EACPM rejects Subramanians claim on overestimation of GDP

first_imgNew Delhi: The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) on Wednesday rejected the claims of former CEA Arvind Subramanian regarding over-estimation of GDP growth after 2011, saying his analysis ignores data on services and agriculture and shows blind trust in a private firm CMIE. In a paper released by EAC-PM, India’s GDP estimation methodology stands at par with its global standing as a major and responsible economy. Primary contributors of the paper are economists Bibek Debroy, Rathin Roy, Surjit Bhalla, Charan Singh, Arvind Virmani. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France Last week, the advisory body had said it would issue a point-to-point rebuttal of the Subramanian’s research paper. In a research paper, Subramanian, who stepped down last year, said India’s economic growth rate has been overestimated by around 2.5 percentage points between 2011-12 and 2016-17 due to a change in methodology for calculating GDP. Subramanian’s paper titled ‘India’s GDP Mis-estimation: Likelihood, Magnitudes, Mechanisms, and Implications’, published at Harvard University, also comes at a time when concerns have been raised in various quarters about the official economic growth numbers. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize Subramanian was the CEA in the finance ministry for nearly four years from October 2014. Observing that Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Subramanian seems to have made a “hurried attempt to draw conclusions” about India’s complex economy and its evolution, the paper said he has used 17 high frequency indicators, but ignores the representation of ‘services sector (60 per cent in GDP) and ‘agriculture sector’ (18 per cent of GDP) in the analysis. The paper notes that Subramanian used 17 indicators to express his skepticism about the growth rates after 2011-12. Majority of the 17 indicators have been taken directly from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), a private agency that is not a primary source of information but collects it from different sources, it said. “For anyone who reads Dr Subramanian’s paper, it is evident that he trusts CMIE but distrusts CSO (Central Statistics Office)… This blind trust in a private agency (CMIE) and blind distrust in a government institution that has served India (CSO) appears unwarranted for a neutral academic,” it said. The paper further said the former CEA has overlooked the tax data. The EAC-PM paper said Subramanian chooses to overlook tax data arguing that “we do not use tax indicators because of the major changes in direct and indirect taxes in the post-2011 period which render the tax-to-GDP relationship different and unstable, and hence make the indicators unreliable proxies for GDP growth”. Unlike many indicators, it said tax data is not collected through surveys or by agencies through arcane techniques, these are hard numbers and should be an important indicator of growth. “Further, there have been no major changes in tax laws until the end period in the author’s analysis (March 31, 2017). GST was introduced on July 1, 2017. “The author’s logic of not using tax data appears to be a convenient argument meant to avoid inconvenient conclusions based on hard facts,” it said. The EAC-PM paper also noted that India’s GDP estimation is by no means a perfect exercise. “Is it better than before? Yes. “Is the process to further improve it in place? Yes,” it added. It further said Subramanian, in the capacity of CEA in the Ministry of Finance, has presided over the army of government economists and statisticians and is aware of the enormous magnitude and complexity of the exercise to compute GDP of the continent-size highly diverse emerging economy of India. “To consider attempting to approximate GDP (gross domestic product) of such a country on the basis of some correlations and four variables using simplistic econometric techniques and challenging the existing edifice of data collection is not only demoralising to those dedicated personnel but also technically inappropriate,” it added. The government had earlier said the base year of the GDP series was revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12 and released on January 30, 2015, after adaptation of the sources and methods in line with the System of National Accounts 2008.last_img read more

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United Nations Marks International Day Against Nuclear Tests

first_imgMarking the International Day against Nuclear Tests, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for a renewed global commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons and nuclear tests.“On this International Day against Nuclear tests, let us all take a fresh look at survivors’ stories. Listen to their words and imagine the effects of these detonations as if they were experienced by each of us,” Mr. Ban said in his message.He recalled meeting with courageous survivors of nuclear weapons and nuclear tests in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Semipalatinsk. Their “resolve and dedication should continue to guide our work for a world without nuclear weapons,” he said.In December 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35. The resolution calls for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear-weapon-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.”The resolution was initiated by Kazakhstan, which had closed its nuclear test site near Semipalatinsk on this day – 29 August – in 2009. Moreover, on the same date in 1949, the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test, followed by another 455 nuclear tests over succeeding decades, with a terrible effect on the local population and environment.“These tests and the hundreds more that followed in other countries became hallmarks of a nuclear arms race, in which human survival depended on the doctrine of mutually assured destruction, known by its fitting acronym, MAD,” Mr. Ban said.The Secretary-General appealed to citizens of those States that have not yet ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), especially the eight remaining Annex 2 States whose ratification is required for the Treaty’s entry into force: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.Since nuclear weapons testing began in the mid-twentieth century, with the first test on 16 July 1945, nearly 2,000 have taken place. The Day is meant to galvanize the UN, Member States, and non-governmental organizations to inform and advocate the necessity of banning such tests.“Together, let us demand an end to all nuclear tests, get on with the unfinished business of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons and usher in a safer and more prosperous future,” Mr. Ban said.last_img read more

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Sexual harassment complaint financial mismanagement allegations hit Manitoba chiefs organization

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsA Manitoba chiefs organization is in “chaos” as it deals with allegations its grand chief spent a large amount of the organization’s money at a casino, while at the same time its chief of staff is facing a sexual harassment complaint filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.Southern Chiefs Organization Grand Chief Murray Clearsky, however, says the issues are all “internal stuff,” fueled by disgruntled former staff members who have been let go.“I have nothing to hide. If I was stealing it would be different. Why would I steal money? Especially from an organization I work for?” said Clearsky. “I had authorization to go ahead. Some of the staff are pissed off at me and (chief of staff) Mike Bear so of course, ‘I will bring you down.’”Clearsky is facing allegations he withdrew about $10,000 in Shakopee, Minn, and Prior Lake Minn., from the organization’s bank account on Sept. 17 and Sept. 18. It’s alleged some of the money was used in a casino there.Two withdrawals on Sept. 17 totalling a little over $1,000 came from an ATM at the Little Six Bingo ATM in Prior Lake, Minn., based on cross referencing information on snap shots provided of the SCO’s account statement to APTN National News.The account statement also shows a withdrawal of $311 from a convenience store less than a minute’s drive from the Mystic Lake Hotel Casino in Prior Lake, Minn. along with seven withdrawals of $831 from an ATM in Shakopee, Minn, which sits about 15 km to the northwest.Long Plain Chief Dennis Meeches said he believes the Shakopee withdrawals were incurred at another casino there.“I have seen records where huge amounts of funds were withdrawn from an ATM machine a Shakopee casino outside of Minneapolis,” said Meeches, who is on the chiefs’ executive that oversees the SCO, which represents 33 Manitoba First Nations.Clearsky said he withdrew the money to fix his truck which broke down when he was in the area.“Those were the closest machines where I was at the time,” he said. “I had a camper set up down there, those were the closest ones where my truck broke down and I got invoices.”Clearsky also confirmed that his chief of staff Mike Bear is facing a sexual harassment complaint filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. He said he has responded to a letter he received from the commission, but he wouldn’t comment on its content.“I can’t tell you that part, it is human rights,” he said.Bear could not be reached for comment.APTN National News has obtained the complaint and the letter sent to Clearsky by the commission.Meeches said Clearsky should face a recall based on the totality of the allegations his organization faces.“I believe them to be true and action needs to be taken forthwith,” said Meeches. “It just doesn’t make sense when you see the transaction record. There is a situation at the office itself. Staff are being intimidated and there is bullying…I am going to support and ask for his resignation.”Clearsky had a warning for Meeches.“Chief Meeches should also watch what he is saying, he is no angel himself,” said Clearsky.Clearsky said he is meeting with his lawyer on Monday and the with the chiefs’ executive sometime next week. He said he will also reveal more information to the media about the allegations.“It’s internal, some of the people were let go and they are gone, now they come up with all kinds of BS,” he said.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

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Day after: Lankans still can’t believe it happened

first_imgColombo: As Shantha Prasad carried children wounded in Sri Lanka’s deadly attacks into a Colombo hospital, memories of the country’s deadly civil war flooded back. “I carried about eight wounded children yesterday,” he told AFP on Monday, a day after a string of blasts hit hotels and churches, killing nearly 300 people. “There were two girls aged six and eight, the same age as my daughters,” said Prasad, who helps carry stretchers into the hospital’s triage area and wards. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”Their clothes were torn and drenched in blood. It is unbearable to see this kind of violence again.” For many Sri Lankans, Sunday’s attacks against churches and high-end hotels brought back painful memories of a conflict that lasted three decades and killed as many as 100,000 people. During those years, bomb attacks were a regular occurrence, and left many Sri Lankans on edge in the streets and on public transport. In the capital, street sweeper Malathi Wickrama said Monday he was now nervous doing his job. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”Now we are afraid to even touch black plastic bags with garbage,” he said. “The string of blasts yesterday brings back memories of the time when we were afraid to go in buses or trains because of parcel bombs.” With the lifting of a nationwide curfew early Monday morning, people began to emerge into Colombo’s streets, where security was heavy. Schools and the stock exchange are closed, but some shops opened their doors and public transport was functioning. Imtiaz Ali, a tuk-tuk driver, was looking for customers in the capital, but said his family was in mourning over the death of his nephew in the blast that hit the Cinnamon Grand hotel. “The boy was just 23. He was a salesman at Cinnamon Grand hotel and he was to be married next week,” Ali told AFP. “We had made all the plans to hold the wedding at home, but today it’s a funeral house.” When Ali stopped at a petrol station to get a back-up container of fuel, the attendant said police had banned the sale of petrol and diesel in cans and bottles for fear they could be used to improvise bombs. Elsewhere in the city, some residents were making their way into work, determined to maintain a semblance of normality despite the tragedy. “We are resilient people,” said Nuwan Samarweera, a 50-year-old office worker. “We have seen so much violence during the civil war. For the outside world it may be big, but for us life goes on,” he added.last_img read more

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Ban encouraged by start of direct peace talks between Israelis Palestinians

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas began talks this morning in Washington D.C. under the auspices of the Quartet, the Middle East diplomatic grouping comprising the United Nations as well as the United States, the European Union and Russia.The talks follow an invitation from the US Government last month and a statement from the Quartet.Direct bilateral talks have not been held since late 2008, but indirect, or proximity, talks resumed in May this year, with the former US Senator George Mitchell shuttling between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas.Mr. Ban told journalists today in Vienna, where he is travelling as part of an official visit to Europe, that he was encouraged by the talks and sincerely hoped that the parties can do all they can to create a politically favourable atmosphere.He said Israelis should extend the freeze on settlements beyond 26 September and that Palestinians should not resort to violence.The Secretary-General will convene a meeting of Quartet principals in New York later this month to coincide with the annual opening of the General Debate of the General Assembly at UN Headquarters. Representatives of the League of Arab States will also be invited to that meeting.“This is just one part of our continuing efforts to work together with the other members of the Quartet as well as Arab partners,” Mr. Ban told reporters yesterday in Liechtenstein. “We need the collective efforts to see the peace in the Middle East. Peace and stability in the Middle East has wider implications for peace and security globally.”The UN chief stressed that the talks should substantively address the core issues of the conflict, which are “the core issues for lasting peace in the Middle East in general.” 2 September 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is “very much encouraged” that direct peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders have been launched today and called for those talks to tackle core issues so that a lasting peace can be reached in the Middle East. read more

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TSX shakes off early losses at midday

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market shook off early declines to register a respectable advance Wednesday amid higher oil and metal prices and concerns about potential fallout from the worsening debt crisis in Europe.The resource-intensive S&P/TSX composite index was up 44.11 points to 11,541.41 as traders focused on Spain and Italy and the higher borrowing costs both countries are facing. The TSX Venture Exchange lost 10.13 points to 1,259.57.The Canadian dollar ticked 0.16 of a cent higher to 97.56 cents US.U.S. markets were lower as data for May showed retail sales dropped by 0.2%. But most of the weakness was focused in a drop in gasoline prices.The Dow Jones industrials were down 21.34 points to 12,552.46, the Nasdaq composite index added 2.31 points to 2,845.38 and the S&P 500 index lost 1.86 points to 1,322.32.The TSX registered a 96 point gain Tuesday on hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve was about to step in with a new round of stimulus measures. Charles Evans, president of the Fed’s Chicago bank, said he supported action to produce faster job growth.Buyers have been moving cautiously to buy up stocks that were beaten down in a string of sharp declines last month that left the TSX more than 10% below its 2012 highs at the end of February.The Fed official’s remarks helped mask concerns about the effectiveness of a Spanish bank rescue announced over the weekend and a downgrade of Spain’s banks by ratings agency Fitch.Traders worry that the C100 billion euros being made available to Spain to aid its banks will just add to the government’s already considerable debts and perhaps force it to seek its own sovereign bailout. “It has been nothing from day one out of Europe where it hasn’t been a reactionary response,” said Chris Kuflik, investment adviser with ScotiaMcLeod in Montreal, adding that it is mildly encouraging the eurozone is taking some necessary steps.“They have to solve the problem once and for all and it’s going to take some hard decisions. They have to, at some point, provide some sort of a guarantee, like what the U.S. did where they upped the limits of depositor guarantee so that there wasn’t money flooding out of the banks.”The lack of confidence has been expressed in bond markets where Spain has been forced to pay higher yields to attract buyers for its debt. The yield on Spain’s benchmark 10-year bond had hit a euro-era high of 6.72 per cent but dropped slightly Wednesday.Spanish contagion has spread to other heavily-indebted countries. Italy paid 3.972% interest rates — up from 2.34% last month — to sell $6.5-billion in 12-month paper. The bond auction enjoyed strong demand. The sale was a warm-up for Thursday’s weightier longer-term paper auction.The debt crisis is not just rattling financial markets, but also affecting households and businesses by creating uncertainty over the future of the economy. The latest report from Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, showed industrial production in April among the 17 countries that use the euro, slipped 0.8 per cent. Analysts noted that even that poor showing is worse than it seems because a cold spring pushed up energy demand.Investors are nervously awaiting Greek elections on Sunday when a party that’s threatening to renege on the country’s bailout terms could come away the big winner. That might force Greece out of the eurozone, causing upheaval in currency markets.The base metals group shed early losses and moved up two per cent as July copper edged a penny higher to US$3.34 a pound. Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) rose 68 cents to $32.49 and First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) improved by 72 cents to $18.23.The financial sector gained about 1.1% with TD Bank (TSX:TD) ahead $1 to $79.10 while Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC) advanced 23 cents to $11.03.The gold sector was rose about one per cent as bullion prices gained $8.20 to US$1,622 an ounce. Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) gained $1.07 to $41.53 while Iamgold (TSX:IMG) rose 25 cents to $13.05.The energy sector was flat as the July crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange moved turned positive, up 26 cents to US$83.58 barrel. Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO) gained 48 cents to $42.75.Oil and gas producer Enerplus Corp. (TSX:ERF) cut its dividend in half on Tuesday to a monthly payment of nine cents per share from 18 cents amid weaker oil and natural gas prices. Its stock gave back 30 cents to $13.22.European bourses were off the worst levels of the session with London’s FTSE 100 up 0.06%, Frankfurt’s DAX down 0.01% and the Paris CAC 40 down 0.8%.On the earnings front, discount retailer Dollarama Inc. (TSX:DOL) said its first-quarter profit rose 40% to $42.6-million or 56 cents a share, which beat estimates by six cents.The Montreal-based company’s revenue for the 13 weeks ended April 29 was just under $398-million, up 15% from the comparable period last year and its shares ran ahead $4.12 to $60.99.Elsewhere, shares in paper maker Domtar Corp. (TSX:UFS) rose 72 cents to $83.10 as it announced it is selling its hydroelectric assets in the Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.,-area for $45-million. The buyer is Energy Ottawa Inc., the renewable energy subsidiary of Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc. The Canadian Press read more

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Canada backs CHOGM venue shift

According to CTV news, Harper said the November conference is currently slated to take place in Sri Lanka, but also notes any number of countries would be willing to host the event. In response to a Liberal question in the Canadian House of Commons about moving the whole summit to Canada, Harper says he and all MPs are of “one mind” on the issue. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is hinting he’d like to see this year’s Commonwealth summit moved out of Sri Lanka in protest over the country’s human rights record, CTV news reported.Harper has made it clear for more than a year that, without major reforms, he personally will not be attending next fall’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo. Asked to clarify Harper’s remarks, the Prime Minister’s Office did not address a direct question about whether it’s a sign he’d like to see the venue changed.As recently as last month, Canada’s envoy to the Commonwealth, Conservative Sen. Hugh Segal, was assuring Sri Lankan media that Harper had at no time indicated he wanted the country stripped of this year’s conference. read more

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Thomson Reuters reports lower Q1 operating profit revenue up slightly at 31B

Thomson Reuters reports lower Q1 operating profit; revenue up slightly at $3.1B Thomson Reuters (TSX:TRI) reported Tuesday a drop in operating profit in the first quarter as it cited severance costs and an increase in depreciation and amortization expenses.The global news and information company said the underlying operating profit in the three months ended March 31 was $462 million, with adjusted earnings of 38 cents per share.That compared with underlying operating profit of US$497 million, or 39 cents per share, in the same 2012 period.Adjusted earnings were 38 cents per share, beating analyst expectations of 32 cents a share, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters.The company has been slimming down its operations and in its last financial year announced several divestitures and acquisitions, including the sale of its health-care segment in a US$1.25-billion deal with Veritas Capital.As part of the changes, Thomson Reuters booked severance expenses US$78 million in the first quarter, compared with US$28 million incurred in the first quarter of 2012, while depreciation and amortization expenses rose US$20 million.Revenue from ongoing businesses was US$3.1 billion, up from US$3.07 billion.“The external environment continues to be challenging but we are on track,” chief executive James Smith told a conference call with analysts.“That said, we are controlling what is within our control, remaining focused on consistent execution, rolling out new products and we believe they will drive organic growth — and we are reducing our cost structure.”Under international financial reporting standards (IFRS) measures, the company took a US$235-million tax charge in the period, resulting in an IFRS loss of four cents per diluted share, compared with a profit of 35 cents in the prior-year period.Operating profit under IFRS was US$390 million, up seven per cent from US$364 million, although revenues were down four per cent at US$3.18 billion from US$3.32 billion.The company’s first-quarter results met its expectations, and the second half of the year is expected to perform better than the first half, Smith said.He also told analysts that Thomson Reuters will be pulling back on its acquisition activity to a level that observers “have come to expect from us.”“We had an abnormally high level as we saw opportunities to move into faster growing sectors of our market,” he said.Shares of the company ended the day 35 cents lower to $33.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 30, 2013 7:54 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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US wholesale stockpiles edged up 01 per cent in July sales also

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – U.S. wholesalers increased in their stockpiles only slightly in July after three monthly declines and their sales improved at the weakest pace in seven months.The Commerce Department said Wednesday that wholesale stockpiles rose just 0.1 per cent in July from June. That followed a 0.3 per cent decline in June.Sales rose just 0.1 per cent in July, the smallest gain since December. Still, that’s the fourth straight month that sales have risen.Some economists had thought that wholesalers might ramp up their stockpiles in July after cutting them from April through July. The tiny increase could add to worries that the current July-September quarter is off to a weak start.More restocking boosts factory production, driving overall economic growth.The economy grew at a 2.5 per cent annual rate in the April-June quarter. Restocking by all businesses added 0.6 percentage points to growth in the second quarter, although the gain was driven by retailers, manufacturers and farmers.Many economists believe growth is slowing in the July-September quarter to an annual rate of 2.3 per cent, although a handful of July data suggest the figure could be weaker. In addition to the sluggish restocking, businesses cut spending on long-lasting manufactured goods and new-home sales plunged.Wholesale inventories are up 29.4 per cent from the low point reached in September 2009, a period when businesses had been trimming stockpiles in the face of falling demand during the Great Recession.For July, auto stockpiles rose 0.4 per cent, furniture inventories increased 1 per cent and machinery stockpiles rose 1.9 per cent.The July increase left stockpiles at $500 billion, or 2.2 per cent higher from a year ago. US wholesale stockpiles edged up 0.1 per cent in July; sales also up 0.1 per cent by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Sep 11, 2013 10:09 am MDT read more

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GPs prescribe fewer antibiotics when paid bonuses to cut rates

They found that the greatest reductions in antibiotic prescribing were seen for patients with sore throats, as well as in younger patients, with a 6 per cent reduction in prescribing for children.Ms Bou-Antoun said: “It is important to reduce unnecessary and inappropriate antibiotic prescribing as it is a known driver of antibiotic resistance. It’s also important to measure the impact of national interventions targeted at improving the use of antibiotics so we can evaluate and identify what is working.”Professor Alan Johnson, from the PHE Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control (CIDSC), said: “As part of a national strategy to tackle antibiotic resistance, this is one of a range of successful interventions used to support GPs to reduce levels of prescribing. It is important that we continue to reduce the levels of inappropriate prescribing if we are to prevent further increases in drug-resistant infections.” GPs are doling out fewer antibiotics after being paid bonuses for cutting prescribing levels, research shows.Under the schemes, groups of doctors can receive an extra £5 for every patient on their list if they meet targets to cut antibiotic prescribing.A study by Imperial College London and Public Health England found that the financial rewards helped to reduce antibiotic prescriptions for common respiratory tract infections by three per cent.In England, respiratory tract infections (RTIs), which include coughs and sore throats, are one of the most common reasons for a visit to the GP, and GP clinics the most common setting where doctors prescribe antibiotics.However, many mild cases  clear up without treatment, and the majority are caused by viruses, in which case antibiotics are ineffective as they only work against bacteria. Further research is now being undertaken to establish whether reductions in antibiotic prescribing had any negative impacts, including increased illness.The findings are published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.Health officials are attempting to cut use of antbiotics in a bid to cut the rise of drug-resistant bacteria.If these resistant bacteria cause severe infections, antibiotics may no longer work when they are needed.In this study, the team reviewed data from general practices across England, focusing on prescribing of antibiotics for uncomplicated RTIs from 2011 to 2017.Their analysis revealed that aside from the expected seasonal peaks and troughs associated with winter and summer periods, prescribing rates fell by 3 per cent, or 14.65 prescriptions per 1000 RTIs, in April 2015 – coinciding with the introduction of the incentive scheme around antibiotic prescribing. “This clinical uncertainty, along with patient anxiety regarding their infection, or their child’s, may influence the decision to prescribe antibiotics. We do however know that respiratory tract infections are commonly viral and that they are likely to resolve without antibiotic treatment and, so antibiotics are likely to offer little benefit to these patients.” It is important to reduce unnecessary and inappropriate antibiotic prescribing as it is a known driver of antibiotic resistanceSabine Bou-Antoun Professor Paul Aylin, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Imperial, said: “This study shows that financial incentives can help to drive down the rates of antibiotic prescribing in clinical practice for non-complicated respiratory infections, particularly among children.“Antimicrobial resistance is a growing global threat. Infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat with antibiotics. As bacteria develop resistance to the drugs we use they could render many of the last line treatments we have ineffective. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “In order to preserve these valuable treatments for years to come we must continue to promote good stewardship, ensuring antibiotics are only prescribed where they are absolutely needed.”Protect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security  Sabine Bou-Antoun, an epidemiologist and research postgraduate at the School of Public Health at Imperial and first author of the study, said GPs are unable to identify whether an infection is caused by a bacteria or virus.She said: “In clinic, GPs have a short amount of time in which to see a patient, make a diagnosis and recommend a treatment where required.“For respiratory infections this is complicated further by unspecific symptoms and lack of a ‘point-of-care’ diagnostic tool to distinguish between a bacterial and viral respiratory infection. The schemes mean clinical commissioning groups, led by GPs, can be paid up to £5 for every patient on their list if they meet targets to cut prescribing levels. read more

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98FMs Joan Lea moves to Radio Nova for breakfast show

first_imgWe feel that after three years, Radio Nova has come of age and is now in a position to bring a new challenge to the more established breakfast show market.Radio Nova has continually managed to grow its market share, increasing by 37 per cent since the start of 2013, he added.Joan Lea said: “I feel very much at home on breakfast radio and whilst we are up against some pretty serious players in that time-slot, we’ll be coming out fighting and it’s a challenge we will relish and are ready for.”The recent JNLR ratings show “consistent growth” for the station, Branigan said.Read: 9 weirdest moments from the Adrian Kennedy Phoneshow> FORMER 98FM PRESENTER Joan Lea is to move to Radio Nova to team up with Marty Miller for a breakfast show.Radio Nova announced today that the two are to team up to take on the breakfast show market in the Dublin area. The show will take over the 6am – 10am slot and will launch on 23 October.Joan Lea was one of the original members of the hugely successful Strawberry Alarm Clock team on FM104, and also hosted her own late night talk show on Dublin’s 98FM for five years. Prior to her time in radio, she worked as a professional jazz performer and jingle singer.Dubliner Marty Miller is a multiple radio award-winner and has been with Radio Nova since the station’s launch in 2010. He currently hosts the afternoon slot at Nova. He has also presented and/or produced award-winning shows on stations including South East Radio, 98FM, Spin 1038 and Today FM.Radio Nova CEO Kevin Branigan said that the duo “have an unquestionable on-air chemistry and will be a fantastic on-air team”.last_img read more

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RealLife Red Dead Redemption 2 Clothes Fulfill Your Cowboy Fantasies

first_img Red Dead Redemption 2 is committed to realism. That gives Rockstar’s open-world western a much more methodical pace compared to other games. But we argue that doesn’t make it boring. It just gives you plenty of time to soak in all of the rich period details. And some of the most entertaining details are just the sheer variety of cowboy clothes you can dress up Arthur Morgan in while waiting for his beard to grow.After spending dozens of hours admiring stylish but fake video game fashion, naturally you’re going to want to start wearing it in real life. Fortunately, Rockstar and New York clothing label Barking Irons are forming a posse to make this a reality with their new line of Red Red Redemption 2-inspired clothing.The wardrobe, all based on items Arthur can actually wear, includes denim($150) and railroad ($120) shirts with Arthur Morgan’s own initials, tan gunslinger jackets ($250), and saddle bags ($180) featuring Red Dead branding. It may even give you ideas for how to customize your Red Dead Online character. And because Red Dead Redemption is (basically) based on an actual period of American history, none of these clothes scream “This is a video game shirt!” which is always a plus.This initial offering from Barking Irons is a little modest, at only eight attractive but relatively plain items. Here’s hoping that if this initial limited edition wave is a success they then start offering clothes based on Red Dead Redemption 2’s more extravagant Saint Denis styles. By the end my Arthur Morgan looked like a hobo Abe Lincoln with a top hat and red-gold three-piece suit. I won’t rest until I can honor that man’s aesthetic in my real life.Barking Irons Red Dead Redemption 2 clothes are available now. For more on Red Dead Redemption 2 read our review and check out this beautiful photo gallery. For more on geek clothing check out this Infinity War scarf and Pac-Man pajama pants.View as: One Page Slides1/241. A River Runs Through It — I couldn’t help but think of Norman McLean’s tale of coming and age and fly fishing, A River Runs Through It, as I spied this view from a perilous rope bridge.2. After the Bear Fight — I was ridging through a green field of beautiful flowers when my horse reared and a grizzly attacked me. I got a few shots off, but had my varmint rifle equipped. I survived the mauling and killed the beast, but was worse for wear.3. After the Hanging — I watched this poor soul lose his virtual life. Not a pretty sight.4. Altar Tight — A raven perches atop an altar of sacrificial bones. You’ll see some weird things if you wander off the beaten path.5. Amputation — I brought this fellow to the doctor, who had to take his arm. Nasty business.6. Arthur and Deer — I couldn’t resist posing for a selfie outside the taxidermist’s house.7. Arthur Twilight Mountain Selfie — The light was gorgeous in the game, trust me.8. Bear Hat Mouth Harp Selfie — I put on my bear hat, one of the first absurd hats you can get in the game, to snap a selfie in the Rhodes town square.9. Bird of Paradise — Arthur contemplates his decisions as he stands in front of a bird of paradise.10. Boat on River — I had a Georges Seurat painting in my mind when I framed this one.11. Dry Goods Vet — The general store in Rhodes is photogenic as hell.12. Dynamite Accident — This is what happens when you stand too close to a safe during the process of attempting to open it using dynamite.13. Gunfighter Lady —Gunfighting wasn’t just for the fellas.14. Hanging Guy In The Swamp — I had a legendary fish on my horse. But I saw this and stopped to take a picture anyway. Needless to say, I was immediately murdered by swamp people. I got the fish back, though.15. In Memory — Old gravestones are one of my favorite real-world photographic subjects, so I had to snap this shot of a wooden marker when I happened upon it.16. Law Office — An urban street scene at night—not sure what these dudes are up to, but the lighting grabbed my attention.17. Lighthouse — The lighthouse is one of the prettier spots in the game.18. Look On My Works — Serial killer? I don’t know. No spoilers. Unless you know where Gavin is.19. Mouth Harp — There’s a dude in Rhodes who just hangs out and plays a mouth harp all day. Who said they didn’t have hipsters in the 19th century?20. Notions — There’s just something about the townsfolk in Rhodes that makes me think of Deliverance.21. River and Mountains —Red Dead’s scenery is amazing, even if Arthur isn’t quite Ansel Adams.22. Snowy Cabin Body — One of Arthur’s victims lies dead in the snow.23. St. Denis Street At Night — As New Orleans is in the real world, St. Denis is one of my favorite places on the Red Dead map.24. Vesuvius Studio Shot — This isn’t from Arthur’s camera. I paid to have my portrait taken in St. Denis. The photographer had a backdrop with what is presumably Mount Vesuvius, so of course that’s the one I went with. Stay on target ‘Red Dead Online’ Finally Fully LaunchesThe Actual Pinkertons Are Suing the Makers of ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ last_img read more

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Croatian Mamic sentenced to jail

first_imgZdravko Mamic who was chief executive of Dinamo Zagreb, Croatia’s biggest club,  and also vice-president of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has been sentenced to jail for corruption.He is to serve a jail term of six-and-a-half years after he was found guilty of embezzling millions of euros in transfer fees when he was an executive at Dinamo Zagreb, according to BBC.He fled across the border into Bosnia on the eve of the verdict after being charged with diverting 116m Croatian Kuna (€15.7m; £14m) from the football club and evading another 12.2m in tax.For years fans at Dinamo alleged that he and his friends had used their club to make money for themselves by depriving the club of funds from lucrative transfers and evading taxes. Then in 2015 he and his brother Zoran, the Dinamo coach, were arrested.Also in the verdict are the ex-Dinamo players, Croatia captain Luka Modric, who was charged with perjury. He was guilty of false statements during the trial when he was questioned about his 2008 transfer to Tottenham Hotspur.The case will not affect his role in the World Cup in Russia later this month.last_img read more

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Pope enjoys wellreceived first year

first_imgClick to enlarge. VATICAN CITY — From his simple sound bites to his breaking of Vatican rules, Pope Francis has made being Catholic cool in his first year.He might not like his superstar status, but he certainly knows how to work a crowd and he has endeared himself to the public for looking out for the poor and radically shifting the church’s focus to mercy rather than moralizing.“Now, people are happy to say ‘Well, actually I am a Catholic,’ and sometimes they’re quite keen to let themselves be known as a Catholic,” British Cardinal Vincent Nichols said. “And I think that’s the effect of Pope Francis. There is credibility around the Catholic project.”But not everyone is thrilled and expectations are high for his second year, with high-profile travel, Vatican reform and discussion on hot-button issues like family and sex on the agenda.The anniversary of Francis’ papacy is today. Here’s a look at some key moments in Francis’ first year that give insight to what the future may hold for the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church.last_img read more

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Another Big Jolt Greets QuakeJittery Alaskans

first_imgScientists at the U.S. Geological Survey say a 4.6 magnitude aftershock occurred shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday and was felt in Anchorage. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaskans were jolted by yet another big aftershock from last week’s powerful earthquake near the state’s largest city. Friday’s earthquake damaged roads and some structures, cracked roadways and collapsed highway ramps. But no catastrophic damage, injuries or deaths have been reported. Geophysicist John Bellini says the aftershock is the 13th with a magnitude of 4.5 and above since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck about 7 miles (11 kilometers) north of Anchorage on Friday. More than 2,100 aftershocks have occurred since the first earthquake, including a 5.7 shaker that arrived within minutes. Bellini says the vast majority of the aftershocks are too small to feel.last_img read more

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Feeding the needy NGO shows the way

first_imgMiyapur: The daily wage labourers or just about anyone who find it hard to buy a meal in Miyapur, Balanagar and Kukatpally areas no longer have to go hungry. A city-based NGO, Hope of Hunger, started by Alekhya in June 2019, has come as a saviour.Till date, 45 drives have been conducted. Alekhya says, “The thought of people going hungry was unbearable and I came up with the idea.” Alekhya and her team members visit hotels and restaurants in the West Zone and collect the leftover food which would otherwise end up in dustbins. The team first visited all the hotels and convinced them to part with the food. Also Read – TSBB, NGC promotes eco-friendly Ganeshas Advertise With Us It was a win-win situation as the hoteliers no longer had to think about logistics and of disposal of leftover food. It saved time and money. 10 volunteers distribute food packets to more than 100 underprivileged people in the west zone. “As of now we only distribute the food packets in Miyapur and nearby areas, includes Balanagar and Kukatpally. Small hotels are helping us and slowly I am planning to expand this drive across the city,” added Alekhya.last_img read more

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1 killed in shooting at California synagogue

first_img By: The Associated Press By: The Associated Press Anti-extremism program won’t stop hate, say Muslims who’ve seen its flaws August 30, 2019 TagsChabad Chabad of Poway gun violence Poway Poway synagogue shooting synagogue attack Top Story Tree of Life,You may also like Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts The Associated Press,Load Comments,Worshipper saved grandson in California synagogue attack Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 News The Associated Press Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 News • Photos of the Week Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Sunday Mass canceled across Sri Lanka a week after bombings Share This! Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,POWAY, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a woman has died and three others are hospitalized in stable condition after a shooting at a synagogue outside San Diego.San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said at a news conference that a white man entered Chabad of Poway on Saturday (April 27) and opened fire on worshippers with an AR-type assault weapon.Gore says an off-duty Border Patrol agent believed to be inside the synagogue shot at the suspect as he fled. The sheriff says the agent didn’t hit him but struck his car.San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit says the 19-year-old suspect called police to report the shooting and a California Highway Patrol officer heard it on a police scanner, saw the suspect and pulled him over. Nisleit says the suspect got out of his car with his hands up and he was taken into custody without incident.Gore says a woman died from her injuries, while a girl and two men are in the hospital.The shooting came as worshippers were celebrating the last day of Passover.There was no known threat after a man was detained in the shooting at the Chabad of Poway, but authorities boosted patrols at places of worship as a precaution, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said.President Trump has offered “deepest sympathies to the families of those affected.”At the White House, Trump said Saturday that the shooting “looked like a hate crime” and called it “hard to believe.” He spoke from the South Lawn before flying to a rally in Wisconsin.The shooting came exactly six months since a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue killed 11 people in the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history.A handful of police cars were parked outside the synagogue in the city of Poway, just over 20 miles north of San Diego. Crime tape surrounded the street in front of the building.Passover began on April 19 and was ending Saturday.In Pittsburgh, a truck driver who authorities say expressed hatred of Jews has been charged in the Oct. 27 rampage at the Tree of Life synagogue. He’s pleaded not guilty. Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email News Share This! Share This! By: The Associated Presslast_img read more

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UPDATE Flash Flood Warning For Harris County

first_imgThe forecast on your smart phone is no reason for panic. But it’s a very strong reminder that we need to change how we build homes as we prepare for the next #HurricaneHarvey “event.” pic.twitter.com/UNaUqiPpBM— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) March 28, 2018 Tornado Warning including Harris County, TX until 5:45 PM CDT pic.twitter.com/VSWxyWkxS8— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 28, 2018 .@NWSHouston issues Tornado Watch for Houston until 9:00pm Wednesday. Houston residents should prepare to seek shelter if a Tornado Warning is issued for their area. Get In, Get Low, Hold On. Info at: https://t.co/sHEQVOGOj5 #houwx #txwx pic.twitter.com/OGpg7IqZHZ— AlertHouston (@AlertHouston) March 28, 2018 With several reports of low lying areas under water and several water rescues, please follow the following safety tips. Do not drive through flooded waters! If safe to do so, please send any flooding reports. Stay safe! #bcswx #houwx #txwx pic.twitter.com/fPqCRtALA8— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 28, 2018 Heavy rains move across Texas.Tuesday’s flash flood watch is still in effect as rains move across southeast Texas and weather experts think this week’s storms could get pretty heavy.According to the National Weather Service the line of thunderstorms is continuing to produce localized heavy rainfall leading to flooding of low lying areas and areas with poor drainage. The tornado watch is still in effect through 9 p.m. with hail and strong winds still possible. Use caution if driving tonight. Flood potential is increasing. https://t.co/UYAd7dGekW— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 29, 2018 Operations have begun to return to normal. Please reach out to your carrier for the most accurate flight information.— Houston Bush Airport (@iah) March 28, 2018 9:45 AM Radar Update: a line of thunderstorms is currently moving across portions of Southeast Texas producing locally heavy rain and frequent lightning. Later today, several rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms are expected through tonight. #bcswx #houwx #glswx #txwx pic.twitter.com/haJz6HC5ir— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 28, 2018 There is a Slight Risk of severe thunderstorms across Southeast Texas today through early Thursday morning. Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes are all possible. #txwx #houwx #bcswx #glswx pic.twitter.com/LhFiEb2IJ5— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 28, 2018 Several cancellations due to weather, for more detailed information, visit https://t.co/xXGny9BsjP and please check with your carrier regarding the status of your flight(s).— Hobby Airport (@HobbyAirport) March 28, 2018 12:44 PM CDT Radar Update: a second line of strong thunderstorms is beginning to move into the northern parts of our area. Additionally, a line of thunderstorms is beginning to develop over Fort Bend and Harris Counties. #bcswx #houwx #glswx #txwx pic.twitter.com/1WAkitAQ9k— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 28, 2018center_img Severe Thunderstorm Warning including West Livingston TX, Livingston TX, Onalaska TX until 12:00 PM CDT pic.twitter.com/2PO7QiyTXE— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 28, 2018 Severe hail and winds, localized street flooding, and isolated tornadoes are possible through tonight. Take time to figure out how you are getting your warnings, identify where you will go during a warning, and familiarize yourself with severe weather terminology. #houwx #txwx pic.twitter.com/RqsNfmXd75— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 28, 2018 5:20 PM CDT Radar Update: The line of thunderstorms is continuing to produce localized heavy rainfall leading to flooding of low lying areas and areas with poor drainage. The tornado watch is still in effect through 9 PM CDT with hail and strong winds still possible. #houwx #txwx pic.twitter.com/PsnCKM4clk— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 28, 2018 Share Severe Thunderstorm Warning including New Waverly TX, Oakhurst TX, Dodge TX until 11:30 AM CDT pic.twitter.com/HCvtXEGYsU— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 28, 2018 Just received a report of pea sized hail in NW Harris County as storms move in. Let us know what you’re seeing!— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 28, 2018According to KHOU a ground stop has been issued at Bush Intercontinental Airport and several flight cancellations were reported at Hobby Airport due to severe weather.Storm damage near Point Blank, TX off Lake Livingston. @abc13houston pic.twitter.com/k2p69P3GzP— Charles Fisher (@NewsCameraFish) March 28, 2018The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for Harris County, including some other parts of Texas and Louisiana until 9 p.m.A tornado watch has been issued for parts of Louisiana and Texas until 9 PM CDT pic.twitter.com/5jSsHWZPi1— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 28, 2018Meteorologist Josh Lichter, with the National Weather Service, anticipated there might be 1 to 3 inches of rain and maybe go up to 4 to 5 inches in some parts of southeast Texas. Those rainfall rates could cause some street flooding.Lichter also recommended to monitor the levels of the bayous.The Houston Fire Department (HFD) was taking extra precautions for the string of storms with the deployment of a high-water vehicle about a mile north of Brays Bayou.Additionally, HFD said three other fire stations already have high-water vehicles.The City of Houston Office of Emergency  Management (OEM) is monitoring the potential for severe weather and give Houstonians the following recommendations. Turn Around, Don’t Drown: Do not drive through flooded areas.  If you come upon a flooded roadway, do not enter it. turn around.Monitor stream, bayou, and creek conditions: Rain may move repeatedly across the same area, causing a rise on creeks and bayous. Avoid traveling during periods of heavy rain: Rain can keep you from seeing the road ahead of you, and can result in dangerous accidents. Severe Thunderstorm Warning including Katy TX, Brookshire TX, Addicks TX until 5:00 PM CDT pic.twitter.com/rDcAw6UkOR— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 28, 2018 The area is in a moderate risk for flash flooding, and a Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through 1 AM for the northern counties and 7 AM for Harris county southward. #houwx #glswx #bcswx #txwx pic.twitter.com/azeTCod9rh— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) March 29, 2018last_img read more

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The Most Addictive Mobile Clicker Games

first_img Here’s a hot take, all of the new video game genres concocted the past few years are bad. I’m always down for a good platformer, arcade racer, or puzzle game. But roguelites, MOBAs, free-to-play, and anything taking inspiration from Dark Souls or PUBG can go away forever now please. However, one recent emerging genre may be the most unsettling of them all: clicker games.Clicker games, sometimes called “idle” or “incremental” games, play like some sick parody of how video games are ultimately a pointless waste of time. Players click or tap the screen to watch some numbers go up. And that’s it! There are usually some flashy animations and dangling upgrade carrots to make your clicking more effective, but it all comes back to that meaningless loop.But just because something is meaningless doesn’t mean it’s not fun. So if you’re down with clicking your life away on your phone, here are the best, most addictive mobile clicker games.Cow ClickerGaming academic Ian Bogost designed Cow Clicker in 2010 as a parody of purposefully time-wasting mechanics in popular social media games. Players click a cow, share cows among friends, and wait for hours at a time to do something unless they have enough virtual currency. Unfortunately, the joke was lost and a whole new legitimate gaming genre was born.Cookie ClickerCookie Clicker was one of the first idle games arguably not developed from a place of pure irony. Players click to earn cookies to build new tools for making more cookies. Cookie production continues to grow exponentially forever. This established the base for pretty much all clicker games going forward.Adventure CapitalistI have a soft spot in my heart for Adventure Capitalist because intentionally or not, marrying the voracious empty greed of clicker games with the cheery Fallout-esque iconography of capitalist propaganda is the most socialist thing a video game could ever do. It’s a great argument for redistributing wealth. There’s meaning behind the mechanics, method behind the madness.Egg, Inc.Describing different clicker games is about as repetitive as playing them, but in Egg, Inc this time your goal is to harvest as many eggs as possible. Sure! And instead of exploiting some magic goose, get golden eggs by just paying real money. The poultry theme at least reminds me of other chicken-based mobile game I actually like, Crossy Road.The Counting DeadAt this point The Walking Dead is about as endless, brain-dead, and inexplicably popular as idle games. And while The Counting Dead isn’t explicitly based on the AMC show, it definitely wants to convey the same “joy” of glumly killing zombies for all time. You know, if George Romero was still alive, he could probably pull off some great social commentary with zombies and clicker games.Time ClickersYou shoot to blast cubes with a pistol? Let me level with you. Time Clickers is only on the list because Giant Bomb gave it their award for best clicker game in 2015. I don’t know what they saw in it but I generally trust their gaming opinions. The numbers get higher.Clicker HeroesIn Clicker Heroes you’re clicking and destroying enemies to gain new characters that destroy enemies for you. It’s like Avengers: Infinity War but with literally infinite Avengers. The RPG combat aspect also draws a fascinating parallel between clicker games and something like Diablo, which despite its quality pedigree isn’t all that different on a mechanical level.SpaceplanSpaceplan sent me an actual potato in the mail to advertise itself. Plus it’s a “misunderstanding of Stephen Hawking.” Pretty ambitious for a clicker game. And it’s true the sci-fi skin adds an extra layer of nerd satisfaction to the obsessive experience. But it’s still a clicker.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Simple Geek’s Guide to…Streaming ServicesSwipe Right on the Best Thirsty Mobile Games last_img read more

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Researchers sequence genome of mysterious candidate phylum TM6 bacteria

first_img(Phys.org) —Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute have succeeded in sequencing the genome of a mysterious type of bacteria known only by its status—candidate phylum TM6. The sample sequenced, the team reports in their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was found in a sink drain in a hospital. Study finds evidence of bacteria spread throughout the global ocean © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Researchers sequence genome of mysterious candidate phylum TM6 bacteria (2013, June 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-sequence-genome-mysterious-candidate-phylum.html Summary of genera found in the biofilm sample from single and multievent sorts. Credit: (c)2013 PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1219809110 Explore furthercenter_img Scientists know that there are a lot of bacteria in the world that have yet to be discovered. Sometimes all they show are evidence of where they’ve been, leading some to call them the “dark matter” of life. One of these, currently dubbed candidate phylum TM6 (first discovered in 1996) is suspecting of living in treated water systems all around the world—since they can’t be grown in a lab, scientists don’t know if they are harmful, helpful or neither. They tend to leave behind evidence of their existence in drains and showerheads, so that’s where the researchers looked after setting up a means of examining them.They found their sample in the form of a biofilm in a sink drain in a public restroom in a hospital. It was of course one of many bacteria in the sample which meant it had to be separated from the others first using fluorescent tagging. The resulting clean sample held single cells clinging together which the researchers pulled apart allowing them to extract individual DNA. The DNA from the bacteria was then compared with DNA from other known bacteria—that helped to rule out the possibility that it was something else, and also in sequencing its genome.After much effort, the team was able to piece together roughly 90 percent of the bacteria’s genome. In so doing they found that the bacteria is not capable of making its own amino acids, which means it likely needs a host to survive. The team theorizes that the bacteria likely live on an amoeba of some sort, or possibly even another kind of bacteria. They still don’t know if TM6 cause problems for us humans however, but suggest the possibility exists—they might be harmful in ways that have not yet been discovered, as other bacteria that use an amoeba as a host have been found to be harmful.The researchers are hopeful that now that the genome of candidate phylum TM6 has been sequenced, the chances of culturing samples in a lab are much greater. That development would of course lead to a much better understanding of the bacteria and hopefully to learning whether it’s something we should be worried about or not. More information: Candidate phylum TM6 genome recovered from a hospital sink biofilm provides genomic insights into this uncultivated phylum, PNAS, Published online before print June 10, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1219809110AbstractThe “dark matter of life” describes microbes and even entire divisions of bacterial phyla that have evaded cultivation and have yet to be sequenced. We present a genome from the globally distributed but elusive candidate phylum TM6 and uncover its metabolic potential. TM6 was detected in a biofilm from a sink drain within a hospital restroom by analyzing cells using a highly automated single-cell genomics platform. We developed an approach for increasing throughput and effectively improving the likelihood of sampling rare events based on forming small random pools of single-flow–sorted cells, amplifying their DNA by multiple displacement amplification and sequencing all cells in the pool, creating a “mini-metagenome.” A recently developed single-cell assembler, SPAdes, in combination with contig binning methods, allowed the reconstruction of genomes from these mini-metagenomes. A total of 1.07 Mb was recovered in seven contigs for this member of TM6 (JCVI TM6SC1), estimated to represent 90% of its genome. High nucleotide identity between a total of three TM6 genome drafts generated from pools that were independently captured, amplified, and assembled provided strong confirmation of a correct genomic sequence. TM6 is likely a Gram-negative organism and possibly a symbiont of an unknown host (nonfree living) in part based on its small genome, low-GC content, and lack of biosynthesis pathways for most amino acids and vitamins. Phylogenomic analysis of conserved single-copy genes confirms that TM6SC1 is a deeply branching phylum. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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