19 Aug

Toronto agents charged with operating without registration

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Friday, November 3, 2017 Share Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — Two Toronto-based travel agents have been charged with operating as an agent without registration and will appear in court later this month.According to TICO, Emmanuel Adjei was charged with seven counts of operating as a travel agent without registration, contrary to section 4(1)(a) of the Travel Industry Act, 2002. In a similar case, Dominic Daly was charged with three counts of operating as a travel agent without registration.The first court appearances in both cases are scheduled for Nov. 16 at the Ontario Court of Justice, Provincial Offences Court. Tags: TICO Toronto agents charged with operating without registrationlast_img read more

19 Aug

Avalon announces free air savings on select river cruises

first_img Wednesday, July 18, 2018 Tags: Avalon Waterways, Deals, Europe << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Savings abound this fall season with Avalon Waterways, but only if clients book by July 24.The cruise line has announced a host of savings on a select number of European river cruises departing between September and December 2018.The offer includes free scheduled air on flights from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, while clients from other gateways receive a special $299 fare.Moreover, clients will enjoy a $1,200 savings per couple off the regular price of these cruises if booked by July 24.Select cruises range from eight to 21 days on the Danube, Rhine and Moselle rivers, and some include land extensions to London.For more information go to agentlingo.ca. Sharecenter_img Posted by Avalon announces free air & savings on select river cruises Travelweek Group last_img read more

10 Aug

January 27 2014Last Thursday January 23 the Co

first_imgJanuary 27, 2014Last Thursday, January 23., the Cosanti Foundation Executive Committee held its second Strategic Planning Retreat in a conference room at the nearby Orme School, with ALT, the Arcosanti Leadership Team and some of the department managers and staff. 
Attending were Mary Hoadley, Cosanti Foundation director and treasurer;Roger Tomalty, Cosanti Foundation director, and director of Cosanti Originals and Soleri Scupture Studio; Cosanti Foundation director, and director of the Soleri Archives, as well as director of Design, Tomiaki Tamura; Cosanti Foundation President Jeff Stein; Utilities manager Scott Riley;Ron Chandler, manager of Grounds keeping and Welding; Maintenance manager Randall Schultz; Andy Chao, Foundry manager; David Tollas, Foundry and maintenance staff; Nadia Begin, Ceramics studio staff; Kip Hersted, Maintenance and Tourism; Kate Bememsderfer, PR and Development; Travis Shappell, Planning coordinator; Ali Sadiqui, Cafe manager; Danny Derosiers, Cafe staff; Jane Tellini, Ceramics Studio manager; Travis Neal, AIS Network and Phone services;  and taking the photo was Hanne Sue Kirsch, manager of the Soleri Archives.last_img read more

7 Aug

Tomasz Zuranski Polish cable operator Vectra has a

first_imgTomasz ZuranskiPolish cable operator Vectra has abandoned its attempt to secure a one third stake in alternative telco Netia.Vectra launched a tender for a 33% stake in Netia for about PLN609 million (€146 million) at the beginning of July and subsequently upped its offer from PLN5.31 a share to PLN5.41 a share and extended the deadline for acceptance.The company has now withdrawn the bid after failing to reach the minimum threshold of acceptances.Vectra CEO Tomasz Żurański had said the bid for Netia shares was a financial investment opportunity rather than part of a plan to combine the two companies operationally.last_img read more

7 Aug

The UKs Royal Television Society RTS has named

first_imgThe UK’s Royal Television Society (RTS) has named the winners of its 2016 undergraduate bursaries scheme, designed to widen participation in media and related industries and support talented students from lower income backgrounds seeking to pursue a career in television.This year’s scheme offers 20 bursaries for TV production and broadcast journalism students and seven bursaries for computing and engineering undergraduates.Broadcast journalist and TV production bursary winners include Katie Brown; Peter Chapman; Jamie Davidson; Leeford Dean; Aaron Dimes; Shona Fegan; Amber Fisher; Emily Friend; Natasha Graham; Alexander Greensmith; Lee Hodgetts; Lauren Jones; Colin MacRae; Alicia Newing; Lydia Noakes; Timothy Payne; Charlie Schultz; Hannah Spary; Alysha Takoushian and Mark Tran.Computijng and engineering bursary winners include Ertug Aytug; Keoni D’Souza; Danial Farooq; Embla Hocking; Oliver Hope; James Mailey and Yasmin Voong.During their studies, each recipient will be given £1,000 a year to help with expenses and living costs. In addition, each beneficiary will receive free membership of the RTS and The Hospital Club – a private members club for those in the creative industries – while studying, and one year’s free membership of the RTS after they graduate. In their final year of study, the RTS will also aim to set up mentoring opportunities with one of its industry members.“The RTS is committed to supporting UK undergraduates seeking to work in television and its related fields. Since its launch in 2014 we have provided vital support to 45 talented individuals – offering not only the bursary itself but also mentoring and access to contacts within the broadcasting industry,” said RTS CEO Theresa Wise.“2016 sees us continue this work. The response to our two schemes has been fantastic and it’s hugely exciting to see such a high number of people seeking to work in the TV industry. The calibre of applicants has been outstanding and those applying have demonstrated real ambition and commitment to learning. Due to this we have decided to award two additional bursaries to Computing and Engineering undergraduates bringing the total number of recipients this year to 27. We look forward to following their future career progress and achievements.”last_img read more

4 Aug

Not surprisingly the gold stocks opened down a bi

first_img Not surprisingly, the gold stocks opened down a bit, and then didn’t do much until noon EST.  Then a seller showed up for the rest of the day in what appeared to be a deliberate event, as the selling was relentless for the rest of the day, with the gold stocks closing right on their lows.  The HUI finished down a whopping 3.81%–giving back almost all of Tuesday’s big gain. The dollar index closed late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 79.98–and then chopped a hair lower during the Wednesday trading session, finishing the day at 79.87–which was down 11 basis points on the day.  Nothing to see here. Platinum and palladium didn’t do much, either.  Here are the charts. Except for the fact that silver’s high tick came shortly before the equity markets opened in New York yesterday, the silver price chart was a carbon copy of the gold price chart.  The silver price traded in a 25 cent price range for the entire day. The low and high, such as they were, were reported by the CME as $20.245 and $20.44 in the March contract. Silver closed at $20.30 spot, down 13 cents from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was fairly decent at 34,000 contracts. It was virtually the same in the silver equities.  Even though silver was only down about half a percent, the stocks got bludgeoned in the same manner as the gold shares.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 3.28%. Sponsor Advertisement What this portends for price action in New York today is not known, but nothing will surprise me when I check in after I roll out of bed later this morning.  However, it’s obvious that JPMorgan et al are still at it. See you tomorrow. Far East trading was comatose from a price perspective on their Thursday, and volumes were extremely light in both metals.  And not much is happening now that London has been open about 15 minutes as I write this paragraph.  The dollar index is chopping sideways just under 80.00 mark. And as I prepare to send today’s efforts down to Stowe, Vermont—I note that a not-for-profit seller put in an appearance just before 9:30 a.m. GMT in London.  Both platinum and palladium are down a hair, but the real selling pressure, as usual, is in both silver and gold.  Gold is down about fifteen bucks from its high at the London open, and silver is down almost 45 cents.  Needless to say, volumes have really blown out, as they are well over double what they were before this bout of selling began.  The dollar index is up a handful of basis points, but not over the 80 cent mark as of 5:15 a.m. EST. Here’s the Kitco silver chart as of 5:17 a.m. EST. This is the second time in the last two weeks that a big 1-day gain in precious metal stocks had almost vanished by the end of the following trading day.   Note the “Latest Month” insert on Nick’s chart just above.  None of this activity looked like natural market forces to me–but what is these days. The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 44 gold and 23 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Friday.  Of the 44 gold contracts issued, JPMorgan stopped 43 of them, all in their in-house [proprietary] trading account.  In silver they stopped 16 contracts in their proprietary trading account.  The beat goes on despite the new Volcker rule, and the link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. There was another withdrawal from GLD yesterday.  This time an authorized participant took out 67,524 troy ounces.  And as of 10:27 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. Over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank for the week ending on Friday, December 6–they reported a decline of 39,612 troy ounces in their gold ETF, but a tiny increase of 5,691 troy ounces in their silver ETF. There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday, they reported receiving 64,300 troy ounces of gold—precisely two metric tonnes to the ounce, so it was probably all in kilobar form once again.  That gold went into JPMorgan’s vault.  There were 22,745 troy ounces shipped out, and all of that came from Scotia Mocatta.  The link to that activity is here. There was more volume activity in silver, of course.  These same depositories reported receiving 479,614 troy ounces, and shipped out 202,762 troy ounces.  The link to that action is here. I have the usual number of stories for a mid-week column, and I hope you find a few in here that you find worthy of your attention. This is a very unusual set up, bullish almost beyond description and not one that I can recall seeing previously. There are many tens of thousands of technical fund short positions open in Comex silver and gold that are close to turning into a very large loss. Importantly, the 50-day and 200-day moving averages are only slightly higher than the loss demarcation point. My strong sense is that the technical fund shorts are trapped–and in a short time that will become obvious in the price. It’s also important to remember that the technical funds have chosen to establish record short positions with gold and silver prices close to or below the marginal cost of production. This highlights the precarious nature of the tech fund short positions. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 11 December 2013 I must admit that I was expecting somewhat more price action than we got during the Wednesday trading session, and I’m at a bit of a loss to explain the big sell-off in the precious metal equities, because they were out of all proportion to the price declines in both gold and silver. There isn’t much I can add to what I said at the top of th is column.  We’re still all set up to blast off, if that is the will of JPMorgan et al—plus we get the Commitment of Traders Report tomorrow afternoon. But since Ted mentioned the 50 and 200-day moving averages in both gold and silver in the quote above, I thought maybe I should post the six-month charts on both metals so you can see them for yourself—and here they are. We’re still all set up to blast off, if that is the will of JPMorgan et al The gold price did very little on Wednesday, trading in a tight ten dollar price range for the entire day, and the highs and lows aren’t worth mentioning.  The high, such as it was, came at the London p.m. gold fix, and from there sold off gently into the close. Gold closed the Wednesday session in New York at $1,252.30 spot, which was down $9.70 on the day.  Net volume was on the lighter side at 126,000 contracts. Doug Casey’s New Book: Right on the Money Just released, Doug Casey’s new book, Right on the Money is about profiting in an upside-down economy. This follow-up to Totally Incorrect (the second in a series of “Conversations With Casey” books) includes several conversations between Doug Casey and Louis James that weren’t distributed in our former column by that name. In the book, Doug and Louis delve into the specifics of how to apply his contrarian philosophy to making money. To read quotes from the book and learn more, click here.last_img read more

4 Aug

Yesterday I talked about the purpose of art If y

first_imgYesterday, I talked about the purpose of art. If you missed it, you can catch up here.Now, we’ll talk about how to buy it without losing your shirt.Art is one of life’s most subjective pleasures. “Good” art is something you enjoy looking at. “Great” art is something you’d like to hang on your own wall and see every day.On top of being expensive, the art world is confusing. Take, for instance, the $450 million paid for Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi in 2017.A New York art dealer paid $10,000 for the painting in 2005 at an estate sale. He had it repaired and authenticated, and then he sold it for around $75 million in a Sotheby’s private sale in 2013. The buyer flipped it to a Russian billionaire for $127.5 million six months later. Rumor has it the $450 million buyer acted on behalf of Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman.There is no quantifiable reason Salvator Mundi sold for $450 million. That’s just what the buyer decided he’d pay. Therefore, that’s the price. Rumors now swirling allege da Vinci didn’t actually complete the picture himself. If true, it could be worth very little.Then there’s the dream of buying a nice painting from a starving artist who later becomes the next Andy Warhol.Warhol himself was once a starving artist. I know because a grandfather of a close friend of mine gave Andy kitchen appliances in exchange for a bunch of his paintings. He held on to those paintings and others because he liked them. When he died, he left his hoard to a fine art museum along with a large donation sufficient to construct a wing now housing them.The odds of finding the next Warhol are close to zero. They’re worse than picking the next junior gold stock that will make a blockbuster discovery. Essentially, forget about it.How I Bought Art ProfitablyTake a look at the piece below. It’s called Triangular Yellows by Richard Anuszkiewicz. I picked it up from the framing shop recently. Richard Anuszkiewicz, Triangular YellowsI like this piece because it’s mathematical. When you look at the arms and base of the triangle closely, they appear curved, almost tubular. If you zoom in, you’ll have to excuse the glare from the gallery lights reflecting off the glass.Anuszkiewicz made the two-dimensional piece appear three-dimensional by narrowing the distance between the soft blue lines running down the triangle’s arms and base. This piece is not a painting. It’s six colored lithographic prints carefully assembled on top of each other.I almost bought this last year, but I hesitated. When I saw it this year, the price was 12.5% higher. I bought it anyway because I like looking at it.Anuszkiewicz produced 40 prints of the piece I bought. He personally signed and numbered each of them. There’s also a small watermark imprint from the studio where I bought it. If I want to sell it, they’d prefer I let them do it. I have four pieces from this studio, and I could sell any of them fairly quickly if I needed to.I Got Some Advice Along the WayA few years ago, a friend introduced me to an older couple in town. She told the couple I was interested in art and thought we should meet. They’re in their 80s. Out of respect, it’s better I not mention them by name.They invited me to their home one afternoon. It’s a winding ranch-style house with a 180-degree westward view of the bay. They see the sun set on the water 365 days a year.Every room in the house had beautiful art covering the walls, even the bathrooms. Some pieces I recognized. Many I didn’t. They even had a storage closet filled with unframed pieces. I quickly realized this was a hobby, a passion, and an investment.My host began to tell me that his wife found art when their four kids moved out. Like many housewives, she struggled with the abrupt change that comes after two decades of purpose vanishes overnight. He encouraged her to find a hobby. She found art.She stumbled on a burgeoning program at the local college. It built an over-equipped art studio on campus. It then lured up-and-coming professional artists into spending one month of residency on-site creating anything they wanted to. The only catch was they’d have to leave behind a signed, numbered series of their best piece.The college’s studio director then went to the local community looking for donations. He promised key donors they’d get the right to buy signed, numbered, limited edition prints several times per year in exchange for supporting his radical workshop. He called it Graphicstudio.That was in the 1960s. Over the ensuing years, artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Alex Katz, Jim Dine, and dozens of others spent time at the studio. They all left behind a signed, numbered series of prints for donors and the college.The studio is full of incredible art produced by notable artists. Some, like pop artist Christian Marclay, are up-and-coming now. One of his pieces is for sale right now for $72,000. Just a few years ago, it was $5,000. Between then and now, Marclay’s work ended up in notable museums around the world, boosting demand for his work.The college sells pieces slowly, which to some degree controls the price. It’s rare to see more than one of a series available for sale.Take this piece, for example. It’s by Alex Katz. The material used in this print is cyanotype, also used in blueprints.In blueprints, the background is cyanotype and the structure is white. In this case, Katz did the opposite, using cyanotype as the medium.I bought this piece last year. In May, another donor had his for sale. The asking price was 11% higher than what I paid. Alex Katz, White Hat and SunglassesThere are 25 of these prints in total. I found one other for sale in Europe for €10,000. Alex Katz is a notable artist. He’s also 91 years old. I’m optimistic this piece will appreciate in value over time.Price appreciation is good. Having a way to unload the art if needed is even more important. I doubt the crown prince could find a buyer willing to pay $500 million or $1 billion for his Salvator Mundi. That’s of course assuming it’s a real da Vinci.On the other hand, I feel fairly certain I could sell my Katz, though I can’t imagine wanting to. The piece is a pleasure to look at every day.If you want to build your own collection of art, the first step is the most fun. Get out and see as much art as you can. Find interesting pieces, artists, and venues, and visit them. Sit on a bench and look at the pictures that speak to you. When you find something you want to look at every day, buy it. Buy it because you like it, not because you think you’ll make a quick buck selling it.Remember, art is one of life’s most selfish pleasures. All you have to do is enjoy it. Best of all, it’s completely subjective. Only you get to decide the difference between good and great art.Regards, By E.B. Tucker, editor, Strategic Investor E.B. Tucker Editor, Strategic InvestorP.S. One more thing before you go… I want to personally invite you to our second annual Legacy Investment Summit this September in Southern California.Last year’s event was a huge success… but this year’s promises to be even bigger. And I hope you can make it. You’ll have the chance to meet me and all of our other Casey Research gurus including Doug Casey, Nick Giambruno, Dave Forest, and Marco Wutzer. Click here to reserve your spot today.last_img read more

2 Aug

MMA Armwrestling is a thing pictwitterco

first_imgMMA Arm-wrestling is a thing….. pic.twitter.com/ZPFuiXjPA9— EditinKing Boxing (@EditinKing) October 10, 2018 Welcome to Midnight Mania! Conor McGregor’s head coach, John Kavanagh, told Joe Rogan that McGregor felt he let himself down when Khabib Nurmagomedov was able to drop him for the first time in McGregor’s career. Via BloodyElbow.com: “He (Conor) hates technical mistakes. So that right hand, you know … he was very disappointed he got caught with a shot like that,” Kavanagh said on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, per BJPenn.com’s Chris Taylor. “But, it is actually funny, I was just thinking about this, you know that right hand, if you showed it to a boxing coach he would say ‘That’s horrible. Your head is down and you’re swinging.’ But again, I don’t really care about people’s opinions on things. I just care about the strikes effectiveness. It was a damn effective technique. You know it’s one of the hardest clean shots Conor has been caught with in his MMA career.”Khabib was able to neutralize “The Notorious” offense throughout the fight, with McGregor mostly failing to land the punches he has against every other opponent. Clearly, while Khabib’s striking is far from textbook, it is very effective for him. McGregor has called for a rematch with the Russian champion. In real life this is literally a green bubble. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images Al Iaquinta Realty is the best fighter parody account going. This rematch with Kevin Lee will tell us a lot about both fighters. Kevin Lee continues his pursuit of Khabib Nurmagomedov by fighting someone that just faced the Dagestani in their last bout. Dominick Reyes basically propelled himself off the cage to land that left and turn out the lights. pic.twitter.com/SEkfm9ZkOW— Punch-Drunk Pauly (@punchdrunkpauly) October 7, 2018 InsomniaThe rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson is years overdue. It will be good to see Jones against someone his own size again. Related Jones Vs Gustafsson Set For UFC 232 With ‘DC’ Stripped This made more sense once I realized John Wayne Parr was imitating Johny Hendricks: Will Nate Diaz disappear into the ether again? Random LandI love weird goals. This should have been allowed to stand. Who did this? Gloves King Ryan Longsleeve Shirt Fight Motion! Watch Holloway, Cyborg Do Work Via Ghost Cam Top Contenders for Fight of the Year Latest Angle Of Mac-Khabib Brawl Surfaces Related Max Holloway talks about dealing with depression on World Mental Health Day. Midnight Mania! Trump Family In The ‘Chaos’ Corner? Weird animation time. Khabib Demands Record-Breaking Pay For Mac Rematch With ‘Diamond’ Done, Diaz Ready To Fight Khabib Khabib, Putin On The Ritz Sale More: Timeline of Israel Adesanya’s Rapid Rise to UFC Contender Lee Vs Iaquinta Rematch Headlines UFC on FOX 31 Mac Drops To No. 21 On Forbes Money List Greatest Highlights of Anderson Silva’s Career Brock Lesnar better hope Derrick Lewis lands that big right hand, because he’s not beating Daniel Cormier. Credit to Curtis Blaydes for taking the hard, thankless fight, but he deserves a title shot far more than the Black Beast (Sorry, Derrick). In this Storystream About Plaque Psoriasis: Learn About Causes & Symptoms Yahoo! Search Related 20 Unsuspecting High Paying Jobs Money Pop Amanda Nunes’ Biggest Threat? During a tough year, @BlessedMMA talks about how @DeMar_DeRozan being open about depression helped him get through it.FULL INTERVIEW: https://t.co/GWyxsPBgEh pic.twitter.com/Qye8Y58ZRa— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) October 9, 2018 Standard Ranked Rashguard Was this the best picture Khabib could get with Putin? They couldn’t snap one where he was smiling? The caption reads (according to Google Translate)Thank you very much Vladimir Vladimirovich for the warm welcome and for the congratulations. And I am very pleased that my victory brought so much joy to our multinational country. This is our common victory. Latest From Our Partnerscenter_img Green screen technology at its finest. h/t: https://t.co/18AdVWMJkD pic.twitter.com/d9CJAEBaXA— Rick and Morty (@RickandMorty) August 7, 2018 Work until you can afford a giraffe. As much as I would love to fight Nate at #MSG #ufc230 I said from day 1 I would never take a late notice fight I couldn’t be 100% ready for. Being able to perform at my best is priceless to me.— Justin Gaethje (@Justin_Gaethje) October 10, 2018 UFC 229 results: ‘Conor-Khabib’ live stream updates, highlights, fight videos #UFC230 #UFC pic.twitter.com/lLrql65pPS— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) October 10, 2018 ProMax 440 BJJ GI Related Gordon Ryan Competition Kit Derrick Lewis’ legend is homegrown by himself and the people cooking up the memes he reposts. Which is More Dangerous – MMA or Football? Good Night Tee Tired: Scoring with your stickWired: Scoring with your butt pic.twitter.com/V752PMN9zH— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 10, 2018 C’est la vie https://t.co/VtZ12YXrpG— Curtis Blaydes (@RazorBlaydes265) October 10, 2018 Recommended by Brock Lesnar’s WWE Future After UFC Retirement Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality Khabib, Putin On The Ritz This may well have been the peak of combat sports. Standard BJJ Gi View all 156 stories There’s UFC Heavyweights, And Then There’s Shaq Bizzy Was Sneaking Needles Into The Toilet For GSP Fight Lockdown duffle bag Midnight Mania! McGregor ‘Disappointed’ Khabib Dropped Him Derrick Lewis fighting for the title after beating Alexander Volkov – UFC 229@Thebeast_ufc #BlackBeast #ufc229 #animation pic.twitter.com/NOfUwVMo5P— Mojahed Fudailat (@MojahedFudailat) October 10, 2018 Accessories The matchup between @DC_MMA & @TheBeast_UFC has been brewing since July ..#UFC230 pic.twitter.com/HEFXEpt7a3— UFC (@ufc) October 10, 2018 Fedor Emelianenko and Chael Sonnen faced off for their first fight week staredown. Sponsored Content Nightmare Matchup for UFC’s Biggest Stars Derrick Lewis vs. Daniel Cormier has genuine heat thanks to Popeyes chicken. Justin Gaethje has a policy against taking short-notice fights. More From MMAmania.com Time to foreclose https://t.co/rykD7R7Nu8— Ragin’ Al (@IAQUINTAREALTY) October 10, 2018 Dominick Reyes landed the single cleanest shot at UFC 229 in the last second of his fight with Ovince Saint Preux. It’s a shame Sean O’Malley didn’t get to showcase his talents at UFC 229; hopefully, the USADA results show his failed test was just a tainted supplement. Apparel Lights. Out. Latest From MMA Warehouselast_img read more

31 Jul

Disability charities are facing questions over why

first_imgDisability charities are facing questions over why they helped the government disguise the reason it had to change “discriminatory” guidance that was preventing thousands of disabled people with invisible impairments from securing blue parking badges.The Department for Transport (DfT) announced this week that it was proposing alterations to guidance that would “herald the most significant changes since the blue badge was introduced in 1970” and would “remove barriers to travel for people with conditions such as dementia and autism” in England.Junior transport minister Jesse Norman claimed this “accords with the government’s manifesto commitment to give parity of esteem to mental and physical health conditions”.The changes were welcomed enthusiastically by non-user-led disability charities such as Scope and the National Autistic Society (NAS), with NAS even quoted in DfT’s own press release, and they were widely supported by the mainstream media, including the Guardian, the Mirror and the BBC.But what they and Norman failed to mention was that the changes had been forced on the government by a legal action taken on behalf of an autistic man with learning difficulties.David* had had a blue badge for 30 years but was told by his local council that he no longer qualified because of new DfT rules**.His family took legal action against DfT and his local council because of new guidance issued by DfT in October 2014, following the introduction of the government’s new personal independence payment (PIP) the previous year.DfT was forced to settle the judicial review claim 15 months ago, by agreeing to review the new blue badge guidance.It was that review that led to the government’s announcement this week that it was consulting on changes to the blue badge scheme.Louise Whitfield, a solicitor with civil rights and judicial review experts Deighton Pierce Glynn, said she was “extremely surprised at the way in which the government is presenting the consultation”.She said: “The main reason that people with those conditions have been excluded from blue badge eligibility is because of the changes that the government deliberately made to the blue badge criteria when they introduced PIP to replace disability living allowance (DLA).“This meant that people who automatically had a blue badge before because of the DLA they received (higher rate mobility component), were no longer automatically eligible because they did not get enough points under the ‘moving around’ PIP criteria.“This problem was compounded by the inadequate DfT guidance, leading many local authorities to decide that people with non-physical disabilities were not entitled to a blue badge, and would never be entitled, because they did not have the right kind of disability to meet the criteria.“We have successfully challenged a number of these decisions, but there must be thousands of people who should have had blue badges but didn’t because of the change in the criteria coupled with the unclear guidance.”She highlighted the government’s failure to carry out an equality impact assessment of the blue badge eligibility changes and the new guidance before they were introduced in 2014.Such an assessment would have shown that thousands of people with invisible impairments were set to lose their right to a blue badge, with London Councils estimating that 3,500 people fell into this category in the capital.Whitfield said: “It is also somewhat disingenuous of the government to present the consultation on the new proposals as if this had been all of their own making, when in fact many organisations, individuals and legal representatives on their behalf have been trying to get the government to undertake a review since the change in the blue badge criteria several years ago.”She added: “We have repeatedly chased the government and their solicitors for updates on the review and have been told very little over the last 15 months.“Nor have they had the courtesy to inform me or my client that the consultation is now underway.  The last time we chased them they didn’t even respond. “Sadly, my client who brought the judicial review has now passed away, but I will be encouraging all my other clients to respond to the consultation making clear how devastating it has been for them to lose their existing badge and then have to battle for months, if not years, to get it reinstated just so that they can leave their home.”The Department for Transport (DfT) accepted that it had faced a legal challenge over the regulations when they were changed, but failed to answer a series of questions, including whether it had failed to carry out an equality impact assessment on the 2014 changes; why it failed to tell Deighton Pierce Glynn about the new consultation; and why it failed to mention the legal challenge in its press release and consultation document.In a statement, a DfT spokesman said: “Blue badges give people with disabilities the freedom to get jobs, see friends or go to the shops with as much ease as possible.“We want to try to extend this to people with invisible disabilities, so they can enjoy the freedom to get out and about, where and when they want.”An NAS spokeswoman admitted that it had “focused on the good news” in its statement on the government announcement.She claimed NAS had opposed the government’s decision to link blue badge entitlement in England to only the “moving around” part of PIP mobility and had “raised this issue at the time and have continued to raise this issue since”.She said its concern had always been “broader than the link with PIP” and that its “underlying aim has been to change the blue badge rules because it has always been a real struggle for those with a hidden disability to get one” and that “not very many autistic people ever qualified for higher rate mobility of DLA to get that automatic entitlement”.She said NAS had not been “directly involved” with the legal case.She added: “The government’s proposals go beyond that change and so are likely to ensure that more autistic children and adults who need a blue badge can get one and won’t first need to access DLA or PIP.”*Not his real name**The guidance currently states that it is only those who qualify for the standard or enhanced mobility rates of PIP under the “moving around” criteria – those with physical impairments that mean they cannot walk very far – who should automatically qualify for a blue badge.Those who qualify for the PIP enhanced mobility rate because they have problems planning and following journeys are no longer automatically entitled to a blue badge, as they were if they claimed the upper mobility rate of DLA for the same reasons.The updated blue badge application form included in the guidance document has no sections in which disabled people with problems planning and following journeys can provide evidence to show why they need a blue badge.Authorities in Scotland and Wales have already made changes aimed at addressing the problems with DfT’s guidance.last_img read more

31 Jul

The equality watchdog is failing disabled people b

first_imgThe equality watchdog is failing disabled people by attempting to “mainstream” disability and treat it the same way as the other eight characteristics protected by the Equality Act, peers have warned.The House of Lords was debating the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s decision that it no longer needed a disability commissioner, and to scrap its statutory disability committee and replace it with a new disability advisory committee.The debate was secured by the disabled Tory peer Lord [Kevin] Shinkwin, who quit the commission in December over what he saw as the collusion of former women and equalities minister Justine Greening with EHRC’s decision to scrap the disability commissioner role.Lord Shinkwin (pictured) had refused to attend EHRC board meetings after his appointment in protest at the decision to appoint him as a general commissioner instead of the disability commissioner role he had applied for.He told fellow peers that disabled people were “nowhere near attaining equality” with members of other protected characteristics.He said; “The goal of equality might be the same, but the nature and extent of the disadvantage that goes with disability are so different that while mainstreaming disability might sound laudable in theory, in practice it means that disability, as the heaviest stone, falls to the bottom of the inequality pond.”He said this was why EHRC needed the “sharp focus on disability issues” provided by a disability commissioner.And he criticised the government for failing to speak out about Greening’s involvement in abolishing the role.He said: “Of course, I think there is a strong case for a disability commissioner, otherwise I would not have applied for the position.“But now it has been abolished, the case that the government need to make is why disabled people should trust them when they cannot even bring themselves to express regret for the involvement of a former minister in the abolition of disabled people’s last powerful voice.”The disabled Liberal Democrat peer, Baroness [Celia] Thomas, said that if disabled people were asked if they would prefer a statutory disability committee chaired by a disabled commissioner or just an advisory committee and all the EHRC commissioners having a duty to oversee the disability agenda, she was “pretty sure they would go for the former”.She said: “The reason is simple: as we have heard, so much of life, public and private, is denied to disabled people even now and there are still so many battles to be fought… they would want the strongest voice possible to get things changed.”She added: “We need somebody shouting the odds from the rooftops on our behalf.“Disabled people want a body that will not rest until it has brought about real change – not a body that has all the right words but not enough action.”Baroness Deech, the crossbench peer who chaired a Lords committee that investigated the impact of the Equality Act 2010 on disabled people, said that it was “not enough to treat disabled people equally with everyone else” and that “mainstreaming” disability “has not worked, so far”.She said: “There are situations where, to get to a level playing field, disabled people need favourable treatment, a concept with which employers struggle.“Witnesses to our committee thought that the inclusion of disability within the EHRC had diluted the focus on disability that had existed and had given rise to a sense of a loss of rights by disabled people.”She said her committee’s report recommended that EHRC’s disability committee “should be re-established as a decision-making body with ring-fenced resources”.She said that disabled people wanted “a champion, not to be just one of nine protected characteristic groups, and that call has not been answered”.Another disabled peer, the Liberal Democrat Lord Addington, asked if there was any evidence that the commission’s new approach was working better.He said: “I ask because that approach is not one that is reassuring to the huge and diverse disability communities.”But Baroness Prosser, a Labour peer and former EHRC deputy chair, defended the commission’s strategy.She said: “In recognition of the fact that all other issues under the commission’s remit were dealt with in the mainstream debate, the board of the commission took the view that disability would best be dealt with in the same way and therefore it would no longer seek a commissioner with that narrow remit.”Baroness Gale, Labour’s shadow spokeswoman on women and equalities, said she was “not so sure” that a case could be made for a separate disability commissioner, as it could lead to calls for a separate commissioner for the other eight protected characteristics.She said the commission’s briefing for the debate said that “it believes that the changes it has made were designed to strengthen, rather than weaken, its approach to advancing the rights of people with disabilities”.Baroness Williams, a Home Office minister, said the commission recognises the “particular rights and protections for disabled people” under the Equality Act through its new disability advisory committee.And she said the disability commissioner role was “not a statutory post but simply an EHRC-created role: a set of responsibilities connected to the former disability committee that the commission decided to change as part of its overhaul ​of its disability arrangements”.She said her understanding was that Lord Shinkwin had been appointed “as a commissioner, not specifically as a disability commissioner” and she said that “any decision to give EHRC commissioners specific roles and responsibilities is a direct matter for the EHRC”.She added: “I assure him that the new EHRC arrangements work better for disabled people than the old ones.”Baroness Williams said EHRC believed that its previous approach treated work on disability “separately from other work programmes”, led to “work on disability being seen as the responsibility of specific individuals in the commission rather than the collective ​responsibility of the board and the organisation as a whole”, and “led to some miscommunication as well as missed opportunities”.last_img read more

26 Jul

Post Apocolypse Aftermath How Is California Adapting to New Cannabis Regulations

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Green Entrepreneur App Ryan G. Smith Looking at any cannabis industry blog or publication, you might think that the California cannabis industry is currently in shambles.New regulations went into law on July 1, forcing retailers to purge non-compliant product from their shelves. This included concentrates, topicals, vaporizer cartridges and edible products that did not meet the new packaging or labeling standards.Related: Beware the ‘Weed Apocalypse’Consumers were delighted to take part in the “Green Saturday” sales but the industry was in a state of panic. Many retailers were forced to close for days, or even weeks, while waiting for new, compliant inventory to arrive. Manufacturers faced delays in receiving their new packaging or passing laboratory testing standards. Some claimed the industry would never recover from these new standards — significantly more stringent than regulations placed on agriculture and food products.Was the Hysteria Warranted? But what really happened when a lawless environment was finally graced with regulation? As the data is beginning to show, sales are not only climbing but California’s journey is just beginning as it steps into its role as the cannabis capital of the world.Even while brands and retailers are still scrambling to navigate these new rules, the sales statistics signal the maturation and eagerness of the legal market to adapt to these new regulations.Our wholesale platform captured some telling data points from the first few weeks of post-compliance sales in California.Wholesale Cannabis Orders Are SpikingThose concerned about the future of California cannabis can put their worries aside, as dispensaries are already spending more than ever — yes, even with dozens of infused-product brands out of stock indefinitely.During the second full week of July 2018, retailers spent 59 percent more on products from the prior week and a whopping 196 percent increase from what was spent the week leading up to the July 1 regulations. Based on orders so far in July, retailers are expected to spend triple the amount they spent in June.The volume of orders is also quickly increasing to meet retailers’ high customer demands. Cart size, or the average amount ordered per retailer, increased 22 percent from the week of June 18 to the week of July 9.Related: These Stats on Cannabis Sales Will Shock YouCompliance Is Converting to SalesUnbeknownst to many, California is still home to a thriving underground cannabis market — a natural consequence of dozens of city- and county-wide bans throughout the state. Still, it’s never been more vital for cannabis operators to know exactly who they are dealing with when it comes to high-value wholesale transactions.Companies that updated their product images with a “Compliant” badge on the LeafLink platform grew their business 201 percent in July, compared to 46 percent for brands without the badge. It just goes to show that the typical modern cannabis business owner is alert, informed and cautious when it comes to getting in step with tight regulations.It’s worth adding that complying with these new regulations is not just a matter of ethics, consumer health, and safety; it is a legal requirement that comes with heavy fines and penalties for operators if they fall out of line.Though the process is costly and time-consuming, compliance will continue to be an inevitable part of doing business — and making profits — in cannabis.Related: His Software Solution Aims to Ease the Pain of Running a Dispensary Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Add to Queue Download Our Free Android App Image credit: Justin Sullivan | Getty Images Co-Founder and CEO LeafLink Next Article –shares August 1, 2018 News and Trends Post Apocolypse Aftermath: How Is California Adapting to New Cannabis Regulations? 3 min read Guest Writer They called it the ‘Weed Apocolypse.’ The day when the Golden State cannabis market would implode. Were they right?last_img read more

26 Jul

TurboTax Premier

first_img 3 min read Add to Queue Next Article Brought to you by PCWorld TurboTax Premier February 7, 2008 Starting a Business Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful.center_img TurboTax is our top online tax service choice, but the competition isn’t far behind. –shares ProsDispenses timely advice; great data importCaters to novices and experienced usersConsMight not be worthwhile for simple returnsPricey, particularly for special editionsTurboTax takes the trophy again this year. Of the online tax services I reviewed, it did the best job of looking out for my bottom line and minimizing the work without glossing over subjects, though the number of options and the high cost can be a turnoff.I liked the ability to customize the process; proficient filers and speed demons can deal with the areas they choose while novices can inch along. For instance, people who know what they can deduct can select the Find Deductions Myself option; less-confident filers can choose Maximize My Deductions and go step-by-step. I wish backtracking were easier, though; returning to specific screens took several more clicks here than on some other sites.TurboTax was the hands-down winner in the ability to import W-2s and 1099s. The majority of taxpayers receive these documents every year, and TurboTax can import the data from most payroll providers, most financial institutions, and from Quicken, thereby relieving many users from having to key the information in. TurboTax also allows users to e-file in up to three states (other sites limit you to two at most).TurboTax was the most proactive of the group in its tax advice. For example, it told me up front that if I answered yes to the question “Did your child provide more than half of his or her own support in 2007?” I could not claim the child as a dependent. Like TaxAct, TurboTax noticed that the Social Security and Medicare taxes reported on my W-2 were too high, but TurboTax took the extra step of telling me that I was entitled to a refund from my employer–and then told me what to do about it (ask my employer for a refund and a new W-2, and then file my tax return).TurboTax was also the only site to warn me that some of my interest income might be exempt from certain state taxes–and it provided the rules for each state as well. And through the integrated ItsDeductible program, TurboTax was the only service that helped me assign credible fair market values to donated goods.The extra features were everywhere. For example, the Live Community feature allows users to ask questions of other users (no substitute for expert tax advice, but a way to do on-the-fly research). People who play fast and loose with deductions will appreciate the Audit Risk Meter, too. And users who don’t want to go it alone can pay a TurboTax Professional $99.95 or $149.95 (depending on the complexity of the return) to finish the job.Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch–the Premier version is $49.95 and state returns are $29.95 each, and people with simple returns may need only a less full-featured, less expensive service such as TaxAct or Tax Cut.–Tina Orem Tina Orem Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

26 Jul

Hardees Carls Jr to Introduce Midnight Moonshine Burger Tomorrow

first_imgFast Food Next Article –shares Sarah Whitten Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr., to Introduce Midnight Moonshine Burger Tomorrow Enroll Now for $5 2 min read News associate Image credit: Hardee’s | Carl’s Jr. | Juniors Midnight Moon | Entrepreneur This story originally appeared on CNBC Burgers and booze, together again.Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, owned by CKE Restaurants, are slated to release the Midnight Moonshine Burger on March 23. The company partnered with Hall of Fame Nascar driver Junior Johnson on the burger; he’s part owner of Piedmont Distillers, the dispenser of Junior’s Midnight Moonshine.The Midnight Moonshine Burger is charcoal-grilled, 100 percent black Angus beef topped with a moonshine glaze, pepper-jack cheese, garlic and pepper fried onions and thick-cut, applewood-smoked bacon.CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder boasts that the sauce has all the flavor of moonshine, but none of the alcohol.”It knocked everybody’s socks off when we tasted it,” he said. This isn’t the first time that the company has dabbled with alcohol-infused products. In 2009, the company released a Kentucky Bourbon burger for a limited time, and in 2015 it began offering Red Hook beer-battered fish. The Midnight Moonshine Burger will be available for a limited time in more than 3,360 locations, but it could become a permanent menu item if it does well enough in stores. “You have to earn your way onto the menu,” Puzder told CNBC, adding that the burger targets young, hungry guys.Most recently, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s El Diablo burger transitioned from a limited time only item to a permanent one.The Midnight Moonshine Burger will sell for $4.39 for a single burger, $5.59 for a double burger and $5.59 for a one-third pound Thickburger. It can also be ordered as a combo meal with fries and a drink starting at $6.89. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand March 22, 2016 Add to Queuelast_img read more

18 Jul

Oral cancer is among the ten most common cancers in the world

first_imgFor SUNSTAR, it is crucial to support projects that promote prevention and give the dental professionals a central and relevant role in the detection of several diseases. Dental check-ups can be the perfect setting for early detection since mouth and body are related, and our oral health has much to say about our overall well-being. Therefore, it is important to provide them with the right tools and support them along the way.”Dr Marzia Massignani, Sr Manager of Scientific Affairs and Corporate Communications at SUNSTAR On the World Cancer Day, it is relevant to remind that smoking and alcohol consumption are the main risk factors for oral cancer.Related StoriesStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerIn fact, tobacco (smoking and smokeless such as chewing tobacco) causes 90% of oral cancers. On top of that, individuals who smoke and drink have a 35-fold increase in developing this condition.”About 500,000 new cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancers are diagnosed annually, three-quarters of which occur in the developing world,” said Dr Ihsane Ben Yahya, FDI Council member and oral cancer expert.Consequently, encouraging the dental professionals to conduct oral screenings for early detection of this disease as well as helping them to work together for better management are the main priorities of the chairside guide launched by the FDI and SUNSTAR.‘Oral cancer: Prevention and patient management.’This toolkit for professionals focuses on the prevention and management of oral cancer patients, paying particular attention to the screening process.The chairside guide provides oral health professionals with concise, yet comprehensive, information about oral cancer prevention, risk factors and management, and also helps them navigate the clinical examination and diagnosis through a decision tree. Feb 4 2019Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide, it is more frequent in men than women, and it usually appears at the age of 60.Early detection is essential to manage this disease, and it is possible since the most common sites for oral cancer are very visible areas such as the tongue, the inside of the cheeks, and the floor of the mouth.Therefore, to guide dental professionals and improve the prevention of this disease, the FDI World Dental Federation and SUNSTAR, a holistic healthcare company, have developed a chairside guide to prevent and treat Oral Cancer. Source:https://www.sunstar.com/ The holistic healthcare company has been contributing to research and raising awareness about the two-way relationship between oral health and general health for many years now.Under #ThePerioLink project, SUNSTAR gives visibility to the many impacts of poor oral health, spanning from diabetes to sports performance, and encourages the population to take care of themselves holistically.last_img read more

18 Jul

Low oxygen levels harm specific cells in the developing brain

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 6 2019Low oxygen levels are a well-known cause of brain injury in premature babies. But the mechanism by which low oxygen hurts the developing human brain has been unclear.Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a specific set of brain cells that are particularly susceptible to harm from low oxygen exposure in early development. This damage is congruent with brain abnormalities, particularly reduction in gray matter, seen among children who are born very prematurely. The researchers have also identified a compound that may be able to prevent the problem. The findings will be published online May 6 in Nature Medicine.”In the past 20 years, we’ve made a lot of progress in keeping extremely premature babies alive, but 70% to 80% of them have poor neurodevelopmental outcomes,” said the study’s lead author, Anca Pasca, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine and a neonatologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Hypoxic brain injuries are thought to lead to neurological and psychiatric disease in some preemies, she said.Prior research has shown that children born before 28 weeks’ gestation, or at least 12 weeks early, have a thinner cerebral cortex than children born after a full-term pregnancy. The cerebral cortex is the highly folded layer of gray matter that makes up most of the brain in humans and other primates. It is responsible for advanced brain functions, including cognition, speech and the processing of sensory and motor information.Neonatologists have also long recognized that lung development is incomplete in very premature babies. The babies have poor lung function, and the brain centers that control the infants’ breathing are not fully mature. These factors raise their risk for drops in blood oxygen and subsequent brain injury.Severely affected cellsPasca and her colleagues found that many cells in the developing brain are unhurt by exposure to low oxygen. However, the intermediate progenitor cells of the subventricular zone, a region responsible the growth of the human cortex, are severely affected. These are cells that eventually give rise to mature brain cells, including neurons.The discovery was possible because the Stanford researchers previously figured out how to create three-dimensional cell cultures that mimic structural and functional aspects of the developing human brain. They call these brain spheroids.”Most of human brain development, specifically in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, is inaccessible for direct study,” said senior author Sergiu Pasca, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Sergiu and Anca Pasca — who are married to each other and each run a lab at Stanford — have previously published studies showing that the brain spheroids develop the same general organization, including deep and superficial layers of cortex, and on approximately the same timeline, as the developing human brain. “It is quite remarkable how these blobs of cells, if provided with the right cues, will differentiate, organize and mature in a dish,” Sergiu Pasca said.Related StoriesNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaIn the new study, the team grew brain spheroids until they contained cell populations and gene-expression markers similar to human brain tissue at 19-24 weeks’ gestation.The researchers exposed these cortical spheroids to low oxygen for 48 hours, then restored the oxygen levels to normal. They examined changes in gene expression at 24 and 48 hours into the low-oxygen period, as well as 72 hours after oxygen levels had returned to normal.As expected, the scientists saw gene-expression changes after 24 and 48 hours in genes known to respond to hypoxia.They also saw changes in a group of genes expressed in the subventricular zone, an area rich in progenitor cells that generate neurons in mid- and late pregnancy. Closer analysis showed these progenitor cells were not dying. Rather, a specific group, the intermediate progenitor cells, were differentiating into neurons sooner than normal, a change that led to fewer neurons in total in the mature brain. The pathway responsible, called the unfolded protein response, is a stress-response pathway that transitions cells from a “growth” mode to a “survival” mode.”We were surprised, but it was a good surprise,” Anca Pasca said. “Looking back, it made sense.”Testing a compoundThe researchers also tested whether a small molecule that restores aspects of the unfolded protein response could reverse the spheroids’ response to low oxygen. The molecule, called ISRIB, prevented the differentiation of intermediate progenitors following low-oxygen exposure.”It’s exciting because our findings tell us that pharmacologically manipulating this pathway could interfere with hypoxic injury to the brain, and potentially help with preventing damage,” Sergiu Pasca said. Source:http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2019/05/research-links-brain-injury-from-low-oxygen-to-specific-cells.htmllast_img read more

18 Jul

Teens who can describe negative emotions are better protected against depression

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 29 2019Teenagers who can describe their negative emotions in precise and nuanced ways are better protected against depression than their peers who can’t. That’s the conclusion of a new study about negative emotion differentiation, or NED–the ability to make fine-grained distinctions between negative emotions and apply precise labels– published in the journal Emotion. Adolescents who use more granular terms such as ‘I feel annoyed,’ or ‘I feel frustrated,’ or ‘I feel ashamed’–instead of simply saying ‘I feel bad’–are better protected against developing increased depressive symptoms after experiencing a stressful life event.”Lead author Lisa Starr, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Rochester Those who score low on negative emotion differentiation tend to describe their feelings in more general terms such as “bad” or “upset.” As a result, they are less able to benefit from useful lessons encoded in their negative emotions, including the ability to develop coping strategies that could help them regulate how they feel.”Emotions convey a lot of information. They communicate information about the person’s motivational state, level of arousal, emotional valence, and appraisals of the threatening experience,” says Starr. A person has to integrate all that information to figure out–“am I feeling irritated,” or “am I feeling angry, embarrassed, or some other emotion?”Once you know that information you can use it to help determine the best course of action, explains Starr: “It’s going to help me predict how my emotional experience will unfold, and how I can best regulate these emotions to make myself feel better.”The team found that a low NED strengthens the link between stressful life events and depression, leading to reduced psychological well-being.By focusing exclusively on adolescence, which marks a time of heightened risk for depression, the study zeroed in on a gap in the research to date. Prior research suggests that during adolescence a person’s NED plunges to its lowest point, compared to that of younger children or adults. It’s exactly during this developmentally crucial time that depression rates climb steadily.Previous research had shown that depression and low NED were related to each other, but the research designs of previous studies did not test whether a low NED temporally preceded depression. To the researchers, this phenomenon became the proverbial chicken-and-egg question: did those youth who showed signs of significant depressive symptoms have a naturally low NED, or was their NED low as a direct result of their feeling depressed?The team, made up of Starr, Rachel Hershenberg, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Emory University, and Rochester graduate students Zoey Shaw, Irina Li, and Angela Santee, recruited 233 mid-adolescents in the greater Rochester area with an average age of nearly 16 (54 percent of them female) and conducted diagnostic interviews to evaluate the participants for depression.Related StoriesNew structured approach to managing patients with depression in primary careStudy: Underweight boys and overweight girls have increased risk of depressionSocial media use and television viewing linked to rise in adolescent depressive symptomsNext, the teenagers reported their emotions four times daily over the period of seven days. One and a half years later, the team conducted follow-up interviews with the original participants (of whom 193 returned) to study longitudinal outcomes.The researchers found that youth who are poor at differentiating their negative emotions are more susceptible to depressive symptoms following stressful life events. Conversely, those who display high NED are better at managing the emotional and behavioral aftermath of being exposed to stress, thereby reducing the likelihood of having negative emotions escalate into a clinically significant depression over time.Depression ranks among the most challenging public health problems worldwide. As the most prevalent mental disorder, it not only causes recurring and difficult conditions for sufferers, but also costs the U.S. economy tens of billions of dollars each year and has been identified by the World Health Organization as the number one cause of global burden among industrialized nations. Particularly depression in adolescent girls is an important area to study, note the researchers, as this age brings a surge in depression rates, with a marked gender disparity that continues well into adulthood.Adolescent depression disrupts social and emotional development, which can lead to a host of negative outcomes, including interpersonal problems, reduced productivity, poor physical health, and substance abuse. Moreover, people who get depressed during adolescence are more likely to become repeatedly depressed throughout their life span, says Starr. That’s why mapping the emotional dynamics associated with depression is key to finding effective treatments.”Basically you need to know the way you feel, in order to change the way you feel,” says Starr. “I believe that NED could be modifiable, and I think it’s something that could be directly addressed with treatment protocols that target NED.”The team’s findings contribute to a growing body of research that tries to make inroads in the fight against rising rates of adolescent depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide. According to the most recent CDC data, about 17 percent of high school students nationwide say they have thought of suicide, more than 13 percent said they actually made a suicide plan, and 7.4 percent attempted suicide in the past year.”Our data suggests that if you are able to increase people’s NED then you should be able to buffer them against stressful experiences and the depressogenic effect of stress,” says Starr. Source:University of RochesterJournal reference:Starr, L. et al. (2019) The perils of murky emotions: Emotion differentiation moderates the prospective relationship between naturalistic stress exposure and adolescent depression. Emotion. doi.org/10.1037/emo0000630.last_img read more

17 Jul

Ashish Khetan has resigned from AAPAshish Khetan has resigned from AAP

first_imgCOMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL political development political candidates parties and movements Published oncenter_img Aam Aadmi Party leader, Ashish Khetan, has quit the party, AAP sources said today, a week after another leader, Ashutosh, announced his resignation. Khetan, who did not deny the resignation, said he was not involved in “active politics at the moment” and was not interested in rumours. According to sources in the party, Khetan had sent his resignation to AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on August 15. It was the day Ashutosh had announced his resignation from the party. Both resignations are yet to be accepted by Kejriwal, party insiders said. “I had resigned from DDC in April, to join the legal profession. That is all. Not interested in rumours,” Khaitan tweeted, referring to the Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission, an advisory body of the Delhi government. “I am completely focussed on my legal practice and not involved in active politics at the moment. Rest is all extrapolation,” he said in another tweet. Khetan had resigned as DDC vice-chairman citing “frustration” due to the tussle between the Centre and the AAP-led government. AAP sources claimed Khetan wanted to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from the New Delhi parliamentary seat that he had lost to BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi in 2014. But his demand was not being accepted by the leadership and he had been upset for a while. COMMENT SHARE August 22, 2018last_img read more

17 Jul

The BJP gameplan for Telangana

first_imgWill KCR’s balancing act pay off? COMMENT October 29, 2018 RELATED SHARE SHARE EMAIL BJP to go it alone in Telangana, says Amit Shah Telangana SHARE Published on BJP president Amit Shah has time and again reiterated that the party with a difference will come to power. The most recent assertion came at the party’s youth convention in Secunderabad on Sunday.The party seems to be making desperate attempts to expand its base and increase its tally from the present 5 MLAs. The two decisions that point to this reality are: First, the tacit understanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao seem to have on several issues, which is expected to work for the December 7 State Assembly polls too.Second, the induction of Swami Paripoornananda into the party and projecting him as a campaign face. By falling back on its Hindutva plank, it’s signalling that the focus on expansion of its base is indeed small and not the entire 10 districts of Telangana.These two developments are contrary to the original plan of the party president’s project launched in 2014 to grab power in States including Telangana.What analysts sayThe probable realities of Lok Sabha elections in 2019, where the BJP might have to fall back on regional parties for support to continue its rule has led to this adjustments, say analysts.While surprising opposition with a list of names of 105 candidates on September 6, Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS) chief KCR left out all the 5 seats held by the BJP in Hyderabad and neighbourhood thus, leaving no doubt about the emerging alignments. The TRS already enjoys the support of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen , which is strong in the old city.Buttressing this ‘politics of mutual adjustments’, the top leadership of the BJP, including Amit Shah, and Rajnath Singh descended in Secunderabad’s parade grounds for two days to raise the pitch of its campaign. Incidentally, the BJP is strong in this part with Bandaru Dattatreya being the sitting Lok Sabha MP and NVVS Prabhakar an MLA from Uppal. The party has put up its MLC, N Ramchander as a candidate also from Malkajgiri and is hoping to win more seats in the city this time.A striking feature of the BJP campaign is also its concentration of holding meetings in its strongholds, thus in a way self limiting its big ambitions. Amit Shah kickstarted the Party from Mahbubnagar on September 15. He addressed meetings in Karimnagar on October 10 describing KCR’s fear of Modi in 2019 as urgency for early elections and claiming that NDA Government gave huge funds for Telangana development.In 2016, Amit Shah visited the State and announced that the Party will expand, attract prominent personalities from different fields and annex power in 2019. Despite best efforts the project does not seem to have made much headway. It is abundantly clear that the Party can’t find good candidates who can put up a fight in more than half of the total 119 Assembly seats. In line with this, the Party announced the first list of 38 last week.Is Paripoornananda the Yogi Adityanath of TelanganaWho is Swami Paripoornananda? For the uninitiated, he is the pontiff of the Sree Peetham in Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. He shot to fame recently when the police banned his entry into Hyderabad on grounds of his making provocative speeches. He later got a court stay.Having joined the BJP with the direct blessings of Amit Shah in New Delhi, the Swami is set to don an important face of campaign in not just Hyderabad, but entire Telangana. Will he also contest is a matter of ripe speculation.The saffron clad, 45 year old Swami, who is a vocal supporter of a Ram temple in Ayodhya is expected to sharpen the Party’s campaign in the urban areas with his hindutva brand a la Yogi Adityanath style and also to attract the sizeable number of voters who have their roots in Andhra Pradesh.The BJP is handicapped with the shortage of mass leaders and its known leaders like M Venkaiah Naidu ( now Vice President), Bandaru Dattatreya (former Union Minister) have little role this time. It’s State President K Laxman, his predecessor Kishan Reddy are predominantly Hyderabad centric. P Murlidhar Rao, National General Secretary, who hails from Telangana is still ‘building strength’, having been away for over two decades, and yet to be a force in the districts. Amit Shah’s charges against TRS politics COMMENTSlast_img read more

16 Jul

Azman We dont pay too much for maintenance

first_img {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Related News Nation 09 Jul 2019 LGE: Proposed takeover of four highways will see motorists paying less for toll Tags / Keywords: Nation 16 May 2019 11 more Awas cameras for North-South Expressway PLUS in 2017 had a revenue of RM3.8bil and generated an operating cashflow of RM2.6bil. After paying for its operations and debt-holders, it still had RM800mil cash to distribute to shareholders.What the takeover proposals also talk about, according to reports, is the maintenance fees that PLUS spends to keep the NSE in prime condition. There have been suggestions that PLUS pays too much to keep its highways running in proper condition, but that, according to Datuk Azman Ismail (pic), PLUS Malaysia’s managing director and chief executive officer, is a fallacy.“We do benchmarking and have looked at where we are in terms of domestic peers and we found ourselves, on average, to be within the domestic peers in terms of millions per km. “We are at RM1.3mil per km and our domestic average is on that number as well,” he tells StarBizWeek in an interview.The emphasis on maintenance is also important, as road safety is of paramount importance to the highway operator. Azman says that its upkeep of the highways is to ensure that accidents among road users is kept low. “For PLUS, we have one of the lowest road accident rates per 100,000km travelled.”What Azman says is that the scope of work for PLUS is large in order to maintain the highway.PLUS Malaysia maintains about 1,170km of roads, more than 8,300 slopes, two major tunnels, 741 bridges (including the link to Singapore) and over 6,000 culverts. It does over 10,000 slope inspections on an annual basis. “That is the kind of dimension we are talking about. Some of our roads are built over swamp land and peat soil, which means in terms of pavement condition, it has to be looked at,” he says. The annual budget for pavement maintenance is RM300mil.The toll compensation is something PLUS has to deal with and it is audited. There is, however, a one-year delay before it receives compensation from the government to keep toll rates static.Toll charges have not gone up for the past 14 years since 2015 and to maintain the same toll rate continuously over the next five years is a tall order for PLUS.Its principal repayment of the Islamic sukuk is going to increase substantially in the next couple of years, while its operating and maintenance cost is constantly rising.The toll collection is substantially spent for loan repayments, operations and maintenance, and continuous upgrading and improvement of facilities at its highways.In terms of breakdown, 36% of toll collection is used for operations and maintenance, 7% for new interchanges, upgrading and widening works, and capex, 47% for loan repayments and 10% for distribution to shareholders.Streamlining toll ratesWith maintenance cost an ongoing issue when it comes to the NSE, sources say the government is looking at compelling all highway concessionaires to put up a competitive tender for the maintenance of the highways.Sources say this is part of the initiatives taken to streamline toll rates among concessionaires, as the bulk of their cost comes from maintaining the highways.According to a source, the initiative is headed by the Finance Ministry that indirectly controls PLUS Expressways, which is the biggest concessionaire in the country.PLUS is owned by UEM Group and the EPF. UEM Group, in turn, is controlled by Khazanah Nasional Bhd that is under the ambit of the Finance Ministry.Another ministry that is also looking at streamlining and reducing toll rates is the Works Ministry under Baru Bian.In respect to the toll rates, the Malaysian Highway Authority has been collecting data on the maintenance cost incurred by concessionaires for their toll highways.The cost differs between a normal highway and an elevated structure. The cost is higher for a highway that is built on an elevated structure compared with a normal highway. An elevated structure includes the cost of maintaining the pillars that the highway is constructed on.As for the normal highway, the cost is mainly on resurfacing the pavement and building and maintaining the rest areas. The more rest areas a highway has, the higher the cost will be. According to an industry player, the cost for maintaining the pavement for a normal highway is about RM600,000 per km per annum, while the amount is almost double for an elevated highway.The other cost incurred are for items such as cutting the grass and maintaining the facilities at the rest areas.“At the moment, almost all the concessionaires undertake the maintenance cost themselves. There are hardly any competitive tenders for the maintenance work. If there is better transparency in the award of the work, the toll rates can be brought down,” says the official.Dealing with concerns For Azman, he is not resting on what PLUS is doing with its highways. The company is looking at using newer and cheaper materials on maintenance while not sacrificing on quality.“We want our (cost) benchmark to go even lower than our domestic peers,” he says.“This is an efficiency cycle we are always on in terms of operation as well as maintenance.“The cost goes up and today, if you don’t find other materials, it is going to go up.”Another hurdle for PLUS is when the West Coast Expressway (WCE) opens up. It is a highway that is closer to the west coast of the peninsula but runs parallel to the NSE.PLUS feels that with the opening of WCE, road users will have more choices in terms of road networks (toll and non-toll roads) to choose from. These are complementary factors that would enhance the value proposition of a road network vs an alternative mode of transport. Azman feels that while traffic volume on PLUS will be affected by 5%, the company welcomes the WCE, as it provides Malaysians who are more inclined to travel along their coastal destinations a choice that befits their needs.The overall impact on the reduction of traffic volume is less than 5% because road users who travel by car from Kuala Kangsar to Tanjung Malim will still take the NSE.Digital transformationTraveling by road allows road users to do discretionary travel, which does not need to book flight or train tickets or are compelled to follow scheduled time journey as offered by the public transport system. From studies conducted by PLUS, there will be some loss in revenue for the company when WCE starts to be fully operational. Most notably from the heavy vehicle segment, as the WCE is built on flatter coastal land which can contribute to lesser fuel consumption for heavy vehicles. Similarly, with the present public transportation choices of the ETS, for example, those who wish not to drive can do so, says PLUS.“We also see an impact when a competing infrastructure scheme is opened to the public, such as the Guthrie Corridor Expressway and LEKAS, as well as other rail transportation systems like the ETS and MRT. When there is a parallel infrastructure development to the highway corridor, the demand will react for or against it, depending on the scheme that will give the better value of time and value of money to the people,” says PLUS.Simultaneously, PLUS says it is already taking the initiatives to compete with the emergence of new highways and fulfill today’s customer expectations by embarking on digital transformation and elevating customer’s experience.PLUS is embarking on its digital transformation via a partnership with Microsoft (Malaysia) to integrate Microsoft’s Azure cloud system into its highway toll, and leverage on Microsoft’s future-ready technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics. The challenge is the will to invest in creating the data for better visibility of the future, says PLUS.It has also embarked on its digital transformation journey. Digitalisation is always the very first step before it can leap over to IR4.0. PLUS says it is currently leveraging on technology, especially on data and AI, to improve operational efficiency and strategic planning.Click here for related stories:PLUS turns to new technology to help its traffic controllersLeave PLUS alone!Related story:PLUS turns to new technology to help its traffic controllers Corporate News The North-South Expressway (NSE) is an undoubted jewel in corporate Malaysia. Since construction started in the 1980s, the continued expansion of the NSE has seen its reach expand, and in the process, its toll collection balloon.The highway was a centrepiece for the Renong Group, where its financial muscle was used to buffer the sustainability concerns of its then-parent. Its huge free cashflow also subjected it to takeover proposals until it was finally bought up by UEM Group Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in 2012 in what was the largest corporate deal in Malaysia.The lucrativeness of the NSE and its parent company – PLUS Malaysia Bhd – has not stopped prying eyes envious of its cashflow, and now, there are moves to buy over the lucrative highway.But what is the attraction of PLUS? Nation 28 Apr 2019 More eyes on the road soon Related News Paramount importance: Traffic is smooth along North-South Expressway near Ipoh. PLUS says road safety is of paramount importance.last_img read more