The eyes have it: understanding your sight

Image result for The eyes have it: understanding your sightTwelve million Australians have a long term eye condition, with our ageing population expected to mean more and more cases of macular degeneration. The good news is that most vision loss is preventable or treatable. Eye experts Professor Greg Dusting and Doctor Peter Van Winjgaarden sit down with Phil Clark for a conversation about the complexities of our eyes, and treatments for eye disease.

[“Source-abc.net”]

 

Physical exercise prevents dementia: Research

physical exercise, importance of exercise, ways to prevent dementia, advantages of exercise, indian express, indian express news

There is no alternative to exercise. (Source: File Photo)

Regular physical exercise not only enhances fitness but also has a positive impact on brain metabolism, researchers say. The findings showed that physical activity prevented an increase in choline — a macronutrient that’s important for liver function, normal brain development, nerve function, muscle movement, supporting energy levels and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

The concentration of this metabolite often rises as a result of the increased loss of nerve cells, which typically occurs in the case of Alzheimer’s disease, said Johannes Pantel, Professor at the Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany. In the study, physical exercise led to stable cerebral choline concentrations in the training group, whereas choline levels increased in the control group. The participants’ physical fitness also improved and they showed increased cardiac efficiency after the training period.

Overall, these findings suggest that physical exercise not only improves physical fitness but also protects cells. To understand the positive influence of physical activity on the brain, gerontologists and sports physicians examined the effects of regular exercise on brain metabolism and memory of participants aged between 65 and 85 on movement-related parameters, cardiopulmonary fitness and cognitive performance.

The participants were asked to mount an exercise bike three times a week over a period of 12 weeks for 30-minute training sessions.Magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) were used to measure brain metabolism and brain structure. The results showed that regular physical exercise seems beneficial in the prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia in old age.

[“Source-indianexpress”]

How to Exercise for Brain Health

A man in blue sneakers about to lift a weight.

You have many good reasons to become more physically active: Doing so can boost mood, help maintain a healthy weight, and keep muscles strong. Now a growing body of evidence suggests that workouts may have brain benefits as well.

Much of the research on brain health and exercise is focused on aerobics. Yet a recent analysis from the University of Canberra in Australia found that certain nonaerobic activities can also help improve brain function in people over 50.

“Even when people did have some level of decline already, they were actually able to improve their cognitive function,” says the study’s author, Joseph Northey, a Ph.D. candidate in sport and exercise science.

We reviewed the most recent research to find tips on optimizing your exercise routine to help improve your brain health and keep your mind sharp.

Take a Brisk Walk

If you don’t exercise now, it’s easy to start. Just walk out your door and keep going.

It’s fine to start small. Build up from 10 minutes walking a day until you get to at least 30, says Elissa Burton, Ph.D., a research fellow in the school of physiotherapy and exercise science at Curtin University in Australia.

And if you can, pick up your pace. Getting your heart rate up will maximize the benefits to your brain, according to Helen Macpherson, Ph.D., a dementia research fellow at Deakin University in Australia. That means you should be exercising at an intensity where you start to find it difficult to have a conversation.

Do More Than the Minimum

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older adults get 150 minutes of this sort of moderately intense aerobic exercise each week, which is five 30-minute workouts. But the biggest boost in brain health in the Canberra study was linked to exercise sessions of 45 to 60 minutes.

So try consolidating some workouts into a longer session. Or gradually work up to 45 to 60 minutes, five days per week.

Try Tai Chi

This Chinese martial art, which consists of slow, rhythmic movements, was one of several types of exercise tied to improved cognitive functioning in the recent Canberra study.

Plus it’s low-impact, which can be good for people who haven’t been active in awhile, Northey says. It’s also easy on your joints.

To learn the proper technique, it’s best to seek out a local class, Northey says. You can find instructors near you who are certified by the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association.

Resistance Training Can Help, Too

Resistance training, exercise that causes muscles to contract, is meant to strengthen, but it may also help protect against cognitive decline. And you don’t need weights or other equipment, Northey says. The CDC recommends resistance training at least twice per week. Here are three tips to get you started:

Stand up, sit down, repeat. As long as you’re steady on your feet, try standing up from a chair without using your hands. Do this in sets of five or more anytime you find yourself sitting around the house.

Make daily tasks harder. Choose stairs over elevators and escalators. You’ll get an aerobic workout and build muscle at the same time.

Join a class. Northey’s study found that group programs incorporating resistance and aerobic training were beneficial for the brain. Check out the offerings at your local YMCA or senior center, and remember to talk with your doctor before you start any new exercise program.

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the September 2017 issue of Consumer Reports on Health.

[“Source-consumerreports”]

Hunt for HIV cure turns to cancer drugs

HIV

ntiretroviral drugs are currently used in HIV treatment to kill any active virus

The outstanding progress in boosting the immune system to treat cancer may help unlock a cure for HIV, according to scientists meeting in Paris.

The body’s normal defences struggle to clear the body of HIV and cancer.

But the rapidly emerging field of immunotherapy has seen some patients with terminal cancer go into complete remission.

The hope is that a similar approach could clear someone of HIV, although some experts have urged caution.

HIV treatment requires daily antiretroviral drugs to kill any active virus. Left unchecked, HIV can destroy the immune system, causing Aids.

A cure is currently impossible because drugs and the immune system fail to detect the sleeping or “latent” HIV hiding in the body’s cells.

Nobel Prize winner and co-discoverer of HIV, Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, told the BBC: “One of the mechanisms why [latently infected cells] persist is the fact they are proliferating very similar to tumour cells.

‘It’s huge’

“Those cells are expressing molecules that are the same molecules that are expressed on tumour cells.

“So that raises the question whether we could develop a strategy for HIV-cure similar to the novel treatment in the field of cancer.”

She is one of the scientists attending the HIV and Cancer Cure Forum in Paris.

Prof Sharon Lewin, the director of the Doherty Institute in Australia, agrees there is much to learn from cancer.

She said: “There are a lot of parallels… I think it’s huge.”

  • ‘Mind-blowing’ cows hold clue to beating HIV
  • Aids deaths halve as more get drugs
  • HIV life expectancy now ‘near normal’

Cancers evolve tricks to survive an assault by the immune system.

They can produce proteins on their surface, such as PD-L1, which disable immune cells attacking the tumour.

A new class of immunotherapy drugs called “checkpoint inhibitors” allow the immune system to keep on fighting and the results have been remarkable.

In one trial, a fifth of patients with terminal melanoma had no sign of the disease after immunotherapy.

However, only about 50 people with HIV have been given immunotherapy to treat their cancer.

Little evidence

So there is little evidence of immunotherapy drugs and their effect on HIV.

Prof Lewin has started doing the research in the laboratory and thinks immunotherapy drugs could reinvigorate an immune system that has become tired of fighting HIV.

She said: “The parts of the immune system that recognise HIV are often exhausted T-cells, they express immune checkpoint markers.

“In the laboratory, if you then put those cells in with an immune checkpoint blocker, the T-cells do regain function.”

HIV drug efavirenz - used as part of antiretroviral therapy treatmentImage copyrightSCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Image captionAntiretroviral therapy combines three or more drugs which stop the HIV virus from progressing

She said there was emerging evidence that the drugs also activated HIV lying dormant inside immune cells.

Prof Lewin said: “We want the virus to wake up, any virus that wakes up gets killed [by antiretroviral drugs].”

However this is a new concept in HIV that has so far delivered nothing for patients.

And there are important differences between the challenges of cancer and HIV immunology.

‘So different’

In cancer, the immune system can recognise the threat but is not powerful enough to do anything about it, but the immune system does not recognise latently infected HIV cells at all.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the area is “very hot” right now in cancer.

But he cautioned: “We have to be careful we don’t assume that things that work in cancer are going to work in HIV.

“HIV is so different, that even though it’s worth exploring, I wouldn’t want people to think this is going to be equally successful in HIV.”

[“Source-bbc”]

The seven-day GM diet is back – but is it actually good for you?

Bananas are your GM friend

Bananas are your GM friend CREDIT: BLOOMBERG NEWS

Shoulder pads, sequins, and a seven-day diet plan that asks you to eat eight bananas in one day – the 80s certainly gifted us with some weird and wonderful trends. And now (along with the shoulder pads and sequins), that diet plan is making a comeback.

Supposedly the brainchild of General Motors (GM), the GM diet plan was developed to help their employees lose weight – although the automotive company has never actually confirmed the connection. A quick Google search reveals pages of fans of the diet, who rave about their 11lb weight loss after just seven days.

So what’s behind this ‘miracle’ diet plan – and is it actually good for you?

In short, the GM diet is an extremely strict seven-day plan that suggests you drink 12-15 glasses of water a day while cutting out alcohol, tea and coffee; and restrict your calorific intake from food.

Wondering what to eat on 8th day after GM diet? Many of the readers have asked this question in the comments and a few through email. So, I thought of explaining this topic as a separate post rather than replying to them so that it can help everyone who’re in a confused state about what to eat after completing GM diet program for a week.

  • Overweight or Obesity, is undoubtedly, one of the biggest problems faced by most of the people these days. The scientific solution to lose weight is to increase the expenditure and decrease the consumption of calories. Generally, our body burns a certain number of calories even while we’re completely at rest.

    That is called the Basal Metabolic Rate aka BMR. This BMR varies from one individual to another, based on several factors such as height, weight, age and lifestyle. So, if a person’s BMR is 1500 calories per day, then his body will burn those 1500 cal even if he does nothing. However, if the same person consumes around 2000 calories or more, then his/her body will store the remaining 500 calories in the form of FAT cells, resulting in weight gain. So, according to this principle, losing weight is purely calculation. Spend more than you consume and you’ll obviously shed weight.

    Now, let us come to our topic. Most of the people who follow the 7 day diet plan will lose around 4 to 7 kgs, depending on how they followed it. Unfortunately, there are several other factors that interfere with weight loss, due to which a few people might not get such fantastic results.

    Let us assume you’ve followed the diet properly and lost around 5 Kgs of weight in the span of 1 week. You’ll definitely gain weight after the 7 day diet, if you get back to your old lifestyle (eating habits). There is actually no guarantee that the weight you’ve lost is permanent. To be frank, there is no diet plan in this world that promises such guarantee. It is because, our body weight depends on how we manage it and it is a continuous process. If you wanted to stay fit and healthy, then you should always see what you’re eating. Consuming unhealthy or fast foods may lead to obesity and it is an open secret.

    What to Eat on GM Diet 8th Day?

    So What Should You Eat After Completing GM Diet?

    If you want to avoid those lost pounds from coming back, then you should definitely change your diet routine. It is advised to consume low carb high protein diet in order to maintain your weight permanently or until your next GM diet session. Failing in doing so will obviously ruin your efforts that were put into following the General Motors diet program.

    Simple Weight Loss Logic:

    1 pound of FAT = 3500 calories; 1 KG = 2.2 Pounds; In order to lose 10 Kg of weight, you should spend/burn around 10 x 2.2 x 3500 = 77000 calories. Since, reducing such a huge number of calories won’t happen even in the dreams, it is recommended to reduce a minimum of 500 to 800 maximum per day. So, if you cut down 800 calories per day, then it would take 77000/800 = 96 days to lose 22 pounds/10 Kgs of weight naturally without following any crash diet plans.

    What to Eat After Finishing GM Diet?

    First, calculate how many calories you need per day and based on the BMR value, you should plan your meal plan accordingly. Below, you can find sample meal plans for both vegetarians and non-vegetarian eaters.

    If your BMR is under 2000 calories, then you can consume either the 1200 calorie meal plan or the 1500 calorie meal plan. No matter, what your BMR is, you should never go below the 1200 calorie limit as it would impact your health in a negative manner.

    Along with the above diet routines, below are a few tips which if followed will result in much quicker weight loss.

    • Avoid high calorie foods like noodles, samosas, pasta and all kinds of foods that are high in carbs or starch.
    • Replace the white foods (white rice) with brown colored foods (whole-wheat). Brown rice is always better than the White rice.
    • Try to stop your coffee or tea drinking habit and consume Green tea for weight loss. It is both healthy and boosts your metabolism.
    • Drink enough water per day (min of 3 to 4 liters)
    • Soups are very beneficial for losing weight as they aid in better digestion. Include this Cabbage soup or Tomato soup in your daily routine.
    • Try to allot at least 30 minutes every day to perform exercises like cardio workouts or Yoga poses. If time is your biggest problem, then at least try to perform this 7 minute HIIT workout instead.

    If you follow these tips, you’ll definitely lose weight and also keep it OFF after finishing the GM diet.

 

[“Source-7daygmdiet”]

Cancer patients’ grey hair unexpectedly darkens in drug study

Fourteen patients in the study found that their grey hair darkened after taking the new drugs. Photograph: Barry Diomede/Alamy

A group of cancer patients’ grey hair has unexpectedly darkened after they took new types of drugs, researchers have revealed.

Chemotherapy is known to make patients’ hair fall out, but the 14 people involved were all being treated with new immunotherapy drugs that work differently and have different side effects from chemotherapy. A Spanish study suggests those may include restoring hair pigment, at least in patients with lung cancer.

Noelia Rivera, a dermatologist at Autonomous University of Barcelona, said they thought it could be an isolated case when it happened with the first patient. But the research team found the same thing when they asked other patients for photographs of themselves from before treatment.

The 14 people were among 52 patients with lung cancer being followed to see whether they developed bad side effects from the drugs — Keytruda, Opdivo and Tecentriq.

While most patients did not have a hair colour change, the 14 cases suggest it is not an isolated finding. In 13 patients, hair turned darkish brown or black; in one patient, it turned black in patches.

The same drugs have been linked previously with hair losing colour in patients with another cancer, melanoma.

All but one of the 14 patients in the Spanish study responded better to treatment than other patients, suggesting that hair darkening might be an indication that the drugs are working, the researchers said.

Rivera said they were continuing with the study to search for an explanation.

“It’s a fascinating report – one of those things that comes out of the blue,” said June Robinson, a Northwestern University research professor in dermatology. Robinson is also editor of the medical journal JAMA Dermatology, which published the study online this month.

She said the results deserved a deeper look but cautioned that it was too soon to suggest that they might lead to new treatments for unwanted grey hair.

Rivera noted that the drugs used in the study had serious side effects that made them unsafe for healthy people. But if it is confirmed that they do change hair colour, a different drug could be developed to treat grey hair, she said.

The pharmaceutical industry has previously capitalised on unexpected drug side effects. Examples include the male pattern baldness drug Propecia, the eyelash growing drug Latisse, and Botox anti-wrinkle injections. Active ingredients in these drugs were initially approved to treat enlarged prostates, eye pressure problems, and eye muscle spasms.

Since you’re here …

… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

High-quality journalism is essential intellectual nourishmentGiacomo P, Italy

The Guardian is working hard to confront and challenge those in power. I want to support thatRobb H, Canada

I appreciate an alternative to newspapers owned by billionaires. You give me hopeFred F, UK

I appreciate there not being a paywall: it is more democratic for the media to be available for allThomasine F-R, Sweden

If everyone who reads our reporti

[“Source-theguardian”]

5 Summer Skin Solutions

Summer skincare solutions

I’ve been receiving loads of questions asking about summer skincare products for specific skin needs, so in no particular order, here are some of the best of what’s out there now.

  • A more natural approach: If you’re concerned with products that seem to contain heaps of preservatives and ingredients you can’t pronounce, you’ll probably love Matcha Anti-Aging: Antioxidant Emulsion Tonique. The ingredient list alone is a veritable menu of amazing sounding skin treats ranging from glacial water infused with green tea, to rooibos, rose hips and fennel. It’s also 100 percent natural, vegetarian, gluten free and cruelty free. That said, it’s one of the lighter and more gentle moisturizers I’ve tried and felt great even on the sweatiest days.
  • Less oily oil: Puristry Restorative Facial Oil is one of the lighter and more intensely moisturizing oils I’ve tried- even during summer months. If your own skin is looking parched due to the endless AC, you might want to try a light application of oil before bedtime. It’s made with a blend of the finest cold-pressed, antioxidant-packed oils, including Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Oil, which is supposed to help improve elasticity, firmness, suppleness, and tone. I noticed an immediate softening of fine lines without a gunky feeling. While the application tips say to use under your moisturizer, I used this as my only nighttime moisturizer and loved the results. I’m also falling in love with this skincare line, their Puristry Yerba Mate Eye Cream claims to stimulate circulation to help brighten dark circles and reduce puffiness, and while I can’t attest to that for sure, I did notice that my entire eye area looked perked up after using.
  • Tackling sun damage: A lot of you asked about products to help with sun spots or sun damage. While most of us fear that a visit to the dermatologist is in order, there really are products that can help fade the look of damage for at least a quick brightening effect. I’m completely enamored with  Georgette Klinger’s Vitamin C line created to reduce hyperpigmentation and builds collagen for clear, firm skin. I generally don’t love toners since they end up leaving my skin feeling tight or dry, but the upgraded Vitamin C Toner felt like it calmed my face. Since I’m a sucker for a great ingredient list, I was gratified to read that it includes Aloe, Witch Hazel, Watercress, and Elderflower Extracts. I also tested the Vitamin C mask (Argan and avocado oil in this one) and was gratified when my sister commented on how great my skin looked the next day. Meanwhile, if ingredients give you a thrill, you’ll get a kick out of one of the mainstays of the line Kakadu Plum – one of the world’s richest sources of Vitamin C. Best yet, made in the USA, all Georgette Klinger products are cruelty free, paraben free and dye free.
  • Stop being so sensitive: Heat waves can really do a number on your skin, between the sweating and extra exposure to intense heat and arctic air conditioning. If you loved the idea of essences, you’ll go nuts for belif’s new tinctures, which build off the idea of old school herbalists trying to extract as much active ingredients as possible. innovative way. The True Tincture Essence Chamomile soothes and heals sad skin, so you can use a cotton pad to gently press the tincture into your skin both morning and night. It’s a spa-like quick skin pick me up and helps with redness to boot! Keep in the refrigerator for an extra cooling boost.
  • Eye Recovery: I’d been hearing about Kat Burki products for a while, but only tested some out recently; in a word- wow. The Rose Hip Intense Recovery Eye Serum is applied by tapping the product in, so you’re simultaneously encouraging both absorption and circulation. It’s whisper light and powered by Rose Hip coupled with Vitamin C, DMAE and Retinol, so it tackles all  visible signs of aging: puffiness, dark circles, uneven skin tone, dryness and fine lines. I’ve only tried it twice so far, but I noticed that my eyes looked less allergy poofy and smoother and more even. I’ll keep you posted after I use it for a while.

Rachel Weingarten is a former celebrity makeup artist. She’s a beauty and lifestyle expert and beauty historian and the award-winning author of three non-fiction books, including Ancient Prayer: Channeling Your Faith 365 Days of the Year (Fall River Press 1/16). Rachel regularly writes for many top media outlets. Get social with her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Read Rachel’s recent stories at readsomethingby.me

[“Source-parade.”]

Yoga should be mandatory in school

Photo: Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times.

Photo: Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times.

This will probably irritate you, I’m quivering as I write it. I can picture myself on stage, making eye contact with stern, unblinking you, knowing I’m on the less popular side of the “yoga should be compulsory in schools” debate because, of course, you believe in the freedom to choose.

But our educational institutions have never been known for offering choices right from the limited third language options to the Shakespeare play in the syllabus. You can’t tell the teacher that you would rather learn Hamlet over Twelfth Night and most of us grew up thinking rote learning was education.

As ideas go, insisting that children learn yoga in schools works perfectly alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s other initiative to encourage girls to play sport, which he says builds, err, SPORTS (skill, perseverance, optimism, resilience, tenacity, stamina). Aside: The title of this column is a favourite essay topic for aspiring management students these days, along with “mankind should end war before war ends mankind” and “leaders are born, not made”.

How the government will find yoga teachers when we are already short of one million primary and secondary school teachers is a question beyond the scope of this column. It’s like asking me how the state will teach Indian men to give up the great outdoors for the subsidized toilet installed in their homes as part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

It took me a lifetime of attempts and many injuries to find a teacher who could help me fall in love with yoga. Now I believe everyone should do yoga, especially geeks and couch potatoes. You don’t have to worry about taller, stronger, fitter people being better than you—yoga is the ultimate equalizer.

I’m happy the All India Council for Technical Education has said yoga will now be one of five compulsory extracurricular activity options for students from engineering and technical colleges if they want their degree. Until recently, extracurricular activity was optional. Oh stop moaning! You only require 25% attendance.

If I’m evangelizing it’s because yoga got rid of my beer belly (almost), strengthened my core and back muscles, improved my immunity and upped my lung power significantly. When I went on a high-altitude trip last year, I didn’t have to pop a headache pill or carry a barf bag like some of my younger travel companions. One recent British study quoted in the Time magazine found that mind-body activities such as yoga can “reverse stress-related changes in genes linked to poor health and depression”. That almost sounded like Baba Ramdev, who has an ambitious plan to popularize yoga across the world.

It’s now easy for me to identify people who Suryanamaskar their way to health and I am confident that many of the ministers who strike poses for the camera are not regular yoga practitioners. From the government’s perspective, compulsory yoga is an idea that has more chance of making it to prime time television than boring education reforms such as training teachers or encouraging more innovative methods of teaching.

Let’s do it, I say. As long as yoga lessons don’t go hand-in-hand with lectures about India’s bovine bounty or fraudulent medical knowledge that convinces you from an early age that yoga can fix everything from your mother’s overactive thyroid to your father’s arrhythmia, I’ll be a cheerleader for the cause.

If we work together, it’s possible to reclaim yoga from its khaki shorts practitioners. As Nata Menabde, the World Health Organization’s executive director at the UN, said recently: “Yoga is for people of all religions, races and nationalities because yoga is not a religion. Yoga is a lifestyle.”

Now that I’ve taken politics and Patanjali off the mat, you’ll surely agree that our children need yoga for their physical and mental well-being? At 14.4 million and growing, India now has the highest number of obese children in the world after China, according to a paper published in The New England Journal Of Medicine. Our schools no longer have playgrounds; and our neighbourhood parks specialize in saying no (no playing ball, no cycling, no stepping on the grass). Most Bengaluru parks shut their gates from 10am-4pm—even on weekends. How often have you seen children trying to dodge traffic while learning to cycle on busy roads?

In these circumstances, learning an activity that works every muscle in your body and activates endorphins while utilizing only a modest square of floor space is nothing short of miraculous.

Countries across the world have discovered the benefits of yoga for children. Let’s not be the last to sign up.

Yoga can help children navigate New India where exam stress routinely leads to suicide and school bags exist only to weigh you down. Last year a study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) found that 68% of schoolchildren under the age of 13 suffer from mild back pain, which could later develop into chronic pain.

“Early slip disc, spondylitis, spondylolisthesis, persistent back aches, early degeneration of spine and postural scoliosis are some of the problems that these children face,” B.K. Rao, the chairman of Assocham’s health committee, told The Indian Express in September.

And if your attention-deficit child finds your yoga session “boring” because your routine doesn’t come with an accompanying playlist or fast-moving images on a screen, I’m sure you’ll think of something. I’ve almost convinced Babyjaan that yoga is the fastest route to becoming a star gymnast.

[“Source-livemint”]

 

Tracking Trump: Russia scandal deepens while healthcare flatlines

Donald Trump leaves the White House before boarding Marine One in Washington Saturday.

It was a week full of difficult news for the Trump administration on both the healthcare and Russia fronts, at the end of which White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned.

After the failure of Senate Republicans to push healthcare reform through, Donald Trump said he would “let Obamacare fail”, then changed his mind and demanded that Republicans skip their August recess until they get the bill done. Separately, the president appeared to be on a collision course with special counsel Robert Mueller, whose expansion of his investigation to look at Trump’s financeswas announced on the same day that Trump said it would be a “violation” of Mueller’s mandate for him to do that.

Last weekend

Trump returned from France and headed straight for his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, which was hosting the US Women’s Open. Trump spent the weekend touting the tournament on Twitter and waving to the crowds from inside his clubhouse.

Also on Twitter, Trump kept up a defense of his eldest son, who took a June 2016 meeting with Russians in hopes of receiving dirt on Hillary Clinton. “Hillary Clinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?” Trump tweeted.

The president also attacked an ABC News/Washington Post poll showing him holding a 36% approval rating, a historic low for a president six months into his presidency. He could not resist inflating his approval rating, tweeting: “The ABC/Washington Post Poll, even though almost 40% is not bad at this time, was just about the most inaccurate poll around election time!”

The Republican plan to pass healthcare reform legislation in the Senate was derailed when Senator John McCain, 80, underwent surgery to remove a blood clot above his eye. McCain was expected to be out for at least a week and possibly more.

Monday

Trump hosted the first day of “Made in America” week at the White House, which amounted to him admiring large trucks, donning a cowboy hat (briefly) and making a speech about the importance of American companies manufacturing products in America. Many critics accused the president of hypocrisy, pointing out that most Trump-branded products, from Donald Trump ties to Ivanka Trump dresses, are made overseas, not in America. Addressing the criticism, press secretary Sean Spicer suggested that it was OK to manufacture certain products overseas but not others.

Spicer also sought to put a positive spin on the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr and Russian operatives, saying “there was nothing as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe” that the meeting wasn’t about adoption policy. Trump Jr himself told Fox host Sean Hannity the previous week that the meeting was about getting dirt on Hillary Clinton, but the Russians failed to deliver.

Trump also said he hoped McCain “gets better quickly”. “He’s a crusty voice in Washington,” Trump said. “Plus we need that vote” on healthcare.

Tuesday

Trump spent the day responding to the collapse late the night before of a Republican-led Senate plan to “fix” Barack Obama’s healthcare law. At first Trump called for a straight repeal vote on Obamacare, to be followed by a replacement plan. Despite a similar effort having failed just seven months ago, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell appeared to take Trump at his word, announcing on Tuesday morning a plan to vote on an Obamacare repeal, without a blueprinted replacement. But then Trump suggested different tactics, tweeting: “As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan. Stay tuned!”

Later, Trump described his thinking further, saying: “Let Obamacare fail and it will be a lot easier. And I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us.”

Will Republicans own it? Most polling indicated that Republicans, who control both houses of Congress plus the White House, would own it. But further action on the legislation was anticipated on Wednesday.

There were two significant revelations on the Russia collusion front, meanwhile. The identity of an eighth, previously unknown person to have attended a June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr emerged. He was Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a Russian American businessman once accused of laundering more than $1.4bn into the US from eastern Europe. Separately, it emerged that Trump held a second, previously undisclosed meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Germany the previous week. The meeting was described as involving only Trump, Putin and Putin’s translator, and took place over an hour on the sidelines of a state dinner.

Wednesday

It was another day of bizarre twists in the wild ride of healthcare reform with Trump and Senate Republicans at the wheel. After declaring on Tuesday that Republicans would “let Obamacare fail” and let Democrats catch the blame, Trump told Republicans at a Wednesday lunch that they must not go on August recess until they delivered healthcare reform legislation to his desk to sign.

“My message today is very simple,” said Trump. “We have to stay here. We shouldn’t leave town until this is complete, until this bill is on my desk. We should hammer this out and get it done.”

Will they get it done? A new congressional budget office score of the latest legislation said that it would kick 32m people off insurance rolls by 2026. Stay tuned.

In other news, Wednesday marked the first meeting of Trump’s “election integrity commission”, formed to address the phantom problem of widespread voter fraud in American elections. Commission leader Kris Kobach challenged the integrity of US elections when he was asked whether Hillary Clinton really had gotten almost three million more votes than Trump, as official election tallies show.

“We may never know the answer to that question,” Kobach said.

Thursday

In a bombshell interview published late Wednesday, Trump made several statements to the New York Times that made it appear that the president is on a collision course with his own justice department over the Russia affair.

Trump said that he would not have nominated Jeff Sessions as attorney general had he known that Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia inquiry; that it would be a “violation” for Robert Mueller to look into his finances and past business deals; and that the FBI director “reports directly to the president”. All the statements called further into question Trump’s understanding of the concept of an independent judiciary and law enforcement and/or his intention of respecting that independence.

Asked whether he would fire Mueller if Mueller were investigating his finances – which the special counsel indeed is, Bloomberg reported – Trump declined comment.

“I can’t, I can’t answer that question because I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Trump said.

For his part, Sessions told reporters he would stay as attorney general “as long as that is appropriate”.

Separately, the Senate judiciary committee announced that it expected to take the testimony of Donald Trump Jr and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an open session next Wednesday, and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a top aide, was to testify before the intelligence committee in a closed hearing on Monday.

Friday

The week ended with a bang, with Sean Spicer resigning as press secretaryafter Trump appointed former hedge funder Anthony Scaramucci, who helped with the presidential transition, as communications director. Spicer said Trump needed a “clean slate”. Scaramucci declared his love for the president and, in his first press conference at the White House, said that “if the president says it … my guess is that there’s probably some level of truth to that”.

The Senate judiciary committee released a letter that cast doubt on whether Trump Jr and Manafort would testify next week as invited. The committee was in “active communication” with representatives of the two, it said, and would wait to decide “whether to issue subpoenas”.

Both Democratic and Republican members of Congress reacted with alarm, meanwhile, to a report late the night before that Trump’s lawyers are digging for dirt on Robert Mueller, with the possible intention of making the case for firing him.

“There is no possible way anybody at the White House could be seriously thinking about firing Mueller,” said Republican senator Bob Corker.

Late in the day, finally, another big story dropped. According to the Washington Post, citing US intelligence intercepts, former Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak told superiors that at meetings which caused Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation into possible collusion between Trump aides and Russian operatives, the Trump campaign was discussed. Sessions had said the campaign was not discussed at the meetings.

[source:-theguardian]

5 Summer Skin Solutions

Summer skincare solutions

ve been receiving loads of questions asking about summer skincare products for specific skin needs, so in no particular order, here are some of the best of what’s out there now.

  • A more natural approach: If you’re concerned with products that seem to contain heaps of preservatives and ingredients you can’t pronounce, you’ll probably love Matcha Anti-Aging: Antioxidant Emulsion Tonique. The ingredient list alone is a veritable menu of amazing sounding skin treats ranging from glacial water infused with green tea, to rooibos, rose hips and fennel. It’s also 100 percent natural, vegetarian, gluten free and cruelty free. That said, it’s one of the lighter and more gentle moisturizers I’ve tried and felt great even on the sweatiest days.
  • Less oily oil: Puristry Restorative Facial Oil is one of the lighter and more intensely moisturizing oils I’ve tried- even during summer months. If your own skin is looking parched due to the endless AC, you might want to try a light application of oil before bedtime. It’s made with a blend of the finest cold-pressed, antioxidant-packed oils, including Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Oil, which is supposed to help improve elasticity, firmness, suppleness, and tone. I noticed an immediate softening of fine lines without a gunky feeling. While the application tips say to use under your moisturizer, I used this as my only nighttime moisturizer and loved the results. I’m also falling in love with this skincare line, their Puristry Yerba Mate Eye Cream claims to stimulate circulation to help brighten dark circles and reduce puffiness, and while I can’t attest to that for sure, I did notice that my entire eye area looked perked up after using.
  • Tackling sun damage: A lot of you asked about products to help with sun spots or sun damage. While most of us fear that a visit to the dermatologist is in order, there really are products that can help fade the look of damage for at least a quick brightening effect. I’m completely enamored with  Georgette Klinger’s Vitamin C line created to reduce hyperpigmentation and builds collagen for clear, firm skin. I generally don’t love toners since they end up leaving my skin feeling tight or dry, but the upgraded Vitamin C Toner felt like it calmed my face. Since I’m a sucker for a great ingredient list, I was gratified to read that it includes Aloe, Witch Hazel, Watercress, and Elderflower Extracts. I also tested the Vitamin C mask (Argan and avocado oil in this one) and was gratified when my sister commented on how great my skin looked the next day. Meanwhile, if ingredients give you a thrill, you’ll get a kick out of one of the mainstays of the line Kakadu Plum – one of the world’s richest sources of Vitamin C. Best yet, made in the USA, all Georgette Klinger products are cruelty free, paraben free and dye free.
  • Stop being so sensitive: Heat waves can really do a number on your skin, between the sweating and extra exposure to intense heat and arctic air conditioning. If you loved the idea of essences, you’ll go nuts for belif’s new tinctures, which build off the idea of old school herbalists trying to extract as much active ingredients as possible. innovative way. The True Tincture Essence Chamomile soothes and heals sad skin, so you can use a cotton pad to gently press the tincture into your skin both morning and night. It’s a spa-like quick skin pick me up and helps with redness to boot! Keep in the refrigerator for an extra cooling boost.
  • Eye Recovery: I’d been hearing about Kat Burki products for a while, but only tested some out recently; in a word- wow. The Rose Hip Intense Recovery Eye Serum is applied by tapping the product in, so you’re simultaneously encouraging both absorption and circulation. It’s whisper light and powered by Rose Hip coupled with Vitamin C, DMAE and Retinol, so it tackles all  visible signs of aging: puffiness, dark circles, uneven skin tone, dryness and fine lines. I’ve only tried it twice so far, but I noticed that my eyes looked less allergy poofy and smoother and more even. I’ll keep you posted after I use it for a while.
 

Summer skincare solutions

(Rachel Weingarten)

I’ve been receiving loads of questions asking about summer skincare products for specific skin needs, so in no particular order, here are some of the best of what’s out there now.

  • A more natural approach: If you’re concerned with products that seem to contain heaps of preservatives and ingredients you can’t pronounce, you’ll probably love Matcha Anti-Aging: Antioxidant Emulsion Tonique. The ingredient list alone is a veritable menu of amazing sounding skin treats ranging from glacial water infused with green tea, to rooibos, rose hips and fennel. It’s also 100 percent natural, vegetarian, gluten free and cruelty free. That said, it’s one of the lighter and more gentle moisturizers I’ve tried and felt great even on the sweatiest days.
  • Less oily oil: Puristry Restorative Facial Oil is one of the lighter and more intensely moisturizing oils I’ve tried- even during summer months. If your own skin is looking parched due to the endless AC, you might want to try a light application of oil before bedtime. It’s made with a blend of the finest cold-pressed, antioxidant-packed oils, including Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Oil, which is supposed to help improve elasticity, firmness, suppleness, and tone. I noticed an immediate softening of fine lines without a gunky feeling. While the application tips say to use under your moisturizer, I used this as my only nighttime moisturizer and loved the results. I’m also falling in love with this skincare line, their Puristry Yerba Mate Eye Cream claims to stimulate circulation to help brighten dark circles and reduce puffiness, and while I can’t attest to that for sure, I did notice that my entire eye area looked perked up after using.
  • Tackling sun damage: A lot of you asked about products to help with sun spots or sun damage. While most of us fear that a visit to the dermatologist is in order, there really are products that can help fade the look of damage for at least a quick brightening effect. I’m completely enamored with  Georgette Klinger’s Vitamin C line created to reduce hyperpigmentation and builds collagen for clear, firm skin. I generally don’t love toners since they end up leaving my skin feeling tight or dry, but the upgraded Vitamin C Toner felt like it calmed my face. Since I’m a sucker for a great ingredient list, I was gratified to read that it includes Aloe, Witch Hazel, Watercress, and Elderflower Extracts. I also tested the Vitamin C mask (Argan and avocado oil in this one) and was gratified when my sister commented on how great my skin looked the next day. Meanwhile, if ingredients give you a thrill, you’ll get a kick out of one of the mainstays of the line Kakadu Plum – one of the world’s richest sources of Vitamin C. Best yet, made in the USA, all Georgette Klinger products are cruelty free, paraben free and dye free.
  • Stop being so sensitive: Heat waves can really do a number on your skin, between the sweating and extra exposure to intense heat and arctic air conditioning. If you loved the idea of essences, you’ll go nuts for belif’s new tinctures, which build off the idea of old school herbalists trying to extract as much active ingredients as possible. innovative way. The True Tincture Essence Chamomile soothes and heals sad skin, so you can use a cotton pad to gently press the tincture into your skin both morning and night. It’s a spa-like quick skin pick me up and helps with redness to boot! Keep in the refrigerator for an extra cooling boost.
  • Eye Recovery: I’d been hearing about Kat Burki products for a while, but only tested some out recently; in a word- wow. The Rose Hip Intense Recovery Eye Serum is applied by tapping the product in, so you’re simultaneously encouraging both absorption and circulation. It’s whisper light and powered by Rose Hip coupled with Vitamin C, DMAE and Retinol, so it tackles all  visible signs of aging: puffiness, dark circles, uneven skin tone, dryness and fine lines. I’ve only tried it twice so far, but I noticed that my eyes looked less allergy poofy and smoother and more even. I’ll keep you posted after I use it for a while.

Rachel Weingarten is a former celebrity makeup artist. She’s a beauty and lifestyle expert and beauty historian and the award-winning author of three non-fiction books, including Ancient Prayer: Channeling Your Faith 365 Days of the Year (Fall River Press 1/16). Rachel regularly writes for many top media outlets. Get social with her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Read Rachel’s recent stories at readsomethingby.me