2 Children Baptized At The Parish Of The Transfiguration

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The following two children were baptized and joined the Parish of  the Transfiguration on Sunday, August 18, 2019:Nicholas Joseph RichardsonIsabella Maria RizzoCongratulations to these children and their families.(NOTE: List is from the latest St. Thomas/St. Dorothy church bulletin. The cover photo is from Airgoz Aerial Photography.)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… Related4 Children Baptized At The Parish Of The TransfigurationIn “Community”2 Children Baptized At The Parish Of The TransfigurationIn “Community”5 Children Baptized At The Parish Of The TransfigurationIn “Community”last_img read more

Khaledas Gulshan office vandalised

first_imgThe supporters of three BNP leaders who fails to get party nomination stage demonstration at party chairperson Khaleda Zia`s Gulshan office on Saturday evening. Photo: Prothom Alo.Supporters of some BNP leaders who did not get party nomination to contest upcoming polls on Saturday evening attacked party chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office and staged demonstration there, reports UNB.Several hundred supporters of BNP international affairs secretary ANM Ehsanul Haque Milon (Chandpur-1), Taimur Alam Khandaker (Narayanganj-1) and Selimuzzamn Selim (Gopalganj-1) gathered in front of Khaleda’s office around 5:30pm and started demonstrating there.They chanted slogans against BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir for what they said depriving their leaders of nominations.The protesters demanded the party nominate their respective leaders as candidates reviewing its decision.At one stage, they tried to break the two gates of the office.They also hurled stones at the office, damaging its windowpanes.Fakhrul, BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Nazrul Islam Khan and some other party leaders were there in the office during the demonstration.Earlier in the day, Ehsanul Haque Milon’s supporters kept BNP central office under lock and key for nearly an hour protesting the party’s decision not to pick him its candidate for Chandpur-1 seat.The protesters unlocked the BNP central office’s main gate around 2:15pm giving the party high-command a 12-hour deadline to review the decision on the party’s final candidate for Chandpur-1 constituency.last_img

Subpoenas Pile Up For Michael Flynns Documents

first_imgSubpoenas for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn piled up Wednesday as the House intelligence committee pressured Flynn to cooperate with its investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.The prospect of new congressional subpoenas came one day after the committee’s Senate counterpart served its own subpoenas to Flynn’s businesses. The FBI also faced a deadline Wednesday to turn over memos written by former FBI Director James Comey detailing his discussions with President Donald Trump. One memo reportedly shows Trump pressuring Comey to shut down the bureau’s investigation into Flynn’s Russia ties.During a breakfast Wednesday, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the House intelligence committee’s top Democrat, told reporters that Flynn declined to turn over records to the committee, and he said it will be “following up with subpoenas.” Schiff said the subpoenas will likely go out this week. He did not elaborate on what materials the committee was seeking.The attempts to compel Flynn to produce documents were just another sign of the intense focus on Trump’s former national security adviser, who was fired in February after the White House said he misled administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about his contacts with Russian officials.In addition to the congressional scrutiny, Flynn is currently a target of an FBI counterintelligence investigation, a federal probe in Virginia and a Defense Department inspector general’s inquiry into the propriety of foreign payments he accepted.In a letter to the Senate committee on Monday, Flynn invoked his Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination in deflecting the panel’s subpoena for a wide array of documents and information related to his contacts with Russians.Flynn’s attorneys argued that the Senate’s request was too broad, and if Flynn were to comply, he could be confirming the existence of some documents and, in effect, providing testimony that could be used against him. They also said an “escalating public frenzy” against Flynn and the appointment of a special counsel had created a legally perilous environment for Flynn to provide the information.In response, the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday sent a letter narrowing its request for documents. It also issued subpoenas seeking documents from two of Flynn’s businesses— Flynn Intel Group Inc., a consulting firm owned by Flynn and his business partners, and Flynn Intel Group LLC, a company he used for other projects, such as his paid speeches.Flynn could choose to contest the congressional subpoenas seeking his business records, but legal experts said he would not prevail.Solomon L. Wisenberg, a Washington defense lawyer who worked as a prosecutor during the Starr investigation of President Bill Clinton, said both of Flynn’s corporate structures would likely have to turn over all business records sought by the committee. “The Fifth Amendment privilege does not apply to business entities, period,” he said, adding that both Supreme Court and District of Columbia Circuit Court rulings would weigh on the committee’s side.If the FBI misses its deadline to turn over memos and other materials documenting Comey’s interactions with the president, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has said he would subpoena them, if necessary. Chaffetz is the chairman of the House government oversight committee.The FBI declined comment. Sharelast_img read more

Congressman Clyburn Warns of Capitulating Fraud of Black Inferiority

first_imgCongressman James Clyburn (D-S.C.) is no stranger to the struggle to reconcile America’s constitutional allegiance to liberty and democracy with legislative efforts that promote its selective application. From his humble beginnings in Sumter, S.C. to political dexterity as the third highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, Clyburn has led an extraordinary life. In his new memoir, Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black, Clyburn details his “Saul to Paul transition,” which was precipitated by witnessing legendary civil rights attorney Matthew Perry in court as a child. He noted that this encounter would ultimately lend itself to his political ascension and President Barack Obama describing him as, “one of a handful of people who, when they speak, the entire Congress listens.”Written, in part, to document his own experiences in government, Clyburn said he also wanted to encourage the many young African Americans he has encountered not to give up when obstacles seem insurmountable.“I don’t think anyone would deny that young African Americans back in the early part of the last century were schooled and brainwashed into believing that there was something inferior about being Black. Blackness is not a condition that anybody ordered for themselves and therefore not a condition to which anyone has license to assign value,” Clyburn told the AFRO in an exclusive interview Nov. 21. “My mother and my father made sure that I would feel that way and I’ve tried to make sure my children feel that as well. I open this book with a letter to my children – and those similarly challenged – that they ought to conduct themselves a certain way despite the challenges they may face.”But in an age where segments of the American population believe a pseudo-euphoric shift has occurred, eliminating the need for race-based legislation or consideration—or even civil rights organizations like the NAACP and the Urban League, Clyburn faces both apathy from those most in need and an under-appreciation for collective engagement.“There is part of the book that talks about roles. Years ago as a student I was arrested for a protest and the person responsible for raising bail money, Reverend Newman, was also arrested unbeknownst to me. It was three days before we got out of jail. I was in the same suit, shirt, and underclothes during that three days. What was supposed to have been a three hour stay in jail for protesting, turned into three days. I determined at that time that we would never get our roles confused again,” Clyburn said. “Everyone has their roles and we have to play our roles. People tend to assign worthiness to different roles; however, we all have critical roles to perform and none is more important than the other. If I do my job in the Congress and you do yours on the city council and the other person does theirs on the county council or legislatures, the job gets done. We all have roles to play and they must be played well.”Clyburn told the AFRO that convincing the average citizen to become civically engaged, however, has become the real conflict. The eye-opener for him came during November’s mid-term elections when he encountered a woman who took issue with the manner in which her children were being educated, but refused to vote.“I tried to explain that her participation would ensure she could elect better people to the school board, but she said she would not get ‘mixed up’ in voting. That is where our real battle is. She did not want to get mixed up in the political process,” Clyburn said.Similarly, Clyburn pointed to the 6 percent voter turnout in Ferguson in November to note that there is much work to be done to help citizens understand the connections between failure to exercise suffrage rights and suffering social inequalities.“In 2012 when Barack Obama was running for re-election, 70 percent [of Ferguson residents] went to vote for him, but it is in these local elections that people don’t want to participate—where the police chief, school board, and those impacting their day-to-day experiences are elected to office. Ferguson is 67 percent Black, but many are buying into this narrative of inferiority. We have to take some responsibility for some of this stuff taking hold. I can’t blame others for trying to perpetrate a fraud; I have to blame us for capitulating that fraud. This 2014 election says to me that we may not be drinking the Kool-Aid, but we are sipping it. I’ve got to warn everyone before we start gulping it or we are going to relive some of what we thought we had fought and won years ago.”last_img read more

Microsofts privacybydefault in IE10 sparks opposition

first_img(Phys.org) — The Internet browser headache in having to initiate an opt-out exit from advertisers who keep landing on your pages because they think they have a plausible target has turned a corner. Microsoft has moved to turn the practice upside down, or rather inside out. Users will have to opt-in to invite advertisers in the latest version of Internet Explorer, IE10. Microsoft has made the ‘Do Not Track’ feature, which stops companies from being able to trace a user’s web behavior, the default setting. In doing so, Microsoft has made IE10 the only web browser to present the tracking feature as an opt-in, not an opt-out, proposition. Explore further © 2012 Phys.Org More information: ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/ In announcing the on-default DNT policy for IE10 in Windows 8, Brandon Lynch, the Chief Privacy Officer of the company, said the move was inspired by the FTC’s work in calling on both technology and advertising sectors to come up with a uniform mechanism for online behavioral targeting of ads. Also taking the message forward, the corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, Dean Hachamovitch, said a Windows user experience that is ‘private by default’ arrives at a time when so much user data is collected online.”We think it is progress and that consumers will favor products designed with their privacy in mind over products that are designed primarily to gather their data,” he stated.Not surprisingly, news of consumers to experience private by default in their IE browsers fell like a breath of fresh air for greater-privacy supporters and like a ton of bricks for advertisers. The question being posed is whether or not other browser groups will do the same as Microsoft. The sentiment among those against the move is that the decision comes in an already ailing economy, where the move could deal a blow to advertising networks counting on the efficacy of personalized, targeted ads.Voicing its opposition, the Association of National Advertisers issued a statement that Microsoft, in making that decision, had acted “irresponsibly.” The association referred to Microsoft’s “unilateral decision” to embed ‘Do Not Track’ functionality in version 10 of its IE browser with a default setting in the on versus off position. The Association, which has a membership of 450 companies, raised the argument that the decision “removes choice by preventing consumers from experiencing interest-based advertising and making an informed decision about its benefits, the result of which will be untargeted, irrelevant online advertising.”Microsoft looks forward to other industry leaders making the same kind of move, nonetheless. “We also know from experiences – such as the P3P standard recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – that initiatives to advance privacy are much less effective if other industry leaders don’t join in adopting the approach,” said Lynch. DNT is optional; websites don’t need to support it. Wariness about user-behavior tracking, and now the idea of DNT by default, are likely to raise noise around this issue. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) who co-sponsored the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011 along with Joe Barton (R-TX), has called the decision “an important first step towards greater privacy protections for consumers,” but he wants to see some next steps too. “It is my hope that Microsoft and other companies will go further in the future, so that Do Not Track also means ‘Do Not Collect’, giving consumers the ability to say no to both targeted advertising and collection of their personal data.”IE10 will be the browser on Windows 8, due for general release later this year.center_img Microsoft unveils new privacy feature for IE 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: Microsoft’s privacy-by-default in IE10 sparks opposition (2012, June 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-06-microsoft-privacy-by-default-ie10-opposition.htmllast_img read more

Remembering Tagore on his 158th birth anniversary

first_imgKolkata: The 158th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore was observed with great enthusiasm.Tagore was born on May 9, 1861 at Jorasanko and was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore. State Information and Cultural Affairs department organised a function on Cathedral Road outside Rabindra Sadan. Noted Rabindrasangeet exponents paid homage to Tagore through their songs. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present at the function. A function was held at Jorasanko Thakurbari in the morning. Noted Rabindrasangeet exponents and elocutionists paid their respect to Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataTagore. The statue of Tagore was garlanded by Sabyasachi Basu Roy Chaudhuri, the vice chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University. Later, he inaugurated an art gallery that has been named after Abanindranath Tagore. A total of 32 paintings including one by Tagore and the remaining by all well-known artists who were Tagore’s contemporaries were put up at the gallery. A function was held at Oriental Seminary, a school where Tagore had been enrolled as a student for some time. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateMinister of state for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Shashi Panja garlanded the half-bust statue of Tagore at the school. Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) organised a function titled “He Antartara” at Rabindra Tirtha where well known Rabindrasangeet singers including Ashis Bhattacharya, Enakshi Chattopadhyay, Dipak Rudra, Anindya Narayan Chattopadhyay, Chandrabali Rudra Dutta among others took part in the programme. Noted elocutionists Pranati Thakur, Bijoylakshmi Barman, Sovanshundar Basu recited poems wrote by Tagore. HIDCO will organise programs in all the Saturdays and Sundays except May 18 and 19 at Rabindra Tirtha in the evening. A programme was held at Jadavpur Laughing Club where singers Surajit, Agnibha Bhattacharya, Monomoy Bhattacharya took part along with elocutionist Satinath Mukhopadhyay. Nabanalanda High School organised a programme on Southern Avenue opposite the new school premises. Rammohan Mission School also organised a programme to pay tribute to Tagore. Programmes were held all over Bengal and thousands of artists, dancers, elocutionists took part in these programmes. Metro Railway observed the 158th birth anniversary of Kavi Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore in a solemn manner at Metro Rail Bhavan. P C Sharma, general manager, Metro Railway paid homage to Gurudev by garlanding his photograph on behalf of staff and officers of Metro Railway. Metro staff and officers paid homage to Kavi Guru by singing his songs and reciting poems. All officers and staff were present in this programme.last_img read more

Agents and clients win big with TravelBrands 48hour Flash Sale

first_img Posted by Share Tuesday, February 28, 2017 MISSISSAUGA — Blink and you may miss TravelBrand’s exclusive 48-hour Flash Sale with Bahia Principe Hotels. But agents and clients who are quick to book will benefit from “never-before-seen savings” and extra Loyalty Points.The Flash Sale is available to agents who book a land-only or TravelGenie package online on ‘Access’ or by phone. As of Feb. 28, the 48-hour sale offers savings of up to $1,070 per couple (for a seven-night stay at Grand Bahia Principe in Jamaica), as well as 3x the Loyalty Points for agents.Agents will also accumulate Bahia Principe Rewards with every booking.“Our long-standing partnership is a testimonial to the relationship that we have built throughout the years,” said Frank DeMarinis, President and CEO of TravelBrands. “We are committed to our travel agent partners by offering a roster of top notch suppliers and Bahia Principe Hotels fulfill that commitment year after year. Their dedication to unparalleled service and quality properties is best in their class.”More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureFor more information go to travelbrandsagent.com. << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Agents and clients win big with TravelBrand’s 48-hour Flash Sale Tags: Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, Promotions, TravelBrands Travelweek Group last_img read more

Looking for a real scare Mama bear and cubs cut off Draculas

first_img BUCHAREST, ROMANIA — Danger lurks at Dracula’s castle.Romanian authorities have closed a 13th-century fortress connected to Vlad the Impaler after a mother bear and her cubs were found roaming in the area.The citadel, atop a mountain in central Romania, can be reached only by climbing 1,480 steps. It was shut in late May “for the safety of visitors,” its website said Saturday.Local prefect Emilian Dragnea says the environment ministry had agreed to capture the four bears and relocate them elsewhere. Authorities blame people for leaving food in the area.The citadel was repaired by 15th-century Romanian prince Vlad the Impaler, who inspired Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic novel “Dracula.”Bran Castle, also associated with Dracula, is a bigger tourist attraction.Romania is home to between 5,000 and 6,000 brown bears. The Canadian Press Monday, June 12, 2017 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Looking for a real scare? Mama bear and cubs cut off Dracula’s castle to tourists Sharelast_img read more

The torus has been reglued and strapped to cure

first_imgThe torus has been re-glued and strapped to cure. More on model restoration on 8/19. [Photo & text: sa] OVUM II: An earlier version of this design, a model of OVUM I, was presented in an exhibit in Graz, Austria in 1984. This revised version was made in 1985, also from drawings that depict space settlements. The structural form consists of two rotating elements. The torus structure, rotating around an asteroid from which the structural components can be made by mining out its asteroidal matter, could host science and research activities as well as an urban center with residence and commercial facilities. The outside bubble-membrane that defines the ecological envelop of this space habitat provides a protective shield from space dust and radiation, and solar ray absorption surfaces for energy harvesting. The inside surface of this rotating membrane can provide agricultural and landscaping with a fraction of the earth’s gravity. [Photo: sa & text: tt] August 12, 20057 models will be displayed during the exhibition in Rome, see last report on 7/27/05. Director of Habitat and Design, Tomiaki Tamura, supervises restoration of the models. The OVUM II model depicts one of the Space Arcologies designed by Paolo Soleri. [Photo & text: sa]7 models will be displayed during the exhibition in Rome, see last report on 7/27/05. Director of Habitat and Design, Tomiaki Tamura, supervises restoration of the models. The OVUM II model depicts one of the Space Arcologies designed by Paolo Soleri. [Photo & text: sa]center_img The model is suspended from a gearbox that houses lighting and rotation. [Photo & text: sa]last_img read more

Rep Hank Vaupel Weekly Column April 29 2019

first_img On Tuesday, I testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of my legislation to better protect medical personnel from abuse. Sadly, Michigan hospitals have reported a significant increase in the number of violent encounters with patients and visitors, and my plan would stiffen penalties for those who assault health care workers, which is something already practiced by 32 other states. Workplace violence is a real and growing threat to health care providers, and it’s important we take it seriously. Categories: Vaupel News According to a recent report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, health care workers in the United States suffer more than 15,000 injuries each year due to workplace violence. 21 percent reported being physically assaulted while more than 50 percent reported verbal abuse. House Bills 4327-28 simply add health care workers and volunteers to a protected group of workers which already includes police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel. Like our first responders, these professionals often put their own safety on the line, and we must do more to ensure it is taken seriously.***Monday was Earth Day, and to celebrate, local students submitted artwork highlighting the importance of protecting our state and natural resources. The two winners were Fowlerville elementary students Molly Aldred and Jayce Milke, who visited Lansing on Wednesday for a special recognition program. I had the privilege of presenting them tributes and laminated copies of last week’s News and Views front page, which featured their photos. It is great to see young people caring so much about the future of our state and world. Congratulations, Molly and Jayce!***It was a pleasure to have students from the Innovation Academy high school of Howell visit my office on Wednesday. They are part of the Michigan Student Caucus and were in Lansing to learn more about the Legislature. The future of our state depends on the involvement of the next generation, so it is always exciting to see young people taking an active interest in their state government!***Livingston County is being well represented on the world stage this week as multiple local student robotics teams are participating at the FIRST robotics world championship in Detroit! The event features more than 15,000 students from 25 states and 40 countries who pit their robots in timed competitions. It is a tremendous display of technological education and teamwork. The Electro Eagles from Hartland High School, S.C.O.T.S. Bots from Howell High School, and the Gems from Charyl Stockwell Academy are all competing on the world stage. Congratulations on a great season, and best wishes!***If you have any ideas, comments or questions for my office, please do not hesitate to call us at 517-373-8835 or send an email to HankVaupel@house.mi.gov. We are happy to hear from you!PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Hank Vaupel testifies before the House Judiciary Committee in support of his legislation to better protect medical personnel from abuse.center_img 29Apr Rep. Hank Vaupel Weekly Column: April 29, 2019last_img read more

Humans tend to believe what theyre told by author

first_imgHumans tend to believe what they’re told by authority figures. Even in the face of contradictory evidence. The Milgram Experiment taught us this in 1963. Posing as scientists, researchers instructed volunteers to inflict painful electric shocks on what they thought were other innocent volunteers, as a penalty for answering questions incorrectly. The shockers couldn’t see the people they were shocking, but could hear their reactions: terrible cries of pain, pounding on the wall, pleas to stop, and eventually, ominous silence. Of course, it was all a ruse, but the shockers didn’t know that. They thought they were effectively torturing the victims. Yet most shockers ignored the victims’ agonized pleas to stop, opting instead to obey the “scientist’s” commands to continue. Why? Because the “scientist” was an expert. He was wearing a white lab coat, so he must know best. We treat economists similarly today, deferring to their expertise in economic matters, even when common sense suggests they are wrong. Paul Krugman says an alien invasion would cure our economic ills by forcing us to spend money to defend against their attack. If a stranger on the bus said that, you might direct him to the nearest mental facility. But Krugman? He has a framed MIT doctorate gracing his office wall, so he must know what he’s talking about. Here’s a dirty little secret: Economists—particularly government and other mainstream ones—stink at their jobs. They’re awful at forecasting the future. History shows that not only are economists incapable of forecasting recessions, they usually can’t even recognize that we’re in a recession once it’s already started. If you were as bad at your job as the average economist is at his, you wouldn’t have a job. Management would fire you, assuming they could do so before your horrendous decisions brought down the entire company. With that background, I’m excited to share with you an excerpt from John Mauldin’s fantastic new book, Code Red. As you might’ve guessed, the premise of the passage you’ll read below is that mainstream economists have a horrific track record, a claim the book backs up with impressive stats. For investors, relying on mainstream economists’ forecasts is a sure path to subpar returns. But Code Red is about so much more. I plowed through it over the weekend, and if I had to describe it in one word, it would be “satisfying.” John Mauldin and his co-author Jonathan Tepper beautifully explain how seemingly unrelated pieces of the global economy fit together, how we’ve arrived at our near zero-interest rate world, and which countries are closest to crisis. What seems absurdly complex before reading the book becomes crystal clear afterward. Code Red also contains plenty of real-world investment advice. While authors John & Jon first lay the groundwork by discussing economic theory, the latter section of the book focuses on how to invest in our world of interest rate suppression, money printing, and pallid economic growth. Here are a couple of the chapter titles, to give you an idea of the topics Code Red covers: 20th Century Currency Wars—The Barbarous Relic and Bretton Woods A World of Financial Repression Easy Money Will Lead to Bubbles, and How to Profit From Them How to Protect Yourself Against Inflation A Look at Commodities, Gold, and Other Real Assets With that, I’ll leave you to explore the excerpt for yourself. If you like what you read, you can purchase a copy of Code Red for 28% off the regular price by clicking here. Enjoy. Source: Societe Generale Equity Research Let’s remind ourselves what a recession is and how economists decide that one has started. A recession is a downturn in economic activity. Normally, a recession means unemployment goes up, GDP contracts, stock prices fall, and the economy weakens. The lofty body that decides when a recession has started or ended is the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research. It is packed with eminent economists and other extremely smart people. Unfortunately, their pronouncements are completely unusable in real time. Their dating of recessions is authoritative and more or less accurate, but this exercise in hindsight comes together long after a recession has started or ended. To give you an idea just how late recessions are officially called, let’s look at the past three. The NBER dated the 1990-91 recession as beginning in August 1990 and ending in March 1991. It announced these facts in April 1991, by which time the recession was already over and the economy was growing again. The NBER was no faster catching up with the recession that followed the dotcom bust. It wasn’t until June 2003 that the NBER pinpointed the 2001 recession—a full 28 months after the recession ended. The NBER didn’t date the recession that started in December 2007 until exactly one year later. By that time, Lehman had gone bust, and the world was engulfed in the biggest financial cataclysm since the Great Depression. The Federal Reserve and private economists also missed the onset of the last three recessions—even after they had started. Let’s look quickly at each one. Starting with the 1990-91 recession, let’s see what the head of the Federal Reserve—the man who is charged with running American monetary policy—was saying at the time. That recession started in August 1990, but one month before it began Alan Greenspan said, “In the very near term there’s little evidence that I can see to suggest the economy is tilting over [into recession].” The following month—the month the recession actually started—he continued on the same theme: “… those who argue that we are already in a recession I think are reasonably certain to be wrong.” He was just as clueless two months later in October 1990, when he persisted, “… the economy has not yet slipped into recession.” It was only near the end of the recession that Greenspan came around to accepting and acknowledging that it had begun. The Federal Reserve did no better in the dotcom bust. Let’s look at the facts. The recession started in March 2001. The tech heavy NASDAQ Index had already fallen 50% in a full-scale bust. Even so, Chairman Greenspan declared before the Economic Club of New York on May 24, 2001, “Moreover, with all our concerns about the next several quarters, there is still, in my judgment, ample evidence that we are experiencing only a pause in the investment in a broad set of innovations that has elevated the underlying growth rate in productivity to a level significantly above that of the two decades preceding 1995.” Charles Morris, a retired banker and financial writer, looked at a decade’s worth of forecasts by the geniuses at the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors. In 2000, the council raised their growth estimates just in time for the dot-com bust and the recession of 2001-02. In a survey conducted in March 2001, 95% of American economists said there would not be a recession. The recession had already started that March, and the signs of contraction were evident. Industrial production had already been contracting for five months. You would have thought that their failure to forecast two recessions in a row might have sharpened the wits of the Federal Reserve, the Council of Economic Advisers, and private economists. Maybe they would have tried to improve their methods or figured out why they had failed so miserably. You would be wrong. Because along came the Great Recession, and—once again—they completely missed the boat. Let’s look at what the Fed was doing as the world was about to go up in flames in 2008. Recently, complete minutes of the Fed’s October 2007 meeting were released. Keep in mind that the recession started two months later, in December 2007. The minutes make for depressing reading. The word recession does not appear once in the entire transcript. It gets worse. The month the recession started, the Federal Reserve was all optimistic laughter. Dr. David Stockton, the Federal Reserve chief economist, presented his view to Chairman Bernanke and the meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on December 11, 2007. When you read the following quote and choke on your breakfast or lunch, remember that at the time the Fed was already providing ample liquidity to the shadow banking system after dozens of subprime lenders had gone bust in the spring, the British bank Northern Rock had been nationalized and spooked the European banking system, dozens of money market funds had been shut due to toxic assets, credit spreads were widening, stock prices had started to fall, and almost all the classic signs of a recession were evident. These included an inverted yield curve, which had received the casual attention of New York Fed economists even as it screamed recession. (John had pointed to it numerous times in Thoughts from the Frontline.) Read these words of the Fed’s chief economist and weep. You can’t make this stuff up. Overall, our forecast could admittedly be read as still painting a pretty benign picture: Despite all the financial turmoil, the economy avoids recession and, even with steeply higher prices for food and energy and a lower exchange value of the dollar, we achieve some modest edging-off of inflation. So I tried not to take it personally when I received a notice the other day that the Board had approved more frequent drug-testing for certain members of the senior staff, myself included. [Laughter] I can assure you, however, that the staff is not going to fall back on the increasingly popular celebrity excuse that we were under the influence of mind-altering chemicals and thus should not be held responsible for this forecast. No, we came up with this projection unimpaired and on nothing stronger than many late nights of diet Pepsi and vending-machine Twinkies. We do not want to pick on Dr. Stockton unnecessarily, as all other government economists were equally awful. The President’s Council of Economic Advisers’ 2008 forecast saw positive growth for the first half of the year and foresaw a strong recovery in the second half. Unfortunately, private-sector economists didn’t do much better. With very few exceptions, they failed to foresee the financial and economic meltdown of 2008. Economists polled in the Survey of Professional Forecasters also failed to see a recession developing. They forecasted a slightly below-average rate of 2.4 percent for 2008, and they thought there was almost no chance of a recession as severe as the one that actually unfolded. In December 2007, a Businessweek survey showed that every single one of 54 economists predicted the U.S. economy would avoid a recession in 2008. The experts were unanimous that unemployment wouldn’t be a problem, leading to the consensus conclusion that 2008 would be a good year. As Nate Silver has pointed out, the worst thing about the bad predictions isn’t that they were awful; it’s that the economists in question were so confident in them: This was a very bad forecast: GDP actually shrank by 3.3% once the financial crisis hit. What may be worse is that the economists were extremely confident in their bad prediction. They assigned only a 3% chance to the economy’s shrinking by any margin over the whole of 2008. And they gave it only about a 1-in-500 chance of shrinking by 2 percent, as it did. It is one thing to be wrong. It is quite another to be consistently and confidently and egregiously wrong. As the global financial meltdown unfolded, Chairman Bernanke, too, continued to believe that the United States would avoid a recession. Mind you, the recession had started in December 2007, yet in January 2008 Bernanke told the press, “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.” Even after banks like Bear Stearns needed to be rescued, Bernanke continued seeing rainbows and candy-colored elves ahead for the U.S. economy. He declared on June 9, 2008, “The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so.” At that stage, the economy had already been in a recession for the past six months! Why do people listen to economists anymore? Scott Armstrong, an expert on forecasting at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has developed a “seer-sucker” theory: “No matter how much evidence exists that seers do not exist, suckers will pay for the existence of seers.” Even if experts fail repeatedly in their predictions, most people prefer to have seers, prophets, and gurus with titles after their names tell them something—anything at all—about the future. So, we have cataloged the incredible failures of economists to predict the future or even to understand the present. Now, with their record in mind, think of the vast powers Fed economists have to print money and move interest rates. When you contemplate the consummate skill that would actually be required to manage Code Red policies, you realize they’re really just flying blind. If that doesn’t scare the living daylights out of you, you haven’t understood this chapter so far. Source: Variant Perception, Bloomberg Unfortunately, economists are of no use to the man or woman in the street. If you look at the history of the last three recessions in the United States, you will see that the inability of economists and central bankers to understand the state of the economy was so bad that you might be tempted to say they couldn’t find their derrieres with both hands. Figure 6.2 Economists have never predicted a recession correctlycenter_img Dan Steinhart Managing Editor of The Casey Report An Excerpt from Code Red: Chapter 6 – Economists Are Clueless By John Mauldin & Jonathan Tepper In November of 2008, as stock markets crashed around the world, the Queen of England visited the London School of Economics to open the New Academic Building. While she was there, she listened in on academic lectures. The Queen, who studiously avoids controversy and almost never lets people know what she’s thinking, finally asked a simple question about the financial crisis, “How come nobody could foresee it?” No one could answer her. If you suspected that mainstream economists are useless at the job of seeing a crisis in advance, you would be right. Dozens of studies show that economists are completely incapable of forecasting recessions. But forget forecasting. What’s worse is that they fail miserably even at understanding where the economy is today. In one of the broadest studies of whether economists could predict recessions and financial crises, Prakash Loungani of the International Monetary Fund wrote very starkly, “The record of failure to predict recessions is virtually unblemished.” This was true not only for official organizations like the IMF, the World Bank, or government agencies but for private forecasters as well. They’re all terrible. Loungani concluded that the “inability to predict recessions is a ubiquitous feature of growth forecasts.” Most economists were not even able to recognize recessions once they had already started. In plain English, economists don’t have a clue about the future. If you think the Fed or government agencies know what is going on with the economy, you’re mistaken. Government economists are about as useful as a fork in a sugar bowl. Their mistakes and failures are so spectacular you couldn’t make them up if you tried. Yet now, in a Code Red world, we trust the same bankers to know where the economy is, where it is going, and how to manage monetary policy. Central banks say that they will know when the time is right to end Code Red policies and when to shrink the bloated monetary base. But how will they know, given their record at forecasting? The Federal Reserve not only failed to predict the recessions of 1990, 2001, and 2007, it didn’t even recognize them after they had already begun. Financial crises frequently happen because central banks cut interest rates too late and hike rates too soon. Trusting central bankers now is a big bet that (1) they’ll know what to do and (2) they’ll know the right time to do it. Sadly, they generally don’t have a clue about what is going on. Unfortunately, the problem is not that economists are simply mediocre at what they do. The problem is that they’re really, really bad. And they’re so bad that their ineptitude cannot even be a matter of chance. As the statistician Nate Silver pointed out in his book The Signal and the Noise: Indeed, economists have for a long time been much too confident in their ability to predict the direction of the economy. If economists’ forecasts were as accurate as they claimed, we’d expect the actual value for GDP to fall within their prediction interval nine times out of ten, or all but about twice in eighteen years. In fact, the actual value for GDP fell outside the economists’ prediction interval six times in eighteen years, or fully one-third of the time. Another study, which ran these numbers back to the beginning of the Survey of Professional Forecasters in 1968, found even worse results: the actual figure for GDP fell outside the prediction interval almost half the time. There is almost no chance that economists have simply been unlucky; they fundamentally overstate the reliability of their predictions. So it gets worse. Economists are not only generally wrong, they’re extremely confident in their bad forecasts. If economists were merely wrong at betting on horse races, their failure would be harmlessly amusing. But central bankers have the power to create money, change interest rates, and affect our lives in every way—and they don’t have a clue. Despite their cluelessness, there’s no overestimating the hubris of central bankers. On 60 Minutes in December 2010, Scott Pelley interviewed Chairman Ben Bernanke and asked him whether he would be able to do the right thing at the right time. The exchange was startling: Pelley: Can you act quickly enough to prevent inflation from getting out of control? Bernanke: We could raise interest rates in 15 minutes if we have to. So, there really is no problem with raising rates, tightening monetary policy, slowing the economy, reducing inflation, at the appropriate time. Now, that time is not now. Pelley: You have what degree of confidence in your ability to control this? Bernanke: One hundred percent. There you have it. Bernanke was not 95% confident, he was not 99% confident—no, he had zero doubts about his ability to know what is going on in the economy and what to do about it. We would love to have that kind of certainty about anything in life. We’re not picking just on Bernanke; we’re picking on all central bankers who think they’re infallible. The Bank of England has had by far the largest QE program relative to the size of its economy (though the Bank of Japan is about to show it a thing or two). It has also had the worst forecasting track record of any bank, and the worst record on inflation. Sir Mervyn King, the head of the Bank of England, was asked if it would be difficult to withdraw QE. He very confidently replied, “I have absolutely no doubt that when the time comes for us to reduce the size of our balance sheet that we’ll find that a whole lot easier than we did when expanding it.” (Are central bankers just naturally more arrogant than regular human beings, or are they smoking some powerful stuff at their meetings?) Let’s see whether this sort of absolute certainty is at all warranted. In his book Future Babble, Dan Gardner wrote that economists are treated with the reverence the ancient Greeks accorded the Oracle of Delphi. But unlike the vague pronouncements from Delphi, economists’ predictions can be checked against the future, and as Gardner says, “Anyone who does that will quickly conclude that economists make lousy soothsayers.” (As an aside, we suspect that economists may be the modern-day functional equivalent of tribal shamans. Instead of peering at the intestines of sheep to forecast the future, we look at data through the lenses of models we create, built with all our inherent biases, and then confidently predict the future or try to guide government policy in one direction or another, generally along paths that fit the favor depending on whether we are telling our fellow tribe members and leaders and potential leaders what they want to hear. It may be that economics is more like religion and less like science than most of us want to admit.) The nearsightedness of economists is nothing new. In 1994 Paul Ormerod wrote a book called The Death of Economics. He pointed to economists’ failure to forecast the Japanese recession after their bubble burst in 1989 or to foresee the collapse of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992. Ormerod was scathing in his assessment of economists: “The ability of orthodox economics to understand the workings of the economy at the overall level is manifestly weak (some would say it was entirely non-existent).” When people think of economic forecasts, they almost always think of recessions, while economists think of forecasting growth rates or interest rates. But the average person in the street only wants to know, “Will we be in a recession soon?”—and if the economy is already in a recession, he or she wants to know, “When will it end?” The reason most working Americans care is that they know recessions mean job cuts and firings. Figure 6.1 Recessions lead to falls in GDP and spikes in the unemployment ratelast_img read more

first_img – — Editor’s note: Does central planning really work? Will it ever? Agora founder Bill Bonner isn’t convinced…at least not on a large scale. And in today’s essay, he’ll tell you exactly why. Bill originally wrote this essay on May 13, 2016, in his Diary. (And make sure to check your inbox tomorrow…the stock market and our offices are closed in observance of Memorial Day but we’ll be publishing a special Casey Daily Dispatch that we think you’ll find extremely valuable.) By Bill Bonner, editor, The Bill Bonner Letter Central planning is a necessary feature of life. We have to plan our day… our year… our business… our vacations… our budgets – we plan for everything in our lives. And generally speaking, the better we are at planning… and at following through on our plans… the better things go. Naturally, we assume that this sort of planning will be helpful at all levels – from our personal schedules to an agenda for the entire nation. But there’s a problem: Planning requires detailed knowledge of our goals and resources. Along Came the Feds… If you’re going to build a factory, for example, you need a lot of information. You need to know where, when, how, and why, covering a vast range of issues. How much will it cost? How long will it take? What will it make? How will the goods be delivered? Where will employees come from? How much will they earn? Etc., etc. You do that planning as best you can – sometimes right, sometimes wrong – and always knowing that you’ll have to live with the results. But then, along come the feds. And they’ve got their own plans… “You can’t build a factory there,” they say. “We’re raising the minimum wage,” they add. “You’ll have to get a license… a permit… clearance from the FDA, EPA, FBI, TSA, NSA, DOJ, SEC, NLRB… “And, oh yes, your product must be sold at the price we set…” Uh-oh. The problem is not one with planning, per se, but with a conflict of plans. You have your plans – based on specific information about what you want to do and what you have to work with – and the feds have theirs. You want to spend your money; the feds want to take it away to fund their own projects. You want to live in St. Petersburg. They want to put you in a gulag in Siberia. Shot to Hell You save money for your retirement. You plan ahead. You calculate how much you need, and for 20 years you hold back enough… sticking to your plan until your 65th birthday. Then here comes the Fed… cutting interest rates so drastically that your entire plan is shot to hell. By edict – with no vote from you or anybody you ever voted for – roughly $8 trillion in interest payments has been confiscated from savers and handed to debtors… making them richer at your expense. When you put your plans forward, they are based on a free give-and-take with the rest of the private sector – raising the money you need, buying the resources necessary, and hiring workers. Nobody is forced to do anything. It is all voluntary; everyone involved believes he comes out ahead. But along come the feds. They tell you their plans take precedence. They have the Gestapo, the NKVD, the Stasi, and the ATF behind them. You can negotiate and persuade with customers and suppliers. The feds simply levy fines… put you in jail… or worse. It doesn’t matter what you want or what you think: You go along… or else. Families, businesses, and small towns, too – all must bend to the will of the central government. And then what? Inevitably, the central planners in Washington, Moscow, London, and Paris make a mess of things. Growth slows. Money is lost. Wars are launched. People are killed. Who pays the costs? The central planners? Not on your life. The costs of their errors and shenanigans are always imposed – by force – on the people whose own plans were disrupted: investors, taxpayers, consumers, and communities. The “fatal conceit,” says Hayek, is that they believe they can make a better world by interfering with private plans and imposing their ideas about how the world should work. Recommended Links Wishful Thinking And democracy…? It is like a pair of twins – one scam and the other wishful thinking… and often hard to tell them apart. We want to think that the common people – in their wisdom – will always make the right choice, after they’ve exhausted the wrong ones. You fool all of them some of the time, as Abe Lincoln said (and proved), but you can’t fool them all the time. But what we see in history is that most people are ready for almost any kind of mischief, day or night. There is nothing so stupid, murderous, and counterproductive that they won’t get up to it sooner or later. “But at least they get what they deserve,” you might say. Surely public policy will reflect the will of the people, won’t it? Well, even it did, it would still be repulsive and ineffective. Even with the support of 51% of the population, central planning would still disrupt the plans of the other 49% – leading to mass larceny, less output, and involuntary servitude. But there is almost no chance that central planning on a national scale will be understood and supported by a majority of the people anyway. How many people understand the Fed’s zero-interest-rate policy? How many support the wholesale rip-off of America’s savers for the benefit of the rich? Studies have proven that no matter whom you elect, the central planners work for the Deep State, not for the voters. They continue pursuing their self-serving agenda… no matter what you want. And since their agenda involves taking wealth and power from the many and giving it to themselves, there is almost no chance – were it fully understood – that the majority of voters would support it. So, if you think the nuisances and indignities imposed by the feds will stop – just because you elect Hillary or Donald – you’re probably mistaken. Regards, Bill Editor’s note: As you may have heard, Bill recently announced a new service unlike anything he has ever done before… In short, he has agreed to invest $5 million of his family’s money in the recommendations of just one of his analysts. Over the 10-year period from 2005 through 2014 – which included the financial crisis of 2008 – this analyst outperformed the book value of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) by nearly 2-to-1. If you invested $100,000 in his advice in 2004, you would have been sitting on over $480,000 ten years later. And now, you can get access to this man’s model portfolio, with all the research and recommendations he prepares. You’ll even have a small window to invest in each security 48 hours before Bill does. To learn more, click here. Bill Bonner: “Mark June 1 on Your Calendar” “This Wednesday, one of my top analysts is releasing a brand new stock pick…a pick that I’m investing six figures in before the week is out. Click here for all the details—including how to get in on it before I do.” Rickards: The Case For “Penny” Gold — [“Not Safe For TV”] If you’ve seen me on CNBC, the History Channel or read my new book…you likely know that I firmly believe gold will soon reach $10,000/oz. But here’s what I didn’t tell them… I’ve discovered how you could have turned every $1 move in gold into $192 of pure profit. Here’s the case for “Penny Gold.”last_img read more

Thursday night will see the prop make his tenth ap

first_imgThursday night will see the prop make his tenth appearance in the showpiece and it’s one he is relishing.“These are the games you look forward to during the season,” he said. “As a kid I loved watching these games so to be involved now is great. The atmosphere is something special and I’m really looking forward to it.“We beat them on Good Friday and want to do it again.”Saints chalked up a win over Wigan on Good Friday and sit eight points clear of their rivals on the Betfred Super League ladder.But that will count for nothing when the two sides lock horns this Thursday.“We are mindful of where we are sat but don’t really focus on it. It’s more about performing each week,” he added. “We set high standards here and work hard to make sure we are up to those standards.“We can always get better and improve. We have a gap but can’t get too comfortable. We won’t allow that to stop what we are doing.“There is a lot to play for and we haven’t won anything yet. We don’t want to think too far ahead; it’s about staying fit and having a good end to the season.”Thommo is the form prop in the competition and that was echoed when he scored a flyer at Hull FC to seal a 34-18 win.It took his season’s tally to four.“It was a great away win at Hull,” he said. “It is a tough place to go. We conceded a couple of tries early in the second half and did really well to come back.“The manner of the performance was good and it will stand us in good stead for the future.“It was good try wasn’t it? I hit a nice line from Jonny at pace, got through and backed myself to put down in the corner.”Tickets for Thursday’s derby are now on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

Rovi to Buy DVR Maker TiVo for 11 Billion

first_img Rovi to Buy DVR Maker TiVo for $1.1 Billion Mergers and Acquisitions This story originally appeared on Reuters Reuters Add to Queue –shares April 29, 2016 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.center_img 1 min read Next Article Enroll Now for $5 Image credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Rovi Corp., a provider of digital entertainment guides, said on Friday it would buy digital-video recorder pioneer TiVo Inc. in a deal valued at about $1.1 billion.The $10.70 per-share cash-and-stock offer represents a premium of 13.6 percent to TiVo’s Thursday closing.TiVo’s shares, which have shot up about 23 percent since the New York Times first reported about a potential deal on March 24, were trading at $9.74 before the opening bell on Friday.Rovi said it would pay TiVo shareholders $2.75 per share in cash and the remaining in stock of a new holding company that will own both Rovi and TiVo.The combined company, which will be known as TiVo, will be led by Rovi Chief Executive Tom Carson.The deal will add TiVo’s more than 10 million customers to Rovi’s 18 million.Bloomberg reported on Thursday the companies were close to a deal and an announcement could be expected as soon as Friday.(Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)last_img read more

Why Are 10 Million Moms Missing From the Workplace

first_img Guest Writer Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business May 26, 2016 Image credit: Shutterstock –shares Mompreneurs John Pilmer Next Article In 2014, the Pew Research Center posted a study on highly educated women who are “opting out” of the workforce, choosing instead to stay at home and care for their families. This fascinating study focuses on the relatively small percentage of mothers choosing this career path, but perhaps the more interesting detail — particularly for entrepreneurs — is the number of talented, capable women who are currently out of work.The 2010 U.S. Census found that 31 percent of full-time stay-at-home moms have at least a bachelor’s degree. That’s more than 10 million women with professional skills and creativity that could be enhancing our business culture. Unfortunately, because of the lack of flexible options for moms, many of these women choose to leave the workforce completely — often not entirely by choice, but out of necessity.Imagine a world where these educated, ambitious mothers had the opportunity to choose a career path that worked for them — where they were able to bring their skillset to the table without giving up their full-time mom gig. How much are we losing by not including these women in the workforce? How many successful CEOs, gifted writers and financial geniuses are we missing out on? With modern technology, there is no reason entrepreneurial ventures shouldn’t include moms and the talents they have to offer.My firm has employed dozens of stay-at-home moms. We use creative processes to include staff from all over the western U.S. This gives my business the flexibility to hire contracted employees for the work they are best at. Let me offer some of the solutions we have found helpful to incorporate the power of working moms into our business.Flexible hours.While a business runs on “internet time,” and a fast response rate is a must for any customer-driven business, smart phones make it possible for moms to answer emails from playgroups, the park, waiting in line at school pickup or while they are rocking a baby to sleep. They can process other tasks during school hours, naptime, early in the morning or after their little ones are asleep.Part-time employees. Especially in project-based companies, not every employee needs to work full-time. We hire moms to work with specific clients that have a designated hourly budget. This gives moms the freedom to choose the level of commitment that works for their stage of life.Related: Advice From 8 Hectic ‘Mompreneurs’ About Work and LifeWork-from-home options. Childcare is expensive. For some parents, it’s out of reach financially, or it’s just not a desirable situation. Many motivated mothers have turned to working out of their home — where they can be near their children when needed, but also amazingly productive during naptimes and other quiet intervals throughout the day.Project based freelancing. Often, parents have peak times of busyness — school breaks, heavy involvement in a seasonal sport or performance activity, etc. But when life slows down a little, they’re ready to get back to work. This may sound like it’s a less than ideal situation, but think of all of those one-off projects that you may have a third party on retainer for — graphic design, product photography, content creation, trade show preparation — the list goes on and on.Instead of signing expensive contracts for services that aren’t needed that often, consider turning to moms who have just as much experience, but are willing to work only a few times a year.Related: Top 5 Jobs for Stay-at-Home MomsIn-house daycare and preschool facilities. This is obviously not possible for every business, but many startups are beginning to offer in-house childcare options for their employees. This cuts down on sick leave and other crises that often happen to families. It also allows those 10 million women currently not working to have a choice.Related: How 8 Mompreneurs Succeeded at Small Business Without Sacrificing FamiliesThey can check in on their children, have peace of mind that they are safe, and make a living at the same time. The cost to implement such a system may be a worthy investment.There are many ways to integrate moms into the workforce. Thinking outside the box and utilizing these talented women is essential for the health of our economy and workforce. center_img Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Add to Queue 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Why Are 10 Million Moms Missing From the Workplace? Entrepreneur Consultant, Owner and CEO of PilmerPR Register Now »last_img read more

Turning tumorpromoting fibroblasts against pancreatic cancer

first_img Source:https://www.cshl.edu/turning-cells-against-pancreatic-cancer/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 26 2018Pancreatic cancer has a grim prognosis. It is usually detected after the disease has spread, and chemotherapy tends to do little to slow the cancer’s growth. Even with treatment, most patients live only about six months after they are diagnosed with the disease.Researchers in Professor David Tuveson’s laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) think it’s possible to do better with a different type of treatment. Part of the problem, they say, is that cancer cells in the pancreas are protected by the dense matrix that surrounds them. The matrix is a mixture of extracellular components and noncancerous cells known as the stroma. All solid tumors contain stroma. In pancreatic cancers, this fibrous material is particularly abundant, making up nearly 90 percent of a tumor’s mass. This stroma impedes anticancer drugs’ from getting to their targets. Additionally, stromal cells secrete factors that actually help the tumors grow.Overcoming the stroma’s protective influence has been challenging, but new leads from Tuveson’s team, as reported on October 26, 2018 in the journal Cancer Discovery, point to a promising strategy. In fact, the new findings suggest that drugs which target the right cellular pathways can do more than just thwart tumor-supporting cells in the stroma. They may recruit them into the anticancer fight.A key element of the stroma is a type of cell called a fibroblast. Fibroblasts manufacture the stroma’s connective tissue. They also generate factors that promote cancer cell growth and prevent the immune system from attacking the cancerous cells. Last year Tuveson’s team discovered that the stroma of pancreatic tumors contains at least two types of fibroblasts. One type show features known to support tumor growth, the other type appear to have the opposite effect.Related StoriesCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemThe good news is that the fibroblasts’ identities are not fixed. With the right cues, tumor-promoting fibroblasts can become tumor-restrictors.”These cells can convert into one another, depending on the cues they get from the microenvironment and from the cancer cells,” explains Giulia Biffi, a postdoctoral researcher in Tuveson’s lab who led the new study. “This is potentially useful because, in theory, you can shift the tumor-promoting cells to tumor-restraining, rather than just depleting the tumor-promoting cells.”In this new report, Biffi and her colleagues have identified specific molecular signals released by cancer cells that determine fibroblasts’ character within pancreatic tumors. They have discovered that one such molecule, IL-1, drives fibroblasts to take on a tumor-promoting identity. They have also shown how another molecule, TGF-beta, overrides that signal and keeps fibroblasts in a potentially anticancer state even when IL-1 is present.The researchers are now exploring what happens to pancreatic tumors when they manipulate IL-1 and TGF-beta signaling and convert tumor-promoting fibroblasts to a more beneficial state. They will also investigate what happens when they target these pathways in combination with chemotherapy or cancer immunotherapies. Ultimately, Biffi says, patients may benefit most from a combination of therapies that target both the cancer cells and parts of the microenvironment that support their growth. last_img read more

Cancer cure within a year claims Israeli team

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJan 29 2019A team of Israeli scientists belonging to a company called the Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies (AEBi) have claimed to be at a stage where they can find a cure for cancer within a year. The therapy is being developed under the leadership of the CEO of AEBi, Dr. Ilan Morad.Dan Aridor, chairman of AEBi in a statement said, “We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer. Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market.” The treatment, the team is developing is called MuTaTo short for “multi-target toxin”. The principle of this treatment is a combination of cancer-targeting peptides or proteins along with a toxin that can kill the cancer cells specifically.Dr. Morad in a statement said that this new treatment would soon be tailor-made to individual needs based on their cancer type. According to statistics from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, every six death around the world is caused by cancer and there are 18.1 million new cases of cancer detected each year around the world. This means that the new treatment, if proven true, could benefit millions say experts.Dr. Morad explained that the team has successfully completed animal trials with the new drug and have treated laboratory mice with cancers. They found that the treatment affected and killed only the cancer cells and did not affect healthy cells of the body. They have also successfully completed in-vitro tests in the lab with encouraging results. The team is all set to start on human clinical trials that could be completed within the next few years. After approval the drug could be available for use in cancer explain the team of researchers.The team explains that their treatment is multi-pronged and it attacks the cancer cells in multiple ways. Dr. Morad said in a statement, “We made sure that the treatment will not be affected by mutations; cancer cells can mutate in such a way that targeted receptors are dropped by the cancer.” The probability of having multiple mutations that would modify all targeted receptors simultaneously decreases dramatically with the number of targets used…Instead of attacking receptors one at a time, we attack receptors three at a time.Related StoriesResearchers identify potential drug target for multiple cancer typesUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsNot even cancer can mutate three receptors at the same time,” he explained. He said most of the existing cancer drugs fail because they do not kill the stem cells of the cancer that can give rise to more and the cancer tends to come back. “If it does not completely annihilate the cancer, the remaining cells can start to get mutations again, and then the cancer comes back, but this time it is drug resistant,” he said speaking of the existing anti-cancer drugs.Experts have taken the news with a pinch of salt and wait for more peer reviewed studies and evidence before such claims could be believed to be true. Till then the scientific community believes, that if this treatment could actually work, it would be revolutionary in cancer management and further research.Len Lichtenfeld, MD, chief medical officer of the ACS, in a statement said, “It goes without saying, we all share the aspirational hope that they are correct. Unfortunately, we must be aware that this is far from proven as an effective treatment for people with cancer, let alone a cure.” He added, “Our hopes are always on the side of new breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. We are living in an era where many exciting advances are impacting the care of patients with cancer.”We hope that this approach also bears fruit and is successful. At the same time, we must always offer a note of caution that the process to get this treatment from mouse to man is not always a simple and uncomplicated journey.As experience has taught us so many times, the gap from a successful mouse experiment to effective, beneficial application of exciting laboratory concepts to helping cancer patients at the bedside is in fact a long and treacherous journey, filled with unforeseen and unanticipated obstacles,” Lichtenfeld warned.last_img read more

Nearly 35 of rural counties in the US experience significant population loss

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 7 2019Nearly 35 percent of rural counties in the United States are experiencing protracted and significant population loss, according to new research released by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Those counties are now home to 6.2 million residents, a third fewer than lived there in 1950.In all, the researchers found that 746 counties representing 24 percent of all U.S. counties are depopulating and 91 percent of them are rural. In contrast, just nine percent of urban counties are depopulating.”Population loss from outmigration is the most important factor in the initial stages of depopulation,” the researchers said. “These depopulating rural counties had an average migration loss of 43 percent of their 20-to-24-year-olds in each decade from 1950 to 2010, and that chronic young adult outmigration means there were far fewer women of child-bearing age and, as a result, many fewer births. In addition, 60 percent of these counties had more deaths than births. This combination of young adult outmigration, fewer births and more deaths produced a downward spiral of population loss that will be difficult to break.”Related StoriesScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTNot all rural counties are depopulating. More than 35 percent of rural counties have experienced sustained growth for decades. Most growing counties are near metropolitan areas or centers for retirement and recreation. Yet, the researchers also found that even among the rural counties that were at their population peak in 2010, just 56 percent gained population between 2010 and 2016. “That nearly half of the counties with long histories of population gain are now losing population underscores the demographic and economic headwinds that non-metropolitan America faces.””This study provides a demographic window to the future and a sober forecast of continuing rural population decline in many economically depressed regions,” the researchers said. “Future rural population growth and decline clearly are deeply rooted in evolving patterns of migration, fertility and mortality. It is past time to refocus our attention on the rural people and places left behind.”The research was conducted by Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer at Carsey and professor of sociology, and Daniel Lichter, a policy fellow at Carsey. It was funded by the Carnegie Corporation and NH Agriculture Experiment Station in support of Hatch Multi-State Regional Project W-4001.The Carsey School of Public Policy conducts research, leadership development, and engaged scholarship relevant to public policy. They address pressing challenges, striving for innovative, responsive, and equitable solutions at all levels of government and in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Source:https://www.unh.edu/unhtoday/news/release/2019/02/06/unh-research-finds-shrinking-population-more-third-rural-countieslast_img read more

New computer program predicts risk of lifethreatening arrhythmias

first_imgCredit: iStock Jasonee was diagnosed with Arrythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia/Cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C) in 2012. After a sudden dramatic cardiac event, a series of doctors in her hometown struggled to identify a diagnosis and recommend solutions. She found experts at Johns Hopkins, who quickly determined her condition was a rare familial disorder that causes sudden cardiac death in young, apparently healthy individuals. Now receiving proper treatment and observation, Jasonee and her family feel reassured and confident that this condition is manageable and under control, allowing her to live a full and rewarding life with her young son.Source: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/computer-program-predicts-risk-of-deadly-irregular-heart-beats An estimated 1 in 5,000 people have arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a complex, multigene, inherited disease of the lower heart chambers that can cause deadly arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats. Although rare, it’s a very frequent cause of sudden death in young adults, according to the new study’s leaders. The average age of diagnosis is 31, although it can emerge from adolescence through middle age.ARVC can be effectively managed in many cases with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), a device that detects electrical abnormalities in heart muscle and immediately shocks the heart to re-establish normal rhythm. ICDs prevent sudden cardiac death and save lives. But these devices come with risks and side effects, according to co-lead investigator Cynthia A. James, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology and a certified genetic counselor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The devices may deliver inappropriate shocks when patients aren’t experiencing life-threatening arrhythmias. And the ICD itself or pacemaker leads placed in the heart to deliver a shock may fail over time, necessitating replacement with surgery. Infections brought on by these devices–and even just wearing out the device’s battery with time–also require replacement, hospitalizations and expense, she adds.”Because patients develop this condition at such a young age, they typically need several ICD replacements over the course of their lives,” adds James, who is also a member of the Precision Medicine Center for Excellence for Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) and Complex Arrhythmias, part of Johns Hopkins InHealth, the precision medicine effort at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “For ARVC patients, getting an ICD is a big decision with serious consequences.””If someone is at risk of sudden cardiac death, you don’t want to miss the chance of putting in a lifesaving device. But you also don’t want to put it in if that risk is not worth taking,” says Hugh Calkins, M.D., professor of cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Electrophysiology Laboratory and Arrhythmia Service at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. “This new model can help doctors and patients decide better if an ICD is warranted on a case-by-case basis,” he adds.The new algorithm was developed, the researchers say, because while physicians are generally in agreement that patients who experience a life-threatening arrhythmia qualify for an ICD, it’s been unclear whether patients who haven’t yet experienced this event should get one for prevention.Previous studies identified several risk factors for having life-threatening arrhythmias in ARVC patients, but each study had such relatively small numbers of patients that individually they weren’t useful as a comprehensive model to predict benefit from an ICD, says Calkins, who is also a member of the Precision Medicine Center for Excellence for ARVC and Complex Arrhythmias.Related StoriesResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasRNA-binding protein SRSF3 appears to be key factor for proper heart contraction, survivalWeightlifting is better for the heart than cardioTo address that shortcoming, James, Calkins and their colleagues pooled medical record data from 528 patients in five registries based at 14 academic medical centers in the U.S. and Europe. The group was nearly evenly split between male and female and between North America and Europe. None had yet experienced a life-threatening arrhythmia.Then, using risk factors derived from published previous studies–including age, sex, fainting from heart-related causes, nonsustained abnormal heart rhythms, number of abnormal beats (called premature ventricular complexes) within 24 hours, and cardiac function–they developed a computer-based mathematical set of consistent rules to try to predict whether any of the 528 patients might undergo a serious arrhythmia over time.Over nearly five years of follow-up, just over a quarter of these patients experienced a dangerous arrhythmia, and 18 patients died.The researchers found that their model accurately accounted for which patients would have life-threatening events. No patient with a five-year, model-predicted risk of 5 percent or less had a serious arrhythmia. More than 95 percent of arrhythmias occurred in people with at least a 15 percent five-year risk.When the researchers compared their prediction accuracy rates with outcomes using a current consensus-based ICD placement algorithm, they found that about 20.6 percent of recommended ICD placements would have likely been unnecessary.”We believe our findings and the risk calculator we have developed have the potential to contribute to personalized medicine and to high value health care efforts emerging throughout medical care,” says Calkins.James and Calkins say it can cost $20,000 to implant an ICD and a similar amount of money to replace the device when the battery wears out five to 10 years later.While results of their study seem promising, the researchers caution that because they were derived from patient registries at hospitals that specialize in treating this condition, and include many patients who carry mutations in the same ARVC gene (PKP2), the results may not match those from a community-derived population or patients who carry other types of ARVC-causing mutations. The researchers plan to validate this model in other patient populations.In conjunction with this new publication, James and Calkins add, the team has developed a free app that will allow doctors and patients to rapidly input medical data to calculate personal risk, easing the decision-making process.”It’s an important and extremely practical tool to come out of this research,” James says.center_img Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 28 2019Combining a wealth of information derived from previous studies with data from more than 500 patients, an international team led by researchers from Johns Hopkins has developed a computer-based set of rules that more accurately predicts when patients with a rare heart condition might benefit–or not–from lifesaving implanted defibrillators. The new research, published online on March 27 in the European Heart Journal provides physicians with a risk prediction tool that will identify patients most likely to benefit from the protection provided by an implantable defibrillator while preventing a fifth from receiving unnecessary–and potentially risky–surgery to place the devices.last_img read more