"Motivational" conversations don't help dieters lose weight

TUESDAY, March 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- It takes a lot of determination to lose weight successfully, but a new research study suggests that "motivating" conversations with a healthcare provider can make little difference. The review looked at studies testing the effect of motivational interviewing, in which a healthcare provider asks questions to encourage patients to talk about what they would like to change and why. The technique is often used in... (Author: Gardener)

MotivationalTUESDAY, March 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- It takes a lot of determination to lose weight successfully, but a new research study suggests that "motivating" conversations with a healthcare provider can make little difference. The review looked at studies testing the effect of motivational interviewing, in which a healthcare provider asks questions to encourage patients to talk about what they would like to change and why. The technique is widely used in healthcare to address issues such as smoking and problem drinking. It has also been incorporated into weight loss programs that focus on lifestyle changes. But the new review — published March 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine — found little benefit. Researchers found that when incorporated into weight-loss programs, motivational interviewing didn't do much: On average, people lost no more weight over a year than those who received other types of help. Moscho Michalopoulou, the study's lead researcher, speculated on a possible explanation: Once people are ready for a weight loss program, their motivation may already be high enough. Few of the studies in the review looked at the effects of motivational talk during routine medical examinations, said Michalopoulou, a nutritionist and PhD student at Oxford University in England. But even in those four studies, she said, the approach made no difference in people's likelihood of losing weight and keeping it off. according to dr Melanie Jay, who specializes in treating obesity at NYU Langone Health in New York City, says it's valuable in part because it's different than simply telling patients what to do. "If you get it right, it's a conversation," she said, adding that it "puts patients in the driver's seat" and allows them to articulate their goals. Jay agreed that there may be little room for improvement in terms of motivation for people willing to participate in a weight loss study. But the reality, she said, is that long-term weight loss also requires much more than motivation: Obesity is complex, and many forces beyond a person's control are at work. "Obesity is heritable, as is height," said Jay, who authored an editorial co-published with the study. This means, among other things, that people are surrounded by fast food and other unhealthy eating habits and have no opportunities to be active. These issues are especially difficult for low-income people, who may live in "food deserts" with few healthy eating options or no safe places to exercise, Jay noted in the editorial. "Motivation is important," Jay said, "but it's not enough." While this all sounds daunting, she pointed out, whether you're losing weight or not, healthier eating habits and regular physical activity can have important health benefits . And it's important, Jay said, that people don't "beat up" each other for missing change on the bathroom scale. The current results are based on 46 studies involving a total of over 11,000 people, most of whom suffered from obesity. All studies used motivational interviews during counseling sessions on weight loss, healthy eating, and exercise. It has always been part of a range of strategies to support lifestyle changes and weight loss. Overall, the review found, tactics involving motivational talk were better than nothing — at least for the first three to six months. But motivational interviewing produced no apparent advantage over behavioral programs that did not use this technique. The researchers found that weight loss over a year was "modest" in all of the studies -- with people regaining just a few pounds on average. According to Jay, studies show that even with "intense" weight-loss programs, only half of participants lose at least 5% of their starting weight (a goal commonly recommended for those with obesity). If lifestyle changes aren't enough, Jay says there are additional options — including prescription medications to help regulate appetite and food intake. For some people with severe obesity, surgery may be an option. SOURCES: Moscho Michalopoulou, RD, MSc, PhD student, University of Oxford, England; Melanie Jay, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and Co-Director, NYU Langone Comprehensive Program on Obesity, New York City; Annals of Internal Medicine, online, March 29, 2022


Queen Elizabeth shows she doesn't care what the world thinks of Prince Andrew

RICHARD POHLEHow many people can you offend with a single gesture? Queen Elizabeth's decision to have Prince Andrew as her personal escort at Westminster Abbey for Prince Philip's Thanksgiving service today was as calculated as it was amazing. They are now reportedly back at Windsor Castle after skipping attendance at several receptions held afterwards. The Queen must have known that such a display of defiance would dominate comments around the world, despite the whole event being too ho (Author: Gardener)

Queen ElizabethQueen Elizabeth's decision to have Prince Andrew as her personal escort at Westminster Abbey for Prince Philip's Thanksgiving service today was as calculated as it was amazing. The Queen must have known that such a display of defiance would dominate commentary around the world, although the whole event was meant to honor Philip's life, not vindicate Andrew, who recently agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to see one Lawsuit to be settled over allegations he sexually assaulted Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was 17 and trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew has always strongly denied the claims. Queen stages large demonstration in support of disgraced Andrew at Philip's Memorial Service Victims of Epstein will get the message: You have no stand against the Queen's family values. The priapian second son of the monarch remains his mother's darling, although no other family in the world would want him around. And that, of course, also makes Prince Charles a victim — not on the same level of pain or suffering, but as an overt preference for one child over the other, especially since Charles and Prince William played such a central role in Andrews' excommunication from the official royal Life. This was the Queen's first public appearance in five months, as she entered the abbey through a side door, holding a walking stick and holding onto Andrew's elbow. The image of her amidst the family and at the head of the family as opposed to the image of her sitting very alone at Philip's funeral last April was striking. Almost everyone was there: Kate and William came with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice and their husbands were there (Beatrice was apparently going to burst into tears). Behind the British royals were 51 remaining members of the extended royal family from Europe, who sat in descending order of rank and importance in the ranks behind the Windsors from Sweden to Monaco. Also in attendance were more than 500 representatives from charities and other organizations that Philip led or was heavily involved with. The most visible non-attendants were Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Harry is currently embroiled in a legal battle over the security he needs and is entitled to when he and his family visit the UK. Harry is still hoping to visit the Queen in person, perhaps with the great-granddaughter, whom she has only met via Zoom and who shares her pet name Lilibet. The Queen's apparent support for Andrew today wasn't exactly a vote of confidence in her eldest son and heir, but after all, Charles has spent his life wanting affection and not getting it. Last week saw the fiasco of William and Kate's colonial-era tour of the Caribbean. Today the sight of Andrew tending the queen was an even greater representation of the tin ear and blind eye of another age. The Queen chose to do it against the howls of pain and protest that erupted within the walls of Windsor Castle, and in a way that made Andrew feel final in the eyes of the one person he needed most must have felt redeemed when the other siblings were united against him. The presence of the foreign kings was a reminder that Philip was an exotic refugee from all these fading minor dynasties, in his case the Greek and Danish royal families, and a direct descendant of the Romanovs. Coming to England alone in the 1930s, he was adopted by Louis Mountbatten, who became a sort of Rasputin figure behind the throne, guided Philip to his match with young Elizabeth, and then became a surrogate father to Charles, leading him into the disastrous union urged with Diana. This elaborate bloodline is now reduced to just four who will surely bear the burden of upholding the Windsor monarchy: Charles and Camilla, and William and Kate, each seated next to and immediately behind the Queen in the Abbey. Aside from his father, William has no blood relationship with this crowd. He is half Spencer, of a tough native lineage that stood valiantly in their service centuries before the Windsors emerged, a particularly resonant detail at the Abbey, where many other honored native warriors are buried. There were strong shades of green in the selected wardrobes, a direct nod to Philips' official livery of 'Edinburgh Green' and perhaps also a hint that new shoots are replacing old and dying ones - or at least hope so. For this is a tense moment for the monarchy, when the relevance of a dynasty so densely populated and well-remunerated to the life of the kingdom will be subjected to far more severe scrutiny once the queen has departed. That is why the optics of the resurrection of Andreas is so dangerous. It is true that Andrew's relationship with Philip was as close as it evidently remains with his mother. Andrew was the alpha male Charles could never be, granting him the same alpha male license to sexually hunt that Philip himself enjoyed for a long time until eventually settling into a stable marriage. Andrew and Philip shared a penchant for crass, and sometimes downright quirky, humor, and apparently his mother always enjoyed having Andrew around. Today it has been shown that he still is. Read more at The Daily Beast. Get the Daily Beast's biggest news and scandals straight to your inbox. Stay connected and get unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched coverage.


Queen 'proved Andrew remains favorite child with gesture of service to Philip'

THE Queen proved controversial Prince Andrew remains her "favorite child" at Prince Philip's memorial today, according to a body language expert. The Duke of York, often referred to as his mother's... (Author: Gardener)

PhilipTHE Queen proved controversial Prince Andrew remains her "favorite child" at Prince Philip's memorial today, according to a body language expert. Often referred to as his mother's 'favourite son', the Duke of York walked arm in arm with the 95-year-old monarch as he led her down the aisle of Westminster Abbey. It is Andrew's first public appearance since he paid Virginia Giuffre £7million to drop her civil sexual assault case against him in the US. Body language expert Judi James told The Sun: "It was a testament to the Queen's continued strength, resilience and apparent determination that she chose her most controversial child to not only walk her down the aisle today, but to walk her down the aisle today to appear in the role, once filled by her husband Prince Philip, once the service was over. "It was Andrew who dutifully and confidently stood in the center of the aisle waiting for her after the service had ended, and it was Andrew who stood behind her, arms crossed behind her back in a characteristic pose of his father, and was joined by smiles and laughter as the Queen thanked her hosts and addressed the guest speakers. "It was also Andrew who was at the end of her only smile before the service as she smiled and nodded her thanks to him in a very emphatic public gesture as she left to take her own seat." Convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was given a front row seat at the Abbey, close to his other siblings. Judi added: "All the gestures and body language rituals performed by the Queen in public are meaningful rather than spontaneous, and her smile of thanks to her second son as he bowed after escorting her to her seat probably should be viewed as a declaration of intent the world. "It was Charles, Edward and Anne who looked on, exchanging little or no signal with their mother at this service, while Andrew took on the role of attendant and attendant." The Duke of York's prominent role at the service at Westminster Abbey - accompanying his mother - was the Queen's way of showing her second son still has a place at family gatherings, according to one royal commentator: "He could have sat in the congregation with others, with his relatives, but they have actively decided that he would take on that role to support her."And she makes it very clear that he plays a role on family occasions."Peter said the downside of Andrew having played such a prominent role in his father's memorial was was that this was a reminder of his "many miscarriages of justice which resulted in his being removed from public life." He continued, "It's one thing to ak accept that he should attend his father's memorial service. Peter said he found it "fascinating", adding: "Did William and Charles try to intervene? He continued: "I think you have to assume that Charles and William were at the helm with the Queen driving Andrew's public role. So they either decided that they could justify it by saying it was an event for his father, or they tried to claim that this wasn't a good idea and the Queen decided not to listen to them." Andrew's daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, were at their father's side for the memorial of their grandfather and Beatrice became visibly emotional.Her Majesty organized Prince Philip's Thanksgiving service to be held at Westminster Abbey after his funeral had to be canceled due to Covid in the had been scaled back last year.The Duke of Edinburgh, 99, was buried last spring when singing was banned and the number of people under Covid restrictions was limited to just 30. However, his memorial service today marks a more uplifting occasion, at which the Queen was said to be "actively involved" in the day's planning.


Kevin Owens proves to be the perfect Stone Cold opponent, more WWE Raw takes

WrestleMania Raw was a star-studded show from start to finish. Roman Reigns and The Usos performed, and Brock Lesnar commented ahead of this weekend's marquee event... (Author: Gardener)

Kevin OwensKevin Owens proves to be the perfect Stone Cold opponent, more WWE Raw TakesKevin Owens proves to be the perfect Stone Cold opponent, more WWE Raw TakesWrestleMania Raw was a star-studded show from start to finish. However, the show was particularly defined by those less in the limelight on The Show of Shows. Kevin Owens explained how he views "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and he challenged The Texas Rattlesnake to pass him the torch he deserved. Omos went looking for the very best competition and he got it. The All Mighty is too good to lose to the undefeated giants, but nothing is certain when it comes to the show. Ricochet may be the intercontinental champion, but his booking has made him an improvement talent heading into WrestleMania. He lost to Austin Theory again, suggesting that WWE may have crowned him champion early without having a long-term plan for him. The Street Profits entered the main event, laying out Randy Orton and Riddle. Embarrassed by the end, however, Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins started a disappointing heel-to-toe run on the wrong foot. This show didn't spark excitement for WrestleMania like it should, but it did set up some key moments WWE can't afford to miss on This Weekend and Beyond. Kevin Owens is the only man who could bring "Stone Cold" back While "Stone Cold" Steve Austin won't be wrestling at WrestleMania 38, preparation for his appearance at AT&T Stadium this weekend has indicated we'll be getting something close enough. For many years, fans have dreamed of The Texas Rattlesnake returning to the ring. From Randy Orton to CM Punk, many have been hyped as "the next Stone Cold" in hopes that they might one day take on Austin. However, Kevin Owens was the man who put the 57-year-old back in the spotlight and he is a pairing that makes so much sense. KO isn't the veteran's natural successor, but he's the perfect rival for him. Austin has always worked best with personalities as big as himself. He's met his own stunner as a finisher to set the stage for years. This may not be a real match, but Austin and Owens still look ready to steal the show. Bobby Lashley shouldn't lose to OmosBobby Lashley has returned and set his sights on Omos. WWE has to deal with The All Mighty's recent injury. Most importantly, the giant isn't immediately put above Lashley. While Omos has already defeated a multiple WWE Champion in AJ Styles, this one has been built up over months to test its status in one-on-one actions. The All Mighty is the perfect man to really test the behemoth. His combination of speed and strength was to be Omos' first true challenge. This could be the moment when the giant must pay their tribute to one of the best in WWE. However, Omos is not ready to defeat Lashley just yet. Instead, this weekend he can learn from a loss and improve on his way to WrestleMania 39. Booking doesn't do Ricochet any favors in Intercontinental Reign Ricochet lost his third match in three days when he was beaten by Austin Theory on Monday night, meaning he's now been beaten in more non-title fights than title fights he's had in the past month won. And it's becoming increasingly clear that WWE has no plan for the intercontinental champion. Former defending champion Sami Zayn is set for a big gimmick match against Johnny Knoxville at WrestleMania, and he likely had his belt removed to ensure he could lose to the Jackass star. But the current champion has no place on the weekend's map. Even if it meant Knoxville briefly winning the belt, that would be better than the title being disregarded like it was last month. Ricochet can be a great champion, but not with his current booking. Losing to Theory isn't bad on the surface, but he was quickly defeated to overplay a non-title WrestleMania match between the winner and Pat McAfee. Theory probably won't get a real title match out of it. The Street Profits don't start on the right foot as heels The Street Profits took on a heel role for the first time on the main roster right before WrestleMania, but they're not starting strong. They meddled in Monday's main event and then was laid out by Randy Orton and Riddle, and it feels like they're being set up as rivals for RK-Bro post-WrestleMania, but the build-up to this has been lackluster. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins have the charisma to sell every character, but the profits aren't dangerous enough to sell this angle. Alongside Alpha Academy, they just seem to follow rather than tell their own story. The Street Profits have to do something heinous to sell them to RK-Bro as the sneaky heel foils. You can't just attack the Raw tag team champions and fail.


University Challenge viewers swarm with a contestant after a gesture to the opposing team

BBC Two viewers went wild during yesterday's edition of University Challenge. Most raved about University of Reading team captain Michael Hutchinson on the show as he made some sort of... (Author: Gardener)

University ChallengeBBC Two viewers went wild during yesterday's edition of University Challenge. Most raved about University of Reading team captain Michael Hutchinson on the show as he made a friendly gesture to his opponents. The University of Reading has reached the next round and is in the semi-finals of the popular quiz show. While some fans of the program were happy the team emerged victorious from their game against St John's College, Cambridge, others could not get over Reading team captain Michael. The University Challenge candidate, who was unanimously referred to by his last name on social media, applauded the losing team at the end of the game. "Hutchinson though," one viewer simply wrote next to a heart-over-eye emoji. "Didn't get it right at the University Challenge tonight because Hutchinson distracted me," added another, obviously smitten with Michael. A third fan of the show chimed in: "Can we all agree that Reading, Hutchinson is our favourite? Intelligent, humble and a nice guy who congratulates the losing team on the show." "Got scolded by my husband for clapping at the end of the University Challenge because the University of Reading wouldn't hear me!" she wrote first. Before adding: "What an excellent Captain Hutchinson is - applauds St John's at the beginning and at the end. Another viewer reacted to Reading's win with a self-explanatory James Bond GIF, writing, "Hutchinson right now." One fan assured that Michael would become "everyone's favorite teacher," commenting that he was "a stand-up guy." ' is in history and Sylvian Jesudoss, who is doing a PhD in marketing. Michael led his team to victory last night as they beat Cambridge by 75 points after losing a previous game to Imperial College London. Luckily for viewers who are increasingly loving The Reading Hunk, Michael's team was able to secure their place in the semifinals. Much like University Challenge fans, Michael took to Twitter to share his joy after beating St. John's Me, so we went into this one with the intention of humming like windmills during a bar brawl," he wrote.


Tuskegee University showcases academic excellence at the 33rd Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

A team of scholars from Tuskegee University compete in the 33rd annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, held April 10-12. The Quiz Bowl competition is a year-round program that celebrates black excellence and showcases the academic talents of the best HBCU students from across the country. (Author: Gardener)

Campus All-Star ChallengeTuskegee University is celebrating its 32nd year in the upcoming Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament. The HCASC Quiz Bowl is America's premier academic competition among HBCUs. The annual event brings together more than 300 HBCU students, coaches, presidents and institutional representatives for a tournament that uniquely combines educational and personal development experiences beyond the classroom. After advancing through the preliminary rounds of the HCASC National Championship Series, Tuskegee University is one of 16 teams that went head-to-head in the HCASC Playoffs on March 20th to advance to the HCASC National Championship Tournament on April 10-12. dr Worth Hayes, associate professor of history and director of assessment, has coached the university's quiz bowl team since 2015; He says this year's Quiz Bowl activities will remain virtual. But it also required players to be creative and deepen their commitment to the program,” Hayes explained. Hayes says this is an almost entirely new team. “Three of the players made the varsity team for the first time. Although the three new players have been with our Quiz Bowl Club since their freshman year, now juniors, they have waited their turn as older players have graduated. “We also have one player, Joseph Rachal, who has been a varsity player since freshman year. In his freshman year he won the national qualifying tournament. He also used that time to become a better quiz bowl player," Hayes noted. Under Hayes' leadership, Tuskegee has won two Honda Campus All-Star Challenge championships, resulting in nearly thousands of dollars returning to the university. "The team continued its competitive streak and further cemented Tuskegee University's excellence nationally." The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is a year-round program that celebrates black excellence and showcases the academic talents of the best HBCU students from across the country. Four teams of students compete in a head-to-head competition, quickly answering questions about history, science, literature, religion, math, art, pop culture, and sports. HCASC challenges students to broaden their knowledge base on a variety of topics while developing their leadership and collaborative skills. With the opportunity to compete with students from other HBCUs, attendees build camaraderie, receive mentoring opportunities with HCASC alumni, and make "friends for life." “Honda commends the students at Tuskegee University for their incredible commitment to preparing for the HCASC,” said Yvette Hunsicker, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusion & Diversity at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Honda Campus All for over 30 years -Star Challenge has brought together the best and brightest HBCU students in a celebration of academic excellence. We look forward to cheering on the students and crowning the 2022 HCASC National Champion.” Beyond the competition, Honda offers development seminars aimed at increasing career readiness and student empowerment. The Virtual HCASC Top 16 Playoffs Teams will be broadcast live on at 1:00 pm EDT on March 20. The Tuskegee team will be competing for their place in the HCASC National Championship Tournament April 10-12, vying for the grand prize – an institutional stipend of $75,000 from Honda.This year, Honda will provide nearly $400,000 in institutional grants to participating HBCUs, with many of the schools using the grants to fund scholarships for students.Since the academic tournament's inception in the year More than 145,000 students attended the HCASC in 1989. For over 30 years, Honda has supported student success and dreams Historically Black College and University (HBCU) through initiatives such as the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge and Honda Battle of the Bands. These programs provide HBCU students with unforgettable experiences and opportunities, including meeting and networking with peers from other HBCU schools. Honda has impacted the lives of more than 200,000 students and provided over $14 million in grants to support HBCU educational programs and facility improvements. Honda has also partnered with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to provide annual scholarships to support HBCU students pursuing an education in engineering, supply chain management and manufacturing-related fields.


Norwich City claim the title in the FIFA 22 ePremier League 2021/22 after a thrilling final

The FIFA 22 ePremier League 2021/22 brought some thrilling victories and surprise exits as Norwich City won the competition for the first time in its history (Author: Gardener)

ePremier LeagueThe FIFA 22 ePremier League 2021/22 brought some thrilling victories and surprise exits as Norwich City won the competition for the first time in its history. Wignall led the Canary Islands to their first-ever ePremier League victory on FIFA 22. The ePremier League 21/22 saw a format change for the first time, with each club playing two matches on Xbox and PlayStation Total points decide the winner. 1JEsports duo Damie and Goalpoacher_ emerged victorious, with Norwich City representatives beating Brentford duo Sam 'SamBrwster' Brewster and Peace 'czohino' Chirwa 5-1 on aggregate in Sunday's Grand Final at FIFA 22. Victory in the Canary Islands also brought the duo £30,000 in prize money from the £100,000 prize pool, with the £30,000 split 50/50 between the winners. Norwich's Damie was a semi-finalist in the inaugural 2018/2019 ePremier League where Liverpool and Tekkz were crowned champions and Damie won his Xbox leg in the final 3-1 before Goalpoacher_ won the Playstation leg 2-0 and alongside Champion as well as the trophy and £30,000 in prize money, the duo of Norwich and Brentford's SamBrwster secured the three places on offer in the EA SPORTS FIFA 22 Global Series European Play-Offs. There was always a new winner in the 21/22 ePremier League after last year's winners Shellzz, who represented Manchester City, failed to qualify. Shellzz was the 2021/22 ePremier League winner for Manchester City. Were you surprised by Norwich's ePremier League win? Norwich were underdog favorites from the start but their chances of progressing through the group stage were always slim as they were placed in Group D, dubbed the 'Group of Death'. Their five-team group consisted of Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Watford and Tottenham Hotspur, with the latter two sides being favorites on the rise. The Canaries have won three and drawn one of their four games, including some incredible victories against Newcastle and Watford, who won 7-0 and 11-4 respectively. Elsewhere, Brentford and Chelsea from Group A, Liverpool and Everton from Group B and Leeds United and Crystal Palace from Group C advanced to form the eight teams set to face day two in the quarter-finals. With a former winner in the team, Liverpool seemed favorites to continue and win the competition after some surprise early eliminations, but Tekkz and Diogo Mendes failed to make it past the last eight, losing 3-1 on aggregate to Crystal's Ethan Palace Higgens and Jacob Benskin. Norwich continued their impressive form by beating Chelsea 5-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals, with Damie winning his leg 3-0 before Goalpoacher_ secured a 2-2 draw and a semi-final tie against Leeds United, represented by Mitchell Hayward, fielded Olle "Ollelito" Arbin, runner-up last year. A close affair between Damie and Ollelito resulted in a thrilling 0-0 draw in the Xbox leg, but after a 2-0 lead in the PlayStation leg, Goalpoacher_ Hayward beat them 2-1 to send the Canary Islands through to the grand final. Damie sent the Canaries 3-1 up in the first leg of the final as Norwich took a big step towards victory and a convincing performance from Goalpoacher_ in the second leg saw Norwich win 2-0, making it 5th overall :1 win brought . After being crowned champion, Damie spoke to Sky Sports about his win: "Words can't describe how I'm feeling right now a moment I'll never forget. “It was a tough tournament but I feel like Damien and I worked well as a team and together we managed to overtake any opponent that got in our way. The win puts Norwich in a very exclusive list of ePremier League winners. have not won the competition more than once with the same player or team.


637 cases of new Covid variant detected in UK as two strains of Omicron are combined

MORE than 600 cases of a new Covid variant combining two Omicron strains have been found in the UK. Dubbed "XE," it may be spreading 10 percent faster than the current strain, but scientists said the... (Author: Gardener)

OmicronMORE than 600 cases of a new Covid variant combining two Omicron strains have been found in the UK. Dubbed "XE," it may be spreading 10 percent faster than the current strain, but scientists said they are still studying it. There is no evidence that XE is more severe in terms of disease severity, and Omicon variants have so far been shown to be milder. Around one in 16 Brits is currently infected with Covid. BA.2 has a 75 percent higher growth rate than other Omicron strains, including those that caused the Christmas and New Year's wave. The growth rate is a measure that reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing from day to day. But the new strain is a combination of both, and the UK Health and Safety Agency (UKHSA) believes it's spreading even faster than BA.2. XE is known as a recombinant variant, where the genetics of two strains are mixed together to create a new version. Professor Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor, UKHSA, said recombinant variants are not uncommon, especially when there are multiple variants in circulation. "As with other types of variants, most will die off relatively quickly," she said. “This particular recombinant, XE, has shown a variable growth rate and we cannot yet confirm if it has a real growth advantage. A UKHSA report said: "XE shows evidence of community transmission within England, although this currently accounts for less than one per cent of all cases sequenced." It said XE had a growth rate of 9.8 per cent above that of BA.2 , and around 637 cases of XE have been detected in the UK since January 19. Israel issued a warning about the XE strain in early March and said it had found two cases there. The World Health Organization (WHO) warned at the time about European countries underestimating the dangers of the mixed strain, the Hindustan Times reported. There are two other recombinant strains that are known to be infected A cause for concern, dubbed XF and XD. XF mixes the British Delta strain and Original Omicron and is nicknamed "Deltacron". A small number of cases (38) have been found in the UK, but it has not been detected since mid-February , said UKHSA, writing in a Twitter thread: "How concerned should we be talking about these (and other) recombinants?" quite possibly similar to its parent virus [sic]... It has been identified in Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark and contains the structural proteins of Delta."If *a* this recombin ants behaved very differently than their parent, it could be XD..." Dr. Peacock said the coronavirus has evolved during the pandemic, creating recombinants. He added: "The other reason we're seeing a lot now is because by the time BA.1 was launched (at least in Europe and the US) there were already very high concentrations of Delta circulating - hence lots of opportunities for co- Infection, recombination and transmission.” Prof Hopkins said the UKHSA was continuing to monitor the situation closely. Covid infections have risen sharply in most parts of the UK, with Scotland and Wales posting new record highs. Across the UK, 4.26 million people are likely to have contracted Covid in the week to March 19, according to calculations by the Office for National Statistics. It's not far from 4.3 million in the first week of 2022, which was the highest total since estimates began. Northern Ireland is the only country where infections are thought to be falling, with levels at one in 17 after falling for two straight weeks.The ONS Infection Survey is the most reliable measure of the prevalence of Covid in the UK since the government is now limiting testing to the public.ONS swabs thousands of random households, then estimates the percentage of Brits likely to have Covid based on the results. James Naismith, a professor of structural biology at Oxford University, warned the latest ONS figures show there is "no evidence et" the virus has peaked. He said: "This wave will burn out by simply infecting everyone who can be infected." A total of 16,975 people were hospitalized with Covid in the UK on March 23 - up 18 per cent from the previous week. It is the most Covid patients since January 24th, but nowhere near the peak values ​​in the first and second waves.


Storm Eunice has shown that the British government does not want to house the homeless

(Author: Gardener)

BritishStorm Eunice showed that the British government does not want to house the homeless. Their unprecedented commitment to sheltering all homeless people overnight was certainly a break with the past. However, the failure to offer the same level of support for Storm Eunice underscores the hollowness of the UK government's rhetoric on how to recover from the pandemic. When the UK Government announced the Everyone In campaign to accommodate all of England's 6,000 or so homeless people, it was hailed by campaigners as the largest government intervention in history and a turning point for a Tory party that - against all odds – to the party of the big government. But their failure to do so after Storm Eunice's record-breaking winds shows exactly what the government thinks of rough sleepers. In their eyes, they are dangerous disease carriers, not vulnerable citizens who have fallen through the cracks of the state. As of April 2020, 90 percent of the homeless were sheltered, and as of September 2020 there were 11,000 homeless in temporary shelters and 19,000 in full-time shelters. This was a trend throughout the western world. The Australian government has housed 33,000 homeless people in shelters and hostels in the first few months of the pandemic. However, this policy, successful as it was, has since been phased out. The "new normal" also seems to mean living with the politics of the pre-pandemic era, even as COVID-19 offered some valuable solutions. Support for the homeless has not been on the table during the UK's most recent crisis - Storm Eunice - and responsibility for the homelessness crisis has been handed back to struggling charities and non-profit organizations who are under even greater strain in the wake of the pandemic. For this government, housing the homeless during COVID-19 was less about finding a permanent solution to the crisis and more about a useful public relations stunt and a way to manage a group of people who are all too often considered dirty are considered carriers of the disease. Waves crash against the seawall as Storm Eunice makes landfall in Lyme Regis, England on February 18, 2022. Waves crash against the seawall as Storm Eunice makes landfall in Lyme Regis, England on February 18, 2022. The reality is that Storm Eunice was just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than COVID-19 for the homeless. With winds reaching 92mph, it was one of the strongest in UK history. In fact, the government's official advice was to stay indoors during the emergency, with motorways closed and many rail services canceled - but how can you stay indoors if you don't have a house to go to? The Conservatives have traditionally been the party of sound finances. Even if we can't reach their emotional hearts and engage in their mantra of personal responsibility, surely they can be convinced of the failed economy of homelessness? Homelessness breeds despair, hopelessness, and a lack of self-esteem, which in turn leads to petty crime, antisocial behavior, and mental illness that cost vital police and social services resources that could be deployed elsewhere. COVID-19 is noticeably a much bigger problem in the US than in the UK or Australia. Before the pandemic, the US had nearly 600,000 homeless people out of a population of 300 million, or 0.2 percent. Wealthy and increasingly unaffordable cities are known to have a bigger problem with homelessness. 13,000 homeless people die every year in the United States. In the absence of a nationwide lockdown in the US, there was no incentive to create a national action plan - albeit temporary during the pandemic - as little has been done to reduce homelessness. The rise in unemployment and the lack of a government-backed furlough scheme exacerbated the problem and made it much more visible. COVID-19 is the first of many disasters likely to strike the US as the world grapples with the climate emergency. The rise of AI and computer automation may lead to higher unemployment, while a cost of living crisis, tax hikes and inflation will make homelessness much more common - unless we act now. It is also clear that charities and third parties are unable to deal with this problem alone. According to a survey by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, homeless charities across the United States are being hit by staff shortages and a lack of shelter in both the short and long term. US President Joe Biden wants to clean up better, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to "level up". One way to do this is to ensure that the homeless are protected and that programs are put in place to lift them out of poverty. Currently, homelessness places an additional burden on the social security system and strains police resources. Homeless people - often mentally ill and antisocial people - make life in a big city in the USA less attractive. As the winds from Storm Eunice have eased, we are once again reminded that homelessness is not an inevitability, but rather a consequence of government's willful inaction. A problem that, as we have seen, can be solved. Open in CGTN APP for better experience


Radio host who hasn't had a voice for four years returns to the airwaves

Cancer survivor Joshua Donlon learned new breathing techniques after suffering from pneumonia. (Author: Gardener)

four yearsA community radio host who lost the ability to project his voice for four years due to a brain tumor has returned to the airwaves. Joshua Donlon, from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, was diagnosed with brainstem glioma at the age of two, affecting his central nervous system. The 26-year-old, who has been confined to a wheelchair since the age of 12, is passionate about radio and became a presenter on Huntingdon Community Radio in 2011. He has shielded himself through the pandemic and, after beginning rehabilitation in September 2021 and learning new breathing techniques, has found his voice again. Mr Donlon was supported by Askham Rehab, a specialist neurorehabilitation community based near Doddington, Cambridgeshire, and has since been interviewed by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire - his first time on the airwaves in almost half a decade. He said: "I've always had a passion for radio so it was extremely difficult to accept that my condition had me stepping down from presenting, but the rehab I received at Askham has allowed me to develop my voice to regain and enable me to achieve my quest to get back into radio. "It's been a long journey and not always easy, so my long-awaited return to live radio was a special moment and actually quite overwhelming. Sara Neaves, clinical director and head of outpatient services at Askham Rehab said: "When Josh arrived at Askham his condition was quite severe as he had trouble breathing deeply which affected his ability to speak and reduced exercise tolerance - all causing it by the tumor affecting the messages from the brain to the spinal cord and then to the nerves that regenerate all the muscles in the body. “Getting back into radio has always been a major milestone for Josh and while we have done our part to help him achieve that goal, it is entirely thanks to his extraordinary willpower. "Hopefully this is just the beginning of the next chapter of Josh's incredible journey."