National Safety Symposium 2003

first_img Comments are closed. York University is the venue for this year’s National Safety Symposium, tobe held on 1 -3 September. Organised by IOSH’s Public Services Group, theconference is now in its 28th year. The 2003 Symposium will address key topics suggested by attendees at lastyear’s event and will provide an excellent opportunity for delegates toconsolidate and refresh their existing knowledge, as well as to catch up withthe latest developments in health and safety issues. Plenary speakers include Mike Cosman, head of the construction sector, HSE,who will discuss procurement; Gerard Forlin, barrister, who will provide anupdate on legal issues; and Martin Gill, Scarman Centre, University ofLeicester, who will speak on violence and aggression. During a session focusing on environmental concerns, Russell Foster, chiefexecutive at IEMA, will address environmental law, and Chris Lambert, HSEQmanager at Shell, will describe the redevelopment of the former Shell Haven oilrefinery. Other topics on the programme include stress, incident decision-making,access and workplace design, HAVS, latex allergies and pest control. Daytime activities are complemented by the evening programme. The ZurichMunicipal Safety Awards, presented in recognition of outstanding contributionsto public sector health and safety, will be the highlight of the annual publicservices group dinner on 1 September. The social evening and dinner on 2 September is a more informal occasion,after which a shuttle bus will be provided for those who wish to spend anevening in York. The fee for the full residential symposium, including all presentations,delegate pack, two nights’ accommodation (1-2 September), meals, refreshmentsand social programme, is £415+VAT. Other options are available. For details,contact IOSH’s public relations department, telephone 0116 257 3195. Bookings, for which the deadline is 15 August, can also be made on the samenumber. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article National Safety Symposium 2003On 1 Aug 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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New Esquires global master franchiser

first_imgA new company has obtained the global franchise rights to Esquires Coffee Houses – however, it will be business as usual in the UK.New Zealand company Cooks Food Group has entered a conditional sale and purchase agreement to acquire shares of Franchise Development Ltd (FDL), in a deal which will see Cooks gain master franchising rights to Esquires Coffee Houses in countries across the world. In connection with the transaction to Cooks, and through a $1.3m secured advance from the company, FDL has now also acquired the Canadian company Esquires Coffee International, Inc. As a result of this sale, it has become the master franchiser of the global intellectual property rights to Esquires Coffee Houses – overseeing a network that includes the UK and Ireland franchised operations, but excludes Canada, New Zealand and Australia.Peter Kirton, managing director of Esquires Coffee Houses UK, said: “This investment in the Esquires Coffee Houses network is very welcome news. While business will remain as usual in the UK, we will additionally benefit from a stronger global brand and the experience and expertise that will be made available to all master licensees.”last_img read more

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Jason Robert Brown & Kathleen Marshall Team Up for My Paris at Goodspeed

first_img Paris seems to be all over the U.S. theater map this season; coming to Broadway this spring are the musicals Gigi and An American in Paris, with Can-Can having recently played New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse and N—The Queen of Paris reportedly set to hit the Great White Way in March 2016 following engagements in Toronto and Chicago. My Paris is set to run through August 16. The 2015 season at the Norma Terris Theatre will also feature The Theory of Relativity, featuring a score by Neil Bartran and a book and direction by Brian Hill, from May 7 through 31. Indian Joe, featuring a score by Once Tony nominee Elizabeth A. Davis and a book by Davis and Christine Henry, will run from October 22 through November 15 under the direction of Kim Weild. The new musical will follow the life of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a nineteenth-century French painter who captured the spark of Montmarte, Le Can-Can and Le Moulin Rouge. Making appearances in the show are the characters that have been immortalized in his works. A version of Toulouse-Lautrec was portrayed in the 2001 film Moulin Rouge by John Leguizamo. Paris is so in this season! My Paris, a new musical featuring English lyrics and arrangements by Tony winner and Honeymoon in Vegas composer Jason Robert Brown, will premiere at the Goodspeed’s Norma Terris Theatre this summer. The tuner features music lyrics by French composer Charles Aznavour and a book by Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Alfred Uhry (who collaborated with Brown on Parade). Performances will begin at the famed Connecticut venue on July 23. Tony winner Kathleen Marshall will direct and choreograph. View Commentslast_img read more

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Pacquiao on fight deals: Nobody authorized to speak on my behalf

first_img‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? ADVERTISEMENT Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Suns acquire Holmes from 76ers, Arthur from Nets MOST READ LATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Manny Pacquiao’s phone will be buzzing more than usual. View comments Now a promoter, Pacquiao reminded those who want a crack at his legendary stature and welterweight title will have to give him a call and no one else.“I, through MP Promotions, will be handling any and all negotiations for my next fight. Nobody is authorized to speak on my behalf. You know my number, call me,” Pacquiao wrote on his Instagram account Saturday.Pacquiao is coming off a triumphant ring return, outclassing Lucas Matthysse via technical knockout last Sunday in the headliner of “Fight of Champions” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.It marked the first boxing event wherein Pacquiao was a fighter and promoter at the same time.The newly-minted WBA champion, who turns 40 in December, already name-dropped his possible opponents like Amir Khan, Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewlast_img read more

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COUNCIL HEAR OF ATTEMPTS TO GET LETTERKENNY AIRPORT OFF THE GROUND

first_imgThe plan for Letterkenny to get its own airport is about to take to the skies again.Letterkenny Town Council has heard how Stevenson’s Airfield on the outskirts of the town has the capacity to bring in hunderds of flights and thousands of euro in revenue each year.But for that to happen, the airstrip needs an Irish Aviation Authority license, and that will not be achieved without council support. Since October of last year, the Stevenson Family and Operations Manager Charmaine Hughes have been working towards improving the facility.Council members were told runway improvements have been made and drainage work is being done, with €70,000 already spent and plans to invest further within the airstrip.However, Ms Hughes said there is work needed outside the airstrip, particularly in terms of the access road which is in a very poor condition.She also wants the public water extended to the perimeter of the facility, which would then allow for a cafe and new toilet facilities to be developed. Councillors were also told that the Stevenson family are seeking to retain an unauthorised hanger which was erected by previous users of the airstrip, and they are asking the council to waive planning and development charges.Having made her case to the town council this week, Ms Hughes must now go to Lifford to address councillors there.EndsCOUNCIL HEAR OF ATTEMPTS TO GET LETTERKENNY AIRPORT OFF THE GROUND was last modified: June 16th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Agro Liquid Field Day

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Bart Johnson talks with Galynn Beer with Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers about why you can use lower volumes of liquid fertilizers when comparing against dry fertilizers and still maintain yields in a sustainable manner.last_img

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Fake Reviews Shadow Brands Selling Online

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Buying positive product reviews is unethical and sometimes illegal, but always sleazy. Yet the practice flourishes on popular sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google Places and Amazon, according to research firm Gartner.Online reviews, especially those posted at marketplaces like Amazon, are more popular purchasing tools than is word of mouth, according to a survey by Econsultancy. And bloggers remain a popular target for trading positive critiques for cash, coupons and promotions.But just as attractive are social networks, which are where more than half of the Internet gathers. With so many potential customers in one place, companies are desperate to build follower groups and gather more praise than competitors.The Rise In Bogus ReviewsHaving watched the online reputations of some brands rise quickly, many execs are ready to pay for even dishonest praise to catch up. A study by Cornell University found that from 2% to 6% of reviews on Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Priceline, TripAdvisor and Yelp were bogus, and that total is rising.Companies are paying for Facebook “likes” and Google+ “+1s,” along with hits on YouTube videos. The practice is found among media, entertainment, consumer goods, retail and consumer electronics vendors, Gartner says.By 2014, Gartner believes 10% to 15% of all social-media reviews and ratings will be “bought” and at least two Fortune 500 companies will face litigation from federal regulators for trying to deceive consumers.Who Sells Buzz?Roughly 50 companies sell buzz on social networks. One example is Social Jump, which charges $75 for 1,000 Facebook likes. For an extra $10, clients get geo-targeted likes, Gartner said in a recent report, “The Consequences of Fake Fans, ‘Likes’ and Reviews on Social Networks.” The Facebook thumbs-ups comes from real people, not spam bots. Social Jump also sells “+1s” on Google+, followers on Twitter and thousands of views on YouTube videos.Other companies operating in the same market include MyFBfans, SocialKik.com and Fan Bullet. Along with these companies are a number of reputation-management organizations paying people to write good reviews for clients.When Fake Reviews Are IllegalPaying a blogger or anyone else to write a glowing review is not illegal, as long as it is disclosed to the reader. Of course, doing so would gut the article’s effectiveness, so a lot of times that detail is missing. In 2009, The Federal Trade Commission published guidelines for such disclosures on blogs and other new media and has been ramping up enforcement ever since.For the first 18 months, the FTC handed what amounted to a slap to companies who had too cozy a relationship to bloggers. By mid-2011, the FTC meant business, fining Legacy Learning Systems $250,000 for hiring marketers to get good reviews on sites for one of the company’s educational DVD series.Building Consumer ConfidenceMore hefty fines and media exposure of companies paying for positive ratings and reviews is key to building consumer confidence, said Jenny Sussin, a Gartner analyst and co-author of the report. “We actually think that’s going to increase consumer trust.”In August, Facebook announced that it would start cracking down on likes that didn’t come from real fans.In an indication that the purge has begun, PageData reported last month a big drop in likes for popular pages, including Zynga’s Texas HoldEm Poker and FarmVille, as well as those of pop singers Rihanna, Lady GaGa and Justin Bieber.Separating The Good From The BadDespite efforts to stem illicit reviews, consumers will have to be on guard to spot fakes.Sussin recommended reading multiple reviews and watching for details, such as comments about a hotel’s good service but small rooms. Credible reviews typically point out good and bad features.Reviews that are over the top in criticism or praise should be suspect. “If something is too inflammatory, you can’t trust it,” Sussin said. While companies plant good reviews of their own products, they also hire people to badmouth competitors.Paid reviews ultimately bring only short-term benefits. The company may get some new customers initially, but a poor product can’t withstand the test of time. Such short-sightedness is not new in business, and has driven misleading marketing in the offline world for a long time, keeping regulators busy. The Web won’t make their jobs any easier. Tags:#biz#marketing Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting antone gonsalveslast_img read more

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Off-Field Referee Uniform

first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) is pleased to announce ordering for the Off-field range for referees courtesy of BLK is now available.To place an order please use the following Survey Monkey Portal – https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RefereeUniform Ordering Deadline – Midnight Wednesday, 10 December 2014Please see the attached Uniform Catalogue to assist in your ordering.For any enquires please contact Matt Irons [email protected] Filestfa_blk_off-field_off-field_range_-_2014-pdfRelated LinksReferee Uniformlast_img read more

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10 months agoWest Ham striker Marko Arnautovic subject of mega Chinese offer

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic subject of mega Chinese offerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham striker Marko Arnautovic is the subject of a massive bid from China.The Mirror says West Ham are poised to reject a £35m bid from China for key striker Arnautovic.The bid, from an as yet unnamed Chinese Super League Club, was submitted on Wednesday for the 29 year old Austrian, who is joint-top scorer for the Hammers this season with eight goals in 17 games in all competitions.Arnautovic moved to London Stadium for a club record £20m fee from Stoke in July 2017, scoring 11 times for West Ham last season.The Hammers have no intention of selling Arnautovic, whose contract has another four years to run.The club, sources say, value Arnautovic at far higher than £35m – having themselves spent £40m this summer on Brazilian midfielder Felipe Anderson. last_img read more

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Chiefs threaten to take action to stop Harper

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Chiefs of Ontario have a stern warning for the federal government.No unilateral imposition is going to work in their communities and they’ll take action to prevent those things from happening.The chiefs made the announcement at a news conference Thursday rejecting any proposed federal education legislation.They said it’s missing one important element.APTN National News reporter Delaney Windigo tells us what that is.last_img

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Christmas debt hangover cure starts with retracing holiday transactions

first_imgCALGARY – Like the morning after too many eggnogs the night before, many Canadian families are waking up this week to the pounding headache of a Christmas debt hangover.But credit counsellors say there’s a cure for those who have the courage to face their painful situation.Mike, a 38-year-old from Vancouver, remembers his desperation when he finally realized he needed help about five years ago.“I had no other choice. I had like $1 left on my credit card,” he said.“I had the ability to make money but no matter how much I made, I was paying it out in debt payments every month. Something had to change.”Mike, who asked his last name be withheld, owned a failing metal fabrication business in Vancouver.The trouble was he didn’t realize how badly it was failing — there wasn’t enough money coming in to cover the payments on his $20,000 business loan, resulting in him running up about $15,000 in debt on his credit cards.He described his financial plan at the time as “delusional.”For instance, although he knew he had to pay taxes, he didn’t because he couldn’t afford it. Similarly, when he calculated his income, he would look only at the revenue side and not at his crippling expenses.Today, he credits two forces for helping him get out of the quagmire — his now-wife, who let him move in with her to control living costs, and the Credit Counselling Society, which helped him consolidate his debt and pay it down with affordable $400 monthly payments.Scott Hannah, founder and president of the society, says most of its clients just need a little advice, but the society will also negotiate with creditors and collect payments on their behalf from the client in about one in five cases.“Christmas itself is a very stressful time,” he said. “When you add on financial difficulties, it just magnifies the amount of stress.”The society is one of several not-for-profit members of Credit Counselling Canada, organizations financed mainly by lending institutions that offer free debt-counselling services. It has offices in the western provinces, the North and in Ontario.Another is Money Mentors, which has offices throughout Alberta.“All too often, we see people who come in here and they’re still paying off their Christmas debt from last year,” said Money Mentors counsellor Brian Betz.“It goes on the credit card, they’re making minimum payments. They’re still paying it off and they don’t realize that.”The two agreed that the first step to getting out of debt is to get an accurate picture of where the money is going. Online bank and credit card statements can help clients identify non-essential expenses that can be reduced.Hannah said it’s important that credit cards are put on ice — “You can’t get out of debt if you keep using debt.”Setting a realistic budget is the next step. Many make the mistake of trying to pay down the debt so quickly there’s no money for essentials and the plan fails.A good budget should include a savings plan, so that unexpected expenses are easier to deal with. Families should also budget a strictly limited amount of “fun money,” Hannah said.Betz said figuring out how much Christmas cost this year will make next year’s holiday more enjoyable.“If I’m going to spend $1,200 on Christmas, that’s $100 a month I have to put aside,” he said.Dealing with the debt could involve getting a low interest consolidation loan from a bank. Or you could accelerate payments on high interest rate debt such as credit cards and pay the minimum on less expensive debt.The counsellors said too many Canadians wait too long to get help with their credit problems.The Bank of Canada calculates consumers owe about $1.71 for every dollar of household disposable income.Hannah said he thinks consumer debt will continue to grow in 2018, especially in Alberta and Saskatchewan, where the oil price slump of the past three years continues to put pressure on consumers with too much debt.Debt-free and with a full-time government job, Mike still dreams of being his own boss but is framing those dreams in much more realistic terms these days.“Definitely, now I can afford to buy more Christmas presents for the nieces and nephews,” he said. “I was never the uncle who brings presents before.”Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more

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BC Hydro to negotiate power purchase agreements with Saulteau and West Moberly

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — BC Hydro says that it plans to pursue electricity purchase agreement negotiations with two First Nations in the Peace Region.The West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations are partners with Natural Forces in the Sukunka Wind and Zonnebeke Wind projects near Chetwynd. Each of the wind projects is comprised of four wind turbines that are located east of Highway 29 near the former Natural Springs Golf Resort roughly 15 kilometres south of Chetwynd.BC Hydro said that it plans to pursue power purchase agreement negotiations with three other First Nations power projects in B.C. The five projects were selected because they are part of Impact Benefit Agreements with BC Hydro and have significant First Nations involvement. The Standing Offer program is a non-competitive, streamlined process with set pricing for small, clean energy generation projects. Hydro says that the Micro Standing Offer program requires the project have significant First Nations ownership and active participation. “Moving forward with the development of these energy projects is a step in the right direction in creating opportunities for First Nations in the province, while also contributing to B.C.’s clean energy future,” said Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Michelle Mungall.“Through the Standing Offer and Micro Standing Offer programs, we’ve seen the development of small-scale renewable energy projects, including solar, wind, and biomass throughout the province. These projects contributed over 300 gigawatt hours of clean energy to BC Hydro’s system in 2016,”said BC Hydro CEO Chris O’Riley. “The five latest projects demonstrate our commitment to creating opportunities for Indigenous groups in B.C.”last_img read more

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The North Matters to present Vivian Krause on June 14 in Taylor

first_imgAccording to FSJ for LNG founder, Alan Yu, Krause has become widely known and highly valued for her research in Anti-Resource groups.“Her carefully documented research on the funding network of foundations, and their influence on Canadian anti-resource groups has become widely known and highly valued by interested citizens of every stripe from coast to coast to coast.”Vivian Krause will be presenting in Taylor on Friday, June 14, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Taylor Community Hall.For more information, you can visit The North Matters’ Facebook page. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Independent Investigative Researcher Vivian Krause will be coming to the North Peace to discuss the issues that Canada’s Resource Industry is currently facing.Presented by The North Matters, Krause will be particularly looking at the impact that the high level of activism has on oil and gas resource communities.During her talk, Krause will be shining a spotlight on the finances and structures behind many activist groups, especially those that are influenced by foreign funding.last_img read more

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Rafale deal BJP accuses Rahul Gandhi of contempt of court

first_imgNew Delhi: Accusing Congress president Rahul Gandhi of gross contempt of court, the BJP on Wednesday said he attributed to the Supreme Court what it had never said in its order on the Rafale deal. Addressing a press conference, senior party leader and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “The Congress president probably doesn’t read even half a paragraph of the court’s order, but here, by saying that the court has has said ‘chowkidaar chor hai’, it is verging on contempt of court.” Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The president of a party which has been in power for so many years has shown his frustration by attributing words to the apex which were not uttered, she said. The minister added that the court order was limited to whether it should consider the documents the government said were illegally obtained by petitioners. Taking a potshot at Gandhi, she said he is out on bail and was accompanied at his nomination filing in Amethi by “the family” — as described Christen Michel, an alleged middlemen in VVIP chopper deal. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Gandhi has crossed the line of decency in his comments on the court, she said, adding that he is repeatedly misleading people on the Rafale fighter jet deal. Buoyed by the Supreme Court order allowing petitioners seeking a review of the Rafale judgment to rely on leaked documents, Gandhi claimed the apex court has made it “clear” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “committed a theft”. Gandhi then challenged Modi to a debate on the Rafale military aircraft deal, which the Congress claims involved corruption, a charge repeatedly rejected by the government. Asked whether the court order is a setback for the government, Sitharaman said, “Not at all.” She said things would now become crystal clear.last_img read more

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Spain satisfied over Moroccos ratification of fisheries agreement with EU

first_imgMadrid – The Spanish government expressed “satisfaction” over Morocco’s ratification of the fisheries agreement with the European Union, stressing that this is “a sustainable agreement from the economic, social and environmental angles that will benefit both sides.”The agreement, which “fulfills better technical conditions than the previous protocol” will allow around 90 Spanish ships, mostly traditional ones” and around 715 crew members, says a release of the Spanish ministry of agriculture, food and environment.The source went on that this “totally sustainable” agreement will benefit the coastal population and contains provisions that guarantee human rights. The four-year agreement signed last July allows fishing vessels from 11 EU countries to fish in Moroccan waters in return for an annual compensation of 30 million Euros, including 14 million earmarked to support the Moroccan fisheries sector.last_img read more

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Breaking down NFL Championship weekend

New York Jets vs. Indianapolis ColtsThis contest resembles the movie “Saving Private Ryan.” The American soldiers that were ordered to find private Ryan captured a German soldier. The Americans could have easily executed the soldier, but the character played by Tom Hanks told his patrol to let him go.In the conclusion of the movie, that same German soldier who was set free kills one of the American soldiers in that same patrol.When the Colts and Jets originally faced each other in Week 16, Indianapolis had a lead going into the second half and looked as if it would continue its undefeated season. Also, if the Jets lost the game, they would be out of the playoff hunt altogether, their season virtually over.But instead of ending the Jets’ playoff hopes, the Colts pulled their marquee players in the second half to rest for January. The Jets went on to win the contest and they have recently gone on a miraculous run to reach the AFC Championship game against the team that gave them an extra life.After the Colts let the Jets slip right through their fingers, they now will have to face off with a team that is currently brimming with confidence. Some critics believe that Indianapolis has lost its edge after resting their starters, but they won’t take New York lightly.The Colts are the only team left in the playoff that has been in the Super Bowl in recent memory. New York hasn’t won since a quarterback named Joe Namath guaranteed a championship victory in Super Bowl III. Indy is stockpiled with playoff experience and is led by MVP quarterback Peyton Manning and receiving threats Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. The Jets have an elite running attack, but the Colts proved to the world that they could shut down the run after silencing the Baltimore Ravens’ impressive running game.Jets head coach Rex Ryan said in the first five minutes of his inaugural press conference that his team would win the Super Bowl. Sports fans around the country laughed at the cocky coach, but New York is only one win away from reaching their destination.The Jets defense was able to slow down the Chargers’ high-octane offense with a bend-but-don’t-break approach last weekend. Rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez is a perfect complement to his defense as he is playing mistake free football. Rookie running back Shonn Green and veteran Thomas Jones have been the key to the Jets’ playoff success, leading the league in rushing .The Colts are playing in their cozy confines in Indianapolis and have plenty of incentives to seek revenge against the Jets, but the Jets are clicking at just the right time and will fulfill Rex Ryan’s prediction.Pick: New York Jets Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans SaintsSo far, Brett Favre has dismissed some of his critics while leading the Vikings to the NFC Championship game. At the age of 40, Favre has had arguably his most successful season. It seems that he has finally learned that his gunslinging mentality of the last few years won’t work against modern defenses. Favre has become a game manager this season while racking up an impressive number of touchdowns and throwing a career-low seven interceptions. But it also doesn’t hurt to have running back Adrian Peterson standing behind him.Saints running back Reggie Bush doesn’t look like the same collegiate player from USC who avoided contact and juked around defenders. To the surprise of football fans around the country, Bush ran over defenders to gain chunks of yards against the Arizona Cardinals last weekend. New Orleans possesses a three-headed monster of running backs featuring Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell and Bush. Along with their dynamic pass offense, led by quarterback Drew Brees and stud receiver Marques Colston, the Saints have almost a limitless arsenal on offense.Don’t discredit the Saints defense. After a week of rest in the bye week in Wildcard weekend, key defensive players had time to heal their injuries. This was surely displayed when the Saints defense made Kurt Warner look like Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell. The Viking defense is easily the superior squad in this contest. The front four of Minnesota’s defensive line tormented Tony Romo the entire contest last weekend, not allowing the Dallas quarterback to produce anything significant. Jared Allen leads arguably the best defense line in football and the team secondary is ranked among the league’s elite.The Superdome should play a significant factor in this Conference Championship game. The Saints will ride the New Orleans crowd that is begging for their first ever Super Bowl. The No. 1 seed in the NFC should answer their call to win the high-scoring contest.Pick: New Orleans Saints read more

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Commentary Reds Indians managers produce same results with different styles

Courtesy of MCTBoth the Cleveland and Cincinnati baseball organizations have managers that are familiar with winning. Although the two men have different managing techniques, they both seem to know which buttons to push. Cleveland’s Terry Francona’s loose way of orchestrating seems to fit his team’s persona. On the other hand, Cincinnati’s Dusty Baker’s calm approach to guiding a team appears to work, but has not gotten his team over the hump to win a championship.It is not farfetched to believe the Indians can win a championship with Francona at the helm. The former Boston manager won two titles with the Red Sox, one where his team defeated the Tribe in the American League Championship Series before winning it all in 2007.With a little over half of his first season as the Tribe’s manager under his belt, Francona has seen a fair amount of success with his new team. The Indians are second in the division, trailing the Tigers by 2.5 games. In recent years, the Indians have been in this identical position leading up to the All-Star break, but then find themselves in the back of the pack by season’s end. With the way the season has gone so far, it’s looking more and more like Francona has a formula that will keep his team in the playoff race into September.Cleveland’s skipper has a bit of a loose approach when it comes to managing. He likes his players to have fun on the field, and his loose personality appears to be working well with the team’s character. An example of Francona’s easy going style came before the start of the season when the team took part in the nationwide craze of making a “Harlem Shake” dance video.Although Cleveland has gone through a few managers over the past ten seasons the Reds have not, as Baker is in his six straight year with the organization.Although some may want Baker out of Cincinnati, no one can complain about him leading his ball club to two division titles in the last three years. The Reds won their division both in 2010 and again in 2012. Before the 2010 season, the only time Cincinnati had won the central division was in 1995. That year also marks the last year the Reds made the playoffs prior to the Baker era. He has turned the franchise into a consistent playoff contender.As great as it is that Baker has won division titles in Cincinnati, the higher goal is to get deep into the playoffs and win a World Series. The last two playoff appearances for the Reds have been the opposite of that. In 2010, Cincinnati was swept in three games in the divisional series against Philadelphia. The 2012 squad had a 2-0 lead on San Francisco before losing the next three games at home in the divisional series. Baker has been an outstanding manager in regards to getting his teams to the playoffs, but the playoff appearances are short-lived.Baker’s managing style is mainly laid back and relaxed, though there are times where he gets intense and wears his emotions on his sleeve. How the squad is this season, he may have to be more forward than usual in order to get his team on a roll. This 2013 team appears to be the type needing a constant push, seeming to have no sense of urgency. During one of the club’s more recent hitting slumps, second baseman Brandon Phillips said they would eventually get out of it. Baker needs to be more assertive and tell his players that eventually is not good enough.Both managers have the makeup of bringing championships to their respective cities. With this being Francona’s first year in Cleveland, he has a couple seasons to prove himself. Baker does not have that luxury with this being his sixth year in Cincinnati.The rest of the season is important to both franchises and managers as each are making a playoff push. read more

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Opinion Braxton Miller could feature prominently in Ohio States season opener

Then-junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) looks for an open receiver during the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl against Clemson Jan. 3 at Sun Life Stadium. OSU lost, 40-35.Credit: Lantern file photoSkepticism and doubt surrounded Braxton Miller when he announced in late July via an interview with Sports Illustrated that he’d be transitioning from his original position of quarterback to H-back this upcoming season.On a roster brimming with talent, especially on offense, many wondered just how much of the field the redshirt senior would see in what will be his final season at Ohio State. On top of taking on the challenges of learning a whole new position, Miller would have to leapfrog a multitude of skilled players.Regardless of his incredible playmaking ability, it looked like it’d be an uphill climb for the two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.That is, until OSU coach Urban Meyer announced that redshirt sophomore Jalin Marshall and junior Dontre Wilson, as well as wide receiver Corey Smith, would be suspended for the Buckeyes’ season opener at Virginia Tech. Junior star defensive end Joey Bosa was also amongst those suspended.Outside of Bosa, all were projected to be key components in OSU’s spread offense. Marshall and Wilson are hybrid type players, and each play the role of H-back. Smith, entering his redshirt senior season, enjoyed a great spring and had firmly cemented his status as the No. 2 wideout in rotation.So, through unfortunate circumstances, a rare opportunity has been presented to Miller. With the highly anticipated “revenge game” fast approaching, he’s in line to receive significant minutes.Thus far, his move to H-back has gone pretty seamlessly and has fans eager to see what he’ll bring to the table. Miller is still capable of breaking any game wide open as his athletic ability has been all too apparent in practices, something senior linebacker Joshua Perry has become pretty familiar with.“Don’t blink, he’s got some of the crispest, most ridiculous moves,” Perry said at the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago on July 30. “His footwork is amazing, he’s really fluid, and his speed is obvious.”Meyer, a former wide receiver coach, remains skeptical and is Miller’s biggest critic, going so far as to say that it’d be “uncommon” to throw the ex-quarterback straight into the fire so early in the season. Admittedly so, the three-time national champion coach can’t deny the kind of difference-maker that sits ready in his stable.“He’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever coached,” Meyer said on July 30. “He’s got an incredible first step. Above all else, you say it’s time to win or lose, and he’s not going to lose.”The expectation is that Miller will be a true “impact player” on offense. Considering the suspensions that have been handed out, plan on seeing a fairly heavy dosage of him in the Buckeyes’ Sept. 7 showdown in Blacksburg, Va.Only versatile sophomore, and current backup running back, Curtis Samuel stands in Miller’s way at H-back. Time will tell, though, as to who exactly will get the majority of the work at the hybrid position.How Miller comes along in terms of the continued development of his route running is something worth keeping a close eye on. At any rate, Meyer will undoubtedly find it tough to make a case for not adequately providing OSU’s in-state product with substantial playing time come Week One. read more

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Mens Hockey Jeremy Hoy focuses on preparation in first season with Ohio

The Ohio State men’s hockey team gathers prior to the start of the game against Wisconsin on Feb. 23 in the Schottenstein Centern. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorAssociate strength and conditioning coach Jeremy Hoy joined the Ohio State men’s hockey team in early August. Long before, the Buckeyes had seen his work firsthand, even if they didn’t know his name.“When I was at Robert Morris, we played Ohio State,” Hoy said. “In talking to these guys, they’re just like ‘Man, every time we turn around you guys were there. You never got tired, you were always hitting us.’”Before joining Ohio State, Hoy worked as a strength and conditioning coach all over the country. He’s coached at his own gym in Pittsburgh, with the gold medal-winning 2018 US Under-18 Women’s National Team and most recently at Robert Morris University, where the Colonials faced off against Ohio State multiple times during Hoy’s career. Hoy said he prides himself on the way he prepares his teams for the ice. He spends his time working out players, evaluating them during practice to identify their needs and, above all, making sure the team is game ready.“I’m responsible for a lot of aspects of physical preparation,” he said. “I’m making sure the guys are ready to go, I’m working with the athletic training staff to make sure they’re healthy … I’m going to recondition them, making sure they’re ready to go and they’re game ready all the time.”One aspect of the job Hoy focuses on is the relationship he forms with the team and each individual player. He works with each player to assess where they are and ensure they are in the best possible condition when they hit the ice. With the science behind strength and conditioning improving since Hoy entered the field nearly 20 years ago, there is a greater focus on each individual player rather than assuming a strength and conditioning routine works for everyone. The lessons from Hoy and the athletic training staff, however, don’t end in the weight room, or even on the ice.“What I feel like we’re doing is not preparing them to possibly play hockey at the next level … but we want them to be able to contribute to society in a positive way beyond college,” Hoy said. “When they’re done we want them to be able to enter the real world and have a positive impact from what they do.”Once the preparation is finalized for each game, Hoy said he holds a different perspective when his team enters the rink. Coaches and players focus on running plays and optimizing their strategy on the ice to win. Hoy still wants the team to win, but he has a different set of expectations for his players than most going into their games.“I feel like I haven’t done a good enough job if our team is being out-skated, out-conditioned, even out-hustled,” Hoy said. “I want to get the guys going. I want to be the one winning in all those areas every time. I also feel like I’m not doing my job if guys aren’t game ready.”While Hoy has only been at Ohio State for about a month, head coach Steve Rohlik believes he’s already left an impression on the team.“In the small sample we’ve had, he’s made a big impact,” Rohlik said. “No. 1 because he wants to be here … his energy, his knowledge and what he brings, his history, and the work he’s done for almost 20 years. Our guys have bought into his tremendous work ethic.”As Hoy prepares for his first season with Ohio State, his message to the team is clear.“I want to be the team that we’re talented and we’re going to outwork you. We’re going to bring both those together,” he said. “That starts here on the ice. Everything we do, it’s a mentality, a mindset that were going to work hard, give 100 percent effort and we’re engaged in doing everything we do.” read more

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Alderweirelds situation getting complicated

first_imgToby Alderweireld is not about to sign a new contract with Tottenham Hotspur and it seems that he will leave this summer – and he won’t get much playing time until then.Mauricio Pochettino insisted that he won’t change the system or his decision just because the player needs more playing time before the World Cup and Alderweireld is no longer his number one choice for the centre back.The former Southampton coach spoke about his side’s defender as he said, according to 101 Great Goals:“I need to pick the players that I believe are the best players to win against Chelsea and then against Stoke. I cannot play with more than 11 and you need to choose.”Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“I am agreed that the players need to play and compete but for me, first of all, every single player needs to show in the training session that they are better than their team-mate and then at that moment I pick.”“Toby in the last four months has struggled with his injury. I am not going to change the system because Toby needs games for the World Cup.”“I need to pick two centre-backs and if you are happy you keep the couple of players and he needs to wait.”last_img read more

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Ulreich apologises to Bayern fans

first_imgBayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich has apologised to the fans after his mistake proved to be very costly in their 4-3 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finalsThe German made a critical error by losing his footing while approaching a back-pass from teammate Corentin Tolisso shortly after the break to allow Karim Benzema to add his second of the match and gave Real a 2-1 lead at the Santiago Bernabeu.While James Rodriguez managed to equalise against his parent club, Bayern was unable to find a tie-winning third goal and the German side was eliminated from the competition.Ulreich, who has been the number one goalkeeper at Bayern this season in the place of the injured Manuel Neuer, apologised to the supporters for his error.“Words cannot describe how disappointed I am about leaving the Champions League,” the 29-year-old wrote Instagram.rb leipzig, bayern munichReport: Bayern are held by Leipzig George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Bayern Munich was held to another draw, this time by RB Leipzig.Bayern Munich finds themselves in the unfamiliar position of sitting third in the…“We really wanted to reach the final and we did our best and then this unnecessary mistake happened to me.“I cannot explain it. I’m sorry… for my team and for you fans.”last_img read more

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Keylor Navas on Real Madrid future Im calm I have two

first_imgReal Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas insists that he is “calm” over his future, despite reports suggesting that he could soon be dropped in favour of Thibaut Courtois’ arrival from Chelsea this summerNavas has been the first-choice at the Santiago Bernabeu for the past three years but, in that period, he has often been on the receiving end of criticism and uncertainty over his future.Following Real’s failed attempts to sign either David de Gea and Alisson from Manchester United and AS Roma respectively, the Spanish giants have now reportedly turned their attention to Chelsea’s unsettled number one goalkeeper Courtois.But after three years of constant rumours, Navas has evidently learned to just focus on himself.“I’m happy, the truth is that I’m very thankful to God because these are incredible opportunities,” said the 31-year-old, as stated on Marca.“I have all the hope in the world, just like in my first season.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“We’re going to work hard, putting effort in every day and we’ll keep enjoying what it is to be at Real Madrid.”When asked if he could be leaving Real this summer, Navas answered: “I’m calm, I have two more years on my contract, what I have to put my mind and energy into is how to improve every day, the effort that I have to put in,”“I have to enjoy every moment, we will see what happens in the future, but that doesn’t mean stop enjoying, I’m calm and I feel good.“I still have the same hope and excitement, to be competitive, to always want to win, it’s something you can never lose.”After joining Real from fellow La Liga side Levante in 2014, Navas has gone on to make 141 appearances in all competitions for the Champions League holders.last_img read more

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Researchers find some plants get their nitrogen from fungi that kill insects

first_img Citation: Researchers find some plants get their nitrogen from fungi that kill insects (2012, June 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-06-nitrogen-fungi-insects.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. After noting that a prior team of researchers had found that white pine trees got some of their nitrogen from fungus living in their roots that had obtained the nitrogen by killing springtails, the team wondered if perhaps many other plants did the same. To find out, they chose two random but common plants, haricot beans and switchgrass.First they fed waxmoth larve a diet rich in a non-common type of nitrogen; nitrogen-15, so as to be able to distinguish it from the nitrogen that would normally be found in the plants. Next they infected the soil near the roots of the plants with Metarhizium, a very common type of fungi that is known to kill insects by releasing an enzyme that eats its way through the outer shell allowing the bug inside to be easily devoured. Then, they buried the infected larvae in the soil among the plant roots, along with a mesh to prevent the roots of the plants from reaching past the infected soil to soil that had been enriched with nitrogen through normal bacterial decomposition.Two weeks later they tested the plants and found that the nitrogen in the beans was 28% nitrogen-15, and 32% in the switchgrass, proving that the plants had obtained at least some of their nitrogen from the fungi that had in turn got it from killing the enriched larvae. The chain was complete.Because they used both common plants and fungi, the team believes their results show that such nitrogen chains: insects-fungi-plants, are likely very common. They say more research is needed however, to determine if the chain they created in the lab is just as prevalent in the wild. © 2012 Phys.Org Explore further Journal information: Sciencecenter_img Fungi important in Arctic nitrogen cycle Cockroach killed by Metarhizium anisopliae. Image: Chengshu Wang and Yuxian Xia, via Wikipedia. (Phys.org) — We’ve all grown up with stories of plants that capture, kill and eat insects; the Venus fly trap the most notable example. Now it appears some plants get their nitrogen from insects via proxy. Instead of having to develop a complicated system of traps to catch insects on their own, they rely on fungi to do their dirty work for them. A team of Canadian researchers from Brock University, St. Catharine’s, has found that some plants, as they describe in their paper published in Science, grab nitrogen from fungi that live in its roots. The fungi get it from killing insects. In return for its generosity, the fungi get carbon. More information: Endophytic Insect-Parasitic Fungi Translocate Nitrogen Directly from Insects to Plants, Science 22 June 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6088 pp. 1576-1577 DOI: 10.1126/science.1222289ABSTRACTMost plants obtain nitrogen through nitrogen-fixing bacteria and microbial decomposition of plant and animal material. Many vascular plants are able to form close symbiotic associations with endophytic fungi. Metarhizium is a common plant endophyte found in a large number of ecosystems. This abundant soil fungus is also a pathogen to a large number of insects, which are a source of nitrogen. It is possible that the endophytic capability and insect pathogenicity of Metarhizium are coupled to provide an active method of nitrogen transfer to plant hosts via fungal mycelia. We used soil microcosms to test the ability of M. robertsii to translocate insect-derived nitrogen to plants. Insects were injected with 15N-labeled nitrogen, and we tracked the incorporation of 15N into amino acids in two plant species, haricot bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), in the presence of M. robertsii. These findings are evidence that active nitrogen acquisition by plants in this tripartite interaction may play a larger role in soil nitrogen cycling than previously thought.last_img read more

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The mainstream media are falling over themselves t

first_imgThe mainstream media are falling over themselves talking about Russia’s just-signed “Holy Grail” gas deal with China, which is expected to be worth more than $400 billion. But here’s what I think the real news is… and nobody’s talking about it—until now, that is. China’s President Xi Jinping has publicly stated that it’s time for a new model of security, not just for China, but for all of Asia. This new model of security, otherwise known as “the new UN,” will include Russia and Iran, but not the United States or the EU-28. This monumental gas deal with China does so much more for Russia than the Western media are reporting. First off, it opens up Russian oil and gas supplies to all of Asia. It’s no coincidence that Russian President Putin announced the gas deal with China at a time when the tensions with the West over Ukraine were growing. Putin has US President Obama exactly where he wants him, and it’s only going to get worse for Europe and America. But before I explain why that is, let’s put this deal in terms we can understand. The specific details have not been announced, but my sources tell me that the contract will bring in over US$10 billion a year of revenue to start with. The 30-year deal states that every year, the Russians will deliver 1.3 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas to China. The total capital expenditure to build the pipeline and all other infrastructure for the project will be more than $22 billion—this will be one of the largest projects in the world. You can bet the Russians won’t take payment in US dollars for their gas. This is the beginning of the end for the petrodollar. The Chinese and Russians are working together against the Americans, and there are many countries that would be happy to join them in dethroning the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. This historic gas deal between Russia and China is very bad news for the petrodollar. Through this one deal, the Russians will provide about 25% of China’s current natural gas demand. In a word, this is huge. It’s also not a coincidence that Putin sealed the deal with China before the Australian, US, and Canadian liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals are completed. If you read our recent Casey Energy Report issue on LNG, you know to be wary of the hype about LNG’s “bright future.” Take note: this deal is a serious negative for the global LNG projects. I also stated in our April 2012 newsletter: Putin has positioned Russia to play an increasingly dominant role in the global gas scene with two general strategies: first, by building new pipelines to avoid transiting troublesome countries and to develop Russia’s ability to sell gas to Asia, and second, by jumping into the liquefied natural gas (LNG) scene with new facilities in the Far East. Pretty bang on for a comment that was made over two years ago in print, don’t you think? So, what’s next? Lots. Putin will continue to outsmart Obama. (Note to all Americans: the Russians make fun of you—not just for your poor choice of presidents, but also for your failed foreign policy that has led to most of the world hating America. But I digress.) You will see Russia announce a major nuclear deal with Iran, where the Russians will build, finance, and supply the uranium for many nuclear reactors. The Russians will do the same for China, and then Syria. With China signing the natural gas deal with Russia and the president of China publicly stating that it’s time to create a new security model for the Asian nations that includes Russia and Iran, it’s clear China has chosen Russia over the US. We are now in the early stages of the Colder War. The European Union will be the first victim. The EU is completely dependent on Russia for its oil and natural gas imports—over one-third of the EU-28’s supply of oil and natural gas comes from Russia. I’ve been writing for years about this, and I’m watching it come true right now: the only way out for the EU countries is to use modern North American technology to revitalize their old proven oil and gas deposits. I call it the European Energy Renaissance, and there’s a fortune to be made from it. Our Casey Energy Report portfolio has already been doing quite well from investing in the European Energy Renaissance, but this is only the beginning. If Europe is to survive the Colder War, it has no choice but to develop its own natural resources. There are naysayers who claim that Europe cannot and will not do that, for many reasons. I say rubbish. Of course, to make money from this European dilemma, it’s imperative to only invest in the best management teams, operating in those countries with the political will to do what it takes to survive… but if you do, you could make a fortune. Doug Casey and I plan on doing so, and so should you. For example, two weeks ago in this missive, I discussed “The Most Anticipated Oil Well of 2014,” where if you invested, in just two weeks you could be up over 40%. Not only did I write in great detail about the company, I even interviewed the CEO because of the serious potential this high-risk junior holds. I said in that Dispatch that the quality of the recorded interview wasn’t first class, but the quality of information was. The company just put together a very high-quality, professional video showing its potential, and I include it here for all to watch. Since my write-up, the company has announced incredible news. It’s only months away now from knowing whether or not it has made a world-class discovery. Subscribers to the Casey Energy Report are already sitting on some good, short-term profits with this story, but it keeps getting better. The more the tension is building in Ukraine (and it’s going to get worse), the more money we’re going to make from the Colder War. There’s nothing you can do about the current geopolitical situation, but you can position yourself and your family to benefit financially from the European Energy Renaissance. Now You Can Take the Lead… We Make It Simple We expect great things from this company and other companies that are exposed to the European Energy Renaissance. You can read our ongoing guidance on this and our other top energy stocks every month in the Casey Energy Report. In the current issue, for example, you’ll find an in-depth report on the coal sector, uranium, and updates on all of our portfolio companies that are poised to benefit most from the European Energy Renaissance. There’s no risk in trying it: If you don’t like the Casey Energy Report or don’t make any money within your first three months, just cancel within that time for a full, prompt refund. Even if you miss the cutoff, you can cancel anytime for a prorated refund on the unused part of your subscription. You don’t have to travel 300+ days a year to discover the best energy investments in the world—we do it for you. Click here to get started. Additional Links and Reads Cambridge House Conference Appearance I am speaking at 3 p.m. PDT on Sunday, June 1 in Vancouver at the Cambridge House conference. Since I’m the hometown boy and have the hometown advantage, the Cambridge House crew put me in the Diversified Hall, and to make sure the rooms were evenly filled with attendees, my competition during that time slot is a panel with four of my friends in the Mining Hall (Brent Cook, Eric Coffin, John Kaiser, and Lawrence Roulston). As Elvis said about the Beatles, “They’re good, but there is four of them and only one of me.” Thank ya, thank ya very much… Sprott Vancouver Natural Resource Symposium 2014 My friend, mentor, and partner Rick Rule is hosting this Symposium July 22-25. Rick has selected most of the companies, and I helped with some of my favorite ones also. I’ll be there, as will Doug Casey, Louis James, and Olivier Garret. It’s a great time of the year in Vancouver, and it’s definitely a show worth seeing. I’ll share more details in upcoming Daily Dispatches, but you may want to reserve your ticket now, as the Symposium is expected to sell out. When you do register, make sure you mention that you got referred by Casey Research. P.S. Don’t tell them I told you this, but the conference always has great wines at the end of each day, when you get to mingle with the speakers—so you’re guaranteed to see Rick, Doug, and me with a glass or two of fine vino in the late afternoon.last_img read more

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FEMA is planning to sell off thousands of leftover

first_imgFEMA is planning to sell off thousands of leftover trailer homes in Texas.The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent the trailers for temporarily homeless families after Hurricane Harvey struck in August 2017. But not all of them were used. Now FEMA is auctioning the leftovers online to the public with a minimum bid of $100 for trailers that range from 1 bedroom units, valued at $57,354, to 3-bedroom units with a value of $70,965.This practice is controversial (more on that later).And it brings up the question: What happens to surplus humanitarian aid?Bassam Michel Ibrahim, head of global logistics for the Norwegian Refugee Council, an international aid group, says that a surplus of humanitarian supplies should be a rare occurrence. In his experience, relief organizations are consistently up against a lack of funding and a lack of supplies.According to Ibrahim, aid missions usually go through an intense planning process to ensure that all supplies are delivered and used as intended. This detailed process allows aid groups to report to their donors exactly how their money is being used, and it means there are almost never leftovers.If there is a surplus, Ibrahim says it’s usually because problems arise that are outside of their control – like conflict breaking out or a landslide cutting off the only road to a village – that prevent them from delivering the aid. Nonetheless, surpluses do occur.Guillaume Brumagne, a logistics supervisor at Doctors Without Borders, says that the medical aid group deals with leftover supplies on a regular basis because their teams bring a lot of items – including drugs, medical equipment and shelters – when they arrive in a country to address a health crisis. Once the crisis is over and it’s time to scale down, they must figure out what to do with what’s left.”The general rule within [Doctors Without Borders] is always to try to see how can these items benefit another partner within the country,” says Brumagne.Brumagne says that whether the item is a used tent or unused medical equipment, they try to donate it to a similar actor in the area – possibly the ministry of health, a local health clinic or another medical charity. If they can’t find someone in the medical field who can use the item, they donate it in a way that still helps the local population. For example, Doctors Without Borders has donated tents to create more classroom space for schools.The one thing they try to avoid is giving supplies to someone who will then sell them.”The foundation of what we do is bringing aid to people that is completely free, accessible and without any kind of discrimination,” Brumagne says. “Even if in the end we don’t use the aid ourselves, we want to find a way for it to benefit the people it’s supposed to benefit, without them having to pay for it.”Both Ibrahim and Brumagne say they’ve never seen a reason to sell aid instead of donate it.”Why would we?” says Ibrahim. “There are always more needs than we are able to meet.”Other aid agencies, including those that are part of the U.S. government, also try to donate surplus property from disaster relief efforts. But in some instances, as in Texas, arms of the U.S. government do sell things off. In fact, there are official channels for them to do so, whether the excess supplies are trailer homes, tents, office supplies or other items. According to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), federal agencies may sell unneeded property to the public through GSA’s auction system if no other government agencies or qualified voluntary organizations are interested in it.The official policy FEMA sent NPR says that when the agency’s trailer homes are deemed “unsuitable for disaster survivors elsewhere,” FEMA can either put them up for auction or sell them to the current occupants.In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, FEMA was criticized for selling trailer homes at “cut-rate prices after 18 months of use or the first sign of minor damage.” Since then, the agency has said they sell mobile homes at an “adjusted fair market value,” not cut-rate prices or for pennies on the dollar. The official policy that FEMA provided to NPR does not address at what age or in what condition the units are put up for sale.Although the U.S. government willingly sells certain disaster-relief supplies, regulations prohibit the sale of government-issued military and humanitarian meal rations. So if you see them offered by an online retailer, for prices like $100 for a case of 10 meals on eBay, they’re likely being sold by the recipients themselves by the company that makes them.Janet Nelson, who co-owns TheEpicenter.com – an Oregon-based company that sells emergency supplies – says her company only carries overstock humanitarian daily rations from manufacturers. When the government doesn’t purchase the entire order placed with a manufacturer, the manufacturer repackages the kits for civilian use and sells them to dealers like Nelson’s company. She says the last time they sold humanitarian daily rations was right after Hurricane Katrina.And then there are the reports that FEMA tents were used at the failed Fyre Festival – a luxury music festival held on a Bahamian island in April 2017 that quickly spiraled into an epic fail, from lodging to meals to security.The mainstream media and social media widely reported that leftover FEMA disaster-relief tents were the accommodation for festival-goers, who spent thousands of dollars to attend. That claim is repeated in two new documentaries about the festival.But that’s not the case. Clay Kimsey, a sales representative for the manufacturer (Shelter Systems) says the tents were purchased brand-new through a third-party vendor that was “not any type of humanitarian group.””Yes, those were our structures,” he says, and they have on occasion sold their tents to relief organizations and government agencies. In the case of the Fyre Festival, they were sold for recreational use at an event that turned out to be a disaster.Joanne Lu is a freelance journalist who covers global poverty and inequity. Her work has appeared in Humanosphere, The Guardian, Global Washington and War is Boring. Follow her on Twitter: @joannelu Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

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Three times a week 66yearold Tod Gervich inject

first_imgThree times a week, 66-year-old Tod Gervich injects himself with Copaxone, a prescription drug that can reduce the frequency of relapses in people who have some forms of multiple sclerosis. After living with the disease for more than 20 years, the self-employed certified financial planner in Mashpee, Mass., is accustomed to managing his condition. What he can’t get used to is how Medicare’s coinsurance charges put a strain on his wallet.Unlike commercial plans that cap members’ out-of-pocket drug spending annually, Medicare has no limit for prescription medications in Part D, its drug benefit. With the cost of specialty drugs increasing, some Medicare beneficiaries could owe thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket drug costs every year for a single drug.Recent proposals by the Trump administration and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., would address the long-standing problem by imposing a spending cap. But it’s unclear whether any of these proposals will gain a foothold.The 2006 introduction of the Medicare prescription drug benefit was a boon for seniors, but the coverage had weak spots. One was the so-called doughnut hole — the gap beneficiaries fell into after they accumulated a few thousand dollars in drug expenses and were then on the hook for the full cost of their medications. Another was the lack of an annual cap on drug spending.Legislative changes have gradually closed the doughnut hole so that this year beneficiaries no longer face a coverage gap. In a standard Medicare drug plan, beneficiaries pay 25 percent of the price of their brand-name drugs until they reach $5,100 in out-of-pocket costs. Once patients reach that threshold, the catastrophic portion of their coverage kicks in, and their obligation drops to 5 percent. But it never disappears.It’s that ongoing 5 percent that hits hard for people, like Gervich, who take expensive medications.His 40-milligram dose of Copaxone costs about $75,000 annually, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In January, Gervich paid $1,800 for the drug, and he paid another $900 in February. Discounts that drug manufacturers are required to provide to Part D enrollees also counted toward his out-of-pocket costs. (More on that later.) By March, he had hit the $5,100 threshold that pushed him into catastrophic coverage. For the rest of the year, he’ll owe $295 a month for this drug, until the cycle starts over again in January.That $295 is a far cry from the approximately $6,250 monthly Copaxone price without insurance. But, combined with the $2,700 he had already paid before his catastrophic coverage kicked in, the additional $2,950 he’ll owe this year is no small amount. And that assumes he needs no other medications.”I feel like I’m being punished financially for having a chronic disease,” he says. He has considered discontinuing Copaxone to save money.His drug bill is one reason Gervich has decided not to retire yet, he says, adding that an annual cap on his out-of-pocket costs “would definitely help.”Drugs like Copaxone that can modify the effects of the disease have been on a steep upward price trajectory in recent years, says Bari Talente, executive vice president for advocacy at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Drugs that five years ago cost $60,000 annually now cost $90,000, she says. With those totals, Medicare beneficiaries “are going to hit catastrophic coverage no matter what.”Specialty-tier drugs for multiple sclerosis, cancer and other conditions — defined by Medicare as those that cost more than $670 a month — account for more than 20 percent of total spending in Part D plans, up from about 6 percent before 2010, according to a report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, a nonpartisan agency that advises Congress about the program.Just over 1 million Medicare beneficiaries in Part D plans who did not receive low-income subsidies had drug costs that pushed them into catastrophic coverage in 2015 — more than twice the 2007 total — according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.”When the drug benefit was created, 5 percent probably didn’t seem like that big a deal,” says Juliette Cubanski, associate director of the Program on Medicare Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Now we have such expensive medications, and many of them are covered under Part D — where, before, many expensive drugs were cancer drugs” that were administered in doctors’ offices and covered by other parts of Medicare.The lack of a spending limit for the Medicare drug benefit sets it apart from other coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, the maximum amount someone generally owes out-of-pocket for covered drugs and other medical care for this year is $7,900. Plans typically pay 100 percent of customers’ costs after that.The Medicare program doesn’t have an out-of-pocket spending limit for Part A or Part B, which cover hospital and outpatient services, respectively. But beneficiaries can buy supplemental Medigap plans, some of which pay coinsurance amounts and set out-of-pocket spending limits. Medigap plans, however, don’t cover Part D prescription plans.Counterbalancing the administration’s proposal to impose a spending cap on prescription drugs is another proposal that could increase many beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket drug costs.Currently, brand-name drugs that enrollees receive are discounted by 70 percent by manufacturers when Medicare beneficiaries have accumulated at least $3,820 in drug costs and until they reach $5,100 in out-of-pocket costs. Those discounts are applied toward beneficiaries’ total out-of-pocket costs, moving them more quickly toward catastrophic coverage.Under the administration’s proposal, manufacturer discounts would no longer be treated this way. The administration says this would help steer patients toward less expensive generic medications.Still, beneficiaries would have to pay more out-of-pocket to reach the catastrophic spending threshold. Thus, fewer people would likely reach the catastrophic coverage level at which they could benefit from a spending cap.”Our concern is that some people will be paying more out-of-pocket to get to the $5,100 threshold and the drug cap,” says Keysha Brooks-Coley, vice president of federal affairs at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.”It’s kind of a mixed bag,” says Cubanski of the proposed calculation change. “There will be savings for some individuals” who reach the catastrophic phase of coverage. “But for many, there will be higher costs.”For some people, especially cancer patients taking chemotherapy pills, the lack of a drug-spending cap in Part D coverage can seem especially unjust.These cutting-edge, targeted oral chemotherapy and other drugs tend to be expensive, and Medicare beneficiaries often hit the catastrophic threshold quickly, says Brooks-Coley.Patty Armstrong-Bolle, a Medicare patient who lives in Haslett, Mich., takes Ibrance, a pill, once a day to help keep in check the breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. While the medicine has helped send her cancer into remission, she may never be free of a financial obligation for the pricey drug.Armstrong-Bolle paid $2,200 for the drug in January and February of last year. When she entered the catastrophic coverage portion of her Part D plan, the cost dropped to $584 per month. Armstrong-Bolle’s husband died last year, and she used the money from his life insurance policy to cover her drug bills.This year, a patient assistance program has covered the first few months of coinsurance. That money will run out next month, and she’ll owe her $584 portion again.If she were getting traditional drug infusions instead of taking an oral medication, her treatment would be covered under Part B of the program, and her coinsurance payments could be covered.”It just doesn’t seem fair,” she says.Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service, is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Neither KHN nor KFF is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Michelle Andrews is on Twitter: @mandrews110. Copyright 2019 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

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Senior Department for Work and Pensions DWP civi

first_imgSenior Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) civil servants have failed to answer key questions about links between the government’s policies and the deaths of disabled benefit claimants, during a face-to-face meeting with grieving parents.Emma Haddad, DWP’s director general for service excellence, and Colin Stewart, its work and health director for the north of England, spent more than an hour in Monday’s meeting with Joy Dove and Eric Whiting, the parents of Jodey Whiting.The Independent Case Examiner (ICE) concluded earlier this year that DWP was guilty of “multiple” and “significant” failings in handling the case of the mother-of-nine, who had her out-of-work disability benefits stopped for missing a work capability assessment (WCA), and took her own life just 15 days later.During the meeting, Dove asked 13 key questions that had been drafted for her by Disability News Service (DNS), based on her daughter’s case and the wider scandal of deaths linked to the actions of DWP ministers and senior civil servants.But Haddad refused to answer many of the questions for legal reasons.Among the questions about her daughter’s case, Dove asked how DWP could have made so many serious safeguarding failings.Her ex-husband asked whether anyone had been disciplined or lost their job over their daughter’s death.Dove asked Haddad why she should believe that DWP had fixed the system when it had made similar promises after so many other deaths.And she asked why DWP kept making mistakes that led to the deaths of disabled people when it had carried out so many secret reviews into deaths linked to DWP actions.Crucially, she also asked about the alleged cover-up which saw DWP fail to show the independent expert ministers had appointed to review the WCA a series of secret reviews into benefit-related deaths and letters written by coroners linked to the assessment process. And Dove asked if she could see the secret review that would have been carried out by DWP after her daughter’s death.Haddad promised Dove that she would provide written answers to all the questions.The meeting took place in the offices of Labour’s Dr Paul Williams, Dove’s MP, in Thornaby-on-Tees.Dove said that Haddad insisted in the meeting that ministers had not ordered her and Stewart to apologise in person, but that they had instead “got together and decided we needed to come here and say sorry”.Dove told DNS she was glad the meeting had taken place, but she warned DWP that this would not be the end of her campaigning, although her legal team would now take the lead in seeking justice for her daughter.She said: “It hasn’t really changed things because she’s dead and she’s not coming back.“I told them that five minutes away from here, my daughter is in that cemetery.”Dove believes Haddad was on the verge of tears when she heard her speak about Jodey and showed her pictures of her daughter.She said: “I thought she had a tear in her eye when I got upset and showed her letters from Jodey saying she was in debt and which said, ‘Please, mam, look after my babies.’“I could see a tear in her eye but at the same time she had to hold it back.”But she said Haddad also told her: “I am a mother of two. I know how you would have felt.”Dove said Haddad and her colleague were left speechless when she told them that campaigners were calling DWP “murderers”.After the meeting, a DWP spokesperson said: “Senior officials have met with Mrs Dove today, to apologise again for the failings in handling her daughter’s case and discuss the lessons learnt.“We fully accepted the Independent Case Examiner’s findings earlier this year and have since reviewed and strengthened our procedures to ensure all vulnerable claimants are safeguarded.”The number of people signing a petition in Jodey Whiting’s name, calling for an independent inquiry into deaths linked to DWP failings, and for evidence of criminal misconduct by civil servants or government ministers to be passed to the police, has now passed 42,000.But that is less than halfway to the target of 100,000 needed to secure a House of Commons debate on the petition.To sign the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition, click on this link. If you sign the petition, please note that you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committeePicture: Joy Dove being interviewed by ITV News after the meetingA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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Academic says hes being scapegoated in Facebook data case Update

Facebook has expressed outrage over the misuse of its data as Cambridge Analytica, the British firm at the centre of a major scandal rocking the social media giant Meanwhile, Britain’s information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, said she is pursuing a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s servers. She has also asked Facebook to cease its own audit of Cambridge Analytica’s data use.Denham said the prime allegation against Cambridge Analytica is that it acquired personal data in an unauthorized way, adding that data protection laws require services like Facebook to have strong safeguards against misuse of data.Leading Democrats in the U.S. Senate also called on Zuckerberg to testify. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called Facebook’s latest privacy scandal a “danger signal.” She wants Zuckerberg’s assurances that Facebook is prepared to take the lead on measures to protect user privacy—or Congress may step in.Kogan’s work involved modeling human behavior through social media. In collaboration with Cambridge Analytica, he developed a Facebook-based personality survey called “This Is Your Digital Life” and paid about 200,000 people to take part. As a result, participants unknowingly gave the researchers access to the profiles of their Facebook friends, allowing them to collect data from millions more users.Kogan said Cambridge Analytica approached him to gather Facebook data and provided the legal advice that this was “appropriate.””One of the great mistakes I did here was I just didn’t ask enough questions,” he said. “I had never done a commercial project; I didn’t really have any reason to doubt their sincerity. That’s certainly something I strongly regret now.”He said the firm paid some $800,000 for the work, but it went to participants in the survey.”My motivation was to get a dataset I could do research on; I have never profited from this in any way personally,” he said. Alexandr Kogan, a psychology researcher at Cambridge University, told the BBC that both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have tried to place the blame on him for violating the social media platform’s terms of service, even though Cambridge Analytica ensured him that everything he did was legal.”My view is that I’m being basically used as a scapegoat by both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica,” he said. “Honestly, we thought we were acting perfectly appropriately, we thought we were doing something that was really normal.”Authorities in Britain and the United States are investigating the alleged improper use of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica, a U.K.-based political research firm. Facebook shares have dropped 9.2 percent, lopping more than $50 billion off the company’s market value, since the revelations were first published, raising questions about whether social media sites are violating users’ privacy.The head of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, was suspended Tuesday after Britain’s Channel 4 News broadcast hidden camera footage of him suggesting the company could use young women to catch opposition politicians in compromising positions. Footage also showed Nix bragging about the firm’s pivotal role in the Trump campaign.Nix said Cambridge Analytica handled “all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting” for the Trump campaign, and used emails with a “self-destruct timer” to make the firm’s role more difficult to trace.”There’s no evidence, there’s no paper trail, there’s nothing,” he said.In a statement, Cambridge Analytica’s board said Nix’s comments “do not represent the values or operations of the firm, and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation.”Facebook itself is drawing criticism from politicians on both sides of the Atlantic for its alleged failure to protect users’ privacy.On Tuesday, the chairman of the U.K. parliament’s media committee, Damian Collins, said his group has repeatedly asked Facebook how it uses data, but company officials “have been misleading to the committee.”The committee summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify. Facebook sidestepped questions on whether Zuckerberg would appear, saying instead that the company is currently focused on conducting its own reviews. Explore further Citation: Academic says he’s being scapegoated in Facebook data case (Update) (2018, March 21) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-app-scapegoat-facebook-row.html An academic who developed the app used by Cambridge Analytica to harvest data from millions of Facebook users said Wednesday that he had no idea his work would be used in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and that he’s being scapegoated in the fallout from the affair. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Cambridge Analytica: firm at the heart of Facebook scandal 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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