Friday, June 30, 2017

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JOBS to by taken over by computer

Prez Trump mocks TV host Mika Brzezinski with `bleeding from face-lift' tweet

Jun 30 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
Prez mocks TV host with `bleeding from face-lift' tweet
Washington:
REUTERS


President Donald Trump assailed a woman TV news host in highly personal terms on Thursday, describing her as “crazy“ and having been bleeding at one point from a facelift, in a Twitter attack that drew strong criticism including from fellow Republicans.Trump took aim on Thursday at the hosts of the MSNBC programme “Morning Joe,“ Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. The president called Brzezinski, a journalist and daughter of former White House national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, “low IQ Crazy Mika“ and said she was “bleeding badly from a face-lift“ when she visited one of his golf resorts around New Year's Eve.
He referred to former Re publican US congressman Scarborough as “Psycho Joe.“
“It's a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying and spe wing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job,“ MSNBC's communications office said on Twitter.
Republican lawma kers and others rebu kers and others rebu ked Trump. “Mr. Presi dent, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the great ness of America,“ Re publican Senator Lindaham tweeted. sey Graham tweeted.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders defended his tweets as simply a question of responding to criticism.“People on that show have personally attacked him many times,“ she added.

5 found guilty of murdering Boris Nemtsov - Russian opposition leader

Jun 30 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
5 found guilty of murdering Boris Nemtsov
Moscow:
REUTERS


A court on Thursday convicted five men of murdering Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, but the late politician's allies said the investigation had been a cover-up and that the people who had ordered his killing remained at large.Nemtsov, one of President Vladimir Putin's most vocal critics, was murdered in 2015 as he walked across a bridge near the Kremlin after dining with his girlfriend. He had been working on a report examining Russia's role in Ukraine. After eight months of hearings, a jury trial convicted five ethnic Chechen men of his murder, including the man prosecutors said pulled the trigger, Zaur Dadayev, a former Chechnya soldier.

UK withholds approval for Murdoch's $15bn Sky deal

Jun 30 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
UK withholds approval for Murdoch's $15bn Sky deal
London:
AGENCIES


Britain intends to refer Rupert Murdoch's takeover of Sky to a full investigation because critics say the deal would give the media mogul too much power in UK media. Murdoch's media group is trying to buy the 61% of Sky it doesn't already own, giving Twenty-First Century Fox easy access to Sky's 22 million customers in the UK, Ireland, Austria, Germany and Italy.“I am minded to refer to a Phase 2 investigation on the grounds of media plurality ,“ culture secretary Karen Bradley said. “The reasoning and evidence on which Ofcom's recommendation is based are persuasive.“
“The proposed entity would have the third largest total reach of any news provider -lower only than the BBC and ITN -and would, uniquely , span news coverage on TV, radio, in newspapers and online,“ Bradley said.
Ofcom, the communications regulator, last week submitted a report to Bradley on the deal's implications for media competition and Sky's compliance with broadcasting standards. Critics argue the takeover would give Murdoch too much influence over British media as his company already owns two of the country's biggest newspapers, The Sun and The Times.

Ex Saudi prince may have been confined to House arrest

Jun 30 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
Deposed Saudi prince may have been confined to palace
Beirut
NYT & AGENCIES


The recently deposed crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Nayef, has been barred from leaving the kingdom and confined to his palace in the coastal city of Jidda, according to four current and former American officials and Saudis close to the royal family .The new restrictions on the man who until last week was next in line to the throne and ran the kingdom's powerful internal security services sought to limit any potential opposition for the new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, 31, the officials said.
It was unclear how long the restrictions would remain in place. An adviser to the Saudi royal court referred queries to the information ministry , whose officials could not immediately be reached for comment. A senior official in the Saudi foreign ministry described the account as “baseless and false“ on Wednesday night.
The official expressed shock at the report, and sug gested that Mohammed bin Nayef may seek legal action against the newspaper.
“What was published by the New York Times is untrue, completely false, and baseless,“ the official said. “His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and his family is moving freely and hosting his guests unrestrictedly.Nothing has changed for Prince Mohammed, except for stepping down from his government positions,“ he said.
The Saudi king Salman shook up the line of succession with royal decrees that promoted his son, Mohammed bin Salman, to crown prince and removed Mohammed bin Nayef from the line of succession.

US sets new travel ban rules: Grandma, no; stepsister, yes

Jun 30 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
US sets new travel ban rules: Grandma, no; stepsister, yes
Washington
NYT & AGENCIES


Enforces `Close Family' Test For Visitors From 6 Muslim Countries
Stepsiblings and half-siblings are allowed, but not nieces or nephews.Sonsand daughters-in-law are in, but parentsand siblings-in-law are not. Parents are considered “close family ,“ but grandparents are not.The state department issued new guidelines on Wednesday night to American embassies and consulates around the world on how they should enforce a limited travel ban against foreign visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries. Enforcement of the guidelines will begin at 8pm EST (5.30am IST) on Thursday .
The guidelines followed the Supreme Court's decision on Monday to allow parts of the Trump administration's revised travel ban to move forward, while also imposing certain limits, as the court prepares to hear arguments in October on the scope of presidential power over border security and immigration.
The court said the ban could not be imposed on anyone who had “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the US.“
The meaning of “bona fide relationship“ was not precisely explained, and the phrase has created much uncertainty for migrants and others seeking to travel to the US from six countries -Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen singled out in President Trump's revised travel ban, issued in March. (An earlier version of the ban included Iraq.) The Trump administration has now made the definition explicit. According to a diplomatic cable obtained by NYT, “close family“ is “defined as a parent (including parentin-law), spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling, whether whole or half. This includes step relationships.“
But it went on to state that “close family“ does not include “grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothersand sisters-in-law, fiancés and `extended' family members.“
It isn't clear how the administration arrived at the definition. US citizenship and im migration services defines “immediate relatives“ as spouses, children under 21 and parents of adult citizens. A bona fide relation with a “US entity,“ according to the cable, “must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading the executive order“.
The new guidelines make clear that someone who has accepted a job offer from a company in the US or an invitation to hold a lecture at an American university may enter, but that a nonprofit group may not seek out citizens of the affected countries and suddenly count them as clients for the purpose of getting around the ban.“Also, a hotel reservation, whether or not paid, would not constitute a bona fide relationship with an entity in the US,“ the guidelines note.
Homeland security secretary John Kelly also unveiled enhanced security measures for foreign flights arriving in the US in what officials said was a move to prevent an expansion in-cabin ban on laptops and other large electronic devices. “Inaction is not an option,“ Kelly said, saying he believes airlines will comply with the new screening. But he said the measures are not the last step to tighten security.
US officials are requiring enhanced screening of personal electronic devices, passengers and explosive detection for the roughly 2,000 commercial flights arriving daily in the US from 280 airports in 105 countries.
The decision not to impose new restrictions on laptops is a boost to US airlines, which have worried that an expansion of the ban to Europe or other locations could cause significant logistical problems and deter some travel. European and US officials said that airlines have 21 days to put in place increased explosive screening and have 120 days to comply with other security measures, including enhanced screening of airline passengers.
It was reported earlier that US officials had suggested enhancements, including explosive trace detection screening, increased vetting of airport staff and additional detection dogs.

Vatican financial Cardinnal charged with sex abuse

Jun 30 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
Vatican financial czar charged with sex abuse
Vatican City | Sydney:
REUTERS


Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis' top advisers, took a leave of absence as the Vatican's financial czar on Thursday to fight multiple criminal charges in his native Australia that allege he committed sexual assault years ago.Australian police charged Cardinal Pell with multiple historical sex crimes, bringing a worldwide abuse scandal to the heart of the Vatican. As Vatican economy minister, Pell is the highestranking Church official to face such accusations. He asserted his innocence and said the pontiff had given him leave of absence to return to Australia to defend himself.
“I am looking forward finally to having my day in court. I repeat that I am inno cent of these charges. They are false,“ the 76-year-old told a news conference. “The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.“
Pell's high-profile departure, even if only temporary , poses a dilemma for a pontiff who has vowed zero tolerance for such offences. It may also have implications for Francis' drive to reform Vatican finances, which has been spearheaded by Pell, who also sits on a panel of nine cardinals from around the world who advise the pope.
Police in the Australian state of Victoria, where Pell was a country priest in the 1970s, said he faced “multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences“ from multiple complainants. They did not detail the charges against Pell or specify the ages of the alleged victims or the period when the crimes were alleged to have occurred. He was ordered to appear before Melbourne Magistrates' Court on July 18. Pell, who declined to take questions, decried a “relentless character assassination“ by the media and said he wanted to “clear my name and then return to my work in Rome“. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Pell would not appear in public church services for the time being.
Church sexual abuse broke into the open in 2002, when it was discovered that US bishops in the Boston area had simply moved abusers to new posts instead of defrocking them. Thousands of cases have come to light around the world since then.

Kerala MLA P C George abuses, threatens workers with gun

Jun 30 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
Kerala MLA abuses, threatens workers with gun
Kottayam:


Firebrand Poonjar MLA P C George, notorious for shooting his mouth off at the slightest provocation, pulled out a foreign-made pistol on Thursday and threatened to shoot a bunch of protesting workers.An unrepentant George further said he was brandishing a licensed weapon and wouldn't have hesitated to use it if it had come to that.
George had come to Harrisons Malayalam estate in Vellanadi in Mundakkayam to settle a dispute between estate workers and a group of families living on unclaimed purambokku land between the estate and Manimala river.
The workers had removed a water tank erected by the 50 or so SCST families who have been staying on the border of the estate for years leading to a tense situation.
George arrived to take up cudgels on behalf of the colony residents at around noon and in his usual blustering style told the women in the colony to throw acid on the workers if they dared trouble them again.
The estate workers present at the scene got furious on hearing this and started abusing George.He gave back in good measure but as things began to take an ugly turn he took out his Czechoslovakianmade pistol and threatened the workers.
Some union leaders quickly intervened and peace was restored. George shortly left the spot in his car.
Later, George told TOI that he was abused badly by the estate workers whom he described as “goons“. “There were around 20 of them, half of them drunk. There was nobody with me. They started abusing me very badly and I abused them back,“ he said. “To provoke me they shouted that I was not afraid as I was carrying a pistol. Hearing this I took out my pistol and shouted yes I have it, he said.
The estate has remained shut for a few years following a court order, though some workers still live there. The Kanjirappaly CI said that if police receive a complaint on the incident nothing prevents them from registering an FIR. However, an arrest and further action can only be done with the permission of the assembly speaker since George is an MLA. George is among the 1,507 gun licence holders in Kottayam. Incidentally , during a small exchange on the occasion, George had advised caution.“Each of us is likely to lose our temper. So be careful with a gun,“ he said. Apart from the pistol, George also possesses a 12-bore gun.

America shows Christian way to fleece Patients - against drug price control

Jun 30 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
Govt goes slow on price control due to US concerns


Despite state Food and Drug Administration's of Maharashtra and Odisha investigations and hard evidence submitted to the government months ago pointing to unregulated prices and hefty margins on medical devices including orthopaedic implants, intraocular lenses and catheters, it is yet to take any decision on fixing caps. Even after multiple discussions on the issue with stakeholders, drug prices regulator, NPPA has not moved ahead on the matter, the most recent one held on Thursday , raising skepticism. The government's “go slow'' on capping medical devices' prices could be due to concerns expressed by US on ceiling prices of stents, an issue which was officially raised before Prime Minister's US visit, industry experts say .Facing months of delay , thousands of patients are forced to pay exorbitant medical bills, while hospitals and distributors continue to pocket fat margins, ranging from 40-600% on these devices.
A key proposal suggested by health activists and doctors is to include all medical devices under the definition of `scheduled drugs' under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.“We have been asking the government to notify medical devices as scheduled drugs (to be eligible for price control) and include them in the NLEM (National list of Essential Medicines), and fix 1520% margins on their landed price (imported price)“, RPY Rao, from Society for Awareness of Civil Rights, told TOI.
Once these devices are in cluded in the NLEM, the NPPA can further notify them as scheduled drugs, and bring them under price control. The state bodies have proposed regulating prices and trade margins under the Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO) either through addition to NLEM, or use of public interest provisions contained in Paragraph 19 of the Act.
“Given that medical devices are critical, unavoidable components of healthcare, this situation of free pricing represents a massive undue burden on patients“, All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN), a group of public health activists and doctors, said.
In Thursday's meeting held on orthopaedic implants, Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare, said profit margin should not be over 10% for wholesaler, and 20% for retailer, which is already in practice. No other profit should be given to the health provider facility“.
The FDA reports provide hard evidence providing details of hefty margins at each step of supply chain and document business practices, designed to give super normal profits to hospitals, distributors and companies. In fact, original investigative reports on coronary stents (Odisha FDA, 2014 and Maharashtra FDA, 2015) provided the impetus for price control, which led to capping their prices in February this year, following years of prodding by health activists, MPs and even a public interest litigation in the Delhi high court.

MNC Cos, hosps earn hefty profits on med devices

Jun 30 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
Cos, hosps earn hefty profits on med devices
New Delhi:


Maha, Odisha Regulators Want Centre To Act
Even though the government has capped prices of cardiac stents, this has failed to bring much relief to patients.Companies, distributors and hospitals continue to earn hefty profits ranging from 40600% on other medical devices such as catheters, orthopaedic implants and surgical equipments, data submitted by regulatory authorities from Maharashtra and Odisha shows.Raising concerns about the hefty profit margins on such products, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorities of the two states have asked the Centre to take immediate action and bring all types of catheters and other such critical medical devices under the purview of price control.
Recent reports submitted by the state authorities to the central drug pricing authority ­ National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)­highlights that profit margins earned by hospitals on balloon catheters ranges between 25%472%, whereas that on guided catheter ranges from 50-529%. Similarly, distributors in the supply chain earn a profit margin ranging from 20%-211% on balloon catheters and 64-119% on guiding catheters. Manufacturers also earn a substantial margin on such products ­ ranging between 17-120% on balloons and 3-154% on guiding catheters.
“There is an urgent need to bring statutory provisions so that there will be fixed profit margin in the supply chain of balloon catheters and guiding catheters based on its import manufacturing cost to the company ,“ the Maharashtra FDA wrote in its report to NPPA earlier this month. Both Maharashtra and Odisha FDAs have been writing to the Centre highlighting such anomalies in pricing of medical devices since past few years.
It is imperative to note that the government has already started the process for bringing more medical devices under price control. While the health ministry has set up a committee to evaluate data to be able to include such critical devices under the National List of Essential Medicines, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has initiated stakeholder consultation for fixing up prices.
The latest reports by state regulators were released on Thursday on the website of the All India Drug Action Network. The reports also show that MRP of urine bags is 500% higher than the cost as supplied to hospital, and similarly cost of oxygen bags is approximately 300% higher than MRP . As per the report, 18 surgical equipment or medical devices are priced high including intraocular lenses ­ where margins are as high as 200-300%.
The government has started deliberations to bring around four critical devices--apart from cardiac stents, which are already under price control--under the NLEM. Once under NLEM, such devices will automatically fall under the purview of price control and companies will have to sell them at an MRP fixed by the regulator.
Initially, the regulator had shortlisted 19 such commonly used medical devices, including catheters, heart valves, orthopaedic implants and intraocular lenses, and asked companies to submit price and production data related to them.
Jun 30 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
MRP of stents, valves must be declared
New Delhi:


Medical devices which are declared as `drugs' such as stents, valves, orthopaedic implants, syringes and tools for operations will now have to declare their maximum retail price (MRP) and other details including that of manufacturer and importer. These also need to mention the consumer helpline number of lodging any complaint.The new rules, which come to effect from January 1 also makes it mandatory for e-commerce firms to mention MRP of products, which is aimed at ending any ambiguity whether the online firms are actually giving huge discounts that they claim in their advertisements.
“Even after capping of prices of medical devices many companies were not displaying (the rates). The new rules will be of great help to consumers at large and particularly the poor.The companies have to follow these norms under the legal Metrology Rules,“ consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan told TOI.
Earlier, all medical devices were covered under the Legal Metrology (Packaged) Commodities Rules. But in 1995, some of them were declared as drugs and so they stopped mentioning MRP . A sub-committee set up to propose changes in the Rules had recommended bringing them back under MRP regime. A consumer affairs ministry official said that the application of Legal Metrology Rules will provide another layer to protect consumers' rights. Nonapplication of MRP led to a crisis where consumers were charged arbitrarily by hospitals for medical devices and the health ministry had to cap the prices of stents.

Indian Scientists New tool gives TB patients a breather, cuts test cost 50%

Jun 30 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
New tool gives TB patients a breather, cuts test cost 50%
PuneChennai:
TNN



Scientists from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) are working on an indigenous DNA-based sputum test for tuberculosis (TB) and drug-resistant TB, which will bring down the cost of the TB test by at least half.The diagnostic tool, TruNat, which has shown promise in preliminary studies, is now being tested for feasibility in 50 districts in 10 states, including Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
“If the new kit passes the test, the cost of diagnosis would come down by as much as 50%,“ ICMR director-general Sou mya Swaminathan told TOI.
Currently , TBMDR-TB detection using the US-made GeneXpert system costs the government `1,600 per test.
The `Make in India' diagnostic tool for TB detection -TruNat -costs only `450 and is on par with the imported technology, experts said.
“Once the results of the preliminary studies are out by August, we will scale it up following the go-ahead from the Union health ministry ,“ Swaminathan said. “The aim is to weave this indigenous molecular test in the primary healthcare set-up as it gives the same kind of TB diagnosis as GeneXpert and shows resistance to rifampicin -a key first-ling drug -within the same time span.“
While the indigenous device will not replace the imported system, it could be an effective alternative in the rural areas as it is portable and battery-operated.
N S Gomathi from the Chennai-based National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) said a recent multicentric validation study in India had shown promising results. “However, the test ne eds to be studied further to demonstrate its simplicity and operational feasibility in field settings,“ she said. Gomathi is coordinating the feasibility study .
Experts who TOI spoke to said that though GeneXpert is portable, there are practical difficulties. It has an attached UPS and requires an air-conditioned set-up, which may not always be available in rural settings. “ As part of the ongoing study , we are factoring in various parameters like power fluctuations and whether people can interpret the reading on the device, which is the size of a landline phone,“ Gomathi said. When contacted, Raghuram Rao, deputy ad ditional director general (TB), Union ministry of health, said the only edge GeneXpert has over TruNat is that it can churn out results of four sputum samples at a time, while the latter can test only one sample in one go. “TruNat is, however, easier to use, portable and has higher sensitivity than smear microscopy ,“ he said. Maharashtra state tuberculosis officer Sanjeev Kamble said the feasibility study of TruNat is currently underway in five districts of the state, including Mumbai, Aurangabad, Hingoli, Kolhapur and Thane.
While the conventional smear test done under RNTCP may not always be accurate, the DNA-based tests are done for those who test negative in preliminary screening, despite showing TB symptoms.They are also done for children and others with co-morbid conditions, such as HIV .
India has 22 lakh TB cases, the highest in the world, of which up to 3% are estimated to be multi-drug resistant. The number of “missed“ TB cases in India is about 10 lakh. Early diagnosis and treatment of TB is important to prevent the transmission of disease and to improve TB treatment outcomes, expert said.

PAKISTAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR FARTING IN MOSQUE DURING RAMADAN



PAKISTAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR FARTING IN MOSQUE DURING RAMADAN

http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/pakistan-man-sentenced-to-death-for-farting-in-mosque-during-ramadan/

fartdead

A Pakistani judge has sentenced a man to be executed after he was expelled 17 times from 6 different mosques for excessive farting during the period of the Ramadan reports the Islamabad Herald this week.

The Ramadan is the most important religious festival for Muslims and the judge declared that he had indisposed people of the faith and even caused 53 people at one time to leave the mosque during a prayer, a “blasphemous act” which should be punished “according to Allah’s will.”
The judge was lenient, have admitted many experts in the region, as he gave the convicted man the choice of being beheaded or stoned to death.

“The law is clear, he should be stoned to death, beheading is a very light sentence and saves him from any suffering,” protested the government prosecutor.

Deputy District Public Prosecutor (DDPP) Syed Anees Shah told reporters the accused got a "very light sentence" for the crime of blasphemy.
Deputy District Public Prosecutor (DDPP) Syed Anees Shah told reporters the accused got a “very light sentence” for the crime of blasphemy.

A rare medical condition

Muhammad Al-Wahabi, 33, suffers from chronic flatulence, “a rare medical condition” he argued in his self-defense, as no lawyer would take his case.
“No lawyer is crazy enough to bet his career on this issue. If his client his condemned, as in this case, the lawyer would face prosecution and possibly the same faith as his client” admits legal expert Andrew Jones, a Middle Eastern law expert.
Al-Wahabi did not contest the judgment and even said the judgment was fair and that he hoped Allah would be gracious enough to pardon his blasphemous actions.
Al-Wahabi also admitted that he put a tampon in his rectum several times in a desperate attempt to mask the noise and odor.
“A disgraceful and insidious act” the judge declared, visibly disgusted.

“Muslims are not allowed to insert any objects inside their anus, not even a finger, it is forbidden by the Koran,” said the judge.

“As a judge, I must set an example for other Muslims.  This is clearly unacceptable under Shariah law,” he concluded.
Al-Wahabi admitted to the judge he had failed his God, his religion, and his people and was terribly sorry for what he had done, and asked for his two wives and seven children’s mercy in court and thanked the judge for his verdict.