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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The United States Mission to Nigeria has celebrated Dr Onyema Ogbuagu, for his role in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The United States Mission to Nigeria has celebrated Dr Onyema Ogbuagu, for his role in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. . Ogbuagbu, who graduated from the University of Calabar in 2003, migrated to the US and rose to become Associate Professor of Medicine and Infectious Disease Specialist at Yale University. . He was part of the team that helped pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, to develop the vaccine. . In a Facebook message on Monday, the US mission wrote, “Nigerians contribute to the world in so many ways. Our hats off to Dr Onyema Ogbuagu at Yale who helped develop a COVID-19 vaccine.” . Ogbuagu is the son of a former Vice-Chancellor of Abia State University, Prof Stella Ogbuagu. He also has a twin brother who is an engineer. . The need for a vaccine has become more urgent globally and nationally with Nigeria recording over 60,000 COVID-19 infections and over 1,000 associated fatalities, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Carbon dioxide levels keep rising despite industrial lockdown

Carbon dioxide levels keep rising despite industrial lockdown Carbon dioxide levels hit new highs last year and are expected to keep growing in 2020, despite coronavirus-related restrictions that forced a global industrial slowdown. The alarming patterns were published on Monday by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), crushing hopes that lockdowns across the world would have pushed emissions, the main driver to climate change, to a record low. The United Nations agency said measures to curb the spread of the pandemic had indeed cut emissions of many pollutants and greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. But it warned the industrial slowdown due to the coronavirus crisis had not curbed record concentrations of the greenhouse gases that are trapping heat in the atmosphere, raising temperatures, causing sea levels to rise and driving more extreme weather. The WMO said the change in carbon dioxide concentrations – the result of cumulative past and current emissions – is, in fact, no bigger than the normal year-to-year fluctuations in the carbon cycle and in the amount of carbon being soaked up by vegetation and oceans. It said preliminary estimates indicate a reduction in annual global emissions of between 4.2 percent and 7.5 percent – a “tiny blip”, according to the WMO, with no bigger effect on global warming than the expected annual fluctuation. “An emissions reduction this scale will not cause atmospheric CO2 to go down. CO2 will continue to go up, though at a slightly reduced pace,” the WMO said. ‘It’s getting worse’ In a video shared on social media, Patricia Espinosa, the UN’s climate change executive secretary, said” “COVID-19 hasn’t put climate change on hold. “It’s getting worse and our window of opportunities is closing,” she added. The annual report released by the Geneva-based agency measures the atmospheric concentration of the main gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – that are warming Earth and triggering extreme weather events. Levels of carbon dioxide, a product of burning fossil fuels, reached a new record of 410.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2019, it said. The annual increase is larger than the previous year and beats the average of the past decade. “Such a rate of increase has never been seen in the history of our records,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said, referring to a rise of 10 ppm since 2015, calling for a “sustained flattening of the [emissions] curve”. WMO’s head of atmospheric environment research Oksana Tarasova said the magnitude of the increase in carbon dioxide levels during the past four years was comparable to changes seen during the shift from an ice age to more temperate periods but, back then, the transition happened over a much longer timeframe. “We humans did it without anything, just with our emissions, and we did it within four years.” Methane and nitrous oxide levels The second-most prevalent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is methane, emitted in part from cattle and fermentation from rice paddies, which is responsible for about 16 percent of warming. In 2019, methane levels were at 260 percent of pre-industrial levels, at 1,877 parts per billion (ppb), with the rise from 2018 slightly lower than the previous annual increase, but still higher than the 10-year average, WMO said. Concentrations of nitrous oxide, the third major greenhouse which is gas caused largely by agricultural fertilisers, meanwhile stood at 332 ppb last year, or 123 percent over pre-industrial levels. Its rise from 2018 to 2019 was also lower than the observed from 2017 to 2018, but on par with the average annual growth rate for the past decade.

China accuses ‘dangerous’ US of ‘creating chaos’ in Asia

China accuses ‘dangerous’ US of ‘creating chaos’ in Asia Embassy in Manila condemns US after visiting White House envoy pledges support to the Philippines over maritime claims. China has accused the United States of trying to “create chaos” in the Asia-Pacific, a day after US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, on a visit to the Philippines, backed countries in maritime disputes with China and accused Beijing of using military pressure to further its own interests. During his trip to Manila, O’Brien told the Philippines and Vietnam, both countries in disputes with Beijing cover the South China Sea: “We’ve got your back”. He also reiterated the US commitment to self-ruled Taiwan. China said his remarks were “unreasonable” and exaggerated regional tensions. “We firmly oppose these remarks which are full of Cold War mentality and wantonly incite confrontation,” the Chinese Embassy in Manila said in a statement posted on its website. “It shows that his visit to this region is not to promote regional peace and stability, but to create chaos in the region in order to seek selfish interests of the US.” China condemned comments by O’Brien, seen in Manila with Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr, left, offering US support over the South China Sea [Eloisa Lopez/Reuters] China claims almost the entire South China Sea under its so-called nine-dash line and over the past few years has built military installations on several disputed reefs and outcrops despite an international court ruling that found the line – which overlaps with claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia – illegal. The Philippines took its case to The Hague after a two-month standoff with Chinese fishing vessels over Scarborough Shoal in 2014 and the court ruled two years later that, under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Philippines had exclusive rights to the resources within 370.4km (200 nautical miles) of its coast. The ruling has not deterred China, which has continued to build bases in the sea, while the US has repeatedly sent warships through the area to highlight freedom of navigation in one of the world’s busiest trading routes. The Chinese embassy accused the US of “provocative” behaviour. “Facts have proved that the US is the biggest driver of the militarization of the SCS and the most dangerous external factor endangering the peace and stability of the SCS,” it said in the statement in reference to the waterway. The US regularly sends its navy through the South China Sea to highlight freedom of navigation [File:Samuel Hardgrove/US Navy via AFP]China has been building military bases on reefs and outcrops in the South China Sea to reinforce its claim [File/CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via Reuters] China also hit out at O’Brien’s comments on Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own. O’Brien warned China it would face a “backlash” if it attempted to use military force to coerce the island. The statement said Taiwan was an “internal” affair for China. “There is only one China in the world,” it said. “Both Taiwan and Hong Kong are inalienable parts of China. This is an objective fact and a basic norm governing international relations.” Relations between China and the US have deteriorated since Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, with the two sides at odds over issues from democracy and human rights to technology and trade. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to take a more diplomatic approach to China, but a more assertive approach to Beijing has broad bipartisan support in Washington, DC.

Bitcoin jumps, shy of all-time high of $20,000

Bitcoin jumps, shy of all-time high of $20,000 The world’s most popular cryptocurrency has gained about 160 percent this year. Bitcoin hit $19,000 on Tuesday for the first time in nearly three years and was just shy of touching an all-time high of just less than $20,000. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency has gained about 160 percent this year, fuelled by a demand for risk-on assets amid unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, hunger for assets perceived as resistant to inflation, and expectations that cryptocurrencies would win mainstream acceptance. Bitcoin has gained more than 37 percent in November alone. Analysts have said Bitcoin can rise during periods of uncertainty; the cryptocurrency has at times strongly gained during the coronavirus pandemic and amid the US election.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Scientists Successfully Reverse Human Ageing Process

- Breathing pure oxygen may help to reverse the ageing process, scientists claim. Researchers used oxygen therapy to reverse two key indicators of ageing; 35 healthy adults aged 64 and older were placed into pressurised chamber, Sessions lasted 90 minutes and took place for five days a week for three months. Scientists claim they have successfully reversed the human ageing process in a group of elderly adults in a breakthrough study. Oxygen treatment altered the elderly people's bodies at a cellular level to how they were 25 years earlier, researchers claimed. In a unique study, scientists used oxygen therapy to reverse two key indicators of biological ageing - telomere shortening and an accumulation of malfunctioning senescent cells. As humans age, their bodies experience the shortening of telomeres - the protective caps on chromosomes - which leads to illnesses including cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Senescent cells, or so-called zombie cells, prevent regeneration as they build up in the body over time. The study used a method called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in an effort to prevent the deterioration of these two characteristics of the ageing process. In the study, published in the journal Ageing, 35 healthy adults aged 64 and older were placed in pressurised oxygen chambers in Israel and breathed in pure oxygen through a mask. The sessions lasted for 90 minutes each and took place five days a week for three months. The pressurised chamber mimics a state of 'hypoxia', or oxygen shortage, enabling tissues to dissolve more oxygen which has well-known regenerative effects. Results show the trial enabled telomeres to regrow by more than 20 per cent, while their senescent cells had been reduced by up to 37 per cent. This is the equivalent to how their bodies were at a cellular level 25 years earlier, the scientists said. 'Since telomere shortening is considered the 'Holy Grail' of the biology of ageing, many pharmacological and environmental interventions are being extensively explored in the hopes of enabling telomere elongation,' said Professor Shai Efrati, a Professor at the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, and co-author of the study. 'The significant improvement of telomere length shown during and after these unique protocols provides the scientific community with a new foundation of understanding that ageing can indeed be targeted and reversed at the basic cellular-biological level,' Efrati added. The study is the latest in a series of trials which are trying to understand the anti-ageing process and increase life expectancy whilst making people feel younger. The premise is that ageing can be cured like a disease, scientists claim. In 2015, BioViva chief executive Liz Parrish flew to Colombia to receive two experimental gene therapies she claimed could make permanent changes to her DNA in order to combat muscle loss and grow her telomeres. Parrish received criticism for undergoing the experimental treatment by scientists, but she claims the gene therapy reversed the biological age of her immune cells by 20 years. She recently claimed that death is optional. Previous studies have revealed that healthy eating and intense exercise can also preserve telomere length - but this experiment was unique because it exceeded natural interventions, the researchers said. 'Until now, interventions such as lifestyle modifications and intense exercise were shown to have some inhibition effect on the expected telomere length shortening,' said study researcher Dr Amir Hadanny, of Tel Aviv's Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research. 'However, what is remarkable to note in our study is that, in just three months of therapy, we were able to achieve such significant telomere elongation - at rates far beyond any of the current available interventions or lifestyle modifications

GOP leaders’ embrace of Trump’s refusal to concede fits pattern of rising authoritarianism, data shows

It’s the latest sign of the party’s lurch away from democratic ideals and practices, a shift that predates Trump but one that has accelerated precipitously since. Now, according to data released by an international team of political scientists just before the Nov. 3 election, it’s possible to quantify the extent to which the Republican Party no longer adheres to such principles as the commitment to free and fair elections with multiple parties, the respectful treatment of political opponents and the avoidance of violent rhetoric. “The Republican Party in the U.S. has retreated from upholding democratic norms in recent years,” said Anna Lührmann, a political scientist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and a former member of the German parliament. “Its rhetoric is closer to authoritarian parties, such as AKP in Turkey and Fidesz in Hungary.” Lührmann is deputy director of the university’s V-Dem Institute, which compiled the data. For the project, researchers recruited more than 600 political scientists around the world to make annual assessments of political parties’ adherence to a number of key small-D democratic values. Those assessments are combined into the main measure in the chart above, which tracks parties’ overall commitment to democracy. Lührmann points out that the Republican Party score started to edge downward during the Obama administration but fell off a cliff in 2016 with the ascent of Trump. The Democratic Party, by contrast, hasn’t changed much. This is a prime example of what political scientists call asymmetric polarization — a growing partisan gap driven almost entirely by the actions of the Republican Party. While V-Dem’s data only runs through 2018, that asymmetry has only become more apparent in the aftermath of this election, Lührmann said: “It is disturbing that most leading Republicans are still not objecting to President Trump’s baseless claims of electoral fraud and attempts to declare himself the winner.” As a result, she says, GOP scores are likely to sink further when 2020 data is released. Daniel Pemstein, a political scientist at North Dakota State University who helped develop V-Dem’s methodology, acknowledges that the project “seeks to measure things that are inherently difficult to observe.” There’s no universally accepted measure of “illiberalism,” for instance. In the absence of such a measure, the best alternative is to interview numerous experts on the topic to determine whether there is a consensus. V-Dem essentially systematizes this process, collecting and standardizing expert assessments on a massive scale. “We combine ratings from a huge number of local experts on political parties, leveraging the pattern of agreement across experts to estimate real-world party characteristics,” Pemstein said. Lührmann notes the project has collected data on nearly 2,000 political parties. The drivers of the Republican Party’s drift toward authoritarianism are visible in the sub-indicators that make up the main index. Consider the demonization of political opponents: In 2006, V-Dem’s experts judged that GOP leaders “usually did not” resort to demonization and severe personal attacks in characterizing the Democratic Party. But the rise of the tea party was a turning point, research shows. “Angry protesters have frequently made claims ranging from proclaiming Obama’s ‘socialist’ intentions to making explicit Nazi comparisons to suggesting that the President is defying or even subverting the Constitution,” the Anti-Defamation League wrote at the time. By 2016, that sort of rhetoric had become the norm among GOP leaders. Encouraging violence has become alarmingly common. From the 1970s through roughly 2010, V-Dem’s experts note that both Republican and Democratic leaders consistently rejected the use of violence against political opponents. For Republicans, that began to change under Trump. It’s tempting to write off these worrying trends as Trump-era aberrations that will subside after he leaves office — Biden predicted a post-Trump “epiphany” among the GOP, for instance. There are some in the Republican Party who are critical of Trump’s efforts to undermine the election. Former national security adviser John Bolton warned in a recent Washington Post op-ed that the party may suffer “permanent damage to its integrity and reputation because of President Trump’s post-election rampaging.” But V-Dem’s data underscores how much of the Republican Party has adopted the authoritarian beliefs and tactics of the president. Many of the GOP leaders going along with Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud will still be in office after he leaves. “That leading Republicans are not willing to defend the electoral process shows that Trump is not the only GOP politician who has a problem with key democratic norms,” Lührmann said.

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Friday, November 20, 2020

3D colour wrist scanner set to revolutionise broken bone treatment

A 3D colour wrist scanner developed in Christchurch could revolutionise the way patients are treated. Someone injures their wrist every 10 minutes in New Zealand, but many bone-breaking injuries can be missed by x-ray diagnosis. Swelling and bruising can make it hard to determine whether a fall caused a sprain to your wrist or a broken bone. The scanner is being developed at MARS Bioimaging in Christchurch. The usual way of assessing an injury is through basic black and white x-rays, which MARS Bioimaging director Anthony Butler says isn’t always effective. "They miss about 15 percent of significant injuries, and so those people will go home with a cast on, they'll have pain. But it may take a couple of weeks for that injury to be diagnosed." That delay can increase the seriousness of an injury, requiring multiple operations, and a long recovery. The MARS scanner has been in development for more than a decade, it uses full-colour 3D imaging technology to give detailed measurements of the tissue. Dr Ross Keenan from Pacific Radiology says the scanner allows doctors to see more than just the bone. "Normally we just see bone. On this, we see bone, soft tissue, ligaments, bone swelling." Surgeons can also monitor bone healing after metal devices are inserted in the wrist. Pacific Radiology will trial the scanner at its Christchurch After Hours clinic, assessing wrist injuries. Butler is glad the scanner will be making a difference. "It's a good place to start because we know it's an important condition, we know it really affects peoples' lives. So being able to make a difference there will accelerate the technology into other conditions." If successful the technology could have applications for diseases like arthritis, stroke, and even cancers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

How to Clean Lime Stains Off of Swimming Pool Tiles

Lime, calcium and hard water deposits tend to develop on tiles along the water line in even the cleanest of swimming pools. Scrubbing off these deposits is hard work, but it leaves the pool looking clean and inviting again. Lime deposits create a rough surface on your tiles to which algae can stick, and develop a slimy mess. Although the process to remove the lime stains is time consuming, it's not difficult. Drain the pool so the water falls at least 6 inches below the stain line. If you plan to stand in the pool while you scrub the tile, drain the water an additional 6 inches to keep the waves you generate from touching the stained tiles. Climb in the pool or lie down on the pool edge so you can reach the stained tiles. Apply an acidic gel pool tile cleaner onto a small area of the stained tile with a lint-free cloth; stick to an area you can reach without moving to a new position. Rub the tile with the cleaner. Allow the gel to sit on the area for about 15 minutes. Dip a large nylon brush in a bucket of clean water and scrub the gel-covered area with the brush using a circular motion. Don't dip the brush into the pool. Wipe away the gel using a damp rag. Rinse the rag in the bucket and wring it out well before continuing to wipe away more gel. Repeat the process around all edges of the pool. Allow the pool tile to dry, then examine it for lime stains. Some don't show up well when they're wet, but when they are dry, circle the remaining stains with a grease pencil or crayon. Apply gel and let it sit on the areas that are still stained. Scrub with a nylon brush and wipe the cleaner away with a damp rag. For stubborn stains that you can feel as well as see, scrape the tile with a razor blade tool or scrub it with a pumice stone after you apply the gel tile cleaner

Best steam cleaners 2020: The best for carpet, tiles, floors and more

Steam is a truly wonderful thing. It naturally removes stubborn stains and kills germs, all without having to resort to using harsh chemicals. So, whether you want to clean up those old windows, refresh your tiles or just keep a hard floor in tip-top condition, you need to find the best steam cleaner for the job. For convenience, we’ve listed all of our best steam cleaners in the list below, but keep reading this article to get the full low down on each product, or a link to to the full review. Best overall steam cleaner: Karcher SC5 easyFix Premium Steam Cleaner Best budget steam cleaner: Bissell Vac & Steam 1977E Best steam mop: Shark Klik n’ Flip S6003UK Steam Mop Best cylinder steam cleaner: Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Best steam mop and handheld: Hoover Steam Capsule 2in1 Best budget steam mop and handheld: Russell Hobbs Neptune Multifunction Steam Mop Best steam mop alternative: Karcher FC5 Hard Floor Cleaner Best budget handheld steam cleaner: Hoover Steam Express Unlike many other websites, we’ve actually gone out and reviewed loads of models from the top steam cleaner manufacturers, letting us compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of each model to bring you this definitive list. We’ve put together a list of nine steam cleaners, covering a wide range of budgets and uses. One of the best things about steam cleaners is that they are capable of disinfecting areas, using heat to destroy germs. As a result, they’re a great way to keep your home extra-clean, particularly in areas where harsh chemicals can’t be used. How we picked the best steam cleaners We test all steam cleaners under the same conditions. The key to any product like this is the quality of the cleaning, so: We test each steamer on a variety of surfaces. Depending on the attachments provided, and the steam cleaner’s purpose, we look at cleaning performance on carpets, hard floors, windows and kitchens or bathrooms. Outside of the cleaning quality, we ask how easy a steam cleaner is to use. All of our reviews thoroughly test the cleaners for usability, including how simple they are to refill, what it was like to use them in a variety of situations, and how easy it was to change attachments. We also look at home long each cleaner can last on a tank-full of water, giving an idea of the area that can be cleaned in one go. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got a steam cleaner buying guide at the bottom of the page to help you narrow your choice. Do I need a steam mop or a traditional steam cleaner? If you look at the range of products on sale, you’ll see that steam cleaners are available in two main types: traditional steam cleaners and steam mops. So, what’s the difference and which one do you need? Let’s start with steam mops. These are, as the name suggests, regular mops, only they use a water tank and heater to push steam down to the mop head. As you move the mop over the floor, the steam is used to loosen dirt, while the mop head (typically microfibre) picks up the dirt. It’s as simple as that and these products are designed to be used on hard floors to keep them clean with less hard graft than a traditional mop. And, steam mops will leave the floor less wet than a mop will, so you can clean with less water and walk on your fresh floors again. Traditional steam cleaners tend to come with a separate tank, with steam coming out of a nozzle attached to a hose. A range of accessories tends to ship with these devices to tackle different jobs: typical attachments include a upholstery attachment for furniture, a small nozzle for directing steam directly at grout and a window cleaning tool. Many traditional steam cleaners also come with a mop attachment, so that you can use them on hard floors, too. Traditional steam cleaners are typically more versatile than mops, but the trade-off is that they cost more. If you only really want to clean your hard floors, buy a steam mop; if you want to tackle more jobs buy a traditional steam cleaner and make sure it has the attachments that you need. Finally, it’s worth mentioning handheld steam cleaners. These are handheld devices, designed for cleaning much smaller areas, such as tiles or around bathrooms. If you get areas with stubborn marks, such as around tiles in a kitchen or bathroom, handheld cleaners are a good choice. With that out of the way, here’s our selection. 1. Karcher SC5 easyFix Premium Steam Cleaner Our favourite steam cleaner Yes, it’s expensive, but there’s a good reason for that: the Karcher SC5 easyFix Premium Steam Cleaner is the best cleaner that we’ve tested. With its near 2-litre capacity, 2kW+ heater and powerful VapoHydro mode, this is a steam cleaner that can handle everything. Variable steam control power lets you control the SC5’s output, so you can tackle more delicate jobs. It’s the VapoHydro that really grabs attention: this mode mixes water with steam, giving a kind of pressure-washer action. Karcher provides accessories for almost every job. There’s an Easyfix floor mopping head complete with washable microfibre cloths and a carpet glider. A large square brush gives you power for tough cleaning. And, a detail nozzle which takes a small round brush, small detail brush and power nozzle. In fact, the only thing missing is a window cleaning tool. On all surfaces from hard floors and carpets, to tiles and window sills, the SC5 proved itself to be a powerful performer, shifting stubborn dirt. And, it can do it at speed; in fact, we’ve never seen a steam cleaner that can clean a hard floor so quickly. For all-round cleaning ability, the Karcher SC5 easyFix Premium Steam Cleaner is the ultimate choice. Steam cleaner type: Cylinder, Dimensions: 439 x 301 x 305mm, Accessories: Floor cleaning kit, EasyFix + extension tube (2 × 0.5 m), hand nozzle, detail nozzle, round brush (small), microfibre cover for manual nozzle, Water tank: 1.5-litres, Steam pressure: 4.2bar Read our full Karcher SC5 easyFix Premium Steam Cleaner review 2. Bissell Vac & Steam 1977E Our favourite budget steam cleaner The Bissell Vac & Steam 1977E is a fantastic time saver, vacuuming and cleaning at the same time. We loved the original, and now the 1977E model has had a small update and now comes in a fetching blue colour. As a standalone steam cleaner or a standalone vacuum cleaner, this model won’t win awards; yet, the combination of the two features produces some powerful cleaning results. With a 400W bagless vacuum cleaner and 1100W steam heater, small particles are sucked up before the microfibre pad steams the floor and picks up stains. For well-trodden areas in your home with hard floors, the Bissell Vac & Steam 1977E can effectively halve your cleaning time. Bissell recommends three passes for dirty area and that worked well, picking up dust and removing stains. The downside of the system is that it’s not very flexible, and it’s neither a good vacuum or a flexible and powerful steam cleaner. Still, it’s the combination of parts that is important, and the Bissell Vac & Steam 1977E delivers on hard floor cleaning. Steam cleaner type: Steam mop and vacuum, Dimensions: 439 x 301 x 305mm, Accessories: Floor head (carpet and hard floors), Water tank: 380ml Read our full Bissell Vac & Steam 1977E review 3. Shark Klik n’ Flip S6003UK Steam Mop Sets a new standard for steam mops If you’re looking for a steam floor mop to quickly clean up hard floors, the Shark Klik n’ Flip S6003UK Steam Mop could well be the model for you. This well-priced steam mop is focussed on floor cleaning, shipping with a double-sided mopping pad that clips to the bottom of the mop. It’s a huge mop, making short work of floors, as you can clean large areas with a single swipe. Cleverly, the Klik n’ Flip head can flip over partway through a clean, giving you the clean side of the pad to keep cleaning with, without introducing a lengthy changeover. Cleaning performance was excellent, with the Shark Klik n’ Flip S6003UK Steam Mop tidying up mud on a tiled floor with ease, and picking up everyday kitchen stains: the steam blast function is particularly useful for cleaning up tougher stains. Easy to use, easy to move and brilliantly priced, the Shark Klik n’ Flip S6003UK Steam Mop is the best steam mop that we have ever tested. If you’ve got lots of hard floors, this is a great model to buy. Steam cleaner type: Steam mop, Dimensions: 1190 x 110 x 100mm, Accessories: Floor head, Water tank: 330ml Read our full Shark Klik n’ Flip S6003UK Steam Mop review 4. Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner A versatile cylinder steam cleaner for all situations Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Looking more like the type of product that you might find in the Apple store, the cuboid Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner is the neatest steam cleaner that we’ve reviewed. Fortunately, beyond its shiny white exterior, this is also an excellent cylinder steam cleaner that ships with all the accessories you need to tackle a range of jobs around the home. It’s a touch tricky to fill up the water tank, although at 1.6-litres you shouldn’t have to fill it too often. Dupray says that this tank is enough to see you through 50 minutes of cleaning, which is enough to tackle a very tough job or for cleaning a larger area, such as a floor, more regularly. Most importantly, this steam cleaner did an excellent job in all of our tests: it quickly cleaned floors, removed tomato paste from a kitchen counter, brought grouting back to its best, removed limescale from a shower screen and made an oven look close to new. The cleaner did all of this without leaving surfaces too wet at the end. Available for a great price, the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner is a great choice if you need a tool for all types of job, from mopping to detail work on tiles. Slow warm-up times and the need to wait 20 minutes between refilling are the only real downsides, but they’re easy to forgive on such a quality product. Steam cleaner type: Cylinder steam cleaner, Dimensions: 260 x 260 x 230mm, 4kg, Accessories: Floor head with three microfibre pads, manual nozzle with microfibre cover, detail and squeegee nozzle, brass bristle brush and five small brushes, two extension tubes and microfibre cloth and fragrance disc, Water tank: 1.6-litres Read our full Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner review 5. Hoover Steam Capsule 2in1 A powerful steam mop and handheld cleaner all in one Hoover Steam Capsule 2in1 hero If you want a steam cleaner that can do everything, the Hoover Steam Capsule 2in1 is a great choice. It looks and acts like a steam mop, and it is: you get two microfibre cloths, a lift-out brush, and there’s a carpet slider, so you can tackle everything from hard floors to carpets with ease. Cleaning performance was very good on hard floors and, use the cleaner on minimum steam, and your floors come out quite dry. The trick with this cleaner is that you can lift-out the handheld section and use the selection of tools for detail cleaning, such as for grout, windows and ovens. You get a lot of steam pressure on maximum (although you get a lot of water run off), and can tackle most jobs. The minor issue is that the steam cleaner goes through cycles, so you get a burst of steam for a few minutes and then the system has to refresh. It’s also a little fiddly to hold the handheld unit’s trigger in, so longer jobs can be fatiguing. However, as a maintenance cleaner, preventing the build of stains and mould, this steam cleaner excels. Overall, you can get cleaners for bigger jobs on this list, but if you’re after a well-priced mop that can turn its hand to smaller jobs, the Hoover Steam Capsule 2in1 is a great choice. Steam cleaner type: Steam mop and handheld, Dimensions: 1170 x 305 x 176mm, Weight: 3.5kg, Accessories: Mopping pad, carpet slider, triangular brush, large metal brush, small metal brush, round brush, curved nozzle, conical tool, hose, window squeegee, small cloth, Water tank: 0.35-litres, Steam pressure: Not disclosed Read our full Hoover Steam Capsule 2in1 6. Russell Hobbs Neptune Multifunction Steam Mop A versatile and well-priced steam mop and handheld all-in-one Russell Hobbs Neptune Multifunction Steam Mop Although the Russell Hobbs Neptune Multifunction Steam Mop is primarily a steam mop, it can be turned into a hand-held model for tackling some smaller jobs – no bad considering the budget price. The price is slightly reflected in the build quality, with this model feeling a touch cheap, and a little flimsy as a mop, but it does a decent all-round job. Primarily, the Russell Hobbs Neptune Multifunction Steam Mop will be used for cleaning floors, and we found that this model tackled tiled floors and laminate flooring well, although it left them a bit damp with some watermarks that we had to remove with a clean cloth at the end. This was a quick job and we can forgive this minor issue at this price. In handheld mode, you get a whole range of accessories, too for tackling everything from grout to windows. In testing, we found that grout was brought back to its best, and the Russell Hobbs Neptune Multifunction Steam Mop cleaned up a sofa, but it struggled to remove stains from a carpet. The cleaner also struggled to remove burnt-in oils from an oven. There are bigger and better steam cleaners, but nothing else really at this price. If you’re on a tight budget or just want something for occasional use, this is a great choice. Steam cleaner type: Steam mop and handheld, Dimensions: 11150 x 250 x 310mm, 2.3kg Accessories: Floorhead and upholstery pads, carpet glider, window/upholstery and scraper tools, detail and jet nozzles, crevice and round brushes, Water tank: 350ml Read our full Russell Hobbs Neptune Multifunction Steam Mop 7. Hoover Steam Express A small and cheap steam cleaner for spot cleaning If you don’t have large areas to clean and just need a steam cleaner for close-up jobs, the small and well priced Hoover Steam Express could be for you. Little larger than a water sprayer, this handheld tool comes with all of the accessories to clean up smaller areas in your home. You even get an extension hose, which makes it a bit easier to get into gaps or reach up higher. Testing around the home, with the accessories, we managed to clean up limescale around a tap, clean grease off of an oven rack, get marks off a chair and even clean a shower screen. There’s plenty of steam from this model: in fact, sometimes the shot of steam is a bit too powerful and objects can be left quite wet. When we cleaned our shower screen we had to be careful not to drip hot water onto ourselves. With lots of accessories and its low price, the Hoover Steam Express is a great choice if you don’t need to tackle bigger jobs; if you do, then look elsewhere on this list for a cleaner that can also manage hard floors. Steam cleaner type: Handheld, Dimensions: 260 x 220 x 120mm, 1.6kg Accessories: Crevice, detail and scraper tools, 80cm hose, metal and round brushes, window/upholstery tool with textile pad, Water tank: 400ml Read our full Hoover Steam Express review How to buy the right steam cleaner for you Which steam cleaner you should buy will largely depend on what you want to use your cleaner for. This quick guide should help you decide. Buy a steam mop if you just want to clean floors. They’re best for hard floors, but some are useful for freshening up carpets and lifting stains, too. They’re generally cheaper than 2-in-1 steam mops, which can switch into a handheld mode for other tasks. Buy a 2-in-1 steam mop if you want to clean floors and other surfaces. These more versatile steam mops can be used as handhelds as well, and they normally come with a selection of tools suited to different jobs. This means you can tackle the kitchen tops, bathroom tiles, curtains and plenty more besides – all with one handy cleaner. Buy a cylinder steam cleaner if you find upright steam mops too heavy. While some of the large cylinder steam cleaners are heavier overall, the fact that they’re on wheels means they’re easier to lug about. Most do all the same things a 2-in-1 steam mop will do, while very compact models exist that you can carry on your shoulder. The other key difference is that cylinder steam cleaners take longer to get ready – normally a few minutes – but the advantages are longer running times and less filling up. Some can even be topped up as you clean, so you don’t have to turn off the cleaner to keep going. Should you use detergent with a steam cleaner? Steam cleaners don’t have to use detergent, and use clean water and steam alone to remove stains. This makes them more gently cleaners in some regards, as you don’t have to use harsh chemicals to remove stubborn stains. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t use chemicals in the normal way. For example, for cleaning floors and surfaces, using traditional detergent and disinfectant makes sense, although you can then use a steam cleaner afterwards for dealing with some stains. Likewise, you should still clean with cleaning products for the deepest clean, letting the steam cleaner handle deeper jobs. Is tank size important? The larger the tank of water you have, the longer the steam cleaner can keep cleaning. This is more important on some models than other. Many models have a refillable water tank that you can remove and top up when you like. These ones heat water when its removed from a tank, effectively giving you continuous cleaning. For these models, the size of the tank isn’t so important, as you can get water when you need it. If you have a cleaner with a built-in tank where all of the water is heated at the same time, you have to have a cool-down time (up to 20 minutes or so) before you can refill and use them again. For these models, it’s important to have a running time that will last for the length of job you have, so that you don’t have to pause in the middle of cleaning. What accessories do I need? Steam cleaners, bar standalone steam mops, will come with a variety of attachments for different jobs. Largely, these are there to make specific tasks easier. Each accessory works by changing how steam is directed, such as a thin nozzle to help push steam towards tile grouting, or by providing a tool to help clean, such as a wire brush for cleaning an oven. Tools can do both, such as an upholstery brush that directs steam over a wider area and gives you a brush to agitate the upholstery and loosen dirt. When you buy a steam cleaner you should think about the jobs you want to do and make sure that your chosen model has the right accessories. Can you use a steam cleaner on all surfaces? Steam is generally safe to use on most surfaces but there are some exceptions to this. As you’re using water, using a steam cleaner on an unsealed surface isn’t recommended. And, surfaces that may react badly to a lot of water, such as solid wood flooring, may not be suitable, as you could get swelling. The situation is worse if you apply steam directly to the surface but also applies with steam mops. Although mop heads will absorb most of the heat of the steam, they can still get very wet, which is no good for many surfaces. For dealing with hard floors, we recommend that you buy one of our best hard floor cleaners, instead. Can a steam cleaner kill bed bugs? Steam is an effective way to kill bed bugs and their eggs, thanks to the high temperatures proving lethal. If you’re worried about an infestation, then steam cleaning soft furnishings can help. Make sure that you use the upholstery attachment and/or mattress accessory to clean. You should move slowly over the area, taking at least 30 seconds before moving the steam head in order to deliver a killing dose of steam. Make sure that you cover all areas, and press the steam head into crevices and around the bed; for mattresses, cover the sides and underneath, too. Can a steam cleaner kill coronavirus? Karcher commissioned research that showed that enveloped viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, can be killed by high temperatures. Spot cleaning for 30 seconds at maximum steam level was enough to kill the virus. This shows that cleaning close-up is required to be effective, so cleaning with a burst of steam can be a good secondary way of disinfecting surfaces, although cleaning with detergent should always be done. Steam can be good on surfaces that are otherwise hard to clean, such as curtains and upholstery. Using a steam mop is slightly different, as the microfibre cloth absorbs some heat. Steam mops will remove dirt, bacteria and viruses, but the pad should be cleaned at a high temperature in a washing machine to disinfect it after use. In short, then, a steam cleaner can help disinfect surfaces but should be used as an additional tool after traditional cleaning.

Turkish Gernany couple made corona vacine breakthrough

A Turkish-German husband-and-wife team have emerged as frontrunners in the race to market a vaccine against coronavirus, which would be an extraordinary achievement. Turkish-born Ugur Sahin, 55, is CEO of German biotech firm BioNTech. He co-founded it with his wife and fellow board member Özlem Türeci, 53, and his former teacher, Prof Christoph Huber, an Austrian cancer expert. What is the vaccine breakthrough? BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer announced that their vaccine could prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19, according to early results from Phase 3 trials. It is among 11 vaccines that are currently in the final stages of testing worldwide, involving other, rival pharmaceutical firms and labs. The world has never before seen such rapid progress towards vaccine development - normally the research and trials take seven or eight years. BioNTech's Covid team was given the title "Project Lightspeed". How would it work? Prof Sahin and Dr Türeci are immunotherapy specialists, whose efforts were previously focused on cancer patients: they used messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules to trigger certain proteins in cells, which could then train the immune system to attack cancer cells. The role of mRNA in sending genetic instructions to cells could, Prof Sahin realised, be adapted to the fight against coronavirus. The idea is to trick the immune system with viral proteins, so that antibodies can then attack the virus. When news of the virulence of coronavirus was reported in January, based on data from the outbreak in Wuhan, China, BioNTech was already in a good position, as it had teamed up with Pfizer in 2018 to develop mRNA-based flu vaccines. BioNTech reported on Monday that the vaccine efficacy rate - above 90% - had been reached a week after the second dose. Protection would be achieved 28 days after the first vaccine dose. Out of 43,538 participants in the trial, 94 Covid-19 cases were confirmed. 'Milestone' vaccine offers 90% Covid protection NHS ready for Covid vaccine roll-out, says Hancock Who will get the vaccine first and when can you have it? BBC graphic 1px transparent line Who are the power couple? Prof Sahin and Dr Türeci founded BioNTech in the western German city of Mainz in 2008. Both are children of Turkish immigrants. Ugur Sahin was four when he moved to Germany with his mother to join his father, who was working at a Ford factory in Cologne. Ugur Sahin studied medicine at the University of Cologne, and says he often stayed in the lab late into the evening, before cycling home. Today he still cycles to work. "He never changed from being incredibly humble and personable," said Matthias Kromayer of venture capital firm MIG AG, who invested in BioNTech right from the start. Before the pandemic, BioNTech researched individualised cancer treatments based on the immune system, but so far none of its drugs has reached the approval stage. BioNTech HQ in Mainz, 18 Sep 20 IMAGE COPYRIGHTAFP image captionBioNTech HQ in Mainz Özlem Türeci grew up influenced by her father, who was a doctor - he had his practice at home. "I could not imagine any other profession even when I was a young girl," she is quoted as saying. Now the market value of their Nasdaq-listed firm has soared to $21bn (£16bn), from $4.6bn a year ago. CEO Prof Sahin, with an 18% stake, is now among the 10 richest Germans. His wife is the firm's Chief Medical Officer. They married in 2002, when Prof Sahin was working at the University Medical Centre Mainz. Even on their wedding day Prof Sahin spent some time in the lab, and today he continues to teach at the university. They became biotech entrepreneurs in 2001, launching Ganymed Pharmaceuticals, to develop immunotherapy cancer drugs. They sold it in 2016 for €422m. BioNTech employs more than 1,300 people from over 60 countries, more than half of them women, Deutsche Welle reports. In January, after reading about coronavirus in The Lancet, Prof Sahin quickly realised how fast it was spreading, and after studying the data he dedicated more than 400 staff to developing a vaccine. "The value of my stake doesn't interest me," he told German news website Wirtschaftswoche. "We wanted to build up a firm similar to biotech giants like Amgen or Genentech. We want to create long-term value. That's what interests me."

Thursday, November 5, 2020

You can’t dictate to us anymore, PANDEF, Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Middle Belt tell North

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF, on Wednesday, warned that it will no longer allow a section of the country to play any supremacist role over others. The forum said this, in a communique, after an emergency meeting held in Abuja. The communique was signed by Chief EK Clark (PANDEF Leader), AVM Idongesit Nkanga, Chief Broderick Bozimo, Mr. Solomon Asemota (SAN), Senator Bassey Henshaw, Prof GG Darah and Chief T k O Okorotie. Others are Chief Ayo Adebanjo (for Afenifere Leader), Mr Yinka Odumakin, Senator Kofoworola Akerele-Buknor, Oba Oladipo Olaitan, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Chief Supo Sonibare, Chief Demola Folarin, Dr. Akin Fapohunda. Chief John Nwodo (President General, Ohanaeze), Chief Guy Ikokwu, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Mr. Chuks Muomah SAN, Mr. Mike Ahamba SAN, Mr. Madu Bright O Allwell, Chuks Achi-Okpaga, Chief Alex Ogbonnia. Dr. Pogu Bitrus (President, Middle Belt Forum), Air Commoder Dan Suleiman (retd), Dr. S D Gani, Elder Stephen Bangoji, Hon Jonathan Asake, Mr. Chris Aba, Mr. Mark Jacob and Mr. Festus Nyiwo. Reacting to the meeting of Northern states’ Governors with Northern Emirs and Chiefs and Arewa leaders in topmost positions in the current regime held on Monday, the leaders reiterated it’s call for restructuring before the 2023 general elections. The communique reads: “The meeting coming aftermath of the ENDSARS protest when we should be putting heads together nationally to seek solutions to our problems is most distractive, divisive and made Nigeria widely scattered as against the ‘indivisibility’ and other non-sequitors that were regurgitated at the end of it. “Where would this country be heading to if we also decide to call our own meeting with our Governors and top officials in the Federal Government? We do not see any responsibility displayed by those who have been serially accused of sectionalising our national government to allow such in sensibility, insensitivity and total subversion of the unity of the country that only exists on the lips of those behind the meeting. “It not also lost on us that the communique of the meeting was making space for National Executive Council nominations to a sectional initiative as the utmost level of disregard to the rest of the country whom they are treating as serfs when we are supposed to joint and equal stakeholders in project Nigeria. “The meeting wondered the quality of humanity of any group meeting at this period of mournings not to have a word of compassion for those that were recklessly murdered by state forces and hired thugs during the protests. “We reject the indecent approach to paste the peaceful protesters in dark colours. They made their demands clear and were orderly before the violent Nigerian state deployed armed soldiers and thugs in 911 lorries against them. “It is wickedness to place ‘our power’ above every other national interest by playing the “regime change” label on the peaceful protesters who were not armed like Boko Haram that the regime is chasing about with negotiations in the same spirit it has been cuddling and pampering killer herdsmen. “We do not see the thoughtfulness in the celebration of Northern youths not participating in ENDSARS protests as if they did not also loot like their deprived young people in other areas of the country which shows they are suffering the same thing. But instead of treating leprosy, our counterparts are dealing with eczema “We foresaw all that is happening now, which is why we have been calling for restructuring as a multi-ethic country like Nigeria can only be run along federal lines. We were not oblivious of the damage the military did to this country by using fiat to create LGAs with headquarters in the villages of top shots mostly from the North. Kano state today has 44 Local Governments and Bayelsa has 80.When you want to recruit 10 policemen per LGA Bayelsa will have 80 and Kano 44O.That affects where the materials to be drawn into SARS and others are drawn.The inequalities multiply everywhere. And this is why we insist on restructuring of the country now before we go for any national election. “We make it abundantly clear to our colleagues from the core North that yesterday ended last night and never again shall this country be run the same old way. No section of the country can play any supremacist role again as if the rest of us are fools. “It is either we live together as equals under the same rules of engagement or we explore other options as dignified human beings. “We deeply mourn with all families who lost dear ones in the crisis we just went through and pray to God to comfort them. May those who wantonly destroyed lives pay grievously for their deeds.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

BREAKING: NECO to Resume SSCE Monday, November 9

The National Examinations Council (NECO), on Monday, November 2, announced the resumption of the 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) in all states and the Federal C The Head of Information and Public Relations in NECO, Azeez Sani, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Resumption of the 2020 SSCE (Internal)’ issued on Monday evening. According to him, the exam was postponed earlier because of security challenges occasioned by the #EndSARS protests. The statement read, “The National Examinations Council wishes to inform candidates, schools, and other stakeholders of the resumption of the 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination in all states and the FCT from Monday, November 9, 2020. The council was constrained to postpone the examinations indefinitely on Monday, October 25 2020 due to security challenges occasioned by the #EndSARS protests, which disrupted the smooth conduct of the examinations in some parts of the country. Following the return of normalcy in the states and FCT, the examinations will now continue with a new time-table from Monday, November 9, 2020, to Saturday, November 28, 2020.” It added, “This new timetable will be made available to the general public, schools, and candidates from Wednesday, November 4, 2020. The timetable can also be downloaded from the NECO official website. The council thanks the general public and candidates for their patience and understanding during the period the SSCE was suspended. NECO assures the general public of quality service in the discharge of her statutory responsibilities at all times.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Waec withheld over two hundred thousand result

The West African Examinations Council, on Monday, announced that it withheld the results of 215,149 candidates who sat for the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination in Nigeria. The Council said the results of the candidates representing 13.98% of the total number of candidates who wrote the examination are being withheld in connection with various reported cases of examination malpractice. The Head of WAEC Nigeria, Patrick Areghan, made this know at a briefing in Lagos while announcing the official release of the results of this year’s WASSCE. He said, “The cases are being investigated and reports of the investigations will be presented to the appropriate Committee of the Council for determination in due course. The Committee’s decisions will be communicated to the affected candidates through their various schools.” “81,718 candidates, representing 5.31% have a few of their subjects still being processed due to some errors on the part of the candidates. Efforts are, however, being made to speedily complete the processing to enable all the affected candidates get their results fully processed and released, subsequently,” Areghan added. He further explained that “the analysis of the statistics of the performance of candidates in the examination shows that out of the 1,538,445 candidates that sat the examination, 1,338,348 candidates, representing 86.99%, obtained credit and above in a minimum of any five subjects (i.e with or without English Language and/ or Mathematics; “1,003,668 candidates, representing 65.24%, obtained credits and above in a minimum of five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics. “Of this number 497,139 i. e. 49.53% were male candidates, while 506,529 i.e. 50.47% were female candidates. “The percentage of candidates in this category in the WASSCE for School Candidates, 2019, that is, those who obtained credit and above in a minimum of five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics, was 64.18%. Thus, there is a marginal 1.06% improvement in performance in this regard.” Areghan noted that the “certificates of candidates whose results have been fully processed and released will be ready within the next 90 days, counting from today.”

Breaking news: Waec will release 2020 wassce results on november 2 2020

This is to inform candidates that sat West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for School Candidates, 2020 that the results of that exam will be released by @waecnigeria tomorrow, Monday, November 2, 2020 by 10:30am.

The United States Mission to Nigeria has celebrated Dr Onyema Ogbuagu, for his role in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The United States Mission to Nigeria has celebrated Dr Onyema Ogbuagu, for his role in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. . Ogbuagbu, wh...