a month agoChelsea winger Hudson-Odoi: Lampard appointment helped contract decision

first_imgChelsea winger Hudson-Odoi: Lampard appointment helped contract decisionby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveCallum Hudson-Odoi says Frank Lampard’s appointment gave him an “extra boost” towards signing a new contract with Chelsea.The 18-year-old signed a new five-year contract on Thursday after over a year of negotiations.And Hudson-Odoi has credited Lampard’s presence will helping him decide his long-term future.”I’ve been thinking for a while what it would be like to be playing for Chelsea for the next five years and how everything might go, especially now Frank is here as the manager. “It’s a great feeling for all of us because we know he gives everybody a chance if you’re playing well and working hard.”He’s a very good manager. I can tell that by what he’s trying to do and the things he’s trying to implement into our football. He has the mentality of winning, which we all want and we all need, so him coming in was just an extra boost for me.”He’s already given me confidence, having a chat with me here and there, and it’s great when a manager has faith in you. I’m delighted he’s here and I’m looking forward to working more with him.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Nova Scotia premier defends reinstatement of top aide who assaulted woman

first_imgHALIFAX – For the second time in four days, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil was forced off message Thursday to defend himself from attacks on gender-related issues.At a campaign stop in Halifax, McNeil said Liberal communications director Kyley Harris deserved “a second chance” after being handed a conditional discharge for striking a woman in the face during a domestic argument on May 9, 2014.Harris was a spokesman for McNeil at the time, but was fired after waiting four days to tell the government he was facing an assault charge.Harris was hired back in 2015 to do research in the Liberal caucus office and is now listed as director of communications for the central campaign in the runup to the May 30 provincial vote.The matter resurfaced after federal Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose posted on social media Wednesday saying Harris’s re-hiring sends a “terrible message,” and that Liberal leaders “need to walk the talk on violence against women.”When asked about it Thursday, Nova Scotia Tory Leader Jamie Baillie said McNeil had exercised poor judgment in putting Harris back into his inner circle.“When the premier chooses to re-employ a person who pled guilty to a domestic assault I have to question his judgment. I think it shows poor judgment,” Baillie said. “It sends a terrible message to victims of domestic assault, men and women, who feel the system of government isn’t there for them.”In response, McNeil said he was proud of his party’s record on supporting victims of domestic violence, but that people shouldn’t be held back because of their past actions.“People deserve a second chance and Mr. Harris is one of those Nova Scotians,” he said, while dismissing Ambrose’s remarks. “As far as the national leader’s comments, that’s her comment.”McNeil added that Harris was not part of either his government or inner circle as Baillie had charged.After pleading guilty, Harris was sentenced to nine months’ probation and 30 hours of community service. He read a statement in court saying his actions were “inexcusable and disgraceful.”“I made an unforgivable mistake and I am sorry,” he said at the time.NDP Leader Gary Burrill pointed out Thursday the Harris controversy comes days after the premier drew fire for comments about running women in ridings that were “winnable.”“Mr. Harris’s appointment raises honest questions for people, particularly women around the province, and these are questions that it would be reasonable for us to expect Mr. McNeil to answer,” he said.McNeil was questioned Monday about why only 12 of the party’s 51 candidates for the May 30 election are women, but the Liberal leader insisted his party “has stood beside women to have them elected in meaningful ridings.”Burrill pointed out 24 of his party’s 51 candidates are women, while Baillie stood Monday with 12 female candidates and demanded McNeil apologize for his “thoughtless and dismissive comments.”The back-and-forth over Harris overshadowed the premier’s health care announcement Thursday, as he promised $78 million over four years to create and expand 70 collaborative care teams across the province. There would also be a $5 million annual fund for the construction and renovation of collaborative care clinics.The funding, announced in last week’s proposed budget, would go toward hiring nurses, social workers, and mental health workers to work with doctors in collaborative clinics.“This investment will attract highly skilled medical professionals to our province and provide an economic boost to communities when we expand our social infrastructure,” said McNeil.But he said the Liberals also realize that more doctors are needed now, and that’s why the party has made a commitment to hire 50 new doctors a year through another $2.4 million announced in the budget.Meanwhile, Burrill announced in a Halifax coffee shop that an NDP government would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020 — helping an estimated 130,000 lower income workers.Burrill said the implementation plan would be similar to one in Alberta, and would see the current wage of $10.85 raised in three phases. He said it would start with an increase of $1 on Jan. 1, and would be followed by two increases of around $1.57.“The rest of Canada has been seriously improving the standard of living for the lowest paid amongst us while Nova Scotia has come close to a real standstill on this important measure of economic security and social inclusion,” said Burrill.He said the plan includes a commission on the economy that would consult with businesses, corporations, and not-for-profits to determine how to help them adapt to the wage increase.Baillie said a Progressive Conservative government would spend $150 million over 10 years to bring high speed Internet service to rural areas which have long done without. The funding would be cost-shared with Ottawa and municipalities, meaning the annual provincial contribution would be $7.5 million.“It is unfair to expect Nova Scotians because of where they live to be disconnected from an opportunity to make a living, an opportunity to learn and to participate in social media,” Baillie said. “In 2017 access to high speed Internet is an essential service that should not be out of reach to any Nova Scotian.”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

Type 1 diabetes symptoms are not recognized early enough among children in

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)May 14 2019Elwyn was a healthy 13 month-old toddler when she started drinking water from the bathtub. Over time, she became increasingly thirsty and demanded more and more breast milk. For her parents, this seemed like typical behavior related to a growth spurt. One day, however, they noticed that she was abnormally weak and rushed her to the emergency department.She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and had already developed a life-threatening complication of the disease known as diabetic ketoacidosis. She was immediately transferred to the intensive care unit, where she was treated for several days. Now two years old, Elwyn is still recovering, but doing better.Unfortunately, the late diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and its severe complications is not uncommon. According to a new study led by a team at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), more than 25% of children in Quebec diagnosed with type 1 diabetes already have diabetic ketoacidosis. Their findings, published today in CMAJ Open, indicate this number has been on the rise by two percent per year since 2001. Source:McGill University Health CentreJournal reference:Nakhla,M. et al. (2019). Increasing prevalence of diabetic ketoacidosis at diabetes diagnosis among children in Quebec: a population-based retrospective cohort study. CMAJ Open. doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20190047 Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood and affects around 4,000 children in Quebec. It occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin, an important hormone that helps your body control the level of sugar in the blood. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when the body produces high level of blood acids that become toxic.”Diabetic ketoacidosis is generally an avoidable and preventable complication of type 1 diabetes. If caught early, the child is started on insulin, preventing the development of diabetic ketoacidosis,” adds Dr. Nakhla, who is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at McGill University.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenPuzzling paralysis affecting healthy children warns CDCResearchers looked at the trends of DKA by analyzing data provided by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), which focused on the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in patients between the ages of 1 to 17 years, from 2001 to 2014. They identified a total of 5,741 new cases of diabetes among children and adolescents. Overall, 1,471 children presented with DKA at diabetes diagnosis (with a peak between 5 and 11 years old). Researchers also looked at different factors such as age at diabetes diagnosis, biological sex, socioeconomic and rural status.”We have not yet been able to establish the exact causes of the increased occurrence of DKA in Quebec,” explains first study author, Dr. Marie-Ève Robinson, a pediatric endocrinologist who was a research fellow at the Montreal Children’s Hospital at the time of the study. “It would appear that access to the front-line health care system could be a factor, especially for people living outside of major cities.” The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are not recognized fast enough by the parents, the schools or healthcare providers. A simple blood sugar test is all that is needed to diagnose a child with type 1 diabetes in presence of symptoms such as frequent urination, excessive thirst, weight loss, a lack of energy and constant hunger.”Dr. Meranda Nakhla, study’s lead author, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC and a scientist from the Child Health and Human Development Program of the RI-MUHC Our results show that action needs to be taken and underscore the need for awareness campaigns in Quebec, which are now non-existent, about the symptoms of type 1 diabetes among the general public and general practitioners across the province.”Dr. Meranda Nakhlalast_img read more

Slovakia to feel most pain from Trump car tariffs experts

first_img Citation: Slovakia to feel most pain from Trump car tariffs: experts (2018, July 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-slovakia-pain-trump-car-tariffs.html As the world’s largest per capita car producer, Slovakia stands to be hit hardest if US President Donald Trump makes good on his threat to impose a 20 percent tariff on cars imported from the EU, analysts say. Trump’s threat was the latest salvo in an escalating trade war that saw the European Union slap duties on US-made jeans and motorcycles in a tit-for-tat response to US tariffs on European steel and aluminium exports.The spectre of US tariffs that sent shares in Fiat Chrysler, Daimler and BMW tumbling on European stock exchanges also spooked Slovakia’s automotive sector.It boasts Germany’s Volkswagen—which is Slovakia’s biggest private-sector employer—France’s PSA and South Korean Kia along with more than 300 automotive supply companies.All told, they generate over 300,000 jobs in the eurozone country of 5.4 million. Jaguar Land Rover will also open a new plant in September. This makes Slovakia the EU’s leading car and car part exporter to the United States in terms of share of GDP—and the most vulnerable to tariffs.”The ratio of overseas car exports to Slovakia’s GDP is significantly the highest among all countries of the EU, with it being up to 1.7 percent,” the Slovak Institute for Financial Policy (IFP) said in a study.”An increase in customs duties on car imports would have the biggest impact on Slovakia,” it concluded. As the only Slovakia-based carmaker that exports directly to the US, Volkswagen—and its many local suppliers—will suffer the most should US tariffs be slapped on the high-end Touareg, Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne models produced at its Bratislava plant.Overall, the carmaking sector has a 44 percent share of Slovakia’s total industrial production and 35 percent of its exports.Last year, 1,001,520 cars rolled off assembly lines in Slovakia and exports were worth 3.7 billion euros ($4.3 billion). 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. © 2018 AFP Germany’s Volkswagen exports cars from Slovakia to the US US tariffs on car imports are a double-edged sword Per capita, no country produces more cars than Slovakia Slovak Economy Minister Peter Ziga has said that Bratislava would rally for unity across the European Union in the interests of keeping the car sector tariff-free.Carmakers based in Slovakia have so far declined to comment on possible US tariffs.”As these plans are only speculations, we will not comment on them,” Volkswagen Slovakia spokesman Michal Ambrovic told AFP.The German company’s Slovak operation produced 361,776 cars last year, and 99.7 percent of its production was exported, with 20 percent to the US, according to an internal report made available to AFP.Groupe PSA Slovakia, maker of Citroën C3 and Peugeot 208 in Trnava, also declined to comment on the tariff impact, but spokesman Peter Svec did say that its plant does not sell to the US market. PSA produced 335,296 cars in 2017, 91 percent of its production was sold to customers EU countries, according to the company annual report.KIA Slovakia spokesman Andrej Sahaj also confirmed that sales of its vehicles are restricted to Europe. Annual production has exceeded one million cars in each of the last three years and is forecast to grow by more than a third by 2020.’Challenge’A 25 percent tariff on cars could cost Slovakia approximately 90 million euros, according to IFP calculations.Tariffs would “definitely pose a challenge for Slovak carmakers reaching out to customers in the United States,” Jan Pribula, Secretary General of the Automotive Industry Association of the Slovak Republic (ZAP), told AFP.last_img read more

Is NCPs Sharad Pawar eyeing a bigger role at the CentreIs NCPs

first_imgFile Photo of NCP leader Sharad Pawar.   –  PTI SHARE Published on COMMENT After backing Mamata Banerjee, Chandrababu Naidu and Mayawati as top contenders for the prime ministerial post in case any single party or an alliance fails to secure majority, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said he is not in the race for the top post but at the same time has made it clear he will play a vital role in bringing all leaders together. As the fourth and last phase of polling ended in the State on Monday, Pawar told media that even if his party wins all 22 seats it contested in Maharashtra, it was unrealistic for him to join the race for the top post. However, he said he was going to ensure that non-BJP leaders come together to stop the BJP regaining power.NCP insiders said Pawar was in constant discussions with various non-BJP and non-Congress leaders, including Mamata Banerjee and Chandrababu Naidu. Despite Pawar refusing his contest for PM’s post, many NCP candidates have appealed voters that NCP should win maximum seats to facilitate Pawar’s claim on the post. A history with BJPEven as the NCP and the Congress have fought Lok Sabha elections together in Maharashtra, the State Congress leaders are wary of Pawar’s moves as he had announced unconditional support to the BJP in Maharashtra after 2014 Assembly polls. The BJP had emerged as a single largest party and Shiv Sena had not made up its mind to support the BJP to form the government. Pawar had then announced support to the BJP even as the BJP leaders had not asked for it. Finally, Sena joined the government and NCP had to sit in the opposition in the State Assembly. Prime Minister Narendra Modi shares cordial relations with Pawar and had praised the NCP president as an “example” to others in public life. “I have personal respect for Sharadrao. I was Gujarat Chief Minister. He helped me walk by holding my finger. I feel proud to pronounce this publicly,” Modi had stated earlier. During his election campaign in Maharashtra PM Modi castigated Pawar but at the same time questioned on how a leader like Pawar’s stature be with the Congress. Pawar during the election campaign had insisted that he has no plans of retiring from politics and has a long way to go. After addressing about 80 rallies across the State , the 79-year-old veteran is on tour to drought-affected areas in Maharashtra. Pawar was in drought affected Solapur immediately after casting his vote in Mumbai on Monday. April 30, 2019 politics state politics COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL national electionslast_img read more