Last Friday marked the start of a new era for Ballyshannon installed a new town clock in the south Donegal area following a huge community drive.The timing system on the clock is set to be activated by the end of this week with the second face of the clock being replaced on Friday afternoon.Following a lightning strike of their own in 2014, the old clock was damaged beyond repair, prompting a south Donegal regeneration group to take matters into their own hands. Several community fundraisers later and enough money was raised for the new clock, a project the Ballyshannon Regeneration Group have been involved with from the beginning.Cllr Barry Sweeney, who is a founding member of the group, told Donegal Daily: “It means an awful lot to the town of Ballyshannon.“People have come together and it one of those symbolic gestures to get the town clock up and running again.“It means more than just a clock, I think the people of Ballyshannon see it as a bit of a revival or regeneration. “Not only are you getting the clock ticking again, but you are also getting the town ticking again.“There was a real positive mood about it and there was a buzz about the town,” he added.“The community raised the money for this clock and they are not seeing the fruits of their labour and the fruits of the money that was put into the project.”The original clock face was built in 1878 when an agreement was struck between the planning authorities and Belfast Bank.The building was later owned by the Royal Bank before an amalgamation with the Provincial Bank resulted in the Allied Irish Bank forming there in 1966. Local businessman Eamonn McNulty, who now owns the building, purchased the property from the well-known Gallogley family earlier this year.Cllr Sweeney continued: “The building was bought about 10 months ago and the new owner, Eamonn McNulty, has helped greatly with the project.“He is doing a lot of the physical work as well, he is up and down the stairs and the ladders and he is a man of 80-years-old – his work has been great.” Picture Special: Tick-tock, tick-tock, Ballyshannon’s new clock won’t stop was last modified: November 15th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Thousands of South African flags will be handed out to travellers and holidaymakers over the Easter weekend as part of “Fly the Flag for Football“, a national campaign to build public support and excitement leading up to the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.The 2010 National Communication Partnership, a partnership of organisations involved in communicating about the soccer showpieces being hosted by South Africa, aims to distribute over 47-million South African flags through various campaigns by the time the World Cup kicks off in June 2010.“Our national Flag is a powerful symbol of unity and pride, and we would like to play our part by encouraging South Africans to proudly fly the flag as the eyes of the world are upon us,” Margaret Dingalo of the International Marketing Council of South Africa said in a statement on Monday.“The 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup is starting in less than 100 days, and excitement is building,” Dingalo said. “We need to help drive enthusiasm and patriotism, garnering support among South Africans for Bafana Bafana and the event as a whole.”Dingalo said the Easter long weekend had been chosen to launch the campaign as it was traditionally one of the busiest holiday periods in South Africa, with thousands of people travelling across the country.Colourful face-painted figures wearing South African flag t-shirts and makarapas, the football fan hat that is unique to South Africa, will be handing out free flags at tollgates, garages and airports across the country.Stand to win Confederations Cup tickets for yourself and three friends: visit flythesouthafricanflag on your mobile, or SMS ‘FLAG’ to 41929 (R2 per SMS).State-of-the-art digital “shoot-outs” will take place at a number of airports and garages along busy holiday routes, where members of the public will have a chance to win prizes by taking shots at a virtual goal.Zakumi, the 2010 Fifa World Cup mascot, will also be spotted around the country interacting with people and encouraging support.For South African football great Mark Fish, the campaign’s official spokesman, the Confederations Cup and World Cup are about more than football, representing “the opportunity of a lifetime, for South Africa and Africa as a whole.“Let us raise our flags in unity, joining together to make the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and 2010 Fifa World Cup joyful, unforgettable events,” Fish said. “Fly your flag and show the world the warmth and spirit of South Africa.”The Fly the Flag for Football! campaign will include an interactive mobile website, where members of the public can find more information and enter competitions.Members of the 2010 National Communication Partnership include the International Marketing Council of SA, South African Tourism, the 2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising Committee, the Department of Arts and Culture, South African Airways, Proudly South African, and several other private sector and civil society groups.Related articlePress Releases: Fly the flag for football
Connecting with people, finding places liked by friends and tracking personal travel habits over time were listed as the primary reasons people who use location based social networks like Facebook Places, Foursquare and Google Latitude do so in a survey published by Portland, Oregon digital marketing firm White Horse. The firm surveyed 437 smartphone owners and found that discounts and gaming were not seen as significant motivators for the use of location services. (Lost in Geolocation: Why Consumers Haven’t Bought it and How Marketers Can Fix It)56% of smartphone owners surveyed said they knew about these services and 39% of respondents said they used them. Facebook Places was the clear leader among users (42%) with Latitude (27%) and Foursquare (25%) tied somewhere behind. The biggest barriers to use among non-users? Privacy concerns and lack of clear benefit. Graphs below. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… marshall kirkpatrick The White Horse survey includes 11 other charts and graphs and a number of recommendations. All of this has to be taken with a grain of salt, of course, because it’s a firm that does web design and marketing as a service. That 39% of respondents surveyed said they knew about and used location based services seems to me a high number, reason to be optimistic, not as the survey’s title says any indication that the sector is broken. None the less (see my disclosure below), the data is quite interesting and the recommendations are thought provoking and well articulated.Included in those recommendations are the following:Companies interested in reaching potential consumers using location based services should build their own, rather than emphasize participation in existing services, because existing services add too little to the core social networking features they duplicate from Facebook, Twitter or the good old fashioned telephone.Companies should seek to fullfil new social functions with location apps, not just communication. That’s already covered. “Marketers will need to posit experiences & goals that make sense for their particular brands to endorse, build appropriate interactions, and test rewards and incentives,” the report says.Build a social media presence first. “…success will depend on engaging those customers who are most active in social media, based on an understanding of their ‘native’ social experiences in existing communities, whether physical or digital. To think that users will adopt a branded geolocation app that is unmoored from existing social experiences is not realistic.”Privacy: “Currently, geolocation apps handle data in ways that consumers can neither understand nor control.”Model after Foursquare but keep an eye on Facebook. I’m not entirely clear on what this recommendation means.Readers interested in the location based social networking use cases and avoidance should check out our coverage including Why We Check In: The Reasons People Use Location-Based Social Networks, 2011: The Year the Check-in Died, Check-ins Are Dead? Location App Life360 Adds 1 Million Users in 10 Weeks.Disclosure: I happen to be on an Advisory Board for White Horse design, but I missed the email when this report was sent out and just saw it written up tonight on the independent blog Marketing Pilgrim. I would have written about this report whether I had any connection to the company or not (I love this stuff) and probably would have written basically the same post here either way. If completely disinterested, I might not be able to tell you that the cookies they served at the last Advisory Board meeting were stale. Just kidding. Tags:#Location#privacy#web Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
The city police on Wednesday arrested five persons, including a leader from the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), for operating a betting racket in Pune’s Nigdi area.Javed Shaikh, a NCP corporator from Akurdi, was among the few in his party to withstand the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) juggernaut which swept the cash-rich Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) in the civic polls held in February this year.Betting on TNPL matchesAccording to the Nigdi police, Mr. Shaikh (47), along with Navin Mittal (43), Rakesh Mehta (37), Pravin Pawar (36) and Zakir Shaikh (29) were said to have been running a betting operation from a building in Chikhali, betting on matches in the ongoing Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).In a morning raid, the police retrieved betting articles amounting to Rs. 2.77 lakh including Rs. 53,000 in cash.“Acting on a tip-off, we raided a flat in Mittal Building in Chikhali and seized a number of betting paraphernalia including mobile phones, a laptop, a betting register used by the accused during the course of their operation. We have booked them under relevant sections of the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887,” said senior police inspector Vijakumar Palsule, remarking that further investigations were on to ascertain the scope of the racket.Arrested in 2009 for extortionThis is not the first time that the NCP leader has courted trouble. Mr. Shaikh, known as a party strongman in the PCMC area, was arrested in 2009 by the Nigdi police in an extortion case.He weathered the BJP storm this year to be elected for the third consecutive time from the Akurdi panel, defeating the Shiv Sena’s Maruti Bhapkar (once a prominent Aam Aadmi Party leader) by a formidable margin.The BJP won a landslide in the Pune civic polls, snaring 77 of the 128 seats to break the NCP’s long domination of the PCMC with Mr. Shaikh being one among only 35 corporators from his party to get a mandate.
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Schooling slams critics after SEA Games golden double SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLyceum asserted its dominance in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament with a 97-74 decimation of Mapua to complete the first round sweep Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.CJ Perez anchored the Pirates with 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals in their ninth straight win to remain unbeaten after the first round.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9300:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Wilson Baltazar also notched 12 markers built on two triples.Coach Topex Robinson said that as gratifying as the 9-0 run was, the battle is only halfway done as it braces for the tougher duels in the second round.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“As much as it’s ok, we still have nine more games to play and we have lots of things that we should work on, especially on our turnovers because it is still a problem for us,” he said.With Perez leading the charge, the Pirates jumped to a commanding 22-8 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, extending the lead to its biggest at 32, 78-46, with 1:49 left in the third period. LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next That early pullaway allowed Lyceum to distribute minutes among its third stringers, with Jeffrey Santos and Spencer Pretta pouring nine points each in the victory.“We’ll take this win,” said Robinson after the Pirates finally played the Cardinals in a game which has been postponed twice due to inclement weather.“It’s nice to come off a long break with a win. We made the most of the time that has been given to us. It’s a time for us to work on some things, time for the players to reflect on the first few games that we played. We know we still have a lot of room for improvement if we want to be one of the elite teams in the NCAA.”Christian Buñag topped Mapua (1-7) with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while JB Raflores had 16 markers and eight boards in the defeat.To add to the Cardinals’ woes Kim Magboo hurt his knee late in the first quarter leaving Atoy Co with only eight players at his disposal in the tiff against the top seed.ADVERTISEMENT The Scores:LYCEUM 97 – Perez 18, Baltazar 12, Santos 9, Pretta 9, Tansingco 8, Jv. Marcelino 8, Nzeusseu 6, Jc. Marcelino 6, Ayaay 5, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 3, Caduyac 2, Sinco 2, Serrano 1.MAPUA 74 – Buñag 17, Raflores 16, Nieles 13, Gabo 10, Aguirre 8, Victoria 4, Orquina 4, Magboo 2, Jimenez 0.Quarters: 22-8, 52-34, 80-51, 97-74. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES MOST READ View comments
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Stephen Curry puzzled over mention in GOP tax proposal CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding READ: Narvasa remains defiant: I’m fighting for principleNational team head coach Chot Reyes can heave a sigh of relief as he begins the Smart Gilas Pilipinas’ preparations on Friday evening.Players like June Mar Fajardo, Christian Standhardinger, and Von Pessumal of San Miguel, Japeth Aguilar and Kevin Ferrer of Ginebra, Paul Lee and Jio Jalalon of Star, Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort, and LA Revilla and Russel Escoto of Kia have the greenlight to join the national team’s preparations for the Asian qualifiers.The Philippines is set to open its first round assignment against Japan in Tokyo on November 24, before playing Chinese Taipei at Smart Araneta Coliseum on November 27.ADVERTISEMENT Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe PBA governors may be at an impasse when it comes to the matters about the Commissioner’s office, but the teams remain united when it comes to the national team.The five teams supporting the extension of PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa said that they won’t allow the controversy to affect the league’s commitment to Smart Gilas Pilipinas.ADVERTISEMENT Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion In a joint statement released on Friday, San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, GlobalPort, and Kia said they are still allowing their players to suit for national team duties for the 2017 Fiba World Cup qualifiers as part of the PBA’s agreement with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).READ: Seven PBA governors stand firm, urge Narvasa to resign FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“All five teams composed of San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra, Star Hotshots, GlobalPort and Kia Picanto will continue to make available its players to the Philippine team that is preparing for the Fiba Asia World Cup qualifier and other league functions. We believe this should not be adversely affected by the board members’ differences in opinion,” the statement read.“We reiterate that we are doing this to protect the league we all love, the game of basketball and the millions of fans who continue to support us.” Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments Read Next
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By Bharat Sharma and Amanpreet Singh Palembang/Jakarta, Aug 16 (PTI) On reaching Indonesia for the Asian Games, hearts in their mouths after a brush with American war tanks on way to Kabul airport, Afghanistan’s athletes requested India to help them the way it helped their cricket. As they headed towards the airport, a 100-odd Afghani athletes saw American war tanks approach their Asian Games-bound Contingent bus. Much to their relief, they were just asked to make way for the tanks. Three out of those athletes, who watched blasts rock Kabul yesterday, are 100m specialists Abdul Wahab Zahiri and Kamia Yousufi, who competed at Rio Olympics, and sprinter Sadia Bromand. The relief was palpable on the face of Zahiri as he spoke to PTI, reliving the scary experience at home. “You won’t understand how we felt when we saw the American tanks. We constantly live in terror. But we want to live a peaceful life. We want to achieve our dreams, make our country proud,” said Zahiri. They have seen how cricket has flourished in the Taliban-hit country with significant help from India. How Rashid Khan has gained the status of a super star after appearing in the IPL along with other cricketers from his country. The non-cricket athletes are also looking towards India for help, to live their dreams. Zahiri made an honest appeal to the Indian authorities: Help us the way you have helped Afghanistan cricket. While Zahiri developed a liking for the sport while studying in the Lahore University, Yousufi chased her dream in her birthplace Iran.advertisement “When it comes to talent, Afghanistan has that in abundance. We just need support. When we left Kabul yesterday, there was a blast. There is a blast almost every day. That sums up our story but we still continue to train and work hard,” Zahiri said. Zahiri claimed to have met star Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan in Lahore six years ago and said if athletes gets the same support from India that Afghanistan cricketers have got, they could go a long way. “I just trained for a month and showed up here. I want to train in India in the long-run so that I can improve my timings. I have written to Athletics Federation of India many times, most recently in 2015, but have not got a response yet,” said Zahiri, whose personal best in 100m is 11.56 seconds, achieved at the Rio Olympics. He revealed that each athlete got approximately Rs 28,000 for the entire duration of the Games. “My shoes only come for Rs 6,000. What do I do with this little amount? I am just continuing running because of my brother’s support. Else I would not have been able to survive,” said the 26-year-old, who himself has two kids. He hoped other sports too grow like cricket in Afghanistan. “Cricket has become so big in very little time.” There is no doubting the talent of Afghan cricketers but their skill would not be on full display if not for help from the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI), which allocated them a home ground in Greater Noida and Dehradun. Their players, headlined by Rashid, are regulars in the IPL. Like Zahiri, Olympian Kamia too competed at Rio Games and now wants to train in India. “I cannot train in Afghanistan because of safety reasons. Training in India would give me the right kind of exposure. Hope something can be worked out. It is very tough to be a sportsperson in Afghanistan,” Kamia, who wears a hijab while training, said. Another athlete Sadia, who went to Rio as Kamia’s coach has similar aspirations. “It will be a big relief if we are to train without worrying about our safety in Afghanistan,” she said. PTI AT BSAH
FORT ST JOHN, B.C. – B.C. Emergency Health Services announced today that eight new paramedic positions and two new ambulances will be coming to Fort St John and Dawson Creek later this year. Currently, both communities have been staffed by a mixture of full-time and on-call paramedics. BCEHS says the addition of eight new paramedics will allow for a more stable staffing model in Northeastern BC. “This investment will help improve access to care for people living in the Peace Region,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “These additional ambulances and full-time positions will help strengthen health-care services the community counts on, and make sure paramedics are there when people need them.”In addition to the eight full-time positions, the two new ambulances will help make sure resources are available to respond to medical 9-1-1 emergencies and will be available to assist with scheduled hospital transfers. The new ambulances will also be able to assist the nearby communities of Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge and Hudson’s Hope when needed.
This is the damaged aluminum boat found by #rcmpmb officers on the shores of the Nelson River during a helicopter search on friday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/56Ez8alVTs— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) August 4, 2019The RCMP say members of the team are highly trained and have access to a range of advanced equipment to assist in their underwater searches.Earlier this week the RCMP announced they would scall back the search for Schmegelsky and McLeod in Northern Manitoba. In the next Province, the OPP have been investigating several tips that the pair is now in that Province. So far the OPP have not been able to confirm the tips.The Underwater Recovery Team is about to search an area of interest. Police say a damaged aluminum boat was spotted on the shore of the Nelson River on Friday. pic.twitter.com/CRCtast2F5— Joe Scarpelli (@ScarpelliGlobal) August 4, 2019Police continue to stress, that if you believe you’ve seen Kam McLeod and Bryer Schemelsky, contact your local police department immediately or 911. Sightings have been posted to social media before being shared with the RCMP, that has caused delays in the investigation.According to MyGrandePrairieNow.com, the RCMP have confirmed the pair were seen in a Fairview Gas Station on July 20. The sighting was not reported to the RCMP until several days later. This is the second confirmed sighting of the pair in Alberta. The last confirmed sighting of the pair was on July 22 in Gillam Manitoba. The pair are wanted in connection with three homicides in Northern B.C. that all occurred during the week of July 15, 2019. GILLAM, M.B. – RCMP have started to search the Nelson River near Gillam and Fox Lake Cree Nation in the hunt for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky.On Sunday the RCMP confirmed they called in Underwater Recovery Team on Friday after finding RCMP officers searching from a helicopter, located a damaged aluminum boat on the shore of the Nelson River.Based on this new information, five members of the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT) were immediately deployed. They arrived in Gillam on Saturday, August 3rd, and are expected to conduct a thorough underwater search of significant areas of interest today.
New Delhi: Mining baron Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd Wednesday announced an oil discovery in its Krishna Godavari basin block in the Bay of Bengal. The block previously had a gas discovery in the very first well drilled. In a statement, Vedanta said “it has notified the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas of an oil discovery in the second exploratory well H2, located in the block KG-OSN-2009/3, Krishna-Godavari Basin, East Coast of India”. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalVedanta holds 100 per cent participating interest in the block. “Multiple reservoir zones were encountered in the well H2 within the Mesozoic sequence between the depths of 3,310 metres to 4,026 metres with hydrocarbon indications during drilling and downhole logging,” it said. The zone from 3,403 metres to 3,431 metres was tested through conventional well testing (Drill Stem Test) and flowed oil to the surface. “Further appraisal will be required to establish the size and commerciality of the oil discovery,” Vedanta said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe first exploration well A3-2 drilled in the block was a gas discovery. “Evaluations are ongoing based on the results of the first well A3-2 and the second well H2 to finalise the forward programme,” it added. Cairn India, the company Vedanta bought and merged with itself, had in June 2010 won the KG-OSN-2009/3 block in the 8th round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP). It had committed to drill six exploratory wells on the block. These were expandable to 10. The KG basin is a proven basin where there have been many hydrocarbon discoveries. The company acquired around 1,000 square kilometres of 3D seismic data based on which it drilled two wells. KG-OSN-2009/3 offshore block in the Bay of Bengal was originally spread over in an area of about 1,988 sq km which was later reduced to 1,298 sq km due to exclusion of area within firing range. It is located in the shallow waters of the Indian Ocean along the East coast of India, approximately 1.5 km from the Indian coastline.
2002CBrazilTurkeyChinaCosta Rica1750-51.8 1994DArgentinaGreeceNigeriaBulgaria1757-43.6 Powerhouse France, coming off a loss in the finals of the 2016 European Championship to Portugal, will be looking to move through and claim its second ever World Cup trophy. Peru owns a 47 percent chance to make its second-ever knockout stage appearance and first since being defeated by Pelé’s Brazil in Mexico in 1970. Group B is projected to be the strongest in the tournament, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Soccer Power Index, and will be headlined by an early game between old rivals Portugal and Spain, which will face off for just the second time at a World Cup. The Iberian Peninsula neighbors met for the first time in 2010, when the Spaniards won 1-0 on their way to the country’s first ever World Cup victory. And the duo could meet again on the grandest stage of them all: They have the highest combined chance of making the final of any two teams in the same group. 2018ASaudi ArabiaEgyptRussiaUruguay1720-97.8 2010FParaguayItalySlovakiaNew Zealand1713-66.9 Luck of the draw?The easiest groups in expanded World Cup history based on the difference between average Elo rating of group and the average of the tournament, 1986-2018 YEARGROUPTEAM 1TEAM 2TEAM 3TEAM 4AVG. ELO RATINGDIFF. FROM TOURNAMENT AVG. 2006HSaudi ArabiaTunisiaUkraineSpain1744-44.7 2014HAlgeriaBelgiumSouth KoreaRussia1734-92.0 1998BAustriaCameroonChileItaly1747-52.3 2002BParaguaySouth AfricaSpainSlovenia1749-53.0 Belgium and England will be extremely pleased with how the draw turned out for them, as they’re combined chances of making it out of the group stages are the highest of any two teams in the same group. What’s more, they don’t play each other until the final round of group-stage matches, so depending on how they fare against Tunisia and Panama, the Belgians and English could have already qualified by the time they meet. Before the World Cup draw on Friday, there was reason to suspect that Russia would get off easy. As the host country, it was slotted into Pot 1, which made it impossible for them to be grouped with a powerhouse like Brazil or Germany. But it looks like the Russians also had a little luck on their side. In fact, by one metric, Russia’s Group A is the weakest group in modern World Cup history.Based on Elo ratings — a measure of a team’s quality that takes into account factors such margin of victory, game importance and game location — Russia’s group with Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia has an average rating of 1720, which is 98 points worse than the average of all World Cup teams. That’s the largest gap between group strength and the World Cup average for any group in the World Cup since the expansion to the modern format in 1986.1With group play and a 16-team knockout tournament; 24 teams from 1986 to 1994 and then 32 from 1998 onward. 1986BBelgiumMexicoIraqParaguay1757-45.0 Using Elo averages, no group in this next World Cup cracks the top 10 most difficult since 1986, but all are obviously tougher than Group A. Here’s a look at which teams should advance from each: The Russians avoided a whammy each time a pingpong ball was selected. After Uruguay joined them as the group’s Pot 2 team — Uruguay is middle of the pack, with an 1849 Elo rating — things really started going Russia’s way. Egypt, which has the second-weakest Elo of any team in Pot 3, was drawn, and the group was rounded out with Saudi Arabia, which has the lowest Elo in the field of 32. Compared with all of the potential ways Russia’s draw could have played out, its group ended up being among the easiest 2.2 percent of all possible combinations, according to the average Elo rating of its members.(Of course, this is even better news for Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, because they get to face Russia — the worst Pot 1 team by a wide margin — in addition to one another.)While Group A is the easiest when compared to the 2018 World Cup field, it actually doesn’t hold the claim for lowest raw score among all groups since 1986. That distinction belongs to Group F in 2010, which featured the defending champion Italy, Slovakia, Paraguay and New Zealand. No team from this group would make it past the quarterfinals.That said, Russia should stroll into the knockout stage. Indeed, FiveThirtyEight is giving Russia a 74 percent chance of advancing that far, with Uruguay followed closely behind with a 72 percent chance of reaching the knockouts. After scraping through the qualifying stages, Argentina is the clear favorite in Group D, with a 74 percent chance of advancing. But all eyes will be on Iceland, which famously beat England in the 2016 Euros on their way to the quarterfinals, to see if the country of just 330,000 people can go on another magical run. And they may be ready to shock the world again: Iceland’s chance of advancing to the knockout stage is just 33 percent, which will likely become even smaller after they face the Argentines in its first game. 2006GFranceSwitzerlandSouth KoreaTogo1732-57.2 Group F is in the mix for being this tournament’s “Group of Death” as reigning champions Germany will be joined by Mexico and Sweden. The Mexicans’ and Swedes’ qualifying chances are separated by just 3 percentage points, which is the smallest difference of any teams drawn out of Pots 2 and 3 in the same group. Rounding out the group is South Korea, which famously made it all the way to the semifinals in 2002, when they co-hosted the tournament, and currently have the third-worst SPI rating of any team traveling to Russia. The prize for second place in Group F? A possible date with Brazil in the Round of 16. Good luck. After its heartbreaking 7-1 defeat by Germany in front of its home fans in the 2014 World Cup semifinals, Brazil will be out for revenge in Russia. The way the tournament’s bracket is set up, Brazil and Germany could be on a collision course to meet in the final if they both win their respective groups. As it stands, Brazil and Germany have the highest and third-highest chances of making the final in 2018. The Polish could be the most likely team from Pot 1 to fail to qualify for the knockout stage, as they currently have the second-lowest SPI rating of any team from Pot 1. They’ll be joined by Colombia and Japan, which have a 70 percent and 49 percent chance of advancing to the knockout stage, respectively. This means that Group H is the only group that has three teams with at least a 49 percent chance of making it out of the group stage. With the Colombians ranked the ninth-best team in the tournament and the Japanese being the highest-ranked team of any from Pot 4, Poland faces one of the toughest tests of teams from Pot 1.Additional contributions from Neil Paine and Dean Strachan.CORRECTION (Dec. 4, 10:50 a.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly said that Colombia’s and Japan’s chances of making it to the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup were 2 percentage points apart. Poland’s and Japan’s are 2 percentage points apart.
Ohio State football coach Everett Withers made light of the Buckeyes’ impending Big Ten Conference opener during a Monday press conference. “Big Ten week, huh?” OSU’s co-defensive coordinator and assistant head coach said with a smile. Withers’ lightheartedness aside, there’s no mistaking that the No. 14 Buckeyes (4-0) know exactly what time of year it is. There’s also no mistaking whether the Buckeyes have anything to play for either – they do. The first team to oppose OSU in pursuit of the divisional title is Michigan State. In a meeting of the conference’s top-ranked teams, OSU will journey to East Lansing, Mich., to face No. 20 MSU (3-1) at Spartan Stadium. Preparation for Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer’s first-ever Big Ten tilt began Sunday with a “state of the union meeting” to address chasing the divisional crown. The goal of winning the Leaders Division half of the conference was first established for the Buckeyes during that meeting, Meyer said. “The first time we talked about (winning the Leaders Division) was (Sunday) in our team state of the union meeting we had and this is you have an opportunity to go win your side of the Big Ten,” Meyer said. Meyer chose to address winning the division because it was not discussed as a goal for any of the Buckeyes’ first four games against Miami (Ohio), Central Florida, California or Alabama Birmingham, he said. OSU redshirt senior defensive back Orhian Johnson said the team is focused on MSU. Meyer will handle the rest if the Buckeyes take care of business on the field, Johnson said. “You know, (winning the Leaders Division is) a possibility for us, but regardless of the situation, we’ve got a game,” Johnson said. “As long as we go out there and do what we do against Michigan State.” Meyer previously claimed to be unaware of OSU eligibility for the Leaders Division title, but some of his players, like redshirt receiver Jake Stoneburner, were aware. Stoneburner said the state of the union meeting was Meyer’s first mention of winning the division. The opportunity to win a piece of hardware during the 2012 season has given players added motivation, Stoneburner said. “I think he was finally saying that we have something to play for other than just going undefeated,” Stoneburner said. “We can win our division and I think it gives guys a little bit of hope, not that we didn’t have any in the first place, but it gives guys a little extra incentive.” Saturday’s meeting will be the teams’ first in East Lansing since 2008. Only two Buckeye players who are reshirt seniors – defensive end Nathan Williams and linebacker Etienne Sabino – played in that game, a 45-7 OSU victory. A visit to a ranked in-conference opponent is nothing to fear, Johnson said. It’s exactly the reason (players) come to OSU. “It’s definitely fun to get back in the Big Ten ball. I mean, that’s what you come here for,” Johnson said. “So we just want to come out there and lock in, and playing on the road is definitely fun. Just playing in a different atmosphere.” Senior fullback Zach Boren agreed, saying the competition is heightened at this time of year because every team understands what is at stake. “The Big Ten is always a new part of the season. It’s always a new chapter because, you know, this is a tough, physical conference,” Boren said. “The games start to matter that much more because you’re playing for conference championships.” That’s exactly the position OSU is in. The games matter more because OSU does indeed have something to play for, Meyer said. “Are we playing for something? You’re darned right we are,” Meyer said. “It’s really important here. Look around. Really important.” OSU and MSU are scheduled to kickoff their Saturday game at 3:30 p.m. Grant Gannon and Andrew Holleran contributed to this article.
Ex-Manchester United forward Brian McClair demands more from an inconsistent, yet talented, Paul PogbaThe French midfielder scored for the fifth time in last Sunday’s 2-1 win over Everton, but continues to be criticised for his rather underwhelming performances.United fans and critics alike believe Pogba is yet to deliver the kind of displays that saw the club fork out a then-world transfer fee of £89m to Juventus.But McClair, who used to be the director of United’s youth academy, knows first-hand just how talented Pogba is.And while manager Jose Mourinho reckons his happy with Pogba’s campaign, McClair knows the United academy graduate is capable of better things.The 54-year-old feels some more consistency from Pogba could help him on his way to true greatness.“Pogba is doing pretty well at Manchester United,” McClair told ESPN.Daniel Farke, From mid-table in the Championship to the Premier League Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Norwich City manager, Daniel Farke, has taken his team from the middle of the table in the English Championship to play with the big boys in the Premier League.“There is a bit too much social media nonsense, which is nothing to do with playing football, but Pogba has scored some important goals and played well in important games.“World-class players grab the main events, the semi-finals and finals for club and country, the biggest league games. France won the World Cup this year.“But I don’t know how many people would say that one particular player grabbed the whole thing. Pele grabbed World Cups, Garrincha and [Diego] Maradona too.“[Michel] Platini grabbed European championships. Real Madrid, with players like Cristiano Ronaldo, [Luka] Modric and Sergio Ramos, grab the most important games when it really matters.“They change games when things are going against you. Lionel Messi does the same. Cristiano did it when he was at Manchester United.“A top Manchester United player needs to be at least 7/10 every game. And in the proper big games you need to make some 10/10 appearances.”Pogba has managed five goals and four assists in 13 appearances across all competitions for United this season.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC)ReutersBank of China, one of the four largest public sector banks in China is all set to open its operations in India, after receiving a license from the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday, July 4. The approval was under process for over three years before getting the final nod.Bank of China has branches in 51 countries and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has categorized it as a Global Systemically Important Bank (GISB). However, when it comes to India, Bank of China will only be the second Chinese bank after Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) to open a branch in the country.The approval of the Chinese bank can be seen as the initial gateway for overseas banks planning to start is lending activities in one of the fastest growing economies in the world.Besides Bank of China, there are banks from other countries like the Netherlands, South Korea, Malaysia and Iran that have sought an approval from the RBI to kick off its operations in India. Though, the central bank is yet to issue the approvals. People walk past a barricade inside the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) headquarters in Mumbai. [File photo from June 7, 2017]REUTERS/Shailesh AndradeBank of China will further identify the branch for initiating its first operations and would also be seeking regulatory approval separately for the branches.The move to allow 106-year-old Bank of China to initiate its operations in India was taken last month during interaction between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s president, Xi Jingping on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.China had also given an NOC to Indian banks to operate in its country since 2006. In total seven branches were given permission by the Chinese administration.India’s biggest public sector lender The State Bank of India was the first to start its operations in the neighbouring country, where it currently has two branches. The other Indian banks operating in China are the Bank of India, the Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank.Bank of China was under the radar of security agencies until June this year amid speculations that the People’s Liberation Army had a stake in the bank. The NOC to initiate its operations were provided after clearance from the security agency.
Story Links LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Following their third place finish at the ACC Championships, the University of Louisville women’s swimming and diving team qualified 11 individual swimmers and three relay swimmers to the 2019 NCAA Championships, which will be held on March 20-23 in Austin Texas. Mallory Comerford returns to NCAAs as the two-time 200 freestyle champion and will look to build upon a successful ACCs, where she swept her individual events (100/200/500 Free) for the second consecutive year. The senior is the top-seed in the 200 free (1:41.29), third in the 100 free (46.57) and fourth in the 50 free (21.58). Looking to build on their program-best fifth place finish at last year’s NCAA Championships, the Cardinals’ 11 individual qualifiers are entered in a combined 29 races. In addition to the individual swims, Louisville has also qualified in all five relays. Four of the Cardinals’ relays are currently ranked within the top-16, highlighted by the sixth-seeded 400 free and 400 medley relays. Louisville won gold in the 400 free relay and silver in the 400 medley relay at the ACC Championships. Psych Sheet A full list of Louisville qualifiers below:Mariia Astashkina (100 Breast, 200 Breast)Sophie Cattermole (200 Free, 500 Free, 1650 Free)Mallory Comerford (50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free)Morgan Friesen (100 Breast, 200 Breast)Alina Kendzior (100 Back, 200 Back, 200 IM)Alena Kraus (200 Free, 500 Free, 200 Fly)Grace Oglesby (100 Fly, 200 Fly, 200 IM)Arina Openysheva (100 Free, 200 Free, 500 Free)Maria Sumida (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 Fly)Lainey Visscher (50 Free, 100 Free)Kaylee Wheeler (100 Breast, 200 Breast)Relay swimmers: Avery Braunecker, Diana Dunn, Casey Fanz Alena Kraus is also seeded in scoring position with the 16th-seed in the 200 fly, where she was the ACC bronze medalist. Junior Grace Oglesby is another Cardinal to watch heading into the NCAA Championships. Oglesby won her second straight 200 butterfly title at ACCs and earned a silver medal in the 100 fly and bronze in the 200 IM. She will enter NCAAs as the fifth-seed in both the 100 (50.75) and 200 fly (1:52.64). Print Friendly Version
CREDIT: Courtesy of Dreams Popular on Variety An episode of “Iron Chef” streaming within the Dreams app.More importantly, each and every episode has been optimized for vertical viewing. Dreams users can choose to switch to horizontal video viewing, but over 70% of them regularly watch their shows in vertical mode. “It’s more comfortable to hold” a phone this way, Bender explained, adding that popular apps like Facebook and Instagram all have trained users for vertical media consumption as well.Dreams uses automation to convert live news feeds to vertical video on the fly, utilizing facial detection to pick the best section to crop. Shows like the “X-Files” are being edited with a combination of algorithms and human editors.The results seem to be resonating with the app’s audience: Viewers tune in 24 minutes on average every day, said Greg Hochmuth. “People actually do want a long-form TV experience on their phones.”Granted, compared to other ad-supported streaming services, Dreams offers a lot less content. The app is only serving up one new episode of a show at a time, with no archive to catch up on past episodes. However, Bender argued that this makes for a more social TV experience. “On demand is great, but in a lot of ways, it’s very lonely,” he said. The result is a not-quite-live programming concept: Upon starting the Dreams TV app, users can flip through a number of channels that present new shows every day. Each show starts playing once you land on the channel, and automatically pauses if you switch to something else. New York-based mobile video startup Dreams is adding three new shows to its TV streaming service: The company is scheduled to add new episodes of the “X-Files,” “NYPD Blue” and the original 1960s classic “Batman” to its mobile video app starting this Thursday.New episodes of each show will be added to the service every week. Each and every episode will be available as a vertical video, optimized for TV viewing on the go.Dreams launched with a catalog of unscripted TV programming in May, and has since streamed shows from partners like Animal Planet, HGTV, Food Network and Discovery Channel, as well as live news from Bloomberg.“We wanted to redesign TV for the phone,” said co-founder Greg Hochmuth during a recent interview with Variety. This included taking the best things from traditional TV, like long-form content and scheduled programming for lean-back viewing, and optimize it for mobile screens and audiences looking for instant gratification. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
Kolkata: The West Bengal Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill 2018 was passed in the state Assembly on Thursday.Clearing misconception, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee clearly explained in the state Assembly that the Chief Minister is not at all out of the purview of Lokayukta, apart from the matters “relating to public order”. She assured that within 10 days after the Bill is signed by the Governor, a former judge will be appointed as Lokayukta.Stating that it is wrongly said that the Chief Minister is not under the purview of Lokayukta, Banerjee said: “the Prime Minister is not under its purview in connection with the matters related to defence, external affairs, internal security and space. In our case, the exemption is broadly related to executive decision and approval in exercise of maintenance of public order, which is understood to include deployment of police forces under the control of the state government, modernisation of police forces and capacity building of the same.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeShe maintained in the same breath: “As per the Constitution, there are Centre, State and Concurrent lists and there are 58 subjects under the state list that include matters related to agriculture, land and Panchayat. One must go through the law properly instead of wrongly explaining it.”It may be mentioned that Trinamool Congress MLA Tapas Roy has brought amendments to the provision that “Lokayukta shall investigate any complaint relating to other matters involved in, arising from, or connected with any allegation of corruption against the Chief Minister, with the approval of the state Assembly by a majority of two-third of its members present and voting…” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedShe said: “I have been in politics for so many years and till date, no one has raised question on my credibility. Credibility is my accountability.”ISpeaking on the misconception that Chief Minister will not be under the purview of the Lokayukta, Banerjee said: “There can be discussions on different issues in a democracy, but there cannot be any misconceptions. It is also not right if any group controls the Assembly from outside. After a news is published, it is being told over phone to share the same in the Assembly.” While speaking about the Bill, she said: “We have maintained parity with the Bill that was introduced by the UPA government in 2013 and with that of the erstwhile Left Front government in the state. But it is not exactly a copy of the same.”All MLAs are under the purview of Lokayukta. With the amendment of the Bill, the Parliamentary Affairs minister will also be consulted for appointment of Lokayukta. Earlier, one had to be a Judge of the Supreme Court for appointment as Lokayukta. Now, a High Court judge can be appointed as Lokayukta as well.The Chief Minister attacked the Left Front, saying that their party would have survived if they had taken care of it instead of unnecessarily continuing to criticise her. She took a dig at the party, saying: “Your goraksha friends are buying your party and you cannot do anything.”
Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 1 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Ever get so exasperated with a malfunctioning computer that you literally want to hurl it across the room? Thirty-seven-year-old Colorado Springs, Colo., resident Lucas Hinch did one better.When his Dell XPS 410 desktop, which had been plaguing him for months, lapsed into a blue screen of death last Monday evening, Hinch took the machine out to an alley near his home and shot it eight times with a handgun.Readers, do not try this at home. Or in the office. Thanks.”It was glorious,” Hinch told The Los Angeles Times. “Angels sung on high.”Related: Playing With Fire? Oklahoma City Shooting Range Granted Liquor LicenseThat is, until police arrived, responding to the sound of gunshots. As it is illegal to fire within city limits, Hinch’s 9-mm pistol was confiscated, and he now faces a possible fine, police said.Nevertheless Hinch, who runs a homeopathic herb store, told police he has no regrets. “That computer had a bad day,” he said.Hinch’s meltdown reminded us of another epic office-tech meltdown:Related: Angry at Work? Have a Snack. April 23, 2015
Nadeem Mohammed had a pipebomb in his luggage at at Manchester Airport. Muhammad was stopped, questioned and stopped from flying – but was not arrested after trained airport staff assessed the device was unlikely to be viable. However Following further enquiries and forensic examinations of the device by police, several days later, it was determined it was viable and Muhammed was arrested. Read MoreBrothers brawled in the street with man at 8.30am – because he pulled a moonie Speaking after today’s sentencing ACC Russ Jackson, responsible for the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “This afternoon, Muhammad has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. “The device which consisted of three AAA batteries and the shell of a marker pen when examined in the laboratory was found to contain just under 10 grams of gunpowder and dressmakers pins. “As the judge indicated today, this could have caused “not inconsiderable damage” to property and injury to people close to the device. “We cannot be certain what risk this device presented and may never know Muhammad’s intentions unless he decides to tell us. “I want to be clear that we accept there were errors made in the assessment of this item.” Mr Jackson said: “Our debriefs of staff have shown that Muhammad’s explanation, his demeanour when stopped, the absence of any concern in background checks and the actual initial assessment of the device, certainly led to the view at the time that this was not a suspicious incident. “This was wrong and when the true nature of the item became clear, immediate steps were taken to arrest Muhammad and he has been successfully prosecuted and today sentenced to 18 years in prison. “What should be made clear is that airport security screening was effective and the device found. I also want to explain that both airport and police have reviewed our security procedures to ensure that proper operating procedures are followed on every occasion where there is a suspicious incident. Read MoreDrink-driver, 40, crashes into parked car – while on his way to hospital “Since January, there have been several occasions when these have been tested and procedures have worked effectively, although thankfully on each occasion the incidents have been false alarms. “This is an extremely serious incident at a time when people are concerned about terrorism, especially here in Manchester and whilst it should be acknowledged that the security checks were effective in finding the item, the assessment of the device should have been more comprehensive and taken place sooner. “These lessons have been learned and reviews of operating procedures have already taken place.” In May, four months after Mohammed attempted to take the pipe bomb on board the plane, 22 people people were killed in an unconnected suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert. Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA 43-year-old man has been jailed for 18 years after attempting to board a Ryanair flight while carrying a pipebomb. The device was found in Nadeem Muhammed’s luggage at Manchester Airport as he attempted to board the flight to Bergamo, Italy, on January 30. Tens of thousands of travellers from Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire pass through the airport every year. Muhammed, of Tinline Street, Bury, was today jailed at Manchester Crown Court, with an extended license of five years, after being found guilty of possession of explosives with intent to endanger life. In January Muhammad attempted to pass through security at Manchester Airport, with the suspicious item in his hand luggage. An airport security officer spotted the small device, which contained about 10grams of gunpowder, as it went through the x-ray scanner.
Hello and welcome to StokeonTrentLive’s breaking news service bringing you all the latest updates from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire on Wednesday, February 6. Our team of reporters will be updating this live service with all the latest on the traffic and travel and weather updates – as well as news and entertainment through the day. We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates in our live news feed below. For the latest news and breaking news visit www.stokeontrentlive.co.uk Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Follow us on Twitter @SOTLive – the official Sentinel account – real news in real time. We’re also on Facebook – your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire. Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . 19:12Lane blocked due to broken down car on M6 northbound between Gailey and StaffordOne lane blocked due to broken down car on M6 Northbound from J12 A5 (Gailey) to J13 A449 (Stafford South). Traffic is coping well.Lane one (of four) is blocked.18:4880 homes without power in Bucknall80 homes are currently without power in Bucknall, Supplies are expected to be restored by 9.30pm18:20Accident on Uttoxeter Road in Blythe BridgeA521 Uttoxeter Road partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident at Stallington Road. 18:05Usual congestion A34Usual congestion on A34 Newcastle Road between Springfield Retail Park and A500 D Road (Hanford Interchange). Travel time is four minutes.17:42Accident in Stoke London Road partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident at Regent Street. 17:03Leek Road partially blocked due to accidentA5009 Leek Road partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident at Cromer Road. 16:37Queueing traffic on A500Queueing traffic on A500 D Road Southbound before M6 J15. Travel time is five minutes. 16:05Emergency services at school due to concern for teenagerPolice and other emergency services were called shortly after 1.30pm. More here.15:40Issue on railwayService suspended on Virgin Trains West Coast Southbound between Crewe and Runcorn and replacement bus service running between Runcorn and Warrington Bank Quay due to overhead power cable problems between Acton Bridge and Hartford. Tickets being accepted on Crosscountry, Transpennine Express, Transport For Wales, East Midlands Trains, Northern, Merseyrail and West Midlands Trains services.Some services may be diverted via Manchester Piccadilly. 12:21A52 Werrington Road Westbound busy but moving before A52 Leek Road (Lime Kiln Traffic Lights). 12:18For anyone heading to Manchester this weekend…Advance Warning – Severely reduced service across the network on Northern due to strike action on Saturday 9th February. Tickets being accepted on other services.Northern have a revised timetable in operation on strike days, however this means there will be very few trains operating after 17:00, trains that do run are expected to be extremely busy. Replacement buses are in place on some routes. On 9th February. 11:12The first warning is in force from 10pm tonightMore info on the weather warning here…10:52Strong winds tonight, with the risk of severe gales in coastal parts, may lead to some travel disruption as well as short term loss of power and other services pic.twitter.com/nek5fJx25X— Met Office (@metoffice) February 6, 201910:51Heavy traffic due to people slowing to look at accident on the opposite side on M6 Southbound before J16 A500 (Stoke-On-Trent / Crewe). 10:35A52 Werrington Road Westbound busy but moving before A52 Leek Road (Lime Kiln Traffic Lights). 10:34One lane blocked and queueing traffic due to accident, a lorry and a car involved on M6 Northbound after J16 A500 (Stoke-On-Trent / Crewe). In the roadworks area.Cameras show the vehicles have stopped in lane two (of two), with traffic squeezing by on either side. 09:58Collision on the A53 causing congestion at Basford roundaboutCollision on the A5309:52Readers report the MFI roundabout is gridlocked at the moment.09:50One lane closed and slow traffic due to broken down vehicle on M6 Northbound from J14 A34 (Stafford North) to J15 A500 D Road (Stoke-On-Trent).Lane one (of three) is closed. 09:10Heavy traffic on A50 Westbound from Meir Tunnel towards the A500 D Road (Sideway Roundabout). Travel time is four minutes.08:33Car Broken Down Lane 1 (of 3) M6 J3A to J3 Southbound #PackingtonBank in the roadworks. Recovery on route.— Highways England (@HighwaysWMIDS) February 6, 201908:23Very slow traffic on A500 D Road Southbound from A527 (Kidsgrove / Tunstall Turn Off, Newcastle, Stoke-on-Trent) to A53 Etruria Road (Basford Roundabout, Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent).Lane closure due to roadworks shortly after Etruria junction. 08:02Heavy traffic on B5051 Moorland Road at A5272 High Lane / A5272 Hanley Road / Bank Hall Road (Smallthorne Roundabout). Travel time is seven minutes. 08:01Heavy traffic on Brownhills Road / Davenport Street / Newcastle Street between A500 (Porthill Bank) and Tunstall. Travel time is six minutes. 08:01Heavy traffic on A5272 Chell Street at A5272 Merrick Street / B5047 Hulton Street (Providence Square). Travel time is 11 minutes. 07:42Severe delays on M6Severe delays (more than an hour above normal journey time) on the M6 southbound in the West Midlands due to a traffic collision closing one (of four) lanes. This has occurred between J7 (A34) and J6 (A38, Aston Expressway), with delays back to J11 (Cannock, A460). There was also a broken down vehicle between J9 (Wednesbury, A461) and J8 (M5), however this has now been cleared.Please allow additional travel time or consider using another route if planning to travel through this section this morning). 07:23A527 Biddulph Road coming from Brinley Ford Southbound busy but moving at A5272 High Lane roundabout. 07:22Usual congestion on A50 Westbound from Meir Tunnel towards the A500 D Road (Sideway Roundabout). 07:22Slow traffic on A34 Manchester Road in both directions at Walfield Avenue. In the roadworks area.Temporary traffic lights are in operation. 07:05Usual congestion on A53 Leek New Road at A5009 Baddeley Green Lane.
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments Share Palmer, however, got the last laugh after that second down incompletion by throwing a touchdown pass on the next play.The 7-yard strike to John Brown put the Cardinals ahead 17-0 seconds before the first half ended and capped a 7-play, 80-yard drive.Arizona would quickly score a touchdown in the second half after safety D.J. Swearinger forced a fumble by Packers running back James Starks. Jerraud Powers recovered, and the Cardinals quickly moved down the field and scored on a touchdown run by rookie running back David Johnson for a 24-0 lead.Defensive lineman Cory Redding’s fumble recovery and rumble into the end zone soon after gave Arizona a 31-0 lead midway through the third quarter. – / 36 Well, that was rude.Packers linebacker Clay Matthews laid a hit on Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and extended his hand, as if he was offering to help the fellow USC Trojan off the turf. But as Arizona’s signal-caller reached for Matthews’ hand, the Green Bay linebacker rescinded the offer, leaving Palmer grasping for nothing.“I mean, it’s part of the game, you know?,” Palmer said of what happened with Matthews. “It is what it is.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Adobe will no longer provide Flash for mobile devices and is also pulling back from browsing on TVs to concentrate on PC browsing and mobile apps.Vice-president and general manager of interactive development Danny Winokur said on a blog posting that HTML5 was now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively, and that it no longer made sense to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.In a related post, Pritham Shetty, vice-president, video solutions, said that Adobe remained committed to support premium video to multiple devices but would not support browsing on a TV given that apps rather than browsing to a website would be primary way for viewers to access video and games on TVs and peripherals. He said that Adobe would continue to support TV apps with the ability to embed Flash video in native HTML apps and Flash-based apps packaged with Adobe AIR, the element of Flash that supports the deployment of applications, games and HD video on devices and systems including set-tops and TVs.Support for Flash Player was seen as a differentiator for the struggling Google TV platform, and industry observers have seen Adobe’s decision as a blow to the latter. The UK YouView project, French ISP Free’s Freebox and Liberty Global’s Horizon set-top also supported Flash.
TV manufacturer Sharp has extended its partnership with middleware provider Espial by choosing the Espial TV browser for additional mid-range smart TV models in some countries. Espial software is currently deployed in various Sharp AQUOS LED TV models in North America and other regions globally.“Smart TV shipments continue to increase as consumers access Internet video and other apps directly from their TV sets” said Kirk Edwardson, head of marketing for Espial.“High performance HTML5 support has become a critical element of Smart TVs, as top TV manufacturers like Sharp aim to enhance user experiences and support a growing number of HTML5 based Internet video apps. At Espial, we will continue to build on our success in providing HTML5-based user experiences for smart TV manufacturers and pay-TV operators worldwide.”
The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession. – Ben Bernanke, January 10, 2008 With Ben Bernanke’s exit as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, every political physician will opine on his legacy. Many will view him as the savior of capitalism. The others will agree, but caveat the compliment by stating his monetary mischief eventually exceeded its necessity. So while some may debate recent Federal Reserve policy, all condone his reaction to the Great Recession of 2008. His legacy will be viewed as having acted promptly, properly, and aggressively to the greatest economic threat since the Great Depression, for quantitative easing and negligible interest rates are universally proclaimed to have stabilized the economy and set the stage for future growth. This author disagrees. Determining what Bernanke’s Federal Reserve should have done in a recession – and whether or not Bernanke acted properly – requires an examination of what causes recessions. Just as doctors can only properly treat patients with an understanding of germ theory, economists can only restore economic health through an understanding of business cycle theory. All cures require the cognizance of causality. Bernanke has always been portrayed as an “expert” on the Great Depression, so surely he must understand the true cause of business cycles. In 2002, he clearly stated he knew the origin of recessions (or at least deep recessions, a.k.a. depressions) and believed them relegated to history, never to return: I would like to say to Milton [Friedman] and Anna [Schwartz]: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again. What did the Federal Reserve do that Bernanke swore would never be repeated? What was this transgression it committed in causing the Great Depression? Bernanke, and all “monetarist” economists, blame the central bank’s contraction of the money supply. But clearly this did not cause the 2008 Great Recession, for none of the monetary metrics ever decreased. Faced with such facts, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve could reach one of two conclusions: either the 2008 Great Recession (and possibly all other recessions) had some different cause or causes relative to the Great Depression (which is nonsensical), or the monetarist theory of business cycles was in error. Bernanke chose the former. He chose unwisely. Is there a better explanation of the business cycle? One which describes all recessions and depressions? One which explains the widespread and severely erroneous judgment of businesses in forecasting the future as revealed in the “bust”? One which illustrates why it is a cycle, and why this cycle first appeared in the 19th century? One which justifies why capital goods industries are more sensitive to booms and busts relative to consumer goods industries? One which explicates why significant money supply expansion precedes every single recession? The Austrian school of economics has such an explanation. When a central bank increases the money supply with fiat currency, it artificially decreases interest rates. As interest rates are a universal market signal to all businesses, investments which previously appeared unprofitable now seem to make economic sense. However, these expenditures are actually being “malinvested” relative to the natural level of interest rates as determined by the supply and demand of savings. When a central bank ceases or severely mitigates its expansion of the money supply, the natural level of interest rates reasserts itself, and a recession ensues. Recessions are the beneficial period by which previous investment wastes and errors are corrected. The Austrian theory of the business cycle explains every phenomenon exhibited by every business cycle, and further explains its historical onset (concomitant with central banking and/or fiat currency). Recessions, while they may be postponed, cannot be avoided. As the eminent Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises noted: There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. Bernanke chose the latter (and has timed his exit superbly to cover his culpability). So what should he (or any central banker) have done when overseeing a recession? Only one directive applies: do not interfere with the economy’s adjustment process (a.k.a. recession). Do not prevent the liquidation of assets (or companies) with bailouts. Do not stimulate consumption and discourage savings through deficits and other means. And above all, do not inflate the money supply again which will only bring another recession in the future (which is why business cycles are, indeed, cyclical). In light of what should not be done in a recession, Bernanke’s actions are an abject failure. For he responded to the Great Recession by advocating (with his Treasury troupe in tow) and/or performing a troika of trouble: big bailouts, huge deficits, and massive monetary expansion. In this dire economic situation, he responded with a disastrous blend of monetary omnipotence and judgmental incompetence. The Bernanke legacy will eventually be known for what he has caused: severe recessions, high inflation, and just possibly, a “final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” We will never forget you Ben, nor forgive you. Christopher P. Casey, CFA®, CPA is a Managing Director at WindRock Wealth Management (www.windrockwealth.com). Using Austrian economic theory, Mr. Casey advises wealthy individuals on their investment portfolios to maximize their returns and minimize risk in today’s world of significant government intervention. Mr. Casey can be reached at 312-650-9602 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.  Associated Press “Bernanke: Fed Ready to Cut Interest Rates Again”. The Washington Post. 10 January 2008.
In This Issue. * Dollar is in same position as yesterday. * But there are a couple of bright spots today! * Aussie Trade deficit drops significantly! * China to stimulate their economy. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Oil Plunges Below $50! Good Day!… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! The Spinners song: I’ll be around, greets me this morning. Talk about a song with a beat, rhythm, and you can dance to! (sounds like I’m on Bandstand, HA!) Well day one away from the desk, was interesting, when I encountered technical problems and the Pfennig had a delayed departure. These were not your normal, everyday technical problems, we had to call in the guys from Jacksonville to look into the problem! But all is well now, and everything worked like a charm all day yesterday, so getting the Pfennig out on time this morning should be a lay-up. Well, this morning is much like yesterday morning in that the dollar still has the conn. But there are a couple of bright spots this morning, and one really dark spot. let’s start with the really dark spot. The Russian ruble is plunging again, and is back above 60 (at 63 and change). The price of Oil dropped below $50 yesterday, and that was the catalyst to the ruble plunge. Yes, the other petrol currencies are also doing the rope a dope, but the dollar is pounding them all, just not as badly as the ruble is getting pounded this morning. So. Let’s spend a minute with this latest drop in the price of Oil. $48. WOW! It’s quite a phenomenon, how quickly this price dropped, don’t you think? Those out there that have far greater gray masses than I, think that this drop has come because of a supply glut. Really? From $100 to $48, because of a supply glut? I guess in this day and age, anything is possible, eh? But I prefer to think of this as something that has happened because of outside forces. I’m not able to talk about the conspiracy thought I have, so I’ll just leave it at that! There is a supply glut, though, I’ll admit to that, but that can’t be the single factor here. Not with that kind of fall. I see that another 17 Oil rigs closed down here in the U.S. last week. Recall last week I told you about how closing Oil rigs was a sign that the price of Oil had gotten too cheap, and that we would probably see the closing of Oil rigs continue. My good friend, and author that everyone should read, Dennis Miller, told me that you can’t really associate the Oil industry having problems with Oil rigs closing, and then he went on to explain why. I truly appreciated his contribution. So, apparently, I’m barking at the wrong tree here. But you know me, I’m so darn hard-headed, I’m going to keep barking until the squirrel gives up and comes down! So, all along I’ve been telling you about countries that are enjoying the price drop of Oil. And you can add Australia to that list! The Aussie November Trade Deficit fell to A$925 Million, VS an estimate of A$1.6 Billion. Exports rose 1% from Rocktober, along with imports. Of course the cheaper A$ gets some credit for this nice looking report. But if the Aussie Trade Deficit can print as pretty as this in November, imagine what the December print will look like! So the two of the bright spots in the currencies today are the Aussie dollar (A$) and N.Z. dollar/ kiwi. The A$ got things moving in the right direction when the Trade data printed, but then really got on the rally horse when it was announced that China was going to inject $1 Trillion in stimulus into their economy. Now, let’s see, what does Chuck have to say about this meddling in the economy, for he has been so darn tough on the U.S., Japan, U.K. and Eurozone for their meddling. Hmmm. Well, this is what I think. Front and Center the thing to think about here is that there’s a MAJOR difference between China and those other countries that meddled and are still meddling in their economies, and that is China has the Treasure Chest of reserves / cash that they can dig into and not upset the applecart with debt. the other countries simply added to their debt, so that future generations will have to deal with. But I’m no fan of meddling in economies, but if you have to meddle, and all countries and their Central Banks these days think they know better and that they have “to do something”, then I would rather it came from money that was saved for a rainy day, than from future generations’ taxes and liberties. Kiwi joined the A$ in rallying on the news of the good Trade data and the Chinese $1 Trillion of stimulus. I just have to wonder if this love for these two is a one-day and done thing, which has been the MO lately. The news in the early part of 2014 was all about the rate hikes in N.Z. and eventually it will return here this year, but problem not until the 2nd half of the year. Gold has found its way above $1,200 again. , I see where the great Porter Stansberry believes that Gold has hit its bottom and is ready to take off again. I’ve always held Porter in high regard, and his calls have been bang on in the past few years, so much so that I’m telling you this now. Now I can’t say stuff like that, but Porter can, and I can tell you that he said it, so heed his words folks. He’s so darn smart! Another guy that I believe is quite intelligent, James Rickards, says that investors should buy their Gold now while they can, because he feels that when it begins to soar, that obtaining physical Gold will be difficult. Of course these are guys that might have vested interest in telling you to buy Gold now. and then they might just want to help you so they can make tons of money in the future the next time they tell you to do something! Whatever the reason, these are just opinions by these guys, and they could end up being wrong, right? I’m interested in the Gold / Oil ratio.. It has caught my attention. Just another thing for me to keep track of, and I’m not sure it tells me anything. but I’m intrigued and think it just may tell me something if I study it long enough! HA! Anyway, the Gold / Oil ratio yesterday was 1 oz. of Gold cost 23.9 Barrels of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Oil. Just for grins I went back in history and found that in 1973, the ratio was 1 oz. to 41.4 Barrels of WTI. Now, I’m not saying that the ratio is going to go back to 1973 levels. NO WAY! I’m not saying that! I’m just saying for it to get there, the price of Oil would have to drop more. So, can anyone guess why I picked 1973? At the same time, another fellow that I believe is smarter than the average bear, (way smarter actually!) Mike “Mish” Shedlock, has posted some nasty things to say about the Chinese renminbi becoming the next reserve currency. I’ve always held what Mish had to say in high regard, but I do believe that either he didn’t understand what was asked, or something was misunderstood, period. Because, you long time dear Pfennig readers know that I’ve said that by the end of this decade, which is now 5 years from now that the renminbi would be the reserve currency, not now, not next year! They, the Chinese, still have tons of work to do, of which, Mish pointed out in his rant, but one has to step back and take note of all the changes the Chinese have made to date that are going to allow their currency to become the reserve currency, and the promises they’ve made to make the remaining ones. Remember, the Chinese were the ones that said that , “It’s time for an end to the dollar standard”.. not me, not anyone else in the West, but the Chinese, and if I’ve learned one thing from my years of studying the Chinese, they don’t say stuff just to impress people! The only say things when they mean to do something about them! So, the so-called safe havens are back on the front page of the newspaper this morning. Japanese yen, if you can get past the heavy, belly laughing, is rallying. U.S. Treasuries, again, if you can get past the laughing, are below 2% (10-year) and when you count inflation they are negative, and Gold. well, this one finally makes sense, are all stronger this morning. I don’t know if you noticed one long-time upstanding member of this so-called safe haven club, is missing. The Swiss franc. The franc is weaker again this morning, and once again the cross with the euro is getting dangerously close to the 1.20 floor the Swiss National Bank (SNB) set for the cross a few years ago. (1.2014, as I write). Remember what I told you the SNB would have to do to defend this cross, and going to negative rates won’t really do the trick for too long. The SNB would have to sell francs and buy euros. And who would want to own euros right now? Speaking of Treasuries. the Treasury bubble just keeps getting air pumped into it. I don’t know any other way to explain this. The Treasury bubble should have popped 5 years ago, but it’s still floating around the room avoiding the pins. The 10-year has a 1.99% yield today. And like I just said, when you factor in inflation, the 10-year yield is negative. OK, so let me get this straight, for 10-years you get to have the U.S. Gov’t use your money, and you pay them? Oooooh, where do I sign up for that? Here? Oh, thank you kind sir, you have been so helpful with my money. To whom do I make this check that represents my life savings to? . What? You don’t think that scenario doesn’t play out? Better think again my friend. The euro just slipped below 1.19. When I turned on the screens this morning, the euro was trading in yesterday’s clothes, but has just slipped below 1.19. The poor beleaguered single unit has had to endure a lot lately. Greece, Draghi’s love affair with all-out QE, recessions all around. Speaking of negative yields on Gov’t bonds. the German Gov’t bond, called bunds, is trading with a negative yield. OUCH! Now that’s going to leave a mark! What does these bond moves indicate to us? Well, if you ask the bond king, Bill Gross, he would tell you that it means that the Fed won’t hike rates until late in 2015, and maybe not then either! Speaking of Bill Gross, have you seen the massive withdrawals from the PIMCO bond funds follow Gross to Janus Funds? No wonder they call him the bond king, the size of these moves were mega-massive! The U.S. Data Cupboard is back on board today, but first, yesterday’s Data Cupboard fare was vehicle sales for December, which were very nearly bang on with expectations, thus making it a real December to remember for car companies! (remember platinum and palladium should be beneficiaries of cars being built for sale). OK.. today’s cupboard has Factor Orders for November (that seems so long ago, right? ) Rocktober’s Factory Orders printed a negative -.5%, and the expectations for November are for another negative print. I know it’s only Tom Terrific Tuesday, but, this Friday is a Jobs Jamboree Friday. It’s never too early to start thinking about this report and all the games the BLS plays with it. I say that facetiously, of course, but there is always a touch of seriousness with me when it comes to the BLS. For What It’s Worth. Well, I found this, and thought it played nicely in the sandbox with my call that Japan is a basket case. the whole article can be found here: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-02/death-nation-japanese-births-drop-lowest-ever-deaths-hit-all-time-high And here are a few snippets.. Supporters and opponents of Abenomics may debate the metaphorical death of Japanese society as a result of the terminal hyper-Keynesian, hyper-monetarist policies implemented by Abe and Kuroda for the past 2 years until they are blue in the face, but when it comes to the literal death of Japan, there is no debate: as the FT succinctly puts it “deaths outnumbered births in Japan last year by the widest margin on record, underscoring the scale of the challenge facing the government as it tries to ensure a dwindling pool of workers can support growing ranks of pensioners.” Indeed, while Japan may or may not survive the collapse in the Yen, which will send the Nikkei225 soaring although nobody will be able to enjoy this unprecedented paper wealth because nobody can afford to eat, drive or heat their house, and all Japanese companies will be long bankrupt, it now looks almost certain that the death of Japanese society will not be due to a runaway printer, but due to, well, death itself. As the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare reported earlier this week, while Japan recorded 1.001 million births in 2014, or the lowest number in recorded history, this was offset by 1.27 million deaths: also the highest on record. Chuck again, the article goes on to give you numbers and data on the how the drop in population will take place and when. You know, I’ve described this demographics problem in Japan several times in the past, and I keep telling you that Japan’s problems center around how they will not allow foreigners to take up residence in their country. They need them badly, but. it’s not going to happen in Japan, they would rather go down with the ship rather than fixing the hole in the floor of the boat! To recap. Much of the same dollar strength today as yesterday, but we are seeing a couple of bright spots in A$’s and kiwi, yen, and Gold.. the price of Oil has fallen below $50 and the latest plunge in black gold, Texas Tea, has caused another plunge of the Russian ruble. Aussie Trade data was better than expected, and China announced that they would spend some of their treasure chest cash in the amount of $1 Trillion to stimulate their economy, and Chuck describes the difference in meddling here. The 10-year U.S. Treasury has a yield below 2% again, making it actually negative when you factor in inflation. Where do I sign up for that? Currencies today 1/6/15. American Style: A$.8125, kiwi .7730, C$ .8490, euro 1.1895, sterling 1.5200, Swiss $ .9900, . European Style: rand 11.7385, krone 7.7160, SEK 7.9260, forint 268.25, zloty 3.6190, koruna 23.2670, RUB 62.83, yen 119.30, sing 1.3360, HKD 7.7535, INR 63.57, China 6.1256, pesos 14.95, BRL 2.7125, Dollar Index 91.61, Oil $48.66, 10-year 1.99%, Silver $16.26, Platinum $1,214.38, Palladium $799.00, and Gold. $1,210.40 That’s it for today. Well, baseball will announce the newest Hall of Fame class today. Three pitchers, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, and Pedro Martinez appear to be shoo-ins for the Hall, thus making this year’s class as strong as last year’s. I’m a real stickler on the Hall of Fame, and I have problems with a lot of the players that get elected. They should all be held to the same on-field performances of the Babe, Stan the Man, Cy Young, and so on. if not, why are they getting in? Because they were the best of their era? That doesn’t cut it with me! Oh well, it is what it is. Congrats to those that get elected today. Football in St. Louis and Missouri is over, our college basketball teams are very good this year, hockey plays a couple games a week, and baseball is still a ways off. these are the dark days of winter for sports here. UGH! Dionne Warwick is singing: Walk on by to me right now, I just melt when I hear her sing that song. It rained a little bit here yesterday, but not a big thing, and I was able to sit outside most of the day. I’m reading another James Patterson book right now. I’m hooked on this guy’s books, and he sure has a lot of them! OK, I’ll get out of your hair for today. I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
Imagine for a minute: A company makes a vaccine that protects kids from a life-threatening disease but, with little warning, decides to stop selling it in the U.S.That’s exactly what happened last year in West Africa, for a vaccine against rotavirus — a disease that kills about 200,000 young children and babies each year.As NPR reported in November, the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Inc. announced it was ending a long-term agreement to supply its rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, at a reduced price to families in four West African countries. At the same time, the company began selling the vaccine in China, for more than 12 times the price.Merck’s decision meant that more than 2 million babies were at risk of missing the vaccine, health experts told NPR.”You have a major manufacturer of a vaccine announcing that they’re going to exit from the market, and it created a bit of a panic for countries that were accustomed to having this vaccine,” says Deborah Atherly of the nonprofit PATH, which helps develop vaccines for low-income countries.Now the situation has changed — for the good.After NPR broke the news of Merck’s pullout, other vaccine manufacturers stepped up to fill in the gap. “Because of these efforts, very few to no children will miss out on rotavirus vaccination in these four countries,” Gavi wrote to NPR in an email.This is a huge success story, Atherly says. “We deal with tons of challenges in global health, and this is one, in which the global health community rallying with the countries, has really created success.”Rotavirus is a ubiquitous infection. “Almost every child, whether you live in the U.S. or you live in a developing country, is infected with this disease,” says Dr. Mathuram Santosham, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins University who has studied the disease for more than 40 years. In rich countries, the infections are rarely lethal but can be severe. Before the U.S. introduced the rotavirus vaccine in 2006, infections caused more than 50,000 hospitalizations each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.In poor countries, without good health care systems, rotavirus can be deadly. Children can have six to 20 bouts of diarrhea in a day and dehydrate extremely fast, Santosham says. “It is particularly important for the children in the poorest countries — and the poorest children in the poor countries — to receive this vaccine.”But the vaccine is expensive. Here in the U.S., it costs about $200 for a course of two-to-three doses administered in the first year of a baby’s life. So in 2012, the two companies that manufacture a vaccine, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, agreed to drastically reduce the price for poor countries to about $10 a course.For six years, the pharmaceutical companies stuck to those agreements. GSK delivered nearly 220 million doses to 42 countries. And Merck delivered more than 30 million doses to four countries in West Africa — Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, and São Tomé and Príncipe.But last year, Merck informed UNICEF and Gavi that it would not ship about a third of those doses for 2018 and 2019. And in 2020, the company would stop supplying the vaccine altogether to West Africa. The company told NPR that “supply constraints” were preventing it from fulfilling its agreement to the West African countries. The company also expressed “deepest regret to all of the parties involved” in an email to NPR.It looked like more than 2 million babies would go without the vaccine. At the time, GSK told NPR it wasn’t able to help the countries in West Africa because the company was experiencing its own supply problems. “We also cannot confirm the availability of the doses necessary to support new programmes in 2019,” the company wrote in an email.But then after NPR’s story aired, GSK changed course. The company is now filling in almost half of the vaccine gap left by Merck. Earlier this year, GSK begun supplying Rotarix to the Ivory Coast — where nearly a million babies are born each year. “GSK is pleased that we have sufficient capacity and hopes to fulfill the demand for Rotarix in Ivory Coast for as long as required,” a spokesperson wrote in an email to NPR.The other part of the vaccine gap will be filled largely by one of two Indian pharmaceutical companies. Last year, the World Health Organization gave its stamp of recommendation two new rotavirus vaccines, Rotavac and Rotasiil, which are manufactured by Bharat Pharmaceuticals and Serum Institute of India, respectively. Back in November, health experts said three West African countries — Mali, Burkino Faso, and São Tomé and Príncipe — would eventually switch to these vaccines. But that was expected to take at least two years.Now all three countries are speeding up the timeline and plan to roll out the new vaccine by 2020, says Heather Deehan, chief of UNICEF’s Vaccine Centre. In the meantime, the countries are relying on stocks of the Merck vaccine to continue immunizations.”As a result of a strong collaboration among UNICEF, the countries and manufacturers, there was no interruption in the countries’ vaccine programs,” Deehan says.In a follow-up interview with NPR, Merck’s chief marketing officer, Michael Nally, said that one reason the company ended its agreement with Gavi was because the competing vaccines were more desirable for low-income countries than RotaTeq. GSK’s vaccine requires one less dose, while the Indian vaccines will be less expensive.”We’ve had to come to a conversation around, we are probably not going to be the product of choice in those markets,” Nally said.In the meantime, Merck has successfully launched sales of RotaTeq in China. The vaccine is now available in at least seven Chinese provinces, and a course costs about $130, or about 12 times the cost of the vaccine in the West Africa. Merck’s Chinese distributor, Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co., hopes to obtain more than $450 million worth of the vaccine in the next several years. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
A disabled MP has spoken of her pride at being able to speak openly about being dyspraxic, after having to hide her diagnosis from employers for years before she entered parliament.Emma Lewell-Buck (pictured) was previously a social worker but was “acutely aware that if there were any job cuts that would come around, it would be used against me and I would be the first one in the dole queue”.She said sheused to take work home with her at weekends, work late into the evening andstart early in the morning because, like many other disabled people, she feltshe had to “go the extra mile” and “work that little bit harder to proveyourself or keep up”.She wasspeaking at the launch event of Neurodivergent Labour (see separate story), a political campaign group that will fight forthe rights of people with neurological differences such as autism, dyslexia,dyspraxia and dyscalculia, both within the party and in wider society.Lewell-Buck,the shadow minister for children and families – who later confirmed toDisability News Service that she is happy to be described as a disabled MP –said that being dyspraxic affected her every day in her work.She said:“Every single thing I do I need to prep for meticulously, down to the tiniestdetail. “But I’m oneof the lucky ones because I am in a job where I can openly speak about mydisability and I can use my profile to raise awareness.”The MP forSouth Shields said she was only diagnosed at the age of 27, after beingassessed by an educational psychologist on the advice of a lecturer while shewas studying for a masters degree.She said:“My whole life clicked into place. I suddenly realised why, when I was growingup, I always felt different to other kids and always used to isolate myself. “I realisedwhy I put my shoes on the wrong feet, why I couldn’t tie my laces properly,button my coat up, why I was always spilling my drinks and why the whole familyalways referred to me as ‘our clumsy Emma’. “I wasalways so frustrated that things that used to come so easily to other kids wereso, so hard for me.”This caused“tremendous low self-esteem and self-confidence” as a child, she said.But she saidshe now saw her dyspraxia as an advantage.She said: “Ijust see it as I’m a little bit different to some of those around me. I’veembraced it. “It doesn’tdefine me, it’s just part of me. I’ve been forced to adapt and face thosechallenges, and come up with solutions, and I certainly don’t feeldisadvantaged.”She thankedthose neurodivergent party members who had developed the idea of the neworganisation, as well as shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who has supportedthe idea over the last three years and spoke at Saturday’s launch event.She said:“It is thanks to you that people like me have the confidence to talk about andembrace who we are and thanks to all of you that the fabulously neurodivergentpeople have been given this platform to help us on the way to that much-neededsocietal and cultural shift.”Lewell-Bucksaid that she, McDonnell and other Labour colleagues were “determined to changethe culture of our society and how neurodivergent people and people withdisabilities are treated. “Ourapproach is a clear move away from the dehumanising and debilitating hostileenvironment we have seen under the Tories to one where people will be treatedwith dignity and respect.”She said itwas “the neurodivergent people in this world who have always been the bigthinkers, and creators and innovators. “We are theones who always have the ability to think outside the box and come up withsolutions to some of the world’s greatest problems.”Among thedecisions agreed by the launch event was to endorse a draft Labour autism andneurodiversity manifesto that neurodivergent party members have spent threeyears developing.Included inthe manifesto are calls for neurodiversity training for all teachers andteaching assistants as part of their “core training”, support forneurodivergent students, smaller class sizes, and neurodiversity to be includedin the school curriculum.Lewell-Buck,who is leading on Labour’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)reforms, said the proposals in the draft manifesto were “an exact fit to thosethat I have been arguing for behind the scenes in my team meetings”, becauseshe was committed to making SEND “an embedded and intrinsic part of our overalleducation system”.She saidthat a good education “can make the difference between where you begin in lifeand where you end up. “I am livingproof of that: a dyspraxic, dyslexic, shy working-class girl, growing up on theestate where I did, and never destined to be a member of parliament. “So goodeducation can absolutely make the impossible happen. I am proud to be a LabourMP and I am very proud to be dyspraxic.”She added: “You have all stopped me feeling different and I have found my home and for that alone you are always going to have my help and support, and I look forward to working with you all.”A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…
Uber Add to Queue Guest Writer Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shares Image credit: Uber Next Article Andrew D. Wittman The Solution to Uber’s Culture Crisis Could be Hiring Veterans March 10, 2017 Military service imbues values that every employer hopes new hires have. 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Uber is being skewered in the news right now for their “unrestrained” corporate culture that may have led to incidents of sexual harassment at the company. Not to mention the recent caught-on-camera argument between the company’s CEO and one of its drivers. Believe it or not that’s not all. The New York Times has now reported that Uber’s been deliberately evading the authorities in markets that were trying to limit the company’s operating ability.Uber isn’t the only company to be exposed for their corporate culture kinks. The sales scandal involving millions of fake customer accounts at Wells Fargo as well as the dog-eat-dog environment that exists over at Amazon are just a few that come to mind.Related: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Says He Needs to ‘Grow Up’ after Video of Argument with a Driver ReleasedSo you see, even the CEOs of the world’s most innovative and successful companies need leadership help from time to time. My best advice to companies like these? Hire more veterans.By far, the biggest values a veteran adds to any company’s broken culture are restraint and unit cohesion. They’re taught to adopt a philosophy that equally embraces two crucial business priorities: mission accomplishment and troop welfare, something that the companies mentioned here seem to struggle with.There’s a philosophy out there among many organizations that says, “We can train hard skills, but we hire for attitude and soft skills.” Soft skills being things like positive attitude, strong work ethic, resilience and mental toughness to name a few. The problem with that philosophy is, anyone can have a good attitude when they want to get something from you, like a job for example. It’s easy to put on a show for an interview or series of interviews and relying on personality assessments has hardly solved the problem.In order to increase your firm’s chances of landing a recruit with a bona fide, genuine package of those ever-elusive softs skills, hire more veterans. Why? Because they’ve already been trained, tested and trained and tested again for them. Here are 8 soft skills that veterans bring to every company’s culture and why you should hire them into leadership positives to solve corporate culture problems.Related: Uber Says It Will No Longer Use Tech to Target Law EnforcementUnit cohesion.This goes beyond simply being a team player. It is the bonding together of team members and employees in such a way as to sustain their will and commitment to each other, the company, the task at hand, and the overall mission and values of the organization, despite obstacles, adversity and stress.Balanced business objectives.The veteran equally embraces two crucial business priorities: mission accomplishment and troop welfare. The mission must be accomplished and it gets accomplished by the troops. Companies that run roughshod over their employees in order to accomplish the mission will not last. As this progresses, good employees leave and it gets more difficult to acquire real talent going forward. Veterans in leadership positions unconsciously do this so you don’t have to spend time and money training it.Related: Uber Founder Resigns From Trump Council.Withstanding burnout.Veterans generally are much better at withstanding burnout because they have been tested beyond what we would consider normal limits. Thus, veterans have more stamina and endurance for stress. Most veterans are mentally tough and resilient because they been through far more difficulty and stress than you can imagine. They’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt, coffee mug and souvenir shot glass — all before they were in their mid-20s.Related: In Defense of Uber, Amazon and MeritocracyDealing with difficult people.Veterans are desensitized to difficult personality and communication styles by design, and therefore, learn not to internalize a boss’s demeanor, or to confuse style with content. Veterans are trained to put more weight on what was said and less weight on how it was said, which makes for a dream employee for tough and demanding bosses. As a byproduct, veterans don’t get sucked into office drama of personal slights and gossip.Can do attitude.Veterans spend their energy focusing on what can be done, not why it can’t be done. This is a radical shift from the clear majority of employees in today’s workforce. For veterans, proactively solving problems is who they are. Being a walking solution to any and all problems is infused in the veterans’ DNA.Related: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Launches Investigation into Sexual Harassment ClaimsDiversity and inclusion.From the first day to the last of military service, veterans entrust their lives and well-being to those in their unit. Military units are made up of every imaginable combination of background, race, socio-economic level, religion, personality, education, gender and ethnicity. Nothing like a little incoming to get over differences and divides real-quick.Related: How a Stronger HR Function Could Have Helped Uber Avoid the Sexual Harassment ScandalMonster work ethic.For veterans, entitlement is something for civilian millennials, please don’t lump them in with that group. Companies are spending massive amounts of money on figuring out how to manage millennials. The military already did, so do yourself a favor and piggy-back on what they’ve already accomplished.Related: What Businesses Can Learn from #DeleteUberCore values.Veterans live by the core values of duty, honor and respect. They know who they are and what values they ascribe to. Most people are rarely able to articulate the core values that dictate their actions, habits and behaviors, but without them, company cultures easily find themselves astray. Sexual harassment, discrimination, records falsified, short cuts taken, fake accounts created, prices fixed, insider trading and on and on.Most importantly, veterans lead from the front. They influence the entire company culture by modelling these behaviors. Regardless of their title or position, veterans will set a shining and unbending example to every single person in the company. The more you fill your ranks with them, the greater impact they will have on your culture, performance and bottom line. Personal and Executive Leadership Advisor Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Register Now »
Image credit: Cindy Ord | Getty Images Reuters Jeff Jones 37shares Jeff Jones’s exit is the latest in a string of executive departures from Target, which has made a series of management changes since last year. Next Article This story originally appeared on Reuters Uber Technologies Inc. has plucked a top executive from U.S. retailer Target to help lead the growing ride-services company and reshape its image.Uber said on Tuesday it hired Jeff Jones, chief marketing officer for Target Corp., to oversee the bulk of its global operations. Jones will be president of ride-sharing at Uber, running local Uber services in every city, as well as marketing efforts and customer support.The hire underscores efforts by Uber, which has become the dominant on-demand ride service, to bolster its reputation and brand. Since 2009, the company has aggressively expanded to more than 450 cities, at times steamrolling regulators and launching campaigns against local lawmakers.Jones joined Target in 2012 to rejuvenate its brand and is credited with modernizing the retailer’s marketing efforts. He led campaigns including #MoreMusic, under which Target partnered with singer Gwen Stefani for a live video that aired during the Grammy Awards and released exclusive tracks from artists such as Adele, part of an effort to burnish Target’s cool image.Prior to that, Jones led marketing for Gap Inc. and worked for Coca-Cola and advertising firm McKinney.”Jones has a strong track record of driving the narrative around Target’s brand, and will now try to do the same for Uber,” said Mike Mannor, associate professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.”You can surely expect to see stakeholders responding positively to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick taking steps to upgrade his middling in-house talent with proven professional chops.”Kalanick said in a blog post that he and Jones met in February and “within minutes we were debating how Uber could improve its reputation.” Kalanick said he wants to align Uber’s marketing functions more closely with individual city operations and put more focus on customer service.Uber’s global operations span dozens of countries and about 1.5 million drivers.Jones’s hiring marks a change for Ryan Graves, who has been at Uber since 2010 and ran the company’s operations and global expansion. Graves will give up some of those responsibilities but continue to work on Uber’s delivery businesses, including UberEats and UberRush, as well as other projects, Kalanick said.Jones’s exit is the latest in a string of executive departures from Target, which has made a series of management changes since last year.Among other moves, the big-box retailer appointed Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan to the newly created role of chief operating officer. It has also added new hires as it focuses on higher-margin categories such as baby and wellness products and revamps online sales.(Reporting by Heather Somerville in San Francisco and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Tom Brown) The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Uber Hires Senior Target Executive to Lead Global Operations August 31, 2016 3 min read Add to Queue Uber 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Apply Now »
Okera Introduces Attribute-Based Access Control for Data Lake Security and Access Management PRNewswireApril 29, 2019, 4:46 pmApril 29, 2019 Automates Sensitive Data Tagging and Policy Assignment for Managing Access at ScaleOkera, the leading active data management company for data lake security and governance, announced the release of new attribute-based access control (ABAC) and automated business metadata tagging and policy enforcement capabilities. These new features help enterprises simplify how to manage, secure, and govern data access on data lakes at scale in an easy and automated manner. ABAC enables users across multiple business units to work with data in data lakes faster while satisfying the requirements of data stewards responsible for governing data in compliance with standards like GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy and data security regulations.With ABAC, data stewards can easily assign access permissions based on attributes and tags, going beyond roles and data objects. For example, data stewards can tag a table as “sales data” or tag columns as “PII” and then automatically apply access policies, including redaction, based on those tags across multiple datasets and users without replicating the policies.Marketing Technology News: Factual Launches Measurement Intelligence to Track Real-World Conversions and Optimize Campaigns Across New and Emerging Digital Channels“The ability to associate business context with technical metadata and then use that business context to assign policy is critical to achieving data access at scale for enterprise end users,” observed Paige Bartley, Senior Analyst for Data, AI & Analytics, at 451 Research. “To date, many organizations have not realized the full potential of their data lake architecture, partially due to problems in administering appropriate access controls and policy. Okera aims to address this challenge, ultimately allowing for higher potential ROI of informational assets.”Furthermore, Okera can automatically discover and tag sensitive data in the data lake through new automated discovery and tagging capabilities. This allows data stewards to easily automate the protection of sensitive information.In addition to ABAC, the latest release of Okera’s Active Data Management Platform (ODAP) includes a new native JDBC client interface. This interface empowers end users of business tools, such as Tableau and Microsoft Excel, to seamlessly access data with consistent governance enforced.Marketing Technology News: SalesLoft Scoops $70 Million Series D to Fuel Growth in Sales Technology“Regulations such as GDPR and CCPA continue to exert new pressure on large enterprise customers to secure and govern data lakes, and it’s only going to get worse as a myriad of legislation on the state and federal level emerges,” said Amandeep Khurana, CEO and co-founder of Okera. “Our customers know that complying with governance standards isn’t a ‘one time fix’ – innovative dynamic governance technologies like ABAC that can adapt to evolving requirements are critical because compliance and governance itself are and will remain a moving target for some time to come.”Marketing Technology News: Snap Inc. Names Kenny Mitchell Chief Marketing Officer ABACAmandeep Khuranadata management platformGDPRMarketing TechnologyNewsODAPOkera Previous ArticleSAS Invests in Humans, Powered by AI and Analytics EducationNext ArticleWpromote Announces Facebook Marketing Partners Ad Technology Badge
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 17 2018The United States is an aging society, where one in five people will be 65 or older by 2035. While bioethics scholarship on aging has historically concerned itself with issues at the end of life and the medical care of patients with chronic or progressive conditions, it is time for bioethics to look at the experience of aging itself and to articulate “a concept of good citizenship in an aging society that goes beyond health care relationships,” write Nancy Berlinger and Mildred Z. Solomon in the introduction to What Makes a Good Life in Late Life? Citizenship and Justice in Aging Societies, a new special report from the Hastings Center Report.Berlinger, a research scholar at The Hastings Center, and Solomon, president of The Hastings Center, are co-editors of the report, with Kate de Medeiros, the O’Toole family professor in the department of sociology and gerontology at Miami University. The report is a product of a two-year grant-funded initiative at The Hastings Center to begin to determine how bioethics can better reflect and meet the needs of our aging society. It features 16 essays by leading scholars and practitioners in architecture and design, bioethics, disability studies, economics, gerontology, health policy, housing studies, medicine, philosophy, political science, and urban planning.Takeaways from the report include:Many older people face economic and other forms of insecurity that stem from changing social policies, not a personal failure to plan.Increasing numbers of older adults grapple with precarious financial, environmental, and social conditions in late life. In “Precarious Aging: Insecurity and Risk in Late Life,” Amanda Grenier and Christopher Phillipson describe how economic insecurity accrues over the course of a person’s life due to factors such as declining access to pensions and inadequate coverage of the full cost of health care. These social factors expose older people to risks they cannot mitigate on their own. Reductions in social welfare programs worsen these problems. Amanda Grenier holds the Gilbrea chair in aging and mental health at McMaster University; Christopher Phillipson is a professor of sociology and social gerontology at the University of Manchester.Related StoriesAs the economy surges, a dramatic drop in workers on disabilityGender biases are extremely common among health care professionalsSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchAging societies must respond to the challenges that older adults face in their communities.Despite policies and programs that aim to help older adults age in a familiar environment, an older person’s housing may not align with his or her changing needs, write Jennifer Molinsky and Ann Forsyth in “Housing, the Built Environment, and the Good Life.” Community planners, developers, policymakers, and others responsible for how communities plan and build should acknowledge what our aging society needs and work toward consensus around design and facilities that serve older as well as younger residents. Molinsky is a senior research associate at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies; Forsyth is a professor in the department of urban planning and design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.In “Age-Friendly Initiatives, Social Inequalities, and Spatial Justice,” Emily A. Greenfield recommends that local efforts to make communities more supportive of people as they age also embrace opportunities to reduce socioeconomic disparities that affect older adults and others in that community. Greenfield is an associate professor in the School of Social Work and a faculty affiliate of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University. Source:https://www.thehastingscenter.org/publications-resources/special-reports-2/what-makes-a-good-life-in-late-life-citizenship-and-justice-in-aging-societies/
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 5 2019A new study, recently published in Nature Communications, has looked at infections in Danish youth with CF over a period of 10 years. This is the largest longitudinal study to date of the evolution – both involving traits and genes – of the disease-causing microbes that persistently infect young CF-patients.CF-patients have a genetic defect which results in dehydrated sticky mucus in the lungs, leading to severe and persistent lung infections often caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.The research shows that within the first two to three years after infection with P. aeruginosa, the bacteria are already adapting rapidly to the environment, growing slower and optimizing their fitness to survive.”Across all of our patients within the first three years, the bacteria on average slow their growth rates significantly and they reduce their susceptibility to ciprofloxacin, a first line drug in treatment of CF-patients. This means that one should pay extra close attention in this period of time to avoid the infection becoming persistent,” says Jennifer Bartell, Postdoc at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain) and co-first author.Looking beyond antibiotic resistanceClinicians usually focus on detecting antibiotic resistance during infections, and this appears to be an effective way to follow the development of short-term acute infections.Antibiotic resistant bacteria are identified by their ability to survive above a specific concentration of an antibiotic. The researchers saw a rapid increase in the concentration of antibiotics that the bacteria could tolerate. But at the same time, few bacteria achieved detectable antibiotic resistance in the early infection period of CF. The researchers suspect this pre-resistance adaptation to be an underused marker of progression in the infection. This pre-resistance adaptation likely occurs in other persistent infections, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).Besides looking for antibiotic resistance, clinicians also monitor bacterial mucoidity – a trait where bacteria produce a protective, slimy coating, as a marker of a chronic infection.But according to the new study, bacteria can become persistent and resilient to treatment regardless of the appearance of mucoidity. Other bacterial traits such as the ability to attach to surfaces and aggregate in biofilms – hefty structured layers of adherent cells – evolve more consistently in these persisting infections than mucoidity and may serve as a better sign of early chronic infection.Related StoriesHinge-like protein may unlock new pathways for cystic fibrosis treatmentBritish teenager with life-threatening infection successfully treated with phage therapyHuman pancreas on a chip could help identify possible cause of CF-Related Diabetes”We can see which traits might actually be valuable for the clinicians to monitor in addition to antibiotic resistance,” says Lea Sommer, Postdoc at Rigshospitalet and co-first author.Potential for new diagnostic toolsThe researchers identified these important evolving traits of P. aeruginosa by screening 443 isolates from 39 young cystic fibrosis (CF) patients over a ten-year period and mapping traits adapting in tandem using statistical modeling approaches. Usually, studies focus on bacterial isolates collected from older CF-patients with chronic infections, who have become multi-drug resistant and already have adapted to the human lungs.These results emphasize that trait evolution measurements are important and should not be neglected, even though genomic tests are advancing.”In this early phase, the bacteria change a lot and become much more robust, but the doctors do not necessarily see this with current clinical measurements,” says Lea Sommer.Going forward, the researchers wish to find out how the adapting bacteria respond to a larger panel of antibiotics that are used to treat patients. Armed with this comprehensive map of evolutionary pathways, clinicians would have a much better chance of categorizing the infection and, hence, take the necessary precautionary steps.”In the clinic, doctors would potentially be able to take a single patient’s bacterial screening data and analyze how this patient responds to the current treatment. As we gain experience with more patients, it will be easier to assess what can be done to stop the transition to chronic infection, “says Jennifer Bartell.Thus, this could pave the way for developing more fine-tuned personalized treatments for all patients suffering from continuous persisting infections, such as CF, COPD, and perhaps diabetics with chronically infected wounds.Source: http://www.biosustain.dtu.dk/nyhedsbase/nyhed?id=933A4764-BAD0-43E4-89FD-72537C033759
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 10 2019A novel imaging technique that uses a synthesized form of scorpion venom to light up brain tumors has shown promise in a clinical trial. The imaging system enables neurosurgeons to better see malignant growths that often are difficult to fully eliminate.Results from the multi-institutional clinical trial, led by investigators from Cedars-Sinai and sponsored by Blaze Bioscience, Inc., appear in the journal Neurosurgery.The new imaging technique that was studied uses a special high-sensitivity near-infrared camera developed at Cedars-Sinai, along with the imaging agent tozuleristide, or BLZ-100, developed by Blaze. The agent contains a synthetic version of an amino acid compound found in scorpion venom.Like the natural form of the compound, the synthetic version is not toxic and binds to tumor cells. It is attached to a fluorescent dye that glows when stimulated by a near-infrared laser. Viewed through the camera, the imaging agent might allow neurosurgeons to detect the boundaries between tumors and healthy brain tissue during surgery, improving the opportunity for surgeons to remove tumor cells while sparing normal brain tissue.”With this fluorescence, you see the tumor so much clearer because it lights up like a Christmas tree,” said Adam Mamelak, MD, senior author and investigator in the trial.That is important because of the sprawling nature of gliomas, the type of brain tumors imaged during the trial. Gliomas are highly lethal and comprise about 33% of all brain tumors. They can infiltrate brain tissue with tentacle-like structures, making them difficult to distinguish from normal brain tissue. They typically do not respond to traditional therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation. The key to extending patient survival depends on a surgeon’s ability to detect and remove all parts of the tumor.In the clinical trial, 17 adult patients with brain tumors were given varying doses of BLZ-100 before surgery. Despite the varying amounts of the drug given, the majority of tumors fluoresced, including both high- and low-grade gliomas. After surgery, patients were monitored for 30 days. Investigators found that none of the patients had any serious adverse responses to the drug, and that the imaging system was safe and could be useful for imaging the brain tumors during surgery.Related StoriesPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaMore clinical trials are needed to further evaluate the safety of the imaging system and demonstrate the system’s effectiveness before BLZ-100 can gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration, and the camera used in the trial must be refined before it can be used seamlessly in an operating room. But Mamelak said the clinical trial results were promising.”For a surgeon, this seamless integration of fluorescence imaging into the surgical microscope is very appealing,” Mamelak said.Unlike other experimental systems that are bulkier or rely on multiple cameras, the new imaging system uses a single camera that takes both near-infrared and white-light images by alternating between a laser and normal white lights at very high speeds. This technology enables surgeons to easily switch back and forth between “normal” vision using a surgical microscope and fluorescent “super-vision” on a nearby monitor, in real time.The next phase of this research, already underway, is a clinical trial involving pediatric brain tumors, taking place at up to 14 sites nationwide. This trial will serve as a data set for potential FDA approval. A similar adult clinical trial is also being planned. Although Mamelak is not directly involved in performing research during this phase, he and others are eager to see if the imaging approach has applications beyond neurosurgery.”The technique in this study holds great promise not only for brain tumors but for many other cancer types in which we need to identify the margins of cancers,” said Keith L. Black, MD, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai. “The ultimate goal is to bring greater precision to the surgical care we provide to our patients.” Source:http://www.cedars-sinai.org/newsroom/new-brain-tumor-imaging-technique-uses-protein-found-in-scorpion-venom/
The all-stock deal values each share of Sprint at slightly more than 0.10 T-Mobile shares. Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s parent, would own about 42 percent of the combined company. Japan’s SoftBank, which controls Sprint, would own 27 percent, and the remainder would be held by the public.The companies said they expect the deal to close by the first half of 2019 and would result in about $6 billion in annual cost savings. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, left, and T-Mobile CEO John Legere are interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, April 30, 2018. To gain approval for their $26.5 billion merger agreement, T-Mobile and Sprint aim to convince antitrust regulators that there is plenty of competition for wireless service beyond Verizon and AT&T. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) The deal announced Sunday would combine the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless companies and bulk them up to a similar size to Verizon and AT&T, the industry giants.But the companies argued that the combination would allow them to better compete not only with those two rivals but also with Comcast and others as the wireless, broadband and video industries converge.”This isn’t a case of going from 4 to 3 wireless companies—there are now at least 7 or 8 big competitors in this converging market,” T-Mobile chief executive John Legere said in a statement. He would be the CEO of the combined company.T-Mobile and Sprint have been considering a combination for years. But a 2014 attempt fell apart amid resistance from the Obama administration. And in 2017 another potential deal fell through as well.The combined company, to be called T-Mobile, would have about 127 million customers. Consumers worry a less crowded telecom field could result in higher prices, while unions are concerned about potential job losses.In a conference call with Wall Street analysts, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure acknowledged that getting regulatory approval is “the elephant in the room.” One of the first things the companies did after sending out the deal’s news release was to call Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Explore further The companies stressed that they plan to have more employees following the combination, particularly in rural areas, than they do as stand-alone companies now.They also emphasized that the deal would help accelerate their development of faster 5G wireless networks and ensure that the U.S. doesn’t cede leadership on the technology to China.And they said the combination would allow them to better compete with a growing number of competitors in a changing market.Verizon and AT&T have been expanding their video-content businesses, while cable companies have been moving into wireless. That allows a single company to combine home and wireless internet and use content to support the communications businesses.Comcast, the cable giant that finished buying NBCUniversal in 2013, offers customers wireless service by reselling access to Verizon’s network. So does another dominant cable company, Charter. To gain approval for their $26.5 billion merger agreement, T-Mobile and Sprint aim to convince antitrust regulators that there is plenty of competition for wireless service beyond Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile CEO John Legere, left, and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure pose for photos on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, April 30, 2018. To gain approval for their $26.5 billion merger agreement, T-Mobile and Sprint aim to convince antitrust regulators that there is plenty of competition for wireless service beyond Verizon and AT&T. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Investors have been anticipating a deal like this for some time. In addition to the thwarted attempt three years ago, the two companies were poised to combine in October, but the deal was called off after what analysts said was a disagreement over control of the combined company.The deal will have to be reviewed by the Justice Department and the FCC.National carriers had not been able to get a deal through under President Barack Obama. But the FCC in September deemed the wireless market “competitive” for the first time since 2009, which some analysts say could make it easier to present a deal.The 5G aspirations are at the heart of the agreement, and the new technology could allow companies to provide faster service to people’s homes.Sprint’s Claure likened going from 4G to 5G to switching from black-and-white television to color. The combined company plans to invest up to $40 billion in its network in the first three years, which executives said would drive more hiring and better service for customers.Sprint has a lot of debt and has posted a string of annual losses. It has cut costs and made itself more attractive to customers, BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk said, but it hasn’t invested enough in its network and doesn’t have enough airwave rights for quality service in rural areas.T-Mobile, meanwhile, has been on a yearslong streak of adding customers. After the government nixed AT&T’s attempt to buy the company in 2011, T-Mobile led the way in many consumer-friendly changes, such as ditching two-year contracts and bringing back unlimited data plans. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, April 30, 2018. To gain approval for their $26.5 billion merger agreement, T-Mobile and Sprint aim to convince antitrust regulators that there is plenty of competition for wireless service beyond Verizon and AT&T. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Consumers are paying less for cellphone service thanks to T-Mobile’s influence on the industry and the resulting price wars.Advocacy organizations said the deal will likely lead to higher cellphone plans because there will be less competition. Michael Copps, a former FCC chairman and an adviser to the watchdog group Common Cause, said consumers will “lose a lot of the innovation and competitive spirit that T-Mobile had” when it was challenging not just AT&T and Verizon, but Sprint as well.But Mark Lowenstein, a mobile-industry consultant, said the move shouldn’t be seen as a consolidation in the wireless industry.”That era is over,” he said. “This is a new industry structure—where wireless is competing in the larger broadband space.”The move makes sense for developing 5G, he added.”There is no way we were going to build four national 5G networks,” he said. The combination “gives the U.S. a better chance of getting to 5G faster, innovating quicker, and competing with China in the global 5G race.”Shares of T-Mobile fell $4.80, or 7.4 percent, to $59.72 in afternoon trading Monday. Sprint shares fell 97 cents, or 15 percent, to $5.53. Sprint, T-Mobile end merger talks Citation: Sprint, T-Mobile have to sell $26.5B deal to antitrust cops (Update) (2018, April 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-sprint-t-mobile-265b-antitrust-cops.html T-Mobile CEO John Legere wears Sprint-yellow sunglasses on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, April 30, 2018. To gain approval for their $26.5 billion merger agreement, T-Mobile and Sprint aim to convince antitrust regulators that there is plenty of competition for wireless service beyond Verizon and AT&T. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
The difficulty of further increasing the power conversion efficiency of silicon-based components in power electronics seems to indicate that we are reaching the limits of potential advances to this technology. However, a research group headed by The University of Tokyo recently challenged that view by developing a power switching device that surpasses previous performance limits, illustrating that silicon technology can still be further optimized. The researchers developed an improved insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT), which is a type of switch used in power conversion to switch high voltages of around 600 to 6500 V. More information: Takuya Saraya et al. “3300V Scaled IGBTs Driven by 5V Gate Voltage,” the IEEE International Symposium on Power Semiconductor Devices and ICs, May 19-23, 2019, Shanghai, China. Citation: Remaining switched on to silicon-based electronics (2019, June 5) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-silicon-based-electronics.html To design their IGBT, the team used a scaling approach. Their scaling simulations revealed that downscaling part of an IGBT to a third of its original size could lower its operating voltage from 15 V to just 5 V and substantially decrease its driving power.”Our IGBT scaling approach was based on a similar concept to that used in traditional microelectronics and indicated that an IGBT with an operating voltage of 5 V should be feasible,” says Takuya Saraya. “However, we thought that a driving voltage of 5 V might be too low to surpass the unexpected noise level and ensure reliable operation.”To verify their simulation results, the researchers fabricated their IGBT with a rated voltage of 3300 V in a specialized clean room at The University of Tokyo and then assessed its performance. Notably, the IGBT achieved stable switching at an operating voltage of just 5 V. This represents the first time IGBT switching has been realized at 5 V.An IGBT that exhibits stable performance at an operating voltage of just 5 V is extremely attractive because the power consumption of the drive circuit is only around 10% of that of a conventional IGBT operating at 15 V. Power conversion efficiency is also improved despite the lowered operation voltage. Such a low operating voltage is also compatible with standard electronics processing, which will aid the integration of the IGBT drive circuits with other electronics.”IGBTs are important power electronics components,” explains Toshiro Hiramoto. “Our miniaturized IGBT could lead to the further development of advanced power electronics that are smaller and have higher power conversion efficiency.”IGBTs are found in electronics ranging from electric trains and vehicles to home stereos and air conditioners. Therefore, the improved IGBT with low driving voltage and high power conversion efficiency shows promise to raise the performance of numerous electronics, helping to mitigate modern society’s increasing energy demands. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Credit: The University of Tokyo 3-D solutions to energy savings in silicon power transistors Explore further Provided by University of Tokyo