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Trump leads as Rivals gang up on Rubio, Cruz at Republican debate

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Ahead of Tuesday’s crucial primary in New Hampshire, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump returned to the debate stage to assert that he has “the best temperament” to be America’s next commander in chief.

Trump, whose absence from the last Republican debate apparently pushed him to the second place in last week’s Iowa caucuses, had a relatively good time Saturday night as his rivals ganged up on newly resurgent Senator Marco Rubio.

And when Texas senator Ted Cruz who has been crowing about the real estate mogul’s “Trumper Tantrums” since besting him in Iowa declined to repeat his attacks on the ABC News debate, Trump noted, “If you noticed, he didn’t answer your question.”

Rubio, on the other hand, was seriously rattled by the attack from his rivals, particularly New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who painted him as someone who delivers soaring speeches but has never made a consequential decision in his political life.

“Marco, the thing is this,” Christie said=, “when you’re president of the United States, when you’re a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person.” Christie said.

Christie also slammed Rubio’s poor attendance record in the Senate. “That’s not leadership, that’s truancy,” Christie said.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, was booed during an exchange with Jeb Bush about eminent domain that allows a government or private entity to appropriate land or property in return for payment of compensation, when he asked the former Florida governor to be quiet.

The billionaire then turned on the audience, suggesting it was made up of party figures and big donors and was therefore biased against him — and the booing escalated.

The tough talking Trump also got support on his stand on immigration from Cruz.

“We’re going to build a wall. We’re going to triple the border patrol,” he said. “We’re going to increase — and actually, since Donald enjoyed that, I will simply say, I’ve got somebody in mind to build it.”

Trump also vowed to bring back the outlawed controversial practice of waterboarding euphemistically called as enhanced interrogation. “I would bring back waterboarding and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” he declared.

Bush also added to the Rubio criticism, saying that Americans shouldn’t gamble on a candidate who doesn’t have executive experience.

“Marco Rubio is a gifted politician and he may have the skills to be president of the United States,” Bush said.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, meanwhile, laid into Ted Cruz for his campaign incorrectly telling Iowa caucus goers that Carson would be dropping out of the race after Iowa and asking them to instead support him.

Carson said Saturday that the actions of Cruz’s campaign were an example of “Washington ethics” as he tried to portray himself and not Cruz as a true outsider candidate. Cruz tried to defuse the clash by saying, “Ben, I am sorry.”

The latest CNN/WMUR tracking poll of likely Republican primary voters published Friday found Trump dominating the race.

There is a fierce battle for second unfolding between Rubio at 17 percent, and Cruz and Ohio governor John Kasich, who are tied for third place with 13 percent. The three, however, are within the poll’s margin of error of 5.8 percentage points.

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Govt taking care of nurses, healthcare workers: HC

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Delhi High Court

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday disposed off a petition which highlighted the blatant violation of the human rights of the nurses and other health workers deployed at the forefront in private nursing homes or hospitals in Delhi, after noting that the authorities have taken adequate steps in this regard.

“Looking into the present PIL, the respondents have taken good care of the situation, provided helpline number, grievance settlement cell has been created, for N95 masks and PPE care has been taken and even a nodal officer is also appointed. In these circumstances, there is no need to further monitor the same and hence the said petition is disposed of,” said a division bench of the high court presided by Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.

The court also noted the submission of the Delhi government that quarantine is required for nurses who are working with high-risk patients. “In view of this, it appears that quarantine facility is not required for all the nurses,” the bench said.

In its affidavit filed before the court, the Delhi government stated that via an office order dated July 14, the Kejriwal government has directed all registered hospitals both government and private to file an undertaking with regard to the N95 masks, PPE kits and other protective equipment being provided to the nurses and the healthcare workers.

The affidavit said that in respect of making necessary PPE kits, N95 and other protective equipment available, necessary directions have been issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department of the Delhi government which state that all registered healthcare facilities in Delhi are to follow the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health regarding rational use of PPE equipment in accordance with risks involved.

“For managing healthcare workers in COVID as well as non-COVID areas of hospital, regular quarantine of healthcare workers after duty in COVID areas is not warranted, an initial period of one-week quarantine (with further extension of one week) as per discretion of nodal officer is warranted only in high-risk/low-risk exposure, due to breach of PPE or non-use of recommended PPE,” the affidavit stated.

With regard to the ex-gratia amount for all healthcare professionals irrespective of whether they are attending COVID or non-COVID patients, the Delhi government responded that it would abide by its existing policy, which says only those persons (doctors, nurses, paramedic staff, security, sanitation workers, police official or any other government official) whether belonging to private or government who are deployed for COVID-19 duties by the government are eligible for the ex-gratia payment posthumously.

Meanwhile, on the submissions regarding the extension of benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to the nurses/healthcare professionals, who are working in private nursing homes and the premium for which is to be paid by the government, the Centre informed that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package was implemented by it which provides comprehensive personal accident cover of Rs 50 lakh to over 22.12 lakh healthcare professionals.

During the course of the hearing, the petitioner insisted on inclusion of the nurses working in private nursing homes under the ambit of the scheme, to which the court responded, “If we include other people in this Yojana and interfere with the policy decision, it would change the whole budget of the Yojana.”

“Such schemes are created keeping in view the funds available and the same would affect the budget,” the court added.

The submissions came while the bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which aimed at highlighting the blatant violation of human rights of the nurses and other health workers deployed in the forefront of private nursing homes or hospitals in Delhi.

The plea stated that the health and welfare of the nurses should be considered paramount, especially during the time of such a pandemic.

During these testing times, the plea said, the worst-hit are the nurses who are giving care to the patients at the bedside without personal protective equipment (PPE), N95 mask, gloves, etc especially in private nursing homes in Delhi and other parts of the country when there is spike in asymptomatic Covid cases.

“This has led to severe stress among the working nurses in Delhi and other parts of the country. Nurses live in the midst of the distressed atmosphere of the hospital. Naturally they get tired due to the stress and strain both mentally and physically,” the plea said.

(IANS)

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Shama Sikander on battling bipolar disorder, depression

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Shama Sikander

New Delhi, June 1 : Shama Sikander has been very vocal about her battle with bipolar disorder and depression. Years after emerging victorious against her struggles, the actress describes the illness as a “pandemic”. She says that she doesn”t have words to describe how painful it was for her every moment over those five years, when she often felt she would die.

It was in 2016 when Shama, who rose to fame playing Pooja in the 2004 slice-of-life TV show “Yeh Meri Life Hai”, came out and spoke about her struggles.

“That is the darkest time anybody can ever have. That is like waking up with a pandemic almost every moment and minute of your life. You don”t know what”s going to happen, you are so uncertain. You don”t even have desires at that time. The saddest part is that you don”t have any hope. A desire is something that keeps a human being alive because if we lose all desires then you don”t know the purpose of your life,” Shama told IANS.

“Depression or bipolar are mental situations where you tend to lose hope and desires and that is the darkest space any human being can ever be in,” she said, adding: “I don”t think there is anything sadder than that. It”s the worse a human being can go through and if you survive that you can survive anything, any pandemic.”

“As they say what doesn”t kill you makes you stronger… We all have that strength, some of us just give up before that strength or the revelation of that strength within us comes to us,” said Shama.

Shama calls it her “new birth”, after recovering from the illness: “But maybe I was stronger than I felt I was, and that attitude of mine has brought me back to life and has given me a purpose. There is immense light after darkness. This is a new birth for me.”

“I died for five years every day thinking that I am going to die and I should die, and there is probably nothing for me to look forward to. So, I want to tell people who might feel vulnerable and helpless that you will find the light. You just have to hang in there,” she said.

She says that the reason behind mental illness still being considered a taboo is society”s conditioning. “It is our conditioning problems. We have a lot of do”s and don”ts and sharing your actual life with another person comes in don”ts most of the time. People are so scared,” Shama told IANS.

Shama says not many dare to come out and speak the truth.

“From my childhood, I remember I was very honest. I would reveal whatever I went through in life and was never ashamed of it. People would shame you, they would make you feel bad, ashamed, and guilty for being right because they themselves have been living their lives with all the lies. Not many people have the courage to speak the truth to themselves, forget about others,” she declared.

She went on: “The society is the one which ruins it all. To be a part of a society or a herd you want to just pretend to be like them and obviously being honest means standing alone, and that is scary. People who have problems sharing their problems can end up with mental illness because you”ve suppressed that energy so much that now it is becoming an illness inside you.”

(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at [email protected])

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Covid-19 corollaries on the dairy sector: CRISIL

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

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dairy industry

New Delhi, May 26 : Supply chain disruptions in the early weeks of the nationwide lockdown, and bread-and-butter issues for hotels, restaurants and cafes, have materially reduced demand for dairy products.

This is despite supply of most dairy products continuing during the lockdown, since they are categorised as essentials.

The shuttering of hotels and dine-ins has also dried up off-take of skimmed milk powder and khoya.

According to report by CRISIL Research on the state of dairy industry and supply chains, products that can’t be made at home easily – such as cheese, flavoured milk and also khoya – haven’t found their way back to the dining table in the same quantities as before the lockdown.

Demand for ice creams, which usually peaks in summer (accounting for 40 per cent of annual sales) has just melted away. Rural areas, which are feeling the income pinch more, seem to be staying off butter and ghee, the report by global analytics firm has said.

To be sure, since the third week of April, supply chains have turned smoother, so demand for staples such as milk, curd, paneer and yogurt are expected to see a quick rebound, leading to on-year expansion in sales, CRISIL said.

The pandemic, however, may sour the business for unorganised dairies because of pervasive contamination fears.

Conversely, as consumers shift, revenues of organised dairies and packaged products should fatten.

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

Large brands such as Amul and Mother Dairy had already hiked retail milk prices by 4-5 per cent last fiscal. They may not serve an encore.

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