Emirates CEO says US laptop ban still puzzles him

first_img DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The chairman and CEO of Dubai’s long-haul carrier Emirates said Tuesday he “can’t dig into somebody’s mind” to understand why the U.S. instituted a ban on laptops and other personal electronics in carry-on luggage from 10 cities in Muslim-majority countries.However, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said he believes U.S. President Donald Trump is a businessman who “wouldn’t want to affect American business” in his decisions.Sheikh Ahmed’s careful phrasing mirrored that of his rival, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker, the day before at the Arabian Travel Market exhibition in Dubai.The exhibition last year featured a stand by the luxury hotel chain bearing the new American president’s name, but this year the company apparently decided not to take part.Sheikh Ahmed didn’t mince words, however, when describing what he thought after watching the video of a United Express passenger being forced off a flight. Those videos showed a bloody passenger being dragged off a flight in Chicago on April 9 by airport police after he refused to give up his seat to make room for crew members.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish Steps“Those people who dealt with it, they should be more professional,” he told journalists. “That is something that should not be acceptable.”Sheikh Ahmed also acknowledged the challenges facing the global aviation industry, saying Emirates was considering so-called premium economy seats, planned on launching a new first-class “product” this year and was looking at other measures. He even hinted that Emirates might work in closer partnership with budget carrier FlyDubai, another Dubai government-backed airline.“If I’m looking at it from the Dubai ownership of two airlines, I have Emirates, we have FlyDubai,” he said. “We can do something there.”He declined to elaborate. Emirates CEO says U.S. laptop ban still puzzles him By: Jon GambrellSource: The Associated Press Wednesday, April 26, 2017 Tags: America, Donald Trump, Emirates Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

RIUs top family resort in Punta Cana debuts brand new look

first_imgTags: Punta Cana, RIU Hotels & Resorts Travelweek Group PUNTA CANA — RIU Hotels & Resorts’ most family-friendly hotel in Punta Cana has reopened following a major overhaul to its rooms, restaurants, pools and services.ClubHotel Riu Bambu, inaugurated in 1999, was previously refurbished in 2004 and again in 2010, but only performed a complete overhaul earlier this year. The five-star, all-inclusive hotel now boasts new furniture and décor in all rooms, plus refurbished bathrooms, two new pools (in addition to three existing pools) with two new swim-up bars, and a new gymnasium next to the beach. The Riu4U club for young guests is another new item resulting from the refurbishment.Culinary options have also seen some changes. The hotel has seven restaurants including the new Spanish restaurant Olé and the gourmet eatery Kulinarium. Guests will continue to have the main restaurant available to them with international cuisine, as well as the Asian Hibachi, the Italian San Angelo, the Palm Beach steakhouse and the Mexican Mama Juana.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckRIU Hotels currently has six hotels in Punta Cana: The Riu Palace Bavaro, Riu Palace Punta Cana, Riu Palace Macao, Riu Naiboa and ClubHotel Riu Bambu, which are located in the RIU complex. Clients also have free access to the Splash Water World water park, while the Riu Republica, the first adults-only hotel in the Riu Classic range, is located a mere two kilometres away. Riu Republica will showcase major changes at the end of this year, including 400 new rooms, four new restaurants, five bars and a new water park. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Wednesday, July 19, 2017 RIU’s top family resort in Punta Cana debuts brand new look Sharelast_img read more

Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute ri

first_img Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away There are certain traits coaches look for in a quarterback that seem to be universally agreed upon. John Skelton and Kevin Kolb have exhibited these traits from time to time, but owning the attribute is what matters. A Q can get away without having some of these characteristics but there seems to be one quality he cannot do without.Size is important but a Q can do without. Most NFL scouts want their Q’s to be 6’4″ or 6’5″ and 240-plus pounds. Quarterbacks take many beatings throughout the course of an NFL season, some more than others. Collateral damage and mitigating that damage to a Q’s body is found in his frame and DNA. Although there have been many bigger quarterbacks that have had injury problems, most NFL scouts agree that body mass helps to absorb some of the impact. There will always be exceptions to this rule, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are the most notable exceptions, but there’s a reason why the vast majority of Q’s in the league have big bodies. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Reading coverage correctly and the ability to transfer what you see into a good decision is more esoteric than any other quarterback quality save for one. Reading coverage deals with the tangible of using the eyes in pre-snap reads to anticipate what an opposing defense might do and what coverage they might jump into. Taking the ball on the snap and watching where they go after the snap deals with the Q’s ability to think quickly and make sound decisions based on what he sees. This characteristic of quarterbacking is very complex and extremely important for all the greats…and all the others. But it’s not the most important attribute a Q can have in my opinion.Kevin Kolb has had more experience at reading coverage but the gap between he and Skelton seems to be closing.The most important attribute/quality/trait/characteristic I think a quarterback can have is pocket presence. Many of us call it poise or having poise in the pocket. It’s the ability to manage the rush, using mobility in a confined area, keeping your eyes down field, knowing when to pull it down, buying fractions of a second, feeling pressure, having a sixth sense, and the ability to escape the rush, get out of the pocket, extend the play and make something happen when all seems lost. If that happens, disregard the above. Comments   Share   Accuracy is important when evaluating a Q but it’s not a deal-breaker. Brett Favre was never the most accurate quarterback but he certainly experienced a ton of success in his storied career. Being accurate helps a quarterback’s stats but doesn’t ensure he is going to be good. The NFL is replete with accurate passers that never made it in the league.Kevin Kolb seems to be more accurate than Big Red Skelton, but this won’t be the fulcrum that tips the scales one way or the other.Command of the offense is something that seems to be more of a luxury for most quarterbacks in the league and is critical to success but it is not the most important quality of a Q. Cam Newton did not have what most coordinators would call a “command” of the Carolina offense last year but knew enough to make plays and good decisions while letting his supreme athleticism and talent take over. The intelligence of many Q’s fluctuate and their understanding and complete grasp of the offense is different from team-to-team.Both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton have struggled with command of the Cards’ offense, getting in and out of the huddle and calling plays correctly. They are not alone in this regard and there are others that struggle with this attribute but it’s not what I believe to be the most important prerequisite. Although John Skelton has a prototypical frame for playing quarterback in the NFL and Kevin Kolb is on the slighter side, this quality is not fundamental to playing the position well.It’s not arm strength. Yes, most quarterbacks in today’s NFL must have the arm strength to throw the deep in, the deep out, the seam route and the go but there have been some notable quarterbacks that have had fine NFL careers that lacked prototypical arm-strength. Chad Pennington had a successful career and yet struggled to throw the ball in the air over 40 yards.This is not Kevin Kolb or John Skelton’s problem.Having a quick release is something that most NFL coordinators and head coaches feel is a prerequisite to playing the quarterback position well but it’s not the most important attribute a Q should have. With today’s fire-zone schemes and complex coverages, passing windows in the league have become smaller and close faster. This is why Tim Tebow (along with accuracy) has struggled to be a successful passer. He just can’t get the ball out soon enough to get most balls into a quickly closing window.Although Kolb gets it up and out quicker than Skelton, a quick release or lack thereof is not the difference between the Cards’ quarterbacks. This attribute seems fundamental to playing the position well. Michael Vick had excellent years as a scrambling QB but didn’t achieve status at the position until he proved he could throw from the pocket. All the greats shared the common denominator of profound poise in the pocket: Johnny Unitas, Terry Bradshaw, Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, John Elway, Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. It’s not that they always stayed or stay in the pocket, it’s not that they were/are mobile, it’s not that they all had/have great ability to throw on the run either. But they all had/have great poise or pocket presence. The success they experienced came/comes from the pocket.It seems to me if a Q is hyper-sensitive to the rush, pulling down balls, feeling too much of the rush without keeping his eyes down the field, it doesn’t matter how big he is, how strong his arm is, how quick of a release he has, how precise his passes are, how well he reads coverage, the decisions he makes or the command he has of the offense. None of it matters if he doesn’t have poise in the pocket.Although a Q can use his arm strength, quick release and accuracy when out of the pocket, running quarterbacks that don’t show poise in the pocket and can’t seem to make throws from the pocket are chewed up and spit out — unless your name is Cam Newton. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation And most quarterbacks are not runners, they’re passers. How can a Q use his strong arm or quick release if he is looking to pull the ball down and run? How can a Q use his accuracy if he can’t stay in the pocket, where the vast majority of his success should come from? How can he read coverage well and make good decisions if he’s constantly feeling the pressure and pulling the ball down? And having command of the offense is all well and good but if one cannot execute that offense because he lacks pocket presence in a league that requires you throw the ball efficiently, how can that command be applied?Having poise or pocket presence seems to be THE prerequisite to playing the position consistently well over time. If a Q doesn’t have this innate, fundamental quality, how much of the other attributes that NFL decision makers value in a quarterback can he use?And this is why I think John Skelton is going to win the quarterback competition. He shows great poise in the pocket. Maybe he could learn to develop and improve upon all the other qualities one looks for in a Q?Or maybe Kevin Kolb will show profound pocket presence and play great against the Raiders. Top Stories last_img read more

Google is teaming up with TV manufacturer Vizio to

first_imgGoogle is teaming up with TV manufacturer Vizio to make casting capability from a mobile device available on Vizio TVs without the need to open up an app on the device, according to a report by Variety.According to the paper, Vizio is to launch a range of TVs with casting capabilities.Google has already added casting support to Android-based TVs, with a range of models from the likes of Sony and others unveiled at CES. However the Vizio models will enable casting without the use of any on-screen apps, according to Variety.Google merged the management of its popular Chromecast streaming media dongle with Android TV last autumn under Mario Querioz.last_img

I still get the impression that there are forces b

first_imgI still get the impression that there are forces beneath the surface that spell big changes ahead.The gold price traded in a tight range throughout the Friday trading session everywhere on Planet Earth.  It appeared that every time gold tried to break above the $1,740 spot price mark, it got sold off…with the sell off at that London p.m. fix being the most obvious.The high tick of the day at the afternoon gold fix was $1,740.50 spot.  From there, gold got sold off…and closed for a small loss…down $1.10 on the day at $1,738.80 spot.  Net volume wasn’t overly heavy at 117,000 contracts.Silver traded sideways up until 10:00 a.m. in London…and then got sold down to its low of the day [around 32.05 spot] shortly after 1:00 p.m. GMT…about fifteen minutes before the Comex open.The subsequent rally got hit hard the moment that the London p.m. gold fix was in at 3:00 p.m. GMT…10:00 a.m. in New York…and then traded sideways into the 5:15 p.m. Eastern time electronic close.  The high tick at the fix was $32.89 spot.Silver finished the Friday session at $32.63 spot…up 32 cents on the day.  Net volume was pretty decent at 37,500 contracts…as I’m sure that JPMorgan et al were going short against all comers in that 2-hour early morning rally in New York, because it didn’t look like a short-covering rally to me.The dollar index opened at 80.81…and then traded lower…with the low tick [about 80.63] coming around 1:30 p.m. Hong Kong time.  From there it rallied until precisely 8:00 a.m. in New York, before trading mostly sideways for the remainder of the day.  The index closed just above the 81.00 mark at 81.05…up 24 basis points on the day.The dollar index and the gold price were in sync right up until 8:00 a.m. in New York…and then broke down entirely.Despite the fact that gold’s high tick came at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, there was absolutely no sign of it in the share price action…as they were under selling pressure right from the 9:30 a.m. open of the equity markets in New York.  The HUI finished virtually on its low of the day…down 1.60%.Even though the silver price closed well into positive territory again, it didn’t help the shares too much…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed down 1.09%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 4 gold and 8 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday.Over at GLD, an authorized participant withdrew 29,068 troy ounces of gold.  But SLV went in the other direction.  For the second day in a row, an authorized participant added a big chunk of silver.  This time it was 1,452,249 troy ounces.  On Wednesday it was 1,549,091 troy ounces of silver that was added, so a hair over 3 million ounces was added in those two day alone…and since last Friday [Nov. 2]…SLV has taken in almost 4.3 million ounces in total.  I’m sure Ted Butler will have something to say about this in his weekend commentary to his paying subscribers later today.Well, the good folks over at shortsqueeze.com finally updated their website with the latest short positions for SLV and GLD…but it was in the wee hours of this morning that it finally happened.  The short position in SLV declined by 9.24 percent…from 14,621,500 shares/ounces, down to 13,270,700 shares/ounces held short.  That’s still a lot of silver that’s owed to SLV…but don’t forget that 4.3 million ounces have been deposited in SLV since the beginning of the month, so this new short position number is probably wildly out of date by now.The GLD ETF went in the other direction, as the short position increased by 10.22 percent…from 16.99 million shares, to 18.73 million shares…or 1.87 million ounces in total.  That’s 58.16 tonnes of gold that should be on deposit at GLD, but isn’t.It was another big sales day at the U.S. Mint.  They reported selling 6,000 ounces of gold eagles…2,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 350,000 silver eagles.  Month-to-date the mint has sold 37,500 ounces of gold eagles…5,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 1,548,000 silver eagles.  Based on these sales, the silver/gold sales ratio is a bit over 36 to 1.  And as I keep saying…I do hope you’re getting your share, dear reader.The Comex-approved depositories showed that 935,196 troy ounces of silver were received by them on Thursday…and 554,126 troy ounces were shipped the door on the same day.  Of the amount received, JPMorgan Chase took in 785,407 troy ounces, bringing their depository total up to 25,030,654 troy ounces.  The link to that activity is here.Well, the Commitment of Traders Report showed improvements in the Commercial net short positions in both gold and silver…but certainly not as much as Ted Butler and I were expecting.In silver, the Commercial net short position declined by 4,054 contracts, or about 20.3 million ounces.  The Commercial net short position in silver is now down to 248.4 million ounces.The ‘Big 4’ traders are short 240.3 million ounces…virtually the entire amount of the Commercial net short position of 248.4 million ounces….and are also short a hair north of 45% of the entire Comex futures market in silver on a net basis.  The positions of the other 37 Commercial traders [the raptors] on the short side of the Comex silver market, are immaterial.Ted figures that JPMorgan Chase is still short a bit over 155 million ounces of silver on it’s own…and didn’t improve their position much during the reporting week, despite the big sell off on Friday, November 2nd.  Ted said that the raptors…some of the other 37 small traders [other than the ‘Big 4’] in the Commercial category…bought between 3,000-3,500 long contracts on that sell off.In gold, the Commercial net short position improved by 15,022 contracts, or 1.50 million ounces.  The Commercial net short position is now down to 20.77 million ounces of gold.The ‘Big 4’ short holders are short 13.10 million ounces of gold…and 31.9% of the Comex futures market in gold on a net basis.  The ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 5.41 million ounces of gold.  So the ‘Big 8’ are short 18.51 million ounces of gold, or 45.0% of the entire Comex futures market in gold on a net basis…the same as silver.  The short positions of the other 39 other traders in the Commercial short category are immaterial.As you can see, the tail is wagging the dog in both silver and gold.Here are the ‘Big 4’ and ‘Big 8’ short positions show in “Days of World Production to Cover Short Positions“…Nick Laird’s most excellent graph that lays bare the price management scheme in all four precious metals for the world to see.  The silver short position is particularly egregious…as it always has been.(Click on image to enlarge)The Bank Participation Report for November also showed improvements in the short positions of both the U.S. and non-U.S. banks from the prior month.In silver, 4 U.S. banks are net short 35,252 Comex silver contracts.  Ted figures that JPMorgan holds a bit over 31,000 contracts of that amount all by itself…and I’m guessing that virtually all of the rest are unequally divided up between HSBC USA, Citigroup…and one other U.S. bank…in that order.The 15 non-U.S. banks are net short 14,286 Comex silver contracts…and I’d bet that between 70 and 80 percent of that amount is held by Scotia Mocatta…with the balance split up between the other 14 non-U.S. bank…whose individual positions would be immaterial.From the October report to the November report in silver, the 4 U.S. banks reduced their net short positions by only 2,532 Comex contracts.  The 15 non-U.S. banks reduced their collective net short positions by 2,826 Comex contracts.In gold, 5 U.S. banks are net short 98,101 Comex gold contracts, or 9.81 million ounces…a decline from 10.62 million ounces held short in October.The 21 non-U.S. banks are net short 59,436 Comex gold contracts, or 5.94 million ounces…a decline from  7.86 million ounces held short in October.As I mentioned in the Commitment of Traders report [from which the data for November’s Bank Participation Report is extracted]…the big 4 in silver…and big 8 in gold…are short 45% of each of their respective markets on a net basis.On a gross basis [before all market-neutral spread trades are subtracted] the Bank Participation Report shows that…15 banks are short 23.6% of the entire Comex palladium market…17 banks are net short 35.7% of the Comex platinum market…19 banks are net short 39.5% of the Comex silver market…and 24 banks are net short 38.4% of the entire Comex gold market.Once the spread trades from each market are subtracted from the total open interest…then the short positions, on a percentage basis, shoot sky high…another 5.5 percentage points in silver…and 6.6 percentage points in gold.  I’m sure platinum and palladium would be similar.This is precisely what Nick Laird’s graph above shows in all four precious metals…except its shown in days of world production to cover those short positions…but the ratios remain the same no matter in what unit of measure the graph is computed.I thank reader ‘David in California’ for providing this Reuters chart that requires no further explanation on my part.(Click on image to enlarge)This next chart is courtesy of reader Anthony D. Cattani…and it doesn’t require any further embellishment from me, either.(Click on image to enlarge)Since this is my Saturday column, here are all the stories that were still sitting in my in-box up until midnight last night.  I hope you can find the time to read the ones that interest you.Liberals seem to assume that if you don’t believe in their particular political solutions, then you don’t really care about the people that they claim to want to help. – Thomas SowellI have a couple of musical selections for you today…one a pop classic from the early 1970s…and the other one was a ‘classic’ from Billboard’s Top 10 in 1834.The tune from 1972 that was a big hit…and the only hit for British singer Daniel Boone…a.k.a. Peter Charles Green…and I remember playing it on radio station CHAR when I was in Alert, North West Territories.  If you can remember the words, feel free to sing along, because I’m sure you’ll remember the tune…and the link is here.Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840) encouraged Hector Berlioz (1803–1869) to write Harold en Italie. The two first met after a concert of Berlioz’s works conducted by Narcisse Girard on 22 December 1833, three years after the premiere of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Paganini had acquired a superb viola, a Stradivarius — “But I have no suitable music. Would you like to write a solo for viola? You are the only one I can trust for this task.”Berlioz began “by writing a solo for viola, but one which involved the orchestra in such a way as not to reduce the effectiveness of the orchestral contribution.” When Paganini saw the sketch of the allegro movement, with all the rests in the viola part, he told Berlioz it would not do, and that he expected to be playing continuously. They then parted, with Paganini disappointed.Harold in Italy was premiered on 23 November 1834 with the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, Chrétien Urhan playing the viola part, Narcisse Girard conducting.Paganini did not hear the work he had commissioned until 16 December 1838; then he was so overwhelmed by it that, following the performance, he dragged Berlioz onto the stage and there knelt and kissed his hand before a wildly cheering audience and applauding musicians. A few days later he sent Berlioz a letter of congratulations, enclosing a bank draft for 20,000 francs.The viola is a strange instrument…and some string players, notably violinists, look on it with thinly disguised contempt.  One first violinist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra told me the most famous of viola jokes…and it goes something like this… Q: What’s the difference between a viola and an onion? A: Nobody cries when you chop up a viola… But, having said that, this 4-moment symphony is a jewel…and it took me many listenings before I began to appreciate the work for what it is…and it would be certainly included in any ‘desert island’ collection I was putting together.This video recording is from 1976…and features the Orchestre National de France.  Donald McInnes is the soloist…and Leonard Bernstein conducts.  It’s posted over at the youtube.com Internet site…and the link is here.I wouldn’t read too much into yesterday’s price action, although it was obvious that JPMorgan Chase et al were standing by at the London p.m. gold fix to make sure that none of the four precious metals got out of hand to the upside once the ‘fix’ was in.Although I’m happy that we’re enjoying a bit of a rally since the big smack-down on November 2nd…I’m still not prepared to break out the party favours just yet.  The Commercial net short positions in both silver and gold in the Commitment of Traders Report, although better, are nowhere near a wildly bullish buy point…so I’m still on the look out for “in your ear”.But, having said all that, I still get the impression that there are forces beneath the surface that spell big changes ahead.  It’s just the timeline that I’m not certain about.  One thing that I would be happy to bet some money on is that by May 1, 2013 the price of both silver and gold will be substantially higher than they are at the moment…as JPMorgan Chase et al can’t keep this up forever.  How fast we get there and how high we go, will very much depend on whether the bullion banks are still in control of the price as these expected rallies get underway.Will they be short covering rallies…or will the powers-that-be just stand aside for a little while and let the prices rise in sort a controlled retreat fashion…which is the process they’ve been using since 1999.  I don’t know the answer to that…and only time will tell.But I’m still ‘all in’.See you on Tuesday. Sponsor Advertisement On October 30, 2012, Mason Graphite Inc. began trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “LLG”. Mason Graphite is focused on the exploration and development of its Lac Guéret graphite property located in northeastern Quebec. Based on the current National Instrument 43-101 compliant Measured & Indicated mineral resource of approximately 7.6 million tonnes grading 20.4% Cgr (carbon as graphite), the Lac Guéret property hosts one of the highest grade graphite deposits known in the world. Mason Graphite is led by Benoit Gascon, CA CMA, who has held 20 years of executive positions at Timcal, including over 6 years as CEO. Timcal, now owned by Imerys, is one of the largest graphite producers in the world. Mason Graphite has 56.9M shares outstanding and 74M shares on a fully diluted basis. For more information on the company, please visit our website, email info@masongraphite.com or call +1 (416) 861-1685.last_img read more

More than two decades after South Africa ousted a

first_imgMore than two decades after South Africa ousted a racist apartheid system that trapped the vast majority of South Africans in poverty, more than half the country still lives below the national poverty line and most of the nation’s wealth remains in the hands of a small elite.”The country was very unequal in 1994 [at the end of apartheid] and now 25 years later South Africa is the most unequal country in the world,” says Victor Sulla, a senior economist for the World Bank in charge of southern Africa. “There is no country that we have data about where the inequality is higher than South Africa.”Sulla is the lead author of a new report on poverty and inequality in South Africa.There are various ways to look at economic inequality and South Africa scores terribly on all of them. Income inequality looks at the gap between what the lowest paid workers earn each day versus the salaries of top employees.”The people at the bottom in South Africa, they get wages comparable to the people who live in Bangladesh. It’s very, very poor. Wages of less than $50 a month,” Sulla says. “If you take the top ten percent, they live like in Austria. So it’s very high level even by European standards or even by U.S. standards. And we are talking just about employees, people who are getting paid.” And not the super-rich who are earning income from factories or property or other investments.In addition to a huge problem with income inequality, South Africa also has a significant problem with wealth inequality. Wealth inequality looks at the range of a person’s assets. So a businessman in Johanesburg might own real estate, factories or other investments while a farmer in KwaZulu Natal might not even own the land she’s tilling.This new report from the World Bank finds that the top 1 percent of South Africans own 70.9 percent of the nation’s wealth. The bottom 60 percent of South Africans collectively control only 7 percent of the country’s assets.”How is that possible? Someone must explain this to me!” exclaims 30-year-old Phiwe Budaza, reached on her cellphone in Cape Town. “How is that even possible?”Budaza, who grew up in the township of Khayelitsha, says inequality is part of life in South Africa.”There’s always been a difference between the white and the black but I think it’s getting worse now,” she says. Before her cellphone battery dies Budaza says she doesn’t have a permanent job. She freelances as a photographer and in her words “hustles” to cover her bills.”I work as a bartender and I work for a rental company that rents cameras and film equipment,” she says.”It’s hard for someone like me who doesn’t have a full-time job to survive in Cape Town. The rent for an apartment [in the city] is like three times what I earn in a month.” She says she ends up living outside the city, which makes it harder to get to some jobs.Budaza is not alone in struggling to make ends meet every month in South Africa. The nation’s official unemployment rate is currently at 27 percent compared to roughly 4 percent in the United States.”South Africa is really facing the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” says the former head of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, about the report. Dlamini-Zuma is a long-time anti-apartheid activist who now heads up a national planning commission in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet.”We are a relatively rich country but with a lot of poor people,” she says.If things don’t change dramatically in South Africa, Dlamini-Zuma adds, the country will fail to reach its goal of eliminating extreme poverty (people earning less than $1.90 a day) by the year 2030.South Africa has been focused on trying to bring down poverty and reduce inequality. And it’s had some success. Post-apartheid, the government launched a significant Black Economic Empowerment program to promote the transfer of white-owned business to black investors. South Africa has invested heavily in social programs including free primary education, a plan for universal health care, infrastructure projects to expand access to clean water and minimum income grants to parents.Sulla at the World Bank says South Africa under the post-apartheid ANC government has been a leader on social programs.”Their social protection programs in terms of different grants and support for the poor are working very well,” he says. “This country is one of the best in the world in terms of the efficiency of its social protection system.”Yet despite these efforts the number of South Africans living below the national poverty has actually been increasing since 2011. In 2015, 55.5 percent of South Africans or more than 30 million people were surviving on less than $5 a day.Sulla says the lack of progress against poverty is partly due to what he calls “opportunity inequality.” Some people have more access to opportunity than others. And the people who’ve traditionally had wealth and economic opportunities continue to enjoy those benefits.Dlamini-Zuma says the legacy of the apartheid regime still casts a long shadow over the opportunities available for millions of South Africans.”We should not shy away from acknowledging that apartheid was a system that systematically excluded black people from the economy, from skills, from everything. So overcoming that has to be a big part of what we do.”She says South Africa’s progress will be measured on the progress it makes against the “dehumanizing scourge” of poverty.”Poverty stops us from reaching our full potential individually and collectively,” she says. “It’s not good to be the country with the highest inequality in the world. We need to get ourselves out of that space. But it’s not going to be easy.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Theres new evidence that mild pulses of electrici

first_imgThere’s new evidence that mild pulses of electricity can relieve depression — if they reach the right target in the brain.A study of 25 people with epilepsy found that those who had symptoms of depression felt better almost immediately when doctors electrically stimulated an area of the brain just above the eyes, a team reported Thursday in the journal Current Biology. These people were in the hospital awaiting surgery and had wires inserted into their brains to help doctors locate the source of their seizures.Several of the patients talked about the change they felt when the stimulation of the lateral orbitofrontal cortex began, says Kristin Sellers, an author of the paper and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. One person’s response was: “Wow, I feel a lot better. … What did you guys do?” The stimulation only lasted a few minutes. After it stopped, the effect on mood quickly faded. To be sure that the effect was real, the researchers also pretended to stimulate the lateral OFC in the same patients without actually running current through the tiny wires implanted in their brains. In those sham treatments, there was no discernible change.The results add to the evidence that patients with depression can be helped with an approach known as deep brain stimulation.DBS is an approved treatment for tremors, including those associated with Parkinson’s disease. But results with depression have been less consistent, and DBS isn’t approved for this purpose by the Food and Drug Administration.The latest study represents “another piece in a very complicated puzzle, a very important piece,” says Dr. Helen Mayberg, a pioneer in the use of DBS to treat depression. The study also offers strong evidence that stimulating the OFC can temporarily improve the mood of a person who is feeling depressed, says Mayberg, who directs the Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics, which is part of the Mount Sinai Health System in New York. But it’s unclear whether the stimulation can produce long-lasting changes, she says. Also, the study couldn’t answer a critical question because it only looked at people who were reporting transient symptoms of depression. “What happens if you did this in people who actually have failed every kind of treatment for a major depressive episode and are chronically and intractably ill,” Mayberg says.Meanwhile, her own team has been able to help about 80 percent of those patients by stimulating a different area of the brain — one that happens to share many connections with the OFC. The latest study offers “more evidence that [DBS] is something that is real and will work for depression,” says Al Fenoy, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.Fenoy is part of a team that has had success treating depression by stimulating yet another brain area that shares connections with the OFC. “We’re all (working) along a very similar pathway,” he says. “One of the common denominators might be this orbitofrontal area.”But it’s also possible that different types of depression will require different targets, Fenoy says.All of the research on brain stimulation reflects a move away from the long-held view that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. “A more sort of modern conception is thinking of depression as a circuit dysfunction, meaning that there’s something about the way cells in the brain are talking to each other that is not quite right,” says Dr. Vikram Rao, an author of the new study and an assistant professor of clinical neurology at UCSF.So researchers have been trying to identify faulty circuits and make them work better using electrical pulses. The challenge has been to find areas that have a really good connection to the malfunctioning circuit”The way that I like to think about it is we’re trying to get onto a highway and there’s a lot of different on-ramps,” Sellers says.The UCSF team took a novel approach to this task by studying patients with epilepsy who were awaiting surgery. That meant they already had wires inserted into their brains to help doctors locate the source of their seizures.In a previous, related study, UCSF researchers had used a different group of epilepsy patients to identify circuits in the brain that indicated whether people were happy or sad. This time, they were able to use these wires to not only monitor various brain circuits involved in mood but also electrically stimulate some of those areas.The researchers were able to use the technique in many different areas in the brain. And Sellers says they got an immediate response when they stimulated the OFC. “What we found was that consistently, stimulation in the lateral OFC was improving mood in symptomatic patients,” Sellers says. What’s more, more powerful stimulation produced a more dramatic improvement in mood, she says. There were no issues with side effects, including mania, which has been seen in some previous experiments with brain stimulation.That’s probably because the OFC offers a really good on-ramp to brain networks involved in depression, Rao says. “It does seem to be a crossroads for connecting many different brain regions that had been implicated in regulating our mood.”And Rao says the results suggest that stimulation of this area is improving the function of a faulty circuit, rather than just making everyone happier.”Only the people who had symptoms [of depression] to start with improved their mood, which suggests that perhaps the effect of what we’re doing is to normalize activity that starts off abnormal,” Rao says. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Bloomberg Opens 75 Million Venture Capital Fund

first_img Next Article Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. June 5, 2013 Add to Queue –shares Image credit: qz.com Technologycenter_img Bloomberg L.P. announced today the creation of a $75 million venture capital fund called Bloomberg Beta. It says it will be run strictly for financial return rather than as a means of bringing new products and services to Bloomberg.The fund’s focus, says Roy Bahat, the head of Bloomberg Beta, is on “the next horizon for Bloomberg” in areas such as data technology, media distribution and human-computer interactions. As startups continue to disrupt established markets, many large companies are creating investment arms and incubator programs to pursue innovation.Bloomberg quietly established the fund in January, with headquarters in San Francisco, and it has already made investments in a handful of startups. Among them are cloud-computing provider Nodejitsu and programming-tutorial site Codeacademy.Bloomberg Beta exists as a separate legal entity from its parent company. Bahat says this structure will prevent ethical breaches such as preferential coverage of the startups in its portfolio by reporters in Bloomberg’s news division.Ian Finley, a vice president of research at Gartner, a technology research firm, disagrees. “The legal entity thing doesn’t actually change the picture,” he says. A “side benefit” of Bloomberg Beta may be that it can provide Bloomberg News and Businessweek reporters with “some visibility into reporting areas that their competitors might not have,” says Finley. Bloomberg came under fire last month over news that its reporters routinely spied on the activity of people who were using the company’s Bloomberg Terminals, a computer system used widely in the financial industry.Finley doesn’t doubt that Bloomberg journalists are forbidden from showing favoritism to startups in which Bloomberg Beta actually invests. But he says that won’t necessarily stop the venture capitalists from passing tips to reporters about other startups they have examined. “A typical VC firm of $75 million is not going to make that many investments, but they will review thousands of startups a year,” he says. “So there may be a huge amount of value there, with a very low chance for ethics problems.”But Bahat says his firm won’t provide inside information to the parent company’s news division. “The way that I’ll work with Bloomberg journalists is exactly the same way that I would work with journalists anywhere else,” he says. “I will protect the confidentiality of the companies that we invest in, and of the companies that we don’t invest in.”For a company with a current market capitalization of $1.25 billion, $75 million may seem like a small bank account for a venture fund. But Bahat says it’s “just the right amount of money” for working with early-stage companies. “A fund of this size actually enables you to do a lot,” he says. “We’ll be writing checks at a range of different sizes.”Bloomberg is not the only big media company to cultivate startups. The New York Times Co. also invests in digital startups. What’s more, the Times Co. opened an incubator earlier this year for early-stage media companies. Its inaugural class of three is halfway through the four-month program.”The Times has some of the smartest people in the industry, working on some of the same problems that we are,” says Andrew Whalen, co-founder of Delve, one of the timeSpace startups. Delve is a social news reader and recommendation engine designed to keep organizations on top of crucial news in their industry. “Having access to the knowledge inside this company has been pretty incredible.”Related: The New York Times Gets Into the Incubator GameWhalen calls his tenure so far at timeSpace a mutual learning experience, in which he and his seven coworkers met with “a good cross-section of teams at the Times, everyone from design to product to tech to the newsroom.” Times staffers have provided crucial insight and feedback as Delve redesigns its product, Whalen says.Whalen would not confirm whether or not the Times Co. is interested in investing in Delve. But he did say his eight-person startup will be launching a private beta with pilot companies this summer, and is planning to do a “broader public push” in the fall, at which time the company will seek Series A financing.Bloomberg Beta and other recent efforts by large media companies to cultivate startups have a predecessor in IDG Ventures, the venture-capital arm of International Data Group, the American company that owns the PCWorld and Macworld media properties. The company launched IDG Ventures in 1996.Why is now the right time for a Bloomberg venture-capital fund? Bahat cites the falling cost of starting a company, which gives rise to exciting investment opportunities for large companies. “Sometimes the best inventions come from outside your walls, and you have to embrace that,” Bahat says. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Brian Patrick Eha 5 min read Bloomberg Opens $75 Million Venture Capital Fund Register Now »last_img read more

A fountain of youth pill Sure if youre a mouse

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 11 2019Renowned Harvard University geneticist David Sinclair recently made a startling assertion: Scientific data shows he has knocked more than two decades off his biological age.What’s the 49-year-old’s secret? He says his daily regimen includes ingesting a molecule his own research found improved the health and lengthened the life span of mice. Sinclair now boasts online that he has the lung capacity, cholesterol and blood pressure of a “young adult” and the “heart rate of an athlete.”Despite his enthusiasm, published scientific research has not yet demonstrated the molecule works in humans as it does in mice. Sinclair, however, has a considerable financial stake in his claims being proven correct, and has lent his scientific prowess to commercializing possible life extension products such as molecules known as “NAD boosters.”His financial interests include being listed as an inventor on a patent licensed to Elysium Health, a supplement company that sells a NAD booster in pills for $60 a bottle. He’s also an investor in InsideTracker, the company that he says measured his age.Discerning hype from reality in the longevity field has become tougher than ever as reputable scientists such as Sinclair and pre-eminent institutions like Harvard align themselves with promising but unproven interventions — and at times promote and profit from them.Fueling the excitement, investors pour billions of dollars into the field even as many of the products already on the market face fewer regulations and therefore a lower threshold of proof. “If you say you’re a terrific scientist and you have a treatment for aging, it gets a lot of attention,” said Jeffrey Flier, a former Harvard Medical School dean who has been critical of the hype. “There is financial incentive and inducement to overpromise before all the research is in.”Mice frolic in Richard Miller’s pathology and geriatrics lab at the University of Michigan. Miller heads one of the three labs funded by NIH to test anti-aging substances on mice.(Melanie Maxwell for KHN)Elysium, co-founded in 2014 by a prominent MIT scientist to commercialize the molecule nicotinamide riboside, a type of NAD booster, highlights its “exclusive” licensing agreement with Harvard and the Mayo Clinic and Sinclair’s role as an inventor. According to the company’s press release, the agreement is aimed at supplements that slow “aging and age-related diseases.”Further adding scientific gravitas to its brand, the website lists eight Nobel laureates and 19 other prominent scientists who sit on its scientific advisory board. The company also advertises research partnerships with Harvard and U.K. universities Cambridge and Oxford.Some scientists and institutions have grown uneasy with such ties. Cambridge’s Milner Therapeutics Institute announced in 2017 it would receive funding from Elysium, cementing a research “partnership.” But after hearing complaints from faculty that the institute was associating itself with an unproven supplement, it quietly decided not to renew the funding or the company’s membership to its “innovation” board.”The sale of nutritional supplements of unproven clinical benefit is commonplace,” said Stephen O’Rahilly, the director of Cambridge’s Metabolic Research Laboratories who applauded his university for reassessing the arrangement. “What is unusual in this case is the extent to which institutions and individuals from the highest levels of the academy have been co-opted to provide scientific credibility for a product whose benefits to human health are unproven.” The PromiseA generation ago, scientists often ignored or debunked claims of a “fountain of youth” pill.”Until about the early 1990s, it was kind of laughable that you could develop a pill that would slow aging,” said Richard Miller, a biogerontologist at the University of Michigan who heads one of three labs funded by the National Institutes of Health to test such promising substances on mice. “It was sort of a science fiction trope. Recent research has shown that pessimism is wrong.”Mice given molecules such as rapamycin live as much as 20 percent longer. Other substances such as 17 alpha estradiol and the diabetes drug Acarbose have been shown to be just as effective — in mouse studies. Not only do mice live longer, but, depending on the substance, they avoid cancers, heart ailments and cognitive problems.But human metabolism is different from that of rodents. And our existence is unlike a mouse’s life in a cage. What is theoretically possible in the future remains unproven in humans and not ready for sale, experts say.History is replete with examples of cures that worked on mice but not in people. Multiple drugs, for instance, have been effective at targeting an Alzheimer’s-like disease in mice yet have failed in humans.”None of this is ready for prime time. The bottom line is I don’t try any of these things,” said Felipe Sierra, the director of the division of aging biology at the National Institute on Aging at NIH. “Why don’t I? Because I’m not a mouse.”The HypeConcerns about whether animal research could translate into human therapy have not stopped scientists from racing into the market, launching startups or lining up investors. Some true believers, including researchers and investors, are taking the substances themselves while promoting them as the next big thing in aging.”While the buzz encourages investment in worthwhile research, scientists should avoid hyping specific [substances],” said S. Jay Olshansky, a professor who specializes in aging at the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago.Yet some scientific findings are exaggerated to help commercialize them before clinical trials in humans demonstrate both safety and efficacy, he said.”It’s a great gig if you can convince people to send money and use it to pay exorbitant salaries and do it for 20 years and make claims for 10,” Olshansky said. “You’ve lived the high life and get investors by whipping up excitement and saying the benefits will come sooner than they really are.”Promising findings in animal studies have stirred much of this enthusiasm.Research by Sinclair and others helped spark interest in resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine, for its potential anti-aging properties. In 2004, Sinclair co-founded a company, Sirtris, to test resveratrol’s potential benefits and declared in an interview with the journal Science it was “as close to a miraculous molecule as you can find.” GlaxoSmithKline bought the company in 2008 for $720 million. By the time Glaxo halted the research in 2010 because of underwhelming results with possible side effects, Sinclair had already received $8 million from the sale, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents. He also had earned $297,000 a year in consulting fees from the company, according to The Wall Street Journal.At the height of the buzz, Sinclair accepted a paid position with Shaklee, which sold a product made out of resveratrol. But he resigned after The Wall Street Journal highlighted positive comments he made about the product that the company had posted online. He said he never gave Shaklee permission to use his statements for marketing.Sinclair practices what he preaches — or promotes. On his LinkedIn bio and in media interviews, he describes how he now regularly takes resveratrol; the diabetes drug metformin, which holds promise in slowing aging; and nicotinamide mononucleotide, a substance known as NMN that his own research showed rejuvenated mice.Of that study, he said in a video produced by Harvard that it “sets the stage for new medicines that will be able to restore blood flow in organs that have lost it, either through a heart attack, a stroke or even in patients with dementia.”In an interview with KHN, Sinclair said he’s not recommending that others take those substances.”I’m not claiming I’m actually younger. I’m just giving people the facts,” he said, adding that he’s sharing the test results from InsideTracker’s blood tests, which calculate biological age based on biomarkers in the blood. “They said I was 58, and then one or two blood tests later they said I was 31.4.”InsideTracker sells an online age-tracking package to consumers for up to about $600. The company’s website highlights Sinclair’s support for the company as a member of its scientific advisory board. It also touts a study that describes the benefits of such tracking, which Sinclair co-authored.Sinclair is involved either as a founder, an investor, an equity holder, a consultant or a board member with 28 companies, according to a list of his financial interests. At least 18 are involved in anti-aging in some way, including studying or commercializing NAD boosters. The interests range from longevity research startups aimed at humans and even pets to developing a product for a French skin care company to advising a longevity investment fund. He’s also an inventor named in the patent licensed by Harvard and the Mayo Clinic to Elysium, and one of his companies, MetroBiotech, has filed a patent related to nicotinamide mononucleotide, which he says he takes himself.Sinclair and Harvard declined to release details on how much money he — or the university — is generating from these disclosed outside financial interests. Sinclair estimated in a 2017 interview with Australia’s Financial Review that he raises $3 million a year to fund his Harvard lab.Liberty Biosecurity, a company he co-founded, estimated in Sinclair’s online bio that he has been involved in ventures that “have attracted more than a billion dollars in investment.” When KHN asked him to detail the characterization, he said it was inaccurate, without elaborating, and the comments later disappeared from the website.Sinclair cited confidentiality agreements for not disclosing his earnings, but he added that “most of this income has been reinvested into companies developing breakthrough medicines, used to help my lab, or donated to nonprofits.” He said he did not know how much he stood to make off the Elysium patent, saying Harvard negotiated the agreement.Harvard declined to release Sinclair’s conflict-of-interest statements, which university policy requires faculty at the medical school to file in order to “protect against any faculty bias that could heighten the risk of harm to human research participants or recipients of products resulting from such research.””We can only be proud of our collaborations if we can represent confidently that such relationships enhance, and do not detract from, the appropriateness and reliability of our work,” the policy states.Elysium advertises both Harvard’s and Sinclair’s ties to its company. It was co-founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Leonard Guarente, Sinclair’s former research adviser and an investor in Sinclair’s Sirtris.Related StoriesMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetusIT Faces the Digital Pathology Data TsunamiStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsEchoing his earlier statements on resveratrol, Sinclair is quoted on Elysium’s website as describing NAD boosters as “one of the most important molecules for life.”Supplement Loophole?The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t categorize aging as a disease, which means potential medicines aimed at longevity generally can’t undergo traditional clinical trials aimed at testing their effects on human aging. In addition, the FDA does not require supplements to undergo the same safety or efficacy testing as pharmaceuticals.The banner headline on Elysium’s website said that “clinical trial results prove safety and efficacy” of its supplement, Basis, which contains the molecule nicotinamide riboside and pterostilbene. But the company’s research did not demonstrate the supplement was effective at anti-aging in humans, as it may be in mice. It simply showed the pill increased the levels of the substance in blood cells.”Elysium is selling pills to people online with the assertion that the pills are ‘clinically proven'” said O’Rahilly. “Thus far, however the benefits and risks of this change in chemistry in humans is unknown.””Many interventions that seem sensible on the basis of research in animals turn out to have unexpected effects in man,” he added, citing a large clinical trial of beta carotene that showed it increased rather than decreased the risk of lung cancer in smokers.Elysium’s own research documented a “small but significant increase in cholesterol,” but added more studies were needed to determine whether the changes were “real or due to chance.” One independent study has suggested that a component of NAD may influence the growth of some cancers, but researchers involved in the study warned it was too early to know.Guarente, Elysium’s co-founder and chief scientist, told KHN he isn’t worried about any side effects from Basis, and he emphasized that his company is dedicated to conducting solid research. He said his company monitors customers’ safety reports and advises customers with health issues to consult with their doctors before using it.If a substance meets the FDA’s definition of a supplement and is advertised that way, then the agency can’t take action unless it proves a danger, said Alta Charo, a former bioethics policy adviser to the Obama administration. Pharmaceuticals must demonstrate safety and efficacy before being marketed.”A lot of what goes on here is really, really careful phrasing for what you say the thing is for,” said Charo, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin. “If they’re marketing it as a cure for a disease, then they get in trouble with the FDA. If they’re marketing it as a rejuvenator, then the FDA is hamstrung until a danger to the public is proven.””This is a recipe for some really unfortunate problems down the road,” Charo added. “We may be lucky and it may turn out that a lot of this stuff turns out to be benignly useless. But for all we know, it’ll be dangerous.”The debate about the risks and benefits of substances that have yet to be proven to work in humans has triggered a debate over whether research institutions are scrutinizing the financial interests and involvement of their faculty — or the institution itself — closely enough. It remains to be seen whether Cambridge’s decision not to renew its partnership will prompt others to rethink such ties.Flier, the former dean of Harvard Medical School, had earlier heard complaints and looked into the relationships between scientists and Elysium after he stepped down as dean. He said he discovered that many of the board members who allowed their names and pictures to be posted on the company website knew little about the scientific basis for use of the company’s supplement.Flier recalls that one scientist had no real role in advising the company and never attended a company meeting. Even so, Elysium was paying him for his role on the board, Flier said.Caroline Perry, director of communications for Harvard’s Office of Technology Development, said agreements such as Harvard’s acceptance of research funds from Elysium comply with university policies and “protect the traditional academic independence of the researchers.”Harvard “enters into research agreements with corporate partners who express a commitment to advancing science by supporting research led by Harvard faculty,” Perry added.Like Harvard, the Mayo Clinic refused to release details on how much money it would make off the Elysium licensing agreement. Mayo and Harvard engaged in “substantial diligence and extended negotiations” before entering into the agreement, said a Mayo spokeswoman.”The company provided convincing proof that they are committed to developing products supported by scientific evidence,” said the spokeswoman, Duska Anastasijevic.Guarente of Elysium refused to say how much he or Elysium was earning off the sale of the supplement Basis. MIT would not release his conflict-of-interest statements.Private investment funds, meanwhile, continue to pour into longevity research despite questions about whether the substances work in people.One key Elysium investor is the Morningside Group, a private equity firm run by Harvard’s top donor, Gerald Chan, who also gave $350 million to the Harvard School of Public Health.Billionaire and WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann has invested in Sinclair’s Life Biosciences.An investment firm led by engineer and physician Peter Diamandis gave a group of Harvard researchers $5.5 million for their startup company after their research was publicly challenged by several other scientists.In its announcement of the seed money, the company, Elevian, said its goal was to develop “new medicines” that increase the activity levels of the hormone GDF11 “to potentially prevent and treat age-related diseases.”It described research by its founders, which include Harvard’s Amy Wagers and Richard Lee, as demonstrating that “replenishing a single circulating factor, GDF11, in old animals mirrors the effects of young blood, repairing the heart, brain, muscle and other tissues.”Other respected labs in the field have either failed to replicate or contradict key elements of their observations.Elevian’s CEO, Mark Allen, said the early scientific data on GDF11 is encouraging, but “drug discovery and development is a time-intensive, risky, regulated process requiring many years of research, preclinical [animal] studies, and human clinical trials to successfully bring new drugs to market.”Flier worries research in the longevity field could be compromised, although he recognizes the importance and promise of the science. He said he’s concerned that alliances between billionaires and scientists could lead to less skepticism.”A susceptible billionaire meets a very good salesman scientist who looks him deeply in the eyes and says, ‘There’s no reason why we can’t have a therapy that will let you live 400 or 600 years,'” Flier said. “The billionaire will look back and see someone who is at MIT or Harvard and say, ‘Show me what you can do.'”Despite concerns about the hype, scientists are hopeful of finding a way forward by relying on hard evidence. The consensus: A pill is on the horizon. It’s just a matter of time — and solid research.”If you want to make money, hiring a sales rep to push something that hasn’t been tested is a really great strategy,” said Miller, who is testing substances on mice. “If instead you want to find drugs that work in people, you take a very different approach. It doesn’t involve sales pitches. It involves the long, laborious, slogging process of actually doing research.”KHN senior correspondent Jay Hancock contributed to this report. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.center_img The bottom line is I don’t try any of these things. Why don’t I? Because I’m not a mouse.Felipe Sierra, the director of the division of aging biology at the National Institute on Aging at NIHlast_img read more

Netflix to roll out cheaper mobileonly plan for India

first_img(Reuters) – Netflix Inc said on Wednesday it would roll out a lower-priced mobile-only plan in India within the next three months to tap into a price-sensitive market at a time the streaming company is losing customers in its home turf. FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is pictured on a television in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California, U.S., January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike BlakeIndia is among the last big growth markets for the company, where it faces competition from Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video and Hotstar, a video streaming platform owned by Walt Disney Co’s India unit. Netflix lost U.S. streaming customers for the first time in eight years on Wednesday, when it posted quarterly results. It also missed targets for new subscribers overseas. “India is a mobile-first nation, where many first-time users are experiencing the internet on their phones. In such a scenario, a mobile-only package makes sense to target new users,” said Tarun Pathak, analyst at Counterpoint Research. The creator of “Stranger Things” and “Crown” said in March that it was testing a 250-rupee (£2.92) monthly subscription for mobile devices in India, where data plans are among the cheapest in the world. The country figures prominently in Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings’ global expansion plans. “We believe this plan, which will launch in the third quarter, will be an effective way to introduce a larger number of people in India to Netflix and to further expand our business,” the company said in a letter to investors released late on Wednesday. Netflix currently offers three monthly plans in India, priced between 500 rupees ($7.27) and 800 rupees $11.63). It has created a niche following in the country by launching local original shows like the thriller “Sacred Games” and dystopian tale “Leila”, which feature popular Bollywood actors. The second season of “Sacred Games” is set to release in August. In contrast, Hotstar, which also offers content from AT&T Inc’s HBO and also streams live sports, charges 299 rupees ($4.35) per month. Amazon bundles its video and music streaming services with its Prime membership. “We’ve been seeing nice steady increases in engagement with our Indian viewers that we think we can keep building on. Growth in that country is a marathon, so we’re in it for the long haul,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said. Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee, Munsif Vengattil, Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru and Arriana Mclymore in New York; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Gopakumar WarrierOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

West Bengal TMC leader Sofiul Hasan shot dead in Murshidabad

first_img Next West Bengal: TMC leader Sofiul Hasan shot dead in MurshidabadThe incident happened in Pradipdanga village in Murshidabad when Sofiul Hasan was on his way towards Hariharpara in West Bengal.advertisement India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 22:14 IST The incident happened in Pradipdanga village in Murshidabad. (Photo used for representation)A Trinamool Congress leader was shot by some unidentified assailants on Friday. The TMC leader has been identified as Humaipur village head Ardosa Bibi’s husband, Sofiul Hasan.The incident happened in Pradipdanga village in Murshidabad when Sofiul Hasan was on his way towards Hariharpara in West Bengal. An investigation is underway.The reason behind the murder of Sofiul Hasan has not been ascertained.The incident has happened a few days after a local TMC leader was shot on the railway tracks at Bandel station in Hooghly district, West Bengal.The ruling TMC blamed BJP-backed miscreants for the incident. TMC called for a 12-hour shutdown in Chinsurah to protest against the incident.TMC leader Dilip Ram, 40, was rushed to a nearby hospital from where he was referred to a hospital in Kolkata, which was about 45 kilometres away.He died on the way, said Akhilesh Chaturvedi, Commission of Chandernagore Police.A few days before this incident, at least three people died after a bomb was hurled at a TMC worker’s house in Murshidabad.The two deceased TMC workers were identified as 19-year-old Sohel Rana and 55-year-old Khairuddin Sheikh.Also Read | TMC worker shot dead in West Bengal, party calls 12-hour bandhAlso Read | WB: Bomb hurled at TMC worker’s house in Murshidabad, 3 deadAlso Watch | Centre questions West Bengal’s law and order situation after violenceFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byChanchal Chauhanlast_img read more