Kolkata: Two days after a Jatra artiste died due to a snake bite while performing in Hasnabad in North 24-Parganas, the Basirhat police on Thursday arrested the exorcist, Doyal Biswas, who had allegedly handed over the snake to the victim.Kalidashi Mondal, the victim was declared brought dead in a hospital when she was taken there four hours after the incident. She was performing a Jatrapala with a venomous snake. The hospital authorities said the patient’s life could have been saved, had she been brought to the hospital earlier. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights’Manasa Mangal’ was being enacted by the victim and her troops in Barunghat area of Hasnabad on Tuesday evening. The Jatrapala was organised at the house of one Manoranjan Das on the occasion of Manasa Puja. Biswas allegedly handed over the snake to the victim as it was decided that the performance would be done with a snake. The Jatarpala organisers thought it was venom less.Police are interrogating Biswas to know why he handed over a poisonous snake to the victim or why he did not allow the patient to be shifted to the hospital. It was learnt that during the interrogation, he failed to provide any satisfactory answer as to why he brought two snakes all the way from Haroa. The accused, however, claimed that the Jatra astistes asked for a snake for making the performance more lively. But the investigators are yet to find out the reason why he brought a poisonous one. According to police, when the woman collapsed on the stage, the exorcist insisted on doing the treatment himself and did not allow anybody to take her to a nearby hospital. He continued his tricks on the woman for four hours. When the locals and her fellow colleagues finally took her to the hospital, the doctors pronounced her brought dead.Police are investigating the role of the victim’s colleagues and why they did not send her to the hospital immediately after she was bitten.
Forbidden Fruits is a story of six women who go on an unapologetic cathartic journey, enabling them to break through from psychological blocks of their past and find redemption.Taking on patriarchy, religion, spirituality, gender-roles, sexuality and sexual politics in society, they come to terms with themselves and battle their inner demons with humor, wit, sarcasm, love, tears, joy, and unabashed bitchery.Forbidden Fruit pushes not only artistic boundaries, but also cultural and socio-political ones. The six women are portrayed as tragically beautiful characters who are flawed, but embrace it with unapologetic candor. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Nothing is left untouched, for not only is the mystique of womanhood unveiled in more ways than one, but the play is peppered with numerous ‘truth bombs’ on a wide range of topics – from circumcision to orgasm.Zorian Cross is a award winning actor and playwright. His first original play, The Coming Out, not only became a local but also won him the Best New Talent award for acting and writing.The play went on to be performed in five different cities across the world, winning five awards in Bangalore and Sydney. Since then, he has penned seven original plays, all of which have been critically appraised at various workshops and performed as dramatised readings. With the aim of promoting original work and discovering and nurturing fresh talent, Zorian Cross plans to conquer the world one round of applause at a time. So mark your calender and head over!When: May 2 – 3Where: Akshara Theatre
Kolkata: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) deposited jewellery and cash that was seized from the house and flat of former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh, to Ghatal Sub-Divisional Court on Tuesday.The CID had initiated a probe on the basis of a complaint lodged with Daspur police station against some police officers, including the then West Midnapore SP Bharati Ghosh, on alleged charges of extortion.It may be recalled that the CID officers had moved before the Midnapore Court on September 3, with a plea seeking permission to deposit the seized jewellery and cash to the court. The court had directed officers of the investigating agency to deposit the same with Ghatal Sub-Divisional Court by September 11. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeOn Tuesday morning, CID officers were found reaching Ghatal Sub-Divisional Court with five trunks in a police van.It may be recalled that the CID had filed a chargesheetin connection with the case before Ghatal Court in West Midnapore on June 29. There were names of nine people including Ghosh in the chargesheet.Ghosh and her bodyguard Sujit Mondal were shown as absconding by the CID in the chargesheet. A few days ago, Mondal had managed to escape from the custody of Mumbai Police.
The intricacies of portraiture are often ignored but then to learn the art of clicking ravishing portraits one can look at beautiful portraits by Davide Cerati- an award winning photographer from Italy who is here in town to showcase his works to the picture enthusiasts.Titled ‘faces e-motion’, the photography exhibition will include his collection of photographs that will be on display from February 11-22 at India International Centre in the national Capital. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Davide says, “portraits of men and women, glances, emotions through the eyes, gestures and motions narrating stories of people, giving the viewer the chance to imagine what the subject’s eyes see and feel. The eyes and the movements of the subject is a door through which the viewer can explore the world of Davide. The Delhi exhibition is a mix of portraits and some research about movement.”Always in parallel with commercial work, Davide spends time in research and artistic projects for which he has received several international awards in Italy, France, and USA. Davide conducts seminars and workshops for professional photographers in Italy and Europe.A professional photographer since 1985, Davide works in advertising photography, on fashion sets, design, food and portraits. His photographs have been published in the best known magazines in Europe.
Young people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual are at an increased risk of using substances such as alcohol, nicotine and marijuana, a new study has found.The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, suggested that they are also at higher risk of polysubstance use than their heterosexual peers.”This data shows definitively that polysubstance use is an issue among many youth who identify as sexual minorities, meaning they are facing added health risks,” said Sarah Dermody, Assistant Professor at the Oregon State University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”But there are also differences among the subgroups of youth who identify as sexual minorities, suggesting we need to look beyond the averages to understand what factors may be influencing substance use in this population,” Dermody added.Sexual minority is an umbrella term for those who identify with any sexual identity other than heterosexual or who report same-sex attraction or behaviour.For the study, the team involved more than 15,000 lesbian, gay or bisexual youth. The goal of the study was to better understand the risks associated with polysubstance use, or the use of three or more types of drugs, among sexual minority youth. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe data showed that there is a sizeable number of youth, both heterosexual and sexual minority, who don’t use any substances at all, Dermody said.But among those who do, she found that those identified as sexual minority youth were at higher risk of using each type of drug – alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes – compared to heterosexual youth.And within the sexual minority youth population, some groups were at more risk than others for using one, two or all three substances, the researchers found.Bisexual youth faced the largest increase in risk of polysubstance abuse as well as combinations of two substances, while those who identified as lesbian or gay were only at higher risk for some combinations, the team said.The disparity may be due in part to stress from discrimination, violence and victimisation rooted in their sexual minority status, Dermody noted.
The Vatican has expelled Costa Rican priest Mauricio Víquez from the clergy, the Metropolitan Archdiocese of San José announced Monday.Víquez has been accused of at least nine cases of sexual abuse of minors.“Rev. Father Mauricio Víquez Lizano, priest of the archdiocese of San José, has been imposed the permanent and expiatory punishment of expulsion from the clerical state,” said the Vatican statement, read before journalists by the spokesman of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of San José, Jason Granados.The expulsion of Víquez takes place at a time when the accused is a fugitive from justice following the international arrest warrant issued by Costa Rican prosecutors.Granados confirmed that the Vatican resolution was sent to the residence of Víquez but could not be delivered because his whereabouts are unknown.Local media corroborated that the priest had entered Mexico in January, but he has not been located.“In the abuses, we see the hand of evil that does not forgive even the innocence of children; there are not enough explanations for these abuses against children,” read the statement, which was released late at night.Granados explained that the decision implies an acknowledgment of Víquez’s guilt and was adopted after listening to all the parties involved.Under Costa Rican law, sexual abuse of minors is punished with up to a 10-year prison sentence.This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican priest arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a minor Priest accused of sexual abuse arrested trying to leave Costa Rica Archbishop minimizes fall in reputation of the Church, predicts ‘high participation’ during Holy Week Costa Rica approves law against child abuse prepared by alleged victims of priest
Dan Steinhart Managing Editor, The Casey Report Having just put the finishing touches on this month’s The Casey Report – for which Casey Research Chief Economist Bud Conrad combed through reams of data to figure out what really caused gold’s recent precipitous drop (as well as predict where gold is going next) – the specter of paper-gold market manipulation is fresh in my mind. This week’s article touches on that very topic, examining the possibility that the Fed or Treasury may have leased out over 4,000 tonnes of US gold unbeknownst to the public, and thus holds much less gold than we’ve been told. Before I go any further, let me acknowledge the treacherous waters into which I’m wading. I realize that by discussing gold manipulation, I’m begging for controversy. Both sides of this debate feature passionate believers, and personally, I find both sides convincing. But in the interest of full disclosure, I do think gold is manipulated to some extent, if only because every other investment – stocks, housing, bonds (via interest rates) – is too. Why should gold be any different, especially when a rising gold price represents the single most credible threat to the US government’s fiat hegemony? Because many a book could be (and probably has been) written on this topic, I’ll limit myself to just one contention from each camp, for the purpose of illustrating how compelling both sides of the argument are. The manipulation crowd points to the fact that gold’s recent plummet was jump-started by a huge, 400-tonne sell order that was dumped on the market all at once. Under normal protocol, and in deference to common sense, said seller should have spread the sale out over several orders to garner the best possible price. That this didn’t happen leads to the conclusion that the seller’s goal was not to get a fair price, but to suppress the price of gold itself. Why? Consider that a short seller, if it believed such a massive trade could spark a rapid further spree of selling (as it did), might be able to quickly buy to cover its shorts at a lower price and collect a handsome bounty. For instance, assuming an average spread of $30 per ounce – quite possible, considering the $225 total price drop – the profit on 400 tonnes of gold would be approximately $423 million… in a single day. The non-manipulation crowd responds that if something fishy is going on, someone should have squawked by now. Doug Casey himself has made this argument, noting that three people can keep a secret as long as two are dead. Wall Street is the world’s biggest rumor mill, so it’s hard to fathom that the Fed or Treasury could collude with one or several banks to suppress the price of gold while keeping their diabolical plot completely silent for decades on end. See? Both positions are believable, at least to me. Skeptics want a smoking gun, but such a burden of proof seems unattainable. Take, for example, claims that the Fed has leased out much of the US’s gold into the market in an attempt to suppress the price. I doubt that the manipulators are dumb enough to record such actions in a memo. And the paparazzi isn’t going to snap an incriminating photo of Ben Bernanke sneaking away from the Fed vault in the middle of the night with a glistening wheelbarrow full of gold. Unless an independent and trustworthy third party is allowed inside the Fed vault – which no unauthorized human is allowed access to – we’ll never see a smoking gun for this particular claim. Shortages in the vault will forever be a rumor until the vault is audited, an outcome those in charge are hellbent on preventing. Now that I’ve outed myself as a loony conspiracy theorist, let’s get to the main event. In a piece previously reserved for his premium subscribers, Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity has agreed to share his fascinating take on just how much gold might be missing from the Fed and Treasury’s vaults. In his levelheaded and methodical style, Chris parses the data from a recent report by Sprott which calculates that from 1991-2012, the US exported about 5,500 tonnes of gold – which doesn’t make sense considering that the US only had about 1,000 tonnes of surplus gold available for export. Where did the extra 4,500 tonnes come from? Chris believes either the Fed or the Treasury must have leased them out, since no private source is near big enough to account for even a fraction of that amount. I’ll leave you to ponder along with Chris the implications of there being much less gold in the Fed/Treasury’s vaults than we’ve been led to believe. If you like Chris’ analysis and are interested in learning more about his work, visit his website at Peak Prosperity. Finally, though I might be inviting a firestorm, I have to ask: do you have any alternate theories as to what happened to all that gold? Let us know in our comments section. See you next week!
Doctors cannot cure a patient in severe pain by pumping him full of painkillers; they need to accurately diagnose the root cause of the pain before treatment. Without an accurate diagnosis, it is nearly impossible to fix a problem, medical or otherwise. And the stakes are high: a misdiagnosis can trigger treatment that may compound a problem instead of making it better. That’s exactly what happened with the bank bailout five years back: the “cure” set in motion new challenges for seniors and savers. Forget all the technical mumbo-jumbo. Here are the need-to-know facts: for generations seniors and savers could invest the bulk of their retirement nest egg in safe, interest-bearing CDs, government bonds, and utility bonds. That, coupled with Social Security, allowed for a comfortable retirement. Those 6-7% yields are gone, as we all know.Was the 2008 financial crisis properly diagnosed and treated? That depends on whom you ask. Most Americans, however, don’t think so. According to Pew Research, “Five out of eight Americans surveyed (63%) earlier this month believe the US financial system is no more secure in 2013 than it was before the economic crisis of 2008.” In September, Sheraz Mian broke down the 2Q earnings reports of the S&P 500 companies in Zacks Earning Trends: “Yes, the total earnings tally reached a new quarterly record in Q2 and the rest of the aggregate metrics like growth rates and beat ratios look respectable enough. But all of that was solely due to one sector only: Finance. … Finance results have been very strong, with total earnings for the companies that have reported results up an impressive +30% on +8.5% higher revenues. Excluding Finance, total earnings for the remainder of S&P 500 companies that have reported would be down -2.9% from the year-earlier period.” Too-big-to-fail banks are certainly succeeding. The report continued: “Earnings growth was particularly strong at the large national and regional banks, with total earnings at the Major Banks industry, which includes 15 banks like J.P. Morgan and Bank of America.” Pew Research also reported that 33% of people it surveyed thought things were more secure in 2013 than they were in 2008. Those people must work in the financial sector.The problem continues to grow. And it’s a problem that affects us all. While the Federal Reserve holds down interest rates and floods the banking system with money, the retirement dreams of several generations are being destroyed. As interest rates tumbled, investors ran to bonds, utilities, dividend-paying stocks, and master limited partnerships (MLPs), which offer better yields. As one subscriber mentioned to our team, “at least they have a better chance of keeping up with inflation.” Sure enough, the stock market came back to new, all-time highs. So now both the banks and Wall Street are happy. But where does that leave us? In the middle of 2013, Mr. Bernanke uttered the word “taper,” sending the stock market into a tizzy and gold prices soaring. This was a preview of things to come. Many of the investments I mentioned above took a dive, as they have become interest-rate sensitive. Take utility stocks, for example. In September, I highlighted how these stocks took an immediate 11.2% tumble. Since then, although the Fed has tried to calm the markets, there is still real cause for concern.I’m worried, but I refuse to throw down my cards. Doug Casey recently reminded us of one of his basic principles: “My preferred investment style is to look for opportunities where no one else is looking.” If we invest along with the crowd, we can expect to get caught in the rushing tide, regardless of its direction. While the Federal Reserve has been trying to keep things under control, don’t be lulled to sleep. Interest rates may have turned the corner, and it is time to review your portfolio with that in mind. Here are five questions to ask about your current investments. Is this investment likely to get caught in the outgoing tide if the Fed gets serious about tapering? How has this company performed in other down markets? Can the company’s fundamental business thrive in both good and bad economic times? Is the dividend safe? Should the market turn down rapidly, what should you expect from this company? At Money Forever, we put trailing stop losses on our portfolio picks for a darn good reason: We cannot afford large losses with our retirement money.Invest where no one else is looking. All too often these are called “out of favor” investments. That implies there is something wrong with them, and people avoid them accordingly. Seventy-three years on the planet, however, tells me something different. There are many attractive people at every high school prom, but very few are crowned king or queen. The same principle applies to investments. The real challenge is finding those attractive opportunities that have been overlooked by the majority of investors. Where should we look? Can we do the research ourselves? If we want to take on that challenge, do we even have the time and skill set? Or could we turn to our stockbrokers? It’s not likely. Years ago, my broker and I wrote to her company’s research department in New York, asking for advice in a particular market sector. The “research department” sent a summary similar to what I now get from my online broker. Our request was probably handled in less than two minutes. Their analysis: buy their recommendation because 8 of 10 companies rate it as a “strong buy.” No kidding! That was where everyone else was looking. It was the last investment I wanted to make.The good news is: we have other options. Folks like Doug Casey saw a great void in the retail market, and investment newsletters began to flourish. Fast forward to 2013… I asked our team of analysts for tips on looking where no one else was. We started our search with a basic premise: maximizing income and appreciation while avoiding catastrophic losses. With modern tools, an analyst can put in a few variables and get a list of candidates without breaking a sweat. That works well until everyone picks the same investments. Real research takes a lot more time and effort. With that said, here are four tips for finding hidden gems.Being #1 is not always an advantage. In our special report Money Every Month, we ranked the top dividend-paying stocks by dividend yield and payment date. It is common to stop at the stock with the highest yield. But there are a lot of good companies further down the list. They may pay a smaller dividend, but they are just as solid and much less volatile. If there is less money pouring into these stocks, there is less risk of losing dividend income if the stock tumbles and everyone exits.Big does not always mean bad. There are some large companies that have a strong worldwide presence with a good dividend yield. While they may not be #1 name in the industry, they do very well. These stocks don’t necessarily have tiny dividends—just not enough to catch the eye of yield-starved investors. It just takes time to find the right ones. It can be done; I know because we have some in the Money Forever portfolio.Find investments where potential growth outweighs interest-rate sensitivity. If the primary driver in market price is not solely the dividend, the investment won’t be as affected during a period of rising or dropping interest rates as it might be otherwise. In the Money Forever portfolio, we have a convertible bond fund with a good yield, but its performance is affected by the performance of the underlying stocks. The one we selected has a large share of defensive stocks in sectors we are comfortable with, thereby reducing risk and raising the potential for appreciation.Understand how various sectors react in a down market with rising rates. Concentrating on defensive sectors reduces risk. A company can have good dividends with growth and appreciation, but it might be a terrible investment in a downturn. The financial sector is a prime example: The dividends are good, and a strengthening economy can make the sector grow, but those dividends won’t pay off if another 2008 is just around the corner. The term “bond bubble” is being tossed around a lot lately. Should this bubble burst (much like the real estate bubble before it), the financial sector will be dramatically affected. It has been five years since interest rates tumbled. We don’t need any more proof to know the political class is either unwilling or unable to fix the problem. We can’t sit around and wait for the good old days to come back, nor can we afford to just follow the crowd. We have to deal with our problem to have enough for retirement and make it last. —- Sometimes laughing at yourself can be humbling; it can also be a great learning experience. I recently had an exchange with one of our regular readers; he wanted to know if our premium subscription was worth the money. With my marketing background, I have always believed that you should put the value before the cost. We discussed how our team is educating readers on subjects they are unlikely to read about elsewhere. And the Money Forever portfolio is doing quite well, to boot. Some subscribers have mentioned that their gains have paid for our services for many years to come. I told this particular reader that the current promotional price is $8.25/month, and if we can’t bring more value than that to our subscribers, we wouldn’t be in business. His response was humbling: “Gee, I didn’t know that was the price. Had I known that, I would have signed on weeks ago.” So much for my marketing expertise! On a recent trip to Vermont, we cut a short video outlining what we’re all about and how we fit in to the big picture—your big picture. I urge readers to take a few moments to watch. The best part is this: You can sign up for the subscription, download my book, and all our special reports and back issues. If, after you have read through them, you decide this is not for you, you can cancel within 90 days and receive 100% of your money back. And you can keep the material as our thank-you for looking us over.On the Lighter Side Obama has officially nominated Janet Yellen to head the Fed. I shared my thoughts on this news long ago. Ms. Yellen is not concerned about inflation, and she wants the Federal Reserve to continuing to buy US debt. She is, however, concerned about unemployment… or so she would have us think. If that’s true, I have a humble suggestion: eliminate all federal taxes. That will spur the economy and create millions of jobs. Then let the Federal Reserve buy all of the US debt instead of the mere trillion dollars a year it’s buying now. She will be heralded as a genius for bringing Camelot to us all. Heck, if just printing money to pay the government’s bills is OK, why not go all out? In the meantime, Congress is fiddling with the debt ceiling and trickling a lot of misinformation down through the press. As long as I’m making suggestions, I have one for Congress: if it wants to raise the limit, it should also cut domestic spending and military spending. They are sure fretting over those ideas. This is absurd. Last week I was in a small family restaurant in Fountain Hills, Arizona, and a note scrolled across the television screen. It was about some federal agency that has 7,000 federal workers. They furloughed 6,000 nonessential workers and 1,000 remained on the job. The restaurant owner and I looked at each other, bewildered. What the hell is a nonessential worker? As tough as times are today in the private sector, if a person is nonessential, he doesn’t have a job. Tough economic decisions are made regularly in the private sector, but seemingly impossible for our so-called leaders to even understand, much less act on. I don’t want my raise my blood pressure (or yours) to rise further, so let’s get to the funnies, finally… We can always count on our dear friend Toots for some clever puns: A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, “You stay here; I’ll go on a head.” I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said, “Keep off the Grass.” Until next week…
Dating will never be the same. The white-hot local date finder app that reduces courtship to the swiping of photos to say “hot or not,” Tinder, is opened on average 11 times a day by users. Microsoft chased Fitbit, Nike, Jawbone, and half a dozen others into the wearable fitness tech business with its new Band. One more thing to sell at those Microsoft stores popping up everywhere. Maybe someday soon they’ll sell full-fledged computers there… Speaking of Apple, CEO Tim Cook revealed he was gay (which everyone knew) just in time to get in front of news that all those leaked nude photos were coming off a flawed iCloud that didn’t rate limit password attempts. PR geniuses. Android founder Andy Rubin left Google. But he was ousted from power months ago, so it matters little. The tragic failed launch of SpaceShuttleTwo, the second space flight explosion in as many weeks, is showing signs it might be a human error, not a mechanical one. It’s all too early to say for sure, but they are now bringing in some experts to look at that possibility. Alibaba beat revenues estimates but missed on earnings. Sprint missed on both, despite huge price cuts meant to attract customers. An Investor’s Week in TechGreetings, fellow technophiles. This week we’re going to try something new, and I’d like your feedback.Once upon a time, I used to fill the pages of Casey Extraordinary Technology with a monthly summary of noteworthy news from the tech world that investors should be aware of. Predictive, anomalous, or just interesting, the goal was to be information and opinion dense. As the portfolio swelled, that fell to the wayside.Looking to broaden coverage in these weekly letters, it seemed a perfect opportunity to bring that format back and get you something with a lot more “sink your teeth in” depth than just a single topic a week. If you enjoy our usual longer, more in-depth articles, no worries. We’ll keep writing them and cover them below with everything else, if we keep this new format.Please give it a read, then let me know what you think in the comments or by replyingApple Pay Launches with a Thud, Getting Denied at Big RetailersThe pitched battle to replace your wallet—or what’s inside it—just got much hotter. In the race to dominate every aspect of your personal life, Apple premiered its much-hyped Apple Pay service last week. Owners of the new iPhone 6 series of phones can now finally use a technology that has long since been available on tens of millions of Google Android phones to pay for things.Much like those cellphone barcode boarding passes at the airport, the idea is to replace a simple passive object (for the airport, paper; for Apple, the old magstripe credit card) with better technology. The process for paying with Google or Apple’s tech goes like this: you get out your phone, swipe it by a specially equipped machine, enter a pin on the phone (or use your fingerprint in Apple’s case), then select a card account, which then transmits one-time-use credit card info to the machine. Tech proponents say it’s much more secure since an unscrupulous employee or even a hacked payment terminal can’t steal a card number that can be used again. To me, it sounds like a lot of work to do what a card already does without having to worry about dead batteries, crashing apps, etc. Not that I have an opinion…But CVS certainly has one. The store announced that it would disable the near-field communications (NFC) tech that Apple and Google use on its payment terminals, blocking the new service. The move was meant to support CurrentC, an alternative developed by an industry trade group to which CVS, Rite-Aid (which also made the same move), and many other retailers belong. Over the years, CurrentC has deployed simpler barcode-based smartphone apps for a wide variety of platforms, including iOS and Android, but they’ve been known to be terribly buggy and not very convenient. To push back this hard, CVS must see Apple’s involvement in the credit card chain as a major threat to margins. After all, it’s had NFC support for Google Wallet for quite some time (evidence of just how poorly Google executed its Wallet marketing).Reviewers who spent any time with the new solutions came back nonplussed too. Engadget summed it up well (my emphasis):Mobile payments are arguably a lot more secure. Your actual credit card number is never handed over to merchants. Apple Pay uses a Secure Element chip that encrypts user data and assigns a unique device number to each phone, while Google Wallet transactions are made with a virtual prepaid MasterCard that’s different each time. Mobile payments could therefore be the answer to the ever-present threat of data breaches and identity theft.But until we can get it accepted at every merchant and figure out a way we can use the phone to securely carry our ID as well, it simply isn’t going to replace your wallet.Nor are credit card makers content to let the wallet be replaced. They have their own secure solution, “chip+pin” (or EMV), with similar security features. Instead of adding a phone into the mix, they make the credit card smarter, holding on to the credit card number until you enter a code to unlock it. A compromised payment terminal is a risk, like what happened at Aldi a few years back, but then again so is a hacked phone with NFC… and which is more likely?One has to wonder if merchants and Visa will be happy about adding powerful new players into the payment chain. Though, when consumers catch wind of the newest glaring security hole in those chip+pin cards discovered last week, which allows hackers to steal up to a million dollars per card simply by walking near you, they might just demand Apple Pay.Elsewhere in the ecommerce world…US Credit Card Security Push Will Replace Billions in HardwareWe don’t usually lump credit card payment terminals into the “cool gadget” category, but last week the former head of aforementioned Google Wallet—who left to do his own startup (the hard part of being one of Silicon Valley’s big employers is that your best people can easily leave and compete with you)—announced a slick-looking new device to replace those tired-looking payment terminals at cash registers around the US.Dubbed Poynt, the announcement is not coincidentally timed. Next year the US starts adopting new payment security standards, which will require almost every terminal not replaced in the last year or two to be ditched in one fell swoop, lest the merchants using them face big penalty charges for using old, less secure tech. It’s going to be a multibillion-dollar hardware upgrade cycle; thus competitors new and old (like VeriFone) are salivating at the chance to gain some share during the swap.Poynt works with the old magstripe cards we know, but also supports EMV, the standard those who live in Europe, Asia, and even Canada have long had. It’s also wireless, Bluetooth, and NFC compatible—meaning it works with Apple Pay and Google Wallet, if those ever do take off (they won’t). TechCrunch has all the details and lots more slick gadget photos.No Commerce Without Government Sanction? AirBnb Law Sets Ugly PrecedentIt may sound like something out of a fascist regime, but that seems to be the direction we’re headed in America. In the country where Marshmallow Fluff went from a home kitchen to a multimillion-dollar business, it’s anathema to think that today’s laws would make the whole endeavor illegal from the get-go. But evidence continues to mount that we have gone decidedly anti-commerce.The latest turn of events: the People’s Republic of San Francisco is pushing a law to severely restrict the use of HomeAway and AirBnb-style hotelier sites. Prodded by angry neighbors—or by the hotel lobby, do you think?—the city decided to permit only residents of the city to use their property as such. Nonresident owners are being told they cannot do short-term rentals, only long-term ones.The city council says they’re doing it to prevent or lessen a housing shortage in the city. Yet more evidence of government protecting entrenched business models (hotels in this case… just like the ludicrous laws to prevent car manufacturers from selling directly instead of through dealers, meant to slow down Tesla’s onslaught). Thankfully, HomeAway is suing to block the law… as are others.(Curiously, AirBnb isn’t suing, as the law is actually designed to support its business model, requiring the companies arranging rentals to collect taxes centrally, which it can do; HomeAway can’t do that without a big change to its business. This is, at least, according to HomeAway.)It reminds me of the ludicrous battle that occurred down the street from my place in Vermont, where neighbors were mad at The Alchemist, brewers of top-ranked microbrew Heady Topper. Its creators were forced out of their small brewing site by neighbors who didn’t like the traffic from customers. The business was drummed out of town with help from the zoning board. Yet the company couldn’t move to the next town over because a competitor started making a squawk about some rare bird that supposedly nests where The Alchemist wanted to build its new location. The whole debacle is still unfolding many months later.Is this the world we now live in, where success is punishable by law, unless you grease the right palms? Let’s all hope that intelligence prevails in the judiciary of California (just typing that out is depressing), and it upholds the ability of people to engage in commerce without permission. If not, I suspect we’re screwed as a nation. If only our lawmakers would focus on protecting us from real threats like the unprosecuted frauds of the mortgage debacle, instead of piling on superfluous new regulations that just deter or extort business.SSD Consolidation ContinuesThe days of the spinning hard drive are numbered. Cellphones, tablets, etc. have never even considered them an option. They suck way too much power and take up far too much space. The solid state drive (SSD) is less power hungry, shockproof, and WAY faster. Only problem is it’s still an order of magnitude more expensive than its predecessor.So when it comes to storing lots of data that don’t all need to be accessed at lightning speeds, spinning disks still rule. Until that cost gap finally closes, SSD manufacturers are using software to make their devices work in tandem with old-fashioned spinning disks, giving them a way to still be valuable for those big archival data farms. In fact, HDD sales are up 6% over last year, to a projected 423 million shipments this year.The latest sign that SSD makers see this as big game came with Samsung’s purchase of hot San Fran startup Proximal Data. The deal, done at an undisclosed price, was the second for Samsung that also grabbed NVELO, which was working on the same kind of technology in 2012.The Hackings Will Continue Until Morale ImprovesIt looks like viruses are on their way for Mac users, thanks to a big security flaw in the new OSX Yosemite.That just piles on top of the serious flaw in popular content management platform Drupal, which powers such websites as Whitehouse.gov and which left potentially millions of domains exposed and many confirmed hacked last week. Within hours of the October 15 notice to the world that the software was vulnerable, hackers began exploiting it to steal data, inject malicious code, and otherwise take over websites unbeknownst to owners.It’s not just hackers either. ATT and VZW are placing “supercookies” on your phonev to track and report all kinds of stuff. Better start actually reading those terms of service agreements you click right past. Your cellphone company isn’t the only one selling every bit of data it can about you: your ISP at home sells your clickstream too, and lots more. Same with your credit card.The rule is simple: if you need it private, don’t put it on a computer of any kind. At least not one connected to the Internet. It’s unfortunate for all of us, not just the celebutants who had their privacy flagrantly violated for the world’s unscrupulous to see, but it’s the time we live in.If you do want to keep something secret, then follow this fantastic guide to how Edward Snowden did it.Darknet Commerce Is BoomingThe Economist recently published a great overview of the growth of so-called Darknet sites, which use software to keep user identities hidden from prying eyes (a somewhat dubious claim, many studies have shown). With perceived anonymity as cover, all kinds of illicit activity occurs, including the sale of drugs and weapons. The article included this great chart of the comeback since the infamous Silk Road marketplace was shut down:Of course, even on the Darknet—maybe especially on the Darknet—you’re not immune to hackers. Recently, at least one node of the Tor anonymous peer-to-peer network was hacked. Intruders were wrapping any downloaded program with a Trojan Horse, regardless of where it came from, as it passed through the hacked computer. The risk of any proxy service, P2P or centrally managed, is that it provides a bottleneck for hackers to exploit. The same could be done to a commercial proxy as well, or even your ISP, were they to be hacked… so keep that virus scan up to date.Plus, who wants to be on the Darknet anymore, now that it has Facebook?Wii U Sales Boom, Nintendo Profits, Thanks to Go-KartsLast week Nintendo surprised a whole lot of people by finally being profitable again, albeit for a very brief period of time. The company’s Wii U console hasn’t sold nearly as well as previous generations. It’s also losing share to the latest PlayStation and Xbox models—something consensus chalked up to its decidedly kiddie vibe and giant-awkward-touchscreen-joystick-controller-thingies.But last week we found out otherwise. Thanks to the release of the eighth iteration in its Mario Kart series, system sales boomed, and the company finally made some money again… albeit for one quarter. Reuters has the detailed numbers, but with 1.1 million consoles sold in the quarter, putting Nintendo in at well over 7 million total consoles sold, the Wii U is now firmly ahead of Microsoft (which sold 3.9 million Xbox Ones so far) and Sony (4.1 million PS4s) in the console race.Still, the company has been bleeding money up until now. And the gaming and business press have been pushing Nintendo to change its game plan, putting out its famed character games to license for mobile devices and possibly for other consoles, too. Punditry has it that the company could make a lot more money by reaching far more devices. Software certainly has higher margins, especially for Nintendo’s competitors, which sell their beefed-up systems at cost.For now at least, it looks like Satoru Iwata (Nintendo’s 12-year CEO, who is just recovering from cancer surgery) may have had the formula right all along, pushing his marketing budget to the moon to gain share on the back of fun games, not hardware specs. He’s playing the Silicon Valley race, focusing on market domination over profitability up front, only to turn the corner late and hard, sure of his traction, to cement a commanding lead.Microsoft is slashing prices to try to catch up from third place, but as an owner of two Xbox One consoles, I can tell you I’m a little bit jealous of the Wii U crowd right now, wishing there was even one decent exclusive game for my year-old super hardware. Instead, I’ve got a half-working Xbox Fitness with less content than when it launched, and a bunch of boring shoot-‘em-up games (I guess that’s why Microsoft canned its home-baked TV/movie studio).Now that looks like fun… and as Jordan Shapiro points out, it’s much more mature than the shooter fare. No wonder GameStop’s revenue jumped 25% near the same time as Nintendo’s return to profitability.Great games, not hardware specifications, sell consoles. A master lesson from the longtime video game champions, Nintendo.A few other reads of note:Skype is about to go the way of Star Trek, with real-time translation technology! The implications are awesome, but I can also see whole websites dedicated to recorded gaffes. More wearables inanity: Samsung’s next watch is on sale this weekend, and LG’s got way thinner, both months ahead of Apple’s iWatch, which now won’t come until spring. And it’s apparently going to cost as much as $5,000, proof it’s little more than fashion. $50 says Apple’s first day outsells Samsung’s and LG’s prior totals. $100 says that by 2016, no one you want to know wears a smartwatch. Christian Bale bailed as Steve Jobs in the Aaron Sorkin biopic. With Leo DiCaprio doing the same, already one has to wonder if the movie isn’t completely off the rails. But with Seth Rogen as Woz, I won’t miss it. Virtual taxicab startup Uber is apparently pushing subprime loans to its drivers. And in the news of the surreal, alleged criminals are remotely wiping evidence from phones after police seize them.So… what did you think of the format? More valuable? Less? Just right? Comment below, or direct your email to firstname.lastname@example.org (reading this in email? just hit reply) and our top-notch customer service team will forward it to me.
Three Orlando police officers shot dead an emergency room patient who they say was claiming to have a firearm. They later learned the man was unarmed.Orlando Police Chief John Mina told reporters that officers responded to reports of an issue in the ER at Orlando Regional Medical Center at about 6 a.m. Monday.The white male, who Mina said was approximately 35 years old, came to the hospital that morning for an unspecified medical issue.”At some point while he was in the hospital, he told hospital staff that he had a gun and that he would shoot anyone who came near him,” Mina said.Negotiators came to talk to the man, Mina said. “He made a lot of statements about how it’s going to end right here today. He also made statements about being the suspect in some homicide; we’re still trying to track that down,” the officer added.The emergency department was on lockdown, according to a tweet from Orlando Health.Mina said that officers decided to approach the man, because “there were patients close by that needed care.””He made movements consistent with pulling, reaching for a firearm and he was shot and killed by three officers here,” the police chief said. The department has not released the man’s identity, pending notification of his next of kin.Those officers have now been put on paid administrative leave, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is going to investigate the shooting.”A woman named Sandy, who declined to provide her full name, said she was in the emergency room with her daughter when she heard someone say he had a gun,” according to the Orlando Sentinel. “She said police asked to see his hands and then cleared the hallway.”Nobody else was injured, and Mina praised hospital staff for “containing the subject who claimed to be armed.”No further information was immediately available. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
The major cause of death in children aged 1 to 19 years is not cancer or other another medical condition. It’s injury. And by a long shot – 61 percent, versus 9 percent for cancer.The largest cause of injury was motor vehicle crashes, and next was firearms, according to a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study sorts through the 20,360 deaths of U.S. children and adolescents in 2016, as counted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The authors of the report also found that the U.S. compares poorly to other countries, both rich and poor, in terms of providing a safe environment for kids.Lead author Rebecca Cunningham of the University of Michigan, who has been an emergency room physician for 20 years, wasn’t surprised. “I’ve been taking care of kids and unfortunately giving bad news to families for several decades,” she says.Cunningham sees some good news in the motor vehicle number. Death rates from crashes have dropped dramatically over the years, from 10 deaths per 100,000 children and adolescents in 1999 to 5.21 deaths per 100,000 in 2016.”In the U.S. we’ve invested in decreasing motor vehicle crash deaths and we’ve been tremendously successful at that,” she says. She and her colleagues credit seat belts, car seats for children, safety improvements to cars, the construction of better roads, and growing awareness of the hazards of teen drinking and driving.But when it comes to firearms there have been no effective interventions to prevent deliberate and accidental gun deaths. While the death rate from guns remained flat from 1999 to 2013, it jumped 28 percent in the next three years, to 4 deaths per 100,000 American kids. “We’re seeing increases in both gun homicide and gun suicide” among children and adolescents, Cunningham says.Cunningham says she’s not sure why gun death rates have increased. But she says it should be addressed. “I don’t think it’s acceptable for firearms to be a preventable cause of death and remain the second cause of death of children and teens,” she says. “We’re not doing enough to keep kids safe.”Edward W. Campion, the executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, pointed out how exceptional the U.S. is when compared to other countries.”We are way out of line when you compare the trauma deaths in American children compared to what faces children in other developed countries like Germany, Spain and Canada,” he says. He points to a study published last January showing that an American child or adolescent is 57 percent more likely to die by age 19 than kids in other wealthy nations.In an editorial for the Journal accompanying Cunningham’s study, Campion called the numbers “shameful.” He says the U.S. is clearly not effectively protecting its children.The World Health Organization had collected data on motor vehicle deaths and firearm deaths in 12 high-income countries and seven low-and-middle-income countries. Cunningham and her colleagues compared that data with their numbers on U.S. deaths.The rate of firearm deaths in the U.S. far exceeds the rates of the other countries included in the report. It’s 36 times the average rate in the 12 high-income countries – that is, 4.02 deaths per 100,000 kids in the U.S., versus 0.11 deaths in the other countries. “It’s a gigantic difference,” says Cunningham.And it was five times as high as in the seven low- and middle-income countries studied, where the average rate was 0.8 deaths per 100,000 kids per year.The U.S. rate of motor vehicle deaths also exceeds the rate of other high-income countries in the report. It was 5.21 deaths per 100,000 children – nearly triple the 1.63 per 100,000 average for other wealthy countries such as England. Sweden in 1997 launched a program to try to eliminate all deaths caused by motor vehicles in the country and in 2016 came in at less than one death per 100,000.The comparison with motor vehicle deaths in low-and-middle income countries is mixed. Some of the countries, such as Thailand, scored higher, but other countries, such as Romania, scored lower. The researchers say it all depends on economic development – as poorer countries add cars, some are spending money on building safe roads and providing access to emergency health care, and some countries are not.The overall message of the data to both Cunningham and Campion is that if other countries can have lower rates of death for their children and adolescents, the U.S. can too.”The U.S. takes great pride in its medical knowledge,” Campion says. “People go to all kinds of lengths to try to help a child with a medical need.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Ministers are considering plans to slash benefit payments to hundreds of thousands of disabled people, by scrapping a key part of the main out-of-work disability benefit, employment and support allowance (ESA), according to the BBC.The BBC reports that a leaked Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) document describes ESA as a “passive” benefit which does not “incentivise” people to find a job, and suggests abolishing the ESA work-related activity group (WRAG).This would mean that ESA claimants expected to move eventually into work – but not yet “fit for work” – would see their weekly payments fall from £102.15 to £73.10, the same amount as those claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA).The BBC report – published just days before the budget – provoked anger among disabled campaigners and disability organisations, although it is similar to a report by the same BBC reporter last October, in which he said he had seen leaked documents which showed ministers were considering cutting payments for those in the WRAG to just 50p more per week than JSA claimants.Disabled activist and blogger David Gillon, who tweets at @WTBDavidG, described the latest leaked plans as “clueless”.Another disabled activist and blogger, Steve Sumpter, who tweets at @latentexistence, said: “Losing ESA and going on JSA means more conditions attached, more chance of sanctions when sick people can’t comply.”Catherine Hale, tweeting at @octoberpoppy, said: “How is impoverishing disabled people and increasing #ESA sanctions a good way to Run the Country?”And Kate Green, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, said on Twitter that the report was “more alarming news for disabled people”.The mental health charity Mind said such a move would “cause significant additional pain for vulnerable people, with very limited gain”.Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “It is insulting to suggest that people supported by ESA because they are living with illness or disability would be more likely to return to work if their benefits were cut.“We know that most people with mental health problems want to work but face significant barriers as a result of the impact of their condition and the stigma and discrimination they often face from employers.”He said the government had failed to provide appropriate support to help people in mental distress back into work, and should focus on improving this help “rather than looking to blame ill and disabled [people] by cutting their financial support”. Mind pointed out that the cut would see people in the WRAG, currently receiving a little over £5,000 a year, having that slashed by more than £1,500.Farmer said the proposed reduced rate of £73 a week was designed for people on a “short-term benefit for people who are between jobs and not affected by illness or disability like those on ESA”.He said: “Almost 60 per cent of people on JSA move off the benefit within six months, while almost 60 per cent of people in the WRAG need this support for over two years.“It would be totally inappropriate and irresponsible to cut support to people in the WRAG in this way and would do nothing to help them move into work.”
A pan-London disabled people’s organisation (DPO) has been given the chance to test “exciting” and “important” approaches to supporting young disabled people into work that reflect the social model of disability, after securing more than £750,000 in funding.Inclusion London has been awarded £775,000 over five years by the City Bridge Trust, which funds charities on behalf of the City of London Corporation, as part of a new £3.3 million Bridge To Work fund set up to support more young disabled people into employment.Inclusion London said the grant will allow it to “test and pilot and evaluate” models of employment support that reflect the ethos and values of DPOs and the social model of disability, in contrast with the unsuccessful approaches of large government contractors that have previously secured funding through the Work Programme and Work Choice.Tracey Lazard, chief executive of Inclusion London, said there was frustration that DPOs had not previously been funded for such work.She said: “You have a whole set of practices around mainstream employment support that just aren’t working and all the evidence shows that the success rates are so tiny… whichever way you look at it, the current approaches are not delivering.”She pointed to the “perverse incentives” for employment support providers not to work with disabled people perceived as being harder to find jobs, and the “non-social model understanding about what the barriers in the workplace really are”.She added: “That’s what was really frustrating in the government’s [work, health and disability] green paper, apart from all the really devious stuff, was just that it’s kind of going to be business as usual in terms of delivery models but with a lot less money, and that’s just not going to work.“It’s shocking but it’s not surprising.”She said DPOs had been excluded from the big government employment support contracts, although most of them would not want to bid for such contracts anyway because of the “whole range of mandatory and devious practices” they impose on out-of-work benefit claimants, such as the use of sanctioning disabled people’s benefits.Lazard said: “It is pretty shocking that there’s not any evidence of any real commitment to look again at models of employment support, because they are not working.“So this is an opportunity and City Bridge Trust are a great funder and they understand that this is strategic, long term structural work which is why I think there is five years of funding.”Inclusion London will work closely with Action on Disability (AoD), a user-led organisation based in Hammersmith and Fulham, and plans to develop some of the “innovative” work AoD has been doing to support disabled people into work.One of the models they will be developing is an AoD internship scheme, which has worked with people with learning difficulties who were previously “trapped in the revolving door of classroom based support” and has seen as many as 70 per cent of those taking part securing jobs.The aim is to identify job vacancies that a large employer is finding difficult to fill, find a young disabled person from a local college to fill those positions, and then provide “really quite high levels of ‘in situ’ job support”, using college and Access to Work funding.Action on Disability has been focusing its work on young people with learning difficulties, so one of Inclusion London’s aims is to expand that to other groups.Inclusion London will now aim to recruit five other London DPOs to work with this and other employment support models, providing those user-led organisations with the support they need to build their own capacity.Another support model will be to target small and medium-sized employers along a local high street, again providing high levels of support when the young person is in post.Inclusion London will also be trialling different ways that young disabled people can approach job-seeking, including direct approaches to a potential employer, even targeting the chief executive.There is also funding through the grant to train other DPOs in skills and approaches and tips that they can pass on to their members and service-users, and to work with public sector employers such as the NHS to open up their job opportunities to young disabled people.Through the five years, Inclusion London hopes to build evidence of what approaches work and share those conclusions with other organisations and the government.The Bridge To Work programme aims to use learning from the projects it is funding – including Inclusion London’s – to “better inform government and other funders” in how to support more disabled people into work.Other disability organisations awarded grants from the fund are Action for Kids (£250,000), the National Autistic Society (£199,000), Muscular Dystrophy UK (£276,000), Mencap (£350,000) and Whizz-Kidz (£384,000).In addition to the funding for the six organisations, there is a separate pot of more than £500,000 to support paid work experience and internships for young disabled Londoners in charities and the private sector, focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises.Jack McLellan (pictured), who has benefited from Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Moving Up programme, which has previously received funding from the trust and will now see that support continued for another five years, said: “I was so disheartened when I first tried to find work after university that I needed a real boost to my confidence and skills to get on the right track.“The Moving Up programme helped me gain experience, try out new roles and get that crucial break of a first job.“I hope this new support means lots more young people are given the same chance to show their worth.”Alison Gowman, who chairs the City Bridge Trust committee, said: “We are certain this new programme will really transform lives of young disabled people.“The charities we are funding will give employers the support, skills and resources they need to increase opportunities for disabled people.“The programme has a wider mission and is looking to influence policy in this area and make real long-term change for the disabled community.”
3 min read Girl Scouts of the USA, Which Teaches Girls to Be Entrepreneurs, Is Taking on the Boys in a Federal Lawsuit Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand November 7, 2018 Image credit: Rick Kern | Getty Images The Girl Scouts of the United States of America has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America, in protest of the latter group’s decision to drop “Boy” from its name and to welcome older girls.The suit, filed Tuesday in Manhattan’s U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, argues that the Boy Scouts’ move could erode the Girl Scouts brand and membership numbers.Related: The CEO of the Girl Scouts Wants to Turn Today’s Cookie Sellers Into Tomorrow’s Powerful Female EntrepreneursThe lawsuit is important not only to the girls involved in Girl Scouts but to families nationwide who welcome that organization’s mission to encourage and train their daughters to be entrepreneurs and leaders through such efforts as:Camp CEO, offered by 14 Girl Scout councils nationwide as a summer camp or other program, typically utilizing a Shark Tank format in which 14- to 17-year-olds create and pitch new businesses to veteran adult businesswomen.A system of 29 Girl Scout badges ranging from “Money Counts” and “Business Owner” for girls in elementary school, to “Entrepreneur,” “Financing My Dreams,” “Business Etiquette” and “Social Innovator” for middle and high school girls. The Girl Scout cookie program, the largest entrepreneurial effort for girls worldwide which, according to its website, promotes such skills as goal-setting, decision-making and money management.The suit is in reaction to the May announcement of the Boy Scouts, which accepts children 11 to 17 years old, that it would change its name to Scouts BSA next February (2019), and make girls eligible to earn its highest rank, Eagle Scout.Girl Scouts USA said it would not comment on pending litigation. The Boy Scouts said in a statement it was reviewing the lawsuit, noting that, “We applaud every organization that builds character and leadership in children, including the Girl Scouts of the USA, and believe that there is an opportunity for both organizations to serve girls and boys in our communities.”Girl Scouts said in its complaint that the name change threatens to “marginalize” Girl Scouts activities and has already created confusion. Families, schools and communities nationwide have been told that the organization no longer exists, or has merged with the Boy Scouts, the complaint states. Girl Scouts USA has about 2 million members; Boy Scouts has about 1.8 million, a steep drop from its peak years in the 1970s. Related: 8 Lessons This Record-Breaking Girl Scout Can Teach Entrepreneurs”Only GSUSA has the right to use the Girl Scouts and Scouts trademarks with leadership development services for girls,” and the Boy Scouts infringements are “new and uniquely damaging to GSUSA,” the complaint said. The lawsuit argues that the Boy Scouts’ decision to drop ‘boy’ from its name and recruit girls erodes the Girl Scouts brand. Entrepreneur Staff –shares Next Article Entrepreneur Staff Girl Scouts Add to Queue Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Enroll Now for $5
Source:https://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2019/study-privacy-concerns-keep-men-from-hiv-testing-treatment.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 26 2019Privacy concerns linked to both health facilities and providers are major barriers to increasing the number of men who are tested and treated for HIV in Cote d’Ivoire, suggests new Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) research. CCP is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.The findings, published March 21 in the journal PLOS ONE, are based on interviews with 277 men who were either living with HIV or didn’t know their HIV status.Men across sub-Saharan Africa are less likely to be tested for HIV or treated after being diagnosed. For example, in Cote d’Ivoire, 60 percent of women ages 15 and older who are living with HIV are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) as compared to 29 percent of their male counterparts, according to UNAIDS.”It’s not that going to the health facility doesn’t occur to men,” says CCP’s Natalie Jean Tibbels, MSPH, the study’s lead author. “But when it comes to HIV, there is a sense that while you might get good treatment, there might be ramifications resulting from going to the clinic. Men in the study were willing to forfeit the benefits of testing and treatment because the costs of being known as HIV positive or stigmatized were too high.”Men interviewed for the study reported both costs and benefits related to interactions with health providers. Costs included the fear of unwanted disclosure, actual or anticipated stigmatization and the belief that providers were not administering the HIV test properly. These downsides were offset by the perceived benefit of social support from the provider and clinical guidance on the treatment journey.Men in the study also identified concerns linked to the health facility itself. They worried that the layout of the clinic – where clients with HIV waited or which providers they saw – might reveal their HIV status. Even just being in the clinic could be enough to make people in their communities believe that they are living with HIV. Men also identified long wait times and days when ART was out of stock as well as other costs. Some men also said that health clinics were for women and children, not men.Tibbels says that men in the study who did seek care in the facility tended to report afterwards that they were well treated and that many of their fears weren’t realized. One man with HIV who received treatment at the facility said: “[The providers] truly motivated me a lot, [and] gave me hope that one day I can witness the wonders of treatment.”Related StoriesStudy: HIV patients continue treatments if health care providers are compassionateHIV therapy leaves unrepaired holes in the immune system’s wall of defensePatients with HIV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid have high risk of experiencing cognitive deficitsHowever, for many men in the study, particularly those whose HIV status was unknown, the drawbacks associated with seeking care at the health facility were difficult to overcome. One man with HIV told researchers that his experience in the health facility led him to seek guidance from the internet and care from traditional healers instead of in-person treatment.”I condemn above all the behavior of certain health providers. Their reception is disappointing,” he said. “When they discover it is HIV, they give you a weird look. When your back is turned, the staff laughs. I lived it yesterday and it hurt me.”These results suggest that along with taking men’s concerns and preferences into account in the design of facilities and in provider training sessions, interventions that allow for men to be tested and treated outside of the health facility should also be encouraged.”If men have hesitations around getting HIV services at a formal health facility, then we need to think outside the box,” Tibbels says. “We need to take their concerns to heart in order to be successful in getting more men into treatment. If that means making it possible for men to be tested and treated outside of the health facility, it’s something we should do.”CCP’s Brothers for Life program, for example, creates space for men to talk about many life concerns, including HIV, and testing is provided in the community. The program offers a place where men can get social support and also links them, should they be diagnosed with HIV, with peer navigators who help them to quickly get the treatment and encouragement they need.”Understanding the perspective of men is critical to tailoring health communication and clinical services to meet their needs,” Tibbels says.
It’s very hard for us to measure and express our pain, including its expectation and associated anxiety. Right now, we have a one to 10 rating system, but that’s far from a reliable and objective pain measurement.”Alex DaSilva Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 28 2019Many patients, especially those who are anesthetized or emotionally challenged, cannot communicate precisely about their pain.For this reason, University of Michigan researchers have developed a technology to help clinicians “see” and map patient pain in real-time, through special augmented reality glasses. Their small feasibility study appears in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.The technology was tested on 21 volunteer dental patients, and researchers hope to one day include other types of pain and conditions. It’s years away from widespread use in a clinical setting, but the feasibility study is a good first step for dental patients, said Alex DaSilva, associate professor at the U-M School of Dentistry and director of the Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort Lab.The portable CLARAi (clinical augmented reality and artificial intelligence) platform combines visualization with brain data using neuroimaging to navigate through a patient’s brain while they’re in the chair. Related StoriesHow a simple MRI scan can help patients with anginaStudy shows potential culprit behind LupusAre Chronic Pain Relief Drugs for Children Effective?In the study, researchers triggered pain by administering cold to the teeth. Researchers used brain pain data to develop algorithms that, when coupled with new software and neuroimaging hardware, predicted pain or the absence of it about 70% of the time.Participants wore a sensor-outfitted cap that detected changes to blood flow and oxygenation, thus measuring brain activity and responses to pain. That information was transmitted to a computer and interpreted.Wearing special augmented reality glasses (in this case, the Microsoft HoloLens), researchers viewed the subject’s brain activity in real time on a reconstructed brain template, while the subjects sat in the clinical chair. The red and blue dots on the image denote location and level of brain activity, and this “pain signature” was mirror-displayed on the augmented reality screen. The more pain signatures the algorithm learns to read, the more accurate the pain assessment. Source:University of Michigan
Explore further General Motors projected strong 2019 profits Friday, fueled by savings from a deep restructuring including job cuts, and by solid sales in the United States and China. © 2019 AFP GM chief Mary Barra has come under fire for the company’s planned layoffs, but now says the restructuring will boost profits this year GM, which has faced criticism from President Donald Trump and other US politicians over the planned layoffs, expects $2-2.5 billion in additional profits this year due to the restructuring, pushing its earnings-per-share forecast well above analyst expectations.The biggest US automaker forecast 2019 profits of between $6.50 and $7.00 a share, compared to the $5.88 now expected by Wall Street analysts. GM also said it expects 2018 earnings per share to exceed analyst expectations.”We are focused on strengthening our cash generation and creating efficiencies that will position us to take advantage of opportunities through the cycle,” said Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara said in a statement.Global markets have been shaken in recent weeks amid worries over slowing global growth due in part to weakness in China amid the trade confrontation with Washington, and some forecasts indicating the US will tip into recession in 2020.But GM offered a solid outlook for the US the China, estimating overall US sales in 2019 in the “low 17-million range,” a good level, and projecting no sales drop in China.GM Chief Executive Mary Barra was upbeat on the prospects for a US-China trade deal, characterizing this week’s talks between US and Chinese officials as “constructive.”According to news reports the next round of talks is set for late January in Washington.Barra told reporters it was a “good sign” that the two governments already had plans for additional negotiations, adding that sales in China also could be boosted by government stimulus spending. GM reports strong profits, lifting shares Citation: GM sees higher 2019 profits on job cuts, solid US, China sales (2019, January 11) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-gm-higher-profits-job-solid.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.
This is the oldest known modern human skull in Eurasia, dating to about 210,000 years ago. Here, you can see the partial skull (right), its virtual reconstruction (middle) and a virtual side view. Credit: Copyright Katerina Harvati/Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen A prehistoric, broken skull is revealing the secrets of ancient humans, divulging that early modern humans left Africa much earlier than previously thought, a new study finds. The skull, found in Eurasia and dating back 210,000 years, is the oldest modern human bone that anthropologists have discovered outside Africa, the researchers said. This skull, however, had an unusual neighbor: a 170,000-year-old, possibly Neanderthal skull that was found resting next to it, in a cave in southern Greece. Given that the Neanderthal skull is a solid 40,000 years younger than the modern human skull, it appears that this particular human’s early dispersal out of Africa failed. There are no living descendants of this enigmatic human alive today, and this person’s group was replaced by Neanderthals, who later lived in that very same cave, the researchers said. [Photos: See the Ancient Faces of a Man-Bun-Wearing Bloke and a Neanderthal Woman]These Sharks Were Too Busy to Notice a Bigger Predator Watching ThemThe unexpected twist at the end of this feeding frenzy delighted scientists.Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really Loud00:35关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65906-oldest-modern-human-skull-eurasia.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:2802:28 “We know from the genetic evidence that all humans that are alive today outside of Africa can trace their ancestry to the major dispersal out of Africa that happened between 70[,000] and 50,000 years before present,” study lead researcher Katerina Harvati, a professor of paleoanthropology at the University of Tübingen in Germany, told reporters at a news conference. Other earlier modern-human dispersals out of Africa have been documented at sites in Israel, including one based on the discovery of a 194,000- to 177,000-year-old modern human jaw from Misliya Cave and others tied to early human fossils dated to about 130,000 to 90,000 years ago at the Skhul and Qafzeh caves. But “we think that these early migrants did not actually contribute to modern humans living outside of Africa today, but rather died out and were probably locally replaced by Neanderthals,” Harvati said. “We hypothesize this is a similar situation with the Apidima 1 [the newly dated modern human skull] population.” Discovery in Greece The two ancient skulls were unearthed in the late 1970s by researchers at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Athens. Given that the skulls were found in Apidima Cave, the researchers named them Apidima 1 and Apidima 2. Both skulls, neither of which had a lower jaw, were found side by side in a block of breccia, angular pieces of rock that were cemented together over time. However, neither skull was in good shape; the damaged Apidima 1 included only the back of the skull, and at the time, researchers weren’t sure what species it came from. Apidima 2, which preserved the facial region of the skull, was identified as Neanderthal, but it was broken and distorted. For years, the skulls sat at the Museum of Anthropology in Athens until they were finally cleaned and prepared from the breccia block in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In the new study, Harvati and her colleagues put both skulls in a CT scanner, which generated 3D virtual reconstructions of each specimen. Then, they analyzed the features of each. As in previous analyses, the team concluded that Apidima 2, which had a thick, rounded brow ridge, was from an early Neanderthal. Identifying Apidima 1 was more challenging because of its fragmentary remains, but the researchers were able to create mirror images of its right and left sides, which gave them a more complete reconstruction. [In Photos: Oldest Homo Sapiens Fossils Ever Found] Several clues, such as the rounded back of the skull (a feature unique to modern humans), indicated that Apidima 1 was an early modern human, or Homo sapiens, the researchers said. Dating the skulls Next, the researchers dated the skulls. Previous analyses had estimated that the skulls were roughly from the same time period, given that they were discovered next to each other, suggesting that they lived around the same time. But by using a method known as uranium-series dating, the new team found that the skulls were not from the same time period. At 170,000 years old, the Neanderthal skull fit within the range of other Neanderthal remains found in other parts of Europe. But the modern human skull was an unexpected outlier, predating the next-oldest H. sapiens remains in Europe by more than 150,000 years, the researchers found. Uranium-series dating is one of only a few ways to date such ancient bones, “but it’s not without some pitfalls,” said Larry Edwards, regents professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Minnesota, who was not involved in the study. In effect, the method works because uranium decays into thorium. The more thorium there is in a sample, the older it is, Edwards told Live Science. However, bones and teeth don’t contain much of their own uranium; rather, they absorb it from the environment over time. “That then requires you to make interpretations on how and when the uranium was picked up and whether or not the uranium was lost,” he said. But although this technique isn’t ideal for dating skulls such as Apidima 1 and 2, it can still provide useful data, Edwards said. “I think it’s pretty solid, their [dating] conclusions,” he said. Out-of-Africa implications Despite the skull’s title as the “oldest known modern human fossil in Eurasia,” the new finding does not rewrite the fundamentals of human evolution, said Eleanor Scerri, an associate professor and leader of the Pan-African Evolution research group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, who was not involved in the study. Those fundamentals are that humans first evolved in Africa and then ventured out into the rest of the world. “The oldest human fossils still come from Africa and are about 100,000 years older than the Apidima fossil,” Scerri told Live Science in an email. “That is roughly 4,000 generations — ample opportunity to move around.” That said, “if we want to ask questions specifically about the early history of our species in Eurasia, then this study may confirm the arguments made for multiple, early dispersals,” Scerri said. In addition, this finding supports the view that the population of “early Homo sapiens was fragmented and dispersed,” she said. [Top 10 Mysteries of the First Humans] Previous studies have suggested that “Homo sapiens left Africa every time the Saharan and Arabian deserts shrunk, which happened broadly on 100,000-year cycles,” roughly agreeing with dates from this study, she noted. What’s more, if modern humans truly had reached Eurasia by at least 210,000 years ago, then “we can no longer assume that ‘Mousterian’ stone tool assemblages found across large regions of Eurasia are necessarily being produced by Neanderthals,” she said. There are many avenues open to researchers hoping to learn more about the Apidima skulls. For instance, the skulls could contain ancient DNA or primordial proteins that could verify their species, Eric Delson, who was not involved with the research, wrote in an accompanying perspective published online today (July 10) in the journal Nature. Delson is a professor and the chair of the Department of Anthropology at Lehman College and The Graduate Center at the City University of New York. Moreover, researchers could study the cave’s paleo-environment and climate to figure out what conditions were like when Apidima 1 and 2 lived there. Today, the cave is on a cliff facing the sea, reachable only by boat, Harvati said. The study was published online today in the journal Nature. Photos: Looking for Extinct Humans in Ancient Cave Mud Photos: Newfound Ancient Human Relative Discovered in Philippines In Photos: Bones from a Denisovan-Neanderthal Hybrid Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoMarie Claire | HanacureMeet The Beauty Equivalent To TIME’s Person Of The Year AwardMarie Claire | HanacureUndoPrimeSolarQuotesCalifornia Signs Solar Law Helping Homeowners Save Hundreds A Month.PrimeSolarQuotesUndoClassmatesSearch For Any High School Yearbook, It’s Free.ClassmatesUndoDr. Marty Nature's Feast Freeze-Dried RAW Cat Food3 Signs Something’s Wrong Inside Your Cat’s BodyDr. Marty Nature’s Feast Freeze-Dried RAW Cat FoodUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndo
politics SHARE Uttar Pradesh Published on COMMENT The grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh formally collapsed on Wednesday after the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), one of the three partners, announced that it will contest the upcoming by-polls alone. The BSP was the first to take such a decision, followed by the SP. The RLD, however, has not completely shut the doors, but said it will take a decision according to the political scenario of the State.Announcing the decision in Lucknow, party’s Uttar Pradesh president Masood Ahmad said the Congress should also be part of the Grand Alliance. “The Rashtriya Lok Dal will contest the UP Assembly by-polls on its own. However, it is too early to comment on the political scenario in the State,” he told PTI.Ahmed added that party President Ajit Singh and his son and Vice- President Jayant Chaudhary will decide on the number of seats the party will contest during a meeting in the next few days. “The profit and loss analysis will be done later. Our wish is that the gathbandhan should increase its kunbaa (clan), so that we can emerge as a strong anti-BJP force,” he said.The RLD had got three seats — Mathura, Muzaffarnagar and Baghpath — to contest as part of the alliance during the Lok Sabha election. The party lost all the three seats to the BJP. The RLD was hoping for a revival by taking up issues of sugarcane farmers, but failed to make a comeback. In 2014, too, the RLD did not win any seat. In a 2018 by-poll, the party contested Kairana and won with the support of the SP and the BSP. At present, the party does not have any members in the UP Assembly, too.While Ajit Singh was the candidate from Muzaffar Nagar, Jayant Chaudhary unsuccessfully contested from the Baghpat constituency. BJP’s Hema Malini defeated RLD’s Kunwar Narendra Singh in Mathura. COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL June 05, 2019
Power was slowly returning to parts of Manhattan Saturday night after a widespread outage plunged subway stations, stores and parts of Times Square into darkness. The outage, which was caused by a transformer fire, affected 62,954 customers and began around 6:47 p.m., according to electric company Con Edison. Power started returning to the affected parts of Manhattan at 10 p.m. and was expected to be fully restored by 12:00 a.m. Sunday, according to New York City officials. …