Towns Current Bidding Contract Opportunities

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Town’s Purchasing Department currently has the following bidding and contract opportunities available:Request For Proposals/QualificationsNoneInvitations To BidLighting Replacement for Woburn Street and Shawsheen Street School — Deadline: Thursday, August 2, 2018, 11amSingle Point Video Detection (SPVD) Traffic Signal Camera System — Deadline: Thursday, August 16, 2018, 10amAll interested parties must first complete the town’s Bid Registration Form.Visit the Town’s Purchasing Department website for additional information. Contact Wendy Martiniello at wmartiniello[at]wilmingtonma.gov with questions.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedTown’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”last_img read more

600000 Rohingya children may flee to Bangladesh

first_imgA Rohingya refugee woman sits with her two children under open sky near a new makeshift camp, in Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh 16 September. Photo: ReutersSome 600,000 Rohingya children could flee to Bangladesh by the end of the year, a relief group said Sunday, highlighting the scale of the humanitarian crisis triggered by violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.More than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have now arrived in Bangladesh from their Buddhist dominated homeland to escape violence that the United Nations says could be ethnic cleansing.According to the UN, more than half of the refugees are children, and more than 1,100 have arrived alone after trekking mud roads and hills for days.“That number could rise beyond one million by the end of the year if the influx continues, including about 600,000 children, according to UN agencies,” Mark Pierce, the Bangladesh chief of Save the Children charity, said.The UN has also said it was possible that all the estimated 1.1 million Rohingya could flee Rakhine.Bangladesh and relief agencies are struggling to cope with new arrivals sheltering on roadsides, hills and open spaces close to existing camps around Cox’s Bazar, which borders Myanmar.Aid agencies have said thousands of Rohingya were half-starving and a major health emergency could break out.Bangladesh has announced it will build 14,000 shelters for some 400,000 refugees but has said it was also readying a desolate island where many could be relocated.A Rohingya boy carries a child after after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Teknaf, Bangladesh, 1 September, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Mohammad Ponir HossainPierce said his group was particularly worried about the traumatised children and orphans who have arrived alone in Bangladesh.“This is a real concern as these children are in an especially vulnerable position, being at increased risk of exploitation and abuse, as well as things like child trafficking,” he said.“Some children have witnessed violence and killing. Some have been shot at, others have seen their homes set on fire. Some have reportedly watched their parents being killed,” he said.The charity said it is setting up safe spaces in the camps for vulnerable children.They would receive 24-hour support and protection while attempts are made to find family members, it said.Bangladesh authorities say they are also preparing special measures to care for Rohingya orphans.last_img

Yemen rebels attack Saudi airport

first_imgCars are parked in front of Abha airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia`s mountainous resort, on 12 June 2019. A Yemeni rebel missile attack on the civil airport wounded 26 civilians today, drawing promises of `stern action` from the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Yemeni Huthi rebels. Photo: AFPA Yemeni rebel missile attack on an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia wounded 26 civilians on Wednesday, drawing promises of “stern action” from the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels.Yemen’s Huthi rebels, who have faced persistent coalition bombing since March 2015 that has exacted a heavy civilian death toll, have stepped up missile and drone attacks across the border in recent weeks.Wednesday’s missile strike hit the civil airport in the mountain resort of Abha, which is a popular summer getaway for Saudis seeking escape from the searing heat of Riyadh or Jeddah.Eight of the wounded were admitted to hospital, coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki said.The other 18 were discharged after receiving first aid, he added in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.The missile caused some damage to the airport’s arrivals lounge and flights were disrupted for several hours before returning to normal.At least one Indian and a Yemeni were among three women wounded along with two Saudi children, said Malki, adding the “terrorist attack” on a civilian target could be considered a “war crime”.- ‘Stern action’ -Malki said the coalition would “take stern action” to deter the rebels and protect civilians.The attack was also condemned by the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, whose information minister Muammar al-Iryani alleged the strike was carried out “under the supervision of Iranian experts”.The rebels said they had launched a missile at Abha airport but insisted they had the right to defend themselves in the face of more than years of Saudi-led bombing, and an air and sea blockade.”The continuation of the aggression and siege on Yemen for the fifth year, the closure of Sanaa airport and the rejection of a political solution make it inevitable for our people to defend themselves,” Huthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said in a statement reported by the rebels’ Al-Masirah television.A rebel military spokesman threatened to attack the airports of “countries of aggression”, referring to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and warned the public to stay away from them.There has been a spate of cross-border attacks by the rebels in recent weeks which have coincided with reports of intensified coalition strikes on rebel strongholds on the other side of the border.On Monday, Saudi air defences intercepted two rebel drones headed for Khamis Mushait.The city, not far east of Abha, houses a major airbase that has been one of the main launchpads for the coalition’s bombing campaign in Yemen.Last month, the Saudi air force shot down a rebel drone that targeted Jizan airport, on the Red Sea coast close to the Yemeni border, the coalition said.- ‘Proves’ Iran support -The rebel attacks come as Saudi state media reported the coalition was intensifying its air raids on rebel positions in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah.In May, the Shiite Huthi rebels also carried out twin drone attacks on the kingdom’s strategic east-west oil pipeline, forcing a two-day closure of the main diversionary route for Saudi exports avoiding the Gulf.Riyadh accused its regional arch foe Iran of having a hand in that attack and it levelled a similar allegation over the airport strike.The coalition spokesman said the missile hit “proves this terrorist militia’s acquisition of new advanced weapons and the continuation of the Iranian regime’s support and waging of cross-border terrorism”.The uptick in violence comes as a UN-led peace push falters despite the rebels’ unilateral withdrawal from the lifeline Red Sea port of Hodeida last month.The Yemeni government has accused UN envoy Martin Griffiths of bias towards the rebels despite the UN Security Council’s expression of renewed support in him on Monday.The coalition intervened in support of the Yemeni government in 2015 when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile as the rebels closed in on his last remaining territory in and around second city Aden.Since then, the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, many of them civilians, relief agencies say.It has triggered what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with 24.1 million Yemenis — more than two-thirds of the population — in need of aid.last_img

Deluxe Oldies but Goodies Crab Feast

first_imgThe Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Fund is hosting the 19th annual Crab Feast, in memory of Yvonne McKinney, at 2 p.m. on July 18that the VFW Post located at 6506 Philadelphia Road in Rosedale, MD.  All you can eat crabs & free beer. Donations are $50. For ticket information call Marcia Pryor at 410-233-4307.last_img

BSkyB is launching a dedicated Formula 1 auto raci

first_imgBSkyB is launching a dedicated Formula 1 auto racing channel. UK pay TV operator won rights to the racing series earlier this year in a deal that runs from 2012 to 2018.Sky Sports F1 HD will show every race live, practice and qualifying sessions and various wraparound programming and interactive services giving statistics and information about the races, teams and drivers. The channel will be free for subscribers signed up to Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 or the pay TV operator’s HD package.Sky will share the rights with UK public broadcaster the BBC under the terms of a deal inked in July. Sky will show all Grand Prix live and qualifying and practice sessions while the BBC will show half of the live races and qualifying and practice.“This is another example of the value we are creating for customers through our content leadership. It follows the recent launch of other high-quality new channels like Sky Atlantic and Sky 3D as well as our growing commitment to UK original content in areas such as drama, comedy and the arts,” said Sky CEO, Jeremy Darroch. “It will give even more value to Sky customers and create another reason for others to consider pay TV.”last_img read more

Consumer electronics provider Vestel and Swedish o

first_imgConsumer electronics provider Vestel and Swedish operating system platform maker Zenterio are partnering on a DVB-T2 set-top box that it is launching commercially in Uganda and Rwanda.The move comes ahead of a planned analogue terrestrial switch-off for much of Africa by June 2015, with DVB-T2, a system used to carry HDTV signals on terrestrial TV channels, expected to be important to this transition.The set-top will let viewers watch dozens of free-to-air digital channels and supports a high-quality HD picture.The companies said they will work with local partners SysCorp and TACT to analyse customer expectations and offer future services if they fit market demands – such as DVB-T2 hybrid with additional interactive services such as video-on-demand or catch-up TV.“Africa is an important market for Vestel and we are happy to begin set-top box sales into this market. We are aiming to expand DVB-T2 STB sales into other African countries in the coming years,” said Hakan Kutlu, Deputy General Manager, Vestel Trade.Zenterio CEO Samuel Lindstedt told DTVE: “Putting the Zenterio Operating System into this new retail DVB-T2 set-top box in Africa, specifically Rwanda and Uganda, shows the unparalleled flexibility and performance of our software and is proof that we can implement this technology for other emerging markets around the world.”last_img read more

The BBCs commercial arm has selected six new star

first_imgThe BBC’s commercial arm has selected six new start-ups to take part in its BBC Worldwide Labs project, covering business areas including audience research, video search and advertising.BBCWW kicked off its Labs scheme in 2012 to offer new companies guidance from industry experts and mentors from around the business, securing commercial partnerships without taking an equity state in the companies.The six startups chosen this year include: Seenit, an app that lets brands launch video-filming campaigns; Rezonence, an ad format that allows publishers to monetise digital content by asking consumers to engage; and CrowdEmotion, a software firm that analyses facial expressions to measure emotions.The other three start-ups are: video and audio search firm OP3NVoice; real-time ad and e-commerce system Verticly; and Buddy Bounce, a platform designed to let celebrities and brands better connect with their fans.BBCWW said that this year’s new start-ups have been selected based on their “natural alignment” with Worldwide’s existing business units and international brands, and their potential global reach.last_img read more

In This Issue Plethora of data push dollar lowe

first_imgIn This Issue.* Plethora of data push dollar lower… * German unemployment show a surprise improvement… * Pound continues to get sold… * Canadian dollar moves back above parity…And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!US data push the dollar lower…Good day. And welcome to February. I can’t believe January is already over, it really flew by didn’t it?  The St. Louis University basketball team pulled off what many would call a big upset yesterday by beating #9 Butler last night, and they won in impressive fashion!  Congrats to the B-ball Billikens!! We had a busy day on the trading desk yesterday with the markets reacting to what was a plethora of data releases here in the US.  And today we will have just as much data released which should lead to another volatile day. The last day of January started off with data showing the Personal Income and Spending of US consumers increased in December.  The surprise number was on the income side where the data showed a 2.6% jump after an adjusted increase of 1% in November.  These are some very strong numbers on the income side and were thought mainly to be due to questions regarding the fiscal cliff at year end.  It seems many companies paid dividends and employee bonuses earlier than usual in order to avoid the jump in tax rates which everyone knew would be happening as we turned the calendar over.  According to a story I read in Bloomberg, the Commerce department estimated about $26.4 billion of the increase in incomes was attributable to early dividend payments and another $15 billion reflected bonuses on other types of irregular pay.  So the jump in income wasn’t really increases, it was simply a timing difference so the income numbers during the first quarter will undoubtedly show the flip side of these increases during last quarter.And in addition to the early bonuses, the payroll tax will be more of a drag on consumer’s disposable income this quarter.  And even after the large surge in incomes during the last month of 2012, Personal spending actually showed a smaller increase than expected.  Spending was up .2% in December after a .4% increase in the previous month.  Other data showed prices remained flat in December as the PCE numbers were flat on a MOM basis. This data was followed up with the weekly jobs numbers which showed a slight increase in the number of jobless claims last week.  The data showed 368k more workers applied for first time employment benefits compared to last weeks 330k.  Continuing claims increased to 3197k compared to an adjusted figure of 3175k last week.  The pace of recovery in the US labor market certainly isn’t increasing, and we will get even more jobs data later this morning.  Economists are expecting today’s Nonfarm Payrolls numbers for January to reflect an increase of 165k with Private payrolls showing a 168k increase and another part of the report to show 10k more manufacturing jobs were added last month.  The Unemployment rate is expected to remain at 7.8%, stubbornly high and well above Bernanke’s 6.5% target.The labor department will also be issuing its annual benchmark update, reflecting all of the revisions which it has made to the employment numbers from April 2011 to March 2012. The government will also incorporate new Census Bureau estimates into the household survey it uses to calculate the jobless rate.  I’m sure Chuck will be dissecting these ‘adjustments’ and will share his thoughts with all of you (I can just hear him screaming at the walls now!)And yesterday’s plethora of data ended with the release of the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index which fell again last week.  The index dropped to minus 37.5 from -36.4 the previous week.  This was a fourth consecutive decrease, and the lowest reading since October as the increase in the payroll tax put consumers in a negative mood.There was a bit of good news across the pond as German unemployment unexpectedly declined in January.  Even with the improvement in the German labor market, unemployment in the euro area remained relatively high at 11.7%.  But this reading is still below economists forecast of 11.9% for the EU jobless rate.   These good employment numbers combined with the worrying data here in the US to push the Euro up almost a full cent.  The Euro surged to a high of $1.3675, the highest level for the common currency since November of 2011.  The euro ended January with a 2.93% increase vs. the US$, with Brazil being the only currency with a better return vs. the US$ at 3.02% for January.  This is the sixth straight month of gains for the Euro vs. the US$, a somewhat surprising run for the common currency.  We still caution investors against the euro, as the sovereign debt problems are sure to raise up again sometime this year; but this run by the euro is certainly impressive.Currency experts at some of the major banks feel the Euro has even more room to appreciate.  According to a report by BNP Paribas SA the euro will strengthen to $1.40 by the third quarter of this year, the highest level since 2011. The Paris bank’s experts also said they expect the yen to experience ‘sustained’ weakness this year.  BNP feel the Japanese currency will fall to 95 during the first quarter before strengthening to 85 by year end.That reminds me of an alert which caused a bit of a stir on the desk yesterday.  Brian Arabia, the head of our Business Foreign Exchange department, forwarded all of us an alert which stated “Dollar at 2 ½ year high”.  I immediately turned toward the screens to figure out what had caused the big reversal of fortune for the US$, but saw the euro above $1.35 and the Brazilian real below the 2 handle.  But after looking a bit harder at the news story Brian had sent I saw it was just referring to the dollar/yen.  Yes, the dollar is certainly strong vs. the Japanese yen, but this isn’t because of the dollar’s strength but is rather due to the weakness of the Japanese yen.  This just goes to show you how the media can twist things around a bit and spin them to give readers a much different first impression.  A clearer story on the US$ can be seen by looking at the dollar index.  This broader based index dropped to a six week low and has just dropped below a key support level of 79.2. The only currency which joined the yen in dropping vs. the US$ yesterday was the Pound sterling which tumbled to the weakest level in 14 months.  A report showed UK manufacturing growth is slowing with the Markit Economics supply index falling to 50.8 from a revised 51.2 in December. The pound dropped almost 2.5% vs. the US$ in January, and is down about 2% over the past 3 months.  The UK is close to slipping into a ‘triple dip’ recession, with GDP dropping .3% during the 4th quarter of 2012. Depending on the data this morning in the US, currency traders could start to bid up the commodity currency in a ‘risk on’ day as China’s manufacturing index is expected to have climbed in December.  The median estimate of economists pegs China’s January PMI at 51 compared to a reading of 50.6 in December.  If the number is as expected, this would be the fourth straight month of a 50+ reading which signals the Chinese economy is again on an expansionary route. This would help the Australian and New Zealand dollars which depend on the strength of the Chinese economy.  The Aussie can use a little ‘love’ from the Chinese after a report showed a gauge of Australian manufacturing fell to a 3 ½ year low in January.  The strength of the Australian dollar has hurt exports and manufacturing in Australia, causing a 4.1 point drop in the manufacturing index.  This gauge has shown Australian manufacturing  has been in contraction since February of 2012. But currency strategists are still boosting forecasts for the Aussie dollar as they expect the Australian economy to rebound along with renewed growth in China.  According to Bloomberg, estimates for the Aussie have climbed 8.2% to $1.05 from 97 cents on June 30.  This isn’t a large increase from the $1.0419 where it is trading now, but it is still an increase.The Canadian dollar broke above parity for the first time in a week after a report showed the Canadian economy grew faster than forecast in November.  The report released by Statistics Canada said the Canadian economy grew .3% following a .1% gain in the month prior.  The loonie had been beat up a bit in January, but this data was enough to push the currency back above parity vs. the US$. To recap.  Data pushed the dollar lower as the US economy is seen as stagnating in the 4th quarter.  More data released today may give the markets direction, with the jobs data expected to show a small improvement.  German unemployment data surprised on the upside and pushed the euro above $1.365 with many ‘experts’ feeling the euro has even further to run.  Japanese yen continues to fall and was joined by the pound sterling which also dropped.  The commodity currencies direction will be determined by the Chinese manufacturing numbers which will be released later today. Currencies today 2/1/13: American Style: A$ $1.0392, kiwi .8424, C$ 1.00, euro 1.3645, sterling 1.5839, Swiss $1.1052. European Style: rand 8.9420, krone 5.4461, SEK 6.3043, forint 214.50, zloty 3.0635, koruna 18.796, RUB 29.98, yen 92.13, sing 1.2409, HKD 7.7581, INR 53.1975, China 6.2273, pesos 12.7241, BRL 1.9869, Dollar Index 79.029, Oil $97.30, 10-year 2.00%, Silver $31.44, and Gold $1,664.70.That’s it for today. Happy birthday to my wonderful wife of 21 years.  Tina is a great mom and good friend and I could not imagine my life without her.  I asked her if she wanted to go out to a romantic dinner this evening and as is typical she instead wanted to just have a casual dinner with our kids, her mom and her sister.  It’s a big day on the desk today as we finally get our replacement for Lori who left at the end of last year.  Dane Moody, who started off in our operations area and then transferred to our wealth division is joining Christine on the trading side of the WorldMarkets desk. Welcome Dane, we all are excited to have you join the team!!  I hope everyone has a Fantastic Friday and a Wonderful Weekend.  GO NINERS!!Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

In This Issue   RBA removes verbiage about A

first_imgIn This Issue. *  RBA removes verbiage about A$ strength. *  Sweden prints stronger than expected manufacturing report. *  Chinese manufacturing prints flat. *  Hedge Funds return to Gold. And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! The Partial Shutdown Begins. Good day.  And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! And also welcome to October, which for many years, I’ve referred to the month as Rocktober! So, Rocktober is here, time to start getting the woolies out of storage, rake leaves, do like Chris like to do, go for rides to view the autumn foliage, and get ready for Halloween! Of course, Rocktober has also brought us a partial Gov’t shutdown. I’ll start with that discussion this morning for it’s what all the media is going kaka over! (and I don’t mean the soccer player!) So, yes, the partial shutdown of the Gov’t began at midnight last night, as the calendar turned to Rocktober. I guess I’ll have to remind the media to get a grip here… We’ve seen this all before… Yes, it’s been 17 years since the last Gov’t shutdown.. And we’ve had a number of these in our past. So, let’s not go all Chicken Little on me here! These are the things that happen when you allow your debt to rise unsustainably for over a decade… There’s an old saying about having to pay the piper… Well, that’s what this is all about… Speaking of “What it’s all about”… On a sidebar, I saw a sign the other day, that read: The Hokey Pokey Clinic… A place to turn yourself around… and that’s what it’s all about! So… What we have here is a failure to communicate… The House says that they want to negotiate and the Senate says they don’t want to negotiate… I don’t think I can even come up with a silly saying about what the lawmakers are doing right now, but… You know me, I think that both sides of the aisle has been to blame for this debt mess we’re in… And the dollar is caught in the middle… How long this lasts only the Shadow knows, but it appears that the markets are not happy with it, or the dollar right now… You see… the markets figure that if the Gov’t is going through this exercise of a partial shutdown, that the economy is going to suffer, and that would mean the Fed would have to extend their stimulus of bond buying and ZIRP (zero interest rate policy)… And all this is what has hurt the dollar in the past, so no reason to upset that applecart… Sell dollars because no one knows how this all stimulus ends, and now we’re just extending the unknown… So, after I signed off and sent the letter for review yesterday morning, the euro began to tick upward, and by the time everyone had arrived at their places with bright shining faces, the euro had climbed to 1.3545.  Recall, I had told you yesterday morning that the euro had fallen below 1.35, but the move was small. That downward movement had been caused by the news this past weekend that Silvio Berlusconi (yes him again!) was pulling his party out of a coalition that would bring the Italian Gov’t down.  A couple of things come to mind after typing that. 1. I’ve been dealing with currencies since 1992. And I’ve been writing about the misadventures, legal problems and scandals of Mr. Silvio Berlusconi since 1992! I can’t believe he has stuck around all this time!   And 2. These Gov’t dissolutions happen all the time in Parliament Governments. And yes, it should have had some negative effects on the euro, but not much. But, as the morning wore on, a whispering campaign began to carry through the markets, that there were defectors from Berlusconi’s plans to withdraw his party.  And the number of defectors would be enough to maintain the current Gov’t. coalition.  And that’s what got the euro started once again. This morning, the euro is trading around that 1.3545 level still, but there are a few other currencies taking up the slack of a weaker dollar… The Aussie dollar (A$) is up more than 1-cent this morning…  The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left rates unchanged, as I suspected they would, and then removed some key verbiage from their statement regarding their concern with the strong A$…  The Swedish krona is outperforming Europe this morning as Sweden reported that September Manufacturing expanded at its fastest pace in more than two years…  The rest of the currencies are falling in behind these two… As far as the A$ is concerned, think about this for a minute… The U.S. Gov’t has begun to partially shutdown. In Japan, PM Abe announced that he was raising sales taxes next year from 5% to 8%…  But in Australia, the RBA leaves rates unchanged and stops dissing the currency… I would think that the spotlight is shining brightly here, as opposed to U.S. dollars and yen…  But remember what I told you that RBC thinks about the RBA and the A$ yesterday… And what the heck is Japanese PM Abe thinking about raising Sales Taxes? Think about that for another minute. Japan has had deflation cast over their economy for two decades, and part of deflation that’s not bad is that prices don’t rise, therefore there’s no impetus to go out and buy stuff now, as the Japanese know that the price will be the same in 6 months from now. So, retail sales stink in Japan, have stunk, do stink, and will continue to stink now that the PM has increased Sales Taxes!  Geez Louise, what’s in the water over there in Japan that makes these guys think like this? OK… had to stop and sing along with the Guess Who, and their great song, These Eyes… But I’m back now… Like I always say, it’s a good thing I’m here by my lonesome in the early morning!  But you have to love that Burton Cummings. And speaking of great things from Canada. The Canadian July GDP report printed yesterday ( I Know! This is so old data!) and printed stronger than expected, fully reversing June’s drop of -.5%…  July printed at +.6%, with a rebound in manufacturing having the greatest affect on the data. I would think that the Bank of Canada (BOC) realizes that June’s drop was a direct result of the Alberta floods, and the July report is a sign of good things to come! I also think that given this quick start to the 3rd QTR for Canada, that we could very well see 3% growth in the 3rd QTR. If that happens, and we won’t know until we’re unwrapping our Christmas presents, we could very well see the BOC return to a rate hike campaign in 2014. We’ve already heard from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, (RBNZ) which pretty much greased the tracks for a return to a rate hike cycle in 2014.. Old stodgy countries, that are stuck in their ways, their wage requirements, and red tape, can’t improvise, adjust and overcome to the needs of the Emerging Markets like the mid-size industrialized countries can. And with growth being driven by the Emerging Markets as we move along in the decade, that will mean good things for everyone but the Old stodgy countries. You know who I’m talking about! Speaking of Emerging Markets. China printed their September manufacturing index at 51.1%, which is bang on what it was in August, and a bit below the expectations of 51.6%…  China is on their Golden Week holiday this week.  So, that makes the two of the top 3 economies in the world on hold this week. I still believe that China’s economic slowdown is over, and they are primed and ready to explode to the upside again. We’ll have to wait-n-see, eh? I know that many of you read my friend, John Mauldin. Last week John wrote in his weekly letter that he believed that the U.S. dollar would remain the reserve currency for years to come, and end up being more worthy than it is today. He also said that he believed that China would become a reserve currency too. Hmm.  I’ll remind you that John also has called for the collapse of the euro for about 4 years now. So, I tell you this about what he said about the dollar, as my effort to be fair and balanced. But it does make for a good two-way market, eh? You know that I don’t believe in that talk about the dollar being more worthy than it is today in the future. How can that be? Well, he goes about explaining that with the U.S. gaining its energy independence, that the Current Account Deficit will eventually become a Surplus.  But when? And it’s my contention, and I’ve explained it here, and whenever I give presentations these days, that having our Energy Independence isn’t going to help us much when the Chinese demand payment in the form of our Oil reserves, instead of the dollars that the Fed and Treasury have weakened for years. That’s just a thought on how it all plays out, folks, I’m not saying that I know anything that others don’t. And I could be wrong with all this. Let’s hope I am! British pound sterling continues to march to a different drummer these days, and book higher and higher levels VS the dollar. I say that about a different drummer, because the pound and the British economy has been so tied to the U.S. in the recent years. but new Bank of England (BOE) Gov. Carney really lit the fire under pound sterling last week when he said that the economy might not need additional bond buying. Now, that doesn’t mean the bond buying is over for sure here. And should bond buying return, these Happy Days for pound sterling will be a thing of the past. I was talking with my good friend, Charlie Tiano, last night (about baseball of course!) and the conversation switched over to the Gov’t Shutdown. I said that I expected to see a stock sell off and a switch to Treasuries. But this morning, Treasury yields are rising, which would mean that what I described as to what I thought we would see, hasn’t materialized yet.  The other thing I thought we would see is a rise in the price of Gold. That too hasn’t materialized yet. Speaking of Gold. I read on the Bloomberg last night that Hedge funds combined holdings of Gold futures rose the most in September.  I also saw that Gold had its first profitable quarter in a year. The last quarter that saw a rise in the price of Gold was the 3rd QTR of 2012. Last year, the quarterly rise proved to be a false dawn to Gold’s price continuing to rise. Maybe, just maybe, this year will prove to be different, although you know me, I don’t like that saying. (This time it’s different)  I’m just saying, that with the Gov’t shutdown, and worries all around the world, that Gold has a reason to rise. The U.S. data cupboard has the September ISM Manufacturing Index to print for us today. The “experts” believe it will print around 55. which is a good number, and is a direct result of the weaker dollar that we’ve seen in the past couple of months.  But then maybe with the partial Gov’t shutdown, we won’t see any data prints. Which would be fine with me, for you know me, I think they are all garbage these days with all their hedonic adjustments. Before I head to the Big Finish. a long time reader sent me a note yesterday with his thoughts on the Gov’t shutdown. Let’s listen in. “My idea for the Gov’t shutdown is to withhold all pay for Congress, the President and all their staff, until a budget is in place. That should change a lot of hard heads. Imagine how creative, and cooperative they will get once their own salary is sequestered.” My thoughts exactly! For What It’s Worth. I found this on moneynews.com, a sight that I frequent more and more these days. It’s the Fed Reserve president Richard Fisher, you know the guy that owns a truckload of Gold. Let’s listen in to Richard Fisher talk about Big Banks, and the U.S. Gov’t. “Fisher’s solution is not so much to break up the mega banks like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase as it is to put a firewall between their banking activities and their investment activities. According to his thinking, federal deposit insurance and access to the Fed discount window should only be available to the commercial banking arms of the big banks, while any transaction involving any other segment of their businesses, including their investment arms, “be accompanied with a clear agreement between counterparties that it will never, ever be bailed out by government or the taxpayers.” But would this scenario play out in Washington? “The large financial companies and their proxies are spending millions of dollars to buy congressmen and congresswomen and protect their interests,” he told Euromoney. “You can quote me on that. We will see how that plays out.” Small businesses should be the engine of U.S. growth, but they are being thwarted by lack of direction from Washington, and the fact there has been no federal budget for five years, Fisher explained. Neighboring Mexico has a sounder fiscal policy than the United States, according to Fisher. “Mexico has a balanced-budget rule. Its percentage of debt to GDP is minimal. They get things done. And they have an independent central bank that is truly independent.” Chuck again. OK. I think that my first choice for new Fed Chairman is Bill Bonner, but Richard Fisher is running a close second! To recap. The Partial Shutdown of the U.S. Gov’t has begun, and with it has brought some dollar selling.  This is the first shutdown in 17 years in the U.S. but has been done a number of times in our past, so don’t go all Chicken Little on me here. It’s called negotiating.  The RBA left rates unchanged by also removed some verbiage about concern for the strong A$… And that has pushed the A$ up over 1-cent overnight. Sweden booked a stronger than expected manufacturing index for September, and that has the krona coming in second place in the currency returns overnight. China booked a flat Manufacturing Index, but that doesn’t spook Chuck. Currencies today 10/1/13. American Style: A$ .9425, kiwi .8290, C$ .9705, euro 1.3545, sterling 1.6235, Swiss $ 1.1060, . European Style: rand 10.0585, krone 6.0050, SEK 6.3735, forint 218.65, zloty 3.1225, koruna 18.9250, RUB 32.26, yen 97.80, sing 1.2515, HKD 7.7550, INR 62.46, China 6.1480, pesos 13.12, BRL 2.2165, Dollar Index 80.05, Oil $102.16, 10-year 2.65%, Silver $21.64, Platinum $1,398.25, Palladium $723.16, and Gold.. $1,326.06 That’s it for today.  My beloved Cardinals’ first two playoff game times have been set. 4:07 on Thursday, 12:07 on Friday.  I’m sure there has to be someone out there that I know that has tickets to Friday that won’t be able to get away from work to go to the game and will need someone to use their tickets! I’m your man! Sorry about the later delivery time of the Pfennig yesterday, we had a communication problem. So, do you go to the Pfennig Blog site ever? If not, you should, as you can check out the archives, and respond right there to maybe even start a lively discussion among Blog site readers! Check it out here: www.dailypfennig.com   My marketing people wanted originally to only do the Blog site, and get rid of the email. You should have seen the temper tantrum I threw! So, no worries, now we have both! And two things are better than one! Right?  Tampa Bay Rays beat Rangers in their one-game playoff to play another one-game play-in today VS the Cleveland Indians. Crazy stuff! Our Blues begin their NHL season in a couple of days. Will it be another year of “same old Blues” or will this be the year they finally drink from the Cup?  We won’t know until June, so don’t go all-in right away. And with that, I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

One of the cool things about the Bible is that it

first_imgOne of the cool things about the Bible is that it contains some very interesting passages that no one seems to read. Understand, please, that I’m neither promoting a literal interpretation of the Bible nor giving you a sermon. I’m just pointing out a fascinating fact that most everyone seems to have missed, religious folks included. In this case, I’m referring to a passage that comes at the very end of the book, where a list is given, itemizing the kinds of people who will be condemned to “the second death.” Who would you expect to stand at the top of the list? Murders? Idolators? Maybe adulterers? Nope, none of those. The first people heading off to destruction are “the fearful.” But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Not what you expected? You can look it up if you like. That’s from Revelation 21:8 (King James Version). And I even checked the original Greek: fearful is the right translation. Fear as a Tool of Damnation I’m not going to get into theological engineering here, but yes, this would mean that the promoters of fear are sending people to hell. And, considering that we live in a fear-based culture, that’s an interesting thought indeed. Now, if you want to be truly bold, think about this: Who is it that currently promotes fear? We know the answer, of course. The people who live on fear are the majesties of the age: politicians being chief among them but followed by the entire ‘law enforcement‘ complex, military and intelligence organizations, television news-readers, religious bosses, newspaper operators, and, increasingly, anyone who wants something and has access to the public stage. If the Bible is correct, people who profit from fear are profiting from the destruction (nay, the damnation!) of their fellow men and women. Religion Isn’t Necessary, of Course The conclusion that fear is the enemy of mankind doesn’t require religion, of course. We can reach the same conclusion just by recognizing that fear (and especially the chemicals associated with fear) damage our health. Literally, people who make you fear are making you sick. (We covered this in issue #38 of Free-Man’s Perspective) Beyond that, it is clear that fear is the number one tool of manipulators. If you want to get large numbers of men and women to do your will, scare them. Every tyrant in history has known this and used this technique. What To Do About It First of all, start paying attention to your feelings and notice when things make you afraid. Stop your thinking and pay attention to the whole fear process. If you do, you can deal with most of these attacks quickly, rather than leaving an indistinct fear to roll around the back of your mind all day. Second, start analyzing the words that convey fear to you. Are they really true? Is the response the fear merchants deliver to you really the only course of action? The hard part of doing this is that the words come too fast; by the time you’re ready to analyze one statement, another one is halfway complete. Analyzing them in writing is far easier, or getting a live speaker to slow down and go one phrase at a time. Third, start discounting the people who consistently throw fear at you. If that’s all they have, they’re not worth paying attention to. Turn off the TV; excuse yourself from the conversation; walk away. You don’t have to take it. Finally, start pointing out these things to other people. They may be defensive at first, but isn’t that worth facing, to clear the minds of your friends and family? Why should they suffer under the lash of fear all their lives? Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.comlast_img read more

The 1 Investment I recommend you make right now

first_img “The #1 Investment I recommend you make right now” – Chris Mayer This is a big secret behind some of the world’s greatest stock pickers’ fortunes – but not many people know how to take advantage. In this FREE event, Chris will share this “success formula” with you. Click here for the details and to join this FREE event before it expires. Justin’s note: Today, Casey Research founder Doug Casey and International Man senior editor Nick Giambruno explain why it’s never been more important to diversify your savings. Read on to learn how… Nick Giambruno: For centuries, wealthy people have used international diversification to protect their savings and themselves from out-of-control governments. Now, thanks to modern technology, anyone can implement similar strategies. Doug, I’d like to discuss some of the basic ways regular people can internationally diversify their savings. For an American, what’s the difference between having a bank account at Bank of America and having a foreign bank account? Doug Casey: I’d say there is possibly all the difference in the world. The entire world’s banking system today is shaky, but if you go international, you can find much more solid banks than those that we have here in the US. That’s important, but beyond that, you’ve got to diversify your political risk. And if you have your bank account in a US bank, it’s eligible to being seized by any number of government agencies or by a frivolous lawsuit. So besides finding a more solid bank, by having your liquid assets in a different political jurisdiction you insulate yourself from a lot of other risks as well. America’s “Shadow President”—and how he’s getting rich(er) [not who you might think] Billionaire Peter Thiel has been spotted in Trump’s “NY Whitehouse” and has even been called the “Shadow President” for the influence he wields. He is a heavy backer of a new type of currency that’s already making some people very rich. This has been an opportunity for the average guy to generate “small fortunes,” writes The Economist. $24,955,415,087 have left traditional currencies and gone into this new type of currency. We’ve spoken with dozens of insiders about this phenomenon… including the world’s top investor in this space and members of the “Fed.” Click here for the full story. — Nick Giambruno: Moving some of your savings abroad also allows you to preempt capital controls (restrictions on moving money out of the country) and the destructive measures that always follow. Doug Casey: This is a very serious consideration. When the going gets tough, governments never control themselves, but they do try to control their subjects. It’s likely that the US is going to have official capital controls in the future. This means that if you don’t have money outside of the US, it’s going to become very inconvenient and/or very expensive to get money out. Nick Giambruno: Why do you think the US government would institute capital controls? Doug Casey: Well, there are about $7-8 trillion—nobody knows for sure—outside of the US, and those are like a ticking time bomb. Foreigners don’t have to hold those dollars. Americans have to hold the dollars. If you’re going to trade within the US, you must use US dollars, both legally and practically. Foreigners don’t have to, and at some point they may perceive those dollars as being the hot potatoes they are. And the US government might say that we can’t have Americans investing outside the country, perhaps not even spending a significant amount outside the country, because they are just going to add to this giant pile of dollars. There are all kinds of reasons that they could come up with. We already have de facto capital controls, quite frankly, even though there’s no law at the moment saying that an American can’t invest abroad or take money out of the country. The problem is because of other US laws, like FATCA, finding a foreign bank or a foreign broker who will accept your account is very hard. Very, very few of them will take American accounts anymore because the laws make it unprofitable, inconvenient, and dangerous, so they don’t bother. So it’s not currently against the law, but it’s already very hard. — Recommended Link Recommended Link Nick Giambruno: What forms of savings are good candidates to take abroad? Gold coins? Foreign real estate? Doug Casey: Well, you put your finger on exactly the two that I was going to mention. Everybody should own gold coins because they are money in its most basic form—something that a lot of people have forgotten. Gold is the only financial asset that’s not simultaneously somebody else’s liability. And if your gold is outside the US, it gives you another degree of insulation should the United States decide that you shouldn’t own it—it’s not a reportable asset currently. If you have $1 million of cash in a bank account abroad, you must report that to the US government every year. If you have $1 million worth of gold coins in a foreign safe deposit box, however, that is not reportable, and that’s a big plus. So gold is one thing. The second thing, of course is real estate. There are many advantages to foreign real estate. Sometimes it’s vastly cheaper than in the US. Foreign real estate is also not a reportable asset to the US government. Nick Giambruno: Foreign real estate is a good way to internationally diversify a big chunk of your savings. What are the chances that your home government could confiscate foreign real estate? It’s pretty close to zero. Doug Casey: I’d say it’s just about zero because they can make you repatriate the cash in your foreign bank account, but what can they make you do with the real estate? Would they tell you to sell it? Well, it’s not likely. Also, if things go sideways in your country, it’s good to have a second place you can transplant yourself to. And I know that it’s unbelievable for most people to think anything could go wrong in their home country—a lot of Germans thought that in the ’20s, a lot of Russians thought that in the early teens, a lot of Vietnamese thought that in the ’60s, a lot of Cubans thought that in the ’50s. It could happen anywhere. Nick Giambruno: Besides savings, what else can people diversify? How does a second passport fit into the mix? Doug Casey: It’s still quite possible—and completely legal—for an American to have a citizenship in a second country, and it offers many advantages. As for opening up foreign bank accounts, if you show them an American passport, they’ll likely tell you to go away. Once again, obtaining a foreign bank or brokerage account is extremely hard for Americans today—that door has been closing for some time and is nearly slammed shut now. But if you show a foreign bank a Paraguayan or a Panamanian or any other passport, they’ll welcome you as a customer. Nick Giambruno: The police state is metastasizing in the US. Is that a good reason to diversify as well? Doug Casey: It’s a harbinger, I’m afraid, of what’s to come. The fact is that police forces throughout the US have been militarized. Every little town has a SWAT team, sometimes with armored personnel carriers. All of the Praetorian style agencies on the federal level—the FBI, CIA, NSA, and over a dozen others like them—have become very aggressive. Every single day in the US, there are scores of confiscations of people’s bank accounts, and dozens having their doors broken down in the wee hours of the night. The ethos in the US really seems to be changing right before our very eyes, and I think it’s quite disturbing. You can be accused of almost anything by the government and have your assets seized without due process. Every year there are billions of dollars that are seized by various government entities, including local police departments, who get to keep a percentage of the proceeds, so this is a very corrupting thing. People forget that when the US was founded there were only three federal crimes, and they are listed in the Constitution: treason, counterfeiting, and piracy. Now it’s estimated there are over 5,000 federal crimes, and that number is constantly increasing. This is very disturbing. There is a book called Three Felonies a Day, which estimates that many or most Americans inadvertently commit three felonies a day. So it’s becoming Kafkaesque. Nick Giambruno: Thanks, Doug. Until next time. Doug Casey: Thanks, Nick. Justin’s note: The US government gets bigger, more invasive, and more aggressive by the day. Fortunately, you can take concrete steps to protect yourself from this hostile giant. New York Times bestselling author Doug Casey explains how you can maximize your personal and financial freedom in this new special report. Click here to download the PDF now.last_img read more

In Florida Gov Ron DeSantis signed a bill last w

first_imgIn Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill last week that, if federal authorities give it their go-ahead — still a very big if — would allow his state to import prescription drugs from Canada. That makes Florida the third state to pass such a law, joining Vermont and Colorado. More such legislative attempts are in the works.”There have been 27 different bills proposed across the country this year,” says Trish Riley, the executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy. “I think that it’s an approach that makes sense to states. It’s something they can do now to help their citizens.”The Trump administration has made bringing down the price of prescription drugs a priority, and politicians at every level are looking for ways to make that happen.Riley says her group didn’t help write the Florida plan, although it met with staff and provided resources and model legislation.”States are very much frustrated by the incredibly high costs of drugs,” she says. “When you’re a state and you have to balance a budget and you pay for so much prescription drugs through your state employee plan, your municipal workers [and] through Medicaid, the cost of drugs really is front and center. So I think this is very much a bipartisan issue of urgency at the state level.”Prescription drugs are often significantly cheaper outside the United States.”Canada negotiates drug prices just like many other countries around the world,” explains Rachel Sachs, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis who studies prescription drug pricing. “In the U.S., we’ve constructed a system where pharmaceutical companies are able to charge far higher prices because there’s no mechanism to push back — there’s no way to say, ‘We’re not going to pay for that drug unless we get it at a better price.’ “So what exactly is Florida’s plan to import certain drugs from Canada, and how would it work?The Florida law imagines negotiating with the federal Department of Health and Human Services to establish a pilot program to buy these medications from Canada in bulk. “The state would contract with a wholesaler in Canada, who would provide certain high-cost drugs that the state identifies to a wholesaler in Florida,” Riley explains.So Floridian patients who have a prescription for one of those drugs would just go to their pharmacy and pick up their medicine as usual — all the importing from Canada would be happening in the background.The law wouldn’t set up a way for Floridians to order medicines from Canadian online pharmacies themselves or enable them to drive north across the border to get a deal on the drugs. Rather, it’s a big-scale, institutional kind of plan.Would Floridians even notice that their drugs were coming from Canada under this plan?”It’s possible that the ability to purchase drugs for lower prices at the wholesale level translates into lower premiums overall for particular classes of patients or lower prices at the pharmacy for other patients,” says Sachs. “But without more details about the plan, it’s hard to know.”And before Florida’s plan can become a reality, it still needs to clear some major hurdles.First, the state needs to work out a lot of details — such as which Floridians and which drugs the plan would apply to.The next hurdle is a big one: The plan needs to get approved by the federal secretary of health and human services, Alex Azar. Though the authority of the secretary to make such an approval has existed since 2003, no secretary has ever exercised that right. To win approval, Florida needs to show that the drugs it wants to import are safe and that the plan will save the state money.On the safety front, Azar last year cited safety concerns when he, at least initially, dismissed the idea of importing drugs from Canada as a “gimmick,” in a meeting at HHS headquarters with the media and others.”The last four FDA commissioners have said there is no effective way to ensure drugs coming from Canada really are coming from Canada, rather than being routed from, say, a counterfeit factory in China,” Azar said. “The United States has the safest regulatory system in the world. The last thing we need is [to have] open borders for unsafe drugs, in search of savings that cannot be safely achieved.”A pharmaceutical industry group also has been running ads in Florida recently, talking about the dangers of counterfeit drugs. Riley, of the National Academy for State Health Policy, says those sorts of ads are misleading.”I’ve seen those in every state we’re working in,” Riley says. “In fact, this program follows current FDA rules. It will use FDA-registered wholesalers. It will simply follow that same supply chain, those same protections, those same assurances of safety.”Azar also said in that May 2018 speech that he doubted that importing Canadian drugs would save U.S. states or patients money.”[This idea] has been assessed multiple times by the Congressional Budget Office, and CBO has said it would have no meaningful effect,” he said. “One of the main reasons is that Canada’s drug market is simply too small to bring down prices here. They are a lovely neighbor to the north, but they’re a small one. Canada simply doesn’t have enough drugs to sell them to us for less money, and drug companies won’t sell Canada or Europe more, just to have them imported here.”Since those remarks last year, President Trump has urged Azar to work with Florida on its plan.”President Trump and Secretary Azar are firmly committed to getting drug prices down,” HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley told NPR in a written statement. “They are both very open to the importation of prescription drugs as long as it can be done safely and can deliver real results for American patients.”Of course, even if Azar has a change of heart, Florida would face another potential obstacle: getting Canadians and pharmaceutical companies to go along with the plan.”They need to find willing suppliers for each of the drugs they’re aiming to import, and that may be more of a challenge than they anticipate right now,” says Sachs, the law professor.Pharmaceutical companies won’t be inclined to cooperate, she says.”They’ll lose money — if it works,” explains Sachs. “There are many things they could do all along the supply chain to ensure that drugs aren’t diverted to the U.S. in the way that Florida wants.”Canada isn’t enthused about the idea either, Sachs says, because Florida’s laws could indirectly drive up the price of some drugs in Canada.When you talk about importing “Canadian drugs,” points out Steve Morgan, a professor of health policy at the University of British Columbia, you’re not actually talking about drugs made in Canada or otherwise especially Canadian. “They’re not actually Canadian drugs,” he says. “They are just international medicines, manufactured typically at one or two plants worldwide to supply the entire market with a particular drug.”If Florida’s Canadian drug importation plan were in place, Morgan says, “given the scale of manufacturing in the United States, if you were buying a drug made by and sold by an American pharmaceutical company, it’s likely you’re literally buying the same product shipped to Canada and then shipped back into the United States.”So are Canadians worried that all 21.3 million Floridians are coming for their cheaper drugs? Not really, according to Morgan.”Canadians feel that the policy is probably not going to result in millions and millions of Americans suddenly getting their drugs from Canada,” he says.”As a consequence of the money to be made by way of being a middleman in the United States, I don’t think you’re going to see institutional purchasers suddenly shopping in Canada,” Morgan adds. “They will be able to get better prices by negotiating continuous discounts right there in the United States.”And maybe that’s the point.Just before Florida’s governor signed the bill last week at The Villages, a large retirement community outside Orlando, he said the law was already making a difference.”It’s interesting,” DeSantis told a room full of Florida seniors who had been invited to witness the signing of the drug bill. “Since we’ve passed this bill, some of the American companies have already come to us saying, ‘Hey, we’re willing to deal and give you better prices’ — already, just for the fact that we have this.”The room broke into applause. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA 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… The Home Office has been unable to explain why the number of disability hate crime cases referred to prosecutors by the police plunged last year by nearly a quarter, and why successful prosecutions of such offences fell even more sharply.In a week when the Home Office published its updated hate crime action plan, and its own figures showed a significant rise in the number of hate crimes recorded by the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) figures are likely to embarrass home secretary Sajid Javid.In publishing his refreshed action plan, Javid said that hate crime “goes directly against the long-standing British values of unity, tolerance and mutual respect” and that he was “committed to stamping this sickening behaviour out”.But his department has been unable to explain this week why the new CPS annual report on hate crime showed the number of disability hate crimes referred by police forces in England and Wales to CPS fell from 988 in 2016-17 to just 754 in 2017-18, a drop of 23.7 per cent.This is likely to have contributed to a fall in completed prosecutions of disability hate crime cases from 1,009 to 752 last year (an even steeper fall of 25.5 per cent) and a slump in the number of disability hate crime convictions from 800 to 564 (a drop of 29.5 per cent).Only last week, Disability News Service reported how the work of police officers in more than half of disability hate crime investigations had been found to be “unacceptable”, following a joint inspection by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI).The new CPS figures came as the Home Office’s own figures showed the number of disability hate crimes recorded by police forces rose sharply from 5,558 in 2016-17 to 7,226 in 2017-18.There is continuing debate over whether the latest significant increase in recorded hate crimes is due to more disabled people willing to report such offences to the police or third-party reporting centres; because of an actual increase in disability hate crime; or because of a combination of the two.As incidents can take several months for the police to investigate, crimes reported in 2017-18 may not have been referred to the CPS in that period, so the Home Office and CPS figures are not directly comparable.Separate Home Office figures – taken from the Crime Survey of England and Wales, but less statistically significant than those recorded by police forces because of the survey’s sample size – suggest that the number of disability hate crimes may have fallen slightly.They showed an average of about 52,000 disability hate crimes per year from 2015-16 to 2016-17, compared with an average of about 56,000 a year during the period 2011-12 to 2013-14, and 77,000 per year during the period 2007-08 to 2009-10.Anne Novis, chair of Inclusion London and the Metropolitan police’s disability hate crime working group, said it was “very disappointing” to see statistics showing such a steep fall in police referrals to CPS and subsequent prosecutions and convictions.She said possible explanations included the lack of training for police officers and “a lack of senior police emphasising the importance of recording and investigating appropriately”.But she also blamed government cuts, which she said had hit police forces hard, including their training budgets.She said: “Hundreds of staff have gone from the police in London, including many senior staff.“It is unrealistic that they could provide a service to all of us, let alone a community that finds it hard to communicate with the police because of the barriers that we have to face.”Despite the cuts, she said, police forces were still letting disabled people down with their performance on disability hate crime.A Home Office spokeswoman was unable to explain the fall in police referrals and failed to say if the department was concerned and what action it was going to take.But she said in a statement: “We expect all incidents of hate crime to be taken seriously and we are committed to making sure that police and prosecutors have the powers they need to bring offenders to justice.“We will continue to work with stakeholders to address what more can be done to tackle disability hate crime, particularly increasing reporting, and how we can support the police response to this vile crime.”A CPS spokesman said: “The CPS is only able to prosecute cases which are referred to us by the police.“We note the fall in the number of disability hate crime cases prosecuted this year and will continue to work with the police to understand any emerging trends.“The recent HMCPSI report on disability hate crime praised the work of the CPS and particularly our hate crime co-ordinators, so we can be confident the CPS is prosecuting these cases appropriately.”Two years ago, the then home secretary Amber Rudd was heavily criticised when she published her hate crime action plan for a “totally disrespectful” failure to address problems around disability-related hostility.The government’s updated hate crime action plan bragged this week of how its efforts since 2016 had “delivered success, including examples of strong police practice in response to hate crime and dealing with perpetrators”.Among new measures announced this week in the action plan, the Law Commission has been asked to review current hate crime legislation – as the commission recommended four years ago in a heavily-criticised report – following concerns that it does not offer disabled and LGBT people equal protection to that given to other protected groups.The review is likely to include examining the possible extension of aggravated offences – which have higher sentences and currently can only apply to crimes linked to race and religion – to disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity.There will also be a national hate crime communications campaign, while the government will work with local groups to raise awareness of disability hate crime and examine how best to promote third party reporting centres, as well as attempting to “increase and broaden our engagement with stakeholders representing disabled people”.A separate report detailing progress made on the 2016 action plan reveals that a piece of research that aimed to identify the motivation behind disability hate crime had to be “abandoned” because they could not find enough perpetrators willing to work with academics.Meanwhile, a disabled people’s organisation has welcomed a £373,000 grant from the National Lottery that will further its work in tackling disability hate crime over the next three years.Disability Equality (nw), which is based in Preston, Lancashire, will use the money to develop disabled-led programmes and partnerships, focusing on the night-time economy, hate crime hot spots and “recruiting more disabled people who have been victims of hate crime to be ambassadors” so they can “spread the word” about how to report disability hate crime.last_img read more

Just Order a Pizza If Americas Crumbling Infrastructure Worries You Dominos Is

first_img Add to Queue Where the government is lacking, a pizza company is delivering. –shares Image credit: Domino’s Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Register Now » June 11, 2018 2 min read If you’re worried America’s notoriously pothole-ridden streets will crumble unchecked after the recent $1.5 trillion tax cut, just order a pizza and hope for the best. Domino’s, it what is apparently much more of a publicity stunt than an infrastructure initiative (yet is still more innovative than the typical state highway department) has revealed a “paving for pizza” partnership to repair potholes in towns where it sells pizzas.“Potholes, cracks and bumps in the road can cause irreversible damage to your pizza during the drive home from Domino’s,’’ the eatery warns. “We can’t stand by and let your cheese slide to one side, your toppings get un-topped, or your boxes flippled. So we’re helping to pave in towns across the country save your good pizza from these bad roads.”Image credit: Domino’sRelated: Domino’s and Ford Partner Up to Test Self-Driving Delivery CarsThis could be a very long running ad campaign. According to the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission of the U.S. Congress, it will require spending $185 billion every year for the next 50 years just to keep America’s roads and bridges from getting worse than they are now. The country is collectively spending $68 billion annually on road and bridge repairs, or a bit more than a third of what’s needed.The Domino’s initiative isn’t promising to fill the gap (so to speak). A quick tally of the stats on the company’s site reveals it’s filled 203 potholes, so far, in four cities of varying sizes. Athens, Ga., received by far the most asphalt with 150 filled potholes. In car-crazed Southern California, the Paving for Pizza initiative has filled five potholes, all in Burbank.Related: The One City in America Where You Can Get Domino’s ‘Breakfast Pizza’The program is accepting nominations for towns to assist. The nomination forms makes no guarantees about road work ever getting done (which makes Domino’s no worse than the government on this topic) but does allow for the purchase of a large carry-out pizzas for $7.99.center_img Just Order a Pizza If America’s Crumbling Infrastructure Worries You — Domino’s Is on It Domino’s Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Senior Editor for Green Entrepreneur Peter Page Entrepreneur Staff Next Article last_img read more

Mercedes Pulls US Ad Touting SelfDriving Car

first_img This story originally appeared on Reuters 2 min read Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Mercedes Pulls U.S. Ad Touting Self-Driving Car Mercedes Benz –shares Mercedes-Benz has withdrawn an advert in the United States which compared its new E-class with a futuristic self-driving concept car following allegations from local consumer groups that the marketing claims were misleading.Earlier this week, U.S.-based Consumer Reports urged the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to scrutinize Mercedes’ “The Future” campaign, which touts the automated driving features available in the new E-Class.”Given the claim that consumers could confuse the autonomous driving capability of the F015 concept car with the driver assistance systems of our new E-Class in our ad ‘The Future,’ Mercedes-Benz USA has decided to take this ad out of the E-Class campaign rotation,” the company said in a statement.The Mercedes-Benz F105 is a fully autonomous self-driving research vehicle which allows passengers to travel without anyone doing the driving.Earlier this week, consumer groups warned car buyers not to rely too heavily on a new generation of cruise control systems, which use computers and sensors to automatically keep in lane and brake, following a fatal crash by a Tesla car operating in “autopilot” mode.The ensuing investigation of the Tesla accident by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has increased scrutiny of automated driving technology and the marketing claims made by carmakers seeking to push sales.Mercedes said its marketing materials had always made clear that the driver of an E-Class needs to be in control of their vehicle and that technology in the car is designed to assist the driver, not to encourage customers to ignore their responsibilities as drivers.”While the new E-Class has a host of technology that will serve as the building blocks for increasing levels of autonomy, it is not an autonomous vehicle and we are not positioning it as such,” Mercedes-Benz said.Automotive News was first to report that the ad had been withdrawn.(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Mark Potter and Jane Merriman)center_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Image credit: Mercedes-Benz July 29, 2016 Next Article Reuters Apply Now »last_img read more

4INFO Adds Smart TV Data Through Partnership with Inscape

first_imgEnabling Media Companies, Brands, and Marketers to Plan, Target and Measure Cross-Device and Cross-Platform Campaigns4INFO, an identity and media solutions company, announced a strategic relationship with Inscape, the leading provider of smart TV viewing data.  By integrating Inscape’s ACR-generated, glass level insights from more than 11 million smart TVs, with 4INFO’s advanced TV platform — marketers are better able to match online and offline data to smart TV viewing data with accuracy, reach and scale.Combining 4INFO’s Advanced TV solutions, powered by its Custom Connected Identity Map (CCIM) — with the largest single source of opt-in smart TV viewing data from Inscape, helps inform marketing campaigns, advertising creative and more accurately target, optimize and segment specific interactions with consumers.“In the world of advanced TV — an effective identity solution has to deliver on scale, accuracy and cross-screen capabilities required from these increasingly complex data ecosystems,” said Tim Jenkins, CEO for 4INFO. “By matching 4INFO’s unique identity mapping capabilities with Inscape’s Smart TV data, we are able to provide a holistic view of audience data without compromising consumer privacy.”Marketing Technology News: The Measurement Advantage: Marketing Leaders Are Four Times As Likely As Laggards To Exceed Business Goals, Grow Revenue, And Gain Market ShareMarketers can map the granular program or ad viewing data at the device level to any matched data set. Matching against near-real-time smart TV data gives marketers the ability to measure campaigns based on meaningful business outcomes and understand ad exposures against cross-platform analytics and measurement.“4INFO is making it possible for media companies, brands and marketers to plan future marketing initiatives based on real viewing data that we’re generating from millions of connected TVs and gaining a better understanding for the business outcomes and  results of omnichannel campaigns,” said Greg Hampton, Vice President of Business Development at Inscape.Marketing Technology News: Conroy Media and Nielsen Reach Agreement for Local TV and Audio Ratings ServicesInscape is a TV intelligence company that captures highly accurate, up-to-date viewing data from millions of smart TVs. The company is a leading provider of automatic content recognition (ACR) technologies and comprehensive cross-screen metrics. Inscape’s TV audience viewing data is leveraged by OEMs, brands, agencies, networks, measurement companies, DMPs and marketing technology platforms to power massive transformations in the industry. Its glass-level insights bring a new level of speed, transparency and actionability to the global TV marketplace. Founded in 2010 as TV Interactive Systems, Inc., the company operated as Cognitive before being acquired by VIZIO. Inscape operates as a wholly owned subsidiary based in San Francisco, California. Marketing Technology News: AB Tasty Enriches Personalization Offering With New Advanced Targeting Capabilities 4INFO Adds Smart TV Data Through Partnership with Inscape PRNewswireMay 15, 2019, 4:44 pmMay 15, 2019 center_img 4INFOAdvanced TVCustom Connected Identity MapInscapeMarketing TechnologyNewsTV Interactive Systems Previous ArticleCM Group Completes $410 Million Financing and Expands Multi-Channel Marketing Offerings with Acquisition of Global Technology Company, VutureNext ArticleSparkPost Introduces the Industry’s First Predictive Email Intelligence Platformlast_img read more

MERGE Creates Analytics OnDemand via Strategic Partnership with Big Chalk Analytics

first_img Big Chalk Analyticsmarketing and technologyMarketing TechnologyMERGENewsPatrick Venetucci Previous ArticleAdform Makes Bid for Industry Consolidation With Launch of Trusted Partner ProgramNext ArticleQualtrics CustomerXM Sees Record Growth As World’s Leading Brands Select Qualtrics to Deliver Breakthrough Experiences Innovative Collaboration to Help Clients Realize the Possibilities of DataMERGE, a premium creative, marketing and technology company, announced that it will offer marketing and business intelligence executives greater data impact by providing on-demand access to over 1,300 analytic talents through an exclusive partnership with Big Chalk Analytics.@mergeworld, a premium creative, marketing and technology company, announced today its partnership with Big Chalk AnalyticsThe partnership, effective immediately, will provide organizations with data analytics and insights tailored to specific business challenges—allowing them to better understand their customers and boost their overall competitive advantage.Now more than ever, organizations have exponentially increasing amounts of data accumulating in real-time. As the market becomes more complex and customers demand a more personalized experience, translating this data into real-time, actionable insights is critical.Marketing Technology News: New Global Report Reveals 9 in 10 Companies See ‘Self-Service’ as the Future for Customers“Understanding customer interactions across all touchpoints remains the #1 challenge for marketers—and too often Big Data yields little meaningful insight,” said Patrick Venetucci, CEO of MERGE. “With Big Chalk Analytics, our clients now have access to world-class analytic specialists capable of generating strategic insights, new idea pathways, and business impact. We’re proud to be a leader in the way the industry delivers data analytics.”“Successfully leveraging data in practical and actionable ways requires analytic rigor, thoughtful interpretation, and sophisticated execution,” said Scott Moore, co-founder of Big Chalk Analytics. “Big Chalk’s data analytic and technological expertise will be naturally complemented by MERGE’s ability to help translate powerful insights into meaningful programs, working collaboratively to overcome operational, organizational and governance hurdles. This partnership is not only a win for both parties but especially so for clients.”Marketing Technology News: Freshworks Joins Hands With OrangeOne Corporation, to Aid Digital Transformation of Businesses in JapanAlongside access to world-class, strategic analytics talent, the On-Demand offering is flexible and data agnostic and offers the opportunity for access to emerging areas of analytic specialization.Marketing Technology News: Crimson Agility Receives Two Nominations from Magento MERGE Creates “Analytics On-Demand” via Strategic Partnership with Big Chalk Analytics Business WireJune 13, 2019, 6:20 pmJune 13, 2019 last_img read more

Patients receiving individual doses and conventional breast radiation experience similar side effects

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 30 2018In a 10-year study of women who received radiation therapy to treat early-stage breast cancer, those receiving fewer, larger individual doses experienced similarly low rates of late-onset side effects as those undergoing conventional radiation therapy. Findings from the multi-institutional U.K. FAST clinical trial were presented last week at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).”This study says it’s possible to find a regimen that would allow early-stage breast cancer patients to be treated only once a week over five weeks rather than daily over the same time period,” said Murray Brunt, MD, a professor of clinical oncology at University Hospitals of North Midlands and Keele University in the U.K., and lead author of this study. “Findings should help doctors discuss risks and benefits with their patients for various courses of radiation therapy and inform shared decision-making between physicians and patients.”The study is a long-term report of the FAST (FASTer Radiotherapy for breast cancer patients) trial, which was designed to assess changes in healthy breast tissue following conventional radiation treatment compared with two shorter regimens that delivered higher doses of radiation in fewer sessions. The trial, led by The Institute of Cancer Research, London, enrolled 915 women with early-stage invasive breast cancer at 18 centers across the U.K. from 2004 to 2007.Initial trial results of the FAST trial,”These results support treatment options that are more convenient for patients, resulting in fewer hospital visits and less expensive health services, without increasing the risk of long-term side effects,” added Joanne Haviland at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and the study’s senior statistician.Patients in the trial were randomly assigned to one of three regimens of whole-breast radiation therapy following breast-conserving surgery: conventional treatment with 50 Gray (Gy) of radiation delivered in 25 daily, 2 Gy fractions delivered over five weeks; or hypofractionated treatment with one of two doses: 30 Gy delivered in five, once-weekly fractions of 6 Gy each, or 28.5 Gy delivered in five, once-weekly fractions of 5.7 Gy each. After treatment, patients were evaluated annually for effects to healthy breast tissue including skin reactions, hardening of the breast and changes in breast conformation and size.Rates of moderate or severe long-term effects to normal tissue were low across all treatment groups. Severe effects were observed in 13 of the 774 women (1.7 percent) with follow-up data at five years, and nine of the 392 women (2.3 percent) with follow-up data at 10 years. No changes or minor changes in normal tissue were observed in 88 and 86 percent of women at the five- and 10-year marks, respectively.Late normal tissue effects were not statistically different between the conventional therapy group and the five-fraction 28.5 Gy group at five years or 10 years following treatment. Moderate/severe late effects to normal breast tissue were higher, however, for patients who received the five-fraction, 30-Gy regimen. These patients were two to three times more likely to experience moderate/severe instances of breast shrinkage (p<0.001), hardness (p=0.004), fluid build-up (p<0.001) and spider veins (p=0.02).Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsLiving with advanced breast cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerAmong patients on the conventional, daily-fraction arm, physicians observed normal tissue effects in 7.5 percent at five years and 9.1 percent at 10 years. By comparison, rates for the five-fraction 30-Gy arm were 18.0 percent at five years (p<0.001) and 18.4 percent at 10 years (p=0.04)."The profile of adverse effects to normal breast tissue was similar between the 28.5 Gy and 50 Gy groups, but rates were higher after 30 Gy given in five fractions over five weeks," said Prof. Brunt. "This disparity is rooted in differences between the two regimens in fractionation sensitivity. The sensitivity of 30 Gy delivered in five fractions over five weeks was equivalent to a total radiation dose of 57.3 Gy in 2 Gy fractions, while 28.5 Gy delivered in five fractions over five weeks was roughly the same as 52.5 Gy in 2 Gy fractions." Calculation suggests that 27.75 Gy delivered in five fractions over five weeks would be equivalent to 50 Gy in 25 fractions over five weeks.Researchers also assessed how the early-stage invasive breast tumors responded to surgery and radiation. The 10-year local relapse rate for all patients in the trial was 1.3 percent (95% CI 0.7, 2.3), with only 10 events reported in total, balanced between the treatment groups. The trial was not designed to test differences in relapse rates between treatment groups.Following these results, the research team is now investigating radiation therapy with five fractions delivered over five consecutive days. "As a next step, we want to investigate shortening the radiation therapy schedule to one week," explained Prof. Brunt. "A schedule like this would have significant clinical and practical implications, such as allowing radiation therapy to be integrated more closely with surgery and other therapies."Despite FAST and similar trials supporting the use of accelerated radiation treatment for breast cancer, large numbers of eligible patients in the U.S. are not receiving, and likely not being offered, shorter courses of radiation therapy. A 2013 JAMA study found an adoption rate of approximately 30 percent in the U.S., and a 2017 analysis for Kaiser Health News indicated that fewer than half of patients over age 50 with early-stage disease receive the accelerated treatment. The current ASTRO clinical guideline for whole breast radiation therapy, which was issued earlier this year, recommends hypofractionated therapy for breast cancer patients regardless of age, tumor stage and whether they have received chemotherapy.Source: https://www.astro.org/News-and-Publications/News-and-Media-Center/News-Releases/2018/Long-term-side-effects-similarly-low-for-once-weeklast_img read more

Maternal interactions influence infant brains ability to detect respond to angry vocalizations

first_imgMar 4 2019The same brain network that adults use when they hear angry vocalizations is at work in infants as young as six months old, an effect that is strongest in infants whose mothers spend the most time controlling their behavior, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Chen Zhao of the University of Manchester, UK, and colleagues. The study indicates that the network recruited in adult vocal emotion processing is up and running quite early in life, and that its sensitivity to anger is partly a result of maternal interactions.It has been recognized for generations that infants can distinguish the emotional content of their mothers’ voices long before they understand words, based on intonation, tone, rhythm, and other elements. In adults, that emotional content is processed in the frontal and temporal lobes. Brain imaging studies in infants have been performed, but the noise of an MRI machine has made analysis of response to sounds challenging.Related StoriesResearchers measure EEG-based brain responses for non-speech and speech sounds in childrenStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaIn the current study, the authors overcame that limitation by using functional near infrared spectroscopy, a silent, noninvasive method that measures blood flow to cortical areas, while infants sat in their mothers’ laps and listened to recorded non-speech vocalizations that were angry, happy, or neutral in emotionality. Separately, the team also observed the same mother-infant pairs during floor play, quantifying the mother’s interactions in terms of both sensitivity to infant behavior as it changed, and directiveness, or the degree to which the mother sought to control the infant’s behavior.They found that both angry and happy vocalizations activated the fronto-cortical network, and the level of activation in response to anger was greater for those infants whose mothers were more directive in their interactions. The results suggest that greater experience with directive caregiving, or the stress it produces, heightens the infant brain’s ability to detect and respond to angry vocalizations.Zhao adds: Source:https://www.plos.org Brain science shows that babies’ brains are sensitive to different emotional tones they hear in voices. Such tones can cause different activation patterns in the infant’s brain areas which are also known to be involved in processing voices in adults and older children. These patterns also reveal that the early care experienced by babies can influence brain responses so that the more intrusive and demanding their mother, the stronger the brain response of these 6-month-olds is to hearing angry voices.”last_img read more

New review on the epidemiology of various parasitic diseases in Malaysia

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 29 2019Malaysia is facing many challenges caused by various parasitic pathogens. The lack of awareness among disadvantaged populations such as the Orang Asli community and the dependency on foreign workers has led to an influx of immigrants to Malaysia from countries endemic with various parasitic diseases. Amoebiasis is mainly encountered in poor rural areas in Malaysia, however it has the potential to re-emerge. Routine mass-drug administration on newly arriving foreign workers and health education programs are needed to prevent its re-emergence.Researchers from MAHSA University in Malaysia have published a review on the epidemiology of various parasitic diseases in the country over the last 20 years. The report has been published in The Open Microbiology Journal. The report stresses that Malaysian authorities must implement strategies that provide better water treatment to avoid the emergence of blastocystis. Lymphatic filariasis has the potential to re-emerge due to its easy mode of transmission as well as the presence of a large number of immigrant workers in Malaysia from endemic countries. To prevent the emergence of giardiasis in Malaysia, a multidisciplinary approach is required to determine the level of water contamination with Giardia as well as Cryptosporidium. The epidemiology of malaria is becoming more complex in Malaysia. There is a shift towards infections among men and adults rather than women and children. Therefore, the ministry of health should raise public awareness and the use of point-of-care diagnostics.Malaysia harbors a large variety of ecological niches that favor the transmission of Toxoplasma spp. Which has led to an increase in the incidence of toxoplasmosis. Therefore, surveillance programs should be initiated to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment. The existence of human trypanosomiasis from neighboring Thailand and reporting cases in cattle from neighboring Indonesia, can all lead to its emergence in Malaysia. Parasitic infectious diseases will continue to appear in Malaysia leading to unpredictable outbreaks that challenge healthcare personnel and emphasize the urgent need for effective surveillance and control measures. Despite the challenges, Malaysia is strongly committed to curb the spread of these diseases. Source:Bentham Science PublishersJournal reference:Alasil, S.M. & Abdullah, K.A. (2019) An Epidemiological Review on Emerging and Re-Emerging Parasitic Infectious Diseases in Malaysia. The Open Microbiology Journal. doi.org/10.2174/1874285801913010112.last_img read more