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REMINDER Annual Town Census To Be Mailed Out This Month

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below is a reminder from the Wilmington Town Clerk’s Office:The 2019 Annual Census will be mailed in January. Residents are asked to complete and return the census form as soon as possible. Please call the Town Clerk’s Office at 978-658-2030 if you do not receive a census form by the end of January.(NOTE: The above message is from the latest Town Topics newsletter.)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 wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedNOTICE: Do You Want Your Street To Become An Accepted Way? Petitions Are Due To Town Hall By September 6In “Government”What Are Town Boards & Committees Talking About? (Week of August 25, 2019)In “Government”What Are Town Boards & Committees Talking About? (Week of September 1, 2019)In “Government”last_img read more

China Catches 680 Fugitive Criminals Through AntiCorruption Campaign

first_imgThe Chinese government announced on Thursday that it nabbed 680 absconding suspects accused of committing economic crimes, as part of its anti-corruption campaign.Of the 680 people captured, 117 were absconding for more than a decade and 390 surrendered.Calling the number of fugitives captured “unprecedented,” China’s Ministry of Public Security said that the 680 people were caught between July and December 2014 and the number was 4.5 times more than the number of people nabbed in 2013, according to Reuters.The Chinese government launched the campaign in July 2013 to hunt down corrupt businessmen and officials. Since then, the campaign has managed to clamp down on several corrupt officials in the public and private sector. More recently, Zhang Kunsheng, the assistant minister of foreign affairs was put under government scrutiny for an undisclosed reason. Kunsheng is the first senior diplomat to have been convicted, the Financial Times reports.Corruption in China has been a rampant problem. According to data provided by Global Financial Integrity, an NGO that works to curb illicit finances globally,  about $1.08 trillion flowed out of the second-largest economy of the world between 2002 and 2011 alone. China also topped the firm’s list of the most corrupt country.President Xi Jinping has vowed to clean the country of its corrupt officials. Even at the G20 Summit at Brisbane in November 2014, China came out as a strong supporter of anti-corruption policies.The Chinese president’s anti-corruption campaign has already started yielding results. A government official spoke on conditions of part-anonymity to NPR.org on the recent corruption crackdown and said that the government’s efforts really seem to be working.The official explained that after years of the “extra income,” people are suddenly seeing their incomes drop by 30 percent.”For instance, for every $16 a higher-level official embezzles, he can spit about $3 down to us lower-level officials. The problem now is upper-level people can’t embezzle the $16, so there’s no three bucks for us,” the official explained, somewhat agitated.last_img read more

SEBI to investigate Indian firms named in Paradise Papers

first_imgSEBIReutersThe Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Monday declared that it will investigate the Indian firms that were named in the Paradise Papers for alleged diversion of funds and lapses, PTI reported.As many as 714 Indians were named in documents leaked from two financial companies–Bermuda-based Appleby and Singapore-based Asiaciti– which help rich and influential people to channel their money to tax havens located in various parts of the world.Indian Express, in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung on the midnight of November 5 unveiled what they termed “the biggest leak of financial data.”SEBI and other agencies are already investigating some entities linked to businessman Vijay Mallya also named in Paradise Papers–the capital market regulator said it will check the leaked documents for any fresh disclosures, PTI quoted senior officials as saying.SEBI said it will first ask the companies listed in the papers to provide details about offshore entities and then match it with the firms’ filings to check for irregularities.Firms included in the Sun-TV-Aircel-Maxis case, Essar-Loop 2G case, SNC-Lavalin case in which Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had been named,  the Rajasthan ambulance scam whose probe was recently handed over to the CBI, the case of Ziquista Healthcare in which former Congress minister Sachin Pilot and P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram were early honorary/independent directors, are mentioned in the Paradise papers.Even prominent Indian corporate likes GMR Group, Jindal Steel, Apollo Tyres, Havells, Hindujas, Emaar MGF, Videocon, Hiranandani Group are also listed in the papers.Besides corporates, the data reveals details of individuals like Amitabh Bachchan who allegedly acquired shares in a Bermuda company before the Liberalised Remittance Scheme was introduced in 2004.Minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha is also named in the records because of his past association with the Omidyar Network. Another BJP Rajya Sabha member and founder of Security and Intelligence Services (SIS) RK Sinha is also in the Malta list.last_img read more

Pakistan doctor who helped track bin Laden likely to be released

first_imgA roadside vendor sells newspapers with headlines about the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, in Lahore. Reuters file photoPakistani prison authorities have moved the jailed doctor believed to have helped the CIA hunt down Osama bin Laden, his attorney said on Saturday, speculating it could be a prelude to his release.The continued imprisonment of Dr Shakil Afridi has long been a source of tension between Pakistan and the United States, which cut military aid over accusations Pakistan continues to shelter Taliban militants fighting US and Afghan soldiers across the border in Afghanistan.A jail official in the northwestern city of Peshawar told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Afridi had been transferred to Adiala prison in Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad, but said the reasons were unclear and could simply be security-related.Afridi’s lawyer, Qamar Nadeem, confirmed the transfer of his client but said he was not sure where he was now. Judicial officials could not be reached on Saturday, nor could embassy officials for the United States, which has for years called on Pakistan to release Afridi.Afridi was accused of treason after word spread he had helped the CIA collect genetic samples of the bin Laden family, paving the way for a US Navy SEAL raid in 2011 in the town of Abbottabad that killed the al Qaeda leader accused of plotting the 11 Sept 2001 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people.He was arrested days after the U.S. operation – which Pakistan called a violation of its sovereignty – and charged with aiding terrorists.Afridi was sentenced to 23 years’ jail for financing terrorism. That conviction was overturned in 2013, but he is still serving time for other terrorism-related convictions, his lawyer said.He also faced a murder trial related to the death of a patient more than a decade ago.However, the layer said Afridi had recently had his latest sentence reduced to seven years in a clemency action, and had served about that amount of time already.“So I think he can be released very soon,” Nadeem told Reuters.There were no other immediate indications of any release in the works, however.A US State Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, called on the Pakistani government to ensure Afridi’s safety.“We are aware ýof reports that Dr. Afridi has been transferred to another prison, and call on the Government of Pakistan to take all necessary measures to ensure Dr. Afridi’s safety,” the official said.“We don’t have anything else at this time and would refer you to the government of Pakistan as to the reasons for his transfer,” the official added.In January 2017, Pakistan’s then-law minister said the country would not release Afridi under any U.S. pressure.“Afridi worked against the law and our national interest, and the Pakistan government has repeatedly been telling the United States that under our law he committed a crime and was facing the law,” Zahid Hamid was quoted as saying at the time.last_img read more

Japan MP stirs controversy saying mums should care for toddlers

first_imgJapanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and Koichi Hagiuda, a senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is seen in this file photo. Photo: CollectedJapanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s government came under fire Tuesday after a senior MP suggested only women should raise children under three and another urged newly-weds to have at least three kids.Abe’s government has made “womenomics” — or boosting women’s participation in the workplace — a priority, as the country’s workforce drops amid a rapidly ageing population.But Koichi Hagiuda, a senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), touched off a firestorm on Sunday when he said men rearing children might be “unwelcome” for them.”Children need an environment where they can stay with their mothers … if you ask infants under three which parent they like more, the answer should be mama, even though there are no firm statistics to support it,” said Hagiuda, 54, the LDP’s executive acting secretary-general.Those remarks came after another MP, Kanji Kato, doubled down on comments suggesting young couples should produce at least three children, saying he had received popular backing.But the leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party lashed out on Tuesday, saying the comments were “intolerable.””There are many people who cannot give birth to children despite wanting to and there are many single-father families,” Yukio Edano said. “Don’t they notice these facts?”Sumire Hamada, from rights group Asia-Japan Women’s Resource Center, told AFP that Hagiuda’s comments were “out of the question.””What happened to the government’s pledge to build a society where men can participate in child-rearing?”These comments overturn what the government has said, and I’m sure many fathers have been angered” by Hagiuda’s “rude remarks,” she said.Another campaigner said the remarks could encourage men to persist in the long working-hours culture endemic in Japan.Tetsuya Ando, founder of the organisation Fathering Japan, told AFP: “When he said children under three like mothers more than fathers, that’s unacceptable.””That kind of remark puts pressure on working mothers to stay at home while removing fathers’ rights to rear children,” said Ando, 55, himself a dad-of-three.last_img read more

Teacher Story Slam Educators Share Their Take On Innovation Challenges

first_imgThis series was produced with the support from the Education Writers Association’s Reporting Fellowship. Things Were Different ThenPaul Castro is the superintendent of a charter school system here in Houston called A+UP. He talked about how approaches to education have changed over the years, starting with a conversation he had with his mother about her experience in school in Corpus Christi and ending with a recent encounter with one of his students. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen Michael StravatoAnita Wadhwa speaks at Houston Public Media’s Story Slam in Houston, Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017. (Photo by Michael Stravato)On Wednesday, Nov. 8, teachers from around Greater Houston gathered to share stories of their experiences in education during a teacher story slam event at Houston’s Furr High School.For the past year, News 88.7’s education reporter Laura Isensee has been reporting on Furr High School, which is trying to come up with a new model for high school thanks to a $10 million grant from the XQ Institute. But – aside from Furr – plenty of educators from other schools across Greater Houston have ideas for how to improve education and how to improve their students’ lives.This event was a chance to hear from some of them and learn about their experiences both as people and with their students. Nine different educators got onstage to tell their stories.Below, you can check out a slideshow, plus videos of some of the storytellers and audio from several more who were featured on Houston Matters.– / 6 00:00 /06:47 Listen X No Such Thing As Bad KidsAlbert Wei is a former teacher who works at the education nonprofit ProUnitas. He talked about becoming a government and economics teacher at Sharpstown High School right out of college, at the age of 22. He says both his fellow teachers and students gave him a specific warning when he started his job. 00:00 /13:26 Listen X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Seeing Students As HumanWriter Leslie Contreras Schwartz talked about her experience teaching writing to some elementary school kids. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /10:00 Sharelast_img read more

Snapchats Parent Lays Off 100 Staffers Mostly in Advertising Group

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15,In late 2017, according to Khan, “we asked senior leaders across Snap to look closely at their teams to ensure they had the right resources and organizations to support their missions. As a result, new structures have been put in place for content, engineering, sales and many other parts of Snap.” Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, is handing out the pink slips again: It’s laying off about 100 employees, about 3% of the total workforce, with the sales staff bearing the brunt of the cuts.Snap confirmed the layoffs, first reported by Bloomberg. It’s the social media and messaging company’s latest round of cutbacks, after letting go 120 personnel in its engineering group earlier this month and laying off 22 staffers from its content team and other divisions in January.The workforce reductions come after two years of rapid hiring, and are the result of a strategic review Snap conducted at the end of last year. Snap had 3,069 employees as of the end of 2017; a spokesman declined to provide a current headcount.“These changes reflect our view that tighter integration and closer collaboration between our teams is a critical component of sustainably growing our business,” Imran Khan, Snap’s chief strategy officer, said in a statement. “While this process has required us to make some really tough decisions, we believe that rigorously ensuring our team structure always aligns with our goals will make us stronger.” Popular on Variety In late 2017, according to Khan, “we asked senior leaders across Snap to look closely at their teams to ensure they had the right resources and organizations to support their missions. As a result, new structures have been put in place for content, engineering, sales and many other parts of Snap.”Meanwhile, Snapchat has broadly rolled a major redesign of the app in the first quarter of 2018, and many users really dislike it. Disgruntled users include celebs Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen, whose recent tweets about dumping Snapchat appear to have fueled Snap stock drops. Separately, Rihanna slammed Snap for an ad that ran in the app that made light of domestic violence.Snap CEO Evan Spiegel warned investors last November that there’s “a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we don’t yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application.” For the fourth quarter of 2017, Snap posted its best quarter as a public company after launching its IPO in March 2017. The company topped analyst expectations and reported the biggest net user additions — adding 8.9 million daily active users in Q4 — in more than a year. However, Snap’s net loss for the period doubled versus a year earlier, to $350 million for the fourth quarter of 2017.last_img read more

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Comp Jumps 54 in 2017 to 89 Million

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg last year took home a pay package worth $25.2 million, up 2.6%, per the filing. Her 2017 comp included $21.1 million in stock and $2.7 million for personal security.Zuckerberg earlier this week testified before Congress, in Senate and House hearings that each lasted about five hours, to discuss the company’s mishandling of data that improperly ended up on the servers of Cambridge Analytica. That’s the British political data-analytics firm that conducted work for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, which Facebook says bought data on up to 87 million users from a third-party researcher.Earlier this year, Zuckerberg sold $357 million worth of Facebook shares to fund his philanthropic organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, after selling nearly $1 billion in stock last year.center_img Mark Zuckerberg, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Facebook, had a compensation package of $8.9 million in 2017, up 54% from the year prior — which was almost entirely for personal security and use of a private jet, the company said Friday.His salary for 2017 was just a token $1, as it has been since 2013, and he didn’t receive any stock awards or bonus. As of March 31, Zuckerberg owned 401.5 million shares of Facebook stock, currently worth $6.6 billion. He controls 59.9% of the board voting power of Facebook.Zuckerberg’s pay package for 2017 comprised $7.3 million for personal security — up 50% from $4.9 million in 2016 — and $1.52 million for use of a chartered plane.His total comp was nearly all “costs related to personal security for Mr. Zuckerberg at his residences and during personal travel pursuant to his overall security program and costs related to personal usage of private aircraft,” Facebook said in a regulatory filing.last_img read more

Manned vs Unmanned Space Exploration Part 2

first_imgWatching the Apollo landings on the moon as a child I could hardly have imagined I was seeing the end of an era – that of manned exploration of space. Shuttle trips to low earth orbit not withstanding; the human race has stopped reaching for the stars – with manned missions, of course. Now, the new explorers are robots. Will they be the ultimate space traveler? Or will man, with all faults and flexibility, take back this role? Read Part 1 Citation: Manned vs. Unmanned Space Exploration (Part 2) (2005, November 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2005-11-unmanned-space-exploration_1.html Right: Japan’s failed Nozomi (Planet B) missionCrewed missions are more costly, but also more effective. Human calibrated experiments setup up on the moon by Apollo missions functioned perfectly for 8 years until shut down for fiscal reasons in 1977. Robotic missions, while they may carry similar instruments, are incredibly difficult to place and calibrate. Ruggedness wins over accuracy so instruments are less sensitive and deliver fewer details in the data they collect. Robots must rely on redundancy to deal with any problems while astronauts can creatively solve almost any problem. The Hubble Space telescope was repaired by teams from the Space Shuttle making it one of the most successful missions ever. Geologists make up the most vocal group of proponents for manned missions. While probe data is useful, they contend one mission with a live geologist could answer all their questions in a few weeks, while endless robotic probes may never be able to provide a clear picture of Mars. A geologist can apply all his or her senses to quickly make determinations as to what to study and what to ignore. Robotic probes could easily miss important clues and waste time on unproductive lines of exploration and study. A human still has much acuter vision than even the best video cameras and, more importantly, can process data with to the solar system’s best supercomputer – the human brain – on the spot.It’s understood the shuttle has outlived its usefulness and new programs are needed. Even NASA Chief Administrator Michael Griffin has suggested the development of the Space Shuttle and International Space Station was a mistake by saying, “It is now commonly accepted that was not the right path. We are now trying to change the path while doing as little damage as we can.”Scientists aside, public opinion has done much to keep manned spaceflight alive. Poll shows a resounding 80% or more people support continuation of manned programs like the shuttle on and the International Space Station despite accidents and lack of worth as space labs. Humanity sees itself conquering space directly, not by proxy.Indeed, support for astronauts extends well beyond simple polling. People are spending money to go into space as tourists. Chapters of the Mars Society exist in almost every major country – all pushing for manned missions with goals like the human exploration of Mars.“Although some aspects of exploring and colonizing Mars still need refining and fine tuning, the lion’s share of the technology and the understanding of the human condition are already in existence. The major missing factor is simply the realization and the commitment necessary to begin. The people of the Mars Society are working to educate and convince the political powers, the industry leaders, and you and me. We all have a stake in this.” – Dr. Robert Zubrin, author “On to Mars 2”, founder Mars Society. 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. Low-cost Moon mission puts India among lunar pioneers Part 2The Case for Human Spaceflight While no scientist can deny the value of robotic space exploration, many feel the need for complementary manned programs. Most agree that, for basic survey missions, robotic probes produce dramatic results. It’s in field study that scientist crewed missions could do better. Ironically, it is the same people who run the unmanned space missions that are clamoring for human crewed missions to follow them up.Part of the problem is the limited abilities and scope of each robotic mission. To save money and reduce failure rates to a minimum, robotic probes are stripped down to essentials. Although these probes gather important data, much of it is ambiguous for lack of the probe’s ability to do follow up tests. Today’s robots cannot start up new lines of investigation. Raw data is useful but often raises more questions. Even worse, the data is often completely unexpected leaving the scientists at a loss to explain the results. They need further missions to run different tests and, the cornerstone of all good science – verification by repeatedly testing the same area over time.This repeated testing of results becomes difficult with unmanned mission failure rates. Take the Mars exploration programs: out of 31 missions by the USSR, Russia, the US and Japan since 1960, all but 10 failed and only 5 met their original goals. Compare that to the high success rates of astronaut crewed missions – almost 90%. Right: FMars habitat undergoing tests at Devon Island, Nunavut, CanadaPresident Bush has even stepped up with a promise finish the International Space station by 2010 – only five years late – and for a manned mission to the moon by 2020. Much political wrangling will need to be done, however, if the funding is to materialize. Safety problems with the shuttle program continue to dog NASA as well, further putting in doubt these goals.It will take more than just the words of a few politicians to keep manned spaceflight alive. The will of the people needs to be felt through their representatives on Congressional budget committees – we have the money and the technology. Do we have the will?One avenue now being actively explored by space enthusiasts is private funding. Corporate spending in spaceflight has been grater than governments since 1996 when $77 billion dollars was invested. Private industry has more than 1,200 launches – mostlycommunications satellites– before 2007. Like in the days of early pioneering, private initiative is becoming the mainstay of space exploration. The question is: can manned space exploration pay? After all, corporations are about by profit for their shareholders.We must go to space – if not now, later, as the living area and resources on Earth dry up. Will we be on the forefront of this exploration, living in space and adapting it to our will like the hardy pioneers of old? Or will we stay at home to see these new horizons via virtual reality – only moving in to our new space bound homes when they are safe and comfortable?by Chuck Rahls, Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.com Explore furtherlast_img read more

Large scale qubit generation for quantum computing

first_img Pfister is a physics professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Working with Matthew Pysher, Yoshichika Miwa, Reihaneh Shahrokhshani, and Russell Bloomer, Pfister is using quadripartite cluster entanglement in order to make a breakthrough in the scalability for the number of qubits available for use in a quantum computer. The work is presented in Physical Review Letters: “Parallel Generation of Quadripartite Cluster Entanglement in the Optical Frequency Comb.”“There are several ways to make qubits with light,” Pfister explains. “One is to use a resonant mode of a cavity. A single laser cavity has millions of harmonic modes, and if you can design it, your scalability problem is solved.”The team at the University of Virginia made use of an optical frequency comb in their design to emit light fields that to be used as qubits. “We excite a great number of them. These are Qmodes, and can be used as qubits. I can control where I put them, and then also entangle them,” Pfister says. “We use a two-photon emission medium, putting one photon in a given frequency, and the other in another. The Qmodes are well separated in frequency.”Since the set up allows for entanglement, it is possible for Pfister and his colleagues to create a cluster entangled state designed especially for quantum computing. “Our design has correlations for all the qubits, and you can do measurements on them and implement quantum gates for one-way quantum computing,” Pfister says.Pfister points out that quantum computers of this sort cannot actually replace classical computers. However, quantum computers can be used for processing some types of information faster. “This is an attractive model for experiments that need cluster states. The big deal is that we got all these little quantum registers, and the entanglement is remarkably consistent.”The next step, Pfister says, is to entangle the already-entangled qubits into a bigger register. “It requires additional complexity to entangle them all together, and we’re on our way to this. We have shown that our control of entanglement is pretty good, but we need even better control to make entangled sets bigger than four.”Pfister thinks that the results of this experiment will result in increased interest in Qmodes of light. “People will start thinking differently about Qmodes of light,” he says. “We are driving the field, and hopefully we’ll make them on a single large scale, rather then make many small scale ones. Once that happens we will be ready to start with quantum processing.”“There are a lot of tools available right now to make qubits, and this is one of them,” Pfister continues. “Our experiment shows a great potential for scaling up the number of entangled qubits that can be used in quantum processing. We are another step closer.” More information: Matthew Pysher, Yoshichika Miwa, Reihaneh Shahrokshahi, Russell Bloomer, and Olivier Pfister, “Parallel Generation of Quadripartite Cluster Entanglement in the Optical Frequency Comb,” Physical Review Letters (2011). Available online: link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.030505 Measuring light and vacuum fluctuations from a time flow perspective (PhysOrg.com) — “Many people are trying to build a quantum computer,” Olivier Pfister tells PhysOrg.com. “One to the problems, though, is that you need hundreds of thousands of qubits. So far, scalability has been something of a problem, since generating that many qubits is difficult.” Explore furthercenter_img Copyright 2011 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Large scale qubit generation for quantum computing (2011, July 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-large-scale-qubit-quantum.htmllast_img read more

Explore the Taj Mahal online

first_imgNow people around the world can explore certain national Indian monuments online through Street View on Google Maps.The 360-degree online imagery initiative includes a paranomic imagery of 30 iconic Indian heritage sites, including the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and Agra Fort. This initiative taken by Google and ASI is to assist in making 100 of India’s most important heritage sites more accessible for the world to experience. These monuments which are over a 100 years old can now be explored virtually sitting in any part of the world through Google Maps and Google Cultural Institute. Through this initiative Google aims to help share more of the Indian culture and heritage with people at home and abroad. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Commenting on the initiative, the Union Minister of Culture, Chandresh Kumari Katoch said, ‘Today, this partnership with Google makes it possible for billions of people across the world to see and explore our magnificent heritage, to take a walk at the Rock Cut Jain Temple, to marvel at the Nagarjuna Konda Buddhist Stupas and to relive history in Fatehpur Sikri. With the release of these new panoramic images, we aim to create a dynamic, immersive online experience by which people within India and around the world can understand and engage more of India’s diverse cultural heritage.’Explaining the purpose behind this step Google’s Vice President and Managing Director, India said, ‘Google is deeply committed to helping preserve and showcase cultural heritage across the world. India is unique in terms of the sheer wealth of heritage and iconic historical monuments, and it has been our privilege to work with the ASI in collecting new 360-degree photos of 30 Indian heritage sites.’last_img read more

Intrepid to donate 10 of bookings launches agent fam contest

first_img Tuesday, November 29, 2016 Posted by Michael Smith TORONTO — In celebration of Giving Tuesday today, Intrepid Travel is donating 10% of all tour bookings to help aid four community projects around the world. Running through Dec. 20, the campaign applies to bookings on over 1,000 of the company’s small-group tours.According to the company, this is the first time it has taken this type of philanthropic approach to discounting, a concept that aligns with the brand’s mission to help consumers see the world through “real, immersive experiences while leaving the destinations they visit in a better position than it was found.”The four projects are currently supported through Intrepid Group’s not-for-profit, ‘The Intrepid Foundation’, and represent a mix of initiatives that the foundation supports through over 50 projects around the world.The projects that will benefit from the campaign include: Kusimayo (Peru), which works to improve the living conditions of children and adults affected by poverty in Puno; Blue Dragon (Vietnam), which provides vocational training and educational support to the impoverished; Pollinate Energy (India), a social enterprise that provides access to sustainable and affordable energy for India’s urban poor; and Friends of the Asian Elephant (Thailand), the FAE hospital that helps rehabilitate elephants once used in tourism entertainment venues.“The holiday season is a time of reflection and giving back,” said Leigh Barnes, North America Director for Intrepid Travel. “While we remain committed to supporting local communities throughout the year, this campaign allows our travellers to help create meaningful impact in the destinations we visit.”Globally recognized as a leader in responsible travel, Intrepid has been carbon-neutral since 2010 and has donated over $5 million through its foundation since 2002. Intrepid Travel hopes to donate $150,000 through the Travel for Good campaign, making it the largest fundraising initiative for The Intrepid Foundation in North America.Canadian agents can experience an Intrepid tour first-hand and win a spot on an upcoming fam. To find out more details, watch Travelweek’s latest video with Leigh Barnes.For more information on Intrepid Travel and the Travel for Good campaign, please visit: intrepidtravel.com/us/travel-for-good. Tags: Intrepid Travelcenter_img Intrepid to donate 10% of bookings, launches agent fam contest Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

By Vedran Vuk Casey Research Recently my paren

first_imgBy Vedran Vuk, Casey Research Recently, my parents were considering purchasing some real estate. As the financial professional in the family, they asked me, “What do you think? Will it go up in value? You know… not now, but eventually?” I’ve heard the same thing over and over again. In response, I shared my opinion: “Would you pay the current market price to live there even if its value never increased?” If the answer is yes, buy the property.” Essentially, is the house worth it as a home, not as an investment? In the past few decades, the concept of home ownership has been completely turned on its head. Previously, homes were considered a very long-term consumption good. Do you think anyone in the 18th, 19th, and prior centuries ever considered tripling the value of their homes by retirement time and selling them to move beachside? In the vast majority of cases, such ideas never crossed their minds. Yet, somehow along the way, this became a reasonable investment expectation. Even today, home buyers still make their purchases with the hopes of escalating prices. But are homes really wise investments? Consider the difference between your house and an investment such as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) stock. At a major company, the opportunities can be truly limitless. Apple can produce cashflows from computers, iPods, iPads, and future innovations that are just dreams and concepts today. If the local market is oversaturated, Apple has the option of spreading out all across the world. As a result, Apple’s stock price has gone from $17 in 2005 to $540 today. Can your house do the same? Unless there’s a hyperinflation ahead or your house is located in the New York City or London of the 21st century, the answer is no. Why? Because your house is ultimately a product – and products have an upper bound to their prices. To understand this difference, there’s no need to drag out the Case-Shiller Index or analyze complex statistics. Suppose one bought a single-family house over a decade ago for $200K. At the peak of the housing bubble, the price reached $500K; to his joy, the owner sold it and moved thereafter to retire in Florida. Can the house’s price go higher from here? With Apple, the stock price can just keep climbing with greater profits and innovations. But is that true with real estate? For the sake of argument, let’s say that prices do keep rising. Eventually, the second owner sells to another buyer for $1 million a decade later. Guy number two also peacefully retires in bounty. Well, where does that leave the third guy? Unless real salaries make an incredible jump in the same time period, no one will be able to afford the home next. The median US worker earning $51K won’t be selling such a house for retirement; instead, it will take him until retirement to afford it. In many ways, this “investment” more closely resembles a Ponzi scheme. (Yes, Ponzi schemes work: for those who get in early and get out – as the recent real-estate bubble demonstrated.) Ultimately, there’s an upper bound to housing prices – they can’t continue rising perpetually with no end. The same is true of any product. At $300 for the newest iPod Touch, Apple might be doing well, but at $10,000 per unit, there likely would be very few buyers. As a homeowner, you’re not holding a company that can innovate, cut costs, and enter new markets. You’re ultimately holding a product which must be either sold to the next user or leased to the next renter. Houses are a good created for a specific use – to put a roof over one’s head. They are not magical money machines. Previous generations understood this very simple concept. One built a home as a place to live and escape the elements – and worse yet, the squalor of tenement housing. Homes were not retirement tools, but rather long-term goods. Unfortunately, policy makers still view homes as investments and are always worried about low prices. But is it really healthy to play another round of the same Ponzi scheme? Suppose the Fed manages to inflate housing prices again. There will be another boom in which some folks will make a tremendous amount of money. Eventually, housing prices will hit an unrealistic upper bound. Again, home prices will violently drop, resulting in homeowners deeper underwater than now. Of course, the banks will again take a hit as the mortgage holders. As long as real incomes trail the rise in housing prices, there will ultimately be a correction of some sort. So, do I think the current real estate market is just fine? No, of course not; but I don’t think shocking houses prices back into a bubbly stratosphere is the solution. Ideally, I’d like to see increasing housing prices, but only at the pace of real growth in society’s wealth. Over the last few decades, houses grew in value for good reasons and bad. On the good side, the economy had been expanding. On the bad side, the Fed’s low-interest-rate bubble artificially inflated housing prices beyond what made sense for our economy to sustain. If US companies such as Apple are creating greater abundance in society, it makes sense for housing prices to grow with greater wealth. But, bringing those prices higher on a wave of printed cash does not make us wise investors, but rather willing participants in a Ponzi scheme where someone else will be left holding the bag. Though that might be an attractive solution for those underwater on their mortgages, it’s no solution for the economy as a whole – nor for the next buyer. [Treating houses as investment vehicles – a strategy pushed by federal government policy – is one part of the complex conditions that have created the current American debt crisis. Start learning about it, so that you can be among those who not just survive, but thrive during the challenging times ahead.]last_img read more

But the most important takeaway from these charts

first_img But the most important takeaway from these charts, besides the fact that the prices are being actively managed, is that there are no spike lows at any of the daily fixes—the two in gold and one in silver—to be found on either chart.  It was the same in September as well. ‘Da boyz’—having been caught with their fingers in the cookie jar at the p.m. fix—have changed tactics, which is more than obvious in these charts. Here’s what the 5-year Intraday Average Gold Price Movement chart for gold looks like, complete with the spike lows at both the a.m. and p.m. fixes.  And as you  can see from the two charts above, this pattern has been replaced by something new—but the ‘fix’ is still in. Sponsor Advertisement Silver got taken to the woodshed at the Sunday night open—and was down almost 45 cents at its low, which came around 8:30 a.m. Hong Kong time. [This appeared to be a new low tick to the downside in silver, but the 6-month silver chart in The Wrap indicates otherwise.] From that point, silver rallied slightly into positive territory in a rather choppy fashion until the price got capped starting shortly before 1 p.m. EST.  It got sold down a bit at that point—and back into negative territory—before trading sideways in the 5:15 p.m. close. The low and high tick were recorded as $16.22 and $15.74 in the December contract, which was an intraday move of more than 3 percent. Silver finished the Monday session at $16.145 spot, down 3 cents from Friday’s close.  Net volume was very decent at 37,000 contracts, of which 9,000 or so came before the London open. I was happy to see the precious metal shares do as well as they did yesterday, so it’s obvious that there was some serious bottom fishing going on—and I’ll be more than interested to see how they perform going forward. And as I write this paragraph, the London open is twenty minutes away—and every rally attempt in gold during the Far East trading session got sold down before it could get very far—and a the moment the gold price is basically unchanged from Monday’s close in New York.  As usual, silver got sold down at the open in New York on their Monday evening—and is still down about two bits on the day.  Platinum got hit for $20 in the first couple of hours trading—and is still down 9 dollars at the moment.  Palladium is back below the $800 mark at $796. Gold’s net volume is just over 27,000 contracts—and virtually all of it is in the December contract, so it’s a given that it’s mostly of the HFT variety.  Silver’s net volume is already north of 7,000 contracts. The dollar index, which had been down a bit more than 20 basis points, hit its 87.08 low tick at exactly 1 p.m. Hong Kong time—and has been in rally mode ever since—and is only down 5 basis points at the moment.  Here’s the U.S. Dollar Index chart for the first two hours or so of trading on Tuesday—and you can see the precise timing of the low tick, so you know that this wasn’t free-market forces at work. Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE MKT: UEC) is pleased to announce that the final authorization has been granted for production at its Goliad ISR Project in South Texas.  As announced in previous press releases, the Company received all of the required authorizations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including an Aquifer Exemption which has now been granted concurrence from EPA Region 6. Amir Adnani, President and CEO, stated, “We are very pleased to have received this final authorization for initiating production at Goliad. Our geological and engineering teams have worked diligently toward achieving this major milestone and are to be truly commended. We are grateful to the EPA for its thorough reviews and for issuing this final concurrence. The Company’s near-term plan is to complete construction at the first production area at Goliad and to greatly increase the throughput of uranium at our centralized Hobson processing plant.” Please contact Investor Relations with questions or to request additional information, info@uraniumenergy.com. The gold stocks traded around either side of unchanged until about 11:45 a.m. in New York—and then chopped higher into the close, with the HUI finishing the Monday trading session up 2.68%.  Here’s Nick’s chart. There was some serious bottom fishing going on Gold got hammered right out of the gate at 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, hitting a new low for this move down in the spot market at 8 a.m. Hong Kong time.  It rallied from there, hitting its high tick at the noon silver fix in London—and that was it for the day, as the price got sold down progressively lower during the New York trading session. The low and high ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,173.40 and $1,161.00 in the December contract. Gold was closed at $1,165.30 spot, down $7.60 on the day.  Net volume was very much on the lighter side at  108,000 contracts, with 30,000 of those coming before the London open. Platinum followed a similar pattern, with the low tick coming about 8:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, followed by the high of the day which came at the noon silver fix in London [1 p.m. Zurich time]—and from there it traded quietly lower in the close.  Platinum was closed up 3 dollars on the day. I have a very decent number of stories for you today, so I hope you have the time to read the ones that interest you. There remain these two parallel universes: First, there’s “The Truman Show” world: Japan’s Kuroda has essentially nothing to do with the great U.S. bull market. It is instead driven by robust economic fundamentals, including strong GDP and corporate profits. The U.S. is simply the best place in the world to invest – and American equities are a friggin’ slam dunk, all-in buy. King Dollar is confirmation of all that is good in the U.S. But the alternative universe is a totally different world: Kuroda is one of a very select group of leading central bankers working desperately to sustain a runaway global financial Bubble. There’s an historic experiment in “money” printing that is at the brink of failure. Around the world there are speculative financial market Bubbles of unprecedented proportions at risk of bursting. History’s Greatest Credit Bubble already has serious cracks. Moreover, the incredible widening gap between (The Truman Show) securities prices and deteriorating (bursting Bubble) fundamental prospects boosts the likelihood of a global market accident. – Doug Noland, The Prudent Bear: 31 October 2014 It’s obvious that despite the lows of last Friday, that JPMorgan et al are still around, as they set a new low price tick for [spot] gold in early Far East trading on their Monday morning—and came very close in silver.  Another of the ‘Big 6’ commodities that set a new low engineered price for this move down on Monday, was West Texas Intermediate Crude—and you can see that in its 6-month chart posted below. Today, at the 1:30 p.m. EST close of Comex trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report—and as I pointed out in yesterday’s column, if we get through yesterday and today with no significant price moves to the upside in either gold or silver, the COT Report and companion Bank Participation Report should certainly be one for the record books.  The Monday price action was more than helpful in that regard—and now we just have to get through today. Of course I’d be delighted if the precious metals blasted off regardless—and to hell with what these reports may or may not show—but since we’re this close, I’d be happy if they held off for another nine hours or so. Of course with both gold and silver this far below their respective 20, 50 and 200-day moving averages, the price could remain comatose for many weeks or months before the Managed Money traders are forced to cover as moving averages are penetrated to the upside.  However, it could happen anytime for other reasons and, as always, the timing is unknown. And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 5:20 a.m. EST, gold is still chopping around unchanged—and silver has rallied a bit, but is still down 17 cents from yesterday’s close.   Platinum is heading lower again—and almost back at the low it hit in early morning trading in the Far East.  Palladium is about unchanged.  The dollar index hasn’t changed much, either. I wish I knew what to expect for the remainder of the Tuesday trading session, but I haven’t a clue.  So nothing will surprise me when I check the charts later this morning. See you tomorrow. The dollar index closed late on Friday afternoon in New York at 86.91—and then rallied in fits and starts up until its 87.40 high that came about ten minutes before the 1:30 p.m. close of Comex trading.  From that point it chopped a few basis points lower into the close, finishing the Monday session at 87.29—up another 38 basis points. In silver, the October low tick came at 11:15 a.m. EDT—and the high tick was at shortly after 1 p.m. Hong Kong time/1:00 a.m. EDT. Palladium had a tiny down/up move on Sunday night as well, but from there it traded almost ruler flat until shortly before 10 a.m. in Zurich.  From there it rallied to its high at the noon silver fix in London [1 p.m. Zurich time]—and from there it sold off a few bucks going into the London p.m. gold fix—and then traded ruler flat once again into the 5:15 p.m. EST close.  Palladium finished the Monday trading session right on the $800 the ounce mark, up 9 bucks from Friday. It was the same story for the silver equities up until 10:45 a.m.—and then they took off as well, but rallied much more convincingly, with most of their gains coming by 1 p.m. EDT, which is the point at which the silver price  ran into “all the usual suspects”.  From there they traded flat into the close, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up a very decent 4.82%. The next photo is one that a reader sent me—and if you’re not familiar with this bird, it’s an Andean cock-of-the-rock. Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart on it own so you can see the rather questionable price ‘action’ around 1 p.m. EDT. The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 3 of the November delivery month showed that zero gold and 22 silver contracts were reported for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Monday trading session showed that gold open interest in November is now 65 contracts, up ten contracts from yesterday’s report.  Silver’s November o.i. increased by 14 contracts to 133 contracts, minus the 22 contracts posted for delivery tomorrow. There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday—and as of 7:36 p.m. EST yesterday, there were no reported changes in SLV, either.  But when I was editing this column at 3:55 a.m. EST, I was amazed to see that an authorized participant had added another 1,150,108 troy ounces. As I sort of expected, there was another big sales report from the U.S. Mint to start off the new month.  They sold 12,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—2,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—and 625,000 silver eagles.  If I had to bet ten bucks, I’d bet on the fact that these sales were made on Friday, but were shoved into the new month.  If they’d been included in October sales, they would have pushed silver eagles sales well over the 6 million mark—and further into record territory—and that would just never do, would it? There were no reported in/out movements in gold over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday but, once again, there was very decent in/out activity in silver, as 592,820 troy ounces were reported received—and 912,591 ounces were shipped out the door.  Virtually all of the activity was at the CNT Depository and Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia.  The link to the silver activity is here. Here are the 2-minute tick charts for the October intraday price movements for both gold and silver.  Once you average out all 23 trading days in October, the underlying price pattern becomes obvious and, as is always the case, they both have ‘shape’ to them.   A freely-traded commodity in anything would not have a chart pattern that looked like this. In gold, the low came exactly an hour after the 6 p.m. open in New York—and the high tick of the day came a minute or so after 12 o’clock noon Hong Kong time/midnight EDT in New York. The first photo is the current situation at the lava flow at Pāhoa Village on the ‘Big Island’ of Hawai’i.  “A breakout occurred from an inflated lobe on Sunday morning, November 2, 2014. Scattered breakouts like this, which took place about 200 meters (218 yards) upslope of the stalled leading edge, have been common over the past few days—and are filling in low points behind the flow front.”  I borrowed the photo and the text from the Hawai’ian Volcano Observatory website yesterday—and the ‘click to enlarge’ feature on this photo is worth using here.] And just for curiosity sake, here are the gold charts for the 23 trading days in October, with a different colour for each day—“rainbow spaghetti soup” is what Nick called it.  It’s hard to believe from looking at the multicoloured mess below, that when the 2-minute ticks from each trading day are averaged out over the entire October trading month, that the price management scheme is laid bare—but it is.  And it’s even more obvious in the 60-month/5-year rolling chart above.last_img read more

The Medicaid expansion promoted by the Affordable

first_imgThe Medicaid expansion promoted by the Affordable Care Act was a boon for St. Mary’s Medical Center, the largest hospital in western Colorado. Since 2014, the number of uninsured patients it serves has dropped by more than half, saving the nonprofit hospital in Grand Junction more than $3 million a year.But the prices the hospital charges most insured patients have not gone down.”St. Mary’s is still way too costly,” says Mike Stahl, CEO of Hilltop Community Resources, which provides insurance to about half its nearly 600 employees and their families in western Colorado.”We are not seeing the decreases in our overall health bills that I believe the community overall should be feeling,” Stahl says.He and other employers in Colorado hoped that, as hospitals saved millions of dollars in charity care from the Medicaid expansion, the institutions would pass along some of those savings, reducing the prices consumers pay as well as the overall health costs paid by employers.A recent state report finds that didn’t happen.While hospitals are financially better off since the expansion, they have begun shifting even more of their costs to commercial health plans, according to the report.The state researchers note the average hospital profit per each patient discharged rose to $1,359 in 2017 — twice the amount in 2009. For patients covered by commercial and employer-based health plans, the hospitals’ profit margins per discharge rose above $11,000 in 2017, compared with $6,800 in 2009.Julie Lonborg, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Hospital Association, says the state agency that did the study was biased against hospitals and had a “predetermined conclusion.” Hospitals in the state are not doing as well as the report suggests, Lonborg says, noting that a third of them face operating losses.And some insurers, she says, have not passed along to their customers the savings hospitals give the insurers.Hundreds of thousands of state residents gained coverage under the Medicaid expansion, lowering Colorado’s uninsured rate by half to 7 percent. In addition, hospitals’ uncompensated care costs dropped by more than 60 percent, or more than $400 million statewide.Kim Bimestefer, executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing, says that hospitals have used their expanded revenues to focus on adding services that provide high profits or expanding operations in wealthier areas of the state that often duplicate what is already available.”They used those dollars to build free-standing [emergency departments], acquire physician practices [and] build new facilities where there was already sufficient capacity,” she says. “Hospitals had a fork in the road to either use the money coming in to lower the cost-shift to employers and consumers or use the money to fuel a health care arms race. With few exceptions, they chose the latter.”Hospital’s profit margin doublesIn written testimony to the state legislature last year, Colorado officials pointed to St. Mary’s as an example of a hospital with high overhead and operating costs — factors they said can lead to higher insurance premiums.The facility’s profit margin was above 14 percent from 2015 to 2017, according to the latest available tax returns. Those figures are nearly double St. Mary’s margin before expansion and twice the margin of the average U.S. hospital in 2017, according to American Hospital Association data.Colorado is the first state to analyze whether hospital cost-shifting — often referred to as a “hidden tax” on health plans — dropped after Medicaid expansion.But a conservative think tank in Arizona says hospitals there did not cut prices following that state’s Medicaid expansion.”Not only did [it] fail to deliver on the promises of alleviating the hidden health care tax, it allowed urban hospitals to increase charges on private payers dramatically,” says a report from the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute.Some critics point out that hospitals are also benefiting because Congress has repeatedly delayed a key ACA provision that would have cut federal funding to hospitals that have large numbers of uninsured patients and patients on Medicaid.The continuation of the program — called Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments — has provided Colorado hospitals a total of $108 million.How outside costs may factor inThe hospital industry disputes reports that it has merely pocketed profits from Medicaid expansion. Hospitals say many factors influence how much they charge employers and private insurers, including the need to upgrade technology and meet rising costs of health care and drugs.Lonborg of the state hospital association says hospitals need to shift costs to private employers to make up for lower prices paid by Medicare and Medicaid, and to make up for care hospitals continue to give free of cost to the uninsured.But, she adds, other factors, including the need to keep up with rapid population growth, have kept costs from dropping.Janie Wade, chief financial officer for SCL Health, the Broomfield, Colo., hospital chain that owns St. Mary’s and seven other facilities, says its costs are higher because it has sicker and older patients than most.She says looking at just the hospital profit margins on St. Mary’s IRS-990 form is not a fair assessment, because it doesn’t take into account costs that are outside the hospital, such as its 93 physician practices. The hospital lost nearly $12 million on those doctor practices in 2017, she says.Across all operations, the hospital’s operating margin fell from 9.5 percent in 2015 to 4.5 percent in 2018, she adds.Wade says the hospital used some of its new revenue to purchase 14 physician practices in recent years. That was designed, she says, not to ensure they send their patients to St. Mary’s but to help keep those doctors in the city so they can staff important services such as trauma and maternity care.”Medicaid expansion was a good thing and, of course, we supported it,” Wade says.But she points out that the hospital loses money on Medicaid and Medicare, which together cover more than three-quarters of its patients.St. Mary’s has sought to keep price increases for commercial insurers and employers to no more than the general inflation rate and has made rate even lower for some, according to Wade. If employers’ rates have been rising more than that, she says, it’s likely because insurers have been adding price increases.Officials from Rocky Mountain Health Plans, one of Grand Junction’s largest insurers and recently acquired by UnitedHealthcare, would not comment.David Roper, who used to oversee employee benefits for the city of Grand Junction and now heads a local employer coalition, says the state report confirms what local businesses leaders have long known. “St. Mary’s has no incentive to reduce its costs,” he says.Edmond Toy, a senior adviser for the nonprofit Colorado Health Institute, says the argument that pursuing the ACA policy would help lower insurance premiums “broadened the appeal of Medicaid expansion … and conceptually it makes total sense.”But, he notes, health care analysts have long debated whether the higher prices hospitals charge people with private insurance are designed to make up for the losses they take on with Medicare, Medicaid and uninsured patients.The state report shows how hospitals in heavily consolidated markets don’t have to cut prices as their bottom line improves, Toy says. “They can charge whatever the market will bear.”Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the Center for Health and Research Transformation at the University of Michigan, says hospitals have considerable bargaining power in many places because of health system consolidations and their purchases of many physician practices.”It does appear Colorado hospitals have a strong negotiating position with payers, or payers there are not negotiating very effectively,” Udow-Phillips says. “Hospitals are not going to give it away.”Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service and editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2019 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

New Zealand Geoffrey Prentice Universal Peace F

first_imgNew Zealand , Geoffrey Prentice: Universal Peace Federation New Zealand’s commemoration of the UN Day of Peace 2014 was another step up in precision and professionalism, generating a common heartfelt impact on a room full of diverse citizens. The UN theme, “The right of peoples to peace” resonated from start to finish with speakers and performers linked seamlessly in a multi-faceted reflection of the universal human longing that which surpasses all understanding. Proceedings began with twelve representatives of major religions offering prayers and pouring water into a central bowl to symbolize the common thirst for peace found in the scriptures of all the world’s faiths.12 Representatives including Anglican, Roman Catholic, Ba’hai, Hindu, Sikh, Islamic, Interfaith, Unificationism, Latter Day Saints, Society of Masons, Scientologist and Buddhists hold vials of water prior to pouring into a common bowl and praying for peace.UPF’s Gerald Trass MCed the two hour programme through a well-choreographed mix of delightful entertainment and serious reflective messages from a series of brief but dynamic speakers. Mr Geoffrey Fyers (secretary of UPF NZ) back-grounded the History of the United Nations declaration of this observance. Mr Shale Chambers, representing the local government of Auckland as Chairman of Waitemata Local Board, spoke of the proud efforts the city has made in the cause of peace, proclaiming Auckland a city of peace on 15 December 2011 as part of the mayoral vision of becoming the world’s most liveable city.The Maori king, Tuheitia, sent his official spokesperson Tukuroirangi Morgan, to recount the Kingitanga’s historical quest for peace in the face of a colonial government intent on facilitating settlement of Britain’s south sea acquisition. This was to be at the expense of indigenous concerns over land and loss of culture. A clash that brought British troops from India and other outposts to a war that resulted in the confiscation of1.2 million acres of the most fertile land on the island. The same government expected young men, a generation or two later, to fight for King and Empire in the Great War. Citing her grandfather’s immortal words of burying his patu (war club) in the ground as a gesture of peace, intended as a legacy for all future descendants not to take up arms ever again, ‘Princess’ Te Puea, forbade her young men to enlist. The right to peace involves access to resources as well as respect for freedom of religion, culture and political structure. Mr Morgan expressed satisfaction that Tainui, the main tribe of the Kingitanga, were making very good progress after their Treaty of Waitangi settlement with the N.Z. Government, and their compensation payout had multiplied to over one billion dollars in assets. A result profoundly impacting the lives of Waikato iwi.Entertainment was particularly delightful at this Peace Day celebration as two groups of children performed. Firstly, a crisp and faultless martial arts routine (from Tongil Moo Do Unified Martial Arts) and then from a small troop of Chinese traditional dancers of Parnell District School (The Macang Dancers). The young people’s presentations were complimented by a Filipino Trio singing ‘My Prayer’ and “You Raise Me Up” plus Jeffery Nathan and son sharing rousing sing along tunes.A 40- member Choir of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also gave a powerful and soul- moving performance while singing on their seats. Rev Julius Gicole, the UPF Director summed up the meaning and purpose of the day with a passionate exposition of UPF’s principles. This provided a suitable context for the awarding of Ambassador for Peace Certificates to 10 Aucklanders who have been active in “living for the sake of others” in and beyond their respective communities.These presentations were crowned with a lovely rendition of the Global Peace Festival Song, “Where Peace Begins” by Joongi Kim and Shim Gicole. This stirring song was repeated by the whole gathering once the Peace Walk from Jubilee Hall to the front of the Auckland War Memorial Museum was completed and balloons inscribed with peace messages were liberated into the evening sky. The event was concluded with tributes to all organisers and participants from Mrs Felicity Cairns, president of the Women’s Federation for World Peace, co sponsors with Universal Peace Federation and Family Federation for World Peace and Unification of UN Peace Day 2014.last_img read more

A disabled university lecturer was forced to live

first_imgA disabled university lecturer was forced to live in a residential home for older people for seven months because of a crisis in accessible housing that is “spiralling out of control”, according to a new report.Dr Chetna Patel was moving from Scotland to Sheffield for a new university job, but was unable to find any suitable homes for her access needs as a wheelchair-user.Dr Patel said: “I was desperate and needed to move and take up my post; a social worker came up with the solution of my staying in a residential home for the elderly. “I had no other option and so accepted it. The home did its best but it was a battle to keep my motivation up as I lost much of my independent life whilst in there.”Her case is just one of many collected by the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK while compiling its Breaking Point report on housing for disabled people in England.It says the crisis in accessible housing is “spiralling out of control”, and has called for central government and local authorities to lead a “revolution in the building of accessible homes”.In another case, John Harrison, from Winsford, Cheshire, has had to reply on his wife to wash him for more than a year, because their bath and shower are completely unsuitable for him.   He has already paid £16,000 to have his kitchen adapted, but cannot afford another £8,000, which the council says he has to contribute towards installing a wet-room.He said: “I have quite simply exhausted my funds in adapting my home, and I cannot afford to put up a further £8,000 to change the bathroom.“This is really taking its toll but without support from the council and without sufficient personal finance, I’m unable to make the adaptations that I need.”In some parts of the country, there are more than 100 disabled people and their families waiting for accessible accommodation, according to councils that responded to freedom of information requests submitted this summer by the charity.One council, Croydon, had 176 people on its waiting list for wheelchair-accessible housing at the time it responded, but not a single wheelchair-accessible property available.Another, Harlow, had 166 people on the waiting-list, and again not a single suitable property available, while Blackpool had 258 people waiting and only five homes available.Muscular Dystrophy UK told MPs and housing leaders this week at a meeting in parliament of the all-party parliamentary group for muscular dystrophy that the lack of wheelchair-accessible housing was having a “devastating” impact on disabled people and their families, with some racking up huge debts and being forced to spend their life savings to adapt their homes.Others were having to struggle to live in properties in which they could not use bathrooms and kitchens.Some councils will not even allow a resident to join the housing waiting-list until they have lived in the area for five years.More than a third of individuals and families surveyed said they had found themselves in serious debt because of having to fund adaptations to their homes themselves, while 70 per cent of those questioned said they were in properties that did not meet their mobility needs.Fleur Perry (pictured), who herself waited for two years before she was offered a suitable property by her local authority, says in the report: “Though housing providers have legal obligations to consider the needs of local people with disabilities, there seems to be no consistently used method to accurately assess the number of accessible homes the community needs.“There are also no figures showing just how much it costs the NHS to treat people injured by accidents due to inaccessible housing, nor the short or long-term social care costs that result from this.“I consider myself lucky to have found my little bungalow in just over two years; I have heard of people waiting several times this long.”Muscular Dystrophy UK has called on the government to increase the maximum amount paid out under the disabled facilities grants (DFG) scheme – the current maximum of £30,000, which is means-tested for adults, has not risen since 2008 – and ensure that this continues to rise in line with inflation.It also wants to see all local authorities consider discretionary top-up payments – which they are legally allowed to make – for disabled people who cannot fund all of their adaptations through a DFG.The freedom of information responses showed more than a third of councils had made no discretionary payments.And the charity says that local authorities should ensure that at least 10 per cent of all new homes within property developments are wheelchair-accessible, and that all new homes are built using the Lifetime Homes standard.The charity says it is also concerned that some local authorities do not have their own accessible housing register.A Department for Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said: “The government is committed to helping disabled people live as comfortably and independently as possible in their own homes.“We have invested just over £1 billon through the DFGs since 2010 to fund adaptations to homes.“This has helped thousands of disabled people live safely at home, funding around 170,000 adaptations, but we are always listening to the sector to see how we can best provide for those most in need.“We are also getting Britain building again with more than 570,000 new homes built since April 2010.”last_img read more

SYZYGY Awarded IAB Gold Standard 11

first_imgDigital agency SYZYGY has been awarded the new IAB Gold Standard 1.1 certification, making it the first agency in the world in the Support category and second in the world in the Buyers category to receive the certification.The IAB created a ‘Gold Standard for Digital Advertising’ to combat the billions in ad budgets lost in the failure to focus on positive experiences for real customers and appropriate content for brands. The standard has three simple aims: to reduce ad fraud, to improve digital advertising experience and to increase brand safety.Marketing Technology News: Blue Prism Collaborates with Microsoft to Deliver Free Cloud Trial on AzureThe standard certifies that SYZYGY has met the most stringent commitments to reducing ad fraud through the complete support and implementation of the ads.txt initiative across its content and platform. It has increased brand safety by holding and promoting a JICWEBS DTSG Brand safety certificate and improved the digital ad experience for users by demonstrating a commitment to the standards set by the Coalition for Better Ads.Marketing Technology News:Aussie Anthony Capano appointed Managing Director, International at Rakuten MarketingPhil Stelter, Global Chief Media Officer at SYZYGY, said: “The fact that we are one of the first agencies to be awarded the new IAB UK Gold Standard 1.1 is a testament to our commitment to raising standards across the industry. Relationships with our clients are nothing without trust and transparency, and as the industry shifts and evolves, these factors will only grow in importance. By supporting the IAB’s focus on improving the media landscape through initiatives like this, we are helping to curb ad fraud, foster an environment of trust for brands and encourage the industry to focus once again on effective interactions with customers’ precious and limited attention.”Marketing Technology News: ANSYS Welcomes Lynn Ledwith as Vice President of Marketing Digital advertisingIAB GoldNewsPhil StelterSYZYGY Previous ArticleConnekt Technologies Launches Turn-Key Commerce Destination Featuring Aggregated Merchandise from Numerous Entertainment FranchisesNext ArticleMGID Adds Sellers.json and Support for OpenRTB SupplyChain Object to Drive Increased Trust and Transparency SYZYGY Awarded IAB Gold Standard 1.1 MTS Staff WriterJuly 16, 2019, 9:30 pmJuly 16, 2019 last_img read more

Apple CEO leaves investors dangling on future dividend hike Update

In this Sept. 12, 2017, file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook, shows new Apple Watch Series 3 product at the Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple campus in Cupertino, Calif. Cook is leaving shareholders in suspense about whether the iPhone maker will use its windfall from a tax cut on overseas profits for a big boost to its quarterly dividend. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) Apple’s next big thing will likely be a large dividend increase financed by a tax cut on its overseas profits, but the famously secretive company isn’t giving any clues about how big it might be. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Apple CEO leaves investors dangling on future dividend hike (Update) (2018, February 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-apple-ceo-investors-dangling-future.html Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. CEO Tim Cook had an opportunity to address the issue Tuesday at Apple’s annual meeting, when a shareholder asked if the iPhone maker might double its current quarterly dividend of 63 cents per share.Not surprisingly, Cook dodged the question, rising from his seat because he said it suddenly felt “a little hot.” He all but guaranteed that Apple’s board will raise the dividend in April, as it has done each year since the company reinstated the shareholder payments in 2012. But didn’t giving any other specifics.Apple’s annual dividend increases have ranged from 8 to 15 percent since the payment was reinstated at a split-adjusted 38 cents per share nearly six years ago.Cook dismissed the possibility of a one-time payment known as a special dividend, saying he didn’t think that form of distribution “really helps the company or shareholders.”Before fielding eight shareholder questions during the 75-minute meeting, Cook also disclosed that Apple’s music streaming service now has 36 million subscribers as it nears the third anniversary of its debut. Spotify, the music streaming pioneer that Apple is trying to upstage, has more than 70 million subscribers.Apple is hoping to gain more ground on Spotify with an internet-connected speaker called the HomePod. The device is being touted as a high-fidelity speaker that can also serve as a digital disc jockey that learns listeners’ tastes so it can automatically play songs that they will like from Apple’s vast music-streaming library.Investors have been anticipating a substantial increase in Apple’s dividend since the company announced plans to take advantage of a temporary tax break championed by President Donald Trump to bring an estimated $245 billion in overseas cash back to the U.S. That represents most of the $285 billion in cash that Apple held at the end of last year.The hopes for a large dividend increase and a coinciding commitment to buy back large amounts of Apple stock has helped buoy the company’s shares. That despite a disappointing revenue forecast for the current quarter ending in March that stoked concerns about waning demand for the company’s marquee product, the iPhone X.None of the shareholders at the meeting pressed Cook about how the iPhone X is faring or about Apple’s handling of software updates that secretly slowed down older iPhones, triggering customer complaints and government inquiries inside and outside the U.S.The sweeping tax reforms passed by Congress in late December included a provision lowering the rate on companies’ overseas cash to 15.5 percent, below the 21 percent paid on profits made in the U.S. Before those changes, corporate profits held outside the U.S. were taxed at a 35 percent rate when brought back into the country—a levy that prompted Apple and other major tech companies such as Microsoft and Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet Inc., to amass huge sums of money in overseas accounts.Cook defended Apple when queried by a shareholder who wondered why a company that generated a $48 billion profit in its last fiscal year should benefit from reforms that some have derided as corporate welfare.He said the previous system was unfair because it imposed unreasonably high tax rates on overseas profits after Apple had already paid taxes on the money to foreign governments. If the rate on overseas profits had remained unchanged, Cook said Apple and other U.S. companies would have left the money sitting in foreign accounts.”This was so bad for America,” he said.Prodded by the lower rate on foreign profits, Apple will pay a $38 billion on its repatriated cash and use some of the money to hire 20,000 more U.S. workers and build a second corporate campus in the country to supplement its sprawling headquarters in Cupertino, California.”We are saying we would like to pay (the tax) and for paying we would like to use the residual profits to invest in this country,” Cook said. IBM boosting quarterly dividend by 16 percent read more