Improve YourConcentration

Are you having trouble concentrating? Your problem may be one, or some, or all of the following:

You’re not organized

It’s easier to concentrate on the task at hand when you have set aside specific times for your other tasks. If you’re not organized, then you always seem to have too many things to do and you can’t get going on any of them.

•Write down all of the academic tasks you have to do, breaking them into their component smaller steps wherever possible. 

•Every weekend, make a realistic plan for the upcoming week.  

•Every night, make a realistic plan for the next day. Don’t make your plans too ambitious, or you will always be failing to get through your list. Success feels better than failure, so plan accordingly. 

Your Comprehension is Poor

Your course details should fit together in a coherent way. If you perceive them as disjointed bits of information, then they will be difficult to comprehend and you’ll likely have difficulty concentrating.To aid comprehension, spend some time identifying the main ideas; otherwise, you’re like a traveler without a map. 

•Take your course outline and make a conceptual “map” of the main units in the entire course.  

•For each chapter or unit covered, make a smaller map of the topics it contains. 

•As you follow the course, keep track of where you are on the map, and anticipate what is coming. 

•When you see the pattern of the course, your comprehension and concentration will improve. 

You’re Procrastinating

So you get organized and you set up a schedule, but you keep avoiding your work and finding other things to do. Now what?

You’re neglecting your physiology

•Re-visit your motivations. Remember, your school work is an important part of your course; your course is an important step in achieving your degree; your degree will provide opportunities in life. Remembering the big picture can help you get started on school work, andthinking, “I want to do this” is a much healthier attitude than, “I should do this”. 

•Develop a sense of progress. Break your study task down into small, manageable chunks. Each time you sit down to work, set an objective for that study session, enjoy theaccomplishment of getting it done, and do something fun to reward yourself for making progress. 

•Don’t get drawn into perfectionism or fear of failure. Just emphasize what you know, what you want to know, and what you want to express. Do your best, but don’t waste energy on impossible ideals. 

•Don’t get too isolated in your studies. Talk about the material with instructors, friends, and other students. 

Remember, the mind and the body are not two separate things. To improve your concentration, get to know your own physiology better.

•Nutrition – It’s hard to concentrate when you’re living on coffee and junk food.  •Sleep – It’s said that most people in our society are sleep-deprived to some extent. If this includes you, then your concentration is worse than it could be. 

•Time of day – People have differing patterns of high and low energy throughout the day. Know your own patterns and plan your work accordingly. 

•Exercise – A good workout sharpens the mind. If you skip out on exercise because of time restraints, your concentration will probably suffer.  •Drugs – Whether prescription, over-the-counter, recreational, or just your morning coffee, drugs affect your concentration. Pay attention and understand what effects drugs have on you. 

Your work environment is poor

Take a survey of your work environment.

•Privacy – Find ways to eliminate unwanted interruptions. 

•Noise – Too much or too little can both cause problems. 

•Air Quality – How’s the ventilation? 

•Temperature – Is it too high or low? 

•Comfort – Watch your posture and support. Avoid sleep-inducing positions. 

•Clutter – Get everything off your desk except the work that you’re doing

Your mind just keeps wandering

Think of concentration as presence of mind. When your mind is jumping from one topic to another, it is typically a case of ideas and images from the past and the future impinging on the present. When these distracting extra thoughts come to you, what can you do? In some cases, personal issues need to be addressed before you can concentrate properly. Many times, however, you can improve your concentration with a bit of practice.
When distracting thoughts arise, you can follow them, but this can lead to aimless mental wandering. You can try to shut them out, but they’ll probably just keep nagging you. Your best strategy may be to relax and let them fall away by themselves.

1. With practice, you can learn to drop extra ideas before they pull your attention away from the present activity. 

2. To ground yourself and achieve presence of mind, it is also helpful to pay attention to your breathing. Regular, deep breathing helps to re-unite your mind and your body, and brings you back to the present. 

Both of these tips address what you can do in the moment when concentration is eluding you, but you can also engage in practices which, over the longer term, develop your ability to concentrate. Here are some suggestions:

•Meditation helps bring about a calm but alert mind, which is the basis for concentration. 

•Yoga, Tai Chi, and other such practices are, in a sense, meditation with movement. 

•Arts, crafts and music are good practices for focusing the mind, and can thus be helpful in improving concentration. 

•Exercise and sports can bring about that same alertness and presence of mind. 

Choose the techniques that suit you the best, and be aware of how the ability to focus and achieve presence of mind in daily activities is transferable to your academic pursuits.Posted byEdison AntoPosted inHealth and CareUncategorizedTags:concentrationimprove your concentrationknow how to concentrate

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Compassionate in preaching, training, writing and creative with Innovations. Gained excellent knowledge in construction management, projects and portfolio, engineering, music etc. View more posts

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Palm Jaggery- Organic & Naturals For Health

Organic Palm Jaggery

 Palm jaggery is darker and richer in colour. It can be used as an excellent substitute for white sugar. When compared to sugar, palm jaggery is an excellent nutritional sweetener.Palm Jaggery also known as Karupatti is a healthy traditional product made from palm juice (Pathani) without using any chemicals.

In Kerala, it is called by the name കരുപെട്ടി ‘Karuppatti‘ and in Tamilnadu it is called பனை வெல்லம் pana vellam and Indians use this for all their royal rich dishes.  Apart from its sweet taste all the essential nutrients of sugar get flushed out during processing. On the other hand, the preparation of jaggery involves no chemicals or artificial ingredients. Since it is prepared from the extracts of palm trees, palm jaggery has minerals and vitamins in abundance.

How Palm Jaggery is made?

In the initial stage, the sap from palm trees is collected in slacked lime treated earthen pots by tappers. The sap is then cleared of unwanted materials by the process of sedimentation and filtration. It is then boiled in a galvanized iron pan. A white scum is skimmed off from the surface of the boiling sap. Some crushed castor beans are added to allay frothing. After 5 min, the pan is taken off from the furnace and allowed for settling of lime. Cleared brown syrup is again poured into the boiling pan. The syrup is then cooled into desired shapes of palm jaggery. It has an intense, earthy taste or reminiscent of chocolates in its taste.

Nutrional Facts Of Palm Jaggery 

Palm jaggery is rich in iron and it increases hemoglobin and treats anemia if consumed regularly. It is rich in magnesium and helps to regulate the nervous system. Presence of calcium helps to build and maintain strong bones. It also contains potassium which boosts heart health, decreases cramps and has several other benefits as well. It boosts the immune system and thus prevents several blood-related and other disorders.

Health Benefits?

Some common health claims include improved digestive health, anemia prevention, liver detoxification and improved immune function.
Jaggery is said to help support immune, liver and digestive health, as well as help prevent anemia. However, there is no good evidence available to support these claims.

Organicnaturalsforhealth-palm jaggery- one of the genuine product I used recently from online market:

How to identify good organic palm jaggery 


Copy from Organic & Naturals For Health

Organic & Naturals For Health

Do Not Be Anxious About Your Life

There are some kings who find it very effective to keep their subjects in constant anxiety. If the people are anxious about their life, and worry about where their next meal is coming from, then perhaps they will be more willing to do the king’s bidding in order to get the food they need from the king’s storehouse. Anxiety keeps them in their place. Fear makes the monarchy firm.

God’s Kingship and Our AnxietyBut one of the greatest things about Jesus is that he does not want his people to be anxious. The main point of today’s text is that God does not secure his kingship by cultivating anxiety. On the contrary, the aim of God’s kingship is to free us from anxiety. God doesn’t need to keep us anxious in order to establish his power and superiority. Instead, he exalts his power and superiority by working to take away our anxiety.
If you are born again, if you have turned away from sin and are following Jesus as Lord in the obedience of faith, his will for you this morning is that you not be anxious about anything, but that you enjoy deep serenity and peace and security. Jesus spoke these words in Matthew 6:24–34 precisely for you — to help you overcome whatever is making you anxious this morning.

Our Common StruggleI
We need a word from the Lord Jesus to remind us that his kingship is not built on the anxiety of his people. He has made himself king over us for the very opposite purpose, namely, to take away our anxiety. In my own life, the sheer statement from the Lord that he does not want me to be anxious has a great tendency to give me peace. But when you add to it the reasons he gives why we don’t need to be anxious, his word becomes tremendously powerful. So let’s spend the rest of our time looking at some of these reasons in Matthew 6:24–34.
Do Not Be Anxious. Everybody can see plainly that the main point of this text is that disciples of Jesus should not be anxious. Verse 25: “Do not be anxious about your life.” Verse 31: “Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’” Verse 34: “Do not be anxious about tomorrow.” So one thing should ring in your ears when you leave this morning, namely, “Jesus does not want me to be anxious.”
But that is just the negative way of stating the main point of this passage. There is a positive way found in verse 33, namely, instead of being anxious, “Seek first God’s kingdom.” In other words, when you think about your life or your food or your clothes or your spouse or your job or your mission, don’t fret about them. Instead, make God the king in that affair and in that moment, and hand over the situation to his kingly power and do his righteous will with the confidence that he will work for you and meet all your needs.
To seek the kingship of God first in every affair and every moment of life is a thrilling way to live. It’s full of freedom and peace and joy and adventure — and hardship, and it’s worth it all. If you believe in the kingship of your heavenly Father, you do not need to be anxious about anything. Let’s look at some of the reasons why.
Eight Reasons to Combat Anxiety I see at least eight reasons Jesus gives why his disciples should not be anxious.

1. Life Is More Than Food and Clothing

The first is given in verse 25: “Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on.” Why? “Because life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.” What does this mean?
Why do we tend to get anxious about food and clothing? Because there are three things that we would lose if we did not have food and clothing. First, we would lose some pleasures. Food tastes good. It is pleasurable to eat. Second, we would lose some human praise and admiring glances if we didn’t have nice clothes. Third, we would lose long life if we had no food at all or weren’t protected from the cold with warm clothes. So we get anxious about food and clothing because we don’t want to lose physical pleasures or human praise or length of life.
And to this Jesus responds: if you are gripped by anxiety over these things, you have lost sight of the greatness of life. Life was not given primarily for physical pleasures, but for something greater — the enjoyment of God. Life was not given primarily for the approval of man, but for something greater — the approval of God. Life was not even given primarily for extension on this earth, but for something greater — eternity with God in the age to come.
We ought not to be anxious about food and clothing because food and clothing can not provide the great things of life — the enjoyment of God, the pursuit of his gracious favor, the hope of eternity in his presence. We get anxious about food and clothing to the same degree that we lose sight of the great purposes of a God-centered life.

2. You are most valuable in God’s sight

The second reason Jesus gives for not being anxious is in verse 26: “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” What we see when we look at the birds is not a lesson in laziness. They dig their worms and snatch their bugs and pad their nests with strings and leaves. But Jesus says it is God that feeds them. What we see when we look at the birds is a creature who does not act as though God is only a merciful provider for today but won’t be tomorrow. Birds don’t anxiously horde things for the day of God’s demise. They go about their work as though when the sun comes up tomorrow, God will still be God.
How much more, then, should we reckon with the reality and mercy of God tomorrow, since we are not brute birds, but children of our heavenly Father. The biggest difference between a disciple of Jesus and a bird is that we have the capacity of honoring God by our faith. And God values the exercise of our faith more than he values birds. So we ought not to be anxious because the birds have taught us that God can be counted on to work for us tomorrow just as much as today.

3. Anxiety can’t add any better things in our life

Do not to be anxious is in verse 27: “And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?” The argument is very pragmatic: anxiety doesn’t get you anywhere. It doesn’t do you any good. Whatever problem is causing you to feel anxious, you can be sure your anxiety will not lessen the problem. It will only make you miserable while you try to deal with it. So don’t be anxious. It’s useless.

4. God Delights to Adorn you

The fourth reason Jesus gives for not being anxious is in verses 28–30 — this time from the lilies.
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
When you look at a lily, which has no will of its own to labor and spin, yet adorned with beautiful form and color, if you believe in God, you must draw at least this one conclusion: God delights to adorn things. But if his delight finds expression in adorning grass, that’s here today and gone tomorrow, then surely his delight in adornment will express itself in how he clothes his children!

But someone may protest: “God has not adorned me! He has not adorned the poor Christians of our land or overseas.” Are you sure? Very few of us are dressed like Solomon. True. But we couldn’t do our work if we were. I would only ask this question: Where have you ever seen a disciple of Jesus who did not have the adornment he needed to do what God had called him to do? Be careful. Do not measure the perfection of God’s provision by some standard below his calling. And do not forget that when we have finished carrying our crosses on torn shoulders in this life like Jesus, there will be kingly robes for us all.

5. Trust in God

The fifth and sixth reasons why a follower of Jesus shouldn’t be anxious are given in verse 32: We shouldn’t be anxious about what we eat or drink or wear because “the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” Anxiety about the things of this world puts us on the same level with the world of unbelievers. It shows that we are really very much like the world in what makes us happy. And that ought not to be.

6. Your Heavenly Father Knows Your Needs than your desires

It also shows that we don’t think our Father in heaven knows our needs. Or perhaps we don’t think he has the heart of a loving Father. Anxiety shows that we are too close to the world and too far from God. So don’t be anxious — the world has nothing eternal to offer, and your loving heavenly Father knows your needs now and forever.

7. God Will Carry Your Burdens

The seventh reason not to be anxious, in verse 33, is that when you seek the kingdom of God first, he works for you and provides all your needs. The best reason to stop being anxious is that when you do, God starts being anxious for you. It’s such a foolish thing to insist on carrying anxious burdens which God has promised to carry for us when we put his kingly honor first in everything we do.

8. A Portion for Each Day

The last argument in verse 34 says, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” In other words, God has appointed to each day its portion of pleasure and trouble. And as your days so shall your strength be. So don’t misappropriate God’s allotted troubles for tomorrow. Don’t bring them forward into today in the form of anxiety. Believe that God will be God tomorrow.

The main point of all this is clear and unmistakable: Jesus does not want his followers and believers to be anxious. He does not secure his kingdom by keeping his subjects in a state of worry. On the contrary, according to verse 33, the more primary, the more central his kingship becomes in our lives, the less anxiety we will have. Jesus came, lived, died, rose from the dead, in order that he might reign as King over an anxiety-free people.

So come to Jesus. Forsake all other allegiances. Take your vow of loyalty to the King of kings. And seek first in all you do to make known his kingship over your life. This and this alone is the way to freedom from anxiety.

Effective Games & Activities To Handle Hyperactive Kids

Instability and inattentiveness make it difficult to handle hyperactive kids and more often you see them bouncing from activity to activity with seemingly limitless energy and ease.

You see, a hyperactive kid may have problems paying attention and sitting still in their seats. Also, they can be impulsive, which means doing things without thinking about the results.

Not a desirable trait, agree? But think about it! A hyperactive child is not ‘bad,’. It’s just that he/she may just need little more attention and patience to channelise their energy and thought-process.

5 Easy Ways To Handle Hyperactive Kids

1. Channelise Their Energy

Find means to vent their energy and calm their minds. Children need to run around and play a lot.
Invest in classes that help them use up their energy, physical activity, and soothe the mind.
You can also get your child activity boxes to help them engage meaningfully and focus on play-based activities.
This will help boost their memory skills and concentration- not to forget skill development as well!
There are several companies that produce discovery boxes – one such company is Flintobox. They make theme-based activity boxes for children between 2 to 16 years of age.

2. Talk To Your Child In A Simple Manner

Give them your complete attention and lend an ear to their concerns, interests, and apprehensions. Also get them to make to-do lists and break down the instructions given to them.

3. Help Them Deal With Their Feelings

Children with hyperactivity find it difficult to handle anger, sadness, and worry. Help them to deal with their feelings and tell them what is good and what is bad.

4. Make Them Relax

Minimize distractions and screen time. Take them out to green surroundings. Just be patient, take a deep breath, be determined to calm him/her, and put his/her high energy levels to good use.

5. Behaviour Therapy

Reward them for good manners, listening to you, sticking to a routine, encourage them to establish order, and let them know what is expected of him/her. The best way to deal with a hyperactive kid is to engage his mind and body and channelise their energy.

Also, TV and video games do little to channel energy and are a major distraction.

6. Outdoor Sports For Constant Activity

Outdoor sports like football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and badminton are great games for hyperactive kids as there is no standing around time in these games.

Your children will be constantly moving and using large muscle groups, keeping them focused and energy-drained. They also get to learn about team spirit, sportsmanship, and competition.

However, if you can’t put them for any outdoor sports, make them take up running, which offers constant movement, health benefits, and a sense of accomplishment.

7. Music To Calm The Mind

Music is a great way to unwind after school. Music exercises both sides of the brain at the same time, thus calming the brain, which in turn makes your kids multi-task and store information better.

When they are part of a band, or sing/play chorus, they learn also to be a team player.

Develope a Creative Brain by 5 Steps

Many people who grew up believing they aren’t creative because some doesn’t know what is creativity means and someother are not sure they can be creativity too with their ideas and skills. The standard definition of “creativity” is “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something”.

You were either creative or you weren’t. Understanding this is important because creative thinking is one of the most useful skills you can possess. Nearly every problem you face in work and in life can benefit from innovative solutions, lateral thinking, and creative ideas.
Anyone can 7be creative by using these simp five steps. This five-step approach should help elucidate the creative process and illuminate the path to more innovative thinking.

The 5 Steps of the Creative Brain

In 1940, an advertising executive named James Webb Young published a short guide titled,  A Technique for Producing Ideas. In this guide, he made a simple, but profound statement about generating creative ideas.

According to Young, innovative ideas happen when you develop new combinations of old elements. In other words, creative thinking is not about generating something new from a blank slate, but rather about taking what is already present and combining those bits and pieces in a way that has not been done previously.

Most important, the ability to generate new combinations hinges upon your ability to see the relationships between concepts. If you can form a new link between two old ideas, you have done something creative.

The process of creative brain connection always occurred in five steps.

1. Gather new material.
At first, learn to gather material. During this stage you focus on
1) learning specific material directly related to your task and
2) learning general material by becoming fascinated with a wide range of concepts.

2. Thoroughly work over the materials in your mind.
During this stage, you examine what you have learned by looking at the facts from different angles and experimenting with fitting various ideas together.

3. Step away from the problem.
Next, you put the problem completely out of your mind and go do something else that excites you and energizes you.

4. Let your idea return to you.
At some point, but only after you have stopped thinking about it, your idea will come back to you with a flash of insight and renewed energy.

5. Shape and develop your idea based on feedback.
For any idea to succeed, you must release it out into the world, submit it to criticism, and adapt it as needed.

The 5 Brain Creative Process in Short

“An idea is a feat of association and the height of it is a good metaphor” Robert Frost

The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas. Thus, we can say creative thinking is the task of recognizing relationships between concepts.

Being creative isn’t about being the first person to think of an idea. More often, creativity is connecting ideas.

One way to approach creative challenges is by following the five-step process of

1) gathering material,

2) intensely working over the material in your mind,

3) stepping away from the problem,

4) allowing the idea to come back to you naturally, and

5) testing your idea in the real world and adjusting it based on feedback.

Be Happy For What You Have

More money, good designation at job, bigger house, a nicer wardrobe- we all expect more. It’s human nature at all. Even if you aren’t a restless perfectionist who’s constantly trying to push yourself to the next level, most of us usually aren’t willing to completely stagnate. We all have some desire to keep moving forward.

But, let’s face it—living our lives with a ceaseless yearning to constantly get our greedy little paws on more -whether that’s money, fame, or success can be absolutely draining. And, if you want to feel even the least bit content on a daily basis, you need to learn to go against the grain and be happy with gasp! Or less.

Easier said than done, right? Believe me, I’m right there with you. But, learning to feel satisfied with what you already have is definitely doable—it just takes a little conscious thought.

Stop Falling Into the Comparison Trap

All too often, I find myself chasing after something not because I actually want it, but because I feel like I should have it. Why? Well, because other people have it.

Comparison has become all too easy today. Like everybody else, I’ll blame that on social media. One minute, I’ll feel accomplished and successful in my career—until I log into LinkedIn and see that a colleague was recently published by The New York Times. I have zero complaints about my cute little house—until I see that one of my Facebook friends has just purchased this ridiculously gorgeous home on a giant wooded lot.

See how easy that trap is to fall into? I won’t even bother getting up on my high horse and preaching to you about this one, because I compare myself to others more frequently than I’d even care to admit—it’s natural.

But, it’s important to remember that someone else’s success isn’t your failure. And, beyond that, you don’t have to have (or even want) everything that other person already has within her grasp. You’re different people with different lives. So, do your best to stay focused on your own path, and forget the rest. In the end, what everyone else is doing has little to no impact on your own success and happiness.

Think About Your Reasoning

Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with seeking improvement—as long as you have legitimate reasons for doing so. Maybe you want a better job because your current one makes you absolutely miserable. Perhaps you’re chasing after more money, because you find that your family is strapped for cash month after month. Those desires to be better can actually be motivating, and that’s a good thing!

But, if the only reasoning behind your longings are, “I just want it,” you’ve got a little more thinking to do. So, take a magnifying glass to your yearnings to amass more, and determine what exactly is feeding those desires.

If you find that you actually have solid justifications for why you simply can’t feel content and settled with your current circumstances? Well, you’ve lust landed on some awesome inspiration to keep moving forward. However, in contrast, if you discover that you’re only chasing your tail and driving yourself crazy for the sake of bragging rights or keeping up with the Joneses? You know you need to reevaluate and focus your attention on being happy with what you already have.

End Each Day Feeling Grateful

“Be happy with what you have?” you’re likely thinking now, “that sounds great, but how exactly do I do that? That’s the hard part!”

You’re right. That is the hard part. And, I’m going to resist the temptation to spout out a bunch of those cliché, “It’s about the journey, not the destination” lines at you. This isn’t a high school commencement speech, after all.

But, do you know why that advice is so popular? Because it’s true. Oftentimes, we can be so laser-focused on what we want, we totally neglect to appreciate what we have. Don’t feel guilty—we all fall victim to this ungrateful attitude.

So, what you need to is every night, you think of five things from that day that you are grateful for. Whether it’s your family or a great accomplishment from that workday, spend some time reflecting on all of the things that made you crack a smile.

It might all sound a little to mushy to you. But, assuredly, it works. This technique pulls your attention off from all of those things that you don’t have and those slipups that didn’t go quite right throughout the day, and instead makes you remember all of the things (both big and small!) that you should appreciate.

Instead of thinking bad and negative moments on sleeping, rest easy by thinking about all of the positives and good things happened to you each day.

We all want more. And, to some extent, that’s a good thing. But, if you spend every spare moment only thinking about all of the things you don’t have yet, you’re setting yourself up for a life of stress and discontentment.

It’s important to learn to be happy with what you have in your life. And, as you now realize, that’s totally possible.

I hop these content made you feel pleased with where you are at the moment, and you’re sure to feel more satisfied, more fulfilled, and more accomplished on a daily basis. That’s right, you can actually have more with less.

EU Authorises Astrazeneca Vaccine: Commission Chief

It is the third vaccine approved for use in the 27-nation EU, after rival shots produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Brussels, Belgium: European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced Friday that the AstraZeneca-Oxford University coronavirus vaccine has been authorised for the EU market, hours after the bloc’s drug regulator recommended its approval.
It is the third vaccine approved for use in the 27-nation EU, after rival shots produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

“I expect the company to deliver the 400 million doses as agreed,” von der Leyen tweeted, as a row intensified between Brussels and AstraZeneca.

“We will keep on doing all we can to secure vaccines for Europeans, our neighbours & partners worldwide.”

The British-Swedish company has admitted it will only be able to deliver a fraction of the doses promised to the EU in the short-term due to production problems.

Germany’s vaccine commission said Thursday that the vaccine should not be used on over-65s due to insufficient evidence that it works.

Even after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the AstraZeneca’s shot be approved for all ages on Friday, the German panel maintained its stance.

Full confidence’ that India will ensure safety of Israelis: Benjamin Netanyahu on embassy blast

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday expressed “full confidence” in the Indian authorities in ensuring the safety of Israelis and Jews in India following a blast close to the country’s embassy in New Delhi.A minor improvised explosive device (IED) blast took place outside the Israeli Embassy in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi on Friday evening.India’s National Security adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval spoke to his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat and updated him on the situation and ongoing investigation into the bombing near the Israeli embassy, officials said here.

The update was conveyed to Prime Minister Netanyahu, they said.Netanyahu asked to convey to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Israel has “full confidence that the Indian authorities will do a thorough investigation of the incident and ensure the safety of Israelis and Jews who are there”, the officials said.

The two sides agreed to continue full cooperation through all channels, they said.India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also spoke to his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi and assured him of “fullest protection” to diplomats and the mission.In a tweet, Jaishankar said India has taken the incident “very seriously”.”Spoke just now to Israeli FM Gabi Ashkenazi about the explosion outside the Israeli Embassy. We take this very seriously. Assured him of the fullest protection for the Embassy and Israeli diplomats,” he said.

The minister further added that the matter was under investigation. “No effort will be spared to find the culprits,” he said.Earlier, the Israeli foreign ministry said all its diplomats and embassy staff are “safe and sound” following the blast.”An explosion occurred a short while ago, close to the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi. There are no casualties and no harm was done to the building. All Israeli diplomats and embassy staff are safe and sound,” a foreign ministry release said.

“The event is being investigated by the Indian authorities who are in contact with Israeli officials,” it said, adding that the foreign minister is frequently being updated on the situation and has directed to take all necessary precautions.”We will report further developments as they occur,” the release said.Delhi Police Additional PRO Anil Mittal has said the blast was of “very low intensity”.”No injury to any person was reported and nor was there any damage to property except the glass panes of three vehicles parked nearby,” he said.Initial impressions suggest it could be a mischievous attempt to create a sensation, Mittal said.

UK Covid Strain To Become More Dominant In US By Early Spring

Anthony Fauci said it’s not clear whether South African strain will eventually dominate in US.

Washington : The new strain of the novel coronavirus that first appeared in the United Kingdom will become more dominant in the United States by the middle of spring, US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said.

“The projection that is made with regard to the UK [variant] is that by the end of March, the beginning of April it actually will become more dominant in this country,” Fauci said speaking to reporters on Friday.

Fauci said that it is not yet clear whether the South African coronavirus strain – considered to be more infections than the original strain – will eventually dominate in the United States.

The UK coronavirus variant is currently present in at least 28 US states and has been identified in more than 315 patients, according to Fauci.

UK public health officials in December announced the emergence of the new coronavirus strain that is believed to be up to 70 percent more transmissible. The new strain was first discovered in southeast England in September and subsequently spread rapidly throughout the United Kingdom and continental Europe.

Canadian lawmakers vote to grant citizenship to Saudi blogger

28 Jan 2021, 09:35 IST

OTTAWA: Members of Canada’s House of Commons on Wednesday unanimously voted to grant citizenship to Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who has been imprisoned in his home country since 2012 and whose wife and three children live in Canada. 

The motion asks Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino to use his “discretionary power” to grant Canadian citizenship to Badawi, “in order to remedy a particular situation and unusual distress.”

He was convicted in 2014 to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam.” He received 50 of those beatings in January 2015, but the rest of the sessions — which were to be carried out weekly — were suspended after a global outcry.

Badawi, an outspoken defender of freedom of expression, had called for the end of religious rule under Wahhabism — a rigid interpretation of Islam — in Saudi Arabia.

“Now that this is a formal request from the House, (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau and Minister Marco Mendicino must act,” Yves-Francois Blanchet, head of the separatist Bloc Quebecois party and sponsor of the bill, said after the vote.

“Every day counts” for Badawi, “as his health is constantly in danger in prison,” Blanchet said in a statement.

Relations between Ottawa and Riyadh deteriorated in the summer of 2018 when the Canadian government called for the release of Saudi human rights activists, including Badawi’s sister Samar Badawi.

Badawi’s wife and three children, who live in Quebec, have already received Canadian citizenship.