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England coach suffers injury

first_imgEngland manager Gareth Southgate had his right shoulder dislocated while running on Wednesday.The squad had a scheduled day off from training and Southgate suffered the injury near England’s base in Repino. This is coming after Southgate celebrated acrobatically after Harry Kane sealed a 2-1 win over Tunisia in England’s opening World Cup game on Monday.“The doc has made it clear that punching the air is not an option,” said Southgate via BBC.“I might not be celebrating any goals as athletically in future,” he added.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.Southgate, who is wearing a sling, was treated at a nearby hospital with the assistance of team doctor Rob Chakraverty.Southgate won the League Cup with both Aston Villa and Middlesbrough and captained Crystal Palace to win the First Division championship in 1993–94. He also played in the 2000 FA Cup Final for Villa and the 2006 UEFA Cup Final for Middlesbrough.Southgate made 57 appearances for the England national team between 1995 and 2004, featuring in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and both the 1996 and 2000 European Championships. His playing career ended in May 2006 at the age of 35, and after more than 500 league appearances.He served as manager of Middlesbrough from June 2006 until October 2009, then managed the England U21 team from 2013 to 2016, before becoming the England national team manager in 2016.last_img read more

Ban On Distilleries Serving Cocktails Approved By Board

first_imgThe board received over 540 letters from residents during the open public comment period including Senator Peter Micciche (R-K-Pen) that in a letter along with other state legislators states: “I am writing to urge you to support Alaska’s 10 distilleries’ efforts to continue to produce value-added Alaskan products by serving drinks in their respective tasting rooms.”   The ABC Board approved the proposal at its meeting on January 24, the proposal defines “the distillerys product” as a distilled spirit made or distilled in the licensed facility, and also clarifies that a licensee may provide other non-alcoholic products (mixers and garnishes) but may not combine them with a distilled spirit. The two-drink limit at all distilleries will remain in effect. The new rule goes in effect 30 days after Lt. Governor Byron Mallot signs the new regulation. However, under the new proposal, licensed distilleries may provide mixers, and they may sell alcohol distilled on site, but it will be up to the customer to mix them into a single drink. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Last updated on January 25th, 2018 at 10:49 amThe Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board approved a proposal that forbids distilleries from serving mixed drinks. The state of Alaska has 10 licensed distilleries, all of which have previously testified that mixed drinks served in approved tasting rooms are key parts of their individual business plans. Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-ABS-distillary-ruling-1.mp3VmJennifer-on-ABS-distillary-ruling-1.mp300:00RPdlast_img read more

With Growth Comes Many Competitors

first_imgDigital magazine vendors will tell you that their growth has been phenomenal—anywhere from 25 to 50 percent a year for the last two to three years. That’s one good reason why the industry has gone from a handful of pioneers four or five years ago to an explosion of low-cost solutions.“There have to be 20 of what I call the ‘flash guys,’” says Cimarron Buser, VP, marketing and product planning for Texterity. “They get a flash program and write a piece of code that will work for a magazine, but the publishing industry needs a lot more than ‘whiz-bang’ technology.”It probably does look easy to produce a digital magazine—just take a PDF and give it a page flip—but a lot more goes on in the background, according to Nxtbook Media marketing director Marcus Grimm. The technology offered by the large vendors integrates with search engines, provides tracking data for the magazine, and is more feature-rich than the products that a lot of the smaller companies offer. Not so fast, say some of those that offer the simpler solution. While Olive Software, which has been in the business for seven years, is a full-service vendor with major publisher clients, vice president of marketing Nicole Miller points out that small publishers with low-circulation magazines or newsletters need a low-cost, easy way of producing something other than a PDF. “We’ve taken our platform and made it easy for a client to upload a PDF and receive a URL within minutes that links to an online digital document. It’s primarily just a flipper,” she says, “but they can then e-mail the link to their subscribers or post it on their Web site.” Proliferating Digital ProvidersIn the last few years, the number of digital-magazine suppliers has exploded. Some ofthe current players in the market, either with their own solutions or working with partners.Advanced Publishing • Bango • Blue Toad • Brown Printing • Cadmus/Cenveo • CDS • Creel Printing • Dirxion • DMG Inc. • E-Book Systems • iDigital Edition • Imirus • Just Systems • Lane Press • LinkPath • Magazooms/Alqemy • NewsStand • Nxtbook Media • Olive Software • Pressmart • ProofItOnline • Publishers Press • Qmags • Quebecor World • Sheridan Magazine Services • Texterity • Zendition • Ziniolast_img read more

Today only Save 300 on unlocked Galaxy Note 9 Expired

first_imgJuan Garzon / CNET Patience is not only a virtue, it’s a money-saver. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 debuted last summer with a list price of $1,000 and has stayed pretty steady ever since. Good thing you decided to wait.Today only, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. PT (6 p.m. to midnight ET), Samsung is having a flash sale: $300 off the unlocked Note 9 when you apply promo code 300SAMSUNG at checkout.See it at SamsungThe Note 9 features a mammoth 6.4-inch screen, 128GB of storage and Samsung’s fairly awesome S-Pen.I’m not an Android guy, but of course my colleagues have you covered: For a deep dive into the phone’s pros and cons, look no further than CNET’s Galaxy Note 9 review. Phones 3:29 The Cheapskate News • Grab an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for $719 Galaxy Note 9 looks stunning in these photos Sprint Review • Note 10 launch could still give Note 9 sales a jolt $799 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Galaxy Note 9 is a superphone through and through See It Samsung $999 Tags See It See It This is another great reminder that phones with sky-high prices will eventually see discounts — often soon after launch. (The brand-new Galaxy S10 Plus saw a nice deal just yesterday.) I’ll bet your patience is feeling especially virtuous right about now.By the way, if you can ask your wrist to be patient as well, the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro will be $75 off on Monday. Stay tuned for a separate post about that deal. $999 Mentioned Above Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (128GB, ocean blue) 72 Photos Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 See it Preview • Four days with the Galaxy Note 9: Here’s the good and bad so far Best Buy Now playing: Watch this: 8 Share your voice Verizon Wireless Comments CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! $799last_img read more

Android phones can be security keys now

first_img Mobile Security 2 Share your voice A physical security key on top of an Android phone. Josh Miller/CNET Security keys are an effective way to keep your accounts secure from hackers, but they suffer from a major challenge: They’re inconvenient.Not a lot of people want to buy and carry an extra key or Bluetooth fob just for logging in — which is why most two-factor authentication is done through text messages, even though it’s less secure. Up to 90% of Gmail users don’t even use 2FA, a Google software engineer revealed in 2018. Convenience is a big hurdle, and Google is hoping to solve that by making your phone the security key. It’ll have the same functionalities as a physical security key but won’t require you to carry an extra device to keep your accounts safe. That means that like a security key, your phone will warn you if an imposter website is trying to steal your password. Unlike using SMS or authenticator codes for logging in, security keys have to verify that the website you’re logging in on is legitimate. The updated security feature is coming only to Android devices versions 7 and up, which account for about 50% of all active users, according to Google’s distribution board. For now, it’s working only on Google’s Chrome browser and with Google accounts, but the company expects to expand availability. “This is a natural evolution of the standard. Just as some security keys only worked with Chrome initially and moved to other browsers, we’re seeing the same thing happening here,” said Christiaan Brand, a Google product manager for identity and security. You can set up the security key on your phone by going to your settings on Google and selecting 2-Step Verification. From there, you need to click on Add a Security Key and choose your phone as a device. School of phishPhishing attacks are common and often hard to spot, fooling even seasoned politicians. Security keys help prevent hackers from getting into your accounts because even if your password were stolen, an attacker would have to have the physical key to log in. “We’re solving the problem of someone thousands of miles away trying to steal your password,” said Sam Srinivas, Google Cloud’s product management director. “With this, someone has to be within 100 feet of you to try to attack you.” When Google first released its own Titan Key, it cost $50 for a set, and Brand said the company was hoping to eventually drive the cost down to less than $10. 07-titan-keyLast year, Google released its own Titan Security Key in both a USB and Bluetooth version. Sarah Tew/CNET By turning Android devices into security keys, Google is essentially giving them out for free. That much coverage could make it easier for more people to start using security keys, said Conor Gilsenan, a security researcher at All Things Auth.Over Christmas, the security expert said, he bought his family members security keys, but it took more than two hours to set up all these devices. “This is such a big deal,” Gilsenan said. “Being able to utilize the phone that you already have removes an entire barrier to better forms of two-factor authentication for the average internet user.”Brand said the phone security keys meet the FIDO authentication standard, which means any websites allowing for that standard will work with your phone as a security key. That includes websites like Facebook, Twitter and GitHub. Convenience is keyBrand is hoping the launch will convince other pages to accept phones as security keys.The technology works by connecting your phone and your computer’s Bluetooth when you’re logging in on a Google account. You’ll be prompted with a message on your phone to verify the log-in once they’re connected. While they’re using Bluetooth to communicate, the two devices don’t have to pair with each other, Brand said.”We devised a new standard on top of Bluetooth to make sure that these don’t need to pair,” he explained.There have been criticisms of using Bluetooth in security keys, because the wireless protocol could be open to security vulnerabilities. When Google announced its Bluetooth security fob last year, Yubico CEO Stina Ehrensvard released a statement saying Bluetooth didn’t have the same security standards as NFC and USB.Brand said Google had the capability to let your phone function as a security key through a USB cable but decided against it. “We’ve done user studies, and asking a user to have a cable ready that’ll fit both their devices almost takes away all the convenience of using their phone,” he said. Still, even with all the convenience of phones, Brand and Srinivas recommend having a second, backup USB key. That way, if you ever lose your phone or the battery’s dead, you can still log in. Now that half of all Android devices can function as security keys, the new challenge will be getting people to actually use them that way. Security keys have a lower adoption rate than 2FA as a whole, but the convenience will likely draw more people to better protect their accounts. “You don’t have to plug it in, and you don’t have to buy a new device, since you already have the phone,” Gilsenan said. “The bigger challenge is communicating to people that they actually need 2FA.” Tags Comments Googlelast_img read more

Prakash Raj on antiTamil comments Its deliberately misquoted with bad intentions

first_imgPrakash Raj.PR HandoutPrakash Raj was facing the wrath from a section of Tamils for his alleged anti-Tamil stand. However, the timely clarification has put an end to the controversy which could have landed him in major trouble in Kollywood.According to Tamil media, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had claimed that over 500 Tamil students were studying in Delhi University and taking away the opportunities of Delhiites. He promised to change the scenario if voted back again to power.Prakash Raj, who is campaigning for Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi, reportedly backed Delhi Chief Minister’s views. On reminding him about working him in so many Kollywood movies, the veteran actor allegedly claimed that he was from Karnataka and not Tamil Nadu.From Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to BJP leaders, many politicians condemned his comments, while netizens attacked him for being ungrateful to their state in spite of getting good opportunities to work in Kollywood. Many asked him to apologise or get banned from working in the Tamil film industry.However, producer Dhananjayan quickly came to Prakash Raj’s rescue and tweeted, “Is it true @prakashraaj sir? Did you speak like this? I hope it’s not true & you were misquoted. In India Students from anywhere can study & make a career. No one can restrict that. I made my career studying at #Mumbai & ever grateful. So is the case of thousands studying here ✍️ [sic].”Responding to the post, Prakash Raj thanked him for the clarification and claimed he never made such a statement. “YES .. Dhananjayan… thank you for clarifying with me …. I NEVER SAID THAT. .. it’s DELIBERATELY MISQUOTED WITH BAD INTENTIONS.. SHAME on those who stoop to this level ..[sic],” the actor tweeted.Prakash Raj was born and brought in Karnataka but rose to become a popular actor by working in Tamil and Telugu films.last_img read more

Study analyzes role of mobile software in the future Internet

first_img Explore further One method for advancing network services in the future Internet consists of combining mobile agents with an evolutionary framework. In these methods, the mobile agents must decide for themselves the best course of action to take in order to handle users’ requests most effectively, with the results of the decision impacting their survival. Currently, these methods are far from being practically implemented since they lack a basic theory of the migration behaviors of mobile agents on a large scale. In a new study, Yongsheng Ding and Lei Gao from Donghua University in Shanghai, China, have performed a macrodynamics analysis of mobile agents’ migration behaviors, which could provide a fundamental basis for the development of a more ubiquitous future Internet. Their study will appear in a future issue of IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics – Part A: Systems and Humans.“We think the work is significant in being the first to conduct the macroanalysis of large-scale mobile agent migrations,” Gao told PhysOrg.com. “The study not only favors the design of composite services in a type of self-organizing network architecture, but also benefits the future deployment of an Internet-scale mobile agent system that holds myriads, hosts, and migratory movements of mobile agents.”Previous studies have predicted that the future Internet will have vast numbers of these mobile agents that can effectively handle users’ requests. As Gao explains, mobile agents could have significant advantages compared with stationary agents, especially for mobile devices.“Due to the resource limitation of mobile devices, agents are sent to some nodes/devices with rich resources for doing some tasks that have high requirements for resources, and then they bring the results back,” Gao explained. “Mobile agents can automatically suspend their executions on one host and migrate to another to resume their computations without tedious and slow network communication.”As the researchers explain in their study, mobile agents can be considered in terms of an evolutionary framework: When a mobile agent performs a service, it gains a reward. The more rewards a mobile agent has, the longer it survives, while agents that run out of rewards die. So mobile agents evolve and become more effective at handling users’ requests. They have several abilities to maximize their usefulness, such as adapting to changing environments, manipulating objects, and learning from past experiences. They also have the ability to replicate themselves individually or reproduce “children agents” with other mobile agents. T-Mobile and Samsung revealed the Galaxy S 4G More information: Yongsheng Ding and Lei Gao. “Macrodynamics Analysis of Migration Behaviors in Large-Scale Mobile Agent Systems for the Future Internet.” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics – Part A: Systems and Humans. To be published. Citation: Study analyzes role of mobile software in the future Internet (2011, March 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-role-mobile-software-future-internet.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. Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. (PhysOrg.com) — Although it’s difficult to predict what the future Internet will look like, it’s probably safe to say that certain trends we’ve seen during the past decade will continue. This means that the Internet will become further integrated into our daily lives, becoming more ubiquitous, available, autonomous, and mobile. The engineers who are guiding the Internet in this direction are doing so by developing mobile agents, which are pieces of software that can autonomously migrate from one computer to another and interact with each other. In the researchers’ model, mobile agents that perform the same or similar services (e.g., performing a credit card transaction or providing GPS data) would form a community, or “niche.” In these niches, mobile agents can learn from their surrounding environment, improve their performance, and gain more rewards. Depending on user demand, these niches can grow or shrink. The researchers’ model shows that the number of mobile agents in all niches eventually stabilizes, so that the average growth rate of the total mobile agent population reaches zero. By understanding the macroproperties that emerge from the behaviors of a large number of autonomous mobile agents, the researchers hope that they can design improved network services with more advanced features. This kind of modeling is still in its infancy, and the researchers hope to continue improving these models, and eventually apply them in the future Internet.“We believe the future Internet will be hundreds of times faster than the current one,” Gao said. “We envision the future Internet as a global integrated platform for communication, education, entertainment, business, and other human activities. Network services are required to be highly available, ubiquitous, highly secure, self-managing, and adaptable to dynamic network environments and user requirements. The characteristics of the future Internet we envision resemble the self-organizing and the self-healing properties of natural ecosystems that have evolved over billions of years. The harmonious properties of natural ecosystems have shown us a promising way to build the future integrated platform.”last_img read more

Feluda and Byomkesh to dominate screens this Christmas

first_imgThe festival season in Kolkata is going to see a crop of new detective films in Bengali- a Byomkesh Bakshi thriller and a Feluda flick. Double Feluda is an upcoming thriller directed by acclaimed director Sandip Ray, son of the iconic film director Satyajit Ray.Occasion? Feluda was created by the acclaimed Oscar-winning director 50 years ago and son Sandip Ray’s latest Feluda film is based on this popular Bengali sleuth’s many exploits. This film also marks the comeback of veteran actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty as Feluda (after Royal Bengal Rahasya in 2011) and Saheb Bhattacharya, as his assistant Topshe.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe film is scheduled to be released in mid-December. Two stories, ‘Samaddarer Chabi’ and ‘Golokdham Rahasya’ are going to be packed in this thriller. The popular character Jatayu of other Feluda stories and films will probably be missing from these films. Just a year after hitting the silver screen with the popular Har Har Byomkesh, director Arindam Sil will be back once again with a revamped Byomkesh Bakshi – Byomkesh Pawrbo- starring Abir Chatterjee in the lead role.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBased on Sharadindu Bandhopadhyay’s classic series, the cerebral Bengali sleuth Byomkesh Bakshi will be revealing his daring side as he pulls off some daredevil stunts in the Dooars forest where the story is set. A new riveting case sees Bakshi playing investigator in Santagola which has become a hub of the illegal weapons trade. The Bengal Government requests the sleuth to track down the culprits but as soon as Bakshi starts his investigation, he zeroes in on few well-known people of this city, who turn out to be possible suspects. However, he realises that these men are powerful and  he will never be able to search their warehouses and mills. In the meantime, a demented man named Amrito claims that he has seen a strange, horse-riding figure roaming around the jungle. Amrito is sent to the jungle to observe this phenomenon. The very next morning, his bullet ridden dead body is found inside the jungle. As Byomkesh delves deep into the case, a lot of well-respected men gets unmasked.Director Arindam Sil explains why going back to this particular series is important to him, “Byomkesh Bakshi is one character in Bengali literature whose depth lies in the multiple layers of his persona. Though he is a deep thinker, a ‘Satyanweshi’ yet his unflinching courage, righteous nature and dauntless spirit make him stand apart from the rest”. The key attractions of the film, says Sil, are the  beauty of the Dooars forest where the film has been extensively shot, the backdrop of the Tebhaga movement of 1948 and superb acting by an  eclectic cast, including Abir Chatterjee (Byomkesh), Sohini Sarkar, Ritwick Chakraborty, Rajatava Dutta, June Maliah, Sayantika Banerjee, Kaushik Sen and other accomplished character actors of Bengali cinema. Releasing on December 12, the film is bound to face off with the Feluda release but Sil is confident about his success, “I am my own competition. Also, if Sandip Ray is liberal enough to give me rights to making another Feluda film, I’m game”.  The film has been produced by Shree Venkatesh Films and Surinder Films while Sandip Ray’s Double Feluda has been produced by Eros International.last_img read more

ACVs new Travel Advisory Board will make company a better partner says

first_img Share Friday, September 2, 2016 Cindy Sosroutomo << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — “Ask questions. A lot of them.” This is the single most important lesson that Craig Landry has learned in his first eight months as President of Air Canada Leisure Group (ACLG). Although having already been part of the Air Canada family for the past 22 years, Landry admits that stepping into his new role from his previous post as Vice President of Marketing was a “big change,” especially since as President, he now oversees two major arms of the company: Air Canada Vacations (ACV) and Air Canada Rouge.“The tour operator business is an inherently commercial business so you’re dealing with product and pricing, distribution and marketing, but the context and challenge of business is very different from what I’ve done previously,” he says. “Rouge is also a big departure because it’s very operational. It’s about integrating new aircraft into the fleet, getting those aircraft retrofit and entry into service, recruiting large numbers of flight attendants and pilots, and getting them properly trained and qualified. And with the rapid expansion that we’ve been in, the operational requirements are very heavy and significant. There’s been a lot to learn and a lot to do.”So you ask questions, a lot of them, because according to Landry, “this business is moving very quickly and we aspire to change with the times, and the only way you get to do that is by being curious.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesIt is this sense of curiosity and desire to learn that has perhaps inspired ACV to launch a brand new Travel Advisory Board. Beginning this month and managed by Vice President of Sales and Partnerships George Platanitis, the Board is expected to include anywhere from 20 to 30 members across the country who will provide insight into relevant industry issues.“We understand that the perspective on our product, the market and on consumers is different in different parts of the country, so it’s important that we have representatives from the west coast, central Canada, eastern Canada and so on,” adds Landry. “The idea is to bring together a group of folks and ask them to help us be a better partner to them. It’s very clear in our mind that when the travel agency community is successful, then we as a business is successful.”Landry, who says that approximately two-thirds of Air Canada Vacations’ bookings are made by travel agents, anticipates a number of issues to be brought up by the Board, primarily regarding ways to improve agent interaction. “One of the things we hear from the travel agency community,” he says, “is that agents are looking for us to make their lives as easy as possible, and we are of the same mindset.”More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”ACV’s Sales Team has sent out invitations to chains, consortia and independents in the hope of acquiring 20-30 members in total. Launching this month, the company plans to share the names of board members on Sept. 7, the first day of its cross-country Product Launch.The Board will meet monthly for the first six months, after which it will meet quarterly at ACV’s Toronto and Montreal offices and via conference calls.To read the full article, check out the Sept. 1 issue of Travelweek, click here to see the digital edition.To subscribe to Travelweek, click here. ACV’s new Travel Advisory Board will make company a better partner, says Landry Tags: Air Canada Vacations Posted by About Latest Posts Cindy SosroutomoDeputy Editor at TravelweekCindy is Deputy Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 2007. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Kenya, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Cindy Sosroutomo (see all) Frustrations mount over elusive consumer-pay model: Will it ever happen? – July 16, 2019 “It’s in everyone’s best interest to stay open”: Beaches Turks & Caicos will not close in 2021 – May 15, 2019 Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy – April 29, 2019last_img read more

Pals Kiara Baird and Derry mum of three Maria Wall

first_img Pals Kiara Baird and Derry mum of three Maria Wallace killed in car crash in Ballybofey, Co Donegal in 2016A drunk-driver who killed two women, including a woman from Derry, in a horrific car crash blamed one of the women for driving the car.Dermot Dowd has appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court after pleading guilty to causing a crash which resulted in the deaths of friends Kiara Baird, aged 19 and mum of three Maria Wallace, from Derry, aged 38.The two pals died when Dowd, 24, ploughed into a lamppost on the outskirts of Ballybofey in September, 2016. Ms Wallace was still breathing and was also rushed to hospital but died a short time later from her injuries.Dowd, of Donegal Road, Ballybofey, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the women’s deaths, dangerous driving, drink-driving, driving without insurance and driving without a license.The court heard how both women had been studying a course with the Education Training Board (ETB) and had decided to go for a couple of drinks in Bonner’s Bar in Ballybofey on the afternoon of September 21st.They met Dowd in the bar and they began drinking together.Around 4 pm, all three got into Ms Wallace’s car and CCTV footage showed Dowd having a number of near misses before travelling out the Glenfin Road.A couple of minutes later he was to lose control of the car, hit a footpath and then strike a lamppost.Dermot Dowd leaving Letterkenny Circuit Court. (North West Newspix)Garda forensic evidence revealed that after it had rained, the road became dry and that weather was not a factor in the crash.Ms Wallace’s car was also in a serviceable condition and was not a factor in the crash on the road which is governed by a 60 kmph speed limit.The families of the two dead women sat in court listening to the harrowing details of how their loved ones died.Maria Wallace’s mum Mary McGonagle’s victim impact statement was read into court.She said that all she wanted was justice for her daughter.“For me there is no pills or operation I could have to heal my broken heart.“All I do now is stand beside Maria’s grave and cry alone.“I would have given anything to keep my coffin in her room to be near her and I still wish I could,” she said.In a victim impact statement, Kiara Baird’s mother Tracy told how they had moved from Dublin to Donegal to start a new life as they felt their neighbourhood was getting rough.She told how her daughter was a little naive and innocent and took people at face value but how she had the most beautiful smile and was always so happy.She said her life had changed forever since she lost her first-born child.“There will always be a big part of me missing with her gone. I really could never express how much I miss and love her, and how lost we all are without her.“I have lost people in my life who I have truly cared about, but the loss of Kiara was nothing I have ever experienced.“It’s like something broke into my chest and just ripped out my heart,” she said. ShareTweet Further victim impact statements were read on behalf of Kiara’s dad Andrew Blake while a poem by Maria’s brother Michael was also read out.Sitting in a grey tracksuit, the accused man sobbed throughout the case.His barrister Mr Colm Smyth, SC, said his client had often wondered why he was not killed in the accident.“He is troubled by the fact that he survived this accident and his two passengers did not.“He accepts full responsibility and that he needs to be punished.“But regardless of the sentence, he will be doing the sentence for the rest of his life,” he said.The court was also told that Dowd has 30 previous convictions for a range of offences including theft and the sale and supply of drugs but has no convictions for traffic offences.Judge John Aylmer adjourning sentencing until this Friday.DRUNK DRIVER WHO KILLED DERRY WOMAN AND HER FRIEND CLAIMED ONE OF THEM WAS DRIVING was last modified: January 31st, 2018 by John2John2 Tags:center_img Dowd had downed several drinks before driving out the Glenfin Road, losing control of the car and striking a lamppost.When Gardai rushed to the scenes, they found the two victims had been thrown from the Citroën C3 car just after 4pm in the afternoon.Dowd initially told Gardai at the scene that Ms Wallace had been driving the car.He was rushed to Letterkenny General Hospital but Kiara Baird died at the scene. ballybofeyDERMOT DOWDDRUNK DRIVER WHO KILLED DERRY WOMAN AND HER FRIEND CLAIMED ONE OF THEM WAS DRIVINGgardaiKIARA BAIRDletterkennyMARIA WALLACElast_img read more

I have a secret to share For the last 43 years I

first_imgI have a secret to share. For the last 43 years, I have been an educator—first traveling all over the world conducting training classes and now through the written word. You’ve probably heard the adage: when the student is ready to learn, the teacher shall appear. The counterpoint to that line of thinking is that you can teach all day long, but it makes little difference if the other person does not want to learn. I agree for the most part, but that doesn’t mean educators should sit around waiting for a magic teaching moment. A good educator knows it is his job to grab people’s attention. So here I sit at my computer, trying to find the magic words to motivate our readers to explore a subject that might be a little scary, but it’s also the best avenue I know of to prevent our life savings from being wiped out in either a high inflationary or a deflationary market. OK, here goes: regular people like you and me should consider internationalizing some of our assets. I hope folks don’t stop reading at the last sentence, thinking this does not apply to them. There is something about the subject of internationalization that turns off a lot of people. I hear comments like: “I’m not leaving this country. My family is here.” Or “That’s for ultra-rich people, drug dealers, and Tina Turner.” Or the one I find really frightening, “I’m keeping my money right here where it is safe and protected by the government.”The Most Powerful Thug I have quizzed many investors who have internationalized a portion of their financial assets, and there is one common line of thought among them. As a government grows, it needs to confiscate a larger portion of private wealth to support its bureaucracies. It also needs to reallocate private wealth to bribe voters and stay in power. It finds ways to “enhance revenue,” as opposed to shrinking its bloated bureaucracy. Hell, our government probably spends a few million tax dollars on a politically connected public relations firm to come up with euphemistic terms like that. Governments are parasites; they must siphon wealth from the producers to survive. For a government to siphon off wealth efficiently, it must know where the wealth is, set up ways to take it, and have a strong enough police force to make sure citizens comply. The intention is to make it easier to pay up than go to jail. Even people with modest nest eggs are constantly looking for ways to legally protect their wealth. Lawyers love it, since it means citizens need a variety of trusts and complicated legal avenues for minimizing taxes. That’s part of the game. As governments press on, the stakes escalate, taxes increase, and we have to escalate our efforts to protect ourselves. Look to New Jersey or France—which recently passed “millionaire taxes” to facilitate going after the super-wealthy. A year later both governments found that the tax revenue they received from the ultra-wealthy had dropped even though they taxed at a much higher percentage of their earnings. What happened? The wealthy moved and took their money with them. Frankly, I’m amazed that the political class seemed so surprised. Instead of more tax dollars coming in, they ended up with fewer. The next move—look for additional ways to “enhance revenue.”Thugs Steal Land Have you heard of the term “eminent domain?” It means that the government has the legal right to confiscate your property for public use. For generations, it meant that if the government was building an airport or school, it could force a property owner to sell needed land to the government. Here in the United States, the Fifth Amendment limits the federal government’s ability to exercise that right. Americans put up with eminent domain because most of us have never had to deal with it. In 2005, the Supreme Court vastly expanded when eminent domain could be used. The Kelo decision allowed a Connecticut city to take private property and transfer it to another private owner as part of the city’s comprehensive economic redevelopment plan. In short, the definition of “public use” is running wild. Just look to the suburban towns in Cook County, Illinois, where private citizens were forced to sell their old Archie Bunker-type houses to the government. Then the government re-sold them to a politically connected developer who built a large condominium complex. Why did they do that? If 20 houses are torn down and 100 condominiums are built in their place, the government increases its tax base and increases “revenue enhancement” by 400% or more. Is this really a public use, or government use?Thugs Steal Gold Additionally, the government has targeted specific assets to confiscate. President Roosevelt confiscated gold by executive order in 1933. When he issued the order, gold was $20/oz. in round numbers. He made it a criminal offense to own gold to “encourage” citizens to comply with the law and redeem their gold for paper money. The price of gold from the Treasury was then raised to $35/oz. Those people holding fresh cash from the government took a huge hit to their wealth virtually overnight. In effect, the US government legally stole wealth from the private sector with the stroke of Roosevelt’s pen. It would be foolhardy to think something like that couldn’t happen again. A recent Casey Research special report on Obamacare makes it clear that seniors may be forced to go offshore for health care that we may be denied in the US. Should my wife Jo or I need a hip replacement or a heart procedure, I don’t want any delays because I have to find a way to move money offshore to pay for the care. Better safe than sorry. We can protect our nest egg by making it more difficult for a confiscatory government to steal it. The government makes more rules, and prudent investors have to look for ways to legally work around them and protect themselves. Offshore investing offers one of the best means to do just that. Of course, the US government doesn’t make it easy. Under the guise of the Patriot Act and the war on drugs, our government has instituted a series of forms demanding that US citizens report all of their foreign assets on a regular basis. In addition, it is escalating its demands on foreign banks to share data with it even though doing so may be in violation of the laws in the local country. Because of the hassle, a lot of foreign banks are getting rid of US clients. Bingo! That’s exactly what our government wants them to do to us. The federal government is frantically escalating its efforts to identify and locate all assets belonging to US citizens all over the world. If you don’t supply the information, there are criminal penalties. It is watching—as Edward Snowden recently pointed out. And it also owns the police force—as Mr. Snowden quickly found out. Prudent people who understand the game will take steps while they still can to legally move some of their assets out of their home country, just like the people of New Jersey and France have done. The government likes to label those who do so as “selfish tax evaders” and “cheats” to discourage us from protecting ourselves. Always comply with the law. Report and pay taxes on your income, but use every legal avenue to protect your nest egg, or you could lose it.Added Benefits to Internationalization Not all of the reasons for going international are defensive. Offshore investments not only offer good investment choices that are not available in the US, they can also provide a tremendous advantage for protecting against inflation. When the dollar inflates, its buying power drops in relation to other currencies. Inside my offshore Roth IRA, I have investments denominated in eight different foreign currencies. As the value of the dollar decreases—which it has for the last 100 years—owning assets denominated in a currency that is increasing in value can offset those effects. I bought a stock on a foreign exchange that could have been bought here in the US. When I sold it for a nice gain, I realized that not only did I take a gain on the stock, I also had an additional profit due to the foreign currency increasing in value against the USD. My goal today is to help our readers understand why a lot of investors, even with smaller portfolios, are looking outside the US to protect themselves and their nest eggs. Internationalizing some of our assets is a darn good insurance policy. How many get-togethers have we had where friends expressed concern about the government and the direction the country is going? The next step in the government chess game will be instituting capital controls, like Argentina has already done. That means the amount of money citizens can take out of the country will be tightly controlled by the government. If we wait until that happens, it will be too late. While Jo and I have no plans to move out of the country—after all, our grandchildren are here—we think it’s plain old common sense to hold some of our investments internationally. In addition to good investment opportunities, we just feel safer because we are better protected from inflation, deflation, or outright confiscation. —- I decided to write this article after reading a new Casey Research special report, Going Global 2013, and quickly realizing that it applied to my readers and myself. I liked that the report covers how small investors can easily get started and discusses investments we can make even if we want to keep our money closer to home. The report also shows us how we can find and open accounts—including an IRA—all around the world, and details more sophisticated foreign trusts and legal ways for larger investors to pass their wealth down to future generations. It even offers steps we can take from our own home to store physical gold in safe jurisdictions like Singapore and Switzerland. Unlike most of the material I read on internationalization, which is written for ultra-wealthy investors (by someone who is trying to garner their business), this report is written for you and me. While most of us will never progress beyond Chapter 8, we can progress to our personal level of comfort and protect our nest egg accordingly. I’ve worked out an arrangement with the authors so you can purchase Going Global 2013and get a free three-month subscription to Money Forever. During your free three months, you’ll receive three issues, have access to all the research on the investments in our portfolio, and access to all of our special reports, like the popular monthly income plan, Money Every Month. Click here for more about Going Global 2013 and this special offer. If this sounds right up your alley, plan to check out the August issue of Money Forever—we have a terrific interview with Nick Giambruno, senior editor of International Man, lined up. Nick’s perspective only amplifies why folks like you and me should take advantage of international investing, and he answers some of the questions that may have popped into your mind as you read this article. Money Forever subscribers should look for the issue in their inboxes on Tuesday, August 20.On the Lighter Side The NFL season will soon arrive. It held its annual Hall of Fame game last week, and this weekend we have a full slate of preseason games. If you are a football fan, I urge you to add a trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio to your bucket list. I spent a good bit of time walking around the museum, relating childhood memories to Jo. At one time, I had Bears season tickets. It always griped me that the franchise made season ticket holders pay full price for two preseason games or they lost the right to buy the tickets for the regular games. Football, like most professional sports, may receive a rude awakening if our economy does not improve. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were Super Bowl champions a decade ago and bragged that they had 57,000 people on their season-ticket waiting list. Now they have a hard time filling their stadium, and many of their home games are blacked out locally as a result. On a happier note, I am still receiving colorful emails from our readers about their career encores. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write in. If you have ideas to share and you have not yet dropped me a line, please send your story my way. I plan to share some of your ideas in Money Weekly towards the end of the month. And finally… As long as we are focusing on the government, here are some clever political quotations provided by Courtenay W. We hang petty thieves and appoint the great thieves to public office.—Aesop, Greek slave & fable author. Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other.—Oscar Ameringer, “the Mark Twain of American Socialism.” Until next week…last_img read more

Its a problem that has come seemingly out of nowh

first_imgIt’s a problem that has come seemingly out of nowhere. Over the last five years a worrisome number of low-income countries have racked up so much debt they are now at high risk of being unable to pay it back — with potentially devastating consequences not just for their economies but for their citizens, many of whom are already living in extreme poverty.That’s the sobering finding of a report by the IMF. And it’s got some prominent experts calling for urgent action. Among them is Masood Ahmed. Twenty years ago, as a top official at the International Monetary Fund, he spearheaded a historic agreement to wipe the slate clean for 36 poor countries that were being crushed by their loan interest and repayment bills. NPR spoke with Ahmed — who is now president of the Washington, D.C., think tank Center for Global Development — to find out how this latest debt debacle was set in motion, why it has him so alarmed, and what can be done to avert it. (This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.)Just how far and how fast has this problem spread?To get a sense, says Ahmed, consider that of the 59 countries the IMF classifies as “low-income developing countries,” 24 are now either in a debt crisis or at high risk of tipping into one. “That’s 40 percent of poor countries,” says Ahmed, “and it’s nearly double the number five years ago.”Those in most trouble include two countries that have already defaulted on some of their loans: the Republic of Congo and Mozambique. Ahmed notes that these are not loans taken out by individual citizens. “This is money borrowed by governments,” he says. “So the definition of a debt crisis is that they are not able to meet their obligations. They are already unable to pay the interest on their debt or to keep to the repayment schedule they had agreed to.”Four more countries are also already considered in “debt distress” because even though they haven’t outright defaulted they’ve reached a point where they are making only intermittent loan payments or cutting deep into their operations budget to pay off their debt. These are Chad, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Zimbabwe. The remaining 16 are considered at high risk of falling into debt distress soon based on the IMF’s analysis of the amount of debt they’ve taken on compared with how much income their economies can actually be expected to generate in the near future. These too are mostly countries in sub-Saharan Africa such as Ghana, Zambia and the Central African Republic. But the list also includes seven nations from other regions, such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Tajikistan and Yemen.What happens when a country can’t pay its debt? What are the consequences for ordinary citizens?Ahmed notes that even extremely poor countries offer all sorts of services to their citizens — keeping public order, maintaining health clinics and schools, providing food to people at risk of famine, investing in new infrastructure that can help grow the economy and so on. And even before reaching the point of actual default, governments with unsustainable levels of debt must begin diverting ever more of their budget away from such services so they can meet their debt payments.The most vulnerable citizens are often the first to suffer. “For instance, people who show up to their local [public] health clinic that is already only open once a week may now find that it also doesn’t have medicines,” says Ahmed. “Or that school that was going to open this year to meet the needs of a particular neighborhood, it gets postponed.”So this is very much an on-the-ground crisis. “It’s easy for us to think of these as abstract financial numbers. But it’s very important to recognize that behind these numbers are the lives of people who are already living in very difficult circumstances.”And what if a government does default?It gets far worse because the entire economy can be thrown into paralysis. When a government can’t meet its existing debt obligations, explains Ahmed, “that makes it very hard to access new money.” Lenders that provide this type of financing aren’t going to want to throw good money after bad. And to keep up daily operations, governments need continual access to credit. Ahmed adds that these operations often include not just the provision of services to citizens but business activities that generate much of a government’s income — extracting and exporting natural resources like copper or oil, for instance. These kinds of operations can become impossible without day-to-day credit. “Just like for a small business, you need to be able to borrow on a day-to-day basis for your cash flow,” he says.And as the day-to-day turns into year-to-year?The consequences can be just as debilitating, says Ahmed. Once a country has defaulted it can forget about taking out loans or floating bonds to fund investments in infrastructure or other measures that would help grow its economy long term. Pretty much every type of lender that poor countries rely on is going to balk. This includes even international financial organizations, such as the World Bank, whose mission is to provide poor countries with low-interest loans or outright grants to help them develop. The thinking of officials at the World Bank, says Ahmed, is going to be, “I don’t want the money to just go to another creditor.”And so a kind of deadly feedback loop could be created: The country’s debts would prevent its economy from creating the growth needed to pay off those very debts.What about that massive debt forgiveness for 36 countries that you helped broker back in the 1990s — the “debt relief” campaign made so famous by celebrities like the rock star Bono. Wasn’t that agreement supposed to end debt crises like these once and for all?Yes, says Ahmed. And for about 10 years the agreement was, in fact, remarkably successful. All sides had recognized their sins — the governments of the borrowing countries that had taken on the excessive debt and also the lenders that had pushed what had been in many cases clearly unsustainable loans — including governments of rich countries like the U.S., commercial banks from those countries and even the IMF and World Bank. In exchange for writing off the debt everyone vowed to be more responsible.”But after a decade, memories start to get cloudy,” says Ahmed. “And these commitments are, of course, not binding. If a country wants to go out and borrow money, they’re going to go out and borrow.”And in recent years a whole new class of lenders emerged to offer up easy credit — most notably the government of China and various associated Chinese banks and development agencies. “You had Chinese financial institutions and China as a country really expanding its presence and its financial role in developing countries,” says Ahmed. “I find really striking [that] between 2013 and 2016 China’s share of the debt of poor countries increased by more than the share of all these traditional lenders [who had made the loans back in the 1990s] put together.”Another factor: In the years since the 2008 financial crisis, interest rates in wealthier countries have been stuck at very low levels. “So people who have assets and want to invest their money all wanted to look for opportunities.” These include managers of investments funds, pension funds and the like from wealthy countries. They had not historically been major sources of financing for poor countries. But in recent years they started snapping up bonds issued by African countries — whose economies at the time seemed to be growing at a healthy rate. These bonds offered much higher rates of return than bonds from wealthy nations.Surely the borrowing nations also face some responsibility?”Some countries quite frankly just took advantage of the availability of money,” says Ahmed. He points to cases of outright fraud and corruption in Mozambique, Moldova and Gambia — in which government officials borrowed money on behalf of their nations, then apparently pocketed it for themselves.Then there are cases of countries that derive most of their income from exporting a few commodities — for instance, Zambia, which relies on copper. In recent years, the prices for many commodities fell sharply and stayed flat — depressing their national income.”Suddenly you find that what you thought was a level of debt you could manage is harder to maintain,” Ahmed says. Adding to the problem, instead of cutting their national budgets to account for the lost revenue, these countries turned to borrowing to make up the difference.And then there were the cases of simply less-than-ideal management. “I’m thinking of countries like Ghana and Ethiopia,” says Ahmed, “where they just felt, you know, people are willing to give us the money, let’s do it.” And then they failed to use the money for productive investments. “In many of these countries about half the increase in borrowing was not associated with an increase in investment. It was just used to spend more on current spending, things like salaries.”So is there a fix?Ahmed says it’s clear some kind of debt restructuring and forgiveness is going to be needed. It will require getting all the creditors to the table to agree on the terms. “And that is not an easy thing to do.”Back in the 1990s it took years of grinding negotiations. This time around the process is likely to be even more complicated because so many of the creditors are new to the game. “The IMF is still a very good place from which to have this conversation,” he says. But it is essential to bring in China and let it play a leadership role.Given the challenges, this effort needs to start now, he says. Yet there seems to be a lack of urgency among world leaders. While IMF officials will be discussing the debt issue in Washington this Saturday as part of their annual spring meetings, it’s just one of a host of topics on the agenda.What’s more, while the amount of debt involved may be crippling to poor countries, it’s just a drop in the bucket of the global economy. This debt crisis is not going to cause a worldwide financial meltdown. So unlike the classic debtors in financial crises who benefit from being too big to fail, these nations could find themselves too poor to warrant a bailout. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

New evidence proves that the controversial outsour

first_imgNew evidence proves that the controversial outsourcing contractor Atos should be stripped of all of its disability benefit assessment contracts, say disabled campaigners.Fresh concerns about the behaviour of Atos and its assessors emerged after Disability News Service (DNS) revealed last week how an Atos nurse repeatedly lied about a disabled man he was assessing for personal independence payment (PIP).The nurse, who is believed to be still carrying out assessments for Atos, stated in his report – in addition to a string of other incorrect statements – that Colin Stupples-Whyley had attended the PIP assessment alone, even though his partner had sat with him throughout the interview.Now, following the publication of that story, other disabled claimants have come forward to describe to DNS how their Atos assessors “lied” about them in benefit assessment reports.Former nurse Sue Hardy, who lectured on nursing for 22 years at the University of Bedfordshire, until she was forced to retire due to ill-health in 2013, said she was appalled when she read the report written by the Atos nurse who assessed her for the out-of-work disability benefit employment and support allowance (ESA).The report was littered with errors, but most worrying was the cognitive tests section, which was filled in by the assessor even though none of the tests had been carried out.Hardy, who was accompanied by a friend to the assessment, said: “This nurse lied on my assessment form. Having just had to give up my 35-year career as a nurse and senior lecturer, I found her assessment erroneous in many areas.”She appealed against the decision to place her in the work-related activity group of ESA, and won her appeal at tribunal, but also lodged a complaint with Atos, and with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).In the NMC complaint, she said the assessor had “completely fabricated, and invented the results of the cognitive assessment”.She told DNS: “I think Atos is a joke. How many people out there are being denied a fair assessment?“Nurses have a duty of care to all patients and clients and are bound by their code of conduct.“To omit an assessment or part thereof is negligence, and thus that duty of care is broken.“Atos employ nurses alongside doctors and physiotherapists, who are bound by similar codes of conduct.“So if the nurses are being caught fabricating assessment results, what about the other disciplines?“It is very worrying, and Atos obviously can’t perform these assessments to the required standards, resulting in people missing out on their benefits.”Although Atos handed over the ESA contract to another company earlier this year, it still has two major contracts to carry out PIP assessments.Colleen Hardy [no relation to Sue Hardy], from Kent, has described how a report written by the Atos physiotherapist who assessed her was littered with either basic errors or deliberate untruths about the impact of several chronic health conditions, including depression, anxiety, a thyroid disorder, and fibromyalgia.She was accompanied to the Atos building for the assessment by both a community psychiatric nurse and a friend, and both of them were able to dismiss the assessor’s claims that she had climbed a flight of stairs without help and by holding onto the bannister.Hardy later told DWP that the assessor was “either unqualified to give an informed opinion or she is being blatantly misleading and/or obstructive with the actual evidence”, and that she had simplified the impact of the fibromyalgia to a “ridiculous extent”.She said: “When I received my copy of the report, I was gobsmacked. It was full of inaccuracies and, let’s call a spade a spade here, lies!”As a result of the assessment in July 2012, she was removed from the support group of ESA and placed in the work-related activity group.After she appealed, a tribunal ruled that the original report was accurate, but still placed her back in the support group, although it did not reimburse her for the benefits she had lost in the meantime.Hardy said: “Atos and all involved never once explained any of the outlined inaccuracies in that report and stood by the physiotherapist completely.“I lost a fair amount of money, I lost confidence and my health suffered so much. This was all after the assessor deciding – despite all the professional opinion to the contrary she was shown – that in three months’ time I would be fit enough to work.”She added: “I can’t believe that Atos are more than happy to allow a liar to continue working for them.”Three other claimants have also come forward to accuse Atos assessors of lying in their reports.One told DNS how her Atos assessor asked her three questions, two of which required one-word answers, and then told her that her medical records answered all of the other questions.After giving the assessor a two-minute rundown of her week, she was “ushered out” of the assessment.She said: “When I was told I had (of course) failed the test, scoring the usual ‘0’ for mental health issues, I was shocked to read the report, which stated the interview had lasted 25 minutes, and a whole raft of questions had been asked!“To say the least, I was gobsmacked at this thick tome of utter fabrication.”Another claimant, with conditions including diabetes, a chronic degenerative disease that has ruptured all but two of the discs in her neck, arthritis, high blood pressure, and panic attacks, was told she had scored zero points in her assessment.She said: “The tissue of lies was unbelievable. It’s a bloody farce, the whole thing.”Among the inaccuracies in the report, the assessor claimed the claimant had opened the door to the assessment centre, when her daughter had done so, and that she had no problem removing her coat and undoing the buttons, even though she had not been wearing a coat.She said: “There was nothing to indicate any of the responses I’d given. They also stated I had no problems getting on the couch, [even though] they had to get me a step and she had to help me down.”A third claimant – the fifth in all to describe their experiences – described how an Atos doctor wrote in his report that he had performed “squats” in front of him, and “repeatedly climbed on and off the assessment couch without problems”.He said: “Not only is it impossible for me to squat, but the assessor actually had to provide me with steps to get onto the couch and help (alongside another person)… lift me on and off.”Although a tribunal subsequently found the report to be accurate, despite a witness and statements from specialists and doctors saying it could not have happened, the assessment was subsequently “completely dismissed” at a supersession – which allows DWP to change a benefit decision if a claimant’s circumstances change or if the decision was made without knowledge of the full facts – requested by his MP.He said: “The whole system is obscene and bordering on corrupt.”Rick Burgess, co-founder of the campaign group New Approach, said he was now hearing of many PIP claimants who were experiencing the same kind of “fraudulent healthcare professional reports” that ESA claimants had been subjected to, allowing DWP decision-makers to disallow their claims.He said: “I have yet to meet someone who thought their report accurately recorded the assessment and their impairment/illness. Seriously, no-one!“Sadly, the abuse and horror that was meted out to ESA claimants is now going to come to DLA/PIP claimants on a scale hitherto unseen.“I think many who have not experienced a work capability assessment and tribunal have been sceptical of the reports of abuse and fraud from Atos and the DWP, but unfortunately that will be happening to those making PIP claims now.“The government has a target to cut half a million [PIP] claims… the only way to do that is to commit medical/welfare fraud on disabled people on a massive scale; just as they do with ESA.”Lawyer and benefits expert Nick Dilworth, also a co-founder of New Approach, said he had helped hundreds of disabled people with appeals and requests for reconsiderations of benefit decisions, mainly those who had undergone testing for ESA eligibility by Atos.He said it was “commonplace for question-marks to be raised by clients over inconsistencies in what had been said with the healthcare professional conducting face-to-face assessments”.  He said: “Clients would regularly allege that Atos lied over how long they had remained sitting or standing or [had been] seen walking from waiting areas to the examination room.  “The amount of time a claimant was reported as ‘sitting continuously’ simply wouldn’t tally with the timing on the ESA85 [assessment form] detailing how long the assessment lasted.  “You could see the same report remarking on how, within the same time, the ‘claimant rose unaided several times’; it didn’t add up.”He said it was too early to say whether PIP assessments were any better than those for ESA.Dilworth said he had been impressed when he attended an Atos PIP assessment, although “others have told me the whole report is ‘a complete joke’”.  Linda Burnip, a co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said: “Sadly none of these complaints about the appallingly low standard of Atos assessors comes as a surprise.“Atos has consistently failed to meet the terms of their contracts for PIP assessments, with inaccessible centres still being used in many parts of the country.“They are still unable to attract high-calibre staff and they should be stripped of the PIP contracts with immediate effect.”John McArdle, co-founder of the Black Triangle campaign, said he agreed with Hardy’s concerns about assessors who were doctors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, as well as nurses.He said: “Private companies should be driven out of anything to do with the assessment of disabled people, because their first duty is to shareholders, to maximise profits.”He said the concerns raised with DNS were just “the tip of a massive iceberg”.He said: “Atos are still employing people who are demonstrably liars. It shows the General Medical Council [for doctors] and the NMC are not doing their job.”DPAC researcher Anita Bellows added: “We have received similar complaints about PIP assessments.“I would advise claimants to request the assessment to be audio-recorded and to bring somebody with them.“If they are unhappy about the outcome, they should request the assessor’s report. In the meantime, this needs to be formally investigated.”An Atos spokeswoman said: “All assessment services for ESA transferred to a new provider earlier this year.“As part of that process, we transferred all the claimant data we held to the DWP.“Therefore we now have no way to look back at these cases and investigate but can assure you that we had a stringent complaints policy in place when we ran the contract and all complaints made were fully investigated.”When asked if that meant that Atos had no record of complaints made against its staff while it was carrying out the WCA contract, she declined to comment.An NMC spokeswoman said the organisation did not have any data on complaints about Atos assessors, and could not confirm any details about a specific complaint unless it reached a “fitness to practice” hearing.last_img read more

Theyre going to be a hard side to play against a

first_img“They’re going to be a hard side to play against and he’s got them playing a really hard style of rugby league,” he said. “They played a really great game against Wigan in the Challenge Cup and we’re expecting that level. They won last week, but they won’t be overly thrilled with how they played.“I’ve known Steve a long time and it will be great to go up against him. We played under 7s together and he’s doing a great job over there.”Saints head into the game with a ten-point gap at the top of the table and on the back of a 14-6 win over Wigan at the DW Stadium.“We knew Wigan were never going to lie down and it was a real battle for 80 minutes,” Holbrook added. “I was happy with the way we went; we made some breaks and couldn’t convert them but that wasn’t our fault – we looked like we were going to score three or four times after making long breaks but credit to them, they kept turning up and stopped it.“Young Jack Ashworth and Matty Lees were outstanding for us. I was happy for them and happy even though we had some of our key men out we could still get a win there.“Matty is getting better every week. He’s a great young player and it’s been great to give him so many games in our side this year.”Tickets for Thursday’s home clash with Warrington are now on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

Obamacares Very Small Business Exchange Enrollment

first_img Obamacare’s Very Small Business Exchange Enrollment Next Article Image credit: txking | Shutterstock.com Obamacare 5 min read November 14, 2014 Add to Queue This story originally appeared on CNBCcenter_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Dan Mangan Apply Now » 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Remember those “other” new Obamacare exchanges—the ones that small businesses were supposed to use to sign up workers for health insurance?Yeah, well, apparently a whole bunch of small businesses forgot about them, too.A new Government Accountability Office report finds that a stunningly low number of workers have enrolled in insurance plans sold on small-business health exchanges run by federal and state governments.The report suggests that the Small Business Health Options Program exchanges will fall well short of the 2 million people that had been projected to sign up by January.As of last summer, only about 76,000 people working for about 12,000 employers had enrolled in insurance plans sold by 18 state-run SHOP exchanges, according to the GAO report released Thursday.While the other 33 SHOP exchanges run by the federal government didn’t have enrollment data available for the GAO, officials in charge of them “do not expect major differences in enrollment trends between” the state-run SHOP exchanges and their federally run counterparts, the report noted. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service was still compiling enrollment data from insurers and did not expect complete numbers until early 2015, the GAO said.Mississippi’s solo enrolleeThe SHOP exchanges are supposed to help small employees provide group health coverage to their workers. But most such employers clearly haven’t bothered to take the exchanges up on that offer, or aren’t aware that it’s available, raising questions about whether these exchanges can get close to the 4 million enrollees that had been projected by 2017. One state-run SHOP—Mississippi’s—had just one person enrolled, the GAO report said. The agency notes that Mississippi’s SHOP had only been open for one month at the time the data were collected for the report. The state’s insurance department pointed out Thursday that there are now 23 people enrolled through Mississippi’s SHOP.Washington state had the second-lowest enrollment with 42 people.Two population-heavy states, California and New York, had just 9,563 and 10,023 people enrolled, respectively, in their SHOP exchanges during their first year of operation.Vermont, the second-least populous state, had by far, the highest enrollments in a state-run SHOP: 33,696 people. That represents 44 percent of all enrollees on the state-run SHOPs. But that eye-popping number likely is due in no small part to the fact that Vermont had required that all small group health insurance plans in the state be offered only through the SHOP.The GAO report said stakeholders in SHOPs blamed the dismal enrollment tallies on “multiple, evolving factors.” Those included the possibility that a small business tax credit designed to spur companies to use the exchanges “may be be too small” and “administratively complex to motivate many employers to enroll.” The tax credit, available to companies with fewer than 25 full-time employees who make an average of $50,000 or less per year, can be worth up to 50 percent of what employers contribute to their employees’ health premiums.”Other factors identified that may have hindered current enrollment include the ability of employers to renew plans that existed before the SHOPs … and employer misconceptions about SHOP availability,” the report said.SHOP wishlistThe GAO also noted that federal SHOP exchanges were not able to enroll people online, and that those exchanges gave enrollees only a single health plan as an option, as opposed to multiple plans. While 15 states launched in October 2013, three significantly delayed their starts until spring 2014.The stakeholders interviewed by the GAO, including CMS officials and state exchange executives, identified several factors that could spark enrollment, GAO said. These ideas included the phase-out of health plans that were in existence before the SHOP exchanges launched last year, more choice among health plans for workers on the exchanges and increased marketing to small businesses.”CMS is currently preparing to implement online enrollment for all [federally run] SHOPs and employee choice for many of [those] SHOPs in 2015,” the report noted. But the two-year limit on the small-business tax credit and the likelihood that SHOP premiums will not be lower than those of non-SHOP plans “may hinder future enrollment growth,” the report noted in its summary. When asked for comment, CMS officials referred to that summary.Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., chairman of the House Small Business Committee that requested the GAO report, said “Obamacare’s SHOPs have been fraught with errors and high costs from the very beginning.”Graves also said, “The lack of specific federal SHOP enrollment data confirms that [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] initially created no mechanism to monitor or measure its performance after enrollment began.””It is apparent that the Obama administration didn’t prioritize the SHOP exchange in the law. Small businesses and taxpayers deserve better,” he said.The SHOP exchanges’ poor performance contrasts sharply with the enrollment seen in individual health plans sold on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange and the 15 other exchanges run by individual states and the District of Columbia. About 7.1 million people are currently enrolled in insurance sold through those markets.Open enrollment in SHOP and individual Obamacare plans starts Saturday. –shareslast_img read more

Philip Morris Wins Missouri Class Action Trial Over Light Cigarettes

first_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shares Add to Queue A jury in St. Louis, Mo., on Thursday rejected a request for about $1.8 billion in damages against Philip Morris USA in a class-action lawsuit that claimed the company misled smokers about the health risks of “light” cigarettes.The lawsuit was filed in 2000 after plaintiffs alleged the Altria Group Inc. unit violated Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act in marketing Marlboro Lights.”The jury correctly rejected plaintiffs’ allegations of misrepresentation and damages,” Murray Garnick said on behalf of Philip Morris USA in a statement.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits the use of “lights” and certain other descriptions unless the manufacturer receives permission to use them.In November, the Illinois Supreme Court also threw out a $10.1 billion verdict against Philip Morris USA in a long-running lawsuit accusing the company of misleading smokers about the health risks of “light” cigarettes.(Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Hay)        This story originally appeared on Reuters Image credit: Shutterstock Philip Morris Wins Missouri Class Action Trial Over ‘Light’ Cigarettes Next Article center_img Tobacco April 8, 2016 1 min read Reuters Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now »last_img read more

Merkle Releases Customer Experience Impact Report

first_img customer experienceExperience Impact reportmarketing automation newsMarketing TechnologyMerkleNewspersonalization Previous ArticleIteris Announces Closing of Acquisition of Albeck GerkenNext ArticleCustomer Experience Transformation Will Attract 23% of 1.68 Billion Dollars Invested in Digitalization in 2019 Merkle Releases Customer Experience Impact Report Business WireJuly 5, 2019, 3:39 pmJuly 5, 2019 Purchase Behavior Study Reveals 66% of Consumers Care More About Experience Than PriceMerkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, has released its Experience Impact report, analyzing how and why customer experience affects where consumers choose to spend their money. For its report, Merkle polled 500 US residents in March 2019.“Now more than ever, consumers expect brands to offer personalized and seamless experiences”The research revealed that 66% of consumers care more about experiences than price when choosing a brand from which to purchase. Additionally, over half (52%) of online shoppers reported having stopped shopping on a brand website due to poor site experience.Marketing Technology News: LivePerson Wins 2019 Artificial Intelligence Breakthrough AwardNike, Amazon, and Apple were cited as the top mentioned brands for delivering a personalized experience. These customer-centric brands were also the top mentioned for delivering the best online experience, with Amazon cited by over half of respondents for being fast and easy, as well as its overall customer service.Marketing Technology News: Taptica International Rebrand Reflects Video Advertising Leadership“Now more than ever, consumers expect brands to offer personalized and seamless experiences,” said Rives Martin, manager, customer intelligence & brand strategy, Merkle. “Marketers must focus on developing experiences that place customers squarely at the center. It begins with a comprehensive understanding of the entire customer journey, which allows marketers to learn and respond to the interests and needs of their customers. This ultimately results in more valuable, lasting relationships that lead to competitive advantage.”Marketing Technology News: Digital Communication Tools Leave Many Workers Feeling Squeezed out by Tech-Savvy Colleagueslast_img read more

Exploring the factors around experience and management of pain in workplaces

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 25 2019A special issue of WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation looks at factors around the experience and management of pain in workplaces around the worldWorkers suffering from chronic pain takes an immense toll on both employees and employers. Whether the pain that individuals experience is physical or psychological, constant or intermittent, or caused by work conditions or brought to the job, its effect on their productivity and wellbeing is a huge problem. Not surprisingly, work and pain are the subjects of a growing body of research, as technological advances transform healthcare at the same time as they created new challenges.Understanding the interaction between work and pain is an important focus of WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation. WORK’s scope covers the entire occupation of work and presents evidence and best practices to help manage illnesses, injuries, and disabilities through interventions, rehabilitation, and treatment. To that end, WORK has published a special collection of seven new research articles on work and pain. In her editorial introducing this issue, Editor-in-Chief and Founding Editor Karen Jacobs noted that since 2008, WORK has published more than 20,000 research articles and reviews on the subject, which represents “more pain-related articles than any of the ‘recognized’ pain journals.”Each of the articles in the special issue looks at the interplay of work, stress, and pain across diverse job roles, industries, and geographic locations including the United States, Scotland, Iran, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Australia. Findings support the following conclusions: Two of the articles highlight challenges and opportunities that technology brings to the dynamic relationship of work and pain. Using one of today’s most essential business tools, a smartphone, puts users’ necks at risk when they make calls or send texts, according to Rose Boucaut, DEd, MPH, at the School of Health Sciences (Physiotherapy) University of South Australia, iCAHE (International Centre for Allied Health Evidence), Adelaide, Australia. “Smartphone users typically bend their neck slightly forward when reading and writing text messages. They also sometimes bend or twist their neck sideways when speaking and put their upper body and legs in awkward positions. These postures put uneven pressure on the soft tissues around the spine and can lead to persistent discomfort,” she explained.Related StoriesBritish boys to receive HPV jabsSleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyHow a simple MRI scan can help patients with anginaThis observation is based on the results of a study on which she collaborated with a team of investigators led by Suwalee Namwongsa, PhD, Research Center in Back, Neck, Other Joint Pain, and Human Performance (BNOJPH), and School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University in Thailand. They conducted a cross-sectional survey study of 779 Thai university students and found that musculoskeletal disorders are more common among the students who used smartphones for five or more hours a day (other significant factors included smoking and an insufficient amount of exercise). Nearly a third of the students reported neck pain, more than a quarter of them reported shoulder pain, and a fifth either upper back pain or wrist/hand pain. Significantly more (71%) of the women in the study group experienced musculoskeletal pain than men (28%).”It is doubtful whether people experiencing back and neck pain, especially young people, are aware that it could be the result of excessive smartphone use. Health practitioners need to educate their patients about safe postures and curtailing time spent using smartphones to help prevent these issues,” said Dr. Namwongsa. She added that many smartphone companies notify customers of the average time they spend daily on their phones, feedback that “may help users connect neck discomfort with smartphone use and encourage them to be mindful of their posture and time on the phone. In addition, healthcare providers can develop preventive initiatives that discourage flexed necks and other problematic positions (as well as smoking).”Another featured article in the collection zeroes in on how a technology can be fine-tuned to better manage lower back pain, a chronic condition that causes presenteeism and impedes workplace performance. This study investigated the effects of pivotal whole body vibration on an individual’s proprioception (awareness of the body’s positions and movements), which has potential application in treating musculoskeletal conditions such as lower back pain.”Our findings demonstrate that five minutes of pivotal whole body vibration (18Hz, 6mm amplitude) can significantly improve spinal proprioception including body posture, lumbar repositioning ability, maximum reaching distance, and lumbopelvic coordination in healthy individuals,” said lead investigator Daniel H.K. Chow, PhD, Department of Health & Physical Education, The Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, Hong Kong. He explained that “the effects do not differ when the participants are seated or standing. Moreover, the choice of frequency and amplitude of whole body vibration protocol is critical as vibration could produce very different responses, either beneficial or dangerous. This a valuable finding as it could potentially lead to a treatment for lower back pain.” Higher levels of presenteeism (being present at work in body but not mind) are associated with lower back pain. Repetitive work, heavy lifting, and limited rest increase discomfort from common musculoskeletal conditions. Workers (especially older individuals) often fail to disclose their chronic knee pain for fear of losing their jobs. Job stress is linked to chronic pain, with psychological symptoms intensifying physical ones. Interestingly, that study noted that employees without chronic pain sometimes begin to think catastrophically about physical pain as their stress level ramps up. Female allied health professionals and those with chronic musculoskeletal conditions are more susceptible to depression and anxiety as a result of job stress.center_img Source:https://www.iospress.nl/last_img read more

New resistance mechanism that prevent formation of blood vessels

first_imgThe antibody of the study had the target Semaphorin 4D (Sema4D). Semaphorins are a large and diverse family of proteins from outside the cells, involved in cell signaling, and are essential for the development and maintenance of many organs and tissues. Some of them have implications for angiogenesis and cancer progression. Its name comes from the Greek semaphero, that means “bearer of signals”.Related StoriesMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerSema4D is a protein that is expressed predominantly in the membrane of solid tumors, in cancers such as breast, prostate and colon cancer. This protein is also found in tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), which are immune cells that play an important role in tumor invasion, tumor formation and in metastasis. The 4D Semaphorin is also related to the formation of blood vessels.Faced with this new situation, the researchers looked for which could be the differential factor from what was known to date, and they realized that there was a large presence of macrophages. They saw that, in the presence of the anti-Sema4D antibody, the macrophages secreted a molecule named SDF1, which causes the tumor cells to migrate more: they present more motility and more invasion.These tests were done in transgenic mice models and what was observed was an increased survival of animals in the short term. In the long term, however, an unwanted effect (metastasis) was generated, significantly worsening the condition of the mice.”Now that we know the new mechanism, we can begin to look for a way to inhibit it – for example, avoiding secretion of SDF1- and, in this way, to give an alternative to only have the positive effects of the antibody” explains Dr. Oriol Casanovas. He adds that “depending on each case, treatments could be carried out simultaneously with two drugs at the same time”.”What we propose is that the immune system is also taken into account when doing some therapies, because now we know that there may be the possibility of activating it with some drugs”, concludes Dr. Iratxe Zuazo. Source:IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research InstituteJournal reference:Zuazo, I. et al. (2019) Anti-tumor effects of anti-Semaphorin 4D antibody unravel a novel pro-invasive mechanism of vascular targeting agents. Cancer Research. doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-3436 In the formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) it had been described that the conditions of low oxygen concentration (hypoxia) in the tumor were the cause of malignization of the tumor cells that became more aggressive and migrated, but our samples did not present hypoxia conditions and we still had this effect”.Dr Iratxe Zuazo, IDIBELL The mechanism does not activate the reduction of oxygen in the cells of the tumor, contrary to what common drugs, called anti-angiogenic, usually cause. In response to treatment, the immune cells of the tumor act as elements that make the tumor malignant. Researchers at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the ProCure Program of the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) published today at Cancer Research a study describing a new mechanism in cancer that turns cells into malignant cells and contradicts what had been published so far about drug resistance that prevent the formation of blood vessels (anti-angiogenics). The research has been led by Dr. Oriol Casanovas, from the group of Tumor Angiogenesis of the IDIBELL, and the Dr Iratxe Zuazo has participated as one of the first authors.In the search for alternative factors to fight cancer, antibody development as a therapeutic route is one of them. Antibodies can have an anti-tumor effect, preventing tumors from developing properly. In this study, scientists observed that one of these antibodies led to similar effects to those known for traditional antiangiogenic medications. However, the initial response to treatment culminated in the appearance of long-term resistance and malignancy through a mechanism unknown to date. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 3 2019Researchers at IDIBELL-ICO describe a new resistance mechanism to therapies that prevent the formation of blood vesselslast_img read more

Scientists developing technology for water purification by electric discharges

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain Provided by Estonian Research Council Explore further The environment around us is becoming increasingly polluted. This includes one of our most precious natural resources—water. Clean water is essential to human survival. Due to increased pollution, water treatment methods are becoming increasingly important as well. 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. More information: Yi-Xian Wang et al, Surfactant and non-surfactant radical scavengers in aqueous reactions induced by pulsed corona discharge treatment, Journal of Electrostatics (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.elstat.2019.03.001 As regards scientifically proven methods, the plasma water treatment by electrical discharge method is ousting the water chlorination method applied over the last 100 years.An international research group led by Professor at the TalTech Department of Material and Environmental Technology Sergei Preis published a scientific article “Surfactant and non-surfactant radical scavengers in aqueous reactions induced by pulsed corona discharge treatment” on this subject in the Journal of Electrostatics.Professor Sergei Preis says, “Use of chlorine for water treatment was completely revolutionary 100 years ago, eliminating pathogenic bacteria and viruses found in drinking water and thereby saving numerous human lives. Indeed, chlorine has so far been an inexpensive and efficient water disinfectant, killing bacteria hazardous to humans. However, the drawback is its side effect caused by the inevitable exposure of chlorine to dissolved organic substances, mostly humic substances (dead plant matter) and various extracellular metabolites. Unfortunately, upon such exposure chlorine will produce carcinogenic, i.e. cancer-causing substances.”In order to reduce the risk of cancer, some European countries (such as the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark) have introduced more radical pipeline maintenance measures (i.e. regular pipeline inspection and renewal). In this case chlorine need not be added to domestic water, but unfortunately such water is not 100 percent drinkable.A more efficient, but several times more expensive water treatment method is ozonation. However, ozone water treatment is considered to be a privilege of larger and wealthier countries (e.g. the USA, Switzerland, France) and only a very small proportion of ozone-treated drinking water can be produced worldwide.”As a result of the last five years of research, our research team has developed a reliable novel, plasma water treatment by electrical discharge method. In this method, water is showered between electrodes with discharge pulses of voltage pulse amplitude of 18-20 kV. By this method we can produce drinking water as suitable for consumption as the one produced by ozonation. No carcinogens are produced and the process is three times less expensive,” Sergei Preis says. Citation: Scientists developing technology for water purification by electric discharges (2019, April 17) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-scientists-technology-purification-electric-discharges.html Researchers develop a method to detoxify water with chlorine and ultraviolet radiationlast_img read more