Roma wins Netflix top Oscars but falls short of best picture

first_img Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Netflix may have finally broken into the last area of Hollywood it has yet to conquer: the Oscars. On Sunday, Netflix won multiple Oscars as the awards ceremony stretched on, with Alfonso Cuarón winning for Roma’s directing and its cinematography, and Roma itself winning for foreign language film. Netflix’s Period. End of Sentence also won in the documentary short category. But Roma fell short of the ultimate prize, a best picture Oscar. Of Netflix’s 15 nominations, other contenders bested the streaming giant in different categories, including Roma’s nominations for leading actress, supporting actress, production design, sound editing, sound mixing and original screenplay, as well as The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ nominations for costume design, original song and adapted screenplay. Netflix had a second nominee, End Game, in the documentary short category that lost out to its Period. End of Sentence.  Comments Tags Last year, Amazon beat Netflix to become the first streaming service to be nominated for a best picture Oscar, for Manchester by the Sea. Though the bleak film won statues for best actor and best original screenplay, it didn’t cinch the best picture title — leaving that milestone untouched for another streamer. The Oscars haven’t totally overlooked Netflix. Its documentaries have been perennial nominees. The company also won an Oscar for documentary short film in 2017 for The White Helmets, about volunteer rescue workers in bomb-ravaged Syria, and it took home a feature-film documentary Oscar last year for Icarus, about doping among competitive cyclists. And Mudbound, a period drama, racked up four nominations last year. (It won none.)But that pales in comparison to Netflix’s Emmys track record for TV programming. Netflix tied juggernaut HBO for the most Emmy wins last year, and it beat HBO in the number of nominations for the first time. First published on Feb. 24 at 5:47 p.m. PT. Updates on Feb. 24 at 6:58 p.m. PT; 7:30 p.m. PT; 8:09 p.m. PT; and 8:18 p.m. PT; and Feb. 25 at 9:18 a.m. PT: Adds results and statement from Netflix executive.   42 Photos Netflix hauled in Oscars but couldn’t quite land best…center_img 4 Oscars 2019 Netflix 2:06 “Against all the odds, a black-and-white Spanish-language film with previously little-known talent has been embraced by the Academy across three categories including Best Foreign Film and Best Director — as it was by audiences the world over,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s head of content, said in a statement. He also congratulated the creators of Period for bringing attention to the “important but underreported issue” of how taboos about menstruation limit opportunities for women and girls. Even without a best picture Oscar, the victories marked a big night for Netflix. Roma, the black-and-white period piece hailed as Cuarón’s masterpiece, was nominated in 10 categories, tying with The Favourite for the most nominations this year, and it won three in high-profile categories. Netflix was relying on Roma, which won the Golden Globe for best foreign language motion picture and a Bafta for best film, to finally earn it Oscar prestige. The wins burnish Netflix’s credibility as a go-to place for top-tier original films. While Netflix is known for television-award darlings like The Crown or Master of None, the streaming service’s films have gotten the cold shoulder from the Oscars in the past. As Netflix hikes prices higher this year to offset its eye-popping spending on content, its rep as a home for prestigious films is key to keeping membership growing and drawing in top talent.  TV and Movies Digital Media 40 films (and a tech company) you didn’t know won Oscarslast_img read more

Gold prices continue on downward spiral

first_imgGold prices have declined for the second consecutive week since November 9 as they are now down by 7.4 percent. Silver has also seen a slump in price as it has gone down by 8.17 percent.The trend is unusual for jewellery sector this time of the year as India, the world’s second biggest consumer of gold, usually sees a surge in prices due to the demand during peak wedding season.However, the main reason for the price fluctuation can be traced to the Narendra Modi government’s announcement to ban high-value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.Both, gold and silver, witnessed a slight surge in prices on November 9, a day after the announcement of the currency ban, increasing from Rs 43,850 to Rs 45,000 and from Rs 30,850 to Rs 31,750, respectively.This has been correlated to the sudden surge of customers who were exchanging their illegal notes with jewellers, albeit at a premium favouring the jewellery merchants. But the government was quick to plug such leakage as it made it mandatory to submit PAN details for buying jewellery to restrict conversion of black money to white. Notices were also sent from the excise department to about 600 jewellers in the country.While the share price of Titan was down 3.25 percent to trade at Rs 306.95, it was up by around 4.83 percent for Gitanjali Gems, which was trading at Rs 55.30 at National Stock Exchange on Monday. Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri was trading 0.24 per cent up at Rs 61.40 at NSE.last_img read more

Rohingyas still coming 32 enter in 7 days

first_imgSmoke is seen on the Myanmar border as Rohingya refugees walk on the shore after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal, in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh 11 September 2017. ReutersAt least 32 Rohingya of 8 families have freshly entered Bangladesh through Teknaf border last week.  Some families started to cross the river Naf on 19 April.   They were initially sent to Bangladesh Army’s relief camp in Sabrang union, Teknaf.Upazila senior fisheries officer Md Delwar Hossain, representing the district commissioner of Cox’s Bazar at the camp, told Prothom Alo that the Rohingya arrival had stopped for some time. But as the remaining Rohingyas face food shortage and restricted movement in Myanmar, they are compelled to come into Bangladesh afresh. The relatives of the newly arrived refugees entered Bangladesh earlier.They were sheltered in Noyapara Rohingya camp, he added.Though Bangladesh has signed a Rohingya repatriation deal with Myanmar on November last year,  Rohingya’s are still arriving intermittently.  In another move on February, Bangladesh handed over an initial list of 8032 refugees to be repatriated to Myanmar at a home minister level meeting in Dhaka. More than seven hundred thousand Rohingyas arrived in Bangladesh since 25 August last year in the face of severe persecution in Myanmar.Immigration and passport department’s deputy director Abu Noman Muhammad Zakir Hossain told Prothom Alo that, a total of 1,1 09,864 new and old registered Rohingyas were staying in different camps of Ukhiya and Teknaf upazila.last_img read more

Survivors Ask Texas AG To Take Action Against Owners Of Karolyi Ranch

first_img Share Marjorie Kamys CoteraAutumn Blaney, a teenager who says she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar, a former doctor for the Olympic women’s gymnastics team, speaks at a press conference in Austin on May 10, 2018.The Texas Attorney General’s Office should take the steps of the Michigan attorney general in aggressively pursuing charges against the men and women who enabled Larry Nassar — the former doctor for the U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team — to sexually assault more than 200 young female athletes, a group of survivors and their lawyers said at a press conference Thursday morning.Standing in the sunshine and wind outside the office of Texas’ top attorney, five women who say they suffered abuse at the hands of Nassar asked Attorney General Ken Paxton to take action against the couple they say allowed that abuse to continue — action Paxton’s office has said it does not have the power to take.The women and their lawyers claim that Martha and Bela Karolyi, owners of the famed Texas Karolyi Ranch north of Houston, knew about the abuse at the longtime official training site of the team but took no steps to prevent it from continuing. They point to a May 2017 deposition in which Martha Karolyi answers “yes” after being asked whether she was aware of molestation accusations against Nassar.The Karolyis have said through their lawyer that “Martha misunderstood the question and misspoke.”Nassar has been charged with multiple counts of abuse and was sentenced earlier this year to decades in prison. Meanwhile, in Texas, the women and their lawyers said, no action has been taken against those implicated in his crimes.“I can’t understand why this is not taken seriously in Texas right now,” said Jamie Dantzscher, one of the survivors.The Texas Rangers, in consort with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, have been investigating Karolyi Ranch since January at the request of Gov. Greg Abbott. That investigation is ongoing, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Thursday.Lawyers for the women called that investigation insufficient, saying there have been no search warrants or charges yet issued. And there’s no indication that that probe is “seriously looking into the Karolyis,” said California attorney John Manly, who’s representing more than 100 survivors in the Nassar case.Michelle Tuegel, a Waco attorney representing many of the Texas survivors, said a case of this scope requires action from the state’s top attorney — and, perhaps more importantly, the resources his office brings with it.But in a statement shortly after the press conference, a spokesman for the Texas Attorney General’s Office said the investigation is “outside of our jurisdiction” but that the office would “gladly and immediately assist with this investigation and prosecution” if asked by local law enforcement.“We are confident that the Texas Rangers, in coordination with the Walker County District Attorney and Walker County Sheriff’s Office, will complete a thorough investigation that will achieve justice for the victims of these alleged crimes,” spokesman Marc Rylander said.Manly countered that “the Texas Attorney General can take over any case they choose.” And Tuegel said immediate action from Paxton is necessary because some of the relevant statutes of limitations are set to expire in the coming weeks.“They’ve done it in Michigan. I think Texas needs to step up,” Tuegel said.The Karolyis, who have publicly denied having any knowledge of the allegations, including in an emotional interview last month with NBC, have also launched their own lawsuit against USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee, asking for damages for the canceled sale of their facilities to USA Gymnastics. In that lawsuit, the couple seeks “stigma damages” for the ranch’s market devaluation.last_img read more

EN ESPAÑOL En qué consisten las propuestas de ley de inmigración republicanas

first_imgAlgunas de las medidas que abarcan las propuestas tienen que ver también con medidas de seguridad, incluyendo la construcción del muro.La semana pasada, nuestro experto en política Jerónimo Cortina explicó cómo son los dos proyectos de ley, cuál de ellos tendría más probabilidades de pasar, y qué efecto real  tendría sobre los indocumentados.  Sharelast_img

Valerie Ervin Drops Bid for House Seat in Marylands 8th District

first_imgFormer Montgomery County, Md. council member Valerie Ervin. (Twitter Photo)Former Montgomery County, Md. council member Valerie Ervin has halted her campaign for the House of Representatives seat in the state’s 8th District.Ervin, the first Black woman elected to Montgomery County’s council, cited a lack of funds as the reason for ending her campaign.In an e-mail sent to supporters, the Democrat detailed the struggle she faced while attempting to get her campaign moving.“In politics today, fundraising is the sign of a campaign’s viability,” she wrote. “Not your ideas about how to serve your constituents, not your track record of service, not even the groundswell of grassroots support—but your ability to raise money. And unfortunately, I just haven’t been able to raise enough.”Ervin announced July 1 that she would run for the seat after its current holder, Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, began a campaign for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Barbara Mikulski. Mikulski plans to retire when her term ends.Ervin served on the Montgomery County Council from 2006 until 2014. She left the Council to become the executive director of the New York-based Center for Working Families, where she remained for 14 months.Ervin has not detailed her future plans. State Sen. Jamie Raskin, William Jawando, State Dels. Kumar Barve and Ana Sol Gutierrez, and Kathleen Matthews remain in the race for the seat.last_img read more

AFRO Community Calendar

first_imgFor more information and online registration visit: www.eventbrite.com.***************************************BALTIMORE PRIDE WEEKEND Baltimore Pride Weekend 2019 consists of a three-day celebration, on Friday, June 14 followed with the block party and legendary parade on Sat. and a festival on Sun. at Druid Hill Park, 900 Druid Park Lake Dr., Baltimore, Md. Baltimore Pride is now in its 44th year! Last year this celebration was attended by over 30,000 individuals. More information visit, http://baltimorepride.org/pride2019***************************************Lose Weight, Earn Cash with Morgan State U.Morgan State University is hosting a unique, free program that’s helping people thrive, see results, and keep them! Located at the Earl G. Graves school of business 4200 Hillen Rd., Baltimore, Md. Saturday, June 15th from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. Come out If you’re interested in learning about the link between chronic inflammation and chronic disease, CBD Oil, Weight Loss, our Keto Made Easy Program, healthy menstrual cycle, OR how you can make an additional income please plan to attend. For registration or more information visit: www.eventbrite.com Third Annual Juneteenth CelebrationHosanna School Museum will hold its third annual Juneteenth celebration festival on Saturday, June 22, from noon to 6 p.m. at the museum, 2424 Castleton Road in Darlington, Md. The festival is open to the public, free of charge, and takes place rain or shine (protected under tents).***************************************Salt Pepper KetchupDewMore in collaboration with SALT PEPPER KETCHUP presents this free youth open mic event entitled, Summer Nights. Stop by and enjoy a night poetry and fun Thursday, June 14th at the Impact Hub located at 10 E. North Ave Baltimore, Md., from 6:30-9:00p.m. Adults are suggested to make a donation of $5 but not required.***************************************Bmore Hip Hop KaraokeBmore Hip Hop Karaoke is back for your June/Gemini fun at a new spot LE MONDO, at 406 North Howard Street.Our new spot is More space, more seating, a bar for all your liquid encouragement needs, and an upstairs VIP section for birthdays.Hosts Ellen Gee, and Eze Jackson and deejay Harvey Dent will be there to make sure you have the good time you expect to have at Bmore Hip Hop Karaoke. Visit Eventbrite for more info.***************************************Black Power: Happy HourCome fellowship with Baltimore’s grassroots leaders and support a local, Black-owned business. This is a great way to network, learn and build with great Black minds around Baltimore! If you are in the building before 8pm your cover charge is FREE. Thursday, June 14 at Next Phaze Cafe and Lounge, 112 E. Lexington St. Baltimore, Md., brought to you by the leaders of a beautiful struggle. For more information on this event visit: www.eventbrite.com***************************************Battle of the Bands: Kids EditionCome out to the Hard Rock Cafe for local music schools battle for “Best Kids Band! Friday, Jun 14th from 6- 8p.m. 601 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, Md. Enjoy live music from some of Baltimore’s young talent and cheer on your favorites! The winning band will earn a coveted spot opening for one of WTMD’s Saturday Morning Tunes events this fall. For free tickets to this event visit www.eventbrite.com.***************************************Game Changer Youth Football Camp Calling all football players aged 7 to 14!! This is for you, but you must have your parents fill out this registration and waivers. Registration is from 8am to 9am with the camp starting at 9:00am Baltimore native Tavon Austin has an immense passion to give back to the youth of his home town. Tavon once said that a lot of people were key to his success by donating their time to help him perfect his craft. With that being said he wants to make sure that youth coming behind him are afforded the same opportunities. Sat, June 15th from 8 a.m.- 1p.m. located in Woodlawn High School, 1801 Woodlawn Drive, Woodlawn, Md.last_img read more

Get to Know Shay Clevenger

first_imgStory Links Get to know freshman defender Shay Clevenger.Favorite Sports Team: Baltimore RavensFavorite Athlete: Justin TuckerBest compliment: On some notes to songs, I don’t sound terrible, only badPerfect Pizza: Plain CheeseFavorite singer: Thomas RhettFavorite Movie: Mama MiaBest Subject: PsychWorst Subject: MathFavorite Food: Grilled cheeseFavorite TV show: Grey’s AnatomySuper Power: InvisibilityFavorite Cartoon Character: Patrick the StarMost influential Person in your Life: Mom and DadWhat do you like to do outside of lacrosse: Going to the beachOne thing most people don’t know about me: My real name is SheilaBiggest Celebrity Crush: Patrick DempseyFunniest Player on the Team: Sarah BlalockBest Dancer on the Team: Sarah and Caroline BlalockBest Singer: KirstenPregame Routine: I do not have a pregame routineBest Part of Your Game: Lacrosse IQFavorite Thing About Uofl: How friendly and supportive everyone is, like the community and the other student athletes.Why I Chose UofL: All your coaches want the absolute best for you in the classroom and on the field.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Forrest Earns Honorable Mention on Final Day of NCAA Championships

first_imgForrest finished 22nd in discus with a throw of 49.47m/162-03. It was her second event of the competition after placing 15th in hammer throw on Wednesday, collecting second team All-American honors. AUSTIN, Texas – Sophomore Makenli Forrest wrapped up the University of Louisville’s 2019 track and field season with honorable mention recognition in discus on the final day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at the University of Texas. NCAA Outdoor Track & Field ChampionshipsMike A. Meyers Stadium | Austin, TexasJune 8, 2019 In her outdoor season, Forrest threw a season best of 63.08m/206-11 in hammer throw and set a new personal-best mark of 55.76m/182-11 in discus. Women’s Discus22. Makenli Forrest – 49.47m/162-03 Print Friendly Version As a team, the Louisville women finished tied for 55th with two points. Story Linkslast_img read more

Cardinals Set to Host Miami OH in Exhibition Match

first_imgStory Links The season will highlight one of the best Cardinal recruiting classes in recent memory. The 2019 UofL volleyball recruiting class was ranked No. 16 in the nation, the highest ranked class in the ACC and the highest ranking Cardinal class since 2006. “It is very exciting to start the 2019 season,” said Busboom Kelly of her No. 25-ranked Cardinals. “We have a bunch of new players and faces. We lost four starters from last season but so far this has been an amazing preseason. This group has worked really hard on their connection with each other on and off the court. It does not feel like we are a younger, inexperienced team.  So they have been a joy to coach and we can’t wait to show everyone what we have been working so hard on.” Single match tickets can be bought here  The Cardinals will host Miami (Ohio) next Saturday at 3 p.m. for an exhibition match at L&N Federal Credit Union Arena as the final tuneup before the onset of the regular season. Admission is free.  Tickets can also be purchased by phone at 502-GO-CARDS, or by visiting the Louisville Cardinals Ticket Office, located near Gate 2 at Cardinal Stadium (2800 South Floyd Street) on weekdays from 9 a.m., until 5 p.m., ET. Single match tickets will also be available for purchase on match days at the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena ticket windows starting one hour prior to match time.center_img The RedHawks return five starters plus their libero to go along with 13 letterwinners from a team that went 23-9 last season and was co-MAC champions with a 13-3 record. Although the RedHawks won the MAC championship in both 2016 and 2017, they were picked to finish third in the East Division after graduating seven seniors in 2017. With a dynamic recruiting class, Miami picked up right where it left off, winning 13 out of 16 league games to share the MAC crown with Bowling Green. The RedHawks advanced to the MAC Tournament final for the fourth time in five seasons and earned their first postseason victory in 20 years when they defeated Northern Kentucky in the first round of the NIVC. To see the complete schedule, click here   Print Friendly Version The Cardinals home slate includes 15 matches against teams that were nationally ranked in 2018, as well as 11 matches against teams that earned an NCAA Tournament berth last season. The Cardinals posted a 22-9 record in the 2018 season and made their 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. UofL is led by returning HM All-American Melanie McHenry as well as starters Emily Scott and Piper Roe, a member of the US Collegiate National Team.   The ranking was announced by PrepVolleyball.com, where a panel of college coaches from across the country and representing all three NCAA women’s volleyball divisions determines the top list of classes.last_img read more

Vladimir Nabokovs museum attacked

first_imgRussian Ultraconservatives have struck again in St Petersburg, where a museum of famous writer Vladimir Nabokov was attacked over ‘paedophilia’.A lone vandal broke a museum window with a bottle that contained a note which threatened the museum with ‘God’s wrath’ over its alleged propaganda of Nabokov’s paedophilia, Fontanka.ru city news website reported. The museum received a handful of anonymous letters with similar homilies over the past months, its director Tatiana Ponomaryova said. Police were looking into the incident. St Petersburg-born Nabokov is best known for Lolita (1995), a paedophile’s story, but was never accused of child abuse himself. A separate anonymous letter reportedly mailed to Fontanka.ru identified the attacker as the leader of a group of self-styled ‘St Petersburg Cossacks’ who earlier mounted non-violent attacks on the city’s cultural establishments. A one-man show based on ‘Lolita’ was cancelled in St. Petersburg by its author last year after he received threatening letters from the anonymous Cossacks. The city prosecutor’s office was also flooded with dozens of identical reports in December accusing an exhibit at the Hermitage museum by British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman of extremism over ‘blasphemous’ crucified toys on display. A prosecutor check found no evidence of extremism. The Chapmans offered ‘extreme apologies’ to whomever felt offended, and the Hermitage’s director demanded an investigation into the complainants, to no visible result. But the Cossacks have now decided to employ ‘non-Christian’ virtue enforcement methods, which prompted a split, said the letter to Fontanka.ru, whose author identified himself as belonging to the moderate non-violent group. St Petersburg never had a native Cossack community, and other Cossack groups across the nation have denounced the actions of their alleged northern brethren. However, other Cossacks have also attempted to act as a conservative militia, patrolling streets of Moscow against illegal migrants, peddlers and parkers, and attacking modern art exhibits in the southern Krasnodar Region, a Cossack heartland. Non-Cossack Christian activists have also attacked in Moscow a sex museum and supporters of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot.last_img read more

Ditch your smartphone to curb spending online

first_imgIf you want to curb that urge to splurge, putting your smartphone away may help, as touchscreen technology is behind people indulging in guilty pleasures when shopping online, researchers say. The findings showed that compared with consumers who had a desktop computer, those with smartphones were more likely to purchase hedonic products – consumed for luxury purposes, these are desirable objects that allow the consumer to feel pleasure, fun, and enjoyment from buying the product. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFurther, participants using touchscreen technology also scored significantly higher on experiential thinking than those using desktop computers.However, those on desktops scored significantly higher on rational thinking, the researchers said.”Using a touchscreen evokes consumers’ experiential thinking, which resonates with the playful nature of hedonic products. These results may well be a game-changer for sectors like the retail industry,” said Ying Zhu, assistant professor at the University of British Columbia – Okanagan campus. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”But my advice for consumers who want to save a bit of money is to put away the smartphone when you have urge to spend on a guilty pleasure,” Zhu added.For the study, detailed in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, the team conducted a series of experiments with university students to measure thinking styles and purchase intentions using devices like touchscreens and desktop computers.The study aimed to investigate whether online purchase intentions change when it comes to two different types of products: hedonic, or those that give the consumer pleasure like chocolate or massages, and utilitarian, products that are practical, like bread or printers.”The playful and fun nature of the touchscreen enhances consumers’ favour of hedonic products, while the logical and functional nature of a desktop endorses the consumers’ preference for utilitarian products,” Zhu explained.”With more than two billion smartphone users, the use of tactile technologies for online shopping alone is set to represent nearly half of all e-commerce by next year.”last_img read more

Doctors call for 12hour strike

first_imgKolkata: Doctors across the state have called for a 12-hour strike under the banner of Joint Platform of Doctors. The protest will hit the services in state-run hospitals and the patients will suffer the most.Protesting against the assault on a junior doctor at the NRS Medical College and Hospital, doctors and interns in the state-run hospital and medical colleges resorted to seize-work despite a huge number of patients stood in queues since Tuesday afternoon. Despite repeated requests and pleas by the patients’ families doctors did not withdraw their protest. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAccording to a source, a rumour was spread through social media platforms that the junior doctor, Paribaha Mukherjee, was serious after being attacked by the relatives of the patient, who died of alleged negligence. Mukherjee is stable and undergoing treatment at the Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata, at Mallikbazar. Director of Medical Education Pradip Mitra tried to convince the junior doctors and interns that Mukherjee was not critical but none believed him. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAs soon as the news reached other hospitals such as North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, Midnapore Medical College and Hospital and other major hospitals in the state, junior doctors and interns resorted to cease work hitting the outdoor and emergency services of these hospitals. Despite repeated requests from hospital authorities and state government the doctors refused to get back to work. In the evening, authorities of Institute of Neurosciences told the mediapersons that Mukherjee was undergoing a surgery but he was stable. He suffered a ‘depressed fracture’ on his skull. Following the surgery, he will be kept under observation and at present he is out of danger. After the hospital authorities issued the statement, junior doctors were requested to get back to work but they continued with their protest. Later, Joint Platform of Doctors, the forum of doctors, called for a 12-hour strike starting from 9am on Wednesday. The forum said the emergency services would be provided but the whole medical system will be affected due to the doctors’ protest.last_img read more

Russian Internet Company Sells Facebook Shares for 525 Million

first_img 2 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Facebook shareholders who held onto their stock during more than a year of disappointing performance following the company’s May 2012 IPO were finally rewarded last month. In August, the company’s stock price first reached, and then exceeded, its IPO valuation of $38 a share.At least one investor has made a tidy profit from the recent gains. Mail.ru, a Russian internet services company, announced Thursday that it had cashed out its remaining Facebook shares, reportedly netting about $525 million.Mail.ru invested about $200 million in Facebook in 2009. The company sold some of its shares in the IPO, as did Peter Thiel, Facebook’s earliest investor. It sold the remaining 14.2 million shares, about 0.6 percent of Facebook’s outstanding shares, in July and August, the company said.Facebook’s IPO was plagued by technical glitches, and its stock lost half of its value over the next few months. But it has rebounded impressively in the last year as investors became more confident in the social network’s commitment to mobile. Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, part-owner of Mail.ru, still retains a personal stake in Facebook of an undisclosed number of shares, according to The New York Times.At time of writing, Facebook’s stock stood at $44.37, up more than three percent in Friday trading.Related: Facebook’s Hashtags Might Not Be as Social as You Think Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. September 6, 2013 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »last_img read more

Blending New and Old Microsoft Unveils Windows 10

first_img Today Microsoft unveiled what it says will be a unifying platform across more devices than ever before: Windows 10.The new operating system, which won’t be available until next year, is designed for desktop and mobile devices that use either a keyboard and mouse or a touch interface. Terry Myerson, head of the company’s operating systems group, said it will be a “one application platform” with a single store and “one way for applications to be discovered, purchased and updated across all of these devices.”With Windows 10, Microsoft is trying to merge the best part of its touch-focused Windows 8, which alienated some traditional Windows users, with an experience similar to its well-received Windows 7. “Windows 10 will deliver the right experience… at the right time,” he said. The new operating system will have a universal search feature and a revamped Start menu.Related: Microsoft Accidentally Teases Windows 9, Quickly Deletes PostFor enterprise customers, Myerson said the new operating system would include all of the tools they’ve come to expect and be compatible with management systems already in place. He also said Windows 10 offered a “novel approach of separating corporate and personal data” across devices — a pitch aimed at companies worried about the messy entanglement of business and personal information stored on many employees’ computers and smartphones.In a live demonstration today in San Francisco, the company showed off the new Start Menu with customizable tiles and a universal search feature that also pulls in web results, similar to Spotlight on OS X.”We’re looking to find the balance, so that all the Windows 7 users get a familiar experience on the devices they already have,” said Joe Belifore, corporate vice president of operating systems. “It gives the familiarity of Windows 7 with some of the elements of Windows 8.”Some of the other features Belifore showed off have an emphasis on productivity, including a new “task view” button that shows all apps currently open and gives users options to use multiple desktops, similar to Expose in OS X.Related: In Risky Move, Microsoft to Open NYC Flagship Right Near Apple’sOther new productivity features let users run different apps in different desktops to keep things organized and the “Snap Assistant” lets users rearrange apps from multiple desktops and snap them into place, just like in Windows 7.Belifore demonstrated another feature called “Continuum” designed to make the integration of touch and traditional keyboard and mouse interfacing more seamless in two-in-one devices.Windows 10 will be released sometime in 2015 after Microsoft’s Build Conference in April, but the company is asking for customer feedback through its Windows Insider Program.Related: Using Wearable Devices to Help Promote Employee Wellness  Listen Now 3 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. How Success Happens September 30, 2014last_img read more

Piles of suitcases are gone and so are the delays at Pearsons

first_imgPiles of suitcases are gone and so are the delays at Pearson’s Terminal 3 this morning Posted by Tags: Toronto Pearson Airport, Travel Alert Thursday, August 17, 2017 Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Passengers are seeing a much smoother check-in process – without piles and piles of luggage everywhere – at Pearson Airport this morning.The departures level at Pearson’s Terminal 3 was a chaotic scene yesterday, the result of delays due to technical issues with the airport’s baggage system. The problems at Terminal 3 began on Tuesday, said a spokesman for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority.GTAA spokesperson Robin Smith said the issue involved the baggage system being unable to read luggage tags and automatically send each piece of luggage to the correct place in the airport. He called it an “all hands on deck situation”.The problem affected some departing flights. Travellers were asked to allow extra time to account for the possibility of delays.Technical issues at Terminal 3 departures (impacting all airlines) has created a backlog of luggage/delays tonight at #Pearson airport pic.twitter.com/6CEKZrzUhn— Kayla-Marie Williams (@kaylamarieTO) August 16, 2017Additional staff were on hand and airlines are using a simplified process to speed up check-in, he said.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reported“There is an element of manual processing. (We are using) a different kind of baggage tag, which is simpler,” Smith said. “We are seeing better results with it.”The airport also asked passengers who only have carry-on bags to consider checking in online.Some travellers took to social media to complain about the baggage system issues and the delays.“Thanks to #TorontoPearson for delaying our flight home by three hours then not telling us our luggage wouldn’t be on the flight” one person tweeted Wednesday morning.The airport has apologized for the delays caused by the issues with its baggage system.“We are confident in our contingency plan that is going to allow passengers to continue checking in, moving through the security clearance process and getting to their gates (with) their bags arriving with their flight,” Smith said yesterday.On any given day, Pearson handles about 100,000 pieces of baggage, he added.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truck With files from The Canadian Press Sharelast_img read more

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

Footballs Premier League has been branded dishone

first_imgFootball’s Premier League has been branded dishonest by the equality watchdog’s disability commissioner, over its attitude to access and inclusion.Lord [Chris] Holmes told MPs that there had not been “anything like an inclusive culture” in the Premier League and in Premier League clubs, which was “a great shame when it is our only national game”.He said the Premier League “needed a completely different mind-set” and pointed to the “pages and pages” devoted to broadcast arrangements in the Premier League rule book, compared with “just one line” on access.He said that changes required for television broadcasters, when new technology was introduced, were carried out “within weeks” rather than the “decades” it has taken to make access improvements.Lord Holmes, disability commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and himself a retired Paralympian, was giving evidence to the culture, media and sport select committee as part of its inquiry into access to sports stadiums for disabled people.He contrasted the Premier League’s attitude to that of Premiership rugby union and county cricket, which had both worked closely with the watchdog to improve access and inclusion.Asked by Tory MP Nigel Huddleston what he saw in those sports that was different to football’s Premier League, he said they were “collaborative, open, honest, prepared to share”.He then added, in response to a follow-up question from Huddleston, that it would be “delightful” in the future to be able to use the same words to describe the Premier League.Lord Holmes said that some clubs had done “as good as nothing” for more than 20 years to improve access.And he warned that the commission could take legal action under the Equality Act against individual clubs, and even against the Premier League itself, depending on the progress demonstrated in the next few months.He said: “I don’t think we have an inclusive culture. We don’t even have a culture of compliance from Premier League clubs and the Premier League.”The Premier League’s executive director, Bill Bush, had earlier told the committee that he could not yet name the clubs that were set to break their promise that they would meet guidelines on access laid down 13 years ago in the Accessible Stadia Guide.The Premier League said last year that all of its clubs had promised to meet the guidelines by August 2017, but Lord Holmes told the committee that probably more than a third of the clubs would fail to meet that pledge.Bush said he was not “hiding” the names of the clubs, but that it would not have been fair to name them at this stage because the Premier League had so far only carried out a “dipstick test” of their accessibility, which was not “definitive”.He said the Premier League would publish a club-by-club account of progress in January.Lord Holmes said that this refusal to release the names of individual clubs until January was “not entirely helpful”.He also pointed to a new mobile phone app that has been launched for football fans by the Premier League, even though it was not accessible.He said: “It clearly demonstrates that if that thinking is going on, there is no sense of an inclusive culture and there’s no sense of embracing the positive opportunity that exists here.”Lord Holmes praised smaller clubs like Wrexham and Tranmere Rovers, both in the fifth tier of English and Welsh football, and both of which have improved access despite their grounds being more than 100 years old.Bush claimed that Premier League clubs took the issue of access “very, very seriously” and none of them had ever said they could not afford to carry out access improvements.He claimed that any delays were due to other factors, such as the “disruption” caused by the major building work necessary to put in lifts and viewing platforms.last_img read more