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Maharashtra war against COVID-19 degenerates into political row

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Maharashtra BJP Shiv Sena

Mumbai, May 22 : Sporting blacks face masks, bands and jackets, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched the ‘Maharashtra Bachao’ agitation, carrying banners and posters criticizing the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) for its failure to handle the Covid-19 pandemic, here on Friday.

Leading the agitation in Mumbai, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis also demanded a Rs 50,000 crore package for farmers, labourers and unorganized sector workers who are hit due to the Covid-19.

Braving the high summer temperatures, other party leaders elsewhere including state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil, turned the heat on Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress alliance for falling short on all fronts to tackle the pandemic.

Citing figures, Fadnavis alleged that though Maharashtra has 30 per cent of all patients and 40 per cent of all Covid-19 deaths in the country, the MVA has been unsuccessful in tackling the crisis.

“The hospitals are full, there are no ambulances available, there is no food in quarantine centres, private hospitals are charging exorbitant amounts due to which the common people are unable to afford Covid-19 treatment. But the government has done nothing despite the seriousness of the crisis,” he said.

He demanded that the government must treat all Covid-19 patients free of cost, all private hospitals must mandatorily admit such patients and 80 per cent of beds in private healthcare institutions must be allotted at government rates to bring succor to the masses.

Hitting out at the BJP, the ruling MVA constituents termed the protests as “treason” and “anti-Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, and an effort to save the BJP more than the state in this hour of crisis gripping Maharashtra.

“This protest is ‘anti-Modi’ since the state government is working as per the directions and advice of the Centre. They (state BJP) would have got some public sympathy if they had come out and protested when the government shifted the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) headquarters to Gujarat,” slammed Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.

Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray said: “Absolutely shameful, what lust for power politics can make leaders do. Making kids stand in the heat, with their masks lowered, not covering the face for a political protest when we need to keep them safe and indoors.”

Without naming the BJP, Thackeray Jr added: “One political party state unit has set a new low and a new world record – the only party in the world to indulge in politics and in spreading fear, hate and division when the world has forgotten all of it to help each other. This party has forgotten the pandemic.”

Nationalist Congress Party leaders used a hashtag #MaharashtradrohiBJP to lampoon Fadnavis and the agitation accusing them of indulging in politics when the state is in the throes of a major health crisis.

“Think once before holding black (placards) in hand, whether you are insulting doctors, policemen and health workers who are working round-the-clock for Maharashtra! Whether you are committing treason with Maharashtra,” said State NCP President and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil.

State Congress President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat dismissed it as “a farcical protest which was an attempt to save the BJP rather than Maharashtra”.

“Look at the MVA leaders and workers who are working day and night, BJP is not seen anywhere and to show its presence, it has launched this agitation. Instead of running to Raj Bhavan frequently, they should be rushing forward to help the people,” he said.

Thorat said the MVA and people would have greatly appreciated if Fadnavis had secured an economic package from the Centre for Maharashtra, but they are not ready to listen as their commitment lies with the BJP central leaders.

Other senior leaders like NCP Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad, Congress state spokesperson Sachin Sawant and Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande slammed the BJP for indulging in politics instead of cooperating with the state government which is immersed in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

The NCP posted below the ‘MaharashtradrohiBJP’ hashtag how the Maharashtra unit leaders, MPs and MLAs donated to PM-CARES Fund instead of CM Relief Fund, advocated for PM when the IFSC was shifted to Gujarat and tried to politicise the Palghar lynching incident but refrained when they learnt that some of those arrested were BJP leaders.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: [email protected])

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Male sex hormones may help treat breast cancer: Study

While endocrine therapy is standard-of-care for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, resistance to these drugs is the major cause of breast cancer mortality.

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Sydney : Researchers have found new evidence about the positive role of androgens, commonly thought of as male sex hormones but also found at lower levels in women, in breast cancer treatment.

In normal breast development, estrogen stimulates and androgen inhibits growth at puberty and throughout adult life.

Abnormal estrogen activity is responsible for the majority of breast cancers, but the role of androgen activity in this disease has been controversial.

The new research published in the journal Nature Medicine showed that androgens have potential for treatment of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

A cancer is called estrogen receptor positive if it has receptors for estrogen, according to Breastcancer.org.

Using cell-line and patient-derived models, the global team, including researchers at the University of Adelaide and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia, demonstrated that androgen receptor activation by natural androgen or a new androgenic drug had potent anti-tumour activity in all estrogen receptor positive breast cancers, even those resistant to current standard-of-care treatments.

In contrast, androgen receptor inhibitors had no effect.

“This work has immediate implications for women with metastatic estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, including those resistant to current forms of endocrine therapy,” said lead researcher Theresa Hickey, Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide.

“We provide compelling new experimental evidence that androgen receptor stimulating drugs can be more effective than existing (e.g. Tamoxifen) or new (e.g. Palbociclib) standard-of-care treatments and, in the case of the latter, can be combined to enhance growth inhibition,” said Wayne Tilley, Director of the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide.

Androgens were historically used to treat breast cancer, but knowledge of hormone receptors in breast tissue was rudimentary at the time and the treatment’s efficacy misunderstood.

Androgen therapy was discontinued due to virilising side effects and the advent of anti-estrogenic endocrine therapies.

While endocrine therapy is standard-of-care for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, resistance to these drugs is the major cause of breast cancer mortality.

“The new insights from this study should clarify the widespread confusion over the role of the androgen receptor in estrogen receptor driven breast cancer,” said Elgene Lim, a breast oncologist and Head of the Connie Johnson Breast Cancer Research Lab at the Garvan Institute.

“Given the efficacy of this treatment strategy at multiple stages of disease in our study, we hope to translate these findings into clinical trials as a new class of endocrine therapy for breast cancer.”

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Azim Premji and Dr Devi Shetty chosen for PCB awards

Besides them 25 senior journalists have been selected for the ‘Press Club Annual Awards’, a release said.

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Azim Premji Wipro

Bengaluru, Jan 19: The chairman of Wipro Limited Azim Premji and the founder chairman of Narayana Health Dr Devi Prasad Shetty are among those who have been selected for the annual awards given by the Press Club of Bangalore.

Premji has been chosen for ‘Press Club Person of the Year’, while Dr Shetty and actor-Director Sudeep Sanjeev have been selected for the ‘Press Club Special Award.’

Besides them 25 senior journalists have been selected for the ‘Press Club Annual Awards’, a release said.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will facilitate the awardees at a function scheduled for the third week of February, it said.

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Elizabeth Olsen: Nepotism creates fear that you don’t deserve the work you get

The actress added that she “always had this need to prove myself to everyone around me that I work really hard”, adding: “I couldn’t walk in a room without everyone already having an opinion.”

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Elizabeth Olsen

Los Angeles, Jan 19 : Hollywood star Elizabeth Olsen says she once thought of changing her surname and distance herself from the success of her family because it was insanity growing up in the spotlight.

“It was insanity. There were times when my sisters would always be spotted and I would be in the car with them and it would really freak me out. It has helped me navigate how I want to approach my career,” said the actress, whose older sisters are Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen.

The actress added that she “always had this need to prove myself to everyone around me that I work really hard”, adding: “I couldn’t walk in a room without everyone already having an opinion.”

Elizabeth opened up om the fears of nepotism.

“The thing about nepotism is the fear that you don’t earn or deserve the work. There was even a part of me when I was a little girl that thought if I’m gonna be an actress I’m going to go by Elizabeth Chase, which is my middle name. And then, once I started working, I was like, ‘I love my family, I like my name, I love my sisters. Why would I be so ashamed of that?’ It’s fine now,” she said.

The actress said fame has made her more of a homebody.

“Fame has also made me someone who is more of a homebody than maybe I would like to be but I know where not to go. If I could do whatever I wanted for the day, I’d start with the gym, then I’d go to the grocery store, because it’s my favourite thing,” Elizabeth told The Sun.

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