Ravindra Jadeja is my favourite player in the world: Ashton Agar after T20I hat-trick vs South Africa

South Africa vs Australia: Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar has revealed his admiration for India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja after picking up a hat-trick in the visitors’ 107-run win in the 1st T20I on Friday.

Jadeja's advice seems to have helped Ashton Agar (r) regain his bowling rhythm

Jadeja’s advice seems to have helped Ashton Agar (r) regain his bowling rhythm (Reuters/AP)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • I had a wonderful chat with Ravindra Jadeja after the India series: Ashton Agar
  • Jadeja is an absolute rockstar: Ashton Agar
  • Ashton Agar is only the 2nd Australian after Brett Lee to pick up a T20I hat-trick

After taking five wickets in the first T20I of three-match series against South Africa, Australia spinner Ashton Agar said that he aspires to become like India’s Ravindra Jadeja.

In the match, Agar also took a hat-trick and became just the second Australian to achieve the feat in the shortest format of the game. As a result, Australia thrashed South Africa by 107 runs.

Now, Agar has the best bowling figures for an Australian bowler in T20Is.

“I had a wonderful chat with Ravindra Jadeja after the India series. He’s my favourite player in the world – I want to play cricket like he does. He’s an absolute rockstar: smacks them, gun fielder, and spins the ball,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Agar as saying.

“But it’s just his presence when he’s out there, watching his confidence… just talking to him about spin bowling, keep trying to spin the ball. When he’s batting he has a really positive attitude, and he takes that attitude into the field as well,” he added.

Agar’s job was made easier by four early Australian wickets, with Starc and Cummins leaving South Africa three down after the Powerplay and Zampa striking in the seventh over.

In the eighth over, Agar spun a web around Faf du Plessis (24), Andile Phehlukwayo (0) and Dale Steyn (0) on successive deliveries to register a hat-trick and Proteas were reeling at 44/7.

Earlier, Steve Smith’s and Aaron Finch’s knock of 45 and 42 respectively enabled Australia to post 196/6 in the allotted twenty overs.

Australia will now take on South Africa in the second T20I on Sunday, February 23.

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How deadly mix of racism, fear of being surveilled and far-right ideology led German man to kill 9

He mixed extreme paranoia about secret state surveillance with far-right conspiracy tropes, misogyny and racist vitriol.

The gunman who killed nine people in the Frankfurt suburb of Hanau left behind a 24-page rambling screed calling for the complete extermination of races he considered inferior; a video blending far-right diatribes, delusional musings and an infamous quote by Adolf Hitler; and an English-language video statement that echoes themes of child sacrifices and disdain for mainstream media found in the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The attacker was found dead at home along with his mother, who may have been his 10th victim. His website and YouTube channel came down almost immediately, as German authorities tried to prevent his rant from spreading across the internet and morphing into an extremist rallying cry, as happened after the mosque killings in Christchurch, New Zealand, last March.

All of the people he killed during his rampage across the city were of foreign origin.

Identified as Tobias Rathjen, the gunman made no direct references to QAnon, far-right memes or other deadly attacks and their notorious perpetrators such as the killer in Christchurch or the gunman in the German city of Halle who killed two people outside a synagogue on Yom Kippur in October.

Germany’s federal prosecutor, Peter Frank, described the rant as stocked with confused ideas and far-fetched conspiracy theories. It was last modified on Jan. 22 and offered no indication he was planning an attack, according to Rita Katz of the SITE Intelligence Group. The English-language video was completed on Feb. 13, she said.

In this image taken from an undated self-recorded video, a man who identifies himself as Tobias Rathjen makes a statement. (Photo: AP)

Despite his incoherence, the 43-year-old tapped into an increasingly widespread vein of conspiracy theories originating in the United States, including many by QAnon, and woven into other specifically German themes.

QAnon, a right-wing conspiracy theory that President Donald Trump is fighting deep state enemies and a child sex trafficking ring, seeped into online chatter associated with the far-right Alternative for Germany party beginning in 2018 but remained on the margins, according to a study last year by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue think tank.

One of the documents posted to Rathjen’s website detailed his conviction that he had been under government surveillance since childhood. He blamed the surveillance for his inability to have a relationship with a woman. He also called for wiping out half the world’s population.

He wrote: The following people must be completely exterminated: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, the complete Arabian Peninsula, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines.

In the English-language video, he warned Americans that they are under the control of invisible secret societies, and he spoke of subterranean military bases where they abuse, torture and kill little children.

Peter Neumann, a senior fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London, described the screed as a do-it-yourself set of beliefs that is increasingly common among violent far-right extremists. The centre also analyzed a nine-minute video that ended with a twist on a notorious Hitler quote: I don’t believe that the people who are laughing today will be laughing in the future.

Photo: AP

There’s a far-right extremist bent to it. There’s also misogynism. There’s of course evidence of his obsessions, conspiracy theories, Neumann said.

An FBI bulletin warned last May about the potential for violence among American fringe political conspiracy theorists. Thursday’s rampage may be a new sign that the danger has spread beyond US borders.

Travis View, a conspiracy theory researcher, said that while the gunman’s online ramblings suggest he was influenced by a hodgepodge of paranoid conspiracy theories, including QAnon, some of the beliefs expressed by the gunman diverge from QAnon dogma, such as a passage in which he suggests he was responsible for Trump’s policies and even political slogans.

That’s very not Q.’ They think that Trump is this super-genius. They would never be so arrogant to suppose that they could give Trump God emperor ideas, said View, who co-hosts The QAnon Anonymous Podcast and has written about QAnon for The Washington Post under his pseudonym. He works as a marketer for a San Diego company and says he uses the pseudonym to protect himself.

View also said the gunman’s delusions about being under surveillance resemble the beliefs of those who call themselves Targeted Individuals and are convinced that government agents whom they call gangstalkers are using mind-control devices to monitor and torture them.

The gunman’s frustration with women is a common trait among incels, short for those who are involuntary celibate. The movement, an online subculture linked to deadly attacks in California, Toronto and Florida, promotes the misogynistic idea that men are entitled to have sex with women.

There’s a serious question of whether the mental issues were so severe that we can no longer speak of an act of terrorism. It’s not a frivolous question, Neumann said.

The Confederation of Kurdish Communities in Germany blamed the political climate in Germany, where a prominent member of the Alternative for Germany party suggested that well-tempered cruelty is necessary to drive immigrants out of the country.

Those in positions of political responsibility in this country didn’t stand up decisively to right-wing networks and right-wing terrorism, the Kurdish group said. Several of the victims are believed to be of Kurdish origin.

Investigators are looking into the German attacker’s mental state and whether he had accomplices.

Such a crime doesn’t come out of nowhere, said Christine Lambrecht, Germany’s justice minister. It results from hatred in the country that we urgently need to breakthrough.

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लड़ाई के बाद क्रिकेट बैट से मौत के लिए लखनऊ पुलिस ने 16 साल की बेटी की की पिटाई

पुलिस के अनुसार, आरोपी पुलिस उप-निरीक्षक, की पहचान वेद प्रकाश सिंह के रूप में की गई, उसने अपनी बेटी के साथ गर्म बहस के बाद अपराध कबूल कर लिया, इंडियन एक्सप्रेस ने रिपोर्ट किया।

आरोपी ने पुलिस को बताया कि उसने अपनी बेटी की पिटाई की थी। 17 फरवरी की सुबह, जिससे वह घायल हो गई। (छवि प्रतिनिधित्व के लिए: IANS)

लखनऊ पुलिस ने शुक्रवार को एक पुलिस सब-इंस्पेक्टर को अपनी 16 वर्षीय बेटी की क्रिकेट बैट का इस्तेमाल कर हत्या करने के आरोप में गिरफ्तार किया। इंडियन एक्सप्रेस ने बताया कि पिता अपनी बेटी के मृत पाए जाने के पांच दिन बाद आयोजित किया गया था।

पुलिस के अनुसार, आरोपी पुलिस उप-निरीक्षक, जिनकी पहचान वेद प्रकाश सिंह के रूप में की गई, ने अपनी बेटी के साथ गरमागरम बहस के बाद अपराध को कबूल कर लिया। [१ ९ ६५ ९ ००४] “वेद प्रकाश ने कबूल किया है। उसने दावा किया कि यह गुस्से में फिट हुआ। उसने अपनी बेटी को उसके साथ तब मारपीट की जब उसने उसके साथ बहस की, जब उसने उसे अध्ययन करने के लिए कहा,” एक वरिष्ठ पुलिस अधिकारी के हवाले से कहा गया था। [१ ९६५ ९ ००४] वेद। प्रकाश ने पुलिस को बताया कि उसने 17 फरवरी की सुबह अपनी बेटी की पिटाई की, जिससे वह घायल हो गई।

उसे फिर पास के अस्पताल में ले जाया गया, लेकिन लौटने पर पिता-पुत्री की जोड़ी ने उसकी पढ़ाई पर एक और तर्क दिया जिसके बाद उसने उसे मारा एक बल्ले के साथ। जब दोबारा अस्पताल ले जाया गया, तो बेटी को मृत घोषित कर दिया गया।

वेद प्रकाश ने पहले पुलिस को यह कहते हुए गुमराह किया था कि उनकी बेटी ने खुद को गोली मारकर आत्महत्या कर ली थी। हालांकि, जांच करने पर गोली से कोई चोट नहीं मिली। बल्कि, एक शव परीक्षण रिपोर्ट से पता चला कि सिर में चोट सहित कई चोटों से उनकी मृत्यु हुई।

पुलिस ने कहा कि उन्होंने लड़की को मारने के लिए इस्तेमाल किया गया बल्ला भी बरामद किया है।

वास्तविक समय पर अलर्ट प्राप्त करें और सभी । समाचार ऑल-न्यू इंडिया टुडे ऐप के साथ अपने फोन पर। [१ ९ ६५ ९ ०११] एंड्रियोड ऐप [१ ९ ६५ ९ ०११] आईओएस ऐप [१ ९ ६५ ९ १०१] से डाउनलोड करें

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ICRA cuts outlook on Indian pharma

MUMBAI: ICRA has revised its outlook on the domestic pharmaceutical industry from stable to negative in view of the lockouts in parts of China, amid the coronavirus outbreak. Of the total imports of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates into India, China accounts for 65-70%, while in specific APIs like cephalosporins, azithromycin and penicillin, the dependence is as high as 80-90%.
The viral outbreak and the consequent lockout in China has resulted in a shutdown of production units in the country. The situation is more alarming in case of intermediates of stages prior to APIs and key starting materials (KSMs), which are the building blocks for drugs, where in some cases, China is the exclusive supplier. For instance, PenG and 7ACA, the key raw materials required for manufacturing cephalosporins are made in China only.
For some input materials, even if alternate sources are available, China remains the preferred source given the economical rates. Though a majority of the pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in China are located far from the coronavirus-affected sites, there has been a disruption in the supply chain.
According to ICRA, domestic formulations manufacturers have an inventory of 1.5-2.5 months on an average, and thus they have not been impacted as yet. However, a shortage of APIs and KSMs due to the extended lockout in China will adversely impact production of the formulations manufacturers. Coupled with an increase in API prices due to supply shortage, this will impact the profitability of the domestic formulations manufacturers.
The extent of impact of production shutdowns and increase in prices of raw materials on the profitability of domestic pharmaceutical manufacturers would, however, vary depending on each company’s product and raw material sourcing mix and the quantum of inventory held, a note said.

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13-Inch MacBook Pro Refresh Specifications Allegedly Leaked, Intel’s 10th Gen Ice Lake Processors Expected

Apple is rumoured to launch a refreshed MacBook Pro model in the first half of 2020, alongside a new iPhone and an upgraded iPad Pro. Now, a fresh leak has emerged claiming that Apple is working on a 13-inch MacBook Pro that will be powered by Intel’s 10th Gen Ice Lake processors. This would mark an interesting upgrade over the 8th Gen Coffee Lake processors packed inside the 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro. The leak suggests Apple is fitting a new generation processor inside the upcoming 13-inch MacBook Pro, but the CPU core count remains the same.

The leak comes courtesy of a tipster who goes by the name @_rogame on Twitter. The post also compares the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark score of Intel’s 8th Gen Core i5-8279U processor, powering the 13-inch MacBook Pro (2019), against the 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1068NG7 processor that will reportedly be fitted inside the 2020 MacBook Pro refresh. The benchmark performance comparison, if legit, shows a graphics performance boost of roughly 29 percent, while the processing output of the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro goes up by 12 percent vis-à-vis its predecessor.

As for the processor itself, the 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1068NG7 falls under the Ice Lake line of chips. It has four cores and 8 threads, with a base clock speed of 2.3GHz and a boost frequency of 4.1GHz. The power uptake stands at 28W. If last year’s 10nm-based Intel Core i7-1065G7 is anything to go by, the 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1068NG7 inside the upcoming MacBook Pro will also rely on the Iris Plus graphics that offers a significant boost over Intel’s UHD series integrated GPUs.

It is interesting to note that Apple is prioritising graphics boost over net processing power by opting for the Ice Lake processor over the Comet Lake Line, which is said to bring bigger processing upgrade and lower graphics gains. In a subsequent tweetthe tipster mentions that the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro will pair its 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1068NG7 processor with a juicy 32GB of RAM and a massive 2TB of SSD storage. As per TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s MacBook Pro (or MacBook Air) refresh will reportedly arrive in the first half of 2020.


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Fans mock Pakistan Super League after Karachi Kings official spotted using mobile phone in dugout

Fans across Twitter were quick to notice and troll Pakistan Super League after a member of Karachi Kings dugout was caught using a mobile phone during the match.

Karachi Kings players celebrating after registering maiden win in PSL 2020.(AP Photo)

Karachi Kings players celebrating after registering maiden win in PSL 2020.(AP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A Karachi Kings official was spotted using a mobile phone in the players’ dugout during PSL match
  • Players and officials are not allowed to use their cellular devices in the dugout premises
  • The incident was telecasted live and found its way on Twitter

Pakistan cricket has been marred by controversies in the past and the return of Pakistan Super League, which is their premier domestic T20 tournament, in the country is a step forward after a decade of international purgatory.

However, the second match of PSL 2020 between Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi caught the attention of fans for all the wrong reasons. During Karachi Kings’ sensational 10-run victory over former champion Peshawar Zalmi, former’s official was spotted using a mobile phone in the players’ dugout.

As per the ICC’s rule, mobile phones are banned from dressing rooms and players along with members of team management are allowed to use only walkie-talkies. Many players are often seen using a walkie-talkie in a T20 match in order to communicate from the dugout to dressing room.

After the match, the Kings’ Media Manager Faisal Mirza said that Tariq Wasi, who was later identified as the one using the mobile phone, was the team’s manager. However, according to the team sheet issued at the toss, Navaid Rasheed was named as the side’s manager.

The entire incident was broadcasted live on Friday and fans were quick to take note of the indisciplined act and mocked the Karachi side on Twitter.

Earlier, after being put in to bat, Karachi’s emphatic total of 201-4 revolved around half-centuries by No. 1-ranked Twenty20 batsman Babar Azam and captain Imad Wasim.

With Peshawar needing 16 runs off the final six deliveries, fast bowler Umaid Asif (2-23) took a splendid catch off his own bowling as Sammy miscued a pull shot and the tall fast bowler ran backward to pluck a brilliant diving catch at short midwicket.

For sports newsupdates, live scores and cricket fixtureslog on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.
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China’s passenger car sales tumble 92% in first half of February due to coronavirus outbreak

Retail sales of passenger cars in China crumbled 92% on an annual basis in the first 16 days of February, according to China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), as the coronavirus outbreak slammed the brakes on businesses across the country.

Mainland China recorded 889 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection. (Photo: AP)

Retail sales of passenger cars in China crumbled 92% on an annual basis in the first 16 days of February, according to China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), as the coronavirus outbreak slammed the brakes on businesses across the country.

China’s passenger vehicle sales recorded 4,909 units in the first 16 days, down from 59,930 vehicles in the same period a year earlier, data from CPCA showed, the first major figures to demonstrate just how hard the epidemic is hitting the world’s biggest auto market.

“Very few dealerships opened in the first weeks of February and they have had very little customer traffic,” it said.

Mainland China recorded 889 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection on Thursday. The death toll also rose by 118 to 2,236, mostly in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan where the outbreak began, and which remains under virtual lockdown.

China’s auto market is likely to see sales slide more than 10% in the first half of the year due to the coronavirus epidemic, and around 5% for the whole year, provided the epidemic is effectively contained before April, the country’s top auto industry body, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), told Reuters last week.

To stabilize the market, where more than 25 million vehicles were sold last year, China’s commerce ministry said it will introduce more measures to boost auto consumption.

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Global watchdog FATF places Iran on terrorism financing blacklist

The global dirty money watchdog placed Iran on its blacklist on Friday after it failed to comply with international anti-terrorism financing norms, a move that will deepen the country’s isolation from financial markets.

The decision came after more than three years of warnings from the Paris-based Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) urging the Islamic Republic to either enact terrorist financing conventions or see its reprieve from the blacklist lifted and some counter-measures imposed.

“Given Iran’s failure to enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF Standards, the FATF fully lifts the suspension of counter-measures and calls on its members and urges all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures,” the group’s 39 members said in a statement after a week-long plenary session.

These would entail more scrutiny of transactions with Iran, tougher external auditing of financing firms operating in the country and extra pressure on the few foreign banks and businesses still dealing with Iran.

“The consequence of (Iran’s) inaction is higher costs of borrowing and isolation from the financial system,” a Western diplomat told Reuters.

The United States commended the task force’s action after what it said was Tehran’s failure to adhere to FATF’s standards.

Iran “must face consequences for its continued failure to abide by international norms,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Iran’s central bank chief dismissed FATF’s decision. “(It) is politically motivated and not a technical decision,” the state news agency IRNA quoted Abdolnasser Hemmati as saying. “I can assure our nation that it will have no impact on Iran’s foreign trade and the stability of our exchange rate.”

The FATF appeared to leave the door open for some engagement with Iran saying in its statement: “Countries should also be able to apply countermeasures independently of any call by the FATF to do so.”

“It’s a middle solution. A sort of a fudge to leave the door open for the Iranians,” said one of the diplomats.

Foreign businesses say Iran’s compliance with FATF rules is essential if it wants to attract investors, especially since the United States reimposed sanctions on Tehran in 2018 after quitting a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and other big powers.

Iran’s leaders have been divided over approach to the FATF.

Supporters of cooperation say it could ease foreign trade with Europe and Asia, offsetting U.S. sanctions. Hardliners argue that passing legislation to join the FATF could hamper Iran’s support for its allies, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

MAXIMUM PRESSURE

Washington has since pushed a policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, saying a broader deal should be negotiated to encompass nuclear issues, Iran’s ballistic missile program and Iranian support for proxy forces around the Middle East.

France, Britain and Germany have tried to salvage the nuclear accord but have faced growing pressure from the United States to join its efforts to isolate Iran.

“The United States was pushing for the toughest position [by FATF]while other countries like China and Russia preferred something more flexible,” said a European official. “The Europeans were looking for something in between.”

US sanctions have crippled Iran’s economy, decimating its oil exports and largely sealing it off from the international financial system.

“Until Iran implements the measures required to address the deficiencies identified with respect to countering terrorism-financing…, the FATF will remain concerned with the terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system,” the FATF said.

Iran’s action plan to meet with the FATF requirements, implemented in 2016, expired in January 2018.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif this week appeared resigned to the FATF blacklisting, accusing Washington of using its maximum pressure campaign to exert influence at the FATF.

In another important decision on Friday, the FATF granted Pakistan an extra four months to meet anti-terrorism financing norms, keeping Islamabad for now on its “grey list” of countries that do not adequately comply with its rules.

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Swine Flu in Bangalore: H1N1 fears spread in India’s Silicon Valley | India Business News

BENGALURU: A tech hub of Bengaluru was in the grip of an H1N1 influenza scare on Thursday after German software major SAP pressed the panic button following two of its employees in the city contracting the virus. However, health department officials said there’s no cause for alarm.
SAP shut its offices in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurugram and asked all employees to work from home till further notice. It undertook fumigation and sanitisation of the offices.
The news spread after RMZ, which operates the business park in which SAP is located in Bengaluru, issued an advisory to all tenants on measures they could take, specifically mentioning SAP’s actions. The park’s other tenants include Accenture, Honeywell, Danske IT, Shell Technologies, Morgan StanleyCapgemini and ANZ.
Sources said some of these companies told employees to work from home for the next three days, but considering they are holidays for most employees (Mahashivaratri followed by the weekend), the order will have little impact.
Govt says no need to panic over H1N1
Jayaram S Govindaiah, head of group real estate and corporate services, Danske IT, said, “We requested our employees not to visit the food court, which is where the SAP tower is located. We brought in sanitisers for employees and sanitised the handles and doors of conference rooms and cafeteria. We had a stock of N95 masks and asked staffers to use them. We asked our Danish visitors to work from their hotel.”
A top official from Karnataka health department indicated the response was an overreaction. “We think the coronavirus fear is behind the H1N1 scare. It’s good to take precautions but there’s no need to panic,” he said.
Data on H1N1 accessed by TOI show between January 1 and February 20, the state saw 175 cases, significantly lower than the 482 reported in the same period last year. No deaths have been recorded so far this year.
The seasonal H1N1 is an airborne viral infection that spreads through large droplets generated by coughing/ sneezing and indirect contact by touching contaminated objects or surfaces.
Dr Prakash Kumar, joint director, communicable diseases, health and family welfare department, said there’s no spike in the number of H1N1 cases and no cause for panic. “H1N1 is regularly seen and there’s herd immunity to it. There is no need for quarantine but the affected person can take rest at home till s/he recovers. Over 80% of H1N1 cases are self-limiting. Complications are seen in only 1%. We are not aware of the measures taken by tech companies,” he said.
SAP said the two employees are based in its Bengaluru office, and they are trying to trace how they contracted the infection. “The health of our employees and their families is of utmost priority. As a precautionary measure, all SAP India offices across Bengaluru, Gurugram and Mumbai have been closed for extensive sanitisation,” the company said in a statement. Sources said actions were taken in Gurugram and Mumbai because the affected employees may have travelled to those locations.
In an internal note to employees, SAP suggested they go for medical consultations in case of any symptoms of cold, cough and fever.
In a statement, RMZ said: “While an isolated incident has been reported, it has since been contained at a tenant space. Action has been taken as a precautionary measure.”
Of the 175 H1N1 cases in Karnataka between January 1 to February 20, 67 (38%) were reported in Bengaluru city, followed by 41 in Udupi, and 21 in Bengaluru Urban district. Of last year’s 482 cases, 111 were seen in Bengaluru city.
More cases of viral infections: Doctor
Dr C Nagaraja, director of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, said many people are coming for H1N1 screening but only eight were found to be positive in January and two in February.
The latest H1N1 case at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, was of a 30-year-old man who had returned from Dubai, said Dr Ambanna Gowda, internal medicine specialist. “The number of chronic cough cases, viral and upper respiratory infections is more. We are seeing 8-10 cases of viral infections a day,” Dr Gowda said.

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China’s Ambitious 5G Push Heading Into Slow Lane Due to Coronavirus Disruptions

Government measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus in China look set to delay the rollout of next-generation 5G telecom networks, a key technology initiative for the country’s leadership.

Tenders for six big 5G projects have been postponed since January 31, government records show. They include an industrial Internet project in Guangdong province, a hospital-related project in Jiangxi province, and a police-related project in Gansu province.

Two leading providers of crucial fiberoptic cables also have headquarters and key production facilities in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the outbreak which is still under lockdown.

In addition to providing much faster Internet connectivity, 5G promises to enable a slew of new technology products and services from self-driving cars to intelligent factories.

China has made 5G a national priority, aiming to have nationwide networks and services well ahead of other countries and last year it pressed telecom operators to accelerate deployment.

Even after the outbreak, President Xi Jinping said in early February that 5G investment might be able to help offset the decline in consumer spending caused by the virus.

But like other companies in China, telecom equipment firms and network operators are grappling with a logistical nightmare as travel and quarantine restrictions cause staff shortages and impede the transportation of goods.

Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable Joint Stock, one of two top fibreoptic cable makers based in Wuhan, said in January it would rely on its plants in other parts of China to maintain production.

A company manager told Reuters on Thursday that production had not yet resumed in Wuhan and that other factories were operating at 50 percent capacity. The manager, who was not authorised to speak to media and did not want to be identified, declined to comment on the impact on China’s 5G plans.

FiberHome Telecommunication Technologies, another Wuhan-based fiberoptic cable supplier, said on its website it was attempting to keep operations going via remote work.

Suppliers such as Shengyi Technology, which makes printed circuit boards and copper cables, and Tongyu Communication, which makes antennas, have said in company filings that production has suffered delays due to the virus.

Construction of 5G bases for China Mobile moved quickly in late December and January, local media reports quoted a senior executive as saying last week. But a Beijing division of the country’s top carrier also told media that the coronavirus would have a definite impact on the 5G build-out.

“If the carriers cannot get optical fibers in place, they will probably delay the base station purchases,” said Edison Lee, an analyst at Jeffries.

China Mobile, rivals China Telecom and China Unicom did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

An executive at Huawei Technologiesthe world’s biggest supplier of telecom network gear, said this week the company had sufficient equipment stockpiles to last three to six months.

In most countries, 5G deployment has not yet begun or is at a very early stage, with network operators proceeding cautiously in light of the costs and a lack of short-term profit potential.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


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