Category: qjpjpwkmmexo

RCMP close highway to Muskrat Falls construction site

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe RCMP has closed the road the leads to the Muskrat Falls construction site due to “public safety concerns” over an ongoing takeover of the Nalcor offices at the dam according to a release sent out Monday.Police are also warning travelers to expect delays on Hwy. 500, the Trans Labrador highway that runs between Happy Valley Goose Bay and Labrador City to the west.See Related Stories Here: Muskrat FallsInuit and Innu opposed to the planned flooding for the massive Muskrat Falls dam have occupied the offices at the construction site for three days despite a court injunction ordering them to keep their distance.Police so far have not taken action against the people inside the office.In an earlier release from Nalcor, the province’s Crown corporation and lead on the Muskrat Falls project, President Stan Marshall signaled that the occupation is going too far and action will be taken soon.“This morning approximately half of the protestors in the accommodations area began to proceed towards the active construction area. These actions pose a major risk to the safety of everyone at site,” said Marshall in the statement. “This a large-scale construction site with heavy equipment and many hazards which could cause serious injury to persons without proper training and lacking appropriate personal protection apparel. We are extremely concerned with the presence of the outside groups on our site as it puts them and members of our team and contractors at risk.“We are asking the protestors to proceed to the identified safety zone outside the main entrance where they can continue their demonstration in the vicinity without compromising their safety and the safety of others on the work site.”People there who call themselves protectors of the land say the flooding will make hunting and fishing impossible downstream towards Happy Valley Goose Bay, the Innu community of Sheshatsiu and Northwest river.According to Nalcor’s own studies, the flooding, when mixed with vegetation create methylmercury, a neurotoxin.news@aptn.calast_img read more

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Fairfax increases stake in Torstar with 118 million private stock deal

first_imgTORONTO – Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX:FFH) has paid nearly $11.8 million to increase its holding of Torstar Corp.’s non-voting shares to 40.6 per cent.The Toronto-based financial company now owns about 28.9 million class B shares of Torstar (TSX:TS.B), owner of the Toronto Star, the Metroland group of newspapers and other digital and print media businesses.Fairfax says it paid $1.25 each for the 9.4 million class B shares. The shares closed Thursday at $1.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but Fairfax didn’t say when its shares were acquired through a private agreement.Fairfax says it acquired the class B shares for investment purposes but, in future, it may discuss transactions with management or the company’s board of directors.The company has gradually increased its stake over the recent years. Prior to the most recent transaction, it owned 27.3 per cent of the media company’s non-voting shares.Fairfax is a holding company that’s primarily invested in insurance businesses. However, it has also made major investments in other Canadian companies including BlackBerry Ltd., International Forest Products, and Cara Operations.last_img read more

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Why are govt officials managing religious places

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday asked as to why should government officials manage religious places and temples in the country while taking note of the fact that several devotees visiting the Jagannath temple in Puri were being harassed.A bench of Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer observed this while hearing a plea which has highlighted difficulties faced by the devotees at Jagannath temple and their alleged harassment and exploitation by the ‘sevaks’ (staff). Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”It is a matter of perspective. I do not know why government officials should manage temples?,” Justice Bobde observed during the hearing. “In Tamil Nadu, there is theft of idols. These idols, apart from the religious sentiments, are priceless,” the bench said. Attorney General K K Venugopal told the apex court that Kerala’s Sabarimala temple was being run by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) while board appointed by governments were managing several other temples in the country. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday”How far the government, in a secular state, can control or manage a temple,” Venugopal said. At the outset, senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, assisting the apex court as an amicus curiae in the case, said he has already filed the detailed report after his visit to the shrine. To this, the bench observed, “People (visiting the temple) are harassed due to several reasons. Priests restrict them. Lot of them do not have voice. They are poor and uneducated.” The counsel appearing for the petitioner told the bench that Jagannath temple administration should apprise the court as to what steps they have taken pursuant to the report filed by the Puri’s District Judge in the matter. The bench said the matter would be heard next month. During the hearing, one of the lawyers, who has filed an intervention application in the matter, said the petition was not maintainable. When the counsel raised his pitch, Justice Bobde said, “It is enough. You are behaving in the most undignified manner in the court. We do not want to be shouted out. We do not want somebody to speak out of turn. You will not use the tone in which you are addressing the court.”last_img read more

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Centre asks SC Collegium to rethink elevation of 2 Judges

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court collegium’s recommendation to elevate two judges has hit a hurdle, with sources claiming that the centre has returned it over seniority concerns. The government has reportedly sought a rethink on the decision. The collegium, which appoints judges to the nation’s legal institutions, had recommended on April 12 that Justices Aniruddha Bose and AS Bopanna be elevated to the Supreme Court. According to sources, it will soon meet again to discuss the government’s objections. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghWhile Justice Aniruddha Bose is the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court, AS Bopanna currently heads the Gauhati High Court in Assam. If passed, the new appointments would have taken the number of judges in the Supreme Court from 27 to 29. The top court has a sanctioned strength of 31 judges. According to a resolution signed by top Supreme Court judges, the collegium had decided to elevate Justices Bose and Bopanna on the basis of merit, seniority and representation to high courts. “While recommending these names, the collegium has taken into consideration, apart from their merit and integrity, the combined seniority on all-India basis of Chief Justices and senior judges of High Courts. The Collegium has also kept in mind the desirability of giving due representation on the Bench of the Supreme Court, as far as possible, to all the High Courts,” it read.last_img read more

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Migiro sets off for Lebanon for meeting to improve UN agency coordination

10 September 2008Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro heads to Lebanon today for a two-day meeting focusing on better coordinating the work of United Nations agencies in Western Asia. The 12th meeting of the Regional Coordination Mechanism, hosted by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and due to begin tomorrow, intends to strengthen coherence, increase collaboration and avoid duplication of activities by the world body’s agencies, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters today.Ms. Migiro is also slated to visit senior Lebanese officials, including President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri, during her first visit to the Middle East country. read more

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Ex monk sentenced over rape

However recorded telephone conversations surfaced where he was heard asking women who telephoned him to come and meet him personally for some “fun”. A former Buddhist monk, who became notorious for the telephone conversations he had with women, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison over a rape case.Ruwanwella Sobitha alias Sunil Shantha was sentenced by a court in Kegalle today after he was found guilty of the crime involving a 28 year old woman. The former monk used to operate a telephone service where he gave advice to the caller over various issues. When the news of his underhand activity surfaced several monks and Buddhist devotees had staged protests outside his house and demanded his arrest. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Markets Right Now Stocks open higher on Wall Street

NEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):9:35 a.m.Stocks are opening broadly higher on Wall Street led by gains in technology and communications companies.Chipmaker Nvidia climbed 1.7% early Thursday and AT&T rose 0.6%.Delta Air Lines rose 0.6% after reporting that its second-quarter profit jumped 39%, beating Wall Street’s forecasts.European and Asian markets were also broadly higher.The S&P 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,998.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 64 points, or 0.2%, to 26,917. The Nasdaq added 11 points, or 0.1%, to 8,214.Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.08%.The Associated Press read more

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Allegations TransAlta manipulated electricity market disappoint Redford

Allegations TransAlta manipulated electricity market disappoint Redford AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CALGARY – Alberta Premier Alison Redford said Thursday she was “disappointed” over allegations that TransAlta Corp. manipulated the province’s electricity market by shutting down power plants to drive up prices.The province’s electricity market watchdog alleges TransAlta (TSX:TA) engaged in the anti-competitive conduct in 2010 and 2011 during peak electricity demands.“TransAlta Corporation, its direct and indirect subsidiaries and certain current and former employees undermined the integrity of the Alberta wholesale electric energy market by engaging in anti-competitive conduct in 2010 and 2011,” writes Market Surveillance Administrator Harry Chandler.Chandler said the administrator has authority under the Alberta Utilities Commission Act to investigate conduct that does not support the fair, efficient and openly competitive operation of the electricity market.“The investigation into TransAlta’s activities commenced in March 2011 and as a result of the evidence obtained the MSA has decided to formally apply to the Commission for adjudication of the matter,” he writes.TransAlta denies the allegations.Redford told reporters she has been informed about what’s going on, but she won’t comment until there is a decision from the utilities commission.“We have agencies in place to ensure that when these sorts of circumstances happen there is the ability to investigate, to levy fines, to impose penalties and to ensure that it doesn’t happen on a regular basis. I’m very disappointed … to know that this is out there,” she said.“It’s unfortunate that within that system people conduct themselves in a way that perhaps they shouldn’t, but we do have independent agencies that are in place to deal with those sorts of circumstances and that’s what we’re seeing now.”The power company has filed its own complaints with the commission about the administrator.“It is a serious allegation,” said TransAlta spokeswoman Stacey Hatcher. “We feel their allegations are unfounded and TransAlta is committed to a compliance culture here. The reference to some outages being taken in order to drive up prices is categorically false.“TransAlta takes outages when it comes to maintenance, when it comes to operations, when it comes to safety.”Hatcher said TransAlta and the administrator had been trying to resolve the matter for the past three years with no success and the administrator had been investigating TransAlta in an “aggressive and protracted manner”.“It became very clear the only place this would find resolution would be with the AUC,” Hatcher said.Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter by Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 27, 2014 3:21 pm MDT read more

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AGF Management to reduce dividend spend the money on growth initiatives

by The Canadian Press Posted Dec 9, 2014 8:44 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email AGF Management to reduce dividend, spend the money on growth initiatives TORONTO – AGF Management Ltd. (TSX:AGF.B) shares plunged to their lowest point in more than a year on Tuesday after the company said it would slash its dividend by 70 per cent.The investment manager said its upcoming quarterly dividend payment in January will remain at 27 cents per share, but it will drop to eight cents per share for the following payment.AGF stock closed down $1.42 or 14.65 per cent at $8.28 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on volume of more than two million shares, much higher than the issue’s daily average of less than 300,000 shares.Kevin McCreadie, AGF’s president and chief investment officer, said a lower dividend is “prudent” given that it was relatively high compared with peer companies and there are better ways to use the cash.“You have three ways of bringing capital back to a shareholder. One is a dividend, obviously. The second is actually investing in your business, if you believe you have pretty good growth opportunities — which we do. And third, obviously, is a buyback if your stock is cheap enough,” McCreadie said in an interview.“So there’s a balance to all three of those that a firm should address and adopt and I think that’s really what we’re doing.”He said AGF plans to renew its share buyback program when it expires in February, but doesn’t feel the higher dividend was achieving a sufficient payback in terms of shareholder value.AGF had about $278.1 million in cash and short-term investments on Aug. 31, when its financial third quarter ended, which McCreadie says is “ample” for its needs even if mutual fund investors increase redemptions due to weaker market conditions.“We could weather a heck of a storm, frankly, at this level. So the question not really about weathering the market. It’s just the prudent thing to do. We weren’t getting rewarded for a dividend this high.”InstarAGF Asset Management Inc., a joint venture launched earlier this year with Instar Group, is one of the company’s growth initiatives. It will focus on a range of “alternative” investments, beginning with infrastructure.InstarAGF launched its first fund in the summer and McCreadie said it will start a second early next year.AGF also has financial products geared towards institutional investors that are distributed globally and is working on new products for retail investors.“All three of those are pretty good opportunities to invest, to drive the future of the company,” McCreadie said. read more

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CV registrations growth continues in April

April 2004 saw year on year growth of three per cent to 29,207 units The rolling year total, at 372,100 registrations, is running at a record level LCVs rose 4.9 per cent in April, and 8.4 per cent for year to date Truck registrations were up 1.4 per cent over the year to date but dipped 5.2 per cent in April Bus and coach figures fell 11.4 per cent from January to April 2004 ‘Sustained growth is a theme that has underlined the new CV market over the past 18 months. Annual volumes have been rising and are on course to top historic record levels set in 1989’, said Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive.‘April’s strong registration figures point to further growth, although momentum has eased slightly. Nevertheless, we see room for improvement over the course of the year as the economic backdrop remains healthy. Rises in interest rates may temper further progress, but if the cautious, incremental approach continues the market’s current health need not be undone.’ ‘Once again, April was an especially successful month for van registrations. The market for these lighter commercial vehicles has become a beacon by which the CV market growth has become known.’For full press release, please click on the link belowDownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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Aid charities admit to a string of sexual misconduct claims

first_imgThe claims include 20 incidents of sexual harassment and two involving safeguarding at Action Aid, while Water Aid said it had dismissed four staff members in the last five years for sexually harassing colleagues. A catalogue of abuse and harassment allegations at some of Britain’s biggest aid charities can be revealed today. It comes as the charities prepare to submit reports on how they are protecting children and vulnerable people to Penny Mordaunt, the International Development Secretary, on Monday. Christian Aid said it had investigated two cases of sexual misconduct overseas in the past 12 months, while Catholic charity Cafod said it had uncovered two incidents of sexual misconduct since…last_img read more

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Remembrance medal presented to family of Adrian Donohoe

first_imgTHE FAMILY of the late Garda detective Adrian Donohoe have been presented with a remembrance medal this lunchtime.The medal was presented by the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, and the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter.The presentation came at the Garda Memorial Day, taking place at the Dubhlinn Gardens in Dublin Castle today.The annual event honours the 87 members of An Garda Siochána who have died in the line of duty.Detective Garda Donohoe was shot and killed during a raid on a credit union in Bellurgan, Co Louth on January 25.He was the first Garda to be shot and killed on duty since 1996, and was afforded a full state funeral.Read: Ultimate sacrifice: the Gardaí who have been killed on dutylast_img read more

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Bahamas Foreign Affairs Announces Diplomatic Appointments to Canada China Haiti

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 16, 2017 – Nassau – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to announce the following appointments:Mr. Alvin Smith, former Educator, Member of Parliament and Speaker of The House of Assembly, has been appointed The Bahamas’ High Commissioner to Canada.Mr. Sterling Quant, Attorney at Law, former Registrar General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, past Managing Director of the Bahamas Development Bank and a basketball pioneer for Bahamians internationally, has been appointed The Bahamas’ Ambassador to The People’s Republic of China.Mr. Jeffrey Williams, international expert in Foreign Exchange Debt, former Vice-President of Deltec Bank & Trust and past Commissioner of the Baseball and Football Association of The Bahamas, has been appointed The Bahamas’ Ambassador to The Republic of Haiti.Press Release: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Related Items:last_img read more

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Note 10 cameras night mode is finally catching up

first_img Review • P30 Pro review: Huawei’s astounding camera shoots past the Galaxy S10 Plus Tags One is the #GalaxyS10Plus. The other is the #Mate20Pro. Can you tell which is which? @CNET pic.twitter.com/29yksm4fBM— Jessica Dolcourt (@jdolcourt) February 23, 2019 Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus look incredible News • Huawei P30 Pro in a gorgeous orange finish leaks 62 Photos The Note 10’s camera can see in the dark. Angela Lang/CNET Samsung’s Galaxy cameras have a history of excellence, but have struggled to keep up with low-light night mode shots compared to rival devices, like the best-in-class Huawei P30 Pro and Google Pixel 3. Baking in a dedicated night mode into the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus changes that — it’s the difference between night and day. The dedicated night mode feature arrived over the air for Galaxy S10 phones in a software update after criticism (including mine) over the then-new automatic night mode that Samsung called Bright Night Shot.Cameras, along with screen quality and battery life, make up one of the most important features that buyers consider. A dedicated night mode is becoming a must-have feature for the most premium phones. See it Huawei P30 Pro Comments Mentioned Above Huawei P30 Pro (256GB, black) 3 Share your voice $765 Android Update Android Pie Android 10 (Android Q) Google Huawei Samsung The lack of a standalone night mode was one of the Galaxy S10’s major drawbacks when it first launched. Samsung insisted that the Galaxy S10’s Bright Night Mode would make shots clearer, but it rarely made a difference in my tests, and you had to wait for conditions to align for the camera to even surface it.Contrast that with a standalone night mode, which you turn on at will. It processes a burst of photos at different exposures into a single photo. The slower process is designed to draw out details and cut down on image noise. Think dark signs you can suddenly read and more of the background scene emerging from the dark. Imagine a brilliantly lit night sky or sharp pinpoints of light as you look down a busy street at night.With the Note 10’s Night Mode (again, it’s also now on the S10 phones), you’ll have to hold still to wait for the mode to take your picture — give it a good five seconds. The resulting photo should be brighter and more detailed. I find that it’s especially good at reining in streetlights that otherwise look like they’re spraying all over the scene. Fine writing should also look sharper and easier to read.In Samsung’s case, the Note 10’s dedicated night mode helps Samsung catch up with rivals. Its night mode tends to produce the brightest photos of the bunch, but it also enhances background detail outside the area of focus. In several of my photos, the night mode can get a little carried away, making dark skies bluer than I’d like (I still want it to look like it’s dark out) and working too hard to brighten a scene. In some scenarios, I prefer the contrast of automatic mode over the dedicated night mode — Samsung has some work to do to perfect its night mode processing. There’s no countdown to indicate how long you have to stand there while the photo processes, something the company can easily fix in an update.While Samsung hasn’t surpassed Google or Huawei, its current Night Mode is off to a good start, and it helps makes the camera experience feel more complete. With the Pixel 4 and Mate 30 Pro coming up, these competitors could introduce even better low-light photography that could crank up the heat again. Hopefully, next time, Samsung will be quicker to respond. Mobile Phones CNET may get a commission from retail offers.last_img read more

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Frances Macron to name new PM

first_imgFrench President Emmanuel Macron © bids farewall to supporters as he leaves the City Hall after an official ceremony with the city mayor after his formal inauguration ceremony as French President in Paris. Photo: AFPNew French President Emmanuel Macron is set to name a prime minister and visit German Chancellor Angela Merkel on his first full day in office on Monday.The 39-year-old centrist leader laid out his ambitious plans for France as he took power on Sunday, promising to restore France’s shattered self-confidence and help rebuild the flagging European Union.His choice of prime minister will be crucial for the first task, with the 46-year-old centre-right Edouard Philippe from the Republicans party seen as the favourite for the job.Picking him would send a clear signal that Macron hopes to attract other young modernisers from the Republicans to his new centrist party, Republic on the Move (REM), which will contest parliamentary elections in June.“If the prime minister comes from the right, Emmanuel Macron will be able to attack the parliamentary elections by dynamiting the right, in the same way he has done to the left,” political expert Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet told AFP.Macron, who was economy minister under outgoing Socialist president Francois Hollande, has already attracted dozens of centre-left MPs to his movement as he reshapes French political life.Without his own parliamentary majority, the former investment banker will find it hard to push through his planned reforms of the labour market, pensions, unemployment benefits and education.“I will not reverse course on any of the commitments taken in front of the French people,” Macron said on Sunday as he took power from Hollande, his former mentor, adding that “France is strong only if she is prosperous”.Philippe is the mayor of the gritty northern port of Le Havre and an MP for the region since 2012 who studied at the same universities as Macron and shares many of his views on the economy and social issues.Winning over scepticsLater on Monday afternoon, Macron will travel to Berlin to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel, maintaining a French presidential tradition of making the first European trip to the other half of the EU’s power couple.The fervently pro-European Macron wants to push for deeper ties in the 28-member EU to help the bloc overcome the imminent departure of Britain which voted to leave last year.France’s place is in the European Union “which protects us and enables us to project our values in the world”, Macron said on Sunday, but the club needed to be “reformed and relaunched”.He intends to press for the creation of a parliament and budget for the eurozone which would see Germany, the zone’s richest member, contribute funds to support economic growth in weaker nations.German media, including influential tabloid Bild and news magazine Der Spiegel, have recently drawn attention to the danger of Macron’s presidency costing Germany more money.“Very German obsession,” Macron’s chief policy advisor Jean Pisani-Ferry wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “And strange disconnect from reality.”Olivier Ihl, an academic from the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies, said that the visit was “an important moment because he wants to relaunch Franco-German cooperation in a Europe that is on its knees”.Merkel welcomed Macron’s victory over Le Pen, saying he carried “the hopes of millions of French people and also many in Germany and across Europe”.Symbolic dayMacron, France’s youngest ever president, took the reins of power from Hollande at the Elysee Palace a week after his resounding victory over far-right leader Marine Le Pen in an election that was watched worldwide.After a private meeting with Hollande and his first speech as president, Macron headed up the rainy Champs Elysees on Sunday in an army vehicle, waving to small crowds of wellwishers who gathered along the famed avenue.His wife Brigitte, a 64-year-old who was his high school drama teacher, attended the ceremony and a later meeting at the Paris town hall wearing a light blue Louis Vuitton outfit.Her three children from her previous marriage were also present at Sunday’s inauguration along with VIPs from France’s political scene and the young team of advisors behind Macron’s sensational rise.The new president faces a host of daunting challenges including tackling stubbornly high unemployment, fighting Islamist-inspired violence and healing divisions exposed by an often vicious election campaign.Hollande’s five years in power were plagued by a sluggish economy and bloody terror attacks that killed more than 230 people. He leaves office after a single term.last_img read more

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Trump Drug Pricing Blueprint Could Take Years To Build

first_imgChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesIn a speech Friday, President Trump announced a plan that lists dozens of “potential” steps his team may take to lower drug prices, along with many others that were included in his budget proposal and will require congressional action.President Trump presented a broad-brush outline of how his administration hopes to stem the decades-long increase in prescription drug prices and spending, in a speech Friday in the Rose Garden of the White House.The administration also released a 39-page document describing a variety of proposals it is either considering or studying in an effort to lower costs to individuals, corporations, the government and the economy as a whole.There were few concrete actions taken today. The plan mostly lists dozens of “potential” steps the administration may take, along with many others that were included in the president’s budget proposal and will require congressional action. Several options are “requests for information.”Nevertheless, the president characterized the proposal as “the most sweeping action in history to lower the price of prescription drugs for the American people.”“We will have tougher negotiations, more competition and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter and it will start to take effect very soon,” Trump said.The president was accompanied by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who played a major role in developing the plan.Trump said he wants to eliminate “middlemen” in the drug industry — which includes pharmacy benefit managers and wholesalers — and he criticized industry lobbyists for making a fortune at the expense of taxpayers and patients.U.S. patients spent nearly $329 billion on prescription drugs in 2016, according to the National Health Expenditures Survey. That’s an increase of about $100 billion in the past 10 years.Many researchers say the biggest reason behind the rising spending is high prices for prescription drugs. Often, companies are rewarded for setting a high retail price because insurers negotiate discounts off that initial price.The blueprint released Friday reiterates proposals that were included in the White House budget proposal. Those include allowing Medicare’s prescription drug plans to slim down the number of drugs they pay for to spark price competition among pharmaceutical companies, and capping how much money Medicare patients themselves can spend on drugs each year.“On the positive side, I will say that HHS does seem to be paying close attention to this issue, given all the issues they bring up in the blueprint document,” says Walid Gellad, director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh.“On the negative side, it’s a bunch of questions, not a specific plan for how to proceed.”Azar, in a briefing following the Rose Garden speech, acknowledged the plan is sweeping and would take years to implement. He said the administration will pursue those ideas it can get done.“This is a major restructuring of a huge portion of the U.S. economy. One doesn’t do that lightly,” he said.The plan, like the budget, also proposes limiting price increases Medicare would pay to the rate of inflation and changing some rules around generic drug approvals to prevent companies from blocking new generic competition.Many of those ideas would require legislation and congressional approval.Azar, in his briefing, emphasized his desire to change the way pharmacy benefit managers operate — specifically a system where they negotiate rebates off high drug prices.“We are calling into question today the entire structure of using rebates in the pharmacy channel,” he said.The president also wants to take steps to ensure foreign governments don’t get lower prices for drugs than do U.S. taxpayers – which he referred to as “global freeloading.”“It’s unfair, it’s ridiculous, and it’s not going to happen any longer,” he said.Critics say that proposal is unlikely to help lower prices here in the U.S.“Lifesaving medicines aren’t more expensive here because they cost less elsewhere,” Jason Cone, executive director of Doctors Without Borders USA, wrote in an article published in The Hill. “They’re priced out of reach everywhere because pharmaceutical corporations are charging exorbitant prices simply because they can—and the U.S. government lets them.”One thing Trump did not propose was allowing Medicare, the government health care program for the elderly, to directly negotiate lower drug prices for its beneficiaries. That’s a change from his rhetoric during his campaign and transition.“We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don’t bid properly,” he said at a news conference in early January 2017. “We’re going to start bidding and we’re going to save billions of dollars over a period of time.”But shortly after Trump moved into the Oval Office he wavered on that commitment, first saying that he didn’t want Medicare to engage in what he called “price fixing” and then, through his former spokesman Sean Spicer, saying once again he favored allowing the federal government program to deal with drugmakers to get lower prices.Medicare accounts for about one-third of U.S. prescription drug spending. Current U.S. law prohibits Medicare officials from interfering in the negotiations between drugmakers and the insurance companies that administer Medicare’s prescription drug plans.The only government report that looks at the issue is a 2007 Congressional Budget Office study that concluded it would have a “negligible effect” on prices.But Gellad says that report was limited, because it looked only at the effect if Medicare were not allowed to exclude drugs from its coverage list.“There is no evidence that allowing Medicare to negotiate doesn’t help,” says Gellad. “In fact, the CBO said that in certain circumstances, with the right formulary, this type of negotiation could help.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

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DC Sniper Gets New Hearing

first_imgBy The Associated PressA sniper serving life in prison for terrorizing the Washington, D.C., region as a teenager must get new sentencing hearings in Virginia, a federal appeals court ruled June 21.The 3-0 decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denies an appeal by prosecutors who said they already complied with the requirements of the U.S. Supreme Court, which found in a series of rulings after Malvo was sentenced that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional.Lee Boyd Malvo, a sniper serving life in prison for terrorizing the Washington, D.C., region as a teenager, must get new sentencing hearings in Virginia, a federal appeals court ruled. (Mike Morones /The Free Lance-Star via AP)Lee Boyd Malvo was 17 when he and his mentor, John Allen Muhammad, fatally shot 10 people in Virginia, Maryland and Washington in 2002.Muhammad was sentenced to death and executed in Virginia in 2009. Malvo received multiple life-without-parole sentences in Virginia and Maryland.The 4th Circuit found Malvo’s Virginia sentences must be vacated, upholding the decision of a lower court judge. Thursday’s ruling applies only to Malvo’s four life sentences in Virginia. A Maryland judge denied new sentencing hearings last year for Malvo in those cases.The appeals panel found that the Supreme Court’s new rules for sentencing juveniles, which must be applied retroactively , were not satisfied when Malvo was sentenced years earlier. Malvo’s resentencing judge must now determine whether his crimes show he’s permanently incorrigible, and thus can be sentenced to life without parole; or that they reflect “the transient immaturity of youth,” and merit a lesser sentence.“To be clear, the crimes committed by Malvo and John Muhammad were the most heinous, random acts of premeditated violence conceivable, destroying lives and families and terrorizing the entire Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for over six weeks, instilling mortal fear daily in the citizens of that community,” Judge Paul Niemeyer wrote.“But Malvo was 17 years old when he committed the murders, and he now has the retroactive benefit of new constitutional rules that treat juveniles differently for sentencing.”Niemeyer added: “We make this ruling not with any satisfaction but to sustain the law. As for Malvo, who knows but God how he will bear the future.”last_img read more

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Puerto Ricos Fear Lab Mentors Neuroscience Rigor amid Diversity

first_img“Like most labs, the key has been fostering intellectual growth through journal clubs, lab meetings, weekly one-on-ones, and philosophy of science retreats,” said the lab’s founding director, Gregory Quirk, Ph.D. “Done right, these four activities develop skills of logic, communication, and intellectual inquisitiveness in trainees while also building group cohesiveness.” A lineage of young neuroscientists from diverse backgrounds trace their scientific roots to a “fear lab” in Puerto Rico that the National Institutes of Health has been supporting for two decades. A crucible for studies of fear extinction, the lab has so far published 80 papers—some the first ever from Puerto Rico for certain journals—that generate more than 2,000 citations a year. Of 130 young people trained in the lab, 90 percent are from Puerto Rico and Latin America and half are women. After completing a post-doc fellowship at New York University, New York City, under well-known fear researcher Joseph LeDoux, Ph.D., Quirk launched the lab in 1997 at what is now Ponce Health Science University, Ponce, Puerto Rico. A decade later, it moved to its current location at the University of Puerto Rico Medical School in San Juan, adding some human and non-human primate studies. Read the whole story: NIMHlast_img read more

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Whats cooking

first_imgYou have seen her on the silver screen in Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin, Bombay Boys and now you see her in that red apron cooking up a storm. Long story short, launching her cook book A Sense for Spice in the Capital, Tara Deshpande Tennebaum took on the Culinary Club and taught us a few recipes from her Konkan Kitchen. With tales and tastes from her grandmother’s kitchen, Tara’s book attempts to bring some signature dishes to the table that are authentically Konkani. She talked about the spices, the traditions, the usual practices of the kitchen while she whipped up four recipes from her book – the Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Bangbang Batata (crispy potaoes with chilly and garlic), Kakdi Chi Kochimbri (cucumber and peanut salad), Koliwada Prawns  and Chicken Xacuti (Goan chicken curry). The meticulously recorded recipes by her grandmother, some dating back to the 1800s, have all been adapted to modern kitchens to bring to life the sounds, smell and tastes of the Konkan coast.The authentic flavours have not been compromised with at all. While the guests asked their questions – ‘Can semolina replace rice flour in Koliwada Prawns?’ or ‘Can chicken stock be used instead of water in Chicken Xacuti?’ – Tara answered that it is a wonderful amalgamation of various flavours from areas around the coast. While olive oil is not a staple on Konkani dishes (except in some pickles as Tara pointed out) and there are more than 80 kinds of dosas that Konkani people eat.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAided by Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula, Executive Sous Chef, Tara made all her recipes seem very easy. 32 sessions old, the Imperial Culinary Club is all about bringing new cuisines to the people and offering them a chance to learn the most from it and Wednesday afternoon was no different. The session was followed by a scrumptious lunch at Daniell’s Tavern comprising of some select recipes from the Tara’s book. The Koliwada Prawns get our vote – hands down!last_img read more

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Untying the Knot The Evolution and Bizarre Rituals of Divorce Throughout History

first_imgPeople are different all around the world but if one thing is constant from country to country it’s unhappy marriages. Whether splitting up for romantic or religious reasons (or indeed both) there comes a time when a parting of the ways is inevitable. Of course it isn’t as simple as that. A wide variety of cultures leads to some diverse means of divorce, that’s if it can be done in the first place.Divorce in the Philippines is not allowed for example (though it’s getting closer to legalization), and is an absolute “no no” inside Vatican City.St. Peter’s Basilica at sunset from Via della Conciliazione. Vatican City, Vatican City State. Rome, Italy.As for the majority of places that do have divorce, their laws have been affected over time by seismic issues such as war and historical intrigue.Nowhere is this more apparent than in England, and the notorious activities of Henry VIII in the 16th century.Portrait of Henry VIII by the workshop of Hans Holbein the Younger.He wanted head of the Catholic Church Pope Clement VII to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Annulment is not divorce, but argues the union wasn’t legitimate from the second the ring went on the finger.Henry wanted the marriage annulled on the flimsy basis that Catherine couldn’t bear a son. When his demands were not met, he took the kind of drastic action that became his hallmark.An early 20th century painting of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.A Smithsonian Magazine article writes, “Determined to make the younger and prettier Anne Boleyn his wife, Henry finally broke with Rome in 1533 and declared himself the head of a new church, the Church of England.”Ironically the new institution went on to clamp down on divorce: “Not only did Henry VIII’s new church come out against divorce under any circumstances, but it also far outstripped Catholic Europe in the restrictions on the granting of annulments… The Church of England’s resistance to divorce was so strong that the only route to a divorce was via an act of Parliament.”Henry’s approach to severing ties was more direct — he eventually had Anne Boleyn executed.Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second queen.The major factor shaping divorce law has always been gender. Smithsonian Magazine states that “For centuries, divorce in the West was a male tool of control — a legislative chastity belt designed to ensure that a wife had one master, while a husband could enjoy many mistresses.”Subsequent to the Church of England’s formation a shocking story emerged from the household of the Earl of Castlehaven, who believed “a wife’s body belonged to her husband, to dispose of as he saw fit.”In 1631 details of his crimes emerged before a grand jury. These included “holding down his wife while she was raped by one of his servants.” The court agreed with the Earl that a wife was a man’s property but sent him to his death for such brutal and immoral behavior.Divorce, 1724, from Juedisches Ceremoniel.As mentioned on the website of the Cambridge Family Law Practice, “Marriage was for life and divorce exceedingly rare, although the church would occasionally grant a divorce “a mensa et thoro” which enabled people to live apart if there had been significant cruelty, but not to remarry.” History saw its fair share of “significant cruelty” when it came to men’s attitude towards women.It wasn’t until over 200 years later that significant change occurred in how a man and woman came to separate.The balance shifted with The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857, where couples could argue the matter in the High Court. It was the High Court or nothing, so if they happened to live outside of London that was their lookout!Biertan house for divorcing people, Transylvania. Before the local bishop would grant a divorce, the couple were locked inside this ‘marital prison,’ having to share everything (a single pillow, a single meal) for 6 weeks. It actually worked because in 400 years only one couple eventually decided to break up. Photo by Alessio Damato CC BY-SA 3.0CFLP writes “Men were able to “petition the court” for a divorce on the basis of their wife’s adultery, which would have to be proved… Women who wanted to divorce their husbands needed also to prove an aggravating factor of the adultery, such as rape or incest.”The additional material a woman had to find was scrapped when the Act received an update in 1923.Over the years the scope of divorce was broadened to include reasons such as “cruelty, desertion and incurable insanity as well as adultery.”Cartoon parodying the circus-like divorce proceedings of Anna Gould (an American heiress and socialite) and Boni de Castellane (a French nobleman).World conflict proved decisive in the male-female dynamic, as women ran the country while men were away fighting.According to CFLP, “Marriages broke down under the strain of war, or its after-effects, in numbers never before experienced and at all levels of society.”Joséphine, first wife of Napoleon, obtained the civil dissolution of her marriage under the Napoleonic Code of 1804.“The church and the government became increasingly concerned that the divorce laws were no longer fit for purpose – unhappy couples would arrange for one spouse to book into a hotel at the seaside for a weekend to commit the adultery necessary for them to divorce.”Dutch Painting in the 19th century – The Divorce by Van de Laar.In 1969 the Divorce Act moved things away from the hallowed environment of the High Court, and laid the foundations for the more “civilized” form of divorce we know today.Civilized in a practical sense that is — the process is still emotionally devastating and fraught with problems for many.Marilyn Monroe signing divorce papers with celebrity attorney Jerry Giesler.Away from the Western world, a marital split is associated with severe restrictions based on religion.Having said that, the facts tell a different story. The website of Rulon T. Burton & Associates reveals that “In old Islam, in the 15th century, divorce was surprisingly common.In Egypt, (Middle Eastern scholar) Al-Sakhawi looked into the practice of divorce and found that of 500 Egyptian and Syrian women interviewed, one-third had married more than once.”Gates of DivorceIt’s worth noting these ancient beliefs are still highly relevant today. As recently as this year the Islamic system of Sharia law became officially recognized in a British court.The Telegraph reports that an estranged couple’s Islamic faith marriage, conducted in a ceremony called a nikah, falls under British matrimonial law despite it not being legally recognised as such… Nasreen Akhtar will be free to bring her case to the divorce court and claim her share of the assets of her marriage where she previously would not have been able to.”On a stricter note, divorce was forbidden for women in Japan between the 17th and 19th centuries. Rulon T. Burton & Associates reveal “Only men could do so by writing a letter of divorce… If a woman was in a seriously bad marriage, she could only seek sanctuary in Shinto divorce temples, as they were called, and after several years could then be granted a divorce.”Read another story from us: The 7 Worst Pieces of Sex Advice Dispensed Throughout HistorySo while divorce remains a largely painful and complicated process, history shows it used to be a lot more complex. In some cases it could get you banished from society and even killed!last_img read more

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