Over 40% of diabetics prone to infertility
By Sadeq Dehqan
Head of the Iranian Neurological Association said more than 40 percent of people suffering from diabetes are susceptible to infertility.
In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Dr. Mehri Mehrad said the infertility problem in diabetics is not related to age.
She added those who have had the disease for more than five years may develop the complication.
She said diabetes can have effects on nervous and circulatory systems as well as endocrine glands, adding usually patients’ nerves and peripheral vessels will be damaged by the disease.
She listed the main urologic complications in people suffering from diabetes as kidney failure, sexual problems, urinary tract infection, incontinence and incomplete bladder emptying.
Diabetics’ potency will drastically decrease after some years and medications cannot completely make up for it, Mehrdad said.
“In one the latest treatments, known as platelet-rich plasma (PRP), the patient’s blood is taken and after inserting growth hormones, is injected into their bodies. This method helps cells in related parts to reconstruct themselves.”
She said among the other diseases that can cause sexual and infertility problems are depression, Parkinson’s disease, MS and intervertebral disc herniation.
Elaborating the incontinence problems in diabetics, Mehrad said the nervous system functions normally in ordinary people and sends signals when they feel they have to urinate. But those suffering from diabetes do not have the feeling that their bladders are full due to the malfunction of their nervous system.
Incontinence, she said, has other reasons too: “For instance, prostate disease and MS can also cause incontinence in men. Complications of giving birth in women can also lead to incontinence in women.”
The head of the Iranian Neurological Association added the prostate in men older than 60 can lead to some complications.
“Abnormality in the prostate, depending on its size, is divided into malignant and benign. The benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) — also called prostate enlargement — after the age of 60, can lead to low blood pressure, difficulty in urinating and frequent urination.”
These problems can be treated by receiving medications. In case the size of the prostate is larger than usual, surgery or laser therapy is performed, she added.
The malignant prostate enlargement is categorized as a form of cancer — one of the most common kinds of cancers in men.
This type of cancer can be diagnosed by taking prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. In case the malignant prostate enlargement is diagnosed in its early stages of development, its spread can be contained. So it is recommended that men take this test every year after the age of 35.
President calls youth employment, people’s livelihoods top priorities
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said youth employment and people’s livelihood are the country’s top priority.
“Today, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, youth employment and people’s livelihoods are top two priorities of the country, and we should not allow people to face problems,” President Rouhani said at a cabinet session on Wednesday.
Rouhani pointed to three major events after the Islamic Revolution which have affected the country’s economy.
He described change in the country’s structure following the Islamic Revolution, Iraq’s imposed war on Iran and the international sanctions against Tehran as three issues that have affected the country’s economy after the 1979 Revolution.
The president however said the country has experienced development under these circumstances.
Iran’s total exports to Iraq exceed $11B
In the first nine months of the current Iranian year (started March 21, 2018), Iran exported various goods and electricity worth $11.5 billion to Iraq, Hasan Danayifar, the secretary of Iran’s Committee for Economic Relations with Iraq and Syria, said on Wednesday.
Danayifar noted that $6.5 billion of the exports accounted for goods and added that in the same period of the previous year Iran’s goods exports to Iraq amounted to $6.4 billion, according to IRNA.
Despite US sanctions, Danayifar said Iran’s total exports to Iraq have increased by 40 percent compared to the previous year.
It is expected that Iran’s goods exports to Iraq will reach $8.1 billion by the end of the current year, he added.
Commenting on the US pressure on Iraq aimed at ceasing the economic relations with Iran, Danayifar noted that about 40 percent of Iraq’s demand for electricity is supplied by Iran and it is impossible to stop the supplies.
Leader: US will face unprecedented defeat
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei warned the United States of an “unprecedented defeat” in its campaign of sanctions and pressure against the Iranian nation.
Addressing a group of people from the holy city of Qom on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei said the Americans speak gleefully of “strongest sanctions in history” against Iran, “but the Iranian nation will, God Willing, make them suffer an unprecedented defeat in history.”
“The nation and authorities should attentively work to turn the American sanctions into an unprecedented defeat for the Great Satan (the US), as was done during the era of Sacred Defense (the eight-year Iran-Iraq war),” said the Leader.
The United States first brought Iran under sanctions in the wake of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. It slapped new bans against the country in 1987 at the height of Iraq’s Western-backed war against Iran.
The eight-year war is known in Iran as the Era of Sacred Defense due to the sacrifice and resistance exercised by the Iranian nation in the face of the invader and its Western patrons.
Washington lifted some of its sanctions after the implementation of a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic and other world countries.
However, US President Donald Trump left the deal unilaterally last year – even though the accord has been ratified in the form of a United Nations Security Council resolution – and reimposed the sanctions.
The Leader further urged steadfastness in the face of the US and Europe’s “militarism, bluster, and idle talk,” saying, “Neither their threats, nor their words and promises, and not even their signatures is creditworthy.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also referred to predictions of a “regime change” in Iran by certain US officials by the end of 2018. “A while ago, a US politician had said, among a gathering of terrorists and thugs, that he hopes to celebrate this Christmas in Tehran,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
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Zarif: Taliban must have Afghan role, but can’t dominate
The Taliban must have a role in Afghanistan in future, Iran’s foreign minister said on Wednesday, but added that the militant group should not have a dominant role.
“I think it would be impossible to have a future Afghanistan without any role for the Taliban,” Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is in New Delhi for talks with Indian officials, told NDTV in an interview.
“But we also believe that the Taliban should not have a dominant role in Afghanistan.”
He said Iran has had intelligence contacts with the Taliban because it needed to secure border areas controlled by the Taliban on the Afghan side.
The Taliban have been fighting to oust all foreign forces and defeat the government after their 2001 ouster by US-led troops.
Zarif said it was up to Afghans to decide what role the Taliban should have but Afghanistan’s neighbors would not want them to be in overall control.
“Nobody in the region believes that a Taliban dominated Afghanistan is in the security interests of the region. I believe that is almost a consensus.”
Efforts for a negotiated settlement of the 18-year war in Afghanistan have gathered pace in recent weeks, even as reports that US President Donald Trump plans to withdraw thousands of US troops have triggered uncertainty in Kabul.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has held three rounds of talks with the Taliban, but on Tuesday, the militants canceled a fourth round, which had been due in Qatar this week.
The militants said they called off the talks because of an “agenda disagreement”, especially over the involvement of officials from the Western-backed Afghan government as well as a possible cease-fire.
A Taliban source speaking about the canceled talks told Reuters that US officials had insisted that the Taliban should meet Afghan officials in Qatar and said “both sides were in disagreement over declaring a cease-fire in 2019”.
The Taliban have rejected repeated requests from regional powers to allow Afghan officials to take part in the talks, insisting that the United States is their main adversary.
Zarif also hailed Pakistan for trying to play a “positive role”.
“We believe that Pakistani position on Afghanistan is evolving and we believe that Pakistan now is trying to play a positive role in getting a peace process underway in Afghanistan.
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Trump pleads on TV for wall money; Dems say he stokes ‘fear’
US President Donald Trump urged congressional Democrats to fund his long-promised border wall Tuesday night in a somber televised address that was heavy with dark immigration rhetoric but offered little in the way of concessions or new ideas to break the standoff that has left large swaths of the government shuttered for 18 days.
Speaking to the nation from the Oval Office for the first time, Trump argued the wall was needed to resolve a security and humanitarian “crisis,” blaming illegal immigration for what he said was a scourge of drugs and violence in the US and asking: “How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?”
Democrats in response accused Trump appealing to “fear, not facts” and manufacturing a border crisis for political gain, AP reported.
Using the formal trappings of the White House, Trump hoped to gain the upper hand in the standoff over his demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. He plans a visit to the border Thursday as he continues to pitch what was a signature promise of his 2016 presidential campaign.
He addressed the nation as the shutdown stretched through its third week, with hundreds of thousands of federal workers going without pay and some congressional Republicans growing increasingly jittery about the spreading impact of the impasse. Trump claimed the standoff could be resolved in “45 minutes” if Democrats would just negotiate, but previous meetings have led to no agreement.
TV networks had been reticent about providing Trump airtime to make what some feared would be a purely political speech.
In their own televised remarks, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Trump of misrepresenting the situation on the border as they urged him to reopen closed government departments and turn loose paychecks for hundreds of thousands of workers.
Negotiations on wall funding could proceed in the meantime, they said.
Schumer said Trump “just used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration.”
In his dire address, Trump ticked off a string of statistics and claims to make his case that there is a crisis at the border, but a number of his statements were misleading, such as saying the new trade deal with Mexico would pay for the wall, or suggesting through gruesome examples that immigrants are more likely to commit crime.
Trump, who has long railed against illegal immigration at the border, has recently seized on humanitarian concerns to argue there is a broader crisis that can only be solved with a wall. But critics say the security risks are overblown and the administration is at least partly to blame for the humanitarian situation.
Trump used emotional language, referring to Americans who were killed by people in the country illegally, saying: “I’ve met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I’ve held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. So sad. So terrible.”
Trump has been discussing the idea of declaring a national emergency to allow him to move forward with the wall without getting congressional approval for the billions he’s requested. But he did not mention that Tuesday night.
The partial government shutdown reached its 18th day, making the closure the second-longest in history. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are going without pay, and government disruptions are hitting home with everyday Americans.
UK government defeated as MPs vote for quick action if Brexit deal rejected
Compiled from Dispatches
The British government was defeated in Parliament on Wednesday as members of Parliament voted for a procedural change that reduces the time it has to come up with an alternative plan if Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal is defeated next week.
The 308 to 297 defeat tries to force the government to come back within three working parliamentary days with a plan B, rather than the 21 days specified in Brexit law. The change is unlikely to supersede the 21 day time limit in law, but adds political pressure, Reuters reported.
If May’s deal is voted down next week, ministers have to say in a parliamentary motion how they plan to proceed within 21 days.
Some protesters wrap themselves in the flag of the European Union and noisily interrupt politicians’ television appearances. Others yell “Nazi” and “traitor”.
Britain’s lawmakers are split on how to handle Brexit but they agree that the atmosphere in the public spaces outside Parliament – often populated with angry demonstrators – has become ugly and intimidatory.
This increasingly raucous brand of street activism has raised questions about what has happened to British politics in recent years, and where the boundaries of free speech now lie.
More than 2-1/2 years since Britain voted by 52 to 48 percent to leave the European Union, the country remains divided. Demonstrators who back Brexit and others who want to stay in the European Union have become a fixture in the gardens opposite Parliament.
The area is also used by media for interviews and while protests have generally been peaceful, politicians and journalists say the atmosphere has turned increasingly nasty in recent weeks.
Roadmap to second referendum
Pro-European Union campaigners in Britain have set out for the first time their preferred path for how Parliament could force the government to call a fresh vote on Brexit, arguing that there is still time for another referendum.
The future of Brexit remains deeply uncertain – with options ranging from a disorderly exit to another referendum – because British lawmakers are expected on Jan. 15 to vote down the deal that the prime minister struck with the EU in November.
May has repeatedly rejected the idea of a second referendum on leaving the EU, but the campaign for a so-called “People’s Vote” on the deal that May has agreed, has won support from some in Parliament.
The People’s Vote campaign said in a report that lawmakers should amend that motion by calling for another referendum. This would happen around the middle of February.
Britain would then be forced to ask for an extension to its timetable for leaving the EU to allow enough time for another referendum campaign, which may take around four months.
Osako double triggers Japan comeback against Turkmenistan
Yuya Osako netted a quick-fire double as former champion Japan survived a scare to beat Turkmenistan 3-2 in their AFC Asian Cup opener on Wednesday.
The Blue Samurai reached the last 16 at last year’s World Cup but had to fight back from a goal down at halftime in an absorbing Group F clash in Abu Dhabi, AFP reported.
Turkmenistan captain Arslan Amanov put the plucky underdog ahead after 26 minutes, unleashing a ferocious long-range drive that arrowed into the top corner.
But Osako produced a smart turn and finish inside the box to equalize for Japan 10 minutes into the second half following sustained pressure from the four-time Asian champion.
The Werder Bremen striker put Japan in front four minutes later, tapping into an empty net after Yuto Nagatomo’s dinked pass over goalkeeper Mammet Orazmuhammedow.
Ritsu Doan added a deflected third after 70 minutes as Turkmenistan began to wilt.
But Ahmet Atayev swept home a penalty 11 minutes from time to ensure a nervous finish for Japan, which are now unbeaten in six matches since Hajime Moriyasu took charge after the World Cup.
The Japanese are seeking to make up for their Asian Cup flop four years ago when they lost on penalties to the UAE in the quarterfinals.
But with a little luck Turkmenistan could easily have inflicted a major shock.
The Emeralds should arguably have been three up by halftime after Mekan Saparov headed over from pointblank range and an Atayev rocket forced Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda into a brilliant reflex save.
“I was actually surprised how well we did in the first half,” said Turkmenistan coach Yazguly Hojageldiyew.
“We lost our way a bit in the second half, but we’re not out of it yet. We’ll give everything in the next two games.”
Japan, only kept out of the World Cup quarterfinals by a stunning Belgium comeback from two goals down, has now lost just one of its last 29 games at the Asian Cup, excluding penalty shootouts.
But it will need to improve if Japan is to threaten the favorite Iran – 5-0 winner over Yemen earlier this week – and a South Korea side soon to be boosted by the arrival of Tottenham forward Son Heung-min.
“The first match is always a bit special and we expected a battle,” said Moriyasu.
“Obviously we’re happy to get the three points but we have a lot of things to work on for the next game.”
Fajr Film Festival to be extended to 31 Iranian provinces
The 37th Fajr Film Festival will extend its screening and showcase the selected films in 31 Iranian provinces, provincial manager of the festival said.
Based on the plans, the 37th Fajr films will be screened in 31 provinces at the same time, from February 1-11.
According to Seyyed Hossein Seyyedi, every province should suggest two well-equipped cinema halls for the program.
A total number of 11 or at most 14 top Fajr films will be selected to go on screen in Iranian provinces. Details of the plan will be announced later, ifilmtv.com wrote.
Established in 1982, the Fajr Film Festival is an event that celebrates cultural exchange, displays creative achievements of highly acclaimed cineastes and pays tribute to local and international films.
Since its establishment, the festival has played a vital role in the development of the Iranian cinema.
Supervised by Iran’s Culture Ministry, the festival hosts veteran directors and new filmmakers from Iran and across the world every year.
The prestigious film festival will not screen any film on February 8 and 9 due to the martyrdom anniversary of Hazrat Fatemeh (PBUH), daughter of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
World Bank warns brewing trade storm jeopardizes global economy
Trade conflict between the world’s two largest economic powers already is inflicting collateral damage and threatens to do yet more harm to the global economy, the World Bank warned.
And the global slowdown is beginning as government and corporate debt rise, especially among the poorest countries, while mounting interest rates increase borrowing costs, the bank said in its semi-annual Global Economic Prospects report, AFP reported.
The report was markedly more pessimistic than a year ago – when the outlook was for synchronized global growth – and peppered with exhortations to take “urgent,” “imperative” or “critical” action.
“Risks are rising,” senior World Bank economist Ayhan Kose said. “The global economy is going through a difficult period. Skies are darkening and we see the global economy slowing.”
Growth of the world economy is expected to slow to 2.9 percent this year, and 2.8 percent in 2020, slightly below the previous forecast, and the estimates for nearly all regions and countries were downgraded.
At the center of the turmoil, US economic growth is expected to slow this year by four tenths of a point, falling to 2.5 percent down from 2.9 percent in 2018, and to slow even further next year to 1.7 percent.
China’s economy also is slowing amid the trade dispute, and growth should slip to 6.2 percent this year and next.
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