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23 days agoMan Utd draw up plans for four new signings

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd draw up plans for four new signingsby Paul Vegas23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United plan to make four new signings for the start of next season.The Manchester Evening News says United want to sign a full back, midfielder, a forward and a striker to add depth and quality to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.United chiefs ‘held a recruitment meeting’ at the start of last month to begin drafting a shortlist of targets for the January transfer window and next summer.It is claimed that James Maddison, Jadon Sancho, Ben Chilwell and Declan Rice are principal targets as they look to continue their recent transfer strategy of purchasing young, British players.The club know that those deals would require significant negotiating and therefore the club is also drafting a longer list of targets. last_img read more

What Happened At The 2015 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

Friday, Feb 27, 3:28 p.m.The panel: “Commissioner’s Perspective: 1 on 1 with Rob Manfred”The panelists: Brian Kenny, Rob ManfredRob Manfred has a long history with Major League Baseball. And Major League Baseball has long tried to avoid letting its history weigh it down. In a wide-ranging interview at Sloan on Friday, one month into his tenure as league commissioner, Manfred sounded like a man trying to make sense of how to reform a game without hollowing it out.A few days ago, Manfred said that there was a universe in which baseball could shave eight games off its regular-season schedule “sometime down the road.” A reduction in the current 162-game schedule could make the sport’s playoff timing a little more flexible, and might increase fan interest in each game. At Sloan, Manfred said he chose the 154-game mark because it would take the majors “back to a number that’s already in our record books.” Could he see MLB going even lower, to 150? No, because then “you’re going to go have a record book with 150, 154, 162 …” Only in baseball, a sport hallowed enough to get the Ken Burns treatment, could the record book be more important than the ledger. Integrity is paramount. (Or as Manfred, who has worked for the league for nearly two decades, put it when talking about whether to reform gambling laws around sports betting: “Integrity, it’s Rule One.”)Yet this is a commissioner who clearly wants to find ways to change the game. Manfred has introduced rules to speed the pace of play, and said Friday he’s very happy with the replay system MLB added last year. He said that in the future — “past Rob Manfred” — the league could have a team outside North America, and before that, maybe even one in Mexico. Now that would be historic. — Chadwick Matlin Sunday, March 1 12:17 a.m.After what conference co-organizer Jessica Gelman said was a “heated discussion,” voters for the top research paper at Sloan reached a split decision and split the $30,000 prize pool between two papers. The winners:Who is Responsible for a Called Strike? by Joe Rosales and Scott SprattCounterpoints: Advanced Defensive Metrics for NBA Basketball by Alexander Franks, Andrew Miller, Luke Bornn and Kirk GoldsberryRosales and Spratt, both of Baseball Info Solutions, presented work suggesting that pitch framing, which has traditionally rewarded most of the credit to catchers alone, is actually a function of three independent participants: the catcher, pitcher, and umpire.Franks, Miller, Bornn, and Goldsberry — all members of Harvard’s XY Hoops group — used player tracking data to quantify individual defensive play in the NBA. The academic version of this group’s paper has been accepted at the statistics journal Annals of Applied Statistics.The groups behind the winning papers each received $15,000 for their efforts. Additionally, Bornn and Goldsberry, along with co-authors Alex D’Amour and Dan Cervone, received the conference’s top poster prize of $1,000 for “Move or Die: How Ball Movement Creates Open Shots in the NBA.” — Mike Lopez Friday, Feb 27, 11:55 a.m.Daryl Morey has been as instrumental to the rise of the Sloan conference as he has been to the rise of the Houston Rockets. Morey, the general manager of the Rockets, has steered the team to third place in the Western conference — behind MVP-candidate James Harden, whom he acquired in a now-legendary 2012 trade — and helped start the Sloan conference in 2007. At Sloan on Friday, I boxed him out to ask a few questions about advanced basketball analytics, specifically player-tracking data from companies like STATS’ SportVU technology. While he can’t divulge the details of the Rockets’ private statistics, Morey’s remarks about the publicly available numbers are especially insightful because the Rockets are one of the most stats-savvy teams — not just in the NBA, but in all of sports. — Andrew FlowersAudio Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/flowers_morey.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Saturday, Feb. 28 3:15 p.m.Will sports betting inevitably become legal in the U.S.? It sure seems like it.Momentum behind legalization has grown since NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times in November 2014 explicitly endorsing legal sports gambling. The facade of professional sports leagues that oppose sports betting is beginning to crack. And it’s clear why: money.Silver estimated the market for illegal sports wagering is currently $400 billion per year, though it’s likely that figure is inflated. But even lower-end estimates of around $80 billion still represent a huge market. Sports betting is already enormous in Europe, Australia and many other regions. State governments want in because of the potential revenues.Professional sports leagues are intrigued because they see gambling interest as a ratings driver, much like fantasy sports have been. (And, coincidentally, daily fantasy sports sites – with cash prizes – bear an eerie resemblance to gambling anyway.) Gambling is already inherently analytical; but the appetite of stats-savvy fans for geeky coverage about odds is growing. Jeff Ma, a contributor to ESPN’s new sports-betting site, Chalk – said gambling analytics would meet the demand from those with a “high-brow” interest.But there are major risks to legalization. The revelations that former NBA referee Tim Donaghy owed gambling debts and bet on games he officiated was a reminder of the long, scandalous history of how gambling can challenge the integrity of sports. Here, too, analytics can help. Ryan Rodenberg, a professor at Florida State University, suggested statistical scrutiny of betting markets would combat fraud and fixing. Several private European firms already specialize in such analytics.The panelists were asked that if they had to bet on legalization sweeping the country, when it would happen. The lines offered by the panelists ranged from 2-to-10 years. Dan Spillane, the Assistant General Counsel for the NBA, didn’t offer a timeline, however. He just said “years, not months.” — Andrew Flowers Saturday, Feb. 28, 1:00 p.m.The session: “Analytics of the Tommy John Injury Epidemic”The speaker: Glenn FleisigWe’re in the midst of an epidemic of elbow injuries among major league pitchers. Twenty-five percent of current MLB pitchers have had an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (“Tommy John surgery”) and 15 percent of minor league pitchers have undergone the procedure. Over the last decade, the problem has trickled down to high school and little league players. In 1990, none of the baseball players coming to the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center clinic Tommy John surgery were kids. Today, one third of them are high school age or younger, said Fleisig, the research director at the American Sports Medicine Institute.What’s to blame for the epidemic of torn elbow ligaments? Are more players getting hurt? Or are we just better at diagnosing these injuries? Are doctors more willing to do the procedure? Or are patients more eager to have it?The answer, said Fleisig, is all of the above. Some players assume they should go in for surgery at the first sign of elbow pain, just “to get it over,” but that’s the wrong attitude. Best case scenario, the surgery can return a player to the career trajectory he was on before he got injured, but it won’t improve performance and not every player makes it back to play, Fleisig said.About 80 percent of major league players who get Tommy John surgeries make it back to the mound, but only two thirds of those who undergo the procedure make it back and stay there.Most elbow ligament injuries occur due to overuse. During the middle part of the pitch when the elbow is held upright at a right angle, the joint experiences severe torque. “It’s like holding a string with five 12-pound bowling balls,” Fleisig said. (That’s why doping raises the risk of an elbow injury — “If you’re on the juice you’re making your muscles too strong for your tendons and ligaments to handle.”)There’s a common notion that curveballs are dangerous, but the research doesn’t bear that out, Fleisig said. “We expected the curveball to have more torque than the fastball, but it turns out it has less.”Four things determine which players get injured — biomechanics, how much a player pitches, training and recovery. “It’s not one of these things or the other, it’s all of them,” Fleisig said.Wear and tear on the elbow is one of the most important factors, and when Fleisig’s group followed a group of 500 kids over a ten-year period, they found that pitching more than 100 competitive innings more than tripled the risk of needing a Tommy John surgery. Likewise, more than 80 pitches per game quadrupled the risk of injury, and kids who pitched when fatigued had 36 times the risk of having surgery.In an effort to cut the rates of elbow injuries among young pitchers, Fleisig and his colleagues have teamed with Major League Baseball to create Pitch Smart, age-appropriate guidelines to avoid injury. Suggestions include limits on the number of pitches thrown and not pitching when fatigued. “The best computer we have is right here,” Fleisig told me, pointing to his head. — Christie Aschwanden Saturday, Feb. 28 4:05 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, 11:20 a.m. Friday, Feb 27, 12:21 p.m.The Panel: “Valuing Franchises: How Sports Teams Break the DCF”The Panelists: Lyle Ayes, Aswath Damodaran, Joe McNulty, Randy Vataha, Abe Madkour (moderator)The recent sales of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clippers for over $2 billion have opened up a new paradigm in sports franchise valuations. As shocking as the price of those transactions may have been, the mood at this Sloan panel was buoyant. In fact, panelists seemed to be most worried about prices getting so high that billionaires would be priced out of the market. As Lyle Ayes, managing director of the investment bank Evercore’s sports advisory practice said, “how many people can pay $4 billion for an asset?”Panelists thought the seemingly inexorable rise in franchise valuations was driven by the increasing value of media and content rights. Aswath Damodaran, an NYU professor who focuses on valuation (and FiveThirtyEight contributor), commented that across the entertainment industry, owning content is becoming king. Ayes cited the NBA’s massive new TV deal as evidence of this trend. He noted that advertisers put a large premium on live content like sports because viewers are relatively captive during the event. Interestingly, none of the panel members thought that a team’s performance had a large impact on valuation. The most important factor, according to the panel, was metro area population and GDP. The New York Knicks can command significantly more from their local TV rights for bad basketball than the San Antonio Spurs can command for good.Despite the increase in the real earnings of teams as media deals improve, panelists (with the exception of Ayes), broadly agreed that sports franchises still do not make sense as actual businesses. While they are relatively low-risk and uncorrelated with other potential investments, almost any analysis of the current cash flows — or lack thereof — will not find them to be great investments. As Damodaran noted, the supply of franchises is relatively fixed, while demand has been growing. The panelists did not see this dynamic changing any time soon. — John Ezekowitz Friday, Feb 27, 2:20 p.m.The panel: “Basketball Analytics: Push the Tempo”The panelists: Shane Battier, Mike Zarren, Sue Bird, Mike D’Antoni, Pablo TorreAre basketball teams now so saturated with data and analytics that it’s hard to use them for a competitive advantage?Mike Zarren, assistant general manager for the Boston Celtics, raised an interesting point about what qualifies as analytics in an analytics age. “If I know how well a player slept last night, is that analytics?” The breadth of topics discussed — injuries, biometrics, pace, traditional positions, rest, incentives, shot selection, team chemistry — reveal what a truly broad spectrum of questions and answers fall under the umbrella of basketball analytics. However the field is defined, it all serves the same master: talent. Shane Battier, the poster boy for the adoption of analytic ideas at the player level, summed up the mission perfectly: “It’s about creating space to allow talent to do what they do.”Zarren returned to a well-worn focus at this conference — communication of insights — and defended that arena as the place where a competitive advantage still exists: “You have to use it, it has to affect the decisions you make. I don’t think there is a saturation of that yet.” — Ian Levy Friday, Feb 27, 10:40 a.m.The panel: “Innovators and Adopters”The panelists: Shane Battier, Michael Lewis, Daryl Morey, Jeff Van Gundy and Jackie MacMullanPity Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant. Out for the season with injuries after performances well below their high standards, they’re now punching bags in Boston, at least according to the first session of the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday.The other panelists treated the retired Battier more or less as Lewis depicted him in a New York Times Magazine article in 2009: the platonic ideal of the intelligent NBA player, one who incorporates insights from advanced statistical analysis to optimize his game for team success. (Battier initially resisted that framing, saying “it was about winning,” before eventually letting on that yeah, he was a pretty smart player.) LeBron James, with whom Battier won two titles in Miami, was the more typical player, open to occasional tastes of analytics-based tips.Anthony and Bryant, though, were depicted as the anti-Battiers, in a question by moderator MacMullan (who, like Battier, works for ESPN, which owns this website and sponsors Sloan). MacMullan noted their selfishness and focus on scoring over other ways of contributing to their teams. (To which my boss, Nate Silver, would respond that Anthony’s shooting makes his teammates better.) Battier made clear how much he relished having those two stars as foils, learning their tendencies so that he could neutralize their strengths when playing defense. MacMullan pointed out that Battier blocked more of their shots than any other player’s. Anthony also topped the Battier leaderboards for balls stolen and offensive fouls drawn. And the pair led another personal leaderboard Battier innovated: They gave him the most “looks of disdain” when they found out he’d be guarding them. — Carl Bialik Friday, Feb 27, 4:35 p.m.At last year’s Sloan conference, Dean Oliver was our ESPN colleague, leading analytics at the Stats & Info Group. This year, he’s here as the Sacramento Kings’ director of player personnel and analytics. I spotted him Friday huddled with a few of his peers from other NBA franchises. Oliver has been in the sports analytics business for three decades, and has seen it grow from a field wrestling with a lack of data to one with more data than it knows what to do with. He spoke with me about the similarities in working for teams and working for sports media, and about what it takes for a franchise to succeed at using analytics. — Carl Bialik Friday, Feb. 27, 6:10 p.m.Walking into a conference at Sloan today I walked by yet another guy in a sports coat — and then did a double take, because this guy’s blazer sleeves were rolled up…and he was a 13 year-old. There are some teenagers running around Sloan but none looked younger than Sam Hafetz and his friends, Manu Hurskovitz, 14, and Jonah White, 14. After calling their parents for permission (hi, Mr. Hurskovitz!), I dragged them to our podcast table. There, Jody Avirgan asked what brought them to Sloan (it’s their second year attending), why they love sports analytics, and what they’d do if they became GMs of the Celtics. — Chadwick MatlinAudio Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/kidsatsloan.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Friday, Feb. 27, 4:43 p.m.The panel: “Commissioner’s Perspective: Growing Soccer with Don Garber”The panelists: Don Garber, Grant WahlMLB and MLS share two letters and the pickle of how to balance tradition and innovation. Baseball’s struggle comes from within, as Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred showed earlier Friday. Major League Soccer isn’t as conflicted about changing rules and trying new technologies, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. Its burden, unlike MLB’s, is its peripheral place in a global game.Garber said he wanted goal-line review technology, extra time put on scoreboards (instead of only a ref with a “Timex that probably cost 20 bucks” knowing how much time remains) and a whole lot more. “If I were king, we would have instant replay, we would have cameras on our players, we would be putting them on goalposts.” He’d put a microphone on the field. Players would wear GoPro cameras. He watched hockey players wear GoPros at the NHL All-Star Game and thought it was cool.But Garber can’t have all those things. Other sports’ U.S. pro leagues just need to get the owners to agree, but MLS needs the approval of IFAB, the International Football Association Board — or, as Garber called it, the International Federation of Somebody Who Has Something To Do With the Rules That’s Not Me. Garber’s message to IFAB: “Let us be the Guinea pigs.” He worries that the world’s most popular sport could lose its lead “just because of our structure. We should be able to use the power of our influence to lead.” — Carl Bialik Saturday, Feb. 28, 9:50 a.m.There are bold-faced names headlining the ninth annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, sure. But for academics like myself the real action is in the research paper contest, where academics and researchers are hoping to create the kinds of insights that the bold-faced names one day treat as gospel. For these researchers, Sloan marks the culmination of what can be more than a year’s worth of work. The stakes are high: top prize is $20,000, with second place worth $10,000. For some of the PhD students submitting papers, that may equal their annual salary.But until now, the mechanics of how this contest is judged have largely been cloudy (see an overview of the 2015 contest here, or my personal experience submitting a paper to the 2014 contest here). On Friday, conference co-lead Paul Campbell helped clarify how Sloan makes its picks. “We try to be consistent about what we solicit,” said Campbell. “We kind of have our perspective on the validity of the method, and making sure that the academic and mathematical rigor is there. Also, do the results make sense?”The 2015 research paper contest began back in September, when Campbell and this year’s judging committee, comprised of various MIT student organizers and academic advisers, received 189 abstracts. Of that total, 68 were invited to turn in a formal paper for submission in mid-December. Paper submissions were placed into one of four tracks: basketball, baseball, other sports or the business of sport. The top two submitted papers from each track were given the opportunity to present at this year’s conference. In addition, 11 papers were given a poster in the halls of the convention center.Each of the eight finalists were allotted a 20-minute presentation on Friday. The judging committee identified the top presentation in each of the four categories based on a 50-50 split of the presentation itself and the originating paper.“We have an idea of what the best analytically rigorous paper is, but we want to see if it is presented well. It’s an equal weighting with [the presentation] and the paper,” said Campbell. The four papers still in the running for the top prize, are:Baseball: Who is Responsible for a Called Strike? by Joe Rosales and Scott SprattBasketball: Counterpoints: Advanced Defensive Metrics for NBA Basketball by Alexander Franks, Andrew Miller, Luke Bornn and Kirk GoldsberryOther Sports: Assessing the productivity of NHL players using in-game win probabilities by Stephen PettigrewBusiness of Sports: Diamonds on the Line: Profits Through Investment Gaming by Clayton Graham.Those four finalists are given an additional 10 minutes with which to make their case, this time in front of a larger and more general audience, including Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey and FiveThirtyEight’s own Nate Silver.Those judges, according to Campbell, are asked to judge by something different than the last committee. “Which of these [papers] seems like the most applicable or potentially transformative within the industry?” $20,000 rides on the answer. — Mike Lopez Saturday, Feb. 28, 1:46 p.m.The panel: “Beating the Shift: Baseball Analytics in the Age of Big Data”The panelists: Sandy Alderson, Dan Brooks, Dave Cameron, Ben Lindbergh, Jonah KeriSloan’s flagship baseball panel largely focused on teams’ reactions to sabermetric findings. Alderson, the general manager of the New York Mets, spoke about the proliferation of defensive shifts, and how it has led to changes in the way certain players are valued — specifically right-handed power hitters.Along the same lines, no discussion of baseball analytics would be complete without some mention of strike zone analysis and catcher pitch-framing metrics. Despite the volume of research on the subject in recent years, the consensus of the group was that the market may still not be properly valuing catchers who “steal” strikes on the edge of the strike zone at a higher rate than their peers. Then again, part of that may relate to a theory that pitch-framing is a taught skill. (We’d have liked to hear more thoughts about how umpires doing better at calling an accurate strike zone has led to baseball’s aforementioned drop in run-scoring.)Finally, Keri asked the panel their thoughts about wins above replacement (WAR). The panel agreed WAR was a valuable framework, even if its individual parts can always stand to be improved. For his part, Alderson confirmed that teams use at least some version of it, even with its imperfections, because the idea of creating a cumulative statistic is appealing. — Harry Enten and Neil Paine FiveThirtyEight’s delegation made the pilgrimage to this year’s Sloan conference, a kind of mecca for anyone who’s obsessed with sports, data and retelling how they first felt when they read “Moneyball.” We updated all of Friday and Saturday from Boston, where Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and our own Nate Silver roamed the halls. Read on for highlights from the weekend. CORRECTION (Feb 28, 9:47 a.m.): A previous version of this article misstated the ages of Sam Hafetz and Jonah White. read more

Beaches resort gives food for single mothers and HIVAids patients

first_img Sandals drops major bomb, makes Misick brothers look terribly suspect Recommended for you PNP Party says it led wooden pier removal by Beaches Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:beaches resort and spa, hiv prevention, monet collymore, share your christmas, tci social welfare office Beaches puts former Premier on blast about controversial pier Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 07 Jan 2016 – There are 112 families in the Turks and Caicos who have reported that they need help just to eat each day. There is a need for HIV/Aids patients to ensure they not only eat well, but on time. On Wednesday, Beaches Resort Villages and Spa made a move to close the gap between having and not having food at home by donating some 4,000 non-perishable food items gathered from its staff. The National HIV Prevention Unit & The Turks and Caicos Social Welfare Office in Grand Turk Pantry are the beneficiaries of the initiative which started this noble work three years ago. Monet Collymore, who heads the Beaches Environmental Health Services Department said: “Our mission is to feed unemployed single mothers and persons living with HIV & AIDS on the islands of Provo and Grand Turk.” Beaches explained that the two organizations were selected because they play crucial roles as keepers of people in need of support. The TCI Social Welfare Office assists the unemployed and under employed financially and directly impacts the lives of single mothers, children, the disabled and the elderly by providing them with monetary support and where possible, food and clothing. The HIV prevention unit assists with providing medical support services to those infected with the virus. The office also provides healthy meals to individuals on the islands of Provo and Grand Turk. The Share Your Christmas or SYC program of Beaches ran the food drive among staff from December 11 through to January 4.last_img read more

How Popular Science Uses Video to Find New Audiences on Social Media

first_imgMallory JohnsFolio: In general, what are your goals when it comes to publishing on Snapchat and Instagram?Mallory Johns: In general, our goals are two-fold: 1) Brand awareness, and 2) Influencing the next generation of scientists, science writers, and curiosity aficionados. Across both platforms, we’re providing our community with a chance to go more in-depth with our articles by engaging with curiosity-inducing graphics and videos. And more specifically on Snapchat, we use that platform to get weird, whether through our semi-weekly series PopFriday or through takeovers with our editors.Folio: What are some ways PopSci uses Instagram to engage its audience? What kinds of posts seem to perform particularly well?Johns: PopSci‘s Instagram feed is nearly 100% video. We focus on sharing short videos around specific content buckets, so our community knows what to expect when they come to our feed—for example, most Fridays they can expect to see cool videos about flora and fauna, for example.We also have a robust archive—featuring well over 144 years of stories and scientific curiosities—and without fail, these posts are top-performers for us on Instagram. Additionally, our community loves to see anything about space or mind-blowing creatures. Mallory Johns is no stranger to image-based social media. At Popular Science, where she serves as the engagement editor, she oversees the editorial calendar across the brand’s social media channels, execution, management and measurement; develops partnerships with brands and influencers, and much more.Although smaller in size than the brand’s Facebook and Twitter audiences, PopSci‘s growing accounts on image-based social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat provide opportunities for Johns and her team to promote the brand and engage new readers.As a speaker at the 2017 Folio: Show, Johns will speak at a session entitled, “Snapchat & Instagram: How to Master the Fast-Growth World of Image-based Social Media.”Here, she shares some ideas from PopSci‘s strategies for engaging with audiences on the two platforms. Folio: How have you approached using Instagram Stories?Johns: We think of Instagram Stories as entirely separate from our Instagram profile, so we use Stories for two things: 1) To highlight the work of scientists in the field through account takeovers, and 2) To breakdown a feature or trending article—highlighting key elements—to direct our community back to our site to read more.Folio: What’s your general approach when a platform comes out with a new service or feature like that?Johns: In terms of jumping on new features or service, I’ve always been an early adopter, and I firmly believe in experimentation, seeing what works, and either iterating or moving on. Social is a fast-paced industry and to succeed, there is an element of risk-taking involved.Folio: What are some ways PopSci taps into Snapchat for engagement? Does the content offered there differ from Instagram, and if so, how?Johns: We will often cross-post content from our Instagram Stories to our Snapchat Stories because we’ve noticed a lot of overlap between the two communities, but we do host a semi-weekly, Snapchat-exclusive show called PopFriday, where we show off short science experiments.Folio: What are some challenges you’ve faced, and how have you tackled those obstacles?Johns: Both platforms have their hang-ups, but one of the biggest challenges is conversion—Instagram (and Instagram Stories) makes it a little easier, since they provide robust tools and analytics for driving traffic, but Snapchat is another story entirely, and our focus there is more on servicing our community with content they can’t get on popsci.com (or anywhere else).Folio: What are some ways you bring new audiences into your Snapchat and Instagram channels?Johns: Specifically for Snapchat, we’ve found a lot of success tapping into our +1M-member Twitter community—whenever we’ve produced a new PopFriday segment, we blast it out to our Twitter community and near-instantly see anywhere from 20-30 new followers.For Instagram, we’ve seen a lot of success utilizing website real estate to promote Instagram-only campaigns. Most recently, we launched a pretty hasty Instagram campaign for the solar eclipse—72 hours out from the event—and we managed to rack up 300 submissions within 24 hours after the solar eclipse, and I highlighted the best submissions in an on-site gallery.For more information about the Folio: show on October 9-11, click here.last_img read more

Michigan House approves TNC package

first_img Legislation approved Wednesday with bipartisan support in the Michigan House of Representatives provides a framework for transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, to operate in Michigan.House Bills 4637-4641 establish procedures allowing TNCs to operate under a uniform statewide regulatory system. HB 4640, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Barrett, amends the Insurance Code to allow for TNC passengers to be treated the same as taxicab passengers in cases of accidental injury.“This bill provides a common-sense safeguard for passengers and other drivers,” said Rep. Barrett, R-Potterville. “Passengers will now be treated the same as if they were in a taxicab or bus.”Under this legislation, TNC passengers will be covered by their own auto insurance in the case of an injury. Those who do not have insurance will be covered by the driver’s insurance.The bill package also exempts TNCs from the limousine transportation act, and allows TNCs to operate in Michigan through a permit issued by the state’s department of transportation.The TNC legislation now moves to the Senate for further consideration.### 18Jun Michigan House approves TNC package Categories: Barrett Newslast_img read more

Rep LaFave Plan expanding internship options to high school students signed into

first_img13Jun Rep. LaFave: Plan expanding internship options to high school students signed into law State Rep. Beau LaFave today announced his plan helping high school students earn course credit through an internship or work study program has been signed into law.“Education today goes well beyond what’s in the classroom, especially as our children grow older and advance through high school,” LaFave said. “The real-world experience that an internship can provide is important to our job providers and students, helping identify what the future may hold for both. We’ve got to encourage these kinds of opportunities to explore if a certain career track is a strong fit or not before earning a high school diploma.”The legislation sets guidelines stating that students can work four to 10 hours a week and, with the local district board of education’s oversight, will receive credit for graduation. The internship may be paid or volunteer. Partner legislation also safeguards funding for school districts, allowing students participating in an internship or a work experience program off campus to continue to qualify as a full-time student.Although current Michigan Department of Education guidelines allow work-based internships in grades 9-12, LaFave’s new law makes it less prohibitive for students and school districts, especially in Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties.“There are several major corporations in Michigan that have facilitated internships to both high school and college students, which is great to see. However, my legislation opens the door to smaller local businesses and the mom and pop’s like we have in the Upper Peninsula, not just billion dollar companies,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “Hands-on experience is at a premium in today’s workplace. Expanding more authority to local school districts to decide on appropriate programs, while cutting through the red tape, will help both the students and the local job creators.”LaFave noted he had letters of support on the plan from the Gladstone, Carney-Nadeau and Breitung Township school districts. Also supporting the legislation are the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Association of School Boards and the Great Lakes Education Project.House Bill 4106 is now Public Act 184 of 2018.##### Categories: LaFave News,Newslast_img read more

Netflix has ordered its first Chineselanguage ori

first_imgNetflix has ordered its first Chinese-language original series from Taiwan, a “jailbreak thriller” named Bardo.The eight-episode series will become available to all Netflix members worldwide at the same time, but the official date has not been annoucned.Netflix is teaming up with prodco IFA Media and writer/director Sam Quah to produce the show.Bardo follows the journey of Ah Quan, a good man who has descended into crime awaiting execution. Netflix describes the title as a “jailbreak thriller with a karmic dimension”.Frank Smith, executive producer of Bardo, said: “Taiwan’s film and TV industry is full of amazing creativity and Sam’s a new Asian talent who is open to pushing the boundaries and trying new things but with a strong insight into local and regional themes.“The combination of this range of skills from across the region and the chance to work with a global platform like Netflix that is producing amazing content we’d all love to create, made this a great partnership for IFA. The story itself is steeped in local realities and dilemmas but the approach, the script and the dramatic feel is something completely new.”The move sees Netflix invest in further global productions after announcing new moves in Latin America and India earlier this week.last_img read more

Netflix has introduced a new smart downloads fea

first_imgNetflix has introduced a new ‘smart downloads’ feature that will see the service automatically delete an episode once it has been watched and then download the next one.The new functionality is initially available on Android phones and tablets running the latest version of the Netflix app and kicks in when a user is connected to WiFi. Users can opt to manually manage their downloaded content by turning off smart downloads.“We know how annoying it can be to go through all your apps and delete files you no longer need; we also understand that when it comes to Netflix, the faster you can get to the next episode you want to watch, the better,” said Cameron Johnson, Netflix’s director of product innovation, in a company blog post.“We want to emphasise that giving consumers more control over their entertainment experience is at the heart of everything we do, and members can choose when they want to use smart downloads.”Smart downloads builds on the download function that Netflix first rolled out in 2016, which first allowed Android and iOS users to watch selected Netflix content on their mobile devices when they are on the move or not connected to the web.last_img read more

In This Issue… Chinas weaker GDP hurts risk as

first_imgIn This Issue… * China’s weaker GDP hurts risk assets… * A$ to be underpinned… * Japan to get serious with deflation? * Retail Sales today… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! China Widens Trading Band… Good day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! A very rainy weekend here, but at least we didn’t experience any tornadoes like they did in other parts of the country… I hope all are safe… Friday’s Home Opener was cold and rainy… Thanks to my friend Sandra, for getting me in a room so that at least it was dry… More on that later… Well… Friday, quickly turned around regarding the currencies and metals rally, and sent them to the woodshed… Stocks also retreated, thus making it a triumvirate of risk assets getting sold… That makes it a Risk Off day… Apparently, the slower than expected (but still 8.1%) GDP in China really scared the bejeebers out of the stock jockeys, and once the selling began there it carried over to the currencies and metals. Personally… I think that we’ll find that the first quarter GDP for China will represent a low-water mark for Chinese economic growth… But that’s just me… I could be wrong… But, thinking what I’m thinking about China’s GDP going forward, makes me think that the Aussie dollar (A$) will be well underpinned by China… You know… all the talk last week was about the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to cut rates at their next meeting in May… But did you hear that ANZ Bank actually hiked their mortgage rates last week? Hmmm… Maybe the RBA will cut rates next month, and maybe they won’t! If they do, I believe the rate cut will have been priced in the A$… and if they don’t, then watch out, the A$ will be running loose! I say that because, as I’ve explained in the past… when a rate cut is priced in, that means there have been lots of shorts in the currency that have been entered, as investors look for weakness with a rate cut… But if the rate cut doesn’t materialize, then all those shorts get covered, which means the A$ gets bought… I would have to think though that with all the talk the RBA has given toward the future of rates, that they will do the dirty deed… Dirty Deeds done dirt cheap… Did you see what the Japanese had to say after their cabinet meeting late last week? Get this… the Japanese Gov’t. issued a statement outlining their intention to beat deflation. Hmmm. Now? The Japanese are going to go after deflation now? What’s it been… 20 years that deflation has cast is net over the Japanese economy, and the Gov’t is going to go after deflation now? Personally… I see this as just window dressing… curb appeal… They are just trying to let the markets know that they are going to attempt to inject inflation in the economy, so that maybe, just maybe, the markets will sell yen… You see… in my opinion, there’s no way the Japanese can inject inflation as long as the yen is so strong… I’ve told you for years now, that a strong currency goes a long way in fighting inflation… And unless the Japanese can figure a way to weaken their currency to say 125… They are up the creek without a paddle… There was some BIG NEWS from China this past weekend… The People’s Bank of China announced this past weekend that it will enlarge the USD/CNY trading band to +/- 1%, from +/- .5% previously in place. This means the daily moves in renminbi can be wider… It’s just another step folks, to gaining wider distribution of their currency, for the Chinese know all too well that by allowing greater moves, it will gain more buyers and sellers… I was surprised when I saw the news story, because I had the understanding that when the peg to the dollar was dropped in July of 2005, that the daily band was +/- .3%… I read where the increase to +/- .5% came in May 2007… Ok… that explains why I didn’t have that in my brain… I had other things on my mind in May of 2007… So… I think this news from China plays well with my earlier thought that the 1st QTR GDP was the low water mark for the economy this year… The Chinese obviously believe the economy will expand at a faster clip going forward, and they want their currency stronger to combat the accompanying inflation… The euro briefly dipped below 1.30 overnight for the first time in two months… But immediately rebounded and has remained above 1.30 the remainder of the overnight markets and through ½ of the European market. … I believe that the initial downturn in the single unit was caused by a story in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that had a headline that said, “Downgrades Loom for European Banks”… So… here’s what happened… the story seemed to have information that no one else did, but when read, it was simply the author’s opinion, and offered no facts… So, the euro got sold, but once somebody took the time to read the story, the rebound was in… I guess more important to the markets is the fate of Spain, and further of Italy… Solvency concerns are like the Sword of Damocles hanging over the euro these days… And we’re only talking about the “Club Med” peripheral countries, and the Eurozone leaders need to address this up front and center, before the negativity begins to become the norm. Remember the LTRO’s? Long Term Recovery Operations… the LTRO’s were loans that the European Central Bank (ECB) made to inject liquidity… Well, the ECB is going to have to go back to the well here folks, and prove to the markets that liquidity is in place… The ECB also needs to provide further easing, and all this would go a long way in showing the markets that Spain is solvent… Of course rate cuts will hurt the euro’s value… but that should only be temporary, until the markets feel better about Spain, and Italy… There is 300 Billion euro that’s yet to be used by the ECB, folks… I would think that to be enough liquidity for both Spain and Italy… I don’t like any of this… but, it is what it is, and we have to deal with ways to keep countries from defaulting… because one default will beget another and so on… Ok… onto other things this morning… The New Zealand dollar / kiwi really took it on the chin last Friday… going into the day kiwi had reached 83-cents! But, once the China GDP number printed, A$’s weren’t the only currency to weaken… And since kiwi had really outperformed its kissin cousin across the Tasman (A$’s) it got sold at a quicker pace than the A$… A reader from New Zealand sent me a note last week, and said that it looked like the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) was ready to remove the emergency rate cuts made last year after two devastating earthquakes hit the two island nation… If that thought was bought by the markets then that explains kiwi at 83-cents… The problem with the thought is that the rest of the world is cutting rates again… So, unless you want all the attention and a currency that gets driven higher in value, you had better put those rate hikes in your back pocket for now… For we all know that RBNZ Gov. Bollard is no fan of a strong kiwi! In Sweden this morning… the Gov’t lowered their forecasts for economic growth… That’s not a good thing, but at least they recognize it and don’t try to paint pretty pictures with the data like our Fed Heads do… Speaking of Fed Heads… St. Louis Fed Head, James Bullard, he of at least a couple of sound bites, will be speaking today. He’ll be speaking on Monetary Policy and the Economy right here in St. Louis… And the Fed’s balance sheet must be ballooning again… The 10-year Treasury’s yield is back below 2%… Just a month ago it was soaring higher to 2.38%… I would bet a dollar to a Krispy Kreme, that the Fed came in then, and hasn’t stopped buying since! Here in the U.S. we will see the color of March Retail Sales data this morning… The BHI (Butler Household Index) tells me that Retail Sales while positive will be much weaker than February’s +1.1%… I did my best to spur March Retail Sales while in Florida… But, I truly believe that the high gas prices are beginning to pinch U.S. consumers… So, while March’s Retail Sales will be positive, they will not be what makes an economy like the U.S. move forward… I read a story this weekend about unemployment here in the U.S. and yes, we continue to see individuals leaving the work force, thus allowing the unemployment rate to fall, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)… But this researcher found that looking at the Employment to population ratio and the Unemployment rate we find somehow last year these two de-coupled… Hmmm… The Employment to population ratio rate remains at 10.5%, while according to the BLS the Unemployment rate has fallen to 8.2%… This can’t be folks… it’s that simple… So… this is data that proves the BLS is simply doing their best to make things look good… Long time readers know of my lack of affection for the BLS, so this revelation in the data doesn’t surprise me one iota… not one iota folks… I’ve told you for years now that the BLS uses smoke and mirrors… Then There Was This… for all those that don’t believe that Gold & Silver keep up with inflation… a reader sent me a picture from a gas station in Montana… The gas station had a sign that said, “Gasoline 20-cents A Gallon… If paid with pre 1964 dimes, quarters, halfs or dollar coins” That about says it all there, eh? I always go back to friend, Bill Bonner’s qualification of Gold… Saying that 100 years ago, a man could buy a good suit of clothes with a 1 oz. Gold Coin… The same can be said today… To recap… The Chinese slower growth really deep sized the risk assets on Friday and in the Asian markets last night. The euro briefly dipped below 1.30 on a story headline in the WSJ that was found to not have facts but instead opinion… China announced a wider trading band for the renminbi, and Japan is NOW going to get tough with deflation… And Retail Sales print today. Currencies today 4/16/12… American Style: A$ $1.0355, kiwi .8185, C$ $1.0010, euro 1.3025, sterling 1.5840, Swiss $1.0830, .. European Style: rand 7.9750, krone 5.8050, SEK 6.8230, forint 229.15, zloty 3.2160, koruna 19.0445, RUB 29.67, yen 80.75, sing 1.2510, HKD 7.76, INR 51.67, China 6.3150, pesos 13.23, BRL 1.8375, Dollar Index 80.08, Oil $102.55, 10-year 1.98%, Silver $31.41, and Gold… $1,648.28 That’s it for today… Well… Friday the 13th wasn’t kind to the Cardinals on Opening Day, but they rallied back to win 2 of 3 from the Cubs… The Blues rallied to win Saturday night… I was watching the game at home, and there right before my eyes was Chris Gaffney! Chris was “on the glass” at the game, and fight took place right in front of him… Well… after all the baseball games I’ve attended in my life… I finally went home with a baseball that was hit into the stands… This one off of a foul by David Freese… I once knocked down a wicked line drive in Wrigley stadium but before I could bend over to grab it, someone else grabbed it… So I had the stinging hand, and he had the ball… UGH! But not this time! We had D & E (Delaney & Everett) Saturday evening and early night… that was fun… I think! And with that, I’ll get out of your hair for today, and thank you for reading the Pfennig… Now go out and have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

NPRs Take A Number series is exploring problems

first_imgNPR’s “Take A Number” series is exploring problems around the world — and solutions — through the lens of a single number.One of the places many people are first prescribed opioids is a hospital emergency room. But in one of the busiest ERs in the U.S., doctors are relying less than they used to on oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin and other opioids to ease patients’ pain.In an unusual program designed to help stem the opioid epidemic, the emergency department at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., has been exploring alternative painkillers and methods. That strategy has led to a 58 percent drop in the ER’s opioid prescriptions in the program’s first year, according to numbers provided by St. Joseph’s Healthcare System’s chair of emergency medicine, Dr. Mark Rosenberg.”There is a complete change in philosophy, a complete change in culture in the department,” says Rosenberg, who launched the Alternatives to Opiates program in 2016 with Dr. Alexis LaPietra, the medical director of pain management in the emergency department.Last year, the program was highlighted during a visit to the hospital by the chair of President Trump’s commission to study the national opioid crisis, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.Patients are experiencing the shift in care for painful symptoms related to various diagnoses, including kidney stones, broken bones and muscle spasms.It was a muscle spasm and a deep bruise from a subsequent fall that brought Jonathan Milton, a 43-year-old forklift driver from Jersey City, N.J., hobbling into St. Joseph’s ER one morning in January.A couple nights earlier, Milton was at home, lying on the floor and watching TV. He accidentally fell asleep on his left side. When he woke up the next morning, he could barely get up. From his left hip down to his leg, he says, the spasm left him feeling “like somebody just came into that room, just kicked me and kept moving.” Later at work, when he tried to get up into the forklift, he fell.”I was so much in pain — tears were coming out my eyes,” he said as he waited in a hospital chair for more instructions from his doctors.Milton has come into this ER in pain before.”I did see from your visit you were here for that shoulder sprain,” said LaPietra, after checking the hospital’s records about Milton’s 2011 visit. “You did get opioids. You got Percocet.”Back then, opioid painkillers were part of the emergency department’s first line of offense against pain. Today, opioids are not banned, but LaPietra says sometimes the best way to reduce the pain from a muscle spasm, for example, is dry needling of a trigger point, not a pill.”Because it’s so contained, it’s hard for that medication to actually get into the spasm,” she explains, adding that the dry needle can break up the muscle tissue and mechanically stop the spasm and the pain — with no medication needed. The dry needling is followed with a small injection of a local anesthetic for the soreness caused by the needle.The ER team at St. Joseph’s employs a number of other pain-relieving strategies, too: using patches of lidocaine (a non-opioid painkiller); ultrasound to find nerves so they can inject numbing agents; laughing gas for patients to breathe in through a mask, and even a harpist to roam the halls to soothe patients, who are then often sent home with instructions to use ibuprofen, acetaminophen or a warm compress rather than opioids.”We have to go back to times when things were a little more simple,” LaPietra says. “Those easy, at-home techniques — good patient education, really — they help a lot with some of that pain that patients have to deal with when they go home.”But what may sound like common sense now — in light of the increased awareness of how addictive opioids can be — still requires a major culture shift among ER doctors who have prescribed these pills for years.”It took a little bit of getting used to,” says Dr. Ninad Shroff, an attending physician in St. Joseph’s ER. “I’ve been doing this for about 20 years, so for me, it was a big change.”Two years into the alternatives-to-opioids program, however, Shroff says during some shifts in the ER, where he mainly treats bumps, bruises and other musculoskeletal injuries, he doesn’t prescribe a single opioid. He still finds that “unbelievable,” he says.Rosenberg, who runs the ER, says doctors at other hospitals nearby are noticing the shift at St. Joseph’s. He says he’s been asked, “Why are all the drug users from your area coming to my emergency department?””It’s because they’re not going to get opioids at our emergency department unless they’re absolutely needed,” Rosenberg says.One challenge his program has had to work through is the cost of using alternatives to opioids. A few times, doctors had to work with pharmacists to find more affordable alternatives to the alternatives. For example, instead of prescribing lidocaine patches for patients to put on at home, doctors have switched to lidocaine ointment or cream, which is often covered by insurers.”The insurance companies don’t embrace all the alternative treatments and instead would rather frequently have us prescribe opioids because they tend to be inexpensive and readily available,” he says.Other emergency departments have rolled out alternatives to opioids at a smaller scale. But the model that St. Joseph’s has developed is now being copied at other facilities, including some in the UCHealth system in Colorado.”A lot of people now are very sensitive to the opioid epidemic,” says Dr. Thomas Brabson, chairman of emergency services at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, N.J., where he launched a similar opioid-alternative program in 2016.”The pleasant feeling of the opioids was something that people presumed was what the patients wanted, and that would help with your customer service scores,” Brabson explains, adding that now more patients are asking physicians not to prescribe any opioids.It’s a change in expectations about the painkillers that you also hear from patients.”Don’t give me that,” says Milton, the forklift driver with a muscle spasm. “I’d rather just keep dealing with the Motrin or the Advil.”For his shoulder sprain back in 2011, doctors at St. Joseph’s gave Milton a dose of Percocet in the ER and more pills to take home. But during his recent visit, Dr. Jessica Lim put a patch of lidocaine on his left side and told him to take Motrin and Tylenol and to stretch at home.”We were considering giving you a muscle relaxer,” Lim explained to Milton, “and I know you don’t like that feeling. So we’re not going to give it to you. This is even more on you to do the work yourself at home, and I know a lot of patients don’t like hearing that.”But Milton was OK with her advice — and glad to leave the ER with no opioids. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

The population of Madagascar has more than doubled

first_imgThe population of Madagascar has more than doubled over the past generation, from 11.8 million in 1990 to 25 million today. And with more mouths to feed, residents are cutting down rainforests so there will be more land for agriculture.That’s a threat to the rainforest ecosystem. Madagascar rainforests are home to rare and endangered species like the black-and-white indri, the largest known lemur, topping out at about 20 pounds.Responding to concerns from environmental groups, in 2015 the government restricted the clearing of virgin forest for agriculture as well as logging or mining activities.That would mean that people in rural areas could lose their ability to make a living.So Conservation International and the government of Madagascar came up with a plan. The non-governmental group would give supplies and training to locals to help them find new ways of earning a living, from chicken farming to beekeeping to fish farming. They called these initiatives “livelihood projects.”Researchers have looked at how this compensation plan is working out and published their findings in a study published last week in PeerJ, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.What they found is that good news for lemurs might be bad news for humans.”As well as bringing benefits there are also private costs of conservation restrictions,” says Julia Jones, professor of conservation science at Bangor University and one of the paper’s authors. “These tend to be felt by the people right at the forest frontier, the people whose livelihoods depend on clearing a small patch of land to feed their family.”The study examined a rainforest in eastern Madagascar called the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor (CAZ). Local Malagasy villagers have been farming in and around the CAZ for generations. Most of the forested land in Madagascar, including the CAZ, legally belongs to the state.Conservation International administered the compensation in partnership with the Malagasy government, but funding is provided by the World Bank through the REDD+ program. REDD+ (Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) is an international effort to slow carbon dioxide emissions by preventing deforestation in developing countries.To find out if the so-called “livelihood projects” were helping locals cope, a team of researchers from the U.K. and Madagascar conducted a series of interviews with villagers.Walking for many days to reach villages, climbing mountains and crossing rivers, the researchers eventually spoke to 450 households.The results were not encouraging.The project targeted approximately 2,500 households. But thousands of people affected by the new restrictions did not receive “livelihood projects,” because the original World Bank report had significantly underestimated how many people would be affected.And when communities did receive “livelihood projects,” their value wasn’t enough to make up for what they were losing by not being able to clear new land for farming.According to the paper, Conservation International made a one-time investment of $100 to $170 on each household’s livelihood project, with the hope of seeing long-term benefits. But when villagers were asked to assign a dollar value to the aid, their rough estimate was less than $80.And while many of the recipients were appreciative of the efforts to help them, the projects did not always pan out, says Rina Mandimbiniaina, a Malagasy native who was hired as a research assistant and is one of the paper’s authors.”One family got chickens, just a few poultry,” she says. Raising chickens “was very of hard for them. They got about ten or so. But most of the poultry died.”For its part, Conservation International seems to recognize that it may need to modify its approach. “We always aim for improvements that benefit people and nature,” the organization said in an email to NPR. “Research such as this helps us improve our work on the ground.”Still, Conservation International notes that the study does not fully account for the long-term value of an intact rainforest. When other intrinsic benefits of conservation are included, such as clean water, the compensation gap may shrink.Robin Naidoo, a senior conservation scientist at the World Wildlife Fund who was not involved in the study, agrees that there are other conservation benefits the study didn’t take into account. For instance, villagers can forage for fruit and medicinal plants in intact forests.”They excluded wild harvest products from income calculations,” Naidoo says. “It’s difficult to value those but they are nevertheless a benefit.”So what’s the next step?”They [Conservation International] recognize that there is limited money out there for the community development side,” Jones says. “So yes, there are all these policies saying don’t harm local people, but the money available is very limited.”She believes that the international community needs to provide more funding for such conservation efforts.In the end, Malagasy people are open to conservation, says Sarobidy Rakotonarivo, a post-doctoral researcher at Scotland’s University of Stirling and another study author who did research on the ground. But they want respect just like anyone else. “They know that conservation is important, and they want their kids to see lemurs,” Rakotonarivo says. “But they’re very frustrated when they realize that lemurs are more important than they are.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

A disabled peer secured investigations into a seri

first_imgA disabled peer secured investigations into a series of key disability-related issues when she took over as editor of BBC Radio’s flagship news programme on New Year’s Day.Baroness [Jane] Campbell (pictured) was one of six guests who took editorial control of Radio Four’s Today programme for a day each between Christmas and 2 January.Among the issues covered in her stint on 1 January were an examination of the impact of the Disability Discrimination Act, 20 years after it became law; a discussion of the potential impact of new technology on disabled people; and a conversation between disabled comedians Jack Carroll and Simon Minty about whether it is ever acceptable to make jokes about disabled people.The most controversial segment of the programme was Baroness Campbell’s interview with journalist and former Tory MP Matthew Parris who has argued publicly in favour of assisted suicide.He suggested in the interview that those people who were no longer useful “should tend to ask ourselves how much longer we want to carry on”, and added: “I don’t think that those people that don’t have the ability because of their physical limitations to end their lives themselves should have that right removed from them by their disabilities.”He compared those cases with Baroness Campbell, who he said was “immensely useful”, but he also said that her wheelchair and other equipment were “very expensive” and that there would come a time when there had to be “a limit” put on the “slice of the cake” apportioned to disabled and older people.Baroness Campbell told him that his limits were “too low” and that “the future will not be as gloomy as maybe you predict”.She later told Today presenter Justin Webb that Parris had “a very dystopian, gloomy view of the world, and the world of people who are incapacitated” and that “he knew nothing about us”.She also criticised his stereotypical views about the expense and dependency of disabled people.She said: “My electric wheelchair costs less than a replacement hip. My wheelchair gives me independence and allows me to contribute in my job.“When Matthew Parris needs a hip replacement which costs more [than my wheelchair] will he be asking himself the question: am I too expensive?”She added: “I truly believe that if you invest in disability, the gains will pay for themselves, and that’s shown to be the case and that’s why I’m in the House of Lords.”The programme also included a discussion on the effectiveness of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) since it took over from the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and other equality bodies in 2007.One former disabled EHRC commissioner, Diane Kingston, now vice-chair of the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, said the current state of the commission was “quite shocking”.She said she had had a “fantastic team” working around her on disability rights when she was at EHRC, and they had been able to “commission a lot of research, produce some fantastic reports and do a lot of outreach work”.But she said the commission’s funding was now “quite pitiful”, and equivalent to the budget of the DRC alone at the time it closed.One of EHRC’s current commissioners, Sarah Veale, told Today that the commission did “a very, very good job” despite its funding being cut to an annual budget of just £19 million, and had become “very good at prioritising”.The EHRC’s budget reached £62 million in 2010-11, although it was cut to £55 million by the new coalition government during 2010.But Veale dismissed suggestions that the government might want to scrap EHRC entirely, and said: “I think we are respected and accepted and no government is going to want to get rid of an organisation that is a success now and is delivering for a wide range of people in a very diverse community that we live in.”last_img read more

Amazon Boosts Minimum Wage to 15 Per Hour

first_imgAmazon Add to Queue Register Now » October 2, 2018 Senior Editor 1 min read Image credit: via PCMag Next Article This story originally appeared on PCMagcenter_img –shares If you work for Amazon, there’s a good chance you’re waking up to some surprising and welcome news this morning. You’re getting a pay raise!Amazon today announced that over 250,000 of its employees along with an additional 100,000 or more seasonal workers will see their pay increased to $15 per hour from Nov. 1. The change applies to all “full-time, part-time, temporary (including those hired by agencies), and seasonal employees” who are based in the US. That also extends to all Amazon subsidiaries such as Whole Foods.Shared the new Amazon $15 minimum wage with the team here at LGB3 early this morning! Best All Hands Ever!!! Amazon Boosts Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour Matthew Humphries All of Amazon’s U.S. workers will benefit from the minimum wage increase, which means more than 350,000 staff spread across all of Amazon’s business ventures (including Whole Foods) should be better off beginning in November. Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Businesslast_img read more

Buy Leaseor Move to Cloud Computing

first_img November 20, 2008 Brought to you by PCWorld 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Next Article Buy, Lease–or Move to Cloud Computing? –shares 11 min read Your trusty old office computers are likely chugging along with the power of a 20-year-old Oldsmobile climbing Mt. Everest, gamely working hard to complete ever more complicated and varied tasks for your company’s employees.center_img Apply Now » Alexandra Krasne Your trusty old office computers are likely chugging along with the power of a 20-year-old Oldsmobile climbing Mt. Everest, gamely working hard to complete ever more complicated and varied tasks for your company’s employees. But while it might be time to replace the outdated PCs, with today’s credit crunch, you may be considering alternatives to simply buying new hardware as a way to save your business money.So should you lease new hardware, forgoing boxed software? Or try the new cloud computing solutions that are being touted as the next big thing? We’ll look into a variety of options for your business and let you know which ones will save you money, and which could potentially cost you big.Leasing vs. Buying: Good Deal or Bad Idea? According to a 2007 study by IDC, cutting your PC’s life cycle to three years, versus five or six years, will save you on the overall cost of maintaining that system. As presented in the study, keeping two generations of leased desktop PCs (held for three years each) is 20.5 percent less expensive than buying and holding one machine for six years.Lifecycle implications aside, there are other considerations to mull over before signing a hardware lease, such as end-of-lease costs and other fees that can accrue if not monitored, according to Joe Loiselle, Vice President of Global IT Advisory Services at IDC.”Leasing is not a bad thing, if you manage it. Unmanaged, it will be a big liability. Most [leases] favor the lack of discipline a buyer has, and most favor a mobile device–it moves, breaks, and changes hands,” he says. Unless you are going to send back the equipment on time and address end-of-lease issues, Loiselle believes that your organization is going to bleed cash. Most people don’t pay attention to a lease once they sign it, he adds, and lease agreements aren’t exactly designed to save you money in the long run.”Companies are making a mass exodus from leasing,” says Loiselle. Leasing “is a Venus flytrap: it’s tough to get into and tougher to get out of.” Of course, given today’s credit crunch, it will be more difficult to get a lease or financing in the first place.When it comes to servers, it can be even more difficult to return equipment, as data, applications, and network connections are all affected when you remove a server. Servers are not as easy thing to rip out of your network, and most small businesses don’t have redundancies in place, according to Loiselle.A final consideration before signing a lease: Businesses are often able to write off as much as $15,000 for new equipment, so it may make sense to buy the equipment outright. Be sure to check with your accountant or tax preparer before making a move to either option.Cost Comparisons: Is Leasing Cost Effective?We looked at lease deals on three computer manufacturers’ sites, comparing pricing options for ten laptops. Overall, we found that leasing is the costlier option in the long run, even if it’s cheaper at the outset.At HP’s site, we selected the option to purchase ten business notebooks at a cost of $15,590. HP lists the lease price for these same notebooks as $413 per month for a 48-month lease. That’s $19,824 for a 48-month lease, or an additional $4824 to lease the machines, rather than buy them outright. (To find out about other lease lengths, pricing, or options, check HP’s site.)On Dell’s site, the company lists finance options that include both fixed purchase options (FPO) and full market value (FMV) options for leasing with 24-, 30-, 36-, or 48-month financing. Both options require a $75 processing fee. Our total for ten similarly equipped laptops, sans shipping and tax, was $15,695.Displayed right beside the total on Dell’s site are links to the lease options. (Before you go through the process of getting qualified, you can estimate your payments based on your credit level–Excellent, Good, or Fair–and the total purchase amount.) The 48-month lease on $15,695 was $460.96 per month for FMV and $461.04 for $1 Buy-Out. That’s $22,126.08 for FMV and $22,129.92 for $1 Buy Out over 48 months. You do the math: Purchasing equipment outright saves you at least $6500 here.Next, we clicked over to Fujitsu’s site, where the company offers lease purchase options of $1, 10 percent, or FMV, and provides a lease calculator to figure out your costs. Fujitsu doesn’t offer a 48-month lease, but its 36-month lease on ten laptops totaling $15,000 was $473 on the FMV plan, $483 on 10 Percent Purchase, and $522 on $1 Buyout. So that was $17,028, $17,388, or $18,792, respectively on a $15,000 equipment purchase.In the end, the ten laptops we researched on the three vendor sites on average cost $4000 more if you were to lease them for 48 months, as opposed to buying them outright. While leasing does mean you won’t be strapped with a steep initial cost, buying saves a bunch of cash in the long run.Buying also potentially saves more money down the line, as lease contracts can stipulate that a vendor can charge extra should you return your equipment late or without a clean hard drive.Printer Leasing and Online Faxing: Panacea or Problematic?If your office needs also include high-volume printing, collating, and all the bells and whistles of a big-budget printer, many companies offer equipment leases. HP and Xerox both offer lease options for high-end, high-volume models.For example, the high-volume black-and-white HP LaserJet M5000 MFP series starts at $4000 retail, and the Color LaserJet CM6030 MFP series starts at $7000. But to lease, you’ll have to pay $115 per month for the M5000, or $190 per month for the CM6030 for a 48-month lease. (That means you’ll spend $5520 for the M5000, or $9120 for the CM6030, over the course of 48 months.)Though high-volume printers don’t have quite as short a lifecycle as a notebook or desktop, it pays to do your research to understand the lease options, what’s expected at the end of the lease, and what your total cost will be over the life of the lease.For expensive office equipment, such as a high-volume printer, you may find that the extra money spent over the course of a lease makes sense, as it’s only one device that will remain in your office, and it’s easier to track than a laptop. As with any lease, make sure you understand the terms and whether you’ll be stuck shipping a giant printer back to the vendor once the lease is up.Your needs may include less printing and more faxing, however. These days, a new fax machine ranges in price from less than $100 to $350, depending on feature set. But if you don’t send faxes often enough to justify a machine or a separate phone line, many free and low-cost online services let you send faxes online. These “virtual fax machine” services let you send faxes via e-mail and receive them; some offer a free local landline number.Do a Google search for “online fax” and you’ll find that there are literally thousands of Internet faxing services available, with a range of prices and features. Some are free, some let you send faxes only, and others let you both send and receive–all without a physical fax machine.One popular service, Myfax, offers plans that start at $10 per month or $110 a year to send 100 pages and receive 200 per month. The service also includes one year of online storage and either a local or a toll-free fax number.Efax is another Internet fax provider. It offers free, Plus, and Pro plans. The paid plans run around $20 per month, and you can receive faxes free. You can send 30 pages per month, and additional pages run 10 cents each. To read or create faxes, you’ll need the service’s free eMessenger application. The site does not offer storage, and larger faxes may take up a large chunk of your inbox.Overall, online faxes are a great deal if you don’t want to pay a monthly fee for a phone line, buy the equipment, or lack a permanent office space. Online faxes can also be more secure than a fax that sits out in a public area. But if you want the dependability of a landline and a permanent fax number, online faxes may not be the best option.Reach for the Clouds: Storage, Servers, and Services You may decide to simply forgo new equipment and software in favor of cloud computing, which has been gaining in popularity and hype in recent months. Companies like Google, Dell, HP, Oracle, Amazon, Salesforce.com, and even Microsoft are providing applications, Web space, and computing power via the Web. But does this mean that your traditional software applications and servers will be unnecessary?Gartner believes that 80 percent of Fortune 1000 companies will be using some form of cloud computing services by 2012. Cloud computing lets large companies spend more money on infrastructure and less money on the actual hardware, but as cloud computing gains in popularity, some industry experts argue that costs will increase as adoption takes hold.”Windows isn’t going away, but more and more services will be offered from the cloud, rather than installed and managed on specific on-premises platforms,” says Thomas Bittman, a Gartner analyst, on his blog. “Not to say that Amazon, Salesforce or Google have all the kinks worked out–but they sure have lowered the barrier to entry for a developer looking to build a global-class application on the cheap.”You don’t need to buy hardware or software, but you will often have to pay for space and the use of cloud computing applications. (You may need a consultant to set up some of these, however.)Some examples of cloud computing offerings include Salesforce.com, a customizable online customer-relationship management database service that offers tools to track contacts and sales leads, run campaigns, generate reports, and track revenue. You can also store files online. Its AppExchange lets you browse and install applications from partners and third-party developers. The company offers a 30-day trial, and pricing varies depending on your needs and the number of users. Check the Salesforce site for specific pricing.Amazon’s recently launched EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) service lets you forgo buying Web servers and rent instead. The term “elastic” means you can rent what you need on demand and pay for the bandwidth and server processes you use. Storage via Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service) lets you store and retrieve any amount of data, starting at 15 cents per gigabyte per month. Amazon’s EC2 pricing model is based on a number of factors, including data transfer–but there is no minimum fee or activation.And Microsoft is getting into the act with its Windows Azure, a cloud-computing platform that allows developers to build and host their services on Microsoft infrastructure. Azure is not available yet, but it will reportedly eliminate the need to update your desktop applications.Of course, when it comes to cloud computing, Google Docs has been the long-standing application king. Google offers free word processing, calendaring, e-mail, spreadsheets, and collaboration tools as well as paid services that include e-mail archiving, the ability to disable ads, and support. On its site, Google lists side-by-side benefits of both free and paid plans.Though every cloud has a silver lining, these cloud services aren’t all dreamy. For one, you are at the mercy of the provider, and if they suffer an outage, so do you. Google’s recent Gmail outage left customers stranded without e-mail and their online applications for days. Security is also up to the provider, so make sure to check out whether its security level meets your needs.Whether you go the traditional route of buying your software in a box, renting server space online, buying hardware outright, or leasing, it pays to do your research, and to understand the risks. And remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it almost always is. Add to Queue Technology The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue.last_img read more

Unstoppable Nostalgia Netflix Said to Be Developing a Legend of Zelda Series

first_imgNews and Trends Unstoppable Nostalgia: Netflix Said to Be Developing a ‘Legend of Zelda’ Series 2 min read –shares February 9, 2015 Nina Zipkin Add to Queue Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.center_img Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Next Article Pop open a can of Surge and settle in because nostalgia can’t be stopped. On the heels of news and rumblings that beloved 90s properties like Twin Peaks and The X-Files are being revived, another enduring fan favorite may be getting a second life: Nintendo’s fantasy adventure series Legend of Zelda.Video-game enthusiasts are probably beside themselves with excitement right now.The long running video game, first released in 1987, is reportedly being adapted into a series for Netflix. The game follows the protagonist Link as he travels through the world of Hyrule to save Princess Zelda from the evil Ganon.Related: From TLC to The X-Files: How the ’90s Are BackNintendo hasn’t had much luck when it comes to adaptations, and hasn’t attempted one in more than two decades. There was a Legend of Zelda animated series that ran for 13 episodes in 1989, and a live-action Super Mario Brothers movie in 1993 that was something of a critical misfire. Though, all that happened a world before movies like Wreck it Ralph and The Lord of the Rings win Oscars, while Game of Thrones inspires Internet pandemonium every spring.In 2013, Eiji Aonuma, a central Zelda designer and producer told Kotaku that he envisioned a Zelda film with an element of audience interaction, so it’s hard to say what the project could ultimately look like. Netflix did not have a comment, and Nintendo did not immediately respond to a comment request.Related: 3 Ways Brands Are Marketing Nostalgia in the Age of Throwback Thursday Entrepreneur Staff Register Now » Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Businesslast_img read more

USA Today Publisher Gannett Makes Unsolicited Bid for Tribune

first_img 2 min read Add to Queue Acquisitions Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. April 25, 2016 ‘USA Today’ Publisher Gannett Makes Unsolicited Bid for Tribune Reuters Register Now »center_img Next Article This story originally appeared on Reuters Gannett Co. Inc., the publisher of USA Today, said it offered to buy Tribune Publishing Co. but the owner of the Los Angeles Times refused to begin “constructive” talks.”We therefore are prepared to consider all alternatives to complete this transaction,” Gannett Chief Executive Robert Dickey said in a letter to Tribune Publishing’s board.Tribune Publishing, however, said in a statement that it had told Gannett it would engage financial and legal advisers to review the proposal and its “numerous contingencies.”Gannett said it made an offer to buy Tribune Publishing on April 12 for $815 million, including the assumption of $390 million of debt.The offer of $12.25 per share represents a premium of about 63 percent to Tribune Publishing’s Friday closing price $7.52. Tribune’s Publishing’s shares closed at $6.86 on April 11.Tribune Publishing’s shares, which have lost half of their value in the last nine months, jumped to $12.10 in premarket trading on Monday. Gannett’s shares, which have gained 16 percent over the same period, were untraded.”Continuing to refuse to engage in a dialogue with us will only serve to delay the ability of your stockholders to receive the value represented by our all-cash offer,” Dickey said.The offer comes at a time when the print industry is grappling with falling sales and circulation as more people get their news from digital medium.Tribune Publishing reported a loss of $2.8 million in 2015 as revenue slipped 2.1 percent to $1.67 billion. Gannett posted a profit of $146.1 million, while revenue fell 9 percent to $2.89 billion.Tribune Co. spun off its publishing assets into Tribune Publishing in 2014, and renamed the parent company, which houses its broadcasting and digital assets, Tribune Media Co.(Reporting by Sai Sachin R and Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty) Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shares Image credit: Reuters | Jim Younglast_img read more

5 Trends Driving Disruption in the Accounting Industry

first_img 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Disruption September 23, 2016 Samuel Edwards Digital Marketing Strategist Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 5 Trends Driving Disruption in the Accounting Industry Apply Now » Over the past few years, new technologies and tools have emerged and transformed just about every aspect of business, including marketing, management, web design and HR. It’s easy to feel like accounting and bookkeeping have been forgotten. Until recently, the industry was stuck in the dark ages. But with the emergence of powerful new technologies over the years, it’s finally beginning to look like an industry that’s ripe for disruption.Before delving into the specifics of the accounting industry and the impending disruption, let’s take a moment to review some of the common drivers behind general disruption.Complacency: This is the biggest sign that disruption is on the way. When businesses get complacent and decide to coast on past accomplishments, outsiders take notice and see an opportunity to come in, and stake a claim.Frustration: Couple complacency from vendors with frustrations from customers, and some friction starts to develop. Customers want better offerings, but the vendors realize they have nowhere else to turn. Again, outsiders take notice, and see an opportunity.Lack of automation: Everything is about automation in business. If there’s a task that’s still being performed manually, it’s costing companies time. Someone else will try to come in, and disrupt the industry by offering an automated solution to satisfy the frustrations of existing customers.Emphasis on innovation: Finally, disruption starts to boil over when you see startups enter the marketplace, and prioritize innovation. This leads to larger companies taking notice and either purchasing these startups or revamping their own approach to innovation.When two or more of these drivers are present in an industry, then you can accurately predict disruption is right around the corner. Looking at the accounting industry, it’s easy to see how all four of these drivers are in play. In other words, disruption is imminent.While it’s easy to see how those four factors are present in the accounting industry, let’s dig a little deeper and actually analyze some of the trends that are driving disruption at this very moment.1. Clients want better connectivity.Take a look at any service-based industry, and you can identify ways in which processes have become more customer-centric. Well, with the Internet, cloud technology and remote tools, accountants have the ability to connect with clients in meaningful ways. And it looks like they may be finally taking advantage of these capabilities.“Online technology is giving us real connectivity with our clients and their team,” Brett Bennett said. “It means we’re having completely different levels of discussions regarding their farms. We can collectively discuss scenarios and business plans, and our clients recognize that value.”Related: 10 Best Accounting Websites for Startups2. Automated data entry.Automation is the key driving factor in accounting and bookkeeping disruption.Specifically, we’re seeing this lead to the disappearance of manual data entry. Thanks to things like automatic imports, electronic documents and robust software solutions, some businesses are even able to eliminate data entry completely.This leads to more efficiency and allows businesses to better utilize human capital.“The greatest disruption will result from automation of data entry and workflows. This alone leads to three major changes. One, faster processing which translates into real-time reporting and more timely financials. Two, increased accuracy with less human error. And three, significant reductions in cost on an order of magnitude of 50 to 75 percent”, accounting technologist Louie Balasny said.Related: 3 Red Flags That Your Tax Accountant Is an Idiot3. Growth of the DIY approach.One trend that we’ve been keeping any eye on for years is the growth of accounting software. And now that cloud solutions – such as QuickBooks — have entered the marketplace, we’re seeing a lot of small businesses trying the DIY approach.On a related noted, things like web tutorials, YouTube videos, webinars and search engines, now allow businesses to access just about anything necessary to handle their own accounting and bookkeeping needs.“This act of moving accounting online doesn’t precipitate the end of accountants,” accounting expert Jonathan Poston said. “However, what does push accountants to the margins is how inexpensive and user-friendly the new online accounting software is.”4. Machine learning and powerful insights.Accountants are generally able to sort through data, and deliver predictive insights based on past information. However, as technology advances, things like machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are making it possible for accountants to access real-time insights that can be used in the moment to add value to businesses and clients.“An accountant will be able to look at [the insights], and hopefully the big data systems will be intelligent enough to be able to say: Here are the key things happening in this business which are different to other businesses in that category,” one expert says. “This business is not performing in these areas, so go out and have a discussion with your client about those things.”Related: 3 Benefits of Cloud-Based Accounting Tools for Small-Business Owners5. Demand for specialization.We’re seeing it everywhere. People and businesses are getting a taste of specialization, and they’ve now come to expect it in every product or service they use.If you think about it, specialization is one of the driving factors of disruption in every industry. Cable customers are cutting the cord and choosing à la carte alternatives. Social media users can tweak filters to see only the content they want to consume. Smartphone users can pick which apps they want. The list goes on and on.In terms of accounting, this is boiling over and creating a demand for specialization over bundled packages. Businesses only want to pay for the accounting and bookkeeping services they need. This is ultimately putting added pressure on the marketplace. As a result, accounting software providers are adjusting their product offerings and pricing structures accordingly. In the future, look for accounting solutions to become à la carte.There’s no doubt that disruption is right around the corner. The accounting industry is still in the dark ages, when compared to other industries, but there’s currently a major emphasis on modernizing through automation.It will take a few months, but don’t be surprised to see an entirely new accounting industry in 2017 and beyond. Next Article –shares 6 min read Guest Writer Image credit: Caiaimage/Sam Edwards | Getty Images Add to Queue The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Double-entry accounting was invented at least a 1,000 years ago. Big changes are long overdue.last_img read more

Contentful Earns ISO 27001 Certification Boosts Security Safeguards

first_imgCompliance efforts kicked off in late 2017, as Contentful has been ensuring enterprise-grade security processes and applying them to the whole business. With certification, Contentful has security policies that standardize how the company approaches information security by establishing processes ensuring that employees can analyze security risks in an educated manner. Decision-making processes are also improved and Contentful has the flexibility to evolve with changing risk landscapes.Marketing Technology News: Selligent Marketing Cloud Study Reveal Digital Marketers Struggle to Deliver Consistent Omnichannel Experiences“Security is a top priority for Contentful and our customers. This certification is one more safeguard we’ve secured to support our customers’ continued success,” said Sascha Konietzke, CEO and co-founder of Contentful. “As the only pure-play headless CMS with ISO 27001 certification, we enable our customers to run mission-critical campaigns and business functions on our platform with the assurance that they’re backed by the highest level of security and reliability.”Customers can use Contentful’s certificate as evidence to their own security compliance requirements such as ISO 27001, and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Contentful customers are also assured that the platform’s security program is mature, and that Contentful is prepared to manage security incidents and emergencies.Marketing Technology News: Aprimo Recognized as Winner for 2019 Microsoft Media & Communications Partner of the Year Leading headless CMS platform earns certification, demonstrating its commitment to enterprise-grade information securityContentful, the leading content infrastructure provider for enterprises, announced that it is the first pure-play headless CMS to achieve certification under ISO 27001, a leading international standard that details the best practices for information security management systems.ISO 27001 ensures that companies reach vital threshold for the security of their own and customers’ data. This means that information security processes are solid, and one can trust that the certified company is doing all that it can to secure its business, which enables customers to trust the service provider as they work together to drive business growth. Marketing Technology News: Digital Communication Tools Leave Many Workers Feeling Squeezed out by Tech-Savvy Colleagues CMSContentfulGDPRNewsSafeguardsSascha Konietzke Previous ArticleSony Network Communications Partners With Taboola to Integrate Taboola News Into Sony News Suite Services Across 34 CountriesNext ArticlejumpGate SRM Re-Invents Cold-Calling for the Benefit of Company Gatekeepers and Buyers Contentful Earns ISO 27001 Certification, Boosts Security Safeguards Business WireJuly 2, 2019, 9:32 pmJuly 2, 2019 last_img read more

New clinical trial aims to examine safety and use of two HIV

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 8 2019A clinical trial has begun to examine the safety and use of two HIV prevention tools–oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and a vaginal ring–in adolescent girls and young women in southern Africa. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the trial is designed to contribute to the delivery of safe, effective and desirable choices of HIV prevention methods for adolescent girls and young women, who are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic.The Phase 2a clinical trial is called REACH, for Reversing the Epidemic in Africa with Choices in HIV prevention. It will enroll 300 girls and young women ages 16 to 21 years at five sites in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The ring in the study, which is replaced once a month, continuously releases the anti-HIV drug dapivirine in the vagina. The ring is currently undergoing regulatory review by the European Medicines Agency. PrEP involves taking a daily oral tablet containing two anti-HIV drugs, tenofovir and emtricitabine. After using each of these HIV prevention methods for six months, study participants may choose to use either one of the two methods–or neither–for another six months. Investigators will evaluate product safety, the extent to which study participants use the products, and how much participants report liking each product.Related StoriesEven when HIV prevention drug is covered, other costs block treatmentAlcohol reduction associated with improved viral suppression in women living with HIVScripps CHAVD wins $129 million NIH grant to advance new HIV vaccine approachREACH is co-funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute of Mental Health, all part of NIH. The study is being conducted by the NIH-funded Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) and is also known as MTN-034. Gilead Sciences, Inc. is providing the oral tablet for PrEP, and the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) is providing the dapivirine vaginal ring.The World Health Organization recommends that oral PrEP be offered as a prevention choice for people at substantial risk of HIV infection as part of combination HIV prevention approaches. The dapivirine ring is an investigational product that was found to be well-tolerated and to reduce the risk of HIV infection by approximately 30 percent in African women ages 18 to 45 years in two large studies: the NIH-funded ASPIRE clinical trial and The Ring Study led by IPM. IPM, which developed the dapivirine ring, is in the process of seeking regulatory approval for the product. Source:https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/study-prep-and-vaginal-ring-hiv-prevention-begins-girls-and-young-womenlast_img read more