Tag Archives: 上海419论坛

Trump targeting redstate Democrats ahead of midterm polls

first_imgDonald Trump. File photoUS president Donald Trump is in full campaign mode five months before pivotal mid-term elections, employing a mix of anti-immigration rhetoric, Democrat-bashing and off-script improvisation in a bid to help Republicans hold their congressional majority.Democrats, riding a swell of grass-roots activism and buoyed by Trump’s poor approval numbers and an ongoing investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump’s campaign, are seeking to flip the US House and Senate.Trump is pushing back, hitting the road-including at a fiery Tuesday night rally in Tennessee-as he seeks to energize his base to come out and vote in November for Republican Senate candidates in states where he can have a major impact.But the strategy apparently seeks to minimize his exposure in states where Republicans in close House races might feel the divisive president’s presence would be more of a hindrance, motivating Democrats and independents instead of helping moderate GOP candidates.Despite the risks of an unrestrained Trump addressing large crowds at campaign-style events, it is a strategy aimed at firing up his loyal supporters in red states where vulnerable Senate Democrats are running for re-election, or challenging for open seats.Such was the case Tuesday when Trump rallied in Nashville in support of congresswoman Marsha Blackburn’s bid to succeed retiring Senator Bob Corker.“We need more Republicans,” Trump boomed.“If you want your country to be safe, then you must go out and get the Democrats the hell out of office.”A sitting president’s party often loses seats during mid-term elections.While analysts say Democrats have a decent shot at flipping the 24 seats needed to reclaim the House, the opposition party is up against an extraordinarily tough Senate election map.Of the 35 Senate races, Democrats are defending a whopping 26 seats — 10 of them in states that Trump won in 2016.And Democrats are seeing their overall mid-term advantage shrink.In December, according to a RealClearPolitics polling average, Democrats enjoyed a 13-point advantage among voters who were asked which party they would support in the 2018 congressional election.That figure this week stood at just four points.Trump ‘coming after’ vulnerable DemocratsThe president has grown increasingly annoyed at his party’s 51-49 Senate majority as he seeks to push through his policy agenda, including a dramatic curtailing of illegal and legal immigration.Highlighting his rigid stance during his Nashville rally, he recalled the term he used recently to describe undocumented immigrants, including members of transnational gang MS-13, targeted for deportation.“What was the name?” Trump goaded the crowd. “Animals!” they shouted.Trump also savaged the Democratic candidate, former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen, insisting he would be in the pocket of the Senate and House Democratic leaders.“He’s an absolute total tool of Chuck Schumer and of course the MS-13 lover, Nancy Pelosi,” Trump said.Over the past month Trump has held campaign-style rallies or speeches in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee-all states he carried in 2016, and where Republicans are facing tough Senate races. On Thursday he heads to Texas.Trump is also expected to travel in the coming weeks to North Dakota, Montana, Missouri, and West Virginia, the New York Times reported, citing White House officials familiar with the president’s summer strategy.They are states that Trump won easily, and where Senate Democrats face tough re-elections.Several other states may be added to the itinerary later, including Florida, where outgoing Governor Rick Scott is spending millions of dollars of his own personal fortune in a bid to oust a Senate Democratic incumbent.Trump on Tuesday night “had a message for 2018 red state Dems – he’s coming after them too,” said Katie Martin, communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the party’s Senate campaign arm.He relished his opportunity before the cheering crowd to tout his economic successes including major tax cuts that he signed into law.But Trump also eagerly returned to one of the tropes of his 2016 campaign, by declaring that Mexico would pay for a wall that he intends to build on the southern US border.“They’re going to pay for the wall and they’re going to enjoy it,” Trump said.last_img read more

1096 dengue patients hospitalised in 24 hours

first_imgFile photoSome 1,096 people suffering from dengue fever were hospitalised across the country in the last 24 hours till 8am on Monday, showing a gradual rise in the number of such patients over the last several days.However, there was no death during the period as per the official record, reports UNB.According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the number of dengue patients was 824 on Sunday while 683 on Saturday, 603 on Friday and 547 on Thursday.The dengue has now spread to 50 districts of the country.Currently, 3,847 dengue patients are being treated in hospitals across the country.From 1 January till the date, there have been 13,637 confirmed dengue cases.Eight of them have died as per the government’s count although the unofficial death toll is much higher.Meanwhile, the health and family welfare ministry has set up a monitoring cell to receive allegations about charging extra than the government-fixed Tk 500 for dengue test.last_img read more

Watson Named ACC CoPitcher of the Week

first_img The University of Louisville’s Danielle Watson was named ACC Co-Pitcher of the Week for the period ending April 7. This marks the sophomore’s first conference weekly honor.Watson posted a 0.00 ERA on the week surrendering only one unearned run and two hits for a .053 opp. batting average and striking out 13 in 12.0 innings of work.The Osceola, Ind., native posted a complete game one-hit shutout and struck out seven in Louisville’s 2-0 upset of No. 3/3 Florida State which entered the weekend ranked second in the nation in batting average and third in home runs. In that game, she retired 10 Seminole batters at one point and 16 of the last 18 to end the game and halt the Seminoles’ 10-game win streak. Watson also pitched 6.1 innings in a 10-9 win against Florida State on Monday.In Louisville’s midweek 7-2 win at Western Kentucky, Watson struck out three as she retired all six batters she faced in the final two innings. She also connected on her first career home run in that game.Watson now leads the team with 112 strikeouts in 106.2 innings and a .213 opponent batting average.The Cardinals (25-14, 6-6 ACC) will travel to Boston College for a three-game ACC series this weekend. Print Friendly Version Story Linkslast_img read more

Essential things to add to your bridal kit

first_imgIt is essential for a bride to add a healthy haircare routine and pick up the right lingerie for that perfect night and pamper her own self. People assume that since most of the wedding outfits come with inner padding, there’s no need to invest in good lingerie. But this assumption is wrong and it will eventually lead up to your wedding lingerie dilemma. Experts share their thought on essential things to add to your bridal kit. One of the most common problems faced by the thin and petite ones is trying to get that extra oomph. In this case, the push bra paired with a lace bikini is the best option. The brassiere’s underwire and push up padding will give you the lift you need which will leave you feeling like a million bucks. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfTea tree oil awakens, refreshes and re-energises your skin; and strengthens and regenerates you hair. One can also opt for products with Tea Tree oil that offers care, styling and body products to renew the scalp and hair, and revitalise your charm. If you are voluptuous with large assets and think you can’t find anything to suit your style well you’re wrong. The lace unlined bra and thong set is what you need to show off your curves. Turn up the heat with the lace back thong along with the unlined bra which does a fabulous job in highlighting your natural shape. If you are long waisted i.e the ones whose upper body are longer than the lower half. The satin low back nightdress is perfect to show off your enviable waist. Plus, the plunge neck and low back will leave you looking sexy while adding a hint of sophistication. Ease your haircare routine by taking essential care in the right manner for elegant, salon quality treatment like spa, to have a relaxing time.last_img read more

MHA advisory deeprooted conspiracy by BJP to grab power in oppnruled states

first_imgKolkata: The Trinamool Congress Monday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah alleging that the MHA advisory to the West Bengal government is a “deep-rooted conspiracy” by the BJP and an “evil ploy to grab power” in opposition-ruled states. The BJP, however, termed the allegations baseless and claimed that the law-and-order situation in the state has completely broken down. TMC secretary general and West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee, in a letter, claimed that the Ministry of Home Affairs has drawn conclusions without verifying the ground reality or taking a report from the state government. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata “We, on behalf of the Trinamool Congress, lodge our strong objection to the advisory issued by the MHA and urge that the same be withdrawn forthwith,” he said. In the advisory sent to the West Bengal government on Sunday, a day after BJP and TMC workers clashed in Sandeshkhali area of North Parganas district, the MHA had expressed “deep concern” over the continuing post-poll violence in the state, and asked it to maintain law and order. Criticising the advisory, Chatterjee said, “We have reason to believe that it is an evil ploy to grab power in states run by parties politically opposed to the BJP.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state “Moreover, this is a deep-rooted conspiracy and game plan to malign the state government and capture the Bengal administration through undemocratic, unethical and unconstitutional means.” Blaming “BJP goons” for violence and chaos across the state, the TMC leader alleged that as the MHA and the saffron party are being headed by the same person, it is “quite obvious” that “whatever the BJP desires, the MHA is implementing it with closed eyes, throwing all constitutional propriety to the wind”. “In a democracy, the Centre and states work in tandem. Instead of taking the state government into confidence and verifying the ground situation, the unilateral issuance of an advisory by the MHA is an insult to the people of Bengal and an assault on the glory, culture, and heritage of the state,” Chatterjee said. Reacting to the TMC allegation, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the MHA was absolutely right in sending the advisory. “The law-and-order situation has completely broken down… The MHA has done the right thing. If the TMC is saying that the Union home minister and the BJP president are the same person, then the same rule applies in Bengal as well. “The chief minister, home minister and party supremo are the same person (in Bengal). So, does that mean all the decisions taken by the state government are politically motivated?” Ghosh said. Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy also accused the state government of not cooperating with the Centre and violating the federal structure. On Sunday night, the West Bengal government sent a letter to the MHA, saying that the situation in the state was “under control”, and there was no failure on the part of its law enforcement agencies. The BJP has claimed that five of its workers were killed in the violence in Sandeshkhali, while the ruling TMC said that one was killed.last_img read more

Google engineers work towards large scale federated learning

first_imgIn a paper published on February 4, Google engineers drafted out plans to forward federated learning at a scale. It showcases the high-level plans, challenges, solutions, and applications. Federated learning was first introduced in 2017 by Google. The idea is to use data from a number of computing devices like smartphones instead of a centralized data source. Federated learning can help with privacy Federated learning can be beneficial as it addresses the privacy concern. Android phones are used for the system where the data is only used but never uploaded to any server. A deep neural network is trained by using TensorFlow on the data stored in the Android phone. The Federated averaging algorithm by Brendan McMahan uses a similar approach as synchronous training. The weights of the neural network are combined in the cloud using Federated Averaging. This creates a global model which is then pushed back to the phones as results/desirable actions. To enhance privacy approaches like differential privacy and Secure aggregation are taken. The paper addresses challenges like time zone differences, connectivity issues, interrupted execution etc,. Their work is mature enough to deploy the system in production for tens of millions of devices. They are working towards supporting billions of devices now. The training protocol The system involves devices and the Federated Learning server communicating availability and the server selecting devices to run a task. A subset of the available devices are selected for a task. The Federated Learning server instructs the devices what computing task to run with a plan. A plan would consist a TensorFlow graph and instructions to execute it. There are three phases for the training to take place: Selection of the devices that meet eligibility criteria Configuring the server with simple or Secure Aggregation Reporting from the devices where reaching a certain number would get the training round started Source: Towards Federated Learning at Scale: System Design The devices are supposed to maintain a repository of the collected data and the applications are responsible to provide data to the Federated Learning runtime as an example store. The Federated Learning server is designed to operate on orders of many magnitudes. Each round can mean updates from devices in the range of KBs to tens of MBs coming going the server. Data collection To avoid harming the phone’s battery life and performance, various analytics are collected in the cloud. The logs don’t contain any personally identifiable information. Secure aggregation Secure aggregation uses encryption to make individual device updates uninspectable. They plant to use it for protection against threats in data centers. Secure aggregation would ensure data encryption even when it is in-memory. Challenges of federated learning Compared to a centralized dataset, federated learning poses a number of challenges. The training data is not inspectable, tooling is required to work with proxy data. Models cannot be run interactively and must be compiled to be deployed in the Federated Learning server. Model resource consumption and runtime compatibility also come into the picture when working with many devices in real-time. Applications of Federated Learning It is best for cases where the data on devices is more relevant than data on servers. Ranking items for better navigation, suggestions for on-device keyboard, and next word prediction. This has already been implemented on Google pixel and Gboard. Future work is to eliminate bias caused be restrictions in device selection, algorithms to support better parallelism (more devices in one round), avoiding retraining already trained tasks on devices, and compression to save bandwidth. Federated computation, not federated learning The authors do no mention machine learning explicitly anywhere in the paper. They believe that the applications of such a model are not limited to machine learning. Federated Computation is the term they want to use for this concept. Federated computation and edge computing Federated learning and edge computing are very similar, there are but subtle differences in the purpose of these two. Federated learning is used to solve problems with specific tasks assigned to endpoint smartphones. Edge computing is for predefined tasks to be processed at end nodes, for example, IoT cameras. Federated learning decentralizes the data used while edge computing decentralizes the task computation to various devices. For more details on the architecture and its working, you can check out the research paper. Read next Technical and hidden debts in machine learning – Google engineers’ give their perspective Researchers introduce a machine learning model where the learning cannot be proved What if AIs could collaborate using human-like values? DeepMind researchers propose a Hanabi platform.last_img read more

New Hampshire offers Limitless Possibilities for families

first_imgNew Hampshire offers ‘Limitless Possibilities’ for families Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Adventure Travel, Family Travel, New Hampshire Tuesday, May 30, 2017 center_img NEW HAMPSHIRE — When it comes to family travel, clients should look no further than the Granite State. New Hampshire has been touting ‘Limitless Possibilities” for families and leisure travellers alike, and when it comes to outdoor adventures, that definitely proves true.A small sampling of the activities that can be done in New Hampshire include:Ziplining: Parents and kids alike can enjoy the adrenaline rush of soaring through the Granite State. Take in the wonders of the various natural wonders including mountains, lakes, and endless forestry. Fun fact: New Hampshire is home to one of the longest zipline canopy tours in the U.S. Go to visitnh.gov/things-to-do/recreation/ziplining.Water Attractions: In any weather, families can make a splash in one of the many outdoor water parks located across the state. On rainy days or off-season visits, family fun can still be had at a variety of indoor water parks perfect for year-round fun.Mountain Coasters: In the summer months, New Hampshire’s top ski resorts keep the family fun going with mountain coasters. Check out one of the thrilling, boundary-pushing attractions at some on New Hampshire’s best mountains.Hiking: For active, adventurous families, New Hampshire offers some of the best hiking trails in the U.S. with options for all levels. There are also many kid-friendly trails, with more information found on New Hampshire’s website.More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalIf you have clients who are looking for an adventure for the whole family, make sure to share the video by NH Division of Travel and Tourism Development.For more information, go to visitnh.gov. Share Posted bylast_img read more

LaFave outraged by proposed registration fees for kayaks canoes

first_img11Apr LaFave outraged by proposed registration fees for kayaks, canoes Categories: LaFave News Legislator opposes increased taxation for Michigan outdoor enthusiastsState Rep. Beau LaFave today expressed his objection to a recent proposal by the Michigan State Waterways Commission that would require all kayaks, canoes and paddle boards to be registered with the state.LaFave said people should not be penalized for supporting Michigan’s tourism industry and enjoying the state’s natural resources, especially considering participation in paddle sports increases at a rate of 7 percent each year in Michigan.“This is one of the silliest things I’ve heard in my time as representative,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “What’s next? Will we have to register our water skis, our boogie boards, our wetsuits?”Though the commission claims the cost would be about $10 annually per watercraft, LaFave still has concerns.“They’re not thinking about those who have many paddle watercrafts,” he said, “the burden could add up to hundreds of dollars annually for moms and dads who have kayaks or paddle boards for each member of their family, not to mention the absurd costs for summer camps and rental companies.”Thus far, the commission’s proposal hasn’t gained any momentum, as no legislators have pursued the matter with legislation, but LaFave said he’s certain he won’t support it if put in a position to vote on it.###last_img read more

Vodafone Portugal has launched a set of Internet o

first_imgVodafone Portugal has launched a set of Internet of Things services for residential customers, including applications covering mobility, security and location, stealing a march on rival multi-play service providers in the country.Vodafone said it would follow up the initial launch with a series of smart home applications before the end of the year.The new offering, V by Vodafone, introduces management of connected objects through a single app, with an initial focus on three areas.V-Auto provides equipment that can be connected to the OBD plug that is standard in post-2003 car models in the EU, enabling a range of safety features such as automatic contacting of drivers by the emergency services in the event of an accident. V-Auto is available for €79.90 with a €6 monthly charge.V-Cam is an HD camera that connects to the operator’s IoT network and includes automatic  motion detectors and a night view mode, as well as the ability to store videos in the cloud. Applications include home security for second homes. The initial cost is €379.90 with a €6 monthly charge.Other applications include V-Pet, to enable users to locate pets through GPS, and V-Bag, to locate suitcases and other forms of baggage.Vodafone has created V-SIM, an IoT SIM card, and a V by Vodafone mobile app to manage IoT applications.“The Internet of Things is already transforming the way companies operate. Now it’s time for consumers to take advantage of this technology. V by Vodafone simplifies the use of a vast list of IoT devices, helping to make the everyday tasks of all Portuguese users more intelligent,” said Emanuel Sousa, head for the residential business unit of Vodafone Portugal.last_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

GraphExeter—the bestknown roomtemperature transp

first_img GraphExeter—the best-known room-temperature transparent conductor—is a material built up of several graphene sheets with a layer of ferric chloride molecules in between each sheet. Exeter’s device converts light into electrical signals by exploiting the unique attributes of this material. Says Exeter physics professor Saverio Russo, “This new flexible and transparent photosensitive device uses graphene and graphExeter to convert light into electrical signals with efficiency comparable to that found in opaque devices based on graphene and metals.” At just a few atoms thick, it is ultra-lightweight and portable. Applications? How about photovoltaic textiles that enable your clothes to act as solar panels and charge your mobile phone while you’re walking down the street? Or an intelligent window that can both harvest electricity and display images, all while remaining transparent to the outside? “Smart clothing”—that can monitor a wide range of our functions as we go about our daily lives—is another recent development. Normally, it’s created by weaving conductive materials into fabrics. But that results in flexibility limitations, and it can only be achieved when the conductors are integrated into the design of the clothing from the start. But now, scientists at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have come up with a way to print silver directly onto fibers. The technique involves chemically bonding a nano‐silver layer onto individual fibers to a thickness of 20 nanometers, so that the conductive layer fully encapsulates fibers and has good adhesion and excellent conductivity. Chris Hunt, NPL’s lead researcher on the project, says: “The technique has many potential applications. One particularly exciting area is wearable sensors and antennas which could be used for monitoring, for example checking on patients and vulnerable people; data capture and feedback for soldiers in the field; and performance monitoring in sports. It offers particular benefits over the ‘weaving in’ approach, as the conductive pattern and flexibility ensures that sensors are always positioned in the same location on the body.” Or, how about having a touchscreen on your shirt sleeve? Further possibilities for printed metal inks are being pursued. Scientists at the American Chemical society have employed copper nanosheets, which are inexpensive and highly conductive, as a flexible circuit ink. They took the copper nanosheets, coated them with silver nanoparticles, and incorporated this material into an ink pen, using it to draw patterns of lines, words, and flowers on regular printer paper. Then, to show that the ink could conduct electricity, they connected a battery and lit up an LED at the drawing’s center. Courtesy Northwestern University The battery will continue to work—illuminating that LED—even when stretched, folded, twisted, or mounted on a human elbow. Power and voltage are similar to a conventional lithium-ion battery of the same size. It will stretch up to 300% of its original size with no loss of efficiency and can function for eight to nine hours before it needs recharging, which can be done wirelessly. So far, batteries—which presently power nearly all portable devices—have maintained their edge over supercapacitors for a couple of reasons. One, they’re way cheaper. And two, supercapacitors have low energy density, meaning that the amount of energy they can store per unit weight is relatively small. On the plus side, supercapacitors can be charged quickly and don’t lose their storage capabilities over time. They can literally last for millions of charge/discharge cycles without losing energy-storage capability, whereas the same process in batteries is slow and degrades their internal chemical compounds over time. Should supercapacitors overcome their deficiencies, however, they could be the wave of the future… in which case, we will need flexible ones. A group at the University of Delaware is experimenting with just such a device, using carbon nanotube macrofilms, polyurethane membranes, and organic electrolytes. Research is in the early stages, but the group says that the supercapacitor it’s developed in the lab has achieved excellent stability in preliminary testing. Meanwhile, a team of researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden announced last year that they have created a powerful micro-supercapacitor, just nanometers thick and less than half a centimeter across. And it’s bendable. Tests on the new device showed that the tiny power supply can store more energy and provide more power per unit volume than state-of-the-art supercapacitors. Team members are now working on ways to bring down its cost. Another power source that can be harnessed is the sun, through a flexible, transparent, photosensitive device developed at the University of Exeter in England. The device converts light into electrical signals by exploiting the unique properties of two “miracle” carbon-based materials: graphene and graphExeter (developed at the eponymous university). Carbon is a unique element in that its atoms can arrange themselves in many different ways (tubes, spheres, sheets, cubes, meshes), known as allotropes. Each of them, from graphite to diamonds, has distinctive properties. As depicted below, graphene is a carbon allotrope in which the atoms are arranged in a single layer in one plane. It is the thinnest known conductive material. “C’mon Sis, quit crumpling my computer!” It may seem unlikely that those words might soon issue from a young fellow’s mouth. Yet they could, in the not-too-distant future. And it’s because of the hottest trend in consumer products today: Flexible electronics. Some stunning advances in materials technology have made possible a lot of things we never expected to see (or maybe only dreamed of). They are about to lead to a flood of everyday electronic items that you can bend, stretch, crumple, and fold (but not spindle or mutilate). This is a big, big business. One analysis projects that the global flexible electronics market will reach $13.23 billion by 2020, at an estimated CAGR of around 22%. And that’s probably conservative. There’s so much going on in this sector that it’s hard to decide where to begin. But that crumply computer is as good a jumping-off point as any. Remember the old days, when people read newspapers on the train to work, then rolled them up and stuffed the parts they weren’t finished with into their back pockets? The newspaper of the future is going to be kinda like that. Neatly rollable, adaptable to a back pocket. It’s just not going to be made of paper. A September 2013 article from Science Daily asks us to envision “an electronic display nearly as clear as a window, or a curtain that illuminates a room, or a smartphone screen that doubles in size, stretching like rubber.” At UCLA, for example, scientists have fabricated “an elastomeric polymer light-emitting device (EPLED)” that can be repeatedly stretched, folded, and twisted at room temperature while still remaining lit and holding its original shape. The material has a single layer of electro-luminescent polymer sandwiched between a pair of transparent elastic composite electrodes that are made of a network of silver nanowires inlaid into a rubbery polymer. (The EPLED is a type of polymer light-emitting electrochemical cell [PLEC] device. Research is also ongoing in the development of flexible versions of organic light-emitting diode [OLED] displays commonly found in today’s smartphones, but the UCLA team chose PLECs instead because they’re easier to fabricate and simpler to work with.) The developers stretched and re-stretched their PLEC display 1,000 times, extending it 30% beyond its original shape and size, and it still continued to work at a high efficiency. In another test to determine the material’s maximum stretch, the researchers found it could be stretched to more than twice its original size while still functioning. It can also be folded 180° and twisted in multiple directions. Qibing Pei, UCLA’s principal investigator on the project says confidently that “[W]e believe that fully stretchable interactive displays that are as thin as wallpaper will be achieved in the near future.” Roll up the news and take it with you? That may not be far off. Samsung is also working on a flexible screen. The company is mounting its display on silicone that can be bent in half 100,000 times (Samsung claims), yet suffer a loss of light intensity in the crease zone of just 6%—all but undetectable by the human eye. Think of a smartphone whose screen size could be doubled by simply unfolding it. And the technology can be adapted to simple lighting, too. Is this your next desk lamp?center_img Of course, as our electronics become flexible, so must their power supplies, especially in the case of mobile devices. How that power is delivered will depend on how the war between batteries and supercapacitors is ultimately resolved. But scientists are currently working on flexible versions of both. In early 2013, collaborating researchers from Northwestern and the University of Illinois unveiled the first stretchable lithium-ion battery. American Chemical Society To test the ink’s flexibility, the researchers folded the paper 1,000 times, even crumpling it up, and demonstrated that the ink maintained 80-90% of its conductivity. But perhaps the most exciting roles flexible electronics will be playing in the years to come are in the realm of medicine. Because the human body is always in motion, the design of wearable health monitors and implants must take that into account. Yong Xu of Wayne State University has pushed the research forward by inventing a method for fabricating high-performance and high-density semiconductor circuits, and bonding them to flexible substrates. “The ultimate goal is to develop flexible and stretchable systems integrated with electronics, sensors, microfluidics, and power sources, which will have a profound impact on personalized medicine, telemedicine, and health care delivery,” Xu says. Surgery could be transformed. Consider what happens today after a doctor operates to remove a tumor from a patient’s liver. Even after following up with radiation and/or chemotherapy, the surgeon can never be positive that the treatment was successful. “But,” says Tom Jackson, an engineering professor at Penn State, “suppose I could apply a flexible circuit to the liver and image the tissue. If we see a new malignancy, it could release a drug directly onto that spot, or heat up a section of the circuit to kill the remaining cancerous cells. And when we were done, the body would resorb the material. “What I want is something that matches the flexibility and thermal conductivity of the body,” and conventional silicon technology is too rigid and thermally conductive for work like that. Jackson is going to get what he wants. Yes, conventional silicon tech is inappropriate for many uses in and on the body. But might there be a new form of silicon that captures its stability, efficiency, and low cost, yet bends and stretches? Indeed there is, says John Rogers, a cutting-edge materials scientist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Rogers’ team has found a way to trick silicon into a more malleable form. Rather than making transistors from conventional wafers, they slice the material into sheets several times thinner than a human hair. “At this scale,” Rogers says, “something that would otherwise be brittle is completely floppy … [in the way that] a 2-by-4 is rigid, but a sheet of paper is not—similar materials, just different thicknesses.” The applications he’s working on are truly mind-blowing. Here are just a few: Imagine a sensor array that can precisely mold to the shape of an organ. Start with the heart. Sensors made of a stretchable, lightweight material and embedded with electronics could wrap around a beating heart like a glove, providing real-time measurements of cardiac activity. The goal, Rogers says, is to detect early signs of arrhythmia and deliver coordinated voltages across the entire organ, rather than administering massive shocks at a few points, as current defibrillators do. Collaborators at Washington University in St. Louis have tested the device, which he calls an “artificial pericardium,” on rabbits and on human hearts removed from transplant recipients. Trials in live patients could be just around the corner. He and his colleagues have also created an electronic “second skin.” It’s a wireless circuit board less than a micron thick that can be stamped directly onto the skin and sealed with a spray-on bandage. The device could enable doctors to monitor a wide range of biological functions, including heart rate, skin temperature, muscle activity, and hydration, for starters—and it conforms so well to the shifting creases and troughs of human skin that it can stay on for up to two weeks before it is sloughed off. It can also send small electric currents to stimulate muscles as part of a physical therapy regimen. And its noninvasiveness makes it especially useful in neonatal care. Finally, Rogers is well on the way to developing Prof. Jackson’s desired resorbable devices. These “transient electronics,” as he calls them, could monitor and prevent infection at surgical sites, then melt away according to a set schedule of days or weeks. And—made up of ingredients found in antacids and vitamin pills—they’re harmless to the human body. During a talk at an electrical engineering conference, a skeptical colleague bet Rogers that he wouldn’t dare swallow one of his transient devices on stage. Rogers won that bet. The shift to flexible electronics is a trend that means a financial windfall for companies poised to cash in on it. One of them—our July recommendation—presently sits in the BIG TECH portfolio. This company makes equipment used to encapsulate organic light-emitting diodes, part of the process that enables electronics to be folded or rolled. As demand for flexible devices takes off, so too will demand for this company’s equipment. For access to this recommendation, simply sign up for a risk-free 90-day trial of BIG TECH.last_img read more

Platinums high came shortly after 8 am in Hong

first_img Platinum’s high came shortly after 8 a.m. in Hong Kong on their Wednesday morning—and it chopped ten bucks lower from there until the real selling began shortly before 2 p.m. Zurich time—and the same time as gold and silver got hit in London.  The HFT boyz peeled another ten bucks off the price going into the COMEX close—and it  traded ruler flat from here.  Platinum closed at $1,129 spot, down 19 bucks from Tuesday’s close. It was just about as bad for the silver equities.  They opened down as well—and crashed to their low ticks minutes after 10:30 a.m. EDT.  They barely moved off their lows after that, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 3.06 percent. Here’s the 5-minute gold tick chart courtesy of Brad Robertson.  Midnight EDT/noon in Hong Kong is the vertical gray line at the 22:00 MDT mark.  You can see that the price/volume action that really mattered occurred between 6:30 and 9:00 a.m. Mountain Daylight time on this chart, with the big volume spike happening once the London p.m. fix was in and the HFT boyz spun their algorithms.  The rest really doesn’t matter.  Don’t forget to add two hours for EDT—and the ‘click to enlarge’ feature is a must. The dollar index closed late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 97.99—and made it as high as 98.10 in the early going in Far East trading on their Wednesday morning.  It began to slide from there, with the 97.43 low coming just after 10:15 a.m. BST in London.  The subsequent rally made it back to within a basis point or two of unchanged by 11:00 a.m. EDT—and it chopped sideways from there into the close.  The index finished the day at 98.06—up 7 basis points. As you can tell, there was absolute no correlation between the what the currencies were doing and what was going on in the precious metal market. Ditto for palladium, except the selling in that metal was pretty much done by 1 p.m. EDT—and it traded flat in the 5:15 p.m. close of electronic trading as well.  Palladium got smoked for 23 dollars—and closed at $753 spot. With only one exception, the silver chart was a carbon copy of the gold chart—and the HFT boyz really smacked silver at the gold fix.  The low in silver came minutes before 10:30 a.m. in New York.  Gold’s low came about thirty minutes later. The high and low were reported as $16.075 and $15.655 in the May contract. Silver finished the Wednesday trading session at $15.67 spot, down another 22 cents.  Net volume wasn’t overly heavy, which I found surprising, as it was only  26,000 contracts, a thousand contracts more than on Tuesday. The gold stocks opened down a bit—and kept right on going, with the lows coming just before 2 p.m. EDT.  After that they didn’t do much.  The HUI got hit for 3.63 percent. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 1 lonely silver contract was posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday. The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that gold open interest in April declined by 54 contracts—and that leaves 471 contracts still open.  Not surprisingly, the silver o.i. fell by the 150 contracts posted for delivery yesterday—and that will be delivered today.  There are 23 contracts still open in April. There were no reported changes in GLD—and as of 9:32 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. Over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank for the week ending Friday, April 17—they reported increases in both their gold and silver ETFs for a change.  In gold they added 15,832 troy ounces—and in silver it was 68,360 troy ounces. There was another sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They sold 3,500 troy ounces of gold eagles—1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—and 30,000 silver eagles. It was another very busy day in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday, as 141,031 troy ounces were reported received—and only 100 troy ounces were shipped out.  Most of the gold deposited disappeared into the vaults of HSBC USA.  The link to that activity is here. Silver activity was also very decent, as 631,802 troy ounces were received—and 555,071 were shipped out.  A bit over half the silver that was shipped out came out of JPMorgan’s vault.  The link to that action is here. Over at the COMEX-approved gold depositories in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Brink’s, Inc. reported receiving 8,319 kilobars, but they also shipped out a chunky 14,759 kilobars.  That’s big movement, dear reader.  The link to that activity in troy ounces is here. I have the usual number of stories for a weekday column—and I’ll happily leave the final edit up to you. [Last] Wednesday, I commented that the COMEX is artificially setting the price of silver and gold by means of a purely private betting game (aka bucket shop) comprised exclusively of speculators with no real producer or consumer participation. I attempted to prove this by pointing out that the Managed Money category accounts for 90% of contract position change on both price declines and increases. Since Managed Money traders are defined by the CFTC and the exchange as being pure speculators (as opposed to legitimate hedgers) there can be little doubt that they are just that – speculators. And the same can be said of the financial institutions trading against the managed money traders; since no legitimate producers (miners) or users are involved in the game, the commercial traders are also nothing more than speculators. I hope you recognize that the 90% figure of all positioning is a very conservative estimate on my part, when it comes to typical managed money participation. In fact, the percentage is, at times, much greater than 100%. In recapping last week’s COT Report and compared to their commercial counterparties, the Managed Money traders in gold accounted for 160% of commercial positioning (7,600 contracts vs. 4,700 commercial contracts) and in silver, the managed money traders accounted for 130% of commercial positioning (8,600 contracts vs. 6,600 commercial net contracts). I’d like to see someone from the CFTC or the CME Group try to explain how this wasn’t proof of manipulation on its face, but neither appear to be forthcoming on any serious market matter. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 18 April 2015 Another day—and more salami slicing—the same old, same old. Taking another look at the gold and silver charts, it’s easy to see that we still have 40 dollars or so to go in gold—and about 50 cents in silver at the most to get back to where we were about five weeks ago. Of course, it’s never the price that matters.  As Ted Butler continually points out, it’s the number of long contracts that JPMorgan et al can get the technical funds in the Managed Money category to sell—and then how much they can get them loaded up on the short side on top of that.  When those two numbers are reached in both gold and silver, the bottom will be in—and we’re not there yet. Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, updated with yesterday’s damage. Another day—and more salami slicing—the same old, same old Despite the fact that the dollar index got smoked in Far East trading for most of their Wednesday session, the gold price didn’t react much to that fact, or wasn’t allowed to—you pick.  The gold price continued to chop a few dollars around either side of unchanged until shortly before 1 p.m. in London trading.  The HFT boyz showed up ten minutes after the COMEX open—and then finished the job once the London p.m. gold “fix” was in, with the low coming just minutes before the London close, which was 11:00 a.m. EDT.  The subsequent rally didn’t get far—and after the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close, it traded flat for the remainder of the Wednesday session. The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,204.40 and $1,185.00 in the June contract. Gold finished the Wednesday trading day at $1,186.80 spot, down and even 15 dollars from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was pretty decent at 139,000 contracts. Of course outside circumstance may intervene at some point—and we could get rallies regardless, but at the moment one must assume that nothing has changed in the short to medium term—and that “da boyz” and their algorithms are still the masters  of the precious metal market. And as I type this paragraph, the London open is about ten minutes away.  Gold hit a new low for this move down shortly before 10 a.m. Hong Kong time on their Thursday morning.  The metal rallied above unchanged for a while, but has begun to head lower in the last hour of trading.  The silver price hasn’t done much at all during Thursday trading in the Far East—and is basically unchanged from it’s Wednesday close in New York.   Platinum and palladium have been chopping around unchanged as well. Gold’s net volume is getting very close to the 20,000 contract mark—and 99.9 percent of it is in the current front month, so it’s all of the HFT variety.  Silver’s net volume is at the 2,400 contract mark, with very decent roll-over volume.  The dollar index is chopping higher—and is currently up 13 basis points. It’s unfortunate that yesterday’s trading volume won’t be included in tomorrow’s Commitment of Traders Report as there certainly was improvement in the Commercial net short positions in both silver and gold.  This would be especially true in gold, as JPMorgan et al closed it well below its 50-day moving average—and back below $1,200 spot. And as I send today’s effort out the door at 5:20 a.m. EDT, I see that gold and silver aren’t doing much, or aren’t being allowed to do much, although silver is up about a dime at the moment.  Both platinum and palladium set minor new lows for this move down—and are trading about unchanged. Gold’s net volume is at 29,500 contracts, which is pretty heavy for such tiny moves in the gold price, so it appears that whatever rally attempts are being made, the price is not being allowed to get far.  Silver’s net volume is around 4,500 contracts—and a decent amount is roll-overs out of the May contract.  The dollar index, which had been up earlier, is now down a hair. I’m done for another day.  It remains to be seen how the rest of the Thursday trading session turns out.  It appears that despite what the dollar index is doing, the precious metal prices are being totally controlled by JPMorgan et al in the COMEX futures market—and unless something comes out of left field, I expect that the current trend will continue. See you tomorrow, Integra’s Lamaque South Gold Project and Sigma-Lamaque Milling Complex and Mines are located directly east from the city of Val-d’Or along the prolific Abitibi Greenstone belt in the Province of Québec, Canada, approximately 550 km northwest of Montréal. Québec is rated one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world. Infrastructure, human resources and mining expertise are readily available. The Company’s primary focus is on production planning for its high-grade Lamaque South project. The Lamaque South property is divided into three clusters, the North, South and West cluster. The primary targets are the high-grade Parallel Zone in the North Cluster and the Triangle Zone in the South Cluster. The acquired Sigma Mill, located 1 kilometer from the Parallel Zone and 3 kilometers from the Triangle Zone, is a fully-permitted, 2,200 ton per day mill and tailings facility. The Sigma-Lamaque Mill and Mining Complex include the historic Sigma and Lamaque Mines which operated for 75 and 52 years respectively and produced more than 9 million ounces of gold in total. Please visit our website for more information.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

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

Molecular signatures reveal why women are more likely to die from glioblastoma

first_imgIt is our expectation that this study could have an immediate impact on the care of patients with glioblastoma and further research. The findings indicate we should be stratifying male and female glioblastoma into risk groups and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment in a sex-specific manner.”Dr. Joshua Rubin, Co-senior Author Giovanni Cancemi | ShutterstockThe team identified distinct molecular signatures in tumors taken from men and women that helped to explain the disparity in treatment and survival rates.The study suggests that tailoring treatments based on the molecular subtype of men and women’s tumors may improve patient outcome. In a study of adults with glioblastoma, Dr. Joshua Rubin and colleagues found that women responded better to treatment than men.To investigate why, they used standard MRI scans to measure tumor growth velocity, enabling them to derive a value for how quickly tumors were growing.As reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the team then pulled patients’ MRI scan and survival data from a cancer research database and assessed tumor growth velocity every two months among 40 males and 23 females who received standard chemo-radiation therapy after they had undergone surgery.”The males did not respond as well, and we wanted to understand why, so we looked at the underlying genetics of patients’ tumors,” says Rubin.The researchers tapped into The Cancer Genome Atlas and applied advanced statistical algorithms that would distinguish male- or female-specific gene expression patterns from such patterns that were shared among the male and female patients.They then looked at sex-specific gene expression to find molecular subtypes that would correspond with the differences seen in male and female survival.Co-senior author Jingqin Luo says: “We observed tremendous genetic sex differences in the tumors of glioblastoma patients that correlated with survival.”The team found that tumors were clustered into five subtypes in males and five in females. Females with tumors from one cluster survived just over three years compared with just over one year among females with tumors from any of the other four clusters.Similarly, men with tumors from one cluster survived just over 18 months compared with just over one year among men who had tumors from the other four clusters.The team also identified genetic pathways that correlated with the longest survival and they were very different in males compared with females, says Rubin. For example, survival among males was partially dependent on the regulation of cell division, suggesting that medication to block the cell cycle may be more effective in men.Among women, survival was affected by regulation of invasiveness, indicating that targeting integrin signaling may be the most effective approach. This tells us it might be better to separate males and females and examine their sex-specific genetic signatures.”Joshua Rubin, Co-senior Authorcenter_img By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Jan 2 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)A study led by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine has shed light on why more males than females develop and die from the deadly brain cancer, glioblastoma. SourceSex differences identified in deadly brain tumors.last_img read more

Innovative membrane offers a viable solution for periodontitis

first_img Source:http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/new-class-membranes-regenerate-tissue-bone-periodontitis Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 22 2019Periodontitis affects nearly half of Americans ages 30 and older, and in its advanced stages, it could lead to early tooth loss or worse. Recent studies have shown that periodontitis could also increase risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.A team of UCLA researchers has developed methods that may lead to more effective and reliable therapy for periodontal disease — ones that promote gum tissue and bone regeneration with biological and mechanical features that can be adjusted based on treatment needs. The study is published online in ACS Nano.Periodontitis is a chronic, destructive disease that inflames the gums surrounding the tooth and eventually degrades the structure holding the tooth in place, forming infected pockets leading to bone and tooth loss. Current treatments include infection-fighting methods; application of molecules that promote tissue growth, also known as growth factors; and guided tissue regeneration, which is considered the optimal standard of care for the treatment of periodontitis.Guided tissue regeneration, in the case of periodontitis, involves the use of a membrane or thin film that is surgically placed between the inflamed gum and the tooth. Membranes, which come in non-biodegradable and biodegradable forms, are meant to act not only as barriers between the infection and the gums, but also as a delivery system for drugs, antibiotics and growth factors to the gum tissue.Unfortunately, results from guided tissue regeneration are inconsistent. Current membranes lack the ability to regenerate gum tissue directly and aren’t able to maintain their structure and stability when placed in the mouth. The membrane also can’t support prolonged drug delivery, which is necessary to help heal infected gum tissue. For non-biodegradable membranes, multiple surgeries are needed to remove the membrane after any drugs have been released — compromising the healing process.”Given the current disadvantages with guided tissue regeneration, we saw the need to develop a new class of membranes, which have tissue and bone regeneration properties along with a flexible coating that can adhere to a range of biological surfaces,” said Dr. Alireza Moshaverinia, lead author of the study and assistant professor of prosthodontics at the UCLA School of Dentistry. “We’ve also figured out a way to prolong the drug delivery timeline, which is key for effective wound healing.”The team started with an FDA-approved polymer — a large-scale synthetic molecule commonly used in biomedical applications. Because the polymer’s surface isn’t suitable for cell adhesion in periodontal treatment, the researchers introduced a polydopamine coating — a polymer that has excellent adhesive properties and can attach to surfaces in wet conditions. The other benefit of using such a coating is that it speeds up bone regeneration by promoting mineralization of hydroxyapatite, which is the mineral that makes up tooth enamel and bone.Related Stories’Text neck’ may be causing bone spurs in young peopleResearchers describe how prostate cancer cells develop ability to mimic osteoblastsEngineered stem cells offer new treatment for metastatic bone cancerAfter identifying an optimal combination for their new membrane, the researchers used electrospinning to bond the polymer with the polydopamine coating. Electrospinning is a production method that simultaneously spins two substances at a rapid speed with positive and negative charges, and fuses them together to create one substance. To improve their new membrane’s surface and structural characteristics, the researchers used metal mesh templates in conjunction with the electrospinning to create different patterns, or micro-patterning, similar to the surface of gauze or a waffle.”By creating a micro pattern on the surface of the membrane, we are now able to localize cell adhesion and to manipulate the membrane’s structure,” said co-lead author Paul Weiss, UC presidential chair and distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, bioengineering, and materials science and engineering at UCLA. “We were able to mimic the complex structure of periodontal tissue and, when placed, our membrane complements the correct biological function on each side.”To test the safety and efficiency of their new membrane, the researchers injected rat models with gingival-derived human stem cells and human periodontal ligament stem cells. After eight weeks of evaluating the degradation of the membranes and the tissue’s response, they observed that the patterned, polydopamine-coated polymer membrane had higher levels of bone gain when compared to models with no membrane or a membrane with no coating.In order to suit a wide range of medical and dental applications, the researchers also figured out a way to adjust the speed at which their membranes degraded when inserted in their models. They did this by adding and subtracting different oxidative agents or using lighter polymer bases before going through the electrospinning process. The ability to turn the degradation rates up or down helped the researchers control the timing of the delivery of drugs to the desired areas.”We’ve determined that our membranes were able to slow down periodontal infection, promote bone and tissue regeneration, and stay in place long enough to prolong the delivery of useful drugs,” Moshaverinia said. “We see this application expanding beyond periodontitis treatment to other areas needing expedited wound healing and prolonged drug delivery therapeutics.”The researchers’ next steps are to evaluate whether their membranes can deliver cells with growth factors in the presence or absence of stem cells.last_img read more

Revolutionary treatment uses fat cells to correct vaginal and postmenopausal problems

first_imgApr 3 2019For the first time ever British women are being offered a revolutionary new treatment to correct a broad range of vaginal, gynecological and post-menopausal related problems. The Regenerative Woman Clinic opens its doors this April 2019.More than 50%* of menopausal women in the UK say their life has been impacted negatively with little or no help offered in most communities. 294* million women worldwide suffer with vaginal atrophy as a result of the menopause and 75%* go untreated. For the first time ever British women are now being offered a revolutionary and natural new treatment to correct a broad range of vaginal, gynecological and post-menopausal related problems.The Regenerative Woman Clinic provides pioneering Lipogems® technology treatment for vaginal atrophy and a host of other conditions. Mesenchmyal Stem Cells (MSCs) present in fat tissue are harvested and once prepared the cells are injected into areas of the vagina and vulva where they stimulate healthy cell growth and repair alleviating common symptoms such as dryness, soreness, burning sensations and discomfort during intercourse.The clinic has assembled a team of specialist gynecological Harley Street consultants, each one an expert in their own field of gynecology including; Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsWithout the use of synthetic chemicals or replacements, Lipogems® technology rejuvenates the vagina, and is a natural solution helping to restore vaginal health; lifting the physical and emotional burden women often feel when struggling with their vaginal health.Lipogems® technology can be used for the effective treatment of vaginal atrophy, dryness, soreness and pain during sex. For each woman the experience of the menopause is extremely personal however, it is estimated that over 40% of menopausal women will experience symptoms related to vaginal atrophy. It is particularly helpful for multiple uses for other conditions such as Lichen sclerosis, Lichen Planus, Lichen simplex, stress incontinence, tearing as a result of birth-trauma and problems caused by oestrogen deficiency. The orthopaedic sister clinic under the leadership of Professor Adrian Wilson has successfully conducted thousands of Lipogems® treatments on hips, knees, ankles and shoulders contributing to a global total of more than 30,000 Lipogems® procedures worldwide.Miss Jeannie Yoon, says: We are very excited about the potential of this technique and the positive impact that it can bring to women’s lives. I see women everyday with diverse problems and needs. We believe that this treatment may have superior longevity compared to other alternatives. Lipogems offers a more natural alternative to women who want or need to avoid hormonal treatment, for example, those women who have had cancer or are at risk of getting cancer. This will revolutionize many women’s lives.”center_img Miss Shoreh Beski, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist with 25 years’ experience in the private health sector and NHS with a special interest in sub fertility, regenerative medicine and high risk obstetrics Miss Jeannie Yoon, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist having worked at St Thomas’, Queen Charlotte’s, Chelsea & Westminster and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. Miss Yoon has specialist knowledge of abnormal smears and colposcopy, having spent three years at the Royal Marsden Hospital as the Cancer Research Campaign Fellow and is a recognized BMS (British Menopause Society) specialist Dr Richard Smith, Consultant Gynecologist, was a Senior Lecturer at Charing Cross & Westminster School of Medicine and thereafter Consultant and Director of Gynaecology at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. He is the First editor of the book, Gynecologic Oncology and the author Women’s Cancers: Pathways to Healing Dr. Joseph Aquilina, Consultant Obstetrician & Gyneologist, is a Consultant at St.Bartholomew’s and Royal London Hospitals and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. His work has been recognized as a preceptor for training in gynecological scanning by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and has been the Editor for Women’s Health Section of Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology Source:https://www.theregenerativewomanclinic.co.uk/last_img read more

Nissan to cut hundreds of jobs at UK car plant source

Investment in UK automotive sector plunges by a third © 2018 AFP Explore further Japanese automaker Nissan will axe hundreds of staff at its car plant in northeastern England due to a sharp fall in diesel car sales, a source said Questioned about media reports of hundreds of job losses at Nissan’s factory in the coastal city of Sunderland, a source close to the matter confirmed the news but declined to give a timeframe.The news also comes as Britain’s car sector, which is largely foreign-owned, continues to face Brexit uncertainty on the horizon.The Sunderland plant—which builds the Juke, Leaf and Qashqai car models, many of which are diesel—employs 7,000 workers who produce some 500,000 vehicles per year.However, Nissan saw British sales slump 35 percent in the first quarter on an annual comparison.That mirrors a broader trend across the British automobile industry, with demand sliding on UK government plans to improve air quality.And diesel car sales are also struggling elsewhere in Europe.More and more consumers are choosing to ditch diesel cars in favour of automobiles that are regarded as more environmentally-friendly.The vast bulk of Sunderland-built Nissan cars are exported to elsewhere in Europe.Meanwhile, Friday’s news came as Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK (NMMUK) announced that it would implement a “short term” reduction in volumes at the sprawling Sunderland facility.”As previously communicated, we are transitioning to a new range of powertrains over the next year,” a company spokesman said.”As we make the operational changes required to support this, we will be managing a planned short-term reduction in powertrain supply and plant volumes at NMMUK in line with our 2018 business plan.”We are now discussing these operational changes with our employees.”However the spokesman declined to give any indication of job losses.The news comes after Jaguar Land Rover revealed one week ago that it will cut production and not renew the contracts of around 1,000 temporary workers at its Solihull plant in central England.The group, owned by India’s Tata Motors, blamed “continuing headwinds impacting the car industry”.Japan’s major automakers have meanwhile long expressed concerns about the impact of Brexit on their access to the European market.After receiving private guarantees from the British government, Carlos Ghosn, the head of Nissan, in October 2016 gave the green light to new investments in Sunderland.For its part, Japanese rival Toyota announced in March 2017 a multi-million-pound investment in a car assembly plant in central England, despite Brexit worries.Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union in March 2019 after a shock referendum that was held in June 2016. Citation: Nissan to cut hundreds of jobs at UK car plant: source (2018, April 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-nissan-hundreds-jobs-uk-car.html Japanese automaker Nissan will axe hundreds of staff at its car plant in northeastern England due to a sharp fall in diesel car sales, a source told AFP on Friday. 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. read more