About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Newcastle boss Benitez raps Man Utd: No excuses for top 4 failureby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United boss Rafael Benitez says Manchester United have no excuses if they fail to finish in the top four.United travel to St James’ Park to face Benitez’s Newcastle on Wednesday.”It’s a team that has to be easily in the top four, that is very clear,” said the Newcastle boss.”They can compete against Manchester City, Liverpool, anyone. We are talking about one of the biggest clubs in the world in terms of everything.”The players they have, they are so good that if you want to win or get points against them you have to perform really well.”When you are a top side like Manchester United, spending millions every year, you have to be in the top four and you have to win the title.”For them, that’s the pressure. Not just now, they had it before, and for sure they will feel the pressure in a few weeks when they will be there fighting with Tottenham, Chelsea, City, Liverpool and Arsenal.”
Global streamer Netflix and British pubcaster the BBC will remake Watership Down, with John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Ben Kinglsey (Sexy Beast) attached to star.The four-part animated miniseries will also star Nicholas Hoult (X Men: Apocalypse), James McAvoy (Atonement) and Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace), and comes with the backing of UK-based production management group 42.This comes after Martin Rosen’s influential 1978 animated movie, and an animated TV version, which went out on YTV in Canada and CITV in the UK between 1999 and 2001.Tom Bidwell (My Mad Fat Diary) will write the new show, which Noam Murro will direct. The BBC and Netflix are coproducing, with 42 and Murro’s Biscuit Films attached.Pete Dodd (Fantastic Mr. Fox) and Hugo Sands will lead animation production along with Ireland’s Brown Bag Films. ITV Studios Global Entertainment has international distribution rights thanks to a first-look deal with 42.42’s Rory Aitken, Ben Pugh, Eleanor Moran and Josh Varney will executive-produce, along with Murro and BBC Drama commissioning editor Michael Read.Watership Down will be based on the Richard Adams classic novel set in southern England and about a group of strong-willed rabbits who are forced to flee in face of certain destruction of their warren.“Before there was Harry Potter there was Watership Down; Richard Adams’ novel is one of the most successful books of all time and one of the biggest-selling books in history,” said Read.“It is fantastic to have the opportunity to bring a modern classic to a mainstream BBC One audience withsuch an incredible roster of actors alongside the talented team overseeing the animation. This fantastic take on the novel will unite the whole family, and bring this classic story to a new generation.”“Adapting this much-loved novel in afresh and innovative way is a truly exciting opportunity,” added 42 co-founder Aitken. “Telling the story over four hours of CG animation allows us to explore the characters from the novel and their adventure in a way not previously achievable on screen.
Joel Whitten ‘Whit’ Richardson IIITurner Latin America has named Joel Whitten ‘Whit’ Richardson III as its president, in effect replacing Juan Carlos Urdaneta.Richardson is a 23-year Turner veteran, and in his new role has taken charge of the company’s regional general entertainment, kids, sports and free-to-air channel brands; distribution of the CNN news services; and L&M activity.He is known internally for aiding the launch of Turner’s Argentinian business, helping it go from a business of 15 employees in 1998 to more than 750 as of today, and for the acquisitions of the likes of Chilevision, Esporte Interativo and CNN Chile.His appointment come after long-serving Turner Lat Am chief Urdaneta exited last year, leaving Turner Internationa president Gerhard Zeiler to lead the regional operation in the interim.Zeiler said Richardson was “a highly respected executive inside and outside Turner”, adding he had “a clear vision of how we adapt the organisation to truly become a next-generation media provider”.Richardson who was previously executive VP of distribution and GM of Argentina, said he would “prioritise collaboration, innovation and change” to “aggressively position for continued growth and success”.Turner has a total of 54 channels in three languages in 44 territories across the Latin American region.
Channel 4’s digital service, All4, is launching support for 360° video ads from this week.The UK broadcaster’s 4Sales division announced the new Ad 360 format today, and Honda and South African Tourism will be the first brands to use the 360° interactive VOD ads.“Ad 360 enables All 4’s audience to engage with brands in a new and exciting way using the latest developments in 360 degree content creation, strengthening our existing suite of innovative digital ad products,” said Channel 4’s digital and creative leader, David Amodio.The Ad 360 format was developed by video technology partners Innovid, and the firm claims that together with Channel 4 it is bringing “360° interactive video experiences to the European market for the first time.”
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.
Dr. O’Dea has a track record of creating strong, well-financed companies built on high-quality projects and run by technical leaders. As President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Fronteer Gold (2001 to 2011), Dr. O’Dea grew the company from a $2-million start-up into a well-funded, high-profile, development-focused gold company acquired in 2011 by Newmont Mining Corp. for $2.3 billion. Over the past decade, Dr. O’Dea has raised more than $750 million through equity financings, equity investments and asset divestitures, providing strong returns to his shareholders and bringing financial strength and stability to his companies. Importantly, Dr. O’Dea and his team have a proven track record of discovery, having been integral in advancing and/or discovering five large gold and gold/copper deposits located in Nevada and Turkey and two world-class uranium deposits in Labrador. Dr. O’Dea is the Founder of Oxygen Capital Corp. and plays leadership roles in all Oxygen companies. He is the Founder and Chair of Pilot Gold, Executive Chair of Riverstone Resources, and Founder and co-Chair of True North Nickel. He was also Founder and CEO of Blue Gold Mining, which merged with Riverstone Resources in December 2012.
— For the first time ever: a guided tour of Doug’s Ranch in UruguayDoug Casey was kind enough to take our cameras on a guided tour of beautiful Uruguayan Estancia. We even captured Doug showing off a few special pieces in his art collection. Click here for a rare look inside the private life of one of the world’s most reclusive millionaires. Recommended Link Justin’s note: At Casey Research, we’re always looking to pass along smart ways for you to make money. My colleague Nick Rokke, analyst for The Palm Beach Daily, is one of the brightest guys I know. And he recently wrote about one such way.It’s a historic opportunity for you to add some quality companies to your portfolio… By Nick Rokke, analyst, The Palm Beach DailyEarlier this month, Apple announced the largest stock buyback in history.During its May 1 earnings call, Apple said it would buy back $100 billion worth of shares. That’s about 12% of the company.Not surprisingly, shares of the iPhone maker reached an all-time high.In October 2017, Palm Beach Letter editor Teeka Tiwari told me that President Trump’s tax cuts would boost the fortunes of companies like Apple… and therefore, that of their shareholders.Here’s what Teeka said then:Apple was one of the biggest benefiters of the last tax repatriation holiday (in 2004).Today, Apple has $230 billion in foreign cash. Based on history, we expect Apple to repatriate 90% of that cash, or $207 billion…And if it goes through, shareholders will be the No. 1 beneficiary.Since Teeka added Apple to The Palm Beach Letter portfolio in August 2017, it’s up nearly 21%. (Apple is above his buy-up-to price, so we don’t recommend buying it now.) Here’s the thing…Apple isn’t the only company buying back shares. So far in 2018, companies have announced over $400 billion in new buybacks. Some analysts predict there will be over $800 billion in buybacks this year.This is giving us a historic opportunity to add some quality companies to our portfolios.Before I get to the companies, let me tell you what’s going on.Tax Cuts = More Money for ShareholdersThese large buybacks aren’t happening just because companies are doing well. They’re getting a boost from the tax cuts that President Trump signed into law last year.As Teeka told Palm Beach Letter subscribers last year, the most important line in the tax law was this: “One-time tax on trillions of dollars held overseas.”Here’s why that line is important…President Trump’s new law would drop the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.So any company that had an effective tax rate of 35% in 2017 would be able to hang onto an additional 14% of its profits in 2018. How Doug Casey Turned $1,875 Into $1.2 Million, With One Bold Move Back in ’93, Doug Casey took a $1,875 stake of money, then made one bold move. Exactly two and a half years later, his stake was worth $1.2 million – a rare and extraordinary 64,000% return. To see how he did it, click here. Recommended Link — Any time a company keeps more of its money, that’s good thing for stock prices.But the tax law had another benefit for corporations… They can “repatriate” money held offshore for a one-time, low rate of 15.5%.Teeka predicted that corporations would repatriate up to $2.6 trillion in overseas cash… and return that extra cash to shareholders via increased dividends and buybacks.We’re already seeing that with Apple.Investors loved hearing that Apple was buying back $100 billion worth of its shares. That’s why the stock shot up so much.But as I said, Apple isn’t the only “tax refund” company buying back bucketloads of stock.Where to Find “Tax Refund” CompaniesCompanies have announced almost a half-trillion dollars’ worth of buybacks in 2018.Ironically, to discredit the tax cuts, Senate Democrats have put together a list of companies that will buy back the most shares. They call it the “GOP Tax Scam.”(Democrats believe Trump’s tax cuts benefited wealthy shareholders over the middle class. One senator even wrote a bill to prohibit companies from buying back shares, which is ridiculous.)Nevertheless, we steer clear of political fights in the Daily. Our goal is to find you money-making opportunities. And in this case, the Democrats have made our job easier by compiling a list of companies buying back stock.There are a few companies I like on the list, including former Elite 25 company AbbVie, as well as Facebook, Google, and Visa.For the complete list, click here.Now, we haven’t researched every company on this list. And just because a company buys back shares, doesn’t make it a good investment.Sometimes the timing just isn’t right. (For instance, we had to sell two of our “tax refund” stocks for small losses.)So make sure you do your due diligence.But when a company buys back its shares, it’s a good thing. In fact, I’d use this list as a starting point for my investment research.Regards,Nick Rokke, CFA Analyst, The Palm Beach DailyP.S. As I mentioned above, some companies will be major winners from President Trump’s tax plan. And we’ve found five “all-star” companies that we think will benefit the most. To access this report, you need a subscription to The Palm Beach Letter. To learn how to become a subscriber, and about our other income-generating ideas, please click here.In Case You Missed It…There’s a tiny clause buried in the new tax bill that’s gone completely unnoticed by the mainstream media…It has nothing to do with income taxes, estate taxes, or special deductions.In fact, this section of the tax bill—located on page 553—has been completely overlooked by accountants… even though it creates a potential $460 billion windfall for everyday Americans. Click here to get all the details…
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/.
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…
Image credit: Maskot | Getty Images 4 min read Innovation I was privileged to be a judge recently at a pitch event hosted by Angelou Economics where entrepreneurs born outside the US pitched their ideas and companies. Some ideas were half-baked, others solved problems too small to be of interest to investors but some startups were very enlightened, polished and tackling big problems.I strive to be on the bleeding edge of technology and solutions. Three companies stood out for me.Related: 5 Exciting Ways Health-Tech Startups Are Improving LivesOfoThis green/transportation company is further along (closed a $450 million Series D in China) and wasn’t part of the pitch event. Some big players invested in Ofo include Ali Baba’s Ant financial, DST Global, Matrix China and Didi Chuxing, the largest car-hailing app in China which bought Uber’s China division. Depending on the source, this company’s valuation is between $1 billion and $2 billion U.S.I met Ofo’s representatives through my business partner, Joshua B Lee. Part of Ofo’s big vision is to bring to the US the platform they’re successfully growing already in China. I believe the company’s future and the path to achieve their vision is a variation of what Car2Go has done with cars.Ofo started in China as an “open sourced” bike sharing program where people could share their own bicycles. Unfortunately, bike owners were slow to share their bikes with the public. The company pivoted and found a better business model was providing bikes to the public for a nominal fee.Ofo maintains a company owned fleet of bicycles anybody on the app can use. Ofo solved the inconvenience problem with the app allowing a “dockless” bike share program. Riders can pick up and drop off bikes at any bike rack in the city.One big limitation I see is the American preference for cars. Uban millennials and younger people are bucking this trend but I don’t see bike share having a huge presence in rural areas of the U.S. But it can be a significant reducer of pollution (and cellulite) in urban areas and geographically tight knit communities.Related: Startups Are Offering Basketball and Umbrella Sharing in ChinaSanantiaThis company caught my eye because it’s in medical care, one of the big three industries I see trending and ripe for technology to disrupt in a positive way.The big vision for this company is to to give disconnected medical providers (family doctors, pharmacists, nurses, etc.) access to a patient’s information in one secure, central dashboard. I am intrigued by this idea. The main founder was a national sales representative for Merck. The team’s background and accomplishments give me higher confidence they can execute on their vision.Related: Augmedix, the Google Glass App for Medical Data Entry, Raises $16 MillionInterludeThis is another company in the medical care industry. It’s so early they don’t even have a website live yet. It caught my eye because I didn’t know how vast the problem was they’re attempting to solve. According to World Bank stats, around 1 billion people worldwide have some form of disability. A staggering 110 million to 190 million people have significant disabilities. Interlude aims to help disabled people rehab more effectively to improve the disabled person’s functioning and capabilities.They don’t do this by compelling the disabled person or the insurance company to purchase expensive therapy equipment. The company uses Xbox Kinect technology to monitor the patient’s therapeutic movements. The healthcare practitioner (doctor, occupational therapist, physical therapist, etc.) can monitor the disabled person remotely.The Interlude system records the disabled person’s movements. The health practitioner can see trends in progress over time. The system also seeks to show the ideal movements and allow the practitioner to see how far off the patient’s current movements are from the ideal path. The practitioner can then coach the patient for even faster improvement.Startups have a high failure rate. But these industries and trends will have clear winners. From what I saw, these three companies have the best combination of size of the problem, innovative and simple solution plus the team to execute. –shares Add to Queue Enroll Now for $5 Clint Evans and Joshua Lee 3 Startups Attempting to Capitalize on 2 Very Big Trends Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Strategy coaches Medical care and transportation are problems facing people all over the world. Next Article Guest Writer July 18, 2017
In North Korea, Hackers Are Handpicked to Be Part of Elite Spy Agency The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. December 5, 2014 Despite its poverty and isolation, North Korea has poured resources into a sophisticated cyber-warfare cell called Bureau 121, defectors from the secretive state said as Pyongyang came under the microscope for a crippling hack into computers at Sony Pictures Entertainment.A North Korean diplomat has denied Pyongyang was behind the attack that was launched last month but a U.S. national security source said it was a suspect.Defectors from the North have said Bureau 121, staffed by some of the most talented computer experts in the insular state, is part of the General Bureau of Reconnaissance, an elite spy agency run by the military. They have said it is involved in state-sponsored hacking, used by the Pyongyang government to spy on or sabotage its enemies.Pyongyang has active cyber-warfare capabilities, military and software security experts have said. Much of it is targeted at the South, technically still in a state of war with North Korea. But Pyongyang has made no secret of its hatred of the United States, which was on the South’s side in the 1950-53 Korean War.Military hackers are among the most talented, and rewarded, people in North Korea, handpicked and trained from as young as 17, said Jang Se-yul, who studied with them at North Korea’s military college for computer science, or the University of Automation, before defecting to the South six years ago.Speaking to Reuters in Seoul, he said the Bureau 121 unit comprises about 1,800 cyber-warriors, and is considered the elite of the military.”For them, the strongest weapon is cyber. In North Korea, it’s called the Secret War,” Jang said.One of his friends works in an overseas team of the unit, and is ostensibly an employee of a North Korean trading firm, Jang said. Back home, the friend and his family have been given a large state-allocated apartment in an upscale part of Pyongyang, Jang said.”No one knows … his company runs business as usual. That’s why what he does is scarier,” Jang said. “My friend, who belongs to a rural area, could bring all of his family to Pyongyang. Incentives for North Korea’s cyber experts are very strong … they are rich people in Pyongyang.”He said the hackers in Bureau 121 were among the 100 students who graduate from the University of Automation each year after five years of study. Over 2,500 apply for places at the university, which has a campus in Pyongyang, behind barbed wire.”They are handpicked,” said Kim Heung-kwang, a former computer science professor in North Korea who defected to the South in 2004, referring to the state hackers. “It is a great honor for them. It is a white-collar job there and people have fantasies about it.”The technology news site Re/code reported on Wednesday that Sony intends to name North Korea as the source of the attack. But when asked about the Re/code report, a Sony spokeswoman said no announcement from the studio was coming. The company declined comment on Thursday.Sony Pictures, a unit of Japan’s Sony Corp, is the distributor of “The Interview,” a forthcoming comedy featuring a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea has described the film as an “act of war”.Last year, more than 30,000 PCs at South Korean banks and broadcasting companies were hit by a similar attack that cybersecurity researchers widely believe was launched from North Korea.Months later, the South Korean government’s online presence was targeted, with the president’s website defaced with a banner reading “Long live General Kim Jong Un, president of reunification!”Neither attack was particularly sophisticated, but South Korean authorities said North Korea was to blame, even though ‘hacktivist’ groups – online activists who hack high-profile targets in order to spread political messages – first appeared to claim responsibility.Those attacks used rudimentary but effective malware which security researchers later dubbed DarkSeoul.Also known as the DarkSeoul Gang, the hackers have been involved in a five-year spree against South Korean targets, according to a report last year by computer security firm Symantec, which estimated the group included 10 to 50 hackers and described it as “unique” in its ability to carry out high-profile and damaging attacks over several years.Some security experts have cast doubt on North Korean involvement in the attack on Sony, citing the publicity-seeking hacktivist style of the attacks. However, the use of an unknown name by the group behind the Sony attacks, “Guardians of Peace”, is similar to previous attacks by the DarkSeoul gang.It remains unclear if the DarkSeoul gang are outsiders working on behalf of North Korea, or some of Pyongyang’s troops in the isolated country’s own ‘cyber army’.(Additional reporting by Jim Finkle and Ron Grover; Editing by Tony Munroe and Raju Gopalakrishnan) 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List –shares Add to Queue Hackers This story originally appeared on Reuters Reuters 5 min read Next Article Apply Now »
Add to Queue Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Laura Entis Airlines Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now » Guest Writer 3 min read The Best and Worst Airlines for Customer Experience –shares March 20, 2015 Next Article JetBlue is flying high in the eyes of its customers. Out of the 10 airlines included in the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, which polled 10,000 U.S. respondents on 293 consumer brands, the airline comfortably landed in first place with an overall score of 75 percent, a 15 point percentage point climb from its 2014 rating. (For context, Temkin considers a score of 70 percent to be “good,” and a score of 80 percent and above to be “excellent.”)On the other end of the line-up: Spirit Airlines, which came in last by a wide-margin, with a customer experience rating of 47 percent.Related: After Earnings Nosedive, JetBlue Enters the Premium MarketThe two airlines’ ratings underscore their very different approaches to flying. Recently, JetBlue has revamped its image with the introduction of a premium service equipped with private cabins, the longest beds in the United States domestic market and a swanky new menu. Its ads are sleek and/or pointedly humorous.Spirit Airlines takes the exact opposite approach. “We’re not even Wal-Mart,” Spirit’s CEO Ben Baldanza recently told NPR. “We’re Dollar General. And we like being Dollar General, because we save people lots of money.” As for Spirit’s ads? Let’s just say that much was made of the discount airline’s recent acquisition of its 69th plane.While JetBlue offers travelers complimentary amenities such as snacks and beverages, Spirit isn’t looking to compete anything but price, Baldanza told the outlet. While it’s a strategy that gets people to book tickets and fly with the airline (Spirit is growing), it’s not an approach that makes them feel warm and fuzzy about the experience. Recently, Spirit came dead-last in a Consumer Reports survey, which Baldanza takes issue with. “That survey never asks people about the price of their ticket,” he told NPR. “Why doesn’t Consumer Reports put out a survey that says a Mercedes S-Class is better than a Ford Focus?”Related: Keeping It Classy: Spirit Airlines Uses Nude Celeb Pic Scandal to Sell TicketsFor its part, Temkin asks consumers to evaluate brands based on three components: success (did you accomplish what you wanted to?), effort (how easy was it to interact with the company?), and emotion (how do you feel about your interactions with the company?).Check out how other airlines stack up in the list below.1) JetBlue Airlines 75%2) Southwest Airlines 72%3) Delta Airlines 69%4) Alaska Airlines 69%5) Virgin America 63%6) American Airlines 57%7) United Airlines 56%8) US Airways 55%9) AirTran Airways 52%10) Spirit Airlines 47%Related: Porn Accident: US Airways Issues Worst Brand Tweet of All Time
U.S. Regulators Aim to Ban Founder of Blood-Testing Firm Theranos U.S. federal health regulators have proposed banning Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes from the blood-testing business for at least two years after determining that the company failed to fix deficiencies at its California laboratory, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) said in letter dated March 18 that it planned to revoke the lab’s federal license and ban Holmes and Theranos’s president, Sunny Balwani, from owning other labs for at least two years, the WSJ said.The proposed ban would include Theranos’s only other lab, located in Arizona, which along with the California lab generates most of the company’s revenue, the Journal said.The Journal said CMS gave Theranos about 10 days to provide adequate evidence of why the sanctions should not be imposed. Theranos had responded and the CMS was reviewing the response, the WSJ said, citing a person familiar with the matter.A Theranos spokeswoman told Reuters that the CMS had not imposed any sanctions on the company as yet.Theranos had promised to shake up medical testing by conducting a wide range of tests with just one drop of blood in a user-friendly manner with quick results.The company has been in the spotlight after reports in the WSJ suggested that the blood-testing devices were flawed and had problems with accuracy.The CMS in January had said that deficient practices at the California lab posed an “immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety”.Around that time, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., the largest U.S. drugstore chain, said it would stop using the services of the lab until all issues raised by the CMS were addressed.(Reporting by Rosmi Shaji in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza) Next Article –shares Add to Queue Theranos founder and CEO, Elizabeth Holmes. This story originally appeared on Reuters Reuters The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Image credit: Theranos | Facebook Apply Now » Theranos April 13, 2016 2 min read
Enroll Now for $5 Starbucks, Anheuser-Busch to Partner on Bottled Teavana Teas Anheuser-Busch and Starbucks announced a deal on Thursday to produce, bottle, distribute and market Teavana ready-to-drink teas in the United States, with products expected to be available in the first half of next year.The world’s biggest coffee chain bought tea seller Teavana in 2012. The bottled teas falling under Starbucks’ agreement with the maker of Budweiser beer will not contain alcohol. Anheuser-Busch will lead production, bottling and distribution to retailers nationwide in partnership with its established network of wholesalers, the companies said.Starbucks and joint venture partner PepsiCo Inc. market, sell and distribute ready-to-drink coffee products in the United States. PepsiCo already has a ready-to-drink tea partner. It joined with Unilever in 1991 to form the Pepsi-Lipton Tea partnership. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney) June 3, 2016 Add to Queue Image credit: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket | Getty Images Reuters Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. 1 min read –shares Next Article Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand This story originally appeared on Reuters Starbucks
Add to Queue Reuters Alibaba Expects to Nearly Double Transactions Volume to More Than $900 Billion by 2020 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Image credit: Reuters | Aly Song | File Photo –shares June 14, 2016 China This story originally appeared on Reuters 1 min read Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said on Tuesday it expects to nearly double its transaction volumes by 2020, signalling it still expects rampant growth as Executive Chairman Jack Ma pledged to intensify a crackdown on fake goods.At an investor conference at its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Alibaba said it expects to record 6 trillion yuan ($912 billion) in gross merchandise volume in fiscal 2020, nearly double 3.09 trillion yuan in fiscal 2016.Echoing that growth, Ma said Alibaba expects to have 2 billion consumers on its books by 2036, up from 423 million active buyers in 2016.Addressing concerns about the company’s efforts to remove counterfeit products from its online platforms, Ma said Alibaba will do “anything to stop the fake products.” The company has been dogged for years by accusations that its shopping platforms were conduits for counterfeiters.”I promise you guys that counterfeits, fake products, and intellectual property theft — we are more and more confident than ever that we can solve the problem,” Ma said.(Reporting by Yimou Lee in Hong Kong; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell) Next Article Register Now »
The decision raises the chances the merger will win final approval from federal authorities but the companies still face an anti-trust review by the US Department of Justice.Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said both companies had promised his agency they would offer a next-generation 5G network to 99 percent of Americans within six years of completing the deal while also expanding access to mobile broadband.The companies have agreed not to raise prices for three years and will divest from the Sprint subsidiary Boost Mobile.”The construction of this network and the delivery of such high-speed wireless services to the vast majority of Americans would substantially benefit consumers and our country as a whole,” Pai said in a statement.Failure to make good on their pledges could result in “serious consequences,” including billions of dollars in penalties, creating an incentive for the companies to meet their obligations on time, according to Pai.The commission is due to consider the merger proposal next month.The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Justice Department officials had told both companies that, as structured at the time, the deal was unlikely to win that agency’s okay.A rival to US giantsBut Pai said the deal was now intended allay such concerns.”This sale is designed to address potential competitive issues that have been identified in the prepaid wireless segment,” he said in the statement. The top official at the US communications regulator on Monday announced his support for the proposed $26 billion merger between telecoms firms Sprint and T-Mobile. Explore further Citation: Sprint, T-Mobile mega-merger gets nod from key US official (2019, May 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-fcc-chairman-t-mobile-sprint-merger.html The combined company’s more sizeable scale would help it rival US giants AT&T and Verizon Communications, which dominate the US market.The Justice Department in 2011 blocked an attempt by AT&T to acquire T-Mobile, saying the market was already too concentrated to allow it.T-Mobile and Sprint are respectively the third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers in the US in terms of number of customers.Sprint, majority owned by Japan’s SoftBank, and T-Mobile, a unit of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, had previously tried and failed to agree on merger terms.5G, or fifth-generation, wireless communications networks would enable services such as remote surgery or driverless cars and allow customers to experience video and virtual reality with greater ease. The companies have agreed not to raise prices for three years T-Mobile CEO John Legere and executive chairman of Sprint Marcelo Claure talk before testifying at the House of Representatives in March, 2019 Global competition to develop the technology has heated up but in a move widely seen as aimed squarely at Chinese rival Huawei, Washington has barred US companies from engaging in telecommunications trade with foreign companies said to threaten American national security.T-Mobile chief John Legere told lawmakers in February his company did not and would not use Huawei equipment in its networks.Together, T-Mobile and Sprint have about 131 million subscribers, virtually matching second-ranked AT&T and posing stiff competition to market leader Verizon Communications.In December, the proposed merger won approval from regulators who vet acquisitions for national security risks.The Communications Workers of America union says the planned merger could cost 30,000 jobs but Sprint’s CEO Michael Coombs instead warned last month of layoffs if the deal is blocked.On Wall Street, shares in Sprint Corporation were soaring towards 1600 GMT, up nearly 24 percent on the prior days’ close, while T-Mobile US had risen a smaller 5.6 percent. T-Mobile’s latest pitch for Sprint merger: Taking on cable internet and TV 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. © 2019 AFP