LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 24: General view of footballs used by the Iowa Hawkeyes before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 24, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)Your Guinness world record didn’t last very long, Odell Beckham. The New York Giants’ wide receiver set a world record on Thursday, catching 33 of New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees’ passes in a minute with one hand on ESPN’s Super Bowl set in Scottsdale, Ariz. Iowa wide receiver Tevaun Smith one-upped the NFL star on Friday, snagging 41 passes using only one hand. .@TevaunSmith goes for @OBJ_3‘s one-handed catch world record and snags 41 in a minute! #GoHawks #Swarm2015 http://t.co/BnLBmRNutP— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) January 30, 2015Smith had two less catches in that one-minute video than he did during the entire 2014 season, during which he caught 43 passes for 596 yards and three touchdowns.
The Ananda Alert programme is now officially under the purview of the Ministry of Youth and Culture.This was disclosed by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, as he responded to questions posed by Member of Parliament for West Kingston, Desmond McKenzie on Tuesday (Jan. 15), in the House of Representatives.He informed the Lower House that Cabinet approved the transfer of Ananda Alert from the Local Government Ministry to the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR).“The programme, although well intentioned, was never properly staffed or properly structured in the first place. One officer was assigned to it; in fact, it was put in the Public Relations Department and there was no budgetary allocation for the programme. This thing as a serious matter, about missing children, and it has implications for the reputation of Jamaica in terms of human trafficking. It is a programme, which must be properly resourced and taken seriously,” Mr. Arscott said.In his comments, Mr. McKenzie, said he wanted the assurance that the programme will operate effectively under the Ministry of Youth and Culture.“All the requisite skills set reside with the Ministry of Youth and Culture to be able to deal with this properly,” Mr. Arscott stated.He said the Local Government Ministry will continue to assist and will help to located missing persons through the Social Development Commission (SDC).The Ananda Alert is a nationwide system designed to ensure a speedy and safe recovery of a child in the unfortunate event that he/she is missing or abducted.The system involves the mobilization of stakeholders into getting the message of a missing child into the public domain the moment the matter is reported to the police.The aim is to create a rapid response from law enforcement and communities to help bring the matter to public attention with the aim of increasing the chances of a safe recovery and return to family, guardian and/or place of safety.
Lion Air pilots struggled to maintain control of their Boeing jet as an automatic safety system in the Boeing jet repeatedly pushed the plane’s nose down, according to a draft of a preliminary report by Indonesian officials who are looking into last month’s deadly crash.The investigators are focusing on whether faulty information from sensors led the plane’s system to force the nose down.Indonesian authorities are expected to issue a report Wednesday, although it is unclear whether they will offer a probable cause for the Oct. 29 crash. The new Boeing 737 MAX 8 plunged into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board.Boeing did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.The Associated Press
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, February 25, 2018 – Nassau – Minister of Tourism & Aviation, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar (centre) met with members of the Paradise Island Promotion Board at the Ocean Club Boardroom, February 19, 2018.Board Members, pictured from left: John Conway, Interim Chairman (Ocean Club, A Four Season Resort Bahamas}; George Myers, Chairman Emeritus (Bay View Suites, Paradise Island); Audrey Oswell, President & Managing Director, Atlantis Paradise Island; Minister D’Aguilar; William Naughton, Vice-Chairman/Paradise Island (Comfort Suites Paradise Island); Graeme Davis, Vice-Chairman/Cable Beach (Baha Mar Resort); and Fred Lounsberry, Chief Executive Officer.(BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:
By LEANNE ITALIE, Associated PressNEW YORK (AP) — Racial justice. Obstruction of justice. Social justice. The Justice Department. Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle over months and months.The word follows “toxic,” picked by Oxford Dictionaries, and “misinformation,” plucked by Dictonary.com.In this Dec. 12, 2018, photo, “justice” is displayed in a Merriam-Webster dictionary in New York. Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle and President Trump’s Twitter feed. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor at large, told The Associated Press ahead of Monday’s announcement that “justice” consistently bubbled into the top 20 or 30 lookups on the company’s website, spiking at times due to specific events but also skating close to the surface for much of the year.While it’s one of those common words people likely know how to spell and use correctly in a sentence, Sokolowski pointed to other reasons that drive search traffic. Among them is an attempt to focus a train of thought around a philosophical problem, or to seek aspirational motivation. Such well-known words are often among the most looked up every year, including those that are slightly abstract, including “love,” he said.The designation for “justice” came soon after President Trump’s one-time fixer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes that included arranging the payment of hush money to conceal his boss’ alleged sexual affairs. He told a judge he agreed time and again to cover up Trump’s “dirty deeds” out of “blind loyalty.”It also came ahead of a Senate vote on the “First Step Act,” a criminal justice reform bill with broad bipartisan support. Earlier in the year, Kim Kardashian West not once but twice paid a White House visit on Trump to discuss prison and sentencing reform. Sentencing for drug crimes, treatment for opioid addiction, a loosening of cannabis laws, a Tesla probe, the Mueller investigation into the Trump campaign: Justice will remain top of mind into the new year.“These are stories that connect to the culture and to society across races, across classes,” Sokolowski said. “We get this word that filters in.”That includes Twitter in a big way.Often, when Trump tweets about the Department of Justice, he uses simply “Justice.” On Aug. 1, when he tweeted his wish for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop the Mueller investigation, searches spiked significantly. Trump referred to “obstruction of justice,” a separate entry on the Merriam-Webster site, prompting a lookup increase of 900 percent over the same date the year before.Searches for “justice” throughout the year, when compared to 2017, were up 74 percent on the site that has more than 100 million page views a month and nearly half a million entries, Sokolowski said. To be word of the year worthy, an entry has to show both a high volume of traffic and a significant year-over-year increase in lookups — as opposed to, say, a word that merely buzzed or felt lofty, he said.“We are not editorializing. We looked at our data and we were ourselves surprised by this word,” Sokolowski said. “This is a word that people have been thinking about for this entire year.”The word “justice” comes from Latin, unlike a lot of the more emotional words that rose in Old English. Old English did have “law,” ”fair” and “right,” but never “justice,” in reference to a system of laws.“It’s not a coincidence that it comes from the 12th century, which immediately follows the Norman conquest. When the Normans invaded England they brought their language, Old French, which was basically the then-modern version of Latin. They brought their system of government and laws and imposed them on the people they conquered, and that’s why all of the legal language in English today is Latin, just like the word justice,” Sokolowski explained. “It took the imposition of a system of laws to bring us the word justice.”One rule breaker: “witness,” a word with a purely Old English start.Other words that experienced lookup spikes this year: “maverick” (Sen. John McCain died); “respect” (Aretha Franklin died); “excelsior” (Stan Lee’s signature battle cry. He died); “pissant” (A radio host described Tom Brady’s daughter that way); “pansexual” (Janelle Monae described herself that way); “laurel” (Remember laurel vs. yanny?); “feckless” (What Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump, combined with a pejorative that begins with “c”); “epiphany” (The title of a BTS K-pop song that dropped this year); “lodestar” (used in reference to McCain in the anonymous New York Times op-ed identified as coming from inside the Trump administration); and “nationalism” (At an Oct. 22 rally in Texas, Trump declared himself a nationalist).
Story Links Five University of Louisville field hockey players have been chosen to compete in the 2019 U21 Selection Camp. Alli Bitting, Erica Cooper, Meghan Schneider and newcomers Margot Lawn and Minna Tremonti will represent the Cardinals in December at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa.The UofL student-athletes were selected following the 2019 Young Women’s National Championship (YWNC) and National Futures Championship (NFC), presented by Harrow Sports as they continue on the Olympic Development Pathway. Print Friendly Version
Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The chain e-mail originated sometime in 2002, and claimed to be a petition to organize opposition to the impending US-Iraq war. Tens of thousands of people signed their names to several hundred copies of the petition, with some copies appearing on Web archives. Like most Internet chain letters, the petition had its origins in a hoax, but its widespread dissemination is one of the few instances of a single piece of traceable information spreading on a global scale.“Given the many ways in which information, news, and new ideas are constantly spreading through our social networks, it’s surprising how difficult it is to collect data on the ways in which this spreading happens,” researchers David Liben-Nowell and Jon Kleinberg told PhysOrg.com. “Data from chain-letter petitions lets us look at processes that are otherwise essentially invisible, and begin to formulate theories for the patterns we observe.”Liben-Nowell and Kleinberg are computer scientists from Carleton College and Cornell University, respectively. The duo used online search engines to collect copies of the signed petitions that were posted on numerous Web sites. When they analyzed the 20,000 names on the 637 lists they found, and removed various “mutations,” they discovered some surprising patterns. Contrary to predictions that large-scale information spreads exponentially, like an explosive epidemic, the researchers found that the letter did not reach a large number of individuals in a few steps. Rather, it took hundreds of steps of people forwarding the e-mail on to reach the 20,000 who signed the found copies. As the researchers explain, this pattern suggests that the mechanics of a single piece of information spreading on a global scale is more complex than originally thought. Some of their results, which appear in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveal that people who forwarded the letter generally forwarded it to large numbers of other individuals. By contrast, most senders (94%) produced just one “daughter” that signed the letter. In other words, it seemed that most people ignored the e-mail. Citation: Chain letters reveal surprising circulation patterns (2008, April 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-04-chain-letters-reveal-circulation-patterns.html A chain letter hoax that fooled thousands of people may help computer scientists understand how information spreads on a global scale. The final result was a “tree” of nodes and connections that was long and thin, not one that funneled out as in the case of rapidly spreading information. Gossip in smaller communities may fan out quickly, but – as the new study shows – such a pattern changes with scale. This large-scale spreading of information is a rare case, since most circulated e-mail messages never reach such a large number of recipients.“A natural assumption going into this study was that information would spread explosively, reaching many people in only a few steps,” said Liben-Nowell and Kleinberg. “Instead, a much more complex picture emerges, with the chain letter following longer, narrower paths. After this initial surprise, we eventually found possible ways to reconcile the deep, narrow structures we observed with the facts we knew about human social networks.”A couple things that might explain the pattern include individuals “forwarding” the petition to the same group of e-mail addresses copied on the e-mail they received (“replying to all”). Individuals who received the petition more than once typically only signed one of them, leaving others as dead ends. Also, individuals in the same network might have tried to all sign the same petition, and keep forwarding it to each other rather then adding their names to different lists – which produces the observed “single daughter” characteristic.Understanding how a single piece of information spreads on a large scale may have applications in a variety of areas, such as word-of-mouth marketing and investigating the spreading of technological innovations, news, and opinions. Contrary to spreading explosively, information traveling on large scales seems to be quite fragile, with many opportunities for getting lost. The pattern might hold true for different kinds of information spreading, as well.“We expect this kind of pattern would show up in certain other settings, but it’s an open question how general it is,” the researchers said. “For example, the other large-scale chain-letter for which we have data – a petition to support funding of National Public Radio – exhibits a spreading pattern that looks very similar. It’s natural to believe that jokes and news clippings on the Internet may well spread in similar ways, though there certainly could be differences in spreading patterns between information that is politically charged and information that is free of controversy.“Once we look more generally – say, at the spread of new technologies or new products by word-of-mouth, or the rise in name recognition of new celebrities or new political figures – it’s a fascinating open question to consider how diverse the different spreading patterns might be. But we expect that in all these cases, the spreading will likely have a structure that is more complex than simple models have suggested.” More information: Liben-Nowell, David, and Kleinberg, Jon. “Tracing information flow on a global scale using Internet chain-letter data.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 25, 2008, vol. 105, no. 12. 4633-4638.Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Medical researchers seek eradication of peste des petits ruminants disease
Explore further The researchers were able to identify additional PRE-1 elements using a ‘BLAST’ search of similar sequences. They also were able to predict the secondary assembled structure of PRE-1 RNA using RNAstructure Webservers ( rna.urmc.rochester.edu/RNAstru … edict1/Predict1.html ). The upshot of all this work, in the author’s own words, is that the ‘genomic performance of PRE-1 in terms of 7SL RNA-derived SINEs seemed convincing enough to classify the suidae into a family mainly inhabited by primates’.It has not escaped our attention that many readers of physorg who may have availed themselves of our previous coverage of the human hybrid origins theory, and a later follow up report, might come to premature conclusions here. With that in mind, I talked the creator of the hybrid origins theory, Eugene McCarthy, to get his take on this new research. He had this to say:”People have been congratulating me on this SINE study as if it somehow proved the hybrid theory of human origins. That’s nice of them, but it’s just one run in a nine-inning game. True, it does show that pigs are more closely related to primates than has generally been thought, which in turn suggests that a hybrid cross between pig and chimpanzee is more feasible than many have supposed. But to establish whether we’re actually descendants of an ancient cross between pig and chimpanzee, will require a detailed search of the human genome, not just a study of SINEs. I’ve explained the relevant issues in a recent rebuttal of some of the most common criticisms of the hybrid theory. It’s not as simple as some people like to think.” © 2015 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/ea … 8/31/025791.full.pdf Who and exactly what were these generously-named beasts you might be asking yourself? The Laurasiatheria are the placental mammals believed to have hailed from the northern supercontinent of Laurasia after it split from Gondwana when Pangaea broke up. Their sister group, the Euarchontoglires, are the Supraprimates. These consensus classifications were made using the larger family of retrotransposons of which SINEs, and longer related LINEs, are themselves members of.In the pig genetics business, the preferred classification term for the family is ‘suidae’. Suidae PRE elements have been known since their original discovery back in 1987. The researchers identified the PRE1 element as a polymorphic insertion in the 5′-flanking region (about 686~985 bp upstream from the transcription initiator ATG codon) of the insulin growth factor binding protein (IGFBP7). Postulating that this 300 base pair insert sequence might be related to Alu inserts, they compared it with representative primate Alu sequences selected from the AF-1 database (software.iiar.res.in/af1/index.html). Incidentally, we should note that pig geneticists don’t have a monopoly on the term PRF-1. In related areas of pursuit, like drosophila genetics for example, a search for ‘PRE-1’ might be just as likely to return ‘photoreceptor regulatory element 1’. (Phys.org)—In the past, geneticists focused primarily on the evolution of genes in order to trace the relationships between species. More recently, genetic elements called SINEs (short interspersed elements) have emerged as a much better way to trace mammalian phylogeny, at least in the time since its massive radiation some 60 million years ago. That’s because the prolific SINE family evolved differently in every lineage to become widespread throughout the entire genome of each. But SINEs are more than just highly mobile markers, they have specific functions—functions which researchers are now decoding to understand not just how, but why they move about like they do. Credit: overlay by Eugene McCarthy Secondary structure of ALU RNAs. Credit: rna.berkeley.edu/translation.html In humans, the most familiar and abundant SINE is the Alu transposable element. Originally derived from a small cytoplasmic signal recognition conglomerate known as the 7SL RNA, Alu inserts have since propagated themselves to generate an extended family over a million strong representing 11% of our entire genome. With the exception of the Alu inserts in the primate superfamily (and one seemingly anomalous occurrence of the ‘B1’ SINE the rat) all other SINEs were believed to have been derived from tRNAs rather than the 7SL RNA.A recent paper published in the bioRxiv now suggests that another species—the pig—has a unique family of SINEs whose evolution has closely paralleled ours. This collaboration between researchers from China, and Firefly Bioworks Inc. here in the US, reports that the swine SINE known as PRE-1 (for porcine repeat element), also likely derives from 7SL RNA. This work potentially pushes back the divergence time of 7SL RNA products to 80-100 million years ago—a re-adjustment that would presumably ground the 7SL RNA diversification or hybridization events to a place before the so-called boreoeutherians diversified into Laurasiatheria and Euarchontoglires. Citation: The hidden evolutionary relationship between pigs and primates revealed by genome-wide study of transposable elements (2015, September 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-09-hidden-evolutionary-relationship-pigs-primates.html Orangutans harbor ancient primate Alu
Brought to you by PCWorld Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 4 min read Business tech is advancing rapidly, and a select group of products is leading the charge. So what’s new? Cloud-based office suites and file sharing, touchscreen tablets, and videoconferencing are at the forefront of today’s workplace transformation. If you’re looking for a quick productivity boost, consider the offerings described below.Google AppsWatch out, Microsoft Office. Google Apps, the search giant’s cloud-based productivity suite, is working its way into the business world. In addition, tools such as Google Voice enable small businesses to look bigger by giving them a single phone number that reaches multiple phones. New, affordable versions of the apps for government offices, as well as improved protection against phishing and malware threats, make Google Apps a worthy challenger to Microsoft’s venerable suite.DropboxThis popular share-and-sync online service is ridiculously easy to use. Simply place your files in a Dropbox folder on one computer, and they’re uploaded to a secure server. You can access your files from other Dropbox-equipped computers and mobile devices, too. The first 2GB of storage is free, and you can buy more.Apple iPadApple’s innovative tablet has turned out to be more than just a big iPod Touch. The iPad is entering the business world as more enterprises recognize its potential. Thousands of apps and an ergonomic touch interface make the iPad a winner. Even better, a smaller, camera-equipped model may arrive soon.DroboData Robotics’ series of easy-to-manage network storage devices are ideal for small and home offices, and they’re a hit with Mac users. A Drobo box is brain-dead simple to set up, and sharing files across a network is just as straightforward. Drobo’s SOHO sensibilities make it unique in offering storage for nontechies.Windows 7Windows Vista couldn’t persuade businesses to upgrade from Windows XP, but Windows 7 is having far greater success. True, Microsoft is forcing the issue by winding down its XP support, but Windows 7 does offer security advantages for enterprises. The folks in Redmond got it right this time. Hurrah!Samsung Galaxy TabSamsung’s sleek slate has blockbuster potential in the business world. The Galaxy Tab, with its 7-inch touchscreen, fills a void between smartphones and iPad-size tablets. Its starter OS, Android 2.2, really isn’t tablet-friendly, though; to shine brightly, the Galaxy Tab will need the upcoming Android 3.0.Apple iPhone 4The latest iPhone may not be perfect, but its clever innovations earned it a spot on our list of the top 10 phones nonetheless. Its front-facing camera and FaceTime video-chat app, for instance, could revolutionize corporate meetings, particularly if FaceTime beats the odds and becomes an industry standard. Business travel, we will miss you.HP Photosmart eStationThe detachable 7-inch Android tablet that comes with HP’s newest printer is grabbing headlines, but the real story is the printer itself: The Photosmart eStation has business-friendly benefits such as wireless connectivity and two-sided printing. The tablet lets you control the eStation remotely and print Web pages without a PC.Microsoft Office 2010Microsoft’s desktop office suite keeps getting better, although its Web-based counterpart is junk. Office 2010 offers numerous productivity perks, including a customizable “Ribbon” interface, better built-in graphics tools, and improved malware protection. And PowerPoint’s new Broadcast feature is great for displaying slideshows on remote clients’ computers.iGo Portable ProjectoriGo’s pocket-size projector is designed for Cisco’s Flip video cameras, but it will connect to laptops and smartphones, too. The $350 iGo projects videos at screen sizes up to 70 inches diagonally. It comes with an HDMI cable (mini-to-mini), and holds a MicroSD memory card (up to 32GB). The iGo ships in October. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global October 20, 2010 Register Now »
The video will start in 1Cancel Play now Video Loading Video Unavailable Video will play in StokeonTrent Live – we’re #localandproudStokeonTrent Live – we’re #localandproudVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmute0:00/1:20Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:20 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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UP NEXT:UP NEXT: Click for Sound Watch again Click to playTap to play StokeonTrentLive – we’re #localandproud We pay for stories! Send your videos to firstname.lastname@example.orgHello and welcome to Stoke-on-TrentLive’s breaking news service bringing you all the latest updates from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire on Wednesday, November 28. Our team of reporters will be updating this live service with all the latest on the traffic and travel and weather updates – as well as news and entertainment through the day. We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates in our live news feed below. For the latest news and breaking news visit www.stokeontrentlive.co.uk Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Follow us on Twitter @SOTLive – the official Sentinel account – real news in real time. We’re also on Facebook – your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire. Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . 18:43Lane shut due to broken down vehicle on M6One lane closed due to broken down vehicle on M6 Northbound between J12 A5 (Gailey) and J13 A449 (Stafford South). Traffic is coping well.Lane one (of three) is closed. 18:25A50 Newcastle Road closed due to accidentLocation of the closure (Image: Inrix)18:06105 homes without power in Crackley A total of 105 homes are without power in Crackley 17:37Derby fans warned to expect delays on way homeA Derbyshire Police spokesman said: “A safe trip to over 3000 Rams going to Stoke City vs Derby tonight. A50= 2 LANES CLOSED FROM 2200.PC”s Brown and Wright working. See you there.”17:24Accident in Wolstanton High Street partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident at A527 High Street. 16:30Delays due to obstruction on lineDelays of up to 20 minutes on London Northwestern between Crewe and Stafford due to obstruction on the line. 16:25Two cats die after dehumidifier causes house fireA man escaped from a window after being helped by neighbours. More here. 12:28A53 Elder Road busy but moving at A50 Waterloo Road (Cobridge Traffic Lights). 11:56Weather warning in force tomorrow across regionMore here.The warning covers the entire area (Image: Met Office)11:31A safe trip to over 3000 Rams going to @stokecity v @dcfcofficial tonight. A50= 2 LANES CLOSED FROM 2200.PC”s Brown and Wright working. See you there. @DCFCSC@dcfcfans https://t.co/jdeJraBwil— DCFC Rams Police (@DCFCPolice) November 28, 201811:30 A5272 Chell Street busy but moving at A5272 Merrick Street / B5047 Hulton Street (Providence Square). 11:30Service suspended on Transport for Wales between Shrewsbury and Crewe due to emergency services dealing with an incident.Some services may be diverted via Chester. 10:24Please come along to meet our @StaffsPLOD team �� https://t.co/Khjg96B3S0— Staffordshire Police (@StaffsPolice) November 28, 201810:15Heavy traffic on A50 Westbound from Meir Tunnel towards the A500 D Road (Sideway Roundabout). 10:15A500 D Road Southbound lane closed on exit slip road, very slow traffic due to recovery work and broken down Crane at A5006 (Sideway Roundabout).The vehicle is reported to be in lane one (of four) of the southbound exit slip road from the A500 to the A50. Affecting traffic between Stoke-on-Trent and Blythe Bridge. Police confirm that recovery is now on scene. 08:56Slow traffic on A34 Newcastle Road Northbound at A534 Sandbach Road. 08:56Slow traffic on A34 Newcastle Road between Springfield Retail Park and A500 D Road (Hanford Interchange). Travel time is seven minutes. 08:56Heavy traffic on Bucknall Road inbound from A52 Leek Road (Lime Kiln Traffic Lights) to Hanley Town centre. 08:12Traffic heavier than normal on A50 Through The Roadworks at B5030 Ashbourne Road (Little Chef roundabout). Travel time is ten minutes. 08:06Queuing traffic on Brownhills Road / Davenport Street / Newcastle Street between A500 (Porthill Bank) and Tunstall. Travel time is six minutes. 07:54Slow traffic on A527 Biddulph Road coming from Brinley Ford Southbound at A5272 High Lane roundabout. 07:48All lanes have re-opened on the #M6 in #Warwickshire northbound between J3A and J4 due following a collision involving a car and a HGV. Thanks for your patience. Have a safe onward journey. pic.twitter.com/i3joZuZ384— Highways England (@HighwaysWMIDS) November 28, 201807:46Usual congestion on A53 Elder Road at A50 Waterloo Road (Cobridge Traffic Lights). 07:45Slow traffic on A52 Werrington Road Westbound before A52 Leek Road (Lime Kiln Traffic Lights). 07:45Usual congestion on B5051 Moorland Road at A5272 High Lane / A5272 Hanley Road / Bank Hall Road (Smallthorne Roundabout). 07:45Traffic heavier than normal on A50 Through The Roadworks at B5030 Ashbourne Road (Little Chef roundabout). Travel time is eight minutes. 07:26Usual congestion on A50 Westbound from Meir Tunnel towards the A500 D Road (Sideway Roundabout). 07:26Slow traffic and lane closed on exit slip road due to broken down lorry on A5006 Southbound at A50 (Sideway Roundabout).Affecting traffic between Stoke-on-Trent and Blythe Bridge. The vehicle is reported to be in lane one (of four) of the southbound exit slip road from the A500 to the A50. 07:09Traffic heavier than normal on A50 Through The Roadworks at B5030 Ashbourne Road (Little Chef roundabout). Travel time is seven minutes. 07:03Good morning!Welcome to our daily live blog! Watch Next Share this video
January 24, 2004Soleri Archives and Istituto Nazionale della Grafica, the Italian National Gallery of Writing and Drawing, are working together on the preparation of a large Soleri Retrospective, scheduled for the Spring of 2005. The exhibition will be located in the Fontana di Trevi building in the center of Rome and will host a large portion of Paolo Soleri’s works. For this important event, some of Paolo Soleri’s early work will be restored by the Istituto Nazionale della Grafica. At the opening of the exhibition, the first ever Italian edition of Paolo Soleri book ‘Arcology, the City in the Image of Man’ will be presented.from left: Soleri Archives Volunteer Richard Clements, Director of Soleri Archives Tomiaki Tamura, Italian Project Coordinator Matteo Di Michele.[Photo: aa & Text: Matteo Di Michele]
Categories: Howell News,News 23Feb Rep. Howell: House-approved bill would send more money to Lapeer County for road repairs Lapeer County drivers are in line for welcome news after Rep. Gary Howell and the Michigan House approved legislation to further boost investments in road repairs.The bill approved by the House on Feb. 21 would provide an estimated additional $769,930 for Lapeer County’s road commission to use this year. In addition, cities and villages in the county would be in line for nearly $160,000 in additional funds.Howell – a former chairman of the Lapeer County Road Commission – noted the money comes in addition to a reform plan passed a couple of years ago that already is increasing the amount of money available for road repairs.“The great news is we can make this additional investment in our roads without raising taxes or fees,” said Howell, of North Branch. “And the money comes on top of changes we already have made to boost road funding across Michigan. Everyone driving around potholes during this recent thaw knows we need to improve our roads. We should notice improvements in Lapeer County and all across the state once the funding kicks in for this road construction season.”The bill includes $175 million overall for state and local roads. The money is left over from a previous state government budget cycle and is already available, meaning no budget cuts or additional revenue is required for the plan.House Bill 4321 advances to the Senate for further consideration.###
Categories: Hauck News,News 27Aug Rep. Hauck: K-12 students head back to school supported by record funding Many districts have received $360 per-student boost in past 2 yearsStudents in mid-Michigan return to K-12 classrooms this fall supported by record state funding, state Rep. Roger Hauck said today.“The resources are lined up to make our good schools even better and to help our struggling schools improve,” said Hauck, of Union Township in Isabella County. “More than a quarter of our total state government budget goes to K-12 schools, but this isn’t just about the money. We also are spending in smarter and more creative ways to help kids succeed – regardless of whether they plan to attend college or enter the workforce full-time after high school graduation.”Most school districts in the central Michigan region will receive the maximum per-student increase of $240 for the 2018-19 school year as efforts to close the funding gap between schools statewide continue. Every school district in Michigan will receive at least $7,871 per student in the state’s basic foundation allowance – a 3.1 percent boost from last school year, well above the inflation rate.For many area districts, the state’s basic foundation allowance has increased $360 per student – or nearly 5 percent — in the two years since Hauck began serving in the House of Representatives. Overall, including increased funding for students who are financially or academically at risk, Hauck has voted to add an estimated $11.8 million for the school districts he helps represent in Lansing.Michigan’s commitment to education goes well beyond the basic foundation allowance and the funding for at-risk programs. The state also is allocating $100 million for the Marshall Plan for Talent, designed to expand and improve skilled trade career opportunities for students. More money will go to early literacy and special education programs.School safety also is a high priority with $25 million set aside statewide for grants to improve building security, plus additional resources to expand the OK2SAY school safety tip reporting system.“Our schools and our kids are Michigan’s future – and there’s no question we’re committed to making that future a bright one,” Hauck said.###
The dollar index closed in New York late Thursday afternoon at 79.73. It’s low of the day [79.69] came at 2:30 p.m. Hong Kong time. The subsequent rally ran out of gas at 79.99 just before 8 a.m. in New York. By 11:30 a.m. EDT, the index had declined by 10 points, but from there it rallied up to a hair over 80.15 before trading basically flat into the close. The dollar index finished up 42 basis points at 80.15.The gold stocks opened in the black, but got sold down into the red as gold hit its 10:30 a.m. low tick in New York. They struggled back to almost unchanged during the next hour of trading, but never got a sniff of positive territory again for the remainder of the day. The HUI closed down 0.45%.It was the same chart pattern for silver stocks right up until the 10:30 a.m. low tick for that metal. The subsequent rally off that low ended back in positive territory, and the silver equities stayed there right up until almost the end before closing down the smallest amount possible. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down a miniscule 0.01%.The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 84 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday, and it was all the usual crooks as issuers and stoppers. The short/issuer on all 84 contracts was Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia. HSBC USA stopped 59 contracts, and JPMorgan Chase stopped the rest. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.There were no reported change in either GLD or SLV.It’s been mid-September since I’d heard from the folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank. But I finally received an e-mail update from them yesterday for Monday, September 30. They reported small declines in both their gold and silver ETFs. Their gold ETF declined by 17,176 troy ounces, and their silver ETF by 51,955 troy ounces.The U.S. Mint had a tiny sales report yesterday, they sold 2,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes, and that was all.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, they reported shipping out 35,808 troy ounces of the stuff for parts unknown. All of it came out of the vaults over at HSBC USA. The link to that activity is here.In silver, these same depositories shipped out 385,368 troy ounces, and didn’t report receiving any. The link to that action is here.With no Commitment of Traders Report or Bank Participation Report yesterday, this column is going to be a little on the skinny side.I don’t have a huge number of stories for you, and I hope you have enough time over what’s left of your weekend to read everything of interest to you.The revenue to silver exporting countries is set by the same illicit pricing mechanism on the COMEX that is bedeviling silver investors, because the COMEX sets the price for silver worldwide, by means of HFT computer scams and JPMorgan’s short market corner. Mexico, Peru, Australia, Russia, Poland, Bolivia and Chile, among other silver exporting nations have been shortchanged by JPMorgan ever since the bank inherited its concentrated short position and market corner from Bear Stearns in 2008. Making it worse is that the US, as a big silver importer (net 150 million oz), has profited from the crooked pricing on the COMEX as a country, adding credence to the allegation from many that the US Government is involved in the manipulation. – Silver analyst Ted Butler, 02 October 2013Today’s pop “blast from the past,” two actually, are from a British group that didn’t stay together long enough to make it to the big time in North America, but their music was immensely popular back in the mid-1960s. Two of their biggest hits are linked here and here. I know I’ve posted these before, but it’s been a couple of years. Enjoy.Today’s classical “blast from the past” is another well-known symphonic work that sees a lot of air time in concert halls the world over, and is another one of those performances that recordings never really do justice to. But this recording comes close. It’s Rimsky-Korsakov‘s masterpiece “Scheherazade: Op. 35“, an orchestral suite he composed back in 1888. This particular youtube.com video is recorded with High Definition picture quality, with an audio track to match. So put it on full screen, turn up the audio, and then click here.Another day, and another appearance by a not-for-profit seller the moment that prices spiked early yesterday morning in New York. As I’ve said on numerous occasions, I wonder why JPMorgan et al don’t just hire a brass band to march up and down Wall Street in advance of their engineered price declines as it’s oh-so obvious, except to the willfully blind of course.And I carefully noted that, once again, silver wasn’t allowed to close over the $22 spot price mark, and it’s 50-day moving average. This makes 10 days in a row. Here’s the 30-day chart once again.You have to wonder why the silver miners aren’t up in arms about this obvious price rigging, along with the massive short-side corner that JPMorgan et al have had in the silver market since 2008.One of the reasons is The Silver Institute. It’s always loaded with mining company executives and other members whose sole purpose is to make sure that these questions never get asked.For instance; can you imagine any silver mining company executive vying for the job of President of that organization on the platform that he was going to get to the bottom of this JPMorgan price fixing scheme? He wouldn’t have a chance. All presidents, current and past, sold out to the dark side of The Force years ago, or they would never have been asked to join, let alone serve.Here’s their list of their members just so you can see who is on the list of silver companies that are actively working against your best interests, and it’s a depressing read. I note that even the CME Group is a member. All any one of the members has to do is ask the CME Group why they’re allowing JPMorgan Chase to hold a short-side corner in the Comex futures market in silver for over 5 years. But no one has obviously got the gonads to do that.You couldn’t make this stuff up.I’m done for the day, and the week.Before heading off to bed, I’d like to point out something that you’re probably already aware of, and that’s the pre-show promotion of the Casey Research 2013 Summit Audio Collection. The Summit itself started yesterday and ends on Sunday, October 6. The pre-show pricing will be valid until the product is ready to ship, which will be a few days after the show is over. All you need to know about this offer is linked here, and there’s no cost to you just to check it out, which I urge you to do.See you on Tuesday. You have to wonder why the silver miners aren’t up in arms about this obvious price riggingThe gold price traded in a tight five dollar range through all of Far East trading, and then right up until 12:30 p.m. in London. During the next 30 minutes, the price got smacked for about ten bucks. Then at 1 p.m. BST, which was 8 a.m. in New York, the price took off skyward like a homesick angel until about 10 minutes or so after the Comex open. Then the not-for-profit sellers put in an appearance. That rally was the high of the day at $1,326.30 spot. Then gold got sold down to its low of the day [$1,305.50 spot] shortly before 10:30 a.m. EDT. After that it spent the rest of the New York session struggling to gain back a few dollars of its losses.Gold finished the Friday session at $1,311.20 spot, down $5.50 from Thursday. Net volume was pretty light at around 111,000 contracts.It was more or less the same for silver, so I’ll spare you the details. The low of the day for silver [around $21.45 spot] came shortly after 1 p.m. in London. The high tick came 30 minutes later in Comex trading, and Kitco recorded that as $22.02 spot.After the 10:30 a.m. Comex low, silver also struggled higher into the 5:15 p.m. EDT electronic close. Every rally attempt, no matter how tiny, got dealt with in the usual manner.Silver managed to close in the plus column, but only by 4.5 cents, finishing the Friday session at $21.74 spot. Net volume was only 28,500 contracts.Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart on its own, so you can see the price action there in more detail.The price action in both platinum and palladium was a derivative of the price action in both gold and silver. Here are the charts, so you can check it out for yourself.
Not surprisingly—and for the second day in a row—there was a decent rally in palladium, as news about the two new palladium ETFs in South Africa hit the Internet. The rally began just before 10 a.m. GMT in London—and just as obviously got capped less than an hour later. Then shortly after 9 a.m. in New York, the price went vertical—and a seller of last resort [probably JPMorgan] showed up and prevented the price from taking out the $800 spot level, which it would have certainly done if left to its own devices. As it turned out, the high tick in palladium was 800.00 right on the button—and the low tick was $768.20—in the June contract, which is the current front month. Sponsor Advertisement The gold stocks gapped up about a percent at the open—and hit their highs of the day about 20 minutes later. Despite the fact that the gold price traded flat in New York for most of yesterday, the stocks continued to sell off quietly into the red, right up until the tiny gold rally that began around 2:30 p.m. EDT in electronic trading. From there, the gold stocks rallied quietly right into the close, despite the fact that gold got sold down pretty hard during the last 30 minutes of trading. The HUI finished down a smallish 0.27%. The fact that the general stock market sold off starting around 11 a.m. EDT may have had something to do with the sell-off in the gold shares as well. The silver equities performed in a similar manner up until about 2:30 p.m EDT. Then, despite the continued weakness in the underlying metal, the equities rallied quietly into positive territory. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment index eked out a gain of 0.46%. This is the third day this week that the silver equities outperformed not only the metal itself, but gold equities as well. As I’ve been saying for the last few days, does someone with deep pockets know something we don’t? Once again I have a lot of stories and, as always, I’ll leave the final edit up to you. You pretty much have to have to have been born stupid, willfully blind, or be a bought and paid for whore of the World Gold Council and/or Silver Institute, not to see that JPMorgan et al prevented an upside explosion in the precious metals yesterday. If Russia really wanted to screw the U.S. over real good, all they would have to do is put an end to this price management scheme in all four precious metals, as they’ve known about it for at least a decade now—and China has, as well. If these two countries wanted to be heroes to all the poor resource-producing countries of Africa, South America and elsewhere, they could change these country’s fortunes virtually overnight—if Russia and China thought it in their own respective best interests to do so. – Ed Steer: Gold and Silver Daily—21 March 2014 Today’s pop “blast from the past” is only 15 years old—and one of the few modern pop songs that I think is worth listening to. Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas do the honours—and the link is here. Today’s classical “blast from the past” is another Jean Sibelius number, but it’s totally different from the one that I posted in this space last week. The Swan of Tuonela is an 1895 tone poem—and is the second part of Op. 22 Lemminkäinen (Four legends), tales from the Kalevala epic of Finnish mythology. It’s a melancholy piece—and the solo by the cor anglais is perhaps the best known for this instrument in all of orchestral literature. The link is here. Well, I’ll be the first one to admit that yesterday’s price rally shortly after the London open came as a big surprise to me. What wasn’t a surprise—and a disappointment—was the immediate explosion in open interest as JPMorgan et al, as sellers of last resort, were there to kill the rallies stone cold dead. Of course they had to give a little ground in palladium because of the announcement of the two new South African palladium funds, but even then, their footprints at the $800 mark were obvious for anyone who cared to examine the price chart carefully. As I said in The Wrap in yesterday’s column, it didn’t appear that “da boyz” were about to give up control of the precious metal market any time soon—and this turned out to be prophetic within hours of me writing it. Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. The roll-overs out of the April delivery month in gold have to be all done by next Friday—and I’m sure that JPMorgan would still dearly love to take out both the 50 and 200-day moving averages in that precious metal before then, but yesterday’s price action sort of threw a spanner into the works. And as I mentioned in the first part of today’s column, the dichotomy between the gold and silver equities is still something I’m keeping an eye on—and Friday’s numbers only reconfirmed my suspicion that someone with very deep pockets is taking a very large position in silver equities using the engineered price decline as cover. Taking a look at the preliminary volume report from the CME yesterday, I note that there are only about 35 gold contracts and just under 200 silver contracts still open in the March delivery month—and those have to delivered into, or rolled over, by next Friday as well. I’m only speculating here, but it appears that it may be anything but “business as usual” next week—and for that reason I’ll be watching the 6 p.m. EDT open in New York on Sunday evening with more interest than normal. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend—and I’ll see you here on Tuesday. You pretty much have to have to have been born stupid, willfully blind, or be a bought and paid for whore of the World Gold Council and/or Silver Institute, not to see that JPMorgan et al prevented an upside explosion in the precious metals yesterday. If Russia really wanted to screw the U.S. over real good, all they would have to do is put an end to this price management scheme in all four precious metals, as they’ve known about it for at least a decade now—and China has, as well. If these two countries wanted to be heroes to all the poor resource-producing countries of Africa, South America and elsewhere, they could change these country’s fortunes virtually overnight—if Russia and China thought it in their own respective best interests to do so. The dollar index closed on Thursday afternoon in New York at 80.19—and then spent all of Friday quietly chopping lower in a very tight range. The index close yesterday at 80.12, which was down 7 basis points on the day. It was more or less the same price pattern in silver, so I’ll spare you the play-by-play. The high and low price ticks were recorded at $20.585 and $20.265 in the May contract. Silver closed in New York at $20.275 spot, up a whole half a penny. Volume, net of March and April, was pretty low at 28,000 contracts but, like gold, it’s a good bet that almost half of that volume was JPMorgan et al throwing Comex paper at the price during the rally in early trading in London. The platinum chart was a mini version of the gold and silver charts—and the metal managed to close up a few dollars. Here’s the chart. JPMorgan et al, as sellers of last resort, were there to kill the rallies stone cold dead It was pretty quiet in gold in Far East trading on their Friday, as it rose and fell about five bucks between the Tokyo open and up until 30 minutes after the London open. At that point, the gold price took off to the upside, only to be met with a firestorm of selling by the sellers of last resort. JPMorgan et al managed to put the fire out by shortly after 11 a.m. GMT in London—and from there the price traded quietly lower until around 10:30 a.m. EST in New York. After that it didn’t do a lot, although a tiny rally that began around 12:30 p.m. EDT got sold down at 3:30 p.m. before it could get anywhere. The CME Group recorded the high and lows ticks as $1,328.00 and $1,343.00 in the April contract. The gold price finished the week at $1,334.70 spot, up $6.20 from Thursday’s close. Net volume was very quiet at 87,000 contracts, with at least 50% of that used to kill the morning rally in London. Just to show you the dichotomy between the gold share price action and the silver share price action—consider the week-over-week changes in the price of both metals vs. how well the HUI and Silver Sentiment Index did. For the week, gold was down $47.30—or 3.4%—and the HUI lost 8.60%. Silver was down $1.185 for the week—or 5.52%—and the Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed lower by only 2.93%. Does it mean anything? I don’t know for sure, but this particular dichotomy is beyond obvious, as it appears to me that a buyer with deep pockets is using this engineered price decline in silver to pick up a substantial position in the silver equities. The CME’s Daily Delivery Report drew a blank yesterday, as no gold or silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday within the Comex-approved depositories. There was activity, but it was all in palladium. Much to my surprise, an authorized participant added 134,905 troy ounces of gold to GLD yesterday. I’m only speculating here, but based on the price action all week, I’d guess that this deposit was being used to cover an existing short position. And as of 10:10 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. The good folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their gold and silver ETFs for the week ending Friday, March 14. Their gold ETF continues to slide. During this reporting week, it declined by another 29,224 troy ounces. But their silver ETF showed an increase of 123,009 troy ounces. The U.S. Mint had a sales report yesterday. They sold 3,500 troy ounces of gold eagles—1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—and 140,500 silver eagles. They also sold 300 one-ounce platinum eagles sometime during the reporting week as well. Month-to-date the mint has sold 16,500 troy ounces of gold eagles—10,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—9,000 one-ounce platinum eagles—and 3,283,500 silver eagles. Based on these numbers, the silver/gold sales ratio for the month so far stands at 124 to 1—and it’s about 200 to 1 if you just compare silver eagles sales to gold eagles sales. These are incredible sales ratios. There was a fairly large gold deposit—160,750 troy ounces—over at the Comex-approved warehouses on Thursday, all of which went into JPMorgan’s depository. Nothing was shipped out. The link to that activity is here. In silver, nothing was reported received, but 302,242 troy ounces were shipped out of four of the six depositories—and the link to that action is here. The Commitment of Traders Report was a mixed bag. Silver was way better than I expected, but gold was terrible—and I’ll leave the discussion about copper up to Ted Butler in his commentary to paying subscribers later today. In silver, the Commercial net short position actually improved by 1,734 contracts, or 8.67 million ounces. The Commercial net short position now sits at 179.5 million ounces. That’s the ‘good’ news. The bad news is that of the 2,700 short contracts put on/bought by the Big 8 short holders, Ted figures that 2,000 of those contracts were done by JPMorgan. This brings their short-side corner in the Comex silver market up to around 20,000 contracts, or 100 million troy ounces. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the Commercial net short position in silver was 179.5 million ounces, so this means that JPMorgan holds about 55% of the Commercial net short position all by itself—and about 33% of the short position held by the eight largest traders on the short side combined. This is a short-side corner by definition. As an aside in silver, the raptors—the Commercial traders other than the Big 8—bought 4,400 long contracts during the reporting week. Gold was ugly. The Commercial net short position blew out by 20,567 contracts, or 2.06 million troy ounces. The Big 8 increased their short position by about 8,500 contracts—and the raptors [the Commercial traders other than the Big 8] went short about 8,000 contracts—and Ted Butler said that JPMorgan sold between 7-8,000 of their long-side corner, which is now down to somewhere between 39 and 40,000 contracts, or 3.9 to 4.0 million ounces of the stuff. All of this was done in gold [and silver] by JPMorgan et al in order to prevent prices from blowing sky high during the reporting week, just like these same precious metals attempted to do again yesterday. As you already know, “da boyz” are the not-for-profit sellers—and the sellers of last resort. If they weren’t there 24/7, then precious metal prices would be just outside the orbit of Pluto by now. Here’s a chart from Nick Laird that I haven’t posted for many a moon. It’s the “Days of World Production to Cover Comex Short Positions“. It still looks much the same as it has for the last couple of years. Silver, except for a few weeks, has always occupied the far right position on this chart, with palladium and platinum not that far behind. To give you some idea of JPMorgan’s short position in silver compared to the total short positions of the Big 4 or Big 8 shorts—their 100 million ounce short-side corner in Comex silver translates into roughly 50 days of world silver production. The numbers on this chart are a graphic representation of the short positions of the 4 and 8 largest traders in all physical commodities on the Comex—and the data for this chart came straight out of yesterday’s COT Report. Here’s the New York trading session up close and personal—and you can see the not-for-profit selling show up at 3:30 p.m. in electronic trading. Drilling Intersects 102 Meters of 1.97 gpt Gold at Columbus Gold’s Paul Isnard Gold Project; Drilling Confirms Depth Extension of Gold Mineralization Columbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V) (“Columbus Gold”) is pleased to announce results of the initial five (5) core drill holes at its Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. The holes confirm depth extension of gold mineralization below shallow holes drilled on the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce Montagne d’Or inferred gold deposit at Paul Isnard in the 1990’s and support the current program of resource expansion through offsetting open-ended gold mineralization indicated by the earlier holes. Robert Giustra, CEO of Columbus Gold, commented: “These drill results validate Columbus Gold’s approach to adding ounces with a lower-risk drilling program designed to infill and to extend the mineralized zones to 200 m vertical depth from surface; a depth amenable to open pit mining.” Fourteen (14) holes have been completed (assays pending) by Columbus Gold in the current program and drilling is progressing at the rate of about 3,000 meters per month with one drill-rig on a 24 hour basis. Columbus Gold plans to accelerate the current program by engaging a second drill-rig as soon as one can be obtained. Please visit our website for more information about the project.
The country’s largest disability charities have been accused of “selling out” disabled people, as they look set to play a significant role in providing back-to-work services under the government’s new Work and Health Programme.Disability News Service (DNS) has contacted seven of the largest disability charities – most of which are not user-led – and none of them has ruled out seeking contracts from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).Disabled activists say this means the charities will be unable to campaign effectively on welfare reform, because of the size of contracts on offer.All seven – the group that in past years were known as the “big seven” disability charities – insist that any contracts they win from the government will have no impact on their campaigning work, including whether they speak up about social security reform, including cuts to disability benefits and back-to-work policies for disabled people.But their generally supportive responses to the government’s work, health and disability green paper – which was published on 31 October – could suggest otherwise.One of the seven – Mind – has already been caught lying about its interest in seeking DWP contracts under the Work and Health Programme.Paul Farmer, Mind’s chief executive, told protesters on 31 October (pictured) that the charity had “no contracts with DWP” and that he was “not interested in future contracts at this stage”.His lies were exposed when a disgruntled employee leaked internal documents showing that Mind was applying to join a DWP framework that would allow it to bid for contracts.Last month, the charity’s policy and campaigns manager, Tom Pollard, joined DWP on secondment as a senior policy adviser.Asked whether winning DWP contracts would impact on its campaigning work, Mind told DNS last week that it “always speaks out about the issues that we believe impact on people with mental health problems, and we don’t enter into financial relationships which would prevent us from doing this”.The DNS investigation comes as the Charity Commission confirmed that it has written to Mind’s trustees following a complaint about the charity’s close links with the government – and about Farmer’s lies – by Dr Minh Alexander, an NHS whistleblower and former consultant psychiatrist.She told the commission that she was “concerned that Mind’s independence has been compromised through collaboration with the government which goes beyond constructive joint working”.A Charity Commission spokesman told DNS: “The Charity Commission can confirm that a concern was raised with us regarding the charity Mind.“The commission is in correspondence with the trustees to highlight the concern and to request more information.“We have provided the trustees with the appropriate guidance and we are awaiting a response which we will consider in due course.”But there are also concerns about the future independence of the other six charities.Leonard Cheshire Disability said that it already provides services under the government’s Work Choice programme, but refused to say if it was seeking contracts under the Work and Health Programme, or if any such contract would impact on its campaigning work.RNIB said that it was “exploring” possible involvement in the Work and Health Programme as a “specialist sub-contractor”, although only if any programme was “entirely voluntary” because “we don’t support the sanctioning of individuals’ benefits if they do not attend a programme”.An RNIB spokeswoman said: “We will continue to represent and campaign on behalf of people with sight loss as part of our constructive dialogue with the DWP.”Action on Hearing Loss said that it “may consider DWP contracts in the future”, but denied that this would impact on its campaigning work.Scope said that it had “yet to make a decision regarding upcoming opportunities to deliver employment support but hope to make an announcement in the new year”.A Scope spokeswoman said: “We have been and will continue to speak out on the issues that matter to disabled people.“We believe that the work capability assessment is fundamentally flawed and doesn’t accurately identify the barriers disabled people face in entering or staying in work and will continue to speak out against this.”Disability Rights UK (DR UK) said it was too early to say if it would bid for contracts, but if it did “it would likely be in partnership with other disabled people’s organisations”, and that it would “never compromise on being able to speak out about issues of welfare reform”.Mencap’s head of employment, Mark Capper, said the charity was “disappointed” to see that the framework for the main contracts “appears to favour large businesses rather than third sector providers who can offer specialised support”, and that it would not want to be involved “unless significant changes were made to involve third sector providers”.But a Mencap spokesman said the charity “may” consider smaller contracts “if we believe they will allow third sector providers to support people with a learning disability into employment”.Capper said that Mencap wanted to “ensure disabled people receive the support they need to realise their ambitions, and that the government meets its commitment to halve the employment gap experienced by disabled people”.He added: “Whether this is achieved by working with the government or speaking out against them when we believe they are failing, we will continue to do both.”But Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) dismissed the suggestion that the charities would speak out strongly against DWP if they won multi-million pound contracts under the new programme.Linda Burnip, DPAC co-founder, said: “It is clear to everyone that organisations taking money from the government to provide services of any kind will not be in a position to campaign in any effective way against the policies on welfare reform.“These contracts are rumoured to be worth between £2 million and £30 million and once part of propping up the system, any independence to criticise it will be lost.“It is shameful that organisations supposedly existing to benefit disabled people are willing to sell them out in such an abhorrent way.”Freedom of information responses secured by DNS show that six of the “big seven” were invited to DWP’s national launch of its green paper, while the seventh – Scope – hosted the event. Five of the six, plus Scope, attended the event.The freedom of information response also shows that the government’s guest list of 79 organisations included just six disabled people’s user-led organisations, five of which, including DR UK, attended the launch event.The green paper includes the possibility that DWP could in future force all sick and disabled people on out-of-work disability benefits to take part in “mandatory” activity, including those in the employment and support allowance (ESA) support group.But despite this measure – and the horrified response from many disabled people – the reactions of the “big seven” to the green paper last month were generally positive.Scope even welcomed the green paper’s publication in DWP’s own press release, allowing work and pensions secretary Damian Green to claim in the House of Commons that criticism of the government’s plans was “completely out of touch with those who represent disabled people”.Leonard Cheshire Disability also welcomed the green paper, and said the government had taken “an important first step towards reducing the disability employment gap”.RNIB said it welcomed the government’s “aim to tackle the barriers that disabled people face in employment”, although it said that “the proof of the pudding will be in the eating”.Action on Hearing Loss – formerly RNID – also welcomed the green paper, praising the “collaborative focus of the Department of Work and Pensions and the Department of Health on integrated support for work and health”.The other three charities were more critical, although none of them could be said to have attacked the green paper.Disability Rights UK criticised elements of the green paper, pointing to its failure to announce any new incentives or requirements on employers, calling for more enforcement of the Equality Act, and warning that the government appeared to be cutting funding for employment support.Mencap welcomed much of the green paper but was critical of the planned £30-a-week cuts to ESA, and said that the possible changes to the support group “could cause deep concern to sick and disabled people”.Mind also welcomed parts of the green paper but, like Mencap, was critical of the support group measure, while it also criticised the government’s failure to consider “a fundamental rethink of the way conditionality and sanctions are used”.
The Department of Health (DH) has refused to say why it failed to warn NHS bodies and other local services that claimants of out-of-work disability benefits are at a hugely-increased risk of attempting to take their own lives.DH published the latest version of its national suicide prevention strategy in January this year.The strategy was published four months after NHS Digital produced the results of its Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS), which showed that more than 43 per cent of claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) had said (when asked in 2014) that they had attempted suicide at some point in their lives.But the suicide prevention strategy fails to mention these figures or to highlight ESA claimants as a high-risk group, even though it briefly mentions Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) guidance for dealing with ESA claimants who may be at risk of suicide or self-harm.This week, a DH spokeswoman refused to explain why the figures were not mentioned in the strategy or why ESA claimants were not highlighted as a group at particularly high risk of suicide.Instead, she said: “As I know you’ve discussed with the DWP, suicide is a very complex issue, so it would be wrong to link it solely to anyone’s benefit claim.“There is clear guidance in place for DWP staff members to follow if a claimant expresses a desire to self-harm, to ensure the claimant receives appropriate care and support.“We updated the National Suicide Prevention Strategy to strengthen delivery of its key areas for action to reduce suicides. “This includes ensuring that every local area has a suicide prevention plan in place by the end of the year to ensure that all local services are working together to implement tailored approaches to reducing suicide in their communities. “Good suicide prevention plans include action to address the wider determinants of suicide risk including unemployment and living with long-term conditions or disabilities.”The DH refusal to explain its failure to highlight ESA claimants in its suicide prevention strategy comes as Disability News Service this week publishes new figures (see separate story) which show that the proportion of people claiming the main out-of-work disability benefit who have attempted suicide doubled between 2007 and 2014.The figures show that in 2007 – a year before the introduction of the much-criticised work capability assessment, which tests eligibility for ESA – 21 per cent of incapacity benefit (IB) claimants told researchers they had attempted suicide at some point in their lives.IB began to be replaced by ESA under the New Labour government the following year, in 2008.But by 2014, following four years of social security reforms under the new coalition government, and austerity-related cuts to disability benefits and services – and six years of the WCA – more than 43 per cent of ESA claimants were saying they had attempted suicide.The figures were calculated for DNS by Sally McManus, who leads research on the survey for the independent social research institute NatCen, on behalf of NHS Digital.It is unclear if the government has ever made the same calculation, and if it has, why these figures have never been published.But the DH failure is just the latest evidence that the government has ignored, and even covered up, links between its efforts to force people with mental health conditions into work, and increased levels of suicide, attempted suicide, suicidal thoughts and self-harm.Letters written by coroners, which blamed the WCA process for triggering two suicides and called for changes to the assessment process, were ignored by ministers.They also failed to pass the first of those letters, written in April 2010, to the independent expert who was reviewing the WCA, Professor Malcolm Harrington.Ministers also failed to pass on the results of internal reviews into the deaths of ESA claimants that were linked to the WCA to Professor Harrington.As a result of these failures to act to improve the WCA, many other claimants are believed to have died, including Mark Wood, Paul Donnachie, David Barr, and a woman known only as Ms D E.The strongest evidence until now that there was a link between the WCA and an increase in mental distress came in November 2015, when public health experts from the Universities of Liverpool and Oxford showed in a study that, for every 10,000 IB claimants in England who were reassessed for ESA between 2010 and 2013, there were an additional six suicides, 2,700 cases of self-reported mental health problems, and an increase of more than 7,000 in the number of anti-depressants prescribed.In all, across England, the reassessment process from 2010 to 2013 was “associated with” an extra 590 suicides, 279,000 additional cases of self-reported mental health problems, and the prescribing of a further 725,000 anti-depressants.DWP dismissed the findings of that report in 2015 and said it was “wholly misleading”.Samaritans can be contacted free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling 116 123 or emailing email@example.comPictured: The Department of Health’s Whitehall offices
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 12 2019The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today posted 12 warning letters and 5 online advisory letters issued to foreign and domestic companies that are illegally selling more than 58 products, many that are sold as dietary supplements, which are unapproved new drugs and/or misbranded drugs that claim to prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s disease and a number of other serious diseases and health conditions. These products, which are often sold on websites and social media platforms, have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not proven safe and effective to treat the diseases and health conditions they claim to treat. These products may be ineffective, unsafe and could prevent a person from seeking an appropriate diagnosis and treatment.”Science and evidence are the cornerstone of the FDA’s review process and are imperative to demonstrating medical benefit, especially when a product is marketed to treat serious and complex diseases like Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a challenging disease that, unfortunately, has no cure. Any products making unproven drug claims could mislead consumers to believe that such therapies exist and keep them from accessing therapies that are known to help support the symptoms of the disease, or worse as some fraudulent treatments can cause serious or even fatal injuries. Simply put, health fraud scams prey on vulnerable populations, waste money and often delay proper medical care – and we will continue to take action to protect patients and caregivers from misleading, unproven products,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “Today’s actions are part of the FDA’s larger effort to address the booming growth of the dietary supplement industry through the implementation of modern regulatory initiatives that will enable the agency to preserve the balanced vision of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), enacted by Congress 25 years ago. That law sought to achieve the right balance between preserving consumers’ access to lawful supplements, promoting innovation in these products, while upholding our obligation to protect the public from unsafe and unlawful products and holding accountable those actors who are unable or unwilling to comply with the requirements of the law. Our newest policy efforts will seize the game-changing opportunity to further strengthen the regulatory framework overseeing dietary supplements and will hone in on important steps to both promote industry innovation while upholding the safety of these products as part of our overall commitment to protecting public health.”Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaSupplements claiming to boost brain health are ‘too good to be true’, warn expertsNutritional supplements offer no protection against cardiovascular diseases, say researchersIn a statement issued today, FDA Commissioner Gottlieb also outlined several important new actions and policy priorities the agency will take in the coming months to improve the safety of dietary supplements and purported dietary supplements, including efforts to more rapidly communicate potential safety issues with dietary supplement products with the public, establishing a flexible regulatory framework that promotes innovation and upholds product safety and other, new steps the FDA could consider taking to better ensure product safety and integrity.The products cited in the warning and online advisory letters posted today are unapproved new drugs and/or misbranded drugs that claim to prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s disease and a number of other serious diseases and health conditions, and have been sold in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The products include a variety of product types, such as tablets, capsules and oils. The companies have been asked to respond to the FDA within 15 days of receipt of the letters, stating how the violations outlined in the agency’s letters will be corrected. Failure to correct the violations promptly may result in legal action, including product seizure and/or injunction.As part of the FDA’s effort to protect consumers from Alzheimer’s disease health fraud, the FDA has issued more than 40 warning letters in the past five years to companies illegally marketing over 80 products making Alzheimer’s disease claims on websites, social media and in stores. We’ve also taken action in recent years against companies and dietary supplements making similar claims for the treatment of serious conditions such as cancer and opioid addiction. Although these companies may have stopped selling the products or making unproven claims, numerous unsafe and unapproved products continue to be sold directly to consumers due in part to the ease with which companies can move their marketing operations to new websites.The FDA continues to encourage consumers to remain vigilant whether online or in a store in order to avoid purchasing products that claim to prevent, treat or cure diseases without any proof they will work. Health care professionals and consumers are also advised to report adverse reactions associated with these or similar products to the agency’s MedWatch program.Source: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm631064.htm
Source:https://www.aftau.org/page.aspx?pid=974&storyid4704=2442&ncs4704=3 Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 12 2019All stem cells can multiply, proliferate and differentiate. Because of these qualities, leukemic stem cells are the most malignant of all leukemic cells. Understanding how leukemic stem cells are regulated has become an important area of cancer research.A team of Tel Aviv University researchers have now devised a novel biosensor that can isolate and target leukemic stem cells. The research team, led by Dr. Michael Milyavsky of the Department of Pathology at TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine, discuss their unique genetically encoded sensor and its ability to identify, isolate and characterize leukemic stem cells in a study published on January 31 in Leukemia.”The major reason for the dismal survival rate in blood cancers is the inherent resistance of leukemic stem cells to therapy,” Dr. Milyavsky says. “But only a minor fraction of leukemic cells have high regenerative potential, and it is this regeneration that results in disease relapse. A lack of tools to specifically isolate leukemic stem cells has precluded the comprehensive study and specific targeting of these stem cells until now.”Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyNew shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patientsTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerUntil recently, cancer researchers used markers on the surface of the cell to distinguish leukemic stem cells from the bulk of cancer cells, with only limited success. “There are hidden cancer stem cells that express differentiated surface markers despite their stem cell function. This permits those cells to escape targeted therapies,” Dr. Milyavsky explains. “By labeling leukemia cells on the basis of their stem character alone, our sensor manages to overcome surface marker-based issues.”We believe that our biosensor can provide a prototype for precision oncology efforts to target patient-specific leukemic stem cells to fight this deadly disease.”The scientists searched genomic databases for “enhancers,” the specific regulatory regions of the genome that are particularly active in stem cells. Then they harnessed genome engineering to develop a sensor composed of a stem cell active enhancer fused with a fluorescence gene that labels the cells in which the enhancer is active.The scientists were also able to demonstrate that sensor-positive leukemia stem cells are sensitive to a known and inexpensive cancer drug called 4-HPR (fenretinide), providing a novel biomarker for patients who can potentially benefit from this drug.”Using this sensor, we can perform personalized medicine oriented to drug screens by barcoding a patient’s own leukemia cells to find the best combination of drugs that will be able to target both leukemia in bulk as well as leukemia stem cells inside it,” Dr. Milyavsky concludes. “We’re also interested in developing killer genes that will eradicate specific leukemia stem cells in which our sensor is active.”The researchers are now investigating those genes that are active in leukemic stem cells in the hope finding druggable targets.