Study: Heat Deaths to Jump in Absence of Changes

The number of people dying from heat waves is likely to rise sharply in some regions by 2080 if policymakers fail to take mitigating steps in climate and health policies, according to the results of a study released Tuesday. Deaths caused by heat waves could increase dramatically in tropical and subtropical regions, the study found, followed closely by Australia, Europe and the United States. Published in the journal PLOS Medicine, the study’s results suggest stricter mitigation policies should be applied to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because lower greenhouse gas emissions are linked with fewer deaths due to heat waves. Antonio Gasparrini, an expert from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who co-led the research, noted that several countries around the world are currently being hit by deadly heat waves and said it was “highly likely” that heat wave frequency and severity would increase under a changing climate. “The good news is that if we mitigate greenhouse gas emissions … then the projected impact will be much reduced,” he said. The researchers said they hoped their research, which used mathematical modeling, would help decision-makers in planning strategies for climate change. Different scenarios The model used different scenarios characterized by levels of greenhouse gas emissions, preparedness and adaption strategies, as well as population density to estimate the number of deaths related to heat waves in 412 communities across 20 countries from 2031 to 2080. The results found that compared with the period 1971 to 2020 and under the extreme scenario, the …

Cases of Tick-Borne Meat Allergy May Be on the Rise

As Americans head outdoors for barbeques or hiking in the woods, danger might be lurking in the grass. The bite of the lone star tick, which lives in many eastern U.S. states, has been known to cause an allergic reaction to red meat. New research suggests that meat allergy may be on the rise. Mammalian meat allergy, also known as the alpha-gal allergy, refers to an allergic reaction caused by a complex sugar found in many mammalian cell membranes. The galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose sugar isn’t found in primates (including humans), but is common to red meats such as pork and beef. Symptoms of meat allergy can include hives, stomach trouble, and a sudden drop in blood pressure. It can lead to anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. New research by Dr. Jay Lieberman at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center finds one-third of anaphylaxis cases in a recent 10-year period were caused by this arachnid-induced allergy. Lieberman and his co-authors were interested in assessing the breakdown of various causes of anaphylaxis, including the alpha-gal (red meat) allergy. Anaphylaxis is usually defined as a reaction involving at least two different organ systems. “For example, if you have full body hives and you vomit,” Lieberman said, “that can be anaphylaxis, as long as you know that it’s not associated with an infection or virus.” The researchers evaluated 218 cases of anaphylaxis in patients ranging from as young as 9 years old to 78-year-old retirees who visited their university-affiliated Tennessee clinic over …

НБУ пояснив, чому падає гривня

Національний банк України пояснив 31 липня причини курсових коливань, які спостерігаються на валютному ринку другий тиждень поспіль. Серед причин, які спричинили падіння гривні щодо долара США, регулятор назвав «активне проведення компаніями операцій з перерахування дивідендів за кордон (з початку липня з цією метою було куплено майже 300 мільйонів доларів США) та вихід нерезидентами з облігацій внутрішньої державної позики (з початку липня обсяг ОВДП в портфелях нерезидентів скоротився майже на 1,3 мільярда гривень)». «На курсову динаміку минулого тижня також впливали значні обсяги повернення ПДВ наприкінці місяця, що значно зменшує обсяг вільного продажу валюти, а також збільшення попиту на готівкову валюту, зокрема зі сторони тіньового аграрного сектору у зв’язку з початком сезону», – ідеться в повідомленні. Нацбанк вказує, що з початку минулого тижня продав 148 мільйонів доларів. «Зокрема, сьогодні НБУ оголосив аукціон з продажу 50 мільйонів доларів США… За результатами аукціону НБУ продав 28,1 мільйонів доларів США за ціною відсікання 26,86 гривні за долар», – інформує НБУ. 24 липня вперше за чотири місяці Національний банк України встановив офіційний курс на рівні понад 26 з половиною гривень за долар – 26,58. Відтоді курс продовжив зростання, 31 липня станом на 13:00 на міжбанківському валютному ринку зареєстровано 340 угод на суму понад 190 мільйонів доларів за середньозваженим курсом 26 гривень 86 копійок за долар, повідомляє профільний сайт «Мінфін».   …

Tehran: Trump Wrong to Expect Saudis to Cover Loss of Iran Oil Supply

Iran said on Tuesday U.S. President Donald Trump was mistaken to expect Saudi Arabia and other oil producers to compensate for supply losses caused by U.S. sanctions on Iran, after OPEC production rose only modestly in July. The comments, from Iran’s OPEC governor, came a day after a Reuters survey showed OPEC production rose by 70,000 barrels per day in July. Saudi production increased but was offset by a decline in Iranian supply due to the restart of U.S. sanctions, the survey found. “It seems President Trump has been taken hostage by Saudi Arabia and a few producers when they claimed they can replace 2.5 million barrels per day of Iranian exports, encouraging him to take action against Iran,” Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told Reuters. “Now they and Russia sell more oil and more expensively. Not even from their incremental production but their stocks.” He said oil prices, which Trump has been pressuring the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to bring down by raising output, will rise unless the United States grants waivers to buyers of Iranian crude. “They are also calling for the use of the U.S. SPR [Strategic Petroleum Reserve]. This will also mean higher prices. U.S. waivers to our clients if they come is due to the failure of bluffers [Saudi and the other producers] and, if not given, will again push the prices higher,” he said. “So they hanged him [Trump] on the wall. Now they want to have a mega OPEC, congratulations to President Trump, …

50 Years on, McDonald’s and Fast-Food Evolve Around Big Mac

McDonald’s is fighting to hold onto customers as the Big Mac turns 50, but it isn’t changing the makings of its most famous burger. The company is celebrating the 1968 national launch of the double-decker sandwich whose ingredients of “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and a sesame seed bun” were seared into American memories by a TV jingle. But the milestone comes as the company reduces its number of U.S. stores. McDonald’s said Thursday that customers are visiting less often. Other trendy burger options are reaching into the heartland. The “Golden Arches” still have a massive global reach, and the McDonald’s brand of cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets and french fries remains recognizable around the world. But on its critical home turf, the company is toiling to stay relevant. Kale now appears in salads, fresh has replaced frozen beef patties in Quarter Pounders, and some stores now offer ordering kiosks, food delivery and barista-style cafes. The milestone for the Big Mac shows how much McDonald’s and the rest of fast-food have evolved around it. “Clearly, we’ve gotten a little more sophisticated in our menu development,” McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a phone interview. As with many of its popular and long-lasting menu items, the idea for the Big Mac came from a franchisee. In 1967, Michael James “Jim” Delligatti lobbied the company to let him test the burger at his Pittsburgh restaurants. Later, he acknowledged the Big Mac’s similarity to a popular sandwich sold by the Big …

Accusations Fly as US Firms Seek to Avoid Trump’s Steel Tariff

U.S. companies seeking to be exempted from President Donald Trump’s tariff on imported steel are accusing American steel manufacturers of spreading inaccurate and misleading information, and they fear it may torpedo their requests. Robert Miller, president and CEO of NLMK USA, said objections raised by U.S. Steel and Nucor to his bid for a waiver are “literal untruths.” He said his company, which imports huge slabs of steel from Russia, has already paid $80 million in duties and will be forced out of business if it isn’t excused from the 25 percent tariff. U.S. Steel and Nucor are two of the country’s largest steel producers. “They ought to be ashamed of themselves,” said Miller, who employs more than 1,100 people at mills in Pennsylvania and Indiana. Miller’s resentment, echoed by several other executives, is evidence of the backlash over how the Commerce Department is evaluating their requests to avoid the duty on steel imports. They fear the agency will be swayed by opposition from U.S. Steel, Nucor and other domestic steel suppliers that say they’ve been unfairly hurt by a glut of imports and back Trump’s tariff. U.S. Steel said its objections are based on detailed information about the dimensions and chemistry of the steel included in the requests. “We read what is publicly posted and respond,” said spokeswoman Meghan Cox. Nucor did not reply to requests for comment. The 20,000-plus waiver applications that the Commerce Department has received illustrate the chaos and uncertainty ignited by Trump’s trade war against …

WHO: Breastfed Newborns Get Best Start in Life

Breastfeeding babies within an hour of birth significantly increases their chances of survival, the World Health Organization reports, citing data from 76 countries that find that mother’s milk is rich in health-giving nutrients and antibodies. However, only 40 percent of infants are breastfed in the first hour of life, according to WHO’s infant and young child feeding specialist, Laurence Grummer-Strawn. “The delay of breastfeeding puts the babies at increased risk of infection and ultimately increases their risk of death. Just delaying beyond the first hour can increase mortality by about one-third, and waiting until the second day doubles the rate of mortality,” he said. The worst rates are found in East Asia and the Pacific, where only 32 percent of babies are breastfed in the first hour after birth, Grummer-Strawn said. He added that the numbers are much better in Africa, with eastern and southern Africa seeing average rates of 65 percent. “What is interesting is this varies tremendously from country to country,” he said. “As we look across Africa, you can see some countries that have very low rates, as low as 20 percent, but other countries, as high as 90 percent. Similarly, in Asia, a substantial difference from one country to another country in these rates.”  Grummer-Strawn says the difference in rates is not driven by regional patterns, but is mainly driven by the kind of education and medical care prevalent within a country. The report warns that formula or other drinks must not be given to newborns …

Trump Suspends Duty-free Status for Rwanda’s Apparel Exports to US

U.S. President Donald Trump has suspended Rwanda’s ability to ship apparel products duty-free to the United States due to a trade dispute over Rwanda’s increased tariffs on American used clothing and footwear, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said on Monday. The ban, ordered by Trump in a proclamation that followed a 60-day notification period, will maintain Rwanda’s other duty-free benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. “We regret this outcome and hope it is temporary,” Deputy USTR C.J. Mahoney said in a statement. He adding that the move would affect about $1.5 million in annual Rwandan exports, or only about three percent of the country’s total exports to the United States. …

US Warns Against IMF Bailing Out Pakistan’s Loans From China

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned against providing an International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan’s new government that includes funding to pay off Chinese lenders. In an interview with CNBC television on July 30, Pompeo said the United States looked forward to engagement with the government of Pakistan’s expected new prime minister, Imran Khan, but said there is “no rationale” for a bailout that pays off Chinese loans to Pakistan. “Make no mistake. We will be watching what the IMF does,” Pompeo said. “There’s no rationale for IMF tax dollars, and associated with that American dollars that are part of the IMF funding, for those to go to bail out Chinese bondholders or China itself,” Pompeo said. The Financial Times reported on July 29 that senior Pakistani finance officials were drawing up options for Khan to seek an IMF bailout of up to $12 billion. An IMF spokeswoman said the international lending agency has not as yet received an aid request from Pakistan nor had discussions with Pakistani officials about their intentions. Pakistan has had 14 IMF financing programs since 1980. Pakistan is struggling to avert a currency crisis that has presented the new government with one of its biggest challenges. Many analysts expect that another IMF bailout, the second in five years, will be needed to plug an external financing gap. Pakistan, which has taken around $5 billion in loans from China and its banks to fund major infrastructure projects, had sought another $1 billion in loans …

Lopez Obrador Looks to Tree Planting to Create Mexico Jobs

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he wants to create 400,000 jobs by planting 1 million hectares (2.47 million acres) with timber and fruit trees.   Lopez Obrador said in a video posted Sunday that he wants to plant half the total amount in 2019, focusing on timber species like cedar and mahogany. The other half would be planted in 2020.   Referring to the Usumacinta river basin near the border with Guatemala, Lopez Obrador said 50,000 to 100,000 hectares could be planted there. He said the upper canopy of timber species could provide cover for cacao plantings beneath. Cacao is the source of chocolate.   Lopez Obrador sees the planting program as a way to offer rural Mexicans work in their home communities, so they do not have to emigrate. …