Please see enclosed for results from day three of the 2013 Super Trans Taman Series. 10.00amWomen’s 30’sAustralia 4 defeated by New Zealand 6Men’s 50’sAustralia 9 defeated New Zealand 311.10am18’s GirlsAustralia 7 defeated New Zealand 3Senior MixedAustralia 2 defeated by New Zealand 6Men’s 40’sAustralia 10 defeated New Zealand 812.20pm20’s BoysAustralia 10 defeated New Zealand 6Men’s 30’sAustralia 5 defeated by New Zealand 71.30pm20’s GirlsAustralia 4 defeated New Zealand 2 2.40pm18’s BoysAustralia 8 defeated New Zealand 6Match ReportsWomen’s 30’sNew Zealand have claimed the first victory in the Women’s 30’s division, defeating Australia by two touchdowns to take a 1-0 series lead. Australia started strongly, scoring the game’s first touchdown in the opening minutes to take the early lead. Two quick touchdowns to New Zealand in the 12th and 14th minutes, to Edith Nathan and Lovey Woodhouse, saw New Zealand take a 2-1 lead. Australia hit back with two minutes remaining in the half when Fiona Williams scored, before Woodhouse got her second soon after, to give the Kiwis at 3-2 lead at half-time. The second half see-sawed, with teams going touchdown for touchdown, but Australia were unable to bridge the gap, with New Zealand taking game one 6-4. Men’s 50’sThe Australian Men’s 50’s have made a strong start to their Trans Tasman campaign, taking a six touchdown win against New Zealand. The Aussie Men took a 4-2 lead into the half-time break, before having a strong second half which saw them score five touchdowns to New Zealand’s one, to take the game 9-3. Stay tuned to the website for the full match report. 18’s GirlsThe Australian 18’s Girls have won their third game and taken a 3-0 series win after a ? performance today. After scoring in their first set of six from the tap, vice-captain Yasmin Meakes scored on the wing to take the early 1-0 lead. It took another 10 minutes for the next touchdown to be scored, with Ruahei Demant scoring to level the game up at 1-all. Australia took a 2-1 lead into the break after Kimberly Sue See set up Evania Pelitte-Denny to score with four minutes remaining in the half. Australia further extended its lead in the second half, with touchdowns to Sam Rodgers, Kimberly Sue See, Madison Regan, Yasmin Meakes and Hannah Dyball, while New Zealand scored two touchdowns for the half, through Ariia Tainui-McIntyre and Courtney O’Callaghan. Men’s 40’sThe Australian Men’s 40’s have made an impressive start to their Trans Tasman campaign, defeating World Cup champions New Zealand by two touchdowns in game one. Australia took a two touchdown lead into the half-time break, 7-5 and kept the advantage in the second half, claiming the game 10-8. Stay tuned for more details. Senior Mixed New Zealand has taken a 1-0 series lead in the Senior Mixed division, following its four toudchdown win over Australia in game one. New Zealand took a four touchdown lead into the half-time break, 6-2 and strong defence from both teams meant that the score stayed the same at the full-time siren. Stay tuned to the website for more details. 20’s BoysThe Australian 20’s Boys team have claimed a 3-0 series win on Thursday following their 10-6 over New Zealand in game three. The two sides matched it with each other early before trading touchdowns to 2-all, before two quick touchdowns in the last five minutes of the half saw Australia take a 4-2 lead into the half-time break. The match see-sawed in the second half, with both teams continuing the frantic pace that has been displayed all tournament, with Australia claiming the second half six touchdowns to four to take a four touchdown win. Men’s 30’sNew Zealand has won the first game in the Men’s 30’s division on Thursday, defeating Australia by two touchdowns, 7-5. The Kiwis skipped away to a 5-2 lead at half-time and despite winning the second half 3-2, it wasn’t enough, with New Zealand taking the match by two. First half touchdowns for Australia were scored by Elijah Van Der Kwast and Michael Devonshire, and second half touchdowns to Jason Scharenguivel, Warren Lorger and Aaron Jones. 20’s GirlsThe Australian 20’s Girls have won their division 3-0 after a 4-2 win in game three of the 2013 Youth Trans Tasman Series. The third game was the closest of the three between the two countries, with Australia only getting away with the win in the later stages of the second half. Kate McCarthy was the first to score for Australia in the opening minute of the game, while it took New Zealand until the midway mark of the half to score and level the game up at 1-all. The sides traded touchdowns shortly after and nothing separated the teams at half-time, locked up at 2-all. Australia got on top of New Zealand in the second half, scoring two touchdowns, through Maddison Studdon and Talia Yarden, to take the game 4-2 and the series 3-0. 18’s BoysThe 18’s Boys decider was the final game of the series and the only live game of the Youth divisions on day three of the event. The Australian side prevailed by two touchdowns over New Zealand in the 18’s Boys division, 8-6, to win their series 2-1. Stay tuned to the website for the full story. Stay tuned to the TFA YouTube channel for all of the highlights from day three of the 2013 Super Trans Tasman Series. Related LinksDay Three Results
August 16, 2013This continues our report from 8/14/2013 about the creation of bronze bells.Before reassembling the flask, the artisans use a hollow metal tube to perforate the top of the negative bell impression and then, using a spoon, they carve a small concave circle around the top of the bell, as we see Rawaf doing in the picture to the left. This allows for a smoother pouring of the bronze into the mold.[photos and text by Soleri archive intern Julia Dorn-Giarmoleo]In the meantime, the furnace where the bronze is melted gets loaded up. Here is Andy putting unusable bells and other pieces of scrap bronze in the furnace to be melted down and re-used.The two sides of the flask are then reassembled, the wooden flask is taken off and the molds are lined up on the ground. A metal or plastic frame is then put around the sand mold, as Jonas is pictured doing in this photo. Ingots are then placed on the molds to prevent any possible movement.Two artisans, (pictured here are Andy and Jonas) don protective clothing, and lift the crucible containing the molten bronze out of the furnace.They carefully pour the bronze into each of the molds. The other artisans follow the pouring with shovels, so that should any bronze fall onto the cement or out of the mold, they can quickly throw sand on it to prevent any danger or injury.The molds are then left to cool for about an hour, or until the bronze is solidified. This report will continue on Monday.
Categories: News,Webber News 16Feb Rep. Webber’s bill increases campaign finance violations penalty State Rep. Michael Webber has introduced legislation to improve government transparency by increasing the penalty for violating the Michigan Campaign Finance Act.Webber, of Rochester Hills, said the bill increases the fine for violating campaign finance laws from $1,000 to $3,000. He said the bill’s intent is to boost accountability by showing who is funding elections in Michigan.“The laws are very clear about when reports are due, what information must be in the reports and where the information must be sent,” Webber said. “I believe this legislation will bring past violations into compliance and curb future violations by increasing the penalty for ignoring the law.”The bill was referred to the House Elections and Ethics Committee.#####The measure is House Bill 4216.
Virgin Media will start to contact customers about upgrading to ultrafast broadband this week, and announced that Vivid will be the new brand for web connections above 100Mbps.Virgin said it will start to explain how users can opt-in to an upgrade from October 1, 2015 and will let broadband customers go from existing speeds of up to 50Mbps, 100Mbps and 152Mbps to more powerful speeds of 70Mbps, Vivid 150Mbps and Vivid 200Mbps.Using DOCSIS 3.0 technology, Virgin claims that it will deploy the superior speeds in “record time” with 90% of customers being able to upgrade by the end of 2015.“Our message is simple: if you want to be certain that you are signing up to true ultrafast broadband speeds of 100Mbps and above, Vivid from Virgin Media is the new standard,” said Virgin Media’s managing director of consumer, Gregor McNeil.Earlier this month, Virgin committed £25 million (€34 million) to upgrade homes and businesses in Nottingham, enabling them to receive ultra-fast broadband services. In June it also began rolling out ultrafast broadband in Manchester in the first phase of its £3 billion broadband investment plan, dubbed Project Lightning.The news comes a day after Sky announced it was connecting its first customer to its new ultrafast fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband network in York in the UK.The rival UK operator said its ultrafast broadband customers will be able to receive broadband speeds of up to 940 Mbps, with Sky building the FTTH network in partnership with TalkTalk and CityFibre.
Spanish regional cable operator Euskaltel has launched the 4K Android set-top promised by CEO Francisco Arteche at the company’s first quarter results presentation in May.Euskaltel has signed up to make Google Play available to its customers, enabling them to take Google services from their set-tops. The company said it was hopeful that this would open up new opportunities for local app developers in the Basque Country region in which it operates.Companies that have signed up to make their apps available via Euskaltel’s TV service include news services Diario Vasco, El Correo, Grupo Noticias and EiTB and Basque Country bank Kutxabank, one of Euskaltel’s major shareholders.The box can be connected to peripheral devices via WiFi, Bluetooth and USB, and subscribers can use their mobile phones to control it. The device can be connected to a gaming controller, with selected games available via the Google Play store, and can also be voice-controlled.Francisco ArtecheOther features of the Euskaltel platform include restart service Replay, video-on-demand service Replayteka, with over 7,000 movies and series episodes available, seven-day catch-up and DVR.“TV consumption habits are constantly changing. TV users are demanding a new way of viewing television that combines the internet and TV. We want to universalize television, so that all our customers can have access to the new TV experience, just as we already did with fixed telephony when we begun operating 20 years ago, or with broadband and mobile telephony since then. Now it’s the turn of a new way of watching television at home, with content and features for everyone and with the maximum image quality,” said Arteche.Separately, Spain’s competition watchdog last week gave a green light for the acquisition of Zegona Communications-owned Asturias region operator Telecable by Euskaltel, paving the way for completion of the deal. The acquisition of Telecable will create a single cable and telecommunications operator covering the Basque Country, Asturias and Galicia, where Euskaltel already owns local player R.
All good things come to an end. And so it will be with Netflix’s growth spurt. At some point, the pioneering online video provider will run out of new customers willing and able to subscribe – provided it sticks to its current business model. But what if Netflix were to pursue more radical options?It’s first worth stressing that Netflix’s model – offering ad-free, subscription-based access at largely similar prices worldwide – has plenty of distance to run. Although the number of net new Netflix subscriptions peaked in 2017, Ovum forecasts that the company will still be adding over 13 million annually, even in five years’ time.By then, however, its annual growth rates in many of the world’s largest markets will have slowed from double-digit to single-digit percentages. In the US, Netflix’s subscriber base will grow by just 0.2% in 2023 (see Figure 1). And despite its global expansion, the US will still be a hugely important market for the company, accounting for about a third of subscriptions and revenues.So how else can Netflix grow, beyond simply raising its prices? Ovum has identified three options.1. Make mobile video even more affordableOvum forecasts that over 500 million people in India will have smartphones and data connections powerful enough to watch online video in 2022, yet Netflix will have fewer than 5 million subscriptions by then. Why? It’s about affordability.Netflix has taken several steps to make its service more accessible and affordable in emerging markets, such as streaming technologies that consume minimal amounts of data and enabling people without credit cards or bank accounts to charge their subscriptions via their mobile phone bills.But the main sticking point is Netflix’s US$7.99 entry-level price point – great value for consumers in developed markets but too expensive for many in emerging markets, where disposable income levels are often several times lower. Last month, the company was revealed to have acknowledged this issue by trialing a $4 per month “mobile-only” plan in Malaysia for access on one phone or tablet at standard definition quality.For hundreds of millions of consumers in emerging markets, roughly halving prices won’t be enough. Put simply, subscription services aren’t the no-brainer they are in developed countries. In Malaysia, 75% of mobile connections are pay-as-you-go. In India, 95% are. If Netflix really wants to move the needle in these massive markets, it will need to explore more radical pricing and bundles through closer partnerships with local mobile operators.2. Bring a truly fresh take on TV advertisingTo be 100% clear, adopting a Hulu-like model where viewing is interrupted by ads before or during TV shows and movies would be a bad move for Netflix. Using ads to offer a “free” version would risk cannibalising its paid subscriber base, while showing ads to paying customers would ruin the viewing experience.Instead, Netflix could invest in evolving product placement, the practice of including brands within the content and storylines of TV shows and movies. Around three in four Netflix shows already feature at least one example of this covert form of advertising, according to specialist agency Branded Entertainment Network. Augmented reality-like technology could take the concept to the next level, digitally inserting different products into videos for different viewers, so say, one sees a Coke and another a Pepsi.There’s already a precedent in another globalised form of media, sport, with broadcasters overlaying “virtual advertising” over banners at matches. Vendors such as Accenture and Ryff are working on bringing more advanced technology to movies and TV shows. To put this opportunity in perspective, various estimates suggest advertisers will spend over US$20 billion on product placement this year; subscription online video services will generate US$32 billion, according to Ovum’s forecasts.3. Reinvient itself as a TV ‘re-intermediary’Netflix once looked set to become a kind of “Spotify for TV” – before content providers realised that selling their most valuable content to a single, increasingly powerful intermediary was not such a good idea. Netflix has since invested heavily in exclusive and original content to become more like HBO’s TV brand, while HBO, Disney, and others have sought to become more like Netflix.But few established media companies will come anywhere near their inspiration’s level of success. In 2023, Netflix will account for around one in three online video subscriptions worldwide (excluding China, one of the few places where the service is not available). In many countries, its market share will be well over 50%, leaving most rival apps fighting over relatively small numbers of subscribers.Netflix could use its scale to help these providers to survive, by reinventing itself as an Amazon Channels-like aggregator handling marketing, technology, and customer support in exchange for a cut of fees from subscriptions it brokers or manages.The question is whether another company will get there first – not least Amazon. The battle to become the platform that profits most from helping consumers navigate today’s fragmented TV landscape will be fought by the biggest names in media and tech, including AT&T Time Warner, Apple, Comcast Sky, Google, and Liberty Global. Netflix will be increasingly dependent on such “re-intermediaries” for attracting subscribers, billing, and driving viewing – unless it becomes one itself.Playing safe versus changing the gameNever underestimate the power of one big idea – and one company’s ability to deliver on its promise. But no single idea has infinite potential. Sooner or later, Netflix will need to look beyond the limits of its current business model – just like when it made the truly game-changing move from DVD rentals to online streaming.Straight Talk is a weekly briefing from the desk of the Ovum’s Chief Research Officer. To receive this newsletter by email, please contact us.
Want to know what the teenagers in your life really think about sex and drugs?Are you sure?Well, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a pretty good idea, thanks to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Every other year, thousands of teens in public and private high schools across the country take this nationally representative survey. The CDC just released results for 2017, and here are a few of the highlights:SexTeens’ experiences with sex are changing, and the news is almost all good, says Kathleen Ethier, director of CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health.”Fewer are initiating sex,” Ethier says, “fewer are currently sexually active, they’re having fewer partners, and they’re using more effective hormonal birth control methods.”In 2007, nearly 48 percent of teens said they’d had sex at least once. A decade later, it’s 39.5 percent. One change in the data that Ethier’s not happy about is a recent decline in condom use.In 2007, 61.5 percent of teens said they’d used a condom during their last sexual encounter. By last year, that rate had dropped to 53.8 percent. Ethier says this is due, at least in part, to “a decrease over time in requirements that school cover HIV and [sexually transmitted diseases] in health education programs.”According to the report, young people aged 15-24 account for half of the roughly 20 million new STDs reported each year.One more red flag, Ethier says: More than one in 10 young women (11.3 percent) reported being forced to have sex.DrugsWhen it comes to illicit drugs — like cocaine and heroin — teen use is way down, from 22.6 percent in 2007 to 14 percent in 2017.For the first time, though, the survey also asked teens if they have ever misused prescription opioids. Fourteen percent said they had.”We don’t know what this 14 percent number means, but we were quite surprised by it,” Ethier says, adding that CDC has more work to do to understand what these new data say about the opioid crisis and teens’ role in it.ViolenceThe survey also asked high-schoolers about bullying and violence at school. One in 5 said they’d been bullied at school. Fifteen percent said they’d been bullied electronically.The rate of students who said they’d been threatened or injured with a weapon at school has dropped significantly in the past decade. But students of color are still far more likely than white students to say they missed school because of safety concerns at school or in their communities.Mental HealthPerhaps the biggest red flags were in the section devoted to mental health.Roughly a third of teens surveyed said they’d experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.”I think that’s really significant,” says CDC’s Ethier, “and certainly not what we want to see if we’re trying to send our kids into adulthood in the most healthy way.”The news is even worse for students who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.Nearly two-thirds reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.In fact, in every category, LGB teens were at higher risk than their heterosexual classmates. They were twice as likely to report being bullied in school or electronically, three times as likely to seriously consider suicide and four times as likely to attempt suicide.”It’s shocking and alarming and tells us that things are terribly wrong,” says Ellen Kahn, director of the Children, Youth & Families program at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “We seriously need to address this.”Kahn says these data are a stark reminder of the lack of protections at the federal, state, district and school level for LGB teens and of why, she says, these protections are so sorely needed. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
When Blessing Okoedion was 26, she headed to Spain for a job she had been offered at a computer store. In her home country of Nigeria, she had earned a degree in computer science and started her own business repairing computers.But the job offer was a ruse. Her work visa had been faked by human traffickers. There was no computer store job.After a brief stop in Spain, her captors sent her to Naples, Italy. They told her that she owed them 65,000 euros — more than $70,000 in today’s dollars. And they forced her into sex work on the streets of an Italian town.That was five years ago. Today, Okoedion is an activist working to combat human trafficking in Italy and Nigeria. She was one of 10 people honored for these efforts in June by the U.S. State Department at the 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report launch ceremony in Washington, D.C. The report is an annual assessment of foreign governments’ anti-trafficking efforts.She received the State Department award “in recognition of her extraordinary courage in using her lived experiences to … prevent human trafficking [and] her selfless efforts to assist survivors and lend a helping hand to those still subjected to the crime,” said Kari Johnstone, acting director of the State Department’s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, at the event.A few days after she had been forced to start working on the streets, Okoedion snuck away to a police station to report what had happened to her. The police brought her to Casa Ruth, a shelter in Caserta run by nuns who help trafficking victims, she says.Sister Rita Giaretta founded the shelter, called Casa Rut in Italian, and has been fighting against human trafficking for more than 20 years.”She’s actually the force behind me,” says Okoedion.Since 2014, Okoedion has been working with Casa Ruth. She goes on rescue missions to get trafficked girls and women from Nigeria and other countries off the streets. She helps connect women who are still on the streets with medical care. And she works to ensure trafficking victims who have escaped have the support they need, she says.Sex trafficking victims can be afraid to get medical care because they’re undocumented, she explains, so that’s often a starting point of the rescue missions.”From there, we start building confidence, then many of them start to open up, tell us everything, their fears, everything. Then we start counseling,” she says. “There are some who, when we approach them, immediately tell us, ‘I want to quit this job. I was not told about this, I just need somebody to help me.’ Then we rescue them immediately.”Once they’re free from their traffickers, a new set of challenges begins. High unemployment rates in Italy can make it tough for them to find jobs there, she says. She also accompanies trafficking victims who want to return to Nigeria through the Italy-based organization Slaves No More. The group focuses on helping Nigerian trafficking victims reintegrate into society.Okoedion travels to rural areas in Edo State, where she grew up, to tell women and girls about the tactics traffickers may use in attempts to lure them to faraway jobs that don’t exist. Benin City, its capital, is a human-trafficking hub, she says.Many women and girls who become victims of trafficking are from poor, rural areas and might not have had much education, she says. Traffickers can seem like a sort of savior.The Nigerian government is taking some steps to address trafficking. But “widespread and pervasive” corruption throughout the government and security forces makes it tough, according to the State Department’s new report.The report references international NGO and media reports of trafficking crimes by government officials, service providers and security forces at more than a dozen internally displaced persons camps. Reported crimes included forced sex in return for food.And authorities found trafficking victims from Nigeria in at least 40 countries, including Italy, during the past year. They had often been trafficked by Nigerians, the report says.Points of optimism in Nigeria: The governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, declared trafficking one of his top priorities, the report says. He created a task force to fight it, which has arrested at least 10 potential traffickers so far. And the government is spending more money to fight trafficking.Even at her lowest point, Okoedion says she didn’t see her first name — Blessing — as some kind of curse.”I never attached what happened to me to my name,” she says.Courtney Columbus is a multimedia journalist based in the Washington, D.C. area. She covers science, global health and consumer health. Her past work has appeared in the Arizona Republic and on Arizona PBS. Contact her @cmcolumbus11. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Government plans for a huge expansion of personal health budgets could help to deliver independent living for disabled people, according to a leading disabled peer.Baroness [Jane] Campbell (pictured), who has been receiving a personal health budget herself for more than a year, said the plans also had “huge potential” for “getting to grips” with the integration of health and social care support.But the government’s plans faced determined opposition from other disabled campaigners this week, with many concerned that they could be part of a planned creeping privatisation of the NHS.They were speaking after the government launched a consultation on the plans to expand the legal right for people to have choice and control over their healthcare through personal health budgets (PHBs).One mental health activist said the plans were about “offloading us to the private sector”, and said she feared that funds would only be made available “as a temporary sweetener” until privatisation of the NHS was complete, when they would be withdrawn.PHBs give individuals a pot of money to spend on their health and wellbeing needs, in agreement with a healthcare professional.Some areas of NHS care will not be covered by a PHB, including GP services, unplanned hospital admissions, drugs and operations. Currently, only about 23,000 people receive a PHB, but reports suggest that ministers want to increase this to about 350,000.The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) says the plans would allow individuals “to control and tailor their own health and care, based on their own individual needs, in a manner that abides by the constitutional values of healthcare being free at the point of delivery, based on clinical need, not on ability to pay”.The consultation stresses that PHBs would remain optional.The government is suggesting expansion could focus on five groups who have an ongoing need for NHS services: those with continuing social care needs; those with ongoing mental health needs; people leaving the armed services; people who are autistic or have learning difficulties; and people who access NHS wheelchair services.At present, only those in receipt of NHS continuing healthcare – and children and young people receiving continuing care – have a legal right to a PHB.But the government also wants to give more people the right to combine their PHBs and social care personal budgets into a single integrated budget – so they will only need a single assessment of all their needs – and potentially add other funding streams, such as disabled facilities grants.It also proposes giving some service-users the right to receive their PHB through direct payments, which would enable them to take a cash payment to manage and pay for their own support.But many disabled activists fear the plans are only the next step in a move towards privatising the NHS.Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of Shaping Our Lives, said: “Everyone who loves the NHS should fear the government’s determination to extend personal health budgets massively.”He said PHBs were “the antithesis of the NHS founding principles of universality and needs-led provision”, particularly as the government had based PHBs on the same “failing” model used with social care personal budgets.Under personal budgets, service-users are given an upfront allocation of funding, but that often bears no correlation to what is actually available for the service-user to spend on their support.Beresford believes the same will happen with PHBs.And he warned that “further encroachment of the NHS into social care is no way to bring about integration of health and social care.“The great bulk of spending through PHBs is on social care – PAs, home care, respite, leisure and social needs – with a smattering of spending on fringe or complementary health services that the mainstream NHS will not commission.“In effect, as a strategy to bring about integration, it will fail as it doesn’t grapple with the real problems of integrating clinical health and social care.”He said PHBs were also “morally highly questionable” because they will extend the “anomaly” with NHS Continuing Healthcare, where “some will get free social care via PHBs and the rest will have to pay for exactly the same service”.He said: “PHBs aren’t a gift horse; they are a Trojan horse for privatisation and the commodification of health.”Denise McKenna, co-founder of the Mental Health Resistance Network, said she also feared the plans were part of a long-term government strategy to privatise the NHS and move to an insurance-based system similar to the one that operates in the US.PHBs, she said, would allow the government to separate those service-users who would be “uninsurable” and unprofitable under an insurance-based system, including those with severe and enduring mental health conditions.She said: “I understand people with physical disabilities find PHBs excellent and it is really important to independent living that people are in control of their own lives.“My fear is not in the here and now. It is what is going to happen in the future, what their motives are and what it will lead to.“My fear is that it is a major step towards privatisation.”McKenna said her own experience was that it was “practically impossible” for people with mental health conditions to secure a social care personal budget.For those who were able to, she said, they were unable to benefit from the funding because the scheme was so badly run.Clenton Farquharson, chair of Think Local Act Personal – a national partnership committed to health and care personalisation and community-based support – and a consultant on equality and inclusion, welcomed the government’s plans.He said: “We know from our experience of personal budgets that when implemented well they enable choice, control and improve wellbeing.”He said he was not concerned by claims that the government’s plans were part of creeping privatisation of the NHS.He said: “Personal health budgets are motivated by an underlying principle to humanise a bureaucratic approach to supporting people with long term health and social care support.“They are also driven by a need to effectively integrate health and social care that will help minimise costly, confusing and unsustainable processes that, in my experience, has had a negative impact on my life. “I am not aware of any evidence that suggests the further expansion of PHBs is changing existing practice whereby clinical commissioning groups commission a range of services from both the NHS, community sector and private providers. “If done correctly, PHBs can benefit people by offering a choice of affordable, quality, person-centred care that can significantly improve citizens’ health and wellbeing.”Baroness Campbell, who has been working closely on the issue with James Sanderson, director of personalised care for NHS England, also dismissed concerns that expanding PHBs was “privatisation by the back door”.She said that expanding PHBs could “help deliver independent living more effectively, by extending disabled people’s choice and control over the support they require to stay well and less reliant on hospital care and other health interventions.“This is inevitably a more cost-effective approach to supporting well-being – a major principal of the Care Act.”The government plans to outline its next steps in this summer’s adult social care green paper.The PHB consultation closes on 8 June.
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Source:https://www.pasteur.fr/en/home/press-area/press-documents/aids-approach-targeting-hiv-reservoirs Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 21 2018Current HIV treatments need to be taken for life by those infected as antiretroviral therapy is unable to eliminate viral reservoirs lurking in immune cells. Institut Pasteur scientists have identified the characteristics of CD4 T lymphocytes that are preferentially infected by the virus – it is their metabolic (or energy-producing) activity1 that enables the virus to multiply. Thanks to metabolic activity inhibitors, the researchers have managed to destroy these infected cells, or “reservoirs”, ex vivo. Their findings were published in the journal Cell Metabolism on December 20, 2018.Current HIV treatments need to be taken for life by those infected as antiretroviral therapy is unable to eliminate viral reservoirs lurking in immune cells. Institut Pasteur scientists have identified the characteristics of CD4 T lymphocytes that are preferentially infected by the virus – it is their metabolic (or energy-producing) activity that enables the virus to multiply. Thanks to metabolic activity inhibitors, the researchers have managed to destroy these infected cells, or “reservoirs”, ex vivo. Their findings were published in the journal Cell Metabolism on December 20, 2018.Related StoriesAlcohol reduction associated with improved viral suppression in women living with HIVHIV persists in spinal fluid even after long-term treatment and is linked to cognitive deficitsPrevalence of anal cancer precursors is higher in women living with HIV than previously reportedThe antiretroviral treatment used today is designed to block HIV infection but it is not able to eliminate the virus from the body. The virus remains in reservoirs – the CD4 T lymphocyte immune cells, the main targets of HIV. However, the virus does not infect all types of CD4 cell and until now the reason for this was not well known. In this study, scientists from the HIV, Inflammation and Persistence Unit at the Institut Pasteur and colleagues have identified the characteristics of the different CD4 subpopulations, which are associated with HIV infection.The more the CD4 cells are differentiated, or experienced, the more they need to produce energy to perform their function. Experiments have shown that it is the metabolic activity of the cell, and in particular its glucose consumption, that plays a key role in susceptibility to HIV infection. The virus primarily targets cells with high metabolic activity. To multiply, it hijacks the energy and products provided by the cell.This requirement constitutes a weakness for the virus and could be exploited to tackle infected cells. Scientists succeeded in blocking the infection ex vivo thanks to metabolic activity inhibitors that have already been investigated in cancer research.”We have observed ex vivo that, thanks to certain metabolic inhibitors, the virus is no longer able to infect cells and amplification is halted in reservoirs of patients receiving antiretroviral treatment.”Asier Saez-Cirion, coordinator of the studyThis research opens new ways towards possible remission through the elimination of reservoir cells. The next research phase will involve assessing the potential of these metabolic inhibitors in vivo.
Foxconn Technology Group wants to tap 7 million gallons of water a day from Lake Michigan to meet its needs. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Citation: Foxconn wants to tap 7 million gallons of water a day (2018, January 29) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-foxconn-million-gallons-day.html © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Foxconn to announce location of Wisconsin plant Wednesday The city of Racine asked the state Department of Natural Resources for permission Monday to divert water from the lake primarily to serve the planned display panel factory and campus.The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the permission is needed under an interstate agreement that guides water use in eight states that border the Great Lakes.Under the compact, all water shipped out must be returned to Lake Michigan minus what’s lost to evaporation or what’s incorporated into Foxconn’s manufacturing process.The Taiwanese company says it could invest up to $10 billion on the display panel factory that could employ up to 13,000 people.
Bitcoin has plunged more than two thirds from its record highs in December This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The virtual currency fell to $5,992 for the first time since mid-November, according to Bloomberg News, the latest hammering for the cryptocurrency that saw a stratospheric 26-fold rise last year.Tuesday’s collapse comes just six weeks after bitcoin hit a record high of $19,511, fuelled by a flood of speculators looking to make a quick buck.Since those heady days the cryptomarket—which includes dozens of other units—has been pounded by news of crackdowns by governments including in China, Russia and South Korea, one of the biggest markets for the sector.On Thursday, India said it would “take all measures to eliminate” cryptocurrencies’ use as part of a payment system and in funding illegitimate activities, while Japanese authorities raided a virtual currency exchange after it lost $530 million to hackers.Central banks in Europe, Japan and the United States have also flagged concerns about the unit. This week several commercial lenders said they would stop allowing their customers to buy bitcoin through their credit cards owing to debt concerns.Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda, said “the dynamics behind the moves are regulatory clampdowns and investors losing confidence in crypto”.The sell-off on Tuesday was exacerbated by crushing losses on world stock markets, with the Dow on Wall Street suffering its biggest one-day points loss and wiping out all its 2018 gains.Panicked investors are fretting over rising US borrowing costs, leading them to cash in profits after a stellar couple of months that have seen many indexes hit record or all-time highs.Equities have enjoyed months of surges fuelled by optimism over the US economy, corporate earnings and the global outlook.But while traders have been piling into equities, pushing many global indexes to record or multi-year highs, there has been growing concern on trading floors about elevated US Treasury bond yields—at four-year highs—and the likelihood of fresh Federal Reserve interest rate rises.”The risk-off tone is hitting Bitcoin almost as hard as a global regulator and bank scrutiny,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader. “The latest dent to the Cryptospace has been banks saying they are shutting down the ability of clients to buy bitcoin with their cards.””This could end up a full round trip back into the $1,850/$2,966 region.” © 2018 AFP Bitcoin plunged more than 20 percent to fall below $6,000 on Tuesday, its latest sharp loss following a series of setbacks, with a global stock market collapse fuelling the selling. Cryptocurrencies fall after Japan’s Coincheck halts withdrawals Citation: Bitcoin drops below $6,000 for first time in three months (2018, February 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-bitcoin-months.html Explore further
Newborn babies are very limited in what they can do and what they can perceive of the world around them. The muscle strength in a baby’s neck isn’t sufficient to support the head and they haven’t yet learned to control their arms and limbs. Starting at month zero may seem very limiting for a robot, but the physical constraints on the baby actually help it to focus its learning on a small subset of problems, such as learning to coordinate its eyes with what it is hearing and seeing. These steps form the initial stages of a baby building up a model of its own body, before trying to understand all the complexities of the world around it. We applied a similar set of constraints on a robot by initially locking various joints from moving to simulate the absence of muscle control. We also adjusted the images from the robot’s camera vision to “see” the world how a newborn baby would—a much more blurry view than adults are used to. Rather than telling the robot how to move, we can allow it to discover this for itself. The benefit to this is that as calibrations change over time, or as limbs get damaged, the robot will be able to adapt to these changes and continue to operate.Learning through playOur studies show that through applying these constraints on learning, not only does the rate at which new knowledge and skills are learned increase, but the accuracy of what is learned increases too.By giving the robot control over when the constraints are lifted—allowing more control over its joints and improving its vision – the robot can control its own learning rate. By lifting these constraint when the robot has saturated its current scope for learning, we can simulate muscle growth in infants and allow the robot to mature at its own rate. We modelled how an infant learns and simulated the first 10 months of growth. As the robot learned correlations between the motor movements they made and the sensory information they received, stereotypical behaviours observed in infants, such as “hand regard”—where children spend long periods staring at their hands as they move—emerged in the robot’s behaviour.As the robot learns to coordinate its own body, the next major milestone it passes is beginning to understand the world around it. Play is a major part of a child’s learning. It helps them explore their environment, test various possibilities and learn the results. Initially, this might be something as simple as banging a spoon against a table, or trying to put various objects in their mouths, but this can develop into building towers of blocks, matching shapes or slotting objects into the correct holes. All of these activities are constructing experiences that will provide the foundation for skills later on, such as finding the right key to fit in a lock and the fine motor skills for slotting the key into the keyhole then turning it.In the future, building on these techniques could give robots the means for learning and adapting to the complex environments and challenges that humans take for granted in everyday life. One day, it could mean robot carers that are as in tune with human needs and as capable of meeting them as another human. Smart eve versus the iCub. iCub learns from how children play. Credit: Sandy Spence, CC BY-NC Explore further Provided by The Conversation If a robot is to help take care of people in old age, then the range of problems it will encounter in the home will vary enormously compared to these training situations. During the course of a day, robots might be expected to do everything from making a cup of tea to changing the bedding while holding a conversation. These are all challenging tasks that are more challenging when attempted together. No two homes will be the same, which will mean robots will have to learn fast and adapt to their environment. As anyone sharing a home will appreciate, the objects you need won’t always be found in the same place—robots will need to think on their feet to find them.One approach is to develop a robot capable of lifelong learning which could store knowledge based on experiences, and work out how to adapt and apply it to new problems. After learning to make a cup of tea, the same skills could be applied to making coffee. The best learning agent that scientists know of is the human mind, which is capable of learning throughout its life—adapting to complex and ever-changing environments and solving a wide variety of problems on a daily basis. Modelling how humans learn could help develop robots that we can interact with naturally, almost like how we’d interact with another person.Simulating a child’s developmentThe first question to ask when starting to model humans is, where to start? Alan Turing, the famous mathematician and thinker on artificial intelligence once said: “Instead of trying to produce a programme to simulate the adult mind, why not rather try to produce one which simulates the child’s? If this were then subjected to an appropriate course of education one would obtain the adult brain.” This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Citation: Robots may care for you in old age—and your children will teach them (2019, June 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-robots-ageand-children.html Folding towels – not so easy when you’re a robot. Credit: Tanja Esser/Shutterstock It’s likely that before too long, robots will be in the home to care for older people and help them live independently. To do that, they’ll need to learn how to do all the little jobs that we might be able to do without thinking. Many modern AI systems are trained to perform specific tasks by analysing thousands of annotated images of the action being performed. While these techniques are helping to solve increasingly complex problems, they still focus on very specific tasks and require lots of time and processing power to train. He compared the child’s brain to an empty notebook that could be filled through education to develop an intelligent adult “system.” But what’s the age of a human child that scientists should try to model and install in robots? What initial knowledge and skills does a robot need to start with? Shared control allows a robot to use two hands working together to complete tasks This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
COMMENT Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL October 20, 2018 Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday offered condolences to India on a train accident near Amritsar in Punjab, which claimed 61 lives, the Russian Embassy said. According to the Russian embassy, Putin offered condolences to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the train accident.He conveyed his support to families of the victims of the train accident. “I offer my deepest sympathies over tragic consequences of an accident on railways in the Punjab state. I ask to convey my words of sympathy and support to families and friends of the killed people and to wish the soonest recovery to those injured,” Putin said, according to the Russian embassy.UN chief Antonio Guterres has expressed his deepest condolences to the families and friends of over 60 people who died in a train accident in Amritsar, terming the incident as “tragic”.“My heart goes to all in Amritsar following Friday’s tragic accident. Earlier this month, I was honoured to visit the Golden Temple and witnessed the warmth and generosity of the people. My deepest condolences to those who have lost family and loved ones,” Guterres said in a tweet. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also condoled the accident in which 39 of the total 61 people killed have been identified so far. “My thoughts are with everyone who has lost a loved one in the tragic train crash in Amritsar, India. Canadians are keeping you in our hearts tonight & wishing all those injured a full recovery,” Trudeau said in a tweet.The incident has sent shock waves across the country. There was an outpouring of grief with President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore and several other leaders condoling the loss of lives. railway accident COMMENTS SHARE