Indian cities may face deadly heatwaves due to global warming, warn scientists

Representational Image. Representational Image.

Global megacities like Kolkata could face annual deadly heat waves like the one that claimed over 2,000 lives in India in 2015, even if global warming is halted at the levels struck under the Paris deal, scientists have warned. Nations supporting the 2015 Paris Agreement have pledged to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

However, extreme heat events are expected to occur ever more often as the two degree Celsius limit is approached, researchers said.

An analysis of 44 of the 101 most populous “megacities” showed that the number of cities experiencing heat stress doubled with 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, researchers said.

The trend would potentially expose more than 350 million additional people to heat stress by 2050, if population continues to grow as expected, researchers said.

“As the climate warms, the number and intensity of heat waves increases,” said Tom Matthews, a climatologist at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK.

“Research has shown this to be the case for the global warming experienced to date, and our research is the latest to show that we can expect even larger increases as the climate continues to warm,” Matthews was quoted as saying by ‘Health Day’.

Even if global warming is halted at Paris goals, the megacities of Karachi in Pakistan and Kolkata in India could face annual conditions similar to the deadly heat waves that gripped those regions in 2015, researchers said.

During the 2015 heat waves in those areas, about 1,200 people died in Pakistan and more than 2,000 died in India.

These heat waves are particularly threatening to large cities containing lots of heat-absorbing asphalt and concrete, not to mention huge populations, said Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/indian-cities-may-face-deadly-heatwaves-due-to-global-warming-warn-scientists-4589434/

That afternoon power nap can boost employees’ creativity

Go for a power nap! (Source: Thinkstock Images) Go for a power nap! (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Does your boss nag and expect a lot from you? Here’s a solution to keep up to their expectations — take a power nap in the afternoon!

ALSO READ | This is why employees don’t give their 100% at work

A new study says that 20 minutes nap in the afternoon can boost employees’ creativity and problem-solving ability, reports Telegraph.co.uk. According to scientists from the University of Leeds in England, this nap could reduce the risks of diabetes, heart problems and depression, which are more likely when you do not get enough sleep.

ALSO READ | Behind every satisfied career is good sex at home

“The loss of an hour in bed is particularly detrimental to individuals that already struggle with their sleep,” said lead study author Nerina Ramlakhan.

Adding, “If you are one of the 25 percent of the nation that gets less than five hours’ sleep a night, this time change could see you drop down to as little as four hours, which is a dangerously low amount.”

Bosses should consider allowing staff to take a short nap in the office. It can make a huge difference, suggests researchers, reports the Independent.

The findings indicated that napping between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. for just, twenty minutes nap can make a huge difference.

Naps have been scientifically proven to boost creativity and problem-solving ability and they can even rebalance the immune system, meaning staffs are less likely to take sick days.

“Allowing staff to indulge in a nap during the working day might sound unusual, but considering the country will be losing an hour of sleep over the weekend it’s a fair request,” Dr Ramlakhan stated.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/afternoon-power-nap-work-life-employees-creativity-4589439/

Barclays in talks to sell Zimbabwe bank to Malawi’s First Merchant Bank

Barclays is in exclusive talks to sell its stake in its Zimbabwe unit to Malawi-based First Merchant Bank, the lenders said on Tuesday, as the British bank continues its exit from Africa.

First Merchant Bank said in a statement on its website it was in exclusive talks to buy out the 68 percent of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe owned by the British company.

A spokeswoman for Barclays confirmed the bank was in early discussions with a prospective buyer for its stake in the Zimbabwe bank.

Neither party disclosed a value for the prospective deal. Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe has a market capitalisation of $60 million, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Barclays previously said it was looking to sell the stake as part of a broader exit from Africa announced a year ago when Chief Executive Jes Staley said the lender would instead focus on a transatlantic strategy in the United States and Britain.

Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe is one of two banks together with Barclays Bank Egypt that do not form part of the lender’s South Africa-based Barclays Africa Group, which is also up for sale.

The remaining 32 percent of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe’s shares are traded on the Zimbabwe stock exchange.

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BJP MP compliments Sumitra Mahajan for wearing saffron attire on the occasion of Gudi Padava

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. (Express File Photo) Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. (Express File Photo)

A BJP MP from Maharastra on Tuesday complimented Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan for wearing a saffron-coloured attire on the occasion of Gudi Padava which is celebrated as the New Year day in the state. “Ma’am, I am bit disappointed for not being able to celebrate Gudi Padava in my home state. You must be also feeling the same.

“However, I am happy that you have given me an opportunity to speak. I am also thankful to you for wearing a saffron-coloured blouse on the occasion (of Gudi Padva),” said Gopal Chinayya Shetty. Shetty’s comments during the Zero Hour triggered loud laughter among the members.

In his Zero Hour mention, the Mumbai-North MP demanded changing of name of Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport in Mumbai to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport.

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China’s largest chipmaker secures $22 Billion to expand globally

The company receive a total of 100 billion yuan from China Development Bank, till 2020 and will get an additional 50 billion yuan from a national chip fund set up in 2014 to drive advances in domestic semiconductors. (Source: Reuters) The company receive a total of 100 billion yuan from China Development Bank, till 2020 and will get an additional 50 billion yuan from a national chip fund set up in 2014 to drive advances in domestic semiconductors. (Source: Reuters)

Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. has clinched as much as 150 billion yuan ($22 billion) of financing from two Chinese government-backed investors, amassing a pool of funds to pursue acquisitions and build a world-class semiconductor industry.

The state-linked chip-maker will receive a total of 100 billion yuan from China Development Bank, a policy lender overseen by the country’s cabinet, in the years till 2020. It’ll get another 50 billion yuan from a national chip fund set up in 2014 to drive advances in domestic semiconductors, Unigroup said in a statement on its website.

The company didn’t describe how the capital will be deployed. But Unigroup has been an aggressive acquirer and capacity-builder, the standard-bearer for an effort to wean China off its reliance on foreign technology. It’s building a $30 billion memory chip production complex in the eastern city of Nanjing that will become China’s largest when completed, and it’s preparing to expand memory and storage facilities in Wuhan.

The capital injection “is poised to lend strong support to Unigroup’s rapid expansion in the industry” and “speed the process of technology upgrades and lift our core competitiveness,” Unigroup said in a statement after signing agreements with the two investors.

China is spending an estimated $150 billion over 10 years to try and achieve a leading position in semiconductor design and manufacturing, an ambitious plan that U.S. executives and officials have warned could harm American interests. Unigroup, an affiliate of the business arm of elite Tsinghua University, has become the largest semiconductor player in a country dependent on imports for components such as high-performance processors and 3D-NAND memory chips.

Also Read: Qualcomm unveils chipset for 4G feature phones

Unigroup and other Tsinghua affiliates have pulled off a number of acquisitions over the years, including of RDA Microelectronics Inc. and Spreadtrum Communications Inc., to beef up their design capability, and signed partnership deals with global players including Western Digital Corp. But that M&A spree has hit a wall of late: Tsinghua was forced to withdraw a planned investment in Western Digital after the deal threatened to invite U.S. government scrutiny, while a Taiwanese acquisition attempt fell through.

The company’s major business units and affiliates include integrated-circuit developer Unigroup Guoxin Co., formed via a series of mergers of state-backed entities. And its $2.8-billion Changjiang Storage was the result of a merger between Unigroup’s own memory chip operations and a government-run factory in 2016.
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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/chinas-largest-chipmaker-secures-22-billion-to-expand-globally-4589393/

Amazon has plans to open grocery stores in India: Report

Amazon has plans to open a grocery store in India, an offline one that is, says a new report. (Source: Reuters) Amazon has plans to open a grocery store in India, an offline one that is, says a new report. (Source: Reuters)

It looks like Amazon has big plans for entering the offline retail store business. A New York Times report has revealed the company has plans to open up electronics stores in the US, around products like fridges, television sets, etc where people might not always be willing to buy products online.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Amazon has already launched a book store in New York. It also has a grocery store in Seattle, where customers can just walk, pick up the products and walk out, thanks to the company’s Amazon Go service.

But the New York Times report also indicates Amazon wants to redesign the retail experience for customers. India appears to be one country where Amazon is also planning to open grocery stores offline, says the report, and the project is codenamed Project Everest.

NYT report adds Amazon’s first grocery store will open in Bengaluru, and it quotes a person familiar with the plans. In a statement to the newspaper, Amazon said they were “excited by the Indian government’s efforts to encourage foreign investment in a ‘stronger food supply chain’.” Amazon has also confirmed it has sought approval from the government to invest in this in India.

Also read: Amazon India saw 200 per cent growth during sale, driven by tier III cities

It’s not surprising to see Amazon push grocery stores in India, but this model hasn’t really worked in India. Previously apps like PepperTap have had to shut down their businesses around online grocery deliveries in India. Even Grofers, which is one of the more successful brands, had to shut down operations in nine cities in January 2016. Reasons are varied. The margins are thin around grocery business in India, then there’s the fact that local shops are happy to deliver stuff home, even for bare minimum orders and customers are not really loyal to one brand.

For Amazon, the grocery store business in India, won’t be easy to crack. But the company is known to do things differently from other players. Given that China as a market is not an option for the e-commerce giant, it will have to make sure all of its plans in India succeed.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/amazon-has-plans-to-open-grocery-stores-in-india-report/

Virat Kohli no longer ‘good friends’ with Australian cricketers, watch video

The Australian cricketers were seen making fun of Kohli’s shoulder injury during the series. (Source: File) The Australian cricketers were seen making fun of Kohli’s shoulder injury during the series. (Source: File)

Indian skipper Virat Kolhi is not the one to back down from a fight and never deters to call a spade by its name. After being targeted both on and off the field in a fiercely fought Test series against Australia Kohli has gone on record to state that he no longer considers his opposition Australian cricketers as his friends.

Speaking at the post match press-conference, Kohli said, “It has changed for sure. I thought that was the case, but it has changed for sure. In the heat of the battle you want to be competitive but I have been proven wrong. The thing I said before the First Test that has certainly changed and you won’t hear me say that ever again”

It may be recalled here that before the start of the series Kohli had said that he was really good friends with all the Australian players off the field. “I know them really well but I know where to draw the line of friendship and when you step on the field I could be playing against my real brother it wouldn’t matter”, he had said.

Well then 😳#INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/xciqRDoma8 — cricket.com.au Video (@CricketVideo) March 28, 2017

But now all the bonhomie has gone sour. Even at the post match presentation Kohli had said, “Regardless of whether we are on top or not, we speak, if something pokes us we speak and give it right back,”. He further added, “All people don’t digest it well but we take it very well and we give it back even better.”

There were several instances of sledging and verbal volleys being delivered throughout the series and at times things seemed to go out of hand. One such moment was Steve Smith’s ‘brainfade’ moment which really irked the Indian skipper. In other instances during the series, the Australian cricketers were seen making fun of Kohli’s shoulder injury.

Even Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive officer James Sutherland took a dig at him, saying Kohli perhaps does not know the spelling of sorry.

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