Lucca bids San Francisco adieu

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter The line at Lucca Ravioli Co. at 9:30 this morning wasn’t all that long. But, then again, there wasn’t all that much to buy. That was jarring on this, Lucca’s 34,439th and final day. Lucca was, for decades, a place of plenty: a menagerie of exotic tins and dried goods; a canopy of salamis dangling from the ceiling; piles of salads and pickled goods and meats behind the display case; a wall of bread; a platoon of workers outfitted in uniforms from a time before style; and a freezer case full of Lucca’s famed raviolis. Today, though, there was a dessicated-Soviet-department-store feeling here. There were large bare spots on the shelves — shelves you get the feeling had been obscured from customers’ peering eyes by cans and packages since Francesco Stanghellini first opened the doors here on Jan. 15, 1925. And now they’re selling the fixtures. You could walk off with the cash register if you wanted — and had $1,000 to plunk down. (As for the not-quite-actual-size mural of Italy on the ceiling, you’ll have to make an offer: The Mission has been through any number of iterations, but Lucca remained a constant. It held court at Valencia and 22nd, and even stayed in the same family — current (and final) co-owners Michael Feno and Cathy Immel are Stanghellini’s great-nephew and great-niece — and kept doling out old-world fare to a changing neighborhood. “When I came to America from Peru when I was six, my dad brought me here. I brought my son here. And my grandson,” said Enrique Barreto, while a store worker quietly slipped a bottle of “cooking oil” he’d left on the counter into his bag. “I’m gonna miss this place. Miss it, miss it, miss it, miss it.”Jorge Molina first set foot in Lucca in 1966. He was here to see it out on his last day. And he wasn’t alone; he ran into friends he hadn’t hugged for years. Lucca was a centering point for a neighborhood that increasingly has none. “There’s a sense of camaraderie with a place like this,” said Molina, also a Peruvian immigrant. “There’s a sense of connection. To Italy. Or to San Francisco.”  Throughout Lucca’s last day, the counter workers dutifully called out the numbers, cycling from 00 to 99 again and again and again. That’s how it was here every day. Until Feno decided to call his own number and close up shop. Lucca co-owner Michael Feno, who has been working here for 53 years, poses in the deli’s kitchen on its last day. Photo by Jorge Molina.Because this is a gentrification story. In San Francisco, gentrification is a bit like the prosciutto they sold here at Lucca — it gets into everything. But this is not the kind of gentrification story you’d think it is. Since Lucca was the kind of place where vegetation on a sandwich was considered an extravagance and you had to slather the mustard on the bread yourself, it’d be easy to assume that some dollar-driven landlord decided the highest and best use of this land was not moving boxes of ravioli for nine bucks a pop and gave them the heave-ho.  But that’s not what happened here. The Feno family was prescient. Obtaining property in San Francisco requires a boatload of cash or a time machine, and the Feno family bought this place aeons ago. In fact, they bought a whole complex of buildings in the vicinity, as well as the lot where they proudly offered free parking for customers.    In August, they put that lot on the market for $3 million. By the time they’re done selling its adjacent buildings and the Lucca building itself, the family could pocket upwards of $8.2 million more. Lucca isn’t being chased out of the neighborhood. For the potential dozens of tenants residing in its properties, however, this is your standard gentrification tale. It would take a special sort of ingrate to bemoan the loss of a parking lot in favor of a five-story housing structure, but three buildings housing a number of tenants are also up for sale here. And the marketing material is unsubtle about what a savvy buyer might have in mind for them: “Staggering upside in residential rents, current rents are approx. 131% below market, portfolio wide.” There is real sorrow in losing a Mission District institution, and many a San Francisco Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner will, soon, be depleted of its de rigueur ravioli or sausages. And that’s a shame for everyone who visited today, or anytime during the last 94 years, three months, and 16 days. But it’s a different thing to have insecurities over whether you’ll have a home in which to prepare those raviolis or sausages.In the mid-1960s, a bar called The Northern Club was situated in what was, until today, Lucca’s kitchen. This painting of a cowgirl in the storeroom is all that remains of an even earlier dance hall. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.Michael Feno sat among the bare shelves and empty ravioli boxes in the room adjacent to the last Lucca lunchtime crowd. This is a room that was never empty. But now it was. “The last time I remember seeing it like this was when The Northern Club” — a bar — “closed in the mid-1960s,” he says. “We didn’t put our money in the bank. We put it in here,” he continues with a sweep of his arm across the former pantry. It was a poignant moment and a poignant day. But it was time. Feno has been coming here for 53 years. He and his sister Immel are fourth-generation owners. “It was time to remodel the place. And we’d have to do the seismic work and the Americans With Disabilities Act upgrades, and that’d be all my retirement money and I’d be working till I’m 85.” “It’s sad,” he admits. “But it’s been a long time coming.”Dutiful grandson Tito Correa carries one final box of Lucca Ravioli Co. fare for his grandmother, Cathy Kornblith. She used to make him salami sandwiches and pack them into Giants games at Candlestick Park. Photo by Joe Eskenazi.All the while, in the background, numbers were bellowed out — sixty-seven! Sixty-eight! — and customers scrambled to grab what they could. By mid-day the crowds had grown large, and questions about whether any particular items were available were uniformly answered with a polite, but curt, “If you don’t see it, I don’t have it.” Men and women clambered through the crowd with brown cardboard boxes of goods held over their heads. Flora Campoy struggled to lift a four-foot-tall bottle of chianti (“I always wanted one of these”). Former Giants great Will Clark dropped by for one last shopping trip, as did actor Danny Glover. They took a number and waited with everyone else and were patiently told that “If you don’t see it, I don’t have it.”  At 1:56 p.m., the doors closed one last time. The final patron was John Williams, a 57-year-old city native. As a child, he used to make faces through Lucca’s window to tease the men making the raviolis, and they’d return the favor by flinging raviolis at him. This morning he and his roommate, Dawn Cato, were on a flight out from Vegas to be here; they’ll stock up one once more for good measure and head back tomorrow. “There are a lot of connections here to my inner child,” said Cato with a sigh. “So many Christmas and Easter meals.” On Wednesday, co-owners Feno and Immel will be far away from Valencia and 22nd. She lives in Santa Cruz and he’s planning to unwind at his small farm in Sebastopol — “I’ve already got three cases of water there.” Come tomorrow, Lucca will be a memory. If you don’t see it, they don’t have it. center_img Email Addresslast_img read more

Crowdsourcing Justice

first_imgAtes at his wedding, on April 5, 1997, at Faithful Missionary Baptist Church, in Dallas.Courtesy of Kim Miller-Ates Last Name Recently Ed pulled out some of his prison lists and read them over. He’s been able to check off most of his goals. Some, such as getting a driver’s license, were easy. Others, like smiling, he’s had to work at. The thing Ed wants the most, though, isn’t on any of his lists. “I want my name back,” he had said in 2018, while still behind bars. “I want this mark off me, this stripe off me. I want to be able to talk to people without them saying, ‘That’s the guy in prison for killing that lady.’ ”Exonerations take a long time, even when backed by an army of Innocence Project lawyers and well-intentioned podcast listeners. Clayton began the process in 2016 and eventually convinced the Smith County DA’s office to join her in filing a motion in 2017 for DNA testing of twenty crime scene items, including scrapings from underneath Griffin’s fingernails, rape kit swabs, and the substance from Ed’s shoe. Unfortunately for Ed, most of the biological samples were so old and degraded that they revealed only one full profile: Griffin’s. The exception was the semen stain, which unquestionably came from Moseley.And the shoe debris—the substance that 26 years ago led investigators to believe Ed had been inside the trailer the night of the murder? DNA testing revealed that it belonged to an unidentified male. Not only was the tiny trace never proven to have been human feces, it had nothing to do with Elnora Griffin.Clayton is now trying to track down the crime scene fingerprints so they can be analyzed using modern software and then plugged into a current database. She is also planning to challenge Ed’s conviction under a 2013 state law that allows a court to grant relief in cases based on faulty forensic science. Clayton would like to debunk the state’s feces theory once and for all—and exonerate Ed while doing so.She’s had offers of assistance from an unlikely source: David Dobbs. In 2016 Dobbs received an email from Ruff laying out his reasons for believing Ed is innocent and asking for an interview. Dobbs responded, “Is this the Bob Ruff who called me a psychopath?”Dobbs, who left the DA’s office in 2000 and now has his own personal injury practice, told Ruff to give him some time to look into the case. If Ed was innocent, he said, he wanted to help, possibly by assisting the current DA in tracking down and questioning Moseley, Walker, and Johnson.“I’m open to the possibility that he may be innocent,” Dobbs said in June. “Anytime you have a circumstantial case without any conclusive forensic evidence, there’s that possibility. But this is not a clear case of ‘He’s innocent.’ We have work to do to investigate that. I feel a responsibility to do what I can.”Ed is skeptical of Dobbs’s intentions. He knows there are many reasons that people get sent to prison for something they didn’t do. In his case, as in most wrongful convictions, it began with a deeply flawed investigation, with deputies focusing on one suspect to the exclusion of others. (Neither Hukill nor Waller responded to multiple interview requests.) But Ed thinks that the main reason he spent twenty years in prison is the prosecutor who sent him there. “Once Dobbs saw that none of the evidence pointed to me, he should have left it alone. Then he came over to the jail and talked to Kenny Snow, who was a known snitch. And they believed what he said!”Ed’s not the only one who thinks Dobbs was trying to win his case at all costs. During Ed’s second trial, Victor Sirls, an old friend of Ed’s who had also been in the jail cell with Snow, was subpoenaed by Ed’s team to testify. The day before his scheduled testimony, Sirls said that Dobbs summoned him to a vacant jury room. “He said if I testified for Ates, they’d get me,” Sirls recalled. “Dobbs said if I fucked this case up, he’d fuck my case up—those were his exact words.” (Dobbs denied this.)Many others have complained about Tyler prosecutors over the years. In 2000 the Houston Chronicle ran a front-page story on the Smith County justice system, in which defense attorneys claimed that the DA’s office would do anything to win a case. “It’s simply a pattern of lying, cheating and violations of the law by Smith County prosecutors that wouldn’t be tolerated in Harris or Dallas County or any of the other, larger offices in the state,” said Houston attorney Paul Nugent, who represented Kerry Max Cook. A principal tactic, critics charged, was making secret or implicit deals with jailhouse informants like Snow, which are required by law to be revealed to the defense. Dobbs, quoted in the story, denied all allegations.Dobbs recently contended that you can’t look at Ed’s case—or any other from that era—in isolation. In a conservative, pro-law-enforcement community, he said, he was doing the job voters expected of him. “It was the nineties, the war on crime. We were doing cases on the fly.” That decade saw Texas send more people to prison than any other state—and Smith County contributed its fair share. In the months before Ed’s second trial, Dobbs was juggling three other murder cases. In his twelve years, he would try at least fifteen death penalty cases and win all but one. “As a DA,” he said, “you’re like Mel Gibson in Braveheart, swinging your sword all the time. You can’t stop and look closely at a tree. You’re always under siege.”It wasn’t a war to Ed, at least not at first. To Ed, it was a bunch of men with badges who seemed determined to prove he was a brutal killer. “They didn’t care about anything,” he said recently, “as long as there was a conviction.”He spoke on a Sunday in late May, as he and his family were preparing to go to a Memorial Day crawfish boil at a cousin’s house.“They had their minds made up as soon as they heard I had been in prison in Oklahoma. All they had to do was look at it a little closer, do a little more investigation, and it would’ve made a big difference.”He paused. “I’m never going to get those years back. I’m going to live for today, make every day count.” At the party, he would see family members he hadn’t seen in decades, and he was eager to get going. “I’ll never get those years back,” he said again, “and I’m not going to even try.”This article originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Crowdsourcing Justice.” Subscribe today. In the long period between Ates’s arrest and his first trial, he met and married his wife, Kim Miller-Ates. Courtesy of Kim Miller-Ates Enter your email address Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly If you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. Leave them blank to get signed up. Yet one hundred miles away in Tyler, the DA’s office was working in earnest to try him again. After the mistrial, Gohmert had scheduled a hearing for a second trial, and investigators, hoping to find Ed’s DNA profile at the crime scene, had conducted DNA testing for the first time on some crime scene hairs. None, though, proved to belong to him. Then, two weeks after Ed’s wedding, on a day he was supposed to appear in Gohmert’s courtroom for another pretrial hearing, he was instead waiting in the Dallas County jail, having been mistakenly arrested on a warrant for one of the old Smith County misdemeanor theft cases that had already been disposed of. Gohmert revoked Ed’s bond and had him transferred to Tyler and put behind bars.Sitting in a crowded cell, Ed met a man named Kenneth Snow, an ex-con and professional boxer who was charged with two robberies, including one in which he was accused of beating up a man. Snow had once been a contender for the middleweight crown, and he still had dreams of climbing back into the ring. The two jailmates became friends, playing Spades and sharing the Kools that Ed’s grandmother had bought him. After Ed bonded out, Snow, still in jail, would even call him at home. By then Ed and Kim had purchased a small brick house in a new subdivision in southeast Dallas.When Ed went on trial again, in August 1998, his lawyers still thought the state didn’t have much of a case. Kim, five months pregnant with their second child, initially didn’t even join Ed in Tyler, but when he told her there were no black jurors (Dobbs had struck six African Americans from the jury pool, in a city where one in four people were black), she became worried. She took time off from work, left Kyra with her parents, and drove to the Tyler courthouse. This time prosecutors had a secret weapon: Ed’s new friend Kenny Snow, who was still awaiting trial for the robberies. Ed stared in disbelief as Snow, who had a reputation as a snitch, testified that Ed had tried to get him to lie on the stand and point the finger at someone else. Snow swore that Ed had paid him to tell authorities that he’d overheard another inmate, a man named Frances Johnson (an acquaintance of Ed’s who had dated Griffin), confess to attacking her. Snow said Ed had even written out a script for Snow. “He gave it to me to memorize it,” Snow testified. Instead, Snow sent the script to the DA, and a handwriting expert verified that it was written by Ed. On the witness stand, Snow denied that he’d been promised anything by prosecutors for his testimony.Although the state couldn’t put Ed at the crime scene forensically, Dobbs and a fellow assistant DA presented Ed’s lie about his alibi and investigators’ observations regarding the handprint on the towel, the position of the car seat, and the candy wrappers. The prosecutors hit Ed hardest when it came to the alleged feces. Despite the FBI agent’s conclusion that the smudge on Ed’s shoe was merely “protein of human origin,” Dobbs used the term “human feces” six times in closing arguments alone. “Liar sitting over there with human feces on his shoe and no explanation for it,” he declared. Ed’s lawyers tried to show that Snow was an untrustworthy jailhouse snitch, making him read a letter he had written Dobbs from jail. “I think I could be the best informant that ever come out of Tyler, Texas,” he’d proclaimed. They emphasized that none of the hundred-plus hairs, blood, semen, fingerprints, or cigarette butts tied Ed to the crime scene—they also pointed out that he had no scratches or blood on him or any motive to kill Griffin. Moseley was a much better suspect, they said. Again, the jury took a long time and was deadlocked 10 to 2 after two days, in favor of guilt. Again, Ed was offered a plea bargain, and again he turned it down. But on the morning of the third day, August 13, 1998, the two holdouts changed their minds, and the jury found Ed guilty. According to a local paper, when the verdict was read, “A cry went up” from Ed. He was sentenced to 99 years. Kim, weeping, watched as her husband was handcuffed and taken away.At the H. H. Coffield Unit, near the town of Tennessee Colony, Ed spent much of his free time doing what he did best: playing basketball. One day a friend confronted him. “All you do is play basketball,” he said. “Get your ass up—we’re going to the law library.” His friend showed Ed how to search for his case, and in mid-2000, Ed saw that his appeal had been denied earlier that year. He began spending every day in the library, researching, and after Texas passed a law giving inmates the right to petition for DNA testing of evidence, Ed did so, asking that everything at the crime scene be tested, not just the hairs.He fell into a routine, getting up at 5 a.m., working on a road crew. Later he served as a cook and a groundskeeper. He learned to keep his emotions in check, to not show any weakness. He avoided trouble and developed a reputation for toughness on the prison basketball courts, living up to his new nickname: Big E.Back in Dallas, Kim was struggling to raise Kyra and the new baby, Zach, by herself. She sold their home and moved in with her parents and would bring Kyra and Zach to visit their dad every two weeks. On the long drive to Tennessee Colony, she would tell them how their dad was in prison for something he didn’t do. When they arrived at the prison, the kids toddled to Ed, who got to hold them for an hour or two. But it crushed him when he had to return to his cell. The kids didn’t understand why their father couldn’t come home with them, and as the years crept by, the visits became harder for all of them. Zach, especially, started getting resentful. Like his father, Zach was passionate about basketball, playing every day. But unlike his friends’ dads, Ed never came to his games or his birthday parties. “When are you coming home?” he would ask over and over. Kim finally stopped talking about Daddy—it was too sensitive a topic—which made her even more depressed.The kids didn’t understand why their father couldn’t come home with them, and as the years crept by, the visits became harder for all of them.Kelvin visited Ed for a while too but couldn’t bear to hear his brother called “convict.” He hated seeing the grimace on Ed’s face when he would head back to his cell after a visit. So Kelvin stopped making the trip.Ed never heard from the attorney assigned to him for his DNA claim, and in 2006 his grandmother hired two Houston lawyers, father and son Randy and Josh Schaffer. Randy had a long history of freeing the wrongly convicted, and to him, Ed’s case had all the earmarks of a bad conviction: an entirely circumstantial case, no DNA, no eyewitnesses, no confession. What had sent Ed to prison, it seemed to the Schaffers, was Snow’s testimony.And now the lawyers had a secret weapon of their own. Snow had been released from jail three months after Ed’s trial, but he eventually fled the state and was arrested for violating his probation and brought back; in 2004 he was sentenced to forty years. While in prison, Snow got a message to Ed’s new lawyers: he had lied on the stand.Snow’s betrayal of Ed, as he swore in an affidavit, was especially treacherous. Snow said that, while in jail, he had overheard a conversation between Ed and Frances Johnson, the man who’d dated Griffin, in which Johnson admitted to being in her trailer the night of her murder. Johnson said he grabbed a knife and “wore her ass out.” Ed asked Snow to help him out, and Snow agreed to recount the conversation to Ed’s lawyers, who then informed the trial judge about the new witness at a pretrial hearing. But two weeks later, Snow claimed in the affidavit, prosecutor Dobbs visited him in jail. “Dobbs told me that if I testified for Ates, the state would not help me with my cases,” Snow said. “They told me that I would never box again unless I helped them convict Ates.”After Ed was convicted, Snow pleaded guilty and was given ten years’ probation—even though with his record he would have likely received 25 years to life in law-and-order Smith County. (Indeed, the judge told him she had never granted probation in a case like his, “where there is violence and kind of an anger that is of some concern to me.”)This, Josh Schaffer thought, was a classic case of a favorable deal with a jailhouse snitch that was hidden from defense lawyers, violating a long-established constitutional rule that the prosecution must disclose everything that is favorable to the defendant, including evidence that demonstrated that a witness might not be credible or honest. In 2010 Josh filed a writ of habeas corpus—an appeal asserting a constitutional violation—with affidavits from Snow and his lawyer. Tyler judge Kerry Russell ordered a hearing. Ed was as optimistic as he had been in years. Kim showed up for the hearing, along with their children and her parents; all of them thought this was the answer to their prayers.At the hearing, lawyers battled over whether prosecutors had promised Snow a lighter sentence in exchange for his testimony against Ed. Snow’s attorney testified that there had been just such a deal, even if it wasn’t in writing and hadn’t been called a plea bargain: a violent habitual offender had received probation in Smith County after testifying for the prosecution, so, logically, some kind of agreement had been made. Dobbs maintained that there hadn’t been any kind of deal—not even a gentleman’s agreement—and denied everything else Snow had said.To Ed’s shock, Judge Russell sided with the state, finding “no credible evidence that the State had any agreement, unwritten or otherwise” and turning down his writ.Ed had one more shot. All around him at the Coffield Unit, men were being freed by post-conviction DNA testing. Ed felt certain that if all of the evidence in his case were tested, he would be exonerated. Though he had never received any help when he had asked for it before, he tried again, filing another motion for DNA testing with the court.Once again, he got no response. The months drifted into years, and Ed fell deeper into a pit of despair, angry at everybody. Every single thing that could have gone wrong in his life had gone wrong, he thought. He finally resigned himself to spending the rest of his days in prison. He wrote Kim and told her that maybe it was time she divorced him and moved on with her life. Bring the kids every once in a while, he asked, and make sure they see his mom and grandmother.Big E had shifted into survival mode, cutting off all hope. Only in his cell, behind an iron door, was he still Ed. He’d lie in the darkness and dream of his family: Kim, Kyra, and the son he barely knew.A thousand miles to the north, in rural southwestern Michigan, a tall, bearded fireman named Bob Ruff had troubles of his own. His marriage had fallen apart, and he was fighting for custody of his two kids. In his downtime, Ruff, 32, began listening to a comedy podcast, whose host would eventually recommend a true-crime podcast called Serial, a deep dive into a flawed murder investigation. In the fall of 2014, Serial had become one of the most popular podcasts ever, and Ruff decided to check it out. He loved the show and soon became obsessed with it, listening to episodes over and over, taking notes. He decided to start his own podcast, called The Serial Dynasty, and recorded it in a garden shed behind his house. It was, he would say, like a book club for Serial fanatics. Ruff was fascinated with the whole idea of solving crimes, and he invited listeners to email their theories. He also interviewed a former FBI profiler and a false confessions expert about the case. Ruff, who has a loud, resonant voice, was not a nuanced host; he didn’t use a script, just notes, and the result was emotional and fiery. He began picking up thousands of new listeners drawn by his passionate observations. After episodes, fans would visit his Facebook page and chime in.“I believe you’re an innocent man,” Ruff told him. Finally, Ed began to tell Ruff his story.In October 2015 Ruff renamed his podcast Truth & Justice, set up a GoFundMe account, and raised enough money for an actual studio. Soon he had more than 100,000 subscribers, whom he called the Truth & Justice Army. With a boom in true-crime podcasting, Ruff decided to change careers. He quit his job and became a full-time podcaster, selling ads to pay his salary. By then he had two new tattoos, large ones on his forearms: on his left, “Veritas,” Latin for “truth”; on his right, “Aequitas,” for “justice.” Now he just needed a case to investigate, and one of his listeners emailed about her uncle in Texas, a former boxer whom she said had been falsely convicted of two robberies. His name: Kenneth Snow.Ruff began investigating and thought there might be something to the case, so he traveled to Tyler to get court documents. He also spoke by phone to Snow, who told him he’d been released back in 1998 after he had testified at the trial of a man named Ed Ates. Snow claimed that, earlier that year, Dobbs and an FBI agent had visited him in jail and told him they were going to put him in a cell with Ed. If Snow didn’t get a confession, he’d get 99 years for the robberies; if he helped, he’d get probation. So Snow helped. Snow couldn’t be certain that Ed was innocent, he told Ruff, but he reaffirmed what he’d said in the affidavit: that he’d heard Frances Johnson say that he attacked Griffin.Ruff soon found his enthusiasm for Snow’s case dimming. Some of the things the inmate told him didn’t pan out, others couldn’t be checked, and ultimately there wasn’t a lot Ruff could do for Snow, who had pleaded guilty.But Ed was another matter. In January 2016, Ruff, still searching for a worthy case, sent him a letter. “My name is Bob Ruff,” he wrote. “I have a podcast, and I think I can help you.”By this point Big E was almost completely isolated from the free world. He’d had half his life taken—and all of his family. His father had died early in Ed’s time in prison, his grandmother had followed in 2014, and he hadn’t talked with his mother or his brother in a couple of years. Ever since Ed had urged Kim to divorce him, she had retreated from him as well. She had stopped writing letters and gone ahead and filed divorce papers. She visited only once a year, on Father’s Day, bringing Kyra. Zach, by then a moody adolescent, had ceased coming altogether.Ed had been scammed once before by someone who offered to help get him out of prison, and he didn’t trust anyone on the outside anyway. He threw Ruff’s letter into the trash.Ruff mailed Ed another letter saying he just wanted to talk, and he put money in Ed’s commissary account so the inmate could phone him. Ed called but nervously hung up before Ruff could answer. Then he called back. “I believe you’re an innocent man,” Ruff told him. Finally, Ed began to tell Ruff his story.Ruff liked Ed immediately. He spoke with an East Texas drawl and was laid-back and restrained, carefully keeping his anger in check. The two chatted again a week later, and Ruff recorded the conversation. In the next episode of Ruff’s podcast, titled “Hope,” he played the interview, immediately followed by Adele’s heart-tugging ballad “Hello,” performed by a Zimbabwean singer. Then listeners heard a conversation Ruff had had with Snow. “I would like to tell Mr. Ates that I’m sorry for what happened,” Snow said. “If I can help in any way I can, I will be at peace with myself.” Ruff alternated the soaring, sentimental music with the apology. It was maudlin, over-the-top. Listeners loved it.Soon Ed was calling Ruff every Tuesday morning at ten, giving more details of his life and his time in prison. He began to feel comfortable enough to reveal his festering anger. “Fuck Kenny Snow!” he’d say when Ruff brought him up. “David Dobbs can go to hell!” An energized Ruff contacted Mike Ware, the executive director of the Innocence Project of Texas. Ware said he’d be happy to look into Ed’s case but that he needed trial transcripts. So in April, Ruff returned to Tyler, armed with a portable scanner given to him by a listener. It took him five days to make copies of 27 volumes. He shared many of the documents, as well as crime scene photos, on his website.He made more trips to Texas, learning the basics of the criminal justice system and researching other wrongful conviction cases from Smith County, including that of Kerry Max Cook, the Tyler man tried multiple times for murder, who spent almost twenty years on death row before being freed, in 1997. The more Ruff researched, the more he learned about Ed, this supposedly brutal killer. For example, Chris Scott, a fellow inmate who was later exonerated, told Ruff, “He’s friendly, he don’t want to fight nobody, he don’t want to be a part of nothing physical.”Ruff was basically crowdsourcing an investigation—“Two hundred thousand minds are better than one,” he said in an episode—and doing so in real time, week after week, asking listeners for help. He did this by posting on Twitter and Facebook, where the podcast fan page had 6,500 active users leaving 20,000 comments a week. A serologist examined data from a 1993 report on blood found under Griffin’s fingernails and said she thought there were two different types. Amateur photo enthusiasts tried to discern a footprint in the alleged feces clump in the kitchen. When Ruff needed help figuring out who had a certain unlisted phone number, a listener volunteered to go to the Kilgore city library and pore over old phone directories. Ed explained to Ruff two of his case’s biggest mysteries. Yes, he had lied about how he got to Bush’s apartment: he had taken his grandmother’s car that night to visit his girlfriend, something he wasn’t supposed to do and didn’t want his mother (who was sitting next to him in his interview) to know. Ed wasn’t scared of the deputies or worried what they would think, since he had nothing to do with the murder. He was scared of his mom, a cocaine addict who had shot her two former husbands—and would later, during a drug-fueled argument, shoot Kelvin in both legs. Also, Ed told Ruff that the “script” Snow testified about was actually a page of notes Ed had written to send to his lawyers after his conversation with Johnson. It later vanished from the cell, and he eventually figured out that Snow had taken it.Ruff relentlessly attacked the state’s case. He described how Hukill had homed in on Ed from the start, while failing to follow up on other suspects. In addition to Moseley, Griffin had been dating Johnson and a third man, and neither was ever interviewed. Hukill never checked Moseley for scratches or blood, as he did Ed. Waller and the other investigators never measured the large handprint on the towel. No one ever photographed the position of the car seat. Though the car radio was tuned to KZEY, which played hip-hop, the station also played gospel music.Ruff became increasingly incensed about the Smith County criminal justice system. He recorded several episodes on Cook’s case and implied that Dobbs (who had also prosecuted Cook) was a psychopath. “I will not rest until you are behind bars for your crimes against humanity,” Ruff intoned. He suggested that Hukill and Waller weren’t just incompetent—they had framed Ed. “The Smith County justice system has destroyed countless lives,” he thundered.In May 2016 the Innocence Project of Texas agreed to take the case, and Ed got a new lawyer, Allison Clayton, who began visiting and writing him. Usually the lawyers at IPTX have to spend hundreds of hours doing tedious legwork—getting transcripts, doing interviews, asking experts how a test works, checking out possible leads—but Ruff and his army had already done much of it. IPTX also typically has to scrape together funding for its investigations, but the army helped there too. When Ruff put out a request for help to pay for possible DNA testing, listeners ponied up $7,000. So many of IPTX’s clients were lost in the prison system. Though Ed had once been forgotten himself, he was now one of the lucky few.From left to right: Ed’s children, Zach and Kyra Ates; his attorney with the Innocence Project of Texas, Allison Clayton; his wife, Kim Miller-Ates; and Truth & Justice podcast host Bob Ruff.Courtesy of Bob RuffWhile Ruff was investigating Ed’s case, he also got in touch with Kim, who by then hadn’t seen or spoken with her husband in a year. Like Ed, she was initially skeptical. She had no idea what a podcast was, but when Ruff told her, “I believe your husband is innocent,” she burst into tears. This was the first time she’d heard anyone outside her family and Ed’s lawyers say that.For years Kim had been imprisoned in her own dark place, raising two kids while working full-time. She never thought her husband was guilty; he was a gentle giant, she’d say. She wished he would smile more, but he was no killer. In some ways she loved him now more than ever—he was the father of her children, and her whole life was built around Kyra and Zach. But she also thought he was never coming home. Kim, who smiles easily, rarely told anyone of her inner struggles. Sometimes the despair would get so heavy that she would steal away to the restroom at work to cry in one of the stalls.Kim felt terrible about not visiting, even though he had urged her to stay away. Her first question to her husband was “Can you forgive me?” Of course, Ed replied.She had tried to move on, and even though she had filed divorce papers, because of an error, she hadn’t received a notice to appear in court. She could have followed through to nail down a court date, but she never did.Now she thought God had been guiding her hand all along. A week after Ruff called, she went to visit Ed and found a different man. He was no longer alone in his fight; besides talking with Ruff every week, he had been getting letters from the podcast’s listeners, sometimes as many as ten a day. And he was really happy to see her. She felt terrible about not visiting, even though he had urged her to stay away. Her first question to her husband was “Can you forgive me?” Of course, Ed replied. He wanted his family back.They began talking more, and they broached the concept of his actually coming home one day, which until then they hadn’t allowed themselves to even imagine. “What do you want to do?” Kim asked. “I just want to go to work, come home, sit on the couch, and be with my family,” Ed answered. He started making lists of resolutions, just in case he ever got out:Stop using cuss words.Smile.Get my driver’s license.Take care of my wife and kids.Have a conversation with my son and daughter, make sure they aren’t upset at me.Tell my family I love them.At night Ed would pull out his lists and go over them, memorizing and planning. After a summer visit from Kim, Ed told Ruff he hadn’t felt so good in years. Though deep down he was still angry—sometimes he would gripe to Kim when she said, “I know what you’re going through”—he was tired of being that way. He wanted to change.Ed had gone up for parole twice but was denied both times. To be released, an inmate must usually show remorse for his crime and take responsibility for it, but Ed wouldn’t cop to something he didn’t do. He became eligible again in March 2018, and Ruff and Clayton set out to make sure this time would be different.Ruff asked listeners to send letters, and they flooded him with hundreds. He winnowed the stack to fifty and sent them to Clayton, who passed them on to the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Ruff sent his own letter about Ed, as did Kim. “After twenty years apart, I still love my husband, and I’ve built a home for him to come home to,” she wrote. “The kids and I want him here, and we will support and encourage him every step of the way.”Ultimately, Ed needed the approval of two out of three commissioners in the parole board office in nearby Palestine. Clayton asked for help from experienced parole lawyer Roger Nichols, who, working pro bono, presented the case to one of the commissioners on March 27. Another commissioner interviewed Ed the next day. Toward the end of that meeting, Ed would later recall, the man said, “What I’m getting is, you didn’t do this.” Usually it takes two to three weeks for the board to make their decision public, but Ed was granted parole the next day. When Clayton heard, she immediately called Kim, who was at work. “Ed made parole,” she said through tears. Kim had to excuse herself and walk outside, where she started crying and hollering, “I knew he was coming home!”On a muggy morning in early September 2018, Kim drove her kids to Huntsville, where Ed had been transferred prior to his release from prison. She wished she could’ve brought Margie too, but Ed’s mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s, had killed herself the previous summer. By the time the Ates family arrived, there was a crowd of fifty people standing vigil, waiting for Ed. Many were women from East Texas, though one had traveled from California, another from Arkansas. Most of them were strangers, but they had seen one another’s photos on the Truth & Justice Facebook fan page. They couldn’t believe that Ed was getting out—and that they were going to witness it. A few carried hand-lettered posters that read “We stand with Ed” and “Welcome home, Ed. Love, the T & J Army.”Ruff was there, and he greeted Kim, Kyra, and Zach with hugs and tears. This was a huge day for Ruff, the end of a remarkable campaign. Podcasts had barely existed ten years before, and Ruff knew, as did everyone else in the crowd, that Ed would still be stuck behind bars if Ruff hadn’t started one and found an army of followers. Like a few other podcasts—Serial, Empire on Blood, In the Dark—his had successfully drawn attention to a questionable conviction and actually helped free someone. In addition, Ruff had raised more than $35,000 from listeners to help Ed get back on his feet.Bob Ruff prays with Ed’s family and some of his supporters while waiting for Ed’s release, in Huntsville, on September 5, 2018.Photograph by Michael HallKim looked around at the crowd. “I don’t think he’s ready for this,” she said. More than anything, she was concerned about how her reserved husband would deal with the world—in particular his family. She was desperate for him to feel at home. “You have to communicate with us,” she had told Ed. “Especially me.” She knew she could be pushy, but that was the only way her family had survived for this long. She also knew Ed was still angry and that she would have to help guide him, to find a way to not let his bitterness consume him.Kim watched her kids talk to members of the crowd. Kyra, 23, is like her mother, expressive and quick with a hug, and was laughing with total strangers. Zach, three years younger, is like Ed, reserved and stoic. He stood alone, nervous about reuniting with his father, whom he had never seen outside prison walls.Finally, a little past noon, someone called out, “I think I just heard the gate open,” and everyone stood up and looked across the street. A tall, bald man was walking down the sidewalk. A few people cheered. Ed, wearing a large plaid shirt, baggy pants, and black Crocs, ambled across the street, some yellow envelopes in his right hand, his left arm swinging wildly. His head shone in the sun.He looked nervous, and as he hit the other side, Zach emerged from the crowd and walked toward his father. Ed seemed about to shake his son’s hand, but Zach opened his arms, and the two men fell into each other, son burying his head in his father’s shoulder. The crowd sniffled in the heat. “Don’t leave me again,” whispered Zach. “I won’t,” his dad responded. When Ed unwound himself from Zach, he went to Kim and held her for a long time. Then he hugged Kyra, who was crying openly.After that, Ruff approached. “Hey, brother,” he said, and the two men embraced. He was followed by a succession of pen pals and total strangers. Ed, who wore a half smile, seemed happy but overwhelmed. “I love you, sweetheart,” said one as she hugged him. “I’ve been praying for you,” said another. All Ed could do was say, “Thank you,” occasionally adding, “It means a lot.”Kim drove the family back to Dallas, with Ed in the passenger seat. They held hands most of the way. Ed often turned to look back at Kyra watching TV on her laptop and Zach playing with his smartphone. Now fifty, he had seen modern technology like that only on the prison TV, in shows and commercials where kids sat in backseats glued to their devices while the parents sat up front—and now he was living it. They stopped for gas at a Buc-ee’s, and Ed was dumbfounded at the rows of automatic toilets and faucets in the men’s room.When Ed walked into the Cedar Hill home that Kim had bought in 2006, he couldn’t believe the high ceilings, the luxurious brown couch, the big-screen TV. Kim had assured him that it was his home too, but he was having a hard time accepting it. There were photos of her and the kids everywhere; he was present in only a couple of prints, from their wedding.The first thing he wanted to do was take a shower and put on his own clothes—Kim had recently gone shopping for him—then eat a seafood platter. Since parole restrictions barred him from going to a restaurant, Kyra fried a plate of catfish filets. Other family members and friends began arriving—a cousin from Tyler with her kids, a cousin from Dallas, Kelvin and his son, and Ruff. Ed ate nine filets.The next morning, he woke up at 5:30 and opened Zach’s door. “Zach,” he said, “what are you doing?” Zach, who had been sound asleep, sat up groggily. “Nothing. What are you doing?” His father replied, “I just came to check on you.” Ed checked on Kyra too, waking her up. Soon everyone was in the kitchen making breakfast. Later that day he walked from room to room, as if making sure everything was real.Kim drove him to check in with his parole officer. He had to report every Tuesday morning and submit to a weekly urinalysis (he’s not allowed to drink). He wore a GPS monitor, which went off if he ventured beyond the property lines at an unscheduled time. He had to clear every move in advance, whether it was going to church or going shopping with Kim.Ed and Ruff at Ed’s home on the day of his release.Courtesy of Bob RuffRuff stuck around for a few days. “I ain’t never had a lot of friends,” said Ed. But the two had an easy rapport and sat on the couch talking like old Army buddies, watching TV, discussing football. They stayed up late one night preparing a slab of ribs; the next day they smoked them and had a cookout. Ed found himself touching Kim and the kids all the time. He also kept asking Kim for permission—to get some water, to turn on the TV. “This is your home,” she’d reply. “You don’t have to ask.”When they all went to church for the first time, Kim dressed them in varying shades of purple. Worshipping together was a dream of hers, something she had wanted to do for years. “We are a family,” she said. “We are one.”In Ed’s first weeks home, he established a new routine: rise at 5:30, brew coffee in his new Keurig machine, and putter around the house and backyard. On Saturday mornings he washed the family’s cars, going over every inch. He watched football and walked Charlie, the family’s Yorkshire terrier. If a picture needed hanging, Ed fetched the hammer. “He’d been dying to be a husband and a father for twenty years,” said Ruff, who talked with Ed weekly. “He finally had the chance.” Ed and Kim hosted several get-togethers for family and friends, where Ed did the cooking, as his grandmother did in the old days.“I’m never going to get those years back. I’m going to live for today, make every day count.”Kim had told him he could relax and take his time finding a job, but Ed didn’t want to sit around. Three weeks after his release, he was loading trucks at a UPS warehouse, and in November he was hired by the City of Dallas water department. By early 2019 he was part of a three-man crew inspecting sewer lines all over the city. He loved the work: driving the truck, maneuvering a robot, watching the monitor, reporting the results.In the months since, he has grown a light beard, which came in salt-and-pepper, and started wearing two square diamond earrings that Kim bought him. The family created a new photo wall in the house, adding pictures of all four of them—at church, at Christmas.Sometimes, though, Ed still finds himself eaten up by anger—that he didn’t get to see his grandmother and mother before they died, that he didn’t get to see his kids grow up. There were times in prison when he had trouble remembering the faces of his kids. It was terrifying and infuriating then—and is still. He knows that some freed prisoners have a hard time letting go of their bitterness. “I don’t want to live like that,” he says. “I’ve been mad enough.” He’s learning firsthand that freedom isn’t going to solve all of his problems.Ed had worried about bonding with his kids, mostly Zach. While Kyra sings in the church choir and is planning on going to medical school, Zach is very much his father’s son. He rarely smiles, and one of Ed’s hardest tasks since getting out has been establishing a rapport with him. It started off well: in September Zach took Ed to his driver’s test and, after he passed, asked whether he wanted to drive home. “I don’t know,” said Ed. “You can do it,” replied his son, and threw him the keys. When Ed mowed the grass, Zach, who never did yard work, brought out the Weed eater and joined him.But Zach, like many other twenty-year-old men, is still trying to figure out his relationship with his father, and the two sometimes butt heads. Ed is anxious that his son, who is so much like him, might make some of the same mistakes he did—or even get in some terrible trouble that isn’t his fault. In March Zach moved out and got a place with a cousin. Ed worried, but Kelvin reassured his brother. “He was raised right,” said Kelvin. “All you can do is let him go.” To Ed’s relief, six weeks later Zach moved back in. Late on a muggy friday night in July 1993, 25-year-old Edward Ates sat at the kitchen table of his grandmother’s house, talking with her about the dead woman next door. Ed’s brother, Kelvin, was there too, along with a friend. They lived in rural New Chapel Hill, just east of Tyler. That evening had been a terrible one. A few hours earlier, Ed’s grandmother Maggie Dews had discovered the body of a neighbor, Elnora Griffin, in her trailer. Griffin was naked and facedown on the floor, her throat slit to the bone. An investigator would later say that she had almost been beheaded.Ed hadn’t known Griffin very well. She was 47, a dainty, energetic woman who stood four feet four inches tall and barely weighed one hundred pounds. She had recently moved to tiny New Chapel Hill from Dallas; Ed had returned home from Oklahoma a few months earlier. Since then he’d made his living as a handyman and landscaper, taking care of several properties in the neighborhood, including Griffin’s. Sitting at the table, Ed recalled how he’d gone to her trailer the week before to see about clearing out a wasp’s nest in the back and had talked with her again just a day prior about doing some weed-trimming in the yard.Earlier in the evening, the Ates brothers and their grandmother had been questioned by various deputies from the Smith County sheriff’s office, who, after analyzing the crime scene, concluded that Griffin had been killed the night before. The investigators took statements from them, as well as from other neighbors, drawn by the lights and sirens, but nobody seemed to know anything—until a deputy talked with a friend of Griffin’s named Cubia Jackson, who said that she’d called Griffin the previous night, between 9:30 and 10:30, and asked what she was doing.“Well, I’m sitting here talking to Edward,” Griffin had said. Edward who? “Ms. Dews’s grandson.”Now, sitting at the kitchen table, Ed heard a knock on the door. He opened it to find three deputies, led by Detective Dale Hukill, who said they had some more questions for Ed. Would he mind coming down to the sheriff’s office? Ed said he would go, but first he wanted to talk to his mother, Margie Jackson, who lived nearby and had just phoned to say she was headed over. Margie was a boisterous woman; addicted to cocaine, she had plenty of experience with local authorities. When she arrived, she insisted on accompanying her son. Even without any physical evidence tying Ed to the scene, prosecutors felt they had a good case, especially with the charismatic Dobbs at the helm. One of Ed’s lawyers, Tom McClain, had worked in the DA’s office with Dobbs and knew what he was up against. “Dobbs tried a case as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen,” said McClain. “And he’s really smart.”At trial, Dobbs theorized that Ed killed Griffin, stepped in her feces, drove her car to his girlfriend’s, and returned home after midnight. The state offered no motive and indeed no proof that the debris on the bottom of Ed’s shoe or the clumps in her trailer were human feces. An FBI expert could determine only that the smudge on Ed’s shoe was “protein of human origin,” which could have been anything from sweat to spit. Although Ed had been in trouble with the law—besides his trouble in Oklahoma, he’d also been busted several times in Tyler for misdemeanor theft as well as for forging a check—he had no history of violence. The jury, which included two African Americans, couldn’t reach a unanimous decision and after two days was deadlocked at 8 to 4 for guilt. Finally, on the third day, Judge Louis Gohmert declared a mistrial.Ed thought that he had finally put his troubles in Smith County behind him. He asked Kim to marry him on Christmas Day. At their wedding the following April, Ed, a towering figure in a white tuxedo, danced with Kim to “For You I Will,” a soaring love ballad. “I will stand beside you,” sang R&B star Monica, “right or wrong.” This Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly Never Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. Far from home, Ed soon found himself in trouble again. As they had done in Tyler, he and his two roommates would buy stolen Calvin Klein shirts as well as toilet paper and deodorant. One day that October, Ed and one of his roommates were busted for concealing stolen property. Ed was also charged with stealing from a clothing store that had, strangely enough, been set on fire. Ed was charged with arson. He admitted to possessing stolen clothes but denied everything else.The local DA offered Ed’s lawyer a plea bargain: if Ed pleaded guilty to arson, burglary, and concealing stolen property, he would be sentenced to ten years but get out in two if he behaved himself. Ed mistakenly thought he was getting probation and took the deal. He was sent to a succession of reformatories and work camps, then was arrested again for trying to escape from one of them—another felony—though Ed insisted he and his fellow inmates had just gone across the street to play basketball. He finally wound up at a halfway house in Oklahoma City, from which he was released in the spring of 1993. He had spent almost four years in Oklahoma, most of them incarcerated. Now he had four felonies on his record.After interviewing Ed, Detective Hukill returned to the crime scene, where homicide detective Jason Waller and other deputies had been collecting hair, blood, and cigarette butts. It was past 1 a.m., and Hukill briefed Waller on his conversation with Ed. They began piecing together what they believed to be possible clues. There was a Jolly Rancher candy wrapper in Griffin’s bathroom garbage can. A pink bath towel was covering her front door window, and they discovered a large handprint on it, as if a big man had hung it there. Griffin’s white Mercury hatchback was parked closer to the trailer than a neighbor said she usually parked it, as if someone else had left it there. Inside the car, deputies found, the seat had been pushed all the way back, as if it had been driven by a tall man. The radio station was tuned to KZEY, which played rap music; Griffin, a religious woman, listened to gospel.Later that Saturday, Hukill and Waller were joined at the crime scene by a man named David Dobbs, the first assistant in the Smith County district attorney’s office and a rising star there. A boyish 31-year-old with curly, dirty-blond hair and piercing, pale green eyes, he would actively work with the deputies in the investigation, meeting Hukill at Bush’s apartment complex, where they found two men who said they recognized Griffin’s car from a photo and said it had been parked there the night she was killed. Ed, Hukill wrote later, must have driven it there.At least initially, Hukill had another suspect too, a man named Leonard Moseley, who’d been romantically involved with Griffin but lived with a woman, Angela Walker, with whom he’d had a baby. Moseley still saw Griffin for a regular late-night Thursday date, but he told Hukill he’d been at work on the night of the murder, then gone home. Walker backed up his alibi. During an interview with Moseley four days after the body was found, Hukill said he believed him. “I’ve got one particular person who told me where he was, what he was doing, and his story ain’t checking out,” the deputy told Moseley. “I don’t think you did it. I really don’t. Not at this point, especially because this other boy, this other thing is just, like, slapping us in the face right now.”That particular person was Ed, who was arrested on August 26 and charged with murder. A Tyler newspaper noted that Smith County had had seven murders so far in 1993, and arrests had now been made in each of them. Sitting in jail, Ed was confident that he wouldn’t actually be tried for the crime and felt all the more sure when investigators concluded their blood-typing, fingerprinting, and hair analyses. No physical evidence tied him to the scene. By contrast, though the medical examiner found that Griffin had in fact not been sexually assaulted, the second suspect, Moseley, couldn’t be ruled out by blood type as a “possible donor” of a semen stain found on a comforter. One of Ed’s court-appointed lawyers, Clifton Roberson, told him that the state didn’t have a case. Ed rejected a plea bargain of forty years.Judges and DAs in conservative Tyler were elected on promises to wage war on crime. Prosecutors plowed through cases, and they were particularly relentless with murders.It took Ed’s family another eight months to get him out on bond, but once free, he felt like his life might actually be turning around. He enrolled in trucking school—he liked the freedom of the road—and upon graduation got a job with a Tyler waste-management company. He bought himself a new pickup. And in October 1994 he went to a Halloween party and met a pretty young woman from Dallas named Kim Miller. Ed liked her immediately: she was smart and independent, a sociology student at the University of Texas at Tyler. In turn, Kim thought the soft-spoken basketball player looked a lot like Michael Jordan. The day after the party, he called her seven times.She thought he was joking when he said he had been indicted for murder. Ed would forget about it sometimes himself, especially since his trial date kept getting pushed back (both the prosecutors and the defense lawyers, busy with other murder cases, asked for postponements). The couple dated for a few months, and Kim got pregnant. She graduated in May 1995, and in October their daughter, Kyra, was born. Ed loved holding her before heading out to drive his truck. Kim eventually convinced him to move to Dallas, where her parents lived and where there were more opportunities for a college graduate.Ed landed a job driving a garbage truck. Meanwhile he was getting more and more notices to appear in court. He talked to his boss about taking some time off, and in July 1996 Ed went on trial for murder.For years, Smith County had been one of the most stringently law-and-order communities in Texas. Judges and DAs in conservative Tyler were elected on promises to wage war on crime, which meant punishing those they thought were guilty, protecting victims, and keeping the streets safe. Prosecutors plowed through cases, and they were particularly relentless with murders. In one notable example, beginning in 1978, they tried Tyler-area resident Kerry Max Cook three times for the same murder over the course of sixteen years; one attempt ended in a mistrial, the other two in guilty verdicts that were thrown out by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Ed Ates Wants His Name BackSep 4, 2018 Sign UpI agree to the terms and conditions. The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthly Related They arrived at the sheriff’s office in Tyler around 11 p.m. Ed had been questioned by law enforcement before; indeed, he had spent time behind bars. He was by nature a calm person, and that evening he’d also had a few beers. Now he told the deputies he didn’t think he needed a lawyer, even after Hukill told him what Cubia had said. Ed denied being in Griffin’s trailer that night.The deputies asked Ed to take off his shirt, and they checked him for scratches or blood; they checked his fingernails too, then asked him to take off his shoes. They found no blood, but when Hukill examined the sole of the left shoe, he noticed a trace of something stuck in its tread; he smelled it, then scraped it off and put it in a baggie. He told Ed he was doing this because deputies had found what they thought was feces in Griffin’s trailer, including a clump in the kitchen that appeared to have been stepped in. They believed she had probably been sexually assaulted or strangled, either of which could have led to her losing control of her bowels.At some point Ed went to the restroom. He often carried a few Jolly Rancher candies in his pockets, and now he ate one and threw the wrapper in the garbage can. Back in the interrogation room, he again denied having been in Griffin’s trailer that night and said he’d been at the apartment of his girlfriend, Monica Bush. She had come by to pick him up between 9:30 and 10 p.m., he said, and they’d sat around talking for a few hours. Hukill dispatched a deputy to call Bush and check out the alibi, but Bush contradicted Ed, saying he’d shown up on his own. Armed with this, Hukill confronted Ed again, certain that almost everything coming out of his mouth was a lie. What he’d wanted to do was play basketball. Ed was a muscular six feet seven inches tall, and with his size and strength, he had dominated games at Chapel Hill High School and the outdoor courts where he and his friends played. “He was a beast,” remembered Kelvin. Ed idolized Michael Jordan—his grace as well as his confidence on the court—and even resembled him. He wore only Air Jordans and dreamed of getting a scholarship to Jordan’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina, then joining the NBA.Ed, left, with his mom, Margie, and his brother, Kelvin, around 1975.Courtesy of the Ates familyEd’s parents had split up when he was young, and at first, he and Kelvin, two years younger, lived with their mom, who worked a variety of jobs in Tyler, including as a seamstress and solderer. But then she married a jealous and violent man who regularly beat her (Margie would later shoot him after he broke her jaw; he survived). He didn’t want Ed and Kelvin around, so they moved in with their father, Emerson, a reserved man who ran a nightclub (Margie had shot him once too).While still in elementary school, the boys began spending more and more time in New Chapel Hill with Dews, Margie’s mom. Eventually they moved in, and Ed became close to her, helping her take care of her garden and cook large dinners for family gatherings. He and Kelvin loved living in the country, where the pine trees hugged the roads and the land sloped down into the brush and creek bottoms. They fished often in those creeks, and they started working at a young age for a nearby rancher who had a couple hundred cattle. By age fourteen, Ed was baling hay, grooming horses, and riding four-wheelers through the meadows looking for stray calves. He was a hands-on kid, stoic like his father; if there was a job that needed to be done, he could do it.School, though, was another story. Ed wasn’t a good student and often got in trouble; he was suspended twice, once for fighting a white kid who called him a racial slur. He dropped out his senior year and joined the Gary Job Corps, a government job training program that took him to San Marcos. He returned to New Chapel Hill, got his GED, and played basketball in city leagues, entering tournaments and traveling to Houston, Dallas, and Austin. Sometimes he and his friends engaged in petty thievery—of candy or gasoline—and other times they bought new Nikes and Guess jeans from hustlers on the street.It was past 1 a.m., and Hukill briefed Waller on his conversation with Ed. They began piecing together what they believed to be possible clues.One afternoon at the courts, Ed’s old high school coach saw him and said that he could probably get a basketball scholarship at Western Oklahoma State College, in Altus, a small town in the southwestern part of that state. So in the fall of 1989 he drove to Oklahoma with two friends from Chapel Hill High who became his roommates. Left:In the long period between Ates’s arrest and his first trial, he met and married his wife, Kim Miller-Ates. Courtesy of Kim Miller-AtesRight:Ates at his wedding, on April 5, 1997, at Faithful Missionary Baptist Church, in Dallas.Courtesy of Kim Miller-Ates First Name Ed with Kim, Kyra, and Zach at their Cedar Hill home on June 1, 2019.Photograph by Matt Rainwaterslast_img read more

JAMES Roby says he is in good shape and ready to g

first_imgJAMES Roby says he is in good shape and ready to go as England prepare for their World Cup campaign.Steve McNamara’s side will face Australia, Ireland and Fiji in their Group A pool.“Every time I get picked for England it is a great honour,” he said. “It is obviously something different from being in a club environment and it makes a refreshing change to meet up new players from different teams. We have a good chance.“It’s been a tough year for me with injury but I feel I am in good shape. I’ve had ankle problems but on the flipside I’ve had a lot of rest as a result. Physically I am feeling fit and fresh and hopefully I can use that to my advantage.“I think it is definitely one of the strongest squads we’ve had for a while. There is strength in depth and there is an argument for a lot of the people that weren’t selected. That’s good for Steve McNamara as he has a lot of players challenging for places.“Now we have to go out there and give a good account of ourselves.”He continued: “Ever since it was announced that the World Cup would be in England I’ve been excited. Of course you concentrate on your club week in week out but it is always in the back of your mind because you have the desire to wear the jersey, represent your country and do everyone proud.“Now we are meeting up it is more real and the intensity will step up ahead of that opening ceremony.”Langtree Park will host Australia v Fiji on November 2 with an 8pm kick off. Adult tickets are available from just £10 with kids £5. You can buy here.last_img read more

Our game with Huddersfield on Sept 15 will featur

first_imgOur game with Huddersfield on Sept 15, will feature a period of reflection before the game, where names will be read aloud.Those names will also be listed on a special tribute in the matchday programme.If you have a family member, or friend, who has been a follower of St.Helens R.F.C. and has passed away in the last twelve months, then we would love to include them in this tribute.Simply email their name to our Club Chaplain, Paul Johnson, before Friday September 8 and they will be included.last_img read more

Monthly Goat Yoga classes now being offered in the Port City

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Downward facing dog? Why not downward facing goat?Some lucky people in Wilmington got to be a part of a growing national trend: goat yoga. Yes, it’s a thing.- Advertisement – The animals come from Be Life Farm in Bladen County and the class costs $20.Attendees are invited to set their mats down on the grass and perform poses led by an instructor, all while the goats roam around them.We’re told if a goat leaves droppings on your mat, that means good luck.Related Article: Carolina Soul Festival to feature wellness, music entertainmentMary Jordan and her family own the farm and she says they love seeing people smile and laugh during the class.“We have goats, horses, dogs. We just live and breathe these animals. They’re our family! We had friends kept telling us about goat yoga, ‘Y’all’ve gotta do goat yoga,’ and so we offered it last year out here and it’s taken off so much. We’re doing it once a month now for 2018,” said Jordan.They plan to hold the classes at the Tidal Creek Co-Op on the fourth Saturday of each month from now through May and the third Saturday of each month from June through December.last_img read more

NOAA forecasters expect 59 hurricanes this season

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Government forecasters expect a pretty normal hurricane season this year in the Atlantic Ocean with 5-9 hurricanes.NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 75-percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, which starts June 1, will be near- or above-normal.- Advertisement – Forecasters predict a 35 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season for the upcoming hurricane season, which ends November 30.“With the advances made in hardware and computing over the course of the last year, the ability of NOAA scientists to both predict the path of storms and warn Americans who may find themselves in harm’s way is unprecedented,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said. “The devastating hurricane season of 2017 demonstrated the necessity for prompt and accurate hurricane forecasts.”NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.Related Article: NOAA funds projects to reduce bycatch with engineeringThe possibility of a weak El Nino developing, along with near-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, are two of the factors driving this outlook. These factors are set upon a backdrop of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to hurricane development and have been producing stronger Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995.“NOAA’s observational and modeling enhancements for the 2018 season put us on the path to deliver the world’s best regional and global weather models,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction “These upgrades are key to improving hurricane track and intensity forecasts, allowing NOAA to deliver the best science and service to the nation.”You can learn more about this outlook and tips to prepare for hurricane season during the 2018 WWAY StormTrack 3 Hurricane Special, which airs Friday, June 1, at 7:30 p.m. on WWAY CBS.Get more information and track storms in the WWAY Hurricane Centerlast_img read more

Residents along popular Surf City shortcut begin enforcing tolls

first_imgA resident of Cedar Landing and Creek Estates near Surf City collects a toll from a driver (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Plenty of potholes and makeshift speedbumps dot Cedar Avenue and other rods in Cedar Landing and Creek Estates. It’s a popular shortcut to Surf City.Neighbors formed a road maintenance organization to fix the issues, but with extra traffic, it is becoming difficult for the residents to maintain the roads on their own.- Advertisement – “They miss all the stoplights and all that stuff by coming through here,” resident Roy Ward said. “The volume of traffic has gotten so bad that for us to maintain it with the meager funds we have, it’s just almost impossible now.”So now they’re asking tourists and other non-residents for a $5 toll at the corner of Cedar Avenue and Ashley Lane and the intersection of Landing Drive and Driftwood Drive.According to the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, there are no laws prohibiting the residents from charging a toll because it’s a private road.Related Article: The Bistro at Topsail closing permanently after Hurricane Florence“We’ll ask them to pay, and if they don’t want to pay and they refuse to move, then the sheriff’s office is aware of the situation,” Ward said. “All we have to do is call 911, and they’ll send a deputy out to get them out of the roadway.”The residents can press civil charges if a driver does not pay the toll.The residents met around 4 p.m. to decide if they would continue to enforce the toll for the rest of the afternoon.About 15 cars paid, 15 turned around and four went through the checkpoint without paying at last check.last_img read more

Fireworks store near NCSC line doing big business ahead of the 4th

first_imgLITTLE RIVER, SC (WWAY) — The parking lot at a fireworks store just over the border in South Carolina was packed Tuesday afternoon. As you could probably guess, there were plenty of cars with North Carolina license plates there.Stateline Fireworks is in Little River, a stone’s throw away from the North Carolina border.- Advertisement – The store’s owners say this week is their busiest of the year and 50 percent of their sales come from people in North Carolina.Employee Fred Smith says some people choose to have July 4th parties at home rather than deal with crowds. He says the store is happy to provide the entertainment.“You have a lot of people that come in that have individual parties, the neighborhood groups,” Smith said. “They buy a lot just for their neighborhood, show off. I don’t know, it’s just become a trend, I guess people love to shoot off firecrackers on the Fourth of July.”Related Article: Preparations for scaled-down Independence Day celebration at Camp Lejeune underwayEmployees say buying those fireworks in South Carolina is perfectly legal for those over the age of 16. If you bring them back into North Carolina, many that shoot up into the air like bottle rockets and roman candles are illegal to set off without a proper permit.last_img read more

WPD Wilmington womans body found in Cape Fear River

first_img Wilmington firefighters removed the body from the river. No foul play is suspected at this time.Clarke lived on a boat in the area. Cape Fear Marina (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department says a Wilmington woman’s body was discovered floating in the Cape Fear River Saturday morning.WPD spokeswoman Linda Thompson says a friend discovered 30-year-old Suzanne M. Clarke’s body near Cape Fear Marina at around 8:00 a.m.- Advertisement – last_img

Carolina Beach Police release new photos of robbery suspects

first_img (Photo: CBPD) 1 of 7 (Photo: CBPD) Police say the first crime happened on Thursday night, when the woman went to the Hardee’s in Carolina Beach. She handed the cashier a note demanding cash. The woman took off when the cashier went to alert coworkers.On Friday, a man robbed the First Citizen’s Bank in Carolina Beach. He also handed the teller a note demanding cash.If you recognize the truck of the people in these photos, contact Carolina Beach Police at (910) 458-2540. You can also call their anonymous tip line at (910) 458-1246. (Photo: CBPD) (Photo: CBPD) CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Carolina Beach Police have released more surveillance photos they hope can help identify the man and woman linked to a bank robbery and an attempted robbery.Police say the suspects were seen driving away in a back Ford F150 truck with a German Shepard in the back of the truck. (Photo: CBPD) – Advertisement – (Photo: CBPD) (Photo: CBPD)last_img read more

Overflo raises more funds for Florence victims

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Local businesses are trying to find unique ways to continue to support local charities in desperate need. Saturday, 2nd street was overflowing with music, drinks and family fun.Downtown Wilmington independent business owners joined together to support local charities including Nourish NC, Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, The Good Shepherd, The Salvation Army, Random Acts, The Harrelson Center and others.- Advertisement – Coordinator Beth Crookham says if you spot an Overflo sticker in a downtown restaurant window that’s your chance to participate and support that businesses fundraising initiative whether it be a special discount or donation opportunity.“A bunch of downtown independent business owners said how do we do something to help and how do we pull our voices together to do something bigger than we can do on our own and so today is our music overflow,” said Beth.The concert features performances from six local bands including Phantom Playboys, The Ratchet Brothers, Jim Quick and Coastline, Onward, Soldiers and The Dung Beatles.Related Article: Update on utility outages across Brunswick CountyCrookham says all of them have offered their time in support of those affected by Hurricane Florence.last_img read more

Wilmington fire crews responding to apartment fire Tuesday

first_imgWilmington Fire Department. (Photo: Monique Robinson/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Fire Department is responding to a fire at an apartment complex this morning.Assistant Chief of Operations Tom Robinson said were dispatched to residential structure fire at 719 Indica Court, apt. 101 just before 7:00 a.m.- Advertisement – Robinson said crews arrived to find light smoke coming from front door. He said there was a fire on the stove due to cooking with extension to the over-stove microwave. He said the fire was extinguished by the sprinkler system. The fire was extinguished by 7:05 a.m.There was no other damage to the apartment. Crews remain on scene to remove smoke from the apartment.Robinson said there are no injuries to residents or fire personnel.last_img read more

Paulinho moves back to China

first_imgPaulinho joined Barcelona last summer but has decided to move back to Guangzhou Evergrande where he enjoyed two successful seasons before moving to Spain.The move come as a surprise since the midfielder managed to win La Liga and the Copa del Rey with Barcelona. In total he managed 49 appearances for the Spanish side, scoring nine goals and adding a further three assists in all competitions.Paulinho was part of the Brazilian team that reached the quarter finals of this year’s World Cup but suffered elimination at the hands of Belgium following a 2-1 loss at the Kazan Arena.Brought to you by Hublot<a href=”;cb={random}” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb={random}&amp;n=a01a3708&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}” border=”0″ alt=”” /></a>WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

HAMILTON Cheltenham Festival Debrief

first_img[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ere are the key notes from our Hamilton Festival Preview Evening held at Hamilton Racecourse on Friday 7 March.On the panel:Panel host Gordon BrownIan Taylor Garry Owen Daily RecordIan Robinson owner imperial commander and many othersMark Howard RUKBrian Hughes jockey yes again!Trevor Harris Star SportsEd Watson journalistDon’t forget to check out:STAR SPORTS CHELTENHAM PREVIEW EVENINGS CLICK HERESTAR SPORTS CHELTENHAM PREVIEW VIDEOS CLICK HERESupreme Vautour very positive. Splash of Ginge ewArkle two runners Champagne Fever good fav Trifolium solid alternativeChampion Gary Owen very sweet on Our Conor (charity bet ) rest even splitNeptune massive positive for Faugheen. Rathvinden ew alternative. David Pipe was on telephone link. Red Sherlock his best chance of FestivalRSA negative Ballycasey. Good message for Don CossackChampion Chase general view it’s a shocking renewal Hinterland got a favourable ew mentionJLT Irish dark horse Djakadam got a good mention. General view it’s a very decent renewal and wide open although Ed Watson very keen on Felix YoungerRyanair First Lieutenant very popular but participation in doubt. Gold Cup ?Again Annie Power the overwhelming World Hurdle vote. A steering jobTriumph Garry Owen all over Guitar PeteAlbert Bartlett Briar Hill preferred to Kings Palace in a perceived matchEqual confidence in front two in Gold CupWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more


first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Saturday 7 NovemberRACING1.55 AintreeJoin The Clan 12/1 > 6/13.25 KelsoClan Legend 16/1 > 13/23.30 DoncasterSeamour 7/1 > 5/1FOOTBALLChampionship12:30 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / Sky Sports 5 / Sky Sports 5 HD13/8 Huddersfield Town 15/8 Leeds United 11/5 DRAWPremier League12:45 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 1 HD / BT Sport Ultra HD13/10 AFC Bournemouth 9/4 Newcastle United 5/2 DRAWPremier League17:30 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD3/1 Stoke City 21/20 Chelsea 12/5 DRAW(All prices subject to fluctuation) What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img read more

Novelist Hinojosa to Celebrate Nuestra Palabra at Rice

first_imgAddThis Share CONTACT: David Medina PHONE: (713)831-4700 NOVELIST HINOJOSA TO CELEBRATE ‘NUESTRA PALABRA’ ATRICERolando Hinojosa, a leading Hispanicnovelist whose memorable characters often populate a fictional county in theLower Rio Grande Valley, will read from his works and interact with students atRice on April 14.Hinojosa, the Ellen Clayton Garwood Professor of English andCreative Writing at the University of Texas&endash;Austin, will be joined bylocal writers celebrating the one-year anniversary of “Nuestra Palabra: LatinoWriters Having Their Say.” Nuestra Palabra is Houston’s first regular readingseries for Latino writers. The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at1 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, in Hamman Hall. It is sponsored by Rice and theRobert Foster Cherry Endowment.“Along with Tomas Rivera and Rudolfo Anaya, Rolando Hinojosawill always be remembered as having written literature for ‘la causa,’ for theChicano Movement, for all those writers yet unborn, who would some day needsomebody’s shoulders to stand on,” said Jose Aranda, a Rice assistant Englishprofessor. “Fortunately for us all, his shoulders have only gotten stronger overthe years.”Hinojosa will read pieces from his works, including the shortstory “The Gulf Oil-Can Santa Claus,” “A Remembrance of My Father,” and “The OldMan.” After each reading he will take questions from the audience.“I’m pretty wide open–no agendas,” the novelist said. “I tryto inspire [students] to write and to read more. I could not have written thismaterial if I had not come a from a family of readers.” Hinojosa is the author of numerous works of fiction, including “Estampas del Valle,” his first novel and the winner of the Premio Quinto SolBest Novel for 1972. His second book, “Klail City y sus alrededores,” receivedthe Casa de Las Americas Novela award in 1976. “Dear Rafe” won the Best Writingin the Southwest award in 1981. His most recent work published in 1998 is titled“Ask a Policeman.”He is a member of the National Research Council and a member ofthe College Board. He has been a member of the National Faculty since 1988. Heserved as a distinguished visiting professor at the University of California-LosAngeles in 1981 and at the University of Kansas in 1997.Other writers participating in the event are Tony Diaz, founderof Nuestra Palabra; Carolina Monsivais, a poet from the Latina Coalition; AlvaroSaar Rio, a fiction writer and actor; Sylvia Erhert, a poet; Sheldon Martinezfrom Writing About Reality; Sarah Cortez, a poet and a 1972 Rice alum; andRussel Contreras, a journalist.Rice University is a leading American research university,small, private, and highly selective, distinguished by its superior teaching,commitment to undergraduate education, outstanding graduate and professionalprograms, residential college system, collaborative and interdisciplinaryculture, and global perspective.###Editors: For more information about Rice University see: read more

Cementless fly ash binder makes concrete green

first_img scanning electron microscope image shows spherical particles in type C fly ash used by Rice University engineers to make cementless binder for concrete. (Credit: Multiscale Materials Laboratory/Rice University) Rouzbeh Shahsavari (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Share2NEWS RELEASEEditor’s note: Links to high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduCementless fly ash binder makes concrete ‘green’Rice University engineers use byproduct from coal-fired power plants to replace Portland cementHOUSTON – (June 18, 2018) – Rice University engineers have developed a composite binder made primarily of fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, that can replace Portland cement in concrete.The material is cementless and environmentally friendly, according to Rice materials scientist Rouzbeh Shahsavari, who developed it with graduate student Sung Hoon Hwang. A scanning electron microscope image shows spherical particles in type C fly ash used by Rice University engineers to make cementless binder for concrete. Courtesy of the Multiscale Materials Laboratory Return to article. Long DescriptionA scanning electron microscope image shows spherical particles in type C fly ash used by Rice University engineers to make cementless binder for concrete. Courtesy of the Multiscale Materials LaboratoryFly ash binder does not require the high-temperature processing of Portland cement, yet tests showed it has the same compressive strength after seven days of curing. It also requires only a small fraction of the sodium-based activation chemicals used to harden Portland cement.The results are reported in the Journal of the American Ceramic Society.More than 20 billion tons of concrete are produced around the world every year in a manufacturing process that contributes 5 to 10 percent of carbon dioxide to global emissions, surpassed only by transportation and energy as the largest producers of the greenhouse gas.Manufacturers often use a small amount of silicon- and aluminum-rich fly ash as a supplement to Portland cement in concrete. “The industry typically mixes 5 to 20 percent fly ash into cement to make it green, but a significant portion of the mix is still cement,” said Shahsavari, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering.Previous attempts to entirely replace Portland cement with a fly ash compound required large amounts of expensive sodium-based activators that negate the environmental benefits, he said. “And in the end it was more expensive than cement,” he said. Return to article. Long DescriptionA scanning electron microscope image shows raw, type C fly ash particles made primarily of calcium oxide as a byproduct of coal-fired power plants. Rice University engineers have made a cementless, environmentally friendly binder for concrete that shows potential to replace Portland cement in many applications. Courtesy of the Multiscale Materials LaboratoryThe researchers used Taguchi analysis, a statistical method developed to narrow the large phase space — all the possible states — of a chemical composition, followed by computational optimization to identify the best mixing strategies.This greatly improved the structural and mechanical qualities of the synthesized composites, Shahsavari said, and led to an optimal balance of calcium-rich fly ash, nanosilica and calcium oxide with less than 5 percent of a sodium-based activator.Long DescriptionRouzbeh Shahsavari“A majority of past works focused on so-called type F fly ash, which is derived from burning anthracite or bituminous coals in power plants and haslow calcium content,” Shahsavari said. “But globally, there are significant sources of lower grade coal such as lignite or sub-bituminous coals. Burning them results in high-calcium, or type C, fly ash, which has been more difficult to activate.“Our work provides a viable path for efficient and cost-effective activation of this type of high-calcium fly ash, paving the path for the environmentally responsible manufacture of concrete. Future work will assess such properties as long-term behavior, shrinkage and durability.”Shahsavari suggested the same strategy could be used to turn other industrial waste, such as blast furnace slag and rice hulls, into environmentally friendly cementitious materials without the use of cement.-30-Read the abstract at Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Multiscale Materials Laboratory(Shahsavari): Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering: https://cee.rice.eduRice Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering: https://msne.rice.eduGeorge R. Brown School of Engineering: https://engineering.rice.eduImages for download:Long Description scanning electron microscope image shows raw, type C fly ash particles made primarily of calcium oxide as a byproduct of coal-fired power plants. Rice University engineers have made a cementless, environmentally friendly binder for concrete that shows potential to replace Portland cement in many applications. (Credit: Multiscale Materials Laboratory/Rice University) Return to article. Long Description A scanning electron microscope image shows raw, type C fly ash particles made primarily of calcium oxide as a byproduct of coal-fired power plants. Rice University engineers have made a cementless, environmentally friendly binder for concrete that shows potential to replace Portland cement in many applications. (Credit: Multiscale Materials Laboratory/Rice University) A scanning electron microscope image shows spherical particles in type C fly ash used by Rice University engineers to make cementless binder for concrete. (Credit: Multiscale Materials Laboratory/Rice University) Return to article. Long Description Shahsavari (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to AddThislast_img read more

Rice expert available to discuss President Trumps visit to border

first_imgShareRice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsEXPERT ALERTDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduAmy McCaig713-348-6777amym@rice.eduRice expert available to discuss President Trump’s visit to borderHOUSTON – (Jan. 10, 2019) – As President Donald Trump heads to the U.S.-Mexico border to discuss his controversial plans for the construction of a wall between the countries, Rice University’s Tony Payan, an expert on issues related to immigration and border security, is available to discuss the visit. Return to article. Long DescriptionU.S. border fence near El Paso Texas that separates the United States from Mexico. Photo credit:, the Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and director of the institute’s Mexico Center, called the president’s Jan. 8 address to the nation about the border “a waste of nine minutes.” He said Trump focused on appealing to his political base instead of attempting to win over people who may be on the fence about the merits of a wall or connect with residents of border communities.“His speech relied on the same remarks about the need for a border wall he has used since his presidential campaign, including exaggerations and misstatements,” Payan said. “For example, Trump stressed the dangers of drug trafficking in his speech and said the opioid crisis is fueled by drugs that enter the country through the border. He didn’t acknowledge that the vast majority of these drugs enter the country at ports of entry, not in vast stretches between entryways where his proposed wall would be the primary defense.”Payan also said Trump’s characterization of the border as a dangerous place doesn’t resonate with people living there.“That may be convincing to people in West Virginia and western Pennsylvania, but it’s very difficult to make that case the closer you are to the border,” he said. “We know that in El Paso you can walk around at 3 in the morning, even in the darkest alleys, and you’re fairly safe.”Payan authored an op-ed on the topic in the Jan. 9 edition of the Houston Chronicle. It is available online at is available for phone or email interviews only. To schedule an interview, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777.-30-This news release can be found online at Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Tony Payan bio: link: credit: on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to you would rather not receive future communications from RiceUniversity2, let us know by clicking here.RiceUniversity2, Public Affairs – MS610 6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005-1827 United States AddThiscenter_img U.S. border fence near El Paso Texas that separates the United States from Mexico. Photo credit: read more

With 10 Million Alumni Gift Wharton Enters DeferredAdmission MBA Game

first_img Undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania will now have a unique opportunity to gain admission to the Wharton School MBA program as seniors in college thanks to a new program funded by a $10 million alumni gift, the Wharton School announced today. Named for Wharton alums and benefactors Ken Moelis and his wife, Julie Taffet Moelis, the new Moelis Advance Access Program is similar to the deferred-admission MBA program at Harvard Business School (HBS), which admits high-potential college students and reserves a place for them in a future MBA class pending successful completion of required work experience.Ken and Julie MoelisIn addition to giving Penn undergrads a jump start on the highly competitive MBA admissions process, the program will also provide support in the form of financial aid and a strong pre-MBA community for participants. Ultimately, Wharton plans to expand the program to include promising college applicants from other leading undergraduate institutions around the country and the world.“We strive to adapt and continue to draw the best and the brightest to Wharton, preparing them to become leaders and trendsetters in today’s rapidly changing environment,” Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett said in a statement announcing the new program. “Ken and Julie are helping us do just that—reimagining the Wharton Submatriculation Program so that it provides a new route to the Wharton MBA for outstanding undergraduates from all academic backgrounds, one that nurtures exploration, strategic risk-taking, and discovery, and enables our students to use their business education to change the world.” The ”Submatriculation Program” Garrett references is an existing program in which students complete their Wharton BS/MBA in five years—and from which Ken Moelis is a graduate. “In my personal experience as a submatric student, and now as CEO of a firm that recruits top MBAs from across the country, it is clear that ambitious students with unique aspirations do not always benefit from the one-size-fits-all track for MBAs,” Mr. Moelis said in a statement.Mr. Moelis earned his undergraduate degree in 1980 and his MBA in 1981 and later founded global investment bank Moelis & Company, where he serves as chairman and CEO. Mrs. Moelis is also a Wharton graduate, having earned her BA in 1981. “Julie and I are excited to unlock the potential of these students—to help them consider an expanded view of the fields that need their leadership and gain valuable, practical experience after completing their undergraduate degree and before starting their MBA.” The couple are also proud Wharton parents, the school reports.Thanks to the Moelis’s generous gift, participants in the preexisting Submatriculation Program will now share the title of Moelis Fellows with participants in this newly created program. That said, the Moelis Advance Access Program is distinct from the Submatriculation Program in several ways.How It WorksThe new program is open to all Penn seniors beginning with the Class of 2018, including undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Nursing, the Wharton School and all coordinated dual-degree programs, with applications due starting in March 2018 as part of Round 3 of the MBA admissions cycle. Those who are admitted will then enter the workforce for two to four years before returning to Wharton for graduate school. In this way, the program shares several similarities with HBS’s 2+2 Program.While obtaining work experience in any number of fields, Wharton Moelis Fellows will also benefit from being part of a community of other fellows—their future classmates—who will take part in professional development, mentoring opportunities and social events. And there is a financial component as well. Moelis Fellows will also be considered for a $10,000 fellowship each year during the two-year full-time MBA program in additional to other financial aid awards.The application process for the Moelis Advance Access Program is very similar to the regular Wharton MBA application process with a few exceptions. The application fee is lower ($100 compared to $265), Moelis Fellows need to indicate full-time job offers as part of their resume, letters of recommendation can come from professors as well as employers or supervisors, and candidates will take part in an interview with the director of the Moelis program. The required deposit for enrollment will also be split, with half due at the time of enrollment and half due upon matriculation. Just as regular MBA applicants do, Moelis Advance Access applicants will need to submit official schools transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, two essays and take part in the signature Wharton Team-Based Discussion (TBD) exercise.Wharton, for its part, hopes the introduction of the new program will help Wharton attract and retain even more of the talent that exists already within the university community. “Increasing access to a Penn education is a pillar of the Penn Compact 2020, and I am so grateful to Ken and Julie for creating innovative ways to expand educational opportunity through their amazing commitment,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann in a statement. “Ken and Julie are encouraging students to think early about their graduate degree, venture into diverse fields after graduation, and bring these robust, interdisciplinary experiences to their Wharton MBA journey.”Learn more about the new Ken Moelis and Julie Taffet Moelis Advance Access Program.This post has been republished in its entirety from its original source,  With $10 Million Alumni Gift, Wharton Enters Deferred-Admission MBA Game Last Updated Mar 29, 2017 by Staff WriterFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail regions: Philadelphiacenter_img RelatedTop Deferred Enrollment MBA Programs Geared Toward Younger CandidatesMost of the time, full-time MBA programs require work experience and, overall, class averages of professional experience are close to five years. Rarely are programs open to younger candidates who are still pursuing their undergraduate degrees. However, that all changes when it comes to deferred enrollment programs. These programs guarantee…March 7, 2019In “Advice”MBA Programs in Philly That Don’t Require Work ExperienceNot everyone comes from a traditional working background earns an MBA for the same reason. So, in the same ways that some MBA programs don’t require the GRE or GMAT score for their applications, some business schools are also willing to consider applicants with limited or no prior professional experience. Business…December 5, 2016In “Featured Home”RECAP: US News —10 MBA Programs With the Highest Signing BonusesIn this post, we’ll recap the 10 highest MBA signing bonus averages— a list of the U.S. business schools whose MBA graduates leave business school with both high-paying jobs and large signing bonuses.June 8, 2017In “Featured Home” About the AuthorStaff WriterView more posts by Staff Writer last_img read more

Home of Paul Manafort Raided by FBI

first_imgPaul Manafort during a round table discussion on security at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York on Aug. 17, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri) The home of Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, was raided by the FBI for tax documents and foreign banking records, according to The New York Times and The Washington Post.A spokesman for Manafort confirmed the FBI carried out the raid.“Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well,” said Jason Maloni, a spokesman.The search was carried out the day after Manafort met with staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 25.The search was conducted without advanced notice.It’s unclear what the documents entail.Correction: The article was updated to reflect that the raid on the home of Paul Manafort was not “predawn” as was incorrectly reported in media. US News Share Show Discussioncenter_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share this article Home of Paul Manafort Raided by FBI By Jack Phillips August 9, 2017 Updated: June 22, 2018last_img read more

Drone Footage Captures Damage From Hurricane Irma in Naples Florida

first_img Drone Footage Captures Damage From Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida By NTD Television September 11, 2017 Updated: September 11, 2017  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   A television drone hovered over a swath of Naples, Florida, on Sunday, Sept. 10, and filmed substantial flooding and damage from Hurricane Irma showing torn roofs, partially collapsed homes, streets and backyards overrun with water, and masses of scattered debris in what once was a scenic suburban neighborhood.The entire neighborhood surveyed by the drone appears completely deserted with only a lone car pulling up to a corner on one of the few blocks not inundated by the massive flood.Some houses appear completely ravaged, with their contents strewn out on the lawns nearby.Hurricane Irma tore through a large portion of Florida on Sunday with floods, damage, and powerful winds documented along its path.The eye wall of the storm passed over Naples with multiple videos showing fierce winds and rain pummeling the area. Downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, Irma flooded several northern Florida cities with heavy rain and high storm surge on Monday as it headed out of the state after cutting power to millions and ripping roofs off homes.Irma, once ranked as one of the most powerful hurricanes recorded in the Atlantic, hit a wide swath of Florida over the past day, first making landfall on the Florida Keys archipelago and then coming ashore south of Naples and heading up the west coast.Irma, now a tropical storm with sustained winds of up to 70 miles per hour, was located about 35 miles west of Gainesville and headed up the Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center said at 8 a.m. ET.The Cuban government reported on Monday that 10 people had been killed after Irma battered the island’s north coast with ferocious winds and 36-foot waves over the weekend. This raised the overall death toll from Irma’s powerful rampage through the Caribbean to 38.A partially submerged car is seen at a flooded area in Coconut Grove as Hurricane Irma arrives at south Florida, in Miami, Florida, U.S., September 10, 2017. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria) A partially submerged car at a flooded area in Coconut Grove as Hurricane Irma arrives in south Florida, in Miami, Fla., on Sept. 10, 2017. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)The sheriff’s office in Jacksonville, on Florida’s northeast coast, reported that it was making a rescue from waist-deep water on Monday morning and urged people to stay off unsafe roads. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the city, with nearby St. Augustine also seeing flooding.“Stay inside. Go up. Not out,” Jacksonville’s website warned residents. “There is flooding throughout the city and more rain is expected.”After what she called a terrifying night hunkered in her house in St. Petersburg, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, with her children and extended family, Julie Hally emerged with relief on Monday. The winds had toppled some large tree branches and part of a fence, but her house was undamaged.“My heart just pounded out of my chest the whole time,” said Hally, 37. “You hear stuff hitting your roof. It honestly sounds like somebody is just whistling at your window the whole night. It’s really scary.”Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Florida, U.S. September 10, 2017. (REUTERS/Stephen Yang) Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Fla., on Sept. 10, 2017. (Stephen Yang/Reuters)As officials and residents began to assess the damage around the state, Gov. Rick Scott said he would travel later on Monday to the Keys. Irma first came ashore at Cudjoe Key as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of up to 130 mph.“I’ve heard there’s some significant damage, right where the eye of the storm hit,” Scott told NBC’s “Today” show. “We’ll find out.”A large military airborne relief operation was being prepared to take help to the islands, which are linked by a dramatic series of bridges and causeways from Key Largo almost 100 miles southwest to the city of Key West, Monroe County, Emergency Director Martin Senterfitt told a teleconference.The state’s largest city, Miami, was spared the brunt of the storm but was still battered. Utility crews were already on the streets there clearing downed trees and utility lines. All causeways leading to Miami Beach were closed by police.On Monday, much of the state’s east and west coasts remained vulnerable to storm surges, when hurricanes push ocean water dangerously over normal levels. That risk extended to the coast of Georgia and parts of South Carolina, the hurricane center said.Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Florida, U.S. September 10, 2017. (REUTERS/Stephen Yang) Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Fla., on Sept. 10, 2017. (Stephen Yang/Reuters)As it traveled through the center of the state early on Monday, Irma brought gusts of up to 100 mph and torrential rain to areas around Orlando, one of the most popular areas for tourism in Florida because of its cluster of theme parks, the National Weather Service said.In Daytona Beach, on the east coast about 55 miles northeast of Orlando, city streets were flooded and emergency authorities carried out several water rescues, the Daytona Beach Police Department said on Twitter.Over the weekend, Irma claimed its first U.S. fatality—a man found dead in a pickup truck that had crashed into a tree in high winds in the town of Marathon, in the Florida Keys, local officials said.During its passage through the Caribbean en route to Florida, for days Irma was ranked at the rare top end of the scale of hurricane intensity, a Category 5. It carried maximum sustained winds of up to 185 mph when it crashed into the island of Barbuda on Wednesday.Ahead of Irma’s arrival, some 6.5 million people in southern Florida, about a third of the state’s population, were ordered to evacuate their homes. Some 200,000 were housed in shelters during the storm, according to federal officials.Reuters contributed to this report.From Share Share this article A boat rack storage facility lays destroyed after Hurricane Irma blew though Hollywood, Florida, U.S., September 10, 2017. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri) Show Discussion US last_img read more

Patient That Utah Nurse Was Protecting Has Died Police Say

first_img Patient That Utah Nurse Was Protecting Has Died, Police Say By NTD Television September 26, 2017 Updated: September 26, 2017 Share US News Nurse Alex Wubbels is shown during an incident at University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah in this still photo taken from police body-worn camera video taken July 26, 2017 and provided September 1, 2017. (Salt Lake City Police Department/Handout via REUTERS) The patient that Utah Nurse Alex Wubbels was protecting and was arrested over in a viral video last month has passed away, according to police.Rigby Police said in a Facebook Post that Reserve Officer William “Bill” Gray died from his injuries on Monday night, Sept. 25.“Some sad news has come across to us tonight, and we wish to say a few words about it,” the department wrote in a Facebook post. “Tonight, his body lost this fight. We would like to offer our condolences to his wife, April, and their loved one” the post states.Officer Gray was injured back in late July when a suspect fleeing from police crossed into oncoming lanes of traffic and crashed with the semi-truck that Gray was driving, Fox13now reported. The incident took place along U.S. Route 89 near Wellsville, Utah.Gray was taken to the burn ward at the University of Utah Hospital where he remained unconscious. In the now viral video, Nurse Wubbels can be seen refusing to draw Gray’s blood for Salt Lake City Police without Gray’s consent or a warrant.Detective Jeff Payne was the one who arrested Wubbles in the video that sparked outrage across the country. Rigby Police Department said that Bill Gray was always willing to help people out.“Bill was truly the best of mankind. Always willing to help, always willing to go the extra mile. Bill was a big man, with a bigger heart. Everything about him was generous and kind” the post said. “A man of selfless service. He was a man of kindness and heart, a man of dedication to not only his family but those in his community.”The post closed with the words: “Let us all remember Bill, and let us live by his example so that we too may brighten the lives of those we come in contact with. We Love You Bill. Rest easy. You will be sorely missed on the watch.”Recently, Payne announced his wish to personally apologize to Wubbles for illegally arresting her, according to his attorney.The shocking video that surfaced in August shows Wubbels explaining to police officer Payne the hospital policy stating that drawing a blood sample is not allowed without a warrant. Payne, who didn’t have a warrant, lost his patience and arrested the nurse.“Jeff would love the chance to sit down and apologize for what happened here,” Payne’s attorney, Greg Skordas, told CBS affiliate KUTV. “If he could do this over he would do it over differently.”Skordas assured reporters that he is not covering up his client’s wrongdoings.“There is no question that Jeff made a mistake,” Skordas told KUTV. “I can understand the public being upset—this was a troubling event.”Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Police Chief Mike Brown have both apologized for the incident.From center_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Show Discussion Share this articlelast_img read more

Woman Throws 6MonthOld Nephew Out of Window to Escape Christmas Eve Fire

first_img A woman threw her baby nephew out of a third-floor window while her family fled a Dec. 24 fire that destroyed or heavily damaged 17 units of an apartment complex.Ashley Yates was desperate as the fire left few exits safe. A stranger passing below told Yates to drop the 6-month-old after seeing she was in need of help, according to WYFF. The baby was safely caught by the man, who told Yates his name was Reginald, reported.“I was so terrified. He was like ‘Just get out. Throw him. I will try my best to catch him,’” said Yates, describing the critical moment, via WYFF.Yates also made her 9-year-old and 12-year-old daughters jump from the balcony before jumping herself. A firefighter brought her mother out of the building with a ladder truck, GoUpstate reported. Everyone escaped unharmed.“She just told me to jump because she would rather me jump out the window than get burned,” Yates’ daughter told WYFF. Fifty-four people had to leave the Crown Pointe Apartment Homes in Spartanburg, South Carolina because of the fire. They are now spending Christmas in the First Baptist Church Spartanburg, which is acting as a Red Cross shelter, according to“We were eager to provide a safe, warm refuge for these families in need,” said church member Lucy Sizemore, via “It’s heartbreaking these families have had such a loss at this time.”“It breaks your heart on Christmas Eve, but shows you how good people really are. We’ve had people bringing in towels and shoes and coats and they’re wrapping children’s Christmas gifts and whatever they need they come through with,” said Jeanna Knoll with the Red Cross, via WYFF.The fire started around 5:50 AM on the morning of Christmas Eve. Five local fire departments responded. Nobody died from the fire, but one person was taken to a medical center for smoke inhalation, according to The fire has been ruled an intentional act, but no suspects are in custody, WSPA reported.From Show Discussion  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Crown Pointe Apartments, the site of a Christmas Eve fire where 54 people were displaced in Spartanburg, South Carolina on Dec. 24. (Screenshot via Google Maps) Woman Throws 6-Month-Old Nephew Out of Window to Escape Christmas Eve Fire By Colin Fredericson December 25, 2017 Updated: December 25, 2017center_img US News Share this article Sharelast_img read more

Injured Student Sues School for Failing to Stop Her From Protesting Donald

first_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share US Recommended Video:Wranglers Wrestle With Alligator to Remove Eggs From Nest A California student has sued her university over what happened to her during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump.Mariana Flores, a sophomore at the University of California-San Diego, was protesting against Trump’s victory in the presidential race on a busy San Diego freeway when a car hit her.The accident crushed her pelvis and fractured her leg, among other injuries, according to the school’s newspaper.Flores’ personal injury and property damage lawsuit against the school says she suffered wage loss, loss of earning capacity, hospital and medical expenses, general damage, property damage, and loss of personal property as a result of the incident.The complaint says that the school did nothing to stop, control, or refrain the protest, which had been organized by students at the school.The protest started on the university’s campus in La Jolla after Trump gave his victory speech in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, 2016, reported the San Diego Union-Tribune. The protest eventually moved onto the southbound freeway, where a car struck Flores at 1:40 a.m. UCSD students blocked traffic to protest Donald Trump and a girl promptly got hit by a car— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 15, 2016 President Donald Trump departs the White House en route to Florida after signing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Dec. 22, 2017. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times) center_img Flores’ attorney Gene Sullivan told the school newspaper that Flores is responsible for the accident but claims the university is also partially responsible.“It’s a long-established rule that a university or any public entity has a duty to protect their students and have them be safe,” Sullivan said.“We think it’s a case of shared responsibility of the school, Maria and the driver, and we’re not saying that anybody is without fault or fault-free,” Sullivan added to the Los Angeles Times. “We think other people bear some responsibility as well.”The 46-year-old driver who hit Flores stopped after he hit her and was not suspected of drunk driving, reported the Tribune. It’s unclear whether he was charged with any crime. Show Discussion Share this article Injured Student Sues School for Failing to Stop Her From Protesting Donald Trump By Zachary Stieber January 8, 2018 Updated: January 8, 2018 From Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber last_img read more

United Airlines Flight Attendant Under Investigation Over What She Said on Plane

first_img Share this article Show Discussion United Airlines Flight Attendant Under Investigation Over What She Said on Plane By Jack Phillips May 6, 2018 Updated: September 27, 2018 A United Airlines flight attendant was allegedly drunk and cursed during boarding announcements, according to reports.“If your seatbelt isn’t tight, you [expletive] up,” the flight attendant reportedly said.According to The Telegraph, United Airlines refunded passengers on the plane, which was heading from Denver to North Dakota.Police in Williston, North Dakota, said they got a call from airport officials before the flight landed on Thursday. They said that an occupant was intoxicated and also had a medical condition.Police determined that the person was drunk. The investigation was forwarded to the FBI. “Drunk and disorderly – belligerent flight attendant,” one passenger wrote on Twitter, while noting the boarding announcement. The person added: “I went to the cockpit and talked to the captain and police were waiting when we landed.”“We are aware of a concerning incident involving a flight attendant serving on our regional service provider Trans States Airlines flight 4689. As a gesture of goodwill, we have compensated all customers aboard the flight and we apologize for any inconvenience or distress this may have caused,” United Airlines wrote in a statement, according to People magazine.A spokesperson for Trans States Airlines told the publication that the employee is currently being “held out of service” in the meantime.United Airlines has been under fire in recent months. A French bulldog, died on a United flight after it was booked into an overhead bin.The 9-month-old dog, named Kokito, stopped breathing on the March flight heading from Houston to New York, Fox News reported. A flight attendant told the owner, Catalina Robledo, to place the animal in the overhead bin rather than underneath the seat.The family that owned the dog is considering filing a lawsuit against United, according to lawyer Evan Oshan. They also want to know the name of the flight attendant whom they are holding responsible for the animal’s death.United, in a statement, announced that it will enact new policies “or pet air transportation to improve the safety of the travel experience.”A number of dog breeds will be banned from flying on United flights, the airliner stated. They include bulldogs and other short-nosed or snub-nosed dogs such as pugs. “Strong-jawed” dog breeds like the American Pit Bull Terrier and Mastiffs are also banned. Several breeds of cat were also banned. Recommended Video:Why is Falun Gong persecuted?  QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video center_img Share US News  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   last_img read more

Miracle Baby Buried Alive in Montana Woods for 9 Hours Saved by

first_imgPolice said that when Crowley, who seemed intoxicated, was located, he allegedly made statements that the child was buried somewhere in the mountains. Search and rescue officers and United States Forest Service officers came together to find the child.“After more than 6 hours of searching on foot, a deputy heard the faint cry of a baby,” police said in a prior statement. “He followed the sound and found the baby alive, face down, buried under a pile of sticks and debris.”Custody of the child was referred to the Division of Child and Family Services.On Sunday, Crowley was being held on $50,000 bail on a charge of criminal endangerment. The office said that other charges are pending.“On a more personal level, we want to take a moment to thank everyone who has played a role in this, even the smallest. Law enforcement officers can have a dreary outlook on life at times. Calls come in and you see people at their absolute worst day after day. But over the weekend, out of so much darkness came a little light. A baby was found … alive,” the office said in the statement.The office added: “For all of us at the sheriffs office, this is what we call a miracle. For the officers who were present for this event, it’s especially hard knowing what this small baby endured in the last 24 hours. Sheriff McDermott would like to thank those who assisted in the search and those who called 911, helping first responders bring this baby to safety.” Apple, iPhone, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. US News  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   ‘Miracle’: Baby Buried Alive in Montana Woods for 9 Hours Saved by Deputy By Jack Phillips July 10, 2018 Updated: July 10, 2018 Share this article A 5-month-old baby who was buried beneath a pile of sticks and debris in Montana was rescued at least nine hours later.Francis Carlton Crowley, 32, was arrested following the incident over the weekend, according to the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office.“Crowley will face felony charges after leaving a 5-month-old baby alone in the woods for at least 9 hours, possibly more, buried under sticks and debris,” the office said, adding that the child was found face-down in a soiled, wet onesie as temperatures hit around 45 degrees Fahrenheit.The child, according to the sheriff’s office, had minor scrapes and bruises but is in good health.Detectives are now investigating the matter, the office said. Share A 5-month-old infant with dirt under his fingernails.(Missoula County Sheriff’s Office) Show Discussionlast_img read more

OfftheGrid Dream Becomes Nightmare in New Mexico Compound

first_img Share AMALIA, N.M.—One of the leading members of a group prosecutors accused of abusing children at a New Mexico compound struggled with his plan to live off the grid after he underestimated a harsh mountain desert climate and settled on the wrong plot of land.Relatives and neighbors say things began to go downhill for Lucas Morton, 39, shortly after he arrived in this vast alpine valley about 40 miles (64 km) north of Taos in a white moving van last December.His brother-in-law Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, wanted in Georgia for child abduction, soon joined them together with his wife, sister and children.The families set up home on a 10-acre plot of land that was near to one owned by Morton, a carpenter, but which actually belonged to U.S. Army veteran Jason Badger. The vet filed a court complaint but the Morton and Wahhaj families stayed on the land.With snow and bitter north winds, the families began to suffer. At the suggestion of neighbors, Morton dug a hole and put a camping trailer in it to seek shelter.Land is cheap in the valley, around $850 an acre, but winter temperatures can drop to -30 Fahrenheit (-34 C). Attempts at communal living in northern New Mexico have struggled or failed, going back to 1970s’ communes. The adults and 11 children used wood to cook, hauled water from neighbors’ wells and got heat from propane heaters. Their shelters kept blowing away, a neighbor said.Morton was one of five adults arrested at the compound on Aug. 3 on child abuse charges and accused by prosecutors of giving weapons training to a child to carry out school shootings.No-one was specifically charged over the school shooting accusation and Defense Attorney Aleksandar Kostich told reporters that prosecutors had provided no evidence of the allegation, which came from a foster parent who is caring for one of the children.Morton was also charged with harboring a felon, Ibn Wahhaj, who was armed with an AR-15 rifle, five magazines of ammunition, and four handguns when arrested, according to police.Ibn Wahhaj is accused of abducting his seriously-ill, three-year-old son Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj in December from his mother in Georgia. On Monday a body, believed to be that of the boy was found buried at the compound, police said.Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe first referred to the suspects as “extremist of the Muslim belief,” but declined to elaborate when later asked about it by reporters.Public defenders representing the five adults, who are in Taos County jail, did not respond to requests for comment. Personal articles are shown at the compound in rural New Mexico on Aug. 10, 2018. (Reuters/Andrew Hay)‘Get out of Society’Morton and his 15-year-old nephew Mohammed last November attended a four-week, $2,500 course in Taos on how to build an “earthship” – an eco house made largely of earth-filled tires.“All they wanted to do was get out of society, get away, homestead and live a peaceful life by themselves,” said Morton’s father Gerard Jabril Abdulwali, 64.Inside Morton’s abandoned van at the compound, “I love my family” is written over hearts drawn on the first page of a notebook belonging to “Aisha,” one of his four children.There are signs the group made friends locally.A local man gave Morton hundreds of tires to build an earthship home. A neighbor gave him wood to build bunk beds, and another helped them hook up solar panels.These people said police drones began to circle the area in late May or June. Badger told local media he had earlier informed Georgia police that the abducted boy was at Morton’s home.In the next months the home began to look more like a compound. The families stacked tires around it and built what look like defensive walls. A 150-foot tunnel leads to what appear to be escape holes among sagebrush and chamisa bushes.“I got the feeling Lucas didn’t want what he was in anymore,” said neighbor Tyler Anderson, 41, a car-body technician, who showed Morton how to wire up solar panels.Anderson said near daily target shooting at the house stopped once the drones appeared.The arrests at the compound made one neighbor, who described himself only as “Quincy,” stand at his gate and cry.He and other locals disputed police reports the Morton and Wahhaj children were found ragged and starving. Cooking items are shown at the compound in rural New Mexico where 11 children were taken in protective custody after a raid by authorities near Amalia, New Mexico, August 10, 2018. (Reuters/Andrew Hay)“I made sure everyone in that place had shoes and clothes. They weren’t hungry,” said the man.Morton’s wife Subhannah Wahhaj, 35, regularly went grocery shopping with Quincy’s wife. Their last trip, was on Aug. 2, Quincy said. Police launched the raid the next day.By Andrew Hay Off-the-Grid Dream Becomes Nightmare in New Mexico Compound By Reuters August 13, 2018 Updated: August 13, 2018 US News Show Discussioncenter_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Share this articlelast_img read more

Burt Reynolds Mourned at Small Private Memorial in Florida

first_img NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla.—About 80 of Burt Reynolds’ friends and relatives shared memories of the late actor at a private memorial service.Reynolds’ ex-wife Loni Anderson and their son Quinton Anderson Reynolds were among the speakers at the Thursday service at Quattlebaum Funeral Home in North Palm Beach, Florida, a family spokeswoman, Cheryl Kagan, told The Associated Press.Reynolds died at age 82 on Sept. 6 at a hospital in Jupiter, Florida, and a death certificate issued Sept. 10 that was obtained by “Entertainment Tonight” said that he had already been cremated. Neither family nor officials have revealed a cause of death.Bobby Bowden, former longtime football coach at Florida State University, where Reynolds was a player, opened the service with a prayer and went on to tell stories from throughout the actor’s life.Anderson, who had a famously difficult divorce from Reynolds, shared happier moments from their 12 years together, calling their son Quinton their “greatest collaboration.”Other guests included Lee Corso, the ESPN football analyst who was a teammate and roommate of Reynolds in college, and former NCAA and NFL quarterback Doug Flutie. Audio of 911 call made from Burt Reynolds’ house:  Rewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video US News Sharecenter_img Burt Reynolds Mourned at Small Private Memorial in Florida By The Associated Press September 22, 2018 Updated: September 22, 2018 Show Discussion Share this articlelast_img read more

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first_img Show Discussion Share Share this article Health News  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   center_img FDA Cracks Down on E-Cigarette Makers to Discourage Use by Teens Agency proposes curbing the use of e-liquid flavors that could appeal to kidsBy Holly Kellum September 13, 2018 Updated: September 13, 2018 When smokers switched from traditional cigarettes to “heat-not-burn” devices, researchers didn’t find any evidence of improvements in lung function. (rolandmey/Pixabay) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requiring companies that produce e-cigarettes to come up with a plan within the next two months on how to prevent e-cigarettes from getting into the hands of minors.FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a speech on Sept. 12 that while he’s excited about the possibility of e-cigarettes being used to transition adults off of the more toxic traditional cigarettes, he’s alarmed by the uptick in their use by kids, mainly teenagers.“E-cigs have become an almost ubiquitous—and dangerous—trend among teens. The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we’re seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end,” he said.Between 2011 and 2015, e-cigarette use among high schoolers grew 900 percent, according to the U.S. surgeon general. Last year, an annual survey by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found e-cigarette use among teens declined, but showed that vaping, which includes e-cigarettes, increased slightly from a year earlier in most age groups.The plans that e-cigarette manufacturers must submit have to demonstrate how companies will  “convincingly” address the widespread use of their products by minors, Gottlieb said, or the FDA will “revisit” what enforcement actions it can take for products already on the market.“I’ve been warning the e-cigarette industry for more than a year that they needed to do much more to stem the youth trends. In my view, they treated these issues like a public relations challenge rather than seriously considering their legal obligations, the public health mandate, and the existential threat to these products,” he said. On Sept. 12, the FDA sent out warning letters to the makers of five e-cigarette brands that collectively make up more than 97 percent of the market: JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen, blu e-cigs, and Logic.“Let me be clear,” Gottlieb said, “this may require these brands to revise their sales and marketing practices, including online sales; to stop distributing their products to retailers who sell to kids.”The FDA, in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission, has already gone after companies marketing flavored e-cigarette liquids in packaging that resembles kid-friendly products such as juice boxes, candy, and cookies. And it’s looking into significantly curbing all flavored liquids. Gottlieb says the agency is now considering how it might implement such a policy.JUUL, which has received special attention from the FDA in its enforcement blitz, sent out a statement shortly after Gottlieb’s speech saying that it wanted to “be part of the solution” and that it planned to comply with the FDA’s new request. It also seems to want to be part of the decision-making process, if the FDA does limit the types of flavors that it can put on the market.“Appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch. By working together, we believe we can help adult smokers while preventing access to minors, and we will continue to engage with the FDA to fulfill our mission,” Kevin Burns, JUUL Labs CEO, said in a statement.Altria, which is the maker of MarkTen, posted on Twitter a link on Sept. 12 that directs to a page on its website that talks about the ways the company is working to prevent addiction in minors.“Manufacturers and retailers cannot address this issue alone,” the page indicates. “With federal regulation in place, the FDA has the opportunity to do more to address social source access and we encourage them to do so.”The FDA is also ramping up enforcement of sales to minors by sellers.Since June, the FDA has sent 1,100 warning letters to stores for the illegal sale of e-cigarettes to minors after a nationwide, undercover blitz of brick-and-mortar stores. In the same timeframe, it also fined 131 stores that continued to sell to minors after being warned.Gottlieb also put manufacturers on notice that they need to get serious about selling online to straw buyers who resell to kids.“If young adults go online and buy 100 units of a product to sell to teens, that activity ought to be easy for a product manufacturer to identify,” he said. “If the companies don’t know, or if they don’t want to know, that straw purchases are occurring, we’ll now be helping to identify it for them.”If the FDA finds that sites are selling to straw buyers, Gottlieb said FDA has both civil and criminal penalties at its disposal. Follow Holly on Twitter: @HollyGailK last_img read more

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first_imgQualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Hurricane Michael is now a Category 1 storm system and is tracking toward the northwestern coast of Florida, according to an 11 a.m. update from the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Oct. 8.The NHC has forecast that Michael is slated to strengthen and will bring heavy rains, damaging winds, and storm surge. There is a likely chance that it will hit the northeastern Gulf Coast by Oct. 10. The path of the storm could take it directly through Florida’s capital, Tallahassee.Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Oct. 7 declared a state of emergency for several areas in Florida and “also directed the Florida National Guard to activate 500 guardsmen to assist with planning and logistics, and to prepare for response in impacted areas.”Hurricane Michael's path to Florida and Alabama Hurricane Michael’s path to Florida and Alabama as of 11 a.m. on Oct. 8. (NHC)Currently, the storm has 75 mph winds and is 50 miles south of the western tip of Cuba and 140 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, the hurricane forecasting agency said.A hurricane warning is in effect for Pinar del Rio, Cuba, and a tropical storm warning is in effect for the Cuban province of the Isle of Youth and the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, including Cozumel. NHC is now forecast a major hurricane into the Gulf Coast — Florida panhandle. Michael at 105-knots would be disastrous well inland — including Tallahassee.Based upon satellite appearance of eye — Michael is blowing up — or rapidly intensifying.— Ryan Maue | (@RyanMaue) October 8, 2018 Share Show Discussion A hurricane watch is in effect for the Alabama-Florida border to Suwannee River in Florida. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Suwannee River to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay as well as the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border, according to the NHC.“Interests elsewhere across the southeastern United States should monitor the progress of Michael,” the agency warned.The NHC’s forecasted “cone of uncertainty” shows that the storm will hit Florida’s Panhandle region before going through Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.“The satellite presentation of Michael has continued to improve overnight and this morning, with the center well embedded within an area of cold cloud tops. An eye is becoming apparent in visible imagery,” reads a discussion from the NHC at 11 a.m.State of EmergencyScott’s office declared a state of emergency in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy and Citrus counties.“That means the Panhandle and Big Bend can see winds in excess of 100 mph. Remember, this storm could grow stronger and be a Category 3 hitting our state. This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous,” Scott said, according to ActionNewsJax.“Take this seriously and keep your family safe,” he also stated, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. “We know that a storm like Michael can be devastating and deadly.”NHC Director Ken Graham warned that Hurricane Michael’s winds could reach at least 100 mph or higher as the storm approaches the coast on Oct. 10.“We’ve got a few days to do that as this storm continues to strengthen,” Graham said. “Upwards of 100 mph winds, could be greater than that, Category 2 or Category 3, so we’ve got to be prepared for that. We are predicting a very strong hurricane to get into the Gulf of Mexico.” center_img Hurricane Michael Forms: Now a Category 1 Storm By Jack Phillips October 8, 2018 Updated: October 8, 2018  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share this article US News last_img read more

That remains to be seen Gramiccioni said in The

first_img“That remains to be seen,” Gramiccioni said in The New York Times. “But that is an option or an angle we continue to pursue.”“It’s important to emphasize that we have no reason to believe that anyone in the community is in any danger at this time,” he added, in The Associated Press, saying a medical examiner is still investigating the causes of death in the case.Keith Caneiro had operated Square One since 1987, and also had an active real estate license, reported. The Daily Mail said that Paul Caneiro was a partner with him in the tech firm.“They’re wonderful people,” Kevin Harrington, who lives across the street from the Caneiro family in Ocean Township, told the NY Times. “It’s pretty shocking stuff.”“Very nice, very friendly, anybody that you’d want to be living next door to basically,” one of Keith Caneiro’s neighbors told CBS News.Joy Gamache, a local, told the Asbury Park Press that “the lady” from the 15 Willow Brook was “so nice and beautiful.” She would regularly bring her kids over to see the horses.A neighbor told the Daily Mail they saw the couple at their Ocean Township home after the fire broke out.“‘He said it must have been a gas leak, he had tears in his eyes. Susan was devastated,” the neighbor said. “He said, “I’m in complete shock, I can’t believe this is happening to me. ‘They were here until about noon.’” NY News Neighbors told that Paul Caneiro appeared distressed, and had “tears in his eyes” when the fire broke out at his house before dawn. He stayed at the scene until midday before leavingFirefighters arrived at his brother’s $1.5 million mansion at around 12:45 p.m. according to reports.The Caneiro brothers both worked for technology firm Square One, where Keith was CEO.Earlier Update“One body, a man, was found outside the home, and the other three were recovered inside the home,” Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni told “Unfortunately, they were burned severely as a result of the fire.” Share We’ve learned though property records 50-year old Keith Caneiro owned the Colts Neck home with his wife. His social media accounts say he’s the CEO of a company named Square One. 2 kids and 2 adults were found dead at the home today. @NBCPhiladelphia at 11pm.— Aaron Baskerville (@ABaskerville10) November 21, 2018 QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Officials suspect the two fires are connected, but have not publicly explained how. No charges are filed in the homicides of Keith Caneiro. The brother of a technology firm CEO who was shot dead, and his family burnt in a New Jersey mansion fire, faces arson charges, media reports said on Nov. 21.Paul Caneiro, the brother of Keith, whose body was discovered outside the burning home with a gunshot wound, has been arrested and detained in Monmouth County jail. Caneiro is charged with setting his own home on fire in Ocean Township, New Jersey. The dead brother’s home separately burned down in Colts Neck, New Jersey.paul caneiro - monmouth Paul Caneiro, brother of Keith Caneiro, who was found dead outside his burning home with a gunshot wound, has been arrested and detained at Monmouth County jail. (Monmouth County)Caneiro, 51, is charged with aggravated arson in connection with the fire on Nov. 20.Although Caneiro is not charged with the fire in Colts Neck, ABC7 reported. According to, law enforcement sources claim he tried to set his own home on fire.  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Tech CEO Keith Caneiro, his wife, Jennifer Caniero, and their two children were found dead Tuesday after a mysterious shooting and fire at their mansion in Colts Neck, New Jersey:— Tom Cleary (@tomwcleary) November 21, 2018 Brother of Gunned Down CEO Is Charged With Arson By Jack Phillips November 21, 2018 Updated: November 21, 2018 Share this article Show Discussionlast_img read more

DETROIT—General Motors plans to lay off 14000 sa

first_img DETROIT—General Motors’ plans to lay off 14,000 salaried and blue-collar workers might not be as bad as originally projected.The company said Friday that 2,700 out of the 3,300 U.S. factory jobs slated for elimination will now be saved. Blue-collar workers will still lose jobs at four U.S. plants slated for closure next year, but most will be able to find employment at eight other GM factories where jobs are being added. Some would have to relocate.GM still plans to lay off about 8,000 white-collar workers and another 2,600 factory workers in Canada.In November, the company announced plans to end production at the U.S. factories and one in Ontario as part of a major restructuring designed to cut costs and divert resources to development and manufacturing of trucks, SUVs and electric and autonomous vehicles.Legislators and President Donald Trump have hammered GM over the moves.While some of the roughly 3,300 U.S. factory workers will retire, most of the rest will be offered one of 2,700 jobs the company plans to add at factories where production will increase, GM announced on Friday. Some would have to uproot and move to other cities for jobs. “Our focus remains on providing interested employees options to transition including job opportunities at other GM plants,” CEO Mary Barra said in a statement of the factory workers.That still leaves the majority of the 14,000 cuts hitting white-collar workers. A small number of them will be able to transfer to other openings, and those who can’t will get help in finding work elsewhere, the company said.Since the announcement, GM has faced withering criticism from Trump, legislators from the affected states and the United Auto Workers union, largely over the plant closure plans. Trump has focused on a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, that’s slated to stop making compact cars on March 1. He has promised to return factory jobs to the U.S. and Ohio, a key state in his 2020 re-election campaign.GM is cutting six car models as buyers have dramatically shifted their preferences to SUVs and trucks, which will account for about 70 percent of new-vehicle sales this year. Just six years ago, that number was 51 percent, and now GM is left with too many factories making cars.The automaker’s attempt to close the factories still has to be negotiated with the United Auto Workers union, which has promised to fight back. The other factories that could go are assembly plants in Detroit and Oshawa, Ontario, and transmission plants in Warren, Michigan, and near Baltimore.Trump continued to blast GM and Barra in an interview with Fox News on Thursday. “I don’t like what she did,” Trump said. “It was nasty. Ohio is going to replace those jobs in two minutes.”The announcement that nearly all the blue-collar workers may get other GM jobs could counter some of the attacks, but it’s unlikely to stop them completely since GM still intends to halt production at the factories.Tommy Wolikow, 36, who was laid off from the Lordstown, Ohio, factory in January of 2017, said he would be interested in openings at a Toledo, Ohio, transmission factory and a plant in Tennessee. But he’s not happy about the prospect of moving. “I want to go back to Lordstown,” he said. “The last thing I want to do is uproot my family and leave my parents.”Under GM’s contract with the union, the more senior active workers at the four factories targeted for closure get first crack at transferring to another plant, and there may not be enough jobs for workers with less seniority who were previously laid off. Of the 3,300 factory workers slated to lose their jobs, 2,800 are active and 500 are on leave. In addition, there are about 830 who were laid off previously at the Lordstown and Detroit plants.Patrick Morrissey, a spokesman for GM, said Friday’s job announcement had nothing to do with the criticism the company has been facing. The automaker, he said, knew some of the laid-off workers would be placed at other plants, but it didn’t know the number of jobs available until this week.“We have opportunities for just about everybody who wants them,” Morrissey said.Morrissey said the number of workers placed in new posts depends a lot on how many of the senior workers decide to retire. About 1,200 are eligible. Some workers also could decide they don’t want to relocate.Wolikow is sure if he has enough time in with GM to get a transfer to another plant. He has found work as a diesel engine technician, but it pays $10 per hour less than the $28 per hour plus profit sharing that he’d be making if he was still working for GM.“It’s hard not to follow the money,” he said. “You know that you can make a great living, have a great career.”GM said jobs will be added mainly at truck and SUV plants including about 1,000 positions at a Flint, Michigan, factory that makes heavy-duty pickup trucks. GM wouldn’t release exact numbers but said several hundred will be added at each of five assembly plants in Arlington, Texas; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Lansing, Michigan. In addition, jobs will be added at a transmission plant in Toledo, Ohio. Another 50 will be added at a casting plant in Bedford, Indiana.Dave Green, president of the auto workers local at the Lordstown plant, says he’s still hoping the factory can stay open by getting a new vehicle to build. The future of the plants will be part of the UAW’s national contract negotiations next year.The job transfers will help laid-off workers but will do nothing for the area of Northeast Ohio which has been devastated by job losses over the years, Green said.“Some people do have the opportunity to move, but it’s extremely disruptive, and it does nothing to help or support the communities that are left behind,” he said.By Tom Krisher Companies GM Says It Has 2,700 Jobs for Workers Slated to Be Laid Off By The Associated Press December 14, 2018 Updated: December 14, 2018 QualityAuto 1080p720p480p360p240pRewind 10 SecondsNext UpLive00:0000:0000:00ChromecastClosed CaptionsSettingsFullscreen  click to watch video Share this articlecenter_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Show Discussion Sharelast_img read more

The percentage of TSA airport screeners missing wo

first_img The percentage of TSA airport screeners missing work has hit 10 percent as the partial government shutdown stretches into its fifth week.The Transportation Security Administration said Jan. 21 that the absence rate for Jan. 20 compared to 3.1 percent on the comparable Sunday a year ago.The workers who screen passengers and their bags face missing another paycheck if the shutdown doesn’t end early this week. According to TSA, many of them say the financial hardship is preventing them from reporting to work.TSA says the national average waiting time in airport checkpoint lines is within the normal limit of 30 minutes, but there are longer lines at some airports.The agency has dispatched extra screeners to airports in Atlanta, LaGuardia Airport in New York, and Newark Liberty in New Jersey. A TSA spokesman said other airports might also be getting additional help.The 10 percent absence rate on Jan. 20 indicates that more than 3,000 airport screeners missed work. TSA has 51,000 screeners, and a spokesman said that about 33,000 work on any given day. That topped the previous high of 8 percent on Jan. 19. With fewer screeners, TSA closed one of its security checkpoints at Baltimore/Washington airport over the weekend, reopened it, but closed it again on the afternoon of Jan. 21, according to an airport spokeswoman.A checkpoint at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport remained closed. An airport spokesman said lines were relatively short at six other checkpoints.TSA appeared to be managing the high sick-out rate as well as could be expected. The agency said that on Jan. 20, it screened 1.78 million passengers, and only 6.9 percent — roughly 120,000 people — had to wait 15 minutes or longer to get through security.No figures were yet available for Jan. 21, but websites or spokespeople for several major airports, including Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago’s O’Hare, reported normal security lines and few problems.TSA got a break from bad weather: Storms in the Midwest and Northeast led airlines to cancel more than 4,400 flights over the three-day weekend, which reduced the number of passengers to screen.By David Koenig. From The Associated Press. Share this article TSA Screener Sick-Outs Hit 10 Percent Over Holiday Weekend By The Associated Press January 22, 2019 Updated: January 22, 2019 Transportation Security Administration officers work at a checkpoint at O’Hare airport in Chicago on Jan. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File) Sharecenter_img US News  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Show Discussionlast_img read more

WASHINGTON—The United States and the European Unio

first_img WASHINGTON—The United States and the European Union (EU) released their negotiating mandates last month for their bilateral trade talks. Despite sharp differences in goals, both sides have made significant progress in reducing trade barriers in soybeans and energy, boosting hopes for a trade deal this year.President Donald Trump announced in July last year a “new phase in the relationship” between Washington and Brussels, by striking an agreement “to work together toward zero tariffs, zero nontariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods.”As part of the agreement, the EU promised to import more soybeans and liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States. And the EU has started delivering on its commitments.Since the July 2018 meeting between Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, EU imports of U.S. soybeans has doubled, with volumes jumping to 5.2 million tons from 2.3 million tons during the same period last year.The United States has become Europe’s main soybean supplier, accounting for 75 percent of EU soybean imports. And recently the European Commission removed another trade barrier by authorizing the use of U.S. soybeans for biofuels.The EU is a large biodiesel market, and that will boost U.S. soybean exports even further, according to the Iowa Soybean Association. The United States has been exporting soybeans to the EU, which is mostly used as animal feed. However, the soybean oil byproduct had to be shipped back because Europe didn’t recognize U.S. soybeans for use in biofuels. The new rule has changed that.Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds welcomed the EU’s decision, saying that it may serve as a catalyst for successful completion of the trade talks.“This is great news for our soybean farmers by adding stability with the expansion of targeted global markets like the European Union,” she said in a statement.Soybeans ranked as the United States’ top agricultural export in 2017. And Iowa is the second largest state in terms of agricultural exports.“So, when an agreement like this one is approved, it means more jobs and economic growth for our state,” Reynolds said.EU’s decision is valid until July 1, 2021, but could extend beyond that date, the European Commission said in a statement.Europe also increased LNG imports from the United States. Since the meeting between Trump and Juncker in July, U.S. LNG exports into Europe have increased by 52 percent, to a total of 4.2 billion cubic meters, according to a report by European Commission.“We will work to double the transatlantic trade of LNG to at least 8 billion of cubic meters over the next three years,” stated the report.Agriculture Remains a Sticking PointThe European Commission released its negotiating mandate for its trade talks with the United States on Jan. 18. And a few days before that, the U.S. Trade Representatives (USTR) released the Trump administration’s negotiating objectives for the talks, which marked a sharp contrast with the EU’s mandate. One of the biggest differences between the United States and the EU is agriculture.According to the document released by the USTR, Washington wants to “secure comprehensive market access for U.S. agricultural goods in the EU by reducing or eliminating tariffs.” It also calls for eliminating “non-tariff barriers that discriminate against U.S. agricultural goods.”However, the mandate the European Commission received from member states says it would negotiate for a trade agreement that “strictly” focuses on “the removal of tariffs on industrial goods, excluding agricultural products.”The European Commission has got another mandate to do a second agreement with Washington that would help remove “non-tariff barriers, by making it easier for companies to prove their products meet technical requirements on both sides of the Atlantic.”It also stresses that the mandate implements the joint statement agreed by Trump and Juncker in July.“Agriculture will always be a big concern for the United States,” said Marie Kasperek, deputy director of global business and economics program at Atlantic Council.However, “the EU has already said for so long that agriculture is off the table for them, that it’s a non-starter,” she said.If Washington insists on including agriculture, she thinks, the negotiations will just die before they even start.“The United States is currently trying to push its agriculture to China. So that might be a solution from the U.S. side,” she said. Follow Emel on Twitter: @mlakan Share Farmer John Duffy loads soybeans from his grain bin onto a truck before taking them to a grain elevator in Dwight, Illinois, on June 13, 2018. (Scott Olson/Getty Images) Show Discussion US News center_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share this article US Exporters Upbeat on Trade Talks Despite Conflicts With EU By Emel Akan February 5, 2019 Updated: February 6, 2019last_img read more


first_img Politics Ted Sandmann, father of #CovCath student Nick Sandmann from that viral January video, begins testimony on #SB240 reading a statement. This is about 45 of the first 50 seconds of the statement). #KYga19 @WHAS11— Chris Williams (@chriswnews) March 6, 2019 Ted Sandmann, who testified in support of the bill, said his son became the victim of a barrage of online attacks after he was wrongly accused of being disrespectful to Native American protester Nathan Phillips and was vilified by the media as a racist. Later, footage of the full encounter was released.“The evidence has proven all of the allegations against my son to be untrue,” Ted Sandmann said. “I believe legislation to criminalize the worst tendencies of the Twitter mob is vital to restoring public discourse.”“It shows how far out-of-control social media has become,” he added.Sandman’s family attorney, Todd McMurtry testified as well, delivering a sharp rebuke against social media companies that have come under fire for failing to combat abuse on their platforms. The word “doxing” was extracted from docs, an abbreviation for documents. “There are no brakes on Twitter,” said McMurtry. “Twitter itself barely has the capacity to monitor its own activity. To put some weight back on the citizens so that they can help fight back when they are doxed would be great to make up for the fact that Twitter barely does anything.”It’s uncertain if the bill will pass as there are just days left in the legislative session before they adjourn for the year. The Kentucky Senate committee easily approved the bill despite some concerns about free speech.“We’re talking about minors,” McMurtry said. “We can’t let the internet be a wild environment where we can abuse minors at will.”Defamation LawsuitLawyers for Nicholas Sandmann last month sued The Washington Post for $250 million in damages.“Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry filed their first lawsuit on behalf of Nicholas Sandmann against The Washington Post,” the statement of claim announced on Feb. 19.The claim stated that Lin and Todd will seek $250 million in both compensatory and punitive damages “for the harm so many have done to the Sandmann family.”Lawyers on Feb. 1 also sent letters to more than 50 people and companies, including The New York Times, CNN, The Guardian, and NPR, as well as celebrities such as Bill Maher, Kathy Griffin, Jim Carrey, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The letters urged the recipients to preserve records, including electronic ones, related to the incident.McMurtry predicted that people will end up behind bars for their misleading or false comments.“I think some people are going to be arrested,” he told The Epoch Times in a Feb. 3 phone call. “That’s what I’ve been told from reliable sources, from the police investigators.”The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow Bowen on Twitter: @BowenXiao3 Kentucky lawmakers advanced a bill that would make “doxing”—the deliberate broadcasting of others’ personal information online—a crime if done against anyone under the age of 18. At the same time, the father of Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann delivered a powerful testimony.Weeks after student Nicholas Sandmann spoke out on the viral encounter with a Native American protester, a Kentucky Senate committee voted 8 to 3 to advance the proposed Senate Bill 240 on March 6. If the bill—which still needs approval from the Senate, House, and the governor—becomes law, it would make anyone publishing a minor’s personal information a misdemeanor. Such information could include addresses of the home or school attended by the victim that could be used to intentionally harass, abuse, or threaten the target. “My son, Nicholas Sandmann, was the victim of the most sensational Twitter attack on a minor child in the history of the internet,” Ted Sandmann, the father of the student said in an emotional testimony.  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Sharecenter_img An emblem at the Kentucky State House Chamber in Frankfort, Ky., on April 13, 2018. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images) Show Discussion Share this article Bill to Make ‘Doxing’ Illegal Passes State Senate as Dad of Covington Student Testifies By Bowen Xiao March 7, 2019 Updated: March 7, 2019last_img read more

Show Discussion

first_img Show Discussion US News PHOENIX—The parents of an incapacitated woman who was raped and later gave birth at a Phoenix long-term care center alleges in a $45 million legal claim that the facility and state broke their promise to have only female caregivers tend to their daughter.A nurse charged with sexually assaulting the 30-year-old patient had cared for her more than 1,000 times in the 13 months leading up to the birth, according to an expert cited in the claim filed Wednesday, May 22, against Arizona.Many of Nathan Sutherland’s encounters with the patient at Hacienda HealthCare occurred overnight when fewer staff members and visitors were around, said Christopher Cherney, a professor with more than 20 years of experience as a long-term care facility administrator who reviewed the woman’s medical records.The family alleges in the precursor to a lawsuit that Hacienda missed dozens of signs that the woman was carrying a baby and discovered the pregnancy only after another nurse saw the boy’s head. The patient, who has a feeding tube and whose nutrition was reduced in response to her weight gain during the pregnancy, delivered the boy while severely dehydrated and without pain medications, the claim said.The family’s lawyers say the woman suffered injuries from repeated sexual assault. Notes from the hospital where she was treated say her injuries suggest it wasn’t her first pregnancy, but no other details were provided.nathan sutherland pleads not guilty Nathan Sutherland, 36, a licensed practical nurse, was arrested on a charge of sexual assault of an incapacitated woman who gave birth in December 2018. (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office via AP) The surprise birth on Dec. 29 triggered reviews by state agencies, highlighted safety concerns for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated and prompted the resignations of Hacienda’s chief executive and one of the victim’s doctors.A spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Economic Security, which oversaw the woman’s care, did not return a message seeking comment. Hacienda spokesman David Leibowitz and Sutherland’s lawyer, Edwin Molina, declined to comment.Representatives from Hacienda and the state had told the woman’s parents that their daughter would have only female caregivers, the claim said. Documents from the Department of Economic Security note that only female staff members should provide her personal care, such as bathing and dressing.Cherney, the expert for the family, said Sutherland conducted safety checks, administered medications and wrote notes on the woman’s status during his many encounters with her.Investigators say Sutherland’s DNA matched a sample from the woman’s son, who is being cared for by her family.Sutherland has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual abuse and abuse of a vulnerable adult. He is challenging a court order requiring tests to see whether he has HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.hacienda Nathan Sutherland, accused of raping and impregnating a patient at Hacienda HealthCare, is arraigned in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Ariz, on Feb. 5, 2019. (Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic via AP)The victim began suffering seizures at 2 months old and her medical conditions stem from a brain disorder diagnosed afterward, family attorney John Michaels said. The disorder caused the motor and cognitive impairments and vision loss. She was also left with no functional use of her limbs.News organizations, including The Associated Press, previously reported that she was in long-term care after a near-drowning.Despite her disabilities, her family says she responds to some sensory stimuli. She turns her head toward sounds she finds pleasing like soft music or being read to, the claim said. She can groan and smile. Despite being non-verbal, she will cry and make “throaty sounds” if she is feeling pain or discomfort.The claim said that Arizona has a duty to provide services to people with developmental disabilities by contracting with companies like Hacienda and that the state did a poor job of monitoring its operations.While the claim heavily criticizes Hacienda and Sutherland, it seeks money only from the state.It said Hacienda missed 83 opportunities to diagnose the woman’s pregnancy. She gained weight, had a swollen belly and missed menstrual periods in the months before the child was born.The family’s lawyers said a simple blood test would have revealed the pregnancy.By Terry Tang And Jacques Billeaud Share this article The Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix, on Jan. 25, 2019. (Matt York/AP Photo)center_img Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Family of Incapacitated Woman Who Was Raped Blames Arizona By The Associated Press May 24, 2019 Updated: May 24, 2019last_img read more

A trippy skippy rope

first_imgHere’s another one of those products that borrows an idea from somewhere else and uses it beautifully to absolutely transform a user’s experience (the previous one was the Puzlook iPhone case). Taking inspiration from all those products that use LEDs and our persistence of vision to create visuals, like the pixelstick, or those USB LED fans that tell the time, the Smart Rope by Tangram displays skipping stats as you jump.Working almost magically, the LEDs laid out inside the rope light up exactly at your eye level so without having to look around, you can see the number of skips flash before your eyes every time, with live increments. The 23 LEDs laid out inside the rope bend along with the rope because of the patent-pending flexible PCB on the inside. Aside from numbers, the LEDs also display battery status on powering up and shutting down. The rope’s handles come in mirror-finish silver and gold or in matte black and feature ball-bearings for easy rope rotation. If you want to push your work-out further, the Smart Gym app for your phone as well as smartwatch allow you to track and monitor workout times while even letting you set your own workout goals based on your BMI.This sort of design innovation isn’t just a novelty, but is even a psychological booster as it motivates you to skip more (and skip regularly too) just so that you can see those LEDs light up, almost like magic!Designer: Deokhee Jeong (Tangram Factory)BUY NOWBUY NOW(Click here if you want to buy the Pixelstick)SharePinShareFlipSharePocket14.0K Shareslast_img read more

7 Reasons You Need a Virtual Private Server for Your Growing Business

first_img Google+ By CBN Pinterest Share. on February 25, 2016 0 Tumblr Twittercenter_img Email E-Headlines 7 Reasons You Need a Virtual Private Server for Your Growing Business LinkedIn If your business has grown in size, then you are probably going to have to consider upgrading the type of server you use (Check out this link for a great article on the choices). Shared servers are fine for a small business, but once you go that step further, you need more bang for your buck, and more flexibility; while a dedicated server is also a choice. Here we are going to look at why a VPS is such a good choice for a growing business compared to the other servers you could choose.CostThere is no doubt that a VPS will cost you more than a shared server, but that extra cost is because of the facilities and flexibility it gives, and the extra bandwidth, disk space etc. that you get. A dedicated private server may be ideal for many larger businesses, but if you do not already have staff to run the server you will need to pay somebody to do so. There is also the initial outlay for the equipment and the maintenance to consider. A dedicated server can become a very expensive option.ScalabilityA VPS is perfect for this, and once you upgrade to a VPS whenever you need more resources they will be at hand. Many suppliers will only charge you for the resources you use, so if you are in a seasonal business, you are only going to pay for the extra you need at peak times at those peak times. There are many advantages with a cloud based system, and it is a great way to prepare for scaling up; unfortunately, not all hosts have that capability yet.SupportAs with a shared server, you will have support for your needs. Being able to contact an agent for a live chat at any time of the day or night is a great safety blanket, and one that is not present if you are having to pay for somebody to come and fix your equipment.ContractsYou may believe that you have to sign a contract that ties you to a web host for your VPS service, but that is not always true. In fact, you should look for a provider like who pride themselves on having no contracts, enabling you to try another host whenever you want. With no set-up fees or contract, there is nothing to consider as outlay, and that gives you flexibility to change.SecurityMost VPS systems will come with added security, and the minimum you should look for is an added firewall to protect your site and the server. There is also added security as you are now not sharing a server with others (you are in a virtual environment), which may have caused security issues; but that is not the only security you will get. You will also have the security of knowing your server has a backup system to reduce data loss, and often a backup system to a cloud.Management FlexibilityDepending on your experience and skill with server systems, you can have the flexibility of either having a self-managed, semi-managed, or a fully-managed package. Most people would prefer a fully managed package as it means everything is always up to date and includes the latest apps and patches, and you do not need to learn how to manage the server yourselfSelf ControlPerhaps the most important thing is being able to make decisions about your server that are not affected by others. This means you can install the software you want, server add-ons, and any SSL certificates you choose. You will also have root access to take control of the server at the highest levels. You will now have complete control over your virtual server.Some will say there are disadvantages with a VPS too, but as the main disadvantage is cost, that is only true for those who do not need any control or expanded service; and we are not talking about them. Though something that you may need to check is the amount virtual accounts running on a server at any one time as that could affect you at some point. Facebooklast_img read more

Central Oregon Locavores Meet Your Farmer Dinner

first_imgCentral Oregon Locavore’s Meet Your Farmer Dinner 0 on March 20, 2018 Pinterest E-Headlines, Uncategorized Google+ By CBN Facebookcenter_img Email Twitter Share. Meet Your Farmer Dinner Series at Wild Oregon Foods featuring Crooked River Bison RanchJoin fellow Bend foodies for Locavore’s next Meet Your Farmer Dinner this Thursday, March 22. This Ranch-to-Table dinner at Wild Oregon Foods will feature Crooked River Bison Ranch. The menu includes kalua bison with pineapple gastrique and taro cups, rouladen (German braised bison rolls), bison tenderloin with duchess potatoes and thyme grilled carrots, and malasada (Portuguese style donuts) and kulolo (Hawaiian pudding) for dessert.Locavore’s Meet Your Farmer dinners consist of a locally sourced, gourmet meal hosted and prepared by rotating local restaurants. During dinner, you will be treated to a presentation by the evening’s featured farmer or rancher.About Wild Oregon Foods: Wild Oregon Foods is a diner style restaurant in Bend, Oregon committed to creating delicious, fresh and locally sourced food. We source our ingredients from all over central Oregon and the Pacific Northwest to craft beautiful healthy Jewish and Italian style dishes.About Crooked River Bison: We raise our bison in the most humane and ethical possible manner. Our bison receive a diet of native grass and are never given steroids or hormones to artificially stimulate growth. When it comes time to harvest, we only field harvest in small numbers to maintain a low stress environment. The extra care we put into our ranching practices ensures that the meat on your dinner plate is of the highest quality. We adhere to our strictly-defined ranching standards and practice the most ethical ranching methods so you and your family can enjoy the tastiest, most flavorful bison meat available.Meet Your Farmer dinners benefit Central Oregon Locavore, a nonprofit organization that’s been promoting a local, sustainable food system in Central Oregon since 2010. Locavore is dedicated to improving access to fresh, in-season, nutrient-dense, local food and educating the community about the benefits of sustainably produced food from local farmers and ranchers. Proceeds from this event help promote a more ecologically and socially just food system, public health, and diversification of the local economy. Learn more about Locavore at are available through or in the Locavore marketplace at 1841 NE 3rd Street (south of Habitat Restore and across from the Wagner Mall).What: Meet Your Farmer Dinner featuring Crooked River Bison RanchWhere: Wild Oregon Foods, 61334 S Hwy 97, Bend, OR 97702.When: Thursday, March 22nd, 6-9pmTickets: $45 Tumblr LinkedInlast_img read more

The AlleyWatch NYC Startup Daily Funding Report 31419

first_img Gencove, the startup that is making genome sequencing accessible and cost-efficient, has raised $3M in Series A funding from investors that include Version One Ventures, Third Kind Venture Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, Spero Ventures, and Burst Capital. Gencove was founded by Joe Pickrell, Kaja Wasik, and Tomaz Berisa in 2015 and has now raised a total of $4M in reported equity funding. The latest venture capital, seed, and angel deals for NYC startups for 3/14/19 featuring funding details for Fi, OOVA, and much more including two never before reported funding rounds. This page will be updated throughout the day to reflect any new fundings.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Tagged With:  Jerome Scelza,  Kaja Wasik,  Loren Kirkby,  Matthew Tumbleson,  Tomaz Berisa, Alexandria Venture Investments, Amy Divaraniya, Burst Capital, Fi, Freestyle Capital, Gencove, Holly Whitaker, Jeff De Flavio, Ji Young Choi, Joe Pickrell, Jonathan Bensamoun, Lerer Hippeau, OOVA, RRE Ventures, Special Situations Life Sciences Innovation Fund, Spero Ventures, Teckst, Tempest, Third Kind Venture Capital, Version One Ventures Tempest $1.5M Fertility testing startup OOVA has raised $1M in Seed funding led by Special Situations Life Sciences Innovation Fund. OOVA was founded by Amy Divaraniya and Jerome Scelza in 2017 and was spun out from Mount Sinai. OOVA $1M – Seed Sobriety community Tempest has raised an additional $1.5M in funding according to a recent SEC filing. The filing indicates that the total offering is for $2M and three parties participated in this close. Listed in the filing is Holly Whitaker as a Director and Executive and Jeff De Flavio has a Director. Tempest had previously raised $1.8M in January of 2018. Gencove $3M – Series Acenter_img The AlleyWatch NYC Startup Daily Funding Report: 3/14/19 by AlleyWatch Fi $7M – Series A Teckst $3.1M 251SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Smart dog collar Fi has raised $7M in Series A funding from investors that include RRE Ventures, Lerer Hippeau, and Freestyle Capital. Founded by Jonathan Bensamoun and Loren Kirkby in 2017, Fi has now raised a total of $10M in reported equity funding. According to a recent SEC filing, messaging platform Teckst has raised an additional $3.1M in funding. The filing indicates that there were seventeen participants in the round. Teckst was founded by Ji Young Choi and Matthew Tumbleson in 2014 and had previously raised $5M in reported equity funding. last_img read more

How to Scout Out and Hire Employees Who Really Love What They

first_imgPREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST How to Scout Out and Hire Employees Who Really Love What They DoApril 16, 2018 by Daniel Wesley 410SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Filed Under: Advice, Resources, Strategic BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners. Dedicated employees make or break startup success. Anyone can say they are “highly skilled,” but if employees lack the same vision and determination as their leader, it can be detrimental to the startup.To succeed in a startup environment, employees must have two qualities: enthusiasm and flexibility. Like the saying goes, hard work beats talent when talent won’t work hard. As a business leader, I will take a determined individual with some experience over someone with years of experience and no enthusiasm. A positive drive allows people to adapt when roadblocks arise.Employees must also be ready and willing to work in the trenches right next to you. The startup battlefield involves a lot of sacrifices, hard work and important decisions. Talented individuals who believe in the vision — not just their paychecks — can make a difference for the startup.Hire For LoveIt sounds simple, but my most reliable (and successful) employees love their jobs. Anyone can gain knowledge in a particular field, and it’s obvious when employees are doing only enough to get by. Individuals with a genuine love for the job pay attention to detail because they care and want to challenge themselves. They are the ones who put in the time and effort, and aren’t just watching the clock.Not hiring for love of the job breeds negativity, which can overtake all the positives you have built. Two employees who are excited about our mission and love their jobs are much better and more valuable than an office full of employees who have amazing talent but drag everyone down.How to Spot Employees Who Love What They DoI can look at my employees and know instantly who is dedicated to the company (and who is not). Anyone can show up and be physically present for eight hours, but it takes someone who loves his or her job to do something meaningful in that timeframe.Here are three ways to stay aware:Schedule regular team lunches. We schedule mandatory lunches outside the office every other Friday, which gives us a chance to bond as a team and discuss our performance. It’s known that employees who regularly eat together have better work performance than those who consistently work alone, and my team is no exception. People tend to open up more and be themselves when they’re away from the office. The meetings have no time constraints, and as we eat together I recap what we have accomplished and discuss possible new initiatives Regularly spending time together and bonding over lunch helps me see who loves what they do and who may be falling “out of love.”Communicate the creative process. My job as a leader and innovator is to provide direction, insight, and different approaches to business tasks that will keep everyone focused. Maintaining a transparent creative process helps employees stay in the loop and retain their enthusiasm. When my employees see me working at the office after almost everyone else has headed home, they know that I love what I do. Valuable employees will go to bat for their leaders, especially when the boss is fighting right alongside them. Leaders have to get their hands dirty and make sacrifices to get the best results from the team.Be responsibly compassionate. Startup life can majorly impact home life, and balancing the two can be incredibly difficult. Taking a personal approach at work and asking my employees about their lives helps me be aware of any challenges they’re encountering — in the office or at home.An unexpected death in my family a few years ago led me to closely examine my own work-life balance; I realized I was not spending enough time with the ones I love most. This experience gave me greater insight into my employees’ happiness: I give people space if I sense something is going on outside the office. I approach individuals only if the behavior is repetitive, disruptive, or interferes with deadlines. I owe it to my team to be supportive when needed and offer encouragement when they’re facing distractions outside the office. Ensuring them that their job is secure gives them one fewer thing to worry about.Startup life can be stressful, but employees who love their jobs are committed to helping their company succeed. Looking for those employees helps keep that love — and your startup — alive.last_img read more

One injured in driveby shooting

first_imgShooting FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): A man is listed in serious condition at an area hospital after a drive-by shooting on Weisser Park Avenue Thursday.The Fort Wayne Police Department tells our Partners in News at ABC 21 officers were called to the 4600 block of Weisser Park Ave. at about 6:15pm after someone drove by and fired at a group of people on the front porch of a house. One man was hit in the leg.No further information was released.last_img

What Employee Bloggers Can Do to Get Started

first_imgThis is a part of a series that was created to help you get the practice of corporate blogging built into your company. This series will walk through the process, necessary roles, in addition to guides for each role to help your company get started quickly. The following several posts make up a quick start guide for the employee bloggers.Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! Depending on what blogging platform your company has chosen, you will be receiving an informational guide as well as training to cover the basics.Key concepts covered will include:Introduction to BloggingDefinition of RolesUser ExpectationsDo’s and Don’ts of BloggingSuggested Resources for Blogging Topics/ThemesHow to Use Keywords and Why They MatterResources for Blog Improvement and Topic IdeasSelected Platform OverviewInitial Login and Account SetupCreating a Blog PostAdding Links/GraphicsAdditional FeaturesHow to Use Social Media to Promote Your BlogSEO Tips and TricksQ&ANext week I’ll discuss about the target audience personas.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

6 Great Survey Tools and Poll Apps for Startups

first_imgLet’s say you don’t have the time or the money for a full fledged market research project, but you would like to cheaply collect some feedback from your customers or gather information from your prospects. Online surveys are by far the fastest way of collecting data from your customers and prospects. Below are a list of useful online surveys and polling apps that can help expansion stage and start up companies gain more in-depth information about their customers, prospects, empoyees, and so on.  Polldaddy: It is very popular in the field of online democracy. Has an easy-to-use survey editor, powerful reporting and filtering capabilities and lets you customize the look of your survey. You can send out the survey link in an email, use it in a banner on your website, or use the iOS app to collect responses from people on iPhones and iPads.• Free accounts: Available• Customization options: Yes• Ready-made templates: Not available Zoomerang: This survey software lets you build your survey quickly with free access to over a hundred professionally designed survey templates. After collecting data, you can create customized charts and share them by posting them on your blog or website, or just export the data to Excel, PowerPoint or a PDF. The Pro and Premium versions let you brand and customize the survey with your logo and customize your end pages. The Premium account comes with support and training help.• Free accounts: Available• Customization options: Yes• Ready-made templates: Available Wufoo: It is an HTML form builder that helps you create contact forms, online surveys and invitations so you can collect data, registrations and online payments without writing any codes.• Free accounts: Available• Customization options: Yes• Ready-made templates: Available eSurveysPro: It has a great survey editor tool, provides 18 different question types and offers control over the flow of the survey.• Free accounts: Available• Customization options: Yes• Ready-made templates: Available ConstantContact: This is a great customer feedback survey tool. It offers 40 customizable survey themes, lets you promote your survey on Facebook and Twitter, and track and see reports very easily.• Free accounts: Only Free Trial• Customization options: Yes• Ready-made templates: Available SurveyMonkey: It is very popular among users ranging from students, marketing professionals, HR and so on. You can use it for everything from customer satisfaction and employee performance reviews, to course evaluations and research of all types. They have good customer support and a satisfaction rating of over 99%! • Free accounts: Available• Customization options: Yes• Ready-made templates: Available In addition to the above, other survey tools and polls include Acepolls, Pollcode, Twiigs, MicroPoll, 99Polls, FreeOnlineSurveys, Mineful, Checkbox, GetResponse, Inquisite and LimeSurvey. Check them out!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

How to Build the Influencer Database

first_imgThis is a part of a series that was created to help you define build the practice of influencer marketing into your company. This series will walk through the process, necessary roles, in addition to guides for each role to get started with influencer marketing quickly. For the next several weeks, I will share a how-to for the influencer marketing specialist.  This week, let’s focus on how to build the database. office buildingNow that you’ve identified some potential influencers, do some additional research (either online or over the phone) to learn more about them. Specifically, review their content, examine how they engage online, and study their beat sheets or editorial calendars (if applicable). At this point, as you begin to learn more about your influencers, segment them into specific influencer personas. This will help you later, as you create and prepare pitches. As you begin to reach out to your influencers, input the information in your database and set up contact intervals to manage your activities. While it may seem like a lot of prep work, all of this data will prepare you to pitch your company’s news and stories effectively to the influencers.Here are some things to keep in mind while building the database:Understand the influencer’s area of interest or beatUnderstand his/her preferences (e.g., e-mail over phone calls, etc.)Know all of the influencer’s channels (e.g., blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)Familiarize yourself with the influencer’s recent workReview any editorial calendars or media kits, if applicableSpeaking with the influencers during this process can prove very valuable. Here are some suggested questions:General Questions“How often do you report on this space?”“What do you look forward to writing about?”“How do you typically gather information before writing an article?”“What do you need to know before writing an article?”“Are you attending any tradeshows or conferences within the next few months?”With Regard to Events“Are there specific events that directly relate to this space that we can participate in? If so, who should we contact to explore these opportunities?”“Which events would you recommend that we participate in?”“What are our options for participating in these events?”“What costs are involved?”“Are there deadlines or requirements that we should be aware of?”“Is any preparation needed on our part to participate?”“If we could choose only a couple of methods of event participation, what would you recommend we choose?”“Can you give me the name and contact information for someone who deals specifically with these types of events?”With Regard to Awards“Are there specific awards directly related to this space that we can participate in? If so, who should we contact to explore these opportunities?”“Which awards do you recommend we try for?”“Are there costs associated with getting nominated for these awards?”“Are there specific requirements or deadlines that we need to be aware of in order to be considered for these awards?”“Is any preparation needed on our part to become nominated for these awards?”“If we were able to choose only a couple of these awards to go after, which would you recommend?”“Can you give me the name and contact information for someone who deals specifically with these types of awards?”With Regard to Product Reviews/Buyer’s Guides“Are there specific product reviews or buyer’s guides that (our company name) could be considered for?”“Do any of these product review or buyer’s guides focus directly in this space?”“Are there costs associated with getting recognized in these product reviews/buyer’s guides?”“Are there specific requirements or deadlines that we need to be aware of to be considered for recognition in these product reviews/buyer’s guides?”“Is there any preparation needed on our part to become recognized in these product reviews/buyer’s guides?”“If we were able to pursue recognition in only a couple of these product reviews/buyer’s guides, which would you recommend?”“Can you give me the name and contact information for someone who deals specifically with product reviews/buyer’s guides in this space?”With Regard to Reporters“Can you give me the names and associated contact information of reporters that typically write in this space?”“Which of these reporters do you recommend I contact first?”“Are there any reporters that focus primarily in this space?”With Regard to Overall Recommendations“Overall, how would you recommend we prioritize all of the possible opportunities that we have discussed for (company name)?” Next week, I’ll discuss how to narrow down your list.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

What Kinds of Candidates Are You Looking For

first_imgFinding the most qualified candidate in a pool of hundreds is one of the toughest assignments placed on recruiters. Their duties become more of a challenge when there isn’t a clear sense of the qualifications needed for the position writes recruiting expert Chris Brablc. In such scenarios, recruiters should take the initiative to ensure that they have a detailed understanding of what the ideal candidate’s qualifications are.To do this, says Brablc, you must concentrate on a handful of qualification areas. What are these? Brablc writes that competencies, skills and culture fit are most important. The top candidates should be well-developed in all three of these regards.According to Brablc, there are ways to test for these qualifications, so you’re not stuck using your recruiting intuition as a gauge. For more ways to analyze candidate qualifications, read the full article.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Youre Not Perfect but Are You SMARTer Than the Average Entrepreneur

first_imgSo, you’re back. That must mean I didn’t hurt your feelings too badly with my last post. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, feel free to take a few minutes to read this and come back. Yes folks, I said something that you all needed to hear: You’re imperfect, and that’s never going to change. But here’s the good news: There’s nothing wrong with imperfection. In fact, as I wrote in that previous post, perfection is a business mirage we’ve created in our heads. And the lemmings searching for that utopic end destination will ultimately wander the proverbial desert looking for an oasis that doesn’t exist.Meanwhile, the smartest and most efficient entrepreneurs focus on the things they can achieve, honing in on attainable short and long-term goals that allow them to quickly pivot, experiment, and thrive when opportunities present themselves.  In other words, they set really good SMART goals and achieve them. Haven’t heard of SMART goals or forget what the acronym stands for? Here’s a quick refresher: Specific: What and why do you want to accomplish something?Measureable: How will you know if/when you’ve accomplished your goal?Attainable: Do you really have the skills and resources to achieve a particular goal?Relevant: Will the goal really impact your business or its target customer?Timely: Can you set a specific timeframe to accomplish the goal and realistically achieve it? Generally speaking, the SMART goal concept requires creativity, strategic thinking, and technical skills, mixed in with experience, attention to detail, and effort. You want to determine what really matters to you, prioritize those things, and leverage your resources (people, time, and money) as to go after them. Doing that represents true efficiency and goal orientation, which produce behavior and results that are as close to perfect as you can ever realistically hope to achieve. Of course, if that were as easy to do as it was for me to write that last paragraph, you wouldn’t be reading this blog post. The truth is that setting SMART goals and following through with them requires discipline. But not in the context you might expect. Discipline sometimes means sometimes ignoring the things that don’t matter, even if the collective masses are telling you they do. For example, let’s say you have a marketing manager that’s hell bent on being a social media all-star on every channel that exists. With the recent explosion of Pinterest, that employee is probably spending an inordinate amount of time playing around with it, attempting to build the perfect Pinterest presence. Here’s the problem with that: Maybe Pinterest isn’t right for your business.Taking it back to SMART goals, are you sure that Pinterest can really provide a medium for customer engagement that will allow you to achieve specific, measurable goals? Or are you jumping aboard a bandwagon that might take you in the wrong direction entirely, diluting your team’s focus and absorbing precious time that could be spent on more impactful initiatives?  You could ask that question more generally about almost every other component of your business. And unless you’re sure that the things your team is working on will accomplish specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals – encouraging efficient execution, rather than time-consuming perfectionism – why the hell are you doing them at all? So, take a step back, look at what really matters to your business, and then set SMART goals that drive your business forward. That will keep your team focused and aligned to your business’ mission, vision, and values, and create a higher probability of success in both the short and long-term. What company doesn’t want that? OK, now it’s your turn. How have SMART goals helped you stay on track? Or, more importantly, do you think perfection actually exists in business and that you’ve achieved it? I’d love to hear your argument…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

A New Way to to Develop Startup Videos to Build Brand Buzz

first_imgstartup videosStartup videos come in all shapes and sizes, but a well crafted introduction to your brand will go viral and grab your business some serious attention.Colleen Taylor writes in TechCrunch that Vooza, a faux company cranking out entertaining startup videos, is turning heads on the tech scene with “straight-faced impressions of the worst of today’s buzzy startup culture.” Even though Vooza “probably isn’t for real as a company…its knack for making hilariously catchy videos is,” and Vooza is teaming up with animated product-pitch producers Switch Video to run a contest. The winner gets an “explainer” video, and Taylor says that it “could be a pretty sweet one-time deal for someone looking to launch a startup or product.”AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Venture Capital Investments Rebound for Tech Startups

first_img This story originally appeared on Reuters Image credit: Shutterstock Reuters –shares Apply Now » The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Next Article 3 min readcenter_img Add to Queue Venture Capital Investments Rebound for Tech Startups Venture capital investments in startups rebounded in the second quarter, as a general stock market recovery helped restore confidence, according to a new report published on Friday.Investors plowed $15.3 billion into venture-backed startups in the second quarter of this year, a 20.5 percent increase over the $12.7 billion invested in the first quarter, according to the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. The report’s conclusions are based on data from Thomson Reuters.”There was a bit of a pause in the first quarter when the public markets took a beating,” said Sean Cunningham, managing director of Trident Capital Cybersecurity. “The public markets are back. Everyone is bullish.”Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. and messaging app Snapchat boosted the quarter, raising a combined total of $4.8 billion, or nearly a third of total investments.In terms of total dollars, second-quarter investments outpaced all but three quarters since 2000, the height of the dot-com boom, suggesting that despite widespread concerns over valuations and a dormant market for tech initial public offerings, venture capitalists and institutional investors are not shying away from writing big checks.”It’s not heading straight to the moon and it’s not going off a cliff,” said Tom Ciccolella, who leads the venture capital practice for PwC, a consulting firm.Even as total funding was up sharply, the number of deals was down by about 5 percent, falling to 961 from 1,011 during the first quarter.”We are being more selective,” said Erik Gordon, professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and faculty adviser to the university’s venture capital fund. “We’re not going to invest in everything that says ‘We are the Uber of X’ or ‘the Facebook of Y.'”Indeed, the bar for companies seeking venture capital funding is higher than it was a year ago. After a rash of startups that had received huge funding rounds over the last year failed to reach growth targets or proved to be unsustainable businesses, investors pulled back. The global stock selloff last summer and hammering of tech stocks early this year increased anxiety.Valuations are generally lower this year, with venture capitalists reporting valuations dropping by 30 percent to 50 percent, and the lower prices are helping to get deals done.The involvement of mutual funds and sovereign wealth funds continues to drive huge deals. The biggest deal of the quarter was Uber’s $3.5 billion round from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, followed by Snapchat’s $1.3 billion round from Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price, among others.It was the first time that two venture-backed startups in the same quarter raised billion-dollar-plus investments, according to PwC. Uber’s $1.2 billion financing in the second quarter of 2014 was the first round of that size on record.Venture capitalists continue to favor software startups, which took in $8.7 billion in funding, a 70 percent increase from the previous quarter.Other industries saw a pullback. Investments in financial services fell 25 percent to $601 million, likely a response to recent struggles at lending platforms Prosper Marketplace and Lending Club.”We’ve gone pretty cold on these lending platforms,” Gordon said.(Reporting by Heather Somerville; Editing by Sue Horton and Bill Rigby) 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Venture Capital July 15, 2016last_img read more

Elon Musk Gets Boring and Uber Drops Meatballs 3 Things to Know

first_img Next Article October 22, 2018 Stay in the know in 60 seconds. hb00:0000:00oi –shares Elon Musk Gets Boring and Uber Drops Meatballs. 3 Things to Know Today. Add to Queue Entrepreneur Staff Elon Musk, ever heard of that guy? The Boring Company CEO announced their first test tunnel will be opened on Dec. 10 and expects to be moving travelers at a top speed of 155 miles per hour. To quote Ricky Bobby, I wanna go fast!Uber plans to deliver food via drone by 2021, maybe. The company put up a job posting for an operations executive to get the drone program ready, but soon pulled it down after the Wall Street Journal started asking questions. Snitches don’t get snacks, says $2.6 billion will be spent on trick-or-treat candy this year, and broke down the favorite sweets of each state. New York had the respectable Sour Patch Kids, Wyoming was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Nevada? Candy Corn. Really Nevada? SMH.Watch more 3 Things videos here.center_img Editorial Director 1 min read 3 Things To Know Dan Bova Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Register Now »last_img read more

Walmart Is Using AI to Prevent Checkout Theft

first_imgArtificial Intelligence Walmart Is Using AI to Prevent Checkout Theft Over 1,000 stores are using computer vision tech to watch checkouts and ensure no item ever goes unscanned. Next Article Add to Queue Senior Editor In a bid to cut down on theft and mistakes, Walmart is using artificial intelligence hooked up to cameras monitoring checkouts to ensure every item in your cart is scanned and paid for. This is already happening at over 1,000 Walmart stores.As Business Insider reports, the system is known internally as Missed Scan Detection and uses computer vision to monitor both manned and self-checkout areas at each store. The system is able to detect when an item goes unscanned, or is mis-scanned, and reports the fault to a checkout attendant who can then approach and rectify the problem.According to Walmart spokeswoman LeMia Jenkins, “Walmart is making a true investment to ensure the safety of our customers and associates … Over the last three years, the company has invested over half a billion dollars in an effort to prevent, reduce and deter crime in our stores and parking lots. We are continuously investing in people, programs and technology to keep our stores and communities safe.”When store inventory disappears without being paid for it’s known as “shrink.” This can happen through theft or mistakes and retailers are obviously very keen to reduce it as much as possible. If Walmart experiences the average for US retailer shrink rates, then it’s losing roughly $4 billion a year. With that in mind, you can see why heavy investment and embracing AI to reduce shrink is worthwhile for the company.One of the companies supplying Walmart with the computer vision tech required to make checkout monitoring possible is Everseen. According to Everseen CEO Alan O’Herlihy, “People make mistakes … In terms of shrinkage, or loss, that’s the main source.” And if you’re wondering which item causes the most problems, it’s milk. O’Herlihy explains, “People find it hard to scan milk … Sometimes they get frustrated and they just don’t scan it.” Image credit: via PC Mag Matthew Humphriescenter_img June 24, 2019 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business This story originally appeared on PCMag 2 min read Register Now »last_img read more

Uber Under Fire Once Again Following Sexism and Harassment Claims

first_img Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. This weekend, calls to #DeleteUber regained momentum after a former employee named Susan J. Fowler published a blog post about the sexism and harassment she allegedly experienced during her year at the ride-hailing company. In response, embattled CEO Travis Kalanick took to Twitter to express his outrage and say that the company’s SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer Liane Hornsey would oversee an investigation into Fowler’s claims.2/ I’ve instructed our CHRO Liane to conduct an urgent investigation. There can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber.— travis kalanick (@travisk) February 20, 2017On her blog, Fowler, who is now an engineer at mobile payments startup Stripe, prefaces her story as “strange, fascinating and slightly horrifying.” She then details an early interaction with a male manager, explaining that this individual told her he was in an open relationship and propositioned her to have sex with him. Fowler recounts taking screenshots of the messages and reporting him to Uber’s human resources department. Related: Understanding the Under Armour Boycott — and Why ‘The Rock’ and Misty Copeland Weighed in“I was told by both HR and upper management that even though this was clearly sexual harassment and he was propositioning me, it was this man’s first offense, and that they wouldn’t feel comfortable giving him anything other than a warning and a stern talking-to,” Fowler writes. “Upper management told me that he ‘was a high performer’ (i.e. had stellar performance reviews from his superiors) and they wouldn’t feel comfortable punishing him for what was probably just an innocent mistake on his part.”Fowler writes that HR told her she could move to another team and not interact with the manager again, or stay on the team and potentially receive a negative performance review from him. She says she learned that other employees had experienced similar interactions with him and had reported him, but there had been no consequences for his behavior.“It became obvious that both HR and management had been lying about this being ‘his first offense,’ and it certainly wasn’t his last. Within a few months, he was reported once again for inappropriate behavior, and those who reported him were told it was still his ‘first offense.’ … Myself and a few of the women who had reported him in the past decided to all schedule meetings with HR to insist that something be done. In my meeting, the rep I spoke with told me that he had never been reported before, he had only ever committed one offense (in his chats with me) and that none of the other women who they met with had anything bad to say about him, so no further action could or would be taken. It was such a blatant lie that there was really nothing I could do.”Fowler also discusses a competition-driven culture at Uber, which she describes as a chaotic “game-of-thrones political war” that led many engineers to become concerned that a project or team could dissolve without warning. At one point, she writes that she received a negative review accompanied by the explanation, “‘performance problems aren’t always something that has to do with work, but sometimes can be about things outside of work or your personal life.’”Related: Why Women Entrepreneurs Have a Harder Time Finding FundingHowever, Fowler writes that when her next performance review period arrived and she attempted to transfer to another team, she discovered that her previous score had been changed in the intervening time without her knowledge and that she could not advance to another project.While her manager told her that the review would not have a significant impact, she says that it did affect her standing with the computer science graduate program she was attending at Stanford, because she was being sponsored by Uber and high performance scores were a requirement.“It turned out that keeping me on the team made my manager look good, and I overheard him boasting to the rest of the team that even though the rest of the teams were losing their women engineers left and right, he still had some on his team. When I joined Uber, the organization I was part of was over 25 percent women. By the time I was trying to transfer to another eng organization, this number had dropped down to less than 6 percent,” Fowler writes, citing disorganization and institutional sexism as the two main factors behind the exits.Fowler recounts keeping a record of sexist incidents that occurred, as well as of her last meetings with HR and management before moving on to Stripe.“The HR rep began the meeting by asking me if I had noticed that *I* was the common theme in all of the reports I had been making, and that if I had ever considered that I might be the problem. I pointed out that everything I had reported came with extensive documentation and I clearly wasn’t the instigator (or even a main character) in the majority of them — she countered by saying that there was absolutely no record in HR of any of the incidents I was claiming I had reported (which, of course, was a lie, and I reminded her I had email and chat records to prove it was a lie). … Our meeting ended with her berating me about keeping email records of things, and told me it was unprofessional to report things via email to HR.”Fowler describes a final meeting with her manager, who threatened to fire her for reporting his manager to HR. She then reported him to Uber’s CTO and to HR, who “both admitted that this was illegal, but none of them did anything. (I was told much later that they didn’t do anything because the manager who threatened me ‘was a high performer’).”Related: Women Won’t Have Equal Numbers of Board Seats Until 2055, New Study FindsArianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post and CEO and founder of Thrive Global, who became Uber’s first woman board member last year, will be working with Hornsey on the investigation. .@ariannahuff has my full support— travis kalanick (@travisk) February 20, 2017Cristina Cordova, who oversees Stripe’s partnerships team and the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, tweeted about why she thought Fowler’s story was generating such an impassioned response.This is the first reaction to a woman in tech’s account of sexism/harassment that the tech community seems to *actually believe* 1/6— Cristina Cordova (@cjc) February 20, 2017Here are all the things that had to happen for this to be the case:– She documented everything. 2/6— Cristina Cordova (@cjc) February 20, 2017– She wrote a cogent post about what happened, devoid of the emotion that would make others think she’s crazy. 3/6— Cristina Cordova (@cjc) February 20, 2017– She reported incidents to HR and up the management chain.– She didn’t “give in” and sleep with anyone in her management chain. 4/6— Cristina Cordova (@cjc) February 20, 2017– None of the incidents happened at a social event, or when she or the people around her were drinking. 5/6— Cristina Cordova (@cjc) February 20, 2017– This happened at a company that a lot of people already dislike. 6/6— Cristina Cordova (@cjc) February 20, 2017While Fowler’s claims about Uber are damning, hers is not the only story of institutional sexism in Silicon Valley.According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, women hold an average of 30 percent of the jobs within top tech firms. In a study released last year examining gender bias in Silicon Valley, 60 percent of respondents said they have experienced unwanted sexual advances, and 60 percent of those who reported the behavior were, like Fowler, “dissatisfied with the course of action.” Image credit: Uber Next Article Entrepreneur Staff Add to Queue Uber Under Fire Once Again Following Sexism and Harassment Claims 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. CEO Travis Kalanick has ordered an investigation in response to a blog post by a former employee.center_img Uber Nina Zipkin Enroll Now for $5 –shares February 20, 2017 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand 7 min readlast_img read more

The Harvey Weinstein Scandal Is a Clarion Call to Men In Positions

first_img –shares Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Men are disproportionately in positions of leadership. They have a special obligation to battle sexual harassment. October 20, 2017 The Harvey Weinstein Scandal Is a Clarion Call to Men In Positions of Leadership Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Sexual Harassment 4 min read 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. Partner in Employment Practice Group of Duane Morris Guest Writer Jonathan Segal But again we have been rocked by explosive allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. In the case of Harvey Weinstein, there are now more than 30 women who have stepped forward. Weinstein admits to bad behavior but claims it was all consensual.  From what I have read, this is not a good defense, even for a science fiction movie.Weinstein is far from the only predator in Hollywood, and Hollywood is just a symptom of the problem. The casting couch can affect who gets plum assignments, leads, contacts, etc. in any industry. Few men with power would ever consider, let alone engage in, the kind of conduct engaged in by Weinstein and others but they must do more than just refrain from the indefensible. With power, men  have the opportunity, indeed the obligation, to create cultures where harassment does not flourish. So what do we do?Related: Uber Fires More Than 20 Employees for Harassment1. Stand up in the moment.You don’t need to have a daughter to stand up. You just need a conscience and a spine. So speak up if you see or hear bad behavior. To be silent is to condone. Yes, the worst behaviors are very often private but sometimes they are accompanied by less serious but still bad public behavior. For example, don’t laugh at the sexist jokes. Instead, make clear they are offensive to you and then take corrective action.The less serious public behaviors may be but the tip of the iceberg. Where appropriate, engage a third party to see if there is more than meets the eye. Climate surveys by skilled professionals can uncover what has not been reported without creating claims where none may exist.Related: 5 Ways to Manage ‘Mad Men’-Era Sexual Harassment2. Don’t wait for the direct complaint.The victims of harassment frequently are embarassed or feel unwarranted shame. Some women won’t vocalize their discomfort but instead avoid the harasser or become uncomfortable when his name is mentioned. Observe closely for, and listen carefully to, signals that something may be wrong.There won’t always be signals. But where there are warning signs, think about  how to offer your help in a way that respects the recipient and does not create an issue where there may not be one.  This can and has been done successfully.Related: 5 Steps Women Can Take to Fight Sexual Harassment At Workplace3. Create additional reporting vehicles.Fear of retaliation is a great inhibitor of timely reporting. So you may want to take a look at your company’s policies and at least consider having a procedure by which employees can report complaints externally, even anonymously.Not every complaint is true and that applies to anonymous complaints, too. But every complaint should be taken seriously, and  I have been involved in matters where the ability to report externally and anonymously has  led to the facts that resulted in the unmasking of a serial harasser. So consider the option.Related: Female Engineer Sues Tesla Over Sexist Culture4. Hold other leaders accountable.Harassers sometimes generate big bucks and that is why individuals sometimes cover up for, and even truckle up to, them. You need to cross their bridge to get meaningful work and the money that goes with it. Make clear to other leaders that you expect them not only to refrain from harassing behavior (severe or subtle) but also to report to a designated person or entity complaints or potential problems which they see, hear or of which they otherwise become aware. Ostriches don’t make good leaders.As with all expectations, reward those who live up to them and punish those who don’t.  Your organization is only as strong as its reputation and it can be  destroyed if leaders are passive bystanders.Related: A Female Employee Reportedly Called Tesla’s Factory a ‘Predator Zone’ at a Meeting Where Some Workers Described Sexual Harassment5. Model what you expect.Most of all, men in power need to be good role models. There is nothing cool about demeaning women. The abuse is both powerful and pathetic. There is no defense to the indefensible. Sexual addiction is no more a defense to harassment than alcoholism is to driving drunk.Speaking of alcohol, it is a major risk factor. Some cultures celebrate alcohol and such alcohol-centric cultures take away any slim inhibitors that otherwise might exist. Bottom line: it’s on men. Any questions, pal? Add to Queue Next Article Image credit: Paul Bruinooge | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

CBD Is Just the Beginning of the Limitless Opportunities of Legal Hemp

first_img Next Article Free Green Entrepreneur App December 20, 2018, is basically hemp’s Fourth of July. That’s when President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, making industrial hemp a lawful agricultural commodity nationwide for the first time in 80 years. And what is “industrial hemp”? It’s a term for a specific variety of cannabis — one that, by law, contains less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which means it won’t get anyone high. At its core, industrial hemp is just a really hardy crop. It thrives in most soils, requires few chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and grows extremely fast, furiously absorbing carbon from the atmosphere from germination to harvest, when its real versatility shines. Its uses range from foods and medicines to textiles, construction materials, biofuels, and bioplastics. Now it’s legal to grow and sell — which, in truth, the average consumer might not think sounds like a big deal. After all, they’ve been able to buy hemp rope, seeds, and other related products for years. But that’s because those products were all imported; it was stateside growing that had long been forbidden. The Farm Bill changed all that, and now United States farmers, entrepreneurs, and advocates are all moving quickly to capitalize on what they see as a very promising cash crop — one that could help the combined cannabis and hemp-CBD industries grow to $42 billion by 2022, according to a study by Brightfield Group last year.  With so much potential, the big question now is: What are the most immediate business opportunities presented by hemp legalization? Here, we break down the biggest five. Opportunity #1: Wellness products “In the short term, the nutritional and cosmetic products will be the easiest ways to enter the market,” predicts Samantha Walsh, cofounder and CEO of Tetra Public Affairs, and a strategist and legislative policy expert. That’s in part because consumers already associate hemp with health, and in multiple ways. Wellness-minded consumers buy plenty of hemp seed, hemp seed oil, hemp milk, and a host of other hemp foods. They’re also increasingly buying CBD products — and that, too, was made legal with the Farm Bill, because CBD (or cannabidiol) is a by-product of hemp. CBD products have gained popularity as a remedy for anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, and other conditions. With new freedoms, however, there will also likely be new restrictions. Hemp businesses will have to adapt to a regulatory environment that is still taking shape, insiders say — and that’s especially true for anything that’s sold to be ingested. “The USDA is expected to develop hemp cultivation rules by the end of the year,” Walsh says, “but if it doesn’t, the states will have to submit their own programs, which the USDA will have to approve. Hemp businesses and farmers will have to learn about and operate within a structure that’s not yet determined.”  The FDA will play a major role further down the supply chain. “It will update regulations for processing and manufacturing hemp, but, again, if it doesn’t, or until it does, businesses making and selling hemp products will operate within existing federal and state parameters,” says Walsh.But while wellness products may start booming immediately, insiders say that the more interesting changes will be quietly happening in the background. That’s because legalization opens financial doors for hemp businesses, Walsh says, and the access to banking and investment capital will make greater innovation possible. She says that even for smaller transactions, hemp retailers’ impending ability to accept debit and credit payments will be “a complete game changer.” And it’ll supercharge all sorts of other hemp-related businesses — ones that go far beyond what consumers are familiar with today.  Related: FDA Approves Its First Marijuana-Derived DrugOpportunity #2: Processing When hemp was illegal, few American businesses were developing ways to work with it. That means the country is far behind its international competition — and opportunities abound to play catch-up. “If anyone can advance processing and manufacturing,” Walsh says, “there will be business opportunities to fill gaps in the supply chain. A lot of the current processing and manufacturing technology is antiquated.” For example, there’s the problem of waste. Because of the undeveloped hemp supply chain, a lot of potentially valuable raw material is being discarded, says Carl Lehrburger of PureHemp Technology. “Most of the hemp plant is underutilized in the U.S.,” Lehrburger says. It’s processed for CBD, where the market is booming, but not for what he calls “the real gold,” like valuable raw material to create everything from protein powder to plastic. Most of that gets thrown away. It doesn’t have to be this way, but the ability to fully process hemp stalks simply is not yet available. That’s why, as cultivation takes off, processing capacity will need to keep up. Hemp has to be dried and processed close to where it’s grown, or else the transportation costs eat into profits. And if local processors can’t keep up, a hemp pileup ensues: Plants will be grown, but they’ll go bad before anyone can turn them into salable products.  “If you’re asking if there’s enough [fiber] processing capacity in the Mid-Atlantic, the answer is no,” says Leighton Rice, co-owner of Humble Hemp Farmers, who first planted hemp for CBD in 2018 under Pennsylvania’s pilot program. Even though his main crop is not fiber, he recognizes that the quantity of stalk left after the flowers are harvested is “not insignificant.” But, he says, “we don’t have an outlet for it.”  Despite all this waste, Rice is optimistic. In November 2018, he was about 15 percent into the harvesting process when he started to get calls every day from buyers offering to pre-buy his flowers for $80 to $100 per pound after testing determined what grade of CBD they would produce. Once people see how valuable the crop can be, he expects processors to scale up fast. Opportunity #3: CBD We already talked about wellness products, of which CBD is a part. But in truth, it’s a category all its own. What exactly does CBD do? Although much of the scientific evidence is preliminary, CBD has been suggested as a treatment for all sorts of conditions. Most commonly found as an oil, CBD can also be infused into food or drink, as well as vaped or applied topically.  Jeff Wright, vice president for extraction and purification for Thar Process, a Pittsburgh company specializing in cutting-edge CBD extraction technology, compares it to omega-3 fatty acids 20 years ago. “In the ’90s, omega-3s were hot, hot, hot,” he says. “CBD is the next omega-3.” From his perspective in the middle of the CBD supply chain, Wright also sees the business opportunity it presents. “Not too many people are farming hemp right now,” he says, “so there’s a window of time when it’s extremely lucrative to grow. Long-term, it will be a huge commodity.” Steven Turetsky and Drew Ferguson, managing directors of Shi Farms in Pueblo, Colo., a high-CBD-hemp farm and vertically integrated CBD ingredient supplier, are well aware of the CBD boom. After starting out in the marijuana-infused-product market, Turetsky and Ferguson noted the lack of reliability, transparency, and quality of CBD suppliers and decided to make the switch from marijuana to hemp. “We felt the market lacked enough real businesses, in scale, quality, and ethics,” Turetsky says. “And there was a big opportunity to enter the industry and simply do things the right way.” In 2018, Shi Farms and its cooperative farms planted 225 acres of high-CBD hemp in both Colorado and New York with plans to scale further this coming season. “Maintaining quality and consistency while scaling quickly has been challenging,” says Ferguson. “We’re pioneers again, trying to grow cannabis like you’d grow corn.” Related: CBD Is Just the First Huge Benefit From Legal HempOpportunity #4: Farming Aaron Cromer believes hemp can revive his hometown of Elkhart, Kansas (population: 1,896). Like others across the country, local farmers there have struggled to increase revenues. Other enterprises have also harmed the economic outlook of the community. The oil and gas industries once thrived in Western Kansas, employing workers in construction, repair, and drilling. Most of those jobs, Cromer says, have dried up.  “Our infrastructure is in place because of the oil and gas industry, but now we have only production guys, about half what it used to be. We had an 86 percent tax increase in 2016 because of that lost revenue,” he recalls. “There were nearly 100 empty homes in town.” In a place with just more than 942 households, according to 2017 census data, that is a serious problem.  But Cromer believes hemp can change that. He envisions the crop, which just became legal to grow with a license in Kansas, as a key to boosting farm revenues across the breadbasket.  “Imagine you put 20 percent of acreage into hemp across your farm instead of corn,” Cromer says. “For each farm, we’ve got 20 percent less corn, which, if enough farmers across the region buy in as well, drives supply down and the commodity price up. Not to mention it will diversify marketing for farmers because we’re not at the elevator’s mercy,” he adds.  He says farmers are also excited about growing a crop that moves so quickly. His area has very little storage capacity, so farmers need a product that sells. “With hemp, we’ve got an oil market, a potential fiber market, so it diversifies a farmer’s ability to market his crop,” he says. “He’s got a whole marketplace to deal with and can tailor his hemp to suit that market.” Cromer also sees the labor-intensive aspect of growing for CBD as a plus. Demand is high, and the crop can produce two to four harvests a year, so it creates jobs.  Opportunity #5: Bioplastics While farmers in Elkhart go after CBD, others are looking toward hemp’s nearly unlimited potential as a raw material for industrial applications. Humans have used hemp fibers to make ropes since 600 BCE. From there clothing, sails, and more followed, and now the industry may be setting up for a big comeback. The Los Angeles–based sustainable clothing company Recreator, for example, is making clothing out of U.S.-grown hemp cloth. But more dramatic are the opportunities in hemp-based bioplastics, which, instead of being manufactured using fossil-­fuel-based carbon, contain carbon from renewable sources such as hemp alone or in combination with other plant sources such as corn. Some bioplastics may even be compostable as well.  Related: The Next Big Cannabis Opportunity? Mills to Process Industrial Hemp.By 2020, bioplastics are predicted to control 5 percent of the plastics market, rising to 40 percent by 2030, according to Grand View Research. Thanks to a confluence of consumer demand for more sustainable goods, corporate initiatives, and falling manufacturing costs, production of bioplastics is about to take off.  “We expect market dominance in bioplastic hemp,” says Kevin Tubbs, founder of The Hemp Plastic Company. The Boulder, Colo.-based company specializes in raw bioplastic that’s sold to packaging companies — think toothpaste and lotion tubes, resealable pouches for trail mix, and jars for face cream. Tubbs says the choice was easy after making eco-friendly packaging for 20 years. “We need plastic,” he says. Tubbs advises potential investors to think about raw material costs. “Take a pound of raw polymer and compare it to a pound of raw hemp: The hemp is cheaper than the material cost of fossil fuel — when the price of oil rises, the price of hemp does not. Every ounce of it I add to the other polymers, it makes the resulting polymer greener and less expensive.”Today, Tubbs is manufacturing about a million pounds of hemp-based bioplastic a week. But he believes that’s just the start. His product, he says, has the potential to overtake raw polymer, its petroleum-based cousin, in coming decades. It’s a lofty vision, but the result would be transformative — creating business opportunities in hemp that will feed demand for sustainable packaging, and change an industry in the process. With the potential to become a vital commodity feeding into food, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, textile, and manufacturing sectors, hemp has the potential to do wonders for rural economies and fuel the growth of a diverse and profitable green industry. Senator Mitch McConnell pushed hard for the legalization of industrial hemp because, he wrote in April 2018, it made Kentucky farmers $16 million in 2016 and could replace tobacco as a major cash crop. “At a time when farm income is down and growers are struggling,” wrote McConnell, “industrial hemp is a bright spot of agriculture’s future.”  12 min read –shares Everybody is excited about CBD now but the potential of hemp as a basic material is immense over the long term. CBD Is Just the Beginning of the Limitless Opportunities of Legal Hemp This story appears in the May 2019 issue of Green Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Magazine Contributor CEO, The Hemp Biz Conference Image credit: Nastasic | Getty Images January 17, 2019 Christie Lunsford Download Our Free Android App Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. hemp Add to Queuelast_img read more

The Holy Trinity of Social Equity

first_img Each week hear inspiring stories of business owners who have taken the cannabis challenge and are now navigating the exciting but unpredictable Green Rush. Listen Now Image credit: Pacific Press | Getty Images Undoing the damage of the War on Drugs requires both government mandates and the good faith commitment of the cannabis industry. Cannabis social equity and economic empowerment programs are an effort to bring racial parity to an exceedingly inequitable situation.People of color have paid a heavy price over the past half century when it comes to cannabis-related crimes, with arrests on average being four times more common for African Americans than Caucasians. When it comes to legalization however, those very communities of color are nowhere to be seen. It’s a white, male-dominated industry and it is communities of wealth, not those decimated by the War on Drugs, that are reaping the rewards. This is where social equity enters the scene.Social equity, however, is about as fragmented and chaotic as the cannabis industry itself. Although there is hardly uniformity across the emerging markets, I have come to find at least three common denominators – I call these the Holy Trinity of Social Equity. 1. Social Equity LicensesFirst and foremost, the cannabis industry is built around licensing. Although every state is structured differently, the hallmark of legalized cannabis hinges upon regulation, and regulation begins with licensing.When most people think cannabis licensing, they think cultivation (growing) or retail (dispensary). Certainly, these are the bread and butter of the industry– but they aren’t the only types of business opportunities available. There are also manufacturing licenses, testing licenses, delivery licenses and a whole host of other areas within this hyper-regulated market which requires a license to operate. Bottom line: social equity programs address inequality by allocating a certain number or ratio of licenses to social equity applicants in some, or all, of these license categories.Some of these programs allow for social equity applicants to give a certain percentage of equity away to a non-social equity partner to receive funding or operational expertise. Others allow for a joint venture, but not equity, and others call for an incubator/accelerator model. Each scenario, and each type of license, brings with it a whole host of challenges and complexities. Nonetheless, every social equity program starts with ensuring that people of color be provided a pathway to become owners of cannabis companies, and that starts with licensing.Related: Cannabis Social Equity Programs Are Imperfect but Critically Important2. Social Equity EmploymentOver and over again in my work within social equity, I meet with African-Americans and Hispanics who use one term to describe what they are looking to achieve within this industry — generational wealth. They believe that in order to transform their family’s situation, they need to not only provide, but build a solid financial foundation upon which their children’s children can begin their lives.The obvious danger with providing an opportunity for an individual license holder to succeed is that only that individual and their family directly reaps the benefits of business ownership. Rewarding one social equity owner a license results in leaving behind the masses of people also looking to create a better life.This is why most social equity programs require, or at least encourage, a social equity employment component. With this, a certain percentage of employees working for the dispensary, cultivation or delivery company must also fulfill the social equity criteria. This requirement expands the value of social equity programs within its communities and offers a whole host of benefits that employment brings with it. Cannabis, like no other industry, can only be learned at this moment in time through on-the-job training.There are already more than 200,000 cannabis-related jobs within the United States and the fast-growing industry continues to require skilled employees. These skills, learned this early in the industry, will provide today’s employees upward mobility and future opportunities for generational wealth, just like the social equity license holders.Related: Challenges and Controversy Swirl Around Marijuana Social Equity Programs in California3. Social Equity Community BettermentLastly is the most elusive of them all — community betterment. For there to be true equality, we cannot simply set the stage for helping individuals succeed. Their communities, as a whole, must also succeed.Imagine the following scenario. Someone from South Central Los Angeles, ground zero during the War on Drugs, opens a social equity dispensary in Beverly Hills. According to the current regulations, licensees are determined by where the applicant resides, not where their shop is located. In theory, they will make millions while their community will potentially receive nothing. Worse yet, they may very well pick their family up and move them out of that neighborhood as they begin to generate wealth — leaving behind the community which made this possible.For this reason, nearly every social equity program has some component of local giveback or community betterment. Even if it is not required (which is a sensitive and complicated topic), it is expected in every community by all the stakeholders. The whole purpose of this concept is to level the playing field and benefit more citizens who may have been adversely affected by the War on Drugs. How that happens and what it looks like is subject to debate. A percentage of profit from legalized cannabis should be used to benefit these communities. This is not a social equity necessity but an industry necessity, with hope that it will inspire other industries to follow lead and create more pathways for economic empowerment for all.When executed properly, these three common denominators are an amazing force for good that can better the lives of many. Green Entrepreneur Podcast 5 min read Rabbi Dr. Baruch HaLevi –shares The Holy Trinity of Social Equity Next Article Guest Writer social justice June 26, 2019 Director of Corporate Responsibility at ONE Cannabis Group, Inc. Add to Queue Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

World Beverage Innovation Awards 2017 deadline extended

first_imgWorld Beverage Innovation Awards 2017 deadline extendedPosted By: News Deskon: July 31, 2017In: Awards, Beverage, Business, IndustriesPrintEmailThe deadline for entries to the World Beverage Innovation Awards has been extended to 3 August due to massive interest.This year’s awards will be hosted at Drinktec in Munich, providing brands with an immense opportunity to be a part of the world’s leading trade show for the global beverage industry. The ceremony will take place on 14 September.Judges include International Society of Beverage Technologists executive director Larry Hobbs, and Virgin Start Up mentor Ashanti Bentil Dhue. For more information on all of this year’s esteemed judges, click here.All entrants gain fantastic exposure, and the awards scheme is a great way to increase awareness of your brand in front of the industry’s leading decision makers.“Now in its 15th successful year, the World Beverage Innovation Awards continue to celebrate the best in innovation across every sector of the global beverage industry,” said FoodBev Media head of marketing Isabel Sturgess. “We look forward to showing every entry as part of Drinktec, as well as announcing finalists and presenting winners in all of the categories on 14 September.”Entering is quick and easy: to find out more information and to enter your product today click here.Share with your network: Tags: World Beverage Innovation Awardslast_img read more

Constellation Brands purchases US brewer Funky Buddha

first_imgConstellation Brands purchases US brewer Funky BuddhaPosted By: News Deskon: August 11, 2017In: Alcohol, Beverage, Business, Industries, Mergers & AcquisitionsPrintEmailUS-based Constellation Brands has announced the purchase of Funky Buddha Brewery, joining the firm’s craft and speciality beer portfolio as it aims to establish itself as a leading force in the US high-end beer market.Funky Buddha Brewery was founded in 2010 by husband and wife Ryan and Giani Sentz, the company produces bold craft beers made with high quality ingredients.Paul Hetterich, president of the beer division of Constellation Brands said: “Adding a fantastic regional brand such as Funky Buddha to our craft beer portfolio, along with Ballast Point, advances our strategy in continuing to lead the high-end beer segment.“The Sentz family has created a culture of bold creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Those qualities, combined with our beer division’s market reach, distributor partnerships, consumer insights, and our craft expertise within Ballast Point, will help nurture and develop Funky Buddha’s distinctive brand.”Constellation Brands and Funky Buddha Brewery’s team of employees will continue to work together as they aim to maintain Funky Buddha’s standard of brewing.“We chose to partner with Constellation because we saw an alignment in vision and felt they gave us the greatest opportunity for growth and development,” said Funky Buddha head brewer and president Ryan Sentz. “Constellation and Funky Buddha share a lot of the same ideals and passion for philanthropy, entrepreneurship and the art of craft beer. At the end of the day, we just really like the people we have met within the organisation, each of whom share our dedication to making outstanding beer.”Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.Share with your network: Tags: Constellation BrandsFunky Buddha Brewerylast_img read more

Nestlé Italiana sells Buitoni pasta production site to Pastificio Rana

first_imgNestlé Italiana sells Buitoni pasta production site to Pastificio RanaPosted By: News Deskon: January 02, 2018In: Business, Distribution, Food, Industries, Mergers & AcquisitionsPrintEmailNestlé Italiana has signed a preliminary agreement to sell its pasta production plant in Moretta to Italian company Pastificio Rana.Built in 1922 and renovated by Nestlé Italiana in 1990, the plant is located in the Piedmont region and covers an area of 25,000 square meters and produces fresh stuffed pasta and sauces under the group’s Buitoni brand.Nestlé said that the acquisition covers all assets of the plant and will guarantee the continued employment of its 190 members of staff.As part of the deal, Pastificio Rana will also distribute and market Buitoni pasta and sauces in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. However, in Italy and Spain the Buitoni brand will still be distributed and marketed by Nestlé.Buitoni will still be owned by Nestlé, and the company said it will continue to invest in innovation, research and marketing to promote the brand.Leo Wencel, head of the Nestlé Group in Italy, said: “We are very satisfied with the agreement reached with Pastificio Rana, a leading producer of food excellence in our country.“Buitoni’s fresh pasta and sauces have always been synonymous with quality and emblems of the great Italian gastronomic tradition. The commercial partnership with Rana will allow us to seize growth opportunities abroad, while ensuring development and employment continuity at the Moretta site.”Rana Pastificio CEO Gian Luca Rana said: “We are very happy to have seized this opportunity, which allows us to immediately expand our production capacity, increase volumes and provide a timely and effective response to a global market that has seen us grow for over 25 years with average rates above 15%.”He added: “This commercial partnership will allow us to appreciate and grow the fresh pasta and sauces categories of an important and historic brand like Buitoni in the markets in which it is not currently present.”Share with your network: Tags: BuitoniItalyNestlélast_img read more

Video BeviLaNatura unveils its new hot and cold drink dispenser

first_imgVideo: BeviLaNatura unveils its new hot and cold drink dispenserPosted By: Martin Whiteon: March 15, 2018In: Blog, Industries, Juices, Refreshment, Technology, Vending, VideosPrintEmailAt Hotelympia 2018 in London, BeviLaNatura unveiled a new beverage dispenser which is capable of dispensing both hot and cold beverages.The BeviLaNatura Hot’n’Cold can dispense a range of drinks such as teas, coffee, various juices and water, and the machine itself also features a touchscreen.Gemma Tuxford, head of UK business development at BeviLaNatura talked to FoodBev’s Martin White and showcased the features of the new machine.Recorded edited and produced by Alex Clere and Martin White.Share with your network: Tags: BeviLaNaturadispensersjuiceZericalast_img read more

PepsiCo expands distribution agreement with CS Group

first_imgPepsiCo expands distribution agreement with CS GroupPosted By: Martin Whiteon: July 20, 2018In: Alcohol, Beverage, Business, Distribution, IndustriesPrintEmailPepsiCo Foodservice has expanded its distribution agreement with beverage company CS Group, which will grant PepsiCo the exclusive distribution rights to Cool Attitudes Craft Mixers in the US.The Cool Attitudes Craft Mixer lineup was launched by CS Group in 2015, and includes premium drinks such as margaritas, bloody marys, sweet & sour and ginger beer flavours.Drinks in the range are available in bag-in-box packaging, and CS Group says this allows bartenders to create high-quality drinks in an efficient manner.Each flavour is crafted with Fair Trade cane sugar, organic agave nectar, fresh juices and other natural flavours.Heather Hoytink, senior vice-president sales of PepsiCo Foodservice said: “PepsiCo strives to set the standard for partnership in the foodservice industry and we believe that the addition of Cool Attitudes Craft Mixers to our portfolio will enable our customers to stay ahead of market demand for premium craft cocktails with a convenient, cost-effective option on the bar gun.CS Group CEO Rich Davis added: “When we set out to launch a craft mixer brand that could truly disrupt the cocktail market we chose Las Vegas to prove the concept.“Vegas is on the cutting edge of the bar and nightclub industry and only great brands can make it in the prestigious bars, clubs and hotels. Cool Attitudes Craft Mixers enjoyed the immediate acceptance of the Las Vegas bar and restaurant professionals and the brand is now pouring in all four major casino groups.“Just four years since launch, such aggressive growth has Cool Attitudes Craft Mixers trending to become the leading mixer sold in Las Vegas by 2019, and the brand continues to expand its presence in Chicago, California, Florida and the Northeast.”Share with your network: Tags: cocktailsCS GroupPepsiCospiritsUSlast_img read more

Kentucky Senator pitches bill to put armed patrols in schools after shooting

first_imgGun crime Reuse this content This article is more than 1 year old Share on Pinterest Was this helpful? NRA Associated Press in Frankfort, Kentucky Break the cycle Show news Break the cycle Gun rights advocates prepare push for more guns in schools – grizzly bears or no Share on Twitter Photograph: Mark Humphrey/AP Topics Q&A Why is the National Rifle Association so powerful? Kentucky … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. New legislation would let local districts hire armed marshals, who would not need to be police officers, to patrol public schools Share on Facebook Last modified on Wed 5 Jun 2019 04.15 EDT Share on LinkedIn “You know, we’re in Kentucky,” said Ralph Alvarado, a Republican state senator and medical doctor who co-sponsored West’s legislation. “This debate always comes up, restricting gun use in the state. I’m just adamantly opposed to it. It’s a constitutional right that we have. It’s one of those things that it’s going to be tough to ever get that kind of a concept through.”Some Democrats think the GOP push for more guns in schools is misplaced. State Representative Attica Scott from Louisville has filed legislation that would ban those convicted of hate crimes from carrying a gun and let local governments pass laws requiring gun sellers to use “responsible business practices”.center_img Since you’re here… Students attend a vigil for those killed and injured after a 15-year-old boy opened fire at Marshall County High School in Marion, Kentucky Tuesday.Photograph: Harrison McClary/Reuters “We are training our babies how to react when faced with an active shooter, but we are not taking action on gun safety,” Scott said. “We are sending prayers and thoughts to kids who are clinging to the last bit of faith they have in the system of government that is supposed to keep them safe.”And Democratic Representative Jim Wayne of Louisville has filed a bill that would make it a crime for adults to “recklessly” store a gun without a trigger lock, a measure aimed at preventing children and teenagers from having access to their parents’ guns.“We don’t know if the perpetrator (in Marshall County) had a gun that was maybe stored properly or had a gun lock on it he was able to disengage,” Wayne said. “Regardless, we had a child shooting children. If we can do anything to protect one life of one child, that is what we need to do as a body.”The shooting Tuesday at Marshall County High School left two students dead, 14 wounded by gunfire and others injured in the rush to escape the violence.As school shootings become more commonplace, debates are raging in Kentucky and state legislatures nationwide about how to prevent them. Some pursue laws that would make it harder for teenagers and others to buy guns and bring them onto school grounds. Others, including some Democrats, want to increase the number of people allowed to carry guns in schools, believing that will deter shootings from starting and quickly stop the ones that do.“We need armed officers in every school in Kentucky. That is a small price to pay if it saves one child’s life,” Kentucky Democratic state Senator Ray Jones said.Similar bills have been filed in Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Share on Messenger Share via Email Support The Guardian Hours after authorities say a 15-year-old student shot and killed two classmates at a western Kentucky high school, a Republican senator in the state’s Capitol rushed to file a bill intended to prevent future tragedies – by putting more guns in schools.The legislation from state Senator Steve West would let local districts hire armed marshals to patrol public schools, make citizen’s arrests and protect people from “imminent death or serious physical injury”. Marshals would not have to be police officers, but school district employees in good standing who have a license to carry concealed weapons.“I’m going to be beating the drum again. We had this shooting this week. If we do what we did last time and nothing is done, this will come back again,” West said of Tuesday’s violence.His is one of at least two bills that would allow more guns into Kentucky’s public schools and on college campuses. They reflect sentiments that have found bipartisan support in a conservative state whose politicians routinely pose in ads with guns, and where the National Rifle Association held its 2016 national convention. The NRA has an outsized influence in many state elections and the resulting gun policy debates in those legislatures. Kentucky Share on Twitter Fri 26 Jan 2018 11.37 EST US gun control It’s not (just) about the money. In 2017, the NRA spent at least $4.1m on lobbying – more than the $3.1m it spent in all of 2016. But for comparison, the dairy industry has spent $4.4m in the same period, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). The National Association of Realtors, one of the biggest spenders, has paid out $32.2m lobbying on housing issues.The NRA has plenty of cash to spend. It bet big on the 2016 US elections, pouring $14.4m into supporting 44 candidates who won and $34.4m opposing 19 candidates who lost, according to CRP.But “the real source of its power, I believe, comes from voters,” said Adam Winkler, a UCLA professor of constitutional law.The 145-year-old organization claims 5 million active members, that number is disputed, but whatever its actual size, membership is a powerful tool, said Robert Spitzer, a professor at the State University of New York at Cortland.“They have a very powerful ability to mobilize a grassroots support and to engage in politics when most Americans can barely be bothered to vote,” he said. “And because so few Americans do those things, if you get a bunch of people in a locality who are all prepared to go out to a meeting they can have a big effect.” Read more Hide Kentucky Senator pitches bill to put armed patrols in schools after shooting Shares116116 Thank you for your feedback. Read more Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Share via Email This article is more than 1 year oldlast_img read more

Army veteran who killed three women hero who clearly had demons –

first_imgShare on Facebook US military The army veteran who killed three women after a siege in California completed dangerous missions in Afghanistan that left him anxious and wary when he came home, according to people who knew him. Army veteran who killed three women ‘hero who clearly had demons’ – mayor Albert Wong, 36, shot hostages at Pathway Home in YountvilleOne victim was seven months pregnant, family friend says Gun crime Authorities said Albert Wong, 36, who served a year and returned highly decorated, took the women hostage on Friday at a Yountville veterans center where he had sought help. Hours later, authorities found all four bodies in a room at the center that aids people with post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injuries. The victims were identified as Pathway Home executive director Christine Loeber, 48; clinical director Jennifer Golick, 42; and Jennifer Gonzales Shushereba, 32, a clinical psychologist with the San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.A family friend said Gonzales was seven months pregnant. In a statement, the Pathway Home said: “These brave women were accomplished professionals who dedicated their careers to serving our nation’s veterans, working closely with those in the greatest need of attention after deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.”Yountville mayor John Dunbar, a member of the Pathway Home’s board of directors, said: “We lost three beautiful people. We also lost one of our heroes who clearly had demons that resulted in the terrible tragedy that we all experienced here.”Wong served in the army reserve from 1998 to 2002, enlisted for active duty in May 2010 and was deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011, according to military records. He was awarded the Expert Marksmanship Badge. But that meant that he was tasked with dangerous assignments in which he saw “really horrible things” that affected his mental wellbeing, said Cissy Sherr, his legal guardian when he was a child. Wong was “soft-spoken and calm”, said Sherr, adding that she and her husband became his guardians after his father died and his mother developed health problems. Wong moved back in with them for a little while in 2013 and kept in touch online. When Wong found the veterans program in Yountville, Sherr said, he told her: “I think I’m going to get a lot of help from this program.”“I can’t imagine what happened,” she said. “It doesn’t make any sense to me.”Authorities offered little information about why Wong attacked the Pathway Home and whether he targeted his victims. But Golick’s father-in-law, Mike Golick, said she had recently expelled Wong from the program. After Wong entered the building, Golick called her husband to say she had been taken hostage, her father-in-law said. He didn’t hear from his wife again.Dunbar said the program, housed at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville in Napa Valley wine country, had served more than 450 veterans in more than a decade. The largest veterans home in the nation cares for about 1,000 elderly and disabled vets. The mayor said veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan come home with “a lot of need for special care”. He did not answer questions about why Wong was removed from the program. Authorities said Wong slipped into a going-away party for employees. He let some people leave but kept the three women. Police said a Napa Valley sheriff’s deputy exchanged gunshots with Wong but nothing was heard from him after that. On Saturday, from a vet-center crafts building across the street, Sandra Woodford said she saw lawmen with guns but the only shots she heard were inside Pathway. “This rapid live-fire of rounds going on, at least 12,” she said. At the veterans home, the Pathway Home was surrounded by crime tape. Muriel Zimmer, an 84-year-old air force veteran of the Korean war, said she felt badly for Wong, saying she “cannot blame him. It’s because of the war.” Share on WhatsApp news Associated Press in Yountville, California Shares5252 US crime Share on Twitter Gunman and three hostages found dead at US veterans’ home Topics Share on Messenger This article is more than 1 year old Reuse this content … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. California Sun 11 Mar 2018 08.28 EDT Share on Facebook Since you’re here… A woman cries after placing flowers at a sign at the Veterans Home of California.Photograph: Josh Edelson/AP Share on Twitter Share via Email Support The Guardian Read more Share on LinkedIn Share via Email Share on Pinterest This article is more than 1 year old Californialast_img read more

Florida reserve offers reward for safe return of wolf that escaped during

first_imgShare on Facebook Share on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. This article is more than 8 months old Reuse this content A Florida animal preserve is offering an $800 reward for the safe return of a wolf that escaped during Hurricane Michael and is on the run in the state – and pleading with anyone who sees him not to shoot him.The Seacrest Wolf Preserve in Chipley, Florida, said the 16-year-old wolf named Tahane fled during the storm last week.“He experienced extreme stress during the storm. Trees were crashing down. A giant oak fell on his fencing, and he fled in terror,” the preserve’s co-founder Cynthia Watkins said in a Facebook video. “He’s running for his life.”Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm last week, causing widespread destruction.Watkins said Tahane has been used in educational programs with visitors for years, and will not hurt humans.“Thousands of people have handled Tahane and know him,” she said. “Please do not shoot this wolf. He is no danger to anyone. He is like someone’s pet, but he is fleeing in traumatic stress.”The wolf has been spotted south of the preserve in the Holmes Valley area, officials said, asking anyone who sees him to contact the preserve with his location so he can be tranquilized and brought back.“He is a victim of this terrible natural disaster,” Watkins said. “He deserves to be captured humanely and brought back to the wolf preserve.” Last modified on Thu 18 Oct 2018 11.33 EDT Florida Share via Email Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Shares4242 Since you’re here… Associated Press Topics Florida reserve offers reward for safe return of wolf that escaped during Hurricane Michaelcenter_img Share on Twitter Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest Tahane, the 16-year-old wolf, fled the Seacrest Wolf Preserve in Chipley during the storm last week Hurricane Michael news Share on Facebook Share via Email Thu 18 Oct 2018 10.56 EDT Animals ‘Please do not shoot this wolf. He is no danger to anyone.’ the preserve’s co-founder says of wolf who fled during Hurricane Michael.Photograph: Gerry Broome/AP Florida Share on WhatsApp This article is more than 8 months oldlast_img read more

Halloween rally drives markets higher after a scary October as it happened

first_img Report Reply Share on Facebook Report Facebook Wed 31 Oct 2018 16.07 EDT Share via Email Share on Twitter brexitschmexit2 4 5 If it upsets you so much, go read the Financial Times. moosetickler Business Show WoodWorker2008 Share Weeeee! The FTSE 100 is flying faster than a rocket. Sigh. Are you now giving up any pretence that the Guardian is a serious newspaper? Reply Report 5 6 Share 10 11 Show 31 Oct 2018 17:38 European markets shake off October bluesGood news: October is over, at least for traders in Europe.Better news: European stock markets have all ended today’s session higher, clawing back some of this month’s losses.Here’s the closing prices:UK’s FTSE 100: UP 92 points or 1.3% at 7,128Germany’s DAX: UP 160 points or 1.4% at 11,447France’s CAC: UP 51 points of 2.3% at 5,093That still means European stocks have lost around 5% of their value this month.Could the worst be over? Possibly, but it’s worth noting that nothing has really changed. All the factors blamed for the sell-off – from US interest rate policy to the Italian budget row – are in place.On the other hand, maybe there’s relief that the earnings season hasn’t been worse.Neil Wilson of has a good take: CNBC Now (@CNBCnow)Dow closes up 240 points, Nasdaq closes in correction 31, 2018 WoodWorker2008 Reply 31 Oct 201809:38 1 Nov 201813:16 WoodWorker2008 Share 31 Oct 201810:31 31 Oct 2018 19:00 Jamessss It’s what the 27 send her back with that’s critical. Fudge it, and leaving the club will show as “needn’t be dramatic”. That’s the point of fudges. 31 Oct 201809:25Global stocks facing biggest losses since 2012 Reply Report Unlike many news organisations, we chose an approach that means all our reporting is free and available for everyone. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. For as little as $1 you can support us – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Make a contribution – The Guardian 2 3 Facebook | Pick Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Facebook Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange today. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA Twitter Facebook Reply | Pick Share The interest is tax deductable in the US so the picture is less gloomy than it appears I don’t know the average yield on shares at the moment but presumably when they match those on fixed interest stock the market should stabilise ? Can an expert out there please clarify ? Share Share on Twitter 31 Oct 201811:50 The Dow is holding onto its gains, now up 286 points (+1.15%) at 25,160 points.Wall Street traders are doing their best to end October on a positive note. Today’s decent results from GM, and strong ADP jobs figures, seem to be helping. Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Facebook smellybeard Show 25 Reply Twitter macboro the ever-increasing amount of US student debt Reply Twitter Share on Facebook Twitter Sandclaygravel Einwanderer hollywoodvine66 Facebook Twitter EZ CPI infation 2.2% (Doomberg) Share on Twitter macboro Share Comments 368 Share on Facebook Report Reply Facebook | Pick Facebook Share on Twitter Close report comment form Share on Facebook Twitter Twitter | Pick 31 Oct 2018 19:03 Twitter Share on Facebook Wall Street opens higher in Halloween rallyThere’s a Happy Halloween spirit on the New York stock exchange, as the final trading day of a brutal October kicks off.The Dow Jones industrial average has leapt by 251 points, or 1%, to 25,125. That’s on top of Tuesday’s 400-point leap, and might cheer spirits on Wall Street.But it won’t fix October’s bad losses on its own. 31 Oct 2018 16:59 truk10 Twitter | Pick 1 2 Share on Twitter Photograph: Thomson Reuters 50 Reply Report 0 1 Show 5 more replies Updatedat 9.27am EDT Share on Twitter 31 Oct 2018 16:33 31 Oct 201809:07 1 of 3 Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)Stock Market up more than 400 points yesterday. Today looks to be another good one. Companies earnings are great!October 31, 2018 Twitter Report Twitter 31 Oct 2018 17:27 moosetickler Back in New York, tech shares are still on a tear – pushing the Nasdaq up by almost 3% today.By my maths, that still leaves the Nasdaq down 8% for the month. MSCI All-Country World Index, month-by-month over the last decade (as of last night) Photograph: Thomson Reuters Topics Business Facebook Except Twitter Report FTSE I put mistook salt for sugar and put it in my brew, it was a Tuesday, accept my balls up didn’t affect anyone else. Twitter Facebook Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Report Report IfItsMagic comments (368)Sign in or create your Guardian account to join the discussion. Newest 0 1 Share on Facebook 0 1 Raymond Yeung, chief economist for China at ANZ, said he expected more measures, including cutting the amount of capital banks are required to hold in reserve in order to ease liquidity. “All the numbers from China’s PMI release today confirm a broad-based decline in economic activity,” said adding that conditions for the private sector was “much worse” than headline data suggested. “The government’s priority is to avoid a financial blow-up.” Hmmm. Cutting capital requirements to ease liquidity. Wasn’t the 2008 crisis essentially a liquidity crisis that also became a capital crisis? Shouldn’t the Chinese be asking banks to improve their liquidity position without reducing their capital? Share on Twitter Reply Eurozone Reply Threads collapsed newest WoodWorker2008 Share Share on Facebook | Pick 31 Oct 2018 21:23 31 Oct 2018 17:03 Wall Street closes higher, after a rough monthBe gone, October!Wall Street has closed for the day, and the month, with a two-day rally.The Dow and the S&P 500 had both gained around 1% as the closing bell rang. The Nasdaq jumped by 2%, driven by the revival in FAANG stocks.Slightly worryingly, the rally did soften in the last few minutes (like a chocolate in the warm hand of a trick-or-treater). Facebook Twitter Facebook Share Share 31 Oct 2018 17:19 1 2 Twitter Facebook Mike Hill Maclon 31 Oct 201809:25 Link? 31 Oct 2018 16:45 Reply 5 6 Reply | Pick The amazing thing is the s&p and moody’s were just as to blame as the banks, yet nothing happened to them. As you say laughably they still are taken notice of. Sign in or create your Guardian account to recommend a comment 31 Oct 2018 17:24 truk10 Was it ever going to be anything else ? Is there the administrative capacity in the British government to untie the EU treaties and agreements in anything less than a five year + timetable ? I for one very much doubt it…….. 1 Nov 201815:46 Share Share on Twitter expanded 17 18 Share on Facebook Economics Share Report Reply 31 Oct 2018 16:34 Share on Facebook Report unthreaded Reply Share on Twitter 31 Oct 2018 16:54 2 3 Report Report If China are reporting a slowing economy you can expect it to be a lot worse. Reply Twitter Share on Twitter Share Share on Twitter In order for that to happen though, it would require an Xtra, Xtra, Xtra special fudge served by the EU27 so that what May brings back to London can have a chance of flying in the Commons. This will not be a Brexit prepared by either May’s pathetic Brexit govnt or the Hs of Commons. This will be a Brexit courtesy of what the EU27 give May to come back with. Well, no matter. Who prepares it, who executes it…all by the bye. What you cannot get away from is: Brussels/EU27 fudge = a deliverable for May Brexit divorce deal and an accommodation Who’s next? After Britain? 31 Oct 2018 18:24 Report 31 Oct 2018 19:16 Facebook Facebook growth slows as Zuckerberg says developed countries are saturated Sorry there was an error. Please try again later. If the problem persists, please contact Userhelp Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Facebook | Pick ID0303 Share on Messenger Global stocks facing biggest losses since 2012Global stock markets is up 0.6% already today, thanks to gains in Asia and Europe.The MSCI All Country World Index has risen to 481.03 points, up from 478 last night.But October has still been a pretty horrific month for stocks. The ACWI ended September at 524 points, meaning it has lost over 8% this month.In points terms, this looks like the biggest destruction of value since the financial crisis of 2008.In percentage terms, it looks like the worst month since May 2012 (when the ACWI fell from 328 points to 297, down 9.4%). Report Twitter | Pick Facebook Facebook Twitter Facebook Share on Facebook Share | Pick Share richievet Can’t wait until Bonfire / Guy Fawkes day to see what headlines a rise or fall will bring. Share on Facebook 6 7 kingstonboy Business live ‘The Federal Reserve remains the biggest, scariest vampire in the markets today. As it sucks the life-blood of investment markets with interest rate rises, the so-called “risk-free rate” becomes more attractive, the cost of funding risk rises and all risky assets must adjust to offer higher returns. In other words, they must sell off.‘But our Nosferatu is a complex villain – it cares deeply for its victim. As rates climb, it forces volatility into the stock markets, especially emerging markets with US dollar funding requirements that fear the higher greenback. It is this volatility that may cause the Fed to slow or pause the blood-letting in 2019.’ 9 10 Twitter | Pick Halloween is rapidly reverting to its original designation of All Souls and protection from evil, not another party. | Pick Reply tony1851 FrogmellaMousetrap What is going on with this Halloween crap? Live feed Does ATL drive BTL or BTL drive ATL ? ID0303 Einwanderer Maclon 1 Nov 201813:16European markets shake off October blues Share on Twitter Twitter 31 Oct 2018 16:21 This would be the same Standard & Poor that gave Lehman Brothers a triple ‘A’ rating only months before it’s collapse! So Standard & Poor’s predictions of rising unemployment, falling household incomes, and a recession should be seen as unwarranted optimism!? 😛 Show 6 more replies Twitter Twitter Share on Facebook Twitter Share on Facebook Patrick305 Share Twitter Share on Twitter Twitter Facebook 31 Oct 2018 16:20 Order by oldest TrickleDownClowns ID0303 | Pick Reply Report Share on Facebook Facebook Einwanderer Reply Jamessss Facebook Facebook kingned | Pick 3 4 WoodWorker2008 Facebook ID0303 Share on Facebook Twitter Share on Twitter Report Report 31 Oct 2018 17:32 | Pick 31 Oct 2018 16:27 3 4 0 1 lots of portugese included escaping unemployment. Thats the unemployment created by the British and Americans in Portugal doing their own plumbing, growing their own crops and providing their own personal health care. Do you mean that kind of unemployment? | Pick Report Twitter So you’re saying that they haven’t made a mistake in 10 years. That sounds pretty good. 31 Oct 2018 17:38 There’s a spectacular number of Brits who have started turning up in my sleepy little corner of Portugal. All with a big bunch of money, all looking to buy property, all applying for residency. Matched only by a similar number of Americans looking to get out of Trump’s USA. Britain’s bleeding to death. Share October’s volatility probably won’t spook the Federal Reserve out of raising US interest rates again in December.Capital Economics expect Fed chair Jay Powell will pave the way for a pre-Christmas hike, arguing: 31 Oct 2018 16:30 Share Halloween Brexit is trick and no treat Report Share Share Share 31 Oct 2018 16:45 Share on Facebook Twitter Report Report Show 3 more replies Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Sandclaygravel Reply hollywoodvine66 Probably something tied into “rockets” and “damp squibs”. Reply Report Saw my first one in August, not a proper one just a replica. Hot cross buns and easter eggs and bunnies on sale all year round, can’t be long before Christmas becomes similar. Ho! Ho! | Pick More of Hammond’s lavatory jokes? FAANGS upHalloween is a time for fangs, so it’s appropriate that the FAANG stocks are rallying in New York.With Facebook now up 6.8%, Netflix also up 6.8%, Amazon up 4% and Alphabet up over 3.1%, technology stocks are in demand.But this treat comes after a very tricky October, which saw tech stocks slump by around 10% during the month. Report 1 2 Reply If the UK reaches an agreement with the EU, the UK parliament must either approve it in its entirety or reject it in its entirety. Vote what ever way you want but it is a binary choice. 2 3 4 5 Share Twitter ‘Weeeee’ – really? I thought ‘Boom’ was about as far as we could go. Why treat your readers like children? 1 Nov 201813:24 Spain’s recovery continues to chug along reasonably in third gear: 0.6% again in Jul-Sep for the third quarter running. Household and public sector spending the key contributors, with capital investment also decent, though lower than in Q2. Report Share on Twitter Not me, i’m sitting on a cushion Twitter Older 31 Oct 201810:27 Facebook 100 Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Twitter Twitter Oh chill out for Christ sake, kids when the go out to trick or treat must love knocking on your door Show 1 more reply Facebook Report 5 6 The US president reckons shares are going up again today… | Pick Share Reply Twitter Share on Twitter Loading comments… Trouble loading? 31 Oct 2018 17:11 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Apeiron Share on Twitter Report 3 4 Report Share Reply Mike Hill Reply Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Reply 11 12 Share on Pinterest | Pick Share Reply Twitter Reply Share on Twitter Share on Twitter | Pick Twitter Twitter Facebook TrickleDownClowns 25 Report Twitter 31 Oct 2018 16:14 World’s manufacturer shows signs of slowdown, markets rebound…. Facebook missed analyst forecasts for revenue growth (despite pulling in 33% more than a year ago), but smashed forecasts for earnings.Wall Street is giving Facebook the thumbs-up today, with Royal Bank of Canada providing a list of five reasons to be bullish:Facebook stills owns two of the largest media assets in the world (Facebook and Instagram) and the two largest messaging assets in the world (Messenger & WhatsApp);Our checks and management commentary suggest no material change in Marketer views of the attractiveness of Facebook platforms;Monetization of core Facebook and Instagram assets still has material upside potential and Messenger and WhatsApp are beginning early stages of monetization; Facebook’s aggressive investments are improving platform security and creating future revenue streams;Even under pressure, Facebook’s producing impressive growth.” 3 4 Twitter Share on Facebook Facebook russell84 Facebook | Pick ID0303 macboro Traders were busy at the New York Stock Exchange as the Dow jumped by 300 points Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA smellybeard Share on Facebook The stock market is telling the Fed to stop raising rates. Janet Yellen has come out to urge the Fed to keep to its course, but the signs are the equity market is highly susceptible to a more aggressive course of hiking. The Fed has been here before – the question is do we get 1998 Greenspan Fed that listens to the equity market, or 2007/08 Bernanke Fed? October was a horrid month despite the gains of the last two days. We could see seasonal factors support further gains into the year-end but the primary trend could remain bearish.” Share Twitter Twitter Facebook 31 Oct 2018 17:15 Why Facebook shares are bouncing backLast night, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the company’s ‘Stories’ product as a key future source of growth, and admitted Facebook has reached saturation point in “developed countries”. Report 14 15 31 Oct 2018 18:28 Twitter Twitter Share Share on Twitter Facebook Share via Email How is 1 percent flying faster than a rocket. This business section has turned into a joke. Twitter Share on Twitter 31 Oct 2018 17:01 6 7 Facebook Business live Share on Twitter 31 Oct 2018 18:31 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Facebook Report | Pick Twitter Stock markets Twitter Report Share on Twitter Reason (optional) Share on Twitter Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Sandclaygravel Facebook | Pick 31 Oct 2018 16:58 Twitter 1 Reply 7 8 Facebook rickyvilla | Pick Twitter | Pickcenter_img Yes. They are accelerating towards their inevitable debt crisis. Add to this that Chinese energy consumption has increased by 46% over the last decade. Since 2007 GDP has gone from 37tn RMB to 81tn, but debt has more than trebled from 60tn to 251tn… on average over the last decade they’ve borrowed 32% of GDP every year. It’s insane. People worry about the US which averages something like 5.8% Forget Trump, China is fucked all by itself 31 Oct 2018 17:37 Show 1 more reply Share | Pick Just under 4%( FTSE100) Unlikely to be as low as Fixed Interest due to risk premium and also over which period ? 2 year , 30 year? Bit like a mortgage the fixed rate varies with the term ( fixed rate 2 year 0.73% ,30 year 1.85%) FTSE100 return. Interest.( Gilts ) Facebook Reply Reply Optymystic Share on Twitter 15 16 31 Oct 201810:18 Twitter 7 8 Share on Facebook oh dear … wrong on sooo many levels “Britain’s economy will suffer rising unemployment and falling household incomes that would trigger a recession should Theresa May fail to secure a deal to prevent the UK crashing out of the European Union next year, according to analysis by the global rating agency Standard & Poor’s.” This would be the same Standard & Poor that gave Lehman Brothers a triple ‘A’ rating only months before it’s collapse! Reply Share Share 0 1 2 Reuse this content,View all comments > Have you noticed the maturity(?) of the BTL crowd, the ATL has to entertain? 6 7 Reply Facebook Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter | Pick russell84 Facebook Facebook Facebook Twitter | Pick Twitter Share on Facebook 13 14 31 Oct 2018 17:02 Graeme Wearden If it upsets you so much, go read the Financial Times | Pick Twitter 27 28 Facebook Share on Twitter 31 Oct 201810:06 Twitter The market was certainly Spooked. | Pick Einwanderer Reply Share on Twitter Share wilfulsprite 31 Oct 2018 17:53 Facebook Tbf, childish noises instead of insightful comment I have come to expect.However, thinking that fireworks are part of Halloween is unforgivable: won’t somebody think of the poor pets…? Share on Facebook 7 8 Share on Twitter 31 Oct 201807:06Eurozone inflation rises, but jobless rate unchanged Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 15 16 Halloween rally drives markets higher, after a scary October – as it happened,The slump of Red October is easing, as spooked investors snap up shares againLatest: European markets have jumped today US stock markets has opened sharply higherIntroduction: October has been ghoulish for investorsWorld markets have plunged 8% this monthScare trick-or-treaters with this chart! | Pick Reply Report 31 Oct 201809:56 Photograph: Bloomberg TV Facebook 22 23 Twitter 3 4 0 1 Facebook Reply Wall Street has been a horror-show for over two weeks so they are right on theme. Share on Facebook 1 Nov 201816:06Wall Street closes higher, after a rough month Reply Share on Facebook The Christian All Souls is historically way too late to be Halloween’s original designation. 31 Oct 2018 17:21 Report Is China really pumping dollars into financial markets as reported by the Guardian today? Would that depress the value of the Yuan, or raise it? Report Senex1 Phantasmagorical Facebook That’s the start of the christmas rally-yesterday I saw the first 2m x-ms tree… my favourite Kebab-shop. Report Share on Facebook First published on Wed 31 Oct 2018 04.05 EDT Phantasmagorical Facebook At $1.6tn, they’ve been well trained by the banks. No escape for them, and our lot are heading the same way. Facebook Share | Pick Share on Facebook Report Reply Share on Twitter They seem to have learned from previous mistakes. Share Share Share on Twitter Twitter 6 7 kingned Facebook Twitter Report | Pick 31 Oct 2018 17:16 Facebook 31 Oct 2018 16:35 9 10 Reply Facebook Reply Share on Twitter Twitter Twitter Nadoma wintzy 5 6 13 14 Volksfuehrer Farage predicted a mild recession. Emperor Rees-Mogg further refined that saying it would last about 50 years. Rule Britannia! Cheers! Share brexitschmexit2 The US dollar is also surging today, making gains against emerging market currencies such as the Brazilian real and the Turkish lira. Share on Facebook Facebook 1 Nov 2018 4:16 Twitter TrickleDownClowns Newer AuldCurmudgeon Email (optional) Share 1 Nov 201815:50 collapsed Share Report Facebook Share on Facebook Reply Report Report 3 4 AuldCurmudgeon 5 6 1 Nov 2018 15:46 Share on Facebook 31 Oct 201809:38Wall Street opens higher in Halloween rally Share on Twitter Mohamed A. El-Erian (@elerianm)On a “risk-on” morning with 1-2% gains for US stock indices, #DXY $ index continues to strengthen & sets a high for the year. Note also that this Oct, which hasn’t been kind to #stocks, DXY is up for the 7th month in a row.Another reflection of economic and policy divergence. 31, 2018 31 Oct 2018 17:54 | Pick Share Share Share on Twitter Facebook Report Report Share 31 Oct 201811:41 31 Oct 2018 16:30 Share Share on Facebook ochongodeo Share on Twitter 31 Oct 2018 17:30 Share on Twitter Reply Share on Facebook ID0303 | Pick Report Richard Dickie Hodges, Manager of Nomura Global Dynamic Bond fund, blames US interest rate rise fears for October’s market slump.Getting firmly into the Halloween spirit, he writes: Reply Earnings are not universally strong and outlooks have betrayed some murkiness. But, on the whole, we have more companies beating earnings estimates than missing, and more than the average. Fundamentals are still strong but there are questions about earnings growth from here. wilfulsprite Facebook MrDerbyDalesCpl Fred Bloggs Updated 1 Nov 2018,Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangePhotograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters | Pick 31 Oct 2018 17:33 Twitter Alot sitting on cash. Facebook 31 Oct 2018 16:51 recommendations Share Share on Facebook Facebook macboro OK. In which case, “Who’s next? “After Britain?“ ..for the EXIT 3 4 Report Report Share on Twitter 31 Oct 2018 17:49 Please select Personal abuse Off topic Legal issue Trolling Hate speech Offensive/Threatening language Copyright Spam Other 31 Oct 2018 17:00 CNBC Now (@CNBCnow)Stocks open higher, but Dow still on pace for 5% loss in October 31, 2018 31 Oct 201809:29 Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Reply Show 22 more replies Share on Twitter | Pick Share on Twitter 31 Oct 2018 17:13 All 2 3 Report Facebook 31 Oct 2018 17:58 Share on Twitter 31 Oct 2018 18:20 | Pick Report Apeiron 31 Oct 2018 17:37 View more comments Reply Reply 8 9 Nadoma Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick 2.5 in Germany. Mark David Turner Share Facebook Twitter Trick! Trick alright: Key events Share on Facebook Share Reply The credit ratings agencies are an absolute joke, you’d think they would show a bit more humility after their spectacular balls up pre 2008 but no, not a bit of it. I would have to give anything announced by Standard & Poors, Moody’s and Fitch a junk rating. Report Report | Pick Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Share Facebook richievet 31 Oct 201810:33 Facebook AngeloDiRagusa | Pick 31 Oct 2018 17:04 truk10 Reply 31 Oct 2018 17:47 Shares2424 31 Oct 2018 17:56 Reply Third gear is fine. Better than a return to pedal-to-the-metal property-fuelled growth. Which might still happen, of course – both PSOE and PP have past addictions to that high which they could very easily succumb to again. Twitter Share on Twitter 1 Nov 201813:31 2 3 | Pick Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner)Faangs rally on Halloween after frightful October. NSYE FANG Index still 8% down mtd. 31, 2018 TrickleDownClowns So, if the US-China trade war pushes prices up (inflationary), and US wage growth picks up (also inflationary), does the Federal Reserve keep hiking? Or does it hold off, to protect asset prices?Wilson says: 21 22 3 Twitter TrickleDownClowns rickyvilla Share ochongodeo 2 3 Facebook | Pick Report The Nasdaq index has surged by 1.6%, as technology stocks rally.Facebook shares have jumped by 5%, as investors show they like last night’s results from the social network giant.General Motors have surged by 6%, after beating profit and revenue estimates today. TrickleDownClowns Twitter Share on Twitter Dow Jones European markets are still sharply higher, as traders prepare for Wall Street to open…. mikedow Share on Facebook | Pick Report Twitter Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 3 4 Share on Twitter richievet Share on Twitter 31 Oct 201810:27Why Facebook shares are bouncing back Report Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Facebook Facebook WoodWorker2008 Twitter Facebook elgavio 31 Oct 2018 16:49 | Pick Report Show 37 more replies Facebook Share Facebook Share on Twitter The FTSE rallied for a third straight session on Wednesday despite a stronger pound, jumping 115 points after a dismal October. October is traditionally a difficult month for equities but the FTSE shedding 4.8% is a significantly larger drop than what we would normally expect. How the beginning of November pans out will be interesting. Of the geopolitical issues which have be weighing on the market, namely Brexit, the Italian standoff with Brussels over spending, the US – Sino trade war or the slowing global, none have been resolved and we also have the US mid-term elections thrown into the mix.Gains were broad based on the FTSE with Standard Chartered a notable riser following impressive results with profits surging 37% on last year. Standard Chartered reported a pre-tax profit of $1.06 billion, up from $774 million a year before and 9% ahead of estimates. By focusing on what is does best – Asia – the bank has managed to sharpen its competitive edge. Costs have been a concern in previous years, but the bank has shown its capabilities at reigning these in.Next fell following lacklustre results. The bellwether dropped close to 3% after results underwhelmed. The retailer confirmed that in store sales fell further in the third quarter, whilst overall sales grew by 2% thanks to a strong performance in online sales. Share Twitter Reply Facebook Share on Twitter Facebook Twitter oldest Share Read more Share Twitter | Pick Share on Facebook Reply The rot only set in in the 12th century, historically just a blink. 31 Oct 2018 18:11 Share Report Reply Facebook Twitter Nadoma Share on Twitter AngeloDiRagusa truk10 Share 3 4 31 Oct 2018 17:41 Share Optymystic Share on Facebook Reply Reply Mike Hill Facebook Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla)Netflix up 8.7%Facebook up 6.2%Amazon up 5.8%Alphabet up 4.4%Apple up 2.6%Best day for FAANG in nearly 3 years.@CNBC @SquawkStreetOctober 31, 2018 | Pick Microsoft is leading the Dow’s rally, up 3%, followed by credit card firm VISA (+2.7%), industrial equipment firm Caterpillar (+2.4%) and Apple (+2.1%). 3 7 8 Boom!is the other irritating one. Report David Davis, who resigned as Brexit secretary because he is opposed to May’s Chequers plan, told a meeting that he thought May would get a deal through parliament. Fear of what would happen in the event of a no deal Brexit (fear that Davis thinks is somewhat unfounded) would be enough to persuade MPs opposed to what she’s offering, he argued. Oldest 4 5 Share | Pick Reply 3 4 Twitter Report Can’t wait for the ‘St Valentine’s Day Market Massacre’, or ‘Easter Bunny Stock Blowout’ Phantasmagorical Facebook 31 Oct 2018 18:57 0 1 2 3 31 Oct 2018 18:12 | Pick Share on Facebook Reply | Pick 31 Oct 201810:06FAANGS up muzikluv | Pick moosetickler | Pick They don’t get into the gated community.. russell84 Share Reply Share elgavio third gear? 2,5% yoy is not to be sniffed at… Share on Twitter | Pick Twitter Twitter 1 2 That will be why many more eu citizens are heading to the uk, lots of portugese included escaping unemployment. | Pick Share on Twitter 31 Oct 2018 17:12 1 Nov 201816:06 Although the Fed is unlikely to make any policy changes at next week’s meeting, we expect the statement to reiterate the FOMC’s plan to continue gradually raising interest rates, with the next move coming in December.With the latest data showing that activity has continued to expand at a rapid pace, hopes that the recent plunge in the stock market will prompt a ‘Powell put’ are likely to prove misplaced. Facebook Share on Twitter Reply 31 Oct 2018 20:22 31 Oct 2018 17:32 Reply And the monthly losses are still alarming.The S&P fell almost 7% in October, its worst month since 2011. The Dow shed 5%, its roughest month since January 2016.The Nasdaq had a real month to forget, down over 9% in its worst month since November 2008. Share on Facebook Twitter Report Facebook Report Report Share on Facebook | Pick 31 Oct 2018 17:21 24 25 31 Oct 2018 16:24 | Pick Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Facebook 1 2 Here’s an up-sum of today’s trading in London, from Fiona Cincotta of City Index: Facebook Share chrisflondon | Pick Twitter | Pick 31 Oct 2018 16:49 richievet Share on Facebook mikedow 1 2 Makes it more gloomy when there is less tax revenue. Share on Twitter Phantasmagorical Reply Share Facebook Twitter | Pick Report 1 2 Share on Facebook russell84 Facebook Facebook ID0303 Facebook | Pick | Pick Replylast_img read more

US begins extradition case against Julian Assange in London

first_imgBen Quinn This article is more than 2 months old Share on Facebook March 2018 @BenQuinn75 June 2010 – October 2010 Julian Assange He is jailed for 50 weeks in the UK for breaching his bail conditions back in 2012. An apology letter from Assange is read out in court, but the judge rules that he had engaged in a ‘deliberate attempt to evade justice’. On the following day the US extradition proceedings were formally started.  Assange is questioned in a two-day interview over the allegations at the Ecuadorian embassy by Swedish authorities. Share via Email Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Julian Assange appeared at Westminster magistrates court via video link from Belmarsh prison.Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images Shares247247 Julian Assange has declined a chance to consent to his extradition to the US at a hearing in London as Washington started pressing its case to take him across the Atlantic.Appearing via video link from Belmarsh prison, Assange said: “I do not wish to surrender myself for extradition for doing journalism that has won many, many awards and protected many, many people.”Ben Brandon, the counsel for the US government, presented details of the US case against Assange at Westminster magistrates court on Thursday. He said the charges related to one of the largest compromises of information in US history.They were connected to the downloading of a “vast amount of classified documents” by Chelsea Manning, the US intelligence analyst who subsequently served a prison sentence.They included approximately 90,000 reports about the war in Afghanistan, 400,000 Iraq war reports and 800,000 Guantánamo Bay detainee assessments, as well as US diplomatic cables.Assange is being held in “appalling” conditions in prison, said the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, the whistleblowing website the Australian founded, after the hearing. “For the last weeks since he was arrested, he has spent 23 out of 24 hours a day in his cell most of the time,” said Kristinn Hrafnsson, who blamed “austerity and cutbacks”.“That is what we call in general terms solitary confinement. That applies to most of the prisoners in that appalling facility. It is unacceptable that a publisher is spending time in that prison,” he said.Referring to a March 2018 indictment against Assange – which was unsealed last month in the US court for the eastern district of Virginia – Brandon said details of communications between Manning and Assange demonstrated he had agreed to help Manning with cracking a password protecting US Department of Defense computers.In the brief hearing in London, the judge, Michael Snow, told Assange he could consent to his surrender to the US. Extradition Home secretary Sajid Javid reveals he has signed the US extradition order for Assange paving the way for it to be heard in court. January 2018 US prosecutors inadvertently disclose the existence of a sealed indictment against Assange. Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno says Assange has ‘repeatedly violated’ the conditions of his asylum at the embassy. February 2018 February 2011 He turns himself in to police in London and is placed in custody. He is later released on bail and calls the Swedish allegations a smear campaign. November 2010 A Swedish prosecutor issues a European arrest warrant for Assange over sexual assault allegations involving two Swedish women. Assange denies the claims. Was this helpful? Swedish prosecutors announce they are reopening an investigation into a rape allegation against Julian Assange. He takes refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He requests, and is later granted, political asylum. 11 April 2019 13 June 2019 news WikiLeaks says Assange could travel to the United States to face investigation if his rights are ‘guaranteed’. It comes after one of the site’s main sources of leaked documents, Chelsea Manning, is given clemency. Julian Assange 1 May 2019 May 2017 Reuse this content Ecuador cuts off Assange’s internet access alleging he broke an agreement on interfering in other countries’ affairs.center_img 13 May 2019 Share via Email November 2016 November 2018 US begins extradition case against Julian Assange in London A British judge rules that Assange can be extradited to Sweden. Assange fears Sweden will hand him over to US authorities who could prosecute him. Last modified on Thu 2 May 2019 17.49 EDT This article is more than 2 months old He loses a bid to have his British arrest warrant cancelled on health grounds. Show Thu 2 May 2019 07.45 EDT Police arrest Assange at the embassy on behalf of the US after his asylum was withdrawn. He is charged by the US with ‘a federal charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer.’ Thank you for your feedback. WikiLeaks founder declines to consent to being taken to US to face charges December 2010 Since you’re here… WikiLeaks releases about 470,000 classified military documents concerning American diplomacy and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It later releases a further tranche of more than 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables. Consenting meant he would lose his right to appeal, but the advantage was that it would expedite matters and could lead to an early resolution of his case, Snow said. Assange, who appeared wearing a black jacket and T-shirt, declined.The US charge against him carries a maximum five-year prison sentence, but supporters are concerned further, more serious charges could be added later.Snow told Assange the next hearing where “something of substance” would happen would be 12 June because, by then, Assange would have received all paperwork from the US after a formal extradition request was served. But he suspected it would take many months before “the full substance” of Assange’s case was heard.Assange was jailed on Wednesday for just under a year for breaching bail conditions to avoid being extradited to Sweden. He took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012 to avoid extradition over sexual assault allegations, which he denies, but was arrested last month after his asylum was revoked.Assange supporters at Westminster magistrates court included a contingent of French gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protesters and Lauri Love, a Briton who successfully resisted a US attempt to extradite him for allegedly breaking into government websites.“Julian may have a different mental constitution to me, but in my experience, [facing the threat of extradition] was harrowing,” said Love, who added he was optimistic because of what he said was “vast public support”.He added: “If this extradition is successful and Julian is punished vindictively by the United States, it will be because of publications that were made in the public interest that shed light on atrocities and war crimes, and it will exert a chilling effect on the press.” January 2017 Share on Pinterest Hide Britain refuses Ecuador’s request to accord Assange diplomatic status, which would allow him to leave the embassy without being arrested. Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp UK criminal justice Timeline Julian Assange extradition battle Share on LinkedIn WikiLeaks Topics Swedish prosecutors say they have closed their seven-year sex assault investigation into Assange. British police say they would still arrest him if he leaves the embassy as he breached the terms of his bail in 2012. Share on Facebook June 2012 Support The Guardian Share on Messenger 2 April 2019 last_img read more

7 Games and Toys for the Visually Impaired

first_imgPlay is an important part of each child’s development.  During play, children learn essential skills such as communication, cognition, motor skills, social interaction, and other developmental skills.  While play is important for each child’s development, it is especially vital for children who are blind or visually impaired because it’s how they learn to interact with their surroundings.  What are some games and toys specifically designed for the blind or visually impaired?While researching this topic, I came across a helpful publication from the National Federation of the Blind discussing the importance of toys for the visually impaired.  It also provides a list of questions to help choose appropriate toys for those with visual impairments.  Here are some of the questions:Does this toy have an appeal that is not primarily visual?Does it make any sound?Does the child have any functional vision, and if so, does the toy feature lights or color contrasts making it more meaningful to the child?Does the toy have different textures for tactile appeal?Is the toy appropriate for the child’s developmental age (not chronological)?Click here to view the entire article.7 Games and Toys for the Visually Impaired1. Braille Sudoku Puzzle GameMillions of people play Sudoku, a popular puzzle game which originated in Japan.  (Fun fact: Did you know “Su” means “number” and “doku” means “single” in Japanese?)  Now this popular puzzle game has been made accessible for individuals who are blind or visually impaired!  The Braille Sudoku Puzzle game features a game board that consists of 81 holes (standard 9X9 Sudoku setup).  It also includes numbered, color-coded plastic pieces (for example, all ones are black, twos are red, etc.) making the game easier to play for persons with low vision.  Each piece also has the number written in Braille, making it accessible to individuals who are blind.2. Rubiks Cube with Tactile MarkingsThe Rubiks Cube is one of the best-selling brain teaser puzzle toys.  Now this classic toy is available with a tactile twist!  In the original Cube, the puzzle is scrambled and solve by twisting and turning it to realign the six matching colors.  This tactile version not only features the traditional colors, but also unique tactile markings (circles, triangles, dots, etc.) making it solvable by touch only!3. Visually Impaired Activity CenterThis activity center is specifically designed for individuals who are visually impaired.  It features a blue tactile plate which vibrates when pushed, a pull-ball which activates a fan, and a textured yellow oval plate which will activate an AM/FM radio.4. Visually and Hearing Impaired Activity CenterThe Visually and Hearing Impaired Activity Center is a self-contained unit specifically designed to introduce individuals who cannot hear or see to the world of play.  It features contrasting colors and a variety of switches and textures.  By pressing the yellow textured oval, the user will activate a spinning soft cloth that sweeps gently across his or her hand.  The blue plate will vibrate with the lightest touch.  It also features a little wooden pull ball, which activates a fan blowing a gentle breeze when it is gently tugged.5. Textured Carousel Busy BoxThe Texture Carousel Busy Box is a fun way to teach children cause and effect.  This device increases visual attention, tactile awareness, color recognition and auditory development.  It features six uniquely textured pads which respond to a light touch and reward the user with different sensory stimulation: vibration, three melodies, a popcorn ball popper, and multicolored lights.6. Multi-Sensory CenterThe Multi-Sensory Center by Enabling Devices is fun for people of all ages!  It’s designed to provide auditory, tactile and visual stimulation.  Each center is equipped with ultra-bright lights, vibration and music.  Internal controls allow for several combinations of different sensory stimulation (e.g. music and vibration, music only, vibration and lights, etc.)  The Multi-Sensory Center can also be used as a capability switch for other devices.7.  Touch & Tell Tactile BoardThe Touch & Tell Board from Kaplan Toys is a fun matching game for children of all ages.  It consists of a wooden board and pegs with multiple textures and colors.  Each peg has its own unique texture and is matched with a hole with the same texture.  Parents can help their child explore more by asking their child to “find the scratchy peg” or “find the soft peg.”Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedSmash-a-Ball: Electronic toy for visually impairedApril 2, 2015In “Products and Devices”The Future of BrailleMarch 22, 2017In “Apps”ATU181 – Lekotek’s Toys and Games for kids with disabilities, Microsoft’s 3D soundscape, Virtual Conference for People with DyslexiaNovember 14, 2014In “Assistive Technology Update”last_img read more

Sennheiser RS 5000

first_img“Sleek and attractive base station makes a stylish yet subtle addition to every home entertainment system”Comes with:Headphone with built-in LiPol rechargeable batterydocking station1 pair of ear pads for small earsPower supply unit with country adapters for EU, UK, US, and AUSTV Connection cable for 3,5mm headphone audio outTV Optical cable for digital audio outInstruction manual Features of RS 5000:Gives you the freedom to move within a range of up to 70 meters and have extra-long TV sessions, with up to 12 hours of playing timeUnique Speech Intelligibility function makes speech easier to understand by dynamically reducing background noise which is part of the TV audio but may interfere with the spoken wordEasy and intuitive handling reminds you when it’s time to recharge the batteryAlso puts no pressure on ears and temples during long sessions Listening to audio on one’s TV can be extremely difficult for individuals with hearing loss.  The Sennheiser RS 5000 is one option for users to enjoy their TV sound experience.  The RS 5000 is a “smart listening device that lets you customize your TV sound experience according to your individual requirements and taste.”Advantages of wireless TV headphone systems include:You can watch TV while your partner reads or sleeps undisturbed in the same roomYou can enjoy “crystal-clear sound” without being completely acoustically isolated from your environmentYour hearing sensitivity starts to change but you can enjoy and hear TV sound clearly without having to increase the volumeYou can better understand and enjoy the dialogs in movies or sportscasts, without annoying background noise such as background music or stadium noisecenter_img Click here to learn more information.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedOticon Opn™: Next Generation of Hearing AidsSeptember 8, 2016In “Hearing”Pocketalker Ultra Personal AmplifierJuly 19, 2016In “Hearing”PocketalkerAugust 22, 2013In “Products and Devices”last_img read more

Only 1 of 8 Outreach Emails Receive a Reply New Study by

first_imgOnly 1 of 8 Outreach Emails Receive a Reply, New Study by Pitchbox and Backlinko Finds MTS Staff WriterApril 17, 2019, 5:49 pmApril 17, 2019 The Vast Majority of Email Outreach Messages Are Ignored, According to Analysis of 12 Million Outreach EmailsOnly 8.5 percent of all outreach emails receive a reply, according to a new industry study from Pitchbox and Backlinko.The research also discovered that personalizing messages significantly improves the response rate. Specifically, personalized subject lines were correlated with a 30 percent higher response rate, compared to generic subject lines.The dataset used a subset of email messages sent via the Pitchbox platform – 12 million in total – making it one of the largest outreach studies to date.Marketing Technology News: Stingray Selects Triton Digital for Digital Audio MonetizationThis joint Pitchbox and Backlinko study also investigated several other factors that impact email outreach reply and conversion rates:Impact of Follow-up Messages: The data showed that sending multiple follow-ups doubled the average response rate.Impact of Number of Contacts: Sending outreach emails to several contacts at the same organization also appears to boost response rates. The study found that reaching out to different people at the same organization was linked to a 93 percent higher response rate.Impact of Day of the Week: Wednesday appears to be the best day to send outreach emails. Emails sent on Wednesday have a 22.1 percent higher relative response rate compared to those sent on Sunday.Impact of Message Topic: This study also found that outreach messages on certain topics received higher reply rates than others. Specifically, outreach emails about guest posting and roundups had the highest overall reply rate. Messages about infographics had an especially low reply rate.Impact of Email Signature: This research investigated the impact of social media links found in email signatures on outreach response rates. The data showed that email signatures that contained links to Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram received significantly more replies than those without social profile links.Impact of Combined Factors: The study looked at the combined influence of follow-up sequences and sending messages to several contacts. Sending follow-ups to several contacts was correlated with a 1.6x higher reply rate than sending a single message to one contact.Marketing Technology News: Percolate Named a Leader in 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Marketing PlatformsPitchbox is a leading influencer outreach and content marketing platform based in Warminster, Pennsylvania that helps thousands of small businesses and agencies promote their businesses with outreach.Backlinko is an SEO training company that helps small business owners get higher rankings in Google and YouTube, with a wide variety of online training programs.Marketing Technology News: Ad-Supported OTT Video Network Dooya TV Picks dotstudioPRO’s SAAS Distribution Platform BacklinkoContent Marketing PlatformMarketing TechnologyNewspersonalizationPitchboxSocial Media Previous ArticleEpicor Unveils AI-Based Virtual AgentNext ArticleBizzabo Raises $27 Million to Make Professional Events More Personalized and Data-Poweredlast_img read more

Catalina And Samba TV Partner To Significantly Transform Media And Measurement Landscape

first_imgPartnership Enables Media Planning, Execution and Measurement Tied to Outcomes Built on Granular Understanding of What Consumers Watch and BuyCatalina Marketing, the market leader in shopper intelligence and personalized digital media that converts shoppers into buyers, and Samba TV, the leading provider of global TV data and audience analytics, have partnered to integrate shopper behavioral data and video viewership insights at massive, unprecedented scale, encompassing tens of millions of households and billions of data points. Together, the two companies will build advanced analytics tools that fundamentally improve media buying and selling across all marketing channels, including in-store, digital, mobile over-the-top (OTT) and linear TV. Marketing Technology News: Alorica Taps Business Transformation Veteran Colson Hillier to Be Chief Marketing Officer“This partnership is a massive leap forward for our industry that is still using legacy tools and methodology. Now we have massive datasets integrated to take the guess work out of media buying decisions and solve the cross-platform measurement problem once and for all,” said Ashwin Navin, founder and CEO of Samba TV. “At Samba, we have a real-time understanding of video and TV audiences at global scale. With Catalina, we marry viewership with real-time purchase data to create the most profound understanding of TV and OTT — the medium used to build brands — with the primary ways brand messages are consumed, creating a huge opportunity to drive more personalization and accountability in the media we enjoy every day.””Together, Catalina and Samba TV are establishing benchmarks and norms for campaign design and reporting that enable networks to track campaign performance to make in-flight optimizations, dramatically upgrading the ability to deliver outcome-based selling,” said Dr. Wes Chaar, Catalina’s Chief Data & Advanced Analytics Officer, who previously led major TV industry initiatives in audience estimation, audience targeting and audience demand modeling.Marketing Technology News: Alpha Software Launches Alpha TransForm, Cuts Build Time for Robust Offline Enterprise Mobile Apps from Months to Hours The combination of Catalina and Samba TV data will provide a comprehensive look at how all advertising, including TV advertising, is driving lift and in-store purchases for advertisers. CPG marketers and their agencies will now have a granular, real-time analysis of campaign performance in stores at the UPC-level allowing them to assess the effectiveness of cross-device campaigns across TV, digital and in-store, reach customers on the right platforms, and optimize campaigns mid-flight.“The melding of Samba TV and Catalina’s advanced analytics capabilities and unparalleled buyer intelligence will allow advertisers to make more informed media and marketing decisions, leading to higher ROI,” said Catalina Chief Executive Officer Jerry Sokol. “Our partnership with Samba TV enables tracking of both brand awareness and ROAS, creating stronger combined capabilities. This partnership is yet another example of how Catalina is dramatically evolving to provide greater value to our customers.” “The Catalina/Samba partnership will also fuel a new take on the Marketing Mix Model. The more granular Consumer Mix Model will use ratings that reflect an individual store’s consumer composition, trading area and ratings in near real time instead of weeks after a campaign ends, which is the current norm,” added Chaar.Howard Shimmel, President of U.S.-based research consultancy Janus Strategy & Insights, has played a key advisory role in the evolution of the Catalina and Samba TV partnership. Shimmel is a recognized expert in data integration, audience buying and ROI/Attribution through his work as Turner’s Chief Research Officer and other leadership positions with Nielsen and Symmetrical Resources.“Catalina and Samba’s collective expertise on buyer behaviors, motivations and lifestyles will allow marketers to be more precise in how they engage audiences to drive purchases, and to fuel the ability of media companies to sell based on outcomes,” said Shimmel. “What truly sets Catalina and Samba apart is the analytics they will apply to the data to help their customers with every stage of planning, execution and measurement.Marketing Technology News: StarfishETL Partners with PeopleSense, Inc.center_img Catalina And Samba TV Partner To Significantly Transform Media And Measurement Landscape PRNewswireJune 4, 2019, 10:00 pmJune 4, 2019 analyticsCatalinadigital mediaNewsSamba TV Previous Partners with Amino Payments to Offer Third Party Supply Chain Transparency for All Marketplace TransactionsNext ArticleB2B Marketers Use AI to Move Beyond the Google/Facebook Duopoly as Research from Marketing Platform InfiniGrow Shows Growth for LinkedIn, Quora, Content Marketing and Eventslast_img read more

Top of Mind Networks Adds BombBomb Integration to Surefire CRM

first_imgTop of Mind Networks Adds BombBomb Integration to Surefire CRM Business WireJune 22, 2019, 8:08 pmJune 21, 2019 BombBombcrmcustomer relationship managementmarketing automationMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleYext Study: 58% Of Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Marketers Say Their Marketing Management Strategy Needs Major ImprovementsNext ArticleiQIYI Launches the First Domestic Interactive Film and Television Work “His Smile”, Providing Brand New User Experience to the Chinese Audience Top of Mind Networks, a leader in customer relationship management and marketing automation software for the mortgage lender and real estate industries, is pleased to announce that it has integrated with BombBomb, a personalized video tool.“As the industry’s leading CRM, we aim to continually add integrations with partners that make sense for our user base and help them increase their business.”“We are excited to be able to integrate BombBomb technology into our Surefire system for clients. The ability to add an individually targeted video to follow-up emails is important in today’s world where consumers are looking for personalized messages,” says Erik Enright, CTO. “As the industry’s leading CRM, we aim to continually add integrations with partners that make sense for our user base and help them increase their business.”Marketing Technology News: ADK, Japan’s Third-Largest ad agency, partners with CHEQ for Brand Safety and Anti-Fraud PreventionThe integration of BombBomb with Surefire means that Surefire users can:Easily deploy BombBomb videos to contacts inside of Surefire.Record videos within the Surefire platform by pressing one button.Quickly choose from their personal library of videos to send them multiple times.BombBomb videos allow mortgage professionals to create a one-to-one human experience. Video email builds trust, converts leads and wins referrals because senders rehumanize their communication and thus their brand. Sending an email with an embedded video gets professionals face-to-face with the people who matter the most – customers.Marketing Technology News: Amazon Display Ads Shown To Drive Sales In Channels Other Than AmazonTop of Mind continues to lead the way in developing new tools to address the needs of the loan origination ecosystem. The company’s product capabilities, particularly with the newest version of its Surefire platform, allow its clients to run, track and improve campaigns, so that its originators can focus on doing what they do best – selling.Marketing Technology News: NCC Media and OpenAP Announce Advanced TV Partnershiplast_img read more

How to Create Your Own StateoftheArt Text Generation System

first_img Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 1shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. By David Cardinal on June 26, 2019 at 12:01 pm The Real Reason Emma Watson Refuses to Do a Nude Scene ‘Black Widow’ Set Photos Reveal The Main Villain How to Create Your Own State-of-the-Art Text Generation System You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet ‘Far From Home’ Brought Back An Old Character No One Noticed 4 Comments New Details Confirmed About Natalie Portman As Mighty Thor Paul Rudd to Join the Cast of Jason Reitman’s ‘Ghostbusters’ Tagged In googleartificial intelligenceextremetech explainsdevelopersHow-Toprogrammingtensorflowpythonopenaifake newsgoogle compute engineGoogle ColabGPT-2text generation Post a Comment 4 Comments Things Only Adults Notice in ‘ThunderCats’ Hardly a day goes by when there isn’t a story about fake news. It reminds me of a quote from the favorite radio newsman from my youth, “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.” OpenAI’s breakthrough language model, the 1.5 billion parameter version of GPT-2, got close enough that the group decided it was too dangerous to release publicly, at least for now. However, OpenAI has now released two smaller versions of the model, along with tools for fine-tuning them on your own text. So, without too much effort, and using dramatically less GPU time than it would take to train from scratch, you can create a tuned version of GPT-2 that will be able to generate text in the style you give it, or even start to answer questions similar to ones you train it with.What Makes GPT-2 SpecialGPT-2 (Generative Pre-Trained Transformer version 2) is based on a version of the very powerful Transformer Attention-based Neural Network. What got the researchers at OpenAI so excited about it was finding that it could address a number of language tasks without being directly trained on them. Once pre-trained with its massive corpus of Reddit data and given the proper prompts, it did a passable job of answering questions and translating languages. It certainly isn’t anything like Watson as far as semantic knowledge, but this type of unsupervised learning is particularly exciting because it removes much of the time and expense needed to label data for supervised learning.Overview of Working With GPT-2For such a powerful tool, the process of working with GPT-2 is thankfully fairly simple, as long as you are at least a little familiar with Tensorflow. Most of the tutorials I’ve found also rely on Python, so having at least a basic knowledge of programming in Python or a similar language is very helpful. Currently, OpenAI has released two pre-trained versions of GPT-2. One (117M) has 117 million parameters, while the other (345M) has 345 million. As you might expect the larger version requires more GPU memory and takes longer to train. You can train either on your CPU, but it is going to be really slow.The first step is downloading one or both of the models. Fortunately, most of the tutorials, including the ones we’ll walk you through below, have Python code to do that for you. Once downloaded, you can run the pre-trained model either to generate text automatically or in response to a prompt you provide. But there is also code that lets you build on the pre-trained model by fine-tuning it on a data source of your choice. Once you’ve tuned your model to your satisfaction, then it’s simply a matter of running it and providing suitable prompts.Working with GPT-2 On Your Local MachineThere are a number of tutorials on this, but my favorite is by Max Woolf. In fact, until the OpenAI release, I was working with his text-generating RNN, which he borrowed from for his GPT-2 work. He’s provided a full package on GitHub for downloading, tuning, and running a GPT-2 based model. You can even snag it directly as a package from PyPl. The readme walks you through the entire process, with some suggestions on how to tweak various parameters. If you happen to have a massive GPU handy, this is a great approach, but since the 345M model needs most of a 16GB GPU for training or tuning, you may need to turn to a cloud GPU.Working with GPT-2 for Free Using Google’s ColabFortunately, there is a way to use a powerful GPU in the cloud for free — Google’s Colab. It isn’t as flexible as an actual Google Compute Engine account, and you have to reload everything each session, but did I mention it’s free? In my testing, I got either a Tesla T4 or a K80 GPU when I initialized a notebook, either one of which is fast enough to train these models at a reasonable clip. The best part is that Woolf has already authored a Colab notebook that echoes the local Python code version of gpt2-simple. Much like the desktop version, you can simply follow along, or tweak parameters to experiment. There is some added complexity in getting the data in and out of Colab, but the notebook will walk you through that as well.Getting Data for Your ProjectNow that powerful language models have been released onto the web, and tutorials abound on how to use them, the hardest part of your project might be creating the dataset you want to use for tuning. If you want to replicate the experiments of others by having it generate Shakespeare or write Star Trek dialog, you can simply snag one that is online. In my case, I wanted to see how the models would do when asked to generate articles like those found on ExtremeTech. I had access to a back catalog of over 12,000 articles from the last 10 years. So I was able to put them together into a text file, and use it as the basis for fine-tuning.If you have other ambitions that include mimicking a website, scraping is certainly an alternative. There are some sophisticated services like ParseHub, but they are limited unless you pay for a commercial plan. I have found the Chrome Extension to be flexible enough for many applications, and it’s fast and free. One big cautionary note is to pay attention to Terms of Service for whatever website you’re thinking of, as well as any copyright issues. From looking at the output of various language models, they certainly aren’t taught to not plagiarize.So, Can It Do Tech Journalism?Once I had my corpus of 12,000 ExtremeTech articles, I started by trying to train the simplified GPT-2 on my desktop’s Nvidia 1080 GPU. Unfortunately, the GPU’s 8GB of RAM wasn’t enough. So I switched to training the 117M model on my 4-core i7. It wasn’t insanely terrible, but it would have taken over a week to make a real dent even with the smaller of the two models. So I switched to Colab and the 345M model. The training was much, much, faster, but needing to deal with session resets and the unpredictability of which GPU I’d get for each session was annoying.Upgrading to Google’s Compute EngineAfter that, I bit the bullet, signed up for a Google Compute Engine account, and decided to take advantage of the $300 credit Google gives new customers. If you’re not familiar with setting up a VM in the cloud it can be a bit daunting, but there are lots of online guides. It’s simplest if you start with one of the pre-configured VMs that already has Tensorflow installed. I picked a Linux version with 4 vCPUs. Even though my desktop system is Windows, the same Python code ran perfectly on both. You then need to add a GPU, which in my case took a request to Google support for permission. I assume that is because GPU-equipped machines are more expensive and less flexible than CPU-only machines, so they have some type of vetting process. It only took a couple of hours, and I was able to launch a VM with a Tesla T4. When I first logged in (using the built-in SSH) it reminded me that I needed to install Nvidia drivers for the T4, and gave me the command I needed.Next, you need is to set up a file transfer client like WinSCP, and get started working with your model. Once you upload your code and data, create a Python virtual environment (optional), and load up the needed packages, you can proceed the same way you did on your desktop. I trained my model in increments of 15,000 steps and downloaded the model checkpoints each time, so I’d have them for reference. That can be particularly important if you have a small training dataset, as too much training can cause your model to over-fit and actually get worse. So having checkpoints you can return to is valuable.Speaking of checkpoints, like the models, they’re large. So you’ll probably want to add a disk to your VM. By having the disk separate, you can always use it for other projects. The process for automatically mounting it is a bit annoying (it seems like it could be a checkbox, but it’s not). Fortunately, you only have to do it once. After I had my VM up and running with the needed code, model, and training data, I let it loose. The T4 was able to run about one step every 1.5 seconds. The VM I’d configured cost about $25/day (remember that VMs don’t turn themselves off; you need to shut them down if you don’t want to be billed, and persistent disk keeps getting billed even then).To save some money, I transferred the model checkpoints (as a .zip file) back to my desktop. I could then shut down the VM (saving a buck or two an hour), and interact with the model locally. You get the same output either way because the model and checkpoint are identical. The traditional way to evaluate the success of your training is to hold out a portion of your training data as a validation set. If the loss continues to decrease but accuracy (which you get by computing the loss when you run your model on the data you’ve held out for validation) decreases, it is likely you’ve started to over-fit your data and your model is simply “memorizing” your input and feeding it back to you. That reduces its ability to deal with new information.Here’s the Beef: Some Sample Outputs After Days of TrainingAfter experimenting on various types of prompts, I settled on feeding the model (which I’ve nicknamed The Oracle) the first sentences of actual ExtremeTech articles and seeing what it came up with. After 48 hours (106,000 steps in this case) of training on a T4, here is an example:The output of our model after two days of training on a T4 when fed the first sentence of Ryan Whitwam’s Titan article. Obviously, it’s not going to fool anyone, but the model is starting to do a decent job of linking similar concepts together at this point.The more information the model has about a topic, the more it starts to generate plausible text. We write about Windows Update a lot, so I figured I’d let the model give it a try:The model’s response to a prompt about Windows Update after a couple of days of training.With something as subjective as text generation, it is hard to know how far to go with training a model. That’s particularly true because each time a prompt is submitted, you’ll get a different response. If you want to get some plausible or amusing answers, your best bet is to generate several samples for each prompt and look through them yourself. In the case of the Windows Update prompt, we fed the model the same prompt after another few hours of training, and it looked like the extra work might have been helpful:After another few hours of training, here is the best of the samples when given the same prompt about Microsoft Windows.Here’s Why Unsupervised Models are So CoolI was impressed, but not blown away, by the raw predictive performance of GPT-2 (at least the public version) compared with simpler solutions like textgenrnn. What I didn’t catch on to until later was the versatility. GPT-2 is general purpose enough that it can address a wide variety of use cases. For example, if you give it pairs of French and English sentences as a prompt, followed by only a French sentence, it does a plausible job of generating translations. Or if you give it question-and-answer pairs, followed by a question, it does a decent job of coming up with a plausible answer. If you generate some interesting text or articles, please consider sharing, as this is definitely a learning experience for all of us.Now Read:Google Fed a Language Algorithm Math Equations. It Learned How to Solve New OnesIBM’s resistive computing could massively accelerate AI — and get us closer to Asimov’s Positronic BrainNvidia’s vision for deep learning AI: Is there anything a computer can’t do? Here’s Why It Matters That ‘Thor 4’ Comes Before ‘GOTG 3’ The Real Reason the ‘Blade’ Reboot Is Happeninglast_img read more

Asus Unveils ROG Phone II With Snapdragon 855 Tons of Accessories

first_img Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 0shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. J.K. Rowling Confirms a Hermione Theory We Suspected All Along Asus Unveils ROG Phone II With Snapdragon 855+, Tons of Accessories Asus has never been a major part of the smartphone world, but the company’s gaming-focused ROG (Republic of Gamers) brand attracted some attention last year with the original ROG Phone. Now, a follow up known as the ROG Phone II is on the way. It still has a funky design and a wealth of accessories, but it’s got a bigger battery and faster Snapdragon chip. We first heard about the ROG Phone II’s existence last week when Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 855+, which is basically an overclocked 855. The company said the ROG Phone II would be the first to have this chip, but Asus wasn’t ready to talk about the phone beyond that. Cut to today, and the company is spilling the beans. The Snapdragon 855 has a higher 2.96GHz maximum clock speed, and Asus says the ROG Phone II’s advanced cooling keeps the chip from throttling down under load. It actually has vents on the back that work this year — the original ROG Phone had purely decorative vents. The Asus ROG Phone II sports a 6.59-inch 2340 x 1080 OLED display. That’s a slightly taller aspect ratio than the last ROG Phone, and the refresh rate has jumped from 90Hz to 120Hz — that’s the highest on any Android device. If the phone can keep up with that frame rate, the ROG Phone II’s interface will look incredibly smooth. The new screen will undoubtedly use more power, but the ROG Phone II has juice to spare. The phone gets a 50 percent battery boost over the original with a 6,000mAh capacity. However, the phone is also much heavier at 240g versus 200g for the last version. Asus equipped the phone with the standard USB Type-C port for charging, but there’s also a headphone jack. It also continued the ROG Phone tradition of adding a second USB-C port on the side. You can use this for charging while playing a game, or as a connector for the company’s accessories. Most of the accessories are a bit silly, but “gaming” phones tend to be like that. There’s the active cooling bracket, a desktop dock, and more. The phone also has ultrasonic shoulder buttons you can map to on-screen buttons in games. Asus will start selling the ROG Phone II in China on July 23, and the international model will launch in early September. We don’t know the exact price yet, but Asus says it will be similar to the first-gen ROG Phone, which launched at $900.Now read:Qualcomm’s New Snapdragon 855+ SoC Is an Overclocked Snapdragon 855Nubia Just Stuffed the First Active Fan Inside a SmartphoneAsus Engineers Exposed Company Passwords for Months on GitHub 3 Comments You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet We Finally Understand Why David Schwimmer Has Disappeared ‘Endgame’ Directors Apologize To Tom Holland Maisie Williams’ Transformation is Turning Heads Tagged In smartphonesandroidmobileasussnapdragon 855rog phone ii Post a Comment 3 Comments The Surprising Reason Why Brandon Routh Is Returning to Superman The Possibility Of An ‘Iron Man 4’ Finally Addressed By Ryan Whitwam on July 22, 2019 at 11:38 am Actors Who Could Barely Stomach Kissing Each Other on Screen Batman Stories Only True Fans Know Aboutlast_img read more

ET Deals Samsung 65Inch 4K TV 1799 Samsung 500GB External SSD 79

first_img By Michael Sexton on July 18, 2019 at 2:21 pm The Little Kid From ‘Jerry Maguire’ is Now 28 and Unrecognizable Sun Baby From ‘Teletubbies’ Is 22 Now & Unrecognizably Gorgeous Amazon’s Prime Day is official over, but there are still plenty of excellent deals available. One of the best deals today is on a large 65-inch 4K TV manufactured by Samsung that’s loaded with tons of features including a 4.1 surround sound system.Samsung Q80R Series QN65Q80RA 65-Inch 4K TV ($1,799.00)If you are shopping for a new TV, PCMag’s Shop page has been running several high-end TVs with excellent discounts over the last few months. This particular model is on sale marked down from $2,799.99 to $1,799.00, and it comes with support for Quantum HDR12X. It also features a rather powerful built-in sound system that includes a subwoofer and four speakers.Samsung T5 Portable 500GB USB 3.1 External SSD ($79.99)An external SSD is one of the fastest methods available for transferring data from one computer to another one. This particular model is able to obtain read/write speeds of up to 540MB/s over USB 3.1, and the drive is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Right now it’s marked down from $129.99 to $79.99 from Amazon, which is the lowest price we’ve ever seen on this particular model.LG G6+ 128GB Unlocked Smartphone ($399.99)LG’s G6+ smartphone features a 5.6-inch  QHD display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. This particular model also comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can get it from Amazon marked down from $799.99 to $399.99.Dell UltraSharp U2412M 1920×1200 24-Inch Monitor + $100 Gift Card ($249.99)Dell designed this UltraSharp display with a 1920×1200 IPS panel that measures 24-inches diagonally. If you buy one from Dell, you will also receive a $100 gift card for a future purchase. Currently, it’s marked down from $339.99 to $249.99.Samsung Galaxy S10e Factory Unlocked w/ 128GB Storage ($549.99) During Amazon’s Prime Day sale you can get one of Samsung’s Galaxy S10e smartphones with 128GB of storage marked down from $999.99 to $549.99. This phone is one of the fastest smartphones available on the market today with a high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC and 8GB of RAM. It also features a relatively high-quality camera and it comes fully unlocked.CLX SET Intel Core i9-9900K Liquid-Cooled Gaming Desktop w/ Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 480GB SSD and 2TB HDD ($1,899.00)This powerful desktop comes equipped with a liquid-cooling system and all the hardware you need to run modern games with maxed-out settings. Typically this PC would set you back $2,399.99, but for a limited time, you can get it from Walmart for $1,899.00.Note: Terms and conditions apply. See the relevant retail sites for more information.For more great deals, go to our partners at ET Deals: Samsung 65-Inch 4K TV $1,799, Samsung 500GB External SSD $79, LG G6+ $399 0 Comments Jim Carrey’s Tragic Life Just Gets Sadder and Sadder Saying Goodbye to Johnny Depp Why Billy Hargrove from ‘Stranger Things’ Looks So Familiar Tagged In et deals Post a Comment 0 Comments Extremetech may earn affiliate commissions from the shopping links included on this page. To find out more, read our complete terms of use. You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet Edward Furlong is Returning in ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ The Sad Situation That Hayden Panettiere Is Living In Today Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 0shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. Maisie Williams’ Transformation is Turning Headslast_img read more

Dosh to Give Over 1 Million Back to Travelers This Summer

first_imgDosh to Give Over $1 Million Back to Travelers This Summer PRNewswireJuly 9, 2019, 9:47 pmJuly 9, 2019 Company unveils new hotel booking feature giving consumers significant cash backDosh, the fastest growing cash back app, launched its new Hotels feature to disrupt the traditional online travel agency (OTA) model. Through the Dosh app, consumers can book at over 600,000 hotels globally at competitive rates, and also get up to 50% cash back automatically.In 2018, the online travel industry spent over $10 billion on marketing and advertising. The billions of marketing and ad spend comes directly from the margins they make off of consumer bookings. Dosh is wanting to change that by putting the spend into millions of subscribers’ pockets as cash back. In fact, Dosh is already seeing consumers getting over $40 cash back per booking.Marketing Technology News: Norled Sets Sail for Digital Transformation with Infor“OTA companies have been using the generous commissions they make off of consumers’ bookings to generate sizable profits and pump money into advertising to their benefit – and not their customers’,” said Ryan Wuerch, Dosh Founder and CEO. “We are turning that model on its head by directly rewarding consumers with cash.”Dosh’s inventory of hotels and pricing are very competitive with other major online hotel booking sites, but the difference is that Dosh gives significant cash back with each booking. When surveying consumers, Dosh found that 83% preferred cash back over the hassle of points, rewards programs or other complex offers.Marketing Technology News: New ISG Study Focuses on Digital Business ServicesWith an expansive global inventory, Dosh Hotels offers cash back wherever you want to travel. For example, you could:Book The Wynn in Las Vegas for $319 per night and get $85 back, a 27% cash back offer.Book the Holiday Inn Express in London for $235 per night and get $100 back, a 42% cash back offer.Book the Hilton in Mexico City for $170 per night and get over $50 back, a 30% cash back offer.“Booking hotels through Dosh provides consumers the opportunity to pay the best price and make substantial amounts of cash back on each booking,” said Wuerch. “Coupled with Dosh offers at local stores and restaurants near the hotel, we are giving even more opportunities to get cash back while traveling.”Marketing Technology News: AccuWeather Continues Rapid Expansion with Relocation of Global Office in New York City DoshLoyaltyMarketing Technology NewsNewsRyan Wuerch Previous ArticleBMW Auto Dealers Ranked #1 for Responding to Website Customers Reports Pied Piper PSINext ArticleMagnolia Adds New Digital Experience Features with Major Product Updatelast_img read more

UJET Unveils Enhancements to Customer Support Platform that Expand Fit and Flexibility

first_imgUJET Unveils Enhancements to Customer Support Platform that Expand Fit and Flexibility within the Contact Center Ecosystem MTS Staff WriterJune 25, 2019, 6:31 pmJune 21, 2019 New Integrations and Functionality Enable Customer Support Teams to Optimize Data Flow, and Drive Greater Value from a Broader Range of Technologies and Systems UJET, Inc., the company that is reimagining customer support with multichannel solutions that fully leverage smartphone technology and intelligent automation, at Customer Contact Week (CCW) in Las Vegas announced the general availability launch of enhancements to the UJET Customer Support Platform. With these latest integrations and enhancements, UJET is expanding its functionality within the entire contact center ecosystem. Featuring new workforce management (WFM), quality management (QM), and customer relationship management (CRM) integration and configuration capabilities, the UJET platform now provides expanded capabilities for support agents, supervisors, and administrators, enabling more out-of-the-box data connection, display, and integration options across new and existing systems.The new integrations and features to the UJET Customer Support Platform include:●      Microsoft Dynamics 365 Integration – Microsoft Dynamics 365 users now have full access to the UJET Customer Support Platform. Dynamics customers can leverage UJET’s call and chat adapters, patented smart-actions and advanced routing, including logical evaluation of user segmentation data from Dynamics, helping to reduce overall session times.●      Verint Monet WFM Integration (Workforce Management) – With the new Verint Monet WFM integration, data can automatically be pushed from the UJET platform into the WFM system, allowing enabling supervisors to support agents and supervisors to more efficiently run their contact center. Now, support teams can incorporate forecasting, scheduling, and better optimize their contact center workforce and resources through the UJET platform.Marketing Technology News: PX Launches Private Marketplaces to Support Direct Advertiser to Publisher Engagement●      Verint Monet QM Integration (Quality Management) – By integrating with the Verint Monet QM, UJET’s call adapter now directly integrates with Verint Monet, meaning the right data is automatically delivered to, and subsequently evaluated by the QM system. The QM integration allows for monitoring and evaluation of agent interactions with customers, tracking keywords, and other key performance metrics, quotas, and goals.●      Customizable Ticket Title – Customer support professionals can now customize ticket titles quickly and easily via dynamic parameters, in order to help agents see additional useful information, and enable easier and more refined session classification processing within the CRM. Agents, supervisors, and administrators can now customize tickets by phone number, call chat ID, menu path, time stamp, language, and more.●      Custom Field Lookup – UJET now allows agents, supervisors, and administrators more flexibility by using their own, existing unique identifiers when looking up end users.  Support professionals can now easily and efficiently assign sessions and customer information by referencing their preferred customer ID.Marketing Technology News: Facebook Shoots Down ‘Innovation’ Chaos with a New CryptoCurrency Platform ‘Calibra’“Whether it is attempting to efficiently resolve a customer issue, managing the agent workforce, tracking agent performance and quality of service, or optimizing data flow, support agents and supervisors often find themselves maneuvering between multiple separate systems” said Joerg Habermeier, Head of Product at UJET. “The latest enhancements to the UJET platform further cement our commitment to a cloud-native, mobile-focused, and intelligent approach to simplifying and optimizing the connection of the entire contact center ecosystem.”Marketing Technology News: Profisee Adds Market Analyst Bill O’Kane to Leadership Team crmCustomer Contact WeekCustomer Support PlatformMarketing TechnologyNewsquality managementUjet Previous ArticleBanque du Caire, One of the Largest State-owned Banks in Egypt, Goes Live With Temenos to Redefine Digital Customer ExperienceNext ArticlePAN Communications Partners with Heinz Marketing for the Agency’s 6th Annual Content Fitness Reportlast_img read more

New Study Finds Millennials Are the Biggest Audio Generation Listening to More

first_imgNew Study Finds Millennials Are the Biggest Audio Generation, Listening to More Content Than All Others: More Types, More Times, More Places Business WireJune 25, 2019, 6:14 pmJune 25, 2019 Audio ContentBob Pittmanbroadcast radiodigital streamingiHeartMediaMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleNeongecko Inc. Launches “Neon AI Nano HTML” to Add Conversational AI to WebsitesNext ArticleBanque du Caire, One of the Largest State-owned Banks in Egypt, Goes Live With Temenos to Redefine Digital Customer Experience Study Finds Radio Continues to Reach More People on a Daily and Weekly Basis Than Any Other Media and Dominates Consumer Listening Across All DaypartsThe audio landscape is exploding and over the last two years there has been huge growth across various audio categories including a 2500 percent growth in smart speaker ownership and more than 48 percent increase in podcast listening, according to the Edison Infinite Dial 2019 study. And today Ipsos released a new research study commissioned by iHeartMedia — “Day in the life Audio Journey” — demonstrating that consumer interest in audio is now at an all-time high, with listeners enjoying more audio content across a vast array of platforms including broadcast radio, digital streaming, podcasts and smart speakers. The in-depth multi-platform study explores daily audio usage and habits of Americans ranging from 13 to 64 years old and captures when, where and how these various generations are consuming their favorite audio.“The only difference now versus decades ago is that today people can enjoy that connection anywhere they are across a variety of platforms.”The study highlights that radio continues to reach more people than any other media both daily and weekly. On a weekly basis, broadcast radio reaches 85 percent of consumers, surpassing all other audio channels including social media (68 percent) and live television (56 percent). The research also showed that radio has two times the daily listening of streaming services, reaching 69 percent of consumers compared to streaming music’s 34 percent.“Audio is hot right now and a must for marketers looking to reach increasingly elusive and fractured audiences. If you look at the data, it’s undeniable that consumers are listening more and watching less and this study outlines when, where and why,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. “Contrary to some misperceptions, it shows we are living in an audio-first world by drilling down a more granular overview of audio listenership and showing what a day-in-the-life of the average listener is like when it comes to media consumption.”Marketing Technology News: Zeno Media and ADORA Cooperate on Strategic Marketing and Mobile App Content for Diaspora ListenersAlthough all ages enjoy listening to audio and spend an average of 17.2 hours a week with their favorite broadcast radio stations, streaming music service, podcasts and more, the study found that Millennials and Gen Z listen the most, spending more than 18 hours each week and 2.6 hours or more each day listening to audio. These numbers, along with social media’s continued popularity, reflect consumers’ need for live, human connections.“Radio has long been a trusted companion for people of all ages so it’s no surprise that it continues to be the premier destination when people want to connect with others and their community,” said Gayle Troberman, CMO of iHeartMedia. “The only difference now versus decades ago is that today people can enjoy that connection anywhere they are across a variety of platforms.”Marketing Technology News: Adaptive Ad Systems Completes Installation of New Ad-Insertion Equipment on National Cable TV Systems Adds 40,000 Additional SubscribersThe study also explores where and when people listen and shows that audio listening is most often done on-the-go, with 65 percent done outside the home and most often in the car, with radio accounting for 65 percent of in-vehicle audio listening. Radio also serves as a companion throughout the day; it leads media use 70 percent of waking hours and is the most used audio platform all day, and at all hours. The research additionally shows that the rise of smart speakers has made radio more prominent than ever in the home, uncovering that homes with smart speakers have spent 47 percent more time listening to radio during prime hours (8-10pm) than those listeners without.Consumers are also embracing podcasts, with listening growing tremendously especially among younger Millennials and Gen Z. Compared to just two years ago, podcast listening is up 48 percent with people aged 12–24, according to a separate Edison Infinite Dial 2019 study. iHeartMedia’s study further found that podcasts now represent almost 10 percent of audio listening among Millennials and that podcast listeners are also radio listeners, with 82 percent also listening to radio on a weekly basis. In addition, radio continues to be the #1 audio choice for Gen Z. and podcasts are replacing online video as a daytime escape for many during work and school.The study, conducted by Ipsos for iHeartMedia in March 2019, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 6,016 consumers aged 13–64 who listen to 1+ audio platform at least once a week.Marketing Technology News: Leading Associations Turn to ON24 for Member Engagement and Revenue Growthlast_img read more

Sony WHXB900N Review Headphones to Buy if Your Wad of Cash Totals

first_img ‘Shot on iPhone XS’Applebest bass heavy headphonesbest headphones First Published: July 19, 2019, 1:23 PM IST Big headphones, check. Active noise cancellation, check. Good looks, check. That is, in a way, a rather solid foundation for the new Sony WH-XB900N headphones to build on. The latest set of cans joining the Sony headphone line-up. Needless to say, there will be the inevitable comparison with the truly incredible Sony WH-1000XM3 (Rs 29,990) headphones. There are a lot of similarities between the two, including the noise cancellation capabilities, Quick Attention, support for voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and more. In fact, the Sony WH-XB900N actually costs significantly lesser too at Rs 16,990. Hence, if the WH-1000XM3 have been on your wish list but at the same time you are priced out of a impulsive splurge, then you could probably consider the WH-XB900N. The first thing you will notice about the Sony WH-XB900N is the rather understated design. It is all about lines that blend, panels that are clean and minimalism in terms of the visual elements. This then is right at home in the new design language that we have seen on some of Sony’s recent headphones, including the WH-1000XM3. This weights around 250 grams, which is because of the lightweight plastic shell that defines the WH-XB900N. This is in no way to say that there is anything wrong with the build quality, but in fact the lighter weight makes this incredibly comfortable to wear for long hours. While the finish on the outside of each of the earcups is matte, there is the slight metallic tinge that makes you look again at it half expecting a layer of some luxurious fabric that you may have mysteriously missed the first time around. In each ear are 40mm Neodymium audio drivers. Sony markets these headphones with the Extra Bass labelling, which could make some audio purists cringe by default simply because of the perhaps revolting memory of some of the Extra Bass headphones from the past few years. However, this is anything but alienating once the sound streams into your ears. In fact, the Sony WH-XB900N could just be the first for the more refined extra bass route that Sony now wants with its headphones, and that can only be a good thing. Refined, subtle and sophisticated. There is the option to also tweak the sound via the companion app for Android phones and the Apple iPhones, which adds a rather interesting element of flexibility. One of the reasons for this now subtle and lovable bass are those vents on each earcup, which has been designed to dissipate the extra bass that could have otherwise been overbearing on other frequencies. Sound is excellent, with a wide soundstage helping deliver pristine clarity, good mids and a general sound of peppy and upbeat sound without ever sounding processed or unnatural. That said, there are times when you will feel these don’t have the sort of really ultra-fine detailing as the elder brother but is important to note that these also don’t have the QN1 processor. Having said that, I would like to clarify this particular observation comes only because I have experienced the WH-1000XM3 headphones—if you haven’t, the Sony WH-XB900N is nothing short of fantastic. As long as you prefer a bit of bias towards lower frequencies. And as far as its competition is concerned, the Sony WH-XB900N is significantly better than the likes of the Sennheiser HD 4.50 (around Rs 15,000) thanks to the wider soundstage, the vibrant sound and the good noise cancellation. This isolates you efficiently, and only very occasionally will you have any ambient sound bypass the virtual barriers.It is incredible fun to cover the left earpiece to enable the attention mode which reduces the volume of whatever it is you are listening to at that time, and then have a conversation with someone who has just walked up to your workstation. Speaking of which, the noise cancellation capabilities are great. Battery life is another strong suite. This lasts close to 30 hours on a single charge with noise cancellation and attention mode active, and most of the music listening volume at around 50 percent. It takes about 7 hours to charge a fully discharged Sony WH-XB900N. This has a USB Type-C port, which just makes like easier. This brings me to the rather important aspect of the fit and comfort. Ear size and comfort is a subjective thing, but for me, the size of the earcups were close to perfect. That meant I could wear these for hours without the cushioned earcups pressing in on the ear. Yes, what you don’t get is generous ventilation, which may mean you have to perhaps take these off if you notice your ears becoming warm. For large headphones, the Sony WH-XB900N is incredibly comfortable to wear. It is really not much of a competition between the Sony WH-XB900N and the Sennheiser HD 4.50, if you have a wad of cash in your hands which totals up to Rs 16,990. The WH-XB900N sounds better, looks better, has better battery life and the noise cancellation is just in a different league altogether. All in all, the Sony WH-XB900N is by far the best headphone you can buy, this side of the Sony WH-1000XM3. Also Read | Sony WH-1000XM3 Review: The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is Under Serious Threat, And it is Too Close to Call last_img read more

Trailers This Week Charlies Angels Brings Spectacular Girl Power Fest Shah Rukh

first_imgThe last week of June has been a treat for action lovers. While Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska took glam, guns and goons a notch higher with their girl-power-fest in Charlie’s Angels, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Idris Elba joined hands with stunning bikes and cars stunts in Fast & Furious’ first stand-alone film, Hobbs and Shaw.Shah Rukh Khan teamed up with his son Aaryan Khan to bring Disney’s classic Lion King alive by voicing Mufasa in the Hindi version of the live-action adaptation. Also, with the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019 tournament, the country is riding high on cricket fever. Resonating with the fandom associated with the sport, the trailer of Abhinay Deol’s Doosra – India’s Other Freedom Struggle dropped this week. From the world of Bollywood, Hollywood and streaming giants, take a look at the major movie highlights of the week, trailer wise:Charlie’s AngelsWith the world’s smartest, bravest, and most highly trained women all over the globe, Charlie’s Angels are back! In Elizabeth Banks’ gallant vision, Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska are working for the mysterious Charles Townsend, whose security and the investigative agency has expanded internationally. This time, teams of Angels guided by multiple Bosleys will be taking on the toughest jobs everywhere.Fast & Furious Hobbs & Shaw After stunning fans with eight films, the Fast & Furious franchise now offers its first stand-alone vehicle as Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprise their roles as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw in Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw. Hobbs & Shaw opens a new door in the Fast universe as it hurtles action across the globe, from Los Angeles to London and from the toxic wasteland of Chernobyl to the lush beauty of Samoa.Doosra – India’s Other FreedomIt was a moment of victory, pride, revenge and emotional freedom when the Indian cricket team clinched the NatWest trophy in 2002. And, director Abhinay Deo’s sports drama Doosra – India’s Other Freedom Struggle gives a sneak peek into how the moment changed an entire generation. It brings back the memories of the victory when Sourav Ganguly waived his T-shirt at the Lord’s balcony following the win.Lion KingBollywood’s King Khan Shah Rukh released his version of King Mufasa in the upcoming Hindi version of The Lion King. In the trailer, he teaches his son Simba, voiced by his own son Aryan, the meaning of being a “true king”. Shah Rukh also gives advice to Simba about how a “true king” should think about what he can do for his people, and not what his people can do for him.The Current WarAfter much wait, 101 Studios finally released an official trailer for the Martin Scorcese-produced thriller, The Current War. The film is about the famous battle of the bulb between two 19th century scientists, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. The trailer shows Benedict Cumberbatch as Edison, Nicholas Hoult will be seen as Tesla, and Michael Shannon will portray George Westinghouse in the movie.For fresh trailers and latest movie updates check back here next week.Follow @News18Movies for more benedict cumberbatchBollywood Film TrailersCharlie’s Angelcricket First Published: June 30, 2019, 1:20 PM ISTlast_img read more

9 Ministers of State to Have Independent Charge in Narendra Modi Cabinet

first_imgNew Delhi: Narendra Modi took oath as the country’s Prime Minister for a second term on Thursday evening after he was sworn-in in front of an 8,000-strong audience consisting of political leaders, movie stars and corporate honchos.Among the surprise picks in the cabinet were BJP president Amit Shah and former foreign secretary S Jaishankar. Apart from Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Irani, DV Sadananda Gowda, Nirmala Sitharaman and Ram Vilas Paswan were also sworn-in as cabinet ministers. The cabinet will also have nine Ministers of State with Independent Charge. Here’s the complete list:1. Santosh Kumar Gangwar2. Inderjit Singh3. Shripad Yesso Naik4. Jitendra Singh5. Kiren Rijiju6. Prahalad Singh Patel7. Raj Kumar Singh8. Hardeep Singh Puri9. Mansukh L MandaviyaTop opposition leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, corporate honchos, film stars, chief ministers and a galaxy of leaders from BIMSTEC countries were part of the nearly 8,000 guests at the ceremony.This is the second time Modi took the oath at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Modi was sworn in by the then President Pranab Mukherjee in 2014 in the presence of over 3,500 guests including the heads of SAARC countries.Earlier, Chandra Shekhar in 1990 and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999 were sworn in at the sprawling forecourt.Leaders of BIMSTEC countries including President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, President of Myanmar U Win Myint and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering also attended the gala event.From Thailand, its Special Envoy Grisada Boonrach represented the country.Besides India, BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) comprises Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan as members.Kyrgyz President and current chair of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, and Mauritius PM Pravind Kumar Jugnauth also attended the event. Hardeep Singh Puriinderjit singhjitendra singhKiren Rijiju First Published: May 30, 2019, 9:05 PM ISTlast_img read more

People are buying 5G phones when they dont even have 5G

first_imgJulian Chokkattu/Digital TrendsMobile carriers have touted 5G as the next giant leap in wireless communication and technology, with expectations to impact health care, transportation, and robotics to name a few. Despite the buzz and pending implications, 5G is only available in select cities, and typically in even more select areas of those cities. That hasn’t thwarted people from buying 5G phones, though.A new report from global research firm, Counterpoint Technology Market Research, states that the majority of 5G smartphone sales in the month of May came from areas that currently don’t have 5G service.“The top 10 cities [with 5G infrastructure] make up just one-third of all 5G smartphone sales in May,” Tom Kang, research director at Counterpoint.Subverting expectations that 5G smartphone sales would be highest in the areas that support the service, the data shows people are ready for a 5G future and don’t want to be left behind when it comes — or they just want the latest and greatest.Counterpoint ResearchLarger cities like Dallas, Houston, and Los Angeles make up three out of the top five regions selling the most 5G phones. Chicago, a city which has a growing 5G presence, holds the largest single portion of 5G phone sales, while Atlanta, another 5G-capable area, rounds out the top five.Almost every major phone manufacturer is expected to release 5G phones through 2019, with the exception of Apple. Counterpoint’s report predicts more than 5 million 5G smartphones will be sold in 2019, and notes this projection would be as much as 60% higher were Apple to release a 5G iPhone in 2019, which isn’t expected.Before you go rushing out the door to buy your own blazing-fast 5G device, just keep in mind that network roll out from carriers is expected to take years, and the service will complement 4G LTE for the near future. As we noted in our tests on Verizon’s Moto Z3 with 5G Moto Mod, the LG V50 ThinQ on Sprint, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G on Verizon and T-Mobile, 5G delivers fast speeds, especially when using mmWave spectrum, but it also tends to suffer from poor range and penetration through cars and buildings.AT&T and Verizon customers hoping for blanket 5G coverage will have to wait quite some time, as the technology being utilized will essentially require 5G nodes on every block. Sprint and T-Mobile customers may get more coverage sooner, due to their use of  mid-band and low-band frequencies, which offer more range and better building penetration but slower speeds.We all want the future here now, but perhaps we could also save a few bucks until it gets here. Verizon’s 5G is blazing fast on the Galaxy S10 5G, if you’re on the right block 5G smartphones are on the way: Here’s every phone that will support 5G Sprint’s 5G rollout: Everything you need to know about it The $1,300 Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is here: What you need to know Speed is everything: Using 5G in the U.K. on the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G Editors’ Recommendationslast_img read more

Moto G6 Play photos leak after regulatory visit

first_imgA lot of us expected Motorola to reveal the Moto G6 Play at MWC this year, but such an announcement never arrived. Motorola did tease the device during the show, but unfortunately, that’s as far as it went. The absence of the phone at MWC doesn’t mean that it isn’t on the way, however, and today we’re learning that we could be heading for an announcement. TrendyTechz has spotted a listing with Taiwanese certification agency NCC that shows the Moto G6 Play in the flesh. These regulatory listings often pop up as a company closes in on an official announcement, and in the images associated with this listing, we see that not a whole lot is changing from an aesthetic standpoint. Then again, the Moto G-series has never been noteworthy for its looks, so it isn’t a bad thing that we’re seeing a familiar design in these images.Instead, the main hook of the Moto G is that it’s just a solid mid-range device that can be acquired without breaking the bank. It looks like Motorola will keep that up with the Moto G6 Play, as its rumored specifications include a 4,000 mAh battery, a Snapdragon 430 CPU, and a 5.7-inch display that outputs at a resolution of 1440 x 720. When we take all of those rumored specifications together, this should be a handset that lasts quite some time before it needs to be charged up.The phone is also said to be sporting 16MP front and rear-facing cameras, along with 3 or 4GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB of internal storage depending on the model you opt for. The device is still charged via micro USB, which is a little disappointing, but on the flip side, it still has a headphone jack, which is becoming something of a rarity in modern phones.AdChoices广告While the pictures accompanying this NCC filing aren’t the highest quality and therefore don’t give us a great idea of how the phone will look, they serve as confirmation that the Moto G6 Play does indeed exist. Now the only question is when Motorola and Lenovo will actually reveal the device. Hopefully we’ll get official word of the Moto G6 Play soon, so stay tuned. Story TimelineLatest Moto G6 leak reveals new color optionslast_img read more

Xiaomi Mi 6X launched with camera AI features

first_imgAs with many smartphones touting AI capabilities these days, majority of the Xiaomi Mi 6X’s AI features are focused on the camera. It does, however, go beyond basic scene recognition and leans closer to what Samsung Bixby and Google Lens offer. In other words, AI-powered object recognition.For example, Xiaomi’s camera AI can translate text from menus and manuals and can even identify food and inform users of how much calories it has. Quite interesting is the AI shopping feature that can detect products even in a video. Xiaomi also does have its own AI assistant now, called Xiao Ai, which boasts of the ability to understand hundreds of commands.As for specs, the Xiaomi Mi 6X is what you’d expect from a mid-tier phone. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 with 4 or 6 GB of RAM and 64 or 128 GB of storage, the 5.99-imch smartphone has an 18:9 screen with still sizeable bezels top and bottom. On its back is the fingerprint sensor and dual cameras made up of a 20 megapixel Sony IMX376 and a 12 megapixel Sony IMX486.Prices for the Xiaomi Mi 6X start at 1,599 RMB, roughly $250. That’s definitely a sweet price for a phone that has just enough muscle to be your daily driver and enough juice to get you through the day thanks to its 3,010 mAh battery and support for Quick Charge 3.0. But as with any Xiaomi phone, consumers in the US will be left salivating until the compamy finally decides to make good on its promise to enter the market.VIA: MIUI Forums Besides notches, there are two dominant trends in smartphones these days: cameras and AI. And in some high-end smartphones, those two come together. Continuiny its marketing slogan of “same specs for half the price”, Xiaomi launched the Mi 6X, a mid-range smartphone with a very tempting price tag. And, as you might expect, Xiaomi is positioning it to be the AI-empowered smartphone that anyone will be able to afford. Presuming you can actually buy one.last_img read more

Spotify support is coming back to some Roku devices

The company published its Roku OS 9 release notes today, saying that the software is currently rolling out to its wireless speakers, streaming devices, and smart TVs. A variety of changes come with the new software, including the addition of Automatic Volume Leveling for certain models, improvements to performance, and more. Nestled within the release notes is a bit about Spotify; the company reveals that some Roku devices will regain Spotify support with this update. Both free users and Spotify Premium customers will be able to access their favorite music from the service using their Roku device. The new ability will be present in Roku OS 9 and will include support for the Roku remote and launching through Spotify Connect (via a tablet, laptop, etc). Once someone with a supported device gets the Roku OS 9 update, the company says they’ll be able to find the Spotify app within the Roku channel store; it’ll be listed under “music.”AdChoices广告Spotify will also be supported on Roku TV models that are running software version 8.2, according to the company. The full list of Roku streaming devices receiving the OS 9 update are below:Roku Streaming Players – 4661X, 4660X, 4640X, 4630X, 4620X, 4400X, 4230X, 4210X, 4200X, 3921X, 3920X, 3910X, 3900X, 3810X, 3800X, 3710X, 3700X, 3600X, 3500X, 3420X, 3400X, 3100X, 3050X, 3000X, 2720X, 2710X, 2700X, 2500X, 2450X, 2400X. Roku TV – All Roku TV models are expected to receive Roku OS 9SOURCE: Roku Roku devices got support for Spotify years ago, but lost it in 2017 due to technical issues. That’s about to change, though, as Roku pushes out Roku OS 9, which will include Spotify support, according to the release notes. Not all Roku devices will get the support, but the ones that do will be able to access both the free service and Spotify Premium. read more

Adobe Enhance Details sees AI go all CSI on your photos

first_imgAdobe is setting an AI loose on your photos, with its new Enhance Details feature added to Lightroom CC among other apps to auto-magically increase their resolution by up to 30-percent. Powered by Sensei, the new system takes raw photos and applies a whole new way of processing them. To see the benefit, therefore, you’ll need a raw image file. Adobe says that Enhance Details works well on either Bayer files – as captured by cameras from Canon, Nikon, Sony, and others – and Fujifilm X-Trans files. Where it differs from the previous demosaicing process is in how Enhance Details uses machine learning. In short, Adobe trained a convolutional neural network, or CNN, with over a billion different photos. That allowed it to build up best-practices for dealing with difficult demosaicing of raw images, and re-apply those lessons to new photos. Demosaicing is the process by which raw images from a camera – which consist of a monochrome image and then an overlapping set of data about the color of each pixel, from the color filter array. Since only one of the three color values is stored for each pixel, the software doing the processing has to figure out the remaining two values. While there are several traditional methods by which to do that, Adobe points out that they all share the same common issues. That includes the challenge of dealing with small-scale detail close to the resolution limit of the camera’s sensor; false colors where the software gets adjoining pixel colors wrong; and zippering along the edges. Adobe Sensei, the company’s AI platform, was therefore trained on images with one or more of those problems. To be fair, some of the existing methods for advanced demosaicing have been impressively adept. The problem is that they’ve also been hugely computationally intensive. Where Enhance Details tries to set itself apart is in tapping into machine learning systems built into the latest versions of macOS and Windows 10, to boost performance. There are other ways to help it, too. A faster GPU, Adobe points out, can introduce a big improvement; if you’re using a laptop, an eGPU “can make a big difference” the company says. Meanwhile images that have artifacts, and lots of fine detail, are the best source shots to show the most improvements. Get it right, and Enhance Details should bring out more accurate edges and details, less moiré patterning and fewer false colors. Enhance Details is being added to Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, and Lightroom CC for Windows and Mac. There are actually two different AI models, one for Bayer and one for X-Trans, though the software will choose the correct one automatically. You’ll also need either a Mac running macOS 10.13 or later, or a PC running Windows 10 (1809) or later, since the new feature is based on Core ML and Windows ML respectively.last_img read more

Infiniti unveils 2019 QX60 Limited and QX80 Limited

first_imgInfiniti has pulled the covers of a pair of specially equipped vehicles that are fancier versions of its two most popular vehicles. The new rides are the 2019 QX60 Limited and the 2019 QX80 Limited. Both were unveiled at the New York International Auto show and will hit dealers this spring and summer with pricing announced closer to launch. The QX60 Limited gets special dark chrome front grille, fog lamp finishers, and door moldings. Dark premium-paint roof rails and cross bars are included along with special rear bumper lower coloring with gloss black. The hatch on the vehicle gets Limited lettering and the SUV rolls on 20-inch dark aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/55R-20 all-season tires.Most of the fancy materials are in the interior of the vehicle with contrasting stitching, leather wrapped grab handles, dark Silverwood accents, and black headliner and pillars. The seats are stone colored semi-aniline leather for all three rows with quilting, perforation, and contrasting stitching and piping.AdChoices广告The QX80 Limited gets 22-inch dark machine-finished wheels, stainless steel running boards with rubber grips, branded welcome lighting, satin chrome exterior trim, satin chrome roof rails and crossbars. The front and rear bumpers get unique lower treatments.The QX80 Limited is offered in five colors with the Anthracite Gray being an exclusive color for the Limited. The vehicle is available with seven-passenger seating including second-row captains chairs and a third-row bench. All seats have two-tone leather/Alcantara seats with contrast piping and stitching and quilting. Matte silver open-pore Ash wood trim is used along with leather wrapped grab handles. SOURCE: Infinitilast_img read more

Facebook will reduce the reach of Groups spreading misinformation

first_imgThe changes are part of the “remove, reduce, and inform” strategy Facebook introduced in 2016 amid its reckoning with fake news related to the election. A variety of hot button topics remain problematic for the company, including the presence of anti-vaxers who use the platform to spread misinformation related to vaccinations.As part of its “reduce” approach, Facebook plans to limit the content you’ll see in your News Feed from Groups that repeatedly share misinformation. As well, the company is implementing a Click-Gap signal that it says will make sure its users see less of this low-quality content ranking in their News Feeds.Facebook is also expanding the amount of content that will be reviewed by the Associated Press as a third-party fact-checker, and it is collaborating with outside experts on ‘new ways to fight’ fake news on its platform, the company said in a statement today. AdChoices广告The News Feed Context Button will soon be expanded to images and Facebook is introducing a new Community Standards section that’ll allow users to track its monthly updates. Other updates include adding more data to the Page Quality tab, enabling users to remove their comments and posts from Groups after they leave them, adding Verified Badges to Messenger, and updating the Block feature in its messaging app. The company’s full list of efforts can be found here. Facebook has announced some new steps it is taking to address ‘problematic content’ on its platform, including reducing the reach of Groups that spread misinformation. This restriction will apply to Groups that ‘repeatedly’ share the content, according to Facebook, which also plans to reduce the amount of low-quality content its users see in their News Feed. Story TimelineAnother huge Facebook security blunder exposes data of millionsFacebook will terminate its Windows Phone apps on April 30Facebook deactivated accounts reportedly still being trackedlast_img read more

The 2019 Jaguar IPACE is not what you expect

first_imgThe un-SUV electric SUVWhat I was expecting was an electric SUV, not least because the vehicle the I-PACE is most commonly compared to is Tesla’s Model X. The reality, though, is that the relative dearth of EVs makes like-for-like comparisons awkward. Indeed, the car I felt the I-PACE most reminded me of – in Tesla’s line-up, at least – was the Model S. Yes, the Model S is a sedan, but despite the higher driving position and more aggressive crossover styling, the Jaguar feels like a sedan too, albeit a slightly taller one. More importantly, it drives like a sedan rather than an SUV. I’m used to EVs – pure EVs, or BEVs, specifically – being firmly sprung. Sure, the batteries are typically mounted low, under the floor in the wheelbase of the car, delivering a usefully low center of gravity. Nonetheless battery packs aren’t light, especially in a car hoping to achieve anything close to a respectable range, and so the suspension is typically firmer so as to balance that out. For all that the I-PACE is firm, though, it’s not harsh. The standard air suspension helps there, giving it the sort of pliant ride you’d expect from, well, a Jaguar. It doesn’t wallow like many SUVs or, for that matter, like some EVs can. I like straight line speed as much as the next person, but the ability to carry that around corners is just as important to me. I think Jaguar’s strategy here makes a lot of sense. Drivers love SUVs and crossovers, that much is abundantly clear, but they don’t want a bland electric car – especially not if they’re spending upward of $70k on it. On that front, the I-PACE’s not-quite-an-SUV, not-quite-a-sedan balance serves it well. Range is an argument waiting to happenWith a 90 kWh battery, expectations for the I-PACE’s range have been fairly high. Unfortunately the reality, recently confirmed, isn’t quite so impressive. Jaguar is quoting an estimated 234 miles on the EPA test cycle, or 80 MPGe in the city, 72 MPGe on the highway, and 76 MPGe combined. Anybody with more than a passing knowledge of electric car performance will tell you that, in the grand scheme of EVs, those aren’t particularly great numbers. The Model X 75D that’s closest in price to the Jaguar has a smaller battery but still gets 237 miles of range in the EPA’s tests. It has far more impressive 91/95/93 MPGe ratings for city/highway/combined, too. Indeed, given a 100 kWh battery, the Model X can do as many as 295 miles, and still beat out the I-PACE’s MPGe numbers. It’s not just expensive Tesla cars, mind. Chevrolet’s Bolt EV is not far off half the price of the Jaguar, but gets 238 miles from its mere 60 kWh battery, and blows the MPGe numbers out of the water with triple-digits in each category. I guess there are two arguments at play here. First is the reality of just how much range we actually need, and how much we just think we need. Range anxiety, in other words. The other, though, is about the perception of the I-PACE as a cutting-edge EV. Why do Jaguar’s numbers trail its rivals so considerably? You can blame aerodynamics for part of that, and probably the other electronics in the car too, but it also likely comes down to experience. Tesla has been working on EVs for longer than Jaguar has, and that experience pays off in terms of efficiency. Just how quickly Jaguar can catch up remains to be seen. Charging EVs remains a Wild WestLater, camped out at a DC fast charger as the I-PACE vacuumed up range at approximately 1-percent charge a minute, I had plenty of time to think about infrastructure, too. Or, more accurately, its absence. Unlike Tesla, Jaguar – indeed, most automakers pushing into EVs – isn’t building its own charging network. Instead it relies on third-party chargers to keep the kitty purring. Jaguar had recommended not charging the car at home: as it was still running pre-production software, there were some concerns that it might demand more current than the domestic wiring could supply. For the same software reason I’ll be saving range figures until I can get a car that’s the same as what you’d find on a dealership forecourt. Level 1 or 2 charging at home – depending on your hardware – isn’t fast, but you typically have the benefit of time. Park up overnight, plug in, and there’s the expectation of range that has accumulated while you slept. Without that luxury I was reminded of how many public chargers top out at 6.6 kW, and how little range they add unless you’re there for an extended period. If your workplace has a charger, that’s fine. If you’re trying to add range while running errands, hopping from place to place, however, it’s less ideal. The closest DC fast charger to where I live proved to be a half hour drive away. That’s in the heart of the Bay Area, too: if you’re in a less EV-friendly area, you might be hours away from a high-speed way to charge. It’s not just a Jaguar problem, of course, and before you tell me “well just buy a Tesla then” it’s worth my mentioning that the nearest Supercharger was a similar distance to the ChargePoint DC fast charger. Plenty of Tesla Destination Chargers closer, sure, but then you’re getting closer to Level 2 speeds. What I’m reminded is that few automakers are getting every aspect of the EV purchase experience right. Being left to figure out your home charging setup by yourself is fairly commonplace. Most car companies making plug-ins I speak to say that they generally leave supplying chargers down to the dealerships. The headaches involved in supplying Level 2 hardware and, more complex, dealing with the specifics of each installation is more than the car-makers themselves would like to deal with. Tesla is an outlier, and Audi’s deal with Amazon for home chargers to work with the upcoming e-tron SUV will be another. Both have recognized that, while juicing up an EV can be a whole lot easier and cleaner than having to hit up a gas station every so often, that’s only the case if you have the right equipment installed. I suspect Jaguar may have to rise to that challenge if its to deliver the premium charging experience to match the I-PACE’s premium driving experience. Jaguar gets plenty rightIt might sound like I’m unimpressed by the I-PACE, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, Jaguar’s first all-electric car is deeply appealing in a number of ways. I prefer the styling to Tesla’s, and the design, fit, and finish of the cabin is far preferable, too. The big cat feels more nimble in the corners than either the Model S or Model X as well. In short it feels a lot like, well, a Jaguar. Only one that happens to be electric. Tesla may have the experience making EVs, but Jaguar’s know-how in putting together a compelling luxury car comes through loud and clear. There’s heart as well as head in play when you head to a dealership; if the “perfect” electric transportation leaves you cold, it won’t matter how good it is. Your wallet will stay in your pocket. Indeed for a first attempt, the I-PACE is very convincing. No, it may not have the same range as rivals manage, but the EPA is only measuring distance, not the enjoyment found in each of those miles. I suspect there are plenty of people who don’t require anything near the Jaguar’s range, and who simply want a luxurious car that doesn’t feel too much like a hair-shirt compromise from what they’re currently driving. On that front, there’s a whole lot to like about the Jaguar I-PACE. 2019 Jaguar I-PACE Gallerycenter_img The Jaguar I-PACE isn’t quite as easy to pin down as you might think it would be. Yes, Jaguar’s first all-electric car has had all the usual Tesla comparisons; yes, we’ve already found it surprisingly adept off-road and even on the race track. When I got behind the wheel myself, though, it turned out to be very different to what I’d been expecting. Story Timeline2019 Jaguar I-PACE: 5 big tech details to knowUndercutting Tesla, the Jaguar I-PACE takes the EV war mainstreamJaguar hybrid sports car with I-PACE tech talk has us salivatinglast_img read more

Galaxy Fold ATT preorders have been cancelled

first_imgAT&T is hardly the first one to cancel pre-orders for consumers. Best Buy did that last month and Samsung itself warned buyers that if they didn’t confirm their pre-orders, those would automatically be cancelled. All throughout, however, AT&T remained rooted on the stop. Not anymore.Tom’S Guide received a copy of an e-mail from the carrier informing buyers that it has cancelled those pre-orders. For the inconvenience that it didn’t cause, AT&T will be giving those effected a $100 Promotion Card. Any charges used to reserve the phone will be fully refunded as well.The email does mention that buyers can pre-order again if and when Samsung announces the new release date. Unofficially, the company said it will give word of a new date in the coming weeks. Or it could be giving word it will be cancelling the Galaxy Fold entirely.With just a few weeks before that expected announcement and weeks after the first cancellations occured, one has to ask why AT&T took so long to act. It could cause some to wonder if AT&T received some information on a far longer delay. That or perhaps Samsung wasn’t exactly communicating properly with its retail and carrier partners enough to give them a date to hold on to. The Samsung Galaxy Fold saga continues to be a rollercoaster ride with highs and lows and it hasn’t even shipped yet. In fact, there’s still some doubt whether it’ll still ship at all, despite rumors and leaks claiming it will. AT&T isn’t taking much stock in those unofficial sources, though, as it has cancelled pre-orders for the market’s firs major foldable phone. While it still leaves the door open for future orders, it effectively raises doubts how soon that will happen if at all. Story TimelineGalaxy Fold pre-orders canceled at Best Buy, but there’s a silver lining [Update]Galaxy Fold delayed yet again and it’s probably for the bestGalaxy Fold is still coming, new date to be announced really soon nowlast_img read more

Samsungs fixed Galaxy Fold is reportedly ready Are we

first_imgSamsung has reworked its flawed folding smartphone, and according to the leaks the Galaxy Fold is ready to take a second attempt at launching: question is, are we ready? The clamshell Android was to be Samsung’s 2019 flagship, a triumphant demonstration that – despite lawsuits and criticisms from rivals – the South Korean firm is a true innovator in the space. Instead, Samsung found itself with a PR nightmare. Mere days before the Galaxy Fold was meant to ship out to preorder customers, each of whom had spent a whopping $2,000 on the device, reviewers’ phones started failing. Screens cracked. Hinges left noticeable bumps in the folding display. A vital plastic top layer to the flexible OLED panel looked so much like a cheap, temporary screen protector, that reviewers understandably tried to pull it off. Samsung recalled all the demo units and put the launch on ice, unsurprisingly prompting questions as to whether the hardware was ever ready for commercial release. Since then, blame has been apportioned and reasons for the failure have been shared. According to the latest reports, the reworked hardware is ready to go. AdChoices广告With reviewers acting as guinea pigs, Samsung has apparently fixed its more obvious flaws. The protective film has now been extended to more thoroughly wrap the Galaxy Fold’s bezels, Bloomberg‘s sources say, while the hinge has been pushed up. Both are intended to leave the top layer looking more like an integral part of the OLED, rather than an afterthought. The hardware may be ready, but it’s unclear if the market is. Foldable phones faced skepticism from the outset, with potential customers questioning not only the Galaxy Fold’s price but its purpose. For all the arguments that it would squeeze a tablet-scale screen into a phone-sized package, the chunky result – and the absence of apps that really make the most of such a form-factor – meant the new Samsung was already going to arrive to a critical audience. Then again, Samsung has faced adversity in the shape of public mockery before, and survived it. The Galaxy Note 7 debacle still leaves the Korean firm the butt of exploding phone jokes, years after the recall took place. All the same, the Galaxy S10 was one of the most eagerly-anticipated devices of 2019, and the Galaxy Note 10 looks set to generate the same furious interest ahead of its August 7 debut. If there’s a difference, it’s that the Note series was a known quotient. Samsung created the phablet category – indeed, all signs pointed to it hoping to repeat that feat with the foldables category – and the Note was a sales behemoth. The sheer difficulty the company had in prizing the last of the Note 7 out of owners hands, pockets, and purses – despite the fact that the phone was known to literally explode – was evidence of just how deep that loyalty ran. The Galaxy Fold has had no such opportunity to win over skeptics and build a reputation. Even had this first-generation phone launched as planned, its price and the early nature of software designed for varying screen sizes meant that initially it was only ever going to be a rare plaything of richer users. New tech takes time to trickle down into the mass market and, like a river carving out a valley, find its groove. I don’t believe it’s game over before it even got started for the Galaxy Fold. Samsung clearly doesn’t, either. Not only is it working on this first iteration for an eventual release – not that it’s saying quite when that will happen, mind – it’s also believed to have at least one more Fold already designed. Even were Samsung to tarry, competitors like Huawei are preparing their own assaults on the fledgling segment, too. Samsung may be ready. The Galaxy Fold may be too. But the challenge of convincing the rest of us that we’re ready for the phone – and for foldables in general – is only just beginning. Story TimelineGalaxy Fold is still coming, new date to be announced really soon nowGalaxy Fold ready to launch again, Samsung exec claimsSamsung Galaxy Fold 2 could be a RAZR-like clamshelllast_img read more

Viewpoints Rick Perry Says Obama Is Selling A Broken Medicaid System House

first_imgViewpoints: Rick Perry Says Obama Is Selling A ‘Broken’ Medicaid System; House GOP Assailed For ‘Foolish’ Repeat Of Repeal Vote USA Today: Editorial: Your Health Care Vs. Your Governor Not so meaningless, however, are recent decisions of several states to resist what ought to be some of the less controversial aspects of ObamaCare. They’re refusing to set up easy-to-use exchanges that would help residents make insurance choices. And they’re turning down a Medicaid expansion, which will deny insurance to millions who can’t afford coverage and shift the cost of their care to people who have it (7/11).USA Today: ObamaCare A Bad Deal For The States Setting aside the brazen intrusion into state sovereignty and the gross federal overreach, the practical problem with ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion is that the product the administration is selling is broken. State and federal budgets are simply unable to handle an expansion of this magnitude (Texas Gov. Rick Perry, 7/11). The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Medicaid Expansion Is A Bad Deal For GeorgiansThe salient number here is not $35 billion, which is the estimated amount Washington would chip in toward Georgia’s Medicaid expansion between 2014 and 2023. It’s $4.5 billion, the minimum amount this move would cost Georgia taxpayers in those years…. Even if state lawmakers were inclined to spend an extra billion or two on health care, they’d be wise to avoid the golden handcuffs of a Medicaid expansion (Kyle Wingfield, 7/12).Des Moines Register: Government’s Authority To Coerce Will Not End With ObamacareThe court did, however, invalidate the part of the Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion that would have taken away current Medicaid funding (a figurative “gun to the head,” in the words of the court) from states that did not follow Obamacare’s order to dramatically increase their Medicaid programs. … This expansion would cost states billions and would further crowd out other important state priorities, such as education, transportation and public safety, all in the name of throwing millions into a failing, unsustainable Medicaid system (Rep. Steve King, 7/11).Los Angeles Times: In His Heart, Romney Cares About Blacks, Healthcare. Really. And now, a lesson in political-speak: being specific vs. being silly. Republican presidential nominee-to-be Mitt Romney told the NAACP that he has the “best interest” of Americans at heart and that blacks in particular should vote for him. … it’s apparently impossible for him to communicate why he believes he’s the best man for African Americans. But if it were, Romney said, black people would vote for him. Apparently they’ll just have to trust him on that score (David Lazarus, 7/11). The Washington Post: Republicans Vote to Repeal Medicare Cuts They Voted For And Are Campaigning Against Just now, the House voted, one more time, to repeal the Affordable Care Act, by an almost straight-line party vote of 244-185, with every Republican voting for “full repeal” and all but five Democrats voting against it. … a parade of Republicans went to the House floor today bashing Barack Obama, the Democrats, and the health law for cutting $500 billion from Medicare — one of their central attacks on Dems for two straight cycles now — despite supporting those very same cuts in their own budget, the Paul Ryan plan (Jonathan Bernstein, 7/11). The Wall Street Journal: No One Would Miss ObamaCare, But The Window For Repeal Is Two Years President Obama has repeatedly warned that Americans will be hurt if part or all of the legislation is rolled back. “People’s lives are affected by the lack of availability of health care,” Mr. Obama has told reporters, “the inaffordability of health care, their inability to get health care because of pre-existing conditions.” In fact, very few people would be hurt if part or all of the law is repealed, and millions of them would be helped (Merrill Matthews, 7/11). McClatchy Newspapers: Dogged Effort To Repeal Health Care Law Misses The Big PictureThe ink on the Supreme Court decision affirming the Affordable Care Act isn’t yet dry, but Republican leaders in the House this week will vote on a measure to scrap the law. We write this as a lifelong Democrat and Republican. We are nurses first, and we know that good health care isn’t about politics and profits. The partisan bickering that pollutes our political system has no place in our hospitals and clinics. Our patients simply cannot afford any more delays when it comes to affordable care and protections from the worst of insurance company abuses (Margie Forest and Bonnie Chappell, 7/11).Baltimore Sun: House Foolish To Vote Against Health Care ReformNext time the more bombastic in Washington rail against government waste, let them include every cent lost to Wednesday’s dog and pony show in the House of Representatives, where time that might have been used constructively was frittered away with yet another attack on health care reform. For those who might have accidentally tuned into C-Span shortly before 1:30 p.m., that was not a repeat but an actual live telecast. For the 33rd time since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, the House held a vote to repeal part or all of it (7/11).Denver Post: Pay Me Now, Pay Me LaterThis is the fundamental difference, I think, between the American approach to health care and the European one. Europeans regard health care as a right. Americans, especially those in the middle class, see it almost as a privilege, less essential perhaps than a car (Eva Syrovy, 7/12).Houston Chronicle: First We Should Decide If Health Care Is A RightSince the 2008 election campaign, the United States has not engaged in a debate about health care at all. We have engaged in a debate about how to pay for health care, particularly the health care consumed by those without health insurance…. How to pay for health insurance is the second debate we should have. The first debate is whether or not health care is a right of the citizenry of this country (Dr. Leonard A. Zwelling, 7/11). Journal of the American Medical Association: Physicians’ First Amendment Rights To Discuss Firearms With Patients Upheld In FloridaAlthough the Supreme Court has moved further in recent years in affirming the right to bear firearms, physicians who discuss firearm safety with their patients do not detract from the patients’ right to possess firearms allowable under state law. Patients are free to accept or reject physician advice, but they attend a medical consultation precisely to receive objective information about their health and safety (Lawrence Gostin, 7/11).CNN: Mississippi’s End Run Around AbortionIt’s possible (the Mississippi) legislature has cannily unlocked a way to make abortion illegal without having to overturn Roe v. Wade. The state has instituted a series of unreasonable regulations for doctors who perform abortions. Using a practice very similar to the kind of bottlenecking that was done to suppress black votes during the Jim Crow era, Mississippi has systematically squeezed the number of abortion clinics in the state down to just one. And if a federal court ultimately finds its new regulations constitutional, that one will be gone too (LZ Granderson, 7/12).Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): How Hot-Spotting Stops ‘Bedbugs’ And Other Social IllsThere are numerous social “bedbugs” just outside the health care sector that negatively impact individuals’ health. In more abstract terms, these factors are known as the “social determinants of health” – the economic, environmental, behavioral and social conditions that influence individual and group differences in health status. Collectively, they are the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age (Dr. Mark Wallace, 7/11).San Francisco Chronicle: State Must Address Adult-Care Issues Naturally, those people who found themselves no longer eligible for [Community-Based Adult Services] want a fair explanation of why this is the case. Unfortunately, the process for ruling people eligible has been contentious and confusing…. One of the ultimate solutions might be to revisit the eligibility requirements. But in the meantime, the state needs to abide by the criteria to which it agreed (7/11) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Viewpoints Washington Post Endorses Obama GOP Senate Candidates Hurting Partys Reach To

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Washington Post: Four More Years For Obama Mr. Obama is committed to the only approach that can succeed: a balance of entitlement reform and revenue increases. Mr. Romney, by contrast, has embraced his party’s reality-defying ideology that taxes can always go down but may never go up. Along that road lies a future in which interest payments crowd out everything else a government should do, from defending the nation to caring for its poor and sick to investing in its children (10/25). The New York Times: The Morning After President-elect Willard M. Romney — congratulations! … You’ve promised to accomplish 15 different tasks on Day 1; let’s sort them by priority. The Affordable Care Act is gone, even though you need Congress to act (a mere formality, by Ryan’s assurance). All you 20-somethings on your parents’ health plans, all you sickly types with pre-existing conditions that you expect the insurance companies to cover, no more Obamacare for you. The ride is over, even if it means leaving 72 million Americans without health insurance (Timothy Egan, 10/25). The New York Times: Obama On Mourdock And Women’s Rights Earlier in the tour, Mr. Obama didn’t stress his health-care law’s benefits for women, such as free access to contraception, mammograms and other services. (He also wants to continue federal funding for health services to Planned Parenthood, which Mr. Romney wants to cut.) Given the crowd’s enthusiastic reaction this morning, chances are he’ll make these issues a staple (David Firestone, 10/25). Politico: The Election And The Rape ExceptionThis week’s Senate debate in Indiana provided a vivid illustration of the stakes of this year’s election for women and girls around the country and the lengths to which some candidates will go to restrict choice. Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock defended his stance that abortion should be illegal — even in the case of rape … It is more important than ever for women to make their voices heard by supporting candidates who will stand up for the right to make personal health choices without interference from government (Rep. Nita Lowey, 10/26).Roll Call: Appropriate Care Setting Protects Medicare’s FutureUnder current law, the Medicare Trust Fund will be insolvent by 2024. Experts agree that the trajectory of health care spending is unsustainable. … While many policymakers and stakeholder groups are investigating methods to make these savings and improvements a reality, viable and lasting solutions have emerged — one in particular that could save $70 billion to $100 billion over 10 years and extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by more than two years (former Sens. Bob Dole and Blanche Lincoln, 10/25).The Washington Post: Still Hopeful For A Debt Deal Betting on Congress to do something — anything — is, as Samuel Johnson said of second marriages, the triumph of hope over experience. … Yet the Congress that limped back to town after the 2010 election was surprisingly fruitful. … Meanwhile, the president was assuring the Des Moines Register that he was committed to achieving “the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time” — which included raising the eligibility age for Medicare and reducing Social Security cost-of-living-allowances (Ruth Marcus, 10/25). The Medicare NewsGroup: Drug Plan Decisions: When Too Much Choice Is A Bad ThingThe conventional wisdom in conservative policy camps is that more choice is better … Yet bad choices seem to be the norm when making Part D (prescription drug plan) decisions, according to a new working paper to be published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. … It may sound undemocratic to suggest that streamlining the decision-making process by offering fewer choices could be better for the majority of participants. Yet in the larger arena of consumer-driven health care, the results of the study don’t bode well for the multiple-choice model, which is the core of the “premium support” plan offered by the Romney/Ryan platform (John Wasik, 10/25).The New York Times: Deeper Concerns About Drug Compounding The more that reporters and regulators dig into the cause of the meningitis outbreak that has sickened more than 300 people in 18 states and killed 24, the worse it all looks. The Massachusetts pharmacy that produced the contaminated injectable steroid linked to the outbreak has a long, troubled history. But the issues of shoddy manufacturing practices and lax regulation go well beyond one company (10/25). Los Angeles Times: Prescription Refill Pressure Bothers CVS Pharmacists Too Chris Cullum normally gets his prescriptions filled at a CVS Caremark store in San Diego. But, while traveling, he placed orders at a CVS branch in Arizona this year and at a branch in Illinois last year. In both cases, Cullum said, he subsequently received calls from the stores in those states letting him know that refills were ready (David Lazarus, 10/25). Viewpoints: Washington Post Endorses Obama; GOP Senate Candidates Hurting Party’s Reach To Women; ‘Too Much Choice’ In Medicare?last_img read more

Selling The Idea Of Health Insurance To Young Invincibles

first_imgThe Obama administration is launching a national video contest designed to convince young people to sign up for coverage, spending $30,000 on prizes to draw the YouTube generation.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: HHS Offering Prizes For Videos Promoting Obamacare The ‘young invincibles’ are what health policy wonks call healthy young adults (18-30) who don’t see being uninsured as a problem. But it is a problem, at least for the success of the Affordable Care Act. That’s why the Department of Health and Human Services is spending $30,000 on prizes for a national video contest, in a frank appeal to the YouTube generation (Feibel, 8/20).The Hill: HHS Targets Young Consumers With ObamaCare Video CompetitionThe Health and Human Services Department is teaming up with the group Young Invincibles in a new effort to encourage young people to enroll in new coverage options under ObamaCare. The HHS and Young Invincibles announced a contest Monday for videos urging young people to enroll in new insurance policies. Whoever makes the best ObamaCare video can win up to $8,500 (Baker, 8/19).The Washington Post’s Wonk Blog: Why Obamacare Is Good For Young PeopleThe key is that not everyone uses their health insurance at the same time, or with the same frequency. Sick people use it more than healthy people. The elderly use it more than the young. Women use it more than men. The trick to making any health-insurance system work is to attract enough healthy and young people into the insurance pool. Their low costs offset the care provided to elderly and unhealthy people, who drive costs up. This is the task that obsesses the Obama administration. It’s also the task that has begun to obsess its opponents (Klein, 8/19).Los Angeles Times: Paul Bunyan, Ox Sidekick Hired As Insurance Salesmen In MinnesotaMinnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes, now has 10,000 reasons to get health insurance, too. At least that’s the latest pitch from state officials launching a campaign to enroll about 1 million residents in healthcare coverage when its state-run insurance marketplace goes live Oct. 1. The state has enlisted Minnesotan folklore icons — lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his trusty sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox — as the face of its marketing campaign to promote MNSure, as the state’s health exchange is known (Lopez, 8/19).Kansas Health Institute: KCK Looking For Ways To Get The Word Out On Obamacare MarketplaceHealth officials here estimate that Wyandotte County has about 27,000 people without health insurance and they are hoping that Obamacare and the new insurance marketplace soon expected to be operating in Kansas can help change that (Shields, 8/19).Meanwhile, there’s messaging and marketing from health law opponents, too – The Associated Press: Group Kicks Off Nat’l Tour On Health Law DefundingOne of the chief backers of a plan to defund the federal health care law by tying it to budget negotiations said Monday that he didn’t believe Republicans would be blamed for a government shutdown as supporters of the approach launched a national tour to spur support for the idea. Dismissing concerns from some Republicans, former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina called the defunding idea the “last, best chance” to stop the federal health care overhaul before key parts of the law take effect later this year (DeMillo, 8/19). Selling The Idea Of Health Insurance To ‘Young Invincibles’ This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

For Consumers Shopping For Insurance On New Health Exchanges A Lot Will

first_imgPeople who live in states where officials were less enthusiastic about the health law’s new online marketplaces will likely have to look harder to find information about them. Meanwhile, coverage costs will vary widely, not just from state to state, but sometimes among cities and regions within the same state.The Associated Press: States Resist, Build Nascent Insurance MarketsWith new online health insurance exchanges set to launch Tuesday, consumers in many Southern and Plains states will have to look harder for information on how the marketplaces work than their counterparts elsewhere (Dalesio, 9/29).Kaiser Health News: Where You Live Determines How Much You Pay For Health InsuranceWhen buying health insurance, where you live matters. In Pennsylvania and more than a half dozen states, consumers in some cities will pay at least 50 percent more for the same type of coverage than their friends and relatives in other parts of the state (Appleby and Rau, 9/29).Meanwhile, news outlets offer progress reports from California, Minnesota, Kentucky, Missouri, Washington and Wisconsin.Los Angeles Times: California Insurance Exchange Chief Has Health Reform ‘In His Bones’Republicans in Congress are railing against the healthcare law as a government takeover of medicine. The massive program will harm patients and cost far too much, critics say. … It mirrors the scene 50 years ago during the contentious debate over Medicare. Two brothers, Peter and Philip Lee, fought on the front lines back then, bucking the medical establishment to guarantee healthcare for seniors. Now another Peter Lee — Peter’s son and Philip’s nephew — is carrying on the family tradition. He’s in charge of enrolling millions of Californians in Obamacare (Terhune, 9/28).The Sacramento Bee: California Relying On ‘Guerrilla’ Tactics To Sell ObamacareMuch of the nation is watching California’s rollout given the size of the state and the fact it has, at 20 percent, one of the highest state rates of uninsured residents. At a stop this summer in San Jose, President Barack Obama held up the Golden State’s online marketplace and the immense machinery behind it as a model, touting its efforts to steer Latinos and other groups with high rates of uninsured toward the exchange. The uninsured are in many ways more difficult to reach than other consumers, so the state is turning to less-traditional approaches – visiting people in homes, clinics, churches and other places where non-English speakers and the underemployed might congregate (Cadelago, 9/30). Pioneer Press: MNSure Launches Tuesday, And State Hopes For Smooth SailingFollowing years of partisan rancor, millions in development costs, endorsements by a mythical lumberjack and a handful of controversies, Minnesota on Tuesday hopes to launch … a website. If it works, the website will give thousands of individuals and small businesses a new option for buying health insurance (Snowbeck, 9/29).MinnPost: Some MNsure Problems Appear Worse, But Officials Say They’re Set To Launch TuesdayMNsure’s latest internal reviews show staff continuing to identify serious problems with the project, and the status of the health exchange appears worse off now than it was weeks ago as Tuesday’s launch approaches. Since MinnPost began receiving internal documents — which include weekly project status reports, technical documents and risk assessments — in early September, three of seven areas that MNsure staff and vendors are consistently working on have been deemed worse off than before (Nord, 9/27).Minnesota Public Radio: Health Exchange Rollouts Are A Milestone For ‘Obamacare'[Former Gov. Tim] Pawlenty could have been the father of MNsure, the state’s health plan marketplace. Six years ago Pawlenty, a Republican, wanted to create a non-profit Minnesota Insurance Exchange, an approach he said would make insurance less expensive for workers and lower costs for employers. … Four years later, Pawlenty was running for president and like all of the GOP hopefuls too, took shots at Obamacare, which relies heavily on the exchange concept. … As Pawlenty’s term as governor neared an end, he turned down a $1 milllion federal grant to start planning a Minnesota exchange. But after Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, took office in January 2011 the federal development dollars started flowing into Minnesota — over GOP objections (Stawicki, 9/30). Minnesota Public Radio: Why MNsure Rates Are The Lowest In The Country Plans offered on MNsure will have the lowest premium rates in the nation, according to research done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Uninsured Minnesotans in the Twin Cities can expect to pay as little as $91 a month for health care coverage bought through the state’s new online marketplace. Rates will be more expensive for those who want a more robust insurance plan, and for those who are buying insurance for a family or employees in small business (Richert, 9/27). The Star Tribune: Insurance Exchange Will Force Choices MNsure and other state exchanges across the country are a critical element of the federal health care law known as Obamacare. Even as controversy continues to rage around the law, its final rollout in the coming months will bring a sharp change in how millions of Americans pay for health care. While most people will still get insurance through an employer, those who shop on MNsure will decide for themselves which insurance company to use, how much coverage to get and what they’re willing to spend (Crosby and Olson, 9/29). Kaiser Health News: In Kentucky, Confusion And Misinformation Abound On Eve Of Obamacare RolloutOn a late September night – just days before the Oct. 1 launch of the state’s online health insurance marketplace called Kynect — most passersby are unaware of their new health insurance options under the law, confused by the political sniping and doubtful the law will help them. … Politically divided, Kentucky is the only southern state running its own Obamacare marketplace and one of just two committed to expanding Medicaid, making it a unique bellwether of public receptivity to the law. While Gov. Steve Beshear is a Democrat, its two senators, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, are Republicans and ardent foes of Obamacare (Galewitz, 9/29).St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Health Insurance Marketplaces Offer New OpportunitiesNathan Brown and Allyson Harper of south St. Louis embody the opportunity and uncertainties in the air as new health insurance marketplaces open for business. … Starting on Tuesday, the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period begins across the United States for new state- and federal-run online marketplaces (Doyle, 9/28).St. Louis Beacon: Health Exchange Martketplace Is Set To Open; Consumers Told To Walk Not Run To ItBusiness is good at the Pilates and Yoga Center in Ladue. But an issue that continues to interrupt the peace of owner Karen Prechtl is affordable health insurance for herself and her 10 employees. … GOP critics, such as Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and House Speaker Tim Jones of Eureka, say the system is flawed and unclear. Supporters note that the marketplaces haven’t even opened yet (Joiner, 9/30).The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: State Says It’s Ready To Help Thousands Negotiate Obamacare ChangesAs Tuesday’s start date for the federal health care law approaches, Gov. Scott Walker’s administration say it’s ready for the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites who will have new options for shopping for health coverage. In one key part of that process, the state’s deputy health services secretary said Friday he is now confident that federal officials will approve covering low-income childless adults through the state’s BadgerCare Plus program (Stein, 9/27). The Seattle Times: Obamacare: State Says It’s Ready For Big DayYears of debate, planning, education and outreach have come down to this: On Tuesday, Washington state residents — and people across the country — can begin buying health insurance in exchanges created under Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. Aimed at the uninsured and those who have individual health-insurance policies, the online exchanges are a key part of the health-care overhaul President Obama signed into law in March 2010 (Landa and Marshall, 9/29). For Consumers Shopping For Insurance On New Health Exchanges, A Lot Will Be Determined By Where They Live This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Research RoundupHospital Readmissions Wash State Premiums

first_imgEach week, KHN compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs.JAMA Surgery: Evaluation Of Hospital Readmissions In Surgical Patients Reducing hospital readmissions is a major target for current quality improvement and cost-containment efforts. National policy makers have developed a tool that uses administrative data to analyze all-cause hospital readmissions and determine whether each readmission is susceptible to financial penalties. This tool is yet to be implemented, however. Using a cohort of general surgery patients, the current study demonstrates that administrative data failed to correctly identify the reason for hospital readmission in nearly one-third of cases. Similarly, the readmission measure failed to identify nearly two-thirds of planned readmissions. … Implementation of this readmission measure may result in unwarranted financial penalties for hospitals. (Sacks et al., 6/11). JAMA Internal Medicine: Association Of Marketing Interactions With Medical Trainees’ Knowledge About Evidence-Based Prescribing In recent years, numerous US medical schools and academic medical centers have enacted policies preventing pharmaceutical sales representatives from interacting directly with students. … We surveyed a nationally representative sample of first- and fourth-year medical students and third-year residents. … Among physician trainees, our survey showed an association between positive attitudes toward industry-physician interactions and less knowledge about evidence-based prescribing and greater inclination to recommend brand-name drugs. Policies intended to insulate trainees from pharmaceutical marketing may promote better educational outcomes (Austad et al., 6/9). Health Affairs: Translating Research For Health Policy: Researchers’ Perceptions And Use Of Social Media Academic journals, public health agencies, and health care organizations are increasingly using social media to communicate health information. … We conducted a survey of health policy researchers about using social media and two traditional channels (traditional media and direct outreach) to disseminate research findings to policy makers. Researchers rated the efficacy of the three dissemination methods similarly but rated social media lower than the other two in three domains: researchers’ confidence in their ability to use the method, peers’ respect for its use, and how it is perceived in academic promotion. Just 14 percent of our participants reported tweeting, and 21 percent reported blogging about their research or related health policy in the past year. Researchers described social media as being incompatible with research, of high risk professionally, of uncertain efficacy, and an unfamiliar technology (Grande et al., 6/6).The Kaiser Family Foundation: A Look At CBO Projections For Medicaid And CHIP Generally once a year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releases a detailed “baseline” for federal spending for Medicaid, CHIP and the ACA that serves as a neutral benchmark for Congress to measure the budgetary effect of proposed legislation and as a reference point for analysis of Medicaid enrollment and spending. This baseline assumes current law remains in place, but adjusts for changes in the economy and other factors … Compared to the CBO Medicaid baseline from March 2012, federal spending projected for 2020 in the April 2014 baseline is 14% lower due to a number of factors including the Supreme Court decision effectively making the ACA Medicaid expansion an option. … Due to the ACA, the number of uninsured is expected to decline by 26 million by 2024 (Rudowitz, 6/5). Related: Medicaid Enrollment: An Overview Of The CMS April 2014 UpdateThe Kaiser Family Foundation: Visualizing Income And Assets Among Medicare Beneficiaries: Now And In The Future Many Medicare beneficiaries live on fixed incomes supplemented by the savings they accumulated during their working years. Their income and accumulation of savings is tied to many life experiences, including their education, health status, marital status, number of work years, household income, periods of unemployment, investments, years of homeownership, access to employer retirement benefits, inheritance, other financial supports, and various economic factors. This interactive tool describes the income, savings and home equity of people on Medicare in 2013, and in 2030 (6/12). Avalere Health: Washington State Rate Analysis: Carriers with Low 2014 Market Share Hold Down Premiums in 2015A new analysis from Avalere Health finds that proposed rate increases for 2015 exchange plans in Washington state were lowest among carriers with the smallest share of the 2014 market. Molina, which captured only 1 percent of 2014 exchange enrollment in the state, proposed a nearly 7 percent average rate decrease for 2015. In addition, other low enrollment carriers, Kaiser Permanente and BridgeSpan Health, each proposed average increases of less than 2 percent. Washington state is the first to release both 2015 rate filings … “Consumers enrolling through the exchange are extremely price sensitive and tend to focus primarily on premiums,” said Dan Mendelson, CEO at Avalere Health. “In this vibrant market, plans that gained a minimal share in 2014 will naturally want to price their products more competitively in 2015” (6/12). Here is a selection of news coverage of other recent research:Reuters: Putting Dying Wishes In Medical Record Helps Them HappenWhen patients’ end-of-life preferences are entered as instructions in their medical record, their wishes are more likely to be honored, a new study suggests. The study was done in Oregon, one of two states with an end-of-life planning program called POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment). … “POLST records and honors wishes in a way that (medical professionals understand) and can implement across settings of care,” said Dr. Susan Tolle, an internist at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland and the study’s senior author. … “Although it is probably more important how you die than where you die, where you die can strongly affect how you die,” they write in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Belisomo, 6/9). NPR: Doctors Don’t Know What Women Want To Know About Birth ControlWomen have choices in contraception, from pills and injections to intrauterine devices and the NuvaRing. … Doctors tend to think it’s most important to discuss how to use contraceptives and which methods are most effective at preventing pregnancy, according to the poll , which was published in the journal Contraception. Women, on the other hand, are often more concerned about safety, side effects and how the contraceptives work (Singh, 6/10). The Associated Press: Healthy Seniors Tested In Bid To Block Alzheimer’sIn one of the most ambitious attempts yet to thwart Alzheimer’s disease, a major study got underway Monday to see if an experimental drug can protect healthy seniors whose brains harbor silent signs that they’re at risk. Scientists plan to eventually scan the brains of thousands of older volunteers in the U.S., Canada and Australia to find those with a sticky build-up believed to play a key role in development of Alzheimer’s — the first time so many people without memory problems get the chance to learn the potentially troubling news (Neergaard, 6/9). The Hill: Cancer Survivors Keep Paying Cancer Costs Long After RecoveryEven after fighting off cancer, survivors often face severe challenges, such as high medical costs and productivity loss from missed work, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC analyzed cancer survivors’ medical cost data between 2008 and 2011 and found they face serious financial burdens because of clinical follow-ups, managing long-term and late effects of their treatments, and monitoring for recurrence of the disease and other cancers because of increased risk (Al-Faruque, 6/12). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Research Roundup:Hospital Readmissions; Wash. State Premiumslast_img read more

State Highlights Backers Of An Ohio Drug Pricing Initiative File Suit To

first_img A regulation change that will lift the cap on the number of physician assistants that Kansas doctors can supervise drew patient safety concerns from urban legislators Thursday. But one western Kansas senator said the change is vital for rural areas relying on physician assistants to make up for doctor shortages. (Marso, 1/7) North Carolina Health News: Bipartisan Congressional Group Advocates For Primary Care Backers of an effort to change Ohio law to require the state to negotiate for lower drug prices for state programs sued in the Ohio Supreme Court Wednesday to try to force Secretary of State Jon Husted to send their proposed law to the General Assembly. (Higgs, 1/7) Kansas Health Institute: Kansas Legislators Discuss Physician Assistant Limits The Associated Press: Partisan Spending Rift Divides Colorado Lawmakers, Governor The election season of 2016 is just around the corner, and with the upcoming congressional elections North Carolinians can expect to see heated TV ads and political debates. But in the spirit of bipartisanship, a Republican North Carolina congressman has joined a Democratic congressman from the Northeast to launch a caucus to advance primary health care. (1/7) State Rep. Ed Soliday’s big proposed legislation for the year is intended to raise money for roads, but a portion of it has health advocates cheering and smokers concerned. Soliday’s proposed bill is aimed at raising more revenue to take care of roads and transportation at the state level. Part of that includes diverting all of the gasoline sales tax revenue from the general fund to roads. (Schultz, 1/7) State Highlights: Backers Of An Ohio Drug Pricing Initiative File Suit To Force Action; Kansas Lawmakers Mull Physician Assistant Limits News outlets report on health care developments in Ohio, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Illinois, Colorado, California and Georgia. Community paramedicine can help resolve a problem in a person’s home or neighborhood before it gets worse. The goal is to reduce trips to the ER and often prevent some patients who recently were released from the hospital from having to be readmitted. The latter tactic can save a hospital money, because Medicare now penalizes facilities with high readmission rates. (Miller, 1/7) A Louisiana anti-abortion group raised concerns Thursday about Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards’ choice for state health secretary, saying Rebekah Gee “has troubling connections” to abortion rights organizations. Edwards, a Democrat who ran as an anti-abortion candidate, named Gee this week to lead the Department of Health and Hospitals. The health secretary oversees regulation of Louisiana’s abortion clinics, a position that has been used by outgoing Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration to tighten restrictions on the facilities. (Deslatte, 1/7) center_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Georgia Health News: Community Paramedicine: Unclogging ERs By Helping People At Home With Colorado’s legislative session due to start next week, the main agenda item for Gov. John Hickenlooper seems dead on arrival, a sign that the state’s partisan divides and unorthodox spending limits will continue to paralyze it in 2016. … Hickenlooper wants lawmakers to reclassify about $750 million next year coming from a fee on hospital patients. The reclassification would remove that sum from Colorado’s constitutional spending limits and allow the state to spend more money without asking voters, as would otherwise be required under the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights. (Wyatt, 1/7) The Chicago Tribune: Cigarette Tax Plan Brings Applause, Concern A doctor who pre-signed thousands of blank prescription slips for a sham medical clinic in Glendale that defrauded Medicare and Medi-Cal of $9 million has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison, officials said. Kenneth Johnson, 49, was convicted in 2014 of fraudulently prescribing expensive antipsychotic medications, which were later used to generate $20 million in fraudulent billings to Medicare and Medi-Cal, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. (Tchekmedyian, 1/7) Los Angeles Times: Doctor Gets 9 Years In Prison For His Role In Glendale Clinic Fraud Case The Cleveland Plain Dealer: Backers Of Ohio Drug Pricing Initiative Sue To Try To Force Jon Husted Into Action The Associated Press: Edwards’ Health Chief Causing Unease For Anti-Abortion Group last_img read more

Court places Mike Weir Wine Inc in receivership company owes more than

first_img TORONTO — A court has placed Mike Weir Wine Inc. into receivership as the winemaker owes more than $6 million.Court documents say the corporation that produced, marketed and sold wine from a Beamsville, Ont.-based winery, which closed somewhere around April 2018, owes the Masters champion golfer about $2.2 million and RBC about $4.3 million.Justice Hainey of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice appointed BDO Canada Ltd. the monitor Jan. 30 after Weir filed an application earlier in January asking the court to do so in order to arrange a sale that permits the buyer to take advantage of the spring growing season.Court documents say a company related to Robert McCown became the owner of 15 per cent of the corporation’s shares in 2013 and the remainder of its shares in October 2017.The corporation issued three promissory notes to Weir on Oct. 20, 2017 that it was to pay back a year later, but court documents allege it failed to repay what now amounts to roughly $2.2 million — some of which is secured against the winery and its physical assets.Some of the debt was to be forgiven if the winery was sold by the time repayment was due on the notes and the secured notes were repaid in full.After Weir’s application, McCown requested a brief adjournment to allow for the negotiation and closing of a sale to a potential purchaser of the winery who intends to make an offer over $7 million — enough to repay the corporation’s debts.He says the claim that the winery is in danger and needs a receiver to protect it “is incorrect.”He says the winery has been listed for sale since late 2017, but this is the first buyer who has indicated they will make an offer. Recommended For You’Fear’ and ‘favor’ chill newsroom at storied Japanese paperAsia stocks firm as Fed props up rate cut expectationsJGBs firm after Fed fans expectations of aggressive rate cutS.Korea rejects Japan call for arbitration over wartime labor disputeMarshark Launches THINKCAR OBD, World’s Smallest and Most Powerful Diagnostic Tool Join the conversation → Comment Email A man pours a bottle of Prosecco during a wine tasting at the Case Paolin farm, in Volpago del Montello, Italy on Oct. 15, 2018. A court placed Mike Weir Wine Inc. into receivership as the winery owes more than $6 million.Luca Bruno / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Facebook February 4, 20191:50 PM ESTLast UpdatedFebruary 5, 20199:43 AM EST Filed under News FP Street Court places Mike Weir Wine Inc. in receivership, company owes more than $6 million Twitter More Featured Stories 0 Comments Aleksandra Sagan Sponsored By: ← Previous Next → Reddit The Canadian Press Share this storyCourt places Mike Weir Wine Inc. in receivership, company owes more than $6 million Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation advertisementlast_img read more

Solid Power announces 20 million in Series A funding

Colorado-based Solid Power, a manufacturer of all solid-state batteries (ASSB), has secured $20 million in a Series A investment round. Investors include Hyundai CRADLE, Samsung Venture Investment, Sanoh Industrial, Solvay Ventures, and A123 Systems.Solid Power will use the new funds to scale up production via a multi-MWh roll-to-roll facility, which is to be built by the end of 2018 and operational in 2019.  The company will use this production capacity for preliminary qualification of its solid-state cells.Last December, Solid Power announced a partnership with BMW to jointly develop Solid Power’s solid-state batteries for EVs.ASSB have generated substantial interest due to their ability to provide greater run time per charge and potential safety advantages over lithium-ion batteries. Solid Power says its ASSB provide substantially higher energy than conventional lithium-ion cells while also reducing system-level cost by reducing reliance on expensive safety features.“We are at the center of the ‘electrification of everything’ with ASSB technology emerging as the clear leader in ‘post lithium-ion’ technologies,” said Solid Power co-founder and CEO Doug Campbell. “Solid-state batteries are a game changer for EV, electronics, defense, and medical device markets, and Solid Power’s technology is poised to revolutionize the industry with a competitive product paying special attention to safety, performance, and cost.” Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine Source: Solid Power read more

Tesla Model 3 Races Past Toyota Corolla In US Passenger Car Sales

Model 3 leaves all luxury and plug-in competition behind, charts with mainstream ICE passenger cars instead.Here in the EV world, the Tesla Model 3 tends to be compared to its perceived competitors in the luxury sedan market or the plug-in market. This is understandable, but is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Moving forward, the Model 3 will be leaving most EV and luxury competition behind.More September 2018 Sales Data Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 3, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Chevy Volt Quarterly And Monthly Sales Way Up, Chevy Bolt Rising 33 photos Based on numbers reported by GoodCarBadCar last month, the Model 3 charted a course for the top 5 of passenger car sales in August. This placed Model 3 sales in between the Hyundai Elantra (15,475) and the Toyota Corolla Family (26,155).Needless to say, no plug-in vehicle has ever achieved this before. It will be quite some time before any other plug-in vehicle will pull it off.Now it looks like the Model 3 has cleared that next hurdle and passed the Corolla Family in sales. Corolla sales dropped to 20,797 this month. Allowing the best selling electric sedan to slip by it in sales with an estimated 22,250 deliveries in September.This, despite the fact that the Model 3 base model is not yet available and the fact that Tesla continues to have bottlenecks holding back deliveries in many U.S. locations.So, what is the next car to be dethroned as the Model 3 climbs the passenger car sales charts? If Tesla can keep up this pace, the Honda Accord, Civic and Toyota Camry had better keep a close eye on their rearview mirrors. The Teslas are coming!We look forward to watching the Model 3 continue to grow for the remainder of the year as Tesla launches the short-range model and extends deliveries into global markets.Source: ToyotaTESLA MODEL 3 Nissan LEAF Sales Increase In September 2018 Model 3 Shoots Tesla Sales In September Up By 270% Source: Electric Vehicle News read more

Nissan LEAF Sales In Europe Increased In October 2018

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News Total Nissan LEAF sales in the four biggest markets amounted to 8,307 in October:Europe – 4,758Japan – 1,675U.S. – 1,234Canada – 640If only the U.S. market would get more appetite for the LEAF it could be 10,000+ every month, but apparently, the 40 kWh version, without a liquid battery cooling system, makes consumers willing to wait for 60 kWh or opt for other models. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 14, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News 60-kWh Nissan LEAF Price Possibly Revealed In Dealer Documents Nissan LEAF Sales In Japan One Year Since Introduction Of 2nd Gen Nissan LEAF U.S. Sales Drop Down In October 2018 More than 8,300 LEAFs were sold globally in OctoberNissan reports that in Europe sales of the Nissan LEAF amounted to 4,758 last month, which is better than in September and the 2nd highest result since the all-time record of 6,503 in March.LEAF remains one of the top Nissan models in Europe, taking probably the highest ever share in the brand’s volume – at 10.2%!We assume that so far this year Nissan sold some 35,000 LEAFs in Europe and there are still thousands of orders waiting to be fulfilled.Nissan LEAF newslast_img read more

Friday Roundup

first_imgScrutiny alerts, asset recovery, and for the reading stack.  It’s all here in the Friday roundup.Scrutiny AlertsAkamai TechnologiesAkamai Technologies, Inc., a company that provides cloud services for delivering, optimizing and securing online content and business applications, recently disclosed:“We are conducting an internal investigation, with the assistance of outside counsel, relating to sales practices in a country outside the U.S. that represented less than 1% of our revenue in each of the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012. The internal investigation includes a review of compliance with the requirements of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other applicable laws and regulations by employees in that market.  In February 2015, we voluntarily contacted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice to advise both agencies of this internal investigation.”Soco InternationalAs reported by Global Witness:“A leader of a cross-party anti-corruption group of British MPs yesterday called for UK and US authorities to investigate claims that Soco International, a London-listed oil company, may have breached anti-corruption legislation in the course of its work in Africa’s oldest national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”[…][At a recent] Westminster Hall debate Tessa Munt, Liberal Democrat MP for Wells and vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption, said: “It is surely incumbent on the UK government and its agencies to ensure that any credible evidence of corruption and other criminal behaviour by a UK company, as we have here, is fully investigated by the relevant authorities.”Munt explained that Soco’s American executive directors are employed by a Delaware-registered subsidiary. As a result, she said, “these individuals fall within the jurisdiction of the United States, and there seems to be a case to be made that Soco International, under their stewardship, has breached the terms of America’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.” Anas Sarwar MP, co-chair of the anti-corruption group, also raised concerns about the involvement of offshore companies in Soco’s corporate structure.“The questions raised by British Members of Parliament highlight the urgent need for both Soco and the relevant authorities in the UK and the US to closely examine the company’s conduct in Virunga,” said Nathaniel Dyer, a campaigner at Global Witness. “Companies cannot be allowed to get away with criminal behaviour just because it happens in remote locations like Congo – if Soco is found to have broken the law, it must face the consequences.”David Lidington MP, a Foreign Office Minister responding on behalf of the government, said that the UK’s Serious Fraud Office was aware of allegations against Soco and that he would look into the channels for exchanging information with US authorities.”Asset RecoverySeparate from FCPA enforcement, another prong of the DOJ’s fight against global corruption is its Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative which seeks return of the proceeds of foreign official corruption to benefit the people harmed by acts of corruption and abuse of office.As noted in this recent release:“[The] Department of Justice has reached a settlement of its civil forfeiture cases against $1.2 million in assets in the United States traceable to corruption proceeds accumulated by Chun Doo Hwan, the former president of the Republic of Korea.  The department also assisted the government of the Republic of Korea in recovering an additional $27.5 million in satisfaction of an outstanding criminal restitution order against former President Chun.”In the release, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell stated:“Chun Doo Hwan’s campaign of corruption and bribery while serving as Korea’s president betrayed the trust of the Korean people, deprived Korea’s government of precious resources and undermined the rule of law. Fighting corruption is a global imperative that demands a coordinated global response.  The close cooperation between the United States and Korea in successfully recovering corruption proceeds stands as a testament to our resolve to battle the scourge of corruption through international collaboration.”Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office stated:“The U.S. will not idly standby and serve as a money laundering haven for foreign officials to hide corrupt activities. The FBI will continue to collaborate with our foreign partners by leveraging its resources in order to identify those engaged in foreign corruption and to recover their ill-gotten gains.”For the Reading StackProposals for U.S. FCPA enforcement agencies to share FCPA settlement amounts with so-called victims in the country at issue may sound good, but are not warranted.  In this Center for International Private Enterprise article I explain why.A Q&A with the author of “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.”  For additional coverage of the book, see here.*****A good weekend to all.last_img read more

Texas Financial Advisers MA Activity will Surge in Q4

first_img Remember me Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Username Passwordcenter_img Lost your password? Merger-and-acquisition activity crawled along during the first half of 2016, but leading financial advisers in Texas predict an acceleration of deal flow and size before the end of year. Financial advisers from KPMG, Tudor Pickering Holt, Grant Thornton and Anderson King Energy say they expect private equity firms and traditional investors in the oil patch to return to the deal market later after sitting on the sidelines for the past 18 months . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content.last_img read more

Where Does The Future Lie

first_imgby, Jude Meyers Thomas, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShare72ShareEmail72 Shares Art by Helena CooperThe past several years have led me farther and farther away from the pulse of activity relating to culture change in LTC. Although there is a part of me that misses being deeply involved, watching from the sidelines has given me a unique perspective on what is happening in the movement.   I see an honest and earnest desire to declare victory in our struggle but, as long as we continue to segregate and institutionalize people who are ill, who live with cognitive impairment or who are frail– our work will be far from done.Over the past two decades this struggle has introduced me to extraordinary people, people who continue to inspire me with their love, their energy, their creativity and their persistence. I have always felt honored to be in their presence. These people have and continue to fill my heart to the brim with gratitude and love. No one can deny that there has been progress in promoting a life worth living for those living AND working in LTC, but we have only begun to scratch the surface. The fact is that people are not meant to live and die among strangers. Surveys have repeatedly shown that a majority of Americans would prefer death to institutionalization.Who deserves the blame for this injustice? No one person or organization can be held responsible for the mass institutionalization that has been visited on our elders over the past half century. The fault lies in cultural attitudes and bigoted assumptions about older people and, in fact, any group of individuals who are not seen as vibrant, active contributors to society. Our society sees people living with limitations as being less worthy and our culture pressures us to segregate them from the ordinary rhythms of daily life.Although I have given years of my life to the effort to reform long-term care it now seems to me that the act of knocking on the doors of nursing homes and asking folks to embrace culture change in it’s many colors, shapes and forms is insufficient to the magnitude of the challenge we face. The problem is much bigger than we supposed and so our goals must also be BIGGER. Good people have poured years of their lives and blood, sweat and tears into the effort to change the culture of long-term care. Have we made a difference? Yes we have. But when the truth is told it becomes clear that we have impacted only a tiny fraction of the long-term care industry. Almost all American nursing homes continue to operate as institutions.  Out of the 15,000 nursing homes across the country, in how many can you honestly say you would happily choose to live? Even if the answer is one, ten, a hundred, or a thousand, that is simply not good enough.It’s time to take a close look at our impact and then ask some hard questions. Have we “raised the bar” in our field? I argue it is still not high enough. We know that there are still many institutions out there that have ignored the culture change movement all together.  It is time to shift our focus to truly celebrating the value of every single living and breathing soul and honoring their right to a meaningful life as full members of our society.There is much more work to be done and the question remains — are we in a position to fundamentally reform the vast majority of nursing homes (most often against their will)?  I am gradually becoming convinced that the realization of our shared goals will require us to widen our gaze and create a broader coalition of people and organizations.A better future beckons us, if we can hear its call.  The future lies not with the institution or facility, but with the family and the community. It is in those domains that we will find our most lasting and meaningful success.Related PostsTweetShare72ShareEmail72 SharesTags: nursing home The Eden Alternativelast_img read more

Risks of cancer and mortality found to be lowest in light drinkers

first_imgIn comparison, current U.S. guidelines recommend no more than 2 drinks per day for men and no more than 1 drink per day for women.Related StoriesResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerEven light-to-moderate levels of alcohol intake have previously been linked to increased cancer risk. At the same time, research has demonstrated a “J-shaped” risk curve relating alcohol intake to all-cause mortality, suggesting some protective effect of light-to-moderate drinking, particularly for death from cardiovascular disease. Those results have led to mixed public health messages. The new study analyzed whether combined risk of cancer or death from any cause differed in individuals with different alcohol intakes across their entire lifetime, using data from 99,654 individuals around the US who were followed for an average of 8.9 years as participants in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Alcohol use was measured using a diet history questionnaire administered between 1998 and 2000.During the study, 9,559 deaths and 12,763 primary cancers occurred among the participants. The expected J-shaped relationship between overall mortality and alcohol consumption was seen: in comparison to lifetime light alcohol drinkers (1–3 drinks per week), lifetime never or infrequent drinkers (<1 drink/week), as well as heavy (2–<3drinks/day) and very heavy drinkers (3+ drinks/day) had increased overall mortality. In contrast, the risk of cancer and of cancer-related mortality increased linearly with lifetime alcohol consumption. Further, lifetime light alcohol drinkers had the lowest combined risk of mortality or developing cancer. In comparison, lifetime never drinkers (hazard ratio 1.07, 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.13), and infrequent drinkers (HR 1.08, 95% CI 1.03-1.13) as well as heavy (HR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02-1.18) and very heavy drinkers (HR 1.21, 95% CI 1.13-1.30) had increased combined risk of mortality or developing cancer.The analysis is limited to older adults and may be confounded by socioeconomic factors, and the findings should not be taken to support a protective effect of light drinking, the authors caution.“This study provides further insight into the complex relationship between alcohol consumption, cancer incidence, and disease mortality and may help inform public health guidelines,” the authors say. Source: Jun 20 2018The risk of mortality, and of developing a number of cancers, is lowest in light drinkers consuming an average of less than one drink per day across their lifetime, and the risk of some cancers increases with each additional drink per week, according to a new study, published this week in PLOS Medicine by Andrew Kunzmann of Queen’s University Belfast, and colleagues.center_img Image Credit: Free-Photos, Pixabaylast_img read more

WVU professor develops new faster method for ruling out DVT in patients

first_imgAug 22 2018Getting tested for deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, can disrupt a patient’s whole day. Typically, one of the first methods a clinician uses to diagnose the condition is an ultrasound in order to see the blood vessels in a patient’s legs and assess blood flow. From check in to check out, the procedure can take several hours. For rural patients, who often drive long distances to reach medical practices where the necessary equipment and personnel are available, the process is even more onerous.Albeir Mousa, a professor of vascular surgery at West Virginia University, has used an innovative, faster method for ruling out DVT in patients before they have an ultrasound. He and his research team found that measuring the level of a specific protein-;called D-dimer-;in a patient’s blood may predict whether a time-intensive ultrasound is warranted. The “Annals of Vascular Surgery” has published the team’s results.Related StoriesBlood test can assess effectiveness of treatment in patients with skin cancerDon’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersSpecial blood test may predict relapse risk for breast cancer patients”Usually waiting for a venous ultrasound would be a matter of three, four, five hours. With the D-dimer test, it’s a few minutes and you’re done,” said Mousa, who teaches at the WVU Health Sciences Charleston Campus.Deep vein thrombosis arises when a blood clot forms in a major vein, typically in the leg. As a result, a patient’s leg swells up, reddens, becomes painful and feels warm to the touch. If the clot travels to the patient’s lung, it can kill lung tissue. If it doesn’t travel, it can still cause chronic abnormalities in the leg’s blood circulation.D-dimer is a marker for the trace elements left in the blood stream as the body works to degrade blood clots. Checking for an elevated D-dimer level is a good first-line assessment for blood clots.Mousa’s first round of research involved reviewing the medical records of 360 patients who, over the course of one month, visited an emergency room with complaints of leg swelling and pain. All of the patients whose D-dimer levels were elevated went on to be diagnosed with DVT, but none of patients with typical levels did. On the other hand, just 14 percent of the patients who underwent ultrasound imaging-;a long and relatively pricey procedure-;tested positive for DVT.Mousa’s second, larger round of testing (which involved 1,670 patients) produced similar results. And potentially 762 immediate ultrasounds could have been eliminated by using the blood test. Because it costs about $1,557 less than ultrasound imaging does, the blood test has the potential to save the hospital system more than $1 million per year, Mousa concluded.”It’s a very simple sample of blood, which is sent to the lab. And usually in 15 or 20 minutes, you have significant information that can help you take good care of the patients,” he said. “And you can send patients home quicker, with less demand on the hospital staff and the institution, yet increase patient satisfaction.” Source: read more

Study reveals surprising gaps in some HIV medical providers knowledge of ACA

first_img 86 percent knew that the Affordable Care Act provided subsidies for those with limited incomes to obtain health insurance. 90 percent knew that the ACA made it illegal for insurance plans to deny people coverage because of a pre-existing condition. 91 percent knew that the act did not eliminate the federal Ryan White Program, which provides wide-ranging care for people living with HIV. 73 percent knew whether their state had opted to expand Medicaid. Related StoriesStudy: HIV patients continue treatments if health care providers are compassionateReprogramming cells to control HIV infectionAlcohol reduction associated with improved viral suppression in women living with HIVParticipants in Medicaid expansion states were more likely to answer all four questions correctly than providers in non-expansion states (71 percent to 57 percent).Websites and newspapers were the most commonly cited sources of information on the act, with 32 percent of the providers reporting that they had learned ACA information from their patients. In addition, almost a third reported that their main source of information on the act was a member of their clinic’s or hospital’s staff.The providers’ primary source of information was not found to be associated with the likelihood of getting all four questions correct.Views on the Affordable Care ActThe providers also were asked to rate whether the ACA would improve their patients’ HIV outcomes on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 as “strongly agree.” This differed based on the Medicaid status of the provider’s state. In Medicaid expansion states, the mean response was 3.8; in states that opted not expand Medicaid, the mean response was 3.4.There was no statistical difference between the groups’ responses to two additional statements: “The ACA will improve the United States’ health outcomes” and “The Affordable Care Act will improve my HIV patients’ non-HIV outcomes.” The mean response was 4.0 to the former and 3.9 for the latter. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 21 2018A new study has revealed surprising gaps in some HIV medical providers’ knowledge of the Affordable Care Act, with more than a quarter of providers surveyed unable to say whether their state had expanded Medicaid.The national survey also sought to better understand the healthcare providers’ views on the effects of the ACA. Providers in states that expanded Medicaid were more likely to believe that the law would improve HIV outcomes, the study found. However, providers in all states agreed that the law would improve healthcare outcomes in general for their HIV patients.”These findings demonstrate gaps in HIV medical providers’ knowledge about ACA-related changes to HIV healthcare delivery. Importantly, obtaining ACA-related information from clinic case managers was associated with correct ACA knowledge, and as a clinic-based resource, these colleagues should be engaged by HIV medical providers to improve knowledge of health system shifts,” said researcher Kathleen A. McManus, MD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. “Additionally, this work highlights that HIV medical providers may need specific education on systems-based practice, possibly either through the AIDS Education and Training Center Program’s National HIV Curriculum or through a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program-sponsored training module.”ACA ResultsA total of 253 HIV care providers across the nation, including doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, answered the anonymous survey, which included four questions designed to test their knowledge of the ACA. Among the respondents, 61 percent answered all four questions correctly. Approximately a third answered “I don’t know” to at least one question.The breakdown by question:center_img Source: read more

Spanish is the happiest language Chinese not so much

first_imgPeople tend to remember and describe things in positive terms, even when the reality doesn’t justify it. Psychologists call it the Pollyanna principle, and according to one hypothesis, this “positivity bias” is baked into language itself. It’s not just that people choose positive rather than negative words when they talk, but there may simply be fewer negative words to choose from. Rigorously testing that idea has been difficult because of a shortage of data. To map out the positive bias, you need an enormous corpus of digitized text from multiple languages, not just European ones. And then you need native speakers of each language—thousands of them—to rate how those words make them feel, using a standard numerical scale. The Internet has solved both problems: first by generating a torrent of digitized text from sources such as Twitter, Google Books, and online news media, and second by making it possible to cheaply hire thousands of people for large-scale psychology experiments online. A study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences put those two resources together to measure the positivity bias in the 100,000 most frequently used words from 10 different languages, including English, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese. Every word was scored for its emotional resonance by 50 different native speakers. Graphs of the data show that the Pollyanna principle is indeed part of language itself. If there were no bias, then the median emotional values of the words (red lines) would fall in the middle of the emotional scale. But instead, the median emotional resonance of words falls well into positive territory for every corpus from every language tested. Spanish was the most positively biased language overall, while Chinese had the smallest “positivity bias” of all the languages, at least for digitized books in Chinese. Clearly, our Pollyanna brains have shaped our languages. What remains to be seen is whether using a different language, Spanish rather than Chinese, for example, can actually make you happier.(Credit for linked graphs: Peter Dodds)last_img read more

Financial sector has key role in pandemic planning World Bank president says

first_imgThe World Bank committed more than $500 million to address the crisis, but the money only started flowing 8 months after the outbreak began, he said. “We need to respond much more quickly to the next outbreak,” he said. And that requires better planning.His proposed pandemic emergency facility would build on lessons learned from the Ebola crisis. “The World Health Organization [WHO] has to be at the center of the response,” said Kim, a physician and anthropologist who once headed WHO’s HIV/AIDS department. He said WHO’s response capacity has deteriorated in recent years and should be restored. “If we had enough money at WHO I think we could have put out the Ebola epidemic much earlier,” he said.Kim said the response to bigger epidemics, which he considers inevitable, will require coordination among a number of U.N. agencies. For example, the World Food Programme might contribute its expertise in moving supplies, while the United Nations Children’s Fund could apply its knowledge of working with grassroots health networks. But those roles need to be defined in advance, he said. He would also like to see the creation of a large reserve corps of doctors and nurses for emergency duty and periodic drills “to keep ourselves prepared for when big events happen,” he said.Planning for a major health emergency should involve financial and business players from both the private and public sectors, he noted, as epidemics can wreak havoc with economic activity. Bringing insurance companies to the table will help focus attention on the economic risks of disease outbreaks, he argued, and pharmaceutical, transport, and communications companies all have vital roles to play in responding to a disease outbreak.Kim said he had a hard time gaining the attention of finance ministers and bank officials when he was working in public health. But now that he’s president of the World Bank, he said, “they have to listen to me.” TOKYO—Investing in the world’s capacity to respond to epidemics “is really investing in the resilience of the global economic system,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said here today in advance of an international meeting in Japan.Kim met reporters in Tokyo ahead of a U.N. disaster risk reduction conference that begins tomorrow in Sendai. Last October, in the wake of what he called a “late, inadequate, and slow” global response to the Ebola outbreak, Kim floated the idea of a pandemic emergency facility. Today he expanded on the idea, including why the World Bank should be involved.He said natural disasters and disease outbreaks have a devastating impact on economic growth, with the countries and citizens least able to afford it bearing the heaviest burden. The World Bank has estimated that the Ebola epidemic is taking a $1.6 billion bite out of the economies of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. “Prior to the start of the epidemic, these three countries had some of the highest [economic] growth rates in the world; now their rates are expected to be near or below zero,” he said. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emailcenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

Milky Ways gamma ray emissions may not be caused by dark matter

first_imgThere’s more gamma ray radiation coming from our galaxy’s inner realm than known objects in that region can generate. Among other sources of such radiation, scientists have proposed that interactions between bits of dark matter (which make up a large fraction of the universe’s mass but haven’t yet been directly detected) in a halo around the galactic center may be creating the surplus gamma rays. But two new analyses to be published in a forthcoming issue of Physical Review Letters hint that the excess gamma-ray radiation (depicted in the image above in varying colors, red being the most intense, and superimposed on a visible-light image of the center of the Milky Way) could stem from large numbers of fast-spinning neutron stars called pulsars. One reason: The pattern of gamma-ray photons streaming from the galactic center is clumpy rather than smooth, a strong sign that individual sources of gamma rays (rather than a diffuse cloud of particles that only occasionally interact) may be to blame. In the new studies, the two teams—one from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and the other made up of scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University—used slightly different statistical methods to estimate how many pulsars would be needed to produce the pattern of gamma-ray radiation that’s been observed by an Earth-orbiting gamma-ray telescope. Nicely, they came up with approximately the same number. In the sphere of space that lies within about 5000 light-years of the center of the galaxy, a little more than 60 such pulsars of varying size and brightness could generate about half the excess gamma rays seen emanating from that region, and about 200 could account for all of the excess radiation at those wavelengths. The pulsars can’t be seen individually, the researchers say, because they’re incredibly small, whereas the width of an image pixel at the distance of the galactic center is about 50 light-years across. Future observations should spot hundreds of the elusive pulsars, one researcher suggests. If not, theorists may need to revert to the dark-matter explanation—or come up with another idea entirely—for the excess gamma rays.last_img read more

Universities held hostage in Nicaraguas political crisis

first_imgThe repression has struck particularly hard at Nicaragua’s universities, where firings, arrests, and attacks on students have brought higher education and research to a virtual standstill. “It all started with university students, so universities have been the target of repression,” says Huete-Pérez, who spoke at a 13 December meeting at UCA to discuss the crisis. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights now considers students one of the most imperiled groups in the country. “The university system is being held hostage,” says María Luisa Acosta, a human rights lawyer and president of the Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences (ACN) in Managua, which organized last week’s meeting. (Acosta went into exile in June after being threatened by paramilitary forces.)Critics say state universities have been co-opted by the government, especially the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) in Managua, which fired more than 40 professors and expelled nearly 100 students who had demonstrated or expressed support for the movement. “We were fired because we spoke out against the silence and complicity that allowed the universities to permit students to be killed, repressed, and detained,” says sociologist Freddy Quezada, another speaker at the meeting, who lost his job in July. (UNAN did not respond to Science’s interview requests.)The crisis is also disrupting collaborations with foreign scientists. Huete-Pérez’s department had to suspend the Nicaraguan Biotechnology Conference, which UCA organized every 2 years with scientists from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and other U.S. universities. Evolutionary biologist Axel Meyer of the University of Konstanz in Germany isn’t sure whether he can continue his studies of fish evolution in Nicaragua’s crater lakes this winter; Gerald Urquhart, a tropical ecologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing who has worked in Nicaragua for decades, has postponed fieldwork indefinitely and canceled his study abroad program in Nicaragua. “I am saddened by the limitations this places on my relationship with Nicaraguan colleagues,” he says.UCA, a private Jesuit university, is one of Nicaragua’s last remaining bastions of free speech. In addition to publicly supporting the student movement, “they opened their doors to thousands of demonstrators” after the government fired on a protest in May, killing at least 17, says Carlos Tünnermann Bernheim, a former minister of education and UNAN rector. But teaching has been disrupted, as at most universities. “It’s not safe enough to bring students to campus,” Huete-Pérez says. He and others are holding classes online, but it’s not the same, he says: “I teach biochemisty and biotechnology. You need a lab for that.”Now, UCA faces a more direct threat. The Nicaraguan legislature is considering a bill that would end the state funding the university receives under a law that designates its work as public service. “It’s a direct aggression,” says Josefina Vijil, a UCA education scientist and a member of ACN’s leadership. Much of UCA’s public funding goes to scholarships, “so if they do this, the ones who suffer are the students,” Tünnermann Bernheim says.Vijil especially worries about lasting psychological trauma to the researchers and students who lived through the crisis. Still, she and other participants in the UCA meeting spent time brainstorming for the day when students are back in classrooms, and made tentative plans for writing a book about university autonomy. “We need to start imagining—and articulating—the country we want in 50 years,” Vijil says. Universities ‘held hostage’ in Nicaragua’s political crisis By Lizzie WadeDec. 18, 2018 , 4:00 PM Este artículo está disponible en español.Molecular biologist Jorge Huete-Pérez, a professor at Central American University (UCA) in Managua, is one of many Nicaraguan academics whose life and work have been upended by an escalating political crisis. A longtime critic of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Huete-Pérez was inspired in April when demonstrations against a proposed cut to social security evolved into a new movement against Ortega’s stranglehold on political power and his brutal repression of dissent. He felt a responsibility to support the students on the movement’s front lines and joined their protests many times.But on 14 October, about 2 weeks after the government outlawed political demonstrations, Huete-Pérez flinched. “I was about to open the [car] door to get out and join” another protest, he recalls, when police began to beat and arrest demonstrators close by. He slammed the door and sped away. “I literally felt like I was running for my life,” he says. “I had not been that scared in a long time.”Many others, too, have recently stayed home in the face of an intensifying crackdown by Ortega, a leader of the Sandinista movement that overthrew a dictator in 1979. Ortega has become increasingly autocratic since beginning his second stint as president in 2007. More than 300 protesters have been killed and at least as many have been arrested, according to Amnesty International; some have been charged with terrorism. Tens of thousands more have gone into exile. Just last week, police raided offices of an independent newspaper and several nongovernmental organizations, including a leading human rights group. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Oswaldo Rivas/REUTERS last_img read more

Moons craters reveal recent spike in outer space impacts on Earth

first_img It has long been thought that as the solar system grows older and stodgier, the number of asteroids and comets colliding with Earth and other planets has steadily gone down. But a new study reveals what appears to be a dramatic 2.5 times increase in the number of impacts striking Earth in the past 300 million years.Earth’s surface is dotted with impact craters from the past billion years, but old craters are rarer than younger ones, a bias attributed to the crust-eating churn of plate tectonics, volcanism, and erosion. By looking at the moon, which doesn’t deal with the same forces but faces the same bombardment, scientists can probe the past of both bodies.Scientists used a thermal camera on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to examine the number of large, heat-retaining rocks in the moon’s craters; those rocks are eventually ground to dust by minute meteorite impacts. By looking at previously dated craters, these rocks have been established as a reliable dating technique—the more intact the rocks, the younger the crater. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) In the new study, the team found a surprising abundance of young craters, seemingly matching the number on Earth. That means, they write today in Science, that in its modern geological history, Earth is much better at retaining the features of impact craters than once thought, and that the recent proliferation coincides with an actual increase in the number of bombarding asteroids or comets.But scientists still don’t know what caused the uptick. Perhaps several large asteroids collided or otherwise broke up some 300 million years ago, their chunks slowly migrating out from the asteroid belt to bombard Earth, the researchers say. And that could have included the giant impact, 66 million years ago, that wiped out most of the dinosaurs. Ernest Wright, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio By Paul VoosenJan. 17, 2019 , 2:00 PM Moon’s craters reveal recent spike in outer space impacts on Earth Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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