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Medical News Today: Cosmetic surgery is on the rise, new data reveal
A recent report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows that there were almost 250,000 more cosmetic procedures in 2018 than in 2017. [...]
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‘Style muse’: Meghan Markle’s rise to a royal fashionista
Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, on Commonwealth Day, in London March 11, 2019. — Reuters pic LONDON, March 13 — Her jackets and jeans, bangles and bags can instantly send tongues wagging and designers’ sales soaring.Since being catapulted into the global spotlight as Prince Harry’s girlfriend in 2016, Meghan Markle’s outfits have been scrutinised and copied, often crashing websites selling her apparel.Fashion blogs and social media accounts dedicated to the American’s style have mushroomed, just as they sprang up for her sister-in-law Kate, Prince William’s wife, allowing followers to comment on her latest sleek looks usually in a monochrome palette.“The Meghan effect is this economic phenomenon similar to the Kate effect... where if she wears it, it turns to gold,” said Christine Ross, co-editorial director of Meghan’s Mirror fashion blog, describing Meghan’s style as “very on trend and modern”.Almost everything she wears up to and around the US$300 (RM1,225) or £300 (RM1,605) mark, a pretty high price point, sells out, she added.Designer dresses, luxury handbags and stylish stilettos are the fashion dream of many women, but for a young royal they are the staple of an everyday wardrobe.For her busy royal diary, the now Duchess of Sussex usually wears expensive labels, namely French couture house Givenchy whose British artistic director Clare Waight Keller designed Meghan’s wedding dress.Dior, Ralph Lauren, Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta are among other formal and eveningwear go to brands.“Meghan’s wardrobe is really unique because there are so many bespoke pieces in it and we’ll really never know how much those cost,” Ross said.She estimates her wardrobe at about £500,000 a year.‘Style muse’  While becoming a trendsetter, Meghan, named 2018’s best dressed woman by People magazine, has stayed loyal to smaller brands she wore before her global fame.The 37-year-old, who used to film drama Suits in Toronto, has worn Canadian labels Mackage, Aritzia and Line the Label.For casualwear, she has worn J.Crew and brands known for their environmental and social credentials: A Reformation dress, Veja sneakers, Outland Denim jeans and jewellery made from recycled metal.“Meghan carved this niche for supporting these sustainable fashion brands,” Holly Rains, digital editor at magazine Marie Claire UK, said. “People are now going to Meghan as a style muse... She crashes sites.”It is particularly her more affordable accessories that are snapped up by consumers.“The jewellery, the bags, the belts is where we can dip in and get that kind of Meghan touch to our outfits,” Rains said.Ross said Meghan’s casual jean looks proved popular with readers. Her maternity wear as she awaits her first child is also eagerly followed.“She’s done a lot of bespoke pieces, a lot of customisation pieces that aren’t maternity at all and it’s really been a difference,” Ross said.Royal fashion expert Michael Talboys said he hoped to see Meghan wear more British labels. She has worn items from UK brands Victoria Beckham, Strathberry, Marks & Spencer and her second wedding gown was a halterneck dress by Stella McCartney.“She should, as an English duchess, really be patronising English designers and promoting them in the eyes of the world,” he said.Kate frequently wears British high street dresses.On the streets of London, student Savanah Edwards said Meghan’s “classic” style was having an impact.“I personally cannot afford anything that she wears but it does influence me to try new pieces,” she said. — Reuters [...]
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AirAsia falls to first quarterly loss since 2015 as fuel costs rise
KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Group Bhd flipped to a net loss in the fourth quarter, its first quarterly loss in more than three years as higher fuel prices and operating lease costs dented income. [...]
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Rise of Populism Forces Rethinking the Citizen Engagement Agenda
It’s time for governments to re-visit a very intense topic: citizen engagement;... The post Rise of Populism Forces Rethinking the Citizen Engagement Agenda appeared first on Marketing Magazine Asia. [...]
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Made-in-Britain mozzarella on the rise as Brexit looms
Dairy Manager Tim Thompson stands in the parlour while milking the buffalo at Laverstoke Park Farm near Overton, Hampshire. ― Reuters pic LONDON, Feb 14 ― Buffalo mozzarella made from the milk of a herd roaming the green rolling hills of southern England is hoping to dethrone the Italian original in the UK thanks to Brexit.Some 2,000 kilometres from Campania in southern Italy is Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire ― owned by the 1979 Formula One motor racing champion Jody Scheckter.“The difference with the Italian mozzarella is that ours is better!” the South African, 69, boasted to AFP on a tour of his farm.Come milking time, the buffaloes leave their barn, straw still stuck to their hooves, and head to the milking sheds.Their milk, rich in protein and calcium, is transformed into white balls of mozzarella which are then sold to customers including supermarket chain Waitrose, online delivery giant Ocado and Pret a Manger sandwich shops.Scheckter turned to mozzarella 10 years ago with the aim of making it “better tasting, without compromise”.Nowadays he produces 150 tonnes of organic mozzarella a year on his 2,500-acre (1,000-hectare) farm.The buffalo are pampered, grazing freely in pastures filled with different types of grass and clover.In winter, they can get a massage in the barn from a giant rotating brush.Scheckter said it took a while for the British palate to adjust to the new domestic delicacy.“At the beginning, it was difficult because my mozzarella was fresh and most of the people in England had never tasted fresh mozzarella. They tried Italian mozzarella, which is five days old and starts to get soft,” he said.Switching sources With just weeks to go before Britain leaves the European Union on March 29 and much of the country in a state of confusion, Scheckter is optimistic.Potential new clients have been in touch, assessing their options as no deal has yet been agreed between London and Brussels on keeping goods from the EU flowing.“The interest is there,” said Scheckter.Around a third of the food eaten in Britain comes from the rest of the EU and the industry fears supply chain disruptions if the UK crashes out without a deal.Some companies are stockpiling, while others are changing to domestic suppliers.Tim Martin, the chairman and founder of the UK pub chain Wetherspoon, has decided to stop selling champagne and other European products in favour of British equivalents.UK mozzarella exporter The Azzurri restaurant group, which owns the Zizzi and ASK chains, has switched from Italian to British suppliers for the 650 tonnes of mozzarella it gets through each year.The group's restaurants are now supplied by Glanbia Cheese, one of the largest mozzarella producers in Europe, which exports from the UK to more than 30 countries worldwide.The firm has two production sites, in Wales and Northern Ireland, and announced last year that it was investing €130 million (RM595 million) in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the Republic of Ireland.It will be able to produce 45,000 tonnes of mozzarella a year.“We did blind taste-tests and the British mozzarella came out as a winner. It had much better texture and much creamier profile,” Kathryn Turner, director of food development at Zizzi, told AFP.“It is a really good product and not just from a taste and flavour profile... It is a more local product.“Brexit always comes into consideration at the moment with daily changes. It wasn't the sole reason why we did it but it was a consideration.” ― AFP-Relaxnews [...]
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China Jan forex reserves rise more than expected to US$3.088 trln
BEIJING: China's foreign exchange reserves rose slightly more than expected in January as the yuan rallied on hopes for progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks that could lift some pressure on the cooling Chinese economy. [...]
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Medical News Today: Cardiovascular deaths on the rise in the US
According to data from the American Heart Association (AHA), more and more adults in the United States are dying from cardiovascular conditions. [...]
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Stock rally flags after strong US data, bond yields rise
NEW YORK: Bond yields rose and stock markets mostly edged higher on Friday after U.S. employment and manufacturing data underscored a strong economy with little wage inflation, but a gloomy outlook from Amazon.com gave investors pause. [...]
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U.S. payrolls rise 304,000 as wage gains cool amid shutdown
WASHINGTON (Feb 1): U.S. hiring in January topped all forecasts while wage gains cooled and the government shutdown pushed up the unemployment rate, signaling job... [...]
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China shares rise on trade talk progress; end week higher
HONG KONG: Chinese shares rose ahead of the week-long Lunar New Year holidays, as Beijing and Washington progressed with trade negotiations, with investors shaking off worries about further economic slowdown for now. [...]
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Stocks, yields rise after deal announced to end US government shutdown
NEW YORK: Wall Street indexes rose and bond yields followed stocks higher on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump announced an agreement to end the longest ever U.S. government shutdown and as investors reacted to corporate earnings reports. [...]
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Ringgit to rise moderately, Bursa in positive momentum next week
KUALA LUMPUR: The positive global economic outlook is expected to continue driving Bursa Malaysia, as well as its regional peers into positive momentum, while influencing the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) to test the 1,720-point level. [...]
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Bank Negara forex reserves rise to US$101.7b at Jan 15
KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia's international reserves rose by US$300mil to US$101.70bil as at Jan 15 from two weeks earlier. [...]
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Ford Ranger sales rise 19% in 2018
by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL Ford Ranger sales surged 19% in 2018 compared to the precedent year, increasing its market share in the pickup truck segment by 1.4 points to 15%. The strong sales performance is expected to continue this year, according to Syed Ahmad Muzri Syed Faiz, the MD of Sime Darby Auto Connexion Sdn Bhd (SDAC) which is the sole distributor of Ford in Malaysia. “We are confident that the Ranger sales momentum will carry into this year, while further building on our Ford customer service experience,” Syed Ahmad Muzri said in a statement last Friday. The Ranger’s double-digit growth came on the back of a slowdown in the commercial vehicle (CV) segment due to the uncertainty of an election year. The demand was further decelerated by cancellations or deferments of mega projects post-elections, though the pickup sub-segment may not be affected directly as much as trucks and prime movers. Its volume was largely boosted with the launch late last year of the new Ranger which comes in nine variants — including the high-speed, off-road performance Ranger Raptor, the high-series Ranger Wildtrak, Ranger XL, Ranger XLT and Ranger XLT+. The new line-up offers a choice of three diesel powertrains to deliver greater versatility and match consumer demands for a wider variety of requirements. These include the new generation 2.0L Single-Turbo and 2.0L Bi-Turbo engines, and the Duratorq 2.2L. The “Built Ford Tough” Ranger finished 2018 as the second best-selling pickup in the market as more customers are seeking a versatile vehicle for work and lifestyle. “The Ranger’s unmatched versatility and capability is continuing to drive its success and wide customer appeal,” Ford Motor Co Asia Pacific emerging markets MD Truong Kim Phong said. Locally, the Ranger is competing against the Toyota Hilux, Isuzu D-Max, Nissan Navara and Mazda BT-50. For the first half of 2018, Ford delivered 3,013 units of CVs at a 10.5% market share. Ford was in the fourth position behind the top three Toyota, Isuzu and Nissan brands, but ahead of Mitsubishi, Hino and Mitsubishi Fuso. The Ranger clinched the “Pickup Truck of the Year” awards at both the 2018 Malaysia Car of the Year and 2018 DSF.my Allianz Vehicle of the Year Awards. The Ford’s segment-defining pickup truck also bagged a Gold for “Pickup Truck of the Year” at the Carlist.my People’s Choice Awards and Editors’ Choice Awards 2018. Meanwhile, SDAC also opened two new and upgraded Ford dealer facilities last year in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. The post Ford Ranger sales rise 19% in 2018 appeared first on The Malaysian Reserve. [...]
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The rise of Sarawak’s digital economy
Part 3 of a 4 part special series to celebrate the second anniversary of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg WHEN Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg took helm of Sarawak’s affairs, many of us were expecting to see a Chief Minister who would pick up the torch that Pehin Sri Adenan Satem had left so abruptly. And we have. In the last two years, we have seen a Sarawak government that is centred on increasing our autonomous rights, that calls for a higher share of petroleum royalty, and focuses on rural development. But while Adenan’s vision and purpose have been continued, the Sarawak that we know now is vastly different from what we were used to as the government has now taken a different approach to secure our future. Soon after taking over as Chief Minister, Abang Johari announced his intentions of spearheading a digital economy initiative that aims to revolutionise Sarawak’s economy and industries, and spur socioeconomic growth and advancement. The announcement of this initiative came with a promise of committing a fund of RM2 billion towards boosting internet connectivity throughout Sarawak by setting up the necessary infrastructure. “Such amount (RM2 billion) is required for us to, among other things, lay down the fibre optic cloud computing and satellite to cover the whole of Sarawak,” Abang Johari told a press conference after giving a keynote address to Sarawak civil servants in 2017. Following the announcement, Abang Johari further cemented his intentions with a new cabinet, with two new ministries, the Ministry of International Trade and E-Commerce led by Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research led by Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong. Abang Johari explained that the focus on creating a digital economy for Sarawak is necessary due to our overreliance on natural resources, as China’s economic consolidation has led to a fall in commodity prices. “We, therefore, have no choice. If we want to get out of our dependence on natural resources, we need to get into the digital world, which has been growing by leaps and bounds – creating millionaires by the day. “The Sarawak government shall spearhead this digital development but we will leave it to the private sector and young entrepreneurs to do whatever they can do best to make a living and a name for themselves. We shall also not forget the rural villages, which we want connected in order for us to bring them tele-medicine, e- learning and e-commerce,” he has said in his first winding-up speech as Chief Minister at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) in May 2017. Taking the first steps towards this vision was with the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS), which was first held on April 3-4, 2017 and again on May 14-15, 2018. The first instalment of IDECS made clear the Sarawak government’s intentions to push for more digitalisation. During his speech at the conference, Abang Johari announced that the Sarawak government would be taking several steps towards implementing the initiatives. This included the setting up of the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC), Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS), and the five-year Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018 to 2022. In addition, the improvement of ICT infrastructure, the creation of a digital village and data centre, and the promotion of e-learning among the younger generation were also shared during the inaugural IDECS. The after effects of the conference were soon visible as our local private sector was soon abuzz with several associations of technopreneurs and e-commerce merchants forming in order to help spread the message of the impending changes in the landscape of our economy. In the second instalment of IDECS last year, the theme was ‘Data to Fuel New Economic Growth and Quality of Life’, and focused on four sub-themes – data intelligence, start-ups, smart communities, and digital government. “Last year’s IDECS was on developing the awareness of what digital economy was all about. A year later, we must now ramp-up on our action plans,” said State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani. “The theme this year is ‘Data to Fuel New Economic Growth and Quality of Life’. This conference will once again be a knowledge-platform to better understand how digitalisation and future technologies will shape and change how we interact, both at the workplace and in our daily lives.” He pointed out that Abang Johari had announced the works to be done and plans to be carried out by the respective agencies and private sector. “We will see more of public-private partnerships in our journey towards a digitalised and developed nation within a five-year strategic plan,” said Morshidi. Sarawak Multimedia Authority The Sarawak Multimedia Authority Ordinance 2017 was passed on Nov 8, 2017, paving the way for the formation of the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), which seeks to make Sarawak a cyber-powerhouse. Chaired by Abang Johari, the SMA is the lead agency for Sarawak’s digital economy transformation, overseeing and regulating digital strategies and initiatives. Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy (2018-2022) The Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022 is a document which clearly spells out the vision, mission, and 47 strategic actions to be implemented and improved on Sarawak’s digital economy journey. “2030 is the year we want Sarawak to be a developed state in Malaysia with high income economy. There must not be any rural and urban divide by then, hence digital connectivity is important,” Abang Johari explained. He said digitalisation is impacting the people’s economic development as well as social life, causing constant disruptions. “It poses a potential threat to those who are reluctant to embrace the new technologies while providing new opportunities to others who are prepared to venture into this [...]
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Cancer Deaths Have Fallen Drastically Over the Last 25 Years. But These Types Are On the Rise
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death among Americans, behind only heart disease. But there’s good news: the cancer death rate has drastically declined over the past 25 years, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society (ACS). Overall, the cancer death rate dropped by 27% between 1991 and 2016, according to the report’s data, which came from the National Center for Health Statistics. Steadily declining cancer mortality rates saved about 2.6 million lives between 1991 and 2016. Significant reductions in lung cancer mortality explain a large part of the overall trend. Smoking rates have fallen dramatically in recent years, corresponding to a significant dip in lung cancer deaths. And since smoking rates have traditionally been higher among men than women, male death rates have fallen especially far: by 48% between 1990 and 2016, compared to a 23% drop among women between 2002 and 2016. Improvements in cancer screening and treatment have also led to lower death rates, the report says, especially among the four major cancers: lung, breast, prostate and colorectal. Together, these cancers are expected to account for more than 800,000 new diagnoses this year, so any further improvements in their detection and care could have a sizable impact. But while cancer mortality rates are shrinking, diagnoses aren’t dropping across the board. Incidence of breast cancer, the most common type of cancer overall, is increasingly modestly, perhaps in part because it is associated with common risk factors like obesity and alcohol use. Liver cancer is also killing a rising number of Americans — including young people — in large part because of widespread alcohol abuse. Melanoma and cancers of the thyroid, pancreas and uterus are also getting more common, the report says. Racial gaps in cancer mortality are narrowing. But black Americans were still about 14% more likely to die from cancer than white Americans in 2016. That’s a sizable drop from 25 years ago, when the difference was 33%, but it still reflects the “inequalities in wealth that lead to differences in risk factor exposures and barriers to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment,” the authors write. Lower smoking rates among young black Americans largely explain the progress that has been made in shrinking these disparities, the report says. Socioeconomic-related differences in cancer mortality are also still prevalent regardless of race, according to the paper. Between 2012 and 2016, the cancer death rate was about 20% higher among residents of the U.S.’ poorest counties, compared to its richest. Tackling these systemic issues represents “low-hanging fruit” for cancer prevention efforts, the authors write. Working at the local level to expand affordable access to basic healthcare and screening services, smoking cessation programs and healthy living resources, they write, “would undoubtedly accelerate progress against cancer.” [...]
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