Indian ‘baby farm’ operation discovered in private hospital: report

Indian police has unearthed a “baby farm” operation in the city of Gwalior, north of Bhopal, which sells and swaps unwanted newborn infants illegally, Times of India reported.

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So far two babies have been rescued from Palash hospital in Gwalior, however authorities are still searching for several of the couples who have illegally bought babies from the hospital.

The operation was housed within the 30-bed private hospital, and sold each infant for around Rs. 1 lakh (almost $2,000AUD).

The babies were allegedly sourced from mothers who have had unwanted pregnancies, either out of illicit relationships or out of rape.

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“When a girl or her parents approached them for termination of pregnancies, doctors at this hospital used to convince them assuring a safe and secret delivery. Once baby is delivered and mother gets discharged, hospital authorities start hunting for gullible couples who could buy them,” an investigating officer on the case said.

Those infants, once born, were then sold to childless families for a profit.

“Three others have been sold to childless couples in Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh,” Prateek Kumar, ASP crime branch, said.

In one case, a couple even swapped one of their own newborn baby boys for a baby girl from the outfit.

“A Gwalior-based couple had two boys. They swapped one of their boys with a girl at this hospital,” said the investigating officer.

Five people from the hospital have been arrested so far, including the Palash Hospital’s director, TK Gupta, hospital manager Arun Bhadoria, and a few parents who have purchased babies from them.

The perpetrators have been charged on counts of slavery and child trafficking: for dealing in slaves, buying or disposing of people as slaves, and for buying minors for the purposes of prostitution.

Sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins to tackle sexism in sport

When Kate Jenkins joined the board of Carlton, one Blues fan remarked the footy club had “hit rock bottom”.

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Three days into her new job as Australian sex discrimination commissioner Ms Jenkins says she sees sport as a powerful setting to advance gender equality issues.

“I have to confess, not every Blues supporter cares about gender equality in sport,” she told the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.

She recounted the online comment from a man named Gary who was less than impressed with her appointment to the board.

“Let me tell you, Gary, you’ve got it all wrong, on every level,” Ms Jenkins said.

Universities are another venue Ms Jenkins plans to focus on as commissioner.

On-campus gender discrimination and sexism will be put under the microscope with a project that has the support of 39 vice chancellors, she said.

“It should be of grave concern to us all to know that it is our youth who are learning to accept and excuse violent attitudes to women and girls,” she said.

“We need to intervene now so this is not a problem we pass on to the next generation.”

She noted that students at the University of Queensland recently sold cupcakes on campus at prices that reflected the 17.3 per cent pay gap between women and men based on average full-time ordinary weekly earnings.

“Much to their shock, and in fact the university’s shock … instead of giving rise to a genuine discussion about wage inequality, the organisers of this inoffensive campaign … received rape threats and even death threats,” Ms Jenkins said.

Her personal measure of success as commissioner will be when the pay gap disappears and students at the University of Queensland can sell cupcakes at lunchtime at the same price for everyone.

Gluten-free benefits ‘overhyped’: study

A new Australian study of more than 3200 gluten-free supermarket products has found little or no difference in their nutritional value when compared to standard items.

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“There has been a tidal wave of gluten-free products coming on to the market in recent years and many people have been caught in the wash as they search for a healthier diet,” lead author Dr Jason Wu, from The George Institute for Global Health and the University of Sydney, said.

“The foods can be significantly more expensive and are very trendy to eat, but we discovered a negligible difference when looking at their overall nutrition.

“Gluten-free products are necessary for people with coeliac disease, but this information is important because of their broader use in the community.”

Nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton agrees, saying many people think if a product is gluten-free it must be all right but “gluten-free junk food is still junk food”.

“Just about every junk food in the book these days has a gluten-free version,” she told AAP. “It is interesting to look at some of the food marketing magazine which promote (gluten-free versions) as a great way to increase your business.”

The research, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, compared the nutritional content in foods such as breads and pasta that were staples in a balanced diet, as well as junk foods such as potato chips, biscuits and lollies.

“In the core foods we found significantly lower levels of protein in gluten-free foods, but the remaining content such as sugar and sodium was actually very similar,” Dr Wu said.

The researchers also found almost no difference in the nutritional make-up of the junk foods.

“The consumption of GF products is unlikely to confer health benefits, unless there is clear evidence of coeliac disease, gluten intolerance or allergy to gluten-containing grains,” they concluded.

“Fancy labels on gluten-free foods have the potential to be used as a marketing tactic, even on products that traditionally don’t have any gluten in them anyway.”

 

Clinton, Trump seek to quiet critics in NY

For Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, victories in New York could help quiet critics who have questioned their strength as front-runners.

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Each has suffered losses in recent contests that emboldened their rivals, though they still lead in delegate counts and are favoured in Tuesday’s New York primary.

Clinton, who represented the state as a senator for eight years, spent the final hours of campaigning trying to drive up turnout among women and minorities, her most ardent supporters.

“We’re not taking anything for granted,” she said on Monday after greeting workers at the Hi-Tek Car Wash & Lube in Queens.

Clinton has accumulated 1,758 delegates to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ 1,076.

Those totals include both pledged delegates from primaries and caucuses, as well as superdelegates, the party insiders who can back the candidate of their choice regardless of how their state votes.

Heading into the New York primary, Sanders needs to win 68 per cent of the remaining delegates if he hopes to clinch the Democratic nomination. It takes 2,383 to win.

On the Republican side, Trump leads with 744 delegates, ahead of Cruz with 545 and Kasich with 144. It takes 1,237 to win the Republican nomination.

Clinton’s campaign sees New York as a make-or-break moment for the Democratic race.

A loss in her adopted home state would be a devastating political blow, but a big win would bolster her delegate lead over Sanders and put her closer to becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major political party.

Sanders has rattled off a string of wins in recent primaries and caucuses, but unless he can topple Clinton in a state like New York, where 247 Democratic delegates are up for grabs, he faces increasingly limited opportunities to change the trajectory of the race.

For Trump, New York is an opportunity to rebound from a trying stretch for his campaign.

The biggest question for him heading into Tuesday is whether he captures more than 50 per cent of the vote statewide, which would put him in strong position to win all of the state’s 95 Republican delegates.

Trump has spent the past week emphasising his ties to New York, particularly New York City, where he was born and where buildings bear his name.

A big win for Trump is crucial if he hopes to clinch the nomination before the party’s convention in July.

If the race isn’t settled by then, he faces the very real prospect of losing to Ted Cruz, whose campaign is mastering the complicated process of lining up individual delegates who could shift their support to the Texas senator after the first round of convention balloting.

Tigers hopeful of Deledio AFL return

Hopes are rising at Richmond that star utility Brett Deledio might return for the crucial Anzac eve AFL match against Melbourne.

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Richmond have made another poor start to the season, with last Friday night’s horror trip to Perth against West Coast leaving them under mounting pressure with a 1-3 record.

Deledio, an All-Australian last year, has not played this season because of a quad muscle injury.

But he trained on Tuesday and the Tigers hoped he would make a strong case on Thursday for a surprise recall.

“Fingers crossed, he can train again tomorrow and get the okay from the medicos,” teammate Shaun Grigg told Triple M radio.

“I think that’s the only final hurdle … hopefully, we can get him back in.”

Grigg also confirmed Deledio was back kicking adult-sized footballs.

The nature of his leg injury meant their vice-captain at one stage was restricted to kicking smaller footballs designed for children.

“He was actually kicking the big football,” Grigg said.

Richmond also should regain their No.1 ruckman Ivan Maric, whose back injury has also prevented him playing in the senior side this season.

The Tigers are easing Maric back through the VFL.

“Ivan got through the VFL again, so I would say he will be up for selection.”

While injuries have not helped the Tigers, coach Damien Hardwick has plenty of headaches with how they are playing.

In particular, they have handballed too much early in the losses to Adelaide and West Coast.

The first quarter against Adelaide featured 31 kicks and 46 handballs while, last Friday night, they had 32 kicks and 28 handballs in the opening term against the Eagles.

“There’s no doubt it’s causing us a little bit of grief, especially early in games, with the amount of turnovers we’ve had,” Hardwick told the club website.

“We don’t want to be over-handballing for the sake of it.”