Williams a running back comes over from the Minn

first_imgWilliams, a running back, comes over from the Minnesota Vikings. He was signed by the team as a rookie free agent out of Wagner in May after rushing for 4,435 yards in his collegiate career. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   The Arizona Cardinals added Christian Tupou, Kevin Cone and Dominque Williams to their practice squad Tuesday.Tupou, a defensive lineman, spent the preseason with Arizona and was released in the final roster cut. Cone, a receiver, spent the preseason with the Miami Dolphins after signing with the team on April 3. He played in 16 games with the Atlanta Falcons last season, and had one catch for 12 yards. He originally entered the league as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Georgia Tech in 2011.center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact • Former Cardinals WR Roberts found his place in Washington (The Washington Post)Wide receiver Andre Roberts spent his first four seasons with the Cardinals, proving valuable as a smaller option opposite bigger guys like Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. But in his first season with the Redskins, Roberts has found his true role in the slot and as a top third-down option.• The Redskins still don’t know their identity (Bleacher Report)There is an immense amount of talent in Washington, maintaining the core parts of a team that went to the playoffs in 2012. But with various injuries to starters and some residual panic after a bad finish in 2013, Washington still does not know its identity on either side of the ball. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Washington Redskins are much more acquainted with the losing feeling. Washington dropped to 1-4 after a 27-17 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, having lost 12 of their last 13 games going back to last season.The Cardinals and Redskins are set to play this week for the first time since Week 2 in 2011, when Washington beat the Cardinals, 22-21. Expect a much different look to the game this time, as quarterback Kevin Kolb led a Ken Whisenhunt-coached Arizona team against quarterback Rex Grossman and Mike Shanahan’s Redskins in that last matchup.Before Sunday’s duel in Arizona, we’ll be going behind enemy lines to give you all the updates from Washington’s side of things: Thursday, October 9• Offense is crucial to the defense creating more turnovers (CSN Washington)The Redskins currently rank as one of the worst teams in the NFL at capitalizing on fumbles and badly thrown passes, with four forced turnovers through five games. Scoring points and taking the lead on offense may be the key to fixing this problems, as team’s force more turnovers win they are winning a game.• Trent Murphy is quietly creating sacks for Washington (The Washington Post) Saturday, October 11• Washington seeks to avoid widespread mistakes (The Washington Post)The Redskins have done a fine job of beating themselves this season, whether by penalties, turnovers or poor special teams play. Coach Jay Gruden will need to correct those preventable mistakes in order for Washington to end its three-game losing streak.• Redskins paring down penalties (The Washington Post)Washington has taken too many penalties so far this season, but the team appeared to turn the corner in that area against the Seattle Seahawks last week. The Redskins will look to keep the yellow flags off the field in Glendale on Sunday. • Washington Redskins leaders laughing, while on-field performance remains a joke (Washington Post)For a 1-4 team that went 3-13 last season, Washington was much too upbeat, and that should scare Coach Jay Gruden. Although the Redskins have holes throughout their roster, their performance in the locker room revealed a problem even bigger than starting Brandon Meriweather at safety: Unless Gruden changes the team’s culture, he has no chance at succeeding.• Redskins work to wipe clear the implication that losing is acceptable (Washington Post)Head coach Jay Gruden is not one that ever accepts losing. With a 1-4 start to the season and the upbeat reaction to Monday’s loss against the Seahawks, Gruden needs to make sure his players feel the same way. In order to escape the rut, the Redskins need to cultivate a winning culture and a strong identity. • Washington delusional in their moral victory (The Washington Post)The Redskins celebrated after three Seahawks’ touchdowns were called back due to penalties and remained upbeat, despite a 10 point loss. Washington should learn from the loss, rather than accept their hard work as a comparable consolation prize for defeat.• Redskins needs to start RGIII if he’s healthy (The Washington Post)The decision is only getting more difficult for Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, as quarterback Robert Griffin III gets closer to being healthy and Kirk Cousins continues his inconsistent performances. With the team already financially invested in Griffin, Washington needs to give the quarterback one more shot as the starter. Coming off of a loss is a new feeling to the Arizona Cardinals in 2014.The team won its first three games of the season before falling on Sunday to the Denver Broncos, 41-20.The loss on the scoreboard was bad, but the injuries to the team could be much worse for Arizona. Defensive end Calais Campbell, linebacker Matt Shaughnessy, cornerback Patrick Peterson, and backup quarterback Drew Stanton all went down during Sunday’s game, adding to an already novel-length list on the team’s injury report.center_img Tuesday, October 7• Ten observations from Monday’s Washington-Seattle game (ESPN.com)Despite the loss, the Redskins remained surprisingly upbeat about their situation and optimistic for what’s to come in Washington. • QB Cousins shows improvement against Seattle (CSN Washington)Coming off of a four interception performance in Week 4, Kirk Cousins technically could only improve in Week 5, except for the matchup against Seattle’s vaunted defense. But Cousins showed he could bounce back against any team, throwing for 283 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, despite the loss. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling • Daniel Hudson ‘pumped’ to watch the Redskins play (Redskins.com)The Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher is a Virginia native and a Redskins fan. He tweeted out a picture of his tickets to Sunday’s game and asked Arizona fans to “go easy” on him. Defensive end Trent Murphy was drafted in May to create havoc for opposing offenses, but the rookie has not recorded a sack yet. But through special stunts and constant double teams, Murphy is helping his teammates get to the quarterback.• Defense needs to improve at stopping third-and-short situations (CSN Washington)Teams earn a first down the majority of the team when they have short yardage on third down, but the Redskins have been extra generous in that area this season. Washington needs to make it much harder for teams to pick up a first down than the 71.4 percent that they are allowing on third-and-short.• LB Compton is preparing for his first start this week (Redskins.com)Linebacker Perry Riley Jr.’s status is still unknown as he battles a knee injury, and Will Compton is ready to step up for the team. The second-year linebacker has been taking snaps with the first time in practice this week, and is currently preparing like he is Sunday’s starter.• Redskins claim that they are committed to winning (The Washington Post)Since Washington’s 10-point loss on Monday night, the story surrounding the team has been about their lack of a negative reaction to the defeat and nonchalance in the effort. This is not the case though for the Redskins, as they were upset by the outcome and are firmly focused on earning a win Sunday against Arizona. Friday, October 10• This season is looking similar to 2013 in Washington (The Washington Post)The Redskins beat a bad team, played in some shootouts, and their defense wasn’t able to keep it together against good offenses. This could describe 2013 or 2014 for Washington, as the Redskins are in dangerous shape to repeat their previous 3-13 season.• Washington must exploit Arizona’s blitzes (ESPN.com)The Cardinals blitz the quarterback quite often, although their pass rush doesn’t always get to the passer and allows opposing teams to excel in these situations. To win on Sunday, Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins must take advantage of Arizona’s depleted pass rush.• Gruden making early roster overhauls in Washington (CSN Washington)Through five games, the Redskins have already used 55 different players, the fourth-highest total in the NFL. With many long-term injuries and changes to the starters on offense and defense, coach Jay Gruden is making all the moves he can to improve Washington. Wednesday, October 8• Redskins promote Jackson Jeffcoat (ESPN.com)Jeffcoat, whose dad is ex-Dallas standout Jim Jeffcoat, had been on Washington’s practice squad since early September. He was an undrafted free agent who was cut in late August by Seattle. The Redskins only had three outside linebackers on the active roster before this move. Jeffcoat was mostly a defensive end at Texas, so he’s still learning to play from a stand-up position.• Jay Gruden concerned with Perry Riley’s knee (ESPN.com)Riley sprained his left medial collateral ligament in the second half of Monday’s 27-17 loss to Seattle. He was replaced by linebacker Will Compton, in his first season after spending last year on the practice squad. • Need to Know: Five Redskins vs. Cardinals questions (CSN Washington)Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 8, four days before the Washington Redskins go to Arizona to play the Cardinals.• Third down conversions looming as a major issue for Redskins offense (CSN Washington)After getting first downs on just three of 12 third-down situations (25 percent conversion rate) on Monday night against the Seahawks, the Redskins have now converted 34.4 percent of them on the season, tied for 25th in the NFL. Comments   Share   Top Stories last_img read more

Several years ago when 15 power companies proposed

first_imgSeveral 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.last_img read more

In This Issue    Global conflicts heat up  

first_imgIn 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 Marketslast_img read more

The information watchdog is to investigate the Dep

first_imgThe information watchdog is to investigate the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over its refusal to publish secret reviews into 49 benefit-related deaths.The Information Commissioner’s Office has launched the investigation into DWP’s failure to provide information requested by Disability News Service (DNS).A series of DNS Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests eventually revealed how DWP has carried out 49 secret reviews into benefit-related deaths since February 2012.Of the 49 “peer reviews”, it later emerged that 33 contained recommendations for improvements in procedures at either national or local level within DWP, while 40 of the 49 reviews were carried out following the suicide or apparent suicide of a benefit claimant.But despite FoIA requests from DNS, and others, DWP has refused to publish the reviews, or their summaries, recommendations or conclusions, even with personal details of benefit claimants removed.It claims that releasing the reviews – even with these details removed – could breach section 44 of the FoIA, because section 123 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 makes it an offence for anyone employed in social security administration to “disclose without lawful authority any information which he acquired in the course of that employment and which relates to a particular person”. Now the ICO has said that it will investigate a complaint lodged by DNS into the failure to release the information.The ICO’s case officer said: “The focus of my investigation will be to determine whether the DWP is entitled to rely on section 44 as a basis for refusing to provide the information you requested.“Should it not be a valid refusal of your request the commissioner will also determine what information can be provided within the appropriate cost limit.”The investigation is likely to take several months. Even if the ICO rules that the information should be released, DWP would still have a right of appeal.DWP has refused to comment.Last month, the Commons work and pensions committee called on the government to set up a new independent body – modelled on the police complaints watchdog – to investigate the deaths of benefit claimants, and ensure “that the role of all publicly-funded agencies involved in the provision of services or benefits to the individual is scrutinised”.last_img read more

3CLogic Announces Microsoft AppSource Certification for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

first_img 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 last_img read more

Liver immune cells contain inert HIV and are unlikely to reproduce infection

first_img Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/hiv-in-liver-cells-found-to-be-inactive-narrowing-potential-treatment-targets Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 30 2018In a proof-of-principle study, researchers at Johns Hopkins revealed that certain immune system cells found in the human liver, called liver macrophages, contain only inert HIV and aren’t likely to reproduce infection on their own in HIV-infected people on long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART is a regimen containing combinations of HIV-targeting drugs that prevents the growth of the virus but does not eradicate it.The report on the findings, published in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, revealed that although inactive, HIV can remain in liver immune cells after more than 10 years of ART. However, the researchers say there is no evidence that it can be considered an HIV reservoir in this state because the virus can’t replicate at high levels.This revelation supports the idea that when developing HIV treatments, liver macrophages can be ruled out as a cell type that may act as a reservoir of the virus. The researchers argue that it may not be important to address curing liver macrophage infection, thereby narrowing targets for treatment.”Our study was the first, to our knowledge, that looked at whether liver macrophages also served as reservoirs, similar to CD4+ T cells, in ART-suppressed, HIV-infected people,” says Ashwin Balagopal, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and senior author of the study. “We zeroed in on the liver since liver macrophages comprise 80 to 90 percent of all macrophages in the body,” notes Balagopal.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 36.7 million people worldwide and 1.1 million people in the United States are infected with HIV. Commonly, ART is used to suppress the replication of HIV and control the progression of AIDS in humans. The virus infects the body’s immune system–the white blood cells also referred to as T cells and macrophages.The most common reservoirs in humans are in immune cells called resting memory CD4+ T cells. Even when ART suppresses HIV, the virus can remain hidden in cellular reservoirs. The interruption or discontinuation of ART can spread HIV to new cells because the virus becomes active and begins replicating again.”Although it is well-established that macrophages are a natural target for HIV infection, for many years researchers have not known whether macrophages also harbor HIV in a reservoir during long-term ART, similar to the resting memory CD4+ T cells,” adds Balagopal.The inability to wipe out reservoirs of infectious HIV has for decades frustrated efforts to completely cure the infection. In addition, it means that the interruption or discontinuation of ART at any time reactivates HIV replication, spreading the virus to new cells.Balagopal and his team examined if any HIV reservoirs remained in populations of tissue macrophages that reside in livers; specifically, he looked for latent HIV-1, the most common strain of the virus, in liver macrophages.”The other organs we could have examined that contain macrophages include the brain, heart, lungs and skin,” says Abraham Kandathil, Ph.D., research associate in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who performed all key experiments. “Macrophages can be scarce in these organs in comparison to the liver, and therefore are even more difficult to obtain than liver macrophages in sufficiently large numbers,” concludes Kandathil.Related StoriesMetabolic enzyme tied to obesity and fatty liver diseaseReprogramming cells to control HIV infectionEven when HIV prevention drug is covered, other costs block treatmentTo determine if liver macrophages serve as a reservoir of infection-capable HIV-1 after ART, liver tissue samples were taken from nine HIV-1 infected persons, seven of whom underwent liver transplantation at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and otherwise would have had their livers discarded because they were no longer functional and/or cancerous.Eight of the nine persons were on ART for periods ranging from eight months to approximately 12 years.Using lab techniques that separate out the liver macrophages, the researchers found HIV-1 to be present in the macrophages even after exposure to longstanding virus-suppressing ART.”However, when we tried to simulate virus “rebound” by activating liver macrophages to see if the virus was infectious or noninfectious, we found HIV-1 at low levels, without the ability to replicate at high levels needed to re-establish infection,” says Kandathil.By examining the virus in these liver samples and separating out the liver macrophages, the researchers found HIV-1 to be present in the macrophages of one person among the group who took suppressive ART for almost 12 years. However, the virus was still determined to be inert, otherwise unable to replicate itself and spread.The researchers conclude that while liver macrophages might harbor HIV-1 for a long time, it’s unlikely these viruses could continue an infection on their own, and they are unlikely to function as a reservoir because the viruses were not able to replicate.In the future, Balagopal says, more research is needed to determine if the inert HIV-1 infected liver macrophages have any functional significance in people taking ART because expression of defective HIV-1 proteins can confuse the immune system and cause tissue inflammation.”While we have potentially ruled out the liver as an infectious reservoir, it’s important to identify all of the relevant virus reservoirs in the body, such as the brain, since it’s likely that the virus hides in the DNA of different cell types and will require different strategies to cure,” says Balagopal. “Then we can move forward to finding a ‘functional’ HIV-1 cure that’s comprehensive.”The researchers caution that their study is limited because of the small number of liver macrophages and human samples studied. In addition, the small number of CD4+ T cells (less than or equal to 1 percent) in the liver macrophage cultures may affect the researchers’ ability to detect them, although they say it is virtually impossible for contamination of 1 percent or less to have confounded the findings.last_img read more

Researchers identify link between mucus in the small airways and pulmonary fibrosis

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. read more

IBMs 34B Red Hat deal is risky bid to boost cloud business

first_imgIBM’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)center_img 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 furtherlast_img read more

UP BJP MLA says cows in shelters died natural deaths

first_img Indo-Asian News Service LucknowJuly 17, 2019UPDATED: July 17, 2019 15:25 IST Represntative image: PTIEven as the controversy over the deaths of cows in shelters in Uttar Pradesh rages on, BJP MLA from Barabanki Ajay Singh said that the cows had died natural deaths.”Every animal has a life span. Cattle live up to 20 years and most of them have a life span of 12 to 13 years. Most of the cows in cow shelters have died a natural death,” he told reporters on Wednesday.About 35 cows had died last week in a cow shelter in Prayagraj due to lighting and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had suspended eight officials for laxity in maintenance of cow shelters.Later, 36 cows were found dead in shelters in Ayodhya and Pratapgarh.Last month, over a dozen cows allegedly starved to death in Jalalabad cow shelter of Kannauj district, triggering protests by locals.The Chief Minister had also announced that the government will give Rs 30 on a daily basis for each cattle for the fodder if the owners are not using them for commercial purpose. He instructed the officials to take this plan as a pilot project in the Bundelkhand region.Ajay Singh said that he had demanded that ambulance services should be started for animals similar as we have that meet with accidents on roads.Also Read | Two held for illegally transporting cattle in Rajasthan’s AlwarAlso Watch | How fairly are cow welfare schemes in Madhya Pradesh working?For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byManisha Pandey Tags :Follow CowFollow cow shelter UP BJP MLA says cows in shelters died natural deathsAbout 35 cows had died last week in a cow shelter in Prayagraj due to lighting and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had suspended eight officials for laxity in maintenance of cow shelters.advertisement Nextlast_img read more