5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Monday August 5 2019

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are 5 things to do in Wilmington on Monday, August 5, 2019:#1) Revere Beach Memories At Wilmington LibraryThe Wilmington Memorial Library (175 Middlesex Avenue) is hosting a talk on the history of Revere Beach at 2:30pm. Don’t miss this trip down memory lane. Revere Beach, established as America’s first public beach in 1896, was a place that created lasting memories for thousands of beach goers. The Revere Beach of old comes alive through photos and stories presented by Bob Upton, a Revere Beach enthusiast and historian. Join us for a night of history and nostalgia. Bring your own photos and stories to share as well. Register HERE.#2) The Ooch: Yo-Yos, Music & Dance At Wilmington LibraryThe Wilmington Memorial Library (175 Middlesex Avenue) is hostingThe Ooch at 6:30pm. Yo-Yos, Music & Dance is a 60-minute show that combines three of Ooch’s favorite activities – yo-yo tricks, cool music and sweet dance moves. The show is half yo-yo tricks and half dance party. During the first part of the show, Ooch performs some of his favorite yo-yo tricks as well as takes requests from the audience. The second part of the show is “dance”. In Ooch’s world “dance” can mean MANY things like follow-along dance (where the audience copies Ooch’s movements to the music OR VICE VERSA), popular line dances such as the Cupid Shuffle, Cotton Eyed Joe, Cha Cha Slide & others, body percussion, Freeze Dance and even Hula Hoops to music . . . all to popular songs requested by the audience. Ages 4+. Register HERE.#3) Little Movers At Wilmington LibraryThe Wilmington Memorial Library (175 Middlesex Avenue) is holding a Little Movers session at 10am. Let’s move! Join us for a morning of singing, dancing, and moving around! Ages 1-2. Register HERE.#4) Learn To Sail Program BeginsAll hands on deck! The Wilmington Recreation Department’s ‘Learn to Sail’ program is returning this summer on the Charles River. Children age 10 – 18 are eligible to register for this class which offers classroom instruction and on-the-water education. New students are required to pass a swim test. The program will take place Monday, August 5, 2019 through Friday, August 9, 2019, from 10:30am to 4pm. The cost of the program is $150. To register, visit www.wilmingtonma.gov/recreation, call 978-658-4270, or stop by the Reference Department in Room 8 of Town Hall. The required registration form can be found HERE.#5) Public Health Museum’s Camp BeginsIs your high schooler interested in a career in medicine, infectious disease, or nursing? The Public Health Museum is inviting students to apply to OUTBREAK! 2019.  This week-long summer program is for Massachusetts high school students entering their junior and senior year as of Fall 2019. For the seventh year in a row, the program will be offered for FREE.The program is scheduled for August 5, 2019 to August 9, 2019 at the Public Health Museum in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.OUTBREAK! 2019 is an interactive, challenging program designed to introduce high school students to the history and importance of public health. Students will learn about epidemiology, investigate a simulated disease outbreak, learn about the wide range of public health careers, and more. Field trips include the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain and additional other public health facilities.The Public Health Museum is a non-profit educational and cultural museum that strives to preserve records and artifacts from our nation’s public health history, educate the public about the achievements and contributions of public health, and inspire people to build upon the past and continue to advance the future of public health.Applications are available on line from the Museum’s website or by contacting the museum at 978-851-7321 ext. 2606 or phmuseum@gmail.com.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… RelatedLIBRARY LINEUP: Storytime at Farmers Market on Aug. 4; Revere Beach Memories on Aug. 5In “Community”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Thursday, August 8, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Monday, July 29, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”last_img read more

Gold stuck near threemonth low as US interest rate hike looms

first_imgGold was mired near a three-month low on Tuesday on expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve was well on track to raise interest rates before the end of the year.A forecast-beating U.S. October employment report on Friday pushed up bets that the Fed will increase interest rates in December for the first time in nearly a decade, weighing on the price of non-interest bearing gold.”Gold will stay below $1,100 as the interest rate hike becomes more and more imminent,” said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong’s Wing Fung Financial Group.Spot gold was little changed at $1,092.60 an ounce by 0241 GMT. Bullion ended an eight-day losing run on Monday, but not enough to pull it far away from Friday’s low of $1,084.90, its weakest since Aug. 7.Following bullion’s recent steep drop, MKS Group trader James Gardiner said “a bounce, or at least a consolidation, is well overdue”. He pegged the next support level for gold at around $1,074 and then at $1,050.The dollar hovered just below a seven-month peak against a basket of major currencies, having consolidated its payrolls-inspired rally in a subdued session overnight. [USD/]U.S. gold for December delivery gained 0.4 percent to $1,091.90 an ounce.After a potential rate hike in December, the U.S. central bank may take its time in raising rates further which should be broadly supportive for gold, said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.But Meir said the metal faces more weakness in the near term and “poor technicals and a buoyant dollar do not help gold’s upside case much either”.While the market braces for a U.S. rate hike, a consensus is forming at the European Central Bank to take the interest rate it charges banks to park money deeper into negative territory in December, in a move that could weaken the euro and push up inflation. [nL8N134447]Spot platinum slipped 0.3 percent to $907.55 an ounce after coming close to Monday’s one-month low $904.75.last_img read more

Paradise Papers United Spirits books had several loopholes firm now transparent in

first_img Paradise Papers: Everything you need to know about the leak As Paradise Papers seem to have opened a can of worms, naming hundreds of people and firms who have transferred funds to tax havens, many individuals and firms have been forced to release statements clarifying their stand. The trove of 13.4 million files was released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), in association with 96 news organisations, and over 700 Indian firms and individuals have been pulled up.The Paradise Papers also raised a few questions on liquor baron Vijay Mallya and the dealings of his company United Spirits Limited India (USL). The brand was sold to the Diageo group in 2013 and the latter is said to have gotten in touch with a law firm to carry out a restructuring process. While this may sound routine, the process was for the purpose of diverting funds from USL to a firm in the British Virgin Islands.However, Diageo has now said that the books of USL had many issues in them and all of these errors have been rectified since it took over. The British firm also said that now all the transactions are transparent and legal and all the details have been disclosed to the authorities, reported the Economic Times. A worker looks at a bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky at the Diageo owned Shieldhall bottling plant in Glasgow, Scotland March 24, 2011.Reuters fileIt was also being said that Diageo may have waived off about Rs 10,000 crore debt that Mallya’s firm owed. The amount is much larger than the Rs 1,225 crore that Diageo had reported to the Bombay Stock Exchange. However, the British firm has clarified that USL has streamlined all the processes and follows lawful business practices.”USL has now strengthened its corporate governance, compliance practices and controls systems,” ET quoted a Diageo spokesperson as saying. “While under the control of former chairman Dr Mallya, USL advanced loans to subsidiaries.”These intra-corporate loan arrangements pre-dated Diageo acquiring its interest in USL in July 2013. After Diageo took control of USL, all outstanding loan amounts have been disclosed and adequately provided for in company accounts, in accordance with applicable accounting principles.”As per Indian Express’ report on the Paradise Papers, Appleby had helped divert $1.5 billion from USL Holdings Limited, an organisation in the British Virgin Islands, which is a tax haven, to three of the subsidiaries in the UK. However, Diageo has denied these claims. “There is absolutely no truth to speculations that Diageo has let go a sizeable number as write-offs without making any attempts to recover it,” a Diageo official explained. Force India co-owner, Vijay Mallya, leaves after an extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, in central London on June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKayThe Paradise Papers have created quite some news with about 180 countries being named. India ranks 19th when it comes to the number of companies and individuals who have stashed money in tax havens. The list centres around two firms, Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti which are said to have helped these firms and individuals evade taxes.While a lot of names have cropped up in these papers, including Queen Elizabeth II and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief fundraiser, Indians aren’t far behind. The leaked list features 714 Indian firms and citizens, such as Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt’s wife Manyata, Jindal Steel, Apollo Tyres, GMR Group, Hindujas, Videocon, and the Hiranandani Group to name a few. Closelast_img read more

Govt working on road map to accelerate exports

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to accelerate exports and to remove the hurdles faced by the industries and exporters, the Bengal government is working towards the formulation of a comprehensive road map, which will not only ease out the process but also contribute towards the economic growth of the state.State Industry, Commerce & Enterprise minister Amit Mitra will chair a high level meeting with the industrialists and all the stakeholderson June 18, with an objective of providing them with a Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsbetter platform and chalk out a road map so that the state’s export policy gets a further impetus.The export commissioner office of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) will organise the programme to work on the identified growth sectors and towards the promotion of various products from the state in the international arena. Mitra will hold the meeting to take stock of the steps that need to be taken to achieve the target.When contacted, Vandana Yadav, Managing Director, WBIDC, said that the focus areas would be the sectors like textile and garments, metal and metallurgy, gems and jewellery, food processing, handloom and handicraft. Identifying the needs of the industries and issues relating to the exports would also be looked into. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedExporters from Bengal will also get a platform to articulate the problems they might have been facing and get speedy remedies. The government will also listen to the needs of the industrialists and will also assess which areas need to be worked on, to scale up the export growth.According to sources, one of the major problems for the exporters in the state is the lack of a certifying agency. All sorts of goods that are exported abroad need to undergo clearance from the certifying agencies. As there is no city-based certifying agency, the products have to be delivered to other cities for certification. Most of the certifying agencies are based in Mumbai and North Indian cities. As a result of this, exporters from the state face difficulties. It has been learnt that the state government might take up the issue with the Centre in this regard.For example, for food processing industries, there should be a testing lab. Otherwise, it becomes a lengthy process to get the tests done from outside. Scope of setting up a testing lab may also be discussed during the meeting. Exploring the potential markets in the case of textile and garments, gems and jewellery and others would also be worked on.According to a senior government official, the move will not only help the state’s economy, but also create demands of various products in the international market. “The government has already come up with an export strategy and now it is the time for preparing a road map to iron out the problems the exporters might have been facing,” the official said.It may be mentioned here that after coming to power, the Mamata Banerjee government has made significant improvement in the building of infrastructure and the state has been poised for a big spurt in export. Various sectors like micro, small and medium enterprises & textiles, leather, IT, food processing, horticulture and floriculture and energy have seen an unprecedented growth.last_img read more

Rep Griffin hosts district office hours

first_img State Rep. Beth Griffin today announced plans to meet with residents of Southwest Michigan during her first scheduled office hours of 2018.“Hosting office hours throughout the district will continue to be one of my top priorities in 2018, “Griffin said. “These face-to-face meetings are a great way for me to be accessible and accountable to people in the community.”The office hours for January will take place at the following times and locations:Monday, Jan. 88:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Java Joint, 23890 City Center Circle in Mattawan;10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at South Haven Memorial Library, 314 Broadway St. in South Haven;1 to 2 p.m. at Hartford City Hall, 19 W. Main St. #1 in Hartford; and3 to 4 p.m. at Cooper Township Hall, 1590 D Ave. in Kalamazoo.No appointment is necessary.  Those unable to attend are invited to contact her Lansing office by phone at 517-373-0839 or by email at BethGriffin@house.mi.gov. 02Jan Rep. Griffin hosts district office hours Categories: Griffin News,Griffin Photos,Newslast_img read more

Swedish public broadcaster SVT has launched an ope

first_imgSwedish public broadcaster SVT has launched an open archive initiative to make its back-catalogue of programming available to the general public.The pubcaster says it ultimately aims to make over 10,000 hours of programming available via the oppetarkiv.se portal. Currently about 800 episodes of 200 different shows are available, and SVT has said it aims to add 50 new titles each month.The initiative will see a range of drama series, kids shows, entertainment programmes, documentaries and culture and sports events made available. The move follows changes to the law governing copyright and an agreement between SVT and the country’s rights organizations concerning the broadcaster’s self-produced programmes delivered before June 30 2005.The move is the latest in a series of digital initiatives by the Swedish broadcaster. In February, SVT made its complete line-up of five channels –  SVT1, SVT2, Barnkanalen, Kunskapskanalen and SVT24 – available on the web.last_img read more

As of the close yesterday the double bottom in go

first_imgAs of the close yesterday, the double bottom in gold was about 15 bucks away—and it’s a given that they’ll be gunning for it—plus more, if what they did to the silver price yesterday is any indication.And as I type this paragraph at 12:45 a.m. EDT gold, which had traded mostly flat for the greater part of the thinly-traded Far East trading day on their Friday, came under pressure shortly before 1 p.m. Hong Kong time—and is down a bit more than 10 bucks.  Silver came under the same price pressure shortly after 9 a.m. Hong Kong time and is down about two bits.  Platinum isn’t doing much.  Palladium tried to rally during the early going in Far East trading, but then got sold down below its New York close by 9 a.m. Hong Kong time—and is actually up a buck or so at the moment.  Volumes in both gold and silver are astonishingly high already.  The dollar index, which was trading flat, began to rally around 12:40 p.m. in Hong Kong—and is now up 40 basis points.Today, at 3:30 p.m. EDT, we get the latest COT Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday.  I’d guess we’ll see slight improvements in the Commercial net short positions in both gold and silver, but that is entirely inconsequential compared to what the report would show if one could be produced at precisely this moment.It’s obvious that JPMorgan et al are going all out to get as favourably positioned as possible in the Comex futures market, as I expect whatever lows are set going forward will never be seen again once the the inevitable rallies that will follow all this, begin.  The Fed meeting—and the ensuing ‘strength’ in the dollar index—are just the smoke screen that they’re using to do the dirty.And as I hit the ‘send’ button on today’s column at 4:57 a.m. EDT, I see that the HFT boyz and their algorithms are back—showing up in all four precious metals at 7 a.m. GMT in London.  The LBMA must open at 7 a.m. and not 8 a.m GMT this week.  They dropped the gold price another $18 in minutes—and at one point silver was down over 50 cents from its Thursday close.  Both are now off their lows by a bit.  Platinum and palladium also got hit as well, but they’ve rallied back to almost unchanged, at least for the moment.Here’s the silver chart as of 4:55 a.m. EDT.Gold volume has exploded to 95,000 contracts—and silver’s volume is 21,000 contracts.  The dollar index, which had been up over 50 basis points at one time, is now up ‘only’ 42 basis points.With today being month end—and Hallowe’en—it appears that JPMorgan et al have nothing but tricks up their sleeves for all the precious metal enthusiasts today—and I must admit that I’m not expecting great things when I roll out of bed and check the charts later this morning.But this too, shall pass.See you tomorrow. Silver price is now back to where it was in the first quarter of 2010The gold price wasn’t allowed to do much in early Far East trading on their Thursday—and developed a negative bias around 1 p.m. Hong Kong time—and by the time JPMorgan et al were through, with the low tick coming at 11:30 a.m. EDT, they had gold down around fifteen bucks from it’s Thursday close.  It recovered a few dollars off that low by noon, but then chopped sideways for the remainder of New York trading session.The high and low tick were recorded as $1,216.50 and $1,195.50 in the December contract.Gold closed yesterday at $1,198.80 spot, down $12.80 from Thursday’s close.  Net volume was very high at 195,000 contracts.The silver price didn’t do much in Far East trading up until shortly before 2 p.m. Hong Kong time.  At that point the HFT boyz and their algorithms showed up—and the rest, was they say, was history.  The low tick was in at 11:15 a.m. EDT—and from there it bounced off that low a few times before rallying a bit.  After 12:30 p.m., the price chopped sideways in a tight range until the 5:15 p.m. EDT close of electronic trading.The high and low in silver were reported as $17.205 and $16.33 in the December contract, which was an intraday move of a hair over 5 percent.Silver finished the Thursday session at $16.46 spot, down 63 cents from Thursday’s close.  That’s a new low price for silver going back to March of 2010.  Net volume was a whopping 74,000 contracts.Platinum also ran into the same not-for-profit seller shortly before 2 p.m. in Hong Kong.  It’s low came minutes before 12 o’clock noon in New York.  It rallied a few bucks from there before trading flat for the remainder of the Thursday session.  Platinum was closed down 17 bucks.The palladium price got smacked twice yesterday.  The first time was at the New York open at 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening—and the second time was at the London p.m. gold fix on Thursday.  Like platinum, JPMorgan et al set the low of the day just minutes before noon EDI—and the price didn’t do much after that.  Palladium was closed down 16 dollars on the day.The dollar index closed at 85.99 late on Wednesday afternoon in New York—and then took three steps up to its 86.41 high tick, which came shortly after London opened on their Thursday.  From there it quietly sold back to the 86.00 mark by 12:20 p.m. EDT.  It gained some back by 2 p.m.—and then traded sideways into the close.  The index finished the Thursday session at 86.18—up 19 basis points on the day.Once again the gold shares got crushed, as the HUI closed lower by 7.44%—the biggest one-day decline that I can remember—and I can remember quite a lot.  The HUI is down almost 12 percent in the last two trading days.The silver equities fared better, but that’s only a relative term in this situation, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index got hammered for another 5.65 percent.The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 1 of the November delivery month showed that 2 gold and 44 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday.  In silver, the only short/issuer was Jefferies—and R.J. O’Brien and Canada’s Scotiabank stopped 25 and 18 contracts respectively. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.As I said in yesterday’s missive, barring any surprises, the November delivery month will be a yawner—and it’s certainly lived up to its advanced billing.The CME Preliminary Report for the Thursday trading session showed that November open interest declined by 207 contracts and now sits at only 67 contracts left—minus the two in the previous paragraph.  In silver, the November open interest is now down to 164 contracts, minus the 44 posted for delivery tomorrow that were mentioned above.There was another withdrawal from GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant took out 38,449 troy ounces and, once again, there was no change in SLV.Since there were no withdrawals or additions to SLV during the reporting week, which ended on Wednesday,  there was no report from Joshua Gibbons yesterday.For the second day in a row, there was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.I’ll certainly be interested if they update their sales report for today, which is the last business day of the month.  If they don’t, the sales report for Monday should be quite something, as the mint has now gotten into the practice of withholding sales at the end of the month if it pushes silver eagles sales for the current month, too high.There was no gold received at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, but 96,450.000 troy ounces were shipped out—and that amount is precisely 3,000 kilobars, probably heading to China.  The link to that activity is here.It was a very quiet day in silver, as nothing was received—and only 7,060 troy ounces were shipped out.Nick Laird surprised me with the latest withdrawal from the Shanghai Gold Exchange for the week ending October 24.  It was another very chunky amount, as 59.684 tonnes were reported withdrawn—and here’s Nick’s most excellent chart.Once again I don’t have a lot of stories for you today—but there are several in here that fall into the absolute must read category so I hope you can make time for them.Since the commercials are so collusive and in control of the technical funds’ trading activities, they can do with the technical funds as they see fit. I truly believe that the key to understanding the manipulation is to know that the commercials control everything that the technical funds do; just like a puppeteer controls a puppet. If it were otherwise, we wouldn’t see the clear pattern in managed money behavior in silver (and other COMEX/NYMEX metals) of massive technical fund buying as prices rise and selling on declining prices, always ending in extreme positions at reversal points. With this in mind, the only explanation that seems plausible to me as to why the commercials let the technical funds off the hook the last two occasions of extreme managed money shorting is because the commercials were biding their time and waiting for a more opportune time to put it to the technical funds. Let’s face it, the technical funds have been like the goose that laid golden eggs for the commercials. You don’t cook and eat a goose like that without a thought. What I’m saying is that the commercials know that they can maneuver the technical funds into any extreme position at any time they want and that earlier in the year the commercials let the technical funds off the hook because they knew they could do it again whenever the commercials desired. (That’s my explanation, but if anyone has a different take, please drop me a note). – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 29 October 2014Yesterday’s price action in all four precious metals in general, but gold and silver in particular, should have come as no surprise, as JPMorgan et al attempt to drive as many of the Managed Money traders as possible off the long side and onto the short side in gold.I must admit that I was more than taken aback by the hatchet job that they managed to perform on the silver price, because with the Managed Money already holding a record short position, the selling had to come from somewhere other than the Commercial category—and that only leaves the small traders in the Nonreportable category as the long sellers/short buyers.Of course it’s possible that the Managed Money has gone even shorter than they already have, but without a Commitment of Traders Report to look at, it’s impossible to tell—and none of the price action of the last three trading days, including today, will be in the COT Report that comes out later this afternoon.Here are the 6-month charts for both both gold and silver—and as I mentioned at the top of this column, the silver price is now back to where it was in the first quarter of 2010.last_img read more

There is a lot of pornography on the internet The

first_imgThere is a lot of pornography on the internet. There are a lot of teenagers with smartphones. It seems obvious that teens would watch.But maybe it isn’t.In The New York Times magazine, Maggie Jones writes that parents underestimate how much pornography their kids watch on their phones. And many teens who watch porn before taking sex ed or forming sexual relationships end up with skewed ideas about intimacy, consent and pleasure. Combine this with mainstream depictions of sex and relationships, and, as Jones writes:These images confound many teenagers about the kinds of sex they want or think they should have. In part, that’s because they aren’t always sure what is fake and what is real in porn. Though some told me that porn was fantasy or exaggerated, others said that porn wasn’t real only insofar as it wasn’t typically two lovers having sex on film. Some of those same teenagers assumed the portrayal of how sex and pleasure worked was largely accurate. That seems to be in keeping with a 2016 survey of 1,001 11-to-16-year-olds in Britain. Of the roughly half who had seen pornography, 53 percent of boys and 39 percent of girls said it was “realistic.” And in the recent Indiana University national survey, only one in six boys and one in four girls believed that women in online porn were not actually experiencing pleasure: As one suburban high school senior boy told me recently, “I’ve never seen a girl in porn who doesn’t look like she’s having a good time.”Solutions like removing pornography from the internet or smartphones from teenage life are difficult to the point of being technologically or socially impossible. So some educators are trying something new … porn literacy.For this show, we’d like to hear your stories about how pornography has affected you or your children’s ideas about sex. Call us at (855) 236-1212 and share your story. And don’t worry, you won’t have to tell us your name.GUESTSMaggie Jones, Contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine; @maggiepjonesDr. Emily Rothman, Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health. Co-author of the course, “The Truth About Pornography: A Pornography-Literacy Curriculum for High School Students Designed to Reduce Sexual and Dating Violence”; @emrothmanAl Vernacchio, Sex educator & speaker. Author of “For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values and Health”; @alvsexedErika Lust, Adult film director and producer; creator of the pornography education website “The Porn Conversation,” designed to be a resource for parents; @erikalustFor more, visit https://the1a.org.© 2018 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio. Copyright 2018 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.last_img read more

I think Im coming down with somethingUsually tha

first_imgI think I’m coming down with something.Usually that means I prepare a mug of tea, add a spoonful of honey kept solely for such occasions, and add a dash of lemon juice. This elixir, I’ve been told, will soothe my sore throat and coax my raspy voice back to normalcy. But does it actually work?”I have to say, when I have patients that are sick, I often ask them to sip hot tea,” says Dr. Edward Damrose, chief of laryngology at Stanford Health Care. “But I’m not sure that it’s the tea itself that has the beneficial property, or that the warm water cuts through the phlegm and makes patients feel good.”To figure out whether the classic tea drink alleviates a sore throat, it helps to know what causes a sore throat in the first place. As Damrose explains, the throat is divided into two parts: a pharynx and a larynx, and both can be infected at the same time or separately. We use our pharynx when we swallow food or liquid. Bacterial or viral infections can cause the pharynx to swell and lead to a sore throat.When we speak, on the other hand, we use our larynx, the part of the throat that contains our vocal cords. Viral infections make it more difficult for the vocal cords to vibrate, causing us to lose our voices.How exactly this happens is something of a mystery. “We have a lot of ideas but not a definite answer,” says Dr. Jennifer Long, assistant professor of head and neck surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. One theory suggests that white blood cells storm the vocal cords, causing them to swell and preventing vibration. Another theory is that viruses injure the surface of the vocal cords, making it difficult to vibrate. “For being a common problem, it’s surprising how little we know,” Long says.On top of this uncertainty, there’s not a lot of good research on whether tea or honey can help a sore throat or lost voice, according to Dr. Maya Sardesai, an associate professor of otolaryngology and surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine. High-quality health studies typically use placebos, but that’s difficult in this case, Sardesai explains. Most people can tell whether they’re drinking tea and honey, so creating placebos for study participants is challenging.These difficulties aside, all three doctors are willing to speculate about whether tea, honey and lemon help a sore throat and voice loss.Let’s start with tea. Because liquids and food go down our pharynx, not our larynx, Damrose points out that any beverage is unlikely to have a direct effect on our vocal cords. But tea could still help a sore throat that results from a swelled pharynx. Research has shown green tea has anti-inflammatory properties, which could help decrease a sore throat’s swelling. Perhaps more importantly, according to Damrose, when people drink a liquid like tea, the act of sipping and swallowing prevents irritating coughing. Warm liquid can also help remove throat phlegm. Long and Sardesai recommend teas with low caffeine, because caffeine may lead to greater acid production and irritate the throat further.As for honey, “it’s really very speculative” whether honey helps throat pain, according to Long. Honey might be a natural anti-coughing agent, but so far research is inconclusive. On the other hand, none of the doctors suggest that honey might harm the throat.That’s not the case for lemon. “I actually worry about too much lemon because it’s so acidic, and acids can be irritating” to the throat, says Long. Sardesai agrees, though she notes that “lemon does have vitamin C, and vitamin C is thought to be helpful early in some infections.” Damrose notes another plus: Lemon has antibacterial properties, which could fight off bacterial sore throat.The tea-honey-lemon trifecta has a mixed report card. For more tested treatments, the doctors recommend resting, inhaling steam and — in the case of voice loss — speaking as little as possible (yes, that includes cutting back on whispering). Symptoms should subside within two weeks, and if not, a trip to the doctor is warranted.I’ll do my best to follow the doctors’ advice. Just as soon as I finish my cup of tea.Natalie Jacewicz is a science writer based in New York City. You can find more of her work here. Gnawing Questions is a semi-regular column answering the food mysteries puzzling us and our readers. Got a question you want us to explore? Let us know via our contact form. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

A huge study on the possible health benefits of dr

first_imgA huge study on the possible health benefits of drinking alcohol will be completely shut down, because its credibility was compromised by frequent and early interactions between alcohol industry executives, scientists and government officials.That was the decision made by Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health. “Is it even possible at this point that the results of such a trial would have sufficient credibility to influence anybody’s decision-making?” asked Collins. “That does, in fact, seem quite doubtful.”George Koob, director of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which partly funded the trial, agreed. “I feel that the trial is irrevocably damaged,” said Koob, at a meeting of an advisory committee that gives advice to the NIH director.The Moderate Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health Trial was designed to follow over 7,000 people for years, at a cost of around $100 million. Half of the study’s participants would be instructed to abstain from alcohol, while the other half would be told to have a drink every day. The study was being funded in part by major players in the alcohol industry, through a nonprofit foundation linked to the NIH.An investigation by The New York Times revealed that scientists and NIH officials had met with alcohol company executives and appeared to solicit money from them in violation of government policy, prompting the NIH to shut down enrollment in the trial and do its own investigation.A report released Friday on the results of that investigation says that several National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism staffers “hid facts” from other staffers, and that there appeared to be an effort “to intentionally bias the framing of the scientific premise in the direction of demonstrating a beneficial health effect of moderate alcohol consumption.”The report includes emails, with names redacted, including one in which a staffer voices concern about the NIAAA appearing to solicit a gift from industry, “which we absolutely cannot do.” Another email from a staffer at the foundation noted a story the alcohol industry press saying that the foundation was raising money from industry for a large study, but that “no one here” knew what it referred to.”I think a very flashing neon light is staff conducting activities that they are trying to hide from other staff. That tells you that something is being done here that everybody recognizes has crossed a line,” said Collins. “Another very clear line is if that interaction involves a manipulation of what the research plan is going to be to achieve a certain outcome that would be beneficial to the donors. And that was clearly happening in these discussions as well.”Only 105 people had enrolled in the trial before it was suspended, said Collins, who expressed gratitude to the press for initially uncovering the problems with the study.”We do want to use this as a teachable moment,” he said. Collins noted that public-private partnerships have allowed valuable research to move forward for things like Alzheimer’s disease, lupus, Parkinson’s disease and cancer in ways that are “above reproach in terms of the way in which they were put together and the way the science is being conducted.”But this kind of interaction with industry clearly has risks, said Collins, who added that he will work with other officials to more clearly lay out the ethical boundaries that cannot be crossed. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

The prime minister has become the third senior Con

first_imgThe prime minister has become the third senior Conservative figure in a week to refuse to say in front of television cameras whether his party plans to tax key disability benefits after the general election.David Cameron was asked by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon in last night’s (2 April) leaders’ debate on ITV how his party planned to find the £12 billion-a-year in welfare cuts announced by the chancellor in last month’s budget.Cameron refused to say where those cuts would come from and whether they would include taxing disability benefits.Last week, the BBC reported that it had seen leaked documents that suggested the Conservatives were considering taxing disability benefits as one way to cut the social security bill by £12 billion a year by 2017-18.Among the options, drawn up by civil servants in the Department for Work and Pensions, were an introduction of means-testing for the contributory form of employment and support allowance (saving a possible £1.3 billion a year), taxing disability living allowance (DLA), personal independence payment (PIP) and attendance allowance (possibly saving £1.5 billion a year), and restricting eligibility to carer’s allowance (saving £1 billion a year).George Osborne, the chancellor, refused to promise that there would no further cuts to disability benefits, when interviewed by Channel 4 News, but would only say that the party would “protect the most vulnerable”.And Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, said on BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show that the party might not provide any details before the election of how they would find most of the £12 billion in cuts, because “no decisions have been made”.But Duncan Smith added: “What throughout I’ve always said is I didn’t come into this job after years looking at this to just make cheese paring cuts.“What we’ve come in to do is to reform the welfare system, so that we don’t waste money on organisations and groups and things that don’t actually help life change.”So many people tried to sign an open letter on the Disabled People Against Cuts website – calling on Duncan Smith to “come clean about cuts affecting disabled people” – that the site crashed.And Richard Exell, a disabled senior policy officer at the TUC, said in a column that taxing DLA and PIP would be “particularly felt by low-paid disabled workers”.He also said that the government’s own figures suggested that more than 600,000 disabled people “could find it more difficult to keep their jobs or to move into employment if their DLA or PIP became liable for tax, reducing their ability to pay for services that remove barriers to employment”.Disability Rights UK (DR UK) said that it was “really concerned about the BBC’s report that officials have developed options for politicians to make spending cuts that would again unfairly hit disabled people and carers”.A DR UK spokesperson said: “DLA/PIP is not an out-of-work benefit; but it could become one, because if it is taxed it will certainly act as an incentive not to work.“It makes no sense to tax DLA/PIP since the purpose of the benefit is to help cover the extra costs of disability – things like getting around, and getting support – and so create more of a level playing-field between disabled people and other citizens.”The DR UK spokesperson added: “Furthermore, many disabled people already pay most, if not all, of their DLA/PIP over to local authorities if they get social care support – what we might call the ‘care tax’.  In effect, what this proposal would do would be to tax a tax.”A letter, published this week by the Guardian, and signed by leading disabled campaigners and organisations, including members of the WOWcampaign, Black Triangle, Disabled People Against Cuts, Pat’s Petition and People First England, called for the next government to carry out a proper assessment of the “human cost” of the cuts already made by the coalition before even contemplating any further cuts.The letter said: “The news of some leaked documents, explaining further horrendous cuts to carers and sick and disabled people, have left them terrified of what is going to happen.“We would have thought it imperative that any government respecting human rights would check the consequences of the cuts disabled people and carers have already endured, before imposing further draconian cuts.”Of the seven party leaders who took part in the ITV debate, only two were willing to mention the issue of disability poverty.Natalie Bennett, leader of the Greens, said that two-thirds of the households affected by the bedroom tax included at least one disabled person, and she pointed to the imminent closure of the Independent Living Fund, whose users were having their support “slashed away”.Bennett said: “We have to be a human, fair, decent society. We have to support the most vulnerable.”Sturgeon also raised the issue of cuts to welfare, when she asked Cameron: “You’re proposing an additional £12 billion in welfare cuts. Where are those cuts going to fall? Who’s going to pay the price of those cuts?”She added: “Let’s explain what that means: one million people on disability benefit across the UK are going to lose £1,100 of their benefit. That’s not the kind of economic plan I want.”Cameron said: “In the last parliament we found £21 billion of savings in welfare because everybody knows that welfare was overblown and needed to be properly dealt with.“What is the alternative to making cuts in welfare? Putting up taxes and working people’s pay. I don’t want to see that happen.”last_img read more

The Department for Work and Pensions has refused t

first_imgThe Department for Work and Pensions has refused to name the charities and other organisations being paid millions of pounds to help deliver its new disability employment programme across England and Wales.All six of the new Work and Health Programme contracts went “live” last week, and DWP announced the main contractors in October.But it has refused to say which smaller organisations are helping to deliver the programme as sub-contractors.DWP’s reluctance to do so is likely to be linked to criticism that has been aimed at disability charities that were set to play a significant role in the new programme.When Disability News Service contacted seven of the largest disability charities – most of which are not user-led – in December 2016, none of them ruled out seeking Work and Health Programme contracts.But disabled activists have raised concerns that winning such contracts could mean that these and other charities would be unwilling to criticise the government on social security reform.All seven of the charities contacted in December 2016 insisted then that any contracts they won from the government would have no impact on their campaigning work.There are also major concerns about the programme itself, which is part of the government’s much-criticised Improving Lives work, health and disability strategy, with its “cruel and disastrous” emphasis on “work as a cure”, the placement of employment advisers in health services, and the continued use of benefit sanctions to “punish” disabled claimants.Disability News Service submitted a freedom of information request last month in a bid to discover which voluntary and private sector organisations would be helping to deliver the Work and Health Programme (WHP).But when DWP responded to the request earlier this month, it said the subcontracting organisations were still “subject to change”, but that it would “seek to publish a list of the confirmed main sub-contractors supporting the WHP” following “go live of all WHP contracts” in the week beginning 15 January.That date passed last week, but no list has yet been published.When DNS asked why it had not been released, a DWP spokeswoman said the department “will seek to publish a list of the sub-contractors in due course”.She refused to comment further.Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “It is no surprise that DWP are unwilling to release details of firms involved in colluding to exploit disabled people for their own profits and this simply confirms the underhand way DWP run their programmes and their diabolical practices. “We look forward, together with Boycott Workfare, to finding out which organisations will be involved in implementing the new disability employment programme.”Denise McKenna, co-founder of the Mental Health Resistance Network, said: “No one who is on the side of disabled people is celebrating the delivery of the Health and Work Programme, as it will wreck lives.“Perhaps the successful bidders will choose to celebrate their wins in private, because they know these contracts are shameful.“Disabled activists have called out charities on their close links with the DWP and their failure to remain independent of Tory ideology.“The private firms who take on these contracts, along with the charities, will be closely watched by activists.“Their identities can’t be protected by the DWP forever.“We are used to the DWP being secretive. After all, they have so much to hide.”The main WHP contractors are Remploy (in Wales); the charity Shaw Trust in central England and the home counties; Reed In Partnership in north-east England; Ingeus in the north-west; and Pluss in the south of England.Remploy, formerly owned by the government, is now mostly controlled by the US company Maximus.Maximus has a disturbing track record of discrimination, incompetence and fraud in the US, while Remploy slashed the pay of service-users who were taking part in inspections of health and care facilities, after taking on three Care Quality Commission contracts, and has since been heavily criticised for its performance in delivering those contracts.last_img read more

A disabled benefit claimant with high support need

first_imgA disabled benefit claimant with high support needs who has lost more than £40 a week after having to transfer onto the new universal credit – forcing him into even greater poverty – has challenged the government to defend its drastic cuts and reforms.Mark Golden, from Yorkshire, estimates that he paid more than £100,000 in income tax and national insurance during his working life before he was forced to leave his job by a serious injury at work.Now the wheelchair-user is having to confront the reality of the impact of the introduction of universal credit on disabled people, after being forced off employment and support allowance (ESA) and onto the new system.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has repeatedly refused to provide details of exactly how universal credit will affect disabled people in different situations financially, insisting instead that more than a million disabled people will be better off by £100 a month under universal credit.But Golden’s case appears to demonstrate how many disabled people with high support needs will be forced into even deeper poverty by universal credit.On 1 December, Golden – who has both physical and mental health impairments – had to move from Bradford to Bridlington so he could be nearer his family, because of his deteriorating health.Because of his change of circumstances, he was told that he would have to move from the ESA support group – and associated disability premiums – onto the much-criticised universal credit.He was shocked to be told that he would receive only £149 a week in living costs benefits on universal credit, compared with £191 a week on ESA, severe disability premium (SDP) and enhanced disability premium (EDP).Out of that £149, he must also contribute £17 a week towards his housing costs.Out of the remaining £132, he must also pay child support (£10 a week), credit card repayments (£20, after having to replace his fridge-freezer and washing-machine), contents insurance (£2 a week), about £6 a week on his mobile phone (he has no landline or broadband), TV licence (£3 a week), gas and electricity (£27 or £28 a week), and £10 a week he budgets for clothing and footwear (he gets through five or six pairs of trainers a year because he drags his left foot).He already has to restrict his use of central heating, only turning it on when the temperature in his flat falls below ten degrees, even though he has Raynaud’s disease, which affects extremities such as the fingers and toes in cold temperatures.This leaves about £50 a week for food and other essentials like toiletries and cleaning products, but that is without the £20 a week he budgets for MOT and car repairs, the £20 a week he previously spent on petrol, which he can no longer afford, and council tax of more than £20 a week he has been asked to pay, which he is hoping the council will reduce.He has been left with a choice of spending his little remaining weekly income on food, heat or transportation. He is likely to have to sell his car, leaving him even more isolated than he is already.He will eventually receive some compensation for the loss of SDP – likely to be less than £20 a week extra, backdated to when he moved onto universal credit – once regulations laid before parliament this week are voted on by MPs.He also receives personal independence payment of £145 a month to cover some of his disability-related extra costs, but he uses this to pay for personal care, provide the support he needs for visits to shops and other busy locations, and to pay for taxis when he is too ill to drive.In a letter to his MP, the Conservative Sir Greg Knight, Golden described both how inaccessible he had found the universal credit process and the impact on his income, writing: “As a constituent of Bridlington I would like to inform its MP of what is happening in his constituency. And how Universal Credits is so unfit for purpose.“The whole process has left my health even worse and I can totally understand why people are actually taking their own lives due to the process and awards of Universal Credits.”He told Disability News Service that he wanted the government to explain how it could justify the “dread and high stress levels” caused by the introduction of universal credit, which was leaving him and others with less money and “causing even more hardship and very difficult decisions on what areas you can cut back on in an already frugal lifestyle”.He said this was “pushing people into even more poverty and hardship” and having a “massive” impact on both their physical and mental health.He said: “Over the past few years, disabled people of this country have been made to jump through the government’s hoops to receive what they are entitled to, in many cases going through not only the benefit allocation but also the appeals processes.“At times, it makes one feel like you are having to grovel for what you’re entitled to.”A DWP spokesperson said: “People can access support online, via our helpline or in the jobcentre and Mr Golden regularly uses his online journal to communicate with the DWP.“In some circumstances, home visits can also be arranged to support a claimant with their claim.“Where a claimant is unable to make or maintain their claim online, they are able to do so using the claims by phone process.”She said the government was “committed to supporting people with disabilities and health conditions.“The SDP is not part of universal credit because we have simplified disability provision within universal credit.“This change ensures that around one million disabled people will receive more in universal credit than the legacy benefits system.”Despite this, a report by the Commons work and pensions committee suggested last month that even claimants with higher support needs would be worse off under universal credit because of the loss of SDP and EDP, saying that universal credit “does not match what those claimants could have received under the legacy system, with the premia in place”.DWP continues to refuse to say if it accepts this statement is correct.Only last week, the minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton, told her Labour shadow, Marsha de Cordova, that it would be too expensive to find out how many disabled people claiming SDP had been moved onto universal credit since June last year – and in the previous 18 months – in circumstances like Golden’s.Golden will be one of the last recipients of SDP to be moved on to universal credit, at least for several months, as new regulations came into force yesterday (Wednesday) that prevent any further migration of such claimants – apart from those involved in a small pilot programme – until the main “managed migration” process begins next year.Ministers laid this and another set of regulations before parliament on Monday (14 January), following a statement made by employment minister Alok Sharma on 11 January.The other set of regulations – which will have to be approved by MPs – will allow the government to run the small pilot, which will involve a maximum of 10,000 claimants of legacy benefits, including ESA, moving onto universal credit, which will begin in July.The regulations will also provide transitional protection for former recipients of SDP like Golden who have already moved across to universal credit, and those who will do so in the future.But even when these protections are introduced, ministers have previously suggested there will be compensation of only about £80 a month, compared with potential losses for Golden of more than £180 a month.The government will report on findings from the pilot before introducing legislation that will allow it to extend the “managed migration” to a further three million people on legacy benefits, including hundreds of thousands on ESA.The DWP spokesperson said: “The department will be providing a transitional payment to those who have already moved to universal credit who had SDP before they moved and who are eligible. This will be a lump sum and ongoing payments. “The transitional payments are within the main managed migration regulation package, laid today (Monday), which will be debated prior to the pilot, when parliamentary time allows.“Both the lump sum payment and the ongoing payments will commence after the managed migration regulations are passed.”She added: “The aim of the pilot is to ensure that claimants on all legacy benefits, with a range of differing characteristics, are successfully migrated to universal credit.“The department is currently working closely with a wide and diverse range of stakeholders to design the managed migration process and we are considering our approach to the pilot.” A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Apple Presents a Pretty Good Take on Shark Tank With Its First

first_img Entrepreneur Staff Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. –shares Next Article Enroll Now for $5 Stephen J. Bronner Add to Queue News Director June 8, 2017center_img Apple Presents a Pretty Good Take on ‘Shark Tank’ With Its First Foray Into TV Image credit: Planet of the Apps 3 min read Apple debuted its first TV series, Planet of the Apps, on Tuesday, and guess what? The first episode was actually good!In the show, entrepreneurs pitch the apps they’ve built to a panel of judges made up of Gary Vaynerchuk, Honest co-founder Jessica Alba, Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow and will.i.am, who is involved with a few tech companies.Related: All the Updates From Apple WWDC 2017The first half of the pilot follows the Shark Tank format: The contestants introduce themselves and their apps to the panel. The difference here is they have 60 seconds to do so in an “escalator pitch” — in which they literally ride down an escalator. The judges then use iPads to vote on whether they’d like to learn more about each given app. If at least one judge does, the contestant presents further. If one of the judges is still interested after this second round, the entrepreneur can choose which leader they’d like to have as a mentor.For me, the nice thing about watching Planet of the Apps was that the judges’ feedback always aligned with my thoughts. Only three concepts made it to the next round — one failed in the second round — while the judges swiftly passed over most of the others. And I didn’t question those decisions.During the second half of the show, the entrepreneurs behind the two apps that were chosen, Pair and Companion, discussed next steps with their partners, Alba and Vaynerchuk, respectively. The advice was stock for any frequent readers of Entrepreneur — know what the value of your product is, look at it from all angles, understand what makes it different from the competition — but the judges delivered it intelligently and entertainingly. If this show proves anything, it’s that Alba has serious business chops.In the final segment of the show, the entrepreneurs pitch a panel of venture capitalists from Lightspeed Venture Partners with their mentors at their side.Related: Why Apple’s Video That Imagines a World Without Apps Makes Me SadBecause the first episode is free, I definitely recommend giving it a watch if the concept strikes your fancy. But in terms of its mass appeal, I have my doubts. As opposed to Shark Tank, which features pitches for general consumer goods, Planet of the Apps strictly focuses on programs that run on mobile devices. I suspect most people just don’t care about apps outside of the most popular ones we all use consistently.I also have my doubts about the show’s potential reach because of its limited distribution. Since it’s an Apple-produced series, it’s only available via iTunes, and you have to pay to watch. This limits its potential audience severely.We’ll just have to wait and see if Planet of the Apps can escape these limitations. ‘Planet of the Apps’ is the latest take on the pitch show, but its appeal may be limited. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Applelast_img read more

Hightech brain surgery improves quality of life for people with Parkinsons disease

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 9 2018A high-tech form of brain surgery that replaces scalpels with sound waves improved quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease that has resisted other forms of treatment, a new study has found.Further, the University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers conclude their study offers “comprehensive evidence of safety” in terms of the approach’s effect on mood, behavior and cognitive ability, areas largely neglected in previous research.”In our initial study that looked at the outcomes of focused ultrasound surgery in Parkinson’s disease, we primarily described post-operative improvements in motor symptoms, specifically tremor,” said Scott Sperling, PsyD, a clinical neuropsychologist at UVA. “In this study, we extended these initial results and showed that focused ultrasound thalamotomy is not only safe from a cognitive and mood perspective, but that patients who underwent surgery realized significant and sustained benefits in terms of functional disability and overall quality of life.”Focused Ultrasound and Parkinson’s DiseaseFocused ultrasound, as the procedure is known, has already been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of essential tremor, the most common movement disorder. That approval came after a pioneering international study led by UVA neurosurgeon Jeff Elias, MD. He and his colleagues have since demonstrated the technology’s potential in reducing tremor in people with drug-resistant Parkinson’s disease. The goal is to use focused sound waves to interrupt the faulty brain circuits responsible for the uncontrollable shaking associated with the disease.The new study looked at the effects on 27 adults, all with severe Parkinson’s tremor that had not responded to previous treatment. The study participants were initially divided into two groups. Twenty received the procedure, while seven received a fake procedure, to serve as a control group. (The seven in the control group were later offered the opportunity to receive the real procedure, and all but one did.)After receiving the procedure, study participants reported improved quality of life at both three months and 12 months. “After surgery, patients experienced significant improvements in multiple aspects of quality of life, including their ability to perform simple daily tasks, emotional well-being and the sense of stigma they experienced due to their tremor,” Sperling said. “Our results suggest that post-operative improvements in tremor lead to very meaningful improvements in day-to-day functioning and, subsequently, to better overall quality of life.”The Effects on Mood and MemoryRelated StoriesTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemThe study was notable for its in-depth examination of the psychological and cognitive effects of the procedure, areas that have received relatively little attention in previous research.The researchers found that mood and cognition, and the ability to go about daily life, ultimately had more effect on participants’ assessment of their overall quality of life than did their tremor severity or the amount of tremor improvement seen after the procedure.”A person’s perception of their quality of life is shaped in many different ways,” Sperling said. “Mood and behavioral symptoms, such as depression, anxiety and apathy, often have a greater impact on quality of life than the measurable severity of one’s tremor.”The only cognitive declines seen in participants followed through the study were in how quickly they were able to name colors and think of and speak words. The cause of this was unclear, though the researchers suggested this could be a result of the natural progression of Parkinson’s. (Focused ultrasound is being tested to address the tremor associated with the disease, not its other symptoms.)The researchers noted that their study was limited by its small size and the fact that participants’ medication dosing varied, among other factors.To become available as a treatment for medication-resistant Parkinson’s, the approach would need approval from the FDA. UVA’s new research is an important step in that process. Source:https://newsroom.uvahealth.com/2018/11/05/scalpel-free-surgery-improves-quality-of-life-for-people-with-parkinsons-study-finds/last_img read more

Amsterdam University Medical Center wins MR Solutions Image of the Year 2019

first_imgJun 12 2019The Amsterdam University Medical Center has won MR Solutions’ Image of the Year 2019 award for the best molecular research image. Preclinical image submissions came in from most of MR Solutions’ users across the world. The winners which were presented at the ISMRM conference in May were chosen by a panel of leading academics who examined images from MRI, PET or CT – or a combination of imaging modalities. MR Solutions’ preclinical MRI and PET imaging systems won the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for Innovation in 2016 and 2019. The company has over 30 years’ experience and in excess of 2000 installations across the world. Its scanners are renowned for their excellence in terms of superior soft tissue contrast and molecular imaging ability.MR Solutions operates from its global headquarters in the UK, with offices in the USA and distributors in all the major markets for maintenance and service coverage across the globe. We want to thank our user group for all their imaging contributions. Researchers using our preclinical imaging systems are producing amazing results – this will help to progress our scientific understanding at molecular level and ultimately aid better treatment for patients in the clinic.” Source:MR Solutions The winning submission was carried out by Amsterdam PhD researcher, Gustav Strijkers. This technique was used in cardiac research to produce a high fidelity 3D tractography of the left ventricle heart muscle fibers of a mouse. The exceptional quality and accuracy of the cardiomyopathy research significantly advances the preclinical imaging sector in the battle to better understand heart muscle disease and treatment.Related StoriesMR Solutions leads the way in developing helium free MRI systemsMR Solutions to showcase latest multi-modality MRI systems at EMIM 2019Interactive preclinical PET-MR workshop demonstrates benefits of multi-modality imagingThe submission from Sydney Imaging Core Research Facility came a close second place for the high quality MR abdominal image of a pregnant Sprague Dawley rat. The resulting image showed multiple embryonic implants and was ranked for image clarity, research interpretation and understanding.The third place submission by the Centre Georges François Leclerc center in France was a PET-MR whole body image of an eight week old BALB/c mouse showing a CT26 xenograft tumor. This displayed a clear breakdown of the metabolic, hypoxic and necrotic regions of the tumor. Additional axial images showed further localized information on the high and low uptake areas of 18F-FMISO using a 2T signal.Nicky Doughty, CEO and Director at MR Solutions was delighted with the imaging submissions:last_img read more

Twitter shares plunge in black week for social media

first_img © 2018 AFP Shares in Twitter tumbled 20.5 percent to close at $34.12 despite a record profit for the short messaging service, as financial markets focused on the new realities for social media firms moving to curb abusive behavior and boost privacy.The woes for Twitter came a day after Facebook lost an unprecedented $120 billion in market value following its earnings report that sent investors into a panic over cooling growth for the social network star.Twitter said it posted a best-ever profit of $100 million in the second quarter, following a loss of $116 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 24 percent to $711 million.But the San Francisco-based firm said its base of monthly active users fell by one million from the past quarter to 335 million in the period amid a purge of fake and abusive accounts and a crackdown on toxic “bots.”Twitter said it also expected user numbers to drop in the current quarter by a figure in the “mid-single-digit millions.”The fall in users is a result of “prioritizing the health of the platform, and, to a lesser extent, GDPR,” Twitter said, referring to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulations that limit how internet firms can handle user data.Wall Street ‘off guard’Analyst Daniel Ives at GBH Insights said markets have abruptly begun to consider “a new risk factor that has been introduced”—how security and privacy affects the bottom line.”It got the Street off guard in terms of the magnitude of the effect it had on earnings,” Ives said.Jennifer Grygiel, a Syracuse University professor who specializes in social media, said the market is coming to grips with a tougher picture for the sector as companies seek to curb manipulation and abusive conduct while coping with new regulations on privacy and data protection.”What you’re seeing is a market correction as the industry adjusts for increased operational expenses as governance and ethical business expectations have been raised globally,” she said.”Social media is not going anywhere. What has changed is that the public and regulators are no longer buying into (the) rhetoric and myths that social media is too big to moderate.” Bad week in social media gets worse; Twitter hammered Twitter shares took a pounding on Friday after it reported a decline in its user base, extending a stock market bloodbath for what had been a sizzling social media sector. Citation: Twitter shares plunge in black week for social media (2018, July 27) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-twitter-plunge-black-week-social.htmlcenter_img Explore further Chief executive Jack Dorsey said the past quarter’s results reflect investments “in the long-term health” of Twitter, noting efforts to weed out abusive and inappropriate behavior.”We’ll continue to invest heavily in making Twitter a healthier place because that’s the right thing to do,” Dorsey told analysts on a conference call.New tools to fight abuseDorsey noted that Twitter is investing in “new tools to address problem behaviors that distort and distract from the public conversation.”In recent weeks, Twitter has stepped up efforts to weed out accounts that promote violence or hate speech, and some reports suggested the move could lower the user base by millions.Earlier this week, Twitter said it had removed more than 143,000 apps from its service since April in a fresh crackdown on “malicious” activity from automated accounts.Twitter shares had more than doubled over the past year as it showed signs of sustaining profitability after years of losses.But a lingering concern has been the stalled user base, with Twitter struggling to move beyond its core group of celebrities, journalists and politicians.Both Twitter and Facebook moved to crack down on bots and fake accounts after learning of efforts to manipulate the social platforms during the 2016 US presidential election.Dorsey told analysts that Twitter had a “solid quarter” and suggested that daily usage was a better measure of its future growth. Twitter said daily active users rose 11 percent from a year ago, without giving a specific figure.Analysts say Twitter has been on a more sustainable track a year after it explored a sale of the company, although its user base is far below that of the 2.2 billion of Facebook and the billion-plus for Facebook-owned Instagram.But some say Twitter’s unique position as a real-time network that allows users to follow news and events will eventually pay off.Brian Wieser at Pivotal Research Group said efforts to curb fake accounts “should be viewed positively because these efforts improve Twitter’s position with regulators and with advertisers, who see the user base as higher quality when purges occur.”RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney said in an upbeat note this week that Twitter is “one of the largest and most influential social networks” and provides “meaningful value to users.” This document is subject to copyright. 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Suedzucker sees no turnaround yet in tough sugar market

first_imgHAMBURG (Reuters) – Suedzucker (SZUG.DE), Europe’s largest sugar refiner, said on Thursday that trading conditions remained intensely difficult with low sugar prices and no turnaround likely for the company’s current financial year. FILE PHOTO: A company logo of Suedzucker Group is pictured at the headquarters in Mannheim, Germany March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski“Our group forecast for the current financial year still shows no visible turnaround,” CEO Wolfgang Heer told the annual meeting of Suedzucker shareholders. “Sugar prices remain at a low level which does not cover costs.” He said in an advance release of his speech that a restructuring plan in the company’s sugar business, which includes closures of sugar factories in Germany, France and Poland, was on schedule. But the first financial benefits will be seen in the second half of the company’s 2020/21 financial year. Suedzucker had on July 11 reported a 40% drop in first-quarter earnings due to low global sugar prices. Global sugar prices hit their lowest in 10 years in late 2018 amid heavy world oversupply and have only stabilised at depressed levels in 2019. Suedzucker said in January it would close sugar factories in Germany, France and Poland and cut production capacity by 700,000 tonnes per year to save about 100 million euros annually. Despite the tough current market, Heer said Suedzucker remained optimistic for the future. The sugar business restructuring will focus production on the most cost-effective regions, he said. Other European sugar producers have also announced output cuts. “The moves to reduce volumes of sugar in the EU should reduce the excess supply and so reduce pressure on prices,” Heer said. “The global trend of rising sugar demand speaks for higher world market prices in future.” Suedzucker’s Polish factory in Strzyzow will close at the end of the current 2018/2019 sugar production season, Heer told shareholders. The Brottewitz and Warburg factories in Germany and the Cagny and Eppeville factories in France will close at the end of the next 2019/2020 sugar season, he said. Heer defended the company’s decision to reject a plan from French farmers to buy the two French factories, owned by Suedzucker unit Saint Louis Sucre. The sale would have hindered efforts to cut the over-production of sugar in the EU, Heer said. It would have created a new competitor for beet supplies to Suedzucker’s remaining French plants. The two French sites are also still needed for sugar storage and the group’s animal feed business, he said. Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Michelle Martin and Jane MerrimanOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more