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Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression, is a type of depression caused by long, gloomy winter days. SAD begins and finishes at roughly the same period each year. If you’re like most SAD sufferers, your symptoms begin in the fall and last into the winter, draining your energy and making you cranky. These symptoms usually go away in the spring and summer.

SAD induces depression less frequently in the spring or early summer and resolves in the fall or winter. Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include oversleeping, appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates, weight gain, tiredness, or low energy.

Causes

Seasonal affective disorder’s exact cause is unclear. Some of the things that may come into play are as follows:

Your biological timer (circadian rhythm). Winter-onset SAD may be caused by the decreasing amount of sunlight in the fall and winter. This lack of sunshine may cause your body’s internal clock to malfunction, leading to depression.

Serotonin levels are high. SAD may be caused by a decrease in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that modulates mood. Reduced sunshine can induce a decrease in serotonin, which can lead to depression.

Melatonin levels are low. The change in season can upset the body’s melatonin balance, which influences sleep patterns and mood.

When to see a doctor?

It’s common to have low days from time to time. However, if you’re feeling depressed for days at a time and can’t get inspired to do things you generally love, consult your doctor. This is especially crucial if your sleeping and eating habits have changed, you use other medicines for comfort or relaxation, you feel hopeless, or you consider suicide.

Gold prices hit an all-time high in Pakistan, is this the time to invest?

Gold prices in Pakistani markets have reached an all-time high in the last 24 hours, as international rates regained some of last week’s strong momentum when the US Dollar fell in global markets.

Gold is being sold for Rs. 171125 per 10 grams, and the price of Gold reached Rs. 199600 per tola in Pakistan today.

Despite the price spike in local markets, gold fell from a 9-month high on Tuesday due to a modest decline in US bond yields, although the market was bolstered by prospects of slower interest rate hikes.

At 21:40 PM, spot gold was up 0.2 percent to $1,934.82 per ounce, having touched a high of $1,934.82 earlier in the day. In the United States, gold futures settled 0.4 percent higher at $1,935.4.

Consequently, the dollar index lost 0.2 percent versus its peers, making greenback-priced gold more affordable for many investors, while expectations of another interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve added to the commodity’s appeal.

Although gold is viewed as a hedge against economic indicators such as currency and inflation, increasing interest rates tend to reduce the appeal of zero-yielding bullion. In any event, the rare metal is still a worthwhile investment.

Various options, including decreasing government employee salaries, are being considered as a newly established committee works on adopting austerity measures to reduce spending, according to sources.

Aside from a 10% pay cut, the 15-member panel is proposing reducing ministry/division spending by 15% and reducing the number of federal ministers, ministers of state, and advisers from 78 to 30, with the remainder working pro bono.

The proposals will be finalized on Wednesday, and the committee will submit a report to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The delivery of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) tranche prompted the government to embark on austerity, although it remains hesitant to execute conditions that could lead to increased inflation.

Meanwhile, the committee recommends stopping the use of funding for provincial-nature projects and prohibiting public-sector firms from obtaining loans through government guarantees.

However, it is hesitant to take on large expenditure cuts on budgetary resources, such as cutting the number of ministries/divisions after the 18th Amendment, which is the source of overlapping.

It remains to be seen how the NAC will deal with the losses of large public sector organisations such as Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), whose losses this year totalled Rs67 billion, as well as Pakistan Steel Mills, PASSCO, electricity distribution companies, and others. In the previous fiscal year, the power sector alone lost Rs1,600 billion.

The austerity committee also discussed a proposal to freeze intelligence services’ discretionary funds, including Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB). It discussed a proposal to cut defence spending, but the secretary of defence responded that it might not be realistic given increasing inflation and currency devaluation. However, the committee may consider reducing non-combat spending.

The committee also discussed prohibiting the purchase of automobiles, freezing all benefits and privileges both locally and overseas, and lowering the number of redundant posts in various ministries and divisions.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have decreased to $4.3 billion, the lowest level since February 2014, according to the country’s central bank, following the repayment of some of Pakistan’s external debt.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) published the data on Thursday, adding that commercial banks have $5.8 billion, for a total of approximately $10.1 billion.

The IMF disbursed a $1.17 billion tranche in August of last year, but the next batch of funds has been stalled since Pakistan has yet to agree to the lender’s several criteria, such as raising energy costs and extending the tax base.

Last year, Pakistan was also hit by disastrous floods, which killed over 1,700 people, affected 33 million people, and cost the country more than $30 billion. Pakistan hosted an international donors’ summit with the United Nations earlier this week in Geneva when the world community promised more than $10 billion over the next three years.

Experts, on the other hand, have painted a bleak picture, arguing that the government should shift its focus from finding short-term fixes to more long-term reforms. According to Sakib Sherani, an economist based in Islamabad, Pakistan faces more than $20 billion in debt payback obligations over the next two years.

“In 2017, our yearly debt repayment was close to $7 billion. Over $20 billion is expected this year and next. We can’t help but borrow more, and while it may be a short- to a medium-term solution, it’s simply unsustainable,” Sherani explained in an interview.

He stated that Pakistan’s debt obligations should be restructured and that the government should develop a clearer plan for its economic strategy.

The Earth’s ozone layer is on its road to recovery, thanks to decades of work to eliminate ozone-damaging compounds, according to a group of worldwide experts supported by the United Nations.

The ozone layer performs a crucial role for all living organisms on Earth. This stratospheric shield protects humans and the environment from the sun’s dangerous UV radiation.

In May 1985, scientists detected a hole in the ozone layer, which frightened the international community. Scientists had previously discovered that compounds like chlorofluorocarbons, which are utilized in the production of aerosol sprays as well as solvents and refrigerants, might deplete ozone.

Two years following the discovery of the ozone layer’s deplorable status, international agencies adopted the Montreal Protocol. This mandated the elimination of nearly 100 synthetic compounds linked to the deterioration of the critical ozone layer.

The last assessment of the Montreal Protocol’s success indicated that approximately 99% of banned ozone-depleting chemicals have been phased out.

If current practices are maintained, the ozone layer is likely to rebound to 1980 levels by 2040, according to the United Nations. It may take longer in some areas. Experts predict that Antarctica will rebound to 1980 levels by 2066, while the Arctic will recover by 2045.

Multilateral and bilateral donors  on Monday pledged more than $8 billion in aid to flood-hit Pakistan as it seeks funding to rehabilitate the affected 33 million population and cover damages worth billions.

Pakistan, which has a $350 billion economy, is in economic turmoil as a result of the disastrous floods that killed at least 1,700 people and caused damages worth more than $16 billion, half of which Islamabad is financing with its own resources.

The offers came as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced an $8 billion flood aid appeal at the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan in Geneva, aiming at assisting the country in overcoming the devastation wrought by the cataclysmic floods.

Pakistan urgently needs $8 billion from international donors over the next three years to rebuild the country’s economy, which was largely destroyed by devastating floods from June to October 2022, Prime Minister Shehbaz said in Geneva.

With response to the country’s $8 billion flood plea, the World Bank and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) committed more than $6 billion to Pakistan to aid in climate reconstruction.

The IsDB has offered $4.2 billion to Pakistan over the next three years, and the World Bank has pledged $2 billion, with backing from the US, China, and other countries.

Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning and Development, announced on Thursday that the government is starting the “Talented Youth Internship Programme” for 30,000 unemployed graduate youngsters in the country.

The minister, who presided over a meeting of private sector stakeholders to provide internships to young, stated that the internship will last six months and that the students will receive a monthly stipend of Rs25,000.

He added that the future of the country is dependent on the intentional education and skill acquisition of youth, as two-thirds of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 30.

Ahsan Iqbal argued that the ministry of planning’s principal responsibility is to plan the future of the youth and that Pakistan’s development is dependent on the active participation of the youth and the business sector.

He stated that 30,000 children would be given the opportunity to work in the sector through this program. The minister also emphasized the importance of putting aside differences and working together to lift the country out of its economic predicament. He added that when there is a fire in the house, the first thing to do is extinguish the fire.

He stated that every Pakistani should contribute to the country’s economic recovery. Every Pakistani must become a champion of the ‘Turnaround Pakistan Campaign.’

Over 30,000 young people came on Saturday to Pak Stadium in Karachi to take a police recruitment test for 1167 positions in Islamabad’s police force.

While stadiums are usually packed for sporting events, musical concerts, or political meetings, it was a different story on the last day of 2022, when youngsters gathered at the Pakistani national stadium to compete for jobs.

According to Al Jazeera, more than 31% of Pakistan’s youth are unemployed, with 51% being girls and 16% being males.

Sharing a video on Twitter, Al Jazeera said, “It’s not football that’s filled this stadium in Pakistan but the hope of finding a job. More than 30,000 people turned up to take a written test for Islamabad’s police force, where there are only 1,167 positions available.”

According to a viral video sourced by Al Jazeera, a video emerged on social media space showing thousands of aspirants seated in the stadium, looking to be writing exam papers and hoping for recruitment to the Islamabad Police.

PIDE also revealed that a shockingly large portion of the working-age population is not even in the labor force. It was stated that these persons are either discouraged workers or have other sources of income to support themselves.

It also stated that despite pronouncements and policy initiatives, the female labor force participation rate (LFPR) remains shockingly low.

Taking what we’ve learned from this remarkable year into account, we may set life-changing goals to live better lives as balanced and mindful Muslims.

Here are some New Year’s Resolutions for Muslims that we can implement in our life.

Elevate your prayers

When the five daily prayers become a part of our daily habits, they can become monotonous and robotic activities. For example, by altering the typical Suras (Chapters) we read or the Duas (Supplications) we recite after prayer, we may become more present and attentive to what we are saying during our prayers.

Start Quran Journalling

Islam is all about education and learning. Muslims should strive to comprehend God’s messages and connect with the Quran.

Practice Gratitude

Don’t leave your daily prayers without spending at least 2 to 5 minutes grounding yourself in Sujood (prostration) and reflecting on all the small things for which you are grateful, such as good health, family, and friends.

Give more charity

All Muslims are expected to provide charity (zakat). Find a charity that is near to your heart and establish a monetary goal for yourself.

Surround yourself with positivity

Take some time to consider the individuals in your life; are any of them bringing you down or filling your life with negativity? Surround yourself with people who care about your success, who make you laugh, and who care about you. Test it out and discover how it affects your life!

Get Healthy

We would all be healthy if we all followed Islamic eating etiquette. Simple modifications such as not eating on an empty stomach or introducing sunnah fasting twice a week (Mon & Thurs) can help.

It’s critical that you confirm the legitimacy of any work-from-home job prospects as you look for them. Scammers may pretend to be businesses or freelancers to present you with fake remote employment opportunities. Your identity, your finances, and your welfare can all be safeguarded by exercising caution. In this article, we have described some common scams you can come across.

What are work-from-home scams?

Work-from-home scams occur when dishonest persons fabricate job postings for their own gain. They might make advantage of these to steal your money or personal information. Scammers are starting to target this area with seemingly attractive job offers as work-from-home positions grow in popularity. To gain your trust, they can pretend to be a trustworthy organization or person.

To determine whether a remote job offer is authentic, follow these steps:

The job is too good to be true

 If a work-from-home offer appears too good to be true, trust your gut. Consider a scenario with some caution if a corporation is offering an incredibly high income or great benefits. In addition, if the business is promising you a fantastic job for which you are ineligible, this can be a scam.

There is little information on the company

A corporation should have a website and some sort of online presence on social media when being researched. It might be time to move on to a different job application if you are unable to find any information about it online.

The validity of the job offer cannot be verified by a second source

It’s a good idea if you can speak with another employee of the business. Instead of asking the employer for this information, attempt to locate it on your own. You could request more information about the business from this person. Remember that many scammers operate in groups, so this doesn’t necessarily imply that a job offer is genuine.

There are warnings online

To seek up the name of the business or employer, use a search engine. You might discover from search results that this fraud has been used on other people. It’s always a bad sign if you encounter job boards with cautionary statements about a company. Additionally, if there are negative online reviews of the business, this may indicate that you should hunt for employment elsewhere.

You have to pay to work

When employers assert that you must invest money in your work to get started, this is a prevalent deception. Employers are the ones who should pay you, not the other way around. While looking for remote jobs, keep in mind that certain respectable online job forums may require you to pay a monthly fee.

The employer is overly eager to hire

 When an employer feels compelled to engage you immediately, that is a huge red flag of work-from-home fraud. Most trustworthy employers are preoccupied with their own work and cannot answer you immediately away. Real employers put employees at ease, therefore if a business is forcing you to accept the position, don’t reply to them.

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