Jalpaiguri tea garden suspends operation, 1,500 left jobless- The New Indian Express

By PTI

JALPAIGURI: The Saili Tea Estate in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district suspended operations on Monday, leaving around 1,500 people jobless ahead of the festive season, officials said.

The management put up a suspension of work notice at the main gate in the morning, workers at the tea estate said.

Negotiations were underway for the Durga Puja bonus and the operations were suspended amid the talks, they said.

The management refused to give 20 per cent bonus to the workers as being given by the other tea gardens, they added. The workers were offered 15.5 per cent bonus, which led to protests at the tea garden a few days back.

“When we arrived for work in the morning, we saw the suspension of work notice at the gate. Also, the garden officials have left, following which protests started,” said Swapna Pradhan, a worker of the tea estate.

Officials of the Malbazar police station were at the spot to tackle the situation. The workers demanded resumption of operations and payment of 20 per cent bonus, threatening to intensify their agitation.

“If the administration does not take immediate action, we will boycott the next year’s assembly elections. We do not get any benefit, neither do we get fair pay. We need 20 per cent bonus and the garden has to be opened before the Durga Puja,” said Shanta Kujur, another worker at the garden.

The garden authorities could not be reached for comments.

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Overnight Health Care: House Democrats slam pharma CEOs for price hikes driven by revenue, executive bonuses | Ex-FDA employees express worries to Congress over politicization of vaccines

Welcome to Wednesday night’s Overnight Health Care, where we’re waiting to see if there’s going to be a deal on a new COVID-19 relief package.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Overnight Health Care: House Democrats slam pharma CEOs for price hikes driven by revenue, executive bonuses | Ex-FDA employees express worries to Congress over politicization of vaccines | Fauci said his mask stance was 'taken out of context' by Trump


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Overnight Health Care: House Democrats slam pharma CEOs for price hikes driven by revenue, executive bonuses | Ex-FDA employees express worries to Congress over politicization of vaccines | Fauci said his mask stance was ‘taken out of context’ by Trump

Top House Democrat: Parties ‘much closer’ to a COVID deal ‘than we’ve ever been’

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The head of the House Democratic Caucus said Wednesday that the negotiators seeking an emergency coronavirus deal are “much closer” to a deal than they have been at any point during the long weeks of on-again-off-again talks.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) pointed to comments by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicating a willingness to embrace $1.5 trillion in new stimulus spending – a number on par with the bipartisan relief package offered last week by the Problem Solvers Caucus – noting that that figure is far closer to the Democrats’ $2.2 trillion package than Republicans have previously backed.

After almost two months of stalled talks, Mnuchin and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have resumed the negotiations this week by phone. In some sign that progress is being made, Mnuchin met with Pelosi in the Speaker’s office on Wednesday afternoon.

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House Democrats slam pharma CEOs for price hikes driven by revenue, executive bonuses

An explosive staff report from the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee found that the CEOs of Teva and Celgene raised drug prices exponentially for no reason other than to boost profits and inflate executives’ bonuses.

Oversight Democrats at a hearing on Wednesday pressed those CEOs, and put them on the defensive.

Highlights: Internal documents obtained by the committee found Celgene raised the price of the cancer drug Revlimid 22 times.

The drug, approved to treat the blood cancer multiple myeloma, more than tripled in price since its launch in 2005, driven almost exclusively by the need to meet company revenue targets and shareholder earnings goals.

In 2005, a monthly supply of Revlimid was priced at $4,515. Today, the same monthly supply is priced at $16,023, a cost of $719 per pill.

Easy target: The report found that executives at Celgene and Teva specifically targeted the U.S. market for massive increases because Medicare is not allowed to negotiate drug prices.

Context: The Democratic-led report comes just weeks before Election Day, and follows a flurry of mostly empty last-ditch efforts by President Trump aimed at showing he is taking action on drug pricing. Trump has made lowering drug prices a key part of his messaging for years, dating back to the 2016 campaign, but has little to show for all his bluster.

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Atlas, health officials feuds add to Trump coronavirus turmoil

The feuds between White House coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas and top public health officials are raising more questions about President Trump‘s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Atlas, a

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Rediscover Indian traditional kitchen utensils but with a contemporary, sustainable outlook- The New Indian Express

As more and more homemakers discover the benefits of the natural, organic way of life, everything from fashion to decor to food is going the sustainable way. Cookware is no different.

Shunning those harmful plastics and toxic teflons, a host of new brands are taking a cue from the past with utensils that hark back to our grandmothers’ kitchens.

From brass pots and terracotta tableware, to cast iron tawas and copper and bronze-glazed masala daanis, these brands are bringing back the joys of good old slow-cooking. We round up a few.

 roti box from Ellementry

The Indus Valley
The collection here is almost from your grandma’s kitchen—neem wood glasses and ladles, copper and terracotta water bottles and cast iron pans. Fed up with melted plastic in their microwave, Mumbai-based husband-wife duo Jagadeesh Kumar and Madhumitha Udaykumar launched this line of natural cookware that is heat-resistant and non-toxic.
Our pick: Neem wood cooking ladles

Zishta
Founded by Archish Mathe, Meera Ramakrishnan and Varishta, the brand borrows from our ancestors on how to lead a sustainable life. You will find tin rasam vessels from Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, copper water pots from Maharashtra, handmade urulis from Kerala, table runners made of natural river grass from West Bengal, iron-rich vessels from Manipur, kansa utensils from Odisha, neem wood cutlery from West Bengal and more.
Our pick: Masala daani

Mitti Cool
If you like everything terracotta, you are going to love this brand. From utensils to tableware and kitchen products, the award-winning designs showcase Indian innovation at its finest. Started by Mansukhbhai Prajapati, a traditional Gujarati clay craftsman, the kitchenware is made from mineral-enriched mud without additives. 
Our pick: Water coolers

Rock Tawa
This Coimbatore-based brand has gained quite a following across the country. Specialising in cast ironware such as dosa tawas, appam chattis, paniyarakkals, roti tawas and even Dutch ovens, the products are pre-seasoned to hinder rust formation.
Our pick: Dosa pan

water cooler from Mitti Cool;

Ikkis
The 21 products designed by Gunjan Gupta are not only impeccably crafted, but innovatively conceptualised as well. It is a total reinterpretation of everyday Indian household products. For example, the humble kulhads (chai glasses), diyas (lamps) and baltis (buckets) metamorphose into champagne 
glasses, vases and candle holders.
Our pick: Champagne glasses

Essential Traditions by Kayal
Founders Kayal Vizhi Sriram and husband Shriram Narayanan are encouraging cooks to channel their inner grandmothers. With clay pots, brass ladles and grinding slabs made of soapstone, the brand also offers specialised utensils such as brass kuzhi karandis (a traditional ladle for sambhar and rasam), soapstone curd jars, and murruku and idiyappam grinders.
Our pick: Soapstone curd jars

Ellementry
With sustainability at the heart of its design approach, the processes and materials used by this brand ensure no harm to the environment. Everything is food-safe—safe to serve in and safe to cook in. Their terracotta collection has water bottles, jugs, tumblers, curd-setters, and roti boxes, besides a new serveware, drinkware and bakeware collection.
Our pick: Roti box

Rustik Craft
This

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Interior designer, founder of ‘Chestnut Storeys’ Farah Agarwal believes in mixing subtlety with dram- The New Indian Express

“I like my design world to constantly be in a state of flow, without pausing in the confines of any city,” says Farah Agarwal, the Chennai-based founder and chief designer of the interior design company, Chestnut Storeys. From sprawling villas to compact apartments as well as vibrant work zones, her signature dynamism runs through the spaces that she so evocatively designs.

Replete with natural light, vivid shades and soft pastels in textured contrasts, there is in every project an edgy vivacity knitted to a sense of contained calm. “My travel powers me immensely,” says Farah, “directly influencing my creativity when I engage in different cultures to take back home anecdotes to weave into my projects.” 

Farah Agarwal

According to Farah, nature is a rich ensemble of colours, textures, smells, variations and sensations that collectively play a part in her designs. “It has a very soothing and calming effect, making me feel happier and more optimistic. I bring the outside inside in many ways  for nature to wield its positive effects on everyone,” she says.

Ushering in sunshine always visually opens up the spaces. Clever use of glass makes way for seamless views and engagement with the outside world. The strategic placement of mirrors also heightens the impact of available light and creates magic indoors, in addition to plants, wooden flooring, natural stones as ground work or wall cladding adding up to a natural, organic feel.

It is a pulsating mix of energies—from the modish yet breezy Beach House inspired by nautical elements to the 25-year-old Boat House, a treasured expanse of 7,000 sq ft in uptown Chennai that breathes global flavours, to the vibrant themes cupping the kidspace in PlaySchool. Farah describes her own sense of style as “classic yet edgy, soft yet dramatic. I feel my personal sense of style is eclectic, avant garde yet with a strong cosmopolitan stance. I possess the love for bold and challenging palettes built on the belief of quiet luxury.”  

Clearly, the innately refined perspectives have led to the remarkable growth of Chestnut Storeys since its inception six years ago. Challenges abound, of course. “On the work front, it is a constant challenge dealing with the lack of discipline in our labourers. It is a learning for me in many ways,” confesses Farah. “As a mother, it is often a big toss-up, balancing time between work and my family. Often, work calls elongate into hours and spill into family time, travel schedules thicken and get a little crazy, and procuring details for multiple projects becomes a bit sapping. But as I always believe, there is a lesson to learn from everything and over the years I have learnt to divide and manage my time more efficiently,” she says.

Up next is international turf. “We bagged our first global project at the beginning of the year and have netted in a second project as well,” she says, building further on the pan-Indian presence of Chestnut Storeys. Clearly, the sky is the limit for Farah’s

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50-year-old man kills self in Delhi’s Dilshad Garden area- The New Indian Express

By PTI

NEW DELHI: A 50-year-old man allegedly shot himself dead in his car on Saturday in Dilshad Garden area of Shahdara district, police said.

The deceased has been identified as Manish Taneja, a resident of Pocket-A, Dilshad Garden, they said.

He was a postal assistant in Jhilmil Industrial Area, police said.

The information regarding the incident was received on Saturday morning, they said.

Police reached the spot and found the body of Taneja lying on the driver’s seat of the car parked near his flat, a senior police officer said.

“A country-made pistol was found lying on his chest and there was a gunshot wound to his head. Taneja was suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) for almost last 15 years,” the officer said.

Police said he was getting treatment from a hospital for the mental health condition.

No suicide note has been recovered, police said.

The statements of relatives and neighbours have been recorded where no foul play has been suspected, police said.

The car and the pistol have been taken into possession and the body has been preserved for the post-mortem at GTB Hospital.

Necessary legal action is being taken, they added.

(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call AASRA’s 24×7 Helpline: +91-9820466726 for assistance.)

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Homeowners Often Express Their Style With Their Bathroom Basins

Very often owners are proud of how their homes are presented to their family and friends and they go to trouble to make sure everything is beautiful, in place and representative of who they are.

They pay attention to all aspects of decor in their home, also to the bathroom; some prefer a semi recessed basin above all others. Among many choices for bathrooms, this will often suit a more modern look and feel in the bathroom and is likely to be fitted by those who prefer maximizing their bathroom space.

It does not jut out that far to encroach upon space in even small areas, but enough to make vanity space accessible and easy for smaller children to use since the taps are somewhat closer than is the case with other types of basins. This helps to keep the bathroom floors clean since the user does not have to reach far and cause unnecessary splashing.

The semi recessed basin is often favored by those who like a trendy, modern look and will be found in bathrooms where style, design and look are important. Many owners of homes are very particular about how their homes and every room – also the bathroom – should look. So, to fit in nicely with a contemporary, modern look, this basin is one of the popular options for many.

Many designers feel there is a certain timeless quality to this specific type of basin and will therefore recommend it to a cross range of clients. It can look good in an older type bathroom, and equally up to the minute in a modern setting with lots of emphasis on glass and mirrors, for instance.

The semi recessed basin has certain practical features and uses too. Because it does not cover the whole counter top or vanity area it is possible to position it in such a way that it fits on a fairly thin countertop as opposed to other basins that are fitted in the middle of the surface.

It makes accessibility easier, especially for the young ones in the family. Very often homeowners enjoy shopping for their own basins and accessories for the bathroom; They also love some DIY which saves time and money. But, unless you really know what you are doing, it may be better to call in a good builder or specialist to fit this type of basin for you.

When you choose the semi recessed basin for one or more bathrooms in your home or businesses such as hotels, guest houses or other overnight facilities, for instance, you will have a choice of materials too. Some are ceramic, others made of glass such as those preferred in modern bathrooms and others of steel. It all depends what works best for you and your specific circumstances and look in your home.

Often a basin is chosen to be the center piece in terms of the decor for people bathrooms. Therefore they think of practicality, but also of the aesthetic effect …

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