Passport fair to help with paperwork

first_imgVALENCIA – Santa Clarita Valley residents will have a chance to get their passport paperwork in order Saturday at a U.S. Postal Service passport fair. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Processing and Distribution Center, 28201 Franklin Parkway, Valencia. Extra postal employees will be on hand to help customers with their documents. Each applicant will need a certified copy of his or her birth certificate or original U.S. Certificate of Naturalization, a valid photo identification and two passport photos. The photos must be identical 2-inch-by-2-inch head-and-shoulders pictures taken against a light, solid background.For information, call (661) 775-7175. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Brand SA announces appointment of global PR agency

first_imgIMC appoints MS&L as part of our strategy staff to focus on the reputation management of Brand SAThe International Marketing Council of South Africa, the custodian of the South African national brand, has announced the appointment of MS&L Worldwide as its global strategic communications advisor. The appointment follows a lengthy evaluation process which included 16 responses to a public request for proposal and a six-way competitive pitch between short listed agencies.“The appointment of a strategic communications partner comes at a time of great significance for South Africa as a country. The introduction of a new government and national leadership creates a unique platform to profile our country, its economic policies and our global competitiveness. Even more important is the realisation that we undertake this effort within the context of substantial international economic uncertainty,” said Paul Bannister, the acting CEO of the International Marketing Council.“Working with a global agency network such as MS&L will allow the IMC to build the reputation of BrandSA and promote the global competitiveness in markets where we do not have a direct presence. This is a very good fit with the IMC’s collaborative approach to reputation management,” he said.MS&L will service the Brand South Africa team in 10 key markets globally and provide additional market support in countries requiring economic, trade and investment profiling. The 10 key markets include China, India, Brazil, UAE (and broader Middle East region), Egypt, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, United Kingdom, European Union and the USA.“As an agency we have been living, eating and breathing corporate brands for many years. Building the nation brand is not only an exciting challenge, but also a great responsibility – one which we are taking on with honour and pride,” said Amanda Singleton, managing director of MS&L Worldwide | South Africa, the agency’s hub for Africa.About the International Marketing of South Africa (Brand South Africa)The International Marketing Council of South Africa was established in August 2002 to help create a positive and compelling brand image for South Africa. At that time, the world was unsure about what to think of South Africa, with many different messages being sent out by various sources. This did very little to build the country’s brand and it was evident that to attract tourism and investment there was a need to co-ordinate marketing initiatives to make them more effective. This led to the creation of the IMC, whose main objective is the marketing of South Africa through the Brand South Africa campaign. There are many benefits to having a consolidated brand image, with the most important being that a consistent Brand South Africa message creates strategic advantages in terms of trade and tourism for the country in an increasingly competitive marketplace.About MS&L WorldwideMS&L Worldwide is a leading global communications firm made up of a network of communications brands and consultancies with 54 offices in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Mid East, Africa and Asia, as well as an extensive affiliate network in an additional 40 markets. The agency specialises in using research, insights and technology to create and execute powerful reputation strategies that are critical to long-term client success. With a unique combination of advice, advocacy and action, MS&L delivers measurable business results for many of the world’s largest companies and most successful brands. MS&L Worldwide (www.mslworldwide.com) is a member of the Publicis Groupe (Euronext Paris: FR0000130577), the world’s fourth largest communications group.For further information:Margaret DingaloDirector: Stakeholder RelationsInternational Marketing Council of South AfricaTel: +27 11 483 0122Web: www.brandsouthafrica.comAmanda SingletonManaging DirectorMS&L Worldwide | South AfricaTel: +27 11 235 4300Web: www.mslworldwide.comlast_img read more

Smart city success requires road maps, not free association

first_imgSurveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Municipal governments overwhelmed with the endless choices for smart city projects need to take a breath and plan ahead.This is the advice from Tormod Larsen, CTO of ExteNet. His Illinois-based company provides mobile connectivity via distributed networks.He says that cities are being confounded the over-abundance of grandiose smart city projects to choose from.“Part of the challenge is the cities basically go out and they want to do everything,” said Larsen. “They want a network that does gunshot detection, they want free Wi-Fi, they want meter reading, they want environmental sensors, they want information screens and they want all these different things and they want it for free.”He says the key is for cities to begin by developing a road map of desired services and then prioritize them as to which will come online earlier and which later.This enables cities to plan out and build network infrastructure that can achieve the long-term smart city vision, even if some components are targeted for years in the future.“If you have the network in place, then you at least have a base to build on,” said Larsen. “If you don’t have a network, then it’s a pipe dream.”“If you’re only focusing on different types of services and don’t take a step back and say ‘ok let me first get the network in place that has the capability of support some of these high priority services’ – and know that’s the backbone, the fundament of making it happen – you have a hard time getting off the ground,” he adds.Changing the mindsetBesides the early infrastructure planning, cities also need to also reconfigure the mindset of city planning departments towards smart city technology. Specifically, he says it is important for municipal officials to focus on agile development and not stick to the old fashioned way of doing things.“Sometimes the biggest obstacles we have to being able to build fiber or attach equipment on a pole or a streetlamp, either for a general service perspective or from a connectivity perspective, is the municipality itself,” said Larsen. “We’re hopeful they start seeing the value and the need in having a connected city or the connectivity of IoT, and that that might change.”“Where we come in today, a lot of municipalities say the only value you bring us is how much you’re willing to pay us…rather than understanding we’re coming in to offer services to the population and the city,” he says. For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Tags:#ExteNet#Internet of Things#IoT#Smart Cities How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi…center_img Donal Power How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Related Posts last_img read more

Trudeau describes cancelling US visit over demands for NAFTA sunset clause

first_imgOTTAWA – Justin Trudeau says he abandoned a proposed meeting with Donald Trump in Washington this week after the White House insisted that the prime minister first agree to a five-year “sunset clause” in a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement.Trudeau told the anecdote Thursday during a media briefing where he and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland were outlining the Canadian response to punishing U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.With the NAFTA talks seeming close to a possible breakthrough, Trudeau says he suggested to the U.S. president last Friday that they sit down with Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto and talk about reaching a deal.“I stated that I thought we were quite close to reaching an agreement, and perhaps the time had come for me to sit down with the president in Washington in order to finalize the NAFTA agreement,” Trudeau said in French.“We already had the bones of a very good agreement for all parties, and I thought it might be opportune for all of us to sit down for a few hours and discuss it.”Trump seemed to like the idea, Trudeau said.Then on Tuesday, Vice-President Mike Pence called to say the White House would host the meeting — but on one condition.“I had to agree to a sunset clause in NAFTA, which is to say every five years, NAFTA would come to an end unless the parties decided to renew it, which is completely unacceptable to us,” he said.“So I answered that, unfortunately, if that was a precondition to our visit, I was unable to accept — and so we did not go to Washington for that day of negotiations.”Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday that the decision to slap Canada and Mexico with stiff steel and aluminum tariffs was based on a lack of progress in the NAFTA talks.“Those talks are taking longer than we had hoped. There is no longer a very precise date when they may be concluded” so they were added to the tariff list, he said.Neither the tariffs nor a series of retaliatory measures imposed by the federal Liberal government in response will affect the ability to keep renegotiating NAFTA as a separate track, Ross added. “They’re not mutually exclusive behaviours.”Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and a former Mulroney cabinet minister at the time of the original Canada-U.S. free trade deal, expressed surprise at the sunset-clause tactic.“That is not the basis on which mature adults negotiate,” Beatty said.“For someone who prides himself as a negotiator, anybody who does business on the basis of, ‘One side can only win if the other side loses’ usually isn’t in business for very long.”last_img read more

Wealthsimple to launch zerocommission stocktrading service

first_imgTORONTO ONTARIO, – Wealthsimple is planning to launch what the robo-adviser says is the first zero-commission stock-trading service in Canada.The financial technology company says through this new service, called Wealthsimple Trade, users will have access to unlimited zero-commission trades of more than 8,000 publicly traded stocks and ETFs listed on major Canadian and U.S. exchanges.People will be able buy, sell and track stocks and exchange-traded funds through an app, which is currently in a private beta testing phase, with no account minimum or fees.There are some other online platforms that offer commission-free trading, but may also charge monthly flat rates and require a minimum balance.Wealthsimple says its new service is the first of its kind in the country and the Wealthsimple trade app will be rolled out to users by invitation leading up to a public launch, potentially later this year.The company currently has 100,000 clients in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., and manages more than $2.5 billion in assets.last_img read more

Morneau summons media to update talks with Kinder Morgan over disputed pipeline

first_imgThe finance minister’s very public display, which comes the day before the company’s annual meeting in Calgary, is likely to put additional pressure on the company.Amid mounting opposition from the B.C. government, environmental groups and protesters, not to mention skittish investors, Kinder Morgan halted all non-essential spending on its $7.4-billion plan to double an existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., and gave Ottawa until the end of May to broker some calm.Earlier Tuesday, before Morneau’s news conference, scheduled for 9 a.m. ET, was announced, Trudeau was in Calgary, trying to convince skeptical Albertans to believe his latest mantra: that the pipeline will be built.“Let’s be honest about these things. I don’t think there is anything that I can say that would reassure some of my critics who have such little faith in my government getting anything done for Alberta,” he said.“I don’t think there’s any magic phrase I can say that will have critics and skeptics put down their criticism and say, ‘You know what? The prime minister reassured me today.”’As Trudeau spoke, a small group of protesters were heard shouting, “Build KM” and “Build that pipe.” OTTAWA, O.N. – Finance Minister Bill Morneau will provide an update Wednesday on the status of his talks with Kinder Morgan to expedite the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but he is not expected to announce a deal.Rather, Morneau is expected to articulate the broad strokes of how Ottawa sees a deal coming together, setting forth the federal Liberal government’s principles, values and goals that could form the basis of an eventual agreement.Morneau had been engaged in intensive talks with Kinder Morgan officials up until Tuesday, but the two sides have yet to declare any common ground on the amount of federal money involved. Horgan’s election last year changed that. His minority government exists at the pleasure of the Green party, and on condition of his continued opposition to the project.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)center_img Morneau’s talks with Kinder Morgan had their genesis a month ago, when Trudeau promised to deploy both financial and legislative tools to ensure the disputed expansion is able to proceed.During a remarkable eight-hour stopover in the national capital, an unscheduled break from a busy overseas travel itinerary, Trudeau convened a summit in Ottawa with B.C.’s John Horgan, who has staked his government’s survival on opposing the pipeline, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, whose province’s economic health depends on it.Trudeau instructed Morneau to sit down with Kinder Morgan to find a financial solution that would soothe their investors. He also promised legislation that would reaffirm Ottawa’s authority to press ahead with a development deemed to be in Canada’s national interest.The Liberal government position is that it approved the project in 2016 after a rejigged environmental assessment and Indigenous consultation process, and in concert with its climate change and oceans protection plan. Approval came in consultation with the previous B.C. Liberal government, which gave its consent to the project after its own conditions were met.last_img read more

While memory serves

first_imgIf I remember correctly, it was Thursday, March 25, 1971. My M.A (History) final exam was round the corner. We in India then had the audible, omnipresent, omniscient and ubiquitous “All India Radio” but no electronic visuals. Hence hearing the evening radio “news” and reading morning newspaper was my childhood “addiction”, exam or no exam. My father – an extraordinary scholar of income tax law, English, Bengali & Sanskrit languages, with expertise in Mathematics, Astrology and Economics, and a senior civil servant of the government of India, was born in, and hailed from, 2 Toynbee Circular Road, Tikatuli, Dhaka (then India, in 1917) and was not the type to disturb his son for radio “news” in the exam season. That day, I too, seem to have something else in mind for emperor Ashoka and Buddhism as a possible question for my paper. Also Read – A special kind of bondNevertheless, there suddenly came a stentorian voice from our C-II 17 Wellesley Road, New Delhi-110003 “radio room”. “Come immediately” was the two-word command. Usually serene, serious yet ever-smiling, he suddenly lit upon hearing the All India Radio news that the charismatic Bengali leader, widely respected and revered as “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rehman” had given a clarion call to the people of (then) East Pakistan, firing the first salvo at the West Pakistani Punjabi-speaking military junta, from Dhaka’s Ramna Maidan: “Aamago share shaat koti zanagan re tomra dabayya raakhte parbaanaa” (You oppressive rulers, you will never be able to suppress us seven and half crore Bangali people). We instantly felt the electrifying effect and potential tremor, almost after 24 years of the Partition days, in the “radio room” of the Hindu Bengali refugee in Lutyen’s zone of New Delhi. Also Read – Insider threat managementThereafter, things moved at high speed. Owing to his professionalism, probity and spotless past, my father was one of the two Bengali speaking senior civil servants whose residence was identified by the Government of India as an “informal meeting point”, should the need arise in future. My M.A exam ended on Saturday, May 15, 1971, and results were out on Monday, July 05, 1971. I was happy with my result, but was happier owing to the fast unfolding scenario of possible emancipation of an enlightened and inherently simple Bengali-speaking people in a geography which is so dear to our heart, mind and thought owing to shared history, culture, language and tradition. Soon, however, came Wednesday, August 18, 1971, the ‘appointed date’ of an “informal meeting”, closely coordinated by Shri Ashok Ray, then Joint Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs, and other organisations of the state. Commencing at 5:30 pm. and ending around midnight, it was a gala party; a reunion of sorts, high on emotions, love, tears of joy, passion, fraternity, feasting. A gathering of 150 people of whom at least 80 were from the land of Bangabandhu, including the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh Tajuddin Ahmed. The best (and most surprising) part of the gathering emerged from the fact that despite Ahmad being eight years younger to my father, they knew each other very well. It was an incredibly sensational scene. Also, half of the guests had escaped, God only knew how from the army junta’s clutches; and at least two families had driven down in their “Made in Japan” Nissan and Toyota cars which were a rare commodity in India of 1971. Some of us were mighty impressed. As we were then used to Ambassador of Calcutta; Fiat of Bombay; Standard Herald of Madras; watch of HMT; steel of Tata; and shoes from Bata. All “Made in India”. Indigenous. Not imported. The outcome of the meeting was essentially a commitment to do everything necessary. The government and the people of India were one with the Bengalis under Bangabandhu. All present in the meeting had the same goal, in different ways, irrespective of their nationality and ethnicity. I vividly recall the spontaneous, repeated and vociferous slogan “Joy Bangla”, reverberating through the hot, humid night of that 1971 “August day”. Two more meetings subsequently took place in two different places in Delhi, which I could not attend owing to my preparation for competitive examinations. As things were heating up, I travelled to spend the winter with my maternal aunts in Asansol and Calcutta. My stay in Asansol lasted five days as war broke out on Friday, December 03, 1971. I took a train the next day, December 4, for Calcutta. The three-hour journey was an experience by itself as the train moved with all “lights off” in the “chair car”. Howrah station was pitch dark but packed with passengers, police, and personnel of railways. Home guards were extra vigilant, navigating all and sundry, and the half an hour road to Alipore residence of aunt turned out like a two-hour air journey from Delhi to Kolkata, as I reached at 11 pm. The following day dawned with my frantic attempt to catch up with Major General Bishwa Nath Sirkar (whom I had known before) in Fort William, Headquarters of the Eastern Army Command. Major General Sirkar, a Second World War veteran, saw action on several fronts, was an armoured corps officer par excellence (belonging to Central India Horse). Being strict disciplinarian, with frugal habits and exemplary probity, he never sought publicity and was never flashy. The Major General was handpicked overnight (rather plucked) by Army Chief Sam Manekshaw and transferred from the post of Military Secretary (in Army Headquarters, New Delhi) to a newly created post in the Eastern Command Calcutta, exclusively for cooperation with the Mukti Bahini. Consequently, whereas world today knows who did what in 1971, hardly anyone can either remember or recall his invaluable contribution in the liberation movement of Bengalis in the east and role played in actual combat of the 14-day war. After the 1971 war, Sirkar became Lieutenant General but resigned after a serious difference of opinion with then Defence Minister of India. He had several years of service left at the time of his premature departure. I remain eternally grateful to that great soldier and noble soul for helping me to “see the front” for two days after Sunday, December 12, 1971, when the writings were already on the wall. After a resounding firing to deter me from “seeing is believing”, the gentleman in the General relented and “put me on” to II Corps operating from Krishnanagar. The rest, as they say, is history. At the age of 23 years, I had a remarkable, unforgettable side view of the moving procession of history, resulting in the crumbling of old (dis)order and the birth of a new nation, not in the distant horizon but in our vicinity. Between 1947 and 1971 came alive two nations: the first under bondage, second as an uncaged bird with the unrestricted horizon of thought and action as its domain. (The writer is an alumnus of National Defence College and author of ‘China in India’. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Assange faces jail for UK bail breach

first_imgLondon: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be sentenced Wednesday for breaching a British court order seven years ago, when he took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden. The Australian whistleblower, who was arrested on April 11 after Ecuador gave him up, could face a 12-month prison sentence when he appears at Southwark Crown Court at 10:30am (0930 GMT). Assange fled to the embassy in 2012 after a British judge ordered his extradition to face Swedish allegations of sexual assault and rape, which he strongly denied. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report He claimed the allegations were a pretext to transfer him to the United States, where he feared prosecution over release by WikiLeaks of millions of classified documents. There is no longer an active investigation in Sweden and the extradition request has lapsed. However, the 47-year-old is facing a US extradition request, which was only revealed following his dramatic arrest, when he was dragged shouting from the embassy by police. Assange appeared in court within hours of his arrest, and a judge found him guilty of breaching his bail conditions. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests Any sentence handed down on Wednesday is likely to take into account the past few weeks spent in jail. The biggest concern for his lawyers is the US extradition request. An initial hearing in the case is set for this Thursday. The US indictment charges him with “conspiracy” for working with former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password stored on Department of Defence computers in March 2010. Manning passed hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, exposing US military wrongdoing in the Iraq war and diplomatic secrets about scores of countries around the world. Assange could face up to five years in jail if found guilty, although his team is fighting his extradition and the process could take years. The charge has raised serious concerns among organisations advocating free speech, including politicians such as British opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. WikiLeaks is also back in the news in the United States, over its alleged role in the leak of Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016 US presidential election. The Swedish claims against Assange date back to 2010, when he was at the centre of a global storm over WikiLeaks’ exposures. The sexual assault claim expired in 2015, but while the rape claim was dropped in 2017, the alleged victim wants the case reopened. If Stockholm makes a formal extradition request, Britain must decide whether to consider it before or after that of the United States. A group of British lawmakers have urged the Swedish case to take precedence, saying the rights of the alleged victims must not be lost in the political row.last_img read more

Welcome To The 2018 World Series Where Even SalevsKershaw Turns Into A

BOSTON — Tuesday night was billed as one of the greatest pitching matchups in World Series history: Clayton Kershaw versus Chris Sale — two of the elite starters of their generation. On a cool night in Boston, a sold-out Fenway Park was well-aware of the pedigree of its foe and greeted the Los Angeles Dodgers ace with chants of “Ker-Shaaawww, Ker-Shaaawww,” drawing out the last syllable of his surname as he pitched. But the lyrical taunting was short-lived as Kershaw didn’t make it far into Game 1 — and neither did Sale, for that matter.We didn’t get a classic pitching duel. Instead, we received a heavy dose of 2018 baseball. And that style of play — namely bullpenning — favored the Red Sox en route to an 8-4, series-opening victory.Six Red Sox relievers combined to allow just one run over five innings, and Boston pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez broke the game open with a three-run homer off Dodger reliever Alex Wood in the seventh inning.That both of the starting pitchers lasted only four innings is telling of how quickly the game is changing. Tuesday marked just the fourth Game 1 — the game that often features a pair of aces — in World Series history in which neither starting pitcher recorded an out in the fifth inning. In the three previous occasions — in 1923, 1966 and 2004 — all but one of the starters allowed as many or more runs as Sale or Kershaw did in fewer innings prior to departing.1And that other starter — Baltimore’s Dave McNally in 1966 — had walked the bases loaded in the third inning before getting the hook. In other words, those starters had been battered. That wasn’t the case Tuesday. Instead, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Red Sox manager Alex Cora had their aces on short leashes.Teams have become aware of how performance typically declines the deeper a starter pitches into a game, and teams are also eager to try to gain righty/lefty platoon advantages when they can find them in the later innings. Teams also monitor fatigue, and Sale was somewhat taxed in throwing 91 pitches.During the 232-minute game Tuesday, the two clubs combined to use 12 pitchers, who threw a total of 308 pitches. Through Tuesday, relievers have accounted for 50.5 percent of innings this postseason, which would be a record. That mark is up 4 percentage points from last postseason (46.5 percent) and significantly from the 2010 playoffs (32.3 percent). While bullpens have taken on more and more work in the regular season, their usage and importance in the postseason is reaching unprecedented levels.Dodger infielder Brian Dozier said “anything goes” in the World Series. But the urgent, anything-goes practices employed Tuesday were carryovers from the regular season. In fact, the Dodgers have already faced the most extreme form of pitching game strategy this postseason.While some traditionalists have bemoaned the move toward bullpens, Red Sox reliever and Game 1 winner Matt Barnes told FiveThirtyEight in a cramped postgame clubhouse that he is all for this style of play.“I’m about whatever it takes to get wins in the World Series,” Barnes said. “How you do it? It doesn’t matter to me. You just have to win 11 games before anyone else does.”Cora began the Red Sox parade of relievers in the top of the fifth when he summoned Barnes out of the right-field bullpen to replace Sale, who had walked the lead-off batter, Dozier. Barnes, who has become a trusted setup man, allowed a single to Justin Turner, and Dozier later scored on a Manny Machado groundout to tie the score at 3.Kershaw entered the game with questions about his postseason performances and left with a career ERA of 4.28 in 145 postseason innings. He also continues to suffer from declining fastball velocity, as the pitch sat between 90 and 91 mph Tuesday. He relied heavily on his breaking pitches. Only CC Sabathia owns a worse ERA among pitchers who have made at least 15 postseason starts. While Kershaw was hit hard at times on Tuesday — including a 105.9 mph single and a 109.1 mph double off the bat of J.D. Martinez — he wasn’t helped by his surrounding cast, either. L.A.’s starting first baseman, David Freese, failed to catch a foul pop-up in the first inning. It wasn’t ruled an error but was a play that could have been made — and it might have cost the Dodgers two runs.Kershaw allowed three runs through four innings. After walking Mookie Betts and allowing a single to Andrew Benintendi to begin the fifth, he was was pulled from the game. Roberts called on Ryan Madson, who allowed both inherited runners to score to give the Red Sox a 5-3 lead.More innings pitched by relievers requires lineups to remain flexible as offenses try to counter the platoon advantage gained by switching the handedness of pitchers. For instance, the Brewers had left-handed starter Wade Miley throw just five pitches in a start in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series before going to a right-handed-heavy cast of relievers against the platoon-heavy Dodgers. And on Tuesday, five of the six relievers that followed the lefty Sale were right-handed.In response to pitching strategies, Dozier joked Monday that the Dodgers have begun to pull hockey-style line changes in games. Los Angeles was the first club in World Series history to start nine right-handed batters with no switch-hitters. But by the seventh inning Tuesday, three L.A. lefties and a switch-hitter had joined the game, and only three Dodgers were playing positions they had occupied on the starting lineup card: Turner (third base), Machado (shortstop) and Yasiel Puig (right field).While the two managers traded chess pieces, it was Cora who seemed to win the most strategic battles, as he has done all October. He struck a decisive blow on Tuesday by pinch-hitting Nunez for left-handed hitter Rafael Devers when Roberts called the left-handed Wood into the game in the seventh.“Cora is prepared,” Barnes said. “Tonight is another example, pinch-hitting (Nunez). It’s a lot of fun playing for him. He knows exactly what he’s doing.”The Red Sox have won 116 games under Cora this season, a year in which the game seems to be changing so quickly. They are now three wins from a fourth championship this century.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Ohio State womens basketball faces another top team No 3 Notre Dame

OSU senior guard Ameryst Alston (14) dribbles the ball during a game against Wagner on Nov. 22 at St. John Arena. Credit: Elizabeth Tzagournis | Lantern PhotographerFresh off its first win over a top-10 team this season, the No. 10 Ohio State women’s basketball team (4-2) enters the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Indiana, on Wednesday at 7 p.m. to take on No. 3 Notre Dame (6-0). The Fighting Irish are the Buckeyes’ third opponent ranked in the top 3 thus far.Since opening the season with two losses — falling 88-80 against No. 2 South Carolina (7-0) and getting demolished 100-56 by No. 1 Connecticut (4-0) — OSU has bounced back with four straight wins.Although three of the four wins come against teams with a combined record of 7-9, the Buckeyes’ latest victory comes over then-No. 10 Texas A&M, 95-80, in the South Point Shootout, an early-season tournament held in Las Vegas over the Thanksgiving holiday. In the victory, sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell tied OSU’s single-game record for points, scoring an eye-popping 42 points on 12-of-20 shooting. She hit 15 of 16 shots from the line, as well. OSU coach Kevin McGuff said he sees the win as a confidence-booster heading into another game against an elite team in Notre Dame. “We showed people we weren’t afraid to play these people, but at some point you’ve got to start beating them,” McGuff said. “So I think it was important to win that A&M game, and hopefully our kids took a lot of confidence from that win.”McGuff’s team’s next test, the Fighting Irish, enter Wednesday night’s showdown with an efficient, balanced team on offense. Four players average double-digit points, including freshman guard Marina Mabrey, Notre Dame’s top bench player. Last week, Mabrey broke out and was named ACC Freshman of the Week, as she averaged 18.3 points, 7.3 steals, 5.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds over a three-game stretch. Notre Dame supplements Mabrey’s driving ability by surrounding her with 3-point shooters and post scorers. The Fighting Irish have made an astonishing 45.2 percent of their 3-point attempts. Leading the team from downtown is Mabrey’s sister, Michaela, who leads the team with 25 attempts from deep. The fans in attendance should not expect a slow-paced defensive battle. The Buckeyes’ style of utilizing the full-court press, fast-break points and quick shots has led to OSU averaging 82.7 points per game — and that includes its poor performance against UCONN. But Notre Dame tops that, averaging 88.3 points in its first six games.To complement its high-powered offense, Notre Dame boasts a plus-8.3 turnover margin, a category OSU usually thrives on due to its ball pressure and trapping. If the Buckeyes are to knock off the Fighting Irish, Mitchell and a duo of senior guards, Ameryst Alston and Cait Craft, must protect the ball on offense and force Notre Dame to turn the ball over.“We know that they’re an amazing team and they come with a lot of great players,” Mitchell said before Monday’s practice. “I think Coach McGuff and all the rest of the coaches will let us know what’s going to happen today so we can put ourselves in a good position.”OSU is looking to build of its experience in Columbia, South Carolina against No. 2 South Carolina to prepare for Notre Dame’s crowd.“Their crowd was crazy,” Mitchell said of South Carolina. “They’ve got a great atmosphere, a great environment for the fans. I know Notre Dame will have the same thing because they’re such a great team.” Student vs. teacherMcGuff said this battle of top-10 teams matters greatly to him, as he is able to face off against his mentor, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw.“She’s been so great to me and my family. You know it’s hard to play against your friends and mentors,” McGuff said. “But we’re two competitive people and when the lights come on on Wednesday night we’re both going to certainly do the best for our teams to try to win the game.”Prior to McGuff accepting the job as head coach of Xavier in 2002, he worked for six years as an assistant under McGraw at Notre Dame. During his time in South Bend, McGuff helped guide Notre Dame to two Final Fours, winning a national championship in 2001. He said he considers McGraw an important friend and mentor.“I just have great respect for her and how much success she’s had at that program and, more importantly, who she is as a person,” McGuff said.Kelsey Mitchell: On fireMitchell’s 42 points versus now-No. 12 Texas A&M tied Samantha Prahalis for OSU’s single-game scoring record. This, her fourth performance of more than 20 points in a row, led to espnW naming her its national player of the week, while the South Point Shootout selected her as the tournament’s most outstanding player.The preseason All-American is able to score from everywhere on the court. Mitchell averages 41.2 percent on 3-pointers and 85.1 percent at the free-throw line, as she is frequently rewarded for using her elite burst to drive into the lane. However, Mitchell continues to never take credit for her own success. She often brushes off comments about her record-breaking performance, preferring to talk exclusively about the team and the group’s goals.“I feel pretty normal, I don’t feel no different,” Mitchell said. “Whatever the case, whatever accolades, my coaches and my teammates put me in the right position.”Alexa Hart’s importanceSophomore forward Alexa Hart finally broke out in Friday’s 75-65 win over Liberty, when she scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds.The Buckeyes have struggled to defend and rebound in the interior, as Hart and junior forward Shayla Cooper play the majority of minutes in the paint. McGuff said he hopes Hart will pick up her game as OSU must negate its opponents’ main advantage of rebounding. The Buckeyes are being outrebounded by an average of six boards per game.“She used her speed, quickness up the court against Liberty’s bigger post players. That’s what we need out of her,” McGuff said. “She’s a really important part of what we’re trying to do here and we need that type of production on a nightly basis.” read more

Baines Bernards high football IQ makes him a potential matchwinner

first_imgEverton’s Leighton Baines believes that new team-mate Bernard’s intelligence can win them matchesThe Brazil international joined Everton on a free transfer last summer after his contract at Shakhtar Donetsk expired in June.Bernard has since featured in 18 of Everton’s 21 Premier League games this season and scored his first goal for the club in their 2-1 FA Cup win over Lincoln City on Saturday.But the 26-year-old’s most eye-catching asset at Goodison Park is his creativity and vision in the midfield with Bernard matching Gylfi Sigurdsson as Everton’s leading assists provider with three.“Bernard is definitely someone who can win us matches,” said Baines on the club website.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“He is a guy who can link things together.“It is a very difficult thing in football sometimes to get space between the lines and link the midfield to the forwards but he does it with ease because he is such an intelligent footballer.“I am sure coming to England is not easy given the places where he has played his football before but he has settled really well and shows his unbelievable quality on a daily basis.”The Toffees will take on Bournemouth this Sunday in the Premier League.last_img read more

Cuts In The Budget For Commercial Fishing Have Lead To Staffing Reductions

first_imgDF & G Division Director Scott Kelley outlined the agency’s budget to the House Finance Subcommittee on Fish and Game on Thursday, February 1. According to reports presented by Kelley, the state has cut the department’s general fund by more than 36 percent since 2015, leading to an approximately 6 percent cut for the state Division of Commercial Fisheries. Kelley says the division also has cut smaller fisheries like herring in order to limit cuts to the lucrative salmon fisheries on the Kenai Peninsula. Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-commercial-fishing-cuts.mp3VmJennifer-on-commercial-fishing-cuts.mp300:00RPdcenter_img Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has begun the process of reducing staff in the commercial fishing division due to increased budget cuts. Kelley told the committee that staffing has been reduced by roughly 11 percent since 2015, causing the division to limit personnel on weirs and other projects: “We have 278 permanents, 382 seasonals, and total positions in the division of 660. Overall the percentage change in staffing from 2015 to now is 11 percent. So we’ve reduced our staff by 11 percent since 2015.”last_img read more

A VOTERS GUIDE To The Wilmington School Committee Race

first_imgWatch WCTV Candidate Conversations:VIDEO: School Committee Candidate Jesse Fennelly Discusses His Campaign With WCTVVIDEO: School Committee Member Jo Newhouse Discusses Her Campaign With WCTVVIDEO: School Committee Candidate Jay Samaha Discusses His Campaign With WCTVWatch WCTV Candidates Night:VIDEO: School Committee Candidates Fennelly, Newhouse & Samaha Discuss The IssuesRead Coverage From Crier, Advocate, Patch, SunCandidate Profile: Samaha seeks School Committee seat (Town Crier)Candidate Profile: Fennelly runs again for School Committee (Town Crier)Candidate Profile: Newhouse seeks reelection to School Committee (Town Crier)Debate Recap: Candidates Night display selectmen, school choices (Town Crier) Debate Recap: Candidates Get Tasty As Charges Fly In Wilmington Debate (Lowell Sun)Candidates On Facebook:Jason Samaha For School CommitteeJesse Fennelly For Wilmington School CommitteePolls will be open this Saturday, April 27, from 8am to 8pm, at the Boutwell Early Childhood Center, Wildwood Early Childhood Center, and Town Hall.  Not sure where you vote?  Click HERE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook.  Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE.  Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSpecial Education PAC Chair Jo Newhouse Appointed To Wilmington School CommitteeIn “Education”TOWN ELECTION UPDATE: Ballot Is Set — 9 Candidates For 3 Selectmen Seats Spread Over 2 RacesIn “Government”VIDEO: School Committee Candidate Jesse Fennelly Discusses His Campaign With WCTVIn “Videos” WILMINGTON, MA — At this Saturday’s Town Election, three candidates — Jesse Fennelly, Jo Newhouse, and Jay Samaha — are running uncontested for three seats on the Wilmington School.Have you been paying attention to the race?  If not, Wilmington Apple has you covered!Read Closing StatementsJesse FennellyI want to thank the Wilmington Apple for another season of excellent election coverage and for giving us the opportunity to discuss our positions on issues facing the town. I also want to extend my appreciation to you, the residents of Wilmington, for taking the time to learn about the candidates on the ballot this coming weekend. You have three choices for three seats on the School Committee this year. I hope I have done enough to earn one of your votes. I am looking forward to (hopefully) being given a chance to represent you. And remember, you can always reach me on the campaign Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/JesseFennellyforWilmingtonSchoolCommitteeAlso, please don’t forget that while the School Committee race is quiet this year, we have 9 candidates for three seats on the Board of Selectmen. I hope the residents will share my sentiment that this is an important election, and I encourage everyone to get out this weekend and vote. Please, while you are at it, consider casting a vote for me for School Committee. Thank you.Jay SamahaWilmington is a great town with great schools and is a place we should all be proud to call home. I am excited about the challenges ahead and, if elected, will always work for the students, families, and community of Wilmington to the best of my ability.  I believe that my combination of being both a parent in town and being a classroom teacher will bring a unique perspective to the school committee. I look forward to helping stabilize the district at all levels, increasing social emotional learning, focusing on special education, and finding appropriate solutions to issues in a collaborative spirit with my fellow school committee members and the Superintendent.I would like to thank my fellow candidates, Jo and Jesse.  I have learned a lot from both of you and, if elected, look forward to working alongside you.  I would also like to thank my wife, Amanda, our children, Avis and Nick, and the many friends, family, and colleagues who have helped along the way.I am asking for your vote this Saturday, April 27th.Read Campaign Announcements:Jay Samaha Pulls Paper To Run For School CommitteeJesse Fennelly To Run For School CommitteeRead Weekly Candidate Q&As: Samaha, Newhouse & Fennelly Evaluate Superintendent’s First 9 MonthsSamaha, Newhouse & Fennelly Discuss School Start Time ChangesSamaha, Newhouse & Fennelly Discuss District’s Special Education DepartmentSamaha, Newhouse & Fennelly Discuss Their Involvement In The School System & Communitylast_img read more

Oil naira drag on Nigeria

first_imgOil, naira drag on Nigeria216 viewsOil, naira drag on Nigeria216 views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00Oil, naira drag on Nigeria216 viewsBusinessNigeria’s economy had been motoring. But weaker oil prices and a slide in the currency has forced the government to trim expenditure. Economic growth for 2014 is now seen at 5.5 percent down from aVentuno Web Player 4.50Nigeria’s economy had been motoring. But weaker oil prices and a slide in the currency has forced the government to trim expenditure. Economic growth for 2014 is now seen at 5.5 percent down from alast_img read more

6 pins removed from pvt part of 30yrold

first_imgKolkata: A 30-year-old mentally retarded man from Bihar was successfully operated upon at Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan on Saturday where the doctors removed as many as six pins from inside his penis.The victim was brought to the hospital from Siwan district in Bihar last Monday after he complained of pain inside his private part. After conducting X-Ray, the doctors were perplexed to see pins inside his penis. He also faced difficulties while urinating. The doctors decided to conduct the surgery on Saturday. They first performed microsurgery through which they removed two pins. They had to cut open a small portion from his lower abdomen to remove the other four pins. The operation was not easy as his veins could have been affected. Adequate measures were taken while conducting the surgery so that no injury occurs while removing the pins. The patient told the doctors that he had inserted the pins into the urinary tract when he used to feel an itching sensation inside his penis. The patient has been stated to be in stable condition and recovering well.last_img read more

Top BJP ministers attend RSS meet Oppn questions govts accountability

first_imgFormer J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took a dig at the RSS over its coordination meeting with the BJP and questioned how it could be called a ‘social organisation’. “So the RSS is doing a 3-day performance appraisal of the Modi government. Anyone else want to tell me that they are a ‘social organisation’?” he tweeted. There was speculation that the demand for ‘one rank, one pension’ (OROP), over which ex-servicemen have been agitating in the national Capital was discussed on the sidelines of the three-day coordination meeting.  Also Read – K’taka cabinet expansion on August 20Governance issues such as the Land Bill and the Patel reservation agitation in Gujarat and recent census figures are also on the list of items to be deliberated.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the event on its last day (Friday). Wednesday’s deliberations were attended by Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Manohar Parrikar, Venkaiah Naidu, Anant Kumar besides party chief Amit Shah and some other ministers.  Also Read – Torrential rains lash northern states, alert sounded in PunjabRSS chief Mohan Bhagwat presided over the meeting, which was attended by representatives of 15 Sangh associates – Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch and Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangathan. BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav, who has been deputed by the RSS to the party, said there would be no discussion on OROP, adding that the government is seized of the matter.“The meeting is about how we should move ahead into the future. It’s not about any review of the government or any policy and programmes,” he said. Sources said government would be given a feedback over the issues before it but it would not be any threadbare analysis of any specific programme or policy. There was a feeling among the participants in the meeting that the contentious OROP issue should be resolved at the earliest, considering that it is an issue dear to the Sangh Parivar.last_img read more

Antidengue drive carried out in New Alipore

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC)’s Health department carried out anti-dengue drive in Ward 117 in New Alipore on Tuesday.Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh and Tarak Singh, Member, Mayor-In-Council, Sewerage and Drainage, were present at the event. Senior officials of the KMC’s health, building, solid waste management departments were also present. KMC has identified 20 vulnerable wards where some people had fallen sick due to dengue in 2018. The KMC team is visiting the houses of those victims and is looking into their surroundings. The civic officials felt that this was the best way to control the spread of the vector-borne disease. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseTulika Pal (31 years) residing at Jyotish Roy Road had dengue in 2018. Aditya Prasad (18), a resident of the same area, suffered from dengue in 2018 as well. The civic officials visited their houses and spoke to them. The KMC team on Tuesday also visited the houses of 13 people who had dengue in 2018. Never in the history of the KMC, the drive with such seriousness had been carried out. Not only the civic officials are talking to those who have been affected by the disease but they are also examining the conditions in which they are living. The overhead tanks and underground reservoirs are being examined. In view of global warming, the civic authorities have started anti-dengue drives from January. In early February, awareness drives were carried out in all the 144 wards of the KMC. The dengue eradication drive will be done in three phases. The current phase will continue until July. The second phase will start in August and continue until October. In November and December, follow-up drives will be conducted.last_img read more

8th Theatre Olympics kicks off on Feb 17

first_imgTheatre lovers in India have a reason to rejoice! The country is set to host the largest international theatre festival – the 8th Theatre Olympics – for the first time, with participation from 30 countries in a series of performances to be held across India. The 51-day-long event will be inaugurated at the majestic Red Fort on February 17 at 6:30 pm by Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu. The 8th Theatre Olympics 2018 will travel to 17 Indian cities with 450 shows, 600 ambience performances and 250 power packed youth forum shows with the participation of 25,000 artists from the globe. The festival will conclude on April 8, with a grand ceremony at the iconic Gateway of India in Mumbai. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe theatrical extravaganza is being hosted in India by the National School of Drama under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The theme of the 8th Theatre Olympics is “Flag of Friendship” that aims to bridge borders and bring people of different cultures, beliefs and ideologies together through the medium of theatrical art.Since 1993, the Theatre Olympics has been held seven times in the following countries: Japan (1999), Russia (2001), Turkey (2006), South Korea (2010), China (2014), Poland (2016). The festival is considered to be the biggest international celebration of theatre in terms of plays, participants, performances and number of days. During the festival, plays will be held in Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Imphal, Jaipur, Jammu, Kolkata, Mumbai, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram and Varanasi. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveParticipants from 30 countries including Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mauritius, Nepal, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and U.S.A. would showcase their acumen in theatre. Theatre and film veterans of the likes of Shabana Azmi, Paresh Rawal, Manoj Joshi, Himani Shivpuri, Seema Biswas and Saurabh Shukla will also take part in this grand theatrical treat. “I thank and congratulate the international theatre community for providing India with this grand opportunity. Theatre mirrors our lives and is a strong and powerful medium which intricately and beautifully portrays social issues on a larger platform. India is proud to host the 8th Theatre Olympics 2018 and showcase its cultural strength to the world,” says Union Minister of State for Culture (IC), Dr Mahesh Sharma.Numerous allied activities like seminars, symposia, ‘Interface’ and workshops with well-known academicians, scholars, authors, actors, designers and directors are scheduled to take place across 17 cities. The allied programs would boast of 60 ‘Living Legends’ series and 50 ‘Master Classes’. The 8th Theatre Olympics would also include two international seminars in Delhi and Mumbai with six national seminars in Bhopal, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata and Varanasi. The best way to preserve knowledge is to pass it on. Upholding this spirit, the students of National School of Drama are all pumped up for the theatre festival. Through the youth forum of National School of Drama, “Advitiya 2018”, young voices are being channelled through street plays, music bands, short playwriting and theatre reporting. There will be a competition on short playwriting with cash prizes of Rs 25,000, 50,000 and one lakh. “For the past three years, we had the dream to bring Theatre Olympics to India. The dream that we had seen has come true. Since we began to envision and achieve this feat, Dr Mahesh Sharma and the Ministry of Culture have extended wholehearted support to the idea and have played an instrumental role in making it a reality.Throughout centuries we have seen playwright like Shakespeare and Bertolt Brecht becoming a part of Indian theatre, while despite having our own extraordinary playwrights and theatrical figures, we are still to make a similar impact. This is a huge leap towards that direction of putting Indian theatre on the world map,” says Prof. Waman Kendre, Director, NSD.last_img read more

Google Suspends Modular Smartphone Project

first_img Enroll Now for Free September 2, 2016 This story originally appeared on PCMag Google’s Motorola division announced Project Ara back in 2013, giving the modular smartphone concept plenty of time to bake in Google’s oven.Eager audiences waited and salivated at the thought of a handset with pick-and-choose parts: Don’t want a camera, but need extra battery? Just swap the parts. Need a big loudspeaker for an upcoming beach trip? Snap one in. Easy. At least, that was the idea. According to a recent report from Reuters, Google has suspended Project Ara.Sources claim the company is looking to “streamline” many of its ongoing hardware projects.But that doesn’t mean Ara is officially over. While Google may not be interested in making the device anymore, it could license the technology if another firm wants to pick up the Web giant’s torch.That said, the setback is just one more in a long list for Ara. The smartphone initially promised a commercial launch target of 2015, but that got pushed back to 2016, and then 2017.As the delays grew, Google even changed a bit of the Ara’s modular design: Rather than having completely replaceable components — like a CPU that you could swap out for an upgraded version every year — Google ended up switching to a version of the Ara that had many key components built into the frame.In other words, parts like the Ara’s CPU, GPU, antennas and battery could be supplemented with modular chips, but you couldn’t replace them outright.This week’s reports come as a bit of a surprise, given Google’s Ara push at this year’s I/O developer conference, which included a demonstration of a fully functional Ara device, a tease of the 2017 commercial launch date and a promise that developer versions of the smartphone would start shipping this fall. In fact, Google’s developer website for the Ara still points to a fall 2016 launch date.Of course, the irony is not lost in the fact that Motorola has beaten Google to the market with a somewhat-modular smartphone of its own — or, at least, one you can customize with add-on components. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 2 min readlast_img read more

Hayman named best in Australia

first_imgHayman has been named Best Hotel/Resort in Australia at the National Travel Industry Awards for Excellence 2010.A six-time winner of this award and the first resort to be inducted into the NTIA Hall of Fame in 2005 after winning this category for three successive years, Hayman accepted this latest award at a glittering dinner in Sydney on Saturday night (10 July).Hayman General Manager, Shane Green said the award was a significant one for Hayman, having been voted on by the travel industry.“We are delighted with the success Hayman has enjoyed in these awards over many years, and having been selected by our industry partners, who continue to allow us to showcase the many wonderful attributes of our resort and island,” Mr Green said. Mr Green acknowledged the contribution of “an exceptional group of people who live and work on Hayman and are dedicated to providing a special resort experience”.“We are committed to delivering a higher level of excellence to our guests and respected partners through our ongoing enhancements to the Hayman experience which will include the unveiling of magnificent new Beach Villas in December.”Hayman is owned by Mulpha Australia Limited and is a member of the prestigious organisation, The Leading Hotels of the World. Source = Hayman <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2186f/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

ShareTweet

first_imgShareTweet SHE was the final contestant on the show last night and Coleen Gormley’s angelic voice certainly wowed the judges.And the 28-year-old from Claudy had to wait to the very last second before Will.i.am pushed his button to secure her on his team.It was the last Blind Audition episode of seven weeks of the latest series on BBC1. claudyCO DERRY’S COLEEN GORMLEY MAKES IT INTO VOICE UK SING OFF The Claudy lass was the very last contestant of the Blinds and there was only one space left on Will.i.am’s team.She put an angelic twist on the song ‘When You Say Nothing At All” which was warmly applauded by the studio audience.But Will wasn’t going to pass on her beautiful voice that also drew strong praise from Boy George, Ricky Wilson and Paloma Faith.They couldn’t turn for her as they had already filled all 12 spaces on their teams. Said Will: ‘I was holding out for something angelic, and here you are all dressed in all white.”‘That’s not white,’ said Boy George tartly. ‘That’s cream darling. It’s taupe.’“Is it taupe? Rhymes with ‘dope’ ! You’re everything that I hoped.’’ added WillIn her VT Coleen said: “I started singing for my local church, and it’s where I felt at home. My type of music is country music as it has that sort of spiritual age to it. It is the type of music that speaks to the heart.“I believe a lot in what is meant to be, and I just hope to capture that moment and make everyone feel that yes, I have had that moment”.Next week, Coleen goes into the sing off battles and hoping to make it all the way to the final.CO DERRY’S COLEEN GORMLEY MAKES IT INTO VOICE UK SING OFF was last modified: February 21st, 2016 by John2John2 Tags:last_img read more

225 years ago a rather prescient James Madison wr

first_img225 years ago, a rather prescient James Madison wrote: “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” Today, the encroachments against which he warned have become the rule rather than the exception, as cyberspying has afforded governments unprecedented means to gain control over their own citizens. It’s been a long and twisted path from the likes of Madison to Richard Nixon, who once famously said, “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” For that, he was rightly vilified. Yet if the four decades since he passed from the scene have taught us anything, it’s that vast armies of government officials have come believe that whatever they do is legal. The fourth and fifth amendments to the Constitution are violated so routinely that few people bother to notice, and an entire generation has grown up without knowing why they were written into the document and what they mean—or even that they exist at all. The revelations from the Edward Snowden-orchestrated document leaks have been coming fast and furious for several months now. Each day, it seems, we learn about another government program we hadn’t heard of before. And yet, we are complicit. Each day we also enable our own surveillance. In early 2011, more than two years before Snowden surfaced, the humor website The Onion ran a spoof video about the supposed reauthorization of funding for Facebook by Congress, because it saves the intelligence community so much money. This quote purports to come from a deputy CIA director lauding Facebook: “After years of secretly monitoring the public, we were astounded so many people would willingly publicize where they lived, their religious and political views, an alphabetized list of all their friends, personal email addresses, phone numbers, hundreds of photos of themselves, and even status updates of what they were doing moment to moment. It is truly a dream come true for the CIA.” It’s hilarious but, like all good satire, it’s a little painful to watch, as well. Imagine, for example, that the government had demanded at gunpoint that we turn over all of the personal info we voluntarily post about ourselves. There’d be outrage. High-horse Congresspersons would hold hearings. Scathing op-ed pieces would appear. Luckily for the government, however, it doesn’t even have to ask. All that stuff is out there in cyberspace, almost begging to be harvested. Who can blame the authorities for taking advantage? In a sense, the same applies to our personal correspondence. At one time, opening someone else’s mail was a serious federal crime—it still is, actually. But email? We agree to let our server archive our e-letters, read them if it wants to, or turn them over to anyone who files the proper request. There is no such thing as a truly private electronic exchange. When we use Google, we give the company tacit permission to use the things it learns about us and our habits for its own or some affiliate’s purposes. That information, too, can be demanded by government agents, as can our credit card records, which reveal an enormous amount about us. Ditto for the paper trail you leave with those grocery store discount cards. And so on. Compromising Social Media Are we advocating going back to a world without Visa, iPhones, and Internet banking? No, of course not. But any consideration of the domestic cyberwar currently raging must include our cooperation with it, and the indisputable fact that we have quickly warmed to the convenience of the cyberuniverse without having paid much attention to the loss of privacy that has accompanied it. One of the clearest lessons of history is that government will happily embrace the latest in technological advances that offer it the possibility of greater control over its subjects. And use them. And then abuse them. But of course, “We don’t have a domestic spying program.” That’s what President Obama declared on August 6 on The Tonight Show, in one of the most disingenuous statements ever made by a politician—and that’s saying something. What Obama should do next is to try saying that to any of the increasing number of Americans like Brandon Raub. Raub, a 26-year-old decorated former Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, made the mistake of posting political views and song lyrics to his private Facebook page that were critical of our current wars and of the government in general. Little did Raub know that the government is using Facebook as a surveillance tool. Even less did he suspect that in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security had launched Operation Vigilant Eagle, which aims to track military veterans who are voicing feelings of discontent, because they are to be regarded as potential terrorists. As a result of Raub’s Facebook rants, on Thursday, August 16, 2012, a swarm of local police, Secret Service, and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s Virginia home, asking to speak with him about his postings. After a brief conversation and without providing any explanation, levying any charges against him, or reading him his rights, the officials handcuffed Raub and transported him first to police headquarters, then to a psychiatric hospital, where he was incarcerated against his will. Although he was sentenced only to 30 days of “observation,” involuntary psychiatric commitment is different from an “arrest.” It requires no proof, and can be very difficult to extricate oneself from. Raub is not unique. Other veterans around the country have been swept up by Operation Vigilant Eagle and similarly harassed. The Raub story has a relatively happy ending, because he was one of the lucky ones. Outraged onlookers filmed the bust on their cellphones, and it went viral on YouTube. The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit Constitutional law firm, jumped in and petitioned for his release, and an outraged Circuit Court judge ordered him immediately freed a week after his detention. The point, though, is that his ordeal exemplifies how closely Facebook and other social media are being watched. The default assumption must be that whatever you post to the Internet is going to be scrutinized—by someone, in some agency, somewhere—and that it constitutes evidence that may be used against you, even outside an actual court of law. Unleashing the Tech While the government can hardly be accused of illicit activity in the gathering of one’s publicly revealed Facebook information, surreptitious wiretapping without a warrant is another matter, with the legal niceties far from sorted out at this point. One of the truly disturbing facts about Edward Snowden’s leaks—which have caused such a commotion in the media and among civil libertarians, while also provoking calls in Congress for him to be tried as a traitor—is that they should have come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying the slightest attention. Clues have been popping up all over the place for more than a decade. “ECHELON,” for example, had been known about since before the turn of the century. A signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US), it’s a software system capable of interception, content inspection, and dissemination of downloaded commercial satellite trunk communications globally, including telephone calls, fax, email, and other data traffic. On the domestic front, “Carnivore” was an early “packet sniffer” software deployed by the FBI in 1997. It could select and capture particular data packets flowing across the Internet, decode them, and examine their contents. The FBI countered the objections of privacy advocates by saying that Carnivore could distinguish between communications that could be lawfully intercepted and those that could not. Carnivore was eventually replaced by the far more powerful “NaurusInsight,” noted for being the universal wiretap system installed in Room 641A at AT&T’s operations center in San Francisco, as revealed in 2006. But the big leap forward came when President Bush authorized the “President’s Surveillance Program” (PSP) shortly after the 9/11 attacks. It included an ultrasecret NSA intelligence-gathering project code-named “STELLARWIND,” involving data mining of a large database of the communications of American citizens, including email communications, phone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity. Almost immediately, there was fierce opposition within the Justice Department on the part of those who believed the president had exceeded his Constitutional authority. But the dissenters lost, and the project proceeded. Though STELLARWIND’s name remained secret, in December 2005, the New York Times alluded to it when it ran an article titled, “Bush lets U.S. spy on callers without courts.” In the article, the NSA—whose mission was previously thought to be limited solely to spying on communications abroad—was outed for the first time as operating domestically. The Times cited as its sources “a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program.” The nation yawned. The existence of the PSP itself has been known since 2008, when Thomas Tamm, a former attorney in the Department of Justice’s Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, anonymously leaked information about it to the Times. Then, in early 2012, whistleblower William Binney—a 32-year NSA veteran—went on record with all the gory details about the architectural and operational elements of STELLARWIND, which he had helped design. Binney said that the program he worked on had been intended for use in cases of foreign espionage, but after 9/11 was converted to spying on citizens in the United States—a development with which he disagreed and which led to his resignation from the agency in late 2001. He went on to state that the NSA has highly secured rooms that tap in to major switches, and satellite communications at both AT&T and Verizon, an assertion that was supported by the exposure of Room 641A. STELLARWIND itself was theoretically discontinued in 2007, but it basically continued under various different names at the end of the Bush administration and straight through the Obama years. These include programs brought to public attention by Snowden, such as “Boundless Informant,” “PRISM,” “Fairview,” “Dropmire,” and “XKeyscore.” The Snowden File Obviously, enough facts were known that there should have been a public airing of the whole warrantless spying issue long before Edward Snowden appeared. But since it is he who has become the poster boy for the issue, it’s worth reviewing some of these revelations. PRISM (leaked June 2013) PRISM went operational in 2007, operating under the supervision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court. It’s a system the NSA uses to gain access to the private communications of users of nine popular Internet service providers: Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo!, Skype, and YouTube. The government contends that PRISM cannot be used domestically without a FISA warrant, but the leaked Snowden document calls PRISM “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports.” FISA approval isn’t exactly tough to get. The Electronic Privacy Information Center reports that in 2012, the court received 1,856 applications and rejected none. (One day before PRISM leaked came the revelation that the FISA Court had been ordering a subsidiary of telecommunications company Verizon Communications to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers’ telephone calls on an ongoing daily basis.) The named companies went ballistic over this, insisting that their hands are clean. A typical response from Google CEO Larry Page stated that “any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.” However, it’s possible that a bit of legal game-playing is going on here. This is the leaked graphic about PRISM that caused all the fuss: About it, the Washington Post wrote: “This slide draws a distinction between NSA surveillance programs that collect communications ‘as data flows past’ on fiber optic cables and PRISM, which collects communications ‘directly from the servers’ of U.S. Internet companies. “Some have interpreted this to mean that the NSA has ‘direct access’ in a technical sense: automatic, unfettered access to the servers’ contents. But in context, ‘direct’ is more likely to mean that the NSA is receiving data sent to them deliberately by the tech companies, as opposed to intercepting communications as they’re transmitted to some other destination. That’s not inconsistent with tech company lawyers scrutinizing each request before complying with it.” XKeyscore (leaked July 2013) This is a computer system used by the NSA for searching and analyzing Internet data about foreign nationals across the world. The program is run jointly with other agencies, including Australia’s Defence Signals Directorate and New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau. It detects the nationality of foreigners by analyzing the language used within intercepted emails. XKeyscore takes certain types of raw metadata that the NSA has already collected using other methods, and processes it with arrays of Linux machines. The Linux processing nodes look for specific key content in these captured network sessions; there are specialized plugins to enable the mining of packets for phone numbers, email addresses, webmail and chat activity, and the full content of users’ Web browser sessions. For selected traffic, XKeyscore can also generate a full replay of a network session between two Internet addresses. But rather than dumping everything back to a central processor, each XKeyscore site keeps most of the data in local caches. According to the documents leaked by Snowden, those caches can hold approximately three days of raw packet data—full “logs” of Internet sessions. There’s also a local database at the network tap sites that can keep up to 30 days of locally processed metadata. Boundless Informant (declassified document leaked June 2013) A Big Data analysis and data-visualization system used to give NSA managers summaries of the agency’s worldwide data-collection activities. As explained in a Guardian article: “By extracting information from every DNI and DNR metadata record, the tool is able to create a near realtime snapshot of GAO’s collection capability at any given moment. The tool allows users to select a country on a map and view the metadata volume and select details about the collection against that country. The tool also allows users to view high level metrics by organization and then drill down to a more actionable level—down to the program and cover term.” “GAO” (Global Access Operations) is an NSA operational branch whose motto is “The mission never sleeps.” “DNI” stands for “digital network intelligence,” and “DNR” for “dial number recognition.” According to the XKeystroke slide show, “Boundless Informant is hosted entirely on corporate services and leverages FOSS technology (available to all NSA developers).” “FOSS” stands for “free and open-source software,” and I guess this means it could be disseminated pretty widely. Fairview (leaked June 2013) A mass surveillance program aimed at collecting phone, Internet, and email data in bulk from the computers and mobile telephones of foreign countries’ citizens. According to Snowden: “The NSA partners with a large US telecommunications company… [which] partners with telecoms in the foreign countries, [which] then allow the US company access to those countries’ telecommunications systems, and that access is then exploited to direct traffic to the NSA’s repositories.” Dropmire (leaked June 2013) A program aimed at surveillance of foreign embassies and diplomatic staff, including those of NATO allies. The Guardian reported that at least 38 foreign embassies were under surveillance—some as far back as 2007. Diplomatic spying by the United States had been known at least since 2010, when it was revealed that US agencies had spied on UN chief Ban Ki-moon, but at the time, it was not known that this had been done as part of a systematic program. Everyone Wants In These five are among the most important programs, but they are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Many others had been catalogued before Snowden came along; one blogger in March 2012 compiled a list of code names for 97 NSA (and NSA-contractor) programs involved in all aspects of SIGINT collection, processing, analysis, dissemination, and storage. Lest we forget, the NSA is hardly the only arm of the federal government in the domestic spying business. There’s also the FBI and the military. (Because we can’t know otherwise, we’ll give a reluctant assent to the CIA’s insistence that it is involved only overseas.) Almost certainly Homeland Security. Oh yeah, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). For example, the FBI is spending $1 billion on its “Next Generation Identification” program. The program is designed to advance the Bureau’s biometric identification services, providing an incremental replacement of its current integrated automated fingerprint-identification capabilities with a multimodal biometric database. To fingerprints will be added iris scans, palm prints, DNA data, and even tattoos, as well as facial images and facial recognition software that will enable identification of individuals from private-sector security camera records. Whether the goal is to create a database containing biometrics on every American is unknown at this time. Just recently, it came out that the DEA has skin in the game, too. An August Reuters article based on leaked documents revealed that the agency is “funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.” For the record, the DEA is supposed to be hunting common criminals, not terrorists. But hey, who’s counting at this point? More interesting would be from whom it’s getting those intercepts, etc. That’s still classified. Furthermore, Reuters states that the documents show that “law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin—not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges,” and that “federal agents are trained to ‘recreate’ the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial.” Not to mention that it would constitute a unique situation in law enforcement. However, we can make some wild guesses as to the source of the info. The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Homeland Security. And, oops, I almost forgot—the NSA. The military, through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has a large number of projects under way, focusing on algorithmic improvement, espionage, surveillance, natural speech recognition, and video and image retrieval systems. Among that last group is something called the “Video and Image Retrieval and Analysis Tool” (VIRAT). It aims to develop a system to provide military imagery analysts with the capability to exploit the vast amount of overhead video content being collected. If successful, VIRAT will enable analysts to establish alerts for activities and events of interest as they occur. VIRAT also seeks to develop tools that would enable analysts to rapidly retrieve—with high precision and recall—video content from extremely large video libraries. This one is of particular interest, because it is probably critical to the success of “Argus,” a new 1.8-gigapixel camera meant to be deployed on drones. Argus merges information from 368 separate image chips and can surveil a medium-sized city with a resolution of six inches from 17,000 feet in the air. It creates a library, enabling the drone operator to “go back in time” to home in on a particular event in a specific time or place. And perhaps most significant, it can also pinpoint and automatically track anything that is moving within its field of vision. That means if you’re running or driving your car, it can zero in and follow you in real time. Though civilian applications are evident, the government is mum on whether there are any plans to deploy Argus domestically. Panopticon Arrives In that blogger’s list referred to earlier, there appears a particularly spooky term: “Panopticon.” Whether the NSA actually has a program with that code name has yet to be definitively documented, but the overall combined effect of its (and other government agencies’) efforts is eerily Panopticon-like. That is one of the few aspects of the Snowden-leak story that has been underreported. English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham first posited the idea of the Panopticon in the late 18th century. It was an architectural concept for a prison with cells arranged in a circle around a central tower where the guards—who couldn’t be seen by inmates—had direct visual access to every cell. The idea was to instill in the prisoners’ minds the notion that, since they could never know when they were being surveilled, they would have to assume that they always were. French philosopher Michel Foucault described how insidious and clever this was. It would serve “to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it; in short, that the inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the bearers.” How’s that sound as a metaphor for the modern state? Inducing a condition of perpetual paranoia in the population may seem like an extreme measure, and it is certainly counterproductive for a society, as the KGB and Stasi should have demonstrated for us quite convincingly. Nevertheless, as Foucault correctly argued, that is the inevitable result of a surveillance that is perceived to be all-encompassing. Repeat the word one more time: Inevitable. Given the extent of what’s now going on in the US, it’s impossible to duck the question of government intentionality. Yet the problem goes even deeper than that. The Roman poet Juvenal nailed the concomitant danger nearly 2,000 years ago when he asked: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Or, as we tend to loosely translate it these days: Who will watch the Watchmen? Faced with all of this, the ordinary citizen may feel helpless. But one positive development from all the recent revelations about government surveillance is that a lot of people are questioning whether we’ve lost the allegiance to individual liberty on which the nation was founded, and are beginning to speak out that it’s time to get it back. That quaint notion is in for a long-overdue rebirth, which we may yet get. In the meantime, there are things that can be done to enhance individual privacy, which we’ve covered in past issues of Casey Extraordinary Technology. In addition, there are profits to be made from companies specializing in data security. Identifying them early and getting a jump on the crowd allowed us to make 102% with Fortinet and 46% in just one week with ArcSight. As always, we’ll be on the lookout for future opportunities in the sector.last_img read more

Heres the 6month US dollar index so you can se

first_img Here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index so you can see what’s happened since its low in early May. And as I write this paragraph, the London open is five minutes away.  All four precious metals, which had been up a bit on the day, had their prices turned lower starting about 45 minutes before the London open—and only platinum remains in positive territory at the moment.  Gold volume is a bit under 13,000 contracts—and silver’s volume is around 2,900 contracts.  The dollar index is up a handful of basis points. As October winds down, we have options and futures expiry for the November contract/delivery month in both gold and silver coming up next week.  But unless there’s surprise, I expect November deliveries to be a mere shadow of what transpired during the October delivery month.  The reason I say that is because the current gold open interest in November is only 352 contracts—and in silver, it’s 122 contracts.  Nothing to see here.  The big delivery month of the year in both metals is December—and what transpires in that month could prove interesting. And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 4:55 a.m. EDT, I note that all four precious metals are under renewed selling pressure now that London has been open a couple of hours—and all four are down a bit more from their New York closes on Wednesday.  Net volume in gold is around 23,000 contracts at this point—and silver’s net volume is about 5,200 contracts, neither of which are particularly large numbers for this time of day.  The dollar index is now down a couple of basis points. That’s all I have for today—and I await the New York open with great interest to see what JPMorgan et al have in store for us during the Comex trading session. See you tomorrow. The agreement with Sumitomo on the Fourth of July project is a great compliment to our recent agreement with Newmont Mining on the Wood Hills South project. We also have the Arabia, Golden Shears and some generative efforts being funded through our joint venture business model. We have enough capital in the bank to last two more years and no debt. The share structure remains at 33.5 million fully diluted. We are very well positioned to have a major win with an incredible share structure. Renaissance Gold has proven through the joint venture business model what exploration success with a tight share structure can do. Renaissance is the spinout of AuEx Ventures that sold in 2010 and made just shy of 100x their first private placement. It takes technical strength and fiscal conservatism to generate meaningful share holder returns in the high risk exploration business. Please visit our website for more information. Mining executives don’t care what happens to their public stockholders The gold price didn’t do much of anything in Far East or early London trading on their Wednesday—and the smallish rally that developed once the noon London silver ‘fix’ was in, got in the neck at precisely 8:30 a.m. EDT—ten minutes after the Comex open.  From there it chopped sideways until the 1:30 p.m. Comex close.  Then further selling pressure entered the market—and gold got closed almost on its low tick. The high and low were recorded by the CME Group as $1,250.20 and $1,240.70 in the December contract. Gold finished the trading day in New York yesterday at $1,241.00 spot, down $8.40 from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was 103,000 contracts. The gold stocks gapped down at the open—and the rally that developed shortly after the London p.m. fix didn’t last.  It was down hill all the way from there, as the HUI closed on its absolute low tick, down 3.17%.  [NOTE: My new HUI chart is courtesy of Nick Laird, for which I thank him] Sponsor Advertisement The performance of the golds stocks looked terrific compared to the silver equities, as they got crushed to the tune of 6.37%. As usual, silver got hit the moment that trading began in New York on Tuesday evening—and never recovered.  The tiny rally that developed right at the Comex open ran into ‘da boyz’ and their algorithms—and silver, like gold, was closed almost on its low tick. The high and low were recorded as $17.535 and $17.115 in the December contract, which was an intraday move of more than 2 percent. Silver closed in New York yesterday at $17.17 spot, down 34.5 cents.  Net volume was pretty decent at 36,000 contracts. The dollar index closed late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 85.40—and after a brief dip to its 85.24 low around 2:10 p.m. Hong Kong time on their Thursday afternoon, it chopped higher until around 2:40 p.m. EDT—and from there it traded pretty flat into the close.  The index finished the Wednesday session at 85.75—up another 35 basis points. Platinum hit its high at 9 a.m. Tokyo time—and then got sold down to unchanged.  The real selling pressure began the moment that Zurich opened—and platinum was closed on its absolute low of the day, down twenty bucks from Tuesday. Palladium did very little on Wednesday, at least up until its brief spike shortly after 11:30 a.m. in New York yesterday morning.  From that spike high it got sold down with a vengeance as the powers-that-be closed it down an even 10 bucks from Tuesday’s close. Once again the sell-off in the precious metal shares was out of all proportion to the loses in the underlying metal. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 gold and 10 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Friday.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that gold open interest in October dropped to 235 contracts—and October o.i. in silver was cut from 102 contracts down to 14 contracts, from which must be subtracted the deliveries posted in the previous paragraph.  The October delivery month, which concludes one week from today, will go off the board without incident. There was anther withdrawal from GLD yesterday.  This time an authorized participant took out 67,293 troy ounces.  And as of 9:27 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint. There were no in/out movements in gold at the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday but, as usual, it was a totally different story in silver, as  585,333 troy ounces were received—and 446,684 troy ounces were shipped out.  Almost all the action was at Brink’s, Inc. and the CNT Depository.  The link to that action is here. I don’t have all that many stories today, so I hope you have the time to read the ones you like. Based strictly on price action—and as I indicated in Saturday’s weekly review—most likely there has been further technical fund buying and commercial selling in COMEX gold futures in the reporting week [that] ended on Tuesday, October 21. I would guess at least 15,000 additional technical fund contracts were bought net in gold—and perhaps more than 20,000 contracts. I don’t sense much technical fund buying in silver, copper, palladium and platinum in the COT report to be issued this Friday, but if there was any technical fund buying in silver, it was flushed out in Wednesday’s rotten silver price performance. Gold appears to be the only metal experiencing technical fund buying to date—and that still raises the possibility of the commercials rigging gold prices lower temporarily to lure the technical funds who bought, back to the sell side. In that case, silver may come under pressure, but it’s hard to see how many technical funds can be maneuvered to sell, seeing as managed money shorts are already at an all-time record high. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 22 October 2014 I must admit that the price action in all four precious metals on Wednesday didn’t surprise me in the slightest.  But the shocker was the hammering that their associated equities took, especially the silver stocks.  As you know, I’ve commented on the disconnect between the movements in the metals themselves and their underlying share prices on several occasions since the low of two weeks ago—and yesterday’s action draws a similar response from me. The gold stocks are now back to where they were when gold painted its $1,184 low tick in the wee hours of Thursday morning on Monday, October 6—and the silver shares are even lower than that. If you’re looking for answers, the only one I can think of is that some precious metal mutual fund[s] had to unload a pile of shares because of redemptions—and its only a matter of time before Rick Rule is out telling all and sundry that it’s a perfect buying opportunity.  I don’t know how you feel about it dear reader, but after more than three years of this, I’m tired of somebody telling me to buy the dips.  I, like you, just want to see the stocks that we already own, do what we know they’re supposed to do. Of course the mining executives don’t care what happens to their public stockholders, because they’ll just get their respective boards of directors to reprice their millions/billions in stock options—so it’s no skin of their noses if their shareholders are getting wiped out in a rigged market. Here are the 6-month charts for the ‘Big 6’ commodities.  Note that we’ve had ‘failure’ in gold at its 50-day moving average, something I mentioned yesterday—and it only remains to be seen whether JPMorgan et al will continue this downward trend, or this is just a blip as we continue to move higher in price. This drake mallard duck was dabbling in the shallows a bit more than 10 meters away, which is point blank range for a 400mm lens.  He is resplendent in his new breeding plumage, as the drakes all look so drab in in the summer/early fall when they’re in the eclipse phase. I don’t normally crop creature photos this close, but wanted to show the iridescent green head from two different angles as the late-morning sun shone on it.  Plus it also accentuates two common English phrases so well—’water off a duck’s back’ and ‘duck tail’.  Both of which show their lineage in these two shots.  The red reflection in the water is, as usual, from the building in the distant background.last_img read more

A monthlong season of BBC films examining the liv

first_imgA month-long season of BBC films examining the lives of young disabled people will feature issues such as parenting, hate crime, relationships, and the qualities required of personal assistants.BBC Three’s Defying The Label season will begin on Monday 20 July with Don’t Take My Baby, a factual drama about a disabled couple’s struggle to keep their daughter.Among the current affairs offerings, Adam Pearson (pictured) is the latest presenter to explore the issue of disability hate crime, aiming to find out why it is “under-reported, under-recorded and under the radar”, in The Ugly Face Of Disability Hate Crime.Artist, campaigner and presenter Sophie Morgan travels to Africa to ask whether Ghana is the “world’s worst place to be disabled”.Among her discoveries, Morgan is taken by a disabled activist to meet a so-called “fetish priest”, who admits that he will dispose of a disabled child for money.The Defying The Label season also features a two-part mini-series which takes a group of young people and interviews them for a job as personal assistant for a disabled person their own age, and follows their experiences over the course of 10 days.Two programmes in the season are set at segregated, specialist colleges.One, Life Begins Now, looks at six students with learning difficulties as they prepare to graduate and “enter the real world”.Another, The Unbreakables: Life And Love On Disability Campus, looks at “the everyday antics” of students with high support needs who are living away from home for the first time, at the National Star College in Gloucestershire.Other programmes in the season examine young people adjusting to life after serious brain injuries; an 11-year-old boy who wants his leg to be amputated because a genetic condition has left his body affected by more than 200 tumours; a disabled teen who has been forced to leave the care system; and the challenges facing four young people with epilepsy.There is also a one-off mock gameshow, The Totally Senseless Gameshow, which “explores disability by disabling its celebrity contestants”, and “plays with taboos and flips between the action on stage to a behind-the-scenes comedy drama back-stage”.last_img read more

A disabled campaigner has won his third legal case

first_imgA disabled campaigner has won his third legal case against separate government departments over their failure to provide information in accessible formats.Graham Kirwan had already secured victories over the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department of Health.DWP previously paid him £1,700 damages for refusing to communicate by email over his personal independence payment claim, and in 2015 he was responsible for persuading NHS England to publish its first accessible information standard, thanks to another legal action.Now he has secured a confidential sum of damages from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) over its failure to provide accessible versions of the forms he needs to take legal action for disability discrimination under the Equality Act.Kirwan, who is partially-sighted, has computer software that can magnify text, but it does not usually work with scanned or PDF documents.He had tried in 2015 to access forms from the HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) “form finder” web pages but they were only available in PDF format.He asked HMCTS to make all its forms available in both PDF and Word formats on its website but was told instead to contact his local court every time he required a form.But this “reasonable adjustment” meant it sometimes took six weeks for a form to arrive, while on most occasions he never received it.Kirwan eventually launched a legal case against the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), which continued to insist that asking Kirwan to request forms from his local court was a reasonable adjustment.He pointed out that the court system was seriously under-resourced and that he was often facing delays of up to six weeks to secure forms that non-disabled people could download in minutes.He also pointed out that disability discrimination claims under the Equality Act must be lodged within one day short of six months, so the lengthy delay could be crucial in deciding whether he secured access to justice.Kirwan continued to push for a centralised system that provided disabled people with “a single point of contact and a prompt turnaround for requested forms”.MoJ finally conceded defeat and agreed to set up “a robust system whereby a court user can directly request and receive accessible forms promptly”, and to pay Kirwan damages and court costs.HMCTS has set up a centralised email address for requests for court forms and guidance in alternative formats (hmctsforms@justice.gov.uk) and says all such forms will be sent out within a maximum of 10 days.A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman confirmed the legal settlement.Kirwan says forms he requests in accessible formats are now arriving within 48 hours, thanks to the new system.He said: “I understand that the solution may not be ideal, especially as I originally wanted all forms on the site to be available in multiple formats.“It is now up to larger organisations with much more resources then me to push for bigger change.“I believe that in the circumstances the new system is much more efficient then that proposed by the MoJ and is a step in the right direction.”But he added: “There are still massive hurdles to overcome for disabled users of the civil justice system.“The judiciary is not bound by the Equality Act and it is extremely difficult to get respondents and defendants and specifically the legal profession to correspond in an accessible format.”last_img read more

As Michigan Awaits Millions in Marijuana Tax Revenue Massachusetts Still Waits

first_img A tales of taxes in both states reveals the frustrations and benefits of legalizing recreational marijuana. 3 min read Free Green Entrepreneur App Will Michigan voters have green on their minds next week at the polls?  Marijuana supporters are hopeful, as they anticipate impressive tax revenue — as high as $520 million over the next five years — for the state if voters approve recreational marijuana sales. In Massachusetts, state officials also have money on their mind — the millions the state is losing each month by delaying the start of adult-use marijuana sales, two years after voters approved it.It’s a tale of two different states with two different priorities — but both aiming for the same goal. Related: What Will Happen if the U.S. Legalizes Pot Like Canada? A Mind-Boggling Economic Boon, That’s What.Michigan awaitsIn Michigan, voters will consider Proposal 1 on the November ballot. If passed, it will legalize recreational marijuana sales statewide.This could be a boon for the state’s economy. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, one of the groups backing the legalization effort, recently projected that legalization of adult-use marijuana will bring in $134 million in state taxes in 2023 alone.In total, they estimate marijuana taxes would reach $520 million in the first five years after sales begin. The taxes would come from a 10 percent excise tax on marijuana, according to Ballotpedia.There’s been precedent for these kind of numbers. Other states have seen an enormous influx of cash from marijuana. Washington, which has about two million less people than Michigan, collected about $319 million in marijuana taxes and license fees in 2017, according to the state treasurer’s office. But the excise tax is much higher at 37 percent.Colorado, which also is smaller than Michigan in population, collected about $247 million in marijuana taxes and fees in 2017, the state’s Department of Revenue reported. Colorado has a 15 percent marijuana excise tax and a 10 percent tax on marijuana sales, reported Ballotpedia.According to the ballot proposal, tax revenue in Michigan would be sent to local governments. The money would pay for local government operations, improvements to schools, and road and bridge repair and maintenance.Related: Exclusive: New Report Estimates Over $1 Billion In Cannabis-Derived Taxes For NevadaMassachusetts waitsMeanwhile, in Massachusetts, leaders have grown concerned about not raking in the marijuana tax money they had counted on for the current fiscal tax year.That’s because Massachusetts, which approved legal recreational marijuana in November 2016, still has not launched its program. State officials now believe they are weeks away from the first dispensary being allowed to sell to the public.Massachusetts has been unusually slow to act. In comparison, Nevada had its program launched by July 2017 and California by January 2018. Voters in both of those states also approved adult-use sales in November 2016.What’s the holdup? There have been many, but the latest roadblock has been a slow licensing process for marijuana testing facilities.Sales were expected to start last July. Proponents of the measure said the state is losing about $176,000 a day since then. That’s an issue as state officials had hoped marijuana taxes would help to balance the state budget in 2019.Now they’re hoping to finally bring the earnings just like their beloved Red Sox. Follow dispensaries.com on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest cannabis news. As Michigan Awaits Millions in Marijuana Tax Revenue, Massachusetts Still Waits Guest Writer October 30, 2018 Politics dispensaries.com Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. –shares Next Article Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Download Our iOS App Image credit: Shannon Price | Getty Images Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Add to Queuelast_img read more

Mobiquity Technologies Releases AdTribute™ RealTime Ad Effectiveness Attribution

first_imgMobiquity Technologies Inc., a leading technology provider in next generation programmatic advertising released AdTribute as an additional measurement feature of the Advangelists ad tech operating system. a leading technology provider in next generation programmatic advertising today released AdTribute as an additional measurement feature of the Advangelists ad tech operating system. Advangelists’ AdTribute provides marketers the ability to identify in-store, brick-n-mortar visitation (footfall) as a result of exposure to digital advertising.Integrating digital footfall reporting, directly into the Advangelists platform data features results is actionable real-time measurement of physical campaign performance that eliminates delays and enables an advertiser to make smarter, faster spending decisions. In comparison, third party digital footfall solutions require several weeks of in-flight media followed by 2-3 weeks of data analysis by an outside vendor to generate a report on in-store campaign success. Advertisers could not make actionable changes or campaign optimizations until a later date.AdTribute uses a control-exposed methodology, identifying advertising impression views and subsequent lift in physical brick-n-mortar visitation as a result of campaign exposure. Additional measures include time between ad exposure and subsequent visitation to the store. The product further identifies when statistical significance is achieved, allowing marketers to confidently optimize their media campaigns.Marketing Technology News: Shuttlerock Expands European Presence to ParisWhen combined with web site visitation, Advangelists’ AdTribute feature provides a holistic view of an advertiser’s ability to influence both digital and physical store visitation in one platform. This solution has immediate applications in a wide range of end use advertising segments, including brick-and-mortar advertisers, restaurants, travel destinations, event and entertainment marketers, and flash sales.“With AdTribute, the Advangelists platform is able to match anonymous audience profiles to transactional or place-visit data sets to determine purchase or traffic lift and report back to our clients in real time,” explained Mr. Dean Julia, CEO of Mobiquity Technologies.Marketing Technology News: Informatica Unveils AI-Powered Product Innovations and Strengthens Industry Partnerships at Informatica World 2019“What’s unique about AdTribute is its ability to allow advertisers to begin viewing in-store traffic attributed to message exposure as the campaign launches and makes the data available to identify successful campaigns/audiences or messages for optimization mid-campaign,” continued Mr. Julia. “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer this feature free as part of Advangelists and recognize this as a distinct advantage over traditional DSP platforms working with location data providers.”Marketing Technology News: Tata Elxsi is a Certified Widevine Partner, Selected as the System Integrator for Google Widevine CAS solutions ad tech operating systemAdTributeMarketing TechnologyMobiquity TechnologiesNewsprogrammatic advertising Previous ArticleSelligent Marketing Cloud to Showcase Collaboration with Genesys at Xperience19Next ArticleMarTech Interview with Inbal Lavi, CEO at Webpals Group Mobiquity Technologies Releases AdTribute™ Real-Time Ad Effectiveness Attribution PRNewswireJune 11, 2019, 2:29 pmJune 11, 2019 last_img read more

Sebelius Faces Withering Criticism On And Off Capitol Hill

first_imgThe Health and Human Services secretary is testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today, as critics question her leadership of the department.The Associated Press/Washington Post: Sebelius Heads To Hill To Defend Health Law And Her Job As Problems Plague Website’s RolloutEager to cast blame, lawmakers are preparing to grill President Barack Obama’s top health official over problems with the rollout of the government’s health care website. A growing number of Republicans in Congress are calling for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to step down or be fired because of problems consumers are having signing up for insurance coverage on the government’s new website (10/30).The Wall Street Journal: Sebelius To Testify Before House PanelThe testimony by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has borne the brunt of criticism over the HealthCare.gov website, comes a day after Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee. Ms. Tavenner apologized on Tuesday, saying the site “can and will be fixed” (Schatz and Radnofsky, 10/30).Politico: As Turmoil Swirls, Kathleen Sebelius Takes Hot SeatNot so long ago, Kathleen Sebelius was a popular two-term governor with bipartisan appeal, a possible Democratic vice presidential prospect, a woman whom President Barack Obama could entrust with overhauling the nation’s health insurance system. Even Bob Dole volunteered to introduce her at her confirmation (Dovere and Haberkorn, 10/30).NBC News: How Did Obamacare Site Go So Wrong? 5 Questions Sebelius Must AnswerMarilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, apologized outright on Tuesday at a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee. Last week, officers of four of the main government contractors that built and are running different parts of the site, said the final testing had been too rushed — and a CMS spokesperson agreed. Now, it’s time for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to take her turn at hearing today. These questions remain unanswered (Fox, 10/30). Fox News: Sebelius To Face Grilling At Hearing On Glitch-Ridden Obamacare Website RolloutIn written testimony released ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, Sebelius vowed to improve the website and said the consumer experience to date is “not acceptable.” But she defended the law itself and said extensive work and testing is being done. “We are working to ensure consumers’ interaction with HealthCare.gov is a positive one, and that the Affordable Care Act  fully delivers on its promise,” she said in the prepared remarks. Sebelius blamed the website contractors and the “initial wave of interest” for the glitches, but expressed confidence in the experts and specialists working to solve “complex technical issues” (10/30).Bloomberg: Republicans Seeking Obamacare Accountability Tag SebeliusA day after her deputy apologized for the botched Obamacare exchange, U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will have to stare down accusations that she wasn’t forthcoming enough about the potential problems. Republicans said they primarily want to know at a hearing today about the lack of transparency ahead of the rocky Oct. 1 debut of the insurance exchange, which is supposed to let people compare and buy health plans (Wayne, 10/30).The Washington Post: Kathleen Sebelius, Welcome To An Unwelcome Washington Tradition: The Deathwatch.It’s Kathleen Sebelius’s turn now. On the Hill, they’re calling for her resignation and tossing around words like “subpoena.” Pundits are merrily debating her future. (She’s toast! Or is Obama too loyal to fire her so soon?) Her interviews, more closely parsed than usual, seem wobbly. Though never a colorful presence on the political scene, she’s suddenly a late-night TV punch line (Argetsinger, 10/29). Sebelius Faces Withering Criticism On And Off Capitol Hill This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Lowincome patients at increased risk of catastrophic amputation after knee joint replacement

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 30 2019Above-knee amputation (AKA) is a rare but severe complication of deep infection after knee replacement surgery. Low-income patients are at increased risk of this catastrophic complication, reports a study in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research® (CORR®), a publication of The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons®. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.Race and sex do not affect the risk of AKA after periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), according to the new research, led by Shyam Brahmabhatt, MD, of Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, Philadelphia. In an accompanying ‘Take 5′ interview, Dr. Brahmabhatt and CORR Senior Editor M. Daniel Wongworawat, MD, discuss the new evidence on how social factors may influence health outcomes and access to care for patients with complications after knee joint replacement surgery.Income and Insurance Status Affect Amputation Risk in Patients with Infected Knee ProsthesesUsing data from a nationally representative hospital database (Nationwide Inpatient Sample), the researchers identified approximately 33,000 patients diagnosed with PJI after knee joint replacement surgery between 2010 and 2014. Referring to infection developing around the artificial joint implant (prosthesis), PJI itself is a serious complication, usually requiring further surgery.In a small number of cases, treatment of the infection is unsuccessful, requiring amputation of the limb at a level above the knee. Of the 33,000 patients with PJI, about three percent had AKA. The researchers analyzed risk factors associated with AKA, focusing on socioeconomic measures (income and insurance status), race, and sex.Socioeconomic factors were significantly related to AKA risk, even after adjustment for the patients’ health status and other characteristics. Patients living in areas (based on ZIP code) in the lowest one-fourth of income were 58 percent more likely to sustain an AKA, compared to those living in the highest-income areas.Related StoriesMini MRI device could help diagnose knee injuries more quickly and accuratelyCommon traits keep many patients with knee cartilage issues from participating in clinical trialsResearchers report new regenerative medicine approach for treating osteoarthritis of the kneePatients on public insurance were also at higher risk. Compared to those with private insurance, the odds of AKA were 94 percent higher for Medicare patients and 86 percent higher for Medicaid patients.The risk of AKA was not significantly different for black compared to white patients. That’s an important finding, as previous studies had suggested that black race might be a risk factor for AKA after knee replacement surgery. Risk was also similar for men compared to women.Because of the large number of patients who undergo knee joint replacement and the poor functional outcomes associated with AKA, it is essential to understand the risk factors for this devastating complication. A recent study in CORR® reported that the occurrence of AKA due to PJI more than doubled over a 15-year period.The researchers were surprised to find that where the patient lived had such a major impact on AKA risk. “While ZIP code may not be a perfect measure of socioeconomic status, it is associated with the level of resources that may be available to people living in that area,” says Dr. Brahmabhatt in his ‘Take 5’ interview. The researchers call for further studies to explore strategies to prevent PJI – particularly in patients from low-income areas.Drs. Brahmabhatt and Wongworawat discuss the findings in the context of multidisciplinary efforts to reduce health disparities and inequalities in care. “The message that I would impart is that upholding the principles of equity, social justice, and ensuring community health are important for all physicians,” says Dr. Brahmabhatt. “It’s important to remember that all specialties work together as a team to fulfill vital roles in helping our patients towards that goal.” Source:http://home.lww.com/news.entry.html/2019/04/30/low_income_is_a_risk-SScj.htmllast_img read more

Study finds sex differences in inflammationinduced anhedonia

first_imgOur study is the first to show that there are sex differences in neural sensitivity to reward in response to inflammation, which has important implications. This may suggest one reason women experience depression at a far greater rate than men, particularly for the kinds of depression that may be inflammatory in nature.”Naomi Eisenberger, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, senior author Related StoriesUnhealthy gut microbiome may make breast cancers more aggressive finds studyCircadian rhythm influences immune responses across a range of diseasesResearchers one step closer to unmasking the cause of familial MSIn the study, healthy men and women received a substance to increase inflammation. Dr. Eisenberger and colleagues measured activity in the reward region of the brain, the ventral striatum, while the participants played a game to receive a monetary reward. Women with greater inflammatory responses showed less brain response in anticipation of potential rewards, but the relationship was not present in men.”This suggests that women with chronic inflammatory disorders may be particularly vulnerable to developing depression through decreases in sensitivity to reward. Clinicians who treat female patients with inflammatory disorders may want to pay close attention to these patients for possible onset of depressive symptoms,” said first author Mona Moieni, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Eisenberger. This study highlights the important gender differences that exist in the human brain and suggests a mechanism that might help explain the greater prevalence of depression in women compared to men.”Cameron Carter, MD, Editor of Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging Because the increased inflammation had no effect on how men’s brains responded to reward, inflammation-induced anhedonia may be an important contributor to the increased rates of depression in women.Source:ElsevierJournal reference:Eisenberger, N. et al. (2019) Sex differences in the relationship between inflammation and reward sensitivity: A randomized controlled trial of endotoxin. Biological Psychiatry. doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2019.03.010 Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 15 2019Inflammation reduces the brain’s response to rewards in women, but not in men, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, published by Elsevier. Reduced activity in the brain’s reward center is the signature of anhedonia, a core feature of depression that reflects a loss of enjoyment in things or activities. Women are two-to-three times more likely to be diagnosed with depression, and the new findings pinpoint a key difference in men and women that could contribute to the lopsided rates of the disorder.last_img read more

New approach to poststroke rehabilitation proposed

first_imgFor a long time, it was believed that when one hemisphere is bad, the second, instead of helping it, suppresses it even more. In this regard, the suppression of the activity of the “unaffected” hemisphere should help restore the affected side of the brain. However, the fact is that this particular scheme does not work in many patients after a stroke. Each time it is necessary to check what the impact of the unaffected hemisphere is — whether it is suppressive or activating.”Maria Nazarova, one of the authors of the article and a researcher at the HSE Institute of Cognitive Neurosciences Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 27 2019The existing approach to brain stimulation for rehabilitation after a stroke does not take into account the diversity of lesions and the individual characteristics of patients’ brains. This was the conclusion made by researchers of the Higher School of Economics (HSE University) and the Max Planck Institute of Cognitive Sciences in their article, ‘Predicting the Response to Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Stroke’.Among the most common causes of death worldwide, stroke ranks second only to myocardial infarction (heart attack). In addition, a stroke is also a chronic disease that leaves patients disabled for many years.In recent decades, non-invasive neuromodulation methods such as electric and magnetic stimulation of various parts of the nervous system have been increasingly used to rehabilitate patients after a stroke. Stimulation selectively affects different parts of the brain, which allows you to functionally enhance activity in some areas while suppressing unwanted processes in others that impede the restoration of brain functions. This is a promising mean of rehabilitation after a stroke. However, its results in patients remain highly variable.The study authors argue that the main reason for the lack of effectiveness in neuromodulation approaches after a stroke is an inadequate selection of patients for the application of a particular brain stimulation technique.According to the authors, the existing approach does not take into account the diversity of lesions after a stroke and the variability of individual responses to brain stimulation as a whole. Researchers propose two criteria for selecting the optimal brain stimulation strategy. The first is an analysis of the interactions between the hemispheres. Now, all patients, regardless of the severity of injury after a stroke, are offered a relatively standard treatment regimen. This approach relies on the idea of interhemispheric competition. Related StoriesStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesCancer patients taking statin medication has lower risk of suffering a strokeNew method improves detection of atrial fibrillation in stroke survivorsThe second criterion, scientists call the neuronal phenotype. This is an individual characteristic of the activity of the brain, which is ‘unique to each person like their fingerprints’. Such a phenotype is determined, firstly, by the ability of the brain to build effective structural and functional connections between different areas (connectivity). And, secondly, the individual characteristics of neuronal dynamics, including its ability to reach a critical state. This is the state of the neuronal system in which it is the most plastic and capable of change.Only by taking these criteria into account, the authors posit, can neuromodulation methods be brought to a new level and be effectively used in clinical practice. To do this, it is necessary to change the paradigm of the universal approach and select methods based on the individual characteristics of the brain of a particular person and the course of his or her disease. Source:National Research University Higher School of EconomicsJournal reference:Nazarova, M. et al. (2019) Predicting the Response to Non-invasive Brain Stimulation in Stroke. Frontiers in Neurology. doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00302.last_img read more

Seven chateaux and counting Chinese billionaire is big in Bordeaux

“I pictured a French country house, and it just so happened that it had eight hectares of vines around it,” he said.That was his first chateau, Haut-Brisson in Saint-Emilion, which he purchased in 1997, without ever having sampled the fruits of the vine.He quickly learned that winemaking isn’t just about planting and harvesting vines—it’s a way of life. And as in life, “there are many things that you cannot control. You do the best you can, but then you have to wait for nature.” Bordeaux’s ‘magnificent’ lost vintage pushes small growers to the edge Citation: Seven chateaux and counting: Chinese billionaire is big in Bordeaux (2018, May 4) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-chateaux-chinese-billionaire-big-bordeaux.html 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. ‘Black coffee and baguettes’It wasn’t his love of a plummy merlot that brought the Vietnamese-born businessman to Bordeaux. “My children study in the United States, so I was looking for a place halfway for vacations. France is halfway,” he told AFP in an interview.But there was also a touch of whimsy in his decision to set up shop on the other side of the world.Growing up in Vietnam under French colonial rule—living in the capital’s sprawling Chinatown—he was enthralled by “images of De Gaulle, black coffee, baguettes and dreams of Paris.”But instead of buying a pied-a-terre in the French capital, Kwok opted for a house in the country. © 2018 AFP Peter Kwok pose dans la cave du Château Bellefont-Belcier, à Saint-Laurent-des-Combes, en Gironde, le 11 avril 2018 Peter Kwok pose dans le Château Bellefont-Belcier, à Saint-Laurent-des-Combes, en Gironde, le 11 avril 2018 Some left after seeing their investments wither on the vine, but Peter Kwok, who has no fewer than seven vineyards to his name, says he is here for the long haul.The 69-year-old Hong Kong-based billionaire has been in southwest France for the past 20 years, recently snapping up Chateau Bellefont-Belcier, a Saint-Emilion grand cru.Some in France’s winemaking community are sniffy about the Asian investors who have bought up 140 chateaux in Bordeaux.The acquisitions—though making up only 1.5 percent of the region’s 7,000 vineyards—have stirred sensitivities about growing foreign investment, particularly Chinese, in strategic or heritage sectors.In February, President Emmanuel Macron said he would work to prevent foreign investors buying French farms after it emerged that a Chinese fund had bought nearly 3,000 hectares (7,500 acres) of wheat fields in the centre of the country.The Chinese tycoons present in Bordeaux see wine mainly as a way of diversifying their fortunes.But Kwok, who has invested 60 to 70 million euros ($72.5-85 million) in the region, insists he’s not in it for the money—though as an investment banker he keeps a eye on the numbers.”Other friends who own vineyards warned me the only way to make a fortune in wine is to invest an even bigger fortune!” said Kwok, who heads the energy subsidiary of Chinese investment group CITIC. Explore further Kwok has earned respect from locals thanks to the quality of his wines At first, he sold most of his wines in Asia, particularly Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China.But as the reputation of his wines grow so too has his global distribution.With a few harvests under his belt his goal now is to build his “Vignobles K” brand.”The other aim is to make good wine, which will also take years, but not quite as many.”Wine as artAt Bellefont-Belcier, something of a sleeping beauty in Saint-Emilion, one of his first tasks will be to clean up the woods that dot the rolling limestone hills over which the estate is spread.Kwok has earned his chops when it comes to revamping older chateaux, having restored the 18th-century dry masonry terraced vineyards at the Tour-Saint-Christophe estate he acquired in 2012. Reflecting on those Chinese peers who bid farewell to Bordeaux after a brief dalliance, he said: “It (owning a chateau) became the fashion. They just wanted the experience. But they slowly realised that winemaking is not the business they thought.”His time in France, which he visits three or four times a year, has taught him that the key ingredient in wine is not equipment or skilled labour, it’s the “terroir”—the land.”It’s like being the owner of a piece of art,” he said. “Only with wine, it’s a piece of art you can work on.” Over the past decade Chinese investors have conquered dozens of chateaux in Bordeaux, France’s famed wine-growing region. read more

Renaults Senard expects Nissans new board to embrace alliance

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard gestures at the end of a joint news conference in Yokohama, Japan, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File PhotoPARIS (Reuters) – Renault (RENA.PA) is confident that alliance partner Nissan’s (7201.T) new board will work to reinforce the their partnership as it struggles to turn the page on the Carlos Ghosn scandal, Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said on Thursday. Nissan shareholders last month approved the appointment of a new board at the Japanese carmaker that includes more international profiles. “There is a change,” Senard told reporters in a briefing at Renault headquarters. “We have a new board that is conscious of its fiduciary duty. Let that board work.” Speaking to the Paris-based Anglo-American Press Association, Senard expressed confidence that Nissan directors will see alliance cooperation as essential in the face of challenges facing the auto industry. “Necessity sometimes helps,” he said. Reporting by Laurence Frost. Editing by Jane MerrimanOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

17 killed in massive fire at Delhi hotel17 killed in massive fire

first_imgAt least 17 people were killed as a massive fire swept through a hotel in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh area on Tuesday.The fire broke out at Hotel Arpit Palace located on Gurudwara Road in Karol Bagh.A call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, a senior officer from the Delhi Fire Service said.A senior Delhi Police official said 17 people were killed in the fire, including a child.The injured were rushed to three hospitals including the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML)Thirteen bodies are at the RML Hospital, a senior doctor said.A video of the incident showed two people jumping from the fourth floor of the burning buildingAccording to eyewitnesses, most deaths were caused due to suffocation.They said wooden panelling in the corridors of the hotel contributed to the quick spread of the fire.A fire department official said some fire extinguishers were found used suggesting people trapped inside tried to douse the fire in a bid to escape.Cooling process is underway and the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, he added. COMMENTS COMMENT The fire broke out at Hotel Arpit Palace on the Gurudwara road in Karol Bagh   –  Twitter/Ani February 12, 2019 Published on Delhi SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more