In a landmark move, acid attack victims, people afflicted with mental illnesses, autism, and intellectual disabilities, will get a quota in central government jobs, according to an order by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on 28th January 2018. This comes close on the heels of the announcement made by Maneka Gandhi, the Minister for Women and Child Development. The announcement was that the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, now includes acid attack victims. The DoPT wrote to central government departments, asking them to reserve 1% of each post for people suffering from blindness and low vision, those deaf or hard of hearing, and those who have a locomotor disability, including cerebral palsy, leprosy, dwarfism, muscular dystrophy, and victims of acid attacks. 1% of such posts will also be reserved for people with autism and mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities and specific learning disabilities. Intellectual disability is characterised by significant limitations, both in intellectual functioning such as reasoning, learning and problem solving, and in adaptive behaviour that covers a range of daily skills. A person with benchmark disabilities is defined as one who has not less than 40% of a specified disability The Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016 was the precursor to enhancing the reservation quota for those with learning disabilities, and acid attack victims. An earlier order released by the same department required 3% of all posts to be reserved for those with disabilities, and of that, 1% would be reserved for those with blindness or low vision; hearing impairment and locomotor disability or cerebral palsy. All government organisations have to deploy grievance redressal officers, to look into any complaints or grievances that might arise. Any person with a benchmark disability, who faces discrimination, can report the case to the designated officer. The deadline is two months, and the action taken must be communicated to the person. These steps have been taken to ensure that the reservations for people from backward classes do not get adjusted due to the reservation for persons with disabilities. The authorities have always been quick to address the grievances of acid attack victims. In September 2017, five acid attack victims and a transgender person were facing issues securing jobs. The Delhi High Court intervened, and all parties concerned got gainfully employed.
More than 125,000 employees at Walt Disney Company across the globe will each receive a $1,000 cash bonus, the company announced Tuesday. The company will also invest $50 million to help hourly employees pay for college tuition starting with the upcoming fall semester, company chairman and chief executive officer Robert Iger announced Tuesday. Nearly 88,000 employees are eligible. “I have always believed that education is the key to opportunity; it opens doors and creates new possibilities,” Iger said in a statement. “Matched with the $1,000 cash bonus, these initiatives will have both an immediate and long-term positive impact.” Several large American companies have planned bonuses for employees recently. More than 67,500 Florida workers at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club will get paid $105.7 million in increases and bonuses, the company announced earlier this month, while also closing some Sam’s locations. Orlando-based Darden Restaurants said earlier this month the new GOP tax cut will prompt it to spend an additional $20 million on its 175,000-plus employees this year, but did not give specifics. And this week, about 27,000 Universal Parks and Resorts employees, including 18,000 in Orlando, are among 100,000 or so Comcast employees who are receiving $1,000 bonuses. Comcast, which owns Universal Orlando parent NBCUniversal, announced its bonuses in December. Both theme park companies said the extra money for employees came at least in part from the tax cut that reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Comcast also cited “the FCC’s action on broadband” as a factor. A financial analyst said Disney’s decision to give out bonuses wasn’t unexpected, as the multi-billion dollar company stands to save hundreds of millions of dollars from the new tax bill. The money for bonuses “are a drop in the bucket,” said Tuna Amobi, CFRA Research senior analyst. “The financial impact is immaterial. I don’t think investors will be too focused one way or another.” But it’s also a goodwill gesture to workers, especially after back-and-forth union contract negotiations, Amobi said. “This might be another way to appease the workers,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for them to show they are sensitive to the employees.” Under the new Disney bonuses, all full-time and part-time employees who have worked at Disney since Jan. 1 are eligible for the money — which will be split in two payments in March and September, a news release said. The employees can be hourly, salaried or tipped, but not executives. For the program to help employees pay for school, Disney will give $50 million initially and then pay up to $25 million annually in future years. “With this new plan, participants can pursue qualifying higher education or vocational training, including courses unrelated to their current responsibilities at Disney,” according to the release. No other details were immediately available. Tuesday’s announcement comes after Walt Disney World union members overwhelmingly rejected the company’s contract proposal Dec. 20, 2017. Disney’s offer would have given full-time and part-time employees a 3 percent or a 50-cent raise — whichever was higher — retroactive to Sept. 24, 2017, and again this September. Disney also proposed a one-time $200 bonus for full-time employees and those who get tips. Two locals representing Disney World employees said in a statement Tuesday the $1,000 bonus was not related to the ongoing labor negotiations. “Unionized Cast Members in Orlando are bargaining for real raises that make a lasting impact … ” according to a statement from Unite Here 362 and 737, which were part of a coalition of six unions that represents about 36,000 Disney employees. The timing of the bonus during the labor negotiations confused some employees who didn’t understand if it was related, said Madeline Johnson, who works at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Johnson planned to spend her money on college tuition. The 23-year-old Davenport resident pays her way at University of Central Florida on her $11 per hour theme park job. “A bonus is great,” Johnson said, although she added, “It’s a very small piece of the puzzle.”
Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Huggies diapers and Kleenex tissues, announced Tuesday it will cut about 13 percent of its workforce globally, or at least 5,000 jobs, in a bid to reduce costs as sales wane.
The company plans to shutter or sell 10 of its 91 production factories worldwide. In all, it is anticipating more than $2 billion in cost cuts by 2021. About $1.5 billion will come from reducing costs within its business. An added $500 million to $550 million will come from the efforts to streamline its manufacturing supply chain and overhead. For years, consumer companies have enjoyed what has been widely considered to be overly optimistic stock prices. Now, the names are grappling with the reality of a new landscape. These companies must find growth to match up with investors' expectations, but are faced with changing shopping habits and competitive pressures. Making matters worse, retailers are cutting prices in a fight for market share. Retailers like Target and Costco need to attract shoppers to their stores rather than having consumers buy their staples online. Meantime, retailers like Walmart, Aldi and Lidl — all known for low prices — continue to open new stores and increase their influence. Procter & Gamble on Tuesday acknowledged that discounting aimed at boosting its Gillette razor business had eaten into its sales. As one of the biggest consumer products companies, P&G's prices often set a bar for its competitors. P&G, with its Pampers brand, and Kimberly-Clark, with its Huggies, are fierce competitors in the diaper aisle. Adding to the pressure, Amazon has launched a private-label diaper business. Diapers are a good example of a product shoppers tend to refill on a routine basis. Increasingly, shoppers see this as a category that is more convenient to buy online. Kimberly-Clark is weighing the sale of its consumer tissue business. The segment, which includes its Cottonelle and Scott toilet paper brands, comprises roughly 1 percent of its sales. Kimberly-Clark would join a number of its consumer peers like Unileverand Nestle that have looked to shed underperforming businesses as scrutiny intensifies. "The changes we are making will improve our underlying profitability, provide more flexibility to invest in growth opportunities and help us compete even more effectively," Chief Executive Officer Thomas Falk said in prepared remarks. Shares of Kimberly-Clark were up less than 1 percent midmorning Tuesday. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, Kimberly-Clark reported net income of $1.75 per share, compared with $1.40 one year ago. After excluding items, the company earned $1.57 per share. Net sales climbed 1 percent, to $4.6 billion, while North American sales dropped 2 percent. Analysts expected the company to earn $1.54 per share, on revenue of $4.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Selling prices fell 4 percent in the latest period, Kimberly-Clark said, which consisted of greater promotional activity in most categories. Net sales in fiscal 2018 are expected to increase 1 to 2 percent.
When a deer gets infected with chronic wasting disease, it can take up to two years before signs of the illness become visible. At some point, the animal will start to lose weight, stop interacting with other deer, lose its fear of humans, and may start drinking and salivating more. Ultimately, it winds up staring vacantly as it starves to death. That's why the illness is also known as "zombie deer" disease. The disease is similar to mad cow disease and is caused by the spread of misfolded proteins called prions. As far as we know, no humans have ever been infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD). But Canadian researchers recently announced that they're concerned the disease could potentially start to infect humans that eat deer, elk, moose, or other members of the same animal family that carry the proteins. Preliminary results from an ongoing study by the Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada show that macaques, the primates most similar to humans that can be used in research, can catch CWD after regularly consuming infected meat. Because of that, "the potential for CWD to be transmitted to humans cannot be excluded," Health Canada said in an advisory. "[T]he most prudent approach is to consider that CWD has the potential to infect humans."Researchers first noticed this disease about 50 years ago in Colorado. Since then, it has spread to neighboring states, Canada, and several states around the Great Lakes including Wisconsin and Michigan. Prion illnesses are caused by the spread of misfolded proteins that cause other proteins to deform. They are often progressive and usually fatal, and scientists think they have the ability to adapt to infect different types of species - including, potentially ourselves. But such illnesses are not well understood. The similar illness mad cow disease became a problem after cattle ate bone meal from sheep with a neurodegenerative disease. Once this illness made its way into the human food supply, it eventually caused a new type of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, which causes rapid brain deterioration, in people. Immunologist Mark Zabel of Colorado State University told Colorado Public Radio that because chronic wasting disease is still a newly discovered condition, it may evolve rapidly, which "leads us to believe it's only a matter of time before a prion emerges that can spread to humans." For now, some experts recommend that hunters who harvest deer and elk in affected areas get a sample of their kill tested before grilling up any venison steaks. If the test comes back positive, they recommend discarding the meat.
An Arizona woman who was initially diagnosed with the flu turned out to have a life-threating infection with "flesh-eating" bacteria, according to news reports. The woman, Christin Lipinski, visited her doctor with flu-like symptoms and pain under her arm. She was diagnosed with the flu on Jan. 11 and initially treated for the viral infection. But her pain continued to get worse until it was "pretty much unbearable," her husband, Nate Lipinski said. Two days after her flu diagnosis, she was rushed to the hospital, where she had surgery to treat necrotizing fasciitis. The condition is a serious bacterial infection that destroys skin and muscle tissue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Surgeons had to remove over 30 percent of Lipinski's soft tissue that had been infected, according to her GoFundMe page. It's not clear how Lipinski got the infection. Several types of bacteria can cause necrotizing fasciitis, including group A Streptococcus(group A strep), Klebsiella, Clostridium, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, according to the CDC. Most commonly, people get necrotizing fasciitis when the bacteria enter the body through a break in the skin, the CDC said. The bacteria can spread quickly once they enter the body, and symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis can start within hours of an injury. Some symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis appear similar to symptoms of the flu, including fever, chills, fatigue and vomiting, according to the CDC. But in addition to these symptoms, patients often experience pain that they describe as hurting much more than they would expect based on how their wound looks, the CDC said. Patients' skin may become red or purplish from the infection, and these swollen areas may spread rapidly. The condition is treated with antibiotics, but many people also need immediate surgery to remove dead tissue and help stop the infection, the CDC said. The disease has a fatality rate of about 27 percent, according to a 2008 study. Lipinski underwent seven surgeries to try to stop her infection, according to her GoFundMe page. She was transferred to a hospital that specializes in treating necrotizing fasciitis, and she will need skin grafts and "extensive reconstructive surgeries" in order to recover, the page said.
A FORMER smoker has shared her e-cigarette success story after kicking the 25-year habit. From the age of 16, Karen Lee, from Bury, smoked 15 cigarettes a day. She said she was so ashamed, she would sneak downstairs in the early hours to stop her family from knowing she was desperate for a smoke. The 44-year-old had tried nicotine patches, gum, and going 'cold turkey'. Ms Lee said: "I had reached the point where I thought I would never be able to stop smoking. "I had tried so many times and then started once again. "My teenage daughter, Zoe, was convinced I would never be able to do it as she had seen me try and fail on so many occasions." In another attempt to break the habit, Ms Lee suggested that she and a colleague, who she shared cigarette breaks with, tried vaping instead of smoking. In October 2016, the mum-of-two was finally able to quit. She vaped for six weeks and then gave up vaping too. Ms Lee, who works as a civil servant in Manchester, said: "I started using an e-cigarette to help me stop smoking and I liked being able to choose the nicotine level. For me, e-cigarettes felt like an easier replacement for my habit. "It is great to be able to wake up without a hacking cough and to be able to breathe normally again and actually taste food after so many years of not being able to." Now Ms Lee, who lives near Holy Cross College in Bury, is supporting Cancer Research UK's campaign to raise awareness among smokers of the relative safety of e-cigarettes compared to smoking. E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, which is proven to cause cancer, and while they do contain nicotine, which is addictive, nicotine is not responsible for the major health harms from smoking. The campaign, which is running in Greater Manchester from mid-January, will feature adverts on billboards, bus stops, phone kiosks, in washrooms and on social media. In Bury, around one in five adults smoke, and Cancer Research says quitting is the single most important thing they can do to cut their risk of cancer. Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK prevention champion and academic researcher, said: "Tobacco is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer, so the more we can do to reduce the number of people who smoke tobacco-containing cigarettes, the more cancers we can prevent. "Evidence so far shows e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking, so they are a worthwhile option for smokers struggling to quit." Around 1,700 people die from lung cancer in Greater Manchester every year. The campaign has also been supported by Sarah Price, director of population health at Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. She said: "It's great to see Cancer Research UK highlight that research shows vaping is far less harmful than smoking. "Greater Manchester has higher smoking rates than most other areas of the UK, so we’re keen to help smokers understand their options. "Swapping to an e-cigarette almost certainly offers smokers a far less harmful alternative to smoking tobacco."
Vitiligo or Leucoderma is a skin condition, which affects close to 2-5 percent of the population in India. Vitiligo is not usually medically harmful, and is non-contagious, but can cause white spots or patches to appear on the skin. Because vitiligo affects a person’s appearance, the social stigma attached to the condition is so severe that it is believed to leave social and psychological scars on those suffering from it. While there are various kinds of medicines and treatments across the globe, that can help to keep the condition at bay; these do not cure vitiligo and are either costly or single component based, with a very low level of efficacy. However, DRDO scientists have developed Lukoskin, an Ayurvedic drug, and claim that it can cure vitiligo.“Allopathic medicines mask the disease, and the patient feels that he/she is healed, but it is not so. Once the patient stops taking the medicine, there is a relapse. However, this is not the case with herb-based medicines,” said Hemant Pande, a senior DRDO scientist. Lukoskin was initially developed in 2012, following many comprehensive research and clinical trials by scientists of the Defence Bio-Energy Research (DIBER) centre at Haldwani, Uttarakhand. Comprising of an ointment and an oral liquid, patients consume the drug over a period of 300 to 400 days for effective results. AIMIL Pharmaceuticals in Delhi have been given the authority to manufacture the drug. Following its presentation at the International Arogya Festival 2017 in Delhi, which was organised by the Ministry of Ayush, Lukoskin is slowly beginning to receive attention from pharmaceutical companies across the globe. With more people switching to ayurvedic and herbal medicines, the government intends to make the drug accessible to not just Indian markets but international ones as well. There is a lot that needs to be done to change the social perception towards the skin condition, but we hope that through this medicine, many people who have been subjected to lifelong jeering and shaming can finally live happy, healthy, and vitiligo-free lives.
Consuming coconut oil daily for just four weeks may lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, suggests a recent study. Researchers Kay-Tee Khaw and Professor Nita Forouhi from the University of Cambridge conducted the study on 94 volunteers between the ages of 50 and 75, none of whom had a history of heart disease or diabetes. They split the participants into three groups and each of them was asked to consume 50 grams or roughly three tablespoons of either coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter every day for four weeks. They wanted to analyse that how eating these fats regularly would affect the volunteers' cholesterol levels. The findings indicated that the participants, who consumed butter saw an average rise of 10 percent in their levels of LDL cholesterol, known as the "bad cholesterol". Those, who consumed olive oil saw a slight reduction in LDL levels and a five percent rise in HDL cholesterol levels, which is often referred to as the 'good cholesterol'. Meanwhile, the participants who ate coconut oil saw the biggest rise in HDL levels with an average of 15 percent. "I think decisions to eat particular oils depend on more than just the health effects," the researchers stated.
It’s not unusual to have people with diabetes question their lifestyle choices. Recently, a 35-year-old man, who led a healthy lifestyle, exercised regularly and maintained a balanced diet was tested for high blood glucose levels. The only query he had was why would he ever be diagnosed with diabetes? Diabetes isn’t a one size fit for all. Usually, people fail to understand that various factors affect your blood glucose levels and also lead to diabetes. The latest data from the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR’s) youth diabetes registry states that one in every four (25.3%) people under 25 in India is diabetic and has adult-onset type-2 diabetes. This, by definition, must usually strike only older adults with a family history of diabetes, obesity, unhealthy diet and inactivity. So why is that in spite of being cautious, diabetes can still affect you? Well to understand this, first let’s talk about the various factors: • Genetic Makeup, • Family History, • Ethnicity • Health & Environmental factors. While each of them has an impact, it still varies depending on the type of diabetes. Recently, a 70-year-old man went for his follow-up visit.
He asked, “Doctor, I am your patient for the past ten years. I got diabetes at the age of 60. My son got diagnosed at the age of 40. And now my grandson, who is just 21, has been diagnosed with diabetes as well. How can he get diabetes at such a tender age?”The answer was simple, their lifestyle, the amount of stress they take or the kind of food they consume, varies. And with this variation the type of diabetes each one suffered varied as well. While the father and grandfather had Type 2 Diabetes, the grandson had Type 1 Diabetes. Each of the above-listed factors leads to different types of Diabetes (like in the example above), which can be listed as follows: Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 Diabetes disables the body from producing insulin. Some may refer to this type as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes. The exact cause of Type 1 Diabetes is unknown. What is known is that your immune system, which usually fights harmful bacteria or viruses, attacks and destroys your insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This leaves you with little or no insulin, and hence, instead of being transported into your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream and leads to diabetes. Here the question of exercising or healthy eating being the cause goes straight out of the window. Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes Pre-Diabetes, which might lead to Type-2 Diabetes, is a condition in which your cells tend to become resistant to the action of insulin, and your pancreas do not make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. For this type, chances are that obesity plays a larger role. It’s important to note that people with visceral fat, also known as central obesity, belly fat, or abdominal obesity, are especially at risk. Being overweight, physically inactive or having unhealthy eating habits all increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Gestational Diabetes This a type of diabetes especially affects women during their pregnancy. During pregnancy, the placenta creates hormones that can lead to a buildup of glucose in your blood. Usually, your pancreas can make enough insulin to handle that. However, if not, your blood sugar levels rise, and this leads to gestational diabetes. In this scenario, if the mother doesn’t take good care of herself, chances of her developing diabetes post pregnancy increases. It might lead to the child being affected as well. Other types Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young-(MODY) is an autosomal dominant inherited form of diabetes, due to one of several single-gene mutations causing defects in insulin production. (LADA) is a condition in which Type 1 Diabetes is developed in adults. Other forms include congenital Diabetes, which is due to genetic defects of insulin secretion, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes or steroid-induced diabetes which is induced by high doses of glucocorticoids. So in a nutshell, Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented and isn’t restricted to the lifestyle choices you make. However, Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 85-90% of all cases, can often be prevented or delayed by maintaining normal body weight, engaging in physical activity, and consuming a healthy diet. So lastly, all I say is “Don’t get stuck at whys, get closer to hows!” Irrespective of whether or not you are at risk, make sure you’re taking great care of your body and giving it all the attention it deserves.
The new year is a time when many plan to shape up after the excesses of the festive period.Now there is good news for those who fear it might be too late in life to improve their fitness. People into late middle age can reverse or reduce the risk of heart failure caused by decades of sedentary living by exercising, a study has found. But there is a catch - it takes two years of aerobic exercise, four to five days a week, researchers said.
'Sweet spot'The study, published in the journal Circulation, analysed the hearts of 53 adults aged 45-64 who were healthy but had no history of exercising regularly. Research has shown that sedentary behaviours - such as sitting or reclining for long periods of time - increase the risk of heart disease. The study's participants were divided into two groups, with one following an aerobic exercise routine that progressed in intensity over the two years and another doing yoga, balance training and weight training three times a week, also for two years. The aerobic exercise group showed an 18% improvement in their maximum oxygen intake during exercise and a more than 25% improvement in "plasticity" in the left ventricular muscle of the heart - both markers of a healthier heart. However, the benefits were not seen in the second group.
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What the study's participants didParticipants exercised generally in 30-minute sessions, plus a warm-up and cool-down. Their routine included:
- One high-intensity aerobic session, such as four-by-four interval training where participants did four sets of four minutes of exercise at 95% of their maximum heart rate followed by three minutes of active recovery at 60-75% peak heart rate
- Two or three days a week of moderate intensity exercise (where exercisers sweat but can still carry on a conversation)
- At least one weekly strength training session
- At least one long session of aerobic exercise a week, such as an hour of tennis, cycling, running, dancing or brisk walking