Cities and counties unlikely to heed FDA warning on importing foreign drugs

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 7 2019Cities and local governments in several states said they will continue to use a Canadian company to offer employees prescription drugs at a highly reduced price, even though federal officials raised safety concerns about the practice last week.The municipalities use CanaRx, which connects their employees with brick-and-mortar pharmacies in Canada, Great Britain and Australia to fill prescriptions.In a letter Thursday to CanaRx, the Food and Drug Administration said the company has sent “unapproved” and “misbranded” drugs to U.S. consumers, jeopardizing their safety.The FDA urged consumers not to use any medicines from CanaRx, which works with about 500 cities, counties, school districts and private employers to arrange drug purchases. Some of these employers have used the service as far back as 2004.Prices of drugs from overseas pharmacies can be as much as 70 percent lower than what people pay in the U.S. because the costs are regulated by the foreign governments.FDA officials would not explain why they waited more than a decade to act. They acknowledged the agency had no reports of anyone harmed by drugs received through CanaRx.The FDA made its warning as Congress and the Trump administration look into ways to lower drug prices. Last month, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said he has President Donald Trump’s backing to start a program to begin importing drugs from Canada for state residents.After DeSantis’ comments, White House officials stressed that any such plan must get state and federal approvals.The FDA said that in most cases importing drugs for personal use is illegal, although it very rarely has tried to stop Americans from bringing drugs across the Canadian border. It has not stopped retail stores in Florida that help consumers buy drugs from Canada since 2003. Nine storefronts were raided by FDA officials in 2017, although the FDA has allowed them to continue operating.Schenectady County in New York, which has worked with CanaRx since 2004, defended its relationship and had no immediate plans to end it, according to Chris Gardner, the county attorney. “We will wait to see how this plays out, but right now it’s status quo,” Gardner said.He said CanaRx, which is headquartered in Windsor, Ontario, helped the county save $500,000 on drug costs in 2018. About 25 percent of the county’s 1,200 workers use the program and get their drugs with no out-of-pocket costs. If they use American pharmacies, they generally have a copayment.”This is a good program, and on the merits it looks lawful, and they are not doing the terrible things that the FDA is suggesting,” Gardner said.CanaRx officials denied they were breaking any laws or putting Americans’ health at risk. They say they are not an online pharmacy but a broker between brick-and-mortar pharmacies in Canada, Australia and Great Britain and U.S. employees. People can buy drugs via CanaRx only with a prescription from their doctor.The company said it has no plans to stop distributing drugs.”The FDA’s characterizations of the CanaRx business model and operating protocols are completely wrong,” said Joseph Morris, a Chicago-based lawyer for the company. “It is not possible to place an order via any CanaRx website; the websites are informational only.”Morris said the FDA notice prompted calls from many municipalities but all so far say they plan to stick with the company.Columbia County, N.Y., has been using CanaRx for about a decade and the savings allows it to offer employees drugs with no out-of-pocket costs instead of paying up to a $40 copay in local pharmacies.Related StoriesComputer-generated flu vaccine enters clinical trials in the USInnovative single-chip platform speeds up drug development processComputers, games, crafting keep the aging brain sharp”This is bull,” Stephen Acciani, an insurance broker who works with the county, said of the FDA crackdown. “They are not selling unsafe medications.” His recommendation would be for the county, which has more than 600 employees on its health plan, to continue using CanaRx.He noted that employees receive drugs through the mail in their original packaging from manufacturers.Kate Sharry, a benefits consultant to the city of Fall River, Mass., and more than 100 other municipalities in Massachusetts, said, “It will give some clients pause. How can you not pay attention to this from the FDA?” But she expects the local governments to stay with CanaRx.Federal health officials under both Republican and Democratic administrations have blocked efforts to legalize importing drugs, saying it’s too risky.”Sometimes a bargain is too expensive,” said Peter Pitts, a former FDA associate commissioner and president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, a New York-based nonprofit that receives some of its funding from drugmakers.Pitts, who applauded the FDA action, said it’s difficult for consumers to know when their pills from foreign pharmacies don’t have the correct potency or ingredients. He said doctors may also not realize a patient’s problem stems from issues with the medicine. Instead, the physicians may just change the medication’s dosages. He said it is not safe for Americans to buy drugs that are imported through foreign pharmacies.Gabriel Levitt, president of PharmacyChecker.com, a website for U.S. consumers that verifies international pharmacies offering drugs online, said CanaRx is one of the safest ways for Americans to get drugs from legitimate pharmacies in Canada and other industrialized counties.He said the FDA is trying to intimidate CanaRx and its local government clients. “My biggest fear is they will scare consumers and they won’t take their very safe and effective medications because they hear about this bogus warning.””The FDA’s action, which appears to try and make those programs look unsafe and sinister, seem to have a political and public relations purpose, one that is perfectly allied with the lobbying agenda of drug companies,” he said.He pointed to testimony by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb last week — just a day before the CanaRx warning. When asked about importing Canadian drugs, Gottlieb did not mention CanaRx, but he said that people going to a “brick and mortar” pharmacy in Canada “are getting a safe and effective drug. I have confidence in the Canadian drug regulatory system.” He added that his concerns are with online pharmacies.The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the industry trade and lobbying group, cheered the FDA action but denied it had any role in it, said spokeswoman Nicole Longo.”PhRMA supports the FDA’s efforts to crack down on organizations that are circumventing its robust safety and efficacy requirements,” she said. “Drug importation schemes expose Americans to potentially unsafe, counterfeit or adulterated medicines.” This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

Study finds involuntary staying in housing estates to be a potential health

first_img Source:https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/society-economy/every-third-housing-estate-resident-feels-trapped Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 16 2019Involuntary staying, a type of housing trap, is a common experience among people living on housing estates, since around one in three residents feel that they are trapped in their current residential arrangements. More than half of them would like to move away from their current neighborhoods. According to the residents own estimation, the most common cause for involuntary staying is economic but the overall housing market situation also has an effect. This is according to a recent study by the University of Helsinki, which looked at people’s experience of being involuntarily trapped in their current residential setting on Finland’s housing estates.Involuntary staying refers to a situation where a household would like to move away from their current residence but, for one reason or another, are unable to do so. There is very little previous international research done on involuntary staying. With regard to the prevalence of involuntary staying, the results of the current study are fairly in line with a prior British study focusing on the entire population.Related StoriesOxidative stress could play key role in the spreading of aberrant proteins in Parkinson’s diseaseStudy reveals how genetic message to produce healthy heart tissue is altered during stress, agingStudy reveals long-term benefits of stress urinary incontinence surgeryThe study found involuntary staying to be a potential health risk. The experience of involuntary staying is typically linked with perceived poor health. According to the researchers, this may be caused by the prolonged stress of involuntary staying, where the current residential arrangements do not correspond to the needs of the household.”On the other hand, it may also be a question of selection, since poor health is often linked with insufficient economic resources that can lead to involuntary staying,” says Teemu Kemppainen, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki.The study also found that cramped residential arrangements, living in a multi-storey building and in publicly subsidized rental accommodation all contributed to the experience of poor health.The experience of being trapped explains regional differences in healthDifferences in health between residential areas have been studied extensively but a comprehensive explanation of the phenomenon has not been found. The current study sheds new light on the matter, since the experience of involuntary staying was found to partly explain these differences.Disadvantaged areas are typically considered undesirable residential areas. Due to economic resources, the residents of these areas have little choice over where they live.”The experience of stress related to involuntary staying is fairly common in these areas, which helps to explain differences in health between residential areas,” says Kemppainen.The study is based on comprehensive survey material collected from housing estates in Finland in 2013. In all, 71 housing estates from across the country were chosen as sample material for the study.last_img read more

Universal late pregnancy ultrasound improves health of mothers babies and could be

first_imgUndiagnosed breech presentation—when a baby’s buttocks or feet emerge first at birth—increases the risk of perinatal morbidity and mortality. In current practice, fetal presentation is assessed by palpation of the maternal abdomen, but the sensitivity of this approach varies by practitioner. By routinely using ultrasound screening, undiagnosed breech presentation in labor could be avoided, lowering the risk of morbidity and mortality for both mother and baby.Related StoriesWomen’s pre-pregnancy obesity changes breast milk contents which can affect infant growthOpioids are major cause of pregnancy-related deaths in UtahCannabis use during pregnancy may cause premature birthIn the new study, researchers performed research screening ultrasounds at 36 weeks’ gestation in 3879 women having first pregnancies in England. A total of 179 women (4.6%) were diagnosed with breech presentation by the research scan. However, in over half of these cases (55%) there was no prior suspicion that the baby was presenting in the breech position. Making the diagnosis at 36 weeks allowed women to opt for an attempt at turning the baby, called external cephalic version. For the women who declined this procedure, or where it was unsuccessful, a planned cesarean section was arranged. None of the women opted to attempt a vaginal breech birth, which is known to be associated with an increased risk of complications, particularly in first pregnancies.Across the UK, the analysis estimated that routine scanning could prevent ~15,000 undiagnosed breech presentations, more than 4,000 emergency cesarean sections and 7 to 8 baby deaths per year. If a scan could be done for less than £12.90 then it could be cost-saving to the NHS. This could be possible once midwives are instructed how to perform the simple technique, using inexpensive portable equipment.“Whether the health improvements are enough to justify the increased cost of ultrasound screening is still uncertain, mainly because the cost of ultrasound screening for presentation alone is unknown,” the authors say. “If ultrasound screening could be provided at low cost, for example by making it a part of a standard midwife appointment, routinely offering ultrasound screening could well represent a good use of NHS resources.” Source:https://www.plos.org Apr 17 2019Offering universal late pregnancy ultrasounds at 36 weeks’ gestation eliminates undiagnosed breech presentation of babies, lowers the rate of emergency cesarean sections, and improves the health of mothers and babies. These are some of the conclusions of the Pregnancy Outcome Prediction (POP) study published this week in PLOS Medicine by David Wastlund of the University of Cambridge, UK, and colleagues.center_img Credit: rawpixel.com, Pexelslast_img read more

New blood test offers more precise diagnostics of ovarian cancer

first_imgWe need to develop more accurate pre-surgery diagnostics. To detect one cancer, we operate on up to five women – yet this is currently the best option when abnormalities are detected by ultrasound and cancer is suspected. There is a great need for a simple blood test that could identify women who do not need surgery.”Karin Sundfeldt, Professor and Senior Consultant at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute of Clinical Sciences at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 20 2019The majority of women who undergo surgery for suspected ovarian cancer do not have cancer. A novel blood test developed by researchers at Uppsala University and the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, in Sweden, now offers the possibility of more precise diagnostics without the need for surgery. This could lead to a reduction in unnecessary surgery and to earlier detection and treatment for affected women. The study was recently published in Communications Biology.Ovarian cancer is often discovered at a late stage and has a high mortality rate. Out of 10 patients, only 3-4 survive 5 years after treatment, and there has been no test specific enough to justify screening. Women with accidental findings of an ovarian cyst or with symptoms instead undergo ultrasound and if abnormalities are seen, surgery is the only way to make sure all cancers are detected. This means that many women are operated on without having cancer, resulting in unnecessary surgery and increased risks for women. Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyIn the published study, the researchers have developed a biomarker test based on analysis of 11 proteins. The test, which is performed on a blood sample, is used where ultrasound has indicated abnormalities to identify women without cancer. For cases in which physicians chose to operate, the cancer rate could increase from one in five to one in three. This would greatly reduce unnecessary surgery and the risk of complications related to surgery.The biomarker profile can also detect borderline cases and early stages of the disease.”Our results are promising enough to consider screening for early discovery of ovarian cancer. In Sweden, we have long experience of screening for cervical cancer. I see great prospects of developing a strategy for screening for ovarian cancer as well, which could save lives and minimize the need for surgery to rule out cancer,” says Ulf Gyllensten, Professor of Medical Molecular Genetics at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology at Uppsala University.The paper, published in the open access journal Communications Biology (Springer Nature Publishing AG), presents a new test that has been developed in collaboration with Uppsala-based biotech company Olink Proteomics AB.”We are now continuing to evaluate the test and are performing a large-scale study of samples collected at all hospitals from the western region and Halland healthcare system,” says Gyllensten. Source:Uppsala UniversityJournal reference:Enroth, S. et al. (2019) High throughput proteomics identifies a high-accuracy 11 plasma protein biomarker signature for ovarian cancer. Communications Biology. doi.org/10.1038/s42003-019-0464-9last_img read more

How machine learning helped develop a new algorithm that could add life

Explore further Citation: How machine learning helped develop a new algorithm that could add life to bridges (2018, April 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-machine-algorithm-life-bridges.html 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. Provided by University of Surrey More information: Helder Sousa et al, Sparse representation approach to data compression for strain-based traffic load monitoring: A comparative study, Measurement (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.measurement.2017.10.042 Picking up bad vibes to gauge bridge health A new algorithm developed by the University of Surrey could help structural engineers better monitor the health of bridges and alert them to when they need repair faster. Many authorities and organisations use structural health monitoring systems to keep track of the health of bridges, along with the weight of the traffic that it withstands on a day-to-day basis. This leads to a very high sampling rate of data, with some reaching at least 10 Hz and databases that have gigabytes worth of information on a singular structure – which is expensive to house.In a paper published by the journal Measurement, scientists detail how they created an algorithm that compresses large data from bridge monitoring systems into more manageable sizes.The Surrey scientists used a dictionary learning method called K-means Singular Value Decomposition (K-SVD) to compress data from the system that monitors the Lezíria bridge in Portugal. The team applied its algorithm to 45,000 data per channel per hour received by the Bridge Weight-in-Motion system – one of the most widely used monitoring applications – and managed to achieve a nearly lossless reconstruction from the information of less than 0.1 per cent. Other methods have shown that they need 50 per cent of the data to achieve similar reconstruction accuracy.Dr Ying Wang, lead author of the paper from the University of Surrey, said: “Many authorities find it difficult to house the data they have for their bridges and other infrastructure – with hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of cars using some bridges every day.”We believe that this approach shows that you can dramatically reduce the large data into a much manageable size without losing information – which is critical to structural engineers.” read more

Facebook and Apple disagree on how to curb fake news for midterms

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain Apple and Facebook have figured out how to keep us glued to their devices and platforms. But they haven’t figured out how to curb the misinformation that plagued them during the 2016 election and have struggled to regain public trust. And now, as the midterm elections approach, they certainly don’t agree on a solution. ©2018 Bloomberg News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. But human editors and algorithms can display repetitive patterns of behavior when curating the news, warned Pete Brown, the author of a June study published by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism that examined Apple News’ editorial decisions on Twitter and in newsletters.”Humans, like algorithms, are prone to habit,” Brown wrote. “Apple News may have fallen into a pattern that Facebook and others have been trying to avoid: editorial bias.”The study, which analyzed almost 7,000 news recommendations made by Apple News, found that editors had a strong tendency to favor a select group of legacy media outlets. For example, editors in the U.S. showed a preference for The New York Times over smaller, regionally oriented outlets.The study didn’t analyze any news recommendations featured on the app itself—which is the primary means by which Apple delivers news to users.Apple declined to comment on its plans for the midterms.However, while human curators may display patterned behavior in selecting certain news articles, they can explain their decision processes. Computers can’t.”There is always going to be a greater degree of transparency with human editors than with algorithms,” Brown said. “We can ask, ‘Why are you choosing these publications over another one? What are the criteria in which you’re making these decisions?'”Whatever happens, there’s going to be criticism from both political sides”During the last presidential campaign, Facebook relied on human editors to curate the popular news topics listed in its “Trending” section. But when the company received criticism from conservatives who felt it was prioritizing liberal-leaning content, the company replaced its editors with algorithms. “Making these changes to the product allows our team to make fewer individual decisions about topics,” Facebook said in a statement after it dismantled the team of editors in August 2016.But those algorithms have also brought Facebook a whirlwind of congressional hearings and headaches. In recent months, the company abandoned its automated “Trending” feature and restructured the News Feed algorithm to rank news sources on a trustworthiness scale determined by users.Fox News has benefited from Facebook’s algorithmic changes to highlight “trustworthy” sources. This past April, the outlet generated the most engagement on Facebook, outpacing sources such as CNN, NBC and The New York Times, according to social media analytics company NewsWhip.Among other attempts to curb misinformation, Facebook recently announced the expansion of its fact-checking operation and the creation of new automated “Breaking News” labels for quality content. Media critics and journalists take issue with what they deem Facebook’s lack of transparency.”Algorithmic transparency is basically nonexistent,” Brown said. “We know very little about how these black boxes curate news.”Facebook couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.With the midterms just months away, the tech giants are wary of backlash from both ends of the political spectrum, no matter what decision they make. “Whatever happens, there’s going to be criticism from both political sides,” Brown said. “That’s all the more reason to be transparent about that curation process.” Last week, Apple launched a human-curated political news section to help readers steer clear of falsehoods surrounding the midterms. The company’s announcement reignited a fiery debate with Facebook about whether tech giants should hire people to curate news or rely on algorithms instead.Apple has used human editors to curate news content in “Top News” and other specialized sections since the application first launched in 2015, and said it will continue to do so for the midterm elections news section. The company uses a combination of human editors and machine learning to manage more tailored content in personalized feeds for users.”News was kind of going a little crazy,” said Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook at the recent Fortune CEO Initiative, subtly referring to Facebook’s struggle with the foreign actors such as Russia, profiteers and bots that took advantage of its News Feed algorithms for financial and political gain during the presidential election. “We felt the top stories should be selected by humans,” Cook said.Apple’s midterm election section will feature material from The Washington Post, Politico and Axios, in addition to coverage from other sources the company describes as “trustworthy.” But critics contend this coverage is limited, given that Apple’s curators will only promote articles from a few legacy outlets. The inclusion of the Trump administration-friendly Fox News also struck a chord.Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs once called Fox News a “destructive force in our society,” according to Walter Isaacson’s biography of the tech mogul. The company’s current leadership contends that all content featured in the midterm election news section, including articles from Fox News, will be vetted for high-quality reporting and sourcing. “This election season, our editors will highlight the most important, rigorously reported news to help you understand key races and your fellow voters,” wrote Apple News Editor-in-Chief Lauren Kern in a note on the news app. “We won’t shy away from controversial topics, but our goal is to illuminate, not enrage.” 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. Facebook kills ‘trending’ topics, tests breaking news label Citation: Facebook and Apple disagree on how to curb fake news for midterms (2018, July 4) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-facebook-apple-curb-fake-news.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

Bayer faces new marathon after mammoth Monsanto merger

first_img 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. Net profit at the Leverkusen-based group tumbled 76.9 percent, to 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion), as costs from the $63 billion mega-merger as well as one-off effects burdened the bottom line.Bayer highlighted a windfall in the previous year from selling shares in former polymers division Covestro that made for an unfavourable comparison with 2018.Operating, or underlying profit before special items grew 2.8 percent to 9.5 billion euros, while revenues rose 4.5 percent to reach 39.6 billion, adjusting for price and currency effects.The group had to sell off part of its existing seeds and pesticides businesses to rival BASF to get the Monsanto deal past competition authorities, bringing in 4.1 billion euros.Costs for special items at the group rose from 1.2 billion euros in 2017 to 2.6 billion last year.And charges linked to the Monsanto takeover weighed in at 2.0 billion euros, while depreciations cost 3.3 billion.The buyout marked the capstone of Bayer’s transformation into a “focused life science company clearly aligned to the megatrends in health and agriculture,” chief executive Werner Baumann said.Marathon challenges aheadBut while bosses eye future revenue opportunities, the company’s feet are tangled in a thicket of 11,200 cases in the US alleging health problems caused by Monsanto herbicide glyphosate.A California jury last year awarded a longtime user of the weedkiller almost $290 million after he argued it caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, although the judge later reduced the award and Bayer has appealed.A first federal case got under way this week, also in California, one of seven trials scheduled for this year.”We’ll need a certain number of cases to move through the courts to have an idea of what direction” the risks for the company are headed, Baumann said.”From our perspective, we are crystal clear that it’s a safe product,” he added, pointing to dozens of scientific studies as well as regulatory findings from major countries that back the company’s position.Elsewhere in the business, Baumann acknowledged that the company’s pipeline of future pharmaceutical products “could be stronger, there’s no question about it”.At the moment blockbuster drugs, including anticoagulant Xarelto or cancer treatments Stivarga and Xofigo, bring in 6.8 billion euros of revenue a year.But many of their patents are set to run out in the mid-2020s, with few candidates to take their place as surefire top sellers.Optimistic for 2019Baumann said that Bayer had spent “several million” euros on preparing for the risk of a no-deal Brexit that could see new trade hurdles between the European mainland and Britain, stashing between 8 weeks and 12 months’ supply of many drugs.But some radioactive treatments like Xofigo can’t be stored long-term, leaving the firm to negotiate “special allowances” to import them, Baumann said.”Hopefully we won’t need any of it” if the EU strikes a deal with Britain, a market worth around one billion in revenue to Bayer annually, he added.Worldwide in 2019, Bayer is confident of reaching 46 billion euros in adjusted sales—around four percent higher than 2018—and lifting operating profit before special items to 12.2 billion.It plans to sell off business areas like animal health, parts of its over-the-counter medicines unit and Currenta, the spin-off German firm that operates its former chemical parks.Meanwhile 12,000 workers are set to depart in a restructuring scheme running until 2021, many of them in Germany.Bayer is working with worker representatives to offer early retirement and other schemes to ease the transition for those leaving, human resources chief Hartmut Klusik said.Shares in Bayer topped the gainers on the blue-chip DAX index in midday trading in Frankfurt, rising 4.2 percent to reach 69.29 euros. © 2019 AFP Bayer confirms forecasts as Monsanto integration grinds oncenter_img Citation: Bayer faces new marathon after mammoth Monsanto merger (2019, February 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-bayer-marathon-mammoth-monsanto-merger.html German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer reported plunging profits for 2018 after taking over US agrichemical firm Monsanto, with years of hard work ahead of the group to fight off legal risks related to the merger and to keep profits flowing in its medicines division. Taking over seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto slump weighed on German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer’s bottom line last yearlast_img read more

Caste equations not that simple for Dimple in Kannauj

first_img COMMENT  Kannauj is a prestigious constituency for socialists — particularly the Samajwadi Party (SP). The constituency, once represented by socialist thinker and leader Ram Manohar Lohia, has also sent Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav to Parliament.Dimple Yadav was elected unopposed from the constituency in 2012, when her husband vacated the seat to become the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. In 2014 too, she won, but with a very narrow margin.Now, in 2019, she is facing a tough fight from BJP’s Subrat Pathak, who lost to her in 2014.The BJP is hoping to unite the upper caste, non-Yadav OBCs, non-Jatav Dalits, and the most backward classes.“In 2014, the SP was in power and they misused the administrative mechanisms to ensure Dimple Yadav’s victory. Things have changed this time. We have reached out to all sections of society,” said Vikram Singh, an office bearers of the BJP in Kannauj.BSP’s candidate in 2014, Nirmal Tiwari, recently joined the BJP, instilling fresh hopes in the saffron camp.According to BJP estimates, the constituency has about five lakh upper caste votes. Lodhi Rajputs, traditional supporters of the BJP, are about two lakh. The party’s plan is to limit the SP into Yadav and Muslim votes, which around 4.5 lakh in number. “The 2017 Assembly elections proved that the SP and BSP base has eroded in the district. We will win hands down this time,” Singh added.Youth supportBut the SP provides a different picture. Dimple Yadav has addressed corner meetings, upholding development initiatives of the Akhilesh Yadav government.She has also openly attacked the Narendra Modi and the Yogi Adityanath government, particularly on rising unemployment.Her campaign is spearheaded by a team from SP’s youth wing.The team, headed by Abhishek Yadav, Yogesh Yadav, Mayank Singh and others, say that the response from the ground is marvellous. “The youth and women are with her. The BJP tries to create problems using caste, but we solve issues using caste. The cadre and workers of SP and BSP work as an engine to ensure the victory of alliance candidates,” they said.The SP is also seeing no Narendra Modi wave this time. “We couldn’t find anyone who debated in support of Modi this time,” the youth leaders said.Former BJP MP Ram Baksh Verma, a senior leader from the OBC background, has recently joined the SP.“Such things will increase our margin. Voters forget caste and identity when the candidate is hard working and capable,” the SP leaders said. Uttar Pradesh Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE politics April 21, 2019 COMMENTSlast_img read more

Govt mulls incentives for SMIs to adopt robotic tech

first_img Related News Nation 09 Jul 2019 Dr M urges major industry players to support TVET Azmin , robotics , SMIs , competitive , automation , incentives , Economic Affairs Ministry KUALA LUMPUR: The government is looking into providing special incentives to encourage small and medium industries (SMIs) to adopt robotic technology to boost productivity.Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said it was high time that SMIs kept abreast of the latest technology to enhance competitiveness.However, since it would be costly to invest in automation and robotics, the government was looking at a more holistic approach that would assist industry players, he added.”Miti (International Trade and Industry Ministry) is looking into this,” he said after opening the Aspire Graduate Career Fair at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Saturday (July 13). Related News Tags / Keywords:center_img Metro News 09 Jul 2019 Scheme links 11 vocational grads to SME apprenticeship Azmin said the government would further improve Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) modules to cater to the needs of the industry in view of the advent of technological development.”For Malaysia to attain the status of a developed nation, we need to prepare the workforce with skills and talents catering to the evolving technology.”We need to expand the pool of skilled and talented young workforce in the field of technology to reduce dependence on foreigners,” he said.The Aspire 2919 fair offers opportunities for graduates to find jobs apart from learning about the corporate world.The topic of this year’s Aspire 500 conference is “Cashing in on e-wallet”. Corporate News 09 Jul 2019 Cabinet yet to decide on Gamuda {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

Floods affect 1991 million people

first_img Related News China Tags / Keywords: China 22h ago Four Britons held in China China 11 Jul 2019 China urges US to cancel US$3bil arms sale to Taiwan BEIJING: A total of 19.91 million people have been affected by floods since the beginning of the flood season this summer in China, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management. AdChoices广告The country had relocated about 1.3 million people due to floods, while 582,000 people were in need of emergency aid, the ministry said.The ministry has pledged to make every effort to meet the basic living needs of those stricken by floods. It will also work with water resource departments to intensify the patrol and maintenance of major dams and embankments, deploy more rescue forces in heavily flooded areas and make contingency plans for serious disasters. — China Daily/Asia News Network Related News Indonesia 22h ago Reversing radicalisation in kids {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more