DoubleDigit Premium Increases Seen In Popular Medicare Drug Plans

July 22nd, 2019

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Double-Digit Premium Increases Seen In Popular Medicare Drug Plans Seniors in seven of the 10 most popular Medicare drug plans will see marked premium increases for 2013 if they don’t opt to change plans, according to an analysis by Avalere Health.The Associated Press/Washington Post: Report: Double-Digit Premium Hikes Seen In 7 of 10 Top Medicare Prescription Drug PlansSeniors enrolled in seven of the 10 most popular Medicare prescription drug plans will be hit with double-digit premium hikes next year if they don’t shop for a better deal, says a private firm that analyzes the highly competitive market. The report Monday by Avalere Health is a reality check on the Obama’s administration’s upbeat pronouncements. Back in August, officials had announced that the average premium for basic prescription drug coverage will stay the same in 2013, at $30 a month (9/25).The Hill: Analysis: Premiums Rose Sharply In Medicare Drug PlansSeven of the top 10 Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs) saw a double-digit increase in premiums for 2013, according to an analysis by Avalere Health. The increases mean that several of the top 10 PDPs will lose eligibility for low-income subsidy beneficiaries in some U.S. regions, the study found. The release comes not long after the Kaiser Family Foundation found that health insurance premiums rose by a modest 4 percent this year on average, down from a 9-percent increase in 2011. Analysts attributed the drop to the slow economy. While Avalere did not speculate on the reason for the Part D premium increases, the group warned seniors to look closely at their options for the come year (Viebeck, 9/24).In other Medicare news, a survey finds that many people doubt Medicare’s future and one news outlet explores the continuing challenge of reducing hospital readmission rates to avoid Medicare penalties – The Hill: Survey: Many Doubt Medicare’s FutureMost people who are not on Medicare doubt the program will supply good and affordable healthcare by the time they turn 65, according to a new survey. In its 2012 Health Confidence Survey, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found most of those polled who are not yet eligible for Medicare lack confidence in several dimensions of the program’s future. Specifically, 80 percent expressed partial to no confidence that they will be able to afford healthcare while on Medicare without struggling financially. A similar 77 percent were unsure that Medicare will afford them a good choice of medical providers, and 75 percent doubted that the program will guarantee them the medical treatments they need (Viebeck, 9/24).The Medicare Newsgroup: Why Are Hospitals Having Trouble Reducing Readmission Rates?The readmission penalties were put into place by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and were intended to prod the health care industry to take quality improvement seriously. Nearly 20 percent of Medicare patients return to the hospital within 30 days of discharge, costing the program $17 billion yearly. The idea is that if hospitals are charged for not making people healthy enough to heal at home after discharge, taxpayer money should be saved and senior patients should have better outcomes. That’s the theory. But does it hold true? (J. Duncan Moore Jr., 9/24).last_img read more

First Edition January 17 2014

July 22nd, 2019

first_imgFirst Edition: January 17, 2014 Today’s headlines include reports from Capitol Hill about passage of a $1.1 billion spending bill as well as testimony by an Obama administration official about healthcare.gov.Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Explaining Healthcare.gov’s ProblemsKaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey and CQ Roll Call’s Melissa Attias discuss Thursday events in which Gary Cohen, the head of the federal online marketplace, answered questions on Capitol Hill about the rocky rollout of healthcare.gov (1/16). Read the transcript or listen to the audio.Kaiser Health News: Signing Up The Homeless, One At A TimeKaiser Health News staff writer Anna Gorman, working in collaboration with USA Today, reports: “On a recent winter morning, health outreach worker Christopher Mack walked through the streets and alleys of the city’s Skid Row, passing a man pulling a rusty shopping cart and a woman asleep on a crumpled blue tarp. The smell of marijuana wafted through the cold air. ‘Do you have health insurance?’ Mack, a towering man with long dreadlocks, asked one woman. ‘Do you go to the doctor?’ he asked another. Homeless men and women who didn’t qualify for insurance in the past now have the chance to sign up, and Mack – who was once homeless himself — is there to help” (Gorman, 1/17). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: A Reader Asks: Do Couples Have To Buy The Same Level Health Plan? KHN’s consumer columnist Michelle Andrews reports family members can opt for separate plans and still qualify for premium subsidies, but they need to consider some other important details (1/17). Read her response.The Wall Street Journal: For The Mentally Ill, Finding Treatment Grows HarderLast year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, almost 91 million adults lived in areas like here where shortages of mental-health professionals made obtaining treatment difficult. A departmental report to Congress earlier this year said 55% of the nation’s 3,100 counties have no practicing psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers, a combination of budget cuts and doctors leaving the profession. … Such shortages are expected to only grow now, as the federal health-care law goes into effect and allows more people to seek help. Indeed, according to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, some 6.8 million uninsured people with a mental illness will gain coverage after federal and state health insurance exchanges implement the new law (Fields and Corbett Dooren, 1/16).The Washington Post: Medicaid Expansion Takes A Hit In ArkansasA Democratic state senator forced to step down last year over ethics violations will be replaced by a Republican after a special election Tuesday that dealt a serious blow to Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe’s (D) push to expand Medicaid. Republican John Cooper defeated Democrat Steve Rockwell in a northeast Arkansas district based in Jonesboro in a race that had centered on whether to expand Medicaid to cover those making less than 138 percent of the federal poverty line (Wilson, 1/16).Politico: HHS Feared Contractor Would Derail ObamacareThe White House spent December talking up its revamped and repaired HealthCare.gov website after the disastrous rollout. But health officials worried that the underperforming contractor could still derail Obamacare and destabilize the insurance industry, according to a new federal document. The concerns grew so acute that they decided to seek a new contractor (Cheney, 1/17).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Under Construction: Healthcare.gov’s Payment SystemAn Obama administration official told Congress Thursday that the “back-end” of HealthCare.gov is still being built and he didn’t forecast a completion date. An automated system to send payments to insurance companies isn’t finished, said Gary Cohen, the director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, an office in the federal Medicare agency that oversees the troubled website for buying health insurance (Corbett Dooren, 1/16).The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: Pelosi Vs. Barrasso: A Tale Of Two Obamacare Talking PointsWashington is often a big echo chamber. Or maybe a double echo chamber, in which the two parties talk past each other. But in checking a recent statement by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.), The Fact Checker encountered an odd situation. Barrasso criticized House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi for a comment she made in 2010—which, depending on how you read it, is a mixed-up factoid that is actually supported by the data he cited (Kessler, 1/17).The Washington Post: Senate Sends Obama A Bill To Fund The Government Until OctoberCongress gave final approval Thursday to a $1.1 trillion spending bill that eases sharp budget cuts known as the sequester and guarantees that the nation will not endure another government shutdown until at least Oct. 1. … The Senate voted 72 to 26 to approve the measure Thursday evening after Republicans persuaded Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to drop a last-minute push to force another showdown over the Affordable Care Act, reprising the fight that closed the government for 16 days last fall. The House overwhelmingly passed the spending bill earlier this week. President Obama is expected to sign it by Saturday to prevent agency offices, museums and national parks from locking their gates when the current temporary funding measures expires (Montgomery, 1/16).The Wall Street Journal: Senate Passes $1.012 Trillion Spending Bill On A 72-26 VoteIt provides targeted increases for biomedical research, pre-school education and infrastructure programs that are top Democratic priorities. But overall it provided far less than President Barack Obama requested and kept spending lower than levels that prevailed in 2009, when he took office (Hook, 1/16).The Associated Press/USA Today: House Passes Bill Requiring Weekly Health Care NumbersThe House on Thursday backed a bill that would require the Obama administration to report weekly on how many Americans have signed up for health care coverage as Republicans maintain an election-year spotlight on the troubled law (1/16).Politico: House Passes Health Exchange Disclosure BillThe Republican-led House has approved legislation 259-154 requiring weekly, detailed reports on how the Obamacare insurance exchanges are working, a direct jab at the Obama administration over the massive failures that upended early enrollment on HealthCare.gov. The bill garnered 33 Democratic votes, fewer than the 67 Democrats who backed another health law-related measure last week focusing on the security of personal information on the federal- and state-run exchange websites. The two bills would add disclosure requirements to the Affordable Care Act rather than repeal any provision, making both more palatable to moderate Democrats facing tough reelection battles this year. Still, neither piece of legislation is expected to advance in the Senate (Cunningham, 1/16).Los Angeles Times: Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn Says He’ll Retire At End Of YearRepublican Sen. Tom Coburn said late Thursday that he will leave Congress at the end of this session, two years before his term expires (Mascaro and Memoli, 1/16).The Washington Post: Battle Lines Drawn In Va. Senate Race As Ed Gillespie Launches Bid Against Mark WarnerLongtime Republican operative Ed Gillespie made his campaign against Sen. Mark R. Warner official Thursday, launching a bid to unseat the popular Democrat by casting him as a fiscally reckless supporter of the Affordable Care Act (Pershing, 1/16).Politico: Ed Gillespie Formally Announces Senate RunHe also took some early hits at Warner, criticizing his vote for Obamacare and past support for tax increases. The health care law “kills jobs and costs families the insurance and doctors they like” and should be “replaced,” Gillespie said. “Sen. Warner cast the deciding vote” for Obamacare, he said. “If I were a Virginia senator, it would not be law today” (Schultheis, 1/16).The Wall Street Journal: UnitedHealth Profit Up On Stronger EnrollmentsUnitedHealth Group Inc.’s fourth-quarter income rose 15%, fueled by expanding enrollment and growth in its health-services business, but shares slipped on concerns about future government payments for privately managed Medicare plans. The Minnetonka, Minn., company, the biggest U.S. health insurer, reported a profit of $1.43 billion, or $1.41 a share, up from $1.24 billion, or $1.20 a share, a year earlier. Revenue improved 8.2% to $31.12 billion. The earnings slightly beat analysts’ consensus prediction of $1.40 a share (Mathews, 1/16).The Wall Street Journal: Cigarettes Tied To More Deaths, Types Of IllnessCigarettes are deadlier and linked to more diseases than previously thought, according to a new report from the U.S. surgeon general being released 50 years after the government first warned that smoking kills. In the report to be released Friday, the nation’s top doctor warned that smoking is linked to the deaths of about 480,000 Americans annually. That’s a substantial increase over the government’s previous estimate of 443,000 deaths, despite the fact that fewer Americans are lighting up and those who do smoke are lighting up less often (Esterl, 1/17).USA Today: Smoking Causes Diabetes, Colon Cancer, New Report SaysA new report from the surgeon general finds that smoking causes even more physical and financial damage than previously estimated, killing 480,000 Americans a year from diseases that include diabetes, colorectal cancer and liver cancer. The report, released today, represents the first time the surgeon general has concluded that smoking is “causally linked” to these diseases (Szabo, 1/17).The Texas Tribune/New York Times: Sheriff And Judge Battle Over Medical Care In JailNow the judge and Sheriff Ray Nutt of Henderson County are in a pitched battle — that could turn litigious — over accountability for medical care in the lockup. Judge Tarrance argues that other inmates have received similarly shoddy treatment and that judges should have the authority to order improved health care when lives could be in jeopardy. Lawyers for the county say the jail’s medical services are exemplary and that the judge overstepped his authority (Grissom, 1/16).Los Angeles Times: California Gets F In Speedy Treatments At ERs From Advocacy GroupAn updated national report on U.S. emergency medical care has again awarded California an F for lacking access to speedy treatment, noting that the state has the fewest hospital emergency rooms per capita — 6.7 per 1 million people — in the nation. The America’s Emergency Care Environment report card, which gauges how well states support emergency care, was released Thursday by the advocacy group American College of Emergency Physicians (Brown, 1/16).Los Angeles Times: California Hospitals Charge $3,000 To $37,000 For Childbirth, Study SaysAmid growing scrutiny of hospital billing, a new study finds that California hospitals charged mothers $3,296 to $37,227 for a routine delivery. For women having a cesarean section, the UC San Francisco study found patients were billed $8,312 to nearly $71,000. Few of the patients in the study released Thursday had serious health issues, and most were discharged within six days of admission (Terhune, 1/16).The Washington Post: In Wake Of Son’s Death, Creigh Deeds Makes Case For reforms But Meets With ResistanceIn a meeting Thursday of a mental-health subcommittee in the Virginia Senate, Deeds made a passionate case for his legislation without delving into the personal tragedy he suffered only two months ago. … Two of Deeds’ proposals have met with unanimous support. A review of the training and qualifications of community services board mental health evaluators has gone to the full Senate for a floor vote. A mandate for the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to offer an electronic database of psychiatric bed availability was passed on to the full Senate Education and Health Committee (Weiner, 1/16). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

As US Bolsters Defenses Against Ebola Price Tag Grows

July 22nd, 2019

first_imgPresident Barack Obama vows national defense against the disease but reminds Americans that the human toll in Africa is also worthy of their support. The administration also weighs tighter screening for international travelers.Los Angeles Times: Obama Pulled 2 Ways In Responding To EbolaPresident Obama talked up his administration’s response to Ebola and the procedures standing as a line of defense against the spread of the virus in the U.S. while flanked by military and civilian advisors. After several minutes of this show of force, he ended with an unscripted message: the desperate circumstances and need for help fighting Ebola in West Africa. “Let’s keep in mind that, as we speak, there are children on the streets dying of this disease — thousands of them,” Obama told reporters Monday. “Obviously my first job is to make sure that we’re taking care of the American people, but we have a larger role than that.” The moment revealed a tension in the president’s response to the deadly disease that’s devastating parts of West Africa and causing fear in the United State (Hennessey, 10/7).Politico: U.S. To Announce Tighter Ebola Screening This WeekPassengers flying into the U.S. from Ebola hotspots will soon have to go through additional screening steps — including temperature checks and health questionnaires — when they arrive in the country. Federal officials said they will announce the additional screening guidelines this week in a move that will serve as a safety precaution to calm nervous travelers — and a way to silence the growing chorus of lawmakers and outsiders calling for more administrative intervention (Caygle, 10/7).The Associated Press: Report: Cost Of Ebola Could Top $32 BillionThe economic impact of the Ebola epidemic could reach $32.6 billion by the end of next year if the disease ravaging Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone spreads to neighboring countries in West Africa, the World Bank Group said Wednesday. The World Bank’s assessment said the economic impact of Ebola is already serious in the three countries and could be catastrophic if it becomes a more regional health crisis (Reichmann, 10/8).McClatchy: Airport Body Temperature Checks A Possibility In Anti-Ebola Effort Airline passengers from Africa could soon have to submit to body temperature checks upon arrival in the U.S. as the Obama administration looks to toughen traveler screening requirements in response to the growing Ebola threat. “That’s the thing that’s on the table right now,” Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health told CNN on Tuesday (Pugh, 10/7). Boston Globe: Political Talk Adds To Ebola ApprehensionSenator Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, says US troops returning from service in West Africa could help bring Ebola to American shores. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas Republican governor, warns that the American government cannot be trusted to combat the threat. Senator Mark Pryor, an Arkansas Democrat, charges that his Republican opponent favors billionaires instead of supporting preparation for an outbreak. The Ebola crisis in West Africa has entered a new sphere: political season in America (Bierman, 10/8).CT Mirror: Connecticut Lawmakers Press GOP On Ebola Rep. Rosa DeLauro has asked the Republican head of a panel with jurisdiction over the Department of Health and Human Services to convene a hearing as soon as possible on “the public threats posed by recent outbreaks of Ebola and Enterovirus D68,” a flu-like disease that targets children. Congress is on break until after the Nov. 4 elections. But DeLauro, top-ranking Democrat on the Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations subcommittee sent the chairman of the panel, Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., a letter “to ensure that Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health and the other public health agencies under our jurisdiction have sufficient resources to protect the public health and are taking the appropriate actions today to address it” (Radelat, 10/7). The Washington Post: Connecticut Health Department Gets Power To Quarantine Possible Ebola VictimsConnecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed an order Tuesday allowing the state health commissioner to order quarantines for individuals who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus, a step he said would help fight any possible outbreak. The order gives Jewel Mullen, commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, authority to order isolation or quarantine for anyone believed to be exposed to or infected with the deadly virus (Wilson, 10/7). Kaiser Health News: Capsules: How One U.S. Hospital Braces For EbolaIn Connecticut, the idea of taking care of an Ebola patient is still just theoretical. However, one of the reasons that public health officials in the U.S. are confident that American hospitals could contain an outbreak is because they can accommodate the isolation and sanitation needed to keep the virus from spreading (Cohen, 10/8). As U.S. Bolsters Defenses Against Ebola, Price Tag Grows This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Super Mario Maker 2 will drop on Switch in June

July 22nd, 2019

first_imgWho needs a big keynote speech or long, drawn-out video when a simple tweet will do? Nintendo has announced that Super Mario Maker 2 will arrive on Switch on June 28.“Let’s-a go! Let your imagination run wild as you make and play the Super Mario courses of your dreams when #SuperMarioMaker2 launches for #NintendoSwitch on 6/28!”, Nintendo wrote in a hashtag-laden tweet last night. Related: Best Nintendo Switch gamesIf you’re unfamiliar, Super Mario Maker – as the title suggests – lets you make your own 2D Mario games, using elements lifted from every game since the NES original. We rather liked the original on Wii U and its 3DS companion, but there’s no doubt that a Switch version will give it a lot more shelf life. While the Wii U’s touchpad worked pretty well at laying out monstrous creations for the world to try, the console’s limited sales meant that there simply weren’t that many people to share with. Plus there were extras seen in the sequel’s launch trailer (above) that had fans of the original pretty excited. It’s nice that sadistic level creators will soon be able to torment a million Marios with those angry suns from Super Mario Bros. 3, for example, and there’s plenty of potential to be had with the cat suit Mario from Mario 3D in its new 2D home. And desert backgrounds too! All in all, it looks like it’ll be a real treat when it lands in June, and the community begins to get to grips with all the new tools.Related: Best upcoming Switch gamesThat end-of-June release date means it may even coincide with the release of the rumoured Switch Lite. Do we smell a Mario Maker 2 bundle?Is Super Mario Maker 2 a day-one purchase for you, or will you be holding out for reviews? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

Canada Goose delays Beijing store opening at last minute as Huawei protest

July 21st, 2019

first_img 0 Comments Reddit December 14, 20189:02 AM EST Filed under News Retail & Marketing Join the conversation → Facebook Comment Recommended For You’We were experiencing headwinds’ — Canopy Growth stock heads south on poor sales ramp-upDefining the future of Canadian competitiveness: How partnerships between industry and educational institutions can help lead the way forwardTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know itBank of Canada drops mortgage stress test rate for first time since 2016 More Canada Goose has been targeted for a boycott of its brand on media platforms since Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s arrest, given its prominence as a Canadian label.Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg center_img Email Bloomberg News Share this storyCanada Goose delays Beijing store opening at last minute as Huawei protest mounts Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Canada Goose delays Beijing store opening at last minute as Huawei protest mounts Stock has slumped 20% since Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Canada Canada Goose Holdings Inc. is delaying the opening of its flagship store in Beijing, as escalating tensions between China and Canada triggered by the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co.’s finance chief threaten its ambitions in the world’s second largest economy.The Toronto-based maker of premium parkas said on its Weibo account late Friday that it was postponing the store’s debut, scheduled for Saturday in Beijing’s trendy Sanlitun district, “due to construction reasons.” The posting came after Weibo social media users threatened to protest the opening. The company has been targeted for a boycott of its brand on media platforms since Meng Wanzhou’s arrest, given its prominence as a Canadian label.The company didn’t give a date for when the store would open. Canada Goose representatives didn’t immediately respond to phone calls and emails seeking further comment.Our trade with China is bigger than you think — and exporters are getting worriedCanada Goose is getting hammered by China’s anger over the Huawei arrestCanada Goose pushes ahead with China expansion in a market overflowing with knockoff parkasThe timing could not be worse for the luxury jacket maker, which just last month launched a splashy entry into greater China with a store in Hong Kong and plans for the Beijing flagship, betting that the country’s growing middle class is ready to spend on its Arctic-ready, $1,000 plus parkas. The company has seen its shares slump 20 per cent since Meng’s arrest was made public last week.The detention of the Huawei executive has ignited an anti-Canadian backlash in China, although other Canadian brands like IMAX Corp. and Tim Hortons Inc. have not faced similar calls for a boycott. It may be that consumers are unaware that these brands are Canadian, whereas there’s no mistaking Canada Goose’s origins.China’s spy agency has also detained two Canadians in the past week, which some view as retaliation for Meng’s arrests, although China has deflected questions about any links.Bloomberg.com Twitter Bloomberg News last_img read more

As income pie shrinks Ottawa and business talk past each other

July 21st, 2019

first_img Email Our collective share of the pie shrunk last year.You might have seen reports that the trade deficit remained an expanse of misery in January. The same day that Statistics Canada released those dreary numbers, it also published its annual report on the distribution of household wealth, or, if you prefer, “Distributions of household economic accounts for income, consumption, saving and wealth of Canadian households, 2018.”The net worth of households was $10.7 trillion in 2018, compared with $10.9 trillion in 2017; the first decrease since at least 2010, which is when Statistics Canada began publishing this particular set of data.Collectively, we’re 60 per cent richer than we were a decade ago, so keep that in mind before you take to Twitter to vent about Stephen Harper’s austerity or Justin Trudeau’s taxing of the rich. Still, the good times rolled a little slower last year. That’s partly because the housing bubbles in Toronto and Vancouver started to deflate. But it’s also because a group of wealth creators on which the country has relied since the Great Recession had a tough time in 2018.Statistics Canada diced household wealth into five income segments. It also divided the aggregate data into five regions. There wasn’t a lot of change in distribution. Nationally, the richest 20 per cent of households controlled about 49 per cent of total wealth, roughly the same as 2010. One shift stood out, however.Inequality and fragile growth may be two sides of the same coin In the Prairie provinces, the richest quintile’s share of total household net worth in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba dropped to about 56 per cent, compared with about 57 per cent in 2017 and almost 64 per cent in 2015. The share of Prairie wealth held by the four poorer groups increased by about two percentage points each compared with three years earlier. So far, it’s the richest who have absorbed the biggest blow from volatile commodity prices and the inability of Canada’s politicians to clear the way for more pipelines.Trudeau’s government doesn’t say so explicitly very often, but the central theme of its economic policy is narrowing income inequality. Just like Jean Chrétien’s and Paul Martin’s quest to eliminate the deficit, and Stephen Harper’s attack on excessively high corporate taxes, there are good economic reasons to focus on inequality. Unfortunately, the tendency of Trudeau and his ministers to justify everything they do as necessary to help the middle class has made it difficult for thinking people to take them seriously. Team Trudeau always looks like it’s shopping for votes, even when it might not be.Some wealth disparity is necessary to ensure dynamism; even left-wing economists accept that economies work better when entrepreneurs and other ambitious types are allowed to satisfy their greed.But over the past decade, the economics profession has concluded that big gaps between the richest and the rest could be a cause of all sorts of chronic problems. High levels of income inequality correlate with corruption and regulatory capture, as the wealthiest outspend others to ensure the playing field tilts in their favour. Societal and political unrest also flare in places where the majority feels left behind by an elite majority.And if all of that is too fuzzy for your liking, Jonathan Ostry, the deputy director of research at the International Monetary Fund, found a link between inequality and economic growth: Economies with narrower gaps between the top of the income scale and the bottom grow for longer stretches and are less prone to crises.Deficit-financed ‘investments’ in the middle class are meant to avoid political turmoil such as France’s ‘gilets jaunes’ movement. March 29, 20199:25 PM EDTLast UpdatedApril 1, 20191:07 PM EDT Filed under News Economy 35 Comments More Facebook Comment Featured Stories Finance Minister Bill Morneau speaks to a Toronto business breakfast crowd about the 2019 federal budget on last week.Jack Boland/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network Kiran Ridley/Getty Images Twitter advertisement Kevin Carmichael As income pie shrinks, Ottawa and business community talk past each other While economies work better when entrepreneurs and others are allowed to satisfy their greed, big gaps between the richest and the rest can cause chronic problems ← Previous Next → Sponsored By: Recommended For YouHighlights of the auditor general’s reports released TuesdayUPDATE 1-California, Canada sign memorandum to advance cleaner vehicles, fuelsTurn off your smartphone during Mother’s Day brunch, OK?CORRECTING and REPLACING Hyatt Expected to Triple Canada Brand Presence by 2022Greater Vancouver Zoo Raises More Than $31,000 for Wildlife Conservation Projects Reddit “Inequality and fragile growth may be two sides of the same coin,” Ostry, a Canadian who trained at Oxford, the London School of Economics, and the University of Chicago, says in Confronting Inequality: How Societies Can Choose Inclusive Growth, along with co-writers Prakash Loungani and Andrew Berg.Bill Morneau, the finance minister, has been using his post-budget tour to try to coax business leaders to think about his policies in these terms. On March 28, he told an audience assembled by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal that his deficit-financed “investments” in the middle class are meant to avoid the political turmoil that has roiled the United States (Trump), the United Kingdom (Brexit), France (gilets jaunes), and elsewhere.“We aren’t there, but there is a feeling among some Canadians that they aren’t doing well,” Morneau said. The Trudeau government’s spending is meant to relieve that “anxiety,” he said numerous times. In other words, spending that keeps Brexit-like chaos out of Canada is as beneficial to the economy as a tax cut.It’s unclear whether Corporate Canada buys it. After the speech, Morneau took questions from Michel Leblanc, the Montreal chamber’s president and chief executive officer. Leblanc asked the finance minister about eight things, and not once did he mention the middle class.The Trudeau government and the business community keep talking past each other. The latter should recognize that the federal government’s coddling of the middle class isn’t entirely about electioneering. And Trudeau and Morneau should be wary of taking the leaders of the country’s biggest companies for granted. As David Lipton, one of Ostry’s bosses at the IMF once said, “a larger slice of the pie for everyone calls for a bigger pie.”Trudeau needs Corporate Canada’s help to achieve his goals as much as it needs his. The data prove it.• Email: kcarmichael@postmedia.com | Twitter: What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Join the conversation → Share this storyAs income pie shrinks, Ottawa and business community talk past each other Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn last_img read more

In 2018 A Stunning 19 Cars Sold In Iceland Were PlugIns

July 21st, 2019

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 17, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News The automotive market is changing towards electrificationIceland is the 2nd-ranked country in the world (after Norway) with the highest plug-in electric car share in new sales. As of the end of 2018, Iceland closed with a record 3,439 sales (up 15%) and 19% average share!The share is growing not only because plug-in car sales increased, but also because Iceland experienced a decrease of overall car sales the past year (16%).The direction of further growth is shown proven December figures, which brought 32% market share (as overall market shrunk by 46%).More sales reports Norway Celebrates 200,000 Pure Electric Cars The best-selling model in Iceland is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (999), followed by Nissan LEAF (370). Mitsubishi holds also the top spot among brands with 29% share.Plug-in electric car sales in Iceland – December 2018Source: EV Sales Blog Source: Electric Vehicle News In December 2018 Nissan Sold 3,604 LEAFs In Europe California’s EV Sales Surge Pushed By Tesla Model 3last_img read more

Research Dying at home could be beneficial for terminally ill cancer patients

July 20th, 2019

first_img Source:https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ Jul 20 2018Dying at home could be beneficial for terminally ill cancer patients and their relatives, according to research published in the journal BMC Medicine.The study shows that, according to questionnaires completed by their relatives, those who die at home experience more peace and a similar amount of pain compared to those who die in hospital, and their relatives also experience less grief. However, this requires discussion of preferences, access to a comprehensive home care package and facilitation of family caregiving.Previous studies have shown that most people would prefer to die at home. In the UK, US and Canada, slightly more appear to be realising this wish, while in Japan, Germany, Greece and Portugal, a trend towards institutionalised dying persists.Despite differing trends, the most frequent location of death for cancer patients remains hospital. Evidence regarding whether dying at home is better or worse than in hospital has, however, been inconsistent.The new study took place in four health districts in London covering 1.3 million residents. 352 bereaved relatives of cancer patients completed questionnaires after their death – 177 patients died in hospital and 175 died at home. The questionnaires included validated measures of the patient’s pain and peace in the last week of life and the relative’s own grief intensity.Lead author Barbara Gomes from the Cicely Saunders Institute at King’s College London, UK, said: “This is the most comprehensive population-based study to date of factors and outcomes associated with dying at home compared to hospital. We know that many patients fear being at home believing they place an awful burden on their family. However, we found that grief was actually less intense for relatives of people who died at home.”Many people with cancer justifiably fear pain. So it is encouraging that we observed patients dying at home did not experience greater pain than those in hospitals where access to pain relieving drugs may be more plentiful. They were also reported to have experienced a more peaceful death than those dying in hospital.”The study found that over 91% of home deaths could be explained by four factors: patient’s preference; relative’s preference; receipt of home palliative care in the last three months of life and receipt of district/community nursing in the last their months of life. When Marie Curie nurses (which provide additional home support) were involved, the patient rarely died in hospital. The number of general practitioner home visits also increases the odds of dying at home.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskThree additional factors were also identified that had been previously overlooked – length of family’s awareness of that the condition could not be cured, discussion of patient’s preference with family, and the days taken off work by relatives in the three months before death. The authors say this challenges current thinking about the influence of patient’s functional status, social conditions, and living arrangements, which showed no association once other factors are considered.Barbara Gomes said: “Our findings prompt policymakers and clinicians to improve access to comprehensive home care packages including specialist palliative care services and 24/7 community nursing. This is important because, in some regions, the workforce providing essential elements of this care package is being reduced.”The researchers also highlight the crucial role of families in caring for patients at home and in decision-making processes, and the need to facilitate family caregiving.Barbara Gomes added: “Many relatives see dedicated care as something they would naturally do for their loved one, but it still represents out-of-pocket money or days off their annual leave. Some governments, for example, in Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, have set up social programmes or employment insurance benefits, similar to maternity leave, aimed at supporting families to provide care for their dying relatives.”We urge consideration of similar schemes where they do not exist, with the necessary caution associated with complex public health interventions – careful development, piloting and testing, prior to implementation.”Limitations of the study include its retrospective and observational nature, showing associations which do not necessarily indicate causality. The transferability of findings to regions outside of London, where home care services are less available, is uncertain. Subjective factors, pain and peace are also vulnerable to recall and observer bias from respondents.last_img read more

Researchers explore why heart failure and kidney disease correlate

July 20th, 2019

first_imgJul 24 2018People with chronic kidney disease are at unusually high risk of also developing cardiovascular disease; in fact, a patient with non-dialysis kidney disease is more likely to die of heart failure than to develop end-stage kidney failure. However traditional atherosclerosis risk factors contribute less strongly to cardiovascular disease in chronic kidney disease patients than in subjects with intact kidney function. Researchers are still trying to figure out how chronic kidney disease is linked to cardiovascular disease and how best to prevent it. In a recent study in the Journal of Lipid Research, Kathrin Untersteller and colleagues at Saarland University Medical Center in Germany and the Medical University of Graz in Austria undertook a detailed longitudinal study of patients with chronic kidney disease who were not on dialysis.Altered kidney function is known to change the protein content of high-density lipoproteins, or HDL, which are inversely correlated with heart disease in the general population. Untersteller and colleagues hypothesized that that the level of HDL (known as “good cholesterol”) or its protein makeup in a patient’s serum at enrollment could predict the risk of cardiovascular disease in the next five years. Contrary to their expectation, after conducting the study the researchers concluded that, although some characteristics of HDL correlated weakly with future heart disease risk, no characteristic could be used independently to predict risk after controlling for other risk factors. The study underscores the complexity of untangling causality in clinical studies. Source:https://www.asbmb.orglast_img read more

PubPeer wins closely watched legal battle over anonymous comments

July 20th, 2019

first_imgA Michigan appeals court has handed PubPeer, a website that allows anonymous reviews of technical papers, a key win in its legal battle with a researcher who claims the site cost him a job and sullied his reputation.Retraction Watch reports that “a trio of judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a 2015 decision mandating the site reveal the identity of anonymous commenters after a scientist sued them, claiming they cost him a job offer. The judges stated that Fazlul Sarkar, the scientist suing the commenters, can continue pursuing a defamation case, but: ‘… we hold that Dr. Sarkar is not entitled to unmask the identities of any speakers on pubpeer.com with respect to those claims due to the anonymity protections afforded by the First Amendment.’”Click here to read ScienceInsider’s earlier coverage of the case, and click here to learn more about the researcher who founded the controversial and popular website.last_img read more

Ancient grape seeds may link Sri Lankan trading port to Roman world

July 20th, 2019

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country iStock.com/RinoCdZ Ancient grape seeds may link Sri Lankan trading port to Roman world Grape seeds found in ancient Sri Lanka may have been imported by Roman merchants. Emailcenter_img By Lizzie WadeDec. 12, 2018 , 7:00 AM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Visit Mantai, nestled into a bay in northwestern Sri Lanka, and today you’ll see nothing but a solitary Hindu temple overlooking the sea. But 1500 years ago, Mantai was a bustling port where merchants traded their era’s most valuable commodities. Now, a study of ancient plant remains reveals traders from all corners of the world—including the Roman Empire—may have visited or even lived there.Mantai was a hub on the ancient trade networks that crisscrossed the Indian Ocean and connected the distant corners of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The port town flourished between 200 B.C.E. and 850 C.E. During that time, it would have been a nexus for the spice trade, which ferried Indonesian cloves and Indian peppercorns to Middle Eastern and Roman kitchens.But for such a potentially important site in the ancient world, Mantai has been difficult for archaeologists to study. After excavations in the early 1980s, research was halted in 1984 by Sri Lanka’s civil war. “Mantai was firmly in the red zone,” says Robin Coningham, an archaeologist who studies South Asia at Durham University in the United Kingdom. Only after the fighting ended in 2009 could a team led by Sri Lanka’s Department of Archaeology return to continue excavations. Eleanor Kingwell-Banham, an archaeobotanist at University College London, joined the team to study the plant remains sifted from the excavated soil. She found an abundance of locally grown rice grains, but also more exotic products: charred black pepper dating to 600–700 C.E. and a single clove from 900–1100 C.E.—an exceptionally rare find, because ancient people were very careful with their spices, her team reports today in Antiquity. “Because [spices] are so valuable, people in the past really made sure they didn’t lose them or burn them,” Kingwell-Banham says. “These things were worth more than gold.” The clove, in particular, must have made quite a journey—about 7000 kilometers from its native home in the Maluku Islands of Indonesia.The team also found remains that could link the port city to the ancient Mediterranean world—processed wheat grains dated to 100 to 200 C.E. and grape seeds dated to 650 to 800 C.E. Neither crop can grow in Sri Lanka’s wet, tropical climate, so they had to be imported, possibly from as far as Arabia or the Roman world. Kingwell-Banham says her team is studying the chemical isotopes absorbed by the plants to determine where they were grown.But no matter their precise origin, the coexistence of rice and wheat is evidence of Mantai’s “cosmopolitan cuisine,” in which both local and foreign foods were eaten, she says. The discovery of wheat and grapes in Mantai “is entirely new,” and shifts the focus on goods transported from South Asia to the Roman world, to goods that went in the other direction,” Coningham says.So were there Roman merchants living in Mantai, importing and cooking the foods of their homeland? “It’s certainly a possibility,” says Matthew Cobb, a historian who studies ancient Indian Ocean trade networks at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Lampeter. But no one has yet clinched the case with Roman ceramics. So exactly who in Mantai had a taste for Mediterranean food remains to be seen.*Update, 12 December, 9:33 a.m.: This story has been updated to include the date of the wheat grains found in Mantai.last_img read more

Schools superintendent outlines the heavy workload of employees

July 19th, 2019

first_imgSchools superintendent outlines the heavy workload of employees Photo courtesy of Navajo CountyNavajo County Superintendent of Schools Jalyn Gerlich. By Toni Gibbons In the ongoing budget talks at the Navajo County Board of Supervisors meetings, Assistant County Manager Bryan Layton introduced Superintendent of Schools Jalyn Gerlich and Public Fiduciary Norman Turley at the AprilSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adcenter_img April 30, 2019last_img

EU fails to agree on top jobs more talks on June 30

July 19th, 2019

first_imgFrench President Emmanuel Macron is campaigning to block Weber over lack of government experience. Paris and Madrid want more prominent EU jobs for liberal and socialist candidates after a change of the parliamentary guard.Weber out Any new Commission chief must not only get the backing of a clear majority – or, preferably, unanimity – of national leaders but must also be accepted by the new European Parliament, which will sit for the first time on July 2.The newly elected legislature has refused to rally behind Weber, even though he heads the biggest faction there, the European People’s Party (EPP). This might give Merkel just enough grounds to drop him eventually, diplomats said.“Weber’s claim is imploding. The Parliament is more divided than before and has missed the boat. And EPP national leaders are turning their back on him as well,” said a senior EU diplomat. “If the Germans lose Weber, the French don’t get the job either, it’s tit for tat.” After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Possible consolation prizes for Weber include the presidency of the European Parliament, or a deputy head of the next Commission, diplomats said.Seeking to narrow a wide gender gap in the bloc’s leadership is also a factor in a complex race that seeks to balance out party politics and regional influence in the EU.The fifth job in the package of prominent postings up for grabs is the EU’s chief diplomat.Other names in the frame include Frenchman Michel Barnier, currently the EU’s Brexit negotiator, Croat Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, Denmark’s Margrethe Vestager, currently the bloc’s top competition official, and Belgium’s caretaker Prime Minister Charles Michel.Vestager – who has been publicly praised by both Merkel and Macron in the past – could help avoid a tug-of-war between the national leaders and the European Parliament as the liberal faction there has proposed her for the Commission chief.Two of the leading candidates to head the ECB are German Jens Weidmann and French central bank governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau. More Explained Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield By Reuters |Brussels | Published: June 21, 2019 9:18:01 am Post Comment(s) EU probes Amazon over use of retailer info to gain edge Advertising For the European Union, the Commission presidency is a pivotal job. The body acts as the bloc’s competition watchdog, oversees national budgets and proposes policies from climate change to tech regulation – big areas as member states struggle with a range of challenges at home and abroad.“I note with certain amusement that it is not easy to replace me,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, whose term as the Commission chief expires at the end of October.The bloc’s top five jobs – including the head of the European Council tasked with crafting compromises between member states, whose particular interests often vary – are all changing hands later this year after an EU-wide election.Power centres Berlin and Paris clashed over who should take over at the helm of the Commission, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel backing compatriot Manfred Weber, a deputy head of her centre-right sister party CSU. Taking stock of monsoon rain Advertising EU fails to agree on top jobs, more talks on June 30 European Council President Donald Tusk speaks during a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Friday, June 21, 2019. (AP Photo: Virginia Mayo)European Union leaders will meet again on June 30 to seek agreement on who should inherit the bloc’s top jobs — including the head of its central bank — after failing to get a deal at the second attempt in talks dragging into the small hours on Friday. EU slaps sanctions on Turkey over gas drilling off Cyprus The 28 national leaders meeting in Brussels for secret deliberations – no aides or phones allowed – remained at odds on who should steer the bloc in coming years.“There was no majority for any candidate,” summit chairman Donald Tusk told a news conference. “We will meet again on June 30.”The prominent positions, including the head of the European Central Bank and the EU’s executive European Commission, lead the bloc’s policies on issues ranging from monetary policy to migration and Brexit to trade. Advertising “It’s quicker to elect the pope very often than it is to fill these particular positions,” Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar quipped. Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Europe should brace for US tariffs on several fronts, says German official Best Of Express Related News last_img read more

CPWD to erect water conservation structures in 136 govt colonies across country

July 19th, 2019

first_img Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Related News Advertising According to the plan, the CPWD, the prime construction agency of the central government, will dig pits to conserve water through which water table will be recharged in these colonies.Speaking at an event marked for the 165th foundation day of the CPWD, Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said the agency has a target of erecting water conservation structures in 100 colonies under the 100-day agenda.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also recently called for water conservation, saying there was a pressing need to make it a mass movement on the lines of the cleanliness drive. CPWD engineers want pay, rank parity with IAS Post Comment(s) Advertising CPWD to put blow-ups of Mahatma Gandhi in govt buildings in Delhi Earlier this month, the ministry had asked all urban local bodies to set up a cell for effective monitoring of rainwater harvesting and revive at least one water body in their respective areas.It issued ‘Guidelines for Urban Water Conservation’, saying the ‘Rainwater Harvesting Cell’ of municipal corporations will monitor the extent of groundwater extraction and groundwater aquifer recharge.center_img CPWD Director General Prabhakar Singh said the agency will carry out the major exercise in 136 colonies, including 74 in Delhi, which are maintained by it.“We have a plan to erect water conservation structures such as installation of rainwater harvesting systems in residential government colonies. The CPWD will dig pits in these colonies to conserve water which will increase the level of water table,” Singh said.During the exercise, the agency will also focus on cleaning and greening, he said.In his first address in the second edition of the monthly show, ‘Mann ki Baat’, the prime minister had pitched for conservation of rainwater. Best Of Express Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Number of flats for govt employees to come down with redesigning of plans: CPWD By PTI |New Delhi | Published: July 12, 2019 4:56:40 pm Central PublicWorks Department, water conservation, water conservation structures, rainwater harvesting, water scarecity, water crisis in Indian, water supply in India, cleanliness drive, groundwater table, Indian Express news  Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also recently called for water conservation, saying there was a pressing need to make it a mass movement on the lines of the cleanliness drive. (File)In a major exercise to increase water table in government colonies, the Central Public Works Department will erect water conservation structures, including rainwater harvesting systems, in 136 residential areas across the country.last_img read more

Norway says Venezuela opposition and government talks to continue

July 19th, 2019

first_img Advertising Related News Venezuela opposition says it will meet Nicolas Maduro’s envoys in Norway-mediated talks nicolas maduro, venezuela president, venezuelan president nicolas maduro, norway venezuela crisis, venezuela norwy crisis, world news, Indian Express Maduro said the parties had decided to continue the dialogue process in a “permanent manner.” (File)Talks between Venezuela’s government and the opposition will continue, the Norwegian and Venezuelan governments said on Thursday, after a Socialist Party leader announced the end of a round of Oslo-backed talks to end a political crisis. Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Maduro in an evening television broadcast in the company of Hector Rodriguez, who is part of the government’s delegation, said the parties had decided to continue the dialogue process in a “permanent manner.”Venezuela is suffering a hyperinflationary economic meltdown that has resulted in malnutrition and disease and spurred a migration exodus of more than 4 million citizens. Maduro says the situation is the result of U.S. sanctions meant to force him from office.Maduro’s adversaries have for years been wary of dialogue proceedings, insisting he has in the past used them to stall for time.Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has been recognized by more than 50 countries as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, says the opposition will not allow this round of talks to drag out like those in the Dominican Republic that ended unsuccessfully in 2018. Advertisingcenter_img Representatives of the ruling Socialist Party met with adversaries of President Nicolas Maduro this week in Barbados as part of talks that began in Norway in May to resolve a stalemate resulting from Maduro’s disputed 2018 re-election.“We announce that the representatives of the main political actors in Venezuela are continuing the negotiations that were initiated in Oslo,” Norway’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “We emphasise the importance of the parties showing utmost caution in their comments and statements about the process.”Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez, who led the government’s delegation, late on Wednesday said via Twitter that the Barbados round of talks had concluded. By Reuters |Caracas (venezuela) | Published: July 12, 2019 8:52:52 am Guaido in January invoked the constitution to assume a rival interim presidency after declaring Maduro’s re-election a fraud and insisting the country needs to hold a new vote under proper conditions.“The Venezuelan people need answers and results,” Stalin Gonzalez, a legislator and member of the opposition delegation, wrote via Twitter following the Norway statement. “Our delegation will hold consultations to advance and end the Venezuelans’ suffering.”Socialist Party Vice President Diosdado Cabello, who is influential in Maduro’s government, on Wednesday night dismissed the idea that any presidential election was in the works.“Here there are no presidential elections; here the president is named Nicolas Maduro,” Cabello said during a televised broadcast. Disappointed Venezuelans lose patience with Guaido as Maduro hangs on Third round of Venezuela talks to start as soon as next week Best Of Express Post Comment(s)last_img read more

At the centre of Karnataka crisis a Speaker known to stick to

July 19th, 2019

first_img Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar: The man in the spotlight Often frustrated over not being made a minister despite winning many elections, Kumar was finally appointed a minister in the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in 2016. He served as the health minister and is best remembered for his efforts to make private hospitals and clinics more accountable.With his sizeable experience as Speaker, Kumar is known to generally follow the rule book when it comes to making decisions. “I cannot stray from the rules even if it benefits some but not others,’’ Kumar said after deciding to examine in-depth the resignations of 10 MLAs who met him on Thursday on the directions of the Supreme Court.“I am not a follower of anybody or a leader of anybody. I am a follower of the Constitution of India,’’ the Speaker said this week when asked if any political bias would creep into his decision-making with regard to the MLAs who have submitted theirresignations.Sixteen MLAs of the ruling coalition have submitted their resignations to the Speaker. If the resignations are accepted, the coalition will have 101 MLAs in the 224-member House versus the BJP’s 105. One of the reasons that the Speaker is keen to be seen as going by the rules is the criticism attracted in 2011 from the Supreme Court by former Karnataka Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah.Bopaiah, a BJP legislator in the current Assembly, had disqualified 11 members of the BJP after they withdrew support to the B S Yeddyurappa-led government in October 2010. In an order on May 13, 2011, the Supreme Court had said the Speaker’s action revealed a “partisan trait” and did not “meet the twin tests of natural justice and fair play’’. The 69-year-old five-term MLA from Srinivasapura constituency of Kolar district holds a science degree and describes himself as an agriculturist. He has twice served as Speaker of the Assembly and has the reputation of being a knowledgeable, well-read man, who has occasional flashes of temper but is a smooth operator in general.Kumar rose from student politics in Bengaluru in the 1970s and associated with the Congress early in his political career. He later shifted to Janata Party and Janata Dal before returning to the Congress around two decades ago. His name was also linked to a murder probe in the Srinivasapura constituency he represents. Kumar was eventually acquitted in 2007 in the case.As a legislator, Kumar was known to be an orator who made thought-provoking speeches in the House and tried to guide young legislators about the history of the legislature, politics and the world in general — often diving into folklore and religious texts to drive home points. Related News Eeco cabbie held for ‘raping passenger’ karnataka crisis, karnataka political crisis, karnataka congress jds coalition, karnataka rebel mlas, karnataka rebel mlas resign, karnataka speaker, ramesh kumar, congress-jd(s), goa ongress, india news, indian express Karnataka Speaker Ramesh Kumar. (PTI)Amid uncertainty over the future of the Congress-JDS government in Karnataka following resignations by rebel MLAs, one of the concerns of Congress leaders is that Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar will show no favouritism despite being a Congress leader for many years. Written by Johnson T A | Bengaluru | Updated: July 15, 2019 7:12:32 am “I’ll have to start my own small karobaar”, says projector operator as Regal Cinema brings its curtains down Advertising Advertising 11 Comment(s)last_img read more

Geneedited livestock could be a boon to farmers in developing countries

July 19th, 2019

first_img Ben Sadd/Minden Pictures Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email WASHINGTON, D.C.—Raising livestock is a vital source of income in developing countries. But these nations lack sophisticated breeding programs, so their cows and chickens don’t make as much milk, eggs, or meat as their counterparts in advanced economies. And because most farmers in developing countries have just a few animals, they risk losing all or most of their livelihood if a disease wipes out their livestock.The Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health—based in Edinburgh and Nairobi—aims to help farmers in developing countries grow hardier and more productive animals with a little help from modern gene-editing techniques. Researchers can make tiny changes to DNA that mimic traditional breeding, but faster, and they can help identify which animals might be best for breeding.Biologist Appolinaire Djikeng heads the center, which works with scientists and policymakers in developing countries. He spoke about the center at the annual meeting here of AAAS (which publishes Science) earlier this month and sat down with Science to chat about his work. This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Cattle in sub-Saharan Africa tend to make less milk or meat than those raised in advanced economies. Callum Bennetts Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Erika K. CarlsonFeb. 27, 2019 , 10:10 AM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Q: How did you become interested in this work?A: I was born in the western part of Cameroon. If it wasn’t for livestock, I wouldn’t have received any education. My school fees were paid always by sales from livestock. I studied genomics during my Ph.D. and increasingly realized the power of what it could do. I was always thinking about what I could do back in the environment I came from, either improving [the] health of people, animals, and things like that.Q: What challenges do livestock farmers in developing countries face?A: Productivity is really, really low for a range of reasons. If you look at milk production, for instance, on average, dairy cattle in sub-Saharan Africa in the best-case scenarios are producing five times less than what you would get in temperate climates [i.e. places with advanced economies]. In advanced economies, what has really helped is very structured and long-term breeding programs. Animals are continuously monitored for inbreeding and stuff like that. In most of sub-Saharan Africa, you don’t have those breeding programs in place. So it makes it very difficult for you to track genetic material over several generations.More than 50 years ago, the easiest thing was just to import some animals from temperate climates. But because of the climate, it didn’t work. The animal is really not adapted to the hotter environment.Another option was breeding tropical livestock with these temperate animals. But you’re dependent on luck because you didn’t even know what genes to look for. Gene-edited livestock could be a boon to farmers in developing countries Biologist Appolinaire Djikeng uses genetic techniques to identify livestock with useful traits. Q: How do you use genetic tools to improve livestock?A: Our work is focusing on looking at improving livestock productivity and focusing on a number of traits. That trait could be fast growth, it could be resistance to disease, it could be productivity, like milk production, egg production, and quality of the meat.For less complex traits, you can identify a single gene or a single variation in DNA that confers that trait. But for other traits, it’s going to be less obvious. It could be an association, a combination of many, many genes, or a very large genomic region. If we get a single gene or a single variant which is linked to an important trait, then you can do genome editing.But in cases where it is a group of genes that are conferring that trait, you’re limited. You cannot do genome editing. What you’re left to do is to select animals that have that genomic region and enter conventional breeding.Q: How does your work help farmers with their breeding?A: If we have an animal that is very suitable for [breeding], we can do a genetic profile for that animal to be easily identifiable. You document it not only visually, but also based on the genome and the genetic profile.And what we rely on is really reproductive technologies. Let’s say you have a sire that farmers agree is the best sire. You can quickly multiply using artificial insemination for most farmers to have the same animal in the community.Q: How have you engaged with policymakers?A: We realized that the best way to engage them was to invite them to see what’s happening. For example, the official opening of the facilities in Nairobi, Kenya, was with the former president of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki. When he came to visit, one lady from our program talked to him about the work that they’re doing to address a disease of sweet potato. And the president was really impressed. It wasn’t somebody from a different country telling him what was happening. That was really building the trust.I think that that was the beginning. It got in the press, and everybody talked about it. Then we started hosting groups of politicians from the Parliament who came to learn, and they asked questions. I think that’s a very good way of engaging. When you engage people at that level, there is trust, and they actually come to you with problems.I go to my village and tell people about it, they’ll trust me because their problems are my problems. I’m not going to tell them to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.last_img read more

Official Lightning caused Jim Beam bourbon warehouse fire

July 19th, 2019

first_img In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief jim beam warehouse fire, fire at jim beam warefouse, warehouse fire at jim beam, jim beam fire, jim beam warehouse, world news, Indian Express The fire started July 2, destroying the Woodford County warehouse and about 45,000 barrels of bourbon. (AP)The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet said lightning sparked the fire at a Jim Beam warehouse that caused bourbon to leak into creeks and rivers. Post Comment(s) News outlets report cabinet spokesman John Mura confirmed the cause Wednesday. The fire started July 2, destroying the Woodford County warehouse and about 45,000 barrels of bourbon.Some alcohol flowed from Glenns Creek to the Kentucky River, and then to the Ohio River where fish died. Jim Beam and environmental officials used equipment to restore oxygen to the water in an attempt to minimize the number of fish killed.The cabinet said on Facebook that the alcohol plume is dissipating as it moves along the Ohio River.Mura says the cabinet plans to issue Jim Beam a notice of violation that could lead to a fine. Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Advertising Top News By AP |Versailles (france) | Published: July 11, 2019 8:45:45 amlast_img read more

Sudans military rulers say coup attempt thwarted

July 19th, 2019

first_img Related News Sudan, Sudan news, Sudan military, Sudan coup, Sudan protest, Sudan protest news, Sudan democracy protests, Sudan military coup, Indian Express, World news Relations between the military council that ousted Bashir in a coup and the Forces for Freedom and Change opposition alliance broke down when security forces killed dozens as they cleared a sit-in on June 3. (Bryan Denton/The New York Times)Sudan’s military rulers said on Thursday that several officers had attempted a coup in an effort to undermine an agreement between the military and the opposition to share power for three years ahead of elections. Sudanese man shot dead during protest as sides wrangle over transition By Reuters |Khartoum | Published: July 12, 2019 7:41:52 am Advertising Thousands demonstrate in Sudan to mark 40 days since deadly crackdown Power-Sharing Deal in Sudan Took Shape at a Secret Meeting The thwarted coup involved a number of retired officers, as well as officers still in service, Jamal Omar Ibrahim, the head of the Transitional Military Council’s security committee, said on Sudanese TV.He added that 12 had been arrested and four detained in connection with the thwarted coup.The military council and a coalition of opposition and protest groups agreed provisionally last week to share power for three years, bringing thousands onto the streets to hail a first step towards ending decades of dictatorship. Explained |  Why the protests in Sudan might not end the country’s troublesThe deal has revived hopes for a peaceful transition of power in a country plagued by internal conflicts and years of economic crisis that helped trigger months of protests, which ended Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year rule in April.The agreement has yet to be finalised and signed.Read | Power-Sharing Deal in Sudan Took Shape at a Secret MeetingRelations between the military council that ousted Bashir in a coup and the Forces for Freedom and Change opposition alliance broke down when security forces killed dozens as they cleared a sit-in on June 3. But after huge protests against the military, African mediators brokered a return to direct talks, which led to the deal. Advertising Post Comment(s)last_img read more

How Smart Should a Home Be

July 19th, 2019

first_imgBalancing Act With wireless connectivity, you can retrofit any home to become a smart home, but the ultimate way to do it is to start with the construction of a new home, which I just happen to be doing. I’m in the process of building a home that will be both a smart home and a sustainable one that can operate completely off-grid. Both functions require a significant investment in different technologies.The challenge of building a smart home is balancing several factors, including reliability, privacy and security, upgradability, and cost. With building a new home, I am especially concerned about reliability. I want everything to work properly even if I lose Internet connectivity or power.The last time I counted the potential nodes for sensors, lights, appliances, etc., the number was several hundred. I do not want to worry about replacing the batteries for all those solutions, but there are certain things — like door locks — that I want to continue working if I lose power.Likewise, if I lose my Internet connection, which does happen when you are on a satellite or cellular connection, I want the devices in my house to be able to communicate with each other.The Internet connectivity is also a factor for privacy and security. While I may wish to access certain functions remotely — like my security system, thermostats or lights — I would prefer that some functions connect within the house, both to reduce the potential for loss of information and to reduce my data consumption, which also is limited on satellite and some cellular plans. Do I have to build a home firewall? I hope not. One of the loudest buzzes in the Internet of Things is around smart homes. Vendors have rushed to connect everything imaginable within a house, including lights, appliances, entertainment systems, windows, shades, door locks, ceiling fans, faucets, smoke detectors, security systems, furniture — basically anything with a battery or power cord now can be connected, and if it doesn’t have a power solution, one is in the works.With a swipe of your finger on your tablet or smartphone, you can control anything around you. You can program it to do whatever you want, whenever you want. But just how smart do you want your home to be? When Smart Home Tech Ages I’m also concerned about upgradability and interoperability. There is currently a mishmash of ever-changing wireless standards being used in smart home solutions. Piecing together a solution through a single hub is challenging enough. The last thing I want is a solution that is not supported in five years and requires a major upgrade.Likewise, if there is a key firmware or security update, I want to ensure that it upgrades the selected devices without causing havoc with the rest of the network. With many cutting-edge solutions coming from startups, what if the company goes out of business? Even established companies might discontinue a product and stop upgrading it.This is especially critical for security — you want the security devices in your home to be ahead of any flaw or emerging threat. I also want to leverage the new slate of artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions that will be introduced over the next few years.Finally, there is cost. Wireless light switches have been available for more than 30 years, but they are seldom used because a manual switch can be purchased for under a dollar and rarely fails. Smart solutions are much more expensive than their manual or dumb counterparts. Then you must add in the opportunity cost of having to maintain them and the network.center_img Theoretically, I could build the ultimate smart house that is controlled by speaking to Amazon Alexa or Google Home. However, the industry still has a long way to go to develop solutions that ensure reliability, security, upgradability and cost-effectiveness.In addition, it is too early to determine the impact AI/ML will have, other than that it is changing everything in the tech industry.My home is likely going to be a delicate balance of the manual/dumb world and a smart home, with the hope that the investment I make today will pay off in the future. Luckily, most smart home devices have been designed to retrofit existing dumb homes.Stay tuned for additional posts in my experience on building a smart sustainable home in the future.The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network. When a Smart Home Loses Connections Jim McGregor has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2017. He is the founder and principal analyst at Tirias Research with more than 30 years of high-tech industry experience. His expertise spans a broad range of product development and corporate strategy functions, such as semiconductor manufacturing, systems engineering, product marketing, marketing communications, brand management, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and sales. McGregor worked for Intel, Motorola, ON Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics and General Dynamics Space Systems prior to becoming an industry analyst and In-Stat’s chief technology strategist. Email Jim.last_img read more