Too Many Options …

first_img Share The demand for housing went up in September, according to the latest Redfin Housing Demand Index. The Index reports that demand increased by 5.1 percent in September to 131. Redfin notes that this comes following several months of the index staying flat, with the September increase driven by an increase in “early stage home-buying activity.””There are a couple of explanations for the increase in buyer activity from August to September,” said Redfin Chief Economist and Report Author Daryl Fairweather. “One is that rising mortgage rates motivated some buyers to look for a home before rates rise again. Second, inventory usually falls from August to September, but this year it rose 0.7 percent, giving buyers more homes to choose from.”Redfin notes that the number of people requesting home tours increased 11.2 percent month over month in September, the largest monthly increase in 16 months, while the number writing offers increased by 8.1 percent.According to Fairweather, many buyers are plagued by the difficulty making the right decision in areas such as San Francisco and Boston, where inventory has increased. Buyers are afraid of making the wrong decision when buying a home as their options increase.”Buyers hear that the market has slowed and are curious to see what’s available, but in general I find that today’s buyers don’t have the same strong sense of urgency to make offers that they had this time last year,” said Los Angeles Redfin Agent Alec Traub . “Buyers tell me they like a home, but they don’t love it. Last year, buyers would jump to offer on a home they only liked, but now they are waiting to fall in love.”Los Angeles saw the largest month-over-month increase in demand in September, up 18.1 percent. Meanwhile, Boston saw a two percent increase in demand, but a 17.1 percent increase in inventory month-over-month, compared to the national inventory increase of 0.7 percent.Find the full report from Redfin here. October 30, 2018 603 Views in Daily Dose, Data, News, Originationcenter_img Boston Buyers Demand Inventory 2018-10-30 Seth Welborn Too Many Options …last_img read more

And in case you cant just jet off heres the ult

first_imgAnd in case you can’t just jet off, here’s the ultimate guide to having a romantic break right here in the UK… Signed up? Then expect more of this…Cheap flight deals of the weekLooking for cheap flights or fancy a last-minute holiday? Each week we round-up the best travel offers and the cheapest flights to a range of destinations. So whether it’s a sunny beach or a budget city break you’re looking for, check out the best deals here before you book.Get the best air fares with Skyscanner Price AlertsOur handy flight price tracker will keep an eye on your chosen flight and let you know as soon as the price drops – or if it starts to climb. The Skyscanner guide to finding a late dealLast minute flights used to be the go-to for travellers looking for cheap flights. But in our era of budget airlines, are last minute flight deals dead?20 money saving travel tips and secretsFrom booking flights to fine dining: find out how to save cash on holiday. Why pay more than you need to on travel?*Flight prices are for journeys from the UK for two adults and are correct at time of publication and subject to availability.Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire. Find cheap flights from: RelatedCheap flights to dream honeymoon destinationsA honeymoon on a budget doesn’t mean you have to say no to Barbados, the Maldives or any of your other dream destinations. Pause all that stressful wedding prep for a moment and plan the perfect post-wedding holiday, without needing to extend that bank loan. There’s no need to panic,…Weekend city breaks from just £20Make the most of the next bank holiday and get those Instagram filters at the ready. We’ve got cheap flights from airports across the UK – all you’ve got to decide is whether to go for a city break or a few days lazing on the beach! Go on, you…Cheap flights for Easter holidays from £31With so many ridiculously cheap flights to choose from, why not over-indulge on chocolate Easter eggs somewhere exotic this year? Check out our flight deals and you could pay a visit to your loved ones or explore a new city this Easter weekend. Because cheap flights make you happier than…center_img ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Looking for more city break or romantic holiday inspiration?last_img read more

Japanese public broadcaster NHK and its UK counter

first_imgJapanese public broadcaster NHK and its UK counterpart the BBC have confirmed that they are joining forces to showcase their Super Hi-Vision next generation TV service at the London Olympics next year.There will be public viewings using the Super  Hi-Vision system, which transmits images in sixteen times the resolution of regular high definition, in the UK, Japan and the US. NHK plans to make Super Hi-Vision available to Japanese viewers by 2022.last_img

Russian service provider ERTelecom has launched i

first_imgRussian service provider ER-Telecom has launched its TV service five new cities – Lipetsk, Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk, Orenburg and Ufa.The latest launches follow those in nine other cities – Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk, Perm, Samara, Tyumen and Chelyabinsk – over the last two months. ER-Telecom says it will launch the service in all cities in which it has operations by the end of next TV offers a basic HD package of 23 channels, which ER-Telecom says is the largest number of HD channels offered in basic amongst Russian TV operators. The company said it plans to increase the number of HD channels in the offering to 60 by the end of next year. The service will also offer over 90 standard-definition channels, as well as a range of interactive services including access to Russia’s Vkontakte social networking site, video-on-demand, live pause and DVR.Last week the operator added three new HD services – MGM HD, SET HD and MyZen HD.ER-Telecom is providing a hybrid service with TV services delivered over coax and interactive services provided via IP over copper.last_img read more

A government can do great harm in its own territor

first_img A government can do great harm in its own territory, but its options are extremely limited regarding assets outside its borders. Politicians in South Africa, for example, can’t tax or regulate a mine in British Columbia. Only one party has complete freedom to choose which projects to back and what jurisdictions to take a chance on: the investor. There will always be some risk when investing in mining—but what if you could find an opportunity where the host government is so low risk, it actually promotes mining? Mining Investment Nirvana If you’ve no appetite for investments that tank because of crazy dictators and the like, the good news is that it is possible to say goodbye to unnecessary political risk—and we’ve found a place where you can do it. Our new stock pick in the October issue of BIG GOLD has a political-risk rating so low that it’s essentially negligible and enormous upside potential—what Louis James called an “impossible” stock. How do we know the risk is so low? We spent months developing what we call our “Casey Country Score” for each of 74 countries with significant amounts of mining around the world—a proprietary indicator that taps a variety of sources to assess a country’s investment climate. Combined with site visits when possible, the end result is a comprehensive analysis of the political risk for buying a gold or silver stock in that country. You won’t find it anywhere else. Our “Impossible” stock has a political-risk rating lower than any other stock in our portfolio—which says a lot, because the BIG GOLD portfolio is already rated 30% lower than the global average. The political system in the jurisdiction where this company operates is very stable. The local government promotes mining and offers exceptionally generous tax incentive programs for mineral exploration. It even collects geological data for the mining community and has one of the largest such databases in the world. A refreshing thing to hear in the present environment, eh? Explosive Potential Of course, low political risk alone can never be our sole reason to buy a stock… so what about the upside? This company is a little different from what I normally recommend in BIG GOLD. That’s because it’s not a producer, but an explorer with massive potential—and cash flow. Lucky for us, the political Shangri-La this company operates in is also known for its exceptional mineral potential, and the company controls almost two dozen properties there—which means the odds of making a game-changing discovery are much higher than average. The company cleverly lowers its exploration risk by establishing partnerships with other mining companies. The upside is also shared, but not every exploration project works out, and this reduces the company’s financial commitment. A key part of this investment is that the company is led by an enormously successful, award-winning exploration geologist. He’s under the radar of most retail investors, yet he’s already found half a dozen economic mineral deposits, which is about half a dozen more than most geologists find in their lifetimes. I’ve dubbed him “the best explorer you don’t know.” But the best part is that management made one of the richest gold discoveries anywhere in the world over the last decade, and now has a substantial royalty on the mine being built there—with advance royalty payments already rolling in. This is important because most exploration companies are what Doug Casey calls “burning matches,” i.e., they burn out when the money runs out. To have cash flow to fund exploration for the next giant gold deposit instead of diluting shareholders to the point of no returns is so exceptionally rare, it really is almost an impossible accomplishment. This is an opportunity I just recommended to our BIG GOLD subscribers last week, so I can’t give away the name of our Impossible pick. However, you can take advantage of it by giving BIG GOLD a try today (and I haven’t even revealed another angle to this stock that is just as exciting as the exploration potential). It’s completely risk-free: You have 3 full months to test BIG GOLD, and if you’re not 100% satisfied—for whatever reason—just cancel within those 3 months for a full refund of every penny you paid. Even if you cancel later, you’ll still get a prorated refund. Simply click here to start your risk-free trial now. As a metals analyst, I sometimes find a stock that seems to have everything going for it—but then some darn politician steps in and ruins the investment… On April 5, 2011, I recommended Pan American Silver (PAAS) to BIG GOLD subscribers. It was virtually a no-brainer pick—and yet we ended up selling for a loss. It was why we sold that really grated me. At the time, the company generated a million dollars per day in operating cash flow, had a pristine balance sheet, and was headed by “broken slot machine” Ross Beaty, who earned the nickname from his uncanny ability to return a profit every time you invested in one of his companies. But the real prize was the giant Navidad silver deposit in Argentina, which, if permitted, would have paved the way for Pan American’s production to jump by 65%, to a whopping 40 million ounces per year. This would catapult PAAS to the rank of largest silver producer in the world—an exciting prospect. But the politicos threw us a curveball. The local governor announced he wanted “greater state ownership” of the mine and to increase the royalty from 3% to 8%. The leftovers were too little for Pan American to turn a profit; management was forced to admit that the world’s largest pure silver deposit was “uneconomic at any reasonable estimate of long-term silver prices.” Navidad still sits idle today. Greed Is Good—Until You’re the Victim Unfortunately, there are many stories like this—and the trend is getting worse. Veteran gold mining investors have witnessed the growing move of governments increasing their take in mining projects through higher taxes and royalties, higher regulatory or environmental bars, and sometimes outright nationalization. The kicker is that a management team can do everything right and have a great project—much like Pan American—but a voracious government can render it uneconomic to develop or too burdensome or unprofitable to operate. Unreasonable political interference doesn’t just hurt mining companies or local communities. It hurts investors, too. Stock prices take a hit, and portfolios absorb losses. The pain spreads as money flees other companies operating in that jurisdiction. Trust is hard to re-earn. The temptation is to hurl four-letter pejoratives at politicians. But it’s more constructive to simply focus our money where it’s safer. Beat the Politicians: Vote with Your Investment Dollars Three parties are involved in a mining project: the mining company that operates the project; the host country where the asset is located; and investors who back the project and buy the stock. Two of these parties have very limited options: The mining company can’t move the deposit to a more friendly business environment. If local politicians demand more earnings, management teams have no choice but to negotiate. It can get more diabolical: the host government may permit a project and let the mining company spend millions (or billions) developing the project, only to add onerous taxes or royalties after it begins operation—if it doesn’t just steal the whole thing.last_img read more

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first_img Sponsor Advertisement The dollar index finished the Thursday trading session at 80.21—and sank 13 basis points to 80.08 just minutes before the London open.  The tiny rally from that point took it back to almost unchanged on the day by shortly before 11 a.m. BST in London—and it was all down hill from there, closing virtually on its low at 80.03—down 18 basis points from Thursday.  Will there be a not-for-profit buyer waiting in the wings to prop up the dollar index at the open on Sunday night in New York, one wonders. The gold stocks spent most of the first half of the Friday session trading in positive territory, but rolled over about 12:30 p.m.—hitting their lows minutes after 1 p.m.  After that they chopped quietly higher, finishing just barely in the plus column, up 0.16%. Palladium didn’t do much, but did manage to close up 4 bucks—the same amount it close up on Thursday. The silver stocks more or less followed the same pattern as the gold stocks, with the low also coming shortly after 1 p.m EDT.  But the low tick was down almost 2 percent from Thursday’s close—and the subsequent rally wasn’t able to get the silver equities in the black.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.42%. Platinum spent most of Friday in positive territory—and began to rally with some authority the same time silver did, about 30 minutes before the Comex open.  The price almost made it to $1,485.00 spot by 10:30 a.m. in New York, before a willing seller showed up and by 2 p.m. EDT, they had the price down ten bucks and change from its high tick.  From there it traded sideways into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.  Platinum closed up 9 bucks. The silver price had a bit more shape to it—and the rally that began about 20 minutes before the Comex open lasted until around 9:15 a.m. EDT.  From there it traded sideways until fifteen minutes after the Comex close—and looked like it was going to finish the day above the $21 spot price mark.  But someone had other plans—and by the time they were through, silver was back below the $21 spot price market once again. The low and high ticks were $20.90 and $21.205 in the July contract. Silver closed in New York at $20.87 spot, down 24.5 cents from Thursday’s close.  Net volume was huge—54,000 contracts in the new front month, which is September.center_img Of course prices could also be allowed to rise from here, as the technical funds start adding to their long positions now that gold and silver are back above their respective 200-day moving averages.  But it’s a lead pipe cinch that the raptors and the other Commercial traders will be taking the short side of the trade—and then it’s just a matter of when, not if, JPMorgan et al pull the pin and harvest the technical funds for fun, profit—and price management purposes. And after looking at yesterday’s COT Report, you should have no illusions about the fact that the Commercial traders, led by JPMorgan Chase have, as Ted Butler said in his article, “captured the pricing mechanism for gold, silver and copper away from the influence of the actual supply and demand fundamentals.”  And as the Bank Participation Report shows, this situation also applies to platinum and palladium—and there’s no sign that they are about to loosen their iron grip on these markets anytime soon.  Only the lunatic fringe, or the willfully blind, can’t see this—or refuse to acknowledge it if they do. Based on my observations of the precious metals market for the last 15 years, there are only three ways that prices will rise to anywhere near where they should be— 1] if JPMorgan allows it, or is instructed to let it happen or,  2] there is a physical shortage or,  3] If there’s a black swan event of some type—and this could be derivatives related, financial, political—you name it. Here are a couple of charts Nick Laird sent around on Friday evening—and as pretty as they are, these breakouts mean nothing to me, as these are 100 percent made by JPMorgan et al—and they can paint them any way they wish—and have done so for a very long time. Not surprisingly the last Daily Delivery Report from the CME for the June delivery month wasn’t must to see, as only 1 gold contract was posted for delivery on Monday—and as of 9:54 p.m. EDT on Friday evening, they hadn’t posted the First Day Notice numbers for silver. When I checked back at 11:31 p.m. EDT, the First Day Notice numbers for Day 1 of the July delivery month were posted as expected—and they didn’t disappoint.  The CME reported that 21 gold and 1,804 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday.  The four largest short/issuers were Jefferies, Credit Suisse, and Newedge USA with 239, 204 and 142 contracts respectively.  But towering far above all of them combined was JPMorgan in its in-house [proprietary] trading account with 1,147 contracts.  The three largest long/stoppers were JPMorgan in its client account with 530 contracts—Barclays with 495 contracts in its client account—and Deutsche Bank with 237 contracts in its in-house [proprietary] trading account.  The list of long/stoppers is huge—and yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is definitely worth a minute of your time.  There were decent deliveries posted in copper an platinum as well. There were no reported changes in GLD—and as of 9:54 p.m. EDT, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. There was another small sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They sold 1,500 troy ounces of gold eagles—1,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—and 155,000 silver eagles. Month-to-date the mint has sold 45,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—15,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—2,372,000 silver eagles—and 700 platinum eagles.  Based on these sales, the silver gold ratio at the moment sits at  39.5 to 1. There was a small amount of in/out movement in gold at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, as 3,858 troy ounces were reported received—and 628 troy ounces were shipped out.  In silver, 5,078 troy ounces were received—and 740,657 troy ounces were shipped out.   The link to the silver action is here. The Commitment of Traders Report was worse than even Ted imagined it would be, as my hoped-for scenario didn’t even come in second in a 2-horse race.  Ted has never been wrong yet—and I must have been dreaming in Technicolor if if I thought I was going to best him on this one. In silver, the Commercial net short position exploded by 20,059 contracts—100 million ounces of paper silver—or to put it another way, 44 days of world silver production.  The Commercial net short position almost doubled in a week to 214.5 million troy ounces.  JPMorgan’s short position is about a third of that amount. It was almost all technical fund covering of short positions as they raced to cover as moving averages were broken to the upside—and the raptors [the Commercial traders other than the ‘Big 8’] let them off easy and sold them all the long contracts these technical funds wanted. Even JPMorgan got into the act—and Ted Butler feels that they went short about 1,500 additional silver contracts during the reporting week, bringing their short-side corner in the Comex silver market up to 14,500 contracts, or 72.5 million ounces. As bad as the silver number was, the number in gold was gargantuan, as the Commercial net short position in that precious metal blew out by 53,282 Comex contracts, or 5.33 million troy ounces—the biggest 1-week change that I can remember.  The Commercial net short position increase by 70 percent in just one week—and now stands at 13.16 million ounces. Once again it was the gold raptors selling longs to the technical funds as they covered short positions and, like silver, even JPMorgan showed up, selling about 4,000 of their long-side corner in the Comex gold market.  Their long-side corner is down to 30,000 contracts, or 3.0 million troy ounces. Ted pointed out on the phone that in the last three weeks, the Commercial net short position in silver has increased by about 33,000 contracts.  So if you’re looking for a reason when the silver price is up only two bucks, that’s the reason. Once again it should obvious to anyone with more than two synapse to rub together that the rallies of last Thursday and Friday—and since the June 5 low—were just about 100 percent caused by short covering in both metals.  I should also include copper, as the blow-out in the Commercial net short position in that metal was massive as well—and for the same reason. As Ted Butler said—and rightly so—this is the technical funds/speculators being gamed by another set of speculators—the raptors—with these ones dressed up as Commercial traders.  There’s not a damn thing ‘Commercial’ about them.  They’re there for fun, profit—and price management.  Why this isn’t obvious to most market analysts is a complete mystery to me. The big question that both Ted and I have is why the raptors let the technical funds off so easy.  They could have skinned them for megabucks, rather than for less than the two bucks they took out of their hides.  But since the raptors all trade as one entity, it has to involve price management. Ted figures that there was more technical fund short covering since the Tuesday cut-off—and I certainly agree.  But, like this last COT Report, we’ll have to wait until next Friday to see how much more damage was done—and now that I think about it, there probably won’t be a report next Friday because of the U.S. holiday on that day. I’m happy to say that I have very few stories again today and, like yesterday, I’m hoping that there are a few in here that you find interesting in the midst of such meagre fare. Through corrupt trade practices, the COMEX has stolen and captured the pricing mechanism for gold, silver and copper away from the influence of actual supply and demand fundamentals. Replacing the law of supply and demand as the price determinant, the COMEX has substituted a private club run by a few large traders who, in turn, dictate prices to metal producers, consumers and investors. The federal commodities regulator, the CFTC, is complicit in the price capturing, but the prime culprit is the CME Group. Ironically, it is data from the CME and published by the CFTC that prove price manipulation on the COMEX. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 27 June 2014 Today’s pop ‘blast from the past’ isn’t a pop song at all, but it’s so famous that it was a big hit on the pop charts even though it was a jazz classic.  I certainly remember it from 50 years ago—and if you’re of that vintage, you’ll know it instantly as well.  The link is here.  [On a personal note, I made an unsuccessful attempt to learn the piano part of this tune when I was in my early teens—and the obscure key of E-flat minor was more than I could handle.] Taking a cue from the above jazz classic, here’s Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Elegie, Op. 3, No. 1 that was written in 1892.  It, too, was composed in the key of E-flat minor—and here’s Sergei himself playing it.  The link is here. The trading week ended with a whimper.  Not that I’m complaining too much, mind you, because of these overbought conditions, there’s nothing stopping JPMorgan and the raptors from pulling the pin on the technical funds and whipsawing them back on the short side, just as they’ve covered their current short positions. Here are the 30-day charts for both gold and silver—and as you can see there has been very little price movement in either precious metal since the rally on Thursday, June 19.  Like I said on Thursday, it’s almost like we’re in a holding pattern. Avrupa and Antofagasta intersect copper-rich VMS in Pyrite Belt, Portugal •             First Greenfields discovery of massive sulfide mineralization in 20 years in the Iberian Pyrite Belt •             10.85 meters of massive and semi-massive/stockwork sulfide mineralization grading 1.81% Cu, 2.57% Pb, 4.38% Zn, 0.13% Sn, and 75.27 ppm Ag •             Including 7.95 meters @ 2.21% Cu, 3.05% Pb, 4.82% Zn, 0.15% Sn, 89.8 ppm Ag •             Followed by 2.90 meters @ 0.71% Cu, 1.27% Pb, 3.17% Zn, 0.092% Sn, 35.4 ppm Ag •             Avrupa and Antofagasta sign an amended Joint Venture Agreement Please visit our website to learn more about the company and current exploration program. It’s just a matter of when, not if, JPMorgan et al pull the pin It was a nothing day for gold on Friday—and the highs and lows aren’t worth mentioning. Gold finished the week at $1,315.10 spot, down $1.80 from Thursday.  Volume, net of June and July, was fairly light at only 110,000 contracts.  Of that amount about 5,000 contracts was traded in the far months, mostly September and December, so they could have been roll-overs out of the August contract. Now that the raptors have allowed the technical funds to slip out from underneath their record short positions virtually unscathed, it’s impossible to tell where prices will go from here. Then there’s the little matter of the 7 million troy ounces of silver owed the SLV ETF, which flies in the face of the 8.1 million ounces that have been withdrawn from this same ETF since the rally began back on June 5.  The same can be said for GLD, as that ETF has shown a net withdrawal as well, since gold’s rally began.  Will all this metal ever, in fact, show up?  A question without an answer at the moment. So, if you’re looking for some guidance from me, I don’t have any.  The precious metal market is now so rotten to the core that it’s hard to predict anything from day to day—and I would stay miles/kilometers away from any of the so-called experts that say they can, because it’s a certainty that they don’t know what they’re talking about. And on that happy note, I’m off to bed.  Enjoy what’s left of your weekend—and I’ll see you here next week.last_img read more

The maker of OxyContin one of the most prescribed

first_imgThe maker of OxyContin, one of the most prescribed and aggressively marketed opioid painkillers, will no longer tout the drug or any other opioids to doctors.The announcement, made Saturday, came as drugmaker Purdue Pharma faces lawsuits for deceptive marketing brought by cities and counties across the U.S., including several in Maine. The company said it’s cutting its U.S. sales force by more than half.Just how important are these steps against the backdrop of a raging opioid epidemic that took the lives of more than 300 Maine residents in 2016, and accounted for more than 42,000 deaths nationwide?”They’re 20 years late to the game,” says Dr. Noah Nesin, a family physician and vice president of medical affairs at Penobscot Community Health Care.Nesin says even after Purdue Pharma paid $600 million in fines about a decade ago for misleading doctors and regulators about the risks opioids posed for addiction and abuse, it continued marketing them.”I think it’s similar to the tobacco industry learning they could sell tobacco without spending a lot of money on advertising. My guess is this decision is in their self-interest,” he says.A nationwide lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for deceptive marketing continues to grow. Seven cities in Maine have joined, including Portland, Lewiston and Bangor, along with five counties, to recoup some of the costs of addressing the addiction crisis.A spokesman for Purdue Pharma said in an email that the decision to stop marketing to prescribers is voluntary and independent of any litigation.Nesin says that at the very least, the company’s decision to refrain from promoting opioids to doctors reinforces the need for caution when prescribing the drugs.Maine Medical Association President Dr. Robert Schlager agrees that Purdue Phama’s move is a good, if small, step to fight the opioid epidemic. “I wouldn’t expect it to have a very large role in limiting opioids further,” he says. “Because most of us, as prescribers, do limit our information exchange with the drug representatives who have been marketing opioids.”Since 2016, doctors in Maine have also adhered to prescribing limits enacted by the Legislature. As of December 2017, legislatures in 17 states had enacted prescribing limits and nine others had authorized other state entities to enact them.Schlager says Purdue Pharma should go further and suspend opioid marketing worldwide. “It seems a little bit not honest to just limit it here in the United States,” he says.In an email, Purdue Pharma’s spokesman says that the company operates only in the United States, and that an associated company, Mundipharma, has not marketed opioids in Europe since 2013.A Los Angeles Times investigation in 2016 found that the family that owns Purdue Pharma has a network of international companies that employ the same kinds of marketing practices that made OxyContin a blockbuster seller in the U.S.This story is part of a reporting partnership with NPR, Maine Public Radio and Kaiser Health News. Copyright 2018 Maine Public. To see more, visit Maine Public.last_img read more

If you peer into Americans grocery carts youre

first_imgIf you peer into Americans’ grocery carts, you’re unlikely to see a mix of foods and beverages that make for an ideal diet. And this is true for many of the nearly 42 million people who receive food stamps, too.According to a 2016 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, sweetened beverages, including soda, are among the most commonly purchased items by recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — or SNAP.SNAP households spend about 10 percent of food dollars on sugary drinks, which is about three times more than the amount they spend on milk. In New York City alone, as we’ve reported, this translates into more than $75 million in sugary drink purchases each year that are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.Given our biological attraction to sugar, perhaps it’s not a surprise. Our collective sweet tooth — which was shaped by evolutionary forces — extends far beyond SNAP households. In general, non-SNAP households spend almost as much on sweetened drinks — about 7 percent of food purchases, according to the USDA report.The health stakes are highHowever, since taxpayers foot the roughly $70 billion bill for SNAP each year, critics question whether it makes sense to support the purchase of sugary drinks, which have been shown to play a significant role in weight gain and the onset of Type 2 diabetes.”Low-income American adults now consume nearly two [sugar-sweetened beverage] servings a day, and for every one to two daily servings consumed, the lifetime risk of developing diabetes increases by 30 percent,” according to a paper published this year by Harvard adjunct public policy professor Robert Paarlberg and collaborators in the journal Society.The paper explains why the challenge of changing the SNAP program is so daunting.When the food stamp program was initiated back in the 1960s, some Americans did not get enough calories. Now, “partly thanks to SNAP, calorie and micro-nutrient deficiencies are a far less serious problem,” Paarlberg and his co-authors write. “But the obesity rate has soared, reaching 39.8 percent in 2015-16.”So how might lawmakers change the SNAP program to nudge people toward healthier choices? As Congress debates a new farm bill containing billions in SNAP funding, there’s an increasing appetite to overhaul the program while at the same time preserving the benefits it provides in keeping low-income Americans fed.One idea comes from researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In a paper published this month in PLOS Medicine, they’ve modeled the potential health effects and cost-effectiveness of a few approaches.One would incentivize the purchase of healthy foods, by offering a 30 percent subsidy for people to buy such things as fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains and fish. “People could still buy less healthy foods, but they’d get 30 percent less for their dollars,” explains Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School.The researchers estimate that over the course of a few decades, this approach could lead to billions of dollars in health care savings and help prevent hundreds of thousands of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks.This approach may also help counter critics who argue that SNAP recipients should have the freedom to make their own dietary choices. “We would preserve choice, but nudge people towards healthier eating,” Mozaffarian says.But not everyone is convinced. “It really wouldn’t work,” says Robert Rector, a research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation. He points out that SNAP recipients use both SNAP benefits and their own money to purchase foods and beverages. “People would just use their own money for those [unhealthy] foods,” he says. Despite his skepticism, Rector says he would support a simpler approach: preventing the use of SNAP benefits to purchase sugary drinks and junk food items. “This would be much easier to implement,” Rector says.Time is tight for Congress to act, and elections are looming. It’s likely too late in the game to change the SNAP program during this go-round of farm bill negotiations. The bill is reauthorized every five years, and currently there is a bipartisan fight over other controversial provisions, such as work requirements for SNAP recipients. For now, the focus is not on improving diet quality. But Congress could support pilots or research into the effectiveness of change proposals.Credit incentives can workOne pilot, carried out in Massachusetts several years ago, offers some evidence that financial incentives for healthy food purchases can shift habits. Here’s how the pilot worked: SNAP recipients received a 30 cent incentive for every SNAP dollar they spent on fruits and vegetables. This included canned and frozen products, which can be just as healthy as fresh. The incentive was credited back to their account, so they had more money to spend on other foods. About 7,500 households participated in the pilot.What happened? Participants in the pilot consumed about 26 percent more fruits and vegetables. And they reported higher consumption of dark leafy greens, as well as nutrition-packed orange and red vegetables such as carrots and tomatoes. About two-thirds of the participants reported buying larger amounts and a greater variety of fruits and vegetables. Nearly three-fourths said they felt that vegetables and fruits had become more affordable, thanks to the incentives.There are some other real-world examples of how financial incentives can help shift grocery purchases among the population at large — not just SNAP recipients. For instance, a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2013 found that rebates on healthy food purchases can prompt significant changes in consumer behavior. Researchers found that a 25 percent rebate led to about a 9 percent increase in spending on healthy food.There’s growing evidence that obesity and poor nutrition are the epidemics of our day. An estimated 1 out of every 2 deaths from heart disease in the U.S. is linked to how we eat.In a recent opinion piece, former USDA secretaries who served in the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations respectively call for more focus on nutrition in the SNAP program.”There has never been a more important time to refocus the farm bill on nutrition. Diet-related disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, surpassing tobacco, drug, and alcohol usage. More than 1,000 deaths every day are due to poor diets,” Dan Glickman, Ann Veneman and Tom Vilsack wrote.The Cabinet secretaries argue that Congress should authorize another pilot program. “Once we have a more robust understanding of which interventions are most successful at encouraging Americans to make the healthiest choices, we can ensure that both SNAP and non-SNAP recipients have diets that lead to health and longevity,” they wrote.The politics challenging changeThere are roadblocks to change, as spelled out by Paarlberg and his collaborators in the Society paper earlier this year. “Among many reasons, one surprising answer is the joining of pro-poor liberal conviction and corporate lobby power, supported by institutional inertia,” they wrote.In other words, some anti-hunger groups have joined with industry groups, including the beverage industry, to fight back proposals to limit or block the purchase of unhealthy foods with SNAP dollars.This happened back in 2012, when a Florida state senator sponsored a bill to restrict the use of food stamps to buy soda and junk food in her state. “Should we give hungry kids food? Absolutely,” Ronda Storms, then a state senator, told me back in 2012. (She no longer serves in the state Senate.) “But I don’t think the goal is to provide Oreos and Mountain Dew,” she said, calling such purchases a misuse of public-assistance dollars.At the time, anti-hunger groups said the proposal would limit choice for low-income Americans, who sometimes face stigma by participating in SNAP. Anti-hunger proponents also argued that it would be hard for grocers to separate out what’s covered by SNAP, if new rules were put forth. The bill never passed, but even if it had, the state of Florida would have needed a waiver from the USDA to make the changes. This may not have been granted readily.In 2010, the USDA denied a request by New York City to place limits on purchases with food stamp dollars.It seems these obstacles are still in play. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit read more

The private sector has implemented the Equality Ac

first_imgThe private sector has implemented the Equality Act far better than central and local government a committee of peers has been told by a prominent disabled campaigner.The peers were told that the focus on disability discrimination had faded since the “generic” Equality Act replaced legislation such as the Disability Discrimination Act, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had replaced the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and other equality watchdogs.Fazilet Hadi, director of engagement at the disability charity RNIB, told the committee that she did not think the Equality Act was taken seriously enough by local and central government.She was giving evidence in the second public session of the Equality Act 2010 and Disability Committee, set up by the House of Lords to examine the impact of the Equality Act 2010 on disabled people.Hadi said: “I think we have seen better implementation of the act from the banks, the utilities, the John Lewis-es, the private sector, than we have ever seen from central or local government, and that is a bit of an indictment given that this is government legislation.“In 2015, there are still government departments that do not have proper mechanisms for giving blind and partially-sighted people and other people with disabilities info in accessible formats.“That’s not rocket science. They should have been doing it since 1999 and they are still not doing it.“We have got inaccessible websites, we have got inaccessible streetscapes, we have got inaccessible services.“Government really should be leading the way, they should be role models for this stuff, and they’re not.”Liz Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, who also gave evidence to the committee, said that the sense of “moving in a positive direction seems to have slightly stalled” since the Equality Act was introduced, while “the hope that is attached to it is not as strong as it was”.She said the act could be “better promoted, used more systemically, and not just left to the individuals to pursue things”, for example, through the courts.Sayce said there needed to be more focus on the public sector equality duty (PSED), which imposes duties under the Equality Act on public sector organisations, including central government departments.She said: “I think we need a revived, high-level commitment to the PSED and to the principle of systemic change, not just reliance on individual redress.”Sayce said that DR UK was hearing frequently though its advice line that disabled people were “finding it very difficult to exercise their rights” in the workplace, and to access goods and services.She said: “It would be good to have a stronger, cross-government leadership on these issues… I don’t see the equality frame being used all that much and I think it would be really useful if it was.”Both Hadi and Sayce also criticised EHRC.Sayce said the EHRC had not been as active as the DRC in engaging with stakeholders, such as disabled people’s and business organisations and unions.She said: “As a stakeholder of the EHRC, I don’t see that kind of engagement.“The budget has gone down, the engagement has gone down, and although there are examples of good initiatives, I don’t see evidence of a systemic approach to really moving forward on disability equality that is strong enough.”Hadi added: “I, personally, as the director of a disability charity, have very little contact [with EHRC].“When the Disability Rights Commission was around, in those good old days, I would go there regularly, we’d talk to them regularly.”last_img read more

A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… The government has finally launched a new temporary fund that will support disabled candidates who want to stand for elected office, but only for the next 15 months.The Government Equalities Office (GEO) said the EnAble “interim” fund would provide £250,000 to help cover the disability-related expenses of standing for elected office.The EnAble Fund for Elected Office (EFEO) will go live in January and will end in March 2020, covering expenses such as British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters, assistive technology, personal assistants and taxi fares.The funding is likely to be used by candidates for May’s local elections and police and crime commissioner elections in May 2020, although a GEO spokeswoman said that its use by prospective candidates for a general election would also be considered if one was called.But there has been no guarantee that there will be any further funding post-March 2020, with the department’s focus apparently on working with political parties to make their own policies and procedures accessible to disabled candidates.The fund is being administered by Disability Rights UK (DR UK), which will be paid £75,000 by the Local Government Association (LGA) for about 18 months’ work.The interim fund replaces the Access to Elected Office Fund, which was frozen by the government in 2015 after just three years.The new funding was first announced in May after lawyers for three disabled politicians – Labour’s Emily Brothers (pictured, right), Liberal Democrat David Buxton (pictured, second from left) and the Green party’s Simeon Hart – wrote to the government to warn that the government had breached the Equality Act by failing to reopen the Access to Elected Office Fund.They said they had effectively been unable to stand as candidates in a general election since the government froze the fund.Buxton this week welcomed the launch of the new interim fund, even though it was only open for 15 months, and he said he was glad it would be administered by a disabled people’s organisation, which would be “able to understand the barriers we face”.But he said there was “still a lot of room for improvement”, with “no long term solution” and the delays in launching the new fund meaning there were now just six months until May’s local elections.He said the experience in Scotland, where the Scottish government has set up its own Access to Elected Office Fund, showed that the longer potential candidates had to secure financial support with disability-related expenses before an election, the more successful such a fund would be.Brothers welcomed the announcement as a “first step”, but she said the funding was “insufficient and short term” and “fragmented”.She said: “I have concerns that EnAble is being set up so close to the next local elections, with selections well in hand and only six months to polling day.“The LGA and DR UK will need to get their act together very quickly, but for many disabled people it may well be too late.”She added: “I believe a permanently resourced Access to Elected Office Fund needs to be established to support the participation of disabled people in political and public life.“The representation of disabled people is woeful, our voices are not being heard and consequently laws, policy and practices persist in failing to meet our needs and aspirations. That has to change.”Deborah King, co-founder of Disability Politics UK, said: “The new fund is a drop in the ocean.  “Funds also need to be made available to political parties and providers of premises where political meetings are held for reasonable adjustments to be made.“Premises are often inaccessible and this needs to change.“For example, funding for hearing loops, ramps, sign language interpreters need to be provided through a central fund which facilitates access to the political process as a whole.” Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of DR UK, said: “Around 10 per cent of local councillors are disabled, but around 20 per cent of adults are disabled.“This fund will provide practical help and support to try and close that gap. Help with issues like transport, assistive technology or sign language interpreters can make a significant difference on whether to stand for elected office if you’re disabled.“We hope this is the beginning of something which will see funding increase, and broaden in scope, so that disabled people can get more involved in public life; from being a local councillor to becoming a member of parliament.“And we hope – and expect – to see political parties do much more to encourage their disabled members to stand for office.“Political parties across the spectrum have a poor track record when it comes to selecting and supporting disabled candidates.“They should be doing better, and the establishment of this fund is a reminder of that.”Announcing the new funding on Monday, the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Penny Mordaunt, the women and equalities minister, said: “Everyone has the right to stand and represent their community – and it is vital no-one is held back.“Empowering people with disabilities leads to better decisions and more effective outcomes for all of us.                                                       “Unless every one of our citizens can reach their full potential our nation never will.”last_img read more

Photos Europeans vote with EU future in balance

first_imgA woman holds a child as she casts her vote during European Parliament election in Riga, Latvia, May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ints KalninsA woman holds a child as she casts her vote during European Parliament election in Riga, Latvia, May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins Women make their choices during European Parliament election in Riga, Latvia, May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins 1 of 6 WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> A woman reacts as she casts her vote during European Parliament election in Riga, Latvia, May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins SharePrintcenter_img Europeans vote on Sunday in an election expected to further dent traditional pro-EU parties and bolster the nationalist fringe in the European Parliament, putting a potential brake on collective action in economic and foreign policy.Polls opened at 7 a.m. (0400 GMT) in the east of the bloc and will finally close at 11 p.m. (2100 GMT) in Italy. Seven states have already voted, with 21 joining in on Sunday in what is the world’s biggest democratic exercise after India.Right-wing populists top opinion polls in two of the big four member states – Italy and supposedly exiting Britain – and could also win in a third, France, rattling a pro-Union campaign championed by centrist President Emmanuel Macron.However, exit polls in some countries that have already voted have given pro-EU parties some comfort. The Dutch Labour party, all but written off, looks to have finished first, helped by the visibility of having the EU socialists’ lead candidate, current EU deputy chief executive Frans Timmermans.In the Netherlands pro-Union parties scored 70%, up three points on the last European Parliament vote in 2014, and left the upstart anti-immigration party of Thierry Baudet fourth on 11%.The Dutch also turned out in bigger numbers, albeit at just 41%, reinforcing hopes in Brussels of reversing a 40-year trend of declining turnout that critics cite as a “democratic deficit” that undermines the legitimacy of European Union lawmaking.An exit poll after Friday’s vote in deeply pro-EU Ireland pointed to an expected “Green Wave”. Across the bloc, concerns about climate change and the environment may bolster the pro-EU Greens group and could mean tighter regulations for industry and for the terms the EU may set for partners seeking trade accords.Britain also voted on Thursday and a new party focused on getting out of the EU was forecast by pre-vote opinion polls to come top, but there has been no exit poll data. Attention there has focused on the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May. Results will be out late on Sunday, when all countries have voted.WAY AHEAD UNCLEARThe challenges facing the European project include   unprecedented transatlantic slights from a U.S. president who fetes Europe’s populists, border rows among its own members over migrants and an economy hobbled by public debt and challenged by the rise of China.But parties seeking collective action on shared issues such as trade, security, migration or climate change should still dominate, albeit with a smaller overall majority.Europeans are preparing to remember events that shaped the Union. It is 75 years since Americans landed in France to defeat Nazi Germany and since Russian forces let the Germans crush a Polish bid for freedom, and 30 since Germans smashed the Berlin Wall to reunite east and west Europe. But memories of wars, hot and cold, have not sufficed to build faith in a united future.Mainstream parties pushing closer integration of the euro currency zone’s economy are struggling to capture the imagination of a public jaded by political elites.Matteo Salvini’s League in Italy may pip the Christian Democrats of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the bloc’s power broker, to become the biggest single party in the 751-seat chamber.Right-wing ruling parties in Poland and Hungary, defying Brussels over curbs to judicial and media independence, will also return eurosceptic lawmakers on Sunday.The results should be clear by late on Sunday, with exit polls in Germany at 1600 GMT and France at 1800 GMT setting the tone before the final end of voting, in Italy at 2100 GMT, sees the Parliament publish its own seat forecast.The result will usher in weeks of bargaining among parties to form a stable majority in the Parliament, and among national leaders to choose successors to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and other top EU officials.Many expect a clash as early as Tuesday, when leaders meeting in Brussels are likely to snub Parliament’s demands that one of the newly elected lawmakers should run the EU executive. A man casts his vote during European Parliament election in Riga, Latvia, May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins European Commission Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis casts his vote during European Parliament election in Riga, Latvia, May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins A woman casts her vote during European Parliament election in Riga, Latvia May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins A woman casts her vote during European Parliament election in Riga, Latvia, May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalninslast_img read more

New York Citys Top 5 Highest Paying MBA Internships

first_imgNew York City’s Top 5 Highest Paying MBA Internships MBA students are, likely, infinitely familiar with the hectic world of internships. “Another lowly internship?” may be a question that pops into the minds of many students as they advance into post-graduate education. But what they may not realize is that the right internship can not only provide a vital networking opportunity and a solid career foundation, but also an immensely high salary.In New York City, a lucrative business school internship can prove important. Because of the city’s notorious cost of living, it might as well be required too. Below we’ve ranked some of the best paying internships for New York City MBAs to look out for. regions: New York City Last Updated Sep 26, 2018 by Maggie BoccellaFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail RelatedBest MBA Internship Opportunities in the NortheastThere’s no doubt that summer internships play a critical role in an MBA student’s education and career. Not only do internships provide students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the workforce, but they’re also known for helping students develop professional connections and earn top-tier salaries. But not all…July 10, 2018In “Amazon”5 Highest Paying MBA Internships in PhiladelphiaThe moment you decide to earn your MBA, you should already be thinking about your MBA internship. Within the first few months of your education, you’ll be discussing your internship opportunities and soon afterward, applying. For the most part, you’ll choose your internship based on your career interests, but there’s…September 21, 2018In “Featured Home”Guide to MBA Internships in the Washington DC MetroMBA internships can be just as important as a job for business school students. This makes a lot of sense — your mba internship will play a huge role in whatever job you end up landing post graduation.  Whereas many MBAs may only have experience in classrooms or in case…April 15, 2016In “Featured Home” About the AuthorMaggie BoccellaMaggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city’s annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.View more posts by Maggie Boccella The best paying internships for New York City MBAsGoogleGoogle consistently ranks at the top of lists of desirable workplaces for MBAs. The company has a well-known positive work environment, which features perks like free food and workout sessions, among other amenities. There are several current openings for interns in 2019 at Google’s NYC office.Among the assets a Google intern will gain are one-to-one mentorship and a stellar resume starter. Interns can participate in business strategy including investments and acquisitions, engage in People Operations (known to non-Googlers as human resources), and aid in new product development from strategic planning to launch. Participation in the 12 week program has an appealing price tag; Google interns in NYC reportedly earn from $94-$130,000 per year.Refinery29Refinery29, one of the country’s most visible digital media entertainment companies, is currently hiring analytics interns for next summer. As global leader in women’s lifestyle reporting, Refinery29 seeks ‘magic makers’ who will become integral to design and implementation of visualization tools and data mining.The company seeks an intern with two or more years in banking or consulting and keen presentation skills, as well as strong familiarity with the brand. MBAs who have completed their first year of a program are eligible for the position, which pays an impressive $69-97,000 per term.A.T. KearneyIn addition to tech and digital media, consultancy is among the most sought after careers listed in b-school MBA employment reports. Internships in consulting are rigorous and competitive, with A.T. Kearney one of the highest paying in New York.Recent reports show the salary to be upward of $11,000 per month. Through their 10-week Summer Consultant Program, A.T. Kearney affords interns the chance to see if the role is a proper fit. With model development, analysis, and data gathering as just a few of the many tasks summer interns will perform, interns can gain a powerful edge with a position at Kearney.AmazonAmazon, one of the nation’s largest employers, has a wealth of opportunities for MBAs seeking internships in New York. MBA interns will dive quickly into a position similar to a full-time position, with a highly-competitive salary. Recent figures show salaries of over $9,000 per month. With diverse positions MBAs including finance, product management, operations and cloud consultant, Amazon interns engage in data analysis, strategic development, and various other roles that require “nimble leadership.”MerckIn the healthcare and pharmaceutical field, Merck USA ranks highly in the NYC region for paid internships. A summer position at Merck can range in pay from $75-$85,000 per year, according to recent listings.MBAs will apply their skills in data collection, modeling, data analytics and reporting. Also, Merck USA emphasizes a need for interns with strong degree of adaptability and project management acumen. Current openings at Merck are for interns within R&D and Global Indirect Sourcing & Procurement.last_img read more

Design Renaissance Why Visual Storytelling Is the Future of Content Marketing

first_imgThey say that looks aren’t everything, but what visually-focused companies such as Pinterest, Instagram, and many others are showing is that now, more than ever, looks play a major role in setting your company apart and driving its success.Welcome to the “beautification of the web.” With the value of visual content soaring and mobile browsing shaking up the ways we present and consume it, one thing is certain: things are about to get a whole lot prettier. “Visual storytelling is clearly one of the year’s breakout trends,” writes Chuck Longanecker, founder of Digital-Telepathy, in a guest article for Mashable, and companies should be adapting their content marketing and branding strategies accordingly.Spurred by the explosion of mobile, desktop navigation is getting a makeover and becoming more slick and interactive. At the same time, designers are taking into account the fact that users now have a variety of devices to view their content on, and as a result are building responsive designs and concentrating on simplicity and ease of use.The good news for startups? As is always the case with innovation, changes to established systems and methods bring about opportunities for those who embrace the change. The companies at the forefront of these evolutions in design are setting themselves apart from their competition, building brand awareness and customer loyalty in the process. And that’s truly a beautiful thing.For more on why good design is good business, read Longanecker’s full post here.Related Content from OpenView:Need to breath life into your content? Let’s get visual. Watch this video from OpenView Labs to learn how to spice up your blog with visual content, and for more on what Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram can teach us about the value of using images, read this post from the OpenView Blog.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Acxiom Continues to Expand Global Data Offerings and Digital Capabilities

first_imgAcxiom Continues to Expand Global Data Offerings and Digital Capabilities PRNewswireJune 12, 2019, 1:44 pmJune 12, 2019 Strengthens Industry-Leading Global Data Capabilities in Global MarketsAcxiom, the data and technology foundation for the world’s best marketers, announced that it has expanded its digital and global data capabilities to Japan, Australia, Spain and Canada. Acxiom is building on its position as the industry leader in global data, with ethically sourced data offerings for 2.5 billion addressable customers across the globe. As a trusted partner for brands worldwide, Acxiom will continue to focus on expanding its global and digital data capabilities to enable clients to know more about their existing customers, find look-alike customers, and enable them to reach and engage audiences anywhere with relevant messages across channels and throughout the customer journey, resulting in a better experience for consumers.“Our top priority is to ensure that all of the data leveraged is both ethically sourced and privacy-compliant”Today’s marketers need to connect with audiences across the globe through a growing number of offline and digital touchpoints, while also navigating the data use and consumer privacy regulations that vary by region. Acxiom’s suite of global data products enhances what marketers already know about their target audiences with insights derived from ethically sourced data. Acxiom’s data products also help leading publishers, giving them a better understanding of their end-user and enhancing their analytics capabilities. The expansion of Acxiom’s global data products in Japan, Australia, Spain and Canada benefits multi-national companies who have audiences in those regions and are looking to create successful borderless marketing campaigns, in addition to providing support to marketers on-the-ground in those regions.Marketing Technology News: Tellius Named by Gartner as a 2019 Cool Vendor in Analytics“As brands, ad platforms, and publishers continue to expand their services worldwide, Acxiom’s global data and digital marketing capabilities enable marketers to anticipate their customers’ specific needs by proactively developing their next priority audiences,” said Karen Caulfield, Group Vice President of Global Data Products at Acxiom. “Acxiom is the only industry partner in the market that’s able to address companies’ offline and digital needs and take their unique customers on a global journey across the omnichannel ecosystem. Data fuels exceptional customer experiences, no matter where you are in the world, and today marks another step forward in our vision of borderless marketing.”Acxiom’s suite of global data offerings can be viewed through Acxiom’s Global Data Navigator catalog tool, which allows users to easily locate data elements by geography, category and service while also outlining which Acxiom identity and activation services are available in the marketer’s selected geographies. Acxiom’s global audiences are available on leading platforms, making it easy for marketers across the world to access and activate Acxiom’s rich set of data and digital segments.Marketing Technology News: BabbleLabs Raises $14 million Series A Financing from Dell Technologies Capital and Intel Capital to Accelerate Speech TechnologyAdhering to Acxiom’s global data ethics program, Acxiom’s data complies with ethical data use methodologies and data governance across each participating country. Acxiom maintains global privacy teams for every region to strictly maintain data protection rules, cross-border requirements and appropriate uses of data.“Our top priority is to ensure that all of the data leveraged is both ethically sourced and privacy-compliant,” added Caulfield. “Our Global Data Ethics Program is dedicated to upholding the rights of consumer privacy and data transparency along with abiding with data governance regulations. As we’ve done in the past and will continue to implement with all our supporting services, we’ve taken the necessary steps and processes to safeguard data across each new international market offering.”Marketing Technology News: Neongecko Inc. Launches “Neon AI SDK” – New “Software Development Kit for Artificial Intelligence” Supports AI Conversations in Multiple Languages AcxiomGlobal Data EthicsGlobal Data NavigatorKaren CaulfieldMarketing TechnologyNewsTechnology Previous ArticleFull Circle Insights Ready to Deliver Next-Generation User ExperienceNext ArticleRapidAPI Raises $25 Million Series B, launches RapidAPI for Teamslast_img read more

Pilot study shows how migraine can be treated without medicine

first_img Source: Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 4 2018By slightly changing the body’s own molecules using a small inhaler, certain migraine patients can either cut down on medication or do without it completely. This is shown by a pilot study which has been published in the scientific journal Cephalalgia.Patients who suffer from migraine with aura, which is where they experience either sensory or visual disturbances before the painful headaches begin, have been examined in the study. Eleven patients participated in the pilot study, which will now be followed by a large clinical trial.Related StoriesDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosaLiving with advanced breast cancerStudy shows potential culprit behind LupusOne of the authors is MSc in Engineering and PhD Troels Johansen, who carried out the study as part of his PhD at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University and the Headache Clinic at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.He explains that migraines occur as part of a chain reaction during which the veins in the brain contract and the blood cannot therefore supply the brain with sufficient oxygen.”We utilize CO2 and oxygen, which are the body’s natural molecules for mobilizing its own defense against migraine attacks. The inhaler expands the blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygen by up to seventy percent and thereby stops the destructive chain reaction,” says Troels Johansen, adding that the effect of the treatment starts after a few seconds.The pilot study was carried out from 2016-2017 with eleven patients with migraine with aura. One of the results was that the effect of the pain relief increased significantly with each use of the inhaler. Forty-five percent experienced an effect the first time, and that number rose to 78 percent the second time.”The study shows some very significant physiological effects in the body,” says Troels Johansen, who currently teaches at the Aarhus University School of Engineering. Together with a team of employees, he has put the inhaler into production through the company BalancAir.Since the pilot project is limited to migraine with aura and only comprised eleven patients, Troels Johansen is now planning to conduct a large clinical trial that will also include migraine without aura and chronic migraine.last_img read more

Product launch from Beckman Coulter to be live streamed in March

first_imgMar 21 2019After visiting labs around the world to identify ways to advance its industry-leading cell counting technology, Beckman Coulter Life Sciences will host a live streaming event on March 26 at 10 a.m. EDT / 7 a.m. PDT to announce its latest product innovation. The event will show biopharma scientists, process engineers, and others in labs who work with cells how the new product will enhance bioprocess systems and offer a glimpse into the future of cell viability analysis.During the live event, product manager Lena Lee will provide an in-depth look at the highly-anticipated product, followed by a live Q&A session. Viewers will also get an exclusive look at the tradeshows and conferences where Beckman Coulter Life Sciences will showcase this new technology.Media are invited to register for the event at Lee, product manager for Beckman Coulter Life SciencesWhen:Tuesday, March 26, 201910 a.m. EDT / 7 a.m. PDTWhere: read more

5 ways to help robots work together with people

first_imgMaking the most of human-robot collaborations will require good teamwork. Credit: WeStudio/ Robots that can learn like humans Explore further Citation: 5 ways to help robots work together with people (2018, November 28) retrieved 17 July 2019 from This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. For most people today, robots and smart systems are servants that work in the background, vacuuming carpets or turning lights on and off. Or they’re machines that have taken over repetitive human jobs from assembly-line workers and bank tellers. But the technologies are getting good enough that machines will be able work alongside people as teammates – much as human-dog teams handle tasks like hunting and bomb detection.center_img There are already some early examples of robots and people teaming up. For example, soldiers use drones for surveillance and ground robots for bomb disposal as they carry out military missions. But the U.S. Army envisions increased teaming of soldiers, robots and autonomous systems in the next decade. Beyond the military, these human-robot teams will soon start working in fields as diverse as health care, agriculture, transportation, manufacturing and space exploration. Researchers and companies are exploring lots of avenues for improving how robots and artificial intelligence systems work – and technical advances are important. As an applied cognitive scientist who has conducted research on human teaming in highly technical settings, I can say human-robot systems won’t be as good as they could be if the designers don’t understand how to engineer technologies that work most effectively with real people. A few basic concepts from the deep body of scholarly research into human teamwork can help develop and manage these new relationships.1. Different jobsTeams are necessarily groups of people with separate, though interdependent, roles and responsibilities. A surgical team, for instance, might include a nurse, a surgeon and an anesthesiologist. Similarly, members of a human-robot team should be assembled to take on different elements of a complex task. Robots should do things they are best at, or that people don’t want to do – like lifting heavy items, testing chemicals and crunching data. That frees up people to do what they’re best at – like adapting to changing situations and coming up with creative solutions to problems. A human-robot surgical team might have a human surgeon conducting laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery with assistance from a robot manipulator with cameras that is inserted into the patient and operated externally by the surgeon. The view can be augmented by overlaying medical imaging data on the patient’s internal anatomy on the camera view. 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. Provided by The Conversation Planning for this sort of division of labor suggests people shouldn’t replicate themselves in machines. In fact, humanoid-shaped robots or robots and AI that mimic human social behavior may mislead their human teammates into having unrealistic expectations of what they can do.2. Mutual backupEffective teams’ members know that everyone has a different role – but are available to support each other when necessary. The disastrously fatal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was partly the result of confusion and lack of coordination among government agencies and other groups like the Red Cross.Teammates need to understand their own roles and those of the rest of the team, and how they fit together. They also need to be able to use this knowledge to avoid stepping on teammates’ toes, while anticipating others’ potential needs. Robots and artificial intelligence need to understand how their parts of the task relate to the parts their teammates are doing, and how they might be able to help as needed.3. Common understandingEffective teams share knowledge about the team goals and the current situation and this facilitates their interactions – even when direct communication is not possible.The benefit of shared knowledge allows all sorts of collaborations and coordinations. For instance, when inflating a hot air balloon, the pilot is at one end, in the basket monitoring the burner. A crew member must be at the far end of the balloon, steadying it by holding a rope attached to its top. They can’t see or hear each other because the balloon blocks the view and the propane burner drowns out any other sound. But if they’re trained well, neither needs to communicate to know what the other is doing, and know what needs to happen next. The connection team members have comes not only from information they all know, but shared knowledge developed through experience working together. Some scholars have suggested that robots can’t build experience and shared knowledge with humans, while other researchers are working on finding ways to actually do that. Machine learning will likely be a key factor in helping robots develop expectations of their coworkers’ behavior. Coupled with human intelligence, each side will learn about the other’s capabilities, limitations and idiosyncrasies.4. Effective interaction and communicationTeam members need to interact; effective teaming depends greatly on the quality of those interactions. In hospital teams for emergency resuscitation of patients, team interaction and communication are crucial. Those teams are often made up of whatever medical personnel are nearest to the patient, and members need to know right away what happened before the patient’s heart stopped – a life is at stake.Yet even between people, communication isn’t always seamless. Between people and robots there are even more challenges – like making sure they share understandings of how words are used or what appropriate responses are to questions. Artificial intelligence researchers are making great strides in advancing computers’ ability to understand, and even produce, natural language – as many people experience with their smart assistant devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, and mobile and car-based GPS directions systems.It’s not even clear if typical human communication is the best model for human-robot teams. Human-dog teams do fine without the use of natural language. Navy SEALs can work together at highly effective levels without uttering a word. Bees communicate location of resources with a dance. Communication does not have to involve words; it could include sound signals and visual cues. If a robot was tending the patient when their heart stopped, it could indicate what happened on a monitor that all resuscitation team members could see.5. Mutual trustInterpersonal trust is important in human teams. If trust breaks down among a team of firefighters, they’ll be less effective and may cost lives – each other’s or members of the public they’re trying to help. The best robot teammates will be trustworthy and reliable – and any breaches in reliability need to be explained. But even with an explanation, technology that is chronically unreliable is likely to be rejected by human teammates. That’s even more vital in safety-critical technology, like autonomous vehicles.Robots are not automatically capable of teaming with humans. They need to be assigned effective roles on the team, understand other team roles, train with human team members to develop common understanding, develop an effective way to communicate with humans, and be reliable and trustworthy. Most importantly, humans should not be asked to adapt to their nonhuman teammates. Rather, developers should design and create technology to serve as a good team player alongside people.last_img read more

South Central Rly to invest ₹2500 cr on infra development

first_imgrailway SHARE SHARE EMAIL Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, SCR   –  THE HINDU November 20, 2018 Published on South Central Railway (SCR) will invest ₹2,500 crore in major infrastructure development, redevelopment of stations and improving passenger amenities by 2020. The electrification of tracks alone will cost at least ₹1,200 crore while station redevelopment will involve ₹700 crore. In addition, expanding railway station terminals in Cherlapalli and Lingampalli will see about ₹300 crore investment. Stating that the SCR is on a fast-track development and improving in ratings on providing amenities, train punctuality and services to passengers, General Manager Vinod Kumar Yadav said all-round infrastructure creation and improvement was the focus in the next few years. Station redevelopmentSecunderabad and Vijayawada stations have been shortlisted among the 29 for station redevelopment in phase 1 by the Ministry of Railways. The public-private-partnership projects will be implemented by the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA). The tender process will be done in the next 3-6 months, the General Manager told BusinessLine in an interview.Similarly, the development of Tirupati station is on fast track with two firms- Simplex and Shapoorji Pallonji shortlisted. The project estimated to cost ₹490 crore will include a 8 storey budget hotel. The NBCC and RLDA are implementing it on a PPP mode, Yadav said. The recent Union Cabinet decision revising the lease agreement to 99 years from the earlier proposed 40 years has given the necessary impetus to the participation of private and public sector developers. Across the Indian Railway network about 400 stations are to be redeveloped in a phased manner. On its part the SCR has takenThe SCR has on its own taken up redevelopment of 5 stations-, Guntur, Kurnool, Guntakal, Warangal and Vijayawada. The estimated budget for each station development is ₹30 crore. Work will be completed by March 2019. Another station under renovation and expansion is Nellore in Andhra Pradesh. A budget of ₹40 crore has been earmarked and the NBCC will execute it, the GM added.ElectrificationAt ₹1 crore per km spend for electrification, the SCR has taken up the task of achieving complete electrification of its track network by 2022. During 2017-18, it has done 600 km and in the current fiscal, an equal distance will be completed.SCR has planned to complete electrification of its entire network of 5,992 km by 2012-22 in tune with the Mission Electrification of Indian Railways. As on date 3,250 km route has been electrified. “ We are on target to complete 90 per cent of the entire track length by March 2021,” Yadav said.Referring to the MMTS network, Yadav said the two new lines of Ramachandrapuram to Tellapur and Medchal to Secunderabad should be ready by December and commissioned in January 2019.To overcome the existing saturated situation on the main railway sections doubling/tripling of track work is being undertaken. SCR has commissioned 377 kms of new rail lines, 28.15 kms of rail line doubling and 33.65 kms of the third line in the past four years.. The third line work is on the critical Balharshah-Kazipet- Vijayawada section. Infra creation On new infrastructure creation the SCR will take up Cherlapalli Railway station as a major Rail terminal to decongest the other rail hubs of Hyderabad city is being taken up. The ₹226 cr project is expected to get the final nod from the Railway Board by December. After that in two years it can be implemented and operationalised, said N Madhusudana Rao, Principal Chief Operation Manager.At present, the Cherlapalli station expansion work is being undertaken as part of Hyderabad MMTS Phase II Project. Six platforms are being provided at the station.The efforts put in at Lingampally station as a terminus for more trains is yielding good results in train movement and improving punctuality as well as slightly decongestant Secunderabad station, he added.center_img COMMENT Hyderabad SHARE COMMENTSlast_img read more

Kerala speaker rejects private bill on Sabarimala

first_imgNovember 27, 2018 COMMENT Kerala SHARE SHARE EMAIL Kerala Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan has disallowed the introduction of a private bill by a Congress legislator in the assembly on the issue of entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple.The bill, urging the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government to consider devotees of Lord Ayyappa as a separate religious group and a new legislation to protect their traditional rituals and customs, was proposed by Kovalam MLA M Vincent.‘Unconstitutional’The Speaker’s office told PTI that the private bill was rejected based on the advice of the Law Department that a legislation in this regard would be “unconstitutional” and against the September 28 apex court verdict, permitting women of all age groups into the hill shrine.“The Speaker used to refer the private bills to the Law Department whether such bills had constitutional backing. We had sent this proposed bill on Sabarimala to the State Law secretary for legal scrutiny,” an official said.“According to the Law Secretary, such a bill is unconstitutional and not qualified to be presented in the House as it will be against the Supreme Court verdict,” the official said.The Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple has been witnessing intense protests by devotees and right-wing activists against the CPI(M)-led LDF government’s decision to implement the apex court verdict.Session adjournedThe 13th session of the Kerala Assembly, which got underway here on Tuesday, was adjourned for the day as a mark of respect to MLA P B Abdul Razak, who passed away recently. The session is expected to be stormy as the Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the BJP have announced that they would rake up the Sabarimala issue in the House.A crucial UDF meeting here decided to stall proceedings of the 13 day-long assembly sessions till the Pinarayi Vijayan government withdraws the prohibitory orders invoked by police in Sabarimala and surrounding areas.A BJP statement said that the saffron party will cooperate with the P C George-led Kerala Jana Paksham in the ongoing assembly session on the Sabarimala issue.Both parties were in support of the Lord Ayyappa devotees, who had been on a war path to protect the traditional rituals of the hill shrine, it said. Former union minister O Rajagopal is the lone BJP MLA in the assembly. Published oncenter_img sabarimala COMMENTS SHARE state politicslast_img read more

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