Guardiola urges City players to be clinical

first_imgPep Guardiola was far from impressed with Manchester City’s inability to convert their chances against Tottenham Hotspur in their narrow 1-0 win.Riyad Mahrez’s early goal was the difference at Wembley Stadium as City missed clear-cut chances in both halves to increase their lead. And Guardiola bemoaned the poor finishing touches.He went on to reveal to Sky Sports: “We played today one of the most physical teams I’ve faced in my life because of Sissoko, Kane, Dier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, and Dembele. It’s incredible physicality and this pitch was so complicated. We missed some goals and we let them run.norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…“But we controlled quite good in terms of the difficulty to play on this pitch, especially in the first 15 to 20 minutes. In the second half, we should have the game over and that is the problem we have.“In the big events, especially in the Champions League, we need to be more clinical in this situation because sooner or later we are not going to win.”He then said in his post-match press conference: “I still feel we have a lot to improve.”last_img read more

Joni Mitchell Tribute Joni 75 A Birthday Celebration Coming To Theaters

first_img Joni Mitchell Birthday Bash Hits Theaters Feb. 7 joni-mitchell-tribute-joni-75-birthday-celebration-coming-theaters Twitter The iconic folk singer celebrated her 75th birthday in style last year, and now, for one night only, you can watch how it all went downPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Jan 9, 2019 – 4:06 pm Joni Mitchell’s 75th birthday celebration last year welcomed a number of GRAMMY-winning performers, including Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan, Diana Krall, Kris Kristofferson, Los Lobos, Graham Nash, Seal, and James Taylor. (Not to mention the performing GRAMMY nominees: Glen Hansard, Rufus Wainwright and 61st GRAMMY Awards nominee Brandi Carlile.) Now, Trafalger Releasing is set to release a movie of the tribute concerts — The Music Center Presents Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration — to theaters on Feb. 7.Variety’s coverage of the night’s performances said, “Carlile had the bravura vocal performance of the night, effortlessly hitting the high notes of ‘Down to You’ in a casually octave-spanning fashion few others on the bill would have been down with attempting.” She also joined Kristofferson for a duet of “A Case of You.” Facebook Email Joni Mitchell Tribute ‘Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration’ Coming To Theaters https://twitter.com/TrafalgarRel/status/1083009616919912448 News Tickets are now on sale for the Feb. 7 showings. A soundtrack album will be released via Verve on Mar. 1. A Woman Of Influence: Joni Mitchell, Looking Back From 75Read morelast_img read more

Oscars 2019 Breaking down Black Panthers chances for best picture

first_img Share your voice 2019 movies to geek out over Oscars 2019: How to write the perfect best picture speech… TV and Movies Now playing: Watch this: And may stop us from staying on the sofa with Netflix, too.Which brings us to Netflix’s Roma. Now available to stream to your TV or laptop or phone, Alfonso Cuaron’s spellbinding drama is a cinematic triumph and richly deserves its best picture consideration. Although… comparing Roma to Black Panther shows the strangeness of artistic awards — how do you weigh up two such different films? Regardless, a win for Netflix’s Roma could also be seen as the start of a new era, as the highest bastion of the movie industry acknowledges a changing industry.Whichever film wins, Tuesday’s nominations signal some timely changes for movies. It remains to be seen who the winners are — not just on Feb. 24 but in the future of features.First published, Jan. 22.Update, Jan. 27 at 10:06 p.m. PT: Adds SAG Award win.Update, Feb. 21 at 10:55 a.m. PT: Adds additional awards the movie has won.  How Marvel made ‘Black Panther’ look so amazing Tags Now playing: Watch this: 44 4:15 Comments 9:15 Genre flicks can win these headline awards. The Oscars are often associated with worthy dramas like Spotlight or 12 Years a Slave, but nominees like Avatar and Gravity and last year’s best picture The Shape of Water show sci-fi and fantasy aren’t necessarily an outside bet. Meanwhile box office success didn’t rule out best picture winners like Titanic and Braveheart. What’s more, Black Panther, for all its adrenaline-fuelled action and CG effects, is more than a superpowered beat-’em-up. Like BlacKkKlansman and Green Book, it tackles timely and relevant questions of race and prejudice. Where those other films examine the subject through a historical lens, Black Panther looks at the here and now. The scene in which African artifacts are reclaimed from a British museum gives a succinct take on the bearing of colonial history on the present. And the whole Afrofuturist premise of Wakanda’s highly advanced nation gives a glimpse at a possible future for the people scarred by that history.On top of that, Black Panther is written, directed and largely created by black filmmakers. In a year the movie industry has had to take a long hard look at itself, the story of who’s behind the camera is as important as the story unfolding on screen.So if Academy voters want timely subtext and positive representation as well as a thrilling story and cinematic verve, it’s all there between the punches and one-liners.doramblackpanthercropEnlarge ImageBlack Panther has taken over a billion dollars at the box office. Marvel Films Of course, Black Panther doesn’t have to win an Oscar. Director Ryan Coogler and the folks at Marvel are probably pretty happy with the billion dollars Black Panther raked in at the box office, the rapturous reception from audiences and the near-universal critical acclaim. And those who’ve been thrilled and empowered by the film don’t need a stamp of approval from the Academy. An Oscar, at this point, would be merely the icing on the cake.Besides, awards may actually be the last bastion against Disney and Marvel’s total cultural domination. As much as we love superheroes and blockbuster shared universes, they’re increasingly crowding out anything that isn’t a remake or sequel from the big screen. So you could argue smaller and riskier original feature films need the boost awards buzz gives them. If the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes and the Oscars remind jaded viewers that the big screen is made for more than superheroes, it might motivate us to try a wider variety of movies. 77 Photos Oscar nominations: Black Panther up for Best Picture, 6 other awards Predictions: Best picture, best director, best actor, best actress No one cares about your Oscars speech, you just need to go viral How to watch the 2019 Oscar-nominated movies Black Panther Marvel Oscars 2019 Disney And the nominees are… Black Panther is the first superhero movie to be nominated for the Oscar for best picture. It’s already a cultural phenomenon, a critical success, a billion-dollar box office sensation. At the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday, will it also usher in a new era of recognition for effects-driven superhero blockbusters? Marvel’s smash hit, released last February, is up against BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite, Green Book, Vice, Bohemian Rhapsody, Roma and A Star is Born for the best picture of 2018. Check out the full list of nominees here.So what are Black Panther’s chances?Enlarge ImageBlack Panther faces off against Green Book, Roma and more in the Oscars battle.  Marvel Black Panther has already bagged a bunch of gongs. Among a swath of award nominations, it’s scooped the best-film award from the African-American Film Critics Association, the Black Reel Awards, BET and MTV. The film’s music, visual effects and actors have also been rewarded with a BAFTA, two Grammys and several other wins. In January, it scooped up the Screen Actors Guild award for outstanding performance by a cast, and the SAG Awards often prove to be a leading Oscar indicator.Effects-driven blockbusters do win Oscars, of course. They just tend to be confined to the technical Oscars, for visual effects and sound design and so on. This year, Black Panther joins Avengers: Infinity War, First Man, Ready Player One and Solo: A Star Wars Story on the shortlist for best visual effects. Panther is also up for production design, costume design, sound editing, sound mixing, music, and best song.Without taking away from the achievements of the movie magicians rewarded for their skill and creativity in individual areas, best picture and best director remain the pinnacle of the awards season. And Black Panther deserves to challenge for the big awards. And the winner is…last_img read more

San Andreas fault ripe for earthquake and subsequent tsunami warning California in

first_imgA screenshot from Hollywood movie San AndreasA few days back, Dr Thomas Rockwell, a San Diego State University geology professor and paleoseismologist had claimed that the San Andreas fault, popularly known as the Ring of Fire is gearing up for a rupture. In a recent interaction with KPBS News, Rockwell claimed that the last strong earthquake that hit the area happened 380 years back. As per Rockwell, the average earthquake recurrent interval in this area is about 180 years, and it clearly indicates that the San Andreas fault is ripe for an earthquake, sometimes, a megaquake.Adding heat to these worries, Perry Stone, a popular prophecy preacher has claimed that a gigantic tsunami will hit the US coasts soon, and unlike Thomas Rockwell who relied on scientific proofs, Stone claims that these events are actually fulfilling Biblical prophecies. It should be noted that the last time a tsunami hit California was long back in March 1964, following a megaquake that measured 9.2 in the Richter scale.Perry Stone argues that the upcoming tsunami and earthquake will be much stronger, and it will actually trigger the end days on the planet.”I saw another detailed tsunami dream that was so vivid and detailed that it disturbed me greatly. On the West Coast, a major split occurred in the ocean causing the Pacific’s waves to rise high in all directions. This is the second West Coast dream of a tsunami I have seen. I often hesitate even sharing this on Facebook as the response is often so verbally critical and negative, reminding me of the same reaction Jeremiah received when warning the Jews of the Babylonia invasion, and one feels it is best left unsaid,” wrote Perry Stone on his Facebook page.Perry Stone also urged people to pray so that the impact of this tsunami will be reduced considerably due to the grace of God.In the meantime, a section of apocalyptic believers claims that doomsday on the planet will be triggered after the arrival of Nibiru. As per these doomsday mongers, Nibiru alias Planet X is a rogue planet that has already headed towards the earth for a devastating collision. However, NASA has dismissed these claims classifying it as an internet hoax.last_img read more

India job crisis drives migrants on boat to NZ

first_imgA man looks on from a building at a residential area from where several people travelled illegally on a boat to New Zealand, in New Delhi, India, 23 January 2019. Photo: ReutersIn a dark alleyway no wider than arms’ length, a single ladies’ shoe is all that remains on the boarded-up doorstep of Prabhu Dhandapani, his wife and their eight-year-old daughter.Prabhu, 30, was one of around 50 residents of a refugee community in New Delhi who left the capital to attempt a 7,000-mile boat journey through some of the roughest waters in the world with the aim of landing illegally in New Zealand, relatives and police said.He is now in custody in southern India, while his wife and daughter are missing, along with everyone else who boarded the fishing boat that police say left Munambam harbour in Kerala on 12 January carrying more than 100 people.The most likely and shortest route, though the straits between Indonesia and Australia, passes through seas where storms and typhoons are common.More than a dozen relatives of passengers on board the boat, that include pregnant women and young children, told Reuters they left to escape chronic unemployment in the Madangir area on the south side of New Delhi.“They had to leave to find jobs, to eat,” said Prabhu’s mother, Sugana. “They have been promised work in New Zealand.”When asked if she knew where the country was, she shook her head.It is the first known attempt by migrants to reach New Zealand by boat from India, and their story is a reminder of the vast challenge the country faces to create jobs for the 1 million young people who enter its workforce every month.Boats have been setting out from South and Southeast Asia for Australia for a number of years but Indians making the trip have been relatively rare, based on Australian government statistics that show the largest numbers detained there to be asylum seekers from Iran and Afghanistan.Long JourneyPassengers from Delhi left the capital in stages in December and early January. They checked into guesthouses near Munambam, a busy fishing port.They appear to have boarded the boat willingly, said a senior police official in Delhi briefed on the investigation. Their local police station in the capital had not received any missing persons’ reports.Precise numbers on the boat – and who organised it – are unknown. One officer from Kerala investigating the case said around 100 people were on board. A second said it could be more than 200, with the remaining passengers coming from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Police recovered more than 70 bags left behind by the migrants, said one of the officers, VG Ravindran.“The bags are full of dry goods and clothes, suggesting they were preparing for a long journey,” MJ Sojan, the officer leading the investigation told Reuters. “The people and boat are missing somewhere in the sea.”Some passengers, including Prabhu, did not board the boat, and police traced several back to Madangir after finding identification documents in the bags left behind. He was detained by Kerala police less than 10 minutes after arriving back in Delhi, his mother said, and taken back to the state for questioning.Sugana said she did not know why Prabhu did not board the boat with his wife, Anandi, and eight-year-old daughter Trisha. She said he was not involved in people smuggling.Hard LifeMany of the older residents of the Tamil community in Madangir fled Sri Lanka in 1983, when a civil war erupted between the majority Sinhalese Buddhist population and the minority Tamils, an ethnic group predominantly living in south India and north and east Sri Lanka.They settled in the area, a few miles from India’s parliament building and some of the country’s most expensive real estate, but which has suffered from rampant unemployment, residents said.“If we get the chance we will also go: this is a rotten place,” said Kanaga Lingam, a Sri Lankan refugee whose son, K Raghu, boarded the boat with his wife and two sons.There is anger too at prime minister Narendra Modi, who came to power in 2014 promising to create millions of new jobs for India’s young and rapidly expanding workforce.In fact, the country lost as many as 11 million jobs last year, according to a report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) think-tank, putting Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under pressure before a general election due by May.While the official jobless rate is only 3.5 per cent, the last comprehensive labour bureau survey was in 2015-16, and many unofficial estimates say it is much higher, especially if the underemployed, who only work for a few months a year or a few days a week, are counted.Many of those in the Tamil enclave who do work do so as daily manual labourers, a poorly-paid and unstable living.“If I am able I will go to Modi’s house and beg at his feet to be allowed to go to another country,” said a woman called Bumi, who like many southern Indians goes by only one name.“There are a hundred problems here. We have no jobs,” said a 32-year-old man, who like many in the area declined to be named, fearing involvement in the police investigation into the boat.Crime is also an issue in the area, primarily theft, the Delhi police official said.The BJP disputes the CMIE figures on unemployment. On Thursday several cabinet minister pointed to alternative figures from Naukri, an online jobs portal, showing a pick-up in employment over the last year.Land of promiseMany of those Reuters spoke to in the community, centered around a rubble- and garbage-strewn courtyard and several densely populated alleyways, said those on board the boat had been inspired by stories of Indian migrants starting new lives abroad, particularly in Australia.More than 600,000 Indians live in Australia, according to the latest government census, the vast majority of whom arrived legally. There are 155,000 in New Zealand.“People who go to Australia get put in camps for three months,” Kanaga said. “After that they get given proper housing. Everything is taken care of.”But few of those on the boat had passports, according to several people with relatives on board, and the reality for those arriving illegally is very different.If the boat lands in Australia or is intercepted by its border force on the way to New Zealand, those on board face being sent back to India, or to controversial camps in the South Pacific for long-term detention.“If they don’t have visas they would be unlawful maritime arrivals and as such they would be prevented from making an application for a further visa,” said Melbourne-based migration lawyer David Harvey. “They would likely be diverted to an offshore processing center.”New Zealand has seen fewer arrivals than Australia, although it now is also trying to warn off illegal migrants arriving by boat.“Any attempt to reach New Zealand will put your life, and the lives of your family members, at great risk,” said Stephen Vaughan, assistant general manager of the country’s immigration department. “There is every chance you will drown at sea.”But in Madangir, residents say the warnings will do little to deter such journeys.“We know about the dangers,” Kanaga said. “But it is more dangerous to live here than it is to go.”last_img read more

New Billboards Meant To Remind Of Houstons Arts Scene Beautify Skyline

first_img Listen “And so what we want to do is remind locals but also visitors that there is something to be seen when you exit the freeway, kind of get into the community to experience that,” she said. “So hopefully this will tease that, but it’ll also just beautify the skyline.”Houston First selected three out of about 120 submissions from local artists for the initiative this year.The plan is to use the three motifs on 10 unused Outfront Media billboards. That’s a value of $1.4 million, Shah said.The three artists each received $1,000.The first billboard was just revealed along Interstate-45 near Patton Street. It’s by Hector Guerra and features the words “Houston es amor,” with the o’s in “Houston” represented by Mexican sugar skulls. Share – / 2Billboards have been a controversial topic in Houston since at least 1980. That’s when the city’s sign code was adopted to reign in the thousands of billboards along roads.City government corporation Houston First is now putting local art on some of them.It’s easy to forget about Houston’s arts and culture when you’re on the freeway, Houston First’s Leah Shah said.center_img 00:00 /00:48 X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

Its all rain and dance in the city

first_imgBlending in world music with the rhythms from Kerala, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has organised a one of its kind choreographic production, Rain by Vijaylakshmi on 5 July.Rain is a new choreographic work in Mohiniyattam by Vijayalakshmi, the renowned Mohiniyattam dancer. This production is inspired by poet Sudeep Sen’s critically-acclaimed book of poetry, Rain. One of the verse from his book reads: ‘It is raining again, but today’s is a beautiful kind of rain…. steady, symmetrical confident, and unobtrusive. It has a kind of presence that is omnipresent without acutely announcing that it is there, like ambient music.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Infusing its essence into a dance form, Vijayalakshmi interprets Rain through the idiom of Mohiniyattam, the south Indian classical dance, which through its fluidity and ability to convey emotions and moods is very suited to express the metaphor of rain.As with most of her path breaking productions, the musical arrangement in Rain is very unique.She has worked very closely with Mac Quayle, an eminent American composer, to arrange traditional Kerala rhythms, Dhrupad, Rabindra Sangeet and contemporary elements which are all brought together seamlessly into a unique blend of world music. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIt is perhaps for the first time that Dhrupad has been incorporated into a Mohiniyattam choreographic work, rendered by the eminent torch-bearer of Dhrupad tradition, Wasifuddin Dagar.This vision was furthered by her collaboration with artistic director, Sara Baur-Harding, who also directed the documentary film on Vijayalakshmi and her mother, Beyond Grace and the 3D short film Carmen. Vijayalakshmi has always endeavoured to take Mohiniyattam to higher levels by constantly exploring uncharted territories and expanding traditional boundaries through innovative choreographies inspired from a pan-Indian and global perspective. A recipient of several prestigious national awards, she has carved a distinct niche for herself and has played a significant role in the rejuvenation of this beautiful Indian classical dance form.Head over and experience a confluence of forms.last_img read more

Seven BJP activists held for ransacking TMC leaders home

first_imgBalurghat: Seven BJP activists were arrested for their alleged involvement in ransacking a Trinamool leader’s house in Tarangapur, under Kaliaganj police station in North Dinajpur district.Trinamool leader Ashim Ghosh, whose residence was ransacked allegedly by the BJP activists, is the general secretary of the district.Police said the BJP workers were identified as Subrata Das, Dipak Roy, Batasu Deb Sharma, Dharani Deb Sharma, Nimai Debnath, Ramnath Mohanta and Gayanath Deb Sharma in court. All of them were remanded in jail custody.Police said the incident took place on Friday night, when the BJP activists had attacked Ghosh’s house with firearms and other weapons and ransacked it. They had also abused Ghosh and his family members.last_img

CNG fitness scam AAP demands LGs clarification on his role

first_imgThe Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has demanded that the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung immediately clarify whether he has made any attempt to hush up Rs 100 crore from the CNG fitness scam, in which chief secretary DM Spolia is also allegedly involved.The L-G can no longer remain silent following news reports that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in its preliminary investigation, has found that Jung had asked the Anti Corruption Branch of Delhi to close the probe involving top bureaucrats of the state government. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreIt is high time that Jung clarifies his role and until and unless he can prove to the contrary, he should resign immediately given the seriousness of the case and his role in protecting the graft tainted.Given the role of the L-G in protecting the top officers and the involvement of the chief secretary himself in the scam, the Election Commission of India should immediately take note and decide whether free and fair elections would be possible in Delhi with such individuals at the helm of administration. Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedThe continuing silence of the BJP’s central government and the L-G on the indictment of top city bureaucrats by the CBI in what is commonly known as the 2002 CNG fitness scam gives rise to reasonable apprehensions that people of Delhi are being cheated by an unaccountable administration and taxpayers money is being looted without any fear.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had directed Delhi’s Anti Corruption Wing (ACB) in January this year to provide all relevant documents to the CBI, when the investigating agency had registered a preliminary inquiry and sought all such documents from the ACB. It is shocking that indicted bureaucrats are continuing in top administrative positions and the BJP’s central government, which is indirectly controlling Delhi, appears to be turning a blind eye towards the multi-crore scams committed during the Sheila Dikshit government’s tenure. The AAP pointed out that the Union Home Ministry and Delhi administration should break their silence on when the CBI has sent a report to the Union Home Ministry and Delhi government’s department of vigilance asking for departmental action and further inquiries against three top bureaucrats, including the present Chief Secretary Spolia.“Is it not a fact that the former Sheila Dikshit government had tried to scuttle a probe into this scam by the Anti-Corruption Branch citing an order from the L-G that no inquiry was required?“Is it not a fact that official documents were forged to conceal facts about this scam?” asked AAP.last_img read more

Exploring trading opportunities

first_imgA part of this thought has been converted into action over the years through the efforts put in by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) by organising India International Trade Fair (IITF), but it certainly didn’t get a breakthrough until recently, when Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi gave way to the ‘Make In India’ initiative.IITF, an annual celebration of trade and industry, aims to strengthen our bilateral relations with the rest of the world. In the realm of external relations, the government has intensified India’s engagement with it’s neighbours and all friendly countries across the globe for better trade and cultural relations. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Complimenting ITPO, the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, underlined the contribution of the organisation in providing an ideal platform to SMEs. According to him, the fair, which is an archetype of the modern trade show, is a brand name in itself, enjoying recognition worldwide.This edition of the fair has a tremendous significance, especially when a unique transformation is taking place in the country. Several recent initiatives of the Government have already shown results and a positive impact has been created in key sectors. The ‘Make in India’ initiative will help India become a sought after investment and manufacturing destination. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe 35th edition of India’s largest trade fair has commenced on a high note here, drawing huge crowds to the sprawling Pragati Maidan fairgrounds on the very first day. Some of the sellers attributed the overwhelming response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ mantra.LC Goyal, Chairman and Managing Director, ITPO, expressed his gratitude to the President of India for sparing his gracious time and highlighted the salient features of the fair. He informed that IITF 2015 has participation of over 7000 exhibitors from 28 countries as against 6800 exhibitors last year. He also stated that IITF is a 14-day grand festival to celebrate and stimulate Indian trade and commerce, not only within the country but across the globe as well. Aligning with the Government of India policy of Start- Up, ITPO has earmarked Hall No. 26 for start-up enterpreneurs who have been provided a discounted tariff on rentals. ITPO has dedicated itself to ‘Swachh Bharat Mission,’ by introducing a separate award category for the best State Pavilion.Speaking on the occasion, Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Ambassador of Afghanistan, the partner country for the fair, expressed his happiness over the participation of his country as a partner country and stated that India is a strategic partner of Afghanistan.Syed Muazeem Ali, High Commissioner of Bangladesh, the focus country for the fair, appreciated India’s Look East policy which represents its efforts to cultivate extensive economic and cultural relations with the nations of Southeast Asia.Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Department of Commerce, Industry and Employment, Government of Madhya Pradesh, the focus state of the fair, emphasised that Madhya Pradesh, ranked fifth for Ease of Doing Business in India by World Bank, is also laying emphasis on infrastructure development and IT.As a partner country, Afghanistan had its own pavilion at the exposition with around 50 stalls selling handmade jewellery, watches, world renowned Afghani carpets, kaftans, saffron and dry fruits – a hot seller. Aiming at potential women buyers, is the Afghani Lapis Lazuli stoned jewellery. “Considering it’s the start of the fair, we have had a very good sale and have noticed huge numbers of buyers compared to the previous years. India’s push for ‘Make in India’ could be doing the trick,” said Shirin Qahraman, a woman entrepreneur from Kabul. Qahraman’s store has an exclusive collection of Lapis Lazuli neck-pieces, rings and bracelets. The neck-pieces start from Rs 2,000 and go as high as Rs 10,000.For Sado Zai, 32, a retail carpet seller from Kabul, the fair has been extremely helpful in marketing his products across the world. “The trade fair has been enabling us showcase our products to people around the world. I now have a few clients in India who import my carpets regularly. Through Make in India project, we are exploring ways to set up a business here,” said Zai as he exhibited his wares. The Afghani carpets are priced anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 50,000, depending on their size.As enthusiastic were the sellers about the fair, many expressed concern that the rent they have to pay for their stalls has skyrocketed. “For a stall of 10×6 feet, manned by two people, the rent is as high as $4,500 for the (two-week) duration of the fair. If this continues, it would be difficult for us to return in future,” Qahraman said.Also grabbing eyeballs at the fair were Turkish stalls with their bright glass lamps, ceramics and the well-known Turkish tea pots. Along with that, the Chinese pavilion is displaying a large number of technology-related products like water purifiers, energy-saving room heaters and food processors, among others. Indian khadi stalls with products from across the country are also a huge hit.Rashi Kumar, a bank professional, has been visiting the fair for the past 10 years and said the variety of products displayed by foreign participants is much better this year. “I have noticed many new countries participating this year, with a wider variety of products,” Kumar said, although the organisers last year announced participation of delegations from 41 countries.last_img read more

This Tech Can See and Think as Well as Humans Do

first_imgNovember 3, 2016 2 min read It looks like an ordinary USB stick. But plug it into any device’s USB port and it instantly makes your software smarter — as if you plugged in another brain. The Fathom Neural Compute Stick, made by the semiconductor company Movidius, powers “deep learning” — the ability to see and analyze images, and learn from what it observes, much like a human. We’re talking office security cameras that can distinguish a burglar from a janitor, or self-driving cars capable of finding legal, nonmetered parking. The business possibilities are endless.Tech like this “will replace experts in fields where we simply needed a ‘pair of eyes’ on the job,” says Movidius CEO Remi El-Ouazzane. “We’ve built machines that can now detect and perceive visual data better than humans.” You’ll need some programming chops to take advantage of its abilities. All its computing power comes from inside that little stick, rather than by connecting to the cloud. That cuts down on lag time, which is important for, say, the collision-­avoidance system in your drone. Movidius’ stick will be out by the end of the year. It will be cheap (less than $100) and energy-efficient.  Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. This story appears in the November 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »last_img read more

John Why are some of the phishing scams so blatan

first_img John: Why are some of the phishing scams so blatantly stupid? Like a Craigslist price of $2,307 for a 2013 BMW. It’s obvious to anyone. Durk: “Oh gee, I’m a Nigerian prince and I want to move $50 million to America and I’ll give you half of it if you help me.” Why are people trying a scam that’s so stupidly obvious? The answer is very simple: These are competent and professional fraudsters. If somebody falls for the Nigerian prince thing, then they’ll be stupid enough to give the fraudsters their Social Security number, their bank account number, and their password. With the Nigerian prince scam, the fraudsters get rid of the 99% of the people that aren’t that stupid right away. John: Ah. The more inane the fraud pitch is, the better the fraudsters target their market to the stupid. Doug, what’s your definition of stupidity again? Doug: Stupidity, like intelligence, comes in a number of flavors. The most common definition of stupidity is “of low intelligence” – but that’s rather circular, like saying “slow” means “not very fast.” I like to define “stupid” as the ability to see the immediate and direct consequences of actions, but the inability to see the delayed and indirect consequences. Like most criminals, black-hat hackers never see the long-term consequences – like being hunted, being held in contempt by most of society, and probably landing in jail. Or indirect consequences – like destroying their self-respect. Among other things. An even better definition of stupidity, applicable both to those who respond to the Nigerian prince scam as well as the Nigerian Prince himself, is “an unwitting tendency towards self-destruction.” Even when criminals score high on IQ tests, they still fit this definition. So while computer criminals are undoubtedly smarter than street criminals, they’re still rather stupid in very important ways. Durk: It’s relatively easy to protect yourself from being financially harmed in a hack. The first rule here is, don’t let a million different companies have your credit card number. Almost every company is perfectly willing to deal with a debit card rather than a credit card. If you keep a small amount of spending money in a debit card account, then that’s the most you can lose. And if it’s not your fault, you’re probably going to be made good. Second, you use encrypted wire transfers with your bank to make deposits. You see that little padlock up on the address line on your browser that says https rather than http? That’s an encrypted link. Just make sure that you or your browser entered your bank’s internet URL. Don’t click on an email link that appears to have come from your bank, because it may be a fraudulent phishing email that takes you to a URL with an https connection and a padlock that is NOT really your bank but sure looks exactly like your bank’s internet page and likely will have a confusingly similar URL! Recommended Link The next step is to keep your attack surface to a minimum. An attack surface is the path that you could be attacked through. For example, the more companies that have your credit or debit card numbers, the bigger your attack surface. When you buy something on the phone, tell them, “I don’t want my credit card number or debit card number being kept permanently on file. I just want to do this one transaction with you and don’t want to set up an account.” It’s in their computer and memory just long enough to clear with the bank or the credit card and then it’s gone. If the company then gets hacked, you are safer. There are only two places that have my debit card number permanently on file: PayPal and Amazon. Both of those are really serious about security. John: But the bad guys can be mighty sneaky. Durk: Yes. Clicking on an ad can load malware onto your computer if you’re not careful, especially if you use Windows. With a Mac, Gatekeeper will ask for your password, warn you that you are about to load an un-vetted program, and ask if you really want to do this. Some of those ads are little more than a pixel in size. Companies that are selling ad space on their websites don’t do anywhere near what I think is adequate to check out the advertisers. If you use Adblock Plus with Firefox, you are protected because you will never even see the ad, let alone be able to click on it.Also, you want a more secure browser than something that’s provided by Microsoft or Google. They’ve got a file on you that’s bigger than the FBI, NSA, and the CIA put together. Every time you do a search they’ve got your IP address – that is your internet protocol address which identifies you uniquely – and they also have years and years of tracking every search you’ve ever done, what you search for, and what you clicked on after you did the search. That is a vast amount of information. With that information and a bit of computer intelligence, they can figure out that your daughter is pregnant before you know it yourself. Deciphering masses of disparate data to allow for conclusions results from the availability of these dense patterns of information, in what is called the matrix effect. Microsoft and Google both make more money off of your personal information than they make off any products. The last time I looked at the contract for Windows 10 for individual users, it was 140 pages long. Buried inside there’s a section that essentially says, “All information on your computer belongs to us and we can do anything with it we want.” You agree to this by checking a box that you never read. Any time you do a Google search they’re harvesting information from you. They’ll sell it to anybody. They’ll sell it to the FSB/KGB, the DEA; they’ll sell it to the cops. If you’re getting a service for free on the internet, you need to know that you are the product. John: And they can sell this information to burglars who are local to you? Durk: Not intentionally, but yes, and these burglars then know what you drive, where you drive to and when, where your home is located. They know you’re asleep at 3 a.m., they know you have a Ferrari, they steal your Ferrari out of your driveway. John: How do you avoid this? Durk: In the case of Windows, there’s a free program you can get called ShutUp10. It reduces the amount of information getting delivered back to Microsoft from your computer. You need to keep that ShutUp10 up to date because Microsoft keeps changing the spyware they put on your computer. It’s a constant race. The web has turned into a massive theft of personal information used for marketing purposes. Also, when doing searches, go to – a ridiculous name, I know – DuckDuckGo.com. They’ll forward your search to Google and Bing and a whole bunch of other search engines, but they won’t forward your IP address, and they won’t keep a dossier on you and all your searches. Oh, incidentally, don’t use Facebook. Don’t use Twitter. They make all their money by selling your personal information. Just don’t use them. John: My son told me that travel booking sites substantially raise the available rates for flights if they see you shopping around for a specific trip. Indeed, it happened to me two days ago. I searched a fare three times during the day. The third time, the fare jumped up threefold and stayed high from then on. I thought I had missed out on a good fare. My son told me to try browsing incognito. Google Chrome has an incognito mode: turns it on. I turned it on, searched the flight again, and the price for my flight was the nice low one that it had quoted me initially. Sneaky. But I wonder if I can trust Google Chrome’s incognito mode for long. Durk: Google Chrome will still fink you out. I use Firefox, which has an incognito mode, with the extensions NoScript, Privacy Badger, Adblock Plus, Cookie Controller, and Random Agent Spoofer. Note that you do not have to restrict yourself to one browser when price shopping for expensive items. Justin’s note: Chris Wood, our tech expert and editor of Extraordinary Technology, recommended a cybersecurity stock last year that handed his readers triple-digit gains in little over a year. And he’s just found the company set to displace last year’s winner… for potential 130% profits. You can access the name of this company—and all of Chris’ latest research—with a risk-free trial subscription to Extraordinary Technology. Click here to learn more.Also be sure to check out Part 2 of Doug’s interview tomorrow, where the guys discuss other ways to start protecting yourself from hackers. Reader Mailbag Today, readers respond to our recent Dispatch on the future of electric-car maker Tesla… It’s the first time I have put pen to paper to you but I just have to say that I can’t agree more regarding your prognosis on Tesla. Believing what you have just said, back in March I placed a put, for June, on Tesla crashing, only to lose my $5,000 bet. Clearly the man [Tesla founder Elon Musk] is a perfect artist in front of the American investing public, who just follow and follow his dreams. I’m afraid that you are right, however. On the other hand, it’s great to see how you Americans can follow a dream. Is that not what makes America great? –Rodney Justin’s note: Over the next two days, I’m sharing a special interview that features Doug Casey and his colleagues on the latest crime wave that’s sweeping the globe.Below, you’ll hear from John Hunt, an MD and coauthor with Doug of Speculator and Drug Lord, and Durk Pearson, bestselling author and former rocket scientist and aerospace physicist. They recently sat down with Doug to share their best tips on how to protect yourself against the growing cyber-threat.I think you’ll find their ideas interesting and timely…John: Equifax hacks, Russian hacks, and political hacks are all competing with the Kardashians for primetime news reports. Let’s focus on something that might actually matter to each of us and that we can do something about: our own personal cybersecurity. Durk: Computer security is a lot more important than most people realize. Absent precautions, it’s like if you had a stack of $100 bills and left it on the sidewalk in front of your house. If someone happens to stroll through your neighborhood, he can just pick them up. Likewise, most people have no computer defenses at all. You have more than $100 bills in that computer. You have your future money too, and your credit. But you can become resistant to this. It’s not an impossible task. Remember the old story? You don’t have to run faster than the bear. You just have to run faster than the other guy. And that is surprisingly simple. John: So what do you advise that everyone should do now? Durk: First know that if you live in a gated residential community, you have a very low chance of being robbed. But the internet is as if everyone lives in Watts in the 1960s, or South Chicago now. John: You have to build your gates and walls. Durk: Right. Now, you don’t have to be a perfectly hard target. There is no such thing as a perfectly hard target. The CIA got hacked for a lot of their extremely dangerous hacking tools which are now out in the public domain. If the CIA can get hacked, believe me you can get hacked too. On the other hand, all you have to do is make yourself a much harder target than the value of what people can get out of you and you’re going to be left alone. They’re going to move on to somebody else who isn’t as tough. Which is most everybody. — This may spill over to SpaceX… Boring General Motors (GM) is safer. –Bruce — All Signs Point to a Giant Bull Supercycle In This Sector and the Masses Are Completely Ignoring It… Right now, the masses of “herd” investors are piling into mainstream stocks, completely convinced that this overvalued bull market will just “keep going.” But they’re ignoring an even more lucrative opportunity in a hidden sector completely outside of the equities market. Only a handful of millionaire “lone-wolf” contrarian investors are paying attention to it – licking their lips in anticipation of windfall profits that haven’t been seen in seven years. If you’re an independent thinker who is brave enough not to be just another “herd” investor, click here to learn the details of this “lone-wolf” opportunity. Recommended Link Do You Want to Profit From Today’s Marijuana Boom… But Not Sure Which Stocks to Buy? The marijuana market is on fire. Everyone wants to get rich with pot stocks today. With crazy gains of 7,820%… 17,300%… and even 69,000%, pot stocks like these averaged peak gains of 29,000%. But other pot stocks have tanked. Do you want to make money from today’s marijuana mania? Not sure which pot stocks are safe and which are risky? Then watch this presentation right now and see the 3 pot stocks to buy right now. It is interesting another guy is saying go long on Tesla and that it will be up in the high 300s by the end of Q4!–Williamlast_img read more

Finding love is not easyBut Supreme Court Justice

first_imgFinding love is not easy.But Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg counts herself among the lucky ones.She had an epic marriage to her late husband, Marty Ginsburg, that has been detailed in many places (here, here and here), including the RBG documentary.But this past year tested Ginsburg in a new way without the love of her life. She was diagnosed with cancer for the third time in 20 years late last year, and it was the first time she has had to wage the fight without Marty.”My first two cancer bouts — both colorectal cancer at Washington Hospital Center and pancreatic cancer at Sloan Kettering — Marty stayed with me,” Ginsburg told NPR’s Nina Totenberg in an interview on July 23. “He stayed with me in the hospital sleeping on an uncomfortable couch despite his bad back. And I knew that someone was there who really cared about me and would make sure that things didn’t go wrong.”Don’t see the video? Click here.Throughout his life, Marty, who was one of the preeminent tax lawyers in the country, was a principal booster of his wife. He played a behind-the-scenes lobbying role, for example, in her eventual appointment to the Supreme Court. He was even the principal cook for his wife and children in an era when most men took a back seat on domestic duties, and no one seemed to relish Ruth’s accomplishments more than Marty.And he was always looking out for her, like that one time in the hospital when, without him there, Justice Ginsburg might have died.”There was one day during [the] colon cancer bout when I was getting a blood transfusion, and Marty saw that something was very wrong,” Ginsburg said, “and he immediately yanked the needle out of me. It turned out that there was a mismatch not in the type of blood but in some antigen. I might not have lived it if he hadn’t been there.”He encouraged her to go to a physical therapist. That famous exercise regimen of hers might not have happened were it not for Marty.”I didn’t want to do it,” Ginsburg said. “I was exhausted, and Marty said, ‘You do it.’ And he was quite insistent about that. So, to have his loving care and yet his determination that I do what was necessary to heal faster, it was hard to be alone.”When she was recovering from cancer twice before, Marty would cook for her, walk with her, read to her and make her laugh.”Marty had a wonderful sense of humor, as you know,” Ginsburg said.Ginsburg is reminded of Marty every day, especially, she said, when the newspaper arrives.”He was my clipping service with The New York Times and The [Washington] Post,” she said. “I miss him every morning, because I have no one to go through the paper and pick out what I should read.”Now with him gone, Justice Ginsburg cherishes Marty’s memory. But, to get by, she has dived into her work at the court. “The work is really what saved me,” she said, “because I had to concentrate on reading the brief doing a draft of an opinion, and I knew that had to get done. So I had to get past whatever my aches and pains were. Just do the job.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Disabled activists say governmentfunded research

first_imgDisabled activists say government-funded research, which concludes that the programme to reassess people on incapacity benefit through the work capability assessment (WCA) was linked to 590 suicides in just three years, is both “damning” and “timely”.Campaigners, doctors and psychiatrists have been warning for several years of strong anecdotal evidence that the programme to reassess hundreds of thousands of old-style incapacity benefit (IB) claimants was causing significant harm and distress, particularly to people with mental health conditions.But now public health experts from the Universities of Liverpool and Oxford have shown in a study that, for every 10,000 IB claimants who were reassessed in England between 2010 and 2013, there were an additional six suicides, 2,700 cases of self-reported mental health problems, and an increase of more than 7,000 in the number of anti-depressants prescribed.The most significant increases took place in the most deprived local authority areas of England.Across England as a whole, the reassessment process from 2010 to 2013 was “associated with” an extra 590 suicides, 279,000 additional cases of self-reported mental health problems, and the prescribing of a further 725,000 anti-depressants.The idea for the research came originally from disabled activist Rick Burgess (pictured), who later co-founded the grassroots campaign group New Approach, and wanted “recognised and respected epidemiologists” to carry out “an academically-rigorous study” into the number of deaths caused by the WCA, with the results to be reported before the 2015 election.Together with three other leading campaigners – artist-activist Liz Crow* and New Approach co-founders Jane Bence and Nick Dilworth – Burgess began discussing the idea early last year with David Stuckler, professor of political economy and sociology at Oxford and one of the new study’s co-authors.Stuckler concluded at the time that such research was not possible because the necessary data had not been released by the government.Burgess pointed out that the research had been “started by disabled people with no funding”, but he said it was “brilliant” it had been completed, and that he felt “grimly vindicated” by evidence which would, “in any functioning democracy”, cause a government to be removed by a vote of no confidence.He said: “It does show welfare reform is causing excess deaths, which is what we have always said, and it has been reported in most media, so the idea to have a rigorous, reputable study done was worth it for campaigners, even though it is not exhaustive and there is much data still to be wrestled out of the hands of this very secretive government.”Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said: “This research simply confirms what we’ve all known for a long time, but is very timely both in relation to the ongoing UN inquiry into the grave and systematic violation of disabled people’s human rights and to DPAC’s campaigning priorities for 2016.“The main focus of this campaigning will be an end to people being wrongly pushed to their deaths by the current benefit system inflicted on them by [work and pensions secretary] Iain Duncan Smith.”Mark Harrison, chief executive of Equal Lives, said the research was “very timely and damning of a brutal system which is damaging people’s mental health”. He said it was clear the government was intent on cutting public spending and dismantling public services “whatever the human consequences”. He said: “To them, people who commit suicide or whose mental health conditions deteriorate as a result of their policies are merely collateral damage in their austerity war. “I am sure the government will ignore the evidence in this report as it does with all the facts and statistics which show their policies are damaging the life chances and killing poor and disabled people.”He added: “This poses a real challenge for the leaders of the disability rights movement and disabled people’s organisations in how to respond to politicians and civil servants who are not listening and aren’t interested in disabled people’s lives and human rights.”John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said: “This is yet another damning body of evidence that makes it clear that the UK government is guilty of implementing policies and systems that are leading directly to the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of chronically ill and/or disabled people.“It remains the case that there exists no safety protocol built into the DWP-Maximus [the US company which carries out the tests] disability assessment regime.“Vital medical evidence is neither sought by, nor provided to, the DWP and we are firmly of the view that this is a deliberate policy.“The Westminster government knows fine well that were such vital evidence to be provided, far fewer people would be found fit for work and so the Tories’ overarching goal of destroying our social security safety net as part of George Osborne’s ‘long-term economic plan’ would fail to meet its target.“Lives lost are accepted as being collateral damage in achieving this aim. These deaths have irrefutably arisen as a direct consequence of the implementation of an official policy that is ‘intentionally or knowingly reckless with a depraved disregard for life’.“The Westminster government is therefore unquestionably guilty of democide.”Michelle Maher, of the WOWcampaign and petition, said the research “joins a long list of evidence given to the government on the horrific impact of medical assessments”.She said: “I am still concerned that the government will claim they are listening and change the WCA, making it worse, under the heading of helping sick and disabled people into work because work is good for us.“The numerous reports into foodbanks have been ignored or justified in appalling ways, with Tory members celebrating their existence.“I fear the same will be said of the WCA and reports of the language the DWP and Iain Duncan Smith are using would indicate a direction of change that will be far worse.”The study’s authors say their findings also demonstrate the need for a cumulative assessment of the impact of austerity measures on disabled people, as demanded by the WOWcampaign.The study was published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, and carried out by researchers from the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, and from the University of Oxford, and funded by the National Institute for Health Research, which itself is funded by the Department of Health.Ben Barr, the study’s lead author and senior clinical lecturer in applied public health research at the University of Liverpool, said: “The programme of reassessing people on disability benefits using the WCA was independently associated with an increase in suicides, self-reported mental health problems and antidepressant prescribing.“This policy may have had serious adverse consequences for mental health in England, which could outweigh any benefits that arise from moving people off disability benefits.”But DWP dismissed the report’s findings.A DWP spokesman said: “This report is wholly misleading, and the authors themselves caution that no conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect.“In addition, it is concerning that they provide no evidence that the people with mental health problems highlighted in the report even underwent a work capability assessment.”He pointed to the five independent reviews of the WCA – the first three carried out by Professor Malcolm Harrington – and “significant improvements to the process” made by DWP since 2010, including to how the WCA is used to assess people with mental health conditions.He also said the percentage of people with mental health conditions who receive the highest level of support after being assessed for eligibility for employment and support allowance through the WCA has “more than tripled since 2010”.Barr said DWP’s response was “disappointing”, and that none of the other factors researchers had looked at as possible causes, such as cuts to local government services or a fall in wages, could explain the rise in suicides and the deterioration in mental health.And he said the increases only happened among age groups most affected by the WCA, while the rise in mental health problems “tended to occur shortly after the increase in people undergoing the WCA in each area”.Barr also called on DWP to publish any data it has on claimants’ mental health before, during and after the assessment.He said: “Unfortunately, the DWP implemented the policy without a controlled trial or any plans to evaluate its impact on mental health. “Given that data is not currently available on the specific individuals who underwent the WCA and there is no trial evidence, the next best approach to investigate the potential effects on mental health is the one we applied in our study, using appropriate statistical methods to control for alternative explanations for these trends.  “Our findings should at the very least raise serious concerns for the DWP that the potential negative impacts of the WCA need to be investigated further.” Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, added: “It is shameful for the DWP to dismiss in such an offhand manner a serious academic study showing a worrying rise in suicides and mental health issues connected to the WCA. “This evidence, added to the growing weight of evidence from tribunals and concerns from coroners, should surely lead to a complete rethink on the WCA, which by any measure is not fit for purpose.”*Crow’s own piece of work, We Are Figures, grew out of the discussions with Stuckler, but because of the difficulty of identifying how many austerity-related deaths there had been, she focused on the human cost of austeritylast_img read more

Updates Make Uber More Accessible to the Deaf Start Up Your Day

first_imgStart Up Your Day April 20, 2016 Image credit: Shutterstock | Enhanced by Entrepreneur –shares 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Entrepreneur Staff Add to Queue Entrepreneur Staffcenter_img 1 min read Updates Make Uber More Accessible to the Deaf – Start Up Your Day Roundup Next Article Looking for the latest headlines in small business, innovation and tech? Our Start Up Your Day recaps are posted every morning to keep you current. Accessible. And update makes Uber more accessible to deaf drivers and passengers.  Super users. Facebook might start paying some users, says Fortune. Slipping. Yahoo’s sale can’t come quickly enough. This past quarter it posted a double digit loss. One of a kind. Each city has it’s own microbe signature, according to a new study.   About the other night. Customer whose midnight McDonald’s story went viral has a confession: He made it up. Good bit in the eighties. The Commodore 64 is having a comeback — with some important updates.  The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Apply Now »last_img read more

Researchers uncover how the immune system protects from bowel cancer

first_img Source:https://www.charite.de/en/service/press_reports/artikel/detail/wie_das_immunsystem_vor_darmkrebs_schuetzt/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 31 2019Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered a protective mechanism which is used by the body to protect intestinal stem cells from turning cancerous. The body’s innate immune system was found to play a pivotal role in this regard. The researchers were able to demonstrate that, rather than having a purely defensive role, the immune system is crucial in maintaining a healthy body. The study has been published in the renowned scientific journal Nature.Inside our bowels, there is a meeting of two worlds. It is where the cells of our intestinal cell walls meet foreign materials, such as bacteria, foodstuffs, and the breakdown products of digestion. Both of these worlds – that of our bodies and that of the outside world – are in direct contact, continually exchanging information. This direct contact is of crucial importance to our bodies, as many of the environmental factors we are exposed to (such as certain types of bacteria or essential nutrients) are beneficial or even vital to our health. However, contact with the environment can also have a negative impact on our bodies. Certain foreign substances, for instance, can trigger genetic changes inside the epithelial cells which line our intestinal walls. The accumulation of this type of DNA damage, particularly when it occurs inside epithelial stem cells, can lead to bowel cancer.To prevent this progression to cancer, cells have the capacity to repair DNA damage. Where damage is too extensive, they can commit ‘altruistic cell suicide’ (also known as apoptosis). Until now, scientists had assumed that stem cells triggered this repair mechanism independently. However, the study (led by Prof. Dr. Andreas Diefenbach, Director of Charité’s Institute of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology, BIH-Professor in Precision Medicine and Head of the Mucosal Immunology Research Group at the German Rheumatism Research Center) comes to a different conclusion, namely that the immune system is capable of enhancing the DNA repair mechanism in damaged stem cells, thus preventing progression to bowel cancer.Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerWorking with other researchers, Prof. Diefenbach and his team were able to show in a mouse model that cells of the innate immune system are capable of recognizing genotoxic environmental factors present in the bowel. Among these are certain glucosinolates, natural components of plants which are commonly found in many types of cabbage. Once the cells of the innate immune system detect damaging glucosinolates, they send out interleukin 22, a type of cellular messenger. This, in turn, enables the epithelial stem cells to detect potential DNA damage earlier and repair it faster. “The immune system acts like a sensor that detects genotoxic food components,” explains Prof. Diefenbach. “Switching off this sensor results in a significant increase in cases of bowel cancer.”For the immunologist, these findings are not only evidence of a previously unknown regulatory system which is used by the body to protect itself against bowel cancer. It is also evidence of the fact that the immune system’s functions are far more complex than that of a simple defense mechanism against pathogens. “The immune system monitors both the healthy growth and function of different organs in the body,” explains Prof. Diefenbach. He and his team would like to use future research studies to explore the complex interaction between food components, intestinal flora, the intestinal wall and the immune system in greater detail. “It is here that we may find the key to why there are so many inflammatory disorders,” says Prof. Diefenbach.last_img read more

New study could improve methods for detecting congenital heart disease

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 4 2019A new study by biomedical engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas could significantly improve methods for detecting and diagnosing congenital heart disease in infants and small children.The researchers, collaborating with cardiologists at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, tested a new ultrasound technology called vector flow imaging for the first time on pediatric patients to create detailed images of the internal structure and blood flow of the babies’ hearts. The images can be still or moving, and can be taken from any angle.”Vector flow imaging technology is not yet possible in adults, but we have demonstrated that it is feasible in pediatric patients,” said Morten Jensen, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the U of A. “Our group demonstrated that this commercially available technology can be used as a bedside imaging method, providing advanced detail of blood flow patterns within cardiac chambers, across valves and in the great arteries.”Jensen performed the study with a multidisciplinary team, including Dr. Hanna Jensen, clinical assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the U of A; Dr. Thomas Collins, clinical associate professor of pediatric cardiology at Stanford University School of Medicine; and researchers at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Their findings were published in Progress in Pediatric Cardiology.Roughly 1 percent of all babies are born with some type of congenital heart defect. Fortunately, the majority of these defects will never have any significant impact as the child grows into adulthood and old age. Pediatric cardiologists detect and diagnose congenital heart disease through multiple processes, including echocardiography. This imaging method is based on ultrasound and assesses the overall health of the heart, including valves and muscle contraction.Related StoriesBioTek introduces new wide FOV camera for Cytation 5 Cell Imaging Multi-Mode ReaderMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorQueen Mary University of London’s BCI boosts radionuclide imaging capabilities with MILabs VECTor technologyAlthough ultrasound provides essential information about cardiac valve function in babies and small children, it has critical limitations. It cannot accurately obtain details of blood flow within the heart. This is due primarily to the inability to align the ultrasound beam with blood-flow direction.Using a BK5000 Ultrasound machine with built-in vector flow imaging, the researchers performed successful tests on two pigs, one with normal cardiac anatomy and one with congenital heart disease due to a narrow pulmonary valve and a hole within the heart. The researchers then compared the vector flow images to direct examination of the pigs’ hearts.The researchers subsequently used the imaging system to take cardiac images of two three-month-old babies, one with a healthy, structurally normal heart and one with congenital heart disease because of an abnormally narrow aorta. With both patients, the technology-enabled total transthoracic imaging of tissue and blood flow at a depth of 6.5 centimeters. Abnormal flow and detailed cardiac anomalies were clearly observed in the patient with congenital heart disease.All procedures, both animal and human, were performed at Arkansas Children’s Hospital with assistance from Dr. Elijah Bolin, pediatric cardiologist at UAMS.”We are still getting used to having this great, new information readily available, and we’re excited about the future in both research and direct clinical advancements,” Bolin said.”This technology will increase our ability to provide the best possible bedside diagnosis and greatly enhances our understanding of what is happening in hearts with complex abnormalities,” Stanford’s Collins said.The researchers will perform additional studies to further quantify images using this recently developed technology. Source:http://www.uark.edu/last_img read more

With head injuries mounting will cities put their feet down on escooters

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 2 2019Almost half of the injured Austin scooter riders identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its first-ever study of dockless electric scooters suffered a head injury, with 15% experiencing a traumatic brain injury.The report, presented Thursday both in Austin and Atlanta, where the CDC is headquartered, covers 87 days last fall in Austin when almost 200 people were injured in scooter crashes. Just one of the riders wore a helmet and 33% of those riders were hurt on their first scooter ride.Austin city officials requested the CDC’s help in tracking injuries last spring as e-scooters started taking over the city. The investigators identified 271 individuals with potential e-scooter-related injury incidents during the study period last fall; of those, 190 confirmed an e-scooter riding-related injury. Most accidents occurred on streets. Most riders were men. Among the injured, 48% suffered a fracture, laceration or abrasion to the head; 70% injured upper limbs; and 55% injured lower limbs. Of the 190 riders, 35% suffered some type of fracture.Despite injuries, 38% indicated they will use a scooter again.”These injuries may have been preventable,” the study concludes. “Studies have shown that bicycle riders reduce the risk of head and brain injuries by wearing a helmet. Helmet use might also reduce the risk of head and brain injuries in the event of an e-scooter crash.”With the increasing availability of scooters as an urban transit alternative, Austin and other cities around the world are trying to balance the safety and needs of scooter riders and the motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians who must navigate around them on sidewalks and streets. Some localities ban the scooters outright, while others try to control the number permitted or specify boundaries for use or places to park them. Dockless scooters arrived in Austin last April and quickly went from zero to more than 15,000 permitted as 10 companies were licensed to operate, according to the city’s dockless mobility website.Although all those scooters aren’t out at once, the two companies with the most devices in Austin — Bird and Lime — each boast on their websites about availability in more than 100 cities around the globe. As those numbers continue to multiply, the CDC’s report will help shape how cities approach transportation policies, regulation and public safety.Paul Saffo, who has spent more than 20 years exploring large-scale, long-term change, teaches forecasting at Stanford University. He said cities also need to consider a fundamental question about private use of public property.”Scooters are lying around on sidewalks and being used by a private company making profit off use of the public infrastructure. The question is: Is the public being fairly compensated for the private use by a for-profit of a public infrastructure?” he said. “Whose right of way is it? The pedestrian annoyed by scooter is presumably a taxpayer. Who gets the privileged use of a public infrastructure?”The CDC epidemiologists, collaborating with Austin Public Health and the city’s Transportation Department, arrived in Austin last December to examine scooter-related injuries from September to November, including interviewing the injured and studying their medical records to determine road conditions, weather, helmet use and other behaviors, such as alcohol use while riding.Among the findings, 55% of the injured riders identified as male. The median age was 29, although riders ranged in age from 9 to 79. Most injuries (55%) occurred in the street, while 33% were injured on the sidewalk.The study also notes that findings don’t support the perception that scooter injuries are due to collisions with vehicles. But speed is a factor, the study suggests.”While more than half of the interviewed riders were injured while riding a scooter in the street, just 10% of riders sustained injuries by colliding with a motor vehicle,” the study found. However, 37% of injured riders reported that excessive e-scooter speed contributed to their injury. And 29% of riders had consumed alcohol within the 12 hours preceding the scooter ride.”Overall, 63% of the injured riders had ridden an e-scooter nine times or fewer before injury,” the study said.Related StoriesNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia risk”The CDC’s report is an important one for everyone working to create safe, multimodal transportation systems that expand access, reduce congestion and better link people with public transportation,” David Spielfogel, chief policy officer at Lime, said in a statement. “We look forward to further partnering with the medical community and regulators to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and users of micromobility. If we want to help people move around their communities efficiently and equitably, we need to ensure options besides cars are trusted as safe and reliable.”Bird, based in Santa Monica, Calif., issued a safety report last month. Among the findings were that Bird’s internal data and independent research suggest an injury rate similar to bicycling. And among the recommendations are that cities design safer streets and maintain safer street conditions. Injuries, which are being recorded at hospitals and emergency rooms across the country, have resulted in fewer than a dozen fatalities nationwide — including one in Austin earlier this year. Two scooter riders died in March in California and two others were killed last month after being hit by cars in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Hollywood, Calif. Last week, a 5-year-old in Tulsa, Okla., was killed while riding a scooter with his mother, who escaped the vehicle collision with minor injuries. The University of Texas at Austin in March reduced scooter speeds from 15 mph to 8 mph — made possible through geofencing, which uses GPS technology to create a virtual boundary and enables scooter companies to adjust scooter speeds within a defined area, such as the university campus.The Texas Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to regulate e-scooters statewide, including prohibiting them on sidewalks and at speeds over 15 mph, as well as setting 16 as the minimum age to ride. The measure now moves to the House for consideration. During the city’s South by Southwest Conference & Festivals in March, Austin Mayor Steve Adler appeared at a session about scooters and explained the challenges communities such as Austin face.”It’s hard when you’re trying to figure out what to do and you look around for other examples,” he said. “You look to California and you learn that the best practice is to make sure that the scooters are not on sidewalks but are in the street — until you look to Denver and the best practice is to make sure that the scooter is on the sidewalks and out of the street.”Saffo, the Stanford forecaster, said discussion now needs to be “where do scooters fit in this larger, ever more complex ecology of transportation options. People better sort out how they feel about scooters quickly because there’s a whole menagerie of others,” he said.Urban planner Sarah Kaufman, associate director of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, said scooters present a safety issue for riders and pedestrians alike, and it’s up to cities to provide the right infrastructure, such as protected lanes or wider sidewalks.”At some point, cities have to change the streets to move away from cars as the main mode of travel,” Kaufman said. “We can’t change the design of our cities overnight, but when we think of the long-term plans we’re making, the car cannot be the dominant mode.” This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

Junior doctors vote in favor of contract changes

first_imgJun 28 2019Junior doctor members of the BMA have voted overwhelmingly in favor in the referendum to support improvements to the 2016 contract. 9,449 junior doctors, which is 82% of those who voted, showed their support of contract changes. These changes will see several benefits, including overall increases in pay and for working weekends and late shifts; improvements to junior doctors’ wellbeing and safety and, to the ability to formally raise concerns when they miss out on training because of rostering problems.The contract will see an investment of £90 million over the next four years plus an average 2% pay uplift each year for four years.The chair of the BMA junior doctors committee Dr Jeeves Wijesuriya said: This vote indicates that junior doctors recognize not only the major victories the BMA has secured  – for example, enhanced shared parental leave for trainees and extra funding for rest and fatigue facilities around the country; but that through a new collaborative, constructive negotiation process that has learned from the mistakes of the past, we have made major strides towards a better future for all junior doctors. There is of course a great deal more that needs to be done to improve the wellbeing and working lives of junior doctors, and the junior doctors committee will remain at the forefront of campaigns for a better funded, well-staffed and publicly run health service.” Once ratified at the junior doctors committee meeting on the 2nd July, this will finally end the long running dispute with employers and government and the resumption of collective bargaining. Source:BMA I am delighted that we have successfully brought to an end the junior doctors dispute with this landmark agreement. Junior doctors overwhelmingly backed our multi-year deal which recognizes their dedication to patients and our nation’s health.Improved working conditions and an 8.2% four year pay rise will give junior doctors and current medical students the support they fully deserve.” The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:last_img read more

New drug combinations and dosing schedules improve outlook in advanced colon cancer

first_imgBy Dr. Liji Thomas, MDJul 8 2019Advanced colon cancer often spreads widely and may not respond to standard chemotherapy. In such a case, a novel combination of drugs and flexible dosing may help achieve a better outlook, as demonstrated by several new studies.In one study, investigators explored the use of paclitaxel in the treatment of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the anus. A 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)/cisplatin combination is the current first-line treatment for metastatic disease, but no standard therapy exists for refractory tumors (resistant to standard therapy). In this scenario, 6 patients were treated with paclitaxel, which is used in similar tumors of the head and neck. There was a measurable response to weekly treatment with paclitaxel in 4 patients, while one more showed stabilization of the disease following this therapy.The results of the European REARRANGE trial were presented at the ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer 2019. These were from almost 300 patients across Spain, Italy and France. These patients were 64 years old, on average, and all had refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). All had progressed from first-line through fourth-line treatment for the disease.Regorafenib is a multi-kinase inhibitor used in refractory mCRC but with an unacceptably high rate of discontinuation due to severe adverse effects. The trial aimed to assess the effect of changes in the dosing schedule on the tolerability, toxicity and overall survival with this drug.Patients were randomly allocated to one of three groups: standard dose (SD), reduced dosing (RD) and intermittent dosing (ID). SD patients received 160 mg/day, while RD patients were on 120 mg/day, both for three weeks followed by a week off. In the ID group, regorafenib at 160 mg/day was used over alternate weeks.  If cycle 1 of RD and ID treatment was tolerated well, all patients were switched to SD cycles thereafter. Guillem Agiles, study author, explains, “We reduced the dose in the first cycle and then escalated because it has been shown that the toxicity is higher in the first and second months of treatment.”While there was no change in the overall number of grade 3/4 adverse events, RD and ID use in the first couple of months was numerically associated with fewer adverse events that led to discontinuation, such as fatigue, hypertension and hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR. Treatment duration and median progression-free survival (about 3-4 months and 2 months respectively) were not affected, making this a viable alternative.  The trial, which is the largest so far in this area, thus supported the use of flexible dosing with regorafenib in this condition.Agiles explains, “These results, interpreted in the context of other trials, like the American study ReDOS (3), tell us that the more flexible doses of regorafenib are an effective alternative in order to improve quality of life in patients with metastatic refractory colorectal cancer”. Other oncologists were equally impressed, with University Leuven professor Eric Van Cutsem predicting that it would change the way regorafenib is used in mCRC.Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedThe ESMO congress also heard of another breakthrough: the BEACON CRC study on a combination of three drugs used to treat refractory mCRC positive for BRAF V600E-mutation.  This mutation is observed in 15% of mCRC patients and has a poor prognosis.The trial involved 665 patients in three treatment groups: triplet therapy with encorafenib, binimetinib and cetuximab; doublet therapy with encorafenib and cetuximab; and one of two chemotherapeutic regimens (irinotecan or a combination of folinic acid, fluoruracil and irinotecan (FOLFIRI) with cetuximab).The triplet combination of non-chemotherapy agents was worked out to suppress both the BRAF kinase pathway and other compensatory mechanisms that allow tumor cells to develop resistance to BRAF inhihibitors. Study author Scott Kopetz commented: “Colorectal cancer does not respond to BRAF therapy alone because tumour cells adapt through other mechanisms after initial treatment. With this triple targeted therapy, we are using a very scientifically logical combination to inhibit BRAF and these other mechanisms.”The triplet therapy was well tolerated, and resulted in a median overall survival of 9 months, and objective response rate of 26% as against 5.4 months and 2% respectively with standard therapy. The striking improvement caused one expert to stress the need for routine BRAF testing in all patients with CRC henceforth, making this the new standard of care. “We now have a specific treatment that can change the natural course of the disease in patients with BRAF mutations and is better than previous therapy, so it is essential that patients are routinely tested,” said professor Andres Cervantes of Valencia.Moreover, the avoidance of chemotherapy is a big bonus. Cervantes says, “In many other types of cancer, and particularly in colorectal cancer, it is common for biological targeted therapies to be used in combination with chemotherapy. The fact that we can give this targeted combination without the need for chemotherapy is very good news for patients, not least because of the side effects that they typically experience with chemotherapy.”While only refractory mCRC patients who have failed up to two lines of chemotherapy are presently eligible for such treatment, it needs to be studied in other BRAF-mutant tumors, whether in earlier mCRC or adjuvant therapy following primary excision of the tumor, to enhance cure rates.The final word? Changing drug combinations and dosing schedules promise to make life better for mCRC patients while maintaining treatment efficacy. Sources: New Trial Demonstrates the Efficacy of a More Flexible Dose of Regorafenib to Relieve Side-effects in Patients with Metastatic Colon Cancer [ESMO World GI Press Release] – https://www.esmo.org/Press-Office/Press-Releases/ESMO-World-Congress-Gastrointestinal-Cancer-flexible-dose-regorafenib-colon-rearrange-argiles Targeted Therapy Combination Improves Survival in Patients with Advanced Bowel Cancer [ESMO World GI Press Release] – https://www.esmo.org/Press-Office/Press-Releases/ESMO-World-Congress-Gastrointestinal-Cancer-Encorafenib-Binimetinib-Cetuximab-Colorectal-BRAFV600E-Beacon-Kopetz​Journal reference:K Rekai, K Belkharoubi, B Larbaoui, P-001, Paclitaxel for the treatment of anal cancer after cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil, Annals of Oncology, Volume 30, Issue Supplement_4, July 2019, mdz155, https://doi.org/10.1093/annonc/mdz155last_img read more