Oil prices jump to more than two-year high as US supplies tighten

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, with Brent climbing above $76 a barrel to its highest since late 2018, after data showed US crude inventories declined reinforced views of a tightening market as travel picks up in Europe North America.

US crude inventories fell by 7.6 million barrels last week to June 18 to 459.1 million barrels, the US Energy Information Administration said, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.9 million-barrel drop.

Brent crude rose $1.02, or 1.4 per cent, to $75.83 by 8:19 pm IST, having touched its highest since October 2018 at $76.02 after the EIA data. US West Texas Intermediate added $1, or 1.4 per cent, to $73.85 hit $74.25, also the highest since October 2018.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information commentary on developments that are of interest to you have wider political economic implications for the country the world. Your encouragement constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed updated with credible news, authoritative views incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better more relevant content. We believe in free, fair credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Source link

Scientist Finds Early Virus Sequences That Had Been Mysteriously Deleted

“These additional data will play a big role in that effort,” Dr. Worobey said.

It’s not clear why this valuable information went missing in the first place. Scientists can request that files be deleted by sending an email to the managers of the Sequence Read Archive. The National Library of Medicine, which manages the archive, said that the 13 sequences were removed last summer.

“These SARS-CoV-2 sequences were submitted for posting in SRA in March 2020 subsequently requested to be withdrawn by the submitting investigator in June 2020,” said Renata Myles, a spokeswoman for the National Institutes of Health.

She said that the investigator, whom she did not name, told the archive managers that the sequences were being updated would be added to a different database. But Dr. Bloom has searched every database he knows of, has yet to find them. “Obviously I can’t rule out that the sequences are on some other database or web page somewhere, but I have not been able to find them any of the obvious places I’ve looked,” he said.

Three of the co-authors of the 2020 testing study that produced the 13 sequences did not immediately respond to emails inquiring about Dr. Bloom’s finding. That study did not give contact information for another co-author, Dr. Fu, who was also named on the spreadsheet from the other study.

Some scientists are skeptical that there is anything sinister behind the removal of the sequences. “I don’t really understhow this points to a cover-up,” said Stephen Goldstein, a virologist at the University of Utah.

Dr. Goldstein noted that the testing paper listed the individual mutations the Wuhan researchers found in their tests. Although the full sequences are no longer in the archive, the key information has been public for over a year, he said. It was just tucked away in a format that is hard for researchers to find.

“We all missed this relatively obscure paper,” Dr. Goldstein said.

“You can’t really say why they were removed,” Dr. Bloom acknowledged in an interview. “You can say that the practical consequence of removing them was that people didn’t notice they existed.” He also noted that the Chinese government ordered the destruction of a number of early samples of the virus barred the publication of papers on the coronavirus without its approval.

Source link

Instagram tests placing ‘suggested posts’ throughout your feed

More than five years after Instagram moved away from a strictly chronological feed, the company may have another more significant change in store for how you view content on its platform. Instagram told it’s starting a test involving a “small number” of people where they’ll see the platform’s “suggested posts” interspersed throughout their feed. In some cases, that means the recommended content Instagram puts in front of you will appear before photos videos shared by your friends.


Instagram first . The feature generates new content for you to scroll through after you’ve seen any recent photos videos from accounts you follow. In addition to putting suggested content throughout the feed, the company will test new controls that will allow people to shape where those posts come from, as well as disable the feature for a limited time. The test includes a new settings option that will allow you to add specific topics you want to see when the app generates a suggested post. You can further tweak Instagram’s recommendations by providing feedback on a specific post, letting the platform know if something it showed you was inappropriate or wasn’t a match for your stated interests. Those same controls also allow you to hide suggested posts from your feed entirely for 30 days.

A spokesperson for Instagram told Engadget it’s conducting the test in response to positive feedback the company collected about “the quality of recommendations” it’s been delivering with suggested posts. It’s hard to tell how people will feel about this latest change. Most Instagram users still lament the loss of the chronological feed. It’s also one thing to put recommendations after you’re all caught up a completely different thing to do so throughout the experience.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Source link

Why it is important to show tax-exempt income in I-T return

Income tax return (ITR) should be filed with utmost care, but people make some common mistakes during the process, which may have consequences. One common mistake is the failure to disclose tax-exempted income in ITR.

To understits implications, let us first understwhat are the common exempt incomes that you might knowingly or unknowingly miss out on disclosing in the tax forms.

Exempted income: Agriculture income of up to 5,000, gift from certain relatives, sum received under a life insurance policy or bonus from a life insurance company other than what is mentioned in sub-clauses (a) to (d) of Section 10(10D) of the Income-Tax Act, sum received from statutory provident fund, approved superannuation scholarship for education rank among income exempted from tax.

Implications: The income may be exempt, but any income earned by investing the exempted income may be taxable. So, not disclosing the same may result in the tax department asking for the source of income. “For example, if a father receives a certain sum of money from his son invests it in the purchase of property, the income tax department may ask the father to explain the source of funds for the purchase since such funds may not be commensurate with his income, as disclosed in the ITR form,” said Neha Malhotra, director, Nangia Andersen LLP.

“The tax department captures information regarding high-value transactions from banks, registrars, companies, mutual funds authorized dealers, etc. Taxpayers must therefore be vigilant mindful of their sources of income expenses,” she added.

Disclosure: Taxpayers must disclose exempt income in the schedule called ‘Exempt Income, “which is automatically excluded while computation of final tax liability”, said Malhotra.

Exempt income of minor children clubbed with parent also needs to be reported in ITR. “In computing the total income of an individual taxpayer, income accruing or arising to his minor child (not being a differently-abled child or a child who earns such income on the application of his skill or talent) is clubbed in the hands of the parent whose total income is greater, or the one who maintains the child. However, exemption up to 1,500 is allowed to the parent. Income so clubbed in the hands of the individual parent is required to be disclosed in schedule SPI (statement of income) schedule EI (exempted income) of the ITR form,” said Malhotra.

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters

* Enter a valid email

* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Never miss a story! Stay connected informed with Mint.
our App Now!!

Source link

Turning orchestras inside out could lower risk of spreading covid-19

Trumpets may need to sit in the back of orchestras to limit the risk of spreading covid-19

Getty Images/Cultura RF

What’s the answer to orchestras returning safely in an age of covid-19? Seating people who play instruments with the highest aerosol output in the right place getting the air flow right, according to a US team that modelled how concert halls could minimise players’ risk of infection.

“The performing arts have been hit really bad,” says one of the team, Tony Saad at the University of Utah. In the US alone, the fine performing arts sector has lost an estimated $42.5 billion in sales. Globally, professional community orchestras are still struggling to resume during the pandemic, due to challenges over social distancing concerns over aerosols from wind instruments singing.

Simply having all players uniformly seated two metres apart is not the answer, the team found after working with Abravanel Hall the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah. “You could be 2 feet from someone be perfectly safe, or 25 feet away in a bad way,” says James Sutherland, also at the University of Utah.

Sutherlcolleagues took existing data on the volume speed of aerosols emitted by different wind instruments combined it with observations of the ventilation systems at the two venues to build a fluid dynamics model simulating how players’ emissions move around when an orchestra performs. Each venue was divided into million of cells in the simulation between 5 10 cubic centimetres in size.

The results show that having doors open to remove aerosols is crucial. The other key way to minimise risk is a seating plan placing the instruments with the highest fastest aerosol release – trumpets, oboes clarinets – at the back of the stage, near the return vents in the venues’ ventilation systems. “It’s all about the air flow. That’s critical,” says Saad.

String players are placed at the front and, assuming they are masked, pose a “negligible” risk compared to wind players, he adds. The assumptions made – including the unrealistic prospect of everyone playing all the time – make the modelling a worst case scenario, says Saad. Taking all the measures together, the steps can cut the probability of infection by a factor of 100, the team concluded.

There are some caveats: the study did not look at singers, all aerosols were considered the same size when in reality they would differ the cells the team split the venues up into could be smaller to provide more detail. However, none should change the big picture, says Saad.

Adam Schwalje at the University of Iowa says, “There are many assumptions that must be made about aerosol production from wind instruments, but there is tremendous variability in how many aerosols are created by different performers on the same instrument.”

“These simulations show we can  characterise risk we can mitigate it,” says Sutherland. Both he Saad hope their findings will help orchestras return safely. While some principles will be broadly applicable for orchestras anywhere, Saad says more detailed analysis on risk will require modelling for individual venues. But Schwalje says this type of air flow analysis is expensive requires expertise that may not be available to all venues.

It also may not take into account all types of air flow, including an effect in which a player’s body heat can create an upward-moving plume that affects how aerosols spread, says Jiarong Hong at the University of Minnesota.

He adds that it may disrupt an orchestra’s usual way of working. “Musicians in an orchestral bare very sensitive to their positions with respect to others in the band. For example, trumpet players are always seated in the back they get used to watching listening to bassoon oboe players in order to coordinate their playing.” Orchestral pieces are also usually composed with the seating arrangement in mind, with smaller, quieter woodwinds up front.

Journal reference: Science Advances, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abg4511

More on these topics:

Source link

1 3,315 3,316 3,317 3,318 3,319 3,586