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US President Donald Trump’s eldest son tests positive for coronavirus

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US President Donald Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr has tested positive for Covid-19 and is quarantining without symptoms, the latest in a long list of infections among those with links to the White House.

“Don tested positive at the start of the week and has been quarantining out at his cabin since the result,” his spokesman said.

“He’s been completely asymptomatic so far and is following all medically recommended COVID-19 guidelines,” the spokesman said of the 42-year-old.

Trump Jr’s positive test follows infections for a string of others connected to the White House, including his father, who was hospitalized, the president’s wife Melania and Trump’s youngest son Barron.

Donald Jr’s girlfriend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, also tested positive in July.

Earlier Friday, Andrew Giuliani, a White House aide and son of the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, announced he had tested positive.

Trump Jr is one of the most outspoken and aggressive defenders of his father, who is still refusing to recognize his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden in the November 3 presidential election.

In the days after the vote, Trump Jr called for his father to go to “total war” against what he calls electoral fraud despite no evidence to support the claim.

Like his father he has also consistently downplayed the pandemic, telling Fox News as the virus surged around the country last month that deaths from Covid-19 had fallen to “almost nothing.”

Trump’s administration has been heavily criticized for its response to the pandemic and for downplaying the dangers.

Many in the crowds at his pre-election rallies were often maskless and not abiding by social-distancing rules.

They were a sharp contrast with Biden’s drive-in rallies and his scrupulous mask-wearing.

On Monday, the president-elect expressed frustration over Trump’s refusal to cooperate on the White House transition process, saying “more people may die” of coronavirus without immediate coordination on fighting the pandemic.

With Trump refusing to concede defeat, Biden and his team have been unable to coordinate with government officials on crucial continuity of issues like national security, but also on emergencies like a distribution plan for Covid-19 vaccines to tens of millions of Americans.

Current US numbers — more than a quarter of a million deaths have been reported — have alarmed authorities enough to advise that people stay home for next week’s Thanksgiving holiday, when Americans usually travel to be with their families.

New York City has shut down schools for its 1.1 million students, while California will impose a 10:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew from Saturday.

There was however a new sign of hope on Friday as US biotech giant Pfizer and German partner BioNTech sought approval to roll out their coronavirus vaccine early.

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Health & Fitness

Low fitness may increase depression and anxiety: Study

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Researchers have found that people with low aerobic and muscular fitness are nearly twice as likely to experience depression.

Low fitness levels also predicted a 60 per cent greater chance of anxiety, over a seven-year follow-up, according to the study published in the journal BMC Medicine.

“Here we have provided further evidence of a relationship between physical and mental health, and that structured exercise aimed at improving different types of fitness is not only good for your physical health, but may also have mental health benefits,” said study author Aaron Kandola from University College London (UCL) in the UK.

The study involved 152,978 participants aged between 40 and 69 years.

Their baseline aerobic fitness at the start of the study period was tested by using a stationary bike the increasing resistance, while their muscular fitness was measured with a grip strength test.

They also completed a questionnaire gauging depression and anxiety symptoms.

Seven years later they were tested again for depression and anxiety symptoms, and the researchers found that high aerobic and muscular fitness at the start of the study was associated with better mental health seven years later.

People with the lowest combined aerobic and muscular fitness had 98 per cent higher odds of depression, 60 per cent higher odds of anxiety, and 81 per cent higher odds of having either one of the common mental health disorders, compared to those with high levels of overall fitness.

“Our findings suggest that encouraging people to exercise more could have extensive public health benefits, improving not only our physical health but our mental health too,” said study author Joseph Hayes from UCL.

Improving fitness through a combination of cardio exercise and strength and resistance training appears to be more beneficial than just focusing on aerobic or muscular fitness, according to the study.

“Other studies have found that just a few weeks of regular intensive exercise can make substantial improvements to aerobic and muscular fitness, so we are hopeful that it may not take much time to make a big difference to your risk of mental illness,” the authors wrote.

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Lifestyle

Gold, silver futures rise ahead of US election outcome

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Futures of gold rose on Thursday as vote counting in the US showed Joseph Biden is likely to be the next President if the country. Gold futures on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) jumped above the level of Rs 51,000 per 10 gram tracking a positive trend in the international markets.

Gold prices rose on Thursday after falling for straight days. Currently, the December contract of Gold futures on the MCX is trading at Rs 51,281 per 10 gram higher by Rs 461 or 0.91 per cent from the previous close.

Silver futures also surged during the day. Currently, the December contract of silver on the MCX is trading at Rs 62,317 per kg, higher by Rs 928 or 1.51 per cent from its previous close.

“As the election process commenced, markets anticipate a slight edge towards Democrat Joe Biden winning the US presidency which might open gates for larger US stimulus,” Anuj Gupta, DVP, Commodities and Currencies Research at Angel Broking.

He further said that alarming increase in the coronavirus cases around the globe clouded the global economic outlook.

“Many nations reinforced fresh lockdown which dented markets risk appetite and further supported Gold prices. Markets will have a keen watch on the outcome of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC),” Gupta said.

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Lifestyle

Indian women diagnosed with more aggressive breast cancer very early

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In a major US study, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that Indian and Pakistani women are diagnosed with breast cancer, including more aggressive forms of the disease, at a younger age.

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, examined the characteristics of breast cancer in Indian- and Pakistani-American and non-Hispanic white women in the US.

“Our results provide an insight into breast cancer in Indian and Pakistani women, suggesting several hypotheses to guide future scientific studies to better understand the risk factors,” said study author Jaya M Satagopan from the Rutgers University in the US.

The researchers reviewed incidence data among Indian and Pakistani women between 1990 and 2014.

They also reviewed disease characteristics, treatment and survival data between 2000 and 2016 for 4,900 Indian and Pakistani women and 482,250 non-Hispanic white women with breast cancer.

They found that the occurrence of breast cancer in Indian and Pakistani women was lower than in non-Hispanic white women; however, the number of Indian and Pakistani women diagnosed with breast cancer increased over the years.

Indian and Pakistani women with breast cancer were more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age and at more advanced stages of the disease.

In addition, they received more subcutaneous or total mastectomies than non-Hispanic white women.

While the researchers found that Indian and Pakistani women were less likely to die of breast cancer than their non-Hispanic white counterparts, their health was tracked for a shorter time.

Prior cancer research has shown that fewer Indian and Pakistani women participate in scientific studies and that several socio-cultural factors may delay their seeking health care.

Research also has shown poor mammogram screening rates in Indian and Pakistani women, which is linked to a lack of family support, beliefs that cancer is divine punishment for past deeds, having lived in the US for less than 10 years, low English proficiency and a lack of faith in the health system.

The study indicated that there are important differences in this population that justify further studies to better understand biological, sociocultural, and system-level factors such as interactions with the health system, affecting breast cancer screening patterns.

“As the South Asian population grows, it is imperative that we work to promote health equity in cancer prevention, screening, early diagnosis and treatment through community engagement and a team science approach,” said study author Anita Kinney.

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