Rent in Manhattan but Buy a Home in Baltimore Manhattan, New York and Santa Barbara, California are among the most expensive places to buy a home, but the best places to rent, while Baltimore, Maryland and Clayton County, Georgia, are the best counties to buy a home according to Realtor.com on Monday. To assist prospective homebuyers determine if renting an apartment or buying a home is the better option, Realtor.com used 2017 median prices and incomes in 500 counties. The research was geared for urban and suburban dwellers—as an average monthly house payment and rent may be close to the same figure with both continuing to rise.The report, listed several financial indicators to compile a list of home prices versus monthly rent in various U.S. counties: annual median rent, median house payment, mortgage, taxes, and insurance, along with median income. However, it did not factor in the costs of down payments or annual maintenance, as well as home appreciation, which can increase the value of a home over the years.The report indicated that if money were the only factor, the top county to rent and not buy a home is New York, New York, specifically Manhattan, where the rent may be $1,915 but home prices are approximately $2.2 million. Coming in second is Santa Barbara, California, where rent is $1,958 and homes cost approximately under $1 million.Other communities that made it to the top five rent don’t buy list included: Kings County, New York (Brooklyn); Monterrey County, California; and Suffolk County, Massachusetts (Boston).“Homeownership is the opportunity to build wealth. It also helps people be more stable. If there’s a recession and you lose your job for a year, then people can take out a home equity loan and get through the hard times,” said Joseph Kirchner, Senior Economist at Realtor.com.According to the report, the best areas to buy a home instead of rent were in Baltimore County, Maryland, where median rent is $1,443 compared to homes available for $257,000. With a median rent of $1,185 and a median home sale price of $130,000, Clayton County, Georgia (just outside Atlanta) came in second on the buy don’t rent list. Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania; Cumberland County, New Jersey; and Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit) rounded off this list. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News February 5, 2018 616 Views Appreciation baltimore Buy Costs Down Payment Home Homeownership New York Realtor.com Rent 2018-02-05 Staff Writer Share
The Bucs and Cardinals are in different places roster-wise. Tampa Bay is up-and-coming and hoping to contend. Arizona fields a lot of veteran talent looking for a last shot at making a Super Bowl run. Regardless, there are going to be some great athletes on the field on Sunday afternoon. Which five can most impact the game’s final score?• The Bucs aren’t good enough to be the best in the division (Bucs Nation)The reality is that the Buccaneers aren’t the best team in the division, and they’re not even close right now. They’ve struggled to get to 2-2 against a fairly weak schedule and while they haven’t been bad, they’ve been disappointing—and nowhere near the best team in the division.Wednesday, October 11• Series History: Buccaneers-Cardinals (Buccaneers.com)The Buccaneers have a chance to tie the all-time series with Arizona with a win on Sunday, which would also represent some payback after a lopsided loss in Glendale a year ago.• Justin Evans Speeding Up Again (Buccaneers.com)An offseason injury cost rookie S Justin Evans developmental time and slowed his integration into the defense, but he looked up-to-speed in his first start last week and is ready to contribute more. All things considered, 2-2 is an okay place for the Bucs to be right now. There are some winnable games coming up over the next few weeks. Tampa Bay needs to take advantage, starting on Sunday in Arizona against the struggling Cardinals.Saturday, October 14• Bucs-Cardinals: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 4:05 p.m. game (Tampa bay Times)For the past couple of years, the Bucs have lost games they should win. This feels like one of those games. Tampa Bay is better than Arizona. But something feels off about this one. Bucs struggle and lose.• Buccaneers: Five Bucs to watch in week six versus Cardinals (The Pewter Plank)If the Bucs are going to walk out of Arizona with a win, they will need to shut down the trio of receivers that Arizona has. Larry Fitzgerald, J.J. Nelson and Jaron Brown will attempt to put on an aerial attack versus the Bucs Sunday, can they handle the heat?• Buccaneers-Cardinals Scouting Report: Keep your head on a swivel, Jameis (Tampa Bay Times)How Winston responds Sunday will tell us quite a bit about his progression. When the teams met last season, Arizona’s blitz derailed the young quarterback, who was starting just the 18th game of his career. In the 40-7 loss, Winston completed half of his passes, threw four picks and posted a 39.2 rating. It stands as the worst game of his career. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling • Buccaneers Injury Report, October 11 (Buccaneers.com)The Buccaneers’ injury-plauged defense could be getting some support this weekend, partictularly at linebacker. Both Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander returned to practice on Wednesday, as did safety T.J. Ward. Here is the Buccaneers’ full injury report:• Cardinals’ Bruce Arians sees ‘unbelievable potential’ in Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Times)Winston’s lowest-rated effort in his 36 career games came in last year’s loss at Arizona — a 39.8 rating, matching his career high with four interceptions with only one touchdown pass in 52 attempts. Winston only has three interceptions in his first four games this season — none in the last two — and Arians likes what he’s seen.• Gerald McCoy: ‘Uproar’ would result if NFL players can’t protest during anthem (Tampa Bay Online)NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 team owners on Tuesday, saying a proposal would be discussed at next week’s league meetings that would require all players to stand during the anthem. Other Bucs players on Tuesday expressed their appreciation for the freedom that the Bucs — both from the Glazer family that owns the team to coach Dirk Koetter — allowed players to express themselves as they wanted on the issue. All week long, we’ll take you to Tampa Bay to give you an inside look at what’s happening with the Buccaneers as they prepare to face the Cardinals.It’s Behind Enemy Lines…Sunday, October 15• Buccaneers Film Study: Watching the 2017 Arizona Cardinals (The Pewter Plank)For the Buccaneers and Cardinals, these are two very different franchises than when they met last season.One is expected to be on an upward swing, while the other is starting to descend after looking like a Super Bowl contender not too long ago.• Lavonte David expected to make return from ankle sprain (ESPN NFL Nation)In Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings, David was carted off the field with a medial ankle sprain, forcing him to miss games against the New York Giantsand New England Patriots.• Buccaneers game plan: Attacking and defending the Cardinals (The Pewter Plank)The Bucs’ offensive line has played well above average in pass protection thus far this season. If that trend continues and quarterback Jameis Winston doesn’t repeat the 4 interception game from a year ago. Their passing game should have no problem keeping the chains moving and getting into the redzone.• Buccaneers at Cardinals: Preview, broadcast info for Week 6 (The Pewter Plank) • Bucs eager to erase bad feelings after ’embarrassing’ loss to Cardinals last year (ESPN NFL Nation)If you ask around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ locker room, the Arizona game in Week 2 last year is still somewhat of a sore subject. They turned the ball over five times and lost 40-7. Quarterback Jameis Winston threw four interceptions.• Buccaneers: First quarter awards for the 2017 season (The Pewter Plank)Through their first four games, there’s been obvious winners during that span. Winning comes with accolades and awards. Let’s look at those players and what you can look forward to from them during the second quarter of football.• Buccaneers: A litmus test in Arizona (The Pewter Plank)With the first quarter of the season completed the Buccaneers now have to prove whether they’re the same mediocre team from last year, or an improved playoff competitor. Against the Cardinals on Sunday they can show how far they’ve come. Unless they’ve managed to bleach their memory clear of it, I doubt many Buccaneer fans have forgotten what happened in week two of last season.• Buccaneers at Cardinals: Five game-changing players for Week 6 (The Pewter Plank) • Buccaneers Round Table: Offensive Keep, Trade, and Release (The Pewter Plank)Trade one, cut one, and release one.For this, we’re starting with the offense, and the candidates are Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, and Doug Martin.Each writer has been presented this premise. They each had to come up with their selections and reasons why they’d trade, cut, release each of these three players.Friday, October 13• Bucs return to scene of their worst 2016 loss (Tampa Bay Times)“Last year was unfortunate for us,” said quarterback Jameis Winston, who had a career-high five turnovers, including four interceptions, in what remains the lowest-rated game of his three-year NFL career. “The turnovers kind of put us out of it. … Turning the ball over was the biggest part.”• Bucs journal: Rookie O.J. Howard has good memories of Cardinals’ field (Tampa Bay Times)The Bucs have a rough recent history at the Cardinals’ University of Phoenix Stadium, losing 40-7 there last year, but one Tampa Bay player has great memories of playing on that field.Rookie TE O.J. Howard had a breakout game in the national championship game against Clemson in January 2016, catching five passes for 208 yards and a pair of long touchdowns — 53 and 51 yards — in Alabama’s 45-40 win. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires After a blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5, the Arizona Cardinals (2-3) will try and get back to the .500 mark when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday.The Buccaneers (2-2) dropped a close game to the New England Patriots, 19-14, at home last week. Quarterback Jameis Winston completed 26 of 46 pass attempts for 334 yards and one touchdown, and running back Doug Martin carried the ball 13 times for 74 yards and a touchdown. The Bucs’ defense held Tom Brady to one touchdown and one interception. 2 Comments Share Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the first half of their NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann) With the Bucs 2-2 through the first quarter of their season, we asked the Tampa Bay Times‘ coverage team for the biggest reasons to believe in Tampa Bay so far.• Will Bucs benefit from mini bye after Thursday Night Football? (Tampa Bay Times)We only talk about the value of a mini bye after a team wins. When the team wins, it’s because of the corrections and adjustments it made during the break. When it loses, it just continued to play bad football.• Pass-rush help? Bucs taking look at DE Lamarr Houston (Tampa Bay Times)The Bucs have only four sacks in their first four games — three came in Thursday’s loss to the Patriots — and the pass rush may have taken another hit as Ryan Russell dislocated his shoulder in Thursday’s game. There has been no word on any additional damage that may have been sustained in the injury.• Bucs offense showing balance in passing game (Tampa Bay Times)The Bucs’ early game Thursday night put them back even with all but two NFL teams in playing four games each entering Sunday, and as a statistical quirk, the Bucs have four players with at least 200 receiving — Mike Evans (276), DeSean Jackson (249), Adam Humphries (207) and Cameron Brate (205). Only one other NFL team can boast that — the Patriots, who have five such players but have also now played five games. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo • Doug Martin feels like he’s ‘back home,’ and that’s good news for Bucs (ESPN NFL Nation)Between his performance Thursday night and in the preseason — when, at one point, he was averaging 6.0 yards per carry — imagine how much more juice Martin can give, especially next week against an Arizona Cardinals defense that ripped Winston to shreds last season with four interceptions. • Patrick Murray brings familiar face, fresh perspective to Bucs’ kicking game (ESPN NFL Nation)Murray rejoined the Bucs this week. It didn’t matter to him that the last two kickers who came through Tampa Bay — Nick Folk, who was released on Monday, and Roberto Aguayo, who was waived during the preseason — struggled miserably.• Bucs sign DE Larry Webster to practice squad and make more moves (Bucs Wire)The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the midst of plenty of roster moves this week. The Bucs signed Patrick Murray to become Nick Folk’s new replacement and on Tuesday, the Bucs signed defensive end Larry Webster to the practice squad. In the corresponding move, the Buccaneers parted ways with fullback Austin Johnson.Tuesday, October 10• Bucs Bring Back K Patrick Murray (Buccaneers.com)On Monday, the Buccaneers signed Murray, who most recently kicked for the Cleveland Browns last fall, to replace kicker Nick Folk. Folk was placed on injured reserve with a “minor injury” classification. Murray gets a second go-around with his first team after handling the Buccaneers’ kicking duties during the 2014 season.• Bucs Quarterly Report: Reasons to believe (Tampa Bay Online) • ‘Tampa Curse’? Bucs’ notorious kicking woes more complicated than that (ESPN NFL Nation)From the time general manager Jason Licht boldly traded into the second round of the 2016 NFL draft for Roberto Aguayo to Aguayo’s well-documented struggles to the subsequent struggles of replacement Nick Folk, no team has drawn more attention or scrutiny for its kicking woes than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.• Bucs not surprised by success of rookie safety Justin Evans (ESPN NFL Nation)It was the type of moment Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie safety Justin Evans dreamed about. The first series of his first NFL start. A prime-time game against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. A badly overthrown pass intended for Chris Hogan. Evans pounced on it for the first interception of his NFL career.• The Buccaneers need to run the ball more (Bucs Nation)The Tampa Bay Buccaneers once again struggled to produce points on offense against the New England Patriots, a defense that was terrible in the prior weeks.Thursday, October 12• 2017 NFC playoff picture: What are the Buccaneers’ chances? (Tampa Bay Times)Now that the Buccaneers are 2-2 and a quarter of the way through the regular season, it’s time to check in on the rest of the NFC. What does Tampa Bay’s path to the playoffs look like? Let’s size up the competition (playoff odds courtesy of Football Outsiders).
October 4, 2002 Exciting times atthe http://www.dot.state.az.us/news/school/adopt/adopt.htm constructionsite. The second to last batch of flat pre-cast panels for the secondfloor is being lifted into place. The panels were cast on a layer offine silt visible here under this panel in motion. [Photo: Nadia Begin& text: SA] One of the panels isguided into place. [Photo: Nadia Begin & text: SA] Once in place, eachpanel is secured with a set of braces until the planned poured-in-placewall next to it will keep the set of walls secured permanently. [Photo:Nadia Begin & text: SA]
Categories: News 16May Price offers testimony on House Bill 5560 Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township, testifies before the House Local Government Committee regarding House Bill 5560, which modernizes public notice laws and puts taxpayer dollars to more efficient use in Michigan. The bill remains before the committee for further consideration.
Spanish regional cable operator Euskaltel, which last week completed the acquisition of Zegona Communications-owned Asturias operator Telecable, has posted solid subscriber gains for the first half and reduced revenues in what it described as a highly competitive market.Euskaltel saw particularly strong growth in the mobile segment, adding 35,000 new mobile lines in the first half, up 4.8% year-on-year. Some 79.6% of the group’s customers now take at least one mobile line from it.The company also saw solid growth in pay TV, adding 10,000 connections in the first six months of the year, up 3.5%. Pay TV is now taken by 58.9% of the company’s base. Euskaltel highlighted its recently launched catch up service Te Lo Perdiste, on-demand platform Replayteka, NDVR, startover and premium content, which had increased usage and satisfaction with the pay TV service. Euskaltel also recently launched a new 4K Android TV box, a first for the market.Euskaltel said that exactly two thirds – 66.7% – of its customer base now took three or four services, compared to 65.2% a year ago. The number of products taken on average grew from 3.4 to 3.5. Total residential revenue-generating units stood at 1.9 million, up by 31,000 year-on-year.Euskaltel’s overall revenues dropped by 2.3% to €279.3 million for the six months, taken lower by the prior year impact of a Basque Country regional government contract. However, residential revenues grew by only 0.4% in what the company described as a “highly aggressive, competitive environment”.EBITDA dipped from €139.3 million to €137.9 million, impacted by the company’s contribution to the funding of public service broadcaster RTVE under new rules. Adjusted EBITDA was up 0.6%.
The European Union has opened an investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices by Broadcom. The commission will assess whether Broadcom has enforced exclusivity agreements to leverage its position and block competitors. In particular, the investigation will look at Broadcom chipsets for set-top boxes and modems. While the investigation is ongoing, the EU says that it intends to impose ‘interim measures’ to ban the alleged exclusivity.In its statement, the commission said that the gathered information indicates that Broadcom’s practices may include: setting exclusive purchasing obligations; granting rebates or other advantages conditioned on exclusivity or minimum purchase requirements; product bundling; abusive IP-related strategies; and deliberately degrading interoperability between Broadcom products and other products.Margrethe Vestager, commissioner in charge of competition policy, said: “TV set-top boxes and modems are part of our daily lives, for both work and for leisure. We suspect that Broadcom, a major supplier of components for these devices, has put in place contractual restrictions to exclude its competitors from the market. This would prevent Broadcom’s customers and, ultimately, final consumers from reaping the benefits of choice and innovation. “We also intend to order Broadcom to halt its behaviour while our investigation proceeds, to avoid any risk of serious and irreparable harm to competition.”In response to the allegations, Broadcom wrote a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that said the company “believes it complies with European competition rules and that the commission’s concerns are without merit.”This is not the only regulatory scrutiny facing Broadcom. The company is also under investigation from the FTC in the US over similar anti-competitive practices with its Wi-Fi and Ethernet chips.The commission said that investigation will be carried out “as a matter of priority”.
Several years ago when 15 power companies proposed as many as 29 new reactors, many assumed that the US nuclear industry was staging a comeback. Then the shale gas boom happened, and natural gas came roaring back in a big way. Now, only two nuclear reactor projects are moving off the drawing board, while US utilities plan to build 258 natural-gas-powered plants by 2015.The shale gas boom, Fukishima disaster, and the fact that it now costs $978 per kilowatt of capacity to build and fuel a gas-fired power plant (as opposed to $5,339 per kilowatt for a nuclear plant) are a few reasons why nuclear projects are being put on the back burner.But US utilities could be eyeing the expiration of a government program that has kept uranium – a vital component of nuclear energy – in check since the early 1990s as a reason to avoid investing in nuclear plants.(Click on image to enlarge)Taken out of the “swords to ploughshares” playbook of old (a concept whereby military weapons are converted into peaceful civilian applications), the Megatons to Megawatts Program is a 1993 US-Russia nonproliferation agreement under which the two former enemies agreed to convert high-enriched uranium (HEU) taken from disassembled Russian nuclear weapons into low-enriched uranium (LEU) to be used for nuclear fuel.The agreement came to fruition in the early 1990s as a result of an alarming lack of security at post-Soviet nuclear-weapons installations. After the collapse of the USSR, there were insufficient funds to pay military guards, even at sites that housed nuclear materials. To prevent nuclear weapons from making their way onto the black market – and joining the 50-odd nuclear warheads that have gone missing in the last 50 years – the US and Russia embarked on an unheard-of joint venture to disarm much of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.The system worked as follows: the US government established the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) (NYSE:USU), while the Russians designated Tekhsnabeksport (“Tenex”) to implement the program in the former Soviet Union. Although subject to political bickering during its onset, the program was mutually beneficial, as the US was flooded with cheap uranium while the Russians were compensated to the tune of $8 billion.In the last 15 years, this program has converted 400 metric tons of HEU from 16,000 Russian nuclear warheads into uranium fuel for US nuclear power plants. Currently, one in every ten American homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals receives electricity generated by Megatons to Megawatts fuel.And, encouragingly, USEC and Tenex signed an agreement in 2011 to extend the exchange of cash for LEU after the Megatons for Megawatts program expires in 2013. Although the US will receive about half of its current uranium shipments, it’s better than nothing.Don’t get me wrong: I’m thrilled that the world has 16,000 fewer nuclear warheads as a result of this program. But the ensuing shortage of uranium and the impact it will have on the US nuclear market is troubling.LEU fuel purchased by USEC through the Megatons for Megawatts program currently generates roughly 50% of the electricity produced by the US’s nuclear power plants, while nuclear power as a whole accounts for about 20% of the total US electricity production. For the 103 nuclear plants currently operating – many of which are owned by nuclear powerhouses Exelon Corp. (NYSE:EXC) and Entergy Corp. (NYSE:ETR) – a shortage of uranium could squeeze margins as suppliers like USEC jack up prices to match dwindling supply.Some proponents of the program, including US Department of Energy consultant Edgar Berkey, assert that the US should try to persuade the 32 or so countries possessing nuclear materials to embark on a program similar to Megatons for Megawatts.But – taking the perspective of one of those 32 nations – why would I want to disarm myself while the US still holds nearly 10,000 warheads of its own?That leaves only one other option: domestic disarmament. Considering the US’s history of flexing its military might, I would say this is highly unlikely, and that – once the de facto subsidy runs out – we’re in for an interesting ride with respect to domestic uranium supplies.
In This Issue. * Global conflicts heat up. * Yen benefits from ‘risk off’ atmosphere. * Brazilian and Russian currencies drop. * Safe haven funds boost Gold. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Conflicts across the globe send investors scrambling for shelter. Good Day! I have to kick off today’s Pfennig with an apology to readers. Yesterday I was obviously running behind, and being well past my self-imposed deadline I rushed to hit the send button and forgot to update the prices in the ‘Currencies today’ section. That combined with the breaking news out of Ukraine is what prompted the ‘special update’ which I sent out yesterday morning. I again apologize for sending two Pfennigs yesterday, but figured it was a big enough oversight on my part to warrant another email into your inbox. And I felt the breaking news regarding the Malaysia Airlines plane was certainly newsworthy enough to justify the update. The civilian aircraft, flying out of Amsterdam in route to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Ukraine in an area where the separatist rebels had recently shot down two Ukraine military planes. There were 280 passengers and 15 crew who were lost in the crash. The Ukraine government was quick to deny involvement stating: “The Ukrainian armed forces did not attempt to shoot down targets in the air.” Ukraine officials stated that they have no reason to shoot down planes in the air, as the rebels do not have aircraft. They instead blamed the separatist rebels who have been using Russian supplied equipment which the Ukrainian government contends is more than capable of downing a plane cruising over 6 miles up. I’ll bet that it will be a while before anyone can figure out exactly what happened, and meanwhile the incident has substantially raised the stakes in this conflict which has largely been ignored by the markets. In any event very sad news and another tragedy for Malaysian Airlines. I actually found out about the plane crash when a Bloomberg metals reporter called to get my reaction to it – and by the time I had pulled up the story, gold had dropped $20 and the dollar was moving higher. Then in the early afternoon Ty Keough leaned over to tell me he just heard Israel had begun a ground invasion of Gaza. Israeli troops and heavy equipment rolled across the border in search of the ‘terrorist infrastructure’ in Gaza. The currency and metals markets largely ignored the announcement out of Israel, apparently traders were already as defensive as the felt they needed to be. But stock investors didn’t like all of this conflict, and equity markets booked their largest single day loss in 2 months (S&P down 1.18% and Dow down .94%). The proceeds resulting from the sale of these stocks flowed over into US treasuries which rallied throughout the day. Yields on the US 10 year treasury dropped about 12 basis points following the airline crash and then dropped another 10 basis points following the Israeli offensive. The main benefactor of the ‘risk off’ atmosphere was the safe haven currency of the Japanese yen. The yen strengthened against all of its 31 major peers as these two geo-political events sent shock waves through the markets. Again this strength in the Japanese currency was not due to anything which the BOJ or Japanese leaders did, but rather it was a result of currency investors looking for a ‘safe’ place to park funds. I believe we are also seeing investors reverse ‘carry trades’ which they had entered into over the last few months. The reversal of these trades involves investors selling their higher yielding currencies and buying back the ‘funding’ currency which has traditionally been the Japanese yen. The yen has given back some of its gains as Europe opens up this morning. Another sign that these carry trades are being reversed in this ‘risk off’ environment is the fact that the biggest loser of the dollar’s 16 major peers was the Brazilian real, a very popular currency for carry trade investors. Brazil’s currency dropped 1.5% after the central bank left rates unchanged and investors exited the higher yielding ‘riskier’ currencies. The only currency which fell more than the real yesterday was the Russian ruble which dropped for obvious reasons. As I wrote in yesterday’s Pfennig, Brazilian policy makers said that they will hold the target lending rate at 11% as they weigh stalled economic growth against inflation which remains above their target rate. Adding to the selling pressure on the real, Brazil’s labor minister revised his forecast of job creation yesterday and announced the number of new jobs in June missed analyst forecasts for the fourth straight month. I will be heading up to Canada later today, and I just realized that I had overlooked reporting on Canada’s central bank meeting earlier this week. BOC Governor Stephen Poloz left rates unchanged (as expected) but said they are researching what the ‘ideal’ interest rate for the Canadian economy is. Speaking after the BOC meeting, Poloz noted that the prolonged period of low borrowing costs has led to high debt loads, meaning that when interest rates do eventually rise, they will be more effective in slowing the economy than in the past. Did you hear that? Hopefully our own central bank leaders are listening. It is exactly what Chuck and all of us here have been warning – with the tremendous amount of debt that has been accumulated since the financial crisis, the impacts of any interest rate increase are going to be severe on those responsible for paying interest on all of this debt! As I mentioned in the opening paragraphs, the precious metals were another benefactor of all of the heightened geo-political concerns yesterday. Gold posted the biggest gain in four weeks and Palladium extended its rally to a 13 year high. Yesterday’s move put gold’s year to date gain at 9.10%, easily surpassing the YTD gains of equities, treasuries and currencies (top performer is NZD which is up 5.62% YTD). But Palladiums move this year is over twice that of gold! The price of palladium has risen 22.38% in 2014 due to supply concerns and increased demand from the automobile industry. Russia is the world’s biggest source of palladium, so the Ukraine conflict has combined with the five-month strike in South Africa to worry investors about a possible ‘supply squeeze’. On the demand side, European car sales for June were reported yesterday and rose for the 10th straight month – the longest such run in over four years. We have also seen a pick-up in Asian demand for autos along with a rebound in US auto demand. All good news for Palladium. There was a slew of data released yesterday here in the US, but all of the geo -political events overshadowed the economic releases. US housing starts started the day off with a disappointing print of just 893k which equated to a 9.3% drop from the previous month. And adding to the negative news, May’s housing starts were revised from a 6.5% drop to -7.3%. Building permits were also lower, dropping 4.2% in June after a revised 5.1% drop in May. This data calls the ‘housing recovery’ back into question with two consecutive months of lower housing starts and permits in what has to be ‘prime season’ for new home construction. The US economy has always been somewhat dependent on a strong housing sector, and the recovery is going to need this sector to turn around to give us a much needed boost. The weekly jobs numbers were next to hit the news wires and helped to ease the pain of the housing numbers as the weekly jobless claims came in at 302k vs last weeks print of 305k and an expected figure of 310k. Continuing claims were also lower than expected so the numbers show the labor market is continuing to improve albeit at an extremely slow pace. And you may have missed this news with all of the conflicts yesterday, but Microsoft announced yesterday that they will be cutting 18,000 jobs. That certainly won’t help the labor market recovery!! The morning ended with the Philly Fed Outlook which easily beat expectations and gave investors another reason to look past the disappointing housing data. St. Louis Fed head James Bullard did his best to rescue the dollar yesterday stating that the Fed may have to raise interest rates more quickly than planned as unemployment falls and inflation quickens. Bullard has traditionally been a ‘hawkish’ voice on the Fed, so these comments weren’t surprising – but his words may have lost some of their impact as he is no longer a ‘voting member’ of the FOMC. We don’t have a slew of data releases this morning, with only the Univ of Michigan Confidence report followed by the release of the Leading Index. The confidence number is expected to show another increase to a level of 83 from the last reported level of 82.5. And the leading index is expected to have remained stable at a reading of .5% in June. Just more of the same – slow growth and a very sluggish recovery here in the US. For What its Worth. A poll completed by Bloomberg showed that 47% of respondents said the equity market is close to unsustainable levels while 14% already saw a bubble. The quarterly survey of 562 investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers shows the level of anxiety which exists in today’s equity investors. Almost a third of respondents called the market for lower rated debt overheated and most said stock swings will increase within six months, the July 15-16 poll showed. And I guess you could count Fed Chair Janet Yellen as one of those raising concerns over valuation levels as she took the unusual step of calling out the biotech and technology sectors earlier this week. But Yellen backpedaled a bit in Wednesday’s testimony when she said asset valuations aren’t out of line with historical norms. Could the geo-political events of the past days be the ‘trigger’ to a big correction? Today’s sell off is probably healthy for this market and if the conflicts continue we could actually see a true ‘correction’ in the equity markets, easing investor concerns regarding the valuation levels. Stronger earnings would also help justify the current price levels. But with nearly ½ of the professional investors feel the equity markets are close to unsustainable levels, we certainly seem primed for a big sell-off. To recap. Geo-political conflicts sent shivers through the markets yesterday, with the safe havens of Japanese yen, US treasuries and Gold being the biggest benefactors. The ‘risk off’ atmosphere sent the high yielding currencies of Brazil and South Africa lower along with the Russian ruble. Gold was up but the biggest winner this year in the precious metals markets is Palladium which hit a 15 year high. Data out of the US showed the housing recovery is still questionable but the labor market continues to recover. And I closed today’s Pfennig with Bloomberg poll results which indicate ‘professional investors’ agree that the equity markets are nearing unsustainable levels. Currencies today 7/18/14. American Style: A$ .9381, kiwi .8675, C$ .9306, euro 1.3523, sterling 1.7094, Swiss $1.1136 . European Style: rand 10.6945, krone 6.1729, SEK 6.8193, forint 229.50, zloty 3.0657, koruna 20.29, RUB 35.098, yen 101.36, sing 1.2420, HKD 7.7510, INR 60.31, China 6.1568, pesos 12.9717, BRL 2.2582, Dollar Index 80.532, Oil $103.47, 10-year 2.48%, Silver $20.93, Platinum $1,488.49, Palladium $874.72, and Gold. $1,310.79 That’s it for today. I’m off to the airport this morning to catch a plane up to Quebec City. I will be speaking at an investment conference sponsored by our friends at The Oxford Club and then I’ll head west to meet up with Chuck and Frank over in Vancouver. We will all be participating in the ‘Sprott Vancouver Natural Resource Symposium’. If you are in the area or want an excuse to visit Vancouver next week you can get more information on the conference here: http://www.naturalresourcesymposium.com/register/ . It is supposed to be another gorgeous weekend here in St. Louis, so I won’t be running away from the typical July heat and humidity but I’m still looking forward to discovering a new city. Mike will take over the Pfennig next week, but I will try to give him a few updates from ‘the road’. And looking at the clock I had better hit the send button (yes I updated the currency prices today!). I hope you all have a Fantastic Friday and a Wonderful Weekend!! Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets
JOE Greenwood grabbed a brace as Saints secured a hard fought 30-20 win at Castleford Tigers.The second rower took his season’s tally to nine as Keiron Cunningham’s men pulled within two points of the top four.Defensively they were strong when it mattered too, limiting a lively looking Tigers to just two tries in the second half.Greenwood was a threat throughout as was Mark Percival who looked very competent and comfortable in his second game back from injury.That duo looked the most likely to be Saints’ avenue for points from the offset – and so it proved.Cas scored first after the visitors knocked the ball on in their own 40 through Joel Monaghan but Saints hit back on 18 minutes.Greenwood mopped up Luke Walsh’s high ball after James Roby had scampered 70 metres.Jonny Lomax and Percival pulled off a try saving tackle on Matt Cook 25 minutes in and then clever defence forced a drop out.But within a minute, another kick to the right hand side saw Cas take the lead.Denny Solomona this time out-jumped the defence to grab hold of Gale’s kick.Saints had chances as the half closed out but found their hosts mean in defence.‘Complete your sets’ would likely have been the rallying call in the Saints’ shed at half time – and they did just that.With the half backs on the ball more they put Cas under pressure and turned them on their heels.Shannon McDonnell was denied by a Tigers’ fingertip from Dominique Peyroux’s pass on 42 minutes before Saints repeated the move on their next set with success.McDonnell scoring his second of the season.Walsh nailed the conversion from the touchline but agonisingly, within a minute, the lead was back with the home side.Saints somehow lost the ball following the restart and Mike McMeeken was caught on a lovely angle.Jy Hitchcox then beat the Saints defence for pace after an innocuous looking kick through near the line on the last.Saints had to hold their nerve and weather the pressure once more.And like last time they responded; Kyle Amor latching on to Jon Wilkin’s powerful run following Saints best attack of the second half.Joe Greenwood then bagged his second after the home side made a hash of another high ball from Walsh.The second rower staying ever alert for the loose ball – and getting his ninth of the season to boot.Then came the defence. Saints made three goal-line stands – including a wonder tackle from Luke Walsh – before putting the game to bed.And what a try it was too.Walsh combined with Theo Fages to turn it inside for Jonny Lomax who ghosted over the line.It was a breathtaking and relieving move… and the delight on the away fans and players said it all.Match Summary:Tigers:Tries: Monaghan, Solomona, McMeeken, HitchcoxGoals: Gale (2 from 4)Saints:Tries: Greenwood (2), McDonnell, Amor, LomaxGoals: Walsh (5 from 5)Penalties:Tigers: 7Saints: 6HT: 6-10FT: 30-20REF: G HewerATT: 6658Teams:Tigers:5. Denny Solomona; 2. Joel Monaghan, 19. Ben Crooks, 16. Matt Cook, 25. Jy Hitchcox; 18. Ryan Hampshire, 7. Luke Gale; 8. Andy Lynch, 9. Adam Milner, 14. Lee Jewitt, 10. Grant Millington, 12. Mike McMeeken, 13. Nathan Massey.Subs: 15. Paul McShane, 16. Matt Cook, 22. Gadwin Springer, 23. Will Maher, 31. Conor Fitzsimmons.Saints:23. Shannon McDonnell; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Dominque Peyroux, 4. Mark Percival, 22. Jack Owens; 19. Theo Fages, 7. Luke Walsh; 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Atelea Vea, 20. Joe Greenwood, 12. Jon Wilkin.Subs: 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Lama Tasi, 15. Greg Richards, 28. Morgan Knowles.
Angela Moscaritolo Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Reporter The fight for racial justice just got an infusion of cash from Google.The web giant’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, has already committed more than $5 million to nonprofits advancing racial justice since 2015, but this week it more than doubled its previous pledge. Google.org is investing $11.5 million in new grants to organizations working to reform the criminal justice system. The funds will go to 10 organizations Google.org believes “can create meaningful change around racial, social and criminal justice in the U.S.,” Google.org Principal Justin Steele wrote in a Thursday blog post.”Mass incarceration is a huge issue in the United States, and a major area of focus for our grants,” Steele wrote. “The U.S. penal population has exploded, growing by 400 percent since 1984 to more than 2 million today, with Black men sentenced at over five times the rate of white men.”The largest sum, $5 million, will go to the Center for Policing Equity, a New York-based organization working with police agencies and communities to create a database to track national statistics on police behavior. Meanwhile, a $1.5 million grant will go to Measures for Justice, which is building a web platform that lets people see how their local justice system treats people based on different factors, such as race, sex, status and age.Google.org is also giving $1 million to support Impact Justice’s national Restorative Justice Project, which aims to keep youth of color out of the juvenile justice system. Other new organizations getting funding are working to train formerly incarcerated individuals (JustLeadershipUSA) and make data more accessible to criminal justice reform organizations (W. Haywood Burns Institute).”A person’s race should not determine how they are treated by the law,” Steele wrote. “We’re proud to support these organizations, and we hope that their focus on data and community-driven solutions to will bring us closer to a more just society.”Google has also sponsored community screenings of the Netflix documentary 13th in 12 Google offices across the country; Netflix has announced it will also allow the film to be screened for educational purposes. 13th, from Selma director Ava DuVernay, was up for Best Documentary at this weekend’s Academy Awards. 2 min read Add to Queue February 27, 2017 Image credit: via PC Mag The funds will go to 10 organizations working to foster racial, social and criminal justice. –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business This story originally appeared on PCMag Google.org Donates $11.5 Million to Fight for Racial Justice Next Article Google Register Now »
3CLogicMarketing TechnologyMicrosoft Dynamics CRMMicrosoft’s AppsourceNewsSoftware-as-a-Service Previous ArticleOutreach Recognized as an April 2019 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Sales Force AutomationNext ArticleHipChat Founders Launch Swoot, a Social Podcast App Cloud Contact Center Provider Delivers Certified Solution to Compliment CRM Platform with Deeply Integrated Offering to Drive Better Customer Experience3CLogic, a leading provider of cloud contact center software for enterprise companies, announced the certification of its solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and official listing on Microsoft’s Appsource. The combined offering provides enterprises greater change management control, enhances the efficiency of department representatives (i.e.: Sales, Help Desk, Customer Support, HR, etc.), and improves administrative visibility into what drives successful customer engagements and outcomes.The new certified app includes a variety of features to compliment Dynamics CRM to deliver exceptional customer experiences, all on a single enterprise-grade platform.Marketing Technology News: Brainshark Customers to Share Strategies for Sales Enablement Success at SiriusDecisions 2019 SummitFeatures include:Embedded Microsoft Dynamics CRM Click-to-Call and CTIIntegrated Interactive Voice Response (IVR)IVR Journey Analytics and ReportingAutomatic Call Dialing (ACD)Call & Screen Recording with automated activity posting to Dynamics CRMConfigurable Skills-based RoutingText-to-SpeechOutbound SMSReal-time Dashboards and WallboardsIntegrated Reporting and Business Intelligence“We are excited to officially add 3CLogic to the Microsoft AppSource eco-system, expanding a decade-long relationship of providing deep telephony integrations with Microsoft Dynamics CRM,” says Navya Pandiri, VP of Product Management at 3CLogic. “This marks another milestone as 3CLogic strives to complement and leverage CRM-stored data to extend the value of those platforms and the use cases they solve through dynamic and intelligent customer journeys. This is another example of how systems of records [CRM or Service Management solutions] and cloud call center solutions should be – working together and in sync, rather than in disjointed silos, to truly drive digital transformation.”Marketing Technology News: Vimeo To Acquire Magisto To Power Video Creation For Any BusinessMicrosoft’s online app store, Microsoft AppSource, is a destination to help business users discover Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions tailored to their industry from Microsoft and its partners. Each solution available on AppSource undergoes a Microsoft-led vetting process for certification. Moving forward, with 3CLogic’s CTI & Contact Center Solution listing in AppSource, customers can enjoy a seamless means of extending the value of their CRM investment.Marketing Technology News: Bazaarvoice Report: Shoppers Crave Connection and Conversation with Brands and Retailers 3CLogic Announces Microsoft AppSource Certification for Microsoft Dynamics CRM PRNewswireApril 19, 2019, 5:55 pmApril 19, 2019
Another fifth have been forced to give up a favorite past-time such as sport, according to a new survey to mark Backcare Awareness Week which starts today (8-12 October 2018).Over half of those polled (52%) said their back pain troubled them at least several times a month, with 56% describing it as either somewhat or very severe. One in seven suffer every day.And nearly half (48%) said their problems had been going on for more than five years.An estimated 2.5 million people experience back pain every day in the UK, whilst treating it costs the NHS more than £1 billion a year.The new poll for Medserena Upright Open MRI Centers found that, contrary to popular belief, back pain is just as common amongst younger age groups as the elderly. Whereas 61% of people aged over 55 had back pain at least once a month, the figure for 18-24 year olds was even higher at 71%.And surprisingly, those in higher managerial jobs suffer more from back pain than manual workers.Nearly two thirds (63%) of top professionals experience pain at least once a month, compared with around 53% of manual workers – although skilled and semi-skilled workers are more likely to say their condition was caused by lifting heavy loads.Management, on the other hand, attribute their back pain to bad posture over time – and take more days off sick for this reason than any other type of employee.Yet despite the prevalence of back pain, the poll found that over a third (34%) of those affected hadn’t sought advice from a medical professional – albeit the likelihood of consulting a GP or specialist increases steadily with age.Only a fifth (19%) had undertaken an MRI scan, with just under a quarter (24%) having an X Ray. Men were significantly more likely to have a scan or other test than women.“Interestingly, our survey showed that 17% of people with back pain also suffer from claustrophobia”, comments Juliana Hyka, Radiology Manager of Medserena, “with women more prone to it than men.“Yet only 5% said they had been offered an upright open MRI scan for diagnosis.“Not surprisingly, 46% said they would prefer to stand up or sit down in a scanner which is open at the front – compared to just 19% who would opt for lying down in an enclosed tunnel”. Medication was the most popular form of treatment for back pain, taken by 47% of respondents.A third had been treated by a practitioner such as an osteopath or physiotherapist, whilst a quarter had taken to their bed for rest. However, 27% hadn’t bothered with treatment at all, opting to grin and bear it. Just 14% of top professionals said they had received no treatment, whereas the figure for semi-skilled or unskilled manual workers was 36% (not even painkillers).The Medserena Centers in London and Manchester offer upright, open MRI scans which are very different to the conventional ‘tunnel’.The scans are carried out in a natural weight-bearing position. You can stand up, sit down, flex your neck and be moved into different postures – so the scan is carried out in exactly the position that pain is experienced. In many cases, this provides a more conclusive diagnosis of back pain than traditional MRIs that are performed lying down.The open structure is ideal for anyone suffering from claustrophobia and also accommodates very large patients – up to 35 stone – more easily than the tunnel type. Oct 9 2018One in five people who suffer from back pain have given up their job or reduced their hours because of their condition. Source:https://www.back-pain-mri.com/
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 1 2018The BfR is involved with two work groups in the project, which is being coordinated by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).In addition to residues of the active substances contained in plant protection products, the work focuses on contaminants in foods and potentially health-damaging food ingredients. “The goal is to be able to make a more realistic estimation on a scientific basis of the health risks posed by substance mixtures of this kind,” explains BfR President, Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. Strategies for identifying toxicologically relevant substances, for example, and the first results of tests on the toxicity of multiple residues of the active substances contained in plant protection products are to be presented at the 8th Consortium Meeting.Consumers are exposed every day to a wide variety of undesired substances which are potentially damaging to health. Using computer-supported in silico methods (QSAR) and with the help of exposure modeling, a strategy for prioritizing the substances relevant to risk assessment in mixture experiments has been developed in the EuroMix project. This enables the fast and necessary restriction of the extensive list of substances and substance classes to be tested. As a large number of different substance mixtures is conceivable, EuroMix has concentrated on a small number of particularly relevant key mixtures identified at the beginning of the project. One area of main focus here lies in mixtures of the active substances contained in plant protection products.Related StoriesLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsGenetic study on liver iron content may pave way for better treatmentStudy finds link between poor oral health and increased risk of liver cancerParallel to this, a test strategy was devised to test and characterize the effects of substance mixtures of many different classes with regard to their damaging effect on the liver, the development of the organism and the endocrine system. New methods were developed here among other things which enable a high test throughput at low costs as an alternative to experiments with animals in order to facilitate the testing of a large number of relevant substance combinations.To test combination effects in the liver, for instance, a toolbox was specially developed for the specific symptoms of pathological fatty liver (steatosis) which permits a forecast of combination effects with the help of consecutive in vitro test methods. The successful use (proof of principle) of the system has already been published and was achieved with a pesticide with a known mechanism of action. This toolbox was then used for the characterization of mixture effects. It could be seen here, especially for the class of pesticides, that above all dose addition effects predominate for which a risk assessment concept already exists. The successfully tested toolbox can also be used for the testing of other relevant substance classes in order to characterise and/or examine substance combinations for effects such as inhibition, dose addition or synergism. The objective here is to be able to better assess the interaction of substances in mixtures. At the end, a web-based evaluation toolbox should be available for the analysis and overall assessment of mixtures. Source: https://www.bfr.bund.de/en/press_information/2018/35/are_substance_mixtures_in_foods_more_dangerous_than_individual_substances_-206633.html
Source:http://www.ucdenver.edu/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 18 2018Experimental findings support a connection between mucins in the lung and pulmonary fibrosisA team of investigators led by members of the University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty at CU Anschutz Medical Campus has identified a connection between mucus in the small airways and pulmonary fibrosis.The findings are published in Nature Communications.”The overproduction of a lung mucin (MUC5B) has consistently been shown to be the strongest risk for the development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and most recently rheumatoid arthritis-interstitial lung disease,” said senior and corresponding author David Schwartz, MD, Chair of the Department of Medicine at the CU School of Medicine.Dr. Schwartz adds, “The findings in this manuscript provide a critical breakthrough in understanding the cause and potentially the treatment of IPF by demonstrating that excess mucus in the small airways can cause lung fibrosis, in part, by impairing the mechanism of lung clearance. In aggregate, these discoveries have provided the means to identify an at-risk population, diagnose the disease prior to the development of irreversible scarring, focus on a unique therapeutic target (MUC5B) and a specific location in the lung (distal airway), and create a novel pathway for therapeutic intervention for a disease that is currently incurable.”Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is the most common type of progressive lung fibrosis. Over time, the scarring gets worse and it becomes hard to take in a deep breath and the lungs cannot take in enough oxygen. The average length of survival of patients with IPF is three to five years, and a critical unmet need is to identify patients before the lung is scarred irreversibly.Related StoriesNew study identifies eight genetic variants associated with anorexia nervosaAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsMucociliary dysfunction is an emerging paradigm in lung diseases [3, 4]. Previously considered a characteristic specific to obstructive diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and genetic diseases such as primary ciliary dyskinesia and cystic fibrosis, the importance of mucins, mucus, and mucociliary interactions has surfaced in diseases of the lung periphery, such as adenocarcinoma and IPF [1, 2].The investigators on the current study in Nature Communications hypothesized that the potential role for mucociliary dysfunction as a driver of IPF pathology is supported by unique gene expression signatures in IPF. The investigators found that a specific genetic characteristic, known as the MUC5B promoter variant rs35705950, which results in a marked increase production of mucus in the lung is the strongest genetic risk factor for IPF. They also found this is the strongest risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis-interstitial lung disease.The findings suggest that targeting MUC5B in the terminal airways of patients with preclinical stages of interstitial lung disease represents a strategy to prevent the progression of preclinical pulmonary fibrosis.”This study shows how genetic findings in human diseases can generate new hypotheses, such as those related to impaired mucociliary clearance, that may lead to the discovery of novel molecular mechanisms and the development of early diagnostics and more accurate treatments for pulmonary fibrosis,” said James P. Kiley, PhD, Director of the Division of Lung Diseases at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Source:https://www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au/ Jan 18 2019The ability to eat and drink are things most Australians take for granted. That’s why Speech Pathology Australia is an active participant in an international initiative that is working to make swallowing safer for people in Australian hospitals and nursing homes.On the eve of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Australia is set to adopt new international standardized terminology and definitions for texture modified food and drink. The quality of meals and the appropriateness of food served have already been identified as an important matter for investigation by the Royal Commission.From 1 May 2019 new guidelines about standardized names and descriptions of food and drink used in medical and community settings to reduce choking risk will be introduced in Australia.An analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics population and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare nursing home data on deaths reported to coroners, found that after falls, choking was the second largest cause of death in aged care.Around 15‐30 per cent of people aged 65 and over living in the community have a swallowing difficulty, this figure rises to over 50 per cent for older Australians living in nursing homes. People who suffer from age-related conditions such as stroke, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease are also likely to have a swallowing difficulty and are at risk of choking on food or developing pneumonia.People over the age of 65 years have 7x the risk of choking on food as children aged 1-4 years.The new IDDSI framework includes easily accessible testing methods that allow consumers, health professionals, nursing homes and hospitals to check that the food or drink they are serving is correct for older Australians with swallowing difficulties.For producers of thick drinks and food specially prepared to reduce choking risk (texture modified food), the IDDSI standards mean a single set of labeling for packaging, including standardized color and number codes, which can be used and recognized around the globe.Related StoriesWVU researcher investigates how nursing homes can best meet obese residents’ healthcare needsSecurity cameras installed in nursing homes may do more harm than goodNursing home care prices rise faster than other medical care and consumer pricesSpeech pathologists are the professionals who provide swallowing assessments and develop mealtime management plans, including advising on changes to the texture of food and drinks to enable safe and effective eating and drinking.“The sad reality is,” said Dr Julie Cichero, “that the most common factors in choking deaths is a lack of clear personalized information about safe eating and drinking for older Australians, and inadequate supervision.”“The texture of food and drink is important the older we get. In nursing homes especially it is critically important that the texture of food and drink is appropriate for each individual person. One size fits all is not appropriate.”Speech Pathology Australia, as the peak body for the speech pathology profession in Australia, is actively supporting The International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI). IDDSI promotes safety for people with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia), through a common standardized international terminology for food and drinks that reduce choking risk.The IDDSI draws its membership from around the world and a diverse range of professions, including: speech pathology, nutrition and dietetics, medicine, occupational therapy, nursing, patient safety, engineering, and food science and technology. In 2019, IDDSI will formally be adopted in Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA, with another 18 countries in progress. IDDSI has support from health professional associations around the world, and the international food and beverage industry.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 28 2019The results of a study led by a team from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a center supported by “la Caixa”, suggest that the risk of a child developing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be modulated by the mother’s diet during pregnancy. The study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, analyzed samples of umbilical cord plasma to quantify the levels of omega-6 and omega-3 that reach the foetus. The statistical analysis showed a higher omega-6:omega-3 ratio to be associated with a higher risk of ADHD symptoms at seven years of age.Omega-6 and omega-3 are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that play a crucial role in the function and architecture of the central nervous system, particularly during the later stages of gestation. These two fatty acids compete for incorporation into cell membranes and are primarily obtained through diet. Since omega-6 and omega-3 have opposing physiological functions–the former promotes systemic pro-inflammatory states, while the latter promotes anti-inflammatory states–a balanced intake of these two fatty acids is important. Previous research had shown that children with ADHD symptoms have a higher omega-6:omega-3 ratio.The authors studied data from 600 children living in four Spanish regions (Asturias, Basque Country, Catalonia and Valencia) who are participating in the INMA Project. They analyzed umbilical cord plasma samples and data from questionnaires completed by the children’s mothers. ADHD symptoms were assessed using two standard questionnaires: the first completed by the children’s teachers at age four years, and the second by their parents at age seven years.The results showed that, at age seven years, the number of ADHD symptoms increased by 13% per each unit increase in the omega-6:omega-3 ratio in umbilical cord plasma. The study analyzed the number of symptoms in the children who met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD (minimum six symptoms) and also in the children with a smaller number of ADHD symptoms. The ratio of the two fatty acids was associated with the number of ADHD symptoms present but not with diagnosis of the disorder, and only in the assessment carried out at seven years of age. The authors suggest that the assessment carried out at four years of age may have been affected by a measurement error because ADHD symptoms reported at early ages may be caused by a neurodevelopmental delay falling within the normal range.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping Children”Our findings are in line with previous studies that established a relationship between the omega-6:omega-3 ratio in mothers and various early neurodevelopmental outcomes,” commented Mónica López-Vicente, ISGlobal researcher and lead author of the study.”Although the association was not clinically significant, our findings are important at the level of the population as a whole,” noted López-Vicente. “If a large proportion of the population is exposed to a high omega-6:omega-3 ratio, the distribution for ADHD symptom scores would likely move to the right and the prevalence of extreme values would increase, leading to a negative impact on the community’s health costs and productivity.””This study adds more evidence to the growing body of research on the importance of maternal diet during pregnancy,” commented ISGlobal researcher Jordi Júlvez, a co-author of the study. “The nutrient supply during the earliest stages of life is essential in that it programs the structure and function of the organs, and this programming, in turn, has an impact on health at every stage of life. As the brain takes a long time to develop, it is particularly vulnerable to misprogramming. Alterations of this sort could therefore lead to neurodevelopmental disorders.” Source:https://www.isglobal.org/en/-/la-dieta-materna-durante-el-embarazo-podria-modular-el-riesgo-de-desarrollar-sintomas-de-tdah-durante-la-infancia
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 3 2019Baking a cake from scratch is a task deemed difficult for many. Constructing an artificial cell-like system from scratch, well that’s another story.”Synthesizing cells from scratch is of fundamental importance to understand what life is,” said Prof. Yohei Yokobayashi, leader of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Engineering Unit.Scientists around the world are beginning to create simple artificial cells that conduct some basic biological functions and that contain small strands of DNA or RNA. However, getting these snippets of genetic material to express their encoded proteins in response to precise signals has been a challenge.Now, Yokobayashi and other researchers from OIST and Osaka University have found a way to make artificial cells interact with a wide range of chemicals. They developed a riboswitch – a gene switch that senses chemical signals – that can respond to histamine, a chemical compound that is naturally produced in the body. In the presence of this chemical, the riboswitch turns on a gene inside the artificial cells. Such a system, could one day be used as a new way of administering medicine, said Yokobayashi, a corresponding author on a recent study in Journal of the American Chemical Society, which describes the approach.”We want the cells to release drugs based on their detection of histamine,” Yokobayashi said. “The ultimate goal is to have cells in your gut use histamine as a signal to release the appropriate amount of drug to treat a condition.”Signal selectionThe scientists chose histamine as the chemical signal for their artificial cells because it is an important biological compound in the immune system. If you feel an itch, histamine is the likely culprit. It is also released by the body during allergic reactions and helps defend against foreign pathogens by spurring inflammation.To detect histamine, they created a molecule called an RNA aptamer. RNA aptamers are small segments of RNA building blocks that can be engineered to act as binding agents to specific target molecules. It took Yokobayashi and his colleagues, former OIST postdocs Dr. Mohammed Dwidar and Dr. Shungo Kobori and OIST PhD student Charles Whitaker, two years to create an aptamer that targeted histamine.Related StoriesHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionNew study identifies eight genetic variants associated with anorexia nervosaMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesNext, the team developed a so-called riboswitch that would turn this signal detection into action – specifically, translating a gene to produce a protein. Normally, cells produce proteins when templates made of messenger RNA (mRNA) bind to cellular structures called ribosomes. Here, the scientists used the histamine aptamer to design a riboswitch that alters the shape of the mRNA upon binding histamine. In the absence of histamine, the shape of the mRNA prevents the ribosome from binding, and no protein is produced. Histamine-bound mRNA, however, allows ribosome to bind and synthesize proteins.”We demonstrated that riboswitches can be used to make artificial cells respond to desired chemical compounds and signals,” Yokobayashi said.The next step resulted from a collaboration with senior author Prof. Tomoaki Matsuura and graduate student Yusuke Seike of the Department of Biotechnology at Osaka University. Matsuura and Seike put the cell-free riboswitch created by Yokobayashi’s team into lipid vesicles to create artificial cells. The Osaka team attached the riboswitch to a gene expressing a fluorescent protein, so that when the riboswitch was activated by histamine, the system glowed. Then, they controlled another protein by the riboswitch – one that makes nanometer-scale pores on the cell membrane. When the aptamer sensed histamine, a fluorescent compound encapsulated in the vesicles was released out of the cells through the pores, modeling how the system would release a drug.The scientists also created a ‘kill switch’, which instructs the cell to self-destruct – creating a control for the technology.The technology is in the early stages of development. The next step is to make the artificial cells more sensitive to a smaller amount of histamine. Medical use may be in the distant future, but the potential exists, the scientists say. Source:Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate UniversityJournal reference:Dwidar, M. et al. (2019) Programmable Artificial Cells Using Histamine-Responsive Synthetic Riboswitch. Journal of the American Chemical Society. doi.org/10.1021/jacs.9b03300 .
© 2018 AFP It has turned into a brutal reality check for Facebook. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Facebook’s reality check sends stock reeling “This is a direct result of scale as it becomes increasingly difficult to grow at such high rates when a company hits this size,” Windsor wrote.Windsor added that Facebook is forced to hire more people to handle tasks such as filtering inappropriate content after discovering the limits of artificial intelligence.”Weaknesses in AI are forcing (Facebook) to keep hiring humans to do the jobs that the machines are incapable of,” he said.Brian Wieser at Pivotal Research Group said the company appears to have hit a “wall” on growth in advertising.In a research note, he said Facebook’s outlook “suggests that while the company is still growing at a fast clip, the days of 30 percent-plus growth are numbered.”Until Wednesday, Facebook shares had been at record highs as investors seemed to shrug off fears about data protection and probes into the hijacking of private information by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook has invested heavily in “safety, security and privacy” after being rocked by concerns of manipulation of the platform to spread misinformation, warning of an “impact” on profitability.- Not so fast-Some analysts however said it was too soon to write off Facebook or its growth prospects, and that the company may have simply been warning of the worst-case scenario.”The company has a track record of resetting revenue growth and expense expectations only to turn around and exceed those expectations the following quarter,” said Gene Munster of Loup Ventures.”We suspect Facebook is sticking with its historical playbook and will, in fact, beat these lower numbers.”Richard Greenfield of BTIG Research said he remained upbeat on Facebook despite the abrupt forecast shift.”Facebook is actively choosing to make less money, deprioritizing near-term monetization to drive engagement to even higher levels,” Greenfield said in a note to clients.Greenfield said he could “sense the fear/panic in investors’ voices” after the Facebook analyst call but that he has maintained his outlook.”Mobile is eating the world and Facebook is a core holding to benefit from that shift,” he said.RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney said the drop creates a rare buying opportunity for Facebook shares.”Facebook stills owns two of the largest media assets in the world (Facebook and Instagram) and the two largest messaging assets in the world (Messenger and WhatsApp),” Mahaney said in a note to clients, adding that he sees “no material change in marketer views of the attractiveness” of Facebook platforms. Explore further 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. Citation: Facebook shares sink on perfect storm of bad news (2018, July 27) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-facebook-storm-bad-news.html The social network star—which has weathered storms over privacy and data protection—is now looking at cooler growth following a years-long breakneck pace.Shares in Facebook plummeted 19 percent to close at $176.26 Thursday, wiping out some $100 billion—believed to be the worst single-day evaporation of market value for any company.The plunge came one day after the firm missed revenue forecasts for the second quarter and warned that growth would be far weaker than previously estimated.Chief financial officer David Wehner warned Wednesday in an earnings call with analysts that revenue growth had already “decelerated” in the second quarter and would drop “by high single digit percentages” in coming quarters.At one point during the call, Facebook shares were trading down as much as 24 percent, an unprecedented drop for a large firm.On the call, Jefferies & Co. analyst Brent Thill said that “many investors are having a hard time reconciling that deceleration… It just seems like the magnitude is beyond anything we’ve seen.”Facebook said the slowdown will come in part from a new approach to privacy and security, but also appeared to acknowledge the limits of growth in advertising, which accounts for virtually all its revenue.Brian Sheehan, a Syracuse University professor of communication and advertising, said the weak forecast “made investors nervous about more basic long-term issues” with the huge social network, notably its diminished appeal to younger users.”With or without privacy issues, investors are scared that Facebook’s interactions, particularly with those under 25, are falling,” Sheehan said.More humans neededFor the second quarter, profit was up 31 percent at $5.1 billion; revenues rose 42 percent to $13.2 billion, only slightly below most forecasts.Facebook reported its user base was still growing but not as fast as some expected. Monthly active users rose 11 percent to 2.23 billion—below most estimates of 2.25 billion.Richard Windsor, a technology analyst who writes the Radio Free Mobile blog, said the new outlook should not be surprising.
IBM’s plan to buy Red Hat is both the biggest acquisition in IBM’s century-long history and a risky effort to position itself as a major player in cloud computing. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The $34 billion stock deal translates to $190 per Red Hat share—a 63 percent premium to the closing price Friday for the Raleigh, North Carolina, company. Red Hat Inc.’s stock soared about 45 percent in trading Monday.The path for revitalization for IBM may be found in cloud technology, a driving force behind the blockbuster deal for Red Hat over the weekend.”It’s a big bet but ultimately they’re in a situation where they needed to make a significant acquisition to move them potentially forward,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said.Cloud computing, in which services are delivered over the internet from remote computers, accounted for nearly a quarter of IBM’s total revenue over the past year. But the company has been overshadowed by top cloud rivals Amazon, Microsoft and Google in competing to sell its internet-based computing services to businesses.”This is about resetting the cloud landscape,” IBM Chairman and CEO Virginia Rometty said Monday in a conference call.The hybrid cloud—when companies use a mix of on-site, private and third-party public services—is an emerging $1 trillion opportunity that the companies want to be prepared for, Rometty said. 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. Ives said there’s still plenty of room for growth as financial services, retailers and industrial firms increasingly migrate their workloads into the cloud.IBM’s Red Hat acquisition follows Microsoft’s recently completed $7.5 billion purchase of computer coding hangout GitHub. Both deals will allow the larger companies to tap into a broader community of open-source software developers.Red Hat, founded in 1993, has built a software platform using the open-source Linux operating system that’s become “one of the key paths for enterprises in their moves to the cloud,” Ives said.The deal requires the approval of Red Hat shareholders as well as U.S. regulators. It is targeted to close in the second half of 2019, but Stifel’s Brad Reback said others may wish to make a counterbid given Red Hat’s strengths in data centers.That prospect sent shares up $52.88 to $169.56, close to an all-time high. The stock of IBM, which is headquartered in Armonk, New York, slipped nearly 5 percent. In this April 26, 2017, file photo, pedestrians walk past the IBM logo displayed on the IBM building in New York. Shares of Red Hat skyrocketed at the opening bell Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, after IBM, in the biggest acquisition in its 100-year history, acquired the software company. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File) Citation: IBM’s $34B Red Hat deal is risky bid to boost cloud business (2018, October 29) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-ibm-34b-red-hat-risky.html This undated photo provided by IBM shows IBM Chairman and CEO Virginia Rometty, right, and Red Hat president and CEO Jim Whitehurst. Shares of Red Hat skyrocketed at the opening bell Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, after IBM, in the biggest acquisition of its 100-year history, acquired the software company. (IBM via AP) Red Hat soar on IBM deal Explore further