LATEST STORIES Read Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 “La Salle is already a strong team and this happens.”Pumaren, who actually served as La Salle’s head coach from 1998 to 2009 and served as a Green Archer in the 1980s, added that even other La Salle alumni weren’t happy with the way the game was won.“My fellow friends from La Salle, they weren’t even proud of it,” said Pumaren. “Even some of the UAAP coaches are texting me now, saying that this is a sad day for the UAAP. I won’t mention who these guys are but two are from Final Four contenders and two more coaches said that this was a sad day.”ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Maverick Ahanmisi lashes out at refs after bro Jerrick, Adamson lose to La Salle Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort “You know, stepping out of the [Smart Araneta] Coliseum the La Sallians, even the coaches of Zobel, were embarrassed,” said Pumaren in Filipino Saturday. “When I shook hands with them, their hands were so cold it’s as if they were carrying ice.”Adamson was called with 33 fouls, with one technical foul going to Pumaren, while La Salle were reprimanded 12 times.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLa Salle also had 39 free throws, making 26, while the Soaring Falcons attempted just five and made two of those charities.“It’s so frustrating… we worked hard for this, we prepared for it,” said Pumaren. “I don’t think I was outcoached, I don’t think we got outplayed. It’s so disappointing.” Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netFranz Pumaren wasn’t about to sugarcoat things when his Adamson University lost to De La Salle, 82-75, in the Final Four of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament.Pumaren said the officiating in the game “was the worst” he had experienced in all the 19 years he has coached basketball.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games
Top Stories What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Comments Share Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation That’s how a team overcomes bad field position, a -3 inthe turnover department and an offense that scored apaltry seven points in the first half. The game neverreally got out of hand, which allowed the Cardinals toclimb back in and, ultimately, win.“It’s incredible to know that if you do make a mistake,you make a turnover, its not automatic points,”quarterback John Skelton said.So if you’re wondering how the Cardinals, who had lostfive straight to the 49ers, emerged victorious Sunday,your answer is pretty simple.“You start with the defense, that’s where it reallystarts,” Whisenhunt said. “They held them and made themstruggle, and then we made some plays offensively.” Stop us if you’ve heard this before: the Arizona Cardinalsdefense is playing at an exceptionally high level.The San Francisco 49ers had the ball 14 times Sunday, andthey gained more than 20 yards on a drive five times, andgained a total of 26 yards in the fourth quarter. That’ll do, defense.“The field position was bad in the first half,” head coachKen Whisenhunt said. That’s putting it mildly. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away The 49ers had drives that began at their 14, Arizona’s 43,their own 33, Arizona’s four, their own 43, they’re own 22and the Arizona 16. The net result was 12 points.In total the 49ers had the ball in the red zone threetimes, and three times they were kept out of the end zone.“I think our defense, the best thing about us is werespond,” defensive end and weekly monster Calais Campbellsaid. “When we get put in tough situations, I feel likeright now what we’re doing is we’re not feeling sorry forourselves, we’re standing up and making plays that we needto.“We’ve got to respond.”The defense has done just that, which is why they aregetting a lion’s share of the credit for the team’sturnaround. The Cardinals have won five of their last sixgames, and have beaten a pair of likely playoff teams intheir last two. They’ve done it with a pass rush that has accounted for 10sacks over the last two games and a run defense that heldthe 49ers to just 90 yards on the ground. The Cardinalsdidn’t force any turnovers, but they were stout. They weregood. They were a safety net.“We just had so many guys make plays,” Whisenhunt said. ErrorOKFree Rate QuoteCall now 623-889-0130 ErrorOK
Magyar Telekom has deployed interactive TV software provider Zenterio’s TV Operating System on two new set-top boxes that will support both DVR and interactive, multi-room TV services. This deployment allows Magyar Telekom to develop its services for its TV subscribers in Hungary and harmonise its set-top software client environment, according to the company. The independent operating system provides the opportunity to extend deployment and standardize TV offerings across regions.
Liberty Global continues to be one of the most technologically innovative cable operators around, thanks in no small part to the contribution of group chief technology officer Balan Nair. Next year will see the commercial launch of its Horizon set-top/gateway, the fruit of long-term planning stretching back over the last couple of years.Age 45Education BSc Electrical Engineering, Masters of Business AdministrationPrevious positions CTO of AOL; CTO and CIO of Qwest CommunicationsLast year’s highlights We made huge progress in building a strong organisation in our European operations, and are working on some real exiting products for launch early next year.Most significant industry development Software technologies have evolved significantly. The processing power of chips have grown dramatically as well. And the combination, along with price efficiencies, make for impressive product opportunities.Goals for next year Be more operationally efficient. Be able to deliver on committed product launches. Beginning the transition to more web services in our products. Do all of this in while maintaining capital efficiencies.Industry challenges and opportunities We are beginning a new era of competition, where, the distribution pipe, the end devices and the quality of content are going to be key differentiators. This transition is capital intensive, but it is cable’s to lose.Alternative career choice I would love to be a stay at home dad.TV character most identified with I don’t want to insult any TV character or personality by identifying myself with them .Most admired personality I admire the pioneers in the pay TV space and am lucky to work for a couple of them: John Malone in the US and Mike Fries outside the U.S.Life outside work Being a dad, running, skiing, eating and enjoying the company of friends and family.
By Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment StrategistOne of oil’s most important characteristics is its fungibility, which means that a barrel of refined oil from Texas is equivalent to one from Saudi Arabia or Nigeria or anywhere else in the world. The global oil machine is built upon this premise – tankers take oil wherever it is needed, and one country pays almost the same as the next for this valuable commodity.Well, that’s true aside from two factors that can render this equivalency void. In fact, crude oil prices range a fair bit according to the quality of the crude and the challenge of moving it from wellhead to refinery. Those factors are currently wreaking havoc on oil prices in North America: a range of oil qualities and a raft of infrastructure issues are creating record price differentials. And with no solution in sight, we think those differentials are here to stay.The Parameters of PricingThe first factor in oil pricing is quality. The best kind of crude is light and sweet: “light” means its hydrocarbon molecules average on the small side within the oil range; and “sweet” means it does not contain much sulfur. Light, sweet crudes are the easiest to refine into petroleum products, which makes them more desirable than heavy, sour crudes.No two reservoirs produce identical oil, though reservoirs in the same region often produce similar crudes. For example, conventional oils from Texas are generally lighter and sweeter than the crudes that make up the European benchmark Brent blend; this is why West Texas Intermediate crude oil carried a premium over Brent crude for years. Similarly, Bonny Light oil from Nigeria is a bit heavier and sourer than Algeria’s Saharan Blend and therefore receives a slight price discount.But wait, you say – isn’t Brent more expensive than WTI? Yes, today it is. This graph shows the two prices’ movements over the last 25 years.(Click on image to enlarge)For most of the graph the prices track very closely, with the green WTI line sitting just above the black Brent line. Then, in the second half of 2010, the relationship starts to shift: WTI prices started to lose ground against Brent. The differential was only a dollar in November 2010, but by September 2011 Brent crude was worth US$27.31 or 32% more than WTI. The differential narrowed in December but has recently opened up again, with the spot price of Brent closing US$13.88 above that of WTI yesterday.The characteristics of WTI and Brent crude oils did not change during 2010, so the pricing reversal must have stemmed from the other factor that impacts crude-oil prices: infrastructure. More specifically, WTI prices started to slide because of a lack of infrastructure.North America’s Fantastically Flawed SystemNorth America has a long history of oil production and processing. Decades of producing oil and consuming lots of petroleum products have left the continent with a pretty good system of pipelines and refineries… but pipelines are annoyingly stagnant things that tend to stay where you build them. And it turns out that the pipelines of yesterday are in the wrong places to serve the oil fields and refineries of today.America’s oil infrastructure was built around two inputs – some domestic production and large volumes of imports. You see, while the Middle East may be the biggest producer of crude oil in the world, most of the refining occurs in the United States, Europe, and Asia. There are two reasons for this. The first is that it’s easier to ship massive volumes of one product (crude oil) than smaller volumes of multiple products (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and so on). The second reason is that refineries are generally built within the regions they serve, so that each facility can be tailored to produce the right kinds and amounts of petroleum products for its customers.During World War II, the US War Department (now the Department of Defense) divided the United States into five regions to facilitate oil allocation. The regions were called “Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts,” or PADDs.The United States is split into five oil districts to help with regional administration of a crucial asset. Thanks to the US EIA for the map.Today, refineries in PADD I on the East Coast process oil shipped to the district’s Atlantic ports from all over the world. Its refineries produce enough petroleum products to meet about one-third of regional demand; the rest comes from imports of refined products, primarily from the Gulf Coast but also from Europe. PADD V, on the West Coast, processes domestic oil from California and Alaska, as well as imported oil.While the East- and West-Coast PADDs are not connected to the rest of the crude oil system, PADDs II, III, and IV have become very interdependent. PADD III, on the Gulf Coast, has more refining capacity than anywhere in the world and accounts for 45% of total US capacity, with 45 refineries processing more than 8 million barrels of oil per day from countries like Mexico and Venezuela as well as domestic sources. Refineries in the Midwest and California push the US’s total refining capacity to 18 million barrels of oil a day.While domestic production has always helped meet the US’s oil needs, imported oil has long ruled the day. The US has relied on imported oil so heavily for so long that the country’s oil infrastructure is built primarily around refining imported oil and then moving refined products – gasoline and diesel and the like – north, from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest, or inland, from refineries on the coasts to customers in the interior.It was not, it is important to note, designed to move oil from the interior of the country to refineries. But that is what is needed today.Oil’s a-Flowing, But with Nowhere to GoNorth American oil production is on the rise in a serious way, and there are two prime culprits: the Bakken shale and the oil sands.The Bakken shale formation underlying North Dakota gets most of the credit for the resurgence in US domestic output, though some of the shales in Texas are also contributing notably. Production in the Bakken is so booming that North Dakota’s crude output topped half a million barrels a day for the first time in November, up from just 300,000 bpd in 2010. The state is on track to surpass both California (539,000 bpd) and Alaska (555,000 bpd) this year to become the number-two oil-producing state in the United States.Oil from the Bakken is generally mid-weight and fairly sweet. Ideally it should stay in the Midwest, because the refineries around Cushing are still designed to process light sweet oil. However, the other area where North American oil production is booming produces just the opposite. In fact, oil from the Canadian oil sands is so heavy that it has earned a distinct moniker: “bitumen.” And there is a tsunami of bitumen on the way. The two million bpd being produced in the oil sands today is set to increase 50% in just the next three years.However, Canada’s oil sands are not the only place in the world producing heavy oil. In general, global production is gradually moving towards heavier, sourer crudes because the easy deposits of light, sweet crude are being tapped out. And that has forced refineries to evolve.A refinery designed to handle light, sweet WTI crude cannot switch to heavy, sour oil sand bitumen without some serious upgrades. To that end, US refineries have invested billions in upgrades over the last decade to enable them to process heavy oil. The catch is, now the refinery army along the Gulf Coast needs heavy oil – just as they couldn’t easily switch from light to heavy, they can’t switch from heavy back to light.The obvious source is the oil sands. It’s a win-win: Oil-sands producers want to get their oil to suitable refineries, and the heavy oil refiners on the Gulf Coast want Canadian crude, because without access to bitumen they are being forced to pay a premium for to secure heavy oil supplies from Venezuela.But that potential win-win is instead a losing predicament for all, because the pipelines to move that oil simply don’t exist.Remember how the US’s oil pipelines were designed primarily to move refined products from the Gulf region and the coastal refineries to inland customers? Well, those pipelines of yesterday now run the wrong way. Today what North America’s oil machine needs are pipelines running from the oil sands to the Gulf Coast. At the moment there is just enough capacity to get bitumen partway there – it gets to Cushing, the oil hub. And then it gets stuck.This chart tells the story perfectly. The vast majority of Canada’s bitumen is ending up in PADD II – in Cushing – where it simply sits in tanks because there is no heavy oil refining capacity in the Midwest, and there is very limited pipeline capacity to move oil south.Cushing is overwhelmed. The storage tanks at Cushing are at record levels, housing no less than 46.7 million barrels of oil. The recent reversal of the Seaway pipeline is helping – Seaway used to move refined products north from the Gulf Coast but has now been flipped to carry oil south. It is currently moving some 150,000 barrels of oil a day; volumes are expected to rise through the year to reach 400,000 bpd by early 2013. The pipeline’s owners would ideally like to twin the pipe, but regulatory proceedings for that project are not yet under way.The much-debated Keystone XL pipeline will also help. While routing and approval for the northern section of the pipeline are still under debate, construction of the southern leg of the project, running from Cushing to the Gulf Coast, is set to begin this summer. It could be operational before the end of next year.No matter what happens with the Keystone pipeline, the US will face ever-increasing competition for Canada’s oil. In fact, competition over oil from Canada – and around the world – is creating a new Cold War between the US and China.But even with Seaway reversed and Keystone XL’s southern leg in place, the glut of oil at Cushing will continue to grow. Production from the oil sands and the Bakken is simply growing too quickly for infrastructure to keep up. And when oil becomes landlocked, it loses that key characteristic – fungibility – that helps make it so valuable.North American Oil Differentials: Here to StayWith so much supply landlocked, Canadian oil prices are taking a serious hit. The benchmark price for Canadian heavy oil is Western Canada Select (WCS), which is currently trading at just US$59.33 per barrel. By contrast, WTI is priced at US$82.70, which means the differential is a whopping US$23.37 per barrel, or 28% higher.(Click on image to enlarge)Even Canadian synthetic – a partially upgraded bitumen product that has historically carried a premium to WTI – is trading at a discount to its American peer: Canadian synthetic is at US$79.13 per barrel.It’s a double-whammy differential: Canadian oil is heavy, which discounts its price; and the system to move it to suitable refineries is clogged up, creating another discount. Neither of those situations is going to change any time soon, and that means oil-sands projects may soon be on the chopping block.The oil sands is one of the costliest oil regions in the world to develop; and with WCS prices so low, the economics behind many new oil-sands projects have become pretty weak. New oil-sands mines require a price of around US$80 per barrel to break even. If an upgrader is part of the plans, that break-even price rises to almost US$100. In-situ projects, which use wells and underground steam injection to extract oil from the sands in place, usually carry a break-even price near US$60 per barrel.But even with some projects postponed and others slowed, bitumen production is still expected to climb rapidly. Estimates range, but most observers agree that it is likely the oil sands will be producing close to 2.7 million barrels a day by 2016, up from 1.6 million bpd last year.That kind of investment means that every time new pipeline and refining capacity is built, supply will catch up and the system will remain chockablock. And that means the differential between Canadian and US oil prices is settling in for a long stay. There are ways to benefit from this differential, but given the complexity of the situation, only informed investors will be able to take advantage. Additional Links and ReadsIraq and Iran Cuddle Up in OPEC, But for How Long? (Reuters)Historic rivals Iraq and Iran are growing closer in their OPEC policy preferences, specifically in wanting an oil price near US$110 per barrel. Their joint force is providing a counterweight to the more moderate Gulf Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia that have long dominated the cartel. However, relations could again grow strained later in the year when Iraq passes Iran to become OPEC’s second-biggest producer.Lower Oil Prices Will Crimp Industry Spending (Globe and Mail)The oil and gas industry invests no less than a billion dollars in Canada every week and has been doing so steadily since 2006, only taking a breather during the financial crisis in 2009. However, leading indicators suggest that corporate wallets are getting leaner and spending is set to slow down in the second half of this year, falling to the lowest level since 2005. The culprits? Low oil and gas prices.Natural Gas: Where Deep Pessimism Bodes Well (Globe and Mail)With many analysts now in agreement that natural gas prices can’t go much lower, is it time to invest? This article takes a tour through what happened to natural gas prices and where they might be heading from here.A Chance for BP to Get Its Kremlinology Right (Globe and Mail)BP is in a lucrative but loveless Russian marriage that seems headed for divorce, but BP CEO Bob Dudley might have found an elegant way to salvage his company’s Russian strategy. BP’s joint venture with TNK is on the rocks after TNK sued to prevent the British company from finalizing another Russian joint venture, a massive partnership with Rosneft that has since gone to rival ExxonMobil. Now it seems Rosneft might be willing to buy BP out of its deal with TNK in a deal that would involve cash and access to promising new fields in the Russian Arctic, an arrangement that would get BP out of its loveless marriage without having to give up its coveted Arctic foothold.
In This Issue… * Very tight range for currencies… * Gold takes two steps back… * Eurozone Summit begins tomorrow…. * Don’t feed the Animals… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! A Plan To Have A Plan? Good day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! I’m at a loss this morning… Usually, I have done some reading the previous night, and come to work loaded for bear… But that didn’t happen last night, as Alex and his band mates had “band practice” in my man cave / basement… While I love listening to Alex play his guitar, the beating of the drums gets to me after about, oh, 5- minutes! So, I went upstairs, to watch the baseball game… and since my computer is downstairs… no reading! Which means this could be short-n-sweet today… and then again, you never know with me, once I begin to bang on the keyboard with my fat fingers! And never knowing what’s going to happen next is the trading pattern we’ve been thrust into these past months, but even more so now, as the Central Bankers around the world, begin to figure out, what they could have learned years ago, by reading the Pfennig, and that is… they can’t control the economy like they think they can! And with every Central Bank meeting between the U.S. and Eurozone, the lead up to the meeting is full of anticipation, and then are left with disappointment… The markets want more from the Central Banks, but… they’ve done just about all they can do, and none of it works… You know, if they had just looked at Japan, they would have learned long ago that Central Bank meddling into the economy doesn’t work over time. Sure, there are short-term blips of positive response but those last about as long it takes to get lathered up about the economy… and then the disappointment sets in… Well.. I did an interview with The Street.com yesterday, and we talked about Gold, and a few other things. I made the point that while it doesn’t make sense to me, that investors are selling Gold ahead of the Eurozone Summit this week, as most people believe the Eurozone leaders will disappoint the markets… And since the markets have had their share of disappointment lately (see Ben Bernanke x 2) they are selling Gold and buying dollars. OK.. to prepare for disappointment is sound in my opinion… But to sell Gold when there is uncertainty in the world, on both sides of the Atlantic? I don’t find that as sound… But, as I told the reporter, I learned long ago that the markets are never wrong… I might not agree with them, but you don’t try to fight them. Instead, you do the old Ali, rope-a-dope… All this talk about disappointment isn’t carrying over to what you’re feeling while you read the Pfennig this morning! Yes, I’ve been very serious so far.. not the usual Chuck stuff… Don’t worry, it’s coming! Yesterday, we saw the currencies bounce around in a very tight range, with no direction and no conviction to more either way. Gold lost $13.. So, it’s one step forward, two steps back with Gold these days… But I don’t worry.. can you see me as Alfred E. Newman, with a balding head, and a big beer belly, saying, “What, me worry”? As I told the reporter yesterday, Gold’s backing off this year certainly gives all those that missed the boat the first time, cheaper levels to buy… This morning, I turned on the currency screens and noticed that ½ of the currencies were in the red, and the other ½ were in the green… Red is bad.. green is good… And Gold is down another $5 this morning… one step forward, two steps back.. I really don’t believe we’ll see much movement in either direction today for the currencies, as the markets await the Eurozone Summit which begins tomorrow… OK… last week, I wrote about what I believe the Eurozone leaders need to do to calm the markets at this summit… so I won’t get into that again, but… I’m afraid we’re not going to get what I believe is needed… There’s been some “leaking” of news before the Summit, and it appears that the Eurozone leaders are going to opt to come up with a “plan to have a plan”… Uh-Oh! I don’t think that’s going to calm the markets, but, as I said above… we don’t know how the markets will react… Maybe they’ll be buffaloed into thinking that this is good, just like they were last summer when the U.S. debt commission couldn’t come up with spending cuts, and the so-called “automatic cuts” were supposed to take over… From what I read this morning… the “plan to have a plan” will go about ½ of the way toward what I said was needed, by providing an accurate diagnosis of the challenges facing the Eurozone, and the steps that will need to be taken… They’ll talk about the 4 pillars: growth, banking union, fiscal union, political union) but they won’t get past that discussion… And then the “plan to have a plan” will put off the next phase until late fall, and maybe even into winter! So… you see, if the markets get a sniff of this like I did, then the disappointment will really set in… unless, like I said above, they get buffaloed… And the Eurozone leaders need time to put pressure on Germany to agree to all the things in the “plan”… It all begins tonight when German Chancellor Angela Merkel sits down to dinner with French President, Hollande… Mr. Hollande will attempt to use his “French charm” and get the German Chancellor to weaken her stance… Whoa, that almost sounds like the beginning of one of those romance novels or whatever they call them! But… what will most likely happen is that Angela Merkel will use Jedi mind tricks on Hollande and he won’t know what hit him! I know what that feels like, as I’ve had Jedi mind tricks played on me for years… HA! Chris Gaffney and yours truly, say that the Big Boss Frank Trotter, plays Jedi mind tricks on us… The global growth prospects got a boost overnight, when the China Securities Journal talked about the country introducing more proactive policies to ensure stable growth in the world’s second largest economy. Then the Xinhua News Agency said that “China plans to boost Hong Kong’s integration with mainland financial markets”… As I’ve told you all a couple of hundred times before… China still has the Treasure Chest stuffed full of reserves that can be used to stimulate their economy without going into debt doing so… But even more, China has more tools to use, as they have not painted themselves into a corner like Japan, the U.S. and the Eurozone have done by cutting interest rates to the bone and then gone to Quantitative Easing… And, like I told you all two years ago, when economists and analysts said that the Chinese economy would collapse, I said that it would moderate, but not collapse… and that’s exactly what’s happening! I love it when a plan comes together! Well… Italy auctioned some bonds this morning, and actually saw decent demand for their debt, and yields actually fell for the first time in a month of Sundays… But, even this news isn’t enough to take the markets focus off the Eurozone Summit that, like I said previously, begins tomorrow… Here in the U.S. we’ll see the color of Durable Goods Orders for May, and Pending Home Sales data from May… Not much in the way of market moving data… The “experts” are forecasting an increase in Durable Goods Orders of .5%… and Top lawmakers in the Senate say they have reached a deal on freezing student loan rates for another year.. But get this… but they are still deciding the mechanics for how the proposal should make its way through the legislature before Congress leaves for the July 4th holiday week… Hey, just pass it, no wait! Chuck don’t go there! Other than that… U.S. Consumer Confidence fell for the 4th consecutive month in June… The index number dropped from 64.4 in May to 62 in June… You know me… not that I want to see this, but it’s finally going in the direction I believe it should have been going all along, given the Wars, the debt, the unemployment, and the list goes on… So, maybe this is playing catch-up now… And in the category of “What the heck is going on here”? Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission,( CFTC) (you know the guys I complain about all the time for not doing their jobs) said regulation inevitably will lead the agency to go beyond domestic borders to police the derivatives market. He’s not the only one who sees it that way. “We are looking at the CFTC effectively becoming the global swaps regulator,” said Hannah Gurga, head of European affairs at ICAP. “Maybe that will be a good thing for financial stability, but it’s something overseas regulators need to be grappling with quite seriously.” Isn’t that the way things go in life? Screw up something beyond recognition, and get more powerful… Lynyrd Skynyrd is singing… You Got That Right on the iPod right now, so I guess they are answering my pondering.! Then There Was This… Ok… yesterday, I talked about how the U.S. Gov’t was recruiting people to sign up for food stamps… I find this to be totally wrong… well, a couple of readers sent me a note that just made me laugh and laugh… So… here goes…“The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever.Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” Their stated reason for the policy is because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.” Chuck again… talk about ironic! And that’s all I’ll say about that! To recap… a very tight range for the currencies yesterday lead us into what will probably be another tight range trading day for the currencies ahead of the Eurozone Summit which begins tomorrow… Chuck believes the Eurozone leaders will leave the markets with disappointment, unless that is they are buffaloed like they were last summer here in the U.S. Currencies today 6/27/12… American Style: A$ $1.0085, kiwi .7905, C$ .9755, euro 1.2495, sterling 1.5625, Swiss $1.04, … European Style: rand 8.3765, krone 6.02, SEK 7.07, forint 229.15, zloty 3.40, koruna 20.7470, RUB 32.90, yen 79.65, sing 1.2765, HKD 7.7585, INR 57.16, China 6.3565, pesos 13.74, BRL 2.0760, Dollar Index 82.39, Oil $78.95, 10-year 1.62%, Silver $26.89, and Gold… $1,569.20 That’s it for today… You know, I sounded like I didn’t like the band having practice at my house, but I have to say that it does remind me of when I played the guitar in a band and we practiced in my basement… My mom used to come downstairs and listen to us… she was our biggest fan… So… good memories there… I prefer to remember my mom from those years, for as she grew older she was stricken with MS, and then he whole persona changed… Well, college football finally has a playoff system! YAHOO! It will begin in 2014… and in the first year of the playoff my Missouri Tigers will be the Champs! Ok… I know, but I can dream right? And with that… I’ll dream that you loved the Pfennig today, and can’t wait for tomorrow’s! Now, go out and have a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.com
On Jan. 23, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that bans U.S. aid to any health organization in another country that provides, advocates or makes referrals for abortions.The full impact of the order won’t be felt until September. That’s when the U.S. government fiscal year comes to an end. At that point, every international organization that does not comply with the order will be excluded from U.S. funding, says Marjorie Newman-Williams, president of Marie Stopes International, an organization that provides contraception and safe abortion in dozens of countries.But health groups that aren’t complying with the policy are already feeling the effects. The U.S. has pulled the plug on funds that had been previously allocated but not yet spent prior to the Trump order. “Marie Stopes can talk about its own sad stories of programs that have had to close,” says Newman-Williams. Its outreach services, which were funded by USAID in countries like Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Madagascar, Pakistan and Myanmar, have already stopped, she says.That’s the case for Family Health Options Kenya, Kenya’s oldest provider of sexual and reproductive health services. FHOK disagreed with the terms of the “Mexico City” policy, which has been reinstated by every Republican president since Ronald Reagan first issued it.In October 2017, $640,000 that was in a four-year pipeline for ongoing work was lost because the funds, which came from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, were discontinued. Since then, $1.56 million more has been lost because FHOK was unable to renew project funds and bid for future U.S. funding, says Amos Simpano, director of clinical services. FHOK says that amounts to nearly 60 percent of the organization’s funding.On a visit to Washington, D.C., this spring, Melvine Ouyo, an FHOK reproductive health nurse, sat down with NPR to discuss the effects of losing that much funding. One of the organization’s 14 clinics has closed down, and a clinic in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum and where Ouyo works, could be next. FHOK has also ceased outreach services to underprivileged communities, which it estimates has affected more than 76,000 women and young girls to date.Though abortion is legal under Kenyan law if the health or well-being of the mother is at risk, some pregnant women and girls who now lack access to medical care because of the funding cuts are resorting to unsafe measures out of desperation. They visit “curtain clinics,” she says — secret spaces run by people who aren’t nurses or doctors — or use household items like crochet needles to terminate their pregnancies.The loss of funding has also jeopardized essential services that are unrelated to abortion — like cancer screening of reproductive organs, treatment for HIV, postnatal care and vaccinations for diseases.The funding policy — called the “global gag rule” by its critics — is meant to discourage abortion. But a Stanford University study makes the case that restricting family planning funds can lead to more abortions. Researchers analyzed survey data in 20 African countries between 1994 and 2008 and found that rates of induced abortions rose sharply in countries that were most affected by the rule. A report by Population Action International found that when the policy was in effect between 1984 and 1992, “there was no evidence that the policy reduced the incidence of abortion.”Ouyo was in the United States to attend Capitol Hill Days, a conference around reproductive rights that is hosted by Population Connection Action Fund. When she sat down with NPR, she said the decision not to comply with the Trump order was made by the International Planned Parenthood Federation, of which FHOK is a member organization. “It was a worthwhile decision, though it has negative consequences,” she says.This interview has been edited for length and clarity.Tell me about how this has affected the clinic you work at in Kibera.We had to lay off six staff [out of 10] just to be able to sustain the clinic. We also have not been able to acquire any [new] equipment in the past several months because of a lack of funding. We have not improved any of our equipment [such as autoclaving machines used to sterilize equipment]. It means we are still just operating from where we were last year.What health problems do you see going unaddressed?Because we have not been able to provide outreach services, which basically serve disadvantaged communities, we cannot provide screening services for HIV and AIDS and be able to initiate treatment for those who test positive, and provide health education [for prevention]. It means that people in these communities will live without any precaution. A child who requires immunization and [whose] parents may not be able to afford transport to facilities [could] get communicable diseases — measles, TB, diphtheria, hepatitis. And if one gets it, they infect another and another in the community.Who are some of the people that rely on your clinic?There was a young orphan girl, about 10 years old, who was sleeping at her uncle’s [home] after she lost her parents. And the uncle persistently sexually abused her. And when she got pregnant at 13 years, this is a pregnancy from incest, she would not just carry on the pregnancy. So this girl comes to you suicidal. What do you do as a professional? She had already attempted unsafe abortion. She had taken herbs given [to her] by friends. Her friends referred her to us and she was able to access safe abortion services.With the funding loss, what is FHOK doing to survive?We have to put a small fee on the services we are providing. It has caused the clients to shy away from seeking care. At the Kibera clinic, we are charging half a dollar, because it is within the slum and we know the clientele we are dealing with. And still, not all will be able to pay. We feel the pain of not being able to provide those services.Other countries, like the Netherlands, have started raising funds to help international organizations that are suffering because they did not agree to the terms of the Trump order. The Dutch government created a funding initiative called “She Decides” and has raised about $200 million from governments, foundations and philanthropists. Are you receiving funding from elsewhere? The main alternative that FHOK started was to start charging the client. We receive a reduced grant [by about $99,000] from the International Planned Parenthood Foundation.What does it feel like for you right now?It feels painful knowing that someone would benefit from your education, your passion, your career and you cannot do that. It kills your morale.How do you cope, knowing that your health clinic isn’t as effective today?Just like the previous years when we had the global gag order, I still have this hope that I have to hold on, to press on. I am hopeful that someone will hear my cry.Sasha Ingber is a multimedia journalist who has covered science, culture and foreign affairs for such publications as National Geographic, The Washington Post Magazine and Smithsonian. Contact her @SashaIngber Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
A user-led campaign is celebrating a £200, 000 “birthday gift”, after the Scottish government announced funding that will pay for some of the extra costs faced by disabled people who want to stand in next year’s local government elections.One in Five a cross-party Scottish campaign which was launched a year ago, said the announcement of the new Democratic Participation Fund for Disabled People – which will be run by Inclusion Scotland on a pilot basis until May 2017 – was “magnificent news”.The fund will run alongside the Access to Politics for Disabled People project, which is offering non-financial support to disabled candidates standing in May’s election to the Scottish parliament and prospective candidates for the 2017 elections.The £200,000 funding could embarrass the UK government, as its own Access to Elected Office fund has been lying dormant since the 2015 general election while its effectiveness is reviewed.Jamie Szymkowiak, founder of One in Five, said the announcement provided disabled people with “plenty of time to consider standing for selection in the 2017 local government elections”.Marco Biagi, Scotland’s minister for local government and community empowerment, said: “We know disabled people often find it difficult to access elected offices due to the many barriers that exist, and the additional cost of being disabled is one of them.“I am delighted to announce this funding, which comes as a direct response to one of the key demands from disabled people’s campaign organisations, who all highlight that funding is a major barrier for disabled people to even consider accessing politics.”Pam Duncan-Glancy, Labour’s One in Five ambassador, said the announcement was “a great birthday present” for One in Five.She said: “Paying for the extra costs associated with being disabled – like covering the costs of personal assistants or accessible travel – is a huge barrier.“This fund will make immeasurable difference to disabled people seeking to be involved in politics. We are proud to have been key to making it happen.”Inclusion Scotland research has found that less than five per cent of MSPs are disabled people.Sally Witcher, chief executive of Inclusion Scotland, said: “This new fund has the potential to make a real difference, not just to individual disabled people, but ultimately to the strengthening of Scottish democracy.“Participation in public and political life is everyone’s human right and there is much work to do to ensure that this right can be fully exercised by disabled people.”Deborah King, co-founder of Disability Politics UK, said: “The Scottish government are leading the way in helping disabled people become elected politicians.“The UK government needs to move faster and introduce a larger fund in England and Wales.”She added: “We also want Scottish politicians to press the UK government to change electoral law to enable job-sharing in elected political office, so that more disabled people and carers can stand for election.“This is needed in local, regional and national government.”Members of One in Five and other disabled people’s organisations celebrated the campaign’s first anniversary outside the Scottish parliament this week (pictured).They called for political parties to make this May’s elections as accessible and inclusive as possible, by taking measures such as producing manifestos in accessible formats, subtitling campaign films, hosting hustings in accessible venues, providing more British Sign Language interpreters, and extending the use of livestreaming of campaign events.Since its launch, One in Five has signed up more than 40 political organisations and local party branches to its five-point charter.It has also persuaded the Scottish government to change the rules governing elections to the Scottish parliament so that spending on a parliamentary candidate’s disability-related costs will no longer count towards the legal limit on their election expenses.Duncan-Glancy said: “The challenges facing disabled people in politics are numerous and we have been quite overwhelmed by the engagement of all political parties in Scotland who have embraced the challenge with open arms, honesty and a thirst to do better.”
Three unions are boycotting a scheme that aims to monitor the number of disabled people and other minorities working in the broadcasting industry, because of its failure to release a detailed breakdown showing figures for individual programmes.Delegates at the TUC disabled workers’ conference in Bournemouth heard that the flaws in Project Diamond meant disabled people were “still likely to be denied access to work” and the ability to “change public perception in a positive way”.They heard that the refusal of workers in the industry to fill in Project Diamond monitoring forms was heaping pressure on the broadcasting industry over its refusal to release programme-by-programme data.The monitoring system was created by broadcasters BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky through the Creative Diversity Network, and aims to capture the equality data of all those working on programmes they commission.But the conference also heard that if a disabled character is played on television by a non-disabled actor, that is still counted in Project Diamond statistics showing how many roles are perceived by audiences to be disabled characters.Natasha Hirst, from NUJ, the journalists’ union, said it was “absolutely disgraceful that that is considered acceptable across the industry”.Proposing a motion that called on the TUC to demand transparent data and for potential penalties for offending broadcasters from the regulator Ofcom – which was passed unanimously – Hirst said the industry’s failure to release detailed figures meant “we cannot drive through the change and the transformation we need to see in broadcasting”.The Project Diamond monitoring scheme is currently being boycotted by NUJ, the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and the media and entertainment union BECTU, although not by the actors’ union Equity.Hirst said the boycott has been effective because workers had been refusing to fill in the monitoring forms.She said: “It is a great example of the power of action the trade union movements can have in creating and influencing change.”She added: “Disabled people are being denied the opportunity to work by the casting of disabled people in roles we should be filling.“We need complete transparency from the media companies if Project Diamond is going to have the impact we need it to have. The way it is being done is wrong.”Phoebe Kemp* (pictured, right, with Hirst), an Equity delegate, who seconded the motion, said: “We have to have access to the full statistics. We know they have the information, they won’t give it to us.”She also raised concerns about non-disabled people playing the roles of disabled characters.She added: “Nothing About Us Without Us. It is time for the broadcasting and entertainment industries to take note of that.”The conference also unanimously passed an Equity motion which criticised the continuing use of non-disabled actors to play disabled characters.Simon Balcon said that most delegates would consider such practices to be “akin to blacking up”.He said: “Great progress has been made in the area of representation in terms of race and sexuality but much more is needed to provide realistic portrayals of disabled people.”Mik Scarlet, an NUJ delegate, said: “When you go for a casting and you are disabled, it is most likely that you will not get the role.“They will see you because they can tick a box to say they have seen some disabled actors and then they will give it to a non-disabled actor.“What it means is the portrayal is not real.”Iain Scott-Burdon, from Unison, said he was “absolutely fed up” with seeing producers “hiring fakes” for films and television dramas.He said: “Non-disabled people playing our parts; they are as fake as you can get.“We need real, authentic Deaf and disabled people, professionals and experts at what they do.“We need to stop hiring fakes.”He also highlighted a positive example in which producers hired a Deaf child actor, Maisie Sly, for the Oscar-winning short film The Silent Child, which Scott-Burdon said was “really well received by the Deaf community”.*During the conference, Kemp performed an extract from her new one-woman play, May, based on the life of the disabled suffragette Rosa May Billinghurst
Add to Queue Next Article Reporter Angela Moscaritolo –shares Facebook Image credit: via PC Mag The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. This story originally appeared on PCMag January 12, 2018 This change will likely cause people to spend less time on Facebook, but make the time they do spend there ‘more valuable,’ according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Facebook to Reduce News Feed Noise and Business Pages Could See Big Hit 3 min read Facebook just announced a major impending News Feed change, which is intended to improve users’ mental health, but will likely cause Page admins to see a drop in engagement.In an effort to make the service better for people’s well-being, Facebook is changing up its News Feed ranking algorithm to start showing users more posts from family, friends and groups they are part of, and less content from businesses, brands and media organizations. This change will likely cause people to spend less time on Facebook, but make the time they do spend there “more valuable,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post.As another consequence, Facebook Pages will likely see a decrease in “their reach, video watch time and referral traffic,” according to Facebook’s News Feed Head Adam Mosseri. Pages posting content “people generally don’t react to or comment on” will likely see the most significant drop in engagement, he wrote, adding that “pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”News of these impending changes comes after Facebook in December acknowledged that passively reading your Facebook News Feed isn’t always good for your mental health. Those who interact with posts (commenting, liking, etc.) tend to feel better about themselves than those who just scroll and scroll, the company found.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it his New Year’s resolution to address this problem and fix other big issues facing the social network, including abuse and hate on the platform and along with foreign attempts to spread misinformation.”Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” Zuckerberg posted on his wall late Thursday. He explained that there’s more public content on Facebook today than posts from a person’s friends and family, so News Feed currently shows more of the latter. But going forward, that’s changing. “We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being,” Zuckerberg continued. “Research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”Zuckerberg said it will “take months” for these changes to completely roll out. If you follow a specific page you want to continue seeing its content in your News Feed (like PCMag, for example), be sure to select See First in News Feed preferences. Apply Now »
Apply Now » Facebook Mozilla has temporarily pulled its advertising from Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica controversy.The leak of data from 50 million Facebook users to the political consulting firm prompted Mozilla to examine Facebook’s default privacy policies, which can give third-party apps access to your profile data and activities.”The default permissions that Facebook gives to those third parties currently include data from your education and work, current city, and posts on your timeline,” Mozilla said in a blog post.Mozilla already started a petition that demands Facebook change its app permission policy so your privacy is protected by default. But on Thursday, it took things further, and pulled its advertising dollars from the social media platform.”When Facebook takes stronger action in how it shares customer data, specifically strengthening its default privacy settings for third-party apps, we’ll consider returning,” Mozilla said in a separate blog post. But for now, it’s “pressing pause on our Facebook advertising.”Time will tell if other advertisers follow the Firefox developer’s lead. But according to Facebook, advertisers have thus far been satisfied with the company’s efforts on privacy. “Most of the businesses we’ve spoken with this week are pleased with the steps we’ve outlined to better protect people’s data,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a Thursday email.”They have confidence that we’ll respond to these challenges and become a better partner and company as a result,” the email added.In 2014, Facebook banned the type of data collection Cambridge Analytica benefited from, which involved scooping up information from Facebook users who gave their consent, but also their friends, who had not given their permission to do so. That web of connections ultimately gave Cambridge access to 50 million data files, including people’s Facebook likes and other identifying information.Facebook plans to examine Cambridge Analytica servers to ensure it destroyed the leaked data. But in the meantime, it will audit any company or developer who collected large amounts of Facebook user data prior to 2014. Those who refuse the audit or have been found misuing the data will be banned, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday in his first remarks on the Cambridge Analytica scandal.The social media giant also plans to further limit third-party apps from accessing your Facebook data. “For example, we will remove developers’ access to your data if you haven’t used their app in 3 months. We will reduce the data you give an app when you sign in — to only your name, profile photo, and email address,” Zuckerberg said.In addition, Facebook will roll out a new tool to help you understand which apps have access to your data.In its Thursday blog post, Mozilla said it’s “encouraged” by what Zuckerberg promised. But it will wait for the social media giant to make the upcoming privacy protections official before resuming any advertising. March 23, 2018 3 min read Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Guest Writer The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Michael Kan Image credit: via PC Mag Next Article –shares The Cambridge Analytica controversy triggered the Firefox developer to press Facebook to change its default privacy settings for app permissions. Reporter Mozilla Pulls Facebook Ads Over Privacy Flap This story originally appeared on PCMag
Source:http://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2717784/notice-retraction-joy-cooking-too-much-70-years-calorie-increases Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTThe article was the result of a research work by Brian Wansink from Cornell University. The study had analyzed cookbooks for home recipes and claimed that home cooking led to increased calorie intake since many of the recipes tended to be rich in fats and carbohydrates. This in turn was raising the risk of obesity, the authors of the study had concluded.The journal had sent a letter of investigation to the authorities at the University where the work was conducted and in turn received an answer from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (Date 27 September 2018) that said, “This investigation has concluded that Professor Wansink committed academic misconduct in his research and scholarship.” The journal states that they tried to clarify this from the corresponding author Dr. Payne. That address and contact information did not finally lead to Dr. Payne they added.The team at the journal then asked for details of the data from Dr. Wansink. In response Dr. Wansink provided a re-analysis of the data. However, now the journal found that all the figures and numbers in the re-analysis were different from the originally published paper. The editors conclude in their notice, “In light of the inability to reproduce the published results, the editors cannot be confident in the integrity of the work reported in this article.”The referred article can be found at the following reference, “Wansink B, Payne CR. The joy of cooking too much: 70 years of calorie increases in classic recipes [Letter]. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150:291-2.”Wansink has been part of the team of experts who have helped to develop the U.S. dietary guidelines. His work recently came under scrutiny when a blog post unearthed academic misconduct. Since then many of his research publications have been retracted from well known journals. Image Credit: CanErmis / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDDec 9 2018In a short notification, the editors of the Annals of Internal Medicine have announced that they are retracting a letter called “The Joy of Cooking Too Much: 70 Years of Calorie Increases in Classic Recipes”. The article in question was published in 2009.
Source:Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)May 28 2019Seven innovative research projects tackling pancreatic cancer have been awarded grants totaling £1.2M by the UK medical research charity, Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (PCRF).This is the fourth year that the charity has been able to allocate over £1M for research projects and brings its project portfolio spend to over £9M, with an additional £2M committed to the world’s first national pancreas tissue bank, created in 2016 to further accelerate research progress.The new projects span early diagnosis, potential new treatments and fundamental research to find out why immunotherapy does not yet work with pancreatic cancer. They include the progression of promising virotherapy research, a unique technology to tag unwanted proteins and trigger their destruction and testing whether machine learning techniques can help identify those at risk from developing the disease.Maggie Blanks, PCRF’s founder and Chief Executive, said: The seven awards are:Dr Richard Clarkson, Cardiff UniversityNormal cells are programmed to die if they become damaged or diseased in a process called apoptosis, but pancreatic cancer cells contain a molecule called c-FLIP which stalls this process. Dr Clarkson has shown in laboratory tests that blocking c-FLIP from working ‘releases the brakes’ on the anti-tumour process. He now wants to see if this works in mice with pancreatic tumours and will test new ways to block c-FLIP.Professor Laura Itzhaki, University of CambridgeCells stay healthy by tagging faulty proteins with a molecule called ubiquitin that acts like an address label, sending the proteins to be destroyed by the cell’s waste-disposal machinery. Prof Itzhaki has developed a technology that mimics this process, forcing ubiquitin to attach to selected proteins and trigger their destruction. This project will test if the technology can eliminate proteins produced by a faulty gene called KRAS, which is found in many pancreatic cancers.Dr Gunnel Halldén, Queen Mary University of LondonDr Halldén is progressing her PCRF-funded research which aims to use a flu-like virus, delivered into the bloodstream, to seek out and infect pancreatic cancer cells wherever they are in the body. This project will identify new drugs that improve the ability of the virus to replicate inside the cancer cells and spread within the tumour, which should stimulate the immune system to provide long-term protection from the disease coming back.Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerDr Naomi Walsh, Dublin City University, Ireland Dr Walsh aims to design chemotherapy drugs that will target and kill types of cancer stem cells within pancreatic tumours that are responsible for drug resistance and relapse. These drugs are designed using new techniques which enable them to be transported directly into the cancer cells. This means that patients could be given smaller doses and experience fewer side effects. It may also allow more patients to benefit from these new treatments.Dr Laura Woods, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Dr Woods’s project addresses the challenge of diagnosing pancreatic cancer earlier. She will apply ‘machine learning’ techniques to an historic, anonymised database of thousands of GP records to examine whether people who later developed pancreatic cancer shared similar early warning signs detectable before diagnosis. This could provide means of identifying a population of patients whom it would be cost-effective to screen, and increase the number of cancers diagnosed at a treatable stage.Professor Maeve Lowery, Trinity College DublinSome pancreatic cancer patients have faults in genes involved in repairing DNA, such as the BRCA2 gene, which makes the cancer more likely to respond to certain treatments. Professor Lowery will study tumour samples to find changes in different regions of these genes and assess how this affects the response to drugs which target defective DNA repair. She hopes the results will inform a clinical trial where patients are matched with drugs most likely to benefit them.Professor Hemant Kocher, Queen Mary University of London Professor Kocher’s project will investigate why immunotherapy – a treatment which harnesses the patient’s immune system to kill cancer cells – works with some cancers but not with pancreatic cancer. The team will investigate how immune cells interact with each other and are either triggered or dampened in pancreatic cancer. The aim of this project is to determine the most effective way of combining immunotherapy and chemotherapy in future pancreatic cancer clinical trials. Research is the only way we’ll find better ways of tackling pancreatic cancer and we need to keep pushing the boundaries of different research approaches. These projects involve new ideas, new technologies and new techniques that excited our Scientific Advisory Panel and we’re keen to see what they deliver.”
By Dr. Liji Thomas, MDJul 15 2019A new study reported in Nature Communications has discovered activators for molecules that act as motors to move materials around within nerve cells.Nerve cells form the basis of the nervous system in animals, as they transfer information between the various sensory and effector organs of the body and the brain and spinal cord. However, this function relies heavily on the transport of several proteins and other molecules between various parts of the cell.A nerve cell comprises a cell body, and multiple short branches called dendrites. It also has a long projection called the axon which carries signals away from the neuron. Nerve cells also have tiny tubular tracks composed of microtubules along which cargo is moved to and from the dendrites and axons by an attached molecular motor called KIF1C.Human cells synthesize many types of motor molecules, called kinesins and dyneins. These carry cargo towards opposite ends of the cell, and both motors are often present on cargoes so that they can change direction if their progress is hindered. However, there is still a vast field for research into the regulation of KIF1C in both space and time within cells, to allow its application in a host of neurological disorders. Researcher Anne Straube says, “If we understand how motors are shut off and on, we may be able to design cellular transport machines with altered properties. These could potentially be transferred into patients with defect cellular transport to compensate for the defects. Alternatively they can be used for nanotechnology to build new materials by exploiting their ability to concentrate enzymes or chemical reagents. We are also studying the properties of the motors with patient mutations to understand why they function less well.” There are 45 kinesins, but only a few of them are actually understood, in terms of what sets the motors in action. Among them, KIF1C is the fastest motor in nerve cells, and is used for various processes within the neuron that require cargo transport in either direction. Defects in this motor underlie several debilitating nerve disorders, including hereditary spastic paraplegia, that is known to affect about 135,000 people the world over. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are other conditions which are also linked to poorly functioning molecular motors.KIF1C is a typical molecular motor, a protein which acts as a chemical-to-mechanical energy converter. This helps it to carry diverse loads in dense core vesicles within the cell. KIF1C also transports molecules called integrins that are important for cell adhesions.Related StoriesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsKIF1C must remain at rest while the loading process is underway, and move the cargo once loading is complete until it is actually offloaded at the end of the trip. When compared to motor size, nerve cells are incredibly long, up to 3 feet. The transport system must be foolproof at the same time to avoid inhibition of nerve function.The current study at the University of Warwick was aimed at unraveling the mechanism of activation/inactivation of KIF1C. The scientists found that the inactive state of the KIF1C molecular motor is related to its autoinhibition, caused by the infolding of the molecule on itself. This causes its stalk to link to the part that attaches to the microtubules forming the tracks, and so keeps it out of action.When its function is required, it utilizes two other proteins on the cargo, called PTNPN21 and Hook3. Either of these proteins attaches to the stalk of the KIF1C molecule, which results in its unfolding and activation. The outcome is that it slots into the tracks and starts to run along them, rather like a marathoner beginning the race at the starter’s gun.When these proteins are present, they increase the rate at which the KIF1C lands on the tracks by about 40%. Thus the cargo is able to activate the KIF1C motor when loaded. This may be one way in which kinesins can transport cargo both ways without contradictory pulls. When these proteins are present, they can rescue the function of cells that lack adequate KIF1C expression.If this discovery is confirmed, it could be used to start up or increase motor activity to shift required cargo within neurons to normalize the functioning in KIF1C-depleted nerve cell disorders. The team is currently considering work on hereditary spastic paraplegia. Intracellular transport, kinesin motor proteins transport molecules moving across microtubules, 3D illustration. Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock Journal reference:PTPN21 and Hook3 relieve KIF1C autoinhibition and activate intracellular transport, Nida Siddiqui, Alexander James Zwetsloot, Alice Bachmann, Daniel Roth, Hamdi Hussain, Jonathan Brandt, Irina Kaverina & Anne Straube, Nature Communications volume 10, Article number: 2693 (2019) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10644-9, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-10644-9
Telecom Italia said Thursday the deal will allow subscribers to watch Mediaset’s free-to-air channels and have access to the previous week’s programing posted on-line.The deal is part of Telecom Italia CEO Amos Genish’s plan to expand digital content. Genish was confirmed as CEO this week after the biggest shareholder, Vivendi, lost control of the board to activist hedge fund Elliott last week.Vivendi acquired a 24 percent stake in Telecom Italia and 30 percent of Mediaset with the aim of creating a major Italian media holding, but a deal to take over Mediaset has fallen in dispute. Explore further Telecom Italia has announced a content-sharing agreement with Mediaset, Italy’s largest private broadcaster, as the former telecom monopoly pushes ahead with its plan to improve digital content after a boardroom shakeup. Citation: Telecom Italia reaches content-sharing deal with Mediaset (2018, May 10) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-telecom-italia-content-sharing-mediaset.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. US hedge fund wrests Telecom Italia control from Vivendi
India’s Tata Motors posts surprise loss Shares in India’s Tata Motors tanked almost 30 percent on Friday after problems at its Jaguar Land Rover unit dragged the luxury carmaker to India’s biggest quarterly loss. Jaguar Land Rover announced last month that it was axing 4,500 jobs worldwide The Mumbai-based manufacturer has been badly hit by falling demand for luxury cars in China, as well as uncertainty over Brexit and rising debt.It announced Thursday a net loss of 270 billion rupees ($3.8 billion) for the quarter ending December owing to a $3.9-billion write-down on JLR.That compared to a profit of 12 billion rupees for the same period a year ago.It marked a record loss in Indian corporate history, exceeding the deficit recorded by Indian Oil Corporation in 2012, according to Bloomberg News.”This is a difficult time for the industry, but we remain focused on ensuring sustainable and profitable growth, and making targeted investments, that will secure our business in the future,” JLR chief executive Ralf Speth said.Tata Motors said it wrote down its JLR investment due to difficult market conditions and expanding debt.Falling car sales in China—a key market—have buffeted Tata Motors, on top of uncertainty about Britain’s imminent and potentially disorderly departure from the European Union. JLR announced last month that it was axing 4,500 jobs worldwide and earlier this week credit rating agency Fitch placed it on a negative watch.Its shares had already slumped more than 50 percent in the past 12 months, according to Bloomberg.”Trade barriers and logistic issues from a disorderly Brexit could have an impact on JLR’s competitive positioning and lead to significantly lower sales and profitability,” Fitch said. Friday’s stock plunge was Tata Motors’ biggest intraday fall in 26 years, Bloomberg said. Explore further © 2019 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Tata Motors shares plunge 30% on Jaguar woes (2019, February 8) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-tata-motors-plunge-jaguar-woes.html
In a petition to Australian regulators, News Corp’s local subsidiary complained that “Google enjoys overwhelming market power in both online search and ad tech services.”Going a step further, the company accused Google of “abusing its dominant position to the detriment of consumers, advertisers and publishers.”Earlier this week US presidential hopeful—and former federal consumer watchdog—Elizabeth Warren became the latest in a line of commentators to argue that firms such as Amazon, Google and Facebook hold “ too much power” in society.News Corp echoed her argument that Google’s businesses should be split, or failing that, search and advertising businesses should be firewalled off from each other.”While News Corp Australia recognises that divestment is a very serious step … divestment is necessary in the case of Google, due to the unparalleled power that it currently exerts over news publishers and advertisers alike.”Australian watchdogs are seen as unlikely to recommend that Google be split, but the petition represents an intensification of the worldwide fight between Australian-born Murdoch and Google and Facebook.News organisations accuse the tech giants of gaining huge commercial benefit from expensive to create content, while paying nothing and syphoning off advertising.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is one of several regulators across the world investigating the effect that digital platforms have on competition in the media, advertising and advertising services markets.News organisations in Australia have struggled in recent years with falling revenue and shrinking staff, as giants like Google and Facebook dominate the digital economy.The downturn has prompted a string of mergers that have left the market with only three or four major media companies.Local newspapers, once the lifeblood of communities across this vast country, run on a skeletal staff or have been forced to close.Murdoch’s News Corp is a dominant player, owning a slew of Australian newspapers and the largest television news channel, and is the majority owner of the Foxtel pay television operations.Murdoch’s vast political influence has frequently come under fire from former prime ministers on both sides of Australian politics and is widely seen as pushing the tone of public debate to the right. News Corp Australia is a subsidiary of US-based News Corp, which owns the Wall Street Journal and newspapers in Britain. Murdoch and his family also control the media-entertainment conglomerate 21st Century Fox, owner of the Fox News Channel. Australia watchdog tips tough rules to curb power of Google, Facebook © 2019 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. News organisations accuse tech giants such as Google and Facebook of gaining huge commercial benefit from expensive to create content, while paying nothing and syphoning off advertising Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has called for Google to be broken up in Australia, the latest salvo in a battle between the corporate media giants. Citation: Murdoch’s News Corp calls for Google breakup (2019, March 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-murdoch-news-corp-google-breakup.html Explore further
(Reuters) – Netflix Inc said on Wednesday it would roll out a lower-priced mobile-only plan in India within the next three months to tap into a price-sensitive market at a time the streaming company is losing customers in its home turf. FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is pictured on a television in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California, U.S., January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike BlakeIndia is among the last big growth markets for the company, where it faces competition from Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video and Hotstar, a video streaming platform owned by Walt Disney Co’s India unit. Netflix lost U.S. streaming customers for the first time in eight years on Wednesday, when it posted quarterly results. It also missed targets for new subscribers overseas. “India is a mobile-first nation, where many first-time users are experiencing the internet on their phones. In such a scenario, a mobile-only package makes sense to target new users,” said Tarun Pathak, analyst at Counterpoint Research. The creator of “Stranger Things” and “The Crown” said in March that it was testing a 250-rupee (2.92 pounds) monthly subscription for mobile devices in India, where data plans are among the cheapest in the world. The country figures prominently in Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings’ global expansion plans. “We believe this plan, which will launch in the third quarter, will be an effective way to introduce a larger number of people in India to Netflix and to further expand our business,” the company said in a letter to investors released late on Wednesday. Netflix currently offers three monthly plans in India, priced between 500 rupees ($7.27) and 800 rupees $11.63). It has created a niche following in the country by launching local original shows like the thriller “Sacred Games” and dystopian tale “Leila”, which feature popular Bollywood actors. The second season of “Sacred Games” is set to release in August. In contrast, Hotstar, which also offers content from AT&T Inc’s HBO and also streams live sports, charges 299 rupees ($4.35) per month. Amazon bundles its video and music streaming services with its Prime membership. “We’ve been seeing nice steady increases in engagement with our Indian viewers that we think we can keep building on. Growth in that country is a marathon, so we’re in it for the long haul,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said. (This story refiles to correct to say dropped word added in paragraph 5, not 10) Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee, Munsif Vengattil, Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru and Arriana Mclymore in New York; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Gopakumar WarrierOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Back to the Stone Age: 17 Key Milestones in Paleolithic Life The M72 skull is between 6,300 and 5,500 years old. Credit: Qian Wang 25 Grisly Archaeological Discoveries Even though the Houtaomuga man is the oldest known case of ICM in history, it’s a mystery whether other known instances of ICM spread from this group, or whether they rose independently of one another, Wang said. “It is still too early to claim intentional cranial modification first emerged in East Asia and spread elsewhere; it may have originated independently in different places,” Wang said. More ancient DNA research and skull examinations throughout the world may shed light on this practice’s spread, he said. The study was published online June 25 in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. The 25 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth Ancient people in China practiced human head-shaping about 12,000 years ago — meaning they bound some children’s maturing skulls, encouraging the heads to grow into elongated ovals — making them the oldest group on record to purposefully squash their skulls, a new study finds. While excavating a Neolithic site (the last period of the Stone Age) at Houtaomuga, Jilin province, in northeast China, the archaeologists found 11 elongated skulls — belonging to both males and females and ranging from toddlers to adults — that showed signs of deliberate skull reshaping, also known as intentional cranial modification (ICM). “This is the earliest discovery of signs of intentional head modification in Eurasia continent, perhaps in the world,” said study co-researcher Qian Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Texas A&M University College of Dentistry. “If this practice began in East Asia, it likely spread westward to the Middle East, Russia and Europe through the steppes as well as eastward across the Bering land bridge to the Americas.” [In Images: An Ancient Long-headed Woman Reconstructed]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65901-china-oldest-skull-shaping.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35 The Houtaomuga site is a treasure trove, holding burials and artifacts from 12,000 to 5,000 years ago. During an excavation there between 2011 and 2015, archaeologists found the remains of 25 individuals, 19 of which were preserved enough to be studied for ICM. After putting these skulls in a CT scanner, which produced 3D digital images of each specimen, the researchers confirmed that 11 had indisputable signs of skull shaping, such as flattening and elongation of the frontal bone, or forehead. The oldest ICM skull belonged to an adult male, who lived between 12,027 and 11,747 years ago, according to radiocarbon dating. Archaeologists have found reshaped human skulls all around the world, from every inhabited continent. But this particular finding, if confirmed, “will [be] the earliest evidence of the intentional head modification, which lasted for 7,000 years at the same site after its first emergence,” Wang told Live Science. The 11 ICM individuals died between ages 3 and 40, indicating that skull shaping began at a young age, when human skulls are still malleable, Wang said. It’s unclear why this particular culture practiced skull modification, but it’s possible that fertility, social status and beauty could be factors, Wang said. The people with ICM buried at Houtaomuga were likely from a privileged class, as these individuals tended to have grave goods and funeral decorations. “Apparently, these youth were treated with a decent funeral, which might suggest a high socioeconomic class,” Wang said. An excavation at the site during 2010. Credit: Lixin Wang Originally published on Live Science.