A group of environmental activists of Odisha’s Berhampur are engaged in retrieving national flags made of paper and plastic that have been thrown all around the city after the Republic Day celebrations.They are members of Berhampur Sabuja Bahini. “We were hurt to see our national flag thrown in garbage dumps, drains and on the roadside,” said BSB president Sibaram Panigrahy. “Many people buy paper and polythene flags to express nationalistic fervour on Republic Day. However, after a few hours, they have no hesitation in disposing of these flags in a derogatory manner,” said BSB member P. Aravind Kumar.In its bid to create awareness among the people to respect the Tricolour, the BSB started its drive to salvage the discarded flags on January 27. During the drive, which continued on Monday, the activists told the residents that the national flag is like a picture of deities and it should not be disposed of unceremoniously. The Tricolours salvaged by this group are being cleaned up and stored. “We will reuse them in future events,” said BSB secretary M. Dilip Kumar. The members of the group said they were happy to see that the use of polythene flags had gone down drastically in Berhampur in comparison to the Independence Day celebrations last year.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Burnley manager Dyche delighted with squad competitionby Paul Vegas2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley manager Sean Dyche is delighted with the competition within his squad.The Clarets currently have intense battles in a variety of positions, including left-back, striker and central midfield.”There is real competition,” said Dyche.”We have lost very important players but it shows we have other players who are just as important.”I thought Jeff (Hendrick) did well in midfield alongside Westy which is not easy when you play two v three. There was a tactical understanding there of when to press and when not to.”Robbie came in and he is getting back to true fitness and match sharpness that it takes which is why he came off and Jay got a start as well.”I like that competitive element to the squad.”
On Wednesday, August 27, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Paul Koretz and the City of Los Angeles commended Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) by presenting a resolution declaring Friday, September 5 as the official “Stand Up To Cancer Day” in the City of Los Angeles.Marg Helgenberger and Italia RicciMayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Paul Koretz honored Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) – which was represented by Stand Up To Cancer Ambassador Marg Helgenberger and star of ABC Family’s Chasing Life, Italia Ricci as well as Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) members Lisa Paulsen, Ellen Ziffren and Kathleen Lobb. Press conference participants also included additional Los Angeles elected officials.Following the press conference, SU2C representatives also made a brief presentation at the City Council meeting.Stand Up To Cancer’s live one-hour commercial-free fundraising event which airs live on Friday September 5 8pm ET/7pm CT will feature performances from top recording artists and celebrities from film and television, engaging viewers with powerful stories of remarkable progress being made by SU2C-funded research. Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Emmy-winning producer Joel Gallen, president of Tenth Planet Productions, will join the SU2C Production Team as executive producers.This star-studded appeal will continue to build public support to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking translational research that can get new therapies to patients quickly to save lives and make cancer patients long term cancer survivors. SU2C brings together scientists from different disciplines across institutions and international boundaries to work collaboratively on promising new treatments that will impact a wide range of cancer types. The one-hour fundraising event will be simulcast live and commercial-free on ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, along with ABC Family, American Forces Network, Bravo, Cooking Channel, Discovery Fit & Health, E!, Encore, Encore Espanol, EPIX, ESPNews, FOX Sports 2, FXM, HBO, HBO Latino, ION Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Logo TV, MLB Network, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, Palladia, Pivot, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, Starz, TNT and VH1.
APTN National NewsThis week in Yellowknife, elder Jane Dragon showed off her vast collection of furs and Dene art inspiring one family to start learning about their traditional way of life.APTN’s Iman Kassam has the story.
Condé Nast has been undergoing climactic changes since this summer, when the big consumer magazine publisher hired reorganization consultants McKinsey & Company to help “rethink” the way it does business. Arguably the most noticeable of the changes were the sweeping layoffs that trickled out, magazine-by-magazine and division-by-division, over the span of several weeks.But the company also is experiencing a dramatic refocus online. It restructured Condé Nast Digital’s sales team into five brand categories. It developed its own reader technology to view magazine content on Apple’s iPhone. It launched Details.com and folded Men.Style.com site into GQ.com—a change that suggests that the publisher is embracing magazine Web sites more as enhanced platforms for the titles’ editorial missions rather than simply as companions to the print product.Senior vice president and chief revenue officer Drew Schutte [pictured] spoke with FOLIO: about the online changes at the company and what they mean for its print magazines and staffers. FOLIO:: Why reorganize Condé Nast’s digital sales team under five market-facing categories? Schutte: The new alignment better focuses our teams. Eight months ago we brought 26 sites under one roof, giving us tremendous scale (48 million unique visitors per month) and flexibility to offer advertisers. We will continue to benefit from this scale. The additional expertise on the individual sites is now enabling us to deliver better ideas, and the deep customization more advertisers are looking for. It also allows us to coordinate seamlessly with our print partners, in order to meet the increased demand for cross-channel selling. FOLIO:: While Condé Nast has been called a “late bloomer” in the digital realm, some of the recent changes, including the folding of Men.Style.com and launches of Details.com and GQ.com, suggest a focus on each magazine brand having a distinct voice online. How does that play into overall brand strategy?Schutte: I don’t think of Condé Nast as a late bloomer in the digital realm. CondéNet was started in 1995, and Epicurious.com is celebrating its 15th birthday this year, making us as old as Yahoo! and Internet Explorer. We have six iPhone Apps and more on the way, and GQ is the first magazine to launch an iPhone App that’s a full replica of the print magazine, complete with sponsors and circulation. However we can, and we are, getting better at adopting new technology earlier, and bringing the latest offerings to advertisers. We’re no longer looking at our magazine sites as magazine companions, but rather as enhanced versions of that title’s editorial mission. A great example of that is our decision to replace Men.Style.com with GQ.com and Details.com. We’ve long said that we will build a robust Web site for each of our titles, but this doesn’t mean the new sites will replace the old ones in any other cases. Epicurious continues to thrive online, and so does BonAppetit.com. The Men.Style brand depended heavily on GQ and Details readers. GQ readers were 35 percent of the site’s traffic, so in this case, there was so much overlap in audience that it made sense to rethink our position in the men’s category. FOLIO:: What do these changes mean for the print magazines? Schutte: As a company, we continue to stay focused on both print and online. We believe there is a tremendous future in both print and digital, and especially in the two together, as more advertisers want integrated programs. We’ve seen an increase from 8 percent of advertisers buying integrated programs last year to 15 percent this year. Approximately 30 percent of the top advertisers buy both print and digital. FOLIO:: Would you say Condé Nast is shifting focus from print to online? If so, how is the company managing that cultural shift?Schutte: The word isn’t “shift,” it’s “addition.” At Condé Nast Digital, we are focused on creating premium content online, and distributing that content to reach the maximum number of people. Whether that’s through iPhone Apps, e-Readers and Tablets, distribution deals, we’re exploring all of those platforms and more. FOLIO:: As Condé Nast looks to 2010, how will it monetize its online properties? Where will the money come from?Schutte: It will come in many ways. There are established sites, like Wired, Epicurious and Style, that will continue to grow in both users and revenue. There are sites in 2009 that have emerged as strong players like Glamour, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, and are poised well for significant revenue growth in 2010. There are also sites like Golf Digest that will be getting significant investment for the first time. In addition, we will continue to build on the success we’ve had in creating integrated programs for advertisers like Mercedes, LG, P&G, Wal-Mart, and many others. Finally, there is the revenue we’re bringing in from custom work for clients, which continues to grow.FOLIO:: After all the layoffs we’ve read about/reported at Condé Nast, is the company hiring now on the digital side? If so, what positions? What will the focus be?Schutte: We are hiring on an as needed basis in multiple areas including sales, marketing, business development and creative services.FOLIO:: Where are Condé Nast’s digital-side leaders coming from? Are they former print people? What mindset is the company looking for/grooming?Schutte: We continue to look for people, both from the print side, and those with an online background, who have a track record of success and a deep understanding of the digital world.
Kudelski Group, owner of content security specialist Nagra, has named Dave Luken as CEO of Skidata, the Group’s Public Access division, which develops solutions to manage access to parking facilities, ski resorts, stadiums, fairs, and amusement parks.Luken will report to André Kudelski, CEO of the Group, and will lead the Public Access business into the next phase of its evolution. His initial focus will be to improve profitability and cash flow generation by optimising operations and leveraging tighter cooperation with the other global product units and support functions of the group and he will also further develop Skidata’s global strategy for its next generation of solutions for people and vehicle access management.Luken previously worked at Honeywell, where he held several positions before being appointed VP of its global Airlines Business Segment. Following his time at Honeywell, Dave joined Zero Mass Water, a technology company advancing global water quality and resilience.“We are very pleased to welcome Dave Luken to the Group. Dave is a recognized global technology leader,” said Kudelski. “I am confident he will further build on the successes that the Skidata team has achieved over the past years. I would also like to thank Hugo Rohner for his positive contributions, particularly in expanding the global footprint of Skidata, and I wish him all the best for the future.”After a transition period, Rohner will pursue new opportunities outside of the Group.
In This Issue… * More thoughts on bonds … * RBA greases the tracks… * German DAX outperforms S&P… * Yen repatriation is over… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Strong PMI’s All Around The Globe! Good day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! A tricky, but successful first day on our brand spanking new computer system was had yesterday… Still some things to work out, but as our first IT guy used to say, “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature”, still rings true! So, onto day 2, and let’s see what’s in store for us today! Which is very similar to the currencies and metals… let’s see what’s in store for them today, eh? The volatility continues to rain down on these two asset classes… But in the whole scheme of things, the dollar remains in the down trend, and will remain there, with blips higher from time to time, until we correct the debt / deficit problem, or at least, get on the road to correcting them, but as I like to say in my presentations, the U.S. GPS navigation system isn’t working, for they can’t even find the road to correction! Ok… I spent a lot of time yesterday talking about the nearing end of the long standing bond rally… Here’s another thing to keep in mind regarding that thought, and that is: That the Fed’s Twist & Shout, I mean, Operation Twist, will end in the 2nd QTR… which means that the market will have to absorb more than 70% more in bonds per quarter going forward… and that alone could very well be enough to send yields even higher! Well, yesterday I also talked about the Chinese PMI (manufacturing index) and how strong it printed… Well, it must be something that’s catching around the globe, because not only did the U.S. too print a stronger than expected PMI (we call it ISM), but so too did Canada! And that’s a real good sign for global growth, folks… And like I said yesterday, the proxy for global growth has always been the Australian dollar (A$), and I do believe the A$ will continue to be supported by the global growth machine that’s beginning to show up around the world. Right now, the A$ is feeling a bit pinched because the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) sounded quite dovish last night, and mentioned rate cuts in their statement, which sounded like…. “Interest rate expectations are going to fall, and this will continue weigh on the Aussie dollar”… As I said yesterday, I don’t see the need for the rate cuts, given the data I’ve seen, but this whole scenario plays well with James Rickards’ book Currency Wars… The thing I didn’t talk about yesterday, with China’s manufacturing report is that the reports of a hard landing for the Chinese economy seem to be exaggerated, eh? Recall that I’ve said all along that I believed that the Chinese economy would “moderate”, not collapse… The U.S. stock rally continues to amaze me… But then, the Fed has been priming the stock market pump for some time now, so eventually, we should have seen a stock rally… But I saw something this morning that caught my eye… The German DAX is beating the S&P 500 by the most since 2006… Again, this is a result of the global growth news… But let’s not downplay this move in the DAX, for the German stock index has topped every developed market tracked by Bloomberg this year… As I’ve said for some time now… if we could just buy Germany… but we can’t, not without all the baggage… Speaking of the baggage, while everyone is focused on Spain… Ireland is beginning to rumble again… But yet, the euro gains in value… It’s called relative value… Here in the U.S. we saw a data print on Friday, that I failed to talk about yesterday, basically because the news item was buried in the over 850 emails I had to sift through yesterday… Recall me talking about the TV commercial from the world famous St. Louis rock station, KSHE, where the daughter is appalled that her dad hears the opening chords to the song, Brown Sugar, and begins to play the air-guitar, and she cries… “Mom, he’s doing it again”… Well, that same thing could be played out for the U.S. Consumer… Once again, we are on a path to destruction, as we spend more than we make… Personal Spending in February was stronger than expected at .8%, while Personal Income was up only .2%, thus causing a drop in the savings rate from 4.3% to 3.7%… But it’s not just one month here folks… January and December spending rates were revised upward… When will we ever learn? When, will, we, ever, learn? But this is what the Fed wants… they’ve primed the pump for another bubble, folks… you never know where a bubble is going to pop up, but with all the Quantitative Easing, stimulus, and everything else that’s gone into reviving the U.S. Consumer, a bubble was imminent… While I’m on stuff here in the U.S., this Friday will be the Jobs Jamboree for April, using March jobs data… This Friday is also Good Friday for those of us that observe Easter, which means the stock market will be closed, so a large piece of the markets will be missing… and that could cause some very volatile reaction to the jobs number… Right now, the “experts” are thinking that 205,000 net jobs were created in March… But going back over the years on Good Friday, the Jobs Jamboree has held some HUGE surprises for the markets… Since 1994, there have been 5 previous Good Friday Job Jamborees, and 3 of the 5 held some HUGE surprises to the upside for the Jobs Jamboree participants… So, we need to keep that in mind as we head into Friday… The price of Oil rebounded by $2 yesterday, back to $104… but for the most part, the petrol currencies are not reacting to that move… There comes a time when the volatility in the asset prices just becomes noise, and the assets just don’t react to the daily gyrations… As I like to say, they become Comfortably Numb… The Brazilian real has really fallen on difficult times, as once again the Brazilian Gov’t complains about Currency Wars, but then goes about doing what it can to weaken its own currency… We’ve seen several of these moves to weaker values in the real over the years, only to be eventually reversed… I don’t know if this is another case where a reversal will be seen, but at least you are armed with the fact that the real has reversed in the weak moves in the past… The price of Gold is pretty flat this morning… I read a report from Jeff Clark of Big Gold yesterday that really made sense to me, and plays well with my “everyday observations”… What Jeff wrote about was that the price of Gold is being supported by the fact that “real interest rates” in the U.S. are negative… He points out that the Fed continues to say that current rates will remain near zero for at least another year, and maybe longer. He then points out what I’ve pointed out for some time now that inflation continues to grow higher, which means the “real interest rate” will remain negative… For those of you new to class, “real interest rates” are derived from the net of bellwether, 10-year Treasury yield, minus inflation… Ok… enough of that! The Japanese yen continues to defy gravity… The need for the “safe haven” trade in yen is over… but I think for the most part that March repatriation of yen which is what we see every year, offset the unwinding of safe haven trades… So, Bullwinkle, what do you have up your sleeve to amaze the markets now? I still don’t think yen is a so-called safe haven, and I certainly don’t think that it has much else going for it, at this point. Then There Was This… So… did you hear about the CFTC (Commodities, Futures Trading Commission), accusing the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) of “wash trades”? here’s the skinny and then my thoughts… From the Wall Street Journal… “U.S. regulators alleged a “wash trading scheme of massive proportion” by Royal Bank of Canada, which was accused in a lawsuit of unlawfully trading hundreds of millions of dollars in stock futures in order to get tax benefits. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed the civil lawsuit against the Canadian bank in the Southern District of New York on Monday. The CFTC alleged that Royal Bank of Canada broke laws banning “wash trades,” or trades a firm does with itself to make it look as if stocks or other securities have been bought and sold.” Chuck again… OK… RBC denies these claims, and said, the allegation was “absurd.” And the spokesperson went onto say that, “The lawsuit is “meritless and we will rigorously defend ourselves against such baseless allegations.” Well… that’s all fine and good… but I want to know when the CFTC is going to do anything about the allegations that the whistle blower made about metals price manipulation… To recap… Manufacturing around the world is on an upswing, which is good news for the global growth campers… China, the U.S. and Canada all reported stronger than expected manufacturing index numbers. The RBA left rates unchanged but greased the tracks for future rate cuts… I still don’t believe they are necessary, but the RBA seems to have an axe to grind here. Be careful of the Good Friday Jobs Jamboree this week… Currencies today 4/3/12… American Style: A$ $1.0380, kiwi .8225, C$ $1.0085, euro 1.3345, sterling 1.6015, Swiss… $1.0185, … European Style: rand 7.6680, krone 5.6705, SEK 6.5865, forint 220.10, zloty 3.0945, koruna 18.4375, RUB 29.28, yen 82, sing 1.2515, HKD 7.7645, INR 50.67, China 6.2862, pesos 12.75, BRL 1.8315, Dollar Index 78.80, Oil $104.44, 10-year 2.18%, Silver $32.98, and Gold… $1,678.55 That’s it for today… Congrats to the Kentucky Wildcats on their NCAA Basketball Championship… I held Kentucky in our office pool that we do for fun… it just means I get to buy lunch! I feel bad for missing this, but it was my first day back yesterday… But Happy Birthday to both Tim Smith and Antione Lawrence who celebrated birthdays on April 1 and 2 respectively… I got to see Alex play a little at his Water Polo game last night. His team was winning by a large margin, so the freshmen all got more playing time… Last week, he scored 6 goals in a game! Little Braden Charles was at the game, and we exchanged Aw’s before he fell asleep. How anyone can sleep at a Water Polo Game is unbelievable, but he did! And with that, I’ll get out of your hair for today… I thank you for reading the Pfennig, and hope you can go out and have a Tom Terrific Tuesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.com
Updated at 1:10 p.m. ETThe Trump administration is outlining two possible ways certain drugs that were intended for foreign markets could be imported to the U.S. — a move that would clear the way to import some prescription drugs from Canada.”Today’s announcement outlines the pathways the Administration intends to explore to allow safe importation of certain prescription drugs to lower prices and reduce out of pocket costs for American patients,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement about the plan. “This is the next important step in the Administration’s work to end foreign freeloading and put American patients first.”The Department of Health and Human Services outlined two “pathways” for importing the drugs to the U.S.In one initiative, the Food and Drug Administration and HHS will rely on their rulemaking authority to use existing federal law to set up pilot projects from states or wholesalers “outlining how they would import certain drugs from Canada that are versions of FDA-approved drugs that are manufactured consistent with the FDA approval.”Separately, the FDA will work on safety guidelines for drug manufacturers who want to import any drugs they sell in foreign countries to the U.S. market. The HHS statement says manufacturers would use a new National Drug Code that could allow them to price drugs lower than what is required by their current distribution contracts.”This pathway could be particularly helpful to patients with significantly high cost prescription drugs,” HHS says. “This would potentially include medications like insulin used to treat diabetes, as well as those used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disorders, and cancer.”Wednesday’s announcement marks the first step in the process. It could take years to implement the plans — which could also be challenged in court.A growing number of U.S. states have been considering their own plans to import prescription drugs from Canada, hoping to bargain for better deals than the current system allows.Strapped with high costs from paying for prescription drugs through Medicaid and state employee plans, Florida, Vermont, Maine and Colorado have approved their own drug import laws. More than half of all U.S. states have proposed such measures this year, as Trish Riley, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, told NPR’s Selena Simmons-Duffin last month.But before those states can actually start cutting their own deals to import drugs, they need approval from the HHS. With today’s announcement, the federal government is making a move in that direction.As for why Canada enjoys lower drug prices, Rachel Sachs, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, told Simmons-Duffin that it’s a matter of negotiation.”In the U.S., we’ve constructed a system where pharmaceutical companies are able to charge far higher prices because there’s no mechanism to push back,” Sachs said. “There’s no way to say, ‘We’re not going to pay for that drug unless we get it at a better price.’ “Less than a year ago, President Trump spoke out against the idea of bringing prescription drugs in from Canada.”We want our drugs to be made here,” Trump said last October. “When you talk prescription drugs, we don’t like getting them from foreign countries. We don’t know what’s happening with those drugs, how they’re being made. Too important.”Trump’s remarks came after signing the NAFTA-replacing U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — a deal that was criticized for introducing protections for pharmaceutical companies.By setting in motion a plan to import medications from Canada, Azar is embracing an idea he had previously dismissed as a gimmick. In May 2018, Azar said:”Many people may be familiar with proposals to give our seniors access to cheaper drugs by importing drugs from other countries, such as Canada. This, too, is a gimmick. It has been assessed multiple times by the Congressional Budget Office, and CBO has said it would have no meaningful effect.”The secretary was apparently referring to a 2004 analysis in which the CBO reported that any “reduction in drug spending from importation would be small,” given the size of Canada’s drug market compared with that of the U.S.In that analysis, the CBO also said that “proposals to permit parallel trade with a large group of countries would offer greater potential savings.”And there are regulatory hurdles to consider. Criticizing the deal as a “fantasy solution,” pharmaceutical industry analyst Dr. Adam Fein said Wednesday that the proposal would complicate U.S. efforts to secure its drug supply chain and keep counterfeit and impure drugs off the market.”There is no legal or operational way of transforming a drug packaged for a foreign market into a drug that meets the U.S. requirements of our in-progress track-and-trace system,” Fein said in an email to NPR. “What’s more, there is no way to alter the law to enable importation without undermining the law’s purpose and value.”There are already signs that some in Canada’s medical industry might balk at the idea of sharing its supply of pharmaceutical drugs with the U.S.”The Canadian medicine supply is not sufficient to support both Canadian and U.S. consumers,” a coalition of health, hospital and pharmacy groups said in a letter to Canadian Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas-Taylor.The letter noted that Canada is allocated certain quantities of drugs based on national estimates, and warned that the county’s prescription drug shortages could grow even worse if the U.S. begins to tap into its neighbor’s supply.But some in the U.S. and Canada have said those concerns are overblown.”Most of the shortages Canadians are currently having are generics — and those are not the drugs we would look to import,” says Trish Riley of the NASHP. “The focus is on high-cost drugs,” she adds.In response to Wednesday’s announcement by the U.S., Petitpas-Taylor issued a statement saying the health ministry constantly monitors the supply of drugs in Canada.Promising that her agency will work to ensure the new U.S. proposal won’t harm Canadians, she added, “We’re in touch with U.S. officials and look forward to discussing today’s announcement with them.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 20 2018Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, are leading a cutting-edge project, named the “MONARCH” study, that could benefit eye disease patients whilst saving both time and money within the NHS.The MONARCH study aims to investigate if patients with an eye condition called wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) could test their vision at home, rather than attend a hospital appointment.The most serious type of AMD, known as wet AMD, develops when abnormal blood vessels form underneath the macula stops functioning as well as it used to. AMD patients experience blurred distorted vision, difficulty seeing in dim lighting and problems reading.Current treatment for wet AMD is a series of monthly injections which reduce the growth of new vessels which limit vision loss. Following treatment, patients attend regular hospital check-ups where clinical staff monitor the macula by taking photographs and doing vision tests, checking whether any follow-up treatment is needed.Most patients will not require follow-up treatment, but about 30% do. Hospital check-up appointments are important for preventing further loss of vision. However, these check-up appointments put a huge strain on already-stretched resources, and limit the capacity for seeing new patients who, if not seen urgently, are at high risk of losing their vision.Dr Ruth Hogg, from the Centre of Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast and Co-Chief Investigator of the MONARCH study explains: “Injections for AMD have been very successful, with about half of patients retaining vision sufficiently good for driving. However, the burden on the NHS and patients has been considerable due to the need for frequent injections and intensive monitoring throughout the follow-up period. In Belfast, evening and weekend clinics have been added, yet it’s still not enough.”We urgently need to rethink how services are offered as the current setup isn’t sustainable. AMD is a huge burden to the NHS through time spent by clinical staff monitoring patients of whom the majority do not require treatment.”The study aims to find out whether monitoring vision by patients themselves at home could potentially alleviate some of the burden of AMD on the NHS, as well as be more convenient for patients, without compromising their safety or wellbeing. If home eye tests can detect when treatment is needed, it would mean that patients might only need to attend hospital appointments to have treatment.Related StoriesEye research charity funds development of ‘organ-on-a-chip’ to fight glaucomaStudy reveals a revolutionary way to treat eye injuries, prevent blindnessAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology shares tips for staying safe around fireworksPatients participating in the study will be provided with three different eye tests for them to do at home, comprising a paper-based booklet of reading tests and two tests (“apps”) that run on an iPodtouch. Patients will be asked to do all three tests weekly at home. The results of the tests are sent automatically via the internet to the Study Management Centre in Bristol.Professor Reeves, from the Bristol Medical School and Co-Chief Investigator of the MONARCH study says: “We are excited to be collecting data from the apps automatically, via the internet. These kinds of methods, with data flowing directly from the data source to the study database, should increase both the accuracy of the data and the efficiency of their capture.”Throughout the study participants will attend their normal hospital check-up appointments and the results of the tests done at these appointments will be compared with the results from the home eye tests.Patricia Strong, an AMD patient added: “Since completing a course of treatment for wet AMD, I’ve had regular appointments to check my vision and get photographs taken and I’ve occasionally needed further injections. I spend quite a lot of time getting to the hospital and the cost of transport does add up so being able to check for myself at home would make a real difference for me, saving time and money.”The study aims to recruit 400 participants from five different hospitals around the UK, including Belfast. Patients will be provided with equipment and support to do the three home eye tests weekly over a period of one to two years. It is hoped that the data gathered will lead to a shift in services provided to AMD patients, so that only those who require treatment will be required to attend hospital appointments.Source: http://www.qub.ac.uk/News/Allnews/QueensdevelopneweyeteststhatcouldhelppatientsandreduceburdenonNHS.html
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 1 2019In a world first, La Trobe University research has shown how peer-led support programs for family and friends who provide regular support to an adult diagnosed with a mental health condition can significantly improve carer well-being.Family Education Programs (FEPs) – led by trained individuals with their own personal experience of caring for someone with mental health issues – provide education and support for groups of carers.Over a period of seven years, researchers surveyed 1,016 carers enrolled in 207 FEP courses operated nationally by Wellways Australia.Lead researcher, La Trobe Associate Professor John Farhall, said the study gives greater confidence to health professionals and funders – as well as to potential participants – that FEPs can be used as a critical first step in reducing carer burden.Related StoriesOnline training program helps managers to support employees’ mental health needsAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CT”Until now, very little research has been done on how these programs work,” Associate Professor Farhall said.”The results show that the key ingredients of the program – increased knowledge and peer support – were associated with helpful changes reported by carers, including improved communication with the person they were caring for.”Importantly, it was the degree of peer support that explained reductions in caregivers’ overall distress.”When carers were surveyed at the completion of the eight-week program, researchers found:- Mental health knowledge in carers increased by 16.6 per cent- Communication between carers and family members improved by 11.7 per cent- Psychological distress in carers decreased by 8.6 per cent- Carer self-blame decreased by 5.7 per cent- Positive feelings between carers and family members increased by 7.6 per cent- Relationship quality between carers and family members increased by 5.3 per cent- Carer’s stigmatizing attitudes toward mental health conditions decreased by 4 per cent Emma Constantine, research co-author and General Manager of peer education programs at Wellways Australia, said that the findings strengthen the increasing evidence base for peer support.”These programs build resilience for carers and improve outcomes for the whole family – peer education needs to be part of the standard range of supports available in our mental health and disability system,” Ms Constantine said. Source:La Trobe UniversityJournal reference:Farhall, J. et al. (2019) Outcomes and change processes of an established family education program for carers of adults diagnosed with a serious mental health condition. Psychological Medicine. doi.org/10.1017/S0033291719000965. It’s important to note that improvements reported at the end of the main program had been maintained when we followed up with carers 10 months later.Peer-led courses such as these can help unpaid caregiving remain rewarding and effective for both the carer and their loved one.”Associate Professor John Farhall, La Trobe University
Citation: Deep learning stretches up to scientific supercomputers (2018, August 14) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-deep-scientific-supercomputers.html 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. Explore further Machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, enjoys unprecedented success in commercial applications. However, the use of machine learning in high performance computing for science has been limited. Why? Advanced machine learning tools weren’t designed for big data sets, like those used to study stars and planets. A team from Intel, National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), and Stanford changed that situation. They developed the first 15-petaflop deep-learning software. They demonstrated its ability to handle large data sets via test runs on the Cori supercomputer. Using machine learning techniques on supercomputers, scientists could extract insights from large, complex data sets. Powerful instruments, such as accelerators, produce massive data sets. The new software could make the world’s largest supercomputers able to fit such data into deep learning uses. The resulting insights could benefit Earth systems modeling, fusion energy, and astrophysics.Machine learning techniques hold potential for enabling scientists to extract valuable insights from large, complex data sets being produced by accelerators, light sources, telescopes, and computer simulations. While these techniques have had great success in a variety of commercial applications, their use in high performance computing for science has been limited because existing tools were not designed to work with the terabyte- to petabyte-sized data sets found in many science domains.To address this problem a collaboration among Intel, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, and Stanford University has been working to solve problems that arise when using deep learning techniques, a form of machine learning, on terabyte and petabyte data sets. The team developed the first 15-petaflop deep-learning software. They demonstrated its scalability for data-intensive applications by executing a number of training runs using large scientific data sets. The runs used physics- and climate-based data sets on Cori, a supercomputer located at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. They achieved a peak rate between 11.73 and 15.07 petaflops (single-precision) and an average sustained performance of 11.41 to 13.47 petaflops. (A petaflop is million billion calculations per second.) Artificial intelligence may put private data at risk More information: Thorsten Kurth et al. Deep learning at 15PF, Proceedings of the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis on – SC ’17 (2017). DOI: 10.1145/3126908.3126916 Researchers delivered a 15-petaflop deep-learning software and ran it on Cori, a supercomputer at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a Department of Energy Office of Science user facility. Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Provided by US Department of Energy
SHARE SHARE EMAIL national elections COMMENT Lok Sabha SHARE Published on April 26, 2019 With polling for the 17th Lok Sabha elections completed on April 23 in Gujarat, the Congress has demanded disqualification of the maverick legislator Alpesh Thakore from the Vidhan Sabha, after he quit all posts from the party this month and supported independent candidates from the Thakore community in North Gujarat.Ashwin Kotwal, Chief Whip of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), accompanied by another MLA, Baldevji Thakore, called on the Assembly Secretary here on Thursday and submitted the party’s letter addressed to Speaker Rajendra Trivedi. ‘Quit party posts’ Kotwal said Alpesh had resigned from all posts from the party and is no longer a Congress member or MLA. Alpesh had won from the Radhanpur Assembly constituency in the Banaskantha district of North Gujarat in the December 2017 elections on a Congress ticket. Charging Alpesh with “anti-party” activities, Kotwal said the legislator was found campaigning for independent candidates fielded in these elections by the Gujarat Kshatriya-Thakore Sena (GKTS), of which he (Alpesh) is the Convener.While quitting the Congress along with two more MLAs on April 10, Alpesh had charged the Gujarat Congress leadership with “sidelining” and “humiliating” him and ignoring interests of the Thakore community.Refuting this charge, GPCC chief Amit Chavda said that Thakore had also been appointed AICC Secretary and co in-charge of party affairs in Bihar along with AICC General Secretary Shaktisinh Gohil. He had also been appointed on some State Congress committees.However, both the Congress and the BJP may have heaved a sigh of relief with Alpesh being sidelined even by the GKTS, which has seen splits in recent weeks. In fact, the GKTS was so annoyed by Alpesh’s flip-flops and ‘loss of credibility’, that some of its angry leaders reportedly “directed” him to take a firm decision or face consequences. Following this showdown, he quit the Congress posts, but not the Assembly.Even the BJP was cautious in handling him. Unlike other Congress MLAs who quit the party since July 2018 — two of which were inducted in the Vijay Rupani Ministry — Alpesh was allegedly trying to extract maximum mileage during “negotiations” with the saffron party since August 2018. The BJP was, therefore, in no hurry to induct him.Thakore community votesAlpesh is also Convener of the OBC-SC-ST Ekta Manch (OSSM). Since 2015, he had seen a meteoric rise with his anti-liquor and pro-OBC reservation movements. The Congress readily lapped him up. But he became an embarrassment to the party when his viral video carrying intemperate speeches against Hindi-speaking migrant labourers panicked them, leading to their exodus in thousands in October 2018.Angry party workers in Bihar burnt his effigies and virtually banned his entry in the State. Ever since, the Gujarat Congress was also keeping him at an arm’s length. OBCs account for nearly 45 per cent of all votes in Gujarat, with the Thakores forming a sizeable chunk. With Alpesh’s exit, the Congress may suffer — and the BJP may potentially gain — in three North Gujarat LS constituencies of Sabarkantha, Banaskantha and Patan, as well as in the Unjha Assembly by-poll. The Thakore votes are also important in LS constituencies of Gandhinagar, Mehsana and Ahmedabad-East and -West, and in nearly 40 of the 182 Assembly segments of Gujarat. COMMENTS
SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE Supreme Court of India Published on fraud May 20, 2019 Saradha chit fund scam COMMENTS Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar moved the Supreme Court seeking extension of the seven-day protection granted to him by the apex court in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case.Kumar’s lawyer mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna.The counsel said the apex court had on May 17 granted seven days time to Kumar to approach the competent court for legal remedies but they want extension of time as lawyers in Kolkata courts are presently on a strike.Also read: SC vacates order granting protection from arrest to Rajeev Kumar Kumar’s counsel said four days have already elapsed and they needed time to approach the competent court in Kolkata. However, the bench said since the May 17 order was passed by a three-judge bench, they can approach the registry for listing of the matter before an appropriate bench.“You are a lawyer and you know that CJI is the master of roster,” the bench told Kumar’s counsel and asked him to approach the registry for listing of the matter.On May 17, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had withdrawn the protection from arrest granted to Kumar by its February 5 order. The bench, however, had said that the protection to Kumar would continue for seven days from May 17 to enable him to approach the competent court for relief. COMMENT