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Bundesliga announces restart: Dynamo Dresden's Team will be in two-week isolation

Sun, 05/10/2020 - 12:32

Bundesliga recently announced restart of the match season after coronavirus pandemic threw all the schedules out of order. However, Dynamo Dresden's entire squad will be under two-weeks of isolation. Two players in the team have been tested positive for coronavirus, the team manager informed.

As per Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 official statement, the matches will start on Saturday 16 May. Following the coronavirus shutdown, Bundesliga will be the first European league to start matches. German Football Association (DFB) informed that the matches will be played under strict health protocols.

The league was suspended on March 13 but as the situation improved, players started practicing under strict condition by mid-April. The league will be played without any fans in the stadium. The management committee informed that there will be around 300 people including staff and officials present during matches. All the players and officials will undergo COVID-19 testing. As many labs have introduced quick tests for COVID-19, it has become easier to keep the risk of coronavirus in check.

Dynamo Dresden sports manager Ralf Minge informed, "In the past few weeks, we have made enormous efforts in terms of personnel and logistics in order to strictly implement all the prescribed medical and hygienic measures."

Dynamo Dresden is on the bottom of Bundesliga 2 and they were planning to start the season on May 17. However, under the current conditions, there would be delay for the team. As sports events have been cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic, online sports betting as suffered. However, the online betting and gambling space has been gaining more customers as physical casinos have closed due to COVID-19 lockdowns. We can expect stronger revenue for online casino and sports betting companies in near future.

Region: GermanyEuropeGeneral: Sports UpdateTNMFeaturedOnline CasinoSports Betting

Taiwan and Vietnam set examples in discipline while keeping COVID-19 under control

Sat, 05/09/2020 - 06:12

Taiwan and Vietnam have been in the news recently as both these nations have managed to contain COVID-19 infections. Vietnam has not reported even a single death due to coronavirus despite proximity to China and high trade with China. Taiwan is also having a deeper connection and proximity to China but this island nation has also managed to keep the number of cases low.

Compared to Vietnam and Taiwan, Italy has suffered in a massive way and was the epicenter for infections in Europe (Spain has gone ahead of Italy in number of infections). Early reports suggest that Italy suffered as the country receives a lot of shipments from China and the second reason for spread in Italy is high number of tourists. However, one can’t ignore the late action of Italian government and a crippling medical system for high number of death cases.

Vietnam has population of 95 million and no one has died in this Asian country due to COVID-19 infection. Vietnam was among the first nations to announce serious measures. The government didn’t announce lockdown but people were asked to take precautions and wear masks. Social distancing was carefully observed by locals.

Taiwan has population of 24 million and only 6 death cases have been reported in Taiwan. The country didn’t force lockdowns. The disciple of Taiwanese people has been lauded by health experts. People were wearing masks and following social distancing norms. Taiwan has also exported 17 million masks to countries needing masks. The life is back to normal in Taiwan.

Total Infections 288
Death Cases: Nil
Population: 95.5 million
Infections in last 10 days: Nil

Total Infections 440
Death Cases: 6
Population: 23.7 million
Infections in last 10 days: Nil

In comparison, UK has witnessed 31,240 death cases so far and 211 thousand infections. The government was too late in announcing measures and Prime Minister ignored the early warnings. Only when the Prime Minister himself became infected with coronavirus that majority of Britons started taking this infection seriously. We should learn from the countries that have showcased discipline in their fight against coronavirus.

Region: TaiwanVietnamGeneral: TNMFeaturedHealth

Glaxosmithkline reports Strong First Quarter Earnings

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 09:32

Pharmaceutical major Glaxosmithkline has reported strong quarterly earnings for the first quarter. The company management informed that they are confident about meeting the 2020 guidance in terms of revenue and net earnings. GSK reported strong sales for shingles treatment shingrix and pain medications during the coronavirus lockdowns. Many pharmaceutical companies have reported strong sales during COVID-19 pandemic.

GSK reported £2.01 billion in net profit during first quarter, marking 41 percent increase compared to the same period last year. The pharmaceutical major registered 19 percent increase in turnover at £9.09 during Q12020.

Recently, Astrazeneca also announced results that were better than market expectations. Specific products have witnessed stronger sales during COVID-19 pandemic.

Talking about GSK results, Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Nicholas Hyett said, “The coronavirus outbreak has provided a modest tailwind to GSK’s sales, and together with recent drug launches and good cost control, that’s done wonders for profits.”

“If things go right ... to get to scale of manufacturing in the hundreds of millions (of doses) is going to be in the second half of next year. You will see a reasonable amount of consensus from many global authorities, when this was all emerging, an 18-month time line was an ambitious one to be going after but one that everyone is targeting,” CEO Emma Walmsley.

Business: Pharmaceutical SectorCompanies: GlaxoSmithKlineRegion: LondonGeneral: TNMFeatured

Barclays registers 923 million pounds first quarter profit

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 08:12

Financial services major Barclays has reported 923 million pounds of pretax profit during the first quarter compared to 1.5 billion pounds pretax profit during the same period last year. Barclays profit has been impacted by coronavirus led lockdowns and lower business activity. Market analysts had predicted an average of 1.25 billion pounds pretax profit for the bank during first quarter.

Barclays added that the impact of coronavirus will likely continue in the next quarters as the infection numbers continue to rise across the UK and other markets. Barclays CEO Jes Staley said, “Given the uncertainty around the developing economic downturn and low interest rate environment, 2020 is expected to be challenging.” Barclays bottomline was positively supported by strong performance of its investment banking division. Barclays International registered 44 percent increase in income to 3.6 billion pounds.

The sharp volatility in the international stock markets helped Barclays International to register strong performance during the quarter. Banking fees were higher by 12 percent and equities segment registered 21 percent increase in income.

As per a report published by Reuters, “The impairments number included a 405 million pound hit from single name wholesale loan charges, while charges in its consumer, cards and payments division nearly trebled to 885 million pounds from Dec. 31, as the deteriorating economic situation increased the chances of customers missing payments.”

Business: Banking SectorCompany ResultsCompanies: BarclaysRegion: LondonGeneral: TNMFeaturedPeople: Jes Staley

French Government offers loans and State-guaranteed funds to Air France-KLM

Sun, 04/26/2020 - 15:57

French government has announced support for Air France-KLM with nearly €3 billion in loans to the airline and €4 billion in state-guaranteed funds to keep the airline in business. Air France-KLM recently announced that the airline is losing nearly €25 million per day due to lockdowns imposed after coronavirus pandemic.

Support from the Netherlands government for KLM has been announced as well. Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra gave a briefing within an hour of his French counterpart’s to announce the KLM aid still awaiting approval. As per the initial reports, Netherlands will offer KLM €2 billion in loans and €4 billion in state-guaranteed funds.

Germany’s Lufthansa is also negotiating government aid as the major airlines across the world suffer from lockdowns and grounded flights. Lufthansa has also decided to close its low-cost venture.

“We have repeatedly said that as the government we will do all that we can to help KLM through this crisis,” Hoekstra said, citing its “vital role” in the Dutch economy.

Group Chief Executive Ben Smith said in a statement that the help from governments isn’t a black check. He added that the airline will have to undergo cash cutting measures amid coronavirus pandemic.

Business: Aviation SectorCompanies: KLMAir FranceLufthansaRegion: GermanyFranceNetherlands

FTSE Closes 1.2 percent lower after coronavirus treatment options remain doubtful

Sat, 04/25/2020 - 15:55

FTSE closed the week lower and Friday close was 1.2 percent lower compared to Thursday. Gilead Sciences has been working on a treatment option for coronavirus but the company announced that the drug trials were inconclusive. Global market sentiment was down after reports suggested that remdesivir from Gilead Sciences failed to help severely ill patients. This was the first trial conducted by Gilead but the company hasn’t run out of options.

European markets are facing another challenge with leaders of main European economies not able to reach a consensus about bringing back the economy on track after coronavirus comes under control. Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and France will need much bigger effort to deal with the impact of coronavirus. EU summit unsurprisingly ended with no real progress on a recovery fund that would help rebuild the shattered economies of the weaker European economies.

There was no real detail on how much of any new fund was likely to be made up of loans and grants, and more importantly how big it was likely to be.

FTSE stocks from travel, hotels, services sector have been facing tough times as investors look for reducing loss to their portfolio. Investors are also concerned about reducing valuations of their mutual fund holdings.

Germany is about to choose a leader for CDP but that has been delayed amid coronavirus. Overall, the sentiment has turned negative once again unless there is positive news on fight against COVID-19.

Business: Stock MarketsRegion: LondonGeneral: TNMFeatured

20% of children facing lockdown suffer symptoms of depression and anxiety in China

Sat, 04/25/2020 - 15:16

Coronavirus has resulted in lockdowns in many parts of the world as local governments aim to contain the spreads of deadly virus. However, the spread of pandemic causing coronavirus has been under control in China. Reports suggest that there hasn't been any coronavirus related death in China for 10th straight day.

Another side effect of lockdown is depression. The new study conducted in China hasn't found anything out of the ordinary. Health experts have been suggesting that social distancing or being at home leads to depression among individuals at high risk.

Staying at home has also led to an increase in the number of fights between couples. Earlier reports from China suggested a spike in divorce rates in the regions facing severe lockdowns.

Researchers in Hubei province, China -- where the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was first identified -- surveyed 1,800 students and found that roughly 20 percent reported either depression or anxiety, or both.

Dr. Margarita Alegria, chief of the Disparities Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said during a conference call with reporters that, in the United States, where there is greater income inequality, these problems could be more pronounced.

"The poverty that we have, and the inequities might make it even harder for people because they may not feel they are being treated equally," she said. "I'm not sure that was the case in China."

The JAMA Pediatrics study out of Hubei compared mental health among children in Wuhan, where the outbreak started and lockout measures were most stringent, with another community. The authors found that, in general, students living in Wuhan experienced more depression symptoms and greater anxiety over the future than those living in the other community, where the lockdown was less pronounced.

"COVID-19 has catapulted disparities in health outcomes (in the U.S.) center-stage," Alegria said. As with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Maria in 2018, people of color are bearing the brunt of school closures, job loss and family stress, she added, "and we need to meet the needs of these communities."

Region: ChinaUnited StatesGeneral: HealthResearchTNMFeatured

Traumatic brain injury increases chances to develop PTSD by double-fold: Study

Sat, 04/25/2020 - 14:56

A study based on troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have found that a physical injury to brain make people vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder. If service members who were found to have suffered concussion or mild brain injury, they were more likely to develop PTSD, said the researchers on the basis of the studies of troops.

The research paper published in JAMA Psychiatry has unveiled that troops who have suffered concussion or mild brain injury are twice as likely to develop PTSD. The condition has been linked with different psychological difficulties, including insomnia, chronic depression, eating disorders, anger and substance abuse.

For past many years, scientists have suspected about the link between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD. But they started to become sure after studying troops coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many service members were found to have developed PTSD after they returned from their deployment in Iraq.

The researchers have studied more than 1,600 Marine and Navy service members from San Diego’s Camp Pendleton. Before they were being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, medical checkups were done and then again three months after returning.

Baker said, “At one point we got this battalion that went to Helmand province in Afghanistan, and literally 50 percent of them were complaining of blast exposures and symptoms”. The revelation was concerning for Baker as they came to know that troops having a traumatic brain injury were twice likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

The researchers even mentioned of study carried out on mice. In it, the mice that have experienced a TBI showed greater levels of fear response than it normally would be. Baker said that brain injuries do bring changes in the brain’s fear circuitry.

Region: United StatesGeneral: HealthFeaturedResearchTNM

Interesting facts to know about Sweden’s human embryo editing study

Tue, 04/21/2020 - 13:37

A study from Sweden in which scientists have edited the genetic material in health human embryos has been gaining a lot of attention. The study that is the first to carry out human embryo editing has become quite controversial.

In the study, biologist Fredrik Lanner, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and his team members have injected human embryos with a gene-editing tool in order to make specific changes in the embryo’s DNA. The procedure was carried out at a very early stage of development.

The researchers carried out the experiment with an aim that one day the development could lead to new methods to treat fertility and prevent miscarriages. There are some interesting facts to know about the study.

This is not the first time when scientists have edited a gene in human embryos. Last year in China, scientists experimented to bring changes in human embryos. A year later, a different research group, also from China made efforts to edit DNA in human embryos so as to have resistance towards infection from HIV. But both these experiments could not have resulted into human babies.

In the case of Lanner's study, the embryos are healthy and in theory, could lead to pregnancy. The embryos were donated by the couples who have gone through IVF at the institute. Lanner has decided not to exceed embryo development beyond 14 days.

In the study, a gene-editing technique called CRISPR-Cas9 is to be used. The technique would eliminate certain genes that are involved in the early stages of development. It will be done as the researchers want to know more about the role these genes play in development.

The study has been considered controversial, as it has raised concerns that it could be a step towards ‘designer babies’. But it can also not be ignored that human embryo editing is gaining acceptance.

Region: StockholmSwedenGeneral: HealthTNMFeaturedResearch

Stimulants may not improve score or homework performance among ADHD children: Study

Thu, 04/16/2020 - 10:04

A new study has not found stimulants to be effective in improving the grades or helping ADH children in completing their homework. The research is based on the comparison of the efficacy of medication against behavioral interventions in 75 children who attended a summer school program.

The students were randomly assigned to either receive behavioral treatment or a long-acting stimulant. Study’s lead researcher Brittany Merrill from Florida International University in Miami said that long-acting stimulants were not found to be helpful in improving homework performance.

In fact, behavioral interventions were found to be more effective when it came to improving homework performance among ADHD children. In the group that was taking medication, doctors worked with the children for more than two weeks to evaluate the correct dose of drugs.

In the next step, the researchers provided them with either a stimulant or a placebo for three weeks and then switched to see the effect of drugs on each child’s homework performance. In the case of behavioral therapy group, the researchers carried out a series of six two-hour group sessions for the first two weeks and then individual half hour session for the next two weeks.

There was no notable effect of medication on homework completion when compared with placebo. In the case of behavioral treatment, children were able to show improvement. The study indicates that things are little better with behavioral help.

Dr. Tumaini Rucker Coker from Dr. Tumaini Rucker Coker thinks that medication should not be completely sidelines. “It doesn't suggest that the child does not need the medication - it may suggest, however, that by evening hours when the effect of the medication has dissipated, behavioral interventions will be even more important to help the child get through evening homework time”, said Coker.

Region: United KingdomGeneral: HealthTNMFeaturedResearch

Ethics could impact Musk’s Mars colonization plan

Thu, 04/16/2020 - 10:00

Lately, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has publicized his plans on Mars colonization. As per him, the one-way ticket to Mars would cost as less as $200,000 given the fact that Mars travel becomes a common thing.

There are a number of uncertainties with regard to Mars colonization plan, including whether or not humans would be able to survive the six-month trip through space and if SpaceX would ever be able to build the rocket needed to take humans to the Red Planet.

Even if Musk is able to sort out all these limitations of science, technology, and financing, there remains one thing that can damage Musk’s plans and that is ethics and may be space law. Any colonization demands a source of water.

But as per the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, no such activity is allowed as it can lead to harmful contamination of celestial bodies with life from earth. Microbe is one thing that can be found in every part of Mars.

All the spacecrafts that land on Mars need to be sterilized, but for now it is not known that whether or not bacterial life can form self-sustaining colonies on Mars. Also, all the missions aimed at other planets are bounded by planetary protection protocols.

It is under these protocols it is decided that on which areas a mission can land and where it cannot and also, the exploration limits are decided under these protocols only. Musk wants to send humans on Mars that are considered to be full of microbes meaning that there are high chances that the Red Planet would be contaminated with terrestrial life. Experts think that the medicine rule should be followed to explore Mars and that is no harm should be suffered to anyone.

Companies: SpaceXRegion: EuropeUnited StatesGeneral: TNMFeaturedSciencePeople: Elon Musk

90% of American teenagers do not follow minimum 60 minutes of recommended daily physical activity

Thu, 04/16/2020 - 09:58

Despite the fact that the US has been facing obesity epidemic, not many efforts have been seen on the part of American teenagers to maintain their physical fitness. A new study has found that majority of American teenagers continue to lead their life in a sedentary manner.

As per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than nine in 10 teenagers do not carry out at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. The research paper published in journal Pediatrics has unveiled that physical inactivity is considered to be one of the main reason for causing childhood and adolescent obesity.

Study’s lead author Kaigang Li from Colorado State University in Fort Collins said that in the last three decades, childhood obesity rate has increased by more than double fold in children and by four times in teenagers.

Being overweight or obese put children and teenagers at risk of a number of health complications, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, bone and joint problems, sleep apnoea and psychological issues like poor self-esteem.

In the study, the researchers have evaluated exercise habits among a sample of 561 students in 10th grade at 44 schools that represented urban, suburban and rural communities. In the study’s start when the participants were 16 years of age, they were asked to wear activity trackers for a week so that the researchers could see how much physical activity is being carried out by them.

On an average, they were doing around 27 minutes of exercise each weekday and by the time they stepped into 11th grade, they moved to 28 minutes of exercise. On weekends, the exercise routine was quite in bad shape as the participants logged around 20 minutes in all.

The researchers think that it is responsibility of parents and teachers to come up with opportunities of exercise into children’s routine.

Region: United StatesGeneral: HealthTNMFeatured