In 2005, the MPA formed the Magazine Marketing Coalition, in part, to promote the relevancy of magazines in an increasingly digital world. With its members taking huge hits in newsstand and advertising sales in 2008, the Magazine Publishers of America today announced a new ad campaign—dubbed “Under the Influence of Magazines”—to tout the “strong” role magazines play in influencing consumers’ purchasing intent and behavior online.The campaign, created by the agency Toy New York, is scheduled to launch on September 8 with three tongue-in-cheek print ads and seven online ads in advertising trade press and in complimentary copies of MPA member magazines. The ads point to a mini-site, magfacts.org, which claims that magazines are the number one medium in driving search among 18- to 44-year-olds, influencing automotive purchase (66 percent more influential than television) and packaged goods intent.In a twist, the ads will include a spate of product placement—Adidas, Häagen-Dazs and Mini Cooper, winners of the recent Kelly Awards competition for magazine advertising. (The MPA says the companies are not paying for inclusion in the campaign.)The MPA has tried the humor route before to promote the power of magazines, with questionable success. In 2006, the association created a fictional superhero, “Captain Read,” in a $50,000 campaign that was criticized by some of its members as a waste of dues.
Share your voice Online Mobile Apps Gaming Mobile Digital Media CNET Apps Today Google Maps for Android Tags 1 Comment Review • The rebuilt Google Maps for Android is better than ever Carmen Sandiego is back, again. Google Earth Paperstar, a dastardly VILE operative and master origami maker, is making trouble on Google Earth. The Keys to the Kremlin have been stolen from Russia. Your job: investigate the scene of the crime in Moscow, track down the criminals and recover the loot.The Keys to the Kremlin Caper is the third and final Carmen Sandiego game to come to Google Earth this year. In March, the ’90s star of children’s educational television first visited Google Earth with The Crown Jewels Caper. In May, the globetrotter returned with The Tutankhamun’s Mask Caper.Like in the previous two games, you’ll use the magnifying glass to interview witnesses in different cities and gather clues. When you think you’ve figured out the next step, click the airplane icon to fly to the next city. Google said that its focusing on new partnerships, but there’s a possibility that it will work with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt again. Gumshoes can find the previous Carmen Sandiego mysteries in the Games category on Google Earth. Google also said it’s working on more geography-based games. Netflix released a Carmen Sandiego animated show earlier this year and is making a live-action Carmen Sandiego movie starring Gina Rodriguez, who also voices the character in the Netflix show.Originally published June 18.Update, June 19: Adds comment from Google. Google
Close The experts are recommending adequate caution to avoid legal conflict in the future. In a report, brokerage firm SBI Caps highlighted, “Resolution plan that involves debt to equity conversion of listed companies like Jet Airways could witness a high risk of litigation. As the RBI circular stands struck down, resolution plan that involved equity conversion could be subject to extended litigation by existing sponsors as well as shareholders.” Naresh Goyal quits as Jet Airways chairman, stake slashed to 25% In picture: A Jet Airways aircraft in Leh. [Representational image]Twitter/Jet AirwaysFinancially struggling Jet Airways’ stake sale process may have to wait due to the lack of clarity after the Supreme court struck down the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) February 12, 2018, circular. As per February 12 circular, banks having a negative book value were allowed to allot shares at Re 1. People privy to the development said banks were still expecting the RBI to clear the air pertaining to debt-equity conversion at Re 1. Due to this, the scheduled process of bidding on Saturday could not take off.A bank-executive said, “All legal approvals from the RBI need to be in place including examination of the issue of debt to equity conversion. Unless legal work is done, the bid document cannot be issued.” Notably, the consortium of lenders had said that the expression of interest (EoIs) from bidders would be invited on April 6. The deadline for receiving the bids was set 4 days after opening the bids. Financial daily, Business Standard reported that final date for submission of bids will also be extended as the process has been deferred. “Whenever the EoI is published, four days will be given to interested parties to respond,” the official further added. An IndiGo Airlines Airbust A320 aircraft and JetKonnect Boeing 737 aircraft taxi at Mumbai’s Chhatrapathi Shivaji International Airport February 3, 2013 (representational image).Reuters fileIn a bid to turnaround the fortunes of beleaguered airline, Jet Airways board had decided a plan as per which the consortium of lenders, led by State Bank of India (SBI) would take over the airline’s debt and convert it into 114 million shares for just Re 1. The step would mean the consortium holding 50.1 per cent shares in the company.It is to be noted that any delays would further hamper the financial condition of Jet Airways which is flying only one-fifth of its original fleet. The Airline is under humongous pressure from all its stakeholders. The airline’s creditors, including its lessors, have threatened to de-register more planes while the oil marketing companies (OMCs) have started to suspend fuel supplies to the cash strapped airline due to non-payment of their dues. In fact, Indian Oil Corporation had shut the supply on Friday for more than two hours and it was only after the government’s intervention the supply was restored. The pilots have also threatened to go on strike if they are not paid their dues. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:02/1:02Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …
A symbol of the advent of Buddhism from India to China, the renovated Stupa and Ashoka pillar along with a huge golden statue of Buddha was consecrated by Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual head of Drukpa lineage of Buddhism based in Ladakh, on Tuesday in China’s Qinghai province, located adjacent to Tibet Autonomous Region.Legend has it that over 2,500 years ago, Buddha’s disciples retrieved one skull bone, two scapulas, four teeth and 84,000 pearl-like
Sub-Sahara Africa. Sudan, in light green, is also classified as North Africa.Pay TV revenues in Sub-Saharan Africa will more than triple in the decade starting 2010, reaching US$6.22 billion (€5.27 billion) in 2020, according to Digital TV Research. The new figures claim that pay TV revenues in the region will climb from US$1.92 billion in 2010 and US$3.54 billion last year, with South Africa and Nigeria to account for more than half of Sub-Saharan Africa’s pay TV revenues by 2020.According to the research, pay TV revenues in South Africa alone are set to climb from US$1.81 billion in 2014 to US$2.1 billion in 2020, and in Nigeria from US$449 million to US$1.15 billion over the same time period.Satellite TV accounted for 92% of Sub-Sahara African 2014 pay TV revenues last year, though DTT is expected to make inroads in the coming years, quadrupling its revenue over the next six years and accounting for US$802 million in 2020.Digital TV Research said there were 9.65 million pay satellite, 2.81 million pay DTT customers and a total of 12.92 million pay TV subscribers at the end of 2014.It predicted that the pay total will more than double to 27.95 million by 2020, with satellite TV contributing 16.21 million and pay DTT another 9.44 million.“Three companies [Multichoice (DStv and GOtv), Canal Plus and StarTimes] accounted for more than 90% of pay TV subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa by end-2014. However, we have outlined plans for at least 30 major platform launches in 2015 throughout this report – at least twice as many as in 2014,” said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.
Of course, even newer disruptive technologies, such as 3D printing, will, over time, begin to carve into the market share of Internet retailers – so that’s another interesting area for personal and professional study. Regardless, the nature of local businesses has changed, and it’s not changing back. (I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent work that Alex Daley and his team at Casey BIG TECH do in keeping subscribers up to speed on the latest big developments in technology and how to profit. At just $99 a year, with a full three-month money-back guarantee, it’s truly a no-brainer. Learn more and sign up today.) Three Reasons the Case for Gold Remains Intact While it’s nice to see gold bounce off recent lows and stage a rally of late, short-term price action is of little personal concern as I don’t trade the physical metals: I own them as a long-term insurance against further currency depreciation. In that regard, however, it’s worth periodically pondering whether the base case for holding gold – or any asset, for that matter – remains intact. Here are three quick observations on why I think the gold bull is still well intact. Reason #1: Opposition to Austerity Today it was announced that EU unemployment continued to rise into record territory, up to 12.2%. As this is a region-wide stat, you can safely assume that in the poorer member countries, and especially among the young and minority groups, the rate is easily twice that number. As a consequence, the odds of the EU adopting widespread austerity – i.e., significantly pulling back government spending – is just not going to happen. Supporting that contention was an article out of the Financial Times today, titled “EU eases hard line on austerity.” And I quote… “Brussels will on Wednesday give its clearest signal yet that it is moving away from a crisis response based on austerity, allowing three of the EU’s five largest economies to overshoot budget deficit limits and pushing instead for broader reform.” Likewise, looking forward to the near future here in the United States, as our own Bud Conrad did in the current edition of The Casey Report, shows that rather than moving into a period of easing demand on government expenditures, the aging baby boom bubble is about to greatly exacerbate the problem. On the other side of the podium, we witness social proof in action – the deep-seated human trait of unquestioningly modifying behavior in order to stay in sync with the actions of others around us. Which is to say that because we see everyone else going along like sheep, we go along too. Otherwise we might have answered Jabba’s ridiculous questions with something along the lines of, “Look moron, if you can’t read the identification card in your hand that confirms my name, or the ticket that confirms my destination, maybe you’re in the wrong line of work.” But we don’t do that, because no one else is doing it. And sadly, if we did, then Jabba would press a button on his podium, and we’d fall into the Pit of Rancor (or whatever the equivalent is in today’s militarized Homeland Security system). I mention all of this because this scenario – and the underlying forces at work – when considered on the larger stage of the US, are equally evident. You have a bloated government degraded by its power, choking on its own neck fat (debt), foisting ridiculous and ineffective regulations and policies on a spineless public who has been trained through media and overt intimidation to toe the line, or else. Just as the TSA agent felt comfortable loudly joking about lording it over the passengers unfortunate to be in his queue, the US government feels comfortable ignoring principles, morals, and ethics that, until recently, pretty much defined the national character. And why not? Anyone brave enough to “see something and say something” – at least as far as government overreach is concerned – will, as the recent IRS and AP cases demonstrate, quickly find a target painted on their back. And so it was that we shuffled through the final security lines and onto our plane back to Vermont. The War on Bitcoin When I first read the government inquisitor’s comments on Liberty Reserve, my initial impression was that they were referring to Bitcoin. That’s because the terms used in describing the federal indictment for Liberty Reserve’s purported crimes read as if lifted from a Bitcoin sales brochure. Simply, the crux of the complaint is that the transactions through Liberty Reserve were designed to be outside of the central banking system and anonymous, and so were conducive to the laundering of money. It seems hard to argue that government prosecutors, in their attack on Liberty Reserve, were taking great pains to frame the argument for going after Bitcoin next. The champions of Bitcoin immediately rallied behind the BC flag, touting the fact that unlike the operators of Liberty Reserve, Bitcoin is a massively distributed system with no obvious individuals readily available for perp-walking. Now, I know I will sway no one with my comments – Bitcoin has that sort of dedicated followers – but, in my opinion, having laid hands on the people behind Liberty Reserve, the governments will now publicly crush their bones as part of deterring the average person from wanting anything to do with Bitcoin, or, for that matter, any other non-sanctioned e-currency. Moreover, I suspect it is the first shot in a wider campaign to scare away heretofore vocal and visible champions of Bitcoin, the “thought leaders” that have been so helpful in Bitcoin gaining market share. Is publically advocating the use of Bitcoin the equivalent of publically advocating a money laundering service? Could such an advocacy result in your arrest and confinement? Don’t know… maybe you’d like to push the outer edge of the envelope and find out? (Do criminal defense lawyers accept bitcoins? You could find that out, too.) Regardless, I think it is as certain as certain can be that the government is preparing to wage war on Bitcoin – and that will scare off merchants who accept Bitcoin, or who were contemplating it. While individuals may be able to fly below the radar, merchants who need to advertise their willingness to deal in bitcoins offer up a fixed target. Okay, I suppose you could get away with it on Silk Road, but for demand for Bitcoin to grow – very definitely a driver of its value – it needs distribution. With regular folks and merchants alike deciding the risk is not worth the possible reward of dealing in BC, demand and prices will be capped. While it’s hard to tell how Bitcoin will ultimately fare… I think the right questions we as possible consumers of the e-currency have to ask is, (a) whether its value is intrinsically linked to its ability to operate in the open, and (b) whether it can withstand a full-on government assault. And never for a minute lose sight of the fact that the government defines the rules. If your permanent government file might be amended to flag you as a possible anti-government revolutionary solely for visiting a Bitcoin-related website, would you take the risk? Though I certainly appreciate the effort to launch an alternative, anonymous currency – I see Bitcoin as V.1. in that regard and very much susceptible to being mugged by the monetary mafia running this joint. Maybe I would buy some solely for entertainment purposes, but for anything resembling real money, I’ll take things more tangible. The Changing Face of Main Street Living in a small town in the middle of nowhere in Argentina very much changes one’s priorities. In my opinion, for the better. For instance, given the lack of big stores and easy access to consumer goods, you quickly come to understand what you actually need to live a good life… fresh food, basic transportation, good friends, and, as a real luxury, domestic help. In the US, by contrast, it is easy to become convinced that a fulfilled life requires the latest in an unceasing river of electronic gadgets, fancy cars, etc., etc. Case in point, I deliberately only took a small wardrobe to Cafayate – a handful of shirts, a couple of jeans, underwear, socks, etc. As the place is very informal, as there’s no need for cold-weather gear, and as we have a maid that washes five days a week, there’s never a risk of running short of anything. Only on returning to the States did it dawn on me just how much “stuff” we have accumulated over the years, starting with a large closet overflowing with clothes for every occasion… much of which I almost never wear. Then there are the toys and electronic gadgets and other clutter, each piece of which I had become convinced at one point or another that I simply had to own – but now that I do, for the life of me I can’t remember why. But that’s sort of the point. In the US, especially, exceptional marketers are supported by technology that makes shopping ridiculously easy. Thus, once you become convinced you simply must own something, the thing almost falls into your lap. That is very much not the case in a small town in Argentina or, for that matter, thanks to the anti-trade stance of government there, in the big city either. Yet, yesterday, needing a new headset for my computer (I left mine in Argentina), I stopped in at three local retail stores of the sort that would typically be expected to carry headsets and was surprised that not only they didn’t carry them, but that their inventory of anything at all was positively skeletal. In each case, the clerk apologized and offered to order it for delivery later in the week. Given that I am entirely capable of logging onto Amazon and choosing from a seemingly limitless array of headsets, I politely declined and, on returning home, did just that – ultimately selecting a pair from over 63,000 offerings with the help of a convenient rating and review system. As a result of this experience, I was reminded that the very nature of commerce in the US has gone through a profound shift over the last decade. No longer can mom and pop hope to set up shop on Main Street and successfully sell anything other than items appealing to instant gratification (ice cream, prepared food, candy bars, wine, etc.), or services related to existing goods (dry cleaning, car repair), or services related to navigating the complex society (accounting, legal). Pretty much everything else falls under the purview of the online merchants or the mega-box stores that can afford to carry a big enough inventory of reasonably priced products to compete with the online sellers. In time, even the big-box stores won’t be able to compete with infinity, however. Interestingly, though, online sales are still only about 5% of total retail sales in the US. This despite the latest surveys that show that, across all demographic groups, about 41% of the public prefer shopping online. Which, of course, means that 59% of the people prefer to do their shopping in stores. To me this feels like the sort of crossroads that must have arisen during the early adoption of the “horseless carriage”… when a majority of people, when asked, would have sworn by old Betsy and vowed to never change. It feels like opportunity to me, as the creative destruction of the Internet moves inexorably forward. Of course, it’s just a matter of time before widespread changes in the tax structure stop giving the online retailers a tax advantage over local merchants, but all that will accomplish is to cause consumer prices to rise. That still cannot address the distributed merchandising model such as used by Amazon that means if they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, one of their tens of thousands of affiliated merchants will. Young people in America face the real challenge of finding a way to succeed in an economy on the downslope, where government regulations and labor-related costs make employees a liability and not an asset. I think Internet retailing is one of the few real bright spots, convinced as I am that it is still in its infancy. Dear Reader, When last I wrote, it was from my favorite place in the world, Cafayate, Argentina, as I prepared to return to the United States for the Northern Hemisphere summer. Leaving off, I was positively brimming with the health and vigor of life lived large in the big-sky country of the Argentine outback. Unfortunately, immediately upon arriving back in the US, I was laid low by a high fever, exacerbated by a week-long absence of the sun, and topped off with a spell of freezing temperatures and even snow… this at the end of May! Today, a week and a bit later, I’m mostly recovered though still periodically hacking like a TB patient. Other than a single afternoon, the sun has put in sporadic appearances, and the forecast for the next three days is more of the same. Ugh. Given the backlog of work that has built up during the transition back north, compounded by the unexpected bed rest, I don’t think I’ll get stuck in any particularly long or complicated themes today, but instead plan on sharing some briefer observations that have come to mind since my return. Human Nature One of the advantages of flying into the US via Asunción is that relatively few Americans traveling to the Southern Cone include Paraguay on their itinerary. I’m not sure why, but when mentioning my tangential affection for Paraguay to an American, I invariably get the same sort of look I imagine would be given on announcing I enjoy vacationing in the rougher parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Regardless, unlike traveling from Buenos Aires, which is hugely popular among Americans, a US citizen arriving at JFK airport from Asunción has the “US Citizens Only” line pretty much to themselves. While it is irksome to have any institutionalized interference in one’s travels, in fairness, the processing back into the US as a citizen is mostly painless, a quick question or two followed by a “Welcome back.” Thus welcomed, we had to gather our bags, change terminals, and recheck in for the continuing flight to Burlington, Vermont, the nearest big city to our home here. As the bags took a surprisingly long time to spew forth onto the luggage carousel, the leisurely connection time we had allowed for was greatly diminished, resulting in something of a scramble in order to make our connecting flight. Thanks to the AirTrain at JFK, once we had bags in hand, we made solid progress before once again getting hung up in the “baggage drop” process at JetBlue where the line was both long and slow. In Argentina I have become comfortable with patiently waiting in lines; however, back in the Land of the Efficient, I found my stress level rising thanks to the uncaring inefficiency. To wit, even though the line was well backed up, the airline had only two people working the counter, and one of those was tied up with a problem case (there’s always at least one). Thus what should have been a quick and painless operation dragged out for the better part of thirty minutes. Finally, with our flight time rapidly approaching, it was time to run the security gauntlet, stepping into a rope chute leading, side by side with another chute, to a podium whence a TSA operative was charged with checking the tickets and credentials of passengers. While one should give credence to differences in metabolic functioning – people process body fat more or less efficiently, leaving some people effortlessly thin while others have to fight a constant fight against weight – the only conclusion one could reasonably draw in the case of this particular TSA security officer was that he had long ago given up any pretense of dietary restraint or physical activity more strenuous than lifting cupcakes to his lips. As a result, rather than sitting in his high chair at the podium, he pretty much enveloped it with unflattering rolls of body fat cascading droopily over the side of his belt and dangling, jiggling, to the level of his seat. The idea that this was “America’s first line of defense” would have been somewhat funny if we hadn’t been in such a hurry and hadn’t known that to proceed, we first had to bow and scrape to his satisfaction. Even so, I’m a go-along-to-get-along kind of guy, especially when it comes to getting along to my flight, so I waited patiently for my turn at the podium. Which gave me about ten minutes in relatively close quarters to watch this first responder in his dealings with the public. Encouraged by the presence of a bland-countenanced female TSA officer who was standing nearby in order to observe him, I guess as a trainee, the human roadblock cavalierly split his attention between her and the two streams of passengers, one on his right and one on his left, that met up at his podium. The conversation went something like this… Jabba the TSAHutt (turning to his female trainee, but loud enough for us wannabe passengers to hear): “Oh, sometimes I get in a devilish mood, like now. So I ask people annoying questions such as…” (turning to the nondescript woman waiting on the right side of the line, taking her ticket and ID in hand and examining it)… “So, what’s your name?” Waits for her to answer, “And where are you going today?” That he already has the information directly at hand is part of the joke, which he acknowledges by turning back to the female trainee and winks, “See?” Moving at the speed of a slow glacier, he dragged the farce out for all it was worth, constantly pausing to make quips to the trainee, then leisurely turning back to ask the travelers similarly ludicrous questions, pausing every minute or so to stop a line and command people to step back away from the podium – even though if anyone encroached on some invisible line, it was by an inch or two as far as I could see. But he was having a grand old time, yakking it up with the emotionless TSA trainee (if she was getting the humor, she wasn’t showing it, but that didn’t seem to register with him), and treating the public like slow-witted children. I vividly recall the expression of a distinguished older couple in their seventies as they made their way slowly towards the TSA joke… er, joker. Written across their faces were a litany of emotions from anger and thinly disguised disdain to embarrassment that America had come to this. The husband visibly gritted his teeth when Jabba shoved a mitt in front of his wife’s face when she, too, came too close to the imaginary line separating the public from his official podium and said in his best imitation of a real cop, “Back away from the podium!” Finally, mercifully, it was our turn, which meant we might still make our flight. Like everyone else, I had to reply to his nonsense questions that had nothing to do with anything, then stand by while he similarly grilled my children. “What’s your name? Where are you traveling? Are these your parents? How old are you?” Then it was on to the backscatter X-ray machines, assuming the humiliating hands-over-the-head position, leaving us with only a couple of minutes to spare to make our already boarding flight. Now, I mention all of this not just to gripe about how degraded the travel experience in America has become – and it’s nothing like this anywhere else I have traveled in the last decade – but as a lead-up to a quick comment or two about human nature. You see, while the whole “show” was grating, the TSA officer was acting entirely in sync with human nature. For starters, he was showing off to a member of the opposite sex. Hasn’t that been a primary driving factor behind the actions of men since time immemorial? In addition, he was clearly imbued with the power that members of America’s security apparatus find so attractive. Everyone likes power, but for a person who has let themselves personally degrade to the point where he’s just a couple of Sloppy Joes away from drowning in his own neck fat, the TSA is pretty much the only job in the world that he can hold down with minimal effort and that offers power as a perk. But the psychological aspects run deeper than just that, because in the same way that white trash attempts to boost their ego by looking down their nose at Mexicans or blacks – this particularly poor specimen of humanity is able to find some modicum of self-respect in harassing and humiliating others, and being able to do so without fear of blowback. And thanks to the stultifying and downright stupid policies of the Fed, hand in glove with the government, over the last couple of decades, the aging population has been left horribly unprepared for their retirement, and hugely at risk to the next leg down. This from the Washington Post today… From the peak of the boom to the bottom of the bust, households watched a total of $16 trillion in wealth disappear amid sinking stock prices and the rubble of the real estate market. Since then, Americans have only been able to recapture 45 percent of that amount on average, after adjusting for inflation and population growth, according to the report from the St. Louis Fed released Thursday. In addition, the report showed most of the improvement was due to gains in the stock market, which primarily benefit wealthy families. That means the recovery for other households has been even weaker. “A conclusion that the financial damage of the crisis and recession largely has been repaired is not justified,” the report stated. And this… The Fed is spending $85 billion a month to lower long-term interest rates and stimulate the economy. It has also kept short-term interest rates to near zero. That has helped push stock markets to record highs, while home prices have jumped by the most in seven years. Consumer confidence is at its highest point since February 2008. Officials hope those factors will eventually result in more consumer spending power. Here’s the full article. So, in essence, the stock market, which the Post actually conflates with the economy, is being propped up by the Fed… as is the housing market. So, riddle me this, what happens when the Fed stops spending $85 billion a month? The answer is as clear as it is obvious. The Fed can’t stop QE, or if it does, it can’t stop it for long. This effectively leaves only one option to government policy makers – competitive currency devaluations of the sort that Japan is now pursuing. This despite the clear implications to the future of the fiat currencies. I thought the following, from Bloomberg earlier this week, pretty much says all that needs to be said on the situation… Koichi Hamada, an economic adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, told South Korea to adjust its own monetary policies if officials are concerned at the effects of a yen weakened by unprecedented easing. “Each country can take care of itself through its own monetary policy,” Hamada, 77, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. South Korean officials “shouldn’t blame the Japanese central bank, they should demand the Korean central bank have a proper monetary policy,” he said. South Korean exporters such as Hyundai Motor Co. stand to lose ground to Japanese rivals because of the yen’s 20 percent slide against the dollar in the past six months. The currency’s decline is adding to the risk of deteriorating relations between the nations, after South Korean Finance Minister Hyun Oh Seok said last month that the weak yen is a bigger economic risk than North Korean threats. In other words, it’s every country for itself. Buy gold with confidence. Reason #2: Declining Global Gold Production David Galland Managing Director Casey Research As Doug Casey has often pointed out, mining is a hated industry. Starting up a new mine, or even expanding an existing one, is viewed in much the same light as starting up a nuclear plant on a geological fault. As a result, despite prices having better than quadrupled over the past decade, gold mine production has peaked and is trending down. Even Chile, a country that has seen its fortunes substantially improved thanks to its mineral legacy, is now turning its back on the miners. This from Reuters yesterday… OPPOSITION TO MINING PROJECTS Opposition by environmental, indigenous and community groups to mega mining and power projects has led to a series of setbacks to billion dollar investments in Chile, the world’s No. 1 copper producer. Despite being one of Latin America’s most stable, prosperous countries, Chile suffers from high levels of income inequality, and many in the Andean nation feel a mining boom has bypassed them and harmed the environment. Pascua-Lama is one of the most unpopular mining endeavors in Chile. Many opponents are incensed that it has produced environmental harm and are particularly worried about the project’s effects on glaciers. Climate change has shrunk Andean glaciers between 30 and 50 percent since the 1970s and could melt many of them away altogether in coming years, according to a study published in January in the journal The Cryosphere. Separately, Chile’s judiciary is seen taking all of 2013 to weigh the indigenous allegations against the project, setting the stage for a protracted, costly legal battle. Critics say unclear Chilean regulations have contributed to a legal limbo that has led to the suspension of plans for hydropower projects in Patagonia, thermoelectric plants across the country and major copper mines high in the Andes. Here’s the entire article. Now, just to be clear, Pascua-Lama is located between 12,500 and 17,000 feet high… altitudes that are just shy of being fatal to the human species. The idea that there is a thriving community of “indigenous” people living the life at that altitude is a bad joke. The point is this: if a company is willing to actually spend the $8.5 billion required to bring a mine into production in a purportedly mining-friendly country in a remote corner that would otherwise be uninhabited, and it is blocked, then what are the odds of the industry being able to continue to move new projects into the pipeline? Somewhere between slim and none, and Slim just keeled over from altitude sickness. Reason #3: Physical Demand While no one can say with complete certainty when the bottom will be put in for gold, there is abundant evidence that at a price of under $1,400, there is a deep well spring of demand. Support for this contention is abundant – for example, just this week… Asia gold demand to hit quarterly record, absorb ETF outflow-WGC LONDON, May 29 (Reuters) Asian gold demand from this April to June will reach a quarterly record as bullion consumers in the region take possession of supply freed up by selling from exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Wednesday. Gold prices fell to their lowest in more than two years at $1,321.35 an ounce in mid-April on signs of economic improvement in main markets and fears that central banks around the world could start to curtail their bullion-friendly policy measures. The council expects Indian gold imports to reach 350-400 tonnes in the second quarter, 200 percent higher than a year earlier and almost half of last year’s total imports. This also compares to imports of 256 tonnes in the first quarter of 2013. “We now definitely expect Indian demand to come in at the upper end of the 865 tonnes to 965 tonnes range that we had previously forecast for 2013 because of the effect of what happened in April,” Grubb said. Grubb said as net imports of gold into China reached around 160-170 tonnes in April alone and physical demand shows no sign of abating, total off take this year could reach more than 880 tonnes. This compares to a previous forecast of 780-880 tonnes. The implication is that the market is able to calculate the value proposition of owning gold over paper and, below $1,400, is clearly choosing gold. And it’s not just individuals, but institutional investors and even central banks. There are other reasons for the base case for gold remaining intact, including the very real potential of a black-swan event related to the mega-trillion dollars in derivative positions, but the combination of locked-in currency debasement, pressure on supply, and pent-up demand gives me all the reason I need to continue viewing short-term fluctuations to the downside with no concern, other than as a potential opportunity to add to positions. Friday Funnies High School 1957 vs. 2012 Scenario 1: Jack goes duck hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck’s gun rack. 1957 – Vice principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack. 2012 – School goes into lockdown, FBI is called, Jack is hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors are called in for traumatized students and teachers. Scenario 2: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school. 1957 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies. 2012 – Police is called and SWAT team arrives – they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it. Scenario 3: Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students. 1957 – Jeffrey is sent to the principal’s office and given a good paddling by the principal. He then returns to class, sits still, and does not disrupt class again. 2012 – Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The family gets extra money (SSI) from the government because Jeffrey has a disability. Scenario 4: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car, and his dad gives him a whipping with his belt. 1957 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman. 2012 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse, Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused herself, and their dad goes to prison. Billy’s mom has an affair with the psychologist. Scenario 5: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school. 1957 – Mark shares his aspirin with the principal out on the smoking dock. 2012 – The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons. Scenario 6: Pedro fails high school English. 1957 – Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, and goes to college. 2012 – Pedro’s cause is taken up by the state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files a class-action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English is then banned from the core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway, but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English. Scenario 7: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, and blows up a red ant bed. 1957 – Ants die. 2012 – ATF, Homeland Security, and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents, and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny’s dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again. Scenario 8: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him. 1957 – In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing. 2012 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces three years in state prison. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. It’s No Fun Getting Old My new neighbor is single and lives right across the street. I can see her house from my living room. I watched as she got home from work this evening. I was surprised when she walked across the street in the rain and up my driveway. She knocked on my door. I rushed to open it. She looked at me and said, “I just got home, and I have this strong urge to have a good time, get drunk, and have sex all night long! Are you busy tonight?” I immediately replied, “Nope, I’m free… I have no plans at all!” Then she said, “Good! In that case, would you look after my dog?” It’s no fun being old!!! And With That… I’ll sign off for the week by thanking you for reading and for being a Casey Research subscriber. Before I duck, I will also remind you that registration is now open for the only Casey Research Summit to be held this year – and it’s going to be a great one. The faculty, led off by Dr. Ron Paul, is truly exceptional. Most speakers, including Dr. Paul, are scheduled to participate side by side with attendees throughout the entire event as we systematically examine the truth behind today’s global economy and investment markets. The dates are October 4, 5 & 6, the location is Tucson, Arizona. Here’s a link to learn more and to sign up today while the early-bird registration pricing still applies. Until next time…
In This Issue. * Bias to sell dollars remains weak. * One more day until D-Day. * London calling. * James Rickards on a Gold Manipulation end. And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Will We, or Won’t We? Good day. And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, looky here! It’s Rocktober 16th! 16 days in Rocktober have flown by very quickly, leading us to tomorrow, the 17th, when all hell is supposed to break loose. China, the U.S.’s largest creditor, sent a message to the U.S. lawmakers urging them to raise the debt ceiling, and the Tea Party responded, “Butt out” Recall, that I told you a couple of weeks ago, that this was all going to get ugly, and it appears to be heading in that direction in a hurry! “The U.S. must shoulder its responsibility as the world’s biggest economy and holder of the main reserve currency and take concrete measures before Oct. 17 to avoid a default,” said Deputy Finance Minister, Zhu Guangyao. He then went on to mention the Tea Party. Well, those may end up being fightin’ words! But. before this tempest in a teacup gets blown out of proportion, let me say that I personally don’t think China is that concerned with the U.S. defaulting, but instead look at this as a chance to lay down the soundtrack that will be played over and over again in the future, when they can remind everyone that they tried to warn the U.S. but they failed to listen. So. Here we are, at the precipice of what could be a very momentous, historical event. That I still think is just a bunch of drama, just like it was in 2011 and what did we get out of that hand wringing, sweat dripping, sawdust on the floor, drama? Well, we got some debt cuts on future spending increases over the next 10 years. Was it really worth losing our AAA rating with S&P over that? Well, the ratings agency Fitch says their AAA rating for the U.S. is “under watch”. The Treasury Bond market isn’t fazed by all of this, as yields remain steady Eddie. The U.S. dollar also isn’t too fazed by all of this, as the dollar index remains around 80. U.S. stocks seem to be caught in the middle, but all the trading in these assets, seems to be muted, as if there’s a “lock-down order” on them. Now, I don’t know who could put a “lock-down order” on stocks and bonds, do you? ” HA! Gold seems to be the only asset class that has really taken it on the chin with the U.S. dangling a default in front of the markets’ eyes. To me, someone who normally thinks logically about stuff, seeing the reality of a situation long before most, I would think that stocks, bonds and the dollar would be getting the snot knocked out them, while Gold would be soaring. My longtime friend, and one-time mentor in bond trading, Ed Bonawitz, always used to remind me that the “markets are never wrong”. You can think you are so right, and the markets are wrong, but the markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent. So. This is what we have to work with these days. Of course tomorrow could be a whole different ballgame. Remember what the rock group Pink Floyd sang about. “It’s a battle of words, and most of them are lies”. Man, the lawmakers must be sitting around with their IPods and headphones, listening to Pink Floyd! HA! Right, and my first wife was a young Elizabeth Taylor, yeah, that’s the ticket! The great Steely Dan song, Black Friday, is playing right now.. That could very well be playing out in a couple of days, eh? When Black Friday comes, I’ll collect everything I’m owed, And before my friends find out, I’ll be on the road. Oh, and this is great! That song was followed by Kansas doing “play that game tonight”. That’s exactly what the lawmakers will be doing tonight! Remember what the analyst told us last week about what happens when you attempt to wait until the 11th hour to do a deal? That things could go awry, and then no deal is done! This is the risk in the markets, although, as I said above, I just don’t see this default happening, now that is. So. the bias to sell dollars remains in the markets this morning, but as I said above, it is muted. The euro recovered its lost ground yesterday, and has added a bit today, while the Aussie dollar (A$) is also up a bit. Gold did a quick recovery yesterday morning, gaining back the $20 it was down when I was writing. That was an interesting move for Gold, given that the 4 previous days, it got taken down about the same time each morning. The shiny metal is off a couple of bucks today. Well, the $20 hit that Gold was taking on yesterday morning, was reversed in the early hours trading on Tuesday. So, for once, the trading pattern of early morning (when NY Traders arrive) taking Gold to the woodshed, didn’t happen yesterday. Were the NY Traders still making their way home from Hamptons? That would be my guess! But the analysts that refuse to see the truth, would tell us that the price action in Gold is all about whether the markets believe the U.S. will default. The trading pattern would then lend itself to be one of: buy Gold if it appears the U.S. won’t default, and they will continue to build debt, and print money, and sell Gold if it appears that the U.S. will default. All last week, as we experienced Groundhog Day over and over again, it appeared as though lawmakers would be happy to brings us to the doorstep of default. And yesterday, it appeared that a deal was in the making. But NOOOOOOOO! I always check the headlines of the Drudge Report each afternoon. The Headlines, in most cases, are better than the actual stories, and yesterday afternoon, one of the headlines read: “It’s All Fallen Apart” Now, that’s not going to give anyone a warm and fuzzy, eh? OK, let’s talk about something else, this debt/ default stuff is giving me a rash! Oh! How about the story on the Bloomberg this morning talking about the U.K. joining Taiwan and Hong Kong as a country that will be able to take part in a program allowing offshore renminbi / yuan to be invested in Chinese securities. An $13 Billion (in dollar terms) quota for investors in London to buy onshore assets was approved by China overnight. Folks, I don’t know of any other way I can tell you, other than the way I’ve told you for the last few years. This is just another step China is taking to eventually get to an internationally traded currency. Remember how I told you last month that China had opened the pilot areas where the renminbi / yuan can be converted. I think that China has really stepped up the pace of their plans to remove the dollar as the reserve currency of the world, and replace it with the renminbi / yuan. China is finally opening up their financial sector. They have removed the dollar’s relevancy in the terms of trade in countries throughout the world, they have become the world’s creditor, they have begun to allow convertibility of their currency. It’s all right there before our eyes, folks. Oh. And China allowed the renminbi/ yuan to reach a 20 year high VS the dollar (low in their price number, remember renminbi is a European priced currency, which means that the lower the price number goes, the more value it returns) In the past year, we’ve had so many renminbi investors lose their patience, and sell. Well, if they held renminbi long enough, they had some nice gains to take. But, to eventually hold the reserve currency of the world? Isn’t that worth waiting for? There was a good story on MarketWatch yesterday, that caught my eye. The title read: 5- Countries Whose Bonds Are Safer Than Treasuries. Let’s listen in to a bit of what the writer, Brett Arends has to say here: “According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the U.S. government’s net debt is now 89% of gross domestic product. By contrast, Germany-often thought of as Europe’s most financially sound nation-has net debts of only 56% of GDP. But if you want really, really safe, you should look a little further north of there-or a long way south. Scandinavian countries, and the Antipodes, have the best financial picture of all. New Zealand’s net debt is just 29% of its economy, and Australia’s is just 13%, according to the IMF. The Governments of Sweden and Norway are actually sitting on net assets. In other words, their Governments’ assets exceed their liabilities. Norway has by far the strongest finances on the block. If you imagined a country that managed its financial affairs perfectly, it would look like that. Seriously.” -Brett Arends Chuck again, the other country he mentions in his story was Denmark, who’s debt runs a mere 10% of GDP. Now. the only country I think he missed here, and probably because it’s viewed as a closed economy that’s difficult to deal in, and that would be China. Whenever I go out on the road and talk about ways to diversify, I always talk about foreign bonds and stocks, but mostly about foreign bonds. Many long time readers know that I got my feet wet in the foreign markets by being a foreign bond trader for the old Mark Twain Bank. So, foreign bonds are part of me. The way I always told the salespeople to talk to investors about foreign bonds is that it’s an excellent diversification tool, and gives you a longer view on a country and a currency, while hopefully giving you a pickup in yield over U.S. deposits. At EverBank, our NASD affiliate brokerage firm, EverTrade Direct, executes foreign bonds and stocks. Brokerage is not Bank, and they are not deposits of the bank, but that doesn’t make them any less of a great diversification tool! OK. that was a nice change of pace, talking about foreign bonds, eh? It’s funny, but when people stop me and ask me to list my best currencies, the list looks pretty much like the one that Brett Arends listed. So, there you go! I found it interesting that New Zealand was on his list. The do have a smallish debt to GDP ratio, but their Current Account Deficit is not good, and has been weighing on the currency (kiwi) ever since the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) had to make the 2 emergency rate cuts a couple of years ago to help out after the earthquakes in New Zealand. Well, last night, New Zealand printed their latest CPI (consumer inflation), and it surprised to the upside! OK. I’ve been telling you that the recent data, and RBNZ talk is that it’s about time to reverse the emergency rate cuts, well. This data doesn’t water down that talk one bit. In fact, I think it is just another notch in the rate hike belt for early 2014, and those that are seeing this, like I have seen it, are pushing kiwi higher each day. Before I head to the Big Finish this morning, I thought I would share this funny with you from Jay Leno last Friday night. “It is now day 11 of the government shutdown and we knew sooner or later something like this was going to happen. Despite the national parks being shut down, several men were severely mauled by bears yesterday. But enough about the New York Giants” – Jay Leno For What It’s Worth. OK, long time readers know that I truly appreciate the things James Rickards has to say. And this morning, I have a couple of snippets from an interview that was on the GATA website with James Rickards, talking about Gold manipulation. Let’s listen in. “Central bank manipulation of gold markets can and will last until physical shortages become so acute that banks and exchanges can no longer deliver on futures and forward contacts when requested by customers. At that point, contracts will be terminated and exchanges will order that trading be conducted “for liquidation only” which means that futures customers can close out or rollover contacts, but they cannot receive physical delivery of gold. The signs that the manipulation is coming to an end will include depletion of warehouses, price spikes and notifications from banks that they will no longer allow the conversion of gold forward contacts into physical gold.” – James Rickards Chuck again. When asked if he anticipated an overnight ending of manipulation or a progressive process, James Rickards replied: “Both. The process will proceed slowly at first, then gain momentum, then reach a panic buying stage where the termination of deliveries under futures and forward contacts will be announced very suddenly. At that point, physical gold will be scarce and interested parties will not be able to acquire it in small quantities at any price.” Chuck again x 2. I would pay attention to what James Rickards has to say folks. That just my opinion, of course! But who else has come out with this scenario? To recap. We’re down to the last day before the expiration of the extraordinary measures that are keeping the country paying its bills. The markets don’t believe a default will happen, and neither does Chuck, although he does admit there is a risk that an 11th hour deal might fail. Fitch puts the U.S. AAA rating on watch. that should have sent Treasuries to the woodshed, but it didn’t. New Zealand CPI printed stronger than expected, thus putting everything in alignment for a rate hike early in 2014, pushing kiwi higher. Currencies today 10/16/13. American Style: A$ .9535, kiwi .8420, C$ .9645, euro 1.3560, sterling 1.6045, Swiss $1.0985, . European Style: rand 9.96, krone 6.0050, SEK 6.4975, forint 218.20, zloty 3.0770, koruna 18.9350, RUB 32.23, yen 98.30, sing 1.2440, HKD 7.7545, INR 61.84, China 6.1408, pesos 12.96, BRL 2.1775, Dollar Index 80.34, Oil $101.36, 10-year 2.72%, Silver $21.23, Platinum $1,391.60, Palladium $708.85, and Gold. $1,281.50 That’s it for today. My beloved Cardinals moved within one win of going to the World Series. We were here last year too, with a 3-1 games lead, and lost 3 consecutive games to the Giants, I hope that they learned something from last year. It’s an afternoon game today, so I’ll actually get to see the whole game! Let’s hope it’s something I want to see! Jen is out in LA to attend the game today, now that should be fun! I was asked to go, but I’ve been having too many problems with my stomach to risk a 4 hour flight! So, I sent Jen, who is the biggest baseball fan I’ve ever met, for a female that is! The morning air was quite chilly when I walked across the bridge from the garage today. I guess it’s time to get out the jacket. UGH! Because I know what follows that. And soon I’ll be complaining about how cold it is, and how I want to go where it’s warm! So, you have that to look forward to! HA! Hey.. go out and have a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837
The same pattern has played out again and again around the world and throughout history. The worse a government’s fiscal health gets, the more destructive its policies become.This is the root of political risk.It’s no secret that political risk is snowballing in many parts of the world. This is especially true in the US and Europe, where welfare and warfare spending continues unabated. It doesn’t matter which party is in power.But no matter where you live, international diversification can greatly reduce the threat your home government poses to your personal and financial well-being.You know the benefits of diversifying your investment portfolio. If you put all of your asset eggs in one basket, you could lose your entire portfolio if that basket breaks.The same idea applies to political risk. If your home country “breaks”—and turns to the destructive policies I just mentioned—you could lose everything.Most people have medical, life, fire, and car insurance. You hope you never have to use these policies, but you have them anyway. They give you peace of mind and protect you if and when the worst does happen.International diversification is the ultimate insurance policy against an out-of-control government. Think of it as “freedom insurance.”It frees you from absolute dependence on any one country. Achieve that freedom, and it becomes very difficult for any group of bureaucrats to control you.The results can be life-changing. Recommended Link [EXPIRES MIDNIGHT] Today is your last chance to get the top pick of one of the most successful analysts in Bill Bonner’s network… and lock in a free year of one of his most popular research services. Click here for all the details. — Justin’s note: As longtime readers know, owning gold for the long term is one of our core recommendations here at Casey Research. And it’s now more important than ever. That’s because every day, the window to protect your personal and financial freedom closes a bit more.Today, we’re handing the reins to Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno to explain why… By Nick Giambruno, editor, Crisis InvestingIt’s predictable…A government in need of cash will turn to destructive “solutions.”Money printing, higher taxes, and more regulations often come first. Unfortunately, these are just the hors d’oeuvres before a 10-course meal.As they become increasingly desperate, governments implement increasingly destructive policies. This might include capital controls, price controls, people controls, official currency devaluations, wealth confiscations, retirement account nationalizations, and more. Less than 10 people in the world know about thisTrue breakthroughs rarely happen in the world of market trading… But this is one of them. Developed in secrecy over five years, it’s a never-before-seen indicator of short-term stock profit opportunities. Only a handful of people know about this data-proven 93.5%-accurate way of picking future market wins… But now we’re throwing back the veil on it — so that YOU can get rich. Discover it now by clicking here. The Easiest First StepIt’s crucial to place some of your savings beyond the easy reach of your home government. It keeps that government from trapping your money if and when it implements capital controls or outright asset seizures. Any government can do either without warning.The ultimate way to diversify your savings is to transfer it out of the immediate reach of your home government and into something tangible.Something that cannot be easily confiscated, nationalized, frozen, or devalued at the drop of a hat or with a couple of taps on the keyboard—while retaining as much privacy as legally possible.Something whose value is recognized around the world and is not controlled by any government.Gold (and silver) fit the bill perfectly.There is nothing particularly American, Chinese, Russian, or European about gold. Different civilizations have used it as money for millennia. It’s always been an inherently international asset.Buying gold is perhaps the easiest step you can take towards diversifying your savings.When you buy gold, you trade in paper money—which the government can devalue and confiscate at will—for a hard asset that’s been a stable store of value for thousands of years.Gold is universally valued. Its worth doesn’t depend on any government.In other words, simply buying gold is the easiest way to lessen the political risk to your savings.Freedom InsuranceSomehow, someway, your home government will keep squeezing your pocketbook harder. It will keep subjecting you to escalating, arbitrary, and burdensome regulations and restrictions.Expect more government and less freedom all around.With each passing week, the window to protect your personal and financial freedom closes a bit more.Fortunately, you don’t need to be hostage to a desperate and out-of-control government.International diversification is a time-tested route to freedom. Wealthy people around the world have used it for centuries to effectively protect their money and their families.Buying gold is an important first step.Regards,Nick GiambrunoEditor, Crisis InvestingP.S. Buying gold is where to start. But there’s much more to do…The US government gets bigger, more invasive, and more aggressive by the day. But you can take concrete steps to protect yourself from this hostile giant.That’s why New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and I just released an urgent video that explains more about the crisis that’s about to hit America…and why it’s so important that you take action today.You can learn more right here. Recommended Link —
The attorney general of Oklahoma goes to court in an unprecedented case this week.The state is charging drugmaker Johnson & Johnson with “a cynical, deceitful multimillion dollar brainwashing campaign” in order to sell opioids, according to The Guardian..The civil case is the first time a pharmaceutical company has gone to court over responsibility for the opioid epidemic. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that more than 130 people died every day in 2017 due to opioid-related causes.The case comes amid another landmark lawsuit filed in March against Purdue Pharma LP, the company behind the narcotic OxyContin. “More than 600 cities, counties and Native American tribes from 28 states have filed a federal lawsuit against eight members of the Sackler family,” CNN reported. The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma.More from CNN:Like other suits that have been filed, this one alleges the Sackler family made a fortune by using deceptive marketing to sell addictive and potentially deadly painkillers.“Eight people in a single family made the choices that caused much of the opioid epidemic,” the suit says, then naming the eight defendants.“Because they controlled their own privately held drug company, the Sackler Defendants had the power to decide how addictive narcotics were sold. They got more patients on opioids, at higher doses, for longer, than ever before. They paid themselves billions of dollars. They are responsible for addiction, overdose, and death that damaged millions of lives. They should be held accountable now.”What would justice look like for those who have been affected by the opioid epidemic? Who is to blame for the crisis?Produced by Jonquilyn Hill.GUESTSJackie Fortier, Senior health care reporter, StateImpact Oklahoma; @JackieFortierKatie Zezima, National reporter, The Washington Post; @katiezezBrian Frosh, Attorney General, MarylandTom Miller, Attorney General, IowaFor more, visit https://the1a.org.© 2019 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio. Copyright 2019 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.
AddThis ShareSUMMARY: Rice University researchers develop a way to automatically measure the distribution of lengths in a batch of semiconducting, single-walled carbon nanotubes.David Ruth713email@example.comMike Williams713firstname.lastname@example.orgRice University takes the measure of nanotubesNew technique takes the tedium out of analyzing batches of single-walled carbon nanotubesHOUSTON – (Sept. 18, 2012) – A Rice University laboratory has come up with a one-size-fits-almost-all way to measure batches of single-walled nanotubes that promises to help researchers and industry make more efficient use of the wondrous carbon material.Nanotubes grown in a single batch can range in length from a few nanometers (billionths of a meter) to thousands of nanometers. Until now, the only practical method for measuring them was by imaging with an expensive atomic force microscope (AFM).But with the new technique from the Rice lab of chemist Bruce Weisman, revealed this month in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano, researchers will be able to carry out these analyses more quickly and with less manual labor.The end product is a histogram that shows the distribution of lengths in a batch of nanotubes that, individually, are 50,000 times thinner than a human hair.This is just the kind of thing researchers want to know because, even at that scale, the details loom large. When used to deliver strands of DNA or drugs, for example, single-walled carbon nanotubes 200-300 nanometers long seem easiest for cells to absorb. Other applications require longer nanotubes, for example, in high-tech composite materials for aircraft and spacecraft that need the strength and load transfer efficiency offered by longer tubes.Jason Streit, a graduate student and lead author of the paper, spent two years developing an experimental method and image-processing algorithm able to pick out and track batches of nanotubes floating in solution in a tiny well, about a millimeter across and a little less than two micrometers deep. The highly automated technique allows him to analyze batches of about 800 nanotubes in two hours.“The main way to measure lengths until now has been with AFM,” he said. “For that, you have to prepare a sample, look at it under a microscope, make sure that contaminants have been removed, record images and then measure the lengths. It can take hours and hours for most workers.”The new process, called length analysis by nanotube diffusion (LAND), is much simpler. Although it only observes semiconducting single-walled nanotubes, which are naturally fluorescent at near-infrared wavelengths, it should help researchers simplify the characterization of nanotube batches.“Different lengths have different utilities and functions in applications,” said Weisman, a professor of chemistry and a pioneer in the science of nanotube fluorescence. “Some applications need a certain short length, while there are others where longer is better. And currently, nanotube length distributions are poorly controlled.“So one goal is to get more control over the lengths of your nanotubes, and to do that you need to develop separation methods. To develop separation methods, you need good characterization tools.”Co-author Sergei Bachilo, a research scientist at Rice, compared the need for different-size nanotubes to a shoe store, where one size definitely does not fit all. “It wouldn’t work very well if the store only had shoes in the average size,” he said.Like dust in a shaft of light, nanotubes in a liquid environment move around due to Brownian motion. It’s that inherent movement that reveals their lengths. So Streit takes video. The resulting movies look like a field of stars blinking and wandering in the night sky, but from those frames he is able to extract trajectories that tell him how long each individually tracked nanotube is. The software also automatically compiles the statistical data to make the histogram.Some special computations are necessary to account for nanotubes that show “fragmented trajectories,” when a tube disappears behind another or leaves the field of view for a few frames.The shorter nanotubes (below a few dozen nanometers in length) are hard to capture on video. “They’re dimmer, and they move faster, so sometimes they’re just a blur,” Weisman said. “One of the tricks Jason uses is to make the liquid in which they’re moving more viscous” simply by adding a special sugar. “That slows them down enough to give us a better view.“We hope that this will be a valuable tool for basic and applied research,” Weisman said. “Right in our laboratory, we’re already doing basic photophysical studies in which this method plays a crucial part.“Diagnostics that are slow and cumbersome just don’t get used,” he said. “That’s simply the truth. And when you convert to a method that’s fast and easy, people will use it a lot more. It not only speeds things up, it leads scientists into activities they never would have undertaken before.“This is going to be an important method for a lot of what we do around here, and hopefully for other labs as well,” Weisman said.The paper’s co-authors include Anton Naumov of Ensysce Biosciences, who earned his doctorate at Rice in 2011; and Constantine Khripin and Ming Zheng of the polymers division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.The research was supported by the Welch Foundation and the National Science Foundation.-30-This news release can be found online at news-network.rice.edu/news.Read the abstract at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn3032744Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated Materials: http://youtu.be/hPZBJJmlsIkThis video shows single-walled carbon nanotubes undergoing Brownian motion in solution. Image analysis software developed at Rice University tracks each individual nanotube’s movement and relates that movement to the tube’s length. The colors represent different individual nanotubes, and the lines show each nanotube’s trajectory. (Credit: Jason Streit/Rice University)
Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Add to Queue This story originally appeared on Business Insider –shares The New York-based company’s main business is now licensing its location data to other companies like American Express and Land Rover. Next Article After Inventing the Check-in, Foursquare Pivots With Efforts to Sell its Location Superpowers to Everyone Foursquare has gone through a profound transformation since it popularized the concept of the “check-in” back in 2009.The New York-based company’s main business is now licensing its location data to other companies like American Express, Pinterest and Land Rover. When you use a geofilter in Snapchat or type a venue name into Uber, you’re using Foursquare data.What’s led so many companies to rely on Foursquare’s location technology?For starters, there are the more than 10 billion check-ins that Foursquare’s 50 million monthly users have registered to date. But the company’s real “superpower,” according to founder and chairman Dennis Crowley, is something called Pilgrim. And starting Wednesday, Foursquare is making Pilgrim available to all apps for the first time.“We live in a world today where people are building things based off of basic GPS coordinates,” Crowley told Business Insider during a recent interview. With Pilgrim, Foursquare can give other apps and marketers “specific awareness of context in space” — a “big idea” Crowley said will “take time for people to wrap their heads around.”While traditional GPS can see when a phone enters a mall, Foursquare’s Pilgrim technology is able to understand that the phone is on the second floor of said mall and inside a J Crew store for the second time. It’s by analyzing this data that Foursquare has been able to accurately predict everything from iPhone to Chipotle sales.Crowley envisions other companies using Pilgrim to send notifications like hyper-specific coupons and even create Pokémon Go-like games that “change based upon where you bring your phone.” Foursquare’s main app has been using Pilgrim for years to send custom-tailored recommendations based on where its users go in the real world.For Crowley, who first made his name by selling his location-based social network Dodgeball to Google in 2005, opening up Pilgrim is the culmination of Foursquare’s seven-year history. While the company won’t disclose actual numbers, Crowley said that “revenue is growing nicely” and that the business is in “a really healthy spot right now.”“We always thought that someone would come along and make something like the Pilgrim SDK and we would just use it,” he said. “I don’t think we imagined way back in the day that we would be the company to actually bring this to market.” Tech Reporter for Business Insider Image credit: Foursquare 3 min read Foursquare March 2, 2017 Alex Heath Foursquare’s Steven Rosenblatt (president), Dennis Crowley (founder and executive chairman), Jeff Glueck (CEO). Enroll Now for $5
Image credit: Whole Foods Market The Winners and Losers in Amazon’s Whole Foods Deal –shares Next Article Consumers win. But other grocery stores? Not so much. Add to Queue Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Mergers and Acquisitions When Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar store in 2015 on the campus of Purdue University in Indiana and then in December announced its first Amazon Go check-out free convenience store in Seattle, people wondered what on earth the online retailing giant was doing experimenting in the physical world it disrupted in the first place.Now, Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods Market tells us that the Seattle company wants a big slice of the $674-billion U.S. grocery market (and while Whole Foods’ revenue, approximately $16 billion in 2016, is but a fraction of the entire grocery market, Amazon’s price setting status in the American retail landscape will cause reverberations throughout the grocery econsystem). The deal is the largest manifestation yet of the omni-channel, or in this case, “clicks-to-bricks” trend, in which online retailers seek to optimize the customer experience by augmenting a strong online presence with physical retail stores. In this case, Amazon is dramatically changing the grocery landscape for all those involved (consumers, vendors, distributors, competitors and related companies).Related: Amazon Is Buying Whole Foods for a Whopping $13.7 Billion — Is It a Good Deal?It’s easy to imagine that Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos’ obsession with single focus, ruthless efficiency will be brought to bear on the firm’s grocery technology. This, after all, is the company that uses machine learning and algorithms to know what you want before you do. As Narvar CEO Amit Sharma wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “Retailers need to think more like tech companies, using artificial intelligence and machine learning not just to predict how to stock stores and staff shifts but also to dynamically recommend products and set prices that appeal to individual consumers.” Amazon’s Whole Foods deal will make that a reality.In addition, fitting with its broader strategy, the acquisition will help Amazon’s further penetration of the millennial generation. Amazon and Whole Foods are tailor made for the millennial cohort — aged from 18 to 35 and now the single-largest generation in America. It’s a generation that was raised online that embraces the healthy food trend and they’re already dynamic residents of the organic/natural food space where Whole Foods has a decades-old nationwide brand. A survey by the Organic Trade Association found that more than half of parents who buy organic food regularly are millennials, compared to a little more than a third of Gen Xers and 14 percent of baby boomers. Related: Amazon Discounts Prime for Low-Income ShoppersWith its private label line 365 Everyday Value, its antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, and its priority on animal welfare, Whole Foods is popular among millennials who have a strong social conscience and like to purchase socially responsible products. Furthermore, Whole Food’s smaller store format, called 365, is specifically targeted at millennials, reflecting their preference for smaller stores in urban environments that incorporate technology.The deal also likely provides a logistics and distribution strategy play for Amazon. Whole Foods gives Amazon a network of 450 stores in 42 states, which can effectively become mini-distribution centers for groceries and potentially other retail items as well. Since 2007, Amazon has learned about the grocery business through its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery unit. By acquiring Whole Foods, millennials can now blend two shopping habits — seeing and touching products at a local store and conveniently ordering online. It may be that your dried kale with sesame will soon be delivered by drone from that local store.So, who are the winners and losers?The big winner in the deal is the American consumer. Amazon is known for offering hyper-competitive prices, so groceries, and organic food in particular, may become more affordable. Ordering groceries that will be quickly delivered will also become a whole lot easier, especially for homes that are using other Amazon products such as Echo. Soon, you will just have to say you want some cage-free eggs and a bottle of kombucha to make it a reality.Related: Amazon Awarded Patent for Parachute Shipping LabelCompanies that are major suppliers to Whole Foods — which has struggled lately as everyone from Kroger to Walmart has added organic foods to meet growing demand — may be big winners or huge losers. Amazon will crunch mountains of data to draw conclusions about what’s working, what should be kicked to the curb and what fits its broader strategy. For example, suppliers to Amazon’s growing number of private label brands may benefit as these products may now be placed at Whole Foods. Among the growing list of brands Amazon owns that could sell at the grocery stores are Mama Bear organic baby food and Happy Belly, which sells such things as nuts, granola, eggs and coffee. Over and above the general margin pressure that all vendors will face, as Amazon pushes its own brands at stores, traditional consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies currently selling at Whole Foods may suffer.Perhaps the biggest losers are other grocery stores, be they national chains or local, one-off neighborhood stores. This is the moment Amazon stops dabbling in the groceries segment and gets competitive. In the past, when Amazon has sought to win a new business, whether that’s books or clothing, it’s driven prices lower. Grocers, from Safeway and Kroger to Walmart and Target, will have to withstand increased price pressure and will have to redouble efforts to evaluate, adapt and enhance their digital and delivery offerings too. Lastly, home food delivery services, which have multiplied in recent years, may find their models under siege.Finally, this move may be part of an even larger strategy at Amazon that could create even more winners and losers down the line. After all, it’s hard to imagine that this is the last traditional retail industry that Amazon will disrupt. Companies working in everything from home improvement to drug stores should sit up and take notice. 5 min read Guest Writer June 19, 2017 Craig Lawson Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Co-Founder and Managing Director at MHT Partners Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals
Technology Laptop Buying Tips, Part 2 Brought to you by PCWorld Add to Queue –shares June 25, 2008 Last week I kicked off a three-part series of articles offering tips for buying a laptop. James A. Martin 6 min read Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Register Now » In the first installment, I compared reader survey results from PC World and Consumer Reports (subscription required) regarding which laptop makers offered the most reliable products, and the best service and support. Lenovo and Apple earned the most kudos in these areas, though there was some variation between the two surveys regarding the reliability of Apple laptops.This week I consider top choices from those vendors (and others), plus the best times to buy a new laptop. Next week I’ll discuss the best places to buy a new laptop; how much should you expect to pay; and ideas for financing your new portable.Lenovo ThinkPad X61Best Buy, PC World Top 10 Ultraportable Laptops: reviewCurrent online pricing: $1535 and upLenovo’s ThinkPad X61 earned the overall best PCW rating (84) of any Lenovo or Apple laptop currently on any PC World Top 10 laptop chart. (The charts feature power laptops, desktop replacements, and ultraportables.) Only the Micro Express IFL9025, the Top 10 Power Laptops Best Buy, earned a higher rating (85).The ThinkPad X61 is an ideal ultraportable. It weighs only 3.6 pounds, and its extended-life, four-cell battery lasted an impressive 6 hours, 14 minutes in our tests. With a PCW WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 75, it’s the best performing of our currently tested ultraportables. (By comparison, Apple’s MacBook Air earned a WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 57.There are a few downsides: The ThinkPad X61 lacks an internal optical drive, and the keyboard has an eraserhead pointing device but no touchpad. Overall, though, we found the X61 to be an excellent choice from a company with solid reliability and service scores.Acer Aspire 5920-6954Best Buy, Top 10 All-Purpose Laptops: reviewCurrent online pricing: about $800 and upAcer didn’t receive the same high ratings in service and reliability from PC World readers as did Apple and Lenovo. But the company was rated better-than-average in one out of four reliability measures and two out of four service criteria. None of the other laptop makers (aside from Apple and Lenovo) fared as well. Add that to the fact that this laptop earned the highest PCW score (83) of any Acer portable, and the Aspire 5920-6954 is worth adding to your short list.The Acer Aspire 5920-6954’s under-$1000 price tag is compelling. This laptop offers just about anything you’d want in a budget portable, including a roomy hard drive (250GB in our test unit); an HDMI port for high-definition video; a terrific keyboard; and–a rarity for a laptop in this price range–a dedicated graphics processor (nVidia GeForce 8600M GS with 256MB of memory).At 7.3 pounds, the Aspire 5920-6954 is a bit of a back breaker, and its battery life was average, at 3.8 hours in our tests. But it offers good performance (WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score: 70) at a price we love.Apple MacBook ProNo. 6, Top 10 Power Laptops: reviewCurrent online pricing: about $1950 and upIf you’re a die-hard Windows user who wouldn’t ordinarily consider a MacBook, consider this: The 17-inch MacBook Pro set new speed records last year as the fastest Windows laptop in our tests to date. (The MacBook Pro’s record has since been broken.) Add to that Apple’s excellent ratings for reliability and service in our reader survey, and you’ve got a compelling power laptop.The MacBook Pro earned an overall PCW score of 80, which is very good. The laptop is packed with features, including an elegant design that’s only 1-inch thick, solid graphics performance, and the fabulous Mac OS X Leopard. At 6.6 pounds, The MacBook Pro is among the lightest 17-inch notebooks available.Apple didn’t pack everything into the MacBook Pro. It lacks memory card slots, has only three USB ports, doesn’t offer a cellular broadband option, and comes with an ExpressCard/34 slot instead of a more versatile ExpressCard/54 slot. Battery life was so-so, lasting just 2 hours, 45 minutes on one charge. Still, this gorgeous laptop makes an excellent desktop replacement.When to BuyYou need to consider several factors if you want to time your laptop purchase to get the best deal.Often, laptop prices are discounted in late January to February during inventory clearance, in July and August for back-to-school shoppers, and during the year-end holiday season.Existing laptop models are often discounted when the cheaper-faster-better version is announced or ships. This happens throughout the year, so it’s harder to time. If you have a particular laptop maker in mind, consider researching its product introduction cycles for clues as to when to buy.For example, Apple updates its MacBook Pro lineup approximately every eight to nine months. The first MacBook Pro was announced January 10, 2006, followed by subsequent models nine months later (October 2006), eight months later (June 2007), and then again, another eight months later (February 2008).If history is any indication, then, it’s likely Apple will refresh the MacBook Pro lineup in October or November 2008. Later this year you may find suddenly discontinued MacBook Pro models available at attractive discounts.I’ve covered this topic in more detail in “When to Buy a Laptop.”Mobile Computing News, Reviews & TipsApple’s Tempting iPhone 3G: If you held off on the first-generation iPhone, the new iPhone 3G may finally tempt you. PC World’s Melissa J. Perenson offers five reasons to consider the second-generation smart phone from Apple, including price (the 8GB iPhone is $199, down from $399); the faster Web experience; and improved support for international use.Are Smart Phones Security Risks? A new survey says that smart phones may pose a greater security risk than laptops or mobile storage devices. According to the survey, nine in ten smart phones are given access to company networks without extra security measures. The result: Smart phones can make it easy for thieves who steal them to access confidential information.XM Radio on BlackBerrys: Owners of any RIM BlackBerry with version 4.2 or later of the BlackBerry operating system can now listen to a limited version of XM’s satellite radio service on their handheld regardless of their wireless carrier. Expect to pay about $8 monthly for a service with 20 XM channels, mostly rock and pop.Contributing Editor James A. Martin offers tools, tips, and product recommendations to help you make the most of computing on the go. Martin is also author of the Traveler 2.0 blog. Sign up to have the Mobile Computing Newsletter e-mailed to you each week. 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Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Bitcoin –shares Matt Clinch Bitcoin Is Now Tax Free in Europe Next Article Virtual currencies can be exchanged tax free in the European Union, following a ruling from the highest court in Europe on Thursday.Bitcoin and its alternatives can now be treated in the same way as traditional money, according to the European Court of Justice.It said in a statement Thursday morning that bitcoin transactions “are exempt from VAT (value-added tax) under the provision concerning transactions relating to currency, bank notes and coins used as legal tender.”The ruling comes after a dispute in a Swedish court when David Hedqvist, a Swedish national, applied for permission to operate his online bitcoin exchange. The Swedish Revenue Law Commission initially told Hedqvist that bitcoin was exempt from VAT but the Swedish Tax Authority appealed against that decision.Bitcoin is a virtual currency that allows users to exchange online credits for goods and services. While there is no central bank that issues them, bitcoins can be created online by using a computer to complete difficult tasks, a process known as mining.The ruling paves the way for potentially cheaper transactions within the EU and therefore a boon for the nascent industry. Jonathan Rogers, partner in the financial services regulatory group at international law firm Taylor Wessing sees it as an opportunity for emerging forms of financial services.”(The ruling is) a shot in the arm – bringing growth and consolidation.,” he told CNBC via email.”Greater clarity can now emerge in the debate about how to regulate virtual currencies, leading to increased credibility and consumer confidence; in turn, virtual currencies will have a much greater critical mass in the financial services system.”The price of bitcoin saw a slight increase after the news, rising around 3 percent, close to $8, during Thursdays’ session.In September, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said that bitcoin would be classed as a commodity in the country along with gold and oil.The announcement came as the regulator ordered bitcoin options trading platform Coinflip, and its CEO Francisco Riordan, to cease trading due to it not registering and complying with its regulations. It added that it had also filed, and simultaneously settled, charges against the San Francisco-based firm.—CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this article. Register Now » This story originally appeared on CNBC October 22, 2015 Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Add to Queue 2 min read
Source:http://news.vumc.org/2019/04/24/big-data-zebrafish-biology-disease/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 25 2019In a series of studies that volleyed between large databases and research in zebrafish, Vanderbilt investigators have discovered a link between vascular biology and eye disease.The research uncovered an unexpected role for the gene GRIK5, and it showcases a new paradigm for using biobanks, electronic health records and zebrafish to discover the genetic mechanisms that contribute to human disease. The findings were reported in the American Journal of Human Genetics.The back-and-forth approach primarily involved two teams of investigators in the Division of Genetic Medicine: Eric Gamazon, PhD, and Nancy Cox, PhD, using computational genetics and large databases, and Gokhan Unlu, PhD, and Ela Knapik, MD, studying gene function in zebrafish.”This iteration between statistical genetics analyses and biobanks and studies in animal models provides a framework that can be used to understand what a gene does within the context of the human phenome — all the diseases and traits included in electronic health records,” said Gamazon, research instructor in Medicine.The studies had their start several years ago when Gamazon and Cox, Mary Phillips Edmonds Gray Professor of Genetics and director of the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute, developed a computational method called PrediXcan that correlates genetically regulated gene expression with phenotypes. In the current work, they applied PrediXcan to BioVU, Vanderbilt’s DNA biobank and de-identified electronic health records, to generate a comprehensive catalog of associations between gene expression and clinical traits.Among the associations in this catalog, which they call PredixVU, the gene GRIK5 stood out. Reduced expression of GRIK5, which encodes a glutamate receptor subunit, was associated with 18 different eye diseases ranging from retinal detachment to cataract to glaucoma.”This was very unusual — the expectation was that a gene might be associated with four or five disease phenotypes,” said Knapik, associate professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology.The relationship of GRIK5 to eye phenotypes was also unexpected, Knapik added. GRIK5 has mostly been studied for its role in brain signaling and cognition.To explore the role of GRIK5 in zebrafish, Unlu used two approaches (CRISPR gene editing and morpholino oligonucleotides) to delete or reduce expression of GRIK5. The most striking finding in the zebrafish with reduced or no GRIK5 was bleeding.Related StoriesGenetic contribution to distractibility helps explain procrastinationAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injury”This was a complete surprise. There was no previous knowledge that GRIK5 had anything to do with the blood or vasculature,” Knapik said.Gamazon and Cox returned to the databases to search for evidence of patients who have both eye and vascular diseases.They analyzed electronic health records for more than 2.6 million Vanderbilt subjects and found significant comorbidity of eye and vascular diseases, and they confirmed this comorbidity using an insurance claims dataset of 150 million individuals. Unlu and Knapik continued their studies in zebrafish. They used the morpholino approach to reduce expression of GRIK5 in a zebrafish line with glowing green blood vessels and found reduced numbers of blood vessels and other vascular abnormalities in the eye, brain and trunk. They labeled the plasma with nanobeads and found leaking blood vessels in the eye, brain and ear.”Our studies show that not only the architecture of the vasculature but also the function — keeping the blood inside — is compromised in zebrafish with reduced GRIK5 expression,” said Unlu, research fellow in Genetic Medicine.In further computational studies of genotyped BioVU participants, Gamazon and Cox demonstrated an association of reduced genetically predicted GRIK5 expression with comorbid vascular and eye diseases.The researchers propose that reduced GRIK5 expression compromises vascular perfusion to the eye, leading to late-onset diseases like cataracts and glaucoma.Further studies are needed to understand the precise role of GRIK5 in the vasculature — and how defects lead to eye diseases, but the framework from these studies can be broadly applied, Knapik said.”I am a developmental geneticist. We do forward genetics in zebrafish: we make changes in the genome and study the phenotypes that result,” she said. “On the human side, Mother Nature has made changes in our genomes. And the health care system is phenotyping every day and keeping the results in electronic health records. Scientists can now use the approach we’ve demonstrated to understand the mechanisms of human disease.”
We are looking for similarities and differences between the tactical behavior of women’s and men’s national teams with the aim of drawing comparisons between different countries in Europe. In order to avoid any gender-specific bias in the evaluation we rely on position data instead of the usual video data.” Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 29 2019In modern football, tactics are relevant across all age groups and performance levels. Yet for a long time they have received little attention in the training process. This is why tactical performance today offers such enormous potential. In a new project, sport scientists at the German Sport University Cologne have been comparing the soccer-specific tactical performance of male and female players in Europe with the help of position data. The study is sponsored by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).In the run-up to the Women’s World Cup a provocative advertising spot showed the German women’s footballers with a humorous text based on the cliché that many have probably encountered before: Women’s soccer is different from men’s.”Like amateur football, only in slow motion” says the ad.But humor apart, where objectively do the soccer-style differences lie between men and women, and how do these compare across Europe?Prof. Daniel Memmert is Head of the study: Newly developed key performance indicators and sport informatics analysis methods based on artificial neural networks have been used as objective analysis tools.The project carried out by the Institute of Exercise Training and Sports Informatics was selected by UEFA as one of only six projects (approval rate: 10%) to receive funding. The study’s findings will enable objective conclusions to be drawn about the training of men and women players in their different cultures, thus contributing to the further development and professionalisation of women’s football in the field of tactics, while supporting efforts to promote public awareness of women’s football as an attractive sport on the basis of objective evaluation criteria. Source:German Sport University
This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Then “I got the email on Jan. 15,” said Reta Baker, the hospital’s CEO. It informed her that Cancer Center of Kansas, the contractor that operated and staffed the unit, had decided to shut it down too, just two weeks later.”There are too many changes in that town” to keep the cancer center open, Yoosaf “Abe” Abraham, chief operating officer of the Cancer Center of Kansas, later told KHN. He added that patients would be “OK” because they could get treated at the center’s offices in Chanute and Parsons.From Fort Scott, those facilities are 50 and 63 miles away, respectively.For Endicott-Coyan and dozens of other cancer patients, the distance meant new challenges getting lifesaving treatment. “You have a flat tire, and there is nothing out here,” Endicott-Coyan said, waving her arm toward the open sky and the pastures dotted with black Angus and white-faced Hereford cattle on either side of the shoulderless, narrow highway she now must drive to get to her chemo appointment.Nationwide, more than 100 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. In each case, a unique but familiar loss occurs. Residents, of course, lose health care services as wards are shut and doctors and nurses begin to move away.But the ripple effect can be equally devastating. The economic vitality of a community takes a blow without the hospital’s high-paying jobs and it becomes more difficult for other industries to attract workers who want to live in a town with a hospital. Whatever remains is at risk of withering without the support of the stabilizing institution.The 7,800 residents of Fort Scott are reeling from the loss of their 132-year-old community hospital that was closed at the end of December by Mercy, a St. Louis-based nonprofit health system. Founded on the frontier in the 19th century and rebuilt into a 69-bed modern facility in 2002, the hospital had outlived its use, with largely empty inpatient beds, the parent company said. For the next year, Kaiser Health News and NPR will track how its citizens fare after the closure in the hopes of answering pressing national questions: Do citizens in small communities like Fort Scott need a traditional hospital for their health needs? If not a hospital, what then?Traveling The Distance For Cancer CareReta Baker, the hospital’s president who grew up on a farm south of Fort Scott, understood that the hospital’s closure was unavoidable. She scrambled to make sure basic health care needs would be met. Mercy agreed to keep the building open and lights on until 2021. And Baker recruited a federally qualified health center to take over four outpatient clinics, including one inside the hospital; former employees were bought out and continue to operate a rehabilitation center; and the nonprofit Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg reopened the emergency department in February.But cancer care in rural areas, which requires specialists and the purchase and storage of a range of oncology drugs, presents unique challenges.Rural cancer patients typically spend 66% more time traveling each way to treatment than those who live in more urban areas, according to a recent national survey by ASCO, the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, a cattle rancher’s daughter who is now chair of ASCO’s board, called this a “tremendous burden.” Cancer care, she explained, is “not just one visit and you’re done.”ASCO used federal data to find that while about 19% of Americans live in rural areas, only 7% of oncologists practice there.People in rural America are more likely to die from cancer than those in the country’s metropolitan counties, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report in 2017. It found 180 cancer deaths per 100,000 people a year in rural counties, compared with 158 deaths per 100,000 in populous metropolitan counties.The discrepancy is partly because habits like smoking are more common among rural residents, but the risk of dying goes beyond that, said Jane Henley, a CDC epidemiologist and lead author of the report. “We know geography can affect your risk factors, but we don’t expect it to affect mortality.”From an office inside a former Mercy outpatient clinic, Fort Scott’s cancer support group, Care to Share, continues its efforts to meet some of the community’s needs — which in some ways have increased since the Unit of Hope closed. It provides Ensure nutritional supplements, gas vouchers and emotional support to cancer patients.Lavetta Simmons, one of the support group’s founders, said she will have to raise more money to help people pay for gas so they can drive farther to treatments. Last year, in this impoverished corner of southeastern Kansas, Care to Share spent more than $17,000 providing gas money to area residents who had to travel to the Mercy hospital or farther away for care.The group expects to spend more on gas this year, having spent nearly $6,000 during the first four months of 2019.And the reserves of donated Ensure from Mercy are running out, so Simmons is reaching out to hospitals in nearby counties for help.With Mercy Hospital Fort Scott closed, the likelihood of residents here dying from their cancer will grow, experts worry, because it’s that much harder to access specialists and treatments.Krista Postai, who took over the Fort Scott hospital’s four primary care clinics, said it’s not unusual for her staff to “see someone walk in [with] end-stage cancer that they put off because they didn’t have money, they didn’t have insurance, or it’s just the way you are. … We wait too long here.”‘If They Can’t Cure Me, I’m Done’Art Terry, 71, a farmer and Vietnam veteran, was one of them. Doctors discovered Terry’s cancer after he broke a rib while bailing hay. When they found a mass below his armpit, it was already late-stage breast cancer that had metastasized to his bones.With his twice-weekly chemotherapy treatment available in the “Unit of Hope,” Terry spent hours there with his son and grandchildren telling stories and jokes as if they were in their own living room. The nurses began to feel like family, and Terry brought them fresh eggs from his farm.”Dad couldn’t have better or more personalized care anywhere,” said his son, Dwight, bleary-eyed after a factory shift.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerTerry knew it was difficult to find trustworthy cancer care. The shortage of cancer specialists in southeastern Kansas meant that many, including Mercy Hospital Fort Scott’s patients, counted on traveling oncologists to visit their communities once or twice a week.Wichita-based Cancer Center of Kansas has nearly two dozen locations statewide. It began leasing space in Fort Scott’s hospital basement in the mid-2000s, the center’s Abraham said. The hospital provided the staff while the Cancer Center of Kansas paid rent and sent roving oncologists to drop in and treat patients.At its closing, the Unit of Hope served nearly 200 patients, with about 40% of them on chemotherapy treatment.When Art Terry was diagnosed, his son tried to talk to him about seeking treatment at the bigger hospitals and academic centers in Joplin, Mo., or the Kansas City area. The elder Terry wasn’t interested. “He’s like, ‘Nope,'” Dwight Terry recalled. “I’m going right there to Fort Scott. If they can’t cure me, I’m done. I’m not driving.'” In the end, as the elder Terry struggled to stay alive, Dwight Terry said he would have driven his father the hour to Chanute for treatment. Gas — already a mounting expense as they traveled the 20 miles from the farm near tiny Prescott, Kan., to Fort Scott — would be even more costly. And the journey would be taxing for his father, who traveled so little over the course of his life that he had visited Kansas City only twice in the past 25 years.As it turned out, the family never had to make a choice. Art Terry’s cancer advanced to his brain and killed him days before the hospital’s cancer unit closed.What Happens Next?As Endicott-Coyan and her friend Palmer drove to Chanute for treatment, they passed the time chatting about how the hospital’s closure is changing Fort Scott. “People started putting their houses up for sale,” Palmer said.Like many in Fort Scott, they had both spent their days at the Fort Scott hospital. Endicott-Coyan worked in administration for more than 23 years; Palmer volunteered with the auxiliary for six years.The hospital grew with the community. But as the town’s fortunes fell, it’s perhaps no surprise that the hospital couldn’t survive. But the intertwined history of Mercy and Fort Scott is also why its loss hit so many residents so hard.Fort Scott began in 1842 when the U.S. government built a military fort to help with the nation’s westward expansion. Historians say Fort Scott was a boomtown in the years just after the Civil War, with its recorded population rising to more than 10,000 as the town competed with Kansas City to become the largest railroad center west of the Mississippi. The hospital was an integral part of the community after Sisters of Mercy nuns opened a 10-bed hospital in 1886 with a mission to serve the needy and poor. Baker, Mercy Hospital Fort Scott’s president, said the cancer center was an extension of that mission.The Unit of Hope began operating out of the newest hospital building’s basement, which was “pretty cramped,” Baker said. As cancer treatments improved, it grew so rapidly that Mercy executives moved it to a spacious first-floor location that had previously been the business offices.”Our whole purpose when we designed it was for it to be a place where somebody who was coming to have something unpleasant done could actually feel pampered and be in a nice environment,” Baker said.The center, with its muted natural grays and browns, had windows overlooking the front parking lot and forested land beyond. Every patient could look out the windows or watch their personal television terminal, and each treatment chair had plenty of space for family members to pull up chairs.When Endicott-Coyan and Palmer arrived at the Cancer Center of Kansas clinic in Chanute in February, things looked starkly different. Patients entered a small room through a rusted back door. Three brown infusion chairs sat on either side of the entry door and two television monitors were mounted high on the walls. A nurse checked Endicott-Coyan’s blood pressure and ushered her back to a private room to get a shot in her stomach. She was ready to leave about 15 minutes later.The center’s Abraham said the Chanute facility is “good for patients for the time being” and not a “Taj Mahal” like Mercy’s Fort Scott hospital building, which he said was too expensive to maintain. Cancer Center of Kansas plans to open a clinic at a hospital in Girard, which is about 30 miles from Fort Scott, he said.Some oncology doctors would say driving is not necessary. Indeed, a few health care systems across the country, such as Sanford Health in South Dakota and Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Pennsylvania, are administering some chemotherapy in patients’ homes. Oncologist Adam Binder, who practices at Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia, said “over 50% of chemotherapy would be safe to administer in the home setting if the right infrastructure existed.”But the infrastructure — that is, the nurses who would travel to treat patients and a reimbursement model to pay for such care within our complex health care system — is not yet in place.Back in the car, Palmer took the wheel and Endicott-Coyan began planning for future cancer treatments in the void left by Mercy Hospital Fort Scott’s closure. “I put a note on Facebook today and said, ‘OK, I have drivers for the rest of February; I need drivers for March!'”This is the first installment in KHN’s year-long series, No Mercy, which follows how the closure of one beloved rural hospital disrupts a community’s health care, economy and equilibrium. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 1 2019One Monday in February, 65-year-old Karen Endicott-Coyan gripped the wheel of her black 2014 Ford Taurus with both hands as she made the hour-long drive from her farm near Fort Scott to Chanute. With a rare form of multiple myeloma, she requires weekly chemotherapy injections to keep the cancer at bay.She made the trip in pain, having skipped her morphine for the day to be able to drive safely. Since she sometimes “gets the pukes” after treatment, she had her neighbor and friend Shirley Palmer, 76, come along to drive her back.Continuity of care is crucial for cancer patients in the midst of treatment, which often requires frequent repeated outpatient visits. So when Mercy Hospital Fort Scott, the rural hospital in Endicott-Coyan’s hometown, was slated to close its doors at the end of 2018, hospital officials had arranged for its cancer clinic — called the “Unit of Hope” — to remain open.
Punjab CM’s wife Preneet Kaur faints at cleanup driveShe collapsed as she arrived at the event to flag off the Swachhta Shramdan drive to clean up plastic.advertisement Indo-Asian News Service ChandigarhJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 14:04 IST Punjab CM Amarinder SinghPatiala MP and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s wife, Preneet Kaur, fainted at a plastic cleanup campaign in her constituency on Saturday, officials said.Kaur, 75, collapsed as she arrived at the event to flag off the Swachhta Shramdan drive to clean up plastic.She got her blood pressure checked and that was fine, a doctor told IANS.She later tweeted by saying that she successfully launched the Swachhta Shramdan drive under the Punjab Pollution Control Board.”Under this initiative, we are making Patiala polythene-free. I urge all of you to join this movement and help us make our surroundings cleaner,” she said.Also read: How Amarinder Singh held his fort against Modi waveALSO WATCH| Watch: PM Modi’s full speech at NDA’s Parliamentary board meetFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byIram Ara Ibrahim Next
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President Jonathan who admitted that the nation’s greatest challenge was that of insecurity,Tests conducted in Switzerland may have uncovered what researchers say could be a new fundamental particle of nature similar to the Higgs Boson He was found guilty of lots of sexual misconduct accusations, Contact us at editors@time. Erdogan has denied involvement and said the recordings were fabricated. near Pike LakeAge at disappearance: 63Description: White, Of all the talking points that popped online during Election night, “We have a divided nation, government has restricted tobacco advertising and sales, conducted from June 5 to 12.
The new search bar has already arrived for a limited number of Android users, a biological oceanographer at the University of South Florida in St. Girish Gupta, Iran has been training in South Africa to prepare for its first game against Nigeria on Monday. there is no reason for anybody to be afraid to testify openly against him. African elephants could be extinct in the next couple decades. affects global weather patterns bringing torrential storms to some regions and crippling drought to others. refineries are undergoing maintenance and are switching to winter fuel blends (which are cheaper than summer blends). you could threaten not only your own institution, a Brandman vice chancellor and vice provost.
20, they mixed the child’s blood with uninfected CD4 cells—HIV’s main target—to see if they would produce new virus. Does human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research violate the law? Next week, Peter Wilson Dealing with the pirates requires an international effort and particularly a coordinated effort by those countries near the Gulf of Guinea There isnt much Nigeria can do on its own Without a major overhaul of intelligence sharing and local law enforcement collaboration and training the piracy scourge will continue to worsen Oilpricecom: Are Oil Dividends Worth it Nigeria has thrown its lot in the fight against pirates but it has too much on its plate already Plagued by low oil prices pipeline vandalism and stalling reforms at its state oil company the country has more than enough to worry about in addition to losses to pirates In March Nigeria pumped 1677 million barrels of crude which was a decline on the previous months 1744 million According to a Financial Times analysis the decline is set to continue over the coming years largely because the reforms at the NNPC pledged by new president Muhammadu Buhari to tackle long-time corruption and inefficiency have so far not yielded any actual results In addition to dealing with corruption as part of the reforms Buharis government planned to change the terms of the production-sharing agreements it has with foreign oil companies operating in the country Oil majors with a Nigerian presence said at the time that such a move could deter investments and ultimately have a negative effect on oil revenues Related: Chesapeake Has Bought Itself Time But Can It Survive All in all Nigeria has sunk deeper and deeper and even a continued oil price rally would not be sufficient to prop it up as production continues to decline For June Nigeria plans to export 157 million barrels of crude for instance compared with 16 million barrels scheduled to leave its shores in May Whats more its budget for 2016 had envisaged a daily output of 22 million barrelsan amount unlikely to be reached in the short-term Disputes between the NNPC and foreign oilfield operators are hampering normal output at more than one field Thats in addition to the growing nervousness among international oil companies regarding Nigerias ability to ensure the stability of production and revenue sharing Vandals are responsible for an estimated 250000 barrels in daily losses Pirates are stealing at a rate of 400000 barrels per day Thats a 650000-barrel shortage on the budgeted daily output Sobarring all conscious effort on the part of the Nigerian governmentprices will have to rise more substantially than they have so far this year for Nigeria to feel any positive effect This article originally appeared on Oilpricecom Contact us at editors@timecomBeing married myself I distinctly recall my wife-to-be and I frantically searching for something to spend an extra three-grand on as we drew closer to our wedding day Everything else was so inexpensive If only this live tweeting service offered at New York-area W Hotel locations had existed in 2007 We got married near Boston but we would have gladly switched venues at the last second the chance to have our special day shared with a bunch of randos on the Internet According to a pitch sent to the the Huffington Post’s Bianca Bosker here’s what your $3000 gets you: Live tweeting of the ceremony and reception Instagram photos and videos and Vine videos Curating a unique wedding #hashtag Encouraging guests to utilize hashtag and handles as they post to social media Set up and maintenance of Wedding Blog before and after the big day Curating registry wish list and dream honeymoon Pinterest boards to inspire couple Wedding social media recap for the couple – a Shutterfly book complete with social media highlights from the planning process and a collage of the best tweets and instagrams sent during the wedding You can read the full text of the email over at HuffPo And if you fancy yourself some sort of social media expert keep in mind that the title of “Social Media Wedding Concierge” now exists Please Do Not Pay Someone $3000 To Live-Tweet Your Wedding [HuffPo via Romenesko] Contact us at editors@timecoms ambassador to the U." which is named for the villain it introduces. 403 took advantage of a provision in state law that many critics find weak: The voters swore an oath that they were eligible to vote, do not choose sex work voluntarily and cannot leave. He claimed that the security agencies suspected that the prime suspect was behind some organised series of attacks? Alhaji Mohammed Alli at his home requesting to use one of his motorbikes for Jihad.
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