first_imgJan 18 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Operative microscopes have become fundamental to the success of modern neurosurgical and other surgical specialty procedures that they are requisite for a modern standard of care.Operative microscopes have become active platforms for the development of improved user-control interfaces and robotic systems. Latest developments provide significantly more functions than previous operative microscopes.A one-year study was recently conducted to perform a comprehensive assessment of the new, cutting-edge ZEISS KINEVO 900, a first-ever Robotic Visualization System® and compares its performance to the previous model of ZEISS surgical microscope.This study was carried out in a neurosurgery research laboratory. The assessment covered robotic, exoscopic, endoscopic and fluorescence functionalities. The study found that the KINEVO 900 provides a number of improvements over the previous surgical microscope:Robotic technology and benefits:Several novel robotic functions integrated into the KINEVO 900 were found provide improved ergonomics, with a potential to increase the viewing quality of neurosurgical procedures, including the illumination and visualization. For example, the “Position Memory” and “Point Lock” functions of the KINEVO 900 were found likely to be helpful in procedures requiring small bone windows.Additionally, there is no need to constantly adjust the parameters of the microscopic visualization during surgery. Considering that up to 40% of total surgery duration is spent adjusting the microscope, this technology could serve to decrease operative time.Integrated exoscopic visualization and benefits:The 3D 4K Digital Hybrid Visualization of ZEISS KINEVO 900 was found to be a significant improvement over prior technology. With the exoscopic visualization mode and long working distance, the entire operative room team can appreciate the detailed structures in the depth of surgical corridor.Furthermore, the 3D widescreen exoscopic view increases educational value. The study found that it was feasible to perform microvascular suturing and other microsurgical manipulations when the KINEVO 900 was used as an exoscope with the 3D view.Fluorescence visualization and benefits:Other notable improvements found with the KINEVO 900 over the previous ZEISS system include improved intraoperative fluorescence visualization. The KINEVO 900 provides better discrimination between the fluorescent signal and the surrounding area by means of a significantly improved perception of brain and blood colors. Non-fluorescent tissues appeared much brighter and more natural in color with the KINEVO 900 digital display and slightly brighter through oculars compared to the previous system.Related StoriesMicroscope cameras with CMOS sensor and high acquisition speed released by ZeissNew generation of FIB-SEMs presented by ZeissZEISS launches new field emission scanning electron microscope ZEISS GeminiSEM 450The KINEVO 900 provided a novel augmented reality ICG overlay function, better image resolution, and improved post-processing workflow for quantification of the flow compared to the previous ZEISS systems.FLOW® 800 was shown to be clinically beneficial to detect ischemic brain regions, differentiation of the feeders and draining vessels in arteriovenous malformations and quantitative evaluation of micro anastomosis patency. This study showed that ICG angiography was sensitive enough to assess blood flow even in small vessels less than 1 mm diameter with similar quantitative results.Fully integrated endoscopic Micro-Inspection Tool and benefits:Endoscope assistance in microscope-operated intracranial surgeries offers an additional visualization of the deep structures. However, endoscope assistance is limited by a decrease or at least significant impediments in maneuverability when compared with using the operative microscope.The KINEVO 900 is a robotic visualization platform that solidifies integration of microscopic and exoscopic visualization with a micro-inspection angled endoscope. This fully integrated Micro-Inspection Tool, QEVO, allowed inspection of areas around the resection cavity. The combination of two views in a picture-in-picture format enables a safer and efficient way to perform endoscope assisted procedures.The Micro-Inspection Tool, QEVO enabled in identifying blind spots to resect hidden portions of the cavernous malformation. The post-operative imaging confirmed a gross total resection and the patient was observed returning back to full strength one month after the surgery.In all, the improvements made in the KINEVO 900, along with the fully integrated endoscopic Micro-Inspection Tool, are significant. These improvements will influence ergonomics, precision, efficiency, viewing quality, and educational value of surgical procedures, providing that surgeons receive suitable training in its optimal G. Belykh, Xiaochun Zhao, Claudio Cavallo, Michael A. Bohl, Kaan Yagmurlu, Joseph L. Aklinski, Vadim A. Byvaltsev, Nader Sanai, Robert F. Spetzler, Michael T. Lawton, Peter Nakaji, Mark C. Preul. 2018. Laboratory Evaluation of a Robotic Operative Microscope – Visualization Platform for Neurosurgery. Cureus 10(7): e3072.last_img read more

first_imgApr 24 2019A new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that a slow-growing variant form of Lyme bacteria caused severe symptoms in a mouse model. The slow-growing variant form of Lyme bacteria, according to the researchers, may account for the persistent symptoms seen in ten to twenty percent of Lyme patients that are not cured by the current Lyme antibiotic treatment.The study, published March 28 in Discovery Medicine, also found that these “persister” Lyme bacteria were resistant to standard single-antibiotic Lyme treatments currently used to treat Lyme patients, while a three-antibiotic cocktail eradicated the Lyme bacteria in the mouse model.For their study, the scientists isolated slow-growth forms of the Lyme bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. They found that, compared to normal fast-growth forms, the slow-growing forms caused more severe arthritis-like symptoms and resisted standard antibiotic treatment in test tube as well as in a mouse model. The scientists found that a combination of three antibiotics–daptomycin, doxycycline and ceftriaxone–cleared the Lyme infection in the study mice. The scientists now hope to test the combination in people with persistent Lyme disease.”There is a lot of excitement in the field, because we now have not only a plausible explanation but also a potential solution for patients who suffer from persistent Lyme disease symptoms despite standard single-antibiotic treatment,” says study senior author Ying Zhang, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Bloomberg School.Lyme disease afflicts about 300,000 people in the United States every year. It is caused by Borrelia bacteria that live inside common species of ticks and are transmitted to humans by tick bites. Treatment with a single antibiotic–either doxycycline, amoxicillin or cefuroxime–for two to four weeks clears infection and resolves symptoms in most patients. However, some 10 to 20 percent of Lyme patients who are treated continue to suffer persistent symptoms including fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and brain fog that can six months or longer.Related StoriesStructure of bacteria responsible for traveler’s diarrhea deciphered’Scissors’ component of CRISPR/Cas9 sometimes gets stuckGrowth problems in preterm infants associated with altered gut bacteriaThis post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome has been controversial among many doctors, in part because studies of these patients usually have failed to show that Borrelia bacteria can be cultured from their blood, especially after treatment–a standard method for revealing the presence of an infection or relapse. However, Borrelia, like many bacteria, can switch under low-nutrient conditions or other stresses from their normal fast-growth mode to variant forms as in “stationary phase” with little or no growth.Studies also have hinted that these stationary-phase variants can be killed with the right drugs. Research by Zhang and colleagues has shown that a combination of daptomycin, doxycycline and cefoperazone reliably kills cultures of B. burgdorferi that include stationary-phase variant forms.In this new study, Zhang and colleagues grew stationary-phase B. burgdorferi and isolated two distinct no-growth forms, called microcolony and planktonic forms. They confirmed that these forms are resistant to standard antibiotics such as doxycycline and even two-drug combinations used for treating Lyme disease. They also showed that these stationary-phase forms, compared to normal-growing spiral forms of B. burgdorferi, cause worse Lyme disease-like symptoms in mice–chiefly inflammation and joint-swelling. However, treating these mice with the combination of daptomycin, doxycycline and ceftriaxone effectively eradicated the infection.”A lot of physicians have been wanting to do clinical trials of antibiotic combinations in post- treatment Lyme disease syndrome patients, and now we have results in animals that support the idea of such trials,” Zhang says.He and his colleagues are making plans for their own trial of the persister drug combination against post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. They note that the idea of persister bacteria causing severe and persistent infections with varying susceptibilities to different drugs might apply to other infectious diseases in which symptoms sometimes persist, despite standard treatment. Source: read more

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 27 2019Canada should reinvent the Motherisk program to support pregnant women to have healthy babies, argues an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Related StoriesAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysTrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyMotherisk, once a leader in evidence-based counseling on drug safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding in Canada, was shut down after losing credibility and funding amid allegations of research misconduct involving its former director.To ensure trust in a reinvented program, there should be oversights to ensure responsible conduct, which could be achieved through affiliation with a respected research institute and federal support to guarantee independence from industry.”We envision a national and interprofessional collaborative effort among clinical and research experts in reproductive drug safety; front-line providers in primary care and obstetrics; and health care organizations and specialty societies, including in family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, nursing, midwifery, internal medicine, pediatrics and other relevant disciplines,” writes Dr. Stall and colleagues.Source: CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) The loss of Motherisk has exposed a major public health and research void that is neither quickly nor easily reconciled. Although finding an immediate replacement for Motherisk is not feasible, reinventing a reputable and modernized clinical and research program in reproductive drug safety should be a national priority.”Dr. Nathan Stall, associate editor, CMAJ, and colleagueslast_img read more

first_imgBy Dr. Liji Thomas, MDJun 12 2019A new study set out to explore what does and does not work in the field of modern medical practice, and came up with 396 reported reversals of previously accepted medical practice over the last few decades.A medical reversal refers to a low-value medical practice, which is found to either be ineffective or more costly than an earlier or lower standard of care without offering more benefit, following a randomized controlled trial (RCT) which minimizes some types of bias. Auditing medical practice is essential in reducing costs on unnecessary medical interventions, and in protecting human health. Low-value medical practices also eat away at trust in healthcare providers, and may hinder timely access to medical care when required. Image Credit: Anyaivanova / Shutterstock It is difficult to identify such medical reversals. High-quality Cochrane reviews are limited in number. Another initiative is Choosing Wisely, in the US, which invites medical professionals to submit their list of low-value medical practices, but this too is often dependent on professional consensus before it includes a new item in its list.Study author Herrera-Perez says, “We wanted to build on these and other efforts to provide a larger and more comprehensive list for clinicians and researchers to guide practice as they care for patients more effectively and economically.”The current study used three medical journals with wide impact, namely, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), The Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), to perform a comprehensive search for RCTs that identified medical reversals. A full 13% all published RCTs were medical reversals. Strikingly, almost two-thirds of these studies were funded by non-industry sources and another 22% from a combination of industry and non-industry sources.Most of the medical reversals were based on studies done in developed countries, with only 8% having been performed in China, India and other low- or middle-income countries.Related StoriesScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTMany healthcare workers often care for patients while sick, study findsThe greatest number of reversals (20%) related to cardiovascular disease, followed by 12% in public health and 11% in critical care. In one third, a medication was found ineffective, while 20% dealt with ineffective procedures, and 13% with a vitamin or supplement. Only 1% related to over-the-counter medication use.Some reversals cited include the immediate delivery of babies following preterm prelabor rupture of the membranes after 34 weeks of pregnancy but before 37 weeks are complete, to reduce newborn sepsis. Others include the universal use of protective gowns and gloves to reduce the spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in ICUs; mammography every 1-2 years after the age of 40 (not recommended until 50 years); the use of compression stockings to prevent clots in the leg veins after surgery; wearable technology for weight loss; and hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women’s health. None of these are now recommended.This list is both long and spans all medical disciplines, adding to 146 already reported reversals. Some of these practices are extremely costly though ineffective. For instance, the drug bevacizumab which received US FDA approval for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer cost $88,000 per year, but its approval was withdrawn just three years later because of the lack of improvement in overall survival.Other low-value but costly medical practices adopted by patients themselves include cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, and wearable technology used by exercisers who want to lose weight.Once a practice has come into vogue, even for short periods, it is difficult to persuade both patients and medical professionals to abandon it. One way to reduce the number of medical reversals is to insist on having proof of effectiveness in the form of RCTs before the widespread adoption of either novel or older practices. This should be possible for most practices.Of course, some limitations are present, including the search of only three journals, with the possible impact of editorial choice as to which articles are or are not included; different opinions as to the benefits of various medical interventions, and the fact that in each RCT, the conclusions are based on that of the study authors. The meta-analyses used were not checked for quality, but the most recent research was used to evaluate the reversal.Nonetheless, study author Vinay Prasad says, “We hope these findings propel medical professionals to critically evaluate their own practices and, going forward, demand high-quality research before adopting a practice, especially for practices that are costlier and/or more aggressive than standard of care.”center_img Sources: Herrera-Perez D. et al., (2019). Meta-Research: A comprehensive review of randomized clinical trials in three medical journals reveals 396 medical reversals. eLife. (2019). Almost 400 medical practices found ineffective in analysis of 3,000 studies. read more

The abrupt reversal came days after officials announced a proposal to allow drilling in virtually all coastal waters The abrupt reversal came days after officials announced a proposal to allow drilling in virtually all coastal waters, drawing immediate criticism from environmentalists.Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida was among the early critics of the plan that is part of President Donald Trump’s “energy dominance” focus, saying oil drilling threatened Florida’s natural resources, an issue that has long had bipartisan support. Interior secretary Ryan Zinke announced the move on Twitter, saying: “I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.”As a result… I am removing Florida from consideration from any new oil and gas platforms.”The program “proposes the largest number of lease sales in US history,” and opens 98 percent of recoverable oil and gas reserves in federally-controlled waters to development, according to the Interior Department.While offshore drilling is defended as a vital source of jobs and economic development in a few states like Texas and Louisiana, many other parts of the country have vigorously fought drilling due to environmental hazards and the importance of tourism to their local economies.Republican governors including Maryland’s Larry Hogan and South Carolina’s Henry McMaster have balked at offshore drilling, while the practice is anathema in Democratic-leaning California and northeastern states.California’s attorney general Xavier Becerra immediately demanded a similar exemption for his state. “California is also ‘unique’ & our ‘coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.'” he tweeted. “Our ‘local and state voice’ is firmly opposed to any and all offshore drilling. If that’s your standard, we, too, should be removed from your list. Immediately.” Citation: US declares Florida exempt from offshore drilling plan (2018, January 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from © 2018 AFP California is well-equipped to block new drilling Explore further The Trump administration on Tuesday said it would not allow oil drilling off the coast of Florida after pressure from the state’s Republican governor. 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. read more

The EU wrote to Facebook last week to ask how many Europeans were affected by the growing scandal over the harvesting of personal data which was then shared with British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.”Facebook confirmed to us that the data of overall up to 2.7 million people in the EU may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica,” spokesman Christian Wigand told reporters.The EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova will speak to Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg early next week to discuss what steps the company is taking to address the breach.”We will study the letter (from Facebook) in more detail but it is already clear that this will need further follow-up discussions with Facebook,” Wigand said.Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday that around the world as many as 87 million people could be affected by the breach, which has sent the company into turmoil and raised questions about data protection for the entire tech sector.The EU is preparing to launch tough new data protection rules next month, under which companies could be fined up to four percent of their global turnover for breaches. Explore further © 2018 AFP Australia privacy chief to probe Facebook over data breach Citation: Up to 2.7 million Europeans affected by Facebook data scandal: EU (2018, April 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from 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. Facebook has admitted it may have “improperly shared” the personal data of up to 2.7 million people in the European Union, the bloc announced Friday, saying it would demand further answers from the social media giant. Facebook has admitted it may have “improperly shared” the personal data of up to 2.7 million people in the European Union, the bloc announced, saying it would demand further answers from the social media giant read more

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain ©2018 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. 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 Apple this week had every opportunity to show off new voice skills for Siri, the personal digital assistant, and to prove that it could be competitive with Amazon and Google.center_img We asked Google Assistant, Amazon ‘s Alexa and Apple’s Siri 150 questions. Here’s who won. Instead, it pretty much took a pass.At its annual developers conference Monday, the company spent 15 minutes on new augmented reality updates, nearly a half-hour on updates to a fall macOS software update and over an hour on the new version of iOS12, the mobile operating system upgrade for the iPhone and iPad that will be out in the fall. This includes improved privacy controls and tools to curb our cellphone addiction with parental controls.It did announce some new features, touted as “Shortcuts,” but they’re way more about text than voice and touted as “suggestions,” that can be set up with a pre-arranged set of text categories.Compare Apple’s presentation to Google’s recent developer conference, where the Google Assistant, which Google calls its voice-activated computing tool, stole the show. Google demo-ed a new tool to make hair and restaurant reservations by having the Assistant place a human sounding phone call. The person on the other end of the phone was fooled into thinking they’d been speaking to a real live person.And not a week goes by that Amazon doesn’t make an announcement about some new skill available for the Echo speaker line, which is powered by the Alexa voice assistant.With iOS12, “It’s as if Apple has given up entirely on Siri,” notes analyst and blogger Jeremiah Owyang.Alexa and Google “are setting a furious pace of innovation and making it harder for Apple to catch up as each month passes,” said Bret Kinsella, the publisher of the website.Siri is the most widely used of the assistants, due to the size of the iPhone universe, which has over 1 billion users, but consistently lags behind Alexa and Google in usability surveys.What Apple did showcase at the WWDC new feature intro was a new app, out in the fall, called “Shortcuts,” which uses “Siri suggestions,” to create automatic actions. For instance, you can choose from pre-set ones like “Send ETA,” or predictive ones to buy morning coffee. The feature is based on an app Apple purchased in 2017, Workflow, which it had named best app of the year in 2015.Since the keynote, Apple has put out a new webpage touting iOS12 features, and spotlighted ten Siri additions.Beyond the Shortcut app, Apple also said Siri would have more languages available for translation and expand the categories Siri could use to help locate images in the Photos app. Additionally, new databases of celebrity, motorsports and food questions have been added to Siri. Compared to what Google showed at the I/O developer conference, these would be considered very incremental.The overall message from the WWDC presentation is with so much disappointment over Siri’s accuracy rate, perhaps Apple is just subtly trying to expand the meaning of what Siri is, says Kinsella.Maybe it’s no longer a voice assistant, but just a name for shortcuts on the iPhone and iPad. “It’s too fine a point for consumers to understand,” he says. “Siri was introduced as a voice assistant in 2010, and it’s hard to reframe that now.”Apple didn’t respond to our request for comment. Citation: Apple, where’s the smarter Siri in iOS 12? (2018, June 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from read more

first_img 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 Norway’s Telenor to sell stake in Russia’s VimpelCom The watchdog’s director general, Lars Soergard, says Telenor made “a serious infringement of competition law” when creating “barriers for the development of a third mobile network in Norway.”The watchdog agency said Telenor introduced amendments to the network access agreement with the intention of limiting further investments in the third mobile network in Norway in 2010.Thursday’s fine was the largest ever given by the Competition Authority “to reflect the breach of the Norwegian Competition Act.”In a statement, Telenor CEO Berit Svendsen said the group had not violated any laws, adding the group likely would file an appeal. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Citation: Norway fines its main telecoms firm for blocking competition (2018, June 21) retrieved 18 July 2019 from The Norwegian Competition Authorities has fined Norway’s largest telecoms provider Telenor 788 million kroner ($96 million) for abusing its dominant position on the country’s mobile market.last_img read more

first_imgTornadoes have torn their way across the country as the natural disaster season starts, leaving hundreds displaced from their homes and lives in disarray. During natural disasters like these, amid the immediate danger to those in the path, important documents can be damaged or lost and loved ones of those affected are left wondering if they’re safe. In today’s technological age, there are ways to keep these documents safe while also alerting others of your location.Particularly if you live in an area prone to natural disasters, either spontaneous or seasonal, it’s always best to be prepared.In any disaster preparedness plan, you should start with the basics: necessities such as medicine, extra food and water, but also electronics and documents packed in a bag that is available at moment’s notice. It is also important to keep the electronics fully chargedso they are ready to go and accessible when disaster strikes, said disaster planning expert Dr. Chris Renschler, professor of geology at the University at Buffalo in New York.Renschler suggests keeping physical copies of these documents places outside of the area affected by the natural disaster and the original documents in a go-bag, preferably in waterproof protection. However, if storage elsewhere is not possible, there are ways to keep these documents safe using technology.Smartphone users can use scanning apps ahead of a disaster to put the documents on their phone, as well as simply taking pictures with their camera. Adobe Scan, Google PhotoScan and Genius Scan are free apps available on both iOS and Android devices and easily turns important documents into PDFs and saves them to your smartphone.It is difficult to get back into a normal routine and reestablish oneself after a natural disaster alone, but even more difficult without proper documents such as insurance and vital records as it can take months to get replacements, says RAND Corporation’s Anita Chandra. Because these documents are not originals, they can have some limitations, but Chandra says it’s a place to start when applying for recovery funds and insurance.Cloud servers allow users to access documents they upload from any location as long as they have a password. Physical documents and those stored on computer hard drives can easily be damaged in a natural disaster, and storing copies of them on the cloud keeps them safe from wind, water, fire and more. 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. Citation: Tornado outbreaks reminder to make smartphones disaster-ready (2019, May 31) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Jim Rossman: Load these five emergency apps before the next disaster strikes Explore further After the immediate emergency has subsided, contacting loved ones and emergency services can be difficult depending on the damage done and the havoc wreaked. If wireless service is available, Renschler says to call, text or post on traditional social media to alert others of your safety. There are also apps that allow others to see your location and know you are OK.Apple devices come with the Find My Friends app which lets users opt into sharing their location with the contacts of their choosing. However, this app doesn’t always work if the person doesn’t have service and is limited to iPhone users. Google also allows Android users to share their location via the Google Maps app and sometimes within messaging apps. There are a number of apps that can connect people trying to get in contact with each other after a disaster and work with both phone systems.Trusted Contacts works similarly to Find My Friends in that it allows users to share their location with choice people but also works if the person being located is offline or out of battery. This app also available on iOS and Android devices.Zello walkie talkie app proved to be a useful tool during Hurricane Harvey by allowing users to communicate without using their phone and text capabilities. Unlike a real walkie talkie, Zello allows unlimited users to communicate over unlimited channels to help people contact each other in a disaster environment. Zello is also available on iOS and Android devices, as well as on personal computers.Additionally, apps such as What’sApp and GroupMe allow contacts to message one another using WiFi instead of cellular service.”Anything that allows people to get a mass connection out, an update to all of their friends and loved ones quickly are certainly very helpful,” said Chandra. “They are not a solution by themselves, but they can certainly help in terms of getting the word out that people are OK but also in terms of resources a community overall or an individual may need.”Those who are injured, stuck or stranded due to a natural disaster might also have trouble contacting emergency services, and there are apps to assist.The American Red Cross has a host of apps that are useful in emergency situations, including their First Aid app. It walks users through how to properly administer medical attention before emergency services arrive. SirenGPS sends local first responders the user’s location along with their medical profile. However, the local stations must subscribe to the service in order to receive the alert.As Renschler points out, most of these services require a charged phone, and it is important to have back-up methods to charge these devices, such as portable and car chargers. Renschler also suggestsknowing how your phone operates and what causes the battery to die fastest. When you are familiar with that, you can then use the apps that are the most efficient in sending out information to contact the most people with the least amount of battery.While some natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes can come with some warning, others can take people by surprise, and it is important to always have an emergency plan.”Thinking about preparation and preparedness is just part of what we have to do in terms of routine practice going forward,” Chandra said. “Disaster preparedness is really important, and certainly can ease some of the burden because there is so much other burden that these communities are facing now with loss of loved ones and the emotional toll of disasters. All of us should be doing more early on as part of our daily practice.” Credit: CC0 Public Domain ©2019 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.last_img read more

first_imgCHANTILLY, France (Reuters) – Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso on Wednesday urged his G7 counterparts to make a comprehensive assessment of Facebook Inc’s Libra digital currency for any fresh challenges that could be overlooked by existing regulations. FILE PHOTO: Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso attends a high-level forum on debt at the Finance ministry in Paris, France, May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit TessierThe social media company’s plan to launch a digital coin has met with criticism from regulators, central bankers and governments who say it must respect anti-money-laundering rules and ensure the security of transactions and user data. Policymakers also fear widespread adoption of the digital currency by Facebook’s 2.38 billion users could upend the financial system. “Applying existing regulations alone may not be enough. A comprehensive examination is needed to see if Libra poses new challenges that existing rules do not take into account,” Aso told reporters after the first day of a two-day G7 gathering that ends on Thursday. “On the other hand, authorities need to respond in a timely fashion so they’re not behind the curve.” Finance leaders of the Group of Seven top economies gathering in Chantilly, north of Paris, agreed on the need to highlight their concern on Libra, though there was no consensus on how to regulate it, said a senior Japanese finance ministry official who was present at the talks. “Most G7 members saw Libra as posing a serious problem from the perspective of consumer data protection and the impact on monetary policy,” the official told reporters. Such concerns will be reflected in a chair country’s statement to be issued by France after the conclusion of the G7 meeting, he added. Earlier on Wednesday, U.S. lawmakers bashed Facebook over its planned cryptocurrency, saying the company had not shown it could be trusted to safeguard the world financial system and consumers’ data. Aso said the G7 finance leaders also reconfirmed an assessment made by the bigger G20 gathering that the global economy remained on track for a recovery, despite strains from the simmering U.S.-China trade tensions. “There was an agreement (among the G7 members) that the global economy will likely recover through next year,” Aso said. Reporting by Leika Kihara, editing by G Crosse & Shri NavaratnamOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

first_img 13 Extremely Weird Animal Feet The 10 Strangest Animal Discoveries Originally published on Live Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoBeverly Hills MDPlastic Surgeon Reveals: “You Can Fill In Wrinkles At Home” (Here’s How)Beverly Hills MDUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoTop 10 Best Meal DeliveryMeal Kit Wars: 10 Tested & Ranked. See Who WonTop 10 Best Meal DeliveryUndo Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Volume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Better Bug Sprays?01:33 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0000:3500:35Your Recommended Playlist01:33Better Bug Sprays?01:08Why Do French Fries Taste So Bad When They’re Cold?04:24Sperm Whale Befriends Underwater Robot00:29Robot Jumps Like a Grasshopper, Rolls Like a Ball00:29Video – Giggly Robot02:31Surgical Robotics关闭 Tiny, feisty worms that live off the coast of Japan fight by headbutting each other — and they aren’t quiet about it. During these feuds, the worms emit one of the loudest sounds in the ocean, according to a new study. The source of the underwater hullabaloo is a nearly transparent segmented worm called the Leocratides kimuraorum, which lives inside sponges 279 to 554 feet (85 to 169 meters) deep off the coast of Japan. [The 12 Weirdest Animal Discoveries]Advertisement These wigglies are just a tad more than an inch (29 millimeters) long and have lengthy tentacles and a big mouth (literally). These seemingly quiet creatures revealed their true nature under the spotlight in the lab. A group of researchers used an instrument called a hydrophone to record 15 pops that were emitted from three kimuraorums as they were fighting. In a marine feud researchers dub “mouth-fighting,” the worms approached each other headfirst with their mouths open. During such encounters, the worms’ pharynx muscles expand rapidly, creating a cavitation bubble that collapses and produces a loud “pop” while the worms launch into each other. The researchers found that these pops can reach 157 decibels in the water (which is a different measurement than decibels in the air). From right next to the water tank, the pops sounded like humans snapping their fingers, lead author Goto Ryutaro, an assitant professor at Kyoto University told Live Science. “Though they probably sound louder if you hear them in the water.” The worms are as loud as snapping shrimps, which are one of the biggest noisemakers in the ocean, the authors wrote. What’s more, they found that these worms did not make any noise when simply disturbed, they only did so when they were fighting. They “may use mouth-fighting to defend territory or living chambers from other worms,” the authors wrote July 8 in the journal Current Biology. “A loud pop may be a byproduct of the rapid mouth attack, but it may also aid intraspecific communication.” A loud noise could somehow determine the victor of the fight or even reveal the whereabouts of nearby worms, they wrote. Strange Love: 10 Animals with Truly Weird Courtship Ritualslast_img read more

first_imgNC president Farooq Abdullah (file photo) SHARE COMMENTS September 08, 2018 SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT Days after the National Conference announced its decision to not participate in the panchayat and urban local bodies (ULB) elections, the party on Saturday threatened to boycott the assembly and parliamentary polls too if the Centre does not take effective steps for protection of Article 35-A.Article 35-A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state. It is facing legal challenge in the Supreme Court. “How can we go to our workers and ask them to come out to vote? First do justice to us and clear your (Centre) stand (on Article 35-A). If your plan is that (weakening Jammu and Kashmir’s special position), then our ways are separate. Then we cannot have elections. Not only these (urban local bodies and panchayat) polls, but we will also boycott the assembly and parliamentary elections then,” NC president Farooq Abdullah said here. He was addressing party workers at a function here to mark the 36th death anniversary of his father and NC founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. The former chief minister said his party was not running away from polls, but wanted the Centre to do justice with the people of Jammu and Kashmir first and take effective steps for the protection of the state’s special position. “On one hand they (Centre) want to conduct polls here. On the other hand they want to revoke Article 35-A, Article 370 has been weakened and there are also attacks on the (Jammu and Kashmir) Constitution,” Abdullah said. He said the Centre and the state government hurriedly announced the the ULB and panchayat polls, which will be held next month in four and eight phases respectively. “First they should have talked to us. They should have called every leader that they plan to conduct polls and asked for our opinion. They did not. The prime minister announced on August 15 from the Red Fort that elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. The NC president also trained his guns at National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval over his statement that having a separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir was probably an “aberration“. “Their (Centre’s) intentions are not right. They never were. The NSA has said that a separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir is an aberration. I want to tell him from this stage that if the constitution is an aberration, then this accession (of Jammu and Kashmir to India) is also an aberration,” he said. “On one hand they tell us that we are their crown, but on the other hand they put that crown in their feet So, they have to think. They cannot control this state if they cause any further problems here. If they want this state together with the country, then they should stop what they are doing,” Abdullah said. politics Jammu and Kashmir Published on polllast_img read more

first_imgIndian National Congress SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT elections COMMENTS RELATED Published on April 02, 2019 SHARE Elections 2019 Rahul’s flight to ‘safety’ It’s an agenda for Balkanisation of India: Arun Jaitley Will Congress’s Kisan Budget bring acche din for farmers? A file photo   –  Sandeep Saxena BJP slams election manifesto, calls it an attempt to ‘Balkanise’ India The Congress on Tuesday released a back-to-basics roti, kapda, makaan poll manifesto, promising basic minimum income, more jobs and a separate budget for farmers, among other things.The BJP pushed its ultra nationalist line, accusing the Congress of “weakening national security” and siding with “terrorists, Maoists and the tukde tukde gang” (divisive forces).Highlighting political economy as the party’s main campaign pitch through the manifesto, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said this is the only comprehensive and distinct alternative vision to the individual-centric policy formulation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveils intermittently through his monthly Mann ki Baat.Economic issuesAs a counter to the BJP’s militaristic pitch with the Balakot strikes and Anti-Satellite Missile test framing the narrative, the Congress has sought to focus on economic issues through a comprehensive 55-page manifesto that almost resembles a Budget document.The manifesto was released by Rahul, strategically flanked by the party’s economic think tank — former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and former IIM professor and Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Gowda. Also present were party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra.Delivered with the tag-line ‘Congress will Deliver’, the manifesto promises a basic minimum income of ₹72,000 per year each to five crore poor families under the NYAY scheme, filling up 22 lakh government vacancies, bringing a separate budget for farmers and fixing a single moderate GST rate, among others.The BJP’s response to the Congress’s manifesto — with its painstaking details about remunerative farm prices and increased expenditure on healthcare and education — was led by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who dubbed it as an “agenda for Balkanisation of India” and wrote a blog titled “The Congress Manifesto – A Charter to Weaken India”.The Congress manifesto has underlined the distinction between the BJP, which advocates for a tough stand on terrorism and national security, and the Congress, which does not “deserve a single vote” for siding with “terrorists, jehadis, Maoists and the tukde tukde gang”, said Jaitley. He cited an entry in that promises to repeal Section 124A of the IPC pertaining to sedition.Responding to Jaitley’s charge, Chidambaram said: “Sedition is a colonial era law. The first to say it was Jawaharlal Nehru. We have made other laws, for example we have Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Defence of India Act. If you look at those provisions carefully, you will find that anything that will come under sedition laws is already covered by those laws and those law have procedural safeguards.”last_img read more

first_imgChandrababu Naidu protests poll panel’s ‘unilateral decisions’ COMMENT Clashes between TDP, YSR Congress workers in Andhra Pradesh national elections Lok Sabha elections 2019: Voters turn out in large numbers in 1st phase YSRC most searched in AP; Telugu Desam Party in Telangana Both BJP and Congress claim victory on Day 1 Action in Andhra Pradesh polls; low voter turnout in Telangana CM crying foul, fearing defeat, says YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy In a scathing attack on the Election Commission and the Modi Government, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said at Amaravati on Friday that the election on Thursday was “reduced to a farce due to the utter ineptitude of the Election Commission and the conspiracies hatched by the Modi government in connivance with Telangana Chief Minister KCR and YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy.”Earlier, late on Thursday night, YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy commented in Hyderabad that “the CM, after seeing the writing on the wall, is crying foul and blaming the Election Commission and everybody else to cover up his non-performance and failures. He will lose the election and he is searching for excuses.”Jaganmohan Reddy predicted a landslide for his party and thanked the voters of Andhra Pradesh.On Friday, the Chief Minister said he had never seen during his political career spanning over four decades “such an inept and incompetent Election Commission. In the morning, the EVMs did not function for more than two or three hours. In some places, polling began at 1 p.m and it was scheduled to close at 6 p.m, but it went on till the early hours of Friday. People were forced to visit the polling booth twice or thrice to cast their votes as the EVMs were not working. Was it done intentionally or was it an accident? Why did the EVMs not function properly? Even the Chief Election Officer could not cast his vote, not to speak of others. It was just reduced to a farce, a mockery, to say the least.”Conspiracy: He said every possible conspiracy was hatched by “Modi, KCR and Jagan” to subvert the poll process and thwart the TDP from emerging victorious. “However, I thank the people who came from far and wide, waited for hours and voted in large numbers. I am sure the TDP will emerge victorious. However, I have serious doubts over the way the poll has been conducted. I am going to New Delhi on Saturday to lodge my protest with the Chief Election Commissioner. My party MPs and ministers will accompany me. We will stage a demonstration, if necessary. I shall go to every part of the country and expose the conspiracy. We must save our great state and nation from this duo of Modi and Shah,” he said.Doubts over EVMs: Expressing serious doubts over the EVMs, he said, “We cannot trust them. There are too many serious problems and issues with the EVMs, which we have brought to the notice of the Government, the Election Commission and even the Supreme Court, but in vain. They are simply brushed aside. The EVMs, we suspect, are susceptible to manipulation and the BJP is utterly unscrupulous. The TDP is not the only party expressing doubts over the EVMs. There are more than 20 others.”In response to a question as to why he was raising doubts over EVMs now, and not in 2014 when his party won the election in alliance with the BJP, he responded, “As you say, I have won some elections and lost some. You win some and you lose some. Even now I am confident of winning this one, in spite of all the conspiracies. But that does not make the poll process right. I am raising the issue of EVMs to ensure that there is a fair and free system of polls. I want to save democracy in this country from the likes of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Jagan.”Referring to incidents of violence in the state, he said the incidents were pre-planned and they were perpetrated by the YSR Congress Party and the Election Commission helped him in the process. “On false and frivolous complaints lodged by Vijayasai Reddy, the YSR Congress leader, the Election Commission transferred police officials as it wished and even the Chief Secretary was transferred and a covert of Jaganmohan Reddy was posted as the Chief Secretary. To cap it all, on poll day, when the DGP was reviewing the law and order situation, the Chief Secretary went to meet him. It is quite amazing, every institution in the country is being subverted,” he alleged.Describing Jaganmohan Reddy as “a habitual liar and a conspirator”, he alleged that Jagan had rushed back to Hyderabad to his “Lotus Pond” residence in that city to conspire with the Telangana Chief Minister. “This man does not bother to stay in the state even on election day and he aspires to rule the state by remote control from Telangana with the blessings of Telangana Chief Minister KCR and Prime Minister Modi. More than 30 grave criminal cases, including several serious economic offenses, are pending against him. He simply blames me and the Congress for those cases,” he alleged.The poll percentage in the state, which was expected to touch or cross 80, was subsequently put at 76 per cent. Two persons lost their lives in violent incidents and several were injured. Even on Friday, there was some tension and violence in one or two districts such as Kurnool and Guntur. The authorities said efforts were being made to bring the situation under control. In some areas, a re-poll may be ordered. There is still uncertainty on the issue.  SHARE SHARE EMAIL April 12, 2019 Slogans and elections: The everlasting bond Elections 2019 RELATED Polling mostly peaceful in 1st phase of elections; voter turnout same as in 2014 Andhra Pradesh Published on SHARE COMMENTSlast_img read more

first_img Related News World 18 Apr 2019 Italy’s League presents anti-euro candidates at EU elections Related News World 11 Jul 2019 Italy’s Salvini denies his League party took money from Russians MILAN (Reuters) – The economic chief of Italy’s ruling League party said on Friday it was too early to say whether the government would try to get central bank vice governor Fabio Panetta onto the board of the European Central Bank.Italy has backed the appointment of French Christine Lagarde as president of the ECB as part of a plan to get a seat on the six-member executive board.”Certainly he is an authoritative figure,” Claudio Borghi said when asked by Reuters if Panetta would be the Italian candidate for the ECB board. But he added: “It is premature. There are still knots to untangle.”On the sidelines of a banking event in Milan, Borghi said Panetta had “defended Italian savers while at the Bank of Italy, unlike others”. AdChoices广告 (Reporting by Elvira Pollina, writing by Giselda Vagnoni; editing by Andrew Heavens) World 24 Jun 2019 Mini-bill plan creates fissures within Italy’s League {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

first_img(Reuters) – Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy has expressed how much it would mean to triumph in next week’s championship on home soil at Royal Portrush and former British Open runner-up Paul Azinger loves the way he has embraced the magnitude of the event.The way the American sees it, everyone knows what is at stake, so why try hiding from it?”I’m a little surprised at how candid he’s been about the magnitude of what this event will mean to him, because Rory has taken the attitude all year that he’s going to treat every event the same,” Azinger said on Friday.”But he admitted how much this is going to mean to him and I think it’s going to help him, because it’s the reality. Rugby 17h ago Cane to lead All Blacks against Pumas in Championship opener Golf 07 Jul 2019 American Daly not allowed to use golf cart at British Open Golf 09 Jul 2019 Golf: American Daly withdraws from British Open – report Related Newscenter_img Related News “The reality is it would mean more to him than anybody on earth. For him to openly admit it, publicly to us, to me I think it gives him a better chance.”Four-times major champion McIlroy will finally have his first chance to play an Open in his homeland as the championship returns to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951.McIlroy recently acknowledged “100%” that winning at Portrush would be the most special victory of all.Azinger, who finished a shot behind Nick Faldo at the 1987 Open at Muirfield and later collected his lone major title at the 1993 PGA Championship, rates McIlroy as his third favourite behind Americans Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.World number one Koepka has finished no worse than second in the past four majors.”Koepka by a wide margin to me is the favourite,” the 59-year-old Azinger said, speaking on a conference call ahead of next week’s Open, where he will be lead analyst on the American television coverage for NBC and Golf Channel.”His caddie is from there. This is going to be great for Brooks. It’s high time we stopped overlooking him.”TIGER ‘WARNING SIGN’And what about the chances of Tiger Woods, who has not played since finishing equal 21st at the U.S. Open last month? Woods, who has won 15 major titles, missed the cut at the PGA Championship, an understandable hangover perhaps after his famous triumph at the Masters where he ended a decade-long major victory drought in April.Azinger is certainly not writing off the 15-times major champion but, at the same time, is not convinced that more victories are going to flow freely as the 43-year-old chases down Jack Nicklaus’s all-time record of 18 major titles.”This next win for Tiger, it’s going to be a lot harder than people think because there’s a lot on the line for this next win and he’s had this mountain top experience of achieving that Masters victory,” Azinger said.”The good news for Tiger fans is his game is out of the laboratory but, for me, the warning sign for Tiger fans is that could have been the peak moment for Tiger.”Let’s give him some time to overcome that great victory at the Masters. I just saw a different Tiger the last two majors.” (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris) {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

first_img Press Trust of India KolkataJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 22:30 IST Mamata Banerjee stressed on conservation of rain water. (Photo: ANI)Save Water Day’ was observed by the West Bengal government Friday and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee participated in a march in the city to raise awareness on conservation.Mamata Banerjee urged the people to take “precautionary measures” to save the natural resource as water scarcity has become a major issue in the world.Emphasising on conservation of water, she said, “With water scarcity becoming a major issue in many places in the world we believe in taking precautionary measures to save water resources”.She also stressed on conservation of rainwater and said her government would observe July 12 as ‘Save Water Day’ in every year.Accompanied by her cabinet colleagues, government officials, intellectuals including writers, actors and directors of Bengali film and theatre industry and sports personalities, Banerjee walked from Jorasanko Thakurbari, the ancestral home of Rabindra Nath Tagore in north Kolkata, to the Gandhi statue on Mayo Road, a distance of around 4 km.Sporting blue-coloured sashes with the message “Save Water, Save Life”, the participants also waved placards carrying the message of water conservation.Banerjee said that the Trinamool Congress government had dug nearly 1.5 lakh ponds in five years till 2016 in the state as against the 50,000 the party had promised in its poll manifesto in 2011.”People are often assured of many things by the government and also individuals, but many promises are not met. I am used to keeping promises,” Banerjee said.The chief minister said about three lakh water bodies have been dug so far by the state government under the water conservation programme of ‘Jal dharo Jal bharo’ (Collect water, store water).Many check dams have been constructed and irrigation canals have been rejuvenated to prevent floods and provide water during the period of scarcity, she said.The state government would observe a ‘Student Day’ to disseminate the message of conserving water in every sphere of the society, Mamata Banerjee added.Also Read | Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Govt’s water conservation campaign to cover 256 districts across nationAlso Read | Water woes: Parched Chennai cries for reliefAlso Watch | Water crisis: Is it time to press emergency button?For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to 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 byChanchal Chauhan West Bengal government observes Save Water DayMamata Banerjee urged the people to take “precautionary measures” to save the natural resource as water scarcity has become a major issue in the world.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

first_img Next Passport alert! Ministry of External Affairs issues warning on fake passport services websitesThe fake passport websites also levy additional hefty charges for filling up the online application form and scheduling appointment for passport related services, the alert, which appears as a pop-up on the official website for passport services, says.advertisement India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 14:33 IST The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has issued a warning against websites which are masquerading as passport service providers.The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has issued a warning about portals that are masquerading as official passport service websites.The ministry’s passport division has warned that such fraudulent passport websites and mobile applications dupe people by collecting data.The fake passport websites also levy additional hefty charges for filling up the online application form and scheduling appointment for passport related services, the alert, which appears as a pop-up on the official website for passport services, says.Citing examples, the alert says that the fake passport websites are registered in the domain name *.org, *.in, *.com.The alert also lists some of the fake websites:,,,,, alert warns everybody looking out for passport services to be careful while booking appointments for getting passports. Those applying for the Indian passport should not visit the aforementioned websites, the alert says.For wondering what, the only official website where one can apply for passport services is: can also use the official mPassport Seva app that is available on both Android and iOS.Also read | Follow these easy steps to apply for Reissue of Passport Also read | How to apply for passport: Simple stepsFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to 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 byAnumika Bahukhandi Tags :Follow Indian passportFollow PassportFollow MEAFollow Ministry of External AffairsFollow read more