first_imgThe high performance weekend held at the new State Athletics Stadium saw an opportunity for Coaches, Players and Referees to join forces to further develop Touch Football at an Elite Level.There were a number of gentlemen that made the trip west to help and educate those members of the touch community that were able to attend. The specials guests included National High Performance Manager Wayne Grant, Australian 18 Girls Coach Peter Bell and newly retired Australian Captain Garry Sonda.For the coaches it gave them the opportunity to begin to upgrade from a level 1 to level 2 and then learn the new plans and practices that Australian teams are now using. The course was hands on and gave them an opportunity to see the men coaching in real life, and the techniques that are now being employed.For the players and referees on Saturday they were lucky enough to have fitness trainer Jeff Carter from Body Tech in attendance to give them a “warm up” into a real fitness session, and the fitness level they should be at before going on tour. And on Sunday the 15’s and 18’s along with a number of open representatives were able to participate in games and be coached by some of the best.WA Sport Program Coordinator Karon Boston:“We hope this event can become a permanent fixture on the Touch Football Calendar. The weekend was extremely worthwhile and thanks go to all those members of the touch community who were able to attend. Thanks also to those presenters and guests who attended”.TouchWest must thank a nuber of people for their attendance and participation they include: TFA Chairman Mike Rush, CEO Colm Maguire, Wayne Grant, Peter Bell, Garry Sonda, Henry Dos Santos, Freda Black and Jeff Carter. TouchWest would also like to make special mention to Karon Boston for her weeks of work to make this weekend possible.Related Filesmedia_release_hp_weekend-pdflast_img read more

first_imgDerby boss Lampard gives up on Chelsea defender Ampaduby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveDerby County have been rebuffed in their attempts to sign Chelsea defender Ethan Ampadu on loan, confirmed Rams boss Frank Lampard.The 18-year-old can play at centre-back and centre-midfield and Lampard believes it is this versatility that makes him a prized asset at Stamford Bridge.”We have asked, but I don’t think he’s leaving Chelsea,” he told reporters. “He can play in a few positions, that’s why he would be so valuable to anybody and why he’s staying at Chelsea.”People thought we did a lot of business in the summer, but our actual net spend was very negligible.”I had to bring in personnel to try to change the style and that’s not a one-window solution, that’s probably two or three-window. This window will be quiet for us.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

first_imgCanada’s tariffs on imported U.S. goods — everything from strawberry jam to sleeping bags — could steer consumers to seek out cheaper, made-in-Canada alternatives, but domestic industry players are fearful that input costs will rise and American politicians could retaliate in kind.Gerhard Latka, president of Canadian jam maker Crofter’s Food Ltd., said while the company does stand to benefit, he is concerned that their industry is now in the crosshairs of U.S. President Donald Trump.“We’ve poked the bear … There’s a silver lining, but it is far outweighed by the risk,” he said from Parry Sound, Ont., noting that his company exports as much as 80 per cent of its product south of the border.Canadian businesses are digesting the industry ramifications of the cross-border tariff war that erupted on Thursday, with Trump announcing the U.S. will slap tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau firing back with $16.6-billion worth of “dollar-for-dollar” countermeasures on goods ranging from playing cards to maple syrup to yogurt.The 10 per cent tariffs or similar measures on selected U.S. imports are set to take effect July 1 after an industry consultation period. Part of the 10 per cent levy at the wholesale level may eventually be passed on to Canadian consumers in the retail price, if the tariff war persists.However, readily available Canadian substitutes for these U.S. goods could get a boost as result, said Joanne McNeish, an associate professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. On top of being potentially cheaper than U.S. goods subject to the tariffs, some Canadian consumers or businesses may shop more patriotically in protest, she said.“People will start to look at the tags more closely,” McNeish said.While there may be Canadian-made alternatives, these tariffs will “inflict pain” on domestic firms as some inputs or unique products cannot easily be switched or replaced, said Dan Kelly, the chief executive of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.“That is little comfort for firms that have supply chains where these products are built in,” he said.Orange juice is one example of a U.S. good that can’t be substituted easily at home.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday that the products subject to tariffs were carefully chosen to limit the impact on Canadian producers and consumers.There could be opportunities for a bump in sales for Canadian substitutes for these U.S. products, said Mike Von Massow, associate professor in the food, agricultural and resource economics department at the University of Guelph.However, the price advantage for domestic goods will be less than 10 per cent, as the surtax is unlikely to trickle down to the retail price of these American products in full, he added.The potential for a tit-for-tat measure from the U.S. is indeed a risk in any trade war, he said, but Trump is likely to target bigger industries with more “leverage.”Still, some American lawmakers have the same fear about its trade war with China. On Friday, for example, Maine Congressional members urged Trump not to put a tariff on seafood because they are worried the Chinese would retaliate with a similar measure and hurt the state’s lobster industry, which exports millions of dollars worth of lobster to the Asian country.Many of the U.S. products subject to tariffs in Canada appear to be chosen based on political rather than economic impact, said Von Massow.For example, Massow said, Canada imports just $3 million worth of yogurt from the U.S. annually — most of which is from Wisconsin, the home state of House Speaker Paul Ryan. Another product on the list is whiskey, which comes from Tennessee or Kentucky, the latter of which is the home state of Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell.“Putting a levy on something that we import $3 million worth of is not likely to have any impact whatsoever on any Canadian consumers. It’s much more likely to have an impact on someone who might have the phone number of Paul Ryan … An attempt to bring pressure on the White House that way.”last_img read more

first_imgCaucasianBlack HairBrown eyes5’5″/ 130 lbsWearing, pink hoodie, brown pants, black shoesThere is a concern for his well-being.The RCMP would like to locate and speak with him as soon as possible.If you have any information on McKay’s whereabouts, you are asked to contact Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5701 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Grande Prairie RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 14-year-old Tyson McKay.According to RCMP, McKay was last seen in the Grande Prairie area on Wednesday, May 8.McKay is described as:last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Automobile dealers’ body FADA Wednesday said retail sales of passenger vehicles (PV) in February declined by 8.25 per cent to 2,15,276 units as compared to the same period last year, hit by lower offtake by end customers. According to Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), PV sales stood at 2,34,632 units in February 2018. Two-wheeler sales declined by 7.97 per cent to 11,25,405 units last month as compared with 12,22,883 units in year-ago period. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep”After a month of spike in PV sales in January which was largely due to year-end stock clearance getting extended and few new launches which generated some excitement, the industry is once again witnessing downward trend as February turned out to be one of the slowest month for auto retail during this financial year,” FADA President Ashish Harsharaj Kale said in a statement. Domestic auto sales are experiencing a prolonged slowdown as it is already been six months of downturn with no positive triggers visible in near term, he added. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs”Starting with the huge hike in insurance costs in September, we have seen a lot of negative factors come together in the past few months, leading to major postponement in purchase decisions and overall weakening of consumer sentiment,” Kale said. Auto dealers across the country are in a high stock situation across all categories and inventory levels of passenger and commercial vehicles, which had seen partial correction in the past two months, but are now back to the unsustainable levels seen in November 2018, he added. “FADA has been highlighting the high level of inventory amongst the two-wheeler dealers and would like to express serious concern that it has now reached alarming proportions and in some geographies has breached the unheard level of 100 days of stock,” Kale said. Dealers are already facing a substantial increase in operational costs in recent times due to various factors as well as increased working capital needs, and would be urgently looking to reduce their inventory in the months of March and April, he added. Retail sales of commercial vehicle during last month declined by 7.08 per cent to 61,134 units as compared with 65,789 units in February 2018. Three-wheeler sales also declined by 10.32 per cent in February at 50,263 units, as compared with 56,045 units in the year-ago period. Total automobile sales during February declined by 8.06 per cent to 14,52,078 units as compared with 15,79,349 units in February 2018. Last week, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had reported 1.11 per cent drop in wholesale PV sales in February. It was the seventh decline in PV sales in last eight months. The continued spell of weak sales has prompted the auto industry body to suggest that passenger vehicles will miss even the scaled down forecast of 6 per cent for the ongoing fiscal.last_img read more

first_imgThe ‘Shubho Akshay-Tritiya’, this year’s edition of Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers annual festive offer for the season, comes with many draws and attractions. Assured gift with every purchase, 20% discount on MC of gold jewellery, 50% discount on MC of diamond jewellery, 15% discount on gems and precious stones, and daily lucky draw of the gold coin are few of the major highlights. Additionally, there is a mega draw of a diamond necklace. Altogether, a lot of shine awaiting for the customers in a special ‘Akshay-Tritiya’ package. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe special press preview, timed just after the advent of the Bengali New Year, had all the elements of Bangaliana with much song and dance about the season, presentation of festive glitter and glow and felicitation of Manik Debnath, master weaver of traditional ‘Gamchas’. “I am really touched”, said Manik Debnath, the 64-year-old master weaver from ‘Oitijya Haat Tant’, “…and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers for this honour and wish all Shuva Nabobarsho.” Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”We are really happy to felicitate unsung hero Manik Debnath because he is truly a master weaver and deserves to be celebrated for keeping the traditional craft alive and this felicitation comes with fond wishes for his mastery to remain ‘Akshay'”, said Rupak Saha, Director, Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers. “Akshay-Tritiya is all about retention of shine in fate and fortune and that is why it is considered to be a very auspicious occasion for people to buy jewellery and pray for its reflection in their lives,” he added. The offer will be on from May 1- 8 at all showrooms of Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers in Kolkata – Rashbehari Avenue, Behala and Barasat and Tripura.last_img read more

first_img New species of lizard found in stomach of Cretaceous microraptor Researchers have discovered that small mammals, such as those similar to this dormouse, tend to survive longer as a species, while larger mammals tend to die out and/or evolve faster. Image: H. Osadnik. Explore further But overall, small mammals’ ability to hibernate or enter a state of torpor seems to give them the largest benefit for prolonging their species duration. As the researchers found, 41 of 67 (61 percent) extinct small mammal genera had some kind of hibernation ability, while only 15 of 50 (30 percent) extinct large mammal genera did. And the small mammals that didn’t hibernate had relatively faster evolution rates, as they were forced to cope with the elements. The longest living genera in the study were a mole, two gliding squirrels, and two dormice, which lasted about 16 million years, and all had the ability to burrow or hibernate. The tapir was the only large mammal that evolved at a slow rate more akin to the smaller mammals. Most large mammals that didn’t hibernate evolved into a new species or went extinct in just a few million years. The shortest duration in the researchers’ data was one million years. However, Stenseth noted that the truly short-lived creatures are invisible in the fossil record. He also explained that short-lived and long-lived mammals both have their own advantages and disadvantages.“The most diverse and abundant groups, such as the mouse-like (muroid) rodents, have high origination and extinction rates,” he said. “But slow evolvers like dormice are successful in their own way, and clearly very good at what they are doing.”In light of the current climate crisis, this study may help scientists predict which kinds of species are more vulnerable to climatic fluctuations, the authors explain. “There has been a steady loss of large mammals in recent times, and this trend is likely to continue,” said Mikael Fortelius, geology professor at the University of Helsinki and a co-author of the paper. “We are currently extending our PNAS study to include living mammals and hope to be able to present our results soon.”More information: Liow, Lee Hsiang;, Fortelius, Mikael; Bingham, Ella; Lintulaakso, Kari; Mannila, Heikki; Flynn, Larry; and Stenseth, Nils Chr. “Higher origination and extinction rates in larger mammals.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. April 22, 2008, vol. 105, no. 16, 6097-6102.Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Recently, a team of researchers from Finland, Norway and the US has found that larger mammals seem to evolve more quickly than smaller ones – but the reason isn’t body size, per se. Rather, the scientists found that some smaller mammals have the ability to hibernate, burrow or hide in other shelters. In doing so, they effectively sleep through harsh environmental changes. Larger mammals, on the other hand, must endure the hard times when there’s little food or extreme weather. Their large size constrains them from digging burrows or lowering their metabolic rates for extended time periods. In a sense, larger mammals face the elements head-on like a fearless adventurer who might not make it through alive, and is forever changed by the experience.The finding – which is based on analysis of a large Neogene Old World fossil dataset – is somewhat surprising. On an individual level, large mammals tend to live significantly longer than smaller ones. For example, elephants can live up to 70 years, while shrews are lucky to reach two. Because of their faster generation times, small mammals should evolve faster, and small mammal species and genera should appear and go extinct faster – but this is not the case. “We believe the greatest significance of our work is showing that, contrary to expectation, small mammals do not evolve faster than large mammals, and that some of them actually evolve much slower,” Nils Stenseth, zoology professor at the University of Oslo, told PhysOrg.com. “The greatest potential significance is in the SLOH [sleep-or-hide] hypothesis – specifically in its implication that removing part of the environmental pressure slows down evolution quite dramatically.”Previous studies – some focusing on tropical mammals – have had mixed results on size-based evolution rates for fossil mammals, with some finding the opposite pattern and some finding no difference. One possible explanation is that large mammals in tropical climates don’t face such harsh environmental conditions, and so they may last longer and evolve more slowly. Further, smaller mammals in tropical areas may suffer from the increased competition, leading to more rapid turnover rates for them.center_img Citation: Large mammal species live harder, die out faster (2008, May 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-05-large-mammal-species-harder-die.html Throughout Earth’s history, species have come and gone, being replaced by new ones that are better able to cope with life’s challenges. But some species last longer than others, while others may die out sooner or evolve more quickly. 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_imgThe final report and study recommends a long terms solution to the hypoxic conditions present in the Mississippi River Basin and the Northern Gulf of Mexico. The proposed plan to reduce nutrient discharges across the river basin and ecological water will take up to a decade to realize a difference in water quality downstream in the gulf. Nine states; Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee contribute three-fourths of the phosphorous and nitrogen discharged into the Gulf of Mexico, according to the American Chemical Society study by Anderson et. al. 2008. WTSB recommends a targeted approach to curb nutrient discharges by prioritizing intervention at the highest nutrient loading areas by directing conservation in watershed areas located in the river basin area. As a corollary objective the EPA and Department of Agriculture should identify specific areas within watersheds where the expenditure of funds and resources will have the highest probability of achieving a positive result. WTSB suggests EPA and the Department of Agriculture establish a Nutrient Control Implementation Initiative, (NCII) and a new Mississippi River Basin Water Quality Center. The WTSB further recommends certain goals for evaluating, demonstrating and creating an institutional model for local, state and federal counterparts to share research and their efforts to control nutrient discharges. WTSB recommends that Municipal and industrial point dischargers should be required as a condition to their permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System to monitor phosphorous and nitrogen levels. Further,WTSB recommends a cost analysis of community and governmental efforts of various nutrient control actions. Lastly, conduct a pilot project and compile and disseminate a best practices guidelines.According to the report, the most significant task for improving water quality everywhere, but in particular the Mississippi River Basin comes from nonpoint source pollutants derived from runoff flowing across agricultural land, forests, urban lawns, streets and other paved areas. The primary culprit for this region is the use of nitrogen and phosphorous based fertilizers used in agriculture. A relatively recent change in land use including subsurface drainage, increase demand for commodities and use of fertilizers with added boosts of phosphorous and nitrogen has made the most significant impact in nutrient pollution in the region. Row crops like soybeans and corn contribute 25-percent phosphorous and 52-percent nitrogen of all nutrients in the Gulf of Mexico. Pasture and range land is the next highest source of nutrient discharge with a combined discharge of 42-percent, ‘other crops’ discharge approximately 32-percent of all nutrients with ‘urban and population’ contributing 21-percent. The least nutrient discharger is ‘natural land’ and atmospheric conditions contribute only nitrogen at a rate of about 16-percent.The report states that unequivocal and decisive action is necessary for the implementation of its recommendations. For years the region has languished in a state of inertia due to a variety of reasons. Some reasons simply lack awareness of the current scientific knowledge gathered by the USGS SPARROW modeling team identifying sources and related work developing an adaptive management paradigm. More importantly, the expansive, complex, ecosystem combined with an ever fluctuating human factor will never have a perfect approach. The quest for perfection has in effect resulted in no action whatsoever to ameliorate the deteriorating conditions. Other objections by some include a lack of knowledge of the level of reduction of nutrient discharges it would take to improve water quality. The report finds that whether the recommended Mississippi River Basin Water Quality Center uses the EPA’s 45-percent reduction of nutrient discharges or 20 to 30-percent reduction in nutrient discharges is not the pivotal question. A dramatic reduction in phosphorous and nitrogen is necessary now. Other objections include state and federal conflicts, leadership and other bureaucratic turf wars for funding.The report concludes that the Clean Water Act has broad authority and overlapping authority with the states concerning nutrient use and discharge into the region. Governmental agencies and non-profit association do have access to resources including conservation and remediation funding. The recommended Mississippi River Water Quality Center would serve as the vehicle to incorporate federal, state, private sector, NGOs and interested citizens in the creation of an overall plan of action. The report indicates that the current state of inertia is not an option.Source:Nutrient Control Actions for Improving Water Quality in the Mississippi River Basin and Northern Gulf of Mexico (2009),Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB)© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore further Stronger EPA leadership needed to improve water quality in Mississippi River Phosphorous Delivered to Gulf of Mexico. Courtesy of USGS 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.center_img Hypoxia is caused by an excess discharge of nutrients, in particular phosphorous and nitrogen into a waterway. A chain of naturally occurring events take place which include widespread algae blooms and ends with the decomposition of the dead algae blooms which in turn depletes dissolved oxygen from the water column causing hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi River Basin. The hypoxic conditions and related nutrient pollutants in the basin region literally chokes the oxygen from the waterway causing fish kills and potential toxic effects to humans and fish alike. The problem has increased dramatically over the past decades for varying reasons including changing land use,urbanization and the introduction of new varieties of agricultural products.According to the study, “Nutrient Control Actions for Improving Water Quality in the Mississippi River Basin and Northern Gulf of Mexico, 2009” data compiled since 1985 of the region is complicated by the fact that the source of phosphorous and nitrogen discharges are attributable to numerous watersheds and tributaries involving a huge land mass spanning 31 states, covering approximately 41-percent of the conterminous land in the United States with multiple governmental authorities responsible for managing the Mississippi River Basin leading to the Gulf of Mexico. Cooperative efforts between state, federal and cross-discipline regulatory schemes (ie. water quality and nutrient control) was key in the assessment of downstream effects and analysis of decades of data in order to create the WTSB recommendations. The plan for implementation was produced by the National Research Council, WTSB at the behest of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture with the objective of implementing the Clean Water Act. The specific charge of the request was to advise the EPA in the following areas: 1) initiate nutrient pollutant control programs; 2) identifying alternatives for allocating nutrient load reductions across the river basin and 3) documenting the effectiveness of pollutant loading reduction strategies on the gulf hypoxic zone and state designated uses. Special committees were formed and met during the last half of 2008 under the auspices of the WTSB. Citation: The Mighty Mississippi Basin and Gulf Suffocating: Inertia Not An Option (2009, July 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-07-mighty-mississippi-basin-gulf-suffocating.html The Water Science and Technology Board, (WTSB), Division on Earth and Life Sciences of the National Research Council has released for publication its study for improving water quality in the Mississippi River Basin and Northern Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of the study was to create an action plan for reducing nutrient load in the effected areas causing low levels of oxygen and creating a condition called hypoxia. last_img read more

first_img New evidence for a preferred direction in spacetime challenges the cosmological principle (PhysOrg.com) — The 2011 Nobel Prize in physics, awarded just a few weeks ago, went to research on the light from Type 1a supernovae, which shows that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. The well-known problem resulting from these observations is that this expansion seems to be occurring even faster than all known forms of energy could allow. While there is no shortage of proposed explanations – from dark energy to modified theories of gravity – it’s less common that someone questions the interpretation of the supernovae data itself. Citation: A second look at supernovae light: Universe’s expansion may be understood without dark energy (2011, October 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-supernovae-universe-expansion-understood-dark.html Mathematically, the principle of least action has two different forms. Physicists almost always use the form that involves the so-called Lagrangian integrand, but Annila explains that this form can only determine paths within stationary surroundings. Since the expanding universe is an evolving system, he suggests that the original but less popular form, which was produced by the French mathematician Maupertuis, can more accurately determine the path of light from the distant supernovae.Using Maupertuis’ form of the principle of least action, Annila has calculated that the brightness of light from Type 1a supernovae after traveling many millions of light-years to Earth agrees well with observations of the known amount of energy in the universe, and doesn’t require dark energy or any other additional driving force. Copyright 2011 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. “It is natural for us humans to yearn for predictions since anticipations contribute to our survival,” he said. “However, natural processes, as Maupertuis correctly formulated them, are intrinsically non-computable. Therefore, there is no real reason, but it has been only our desire to make precise predictions which has led us to shun the Maupertuis’ form, even though the least-time imperative is an accurate account of path-dependent processes. The unifying principle serves to rationalize various fine-tuning problems such as the large-scale homogeneity and flatness of the universe.”Light’s least-time pathHow exactly does the light travel on its least-time path? While the light is traveling, the expanding universe is decreasing in density. When light crosses from a higher energy density region to a lower energy density region, Maupertuis’ principle of least action says that the light will adapt by decreasing its momentum. Therefore, due to the conservation of quanta, the photon’s wavelength will increase and its frequency will decrease. Thus, the radiant intensity of light will decrease on its way from the supernova explosion during the high-density distant past to its present-day low-density universal surroundings. Also when light passes by a local energy-dense area, such as a star, the speed of light will change and its direction of propagation will change. All these changes in light ultimately stem from changes in the surrounding energy density.If this is the way that light from supernovae travels, then it tells us something important about why the universe is expanding, Annila explains. When a star explodes and its mass is combusted into radiation, conservation requires that the number of quanta stays the same, whether in the form of matter or radiation. To maintain the overall balance between energy bound in matter and energy free in photons, the supernovae are, on average, moving away from each other with increasing average velocity approaching the speed of light. If dark energy or any other additional form of energy were involved, it would violate the conservation of energy.The analysis applies not just to supernovae, but to other “bound forms” of energy as well. When the bound forms of energy in stars, pulsars, black holes, and other objects transform into electromagnetic radiation – the lowest form of energy – through combustion, these irrevocable transformations from high energy densities to low energy densities are what cause the universe to expand. More information: Arto Annila. “Least-time paths of light.” Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 416, 2944-2948 (2011) DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19242.xcenter_img Explore further If the universe’s expansion is due to mechanisms that “break matter to light,” then the universe’s expansion is expected to follow a sigmoid curve. Image credit: Qef, Wikimedia Commons In a new study, that’s what Arto Annila, Physics Professor at the University of Helsinki, is doing. The basis of his argument, which is published in a recent issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, lies in the ever-changing way that light travels through an ever-evolving universe.“The standard model of big bang cosmology (the Lambda-CMD model) is a mathematical model, but not a physical portrayal of the evolving universe,” Annila told PhysOrg.com. “Thus the Lambda-CMD model yields the luminosity distance at a given redshift as a function of the model parameters, such as the cosmological constant, but not as a function of the physical process where quanta released from a supernova explosion disperse into the expanding universe. “When the supernova exploded, its energy as photons began to disperse in the universe, which has, by the time we observe the flash, become larger and hence also more dilute,” he said. “Accordingly, the observed intensity of light has fallen inversely proportional to the squared luminosity distance and directly proportional to the redshifted frequency. Due to these two factors, brightness vs. redshift is not one straight line on a log-log plot, but a curve.”As a result, Annila argues that the supernovae data does not imply that the universe is undergoing an accelerating expansion. The principle of least timeAs Annila explains, when a ray of light travels from a distant star to an observer’s telescope, it travels along the path that takes the least amount of time. This well-known physics principle is called Fermat’s principle or the principle of least time. Importantly, the quickest path is not always the straight path. Deviations from a straight path occur when light propagates through media of varying energy densities, such as when light bends due to refraction as it travels through a glass prism. The principle of least time is a specific form of the more generally stated principle of least action. According to this principle, light, like all forms of energy in motion, always travels on the path that maximizes its dispersal of energy. We see this concept when the light from a light bulb (or star) emanates outward in all available directions. Light disperses from a supernova explosion (yellow) to a site of detection (blue). As the universe expands, the light energy becomes diluted as it travels from its past, dense surroundings to its present, sparse surroundings. The light’s wavelength increases as a result of the decrease in surrounding energy density. Image credit: Annila. ©2011 Royal Astronomical Society In the relationship between the distance and redshift of Type 1a supernovae, the data (points) agree with the equation in which light propagates through the expanding universe on the least-time path (solid line). Image credit: Annila. ©2011 Royal Astronomical Society “On-going expansion of the universe is not a remnant of some furious bang at a distant past, but the universe is expanding because energy that is bound in matter is being combusted to freely propagating photons, most notably in stars and other powerful celestial mechanisms of energy transformation,” Annila said. “Thus, today’s rate of expansion depends on the energy density that is still confined in matter as well as on the efficacy of those present-day mechanisms that break matter to light. Likewise, the past rate of expansion depended on those mechanisms that existed then, just as the future rate will depend also on those mechanisms may emerge in the future. Since all natural processes tend to follow sigmoid curves when consuming free energy in the least time, also the universe is expected to expand in a sigmoid manner.”Not a one-trick ponyWhile the concept of light’s least-time path seems to be capable of explaining the supernovae data in agreement with the rest of our observations of the universe, Annila notes that it would be even more appealing if this one theoretical concept could solve a few problems at the same time. And it may – Annila shows that, when gravitational lensing is analyzed with this concept, it does not require dark matter to explain the results.Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicts that massive objects, such as galaxies, cause light to bend due to the way their gravity distorts spacetime, and scientists have observed that this is exactly what happens. The problem is that the deflection seems to be larger than what all of the known (luminous) matter can account for, prompting researchers to investigate the possibility of dark (nonluminous) matter.However, when Annila used Maupertuis’ principle of least action to analyze how much a galaxy of a certain mass should deflect passing light, he calculated the total deflection to be about five times larger than the value given by general relativity. In other words, the observed deflections require less mass than previously thought, and it can be entirely accounted for by the known matter in galaxies.“General relativity in terms of Einstein’s field equations is a mathematical model of the universe, whereas we need the physical account of the evolving universe provided by Maupertuis’ principle of least action,” he said. “Progress by patching may appear appealing, but it will easily become inconsistent by resorting to ad hoc accretions. Bertrand Russell is completely to the point about the contemporary tenet when saying that ‘all exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation,’ but fundamentally, any sophisticated modeling is secondary to comprehending the simple principle of how nature works.”Annila added that these concepts can be tested to see whether they are the correct way to analyze supernovae and interpret the universe’s expansion.“The principle of least-time free energy consumption claims by its nature to be the universal and inviolable law,” he said. “Therefore, not only the supernovae explosions but basically any data will serve to test its validity. Consistency and universality of the principle can be tested, for example, by perihelion precession and galactic rotation data. Also the final results of Gravity Probe B for the geodetic effect appear to me certainly good enough to test the natural principle, whereas recordings of the tiny frame-dragging effect are compromised by large uncertainties as well as by unforeseeable but illuminating experimental tribulations.”last_img read more

first_img Posted by Virtuoso Incubator chooses Explor VR platform for 2017 tech program Share << Previous PostNext Post >> NEW YORK — Virtuoso, the international network of luxury travel agencies, has chosen Explor VR, Travelweek’s virtual reality platform that launched nationwide in Canada last fall, as one of the emerging travel technology companies participating in its innovative Virtuoso Incubator program for 2017.The program aims to foster new technology and provide efficiencies that will ultimately help its travel agency members maintain a competitive edge. Hundreds of companies within the rapidly growing travel technology sector applied for the program. Only three, including Xplr VR, were selected for early admission.“We selected Explor VR for Virtuoso Incubator because its solution aligns with our goal of fostering emerging technologies that are focused on increasing efficiency and enhancing client service for travel advisors,” said David Kolner, senior vice president, Global Member Partnerships at Virtuoso. “From the outset, Explor VR has curated its content and platform so that advisors can convert quality leads and offer an experience to travellers like never before. Virtuoso wanted to offer our members a chance to pilot this kind of technology, giving them the opportunity to be among the earliest adopters of virtual reality in the industry.”More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoExplor VR is the world’s only virtual reality app designed specifically for travel agents. It has curated a collection of virtual reality experiences based on what travel agents sell most, so that they can use the technology to showcase destinations and travel products to their clients in a fun and interactive way. The app is free for agents, with only a nominal investment required for an affordable headset.The app’s admission into the Virtuoso Incubator program demonstrates the mass-market interest in cutting-edge VR technology, and how it applies to the travel industry specifically. Since its launch, travel agents have been eager to embrace the new technology, which they say gives them a competitive edge over online OTA’s when engaging with clients.“The future of travel industry marketing is with virtual reality,” Kolner said. “The sensory experience of virtual reality can make the travel discovery process immersive, productive and fun. Explor VR is bringing visual marketing to the eyes of prospective travellers and then placing the traveler in the hands of expert Virtuoso advisors. It is this perfect union of human connection and technology that we wanted to pilot with our travel advisor members.”More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemThrough its Incubator program, Virtuoso is leading the charge in improving the customer experience by attracting technology solutions to the travel industry. Participating companies benefit from the guidance of the Virtuoso travel consultant-based Advisory Panel, which tests the product, provides real-world feedback and allows the company to continue iterating its product to better meet the needs of travel agencies, advisors and clients.On being selected for the program, Devin Kinasz, President of Explor VR and Director of Digital Strategy at Travelweek, said: “We are excited Virtuoso is so supportive of this great new technology for travel agents and look forward to engaging with their agents and suppliers, who will undoubtedly have valuable insight. We see great potential for virtual reality in the luxury market, which has some fabulous, out-of-this-world products that consumers will definitely want to see in virtual reality, as well as reality.”For more information, go to virtuoso.com/incubator or explorvr.com/.center_img Friday, February 3, 2017 Tags: Explor VR, Technology, Virtual Reality, Virtuoso, Xplr VR Travelweek Group last_img read more

first_img Categories: News 23May Speaker Bolger welcomes Alpha Kappa Alpha to Capitol Speaker of the House Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, welcomed members of the Michigan chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority to the state Capitol on Thursday for their annual legislative day. The service sorority is the oldest Greek-lettered organization established by African-American college-educated women. Speaker Bolger applauded the attendees for participating in the legislative process because “our government is based on the system of ‘We the people…,’ but what that really means is, ‘We the people who show up.’” The group also welcomed Regional Director Charlene Truitt Nelson, who took a moment to visit with Speaker Bolger following his address.last_img read more

first_imgSome 11% of Dutch households now subscribe to Netflix, according to research by local trade site Telecompaper. According to the research, about 865,000 Dutch households have signed up for the service, beating local players including Videoland Unlimited and NL.ziet. However, about 25% of Netflix users are believed in a free trial period.According to Telecompaper, six per cent of consumers said they are interested in signing up for Netflix over the next six months. The research also found that almost half of Dutch consumers had at least one TV connected to the internet.Telecompaper surveyed 6,200 consumers aged between 12 and 80 during the fourth quarter of last year.last_img read more

first_img“This was as a result of the driver failing to stop for Police on two occasions during which he drove in a dangerous manner and with no insurance! “The driver was arrested for a string of offences which occurred in the rural areas of Claudy and Park. “The driver was interviewed and has been charged to court for all offences and can explain his actions to the court.“Waterside NPT will continue to proactively patrol to keep the roads and your communities safe.” ShareTweet A MAN will soon face the local court in Derry on a series of motoring charges.Police say the uninsured driver twice failed to twice stop for police after driving dangerously.An officer writing on PSNI Foyle’s Facebook page says: “Following Constable Blacks bike seizure during the week, Sergeant R, not to be outdone, seized a car whilst on mobile patrol in the Waterside area. claudydangerous drivingMotorist who twice failed to stop for police in Derry arrested for dangerous drivingparkPSNI FOYLE Motorist who twice failed to stop for police in Derry arrested for dangerous driving was last modified: July 29th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags:last_img read more

first_imgDoctors who are opposed to abortions don’t have to provide them. Since the 1970s, a series of federal rules have provided clinicians with “conscience protections” that help them keep their jobs if they don’t want to perform or assist with the procedure. Religious hospitals are also protected. Catholic health care systems, for example, are protected if they choose not to provide abortions or sterilizations. Doctors who work for religious hospitals usually sign contracts that they’ll uphold religious values in their work. But as the reach of Catholic-affiliated health care grows, these protections are starting to have consequences for doctors who do want to perform abortions — even as a side job.Religious hospitals often prohibit their doctors from performing abortions — even if they do so at unaffiliated clinics, says Noel León, a lawyer with the National Women’s Law Center. León was hired about two years ago to help physicians who want to be abortion providers. They have little in the way of legal protection, she says. “Institutions are using the institutional religious and moral beliefs to interfere with employees’ religious and moral beliefs,” León says. This kind of legal argument, León says, may prevent doctors from providing care they feel called to offer. And since many clinics that provide abortions rely heavily on part-time staff, it may also prevent these clinics from finding the doctors they need to stay open. Dr. Kimberly Remski sought help from León when she was job hunting. She is a primary care physician but had always been interested in women’s health. When she first set foot in a clinic that provides abortions, she realized it was her passion. “A lot of the things we spend our time doing in training are monotonous, or you’re getting swamped in work,” she says. “I just remember leaving the clinic feeling like I was doing something really important.”She interviewed for a job as a primary care doctor with IHA, one of the largest physician groups in Michigan, in 2017. She says she was clear about her desire to work one day a week in an independent clinic that provides abortions. Part-time work is common for outpatient physicians, and Remski says the doctors she interviewed with were receptive. “I was very upfront. I told that them that was a special interest of mine. I wanted to be able to pursue it,” she says. She signed a contract, and started preparing for her move. Then she got a call that the offer was off. Remski learned that her potential employer was actually owned by a larger Catholic hospital network called Trinity Health, and it requires physicians to “provide services in a manner consistent with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” according to her contract. And, she says, she was shocked to learn Trinity Health would also have had a say over how she spent her free time. IHA officials told her that she couldn’t work on the side as an abortion provider if she took the job, Remski says. Trinity Health had merged with IHA in 2010, part of a wave of mergers that has led to a net increase in Catholic ownership of hospitals. According to a 2016 report from MergerWatch, an organization that tracks hospital consolidation, 14.5 percent of acute care hospitals are Catholic-owned or affiliated. That number grew by 22 percent between 2001 and 2016, while the overall number of acute care hospitals dropped by 6 percent. And as Catholic-affiliated health care expands, says León, doctors increasingly encounter morality clauses that prohibit them from performing abortions.León says she has worked with at least 30 physicians and nurse practitioners from 20 different states who faced problems similar to Remski’s when they disclosed to their employers, or potential employers, that they planned to provide abortions. “They’re being told, ‘We can’t provide the care we went into medicine to provide,’ ” León says. “We shouldn’t be putting providers in the position of caring for their patients or keeping their jobs.”Representatives of IHA would not agree to a phone interview about Remski’s situation, but spokesperson Amy Middleton explained in an email that IHA “works hard with our physicians to enable them to pursue other positions.” But, she added, “outside work that interferes with a physician’s ability to serve patients or contradicts the organization’s practices could present a conflict of interest.”IHA physicians follow Catholic health care guidelines, Middleton wrote, which requires that physicians “not promote or condone contraceptive practices.” Dr. Barbara Golder, the editor of the Catholic Medical Association journal, Linacre Quarterly, says that language about morality is ubiquitous in contracts — and that it is reasonable that religious institutions might not want to be associated with abortion providers. “The person is seen primarily as Dr. X of Catholic hospital Y, and then it turns out that Dr. X of Catholic hospital Y is doing abortions on the weekends,” Golder says. “There’s sort of a cognitive dissonance about that. It’s in opposition to what Catholic health care is.”According to Lance Leider, a Florida attorney who has reviewed hundreds of physician contracts, it is “exceedingly common” for contracts, not just at religiously affiliated hospitals, to include language about the reasons an employer can fire a doctor, including but not limited to morality clauses.”There’s always a laundry list of things the employer can terminate the contract for,” Leider says. “There’s usually a catch-all. Anything that calls into question the reputation of the practice.” These clauses tend to be vague, León adds, which means employers can invoke them to prevent a wide range of activities, like political activity, controversial posts on social media or, in religious hospitals, physicians spending time at clinics that provide abortions. The restrictions may have ramifications not only for physicians but for many clinics that provide abortions. Smaller clinics may be staffed almost entirely with part-time doctors, and when they can’t find enough, they’re sometimes left unable to meet the demand for services. “We don’t have full-time doctors,” says Shelly Miller, the executive director of Scotsdale Women’s Center in Detroit, one of the clinics where Remski worked. “We really cannot afford to have a provider sit here all day and wait for patients to come in.” Through her involvement with the National Abortion Federation, Miller often talks with other directors of small clinics that provide abortions and sometimes other women’s health services. She says that many of her counterparts say they exclusively hire part-time physicians because they simply don’t need somebody full time. If more physicians are prohibited from part-time abortion work, it may put some smaller clinics out of business, Miller worries.It’s hard to know exactly how many of these clinics primarily use part-time staff, according to Rachel Jones, who studies the demographics of U.S. abortion services at the Guttmacher Institute, a family planning research organization. Ninety-five percent of abortions take place in clinics as opposed to hospitals, Jones notes, which may be more likely to utilize a team of part-time staff. León doesn’t have data to show how common it is for physicians to be threatened with termination for providing abortions. She guesses that doctors will either give up on providing abortions — or, like Remski did, look for a different job that allows them to. León spends much of her time speaking to groups of doctors about how to approach contract negotiation if they want to provide abortions. Ultimately, Remski says, she parted amicably from IHA, since “it felt like the wrong place for me.” She ended up finding a job at an urgent-care clinic in Michigan, which allowed her to work part time at three separate clinics that provide abortions. She has since moved to Chicago, where she also splits her time between providing abortions and primary care. “I was providing a service that was needed and necessary,” Remski says. “I realized it was something I really needed to do.” Mara Gordon is a family physician in Washington, D.C., and a health and media fellow at NPR and Georgetown University School of Medicine. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

first_imgCampaigners have questioned a series of claims by the minister for disabled people that there have been substantial improvements to major government disability programmes.Justin Tomlinson, who was appointed to the post in May, spoke this afternoon (Thursday) to two separate audiences of disabled people and campaigners.He claimed there had been substantial improvements to the Access to Work (AtW) scheme, and in the programme to introduce personal independence payment (PIP).He also attempted to justify government plans to cut £29 a week from the benefits of new claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) from April 2017.Tomlinson first addressed a joint meeting of the all-party parliamentary disability group (APPDG) and the all-party parliamentary group on learning disability in Westminster, before heading across London to speak at the annual meeting of Disability Rights UK.He told the APPDG there had been “clear improvements” to AtW, with his department “speeding up the process” and increasing awareness of the scheme among small and medium-sized businesses.He also said there had been a “dramatic turnaround” in the PIP claim system, with four times more assessors, 200 more assessment centres, centres opening for longer hours and “improved communications with claimants”.He later told the DR UK event that PIP had had a “terrible start”, with a “terrible claimant journey”, but that “we have transformed it”.But he said he was “not complacent” and would ensure that the reassessment process of 1.3 million people on long-term disability living allowance, now underway, would proceed in “a controlled and measured way”, with weekly checks on how the system was coping so that this final stage of the PIP roll-out does not “compromise quality”.He attempted to justify the WRAG cut – which will see £640 million a year cut from disabled people’s benefits – by highlighting that only one per cent of those in the WRAG find sustainable work every month.He said there was “no way of describing that as anything other than unacceptable”, and said later that the WRAG top-up “was not meant to be an income boost”.He said: “That was not the intention when it was brought in. It was to provide direct support to get you into work.”Tomlinson told the APPDG that eventually an extra £100 million a year of those WRAG savings would be spent on employment support for disabled people.But Tomlinson’s claims were repeatedly disputed by disabled people and disability organisations who attended the two events.Tom Hendrie, from Cheshire Centre for Independent Living, told Tomlinson at the DR UK event: “A number of members are concerned about the way changes to local authority funding, the end of the Independent Living Fund, changes to benefits, have all come together in a perfect storm.”He asked if Tomlinson would encourage ministerial colleagues to attempt an assessment of the cumulative impact of all of the government’s reforms and cuts.Andrew Lee (pictured), director of policy and campaigns at People First Self-Advocacy, said at the APPDG: “I hear a lot about the government wanting more people to be in work, but as a person with learning difficulties myself, my experience is actually that there are more and more barriers to employment for disabled people.“The way the changes to Access to Work are hitting people with learning difficulties is one thing I know.”He said cuts to social care had forced him to cut his work hours so he could support his disabled wife.Lee said: “We do not get any support with things like form-filling, so we are running around everywhere trying to find someone to help us fill in our benefits assessment forms.”Mike Smith, chief executive of the London disabled people’s organisation Real, and former disability commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, asked Tomlinson at the DR UK event why the need for a national AtW scheme did not also apply to the Independent Living Fund, which the government closed in order to pass its funding to local authorities.Tomlinson did not appear to answer that question.Rebecca, a young disabled woman who spoke at the APPDG meeting, described her own experiences of claiming ESA and the difficulty of finding work, and said that cutting WRAG payments “could make life even more difficult for disabled people”.She said: “I need the money. Without it, I struggle.”She added: “I applied for so many jobs but I keep getting letters back saying they cannot accept me. I think it’s because I have a disability.“I find it really hard to have to explain that I could actually do the work.”Victoria Holloway, co-chair of the Disability Benefits Consortium, told Tomlinson at the APPDG that there was “no evidence whatsoever” that cutting WRAG payments would incentivise disabled people to find work.She said the move would instead move them further from the workplace, could mean people were unable to meet their essential living costs, and might even put some people’s recovery from ill-health at risk.A Mencap representative later asked Tomlinson for the evidence that cutting WRAG payments would “incentivise” disabled people to find work.He failed to make any reference to such evidence in his reply, but appeared to claim that the “incentive” was the extra money that would be available for employment support for disabled people.Gordon McFadden, chair of United Amputees, raised concerns about the quality of PIP assessments, and said that one contractor had been advertising for paramedics to carry out the tests, in addition to physiotherapists, nurses and doctors.McFadden told Disability News Service after the APPDG meeting that he had supported two people, both of whom had had both their legs amputated and were still turned down for the enhanced mobility rate of PIP, and told their Motability vehicles would be removed. Both decisions were only over-turned after McFadden became involved in their cases.Asked at the DR UK event whether he would look again at the decision to slash the qualifying distance for the enhanced rate of PIP mobility support from 50 metres to just 20 metres, Tomlinson said the department had “incredibly bright medical advisors who advise on the way of doing things”.He added: “We feel, based on the advice we have been given, it is the right thing to do but I recognise that most of you in the room do not [share that view].”Natalie McGarry, the SNP’s disability spokeswoman, told Tomlinson at the APPDG that disabled people placed in the WRAG had “already been found not fit for work”, and she told him that the government had apparently “not learned anything” from its failure to carry out preparatory work before the introduction of the bedroom tax.She said: “You are making their lives significantly more difficult but you are not changing their conditions, the barriers to work, or the work for people to get into.” And Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, Debbie Abrahams, told the DR UK event, after Tomlinson’s departure: “As much as the minister provided a relatively rosy picture, I do not quite see things as he did.”She said she believed the cumulative impact of the new welfare reform and work bill on disabled people would be “very severe”.last_img read more

first_imgDisabled people’s rights have regressed in at least nine areas since the coalition government assumed power in 2010, according to a new report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).The report concludes that disabled people are still being treated as “second-class citizens” and that rights have regressed in many areas of society, while in others progress has stalled.The report says: “It is a badge of shame on our society that thousands of disabled people in Britain are still not being treated as equal citizens and continue to be denied the everyday rights non-disabled people take for granted, such as being able to access transport, appropriate health services and housing, or benefit from education and employment.”The report, Being Disabled In Britain: A Journey Less Equal, aims to provide comprehensive evidence on disability inequality in Britain, and calls on disability groups to use its findings to “strengthen their case for change”, and on the UK and devolved governments to use it to improve laws and policies.The report examines progress on education; work; standard of living; health and care; justice and detention; and participation and identity, and says that disabled people are experiencing “disadvantages” in all of them.But the commission has also told Disability News Service (DNS) that it believes there has been a regression in rights in at least nine areas since 2010.One of these areas is the right to independent living, including the disproportionate effect of the government’s welfare reforms on disabled people.The report says that social security reforms have had a “particularly disproportionate, cumulative impact” on disabled people’s right to independent living and an adequate standard of living.It repeats its previous calls for the UK government to carry out an assessment of the cumulative impact of its cuts and reforms on disabled people, a demand that disabled activists have been making since at least 2011.Across the UK, according to the report, 18.4 per cent of working-age disabled people were considered to be in food poverty compared with 7.5 per cent of non-disabled people.Disabled people over the age of 65 were twice as likely as non-disabled people in the same age group to be in food poverty.The report also says there is a “growing body of anecdotal evidence” that the government’s welfare reforms, including the work capability assessment (WCA), are causing “significant harm and distress, particularly to people with mental health conditions, and that in some cases being found ineligible for Employment Support Allowance has resulted in suicide”.It points to an investigation by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, research by academics from the universities of Liverpool and Oxford, and two prevention of future deaths letters, written by coroners and discovered originally by DNS, all of which have linked the WCA to the deaths of benefit claimants with mental health conditions.Other areas where there has been regression in disabled people’s rights include social isolation, with fewer opportunities for some disabled people to participate in the community; housing, with some disabled people being forced to move from adapted properties into unsuitable accommodation as a result of the government’s “bedroom tax”; and in healthcare, including the inappropriate use of “do not attempt resuscitation” orders.Other areas of regression include the inability to challenge detentions under mental health and mental capacity laws; discriminatory school exclusions, and – in Wales – the failure to protect disabled pupils from bullying; and the impact of government reforms on protection from employment discrimination.The report warns that detentions in health and social care settings under the Mental Health Act are continuing to increase in England and Wales, with the number of detentions in hospitals rising from 46,600 in 2009-10 to 63,622 last year.The report also points to regression as a result of government reforms to legal aid in England and Wales, which it says have harmed disabled people’s access to justice in family law, housing, employment, debt and benefits cases.The report says there was a 54 per cent drop in employment tribunal claims on the grounds of disability discrimination between 2012-13 and 2015-16, following the introduction of tribunal fees of up to £1,200 across Britain in July 2013.In new analysis carried out for the report on the Office for Disability Issues’ Life Opportunities Survey, the commission found that the proportion of disabled people who found it difficult to access public services (health, benefits, tax, sport and leisure) rose from 37.9 per cent in 2009-11 to 45.3 per cent in 2012-14, compared to a rise from 26.2 per cent to 31.7 per cent of non-disabled people.The report also calls again on the government to reopen its Access to Elected Office fund, which offered grants to disabled people to pay for their additional impairment-related costs in standing for election as a councillor or MP, and has been lying dormant since the 2015 general election.This week’s report draws mostly on previously-published research and analysis – including seven DNS stories – but also includes new analysis of published data.David Isaac, the commission’s chair, says in the report: “The Equality Act 2010 has still not been implemented in full, the [UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities] has not been incorporated into domestic law and policy, life chances for disabled people remain very poor, and public attitudes to disabled people have changed very little.”Commenting on the report, he added: “This evidence can no longer be ignored. Now is the time for a new national focus on the rights of the 13 million disabled people who live in Britain.“They must have the same rights, opportunities and respect as other citizens.“We must put the rights of disabled people at the heart of our society. We cannot, and must not, allow the next 20 years to be a repeat of the past.”When asked how the minister for disabled people responded to the watchdog’s conclusion that disabled people were still being treated as second-class citizens, that their rights had regressed in some areas, and social security reforms had had a “particularly disproportionate, cumulative impact” on disabled people’s rights to independent living and an adequate standard of living, a DWP spokesman said: “We are committed to ensuring that a disability or health condition should not dictate the path a person is able to take in life.“The UK is a world leader in this area and we are proud of the work we do to support people with disabilities and health conditions, to increase opportunities and tackle inaccessibility.“Not only do we spend over £50 billion a year to support disabled people and those with health conditions – more of our GDP than Japan, Canada and France – we also offer a wide range of tailored and effective support.“Our focus is on helping disabled people find and stay in work, whilst providing support for those who can’t.”But Liz Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “This new report makes sombre and disappointing reading, and highlights the unfairness disabled people continue to face, day in and day out.“As a society, we say we want progress towards disabled people taking a full part in society; but instead we appear to be going backwards. “We need concrete plans from government, with outcomes measured regularly, to ensure we get back on track.“We welcome the EHRC report and are keen to work with them and others to tackle discrimination.”last_img read more

first_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business October 7, 2015 3 min read Image credit: semsudinv | Foap Pandora Buys Ticketfly for $450 Million Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Lucy England Next Article center_img –shares This story originally appeared on Business Insider The music-streaming service Pandora just made an interesting acquisition. On Wednesday the company confirmed it is paying “approximately” $450 million (£294) for the American ticketing agency Ticketfly.The news comes after a report from Re/code, said that Pandora “appears close” to acquiring the ticketing company.The two companies are joining forces to “create the world’s most efficient platform for connecting listeners with live shows from their favorite bands,” Pandora cofounder Tim Westergren wrote in a blog post. That means that Pandora listeners will start be getting a “personalized flow of local shows they love,” Westergren writes, and artists and venues will hopefully be able to sell more tickets because they’ll be getting access to Pandora users in their area.While Ticketmaster still dwarfs Ticketfly — as well as every other company in the ticketing industry — Ticketfly does pretty well and handles ticket sales for performances at smaller venues and clubs where fans can get an intimate live-music experience.Rather than just selling tickets, Ticketfly’s platform also handles marketing and analytics for the venues it serves. Ticketfly sold $500 million (£326 million) in tickets in 2014.The deal $450 million pricetag is “a nearly equal balance of cash and stock,” Pandora said in a press release. Ticketfly raised a $50 million (£32 million) Series D round last summer, which brought its total funding up to a reported $87 million.So far, Pandora has made all of its revenue from its radio-streaming service. It actually beat second-quarter revenue expectations thanks to solid advertising growth on its free, ad-supported tier, which grew 30% year-over-year. Its local advertising business increased by 67% as well.The music-streaming service’s revenue clocked in at $285.6 million (£186 million) for the second quarter, just over the $283 million (£185 million) expected. But Pandora is still struggling with profitability because it has to pass along most of its revenue to music owners, and it actually lost $16.1 million (£10.5 million) overall in Q2.In a statement, Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews said: “This is a game-changer for Pandora – and much more importantly – a game-changer for music … Over the past 10 years, we have amassed the largest, most engaged audience in streaming music history. With Ticketfly, we will thrill music lovers and lift ticket sales for artists as the most effective marketplace for connecting music makers and fans.”  Acquisitions Add to Queue Register Now »last_img read more

first_imgStartup Debuts App to Make Qualitative Research Faster & Easier Batterii debuted a mobile app to replace traditional consumer research. The new app gives major corporations an intimate look into the lives of consumers, helping brands to internally disrupt instead of being disrupted by competition. This breakthrough app features include: deploying TV copy to consumers via mobile for reactions, capturing photos as inspiration, and quick survey tools. Consumers record video responses to company questions, and respond within 24-48 hrs. The mobile platform allows the flexibility for consumers to record product in-usage, consumer shopper journeys, in home research, or wherever research is required.“At Batterii we are proud of the trust our clients place in our technology and the flexibility mobile provides to respond with deep consumer insights at the speed of business,” said Chad Reynolds, CEO/Founder of Batterii, LLC. “The Qualitative Research field is ripe for disruption. The democratization of research, willingness of consumers to freely share their intimate insights, and the mass adoption of mobile creates a unique environment to game-change.  Our new Mobile Mission App showcases our commitment to providing quality, fast, and authentic consumer co-creation, allowing our corporate clients to continue confidently launching disruptive innovation.”Marketing Technology News: Vyond Announces End of Beta for Vyond Studio, Enhanced Security Features BatteriiChad Reynoldsdemocratization of researchDollar Shave ClubMarketing TechnologyNewsQualitative Research Previous ArticleInformation Builders’ WebFOCUS Named a FrontRunner in Business Intelligence in Fourth Consecutive ReportNext ArticleRelativity Showcases a New Way to Analyze Short Message and Mobile Data Recently the rise of rise of scrappy, grassroots players have disrupted industries based on an un-met or unobserved consumer need. Dollar Shave Club, AirBnB, and Hims are a few companies that are borne of a close understanding of consumers. By focusing on the holistic consumer experience, and pairing big data with rich, qualitative insights, companies can pioneer instead of fast-following.Marketing Technology News: ON24 Empowers Marketers with a 360-degree View of Customer EngagementAdidas partnered with Batterii over the past 5 years to enable consumer insights across their business units. Per Andy Leslie, Adidas Advanced Concepts: ‘Batterii Mobile Missions enable our creation teams to get closer to our consumer, get responses in real time, and avoid the need for disruptive travel schedules. Our partners at Batterii join our project team, ensuring a rich understanding of the business problem. Equally, the insights generated allow us to refine our consumer base and ensure our in person meet ups are with the most engaged and relevant consumers.’Marketing Technology News: Amazon Dominates E-Commerce Share, Ebay and Walmart Less of a Focus, Feedvisor Study Findscenter_img Batterii Unveils New Co-Creation App to Eliminate All Traditional Focus Groups PRNewswireMay 22, 2019, 4:41 pmMay 22, 2019 last_img read more

first_img(Reuters) – Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) said on Wednesday it lost U.S. streaming customers for the first time in eight years and missed targets for new subscribers overseas, an announcement that jarred investors ahead of looming competition. Netflix shares sank nearly 12% in after-hours trading after the company posted quarterly results that showed it shed 130,000 U.S. customers from April to June. The world’s dominant subscription video service said its slate of new shows during the quarter was not as appealing as expected and price increases in some markets dented growth. Netflix reported that it added 2.83 million paid streaming subscribers outside the United States, below analyst expectations of 4.8 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Analysts had forecast a U.S. gain of 352,000. Related CoverageNetflix to roll out cheaper mobile-only plan for India“Our missed forecast was across all regions, but slightly more so in regions with price increases,” the company said in a letter to shareholders. “We think Q2’s content slate drove less growth in paid adds than we anticipated,” it said. (For an interactive graphic, click here: tmsnrt.rs/2XPFdGg) Chief Executive Reed Hastings said on a video call with analysts the company’s internal projection still showed it expected to end 2019 with more new subscribers than it added in 2018. It currently boasts 151.6 million streaming customers worldwide. “I think our position is excellent,” he said. Netflix has staked its future on global expansion and creating original TV shows, movies and documentaries to attract new customers and keep the existing ones paying monthly subscription fees. “Even though we expected slowing user growth in the U.S., a negative paid net additions number is shocking,” said Clement Thibault, analyst at financial markets platform Investing.com. “The problem is that with intensifying competition, there is no guarantee Netflix has the pricing power needed to raise prices without massively bleeding users.” Netflix raised prices in Britain, Switzerland, Greece and Western Europe during the second quarter. A Reuters/IPSOS poll in March found 81% of U.S. Netflix subscribers polled said they would cut the service if the monthly price rose by $5. The last time Netflix lost U.S. subscribers was in 2011 following an uproar over a price hike and a plan to split its DVD-by-mail and streaming services. Looking ahead, Netflix projected it would add 7 million paid streaming customers in the third quarter with help from a new season of supernatural thriller “Stranger Things,” released on July 4. That is more bullish than the 6.6 million forecast from analysts polled by Refinitiv. But looming in November is the launch of Disney+, seen as a formidable entrant into the streaming market, and original programming from Apple Inc (AAPL.O). AT&T Inc (T.N) and Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) have said they plan their own offerings next year. Netflix also faces the future loss of its two most-streamed shows. “The Office” will come off Netflix in January 2021 and head to Comcast’s streaming platform, while “Friends” will end its run on Netflix at the beginning of 2020. It will move exclusively to the upcoming AT&T service HBO Max. FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy NicholsonNet income fell to $270.7 million (£217.7 million), or 60 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30 from 85 cents a year earlier. Total revenue rose to $4.92 billion from $3.91 billion.Analysts on average had expected revenue of $4.93 billion. Netflix shares fell to $320.66 in after-hours trading after closing at $362.44 on Nasdaq. Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Peter CooneyOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more