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Okonjo-Iweala appointed into Commonwealth high-level group

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Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been appointed into a High Level Group on Governance of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Prof. Ben Maloney, Communications Officer, Commonwealth Secretariat, said in a statement that the High Level Group would make recommendations on governance of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The Commonwealth, however, denied that the group was constituted to secretly begin considering who might succeed the Queen as its head.

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At their last Summit in Malta, Commonwealth heads of government directed the Secretary-General to form the Group.

“Today members are discussing the scope of the group’s work and the areas of governance it will examine over the coming months.

“The process is open and the High Level Group reports to the heads.

“The issue of succession of the Head of the Commonwealth is not part of the Group’s mandate,” the statement said.

The group is chaired by Anote Tong, former President of Kiribati from 2003 to 2016.

Okonjo-Iweala, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, is among the seven-member group.

Others include Lord Howell, former British Energy Secretary; Louise Frechette, former UN Deputy Secretary-General; and Robert Hill, former Australian Defence Minister.

Dame Miller, former Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados and Dr George Vella, former Foreign Minister of Malta are also members of the group.

The group operates independently of the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat and would report only to the heads of Commonwealth governments.

However, further members may be appointed, the Secretariat said.

The group is expected to report to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April, which is likely to be the last that the Queen would attend.

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Newly high-tech weapon tested in North Korea

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has tested new ‘high-tech’ weapon in message to the US despite having an agreement with President Trump to denuclearized in the international summit, in June.



North Korea state media is yet to identify the kind of weapon that was launch.

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source report says, the picture the state media released showed Mr Kim surrounded by officials but no weapon was seen present.

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United State have reacted to the claim , adding that they are still hopeful with the promises made by president Trump and Chairman Kim will be fulfilled.

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Health & Lifestyle

Effects of Hot baths on inflammation, glucose metabolism

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According to new research, a hot bath could have effects that extend way beyond mental relaxation. According to the authors, regular hot baths might reduce inflammation and improve metabolism.

Over recent years, hot baths, saunas, and other so-called passive heating therapies have received growing attention from scientists.

Scientists now believe they offer some potential benefits, including improved vascular function and sleep.

Because hot baths are low cost and unlikely to cause significant side effects, understanding any benefits that a hot bath might have could be a quick win for medical science.



Recently, researchers set out to understand whether hot bath immersion could have an impact on metabolic disorders, such as diabetes.

 Almost 20 years ago, a paper concluded that hot water immersion of individuals with type 2 diabetes enhanced insulin sensitivity. However, it is still unclear how this might occur.

In the most recent study, the researchers dug a little deeper into the mechanisms at work. They theorized that the influence of a hot bath over glucose metabolism might revolve around the inflammatory response.

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Inflammation and insulin resistance

There is some evidence that chronic, low-level inflammation increases insulin resistance. In other words, inflammation reduces a cell’s ability to respond to insulin, potentially contributing to the development of diabetes.

Conversely, exercise has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity — meaning that the body has better control over glucose levels.

Although doctors often recommend exercise to reduce the risk of developing metabolic disorders, not everyone can exercise — perhaps due to health conditions or physical capacity. It is, therefore, essential to find alternative ways to improve insulin sensitivity for these people.

Exercise, as with other physical stressors, sparks a brief inflammatory response, followed by a more extended anti-inflammatory response. The researchers wanted to see if a different type of physical stressor — a hot bath — might have a similar effect on the immune system.

For this study, the researchers investigated the impact of a hot bath on overweight, mostly sedentary men. The findings were published recently in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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Hot bath intervention

Each participant immersed themselves in a water bath set at 102°F (39°C) for 1 hour. Scientists took blood just before and after the bath, and then 2 hours later.

Also, the researchers charted the participants’ blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate every 15 minutes.

 Over the following 2 weeks, the participants had a further 10 hot water immersions.

The researchers found that a single hot water immersion caused a spike of interleukin — a marker of inflammation. Similarly, there was an increase in nitric oxide (NO) production.

The spike in NO is important because it causes blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure. NO also improves glucose intake into tissues, and scientists think it has anti-inflammatory properties.



As expected, the 2-week intervention saw a reduction in fasting blood sugar and inflammation. In the same way that exercise influences inflammation, the researchers saw an initial increase followed by a long-term decrease in inflammation.

The researchers also write that it “might have implications for improving metabolic health in populations unable to meet the current physical activity recommendations.”

It is important to note that the people who took part in the study did report some discomfort. This was either due to the length of time that they were required to stay in the bath or the high temperature. Future research might investigate whether shorter periods or lower temperatures might have similar benefits.

Of course, hot baths alone cannot treat metabolic disorders, but they may be a simple, cost-effective intervention that can run alongside other treatments.

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