Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
50 percent of Indian teenagers prone to high use of mobile phones
New Delhi : Fifty percent of Indian children and teenagers are prone to spinal problems due to the high uses of mobile phones, said a study done by a Mumbai-based hospital.
 
The problem may lead to permanent damage to their cervical spines that could lead to lifelong pain, it said. 
 
The neck pain and physical damage sustained from the overuse of one's mobile phone, tablet or other wireless devices has also been described as 'Text neck'.
 
Conducted by Lilavati Hospital, the study said 79 percent of the population between the age group of 18 and 44 have their cell phones with them almost all the time, with only two hours of their waking day spent without their cell phone on hand.
 
India has the world's second highest mobile phone users with the figure standing above one billion.
 
"People working on computers most of the day, like software professionals and bank employees, are also prone to feel pain and slight numbness in their neck and shoulders," said Nirad S. Vengsarkar, orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital. 
 
Due to the overuse of phone, instead of a normal forward curve, patients can be seen to have a backwards curve which can be degenerative, often causing head, neck, shoulder and back pain, said the study.
 
"The condition can also result in emotional and behavioural changes as the stress can affect the release of happy hormones," said the study. 
 
"Resting the chin on the chest to look at the phone stretches the spinal cord and brain stem. This can affect respiration, heart rate and blood pressure. It can also mean that happy hormones, such as Endorphins and Serotonin are not released, meaning people can wake up anxious," said the report.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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One killed, 10 injured as Jat stir turns violent in Haryana
Rohtak/Chandigarh : At least one person was killed and 10 injured when police fired on Jat protestors in Haryana's Rohtak town on Friday afternoon, officials said.
 
The police fired when the protestors attacked the residence of the inspector general of police and that of Haryana Finance Minister Abhimanyu in Rohtak, police officials said.
 
Life continued to be affected in most parts of Rohtak, Jhajjar and some other districts of the state as the agitation by Jats continued for the sixth day on Friday.
 
The Jat protestors, who have been demanding reservation in jobs and educational institutions, torched several police and private vehicles in Rohtak. The protestors also damaged private property, and even manhandled media persons at some places in the town.
 
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's officer on special duty Jawahar Yadav dubbed the firing incident as "unfortunate".
 
BJP leader Anil Jain confirmed the death of one person in police firing.
 
The injured were rushed to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Rohtak, police said.
 
The protestors agitating for the past six days have blocked roads, highways and railway tracks in Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Bhiwani, Jind, Hisar and some other districts, inconveniencing the common man. 
 
The Jat stir escalated even as the Haryana government called an all-party meeting in Chandigarh to discuss the reservation issue and the Jat protests. The meeting urged the protestors to end their agitation and remove the blockades.
 
Jat leaders rejected the appeal to withdraw their agitation.
 
After the all-party meeting in Chandigarh, Khattar said: "The government is in favour of reservation for Jats in the state and is trying to find out ways and means for the same."
 
Khattar said the government will prepare a draft bill on reservation and seek suggestions in this regard. "The government has positive approach on this demand," Khattar said.
 
Referring to statements of BJP's Kurukshetra MP Raj Kumar Saini, who is opposed to reservation for Jats, Khattar said Saini had been asked to withdraw his statement against the protestors.
 
"If the words of Saini have hurt the sentiments of the Jats, all his statements may be treated as withdrawn. Saini was out of station and as and when he comes back, he would take his words back," Khattar said.
 
The chief minister warned that no one would be allowed to take the law in his hands.
 
Haryana Agriculture Minister O.P. Dhankar said in Gurgaon that the state government was ready to give special backward class quota to the Jats in Haryana.
 
With the Jat agitation spreading in Haryana, authorities blocked Internet services in the affected districts.
 
Internet services, including 2G and 3G, in the worst affected districts of Rohtak, Sonipat and Jhajjar have been withdrawn since midnight, officials said on Friday.
 
"It has been done to prevent spread of rumours, as this could lead to the situation getting out of hand," a senior Haryana Police official told IANS.
 
Jat protestors clashed with security forces in Rohtak on Thursday evening when the police tried to remove the blockades. The protestors attacked police with stones and bricks. A police vehicle was damaged in the clash.
 
"Some roads are blocked by the protestors. We are trying to persuade them to remove the blockades. We have requisitioned paramilitary forces. We are prepared to tackle the situation," Rohtak police chief Saurabh Singh told the media.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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How India will protect nuclear liabilities of US firms
A $48-billion (Rs 3.26 lakh crore) penalty claimed by the US government from Volkswagen for cheating on diesel-car emissions is about 200 times as large as the $225 million (Rs 1,500 crore) insurance pool set up by Indian insurance companies to compensate US nuclear companies for mishaps in India.
 
If a US nuclear company were to build a reactor in India that suffered a catastrophe, and people were to die in India, the US government’s position seems to be that American suppliers shouldn’t face civil or criminal liability. The US believes the Indian civil nuclear liability law, which calls for both penalties, is unduly harsh. Rather than say so directly, US officials keep repeating that the “Indian law is inconsistent with the international liability regime".
 
The Indian civil nuclear liability law holds the equipment supplier responsible for any incident caused by the supplier or its employees. The Indian liability law differs from those of other countries because it was drafted keeping in mind the 1984 Bhopal tragedy – where, despite 5,000 deaths and effects across generations, no one was held criminally liable.
 
The penalty demanded in the Volkswagen case is about 100 times the compensation of $470 million – ($907 million in 2014 dollars) – paid by US firm Union Carbide after the Bhopal Gas tragedy, which also left 70,000 people maimed or injured. Volkswagen’s cover-up caused no injuries or deaths.
 
Although the Indian government wants to protect US nuclear companies against the Indian liability law, critics argued that these companies are using India’s eagerness to avoid any liability, if something goes wrong.
 
India wants to build more nuclear power plants in an attempt to reduce the share of coal in electricity generation. Increasing the use of nuclear power is also a part of the country’s strategy to tackle climate change.
 
India currently has 5,780 MW of nuclear power in operation and plans to add another 17,400 MW, making it possibly the largest market for nuclear power after China, and a financially lucrative prospect for Western firms faced with limited domestic sales.
 
However, the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has heightened concerns of nuclear safety and accident costs. The fallout of that disaster will also make it hard to change India’s liability laws.
 
The US’ large settlements extend to corporate wrong-doing beyond its borders
 
Large settlements in the US are a regular feature. In October 2015, the Justice Department arrived at a settlement with oil major BP, which will pay a penalty of $20.8 billion to cover the economic and environmental damage arising from a 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
Volkswagen could, in theory, face fines of as much as $37,500 per vehicle for each of two violations of the law; up to $3,750 per “defeat device”; and another $37,500 for each day of violation, a Reuters report said.
 
In April 2010, a deepwater oil-drilling rig operated by BP, the Deepwater Horizon, suffered an explosion which killed 11 men, and the well it was drilling leaked over five million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
This was the largest-ever settlement in the history of the Department; the Volkswagen penalty could be larger.
 
A number of companies have paid tens of billions of dollars in fines over the past decade for breaking US law.
 
Top US banks, such as Bank of America, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, have paid multi-billion dollar fines for their roles in the 2008 global financial crisis, caused by reckless business practices of large Western banks.
 
The remit of the US Justice Department extends beyond its borders and to foreign firms as well. In May 2015, five global banks–Citicorp, JP Morgan, Barclays, UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland–agreed to pay fines adding up to $2.5 billion, for manipulating a widely-used financial benchmark set in London. This brings the total penalty paid by these banks for their role in this manipulation to $9 billion.
 
UK-based HSBC was fined for “illegally conducting transactions on behalf of customers in Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma”–countries under US economic sanctions.
 
During the financial year 2015, the US justice department collected $23 billion in penalties in various civil and criminal cases, slightly lower than the collection for 2013, when it had a record haul.
 
Indian firms also fined in the US
 
While the US nuclear industry wants to avoid any liability in India for acts of omission or commission, Indian companies have often been slapped with large fines for violations of US law.
 
Drug manufacturer Ranbaxy paid penalties of $500 million (Rs 3,400 crore) in 2013 for falsifying data about its drugs and for not following proper manufacturing practices–more than twice the value of the nuclear liability insurance pool to be created in India.
 
In 2013, tech firm Infosys paid a $35 million penalty in a civil settlement on allegations of visa misuse; the firm maintained that the “claims are untrue and remain unproven”.
 
India has started levying penalties too
 
India, too, has started levying big fines. For instance, in 2013, a group of Indian cement companies was fined Rs 6,698 crore by the Competition Commission of India for working as a cartel and over-charging consumers. This amount, levied for unfair business practices rather than causing deaths and injuries, is 4.4 times the proposed liability cap for nuclear incidents.
 
Similarly, Delhi-based real estate firm DLF has been recently ordered to pay a penalty of Rs 630 crore for unfair business practices.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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