Bopanna-Qureshi bows out of US Open

News4u-Sports Desk-India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Aisam Qureshi crashed out of the US Open after going down fighting in the men’s doubles first round contest at the Flushing Meadows.

The 13th seeded pair, lost 6-7 (10-12), 6-4, 6-7 (5-7) to the unseeded Italian pair of Daniele Bracciali and Andreas Seppi in a contest that lasted for more than two and half hours on Tuesday.

Bopanna and Qureshi send down as many as 11 aces but also double faulted nine times in the match. The Indo-Pakistan pair converted only four of the 13 break point chances.

After a edge-of-the-seat opening set which they lost narrowly, Bopanna and Qureshi managed to bounce back pocketing the second set in 39 minutes.

The third set turned out to be another nerve-wrecking affairs where the Italian pair managed to held on to their nerves in the end in the 56-minute ordeal.

Daniele and Andreas will next face the winner of the match between Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin and New Zealand’s Michael Venus and Feliciano Lopez of Spain and Argentina’s Juan Monaco.


Bopanna-Qureshi

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Eye implant could lead to better glaucoma treatments

News4u-Features Desk-A tiny eye implant developed by Stanford researchers could pair with a smartphone to improve the way doctors measure and lower a patient’s eye pressure to treat glaucoma.

Lowering internal eye pressure is currently the only way to treat glaucoma, researchers said.

Now, a tiny eye implant could enable patients to take more frequent readings from the comfort of home.

Daily or hourly measurements of eye pressure could help doctors tailor more effective treatment plans.

Internal optic pressure (IOP) is the main risk factor associated with glaucoma, which is characterised by a continuous loss of specific retina cells and degradation of the optic nerve fibre, researchers said.

The mechanism linking IOP and the damage is not clear, but in most patients IOP levels correlate with the rate of damage.

Reducing IOP to normal or below-normal levels is currently the only treatment available for glaucoma.

This requires repeated measurements of the patient’s IOP until the levels stabilise. The trick with this, though, is that the readings do not always tell the truth, researchers said.

Like blood pressure, IOP can vary day-to-day and hour-to-hour; it can be affected by other medications, body posture or even a neck-tie that is knotted too tightly.

If patients are tested on a low IOP day, the test can give a false impression of the severity of the disease and affect their treatment in a way that can ultimately lead to worse vision.

The new implant was developed as part of a collaboration between Stephen Quake, a professor of bioengineering and of applied physics at Stanford University, and ophthalmologist Yossi Mandel of Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

It consists of a small tube - one end is open to the fluids that fill the eye; the other end is capped with a small bulb filled with gas.

As the IOP increases, intraocular fluid is pushed into the tube; the gas pushes back against this flow.

As IOP fluctuates, the meniscus the barrier between the fluid and the gas moves back and forth in the tube.

Patients could use a custom smartphone app or a wearable technology, such as Google Glass, to snap a photo of the instrument at any time, providing a critical wealth of data that could steer treatment.

For instance, in one previous study, researchers found that 24-hour IOP monitoring resulted in a change in treatment in up to 80 per cent of patients.

The implant is currently designed to fit inside a standard intraocular lens prosthetic, which many glaucoma patients often get when they have cataract surgery, but the scientists are investigating ways to implant it on its own.

The research was published in the journal Nature Medicine.


Eye implant could lead to better glaucoma treatments

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UN chief welcomes Gaza ceasefire

News4u-News Desk-UN chief Ban Ki-moon has welcomed a long-term ceasefire between the Palestinians and Israel in Gaza and voiced hope that it will act as a “prelude” to a political process aimed at achieving durable peace.

Ban, however, said that any peace effort which does not tackle the root causes of the crisis will do “little more than set the stage for the next cycle of violence”.

“Gaza must be brought back under one legitimate Palestinian Government adhering to the PLO commitments; the blockade of Gaza must end; Israel’s legitimate security concerns must be addressed,” a statement issued by Bans spokesperson said.

He said a “brighter future” for Gaza and for Israel depends on a sustainable ceasefire and it is up to the parties to live up to this responsibility.

“After 50 days of profound human suffering and devastating physical destruction, any violations of the ceasefire would be utterly irresponsible,” the statement said.

“The Secretary-General remains hopeful that the extended ceasefire will act as a prelude to a political process as the only way of achieving durable peace,” the statement said, adding that the two-State solution is the only viable option.

“The Secretary-General urgently calls on both parties to return to meaningful negotiations towards a final status agreement that addresses all core issues and ends the 47-year occupation.”

The UN estimates that the latest wave of violence, which began eight weeks ago, has killed 2,101 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 67 Israelis, mostly soldiers, in addition to forcing 475,000 Palestinians to seek refuge at UN facilities inside Gaza.

Ban said after the latest round of killing and further widespread destruction of Palestinian homes, civilians on both sides need a reprieve in order to resume their daily lives, and to allow for humanitarian and early recovery efforts to address the desperate needs of the people in Gaza.

The ceasefire deal mediated by Egypt calls for opening up Gaza border crossings, lifting fishing restrictions, the reopening of the Gaza airport and lifting the blockade.


UN chief Ban Ki-moon

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Water talks between India, Pak ended inconclusively

News4u-News Desk-The three-day talks between India and Pakistan over designs of Kishan Ganga Dam and four other hydroelectric power projects at the Jhelum and the Chenab rivers respectively has ended inconclusively, but the two sides hoped to find a solution in next meeting in Delhi.

The talks concluded on Tuesday and the 10-member Indian delegation led by Commissioner of Indus Water Commission K Vohra will leave for India today.

The Pakistani team was headed by Indus Water Commissioner Mirza Asif Baig.

“The talks ended on a positive note and we will move forward to discussing and finding out a solution to Pakistan’s objections in next round of talks in New Delhi in October,” Baig said.

“We are optimistic that India will redress our concerns and the matter will be resolved without going to the International Court of Justice. In case our concerns are not met we will have no other option but to move to the ICJ.”

When asked about reports that India did not show flexibility on objections on designs of Kishan Ganga Dam and four other proposed dams at the Jhelum and the Chenab rivers, respectively, Baig said: “I would not say either the talks failed or India refused to accommodate our view point.”

“Although there is not a major breakthrough but we have brought forth our objections and the Indian team has agreed to examine them,” he said.

He said India had agreed to respond to Pakistan’s objections in detail in the next round of talks.


India, Pak

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PM and CM’s should not include people with criminal antecedents says SC

News4u-News Desk- Sending a strong message that people against whom criminal and corruption charges have been framed be not inducted as ministers, the Supreme Court today said Prime Minister and Chief Ministers should desist from making such appointments and act in “national interest”.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha, however, stopped short of prescribing disqualification for such people from becoming ministers, leaving it to the wisdom of the PM and CMs not to recommend such names to the President and Governor.

Observing that it cannot add disqualification in article 75 (1) (appointment of PM and Council of Ministers), the bench, however, said that the PM and CMs should not consider people with criminal antecedents and against whom charges have been framed in serious offences, including corruption, for appointment as ministers.

It further said that the Constitution reposes immense trust in the PM and CMs and they are expected to act with constitutional responsibility and morality.

It said that the PM has been regarded repository of constitutional trust and he should act in national interest.

“We are saying nothing more, nothing less and it is left on the wisdom of the PM to decide,” the bench said, adding this is also applicable to CMs.

PM and CMs will be well advised not to include such people in their ministry, it said. The bench passed the order on a PIL seeking its direction restraining the Centre and State governments from appointing people with criminal background as ministers.

The bench also comprising justices Dipak Misra, Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and S A Bobde passed unanimous verdict in the matter with two judges giving separate opinions.


the Supreme Court

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Sai Baba : The controversy rages on

News4u-Features Desk- The controversy about Sai Baba’s status as a God, rages on. We even had a Dharam Sabha which ended in proclaiming that Sai Baba was not a God and if worshiped, his idol can not be or should not be accommodated inside Hindu temples.

There have been hundreds of questions relating to the true identity of this holy man. There are also the same number of episodes telling how this Godman miraculously solved the problems of poverty, decease and even death. These stories of divine miracles lead common man to believe that he was someone above ordinary and deserves to be worshiped like other Hindu Gods. Slowly and gradually his idols appeared throughout the country and unobtrusively made way into temples already housing established Gods and Goddesses.

The controversy that rose from Shankracharya’s objection to the presence of Sai Baba’s idols in Hindu temples smells of a sense of insecurity and a blurred vision. When a Hindu temple can give place of honor to a Bull, a Rat or a Snake, just because they are associates of renowned Gods and Goddesses, then why can’t a human being devoted to the service of humanity get a place in a temple. Indeed the God is one who has godly qualities of putting others before self and devote all his or her life for the good of the human soul. Sai Baba, no doubt was endowed with these godly qualities and his idols have every right to be in the places of worship.

As for me, I believe that it is much better to be called a good human being and respected by all than put on a pedestal and called a God. It is safe to call one a God and absolve ourselves from the duty of following in his footsteps as he is a God and can not be imitated by common man. As for a good human being such arguments do not hold water.

By :  Veera Chaturvedi

veera@news4u.co.in


Sai Baba & Shankarachrya

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Russia, Ukraine talks end without major breakthrough

News4u- News Desk-Talks between the leaders of Russia and Ukraine apparently failed to make a major breakthrough towards ending brutal fighting in east Ukraine today as strongman Vladimir Putin played down the entry by his troops into the former Soviet state.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Putin sat down for a crunch one-on-one in Minsk after marathon talks involving top EU officials as tensions spiked after Moscow admitted for the first time that its troops had crossed into Ukraine.

Poroshenko said there were “some results” but there seemed to be no significant compromises to help end four months of clashes between government forces and pro-Russian fighters that some fear could spill over into all-out war between the two neighbours.

The Russian leader said he would “do everything” to help a future peace process but did little to soothe tensions when he shrugged off Kiev’s claims it had captured 10 Russian troops on its territory, with military sources in Moscow earlier saying they crossed over “by accident”.

“I have not yet received a report from the defence ministry. But from what I have heard, they were patrolling the border and could have ended up on Ukrainian territory,” Putin said, adding that Ukrainian troops had previously crossed into Russia.

“I am hoping that there won’t be any problems with the Ukrainian side over this case.”

Poroshenko said all sides “without exception” agreed to a Kiev peace plan but demanded actions not words after the meeting that also included the leaders of Kazakhstan and Belarus pointing to an agreement for talks on border controls and between army chiefs.

“We demand decisive actions which can help bring peace to Ukraine,” he said in a statement.

Over four months of brutal fighting in east Ukraine have killed more than 2,200 people and forced over 400,000 to flee their homes.

Tuesday it was announced that the Russian economy is nearing recession.

At the same time it was reported that the Ukrainian currency slid to a new record low against the dollar.

On the ground, battles raged in east Ukraine.


Petro Poroshenko and Putin

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Lalu to undergo two heart surgeries in Mumbai

News4u- News Desk-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad will undergo two heart surgeries on Wednesday at a private hospital in Mumbai.

The Asian Heart Institute, where he was admitted on Monday for medical evaluation, on Tuesday said that preliminary medical investigations indicated the 66-year-old former Bihar chief minister required to undergo the surgeries to repair a clogged artery and replace a valve.

“All the investigations on Lalu Prasad have been done and he has been diagnosed with aortic stenosis. We will be operating on him tomorrow morning and the operation may last for about 6-7 hours,” Dr Vijay D’Silva, Director-Medical Affairs and Critical Care at the institute, told reporters.

One of his arteries that supply blood to the heart has got choked up and it will be repaired during the operation, he said, adding one of his valves will also be replaced.

“There are two procedures that Lalu Prasad will go through. One is aortic valve replacement (AVR) and the other is aortic repair. But no heart surgery is simple,” D’Silva said at the medical facility in Bandra-Kurla Complex in the suburbs.


Lalu Prasad

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Shah Rukh gets extra police protection post underworld threats

News4u-Entertainment Desk- Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has been provided with additional police security after a heightened level of threat perception to his life from the underworld, police said on Tuesday.

The additional police security deployment comes two days after film producer Ali Morani received threats from underworld don Ravi Pujari, police said.

“Shah Rukh already has police security. We have now increased the security, going by the increased threat perception,” said a police officer.

Police were deployed at his residence in suburban Bandra while the actor is presently not in the country, the officer added.

On Sunday, Bollywood producer Morani registered an FIR at Juhu police station claiming that unidentified bike-borne miscreants fired in the air outside his Juhu residence on Saturday night.

Before this, Morani has received extortion calls from a person, who claimed to be underworld don Ravi Pujari.

Shah Rukh

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Kerala Gov Sheila Dikshit resigns

News4u- News Desk- Sheila Dikshit has resigned as Kerala Governor becoming the eighth governor appointed by the UPA regime to quit since the NDA government came to power in May this year.

76-year-old Dikshit on Tuesday said she submitted her resignation to President Pranab Mukherjee soon after she met him and also Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday.

The President’s Secretariat has sent her resignation to the Union Home Ministry for necessary action, official sources said.

“I have resigned, I did it yesterday and I don’t want to comment further,” Dikshit, a former Delhi Chief Minister, said.

Dikshit said she will speak on the issue only after she gets an official word on the acceptance of the resignation.

With this, Dikshit becomes the eighth Governor to have resigned since the Narendra Modi government came to power on May 26. Six UPA-appointed Governors — K Sankaranarayanan (Maharashtra), M K Narayanan (West Bengal), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), B L Joshi (UP), B V Wanchoo (Goa) and Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh), have already resigned after being nudged by the NDA government.

V Purushothaman, the Governor of Mizoram, had resigned after he was transferred to Nagaland in July this year.

Dikshit, who served as Delhi Chief Minister from 1998 to 2013, was appointed Kerala governor in March just before the model code of conduct came into force for the Lok Sabha polls.

There were indications that Dikshit may be next in line to be transferred to Mizoram, a state where Sankarnarayanan and Kamla Beniwal were shunted out to 87-year-old Beniwal, who had a running battle with a running battle with then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi when she was governor of the state, took charge as Mizoram Governor but was sacked after a month by the NDA government.


Sheila Dikshit

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