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House of Fraser’s flagship London store saved

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House of Fraser is one of the most prominent stores on London’s Oxford Street

House of Fraser’s flagship Oxford Street store will now stay open after the chain’s new owner agreed fresh terms with its landlord.

The store had been due to close under a restructuring plan that House of Fraser announced in June.

However, the department store group fell into administration earlier this month, and was bought by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.

The deal is the first covering a House of Fraser store since the takeover.

Property giant CBRE, which is advising Sports Direct, said negotiations had been conducted at “great speed”.



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Opportunity in war-torn Libya: The food delivery app empowering women

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One such is Fatima Nasser. Born in Sabha, a city in southwestern Libya, she was just 13 when the 2011 Arab uprising began and Libya’s long-time leader Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown.

Since then, the country has been plagued by political instability, armed conflict and economic challenges. Thousands of people have been displaced, infrastructure and basic social services have been destroyed.

But Nasser insists that the conflict that dominated her teenage years had one positive side-effect.

“It helped me grow in a way that would never happen in normal circumstances,” she says. “The war and its consequences on the Libyan economy…did somehow push me into aspiring to be an entrepreneur.”

Crisis and opportunity

The now 21-year-old has created a food delivery app called Yummy, that delivers homemade meals cooked by women in their own kitchens. She has trialed the service successfully in hometown Sabha, and says that 300 cooks are ready to start work when the app launches this month in Libya’s second-largest city Benghazi, and the capital Tripoli.

Yummy is one product of a nationwide movement to encourage entrepreneurial development and help diversify the Libyan economy away from oil.

In 2017, Tatweer Research, a government-funded company dedicated to creating Libya’s knowledge economy, teamed up with MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab to launch Libya’s first ever Enjazi Startup Competition — Yummy was one of its three winners.
In the same year, Tatweer Research partnered with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to form the Tatweer Entrepreneurship Campus (TEC), a three-year initiative, funded mostly by the EU, to support startups by providing training, consulting, mentoring, office space and financial aid.

“Each and every crisis is also a bit of opportunity,” says Sultan Hajiyev, the UNDP’s country director for Libya. “But in a crisis context, people need to be given extra support…this is what we are trying to inject.”

Dangerous circumstances

However, there are special problems that come with launching a startup in a war-torn country. New businesses face security threats, poor physical and financial infrastructure and regular internet and power blackouts.

“They need to overcome these challenges in their business model…and build alternative support systems,” says Khaled El Mufti, CEO of Tatweer Research.

Yummy will launch in Benghazi this month, a city that still bears the scars of civil war

Nasser says she has listed all of the things that could go wrong while delivering food and a solution for each one.

One major threat is delivering food in unsafe areas with high carjacking rates. To solve this, Yummy has set up neutral meeting points within the city, so that the order can be delivered as close to the customer as possible without endangering the driver.

Another is the dodgy internet, but in case of a blackout Yummy provides a phone number so that the delivery can be handled manually.

El Mufti believes these hurdles can create opportunities and mean less competition. “If everything was running smoothly and nice, then you would get Google, Amazon and everyone in place, doing it their way,” he says.

Women in the workforce

Nasser claims the idea for Yummy was driven less by profit and more by the app’s potential social impact. In Libya, just one in four women work, according to World Bank — Nasser is determined for this to change, but she acknowledges the process will be gradual.

“When you come up with a new idea in a society like this, you really have to take into consideration the traditions and the social limitations. We didn’t want to come up with an idea that people would be afraid of,” she says.

Through Yummy, women are able to work from home, anonymously, without having to interact with male customers. This makes it both liberating and socially acceptable, says Nasser.

She adds that home-catering has become a trend since the war, as security problems have made it more dangerous for women to leave their homes and there is an increased economic need for women to work.

Kunafa, a traditional Arab dessert with Nutella

Ehklas Ekrim, a 26-year-old from Sabha, saw no need to work at all before the war, “but after the economic conditions of the country deteriorated it became necessary to have a special job.”

She started working independently as a cook from home, to help provide for her parents and five siblings, but found she was limited to small orders and encountered problems with delivery, dealing with customers and the credibility of orders.

“Yummy fixed all these issues,” Ekrim says. “It provided delivery services and worked as a mediator between me and the customers, so now I’m dealing only with Yummy and they’re taking care of everything else.”

Chocolate-covered dates available to order on Yummy

“Life support”

Yummy “has provided life support for a lot of women,” says El Mufti, explaining that in the current crisis a regular male income can no longer support a whole household.

But the realization of the economic need has in turn made society more accepting of women working.

As Libya tries to wean itself off oil and gas — which, according the the UNDP, typically represents 70% of its GDP — a female workforce is becoming more and more important.

“Addressing the issue of gender empowerment in Libya is not just the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do,” says Hajiyev. “It would bridge the gender gap in the labor market, and contribute to advancing Libya’s GDP and resolving a number of economic issues and challenges that the country is facing.”



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MLB roundup: A’s catch Astros atop AL West

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Mike Fiers pitched well for the third consecutive game, and the Oakland Athletics supported their new pitcher with a four-homer, four-double assault on Texas Rangers pitching in an 9-0 romp Monday night in the opener on a three-game series in Oakland, Calif.

Aug 20, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Mike Fiers (50) delivers a pitch against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Oakland Coliseum. John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Ramon Laureano hit his first two career home runs, and Khris Davis belted his 38th, propelling the A’s to the 15th win in their past 19 games. Davis tied Boston’s J.D. Martinez for the major league home run lead.

The Athletics’ win coupled with the Astros’ road loss to the Seattle Mariners allowed Oakland to move back into a tie with Houston for first place in the American League West.

Fiers (9-6), acquired from the Detroit Tigers in a waiver deal after the July 31 deadline, allowed a leadoff double in the second inning by Nomar Mazara and no other hits over seven shutout innings. He struck out eight and walked one while improving to 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA in three starts for the A’s.

Mariners 7, Astros 4

Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer to break an eighth-inning tie, giving Seattle a victory against visiting Houston.

Cano’s home run was his fifth of the season and first since returning last week from an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. It came off Houston right-hander Collin McHugh (5-2). Cano finished 3-for-5 with two doubles.

Alex Colome (4-5) got the win and Edwin Diaz pitched the ninth for his major-league-leading 48th save. The Mariners’ rally from a 4-2 deficit spoiled a big night by Houston’s Marwin Gonzalez, who went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBIs.

Red Sox 5, Indians 4

Greg Allen hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning to help Cleveland post a victory at Boston.

Allen’s blast was the big blow as the American League Central-leading Indians prevailed in the opener of a four-game set against the AL East-leading Red Sox. The victory was the 10th in the past 12 games for Cleveland.

Aug 20, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Robinson Cano (22) hits a double against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning at Safeco Field. Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Kluber (16-6) became the third 16-game winner in the majors as he allowed three runs and nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out six and walked one while winning his fourth straight decision. Michael Brantley added a two-run blast, and Melky Cabrera hit a solo shot for the Indians.

Braves 1, Pirates 0

Bryse Wilson pitched five scoreless innings for a win in his major league debut, and Atlanta made Nick Markakis’ first-inning RBI single hold up for tight win at Pittsburgh.

Sam Freeman, Brad Brach, Jesse Biddle, Jonny Venters and Dan Winkler completed the seven-hit shutout, which broke Atlanta’s four-game losing streak. Winkler pitched the ninth for his second save. The Braves moved a game up over idle Philadelphia atop the National League East.

Wilson struck out five and allowed three hits and three walks. He was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett to make a spot start. The right-hander, 20 years and 243 days old, became the youngest starter in the big leagues this season. He began the season in high Class-A.

Brewers 5, Reds 2

Travis Shaw hit a two-run home run to give the Brewers the lead, and Christian Yelich also homered to back the three-hit pitching of Chase Anderson and a shutdown bullpen as Milwaukee dumped visiting Cincinnati.

It was the Brewers’ second straight win after three consecutive losses. Anderson (8-7) gave up only two hits over six innings, both solo home runs. He retired the last 14 Reds he faced before leaving for a pinch hitter, striking out six without a walk.

Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey (1-11) lost his sixth straight decision, yielding three runs on eight hits in six innings. The Reds have lost all but one of his 17 starts this season.

Giants 2, Mets 1 (13 innings)

Andrew McCutchen scored the tiebreaking run on an error, a dropped popup after a collision by shortstop Amed Rosario and left fielder Dominic Smith, in the top of the 13th inning as visiting San Francisco outlasted New York.

The Giants snapped a four-game losing streak. The Mets have won six of 10.

Slideshow (6 Images)

New York starter Zack Wheeler had his streak of six consecutive winning starts end after surrendering one run on five hits and one walk while striking out 10 over seven innings. Wheeler still has not lost a decision since June 22 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, going 6-0 in a span of 10 starts.

White Sox 8, Twins 5

Matt Davidson homered and drove in three runs, and Jose Abreu had two hits and two RBIs to lead Chicago to victory over Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Lucas Giolito (9-9) allowed three runs on five hits over six innings for Chicago, which won for the fifth time in six games. Max Kepler homered and tripled, and Jake Cave hit a two-run homer and scored three times for Minnesota, which lost for just the sixth time in its past 25 games at Target Field.

Before the game, Chicago manager Rick Renteria was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center for precautionary reasons after complaining about feeling lightheaded. A team official later announced that tests revealed no problems. Bench coach Joe McEwing managed the game in Renteria’s absence.

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 3

Kendrys Morales hit two home runs and had four RBIs to help Toronto beat visiting Baltimore.

It was the second two-homer game of the season for Morales, who hit two solo shots at Minnesota on May 1. Kevin Pillar added two doubles and one RBI as the Blue Jays ended a four-game losing streak.

Renato Nunez homered for the Orioles, who have lost four of their last five and nine of 11.

Rays 1, Royals 0

Willy Adames produced the only run Tampa Bay would need with a second-inning RBI infield single, and four pitchers allowed a combined six hits as host Tampa Bay defeated Kansas City.

Hunter Wood made the start for Tampa Bay and pitched 1 2/3 innings before giving way to Ryan Yarbrough (12-5), who gave up two hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings while coaxing six strikeouts.

Kansas City lost its second straight game and is now 0-4 against Tampa Bay this season. The Royals had two runners on base in the second, fourth and eighth innings but finished 0-for-5 with men in scoring position.

—Field Level Media



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Love Island cliche ‘puts off female firefighters’, says brigade chief

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Dany Cotton (left) with Theresa May on her visit to Grenfell Tower

The head of the London Fire Brigade has criticised Love Island for reinforcing the cliche of firefighters as muscle-bound male sex objects.

Commissioner Dany Cotton said “offensive” stereotypes discouraged young women from joining the service.

She criticised the ITV2 show for “rolling out every offensive cliche possible with their so-called ‘fireman challenge’.”

The brigade also criticised an advert for Harpic toilet cleaner.

Ms Cotton – the first woman to hold the LFB’s most senior position – said Love Island’s fireman challenge “reinforces the misconception that all firefighters are muscle-bound men”.

“No wonder so many young women are put off by that,” she added.

The fireman challenge required the male Love Island participants to strip to their underwear and pretend to save a woman from danger.

Just 300 of the LFB’s 5,000 operational firefighters – 6% – are women.

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Love Island has been attacked for rolling out “every offensive cliche possible” about firefighters

Research by the brigade also attacked a Harpic toilet cleaner ad in which a woman swoons over a brawny male firefighter.

Ms Cotton argued that putting an end to “lazy cliches” would change the public’s attitude and encourage more woman to join the fire service.

She said the army and police had been “enriched” by more female representation and praised the way TV characters such as Jane Tennison from Prime Suspect had changed people’s perception of women in the police force.

“It’s time the fire and rescue service caught up,” she said.

Earlier this year, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ran a consultation on a proposal that adverts “must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence”.

An ASA spokeswoman said: “We’ve published evidence that shows gender stereotypes have the potential to cause harm because they limit how people’s potential is considered by themselves and others – with costs to the individual, economy and society.

“We’ve already been taking action to ban ads which reinforce harmful stereotypes and we’ll publish the results of our consultation around new rules for advertisers later this year.”



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Dear Mark: Does Low-Carb Shorten Lifespan?

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For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a single, significant question. It concerns the latest “anti-low-carb” study claiming that we’re all killing ourselves by not eating bread. A reader wonders if the study is legit and if we should be worried about eating fewer carbs than “normal” people.

I don’t think we should be concerned, and I’ll explain why in detail. Let’s take a look and break it down.

Hi Mark,

I’m sure you’ve seen this latest study to claim that low-carb diets will kill us all: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(18)30135-X/fulltext

Is it legit?

Yes, I’ve seen it.

Where to start?

This study came from Walter Willet, he of the voluminous mustache and unbridled enthusiasm for seed oils.

The most glaring weakness is the way they gathered the data. Over the course of 25 years, participants were asked to accurately report their diet reaching back as far as six years. This is an inherent issue in most nutrition data gathering, so it’s not unique to this study, but come on. Can you remember what you ate 6 years ago? Did your diet change at all, or was it stable enough to encompass with a curt summary?

The characteristics of the participants differed greatly.

Low-carbers were far more likely:

  • To be men—Males have a higher risk of mortality than women.
  • To be diabetic—Diabetes lowers lifespan, especially in the 1980s (when the bulk of the data was collected).
  • To be sedentary—Failure to exercise is a major risk factor for early death, and ill health in general.
  • To smoke cigarettes—Again, this is an elementary variable. Nothing like being able to smoke indoors. Remember smoking sections on airplanes? I do.
  • To eat fewer fruits and vegetables—Carnivory is popular these days, and may work for some, but plants are still good for you and actually complement a low-carb, high-meat diet quite nicely.
  • To be overweight—All else being equal, the fatter you are, the unhealthier you are.

Even if they were able to “control for” all those variables, you can’t control for the overall health and wellness trajectory of a person hellbent on ignoring their personal health. What other unhealthy things are they doing that weren’t captured and accounted for by the researchers?

For instance, alcohol intake. They didn’t look at alcohol intake in this trial. Seriously, search for “alcohol” in the paper and you’ll come up blank. It’s very likely that the low-carbers were drinking more alcohol, as similarly-conducted epidemiological research has found that “carbohydrate intake [is] the first to decrease with increasing alcohol consumption.” (2) Alcohol can take a serious toll on health and lifespan if you aren’t careful with your intake.

Oh, and low-carbers were also more likely to be on a diet. This might be the most crucial variable of all. Who goes on a diet, typically? People who have a health or weight problem. Who doesn’t diet? People who are happy with their health and weight. There are exceptions to this, obviously, but on a population wide scale, these trends emerge. Did the low-carb diet actually reduce health and lifespan, or did the health conditions that prompted the diet in the first place reduce health and lifespan?

Ultimately, this was all based on observational studies and epidemiological data. It can’t establish cause-and-effect, it can only suggest hypotheses and avenues for future research.

Luckily, we have controlled trials that demonstrate the health benefits of low-carb dieting, all of which correspond to better longevity:

You could make the argument that the positive health effects are purely short-term and that in the long run, those benefits turn to negatives. It wouldn’t be a very good argument, though, because we don’t have any indication that it actually happens. If you go reduce carbs or go keto and you lose body fat, gain lean muscle, improve your fasting blood sugar, normalize your lipids, and reduce inflammatory markers, I see no plausible mechanism by which those improvements lead you to an early grave. Do you?

It seems the burden of proof lies in the Willet camp. If the only healthy range of carbohydrate intake is between 50-55%, he would have to show that:

  • No healthy, long-lived cultures or individuals have a carbohydrate intake that strays from the 50-55% range. Anthropological and ethnographical evidence must confirm.
  • The benefits of low-carb diets, established through randomized controlled trials, are illusory and/or transitory, eventually giving way to health decrements that lower lifespan.

That’s a tough one. Hats off if he can pull it off. I doubt he can.

Thanks for writing in. I hope I allayed any concerns you might have had.

Take care, all, and be sure to share down below with your own comments and questions.

References:

1. Seidelmann, Sarah, MD, et al. Dietary Carbohydrate Intake and Mortality. Lancet. 2018. (Online First)

2. Liangpunsakul S. Relationship between alcohol intake and dietary pattern: findings from NHANES III. World J Gastroenterol. 2010;16(32):4055-60.

3. Thorning TK, Raziani F, Bendsen NT, Astrup A, Tholstrup T, Raben A. Diets with high-fat cheese, high-fat meat, or carbohydrate on cardiovascular risk markers in overweight postmenopausal women: a randomized crossover trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102(3):573-81.

4. Ballard KD, Quann EE, Kupchak BR, et al. Dietary carbohydrate restriction improves insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, microvascular function, and cellular adhesion markers in individuals taking statins. Nutr Res. 2013;33(11):905-12.

5. Rajaie S, Azadbakht L, Saneei P, Khazaei M, Esmaillzadeh A. Comparative effects of carbohydrate versus fat restriction on serum levels of adipocytokines, markers of inflammation, and endothelial function among women with the metabolic syndrome: a randomized cross-over clinical trial. Ann Nutr Metab. 2013;63(1-2):159-67.

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Cautious optimism for U.S.-China trade talks lifts shares

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global equity markets rose on Monday on hopes the U.S.-China trade dispute will cool at talks this week, while Turkey’s lira fell anew after cuts to the country’s credit ratings and shots were fired outside the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.

FILE PHOTO: A trader sits in front of the computer screens at his desk at the Frankfurt stock exchange, Germany, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

Wall Street was mixed but broad-based gains in Europe and Asia lifted the MSCI’s all-country world index, which tracks shares in 47 countries. The gauge has recouped last week’s losses sparked by the lira’s plunge, but not declines of the prior week when the Turkish currency began its fall.

Mid-level U.S. and Chinese officials are expected to meet later this week in Washington to discuss their trade dispute. But it is unclear whether the talks will have any effect on the implementation of U.S. tariffs and retaliation by China.

“Traders are cautiously optimistic, but just because the meeting has been lined up doesn’t mean anything will come of it,” CMC Markets chief markets analyst David Madden said.

“Some traders view the (recent) weakness in the Chinese stock market and currency as a sign that Beijing will be more accommodating when it comes to negotiations,” he said.

Six days of public hearings on the proposed U.S. duties of up to 25 percent will start Monday in Washington as part of the U.S. administration’s efforts to pressure Beijing for sweeping changes to its trade and economic policies.

Tencent Holdings Ltd was the biggest contributor to MSCI’s global stock gauge, which rose 0.35 percent, and it was the top gainer on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, closing up 4.1 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.71 percent and MSCI’s emerging markets index gained 0.99 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 66.57 points, or 0.26 percent, to 25,735.89, the S&P 500 gained 1.77 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,851.9 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 20.18 points, or 0.26 percent, to 7,796.15.

Turkey’s lira fell 3.16 percent to a session low of 6.2 against the dollar.

While the lira late last week clawed back sizable losses after touching all-time lows of just over 7 to $1 a week ago Monday, it has now declined about 26 percent so far in August.

Turkish sovereign dollar bonds fell across the curve on Monday and the cost of insuring exposure to Turkish debt rose after Moody’s and S&P Global lowered their sovereign credit ratings on Friday.

In addition, shots were fired at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, compounding U.S.-Turkish tensions as a dispute over Turkey’s detention of an American pastor simmered.

CENTRAL BANKS IN SPOTLIGHT

In a week light on economic data, investors are turning their attention to central banks.

The Federal Reserve will release minutes from its August policy meeting on Wednesday, which will be scrutinized for new signs of whether four interest rate hikes are likely this year.The U.S. central bank is widely expected to raise rates a third time this year in September, though doubts remain over another hike in December.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is due to speak on Friday at the annual economic symposium in August in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

“It’s really going to be all about the minutes and Powell at Jackson Hole on Friday,” said Thomas Simons, a money market economist at Jefferies in New York.

Benchmark U.S. Treasury 10-year notes rose 14/32 in price to push yields down to 2.8244 percent, a four-week low.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.01 percent, while the euro up 0.03 percent to $1.144.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.06 percent versus the greenback at 110.45 per dollar.

U.S. crude rose 24 cents to $66.15 per barrel and global benchmark Brent 47 cents to $72.30.

Reporting by Herbert Lash, additional reporting by Ritvik Carvalho in London; Editing by Nick Zieminski



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Kerala flood: Rescue teams wade through filthy waters to help victims

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Their mission is to safely evacuate stranded residents and to deliver supplies to desperate flood victims who have been without food and clean water for days.

Members of the Indian government’s National Disaster Response Force are working to reach isolated pockets of people after deadly flash floods devastated the region’s idyllic countryside.

Singh holds the rope of an inflatable orange dinghy as the team makes its way through a stew of river water and sewage that’s now become a cesspool of infection.

His team draws on years of training as they navigate the dinghy through narrow streets that are filled with up to six feet of filthy water.

“Rescuers have to become friends with water. Otherwise they can’t rescue anyone successfully,” said Singh.

In the small town of Peringara, in the Thiruvalla district, water flooded hundreds of houses with no warning Wednesday. Banana trees are split down the middle and their leaves float forlornly in the water, walls have crumbled and cars filled with water are sitting abandoned in the streets.

Ground floors flooded in an hour

“In the morning water started coming in. The water was [up to] our necks. We could not even collect our belongings,” said Girija, who goes only by her first name.

A house is partially submerged in flood waters in Chengannur in the southern state of Kerala, India, Sunday, August 19.

In one hour, water filled up the ground floor of most houses in the town. People scrambled to get onto the first floor, if they had one or the roof. No one in the town remembers a flood like this.

By Thursday, locals began navigating through the water looking for people who may need to be evacuated.

Prashant M. built a makeshift raft out of the trunk of banana trees lashed together with ropes. Volunteers pulled the raft along carrying big steel or plastic water tubs. Each could hold two or three people.

“We have a big pot. They sit in it and on the raft and as we wade through the water, we pull them behind us with ropes,” said Prashant.

Local residents carry a young boy to safety in a steel tub that is used to cook food.

By the next day, the NDRF team had arrived in the town. Their first assignment — locate an elderly man locals said was in the middle of nowhere and deliver an oxygen tank. It was 2:30 a.m.

“He was on his last tank and running out of oxygen. We had to reach him somehow,” said Singh.

It took the team hours — but they reached him in in time.

Inflatable craft the only option

Dozens of teams like Singh’s have been deployed across the state over the last few days. In areas that are inaccessible by foot or by air, inflatable dinghies are the only option.

An Indian policeman, left, and a volunteer carry essential supplies for stranded people in a flooded area in Chengannur in the southern state of Kerala, India, Sunday, August 19.

The men locate a safe spot and begin inflating the small boats. They are equipped with a motor that works only if there is more than four feet water. For water below that level, the men leap out of the dinghy, grab ropes and start pulling it along.

Kerala is a state filled with rivers. Usually, those rivers provide it with a natural beauty that inspires millions of tourists to visit the land, commonly known as, “God’s own country.”

Today, those same rivers have ruined hundreds of thousands of homes and claimed more than 230 lives in less than two weeks.

The swollen waters have spilled out into fields and playgrounds. It is hard to differentiate where the roads end and the rivers begin, except when the men shout that the water is deep and they slip and slide into the dinghies, with palpable relief on their faces and start the motor. This gives them a few minutes of respite before the dinghy scrapes against a speed bump or the road and the laborious process begins all over again.

Singh and his team have been navigating through the waters and take the help of locals who point out the best way forward — a way where there are no fallen trees, no barbed wire guarding the fields and most importantly, no strong currents.

At one point, the tiny boat swings madly as water rushes out of the river and is sucked into a low-lying street on the other side. Singh throws a foot at the wall, trying to stabilize the boat and flips over into the water. His men shout and he emerges, soaking wet but still issues instructions as he draws deep breaths.

Mission worth separation from family

It is a hard job that requires physical strength and perseverance, something these men do not lack. Working through floods across India over the past seven years, Singh loves being on duty. He considers himself lucky.

An Indian air-force helicopter on rescue mission flies through a flooded area in Chengannur in the southern state of Kerala, India, Sunday, August 19.

Every year, he operates in flood-hit areas for a few weeks, separated from his wife and two children. His mission makes it worth it, he said. Saving lives is not the usual government desk job, he added with a smile.

The team reaches a local health center located deep inside the town. More than 100 people have sought refuge there with a few belongings. The smell of disinfectant, stale water and disease lies heavy in the air.

Women prepare lunch at a temporary relief camp set up in a local health center in Kerala.

There is no bathroom, there is no clean drinking water or sanitary pads for women. A group of women dressed in nighties stand and cook rice soup for everyone.

The team carries six people in need of medical help down a flight of stairs and gently place them in the dinghy. Life jackets are tightened, the people are reassured that they are safe and going to a better place. And then the motor whirs into life and the dinghy takes off.

Singh directs his men to return to their original location — where a shipment of relief material is waiting and the team will make their way back into the flooded town for a third time in 36 hours. On shift for the past ten hours, none of them knows when they will get to sleep next.



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Desmond Green suffers minor injuries in fatal 5-vehicle crash

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UFC fighter Desmond Green was involved in a five-vehicle crash early Saturday morning, according to authorities in Davie, Florida.

Green suffered minor injuries, but two people — Emelina Morfa, 67, and Emma Suarez Hernandez, 76 — were killed.

Alvaro Feola, a spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol, told reporters that Green lost control of his Dodge Durango just before 6:15 a.m. on Interstate 75. The SUV veered into the path of a tractor-trailer, causing a chain-reaction crash with three other vehicles.



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Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees concert canceled in Oklahoma after storm injures 14

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(Reuters) – An outdoor concert in Oklahoma featuring 90’s boy band favorites Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees was canceled on Saturday after an intense storm struck the area and injured at least 14 people, venue officials said.

“We never want to put our fans in harm’s way and with tonight’s weather and the injuries from earlier, we have decided to cancel the show and will attempt to reschedule,” the Backstreet Boys said on the band’s Twitter page.

Patrons at the sold-out show held at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, nearly 130 miles south of Oklahoma City, were asked to seek shelter at around 5:00 p.m. local time when lightning appeared within four miles of the casino, the resort said in a statement.

About 150 people ignored the warnings and continued to wait in line for the show.

“At approximately 5:30 p.m., the storm hit and knocked over the concert entrance trusses with 70-80 mile an hour winds and heavy rain,” resort officials said in a statement.

Crew attend to fallen metal structure at Backstreet Boys concert in Thackerville, Oklahoma, U.S. August 18, 2018 in this photo obtained from social media. Emily Jordan/via REUTERS

Fourteen people were treated at the scene and taken to local hospitals. Two have been released, officials said.

The Backstreet Boys, best known for hits like “I Want It That Way” and “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),” and 98 Degrees, famous for their love ballad “I Do (Cherish You), were scheduled to perform for more than 12,000 fans.

Backstreet Boys member Kevin Richardson told fans via his Twitter account that safety inspectors had checked the stage for damage after the storm.

“Unfortunately, due to damage sustained in the storm earlier this evening, we are unable to perform the show tonight,” Richardson tweeted later on. “Safety is always #1. Keep your tickets because, Backstreet WILL BE BACK.”

Organizers said the concert would be rescheduled and tickets to Saturday’s show would be honored on the new date.

“We are disappointed that tonight’s show was canceled due to the inclement weather,” said 98 Degrees via the band’s Twitter page. “We know many of you traveled to be here today. Sending you all our love and hope to see you soon.”

Slideshow (2 Images)

Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Darren Schuettler



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2 Truths and a Lie Edition

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Mania has an odd place in our society. For people who have not experienced it, it’s seen has as exciting, productive, and desirable. For those of us who have been consumed by it, we are either thankful it isn’t depression or devastated by its impact.

For most, mania is a dangerous symptom of mental illness and not something to be taken lightly. In this episode, Gabe & Michelle each share three stories about mania with two being the truth and one being a lie.

Can you tell fact from fiction? Listen now.

 

 

 

“When I’m manic, I like to follow no rules.”
– Michelle Hammer

 

Highlights From ‘Mania’ Episode

[0:00] Gabe and Michelle play two truths and a lie, mania edition.

[2:30] Michelle tells a story titled, “Manic No Pants Elephant.”

[5:00] Gabe tells a story titled, “Manic Drop In, Drop Out, Drop In . . .”

[7:30] Michelle tells a story titled, “Manic Invincibility.”

[9:15] Gabe tells a story titled, “Manic Property Management.”

[11:30] Michelle tells a story Gabe titled, “Michelle’s Lie.”

[14:20] Gabe tells a story titled, “Gabe’s the worst homeless man of all time.”

[16:50] Guessing begins and the truth is revealed.

 

Meet Your Bipolar and Schizophrenic Hosts

GABE HOWARD was formally diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders after being committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2003. Now in recovery, Gabe is a prominent mental health activist and host of the award-winning Psych Central Show podcast. He is also an award-winning writer and speaker, traveling nationally to share the humorous, yet educational, story of his bipolar life. To work with Gabe, visit gabehoward.com.

 

MICHELLE HAMMER was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 22, but incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 18. Michelle is an award-winning mental health advocate who has been featured in press all over the world. In May 2015, Michelle founded the company Schizophrenic.NYC, a mental health clothing line, with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. She is a firm believer that confidence can get you anywhere. To work with Michelle, visit Schizophrenic.NYC.

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