Scientist identify first-ever likely treatments for deadly ‘MERS’

Scientists have identified the first-ever possible treatments for deadly virus Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

University of Maryland School of Medicine and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., scientists have found and validated two therapeutics that show early promise in preventing and treating the disease, which can cause severe respiratory symptoms, and has a death rate of 40 percent.

These therapeutics are the first to succeed in protecting and treating animal models of the MERS virus.

Pakistan heatwave toll crosses 1,330 mark

A week-long spell of heatwave in Karachi has come to an end, with the provincial authorities putting the figure of those affected by heatstroke at 100,000 in the Pakistani port city only and the toll at over 1,330 in Sindh province.

At least 26 more died in the city and two other districts on Monday, taking the toll to 1,332 — 1,234 in Karachi and 98 in other districts of Sindh — since June 20, when the punishing heatwave gripped the province, Dawn reported.

Egyptian president pledges stronger anti-terror laws

Egypt is determined to amend laws with the aim of achieving justice as soon as possible, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said on Tuesday.

Attending the funeral ceremony of Egypt’s prosecutor general Hisham Barakat, who died after a bomb attack on his motorcade on Monday, Sisi said the prosecutor general was Egypt’s voice that cannot be silenced, state-run MENA news agency reported.

He further vowed to take revenge on the killers of Barakat.

“Prompt justice is shackled by laws,” he said, adding that such laws will be amended to achieve justice as soon as possible.

Iran, US start key n-talks on D-day

The contentious nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers resumed here on Tuesday, the last day of the self-imposed deadline by the participants, following the arrival of Iranian chief negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif in the Austrian capital.

Zarif met US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Palais Coburg Hotel, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.

Both foreign ministers held their last round of talks on Sunday evening.

IS crucifies five people for not fasting during Ramadan

The Islamic State (IS) has crucified five people in northeastern Syria for not fasting during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) director Rami Abderrahman told EFE news agency on Tuesday.

The victims were brutalised on Monday in al-Mayadin city, where their bodies were left near the IS police headquarters with placards around their necks reading “crucified all day and flogged 70 times for breaking the fast of Ramadan”, the activist told EFE by telephone.

TDP legislator gets bail in cash-for-vote scam

After remaining behind bars for a month in the cash-for-vote case, TDP legislator A. Revanth Reddy will be free as the Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday granted him bail.

The court also ordered the release of two other accused, Sebastian Harry and Uday Simha, on bail.

Justice Raja Elango, who had reserved his order last week, pronounced it on Tuesday.

Revanth was given conditional bail on a personal bond of Rs.5 lakh and two sureties.

New Rs.100 notes to carry ascending numbers

The Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) has recently issued new Rs.100 currency notes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005 with a new numbering pattern, an official statement said.

The numerals, henceforth, in both the number panels of these new currency notes will be in ascending size from left to right. However, the prefix, the first three alphanumeric characters will remain constant in size, the RBI said.

This is a new visible security feature in the bank notes to enable public identify and distinguish it from a counterfeit one.

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BJP slams politicization of Vyapam scam deaths

Madhya Pradesh BJP President Nandkumar Chouhan on Tuesday slammed the ‘dirty politics’ over the deaths of the Vyapam scam accused and said his party was opposed to the politicization of the issue.

“It was being publicized that 44 people, who were accused by the SIT, have died and it is being politicized. We have kept this issue in front of the SIT. I am announcing the facts in front of you. On 7 July 2013, before the filing of the FIR, 11 people had died. And 14 people died after the filing of the FIR,” said Chouhan.

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Stop calling terror group as ‘Islamic State’: Cameron tells media

British Prime Minister David Cameron has called on the BBC and other media outlets to avoid using the term Islamic State in reference to the terror outfit, saying it gives undue credibility to the “poisonous death cult”.

“I wish the BBC would stop calling it ‘Islamic State’ because it is not an Islamic state,” he told the BBC’s ‘Today’?programme.

Cameron believes it gives undue credibility to the “poisonous death cult” that is “seducing” young Britons to go and fight for the terrorist organisation in Syria and Iraq.

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Israel deports Tunisia ex-president after Gaza flotilla

Israel has deported Tunisian ex-president Moncef Marzouki and European parliament member Ana Miranda after they took part in a flotilla seeking to defy its Gaza blockade, an official said.

“The (former) president of Tunisia and the Spanish lawmaker flew this morning. There are another 14 who have begun the expulsion process,” a spokeswoman for Israel’s immigration authority told AFP.

Israel had yesterday commandeered the Swedish-flagged Marianne of Gothenburg, part of the so-called Freedom Flotilla III, and accompanied it to the port of Ashdod.

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Disappointment creeping in over Modi govt reform pace: Moody’s

Flagging subdued rural economy as a ‘credit negative’ for India’s sovereign rating, global giant Moody’s today said there are growing concerns about risk of policy stagnation and “some disappointment” has emerged over the pace of reforms under the Modi government.

In its latest ‘Inside India’ report, Moody’s Investors Service said the consensus view on India’s economic growth prospects is relatively optimistic and in line with Moody’s baseline forecast of 7.5 per cent expansion in current fiscal.

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Suicide blasts hit Afghanistan as Taliban wage bloody fighting

Suicide attackers today targeted foreign troops in Kabul and a police headquarters in restive southern Afghanistan, killing two people and wounding nearly 60, as the Taliban’s bloody summer offensive showed no signs of letting up.

A powerful blast echoed around the Afghan capital as a suicide car bomber hit a convoy of foreign military vehicles on the main road to the airport, around 500 metres from the US embassy, wounding at least 17 people.

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BJP wants free rice scheme implemented on basis of income

BJP, an alliance partner of the ruling AINRC, today demanded that Chief Minister N Rangasamy ensure that the free rice scheme for all sections of people be restricted to cover the poor and have-nots by adopting the income basis.

General Secretary of Puducherry state unit of BJP R V Swaminathan said in a release here that 10 kg free rice is now available to all card holders, irrespective of their income. This should be modified so that those coming under the Income Tax assessment could be kept out of the scheme and government could also save heavy expenditure

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Drink cranberry juice to keep heart disease, diabetes at bay: New Study

A new study has revealed that cranberry juice may help protect against heart disease and diabetes risk factors.

As per the study, drinking low-calorie cranberry juice cocktail may help lower the risk of chronic diseases that rank among the leading causes of death worldwide, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke. The finding shows that cranberries provide a rich source of protective compounds, called polyphenols, which support our body’s natural defences and help us achieve a balanced lifestyle to improve health.

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Ramadan dessert ‘Kunafa’ gets delicious ‘twists’

Egyptian chefs have given popular Arabic dessert, the Kunafa, several twists for this Ramadan.

Dessert makers have recreated and are offering “Red velvet Kunafa”, which consists of a layer of Kunafa, made out of spun shredded wheat, combined with a layer of red velvet cake and fresh whipped cream. Another creation called “Chocolate Kunafa” is also gaining popularity, where the sweet treat is mixed with sweetened hazelnut Nutella chocolate spread, and topped with round balls of Maltesers, Al Arabia reported. Meanwhile, Mango Kunafa has also remained popular in Egypt this Ramadan.

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Bombay High Court allows Nestle India to export Maggi noodles

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed Nestle India to export Maggi noodles after Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said it had no objection to the company selling the product abroad though it stood by its decision to ban nine variants of the food snack in the country for being hazardous to public health.

“Why blame us…If the company claims that its product is safe and follows the safety standards then let them export it instead of destroying,” FSSAI counsel Mahmood Pracha argued before a bench of Justices V M Kanade and B P Colabawala.

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Why napping at work is good thing

A new study has suggested that employees should nap at work to boost their productivity.

University of Michigan study finds that taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration.

Napping, the researchers say, can be a cost-efficient and easy strategy to increase workplace safety. In other words, employers may find their employees more productive when the workplace has nap pods in the workplace or extended break times are offered.

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Punjab: Police use water cannons to disperse NSUI protestors

The Punjab Police on Tuesday used water cannons to disperse NSUI workers, who were protesting against the state government.

The NSUI was demanding that action be taken against the drug menace in the state.

Detailed story to follow. (ANI)

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Congress protests against Tawde for alleged contract mismanagement

The Congress staged a protest against Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde here on Tuesday over the allegations of irregularities in awarding a Rs 191 crore contract.

Tawde had earlier said that the allegations levelled against him are false and a ‘political conspiracy’.

Tawde is facing allegations of irregularities in a contract awarded by him.

The finance department has sought a detailed probe into allegations of irregularities in a Rs 191 crore contract awarded by Tawde’s School Education Department without e-tendering.

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OP Sharma breaks mic in Delhi Assembly

BJP MLA OP Sharma broke the microphone placed near his seat in the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday.

Sharma was upset as he believed he was not being allowed to speak in the Assembly after the Speaker ordered that his mic be switched off.

Detailed story to follow. (ANI)

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Afghan president nominates Anisa Rasouli as first female judge to Supreme Court

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday nominated a female judge to sit on the Supreme Court in an unprecedented move that has angered some Islamic conservatives.

Anisa Rasouli, the head of the Afghan Women Judges Association and a former juvenile court judge, was the only female nominated to the nine-member bench after the announcement was delayed due to opposition by a group of Islamic conservatives earlier this month.

“I’m proud to announce that for the very first time I have nominated a woman to the Supreme Court,” Ghani told a gathering of diplomats and women’s rights activists.

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Afghanistan: Huge explosion near shopping district shakes Kabul

A huge explosion has shaken the Afghan capital, Kabul, sending a plume of black smoke over the city’s western suburbs.

The deputy chief of Kabul police, Sayed Gulagha has confirmed it was an explosion and says it appears to have occurred near a busy shopping district.

The explosion comes as government employees are leaving their offices at the end of the working day, which is shorter during the Ramadan month of fasting.

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Mistakes were lessons for Chris Brown

Singer Chris Brown says he has made “a lot of mistakes” in the past, but admits he has learnt a “lot of lessons” from them.

“I ain’t good with speeches. A lot has changed in my life, a lot of mistakes, a lot of lessons learned. The best thing, I’m most thankful for is my daughter. At the end of the day, love is love. I love everybody.

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System to repair software bugs automatically

A new system that repairs dangerous software bugs by automatically importing functionality from other, more secure apps in just two minutes has been found, says researchers.

The study was done by researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The system called CodePhage repairs software errors by transferring code from a “donor” application to the program it is repairing. Remarkably, it does not require access to the source code of the applications whose functionality it is borrowing, the study said.

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Facebook is monitoring videos you watch

Facebook has yet again tinkered with its news feed algorithm — this time to show you more videos similar to ones you expand to full-screen, un-mute or opt to watch in HD.

Facebook would take it for granted that you loved that particular video, even if you do not like, share or comment.

Those same signals will tell Facebook that a video is enjoyable so the News Feed shows it to more people, TechCrunch reported.

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