Thursday, 17 November 2011

Tenants' costs of renting a home 'up again'

 The cost of renting a home has been at record highs throughout the year

The cost of renting a home in England and Wales has risen for the ninth consecutive month but the rate of increase has slowed, a survey has said.
LSL Property Services, which owns agencies such as Your Move and Reeds Rains, said that the average rent climbed to £720 a month in October.
However, the 0.2% monthly increase was the smallest rise since February.
Frustrated first-time buyers continuing to rent and a shortage of rental property have led to rising costs.
Christmas slowdown
The picture on a regional basis shows that rental costs rose sharpest in the south-east of England (up 1.5%) and the east of England (up 0.8%) in October compared with September.
Over the last year, tenants in London have seen rents rise faster than in any other region.
In October, rents fell by 1.4% in the north-east and south-west of England, and dropped by 0.8% in Wales, compared with September.
"The recent increases are likely to continue to level out in run up to Christmas - traditionally a slower time for the market," said David Newnes, of LSL.
"Nevertheless, despite the slower rate of increase, the cost of renting is still rising annually at nearly twice the speed of the average salary and many tenants will need to dedicate a growing portion of their disposable income to the cost of accommodation over the next year."
The pressure on tenants was also in evidence as 10.1% of all rent was paid late or not at all in October, compared with 8.6% in September. However, this was slightly lower than the 10.3% average of the previous 12 months.
LSL is predicting that tenant arrears will increase in the next 12 months.

Rio in fresh Blatter blast Red Devils defender believes supremo is upsetting the majority

            Rio Ferdinand: Believes Sepp Blatter's views on racism are ignorant

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has continued to hit out at FIFA president Sepp Blatter, claiming his views on racism are ignorant.

Blatter hit the headlines on Thursday by offering the view that a simple handshake between players at the end of a game could resolve any racism on the pitch.
The FIFA chief has since attempted to clarify his position by stating his comments were misunderstood, however, that has done little to quell the response to his initial stance on the issue.
Ferdinand believes that Blatter's support from women in the game is wavering after he called for them to wear skimpier outfits in 2004 to boost interest.
Blatter also took a blasé approach to issues facing gay fans attending the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar where homosexuality is banned, stating they should 'refrain from any sexual activities'.

Ideal arena

Ferdinand remains irate at Blatter, stating that the football pitch is an ideal arena to help stamp out further racism in society.
"To say what you said about racism in football spoke volumes of your ignorance to the subject," Ferdinand wrote on his Twitter account.
"I guess you now have the full support of all the women, gay community plus people against racism in football....
"If we want to stamp out racism in society a football pitch is a good place to start- loved by billions of people around the world."

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Bollywood's new royal princess By Rajini Vaidyanathan

India's most famous couple - actress and model Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her actor husband Abhishek Bachchan - have had a baby girl. As the latest addition to one of a small number of acting and producing dynasties that dominate Bollywood, will she grow up to be an actress?

If the odds, or the genes, are to be believed, then the newly born daughter to the Bachchan-Rais is destined for the silver screen.
She might only be in the first week of her life, but being born into Bollywood royalty gives her a head start like no other.
Her mother is Aishwarya Rai, the face of L'Oreal, a former Miss World, who has starred in a number of Bollywood films.
Her father is Abhishek Bachchan, a Bollywood actor who is rarely far from the front pages of magazines.
Her grandmother is actress Jaya Bhaduri. And her grandfather is India's most famous man, Amitabh Bachchan, a Bollywood megastar whose career has spanned decades.
Blood is thick in Bollywood.
There are eight-to-10 prominent families who control at least 65% of the Indian film industry, says SMM Ausaja, a Bollywood historian and author.
The vast majority of the country's top acting talent is from a so-called "filmi" family, of either actors or producers.
Salman Khan, Kareena and Karishma Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt and Bobby and Sunny Deol are just some of the star names belonging to powerful Bollywood families.
Rise of the Kapoors
This genetic dominance began in the 1940s, when the old Bollywood studio system broke down says Ausaja.

Bollywood's first families

Amitabh Bachchan and family
  • The Bachchans - Amitabh and wife Jaya Bhaduri (pictured), Abhishek (held by mother), Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
  • The Kapoors - Prithviraj, Raj, Shammi, Rishi, Randhir, Neetu Singh, Rajiv, Karishma, Kareena, Ranbir
  • The Deols - Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Sunny, Bobby, Esha, Abhay
Like the collapse of Hollywood star system, it meant film studios were no longer contracted to hire certain actors or manage their careers and paved the way for independent producers.
"The family element really came in because the producer preferred his own son to come in rather than somebody else," says Ausaja.
The beginnings of the biggest and most feted Bollywood family date from around this time, when actor and producer Prithviraj Kapoor helped launch his sons Raj, Shashi and Shammi Kapoor.
Raj Kapoor, who went on to become the most successful of the trio, later set up his own studio to launch the careers of the next generation of his family members, including his son, Randhir.
The big budget film Rockstar, which opened this week in India, stars the youngest of the Kapoor acting clan, Ranbir Kapoor.
"Yes I come from a film family and I've been brought up in a very cushioned environment, but I'm a working professional.
"I take credit for my success and I deal with my failures and I think that just makes you more mature as a person," he says.
Kapoor, who is one of Bollywood's men of the moment, told the BBC that being from a dynasty didn't protect him from the challenges of the industry: "It's a jungle and you have to make a name for yourself," he said.
Family business
Of course having a big name, makes it easier.
Priyanka Chopra and Shahid KapoorMore actors and producers from a non-film background are now breaking into the profession
This is also true in Hollywood which is home to acting dynasties such as the Redgraves, the Sheens, the Douglases and the Fondas, but Indian culture is a big reason why a few families dominate.
"There's a lot of loyalty value to a family name," says Ausaja.
"Indians are emotional people and are film crazy, if they like an actor such as Amitabh, they'll pass on that love to their son or daughter."
It's also traditional in India for a trade or profession to be passed on to the next generation.
"It's like passing down a jewellery business or something. It's almost assumed the son will go into that, and take the mantle further," says Yogesh Roy, the son of Nirupama Roy, who starred alongside Amitabh Bachchan in a number of films in the 1970s and 1980s.
For Roy there was a certain sense of expectation he would become an actor, borne out of a childhood growing up on film sets.
"We were always exposed to the screen life, I used to go with my mother for shoots and I would rehearse with her and we'd go through scripts. I even dubbed some of the children's part," he recalls.
Despite all this encouragement Roy decided he was too shy to follow in his mother's footsteps but stayed in the industry as a designer to many film stars.
But taking the family business also makes a lot of practical sense to many of the children who are brought up in such an environment.
"It helps you understand what's expected you of a professional. Things that outsiders learn along the way are already given to us from our parents," says director Rohan Sippy, the son of acclaimed director Ramesh Sippy, who directed the 1970s Bollywood classic, Sholay.
"It does give you a certain equity and goodwill over a complete newcomer, but after your break you still have to have the talent to sustain it," he says.
Malaika Arora Khan and Shah Rukh KhanShah Rukh Khan (right) dancing with Malaika Arora Khan - for once, no relation
Of course there are some who can break through without the help of a dynasty. One of Bollywood's biggest stars Shah Rukh Khan is not a member of any film clan.
"SRK broke through out of sheer luck and energy that he possesses and that he got the right time.
"You can have more flops and take risks if you are the child of a prominent star," says Ausaja.
Sippy says the industry is now changing, with more actors and producers from a non-film background entering the profession.
But Ausaja believe the dynasties will still reign in Bollywood for years to come because it's what the fans want.
"I don't see that loyalty breaking. People connect with nostalgia and their favourite star, and that carries down to generations of filmgoers."

UK Economy: Bank Of England Cuts Growth And Inflation Forecasts

The Bank of England has slashed its growth and inflation forecasts as euro zone worries weigh on the UK economy

The Bank of England has lowered its forecasts for UK growth and inflation as the eurozone sovereign debt crisis and weakening global demand weigh on the domestic economy. Annual growth rates are likely to fall below 1% in 2012, the bank said, and inflation should drop below 2% by the end of next year.
The bank's monetary policy committee (MPC) has a range of views about the strength and timing of a recovery, but the "best collective judgement" is that by 2013, growth will return to levels above its historical average. However, there are significant - and unquantifiable - downside risks from the ongoing deadlock in the eurozone.
"Implementation of a credible and effective policy response in the euro area would help to reduce uncertainty and so support UK growth, but its absence poses the single biggest risk to the domestic recovery," the Bank said.
However, it added that even if a solution is found in the near term, the weakness in the eurozone's economies will mean that demand will remain low and exports will suffer.
The UK economy grew at an unexpectedly fast rate of 0.5% in the third quarter of 2011, beating forecasts. However, this was largely a reaction to a very weak second quarter, which was hit by global factors, including the Japanese tsunami, and softer domestic demand.
At IHS Global Insight, chief UK and European economist Howard Archer said that the projections indicate that the bank thinks a contraction is a real possibility.
"While the Inflation report and Sir Mervyn King did not specifically use the 'R' word - Recession - the implication is that this is a very real risk, particularly if events in the Eurozone worsen and credit conditions tighten," he said.
Consumer price inflation (CPI) hit 5.2% in September due in a large part to rising energy costs and an increase to value added tax (VAT). However, as softer demand hits sales, energy and import prices fall back and the weak labour market reduces spending, that number is more likely than not to fall to below the bank's target rate of 2%, according to MPC projections.
With growth low and inflation peaking, the MPC voted unanimously to inject a further £75bn into the UK's financial system in October, taking its total asset buying programme to £275bn. If inflation does moderate and the economy shows few signs of growing, the bank may consider a further round of quantitative easing (QE).
"Given that consumer price inflation is seen appreciably below its 2.0% target level on the two-year policy horizon and beyond on the assumption that interest rates stay unchanged for essentially the next two years and the stock of quantitative easing is limited to £275bn, this strongly implies that the Bank of England will undertake more stimulative action," Archer said. "This seems certain to be through more Quantitative Easing as there seems little desire within the Bank of England to take interest rates below 0.50%. Indeed, it is notable that even at the height of the 2008/9 recession, the Bank of England did not lower interest rates below 0.50%."

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Liver implant gives boy 'another chance of life' By Fergus Walsh

                               Iyaad Syed: 'A miracle boy'

Doctors in London say they have cured a baby boy of a life-threatening disease which was destroying his liver.
They implanted cells which acted like a temporary liver, allowing the damaged organ to recover.
The team at King's College Hospital in south London say the technique is a world first.
Eight-month-old Iyaad Syed now looks the picture of health - but six months ago he was close to death. A virus had damaged his liver causing it to fail.
Instead of going on a waiting list for a transplant, doctors injected donor liver cells into his abdomen.
These processed toxins and produced vital proteins - acting rather like a temporary liver.
The cells were coated with a chemical found in algae which prevented them from being attacked by the immune system.
After two weeks his own liver had begun to recover.
Professor Anil Dhawan, a liver specialist at King's College Hospital, says the whole team at the hospital is delighted:
"This is the first time this treatment has been used to treat a child with acute liver failure. It's only a few months back when I first saw this child who was so sick requiring support on dialysis and a breathing machine.
"We think we have given him another chance of life and seeing him now six months down the road with nearly normal liver function is remarkable."
Dr Ragai Mitry, Head of Liver Processing at King's, who helped in developing the technique, said:
"We are very pleased the transplanted liver cells have helped in supporting and delivering the missing metabolic functions of Iyaad's failing liver."
Iyaad's father, Jahangeer, said his son was "a miracle boy". He added: "Once he had the treatment after 48 hours he started to get better and hope came back. It is brilliant and we are very proud of him."
      Professor Anil Dhawan: "As a team at the hospital, we are very happy"Clinical trials
The question now is whether the technique could be used to benefit other patients with acute liver failure. The team at King's is urging caution - a large clinical trial is needed to test the effectiveness of the technique.
A key benefit over a liver transplant is that Iyaad will not need to take anti-rejection drugs known as immuno suppressants.
Andrew Langford, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust, said: "The principle of this new technique is certainly ground-breaking and we would welcome the results of further clinical trials to see if it could become a standard treatment for both adults and children.
"Sadly, we have reached a breaking point with our transplant list in the UK, where approximately 100 people die waiting for a donor liver to become available each year."
King's College Hospital is part of King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centres (AHSC), a collaboration of five academic health centres in London, which aims to accelerate the transition of research from bench to bedside.

Ban smoking in cars, says British Medical Association By Nick Triggle

       Some parts of the world have already banned smoking in cars
Smoking in cars
  • Just over a fifth of adults in England smoke; the figure is slightly higher in other parts of the UK
  • It is estimated that between a third and half of smokers will light up while in a car
  • If they do so the concentration of toxins is much higher in a car than a smoky bar; some research has put it at 23-fold, although others have suggested lower figures
  • If windows are open, the concentration levels can be lower
  • Smoking is already banned in vehicles that are used for work purposes, such as taxis
  • As yet no part of the UK has banned smoking in private cars

Smoking in cars should be banned in the UK to protect people from second-hand smoke, doctors say.
The British Medical Association called for the extension of the current ban on smoking in public places after reviewing evidence of the dangers.
It highlighted research showing the levels of toxins in a car can be up to 23 times higher than in a smoky bar.
But a report by a cross-party group of MPs and peers said non-legislative options should be considered as well.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health even said calling for an immediate ban could be "counterproductive" as consensus needed to be built across society before taking such as step.
The group said there should be a consultation on tackling smoking in cars which could look at whether it would be better to have an outright ban, or if more could be achieved by raising awareness about the dangers through education campaigns.
It pointed out that policing a ban on smoking in cars could be difficult.
No part of the UK has yet implemented a ban, although ministers in Northern Ireland have said they will launch a consultation on the issue.
Meanwhile, in Wales a public awareness campaign has begun highlighting the dangers of smoking in cars. Officials have said if that does not succeed over the next three years, a ban will be introduced.
Neither England or Scotland are currently considering introducing legislation at the moment.
But the BMA believes tougher action is needed.
The doctors' union said an outright ban - even if there were no passengers - would be the best way of protecting children as well as non-smoking adults.
It said the young were particularly vulnerable from second-hand smoke as they absorbed more pollutants and their immune systems were less developed.
Research has show that second-hand smoke can increase the risk of a range of conditions, including sudden infant death syndrome and asthma, as well as impairing lung function.
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science at the BMA, admitted introducing a ban would be a "bold and courageous" move.
She added: "The evidence for extending smoke-free legislation is compelling."
International action
While no part of the UK has yet taken such a step, countries elsewhere in the world have.
Some states in Canada, the US and Australia, as well as the whole of South Africa, have introduced legislation, but in each case it has been focused on stopping smoking where children are present.
Instead, the BMA said a complete ban would be better as it would be easier to police. It would also have the added benefit of potentially improving safety as smoking could be a distraction for the driver, the report said.
The BMA, which was produced after doctors' voted at their annual conference in the summer in favour of their union lobbying for a ban, received some support from other health groups.
However, the likes of Asthma UK and the British Heart Foundation said any ban should only cover children.
But smokers' lobby group Forest said there was "no justification" for a ban at all.
Director Simon Clark said: "Legislation is a gross overreaction. What next, a ban on smoking in the home?"
A spokesman for the Department of Health in England said: "We do not believe that legislation is the most effective way to encourage people to change their behaviour."
He said instead a marketing campaign would be launched in the spring which would focus on the dangers of smoking in the home and car.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Cardiac cells 'heal heart damage' By James Gallagher Health reporter

Many researchers are looking at using stem cells to repair the heart.

Stem cells taken from a patient's own heart have, for the first time, been used to repair damaged heart tissue, researchers claim.
The study, published in the Lancet, was designed to test the procedure's safety, but also reported improvements in the heart's ability to pump blood. The authors said the findings were "very encouraging"
Other experts said techniques with bone marrow stem cells were more advanced and that bigger trials were needed.
The scientists say this is the first reported case of cardiac stem cells being used as a treatment in people after earlier studies had shown benefits in animals.
The preliminary trial was on patients with heart failure who were having heart bypass surgery. During the operation, a piece of heart tissue, from the right atrial appendage, was taken.
While the patient was being sewn up, researchers isolated cardiac stem cells from the sample and cultured them until they had about two million stem cells for each patient. The cells were injected about 100 days later.
Doctors measured how efficiently the heart was pumping using the left ventricle ejection fraction - what percentage of blood was leaving one of the heart's main chamber with every beat.
In the 14 patients given the treatment, the percentage increased from 30.3% at the beginning of the trial, to 38.5% after four months.
There was no change in the ejection fraction in the seven patients who were not injected with stem cells.
Dr Roberto Bolli, one of the researchers from the University of Louisville, told the BBC: "We believe these finding are very significant.
"Our results indicate that cardiac stem cells can markedly improve the contractile function of the heart."
Heart v bone
The heart is not the only source of potentially useful stem cells. Trials have already taken place using stems cells from bone marrow.
Prof Anthony Mathur, from Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Prof John Martin, from University College London, are already conducting large randomised clinical trials.
They are investigating the effect of giving patients stem cells from their own bone marrow, in NHS hospitals, within six hours of a heart attack.
Prof Mathur said of the cardiac stem cell study: "Caveats very much apply. It's a phase one trial so while the early results are great and promising, they need to design a big study to see if the results translate."
He also cautioned that improvements in ejection fraction were not the same as increasing survival or quality of life.
Prof Martin said he was "concerned" that the seven patients in the control group showed no improvement in ejection fraction, which would normally be expected, and that they were not given a sham treatment to account for the placebo effect.
He said that was acceptable when just testing a procedure's safety, but not when looking at effectiveness, which relies on the difference between the treated and control groups.
Prof Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, argued that the improvement in heart function was similar to those in other studies.
"This is positive, but the crucial next steps are to see whether this improvement is confirmed in the final completed trial, and to understand whether the cells are actually replacing damaged heart cells or are secreting molecules that are helping to heal the heart," he added.
Dr Bolli argues that stem cells from the heart might be more useful as "their natural function is to replace the cells that continuously die in the heart due to wear and tear".
He hopes to start the next phase of clinical trials in 2012.

Owen out for six weeks Striker not expected to return until Boxing Day at the earliest

Manchester United have confirmed Michael Owen has been ruled out for six weeks as he recovers from his thigh injury.Michael Owen: The striker sustained his thigh injury against Otelul Galati. The striker sustained the problem in the UEFA Champions League match against Otelul Galati at Old Trafford at the beginning of November.And Owen is now not expected to return until Christmas at the earliest, with United suggesting the Boxing Day game against Wigan as a possible date for his comeback. A club spokesman told United's official website: "Michael has a thigh muscle injury and will be out for six weeks or so."The thigh complaint came as a latest setback for Owen, who has been plagued by injuries in his career.The 31-year-old was last week dismissing suggestions he could retire at the end of this season, when his United contract expires.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Smoking Baby Two year old smoker and drinker too latest unseen visuals with alcohol (29-5-2010)


Overheating Risk For Early Apple iPod Nanos

                                      The announcement affects nanos sold between September 2005 and December 2006

Apple has warned the battery on the first generation of the iPod nano could overheat and pose a safety risk - and is offering a replacement device free of charge.

The affected nanos were sold between September 2005 and December 2006.
The technology giant said although the possibility of an incident was "rare", the likelihood increases as the battery gets older.
Other versions of the iPod are not affected. The first-generation devices have a black or white plastic front and a silver metal back.
Later iPod nano models have a metal front and back.
Apple said: "This issue has been traced to a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect."
The firm urged customers to stop using their first-generation iPod nano and order a replacement online.
They will need their iPod nano serial number to verify eligibility.
It added: "If you have a personalised iPod nano, you will receive a non-personalised replacement.
"Make sure to use iTunes to back up any data on your current iPod nano before sending it in for a replacement unit."
Apple will send a replacement about six weeks after it receives the first generation model

Walking In The Air: Path At 4,700ft

A glass-paved path has been built 4,700ft high on the side of a mountain in China. The walkway, which is 200ft long and just under three inches thick, will give tourists to Hunan province's Tianmen Mountain a scare, as they look down between their feet to the rocky canyon below.