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Paris 2024 reveals cauldron for Olympic and Paralympic torch relay

With the Olympic flame set to arrive in Marseille in two days’ time, organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games on Monday revealed the design of the torch relay cauldron, reported Xinhua. Just like the torch, the cauldron was created by Mathieu Lehanneur and manufactured by ArcelorMittal, drawing on the inspirations and signature features of the torch: the purity of form, color and texture of water. It has been produced in a limited batch of 20 units. Each cauldron features a ring at the top with a diameter of 1.35 meters and is equally wide at the base. The cauldron stands 1.15 meters tall, making it accessible for wheelchair users. It weighs 95 kilograms, with the ring made of stainless steel and the base crafted from aluminium. The cauldron also has the same luminous hue as the torch, a combination of gold, silver and bronze, with a shiny finish on the lower parts and a matt finish on the upper parts. “The torch, the torch relay cauldron and the Olympic cauldron are not separate objects. They are chapters in one great story. Each embodies the spirit of the Paris Games. The cauldron takes the form of a ring of fire suspended above a liquid surface. Both pure and magical, it seems to float and is reflected in its metallic base. If the torch is a sacred fire that is passed on, the cauldron is the object around which we gather and which unites our energies,” said Lehanneur. From the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea to the Seine, the stage of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and the competition venue, via the Oceans relay, the central role of water in the torch relay and the Games of Paris 2024 is symbolized both on the torch and on the base of the cauldron with wave and ripple effects. At each stopover city during the relay in France, the last torchbearer of the day will light the cauldron at the celebration venue, bringing the festivities to a climax. “The lighting of the cauldron by the last torchbearer of the day will be a highlight. In each stopover city, the cauldron will be a real meeting point to round off these days of celebration and communion in style,” said Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet. At previous editions of the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays, a torch was traditionally offered to each torchbearer as a souvenir. Although the number of torches produced (2,000) has been divided by five compared with previous editions of the torch relay, Paris 2024 still prepared a gift to the 11,000 torchbearers: the Heart of the Torch, which is a gold ring from the torch. The ring joins the upper and lower parts in the middle of the torch. The gold-colored ring is also produced by ArcelorMittal, using steel made entirely in France and engraved with the words “PORTEUR DE LA FLAMME”, “ECLAIREUR DES JEUX” and “PARIS 2024”. The Heart of the Torch measures 10 centimeters in diameter and 2 millimeters in thickness, weighing 65 grams.

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India defeat Bangladesh by 56 runs via D/L method, lead series 4-0

SYLHET, May 6: India continued their dominant run against Bangladesh with a 56-run win via Duckworth-Lewis method in the rain curtailed fourth women’s T20 here on Monday. A late start and then over an hour-long delay due to persistent rain and hail meant that the contest had to be shortened. Harmanpreet Kaur (38) and Richa Ghosh (24) shared a 44-run stand to help India post 122 for 6 against Bangladesh after persistent rain reduced the contest to 14 overs a side. The hosts had to chase 125 in 14 overs under the DLS method to secure their first win of the series. But the batters, barring opener Dilara Akter (21), Rubya Haider (13) and Shorifa Khatun (11 not out), failed to reach double digits as they kept losing wicket in clusters. India handed a maiden debut to 33-year-old leg spinner Asha Shobhana, who returned with figures of 2/18 in three overs. Senior all-rounder Deepti Sharma (2/13) picked two wickets while Radha Yadav (1/12) and pacer Pooja Vastrakar (1/15) accounted for one batter each as India restricted Bangladesh to 68/7. India lead the five match series 4-0. Earlier, playing her 300th international game, Kaur stitched a crucial partnership with the big-hitting Ghosh (24) to inflate India’s total. The duo came out after the rain break with positive intent and shared as many as eight boundaries and a six in a span of 28 deliveries. India lost opener Shafali Verma (2) early on. Shorifa Khatun bowled a fuller length ball and the opener tried to clear the in-field but couldn’t middle it as the ball went flying in the hands of Ritu Moni at extra cover. Dayalan Hemlatha (22) smashed a couple of fours and sixes before her rampage was stopped by Marufa Akter, who trapped the Indian leg before wicket. Play was stopped with India at 48/2 in 5.5 overs. Smriti Mandhana (22) restarted the game by hitting a classy boundary. But the opener, who looked scratchy throughout her innings, couldn’t stay in the middle for long, falling victim to Rabeya Khan. That is when Ghosh (24) and Kaur joined forces to inflate India’s total before Ghosh was caught at long off. Kaur to was run out in the last over. (PTI)

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Invisible Institute Wins Two Pulitzers

When Jamie Kalven met Yohance Lacour in 2017, the two men quickly realized they had something important in common. Mr. Kalven, the founder of the Invisible Institute, a nonprofit Chicago newsroom, was working in Chicago’s Stateway Gardens housing development in 1997 when a vicious hate crime wounded the community there deeply. And Mr. Lacour helped a local newspaper cover that story at the time. With Mr. Kalven’s help, Mr. Lacour’s recollection of that period — and the story of his eventual incarceration on a drug conspiracy charge — became the subject of an 11-episode podcast, “You Didn’t See Nothin,” which on Monday won the Pulitzer Prize for audio reporting. Mr. Lacour’s podcast won one of two Pulitzers this year for the Invisible Institute, a small, crusading newsroom on Chicago’s South Side known for holding city authorities to account. The other prize, for local reporting, went to the organization’s data director, Trina Reynolds-Tyler, who reported an investigative series on missing Black girls and women in Chicago.

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France offered China's Xi a special drink, in a wink at their trade spat

PARIS — How do you smooth over trade tensions with the all-powerful leader of economic powerhouse China? Charm him with a bottle of Cognac, or two. That seemed to be French President Emmanuel Macron’s strategy with his carefully selected gift list for visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday. China recently opened an anti-dumping investigation into European brandy – which mainly means French Cognac. It’s seen as retaliation for EU investigations into Chinese subsidies for electric cars and medical devices. Those disputes were central to talks between Xi and Macron on Monday. Macron said afterward that he thanked Xi for his “openness about the provisional measures toward French Cognac.” According to the protocol of formal state visits, the two leaders then exchanged gifts. Xi presented the French president with a striking stuffed bird, French-language books published in China, and a painting. Macron offered rare volumes by Victor Hugo, the first French-Chinese dictionary, a sculpted glass vase from Amboise – and two bottles of Cognac, a Hennessy X.O. and a prized Louis XIII by Remy Martin.

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Scientists discover genetic trait that almost GUARANTEES a person will get Alzheimer’s and almost 2%…

Scientists may be one step closer to a cure for Alzheimer’s after working out who is most likely to get the disease. Researchers have discovered almost all individuals with two copies of a particular gene, called APOE4, go on to develop signs of the memory-robbing condition. Previously, the quirk — carried by Avengers star Chris Hemsworth — had been linked to a 10-fold heightened risk. The team from the Sant Pau Research Institute in Barcelona analysed clinical data from more than 10,000 people and more than 3,000 brain donors. They found that more than 95 per cent of people aged 65 and above who had two copies of the APOE4 gene went on to show early signs of the disease. Researchers have discovered almost all individuals with two copies of a particular gene, called APOE4, go on to develop signs of the memory-robbing condition. Previously, the quirk — carried by Avengers star Chris Hemsworth — had been linked to a 10-fold heightened risk Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The disease can cause anxiety, confusion and short-term memory loss These people also developed the condition earlier than those with other variants of the gene, researchers said. They believe this is the first study to show that having two copies of APOE4 almost guarantees the onset of the disease. The team said their discovery is especially important as around 2 per cent of the population carries two copies of this gene. And it could pinpoint the best people to include in clinical trials for treatment. What is the APO dementia gene? A person receives a version of the APO gene, a protein scientifically named apolipoprotein E, from each parent when they are conceived. There are three types of the protein: e2, e3 and e4. APO is one of more than 20,000 genes a person develops when they are in their mother’s womb. Every person has two copies of each gene, inheriting one from each of their parents. All versions of APO are responsible for regulating the way the body transports lipids and cholesterol throughout the body. Around 75 per cent of people have the e2 or e3 varieties, while 20 per cent have one copy of e4 and between 3 and 5 per cent of people have two copies. The e4 variant is linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, whereas e3 appears to have no effect and e2 may even offer protection against the disorder. People born with one copy of the e4 variety suffer a doubled risk of developing Alzheimer’s between the ages of 65 and 80. Those with two copies have a 10 to 15-fold increased risk of developing the disease after the age of 65, scientists estimate. Advertisement Dr Juan Fortea, director of the research area on neurological diseases, neuroscience and mental health at the Sant Pau Research Institute, said: ‘These data represent a reconceptualisation of the disease or what it means to be homozygous for the APOE4 gene. ‘This gene has been known for over 30 years and it was known to be associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. ‘But now we know that virtually all individuals with this duplicated gene develop Alzheimer’s biology.’ The APOE gene comes in three different variations — APOE2, APOE3 and APOE4. Everyone carries two copies of APOE, one inherited from each parent. Previous studies have shown that having at least one APOE4 gene variant, which about a quarter of people in the UK are thought to carry, almost triples the risk of getting the disease. The new research showed that by the age of 65, almost all people who had two copies of APOE4 had anormal levels of a protein known as amyloid in the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord – a key sign of Alzheimer’s. Dr Reisa Sperling, professor in neurology at Harvard Medical School, and director of the Centre for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, said: ‘We have to think about how we can treat APOE4 carriers. ‘These individuals are desperate — they have seen it (the disease) in both of their parents. ‘This research really suggests that we should be treating them quite early, at a younger age and at an early stage of pathology because we know they are very likely to progress to impairment quickly.’ Commenting on the findings Professor Tara Spires-Jones, president of the British Neuroscience Association, said: ‘This study adds compelling data to suggest that people with two copies of this gene are almost guaranteed to develop Alzheimer’s if they live long enough and that they will develop Alzheimer’s earlier than people without this gene. ‘Moving forward, this study and others highlight the importance of more fundamental research into understanding how genes change the susceptibility of our brains to Alzheimer’s disease as we age.’ Professor Jonathan Schott, chief medical officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, also said the charity was currently funding research projects to try to understand why having the APOE4 gene increases the risk of disease. ‘At the present time we do not advise that people have genetic testing for APOE except when taking part in research, but this may change in the future,’ he added. The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine. Around 944,000 in the UK are thought to be living with dementia, while the figure is thought to be around 7million in the US. Alzheimer’s affects around six in 10 people with dementia. It is thought to be caused by a build-up of amyloid and tau in the brain, which clump together and from plaques and tangles that make it harder for the brain to work properly. Eventually, the brain struggles to cope with this damage and dementia symptoms develop. Memory problems, thinking and reasoning difficulties and language problems are common early symptoms of the condition, which then worsen over time. Alzheimer’s Research UK analysis found 74,261 people died from dementia in 2022 compared with 69,178 a year earlier, making it the country’s biggest killer. What is Alzheimer’s? Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, in which build-up of abnormal proteins causes nerve cells to die. This disrupts the transmitters that carry messages, and causes the brain to shrink. More than 5 million people suffer from the disease in the US, where it is the 6th leading cause of death, and more than 1 million Britons have it. WHAT HAPPENS? As brain cells die, the functions they provide are lost. That includes memory, orientation and the ability to think and reason. The progress of the disease is slow and gradual. On average, patients live five to seven years after diagnosis, but some may live for ten to 15 years. EARLY SYMPTOMS: Loss of short-term memory Disorientation Behavioral changes Mood swings Difficulties dealing with money or making a phone call LATER SYMPTOMS: Severe memory loss, forgetting close family members, familiar objects or places Becoming anxious and frustrated over inability to make sense of the world, leading to aggressive behavior Eventually lose ability to walk May have problems eating The majority will eventually need 24-hour care Source: Alzheimer’s Association

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Indian airlines to have 50 pc market share in international passenger traffic by FY’28: CRISIL

MUMBAI, May 6 : As much as half of the country’s international air passenger traffic is expected to be catered by Indian airlines by financial year 2027-28, credit ratings agency CRISIL said on Monday. The share of Indian airlines in international passenger traffic, including originating or terminating as well as the traffic transitioning through the country, is seen surging 700 basis points to around 50 per cent by 2027-28, from 43 per cent in the previous fiscal, it said. The improvement would be driven by Indian airlines deploying additional aircraft and adding new routes in the international segment, as well as their inherent advantage of superior domestic connectivity compared with foreign carriers, CRISIL Ratings said in its report. The report noted that business profiles of Indian carriers will strengthen as a result of their rising share in international traffic, which is more profitable than the domestic segment. India’s international passenger traffic grew to around 70 million in fiscal 2024, from a low of 10 million in pandemic-hit fiscal 2021, and has surpassed the pre-pandemic level, according to CRISIL. The share of Indian airlines, which was rising steadily earlier, picked up pace since the pandemic, it said. “A noticeable shift in spending patterns has emerged after the pandemic, as evident in the increasing inclination of Indians towards international leisure travel. “Increasing disposable incomes, easing visa requirements, growing number of airports and enhanced air travel connectivity are boosting international travel,” said Manish Gupta, Senior Director and Deputy Chief Ratings Officer at CRISIL Ratings. The government’s focus on making India a hub for tourism is also expected to provide a fillip to inbound traffic. Thus, international passenger traffic is likely to clock a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10-11 per cent over the next four fiscals, against a mere 5 per cent CAGR in the four years prior to the pandemic, he added. Indian airlines have added 55 new international routes over the past 15 months, taking their tally beyond 300, it said. These include direct flights originating from additional cities to popular long-haul destinations in the United States, Europe and Australia, effectively reducing flying time and eliminating layovers, CRISIL said. It also said that Indian airlines are also aiming to deploy additional aircraft on the short- and medium-haul international routes and leveraging codeshare agreements with major global airlines to offer onward connectivity to passengers. As such, CRISIL said, Indian airlines have certain natural advantages in cornering a larger share of the country’s international traffic compared with foreign airlines. They have superior domestic connectivity than their overseas counterparts, which serve only select Indian cities, and can offer end-to-end international connectivity on a single ticket to travellers from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, the report stated. India’s geographic location also lends itself well to air connections between the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific regions, potentially positioning the country as a hub for international travel, the report noted. “To capitalise on the growth in international travel, Indian airlines are investing in widebody and long-range narrow body aircraft for network expansion, adding new international routes and introducing long-haul non-stop flights to key destinations, ” said Ankit Kedia, Director, CRISIL Ratings. Aided by the planned fleet addition and network expansion strategy, Indian airlines could log a CAGR of 14-15 per cent in the international segment over the next four fiscals, taking their market share to 50 per cent, Kedia said (PTI) Follow our WhatsApp channel

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House education panel to grill Northwestern, Rutgers University presidents on campus antisemitism

A House education committee investigating antisemitism on college campuses will hear testimony from Northwestern and Rutgers University presidents on May 23 — with the panel’s chair citing “gravely concerning actions” that have enabled anti-Israel demonstrators. The House Education and Workforce Committee announced the hearing would address “Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos” with Northwestern President Michael Schill, Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway and University of California, Los Angeles Chancellor Gene Block. Block had previously been invited as a panel witness alongside Yale University President Peter Salovey and University of Michigan President Santa Ono. “Over the last several days, the presidents of Northwestern and Rutgers have made shocking concessions to the unlawful antisemitic encampments on their campuses,” committee chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) said in a statement. “They have surrendered to antisemitic radicals in despicable displays of cowardice.” “Yale and Michigan are by no means off the hook,” she added. “Presidents Salovey and Ono will be required to appear before the Committee for transcribed interviews at a later date or risk deposition and subpoena.” A Northwestern University spokesman told The Post in a statement that the school’s “foremost responsibility is ensuring the safety of our students.” “We are confident in the actions we have taken to address antisemitism on our campus and President Schill looks forward to discussing them with the House Committee on Education and the Workforce,” the spokesman said. The university north of Chicago caved last week to demands from anti-Israel protestors who erected a tent city on campus — one of dozens nationwide calling for their schools to divest from Israel. Schill conceded that Northwestern will now give full-ride scholarships to five Palestinian students per year and faculty posts for Palestinian academics. Protestors have been seen wearing clothing bearing the image of a Hamas terrorist — and displayed signs with their president, who is Jewish, shown with devil horns and blood and saying, “I [love] genocide.” On Friday, three Northwestern students filed a lawsuit alleging that their school had failed to protect Jewish students, National Review reported. An orthodox Jewish professor of music at Rutgers also told Holloway and university chancellor Francine Conway in a Saturday letter that she was leaving as they have allowed antisemitism to run rampant “from the classroom … to the highest offices at the university.” “Throughout this year, I have found it difficult to breathe. I have lost my taste for my job; the joy that I used to feel in working at Rutgers has disappeared,” wrote Rebecca Cypess, who has accepted a job as dean at Yeshiva University. She told the administrators that “all I do is confront antisemitism,” as demonstrators have been observed shouting “Hitler would have loved you” at Jewish students and calling for an intifada. The face of Jewish freshman Rivka Schafer was also featured on a poster urging students to vote “yes” on divesting their school from Israel — which Schafer decried as an act of “unabated antisemitism” in an exclusive interview with The Post. California Highway Patrol officers raided an anti-Israel tent encampment at UCLA last Thursday, firing smoke bombs and rubber balls as they clashed with the protesters. At least 132 of them were arrested. A Morning Consult poll last week showed that 76% of Americans support law enforcement cracking down on the encampments — and nearly half want to ban campus “pro-Palestinian demonstrations” entirely. Hamas has endorsed the protests for being able to “refute the Zionist narrative” — more than half a year after its terrorists invaded Israel and killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and 33 Americans. The House Education Committee previously questioned Columbia University President Minouche Shafik, who cowered when asked about antisemitic slogans being used by protestors and admitted to going easy on faculty members who back Hamas. The testimony has led to a House-wide crackdown on antisemitism in higher education spearheaded by Speaker Mike Johnson. Johnson (R-La.) told The Post in an interview last weekend that Republicans would not stand on the sidelines and allow “evil” to continue. “I think we need accountability from top to bottom,” he said. “The idea that some of these professors would be involved in this is outrageous, and I think they need to be called to account and of course the students as well.” Reps for UCLA and Rutgers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Biden tries out zinger on ‘cutting’ Trump from ’24 race: ‘Got one really serious idea’

WASHINGTON — President Biden on Monday joked about trying to “cut” former President Donald Trump from November’s election. The 81-year-old Democratc president seemed to ad-lib his punchline at a White House Rose Garden celebration of Cinco de Mayo after saying his Republican foe “wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. “He says there’s a lot we can do in terms of cutting,” Biden said, referring to a recent interview given by Trump, 77. “I’ve got one really serious idea of how to cut,” Biden added, pausing and chuckling to himself before adding “a candidate.” Biden made the joke even though Trump has been accusing him on a nearly daily basis of orchestrating his four pending criminal prosecutions, including his ongoing hush money trial in New York City for allegedly falsifying business records in 2016. “This is [Democratic Manhattan District Attorney] Alvin Bragg doing it for political reasons for Biden,” Trump told journalists at the courthouse Monday morning. “This is a Biden trial. He’s a crooked president.” Trump has pointed out that Matthew Colangelo, the prosecutor leading the case against him in New York, formerly was the third-ranking official in the Biden Justice Department before joining Bragg’s case against him in December 2022. A criminal conviction would not bar Trump from seeking office, though some Democratic officials have tried to keep him off ballots, arguing he led an insurrection during the 2021 Capitol riot that disrupted certification of Biden’s victory. The US Supreme Court struck down those efforts in March. Biden’s reference about Trump wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare was regarding a recent CNBC interview in which the ex-president said, “There is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting.” Trump later told Breitbart News, “There’s so much cutting and so much waste in so many other areas, but I’ll never do anything to hurt Social Security.”

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Man who lost €80k scammed again for 'admin fee' to recover funds

The group’s head of financial crime, Niamh Davenport, said: “We are now seeing a worrying trend emerging where fraudsters are contacting people who have already fallen victim to an investment scam, promising to recover their money but requiring an upfront fee first, sometimes describing it as a ‘retainer fee’ or ‘processing fee’.” Ms Davenport says that, while so-called “recovery scams” can be perpetrated by the same criminals behind the first scam, there are other cases where the victim’s personal information has been passed on or sold to other criminals. She added: “The fraudster, using the information from the previous scam, can ‘helpfully’ tell the victim about the earlier fraud, which can make them sound credible. There have also been cases where people have been targeted through online and social media ads. The man who lost a total of €88,000 in two scams had researched investment opportunities online and clicked on a fake comparison website showing different “investment options”, ranging from green bonds, government bonds, and other medium term investment opportunities. He was persuaded to make a series of payments to an “investment account” and he received regular emails from the “agent”, which appeared to show positive returns. However, the correspondence ended after he made his last payment. Six months later, he got a call from a person who claimed to be from a “refund recovery firm” who told him that he could recover the funds he had lost if he paid an “administration fee” — which would be refunded. He became suspicious when he didn’t get any response from the “refund recovery firm”, and his case is now under investigation. Ms Davenport said that FraudSMART members have noticed “a continued and significant increase in the past few months often targeting people over 50 who may be looking for an opportunity to top up their finances ahead of retirement”. Garda figures show that almost €60m was stolen from Irish victims in the past four years.

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