206493842</b>

Pintu Kumar

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Researchers explore sound to help improve robotic perception

Researchers explore sound to help improve robotic perception

Robots primarily rely on two basic senses: vision and touch. But even the latter still has a long ways to go to get up to the speed with the former. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are looking to hearing as a potential additional sense to help machines increase their perception of the world around them.<br>A new experiment from CMU features Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer moving objects inside a metal tray to get a sense of the sounds they make as a roll around, slide and crash into the sides. There are 60 objects in all — including tools, wooden blocks, tennis balls and an apple — with 15,000 “interactions” recorded and cataloged.<br>The robot, named “Tilt-Bot” by the team, was capable of identifying objects with a 76% success rate, even determining the relatively small material differences between a metal screwdriver and wrench. Using the sound data, the robot was often able to correctly determine the material make up of the objects.<br><br>“I think what was really exciting was that when it failed, it would fail on things you expect it to fail on,” CMU assistant professor Oliver Kroemer said in a release tied to the research. “But if it was a different object, such as a block versus a cup, it could figure that out.”<br>This is still early stages stuff, with the initial results only just having been published, but the researches foresee the potential to harness sound detection as yet another tool in a robot’s sensing arsenal. Among the possibilities is the inclusion of a “cane,” the machines could us to tap an object in order to better determine its material properties.<br><br><b>Author:Brian Heater</b><br><b>Source:https://techcrunch.com/2020/08/14/researchers-explore-sound-to-help-improve-robotic-perception/</b>

Md Imran

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OnePlus Nord Next Sale Date Announced; To Be Available Via Amazon Next Week

OnePlus Nord Next Sale Date Announced; To Be Available Via Amazon Next Week

OnePlus Nord debuted as the company's affordable 5G smartphone recently in India. It has gone up for sale via Amazon earlier. The company is also said to bring a new colour variant of the device sometime in October. It is now slated to go on sale again next week in India and will be available for purchase via e-commerce platforms.OnePlus Nord Next Sale Date IndiaThe OnePlus Nord is now going on sale again on August 20 in the Indian market. <br> It will be available for purchase via Amazon. As for the pricing, the 8GB RAM+ 128GB storage model is priced at Rs. 27,999. On the other hand, you will be able to buy the 12GB RAM and 256GB storage model will sell for Rs. 27,999. Notably, only these two models will be available for sale on the aforementioned date.Currently, there is no word on the availability of the base model which comes with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. It is priced at Rs. 24,999. You can select the device from two different shades which include Blue Marble and Gray Onyx.Why Should You Buy OnePlus Nord?The OnePlus Nord is one of the most feature-packed smartphones which runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor paired with Adreno 640 GPU. The device features a pill-shaped punch-hole for dual selfie cameras. Also, the display features an FHD+ resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, and 90Hz refresh rate.The camera hardware includes a quad-lens setup at the rear with a 48MP primary sensor that has an f/1.8 aperture. The handset also features an 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor with an f/2.3 aperture, a 5MP sensor with an f/2.4 aperture, and a 2MP sensor with an f/2.4 aperture.The dual-selfie camera setup comprises a 32MP primary sensor with an f/2.5 aperture and an 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor with an f/2.5 aperture. It runs on Android 10 OS and has Oxygen OS UI. Powering it is a 4,115 mAh battery unit and is backed by 30T Quick Charging technology.source: gizbot.com<br><br><b>Author:Gizbot</b><br><b>Source:https://m.dailyhunt.in/news/india/english/gizbot-epaper-enggiz/oneplus+nord+next+sale+date+announced+to+be+available+via+amazon+next+week-newsid-n206502760</b>

Shivani Bhatt

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NSE, IIM-Bangalore join hands, unveil platform for investor education

NSE, IIM-Bangalore join hands, unveil platform for investor education

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday announced the launch of a digital learning platform for investor education.The platform, an online investor education resource centre, has been developed jointly by NSE Investor Protection Fund Trust and IIM Bangalore.<br><br><br><br><br> <br><p>The platform was launched by Sebi's executive director Nagendraa Parakh, in a virtual function held on Friday.<br> <br><p>NSE said the Platform for investor education (PIE) imparts investor education in simple easy-to-understand video, audio, and other digital media formats.<br> <br><p>The platform has four learning modules each comprising number of videos, audios, podcasts, deep-dives and blog posts presenting the content using the latest animation and data visualization technology to actively engage different cohorts of potential investors, it added.<br> <br><p>One of the unique aspects of the platform is involvement of top notch experts in the field and experienced faculty making the offering relevant to the entire spectrum of investors from first-time investors to experienced investors.<br> <br><p>An option is made available to the user to access the audio content in multiple languages to cater to a larger set of audience, it added.<br> <br><p>"In the last few months more than three lakh people joined as new investors by leveraging on technology, thus getting connected to capital market investments. I appreciate the efforts of NSE and IIM Bangalore in developing the digital learning platform of Investor education," Parakh said.<br> <br><p>Vikram Limaye, MD and CEO of NSE, said the wave of change in today's Indian markets can mainly be attributed to the higher education levels, availability of information and investment tools at everyone's fingertips and investible surplus.<br> <br><p>According to him, one of the major reasons behind this change can be attributed to the improving investor awareness via enhanced availability of information through digital media and growing awareness amongst general public about newer financial asset classes apart from conventional fixed deposits and other such avenues.(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)The platform was launched by Sebi's executive director Nagendraa Parakh, in a virtual function held on Friday.NSE said the Platform for investor education (PIE) imparts investor education in simple easy-to-understand video, audio, and other digital media formats.The platform has four learning modules each comprising number of videos, audios, podcasts, deep-dives and blog posts presenting the content using the latest animation and data visualization technology to actively engage different cohorts of potential investors, it added.One of the unique aspects of the platform is involvement of top notch experts in the field and experienced faculty making the offering relevant to the entire spectrum of investors from first-time investors to experienced investors.An option is made available to the user to access the audio content in multiple languages to cater to a larger set of audience, it added."In the last few months more than three lakh people joined as new investors by leveraging on technology, thus getting connected to capital market investments. I appreciate the efforts of NSE and IIM Bangalore in developing the digital learning platform of Investor education," Parakh said.Vikram Limaye, MD and CEO of NSE, said the wave of change in today's Indian markets can mainly be attributed to the higher education levels, availability of information and investment tools at everyone's fingertips and investible surplus.According to him, one of the major reasons behind this change can be attributed to the improving investor awareness via enhanced availability of information through digital media and growing awareness amongst general public about newer financial asset classes apart from conventional fixed deposits and other such avenues.(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)<br><br><b>Author:Press Trust of India <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> |  <br><p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> New Delhi</b><br><b>Source:https://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/nse-iim-bangalore-join-hands-unveil-platform-for-investor-education-120081401654_1.html</b>

PAWAN KUMAR VERMA

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This online calculator can predict your stroke risk

This online calculator can predict your stroke risk

The study found that stroke risk increased consistently with metabolic syndrome severity even in patients without diabetes. Doctors can use this information -- and a scoring tool developed by a UVA Children's pediatrician and his collaborator at the University of Florida -- to identify patients at risk and help them reduce that risk."We had previously shown that the severity of metabolic syndrome was linked to future coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes," said UVA's Mark DeBoer, MD. "This study showed further links to future ischemic strokes."Ischemic Stroke RiskDeBoer developed the scoring tool, an online calculator to assess the severity of metabolic syndrome, with Matthew J. Gurka, PhD, of the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Florida, Gainesville. The tool is available for free at https://metscalc.org/.To evaluate the association between ischemic stroke and metabolic syndrome, DeBoer and Gurka reviewed more than 13,000 participants in prior studies and their stroke outcomes. Among that group, there were 709 ischemic strokes over a mean period of 18.6 years assessed in the studies. (Ischemic strokes are caused when blood flow to the brain is obstructed by blood clots or clogged arteries. Hemorrhagic strokes, on the other hand, are caused when blood vessels rupture.)The researchers used their tool to calculate "Z scores" measuring the severity of metabolic syndrome among the study participants. They could then analyze the association between metabolic syndrome and ischemic stroke risk.The subgroup with the highest association between metabolic syndrome and risk for ischemic stroke was white women, the researchers found. In this group, the research team was able to identify relationships between the individual contributors to metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure, and stroke risk.The researchers note that race and sex did not seem to make a major difference in stroke risk overall, and they caution that the increased risk seen in white women could be the results of chance alone. "Nevertheless," they write in a new scientific article outlining their findings, "these results are notable enough that they may warrant further study into race and sex differences."The overall relationship between metabolic syndrome severity and stroke risk was clear, however. And this suggests people with metabolic syndrome can make lifestyle changes to reduce that risk. Losing weight, exercising more, choosing healthy foods -- all can help address metabolic syndrome and its harmful effects.DeBoer hopes that the tool he and Gurka developed will help doctors guide patients as they seek to reduce their stroke risk and improve their health and well-being."In case there are still individuals out there debating whether to start exercising or eating a healthier diet," DeBoer said, "this study provides another wake-up call to motivate us all toward lifestyle changes."<br><br><b>Author:University of Virginia Health System</b><br><b>Source:https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200814101659.htm</b>

Ankit Tiwari

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Oil slips below $45 on rising supply, demand doubts due to Covid-19

Oil slips below $45 on rising supply, demand doubts due to Covid-19

Oil slipped further below $45 a barrel on Friday, giving up this week's gains, under pressure from doubts about demand recovery due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and rising supply.Two prominent forecasters, the International Energy Agency and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, trimmed their 2020 oil demand forecasts this week. OPEC and its allies are increasing output this month.<br><br><br><br><br> <br><p>"Pessimism about this year's oil demand growth prospects is due to the weakening outlook in the coming months," said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.<br> <br><p>"To make matters worse, global oil supply is on the upswing."<br> <br><p>Brent crude was 37 cents, or 0.8%, lower at $44.59 by 0940 GMT, heading for a flat week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate slipped 41 cents, or 1%, to $41.83.<br> <br><p>"Although both contracts continue to consolidate at the upper end of their two-month trading ranges, they lack the momentum to stage meaningful rallies at this stage," said Jeffrey Halley of brokerage OANDA.<br> <br><p>Prices had been bolstered this week by U.S. government data showing crude oil, gasoline and distillate inventories all fell last week as refiners ramped up production and demand for oil products rose.<br> <br><p>Oil has recovered from lows touched in April, when WTI briefly turned negative. Still, a rise in the number of coronavirus infections has limited gains. India reported another record daily rise in cases on Thursday.<br><br>OPEC and allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, have cut output since May by around 10% of pre-pandemic global demand to support the market. The deal calls for an increase in output this month as demand recovers.<br> <br><p>An OPEC+ panel meets next week to review the market and is not expected to tweak the agreement."Pessimism about this year's oil demand growth prospects is due to the weakening outlook in the coming months," said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM."To make matters worse, global oil supply is on the upswing."Brent crude was 37 cents, or 0.8%, lower at $44.59 by 0940 GMT, heading for a flat week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate slipped 41 cents, or 1%, to $41.83."Although both contracts continue to consolidate at the upper end of their two-month trading ranges, they lack the momentum to stage meaningful rallies at this stage," said Jeffrey Halley of brokerage OANDA.Prices had been bolstered this week by U.S. government data showing crude oil, gasoline and distillate inventories all fell last week as refiners ramped up production and demand for oil products rose.Oil has recovered from lows touched in April, when WTI briefly turned negative. Still, a rise in the number of coronavirus infections has limited gains. India reported another record daily rise in cases on Thursday.OPEC and allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, have cut output since May by around 10% of pre-pandemic global demand to support the market. The deal calls for an increase in output this month as demand recovers.An OPEC+ panel meets next week to review the market and is not expected to tweak the agreement.<br><br><b>Author:Alex Lawler | Reuters <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> |  <br><p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> London</b><br><b>Source:https://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/oil-slips-below-45-on-rising-supply-demand-doubts-due-to-covid-19-120081401695_1.html</b>

Preeti Kumari

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July WPI at -0.58 per cent, food prices spike

July WPI at -0.58 per cent, food prices spike

New Delhi: The wholesale price-based inflation stood at (-) 0.58 per cent in July, remaining in the negative zone for the fourth straight month even as vegetables and other food items turned costlier.WPI inflation in June was (-) 1.81 per cent, while for the month of May and April it was (-) 3.37 per cent and (-) 1.57 per cent respectively.The steep fall in deflation from June to July slightly reduced the gap between WPI and Consumer Price Index-based inflation. On Thursday, official data had shown a spike of 6.93 per cent in July, mainly on account of higher prices of food items. It was for the second consecutive month that the retail inflation has been above the RBI's comfort level.Inflation in food articles was at a four-month high level of 4.08 per cent in July, mainly due to sharp rise in vegetable prices. Inflation in vegetables stood at 8.20 per cent, against (-) 9.21 per cent in June.Pulses saw inflation of 10.24 per cent, while for potato it was 69.07 per cent in July. Protein rich items like egg, meat and fish saw hardening of prices with inflation at 5.27 per cent."The wholesale primary food inflation recorded a sharper climb in July 2020 relative to the previous month, as compared to the modest uptick in the retail food inflation, highlighting the varied trends at the mandi and retail level. Nevertheless, the CPI food inflation remained much higher than the wholesale food inflation in July 2020," said Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist with ICRA Ltd."With a sharp base effect. we expect the core items to record a turnaround to a mild inflation in August 2020, even as the headline WPI may remain in disinflation, the pace of which is likely to narrow further," Nayar said.<br><br><b>Author:ETNow</b><br><b>Source:https://m.dailyhunt.in/news/india/english/etnow-epaper-etnoweng/july+wpi+at+0+58+per+cent+food+prices+spike-newsid-n206501452</b>

Swati Ojha

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OSSC Recruitment 2020 for 239 SI, Soil Conservation Extension Worker, Weaving Supervisor and Superintendent Posts, Apply @ossc.gov.in

OSSC Recruitment 2020 for 239 SI, Soil Conservation Extension Worker, Weaving Supervisor and Superintendent Posts, Apply @ossc.gov.in

OSSC Recruitment 2020: Odisha Staff Selection Commission (OSSC) has re-released the recruitment notification for the post of Weaving Supervisor, Sub-Inspector of Excise, Superintendent and Soil Conservation Extension Worker. Eligible candidates who are interested for the posts can apply for the post from 16 August to 15 September 2020 on official website of OSSC i.e. ossc.gov.in.Important DatesOSSC Vacancy DetailsTotal Posts - 239Eligibility Criteria for Weaving Supervisor, Sub-Inspector of Excise, Superintendent and Soil Conservation Extension WorkerEducational Qualification:Age Limit:How to Apply for the OSSC Recruitment 2020 ?Eligible candidates can apply Online for the posts through the OSSC’s Website www.ossc.gov.in from from 16 August to 15 September 2020.Download OSSC Recruitment NotificationNOTICE REGARDING ACTIVATION OF ONLINE APPLICATION FOR WEAVING SUPERVISOR & SUPERINTENDENT (PMF) ARTIST-2019DETAIL ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE POST OF WEAVING SUPERVISOR & SUPERINTENDENT (PMF) ARTIST-2019NOTICE REGARDING ACTIVATION OF ONLINE APPLICATION FOR SUB INSPECTOR OF EXCISE-2019DETAIL ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE POST OF SUB INSPECTOR OF EXCISE-2019NOTICE REGARDING ACTIVATION OF ONLINE APPLICATION FOR SOIL CONSERVATION EXTENSION WORKER-2019DETAIL ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE POST OF SOIL CONSERVATION EXTENSION WORKER-2019Online Application Link<br><br><b>Author:Jagran josh</b><br><b>Source:https://m.dailyhunt.in/news/india/english/jagran+josh-epaper-jajoshen/ossc+recruitment+2020+for+239+si+soil+conservation+extension+worker+weaving+supervisor+and+superintendent+posts+apply+ossc+gov+in-newsid-n206502216</b>

Shubham kumar Pandey

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Unlock BFSI 2.0: Covid-19 a bigger boost for fintech than demonetisation

Unlock BFSI 2.0: Covid-19 a bigger boost for fintech than demonetisation

While demonetisation was a trigger for the adoption of digitisation in India, the Covid-19 pandemic had made the sector achieve in 5 months what it would have otherwise taken 5 years to achieve, said top financial technology (fintech) and technology-finance (techfin) experts at the Business Standard Unlock BFSI 2.0 webinar on Friday. While they all agreed that there were more opportunities than challenges for the sector going ahead, they underlined the importance of digital literacy and customer awareness to enable rural India to become part of the fintech revolution.They were speaking at the second session of Business Standard’s six-part Unlock BFSI 2.0 webinar series. The discussion was moderated by Tamal Bandopadhyay, consulting editor, Business Standard.The panelists in today’s session, titled ‘All roads lead to the digital world’, were Google Pay Managing Director and business head Sajith Sivanandan, PhonePe Chief Executive Sameer Nigam; Mswipe founder & CEO Manish Patel, Zerodha Chief Investment Officer Nikhil Kamath, VISA group country manager (India & South Asia) T R Ramachandran, and Infrasoft Technologies MD & CEO Rajesh Mirjankar.Ramachandran observed that several interesting trends had emerged for the fintech sector from the Covid-19 pandemic. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) digitisation had gone up, along with the number of innovative payment solutions, there was a heterogenity of payments and the government had decided to play an active role in the space. "Any sector in which the government is interested is always an interesting sector."<br> <br>Mswipe's Patel said while he saw more opportunities than challenges in the future, the challenges were real and needed to be addressed. He further said that in contrast with offline payments earlier, more and more SMEs were shifting to online. "Largely, payments for SMEs meant offline. For the first time these SMEs are thinking of going online," he said.Zerodha's Kamath said: "More and more people are now moving to web platforms for stock trading."<br><br><br><br><br> <br>Crises tend to be a fertile breeding ground for innovation and an acceleration of a lot of trends in the fintech space has happened due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Google Pay’s Sivanandan said. "In 5 months, we have seen 5-10 years of progress."<br> <br>On his part, PhonePe's Nigam said Covid-19 had been very helpful in customer acquisition, with customers themselves turning into spokespersons for digital payment.Speaking on “sachetisation” of products like insurance and mutual funds, Nigam said: "The moment you talk about ‘Bharat’ consumers, you really need a 'sachet' for everything. Commenting on WhatsApp’s possible entry into the space, Nigam said: "I would like them to enter sooner than later. In payments, the first-mover advantage is really not that important."<br> <br>Zerodha's Kamath spoke about under-penetration of the broking market in the country and said that in the US equity markets there were a lot more participants. "It is not one broker cannibalising the other; we have to grow as a market as it is still underpenetrated in India," he said. He also said that more capital needed to come into the financial ecosystem.<br><br><b>Author:BS Web Team <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> |  <br><p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> <p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p> New Delhi</b><br><b>Source:https://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/unlock-bfsi-2-0-covid-19-a-bigger-boost-for-fintech-than-demonetisation-120081401675_1.html</b>

Shashi Hansdah

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Nanoparticles to immunize plants against heat stress

Nanoparticles to immunize plants against heat stress

Civil and Environmental Engineering's Greg Lowry and his team are creating nanoparticles (NP) and NP coatings that will revolutionize the agricultural industry. Already, his research has demonstrated that NPs that are coated with the right polymers can be applied to plant leaves with 99 percent uptake—orders of magnitude more efficient than current agrochemical delivery methods. Their NP's are also able to target specific plant structures with pinpoint accuracy.<br><br> <br> <br><br><br><br><br><br>Now, as the next step in the emerging field he's coined "plant therapeutics," Lowry and Chemical Engineering's Bob Tilton are working to "immunize" plants against some of the greatest stress factors in agriculture: drought and extreme heat. In their recent paper in ACS Nano, they've detailed the first ever demonstration of a temperature-programmed release of a model antimicrobial agent within a plant. <br>"Prolonged high temperatures can induce stress in crop plants," says Tilton. "Our materials are designed so they can bind heat stress relief agents and release them inside the plant on demand when it becomes very hot." <br>The NPs are a new type of star polymer. Each NP contains a model antimicrobial agent known as crystal violet (CV). The team sprayed the NP's onto tomato leaves, observing similarly high absorption rates to those in Lowry's prior research, which then circulated throughout the entire plant over the next three days. The programmed release properties then became active once temperatures within the plant reached 35-40 degrees Celsius, causing the NPs to release their cargo of CV throughout the plant's interior. <br><br><br><br><br><br> (Top) Control images of the leaf surface (a), stomata and epidermis cells (b) , and stomatal cavity and the mesophyll cells (c). (Bottom) Spectral angle mapping test indicating remaining NPs in red: lack of color indicates complete absorption. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University<br> <br><br><br>Drought and extreme heat can kill plants, as well as making them highly susceptible to both biotic and abiotic threats. As global warming continues to increase the length and severity of heat waves, the difficulties for the agricultural industry will only grow. Tilton and Lowry's star polymers will lie dormant in plants until heat waves hit, at which point they will activate to release antimicrobial agents like CV to give the plant the added boost they need to survive these high-stress periods. They're now looking at inserting other therapeutics into plants that could not only help them fight off dangerous pathogens during periods of heat stress, but could actually mitigate the heat stress itself by stimulating photosynthesis within. <br><br><br><br><br><br><br>"Polymers with qualitatively similar characteristics have been investigated for use as drug delivery vehicles for medical therapies," says Tilton. "Of course, the conditions under which drug delivery vehicles and agrochemical vehicles must work, and the types of physical and chemical signals that can be exploited for stimulus-responsive release of the active agents, are quite different. The key was to design the right chemical properties into our vehicles to suit the crop protection applications."<br>As the climate changes, arable land shrinks, and populations continue to grow, maximizing the efficacy of agriculture has never been more crucial. The high absorption rates and array of applications for plant protection and nourishment offered by plant therapeutics may well be the key to offsetting these monumental forces. As Lowry and peers outlined in a recent article in Nature Food, agricultural nanotechnology is on the cusp of moving from the engineer's lab into the farmer's plot. However, the field still requires greater investment and effort to push testing into the field scale to demonstrate the efficacy and economic viability of revolutionary technology like the team's NPs.<br> <br> <br><br><b>Author:Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering</b><br><b>Source:https://phys.org/news/2020-08-nanoparticles-immunize-stress.html</b>

Prithviraj Mahto

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The search for molecular glue in targeted disease control

The search for molecular glue in targeted disease control

In cells, there are proteins that do the work and proteins that regulate them. The latter inhibit or enhance activity, depending on the need. However, in many diseases—for example cancer—there is so much overactivity in the cell that the regulator proteins can no longer keep up with it. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology therefore developed a kind of molecular "glue" in 2019 that helps the regulator to inhibit faster. Now this technique has been further developed, and the researchers have found a completely unexpected way to look for new protein-gluing molecules. This offers prospects for the development of drugs for cancer, diabetes or cystic fibrosis, for example. They published their results last week in Nature Communications.<br><br> <br> <br><br><br><br><br><br>Overactive proteins are the cause of many diseases in our body. Doctors usually combat these directly by sending an inhibitory drug directed at the overactive protein. But that does not work for all diseases: the medicine sometimes inhibits not only the diseased proteins, but also the healthy ones. Researchers have therefore continued to look for other ways to inhibit overactive proteins, while the healthy proteins remain undisturbed.<br>Regulator proteins provide a logical route, because their natural function is to inhibit overactivity in the cell. If you can support those regulator proteins in their inhibitory power, like a volume knob that you turn up, then you have found a much more natural and effective way to suppress overactive proteins. TU/e-researchers Eline Sijbesma and Emira Visser of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems have started working on this question.<br>Key and lock<br>The inhibition or amplification of activities in our cells takes place because a regulator protein binds to the process protein in the cell that needs regulation, together forming a complex. Sijbesma: "The shape of the two proteins and the place where they bind to each other creates a kind of cavity between the two proteins. It is precisely these cavities that are interesting for the targeted drug delivery. Such cavities are very specific; the binding sites available in a cavity are unique for each complex of two proteins. For us, these are the chemical handles we target with a new drug."<br>This is a familiar mechanism in the cell; cavities in protein complexes are bound by small signal molecules in the cell. They act as inhibitors, which ensure that no other protein can bind, or as stabilizers, which make the complex much more stable—this is what the researchers also want to do. Such a stabilizer acts as a kind of molecular glue that glues the two proteins together so that they can communicate better with each other, and as a result of which the regulator protein gets much more grip on inhibiting the process protein. An wayward disease protein can thus be powerfully corrected in a natural way.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Visser explains: "We want to make new stabilizers, but make them so unique that they only fit on one complex. So the crux is to find a particle that fits exactly in that specific cavity, like a key in a lock. Once you know how to do that, you can search for a suitable cavity per disease, and develop a very specific molecule for it."<br>Stabilizer versus inhibitor<br>In 2019 the researchers published a kind of glue molecule, which indeed fits exactly in the cavity of such a protein complex. As a result, the bond to the regulator protein actually became 40 times stronger than without the glue. Sijbesma: "Now that we had demonstrated that our hypothesis worked, we could look for new ways to find chemical starting points for glue molecules. We started that search with a set of virtual molecules, and then began tinkering to make one the exact fit for the complex we had in mind."<br>By coincidence, however, the researchers then discovered that one of the most promising molecules is a familiar inhibitor, which prevents the normal binding of proteins to the regulator protein. And that would mean that you can choose from a much larger pool of possible molecules. Visser: "We hadn't thought of that before, because you don't want the properties of the inhibitors, namely that no other protein is able to bind anymore."<br>However, after many modifications to the inhibitor molecule, the researchers turned out to be able to convert those undesirable properties to desired ones. "We convert an inhibitor into a stabilizer, as it were," explains Sijbesma. Sijbesma and Visser feared for a while that this new molecule would not be specific enough, and would therefore have an effect on several protein complexes, but this turned out not to be the case after extensive experimental work. The researchers discovered thus an entirely new pool of molecules that can be used as a starting point for their molecular glue.<br>Diabetes, cystic fibrosis and cancer<br>The next step is to test the new molecules in the cell. Eventually, the researchers hope to be able to set up a platform on which they can apply the same trick they will soon have at their fingertips to many different diseases in the future. They are thinking, for example, of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, cystic fibrosis and various types of cancer. Sijbesma concludes: "These are all diseases that are caused by wayward proteins, and which are also so complex that direct inhibition is often not selective enough."<br>These results were published on 7 August in the journal Nature Communications, titled "Structure-based evolution of a promiscuous inhibitor to a selective stabilizer of protein-protein interactions."<br> <br> <br><br><b>Author:Eindhoven University of Technology</b><br><b>Source:https://phys.org/news/2020-08-molecular-disease.html</b>

Ashish Acharya

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Obesity may increase risk of dying from COVID-19, especially in younger men

Obesity may increase risk of dying from COVID-19, especially in younger men

Researchers found a striking association between BMI and risk for death among patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19. The association was independent of obesity-related comorbities and other potential confounders. Their findings also suggest that high BMI was more strongly associated with COVID-19 mortality in younger adults and male patients, but not in female patients and older adults. A retrospective cohort study is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.<br> <br><br><br><br><br> Researchers studied health records for more than 6,900 patients treated for COVID-19 in the Kaiser Permanete Southern California health care system from February to May 2020 to determine the association between obesity and death from COVID-19. The obesity risk was adjusted for common comorbidities, including diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, myocardial infarction, and chronic lung or renal disease, which themselves are risk factors for poor outcomes in COVID-19. The study also took into account when SARS-CoV-2 was detected. They found that patients in the highest weight group were four times as likely to die within 21 days of being diagnosed with COVID-19 as those in the normal weight group. Men and those younger than 60 years who had a high body weight were at particularly high risk for death. According to the researchers, identifying obesity as an independent risk factor is important so that patients with obesity can take extra precautions and health care providers and public health officials can consider this when providing care and making public health decisions.<br>The author of an accompanying editorial from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine suggests that these findings in addition to prior research should put to rest any notion that obesity is common in severe COVID-19 because it is common in the population. The research proves that obesity is an important independent risk factor for serious COVID-19 disease and that the risks are higher in younger patients. According to the author, this is probably not because obesity is particularly damaging in this age group; it is more likely that other serious comorbidities that evolve later in life take over as dominant risk factors. That males are particularly affected may reflect their greater visceral adiposity over females.<br> <br><br><b>Author:American College of Physicians</b><br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-08-obesity-dying-covid-younger-men.html</b>

Rohit Kumar Choudhary

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Severe COVID-19 associated with heart issues

Severe COVID-19 associated with heart issues

The number of people coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is rising with more cases in the U.S. (5M according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC) than any other country (20M confirmed cases worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, WHO).<br> <br><br><br><br><br> Initially thought to be an infection causing disease of the lungs, inflammation of the vascular system and injury to the heart appear to be common features of this novel coronavirus, occurring in 20% to 30% of hospitalized patients and contributing to 40% of deaths. The risk of death from COVID-19-related heart damage appears to be as or more important than other well-described risk factors for COVID-related mortality, such as age, diabetes mellitus, chronic pulmonary disease or prior history of cardiovascular disease.<br>"Much remains to be learned about COVID-19 infection and the heart. Although we think of the lungs being the primary target, there are frequent biomarker elevations noted in infected patients that are usually associated with acute heart injury. Moreover, several devastating complications of COVID-19 are cardiac in nature and may result in lingering cardiac dysfunction beyond the course of the viral illness itself," said Mitchell S. V. Elkind, M.D., MS, FAHA, FAAN, president of the American Heart Association, the world's leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health and research, and attending neurologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. "The need for additional research remains critical. We simply don't have enough information to provide the definitive answers people want and need."<br>Compared with other major viral outbreaks in recent memory, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-1) in 2002-2003, the pandemic of COVID-19, which is caused by a novel coronavirus termed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), appears to be less fatal, but it spreads more easily. Adults over age 60 are likely more susceptible to contracting the infection and more likely to die when they do. However, researchers do not yet know why older people are more likely to get sick.<br>While the majority of COVID-19 patients appear to recover well, a smaller number experience severe, exaggerated inflammation throughout the body, known as a cytokine storm. This systematic inflammation, which is carried through and affects the entire vascular system, is seen in the most severe cases and at the advanced stage of the illness. It can lead to widespread blood clotting, organ failure and/or damage to the heart or other organs. Similarly generalized inflammation likely contributes to a condition known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, seen in a small number of children with COVID-19 who displayed Kawasaki disease-like symptoms. Symptoms of this syndrome are fever, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal complaints and rash. Myocarditis and meningitis can occur, and patients may have circulatory collapse and respiratory failure.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) enters cells by binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, or ACE2, a component in the body's vascular system that controls blood pressure and may contribute to the development of cardiovascular issues. The relationship between viral entry and ACE2 had led to controversy surrounding the use of drugs which interfere with the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, thereby increasing the level of ACE2 and theoretically increasing susceptibility to infection. However, credible animal models of viral infection have shown that higher ACE2 levels may be protective by providing a backlog of receptors to offset those lost during the infection. And human studies have not shown greater susceptibility to or severity of infection among those taking drugs that affects ACE2.<br>In March, the American Heart Association, the Heart Failure Society of America and the American College of Cardiology jointly recommended continuation of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-i) or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) medications for all patients already prescribed those medications for indications such as heart failure, hypertension or ischemic heart disease. The statement— which remains valid today—indicates that patients with cardiovascular disease who are diagnosed with COVID-19 should be fully evaluated before adding or removing any treatments, and any changes to their treatment should be based on the latest scientific evidence and shared-decision making with their physician and health care team.<br>Nearly a quarter (23%) of people hospitalized for COVID-19 have experienced serious cardiovascular complications. Studies have shown 8% to 12% of all COVID-19 patients have acute cardiac injury. There are also case studies that indicate COVID-19 may lead to heart attacks, acute coronary syndromes, stroke, blood pressure abnormalities, clotting issues, diffuse myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation) and fatal arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). Based on studies of similar viruses, researchers speculate that heart complications are possible even after recovery from COVID-19. Two recent small German studies found heart muscle abnormalities months after patients had recovered.[6] While the incidence of these complications is not fully known, and it remains unclear how much cardiac injury is due to direct COVID-19 infection of the heart muscle or a result of immune mediated cardiac dysfunction following a profound viral illness, the virus does have a critical influence on the cardiovascular system.[7] There is concern that SARS-CoV-2 may have lasting or even delayed effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems, a possibility that requires further investigation.<br>Previously, the American Heart Association warned of the potential harm to the heart from use of the antiviral and antimalarial agent hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment. At that time, the Association indicated further evaluation is necessary to justify routine use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment—that remains the case today. More research is needed before hydroxychloroquine can be recommended for COVID-19. People should not take any forms of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, or azithromycin, without a full evaluation by their doctor and a careful assessment of the potential harms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recommended against further study of these treatments given concerns about harms from the medications.<br> <br><br><b>Author:Julie Del Barto, American Heart Association</b><br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-08-severe-covid-heart-issues.html</b>

Riya Joshi

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Study explores the association of malaria, HIV with anemia during pregnancy

Study explores the association of malaria, HIV with anemia during pregnancy

Pregnant women from sub-Saharan Africa with malaria and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have a higher prevalence of anemia than pregnant women without infections, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. The findings may have implications for reducing the risk of death in pregnant women and preventing low birth weights and neurocognitive impairment in their children as a result of anemia.<br> <br><br><br><br><br> Coinfections of HIV and malaria are common among expectant mothers in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Paddy Ssentongo, a doctoral student in epidemiology, led a study, published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, that assessed the association of malaria with anemia and the effects of malaria and HIV on anemia in pregnant women.<br>The researchers analyzed demographic and health surveys from 2012 and 2017 across seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa and examined blood samples from 947 pregnant women, ages 15 to 49 years old. Their results show that malaria was associated with an increased prevalence of anemia during pregnancy. The prevalence of anemia was higher in pregnant women with malaria and HIV coinfections (60%) than in pregnant women without infections (45%).<br>"Pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa suffer a double burden of malaria and HIV infections, and these infections interact with each other to cause anemia," Ssentongo said. "Multipronged strategies to prevent and treat malaria and HIV in pregnant women are critical to ensure the survival of mothers and their unborn babies."<br>Anemia is a condition where the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to body tissue, resulting in fatigue. Diseases like HIV and malaria can destroy red blood cells and cause a person to become anemic.<br>The interaction between malaria and HIV leading to anemia in dually-infected patients is synergistic and bidirectional. Malaria leads to an increase in HIV viral load, a decline in the level of immune cells and an increase in inflammation. In addition, malaria increases the rate of disease progression from HIV to AIDS. HIV contributes to more frequent and more severe cases of malaria and increases the density of malaria parasites, which leads to either the destruction of the red blood cells, reduced iron absorption or reduced rate of formation of new red blood cells in the bone marrow.<br>According to the researchers, preventative strategies for anemia in pregnancy due to malaria and HIV include the use of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (co-trimoxazole), a malaria prophylactic treatment, in addition to antiretroviral therapy, which both lower the odds of coinfection. In addition, vector control using insecticide-treated bed nets and residual spraying is effective. Although intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine has been shown to be effective in parts of Africa, intermittent preventive treatment should be avoided in pregnant women, who are on antiretroviral therapy and co-trimoxazole prophylaxis, because of the risk of adverse drug reactions.<br> <br><br><b>Author:Scott Gilbert, Pennsylvania State University</b><br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-08-explores-association-malaria-hiv-anemia.html</b>

Diwakar Mandal

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Ship leaks more oil off Mauritius as calls for answers grow

Ship leaks more oil off Mauritius as calls for answers grow

A fresh streak of oil spilled Friday from a bulk carrier stranded on a reef in pristine waters off Mauritius which is already reeling from the ecological disaster, as demands mounted for answers as to why the vessel had come so close to shore.<br><br> <br> <br><br><br><br><br><br>The Japanese-owned MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef on July 25 and a week later began leaking over 1,000 tonnes of oil into a protected marine park boasting mangrove forests and endangered species. <br>Mauritius declared an unprecedented environmental emergency last week. <br>France and Japan have responded to the Indian Ocean island's call for help, along with thousands of ordinary Mauritians who volunteered day and night to clean sludge from the picturesque tropical coastline. <br>Salvage crews raced against the clock, with the boat threatening to split in two, to pump almost 3,000 tonnes of remaining fuel off the boat. <br>While the boat's reservoirs were successfully emptied on Wednesday, preventing further massive damage, some of the remaining 100 tonnes of oil stored elsewhere on the boat began to leak on Friday.<br>"Since this morning the water has again turned black around the Wakashio," said fisherman Alain Francois.<br>"Authorities tell us it is the waves entering the boat which is removing the fuel in the hold."<br>A source working on the salvage operation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the oil sludge came from the machine room where it was impossible to pump the oil out.<br>"We can't penetrate this part of the vessel. It is too dangerous. There is a risk of asphyxiation," the source said.<br>However he said the fresh oil would be captured by floating barriers stuffed with straw and stitched together by Mauritians who have rallied to aid the clean-up operation.<br>The spill is an ecological and economic disaster for Mauritius, which relies heavily on tourism.<br>The government has come under fire for doing too little in the week after the ship ran aground, while experts from the Japanese Nagashiki shipping company, which owns the Wakashio, took three weeks to arrive.<br>'Unanswered questions'<br>Greenpeace wrote a scathing letter to the ship's owners, saying: "many unanswered questions remain. Why was your vessel sailing so dangerously close to the reef? Why have you done so little since the ship ran aground? What will you do to reduce the damage to the environment, and the pain and suffering of those whose livelihoods depend on it?" <br>The ship's owner has meanwhile pledged to "sincerely" respond to requests for compensation over damage to the marine environment.<br>"We are deeply conscious of our responsibility as a party directly involved in the case," said Kiyoaki Nagashiki, president of Nagashiki Shipping.<br>"Regarding compensation, we plan to deal with the issue sincerely based on applicable laws," the head of the Okayama-based company said in a statement.<br>"We will continue to do our utmost to collect the leaked oil and to minimise the impact of the environmental pollution," he added.<br>In an interview with AFP on Thursday Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said a probe into events surrounding the disaster was still ongoing.<br>"The investigation will be able to determine the causes of this accident, the reasons why the boat came so close to our shores and ran aground," Jugnauth said. <br>"And of course, a general mobilisation at all levels will continue cleaning up and making sure that the oil can be removed from the sea."<br> <br> <br><b>Source:https://phys.org/news/2020-08-ship-leaks-oil-mauritius.html</b>

Md Ehtesham

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European nations step up virus measures as cases mount

European nations step up virus measures as cases mount

European nations among the hardest hit by the coronavirus unveiled further control moves Friday to battle rising cases, hitting summer tourism and aspects of everyday life on the continent.<br> <br><br><br><br><br> Britain added France to its list of countries hit with a mandatory two-week quarantine for returning holidaymakers from Saturday, as Paris confronts a resurgent second wave of infections.<br>Confirmed cases in France reached levels not seen since May on Wednesday and Thursday, at over 2,500 new cases per day.<br>"The indicators are bad, the signals are worrying and the situation is deteriorating... The fate of the epidemic is in our hands," the country's national health agency chief Jerome Salomon told France Inter radio, adding that the capital Paris and the Mediterranean port city of Marseille were especially at risk. <br>But he highlighted that by "mobilising, respecting infection control measures, accepting mass testing," some areas of France had stamped out new virus clusters.<br>Neighbouring Spain said it would close all discos and ban smoking in the street where people are unable to stay at a safe distance, after the country reported almost 3,000 cases in 24 hours on Thursday.<br>And Austria added popular Mediterranean destination Croatia to its list of at-risk countries, urging citizens to return home ahead of mandatory tests or quarantine for returnees starting Monday.<br><br><br><br><br><br> Graphic looking at countries with the highest coronavirus death tolls, and their respective death rates.<br> <br><br><br>Around the world, the number of confirmed cases rose to almost 21 million according to an AFP tally from official sources at 1100 GMT, with almost 755,000 people dead.<br>The United States has suffered the most deaths at 167,253, followed by Brazil with 105,463, Mexico 55,293, India with 48,040 and Britain with 41,347.<br>Cross-Channel scramble<br>France and the Netherlands have now joined Spain and several other European nations on Britain's quarantine list, having at first been granted exemptions.<br>Briton Paul Trower told AFP he decided to cut short his visit to France after receiving several messages from friends warning him of the quarantine measures.<br>"We looked and tried to book a ferry, cancelled our holidays and come home to avoid it because my wife works and I look after my granddaughter," he said.<br>"It was already a very bad season and now it's going to be even worse," said Christophe Mathieu, the chief executive of Brittany Ferries which operates services between Britain, Ireland, France and Spain.<br><br><br><br><br><br> CureVac's potential vaccine is undergoing testing in Germany<br> <br><br><br>French holidaymakers in the UK will be faced with tough choices of their own, as Paris swiftly announced a "reciprocal measure", although it was unclear when that might be imposed.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>The Netherlands also said it would advise against all but essential travel to Britain, but will not impose a quarantine of its own for incoming travellers.<br>With more than 41,000 deaths caused by COVID-19, Britain is the worst-hit country in Europe and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been criticised over his handling of the crisis.<br>Economic blows<br>A slew of data Friday revealed the scale of the economic impact of the virus and punishing lockdowns, with Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark all booking hefty hits to GDP in April-June.<br>"Never before" has the Dutch economy suffered shrinkage of 8.5 percent in a single quarter, the CBS statistics office said, while Denmark and Hungary both reported their worst slumps since the early 1990s.<br>Central European heavyweight Poland entered its first recession since the end of the communist era.<br><br><br><br><br><br> Hundreds of thousands of Britons in France were deciding whether or not to hurry home<br> <br><br><br>The continent's stock markets groaned under strain on the travel and tourism sectors from the new quarantines and the US failure to agree a new round of economic support for citizens.<br>One bright spot was German vaccine maker CureVac, set to dip its toe into the US markets with an initial public offering raising more than $200 million.<br>The company is seen as one of the leading contenders in the race to develop to a COVID-19 vaccine and received permission in June to start human trials.<br>Meanwhile Vietnam said it was looking to buy a bulk order of Russia's "Sputnik" vaccine, although Western scientists raised concerns about the speed of its development and suggested that researchers might be cutting corners.<br>And Washington said it would distribute any vaccine proven to be effective to all Americans for free.<br>Mexico said it and Argentina aim to have a vaccine available for Latin America—now the region with the worst virus toll and most cases—early next year under a production agreement with drugs giant AstraZeneca.<br><br><br><br><br><br> Normally busy Auckland arteries were at a standstill<br> <br><br><br>New strain in New Zealand<br>New Zealand is battling its own second wave of infections and extended a lockdown of its largest city Auckland by at least 12 days, giving health authorities more time to trace and contain a variant of the virus previously unseen in the country.<br>The Pacific island nation's initial response to the pandemic was hailed a success, but a run of 102 days with no reported community transmission was brought to an end on Tuesday.<br>The country has now detected a cluster of 30 virus cases, and genomic tests indicated the latest infections were not the same strain of coronavirus recorded earlier this year.<br>"This suggests it's not a case of the virus being dormant, or of burning embers in our community, it appears to be new to New Zealand," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, adding tests were unable to link the outbreak to any cases among quarantined travellers from overseas.<br>In Latin America, both Mexico and Peru surpassed half a million confirmed infections.<br>Infections in Peru have also risen sharply since a national lockdown was lifted on July 1, prompting the government to reinstate a Sunday curfew, ban social gatherings and enforce mandatory lockdown in more provinces.<br> <br><br><b>Author:Afp Bureaus</b><br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-08-european-nations-virus-cases-mount.html</b>

MOHIT RANJAN

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Investigation of five-layered cuprate reveals Fermi pockets

Investigation of five-layered cuprate reveals Fermi pockets

A team of researchers affiliated with a host of institutions in Japan and one in the U.K has observed Fermi pockets during experiments with a five-layered cuprate, confirming theories. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study of the cuprate Ba2Ca4Cu5O10(F,O)2 and what they learned about superconductivity. Inna Vishik with the University of California Davis, has published a Perspective piece in the same journal issue giving background on superconductivity research involving cuprates and their transition temperatures and outlining the work done by the team in Japan.<br><br> <br> <br><br><br><br><br><br>Cuprates are defined by their anionic copper complexes. They also have the highest transition temperatures for superconducting materials. Superconductors are, of course, materials that allow electricity to pass through them without resistance. Most materials must undergo treatment to become superconducting, such as being chilled. Such materials thus have a transition stage when they change from a regular conductor to a superconductor. <br>As Vishik notes, prior research has shown that cuprates possess some of the highest transition temperatures, making them inviting targets of investigation. Over the past several years, a considerable amount of work has shed light on the factors that contribute to superconductivity, but thus far, it is still not very well understood. Vishik notes that researchers have studied just a few cuprates, despite the hundreds of cuprates to choose from. It was for this reason that the team in Japan chose to study a cuprate that has seen little to no research, the quintuple-layer cuprate, Ba2Ca4Cu5O10(F,O)2.<br>The work involved doping the cuprate in a Mott insulator—a task that in the past has proved challenging. Theory has suggested that if a small concentration of charge carrier is added to a Mott insulator, Fermi pockets should become observable. The researchers were able to overcome problems experienced by other researchers due to their choice of cuprate. It has a unit cell with five copper oxide planes instead of the normal two, making it much easier to observe the pockets as they became visible. The researchers were able to see two of them in their work, bolstering the theories that predicted them.<br> <br> <br><br><b>Author:Bob Yirka , Phys.org</b><br><b>Source:https://phys.org/news/2020-08-five-layered-cuprate-reveals-fermi-pockets.html</b>

Varsha Sharma

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Searching for Heavy Higgs bosons decaying into two tau leptons with the ATLAS detector

Searching for Heavy Higgs bosons decaying into two tau leptons with the ATLAS detector

In particle physics, three out of the four known fundamental forces in the universe, namely electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions, are described by a theory known as the standard model (SM). One extension of this model is supersymmetry (SUSY), a theoretical construct that points to a possible relationship between two classes of particles: bosons and fermions.<br><br> <br> <br><br><br><br><br><br>SUSY theory explains a number of mathematical coincidences in the SM and is a fundamental component of string theory, one of the most promising constructs merging the SM with theories of gravity. It also predicts the existence of several new particles, none of which have been observed so far. For instance, it suggests that there are at least five types of Higgs bosons, rather than just the one type that has been observed so far.<br>While SUSY is theoretically appealing, there is no evidence that it applies to the real world, and if it does, the particles it predicts were presumably too heavy to be observed in previous experiments. In recent years, physicists worldwide have been trying to observe them directly in order to prove the validity of SUSY theory and understand the properties of these new particles.<br>The ATLAS Collaboration is a large team of researchers from multiple institutes worldwide who are working together to analyze and better understand the measurements recorded by the ATLAS detector at CERN. In a recent paper published in Physical Review Letters, the researchers presented the results of a search for heavy neutral Higgs bosons based on the analysis of data collected by the ATLAS detector.<br><br><br><br><br><br> The mTtot for the b-veto (left) and b-tag (right) categories of the τlepτhad channel (top) and τhadτhad channel (bottom). The binning displayed is that entering into the fit. The predictions and uncertainties for the background processes are obtained from the fit assuming the background-only hypothesis. Expectations from signal processes are superimposed. Overflows are included in the last bin of the distributions. Credit: CERN.<br> <br><br><br>"We have carried out several searches for more Higgs bosons, but this search is sensitive to more of the 'parameter space' of the SUSY Higgses than any other," William John Murray, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. "This particular paper is not the first of its kind, but it uses four times as much data as previous studies (i.e., all the data we have), as well as improved methods."<br>The ATLAS detector was designed to measure the particles emerging from collisions in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which is the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world today. It specifically identifies electrons and two types of particles that share some similarities with electrons, namely muons and taus.<br>Taus are particularly difficult to measure, as they decay very quickly. When they decay, they produce an invisible neutrino and either an electron, muon, or most commonly pions (i.e., hadrons made of quarks). The ATLAS collaboration specifically searched for pairs of decaying taus, focusing on cases in which both taus produced pions or where one produced either an electron or muon and the other produced pions.<br><br><br><br><br><br> The mTtot for the b-veto (left) and b-tag (right) categories of the τlepτhad channel (top) and τhadτhad channel (bottom). The binning displayed is that entering into the fit. The predictions and uncertainties for the background processes are obtained from the fit assuming the background-only hypothesis. Expectations from signal processes are superimposed. Overflows are included in the last bin of the distributions. Credit: CERN.<br> <br><br><br>"The LHC produces around a billion collisions a second, essentially all of which produce pions, so the problem that we set out to solve was to discern between pions coming from a tau decay and those that do not (referred to as 'fakes' in this context)," Murray said. "To do this, we had to measure how often we got it right—and how often we got it wrong. Controlling 'fake pions' is one of the biggest problems for the measurement."<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>To study pairs of taus, the researchers combined their measured momenta and estimated how heavy a given particle would have to be in order to produce that specific pair of particles while decaying. Subsequently, they built a histogram representing the mass they estimated and searched for a "bump" in the graph, as this would hint to the presence of a Higgs boson particle that was never observed before. <br>"There was a serious possibility of discovering a second Higgs boson and strongly hinting at supersymmetry," Murray said. "Our paper places new constraints on supersymmetric theories. Popper argues that theories must be falsifiable to be science. By eliminating parts of the supersymmetry parameter space, we reduce the possible wrong models that theorists can propose, thus bringing our field of study one step closer to the truth."<br><br><br><br><br><br> The mTtot for the b-veto (left) and b-tag (right) categories of the τlepτhad channel (top) and τhadτhad channel (bottom). The binning displayed is that entering into the fit. The predictions and uncertainties for the background processes are obtained from the fit assuming the background-only hypothesis. Expectations from signal processes are superimposed. Overflows are included in the last bin of the distributions. Credit: CERN.<br> <br><br><br>While this study by the ATLAS Collaboration did not lead to the observation of novel heavy Higgs bosons, it narrowed down the parameters within which these particles could be detected and observed. In the future, it could thus inform new searches aimed at directly observing these new particles and confirming their existence.<br>"We are now exploring alternate 'beyond the standard model' theories that predict other signatures," Murray said. "The very large LHC dataset could allow us to have a closer look at many other signatures—any of which might turn out to contain something new. Several of these were revealed at this year's ICHEP conference—but none were successful so far."<br> <br> <br><br><b>Author:Ingrid Fadelli , Phys.org</b><br><b>Source:https://phys.org/news/2020-08-heavy-higgs-bosons-tau-leptons.html</b>

Nitish Kumar

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