Bournemouth v Arsenal 2:30pm Everton 1 – 0 Cardiff Fulham 3 – 2 Southampton Man United 0 – 0 Crystal Palace West Ham 0 – 4 Man City Brighton 1 – 1 Leicester Tottenham 3 – 1 Chelsea Valencia 3 – 0 Rayo Vallecano Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Udinese 1 – 0 Roma EIbar 3 – 0 Real Madrid Atl Madrid 1 – 1 Barcelona Watford 0 – 3 Liverpool Juventus 2 – 0 SPAL
19 July 2007Around 35 000 spectators were treated to a high-scoring clash between an African XI and a World XI at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Wednesday night in the “90 Minutes for Mandela” football match celebrating the 89th birthday of former South African president Nelson Mandela.Perhaps appropriately, in a game honouring a man who broadcasts a message of equality for all, the spoils were shared as the sides played to a 3-3 draw.Although he could not attend the match, Mandela, who met with a number of famous world figures in Johannesburg on the day, recorded a message which was broadcast over the big screen at the ground.‘An extra special birthday’“Today is indeed an extra special birthday for me, as I have been given this wonderful gift of a football match played in my honour,” he said.“This match is more than just a game; it symbolises the power of football to bring people together from all over the world, regardless of the language they speak or the colour of their skin.”Mandela had already been kitted out for the match on Tuesday when Brazilian legend Pele, three-time African player of the year Samuel Eto’o, and Fifa Vice-President Jack Warner presented him with an official jersey to commemorate the contest. It featured Mandela’s name and the number 89 on the back, while the front featured the 46664 campaign to raise global awareness about HIV/Aids.Blatter’s messageA message from Fifa President Sepp Blatter was also played before the game. He said: “It is a real pleasure to be able to stage this unique match to honour someone who has dedicated his lifetime to the promotion of human rights and democracy, and who has led the endless fight for freedom not only of his people, the South Africans, but of all mankind.”Pele started the match by kicking off with a ball signed by “Madiba”, the name by which Mandela is affectionately known. However, at age 66, Pele didn’t take an active part in the game.Liberian ace George Weah, although not the young and fit star he once was, showed that he still had the skills, and a touch of pace, when in the first minute he left the World XI’s defence for dead and beat goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta with a delicate chip. Unfortunately for Weah, his shot failed to get the better of the upright and he failed to score.First goalIt was the World XI who were first on the scoreboard through Ivan Zamorrano after only six minutes. Emilio Butragueno – “The Vulture” – carved open the African defence with a beautifully weighted through ball. Ruud Gullit, out wide on the right, then centred a perfect cross for Zamorrano to easily beat Andre Arendse with a header.It didn’t take the African XI long to respond. Eto’o, Kalusha Bwalya and Abedi Pele combined before Pele put the finishing touch to a well placed cross from Eto’o.With 30 minutes played, the Africans took the lead through Egypt’s Hossam Hassan, the world record holder with 167 international caps. Tunisian Zoubair Baya set him up, showing fine touch on his pass, and Hassan did the rest, exhibiting the finishing skills that brought him 80 goals for his country.HalftimeThe World XI drew level once more just before the halftime whistle, with Butragueno and Gullit involved again, along with Iran’s Ali Daei. Butragueno and Daei did the setting up and Gullit the finishing to send the teams into the break all square at 2-2.The African XI had the better of the going in the first half, but Spain’s most capped player of all time, goalkeeper Zubizarreta, showed why he had won so many caps, denying Eto’o time after time to keep the World XI in the game.Hassan, though, had found a way through in the first half, and he was in the right place at the right time early in the second half, to put Africa 3-2 in front.The World XI kept pressing for the equaliser and were eventually rewarded when Spain’s Julen Guerrero found the back of the net in the 73rd minute.3-3, and that’s how it ended.Savoured the occasionEto’o savoured the occasion, telling the Fifa website, “I got the opportunity today to realise a dream to be on the same field as Pele – a legend, a giant. And I also got to play next to great players like Ruud Gullit, my great friends and my seniors.“It was also a dream to sit next to Pele, to be able to talk to him, and meet Nelson Mandela with him. You don’t often get the chance to do things like that. It’s really incredible,” Eto’o said.George Weah, too, appreciated the occasion, saying: “To play for Mandela was the greatest thing that could have happened to me. I was here. I was present. I got my souvenir and I am so happy to have been part of the festivities.” Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
A Youth Akali Dal leader was arrested for allegedly vandalising the statue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Ludhiana on Tuesday.The police said they have arrested Youth Akali Dal leader Gurdip Singh Gosha and the other accused, identified as Meet Pal Singh Dugri, would also be nabbed soon. According to the police, six to seven people were accompanying the two accused and they will be identified soon. The miscreants sprayed red and black paint on the statue at the Salem Tabri area in Ludhiana, the police said, adding that they carried out the act in full public glare and blamed Rajiv Gandhi for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. A video purportedly showing the episode has also gone viral on social media. The incident also triggered strong protests by Congress supporters at various places in the State. The protesters also threw black paint on posters of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal. Strongly condemning the incident, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh asked Sukhbir Singh Badal to stop indulging in petty politics and warned him that such acts would backfire on his party in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
ezekiel elliott releases apologetic statementFollowing Ohio State’s last-second loss to Michigan State this past Saturday, running back Ezekiel Elliott spoke out against his coaching staff’s play-calling during the contest, suggesting that he didn’t get the ball enough. Since, he’s been dealing with a great deal of criticism. Monday afternoon, he released an apologetic statement on the matter.Just minutes after head coach Urban Meyer told reporters that Elliott will not be suspended for the transgression, Elliott tweeted a heartfelt statement about his actions. He told fans that he got “caught up in the emotions” of the loss. He also said the team will be ready for Michigan this Saturday.pic.twitter.com/n2UYS4dCHO— EzekielElliott#⃣1⃣5⃣ (@EzekielElliott) November 23, 2015Ohio State has a chance to silence doubters this week against Michigan. The Game kicks off at 12:00 PM.
WASHINGTON – Fighting to defend its $81 billion takeover of Time Warner from a government challenge, AT&T is arguing the Trump Justice Department has failed to show that the merger will raise prices for pay-TV programming and for the consumers who watch it.The AT&T-Time Warner marriage was completed this spring soon after a federal judge approved it. But government antitrust regulators filed to have the judge’s ruling overturned, setting the stage for a landmark competition case in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington.In a filing Thursday, the phone and pay-TV giant asserted the merger will save it money on content from Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting, enabling it to cut charges to its DirecTV customers by at least $78 million a year.U.S. District Judge Richard Leon was correct to dismiss the government’s argument that the merger would hurt competition, limit choices and jack up prices for consumers to stream TV and movies, Dallas-based AT&T, the biggest pay-TV provider in the U.S., said in its filing.The government “failed for multiple reasons to (show) that net retail prices will likely be higher than otherwise,” the company said.Leon’s ruling in June opened the way for one of the biggest media deals ever. AT&T has since absorbed Time Warner, the owner of CNN, HBO, the Warner Bros. movie studio, “Game of Thrones,” coveted sports programming and other “must-see” shows.The Justice Department, however, has maintained that Leon was wrong in concluding the merger won’t harm consumers and that he misunderstood the complexities of the booming pay-TV market and the nature of AT&T’s competitors.If the government were to prevail in its appeal, the complex merger might have to be unwound.Many legal experts believe the government will have a hard time convincing the appeals court to overturn Leon’s ruling. Opposing the merger forced the federal antitrust regulators to argue against standing legal doctrine that favours mergers among companies that don’t compete directly with each other, what’s known as a vertical merger.The U.S. antitrust lawsuit against AT&T was the first time in decades that the government has challenged that doctrine by suing to block a vertical merger.The government contends that this deal is different. By combining the programming content of Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting with AT&T’s vast distribution network for its DirecTV, the combination will hurt competition and violate federal law, it says. AT&T claims about 25 million of the 90 million or so U.S. households that are pay-TV customers.Even with a small chance of the government winning, the stakes are high and the case could affect the future course of antitrust regulation.When the deal was first made public in October 2016, it drew fire from then-candidate Donald Trump, who promised to kill it “because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” Trump has publicly feuded with Time Warner’s CNN, calling it “failing” and a purveyor of “fake news.” The president’s statements didn’t come up during the trial, though his antipathy loomed in the background.Leon’s ruling opened the floodgates to deal making in the fast-changing worlds of entertainment production and distribution.Just a day after his decision, Comcast launched a $65 billion cash bid for the bulk of 21st Century Fox — topping Disney’s all-stock $52.5 billion offer in December. Comcast later dropped that bid in order to focus on its attempted buyout of European pay-TV operator Sky.After months of offers and counteroffers for Sky by Comcast and Fox, the two U.S. media empires will settle their battle for control of the European broadcaster through a rare auction. The auction will begin after the London stock market’s close on Friday and end sometime Saturday evening.Disney, meanwhile, is closing in on a $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment assets.Other rumoured or potential deals include a Verizon bid for CBS and a tie-up of Sprint and T-Mobile.
Kolkata: A person was killed and several others injured in a number of accidents in the city on Friday night till Saturday morning. A fatal accident was reported from second Hooghly Bridge under Hastings police station at around 12.03 am when the driver of a heavy goods vehicles died after his vehicle collided head-on with a container-laden trailer. The deceased, identified as Tribeni Yadav, was a resident of New Alipore. The driver of the trailer, Kamaleshwar Roy, sustained minor injuries and has been admitted to SSKM. Both the vehicles have been seized. In another accident at Hudco Crossing near Ultadanga, four persons including a driver were injured when an auto-rickshaw overturned at around 6.15 am on Saturday morning. The passengers and the driver were provided medical assistance at Maniktala ESI Hospital and later released. In another accident at Sarat Bose Road, a motorcyclist, identified as Jainal Abedin, was injured on being dashed by a private bus. The police are examining if the biker was wearing a helmet.
HouseCanary Announces New Additions HouseCanary 2017-10-01 Brianna Gilpin October 1, 2017 533 Views Share HouseCanary announced last week the addition of its value report to Mercury Network’s OptiVal Automated Valuation Model (AVM) Cascade as well as the hiring of VP of Business Development and Financial Services Josh Seiff.Mercury Network’s OptiVal Cascade now contains 12 AVMs and is the only independent and objective Cascade that evaluates multiple AVMs to select the most accurate for a particular piece of real estate, according to the release.Nearly 1,000 of the nation’s lenders and appraisal management companies use Mercury Network’s technology to manage real estate valuation operations and collateral risk.“We’re proud to be selected for the OptiVal Cascade,” said Chris Stroud, Chief of Research at HouseCanary. “Lenders need easy access to highly accurate data to mitigate risk and HouseCanary’s AVM has an excellent history of pinpointing property values. Objective testing will make our AVM more accessible to lenders when they need it most.”The same week, Former Fannie Mae VP of Multifamily Capital Markets & Trading Josh Seiff was announced as a new addition to the HouseCanary Staff. Seiff will lead Business Development efforts in the financial services segment of the company and drive its strategic initiatives within the real estate capital markets ecosystem. His hiring will further HouseCanary’s goal of bringing price transparency to the real estate market.“During his 13 years at Fannie Mae, Seiff traded municipal bonds, residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities, structured products, and derivatives, while also leading a variety of key technology and finance initiatives,” the release said. “As part of Fannie Mae’s multifamily senior management team, Seiff created and led the GeMS securitization program and the issuance of more than $70 Billion in Agency CMBS securitizations. In 2017, Seiff pioneered the first ever large-scale agency securitization of Invitation Homes’ portfolio of single-family rental properties.” in Data, Featured, News
July 14, 2002 The newworkshop arrived for their 5-week program on the seventh of July.>>From top left>> Isamu Tomono, Alex Pierro, Stephen Ramsey, MeganBingham, Daisuke Nakanishi, Shunsukei Mizumoto, Aurelian froment, IanKessler-Gowell, James Quigley, Eric richardson, Yvonne Brook. >>Frombottom left>> Stefano Capranico, Rebecca Kreithen, Natalia Ortegon,Pete Falco, Daniel Boylen, Willy Salas, Ricardo Nabholz, MelindaBarnadas, Chad Phelan. [Photo & Text : SA] After graduating onJuly third, several graduates from the Juneworkshop have decided to stay on for an extended period to help theproject. >>From top left>>Maya Glavin, Scott Airlie, Jenny Lee,Caterina Loy, John Aillsboro, James O’Meara. >>From middle left>> LissWilliams, Elanor Mayer. >>From bottom center>> Jason Curtis, SaraBadiali. >>Inset left>> Miko Yoshida, Yuka Momokida. [Photo & Text: SA]
225 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.
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.
If you knew of a child who was being forced by a parent or guardian to sleep on a cold concrete floor, in overcrowded surroundings, with screaming lights always on overhead that made it hard to sleep, with limited access to a bathroom, no way to brush their teeth, no soap and no towel — would you do something? Call the police or juvenile authorities to say, “A child is being mistreated. You should do something.”This week, the U.S. government went to court to argue that it’s acceptable to keep thousands of migrant children detained in U.S. custody. Let me repeat that: thousands of children in U.S. custody, exactly in such conditions. In 2014 — during the Obama administration, it should be noted — several young immigrants caught along the border said they had been given dirty water to drink and kept in crowded, frigid cells. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee of Los Angeles ruled that children taken into federal immigration custody must be kept in “safe and sanitary” facilities. The judges of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, upheld Judge Gee’s ruling two years ago. But this week, Sarah Fabian, senior litigation counsel for the Department of Justice, told the three-judge panel she thought the phrase was vague.The judges sounded furious. Judge Marsha Berzon asked Fabian: “You’re really going to stand up and tell us that being able to sleep isn’t a question of ‘safe and sanitary’ conditions?”Judge William Fletcher said, “Cold all night long, lights on all night long, sleeping on concrete and you’ve got an aluminum foil blanket? I find it inconceivable that the government would say that that is safe and sanitary.””It may be they don’t get super-thread-count Egyptian linen, I get that,” he added, and said the soap provided didn’t have to be perfumed. But plain soap, he said, “sounds like it’s part of ‘safe and sanitary.’ “Judge A. Wallace Tashima said, “If you don’t have a toothbrush, if you don’t have soap, if you don’t have a blanket, it’s not safe and sanitary. Wouldn’t everybody agree to that?”Many of us would call the police if we knew children were being held in cold, cramped, filthy and uncomfortable circumstances. Thousands of children are being held in those conditions — in U.S. government facilities. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
A 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”.
A 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.”
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 3 2018After a patient has been fitted with an artificial hip joint, sometimes the leg on that side ends up longer or shorter than before. This can lead to problems in the spinal column. A newly developed procedure enables leg length to be precisely adjusted during hip replacement surgery.Today hip replacement is a routine surgical procedure. Some 210,000 hip prostheses are implanted every year in Germany. A frequent complication consists of the situation that, after the operation, the patient’s leg is not the same length as it was before. Normally, a leg length discrepancy of less than one centimeter is well tolerated. Any more, and the patient will most likely have to wear orthopaedical shoe lifts to compensate for postural imbalance and prevent back pain.Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU, together with partners in science and industry, has found a solution to this problem. “It consists of three main components: an optical system to measure leg length, a modular implant design, and a pre-op planning software tool,” says Dr. Ronny Grunert from the institute’s Department for Medical Engineering.The leg length is measured in the operating room just prior to surgery. First, a plastic box with optical markers on its surface is attached to the patient’s tibia. Holding the limb in extension, the surgeon then takes the leg by the heel and lifts it upward. During this maneuver, a 3D camera is used to record the circular motion described by the optical markers on the patient’s shin. In essence, it’s like using a mathematical compass to draw circles around a point, which in this case is the hip joint around which the leg rotates. In this analogy, the optical markers correspond to the tip of the pencil. After provisionally inserting the implant, a second measurement is carried out. The software program compares the two rotational measurements to verify that the leg length remains the same before and after the intervention. If a difference is detected, the length inequality must be corrected.Free choice of femoral stem and acetabular cupRelated StoriesPorvair Sciences develops new fluid collection vent for surgical suction cannistersBariatric surgery should be offered to all patients who would benefitCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatment”Together with our partners, we have developed a modular concept that allows the size and position of the artificial hip joint to be optimized for each patient during surgery,” explains Grunert. This modular approach is more flexible than having to choose between prefabricated implants in a limited range of sizes. It allows the surgeon to select the best-fitting combination of femoral stem and acetabular cup. The procedure consists of implanting the femoral stem and connecting it with the acetabular cup by means of a sliding screw. By adjusting the position of the screw, it is possible to precisely adjust the leg length according to the pre-op measurement. If necessary, a different acetabular cup can be selected.The third component of the new procedure, the pre-op planning software, helps the physician to select the most suitable prosthetic joint. Dr. Torsten Prietzel, Medical Director of the Endoprosthetics Network and Chief Surgeon at the Helios Clinic in Blankenhain, is already using the software on a trial basis. The modular implants and the system for measuring leg length are also still in the test phase. Ronny Grunert estimates that all three components of the system will be ready for clinical use in two years’ time. Source:https://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2018/december/precise-adjustment-in-the-operating-room.html
Altogether, our study reveals that MYC can affect the production of key metabolic enzymes and immune receptors in lymphoma cells by regulating the efficiency of mRNA translation and the integrity of protein synthesis.”Hans-Guido Wendel, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center The researchers now plan to investigate how MYC regulates these different aspects of protein production in cancer cells.Source:The Rockefeller University PressJournal reference:Ouyang, Z. et al. (2019) c-MYC regulates mRNA translation efficiency and start-site selection in lymphoma. Journal of Experimental Medicine. doi.org/10.1084/jem.20181726 Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 30 2019Cancer researchers have discovered surprising new functions for a protein called MYC, a powerful oncogene that is estimated to drive the development of almost half a million new cancer cases in the US every year. The study, which will be published May 29 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, shows that MYC affects the efficiency and quality of protein production in lymphoma cells, fueling their rapid growth and altering their susceptibility to immunotherapy.MYC drives the development of a wide range of cancers by enhancing the growth and proliferation of tumor cells. This is mainly due to MYC’s function as a transcription factor controlling the production of protein-encoding messenger RNAs (mRNAs) from thousands of different genes within the cell. However, some evidence suggests that MYC might also control the subsequent “translation” of these mRNAs into proteins, a process carried out by complex cellular machines known as ribosomes.A group of researchers led by Hans-Guido Wendel at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Zhengqing Ouyang at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, and Gunnar Rätsch at the ETH Zürich, analyzed the types of mRNA translated by ribosomes in lymphoma cells containing either low or high levels of MYC. The researchers determined that high levels of MYC stimulate the translation of a specific set of mRNAs, many of which encode components of the respiratory complexes that allow the cell’s mitochondria to produce energy.The research team found that, in the absence of MYC, the proteins SRSF1 and RBM42 can bind to these mRNAs and prevent them from being translated by ribosomes. When MYC levels are high, however, SRSF1 and RBM42 no longer bind to the mRNAs, and they are free to be translated into respiratory complex proteins. MYC therefore promotes the generation of energy that can fuel the lymphoma cells’ rapid growth and proliferation.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear’The researchers also discovered that MYC affects how much of an mRNA that ribosomes translate, resulting in the production of longer or shorter versions of proteins. For example, lymphoma cells containing low levels of MYC produce a truncated version of the protein CD19 that, unlike full-length CD19, is no longer exposed on the surface of the cancer cell.This is important because lymphoma can be treated using CAR-T immune cells that have been genetically engineered to recognize and kill CD19-expressing cancer cells. Loss of surface CD19 is associated with resistance to CAR-T cell therapy, but how lymphoma cells reduce surface CD19 levels is unclear. The researchers found that CAR-T cells were less able to recognize and kill lymphoma cells that lacked surface CD19 because they expressed low levels of MYC.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 11 2019A new study from researchers at the Universities of Bath and Bristol suggests that doctors should rethink which drugs they prescribe to help smokers with mental health conditions kick the habit.Their results highlight that the most effective drug at helping individuals to stop smoking is less likely to be prescribed to people with mental health conditions.People with mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, are twice as likely to smoke compared to the general population. They tend to smoke more cigarettes per day, be more heavily addicted, and more likely to relapse when they try to quit. And whereas smoking rates in the UK have declined over recent decades, smoking rates have changed relatively little for people with mental health conditions.Most smokers wishing to quit are prescribed one of two common smoking cessation drugs: nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or varenicline. Recent randomised trials and observational studies have found that patients prescribed varenicline are more likely to stop smoking compared to those prescribed NRT.But there have been concerns around the psychological safety of varenicline, with doctors reluctant to prescribe the drug to smokers with mental health conditions. In fact, the best evidence shows that varenicline is not associated with worse mental health outcomes.The new study, published today [Wednesday 10 July] in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, compares rates by which patients prescribed NRT* and varenicline** succeed in giving up, and what effects the drugs have on individual’s mental health.Drawing on data from over 200,000 smokers, it compares outcomes for patients with and without mental health conditions prescribed both types of drug. The results highlight that:Compared to smokers without mental health conditions, smokers with these conditions were 31% less likely to be prescribed varenicline than NRT.Smokers with mental health conditions who were prescribed varenicline were 19% more likely to have successfully quit at two years follow-up, than smokers who were prescribed NRT.Varenicline is more effective than NRT in helping patients stop smoking and there was little ‘evidence that varenicline was adversely associated with poorer mental health outcomes’. In general, varenicline was associated with better mental health outcomes.Lead researcher, Dr Gemma Taylor from the University of Bath’s Addiction & Mental Health Group with the Department of Psychology explains: Smoking is still the world’s leading cause of preventable illness and death. One in every two smokers will die because of their addiction unless they quit. Yet, whilst smoking rates have declined over recent decades for the general population, prevalence has not shifted to the same extent in people with mental health conditions who disproportionately suffer from smoking related mortality and morbidity and lower life expectancy.This study is about addressing this public health challenge to see whether assumptions about prescriptions could be challenged to give patients wishing to quit a better chance of success. Our results, in combination with results from clinical trials, suggest that doctors should rethink prescription practice in view of the benefits varenicline could bring to help those with mental health conditions stop smoking. Stopping smoking has clear physical health benefits, and there is growing evidence that stopping smoking is associated with better mental health too, benefits that could be as large as taking anti-depressants.” Related StoriesInternational study aims to more accurately describe mental health disordersOnline training program helps managers to support employees’ mental health needsIU-connected startup working to enable precision medicine for mental health issues, chronic painThe research team conducted the study using electronic medical records from 654 general practices in England from 2006-15 via the Clinical Practice Research Database.Comparing patients’ success in quitting smoking using either NRT or varenicline, they focused on rates by which patients with mental health conditions gave up at three, six and nine month windows, as well at one, two and four years after first prescription.The team also observed that across all patients, NRT and varenicline prescribing declined overtime. This could be because NHS Stop Smoking Services are being decommissioned from primary care.Professor Ann McNeill, Professor of Tobacco Addiction, King’s College London and co-Chair of the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership said: “People with mental health conditions are more likely to smoke and smoke heavily than those without, and this contributes to them dying much earlier. Doctors should therefore be pulling out all the stops to help these smokers to quit, but this research involving nearly 200,000 smokers, shows that this is not happening.”Smokers with mental conditions are less likely to be prescribed varenicline than nicotine replacement therapy, despite the authors finding varenicline to be more effective and generally associated with better mental health outcomes.”The 2019 ASH report ‘A Changing Landscape: Stop Smoking Services and Tobacco Control in England’ suggests that in some parts of the country, people are being refused varenicline from GP surgeries. There is also preliminary evidence of this occurring in a related study being run by University of Bath’s Addiction & Mental Health Group, in which trial participants have been declined varenicline by their GP surgery and informed to seek varenicline elsewhere. Source:University of BathJournal reference:Taylor, G.M.J. et al. (2019) Prescribing Prevalence, Effectiveness, and Mental Health Safety of Smoking Cessation Medicines in Patients With Mental Disorders. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntz072.
FILE 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.