Sheffield Utd manager Wilder talks Van Winckel influenceby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSheffield United manager Chris Wilder insists he’s happy to work with Jan van Winckel.Van Winckel, who was appointed a United director before the dispute between Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah spilled into the public arena, has been a close confidant of the Saudi Arabian for over two decades.Wilder said, “There was talk about improving certain aspects of the club. I know the angle (about) Jan. He has been a member of the board for sometime so he has, of course, been involved in the decisions. Anything to improve the club, I am open to.”But I am a hands-on manager. In terms of Jan’s expertise, it is there to be seen in terms of his track record. He has been involved in all of the decisions, recruitment and the like because he’s on the board. I’m not pig headed enough to think I know everything.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
OTTAWA – Finance Minister Bill Morneau is threatening to sue the Conservatives for suggesting he used his inside knowledge of a pending tax change announcement in 2015 to sell off stocks before their value dropped.On Tuesday, a day after sidestepping more than a dozen questions on the issue, Morneau called the insinuations by Tory finance critic Pierre Poilievre “absurd.”“If the Opposition want to continue with these absurd allegations, which have no basis in any sort of fact, they take them outside of the House and I will give them a sense of exactly how our legal system works,” said Morneau.Anything said in the House of Commons is subject to parliamentary privilege, which gives MPs legal protection from libel and defamation laws. Poilievre first raised the allegations Monday during question period in the Commons.He claimed Morneau’s December 2015 announcement that he would raise income taxes on the highest earners caused the entire stock market to drop, including the value of Morneau Shepell shares — 680,000 of which were sold off roughly a week earlier.Poilievre alleged the early sale of the shares saved the owner half a million dollars.He repeatedly asked Morneau if it was a coincidence that the 680,000 shares were sold off a week before the tax announcement. And he asked Morneau repeatedly to confirm he was the “someone” responsible for selling off those shares in the company founded by the minister’s father.When the Speaker questioned the appropriateness of questioning the government on the matter, Poilievre retorted: “It is actually the responsibility of government to ensure that no minister ever uses inside knowledge to benefit from transactions on the stock market.”While Morneau dodged those allegations of insider trading Monday, he had more to say at a hastily called news conference Tuesday.“What we’re hearing now is in my mind (an) absolutely crazy idea that something that we campaigned on, that we talked to 36 million Canadians about which was a rise in taxes in the top one per cent was somehow knowledge that was only my knowledge,” he said.Poilievre maintained he hasn’t “actually accused him of anything” and has only asked Morneau whether he was the one who sold the shares a week before the tax announcement.“I am absolutely confident that everything I’ve said out there and in here is true,” Poilievre said in the Commons, challenging Morneau to meet him outside the chamber to answer the question.Morneau was not present during question period Tuesday because he said he had a speech to deliver in Toronto. But under continued Conservative attacks over the stock sale, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted that the finance minister “continues to focus on the things that matter to Canadians and he has our full confidence.”On Dec. 7, 2015, the day of Morneau’s tax-change announcement, the Toronto stock index fell 2.4 per cent for its single weakest day of the quarter, BMO chief economist Doug Porter said after he was asked to look up his notes.Porter said already-low oil prices dropped “heavily” that day — by five per cent. He said that factor alone may have been responsible for much of the weakness in the market.Nevertheless, the New Democrats also applied pressure Tuesday on Morneau over the 2015 stock sale. The NDP has asked the ethics commissioner to look into Poilievre’s allegations.The ethics commissioner has already launched a formal examination to determine if Morneau was in a conflict of interest when he introduced pension-reform legislation, which critics have insisted would benefit Morneau Shepell — a company in which, until recently, Morneau owned about $21 million worth of shares.After the ethics controversy erupted, he sold off the remainder of his holdings in Morneau Shepell and vowed to place his other substantial assets in a blind trust.Morneau donated to charity the difference between what the shares were worth at the time of the sale and their value in 2015 when he was first elected — an amount estimated at about $5 million.He has also faced intense criticism about his integrity after information surfaced showing that, based on the ethics commissioner’s advice, he did not divest shares or place his holdings in a blind trust after being was named to cabinet.Follow @AndyBlatchford on TwitterNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the stock sale occurred before the introduction of pension legislation.
Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment New films from from famed documentarians Michael Moore, Errol Morris and Werner Herzog and — with the former two both turning their eyes on Donald Trump — along with new revamps of the Predator and Halloween franchises are all coming to this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, the fest revealed Thursday.Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 — named both in homage to his earlier Fahrenheit 9/11 and in reference to Nov. 9, 2016, the morning after Trump’s election victory — is described by the fest as “a radical and humorous look at the United States” under Trump. Morris’ American Dharma looks at controversial Trump strategist Steve Bannon. The film from Moore makes its world premiere here in Toronto, while American Dharma’s screening will be a North American first.Other docs coming include Herzog and André Singer’s Meeting Gorbachev, on the former Soviet leader; Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks’ Quincy, which profiles Jones’ endlessly quotable musical icon father, Quincy Jones; Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble’s The Elephant Queen, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, tracing the epic journey of an elephant herd; Billy Corben’s Screwball, a true-crime comedy on doping in Major League Baseball; and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s The Truth About Killer Robots, investigating the lethal consequences of automation. Twitter
AL-MASNAA, Lebanon — Lebanese exporters rejoiced last month when the Syrian government opened a key land crossing with Jordan that had been closed by years of war, restoring a much-needed overland trade route to lucrative Persian Gulf markets.But lingering disputes between Lebanon and Syria, and political gridlock in Beirut, mean that many Lebanese businesses still rely on longer and costlier transport by sea, further stalling efforts to restore an economy battered by years of war in its larger neighbour.The reopening of the Naseeb-Jaber crossing allowed Mohammed Araji, owner of a trucking firm in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, to retrieve two trucks that had been stranded in Jordan since 2015, when Syrian rebels captured the crossing. Two other of his refrigerator trucks had been parked in front of his house for the last three years.Even before the crossing officially closed, his brother was briefly abducted by rebels while driving a truck through Syria, underscoring the perils they faced in trying to keep the route open.The crossing was Lebanon’s “lung,” Araji said, and its closure was a “death blow” to the economy, affecting farmers, merchants, industrialists and drivers. So he was pleased when Syrian government forces reopened the crossing and secured the route.But for weeks he was unable to find exporters ready to give him shipping contracts. Finally, on Saturday, he sent his first truckloads to Saudi Arabia after offering an exporter an attractive price.“People are still waiting to see what will happen,” he said.The land route through Syria, Jordan and Iraq is vital to Lebanon, which is squeezed between Syria, the closed border with Israel, and the sea. Lebanon’s exports plunged from a high of 78 per cent of GDP in 2008 — three years before the start of Syria’s civil war — to a low of 36 per cent in 2017.Before Naseeb’s closing, more than 250 trucks a day headed from Lebanon to markets in Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the Gulf. After the closure, that dropped to some 300 trucks in a good month, bound only for Syria, customs officials said.An estimated 550,000 tons of vegetables and fruits a year used to be exported through the Syria-Jordan crossing, according to Ibrahim Tarshishi, head of the Bekaa farmer’s union. Since the shutdown, that flow has dropped by nearly 40 per cent, to no more than 330,000 tons. Exports from Bekaa to Saudi Arabia have dropped by 60 per cent, according to figures from the Bekaa chamber of commerce.After the crossing reopened, Syria and Jordan imposed new transit tariffs on trucks heading to the Gulf. The Syrian increase alone was five-fold, Tarshishi said. Lebanon meanwhile subsidizes transport by sea.Traders hope improved ties between Syria and Lebanon will lead to reduced tariffs, but Lebanon’s political leaders are fiercely divided between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad, and they have been unable to form a government since elections in May.Contacts among Lebanese and Syrian officials remain personal and partisan — and some complain Syria is using the tariffs to force normalization. Experts say opaque policies and decision-making have also hindered trade.Charles Zarzour, the head of the government agency for agricultural exports and imports, said the opening of the crossing has at least offered “psychological relief” to traders.“God willing, when we have a government in Lebanon, it lays down a wise policy that serves the country’s interest,” including tariff reductions, he told The Associated Press.Syrian officials had no immediate comment.Tarshishi has pressed for an end to the sea shipping subsidies and other government action to revive land exports, but in the caretaker government “no one wants to take responsibility,” he said.On a recent afternoon at al-Masnaa, the Lebanese side of the crossing into Syria, nearly a dozen trucks loaded with bananas were bound for Damascus. Just one truck, carrying cleaning supplies, was heading to Jordan. None were bound for the Gulf.Talal Darwish, a produce exporter, is still sending his grapes, apples and pears by sea, and on a recent day, workers raced to prepare a shipment bound for Kuwait. By land would be cheaper and faster — a five-day trip as opposed to 25.He has heard talk of efforts to reduce tariffs, but says “we still don’t know officially, so there is no rush.”___Associated Press writer Hiba Delwati in Beirut contributed to this report.Sarah El Deeb, The Associated Press
Foles did little to suggest otherwise in four mostly lackluster appearances to close the regular season. But he spent the month of January proving himself up to the challenge. With 352 yards (on 26-for-33 passing) and three touchdowns versus Minnesota, he produced one of the greatest QB performances in conference championship history. The game brought back memories of Foles’s 2013 season in Philadelphia, when he posted the third-best single-season passer rating in NFL history. But it was also a testament to the adjustments that Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson made to accommodate the different strengths of Wentz and Foles.Under both Wentz in the regular season and Foles during the playoffs, the Eagles’ offense averaged over 390 yards per game. But those yards were accumulated in different ways. Before Wentz’s injury, Philly was a balanced team whose aerial attack primarily relied on the power of its quarterback’s arm — often assisted by Wentz’s magician-like ability to improvise and buy time in the pocket. One thing it didn’t do, however, was ask receivers to do lots of work after hauling in the football. Through Week 14, Wentz led the league in touchdown passes per attempt and ranked third in air yards per attempt, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, but his targets were only 22nd in yards after the catch per reception.Foles connected on three 40-yard passes against the Vikings. But those have been big exceptions to the Eagles’ general approach with Foles at the helm, which has been to throw much shorter. In the playoffs, Foles’s average pass has traveled 7.1 yards through the air. Compare that with Wentz’s average of 9.8 air yards per attempt during the regular season, and you can begin to see how Pederson has shifted his offense’s focus. Forty percent of Wentz’s passes went 10 or more yards downfield, compared with 25 percent for Foles in the playoffs. And Foles has actually thrown a larger share of his passes to players at or behind the line of scrimmage (29 percent) than 10 yards past it. *Playoff games onlySource: ESPN Stats & Information Group Carson Wentz7.74.812.415.5%44.3%40.2% Philly’s passing offense changed in the playoffsDistance traveled through the air — and after the catch — for passes by Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks, 2017 season In today’s NFL, throwing shorter passes isn’t always correlated with better outcomes. But Foles is succeeding in large part because his receivers are taking those short passes and running for big gains after the catch. With Wentz under center, the Eagles’ pass-catchers produced only 98.6 yards after the catch per game (eighth-fewest in football); with Foles in the playoffs, they’ve nearly doubled that output (164.5 YAC/game). In particular, they’re doing a ton of damage on screen passes, which Pederson seldom utilized with Wentz. Running back Jay Ajayi, for instance, went from gaining just 7.4 yards after catch per game with Wentz during the regular season1In the five games immediately after Ajayi was acquired from the Miami Dolphins in late October. to 51.0 yards per game in the postseason, including nearly 30 receiving yards per game on screens alone. Foles is also making smart reads and getting the ball out very quickly. In the playoffs, he’s averaging 2.39 seconds before each pass, a mark that would have been fourth-fastest in the NFL during the regular season. (Wentz, for comparison, was 17th-fastest, at 2.54 seconds.) Foles has used that quick release to lethal effect when conducting the run-pass option — which is more than just a ubiquitous piece of announcer-speak during Eagles broadcasts. The RPO helps freeze defenses with the added threat of handing off to a dangerous runner like Ajayi, and it lends itself to the types of quick passes that Foles has excelled at this postseason. Philly ran plenty of RPOs even before Foles took over, but that section of the playbook has been crucial to Pederson’s resurrection of the Chip Kelly-era version of Foles.Now, it remains to be seen which version will show up for the Super Bowl this Sunday. The conditions have been right for Foles to succeed in the playoffs thus far — Philadelphia hasn’t had to play from behind much and has enjoyed one of the league’s most drastic home-field advantages. But there’s no telling what will happen if things go off script. That’s why the Eagles need to stay out of third-and-long, where the drop-off from Wentz to Foles is really glaring. (On third down with 8 or more yards to go, Wentz was the NFL’s top passer this season according to ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating; only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers was even remotely close.) They need to keep feeding the ball to Ajayi, who’s averaging roughly the same number of yards from scrimmage in these playoffs (98.5 per game) as he did during his All-Pro season with Miami in 2016. And perhaps most importantly, Foles needs to keep playing mistake-free football: Only 8.2 percent of his passes have been off-target this postseason — a rate that would easily have ranked No. 1 in the league during the regular season.He could do all of that, of course, and still fall short: Tom Brady could always reach into his bag of comeback tricks, and there’s also the small detail of Brady and Bill Belichick’s 15-0 record in the playoffs against teams that they’re facing for the first time in a season. But putting those metaphysical factors aside, the Patriots have their own vulnerabilities. They aren’t exactly a defensive powerhouse, having ranked ninth-worst in the NFL in expected points added during the regular season. And although that number improved as the year went on, they still allowed the league’s fourth-highest QBR on passes that traveled fewer than 10 yards through the air — the kinds of throws they’re likely to see a ton of from Foles and company. If the Eagles can execute their newfound offense and resist Brady’s supercharged comeback powers, there are plenty of reasons to think Foles (of all people) will be the one to deliver Philadelphia its long-awaited Super Bowl parade down Broad Street.Check out our latest NFL predictions. Around Thanksgiving, the idea that the Philadelphia Eagles would make it all the way to Super Bowl LII wouldn’t have surprised many people. Philadelphia started the season 10-1, and quarterback Carson Wentz emerged as the front-runner for league MVP honors. But after Wentz was lost to injury in Week 14, the Eagles’ title chances seemingly disappeared, too. Backups — like Philly’s stopgap, Nick Foles — seldom carry a team to Super Bowl glory. Yards/Completion …% of Passes by Air distance QuarterbackThrough AirAfter CatchTotal<=0 Yds1-10 Yds10+ Yds Nick Foles*5.56.712.228.646.025.4
According to the Italian portal Calciomercato, AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain has returned to full training after missing two straight Serie A encounters with Sassuolo and Empoli.A nasty looking thigh injury that threatened to sideline the former River Plate star for a while seems to be a false alarm, as Higuain should feature already in the next weekend’s encounter with Chievo Verona.The 30-year-old Argentinean arrived at the Stadio San Siro this summer from Juventus, as the Rossoneri desperately tried to secure the services of a top-class forward.After scoring a goal on his debut in a friendly match against Real Madrid, Higuain has made the Serie A breakthrough against Cagliari, after which he broke the deadlock against Atalanta in the following fixture. He also buried Milan’s winning goal in the Europa League opener against Dudelange.Karsdorp reveals he had too much stress at Roma Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The Dutch defender has been with the Gialorrossi since 2017, but he has not enjoyed his time in the Italian Lega Serie A.Higuain’s goal pic.twitter.com/e8G4xm0jPN— #FreeLocatelli (@semo33) September 23, 2018With the Rossoneri’s Europa League clash with Olympiacos around the corner, Gennaro Gattuso might be looking to rest his number nine to avoid further complications and instead field Patrick Cutrone who seems to be finding his last season’s form.
The complaint accuses drug manufacturers of marketing their products as safer and less addictive than they actually are, and accuses distributors of failing to halt suspicious orders and keep the drugs out of the black market. Among those is the Kenaitze Indian Tribe of the Kenai Peninsula. There are a total of five including; the Native Village of Afognak, the Native Village of Port Heiden, the Akiak Native Community and the Asa’carsarmiut Tribe of Mountain Village. The restitution amount the tribes are seeking has not been determined yet. According to the Complaint, “it’s created an Alaska Native community ravaged by painkiller addiction, overdose deaths, infant dependency, increased homelessness and rising suicide rates.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A group of Alaska Native Tribes has filed suit accusing drug manufacturers of marketing their products as safer and less addictive than they actually are. The list of defendants includes OxyContin and Percocet, as well as distributors and retailers like Walmart, Walgreens and Kroger.
Taapsee Pannu in Game OverPR HandoutTaapsee Pannu’s Game Over opened to a good response at the Indian box office on Friday and has gone on to show massive growth of 100 per cent on Saturday. Its business has improved on Sunday.Taapsee Pannu started her acting career down south and she has gone on to make it really big in Bollywood. She has created a huge fanbase across India with the kind of movies she has been doing. The makers of Game Over made it multi-lingual film and released it in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi on June 14.Taapsee Pannu’s success rate and the amazing promos had created a lot of curiosity about Game Over and the hype helped it register decent advance booking. But the movie had to compete with some small movies in Telugu and Tamil, which made the trade experts keep their crossed about its prospects at the box office.Released in the decent number of screens, the Ashwin Saravanan-directed suspense thriller opened to good occupancy everywhere in the domestic market on Friday. All the three versions of Game Over collected Rs 97 crore net together at the Indian box office on the first day.The Taapsee Pannu starrer was successful in striking a chord with the audience and the word of mouth boosted its collection in the ticket counters. Game Over has collected Rs 1.94 crore net at the India box office on the second day. Its two-day total has reached Rs 2.91 crore net in the domestic market.Y NOT Studios and Reliance Entertainment have jointly bankrolled Game Over and the producers are thrilled over the huge growth in its collection. Shibasish Sarkar, CEO of Reliance Entertainment, tweeted, “Game Over 1st Day Hindi-38 lacs Tamil-30 lacs Telugu- 29 lacs Total Friday 97 lacs 2nd Day Hindi-88 lacs Tamil-50 lacs Telugu-56 lacs Total Saturday 194 lacs 2 Days Total 291 lacs. Growth of 100%.”
The Cardinals are very balanced on the offensive end, with four players averaging over nine points. Sophomore Jordan Nwora leads the Cardinals in in scoring and rebounding with 17.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Ryan McMahon averages 10 points a game after scoring a career-high 24 points on Tuesday night. Darius Perry ranks third on the team with 9.7 points per game, while shooting 50 percent from behind the line. Steven Enoch rounds out the top scorers, averaging 9.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Louisville Game Notes Seton Hall Game Notes Live Stats Seton Hall, coached by former UofL assistant coach Kevin Willard, has had nearly a week off after winning the 2018 Wooden Legacy Championship, beating Miami 83-81 in the title game on Nov. 25 in Fullerton, Ca. Junior guard Myles Powell, the Pirates top scorer this season averaging 24.3 points per game (15th in the nation in scoring; 20-of-50 three-pointers), was named the Wooden Legacy’s Most Outstanding Player after averaging 25.3 points in three games in the event. All-tournament selection senior forwardMichael Nzei scored a career-high 21 points against Miami and averages 11.2 points while shooting 77.1 percent from the field (27-of-35). GAME 7Date: Dec. 1, 2018Time: NoonSite: Prudential Center (10,862), Newark, N.J.Television: FOX – Tim Brando, play-by-play; Jim Jackson, analyst; Andy Katz, reporter.Radio: WKRD (790 AM) Paul Rogers, play-by-play; Bob Valvano, analyst (XM channel 193, Internet 955)Series History: Louisville leads 13-6 (6-2 in Louisville, 6-4 at Seton Hall, 1-0 neutral)Last Meeting: Seton Hall 79, UofL 77 (Dec. 3, 2017 at KFC Yum! Center)Officials: Mike Roberts, Brent Hampton, Ron GrooverNext UofL Game: Dec. 5 vs. Central Arkansas, KFC Yum! Center, 7:00 p.m. ET (WAVE-TV in Louisville/Raycom Sports) Louisville plays its first true road game of the season as the Cardinals visit the Seton Hall Pirates on Saturday. Louisville posted its first victory over a Top 10 team in two years in beating No. 9/8 Michigan State 82-78 in overtime in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge at the KFC Yum! Center on Tuesday. Ryan McMahon scored a career-high 24 points off the bench, connecting on 4-of-7 three-pointers and 12-of-13 free throws as the Cardinals overcame a 17-rebound deficit. The Cardinals made 10 threes, their fourth game with eight or more. UofL has won 50 straight home games in the month of November spanning the last 28 years, including a perfect 37-0 record in the KFC Yum! Center. CARD FILES Louisville’s 2019 signing class is ranked as the best in the nation by ESPN.com, third by Rivals.com and fourth by 247sports.com. All six individuals are ranked highly among the nation’s prospects, including five of the six among ESPN’s top 100. The impressive signing class includes Aidan Igiehon, David Johnson, Josh Nickelberry, Quinn Slazinski, Samuell Williamson and Jae’Lyn Withers.Print Friendly Version Story Links Louisville has made 36 more free throws (163-of-213, .765) than its opponents have attempted (94-of-130, .723). Louisville leads the nation in free throw attempts per field goal attempts (213/325, 65.5 percent) and leads the nation with 31.8 percent of its points coming from free throws. The Cardinals made 30-of-41 free throws against Michigan State. UofL is 31st in the nation in free throw percentage. Nearly half of Louisville’s points this year have come from its bench (40.0 points per game). The Cardinals’ bench produced a school record 63 bench points against Southern and contributed 37 points against Michigan State. Jordan Nwora has scored in double digits in all six games this season, averaging 17.7 points per game (7th in the ACC). He produced 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds against Michigan State on Tuesday, his fifth game with seven or more rebounds. Louisville has scored over 80 points in five of its six games and the Cardinals are 30th in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 85.3 points per game. Louisville has a 37-7 record during the month of December over the last six years (6-2 in 2017-18). Louisville has a 13-6 series advantage over Seton Hall, winning five of the last six and 10 of the last 13 meetings. Seton Hall won the last matchup 79-77 over the Cardinals in the KFC Yum! Center last year (12-3-17) as Desi Rodriguez scored 29 points for the Pirates, including the winning basket with eight seconds remaining.
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. In an exclusive interview with John Bryson, Chairman and CEO of Edison International by CNBC reporter, Dylan Ratigan explained a new direct method of delivering solar energy. The process is called Photovoltaic technology,which means it converts sun energy directly into power within the solar cell. The unique aspect of this project, as explained by John Bryon involves leasing about 2 ½ miles of rooftops in the hotter regions of Southern California. The roof tops will be fitted with thin-film solar cells and have the ability to literally dump electricity into the surrounding community. The communities have been preselected to include areas where Southern California Edison has a growing customer base. The advantage of the photovoltaic technology is that it does not require a separate transmission station or added fuel costs. The thin-cell solar manufacturers has not been determined at this time.According to Mr. Bryson, the Photovoltaic Roof Top Project is planning to be up and running in its initial phase by this Summer. The process when it begins can almost immediately begin to produce electricity to relieve the additional burden of air conditioning and the like during the hot season. The cost of the project is estimated to be 875 million dollars. The advantage to Edison and its customers is the ability to eventually according to large scale production reduce the cost of energy. Mr. Bryson estimates the new technology on a large scale is cost effective because other methods like natural gas, coal and hydro sources require additional expenditures for transmission and fuel. The State of California is at the forefront of legislation concerning alternative energy sources and has set a mandate that 20 percent of all electricity must be generated by alternative energy sources by 2010. According to Mr. Bryson, Edison International and its subsidiaries are in complete accord with energy conservation. Edison International , local economies, customers and manufacturers may see big dividends in the future for their investment in energy conservation. The project is the single largest solar energy project of its kind on a world-wide basis. See video at: www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=698312659 The competitive benefits of a modern energy system Edison International plans to launch a roof top photovoltaic solar project. The process requires no fuel or a transmission station to operate. The plans include an initial phase to be up and running by Summer, 2008. Citation: Edison International In Process of Launching Photovoltaic Project on Roof Tops (2008, March 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-03-edison-international-photovoltaic-roof-tops.html Explore further
MIAMI — Hurricane Nicole is heading toward Bermuda as a Category 2 storm.Nicole’s maximum sustained winds increased early Wednesday to near 155 kph. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says some strengthening is possible and Nicole could be near major hurricane strength later in the day.The storm is centred about 535 kilometres south-southwest of Bermuda, where a hurricane warning is in effect, and is moving north-northwest near 11 kph.UPDATE:Bermuda’s government dispatched crews to clear roads and engineers to inspect infrastructure as the British territory moved to recovery quickly from Hurricane Nicole, which battered the island as a Category 3 storm.SHurricane Nicole snapped trees, peeled off roofs and flooded homes as it roared across the island on Thursday. The storm also damaged boats that broke away from their moorings and knocked out power to more than 27,000 customers who live on the island, which has sturdy infrastructure and is accustomed to heavy weather.More news: Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaNicole has strengthened to a Category 4 storm late Wednesday as it approached Bermuda but lost steam overnight. Wednesday, October 12, 2016 Tags: Bermuda Another hurricane: Nicole heads towards Bermuda Share Posted by The Canadian Press << Previous PostNext Post >>
Ongoing innovation will enable cable operators to continue to use their HFC networks while staying ahead of the competition, according to Chris Lammers, chief operating officer of CableLabs.Christoper LammersSpeaking at Cable Congress in Dublin, Lammers said that the latest iteration of the cable broadband standard, DOCSIS 3.1, will deliver 10Gbps upstream and 1Gbps upstream, but the forthcoming Full Duplex DOCSIS will be able to deliver 10Gbps up and down “when it is needed”.Beyond this, CableLabs is looking at HFC, fibre and wireless technologies to deliver more. The integration of wireless with fibre networks and integration with mobile networks are key priorities, said Lammers. He said half of CableLabs’ members were now either MVNOs or MNOs, rising to 100% in Europe.Lammers said cable would be able to continue to “leverage the HFC network” as well as fibre and wireless networks.The application of virtualisation, AI and machine learning are further areas that will be prioritised by CableLabs going forwards, said Lammers.CableLabs is looking to identify US$1 billion worth of business opportunities from new innovation for the cable industry each year, said Lammers.
Google and Amazon have restored their video services to each others devices after almost a year and a half of sparring. In a statement sent out on Tuesday, Amazon announced the launch of the YouTube app for Fire TV, complete with support for Alexa. Almost simultaneously, Google issued its own statement announced support for Amazon Prime Video on its Chromecast devices. The news was officially announced in April, the apps have now launched on their respective platform. There had always been tensions between the companies, but Google made the first move by stopping Echo Show devices from accessing YouTube in September 2017.This quickly escalated with Amazon taking products from Nest (the Google-owned smart home brand) off its storefront and removing Prime Video support for Chromecast, while Google removed the native YouTube app from Fire TV. However, the companies appear to have worked out their differences, with YouTube now available on Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen), Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick Basic Edition, and all Fire TV Edition smart TVs, and Amazon Prime Video on Chromecast and Android TV devices. One noteworthy omission from the list is the Echo Show, which was not included in either statement, nor was it mentioned in the first announcement in April. Echo Show users are able to access YouTube through an in-built browser, but there is no native app or Alexa functionality. Google creates its own Google Home direct competitor products to the Show.
Pupils from Holy Family Primary School performing at the launch of the second City of Derry International Choral Festival.Communities across Derry will be alive with the sound of singing next week, as part of the second City of Derry International Choral Festival. From shopping centres to care homes, churches to bingo halls, choirs will be popping up all over the city to give free, informal performances during the five-day event which begins on Wednesday next, 22 October.It’s all part of the festival’s ambitious community and outreach programme, developed in partnership with the Neighbourhood Renewal Areas community engagement team. “We’re also thrilled that choirs will be part of the Unity sculpture lighting ceremony in Galliagh.”There are three strands to the community programme.The Choral Trail on Saturday, 25 October, will see pop up events in shopping centres, including Ráth Mór, Sainsbury’s, Northside and Springtown, while on Friday 24th October, choirs will visit Ardnashee School and College, House in the Wells alcohol recovery centre and St Joseph’s Parish Centre Bingo night.On Sunday, 26 October, the Sacred Trail will see visiting international choirs sing during Sunday service in eight churches around the city, including St Columb’s and St Eugene’s Cathedrals.Later that day, there will be a free concert at St Columb’s Park House at 1.00pm, while at 4.00pm in Galliagh, choirs will celebrate the official lighting of the Unity sculpture.All events are free. For more information visit www.codichoral.comCOMMUNITIES TO TAKE CENTRE STAGE AT CHORAL FESTIVAL was last modified: October 17th, 2014 by stephenstephen Tags: choralcitycommunitiesDerryfestival In total there will be twenty events, including a free concert at St Columb’s Park House on Sunday 26th October, a performance at the lighting ceremony of the Unity Sculpture in Galliagh, a number of churches hosting visiting choirs and a range of pop up events in public places.As well as visiting international choirs, local new choirs will be given a platform, including Something Special, First Source’s Inspire choir and community choir Songlines.Helen Sayers, Community Engagement Co-ordinator at Greater Shantallow Area Partnership, her team has been working in partnership with the Choral Festival team to bring the “joy and energy” of choral music to new audiences across the city.She added: “We’re particularly excited by the free concert at St Columb’s Park House where a visiting choir from Slovenia and Cór Chairlinne from Louth will share the stage with the newly formed community choir Songlines. ShareTweet
Sponsor Advertisement By their very silence, the silver and gold mining companies are co-conspirators against all of their shareholders…us. The gold price was on the rise as soon as trading began in the Far East on their Monday morning…and was up eight bucks or so by shortly after 10:00 a.m. Hong Kong time. From there, it more or less traded flat into the Comex open…and that point jumped another five dollars or so before trading sideways until about 10:35 a.m. in New York.At that point there was another sharp spike that took gold up to its high tick of the day…$1,736.80 spot..about ten minutes before the London close. From that point it traded sideways once again before getting sold off a few dollars in electronic trading.Gold closed the Monday session at $1,731.90 spot…up $18.20 on the day. Net volume was very light…around 109,000 contracts.As usual, the silver price was more ‘volatile’. The price traded flat until just about 9:00 a.m. Hong Kong time…and at the point the price jumped almost 30 cents.From there, the price traded flat until about ten minutes before the Comex open. Then, the silver price began to rally…and jumped up the moment that trading began in New York. The ‘big’ rally only lasted about ten minutes…and then, like gold, traded flat until 10:35 a.m. Eastern before renewing its rally…albeit at a much slower pace. It appeared that the high tick of the day [$33.35 spot] came around 2:15 p.m. in electronic trading…and from there got sold off a bit into the 5:15 p.m. close in New York.Silver finished the day at $33.11 spot…up 80 cents. Net volume wasn’t overly heavy…around 34,000 contracts.The price patterns in platinum and palladium were more or less the same as gold and silver’s.The dollar index hit its 81.44 zenith on Friday morning at 11:30 in New York…and was in decline for the rest of that day. This trend continued right into the Monday trading session. There was a bit of a bounce at the 81.00 level around 11:30 a.m. in London, but the decline resumed at precisely 8:00 a.m. Eastern time…and three hours later, the index had fallen 27 basis points from its 8:00 a.m. peak.From that point the dollar index didn’t do a lot until 5:00 p.m. Eastern when the dollar spiked up into the New York close. The index, which had closed on Friday at 81.20…finished the Monday session at 81.03…down only 17 basis points…but had a bit of a wild ride between those times.I suppose the co-relation between the dollar index and the precious metal prices was more apparent on Monday…but the moves in the metals themselves was out of all proportions to the tiny moves in the currency index. Here’s the chart showing last Friday’s high…and all of Monday’s action.Not surprisingly, the gold stocks gapped up at the open…and stayed up for the entire day, closing almost on their highs. The HUI finished up 2.68%.The silver stocks turned in a similar performance, with a lot of the junior producers doing much better than their senior brethren. Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up 3.28%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report was a blank page yesterday. There were no contracts of any metal posted for delivery on Wednesday.The GLD ETF showed a smallish withdrawal of 13,891 troy ounces, which may have been a fee payment of some kind. And, for the third day in a row, an authorized participant withdrew about 1.5 million ounces of silver from SLV. This time it was 1,452,093 troy ounces. All withdrawals for the last three days have been within 50 troy ounces of the above number. On Thursday it was 1,452,135 troy ounces…and on Friday it was 1,452,117 troy ounces. Does it mean anything? Beats me!There was a smallish sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday. They sold 1,500 ounces of gold eagles…along with 32,000 silver eagles.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they reported receiving 623,635 troy ounces of silver…all of it went into the JPMorgan Chase depository, which now sits at 25,654,294 troy ounces. Nothing was shipped out. I’d sure love to know who the owners are. Is it JPM itself, or does it belong to its customers? The link to Friday’s activity is here.Here’s a nifty chart that Washington state reader S.A. stole from somewhere yesterday. It shows a ‘cup and handle’ technical formation. If you can believe T.A. in a rigged market, it may mean something…or not!(Click on image to enlarge)It was a busy weekend for stories…and I have a lot today…so I hope you can find the time to read/watch the ones of most interest to you.I would calculate JPMorgan’s concentrated short position in COMEX silver futures to now be 33,000 contracts, only 1,000 contracts below their recent peak. After removing spread positions from the new data, JPM’s silver position is 32.9% of the true net total market. This is so off the charts as to defy comprehension. Nothing else comes close to being the critical factor in silver. If we all live long enough to see any legitimate position limit regime in silver, JPMorgan’s current dominant position would not be allowed. That position is more than six times larger than the loose-as-a-goose limits proposed by the CFTC…and more than twenty times the 1,500 contract position limit proposed by thousands of public comments. – Silver Analyst Ted Butler…17 November 2012It was nice to see all the precious metals pop up in price yesterday. I’m sure some of it was currency related but, considering the low volume, I’d guess that there may have been a bit of short covering during the Comex trading session in New York as well. Whatever it was, we may or may not find out in Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report.The preliminary volume and open interest numbers from the CME that were posted on their website in the wee hours of this morning, indicates otherwise…and I’ll be very interested in what they show when the finals are posted later this a.m. New York time.I have nothing to add to what I’ve been saying for the last ten days or so. Nothing would surprise me…up or down. I’d love to be a fly on the wall at JPMorgan Chase or Scotia Moccata…as I get the impression that there are big changes going on under the surface that we have hints about…but we’re certainly not privy to.But one thing that did come as a big surprise, was how just how far the story of JPMorgan Chase and the silver price management scheme has spread world-wide. The reach that Russia Today has is truly astounding. GATA in gold…and Ted Butler in silver…can only get so far even with the Internet helping out. Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert carry a very big stick…and I wouldn’t bet much on JPMorgan and Scotia Mocatta being able to keep up this price management scheme much longer with this kind of public exposure…which is getting bigger with each passing day.But when the end finally comes, it won’t be because of anything that the gold and silver mining companies did on our behalf…and the same holds true for the World Gold Council and the Silver Institute. Any person who works, or has worked for either of these organizations, is not the slightest bit interested in finding the truth…even though they all know full well what’s going on. By their very silence, the silver and gold mining companies are co-conspirators against all of their shareholders…us. All we can do is wait it out and be prepared emotionally for whatever happens. The only thing I can add at this point is that price activity is going to get more volatile as the year winds down…and I shan’t hazard a guess as to which direction it might take.Very little happened in Far East trading on their Tuesday…and the same can be said for the first two hours of London trading as well. Volume is light in both metals, with very few roll-overs…and the dollar index is not doing a lot, either.As is usually the case, I would expect that things will change once New York begins trading. If you subtract the American Thanksgiving holiday from the equation, there aren’t a lot of days for the remaining December contract holders to decide on what they’re going to do with their current positions. And the longer they wait, the more frantic the trading activity will become as the month winds down.For that reason alone, the rest of the month could be full of surprises…and I await the 8:20 a.m. Comex open this morning with great interest.See you on Wednesday. Pelangio Exploration Inc. (PX:TSX-V; PGXPF:OTC) announced the results of seven diamond drill holes totaling 1,574 metres from its ongoing drilling program at the Pokukrom East zone on the Manfo Property in Ghana. Highlights of the results included:· 1.19 g/t gold over 113 metres, including 9.05 g/t gold over 7 metres; · 2.60 g/t gold over 64 metres, including 11.94 g/t gold over 10 metres; and · 16.72 g/t gold over 4 metres.The results continued to confirm a higher grade, shallow north plunging core of Pokukrom East zone with an open plunge of 600 metres from near surface in previously reported hole SPDD-088 (7.01 g/t gold over 19 metres) to 210 metres depth in the holes reported this week. Warren Bates, Senior Vice President Exploration, commented: “These are our best holes on the Manfo Property to date. These holes represent the north-plunging core of higher grade mineralization at Pokukrom East, now demonstrating an open plunge length of 600 metres.” Please visit our website to learn more about the project and request additional information.
• Switching gears, Brazil is in its worst recession in decades… The country’s economy is a total disaster… The national unemployment rate doubled from a record low of 4.3% last December to 8.6% in July. The São Paulo Stock Exchange has dropped 16% over the past twelve months. And the real, Brazil’s currency, has fallen 40% against the U.S. dollar over the past year. • Brazil’s crumbling economy is even threatening the 2016 Summer Olympic Games… Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in 2009, when Brazil’s economy was in much better shape. Hosting the Olympics usually gives little, if any, long-term economic benefit to the host city. Many host cities actually lose money. Ultimately, the 2016 Summer Games will likely do more harm than good to Brazil’s battered economy. Right now the 2016 Summer Games are expected to cost $13.2 billion, according to Reuters. Last week, International Business Times reported that Brazilian tax dollars will likely fund 75-85% of the total cost. Despite all the taxpayer money being spent, the International Olympic Committee has called Rio’s preparations the “worst ever.” • The upside is, Brazil’s beaten-down economy could be hiding excellent investing opportunities… Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Speculator, is closely following the situation in Brazil. In the latest issue of Crisis Speculator, Nick said Brazilian stocks are starting to look attractive: It’s adding up to a lovely train wreck. If it hasn’t actually hurt you, it’s time to think of the real’s woes as a gift…Brazil is right in the sweet spot…but it’s not quite time to jump in. Nick is watching from the sidelines until something sends investors running for cover: I’d like to see a messy event that drops Brazil’s troubles onto the front pages of first-world papers. Something that leaves investors singing, “They’ve got an awful lot of muck in Brazil.” Something that sets off the “Sell” alarm for anything Brazilian. Something with the emotional power of the Greek debt drama this summer or the Cypriot bank implosion in 2013. Then the markets will be begging us to pick up quality, consistently dividend-paying Brazilian companies on the ultra-cheap. Nick will let his readers know as soon as it’s time to bargain hunt in Brazil. You can hear about these opportunities first by subscribing to Crisis Speculator. You’ll also learn about other exciting investing opportunities popping up on Nick’s Value Radar, “a tool for pinpointing the richest crisis markets.” Click here to learn more and start your risk-free trial. Chart of the Day Brazilian stocks have tanked this year… Today’s chart shows the performance of iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ) over the past year. This ETF tracks 85% of the Brazilian stock market. EWZ has fallen 47% since last October. Regular readers know crisis breeds opportunity…and Nick Giambruno says Brazilian stocks are starting to look attractive. According to Thomson Reuters, stocks on the São Paulo Index are trading at a price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of 10.7. These Brazilian stocks are also paying a 4.8% dividend yield. Meanwhile, stocks on the S&P 500 are trading at a PE ratio of 18.9. They’re yielding just 2.5%. Streaming LIVE From A Multi-Millionaire’s Secret “Bunker” In Delray Beach Few people get invited to Mark Ford’s secret, Delray “bunker”… It’s where he seals million dollar business deals. And writes New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books. But next week, he’s personally arranged a way for you to view a LIVE online wealth-training session in his Palm Beach “hideout”, pictured here. Not only that… Mark had our customer service team package up $100’s in digital wealth building resources and gifts. They’re ready to deliver them to your personal e-mail, for free. To accept your invitation and claim your FREE gifts now, click here. — Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida October 16, 2015 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful. Ferrari thinks it’s worth $12 billion… The Italian luxury carmaker plans to hold its initial public offering (IPO) next Wednesday. An IPO is when a company sells shares to the public for the first time. Companies “go public” to raise money. In this case, Ferrari is hoping to raise around $900 million. Ferrari’s owners hope investors will value the company at around 11 billion euros ($12.4 billion). Last week, Bloomberg Business explained why Ferrari is seeking a rich valuation: Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, who’s also Ferrari’s chairman, has insisted for months that the brand should be valued as a luxury-goods maker, such as clothiers Prada SpA or Hermes International SCA, and not as an auto manufacturer. Those companies trade at over 20 times operating profit, more than twice the average valuation of carmakers. • Ferrari hopes its IPO will go better than First Data Corp.’s IPO did yesterday… Global payment processing company First Data Corp. (FDC) went public on Thursday. It was the biggest IPO so far this year. The company originally hoped to raise $3.2 billion. It planned to price shares between $18 and $20. But First Data lowered its debut share price to $16 on Wednesday because of weak investor interest. Even with the lower share price, though, the IPO didn’t generate much excitement. The company’s stock closed Thursday down 1.6%, at $15.75. First Data isn’t the only big company to have problems with its IPO recently… On Wednesday, supermarket chain Albertsons postponed its IPO because of recent market volatility. The company was hoping to raise $2 billion. It would have been the year’s second-biggest IPO. Digicel Group Ltd., the biggest mobile provider in the Caribbean, also canceled its IPO last week. This is an ongoing trend. The number of IPOs in the U.S. is down 20% from last year, according to Renaissance Capital. The amount of cash raised is also down by 44%. Still, Ferrari is hoping for a better outcome. It likely wants to go public right now because, in general, investors are paying good money for shares of public companies. U.S. stocks are 49% more expensive than their historical average, according to a popular long-term valuation metric called CAPE. • Speaking of Ferraris, Casey Research founder Doug Casey just went to Canada to buy one… E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, went along with him. E.B. explains why they went so far out of their way to buy a car: As you likely know, natural resources are in a historic bear market. This has caused a flight out of Canada’s currency, the loonie (aka the Canadian dollar). Canada is bringing in less money exporting natural resources. The loonie is at its lowest level in over a decade. So we thought this would be the perfect time to buy a Ferrari in Canada. But E.B. says the dealer refused to sell them a Ferrari: The F12berlinetta cost about $400,000… If we’d been able to buy it with U.S. dollars, it would have cost $320,000 out the door… But Carlo, the dealership owner, wouldn’t allow it. Doug says Ferrari dealers only want to sell to locals: There’s such demand for Ferraris—waiting lists dozens of people long—that the dealers only want to sell to people in the area, so they can buy them back and make a market in them. And perform the service on them, which is actually the most profitable part of the business. As for Ferrari’s upcoming IPO, Doug says the company’s owners are getting out at the right time: Ferrari is going to have an IPO on its stock soon. A smart move on their part—when the ducks are quacking, you should feed them. I wouldn’t touch it if your broker offers you some… Regular Casey readers know that Doug and E.B. travel a lot. This weekend, they’re at the Casey Summit at a luxury resort in Tucson, Arizona, along with multi-millionaire entrepreneur James Altucher, famous trend forecaster Gerald Celente, and other world-class investing experts. Unfortunately, it’s too late for you to jump on a plane and join them. But you can still get full access by pre-ordering the Summit Audio Collection…click here to learn more and lock in the special, discounted price. – Goldsmith: Why I Work For Doug Casey Now—Eye-Opening Report from Former Stansberry Director Sean Goldsmith recently left Stansberry to work alongside one of the most influential economists in the world today, Doug Casey. There’s probably not another American alive today who has done as many international deals and learned as much about global economies, currencies, and the inner workings of foreign governments. “Now,” says Casey, “we’re on the cusp of a new and major crisis here in America, one that’s going to be much more severe, different, and longer lasting than what we saw in 2008 and 2009…” Goldsmith explains the full details here. Recommended Links
When patients come to Dr. Molly Quinn for infertility treatments, they usually aren’t too interested in hearing about the possible downsides, she says. They just want to get pregnant.Still, she always discusses the risks. For example, there’s an increased likelihood of twins or triplets — which increases the chances of medical complications for both moms and babies. And stimulating the ovaries to ripen extra eggs can, in a small number of cases, cause the ovaries to rupture.Quinn, an infertility specialist and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles, now has a new hazard to consider. According to research published this month in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, children conceived through certain infertility treatments may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Parents shouldn’t panic, the study’s authors say: The findings are preliminary, and the study cohort was fairly small. Still, they say, it means that families who used infertility treatments should be particularly vigilant about screening for high blood pressure in their children and help them avoid other cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.”Fertility clinics should really … counsel about potential risks for their kids,” says Dr. Urs Scherrer, a visiting professor at the University of Bern in Switzerland and a senior author of the study.Scherrer and his colleagues followed the health of children conceived through assisted reproductive technology for more than a decade. ART is an umbrella term that covers a number of different types of procedures, including in vitro fertilization, in which sperm and eggs are mixed in a lab dish, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in which sperm are inserted directly into eggs. Today, roughly 2 percent of all births in the U.S are conceived via ART.In 2012, the same team of scientists published a major paper showing that 65 healthy kids born with the help of ART were more likely than their peers to have early signs of problematic blood vessels. The current study, comparing 54 of those original children with 43 age- and sex-matched peers, shows those early irregularities — signs of “premature vascular aging”, the scientists say — persist into adolescence and young adulthood.Kids in the study who were conceived via ART are now 16 years old, on average, but have blood vessels resembling those of middle-aged adults, the scientists found.And those differences seemed to be enough to boost the teens’ blood pressure. Everyone in the study underwent round-the-clock blood pressure monitoring for 24 hours, and the differences between a group conceived by ART and teens in the control group were significant. The ART group had markedly higher blood pressure; about 15 percent met the criteria for hypertension.The study adds to a small but growing body of research suggesting that children conceived this way may have an elevated risk of hypertension and its health complications.Scientists say they don’t yet know why that would be true, but they hypothesize that epigenetics — the interplay of environment and genes — plays a role. Something about the manipulation of the eggs and sperm in the lab might affect which genes are turned on or off as embryos develop.Medical specialists who study high blood pressure in kids called the research striking.”The fact that these kids already have abnormal vasculature is quite concerning,” says Dr. Joseph Flynn, a pediatrician who helped write the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines about blood pressure management. “I think the fact that they saw these changes at an early age and that they’re still persisting into adolescence is worrisome for these kids.”Still, he says, it’s unclear what the long-term effects on their cardiovascular health will be. Conception through ART, Flynn says, may confer the same amount of risk as, say, teenage smoking or alcohol use.Quinn says she would like to see more longitudinal research that tracks long-term consequences of infertility treatments.”We need to connect these kinds of studies,” she says. Such research can be more difficult to do in the United States, she notes, because there is no unified medical record, so it’s hard to track the babies who are conceived through ART.Still, she says, it’s important for all doctors working in the infertility field to acknowledge that the techniques they use are still evolving.”We appreciate that there is quite a bit unknown about we do on a day-to-day basis,” says Quinn. “We have to be humble.”For now, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that every child over the age of 3 get a yearly blood pressure test at the doctor’s office — whether or not their parents underwent infertility treatments. Mara Gordon is a family physician in Washington, D.C., and a health and media fellow at NPR and Georgetown University School of Medicine. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Rural hospitals close when they don’t have enough paying patients to care for, but they’re also dinged when the same patients show up over and over again. That puts outlying medical facilities in the precarious position of needing to avoid repeat customers.Charlotte Potts is the type of patient some hospitals try to avoid. She lives in Livingston, Tenn. — a town of 4,000, tucked between rolling hills of the Cumberland Plateau.”I’ve only had five heart attacks,” Potts says with a laugh. “I’ve had carotid artery surgery. Shall we go on? Just a few minor things.” She jokes that she’s “a walking stent.”The heart trouble has affected the way Potts deals with her health problems. She spends much of her day in a recliner in her apartment, tethered to a pulsing oxygen machine, and listening to the radio.Fortunately, her apartment sits within spitting distance of Livingston Regional Hospital — a 114-bed facility large enough to have a dedicated cardiac unit. But the hospital doesn’t want to see her every time her heart flutters.So last time she landed in the ER, they helped her connect with a few companies that could provide care at home.”If I’m going to have certain things going on here in my chest, I call for help, and they’re there,” Potts says of the home care team she chose.A new era in hospital managementThere were days when the hospital might have viewed a home health agency as a competitor. Not anymore.”When I started this almost 40 years ago, the mission was different,” says Tim McGill, CEO of Livingston Regional. “We wanted patients in the hospital. That was the incentive. We were paid for it. Now you’re not.”Hospitals used to run on a so-called fee-for-service model with virtually no limit to how many times they could see a patient. But, under pressure from private and government insurance programs, that model is transitioning to one in which hospitals are rewarded for safety and efficiency — which often results in a patient spending less time in the hospital.Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare began to ding hospitals if too many patients are readmitted to any hospital within 30 days of discharge. The measure is broadly unpopular with the hospital industry, since so much falls outside a hospital’s control. Medicare has even walked back the rules for safety-net facilities, which tend to treat a sicker population.The penalty is meant to encourage hospitals to get it right the first time. In Livingston, the hospital operates on the thinnest of margins — just 0.2 percent in the most recent figures. And “readmissions” have been a drag on the bottom line.One in five patients with heart failure was back within the month. The hospital has paid the maximum penalty in some years — nearly $200,000. So leaders started asking a basic, unifying question of other providers in town, McGill says: “What can we do together so they’ll stay out of the hospital and stay healthier in their home setting? That’s where the work is.”Collaborating instead of competingThe work took the form of quarterly lunch meetings at the local library.Mary Ann Stockton, a nurse at the hospital, invites all the home health agencies as well as hospice providers and the leaders of nursing homes.At one meeting, she applauds the other providers for increasingly meeting patients inside the hospital before they’re discharged. She says it helps patients and families accept these home health workers.”We know in our area, people don’t like to have a total stranger come into their home,” she says.The group brainstorms how to generate the same kind of acceptance for hospice care, which — as one doctor in the meeting puts it — some families view as assisted suicide.And on this day, the groups spends much of its time reviewing the value of flu shots, especially for the staff in nursing homes. Stockton says elderly patients with bad lungs become a hospital emergency room’s “frequent fliers.””Flu starts off, goes into pneumonia, COPD exacerbation — and they are a revolving door in our hospital,” Stockton says. “They’re hitting that ER a couple of times a week.”Advance directives are on the agenda for next time — another way to keep people near the end of life from becoming ER regulars.Livingston’s parent company, LifePoint Health, is launching this community approach in many of its 80-or-so markets, which are primarily in the Southeast and almost all rural. LifePoint vice president Cindy Chamness helps hospitals find willing partners.”We were very frustrated for many years,” Chamness says, “because we weren’t able to impact readmissions just working on it by ourselves, as a hospital.””Are we saving ourselves right out of business?”The solution looks different from one town to another. In Lake Havasu, Ariz., paramedics now visit discharged patients to make sure they’re following doctors’ orders. The house calls also cut down on government-funded ambulance rides.It’s not just rural hospitals — all hospitals can be penalized for readmissions now. And threatening the bottom line in that way does seem to be effective. Readmissions have been falling across the board, according to the latest research.But rural hospitals, which already treat fewer patients than urban hospitals, wonder if they’ll have enough patients to survive, says Michael Topchik of the Chartis Center for Rural Health.”[A] CEO from Montana said to me, ‘The problem is, when we do the right thing, are we saving ourselves right out of business?’ ” says Michael Topchik of the Chartis Center for Rural Health.The focus on cutting readmissions — by definition — cuts overall admissions too, he notes.”So, this is the real inherent tension and challenge: Hospitals get reimbursed for doing ‘sick care,’ ” Topchik says. “But more and more they’re being asked to do population health, and really focus on ‘wellness.’ “To make up the volume, the Livingston hospital is expanding its maternity ward and general surgery offerings.There is also some immediate financial upside to reducing readmissions: Livingston Regional has cut readmissions more than any other rural hospital in Tennessee and even the nation, according to data compiled by Chartis.As a result, the hospital’s Medicare penalty in the coming year will be reduced to 0.3 percent of its reimbursements — down from the maximum of 3 percent, which was roughly $200,000 a year.That’s all because patients like Charlotte Potts now can safely stay home.”I got a real bad tightness in the chest,” Potts recalls about a recent episode. She’d questioned whether to call an ambulance. “I was very uncertain about what was going on.”But she phoned her home health agency, took a nitroglycerin pill as the agency advised, and instead of going to the ER, was able to get back to sleep. Copyright 2018 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit Nashville Public Radio.
Human rights campaigners have criticised plans for an inquiry that will examine lessons from the deaths of people in mental distress in police custody, because they say the government already knows what action it needs to take.The call came from Black Mental Health UK (BMH UK), which has repeatedly raised concerns about the number of mental health service-users from the UK’s African-Caribbean community who have died in police custody, and has particularly criticised the dangerous and often fatal use of restraint on people with mental illness.The independent review of deaths and serious incidents in custody was announced in a speech in south London today (Thursday) by home secretary Theresa May.It will examine procedures and processes surrounding deaths and serious incidents in police custody, including the availability and effectiveness of mental healthcare facilities, the use of restraint and the training of officers.It will also “identify areas for improvement and develop recommendations to ensure appropriate, humane institutional treatment when such incidents occur”.But it will not reopen and reinvestigate past cases and will not “interfere” with ongoing inquests, investigations or Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) reviews.Matilda MacAttram, BMH UK’s director, said: “What is another inquiry going to do? They know the problems already.“The recommendations have been made in the hundreds. How many more recommendations do we need?”She added: “There is a sense of inquiry fatigue among many in Britain’s black communities as we have seen a raft of inquiries with supposedly ‘hard hitting’ recommendations after almost every high-profile death of a black man in custody for the past 40 years – but nothing has changed.“What we need to see is justice, and what that looks like is ending the practice of using lethal levels of force with no accountability – do we need another inquiry to tell us that?”She said there were clear problems already identified within the criminal justice and mental health systems, such as police officers – often in riot gear – routinely entering psychiatric wards to restrain patients.And she pointed to a string of inquiries into the use of restraint that have been carried out by the police, the Department of Health, and the IPCC.She said the authorities had been “looking into it” for the last four decades, and that she would rather funding be spent providing community-based places of safety, crisis care or talking therapies.MacAttram said: “The people at the top know how the system works. An inquiry is like kicking something into the long grass for 12 months.”She said there were key measures the government could take instead of holding another inquiry.One is to ensure that the £15 million funding announced before the election to provide new health-based places of safety – to ensure people in mental distress are not kept in police custody – should be ring-fenced, or given direct to charities to resource community-based places of safety.MacAttram believes the new funding will otherwise disappear into the black hole of over-stretched local health budgets.She said: “Right now every provider has a health-based place of safety, but they are not staffed.”Another measure that could be taken is to outlaw the use of police officers on mental health wards, and instead to resource mental health services properly.And every time police officers are called onto a mental health ward, there should be an investigation by the IPCC, she said.Meanwhile, new IPCC figures show the number of deaths in or following police custody in England and Wales rose from 11 to 17 in 2014-15. Eight of the 17 people who died had mental health problems.There were also 69 apparent suicides following police custody, a fall of just one on 2013-14, but an increase of 30 since 2011-12.These figures – released on the same day as May’s speech – do not include deaths where police were called in to help medical staff to restrain individuals who were not under arrest.IPCC chair Dame Anne Owers said that IPCC investigations into deaths in or following police custody “have too often exposed the same issues”, such as inadequate risk assessments; token checks on a person in custody; insufficient handovers between custody staff; and a failure to recognise or properly deal with people with mental health concerns.
A regulator failed to find a single nurse “not fit to practise” despite more than 220 complaints about face-to-face disability benefit assessments carried out for government contractors, its own figures have revealed.The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) figures show it dealt with 224 complaints about the way nurses carried out personal independence payment (PIP) assessments and work capability assessments (WCAs) in 2016 and 2017.But not one of those complaints led to the regulator concluding the assessor was not fit to continue to work as a nurse.In 2016, of 88 complaints dealt with, 87 were closed in the initial “screening” process and one nurse was found to have “no case to answer”.The following year, of 136 complaints, 129 were closed in screening, four nurses were found to have no case to answer, while one led to the conclusion that the nurse’s fitness to practise was not impaired, and two complaints had not been concluded.Only two months ago, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) said it had found widespread mishandling by NMC of complaints it had received about the way nurses had carried out PIP assessments.PSA found a string of failings, including a refusal to consider all the concerns raised by complainants.It also found that NMC relied on the findings of government PIP contractors Atos and Capita to justify closing cases about their employees, and failed to consider crucial documentary evidence, often ignoring the evidence of the person who had lodged the complaint, and failing to ask them for further information.NMC also told some complainants that the role of PIP assessor was not relevant to the nurse’s fitness to practise, unless it involved dishonesty.The new figures suggest NMC’s problems extend to complaints about nurses who have carried out WCAs on behalf of the government contractor Maximus.Disability News Service (DNS) spent months investigating allegations of dishonesty by PIP assessors in late 2016 and throughout 2017, hearing eventually from more than 250 disabled people in less than a year about how they had been unfairly deprived of their benefits.It continues to receive such reports today, more than two-and-a-half years after the investigation began.NMC released the new figures under the Freedom of Information Act to Andrew Hill, from Norfolk, who has himself lodged a complaint with the regulator about the nurse who carried out his face-to-face PIP assessment in 2017 on behalf of Capita.An appeal tribunal found the nurse had been “unreliable” and that her “incorrect and inaccurate findings” about his mental health condition contributed to him having his benefits cut.Hill has diabetes, and has had one leg amputated, and has further serious diabetes-related impairments which are “fluctuating and unreliable” and have left him with significant support needs.He had asked for a reassessment of his PIP because his health had deteriorated and he had lost his partner and carer.But the nurse’s assessment instead led to him losing his PIP enhanced rate of mobility, as well as points on his daily living component – for which he had previously been granted the standard rate.A subsequent mandatory reconsideration of its initial decision by the Department for Work and Pensions restored him to the enhanced mobility rate of PIP but left his daily living component unaffected.An appeal tribunal last July allowed his appeal and confirmed his enhanced rate of mobility as well as awarding him the enhanced rate of PIP daily living for the first time.Meanwhile, he has lodged a complaint with Capita and the NMC about the nurse who assessed him.NMC is still investigating his complaint. Capita has not yet ruled on his complaint against the nurse.Matthew McClelland (pictured), NMC’s director of fitness to practise, said: “After the PSA published its report, we acknowledged that our approach to PIP-related cases fell short of what is expected. We didn’t get things right and I am sorry for that.“Since 2018, we have taken action to address these concerns. We have reviewed our processes, improved our quality checks, and enhanced management oversight of cases.”DNS has now asked for NMC’s 2018 figures through a freedom of information request. A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…