Physical fitness can help better predict survival of people over age 70

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first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 7 2019Researchers have uncovered one more reason to get off the couch and start exercising, especially if you’re approaching your golden years. Among people over age 70, physical fitness was found to be a much better predictor of survival than the number of traditional cardiovascular risk factors in a study being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session.While high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking are closely linked with a person’s chance of developing heart disease, these factors are so common in older people that the total number of risk factors becomes almost meaningless for predicting future health, researchers said. The new study suggests doctors can get a better picture of older patients’ health by looking at how fit they are, rather than how many of these cardiovascular risk factors they have.”We found fitness is an extremely strong risk predictor of survival in the older age group–that is, regardless of whether you are otherwise healthy or have cardiovascular risk factors, being more fit means you’re more likely to live longer than someone who is less fit,” said Seamus P. Whelton, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the study’s lead author. “This finding emphasizes the importance of being fit, even when you’re older.”Doctors use cardiovascular risk factors to help guide decisions about preventive measures and medications. Previous studies have shown that quitting smoking and controlling blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes can reduce heart disease risk. However, most studies of cardiovascular risk factors have focused on middle-aged people, leaving a knowledge gap regarding the importance of these risk factors in older people, Whelton said.The team analyzed medical records from more than 6,500 people aged 70 years and older who underwent an exercise stress test at a Henry Ford Health Systems-affiliated medical center between 1991 and 2009. They assessed fitness based on patients’ performance during the exercise stress test, which required patients to exercise on a treadmill as hard as they could. They divided patients into three groups reflecting their fitness based on the number of METs (metabolic equivalents, a measure of exercise workload) they achieved during the test: most fit (10 or more METs), moderately fit (six to 9.9 METs) and least fit (six or fewer METs). For this study, the researchers grouped patients with zero, one, two, or three or more cardiovascular risk factors.Related StoriesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesMetformin use linked to lower risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetesOn average, participants were 75 years old when they underwent the stress test. Researchers tracked the patients for an average of just under 10 years, during which time 39 percent of them died. Over this period, the researchers found higher fitness was associated with significantly increased rates of survival. The most fit individuals were more than twice as likely to be alive 10 years later compared with the least fit individuals.In contrast, a patient’s total number of cardiovascular risk factors was not associated with their risk of death and patients with zero risk factors had essentially the same likelihood of dying as those with three or more risk factors.Whelton said the findings demonstrate that fitness level is an important indicator of an older patient’s health that doctors could benefit from considering more often. While an exercise stress test using a treadmill or stationary bicycle provides the most precise way to measure fitness, doctors can also get a general idea of a patient’s fitness level by asking about their exercise routine.”Assessing fitness is a low-cost, low-risk and low-technology tool that is underutilized in clinical practice for risk stratification,” Whelton said.The study did not account for any changes in fitness level that the participants may have experienced over time. However, previous studies have suggested that improving fitness can help improve heart health, even late in life.”People who aren’t exercising or are sedentary would likely benefit from starting a routine of low- to moderate-intensity exercise, though they should talk with their physician first,” Whelton said. Source:https://www.acc.org/last_img read more

Study reveals a revolutionary way to treat eye injuries prevent blindness

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first_imgWe can now prove that the cornea becomes stiffer when exposed to injuries such as those caused by what are commonly known as acid attacks, and demonstrate that wound healing is impaired due to stem cells differentiating in response to the stiffening of their otherwise soft niche, and not because they are killed during injury, as previously thought.This is an exciting development in the field of corneal biology, and allows us to better understand how vision works. But even more important, it provides us with a new set of strategies to treat eye conditions which were until now inoperable. We call these less invasive strategies Biomechanical Modulation Therapies.” Credit: Newcastle UniversityThe team discovered that the simple application of a tissue-softening enzyme, collagenase, prevents the loss of corneal stem cells following an injury and could prevent patients from losing their sight. It offers hope to almost 500,000 people a year who lose their sight due to chemical burns including acid attacks.The study, published today in Nature Communications and funded by the Medical Research Council shows that keeping corneal stem cells in a soft environment is fundamental for their reproduction, self-renewal, and ability to heal damaged tissue.ImagingThis discovery was made possible by the development of a sophisticated microscopy technique which enables imaging the physical properties of biological tissues at very high resolutions. Using this technology in collaboration with experts in Photonics from Imperial College London, the team was able to determine that the corneal stem cell niche – the area of tissue in the cornea where stem cells live – is a much softer environment than the rest of the tissue.The scientists also discovered that stiffening the niche causes stem cells to mature and lose their self-renewing and wound healing properties.Dr Ricardo Gouveia, Research Fellow at Newcastle University and first author of the paper said: This study demonstrates a potential new way to treat injuries by changing the stiffness of the natural environment which we have shown changes the behavior of the adult stem cells. Our imaging approach provides a valuable tool to analyze live cells within the cornea, as well as to further explore new therapies for restoring or even improving their function.” From lab bench to bedsideRelated StoriesStudy shows high incidence of herpes zoster ophthalmicus among older adultsEarly clinical trial of new treatment for severe dry eye disease shows promising resultsLow-cost OCT scanner promises to bring vision-saving technology to underserved regionsIn the work, the researchers from Newcastle, collaborating with scientists at the University of Missouri, USA, also developed a proof-of-concept therapy to help restore corneal stem cell function and improve tissue regeneration following chemical eye burns.Using live corneal tissues as a model system, the team recreated the effects of chemical burns. After treating the wounded, stiffened areas of the cornea using small and localized doses of collagenase, a tissue-softening enzyme to restore the stem cell niche, it once again became pliable and able to support stem cells and promote healing. This collagenase formulation has already been approved for related therapeutic applications by both the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicine Agency.Dr Gouveia added: A new look at the corneaAs the outermost layer of the human eye, the cornea has an important role in focusing vision yet many of the processes keeping it transparent and resistant to damage are not well understood. Like skin, the cornea is covered by a multi-layered epithelium forming a barrier to physical harm and invading microorganisms. But unlike the skin, when injury occurs the corneal epithelium is repaired by stem cells clustered in the tissue’s periphery, first by quickly dividing in great numbers and then by migrating towards the damaged site as matured epithelial cells in order to seal the wound.However, this healing process can be compromised when injuries reach the stem cell niche. The research now published has important implications for developing new ways to heal this type of damage.The director of this study and leader of the Tissue Engineering Lab at Newcastle University, Professor Che Connon, explained: Apr 3 2019New research led by scientists at Newcastle University, UK reveals a potential revolutionary way to treat eye injuries and prevent blindness – by softening the tissue hosting the stem cells which then helps repair wounds, inside the body.center_img We show that the topical application of collagenase is safe and effective in restoring the normal stiffness of the cornea and helps tissue regeneration by preventing the differentiation and loss of adult stem cells after such injuries. We were further surprised to discover that the ability for a wound to heal was not directly caused by a lack of stem cells, but instead due to the environment these cells are exposed to. This really makes our therapy revolutionary.” Our research shows that corneal stem cells grow better in softer environments. We now want to build on that knowledge and test this method in patients, using biomechanical modulation therapy to re-create suitable environments for corneal stem cells to thrive within the body whenever their original niche is compromised by injury or disease.We also think our study is relevant to other scientific and medical fields beyond corneal research, and can help the study, diagnostics, and treatment of diseases such as cancer, where tumor stiffening is a known marker of aggressive cancer cell behavior and of metastasis.” The scientists believe the same technique could be applied to help alleviate the lack of corneas available for transplantation by the almost 5 million people suffering from total blindness due to corneal scarring caused by burns, lacerations, abrasion or disease. In addition, ten million people worldwide are estimated to require surgery for preventing corneal blindness as a result of diseases such as trachoma, an infectious eye disorder affecting many people in developing countries. There is a real and pressing need for new therapies to treat these diseases which are both simple and cheap.The scientists intend to further expand the research, working with health partners to further test the potential of this study.Professor Connon explained: Source:https://www.ncl.ac.uk/last_img read more

Biogelx launches novel synthetic bioinks for use in 3D bioprinting

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first_img Source: http://www.biogelx.com We are excited to announce the commercial availability of Biogelx™-INKs. Providing versatility and improving research outcomes are the key focuses for our product portfolio. We look forward to supporting researchers in their mission to develop realistic 3D disease modules, tissues, and organs for future pharmaceutical and medical applications.Mitch Scanlan, Biogelx CEO Apr 4 2019Biogelx today announced the launch and commercial availability of its first synthetic bioink product range.center_img The Biogelx™-INKs have the company’s core self-assembling peptide technology but have been developed with printability in mind. Like the company’s hydrogel products, Biogelx™-INKs form a nanofibrous network, mimicking the extracellular matrix which can support cell growth, signalling, and proliferation, but they have been developed to ensure the rheological properties are suitable for bioprinting applications. Biogelx™-INKs can be printed with good 3D fidelity and do not require the use of support, sacrificial or curing inks. Biogelx™-INK product range has been designed to provide versatility to support different printing applications in cell research, toxicology, drug screening, and regenerative medicine.Biogelx™ bioinks offer important benefits for researchers by providing a base modular material in which the mechanical and chemical properties can be adapted. The uniqueness of these materials is that they offer viscosity control, complete reproducibility, easy crosslinking method, and excellent printability within the same product. Biogelx™-INKs have been optimized for extrusion printers and are designed to provide versatility to support other printing applications as well.last_img read more

Researchers hope to develop electronic replacement fish

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first_imgFollowing the European Water Framework Directive, German authorities require all run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plant operators to demonstrate with expert reports that the plants are passable for fish and other river wildlife. In 2015 alone, 450,000 fish were used for this purpose, most of which were caught in the wild.”Stefan Hoerner, Institute of Fluid Dynamics and Thermodynamics, University of Magdeburg Related StoriesZebrafish offers new clues to regenerating damaged cardiac tissueDid your health plan deny you care? Fight back.Study explains how bright colors evolved and diversified in male guppiesThis is extremely stressful for the fish and the mortality rate is around 10 percent in the best cases.”It is true that the legislator prescribes the installation of fish protection systems in hydroelectric power plants, but not all of them are fully effective,” continues the fluid mechanics and electrical engineer. “As a result, many animals end up swimming downstream through the turbines. Furthermore, predatory fish and birds like to stand by the installations and wait for prey that is easy to hunt.”By 2022, Stefan Hoerner and his team, together with colleagues from the Institute for Electrical Energy Systems at the university, hope to develop electronic “replacement fish”, which behave in ways that are characteristic of the various species. Test runs with live fish fitted with sensors will provide the reference data required for the simulation of fish-like behavior by the autonomous robotic systems.The future robotic fish will also feature a number of pressure and acceleration sensors. The data acquired during their use in hydroelectric power plants will enable the scientists to make forecasts and projections about the risk of harm to fauna — without resorting to animal testing. Source:Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 18 2019The artificial fish surrogates should provide information about the flow conditions and expected damage and mortality of fish traveling through turbine installations.To date, up to 450,000 fish are used every year in live animal experiments in German hydroelectric power plants, according to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. Those tests, mandated by domestic regulation which enacts a European directive, evaluate the ability of the fish to pass through the turbines and thus assess the fish-friendliness of the plants.The RETERO research project, “Reducing animal testing to establish risk of injury to fish caused by passage through turbines by the use of robotic surrogates, computational fluid mechanics and predictive modeling”, is funded by the German Federal Government with 1.4 million euros, and started in March 2019. Its objective is to develop partially autonomous robot systems and simulation models that will reduce, and in the long-term eliminate, the need for live fish in experiments.The interdisciplinary research partnership combines expertise from biology, ethohydraulics, hydraulic engineering, fluid mechanics, power electronics, microelectronics, and information technology. The project partners of the University of Magdeburg are the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Technical Hydromechanics at the Technische Universität Dresden, the Institute for Aquatic Ecology and Fish Biology Jena, and the company SJE Ecohydraulic Engineering GmbH in Stuttgart. A further international partner is the Centre for Biorobotics at the Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia.last_img read more

Solar seeks its place under Spanish sun

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Citation: Solar seeks its place under Spanish sun (2018, March 28) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-solar-spanish-sun.html Explore further Room to growDonoso said this explains why major Spanish power firms such as Iberdrola “who stood aside from this sector” have suddenly jumped in.”The Spanish market will certainly be one of the biggest in Europe in the coming years,” he added.A group set up by the government proposes setting as a goal having a total of 30,000-60,000 gigawatts of installed solar capacity by 2020, Donoso said.Spain’s conservative government has so far not made solar power a priority, said Ferrando.”We only use the sun for tourism not for electricity,” he said.Solar power represents just 3-4 percent of electrical power production in Spain, compared with 20 percent for wind power and 16-17 percent for hydroelectric power, according to the lobby group. But the sector has undergone “a complete reversal in less than six months”, according to Donoso.Blazing returnOne reason is that solar panels can now produce electricity at a lower price than traditional power sources such as coal, gas and nuclear. “We only use the sun for tourism, not for electricity,” Fernando Ferrando said 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. Sun-drenched Spain should be a natural for solar energy, and it is here that the technology is making an effort to stand on its feet financially without subsidies. Investors are now betting again on solar power generation in Spain, which for a decade was in the shadows as the country cut subsidies for the clean but expensive source of energy.A plunge in the price of solar panels and lower construction costs has changed the maths, and new projects are moving forward again. Iberdrola, Spain’s largest power company, this month launched a solar project with a capacity of 425 megawatts.And last week Spanish renewable energy firm Cox Energy signed a deal for the construction of 495 megawatts of capacity in Spain, and another 165 megawatts in neighbouring Portugal, in a 400-million-euro ($490 million) investment.Companies have sought authorisation for solar power projects across Spain with a total capacity of 24,000 megawatts, according to the director general of Spanish solar power lobby UNEF, Jose Donoso.Subsidies stumbleThat is the equivalent of 14 of the latest generation nuclear power plants that France hopes to launch later this year, after a decade of costly construction. Spain’s cash-strapped government halted subsidies for solar power projects in 2010 Clouds gather over Spain’s renewables sector as aid cut Despite its huge potential, solar power accounts for just 3 to 4 percent of electricity production in Spain Spain was one of the pioneers of solar power-generation. Subsidies in the form of a high purchase price for solar power lured investors and homeowners to install solar panels, triggering an installation boom in 2008 that saw Spain’s installed capacity jump five times to 3,355 megawatts.But the global financial crisis, which ravaged Spain via a collapse of the property market, led to a bust in new projects and the cash-strapped government was quickly forced to abandon the subsidies.Just 49 megawatts was added in 2015, and 55 megawatts in 2016, before picking up to 135 megawatts in 2017, according to UNEF figures.However in Germany, which kept up its subsidies, solar power swelled by six times although the country does not receive as much sun as Spain, meaning each panel produces less electricity.The country now has more than 40,000 megawatts of solar power, compared with 5,400 in Spain at the end of 2015. © 2018 AFP Spain was one of the pioneers of solar power-generation but the financial crisis broke its momentum The cost of solar power production plunged 73 percent between 2010 and 2017, according the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), which predicts it will continue to fall.Companies also realised the projects didn’t need guaranteed prices from the state.A tender for solar power projects launched by the government in July had so many bids that the price was capped at 30-31 euros per megawatt hour.According to the European statistical agency Eurostat, non-residential customers in Spain paid an average 107 euros per megawatt hour last year.Investors concluded that “it is better to run risks in the market then depend on regulated demand”, Donoso said.Moreover, investors into renewables know how much construction and operation will cost them, while traditional power stations have only a limited ability to lock in prices for fuel.”It is much more profitable to invest in capital-intensive technologies (like photovoltaic power) than technologies where the raw material comes at a cost” like gas or coal, said the president of renewable energy lobby group Fundacion Renovables, Fernando Ferrando. read more

Toyota to start deploying vehicletovehicle tech in 2021

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© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This Feb. 15, 2018, file photo shows the Toyota logo on the trunk of a 2018 Toyota Prius on display at the Pittsburgh Auto Show. Toyota says it will start equipping models with technology to talk to other vehicles starting in 2021, as it tries to push safety communications forward. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, 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. In this Sunday, April 15, 2018, photo an unsold 2018 Prius sits on a Toyota dealer’s lot in the south Denver suburb of Englewood, Colo. Toyota says it will start equipping models with technology to talk to other vehicles starting in 2021, as it tries to push safety communications forward. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Toyota says it will start equipping models with technology to talk to other vehicles starting in 2021, as it tries to push safety communications forward. The company says most of its U.S. models should have the feature by the mid-2020s. Automatic braking to be standard on top-selling Nissans Explore further Vehicle-to-vehicle signals can warn others of heavy braking ahead or that another vehicle is headed into their path.Vice President of Product Planning Andrew Coetzee (Cute-ZEE) says the cars would use dedicated airwaves to send signals up to 984 feet (300 meters).Coetzee hopes other automakers will join. Others are testing it and standards have been developed so they can communicate.Toyota is leading on automatic emergency braking, making it standard on all but four models. The industry has agreed to make it standard on all models in 2022. Citation: Toyota to start deploying vehicle-to-vehicle tech in 2021 (2018, April 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-toyota-deploying-vehicle-to-vehicle-tech.html read more

Barriers and opportunities in renewable biofuels production

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first_img Provided by Chalmers University of Technology Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have identified two main challenges for renewable biofuel production from cheap sources: First, lowering the cost of developing microbial cell factories, and second, establishing more efficient methods for hydrolysis of biomass to sugars for fermentation. Their study was recently published in the journal Nature Energy. Two challenges need to be overcome to realise affordable renewable jet fuels, according to the researchers. Credit: Sasa Liu More information: Yongjin J. Zhou et al, Barriers and opportunities in bio-based production of hydrocarbons, Nature Energy (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41560-018-0197-x Citation: Barriers and opportunities in renewable biofuels production (2018, September 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-barriers-opportunities-renewable-biofuels-production.html Yeast can be engineered to create protein pharmaceuticalscenter_img The study, by Professor Jens Nielsen, Yongjin Zhou and Eduard Kerkhoven, from the Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology, evaluates the barriers that need to be overcome to make biomass-derived hydrocarbons a real alternative to fossil fuels. “Our study is of particular interest for decision makers and research funders, as it highlights recent advances and the potential in the field of biofuels. It also identifies where more research is required. This can help to prioritise what research should be funded,” says Eduard Kerkhoven.It is technically already possible to produce biofuels from renewable resources by using microbes such as yeast and bacteria as tiny cell factories. However, in order to compete with fossil-derived fuels, the process has to become much more efficient. But improving the efficiency of the microbial cell factories is an expensive and time-consuming process, so speeding-up the cell factory development is therefore one of the main barriers. Professor Jens Nielsen and his research group are world leaders in the engineering of yeast, and in the development and application of computer models of yeast metabolism—as well as being noted for their world-class research into human metabolism, and investigations into aging processes and diseases. Their work informs how yeast can best be engineered to manufacture new chemicals or biofuels. In their article, “Barriers and opportunities in bio-based production of hydrocarbons,” the researchers investigate the production of various biofuels using a model of yeast metabolism. “We have calculated theoretical maximum production yields and compared this to what is currently achievable in the lab. There is still huge potential for improving the process,” says Eduard Kerkhoven.The other main barrier is efficient conversion from biomass, such as plants and trees, to the sugars that are used by the cell factories. If this conversion were made more efficient, it would be possible to use waste material from the forest industry, or crops that are purposely grown for biofuels, to produce a fully renewable biofuel. Eduard Kerkhoven notes how important biofuels will be for the future.”In the future, whilst passenger cars will be primarily electric, biofuels are going to be critical for heavier modes of transport such as jets and trucks. The International Energy Agency projects that by 2050, 27 percent of global transport fuels will be biofuels. Meanwhile, large oil companies such as Preem and Total also predict that renewable biofuels will play an important role in the future. In their ‘Sky Scenario’, Shell expects that biofuels will account for 10 percent of all global end energy-use by the end of the century. That is in line with our research too,” he concludes.  Journal information: Nature Energy Explore further 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

Chinas top court to handle intellectual property appeals

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first_imgChina is mulling a series of steps to strengthen protections against IP theft China tightens rules on transferring tech know-how Washington and Beijing are currently in talks to resolve a bruising trade spat that has spooked markets worldwide. The two sides imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $300 billion worth of goods this year, before agreeing to a 90-day truce on December 1.The United States, along with the European Union, has long complained about lax enforcement of intellectual property rights in China. Forced technology transfers have been another major bone of contention for foreign companies operating in China.Deputy Chief Justice Luo Dongchuan said Saturday that from the start of 2019 the Supreme Court would begin handling appeals on intellectual property rights cases, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Such cases were previously handled by provincial-level high courts.The move will “help prevent inconsistency of legal application and improve the quality and efficiency of trials,” Luo said.China is mulling a series of steps to strengthen protections against IP theft. IP includes intangible creations like patents, trademarks and copyrights.The country’s patent law is being amended to increase the compensation amount by up to five times.Another draft law presented at a recent meeting of China’s legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, allows victims of intellectual property theft to sue for damages.China’s legislature also announced it is looking at a new law governing foreign investment that would prevent the forced transfer of technology and give foreign firms the same privileges as Chinese companies. Chinese courts heard a total of 213,480 IP cases in 2017—40 percent more than in 2016 and double the number heard in 2013, Xinhua reported. Citation: China’s top court to handle intellectual property appeals (2018, December 30) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-china-court-intellectual-property-appeals.html Explore furthercenter_img © 2018 AFP China’s top court will rule on intellectual property cases for the first time from January 1, the government said, elevating the handling of an issue that has become a key complaint in the trade war with the US. 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

Breakingviews Hadas Bond markets lost in inflationgrowth gap

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first_imgLONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – Bond markets respond rationally to news in the short term and the long term. The medium term is another matter. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell holds a news conference on the television behind them in New York, U.S., June 19, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas JacksonLeave aside the question of whether yields on government bonds actually make sense. It takes some mental gymnastics to explain why investors would lend to the United States for 10 years at 2% when the inflation rate is 1.8%. Buying 10-year German government debt at a yield of minus 0.3% requires even more elaborate contortions. But even if the base is wrong, short-term shifts make sense. Consider the reasoning behind last Friday’s sudden rise in the yield on 10-year Treasury bonds – from 1.96% to 2.06% in a few minutes. A surprisingly strong report on American job creation indicated a faster-growing economy, reducing the likely amount of future monetary stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve. This in turn pushed up the likely yield on shorter-dated bonds, which made the yield on longer-term paper look unreasonably low. The chain of reasoning is long, but traders think fast. Indeed, their response to good or bad economic news is well honed almost everywhere. Similarly, bond investors have a consistent and reasonable reaction function to news about movements in inflation. All else being equal, yields rise whenever there is an unexpected increase in retail prices, and fall when it turns out prices aren’t rising as quickly as anticipated. The data can send contradictory signals, so instantaneous reactions sometimes turn out to be wrong. However, traders tend to worry more about the next few weeks than what happens in the years ahead, so they do not need to fret about how the economy actually works. Since the big question for them is how central bankers will respond, market participants only have to understand how policymakers think the economy works. This agnosticism has served investors especially well in dealing with quantitative easing – the central bank practice of buying bonds with newly created funds. No one really knows how QE affects companies’ hiring decisions, investment rates or inflation. However, traders could anticipate the short-term effect on financial markets. At the margin, central bank buying pushed prices up, and thus yields down. Markets are not only clever in the short term. They have also been somewhat wise over several decades. Look at U.S. inflation rates and yields on U.S. Treasuries. Both showed a rising trend from the 1950s to the end of the 1970s, and a subsequent decline. The wisdom was fairly slow in coming, though. When the annual inflation rate fell below 7% in 1982, for the first time in four years, the 10-year yield was still 14%. Inflation then fell further, averaging 4% over the next decade. But bond yields did not fall durably below 6% until 1997. The current yield on 10-year Treasuries is just about equal to the current U.S. inflation rate. It may therefore seem that investors have learned that pressure on prices is durably lower than in the past. That’s not quite right, though. Look at what happened between July 2017 and October 2018. The 10-year U.S. bond yield rose from 1.4% to 3.2%, largely because investors thought inflationary pressures were gathering. According to most of the standard explanations of how prices behave, the ingredients were there. The unemployment rate was falling as growth picked up. The U.S. fiscal deficit was likely to rise as a result of Donald Trump’s tax cuts. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve was perceived to be reluctant to raise overnight interest rates too fast, for fear of disrupting the financial system or angering the president. Inflation did indeed rise, but only slightly. In the first half of 2017, the average monthly rate was 2.2%. It peaked at 3% in July 2018, and is now back below 2%, even though the labour market remains strong. This was far from the first false inflationary alarm. The economist Paul Samuelson famously quipped that the stock market had forecast nine of the past five recessions. By the same token, the bond market has prematurely predicted an end to declining inflation eight times. There are likely to be more false dawns, since there are always investment advisers forecasting that rising commodity prices, labour shortages, bad policy, or overheated growth will lead to rising prices. As yet, though, inflation remains dormant in every country with even vaguely sensible monetary and fiscal policies. Only 16 nations of the 188 followed by Trading Economics have inflation rates above 10%. The global midpoint is Canada with 2.4%. Economists have not found a persuasive explanation for the persistence of low inflation. Since they do not understand why it is happening, they are unlikely to be able to identify a turning point. Until then, markets are likely to do what they often do – overshoot and undershoot, but not by too much or for too long.BreakingviewsReuters Breakingviews is the world’s leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time. Sign up for a free trial of our full service at https://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.last_img read more

New Orleans Braces for Intense Floods As Tropical Storm Barry Rolls In

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first_img A History of Destruction: 8 Great Hurricanes Hurricane Katrina History and Numbers (Infographic) 5 Things Hurricane Sandy Changed for Good Originally published on Live Science. New Orleans is bracing for a tropical storm that is expected to hit tonight or tomorrow, bringing with it chances of severe flooding. Tropical Storm Barry is slowly moving west-northwestward toward the southeastern coast of Louisiana, according to an advisory from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The storm’s center is expected to hit the southeastern coast of Louisiana, including New Orleans, tonight or Saturday (July 13) and then continue on to the lower Mississippi Valley on Sunday. It will bring “dangerous storm surge, heavy rains, and wind conditions,” across the north-central Gulf Coast, according to NOAA. (A storm surge means that there is a danger of life-threatening floods from rising water moving inland from the coastline, NOAA officials wrote.) [Aftermath of a Storm: Images from Hurricane Katrina]These Sharks Were Too Busy to Notice a Bigger Predator Watching ThemThe unexpected twist at the end of this feeding frenzy delighted scientists.Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 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Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really Loud00:35关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65923-tropical-storm-barry-new-orleans-flooding.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:2802:28  They expect the storm will bring “dangerous, life-threatening flooding,” with 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 centimeters) of water accumulation in southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi. Louisiana is currently under a federal declaration of emergency. Currently, maximum winds remain around 50 mph (85 km/hr). But there is a chance that Tropical Storm Barry will intensify and turn into a hurricane — once winds hit 74 mph (119 km/h) — tonight or early Saturday when its center strikes the Louisiana coast, according to NOAA. Some of New Orleans sits below sea level, as if at the bottom of a bowl, and is thus prone to flooding. Fourteen years earlier, Hurricane Katrina brought flooding that devastated the area. In the years following, an extensive hurricane protection system of levees and pumps was put in place, but it isn’t yet complete, according to the AP. The pumping system is working; it’s just unclear if it can pump out water faster than Barry will dump it onto the low-lying area, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell told the AP. What’s more, the Mississippi River is already at a high level from heavy rain and snowmelt; the additional water from the storm could lead to dangerous flooding, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told the AP.last_img read more

Mekedatu dam issue Centre to call for Karnataka TN CMs meeting soon

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first_img COMMENT COMMENTS The Centre has decided to call a meeting of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu chief ministers soon to resolve the issue regarding the proposed construction of Mekedatu dam across the Cauvery river that led to stalling of Parliament proceedings last week. The issue was discussed in detail by Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy in a meeting with Union Water resources and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday here.“In the meeting, Gadkari said he was convinced that the Mekedatu project will benefit Tamil Nadu. The minister also assured that he will direct his officials to fix a meeting of chief ministers of the two states at the earliest,” an official spokesperson told reporters.The Mahadayi water dispute between Karnataka and Goa was discussed in the meeting, but the Union minister said the matter is in court, he added.Gadkari has said he will call the meeting of chief ministers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to discuss the implementation of the project, according to an official statement.The Karnataka chief minister during the meeting brought to his notice that Tamil Nadu has raised objection against the project though it is beneficial to both states, especially for Tamil Nadu, the statement added. He also requested Gadkari to resolve the issue by calling the meetings of the chief ministers. “Gadkari obliged to call a meeting accordingly,” it said. Kumaraswamy told PTI that “we have asked the Centre to call for a meeting with the Tamil Nadu government so that the issue can be resolved.” With the two main Tamil Nadu parties — AIADMK and DMK — protesting in Parliament opposing the Mekedatu project, Karnataka lawmakers, cutting across party lines, have planned an agitation Thursday in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex to counter the two parties.The AIADMK and the DMK are agitating in both Houses of Parliament pressing for scrapping of the proposed dam project. The Tamil Nadu government has also appealed in the Supreme Court on the matter.Kumaraswamy’s brother and PWD Minister HD Revanna as well as Karnataka Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar were also present in the meeting in Delhi.Besides, these two water disputes, the Karnataka chief minister also discussed with the Union minister about the pending national highway projects in the state. He sought commencement of the construction of the six-lane Bengaluru-Mysure Road, for which the Karnataka government has already acquired 85 per cent of the required land. The chief minister requested Gadkari to direct the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to expedite preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for construction of the Bengaluru-Hassan section of the NH-75. Kumaraswamy also urged the Union minister to ask the NHAI to complete the work between Hassan to Gundya via Sakaleshpura (NH-75) and four-laning of the NH-206 from Tumkur-Honnavara. The chief minister also sought the construction of a four-lane divided carriageway between Hassan to Holenarasipur and sanction of a six-lane elevated highway in Hassan town limit on Belur-Bilikere of the NH-373. Tamil Nadu Published on December 26, 2018 Karnataka SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARElast_img read more

Quota agitation by Gujjars turns violent on day 3

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first_imgSHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT Rajasthan February 10, 2019 SHARE Published on  The agitation by Gujjar community, demanding five per cent quota in jobs and education, turned violent on Sunday with shots being fired and police vehicles being torched in Dholpur district and protesters blocking road and rail traffic in many areas in Rajasthan. Authorities have imposed prohibitory orders under CrPc section 144 in Dholpur and neighbouring Karauli districts, police said. Nearly 20 trains were cancelled and seven diverted during the day as the protesters, led by the Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti chief Kirori Singh Bainsla, continued their sit-in on railway tracks in Sawai Madhopur district, officials said. Reservation COMMENTSlast_img read more

Marathis in Belgaum want the city to go to MaharashtraMarathis in Belgaum

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first_img COMMENT July 16, 2019 Karnataka Political winds in Maharashtra have taken a new turn with the decades-old issue with Karnataka over the control of Belgaum or Belagavi city resurfacing. The cityin Karnataka on Maharashtra border, has a sizeable Marathi speaking population, which for years has pleaded that the city should be a part of Maharashtra. Their grouse is that they are unable to exercise their linguistic freedom and are discriminated. The Shiv Sena, which shares power with the BJP in Maharashtra, has vehemently demanded for years that the city should be a part of Maharashtra. Some of the Shiv Sena leaders have built their political carriers on the border dispute.On Monday, a delegation from the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (Unified Maharashtra Committee) from Belgaum met the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis seeking help and support for the Marathi-speaking people. Fadnavis assured that the State government will provide all the support to the affected people. The Maharashtra government will financially support the reopening of Marathi schools, which have been shut for some time, in the border areas. Two ministers will be appointed by the State government to solve the problem and the Prime Minister will also be apprised of the situation. However, BJP sources said the Belgaum issue is again being taken up to needle the beleaguered Kumaraswamy government, which would be facing a floor test in the Karnataka Assembly on Thursday.It is also understood that the Maharashtra government has also committed to preserving the Marathi language in the region by broadcasting programmes through free-to-air service.Belgaum city is also the regimental centre of Maratha Light Infantry Regiment, which has deep cultural connect with the Marathas in Maharashtra. Published oncenter_img SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTSlast_img read more

Occupy Tanjung Aru beach picnic is on tomorrow

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first_imgKOTA KINABALU: At least a thousand people are expected to turn up for a “picnic” along the Tanjung Aru beach, where a controversial development plan is meeting opposition from non-governmental groups. The Occupy @ Tanjung Aru picnic tomorrow is organised by the Save Open Space Kota Kinabalu (SOS KK) group which previously started an online petition to stop the Tanjung Aru Eco-Development (Taed) project.SOS KK coordinator S.M. Muthu said the informal gathering – aimed at pooling like-minded people to show solidarity in saving the beach – was expected to be the first in a series of activities it was planning to engage the public. “We are trying to gauge the response. Nation 28 Jun 2019 NGO signature drive on to stop TAED project, calls for meeting with Sabah CM Nation 27 Jun 2019 Shafie defends decision not to scrap projects, says it’s for the greater good of Sabah {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Nation 26 Jun 2019 SAPP: Sabah govt statements about Papar dam, TAED ‘huge disappointment’center_img “It is just a picnic. No one will be talking. In the future, we may need a permit if we get individuals to speak,” he said when contacted.The project was mooted during the previous Barisan Nasional administration, and the then Opposition had campaigned against it during the last general election. However, the Parti Warisan Sabah-led state government decided later to stick with the project but promised that it would be a win-win situation with an area for the public. An invitation to Sabahans to join the event at Prince Phillip Park, along Tanjung Aru beach, was shared via the change.org online platform. The picnic is expected to take place between 4pm and sunset. “Wear yellow or green, bring your own F&B (food and beverage), and make it a Zero Waste event,” said the notice.On the online petition, Muthu said over 28,000 pledges had been collected so far. “We initially wanted to arrange for a meeting with the Sabah Chief Minister but that was unlikely considering how things went.“So, we will send the petition to his office after we hit the 30,000-signature mark, maybe some time next week. Then, it is up to them (to consider),” he said. Related News Related Newslast_img read more

Reversing radicalisation in kids

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first_img Indonesia 08 Jul 2019 Indonesia’s natural disaster spokesman Nugroho dies Jakarta: Thrown off a motorbike as her parents blew themselves up, nine-year-old Mila was the sole survivor of a family suicide bombing, part of a wave of such attacks involving children that rocked Indonesia.Orphaned and radicalised, there were concerns for her future after the Islamic State-inspired strike, but a renewed focus on rehabilitating the children of terror suspects may offer Mila, and others like her, a chance at normality.She is among a small group who are being treated at a Jakarta safe house in a unique scheme that provides psychological and social care to children involved in terror plots.The world’s biggest Muslim majority nation is grappling with the growing global threat of “family attacks” and also with how to reintegrate returning IS militants and their relatives as the extremist group’s caliphate lies in ruins, a challenge faced by many nations including France and the United States. AdChoices广告“It hasn’t been easy dealing with (the children) because they believed in radicalism … and that bombing was a good thing,” said safe-house head Neneng Heryani, who gave exclusive access to the state-run compound near Indonesia’s capital.“They were taught that you must kill non-believers. It was very hard to change that mindset,” she added.Social workers and psychologists are trying to re-socialise the children with counselling and an emphasis on normal daily routines.For Mila – a name given to protect her identity – this treatment means helping her find a way to cope with her parents’ suicide bombing and living with the knowledge they involved her in mass murder, and intended for her to die.Other children of terror suspects, including those linked to the deadly suicide bombings in Surabaya last year, are also undergoing this dedicated treatment.Gaining their trust has not been easy but staff at the safe house believe their approach could help neutralise radicalisation.At the heart of the rehabilitation effort are lessons about Indonesia’s national heroes, building trust and Pancasila, the nation’s ideology which stresses unity and respect for ethnic and religious minorities in a country of some 260 million spread across thousands of islands.“We still teach them that the Quran is the foundation for everything and that they have to believe in it. But if you violate other people’s rights, then that’s not okay” said social worker Sri Musfiah Handayani.Trying to help rehabilitate the children of suicide bombers is largely uncharted territory.“This is the first time that we know of. It’s not a common phenomenon,” said Sidney Jones, director of Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict.While children are easy prey for extremists, “that vulnerability can also provide a starting point for treatment”, said Haula Noor, an expert in radicalised families at Australian National University.“We should view these children as both victims as well as potential perpetrators” she added. — AFP Indonesia 05 Jul 2019 Rehabilitating child bombers Tags / Keywords: Indonesia Indonesia 10 Jul 2019 Indonesia to send back waste Related News Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

Man dies after hand gets stuck between doors of moving Kolkata Metro

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first_imgMan dies after hand gets stuck between doors of moving Kolkata MetroWhile boarding a Kabi Subhash-bound train, a passenger’s hand got stuck between the doors. The deceased has been identified as Sajal Kanjilal, a resident of Kasba area of Kolkata, they said.advertisement Press Trust of India KolkataJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 23:03 IST The train was immediately stopped and its power supply switched off. (Photo: ANI)A 56-year-old man died on Saturday after his hand got stuck between two doors of a metro train which started moving soon after from Park Street station in Kolkata, police said.The deceased has been identified as Sajal Kanjilal, a resident of Kasba area of Kolkata, they said.”There has been an unfortunate incident at Park Street station at 6.42 pm. While boarding a Kabi Subhash-bound train, a passenger’s hand got stuck between the doors,” a Metro Railway spokesperson said.”General manager, Metro, P C Sharma, has ordered a high-level inquiry to look into the possible causes of the lapse, including why the sensors of the door did not function,” she said.The train was immediately stopped and its power supply switched off. The passengers were evacuated, she added.Metro services were briefly suspended following the mishap. Several passengers also assembled at the Park Street station, accusing Metro Railway authorities of mismanagement and demanding action.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the incident as “very unfortunate” and ordered a police inquiry into it.She also asked state Urban Development Minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim to rush to the spot and assure Kanjilal’s family of full cooperation from the government.ALSO READ | Kolkata metro service halted after smoke seen coming from compartmentALSO WATCH | Firefighters fire up Lyon streets demanding higher payFor 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 bySnigdha Choudhury Nextlast_img read more

Kumaraswamy wants floor test SC asks Speaker to not act on resignations

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first_img India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 23:49 IST (L-R) Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy, Speaker KR Ramesh and BS Yeddyurappa.The political crisis in Karnataka refuses to die down even after a week. Exactly seven days after the whole turmoil started with 13 MLAs of the JDS-Congress coalition resigning, Karnataka remains on the boil.On Friday, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy sounded confident and called for a floor test to prove the government’s majority even though a total of 16 MLAs of the coalition have resigned.Meanwhile, the Supreme Court restrained Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar from taking any decision on the resignation and disqualification of 10 rebel MLAs.Here are the top 10 developments from Karnataka today: 1. The Supreme Court on Friday asked Speaker Ramesh to not take any decision on the disqualification or resignation of the 10 MLAs whose resignations were found not in the right order.2. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said the matter will be considered by it on July 16 and status quo as of Friday should be maintained.3. As his government teetered on the brink, Kumaraswamy on Friday announced that he would seek a trust vote and sought time from the Speaker.4. Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar Friday said a slot would be allotted whenever the Karnataka Chief Minister opted for it.5. Speaker Ramesh on Friday said a slot would be allotted whenever Kumaraswamy opted for it.6. Four of the fourteen rebel MLAs from Karnataka who are camping in Mumbai, on Friday visited the famous Siddhivinayak temple and offered prayers to Lord Ganesh.7. On Friday all three parties moved their MLAs to different resorts. As Kumaraswamy called for a floor tests, BJP also moved its MLAs to the Ramada resort.8. The JDS has chosen the serene surroundings of Nandi Hill on the city outskirts while its partner Congress opted for the Taj Yeshwantpur in Bengaluru to horde its MLAs.9. Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi said, “BJP uses money to bring down state governments. They have been doing that. We saw that in the North east as well.”10. The coalition government, which has been shaky since it came into being last year after a post-poll arrangement in the wake of a hung verdict, is facing a serious crisis now with 16 MLAs – 13 of the Congress and three of the JD(S) – resigning their assembly membership.(With PTI inputs)Also Read | Karnataka crisis: Parties shift MLAs to resorts as CM Kumaraswamy readies to move trust motion in AssemblyAlso Watch | Nataka in Karnataka: Rahul Gandhi breaks his silence, says BJP using money power to topple govtsFor 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 bySanchari Chatterjee Kumaraswamy wants floor test, SC asks Speaker to not act on resignations | All that happenedThe political crisis in Karnataka continues to dominate headlines even after a week since the 13 MLAs resigned. Here’s all that happened on Fridayadvertisement Nextlast_img read more

Europe on his mind 100yearold uncle gets passport renewed in Kolkata

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first_img India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 10:43 IST Diogo Fernandez was anxious after his passport expired in December last year. (Photo: Facebook/Aldona Matters)HIGHLIGHTSFernandez, 100, visited the Kolkata office on Friday for passport renewalOfficials say passport will reach Fernandez’s home in seven daysIt is Fernandez’s resilience and spirit that impressed us: officialAge ain’t nothing but a number’ perfectly fits the story of 100-year-old Diogo Piedade Jose Simplicio Fernandez of Goa who recently got his passport renewed to take a trip to Europe at least once.Bitten by the travel bug, Fernandez visited the Kolkata regional passport office on Friday for the first renewal, around three months after he celebrated a century of life on March 2, The Times Of India reported.Originally a resident of Goa, Fernandez who moved to Kolkata for work in his early 20s, was accompanied by his wife Mary (89) and daughter Beverly, the daily said.As the 100-year-old arrived at the scheduled appointment time, the otherwise mechanical’ office came to life with employees rushing to Fernandez with a wheelchair.On why Fernandez decided to renew his passport, Beverly said her father was anxious after the passport expired in December and had been insisting for a renewal.”But I was worried that he might not be able to wait in queue for an hour or so and wrote to the RPO chief. I am relieved with the ease with which things happened, Beverly was quoted as saying by ToI.RPO chief Bibhuti Bhushan Kumar told the daily the “grand old man’s resilience and spirit” was impressive. “It is great that he has kept his dream of travelling abroad alive at this age. I offered to help and make things easy the moment I came across the mail. I was really impressed,” Bhushan Kumar said.Kumar added that Fernandez told him that he had travelled abroad just once — to visit his son in Bahrain. And so when he expressed his wish to visit Europe at least once, Kumar explained to him that he could travel anywhere except Israel, the daily reported.Meanwhile, officials said the passport should reach Fernandez’s Macleod Street home by next week and added that the police verification will be done later.Before he left, Fernandez shared the secret of his happy, long life with the officials. A peg of good liquor after dinner and long walks,” he told them.READ | 5 off-beat career options to break the monotony of 9 to 5 jobsWATCH | How does social media influence travel trends?For 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 bySumeda Tags :Follow Kolkata Next Europe on his mind, 100-year-old uncle gets passport renewed in KolkataDiogo Piedade Fernandez, 100, renewed his passport to take a trip to Europe at least once.advertisementlast_img read more