UK watchdog finds students unfairly deported over English test scam

first_img UK watchdog finds students ‘unfairly' deported over English test scam The NAO investigation questioned the Home Office, led by Theresa May as home secretary at the time, on the evidence it relied on to determine the cases of cheating.The UK’s spending watchdog on Friday issued a damning rebuke of the British government’s handling of a visa row involving compulsory English tests given by thousands of overseas students, many of them from India. Top News “After conducting some brief analysis on the information sent by ETS, the Home Office concluded that ETS had not made systematic errors. We reviewed ETS’ data and identified one systematic error.“For two years, the Department [Home Office] revoked the visas of anyone with an invalid test, without expert assurance of the validity of voice recognition evidence,” it noted.At the end of March 2019, Home Office data indicates 11,000 people who had taken TOEIC tests had left the country after the discovery of extensive cheating.Approximately 7,200 left voluntarily after April 2014, around 2,500 people were forcibly removed and almost 400 were refused re-entry to the UK. These numbers may be an underestimate, the NAO concluded. Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Post Comment(s) The country’s National Audit Office (NAO), which had launched its investigation last month into widespread claims that many students were wrongly accused of cheating, in its findings said that the UK Home Office had not taken enough care to ensure innocent applicants were not caught up in a crackdown launched following evidence of fraud in the system.“Clearly widespread cheating did take place but some people may have been wrongly accused and in some cases, unfairly removed from the UK,” the NAO report concluded.In February 2014, BBC’s ‘Panorama’ investigation uncovered evidence of organised cheating in two English language test centres run on behalf of the Educational Testing Service (ETS). This included providing English-speakers to take speaking tests instead of the real candidates and staff reading out multiple choice answers for other tests. The UK Home Office responded vigorously, investigating colleges, test centres and students.“When the Home Office acted vigorously to exclude individuals and shut down colleges involved in the English language test cheating scandal, we think they should have taken an equally vigorous approach to protecting those who did not cheat but who were still caught up in the process, however small a proportion they might be. This did not happen,” said Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO.After the BBC expose, the Home Office began cancelling the visas of those it considered to have cheated in the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), a compulsory requirement in some student visa cases, a majority of them from South Asian countries of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.The NAO investigation questioned the Home Office, led by Theresa May as home secretary at the time, on the evidence it relied on to determine the cases of cheating. P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies More Explained Advertising Best Of Express Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Advertising Taking stock of monsoon rain Migrant Voice, the group which has been campaigning for the rights of the students wrongly accused of cheating, welcomed the findings and called on UK home secretary Sajid Javid to take steps to rehabilitate the “tens of thousands of innocent students.”“The way the Home Office has treated these students makes a mockery of the British justice system. And the impact has been devastating. Those still living under the shadow of the allegation and fighting to clear their names live every day in growing despair… Many have contemplated or attempted suicide,” said Nazek Ramadan, Director of Migrant Voice.Meg Hillier, the Chair of the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts, said the Home Office made no effort to identify innocent people, and may have removed some from the UK who were not guilty of cheating.“The Home Office must take urgent steps to check whether its response to cheating has been fair and proportionate for all those involved,” Hillier said.The UK Home Office said that almost all those involved in the cheating were linked to private colleges which the department already had “significant concerns” about.“The report is clear on the scale and organised nature of the abuse, which is demonstrated by the fact that 25 people who facilitated this fraud have received criminal convictions,” a Home Office spokesperson By PTI |London | Published: May 24, 2019 1:19:07 pm Javid is currently reviewing the evidence related to the scandal and is expected to announce measures to address the issue in the Commons in the coming weeks. Campaigners have demanded that all those wrongly accused be allowed a re-test and also have access to compensation. Advertisinglast_img read more

Meet BallGai the fourlegged star holding midfielder of Goas Mardol village

first_img FIFA Women’s World Cup: Netherlands ‘love’ underdog status in World Cup final, says van de Donk World Cup-winning Megan Rapinoe won’t visit White House, and has message for Trump Rohit Gaude, 21, who works as a clerk in the village bank and plays forward, is the boy against whom she is seen charging in the video. “I was very nervous watching her run towards me. I have had this experience with her in the past too and I know better not to be in her way. She will not stand losing the ball.”Defender Pankaj Gaude is not amused. He is the one who eventually manages to kick the ball. Gaude says he is “not always happy with her”. He has watched from a distance many afternoons trying to gauge her. “My practices are going waste. I am also scared of her. She is a cow and I do not see why she should play football,” says Gaude, who trains for a monsoon tournament after school hours.Sahil, who is now learning to be an electrician, says the video also got the Mardol boys noticed. The temple town otherwise has very few opportunities for the youth with “parents not having enough income to pay fees to three years of college”. Most boys seen or heard in the video have chosen instead to take small irregular errands that are skill based. The cow though got them “world attention”, Sahil feels, wondering if anyone from his favourite club Manchester United might have seen it. He is pretty sure they do not have a cow playing football “every day” anywhere else in the world.“When we see her on the ground with our ball, we never react harshly. After all, she is like a mother. At least we see her so. Besides, it’s tough to get her to give up. And she can kick us all four ways, so we don’t know how to put defence.” So practice sessions are now kept for an hour and a half — “an hour for the actual play and another half for her disruptions”.The players — all Ronaldo worshippers too — though are happy that they have been watched by millions. Since Monday “friends of friends” have alerted of the video being shared in “Dubai and the US through Goan communities”. Between them –the boys have a list of footballers who they hope will see the video.The Club’s President Kishore Dattaram Naik, 59, says they are now wondering if they should felicitate her. “Personally, I will suggest a few kilograms of grass,” he says. The boys want a separate ball to be gifted to her. With two tournaments expected to shape this year — with the first seeing 40 teams competing for a prize money of Rs 30,000 and the second All Goa Tournament between 12 main teams for prize money of Rs 50,000, Kishore feels the grass will “be too simple for the cow”.“She was donated to the temple a few years ago and strays across the village. I see this as a sign. Maybe she is trying to tell the boys to stop playing with their mobile phones and come to the ground and play. She is telling them what the club has been trying to tell them for years. Till a long time the ground was not used and now that she wants the ball, the boys want it too,” chuckles Kishore. “We have been watching her for months. She would come and sit patiently earlier, observing everything. Now she plays a game, and also ensured she always stands in the middle of the ground,” says Kishore. The rest of the cows assemble to watch her too, he adds.At the traffic junction outside the village, traffic constable Anil Naik is happy that the stray cattle has found a good game to play and is “on a playground and not open highways”. Stray cattle have resulted in at least 18 accidents across the state in 2018, with four humans losing their lives. “In 2000, the government had introduced an order saying stray cattle should be accommodated in yards behind police stations. It was done for a while. We see a lot of them at sites of road accidents in recent years. As long as they are playing football, it’s good. This news involving a cow is good,” he smiles. P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Related News Megan Rapinoe fuses politics, pay and tech with World Cup win Advertising Many football buffs online praised the cow’s defence tactics online.A video of a cow playing “holding midfielder” went viral on Monday morning, with United Sports Club in Mardol, north Goa — where she played a ten-minute game — wondering if she should be felicitated. But the game was not her first run, “and definitely not her last”, with players insisting she is “stubborn”, a “natural” and a “very very pushy player”. Advertising Written by Smita Nair | Panjim | Updated: July 3, 2019 5:05:58 pm Advertising Best Of Express LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? Sahil is confident — he is the only one to have “managed to estimate the cow’s moves”, after playing against her for over six months. “Besides, she plays. Whether one likes it or not,” he adds.In the village everyone has a story of their “footballer”. At the Mahalasa Narayani Temple, which also happens to be the family deity of Vijay Mallya, the flower vendors have an affectionate story to share of their new celebrity “thi videotli gai” (that cow from the video). Santosh Naik, who sells flowers at the gate, says she is the “most distinguised cow in the village with a handsome built” and a “stride that wins everyone”. Since morning he says the villagers have been busy making Marathi and Konkani one liners on the video — for every time someone forwards it in any of the groups.The village’s taxi driver Salim Sheikh, also Santosh’s friend, remarks he saw her around 5 in the morning on way to the mosque. “She was walking oblivious to her new celebrityhood. “I was happy to have spotted her before anyone in the morning,” he tells Naik, both discussing her height (“tall cow”) and other physical characteristics (“very white”). The police outpost which faces the football ground has policemen who are amused at the video, but admit that they wait for her to start “rolling the ball”. Rohidas Bhomkar, who does rounds of police outposts from Ponda Taluka, is informed by his constables on the poses she regularly makes, as she holds the ball, something that the world of Twitter noticed too. The boys are happy that “specific poses also made it to Goa memes”. The policemen wonder if the video will be saved in internet forever. Sahil Naik (midfielder), Pankaj Gaude (Defender), and Rohit Gaude (Forward).Traffic Police Constable Vijay Mardolkar, who was on ground Sunday when the video was shot and was the loudest to cheer, says: “She goes crazy when she sees the ball. Not any sports ball. Only the big football. We feel she understands the game. Besides no one likes cricket much in Goa.” At the village square everyone has seen the video and are happy taking phone queries about “their cow”. With monsoons delayed this year, paddy cultivation has been hit and the mood of the village has been “otherwise low”. But the ‘cow video’ has brought a brief moment of joy.“Even if she is at a distance, she jumps to reach us. She knows the sound of the game, the sound of the boys on the ground, and at times even reacts to the thud of the ball touching the ground if someone is practising alone. We know she is going to reach us any minute if any of these situations arises. This has been going for a year now. We sometimes have to time the match to avoid her disrupting the game’s flow. We haven’t managed it yet,” says Vijay, adding the video doesn’t tell her full story.“There are days when she just sits by the playground and watches us,” Vijay says.Her other favourite, Vijay adds, is the gas cylinder. “She is unstoppable then. She will go near the cylinder and make sure no one touches it. Luckily, she sits next to a cylinder guarding it, till everyone around is tired waiting for her to leave. Now gas cylinders are ferried only after checking where she is,” says Vijay. On Monday, the boys say she went “underground” as “celebrities whose videos go viral often do” and didn’t show up at the grounds, but on Tuesday at 6:30 pm she was back at her position. The boys have since decided to give her a name. “We will be calling her BallGai (ballcow). Nothing else will do,” says Rohit. Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Sahil Naik, 18, the club’s “original midfielder” seen in the video trying hard to dodge her attention, says the video makes it look exciting, but getting her to “leave the ball and the football ground” is a task.WATCH | Meet ‘BallGai’ the four-legged football starIn Goa, the first state to ban cow slaughter in 1978 and introduce prohibitions under the Goa Animal Preservation Act 1995, this video of a cow holding on to the ball, and playing the state’s favourite sport won thousands of hearts. In Mardol’s Ponda Taluka, known for its temples, the “village’s most famous footballer” sniffed the ground as early as 2018 when the cow started to “practice” with the boys. The town’s football ground, the lone, open play space shared by several adjoining villages in the taluka, hosts two tournaments across the year and has boys from across the temple town, practicing six months prior, with drills scheduled around sunset as  most are in schools or employed in jobs during the day.cow football, cow playing football, cow football video, cow playing football video, cow football viral video, panjim, goa club, mardol ground, goa news, panjim news, cow football news, indian express The video of a cow holding on to the ball, and playing the state’s favourite sport won thousands of hearts.On Sunday, their first practice in days, the players’ WhatsApp group was buzzing since morning about the 6.30 pm session. “When we started reaching the grounds, she was standing there, waiting for the game, waiting for us, waiting for the ball,” says Sahil. “We saw her and instantly knew how the game would progress.” More Explained Taking stock of monsoon rain 0 Comment(s)last_img read more

Apples Looming Nightmare

first_imgI’m a big Indiegogo contributor, because it is often where I see some of the most interesting coming products and trends. One of the coming trends I called out some years back was the emergence of virtual windows, which basically are very high-resolution displays installed in a house like windows, to give you any view you want regardless of where you live.I imagined views into real places like Hawaii, the top of Mount Everest, or the moon — or imaginary places like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars, the settings in Game of Thrones (with dragons flying in the distance), or even a view into one of the Star Wars worlds. Just imagine — you could have the greatest views in the world even if you lived in a bomb shelter, and I’m starting to think that might be a good place to live.Year after year went by, and no one brought one of these to market, even as panel prices dropped into the high-end window range. Well, someone got the memo, and I found Atmoph Window 2, which now has 525 backers on Indiegogo (including me). This looks like it could be the beginning of the trend I foresaw so many years ago. One of the biggest dangers with corporate litigation is that neither the plaintiff nor the defense initially knows all the facts. This is because corporations tend to have a lot of moving parts and a lot of people — any one of whom could have behaved badly — and discovery has a good chance of disclosing things the executives didn’t know about. These disclosures not only can kill careers, but also can open up the firm up to subsequent litigation that it can ill afford — not to mention transform what it thinks will be a winning case into a losing one.In the Apple v. Qualcomm litigation, for instance, which was the most massive I’ve ever followed, I doubt Apple’s senior leadership knew that Apple’s engineers allegedly broke the law by giving Intel access to Qualcomm’s highly proprietary and secret intellectual property on modems. That one thing alone removed Intel’s ability to compete in the modem market and likely led to the cancellation of its effort — an effort that was critical to Apple’s long-term plan to take out Qualcomm.Based on Qualcomm’s latest opening arguments, discovery apparently also surfaced an Apple strategy to develop a complaint about a fictitious antitrust problem with Qualcomm’s model, although it actually was focused sharply on a now-apparent effort to kill the company. That effort not only may have been illegal, but also countered the stated objectives of the U.S. administration. It would have resulted in direct benefits to China and damage to the U.S. had it been successful.In this age, even the idea that you could cover up something like this in a corporation is insane, given how many people touch communications, how available social media is, and how easy it is to make confidential disclosures. The big news last week was that Apple finally agreed to settle its fight with Qualcomm. Kudos to Tim Cook, because I’ve known a lot of CEOs who rather would have fought to the death than admitted they were wrong — and not only wrong but acting disingenuously the entire time. (Fighting this to the death would have been far worse.)What spurred the settlement, given the timing, likely was the defense Qualcomm mounted in the latest San Diego court action. It showcased, with alleged Apple emails to back it up, that Apple had misrepresented to a lot of folks pretty much everything concerning the reasons behind its actions. Those folks would have included regulatory agencies, which typically don’t have a sense of humor about this stuff.This will have huge implications for Apple’s future, and it interests me for a couple reasons. One is that I’m kind of tired of companies trying to use their success to bully smaller firms. I’m particularly tired of companies thinking they can misuse litigation as some kind of competitive tool. Both use a ton of resources, it almost never ends well, and it is abusive — particularly in this case — and abuse in any form shouldn’t be tolerated.I’ll close with my product of the week, something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time: a virtual window that gives you the view you want, regardless of where you live. Apple’s Bond Villain-Like Plan No one likes to be lied to and manipulated, and regulatory agencies least of all. The revelations of deception should discredit a lot of Apple’s witnesses and employees, if not all of them, and it even could make some of them vulnerable to charges of perjury (though this admittedly is an unlikely outcome).However, it highlights Apple as an abusive partner, because Qualcomm was not a competitor. It was a supplier, and part of Apple’s effort was to force Qualcomm to reduce its prices massively and unreasonably.Apple already has one of the worst reputations when it comes to dealing with suppliers. The rule in Silicon Valley is that no one does business with Apple twice, and Intel just learned that lesson. It had to exit the modem market as a result of this thing, and Apple plans to discontinue the use of Intel parts in its PCs shortly (which does suggest that if you want an Apple PC, you likely should wait a bit).Going forward, Apple’s ability to use government agencies as its agents will be reduced substantially. Further, those agencies, which now will come under internal scrutiny for their own actions to ensure that bribes or other undue influences were not used, may want to punish Apple. Bureaucrats and politicians don’t like being tricked; nor do they like to see inappropriate behavior surfaced (like even the appearance of taking a bribe) because such things are career-enders.China, in particular, is not known for feeling warm and fuzzy about this stuff. Were I Tim Cook, I’d likely avoid China for a short while — like the rest of his life.Apple has a license with Qualcomm again, but I’ll bet the relationship will define the word “strained,” because, were I Qualcomm, I’d be anticipating Apple screwing me again, like it did Intel, making working together more than just problematic. Atmoph Window 2 The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network. The Dangers of Litigationcenter_img About every decade or so, some large company thinks it can use litigation to change market dynamics when it is performing poorly. I’ve never seen this work out, and it generally just becomes a huge distraction when the firm needs instead to work on what really is hurting it — an inability to execute in the market.You can’t cheat. If you can’t compete, using litigation to cover that up — even if the reason is unfair treatment by a competitor — rarely works. Just look at Netscape. It was right about Microsoft abusing it, but what killed the firm was a team of managers who couldn’t execute to save their lives.Apple should learn from this. Otherwise, regardless of its massive reserves, it is likely to suffer the same fate. Its problem isn’t a US$7.50 charge per phone to Qualcomm; it is an inability to follow Steve Jobs’ model on how to bring out massively successful products.I was trained that good suppliers should be treated like family. Qualcomm is one of the few that doesn’t just sell technology — it sends in engineers to help implement it, working hand-in-hand with your own people to ensure success. It is as much a part of your team as your own employees are.Betraying this type of relationship this isn’t just unethical. In my view, it’s one of the most unethical and evil things I’ve ever seen a company do to a supplier. Qualcomm is far from the first. Andy Grove went from being a huge Apple supporter to being an Apple hater, based on how Apple betrayed him at Intel (which makes it really weird that Intel fell for this again).The number of stories I’ve heard about how Apple abuses suppliers makes me wonder why it has any now. Folks, you have choices. I don’t care how much money you think you will make — taking abuse isn’t worth it. It never is.In the end, all three companies are better off with this settlement, but I expect it will be some time before Apple can emerge from the cloud it has created. It is financially successful, but I believe a truly great company is defined not by how much money it mines from its customers, but by how well it treats those customers, and its suppliers and employees. I believe Apple should take this as a warning. It really needs to get its priorities straight. Apple’s Future Wrapping Up: Lasting Lessons If you could build a home without windows, you could make it more secure, and better able to resist weather events. You could reduce your heating and cooling costs, and you could reduce intrusion by insects while better ensuring the quality of your air (if you set up your heating and cooling system properly).Personally, the idea of being able to hit a button to transport yourself to anyplace real or imagined would be amazing. Just think of having a view of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues world, from The Avengers’ mansion, or the landscape of Wakanda while you are waking up or drifting off to sleep, working, or just sitting reading a book — with the background noise adding to the experience.You could look out from a cloud city at dragons flying by, or watch a distant battle between the humans of Westeros and the White Walkers. Your window could look at the real or imagined past or future. You could look at rendered views from your childhood or, after you passed, your kids could look out and see you working or enjoying the sun in your yard.We do live in a hostile world — one increasingly plagued by people behaving badly — but we are close to at least creating the illusion that we live in a magical utopia. While the Atmoph Window 2 isn’t all of that yet, I think its evolution eventually will take us there, and that makes it ideal for my product of the week. I do have to be a little impressed with what appears to be an audacious plan on Apple’s part. In a James Bond nove — like Tomorrow Never Dies, which actually has a similar plot hinging on misdirection — it would have fit right in. Apple’s apparent goal, according to the Qualcomm opening remarks, was to reduce Qualcomm’s value massively, drive a successful hostile takeover by Broadcom, gain near-free and exclusive access to Qualcomm’s IP, effectively lock out the Android market players, and end up dominating a market in which it currently is overmatched. (It sure makes it look like Google was sleeping through all of this, given Android was at massive risk.)If successful, Apple could have reversed its market slide and had an almost unstoppable path to charging whatever it wanted for a smartphone by eliminating almost all competition but Huawei. Apple seemed to be behind the U.S. effort to put Huawei out of business, at least partially, given it couldn’t compete with Huawei in market, and that has had some success as well.It was a world domination strategy but, just like a James Bond book, it would have ended badly for Apple, because it would have put it under a massive antitrust spotlight, likely either forcing it to break up the firm or, more likely, putting it under an abusive consent decree.So, even if it had won, Apple likely would have been under massive antitrust pressure from the U.S., EU and China (which already has begun). Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob.last_img read more

Potential early warning markers for sepsis discovered

first_img“At the moment, sepsis is often considered when patients start showing symptoms of organ failing – by this point it can already be too late for some patients. It is widely accepted that earlier we identify sepsis, the better it is for patients.”We show in this study that white blood cell biomarkers could be valuable to predict which patients with suspected infection would go on to develop sepsis over the next 72 hours. However, we haven’t yet found a reliable enough combination to guide day-to-day clinical decision-making. Our study provides a robust template for further research in this area, focussed on identifying best biomarkers combination to predict sepsis.” Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 15 2018A multi-site research collaboration supported by a Technology Strategy Board Grant has shown that immune response signatures could be used as an early warning test for the serious condition sepsis in patients attending emergency departments with suspected infection.Dr Manu Shankar-Hari, Reader and Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine from the Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology, was the lead author on the research. He and the research team assessed whether white blood cell biomarkers could potentially identify which of the patients attending emergency departments with suspected infection may deteriorate clinically and develop sepsis.Sepsis is a serious complication of infection. Without quick treatment, it can lead to multiple organ failure and death. A third of patients admitted to hospital with sepsis die within days of being admitted to intensive care units.Related StoriesScientists identify mechanism that makes babies more likely than adults to die from sepsisNew research defines the chain of molecular events that goes awry in sepsisAPPG report highlights need to improve identification and treatment of sepsisSepsis occurs when the body’s immune system goes into overdrive in response to an infection. Therefore, the team investigated the biomarkers present on white blood cells, which form key part of the body’s response to infection.The research team studied 47 biomarkers using blood samples from patients admitted to hospital with suspected infection. They followed these patients to see whether they developed sepsis or not. The team published their plan for analyzing the biomarkers prior to conducting the research, to avoid false discovery.First, they checked reliability of these markers. Then they used two comparison groups to check which of the white blood cell biomarkers identify patients with infection from those patients with confirmed sepsis (true positives) and those patients without infection (true negatives). The team then used sophisticated statistical tools to test whether it is a single biomarker or a combination of biomarkers that can predict whether a patient will progress to develop sepsis within the next 72 hours.The authors show that combinations of three particular markers (CD24 and CD279 on white blood cells called neutrophils and HLA-DR on white blood cells called monocytes) could potentially predict patients who go on to develop sepsis over the next 72 hours.Dr Shankar-Hari said: Source:https://www.kcl.ac.uk/last_img read more

Air pollution linked with development of Alzheimers in Mexico City children

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 21 2018Air pollution in Mexico City is associated with the development of Alzheimer disease in children and young adults and the evolving axonal damage can be identified using a novel Non-P-Tau assay for cerebrospinal fluid CSF: New studyA new study by researchers at the Universities of Montana, Valle de México, Boise State, Universidad Veracruzana, Instituto Nacional de Pediatría and Paul-Flechsig-Institute for Brain Research heightens together with German company Analytik Jena concerns over the evolving and relentless Alzheimer’s pathology observed in young Metropolitan Mexico City (MMC) urbanites. These findings are published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.Mexico City children have lifetime exposures to concentrations of air pollutants above the current USA standards, including fine particulate matter (PM 2.5). Metropolitan Mexico City is an example of extreme urban growth and serious environmental pollution and millions of children are involuntarily exposed to harmful concentrations of PM 2.5 every day since conception.This study focused on studying 507 CSF normal samples from children, teens and young adults average age 12.8±6.7 years from MMC and control cities with low levels of air pollutants, using a high affinity monoclonal non-phosphorylated tau antibody (Non-P-Tau) as a potential biomarker of AD and axonal damage. In 81 samples, researchers also measured total tau (T-Tau), tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (P-Tau), amyloid-β 1-42, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), insulin, leptin and inflammatory mediators. Authors documented by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) myelinated axonal size, and the pathology associated with combustion-derived nanoparticles-iron rich, highly oxidant CDNPs- in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) white matter in 6 young residents (4 MMC, 2 controls). Non-P-Tau showed a strong increase with age significantly faster among MMC versus controls. Anterior cingulate cortex showed significant decrease in the average axonal size and CDNPs were associated with organelle pathology in MMC residents. Non-P-Tau exhibited significant increases with age, an important finding in a young population where axonal changes are present and AD hallmarks are evolving steadily in the first two decades of life. Non-P-Tau is potentially an early biomarker of axonal damage and AD axonal pathology in highly exposed young populations. Drs.Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas and Lachmann commented air pollution is a serious public health issue and exposures to concentrations of air pollutants at or above the current standards have been linked to neuroinflammation and high risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Jung et al., 2015 found a 138% risk of increase of AD per increase of 4.34 μg/m3 in PM 2.5 suggesting long-term exposure to PM 2.5, as well as ozone above the current US EPA standards are associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In the USA alone, 200 million people live in areas where pollutants such as ozone and fine particulate matter exceed the standards.The international team of researchers stated efforts should be aimed to identify and mitigate environmental factors influencing the development of Alzheimer’s disease and neuroprotection of children and young adults ought to be a public health priority to halt the development of Alzheimer in the first two decades of life. Source:https://www.iospress.nl/last_img read more

Hedgehogs connected to the outbreak of Salmonella

first_img Source:https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium-01-19/index.html By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDMar 31 2019There has been a Salmonella outbreak across states in the United States and federal health officials have found that pet hedgehogs could be linked to some of these cases.According to the officials, six new cases from three states including Virginia, over the last couple of months have been associated with these pet animals. Across 11 states there have been 17 reported cases of Salmonella typhimurium infection. Although no deaths have been reported yet, there have been two cases of hospitalization due to the infection. The worst affected states were Minnesota and Missouri (three in each) while other states affected include Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. African Pygmy Hedgehog. Image Credit: Shutterstockcenter_img Related StoriesAntimicrobials used to treat zoonotic diseases are becoming less effective, data revealsFlying insects in hospitals harbor pathogenic bacteriaHighlights and key takeaways from the 2019 Boston Bacterial Meeting (BBM)The team of health officials investigating the outbreak found that samples from eight hedgehogs in Minnesota contained the bacterial strains. Two of these samples came from the pets in homes with two ill patients. The hedgehogs came from a variety of pet stores, online stores or breeders and no common source of the infection was found. At present 87 percent of all the cases have had an exposure to hedgehogs say the officials.The CDC said in an outbreak notice, “Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that contact with pet hedgehogs is the likely source of this outbreak.” The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in Virginia had legalized household hedgehogs in January just prior to this notice from the CDC. Maribeth Brewster, a department spokeswoman said that both ill persons had hedgehogs in their homes and “and one definitely had hedgehog exposure.”The health officials warned that hedgehogs carry Salmonella in their droppings and not maintaining good hygiene could be a reason behind the spread. They advise adequate and through hand-washing after handling the animals. Children should be made aware of hand-washing requirements after playing with the animals and before taking food, the officials add. They warn about leaving the pet hedgehogs near kitchens and prepared uncovered foods and also warn against snuggling and kissing the animals.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a couple of months back in January had also advised against “kissing or snuggling hedgehogs”. Brewster said, “Washing hands after handling and cleaning up after these types of pets and all pets can reduce the likelihood of illness transmission.”Salmonella infections can typically manifest as diarrhoea, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain etc. It may be severe in babies and in the elderly. US records around 1.2 million cases of Salmonella infection annually.last_img read more

Maybe next time Cities see failed Amazon bids as trial runs

Cities like Detroit, Memphis, Tennessee; and Gary, Indiana, failed to make Amazon’s first cut as the online giant narrowed its list to 20 prospective sites for the $5 billion project that could employ up to 50,000 people. Looking on the bright side, several leaders whose proposals didn’t make it say the time spent putting together juicy tax incentives, massive chunks of land and infrastructure studies was not wasted.”We used this opportunity to showcase all the options in Delaware not just for Amazon, but for any business looking for a location to set down roots and grow,” the state’s governor, John Carney, said.”This exercise showed us new ways to showcase our city that we are already using to attract other businesses,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said.Seattle-based Amazon made clear that tax breaks and grants would be a big factor in its decision.Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan floated an incentive package of more than $5 billion to lure the second headquarters to Montgomery County. New Jersey’s pitch contains $7 billion in tax breaks and Boston’s offer includes $75 million for affordable housing for Amazon employees and others. This July 16, 2013, aerial file photo, shows downtown Detroit. Amazon’s final cut of 20 contenders for its second headquarters leaves hundreds of cities disappointed. That includes hopefuls like Detroit, Memphis, Tenn., and Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) Detroit’s absence from the list muted what many see as an exciting time in the city as it makes progress since its 2014 exit from bankruptcy. Businessman Dan Gilbert led the team that put together the Motor City’s proposal, which included a video showcasing the city and a more than 240-page, color, spiral-bound book. The cost of the proposal has not been revealed. Explore further Generous tax breaks and other incentives can erode a city’s tax base. Economists have said the Amazon headquarters is a rare case in which some enticements could repay a city over the long run.But the pursuit of Amazon could re-ignite an incentive war between cities, regions and states to lure companies and jobs, says Tim Bartik, a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo, Michigan.Just because they offered certain things to Amazon, doesn’t mean every company should get the same, Bartik said. “‘Now that we’ve offered the store to Amazon, let’s offer the store to someone else,'” he added. “I’d be little concerned with that.”Amazon’s list includes New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Washington, D.C., Denver, Miami, Atlanta and Chicago. Texas’ Austin and Dallas made the cut, as did Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. The others are Columbus, Ohio; Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey; Northern Virginia; and Raleigh, North Carolina. Toronto also is on the list. For some of the 200-plus cities knocked out of the running for Amazon’s second headquarters, the effort may turn out to be a trial run for other opportunities. But they’re advised not make the same kind of promises to just anyone. Citation: Maybe next time: Cities see failed Amazon bids as trial runs (2018, January 19) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-cities-amazon-trial.html In this Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, file photo, applicants wait in line to enter a job fair at an Amazon fulfillment center, in Kent, Wash. Amazon has narrowed its search for a second headquarters city to 20 locations, concentrated mostly in the East and the Midwest. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) In this Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, file photo, an Amazon employee gives her dog a biscuit as the pair head into a company building, where dogs are welcome, in Seattle. Amazon announced Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, that it has narrowed its hunt for a second headquarters to 20 locations, concentrated among cities in the U.S. East and Midwest. Toronto made the list as well, keeping the company’s international options open. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) In this Sunday, June 23, 2013, file photo, people fish in the Missouri River along the banks of downtown Kansas City, Mo. Amazon’s final cut of 20 contenders for its second headquarters leaves hundreds of cities disappointed. That includes hopefuls like Detroit, Memphis, Tenn., and Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) Amazon narrows list of ‘HQ2’ candidates to 20 © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. “We are not deterred in any way, shape or form,” said Gilbert, founder of online mortgage lender Quicken Loans and Bedrock commercial real estate. “Detroit is the most exciting city in the country right now and the momentum continues to build every single day. There are numerous large and small deals you will continue to see develop into reality in the months and years ahead.”Some spent big on their pitches to Amazon. Worcester, Massachusetts, released invoices showing that it spent more than $10,500 on its proposal, most of it on a video. Connecticut shelled out $35,000 for renderings and drone footage. Virginia Beach, Virginia, reported spending at least $85,000. That included $3,000 to build a sand sculpture at the beach to promote its application.For areas considered longshots, going after Amazon was a bit of an experiment. “As much as this process helped identify our major assets, it also helped us to assess our gaps and where we can continue to improve,” said Birgit Klohs, chief executive of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based The Right Place, Inc. The economic development organization was part of the team making the pitch for Grand Rapids.Gov. Chris Sununu said New Hampshire’s proposal “was the most comprehensive business marketing plan” the state had produced.”We are excited that it is already serving as a template for other businesses that now have New Hampshire on their radar,” Sununu said. He did not name specific companies, and Democrats argued that if Sununu truly wanted to attract businesses, he would invest more in education, workforce development and increasing the minimum wage. In this Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, file photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. Amazon announced Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, that it has narrowed down its potential site for a second headquarters in North America to 20 metropolitan areas, mainly on the East Coast. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) 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

Philips says profits soar 25 in 2017

Philips said net profits were up 25 percent, while sales rose two percent to almost 18bn euros, as consumers snapped up everything from electric toothbrushes to kitchen appliances 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. Net profits were up 25 percent, while sales rose by two percent to almost 18 billion euros, as health-conscious consumers snapped up everything from electric toothbrushes to kitchen appliances.”2017 was a good year, as we continued the transformation of Philips into a focused leader in health technology and delivered on our improvement targets for the year,” chief executive Frans van Houten said in a statement.Philips is best known for the manufacture of lightbulbs, electrical appliances and television sets.But it has pulled out of these activities in face of fierce competition from Asia to focus on health technology, such as computer tomography and molecular imaging, as well as household appliances.The group, which sold its first lightbulb a few years after it was founded in 1891, listed its Philips Lighting division in mid-2016 and has now reduced its stake in the arm to just 29 percent.”As a result, Philips no longer has control over Philips Lighting,” the Amsterdam-based group said in the statement.The decision seemingly paid off, with Philips saying it was particularly pleased with last year’s fourth-quarter results.Philips inked a number of deals in the last three months of 2017 to supply medical and healthcare equipment ranging from integrated systems to treat respiratory diseases in China to app-based ultrasound solutions as standard equipment in the German armed forces.”Philips’ performance in the fourth quarter demonstrates that we are gaining momentum,” Van Houten said.Full-year results were driven double-digit growth in the Middle East and Turkey and high single-digit growth in China, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe.”Mature geographies posted low single-digit growth” reflecting the trend in Western Europe and North America, Philips said.The group proposed a dividend of 0.80 euros per ordinary share.Philips took a hit in October when it temporarily suspended production of defibrillators for the US market to allow closer inspections in a deal reached with the American government.Last month, Philips “had a constructive meeting with the FDA… and will provide monthly status reports to the FDA highlighting the progress in addressing the observations,” it said.The company, which insisted that the decision was not related to any question about the quality of the machines or that they posed a health risk to patients, said it has partially resumed the shipment of certain models of defibrillators. Explore further Philips suspends production of defibrillators for US market © 2018 AFP Citation: Philips says profits soar 25% in 2017 (2018, January 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-philips-profits-soar.html Dutch electronics giant Philips on Tuesday posted soaring profits of 1.87 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in 2017, as it increasingly focuses its business on health technology. read more

Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Citation: Autonomous 3-D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes (2018, February 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-autonomous-d-scanner-individual.html Manufacturing assistant for Industrie 4.0Thanks to this USP, the autonomous scanner enables completely new kinds of applications. For example, it can be used as a manufacturing assistant and improve cooperation between humans and machines. This interaction is the focus of the EU-funded “Autoware” project, which involves the assembly of cylinders including the various pistons, casings and seals. Before now, the cylinders were assembled manually, and the subsequent quality control was carried out using a printed checklist and manual measurements. “Our 3-D scanning system now enables robots —via comparisons with the database—to recognize what component it has in front of it and also to determine which component its human colleague needs next for assembly of the cylinder,” explains Santos. In addition, the machine carries out the final quality control, scanning the cylinder to check whether the dimensions are accurate. As part of further projects, the Fraunhofer IGD researchers are also testing the entire chain from recording and visualizing up to 3-D reproduction. The researchers will be presenting their autonomous scanning system at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 (Exhibition Grounds, Hall 19) and at the Hannover Messe from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30). Visitors will get the opportunity to place various objects under the laser scanner and view the results live on a monitor. Upon request, they can also scan their own objects. This will allow them to see for themselves how the system actually captures the precise geometry of three-dimensional objects autonomously and in real time. 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. The scanning system is able to measure any component in real time, making protracted teaching processes a thing of the past. Credit: Fraunhofer IGD Explore further Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or stops working in the vehicle, however, this special status quickly becomes a problem, as spare parts are no longer manufactured either. With the advent of Industrie 4.0, this is set to change: manufacturing is turning toward batch sizes of one and individualized production. This is sometimes also referred to as “highly customized mass production.”New scanner works autonomously and in real timeAlthough this kind of individual manufacturing is still some way off, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD are taking the vision of batch sizes of one a big step closer to reality, with a new type of 3-D scanning system. “The special thing about our system is that it scans components autonomously and in real time,” says Pedro Santos, department head at Fraunhofer IGD. For the owners of vintage cars with a broken part, this means that the defective component is glued together and placed on a turntable, which is situated beneath a robot arm with the scanner. Everything else happens automatically. The robot arm moves the scanner around the component so that it can register the complete geometry with the minimum number of passes. Depending on the size and complexity of the component, this takes anything from a few seconds to a few minutes. Already while the scan is running, intelligent algorithms create a three-dimensional image of the object in the background. Then a material simulation of the 3-D image checks whether a 3-D print satisfies the relevant stability requirements. In a final step, the component is printed using a 3-D printer and is then ready to be fitted in the vintage car.No need for protracted learning processSantos emphasizes that the real achievement here is not so much the scanner itself, but the combination of the scanner with view planning to form an autonomous system. This view planning technology was also created by Fraunhofer IGD. During an initial scan, algorithms calculate what further scans are necessary so that the object can be recorded with as few scans as possible. Thanks to this method, the system is able to quickly and independently measure objects that are entirely unknown to it. This is a unique selling point, because previous scanners either had to be taught how to do this, or else you had to have the CAD model of the component, making it possible to recognize the position of the object relative to the scanner. If you had taught the scanner to scan a car seat for quality control (TARGET-ACTUAL comparison), then it would be able to scan the next 200 car seats, because they would be largely identical in mass production conditions. But conventional scanners are not suited to the task of handling batch sizes of one. “By contrast, our scan system is able to measure any component, irrespective of its design – and you don’t have to teach it,” explains Santos. “Also, you don’t need information about CAD models or templates – in other words, the specifications of standard forms that a component usually has.” Detecting impurities on 3-D components Provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3-D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30). read more

Leaked Facebook memo questions cost of growth

Facebook troubles worsened late Thursday with the leak of a two-year-old memo from a high-ranking executive hinting that the social network was determined to grow despite risks to users. Explore further © 2018 AFP Citation: Leaked Facebook memo questions cost of growth (2018, March 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-leaked-facebook-memo-growth.html 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 continues to be battered by a data breach involving Britain-based Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm linked to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign The 2016 memo published by news website Buzzfeed was written by veteran Facebook executive Andrew Bozworth, considered part of chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s inner circle.”The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is ‘de facto’ good,” the memo read.The memo pointed out that connecting people can lead to good outcomes, such as finding love or preventing suicide.It could also have negative consequences, Bozworth reasoned.”Maybe it costs a life by exposing someone to bullies,” the memo read.”Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.”Bozworth is known to be an outspoken defender of Facebook, and unabashed in expressing his views.”I don’t agree with the post today and I didn’t agree with it even when I wrote it,” Bozworth said in a statement to AFP.”The purpose of this post, like many others I have written internally, was to bring to the surface issues I felt deserved more discussion with the broader company.”In response to an AFP inquiry, Zuckerberg referred to Bozworth as a talented leader who says provocative things, the leaked memo among them.”This was one that most people at Facebook including myself disagreed with strongly,” Zuckerberg said.”We’ve never believed the ends justify the means. We recognize that connecting people isn’t enough by itself. We also need to work to bring people closer together.”Even if the Bozworth memo was meant solely to get colleagues to grapple with tough issues, it hints that Facebook executives were aware of risks associated with connecting and sharing on the social network.The leak of the memo came as Facebook continued to be battered by a data breach involving Britain-based Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm linked to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.Facebook faces probes on both sides of the Atlantic over the hijacking of 50 million users’ personal data by the firm.The firestorm has raised new awareness on how personal data is stored and shared by internet platforms and marketers.Facebook has begun to produce documents and wants to be “cooperative” with a New York investigation into the Cambridge Analytica data breach, state attorney general Eric Schneiderman said Thursday.On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission, a US consumer protection agency, said it had opened an inquiry into Facebook’s privacy practices, including whether the company violated an earlier agreement with the FTC on how it handles user data.Facebook signed a consent decree with the consumer agency in 2011 settling charges that it deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then allowing it to be shared and made public. Facebook cooperating with New York probe: prosecutor read more

Tencent to check IDs to enforce game limits for minors

first_img The measure comes on the heels of new efforts by the government to regulate China’s highly popular video game industry, including restrictions on the number of new releases to address concerns over children’s eyesight.Starting next week, new “Honour of Kings” users will have to provide their identification details, which will be checked against a police database, according to a statement on the game’s official WeChat social media account.The company also plans to expand the system to all its other titles. Tencent’s shares closed down 3.2 precent in Hong Kong following the announcement.The system will allow the company to check if the player is underage and should be included in its “anti-obsession” system, which limits minors to one or two hours of playtime in the online multiplayer battle game.Tencent launched the anti-addiction system last year to “ensure children’s healthy development” as concerns grow in China that long periods online are posing a serious threat to the country’s youth.The Shenzhen-based firm decided last year to limit “Honour of Kings” users who are 12 years old and younger to one hour of play a day and block them from signing into the game after 9 pm.Those between 12 and 18 years old are limited to two hours per day.The identification system will take effect around September 15 and verification of all new users will be completed before the end of the month.Earlier in August, Tencent was ordered to pull the hit game “Monster Hunter: World” from sale just days after it debuted, as China had halted approvals for new video game titles.Amid the regulatory squeeze, the company’s profits fell two percent in the second quarter from the previous year, the first such drop in over a decade, according to Bloomberg.Last week, eight government ministries said they would implement regulations and controls on the number of games that can be played online, limit new releases, explore an age-restriction system for games, and take steps to reduce playing time for minors.The education ministry justified the new curbs as a way to counter worsening near-sightedness among minors, after President Xi Jinping earlier this week called for greater national attention on optical health. Chinese tech giant Tencent said Thursday it will launch a real-name identification system in its hit mobile video game “Honour of Kings” to enforce playtime restrictions on underage players. Tencent will roll out a system across its mobile game titles allowing the company to check if the player is underage and should be included in its “anti-obsession” system Game over? China to rein in online games in latest industry setback Explore furthercenter_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. Citation: Tencent to check IDs to enforce game limits for minors (2018, September 6) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-tencent-ids-game-limits-minors.html © 2018 AFPlast_img read more

Samsung Electronics flags near30 slump in Q4 operating profit

first_img Citation: Samsung Electronics flags near-30% slump in Q4 operating profit (2019, January 8) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-samsung-electronics-flags-near-slump.html Samsung Electronics enjoys record Q3 despite smartphone struggles Explore further The shock warning added to concerns about the broader tech sector after Apple sent shudders through world markets last week by slashing its revenue forecast blaming weak sales in China and citing the trade war.Samsung—the world’s top maker of smartphones and memory chips—has enjoyed record profits in recent years despite a series of setbacks, including a humiliating recall and the jailing of its de facto chief.But operating profit during the October to December period was expected to be around 10.8 trillion won ($9.8 billion), down 28.7 percent from a year earlier, Samsung said in an earnings estimate.The figure was below market consensus of about 13.5 trillion won, according to market researcher FnGuide.Sales dropped more than 10 percent to 59 trillion won in the period, Samsung said.It cited “lacklustre demand in the memory business and intensifying competition in the smartphone business” for the dismal outlook.”Memory earnings fell significantly… due to weaker-than-expected demand amid inventory adjustments at data-centre customers,” which led to a “greater-than-expected” drop in chip prices, it said.”We expect earnings to remain subdued in the first quarter of 2019 due to difficult conditions for the memory business but strengthen in the second half.”Alarm bellsBut analyst Kim Sun-woo of Meritz Securities said worsening supply and demand for semiconductors and the structural challenges facing Samsung’s smartphone business will hit profits throughout 2019.Demand for DRAM memory chips “will hit a low in the fourth quarter of 2019″, he added.Samsung withholds net profit and sector-by-sector business performance data until it releases its final earnings report, which is expected later this month.For 2018, the firm expects operating profit of 58.9 trillion won, up nearly 10 percent on-year, and sales to inch up 1.6 percent to 243.5 trillion won. © 2019 AFP The news battered world equities, with observers saying problems at the usually reliable US titan could point to broader demand weakness and the China-US trade war cited as a key factor.”When Apple sounded the alarm bells for last quarter results, there was some thought the drops in China sales was an anti-Apple backlash due to escalating US-China tensions,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA. “But these Samsung results are quite damning suggesting there… (is) a broader-based retail and manufacturer slowdown afoot.”Losing groundWhile Samsung leads the global smartphone market with a 20 percent share, it faces mounting competition from Chinese rivals like Huawei—which surpassed Apple to take second place last year—offering quality devices at lower prices.”Samsung is losing ground to Huawei, Xiaomi and other Chinese rivals in the huge China and India markets,” Neil Mawston, executive director at market researcher Strategy Analytics, said in a report.Samsung once also had a 20 percent market share in China but has seen its sales tumble to less than one percent of the world’s largest smartphone market in the third quarter, and last month announced the closure of its factory in Tianjin.It will reportedly roll out a new line-up of its flagship Galaxy handsets at next month’s World Mobile Congress in Barcelona as it seeks to regain a competitive edge in a market segment it once dominated.Samsung is also set to introduce the world’s first bendable smartphone in the first half.It reputation suffered a major blow after a damaging worldwide recall of its Galaxy Note 7 devices over exploding batteries in 2016, which cost the firm billions of dollars and shattered its global brand image.It also took another hit after the bribery conviction of Lee Jae-yong—the son and heir of the group’s ailing current chairman Lee Kun-hee.The 50-year-old scion was a key figure in the scandal that ousted former South Korean president Park Geun-hye following massive nationwide protests, and was sentenced to five years in jail last year.But he was released from jail in February last year after several of his convictions were quashed on appeal. Shares in Samsung Electronics, the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group that dominates South Korea’s economy, were down 1.68 percent at the close.Last week Apple said it expected to earn $84 billion in October-December, well down from the $89-$93 billion previously forecast as it blamed a steeper-than-expected “economic deceleration” in China and emerging markets. Chart showing quarterly operating profits for Samsung Samsung Electronics on Tuesday flagged its first quarterly profit drop in two years and painted a grim outlook owing to mounting competition from Chinese smartphone makers and declining chip prices. Samsung Electronics—the world’s top maker of smartphones and memory chips—has enjoyed record profits in recent years despite a series of setbacks This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Expansion microscopy and virtual reality illuminate new ways to prevent and treat

first_imgA combined research team from Carnegie Mellon University and Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is pairing a nanoscale imaging technique with virtual reality (VR) technology to create a method that allows researchers to “step inside” their biological data. Brendan Gallagher, a biological sciences graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, uses virtual reality to examine 3D biological data gathered using expansion microscopy. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University The virtual reality technology was developed by Tom Skillman, BRI’s former director of research technology, who has since founded a VR company, Immersive Science.”My role in this grant is to develop a software tool that will allow scientists studying disease a way to understand large amounts of data through a computational technique called ‘immersive science,'” Skillman said. “Bringing all that data into VR not only allows the scientist to see their 2-D microscope images in full 3-D, but to interact with the data, selecting channels, adjusting the views, colors and contrast, and grabbing and rotating the images to quickly identify key aspects of the image that are coupled back to the disease under study.”The eventual goal is for the VR tool, called ExMicroVR, to be shared on open platforms with other researchers along with expansion microscopy so that they too can view new details of disease processes and understand larger, more complex sets of data.The system to convert expansion microscopy data into VR 3-D images will be affordable and easily accessible to researchers and physicians in developing countries. It will also allow for up to six people to collaborate and view the same sample remotely at the same time. Citation: Expansion microscopy and virtual reality illuminate new ways to prevent and treat disease (2019, June 13) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-expansion-microscopy-virtual-reality-illuminate.html PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Play A combined research team from Carnegie Mellon University and Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is pairing a nanoscale imaging technique with virtual reality technology to create a method that allows researchers to ‘step inside’ their biological data. By combining the technique, called expansion microscopy, with virtual reality (VR), scientists will be able to enlarge, explore and analyze cell structures far beyond the capabilities of traditional light microscopy. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University/Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason However, a limitation of the technology is that it extracts two to three orders of magnitudes more data than current techniques are able to interpret. To help solve that problem, the Gates Foundation grant pairs expansion microscopy with a virtual reality technique developed at the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI).Through VR technology developed specifically for this purpose, researchers will be able to see and manipulate the originally 2-D expansion microscopy images in 3-D, giving them a 360 degree view of tissue and protein organizations and interactions. Carnegie Mellon biologist Yongxin (Leon) Zhao expands a biological sample. This expansion microscopy technique allows researchers to view fine details of samples using standard microscopy equipment. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University Explore further Provided by Carnegie Mellon University “At BRI, we’ll prepare the live infectious and autoimmune disease samples,” said Caroline Stefani, senior postdoctoral research associate. “We’ll send those to Carnegie Mellon, where they will enlarge the samples and send images back to BRI to be viewed in VR.””This is the future of how scientists can handle complex data,” Zhao said. “It’s an immersive experience, just like you are sitting inside your data. You have the freedom to explore your data from every angle and every spot.” Lasers aim to replace scalpels in cutting-edge biopsy technique By combining the technique, called expansion microscopy, with VR, scientists will be able to enlarge, explore and analyze cell structures far beyond the capabilities of traditional light microscopy.The development of these technologies, a two-step process funded at $200,000 through Grand Challenges, an initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will accelerate researchers’ understanding of infectious and autoimmune diseases and enhance their ability to develop disease diagnostics and prevention and treatment methods.Yongxin (Leon) Zhao, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon’s Mellon College of Science, has been developing the expansion microscopy technique to physically magnify a biopsy, allowing researchers to see fine details in biological samples using standard microscopes.Zhao makes biopsy samples grow in size by chemically transforming them into water-soluble hydrogels. He then applies a treatment that loosens the tissues and allows them to expand more than 100 times in volume. The tissues and molecules within the sample can then be labeled, imaged and compiled into a complex set of data, to be used to study interactions among cells and their structures. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Watch sales stall at Richemont as Hong Kong protests bite

first_imgPARIS (Reuters) – Strong demand in mainland China helped Cartier-owner Richemont (CFR.S) offset a weaker performance elsewhere in its first quarter, as protests in Hong Kong hit sales, revenues fell in Europe and its watch business faltered. FILE PHOTO: High-end jewellery is displayed at a Cartier store on Place Vendome in Paris, France, July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File PhotoThe group relies on jewelry for the bulk of sales, with brands that also include Van Cleef & Arpels, and strong momentum in this sector has persuaded rivals, including Kering’s (PRTP.PA) Gucci, to branch into high-end gems. But Geneva-based Richemont is also a major player in the tougher watch industry, which is under pressure more broadly as consumers tastes shift, and has now been hit by political protests in recent weeks in Hong Kong. In June, the United States overtook the Chinese-ruled city as the world’s biggest export market for Swiss watches, export data from Switzerland showed on Thursday, as sales into Hong Kong slumped. “Sales in Hong Kong retreated, additionally impacted by the relative strength of the Hong Kong dollar and the recent street protests,” Richemont said of its overall business there. Its shares were down 2.35% at 0730GMT, while those in rival Swatch (UHR.S), which shone on the stock market on Wednesday after it gave a rosy outlook for the second half of the year, were down 0.7%. After buying back large amounts of excess watch stocks in recent years, Richemont, known for high-end IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre luxury timepieces, has also been reducing wholesale distribution and keeping a tight leash on new inventory. That shake-up of its retail network had contributed to the 2% fall in watch sales at constant currencies in the three months to end-June. Richemont, which gave no full-year outlook, highlighted that more product launches were due later in its second quarter. “Specialist watchmakers were once again rather weak, still impacted by distribution optimization,” analysts at Vontobel said in a note. Sales at Richemont’s jewelry brands were stronger, however, rising 7% at constant currencies, and the group said that mainland China had more broadly proved a bright spot, mirroring trends across the broader luxury goods industry. Some more fashion-orientated groups like Louis Vuitton owner LVMH (LVMH.PA) have benefited as Chinese shoppers spend more at home, encouraged by Beijing’s bid to boost domestic consumption with import tariff cuts that have fed through to prices. In Europe, Richemont’s revenue fell 1% in the April to June period. Richemont’s overall sales rose 12% to 3.74 billion euros ($4.20 billion), up 9% at constant currencies. This included its online distributors like Yoox Net-A-Porter, which it acquired full control of last year in a bid to accelerate its e-commerce push, an area where high-end watchmakers and jewelry firms are playing catch-up. Without these platforms, sales would have been up 3% at constant exchange rates. Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Michelle Martin and Jane MerrimanOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

Tiny Fighting Worms Make One of the Loudest Sounds in the Ocean

first_img Strange Love: 10 Animals with Truly Weird Courtship Rituals Originally published on Live Science. 13 Extremely Weird Animal Feet The 10 Strangest Animal Discoveries 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https://www.livescience.com/65945-tiny-worms-emit-loud-noise.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35Your Recommended Playlist01:33Better Bug Sprays?04:24Sperm Whale Befriends Underwater Robot00:29Robot Jumps Like a Grasshopper, Rolls Like a Ball01:08Why Do French Fries Taste So Bad When They’re Cold?02:31Surgical Robotics00:29Video – Giggly Robot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.last_img read more

Headmaster Somnath Chatterjee dead

first_imgparliament COMMENT politics COMMENTS Somnath Chatterjee: distinguished Parliamentarian who wore many hats August 13, 2018 RELATED death SHARE Veteran parliamentarian and only Left Speaker was known for his impartiality people Somnath Chatterjee, former Lok Sabha Speaker and 10-time MP of the CPI(M), passed away at a south Kolkata hospital on Monday morning. He was admitted to a city nursing home last week for a kidney-related ailment. He was 89.A barrister by profession, Chatterjee was the first and only communist leader to have been elected Speaker of the Lok Sabha. He held the position from 2004 till 2009. Chatterjee was expelled from the CPI(M) in July 2008, days after a no-confidence motion against the Manmohan Singh government, over the Indo-US nuclear deal, was defeated in the Lower House.He is survived by his wife Renu, a son, and two daughters.A Jyoti Basu loyalist, he was a member of the CPI(M) Central Committee between 1998 and 2008. He was also the leader of the party in Parliament between 1989 and 2004.In July 2008, the CPI(M) — with Prakash Karat at the helm of affairs — decided to withdraw its support to the UPA government over the nuclear deal. Chatterjee was asked to step down and vote against the UPA, which he refused to, citing constitutional responsibilities. He believed the position of the Speaker should be independent and unbiased, and above party politics.He was expelled from the CPI(M) on July 23, 2008. Chatterjee described it as “one of the saddest days” of his life but was never apologetic about the decision.‘I was right’Chatterjee earned the reputation of a strict “head master” from the MPs for his impartial conduct. Before he was expelled from the CPI(M), the Left MPs would often grumble that Chatterjee called them last, only to prove his impartiality.He was instrumental in telecasting Zero Hour proceedings in Parliament. It was during his tenure, in July 2006, that a full-fledged 24-hour Lok Sabha television channel came into being.In 2005, Chatterjee raised a storm by criticising the country’s Supreme Court for stepping into the shoes of the legislature.The apex court had then decided to advance the date of the floor test for the Shibu Soren government to prove its majority. Both the UPA and the NDA formations were in favour, but Chatterjee suggested a Presidential reference.“Someday, once the dust settles, you will realise that I was right (about encroachment on the legislature’s authority),” he reportedly told VK Malhotra, the BJP’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha.Long stintChatterjee was born at Tezpur, Assam, on July 25, 1929, to a Parliamentarian father NC Chatterjee, who was once president of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, and Binapani Debi. He was then educated in Kolkata and the UK.He was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1971, as a CPI(M)-backed Independent candidate from Burdwan. The seat had been left vacant after his father’s death.Since then, Chatterjee won nine Lok Sabha terms from Jadavpur and Bolpur constituencies in Bengal. He lost only one election in 1984, to then Youth Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, at Jadavpur constituency. Bengal’s industrialisationChatterjee will be remembered for his pioneering efforts to industrialise Bengal. The CPI(M)-led Left front came to power in 1977, riding on militant trade unionism, which sent capital packing from the State.The trend continued till the 1980s, when then Chief Minister Jyoti Basu wanted to make amends. Chatterjee then took charge of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) and used his personal influence in promoting the State to industry.Though the initial flow of investments was low, West Bengal got at least two large deals during the period: the Chatterjee Group’s Haldia Petrochemicals, and MCPI of Mitsubishi Chemicals. MCPI was then the largest Japanese foreign direct investment in India.Chatterjee quit the WBIDC, soon after Basu stepped down as chief minister in 2000. But investments in the State gained momentum till the unfortunate Singur episode in 2008. SHARE SHARE EMAIL 0 Published onlast_img read more

Karnataka signs MoU with Uber to create employment opportunities for SCST youth

first_imgSHARE SHARE EMAIL employment COMMENT Published on SHARE COMMENTS road transport Karnataka government which launched Airavatha scheme, with a budget of Rs 225 crore to boost employment opportunities for SC/ST youth, on Saturday signed an MoU with taxi hailing company Uber to create “industry owned private enterprise” for youth in tier 2, 3 cities and rural areas.Driven by Karnataka’s Social Welfare Ministry by partnering with industry is expected to boost livelihood programmes that will create more self-employment opportunities and boost livelihood options for rural and semi urban youth. Job creation”Targeted especially at the young men and women of SC/ST communities – the scheme will provide them training, mentoring, financial assistance and industry partnerships for a secure livelihood. Overall, the government is looking to invest over Rs 225 crore in the scheme, which will ensure job creation and economic development of the individuals,” Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara.He further said that these are the kind of schemes that would ensure job creation and boost economic development. “This is a bold step, and a first of its kind programme. There cannot be development without job creation and I hope this Airavatha acts as a catalyst in Karnataka’s growth story, and I hope more partners like Uber join us as we take development to every part of the state.”Through the Airavatha scheme, Karnatraka Government aims to foster partnerships with potential service providers and aggregators to provide opportunities to unemployed SC/ST youth to take up ownership of cabs and taxis under the scheme.In the first phase, the department has signed an MoU with Uber, under which the government will provide a financial grant of Rs 5 Lakhs each to identified beneficiaries from the SC/ST community. Uber will be assisting government in identifying eligible candidates from the SC/ST community from the Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru and Hubballi cities of the state, especially in semi-urban areas, and encourage them to take advantage of this scheme.Uber will also train beneficiaries, encourage them to register as driver partners on the Uber app, and thereby, provide access to entrepreneurial opportunities and viable earnings. Beneficiaries will also be provided with the necessary assistance to avail any additional loans from financial institutions.In all, the government and Uber will identify and train 500 youth under the first phase of this scheme, and will scale it up across the state in the future.Karnataka Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge, under whose department the scheme will be implemented expressed hope that more and more youth from the marginalised and vulnerable communities come forward and make use of the opportunity, and thus be a part of the tech and industrial revolution in the state. People-oriented developmentHe said, “We in the Karnataka government are committed to people-oriented development. We are committed to provide the SC/ST community with the necessary resources to chart their success stories. With Uber, we will ensure economic opportunities and income levels in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities improves. This will, we hope, improve the standard of living for these families and the communities themselves, and people live better lives. We will take every effort to realise the potential and ambitions of our young people, and ensure that Karnataka is truly a state of growth.”The goal is to promote a fleet of minimum 4,500 cabs / taxis in the State. Airavatha scheme will help to strategize the livelihood program of the Social Welfare department and eventually will leads to the economic empowerment of the concerned beneficiaries.Explaining the scheme on the impact of the grants, Pradeep Parameswaran, President, Uber India & South Asia said, “Uber is committed to partnering with the Karnataka Government and equipping all sections of society with the resources to chart their entrepreneurial journey on the app. With this initiative, the Government has once again demonstrated its intent to partner for progress and incentivise skills building and entrepreneurship. As a multi-modal platform, we believe that technology holds the key to creating millions of economic opportunities while solving for mobility, security and congestion. We commend the Karnataka government for their progressive vision in this regard.” Karnataka September 22, 2018 Launches Rs 225 cr Airavatha scheme to boost employment for SC/ST youth youth in tier 2, 3 cities and rural areaslast_img read more

Explainer What is at stake with Turkeys Russian air defence deal

first_img World 11 Jul 2019 EU threatens Turkey with sanctions over Cyprus drilling – draft ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey took its first deliveries of the Russian S-400 air defence system on Friday, a development likely to trigger U.S. sanctions on Ankara and escalate tensions between Turkey and its Western partners in the NATO military alliance.Why does Turkey need the Russian defence system?Ankara sees the system as a strategic defence requirement as it faces security threats from its southern borders with Syria and Iraq. It says that when it made the S-400 deal with Russia, the United States and Europe had not presented a viable alternative.Turkey has said the Russian system met its expectations in terms of price and technology and it hopes to cooperate with Russia in the development of the next generation S-500 missile systems, benefiting from technology transfer and co-production. {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} World 15 Apr 2019 Turkey says buying Russian defence system should not trigger U.S. sanctions World 10 Jul 2019 Turkey warns United States against harmful steps over Russian S-400scenter_img Related News According to Ankara, the S-400s do not pose a direct threat to the U.S. military. It has proposed setting up a technical working group that could include NATO, to address U.S. concerns about the potential impact of the system on U.S. F-35 jets. This proposal has so far been left unanswered, Turkey says.Why is the United States opposed to the deal?The United States says the Russian missile system is not compatible with the NATO defence network and that it could pose a threat to its Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets, an aircraft that Turkey is helping to build and planning to buy.Turkey’s purchase also contravenes U.S. legislation, known as Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which requires Washington to impose sanctions on countries which buy military equipment from Moscow. The missile deal further complicates U.S. policy in the Middle East by heightening tensions with Ankara at a time when Washington has been exerting pressure internationally to isolate Iran by blocking Tehran’s oil exports. Turkey had been a major buyer of Iranian oil, but has halted purchases so far. The United States and Turkey are also at odds over the Syrian conflict and other issues.What has the United States offered as an alternative?In trying to persuade Turkey to give up the Russian missiles, the United States offered to sell its Raytheon Co. Patriot missile defence systems.Turkey’s defence minister has said Turkish and U.S. officials were working on price, technology transfer and joint production issues on the latest U.S. offer, made in late March. However, no agreement has yet been reached.Several NATO allies have also provided Patriot missile batteries to protect Turkey’s southern borders during the conflict in neighbouring Syria. What consequences will the deal’s completion have?Washington has repeatedly said Turkey will face “real and negative consequences” if it proceeds with the acquisition, including suspension of procurement and industrial participation in the F-35 programme and exposure to sanctions under CAATSA.If the United States removes Turkey from the F-35 programme, and imposes sanctions on its NATO ally, it would be one of the most significant ruptures in recent history between the two nations.However, Erdogan has repeatedly voiced confidence in his rapport with U.S. President Donald Trump, who has expressed sympathy over Turkey’s situation. At a meeting with Erdogan in June, Trump blamed former President Barack Obama’s administration for failing to help Turkey acquire Patriot missiles as an alternative to the S-400s.In theory, the president has the authority to withhold or delay CAATSA sanctions. However, U.S. officials have said that the Trump administration still plans to impose the sanctions on Turkey and remove it from the F-35 programme. (Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Dominic Evans and Gareth Jones) Related Newslast_img read more

China says US should not play with fire on Taiwan

first_img Related News “We urge the U.S. to fully recognise the gravity of the Taiwan question … (and) not to play with fire on the question of Taiwan,” Wang told a news conference via an interpreter. (Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Andrew Heavens) World 09 Jul 2019 U.S. State Department approves possible $2.2 billion arms sale to Taiwan Related News World 11 Jul 2019 Taiwan president in U.S. after warning of threat from ‘overseas forces’center_img BUDAPEST (Reuters) – China’s top diplomat Wang Yi warned the United States on Friday that it should “not play with fire” on the question of Taiwan, expressing anger about a planned U.S. arms sale.During a visit to Hungary, Wang said that no foreign force could stop the reunification of China and no foreign force should try to intervene.The U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale to Taiwan of M1A2T Abrams tanks, Stinger missiles and related equipment at an estimated value of $2.2 billion, the Pentagon said on Monday, despite Chinese criticism of the deal.China claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and views it as a wayward province. Asean+ 10 Jul 2019 US approves $2.2bil arms sale to Taiwan {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

After LS poll Congress faces financial crisis Unpaid salaries cost cutting become norm

first_imgAfter LS poll Congress faces financial crisis. Unpaid salaries, cost cutting become normCongress has reduced monthly budget of Congress Seva Dal from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. It has asked its women’s wing, NSIU and Youth Congress to explore ways to reduce their expenses.advertisement Kumar Vikrant Singh New DelhiJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 14:47 IST After his party’s failure in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi stepped down as Congress president. (Photo: Getty Images file)HIGHLIGHTSCongress asks NSUI, women’s wing, others to cut expensesMany workers have not received salaries for past months20 members of social media team have left since election resultsResults of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections have not only hit the Congress just electorally but the party is also facing financial crisis. Many wings are reportedly facing difficulties in running their operations. Sources in the Congress party say some departments have already been asked to cut their expenses.The party has reduced the monthly budget of Congress Seva Dal from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.Similarly, the Congress has asked its women’s wing, NSUI and Youth Congress to explore ways to reduce their expenses.Speaking to India Today TV, Congress sources said deliberations are on within the party whether it needs the data intelligence wing anymore. Beside this, many who are working at the Congress headquarters have not received their salary for some months now.The financial crisis in the Congress can also be understood from the fact that 20 people who were part of Congress’s social media team, have resigned after Lok Sabha election results were announced on May 23. There were 55 members in the teams but at present there are only 35.Sources say those who are still working in the social media team get delayed salaries. The party’s media team too is in a similar state.The 2019 Lok Sabha election results announced Congress’s second-worst performance in general elections. It was able to win only 52 of the 542 seats where elections were held. In 2014, the Congress had won 44 seats.ALSO READ | Karnataka crisis: Leaderless Congress becoming easy target? What it could have learnt from BJP | OpinionALSO READ | BJP toppling govts with money power, threats: Rahul GandhiALSO READ | Goodbye, Rahul Gandhi?ALSO WATCH | Will fight 10 times harder than I did in past 5 years, says Rahul GandhiFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byMukesh Rawat Tags :Follow congressFollow Rahul Gandhi Nextlast_img read more