15 days agoSouthampton manager Hasenhuttl loses another backroom staff member

first_imgSouthampton manager Hasenhuttl loses another backroom staff memberby Freddie Taylor15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has lost another member of his backroom staff.Hasenhuttl lost number two Danny Rohl to Bayern Munich two months ago.And now the club’s head of performance analysis Natasha Patel has joined New York Red Bulls.A statement on the Saints’ website reads: “Patel will oversee and expand the club’s use of analytics in areas including opponent scouting, game preparation and player evaluations from the Red Bulls First Team down through Red Bulls Academy.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img

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Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein On Arkansas, “We Don’t Like That Team”

first_imgWillie Cauley Stein warms up for Kentucky.Prior to Sunday’s SEC Tournament championship game, Arkansas’ players did some trash talking to their opponent, Kentucky. They reportedly got in the Wildcats’ faces in a Bridgestone Arena tunnel and Razorbacks’ forward Bobby Portis said being able to play UK was like getting a wish granted. The fervor Arkansas’ players have for Kentucky is a feeling that is apparently replicated by the Wildcats’ players. Following his team’s victory against the Razorbacks, Kentucky junior center Willie Cauley-Stein said “we don’t like that team,” referencing Arkansas. Wow. Willie keeping it REAL. “We don’t like that team.” Said winning title was one thing, but they just wanted to beat “that team.”— Ashley Scoby (@AshleyScoby) March 15, 2015Willie Cauley-Stein after the game re: Arkansas, “Straight up, we don’t like that team.”— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonRivals) March 15, 2015Full WCS quote on not liking “that team” pic.twitter.com/EoGtkE2VTJ— Ashley Scoby (@AshleyScoby) March 15, 2015It’s not often that you see college basketball players openly discussing their dislike for another team, but we love it. Kentucky and Arkansas will learn their place in the NCAA Tournament at 6 p.m. E.T. on CBS.last_img read more

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In This Issue… Currencies rally strongly this m

first_imgIn This Issue… * Currencies rally strongly this morning… * Home Prices keep falling… * Baby steps for stabilization… * Carney has harsh words for U.S. economy… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! The Golden Scenario… Good day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! And Happy Chinese New Year! The NFL Championship games yesterday were very entertaining, eh? The two brothers that coach different teams went from a chance to match wits in the Super Bowl, to going home… Too bad… it would have been a good story. Should be an interesting week, as the ECOFIN people meet, and Greece is still working on their debt, and… this will be my first full week of work in over a month, so all-in-all, pretty interesting! What I also found interesting on Friday, was the price action of Silver… I don’t know if you follow Silver or not… I do, very closely, I might add! But Silver was outperforming Gold by a long shot, rising over $1 on the day, which you don’t normally see in the Silver price action. My colleague, Aaron yelled over the desk and asked me what was going on with Silver, as he too watches it closely… I couldn’t really find anything out there, so the thought came to me very quickly, that Silver must be playing “catch-up”… I don’t know if you follow this stuff or not, and I don’t really put that much emphasis on this, but from time to time I come back to it, and that is the Gold/Silver ratio… but what was once thought as a real indicator for Silver, has to be pushed to the back of the closet these days, for the Gold-Silver ratio has spread out to over 50:1… That’s pretty crazy stuff… and doesn’t look right… So, maybe, just maybe, Silver was playing catch-up to Gold, which had gained over $90 so far this year, and Silver’s gains were negligible until Friday… Both metals are up this morning, so we have that going for us, eh? The Aussie dollar (A$) touched $1.05 this morning, and is spittin’ distance from the figure now. And, looky there, it’s back over $1.05! Just like that! I would say that the A$ is benefitting from a lower than expected PPI (wholesale inflation index) number… Which indicates to me that the markets still have an appetite for rewarding currencies that have been debased to promote growth. If you’re an Aussie bond holder, this is what’s called the “golden scenario”… That’s when rates are being cut, and the currency maintains its value or even increases in value. The bonds & currency rallying, = the golden scenario… When I was a foreign bond trader, I saw this happen only a few times… I saw it Germany in the mid 90’s, and in Aussie and New Zealand around the same time… I haven’t traded foreign bonds since 1998, and don’t recall if there were other instances since then. But, it’s happening now… The thing about the golden scenario, is that it doesn’t last long… The euro begins another week as the most talked about currency, with the U.S. dollar coming in second, and the renminbi placing third. The euro is trading above 1.29 this morning, as it has range traded for over a week now, but around the 1.29 level, which is probably driving the analysts that have called for a collapse of the euro, crazy… I’ve told you probably 3 or 4 times since the year began what I think the euro will do this year… So, as to not beat a dead horse (no animals were hurt), I’ll go to what I really want to point out this morning about the euro… In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen the economic data from Germany to be better than forecast for them. We’ve seen the Italian and Spanish bond auctions go quite well, with more bonds sold than planned and at lower yields! And money market rates have eased… I talked about the beginnings of a stabilization here on Friday, and I just can’t help but think that this is just the beginning. Now that doesn’t mean that everything we see from here on out from the Eurozone is good… baby steps, wobble, go backwards sometimes, and even stumble… So… we have that to watch for. Well, every winter, about 2,600 political, business and financial leaders in Davos, Switzerland for a 5-day boondoggle. There are always some very good sound bites from Davos, and this year will be no different. You’ll see the Eurozone contingent continue their attempt to calm the markets, and then you’ll have the euro naysayers, like George Soros doing his best to deep six the euro… Speaking of deep sixing something… I can’t put enough emphasis on this folks, but the Asian countries are removing dollars from their terms of trade. One by one, the Asian countries draw up new currency swap agreements, that basically exchange the two countries’ currencies, and removes dollars from the terms of the trade. This has long been one of the benefits to having the reserve currency of the world, for if two countries wanted to trade Oil, they would have to convert their currencies to dollars and settle the transaction in dollars. This kept dollars in each country’s reserves by the truck loads… But, first it was China alone signing swap agreements to remove dollars from the terms of trade. Then Russia joined in, and now India is jumping on the bandwagon. India and Iran have signed a currency swap agreement for Oil… Now… let me be clear here… I do NOT want to see this happening, for I live here, work here, and use dollars for my gas, groceries and giggles. And… once I’m gone, my kids and grandkids will learn what it’s like to not have the reserve currency of the world… It’s a sad thing… However, since I began writing in 1992, I have always made it a point to not let my love of country get in the way of telling like it is… I was even called unpatriotic years ago… and that hurt! But… at the same time, I warned and warned about the growing debt, and people thought I was nuttier than a fruitcake. Well… when countries turn away from using your currency, I think I speaks volumes… So… how does that fruitcake taste these days? Last Friday, we saw the latest Existing Home Sales data, which was pretty strong… But here’s the thing I keep harping about… Home Prices… The national median sales price of existing homes fell 2.5% in December year-on-year. This is the thirteenth straight monthly decline in home prices. Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 32% of the total sales… So, all in all, I would say the data was not good… 1/3rd of the sales were forced by foreclosure, and the median home price fell 2.5%… I don’t think home prices have found a bottom yet… One of the reasons I feel strongly about that is the fact that the “robo-signing” case that held up foreclosures in 2011, has been settled, which means foreclosures could really ramp up in 2012, pushing prices downward. The data cupboard is empty today and doesn’t really get restocked later this week… We will have a FOMC (Fed Reserve) meeting on Wednesday, but since the Fed told us that interest rates are going to remain at current levels until mid 2013, this is a little anti-climatic, eh? OK… back to the currencies… Well… I guess the Bank of Canada’s (BOC) bunker mentality is beginning to pay off for them, but I’m sure they didn’t really think that this would happen… The “this” I’m talking about is a larger than expected drop in consumer inflation. Canadian CPI fell .%6% in December from the previous month, and the year-on-year rate stands at 2.3%… Still higher than the target rate of 2%, but moving in the right direction as far as the BOC is concerned… The Canadian dollar / loonie took the data and digesting it, moved lower… The loonie is attempting a rally this morning trying desperately to grab onto the coat tails of the Aussie dollar. Remember when I told you that we could see a “pop” in the Swiss Franc, should then Swiss National Bank (SNB) President, Hildebrand, resign, as the markets would want to test the resolve of the new President? Well… Let’s see… the franc has really been on a run in the past 10- days and has climbed back to a dollar price of $1.0750… After falling to a $1.04 handle… I think this is simply the markets testing the SNB, folks… nothing to hang one’s hat on for any extended period of time… Leave this to the “traders”… Ok… I mentioned at the top, and then forgot to talk about it until now… But the Greek / private creditors meetings have stalled on a deadlock over the interest rates to be paid. People close to the meetings still believe that an agreement will be ironed out soon. Did you see what the Bank of Canada’s Gov., Mark Carney, had to say about the U.S. economy? Well, you had better sit down for this… Mr. Carney said that the “U.S. economy might never recover.” He went on to say that, “it will take many more years for the U.S. economy to get back on its feet, and it might never completely recover. In fact, they are not in our opinion ultimately going to get back fully to the U.S. we used to know.” Then he made a statement that qualifies him as a recent addition to the “Mr. Obvious Club”… when he said, “If Canada is to grow it must look beyond the U.S. for trading partners.” Then there was this… my friend, and former colleague, David Galland, did it again this past weekend… He wrote something that made me want to pump my fist in the air, and say “Yes”! I don’t have the room here to do him justice, but he wrote about the U.S. Government meddling in the economy and in private business… If that’s the stuff that interests you, and I would hope it did… then click here and read the first part of the letter on Government meddling: after clicking the link, then click on the “contrarian’s View of Argentina”… http://www.caseyresearch.com/ To recap… Currencies are in rally mode this morning, along with Gold & Silver. Silver outperformed Gold big time on Friday… just playing catch-up I think. The ECOFIN meeting begins today, and Greece is still working with the private creditors on an agreement. FOMC meeting this week is a non-event. And the data cupboard is empty today. Currencies today 1/23/12… American Style: A$ 1.0550, kiwi .8125, C$ .9905, euro 1.2990, sterling 1.5565, Swiss $1.0765, … European Style: rand 7.9365, krone 5.9070, SEK 6.76, forint 233, zloty 3.3050, koruna 19.5660, RUB 32.69, yen 76.90, sing 1.2670, HKD 7.76, INR 50.08, China 6.3390, pesos 13.14, BRL 1.75, Dollar Index 79.90, Oil $98.32, 10-year 2%, Silver $32.73, and Gold… $1,677.15 That’s it for today… Congrats to the Giants and Patriots, good luck in the Super Bowl… I really don’t care for either team, but will root for the Giants. I still have a bad taste with the Patriots because of spygate… Well… I heard from my darling daughter Dawn on Friday… She reminded me that little Delaney Grace was going to be in her first musical Friday night and then again on Saturday night. All three grandkids were at the house yesterday, one starting crying for no reason, and the next thing we knew, all three were crying for no reason… Ahhh, we’ll all be together in March for a week! I had to laugh at them… OK… fun a the Butler House! And with that, we’ll head into the last full week of January… I hope you have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

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In this short but packed interview by Chuck Jaffe

first_imgIn this short but packed interview by Chuck Jaffe, contrarian investing legend Doug Casey explains why government is becoming an anachronism, what 2014 is likely to bring to the financial world, and why he isn’t an investor. There’s a reason why Doug Casey’s appearances always fill the room: he’s not only a brilliant contrarian investor, but a clear and cogent voice cutting through the political mumbo-jumbo. And now you have the chance to pick the brain of this serially successful multimillionaire… right at a time when being a disciplined speculator could turbocharge your wealth. Get the details and get started right now.last_img

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Pigs Get Slaughtered Consider this In 1975 109 c

first_imgPigs Get SlaughteredConsider this: In 1975, 109 companies produced 50% of earnings. In 2015, just 30 companies accounted for half of all the earnings from all U.S.-listed companies.That means the earning power of public companies is concentrated in a shrinking number of firms. As a result, investors have fewer choices today than at any other time—maybe ever.But why? Well, the Federal Reserve has had a lot to do with it. You see, the Fed’s been running an ultra-low interest rate experiment over the past 20 years.This has made borrowing money easy, even for people who don’t need the money. After all, it’s not too hard to pay interest on a 0% loan. Now, you and I can’t borrow money that cheaply… But the most connected borrowers can.As a result, the private equity industry has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of this money experiment.In case you’re not familiar with the private equity industry, here’s how it works… High-net-worth investors pledge cash to a specific fund. Once the fund raises its target amount of money—say $200 million—it closes to additional investment. It also closes the door for investors to pull money out.The fund’s managers then take the $200 million in cash and borrow an additional amount. This can turn $200 million into $1 billion of buying power. Keep in mind, the managers receive 2% of the $200 million invested each year. That gives them $4 million to pay their salaries and expenses while they invest the funds.I’ve seen this play out firsthand.Just after college, I worked as a sales rep for a manufacturing firm. We produced mattresses in 26 factories across the U.S. The owners sold the company for $800 million to a private equity firm. Within months of taking over, I learned that the private equity firm took out a massive loan against the business.Here’s what’s interesting. They didn’t use that money to invest in new factories or equipment. Instead, they paid a huge dividend—equal to almost the entire purchase price—to themselves. This meant that the business merely had to generate enough income to service the massive loan. If it could do that, its private equity firm owners had a risk-free investment.It gets better. These firms also capture 20% of any profit they generate when they sell assets. In this case, if they resold the firm a few years later for $1 billion, they’d collect another $40 million in incentive fees.This type of investing went mainstream in the 1980s. And it only grew from there. Today, it’s officially out of control. It’s a large part of why there are so few public companies remaining today… and this wave of consolidation is just getting started.Just look at the chart below. It shows how much cash private equity firms are sitting on today.You can see that private equity firms are sitting on a staggering $1.7 trillion in cash. That’s equal to 9% of the entire U.S. economy’s annual output… just sitting in cash.In the coming years, these private equity firms will use this cash hoard to take businesses private, load them up with debt, pay themselves rich dividends, and then leave the companies for dead… just like they recently did with Toys “R” Us.The good news is that you can turn this market phenomenon into huge profits by buying takeover targets or highly successful serial acquirers.In my first issue of Strategic Investor, I told my readers about one such company. You can learn about that company by taking my brand-new advisory for a test drive.Regards,E.B. Tucker Editor, Strategic InvestorJustin’s note: Keep your eyes peeled for tomorrow’s Dispatch, where I’ll talk more about E.B’s big idea. Specifically, I’ll show you which sector is set to soar while this trend plays out. You won’t want to miss it…In the meantime, I urge you to sign up for E.B.’s brand-new letter, Strategic Investor. E.B. sees a massive shift happening in the markets, and it’s never been more important to have a specific plan of attack. As E.B. says, “We don’t have the same opportunity to make money in the stock market like we’ve had for the past 100 years.” To survive and thrive in the coming years, you’ll want to get E.B.’s top recommendations. Learn more here.Reader MailbagToday, a reader shares his thoughts on the future of electric car-maker Tesla…I don’t believe Tesla is going to zero… it’s already one of the “too big to fail” companies. The Trump administration will bail them out giving them a sh*tload of money to stay operating and keep jobs. I do believe its stock price will go down like 50%. – BogarAs always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here. Recommended Link Does this describe you? We know there’s a small group of readers who are obsessed with learning more about trading. Maybe you’re a day-trader, or an active paper trader. But if you’re fascinated by all the secret relationships in the stock market, and interested in learning new ways to make money… this is for you. Click here for details. — Justin’s note: Today, we have an important essay from E.B. Tucker, editor of our brand-new Strategic Investor newsletter. Below, E.B. lays out his thesis for the last great bull market of our lifetimes… and what to expect going forward.As you’ll see, what worked for investors in the past is not going to work over the next few years… By E.B. Tucker, editor, Strategic InvestorRight now, we’re seeing a set of indicators we’ve never seen before. If someone told me about them 20 years ago, I would have struggled to picture them.In short, we’re on the cusp of a tremendous bull market.It’s nothing like what we saw in the 1960s or 1980s. Those bull markets rode on the back of economic growth. In both cases, you would have made more acceptable returns by simply buying the Dow Jones Industrial Average.The coming bull market looks entirely different. Most people will miss it because they’re used to making “easy money.”You see, investors dumped $692 billion into passive funds like the Vanguard 500 Index Fund last year. They blindly invested in stocks, and that worked quite well. Now, the average person believes buying the overall market index is his path to steady riches. He’s dead wrong. — The Next Giant Leap For Mankind? (Unbelievable) For 81 years, America’s had a secret weapon in the space race… a little-known NASA lab headquartered a thousand miles away from the Kennedy Space Center. Thanks to the same scientists that put man on the moon, you can get into the market’s biggest, fastest windfalls before they rocket up. Click here now to continue reading. Recommended Link Here’s why…The U.S. stock market is worth $29 trillion today. Twenty years ago, it was worth $12.9 trillion. That’s an increase of 124%.U.S. GDP looks similar. Twenty years ago, it was $8.9 trillion. Today, it’s $19.8 trillion—a 122% increase.And yet, there are half as many publicly listed companies in the U.S. today than there were 20 years ago. You can see what I mean below:You can see that the number of public companies used to grow in step with the economy. Americans would start businesses, build them up, and take them public when they needed access to more capital.Public companies also became the lifeblood of the wealth-building process for most investors. And for good reason. You see, there’s a gap between what people earn and what they need to retire. Capital gains from investments usually help close the gap.But it’s tough to get out and source private investment deals if you sit behind a desk all day. Even if you do, digging into the details takes time. You also need to make sure you avoid crooks and cheats. I know about these headaches because I’ve been involved in many private investments.Buying stocks is much easier. This is because public companies are required by law to publish detailed financials and operating information. Anyone can look at this.The problem is that the number of publicly traded companies in the U.S. is falling at an alarming rate. The good news is that we know why it’s happening. More importantly, we see a way to profit from it.last_img read more

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Ed note This story appeared earlier in a shorten

first_imgEd. note: This story appeared earlier in a shortened form.Ed. note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct name of the ACEs score. With the national opioid epidemic in the spotlight, two Winston-Salem filmmakers are focusing their lens on mothers. The film follows families and caregivers in Asheville facing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. NAS happens when babies are born exposed to substances.The documentary, which is still in the final stages of production, is directed by Dom Silva and Stan Wright, both students of Wake Forest University’s documentary film program.Stan Wright spoke with WFDD’s Eddie Garcia.Interview HighlightsOn what the film’s title, Original Body of Pain, means: On the perception of those facing addiction vs. day-to-day reality: Obviously with a film of this nature you can’t just go in blind and start asking people if they’re addicted to drugs, or if they have substance abuse issues, and if they’re pregnant. Our biggest advocates were the home nurses we were working with. These are the people that go into the home in the weeks and months after the baby’s born to make sure that they’re developing properly that the wean is going properly.And so when they would go on their home visits, they would approach the families and say, ‘Hey we have this project, it’s a compassionate take on women who have gone through substance exposures and addiction and have kids. Would you like to be a part of it?’ So we probably talked to 10, 12 women before we landed on the final three.center_img It’s a term that our main character actually refers to as having learned in treatment. The way she describes it is basically there’s this one inciting incident within a person who struggles with addiction’s life that leads them to further trauma, and she calls it an original body of pain…one of our main characters, her name is Joanna Christoph, she’s a home health nurse, she talks about this adverse childhood experiences score, and it’s a score that they use to determine a level of childhood trauma within a family.So a lot of questions are asked including: ‘Have you been abused physically or sexually? Has one of your parents died? Have you been raised without a parent? Has a parent been incarcerated? Has one of your family members struggled with alcoholism or drug abuse?’ And there’s this series of 10 questions that lead up to this ACEs score. And so it’s just a nice fitting kind of segue into this larger conversation about some of the underpinnings of addiction, as well as a reference to something our character says in the film. On gaining intimate access to the lives of the women in the film: A point of clarity, just for what we’re doing with our film, is that we’re working with recovering addicts. So these are people that were in treatment, were in counseling. These weren’t people who were actively shooting up and using. I think that’s important to say because it shows that there is hope, there is recovery for women who have gone through this. Even with children in the family.The day-to-day realities are so much more jovial. A lot of the story of us going in and shooting with these homes – and I think we’ve shot over 30 times with one of our characters Ashley and her three boys – is water balloon fights, and birthday parties, and graduations. And there’s a lot of happiness in the day-to-day that comes with the sobriety surrounding recovery, and the newfound ability for these women to really take in and appreciate what’s around them and their families.last_img read more

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The Trump administrations decision to abandon the

first_imgThe Trump administration’s decision to abandon the Affordable Care Act in an ongoing court challenge could affect some of the most popular pillars of the law — further intensifying the fight over health care in the middle of an election year.It is unusual for the Justice Department to refuse to defend existing law in court challenges. In this case, 20 states sued the federal government in February claiming the individual mandate is unconstitutional after Congress zeroed out the tax penalty for not having health insurance in its 2017 tax cut law. The lawsuit, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, contends that without an individual mandate, the entirety of the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional.If that argument prevails in the courts, it would render unconstitutional Obamacare provisions that ban insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions — arguably the most popular component of the 2010 health care law.As many as 130 million adults under age 65 in the U.S. have pre-existing conditions that could result in their not being able to get insurance coverage in the private market, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Kaiser Family Foundation puts the number at about a quarter of the country’s under-65 population. A Kaiser tracking poll in June 2017 showed 70 percent of adults want Congress to keep pre-existing condition protections.Before the Affordable Care Act became law, insurance companies routinely declined health insurance coverage to people who had ongoing medical conditions or recent illnesses. Even when insurers offered policies to those with health problems, they often excluded those illnesses. And insurance companies could cancel coverage for people who became ill once the policy year ended.The ACA made all those practices illegal. By withdrawing from defending the law in court, the Trump administration is saying it no longer supports those consumer protections, which are popular with voters. The move could upend insurance markets for next year and change the dynamic of this fall’s elections.”This suit comes as insurers are proposing individual market premiums for 2019. The lawsuit injects more uncertainty into what is already an uncertain environment for insurers. Insurers hate uncertainty, and they respond to it by hedging their bets and increasing premiums,” says Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.Nicholas Bagley, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School who had been a Justice Department lawyer, says DOJ’s move is troubling.”The Justice Department has a long-standing, durable, bipartisan commitment to defend acts of Congress. It’s a cornerstone of what they do,” he says. “For the Trump administration to crumple that up and throw it out the window is galling.”Just hours before the Justice Department officially withdrew from the case, three of the staff attorneys who had been working on it withdrew. “These are civil servants. They’re not political. They are good soldiers. Their job is to defend federal programs,” Bagley says, noting that he has not talked with any of them about the case. “They believed they could not in good conscience, consistent with their professional obligations, sign the brief. These are people who defend programs they disagree with all the time.”The Justice Department has opted not to defend existing law in the courts in other matters. For instance, in 2012 the Obama Justice Department said it would not defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which legally defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman for federal purposes.America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade association for health insurance companies, supports the pre-existing condition protections under the ACA. “Removing those provisions will result in renewed uncertainty in the individual market, create a patchwork of requirements in the states, cause rates to go even higher for older Americans and sicker patients, and make it challenging to introduce products and rates for 2019,” AHIP said in a statement.AHIP said it will file an amicus brief in support of the law that “provides more detail about the harm that would come to millions of Americans if the request to invalidate the ACA is granted in whole or in part.”On Capitol Hill, congressional Republicans’ reaction to the Trump administration’s decision was muted, with many lawmakers voicing skepticism that the courts would ultimately rule against a law already upheld by the Supreme Court.”We need to let that go forward and see if it goes anywhere,” said Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J. “I don’t know if that legal logic will fly or not.” MacArthur worked on legislation to continue pre-existing condition protections during the GOP’s unsuccessful effort to repeal Obamacare last year.While the ACA has been the target of a sharply divided and partisan debate for nearly a decade, pre-existing protections are one of the most popular actions Congress has taken in modern times. “I think that’s a pretty essential pact with the American people,” said MacArthur.Health care is already a dominant issue in this year’s elections, with voters regularly citing it as a leading determinant for how they will vote.”There is no doubt that Republicans are responsible for the rising cost of healthcare premiums and the high likelihood that many will no longer be able to afford basic care at all, and they will face serious blowback in the midterms,” the House Democrats’ campaign operation said in a statement. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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Apple CEO Tim Cook says hes optimistic about trad

first_imgApple CEO Tim Cook says he’s optimistic about trade talks between the U.S. and China. His remarks come as representatives from both countries are scheduled to meet later this week in Beijing.”Both sides are talking and I always think that is always the essential thing to reaching an agreement,” Cook told NPR on Monday. “… It’s in both parties’ best interests to come together.” Apple has much to lose if the talks don’t go well. China has been a key part of Apple’s growth. Analysts say close to 20 percent of the company’s business comes from China and Taiwan.A March 1 deadline looms over the talks. The Trump administration says if an agreement is not reached by then over issues such as intellectual property rights, it will increase tariffs on Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent.Much of Apple’s growth in China has come from the sales of its marque product — the iPhone. However, Apple had to revise its earnings forecast downward in the winter quarter, largely due to slower iPhone sales in China. Cook attributed slower sales in China in part to the devaluation of the yuan. “Because the local currency devalued over the course of the year,” he said, “our prices did go up there, more so than did in regions that are U.S. dollar denominated.” In response, Cook said, Apple has cut prices in China to be in accord with prices before the currency devaluation. “We’ll see how that works out for us,” he said. If the U.S. and China fail to reach an agreement by March 1, and the U.S. raises tariffs to 25 percent, analysts say, Chinese officials may retaliate and punish U.S. companies doing business there, further dampening Apple’s ability to compete in one of the world’s largest markets.Despite slowing iPhone sales, Apple is seeing growth in other areas, especially in services — which include Apple Pay and Apple Music. Apple reported services brought in a record $10 billion in the winter quarter.The company is also investing heavily in health care, rolling out features such as an electrocardiogram that helps detect heart problems using its Apple Watch.Over the last year, Apple has also been in the process of rolling out a service that stores medical records from a variety of hospitals and providers in one place. On Monday, it announced a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which will allow veterans using the VA’s health services to use the Health app on iPhones.Cook says the app provides veterans with the ability to view their allergy conditions, lab results and medications in one spot. “This is part of our overall effort to really empower the patient,” he said. “We can’t wait to serve … a population of folks that we really have great reverence for.”The app will allow a veteran to visit a doctor and be able to immediately share records without having to contact the offices of other clinicians and providers.Last March, Apple rolled out this service to other health care providers such as Stanford Medicine, NYU Langone Health and Johns Hopkins Medicine.A report by research firm CB Insights said “the market opportunity in healthcare is huge, and Apple sees healthcare and wellness as a core part of its app, services, and wearables strategies.” The report said global spending in health care exceeds $7 trillion a year, dwarfing the size of the smartphone market.Officials at the VA and leaders at other health care facilities say Apple’s strong emphasis on security and privacy is part of the reason they are partnering with the company on health records. Cook has been a vocal proponent of privacy, calling out companies like Facebook for using the personal data of its users to sell lucrative ads.While Cook may be optimistic about China-U.S. relations, Apple may need to look elsewhere if it wants to keep up the pace of growth it’s had for some 15 years. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

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Michel Yao says his job is a lot like being a dete

first_imgMichel Yao says his job is a lot like being a detective.Yao is leading the World Health Organization’s on-the-ground response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And as each new person falls sick, his team must race to figure out how the person got infected. So, Yao says, “we ask the person a series of questions.”First up: Were you in contact with any sick person who had some symptoms like bleeding or like fever? Perhaps a relative you were taking care of? No? OK, did you attend a funeral? (At traditional funerals, mourners often wash the body, another way many people are infected with Ebola.)No, again? Well, then, have you recently touched any dead animals?But some weeks ago, as cases started erupting around two towns, Katwa and Butembo, the investigators found that patient after patient had something else in common: They had all recently visited a health clinic for treatment for some other disease such as a respiratory infection or malaria. “They would say, ‘I went to the hospital. They treated me. I got clear [of that illness]. And then a few days after, I start having fevers.’ ” Fevers that were the first of signs of Ebola. The surge of confirmed cases in Katwa and Butembo – 307 and rising — is now the largest flare-up during the course of this outbreak, which has infected nearly 900 people since August. And WHO officials estimate that in about one-fifth of these recent cases, the person contracted Ebola at health care facilities.When Yao started visiting the clinics, it was pretty obvious how this was happening: Even government-run facilities such as large hospitals hadn’t set up triage tents to separate possible Ebola patients from everyone else.”This disease is not well-known in this part of the country. It is the first time,” Yao explains, even though Ebola has broken out in other parts of the DRC on multiple occasions. Even more problematic, says Yao, are the hundreds of unofficial private health facilities in this area. Some are large operations. In many other cases, says Yao, “it’s just a house — a very old house.”And often a crowded one at that. “In one bed putting two children.”These facilities are also often short on supplies. “You can see people using several times the same gloves or the same equipment,” including syringes, says Yao.Along with modern medicine, many facilities also offer traditional cures. (Indeed, health officials commonly refer to such facilities as “tradi-moderns.”) And this too creates opportunities for infection, says Yao. That’s because the traditional medicines are often diluted in water and put in a cup for the patient to drink. Then, he has noticed on his visits, the cup often isn’t cleaned before it’s passed on to the next patient.In response to all these findings, Congo’s government and the WHO are trying to reach out to every one of these health facilities in Katwa and Butembo. In conjunction with a range of nonprofit aid organizations, they are training the staff on infection control and providing them with necessary protective equipment.But it’s a daunting task. Just finding all the private clinics is difficult because there’s no official list, says Yao. Officials know about only the ones reported by Ebola patients.Dr. Cimanuka Germain of International Medical Corps, which is helping with the effort, says private clinics sometimes resist the help.For instance, when he told the staff of one clinic that they should report suspected Ebola cases to a hotline instead of treating them, their response was: “This is not possible for us.” That facility treats about 65 patients a day, says Germain. They didn’t want to lose business.Then there’s the facility where Germain spent days training nurses on how to set up and operate a triage tent. Two weeks ago he showed up for a surprise visit.”One of them was there without wearing gloves,” Germain says, sighing incredulously.For Germain the takeaway was clear: “To change someone’s behavior is not [a matter of] one day or two days — you need time.”He had been visiting weekly — but from that point on he assigned two people from his organization to keep watch at the clinic all day every day. And he has done the same thing for the 11 other facilities working with International Medical Corps. Officials are optimistic the watchdogging will work because of the success of similar efforts in a town called Beni — about 40 miles from Katwa. Last autumn, Beni was the epicenter of the outbreak, with the number of cases ultimately topping 200. But over the last three weeks, the caseload there has dropped to nearly zero.Yao, of the World Health Organization, says improving infection control in Beni’s health clinics played a big role in the change. Still, Yao notes, “it took us more than two months to reach these results.”Laurent Sabard, health coordinator with the International Committee of the Red Cross, which has been working with health facilities in Beni, says they can’t afford to let up anytime soon.”We have to continually follow up,” he says. If only to ensure they don’t run out of supplies. The thermometers given out by the Red Cross are a thermoflash type that lets you take someone’s temperature without touching the person, notes Sabard. “But they have to change the battery regularly — so we have to provide them with batteries regularly.”Adding to the difficulty is the insecurity of the area, where multiple armed groups frequently clash with government forces. Paul Lopodo of Save the Children — which has been working with 39 health centers in the outbreak zone — recalls how back in December the violence prevented the group from checking in with one public clinic for two weeks. By the time they returned, the staff was so out of practice, says Lopodo, that “we had to the run the training all over again.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

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6 Mobile Musts for Your Online Business

first_img January 20, 2010 The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Use these tips to prepare for the coming smartphone search revolution. Allen Moon According to a recent study by comScore, the number of people in the U.S. using multipurpose smartphones such as iPhones, Blackberries, and Droids more than doubled last year. Of those who used mobile devices to access news and information on the Internet, 22.5 million–or 35 percent of the total–did so on a daily basis.And this year, that number is expected to skyrocket even further as more companies–T-mobile, AT&T, Spring, Garmin, and even Google–gear up to release their own Android-supported mobile devices. In fact, experts predict that mobile Web usage will overtake PC usage in five years.The online tools people are using to find and share information with their mobile devices are changing, too. The comScore study shows that the number of people who used smartphones to access a social networking site or blog increased by 427 percent last year, more than any other category.So what does this mean for you?If you want to put your business in front of this exploding online population, then you need to know how they use their mobile devices to access and share information online. You need to know the community sites where they hang out, and understand how they communicate with one another if you want to engage them and build lasting relationships.Smartphone users are looking for genuine, trustworthy information–recommendations, reviews, rated answers to questions–and they’re already geniuses when it comes to filtering out and ignoring inauthentic voices.Here are five important things you need to do to ensure your business is primed to take advantage of the mobile media storm:1. Make sure your website is mobile-friendlyMobile users are impatient people. They want information and they want it now. You have to make sure your website delivers that information in a way that’s useful for them. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to create a quick mobile version of your website. If you use WordPress, there are plugins like this one that can help you create a mobile-friendly edition. Or you can use a paid converter such as MoFuse and MOBIFY to do the job.2. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile searchDid you know that both Google and Bing have separate indexes for mobile content? And right now, they return far fewer–and far more localized–results than regular search. So the sooner you get your site optimized to rank well in the search results, the sooner you can put your site in front of the hundreds of millions of mobile device users.3. Start a Facebook Fan page Because so many mobile device users are active on Facebook, the world’s top social networking site, it only makes sense to have a presence there. Encourage your customers and visitors to sign up as Facebook fans so you can use the networking site to keep in touch with them and share information about your business.4. Become involved in TwitterThe same logic applies here–Twitter is one of the fastest-growing properties on the Web because it’s so easy for people with smartphones to use for accessing and sharing information. If you start building relationships with your visitors and customers via Twitter now, you will be light years ahead of the competition when the smartphone explosion really hits its stride.5. Make sure you’re listed on Google Maps A huge and growing number of mobile users go to Google Maps first when searching for a local business. You can make sure your site conforms to Google’s quality guidelines here .6. Encourage customers to review your business on Yelp or FourSquare Yelp is a business review site that has active users in cities all over the world. More than 26 million people a month use Yelp to find information about more than twenty different categories of businesses. FourSquare is somewhat similar in nature. Its members use FourSquare to keep one another informed of their whereabouts. You can also write reviews and recommend places to fellow FourSquare members.You may think you’re not at the right place to start thinking about mobile marketing yet. But no matter where you are in your business building efforts, the time to start laying the foundation for an effective mobile marketing strategy is now. The mobile revolution is happening right now, and if online marketing has taught us anything, it’s that the way to be successful is to put your business where the customers are. And that means reaching them on their smartphones. Add to Queue Next Article 6 Mobile Musts for Your Online Businesscenter_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List 4 min read –shares Technology Apply Now »last_img read more

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FCC Chairman Hints at Support of Broadband Reclassification

first_img 3 min read Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business The top U.S. communications regulator on Wednesday endorsed the regulatory standard applied to telephone companies in remarks seen as the strongest indication yet that he planned to side with President Barack Obama on strict “net neutrality” rules.Comments by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas appeared to show he leaned toward regulating Internet service providers (ISPs) more strictly under Title II of the U.S. communications law, as Obama has suggested.The FCC has been working for nearly a year on new rules governing how ISPs manage Web traffic on their networks, and Wheeler said he will share his latest proposal with fellow commissioners on Feb. 5 and hold the vote on final regulations on Feb. 26.At stake is whether and how ISPs should be banned from blocking or slowing down websites and applications and from charging content companies for “prioritized” downloads.”We’re going to propose rules that say that no blocking (is allowed), no throttling, no paid prioritization,” Wheeler said.He said companies’ behavior should be measured against a yardstick of whether it is “just and reasonable,” referring to a standard often applied to public utility companies to make sure they do not hurt consumers or competition.The FCC last year received some 4 million comments after Wheeler’s original proposal left the door open to “commercially reasonable” discrimination.Obama in November gave net neutrality advocates a boost, calling for strictest rules possible and suggesting the FCC reclassify ISPs as more heavily regulated “telecommunications services,” instead of the current “information services.”Net neutrality advocates welcomed Wheeler’s new plan. “All afternoon in fact I’ve received emails and calls from entrepreneurs across the country encouraged by the chairman’s remarks, willing to work with him,” said Marvin Ammori, a lawyer who represents technology companies.ISPs say they do not object to parts of Obama’s plan but staunchly oppose reclassification, which they say will present a regulatory burden and impede investments and innovation. They are expected to mount a court challenge, and Republicans are expected to counter new rules with legislation.”The implications of the just and reasonable standard will be years of litigation just as we’ve seen since 1934, when those words were written by Congress for the Ma Bell monopoly,” said former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, a Republican.(Editing by Andre Grenon and Cynthia Osterman) Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Net Neutrality –shares January 8, 2015 Next Article Reuters Register Now » Add to Queue This story originally appeared on Reuters FCC Chairman Hints at Support of Broadband Reclassificationlast_img read more

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How to Prevent Presidential Debates From Becoming Disruptive Workplace Debates

first_img Add to Queue How to Prevent Presidential Debates From Becoming Disruptive Workplace Debates Politics Next Article Guest Writer September 26, 2016 5 min read Jonathan Segal We just saw the first Presidential debate. No matter what your view, I think we all can agree it was contentious. The feelings of the campaign in general, and the debates in particular, will undeniably leak into workplaces. What do you do? Or better yet, what don’t you do?To help guide you, here are eight questions and answers to help handle political workplace discussions.1. Don’t employees have a First Amendment right to say what they want politically?No. The First Amendment applies only to restrictions imposed by the government. Private sector employees have no First Amendment rights in the workplace. If you are an entrepreneur, you can prohibit employees from talking politics without worrying about the First Amendment.There is one exception — keep in mind some state constitutions, such as California, apply (or may apply) to private sector employees. So a ban in California, for example, is asking for trouble.Related: Speak Your Mind, But Know Your Facts2. Do employees have any rights to express their political views in the workplace, independent of any constitutional right?Yes, employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) probably would have the right to share their views, including wearing buttons, if the political statement relates to the terms and conditions of employment.Let me give you two examples — Vote for Clinton so there is more generous paid parental leave or vote for Trump so that religious rights in the workplace are respected. Keep in mind that supervisors and managers, as defined by the NLRA, are not protected by the NLRA.3. Can employers discriminate based on message? That is, favor one political view over another?This may come as a surprise to many but, unlike race, sex or religion, one’s political affiliation is not a protected group under federal law and almost all state laws. There are exceptions, such as in the District of Columbia and under a few other local ordinances.But just because something may be lawful does not make it right. It would be foolish, even if not illegal, to discriminate based on political view point. Do you really want to alienate a large percentage of your employees and customers?Related: Who do You Support for President? Then You’re Fired.4. What if what is said in the workplace is discriminatory?What if someone makes a statement hostile to Mexicans or disparages Evangelical Christians? Employers have more than a right to respond to discriminatory messages in the workplace. They have a legal obligation to do so. Employers can brook bias of no kind — that includes during this election season.5. Aren’t we better off just banning all political speech, to the extent we can, to avoid disruptions?No. It’s simply not practical. And, it will get even less so as we approach the election. It also is not desirable. Ban political talk and political opponents will agree on one thing — you, as the employer, have gone too far.6. Aren’t there reasonable restrictions that you can and/or should impose to minimize disruption and/or risk antagonizing customers?Yes, you probably could have a rule that anyone who interacts with the public not wear a political button or otherwise convey a political message of any kind. I say “probably” and not “absolutely” because the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that interprets the NLRA continues to limit what employer can do. But entrepreneurs need to balance the potential legal risk against the business risk of doing nothing.7. But what if there are disruptions in the workplace?Some disruptions are inevitable. You absolutely can respond to the disruptions. You are not paying employees to be as dysfunctional as Congress. But focus on the disruption as opposed to the content of the disruption — unless what is said is discriminatory. There should be both the reality and the appearance of being even handed.Related: Resilient Small Businesses Will Do Fine Whoever Is President Next8. Can you as a leader express your own views?Yes, there is no question that you can share your views. The question is, how and when? Remember, your power is based on your influence, and your influence may be tarnished if you do not temper your political views.Better to support a candidate than bash the other side. And, at all costs, avoid the “I don’t know how anyone could vote for [fill in the blank].” You are effectively calling those who disagree with you idiots. Not exactly the key to engagement.This article is not legal advice, should not be construed as applying to specific factual situations or as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Image credit: julief514 | Getty Images Partner in Employment Practice Group of Duane Morris The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. With some guidelines in place, there’s nothing wrong with healthy political conversations. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List –shares Apply Now »last_img read more

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Corolla Toyotas Car for the Masses Turns 50

first_imgToyota Next Article Here are some milestones along the way of Toyota Corolla’s success and where it stands today. 3 min read Corolla, Toyota’s Car for the Masses, Turns 50 November 7, 2016 The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Image credit: Toyota Motor Corporation | Handout via Reuters This story originally appeared on Reuters Add to Queue Reuters 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List This past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the Toyota Corolla, one of the world’s best-selling cars.Since the first model went on sale in Japan on Nov. 5, 1966, some 44.3 million Corollas have been sold globally through the end of September, including the Corolla Fielder station wagon and other variants, the Japanese automaker says.Here are some milestones along the way and where it stands today.Car for the massesToyota Motor Corp’s first generation model of Corolla car is seen in this undated handout image and released by Toyota Motor Corporation.Image credit: Toyota Motor Corporation/Handout via ReutersIn the late 1950s, as Japan’s economy recovered from World War II, automakers aimed to produce an affordable car for the average family, most of whom didn’t have a vehicle.Toyota Motor Corp. first came out with the Publica, which wasn’t very well received. In 1966, it introduced the sportier two-door Corolla with a jaw-dropping plan: to build 30,000 of them a month at a time when Toyota’s total monthly production was 50,000 vehicles.The car sold well as Japanese consumers aspired to get the “3 C’s” — color TVs, cars and coolers (air conditioners). Three years after the launch, the Corolla became the country’s top-selling car and helped usher in an age of motorization in Japan.”Better than average”Toyota Motor Corp’s third generation model of Corolla car is seen in this undated handout image and released by Toyota Motor Corporation.Image credit: Toyota Motor Corporation/Handout via ReutersThe man in charge of developing the original Corolla, Tatsuo Hasegawa, had designed aircraft during the war, and incorporated some aircraft aerodynamics into the new car.His concept for the Corolla was “80-plus-points” — in short, a car with a more-than-passing grade on several counts that gave customers the feel of a better-than-average product.For the first-generation Corolla, the going-the-extra-mile “add-on” was its sportiness, despite being a family car. Hasegawa gave the car a 4-speed manual transmission operated by a gearshift on the floor, instead of the more typical 3-speed, column shifter at the time.The Corolla also had a 1,100cc engine, a bit larger than that of its rival, the Nissan Sunny.Toyota has stuck to its tradition of introducing new technologies to the masses with each remodeling of the Corolla. Now in its 11th generation in Japan, the car is made in 13 countries around the world and sold in more than 150 countries.No longer kingToyota Motor Corp’s 11th generation model of Corolla car is seen in this undated handout image and released by Toyota Motor Corporation.Image credit: Toyota Motor Corporation/Handout via ReutersAfter 33 straight years as Japan’s top-selling model, the Corolla lost the crown in Japan to rival Honda Motor’s Fit hatchback in 2002.It is now also outsold by the Toyota Aqua and Prius hybrid-only models as domestic customers opt for more fuel-efficient cars.The outlook at home is bleak, with the overall car market due to shrink further along with the population. Domestic sales of the Corolla are now about a quarter of their peak of around 400,000 in 1973. But the Corolla is still a cash cow in the United States, where it is the number-two best-selling passenger car model so far this year, behind only the Toyota Camry.(Reporting and writing by Malcolm Foster and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore) –shares Apply Now »last_img read more

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Tata Elxsi is a Certified Widevine Partner Selected as the System Integrator

first_img Android TV deploymentsCertified Widevine ImplementationMarketing TechnologyNewsTata Elxsivideo broadcastWidevine CAS solution Previous ArticleShuttlerock Expands European Presence to ParisNext ArticleWaze and Arrive Unveil Enhanced Trip Planner for Stadiums and Venues Tata Elxsi, a Certified Widevine Implementation Partner (CWIP), is pleased to announce the availability of Widevine CAS solution on the [Tata-Elxsi-branded] platform.With over 25 years of design and engineering experience in video broadcast specialization and OTT service delivery, Tata Elxsi has expanded product offerings to include Google Widevine CAS solutions in cloud and on premise solutions. These services include Widevine CAS integration and validation for Android TV deployments.The key to successful content monetization is content protection. Delivering premium content to consumer devices in a simple, secure and cost-effective manner can be challenging. Google Widevine CAS empowers Pay TV broadcast operators offering next-generation video experiences with a free-to-use CAS ecosystem, thus enabling simultaneous hybrid content delivery.Marketing Technology News: Box Maintains Aggressive Revenue Growth in Q1; Reveals Loyal Customers Continue to Drive Sales“Google Widevine is delighted to select Tata Elxsi as a Certified Widevine Implementation Partner. Tata Elxsi’s strong ecosystem in the PayTV Broadcast and OTT markets will help to widen the adoption of our Widevine CAS solutions by customers. Effective and timely implementation will secure distribution and protect content playback on any consumer device, thus ensuring continuous revenue generation for operators,” said Brian Baker, Senior Director and the Head of Widevine at Google.Google Widevine enables secure premium content protection utilizing free-to-use, standards-based solutions for OTT and CAS services. Google Widevine supports the largest number of devices on the broadest number of chipsets and is currently available on 5 billion mobile, desktop, set-top box and living room devicesMarketing Technology News: With 87% Surge in Customer Bookings, Episerver Promotes Internally for CMOGoogle Widevine is trusted by service providers and broadcasters who deliver premium content over an OTT network such as Netflix, HBO, Disney, Amazon Prime, Warner Bros, Hulu, DIRECTV and devices Intel, Samsung, Sony, Roku, LG, Qualcomm to name few.Marketing Technology News: US Podcast Ad Revenues Hit Historic $479 Million in 2018, an Increase of 53% over Prior Year, According to IAB & PwC Research Tata Elxsi is a Certified Widevine Partner, Selected as the System Integrator for Google Widevine CAS solutions PRNewswireJune 7, 2019, 4:03 pmJune 7, 2019 last_img read more

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Engineer to develop drugfilled hydrogel to repair the damaged heart

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 28 2019After a heart attack, the cells in the heart muscle cannot get enough nutrients and oxygen to survive, so they die. A structural support network in the heart’s wall can help those cells regenerate, however, two enzymes that break down the network are naturally increased after a heart attack, leaving the heart in a fight for its life.Jianjun Guan, an engineer at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, is developing a new material that would deliver drugs directly to the damaged part of the heart to preserve the support network, or extracellular matrix, while blocking the two enzymes. He will conduct the research with a four-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.”When these enzymes are upregulated, they degrade the extracellular matrix, then the heart muscle becomes thinner,” said Guan, professor of mechanical engineering & materials science. “The heart function decreases because the muscle is thinner, so the muscle cannot pump as much blood as before. We want to save the extracellular matrix and decrease the bioactivity of these enzymes.”Guan plans to deliver the drugs directly to the damaged heart tissue through a specially developed hydrogel, similar in consistency to Jell-O gelatin dessert. The gel would be given shortly after a heart attack and slowly release the drugs until dissolved, which would take about four weeks.One of the drugs his hydrogel will deliver prompts the creation of blood vessels in the dead tissue so that it can regenerate. The other is a peptide that will stop the activity of enzymes, called matrix metalloproteinase-2 and 9, that break down the extracellular matrix.Because this method delivers drugs directly to the damaged part of the heart via injection, it would eliminate certain side effects and prevent cardiac fibrosis, caused by increased accumulation of extracellular matrix that impacts the function of the heart.Related StoriesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patients”We want to make sure we are working on projects to control the scar formation, because after a heart attack, there is scar tissue, and that tissue becomes bigger over time,” Guan said. “Scarring is too stiff, and a muscle is soft. The stiff material will gradually damage the healthy soft tissue.”Current efforts to deliver the enzyme-blocking drugs have been inconsistent in clinical trials, Guan said.”The drugs are given in a pill, and very little makes it to the heart,” Guan said.Based on their preliminary work, Guan and his team expect that injecting these drugs directly into the heart will reduce the degradation of the cardiac extracellular matrix, introduce new blood vessels in the heart and prevent cardiac fibrosis, all leading to improved cardiac function.”This project is innovative because it creates translational drug delivery systems,” Guan said. “It is relatively simple, inexpensive and multifunctional.”The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 96.5 tenured/tenure-track and 33 additional full-time faculty, 1,361 undergraduate students, 1,291 graduate students and 21,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century. Source:https://source.wustl.edu/2019/02/engineer-to-develop-a-drug-filled-gel-to-repair-heart-after-heart-attack/last_img read more

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Volkswagen sees good start to 2018 despite slip in profits

© 2018 AFP Citation: Volkswagen sees ‘good start’ to 2018 despite slip in profits (2018, April 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-volkswagen-good-profits.html German car giant Volkswagen on Thursday reported a small drop in profits but nonetheless said strong sales got the year off to “a good start”, as new CEO Herbert Diess pushes on with a post-dieselgate revamp of the behemoth. Volkswagen makes 15-bn-euro bet on electric cars in China Explore further Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has vowed to steer the company out of the Dieselgate cloud and continue its pivot towards the greener, cleaner cars of the future VW said it booked a net profit of 3.22 billion euros ($3.9 billion) between January and March, down nearly three percent on the same period a year earlier and slightly below analyst expectations.Underlying or operating profit slipped by 3.6 percent to 4.2 billion euros, the firm said, blaming the drop mainly on accounting changes and negative currency effects.Revenues hit 58.2 billion euros, up 3.6 percent year-on-year, as the VW group with its stable of 12 brands delivered a record 2.7 million vehicles in the first quarter.In a statement, the Wolfsburg-based company said the year was “off to a good start”.Demand for VW vehicles—which also includes luxury Audi and Porsche and the more affordable Skoda and Seat makes—was driven by the Asia-Pacific region, led by China’s strong appetite for SUVs.”Once again, the growth driver was the Chinese passenger car market,” VW said.The picture in western Europe was more mixed, with sales slowing in Italy and Britain, while dealerships in Germany were boosted by the robust economy and the popularity of a trade-in scheme for older diesel engines.The first-quarter results are the first to be announced since VW brand chief Diess unexpectedly replaced Matthias Mueller as chief executive earlier this month, as the group seeks to draw a line under the diesel emissions rigging scandal.Mueller was himself brought in to rescue VW after the company admitted in 2015 to installing cheating software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide to dupe pollution tests.While Mueller managed to bring VW’s share price and profits back up to pre-crisis levels, he himself landed in prosecutors’ sights and the company remains mired in a sea of legal woes at home and abroad.Diess has vowed to steer the car titan out of the dieselgate cloud and continue VW’s pivot towards the greener, cleaner cars of the future.Much of the focus will be on China, where VW this week pledged investments of 15 billion euros in electric and autonomous vehicles by 2022, in cooperation with local joint-venture partners.”The quarterly results confirm we are on the right path,” Diess said. “It is now a matter of pursuing this course in a strong and focused manner.”Looking ahead, the group confirmed that it expects to increase revenue by “as much as 5.0 percent” compared with the previous year.It will also target an operating profit margin before special items of between 6.5 and 7.5 percent, compared with 7.4 percent last year.The group said the main challenges this year were likely to come from economic headwinds, stronger competition and the continued fallout from the diesel scandal, including tough new EU emissions rules. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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A Star Trekinspired handheld device for sophisticated medical diagnostics

first_img Credit: University of Glasgow 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. In a new paper published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, researchers from the University of Glasgow describe the latest development in their ‘multicorder’ project, inspired by Star Trek’s famous tricorder device, which the show’s medics use to make quick and accurate diagnoses.Their new device which pairs a handheld sensor with a smartphone app to measure the levels of various metabolites in fluid samples from patients.Metabolites are small molecules found in fluids from the human body. By measuring and monitoring their relative abundance, scientists can keep track of general heath or the progression of specific diseases.The ability to rapidly detect and quantify multiple metabolite biomarkers simultaneously makes this device particularly useful in cases of heart attack, cancer and stroke, where rapid diagnosis is vital for effective treatment.While metabolites can currently be measured by existing processes such as nuclear magnetic resonance and hyphenated mass spectrometry techniques, both approaches are expensive and require bulky equipment which can be slow to offer diagnostic results. A Star Trek-inspired handheld device based on a silicon chip could help make rapid, sophisticated medical diagnostics more accessible to people around the world, scientists say. New sensors open door to wearable medical diagnostic device Professor David Cumming, Principal Investigator of the project from University’s School of Engineering said: “Handheld, inexpensive diagnostic devices capable of accurately measuring metabolites open up a wide range of applications for medicine, and with this latest development we’ve taken an important step closer to bringing such a device to market.””It’s an exciting breakthrough and we’re keen to continue building on the technology we’ve developed so far.”Professor Mike Barrett of the University’s School of Life Sciences, co-investigator of the project, said: “This new handheld device offers democratisation of metabolomics, which is otherwise confined within the laboratory, and offers low cost alternative to study complex pathways in different diseases.” The paper, titled “An integrated portable system for single chip simultaneous measurement of multiple disease associated metabolites,” is published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics. Explore furthercenter_img Provided by University of Glasgow Credit: University of Glasgow Citation: A Star Trek-inspired handheld device for sophisticated medical diagnostics (2018, September 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-star-trek-inspired-handheld-device-sophisticated.html Journal information: Biosensors and Bioelectronics The researchers’ new device is built around a new form of complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chip. CMOS chips are inexpensive to produce and are often used in imaging devices.The chip is smaller than a fingertip and is divided into multiple reaction zones to detect and quantify four metabolites simultaneously from body fluid such as serum or urine. The device can be operated via any Android-based tablet or smartphone which provides data acquisition, computation, visualisation and power.Dr. Samadhan Patil of the University of Glasgow’s School of Engineering is lead author on the paper. Dr. Patil said: “We have been able to detect and measure multiple metabolites associated with myocardial infarction, or heart attack, and prostate cancer simultaneously using this device. This device has potential to track progression of the disease in its early phase and is ideally suited for the subsequent prognosis.”last_img read more

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Apple says iPhone XR is bestselling iPhone as it promotes RED model

first_img Apple announces (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models to help combat AIDS Citation: Apple says iPhone XR is ‘best-selling’ iPhone, as it promotes RED model to help fight AIDS (2018, November 30) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-apple-iphone-xr-best-selling-red.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. (c)2018 USA TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. The iPhone XR has been the “best-selling iPhone each and every day since it became available for sale” on Oct. 26, Apple vice president of product marketing Greg Joswiak said Wednesday. Explore further That means, when you compare the first month of sales, the $749 (on up) iPhone XR has outsold all other iPhones. That includes the pricier XS ($999 on up) and XS Max ($1,099) models that reached consumers a little more than a month earlier, as well as prior models still in the lineup, including the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.That said, it’s only been about a month, so how sales hold up throughout the year remains to be seen. (Not that Apple is likely to break with its practice and reveal specific sales numbers.) By way of comparison, though, last year’s most expensive iPhone, the X model that was the first to crack $1,000, became the best-selling iPhone overall after its release.Joswiak spoke to USA TODAY ahead of World AIDS Day on Saturday, to promote the (PRODUCT)RED version of the iPhone XR, which was released at the same time as the XR models in other colors. This was the first time the RED version was available at the launch of a new iPhone and beforeWorld AIDS Day.While the phone is the same as other iPhone XR models—what’s inside and how much it costs—the red version is different because Apple donates a portion of sales to the Global Fund’s HIV/AIDS grants to provide testing, counseling, treatment and prevention programs, with a specific focus on eliminating transmission of the virus from mothers to their babies.From Dec. 1 to Dec. 7, Apple says it will donate $1 to the charity for every purchase—from an iPhone to a Lightning cable—that’s made with Apple Pay in an Apple Store, at apple.com or using the App Store app on your phone.Apple has been teaming with the RED charity for 12 years and has raised more than $200 million, Joswiak said, through the sale of RED products including a special Apple Watch sport band, cases for iPhones and iPads, and Beats headphones and speakers.last_img read more

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