first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say DONE DEAL? Watford swoop for Vozdovac striker Filip Stuparevicby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford have signed Serbian striker Filip Stuparevic.The 18 year-old centre-forward hails from Vozdovac and has already signed for the Hornets.Vozdovac chief Goran Grkinic has confirmed the sale, though Stuparevic is unlikely to be seen at Vicarage Road until next season.The plan is for Watford to send Stuparevic on-loan to Serie A partners Udinese for the coming six months.Despite his youth, the young Serb has been a regular for Vozdovac this season. last_img read more


first_imgSolskjaer pleased for debutant Chong: He lifted Man Utd crowdby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt Tahith Chong lifted the home support in his debut for their 2-0 FA Cup win over Reading.Chong, 19, replaced Juan Mata in the 64th minute of United’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Reading to become the 229th academy graduate to make their first-team bow for the club.”He had two or three really good moments, as you do when you’re young,” Solskjaer said. “You don’t run the game as a first performance for a 19-year-old.”But he got the crowd going, and has shown one or two glimpses of what he can do, he has in training anyway. And the game wasn’t won, it was 2-0 and was still go out there and perform. It’s not like it was 4-0 and it’s just a party, so he did well defensively as well and I think he’ll remember this for a long, long time.”He added: “The pleasing thing is we’re through and another clean sheet, 2-0 flatters us a bit because I think they played some great stuff, but then again we could have had three or four towards the end. The second goal was excellent with Alexis [Sanchez] getting Romelu [Lukaku] in, so individual quality managed to get us through, to be fair.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more


first_imgFred Hoiberg dances in new Infiniti comemrcial.YouTubeWith the elimination of the Chicago Bulls from the NBA Playoffs, all signs point to the franchise parting ways with head coach Tom Thibodeau. Who will take over the historic franchise if the job opens up as expected? According to Yahoo Sports’ NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg is the only coach on the Bulls’ list.“The job will be Fred Hoiberg’s if he wants it,” Wojnarowski said. “There’s not going to be any competition for him. Now, it’s conceivable that Fred Hoiberg decides to stay at Iowa State, but if they make a change and Tom Thibodeau is out, Fred Hoiberg is really the only candidate for this job from the Bulls perspective. But that doesn’t guarantee that he’s going to do it. I know he’s already had to give it thought because it’s real.The full interview with Wojnarowski is available at CBS Chicago.Last week, Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard admitted that the NBA is likely in Hoiberg’s future.Jamie Pollard on Hoiberg/NBA rumors: “He has always said from Day 1 that his lifelong goal has been to coach in the NBA…” (1/2)— Travis Hines (@TravisHines21) May 12, 2015Pollard: “…It’s for him to decide when that part of his life he wants to activate.” (2/2)— Travis Hines (@TravisHines21) May 12, 2015I asked Jamie Pollard if he expected Fred Hoiberg to be his men’s basketball coach on Aug. 1: “I hope so.”— Travis Hines (@TravisHines21) May 12, 2015 Will the chance to coach Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Joakim Noah lead him out of Ames? We’ll probably find out pretty soon.[CBS Chicago]last_img read more


first_imgzoom Scottish ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) has reported that its annual passenger carrying figures exceeded five million for first time in 20 years.During 2016, the company handled a total of 5,055,827 passengers and 1,356,396 cars, which increased by 9.2 percent and 15.9 percent year-on-year, respectively.“Many routes saw very significant rises in both passenger and car numbers in the first full year after the roll-out of road equivalent tariff (RET) across all areas,” CalMac said.The company added that the busiest route overall in the network continues to be Ardrossan in North Ayrshire to Brodick on the Isle of Arran, carrying 828,262 people and 202,843 cars in 2016, a rise of 8.7 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.The highest increase on a 2015-2016 like-for-like route was a substantial 74 percent rise in cars on the Tobermory to Kilchoan crossing and 52.2 and 52.3 percent on both the Oban to Lismore and the Mallaig to the Small Isles runs, respectively.A larger vessel will operate the Tobermory-Kilchoan crossing this summer to help cater for the growth in numbers, thereby increasing capacity.In terms of largest percentage increases in passengers, Tarbert on Loch Fyne to Portavadie recorded 35.5 percent, with 29.6 percent and 21.8 percent on Tobermory to Kilchoan and Oban to Lismore, respectively.“These figures underline the success of the full roll out of Road Equivalent Tariff on the Clyde and Hebrides ferry network, a key commitment from the Scottish Government,” Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands, said.The company operates the UK’s largest ferry network, with 32 vessels carrying out more than 136,000 individual sailings annually across an area which extends some 200 miles from Campbeltown on Kintyre and the Isle of Arran in the south, to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the north.last_img read more


first_img Categories: Featured news,News 02Mar Rep. Cole to promote March is Reading Month State Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, will visit schools across House District 105 in an effort to promote March is Reading Month and encourage young people to read.Rep. Cole plans to visit several local schools to read books aloud to the students.“Reading is an essential skill for every child in Michigan to obtain and while I do believe the importance of reading should be stressed year-round, I am honored and overjoyed to visit several schools throughout the month of March to promote this national annual celebration,” said Rep. Cole. “I am looking forward to reading to the kids because spending time with the youngsters serves as a great reminder of why I decided to become state representative. The next generation is our state’s future and I want to do everything I can to prepare them for success.”For more information and additional ways to celebrate March is Reading Month, please visit the Michigan Department of Education’s online resources website at   www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Reading_Month_270348_7_272048_7.pdf.######center_img Tags: #SB, 105, Cole, March is Reading Month, reading last_img read more


first_imgBy Jeff Clark, Casey Research Inflation is a natural consequence of loose government monetary policy. If those policies get too loose, hyperinflation can occur. As gold investors, we’d like to know if the precious metals would keep pace in this extreme scenario. Hyperinflation is an extremely rapid period of inflation, but when does inflation (which can be manageable) cross the line and become out-of-control hyperinflation? Philip Cagan, one of the very first researchers of this phenomenon, defines hyperinflation as “an inflation rate of 50% or more in a single month,” something largely inconceivable to the average investor. While there can be multiple reasons for inflation, hyperinflation historically has one root cause: excessive money supply. Debts and deficits reach unsustainable levels, and politicians resort to diluting the currency to cover their expenses. A tipping point is reached, and investors lose confidence in the currency. “Confidence” is the key word here. Fiat money holds its purchasing power largely on the belief that it is stable and will preserve that power over time. Once this trust is broken, a flight from the currency ensues. In such scenarios, citizens spend the money as quickly as possible, typically buying tangible items in a desperate attempt to get rid of currency units before they lose value. This process increases the velocity of money, setting off a vicious cycle that destroys purchasing power faster and faster. The most famous case of hyperinflation is the one that occurred in Germany during the Weimar Republic, from January 1919 until November 1923. According to Investopedia, “the average price level increased by a factor of 20 billion, doubling every 28 hours.” One would expect gold to fare well during such an extreme circumstance, and it did – in German marks, quite dramatically. In January 1919, one ounce of gold traded for 170 marks; by November 1923, that same ounce was worth 87 trillion marks. Take a look. (Click on image to enlarge) Inflation was at first benign, then began to grow rapidly, and quickly became a monster. What’s important to us as investors is that the price of gold grew faster than the rate of monetary inflation. The data here reveal that over this five-year period, the gold price increased 1.8 times more than the inflation rate. The implication of this is sobering: while hyperinflation wiped out most people’s savings, turning wealthy citizens into poor ones literally overnight, those who had assets denominated in gold experienced no loss in purchasing power. In fact, their ability to purchase goods and services grew beyond the runaway prices they saw all around them. One can’t help but wonder how the people whose wealth evaporated in Germany during this time felt. In effect, they were robbed by the government – they were on the losing end of a massive transfer of wealth. Of course, there are two sides to the story, as those who held significant amounts of gold and silver were the recipients. We can’t help but speculate about whether most citizens dismissed the idea of inflation during the calm period in 1920-’21. Did respected economists scoff at the idea that Germany could suffer hyperinflation, just before it struck? Did some politicians proclaim that “a little inflation would be good?” Those who today argue that our obscene debt levels, runaway deficit spending, and money-printing schemes are sound strategies and believe they won’t lead to out-of-control inflation might want to rethink those beliefs. We’ve seen this movie before: it doesn’t have a happy ending. The historical record is clear on what happens when countries embark on fiscal and monetary paths today’s leading economies are embracing. If gold’s recent price performance is anything like the calm before Germany’s hyperinflationary storm, this is a time to be accumulating more gold. Keep in mind that hyperinflation is not a rare event. Since Weimar Germany, there have been 29 additional hyperinflations around the world, including those in Austria, Argentina, Greece, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan, and Zimbabwe, to name a few. On average, that’s one every three years or so. While hyperinflation devastates those who experience it, there is a healing aspect to it. Since the responsibility for this type of disaster lies solely at the feet of government, there may be some Darwinian justice to the way hyperinflation purges the perverse fiscal and monetary imbalances from an economy. After the Weimar Republic hyperinflation, the second half of the 1920s was a strong period for Germany, with low inflation and steady growth. It’s no secret that many currencies around the world, including the US dollar, are choosing the path of inflation. If we were to slip into hyperinflation, there will be disastrous consequences for those unprepared. Given that the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency, the problems would spread to practically every country on earth. Hyperinflation will shake people’s confidence not only in the US dollar, but in the paper currency system as a whole. What will actually come to pass, we don’t know. What we do know is that the measures to cure hyperinflation include tying the currency to a hard asset or even replacing it with one. When creditability in fiat money dissipates, gold may be the only viable option left standing. Again, the investment implication is obvious: continue to accumulate gold. How much is enough? Well, how many ounces do you own in relation to your total assets? Anything less than 5% will not offer you a sufficient level of protection in a high inflationary environment. Another way to look at it is this: how many ounces do you need to cover your monthly expenses? In Weimar Germany, inflation rose uncomfortably for two years – and then pinched harder, spiraling into a destructive hyperinflation for another two. Consider what it would take to maintain your standard of living for a couple years instead of just a couple months. And don’t listen to any government’s ongoing pronouncements of confidence in the current system, along with the mainstream media’s noisy and frequently inaccurate portrayals of the gold market. (For example, these two headlines appeared on the same day: Gold Edges Lower as Worries over Europe Simmer; and Gold Settles Higher on Spanish Bailout Plans.) In a world awash in ignorance about real money, if not deliberate obfuscation, you have to study the relevant history, draw your own conclusions, and stick with them. This example shows how gold can perform during hyperinflation. If that worst-case scenario comes to pass, will the example your family’s finances sets be a positive or a negative one? Don’t let your family be one of the millions slowly being robbed by the US federal government’s policies that are, among other things, eroding the value of its dollar. Start preparing yourself now, and you can not just survive what looks to be ahead – you and your family can thrive. And that, ultimately, is what investing is all about.last_img read more


first_imgHere’s how to write an award-winning movie: pick a random Middle Eastern country with oil… insert conflict that can threaten the oil supply… enter the United States with guns blazing and people dying. Sounds pretty unoriginal, but it’s the plot of the 2005 movie Syriana, which won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (go figure). But what’s even more frightening than the limited imagination of Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is that the US government has followed this plot line to a T so many times. And it’s not any different this time around. The United States will invade Syria or even Iran, secure the oil supply, and occupy the country for decades to come. Politicians will become richer, innocent people will die, and thinking Americans will have yet another reason to doubt their government. America’s involvement this war around probably won’t be as controversial, because many Western countries have already stated their support for the Syrian rebels. Russia’s support for the Syrian government will definitely stir things up, but we don’t think that will be too big of an issue. In fact, the US has already been training non-Islamist rebels in Jordan and has approved providing lethal arms to this group. Next, watch for the pro-war rhetoric to flare up. It’s almost that time again, when the White House and Congress will say and do anything to get the public riled up enough to happily march to the frontlines or, at the very least, “support our troops kids who are being sent to the desert as cannon fodder.” US Secretary of State John Kerry has accused the Syrian government of destroying evidence in an area believed to be the site of a chemical weapon attack, and (gasp!) Syria has been refusing to allow the UN to investigate the alleged attack sites. All of this sounds just a little bit too familiar for our taste. We all know how much of a problem the Iraq debacle has been for the US government and its budget. In fact, we may just be weeks away from seeing Tomahawk cruise missiles raining on Damascus. As Doug Casey likes to put it, never let a good crisis go to waste. Though Syria is not a major producer of oil, the impact of its civil war can reach far beyond its borders to countries such as Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. We believe this saber-rattling by the US government is simply another step toward trying to secure the Persian Gulf… and its precious oil resources. Every time the US government does this, oil has the potential to skyrocket—which, while being bad news for most people, is fantastic news for those who are already invested in the sector because it lifts all oil plays, whether in the desert or elsewhere. Right now, we’re monitoring a promising investment that could massively profit from the next Middle Eastern oil crisis. This company’s plans are so secretive that the company’s lawyers would not even allow us a site tour to find out about its next—and quite possibly crucial—drill results. However, as soon as the company breaks its silence, Casey Energy Report subscribers will hear about it immediately, for a chance to jump into what may be the energy opportunity of a lifetime. The critical drill results are only weeks away. If you give the Casey Energy Report a risk-free try today, you’ll be among the select few who will not just survive these turbulent markets, but who could multiply your net assets with just one investment. Click here to find out more. Additional Links and Reads Gas-Rich Tanzania to Start Power Exports in 2015 (Gulf Times) Due to BG and Statoil’s success in offshore Tanzania, the once energy-starved African nation is set to become an exporter by 2015. Unfortunately for the United States, 2015 is also around the time other countries begin ramping up their liquefied natural-gas (LNG) exports, namely Australia, which is poised to become the Qatar of the Asian-Pacific and own about 20% of the market by 2020. With all these developments, can LNG really be the real savior of the US gas market? Sierra Leone Man Busted by Undercover US Agents for Attempted Uranium Sale to Iran (Jerusalem Post) At least someone was set to make money in the uranium markets. Just how much is 1,000 tons of uranium? Even at current, depressed market prices, the man was set to pocket a cool $70 million for his company. It appears he has brokered deals with other countries in the past. It will be interesting to see where this goes. China National Petroleum Corp. Executive Is Investigated (Wall Street Journal) We recently published a report on national oil companies (NOCs) vs. international oil companies (IOCs). In it, we highlighted many reasons why NOCs sometimes trade at a discount to IOCs. One reason why is highlighted in this article: officials abusing their powers and taking advantage of the lack of transparency in reporting. It really is no surprise; but there are still opportunities when it comes to NOCs. Click here for more information.last_img read more


first_img But in the oil patch, you either innovate or disintegrate. The need to bring down costs and increase the recovery of oil and natural gas is now a prerequisite to stay alive in the oil patch during a major price correction, such as we’re currently in. The need to modify drill and production programs to be efficient is greater than ever. Companies will focus on increasing the number of wells per pad and down spacing, which allows producers to increase extraction efficiency by reducing the length between wells on a per acre basis. But I believe the greatest efficiency and success of this downturn will be re-fracking. Re-Enter and Re-Frac In the next few years, you’ll very likely be hearing a lot about re-fracking… and it will likely also become as common as fracking is today over that time frame. What is re-fracking? Essentially, rather than drilling a new well, a company re-enters and re-fractures existing horizontal wells. This can be done currently at about 25% of the cost; that cost will only improve with more “re-fracks” and as better techniques develop with time. Now that oil has fallen to new lows and management teams are coming to the realization that prices aren’t going up anytime soon, oil producers need to find ways to reduce drilling costs and increase production (recovery) from existing wells. I believe that one of the absolute best ways to do this is to eliminate as much of the drilling costs of a new well as possible and focus on re-entering an existing well. By applying better modern technology and better equipment, the company can re-frack the older horizontal wells to unlock the trapped oil and natural gas left behind in the initial frack process. And there’s a lot of oil left behind in the existing fracked wells. Bam! Innovation out of necessity. Re-fracturing horizontal oil wells is new to the industry, but I think it will actually revitalize the declining wells in the shale sector. I’m not saying that the re-fracked wells will be better than the original fracked wells initially, but thus far, the future is very promising for re-fracks based on the results I’ve seen. Not only can re-fracking revitalize these declining wells, it can also increase the companies’ drilling inventories significantly, which is a huge positive. “Drilling inventory” is the number of potential wells per section. More wells means more reserves, which is good, especially if the cost  to re-enter those existing wells is one-quarter or less the cost of drilling a new well. Now I know there will be an old guard—the same guys who in 2007 and 2008 told me that fracking is science fiction—who won’t believe in re-fracking, but that’s their problem. I’m already planning how I am going to position myself and my subscribers to take advantage of this trend that no one is talking about. One of the first companies to test re-fractures is Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) in its core Bakken acreage in Mountrail and Dunn Counties. So, we called the company up and starting asking questions. They really didn’t like the fact we came knocking and didn’t want to give out much information, as this is cutting-edge stuff, and the company has a leg up on its competition. But anyone who knows me knows I don’t give up easily, so I got the story… and it gets very good. The re-fractured wells significantly outperformed expected results. In the third quarter of 2014, Marathon Oil completed 13 re-fractured wells, all with very positive results. So I kept the search on for other management teams that have the know-how to deploy re-fracks. I called Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), one of the true pioneers in the early days of the Eagle Ford shale in Texas. PXD is seeing major success using re-fracking the Eagle Ford. I didn’t stop there. I have the whole list of who’s re-fracking and who isn’t. But that information is for my paying subscribers. That said, I’d be remiss if I left out my fellow Canadians and failed to mention that the Canadian companies such as Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) are not too far behind this new re-fracking trend. CPG will begin re-fracturing its Alberta Bakken wells in 2015. Who will really benefit from the re-fracking boom? I think I nailed this one… and it will be the basis of my March Casey Energy Report newsletter. I spoke to one of the world’s leading minds in well re-fracking recently, to pick his mind on where the industry is currently and where it will be going in a few years. His insights and experience are incredible. This executive was one of the final candidates to be the president of one of the world’s largest service companies; and after not getting the nod, he left the company (into which he’d put over 30 years of service) and formed a multibillion-dollar fund which is now capitalizing on the new enhanced oil recoveries. I also plan on making money for my Casey Energy Report subscribers with it. The reason for the recent emphasis on efficiency is due to the adversity facing oil and gas producers, with lower oil prices and a business model built upon levered growth. Many companies have over-accumulated debt to fund growth projects, and as oil prices fall, they must look to efficiencies to keep growth alive or keep existing production stable. Shale wells face production decline rates ranging from 50%-85% in some wells of the three main formations. Therefore, US shale producers have to keep drilling just to maintain production and continuously pay out large interest payments to their debt holders. These interest payments are burdensome on the profitability of producers, but if they even slow production, their interest payments would be at risk at $50 oil. Looking at the large and small producers in the three main basins in the US, we can see how much these interest payments can cost a company as a percentage of operating profit. If highly levered US producers were to cut production, their interest costs could rise to greater than 50% of their operating profit and would put the company at risk of default. If that happens, debt is likely to dry up, and lenders would tighten lending restrictions on these companies. US companies are using down spacing, pad drilling, and re-fracturing as a way to stabilize and grow production while cutting costs in order to avoid accumulating additional debt or seeking additional credit facilities to fund their production. The United States is a place that fosters innovation. With companies like Google, Apple, and Tesla, it’s easy to overlook innovation in the oil and gas industry. As oil and gas producers face the adversity of low oil prices and high leverage, they rely on the main characteristic that birthed the shale revolution: innovation. The Saudis may be dictating the price of oil currently to fight for international market share, but oil production from shale formations will not be destroyed, as OPEC hopes it will. The US oil producers will continue to pump record amounts of crude, not because they want to, but because they have to—and having to do something spurs the type of innovation we’re seeing in the oil and gas industry today. The future of fracking is re-fracking, and we’re on the cusp of what will be the next phase of the US Shale Revolution. How Do You Make Money from the Re-fracking Revolution? The current energy markets are volatile, but a speculator must use volatility to his own advantage to build positions in companies that have suffered as a result of the current market correction. I follow a very disciplined approach and use very advanced mathematics and technical knowledge to position myself in the best energy companies. If you’re looking for in-depth research, experience, and exposure to my vast network in the resource sector, then you may want to pay attention to what I’m doing. If you believe that to be successful in the resource sector one must be a contrarian to be rich—as I do—now is the time to become engaged. Come see what I’m doing with my own money. You’ll get access to every Casey Energy Report newsletter I’ve written in the last decade, as well as my next two monthly reports, which will not only cover the potential of re-fracking, but will reveal which companies will be best situated to make their shareholders money in the current depressed energy market. It’s all available right here. I can’t make the trade for you, but I can help you help yourself. I’m making big bets—are you ready to step up and join me? This will be one of the most important missives I will ever write. The future of fracking is re-fracking. This cutting-edge technology is new, and I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the next game-changing technology in the shale revolution. Some will call it Fracking 2.0., but I call it Re-Fracking. Adversity is understating the potential headwinds heavily indebted oil and gas companies face as 2015 begins, oil prices stay suppressed, and hedges on their production eventually wind down. Adversity always results in innovation in the top oil and gas producers, operators, and servicers in the industry in every downturn. Where We Were, Where We Are, and Where We’re Going In 1956 Marion King Hubbert, a geoscientist from Shell, predicted peak oil production would be reached between 1965 and 1970. He became famous when his prediction became reality in 1970. But everything changed when the innovations in horizontal drilling and fracturing allowed companies to recover oil and natural gas from new and deeper formations such as the Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Permian Basin at the dawn of the 21st century. Hydraulic fracturing has experienced many innovations, such as increased lengths both vertically and laterally as well as new completion designs which have increased fracture stages along the well and perforations (number of fractures) between each cluster stage, to name a few.center_img I prefer to spell the shorthand for hydraulic fracturing as “fracing,” because it’s an adaptation of the word “fracturing,” which is what happens to the formation of rock. But mainstream media, Microsoft Office Word 2013, and most important, my proofreaders disagree. The latter tell me it should actually follow some rule involving a part of speech called a “gerund” and get the “k” added. It’s a battle I don’t care to fight (I care about making money, not academic nonsense), so fracking will be the spelling in Casey publications moving forward. Whether you read the word fracking, fraccing, or fracing, they all refer to hydraulic fracturing.last_img read more


first_imgIn the past few years, consumer advocacy groups have pressed restaurant chains to offer healthier kids’ meals and more nutritious side options like milk and fruit, and the restaurants have responded.In 2013, McDonald’s pledged to remove all mentions and images of soda from Happy Meal menu boards, and shortly thereafter, other fast-food restaurants began to devise policies to introduce nutritious drink and side options beyond fries and dessert. McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Subway — the four biggest fast-food chains — replaced soda on kids’ meal menus with low-fat milk, water and 100 percent juice, and McDonald’s and Subway promised to make fruit and vegetable sides available.So have the voluntary pledges to make fast food healthier meant parents are purchasing more of the healthier food for their kids at the restaurants?Not really, says a study released Thursday by the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. And that may not be a good sign for children’s health.The study documented about 800 parents’ purchases for their children at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Subway through online surveys conducted in 2010, 2013 and 2016.Between 2010 and 2016, the percentage of parents who purchased kids’ meals and received healthier drinks remained about the same at 59-60 percent. And from 2013 to 2016, the percentage of parents who purchased kids’ meals with healthier sides actually declined from 67 percent in 2013 to 50 percent in 2016.Also, parents report buying fast food for their children more often. In fact, 91 percent of parents surveyed in 2016 said they had purchased a meal for their child at the four largest fast-food chains in the past week, compared with 79 percent in 2010.”It appears that restaurants’ voluntary policies as currently implemented are unlikely to substantially reduce children’s fast-food consumption overall, or increase their consumption of healthy items,” the study says.The report doesn’t really surprise researchers. Past studies conducted by Rudd have shown that fast-food restaurants are following their own voluntary pledges inconsistently.For example, at one McDonald’s location, the cashier may automatically include soda with a kids’ meal, at another location you might need to ask, and the same goes for french fries, the study found. While all chains removed the items listed in their pledges from their online menus, many still listed soda on kids’ meal menus in the brick-and-mortar restaurants.Still, the “health halo” of the healthy offering policies seems to resonate with parents. Nearly all parents surveyed in the latest Rudd study said they would purchase food for their children at that restaurant more frequently because of the healthy offerings. But Harris says while they may have health in mind when entering the restaurant, this doesn’t always lead to healthy choices.”The marketing of the healthy options available is getting people in the door, but it’s unlikely they’ll take the effort to ask if [the restaurant has] something healthier,” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Jennifer L. Harris, the director of marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center.Instead, Harris says, the best option for public health would be to automatically include the healthy options with the kids’ meals. “If fast-food restaurants start automatically giving patients healthy choices, that would be encouraging,” she says.Hillary Caron, a senior policy associate at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, says that the Rudd Center’s study is particularly interesting because it demonstrates the power of defaults in consumer decision-making. That is, if the meal comes with fries unless you ask for apple slices instead, you’re likely to get fries.Some government officials have already taken this message to heart. Just last week, California became to first state to pass a healthy-kids’-meal policy when Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that prohibits soda and other sugary drinks from being the designated beverages that come with kids’ meals. Similar bills have passed in cities like Louisville, Ky., and Baltimore and have been proposed in New York City and D.C.Harris says that the findings of the latest Rudd study indicate a need for such public policies. Voluntary and mandatory policies could work hand in hand, though, according to Caron.”Both approaches reinforce each other,” Caron writes in an email to NPR. Voluntary commitments from restaurants, she says, help make the case for state and local policies because they show that the changes are achievable. But state and local policies ensure that the principles apply to all restaurants, not just chains that propose voluntary health policies.Still, Harris wants people to remember that even if the fast food offered at restaurants is billed as healthy, most fast-food meals still consist of chicken nuggets, burgers and fries.”It’s important to communicate that fast-food meals are not healthy options,” Harris says. “Replacing soda with milk or water doesn’t make the meal healthy,” she adds. “It’s a small step, but in the right direction.”Rachel D. Cohen is an intern on NPR’s Science Desk. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more


first_imgImpulses, a Culinary EMBA, and Immigration Figures – Boston News Let’s explore some of the most interesting stories that have emerged from Boston business schools this week.How God Influences Your Grocery Bill – Questrom School of Business BlogBU Questrom Professor of Marketing Didem Kurt recently co-authored new research with the University of Pittsburgh’s J. Jeffrey Inman and Harvard’s Francesca Gino that explored links between “grocery sales data and rates of religious adherence in thousands of counties across the country.”According to the study, “religion and religious messages were linked to lower spending.”People who were reminded of God’s presence were less likely than another control group to spend money on “impulse purchases such as magazines and gum,” an effect that the researchers note “persisted whether or not an individual described themselves as religious.” Kurt explains, “We attribute this result to the notion that thinking about God reminds people of commonly shared values—such as frugality—even if they don’t believe in God. Managers may want to consider proximity to houses of worship when choosing a retail location. They need to be cognizant of the effect of religious cues and reminders on consumer spending.”You can read the full article here and check out the complete paper on Science Direct.A Full-Course Meal – Sawyer Business School BlogThe Sawyer Business School Blog recently profiled David Lanci, EMBA ’02, who after many years as a chef, shifted into the food services industry and founded NexDine, which offers “catering and dining services to corporations, schools, colleges, and senior living facilities around the country.”Lanci told the Sawyer blog that his Suffolk EMBA “gave [him] the confidence to go out and start this company. One thing I really learned from my EMBA is to take a holistic view of everything and never have a singular view. It’s not just about what’s on the plate.”NexDine founder David Lanci, EMBA ’02Lanci continues: “I realized that how you communicate with the people in the group has a dramatic impact on the outcome. I realized it wasn’t just out of sheer will you could get something done. You had to collaborate, and that was the aha moment for me.”He concludes, “Food is almost the easy part. It’s just as challenging—if not more so—to manage people, manage clients, manage budgets. And in our industry, we’re not making widgets. We can’t do everything the same way for every client. Every location is different. People’s appetites are different.”You can read the full interview with Lanci here.Undocumented Immigrant Population Roughly Double Current Estimate – MIT Sloan NewsroomAccording to new research from MIT Sloan’s Mohammad Fazel-Zarandi and Yale’s Edward Kaplan and Jonathan Feinstein, “the number of undocumented immigrants living in the country is about 22.1 million, nearly twice the most prominent current estimate of 11.3 million.”Fazel-Zarandi explains, “It’s likely that undocumented immigrants are more difficult to locate and survey than other foreign-born residents and if contacted, they may be inclined to misreport their country of origin, citizenship, and number of household residents, fearing the legal consequences of revealing their status.”He continues: “A common argument in favor of a tougher immigration policy is that people who have entered the country illegally elevate levels of violent criminal activity.”“Whatever the extent of criminality that is assessed, it’s clear that crime statistics be thought of in relation to a substantially larger population of undocumented immigrants. This lessens the risk in per capita terms. What’s acceptable for a population of 11 million is unlikely to be sufficient for a population of 22 million.”You can read the full article here. regions: Boston Last Updated Oct 2, 2018 by Jonathan PfefferFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail center_img RelatedReligious Spending, Taking Risks, and More – Boston NewsLet’s explore some of the most interesting stories that have emerged from Boston business schools this week. Shoppers with Strong Religious Beliefs Spend Less and Make Fewer Impulse Purchases – Harvard Business Review The Harvard Business School recently published an article in the Harvard Business Review that illuminates a fascinating correlation between…July 31, 2018In “Boston”The Case for Business Curiosity from Harvard, and More – Boston NewsLet’s explore some of the most interesting stories that have emerged from Boston business schools this week. The Business Case for Curiosity – Harvard Business Review Harvard Business School Professor of Business Administration and Behavioral Scientist Francesca Gino recently published an article in the Harvard Business Review in which she…August 27, 2018In “Boston”Boston’s Essential Nonprofit MBA ProgramsBusiness doesn’t only have to be about flipping a dollar. Some work isn’t about how much money a business makes but, rather, how much change it makes. This is part of the drive behind nonprofits and why some people dream about leading one. Nonprofits provide rewarding work, and they’re right down the…October 4, 2017In “Featured Home” About the AuthorJonathan PfefferJonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.View more posts by Jonathan Pfeffer last_img read more


first_img Source:http://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/189417/bacterial-sleeper-cells-evade-antibiotics-weaken/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 7 2018New research, from scientists at Imperial College London, unravels how so-called bacterial persister cells manipulate our immune cells, potentially opening new avenues to finding ways of clearing these bacterial cells from the body, and stopping recurrence of the bacterial infection.The latest findings, published in the journal Science, may help explain why some people suffer from repeated bouts of an illness, despite taking antibiotics. In the study, funded by the Medical Research Council, the Lister Institute and EMBO, the scientists, studied bacterial cells of Salmonella called persisters.Whenever bacteria such as Salmonella invade the body, many of the bugs enter a type of stand-by mode in response to attack by the body immune system, which means they are not killed by antibiotics.These bacteria persister cells stop replicating and can remain in this dormant, ‘sleeper-cell’ state for days, weeks or even months. When antibiotic treatment has been stopped, if some of these bacterial cells spring back to life, they can trigger another infection.Dr Sophie Helaine, senior author of the research from the MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection in Imperial’s Department of Medicine explained: “Persisters are often the culprit for repeat or hard-to-treat infections. The classic scenario is a person suffers some type of illness – such as a urinary tract infection or ear infection, and takes antibiotics that stop the symptoms, only for infection to return a few weeks later.”These persister cells are formed when bacteria are taken up by macrophages, which are human immune cells that have a key role in protecting the body against infections by engulfing bacteria and viruses. Once inside the macrophage, the persister can exist in this state in which antibiotics can’t kill it for weeks, or even months.Persisters were discovered in 1944 and were thought to be dormant inactive bacteria lying low in the body, acting as time bomb for relapse.Related StoriesGrowth problems in preterm infants associated with altered gut bacteriaFinger-prick blood test could help prevent unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for patients with COPDOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchIn the latest research, the scientists reveal that the persisters, while hiding in the body’s immune cells, are actually able to weaken the killing ability of the macrophages.The work was conducted in collaboration with the Vogel lab at the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research in Germany, a site of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research.Dr Peter Hill, co-author of the research explained: “Previously, it was thought the persisters are completely dormant. However the reality we revealed here is much scarier. They chip away at the defenses from the inside, weakening the power of the macrophages – which are a key part of our arsenal against infection. This means that once antibiotic treatment stops, they might have created a much more favorable environment for another bout of infection, or even a completely new infection from another bacteria or virus.”Although scientists, studied Salmonella infection of mouse macrophages in this research, many types of bacteria that commonly cause illness are known to form persisters in humans, including E.coli and the bacillus responsible for tuberculosis and Salmonella itself.The scientists are now investigating whether there is any way of turning the tables against the bacteria, and if they can target the mechanism by which the persisters weaken our immune cells.Dr Helaine added: “Although these findings suggest the persisters have a more profound effect on our immune defenses than previously thought, they also reveal a potential bacterial weakness. Persisters are hard to treat as they are invisible to antibiotics, but it may be this mechanism of weakening our immune cells could be a vulnerability of these persisters. We could potentially target this mechanism, and more efficiently clear hard-to-treat infections.”last_img read more


first_img Source:http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2018/december/bmi-measure-of-good-health.html Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 11 2018A new study from the University of Bristol supports body mass index (BMI) as a useful tool for assessing obesity and health.A simple measure based on weight and height, BMI is widely used to assess if a person is of a healthy weight. But its reliability as a health measure is often criticized, as it does not distinguish fat from muscle and does not tell us where body fat is stored.Using body scans from 2,840 young people aged 10 and 18 in Bristol’s Children of the 90s population study, researchers examined BMI findings against more detailed measures of fat.They studied the effects of total fat, along with fat in the trunk, arms and legs, on 230 different traits relevant to metabolism and future heart disease risk, such as cholesterol and blood pressure. These effects were compared with those seen when using BMI as a measure.Related StoriesChaos in the house and asthma in children – the connectionTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskThe study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that higher total fat at age 10 and 18 was associated with damaging levels of cardiometabolic traits such as higher blood pressure and adverse cholesterol and inflammatory profiles at age 18.Effects appeared to worsen with time and were driven most by fat stored and gained in the trunk, although gains in leg fat also appeared harmful. Carrying more lean mass (assessed here as anything in the body that that isn’t fat or bone) had less of an impact on traits and did not appear to protect against carrying more fat. Higher BMI showed similar effects as higher total and trunk fat, reflecting close overlap between these measures.Dr Joshua Bell, an epidemiologist at the University of Bristol who led the study, commented: “BMI is often criticized. Our study asked how useful it really is for detecting the health effects of obesity by pitching it against more objective body scan measures. We found that trunk fat is the most damaging to health, but that simple BMI gives very similar answers to more detailed measures. This is good news since BMI is widely measured and costs virtually nothing.””We’re now in a better position to understand obesity in the young thanks to participants of the Bristol-based Children of the 90s study – they, and all study participants, make new insights possible.””We now need to look at more detailed lean measures to see if other aspects protect against higher fat, and how this might differ between the sexes. This is more important than ever given stubbornly high rates of obesity worldwide.”last_img read more


first_img Source:https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/international-journal-geriatric-psychiatry/study-uncovers-ethnic-differences-cognition Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 24 2019In an International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry study of individuals diagnosed with dementia in the United Kingdom, people from minority ethnic backgrounds (Asian and Black patients) had lower cognitive scores and were younger when they were diagnosed with dementia than White patients.Related StoriesWhy women who work are less likely to develop dementiaMetformin use linked to lower risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetesHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionThe study used data from electronic health records and included 9,380 White patients, 642 Asian patients, and 2,008 Black patients who were diagnosed with dementia in two London mental health trusts between 2008 and 2016.The study’s authors noted that there is a need to understand these inequalities, to see if dementia prevention initiatives should be tailored by ethnic group and to ensure dementia diagnosis across all ethnic groups is obtained as early as possible.”This study is the first to investigate age and cognitive impairment at the time of dementia diagnosis in South Asians. The earlier age at diagnosis indicates that dementia prevalence in South Asians is likely to be higher in this group than in the White British population,” said lead author Dr. Naaheed Mukadam, of University College London.last_img read more


first_imgIn the case of Google and Alexa, users must create a secure connection between their bank and the assistant through Alexa’s Skills or Google’s Actions. All banks require the use of a four-digit PIN before they will provide balance and bank account info over these speakers, and suggest making those PINs different from the one on a customer’s ATM card. Hey Alexa, what’s my bank account balance? Bonjour, Alexa: Amazon digital assistant heads to France “We want to be there for our customers in any possible way that we can,” said Gareth Gaston, executive vice president for omnichannel banking at U.S. Bank.For now, U.S. Bank is keeping the features available through bank-by-voice fairly restrictive. Customers will be able to check bank balances, pay U.S. Bank credit cards and mortgages, ask Alexa or Google the due dates on bills, and other basic functions. Money cannot be transferred from a U.S. Bank account using voice yet, Gaston said, but the bank is considering the option.Asking Google, Alexa or Siri for the weather or to tell a joke is one thing, but it’s a whole other issue when these assistants access and share sensitive personal information. These apps will typically announce a person’s available balance over the speaker, which has the potential to create awkward situations at parties. In this June 14, 2018, photo, Gareth Gaston, Executive Vice President and Head of Omnichannel Banking at US Bank, discusses voice assistant banking with an Amazon Echo, left, and a Google Home, right, in New York. Big banks and financial companies have started to offer banking through virtual assistants, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant, in a way that will allow customers to check their balances, pay bills and, in the near future, send money just with their voice. Regional banking giant U.S. Bank is the first bank to be on all three services, Alexa, Siri and Assistant. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) In this June 14, 2018, photo a Google Home is displayed in New York. Big banks and financial companies have started to offer banking through virtual assistants, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant, in a way that will allow customers to check their balances, pay bills and, in the near future, send money just with their voice. Regional banking giant U.S. Bank is the first bank to be on all three services, Alexa, Siri and Assistant. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) In this June 14, 2018, photo an Amazon Echo is displayed in New York. Big banks and financial companies have started to offer banking through virtual assistants, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant, in a way that will allow customers to check their balances, pay bills and, in the near future, send money just with their voice. Regional banking giant U.S. Bank is the first bank to be on all three services, Alexa, Siri and Assistant. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Apple’s Siri is the most restrictive of the three virtual assistants, only showing a user a bank account balance on a screen, and not allowing other features like paying bills. Banks can integrate Siri into their iPhone and iPad apps, but Apple’s HomePod smart speaker that launched earlier this year does not currently accept banking commands. A company spokeswoman declined to say whether that feature was coming.Google Assistant has the capability to do individual voice recognition, providing one additional level of security on that platform, but that is not implemented on U.S. Bank’s Action yet. Security experts say that additional level of security could be foiled, however.”Users’ voices can be recorded, manipulated, and replayed to the assistants,” said Kurt Baumgartner, a security researcher with Kaspersky Lab. “Also, with access to banking accounts and abilities to transfer and pay out money, remote financial fraud may be within the reach of cybercriminal groups soon.”center_img Big banks and financial companies have started to offer banking through virtual assistants—Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant—in a way that will allow customers to check their balances, pay bills and, in the near future, send money just with their voice. And with the rapid adoption of Zelle, a bank-to-bank transfer system, it soon could be possible to send money to friends or family instantly with voice commands.But the potential to do such sensitive tasks through a smart speaker raises security concerns. Virtual assistants and smart speakers are still relatively new technologies, and potentially susceptible to being exploited by cyber criminals.Regional banking giant U.S. Bank is the first bank to be on all three services—Alexa, Siri and Assistant. The company did a soft launch of its Siri and Assistant services in early March and this month started marketing the option to customers.Other financial companies have set up virtual assistant features. Credit card companies Capital One and American Express both have Alexa skills that allow customers to check their balances and pay bills. There are other smaller banks and credit unions that have set up Google Assistant or Alexa as well. Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. In this June 14, 2018, photo, Gareth Gaston, Executive Vice President and Head of Omnichannel Banking at US Bank, discusses voice assistant banking with a mobile phone, an Amazon Echo, center, and a Google Home, right, in New York. Big banks and financial companies have started to offer banking through virtual assistants, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant, in a way that will allow customers to check their balances, pay bills and, in the near future, send money just with their voice. Regional banking giant U.S. Bank is the first bank to be on all three services, Alexa, Siri and Assistant. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Citation: Banking by smart speaker arrives, but security issues exist (2018, June 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-banking-smart-speaker-issues.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more


first_imgHours before the inauguration of the 24th Kolkata International Film Festival on Saturday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in a tweet, welcomed cinema lovers to the eight-day extravaganza – the theme country for which has been selected as Australia this year.More than 300 films, including shorts and documentaries, will be screened in 16 theatres across the city and Howrah over the next week. A film directory chronicling the major films made during the period of 1917-2017 will be published at the fest to mark 100 years of Bengali cinema. Fourteen timeless Bengali classics have also been selected by the jury for screening at the eight-day event.“I welcome cine-lovers from across the world to come to the ‘City of Joy’ to experience world cinema. The special attraction at #KIFF2018 this year is 100 years of Bengali cinema. The theme country is Australia. 170 (feature) films will be screened this year,” the CM tweeted.Welcome to #Kolkata @SrBachchan Ji, @iamsrk, Jaya Di, Waheeda Rehman Ji, @MaheshNBhatt Ji, @nanditadas, Biswajit (Da) Chatterjee, Majid Majidi, Phillip Noyce,Jil Bilcock, Simon Baker & every dignitary.Looking forward to a memorable evening with you at #KIFF2018 inaugural ceremony— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 10, 2018 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (file photo).   –  THE HINDU SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS  Banerjee, who will preside over the inauguration ceremony on Saturday, also welcomed dignitaries and film stars to the fest, including megastar Amitabh Bachchan.Bachchan will inaugurate the festival at Netaji Indoor Stadium here, while celebrated Iranian director Majid Majidi and Australian filmmakers Philip Noyce, Jill Bilcock and Simon Baker have been invited as guests of honour.Actors Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Jaya Bachchan, Wahida Rehman and Nandita Das will form part of the Bollywood brigade that is set to grace the inaugural programme here. events 1 COMMENT Published on cinema SHARE West Bengal November 10, 2018last_img read more