Former Rangers Football Club player Derek Johnstone insists the club’s manager Steven Gerrard will learn a lot about his players over their next three fixtures.Gerrard who was appointed as the club’s manager at the end of last season has enjoyed a very impressive start to life at the Ibrox, with his team yet to lose a game in all competitions after ten games.With two wins and a draw coming in domestic league and cup competitions, the former Liverpool captain couldn’t have asked for a better start.But with games against Motherwell, a second leg UEFA Europa League playoff tie against FC Ufa and the derby against Celtic, Johnstone insists Gerrard would learn more about his team during that three-game spell.“There is a huge difference in the team from last year and Rangers are undoubtedly more of a unit now and there is a higher calibre of player across the park.” Johnstone said, as quoted by Evening times.Owen reveals why Liverpool didn’t offer Gerrard a new contract Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Owen, the Reds wanted to sell Gerrard two years before he left the club and that’s why they didn’t offer him a contract renewal.“Defensively, we are not giving as much away as we were last season but if Steven has one worry I think it will be in a creative sense. We are not getting enough in the final third at times and I am sure Steven will try and correct that.”“Overall, though, it has been a really impressive start and the win over Ufa on Thursday night has given Rangers a chance to get back into the group stage of a European competition.”“The clean sheet at Ibrox was important and if Rangers score over in Russia I think the tie is finished. It is a great opportunity.”“If we can get through in Russia next Thursday, what a lift that would give everyone ahead of the big one, the one that we have all been waiting for at Parkhead on Sunday.”“The only bonus going into the Old Firm is that Celtic will be playing – albeit at home – on the Thursday night as well so they have that to contend with.”
Nuno Espirito debut season with Wolves in the Premier League has been really inconsistent. Having great and low performances ever since this PL season.Wolve’s draws matches against champions Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United have been offset by defeats to Cardiff and Huddersfield before the Chelsea victory.And when asked to talk about the inconsistency in Wolves performance Nuno replied:“If only I had the answer to that.”Pochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“No manager can have the right answer to it because you prepare the same way, go through all of the details, you build your own team, choose your game plan and decide how to play. And then there’s a game and an opponent, who have their own ideas.”“So there is conflict that exists in a game after which you cannot say what we should change.”“We’ve won games with less of the ball and lost games with more of the ball and more shots on goal. It’s a game, it doesn’t have anything to do with the top six teams.”
Former Rangers midfielder Alex Rae believes his old club have a fighting chance of beating Celtic to the Scottish Premiership title this season.Rae, who won the Premiership title with the Gers in 2005, admits he did not expect Steven Gerrard to mount a serious challenge for the title in his first season in charge at the Ibrox.“Even when Rangers were winning games in the first half of the season, Gerrard was still saying some performances weren’t good enough and they needed to do better,” said Rae, according to the Scotsman.“People were saying it was a massive gamble appointing him as manager but I always felt he would raise the bar.”Rangers is still behind Celtic: John Hartson Manuel R. Medina – September 3, 2019 According to the former Celtic player, there’s still a massive gap between his ex-club and Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.“After they lost at Celtic Park in September, he said ‘judge us on 29 December’. That was a massive statement because he had to back it up. His team did that by beating Celtic at Ibrox. It has been impressive because I don’t think anyone would have foreseen it at the start of the season.”“At that stage, I felt second place was the best Rangers could hope for. But they are most certainly in with a fighting chance now. If they won it, it would be right up there with the most impressive things ever achieved at the club when you consider where Rangers have been in the last few years.”“Celtic are still the favourites and it’s important to keep it in context. They have a a run of home games after the break, which I think they will canter, while Rangers have tricky away games at Kilmarnock and Livingston. Celtic will come back refreshed, everyone will, and it makes for a fascinating second half of the season.”
Revisit Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ David Bowie’s ‘…Ziggy Stardust…’ | For The Record For The Record: Shakira For The Record: N.W.A’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Alanis Morissette: ‘Jagged Little Pill’ For The Record: ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’ For The Record: Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” For The Record: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ For The Record: Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ Madonna: ‘Ray Of Light’ | For The Record For The Record: Linda Ronstadt’s ‘Canciones …’ NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Jul 26, 2018 – 12:05 pm For The Record: N.W.A’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ For The Record: Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” For The Record Revisit The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ Dave Chappelle For The Record: ‘The Age Of Spin …’ For The Record: Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” For The Record: N.W.A’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ For The Record: ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’ Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’: For The Record Revisit Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ David Bowie’s ‘…Ziggy Stardust…’ | For The Record For The Record: Linda Ronstadt’s ‘Canciones …’ Dave Chappelle For The Record: ‘The Age Of Spin …’ For The Record: Carlos Santana For The Record: ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ For The Record: Carlos Santana Bob Marley & The Wailers’ ‘Exodus’: For The Record Facebook N.W.A Are ‘Straight Outta Compton’: For The Record For The Record: Bee Gees’ ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Revisit Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ For The Record: Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ For The Record: Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ Revisit The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ For The Record: Little Big Town’s ‘The Road …” For The Record: Cole’s “The Christmas Song” For The Record: Juan Gabriel Metallica: “One” | For The Record For The Record: CeCe Winans, ‘Let Them Fall … ‘ For The Record: Beck’s ‘Morning Phase’ For The Record: Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ For The Record: Jennifer Lopez And Marc Anthony Metallica: “One” | For The Record For The Record: Jennifer Lopez And Marc Anthony Metallica: “One” | For The Record For The Record: Juan Gabriel For The Record: Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ For The Record: Cole’s “The Christmas Song” Email Daft Punk For The Record: ‘Random Access Memories’ For The Record: CeCe Winans, ‘Let Them Fall … ‘ For The Record: Juan Gabriel For The Record: Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ For The Record: ‘From A Room: Volume 1’ For The Record: Linda Ronstadt’s ‘Canciones …’ For The Record: ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’ For The Record: N.W.A’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ David Bowie’s ‘…Ziggy Stardust…’ | For The Record For The Record: Little Big Town’s ‘The Road …” Daft Punk For The Record: ‘Random Access Memories’ For The Record: ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ For The Record: Calle 13 For The Record: Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’ For The Record: ‘From A Room: Volume 1’ For The Record: Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ For The Record: John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ Kendrick Lamar, ‘DAMN.’: For The Record Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more For The Record: John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ For The Record: Cole’s “The Christmas Song” For The Record: John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ For The Record: Michael Jackson For The Record: Bee Gees’ ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’: For The Record For The Record: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ For The Record: Carlos Santana For The Record: B.B. King’s “Auld Lang Syne” For The Record: Adele, ’25’ Pearl Jam: ‘Ten’ | For The Record Prev Next For The Record: Michael Jackson For The Record: Jennifer Lopez And Marc Anthony Although it sold well initially, its landmark status rested on the controversies surrounding its gangsta lifestyle themes and attitudes. Its provocative tracks described the world N.W.A knew through their own eyes, including the title track, which elevated the group’s hometown of Compton, Calif., “Express Yourself” and “Gangsta Gangsta.” The album also included “F*** Tha Police,” which resulted in the FBI and U.S. Secret Service sending threatening letters to Ruthless Records and the group’s banishment from many venues.Credited as one of the most influential hip-hop records of all time, in 2015, Straight Outta Compton the film appeared, dramatizing the 1988 impact of the album, with Ice Cube portrayed by his son O’Shea Jackson Jr. Confrontations with law enforcement and antagonism based on “F*** Tha Police” form a core element of both the 2015 drama as well as the drama on the streets that has never stopped.Among the album’s many aftermaths, Eazy-E died in 1995, Ice Cube went on to produce and star in his extensive filmography and the adventures of Dr. Dre touch on many other histories, including those of Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. Meanwhile, in recognition of its critical importance to music history, Straight Outta Compton was inducted into the Recording Academy’s GRAMMY Hall Of Fame as well as the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. For The Record: Bruno Mars’ ’24K Magic’ For The Record: Adele, ’25’ For The Record: Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ News For The Record: Little Big Town’s ‘The Road …” For The Record: Calle 13 Bob Marley & The Wailers’ ‘Exodus’: For The Record Dave Chappelle For The Record: ‘The Age Of Spin …’ Revisit The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ For The Record: Bruno Mars’ ’24K Magic’ For The Record: ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ What started as an attitude that helped put Compton on the map grew into a worldwide music revolution celebrating the streetsPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Jul 26, 2018 – 12:05 pm A debut album that landed like a sledgehammer, 1988’s Straight Outta Compton has become a legend in its own right. The featured N.W.A lineup was Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and MC Ren. The album was produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, and released on Ruthless Records, the label co-founded by Eazy-E and N.W.A manager Jerry Heller two years before. Bob Marley & The Wailers’ ‘Exodus’: For The Record For The Record: B.B. King’s “Auld Lang Syne” For The Record: N.W.A’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ nwa-are-straight-outta-compton-record Madonna: ‘Ray Of Light’ | For The Record For The Record: ‘From A Room: Volume 1’ For The Record: Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’ For The Record: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ For The Record: CeCe Winans, ‘Let Them Fall … ‘ Alanis Morissette: ‘Jagged Little Pill’ Kendrick Lamar, ‘DAMN.’: For The Record For The Record: Bruno Mars’ ’24K Magic’ Kendrick Lamar, ‘DAMN.’: For The Record For The Record: Shakira For The Record: Adele, ’25’ Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’: For The Record For The Record: B.B. King’s “Auld Lang Syne” For The Record: Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ For The Record: Michael Jackson Alanis Morissette: ‘Jagged Little Pill’ Daft Punk For The Record: ‘Random Access Memories’ Twitter For The Record: Calle 13 Madonna: ‘Ray Of Light’ | For The Record Pearl Jam: ‘Ten’ | For The Record For The Record: Beck’s ‘Morning Phase’ For The Record: Bee Gees’ ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Pearl Jam: ‘Ten’ | For The Record For The Record: Shakira For The Record: Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’ For The Record: Beck’s ‘Morning Phase’
BOSTON, MA — Below is a press release from State Representative Dave Robertson’s office:Ending late Thursday evening, Representative David Robertson and the House of Representatives passed the House version of the 2020 budget in a critical step setting out the course of state investments over the next fiscal year. Focusing especially on education, senior care, environmental programs and the opioid epidemic, the $42 billion dollar budget also boosted local aid in order to reduce local property taxes and provide municipalities with revenue needed for local services and operations.“I am proud of this budget. The House, under Speaker Robert DeLeo and Chairman Michelwitz, worked with other Chairmen and Representatives to create a community-facing budget.” Said Representative Robertson from the floor. “We sought to help towns like Tewksbury and Wilmington by increasing educational aid, unrestricted general aid the towns may use at their discretion, and other support. This will help strong community services while maintaining livability within our homes.”A highlight of the education portion of the budget was the increase of state aide to school districts by $30 per student, which reflects a recommendation by the Foundation Budget Review Commission. Convened in 2015, the commission studied state aid to schools and advised recommendations to support educational services as their mission adapts and changes. The total increase, topping out at $218 million dollars, is given to each town to ease the demand on property taxes and support schools locally. In addition to general aid the Special Education Circuit Breaker, which reimburses schools for extra-support for students requiring additional assistance received a nine million dollar increase.In the Health and Human Services portion of the House’s budget, our senior populations should be happy to know that many programs that they rely on benefitted greatly. With nursing home costs rising, and their necessary services needed by more and more of Massachusetts’ aging population, the FY2020 budget sought to address this growing problem through an increase in supplemental funding for nursing homes across the Commonwealth and an emergency task force aimed at helping to bring stability to the industry to mitigate or end the ever-increasing costs of the industry. In addition to these nursing home changes, funding increases to municipal Councils on Aging across the state should be able to reach out to and positively affect more seniors in their communities.In addition to addressing funding changes in education, and senior care programs, the FY2020 budget continues the Legislature’s hard push to fighting opioid addiction. This public health crisis has touched nearly every household across the Commonwealth through one form or another. Last year Massachusetts ranked among the top ten states with drug overdose deaths involving opioids, with over 2,000 people succumbing to an opioid overdose in Massachusetts, and with a disproportionate (population wise) percent of those deaths occurring in Middlesex County. In addition to funding to substance abuse and recovery services to help those in need, the House budget gives all EMS and ambulance companies access to bulk-purchase naloxone, making it more available for use in the field, especially in communities whose emergency services have had difficulties being fully funded.“Families throughout the Commonwealth, including Tewksbury and Wilmington have been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, and I hope the funding in our state budget will provide us with a framework to continue to build an appropriate response to this overwhelming issue, and to stop the tragedies and help save lives,” said Robertson. “But, this critical funding in the House is just that, a starting point for us as a community to continue to build from in our fight.”Local earmarks for Tewksbury and Wilmington included direct subsidization for lot improvements at Livingston Street fields and a new ambulance in Tewksbury, as well as renovations to be made to the Buzzell Senior Center in Wilmington. The budget will next be debated by the Senate before consolidation and gubernatorial review in the coming weeks.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedTarr, Robertson & Gordon Secure $30,000 In State Funding For Wilmington Senior Center ImprovementsIn “Government”ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL: Robertson & Gordon Endorse Ed Markey With Possible Kennedy Showdown LoomingIn “Government”State Rep. Dave Robertson & His Colleagues Help Tewksbury Take Official Possession Of Livingston StreetIn “Government”
News • Pixel 3 vs. OnePlus 6T: Which Android should you buy? Review • OnePlus 6T review: A hero phone without the sky-high price 2:48 Since the company launched its first OnePlus One in 2014, OnePlus has garnered a reputation for making phones with premium specs at a wallet-friendly price. For the past few years, OnePlus has launched two flagships a year; the phones offer reliable, high-end experiences for hundreds of dollars less than iPhones and Galaxy S devices. Editors’ Note, May 14, 2019: CNET’s OnePlus 7 Pro review is here. Read more about the new phone from OnePlus. If these photos are accurate, though, that could mean the 5G phone has no front-facing camera on the front of the display, thin bezels and a 6.7-inch screen that curves on the left and right edges. The device could also have a Snapdragon 855 processor, 8GB of RAM and a triple rear camera setup with a 48-, 16- and 8-megapixel camera. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. In addition to launching the OnePlus 7, expected sometime in the spring, the company will release a separate 5G phone slated for May. It’s unclear which of these phones these photos depict, but given that the device name listed is “OnePlus 7 Pro,” this could be OnePlus’ 5G phone. However, because these popped up on unofficial channels and OnePlus declined to comment on them, it’s best to remain skeptical. See it Share your voice 14 Photos OnePlus 6T shrinks the notch for added screen Supposed images of an upcoming OnePlus phone were leaked yesterday on the Chinese social networking site Weibo. The account that posted it, which goes by the username IT Station, uploaded two photos: one that included the phone’s edge, which resembles the edges seen on high-end Samsung phones, and another that listed key hardware specs. Mentioned Above OnePlus 6T (Midnight Black 128GB) IT Station OnePlus 6T’s in-screen fingerprint reader looks to the… OnePlus 6T Phones 2 Tags Comments Now playing: Watch this: $453 Rumors OnePlus
2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 9 Photos Hyundai i30 N Project C gets racier Post a comment 0 5:43 Tags Enlarge ImageThis lithium-ion-powered beauty has suspension and it’s rear-wheel drive. Hyundai Scooters are so hot right now that it seems everyone is trying to get in on them. First, we had companies like Bird and Lime, then Uber and Lyft, not to mention Segway and God knows who else, but the latest company to show up to the party is Hyundai, according to an announcement by the company on Tuesday.Yep, the South Korean car company that makes vehicles like the Veloster and the Palisade is considering producing a two-wheeled electric scooter, and here’s the kicker — it could be included with future Hyundai and Kia vehicles.If that sounds like an off-beat but cool idea, know that Hyundai didn’t think of it. Honda offered its tiny Honda City car with a foldable gasoline-powered scooter called the Motocompo in the mid-1980s, and it’s still one of the coolest things ever.Anyway, the Hyundai scooter prototype has a claimed range of 20 kilometers (that’s around 12.5 miles in old money), do approximately 12.5 mph, and unlike most of those lame rental scooters, this baby is rear-wheel drive. Do you know what that means? Wheelies, dude. Wheelies.It’ll be powered by a lithium-ion battery, and when the scooter is docked in a vehicle it’ll automatically recharge said battery. Other cool features include the addition of suspension to the scooter’s front wheel, so as you silently waft your way through a major city, you don’t rattle your fillings out because of dilapidated infrastructure.”This is the vehicle-mounted personal scooter [that] could be featured in future Hyundai Motor Group vehicles,” said DongJin Hyun, head of the Hyundai Motor Group Robotics team. “We want to make our customers’ lives as easy and enjoyable as possible. Our personal electric scooter makes first- and last-mile commuting a joy, while helping to reduce congestion and emissions in city centers.”Future developments could, according to Hyundai, include a regenerative braking system that would be able to recover up to 7% of the vehicle’s battery charge. Hyundai makes no mention of whether it’ll be able to do sick tail-whips at the skate park though. Hyundai Palisade is a surprisingly palatial three-row… Share your voice 2019 Chevy Malibu review: Swing and a miss Now playing: Watch this: 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous More From Roadshow Hyundai Roadshow Hyundai
Share Associated PressThis undated photo obtained by the Associated Press shows an Iraqi bodyguard hired by Sallyport Global to protect VIPs. When a Toyota SUV was stolen from Balad air base, he became the chief suspect and was linked to a dangerous Iran-backed militia and was viewed by investigators as “a hard-core recruit to become a terrorist who poses a serious threat to all personnel on this base.”WASHINGTON (AP) — The two American investigators felt a sense of foreboding that Sunday as they headed to an emergency meeting with their boss on the Iraqi air base. But they didn’t expect to be surrounded by armed guards, disarmed, detained against their will — and fired without explanation.It was March 12 — less than two months ago. Robert Cole and Kristie King were in Iraq working as investigators for Sallyport Global, a U.S. company that was paid nearly $700 million in federal contracts to secure Balad Air Base, home to a squadron of F-16 fighter jets as part of the U.S.-led coalition to annihilate the Islamic State.Cole and King had spent more than a year together in Iraq investigating all manner of misconduct at Balad and beyond.They’d uncovered evidence that Sallyport employees were involved in sex trafficking, they said. Staff on base routinely flew in smuggled alcohol in such high volumes that a plane once seesawed on the tarmac under the weight. Rogue militia stole enormous generators off the base using flatbed trucks and a 60-foot crane, driving past Sallyport security guards.Managers repeatedly shut down Cole and King’s investigations and failed to report their findings to the U.S. government that was footing the bill, the investigators said.Right before they were fired, Cole and King had opened an investigation into allegations of timesheet fraud among Sallyport employees. In a call with Sallyport lawyers, they said, they were advised to keep two sets of books about potential crimes and contract violations.“One for the government to see and one for the government not to see,” King told The Associated Press.In a statement to the AP, Sallyport said it follows all contracting rules at the base, home to the F-16s that are a key to the fight against the Islamic State.“Sallyport has a strong record of providing security and life support services in challenging war zones like Iraq and plays a major but unheralded role in the war against ISIS,” Chief Operating Officer Matt Stuckart wrote. “The company takes any suggestion of wrongdoing at Balad very seriously.”More than 150 documents obtained by AP, as well as interviews with more than a half-dozen former or current Sallyport employees, show how a contractor ran amok after being hired for lucrative and essential combat support operations. The investigators and other witnesses describe grave security breaches and illegal schemes that went unreported until the government asked about them.The point behind requiring contractors to employ their own investigators was to limit the waste and corruption that has marred federal security contracting going back to the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.The Pentagon’s own auditors, who were frequently on the base 50 miles north of Baghdad, were not told of the serious problems until early this year, a potential violation of law. The Pentagon auditors’ reports, obtained by the AP, detail dozens of more minor infractions. That gap illustrates the limits of U.S. oversight for billions of dollars in contracts run by companies that have cashed in on the fight to protect Americans from extremism.The Defense Department declined to comment.The morning of March 12, King had gone to church and was still carrying her Bible when she and Cole walked into the office foyer for the meeting with the boss. To their astonishment, they were immediately surrounded by armed security guards and forced to turn over the 9 mm pistols they both routinely carried on the job.The boss, David Saffold, informed them they were being fired but wouldn’t say why.“We knew too much,” King told AP in an interview at her home in Amarillo, Texas. “They want to cover it up and move on because it’s a huge amount of money.”____BODYGUARD OR TERRORIST?In 2004, Rob Cole was a retired California police officer and licensed private investigator when he decided to go to Iraq for a series of contracting jobs. Like many U.S. contractors working in hazardous regions, he went because the work paid a lot more than he could make back home.Americans have been at Balad on and off since 2003. Sallyport’s parent company, Michael Baker International, announced in 2014 its subsidiaries had been awarded $838 million for work on the base.Cole’s first job at Balad was cut short in June 2014, a month after he arrived, when the Islamic State group began sweeping across Iraq and Syria. The extremists ultimately made it to the gates of Balad, which was evacuated.When the Americans went back, they found a looted base largely under the control of Iranian-backed Shiite militias that were supporting the Iraqi government, according to former employees. A former senior manager told the AP that Sallyport reached an understanding with the militias that they would not enter the flight and residential areas. He declined to be named because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter and didn’t want to be blacklisted from future jobs.Cole, now 62, returned to Balad in May 2015, as Sallyport was preparing for the arrival of American F-16s sold to the Iraqi government. Sallyport’s mission, along with its parent company, was to keep the base operating smoothly, train the Iraqis, and most importantly maintain security on the base, where thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of contractors work.The federal contract required investigations into potential crimes and violations involving the company’s work at Balad. That was Cole and King’s assignment.“They wanted someone to be competent enough to process an investigation, if there was a crime, or if someone turned up dead,” King said. “The way it was put to me: If someone turned up with a knife in their back, who are you going to call?”From the start, it was clear that much was awry on the base. Despite the urgency of fighting IS, the delivery of the F-16s had been delayed by months amid security concerns. It would be catastrophic if IS seized the base and its multimillion-dollar jets.On July 13, 2015, four F-16s flew in from Arizona, the first of 36 fighter jets that the U.S. planned to deliver.Brett McGurk, then the U.S. deputy envoy for the international coalition against IS, hailed the arrival in a tweet .“After years of preparation & training in the U.S., Iraqi pilots today landed the 1st squadron of Iraqi F16s in #Iraq,” he wrote.The first security breach came in less than 24 hours: A long black skid mark on the tarmac was reported. It stopped about 45 yards from the nose of one of the fighter jets. A truck had plowed through a rope barrier in the “no-go” zone, where lethal force is authorized to protect the planes. For more than 10 minutes, no one even responded as the vehicle drove away, according to reports citing surveillance video.That turned out not to be a terrorist. But Cole says the out-of-control truck was a harbinger. He noted the lax protection for the F-16s in his report and forwarded it to the chief of security, Steve Asher. Under the requirements of the contract, Cole’s report should have then made its way to the Pentagon. But he says Asher kept a lid on the incident.Three months later, in October 2015, Cole reported another security breach, the theft of a Toyota SUV that Sallyport had assigned to bodyguards to drive VIPs around the base. Cole eventually uncovered a plot by three Iraqi Sallyport staff working with a dangerous Iran-backed militia, known as Kataib Imam Ali.The Shiite militia was an ongoing headache, politically connected and operating outside the law, with sidelines in theft and gunrunning. It has ties to the leader of the umbrella militia Popular Mobilization Forces, which is on the U.S. list of designated terrorists.To Cole’s astonishment, the prime suspect threatened to join the militia during his interrogation. He was a Sallyport bodyguard. In fact, the investigators later found a photo of him on his Facebook page, dressed in black militia garb and a patch indicating his allegiance to the group.He is “viewed by the Investigations Unit as a hard-core recruit to become a terrorist who poses a serious threat to all personnel on this base,” Cole wrote in another report.The Toyota was recovered within a few days, but Cole was ordered off the case. In an interview with AP, the former senior manager defended the company’s order, saying negotiations with the militias were highly sensitive and had to be handled with Iraqi cooperation. Still, the suspect was supposed to be banned from the base, and Cole later saw the man walking around freely.___GUMMY BEARS SOAKED IN VODKAThe longer Cole was on the base, the more he suspected that management was turning a blind eye to criminal activity.On the books, Balad is a dry base, where alcohol is restricted. But in reality the booze was everywhere and everyone knew it. Finding out how it got there led to more troubling questions.A Sallyport employee who worked in the air terminal reported in late 2015 that co-workers were involved in a smuggling scheme. They were bringing in cases and cases of water bottles filled with liquor that they’d sneaked onto planes flying in from Baghdad.According to investigative documents and people who watched the smuggling in action, three empty suitcases would routinely be loaded onto a flight to Baghdad. Each time, the bags came back with plastic water bottles filled with liquor. When they were unloaded, the bags were not searched but taken directly outside to be picked up — a serious security risk in a war zone.“You could be putting a bomb in there,” said one former employee who witnessed the smuggling. “You’ve got people just going rogue.” He spoke only on condition of anonymity because he didn’t want to imperil his new job with a different overseas contractor.Steve Anderson, who worked on flight logistics, says he was pressured to sign off on faked flight manifests that omitted passenger names and falsified the weight of cargo to cover for the alcohol smuggling and other infractions — a violation of international flight regulations. The planes were getting so weighed down he was worried about flight safety.“They were playing Russian roulette with the passengers’ lives — including mine,” Anderson said.Once, he watched a plane that was being unloaded tip nose-forward on its wheels onto the tarmac because it was so overloaded.“I could hear the people inside the aircraft yelling. I never seen anything like that in my entire life,” he recalled. “It was like a seesaw.”Then out came the telltale bags that he watched get shepherded around security.When Anderson aired his concerns to management and refused to sign the falsified manifests, his boss said he didn’t want to hear about any more problems.“He said, ‘If you don’t like the job that you’re doing maybe you ought to find somewhere else to work.’”Anderson went on a medical leave and was told his position had been filled when he sought to return.Rumors of the alcohol smuggling reached Cole and King separately. Informants told them that flight line staff, who directed airplanes on the runways and handled cargo, were showing up drunk. In one instance they had passed around a bowlful of gummy bears soaked in vodka .The investigators got a tip that the bootleggers were working out of two hotels in Baghdad.Thinking they were undercover, King and an Iraqi investigator on the team went to one of the hotels, the al-Burhan, five minutes from Baghdad’s airport. She said informants told them the smuggling was run by the hotel manager and a number of Sallyport employees.During their interviews, they discovered an even more alarming scheme.The hotel had been running a prostitution ring, and Sallyport employees were among the customers, informants said. Four Ethiopian women who had worked as prostitutes at the hotel were later hired in housekeeping by Sallyport, and were still sending money back to a pimp in the al Burhan.The evidence suggested, the investigators told the AP, that Sallyport managers had either knowingly or unwittingly abetted human trafficking involving vulnerable female immigrants in a war zone, a revelation the company would be required to report to the U.S. government under federal law.In the hotel’s courtyard, a prime smuggling suspect, who was a Sallyport employee, angrily confronted King and said that a senior manager at the headquarters in Virginia, Roy Hernandez, had tipped him off about the investigation.On Feb. 15, 2016, Cole and King were ordered by Sallyport’s Balad program manager, Kim Poole, to shut down the investigations into both the bootlegging and the prostitution on Hernandez’s instructions, according to the investigators.The following day, Sallyport sent out an email to staff warning that they might be audited over trafficking and noting that they were required to report violations.But Stuckart says the prostitution allegations were not substantiated.“It is absurd to suggest that the company would shut down an inquiry into a matter of such gravity,” he said.More than a year later, two of the Ethiopian women were still working on the base, Cole said, and the alcohol smuggling had started back up, according to a report obtained by AP dated May 28, 2016.___“IT WAS MIND-BLOWING”Late last year, it became clear that little had changed after the earlier security breaches. On Nov. 15, Cole got a report that three large generators had been stolen from the base for a total loss of $1 million.According to surveillance videos, just before 2 a.m., militia had driven two flatbed trucks and a crane onto the base, driving right past the security gate. Cole estimates the crane, when extended, was at least 60 feet tall. After successfully loading the three generators and partially covering them with burlap, the militia drove off the base unchallenged. The episode lasted three hours.Cole said they passed within about ten feet of the Sallyport security guard force. “Nobody reported anything. It was a disaster and it was covered up. That is absolutely covered up,” he said. “What if the intent was not to steal but to commit a terrorist act?”According to Sallyport’s Stuckart, the theft occurred when the Iraqi base commander “granted local militia members access to the base” and said the generators weren’t located in his company’s security zone. “Sallyport had no authority to keep these militia members from taking the generators.”It was after that incident that a Defense Department auditor, who normally concerned himself with bin tagging, trash collection and the accounting minutiae of base life, began asking questions.Cole and King had kept all their reports in an investigative log. They had also flagged the important cases to management and they had assumed that the company informed the government.It became clear from the auditor’s question that he knew nothing about it. “When we finally got the idea that they were hiding all of the stuff from the U.S. government, it was mind-blowing,” said King.By then, clouds were looming for Cole and King. They had begun yet another investigation into timesheet fraud after getting a tip that Sallyport employees were systematically collecting salaries but not working.They say the company stalled the investigation, ordered every step to be approved by its lawyers and finally told Cole and King in a conference call to keep two sets of books.The implication for Cole was that they should omit from the government’s copy anything that would “be controversial and would reveal any failure or embarrassing detail.” The lawyers explained that that information was covered under attorney-client privilege. The two investigators, sitting together on the other end of the call, looked at each other in disbelief and shook their heads“We realized right away that that’s fraud, probably a crime, and we weren’t going to be a part of it,” Cole said.Shortly after they notified Sallyport that they wanted to interview managers who were suspects, their boss, Saffold, asked them to come to his office. It was Sunday morning, and King left church early.At an interview in his family home in Georgia, Cole recalled the fine sand that stuck to his sweat as he walked across the base to the meeting. Saffold ordered armed guards to take their pistols and detain the two at their work stations. King burst into tears, and the guards apparently thought better of restraining her when she said she wanted to bring her Bible back to her quarters, the investigators say.Cole and King said their termination paperwork was signed by the human resources manager they were investigating as part of the timesheet fraud.In an interview in Amarillo, Texas, where King has returned to work as a sheriff’s deputy, she expressed regrets.“It hurts me that I had to leave and not correct issues that were occurring, and it hurts me that they want to cover them up,” she said. “It’s so painful to me, it makes me lose sleep at night. Something’s wrong and did not get right.”___Hinnant contributed from Paris. Susannah George in Baghdad and Jack Gillum in Washington contributed. Follow Butler on Twitter at https://twitter.com/desmondbutler and Hinnant at https://twitter.com/lhinnant .___Online: Read documents about Sallyport’s activities in Iraq at http://apne.ws/2p87fqZ .____Have a tip on government contracting? Contact the authors securely at https://www.ap.org/tips
(Phys.org) —A fundamental question in the evolution of animal body plans, is where did the head come from? In animals with a clear axis of right-left symmetry, the bilaterians, the head is where the brain is, at the anterior pole of the body. Little is known about the possible ancestor of bilaterians. Fortunately their sister group from that same progenitor, the cnidarians, can be studied in parallel today to give some clues. Cnidarians are creatures like jellyfish, hydra, and sea anemone which possess rudimentary nerve nets, but no clear brain. They all have just a single orifice to the external world, which basically does it all. In a recent paper published in PLOS Biology, researchers from the University of Bergen in Norway compared gene expression patterns in sea anemone (Nematostella vectensis, Nv) with that from a variety of bilaterian animals. They found that the head-forming region of bilaterians is actually derived from the aboral, the opposite-oral, side of the ancestral body plan. Pioneering developmental biologist Lewis Wolpert, is often credited with having observed: “It is not birth, marriage, or death, but gastrulation which is truly the most important time in your life.” Almost all animals undergo a similar gastrulation process early in their development. The point where the cells first invaginate during gastrulation, the blastopore, uniquely defines an embryonic axis. After this stage however, all bets are off—attempts to define phyla according to hardline criteria, like blastopore = anus, are invariably met by counterexample where it instead becomes the mouth. Gene expression, while not always constrained into single contiguous areas, therefore provides a baggage-free way to assign homology across species.Wolpert’s concept of positional information in development has been largely vindicated by the discovery of hox gene codes in a wide variety of animals. While hox genes are the critical regulators of axial patterning, in most bilaterians they are not expressed in the anterior head-forming region. The researchers focused instead on the genes six3 and FoxQ2, transcription factors which have been shown to regulate anterior-posterior development. Six3 knockouts in mice, for example, fail to develop a forebrain. In humans six3 regulates forebrain and eye development.Sea anemone, like Nematosella, are curious creatures. As larvae they swim about with their aboral pole forward. As adults they plunge this region into the sea floor, and permanently anchor themselves in. Their bodies then undergo various changes but their oral pole remains intact for feeding. By using knockdown and rescue experiments in Nemostella, the researchers were able to show that six3 is required for the development of the aboral region, and the expression of further regulatory genes. This suggests that the region distal from the cnidarian mouth parallels development of the bilaterian head. The researchers also looked at the expression of the forkhead domain protein foxQ2, which functions downstream of six3. Forkhead box genes are an important class of transcription factors which frequently lack the signature homeodomains and zinc-finger regions common to other transcription factors. Instead they have a unique DNA-binding region that has the shape of a winged helix. The forkhead gene, fox2p, in humans has recently garnered a lot of media attention for its apparent role in neural development, and in even more esoteric functions like speech development. FoxQ2 is known to be a well-conserved marker for the most anterior tip of a variety of bilaterians including sea urchines, drosophila, and cephalochordates. The researchers established that before gastrulation in cnidarians, foxQ2a was expressed in the aboral pole, and in a small number cells resembling neurons. Afterwards the expression of this “ring gene” was excluded from a central spot. In conclusion, the expression of genes for anemone head development, away from the mouth region, suggests that head development came first and was a separate event from mouth development. Secondarily, the head and a coalescing brain appear to have merged to become a centralized control center. Where does our head come from? Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2013 Phys.org Journal information: PLoS Biology Citation: Which came first the head or the brain? (2013, March 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-03-brain_1.html More information: Sinigaglia C, Busengdal H, Leclère L, Technau U, Rentzsch F (2013) The Bilaterian Head Patterning Gene six3/6 Controls Aboral Domain Development in a Cnidarian. PLoS Biol 11(2): e1001488. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001488AbstractThe origin of the bilaterian head is a fundamental question for the evolution of animal body plans. The head of bilaterians develops at the anterior end of their primary body axis and is the site where the brain is located. Cnidarians, the sister group to bilaterians, lack brain-like structures and it is not clear whether the oral, the aboral, or none of the ends of the cnidarian primary body axis corresponds to the anterior domain of bilaterians. In order to understand the evolutionary origin of head development, we analysed the function of conserved genetic regulators of bilaterian anterior development in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. We show that orthologs of the bilaterian anterior developmental genes six3/6, foxQ2, and irx have dynamic expression patterns in the aboral region of Nematostella. Functional analyses reveal that NvSix3/6 acts upstream of NvFoxQ2a as a key regulator of the development of a broad aboral territory in Nematostella. NvSix3/6 initiates an autoregulatory feedback loop involving positive and negative regulators of FGF signalling, which subsequently results in the downregulation of NvSix3/6 and NvFoxQ2a in a small domain at the aboral pole, from which the apical organ develops. We show that signalling by NvFGFa1 is specifically required for the development of the apical organ, whereas NvSix3/6 has an earlier and broader function in the specification of the aboral territory. Our functional and gene expression data suggest that the head-forming region of bilaterians is derived from the aboral domain of the cnidarian-bilaterian ancestor.Synopsys: www.plosbiology.org/article/in … journal.pbio.1001484
6 min read Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global March 14, 2019 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Ten years ago, it would have been strange to stand alone in a room and tell that someone named “Alexa” to order pizza — but today, most of us take in stride the virtual assistance that AI provides. With the Internet of Things (IOT), consumers can now take on impossible tasks with ease. Answering the front door from a beach hundreds of miles away is easy; feeding the dog during a long night at the office requires only a few quick taps on a smartphone. With all of the feats it makes possible, IOT tech has developed a reputation for redefining how ordinary consumers enjoy their at-home experience. However, smart home devices constitute only a small tip of the overall IOT iceberg. Advances in technology stand to revolutionize the business world as much as if not more as they have our personal lives. That said, while the commercial opportunities in IOT are well-hyped in the media, many corporate executives have so far been cautious, remaining on the sidelines of this developing field. Today the question remains: Is it finally time for company leaders to take part in the technological revolution and integrate the Internet of Things into business life? Or is the commercial world still too wary of IOT’s strange potential to take advantage of it?Related: 25 Innovative IoT Companies and Products You Need to KnowWhat is the Internet of Things, exactly?Understanding what IOT can do for business starts with understanding IOT itself. Most laypeople know what these devices can do in their daily lives; however, providing a technical definition is often an entirely different challenge.Analysts describe the Internet of Things as “the interconnection of machines and devices through the internet, enabling the creation of data that yields analytical insights and supports new operations.” IOT solutions use these connections to cross-utilize wireless communications, networks, the cloud, and data storage. In doing so, they offer considerable opportunities for handling and analyzing massive amounts of data across geographically disparate locations. Related: 4 Reasons to Be Excited by the ‘Internet of Things’What can it do for business?The primary benefit IOT provides business lies in its capacity for boosting day-to-day efficiency. These solutions use data collected from social networks, traditional media, and internal and external networks to provide actionable intelligence that empowers machines and people to optimize their behaviors. Well-integrated IOT technologies can offer company leadership valuable feedback into how a company might improve their product functionality and better their user experience, as well as streamline production processes and supply chain management.Because these solutions can process more real-time data in a set period than a human could ever hope to, they also play a crucial part in developing financial decisions by providing real-time insights into the state of the business as a whole. The actionable intelligence sourced from IOT solutions complements that from a company’s accounting systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP) and, when taken together, can provide executives with a bird’s-eye view of the venture’s state and provide insights into potentially lucrative financial strategies. The benefits that IOT solutions provide are invaluable — however, some researchers have managed to put a number on the potential financial gain. According to a 2015 McKinsey study, IOT stands to save global businesses up to $11 trillion annually by 2025. Other experts in the field project that the technology will boost corporate profits by as much as 21 percent by 2022. Statistics like these command interest; a survey found that 45 percent of executives said that IOT-enabled manufacturing was a high or very high priority for their ventures. Interestingly, only 21 percent of those involved in the study worked directly in the manufacturing sector — a detail which implies that the interest for IOT goes far beyond its surface capabilities. Related: Blockchain Technology can be Critical to IoT Infrastructure SecurityWhy is IOT so underutilized?Unfortunately, interest doesn’t always equate to usage. Many executives have opted to observe the IOT field as it develops rather than actively integrate the potentially valuable technology into the day-to-day workings of their business. According to a study conducted by Capgemini, fewer than “four out of 10 organizations are deploying IOT in operations at full scale.” Moreover, those that do implement IOT technology center in a few choice industries; leaders include industrial manufacturing (62 percent), retail (46 percent), and telecommunications (38 percent). Their hesitancy is understandable, even if it does hold ventures back from potential gain. According to a study put forth by Hitachi, 32 percent of surveyed companies were unable to present a compelling return on investment for integrating IOT, another 32 percent struggled to keep potential solutions secure, 31 percent saw problems with cross-departmental cooperation, and 30 percent were unable to process the influx of data effectively. For all of its promise, the Internet of Things doesn’t readily or immediately lend itself to daily use. Integration demands strategy, troubleshooting, and countless hours of work; executives will undoubtedly face growing pains. The sheer amount of work and consideration that goes into applying IOT solutions stands as a strong deterrent to those who might otherwise leap on the chance to take advantage of the technology’s potential. Does this mean businesses shouldn’t use IOT?Every step towards progress demands some heavy lifting. Businesses should not steer clear of IOT solutions because they are imperfect or because they require company leaders to overcome logistical hurdles; the potential payoff is far too high. Moreover, IOT solutions will likely become a norm in business, making integration less of a tech-forward decision and more of a necessity for keeping up with the competition. Integrating IOT technology can and should be a priority; however, companies will need to have advanced analytics and development platforms in place to handle the influx of IOT data, as well as cyber security solutions that address any vulnerabilities that IOT technology creates in a company’s day-to-day systems. As the CEO of a tech-forward steel manufacturer, I have seen the value that IOT solutions can provide to modern businesses firsthand. At Pacesetter, we’ve already taken basic steps to integrate IOT into our operations. To date, we have integrated sensors in our production lines that connect to our networks and create live dashboards for our operators. This update allowed us to optimize our reaction time and boost our understanding of our day-to-day efficiency. By analyzing data trends, we were able to determine what proactive steps we could take to improve our processes.Pacesetter is in the midst of exploring more ways to integrate technology and further optimize our operations — and it certainly isn’t alone in doing so. Staying on the cutting edge of technology has become inarguably vital to remaining competitive in nearly every industry. One point is for certain for all: the advances we see today are only a hint of what could benefit businesses in the future.
January 2, 2013photo by Tomiaki TamuraThe Planning department has finished the year with an office full of young and enthusiastic women from 4 different countries; interns Eleanor McIntyre from England since October, Mandy Shen from China since September, Samantha Rose from USA since June, and Planning Coordinator Nadia Begin from Canada.[Photos by TT and text by Nadia Begin]photo by Tomiaki TamuraThe interns’ work in the Planning department has been to assist in planning and construction of the greenhouse(Energy Apron) project, exploring several alternative designs for the remainder of East Crescent Complex, researching rainwater collection system, working on the Bakery renovation designs, and developing site utility plans that include an overall site utility layout and chase/tunnel designs.
GUILDHALL ORGAN BRINGS MUSIC MAGIC BACK TO MAIN HALL ShareTweet A special musical celebration took place yesterday in the Guildhall allowing guests to enjoy a sneak preview of the newly restored Guildhall organ.The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District was joined by an audience of invited guests for a special music recital, pre-empting a major public event scheduled to take place on June 26th next year.Speaking after the recital, Mayor McCallion said: “The performances today were absolutely beautiful and I was delighted to see the completion of this painstaking work to restore the organ to its original glory. It’s the final stage in the renovation of the Guildhall and the last piece that has been missing in the building’s transformation.“The performances today were exceptional and it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the newly restored organ before its public unveiling next year. The Guildhall is such a special building in the history of the city, and the perfect venue for so many public and private events. The organ will now lend an additional visual and musical element to the splendour of the Main Hall.” The organ is the second largest concert organ in N. Ireland, and dominates the stage of the impressive Main Hall in the Guildhall.The original instrument was crafted and paid for by public donations of £2,000 in 1891, but was destroyed by fire in 1908. It was reinstalled but was again damaged by the 1972 bombs before being rebuilt by Hill, Norman and Beard Ltd of London at a cost of £68,000 in 1978.The recently completed restoration of the Guildhall organ was part of a £10m restoration project funded by the former Derry City Council, Tourism NI, Department of Social Development and Department for Environment under its Built Heritage Programme.GUILDHALL ORGAN BRINGS MUSIC MAGIC BACK TO MAIN HALL was last modified: September 28th, 2015 by John2John2 Tags:
Drilling Intersects 102 Meters of 1.97 gpt Gold at Columbus Gold’s Paul Isnard Gold Project; Drilling Confirms Depth Extension of Gold MineralizationColumbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V) (“Columbus Gold”) is pleased to announce results of the initial five (5) core drill holes at its Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. The holes confirm depth extension of gold mineralization below shallow holes drilled on the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce Montagne d’Or inferred gold deposit at Paul Isnard in the 1990’s and support the current program of resource expansion through offsetting open-ended gold mineralization indicated by the earlier holes.Robert Giustra, CEO of Columbus Gold, commented: “These drill results validate Columbus Gold’s approach to adding ounces with a lower-risk drilling program designed to infill and to extend the mineralized zones to 200 m vertical depth from surface; a depth amenable to open pit mining.” Fourteen (14) holes have been completed (assays pending) by Columbus Gold in the current program and drilling is progressing at the rate of about 3,000 meters per month with one drill-rig on a 24 hour basis. Columbus Gold plans to accelerate the current program by engaging a second drill-rig as soon as one can be obtained. Please visit our website for more information about the project. Well, there’s no denying the fact that it was a pretty ugly day yesterday, regardless of whether it was free-market forces or ‘da boyz’.Gold sold off about seven dollars from the Far East open on their Thursday morning, right up until 12:40 p.m. in London…which was 7:40 a.m. in New York…forty minutes before the Comex open.At that point the dollar index began its 80 basis point rally…and the precious metals headed for the nether reaches of the earth.The gold price made a bit of a recovery once the London p.m. gold fix was in…but the engineered price decline began anew shortly before 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. Gold hit its low price tick of the day [$1,563.30 spot] right at the 1:30 p.m. Comex close…and from there it basically traded ruler flat into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.Gold closed at $1,565.20 spot…down a whopping $41.60 on the day. For the second day in a row, net volume was immense at 207,000 contracts.It was pretty much an identical story in silver, as the price declined below the $28 spot mark shortly after trading began in the Far East on Thursday…and then bumped along that price ceiling right up until the same 12:40 p.m. London time as gold, before suffering the same fate as the gold price. Up until that time, silver was only down about two bits.Silver’s absolute low price tick [26.77 spot] came a couple of minutes before the close of Comex trading. The price recovered a bit from there, but then traded flat into the electronic close. Silver’s intraday price move was $1.35…or 4.80%.Silver closed the Thursday trading session at $26.88 spot…down a whopping $1.24 on the day. Net volume was pretty chunky as well…43,000 contracts, give or take.The dollar index opened around 81.53 on Thursday morning…and didn’t do much of anything until it hit its ‘low’ of the day at 81.50 about 7:20 a.m. in New York. Then away it went to the upside, with the high of the day [82.36] coming about 3:15 p.m. Eastern time…and closed the day almost on that high at 82.30. From top to bottom, the dollar index rally was 86 points…up 1.06%.There certainly was an amazing amount of carnage in the precious metals prices all things considered. If you look at the almost 80 basis point decline that the dollar index had on Tuesday, there is no sign of that in the price of any of the precious metals on that day. I pointed that abnormality out in this column on Wednesday…and you can read about it here.So, was the big dollar index rally yesterday the cause of the big decline in the precious metals. Partly, I’m sure, but it was convenient cover for JPMorgan et al to really beat the living snot out of them one more time…especially silver.Here’s the 3-day dollar index chart so you can see the almost equally large decline on Tuesday…which had no effect on the gold price at all.The gold stocks got smoked. They gapped down big…and continued to decline…finishing right on their lows of the day. The HUI finished down 5.28%.The silver stocks got in the ear as well. Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed down a huge 6.81%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that six gold and one lonely silver contract were posted for delivery on Monday.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday.But the U.S. Mint had a sales report. They sold 7,000 ounces of gold eagles…1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 275,000 silver eagles. Month-to-date the mint has sold 32,500 ounces of gold eagles…6,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 1,975,000 silver eagles. So far this month, silver eagles are outselling gold eagles/buffaloes by a 51:1 ratio.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, they reported receiving 1,184,987 troy ounces of silver…and shipped 463,513 ounces of the stuff out the door. The link to that action is here.Here’s a chart that Washington state reader S.A. stole from some story posted on the Zero Hedge website yesterday. It shows the Spanish and US GDPs compared to the size of bailouts…if the US received a bailout in proportion to the Spanish bailout.(Click on image to enlarge)I have a lot fewer stories today, but if you read nothing else, the first story is a must read…and I’ll leave the final edit of the rest up to you.Not until all this debt is repudiated and the world has gotten the usurious banking system off its back, with its tentacles reaching deep into government everywhere, will the world be able to move forward again. Then at long last we will be able to hail the return of true capitalism and the free market. – Clive MaundWell, there’s no denying the fact that it was a pretty ugly day yesterday, regardless of whether it was free-market forces or ‘da boyz’. I’m sure that a lot of the sales of precious metals shares were done into a pretty illiquid market, which would certainly compound the losses in a ‘forced sale’ situation for anyone stupid enough to be in this market on margin.In Far East trading during their Friday, the gold price spent all of its time in a ten dollar price range between $1,560 and $1,570 spot…and was at the lower end of that range during the first fifteen minutes of trading in London. But as I hit the ‘send’ button at 5:00 a.m. Eastern time, gold has rallied to just above its Thursday closing price in New York. Silver hung in just pennies under the $27 spot price until shortly after 1:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…and then slid from there…and was down about two bits just past the London open, but has now gained back all its losses as of 4:55 a.m. Eastern. Volumes aren’t overly heavy…and the dollar index isn’t doing a thing.Today we get the Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday, June 19th. Too bad Wednesday’s and Thursday’s trading data won’t be in it, as that would tell us a lot if it was.You have to wonder how much longer this pounding in the four precious metals will continue. It will continue until JPMorgan et al have covered every possible short position they can. Ted Butler mentioned that the technical funds had probably put on between 25-30,000 long contracts as gold broke through its 20 and 50-day moving averages to the upside since the June 10th low…and it’s a pretty good bet that all of those positions got taken out yesterday and Wednesday.The silver price has barely had a sniff of its 50-day moving average, so I doubt if there’s much in it for JPMorgan to continue engineering the price lower…but you just never know these things. If the lows aren’t in for gold or silver, they must be pretty close…and all we can do is wait it out, plus use this opportunity to buy more bullion while JPMorgan et al have been thoughtful enough to put it on sale once again.With today being the last trading day of the week, it will be interesting to see if JPMorgan presses its advantage as the Friday trading day unfolds in London and New York. As has been the case all week, the real price/volume action occurs during the Comex trading session and, without doubt, that will be the case again today.I hope your weekend goes well…and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Sponsor Advertisement
Dear Investors,I’m a big fan of road trips. Despite being the over-wired nerd type, I have always been drawn to those long trips, and not just for the disconnected time away from cell coverage or the philosophical discussions with my copilot which tend to rise from long hours together in close quarters. Rather, my favorite part is getting off the highway and seeing the sights… side trips to parts of the world I don’t typically deal with every day of my life.Stopping off at a fusion Korean-American gluten-free restaurant in an unexpected Albany neighborhood; getting stuck in rush-hour traffic on Route 1/9 in Elizabeth, NJ; or touring the mansions down the road in Mahwah, as I did on my most recent trip this past weekend, offers a fresh perspective that I simply cannot get from my usual perch in an idyllic Vermont ski town.As simple as those experiences might seem, just getting out of our comfort zones adds to our perspectives in an invaluable way. For example, if Bill Ackman had gotten off Park Avenue on occasion, then he might have learned a lot about his famed Herbalife short sale… or so says his nemesis, John Hempton.With that in mind, this week we’re going to take a side trip from the usual profit-centric bent of this column to look at some of the furthest destinations off the expressways of the Internet – the underground community that deals in drugs, weapons, and even illicit information. Places where the Wild West lifestyle prevails, largely beyond the eyes of the law. You might not find any stocks to buy here (though the most enterprising among you may in fact see ample opportunity for less-traditional investments), but understanding what is happening all around you will hopefully be an eye opening experience.Sincerely,Alex DaleyChief Technology Investment StrategistCasey ResearchA Random Walk Down the Internet’s Back AlleysBy Alex DaleyThe Internet is a force for good in society. It largely decouples the cost of distribution from the reach of information, opening up entirely new forms of communication and expression that never could have existed before… like open-source software developed by thousands of part-time volunteers, or individual bloggers read the world over by millions of people. China’s “Great Firewall” notwithstanding, the Internet enables access to a world of information, goods, and services, with little restriction.However free it might seem at first blush, it just isn’t enough for everyone. Whether it’s to find privacy from overreaching governments or to hide illicit activities, today there is another level to the Internet. It’s a deeper, darker back alley, where virtually anything goes – including black markets for everything from illegal drugs to contract killings – made possible by a new generation of security technology.Inherent to the Internet’s design – and doubly so for its most common application, the World Wide Web of hypertext documents – is what some see as a flaw: transparency.Because the net was built to make it easy to reach any point from any other one without any central traffic directors, all traffic carries with it lots of information on where it’s from and where it’s headed to. Traffic on the Internet isn’t like a road full of cars, where each traveler knows the way from A to Z. Instead, it’s more like postal mail, where every package, no matter how big or small, carries a destination and return address to facilitate its movement. It’s all printed clearly on the front of the envelope and observable to any of the many hands it passes through on its way. The Internet is designed such that the removal of any one major exchange point won’t prevent delivery to the end, so long as there is another path. To achieve this, the data that travels it all has to be clearly barcoded.In other words, it’s pretty easy to see what you are up to on the web, and everyone from the government to advertisers is spying on you.Sure, there is encryption on the web. You can place an order on Amazon.com and be confident that your credit-card info and shipping address won’t be intercepted by a bad guy (assuming the computers on either end are secure, which isn’t always the case – but that’s an issue for another day). With the web’s ubiquitous “SSL” encryption, you are keeping your most critical information secure from prying eyes. And thanks to that, millions of transactions a day happen securely over the Internet. However, the fact that you are doing business with Amazon.com is still open for the world to see, scribbled on the outside of that virtual envelope. Anyone in the chain between you and Amazon can see that you were visiting that site… just not the exact information you exchanged.On top of that, SSL tends to be reserved for only the rare occasions of submitting personal information and credit-card numbers. The rest of your web traffic is sent across in the equivalent of resealable cellophane envelopes. Unless you go out of your way to ensure that you use secure services, virtually every web search you do, much of the email you’ve sent over the years, and other traffic across the Internet has been open for many eyes to see. Providers like Google have been fighting back, trying to secure more and more of their communications with customers – largely for their benefit, not yours, as competitors learned they could mine the data to learn what Google is up to – but still much of the web remains unencrypted, and in many cases your destination says as much about your intent as the details would have.That’s all fine and dandy if you’re just buying a Roku 3, as I did all of 10 minutes ago (gadgets are an addiction for me). But what if you’re doing something you’d rather not have seen by prying eyes?Even if you aren’t up to something that in your location might be deemed illegal, there are plenty of reasons to want to safeguard your privacy on the web just a little more closely. For example, many Internet service providers (ISPs) around the world log all the websites you visit, then sell that data – sometimes right along with your name and address – to advertising data companies. These companies then build profiles of your interests and habits (good or bad) to sell to the highest bidders – from catalog companies to ad networks… even political campaigns.So if you spend the better part of your day surfing the websites of gardening companies, don’t be surprised when a Smith & Hawken coupon shows up in the mail a few weeks later. And if you spend the day on a slightly more provocative set of sites – even if the sites are encrypted and you set your browser to “incognito” mode – somewhere there is a clear trail of where you’ve been and for how long you were there.It’s for reasons like these that various groups of enterprising Internet users have begun to come up with more secure alternatives to the standard World Wide Web, and secure layers on top of the Internet’s underlying communication protocols… in other words, software that lets you browse the web, IM, call, and more without any monkey in the middle knowing what you are up to.There have been many attempts over the years to create secure ways to use the net’s many features. Services like Hushmail aim to create an anonymous way to send and receive email. The problem with Hushmail, of course, is that if you go there using a normal browser, your ISP, the government, telecom backbones, the Hushmail’s ISP on the far end, and hackers along the way all know you were there. They cannot see exactly what you are doing without some serious hacking, but the paper electron trail is there.And the good folks at Hushmail – well, you have to trust them too, as they will know who you are by the IP address you came from, a piece of information normally traceable right back to your front door. That is a problem meant to be solved by connection brokers (proxies) like Cryptohippie. With these services, your traffic is encrypted and sent over to Cryptohippie, which then proxies your connection to the ultimate destination. Voilà – your ISP cannot see that you are headed to Hushmail versus any other service… just that you are connected to Crytohippie. Hushmail can only see that you came in from Crytohippie, not where you started.These spy-resistant networks let you surf the web pseudonymously. That’s not exactly anonymous, as then the other end couldn’t respond to you, a necessary component in communication. Instead, they both encrypt communications and pass them through complex networks of other machines, none of which know the complete path back to you. And – unlike with traditional end-to-end encryption solutions like SSL – even the other end cannot tell who you are or where you sent your information from. That way you can pass notes without anybody else knowing it… at least anybody but Cryptohippie.For most people worried about the profilers and casual spies, this is plenty of protection. However, there are big flaws in this approach that keep the most aggressive of users – including criminals – awake at night.First is the security of the organization that proxies your connection. While I am sure Cryptohippie does an amazing job managing the security of its systems, there is always the risk of holes. When you look at the sophisticated hacks of massive credit-processing companies, hospitals, power plants, even defense infrastructure, it’s not hard to imagine holes in the provider you choose. Plus, while they make attempts to keep data beyond the reach of any one jurisdiction, the owners/managers of the service are subject to arrest and coercion, after which point a network could be compromised without its users knowing it. A proxy service, however well-designed and run, is as techies describe it: a single point of failure.Second, while you are psuedonymized as an end user, your trading partner is not. The servers you visit are on what hackers call the “clear net,” and thus subject to the laws of the land in which they operate. With the modern age of global telecom companies and information-sharing agreements between governments, all the traffic in and out of those clear-net sites is subject to inspection.Thus, even if you are now pretty close to anonymous, chances are you won’t find someone on the other end who is. If you log in to a site that sells illegal drugs, for instance – like the common purveyors of little blue pills that fill the spam box on your email account – it is easy enough for the local government to find the owner, shut it down, and potentially raid its records to find you (assuming you made a purchase, rather than just browse the site).Or maybe you simply want to have a conversation over Internet Relay Chat (IRC) or a similar service – maybe about your forthcoming protest against the local politburo – and don’t want to worry about the security of the service hosting the chat.For those who really want to be beyond any prying eyes, the only answer is to create a separate network on top of the Internet that deals with those two big problems. A network out of the control of any single owner or manager, reducing the risks of hacking, internal tampering, and legal jurisdiction issues. Make the protocol self-managing and secure by default and you create such a place.Over the years, a number of laudable attempts were made to create such networks. One of the first to gain prominence was Freenet, a peer-to-peer network that in 2000 began offering an alternative to the web that provided double-end anonymity via a group-storage model. Everything hosted on Freenet is distributed among the peers in the network. So, instead of grabbing a web page from a central server, it is fetched in small pieces from dozens or hundreds of different hosts around the world, making censorship of the data at its source nearly impossible. Once something is on the Freenet, it cannot be easily removed. This works great for publishing or for file sharing, but makes transactions and commerce difficult, limiting its appeal.Freenet, like the Invisible IRC Project, was an additional feature to the Internet, but did not enable running all of the thousands of other services that run on top.From that need were born endeavors like Invisible Internet Project (I2P). I2P offers a secure protocol layered on top of the Internet to enable all sorts of individual services to run: web servers, alternative DNS servers (the centralized tools that turn friendly short names like www.ibm.com into routable addresses), IRC, email, file sharing, and much more.Within this network, “eepsites” which carry domains like www.site.i2p can be hosted anonymously. The network connection tools load up special cryptographic files that let them send data to and from these servers, all the while keeping the identity of both sides hidden from each other and from any spies in the middle.I2P has seen on-and-off development efforts for the past five years, and is host to some popular services like i2pmail.org, which lets you email to other I2P users and to the public Internet from one location, without giving up any privacy.But it has not seen anywhere near the success of Tor. Packaged as a single, simple installation for Mac/Windows/Linux, Tor is a combination of tools to make anonymous browsing possible.Tor includes a more secure version of the open-source Firefox web browser, which has all third-party plug-ins and many other features removed. That browser can only connect through the secure Tor network – an anonymized network like I2P that was born out of the US Naval Research Lab. This handy graphic from its website shows how it works at a high level:Just like Cryptohippie, it provides an anonymous connection to the Internet via a randomized proxy – only that proxy is built dynamically from the other member computers. This technique, called “onion routing,” removes the need for any central control, so a Tor-enabled browser can pseudonymously surf the clear net with ease. And it can do it all for free, as there are no multi-jurisdiction data centers to maintain or ISPs to worry about.Plus, it is also home to so-called “hidden services” – sites and applications that can only be reached while on the Tor network, and whose providers are completely anonymous. The easy-to-use Tor browser bundle has brought countless of users to the network just for its proxy features. But this influx also means many more customers for its hidden services, which are now exploding in number and popularity.The most popular – or at least best known among the commerce sites thus far – is the aptly named Silk Road. This early-’90s-esque eBay/Craigslist hybrid is a marketplace for anything you won’t find on the aforementioned clear net inspirations, from the odd to the downright illegal.Why cash? On Silk Road and the many other sites like it, the currency of choice is the digital cash-equivalent known as Bitcoins. Exchangeable for dollars, euros, and virtually any other global currency, these controversial digital coins make it possible to take credit cards out of the online commerce equation, allowing the secure digital equivalent of mailing envelopes of cash to a PO Box. Just like cash, there’s no way to trace them, and no recourse if they are lost or stolen – but they are also just as anonymous and free from regulation (for now).As the darknet grows in popularity, more is sure to follow as well… but so is more attention from the mainstream media and law enforcement alike. There are already editorials all over the web calling for finding the operators of these sites and shutting them down (and, just as many in support of their rights to sell whatever they wish). However, thanks to the technology developed to keep the members of the darknet hidden, this will be a difficult genie to put back in the bottle.Bits & BytesMicro 3D Printer Creates Tiny Structures in Seconds (MIT Technology Review)We’ve written much on 3D printing in these pages, but they have generally focused on technologies that print structures that are measured in at least centimeters (and all the way up to several meters). In this article from February of last year, we did mention a technology known as “two-photon polymerization,” which is able to 3D-print structures measuring just 20 micrometers. The problem with two-photon polymerization and other 3D microprinting technologies, however, is that it is mind-numbingly slow. Not anymore. A company called Nanoscribe has developed a tabletop 3D microprinter that can create complicated microstructures 100 times faster than previously possible. According to Julia Greer, professor of materials science at Cal Tech, the smallest features that can be created using the new Nanoscribe printer measure about 30 nanometers. For context, a human hair measures about 50,000 nanometers in diameter. The advanced throughput of the new Nanoscribe printer has commercial potential for making things like heart stents, microneedles for painless shots, parts for microfluidics chips, and scaffolds for growing cells and tissue.Promising Brain-Boosting Technique Has Drawbacks (MIT Technology Review)People have always looked for ways to rev up their brains… from chewing coca leaves to drinking coffee to popping Adderall and beyond. (We even wrote an article on the subject back in March 2012.) But all of these brain boosters have one thing in common (other than that most have potentially unpleasant side effects, including the possibility of addiction): a chemical reaction inside the body. What if you could bypass all of that and go right to the source? What if you could amp up brain power by directly zapping the organ with electricity? Well, it turns out you can. It’s called “transcranial direct current stimulation” (tDCS). With it, researchers have found that they can more than double the rate at which people learn a wide range of tasks. The author of this article tried it out. Not only did it make her a better shooter (a goal she normally would not have chosen), but it enabled her to turn off her inner monologue and really focus her mind for what felt like the first time in her life. Needless to say, she loved it. But new research suggests (not surprisingly) that zapping your brain with electricity could come with a cost. Electrically stimulating the brain may enhance memory and certain abilities, but impede with a person’s ability to react without thinking.[Ed. Note: The type of brain boosting referred to in the article above is called transcranial electrical stimulation or TES, which is very similar to tDCS, but can be painful to the person receiving the stimulation – so it’s not used as frequently today.]Electronic Wearable Pain-Relief Patch (Gizmag)Sticking with the electricity to the body theme, Thimble Bioelectronics is working on a patch based on transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) that is designed to adhere to a problem area to alleviate certain types of pain. Think of it as a smaller version of the Icy Hot patch that Shaq wears – but instead of chemicals, it uses low-voltage electrical stimulation.
Dear Reader, Before I get into what I think was the most valuable takeaway I got from our just-concluded summit in Texas, I thought I’d mention a couple upcoming events of interest: Doug Casey, Jeff Clark, Nick Giambruno, and Terry Coxon will be speaking at the Grand Cayman Liberty Forum, on Grand Cayman Island, November 16-20, 2014. For more information, please call Opportunity Travel at 800-926-6575 or +561-243-6276, or see the event web page. Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ) 34.79 41.13 41.53 Rock & Stock Stats Last Copper 3.07 3.19 3.31 TSX Venture 919.42 1,015.36 948.13 Gold Producers (GDX) 21.98 26.19 25.11 Silver 17.64 19.39 21.77 One Month Ago One Year Ago TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) 15,026.77 15,619.21 12,841.62 Silver Stocks (SIL) 10.93 13.51 13.37 Gold 1,218.30 1,284.30 1,324.10 Doug Casey will also be speaking at the New Orleans Investment Conference, October 22-25, 2014. Alan Greenspan will be there, too, among other famous and infamous luminaries. For more information, please see the event web page. And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out for those who could not make our summit that the full audio recordings of every session will be available for you to download, and/or to order a set of CDs to keep for future reference, in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned. I hope you’ll enjoy—and learn from—the sessions as much as I did. Sincerely, Oil 93.01 93.86 103.03 Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research
The chemical BPA isn’t living up to its nasty reputation.A two-year government study of rats found that even high doses of the plastic additive produced only “minimal effects,” and that these effects could have occurred by chance.The finding bolsters the Food and Drug Administration’s 2014 assessment that water bottles and other products containing BPA are not making people sick.”[It] supports our determination that currently authorized uses of BPA continue to be safe for consumers,” said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, in a statement issued by the agency.The study’s findings are at odds with claims by advocacy groups that exposure to BPA is associated with a wide range of health effects including cancer, obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.The study results appear in a 249-page draft report released Friday by the National Toxicology Program. The research was a joint effort involving the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics used to make products like water bottles and in the epoxy resins used to line some metal food cans. The chemical has long been known to weakly mimic the hormone estrogen, and in the 1990s scientists showed that tiny amounts could leach out of plastic products and get into our bodies.That touched off a heated debate about BPA’s safety.Critics of the chemical point to numerous small studies done by academic researchers. These studies, usually of rodents, have suggested that BPA can disrupt the body’s hormone system in ways that affect health.But studies that met the FDA’s Good Laboratory Practice standards have suggested that BPA is safe at levels encountered by consumers. So the agency has approved its use in most consumer products.The new draft report is part of an effort called CLARITY-BPA, which set out to “bridge guideline-compliant research conducted at the FDA with hypothesis-based research investigations conducted by academia on the toxicity of bisphenol A (BPA).” It describes only the research done by government scientists.In the study, rats were exposed to BPA during gestation as well as after birth. Doses ranged from levels similar to those experienced by consumers to doses thousands of times higher. Researchers looked to see whether the chemical had any effect on things like growth, weight and tumor development.And the scientists concluded that “BPA produced minimal effects.” They also said that the effects they did see appeared to be “within the range of normal biological variation,” meaning they could have occurred by chance.The draft report will go through a peer review process. It is scheduled to be discussed at a public meeting in April. A final report that incorporates research by academic scientists is expected in 2019 and will be used to guide FDA policy on BPA.But that report may be moot by the time it arrives.In response to consumer fears about BPA, plastic-makers are already marketing a wide variety of BPA-free products. And most food cans are no longer lined with BPA, according to the Can Manufacturers Institute. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Richard Lawler Next Article The company put a freeze on testing nationwide after last week’s fatal crash. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand –shares Image credit: Handout/Reuters via engadget Add to Queue Uber 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. This story originally appeared on Engadget Arizona Governor Suspends Uber’s Self-Driving Car Tests 2 min read March 27, 2018 As the investigation into last week’s fatal crash where an autonomous Uber SUV struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz., the state’s governor has suspended Uber’s permission to test its cars there. While the company had already halted testing nationwide after the test, this is a turnaround after Gov. Doug Ducey (R) had welcomed self-driving testing from many companies with open arms in a relationship that stretches back a few years. Just a few weeks ago Ducey updated his autonomous vehicle executive order to allow testing without a safety driver.In this crash, there was a test driver behind the wheel, but neither they nor the car reacted in time to avoid a woman who crossed in front of the car. In a letter to Uber, the Wall Street Journal reports Ducey said “my expectation is that public safety is also the top priority for all who operate this technology in the state of Arizona..The incident that took place on March 18 is an unquestionable failure to comply with this expectation.”In a statement to Engadget, an Uber spokerson said “We proactively suspended self-driving operations in all cities immediately following the tragic incident last week. We continue to help investigators in any way we can, and we’ll keep a dialogue open with the Governor’s office going forward.” Enroll Now for $5
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 26 2019New studies from Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University have found for the first time that HIV can be transmitted through the sharing of equipment used to prepare drugs before injection and that a simple intervention – heating the equipment with a cigarette lighter for 10 seconds – can destroy the HIV virus, preventing that transmission. The findings, used to inform a public health campaign called ‘Cook Your Wash,’ have helped reduce rates of HIV transmission in London, Ontario.The two studies published in Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (JAIDS) were initiated in 2016 to address a public health emergency in London, Ontario when HIV rates amongst injection drug users more than doubled.”This outbreak occurred despite London having Canada’s largest per capita sterile needle and syringe distribution program, a strong opiate substitution therapy program and a multidisciplinary HIV clinic,” says Dr. Michael Silverman, Lawson Associate Scientist and Chair/Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London. “We knew there must be a novel method of HIV transmission at play.”From August 2016 to June 2017, the research team interviewed 119 injection drug users to understand their injection behaviours and risk for HIV. They discovered that those who shared equipment used to prepare drugs for injection were 22 times more likely to contract HIV than those who did not, despite not sharing needles or syringes.The equipment includes a metal ‘cooker’ used to dissolve drugs in water and a filter used to draw the mixture, known as ‘the wash,’ into the syringe. Injection drug users reported reusing the equipment when consuming controlled-release hydromorphone, one of the most commonly injected opioids.”Controlled-release hydromorphone is expensive and difficult to dissolve. After the first wash, large amounts of the drug remain in the equipment which is then saved, shared or sold for future use,” explains Dr. Sharon Koivu, Associate Scientist at Lawson and Associate Professor at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. “While people know not to share needles, some use their own needle multiple times allowing for contamination of the equipment.”The team took their findings back to the research laboratory. They confirmed that, on average, 45 per cent of the drug remains in the equipment after the first wash. They not only confirmed the HIV virus can be transmitted between needles, cookers and filters, but also discovered that controlled-release hydromorphone has properties that promote survival of the virus.Related StoriesHIV persists in spinal fluid even after long-term treatment and is linked to cognitive deficitsStudy: HIV patients continue treatments if health care providers are compassionateAlcohol reduction associated with improved viral suppression in women living with HIV”The slow release properties in the drug can unfortunately stabilize the HIV virus,” says Eric Arts, PhD, Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. “For the first time, we were able to demonstrate that sharing equipment could lead to the type of HIV outbreak we observed in the community.”The team discovered that when the cooker is heated with a cigarette lighter for approximately 10 seconds, or until the wash bubbles, the virus is destroyed. They termed the technique ‘cook your wash.’They also confirmed that heating the cooker did not impact drug concentration. “We had to make sure that cooking your wash would not change the amount of drug being drawn into the syringe,” notes Dr. Silverman. “If too much drug was released, it could lead to overdoses. If any drug was burnt off or lost, the intervention would not be accepted by persons who inject drugs.”Partnering with local community organizations like the Middlesex-London Health Unit and Regional HIV/AIDS Connection, ‘Cook Your Wash’ was launched as a public health campaign.”The ‘Cook Your Wash’ campaign is one of the most exciting things to happen in our community,” says Dr. Koivu. “We learned from persons who inject drugs, took that information to the lab to develop a solution and then brought that solution back to the community in record time.”Dr. Silverman adds that local rates of new HIV cases fell dramatically after the introduction of the campaign. “It wasn’t the sole reason for the reduction in HIV rates as other interventions were also introduced, but the timing suggests it was part of the solution.”The studies build on previous research that shows sharing equipment can lead to the transmission of hepatitis C and controlled-release hydromorphone can promote the survival of bacteria that can cause endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart valves.The team hopes this research can be used to inform understanding and interventions in other centers facing HIV epidemics amongst persons who inject drugs. “We hope our findings can be used to reduce the incidence of HIV transmissions even further and that, one day, society will be HIV free,” says Dr. Silverman.Source: https://www.lawsonresearch.ca/researchers-verify-new-method-hiv-transmission
In this Dec. 17, 2018, file photo, a man using a mobile phone walks past Google offices in New York. Executives from Google and Facebook are facing Congress Tuesday, April 8, 2019, to answer questions about their role in the hate crimes and the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) Facebook to tighten live stream access after mosque attacks In this Jan. 9, 2019, file photo, media and guests mingle before a tour of Facebook’s new 130,000-square-foot offices, which occupy the top three floors of a 10-story Cambridge, Mass., building. Executives from Google and Facebook are facing Congress Tuesday, April 8, to answer questions about their role in the hate crimes and the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) Executives from Google and Facebook are facing Congress Tuesday to answer questions about their role in the spread of hate crimes and the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Citation: Facebook, Google face House hearing on white nationalism (2019, April 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-facebook-google-house-white-nationalism.html In March, Facebook extended its ban on hate speech to include white nationalists in addition to just white supremacists—a distinction civil rights groups had long called meaningless.Despite the ban, accounts such as one with the name “Aryan Pride” were still visible as of late Monday. This account’s self-description read, in part, “IF YOUR NOT WHITE friend ur own kind cause Im not ur friend.”In addition, on Wednesday a Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse.” This hearing will address the claim of perceived bias against conservatives by tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter.The companies have denied any such bias. While political figures from President Donald Trump on down keep levying the accusation, none have yet presented evidence of an anti-conservative or any other political tilt. Neil Potts, Facebook’s director of public policy and Alexandria Walden, counsel for free expression and human rights at Google, will speak to the House Judiciary Committee along with leaders of the Anti-Defamation League, the Equal Justice Society and others.The hearing was prompted by the March shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, when a gunman killed 50 people at two mosques and livestreamed the attacks on Facebook.The suspected shooter also published a lengthy post online that espoused white supremacist views.But controversy over white nationalism and hate speech has dogged online platforms such as Facebook and Google’s YouTube for years. The companies long extolled the value of free speech while trying to avoid acting as content editors, then were forced to deal with a resulting torrent of abuse directed at their users. In 2017, following the deadly demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, tech giants began banishing extremist groups and individuals espousing white supremacist views and support for violence. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Credit: Intel Citation: Navigating the winding road toward driverless mobility (2019, July 10) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-road-driverless-mobility.html 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. Explore further Regulation: Regulation is an area that receives too little attention. Companies deep in the making of SDSs know that it is the stickiest issue. Beside the fact that laws for granting a license to drive are geared toward human drivers, there is the serious issue of how to balance safety and usefulness in a manner that is acceptable to society.It will be easier to develop laws and regulations governing a fleet of robotaxis than for privately-owned vehicles. A fleet operator will receive a limited license per use case and per geographic region and will be subject to extensive reporting and back-office remote operation. In contrast, licensing such cars to private citizens will require a complete overhaul of the complex laws and regulations that currently govern vehicles and drivers.The auto industry is gradually realizing that autonomy must wait until regulation and technology reach equilibrium, and the best place to get this done is through the robotaxi phase.Scale: The third factor, geographic scale, is mostly a challenge of creating high-definition maps with great detail and accuracy, and of keeping those maps continuously updated. Geographic scale is crucial for series-production driverless cars because they must necessarily operate “everywhere” to fulfill the promise of the self-driving revolution. Robotaxis can be confined to geo-fenced areas, which makes it possible to postpone the issue of scale until the maturity of the robotaxi industry.When the factors of cost, regulation and scale are taken together, it is understandable why series-production passenger cars will not become possible until after the robotaxi phase.As is increasingly apparent, the auto industry is gravitating towards greater emphasis on their Level 2 offerings. Enhanced ADAS—with drivers still in charge of the vehicle at all times—helps achieve many of the expected safety benefits of AVs without bumping into the regulatory, cost and scale challenges.At the same time, automakers are solving for the regulatory, cost and scale challenges by embracing the emerging robotaxi MaaS industry. Once MaaS via robotaxi achieves traction and maturity, automakers will be ready for the next (and most transformative) phase of passenger car autonomy.The Strategy for AutonomyWith all of this in mind, Intel and Mobileye are focused on the most efficient path to reach passenger car autonomy. It requires long-term planning, and for those who can sustain the large investments ahead, the rewards will be great. Our path forward relies on four focus areas:Continue at the forefront of ADAS development. Beyond the fact that ADAS is the core of life-saving technology, it allows us to validate the technological building blocks of autonomous vehicles via tens of new production programs a year with automakers that submit our technology to the most stringent safety testing. Our ADAS programs—more than 34 million vehicles on roads today—provide the financial “fuel” to sustain autonomous development activity for the long run.Design an SDS with a backbone of a camera-centric configuration. Building a robust system that can drive solely based on cameras allows us to pinpoint the critical safety segments for which we truly need redundancy from radars and lidars. This effort to avoid unnecessary over-engineering or “sensor overload” is key to keeping the cost low.Build on our Road Experience Management (REM) crowdsourced automatic high-definition map-making to address the scale issue. Through existing contracts with automakers, we at Mobileye expect to have more than 25 million cars sending road data by 2022.Tackle the regulatory issue through our Responsibility-Sensitive Safety(RSS) formal model of safe driving, which balances the usefulness and agility of the robotic driver with a safety model that complies with societal norms of careful driving.At Intel and Mobileye, we are all-in on the global robotaxi opportunity. We are developing technology for the entire robotaxi experience—from hailing the ride on your phone, through powering the vehicle and monitoring the fleet. Our hands-on approach with as much of the process as possible enables us to maximize learnings from the robotaxi phase and be ready with the right solutions for automakers when the time is right for series-production passenger cars.On the way, we will help our partners deliver on the life-saving safety revolution of ADAS. We are convinced this will be a powerful and historic example of the greatest value being realized on the journey. Tesla eyes ‘robotaxis’ by 2020 with new self-driving technology (Update) The answers are likely a bit of each, which makes it a timely opportunity to review the big picture and share our view of where Intel and Mobileye stand in this landscape.Three Aspects to Auto-Tech-AIThere are three aspects to automotive-technology-artificial intelligence (auto-tech-AI) that are unfolding:Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS)Robotaxi ride hailing as the future of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS)Series-production passenger car autonomyWith ADAS technologies, the driver remains in control while the system intervenes when necessary to prevent accidents. This is especially important as distracted driving grows unabated. Known as Levels 0-2 as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), ADAS promises to reduce the probability of an accident to infinitesimal levels. This critical phase of auto-tech-AI is well underway, with today’s penetration around 22%, a number expected to climb sharply to 75% by 2025.Meanwhile, the autonomous driving aspect of auto-tech-AI is coming in two phases: robotaxi MaaS and series-production passenger car autonomy. What has changed in the mindset of many companies, including much of the auto industry, is the realization that those two phases cannot proceed in parallel.Series-production passenger car autonomy (SAE Levels 4-5) must wait until the robotaxi industry deploys and matures. This is due to three factors: cost, regulation and geographic scale. Getting all factors optimized simultaneously has proven too difficult to achieve in a single leap, and it is why many in the industry are contemplating the best path to achieve volume production. Many industry leaders are realizing it is possible to stagger the challenges if the deployment of fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) aims first at the robotaxi opportunity.Cost: The cost of a self-driving system (SDS) with its cameras, radars, lidars and high-performance computing is in the tens of thousands of dollars and will remain so for the foreseeable future. This cost level is acceptable for a driverless ride-hailing service, but is simply too expensive for series-production passenger cars. The cost of SDS should be no more than a few thousand dollars—an order of magnitude lower than today’s costs—before such capability can find its way to series-production passenger cars. Provided by Intel As we all watch automakers and autonomous tech companies team up in various alliances, it’s natural to wonder about their significance and what the future will bring. Are we realizing that autonomous driving technology and its acceptance by society could take longer than expected? Is the cost of investing in such technology proving more than any single organization can sustain? Are these alliances driven by a need for regulation that will be accepted by governments and the public or for developing standards on which manufacturers can agree?