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Daily Archives: July 8, 2022

Chuckles of the Day




Pastoral Hospital Visit

Elder Jackson is in the hospital and his good friend and pastor comes to visit him.

The pastor realizes how serious his condition must be with all the medical equipment attached to the elder.

He kneels down next to Elder Jackson’s bed to pray for him.

Upon doing so, the elder begins waving a worn hand at him, and makes a motion toward the pen and writing pad on the nearby nightstand.

The pastor reaches for the pen and pad and hands it to his friend, who immediately begins writing furiously.

But suddenly, he passes away. He dies without being able to finish his note.

At the funeral for his friend, the pastor tells the family and friends:

“I was blessed to know him, and to be with him at the moment of his death. As a matter of fact, I have his last thoughts with me, written by his own hand.”

The pastor begins reading the paper for the first time:

“Please get up now Pastor!!! You are kneeling on my oxygen hose!!!”

* * * * * * *

Where is God?

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved.

The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons’ behavior. The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the clergyman.

The husband said, ‘We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!’ The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8 year old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly,’Where is God?’

The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, ‘Where is God?’ Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, ‘WHERE IS GOD?’

At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in the closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and asked what had happened. The younger brother replied, ‘We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it.’





Japan Real Wages in May 2022 Post Biggest Drop in Nearly 2 years on Inflation

Japan’s real wages extended a decline in May to post the biggest year-on-year drop in nearly two years, government data showed, as consumer inflation hovering near a seven-year-high outpaced nominal wage growth, reducing households’ spending power.

Higher living costs amid low-wage growth are likely to curb Japan’s consumption-led economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Inflation is also a top issue for voters in an upper house election on Sunday, although Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s ruling party likely to increase the number of seats it holds, according to an opinion poll published on Monday.

In May, inflation-adjusted real wages, a key gauge of consumers’ purchasing power, fell 1.8% from a year earlier, the labour ministry said.

The biggest slump since July 2020 followed a downwardly revised 1.7% decline in April.

The consumer price index the ministry uses to calculate real wages, which includes fresh food items but excludes owners’ equivalent rent, rose 2.9% in May, hovering near 3.0% in April that posted the largest jump since October 2014.

Price inflation outpaced nominal total cash earnings, which rose 1.0% in May, down from a downwardly revised 1.3% rise the previous month, the data showed.

Overtime pay, a barometer of corporate activity strength, rose 5.5% year-on-year in May, which was the biggest advance in nine months and higher than April’s downwardly revised 5.0% growth.

Special payments, which include seasonal bonuses firms often cut when they face headwinds, fell 7.0% in May, yet the reading tends to be highly volatile in months other than the June to August and November to January bonus seasons.

The drop in special payments, which marked the biggest fall in 16 months, was the main reason for the slowdown of total cash earnings from April, a health ministry official said.


Source : Reuters

Infographic: Who’s Still Buying Fossil Fuels From Russia?

See large image . . . . . .

Source : Visual Capitalist

Dominant Omicron Subvariants Better at Evading Vaccines, Antibody Treatments

The latest omicron subvariants—including the BA.4 and BA.5 forms causing new surges in infections in the United States—are even better at eluding vaccines and most antibody treatments than previous variants, finds a study by researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The study, led by David D. Ho, MD, director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and the Clyde‘56 and Helen Wu Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, was published July 5 in Nature.

Subvariants BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 are rapidly expanding worldwide, with BA.4/5 now making up more than 50% of new COVID cases in the United States. These subvariants are thought to be even more transmissible than prior omicron subvariants, owing to several new mutations in spike proteins.

“The virus is continuing to evolve, as expected, and it is not surprising that these new, more transmissible subvariants are becoming more dominant around the world,” says Ho. “Understanding how currently available vaccines and antibody treatments stand up to the new subvariants is critical to developing strategies to prevent severe disease, hospitalizations, and deaths—if not infection.”

In laboratory experiments, Ho and his team studied the ability of antibodies from individuals who received at least three doses of an mRNA vaccine, or got two shots and were then infected with omicron, to neutralize the new subvariants. (Ho’s team did not look at individuals who had not received a booster shot, because a previous study found that two doses provide little protection against infection by earlier omicron variants.)

The study revealed that while BA.2.12.1 is only modestly more resistant than BA.2 in individuals who were vaccinated and boosted, BA.4/5 was at least four times more resistant than its predecessor.

In addition, the scientists tested the ability of 19 monoclonal antibody treatments to neutralize the variants and found that only one of the available antibody treatments remained highly effective against both BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/5.

“Our study suggests that as these highly transmissible subvariants continue to expand around the globe, they will lead to more breakthrough infections in people who are vaccinated and boosted with currently available mRNA vaccines,” Ho says. Though the current study suggests that the new variants may cause more infections in vaccinated individuals, the vaccines continue to provide good protection against severe disease.

“Efforts in the United States to develop new vaccine boosters aimed at BA.4/5 may improve protection against infection and severe disease,” Ho says. “In the current environment, though, we may need to look toward developing new vaccines and treatments that can anticipate ongoing evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”


Source: Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Charts: China Services and Manufacturing Activities Expanded in June 2022

Source : Caixin