British Airways parent IAG eyeing a bid for Norwegian Air

British Airways parent IAG eyeing a bid for Norwegian Air

first_imgBritish Airways parent IAG eyeing a bid for Norwegian Air Thursday, April 12, 2018 Travelweek Group Share TORONTO — Just days after Norwegian Air put its plans for transatlantic flights out of Canada on hold, comes word that British Airways’ parent IAG could be looking to buy the airline.British Airways’ parent company said Thursday it is considering making an offer for the low-cost carrier.International Airlines Group says it has acquired 4.61% of Norwegian Air Shuttle “to establish a position from which to initiate discussions, including the possibility of a full offer for Norwegian.” IAG already operates LEVEL, a low-cost carrier out of Spain. With LEVEL’s launch IAG now has five main airline brands, including Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.IAG says no official discussions have taken place, and the company emphasized that it hasn’t decided whether it will make an offer.Shares in Norwegian Air jumped 37% on the news.Norwegian Air Shuttle has rocked the long-haul market with offers like US$140 tickets from Edinburgh to New York.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaHere in Canada, Norwegian Air filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency to possibly start transatlantic flights from this market starting summer 2018, however on Tuesday it was reported that the airline has pushed back plans for a possible Canada launch until at least spring or summer 2019 due to aircraft delivery delays.In a statement, the Oslo, Norway, based company said it had “no prior knowledge of this acquisition,” adding it had “not been in any discussions or dialogue with IAG about the matter.”“Norwegian believes that interest from one of the largest international aviation groups demonstrates the sustainability and potential of our business model and global growth,” it said.For months there has been talk of a possible LCC alliance between Ryanair and Norwegian. Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary has said he has no plans to expand Ryanair’s operations across the Atlantic but the airline has been in talks with Norwegian about a possible partnership that would see Ryanair piggyback on Norwegian’s long-haul routes. Ryanair is now the biggest European airline in terms of passengers flown – or at least it was until 2017, when a snafu with pilot holiday time schedules led to the cancellation of thousands of flights (and Lufthansa Group grabbed the title).More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problem With files from The Associated Presscenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: British Airways, Norwegian Air Posted bylast_img read more

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Costa Rica to expand smoking cessation program to all public hospitals by

Costa Rica to expand smoking cessation program to all public hospitals by

first_imgThe Costa Rican Social Security System, or Caja, plans to open smoking cessation clinics in hospitals countrywide to help folks kick the habit. But coming to the aid of smokers really isn’t a choice for health officials, and Caja Executive President María del Rocío Sáenz Madrigal said on Wednesday her agency is legally obligated to provide support by the 2012Control of Tobacco and its Harmful Effects on Health Law.The law calls for funding to be made available to clinics from a ₡20 ($0.04) tax on every cigarrete sold.Under the Caja’s new plan, each hospital must form an interdisciplinary team composed of doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, social workers and nurses, among other specialists.The Caja currently offers smoking cessation clinics in the capital at Hospital México, San Juan de Dios and Calderón Guardia, and at hospitals in Alajuela and Heredia.By next year, the agency expects to open clinics in Puntarenas, San Carlos (Alajuela), Guápiles (Limón), Pérez Zeledón (southern San José), Max Peralta (Cartago) and at the National Psychiatric Hospital. Health officials will open clinics in all public hospitals by 2016, Sáenz said at a press conference.The Caja also will provide educational materials, beds, audiovisual equipment for keynote speakers and medical equipment for respiratory exams.Smoking cessation programs include eight weekly sessions averaging three hours each, doctor checkups and prescriptions. Participants also receive nutrition and healthy lifestyle information, and therapy sessions for nicotine dependence.Participation is open to all Caja insurance holders 18 and older who reside in a hospital’s area of coverage.Caja officials hope to help at least 3,000 smokers each year when all of the clinics are fully operational.According to Caja figures, 14.2 percent of Ticos older than 20 are active smokers. Smoking is linked to risk factors for the two leading causes of death in Costa Rica: cardiovascular disease and cancer. Facebook Comments Related posts:Hotel owners to request changes in anti-smoking law Costa Rica’s Supreme Court declares anti-smoking bill constitutional Tobacco company wants overhaul of Costa Rica’s smoking ban No smoking ban in Costa Rican bars, restaurants goes into effectlast_img read more

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Couples booking flights to Marrakech ahead of Vale

Couples booking flights to Marrakech ahead of Vale

first_imgCouples booking flights to Marrakech ahead of Valentine’s Day are guaranteeing themselves a value-for-money break.This is according to travel website simonseeks.com, which highlighted the Red City’s attractiveness and affordability.”You do not have to pay for things in euros which are very expensive for British people at the moment,” explained Nick Trend, the website’s editorial assistant.He went on to say that a Nile cruise is another option for British couples owing to their “very good value”, while February is the “perfect time of year” to travel along what is regarded as the world’s longest river.Simonseeks.com also predicts that fewer Brits will be booking flights to Paris for a romantic weekend because many couples are “hungry” to try somewhere else after visiting the French capital two or three times.Concierge.com’s recently published ‘It List 2010′ placed Marrakech at the top of travellers’ wish lists for the next 12 months.The closest a European city came to the list was Venice, which achieved fifth place.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedBrits travel to less well known European cities this Valentine’s DayMore Brits are booking flights to less well known European destinations this Valentine’s Day,6 amazing value surprisingly cheap flights to exciting destinationsSix amazingly good value flights to exciting, relatively faraway places – all (but one) under £65 return this autumn.British Revealed as Safe Bet BookersSkyscanner has identified five flight booker types and found that over a third (38%) of British travellers are ‘safe bet bookers’.last_img read more

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By Jeff Thomas International Man In LatinAmeri

first_imgBy Jeff Thomas, International Man In Latin-American culture, the beating of a piñata began as a religious activity, but, today, it is more secular and generally takes place at celebrations. The general idea is that someone (usually a child) is blindfolded and given a stick, then spun around several times to disorient him. He then begins swinging the stick in the air, trying to locate the piñata, which is suspended overhead. Once he finds it, he beats it until it breaks open, spilling out goodies – sometimes candy, sometimes toys, coins, or food. In concept, this is much like taxation, with the rich being the piñata. Taxation Seems Reasonable Throughout the world today, governments pay for their existence mostly by way of taxation. On the surface of it, this isn’t an especially unreasonable concept. Candidates are elected to take charge of the government, and they then need to be paid to do their jobs. Taxes are also intended to pay for the programmes that government representatives come up with. Unfortunately, a common trend in politics is that once someone has been elected to office, he wants to remain there, often for the remainder of his working life. Once someone has become a career politician, it is a logical step for him to realise that the more he can tax the population, the more goodies he can get for himself. After all, he is in a position to be able to increase his own salary and benefits. Additionally, he may be tempted to siphon off a portion of funds intended for government programmes as they pass through his control. The difficulty for politicians who increase taxes is that, if they increase taxes on the majority of the people, the people may not vote them back in. Consequently, politicians find that they are more likely to be re-elected if they create or increase taxes that only apply to a minority of the electorate. Whenever the middle- to lower- income taxpayers outnumber the more wealthy (which is, of course, most often the case), politicians tend to propose higher taxes on “the rich.” The reason this is a safe bet is that the rich are in the minority and therefore do not have the power (on their own) to vote such politicians out of office. Hence, most developed countries not only tax the rich more heavily than others, but also create and maintain a “tax the rich” mentality amongst the electorate. Today, most every country that regards itself as a democracy has a “tax the rich” consciousness, and those who are not “rich” generally support the concept. As George Bernard Shaw said, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.” But Excessive Taxation of the Rich is Not Necessarily Reasonable And why not tax the rich? After all, the rich have more, so why shouldn’t they give more? Well, there are two reasons why not. The first is that the concept is inherently unjust. As Thomas Jefferson is said to have argued, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” The second reason why the rich should not automatically pay more is that they may possibly be taxed to the point that they choose to opt out of the system. As Maggie Thatcher said, “The trouble with socialism is that, eventually, you run out of other people’s money.” Of course, who “the rich” are has never been accurately defined. Is it the top 5% of earners? The top 10%? Politicians avoid such questions; they prefer to keep it vague. After all, if they got specific, many of them would qualify as being amongst “the rich.” And of course, one of the best aspects of taxing the rich, from the politician’s point of view, is that they can’t really do anything about it. The rich are, by their very nature, generally speaking, very responsible citizens. They are easily tracked down and will generally prefer to pay a higher tax than to be imprisoned. Consequently, there is much to gain and little to lose for a politician if he proposes further taxes on the rich. The Rich Are Much Like a Piñata The rich are much like a piñata: Those who are gathered around the piñata know that it contains goodies and they would like to get some share of those goodies. They are unconcerned as to whether the piñata is destroyed, as long as the goodies are forthcoming soon. Someone is elected, who beats the piñata repeatedly, knocking the goodies out. This person wears a blindfold, so, although he knows what his objective is, he cannot actually see the results of his actions. The more he beats the piñata, the more goodies fall out. But, beyond this point, public opinion would diverge as to the comparison of the piñata and the rich. Those who wish to be receivers of the government largesse would argue that the process is endless, as the rich will always have plenty of money. But those who are more productive and choose to sustain themselves through their own efforts will take a different view. How to Stop Being a Piñata Through Internationalisation The fact is, the rich do, in most cases, have an ability to opt out. Historically, this does not take place through violent means, such as revolution. Rather, it is by quiet means – by exiting the jurisdiction if it becomes too oppressive. There is now a growing trend toward internationalisation. It has never been easier to physically move one’s self or one’s possessions from place to place. Through technology, it has also never been easier to move wealth from place to place. In fact, the only exception to this trend is governments themselves. Some governments are placing ever-increasing restrictions on the ability to move one’s self and one’s wealth from one jurisdiction to another. Considering this to be the case, many older people are quietly moving themselves and their wealth away from those countries that are becoming increasingly draconian in their laws. Additionally, many younger people are beginning to see the handwriting on the wall. Whilst they may not yet have amassed much in the way of wealth, many are assessing their futures in jurisdictions that are becoming oppressive, and choosing to vote with their feet now, rather than wait until it is no longer possible. Many people are fond of their present jurisdiction but are watching the door slowly closing. Those who take the next step – that of seeking out other possible destinations – are finding that in some other jurisdictions the doors to personal economic prosperity are opening wider. However, should an exodus occur into these countries by frustrated First-Worlders, there is the possibility that, in time, their immigration laws may tighten up. Therefore, the time of greatest opportunity may well be right now. Those who are older and have attained some measure of wealth would do well to consider whether they are tiring of being hit with a stick and worrying that, in the future, they may well be hit a great deal harder. Those who are younger may feel that, if they succeed in creating wealth for themselves, their reward may well be to become a piñata. [If you enjoyed this article, you might like our complimentary report, The Best of Jeff Thomas. Pulling no punches, Jeff shares his thoughts on the greatest threat to gold ownership, finding a bolthole on a budget, as well as the coming hyperinflation. You may download this free report immediately in our member’s area. Or, if you are not a member, register for free here.] About the Author: Jeff Thomas is British and resides in the Caribbean. The son of an economist and historian, he learned early to be distrustful of governments as a general principle. Although he spent his career creating and developing businesses, for eight years, he penned a weekly newspaper column on the theme of limiting government. He began his study of economics around 1990, learning initially from Sir John Templeton, then Harry Schulz and Doug Casey and later others of an Austrian persuasion. In 1999 he began his predictions for a second Great Depression and has since focused his attention on its ramifications and how it would affect the world.last_img read more

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In This Issue   Dollar bias is changed to buy

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Dollar bias is changed to buy. *  Lawmakers to extend negotiations? *  China signs swap agreement with Eurozone! *  Aussie labor prints weaker than expected And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! China Takes Another Step. Good day.  And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! We were doing some Tub Thumpin’ here in St. Louis last night, as our Cardinals won Game 5 and move on to the next round of the playoffs! Our Blues beat the rival Blackhawks too, so that was worth an extra round of Tub Thumpin’! My kids made me feel guilty about going to bed before the end of the game, so I stayed up way past my bedtime. Thus I’m getting started a little later than usual this morning, but I think you’ll forgive me for that! The dollar bias to sell dollars that has held a tight grip on the currencies since the Gov’t announced their partial shutdown (PS), finally loosened up yesterday, and has moved to a “buy” bias overnight. It’s not a strong buy bias, for most of the currencies that we follow are flat to down just a smidgen. But the Dollar Index has climbed back above 80, so the dollar has that going for it! The dollar sure doesn’t have the news from the Eurozone going for it! OK, let me set this up for you. Recall, that I’ve kept you abreast of the moves that China takes to replace the dollar standard, which includes signing currency swap agreements with countries around the world that removes the dollar from the middle of the terms of trade between the two countries.  What China achieves by signing these currency swap agreements is two-fold. 1. They get to gain a wider distribution for their currency, and 2. The remove one more block in the dollar’s foundation as a reserve currency. So. Guess who is the newest member on the roster that makes up countries that have signed a currency swap agreement with China? Well, I kind of gave it away above, but it’s the Eurozone!  The European Central Bank (ECB) announced this morning that they have signed a bilateral currency swap agreement with China to bolster trade financing.  Now, Eurozone companies don’t have to change their euros to dollars first to settle the terms of trade with China, they just deliver euros, or receive renminbi.  This is HUGE folks!  China now has nearly all of Asia on their roster, along with Australia, and New Zealand, Russia, Argentina, Brazil and now the Eurozone! Talk about gaining a wider distribution of their currency! This will strengthen the international use of the renminbi/ yuan. And that’s what China wants! They want to keep removing the dollar’s relevancy in the terms of trade throughout the world, one country at a time. But the Eurozone is HUGE, folks. Remember, the recent (June 28th) talk by People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Gov. Zhou, where he pledged to expand cross-border use of the renminbi / yuan, and he encouraged multinational companies to include the Chinese currency in their asset portfolios.  When China decides to all direct trading between their currency and other foreign currencies, convertibility will occur, and when all that happens, it’s game over for the dollar as the reserve currency folks. I don’t know how else I can say this to make it any clearer. I told you earlier this week that we would see the color of the latest jobs report from Australia later in the week, and last night it printed. The Headline Employment report was weaker than expected, as only 9,000 jobs were created in September, while 15,000 were expected.  And much like the goings on with the U.S. Unemployment Rate, The Aussie Unemployment Rate fell from 5.8% to 5.6%, but the move was tied to a drop in the participation rate, which fell to  a 2006 low.  None of this signaled to the markets that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has put the last nail in the rate cut coffin, and so the pressure returned to the Aussie dollar (A$). In New Zealand, their latest manufacturing index dropped from 57.1 to 54.3, still above 50, but a significant drop nonetheless. Given the weakness in the A$ that carried over to kiwi, this data made things even worse for kiwi.  Give it a day, and all will be forgotten. Well, I guess all the focus and the reason the bias has switched to dollar buying is tied to the news that there could be an agreement on a short-term extension so that negotiations can continue here in the U.S. I find this to be just plain ridiculous. These guys have had plenty of time leading up to this to “negotiate” and now they will move the goal posts to give them some extra time? Simply ridiculous! But. It is what it is, right?  And if it means that the negotiations bring about major deficit spending cuts it might turn out to be OK. But you and me and the guy down the street that gets mad when someone parks their car in front of his house, know that’s not going to happen. That in the end, they make up some story about how what they did was significant, but no one will be able to figure it out, and they’ll raise the Debt Ceiling, and the National Debt will continue to move toward $20 Trillion.. We only have one more week to the 17th, when the extraordinary measures to keep paying the bills (read take money from some other place in hopes of paying it back)  run dry.  I think these lawmakers love all the attention they get on this PS and Debt Ceiling. Why else would this be such a big deal?  I’m telling you this so you can hear me now, so you can listen to me later. (in my best Arnold voice) We will not default (now that is) and the Debt Ceiling will be raised, and we will go merrily down the road to ruin. So. I’m sitting here this morning, listening to a CD that was burned by a Pfennig reader a year or so ago, with songs that he liked, and thought would be good tunes to write the Pfennig each day. I have to say that the music taste is bang on with me, but needing more variety on a daily basis, I only play it every once in a while, and. some of the songs on the CD are on my IPod anyway! But one of the songs got me thinking. The song is Freedom Rider by Traffic.  For the longest time when I was a young man, and the internet was galaxies away, for me to look up the lyrics. I used to think that Steve Winwood was saying Freedom Writer.  And so when I hear the song, I think about a Freedom Writer! Which is what I believe I am! I talk about our freedom to invest in currencies outside the dollar! OK, I know that’s stretching it a bit, but that’s how my mind works, always stretching things a bit.  Shoot Rudy, just ask the people that cringe at everything I write or say! The Fed’s FOMC meeting minutes printed yesterday. I didn’t see any sign of the infighting over whether or not to taper occurred, which was reported at first to have happened. What I mostly saw was a group of Fed Heads that are straining their eyes to find “economic growth”  they all did admit that the “economic activity expanded at a moderate pace, albeit somewhat more slowly than earlier anticipated.”   Now tell me, does this validate my call a few months ago, that the Fed Heads were being overly optimistic about the economy? Why yes, Chuck it does! So, tell me Chuck, how did you know that they were being overly optimistic about the economy 6 months ago?  Ahhh grasshopper, it was easy. The Fed Heads have been wrong about the economy 4 years in a row. Why would I think that they would be right this time?  And now with this PS going on here in the U.S. what will the Fed Heads think about their call for 2nd Half of the year economic growth pick-up?  I know what I think, and you know all too well, that when I think something, I’m going to share it with you, whether you want to hear it or not! This PS is going to play hell with the economy’s attempt to grow. But in the end, and I’ll say this now for probably the 100th time. Whatever growth the economy has, is all stimulus driven. Take the stimulus away, and let’s see what we have then. Frankly, I would prefer this to be our choice of swords to fall on, for at least 6 months to a year later, it would all be in our rear-view mirror and we would be on our way to real economic growth! And then before I head to the Big Finish today. Brazil’s Central Bank raised interest rates again yesterday, pushing their internal rate up 50 Basis points to 9.5%… The Central Bank Gov. Tombini, also signaled that he will continue to keep raising interest rates higher to combat inflation.  You see, the Brazilian Central Bank (BCB) is a prime example of what I always complain about with Central Banks. They arbitrarily move interest rates in one direction to achieve an internal goal, but don’t consider the unintended consequences. Remember when the BCB and the Brazilian Gov’t was going hog wild with their attempts to weaken the real? They made huge cuts in their interest rates to make the real less attractive, but once the real was very weak, the weak currency invited inflation into the Brazilian economy. And before the BCB could say “rate hike” inflation was everywhere in Brazil.  So the BCB had to break from the Brazilian Gov’t who still wanted to play the Currency Wars game and keep the real weak, and the BCB decided that inflation was a more bitter pill to swallow than currency appreciation. So, now the BCB has been frantically raising interest rates to combat the inflation that they, themselves invited into the Brazilian economy!   Stupid Central Bank pet tricks. They ought to go on Letterman! And here’s a line, sent to me from my good friend Rick, that’s from one of my fave comedians, Ron White. “I tried on the tux from my high school prom and found a $20 bill in the pocket. I was excited until I realized it’s now only worth $4.25..   For What It’s Worth. Well. You know how I carry on and yell at the walls and all that, when it comes to price manipulation. We’ve seen it in LIBOR. We’ve seen it in Treasuries (with QE). We’ve seen it elsewhere, and most obvious is the price manipulation in commodities, namely Gold and Silver.  I saw this story on Bloomberg yesterday and thought it played well with these thoughts that I’ve shared with you these past years. “In a Bloomberg News survey conducted during the past eight weeks, 85 traders and analysts said they have little confidence in the assessed prices of crude, metals and iron ore. Regulators, including European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, may examine commodities markets, having already increased investigations of manipulation of benchmarks for interest rates, derivatives, foreign exchange and oil. Five years after the global credit crisis prompted more regulation of banks, benchmark prices for hundreds of commodities are determined through surveys of anonymous traders who may have a stake in the outcome of the assessments. Unlike stock prices, available in real time at regulated exchanges for all investors to see, many raw materials that go into food, clothing and power are bought and sold in private. “There will be growing pressure for more regulation,” David Wilson, director of metals research and strategy at Citigroup Inc. in London, said by phone Sept. 3. “Commodities markets have traditionally been a backwater that only specialists would have been involved with. Clearly these markets haven’t changed with the times.” Chuck again. I’ve got a novel idea. how about we don’t make more regulations, but instead enforce the regulation that exist? To recap. The bias to sell dollars shifted to a buy dollars bias albeit a muted one, all because there are rumors that the lawmakers will announce an extension so that we don’t default and they can continue to negotiate. Now? Really? They’re going to negotiate now? Oh well, we carry on despite our lawmakers. Aussie labor was weaker than expected, and China took another step toward removing the dollar standard by signing a currency swap agreement with the Eurozone. Currencies today 10/10/13. American Style: A$ .9435, kiwi .8255, C$ .9625, euro 1.3535, sterling 1.5955, Swiss $1.0990, . European Style: rand 9.9625, krone 6.0515, SEK 6.5185, forint 218.25, zloty 3.1005, koruna 18.8570, RUB 32.28, yen 97.80, sing 1.2500, HKD 7.7545, INR 61.36, China 6.1452, pesos 13.14, BRL 2.1975, Dollar Index 80.39, Oil $102.06, 10-year 2.71%, Silver $21.96, Platinum $1,385.38, Palladium $707.38 That’s it for today. So, hooray for my beloved Cardinals! I had a friend in Toronto and on in Carlsbad Ca, texting me last night during the game. It was a nail biter for awhile, but then the Cardinals finally blew it open, late. The Cardinals now face the Dodgers in the NLCS. The Dodgers have all that pitching. UGH! Alex got his results from the ACT the other day, he scored big time on it! I sure hope that helps with the college costs! He only has 1 more month to fill out his applications. Chris just told me that he’s going to be on the Street.com this morning, so look for that.  Watching the parade pass me by. Oh well, he’s got a tie on, and I don’t! HA! Now let’s go have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

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A group launched last year to represent people wit

A group launched last year to represent people wit

first_imgA group launched last year to represent people with learning difficulties across England has been scrapped and replaced by a non-user-led organisation that will be partly controlled by service-providers.People First England (PFE) was set up last year by Gary Bourlet, who founded Britain’s first People First self-advocacy organisation in London in 1984 and fellow disabled activist Kaliya Franklin.They joined forces in a bid to set up the first national user-led organisation for people with learning difficulties to cover just England, which they hoped would develop into an umbrella organisation for self-advocacy groups across the country.In the first few weeks of the project they raised nearly £30,000, but it later struggled to raise further funds and they have now been forced into a merger that will leave people with learning difficulties in a minority on the new organisation’s board.At the time of its launch, concerns were raised by other self-advocacy campaigners that PFE’s plans to work closely with families, carers and groups not led by disabled people could eventually see it become a non-user-led organisation that would have more in common with service-provider charities like Mencap.A year on, some disabled activists fear that those concerns have been born out.PFE has now merged with the charity the Housing and Support Alliance – which had been supporting PFE – to create Learning Disability England (LDE), which was launched at the House of Lords this week.Instead of LDE being run by disabled people, power will instead be shared between “people with learning disabilities, families and friends, and organisations”, with a nine-strong board having three family representatives, three people from disability organisations and three self-advocates.LDE is likely to replace campaigning work previously done by the Learning Disability Alliance – which itself was made up of service-providers, the National Forum of People with Learning Disabilities and the National Valuing Families Forum – and the Learning Disability Coalition, which had a similar make-up to the alliance.But concerns have been raised that LDE’s funders include a string of organisations that earn money by providing services to people with learning difficulties, including Care Management Group, Brandon Trust, Advance Housing and Support, United Response and MacIntyre.Andrew Lee, director of policy and campaigns at People First Self-Advocacy, who raised concerns last year about PFE, said he was “very worried” about the new organisation and “not surprised that my concerns have actually become a reality”.He said he feared that LDE would lead to the voices of people with learning difficulties being “sidelined”, while he was also concerned about the risk of “tokenism”.He said: “Unless people with learning difficulties are in complete control of an organisation, then their voices will always be pushed aside.“I am very worried that the voices of people with learning difficulties are being trampled on in such a way.“Obviously the views of family members, although they are important, are not the actual views of people with learning difficulties.“They will always be different because people with learning difficulties will be saying, ‘I want choice and control, I want to live on my own, I want to get married, I want to have children and have aspiration,’ but they are being told, ‘you can’t,’ or ‘you can, with conditions’.”He said the creation of LDE highlighted the need for genuine, properly-funded self-advocacy organisations.Lee said he heard only last week that another local People First organisation had lost its funding, which he said came “at the very time when we need a strong voice”.LDE said that its immediate priorities would be to develop projects to support people with learning difficulties to speak to the media, and to be more involved in the political process, something PFE had focused on.It will also bring together “experts in various fields to help make policy stronger and effective”, work with a “network of academics to strengthen the effect of research”, set up a “fighting fund” to “help people challenge prejudice and discrimination”, and provide members with advice and support.Bourlet (pictured) told Disability News Service that there had not been enough funding to continue with PFE.Asked about replacing a user-led organisation with one that was partly controlled by the big service-provider organisations, which make money by providing services to people with learning difficulties, he said: “We are stuck in a hard place and people have to understand that money does not grow on trees.“They put the biggest amount of money in, but it doesn’t mean they will have the majority voting.”He said that the new organisation was about “all coming together” and “strength in numbers”.He said: “There are lots of good self-advocacy organisations and others saying the right things but it is easy to ignore because they are all doing it individually.“A lot of these local groups have been too wrapped up in getting local funding from local authorities.”He said there had been a mixed reaction to LDE from other self-advocates and self-advocacy groups.Bourlet said: “Some self-advocacy groups think you shouldn’t mix with families and professionals because families and professionals sometimes speak for us. Many self-advocates liked the idea that we had strength in numbers.”He said he hoped that PFE might be resurrected one day when there was more funding, and that they would look again at the idea in three years’ time.Bourlet said earlier in a statement that the new organisation would be “steered by people, families and organisations”.He said: “We are creating this now because for far too long services have been bad and self-advocates are tired of fighting a lone battle.“By coming together we can fight for better changes in our lives.”He added: “We are not equal in our society. If you have a learning disability, you’re more likely to die at a younger age than a non-disabled person.“Learning Disability England will bring people together to fight all these bad things that are happening and to campaign for the rights of people with learning disabilities and their families”.The disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell spoke at the LDE launch event, and offered her support to the new organisation.She said: “For too long, people with learning disabilities have been consistently let down, sometimes at great cost.“The time is right for the voice of people with learning disabilities to be heard loud and clear.”After DNS asked her afterwards about concerns with the change from PFE to LDE, she said she had been impressed by the number of people with learning difficulties with enthusiasm for self-advocacy at the LDE launch event.But she said that most of what she knew about LDE was what she had learned at the launch, and she would now “have a good look” at the new organisation and how it was run.last_img read more

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Goats milkbased formula good for infants gut health

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJun 27 2019Researchers from RMIT’s lab analyzed goat’s milk formula and looked at the oligosaccharides present in it. These simple sugars and the prebiotics present within the goat’s milk based infant formula have been found to help develop helpful or beneficial gut bacteria in the infant’s gut and protect them from harmful bacterial colonization in their intestines. Goats being milked in a mechanised milking parlour. Image Credit: Takako Picture Lab / Shutterstock The study results were published in the latest issue of the journal British Journal of Nutrition and titled, “Oligosaccharides in goats’ milk-based infant formula and their prebiotic and anti-infection properties.” The study results were presented at the 2019 Annual Nutrition Conference of the American Society of Nutrition in Baltimore, USA.The team writes that human milk is rich in a wide range of oligosaccharides that provide immense health benefits to the infants. One of these benefits includes development of the microbiome in the gut or healthy microbes in the intestines. This development is linked to development of a healthy immune system and also protection against gastrointestinal infections. Cow’s milk based formula is most commonly used for infants but it has been seen that goat’s milk is closer to humans than cow’s milk, write the researchers.The team analyzed two commercially available goat’s milk formula preparations and found that these contain 14 naturally-occurring prebiotic oligosaccharides. Only five of these are found in the human breast milk, they write. Study leader Professor Harsharn Gill explained that this is the first study that explores the diverse nature of the oligosaccharides found in goat’s milk and compare them to human breast milk. He said, “Our results show goat milk formula may have strong prebiotic and anti-infection properties, that could protect infants against gastrointestinal infections. The study indicates the prebiotic oligosaccharides in goat milk formula are effective at selectively promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.” He added however, “While these laboratory results are promising, further research including clinical trials will help us to confirm these benefits for infants.”Infant formula is substituted for human breast milk when breastfeeding is not possible or inadequate. Till date there have been no studies that compare the benefits provided by the oligosaccharides from breast milk of goat milk based formula milk and their likely benefits to the health.Related StoriesBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerStudy: Surveillance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to be core focus for healthcare facilitiesCurved shape of bacteria can make it easier to find foodThe team examined two goat milk formula and searched for naturally found oligosaccharides. The formula they studied were “Oli6 Stage 1 for babies aged 0-6 months and Oli6 Stage 2 for babies aged 6-12 months.” They looked for prebiotic properties as well as their infection-protection role.Results showed that goat’s milk contained natural prebiotic oligosaccharides that helped in growth of healthy gut bacteria called “bifidobacteria”. These oligosaccharides also helped in inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut including pathogenic E. coli. These organisms are responsible for one in three cases of infant diarrhoea explain the researchers.The team used “Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS)” to analyze the oligosaccharides. The prebiotic potential of the formula was assessed by allowing the formula to help in the growth of bacteria such as “Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB12, Bifidobacterium longum BB536, Lactobacillus acidophilus 4461 and Lactobacillus casei 2607” in the laboratory settings in vitro. To test the anti-infective properties, these oligosaccharides were tested if they prevented the adhesion of harmful bacteria such as “Escherichia coli NCTC 10418 and a Salmonella typhimurium isolate” to experimental cell lines called Caco-2 cells.Results revealed that the 14 quantifiable oligosaccharides in stage-1 and stage-2 goat’s milk-based infant formula were similar to those present in fresh goat’s milk. These oligosaccharides helped in growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli and also reduced the adhesion of harmful bacteria such as E. coli NCTC 10418 and S. typhimurium to Caco-2 cells.Two oligosaccharides were abundantly found in goat’s milk – fucosylated and sialylated. Gill explained, “Fucosylated are the most abundant oligosaccharides in human milk and are the focus of significant commercial and regulatory interest. These oligosaccharides have been shown to play a significant role in anti-infection properties of breast milk.”Authors of the study concluded, “these results suggest that oligosaccharides naturally present in goat’s milk-based infant formula exhibit strong prebiotic and anti-pathogen adhesion properties and may confer gut health benefits to infants.”As a next step of their study, the team is looking to undertake a clinical trial to confirm the anti-infective and probiotic properties of goat’s milk versus other formula milks.This study was supported by the RMIT and an Entrepreneurs’ Programme: Innovation Connections Grant as well as by the Australian Government and Nuchev Pty Ltd, manufacturers of Oli6. Researchers declared no conflicts of interest with the manufacturers. Source:https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/media-releases-and-expert-comments/2019/jun/goat-milk-formula-gutJournal reference:Leong, A., Liu, Z., Zisu, B., Pillidge, C., Rochfort, S., Almshawit, H., & Gill, H. (n.d.). Oligosaccharides in goat’s milk-based infant formula and their prebiotic and anti-infection properties. British Journal of Nutrition, 1-26. doi:10.1017/S000711451900134X – http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S000711451900134Xlast_img read more

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Worlds densest totally silent solid state drive

first_img Intel introduces 400GB and 800GB Solid-State Drive 910 series for data centers Fast disappearing from data centers are power-hungry spinning hard disk drives that hum, buzz, run warm (or even hot), require fans and expensive cooling systems, and can crash unexpectedly. Citation: World’s densest, totally silent solid state drive (2018, August 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-world-densest-totally-silent-solid.html Explore further Intel’s newest solid state drive, the Intel SSD DC P4500, is about the size of an old-fashioned 12-inch ruler, and can store 32 terabytes. That’s equivalent to triple the entire printed collection of the U.S. Library of Congress.The new SSD is Intel’s densest drive ever, and is built on Intel 3-D NAND technology, which stacks memory cells atop each other in multiple extremely thin layers, instead of just one. Memory cells in the P4500 are stacked 64 layers deep.Older disk drives produce a great deal of heat. In most data centers today, the single biggest cost is air conditioning to keep them cool. This is one of the reasons some of the world’s biggest data companies—IBM, Microsoft, Tencent—are using the new “ruler” SSD to support their cloud and data center operations.In data centers, the no-moving-parts ruler-shaped SSDs can be lined up 32 side-by-side, to hold up to a petabyte in a single server slot. Compared with a traditional SSD, the “ruler” requires half the airflow to keep cool. And compared with hard disk storage, the new 3-D NAND SSD sips one-tenth the power and requires just one-twentieth the space.center_img Provided by Intel The ruler-shaped Intel SSD DC P4500 can hold up to 32 terabytes. It draws just one-tenth the power of a traditional spinning hard drive. Credit: Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation 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.last_img read more

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Blood and sweat take training app to the next level

first_imgLast year about 1,000 runners were forced to quit the Stockholm Marathon due to extreme hot temperatures and the difficulty in staying hydrated. Researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed a multifaceted measuring technology that is able to detect a number of conditions in the human body, from dehydration to renal failure. Future applications include both training apps and watches as tools to monitor health. 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: Blood and sweat take training app to the next level (2019, May 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-blood-app.html Gaston Crespo, a researcher at KTH says that one of the areas where the technology will be useful is in monitoring body fluid balance—in the form of electrolyte balance—so you don’t become dehydrated. “By keeping check on the sweat the human body secretes, users can be warned about becoming dehydrated in good time before problems arise, so they can either stop exercising or drink to rehydrate their body,” he says.The technology is designed to enable users to adapt their exercise to their individual circumstances and preferences, says Crespo, an Associate Professor in the Division of Applied Physical Chemistry at KTH.The technology takes measurements of blood and sweat with portable electrochemical sensors which can be woven into clothing or worn separately in direct contact with the skin, using an armband for example. The sensors are fitted in a patch that is attached to the skin, or as microneedles, depending on the type of app.”Both technology platforms can be used in medical contexts at home or during athletic activity. They could also be tools in hospitals and clinics.”Crespo says the sensors are able to detect a range of problems. Such as dehydration as already noted, plus electrolyte balance and kidney problems.”Kidney problems in particular are associated with the secretion of potassium ions for example and creatinine level in blood, which the technology can identify.”When it comes to exercise and sport, it’s not just fluid balance that can be measured. During intense physical exertion, lactic acid can build up in your bloodstream faster than you can burn it off and this is something the sensors can continuously monitor during the course of training.”The sensors can also measure how stressed a person is, and their attentiveness.”Could the technology and sensors be used with apps and watches such as Run Keeper and Fitbit? According to Crespo, this would be possible if the watch and app is able to import the type of data generated by the sensors and display this in a usable way. If so, training could be taken to the next level. Sensor-based technologies are promising to support independent living for older womencenter_img Provided by KTH Royal Institute of Technology Explore further The armband measures your blood and sweat and sends the information to a training app. Credit: KTH The Royal Institute of Technologylast_img read more

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Volvo Cars to cut costs as trade war dents profits

first_imgSTOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Volvo on Thursday announced plans to cut fixed costs by 2 billion Swedish crowns ($214 million), becoming the latest carmaker to warn that pricing pressure and tariffs arising from the China-U.S. trade war were denting profitability. FILE PHOTO: A long exposure picture shows cars of Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo displayed in front of a showroom of Stierli Automobile AG company in St. Erhard, Switzerland April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File PhotoCarmakers are under pressure from trade conflicts, hefty investment needed to develop electric and driverless cars and an overall downturn in the car industry. Volvo, part of China’s Geely family, aims to produce premium cars to rival BMW (BMWG.DE) and Daimler’s (DAIGn.DE) Mercedes-Benz. It has rejigged its global production plans in an effort to reduce the impact of increased tariffs. Volvo began reviewing its staffing and other costs earlier this year. So far it has cut 750 jobs, mainly engineering and IT consultants, and reduced the hourly wage for such consultants, which CEO Hakan Samuelsson would led to savings 1 billion crown from July. The carmaker said the new cost measures would start in the second half and run to the first half of 2020. Sameulsson said these would include some further job cuts but would mainly be focused on cost-cutting to save another billion. “Market conditions are expected to put continued pressure on margins, but the combination of volume growth and cost measures is expected to result in a strengthened profit in the second half of the year compared with the same period last year,” Volvo said in a statement. Second-quarter operating profit fell 38.1% to 2.6 billion crowns in the three months to June 30, a worse quarter-on-quarter drop than in the first quarter and despite revenues improving by 1.8% to 67.2 billion crowns. Earlier this month, Daimler cut its profit forecast for the fourth time in 13 months. In May, BMW warned on profits, while Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) said the return on sales at its passenger cars division would come in at the lower end of its target. Volvo has a deal for its new models in China to use in-car applications from Huawei, which is still facing partial U.S. sanctions and potential bans in European countries over fears that its equipment could be used for spying. CEO Sameulsson said the actions against Huawei would have no impact on Volvo’s plans, which is using Huawei’s app store in China, while relying on Google’s (GOOGL.O) app store elsewhere in the world. “We’ll use the Google Android app store worldwide but it’s not available in China so we have a cooperation with Huawei. But it’s not really about technology’s access to their apps so we don’t see any influence from that cooperation in anyway to our business,” he told Reuters. Reporting by Esha Vaish in Stockholm; Editing by Jane MerrimanOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

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Sashi Tharoor suffers injury while performing thulabharam ritual at Kerala temple

first_imgPublished on Congress leader Sashi Tharoor Monday suffered head injuries when the hook of a weighing scale came off and its iron panel hit his head while performing ‘thulabharam’ ritual at a temple here. According to party sources, Tharoor, who is aiming for a hat-trick from Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency, sustained injuries on his head, which required six stitches. The 63-year old MP also suffered a minor leg injury in the incident which occurred at a Devi temple here.‘Thulabharam’ is a Hindu ritual in which a person is weighed against a commodity such as flowers, grains, fruits and similar articles in temples and the equal value or quantity is offered as donation.Monday being the Malayalam new year day (’Vishu’), Tharoor performed the ritual by offering sugar equal to his weight in the morning before embarking on his poll campaign.He was accompanied by his family members and party leaders and workers, including MLA, V S Sivakumar. While he was sitting on one of the pans of the weighing scale, the hook came off and its iron panel fell on his head, the party sources added. The accident happened when Tharoor, sitting in the weighing scale, was waiting to see the ‘deeparadhana’ (aarti) being performed at the sanctum sanctorum,” Sivakumar later told reporters. The iron panel of the weighing scale came down and hit his head,” Sivakumar added. Tharoor was given first aid at the government general hospital here and then taken to the Trivandrum Medical College for detailed examination, party sources said. Television channels showed the former union minister getting into a car with a bandaged head and waving to onlookers wearing a blood-stained kurta. A Medical College source told PTI that Tharoor is “keeping well” and his condition is “stable“. “He is under observation.. he has no other serious health issues. But due to the flow of visitors, he has been shifted to ICU now from the observation ward,” the official said adding that the MP has to undergo a repeat scan. In a press release, Congress party leader Thampanoopr Ravi said here that Tharoor’s election programmes for the day has been cancelled. accident (general) SHARE SHARE EMAIL elections April 15, 2019 Indian National Congresscenter_img COMMENT Shashi Tharoor, MP from Thiruvananthapuram   –  KSL SHARE Kerala COMMENTSlast_img read more

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Director of Subinfr

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Hashikawa says,100 records requests this cycle. read more

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